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March 12, 6:38 AM ET
Chat with KC Joyner

KC Joyner
  (4:00 PM)

Good afternoon! Let's talk some football.

Vic (Kailua, HI)

How were Housh's metrics last year and do you have numbers on #1 Wrs moving to new teams? I was curious as to what we can expect from Housh, based on numbers.

KC Joyner
  (4:01 PM)

Housh did not have a good 2008 campaign, as evidenced by his 7.1 YPA. He's still got it as a short pass threat but his vertical game isn't what it used to be.

Paul Mesa, AZ

Hey KC! I saw in an article that Jim Schwartz said that Detroit was not done in FA, who else are they going after?

KC Joyner
  (4:03 PM)

The Lions were in such bad shape on the defensive side of the ball that it isn't a surprise they would keep signing anyone they could on that side of the ball. There isn't a lot of quality out in the FA world at this point but they'll take the old Dallas approach and just bring in everyone they can in the hopes of incremental improvement.

mojo (Castle Rock, CO)

Hi KC, What do stats say about Jay Cutler? Is he the real deal or should the Broncos cash now?

KC Joyner
  (4:04 PM)

The issue with Cutler is bad decisions. He had the worst bad decision percentage of any qualifying QB in the league last year. My guess is McDaniels wants someone more in the Brady/Cassel 1-2% bad decision rate mold and he doesn't think Cutler can be that guy.

Vic (Kailua, HI)

With TO signing in BUF, does this help or hurt Lee Evans' value? What are the metrics for WRs behind TO?

KC Joyner
  (4:06 PM)

The thing about Owens is that he has a history of being really good at all depth levels. Evans is good at all levels but is great vertically. If Owens wants all the vertical throws and Evans has to do the shorter routes, I'm not sure this helps the Bills. If Owens runs the short/medium routes and Evans goes downfield, it's a great move.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

KCJ: A football scientist question: You are a GM of a top-10 picking team with questions at QB in addition to other positions. Your options at QB for the next season are drafting either Stafford/Sanchez, signing Leftwich, or trading a second round pick for Leinert. Which makes the most sense to you? Looking at this year's draft, most of the top 10 pickers will likely be in the top 10 next draft with a stronger crop of QBs.

KC Joyner
  (4:07 PM)

I'd go Stafford or Sanchez if I had the luxury of taking a long-term approach. Leftwich has been banged up a lot and Leinart may have prima donna syndrome.

Jason (Cherry Hill, NJ)

Are the Eagles trying to be at the bottom of the NfC East this season, our secondary is the only great thing about are team and even that is weaker with the loss of dawkin?

KC Joyner
  (4:08 PM)

Philly still has very good CBs and they did sign Sean Jones and Rashad Baker. Jones is a hitter and Baker is a ballhawk and between them they should be able to hold the fort down back there. I wouldn't worry much about Philly from that standpoint.

Breen (Shalersville, OH)

KC, who do you see the browns going after in the first two rounds of the draft? i think a guy like ron brace would fit in the second round.

KC Joyner
  (4:09 PM)

Some bulk up front certainly wouldn't hurt. The CB class looks fairly deep this year as well (relatively speaking), so I would hope they would grab someone in that area as well.

James (Norfolk,MA )

If the Patriots sign Jason Taylor, are they a formidable defense again?

KC Joyner
  (4:10 PM)

Taylor sure didn't show much in Washington last year, or at least not enough to make one think he would be the difference between good and formidable. NE should also start thinking youth on that side of the ball.

PT (Franklin, NC)

If Crabtree is there for the taking is it a no-brainer pick for the Raiders?

KC Joyner
  (4:11 PM)

Pretty much. He's head and shoulders the #1 WR. Only caveat is that WR is also a deep position in the draft and that could allow them to address the O line early and then hit the WRs later.

Tim (Saint Paul, MN)

What horse do you have in the TJax/Rosenfelds race?

KC Joyner
  (4:12 PM)

Give me Jackson. Rosenfels has a history of horrible bad decision rates and he's old. The Vikes need Jackson to pan out immediately or Childress's long-term future there could be questionable.

Howard (Miami)

Based on your analysis, what's the worst FA signing(s) this year?

KC Joyner
  (4:14 PM)

It's not a FA signing but the riskiest move this offseason has to be the Jets and Lito. He had a 13.0 YPA last year. If he gets some picks and can lower that to 9 yards or so, it's a good pickup but otherwise it was an unnecessary trade.

Dylan (New York)

Assuming Maclin and Crabtree are both gone by pick #17, who should the Jets draft? Are Nicks, Heyward-Bey, or Harvin worth taking there?

KC Joyner
  (4:15 PM)

I'd bet they won't go Nicks because he's not the burner the other two are.

will riverside ca [via mobile]

why are so many scouts down on harvin he seems like the best athlete in the draft?

KC Joyner
  (4:16 PM)

My understanding is that it has to do with off-field issues.

Nick (Boston)

Did you mention last week that Shawn Springs's metrics were really good? Or am I insane.

KC Joyner
  (4:17 PM)

I can't vouch either way for your sanity but yes I did say Springs metrics were really good. Try 4.8 YPA good.

Josh (mpls, MN)

Profootballtalk is reporting that the Cardinals are shopping Boldin. Which teams are/should be in line?

KC Joyner
  (4:19 PM)

The Cards have been shopping Boldin for a while now but no one wants to pay their price. With the depth of WR in the draft, I have to wonder if that is going to change. In other words, don't be surprised to see Boldin in Arizona next year.

Johnny(Queens)

KC, Their are RUMORS that the Bills are trying to trade Jason Peters? Possibly to the Eagles? Do you think that would be a good move? It would cost the Eagles a 1st rd pick?

KC Joyner
  (4:21 PM)

Peters had a ton of trouble pass blocking last year, so I wouldn't bet the farm on him. I don't know that one of the top OTs will fall far enough in the draft for Philly to get but if they could trade up and snag one of them, the Peters trade would be unnecessary.

Steve (NYC)

How does Bodden match up to Springs? I seem to recall you being very bullish when he was on the Browns.

KC Joyner
  (4:22 PM)

Metrically it isn't close between the two. Bodden ended up with a 10.5 YPA last season. Having said that, that Detroit D was so bad that it would be hard for anyone to put up good numbers. I'd still say in the right system Bodden is an 8 YPA at least and possibly a 7.

Matt (Hershey)

The Eagles are still about 40.5 million under the cap and have 12 draft picks...isn't signing Orlando Pace and trying to use those draft picks to sign a veteran wideout a no-brainer?

KC Joyner
  (4:24 PM)

Philly doesn't usually invest in vets, as they have an aversion to most 30-something ballplayers. I'd see them skipping on Pace.

Dugan (GCD,WA)

If Rosenfields is old, why did Minnesota pick him up? Wouldn't a QB like Garcia jump at the chance to play for them? With proven veteran QB's still available, what was Minnesota thinking?

KC Joyner
  (4:25 PM)

Because they don't know which Jackson will show up. If it is the one from late last year, they are in good shape. If it is the one from early last year, they'll be glad to have a vet who, on a good day, is much better than Frerotte.

Mikey(Lackawanna,NY)

Do you think the Drayton Florence signing was a good one for the Bills?

KC Joyner
  (4:26 PM)

Nope. SD let Florence go because he fell apart in coverage. Jacksonville gave him big bucks and then he fell apart for them as well and found his way to the bench. Why Buffalo figured they could fix his issues is beyond me.

Matt (Hershey) : Follow Up

If not spending on Pace...then who? The prospective Leonard Weaver signing won't cost more than a million, and we certainly won't sign all 12 draft picks if we use them all...

KC Joyner
  (4:28 PM)

I'll revise something I said a bit earlier. Maybe they are hoping the Boldin situation doesn't work out and are leaving money out there to sign him. Philly won't just go out and pick up an expensive vet just to fill up the cap but Boldin is a different story.

Geoff (DC)

I may be worth noting that Springs achieved those numbers in very few games due to injuries and such a small sample size may not be reliable. His career numbers are more closer to upper average, aren't they?

KC Joyner
  (4:29 PM)

Believe it or not, Springs actually has the lowest cumulative YPA of any CB in the six seasons I've been doing this. He really is that good.

Cole (Kansas City)

Why are WR so hard to evaluate in college? What makes Crabtree so much better than the other WRs?

KC Joyner
  (4:30 PM)

Everyone in college is a bit hard to rate because of the disparity in talent at that level. In the pros, players go up against good players every week (well, most of the time) but in college a really good player like Crabtree could be going up against a CB who isn't anywhere near NFL caliber. So when he beats that CB it's hard to say he's a great WR because it might be more that the CB is bad.

Tim (Saint Paul, MN)

Who is better right now Bolden or TO?

KC Joyner
  (4:31 PM)

Boldin with the caveat that he has an Achilles Heel of not playing well against top CBs.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

Would you be terribly surprised to see the Texans finish in the top-2 of their division next year? They seem like a team heading in the right direction, while the Titans are looking like a team taking a step back.

KC Joyner
  (4:33 PM)

The Texans a number of superb passing metrics last year. If they can get their D line to play up to its talent level and keep Schaub healthy all year long, they should be considered a strong playoff contender.

Kyle (KC)

How good was Brandon Albert last year? How big is the gap between he and Clady?

KC Joyner
  (4:34 PM)

I don't think it is as big of a gap as might be generally thought. The Chiefs had a very good passing game later in the year and as such they were asking Albert to hold down the pass blocking fort quite often. If they turn the situation around and Albert gets the media attention Clady got last year, he'll make the Pro Bowl if he continues his 2008 level of play.

Anthony (nyc)

If you were the GM of the Washington Redskins what would u use your 1st rd pick on...LB, DE OR RT...some position that i missed?

KC Joyner
  (4:35 PM)

I definitely wouldn't make it LB, even with the depth at that position. I'd DE or OT if one of the top prospects there is available.

Tim (Saint Paul, MN)

Are the Vikes hurting because they let Birk go? How did he grade out last year?

KC Joyner
  (4:37 PM)

I'm actually working on Birk's numbers this evening for an ESPN The Magazine piece. Shoot me this question next week and I'll let you know how his totals turned out.

Andrew (Arizona)

What do the Cardinals need to do get to the Super Bowl?

KC Joyner
  (4:38 PM)

Hope their division doesn't get a lot stronger. They still need to prove they can win a marathon during the season before they concern themselves with defending their NFC title.

eric kck

how do you think crabtree would work in kc with bowe,gonzo, and cassel.and should we go for pace

KC Joyner
  (4:40 PM)

It would be great both short and long-term. Bowe can work at all depth levels and Crabtree looks to have that same skill set. It could be the best combination of WRs since Holt/Bruce or Wayne/Harrison were in their primes.

brian (de)

So now that Ken Lucas is available, how does he rate with other CBs that were Free Agents this year?

KC Joyner
  (4:41 PM)

He faded down the stretch but still ended up with an 8.6 YPA. That isn't good but if he were asked to be a vet depth guy instead of a full-time starter and could give teams his early 2008 performance, he's worth signing.

Vic (Kailua, HI)

What were Cassel's metrics last year? and how do they compare to Brady?

KC Joyner
  (4:42 PM)

He wasn't quite Brady. 7.1 YPA is a lot lower than Tom's and a 1.9% bad decision rate is about double Brady's best year. Those are both still really good totals, however, so don't think I'm knocking Cassel!

Moss/Welker (Foxboro)

We totally resent your Bowe/Crabtree comment. For the record.

KC Joyner
  (4:44 PM)

Hey now, there's a reason I didn't include you two. The other pairings I mentioned could both work at all depth levels. Welker is a terrific short pass receiver but his vertical numbers leave a lot to be desired. That's why I skipped those two.

David (Houston, TX)

Will the Steelers draft for their O-Line this year as they have only commited to resigning on short term deals thus far?

KC Joyner
  (4:45 PM)

I think Pittsburgh thinks their O line is better than the rest of the world does. They were a bit defensive about it in the Super Bowl postgame and maybe they want to show the world they can do it with this group again. I'd still think they will draft someone but at this point I'm not looking for a ton of movement on their part.

Matt (Hershey)

After a string of 3 solid seasons, how much does Jeff Garcia have left in the tank? How much weight can we put on the fact that he didn't enter the league until he was 29? Is he 33 in NFL years or is his true age (39) more accurate?

KC Joyner
  (4:47 PM)

Jon Gruden likes old QBs and he gave up on Garcia for a time last year. Garcia would be a good insurance policy in the right place but he's running out of steam.

josh - philly

Everyone seems to pencil the Eagles in for an OT but does it make sense to take the 5th or 6th best OT when you could choose between the 1st or 2nd best RB/TE/S/CB...?

KC Joyner
  (4:48 PM)

Josh, remember that the draft is often a needs based entity. Philly needs OT help badly and this year's draft has plenty of good OT candidates. They are also pretty stocked at S and CB, so don't look for them to reach for anyone at those spots.

Fitzgerald/Boldin

WE resent your Bowe/Crabtree comment.

KC Joyner
  (4:49 PM)

Remember my earlier comment on Boldin v top CBs? That's why you were skipped.

Trent (Los Gatos, CA)

How were my metrics last year? Do they bode well for success with TO (or at least keeping him happy in Buffalo)? Also, I know you love JP but I can sling the ball deep as well, watch me hit Lee for double dig TDs this year

KC Joyner
  (4:51 PM)

Just to make the record clear, I've never not liked Trent Edwards. I just thought Losman was the better passer. Edwards's 7.2 YPA and 12.0 vertical YPA are both quite good, especially considering the relative lack of WR help he had.

Matt (Hershey) Follow Up

With so many teams needing insurance policies, especially teams built to win now like the Jets and Panthers, doesn't signing Garcia/Leftwich to a 1 or 2 year deal make sense?

KC Joyner
  (4:52 PM)

It does if either of those two are willing to be backups. I'd also be careful about any short-term moves in NY. They made that mistake last year and it cost their head coach his job.

Jones/Porter (Jacksonville)

We also resent the Bowe/Crabtree comment, but we stink, so what can we really say!

Branch/Engram (Seattle)

No, WE resent your Bowe/Crabtree com...just kidding.

KC Joyner
  (4:53 PM)

It's the comedy minute on ESPN SportsNation!

Matt (Hershey)

If McDaniels was so hell-bent on getting Matt Cassell, shouldn't he have reunited with Pioli in Kansas City instead of taking the Denver job?

KC Joyner
  (4:54 PM)

Maybe, but let's also look at this from another perspective. McDaniels goes to Denver thinking he can turn Cutler around. Cutler, being the sensitive type he seems to be, takes it the wrong way, gets upset and wants to be traded.

Mike (Orlando, FL)

Is Brandon Marshall worth re-signing considering his off-the-field issues? (and all the drops)

KC Joyner
  (4:56 PM)

I had Marshall on my annual overrated list on ESPN.com last season and nothing about his year-end metrics made me re-think that. A 7.4 overall YPA and a 7.9 vertical YPA were both in the bottom 20 or so at their respective metrics. He's not nearly as good as many have him rated.

Demetric (Atlanta)

Do you see the Falcons getting another weapon for Matty Ice to have? Possilby a TE that can screcth the feild.....What if they offer KC a 3rd pick for Tony Gonglalez?

KC Joyner
  (4:57 PM)

Gonzo in Atlanta sounds great but I'd almost rather see the Falcons go for one of those WRs in the draft and see if they can develop a 1-2-3 receiver punch with youngsters. Give Ryan that and it could be Super Bowl time.

Tim (Saint Paul, MN)

Is there anywhere we can see your metrics?

KC Joyner
  (4:59 PM)

They will be in ESPN's Fantasy Football Mag and in Scientific Football 2009. The former will be on newsstands this summer (I'll forward the specific date later) and the latter will be ready in late July (and available for pre-sale next week).

Mike (Orlando, FL)

Do you think Denver will consider a WR with their first pick (#12) if Maclin slides? Or do you think it's defense no matter what, with all the depth at WR later on?

KC Joyner
  (5:00 PM)

I'd bet it would be D with one caveat. If they don't think the Marshall situation will work out long-term (and there are many reasons to think that), they might go WR. Only problem is how that could affect the 2009 season if Marshall and his prospective replacement have to work together. Could be another Roy Wlliams/Calvin Johnson situation.

Jason (Bmore)

Losing McFadden may hurt the Steelers secondary, but they seem confident in William Gay. How did his metrics appear in the nickel and dime situations, and do they translate well if he is to become a starter?

KC Joyner
  (5:02 PM)

I can tell you why Pitt is confident in him. Gay's 3.6 YPA was the best in the league last year. Even if he doubles that total with greater playing time, it's still more than good enough to win with. Well, dinner is just about here so I've got to run. Hope to see you all next week!