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March 13, 7:02 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (3:51 PM)

Hey everyone. Let's get this started-TONS to talk about of course!

Jake (Chicago)

Matt, my friends and I have been debating this...are the Bears the most boring team in the NFL? Their style of ply, lack of big name FA splashes, they even shy away from big name cvollege players. If Devin Hester wasn't wround they'd have nothing...

Matt Williamson
  (3:52 PM)

Could be right....however, the history of that team suggests that even when they are very good, they are sometimes boring. Based on D and a running game, which I commend, especially considering the weather and city they play in. But Jake, I hear ya...ho hum.

Joe (Lancaster,PA)

who do you think the EAGLES are going to draft?

Matt Williamson
  (3:54 PM)

They are in good shape with two first rounders and would expect them to get involved should Boldin be available. With their top three picks overall, I would expect a pass catcher (probably a WR with size), a bigger RB and an OT to groom. Not bad shape at all and should be able to get some real solid help in those areas. Would think E Britton is a real possibility in round one.

Steiny (NYC)

Where do you think former Penn State and Hampton DT Chris Baker will get drafted?

Matt Williamson
  (3:55 PM)

Very low. Stock has really fallen. Character red flags. Weight issues. What scheme does he best fit?

Robert (Latrobe, PA)

Will Shaun Rogers whine his way out of Cleveland, especially if the Browns grab Raji at #5?

Matt Williamson
  (3:56 PM)

I suppose that could happen, but it seems unlikely. First off, Raji might not last past Seattle. He is going to be a hot commodity for sure, as NT/DTs like him are extremely hard to find. But if Cleveland does draft Raji, surely Rogers will be history-sure sign.

Steiny (NYC)

Do you think Crabtree can fall to the Jets at 17?

Matt Williamson
  (3:57 PM)

No way. Honestly, I think I would take him at #2 if I were in charge of STL.

Steiny (NYC)

Will Jeremy Shockey get a new deal?

Matt Williamson
  (3:58 PM)

Apparently NO likes him more than I do, as I never would have given up those picks to acquire him. Always fighting one injury or another. Mouthy. Production has really dropped as he has aged. I wouldn't offer him big money at all.

Burwell (Addison, PA)

Now that the Ravens are going to be granting Rolle his release, are they in big trouble at CB? Foxworth doesn't inspire a lot of confidence as a #2, let alone a #1.

Matt Williamson
  (3:59 PM)

True and I do expect them to draft a CB rather high. But, with that pass rush, they are able to mask some issues at CB. I have no problem with them releasing Rolle and think that they guys they will start are better players than he is at this point.

Alex (Chicago)

What the heck is Jerry Angelo doing? They have many holes on this team and he isn't doing anything to fill them.

Matt Williamson
  (4:00 PM)

That is an excellent question. It is easy to be aggressive with someone else's money and I do fully appreciate that this free agency market left an awful lot to be desired, but like you said-you need to add someone of consequence! OT and WR are glaring holes. FS and DE are huge needs as well. Can't say that I am too psyched about many members of this roster.

Robert (Latrobe, PA)

It's only been 3 years, but in hindsight does Charley Casserley look like a genius for taking Williams over Bush?

Matt Williamson
  (4:01 PM)

No question. DL is SO much harder to find than RB. Bush isn't a bad player, but he is a specialty guy. Mario is pretty much a superstar and is worth far more than Bush.

John smoots(charlotte NC,)

Who will the carolina panthers draft..........a QB

Matt Williamson
  (4:03 PM)

Doubt it. Delhomme's contract is up after this season and I am not his biggest supporter to begin with, but without a first round pick, I am not sure how/who Carolina can make that work. The QBs in this draft are terrible outside of the top few and I would rather have Matt Moore than prob all but three in this class. Will have to be next year's project.

Matt

Is Tra Thomas a good pickup for the Jags or will his age be a factor in whether he can block the likes of Freeney, Mathis, Williams, etc., in the AFC South?

Matt Williamson
  (4:05 PM)

Blocking those guys isn't easy for anyone and at his age, I do think that speed like Freeney will be a problem. But, I do think it was a good pickup overall and now JAX doesn't HAVE to draft a OT extremely high. Instead, they should go WR in round one. Thomas is huge though, which is something they stress and with both OGs coming back, the line should be MUCH better than during last season-esp in the run game.

Robert (Latrobe, PA)

Will Jason Campbell ever be an elite QB, or will Snyder's impatience with players and personnel sink his career?

Matt Williamson
  (4:07 PM)

Gotta feel for Campbell. Even dating back to his time at Auburn, he has gone through OCoordinator after OC and just SO many different O systems. Tough to progress that way! Still, I don't see him as a good fit in Zorn's WCoast O and is more of a pocket/downfield type of thrower. His contract is also up after next season and it wouldn't shock me if he was in another uniform. If M Sanchez starts to slip...

Robert (Latrobe, PA)

Is Arizona building a perennial contender or merely a one-year wonder?

Matt Williamson
  (4:09 PM)

A few things about them-amazingly, their OL and that group of tweener pass rushers all stayed incredibly healthy last year. As did Warner. Those pass rushers and Warner all have some major durability questions, so chances are that will not happen again. I do like their core though and I expect their secondary to now be one of the best in the league. Of course they can score points as well. So, I guess my answer is somewhere in between. The fate of Boldin will obviously have a huge impact on what goes on there going forward.

john (charlotte NC)

what position do they need to fill the most. dont you think they need a TE or another standout WR that can give Jake an easier target

Matt Williamson
  (4:11 PM)

That is true, but my biggest worry about their roster is their DL in general. Peppers still could leave and even if he stays, they could use another DE opposite him. Very thin at DT as well-which really was exposed late in the season. I don't disagree about the pass catchers though, as S Smith is really the only threat of the bunch.

Burwell (Addison, PA)

Who are the biggest candidates for a sophomore slump? For some reason Chris Johnson and Donnie Avery immediately come to mind.

Matt Williamson
  (4:12 PM)

Yeah, could see that. Big play/home run guys obviously could drop in their stats when/if the home runs don't come with as much regularity. I like Johnson's chances more than Avery's though. Can Avery be a #1 without Holt around? I have serious doubts. Could see Slaton coming back to Earth a little.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Do you get the reasoning behind Minnesota signing Jimmy Kennedy? I'm a Vikes and PSU fan but I don't see him as filling a need.

Matt Williamson
  (4:13 PM)

Yeah, I hear you there. Don't see much allure with Kennedy. But, the Williams boys have a great chance of being suspended to start the season. Someone needs to play the position!

Mark (Rhodesdale, Maryland) [via mobile]

Where will Heyward-Bey from Maryland go? (hopefully baltimore)

Matt Williamson
  (4:14 PM)

I think he goes much earlier than Balt's pick. 3rd WR off the board. Maybe as high as Jax.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Is it just me or is this chat being dominated by the Keystone state?

Matt Williamson
  (4:14 PM)

...as well it should be

Jake (SD)

What kind of contract do you think Orlando Pace is looking for? The Chargers need a RT and the top prospects (I'm not sold on Oher or A. Davis) will be gone when they pick at 16? Could Pace be a fit for the Bolts?

Matt Williamson
  (4:15 PM)

Hadn't thought about that one, but yeah, I could see that. They are a contender. Would assume that is what he is looking for. However, I would have some concerns about how he fares with his physical. Team Docs will have a lot to say about giving Pace millions.

Matt Williamson
  (4:16 PM)

Programming note here: Why so few questions today? Is the link hard to find? Am I up against someone else? Just so quiet in here today. Used to FAR more questions.

Brad(NM)

Hey Matt...gotta ask you about T.O. As a Bills fan, along w/most other Bills fans..we're pretty excited to have the guy on our roster for a year. Should we be? I figure he'll be playing for his last big contract and should be on his best behavior, if that's possible, this year.

Matt Williamson
  (4:18 PM)

When I first heard of this, I immediatly thought terrible thoughts of how it would turn out and it seemed like a desperation move by both TO and the Bills. I do still see it as an act of desperation of some sorts and there are some seriously combustable elements to this signing. But, he will make them (esp L Evans) much better in the passing game, as they really needed a pass catcher with his kind of physicality, esp near the goal line. If he can behave for a year and understand that this is an audition, it sounds crazy, but this might just work out okay.

Cole (Kansas City)

If Aaron Curry and Crabtree are both available at #3 to the Chiefs-- who do they pick?

Matt Williamson
  (4:19 PM)

That is a real tough one for me. Can't go real wrong with either and I think these are the two of the best three players in the draft along with Sanchez. I would lean towards Crabtree though-tougher position to find and he might end up being Cassel's new version of R Moss.

Larry (Pasco, WA)

Matt, do you see R. Maualuga being a good fit for the Chargers at pick 16?

Matt Williamson
  (4:20 PM)

No question. Probably just a two down player though and they did sign Burnett, who plays the pass well. But, after signing Burnett, I see ILB as a lesser need to SS and RT.

Chris (Philly)

If the Eagles make a trade for Boldin, does that make them the favorite in the NFC?

Matt Williamson
  (4:21 PM)

I was asked who my favs were before free agency opened and of course it is extremely early for such things. But, I picked NEng and PGH in the AFC, which I feel great about still and Philly in the NFC. Now, I put NYG over Philly, but adding Boldin would be huge-plus, it would assure that NYG didn't get him.

chauncey (teaneck)

is Garrard a one year wonder?

Matt Williamson
  (4:22 PM)

No, but he is more game manager than a dynamic difference maker-which is okay when their running game is working. I don't think Garrard will be as strong with his turnover ratio as he was two years ago, but I feel like he is good enough to win with...but he needs much more help than that poor guy got last year.

Henr (ATL)

What do you think of ATL's Lack of movement so far this off-season? Will they be able to build a good enough defense through the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (4:23 PM)

Won't be easy at all. I do like the Peterson signing and obviously the coaching staff was very familiar with him. BUT-they need a Gravy Jackson type NT in a bad way, maybe a DE opposite Abraham and at least one more DB, but probably both a CB and S. Still could maybe use another OLB as well. That is a lot to ask from one draft!

JP (Pittsburgh)

Your competition today is improving weather across the country on a late Friday afternoon...

Matt Williamson
  (4:24 PM)

Good call. In the Burgh here myself with the windows open. Can't say I blame everyone then!

Cole (Kansas City)

Do you foresee anyone "falling in love" with Sanchez and trading up to get him? How likely is Detroit to consider him? (BTW, if Detroit does not pick a franchise QB, can they forfeit their Thanksgiving day game and put us all out of our misery?)

Matt Williamson
  (4:25 PM)

Hard for me to say, because I am nearly in love with him myself. If I were Det at #1, I would much rather have Sanchez than Stafford, which isn't a knock on Stafford. I gotta think that he doesn't get out of the top 10.

Larry (Pasco, WA)

If your starting a team from the ground up, who would you rather have at QB Rivers or Culter?

Matt Williamson
  (4:26 PM)

Rivers, but that is rather close. Neither seem incredibly mature, which is worrisome, but Rivers seems to handle himself better of the two. Cutler throws the ball better without question, but Rivers really showed me something last year. Was never a believer. Now I am.

Steiny (NYC) [via mobile]

Will Larry Izzo be a key special teams player for the Jets?

Matt Williamson
  (4:27 PM)

Would think so and he had better be-that is all he does!

Steiny (NYC) [via mobile]

Would Josh Freeman be a good fit for the Jets?

Matt Williamson
  (4:28 PM)

Yeah, I think so. That might be a bit early to pull the trigger on him, but if they do bring in a QB, a bigger strong armed guy like Freeman makes the most sense considering their wintery conditions. Could happen. But I bet it doesn't. I think they will have a real hard time passing on V Davis or T Jackson to add yet another piece on D.

Brett (Houston, TX)

Do you like former Iowa running back Shonn Greene? Where do you think he'll go? By that, I mean what round, and what teams may like his style?

Matt Williamson
  (4:29 PM)

He's okay. Rather one dimensional though. Not real nifty. Heavy guy. Pounder. Won't break long ones or make many miss. Doesn't offer much in the pass game. 3rd round value.

Mike (MN)

Matt, I know this won't happen, but wouldn't the Vikes 1st, a 4th and Tavaris be good enough to land Cutler?

Matt Williamson
  (4:29 PM)

Not sure if Tavaris adds to or hurts the deal to be honest. How about Minny's first and 3rd?

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

I was hoping the Vikings would draft Freeman but that isn't happening at this point. Where do they go with the 22nd pick?

Matt Williamson
  (4:31 PM)

Agreed-it won't. RT is a big need, but the top 4 will be gone. Maybe E Britton, but that is a bit early. WR could be attractive. P Harvin would be rather interesting. H Nicks is a good ft as well. I really think Minny's OL is worse off than many realize though.

Brett (Houston, TX)

Which receiver do you think is the best in this year's draft class? Harvin? Nicks?

Matt Williamson
  (4:32 PM)

Crabtree. Big believer in Maclin as well, but Crabtree is a big time player. I LOVE the draft, but do you guys feel this way this year-hard to get excited about many of the first rounders. Weak draft. Just SO many questions about most of these guys. Still, like I said, the guys I like most are Crabtree, Sanchez and Curry.

MW (IA)

If Cutler is traded, how do you feel about Simms being the starter in Denver?

Matt Williamson
  (4:32 PM)

Wouldn't be the end of the world for a year to see what he can do. That was a signing that went under the radar a bit-but maybe shouldn't have.

Derek (H-town, Texas)

Given the Cowboys disposal of their first round pick to land Roy Williams, given where their pick would have been and the WR class this year, in hindsight, did they make a good move?

Matt Williamson
  (4:34 PM)

Seemed very pricey to me at the time and I certainly have my serious doubts about Williams. But, that team has a lot of talent and they would not have gotten a WR at that pick who could contribute like Williams can/should this year. So overall, I understand it. Now, it is on Roy.

Kyle (Bay Area)

HUGE Frank Gore fan here. But given the run-heavy offense Singletary wants, Gore's injury history and the lack of an established back-up, do you think the Niners might use a 2nd-4th round pick on a RB to split time with Frank?

Matt Williamson
  (4:35 PM)

Yeah, dead on by you. I really like the guy as well, but you got to worry about his overall durability. Along those lines-do you think they will finally throw him the ball as much as he deserves? Give him the rock as a pass catcher as well! But yeah, drafting someone like Greene or Andre Brown would be a good move.

Branson (NC)

Who do you think would be the best fit for the packers at pick 9?

Matt Williamson
  (4:36 PM)

They have a few huge needs and like with EVERY one of my chats, I feel obligated to say that I dispise their move to a 3-4. Wrong decision and it will destroy a once-decent D. So...they must draft front 7 who fit the scheme. Easier said than done. A OT is also required, but that is really their only true O need.

Kyle (Bay Area)

Any hope left for the Niners to get some value out of Vernon Davis? Or is he just better off focusing on his future career as a bodybuilder and Under Armour model?

Matt Williamson
  (4:36 PM)

Still hope. Fleeting hope. But still hope.

The Wolf (Cleveland)

I'm with you and I do not like the strength of 1st rounders this year, but the 2nd rounders look stronger. Who is the 2nd round player(s) that will make the biggest impact on their teams?

Matt Williamson
  (4:37 PM)

Good point I suppose, but I also liked the depth of last year's draft quite a bit-probably more. Look at a NT like Ron Brace or a smaller CB like A Smith as early 2nd round steals.

David (Texas)

What did you think about the UCONN game last night

Matt Williamson
  (4:38 PM)

Missed it. Heard about it. Wasn't real fond of the Pitt game however.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Love the move to the 3-4 by the Pack. Very happy with it here.

Matt Williamson
  (4:38 PM)

Don't blame you. Just about no one fits the switch from their front seven.

Princess Leia (Somewhere trapped in the Death Star)

Help me Obi-Wan, you are the Boston Sports Nations' only hope. Pats first 4 picks : Matthews, Barwin, CB, best available RB or WR ? Thank you Obi-Wan !

Matt Williamson
  (4:41 PM)

May the Force be with you-always. I love where NEng sits. Those top four could go any way they want, but I would expect three D players and either a WR or OT as somewhat of a luxory pick. This sounds crazy considering what they had last year, but I am not convinced that they MUST now go with a DB real high. They, of course, value their front seven a great deal and realize that getting after the passer makes coverage much easier. I think you have some good names there in Clay Jr and Barwin. English could factor in. Laurinitis at ILB next to Mayo? Would prefer more of a thumper there though. Trade up a smidge for Ray M from USC with that first one? OLB with the next pick? SO many options. NEng is stacked.

Steve (Rochester, NY)

The Raiders need a WR and the Cardinals need a RB. How about trading Michael Bush and picks for Anquan Boldin?

Matt Williamson
  (4:42 PM)

Would have to be serious picks. Boldin is worth FAR more than Bush. I do think the Cards would like to get their hands on Bush-who I do like, but RBs are dime a dozen.

Matt (Boston, MA)

Followup to Leia: Any shot at Laurinitis in Round 2?

Matt Williamson
  (4:43 PM)

Maybe on that KC pick in round 2-sure. Playmaker that BB likes, but in the 3-4, you prefer to have a heavier take on guy next to the run and hit LB (Mayo).

Edgerrin James (unhappy)

Are they ever going to release me? I want to play somewhere else!

Matt Williamson
  (4:43 PM)

That is odd to me. Seems like a no brainer to me. Let him go. I would assume that would open up some cap space.

wes (reidsvlle nc)

Do you see the cowboys drafting a backup qb? Maybe a pat white are Stephen Mcgee

Matt Williamson
  (4:45 PM)

Maybe and I really like McGee. White also makes some sense, but I bet he goes higher than he should. Without a first round pick and after getting Kitna, that might be a priority for next year. Plus, this year's 2nd and 3rd level QBs are rather terrible. Adding Kitna was a good move. Remember that. Has that Roy W connection as well.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub will AL Davis wise up and draft an OT & OG in the first three rounds, or does he continue his annual assault on picking up the fastest players in each round?

Matt Williamson
  (4:46 PM)

Here is betting that he screws it up. That is another team with just SO many needs, but none greater than OL and WR....which is confounding since they are trying to establish Russell as their franchise QB.

Chuck (Minneapolis)

Tyson Jackson would seem like a good fit for Green Bay, but maybe a reach at #9. What's the farthest they could trade back and still land him? Solid DE to start the 3-4 transition?

Matt Williamson
  (4:46 PM)

Very much so. Good eye. I like NYJ to grab him. Denver could be real interested too as they make that same switch. I wouldn't trade down too far.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Dallas should draft Santa Claus as a backup QB. At least they know he can perform in December.

Matt Williamson
  (4:47 PM)

He always comes through in the clutch as well.

The Wolf (Cleveland)

Are any of the Ohio State players going to make a huge impact in their rookie season?

Matt Williamson
  (4:47 PM)

Robiskie should. Obviously it depends on which team he goes to, but as rook WRs go, he is quite NFL ready. I am not huge on Jenkins, but I think he can help quickly. Of course Wells should get plenty of rook carries as well.

Justin (Ontario)

The general consensus is that the Bears need to improve thier pass rush...so which of their three DE's is done? Ogunleye, Alex Brown or Mark Anderson?? These are the same three that were on the SuperBowl team

Matt Williamson
  (4:49 PM)

I agree, but a few notes in their favor going forward: Rod Marrinelli is now the DL coach-which is his forte. That should pay off. Most importantly, T Harris should be healthy (hopefully) and I see him as the most important guy on that D. Commands attention! Still, those DEs MUST step up and I still see DE as a need.

CC (Atlanta)

A 3-4 team drafting a DE high in the 1st round seems like waste. They aren't really playmakers so why pay all that $$?

Matt Williamson
  (4:50 PM)

Becoming very hard to find. Takes a long time for them to learn their new techniques, as none of them run that scheme in college. Can't just line up a few jokers at DE and hope for the best!

John Frink (Springfield)

Torry Holt released? Let the speculation beginulate!

Matt Williamson
  (4:50 PM)

Did that just happen? Was bound to happen. Could see Dallas being interested. Tennessee as well.

Steve (Rochester, NY)

Is Raji really that good or is he simply the best DT in a weak class? Where do you project him to go?

Matt Williamson
  (4:51 PM)

More of the latter. But, he was a world beater at times, particularly at the Senior Bowl. I would worry that he might turn it off and on, but like you said, he is the only one out there right now and that position is of HUGE importance.

JP (Pittsburgh)

CC is right about 3-4 DE's. Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton are meaningless to Pittsburgh's success...

Matt Williamson
  (4:52 PM)

Hampton is a NT. But, just look at NEng-first round picks accross their excellent DL has been the backbone of that team-along with the best coach and QB on the planet oh by the way.

Chris (Philly)

Is Sean Jones a decent replacement for Dawkins in the Eagles secondary?

Matt Williamson
  (4:53 PM)

I think the guy is a smidge overrated and to me, he and Mikell are too similiar in that they are both in-the-box types. Demps or a rook could surprise as a deep patrol player, but that isn't Jones' specialty at all. Will make some big plays though.

CC (Atlanta)

Was Aaron Smith a high pick? No. Marques Douglas? No. Kelly Gregg? No. I think most starting 3-4 DEs were not top 10 guys.

Matt Williamson
  (4:55 PM)

Neither Smith or Keisel was in PGH-but what they do at that position is amazing. Groom. Great coaching. Plus, when those guys were taken, far fewer teams were running that scheme. To play DE in the 3-4, you need to be 6-4+ and 290 lbs with the ability to run, stack and shed vs. huge OTs and often move inside on throwing downs to push the pocket. Plus, like I said, none of these guys did this in college. Also, Douglass does not belong in this conversation.

Jake (Austin, Tx)

Matt, why all the love for the Pats? The Steelers, Giants and Colts have all won Super Bowls since NE's last one. Either they are very overrated or huge underachievers.

Matt Williamson
  (4:57 PM)

They won 11 games last year with me and you in their secondary and after losing the best player in the world during Week 1. Now, they have a TON of resources at their disposal-and they know what to do with them. I think NEng and PGH are the best teams in the league. Could give you a couple thousand words on why, but that is the quick version.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Matt: Be honest with me. The Vikings aren't any closer to being legitimate Super Bowl contenders than they were after losing to the Eagles, are they?

Matt Williamson
  (4:57 PM)

Nope.

matt (FLORIDA)

How would you rate the Phins FA and based on that, where are they going to go in their first few picks?! Thanks Matt!

Matt Williamson
  (4:58 PM)

I like what they have done. Kept their own. Continued to get stronger on the OL. Still really could use a #1 WR-which will be very hard to find. But other than that, I really like the O personnel. Could use a little of everything on each level on D, but CB is a huge need too.

CC (Atlanta)

Is there a decent SS stil unsigned (other than Milloy) that ATL should look at? Is Louis Delmas more of a FS... his measurabless look more like cover safety, which we don't need.

Matt Williamson
  (4:59 PM)

Delmas is more of a FS and a lot of teams are in need of a safety right now-which bodes well for him. As for vet SS, no one really comes to mind. I thought S Jones would end up there to be honest and he has Georgia ties. Will be tough to fill that need.

Brett (Houston, TX)

Hard for Minnesota to become better when they don't do anything. They tried, though, so that's gotta count for something. Right? RIGHT?! Ah, darn it.

Matt Williamson
  (5:00 PM)

Well, they did trade for their starting QB. But yeah, I hear ya.

Rich (Newburgh, NY)

Since the Bills have T.O. now, in what direction to they go in round 1...Tight End or Defense??

Matt Williamson
  (5:01 PM)

TO actually lessens their TE need-but obviously it still exists. To me, round 2 is huge for Buff, as they might get a talented pass catching TE or probably more importantly, a OC-which is a giant need. DE in round one (Brown? Maybin?) could go a long way in taking that D another step forward.

Matt Williamson
  (5:02 PM)

Okay everyone. Take care. Good stuff today. Enjoy your weekend. Get outside a bit! Adios.