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March 27, 6:56 AM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (3:52 PM)

Hey everyone. MW filling in for JG today. Let's get this started.

Will (Bismarck,ND)

Matt, would Torry olt be a good fit for the Bears and if so why isn't he a Bear?

Matt Williamson
  (3:55 PM)

He is a bit of a mystery to me. If I were in his shoes, I would be FAR more interested in going to a contender-like Tenn or even Carolina, which is where he is from. But, what I am not sure about with him is just how much does he have left. It was tough to judge last year due to the awful cast he was around. But watching him on tape, it is obvious that he is no longer a true #1 WR. Not long ago, I thought he was elite-and actually underrated. Now, he probably can start opposite someone like S Smith, but he can't handle the feature role and the coverage that comes with that. Just doesn't seperate like he once did. Also-this is a guy who made his bones in a dome in a high flying timing based attack and doesn't offer much as a blocker or in the peripheral aspects of the position. For those reasons, I doubt that he is a great fit for the Bears...but Chi sure could use another pass catcher, particularly one who has had success in this league.

Will (Bismarck,ND)

Matt, Do you see Chris Williams and Kevin Schaffer as being an upgrade to St Clair and Tait? Also did the Bears get the Better player in Schaffer while the Browns downgraded with St Clair,thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (3:57 PM)

Shaffer really struggled last year. I would rather have St. Clair-plus, St. Clair can play more positions than just RT. Still, signing Shaffer made sense for Chicago, due to their lack of quality at the position. He does have experience on the left side and trusting Williams seems VERY risky-but Shaffer was actually far worse on the left than right, which is saying something. I don't trust Chi's OTs one bit and would rather have Tait than any of the guys mentioned, but I also concede that Tait had declined. Expect a lot of double TE sets due to the lack of WRs and the TE's ability to help their OTs.

Broad Street Brian (philly)

With all the chats you are doing lately, you must be the hardest working man at ESPN. Thanks for taking the time to talk. I have seen team reports that suggest the Steelers do not have any weaknesses; I just find that hard to believe. Didn't PITT win it all in spite of its O-line play? I don't think Big Ben will make it through another season getting pounded like that.

Matt Williamson
  (3:59 PM)

Thanks-but if hosting chats and talking football is hard work, then you and I don't agree on the definition of hard work. As for PGH-I agree. They have needs like everyone else. Obviously they are not going to sign a real big name OLineman at this point, so I do expect them to open camp with the same starters as last year. Surely they will draft one high though and probably another guy in the 4th/5th round. They do need bodies up front-quality and quantity, but mostly quality. Still, history has taught us that PGH likes to red shirt their rookies to some extent-and that has worked out extremely well for them.

Alex (Evansville, IN)

Hey Matt, if Indianapolis has the choice of Percy Harvin, Darius Hayward-Bay, or Hakeem Nicks with the #27 pick, whick wideout do you think would be the best fit for them ?

Matt Williamson
  (4:00 PM)

I like Harvin for them out of that group. Would be great in that dome. Offers more return ability than the others. Slot. The others are obviously attractive as well, but I HIGHLY doubt that all three are there at #27 and in fact, it wouldn't shock me if none where there. A lot of teams need WRs.

Will (Bismarck,ND)

Hey Matt, Do you think that the Bears can be a SB contender with Kyle Orton? Thanks, love the chats by the way.

Matt Williamson
  (4:02 PM)

Thanks and wow, we are hitting the Bears hard early on. Fine by me. Orton? Hmmm. I suppose and I am impressed with what he did last year before the injury. He was never the same after that. Do I love him? Not at all. Can they be a contender with him? Yeah....but.....They would need a FAR superior OL and D. The special teams should be strong again, but I want a Buddy Ryan type D if they are to win it all with Orton.

Jeremy (San Luis Obispo)

Ramses Barden thinks he will be a top 45 pick, where do you see the Cal Poly star getting taken?

Matt Williamson
  (4:04 PM)

Outside the top 45! Surely has some unique qualities, but he is going to have a real tough time gaining seperation at the next level. He is huge, but doesn't play THAT big. Go up and snatch that thing way over the head of CBs-don't see enough of that. Plus, needless to say, it is a long jump from Cal Poly to lining up against Champ Bailey.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Seems only right that the Bears get hit early and often. That might be how their season goes.

Matt Williamson
  (4:04 PM)

Nice one. Lucky for them, their division stinks.

Cole (Kansas City)

Has Connor Barwin's stock elevated him into the 1st round of the draft?

Matt Williamson
  (4:05 PM)

Wouldn't shock me at all. Could see Parcells and Belichick loving the guy. Vrabel. Real good football player and it all might be in front of him. It surely helps that a lot of teams are playing a 3-4 now as well.

Cole (Kansas City)

BE FOREWARNED - in every chat Jeremy has obsessed about freakin' Ramses Barden!

Matt Williamson
  (4:05 PM)

I didn't know that. In every one of my chats, I obsess about what a terrible move it was for GBay to switch to a 3-4. There, got that off my chest.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Hey now, the Vikes may not have a QB but they did win 10 games last year without one.

Matt Williamson
  (4:06 PM)

QBs are important. What if the Williams Wall is suspended for the first 4 games? 1-3 out of the gates?

Will (Bismarck,ND)

So if Oher is there at 18 should the Bears grab him? I think that what he overcame to get here proves that he has what it take to be a great player and once he has a Oline coach for more than one year his technique will improve dramatically,thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (4:08 PM)

Could very well be right, but there certainly is a lot of uncertainty and risk with Oher. Up and down and very unlikely to contribute right away. High ceiling though. Can Chi afford to do that considering their other needs? Perhaps and I suppose that I would not condemn them for it-but it prob doesn't help them win now.

Sean (Houston)

Do you think that Vontae Davis is a good fit for the Saints and do you think they can contend this year?

Matt Williamson
  (4:11 PM)

Believer in the Saints here. Good fit, yes. Very inconsistent though-somewhat in the mold of his big bro. But-he does have rare man to man abilities, which NO covets. To me though, the guys I would be looking at for NO would be Davis, Wells and my personal favorite for NO-P Jerry. When in doubt, go DL. Put Jerry next to Ellis. All of a sudden, your DBs and LBs play much better. See Giants, New York. But-NO could be an excellent candidate to trade down. They don't have a 2nd rounder (Shockey) and they also do not have a massive need. Trade down, get someone like Jerry, Wells or even Alex Mack while picking up a valuable pick in the process. That being said, I could also see being aggressive to go get Jenkins if he started to fall. Jerry to NO.

Toby (Minneapolis)

Why do so many mocks have Jacksonville taking a QB? I would think they'd be looking at WR and DT.

Matt Williamson
  (4:12 PM)

I agree. Their WRs are dreadful. Really could use a CB as well. Williams should be a FS and they have no depth at CB. DT would be great, but only if they can get a real difference maker, which won't happen at that spot. I don't love Garrard, but I also don't blame him for last year's problems. EVERYthing went wrong that was designed to make Garrard's life easier.

Thomas (Wayne, WV)

How do you think the Pats will fare this season? and do you think we end up with Peppers or Taylor? Thanks

Matt Williamson
  (4:14 PM)

I think NEng and PGH are the two best teams in the league and NEng will very much contend for the Lombardi Trophy. Could happen with one of those two-but here is my biggest question with both-are they Belichick type of guys? Grinders? Tough guys? Vrabel-like? I don't think so.

jazz (maui)

has david Veikune's jumped into a second to third round pick?

Matt Williamson
  (4:14 PM)

Sounds fair. Pass rushers are valuable. Would struggle to take him in the top 50 though.

Terry (Madison)

How bad is Aaron Kampman going to be as a linebacker? Seriously, why would the Packers switch to a 3-4 def and then refuse to sign anyone that can play a 3-4 def? Another briliant move by Ted Thompson. Please tell me that he will be fired when they go 4-12.

Matt Williamson
  (4:15 PM)

Awful move. Kampman will rush the passer from that OLB spot very well, but how do you really think he will fare covering the flats or running with a TE downfield? What a crime.

Mike (Boca Raton)

can you please explain why centers are not worthy of being picked in round 1? hasn't recent draft history proven that good players are good players regardless of position?

Matt Williamson
  (4:18 PM)

I am with you Bro. Just look at the OCs and OGs who are taken in the top 40-50 or so overall. They almost hardly ever bust and when you look at the best interior OLinemen in the league, most were very high picks. I was asked about Alex Mack on PGH local radio the other day and said that I am sure that PGH or even Zona wouldn't find adding someone like Mack who very well could be one of the best-and safest-15 guys or so in this draft, making him a starter and letting him be great at his job for the next 10 years or so. Obviously positions like OT and QB are more difficult to find, but do you think Balt is unhappy that they took Ben Grubbs? SO many examples like this.

Mike (Akron)

Hey M-dub whats going on? So KC Joyner thinks the Browns might surprise some people this year...I guess winning more than 6 games would be a surprise. He suggests the Browns have a great o-line, a good qb (Quinn), and their defense forces bad decisions. I say the Browns will be luck to win 4 games this year. I am still holding out hope they trade DA and Braylon for more draft picks. But what do you see the Browns doing in the draft? I say defense, defense, defense. And this is how you know the Browns are awful, they didn't score an offensive touchdown in the final 5 or 6 games and I am saying they need defense. Help us Browns fans off the ledge!!! PLEASE!!

Matt Williamson
  (4:20 PM)

I love KC's work and he brings up good points about the OL and I do think Lewis has a little left in the tank. On the fence about Quinn, but willing to buy into him. But....I am going to take the UNDER for sure if 6 wins is the O/U. They are bad. No pass catchers at all. Awful pass rush. Who are the leaders? When the going gets tough, who steps up? Worst team in the AFC North. As for their first pick, I would keep my fingers crossed for Crabtree, but would settle for Orakpo.

Bryan (Detroit)

I love football more than anything in the world and get depressed during baseball season. But I think 18 games is a bad idea. Agree?

Matt Williamson
  (4:21 PM)

I am with you concerning football/baseball...but I am from Pittsburgh, so that is obvious. 18 seems like an awful brutal physical grind, esp for rookies. Would have to really bump up the number of players on the roster. Not enough QBs to go around now as it is.

Kev (NYC)

Matt, who's the best team in the NFC pre-draft?

Matt Williamson
  (4:23 PM)

NYG. Felt real good about Philly before free agency opened and they still could do real well, but I wanted to see more aggression from them with their roster additions. If Burress is in the fold, then I think NYG by a large margin. Zona is in the coversation and Dallas should be as well. Can't see many teams scoring a bunch of points against the Giants.

Stephen (Buffalo, NY)

Will the Bills make the playoffs?

Matt Williamson
  (4:25 PM)

Nah. I hated the TO move originally and obviously there is a LOT of room for error there, but now, I am on board with it a little more. Still, they are very ordinary in just about all areas. Might pick them last in the AFC East. Might pick them 2nd though too. Lets see what happens over the next few weeks. But, in the AFC, I see PGH, NEng, Balt, Indy, Tenn and SD all as clearly better and teams like Hous, NYJ and Miami as probably a bit better as well.

Lucas (honolulu)

Matt, great chat. So it looks as if all signs are pointing at the Ravens going after D. Heyward-Bey in the first round. What is your thoughts on the possibility of that and if in fact do get him, what kind of production can us Ravens fans expect?

Matt Williamson
  (4:26 PM)

That would be a home run for Balt, but I really dont' think he will be there that late in the draft. Sorry to say. He is what they need though. Bigger guy with deep speed to use Flacco's monster arm. Make room for the run game. Open the field and make D's defend the whole field. But, he is also rather raw and I don't expect him to be a big contributor in year one no matter where he ends up.

carlos l.

will ron brace be there for the dolphins in the second round?

Matt Williamson
  (4:27 PM)

Highly doubtful and they should do cart wheels if he is. SO many teams playing a 3-4 now and NTs are gold. Only two in this draft. Raji will go VERY high. That leaves Brace. Great position for him to be in.

Lucas (Honolulu)

Matt, any possibility the Ravens beat Pittsburgh this year and secure the AFC North title?

Matt Williamson
  (4:28 PM)

Certainly could happen. Those teams are very close. I expected Balt to fall off the map a bit when free agency opened, but that certainly is not the case. I have great respect for that front office. Top notch.

Dan (Philadelphia)

What is the likelihood the Eagles snag either Peters or Pace to play LT for this year?

Matt Williamson
  (4:29 PM)

That is exactly the type of move I am talking about. How can Buff trade Peters though? If Pace checks out medically, I would ink him right away if I were in Philly's shoes. Use their first round picks on skill guys (Pettigrew and Moreno?). Still, that isn't exactly the Andy Reid way of drafting.

kevin (pittsburgh pa)

matt you know the steelers are the best right

Matt Williamson
  (4:30 PM)

....of course I do. Shhh....our secret though.

Matt Williamson
  (4:30 PM)

Stairway to seven?

Kev (NYC)

Can you please weigh in a 3rd opinion just for fun??? My buddy says the Pats are better pre-draft, I say NYG...Just your opinion and brief explanation why...Thanks for settling a Friday score!!

Matt Williamson
  (4:32 PM)

As of this second, I would say NYG, but the day after the draft, I promise that I will say NEng. VERY close now and honestly it has a lot to do with Plex. But...NEng is going to add four very good rookies on the first day of the draft. BIG believer in the Pats this year. Tom Brady is pretty good by the way.

Eric (Sioux City)

What do you think of IA's mid-round prospects, Fletcher and King.

Matt Williamson
  (4:33 PM)

Like them both. King is the type of guy that you just can't get off the field. Ideal rotational guy though due ot his lack of size, but extreme hustle. 3-4 DE? Not srue on that. Fletcher has it all in front of him. Project, but could really surprise. I bet Fletcher gets picked higher than many realize. Big and he can run.

Robert (San Diego CA)

USC is stacked at LB this year, which do you think will have the best career???

Matt Williamson
  (4:35 PM)

Depends where they all end up and in what systems, but I will stay with Mauluga. A Scout that McShay was talking with when we were in Mobile said it best about this guy and it really stuck with me. Mauluga is like fishing with dynamite. Does a ton of damage. Blows everything apart. Voilent. But, you need fundamentally strong guys to clean up the mess. Plus, I am not sold that he helps much on throwing downs.

Mad Mike (Houston)

Matt: I like McShay and all, but he is nuts if he thinks the Texans are going to take Wells at 15. They will go defense and likely Matthews from USC. Your Thoughts on this? Thanks.....MM

Matt Williamson
  (4:37 PM)

I do think Wells is possible. In fact, I think they are fortunate enough that they can go in many directions and take a very good football player there. However, Alex Gibbs has never needed a first round caliber RB to establish a great running game. Wells would be a great fit though. Wild Card for them: Harvin. What do you think about that Mad Mike? Could do some crazy things in that O. But, I do hear you on Clay Jr. and he would be an immediate help on special teams, probably as a situational pass rusher opposite Mario while allowing A Smith to slide inside on throwing downs. I like it for sure and I like him a lot. But they could shock you.

Mike (IA City)

You are dead on about B.Fletcher. Is he big enough to switch to FS like his 2007 corner mate, C.Godfrey?

Matt Williamson
  (4:38 PM)

Meant to mention that as well. Fletcher hasn't played a ton though and it could be tough on him to see the game from a different perspective at FS. Is he a good enough tackler? Might work out real well, but probably will take some time. But, I like Fletcher.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, IF, Mauluga goes to San Diego, what freak forces of nature would our LB corp be, with a healthy Merriman?

Matt Williamson
  (4:39 PM)

Frightening. Perfect fit, esp with the Burnett signing. Let him clean up the mess and be the ILB on passing downs.

Happy Bonecrusher

Mad Mike is right. I'm not sure why any team would consider the injury prone Beanie in the top 25 picks, much less a team that already has Slaton.

Matt Williamson
  (4:40 PM)

I don't trust Slaton to be a work horse though and I really think Hous needs to add one more RB, esp a bigger downhill guy. Wells has missed three games in his college career. Not more injury prone than A Peterson coming out. I don't love Wells-don't get me wrong-and he doesn't help enough in the passing game, but I think this guy is being overlooked too much right now and would be a tremendous asset to the Texans.

Steve (St. Paul)

I'm big on Raji. Give me your top two guesses where he ends up.

Matt Williamson
  (4:43 PM)

I am as well. Honestly, if Det took him #1, it would be fine with that. There is some risk with him for sure though and missing that entire season due to academic reasons gives me some pause. But, if you sit down with him and spend a lot of time with the kid and like what you see/hear. Grab him. How about to KC at #3? If you are in KC's shoes and moving to a 3-4, would you rather have Raji or Curry? Depends on their plan with Dorsey I suppose, but Raji's position is more valuable. No way that he gets past Cincy.

brent(montana)

will marvel smith be a starter for the niners?? or just another backup. will he improve our line??

Matt Williamson
  (4:44 PM)

If healthy, big improvement. Did he officially sign today? Has RT and LT experience. Probably better at RT for SF-so that makes sense. But, that back of his...

Rob (Green Bay)

Am I just being negative, or do the Packers have the worst pick to fill their needs? Raji would be perpect, but will be gone. Orakpo, Smith, or Monroe would also be great, but will be gone. Seems they will have to reach for either Ev.Brown or Maybin.

Matt Williamson
  (4:44 PM)

I very much agree with you. T Jackson? E Brown? I really think they must go front seven, but I don't love where they sit either.

Mark (Houston TX)

Matt, Any chance that Flacco makes the Pro Bowl if they add a receiver. Cam Cameron is a genius and Flacco has a ton of potential.

Matt Williamson
  (4:46 PM)

Very true, but he is also very far from a Pro Bowl QB-at least today. Each conference takes three and I could probably come up with quite a few AFC QBs who I would bet on to go to Hawaii ahead of Flacco next year....Big Ben, Palmer, Brady, Pennington, P Manning, Schaub, Cutler, Rivers, Cassel.

Mike (Cleveland)

I think the Browns will win more than 6 games and would be interested in a friendly wager with ya!!

Matt Williamson
  (4:46 PM)

Dude, you really don't want any of that action.

Ken (Oakdale, PA)

I heard the other day the Steelers would like to keep Batch and Leftwich. Is that realistic?

Matt Williamson
  (4:47 PM)

I didn't hear that, but not sure how that is plausible. Leftwich is the better player and at this point, I would guess that he would be quite interested in a role similiar to last year on a real good team. But, Batch is very well liked, a local guy and certainly has value in his own right. I like Dixon as the #3.

Jared Gaither and Ben Grubbs

Forget about Flacco, we are the pro-bowlers.

Matt Williamson
  (4:47 PM)

Good point

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

But Matt don't like the first five QBs picked for the Pro Bowl usually back out anyway? That would move Flacco into Pro Bowl status.

Matt Williamson
  (4:48 PM)

Perhaps. That 7th or 8th best QB in the conference to the Pro Bowl situation.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, just curious, and it's been a while...what are your thoughts on Green Bay's move to the 3-4?

Matt Williamson
  (4:49 PM)

Hmmm...let me kick that one around a little. Haven't thought about it.

Mike (Akron)

Is Brady Quinn the samething as Chad Pennington? Little arm strength but very good accuracy?

Matt Williamson
  (4:49 PM)

Smart. Good deciion maker. Conservative-maybe to a fault. Better arm than Pennington though. I want to see more.

Mike (Cleveland)

With the AFC West and NFC North on the schedule I think I do!

Matt Williamson
  (4:51 PM)

I hadn't thought about the schedule-so I give you that. But my first thought was that Clev would be 1-5 in their division. Can they go .500 with their other 10 games to get the push in that wager? I have my doubts....even against those divisions, which are horrible.

Andy (Chicago, IL)

Michael Johnson to the Bears at 18!

Matt Williamson
  (4:52 PM)

Maybe Marinelli could coach him up and motivate him to play hard snap after snap. Or-he flashes that great athletic ability in a rotation with the other DEs they already have. Could work. Not a believer in him overall as a prospect though.

Mad Mike (Houston)

Matt: Have you an opinion on Jarret Dillard the WR from Rice. I know he is smallish at 5-11 and 190 and does not have top end speed, but he is nothing but productive with a 42" vertical. I think he will be very solid 2 or 3 in this league. Your Thoughts? Thanks....MM

Matt Williamson
  (4:53 PM)

I like as well. Would present very good 3rd round value in my opinion. Looks like a very solid player in all regards. Reliable. Coming from Rice to the NFL is a huge jump though and his rookie season could be a bit of a wash, but in time, I would be surprised if he didn't end up as a #2 WR at this level.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Minnesota, Chicago, Denver, and San Diego can all beat the Browns. I'd need to see who else was on the Browns schedule but I think you'd win the money, Matt.

Matt Williamson
  (4:55 PM)

All of those should be favored-even in Clev. Maybe GBay as well. Not a big believer in GBay or Den, but they are better than Clev. KC might be as well. Would like to see the schedule, but I think you can chalk up 0-4 vs. Balt and PGH.

marcos (oakalnd)

with the signing of khalif barnes where do you see mario henderson playin right tackle?

Matt Williamson
  (4:55 PM)

For sure and I don't like Barnes, but I give Oak some credit here. Certainly lessens a massive need.

Nobody (Nowhere)

Multiple questiions from one user...thats crap. Goodbye to your chats.

Matt Williamson
  (4:56 PM)

Wow, great to hear from you. Honestly, I usually just pick the question that I read first-as I did with yours. Too bad you couldn't bring more to the party though. Adios.

Spicouli

Mike in Cleveland has good drugs.

Matt Williamson
  (4:57 PM)

My dad is a TV repair man. He has an excellent set of tools. Don't worry man. He can fix it.

Ben (Boston MA)

Do the Patriots take Maualuga if he's there at 23? I hear Belichick is enamored with him.

Matt Williamson
  (4:58 PM)

Oh, I think so. I could see him being one of the guys that NEng really thinks about trading up to nab. Coach him up and put him next to Mayo...oh baby.

Everybody (Everywhere)

#$$% off Nobody. M-Dub is by far the best chatter and keeps it real 4 times a week. Take your weak questions and leave.

Matt Williamson
  (4:58 PM)

Thats what I am talking about. Got my back.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub at what point in the season will the volcano known as TO go off? I feel for Edwards, he's so young to have such unpleasant experience.

Matt Williamson
  (5:00 PM)

Very well could happen. Buffalo might not be such a lovely place in December. However, TO must realize that this season is really just an audition for him to the rest of the league. One year contract. Keep your mouth shut and play for a seasoen. Then, sign somewhere where you really want to be. A volcano that I see going off is in TBay with K2 and A Bryant...with McCown chucking them the ball. Oh, the post game comments could be priceless.

Mark Rattner

Well, naturally something happens. I mean, you put the vibe out to 30 million chicks, something is gonna happen.

Matt Williamson
  (5:01 PM)

Tickets to Earth, Wind and Fire please. One of the best flicks of all time.

Matt Williamson
  (5:01 PM)

By they way...no matter what happens, your toes are still tappin. Never forget that. Words to live by.

Matt Williamson
  (5:03 PM)

On that enjoyable note, I am out. Everyonoe enjoy their weekend. Stop by and see me at noon on Wednesday-as usual. Great stuff today. Take care. Oh yeah, Mr. Hand, if you are here and we are here, isn't this our time?