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April 14, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:56 AM)

Tunes are up way too loud here. Christmas is just right around the corner. Tons going on in the NFL. Gotta warn you folks today...I am on fire.

Mark Zabierek (Heinz Field Parking Lot C)

Will Ben Roethliesberger still be a Steeler when training camp opens in July?

Matt Williamson
  (11:57 AM)

Yes. For two simple reasons: Money and he is an exceptional football player. Well three reasons, he is a quarterback-an elite quarterback. BTW, I spent a ridiculous amount of time back in the day at Gate C...Three Rivers of course. Great memories.

Shane (Los Angeles, CA)

MW: I think the Redskins will regret not getting Marshall. What do you think the problem was with the Redskins getting Marshall?

Matt Williamson
  (11:59 AM)

They don't have early 2nd round pick to give up for one. They surely are not offering up the #4 pick overall. Not sure how they could have matched Miami's offer. FYI, check out my response for the 'Phins that I wrote this morning to the trade. It is in the AFC East blog. Not bad I must say!

Steve (everywhere)

Does the B. Marshall trade make the AFC East the best division as of right now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

I can buy that. Buff really stinks though. They are approaching Raider-like status. Gotta love that top 3 though.

Frat (Athens, GA)

Matt Ice. I'm sitting in the most boring class ever, History of Econ. Help me out here and answer my question. Some people think Brandon Graham won't cut it as a 4-3 DE. They say he is too small. What do you think?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

That sounds horrible. Get up. Leave that class. Go back to your fraternity house (Delta Chi brother here btw) and get after it. It is beautiful here today...my guess it is rather nice in GA as well. Anyways, the term "4-3" is very broad. In a system like Indy's where they consistently keep their DEs (smaller guys) very wide, I think Graham could flourish. He isn't as fast as those two, but I love him overall as a prospect. Flat out player.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub...you think Big Ben is starting to feel a bit Fredo-like?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

More like Moe Greene. Gets a little too big. Too much flash in the bright lights of Vegas. Fredo doesn't have any talent. #7 has talent in spades.

Adam (Gettysburg)

Agreed that you response to the Marshall trade was "Not Bad", now to put you to the test though. Who is the next big name to move this week and where to they go??

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Any fool can make predictions. But this fool will still give it a shot: How about M Lynch? But where? Seattle perhaps? Cal guy. I don't think he starts the season in Buff.

James (Indy)

Matty!!!!! Sitting here at my thankless and low-paid job glad to have the Chat King back in the saddle. Now that WR seems to be off the radar for Miami at pick 12, how dramatically do you see the first round landscape changing? Does anybody step up for Dez Bryant now?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

This doesn't help Dez Bryant overall, but I would say that Denver and Pittsburgh are now both in play for him where they were not (PGH at least) before these moves. Also, Miami's draft now will be all D. Parcells will love it.

Gavin (Barbados)

Dear Matt, long time patriots fan. I think that the patriots will draft Tim Tebow in the second round and let him develop for the next two years. In two years I see Belichick trading either him or Tom Brady for high draft compensation. Do you see this as a possibility with Belichick?s history of planning for future draft years, and putting a future value on the Tebow pick?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

I see that being a strong possibility-if Tebow lasts that long. I surely would not...but I could see someone using a first round pick on him.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Anquan Boldin was traded for a 3rd, Santonio Holmes for a 5th, Marshall for two 2s...where are the Pats?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

I have been calling for Marshall to the Pats for quite some time. Why so quiet NEng? I do realize that this is a loaded draft and they have a ton of picks, but shocked they haven't added more from outside the organization.

WILLIAM (MASS)

ARE THE JETS MAKING ALL THESE MOVES TO BEAT THE COLTS

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Yes, to beat the Colts and 30 other teams. Going for it all. Also, if you are going to single out teams, don't forget the Pats. They did win the division last year.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Do you think that Ben will sign my football that already has a Terry Bradshaw autograph on it?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Would suggest buying a new ball for Ben's signature. The one you have is a keeper just the way it is!

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

Some people seem to think that the Lions should take Okung over Suh no matter if Suh is a once in a lifetime talent. Is the Lion's OL good enough to not have Stafford become a pinata next year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

I would be extremely critical of the Lions if they took ANYone other than Suh or McCoy. They (esp Suh) are just much overall players. DT is an extremely important positions and studs at that spot don't grow on trees either. I don't hate the Lions' OL anymore. Picking up Sims was huge. He will be the LG-so you can't easily move Backus to OG now. Plus, Backus is not a bad player.

James (Indy)

Christmas right around the corner baby...in general, what's your feel for the new draft/TV schedule? Traditionalists argue that it lessens the experience of the "bunker down" Saturday. Others say more exposure and more prime time is better. I tend to think the folks out around the left coast pay a price here with the new format and start times.

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

We shall see how it is in action, but right now, I think it is a great idea. Will make round 2 (& round 4 to a much lesser extent) a lot more fun. Sweet Baby James, it could be held at 3AM on a Tuesday and I would be just as excited and happy about it. Best days of the year.

Crotchety Neighbor (Next to M-Dubb's)

Turn that racket down!!!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Got that right. And he is Crotchety. Never used that word before. Getting after it here.

James (Indy)

Let's pull out the crystal ball, Dubbster...what's the first "shock" of the first round?

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

Tebow. SO tired of Tebow, but if he goes to Buff or the Jags...could happen. Been saying that NYG will take Weatherspoon for some time now. Guess that is somewhat shocking. I guess it could be KC though. Like I have said, the first four picks should be set. What does KC do? Does Pioli do something insane at #5 like he did last year at

Craig (Green Bay)

Hey Matt,I am by no means a Steeler fan, but why all this talk from multiple commentators about Big Ben needing to be suspended? While I have my doubts about his innocence, no charges were filed because there wasn't any evidence. I guess all it takes in an accusation these days for a man to be guilty.

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

The NFL can suspend a player just for more or less violating the shield so to speak. If Goodell or the Rooneys decide that Ben hurt the league or team in any way (which I would say he did) than a suspension is prob in the cards. I would bet 1 or 2 games. Needs to be sent a message to be smarter about the positions he puts himself in.

Mike (Boca Raton)

Is it true that you are hosting a 2010 NFL draft party at your house?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

No Bro, I am hosting a 2010 Draft Party on ESPN.com. I will be in the Cover it Live room from start to finish. You all better stop by.

Mike (Jamestown, NY)

Mat-tastic, are the Jets the new Redskins? Are they trying to buy a Lombardi Trophy?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

Sorta...except they are better at it.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub the Lions have to take Suh or McCoy with the first in the second they could draft either Roger Saffold or Charles Brown to protect Stafford's blind side. Thoughts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:21 PM)

Those two would be fine and many have said similar things. DT/OT or OT/DT. But I don't see it that way. I see it as Best Guy in the Draft then Best Guy on the board at a need position. All things being close to equal, I wouldn't go OL in round 2. Rather, I would go CB or RB (J Best). Those two positions are gaping holes.

Bill (Westfield Ma)

Do you see Weatherspoon as a good draft pick for the Pats

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Not really. I see Mayo as that run and hit ILB. I would prefer they drafted a two down thumper ILB later in the draft to play next to Mayo and use their earlier picks elsewhere.

ant30020 (maryland)

wat team is campbell going to

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

I think I am the only one on the Campbell bandwagon right now. Not that I love the guy, but he has not had a proper chance to fail/succeed. If I were Buff, I would be all over him. Oak too. Would consider it in Car and Jax too.

Adam (Virginia )

Where do you think Cleveland neeeds to upgrade most on defense?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Safety. One stud safety (Earl Thomas/Eric Berry?) could make that secondary very strong. I guess this answer has a lot to do with what happens to S Rogers though, although they have some guys no one talks about on that DL who are adequate. Overall-like with the entire team-they need playmakers. Difference makers. Studs. They just have SO few.

Matt (NY)

Please explain what you mean by 'They are approaching Raider-like status.'

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

I think Buff is now amongst the very worst franchises in the NFL. Clear enough?

Bob (Detroit)

M-Dub, just read that Lito Sheppard is visiting the Lion's today and tomorrow. How much gas is left in his tank and would it be a good move for Det, depending on the contract?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

He might help their CB situation-because their CB situation is a nightmare. But, not a believer at all in Lito.

Ryan (San Diego)

You heard it here first, the Jets do not make the playoffs...book it

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

Could happen. Getting out of that division will not be a cake walk. My worry with them is still at QB. Not sold yet on Sanchez.

Mike (Boca Raton)

If you were the steelers do you even entertain offers for 7?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I would entertain offers for everyone. Will sell anyone if the price is right. But if you wanted Ben, you better offer at least what Chicago did for Cutler to make me even call you back.

Randy (Phoenix arizona)

will the lions drop the ball in the draft again this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

I thought they had a very good draft last year. Give this regime a chance.

Pete (Berkeley, CA)

Matt, what do you think the price for Marshawn would be and do you think he could still be a productive back? As a Cal/Niners guy I'd love to see him in there with Gore but think I might be kidding myself that he still can be good.

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

I really have my doubts. I haven't seen "Beast Mode" in quite a while. He doesn't have special skills. Good skills, but not special. The most I would offer is a 5th I think. Buying declining RBs is bad business...as Washington will soon find out.

Rich (Bayonne, NJ)

Hey Matt, I was wondering your thoughts on 4 possible scenarios for my Niners I was thinking about and the draft chart numbers are agreeable:1. Trade 13 and 17 to KC for 5 and 37 to draft the tackle at 5 and someone like Nate Allen at 37.2. If the tackle is available at 13, draft him and trade 17 to Philly for 24 and 70.3. If no tackle is available trade 13 to Baltimore for J. Gaither and 25 and then trade 17 to philly for 24 & 70. They can draft 2 of the following 3, Saffold, Wilson, and Odrick if available.4. If Clausen falls, trade either 13 or 17 to Minny for 30, 62,

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

I had to post this question. I didn't even read-and won't. But just look at all the numerals in it! Very impressive. I am sure it is extremely well thought out too.

Brian (CA)

What will help the 49ers more, an elite cover corner or an elite pass rusher?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

6 or one half dozen really, but I guess I like their present pass rushers more than their present CBs. They might really have something in A Brooks coming off the edge.

Matty (PA)

M Dub, Could the Steelers jump up and draft D Bryant? with Hines to mentor him he could be a beast.

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

He was in for a visit too. From what I understand, Bryant is not a bad kid, but just very young and immature. In the wrong setting, he could go the wrong direction I would bet. But if under the wing of someone like Ward, maybe he becomes a true #1 WR. The four guys I would consider for PGH are 1. Pouncey 2. Iupati 3. Dez and 4. Wilson...prob in that order. But I would stay at

Steve (San Diego,CA)

Does a Cody pick for the Chargers at #28 make a huge difference for Merriman/English/Phillips as pass rushers?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

Not from that regard. I like Cody. What he does, he does extremely well. But he isn't going to free up edge rushers. On throwing downs, Cody will be on the sidelines. On passing plays on early downs, I highly doubt that the O's protection scheme will have two bodies on him. The edge guys are much more threatening. Still-would be a very good pick for SD.

Ken (Long Beach)

Rich from Bayonne, NJ: You need a girlfriend

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Well said. Did anyone read that post yet? It was very impressive to look at. Curious how it was to read.

RJ (Boston)

Hey Matt,Were you a part of the team who compiled the roun by round all time greatest draft picks on the NFL page?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Nope

Josh (Indy)

All right, I need my Colts fix. If something crazy happens, and Claussen drops to the bottom of the first round, is it too early for Indy to draft Peyton's heir apparent? Is Jimmy a good choice?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Wow, that is a very tough one. If you are Indy, you obviously know that you are a contender. Can you have a guy sit around for years right now? I think I go OL before Clausen in Indy. Live and die with #18. Ride that train as long as you can and keep giving him pieces to be successful.

Matt (San Marcos)

Chances of the Texans taking Ryan Matthews at #20?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Will say about 50/50. I don't love Matthews and I usually am not in favor of going RB in round 1, but in this case, I get it. Fits the scheme real well and overall, he would be that final piece on O. But still, wouldn't you rather have Kyle Wilson and Gerhart in round 2?

Dylan (New York)

Which team has the best receiving corps in the AFC East? I would go 1. New Englad 2. Jets 3. Miami 4. Buffalo. If Welker doesn't come back though I think the Jets have the best WRs.

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

With Welker, I agree. Plus NEng is going to add to their group in the draft prob more than the other teams. Buff is clearly #4-by a large margin. Without Welker, I would put NEng

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

BTW-still pretty bad TEs in the AFC East

Bob (Detroit)

I read the first sentence from Rich's post. I solved calculus problems that were easier than his scenarios.

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Been quite a while since I did calculus...so I just avoided the whole thing completely.

David (NY NY)

Other than Gruden and Jaworski on ESPN's MNF. who are your favorite color commentators?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Howard Cosell. Myron Cope.

Chris (NC)

What would you do if you were in the Panthers' shoes? Realistically, what do you think their draft strategy will be?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

I don't like their team a lot right now and I don't like their resources to really improve it. WR is a massive need though and I would very much want to go that direction with that 2nd rounder. DT is also really in shambles right now. Big needs.

Mike (Chicago)

If Rich needs a girlfriend for coming up with elaborate draft scenarios, I guess we all need girlfriends. We are chatting about the draft and all... anyway Matt, who's the Raiders' potential DHB this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Oh there are plenty of gals who would be lucky to have you guys! Don't sell yourselves short. Bruce Campbell sure seems like the ideal bust for Oak in round 1.

Bryan (Alma, Ar)

Matt, Do you think the 49ers take a Qb with 49th pick?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

I wouldn't go QB this year. Build the team around A Smith. Put him under the hot lights and see how he does. Sink or swim Alex. Also, who knows, but the other two QBs on that roster could surprise. If that strategy is a disaster, as least the rest of the roster should be very strong-then you go all out next year for a QB.

Tim (Saginaw, MI)

My wife would probably get pretty pissed off if I got a girlfriend!

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Don't be so sure. Might get you out of the house more. Out of the chat rooms. Out of her hair.

Michael (Brockport, NY)

Bills and local community have been showing a lot of support and interest in Tebow...is he Buffalo bound?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

You had better hope not...but I really think he is. I will crush that pick if it happens.

Anthony (NYC)

M-Dub I've got a feeling that after the draft Belichek & the Pats will have trumped every move that was made by all other division rivals... all those draft picks the Pats have makes me paranoid.

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Good point. He is a devious mastermind. No question. Great draft too. But any way you cut it, those picks will be rookies.

Bob (Des Moines)

Are there any players who are currently 1st round projections who you see falling to the second?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Tons. Honestly. Very long list. Like I keep saying, this is a very good draft. And with this new format, the opening of round 2 is going to be almost as exciting as Day 1. Should be very cool.

David (NY NY)

Would you rather have a great left tackle and average players on the rest of the line, or just a good player at left tackle, but good through the rest of the line?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

The latter. One "Weak Link" on the OL is easier to account for in protections, etc. Such a team position. Five working as one. Continuity.

Justin (Durango)

If you were a GM, would you lie and use smokescreens as much as current GMs do? :)

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Probably more so.

Adam (East Lansing, MI)

Any thoughts as to who the Lions are looking to draft in Round 2?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Sorry everyone. I did already address this, but my Man Adam is simply relentless. J Best would be a home run. K Jackson or McCourtey would be great. Wouldn't have a problem with Saffold. SO many directions they could go, but CB and RB would be my primary focus then followed by OL. That is, if they are smart and take Suh.

Jared (Denver Co)

Matt thanks for the great chats to look forward to every week! What is your take for the Broncos side of the Marshall trade? Thanks brotha!

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

Clearly it makes them a worse football team and I can't say that I am in favor of trading your best players every off season. But-if he HAD to go, then they go decent value for sure. But WR is a gaping hole. Not sure I see a lot of Ws in Denver this year.

MJ (Boston)

is last years #1 Corner, Malcom Jenkins going to be the Saints starting FS? I think he's the Saints 4th best corner at best right now.

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Agreed. I don't like him at CB at all. FS prospect. Still-would MUCH rather have Sharper.

Mike (San Diego)

M-Dub, a little Iggles talk please. Where do you see them going in the draft now? They've got some great picks, for sure.

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

They sure do...but their needs are many. Have to go very heavy on D, esp the secondary. But an OLB is needed. Another DE wouldn't hurt. Would like to see them reinforce their OL. It is a nice problem in a way, as they can go so many different directions and shouldn't have to reach often. But they can't screw this draft up. Will be extremely crucial as they rebuild.

Josh (Dove Valley)

Matt, you are so wrong. Moreno will have a break-out year, we will draft A Benn in the 2nd to replace Marshall, and Orton will have a pro bowl year!

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Okee Dokee.

Matty (PA)

Matt, any chance of Steelers grabbing a Sean Lee if he falls to them in the 3rd round?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Lee won't last that long. I am actually chatting from my home in Lee's home town as we speak. Very good player. Should only look better as he gets further removed from the knee injury. Mid 2nd rounder...but not to Pittsburgh.

shanard (utah)

Matt, what are the chances the chargers trade their 1st,2nd, and another 2nd next year to move up in this draft to get a crack at suh or mccoy (if they did just a dreaming thought.)

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

That isn't happening. .0047% chance

Nathan (Coralville, IA)

Will the Raiders stink until Al Davis isn't capable of running them anymore, or is there any hope in the short term?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

I see very little hope in the short term. Must draft much better in round one to become competitive.

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Folks, that is a wrap for me today. Check out this week's Football Today podcast. We are taping it this time tomorrow. Stop back here next week. Take care.