As promised, we're starting off this chat early for VIP readers. Remember, we're shutting 'er down at 2:45 p.m. ET. Let's get to it.
A record 25 players are going to the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft according to NFL. I get why guys like Cam Newton and Patrick Peterson are going to attend the first round because they project to go early in the first round. The same cannot be said for guys like Randall Cobb and Rahim Moore since they are projected to go in the second round at best. Why are guys like Cobb and Moore showing up to the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft?
Free trip to New York? Honestly, I can't think why else.
I'm going to ask you to project something for us Kevin. One week from today, the state of the NFL will be...
I really don't know. But based on how things are going, it wouldn't be surprising if free agency was underway.
I have wanted Detroit to somehow be able to get Prince Amukamara, but now that Mayhew has admitted that they have talked to teams about trading up, what is the possibility that Detroit trades up to grab Patrick Peterson if he's not taken in the top 5? (I doubt they have the firepower to trade into the top 5 to get him.)
I think that's very, very doubtful. There's a big difference between talking to teams and initiating a move. If you listen closely, Mayhew will acknowledge every possibility. You only move up in that situation if you've identified one player that would put you over the top. I don't think the Lions are there yet, and more important, I don't think they believe they are, either.
Can you provide any more info on the begginning of the end of the lockout? All us laymans know is that the judge ruled for the players and the NFL is appealing. What are the scenarios if the NFL's appeal is A) granted; B) declined?
If the NFL's appeal is eventually granted, we go back to a lockout. If it's declined, the lockout remains on hold. Whether the NFL could appeal beyond the appeals court -- the Supreme Court? -- is not clear to me yet.
Even though he got snubbed by the DPOY vote, do you think Clay Matthews will win Best Lead Actor for his role in "Thor"?
Not to be ruled out in these chaotic times.
What's up, Kevin?! Have you heard anything new on Bowers' knee? If the Vikings could drop down a few spots, grab Bowers, then maybe trade back up into the 1st round or high into the 2nd to grab Mallett, I would consider this a great draft. Hello new stadium!!! Thoughts?
Hmmmm. The bottom line on Bowers' knee is that at least some teams are concerned about how long he'll be able to play. I would say trading back into the first round is going to be, at the very least, competitive. A lot of teams are going to have the same idea as they try to get a quarterback.
ESPN has covered the Bryant McKinnie and his tennis workouts. What do you think about his efforts this off season so far?
Well, I wouldn't necessarily call a trip to Kenya and playing tennis a hard-core football workout. But the proof will come this season. Can McKinnie steady himself out or is he going to continue to have some games where he really struggles?
How aware are you of the players for the NFC North teams and their off season workout routines?
For the most part, it sounds like some players are doing some conditioning together but for the most part it's everyone for themselves. There have been some indications that if the lockout continues, that some players would get together for football drills like 7-on-7 and the like. But that wouldn't happen until the traditional time for OTAs, which is early May.
If the NFL is forced to use the old CBA for another year and Cullen Jenkins and James Jones are RFA will the Packers keep them?
Jenkins will be unrestricted no matter what and seems likely to leave regardless. If Jones is an RFA, I do think he'll say. If he's a UFA, I bet he won't.
so ive got two questions about this potential lift of the lock out:1. does this mean that teams can trade players again during the draft?2. can teams talk to injured players again like the lions and Stafford?
The NFL hasn't answered the first question yet. So I supposed that based on the ruling for a stay, it's possible the league year could begin before Thursday and thus trades could be made. That seems optimistic, though. As for talking to players like Stafford, absolutely they can as far as I know. Whether they choose to is a far different question. I do know the Lions are totally up to date on Stafford's rehab based on their trainers' discussions with the rehab people in Florida.
Kevin, Vikings must trade down correct?...get down to 18-22 (select Locker if available..if not go with Pouncey or Watkins), pick up a 3rd rd pick and hope that Ponder, Dalton or Stanzi is available at 43, assuming Locker is gone?
I just don't know if that will work. At least some of the trade partners they might engage at No. 12 will be a team looking for a quarterback. And if they try to wait until No. 43, I think they're going to find slim pickins' for sure. Stranger things have happened, but that's kind of how I see it right now.
The only news/rumors on a QB for Vikings seems to be around Nathan Enderle. My understanding is he is a mid to late round option. Could the Vikings really be thinking they can wait that long to take a player in such a key postion?
I've heard they like him. But put it this way: All 32 teams are evaluating quarterbacks and none of them want to miss on a guy. If a QB is available in the third, fourth or fifth rounds, generally speaking it's for a reason.
How much grief have you gotten about your choices for the mock draft?
Eh, I'm used to it.
Kevin, i've been hearing about the Packer's needs including an RB and WR. Do you see the Packers stretching to draft one of those positions high? or do they wait until the later rounds to address this?
I'm not sure if WR will line up with the No. 32 pick, but I sure wouldn't be surprised if the Packers take a RB. At that point in the draft, you usually get a chance to take a highly rated player who has dropped because some other, less-stocked teams have passed in search of need-based picks.
If NFL loses the appeals, when does free agency begins? after the draft?
It depends on whether they get a stay or not. If the judges deny their request for a stay, free agency will begin imminently but probably not until after the draft. If the NFL gets a stay, that means the lockout continues and we have to wait until we find out if they win or lose the appeal before anything can happen.
If the lockout is lifted but the NFL can set the rules the upcoming season, why use the rules for the 2010 season? Shouldn't I make the rules so harsh (i.e. no free agency, no minimum salary, etc.) that the players will beg to negotiate a better deal instead of playing in that system?
I think you would be exposed to fair practice laws, etc., etc. The expectation is that the NFL would operate under the same rules that were implemented for the uncapped 2010 season.
Freeman over Cutler? Really Kevin? I think you know as well as anybody that if Cutler had even a mediocre offensive line, he would have soared last year. And he still had a good year last year.
Well, I wasn't the only one. I don't think Cutler got a vote. I did give it some consideration. But in the end I looked at last season and asked, would the Bucs have been in the place they were without Freeman? To me, the answer was no. Then I said, would the Bears have won the division without Cutler and with, say, Kyle Orton at quarterback? I thought there was a very reasonable chance of that.
Kevin -- your homework assignment -- an all-time NFC North draft "bust" team.
Off the top of my head, I would go with Dimitrius Underwood in Round 1 and then Dan Bazuin and Brian Brohm in Round 2, and that's just in recent memory.
Looking at the your recent decision in the blogger's mock draft, do the Vikings realistically take Andy Dalton at 12, with other free agent QB's available (i.e. Mcnabb.) and more developing talent available in the 2nd round?
I just think it's critical for a new coaching regime to start with an established plan at quarterback. I suppose they could trade for Kevin Kolb or someone, but are we sure Kolb is going to be better than someone they take at No. 12 overall? I don't think so.
Kevin, the conventional wisdom is that GB is stocked at almost all positions, especially with key guys returning from injuries. But let's remember this team went 10-6 last year, and while the roster looks strong on paper, folks seems to be assuming that guys like Peprah, Starks, Clifton, Bishop, T. Williams, etc, will have as productive a 2011 as they did in 2010. Some iffy assumptions, no?
I think some are less iffy than others. Tramon Williams is the real deal. I don't see Desmond Bishop falling off. Starks seemed to have just touched the tip of the iceberg. On the other hand, you have to be at least a little wary of a left tackle with Chad Clifton's age and wear and tear. And you're right to wonder if Charlie Peprah is a long-term answer. But I wouldn't call that a concerning amount of question marks.
If all three players are available at #13 (Prince Amakumara, Anthony Constanzo, or Dequan Bowers), which one will make the Lions harder to gameplan against?
In the short term, honestly, I would say Bowers. He would give them a nightmare defensive line. The question isn't whether he can be a good pass rusher now. It's if he can do it for more than a few years before his knee starts giving him trouble.
It looks more and more like Angelo will trade out of #29 to teams like Buffalo, Arizona, and Minnesota who are looking to jump back into the first round to grab Locker, Mallet, Ponder, or Dalton. If they do trade back what do you think they would be able to pick up? I'm thinking maybe their second and third rounder.
Like anything, it depends on how far back the team is coming from the second round. They could get a second and a third rounder in 2011. Or they could get a 2012 second rounder to go along with the 2011 second rounder if that team is coming from far back. Finally, based on the value chart, it's not out of the question that a team would have to give up a 2011 second-rounder AND a 2012 first rounder to get the Bears' 2011 first-rounder.
Im so confused by all the legal jargon. If the lockout is over, does that mean we can finally start the other offseason stuff? free agency, trades, etc?
Not yet. Hang tight.
Worst #2 overall pick? Ryan Leaf or Charles Rogers
Wasn't Charles Rogers at least a little productive early in his career? I'm not sure if Ryan Leaf could ever say that.
One of your own NFCN GM's, Mayhew, has said that he hasn't been evaluating/looking at QB's. And despite it being the season of misinformation, I think he's happy with his starter and two backups. So not all 32 have been looking.
I guarantee you that he's aware of the quarterbacks in this draft and wouldn't pass on someone he thought was of tremendous value.
How many years until A-Rod is the undisputed #1 QB in the league?
Guessing Tom Brady is going to have to retire first.
If the stay is denied, does that affect the way teams draft.? Assuming free agency is on the horizon?
Fair question. I think not. I think most teams believe there will be free agency at some point before the seasons starts. Stay or not, there has to be some period where players with expiring contracts are allowed to sign with teams before the season begins.
Me and some of the guys decided an All-time NFC North draft "bust" team is a terrible idea.
Look on the bright side: You, Joey Harrington and Mike Williams could organize some lockout practices.
While the Offensive Line is the Bears primary need, would the Bears look at taking a player to be the heir apparent to Urlacher?
That's an interesting topic. The Bears have more defensive needs than people, including me, are giving them credit for. They don't have a linebacker on the strong side, nor do they have ostensible backups for Ulracher and Lance Briggs. They need a replacement for defensive tackle Tommie Harris as well. All of those needs could factor in this weekend.
Will Marvin Austin, if selected, fill the void left by Tommie Harris? And why is the "3 technique" so critical to the Bears cover 2 D?
He could. I know the Bears have high hopes there for Henry Melton as well. A 3-technique DT is so important here because the Bears' defense under Marinelli is built on getting quick penetration from the front four while the rest of the defense gets back in coverage. A disruptive DT like the Harris of old can make a dramatic impact.
I'm curious if you actually like football or if you just do this for a paycheck. You seem to not like a lot of things that most football fans enjoy like fantasy football or the draft.
I absolutely like football but am not willing to give teams or people a pass as a result. I think it's totally appropriate and sometimes required for me to be skeptical. I even like the draft. I'm not a big fan of being asked to predict who someone will take because the fact of the matter is that no one really knows. Teams keep that close to the vest. As for fantasy football, I respect that people play it and like it but that's a totally different entity to me.
Busts? What about Tony Mandarich, Curtis Enos, David Terrell, Troy Williamson, Justin Herrell, Charles Rogers, Mike Williams....it is a long list (sadly).
Keep it coming!
Honestly Kev, if you were a coach heading into the Superbowl in 2012 and you could either start Jay Cutler or Josh Freeman, you go with Freeman!?
Did you see how Cutler played in the biggest game of his career?
Are Lee and Underwood legitimate potential contributors in the Packers' defensive backfield, or are they just bodies filling out roster spots until someone new is drafted?
Guessing the latter when you consider that Woodson, Williams and Shields will all be back.
The NFL owners won't get relief from the 8th circuit. The reason they have continually lost in Judge Doty's and now Judge Nelson's court is in the absence of a union (i.e. collective bargaining), the whole concept of the NFL is an anti-competitve cartel and thus by definition is in violation of Federal anti-trust law. American Needle effectively ended the lockout as an effective tool for sports leagues. Heck, the draft, trades, TV contracts, etc are all anti-competitive without the collective bargaining exception to the anti-trust laws.
Sounds right to me.
Am I crazy or will the Pack take a QB in the 4th or 5th rounds to replace Flynn who will probably be gone in a year? This draft appears to be extremely strong at the QB position.
I think they have high hopes for Graham Harrell.
Derrick Sherrod, Justin Houston or Mikel Leshoure if All Are availble At the no.32 pick?
I went with Sherrod in our blogger mock draft.
Given the Bears trainwreck of an OL, is it crazy for them to take OL with every pick in hopes that if they combine that with whats already on the roster they could find 5 that would keep Cutler from being killed? In reality you can't begin to evaluate Cutler or any O skill position with a front 5 that terrible.
I'm not saying Cutler is a terrible quarterback. I'm just saying that his play over the last 2 years with the Bears didn't make him a top-10 guy for me.
Is there a projected first rounder that you could see falling out all together?
There's been talk of that happening to Da'Quan Bowers.
Now I feel sick. 1989 draft saw 4 of the top 5 players become Hall of Famer's. The only guy who wasn't was Mandrich to the Packers at #2. Argghhh Ohh man.
Do you see any scenario where TT trades Matt Flynn this year, after this draft? I thought he would be flipped for a high draft pick but why not keep him until next spring now....
I think it'll take a huge offer to get him, but what do I know? The Packers had hoped to get Harrell into their vaunted QB school this offseason to prepare him for such an eventuality but that obviously won't happen now.
Casey Matthews in the 4th round to the packers? if they aren't bringing Barnett back its plausible.
I guess you can't rule it out, but they're pretty well stocked at ILB with Chillar, Barnett, Hawk and Bishop. Even if they cut Barnett, they're in good shape there.
You said that you think the Packers have high hopes for Graham Harrell, how much does the lock out (and resulting lack of a QB school) hurt his career progression?
It hurt a lot. Again, the Packers have a lot of confidence in their QB school, which is usually held in March/April, and think it has a lot to do with the development of Rodgers and Flynn. Harrell definitely missed out on an opportunity because of this lockout.
if gabbert falls down to like 6 or 7 do you see the vikings go up and grab him.....
Come on now Kev, Cutler was hurt! ;)
I almost forgot.
Vikings need excitement back in thier fan base. I don't see fans getting excited about a DT, OT or even a CB. I see a new QB as a way to get the fans back (like ATL, DET). This is an old team that needs direction for the future. What are your thoughts.
I think it's true but it will have no impact on whether they draft a QB. You can't run a football team that way, as unfortunate as it sounds.
Kevin this is a bit off track, but do you know about the procedure for obtaining tickets to the Draft this week? Looking to try and get to a day, but haven't found much info on how to obtain tickets. Thanks!
Have you checked with Radio City Music Hall?
Over and Under for how much longer the Briggs Urlacher tandem lasts?
I'll put it at 3 and take the under.
Speaking of the Vikings, do you think AP leaves there in a few seasons when his contract expires if the team hasn't done anything?
I'm betting they'll re-sign him.
Whats your % for the Vikings getting a Stadium deal done this session?
25. Looks rough right now.
do you see the vikes tank next season and draft andrew luck next draft if they do can we say superbowl in 5 years
Knowing them they would lose the tiebreaker.
What are the chances the Lions draft a Safety in the first 3 rounds? I know that they were happy with Spievey's play and growth last year but if you have a chance to draft Texas DB Aaron Williams do you take it?
Maybe, but they also have Erik Coleman on their roster, too. Not a big need there.
I just wanted to make a note that the lockout case likely won't go the Supreme Court since it only takes cases that conflict with the constitution.
Doesn't mean they can't take it to the Supreme Court to find out if they'll hear it.
Do you think the dynamic of a multi day draft is more for teams preparations or for the increased TV coverage?
Uh, TV. No doubt.
Do I work from home or actually have an office to go into?
I'm typing this in the media workroom of an unnamed NFC North team that rhymes with Binnesota Bikings.
Provide some useful information, please!
Why should I start that now?
Where are you gonna rate Nick Collins in the power rankings of safeties?
He'll be in my top 10. I guarantee that much.
Kevin, big news for bears fans.... Cutler is engaged. How have you failed to report this earth shattering news?
I just let you do that for me.
2 questions today, six in past 3 weeks. None answered. Thanks. Have a great day!
You got it!
Is there a good chance the Lions go for a big bruiser type RB in the 3rd round or so since they cut Kevin Smith?
I think there is definitely a need for a hard runner to complement Best unless they plan to use Morris or possibly Jerome Felton in that role. When Scott Linehan was in Minnesota, he used Michael Bennett (speed) and Onterrio Smith (power/Whizzinator) in a similar manner.
Ok, everyone. Hope you had a great HOUR! Chat with you next week.