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April 30, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with James Walker

James Walker
  (4:00 PM)

Welcome to the AFC East chat. Let's get started.

Derrick (Garden City)

Hey James, do you think that passing on Lane Johnson was a mistake for the Dolphins?

James Walker
  (4:02 PM)

Interesting question, Derrick. When the Dolphins made the trade, my first instinct was Lane Johnson. But Miami took the best available player on its board. I like Dion Jordan as a player. I'm not sure how he fits in as a 4-3 defensive end. But we will see. I like the talent Miami acquired.

Candy (Slippery Rock)

Hi James, what are the Dolphins gonna do now at LT?

James Walker
  (4:03 PM)

That's a natural next question. The Dolphins have been kicking tires on veteran free agents like Bryant McKinnie and Tyson Clabo this week. I also think Eric Winston is in the mix. As usual, it will come down to money but I don't think Miami is done at OT.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What did you think when the Jets Took QB Geno Smith in the 2nd Round?

James Walker
  (4:04 PM)

Welcome to the AFC East chat. Let's get started.

James Walker
  (4:04 PM)

I thought it was a good value pick, Chris. Nearly everyone had Smith as the top-rated quarterback in the draft. The Jets got him at No. 39. Smith has some upside. But if he doesn't pan out in two or three years the Jets can move on pretty easy. They only spent a second-round pick.

Patrick Winters (Long Island, NY)

When does geno get his first start? And Do the Jets keep sanchez going into the regular season?

James Walker
  (4:06 PM)

I think the Jets SHOULD start Geno Smith right away. Why wait? The Jets know what they have in Mark Sanchez and aren't going anywhere this year. The best NY can do is develop its young QB. I don't expect the Jets to cut Sanchez. He's owed $8.25 guaranteed and the cap hit to release him with cost more than $12 million. New York may as well wait until 2014.

Jeremy (Spokane, WA)

Alot of people are questioning the EJ Manuel pick by Buffalo. What do you think his true value was, and who would you have picked instead?

James Walker
  (4:08 PM)

Most people feel the Bills could've gotten Manuel with the No. 41 overall pick in the second round. That's the biggest criticism I hear about the pick, because the Bills overdrafted him at No. 16. But Buffalo really liked Manuel and was scared to lose him. He has some potential. You should read my blog today where I have an NFL scout describe his strengths and weaknesses.

Jordan (Miami, FL)

Who starts opposite Brent Grimes at CB for the Dolphins?

James Walker
  (4:10 PM)

I don't want to put too much pressure on a rookie, but I think Jamar Taylor has a shot. Richard Marshall was injured last year and Dimitri Patterson joined the team late. It's a clean slate. I wouldn't be surprised if Miami released one of these veterans to save on cap room.

Nate (Miami)

What are your predictions for the AFC East standings

James Walker
  (4:11 PM)

Too early for that, Nate. I will start making preductions once I see every team up close, in pads, in training camp.

Brent (Atlanta)

Do teams make too big a deal out of "character issues"?

James Walker
  (4:12 PM)

Every team is different, Brent. For example, the Dolphins are very strict and do a lot of homework on guys before they draft/sign them. Miami and head coach Joe Philbin are very low-tolerance. The Patriots will take a few chances, because they know their locker room can keep guys straight. I don't think there's a right or wrong on how strict to be.

John (Naples, Fl) [via mobile]

Do you think Ryan Tannenhill will have an improved year and which AFC east team do you think had the best off season?

James Walker
  (4:14 PM)

I don't see how Tannehill cannot have a better season. If not, it's because he didn't play well. Tannehill has a much more dynamic supporting case with Mike Wallace and tight end Dustin Keller. I think the experience of startign 16 games also puts him ahead.

Damien Fuzzwhipple (Key Biscayne Fla)

Why didn't the Jets wait for a new coach to grab a QB?

James Walker
  (4:16 PM)

You can't go into a draft assuming your coach will be fired one year later. A guy with a first-round grade fell to the Jets and they took him. NY can't worry about head coach Rex Ryan's future. It is the front office's job to put together the best roster available.

John (Norwalk CT)

I dont think the Jets will be as bad as everyone says they are. Geno, Ivory/Goodson, Santonio is back, kerley is good in the slot, and hopefully stephen hill develops. What do you think?

James Walker
  (4:17 PM)

The Jets were the 32nd ranked team in ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings today. I definitely think they are near the bottom. Much of it depends on QB play.

Ryan (Buffalo )

Who do you think will have a better season for the Bills at WR Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, or Da'Rick Rodgers?

James Walker
  (4:18 PM)

I think Woods is legit. He played at a high level at a big-time program. Woods is solid at everything, which is good for a receiver. I think this was a good pick in the second round.

Brad (Birmingham)

why does everyone think rex is on the hot seat? if he got through last year without being fired then clearly woody didn't put the blame on him. The blame fell on sparano, and now they have marty mornhinweg. Thus, it appears Rex is startin with a clean slate.

James Walker
  (4:20 PM)

GM's like to bring in their own guy. But John Idzik was hired essentially under the pretense to give Rex Ryan one more year to see if he can fit under the new regime. If Ryan has the same circus stuff and another losing season, Idzik will be free to bring in his personal hire in 2014.

Brad (Birmingham)

How do you feel about the Ivory/Goodson 1-2 punch at RB? Thats gotta be more dynamic than greene/powell/mcknight, right?

James Walker
  (4:23 PM)

It's a decent one-two punch. I think John Idzik deserves credit for filling some holes with very limited resources. Ivory and Goodson are different backs that should provide depth.

Jordan (Illinois)

Did you feel pride after calling the Dolphins trade up to #3 with the Raiders? When I saw that happen, I thought of you first. Good job on the mock draft!

James Walker
  (4:24 PM)

Of course I thought it was a good move. I correctly predicted it would happen. The Dolphins got over on Oakland by just moving a second-round pick. Now Dion Jordan has to produce.

Mike R. (Apex, NC)

Do you think the Bills will sign Byrd to a new contract before training camp?

James Walker
  (4:26 PM)

That's a tough one, Mike. The Bills have been on and off with talks with Byrd since November. But the fact nothing has materializes says both sides are far apart. Talks will continue up until training camp. But it's hard to say how this will finish. The good news is both sides have time.

James (NY)

I dont think Geno is set up to succeed. I feel like the jets arent going to develop him properly. He needs weapons. Thoughts?

James Walker
  (4:28 PM)

Those are valid points, James. But here is my theory: If a QB is legit, it will show through no matter what. Ryan Tannehill had no supporting cast last year. His receivers and TEs were just as bad, if not worse, than New York's. Tannehill didn't put up numbers but you saw enough from him to know he can play. If Geno Smith can, it will show to some degree regardless of the supporting cast.

Nate (Miami)

Is left tackle that big of an issue as everyone is making it out to be for miami, for what i have heard Martin has gotten bigger for this season and now that last year's rookies have an offseason i would like to think they would be better, what are your thoughts?

James Walker
  (4:31 PM)

I don't like the idea of Jonathan Martin playing on the left side. He's not strong enough. We will see how much he improved his strength this offseason, but Martin has a long way to go.

J. Long (St Louis)

Shoulda just paid me.

James Walker
  (4:33 PM)

The Dolphins sure you can stay healthy, Jake. You've finished on IR two years in a row.

oyu'nge (florida)

does gillislee get 150+ carries this season

James Walker
  (4:35 PM)

I'm hearing good things about the Dolphins' rookie RB. But he has to beat out Daniel Thomas to be the No. 2 QB. I'm looking forward to watching the RBs in training camp.

Mike R. (Apex, NC)

Who is the best corner in the AFC East now?

James Walker
  (4:37 PM)

Antonio Cromartie is the only CB from the AFC East to make the Pro Bowl last season.

Sergio (Mexico)

Wath about Stephon Gilmore?

James Walker
  (4:39 PM)

Good player. But he's not at a Pro Bowl level yet.

Harry From Hawaii (Hawaii)

Why dont the pats attend the pro-bowl? i pay good money to see them?

James Walker
  (4:40 PM)

Well, the Patriots made the Super Bowl two years ago. So no New England players participated in the Pro Bowl. Last year, the Patriots were in the AFC title game. So most backed out because they were banged up and didn't want to play.

FinFan408 (San Jose, CA)

Hey James... do you like the Dolphins' choice of Caleb Sturgis? Think it'll make for good competition in camp.... your thoughts?

James Walker
  (4:41 PM)

Absolutely, I agree. Dan Carpenter was off his game last year. He had a chance to win a couple games and couldn't come through. Sturgis has a good leg and can push Carpenter, if not beat him out. This is a wakeup call for Carpenter. Competition is good.

Marcus (fl)

If Brent Grimes returns to his ATL form, doesn't that put him in the discussion for best CB in the AFCE?

James Walker
  (4:43 PM)

Yes, but that's up in the air. I can't say he's up there when Grimes barely played last season and coming off an injury.

jim (NYC)

What do you think of the Sheppard hughes trade? was it a smart move for the bills?

James Walker
  (4:45 PM)

It was a good move by both teams. Neither player did all that well with the team that drafted them. I wasn't a big Sheppard guy. A lot of tackles, but it was seven-yards up the field. Hughes may be able to provide a pass-rush with good coaching.

James (Homestead,FL)

Do you think the dolphins resign Karlos Dansby?

James Walker
  (4:47 PM)

No, not at all. Miami cut him because he was too expensive and got younger. Dansby has talked to Buffalo, but nothing has materialized so far.

Sam (Wyoming)

pickles or cucumbers? Sanchez or Geno?

James Walker
  (4:49 PM)

Not a Geno Smith guy, huh? The difference is Smith has potential and a higher ceiling. The Jets know what Sanchez is after the past four years. Why not see what they have in Smith?

kenpro (Montreal)

With Mario healthy the Bills D will be the best in the conference by far. What do you think?

James Walker
  (4:49 PM)

Buffalo was 31st against the run last year. The Bills have a long way to go on that side of the footbal. But they have a nice pieces. Buffalo needs to be more physical.

Useful Idiot (LAX)

Are the Bills a legitimate sleeper pick this season??

James Walker
  (4:50 PM)

Haha. I made that mistake last year. The Dolphins are my "sleeper" pick this year.

Steve (Tampa)

Will the HoF bowl game actually help Miami in the long run since it's actually an "extra" game?

James Walker
  (4:53 PM)

It can go either way, Steve. It can provide the Dolphins to further evaluate the backups on their roster. Or it can cost injuries. We will see.

Jpizzle8049 (St. Louis)

Do you see the Bills getting 3 starters out of that draft class? Robert Woods? Kiko Alonso? EJ manuel?

James Walker
  (4:56 PM)

These are the three who have the best chance. I think Robert Woods will start. Alonso has a decent shot, as well. Manuel is in a three-way competition. So that will be tough to beat out two players.

Mike R. (Apex, NC)

Why do you not like to make predictions just for fun?

James Walker
  (4:57 PM)

I make enough predictions during the season. I pick every game, every week. I pick the division 1-4 at the beginning of the season. I think that's enough. There's point in April predictions.

cecil (ny)

whats up with belicheck's drafting recently?? he gets all the love for his personnel moves but they work out as often as any other teams.. and the drafting has not been very good

James Walker
  (5:00 PM)

I'm not the type to call Bill Belichick a drafting genuis. His picks are hit-and-miss just like everyone else. But as a coach, he's probably the best in the NFL.

James Walker
  (5:00 PM)

Everyone, thanks again for all the great questions. I will be back to chat again next week.