Chat with Mike Sando
Sando joined ESPN.com in 2007 after nine seasons covering the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma (Wash.) News Tribune. He previously covered Washington State University football and basketball for the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review. Mike grew up in Northern California before attending Whitworth College, graduating in 1992 with a B.A. in political studies. He lives in the Seattle-Tacoma area with his wife and their two sons.
Send your questions for Mike now and join him in The Show on Thursday at noon ET!
Do you think the Seahawks are satisfied with the #4 pick in the draft or would they ideally like to trade down somewhere into the middle?
Mike Sando (11:59 AM)
I think they would love to move back. The stakes are high at the top, but the risks are probably similar to what teams face several spots lower.
Alex Mack is available at pick #31, and both Noreno and Wells are gone, do you see the Cardinals picking Mack or Unger and letting the need for a RB slide into round 2??
Mike Sando (12:01 PM)
Ken Whisenhunt has said he thinks Lyle Sendlein can become a very good center. That surprised me some, but you have to figure the Cardinals know offensive linemen pretty well. Either that or they have too much faith in Russ Grimm to work miracles. Or they are possibly blowing smoke before the draft. I do not get that vibe in this case, though.
This chat in a nutshell (sportsnation)
Hey Sando, love your work, lets get down to business, Jay Cutler. Who is every nfc west team going to draft? How are they all going to finish? Shaun Hill, Seneca Wallace, Matt Hasselbeck. Should the 9ers or rams sign Plax? Will all the nfc west teams trade their first round pick and move back? phew.... glad we got all those topics out of the way....
Mike Sando (12:03 PM)
The NFC West teams do not know who they are going to draft. Tell me who is going to be available and we might have a better idea. If The Rams and 49ers should not add distractions to their teams as their first-time head coaches try to establish their programs. As for trading back, lots of people want to do it, at least in theory, but it's tough getting great value in return sometimes.
Do you fell that the Rams will trade the 2nd pick for a move down in the draft?
Mike Sando (12:04 PM)
Easier said than done. I do think the Rams would be wise to move down if they could command good enough picks in return. That's how rebuilding teams should think.
Jason Fort Washington ,Md
Mike, would the broncos trade the 18th pick and a 3rd or 4th to move up to get sanchez if he's there.If the niners decide to move down which i think they want to do . Would they choose Josh Freeman with the 18th pick...?
Mike Sando (12:05 PM)
This is an NFC West question, at least indirectly, because the 49ers are sitting there at 10 and their pick could conceivably become attractive to a team seeking to move up for Sanchez, were he to be available in that range. I tend to think Josh McDaniels would rather not sacrifice multiple picks to move up. It's not really the way they did things when he was in New England.
Shane (Los Angeles, CA)
MS: Huge Cards fan here and I really like Boldin; but I think between his unhappiness and the Cards passing attack without Boldin they really should trade him for a late 1st rounder. What position do you think the Cards would address with this pick, typically how much will they pay that pick (vs Boldin's 3.7M) and do you think the Cards will be better with the player they draft for Boldin?
Mike Sando (12:06 PM)
If they were to get a pick in the second half of the first round, I think they would have to try to target running back.
Sando the mando... We've seen all the mocks, we've speculated to no end... but you're closer to the pulse than us... based on what you know about the Seahawks... what is your gut telling you the 'Hawks will do in the draft?
Mike Sando (12:07 PM)
Try like crazy to trade back. If they're sitting there at No. 4, then it depends on who is available. I might still pencil in Crabtree, but I don't have a great feel this early.
Why is it that every year the seahawk fans think they have the best team in the NFC west? They act like they have won 4 or 5 super bowls and they have dominated the NFC. The years they won the conference they were a very mediocre team in a terrible conference.
Mike Sando (12:10 PM)
They did win the division in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. That probably explains why those fans thought their team would be the best in the division every year.
The article on Nate Davis' on the nfl front page brings up an ethical question. Teams are willing to take chances on guys with less then reputable pasts based on athletic ability, yet this young man slides down and off draft boards because of a learning disability. Fair??
Mike Sando (12:11 PM)
Fairness isn't part of the equation in personnel evaluation or many things of consequence.
Caleb (Bellevue, WA)
With talent still left on the market, Who do you see NFC West teams targeting in free agency once the draft is finished?
Mike Sando (12:13 PM)
Seattle could consider Justin Griffith at fullback. Ken Lucas is another possibility for the Seahawks, perhaps even before the draft. The Rams could bring back Dane Looker or consider another veteran receiver.
Chris-Ryan (Des Moines, WA)
Read an excerpt from an interview with Big Walt (from your old stomping ground and the TNT) yesterday and it sounded like he was unsure about when and if he would return. Do you have any info on if the team expects him ready for the start of the year or are we going OT with the #4 pick?
Mike Sando (12:14 PM)
The team does expect Walter Jones to be back for the start of the regular season. I heard Jones on the radio and he sounded pretty laid back and unconcerned. The team still could draft a tackle, though.
Is there any news on new contracts for Dansby or Boldin? If Boldin is traded, will it happen right around draft day?
Mike Sando (12:15 PM)
Dansby is changing agents. I wouldn't expect a deal for him in the near term, if the Cardinals get one with him at all. If Boldin were traded, yes, that would likely happen around draft day.
Bears fan here and wondering what the Bears can expect from Orlando Pace this year. Also wondering whether you are hearing anything about the Bears' chances to land Holt.
Mike Sando (12:17 PM)
Keep your fingers cross on Pace. I think it was a good signing. He has the potential to help them. But he has also had a hard time staying healthy. He was banged up last season and not a dominant player. He could conceivably regain some of his edge playing in more competitive situations.
Sando, can I friend you on facebook?
Mike Sando (12:18 PM)
Everyone can by clicking here and adding me.
Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)
Why haven't the 49ers considered Tyson Jackson at 10? Too high? Obviously they need pass-rush, but you'd think Lawson and Harlson benefit with a big 3-4 end taking up blockers...
Mike Sando (12:20 PM)
First, we do not know whether the 49ers have considered him at 10 or any other spot. But I do think you raise a good question here. Through their actions in free agency, the 49ers have told us they expect to realize more of their previous draft choices' potential. Lawson must be near the top of that list. Scot McCloughan expected Lawson to become a player opposing quarterbacks had to account for in critical situations. Perhaps Lawson can finally become that player. We haven't seen it so far. As for the big 3-4 end, they drafted Kentwan Balmer last year. He needs to develop.
What's up Mike! I've heard it said that the Cardinals won't be as successful this upcoming year especially in their own division. I'm wondering how this is possible after they've resigned most of their own players. Was last year just smoke & mirrors? I thought a few plays here and there and they could've been Superbowl Champs. Please tell me those prognosicators are smoking something or hitting it off a mirror.
Mike Sando (12:22 PM)
The Cardinals won some close games in the division. Those games tend to even out over time. Will Seattle be as bad? Will the 49ers be as horrific in critical situations (think end of Philly game, end of second Arizona game)? Will the Cardinals be as good? I'll be surprised if Arizona goes 6-0 in the division again. The Cardinals will have to improve to post that record again.
Seeing how a #1 draft pick seems to not be a good thing for an NFL team (Clayton said as much in his mail bag) would it be a good idea to give teams a choice of either the #1 draft pick or two picks later in the first round like pick #15 and #20. Teams with the worst record are usually rebuilding and multiple first would be more helpful that just one pick. Can you think of any other ways to help improve this #1 pick problem besides lowering rookie contracts?
Mike Sando (12:24 PM)
Tell me what you think of my idea: Rank the teams using the current draft-order formula. At that point, let the first team -- Detroit in this instance -- choose any slot from one to 32. Then let the Rams choose from the remaining slots. Then let the Chiefs choose from what is left over. And so on. I think the results would be fascinating. I can hear the commissioner now: "With the No. 1 overall choice in the 2009 predraft draft, the Detroit Lions select ... the seventh overall choice!"
Just curious, how many questions are you getting about Boldin? I think he is probably the most asked about topic. Hopefully for your sake, resolution comes soon to his situation. Its gotta be monotonous.
Mike Sando (12:25 PM)
People want answers to the unanswerable, and that is the hardest part. Will someone step forward and make an offer for Boldin? No one knows. But people want to know. So they ask.
mike- solid work as always on your blog. lots of chatter here that rams might be targeting sanchez as new franchise QB. i have been leaning towards smith/curry but gotta say he really intrigues me and to echo gil brandt- never pass up on a franchise QB especially when thinking long term and bulger def on the downside of his career. what do you think Mike?
Mike Sando (12:27 PM)
Sanchez seems to have the buzz machine working overtime these days. Suddenly all 32 teams can't wait to draft him! I'm skeptical. If the Rams go that route, they'll have Marc Bulger as a lame duck in 2009, and possibly without a starting caliber tackle to protect him. It just doesn't make sense financially or need-wise.
If you were the 49ers coaches/GM, which top 10 player do you wish would fall to #10?
Mike Sando (12:28 PM)
How about Michael Crabtree? I don't know if SF would be a great situation for him -- the team has not even named a starting QB -- but that might be one dream scenario.
If the Rams truly want to get out of the #2 pick, any chance they would be willing to take a little bit less in return, kind of like what the Pats did with Cassel, if they received an offer from a team for the #2 pick?
Mike Sando (12:28 PM)
Sure, but someone else has to be willing to assume that No. 2 overall contract.
Sando, In years past we have seen elite talent fall because of injury or placement concerns (see Adrian Peterson). What is the likelihood that an elite talent such as Crabtree, Sanchez, Stafford, or one of the top few OTs fall to the 49ers at #10? Always appreciate it.
Mike Sando (12:30 PM)
I think there's a pretty good chance one such player will slip to 10. You named three players. If you figure there are four top tackles in this draft, then figure someone in the top 10 will make a surprise choice, then factor in B.J. Raji, I do think the 49ers will emerge from this draft feeling good about the player they snagged at 10.
Cyrus (San Francisco, CA)
There hasn't been much talk about the Niners selecting a QB in the late rounds. The glaring weaknesses are OLB/DE, OT and WR. If they address those positions in the first 2-3 rounds, you'd think a developmental QB prospect would be next in line, right?
Mike Sando (12:31 PM)
You would, except that Alex Smith already qualifies for that spot if Shaun Hill starts. Damon Huard is the third-string backup. They are not going to cut Shaun Hill. So, if they are going to take a flier on a late-round QB, they would have to like him better than one of their current QBs, or they would have to carry four. Neither seems all that likely to me right now.
I like it. What about making the trade value chart offical and letting Det take picks worth a 3000 in the first. Going off of your idea Det would pick first and could either take the #1 pick with the 3000 points or a couple picks worth that much overall? There are a lot of holes in this, just wanted to throw something out there. Your idea is a good one, just trying to build on it.
Mike Sando (12:33 PM)
That would be terrific. The owners could set values at their league meetings. I think the predraft draft would be a showcase event by itself. Which pick will the Lions take? I think we're on to something.
Brandon (Bellevue, WA)
How much control do the Head coaches in the NFC West have on Players drafted? While it seems they help the GM on insight into areas of weakness and which players might help, it seems that if a GM is placing his job on the line he will invariably only draft "his" guy but will listen to the coach before he makes the decision. (This is in response to your comment about Josh McDaniels, it just doesn't seem right that he would have that much say... in Denver or with how things happened in N.E.)
Mike Sando (12:37 PM)
The GM usually places his head coach's job on the line! That is why head coaches want influence in the draft. I think the "final say" stuff is usually overrated. The head coaches and GMs in this division appear to be on the same page. Billy Devaney was instrumental in hiring Steve Spagnuolo. You can bet they'll work together on this. Seattle's Tim Ruskell was the driving force in setting up Jim Mora as the next head coach. People in the 49ers' organization have told me they are more unified at the top this season now that the offensive coordinator shares the views of the GM and head coach. In most cases, the GMs want to help the coaches. For example, Mike Holmgren really wanted John Carlson for Seattle in the second round last season. Ruskell saw the value in taking a guy his head coach really valued. So they drafted Carlson and everyone benefited.
Why hasn't Boldin been moved yet? The last I heard he still wants out, and there has to be some demand for him. Why is this moving so slow?
Mike Sando (12:38 PM)
The Cardinals want him on their team and they are not going to trade him just because Boldin and his agent have made demands. In fact, making demands can work against a player in these situations. I think Boldin is in a tough spot after the team won the NFC and Larry Fitzgerald emerged as The Man.
Hey Sqagnuolo is a defensive coach, any chances he surprises us by picking Aaron Curry 2nd overall? I think that makes the most sense.
Mike Sando (12:39 PM)
We've discussed that at times and it would make sense. The question becomes whether a team should value a linebacker that early. It's also imperative for the Rams to find a starting tackle.
Why wouldn't a team like the Rams have a "sale" on the #2 pick? Example, if the bengals who pick 6 are offering a 1 and a 3 and the going rate to make the move is a 1, 2, and 5, why wouldn't the Rams just take the 1 and 3 if they really want to get out of the 2 spot? Doing so would get them an extra 3rd rounder, save them millions in guaranteed money, and they could still get a really good player at 6.
Mike Sando (12:40 PM)
Probably because the Bengals could also save millions in guaranteed money while still getting a really good player at 6.
Antwan (North Carolina)
What are the Panthers plan in the draft?
Mike Sando (12:41 PM)
They have five picks, none in the first round. Maybe they're going to watch the draft on TV.
Hyman (rochester, ny)
Sando, Now that we are two weeks away and we have reviewed all of the different scenarios for Seattle at #4, it strikes me that they are not going to spend that kind of money for a player that will only see the field if an injury takes place. That would eliminate Stafford/Sanchez and either of the O-Tackles. Since the draft talk started, regardless of position, the two best players have consistently been Crabtree on Offense and Curry on Defense. Doesn't Seattle have to take Curry and if he is gone take Crabtree? They both would get enough playing time this year to justify the contract. What do you think?
Mike Sando (12:41 PM)
I really like your reasoning. The Seahawks could still go in another direction, but your thought process makes a great deal of sense from my perspective.
Chris (Broadview Heights, OH)
Don't you think the reason people are complaining about the #1 pick has to do with finances AND talent? If Peyton Manning Jr. was coming out of Tennessee again...you wouldn't hear a peep of complaint out of teams with high draft choices.
Mike Sando (12:42 PM)
Absolutely. You hit a home run with that question.
Nhien (Cary North Carolina) [via mobile]
hey do u think the Cards should draft a big back like Shonn Green?
Mike Sando (12:44 PM)
I have not studied Shonn Green, but Ken Whisenhunt made it clear they'll look for someone to play off what they already have. They already have a 225-pound back in Tim Hightower. Hightower can be good in short yardage and around the end zone. The back they draft should have more burst to him.
Drew (Buffalo) [via mobile]
Tim Graham said in a blogger battle royale you would win due to your height. He claims you're like 6'6. Is this true?!?
Mike Sando (12:45 PM)
I am 6-4 but with my 39th birthday approaching, I can no longer dunk without lowering the rim, and that pains me very much. But I could still take Graham in the low post on savvy and the utter lack of conscience in delivering hard fouls.
Hey Mike, I know Seattle has been trying Spencer the past couple of years, but do you think its time to give up on him? Also, do you think Unger or Mack will be around in round 2?
Mike Sando (12:47 PM)
I would give up on him only if he did not get the job done in 2009. He's entering the final year of his deal. The zone blocking scheme places fewer presnap demands on the center. Perhaps that's what Spencer needs to emerge. Might as well find out. Interior linemen often slip past the first round, so that could happen again.
Ted (SF, CA)
There's a lot of talk about the financial burdens of a top 5 pick. Guys are coming out of college at 22 years old, never having played one snap in the NFL, and getting crazy money. Will the league put some restrictions on these contracts, and when will they do it?
Mike Sando (12:48 PM)
I think there's a chance the NFL and its players can agree on some changes. The NFLPA isn't going to budge without concessions in other areas. But I think quite a few veteran players share your sentiments and it would be good for the game to at least redistribute that money.
Mike, great work, why would the Seahawks want to trade the 4th pick, it is very rare that teams with playoff calibre talent get to to draft this high. This is a chance to prepare for the future or take another piece for the puzzle. Also with Matts back as reliable as my first english care, TR7; is not wise to take the QB of the future?
Mike Sando (12:49 PM)
All good in theory, but what if the fourth player and the 10th player are the same guy?
What are the realistic chances the Giants get Boldin? And what would the potiental trade be?
Mike Sando (12:50 PM)
I have a hard time envisioning the Cardinals trading a key player to a team they might face in the playoffs. The Cardinals face the Giants at the Meadowlands in the 2009 regular season. Do you think Rod Graves and Michael Bidwill want to see Boldin help put the Giants over the top again? I personally do not see it.
Dan ( Tennessee)
49ers and Raji????
Mike Sando (12:52 PM)
It's intriguing. I would not criticize the 49ers for taking him if available. That would give them a more dynamic player up front, something you don't always see from a 3-4 team. Aubrayo Franklin did come on strong in the second half of the season, but if Raji were there, he would be intriguing, I think.
Gormanimal (Bellingham WA)
Ok Sando, it is now time, as teams are right now, who wins the west, do we have a wild card team in there too?
Mike Sando (12:54 PM)
The elder Jim Mora just knocked me out of my chair and started typing. WILD CARD? Don't talk about wild cards. Are you kidding me? Wild card? I just hope we can have more than one team at 8-8 or better.
Mike Sando (12:56 PM)
I'm back in my chair and would have to agree with the old coach. I see a pile of 8-8 in this division, with Arizona having the best chance to get into that 10-win range, and Seattle having a chance to get into the mix with better QB play, and the 49ers still in that middling mode while they figure out their QB situation, and the Rams improving.
I believe the Giants need to trade for Boldin because Eli played horrible without a #1 receiver.(check the playoff game) What are the chances Jerry Reese will pull the trigger?
Mike Sando (12:56 PM)
Please do not talk about Giants receivers and pulling triggers in the same sentence. Someone could get hurt.
Hey Mike, I think you missed the point(maybe you didn't) about my question on the Rams having a sale for the #2 pick. If a team like the Bengals(or anybody else in the top 10 or so) wants to move up to get somebody at 2 but isn't willing to trade the "going rate", why wouldn't the Rams accept less then the going rate?
Mike Sando (12:58 PM)
Thanks for following up. If someone were offering a little less than the chart says to offer, yes, the Rams should consider it. I was just playing devil's advocate a little in pointing out this: The things that make the sixth pick attractive to the Rams relative to the second pick also make the sixth pick attractive to the Bengals.
Kiper has Sanchez going to Redskins. Do you agree with him? It seems kind of far fetched unless Redskins decided to completely alienate Jason Campbell.
Mike Sando (12:59 PM)
The Redskins have already told Jason Campbell all he needs to know by pursuing Cutler and letting Campbell reach the final year of his deal.
The giants need a receiver? Any chances they trade Brandon Jacobs for Larry Fitzgerald? (With others involved of course)
Mike Sando (12:59 PM)
Dave, Fredonia ,NY
If Sanchez falls to the 49ers, do they seriously consider taking him? Or which need to they need to address first?
Mike Sando (1:00 PM)
I think they would be tempted, but I question whether they would feel comfortable rolling the dice on that position so soon after drafting Alex Smith with the No. 1 overall choice.
Kenny (Las Vegas, NV)
Mike, thanks for all the good work. What round do you see the 49ers drafting a RB in? I don't want them to wait to long and possibly miss out on someone who could actually have an impact. Do you think Shonne Green would be there when they pick in the 3rd round?
Mike Sando (1:01 PM)
I could really see them taking one in the first three rounds. Scot McCloughan sounded confident they would find what they were looking for -- a bigger back.
Mike, how about the Cardinals trade Boldin straight up to a team in the top 7, and the draft Crabtree, problem solved right?
Mike Sando (1:02 PM)
They have Boldin under contract for the next two years at a low price. Why pay top-seven money for an unproven player when you can pay second-tier money to a Pro Bowl player?
Mike Sando (1:03 PM)
Thanks for dropping by today. See you on the blog.