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!
ivan(la,ca) [via mobile]
hello mike do you think the seahawks move down a couple spots to pick extra picks?? maybe with denver?? who do you think they will draft with the second round pick??
Mike Sando (12:03 PM)
I think they would love to do that. It will be easier said than done.
Sean (TR NJ)
Hi Mike thanks for the time. What do you see happening with the 49ers QB situation and with the big news of considering trades for Boldin who do you see as having the inside track?
Mike Sando (12:04 PM)
I see the 49ers doing everything possible to help Alex Smith salvage his career, but Shaun Hill is the favorite from my perspective because I don't know if Smith can stay healthy.
Web (Springfield, MO)
Mike, I watched the video link and don't understand where Dilfer is coming from. It's almost like he did no research at all on the Rams. Is he so high on QBs because he was a QB? It's pretty obvious of Rams fans that a tackle will be our pick. I would be mildly surprised if we go w/ Curry at LB. Dilfer aside, I appreciate your insights and your acknowledgments of the local beat reporters.
Mike Sando (12:06 PM)
I know Dilfer has been looking very hard at the quarterbacks in this draft, and he really likes Matthew Stafford. Jeremy Green also told me he thinks the Rams would have to take Stafford, or at least strongly consider it, if Stafford were available. I tend to think the Rams need to salvage Bulger, or at least try to salvage him, by arming him with more surrounding talent.
Jason Fort Washington ,md
Mike... if the tackles are gone by the 10th pick who do the niners select at 10. I dont see Maybin as a top 10 pick...
Mike Sando (12:08 PM)
I'm true to my word, Jason. I told you on Facebook that I would take your question, and here we go. I bet they'll be watching to see which players fall at WR, DE/OLB and QB. Orakpo could fit the mold. Crabtree or Maclin could fit the mold. And then they would look at the quarterbacks for sure.
willy (san jose)
Hey Mike...great work...Thanks for keeping us up to speed on the NFCW. Been wondering if this could work. Niners trade their #1,#2 & #4 to Cleveland for the Browns #1 and Quinn. Niners get a QB and hopefully Crabtree at #5. They finally have an interesting offense (Quinn, Gore, Crabtree, Davis) and Cleveland gives up Quinn and moves down 5 spots in round 1 but gets an extra (very high) #2 and #4 pick. Brown even gets to save some money by paying the #10 pick instead of the #5. Probably still makes sense if it is the niners #3 instead of the #4. What do you think?
Mike Sando (12:10 PM)
Thanks, WIlly. I don't like that move for the 49ers if, as advertised, this draft's best value comes outside the top 10 and through the second round. No one wants to move up in this draft, it seems. The 49ers would be going up five spots, perhaps unnecessarily. I have visions of them taking Vernon Davis in the top six a few years ago. Patrick Willis was a much better value at 11.
Zach (Seattle, WA)
The Seahawks first two games are against division rivals that are on par with or worse that the Seahawks. How important is it for them to win those games considering that harder teams they will face afterwords (Colts, Bears, Cardinals)?
Mike Sando (12:11 PM)
The word 'essential' might be too strong, but not by much.
Tim, Erie [via mobile]
How does Manny Lawson fit into the plans of the Niners? He is a great all around LB. And i think he can be in the mold of Julian Peterson. Your thoughts?
Mike Sando (12:13 PM)
I would expect his playing time to increase this season. The 49ers' personnel people envisioned Lawson as a disruptive force, a guy opposing QBs would have to account for before the snap. This would seem to be the year for the 49ers to find out if he can do that. Lawson is another year removed from that knee surgery, and it's unlikely the 49ers will take Lawson off the field so much in the post-Nolan era.
Cheyne(Paso Robles, Ca)
Hey Sando, great blog. What are the chances Snyder of the Redskins jumps up to 10 to get Sanchez if he's there? How many picks you think we could get out of him?
Mike Sando (12:14 PM)
Thanks, Cheyne. I was surprised the Redskins did not get Cutler. Once Snyder sets his sights on something, he usually goes for it hard. I would suspect the Redskins would remain in play for a long-term QB, although I say that from afar. I have not been around the Skins lately.
Jay (Gainesville, FL)
I was reading one of the most recent posts on your blog regarding Shaun Hill disagreeing with the "experts" about his arm strength. Regardless of who's right in that specific argument, it's gotta be good that he's showing some gusto/moxie in standing up for himself, right?
Mike Sando (12:15 PM)
Shaun Hill is all about gusto and moxie. That's what you have to like about him if you are a 49ers fan. It's what has made him an effective leader in games.
Greg (Seattle, wa)
what is the word with Kenny Lucas? I doubt any Seahawks would punch him out in training camp so wouldn't that be a good fit?
Mike Sando (12:17 PM)
Great fit. It's just a matter of how long Lucas wants to see if he can get more substantial money. My understanding is that Seattle would not give him a lucrative deal or any promises about playing time. Tim Ruskell's MO has been to address as many needs as possible before the draft. Lucas has the height Seattle has lacked at CB. The Seahawks probably won't find a player such as Lucas in the draft. This one makes too much sense not to happen, seems to me.
Lee (Carlisle, PA) [via mobile]
Hey Mike, I was thinking with the schedule that the niners have this year. Wouldn't it be in there best interest to keep the picks they have or trade back to get more so that we can have a chance to get the most quality players for our needs in this years draft? Your thoughts, thanks!
Mike Sando (12:18 PM)
That makes sense if this draft does indeed provide the most value from, say, 12 to 20 and into the second round. I wouldn't trade up if I were the 49ers, at least not this year -- unless the team was convinced it could land a great quarterback. Even then, it's a risky proposition.
SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)
Boldin a 1st and a 3rd? Winslow went for a 2nd and a 5th next year. Different position, but reciever still. Is a 1 and 3 a lot for Boldin?
Mike Sando (12:20 PM)
I think it's a TON for Boldin and I would not give up that much for him.
Christopher Phoenix, AZ
So who is Graves talking to about Q?
Mike Sando (12:21 PM)
Quite a few teams are checking in with the Cardinals, based on what I am hearing. That was to be expected. I know of no substantive talks with a specific team. This could be a feeling-out process.
Robbie (Manhattan Beach, CA)
Hey Mike, how many games do you see the Seahawks winning this year? If they can stay healthy this year, do you see them contending for the division title again?
Mike Sando (12:22 PM)
I'm going to break down their schedule on the blog later in the day.
Let's say Sanchez is there at 10, the Broncos want him, and the Niners don't. About what would the Niners be getting in return for trading down?
Mike Sando (12:26 PM)
The point-value chart says there's a 100-point difference between the 10th pick (49ers) and 12th pick (Broncos). The 49ers could conceivably ask for Denver's third-round pick -- 79th overall. That pick has a value of 195 points, so the price would be a premium, but teams pay premiums for quarterbacks.
Do teams make a concerted effort to lie to people like you about their interest in players to create a smoke screen to drive-up the value of their picks?
Mike Sando (12:30 PM)
Plenty of people would do that. These are not life and death matters here. Sometimes it's a matter of not putting the sources you value in positions where they might feel compelled to lie -- over something such as which player the team might take in a certain slot.
What if Stafford doesn't go #1, and the Seahawks have him, Sanchez, Monroe, etc all sitting there at #4. What would they do?
Mike Sando (12:31 PM)
Install extra phone lines to make sure anyone looking to move up could get ahold of them. In that case, I think they might have to take Stafford.
If Sanchez, Smith and Crabtree are off the board, why wouldnt the 49ers consider Jenkins? He may not be an elite corner, but opposite Nate or at Safety, he would seemingly be pretty deadly. Maybin seems like a replica of Manny.
Mike Sando (12:32 PM)
I could see them taking Malcolm Jenkins in that spot.
Brandon (Bellevue, WA)
I just can't see the value of a non-rushing LB being taken in the top 4. Safe? Yes. Smart? No. If you draft that high and give that type of money then you better get a premier game-changing player and while Curry will be great at his position it is the position that isn't valued enough for that high a pick. Agree with me or do you think the Hawks would be stupid to pass on him at 4?
Mike Sando (12:33 PM)
I agree with you in theory, but we keep coming back to the fact that every player available at No. 4 appears less dynamic than the Seahawks would probably like. If not Curry, who do you take?
AARON MN [via mobile]
Hey Mike finally the NFC WEST blog i'm hearing so many different things about who the rams will pick i think wakes curry would be great but they already have a solid lb corp and i heard maybe Crabtree? yeah he's a deep threat but you can't really get the ball in his hands with bulger on the ground so what do you see?
Mike Sando (12:37 PM)
I would not consider the Rams' linebackers to be "solid" in terms of quality depth. Michael Crabtree is not really seen as a burner, either. I see a glaring need at tackle and wonder if the Rams can pass one one early. I also think Aaron Curry would help that defense, no question.
Angelo (San Jose, CA [via mobile]
Since singeltary wanat the niners to be a running team. Do you think they will draft an OL if there is still one available for them at the no. 10 spot?
Mike Sando (12:38 PM)
I do think the 49ers will see if they can snag one of the top four offensive tackles there. They will balance that option against any players that might fall unexpectedly.
Robbie (Chesterfield, VA)
I don't understand why Aaron Curry isn't more involved when people discuss the Rams 1st Round pick. Devaney has shown some interest in some of the late 1st early 2nd Round tackles. They have moved Barron to LT and Witherspoon to OLB. That temporarily fixes LT but leaves a gaping whole at MLB.
Mike Sando (12:40 PM)
Chris Draft is the middle linebacker. The Rams liked him so much last year [as a strong-side candidate] that they went with Quinton Culberson entering the season. That's a little harsh, but still, you make a good point overall. I think the Rams do need to upgrade at linebacker. Curry seems to fit the mold as the type of young leader a defensive-oriented head coach could build around.
Raiders send 2009 2nd and 4th, plus 2010 1st Cardinals send WR Bouldin. You cant tell me Al Davis wouldnt give that up for a freak like Quan
Mike Sando (12:42 PM)
I would like that move for the Cardinals.
Alex (Vancouver, bc [via mobile]
Can the Seahawks consider cutting Nate Burleson's huge contract, he doesn't seem to be worth the money
Mike Sando (12:43 PM)
Nate Burleson does not have a huge contract by NFL standards. His salary is $3.25 million and his cap number is $4.05 million.
Keith (Dallas, TX)
The other night on a network not named ESPN, Steve Mariucci kept going on and on about how, outside of Arizona, there are only 2 Pro-Bowlers in the NFC West. Isn't the Pro Bowl one of the most unreliable measures to gauge a player by? Dallas safety Roy Williams made several Pro Bowls and he's a so-so weakside linebacker masquerading as a horrible safety with big-hit highlights. Your opinion?
Mike Sando (12:44 PM)
Pro Bowls reflect how teams are perceived. The NFC West is perceived as weak -- largely because it has been a weak division.
Hey Mike - Do the Cards believe Gandy is the answer at LT for 2009 and maybe beyond? Doesn't seem that Levi can be moved in there. Since they claim to like Lyle at C, maybe they should look at Britton or Beatty at 31. Any thoughts on this?
Mike Sando (12:46 PM)
They feel good enough about Mike Gandy to start him at left tackle. It's not a position they absolutely must address this year. I thought Gandy held up fine for the most part last season. He'll hold up better if the offense becomes more balanced, as expected.
josh ft sill ok [via mobile]
The niners are in a pretty good spot but considering the needs that we have at reciever what should take more precedence because if u draft a OL we go rite back to last year and have no passing game and gore will see more 8 in the box schemes than last year and history will repeat itself once again in 09
Mike Sando (12:49 PM)
They could always take their chances with Adam Snyder and Marvel Smith over there. It's not like Vernon Davis is a dynamic receiving threat. They could leave him on the field to help with blocking, as was the case for much of last season. I do not think you generally take a right tackle at No. 10. I would value a tackle at No. 10 more heavily if he were a left tackle and good enough to start on the left side. Joe Staley is fine there, but if the tackle you drafted were better than Staley, you could move Staley to the right side and have your bookends for a decade, in theory.
orkinman va beach va [via mobile]
what are the chances the seahawks make the playoffs this year? And what happens to hassleback if they take a qb?
Mike Sando (12:50 PM)
I wasn't a big fan of their schedule. Arizona looks like the team to beat for now.
Jake (San Jose)
I have heard people talk about drafting a tackle then if they don't work out, switch them to guard. Why did neither the 49ers or Raiders try that with Kwame Harris? Was he just too much of a head case or did it have something to do with his physical attributes?
Mike Sando (12:52 PM)
Kwame Harris just seems to have the demeanor of a tackle. Guards tend to benefit from more of a nasty streak. That is my impression. From a physical standpoint, he is 6-foot-7 and 320 pounds. He looks like a tackle.
Brandon (Bellevue, WA)
How much do you think the Rams will give Stephen Jackson the rock next year? I am looking for a career year in rushing (although, it is a contingent prophecy based on health). Possible?
Mike Sando (12:53 PM)
Let's see how the Rams address that position in the draft. The Giants used two backs when Steve Spagnuolo was there. Right now, I would expect Jackson to get lots of carries and probably challenge for 1200 yards rushing.
Andy (Ann Arbor)
Who would you rather have as a #1 WR: Boldin or TJ Houz?
Mike Sando (12:54 PM)
Boldin is younger and also a dominant blocker. I would probably take him, with all due respect to T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
"Arizona looks like the team to beat for now." Who would have thought any NFL sportswriter would ever say those words!
Mike Sando (12:55 PM)
I liked the Cardinals' schedule. Lots of home games early and late, with no obvious cold-weather games.
Not really NFC west, but what do you think of this argument in regards to Stafford. Some experts say the Lions take him to give the franchise a face, but if he busts your in trouble. Some experts say take Smith and if he bust you move him to RT, but then you really don't have a face of the franchise. Thoughts...
Mike Sando (12:56 PM)
The quarterback you take that early must be able to handle the spotlight. Last year, Matt Ryan struck me as absolutely capable of handling the messy situation he was walking into. I would not draft Stafford without being sure he could handle what awaits in Detroit, not just on the field. You are right about offensive tackles, though. You can miss on a guy and he'll still start for 10 years. Robert Gallery comes to mind.
oz, ft lauderdale fl [via mobile]
fact or fiction - dansby is a cardinal in 2010?
Mike Sando (12:58 PM)
Probably closer to fiction at this point, but let's see who the Cardinals draft. The way they address that position in the draft could tell us plenty about how prepared they are to move on.
Arron (Vancouver, BC) [via mobile]
Any talk of Matt Lienart being traded this year?
Mike Sando (12:58 PM)
I thought there might be more. Haven't heard anything yet.
Greg dubuque.ia [via mobile]
Does anyone try to move up to get the packers pick at 9 because thompson likes to add picks. Or does teddy go with the best OT or def player for the new def scheme.
Mike Sando (1:00 PM)
By my count, Green Bay has drafted 43 players since 2005, most in the league. The league average is 31.8. Knowing Ted Thomspon, he probably would like to move back.
Brandon (Bellevue, WA)
If you could have one dominant player on Defense what position would they play? DT, DE, LB, CB, S, MLB, OLB? (I am basing this off of a 4-3 but you can give another response for a 3-4 if you desire)
Mike Sando (1:01 PM)
DE in a 4-3 and OLB in a 3-4. The dominant pass rusher causes problems.
The Patriots have proven that you stay competitive drafting for the future and can fail if you demand too much too early from a rookie. Shouldn't the 49ers take this philosophy and draft the QB who could turn them around?
Mike Sando (1:03 PM)
If the 49ers draft a quarterback, they will almost certainly take greater care in bringing him along at a reasonable pace. The question becomes: How early do you draft that QB? The Patriots certainly haven't used high picks on the position, for the most part.
Robbie (Chesterfield, VA)
An Eagles beatwriter has openly said the Eagles want to move into the top 10 to draft one of the top Offensive Tackles. Since Devaney has said he's interested in trading back, what do you think it would take for him to take a deal with the Eagles?
Mike Sando (1:06 PM)
This is where you wonder if the draft-value chart would hold up. The Eagles' first-round picks are worth 1,460 points on the chart. The Rams' first-round pick is worth 2,600 points. The difference -- 1,140 points -- is the rough equivalent of the 13th overall choice. Sounds prohibitive to me unless the Eagles could get a discount.