Chat with Mike Sando
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, we'll have ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando stopping by to talk about the latest NFL happenings.
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 now and join Sando on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Mike, what do you see the Seahawks doing to address the OL? They've visited with Ben Hamilton and Chester Pitts. Are they still options or are we looking exclusively at the draft?
Mike Sando (1:02 PM)
Chester Pitts has yet to pass a physical examination, to my knowledge. He could be an option down the road, once cleared. Hamilton could also be an option. At this point, it looks like Seattle will reassess its needs after the draft. I think they'll draft a starting tackle.
TIM (Sacramento, CA)
Mike, if the 49ers were to trade back in the 1st, do you feel there's a big drop off from Anthony Davis to Charles Brown?
Mike Sando (1:04 PM)
I do not pretend to evaluate college prospects. Scouts say there would be a fairly significant drop in talent between those players.
Thomas (Vallejo, CA)
Mike, I wouldn't mind seeing the Niners trading back with one of their picks and acquiring a late first and early to mid second. Do you see any potential trading partners? Would someone want to move up to grab Jimmy Clausen if available at No. 13 or maybe Ryan Matthews at No. 17?
Mike Sando (1:06 PM)
New England, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Denver and Kansas City each have two second-round choices. The Broncos moved up last year. The Patriots have moved up. Philadelphia and Dallas strike me as the types of teams that might want to strike for a specific player. Remember, too, that the Chargers need a running back.
Andrew (Maple Grove MN)
Hey Mike! Always fun to chat with you!! Do you see the possibility of Sergio Kindle in a 49ers uniform? They need a more consistant pass rush from their outside linebackers.
Mike Sando (1:08 PM)
Yeah, I've thought about Kindle for the 49ers too. That could be about the range where some of those outside linebacker types start to go. I think it's still a need for the 49ers.
Travis (Gilbert, AZ)
Who do you think the Cardinals would go with if both Sean Weatherspoon and Dan Williams were still there? They both fill a position of need. What do you think the Cardinals biggest needs are?
Mike Sando (1:11 PM)
Dan Williams would be my guess in that scenario. Build from the front of the defense back. Gabe Watson still has injury and production concerns. Bryan Robinson is unsigned and up there in years. Alan Branch is not the next good nose tackle for this team. A good nose tackle would help the linebackers more than the other way around.
Tyler (Buffalo, NY)
Have you heard any word on if the Seahawks have a legitimate interest in trading for Marshawn Lynch? If so do you have any idea on what it would take to get him?
Mike Sando (1:16 PM)
I'm sure Seattle has considered all the options. Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett were teammates at Cal and Pete Carroll obviously coached in the Pac-10, so those connections could be fueling the information pipeline on any potential interest. My thought was that Lynch's pattern of off-field stuff was more established and possibly more troubling than the Brandon Marshall pattern. I therefore wondered how serious Seattle would proceed.
Mike,Sometimes the worst picks are the ones you make for "need." Holmgren believed in picking the best player available, regardless of need. That's how we got Shaun Alexander and Steve Hutchinson. We had other needs at the time, but those we chose the best players available at that choice. How do you see the new Hawks GM handling that if he's looking at someone like Eric Berry vs the third-best tackle?
Mike Sando (1:20 PM)
I don't know how true the Seahawks will remain to the value. Seattle has enough needs to justify going best player available if we're talking about the type of gap you described. Berry would also fill a huge need even though safety isn't as critical as offensive tackle. There's almost no position Seattle could address without filling a need. By the way, Mike Holmgren also reached, though. Lamar King filled a need at defensive end. Jerramy Stevens filled a need at tight end.
Hi Mike. Always enjoy your informative chats! As a Rams fan, do you think I am justified in being worried about the recent Sam Bradford buzz?
Mike Sando (1:22 PM)
Thanks, Z. You should temper the Sam Bradford buzz by realizing he can't single-handedly save the franchise. He can help provide direction. He can be the face of the franchise eventually. There are still no guarantees he'll be the answer and that's just the risk you take. You should be guarded in your optimism.
Mike Murphy (Wood River, IL)
Hi Mike, big fan of yours by the way. I'm a Rams fan and my question is, do you see them trading the first pick to the Browns and if so, what would you see them getting in return? And also, who do you see the Rams getting with the 33rd pick if they don't trade up or down to get a couple extra picks?
Mike Sando (1:24 PM)
The Browns' entire draft is worth 2,692 points on the trade-value chart. The first overall pick is worth 3,000 points on that chart. Let's say the 3,000 figure is overvalued. Still, the Browns would have to give up too much, in my opinion. It just doesn't seem feasible. The top of the second round is where the Rams can hope to find a touchdown maker. Maybe a receiver falls. They need points.
John (Roseville, CA)
Hey Mike, love your work. Every year someone is picked way earlier than projected (usually by the Raiders) and every year someone slides. Who do you think those players will be this year?
Mike Sando (1:27 PM)
Thanks, John. My guess is that Dez Bryant could be a guy who goes lower and that Rodger Saffold could be a guy who goes higher. That's just based on speaking with a general manager recently. I don't evaluate the players.
Nathan (Coralville, IA)
Now that the Seahawks have lost out on Brandon Marshall, how do you see them addressing their need at wide receiver? I just don't think they'll use a first-round pick on one. Do they wait til round two or make a trade, or what?
Mike Sando (1:32 PM)
It's pretty clear the new regime values big receivers. They went after Marshall. They're offering tryouts to Reggie Williams and Mike Williams, also big wideouts. Dez Bryant comes to mind obviously. Arrelious Benn is another big receiver in this draft. That is probably the size profile we need to consider.
Come on Mike, I know that I am asking about a NFL.com report and not an ESPN on but this topic has got to be discussed. They are reporting the Steelers are talking seriously although "internally" about trading Roethlisberger. Why shouldnt the 49ers be jumping all over this?
Mike Sando (1:35 PM)
I would think the Steelers would be talking internally about every option. They're clearly not happy with Ben Roethlisberger. You think the 49ers should be offering their draft for a quarterback with a recent pattern of troubling behavior?
Is there at least a possibility that the Rams trade for Jason Campbell? I think he is better than many people think and I think it makes the most sense for the Rams. Drafting Sam Bradford first would cost the Rams lots of guaranteed money. And have you heard any more about the Browns' discussions of trading up to the first pick? Thanks, Mike.
Mike Sando (1:37 PM)
The Rams seem to want a quarterback known more for leadership. Campbell doesn't fit that profile, at least according to perceptions. On the Browns, they would have to give up tons to make that type of move. I don't see Mike Holmgren throwing away his entire draft like that.
With Mike Solari and Ray Brown as 0-line coaches now for the 49ers, can we expect to see marked improvement from any of the players along the offensive line and if so, who would you say has the most upside (currently on the roster)? Also don't you think these guys could coach up a second-round pick like Vladimir Ducasse or Jared Veldheer into a starting right tackle if necessary?
Mike Sando (1:41 PM)
Chilo Rachal would probably have the most untapped potential among offensive linemen already on the 49ers' roster. Joe Staley and Eric Heitmann are already veterans at this point. Coaching up a tackle does sound appealing. The question is really whether the 49ers can feel good about taking their chances at that position. The need might be great enough to consider taking one earlier.
kenny niang (harlem New york)
Which direction will Oakland go with the 8th pick of the draft?
Mike Sando (1:41 PM)
Mike Sando (1:42 PM)
That was a joke. Hope you chuckled. Predicting the Raiders is tough.
Joe (Puyallup, Wa.)
Mike, I have followed your reporting for years as my favorite source of NFL info. Great stuff! With the Seahawks losing out on the Brandon Marshall lottery, does this change their draft strategy? Don't they have to take a receiver sooner now that they missed out? What have you heard on the "tryouts" for the Williams duo?
Mike Sando (1:45 PM)
Thanks, Joe. I hope you don't mind those first two sentences I added into your question. I think losing out on Marshall absolutely affects draft strategy. They need help at wide receiver. They need an offensive playmaker. Marshall would have addressed those areas. Mike Williams looked a little better than Reggie Williams in the first practice. It was one practice. Way too early to say. I do think the Seahawks' interest in those players tells us they wouldn't mind finding a big wide receiver. Marshall also fit that mold.
Absolutely loved the Raiders quote and you are likely correct!!!!
Mike Sando (1:45 PM)
Hey, I grew up following that team, so I should know.
Dan (Everett, WA)
What OT best fits Seattle's zone blocking scheme
Mike Sando (1:46 PM)
My guess would be Trent Williams.
Ben (Charleston, SC)
Do you think that I'm crazy thinking the 49ers should trade up to get Berry? If we added him to our defense, to me we could be unstoppable -- plus get an excellent return man.
Mike Sando (1:47 PM)
There are personnel people who think Berry will be great for 10 years. Moving up to get the next Ronnie Lott-type player would be fine. But you'd better be sure he's that type of player. I'd be more inclined to stay at Nos. 13 and 17, let the draft come to me and improve my team in two areas.
six (albany ny)
Mike what's your opinion/take on the Brandon Marshall-to-Miami trade?
Mike Sando (1:49 PM)
My opinion is that the Broncos did a great job getting value in return, and the Seahawks were a victim of that. Seattle really lost out on a chance to get a rare talent, but when the price exceeded the Seahawks' realistic means, the team bowed out instead of panicking. That had to be hard, but giving up a second this year and a second next year would have left Seattle without second- or third-round choices for consecutive years. And that would have been tough.
Sando, assuming you're in Trent Baalke's chair and the top 4 OT's are gone, who do you pick with the 13th and 17th overall pick? Next Thursday can't come soon enough!!
Mike Sando (1:51 PM)
I hear you. I'm ready for the draft as well. In that scenario, you see if the top cornerback is still available. You would be looking for the best player at another position. I could see it being the best outside linebacker type. Or the best cornerback. Or even if the second-best safety were available, perhaps that would be justifiable.
I still think Ndamukong Suh is the best pick for the Rams. They would have a pretty good D-line. I know you would have to overpay, but I think it's worth it.
Mike Sando (1:53 PM)
You're right about the overpaying part and it's an aspect not always addressed in detail. The Rams would not be overpaying a quarterback relative to what great veteran quarterbacks earned. They would be overpaying a defensive tackle relative to what veteran defensive tackles earn.
Do you think the Niners would take Earl Thomas over Joe Haden if both were available to them at pick 13? Assuming all the top tackles are gone.
Mike Sando (1:54 PM)
I think they would probably go for the corner based on value of the position.
Christopher McMahan (Lake Elsinore, California)
Do you think the 49ers have too much faith in Alex Smith? Shouldn't they have tried to trade for Donovan McNabb?
Mike Sando (1:55 PM)
I think they probably should have considered Donovan McNabb, yes.
will (slc )
Cody Brown, second-rounder last year for the Cards. What kinda season or player can he be? He was a good player at UConn.
Mike Sando (1:58 PM)
That's an important question for the Cardinals. The word on Brown was that he was very raw and would need some seasoning. That's why his injury was so costly. It was serious and really set him back. He's a guy to keep in the back of your mind. Don't expect much, but keep him on your radar. The Cardinals haven't seen enough of him to know what to expect right away.
Aaron (Elma, WA)
Pete Carroll has stated the need for both a big back and playmakers. Many mocks have him taking CJ Spiller or Joe McKnight, who are playmakers, but lack the size Carroll has stated he wants at the position. Assuming the Hawks draft a back, is it more likely to be a bruiser or a jitterbug?
Mike Sando (2:02 PM)
Pete Carroll seems to value size. We're seeing that at wide receiver. Ideally, the running back would be bigger. On C.J. Spiller, it really just comes down to whether he's too explosive to pass up, compared to other players available. Another question to consider is really to what degree the offense will be changing from what Carroll's USC teams have run in the past. This is going to be the Mike Shanahan offense, basically.
Mike Sando (2:02 PM)
Thanks for dropping by the chat. Looking forward to the draft.