Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger James Walker will stop by to chat about the NFL and what to expect from your team.
Walker joined ESPN.com in 2008 after three seasons covering the Cleveland Browns for the Columbus Dispatch.
Send your questions now and join James Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
There are a lot of questions in here already. So no point in wasting time. Let's get right to it.
matt (pittsburgh pa)
james is it worth the trouble trading up to get haden or just stickin put and drafting wilson everyone is saying he may be better anyway thanks!!
James Walker (4:01 PM)
I feel Joe Haden is the better fit and the better corner in this draft, Matt. I like Wilson, too. But if Pittsburgh is within reach of Haden, the team should make the move to get him. He is the better cover corner of the two, which is what Pittsburgh was lacking last year.
Richard (West Virginia)
Long shot scenario but if the rams pass on Bradford could you see the browns moving up to get him or maybe trying to move into the very late first round to get Colt McCoy before the rams take him with the 33rd overall pick
James Walker (4:03 PM)
Trading up in the top five is very, very expensive, Richard. I think the Browns are one team that can use all their draft picks, because they have so many holes. Cleveland likes Sam Bradford, from what I'm told. But they don't feel they have a legit chance and wouldn't be willing to trade up to the No. 1 pick to get him.
Scott (Erie, PA)
Do you believe the Steelers will draft a WR earlier now since Holmes was traded?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
Early as in first round? No. Early as in second or third? Yes. There was a reason Pittsburgh looked at so many WRs last week. With Hines Ward getting older and now Santonio Holmes out of the picture, they will need some help at some point.
Daniel (Covina, Ca.) [via mobile]
I've seen Earl Thomas listed at CB/S and I know Mack Brown was going to start him at CB is he stayed, but if he's there at 18 for Pitt. Could he be an option to start opposite Ike Taylor?
James Walker (4:07 PM)
I don't view Thomas as a pure corner. He just has cornerback-like athleticism. Ed Reed, for example, could probably be a Pro Bowl cornerback if he wanted to because he's so gifted. But he's a Hall of Fame-caliber safety. I'm not comparing the two players, I'm just saying Thomas has skills to play CB and may help in the slot at times. But he's best suited to play S.
QPD (Pomona, CA)
How dpes this sound, "With the 52nd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, The Pittsburgh Steelers select Golden Tate. WR, Notre Dame." ?!?
James Walker (4:09 PM)
I'm not sure Golden Tate falls that far. I think there is going to be a run on WRs late in the first and early in the second round. But Tate is really good after the catch and could be a decent fit.
Daniel (Covina, Ca) [via mobile]
I don't understand why Pitt would take a G or C at 18! They should get a OT so they could move Starks back to RT and Colon back to G. This improves the whole line! Why all the interest in Iupati and Pouncey? Am I missing something?
James Walker (4:11 PM)
The Steelers are really concerned about their power running game. In that aspect, a brute center or guard helps more "between the tackles" than a OT, which is used best for pass protection. I think Pittsburgh needs help with both, but that's just me.
Given Heckert's record, why is everybody sleeping on the liklihood of the Browns trading down? I see this as their most likely scenario... Also, could they go as far as getting another top OL in Round 1 (Iupati in a trade-down) to make that the team's strength and identity?
James Walker (4:12 PM)
It doesn't have anything to do with Tom Heckert or Mike Holmgren. It's just the point value for top 5 picks are so high. Would you be willing to give up your first-, second- and third-round picks (possibly more) for the No. 1 overall pick?
Sam Bradford (Dawg Pound)
I really don't want to end up in St. Louis. What are the chances Cleveland can work a trade so I can sit under Jake for a year and learn under the eye of Holmgren. I think Joe Thomas and I could get along GREAT!
James Walker (4:14 PM)
Joe Thomas is a great player, Sam. You'll like him protecting your blindside. But how would you feel holding a clipboard for a year? You would probably start from Day 1 in St. Louis. Think about it.
Sean (A-K-Rowdy, OH)
In our "Let's make a mock draft" segment, you ask us for our top 3 for each team. I was wondering what's your two after Berry for the Browns?
James Walker (4:16 PM)
Check the AFC North blog tomorrow morning. I don't want to give it away, but we have a ton of tallies on every team from our community. Thanks for the help. And if you don't like the picks, blame your fellow readers, not me.
Staci (Bio Lab at UMD CP)
Hey JW Is there any chance Dez Bryant falls to the Ravens at 25 and if so, will they take him as their BPA or do something else? Keep in Mind they have Boldin, Mason, Stalworth, Clayton and other young players.
James Walker (4:17 PM)
Staci pay attention in class or you're going to blow something up! Dez Bryant won't fall to Baltimore at No. 25. If he does drop, the Cincinnati Bengals will scoop him at first at No. 21.
Lane (Kukuihaele, HI)
Isn't it true that the Steelers love Mike Wallace and he'll be an adequate replacement for Santonio Holmes? I think their scouting department can find another WR in the fourth to seventh round. Agree?
James Walker (4:19 PM)
Yes, I'm told Wallace surprised even the Steelers brass that drafted him last year. He gets it and works hard on his weaknesses. His route running was greatly improved by the end of last year and everyone knows Wallace can go deep.
James Walker (4:19 PM)
He's not afraid of the big moment, either. Wallace made some clutch catches last season (See Green Bay game).
Bob Pase (Midland, TX)
Why would the Browns consider another ND QB when the last with under this system wasn't a good "fit" in Cleveland?
James Walker (4:22 PM)
Every player is different, Bob. But the Browns are not going to take Jimmy Clausen at No. 7 anyway. Everyone in the building is not 100 percent sure about him. And when you pay a prospect about $40 mil, you better be sure.
Sam (Baltimore, MD)
Do you have any idea where Jared Gaither will end up?
James Walker (4:25 PM)
Baltimore is my first guess, Sam. I don't think he will get a first-round pick in return. For a second or third? The Ravens should probably keep their starting left tackle for another year.
Evan Jones (State College, Pa)
Playing in a division where you have to play Haloti Ngata twice a year, it's important to have a big, powerful center. Could Maurkice Pouncey be that player for the Steelers?
James Walker (4:26 PM)
Pouncey is certainly on their radar. The Steelers are in a good spot at No. 18 where they can go a lot of different ways and it would probably make sense.
Josh (Tokyo, Japan)
Love my bengals JA, how you like Ocho's dance last night?
James Walker (4:28 PM)
I find it funny that so many people think I'm J.A. Adande. This happens every week. Since you're in Tokyo, I'll give you a pass. I didn't see Ochocinco dance this week.
Jim Layman (San Antonio)
I have heard about Big Ben to the Rams for the 1st pick in the draft is there any truth to this?
James Walker (4:29 PM)
Don't believe everything you hear, Jim, especially this time of year.
Jose (South of Cleveland)
Who will be a better QB in September, 2012: Tebow or McCoy?
James Walker (4:30 PM)
Mike (Columbus, Ohio)
would the rams go for a trade with the brown for their number 7 pick and 2 of there 3rd round picks
James Walker (4:31 PM)
Not high enough on the point system, Mike. A second-round pick probably has to be in the deal to balance out. The price for the top pick is really, really high.
JW, with all the turmoil surrounding the Steelers, does that mean that the Bengals and Ravens are more likely to be the class of the division again?
James Walker (4:33 PM)
Too early to pick favorites at this point, especially before the draft. I'm interested to see how the Steelers handle this. Also, if Ben Roethlisberger is suspended one, two or four games, that will weigh into who's favored in the AFC North as well.
Do you think its risky for the browns to take a Rb early with the uncertainty of how Jerome Harrison and James Davis can perform
James Walker (4:35 PM)
The first round may be too early, especially if they don't trade down from No. 7. But anything after that is fair game. The Browns will probably take a bigger back.
Bert (New York)
Where can we trade Big Ben to and get a quaility young QB in return then can lead the Steelers? Houston?
James Walker (4:38 PM)
The Steelers are not trading Ben Roethlisberger. Let's put that thought/rumor to bed right now.
Billy (Shaker Heights)
Do you have a feel as to the type of offensive system Holmgren wants to run, and is Mangini the right guy for it?
James Walker (4:40 PM)
Mike Holmgren wants to run a West Coast-style offense. Quick accurate passes mixed with a solid running game. Eric Mangini is a defensive guy, and Holmgren will have a heavy influence in things anyway.
Is there any way the Browns don't go defense with their first pick?
James Walker (4:41 PM)
If Sam Bradford is available. So most likely they're going defense.
Rayniel (Dallas, TX)
Hey who out of these teams have the most problems: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers.
James Walker (4:43 PM)
Right now? The Steelers have the most issues. They dealt away their starting WR and have a franchise QB who may not be available to start the season.
Who would be the best 2-3 round pick up at QB for the Browns?
James Walker (4:45 PM)
I think Colt McCoy fits them the best. Very accurate
JW, care to predict if Big Ben will get suspended? If so, how many games do you think?
James Walker (4:47 PM)
Nah, I don't want to go there. I will let the commish do his job. And I will do my job and write about it whenever Roger Goodell decides.
Chris (Canton, Ohio )
Who do you see the Steelers targeting for a backup RB? Someone in the draft, free agency (Brian Westbrook) or through a trade (Leon Washington)?
James Walker (4:49 PM)
Probably the draft. Pittsburgh has so many picks that the team could use a mid-rounder on a guy to backup Mendy and Moore.
Is anyone looking at Dan LeFevour in the AFC?
James Walker (4:50 PM)
AFC? That's hard to tell. The AFC North? The Browns may have some interest. But they like Bradford and McCoy better.
Do you see the Ravens trying to jump over the Bengals and grab Gresham?
James Walker (4:52 PM)
The Ravens don't have enough draft picks (five) to do much trading up. If anything, Baltimore is more prone to trade down this year if it wants more picks.
JW - Ed Reed is the man, and I know a neck is a big deal (he might get paralyzed) but do you think he owes the team an answer pre-draft considering the Ravens look like they are gearing up for a SB run in the next 1-2 years?
James Walker (4:53 PM)
The Ravens feel like they know Reed will return. He hasn't made it official. But that's the plan in Baltimore until he tells them otherwise.
Good afternoon James. With the Steelers now having 11 picks and probably not room on the roster for 11 new guys, is there someone you can see them moving up to get in the first two rounds?
James Walker (4:55 PM)
I mentioned several times in the AFC North blog that Joe Haden is a player worth trading up to get, especially if he falls in the teens. I also think a WR in the second or third rounds might be worth trading up for if the right player is available.
Joseph (Athens, GA)
Whats up James? Who could help out Flacco more, Gresham or Demaryius Thomas?
James Walker (4:56 PM)
Jermaine Gresham. Good safety valve and can help Joe Flacco in the middle of the field.
JW your blog is beast. With all the problems with the Steelers QB is Joe Flacco the best Qb in the AFC North
James Walker (4:58 PM)
Ben Roethlisberger's issues doesn't make him any less of a player. I think Joe Flacco is good, too. But Roethlisberger is still the top QB in the division. Thanks for checking out the blog, too.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Thanks for your time everyone. Don't forget to check out the AFC North blog for constant updates on the division. Also check out our AFC North Twitter.