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)
This might be the last chat before the NFL lockout. So let's get started before it's too late.
Jeff (in the know)
Hey I don't understand how all the lock out situations works out...if the entire year is lost how is next year set up its draft order?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
If an entire year goes by, the NFL will keep the same draft order. The league has no choice unless it wants to go in reverse and have the Packers and Steelers pick No. 1 and No. 2. But that wouldn't make much sense.
C.J. (San Diego)
Is their a possibility that Steelers would go after a corner in the 1st round?
James Walker (4:04 PM)
The chances are greater this year than any other year in recent memory, C.J. It's the biggest position of need and there should be some good prospects at that position at No. 31. If Ike Taylor isn't under contract by the draft and the lockout continues, the Steelers almost have to draft a corner high.
Mr. Walker,What is the status on Eric Wright? Personally I think the Browns should look to trade him based on his performance last year. Do you think he deserves another starting season with the Browns? Thanks
James Walker (4:05 PM)
Eric Wright is an unrestricted free agent and he's probably not going to return to Cleveland. He lost his starting job and is coming off an injury, so there is not a lot of value there. The Browns are comfortble moving on with Joe Haden and Sheldon Brown.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What AFC North Training Camp will you attend the Most this Summer?
James Walker (4:08 PM)
Chris, we haven't planned that far ahead but usually it's pretty even. I want to see all four teams as much as possible. But there's only about three weeks to split time four ways.
Milan (Canton, OH)
What is the strategy to Cincinnati simply trying to staunch the bleeding? Does this team not need blown up?
James Walker (4:12 PM)
I wrote about four months ago that it was time to blow the Bengals up and start over. They tried to keep together a four-win team and now the quarterback wants out. Chad's on the roster, but he may not be in September. When it comes to personnel, the Bengals are unpredictable. But the Marvin-Carson-Chad era should have been broken up by the team instead of it being forced to separate the hard way. Now they're in a bind.
Could you see the Browns going with Patrick Peterson (if he's there) even if A.J. Green is there at 6?
James Walker (4:14 PM)
Tough call all around, because I don't like taking WRs in the top 10, no matter how good they are. But for the Browns, they took a CB and a S in the first two rounds last year. I like Peterson a lot, but I think Cleveland will address another position at No. 6.
pacman229(Newport news Va) [via mobile]
Who does it look like the redskins are looking for in the draft or what position in the 1st round
James Walker (4:16 PM)
Washington needs a quarterback to build a franchise around, and I think this year someone will be there. It could be Cam Newton. It could be Blaine Gabbert. I'm not a big Jake Locker guy, but he probably will be there for Washington, too.
Andre (Philadelphia, PA)
Finish this sentence: The new CBA will be signed on...
James Walker (4:18 PM)
...a weekday. That gives me 5 out of 7 odds.
Yianni (Bmore, MD)
J.W. (keep up good work) what postion do you see Ravens drafting in 1st round? Personally I see them trading back for additonal picks.
James Walker (4:19 PM)
The Ravens traded back last year, and teams usually don't do that two years in a row. Baltimore probably keeps it pick this year and gets a RT and a DE/LB who can rush the passer. The Ravens can nab a speedy WR in the second or third round.
Do u think there is any chance that the bengals move mauluga to mike and draft von miller to replace him at will. Rivers rey and miller could be a great linebacker crew.
James Walker (4:21 PM)
There is a good chance Rey Maualuga moves in the middle anyway now that Dhani Jones is a free agent. Maualuga was drafted to be Jones' replacement and now is the time. They can continue to try Michael Johnson at OLB or draft someone.
Eric (Hagerstown, MD)
Congrats on stirring up the Cam Newton silliness. That was fun ;)
James Walker (4:23 PM)
It's the offseason, Eric. Time for everyone to let their hair down a little bit and not be too serious.
Why would the Browns give up so fast on Brady Quinn, then draft Colt McCoy as their quarterback for the future? I think Quinn has much more talent and was never given a fair chance as a starter in Cleveland.
James Walker (4:25 PM)
It was time for the Browns and Quinn to move on, Matt. There are a lot of people in Cleveland who would disagree with your comparison of Quinn and McCoy. But Cleveland had two regime changes and was starting a third under Mike Holmgren so he wanted his own QB in there. It happens all the time in the NFL.
Rob (San Antonio)
Does it make sense for Pgh. to trade up this year? It seems the position they are drafting and the glaring need at O-line and corner might make it necessary to move up this year and get a potential stud at either position (I think corner is the greater need).
James Walker (4:26 PM)
The Steelers do have a history of trading up when they really like a player. Two recent examples were Santonio Holmes and Troy Polamalu. But who is the player this year that would catch Pittsburgh's attention? Mike Pouncey is a strong possibility if he falls far enough. But I don't think it will happen.
James, How likely is it that Mike Pouncey is available at 31?
James Walker (4:27 PM)
Not likely, Brian.
What do you think the best move for the Browns is for this up coming draft, going offensive or defensive?
James Walker (4:30 PM)
Still debating. But after seeing all these defensive linemen and linebackers kill the combine, I'm starting to lean towards defense.
thewasp (Kansas City)
Do you think Cleveland could draft Julio Jones for their 1st draft pick considering his great combine thusfar?
James Walker (4:33 PM)
I don't see it. The combine can only do so much and everyone knew Jones was a great athlete. I still think A.J. Green is ranked higher on most boards, but Jones closed the gap. If Green isn't there, then it's a no-brainer to go defense.
How good are the chances that the Browns trade down to try to grab a few of the lineman and linebackers that have torn up the combine?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
I don't see the Browns trading this pick. There are too many good players at the top of this draft, particularly on defense.
James, who do you think the Rams will draft in the first round of the rookie draft?
James Walker (4:36 PM)
That's a good spot for Julio Jones in St. Louis. The Rams would love it if he's there. So would Sam Bradford.
Do you think Cam Newton will be durable enough to last a whole season in the NFL?
James Walker (4:38 PM)
Durability hasn't been an issue for Newton. He's a big, athletic quarterback. I think he will be fine with taking hits at the NFL level.
Thom (Holton, IN)
With all the money the CB have got can the bengals afford to keep JJoe
James Walker (4:42 PM)
I don't see it, Thom. The Bengals only have one player (Carson Palmer) on their roster making more than $10 million per year, and I don't see them going there for Johnathan Joseph. But he will get his money somewhere.
How far do you think the Steelers would be willing to move up for a player that they really love? The 20-23 spot range?
James Walker (4:45 PM)
Coming from No. 31? I would say about five spots before it gets too costly. You don't want to lose a second-round pick.
Is it a possiblity even likely that the browns could get a good wide receiver that fits their needs later in the draft instead of taking Green early on
James Walker (4:47 PM)
There is always a chance to get good WRs later in the draft. But the longer you wait, the less likely that is and the Browns have a huge need there. They can't afford to play around.
Even if the Steelers get Ike Taylor back under contract, do you think that the Steelers will still draft a CB in the first round?
James Walker (4:48 PM)
The chances decrease a little, but not by much. The Steelers often take the best available player anyway. I think that's their plan with or without Ike Taylor.
By the way, did you watch that Texas game? AWESOME!
James Walker (4:49 PM)
The Temple Owls will beat both.
John A (Cleveland)
You stated you prefer defense over offense, would you draft a DT or DE for Browns?
James Walker (4:50 PM)
Now that depends on the player. The Browns could use help in both spots. But it really comes down to the player higher on their draft board at that point.
James (Oregon, OH.)
James, What would you feel about Bengals selecting A.J. Green in first round and Jake Locker in the second round.
James Walker (4:52 PM)
Jake Locker probably won't make it past 32 teams and into the second round. If the Bengals have A.J. Green, who will throw him the football? Dan LeFevour?
James, with what seems like the imminent departure of Joseph, could the bengals look towards Peterson or Amukamara?
James Walker (4:55 PM)
The Bengals feel they are ok at cornerback. They have Leon Hall and Adam Jones waiting if they can't reach a deal with Johnathan Joseph. Cincinnati will not draft a CB with the No. 4 overall pick.
Jerry Eastwood (Haslett, MI) [via mobile]
What's your opinion on the combine? I know some people love it and others like Mike Wilbon loathe it.
James Walker (4:58 PM)
I'm mixed on the combine. I think the NFL is very smart to make this a huge media and television event as a way to keep the league in the news. But every scout I talk to tells me 85 percent of the work is already done. So in that way, I think it's a little overrated in terms of grading players. From a media perspective, it's great for access.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for the great questions. Remember to check out the AFC North blog and the AFC North Twitter for constant updates on the division.