Chat with James Walker
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC East 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 Walker Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
James Walker (4:00 PM)
Good afternoon, everyone.
James Walker (4:00 PM)
There's always plenty to talk about in the AFC East. So let's get to it.
Scott (Austin, TX)
Let's say the Dolphins wanted to trade down and get a few more picks in the draft... how far down could they afford to go and still land Tannehill?
James Walker (4:02 PM)
Good question, Scott. Miami and Cleveland are the only teams in the top 10 that I can really see jumping for Tannehill. I think he's a bit overrated in terms of draft stock. I think Miami can safely trade down several spots without any worries. But there needs to be a player that someone wants to trade up for.
James Walker (4:03 PM)
Trent Richardson and maybe Quinton Coples are the only two players I can really see teams in the mid-teens or early 20s getting excited about if they fall to No. 8.
Shawn (Lakeland, Florida)
Hey JW, thanks for all your work and updates. Any idea of where you think or hear where positions Buffalo might be heading into the draft in a couple weeks? They have had a great offseason I feel so far, adding people and retaining key people. Don't want to get set up here for a shock that's all!
James Walker (4:06 PM)
I talked to Chan Gailey last week at the owners meetings, and I really get the sense Buffalo is going to draft the best available player. The Bills are in a weird spot. They were 6-10, but they have talent at a lot of positions. Many players were hurt last year. I don't think you can bicker if Buffalo takes a LT, WR, LB or CB. Any of those positions can help if it's the right player. But I think LT is the biggest need.
Al (Wausau, WI)
James, if the Browns draft Tannehill to be their quarterback, what do you think may happen with Colt McCoy? Could he end up traded to another team?
James Walker (4:08 PM)
No trade, Al. The Browns wouldn't want to go into training camp forcing Tannehill to be the starter. If Cleveland takes him, the Browns will have (gasp!) another QB competition and controversy. The best QB will win, but Tannehill will be the QB of the future for sure.
James Walker (4:09 PM)
Keep in mind, for Cleveland and Miami, Tannehill is a converted WR who doesn't have a ton of college starts. He's still pretty raw and has to prove he's NFL ready. He would probably sit the bench a year in Miami, and compete in Cleveland with no promises he would start.
Ryan Caldwell (Miami)
James,Whats your take on the Phins plan for their 1st round pick?
James Walker (4:10 PM)
It's pretty much QB or Plan B. I don't see them passing up Tannehill at this point. I think it's a risky pick. But the Dolphins made this bed by striking out at QB. Now, they have to lay in it.
Nick (Middletown, NJ) [via mobile]
Is there any chance the Vikings pass on Kalil and take Claiborne and the Browns take tannehill? Would the Bills possibly trade up to snag Kalil? What would it take to trade up to 5?
James Walker (4:12 PM)
I don't see the Bills trading up and I don't see Kalil falling to No. 10, Nick. So I think you can let that dream go.
How many more seasons does Brady have as an elite QB?
James Walker (4:14 PM)
That's a tough question, Ron. Brady is seeing the game as good as ever. It's just a matter of how long his body will hold up. More and more you're starting to see nagging injuries with Brady's shoulder, elbow, things like that. He will be elite next season for sure and probably another year or two after that. But it really depends on the pounding he takes.
David (South Florida)
i personally like Couples with the 8th pick
James Walker (4:16 PM)
Quinton Coples would be great for Miami at No. 8, if he gets that far. He's a safer pick than Tannehill, I will say that. But there's always a QB premium. You can find good D-linemen.
Why wouldn't the Bills look at Tannehill?
James Walker (4:17 PM)
Buffalo has $59 million reasons why they won't take a QB in the top 10, Kurt.
How do you think the Jets could best fill their needs? Do you think they stay at 16, if so for whom? Otherwise wouldn't trading down and solving the rt, wr and olb issues with more picks make sense?
James Walker (4:19 PM)
The Jets can help a good player at No. 16. I like Courtney Upshaw, Mark Barron, Michael Floyd and DeCastro. All of those players can help.
David (South Florida)
how much upside does Gerrard have at this point? If everything goes right with him, can he take the dolphins to the super bowl
James Walker (4:21 PM)
David, don't drink that Kool-Aide. It's questionable if David Garrard has much left in the tank, but he certainly won't lead Miami to a Super Bowl this year. Let him concentrate first on winning the job. Matt Moore won't just roll over.
Any news on the Jets bringing back Braylon? I know I've heard stuff the last week or 2.
James Walker (4:23 PM)
The Jets don't have a ton of cap space. So they're going to keep Edwards on the back burner and see what happens in these next several weeks. The market for Edwards isn't very strong. So if he's still around, the Jets could consider him late.
What's the deal with Demetrius Bell? Excessive salary demands? Injury history? Teams waiting for the draft? All of the above? It's hard to believe a starting-caliber LT hasn't been signed yet.
James Walker (4:26 PM)
Bell is an interesting case. Buffalo by no means has ruled him out. But the team has a different value on Bell than what he expects. So Bell has made several free-agent visits to see if he can get a contract he likes. If nothing is there for him, I think things could heat up again with Buffalo.
Who should the Dolphins start at QB? Moore, Garrard or draft someone like Tannehill?
James Walker (4:26 PM)
Miami will stick with Moore vs. Garrard. Even if the Dolphins draft Tannehill, he will probably hold a clipboard and learn the NFL game. A three-way QB competition is pretty difficult to execute in the preseason.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What did you think of Tim Tebow going to the New York Jets?
James Walker (4:28 PM)
I think it has the potential to work if Mark Sanchez holds up his end. Tebow will run well. If Sanchez can throw well, you have something to work it. If Sanchez can't throw well and now Tebow is throwing, it could get ugly in New York.
Where do you see the Jets at the seasons end? Also, do you think it's possible to run the wildcat up to 20 plays a game?
James Walker (4:31 PM)
Too early for season predictions, Tony. Let's finish free agency and get the draft underway. As far as the Wildcat, Denver ran something like it all game and made it to the divisional round. I doubt it will be 20 plays a game, but I think it could work well in moderation.
Nate (Needham, MA)
Whats the pats biggest need going into the draft? I feel if Mark barron slides, he should be taken by them at 27. DB's are more of a need for them than the front 7 as of right now.
James Walker (4:33 PM)
I say an impact player in the secondary. But there may not be one available at the end of the first round. New England can really use help at all three levels. So I wouldn't be against drafting any solid defensive player in the first round.
Thanks for the chat. I know you have been high on Mark Barron as a potential draft choice for the Jets. Given that the Jets signed a high upside strong safety in Landry and that the first round is traditionally a high pick to use on a safety, do you still consider a Barron pick justifiable or reasonable? Would they not be better off taking OL or a pass rusher?
James Walker (4:35 PM)
Less reasonable than it was a few weeks ago, but still a solid pick. Landry has injury concerns. You don't know if he can play all 16 games. Eric Smith is an average safety, at best. Barron can still fit with that defense. But if the Jets are confident in Landry's health, it may be better to take an OLB, WR or RT in the first round.
Nate (Sutton, MA)
Do you see the Dolphins making a play for a big receiver first round and passing no pun intended on tannehill because in my mind he's not a top ten pick and you shouldn't mortgage the farm to get another henne bust
James Walker (4:38 PM)
Unless Blackmon is there at No. 8, I think that's pretty high for any receiver. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said he's not worried about having a No. 1 WR. Considering they also traded Brandon Marshall, I don't think Miami values the position all that much to use a top-10 pick.
josh z (syracuse)
Hey James , do you see the jets trading up to get richerson?
James Walker (4:39 PM)
Nah, RB is not a huge need for the Jets to give up other picks. New York is in a solid spot. The Jets should get a good player and someone who can help at No. 16.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think was the Worst Quarterback in the AFC East in 2011?
James Walker (4:40 PM)
Hmmm, we may have to have another "Sanchez-Fitz-Moore-Tebow-Garrard Watch" next season. No one is safe from this topic in the AFC East except Tom Brady.
James Walker (4:41 PM)
I SMH sometimes at how far the gap is between Brady and the rest of the division QBs. How can anyone expect to supplant the Patriots over 16 games without a very good QB?
Belichick has been stockpiling draft picks for years. Any chance this is the season he uses those to move up for an impact player? That defense desperately needs another playmaker.
James Walker (4:43 PM)
I don't expect Belichick to move up. But I do expect him to use the picks, which is a change from previous seasons. This is a good year to make a move. The draft is well-stocked with talent, especially on defense. I think New England should use all four of its picks in the first two rounds.
Levi state college pa [via mobile]
Could you see buffalo trading back at all in the draft?
James Walker (4:44 PM)
Yes. But there needs to be a player like Trent Richardson or Quinton Coples available who is worth trading up for.
Fitz was clearly the best QB until the Washington game when he broke 3 ribs. If he stays healthy all year you think he will be in the top 10?
James Walker (4:46 PM)
The Bills are hoping for that. He's going to start at least for the next two years. Same with Mark Sanchez.
Do you think a team would be interested in trading down for Miami's #8, if Blackmon or Coples are still available?
James Walker (4:47 PM)
If Blackmon or Coples are available at No. 8, I think Miami should keep the pick and take one of those players. That is, unless they are truly convince Tannehill is a franchise quarterback.
Nick (Middletown, NJ)
Why did the Patriots draft Ryan Mallett?
James Walker (4:49 PM)
They thought he was a great value pick and someone they can develop in the coming years. I have no problem with the pick. Maybe he replaces Tom Brady, maybe he doesn't.
James, im in a weird spot right now, im at work at the vending machine...do i go cheezitz or gradmas peanut butter cookies
James Walker (4:49 PM)
Good one, Jordan. Go with the cookies.
Trading down is overrated. Just get the pick right.
James Walker (4:52 PM)
I'm from that school of thought too. Unless the Washington Redskins call. I always pick up the phone for them. :-)
Cameron (West Palm)
Dolphins will take Reiff in round one and then waste a 2nd round pick on a QB, right? I mean this is STILL Jeff Ireland's team. We've had Beck, Henne, and White....who do you think is going to be #4 on Ireland's infamous list?
James Walker (4:54 PM)
For all the criticism of Jeff Ireland, I think his draft record has been ok. No one complains about last year's draft where he landed Pouncey, Gates, Daniel Thomas and Charles Clay. Those are pretty decent hits for rookie players.
Harry (Babylon, NY)
Are the Jets really as high on Wayne Hunter & Vladimir Ducasse as they have said or are they waiting in the weeds to see if a solid tackle is available after the draft?
James Walker (4:56 PM)
I don't get it, but the team does like Hunter. The players like him, too. But I look more at the production on the field. He gets thrown around way too much for a guy his size. And his feet aren't very nimble, either. So I'm not sure what he brings as a starter.
James Walker (4:57 PM)
Ducasse is still a project. I didn't get to see training camp or the preseason last year, because I started late in the division. So I can't say I have a strong grasp on him. But the fact the Jets were afraid to make a position switch with Hunter tells me Ducasse is not close to being ready.
David (Ithaca, Ny)
Tannehill will be in Miami next year...Moore will start. Bank on it.
James Walker (4:58 PM)
Ok. We got your prediction.
James Walker (5:00 PM)
Everyone, thanks again for your time and question. Be sure to check out the AFC East blog for constant updates.