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pakowitz 04-23-2003 03:08 PM

Chat wrap: Randy Mueller
 
http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=3429


Welcome to ESPN.com's moderated chat room. On Wednesday, April 23, ESPN.com NFL analyst and former New Orleans Saints GM Randy Mueller took your NFL draft questions in chat.

Mueller was named the Saints GM in January of 2000. He immediately turned the team around, hiring a new head coach in Jim Haslett, acquiring quarterback Jeff Blake and wide receiver Joe Horn, and lead the team to a 10-6 record and the first playoff win in club history. For his efforts, Mueller was named the NFL Executive of the Year by The Sporting News.

Prior to joining the Saints, Mueller served as Vice President of Football Operations for the Seattle Seahawks since 1995. He was responsible for bringing WR Joey Galloway, RB Ricky Watters and CB Shawn Springs to Seattle via both the draft and free agency.

The following is a transcript of the April 23 chat:

Mueller will also be taking your questions all weekend long starting Saturday, April 26 at noon ET as part of NFL DraftCast. Mueller is also filing reports for ESPN Insider on the inner workings of the NFL draft: Preparation| Execution


Randy Mueller: I am here and ready to go!

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Bill, ( Farmville, Va.): What do you think Dallas should do with the #5 pick, trade it or selct Newman or Suggs. If they trade it, how far down do you think they will go #10??

Randy Mueller: Well, Dallas needs help in a lot of areas. Probably moreso on defense. If they could parlay the pick into several that would be great. Otherwise, it's hard to go wrong with a big body defensive lineman or a cover corner which is where I think they are leaning.


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Brian (Jacksonville): I thought Leftwich had a better college career than Palmer. So what makes Palmer the beter choice than Leftwich? Don't teams want the player that was more productive in college?

Randy Mueller: I'm not sure that he is. But, I think USC and the schedule and competition they played probably leaves less doubt in a decsion makers mind. I think Leftwich will be a great NFL player.


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Ryan (Woodbridge,VA): Randy, Any news on why Lee Suggs seems to be dropping so far? Is he still a potential 2nd rounder? What teams have interest? Thanks!

Randy Mueller: I think he is still a first day guy. I think his size or his stature may have created some doubts as to whether he is an every down back in the NFL.


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W.W. Steele - Madison, WI: What on earth are the Packers going to do in this draft? So many needs, so few picks. Trade up? Trade down? Stay put?

Randy Mueller: Well, in order to fill four needs you have to fill one first. You have to start somewhere. Their defense could use an infusion of young talent. This is a good draft for that.


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Dan(Mt. Pleasant,MI): Mr. Mueller- I am a huge Saints fan. I was very upset about how Benson handled the whole situation. You gave our team hope for once.Thank you on behalf of Saints fans. How do you get any sleep during draft weekend because it is so long?

Randy Mueller: You have to sleep fast! I think it just comes with the territory. It's what we do. We love it. The passion keeps you going. If you get 3-4 hours a night in the month leading up to the draft, you are doing pretty good.


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Robert Strong Oscoda, MI: Would'nt Cincinnati be better off trading down or drafting a CB or WR, because of past failures with QB's such as Akili Smith?

Randy Mueller: I think Cincinnati could use mulitiple picks but that is easier said than done moving out of the No. 1 spot. Everybody talks about it but it's tough to get someone to come way up there. I think they are probably asking for an unfair amount for that spot.


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Sean Seattle WA: Do you think the Seahawks will try to trade up to have a better shot at getting Dewayne Robertson.

Randy Mueller: They might try but I don't think they will be successful. A lot of teams will have more options to move up.


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Marker (Washington DC): I've noticed many teams will neglect a glaring need because a player fell to them that they didn't expect to see, like Deuce McAllister. How far does a player have to fall before value outweighs need, and doesn't that sometimes mess with a team's strategy for an entire draft?

Randy Mueller: It does mess with your strategy. Every year that happens. But the pressures now on a GM to win right away dictate that you fill needs for the most part. It doesn't happen as much now as in years past. Nobody is good enough that you can draft a player and sit on him for a few years.


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Steve - D.C.: Do you think Detroit should take Charles Rodgers or should they try to trade down to acquire more draft picks?

Randy Mueller: Again, I think always trading down is good if you have multiple holes to fill. But it's all about supply and demand.


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Chris: (Lisbon, Me): Did the RAIDERS send anyone to McGahee's workout yesterday and should they be considered the front runner to take him?

Randy Mueller: They could be. History has shown they are likely to do anything. I don't know if they were there or not. I think it will be hard for a team to pick a player who may or may not be able to play this year. I'm sure they have medical reports that may be as important as anything in regards to when he will be able to play.


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Joshua, Ms.: Who's the biggest sleeper in the draft?

Randy Mueller: The DL from Penn St. Michael Haynes is tough. He has good quickness and natural pass rush skills. Most are predicting third or fourth round but he could have first round talent.


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Fred -- Baltimore: Which QB would be the bigger immediate impact player for the Ravens--Leftwich or Boller?

Randy Mueller: I think Leftwich is as polished a QB as we have seen in the draft in several years. He is big, strong, and has played in a pro-style QB. He is ready to go.

Boller has had one good year and that is always a concern.


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Mike (Boston MA): What is the likelihood that the Steelers will really take a QB in the first round? Isn't it more likely they'll go after a defensive back since their secondary was torched all last season? Will there be any good first round values left at 27?

Randy Mueller: I think they have some bigger needs than QB .. a DB or OT. But I think they will take a QB in the top four rounds.


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Greg: (Fishers, IN): What do you think the chances are of Boss Bailey still being left for the Colts in the #24 slot, and if he's not what are some other possibilities?

Randy Mueller: I think there is an outside chance. His explosiveness push him into the top 20 and that there really aren't that many LBs. If they don't do that, they could go after a guard or defensive tackle. They have needs in both areas.


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Derik (East Lansing, MI): Who do you see having more impact in the NFL, Charlie Rogers or Andre Johnson?

Randy Mueller: I think the system has something to say about it. If Rogers goes to Detroit and Johnson goes to Houston, I think Mariucci's offense is more suited for a guy to get the ball quickly. Houston is still going to struggle a little bit because they are an expansion team. They should both play early and contribute though.


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ZACK (BOSTON): SIMPLE QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE PATRIOTS GONNA DO?!

Randy Mueller: They've got a lot of picks! They can move around with all those picks. They are leaning towards defense and need a couple lineman. Maybe a receiver in rounds 3-4. I think they will go defense early though.


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Jeff (Portland, OR): Why wouldn't Dallas take Leftwich? I know that they have needs elsewhere, but you don't have an opportunity to get a Peyton Manning type of franchise QB like that very often.

Randy Mueller: I agree wholeheartedly. Great point. Maybe they feel like Hutchinson is going to be a player down the road, moreso than most. But I agree with you, esp. in Leftwich's case.


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Rob Louisiana: Every year at least one really talented 1st round prospect falls much further than teams expect. ( Warren Sapp, Deuce McAllister, etc..) Who do you think will be the surprise player in this years draft?

Randy Mueller: Possibly Justin Fargas .. just because it seems people are wanting to draft RB's later. Maybe Larry Johnson also.


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Nate (Green Bay, Wisc.): Hey Randy....What are th chances of EJ Henderson getting by the Browns and slipping to the Packers at #29?

Randy Mueller: I think it's possible. He will be the No. 1 MLB. It's all supply and demand. Anyone that wants a MLB will take him or Boss Bailey. But I think it's unlikely he falls that far.


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Drew (Marshalltown,IA): What will the Vikes do with the #7 pick? Thanks!

Randy Mueller: I think they are hoping they can trade down. There seems to be an issue as to whether they can spend money or not. If not, they will take a DL. They need to be bigger and stronger up front to stop the run. It's a great draft to do that.


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Nathan (Manchester, CT): While as a GM you have to worry about your team's needs, how important is it to keep tabs on other teams needs which may conflict with your own?

Randy Mueller: It's very important .. I think the 2-3 days leading up to the draft, that is when teams pay the most attention to that. You have to know what the teams around you are doing. That is how you strategize who will be there when you pick. But there is also a lot of propaganda out there so you have to filter through that.


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Shane, St. louis: Another SIMPLE question: What are the Rams going to do in the draft? It seems you never know what Mike Martz will do.

Randy Mueller: Yes, they have kept people guessing in the past. No question. They could use an interior OL. A corner. Aneas Williams is getting older. They always seem to be a wild card. You are never sure where they are going to go.


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Kevin( Myrtle Beach): Isn't It a bit of a waste to take a safety in the first round unless they are a can't miss player. Corner are better athelets and can make the move to safety if necessary.

Randy Mueller: I agree wholeheartedly. A safety, by nature, have less impact. A corner has more impact. I've always had the philosophy that it's hard to justify paying a safety first-round money.


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Joey(Boston): This is a DL draft no doubt. But in your opinion, which of all these is gunna turn out to be the best pro?

Randy Mueller: I think Jimmy Kennedy and Dewayne Robertson will be excellent impact players right away. I also think Jerome McDougle and Calvin Pace from Wake Forest will also be excellent pros. It's hard to say who will be the best .. it will depend on the defense they go to and if they get the opportunity to make plays. It all depends on the scheme they go to.

Thanks for all the questions. I'm looking forward to spending the weekend taking more of your questions. Draft weekend is a great time to be an NFL fan!

I'll talk to you again on Saturday!


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