Interview with Dave Razzano by Dewey Hammond.
Dave Razzano is a former NFL scout and Playmaker Mobile correspondent with more than 22 years of professional scouting experience with the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals under NFL coaches including Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Chuck Knox and Dick Vermeil. He's been a part of five Super Bowls with three Super Bowl wins (49ers, 1989, 1990; Rams, 2000).
Q: Who is going to get the majority of carries this season, Darren Sproles or the rookie out of Fresno State, Ryan Mathews?
A: No question, barring injury, it'll be Ryan Mathews. He's a bigger and stronger guy. Sproles will be a situational guy who will come in to spell Mathews. But it's Mathews who will be the bread and butter guy. It's an easy position to produce as a rookie, and Mathews will get the nod.
Q: Who is another rookie who can be productive right off the bat?
A: I like Donald Butler, third-round linebacker out of Washington. He'll be productive on special teams. At linebacker, he can play inside. He can substitute in there and rotate with Kevin Burnett and Stephen Cooper. They need to get Shawne Merriman up to snuff because he's a good player and he can produce when he's healthy.
Q: Philip Rivers has been successful over the years, but the roster has changed quite a bit. LT is gone. Vince Jackson is suspended…
A: He won't miss a beat. He's got the same intangibles as Peyton Manning. He lost Marvin Harrison and in stepped Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie. When you have a franchise QB as driven as Rivers is, you're going to win. There is no holding him back. It doesn't matter exactly who his receivers and backs are. He'll find receivers. He'll find the running game. When you have a legitimate franchise QB, losing a receiver here or there is OK. The next guy will step in and be productive.
Q: Let's pretend like the season plays out like it does on paper. The Chargers win the division and go to the playoffs. Who do they match up well against, who do they not?
A: I think you can move the ball against the Chargers right now. Not enough depth on the defensive and the corners are shaky. I wouldn't want to play the Colts if I'm the Chargers. Manning can dissect this defense. They're going to have to outscore people. They're going to be more of an offensive-led team, especially with Merriman injured and Jamal Williams, the big time nose tackle, lost to Denver. I'd be worried about Manning. He's going to move it up and down the field.