Draft Blog - #3
Well, weíre down to the final hours before the draft, and all the rumors, mostly false, and evaluations are finished, and the first round shapes up to be pretty predictable, even though every year offers a big first round surprise, like James Carpenter last year.
So now itís time for fearless predictions and surely incorrect mock drafts, and guesses as to which team will trade down to make a big splash, as Atlanta did last season. Expect more trades, thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, and how it limits the top ten to less than half of what they got two years ago.
Clearly the focus as this is written is on pick #3, that is being shopped around by the Vikings, who donít need the clear cut third best player in the draft, running back Trent Richardson. I donít see the Vikings, however, moving down so far they canít get an impact player, and most of the teams who would love to get Richardson, like the Jets, donít have the trading chips to get a deal done.
I see it as a two team race to get the 3rd pick, between Miami and Tampa Bay. I also think Miami would be going there to get Richardson, NOT QB Ryan Tannehill. However, in the end, I think Tampa Bay gets the pick, and uses it to take the Pensacola, Florida native. They somehow let Pensacolaís Emmitt Smith get away years ago, and I donít see the Glazers letting that happen again.. Of course New England, with so many picks , could also get in the Richardson sweepstakes.
The Vikings know they will still get OT Matt Kalil or Justin Blackmon, or CB Morris Claiborne at #5, and Tampa knows staying at #5 means there is a good chance they get left with Kalil or Blackmon, who they donít need as much as a RB or CB. Thatís why I think it would be smart for tem to give up a second rounder to get Richardson instead of possibly having to deal down again or pick DT Fletcher Cox, not considered in the range of the top five.
So then you have the two QBs Luck and Griffin, going to Indy and Washington, and Richardson to Tampa Bay. This leaves Cleveland, who donít need Kalil, probably trying to trade down to a team that does want Kalil or Claiborne. If they stay put, theyíll take either Claiborne or Blackmon. Minnesota at #5 would then take whoever is left or Kalil.
Which bring us to the Rams. I think they are set on taking Blackmon if there, but have an idea he wonít be. They wonít trade up to get him, as the cost is too high. If Minnesota opts for Kalil, or perhaps deals down with Buffalo, who takes him, the Rams would probably take Claiborne. That would fill their CB needs for years, and give them two very good backups in Fletcher and Murphy, plus the other decent CBs they brought in last year.
If the Rams are left with Kalil as the top rated player, I think they would try to trade down, maybe to 10th, but if they find no takers, would go for either WR Michael Floyd or DT Fletcher Cox. This is worst case scenario for the Rams.
Jacksonville, selecting 7th, is also open to deal down, maybe to a team wanting Tannehill that has to get ahead of Miami, perhaps Kansas City. If they stay put, Jacksonville would go for Cox, Floyd, or a defensive end. I see Miami taking Tannehill, then Carolina going for Cox, or another DE or DT at #9.
Buffalo would love to get a shot a Kalil, Blackmon, or Claiborne at #10, and will try to deal for one of them. If they end up staying at 10, and donít trade down to Dallas, Philly, or another team after S Mark Barron or LB Luke Kuechley, or maybe Cox, I see them taking Kuechley or an OT, maybe Reily Reiff, though his stock has fallen.
Barron, DE Melvin Ingram, CB Stephon Gilmore, and G David DeCastro appear to be the guys going off the board from 10-15, then after that it could go any which way the rest of round one.
Thatís my only, and final guess at what I think is gonna go down, and the Vikings could get their deal done BEFORE the draft, or maybe not at all since they know the guy teams looking to deal up for will surely be there, barring some catastrophe happening to Luck or Griffin.