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    Nick's Avatar
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    Pro Football Weekly examines updated thoughts on the top ten

    Setting the draft stage
    The latest word on what the teams with the top 10 picks are considering
    By Dan Arkush
    Feb. 25, 2008

    INDIANAPOLIS — Now that the coin has been flipped at this year’s Combine to determine the third through fifth spots in the 2008 draft, maybe the Falcons’ fortunes are starting to take a turn for the better. After all, the time seems right for an updated look at the draft strategies and mindsets of the teams who own this year’s top 10 picks.

    Here’s what our sources around the league were telling us as the Combine was winding down:

    1. Miami — The Dolphins appear to be going out of their way not to tip their hand, but our sources remain pretty confident that the team will select Boston College QB Matt Ryan, provided they don’t trade down. “It’s an easy decision,” a source told PFW. “They are pressing hard to move down now, but I don’t see it happening.”

    2. St. Louis — The word is the Rams are looking at both Michigan OLT Jake Long and LSU DT Glenn Dorsey, with a higher priority apparently on the offensive line given the team’s history of busting on early DT prospects. New Rams executive V.P. of player personnel Billy Devaney told PFW at the Combine that he is going to depend “tremendously” on the input of V.P. of player personnel Tony Softli, who suddenly is looking like he’ll stick around through at least the length of his contract, which has two years remaining after the draft.

    3. Atlanta — In conversations with team sources, we’re being told that they are looking primarily at quarterback (Ryan), left tackle (Long) and defensive tackle (Dorsey) — in that order. “Tackle is a desperate need,” one team source said. “They don't have a legitimate starting OT on the roster after cutting Wayne Gandy.”

    4. Oakland — Raiders officials say the always-intriguing Al Davis will look to fill his team’s most pressing needs first, starting at offensive tackle and defensive tackle. “That’s where it gets interesting,” a rival team executive told PFW. “Maybe (USC NT) Sedrick Ellis goes higher than he should. He’s more like a top-15 pick than top-10, but Al has always loved Trojans, and the head coach (Lane Kiffin) knows Ellis. Or maybe that's where the L.A. kid (Boise State OLT Ryan Clady) goes. Al won't care about (character concerns).”

    5. Kansas City — Chiefs officials say they are looking hard at offensive tackle, cornerback and wide receiver, in that order, and will reach for an OT if they can't move down. We hear the preferred OT choice of Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards is Pittsburgh OLT Jeff Otah.

    6. N.Y. Jets — The consensus is that they’re looking first and foremost for a running back and a hybrid DE-OLB, with Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart, Virginia DE-OLB Chris Long and Ohio State OLB Vernon Gholston as the primary suspects. The team is still exploring options in free agency, not to mention shopping Jonathan Vilma and Dewayne Robertson — moves that could seriously alter their draft plans.

    7. New England — With Asante Samuel asking for $11 million in free agency, a figure the Pats’ brain trust will absolutely not pay, the team is eyeing a cornerback, but more than anything, we hear they would like to move down the same way everyone in front of them would. Said one team insider: “This could be a good spot for Gholston, but their coaches are not that far into the draft yet, coming off their Super Bowl run, and they always have considerable input.”

    8. Baltimore — We hear the Ravens would like to address the QB position but will probably be looking for a badly needed cornerback with Ryan expected to be long gone. In that case, our sources believe their choice will likely be either Virginia Tech’s Brandon Flowers or Troy’s Leodis McKelvin.

    9. Cincinnati — With Justin Smith on the way out of Cincy, we hear the Bengals are looking hard at defensive end, just as they were a year ago in the first round, when head coach Marvin Lewis loved Jarvis Moss but was scared by his background concerns. Word is Florida’s Derrick Harvey, who has a cleaner character than Moss and is a more versatile player, and Clemson’s Phillip Merling are two players they like a lot. It’s also possible an offensive tackle such as Vanderbilt’s Chris Williams could be an option, with a big run on tackles expected to occur in the top part of Round One.

    10. New Orleans — We hear the Saints are desperate for a corner and are not willing to enter the extreme bidding for Samuel, thus making McKelvin, South Florida’s Mike Jenkins and Kansas’ Aqib Talib top considerations.

    One more interesting development worth noting: Conspicuous by his absence in the above observations is Darren McFadden, who could be in the midst of a Randy Moss-type plunge in the first round due to character issues the Arkansas running back might not be able to shake.

    How bad has it gotten for McFadden, who was widely considered to be a surefire top-five pick not too long ago? Not only has his stock fallen beneath the likes of Stewart and Illinois’ Rashard Mendenhall, we also hear fellow Razorbacks RB Felix Jones could now conceivably be selected before him.

    Typically in recent years, it has been quarterbacks who have fallen hard. The safe landing spot for McFadden, as it was for free-falling Brady Quinn a year ago, is at No. 22, where fellow Arkansas alum and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is still said to be very interested, if he does not get overexcited and package his two first-round picks to land him sooner. Carolina, who traded down a year ago, and Chicago both need runners and are prime trading candidates who could help Dallas end a McFadden free fall. Perhaps helping offset some of McFadden’s character concerns is the unofficial 4.27 time he posted in the 40-yard dash at the Combine.


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    Re: Pro Football Weekly examines updated thoughts on the top ten

    Gee, how do you like that? So many threads on this site are trying to figure out what to do if Chris Long is gone and our FO is talking Jake Long or Glenn Dorsey. I'm not ruling out "playing poker" by not talking about who you REALLY want, but it just seems wierd. Llet's face it there is only 1 pick ahead of and not too many teams are willing to trade into the #1 spot to take anyone we would select. They would trade up for a QB (Ryan) or RB (McFadden).

    That's what makes the NFL Draft so much fun!

    Go Rams!:r

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    Re: Pro Football Weekly examines updated thoughts on the top ten

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Setting the draft stage
    The latest word on what the teams with the top 10 picks are considering
    By Dan Arkush
    Feb. 25, 2008

    Here’s what our sources around the league were telling us as the Combine was winding down:
    2. St. Louis — The word is the Rams are looking at both Michigan OLT Jake Long and LSU DT Glenn Dorsey, with a higher priority apparently on the offensive line given the team’s history of busting on early DT prospects. New Rams executive V.P. of player personnel Billy Devaney told PFW at the Combine that he is going to depend “tremendously” on the input of V.P. of player personnel Tony Softli, who suddenly is looking like he’ll stick around through at least the length of his contract, which has two years remaining after the draft.
    Wow!! They don't even mention Chris Long's name and the Rams in the same paragraph. I don't see how the Rams could not be considering Chris Long at this point. Especially with the news that Dorsey has lingering health issues. and we still don't know if Jake Long can even play left tackle in the NFL. At least with Chris Long we are more assured as to his skill set for the NFL. I wonder if the vaunted Linehan "smoke screen" has started now.

    WHAT SAY YE?

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    Re: Pro Football Weekly examines updated thoughts on the top ten

    St. Louis — The word is the Rams are looking at both Michigan OLT Jake Long and LSU DT Glenn Dorsey, with a higher priority apparently on the offensive line given the team’s history of busting on early DT prospects.
    Call it what you want, the Rams misdirection campaign has begun.

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    Re: Pro Football Weekly examines updated thoughts on the top ten

    Call it what you want, the Rams misdirection campaign has begun.
    Nice call Mike.

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    Re: Pro Football Weekly examines updated thoughts on the top ten

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Call it what you want, the Rams misdirection campaign has begun.
    My thoughts exactly. If the Rams are looking to trade down with KC (I think this is a possibility), pretending to be high on Jake Long would be the best way to make it happen.

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    Re: Pro Football Weekly examines updated thoughts on the top ten

    busting on early DT prospects.
    Why not say OL and DE because we have missed on DT LOL.

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    Re: Pro Football Weekly examines updated thoughts on the top ten

    I just gave out a big laugh. If the Rams honestly don't select Glenn Dorsey because of their prior history of drafting DT busts then they should go jump off a cliff. The failures of drafting WRs did not stop the Lions from taking Calvin Johnson last year because everyone knew it would be insane to pass on a talent like him just based on prior faults. If the Rams are leaning toward Dorsey and don't take him just based on that reasoning then it is ludicrous, but if they actually feel Jake Long is the better player then that is a different story.

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    Re: Pro Football Weekly examines updated thoughts on the top ten

    Man...I don't see Chris Long's name. I'm going to be super pissed if they pass him up if he's available...

  10. #10
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Pro Football Weekly examines updated thoughts on the top ten

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    and we still don't know if Jake Long can even play left tackle in the NFL.
    I'll say this - I didn't see anything at the combine workouts that suggested Long couldn't play left tackle in the NFL.

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Call it what you want, the Rams misdirection campaign has begun.
    Could be, could be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald_81 View Post
    I just gave out a big laugh. If the Rams honestly don't select Glenn Dorsey because of their prior history of drafting DT busts then they should go jump off a cliff. The failures of drafting WRs did not stop the Lions from taking Calvin Johnson last year because everyone knew it would be insane to pass on a talent like him just based on prior faults. If the Rams are leaning toward Dorsey and don't take him just based on that reasoning then it is ludicrous, but if they actually feel Jake Long is the better player then that is a different story.
    Well, I agree and disagree.

    Passing on a guy at a position solely because of the failures of previous players you've drafted at the same position would be stupid. As you illustrated, the Lions' past draft failures @ WR have no bearing on how CJ would do as a prospect.

    But there are concerns about drafting guys at the same position over multiple years. For one, money. How much money do you have invested in a position, and can you afford to continue investing big bucks there? And secondly, the Rams have watched multiple first round defensive tackles underperform for them because of injury issues. Like it or not, that past experience is going to affect how they view a guy like Dorsey, who has injury issues.

    So yeah, while it would be stupid to pass on a guy solely because other previously drafted players haven't worked out, I think it's reasonable to assume those past failures have been part of a learning experience that might affect future judgment in similar circumstances.

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