Posted on: April 25, 2009 5:11 pm
The Jaguars stand pat at #8 and get a talent in Eugene Monroe that deserved consideration much eariler. The free agent adidtion of Tra Thomas made this more of a value selection for the Jaguars, than addressing a huge need, but the Jags are better now.
The Green Bay Packers are now on the clock and are presented with an interesting dilemma.
Michael Crabtree is a terrific talent, but there may not be a stronger position for the Packers than wide receiver. They'd love to get their nose guard here with BJ Raji. The team also wants an offensive tackle and Michael Oher is as talented as any of the other 3 OTs that were selected ahead of him.
A. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
B. BJ Raji, NG, Boston College
C. Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
D. Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
Ultimately, to win with the 3-4 defense, the Packers need to acquire a nose guard. Expect Raji to be the pick.
Posted on: April 24, 2009 7:20 pm
It is generally assumed that the St. Louis Rams are going to take one of the top tackles with the second overall pick. The consensus is that the pick will be either Baylor's Jason Smith or Virginia's Eugene Monroe.
The tackle not selected by the Rams could take a serious tumble down the board, according to the latest rumors circulating throughout the league.
The Chiefs will consider one of the tackles, especially Monroe, I'm told. However, most believe the Chiefs have locked in on either Wake Forest linebacker or LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson with third pick and will allow either tackle to continue to slide past.
Seattle also has concerns along the offensive line and are thought to be higher on Jason Smith. Still, they seem to be focused more, at this point, on USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Curry, should he remain available.
Cleveland, is obviously set at left tackle with young Pro Bowler Joe Thomas, but may consider one of the tackles for the right side. The fifth overall pick on a right tackle seems is pretty steep, however, especially when insiders suggest the Browns are locking in on either Sanchez or Boston College defensive tackle BJ Raji.
Cincinnati would seem like the logical landing point for the tackles, but I'm told offensive line coach Paul Alexander loves Andre Smith and wants to take him over any other tackle in this draft. Few teams take their position coaches' opinions into account more than the Bengals, and it isn't difficult to understand why, considering the success the Bengals have had in developing several quality (non-first round) offensive linemen over the years, including Eric Steinbach, Stacy Andrews and Andre Whitworth, among others...
The Raiders certainly need help along the offensive line, but I'm told Al Davis is going to devote much of the draft towards acquiring weapons for JaMarcus Russell... I'd argue that protecting his blindside would be a good way to towards helping Russell out, but the Raiders think differently than most teams on draft day and seem to be leaning towards a receiver...
The Jaguars could be the first realistic option for the falling tackle -- and even they are certainly no lock considering the fact that they signed Tra Thomas in free agency... Watch out for a small trade up from Green Bay (#9) or San Francisco (#10) who would each welcome the falling tackle on their team.
Considering the tackle passed by St. Louis at #2 could be available this late, some lucky team may be poised to be one of the few top ten drafting teams to actually get a bargain on draft day.
Posted on: April 12, 2009 7:50 pm
Sources within the league tell me that several more veteran trades could be on the horizon with talk between clubs "heating up" over the past few days.
Among the names being tossed about are Cleveland wide receiver Braylon Edwards and quarterback Brady Quinn, Buffalo offensive tackle Jason Peters, Kansas City running back Larry Johnson and Houston cornerback Dunta Robinson.
The Giants, according to the source, are strongly considering making an offer for Edwards as a replacement for Plaxico Burress. Speculation has it that the Browns expect a first and third round pick for the former #3 overall pick.The Giants own 10 picks in the 2009 draft, including two picks in the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th rounds.
Speculation has been rampant that the Denver Broncos would be a possible destination for Brady Quinn, should the Browns elect to trade him, but I'm told that the New York Jets are another possible destination for Quinn. The Browns are thought to be enamored with USC junior quarterback Mark Sanchez and could be in position to nab him with the 5th pick of the draft.
With Terrell Owens already creating a distraction in Buffalo, the rumor in scouting circles is that the Bills are getting increasingly fed up with the antics of disgruntled offensive tackle Jason Peters and may be on the verge of shipping the young star elsewhere should they receive a suitable offer. Among those potentially interested are the Rams, Jaguars, Bengals and Eagles. The Eagles, owners of the 21st and 28th picks of this year's draft, are reportedly working the phones already in an effort to move up for one of the top young tackles, but may find the trade for the veteran more palatable.
The talk around Larry Johnson has been quieter than others, but call this one a hunch... Scott Pioli will not end the first day of the draft with only one player. The Chiefs currently own only one pick on the first day -- the 3rd overall -- due to the trade for quarterback Matt Cassel.
Finally, don't rule out a trade of franchised cornerback Dunta Robinson out of Houston, either. The discussions between Robinson and the team have been increasingly frosty, I'm told, and the Texans are in prime position, with the 15th pick of the draft, to take their pick of the top cornerbacks. Many, including I, have projected Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins with this pick, but there is increasing talk that Connecticut's Darius Butler is also a consideration should Houston elect to take a cornerback to either pair with or replace Robinson.
Posted on: April 10, 2009 8:21 pm
According to a report by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the NFL is going to invite at least 10 players this year to Radio City Music Hall for draft day. The number is nearly double that which the league has invited in recent years and is likely an attempt on the league's part to give the increasingly made-for-television-event a reality-TV appeal. The decision to invite more players was made to highlight especially intriguing players, including some who aren't necessarily expected to be within the top ten picks.
Among the players (listed alphabetically) expected to attend are:
WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
OLB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
OLB Brian Cushing, USC
QB Josh Freeman, Kansas State
OT Eugene Monroe, Virginia
OT Michael Oher, Mississippi
DE/OLB Brian Orakpo, Texas
OT Jason Smith, Baylor
QB Matthew Stafford, Georgia
Some notable names are missing on this list, not the least of which is USC quarterback Mark Sanchez (who, according to Mortensen's report is currently planning on spending the draft with friends and family), Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith and Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.
Interestingly enough, I spoke with Aaron Curry yesterday in preparation for Part 3 of the four-part "Road to the Draft" we're doing and he had not yet been invited...
The most players I recall the NFL ever inviting to New York for the draft was 11, back in 1996. The 1996 draft was memorable for many reasons -- Keyshawn Johnson was the last wide receiver selected with the top pick and no linebacker has been selected as high since the Jaguars made former Illinois standout Kevin Hardy the second overall pick. The 1996 draft was also memorable in that it featured the only player invited to NYC by the league that slipped entirely out of the first round. The Cardinals made running back Leeland McElroy the second pick of the second round (32nd overall).
Tags: Aaron Curry, Andre Smith, Arizona Cardinals, Brian Cushing, Brian Orakpo, Eugene Monroe, green room, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jason Smith, Jeremy Maclin, Josh Freeman, Kevin Hardy, Keyshawn Johnson, Leeland McElroy, Mark Sanchez, Matthew Stafford, Michael Crabtree, Michael Oher, New York Jets, NFL Draft
Posted on: April 6, 2009 6:27 pm
The Seattle Seahawks own the 4th pick of the draft and are thought to be considering using the pick on the eventual successor to Matt Hasselbeck. Some have theorized that if the Detroit Lions were to select someone other than Georgia's Matt Stafford with the top pick that the Seahawks would end his "fall." Others believe the Seahawks may take USC's Mark Sanchez at #4 regardless of what the Lions do.
Through savvy decisions in free agency and trade, Seattle general manager Tim Ruskell has put the team in position to take the best available player with the fourth pick of the draft. The team entered the off-season with clear needs at receiver, offensive tackle, and defensive tackle but filled those with the signing of TJ Houshmandzadeh, re-signing of Ray Willis and trade for Cory Redding. They could look to fill their greatest remaining need at outside linebacker with Aaron Curry, if he was available, or look to the future with OTs Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe, receiver Michael Crabtree, or one of the quarterbacks.
Ruskell will be able to make a much more informed decision after this week's mini-camp.
The 33-year old Hasselbeck is expected to participate in the mini-camp, after missing 9 games last season with a bulging disk in his back.
Though there won't be anything even remotely resembling the physicality of a regular season game in this week's mini-camp, how Hasselbeck performs could be a critical component in the Seahawks' decision on draft day.
Sanchez is one of the real wildcards of the 2009 draft, with his projected team ranging from Seattle at #4, Jacksonville at #8 or San Francisco (#10) all the way into the deep teens with the Jets (#17) and Bucs (#19).