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Draft Day Rumor Room

April 26, 2012

The Vikings have been shopping the #3 pick heavily. Most assume they only want to trade down from #3 to #5 or #6 and take Matt Kalil while adding another draft pick yet Spielman is letting it be known that he’s willing to drop out of the Top 10 entirely as he wants as many picks as he can get this year. (Jon’s take: I’m not buying the out of the Top 10 part as I think they really like Matt Kalil but realize if he wasn’t drafted at #3 he probably would drop to #6 so why not move back and add picks. I still believe Kalil is their guy and they won’t drop too far.)

The Jets are heavily involved in talks for the #3 pick due to their love affair with Trent Richardson. (Jon’s take: I’m actually buying this as Mike Tannenbaum is an aggressive GM who has moved up in the draft for Mark Sanchez, David Harris, and Darrelle Revis plus the Jets have two QBs who I don’t think can be successful unless they have a dominant run game to lean on. The question is whether they can get the #3 pick at a discount like they did in the Sanchez trade or if they will have to trade the Vikings their 2013 1st rounder and their 2012 2nd rounder to move up to #3).

The Rams are in love with Richardson and are contemplating moving up for him. (Jon’s take: I’m not buying this at all as when I look at their roster I see 4 young building blocks on their roster inBradford, Long, Quinn, and Laurinaitis to go along with a few veterans like Courtland Finnegan and Steven Jackson. Their roster has holes everywhere and they want to replace a veteran who is probably their 5th best player? I knowJackson only has a few years left but to me LT and WR are much bigger needs to address so I think this is a smoke screen to allow them to get Kalil or Blackmon to drop to them.)

The Bills are eyeing a scenario where Kalil drops so they can swoop in and get him. (Jon’s take: I’m buying this wholeheartedly as offensive tackle is their biggest need and I’m getting the feeling that they aren’t in love with Riley Reiff at #10. I could see a scenario where the Vikings trade down out of the #3 spot and the Bills swoop in at #5 or #6 and take Kalil. I think the Rams could definitely draft Kalil but they are such a young team and after accumulating all of those picks from the Robert Griffin trade I could see them trading back again to #10 and telling their fans that they drafted (player at #10) while adding numerous 1st and 2nd rounders to improve the overall talent base. If I were the Bills Kalil would be the one guy I would trade my 2nd round pick for to move up the 3-5 spots as he’s the best LT I’ve graded since Joe Thomas came out of college and LT is the Bills biggest need.)

A team in the late 1st round has promised Bruce Irvin that they will select him. (I’m not buying this as Irvin has a 4th round grade on my board and even though many people have him as a 2nd rounder I just don’t see why a team would spend their 1st round pick on a guy who won’t be on the field half the time. He’s only 240 lbs and is absolutely jacked at that size so I’m unsure how much more weight he can add without losing speed and at that size he will never be more than a career pass rush specialist. Some would argue that Robert Mathis is a similar size and skill set but that isn’t valid to me as Mathis has elite bend in his rush whileIrving is a stiff, straight line player I compare to Dontay Moch last year. Also “promises” are rarely given in the NFL and it reminds me more of the NBA where a kid gets a promise and then shuts down his workouts for other teams. The NFL Draft is a different beast and I doubt a team in the late 1st round who has no idea what players will be available when they pick gave out a promise to Bruce Irvin.)

The Patriots are trying to combine their 2 first rounders to move up for Mark Barron. (I’m not buying this at all as a) the Patriots never move up b) the Patriots never draft two players in the 1st round despite always having two 1st rounders c) the Patriots moved Devon McCourty to safety and safety isn’t even a top need as long as they keep him there d) the Patriots like the pass rushers that should be available at #27 and #31 which is their biggest need.)

The Eagles are looking to move up. (I’m buying this as I wrote down the top 3-5 needs of each team in the 1st round and had real trouble coming up with 3 needs so this is the year they could exchange depth for starting talent. LT is a huge need for the Eagles in 2012 but in 2013 it won’t be a need at all as Jason Peters will be back again so I doubt they draft a player for a one year substitute unless they think he can then move to RT. They could use a safety and I think Barron does make sense for them to move up to get but I still remember their 2010 NFL Draft when everyone had them pegged to take safety Earl Thomas when they moved up in the 1st round that year. Instead they chose the pass rusher (Brandon Graham) with the pick and then selected S Nate Allen. The Eagles are very consistent with how they build their team and they de-emphasize LBs, TEs, and Ss. They were burned by this last year so they might be changing their strategy-the trade for DeMeco Ryans is an example of this-but I would still argue they will be moving up for a DL or OL as that’s their MO. If they move up expect it to be for Fletcher Cox.)

Seattle at #12 is Tannehill’s fall back team. (I’m buying that as Tannehill to Miami at #8 has been the de facto pick on all mock drafts the past 2 months and I still expect it to happen but if he falls I doubt it’s too far simply b/c Pete Carroll is in love with him. Reports say that he was in awe of Tannehill at his pro day and quietly told people with him that there was no chance he dropped to him. Peter King made a good argument of whySeattle won’t trade up for him but staying pat and taking him at #12 is still on the table if Tannehill falls.)

Marijuana is one hell of a drug! (I’m buying this as it has cost a lot of money to certain prospects and made them act pretty irrationally. Mike Adams and Janoris Jenkins were mid 1st round talents and Jayron Hosley was a late 1st/early 2nd round candidate yet all three of them have marijuana issues and are all likely to drop out of the 1st round. Surprisingly Dre Kirkpatrick, who was arrested for marijuana possession much more recently than Jenkins, is still a mid 1st round CB on most boards. It proves again the bias scouts have right now for any prospect coming out of theAlabama program.)

This draft will have a lot of surprises due to the pass rushers. (I’m buying this as I’ve never seen a year in which the #3 pass rusher is so interchangeable with the #8 pass rusher. I have two guys ahead of the others in Melvin Ingram and Whitney Mercilus and then have a lot of guys all jumbled up. My rankings from 3-8 go Nick Perry, Chandler Jones, Andre Branch, Shea McClellin, Jake Bequette, and Vinny Curry yet I’ve seen numerous mock drafts with Curry or McClellin sneaking in the top 20. Chandler Jones has had interest from teams in the top 15, Courtney Upshaw who I have rated as a 3rd rounder could go in the late teens, and I’ve heard recently that Ingram is dropping and now could be available toNew England at #27. Last year there were 3 guys in Robert Quinn, Von Miller, and Aldon Smith whom everyone liked yet this year it’s definitely a pick your style type pass rush class and I think it will cause some guys to go earlier than expected and some guys to go much later. I doubt many mock drafts will be accurate this year.)

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