Andrew Luck, Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Dontari Poe, Justin Blackmon, Malcolm Floyd, matt kalil, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, Robert Griffin, ryan grigson, ryan tannehill, shae mcclellin
Well the draft is a week a way. I’ve been building a draft board (up early next week) and will have a mock draft by Monday I hope. But it’s always good to bounce some rumors around and see if they’re credible or smoke and mirrors – a phenomenon that’s always present this time of year.
Rumor 1: The Colts may take RG3 over Luck.
Look there are two number one picks this year, and I think both teams could work with both players, but I don’t think this has a lot of traction. Sure the Colt’s GM Ryan Grigson has been very coy with his selection without reason, but it’s good practice to keep teams guessing even when everyone knows your pick. Luck is polished, will work well with the remaining veterans of the Manning era, and brings a very real sense of hope to this franchise that is struggling to sell tickets. I’m basically saying we’re 98% sure its Luck here at NFLAm.
Rumor 2: The Vikings aren’t high on Matt Kalil.
This seems to be gaining traction. Despite months of reports that the Vikings were heading for a blind side protector for Christian Ponder, there’s a school of thought that a new weapon or an elite cover corner could help the team more. I thought Peter King was exaggerating when he said that GM’s had no idea about picks 3-10, but that seems to be gaining more steam as we go. As far as the Vikings go, it makes sense. Consider the two prime examples of teams that have spent high picks on the supposedly safe, responsible pick – a left tackle. The Browns selected Joe Thomas – perennial pro bowl player and no doubt an elite left tackle. How many games have the Browns won with him? Answer is not many. And they passed up Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, Darrelle Reivs to select him. Is it fair to think that the Browns might be better off with Adrian Peterson over Thomas? Maybe
How about Miami who took Jake Long first overall the following year? Jake Long has been a pro bowl tackle, and no one questions that it was not a wasted selection, but they passed over Matt Ryan that year, and Joe Flacco. Both quarterbacks who have gotten their teams to the playoffs and won games. How much would Miami want a franchise quarterback now?
My point is this – While most draftniks believe that it’s respectable, responsible, and safer to select the top flight tackle early in the draft because it protects your most valuable position from dangerous hits, I am turning on the belief in favor of a risk approach. Teams that continue to do that, eschewing potential stars and play makers, find themselves struggling to win without them. Teams find starting quality linemen all over the draft. Lineman probably average out to the best deepest draft position in general. Teams find all pro tackles in the 5th round, or free agents. It’s hard to value one that much more to pass over an elite talent wide receiver who can force teams to change defenses to accommodate him. I think that this is very real talk and honestly I would not be surprised to see the Vikings move on Blackmon to provide Ponder with a real weapon and give AD some room to run.
Rumor 3 – The Eagles like Ryan Tannehill.
This is a weird one for me and smells like a lot of smoke. The Eagles could use a backup to groom into a future starter, but for them to be considering trading up for the 3rd best QB in this draft? Not a lot of sense for me. If he falls there, I still think they’ll move in a direction that helps them win now, not down the road. Tannehill should be long gone before he gets to them (though I’m not sure where he will go).
Rumor 4 – Malcolm Floyd is a better WR prospect than Justin Blackmon
Solid evidence on this rumor, which is more of an opinion than anything else. I like Floyd for his size and the way he goes to get the ball. Its reminiscent of Larry Fitzgerald. His speed is much better on game day than without pads. I still think Blackmon is a better prospect. He consistently beats 1-1 coverage, makes plays on the big stage, and plays bigger than his size. Both catch extremely well and run crisp routes. I think teams getting either are getting a solid prospect, but I would go with Blackmon.
Rumor 5 – Brandon Weeden is a 1st round prospect
No. He’s not. He’s a high 2nd round talent, but with the need for quarterbacks there’s a shot that a team like the Browns reaches late in the 1st for him. Happens every year.
Rumor 6 – Shae McClellin is a 1st round prospect.
Seems that way. I haven’t be able to watch a lot of games of him, but I have been reading a lot of reports about how he plays. Mayock loves him as an instinctive play maker that can rush the passer and makes big plays in big games. He essentially flew from a 3rd round guy to a top 25 almost overnight. It’d be tough for me to call this rumor, and while I don’t see the Clay Mathews comparisons, I do see talent there that will entice a 3-4 team to see him as an edge rusher who can seal the edge on the run as well.
Rumor 7 -The Cowboys LOVE Dontari Poe
This is tough. It smells a lot like fiction to me. Teams usually don’t let info like that slip out so far ahead in the draft. But, the manner in which this rumor developed was a lot like the story last year that the Broncos would take Von Miller over Marcel Dareus. The different is that the Broncos lost contain on that the day before the draft.
Still the Cowboys need an elite nose tackle, Poe has Elite potential, and that kind of star power might convince them they can get him to play hard for them. It’s a toss-up for me. Could be a situation of people speculating on team need and falling prospect, and it could have some real traction behind it. There’s not going to be a lot of other options that fill needs like that.