Warning: NFL draft approaching

Posted: April 23, 2007 in Uncategorized
There have been tons written about the first five or ten picks, both the players and the teams that own those picks. We all remember how Houston had a brain-fart at #1 last year…will it happen again this year? A few years ago, San Diego scored HUGE by drafting Eli Manning #1, so it does pay to pick someone you don’t need…or even want.
 
Let’s begin by noting that every expert and every team believes WR Calvin Johnson is the ONLY can’t-miss draft prospect. The Redskins and the Bucanneers are both salivating for him (several other teams only have their tongues hanging out with hopeful anticipation he’s still available when they pick). But nobody wants to trade up to get him…yet. And the Redskins SHOULD NOT trade up because it would kill them both in later rounds, the salary cap and the next two drafts…but they’re always crazy at this time of year.
 
Here’s what could probably transpire, if some teams were smart and others were desperate:
 
With the #1 pick, Oakland needs to get a decent QB. They definitely do NOT need another receiver. Smart money sez they will go with QB JaMarcus Russell (they could take QB Brady Quinn, but regardless, they need a QB). Now, at the #4 slot Tampa Bay is counting on the first three picks to be two QBs and a defensive end…leaving Johnson available for Tampa to just scoop away, no muss, no fuss. And Tampa’s not willing to trade away the pick, they really want this guy.
 
If Oakland were smart: pick Johnson. That will royally piss off the Bucs…they will be on the red phone within seconds. And if there’s one thing Al Davis likes to do, it’s pissing people off. Tampa won’t even watch numbers two and three, because this is going to set off a wildfire of calls from other teams, and clocks will run to the last second because of offers flooding in.
 
Outcome: Tampa Bay will trade their #4 and their early second round pick to Oakland, plus a pick from next year, saving the Raiders about $20 million dollars, getting them another high draft pick, and they will likely get Russell anyway at #4 (the Bengals at #3 seem set to take QB Brady Quinn…if they take Russell instead, Oakland goes with Quinn, everybody’s happy).
 
Risk: if Detroit were smart in this scenario, they would reject all offers and take JaMarcus Russell at #2. This would guarantee that Quinn is taken at #3 by the Bengals, which would royally piss off Al Davis…Oakland has #4, but all the good QBs are gone.
 
Risk outcome: Oakland gets on the phone with Detroit, trades them the #4 pick and the second rounder for Russell, but keeping next year’s extra pick. Now Detroit gets the defensive end they need at about a $15 million savings, and another pick (which they desperately need).
 
Short line: everybody’s happy. Except Al Davis, who now has to pay #2 money instead of #4 money and lost a second round pick, but at least he’s not paying #1 money to the guy he wanted anyway.
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Comments
  1. Bill says:

    That would work and I think Oakland has to go that route since there\’s no question that Calvin Johnson is the best player in this draft.  It\’s a shame to have the number 1 pick and not get the best guy, even though they absoluytely don\’t need a receiver.  Interesting scenario.

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