Friday, April 25, 2008

Tomorrow is the NFL Draft. There has been all kinds of speculation as to who is going to go where, and the topic has been discussed by all sorts of people ad nauseum (myself included).

Around here the big speculation is on if former Boston College QB Matt Ryan will fall to the 8th pick in the 1st round so that the Ravens can draft him. I myself do not think that he will make it past the Atlanta Falcons' 3rd pick, let alone the Kansas City Chiefs who have the 5th pick. And even if he does, since the Chiefs just got Minnesota's 1st round pick and both of their 3rd round picks in the Jared Allen trade and the Falcons have 3rd and 6th picks in the 2nd round, there is an excellent chance that one of them makes a deal with the Patriots, who hold San Francisco's 7th overall pick (the fact that "Spygate cost the Patriots the 31st pick in the 1st round and not the 7th shows how little Roger Goodell thought of the infraction).

Everyone who cares to know is aware that the Dolphins have signed Michigan OT Jake Long (which means I really hope that they draft him with the 1st overall pick, otherwise there could be some real confusion). I am going to refuse to do my own mock draft, since I can honestly say that I have not spent the time really looking at the needs of all 32 teams with enough energy / verve to be able to make truly informed predictions. I have said previously that I could easily see Darren McFadden falling to the 8th pick, which would make a trade with Dallas possible (although they could also get their Arkansas fix by drafting Felix Jones with the 22nd pick). It is also established that New Orleans covets LSU DT Glenn Dorsey (and who wouldn't really. He has all the makings of being an awesome player), although if he makes it to the 10th pick I will be more than amazed (since that means that the Ravens also passed over on him), and the Saints probably do not have enough draft ammunition to move up to the 2nd or 3rd pick, which is probably be where he is going to be drafted. However, Sedrick Ellis should still be available, and both the Bengals and Saints would love to add him. The Bengals are drafting 9th, the Saints (as previously mentioned) 10th. Might one of them be willing to give us a second day pick (4th-7th) round plus their 1st in order to move up a slot or two to make sure they get him and the other one doesn't?

This is the second time I have mentioned trading down. Since the last time the Ravens got some compensatory picks for free agents that left the team after 2006 and now have 9 picks in the draft (compensatory picks cannot be traded). I firmly believe that the draft is the way to build a team in ANY professional sport. But no matter how much information you have the draft is always a bit of a guessing game, so the more picks you have the better off you are. I am not a fan of using a top 10 pick on a QB, the position is too risky and costs too much both in cap room and team commitment. The last thing the Ravens need is to bring in an unproven QB to start when they are 16 months removed from being 13-3 and having a 1st round playoff bye, because the pressure to start him immediately will be too much to bear and too much for anyone else who does start (I will say until my dying day that the reason Kyle Boller didn't work out better is because of Billick's starting him his first season after that sham of a QB competition between Boller and Redman). The Ravens need to draft another QB, but the need isn't as pressing as some have said. But a QB drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round would not be the worst thing in the world. I need to see more of Troy Smith. I need to see if Boller really learned anything while serving as Steve McNair's backup. I do not need to see $30 million put in the hands of an unproven rookie who gets thrown to the wolves as soon as the team needs a spark.

Lets see where this ends up, shall we?

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