Here are 5 thoughts I have about the NFL draft and situations that could affect the draft before it starts on April 30:
- QBs are drafted #1 and #2 overall.
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State, and Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon, are going 1 and 2 overall respectively in this year’s draft. They are the two top players at the most important position on the football field and there doesn’t seem to be that much of a drop off in talent from one to the other. Certain analysts and scouts are even putting Mariota ahead of Winston. I’m fairly confident this is what will happen with the first two picks. The only question is who will draft Mariota second overall? That leads me to…
- The Titans trade out of the #2 pick.
The coaching staff has been supporting current QB Zach Mettenberger and saying he’s their guy. Well, I’m not sure how strong they will stay in their stance once the phones start ringing with trade offers when they’re on the clock on April 30. Maybe the second guess their current QB and their willingness to actually pull the trigger on a trade because the offers they are getting make them think Mariota might actually be the way to go. Who knows? I think they have their minds made up and already have trade offers on the table should Mariota not go #1 overall. They will see what else comes in during their allotted time on the clock and then they will trade the pick. Maybe the Browns move up, maybe they get Bradford from the Eagles, maybe the Bears or Jets make an unexpected move – I don’t know who it will be, but Mariota won’t be a member of the Titans.
- The Chargers do not trade Phillip Rivers and move up in the draft.
I’ve thought about this one and even had a conversation about the opposite point of view, so this could possibly happen, but I’m predicting it doesn’t. The question is if the Chargers really think they can content with Rivers at the helm or if they think he’s starting to get old and want to suffer growing pains with a new young QB this year so they’re better equipped for next year (2016). Which would also mean division rival Denver wouldn’t be starting QB Peyton Manning anymore and likely give the Chargers a better chance to win the division. I think Rivers has shown he can still play and a former teammate (Ladanian Tomlinson) saying Rivers is frustrated is a second-hand account that I’m not sure will have any impact on what the Chargers plan to do. Also, they can draft the third best QB in the second or third round to learn for a year or two while Rivers handles the load. Not a bad option.
- The Vikings do not trade Adrian Peterson and pass on RB in the first round.
As some analysts have been saying, AP’s contract is just so large for a RB turning 30 years old that there aren’t many teams out there willing to take that contract and risk. Cowboys have been named as the main team that might trade for him…until this new just broke today from Adam Schefter: “Cowboys’ EVP/COO Stephen Jones told 105.3 in Dallas: “I don’t see us using any picks to trade for veteran players.’” With that said, you might as well take the Cowboys off the table. The Raiders have supposedly shown interest and have the cap room to make it happen, but would they be willing to part with the #4 overall pick in the draft? I’m guessing not, even if it does sounds like something the Raiders would do. Will a second and fourth round pick do it for the Vikings? I’m not so sure. The Vikings have been standing strong saying they’re not very interested in trading AP. So unless they get a killer offer from the Raiders or another team that could afford him like the Jaguars, I don’t think it happens.
- If Todd Gurley, RB Georgia, is still available at #23, the Lions take him.
Of course I’m going to talk about the Lions, I’m a huge fan! Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part, but if teams shy away from Gurley due to his knee injury, the Lions should scoop him up late in the first round. Joique Bell and Theo Riddick can handle the load while Gurley returns to form. Then after the first 4-5 games in 2015, Gurley should be 100% and ready to run wild for the Lions. Now I understand that he’s being mock drafted to the Texans and other teams in front of the Lions in the first round, and if he’s not there, the best DT or OT on the board will be perfect for this team.
Those are my 5 quick thoughts before the draft starts. We’ll see how close I am to being correct on April 30. I did a mock draft last year of the entire first round. I was WAY off, but it was fun to look back on. I’m guessing this will be just as fun to look back on in 2 week and a year from now. Time will tell.