Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Path to the Draft, 3/5

It's been RamView's mission to try to mine the best nuggets out of the official daily draft buzz of the National Football League - NFL Network's Path to the Draft, which debuted for 2012 yesterday. The idea is to do a daily draft news post. What will probably happen is that I will immediately fall way behind and end up lumping broadcasts together like I always do. My vacation this upcoming weekend (5 days in the Keys, baby!) won't help the effort any. But darnit, let's try and at least get this thing started the right way...

* #2 to-do. PTTD came out strong for Rams fans this year, with a lot of discussion on what the Rams can get for the #2 pick in the draft they currently hold. The Browns are reportedly balking at the idea of giving up both their first round picks, #4 and #22, for #2. NFL Network's analysts come to a quick consensus that 4 and 22 is a fair price for #2. Jamie Dukes even called it a "no-brainer". Actually, I'd want more than those two first-rounders, but the consensus doesn't seem to be that it'll be a lot more. Maybe a late-round pick or two. Dukes offered the opinion, though, that Washington would more than happily part with their first-rounder next year to trade up for Robert Griffin III.

Several factors could mess up the preferred scenario of the Rams trading out of #2 for a boatload of picks. Their names are Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. There's also the danger of Washington or Miami really falling in love with the currently-injured Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M). If Jake Locker can go 8, Tannehill can go 6.

Clint Clearwater, of the presumptuously-named thefootballexpert.com, is in the minority who thinks the Rams' move should be to stay at #2 and draft Ryan Kalil. They would miss out on the elite pass-blocker in almost any other scenario.

If the Rams do get stuck at 2, I agree that drafting Kalil is the move to make. Like everyone else, I would much prefer to deal #2 for the boatload of picks.

* Team rumors.
Indianapolis: here's a shocker: Colts beat writer Mike Chappell (Indianapolis Star) says the Colts are going to draft Andrew Luck. Who'd have guessed? Peyton Manning's Colt days are over. The Colts, like the Rams, need just about everything, but really need to upgrade their offensive line so their Luck doesn't run out.
Dallas: God forbid we get through a PTTD without bringing up the Cowboys. Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram pretty much has them staring down David DeCastro at #14 like Tony Banks getting ready to throw to Eddie Kennison.
Philadelphia: It sounds like Eggles Nation is hot for Luke Kuechly at #15, but Michael Bradley of Yahoo! Sports News reminds everyone that Andy Reid never drafts LBs. Look for an offensive or defensive lineman to go there: Devon Still, Dontari Poe, Jonathan Martin, Cordy Glenn or DeCastro if Charean Williams is wrong.
NY Giants: At 32, the Giants could pick a tight end or tackle if they draft for need, but they always pick the best player on their board. (Aditi Kinkhabwala, Wall Street Journal)

* Player news.
- Josh Robinson's Combine performance, highlighted by this year's fastest 40, 4.33, has moved him into the first round.
- Fletcher Cox got overshadowed by Dontari Poe's amazing workout, but had an impressive Combine himself, every bit as good as Quinton Coples, and that's a DT matching a DE. Should be a top-15, top-20 pick.
- Mike Mayock's top 5 QBs: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, Kirk Cousins. Tannehill shouldn't go any later than Seattle at #12. He can throw the whole route tree like a franchise QB; he just doesn't have a lot of starts (I think 19).

- Mayock's top 5 WRs: Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Kendall Wright, Stephen Hill, Alshon Jeffery. Very contingent on Blackmon's pro day Friday. Not impressed with Blackmon and Jeffery cutting weight to run their 40s when that's not the weight they'll play at. Floyd smoked a 4.47 at the Combine at his regular playing weight of 220. Wright and LSU's Reuben Randle hurt themselves with bad 40 times. Wouldn't bother RamView at all to get Floyd at 6 or 8 instead of Blackmon at 4, btw.
- Trent Richardson seems to be considered a top-10 talent by everyone, but isn't expected to be drafted that high because most teams use the multiple-back approach now. Hey, what happened to "best player available?"

* Mock draft, by Dukes and Charles Davis:
1 - Colts, Andrew Luck
2 - Browns, Robert Griffin III, trade with Rams
3 - Vikings, Matt Kalil
4 - Rams, Justin Blackmon
5 - Bucs, Morris Claiborne
6 - Redskins, Ryan Tannehill
7 - Jagwires, Melvin Ingram
8 - Dolphins, Riley Reiff
9 - Panthers, Dontari Poe
10 - Bills, Quinton Coples

Damn, I'll have what Dontari Poe's having. Wasn't he considered a second-rounder about a week ago?


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