With the NFL draft less than a week away, we will likely be inundated with rumor and speculation as to who will go where and at what pick. What GMs are talking trade. And what wide receiver the Lions will take with the first pick overall.
Okay, that last one may be more wishful thinking than anything, but even here at WFNY have we been discussing as much “talk” as we can. We can’t put much credence into pre-draft rumors as these are mostly a mirage. This morning, Mike Greenberg had a great point that there is nothing to gain by telling the truth at this stage; coaches and GMs have everything to gain by telling a lie.
But with all of this said, Browns fans that fear the team selecting USC’s Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall selection may want to choose to believe a recent piece by Peter King over at Sports Illustrated.
[Scott] Pioli, the rookie Kansas City general manager, has the distinction in this decade of being part of the tradingest draft-day team in the league. [...] Snyder, the Washington owner, has one pick in the top 75, the 13th overall. He was willing to trade that pick plus next year’s first-round pick and something else to get Jay Cutler from Denver to replace Jason Campbell at quarterback. That failed, but I’m told Snyder is beyond smitten with Sanchez and will likely pursue him this week.
The thinking is that Scott Pioli doesn’t feel that any player in this draft is worth a double-figure signing bonus that would come with the third overall pick. Snyder, on the other hand, is not afraid to pay anyone an exorbanent amount of money as he recently gave $100 million to defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Would adding Sanchez to the mix help or hurt Washington’s claim of “Off-Season Champs?”
There has also been some thinking that all of the Eric Mangini-Pete Caroll-Mark Sanchez talk over the last week or so may actually be a way to get others to do such a thing. If the team does in fact want Aaron Curry (whom is widely considered the safest selection in the top 10 – and this team can ill afford to miss here), having Kansas City move out of third slot is crucial. If Washington does in fact move up, you can just picture Mangini and George Kokinis high-fiving. But not so fast…
The down side to this is that Seattle (selecting fourth) recently traded away their Pro Bowl linebacker Julian Peterson to the Lions. Since they now have a hole at SAM, Curry could actually be a fairly ideal selection for them assuming that they cannot find an heir apparent to their veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. It’s too bad that we can’t have a Universal Draft like Michael Silver put together. I’d love to have DeMarcus Ware with the fifth selection.
As of now, consensus mock drafts have both Baylor’s Jason Smith and Georgia’s Stafford in the top five. The question marks fall in three through 10, as any of the following will be up for grabs: Curry, Eugene Monroe, Michael Crabtree, BJ Raji, Sanchez and even Andre Smith. Lane Adkins has recently inserted Tyson Jackson in to the mix – even though most mock’s have the LSU DE/OLB coming off of the board in the mid-to-late teens. If one thing is for certain, it’s that no one really knows what’s going to happen.
But one thing appears to be less likely than last week: Mark Sanchez may not be there at five by the time the Browns draft. For better or worse.
Power of three: Why an owner, GM and prospect control the ’09 draft [Peter King/SI.com]