8 Predictions about what will happen in tonight's first round
The 2013 Draft is only an hour away from starting and with that in mind, I have a few predictions about what is going to happen before the first round is in the books many hours later from now. I'm not doing a "mock" draft as there are plenty of those to be found up and down the blogosphere. Most of them will be wrong by pick #5, and I'd bet all of them by pick #26. So instead, here are a few predictions I have about what we can expect to happen:
1) The big three OT's (Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, and Lane Johnson) will be selected in the first 4 picks. Even if it takes one or two teams trading up to select them.
2) The Oakland Raiders will NOT draft one of the fastest WR's in the first round.
3) The San Francisco 49ers will trade up in round 1 as they have extra picks to give.
4) There will be at least 10 first round trades.
5) Only 2 quarterbacks will be selected in the first round. None in the top 10. Your guess is as good as mine as to which two, but I'll say Geno Smith and Ryan Nassib.
6) Not only will this NOT be the first draft to not have a running back selected in round 1, but there will be TWO running backs selected in the first round (Eddie Lacey and Jonathan Franklin).
7) I will vehemently disagree with at least 1 of the 2 selections the St. Louis Rams make in round 1. They screwed up 2 of their 3 picks in round 2 last year and I am positive they will probably screw up their second first round pick this year, and possibly the first one, too. (As a lifelong Rams fan going back to the Fearsome Foursome days I feel entitled to include a bash on my team when I can see a mistake coming)
8) No matter what the Jets do tonight, you will hear their fans boo them at the draft. They have too many holes and the only player the fans seem to really want is WR Tavon Austin. And I get the feeling he isn't going to be there at the 9th pick (even if he should be). Jets fans haven't cheered a pick their team has made since Mark Sanchez and we all know how that turned out.
There you have it: 8 predictions about round one of tonight's NFL draft. I know some of them were kind of ridiculous (Oakland picks too high to take a speedy WR this year), but it's stuff like this that is fun to do while waiting for the biggest non-sporting sporting event to begin!
The NFL Draft is more confusing this year than ever before!
The 2013 NFL Draft is mere hours away and I have to say this is going to be the most interesting draft by far to watch. Not because of the excitement of the great players going to teams, but rather because for the first time in a long time, we really aren't sure who the first pick is going to be.
Kansas City owns the first pick and the most recent reports say they are leaning more towards Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher even though most think Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel is slightly better. It's not a sure thing the Chiefs are taking Fisher; they could go with Joeckel, but no matter who they take, the intrigue really begins with the second pick.
Jacksonville owns the second pick and they have needs galore. A pitiful pass rush could use a DE. Their OL was decimated by injuries last season and whichever OT the Chiefs don't take could be in play. They could surprise everyone and go with a QB. Even though none of the QB's in this draft class seriously grade out as top 15 picks, the premium is always on them and therefore they get drafted higher than they should. Jacksonville would certainly love to trade back and acquire more picks, but I don't think there is a team willing to give up what the Jaguars are likely asking for. Miami and San Diego are definitely teams that would like to secure one of the top 3 OT's (Joeckel, Fisher, and Oklahoma's Lane Johnson) in this draft, but will they be willing to give up a lot to do that? With both teams picking after the 10th pick, it would likely cost at least their first round pick, their second round pick, and a second round pick next year. And that's at the least I figure. So a trade with them doesn't seem likely.
That said, stranger things have happened in the past.
Then what about Oakland at #3? Common opinion has the Raiders locked into Florida DT Sharrif Floyd as the Raiders are in dire need of a DT. But they could also use an OT. And if one of Joeckel or Fisher fell to them, they would be mightily tempted to go that route. But, once again, the trade possibilities are likely to be there for them to consider as well.
Philadelphia holds the 4th pick and they also have needs galore. They could use one of the OT's. They need help defensively both at DL and in the secondary. While it's widely assumed they would like a QB, they aren't really so QB needy that they would take one that high. At least I don't think so. And once again, the trade possibilities are going to be there.
That's a common theme throughout the top 10 picks. They are many possible trade scenarios that could happen. Teams outside the top 10 that want to move up and those in the top 10 that would like to move down, and some of those teams, the move down is dependent entirely on what players are selected before their turn.
Listening to the trade rumors being reported all day today has been dizzying. Just as dizzying has been the speculation of what players are going to fall in the draft. Will Alabama CB Dee Milliner fall out of the top 10 because of medical reasons? I don't think he should, but it's a hot topic. Will North Carolina OG Jonathan Cooper be drafted before Alabama's OG Chance Warmack despite the fact that until the last few days, Warmack was considered to be the best OG prospect to come out in the last 10 years? Will Utah DT Star Lotulelei fall out of the top 10? Is Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert going to slip into the top 10 players drafted tonight? Does Buffalo really have West Virginia WR Tavon Austin ranked as the top player in this entire draft? Or is that a smokescreen to get another team to trade up to #8 and grab him so Buffalo can acquire extra picks and go with who they supposedly really covet, Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, with a middle first round pick? Or is that also a smokescreen and they really are hoping to take West Virginia QB Geno Smith instead? Will Smith slide out of the first round completely? He was once considered a lock to be taken in the top 10, but not anymore.
In addition to these guys, how about BYU DE Ziggy Ansah, Oregon LB Dion Jordan, and LSU DE Barkevious Mingo? By the hour these guys are moving up and down mock draft boards to the point my head is spinning trying to keep up. Throw in speculation that this will be the first draft where a RB isn't taken in the first round (which I doubt; I truly believe someone will take Alabama's Eddie Lacey as the first RB off the board and somewhere before the end of round 1) and you start to see some of the problems.
I haven't heard a single draft analyst differ with the opinion that Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson is the most talented WR in this draft, but he could slide out of the first round because of a perception that he isn't that bright. As I've stated in a prior blog entry "catching passes is not Jeopardy". Patterson is going to make some team picking between 20-32 really happy. And there could be 3 WR's taken before him. Mind-bogging to me.
It's unlikely that there will be any trades before the draft starts, but once the Kansas City Chiefs make their selection, all bets are off. All bets are off as to exactly who the Chiefs will take with the first pick!
What I do know for sure, is that there are 3 top OT's in this draft. And more than 3 teams that REALLY need one. This is truly a draft where I think trading down and acquiring more picks is going to benefit someone greatly. Only question is which team?
A lot of questions. A lot of speculation. And honestly I have to admit: a lot of fun. The questions will be answered in a couple of hours. And if you're like me; you are eating it up.