The best laid plans of managers and coaches...often go awry.
Draft day can be a highly unpredictable occasion. Trades have been happening with increasing frequency in the 1st round of the NFL Draft, almost as if general managers feel the pressure of the event's prime time television coverage and wish to give the audience the excitement and unpredictability it craves.
In the 2004 NFL Draft, armed with the No. 20 overall pick and a fixation on Miami Hurricanes offensive tackle Vernon Carey, the Miami Dolphins were told by the Minnesota Vikings, who picked No. 19 overall, that the New England Patriots (who picked No. 21 overall) were attempting to trade ahead of the Dolphins for the right to select Carey.
The Dolphins, believing they simply could not afford to lose Carey, paid the extraordinarily steep price of a 4th round draft pick just to move up one space. There have since been strong implications that the Patriots intended to draft Vince Wilfork at No. 21 overall the entire time.
Sometimes things just do not go your way.
Trades are not the only unpredictable event. Teams go to great lengths to disguise their Draft needs and intentions.
Prior to selecting Jared Odrick in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland kept a tight lid on already-laid plans to move defensive end Randy Starks to nose tackle, so as to keep other teams guessing that the Dolphins would target a true nose rather than a player in Odrick that was always destined for a 3 or 5 technique position.
Even after selecting Odrick, Ireland remained coy about the plans in his post-1st round press conference, for no other reason than to keep teams guessing about any potential day two plans.
This kind of secrecy is designed to create nightmare scenarios for teams picking below you. But sometimes, the nightmares are self-inflicted.
In the 2007 NFL Draft, the entire Miami Dolphins' war room was given the impression that if Brady Quinn had slipped to the No. 10 overall pick, he would be the selection of Head Coach Cam Cameron and General Manager Randy Mueller. Only they and Team President Bryan Wiedmeier knew the truth, that the pick was destined to be receiver and return specialist Ted Ginn, Jr. regardless of Quinn's availability.
The secrecy worked. The pick did not. The Dolphins passed on All Pro linebacker Patrick Willis, who would have filled a need at that time.
Let's take a look at some nightmare Draft scenarios for all NFL teams.