I’m not sure if I like Todd McShay because he’s a good draft analyst or if I like him because he’s not Mel Kiper.
In any event, I’m enjoying him on both Mike & Mike in the Morning and on Sports Center.
ESPN’s draft day coverage can’t hold a candle to the NFL Network’s, but since Comcast is evil I’m stuck with ESPN only today.
Which means an afternoon of the two most annoying, pompous talking heads in all of sports, Chris Berman and Mel Kiper, Jr. (whose autograph, interestingly enough, I’m on pace to get in the Draft Article Contest).
Thanks to Team Parcells, the first pick lacks drama, as the Fins have had Jake Long signed for almost a week now—and we’ve known about it for even longer.
The rest of the first round is steaming with drama.
Heading into today, there’s still no consensus on who’s going number two to St. Louis. Nobody knows for sure what the Falcons are thinking. And it’s next to impossible to figure out what the Raiders are thinking.
Anyway, with the draft a few short hours away, I’m going to pull a Bill Parcells for Bleacher Report readers and eliminate some of the suspense by telling you exactly what’s going to happen.
The St. Louis Rams will draft Glenn Dorsey.
Glenn Dorsey will not fall past the St. Louis Rams.
They wanted Jake Long, but he’s off the board. The top three remaining prospects are Darren McFadden (who they’re not going to take), Chris Long, and Glenn Dorsey.
All the talk about Dorsey not fitting into the 3-4 scheme that they may try to employ in St. Louis is overblown.
He’s a big bodied guy who can take up space, eat up blockers, and get penetration when needed. He’s the best defensive talent in the draft, and he plays the most important defensive position.
He has all the tools required to play the 3-4, if that’s the direction St. Louis goes. Chris Long, on the other hand, might not be built for that system.
Is he really big enough to be a 3-4 defensive end? Is he really fast enough to be a pass rushing outside linebacker? I’m not sure.
Neither are the Rams. Which is why they’ll take their chances with Dorsey.
If they stay at number two.
The Baltimore Ravens will do everything in their power to draft Matt Ryan.
The Ravens will try their hardest to move up to the number two spot in the draft if they think Atlanta is taking Ryan. I’m not sure they have the firepower to pull it off, but don’t be surprised if it happens.
Troy Smith is not the answer in Baltimore—and they know it.
The Ravens believe that Matt Ryan has everything required to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL.
Chad Johnson will not be traded.
I’m not sure why, but the Bengals seem intent on keeping Chad Johnson. If they didn’t accept the offer Washington threw at them (this year’s first round pick and an additional pick next season), then they’re not trading him.
The Patriots will not draft a cornerback with the seventh pick.
If you’re looking for mock drafts, and you find one that has the Patriots taking a cornerback with the number seven pick, immediately hit the “Back” button on your browser and go to the next mock.
The Patriots will not draft a cornerback with the number seven pick. They will not give an unproven rookie the same money they didn’t give to Asante Samuel.
They'll draft a defensive lineman, an offensive lineman, or there’s a remote chance they take a linebacker.
The Patriots don’t take risks with first round picks. Fat guys are the least risky picks in the first round. Cornerbacks, especially this year, will have higher value in the early second round, late first round.
The Patriots may try to maneuver to get into the early second, late first to take a corner. But there’s no chance, zero chance they take a corner with the number seven pick.
The deal between the Saints and Giants for Shockey will get done.
Jeremy Shockey isn’t going to play in New York again. He knows it. The team knows it. The Saints know it.
He’s in a no-win situation. If the Giants struggle, it’ll be his fault. If they win, it’ll be in spite of him.
He’s the Giants’ Drew Bledsoe—still a good player, but when your injury coincides perfectly with your team’s rise to championship level, you’re not coming back.
The Saints will give up a second round pick, and an additional pick, probably conditional, but the deal will get done.
Both teams, and the player, want it to happen.
The Raiders will draft Darren McFadden.
I’ve had some fun with Raider fans, but when push comes to shove, I’m rooting for their team to do the right thing. That involves either Darren McFadden or Chris Long.
Give Al Davis the choice between a hard working defensive end or a dynamic offensive talent, I’m pretty confident (assuming he’s still coherent) he’s going to go with the offensive talent.
Raider Nation will rejoice, ESPN will flash to a bunch of grown men in makeup and Halloween costumes, and I’ll get about 50 emails making fun of me for having them take DeSean Jackson in my Mock Series.
Trades, trades, and more trades.
The following teams are looking to trade down: New York Jets, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, and St. Louis Rams.
The following teams are looking to move up: Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys (even though they deny it), and the Baltimore Ravens.
If Sedrick Ellis gets to the New England Patriots, I would expect them to work something out with the Bengals. The Bengals covet Ellis, and the Patriots covet more picks and getting out of the top seven.
It’s a perfect match.
As I said earlier, there’s an outside shot that the Ravens and Rams get together. But I don’t think it’ll happen.
Potential Surprise Scenarios
If Gholston goes to KC at five, Chris Long goes to Atlanta at three, McFadden goes to the Raiders at four, and they can’t work out a deal to trade down, the Jets will draft Matt Ryan.
If the Patriots don’t trade out of the number seven pick, there’s a darn good chance they forgo all of the “expert” picks and select Branden Albert. He fills a need, and he fits their first-round-pick mold. He’s a fat guy, and he can play multiple positions on the offensive line.
If McFadden somehow drops to number seven, the Cowboys will move up and take him.
In any event, should be entertaining. Even if I am stuck with Berman and Kiper.