Just when you thought NFL teams were becoming environmentally responsible, the NFL draft pick smoke screens have lit up in stunning volume this week.
Shockingly, quarterbacks are at the center of the discussion (sarcasm intended). While all the scouts and front-office folk call this one of the deepest talent drafts in recent history, there's still some arms and speedsters that have the NFL interns making dry eraser runs to Staples to clean up the war room boards.
Who's throwing skunky beer on the fire and who's making sense this week? Here's a full breakdown of the most talked-about swaps.
THE SKINNY: The scuttlebutt centers around Roethlisberger going to St. Louis for the No. 1 pick and the Rams' fourth-round choice (No. 99 overall).
The Rams are getting antsy about paying for a possible bum shoulder and would be content getting the Steelers' 18th pick with plenty of quality still expected to still be there.
LOGIC OR LOCO? More loco than logic. The Steelers' brain trust are angry as sordid details of Big Ben's trysts keep leaking out through TMZ. But are they this angry? I don't think so. Plus, I don't think the Rams are giddy about dealing with Big Ben's baggage.
WILL IT HAPPEN? Stupid deals have been known to go down. This just got a lot less likely now that the Steelers traded for Byron Leftwich (we mentioned stupid deals, right?). The Rams have too many choices here if they really want out, such as ...
THE SKINNY: Apparently, no one is listening to me when I say that Sam Bradford is going to be an NFL bust. The Browns have made it public that they're thinking about it. The Seahawks are worried about Matt Hasselbeck's future. The Broncos are the late players here, dangling Kyle Orton and draft picks.
LOGIC OR LOCO? Let's go on the assumption that Bradford's going to be a star. The team with the biggest immediate need is the Browns. They'd have to give up their No. 7 and likely a first-rounder next year. The 'Hawks have too many needs; loco for them. Loco for the Broncos, too -- mostly because they have no one to throw to right now.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN? I believe Mike Holmgren needs to make this deal to placate his ego. He couldn't clean house on the coaching front, so he'll put his stamp on QB and let Bradford fight it out with Jake Delhomme. The Rams will satisfy their needs at No. 7.
THE SKINNY: Teams can hem and haw about how they have needs to fill and they're not concerned about the best player on the board, but at the end of the day, the easiest way to get better quick is to get a franchise QB.
The 49ers apparently believe they have that guy in Jimmy Clausen, who impressed at his pro day and in his sitdowns with team personnel. Mike Singletary knows Alex Smith, for all his work and improvement, is not the guy that can get him a playoff spot.
LOGIC OR LOCO? Pure logic. Mike wants winners, or so I've been told. Clausen is the guy that the 49ers believe can help them make the jump from 7-9 to 10-6 and a division title in a year where the NFC West might be most up for grabs.
The Chiefs just don't have a top-10 yearning. Scott Pioli gave the Pats the rep for stockpiling draft picks. They can fill their needs and come in under budget at No. 13 and get a late-rounder in the process.
WILL IT HAPPEN? I like this deal. I have to hand it to fellow B/R writer Jack Harver. His latest mock has really nailed some spot-on possibilities where the deals can happen, including this deal.
THE SKINNY: There's also talk that if Holmgren can't get the sexy deal done to move up, he might move out of No. 7. Teams like Philadelphia and Tennessee might want to move up to get Eric Berry, while C.J. Spiller continues to spark interest for teams in the teens.
LOGIC OR LOCO? 100 percent loco. The two players being discussed here are too talented to trade off of. Holmgren's smarter than that.
WILL IT HAPPEN? Nope. The Browns might not want to go for another Irish arm, but if Jimmy Clausen is sitting there, he's as good of a fit here as Berry or Spiller.
THE SKINNY: The Jags feel confident that they're good at QB, corner and the tackles -- the kind of talent that is looking to be available at No. 10. So why not trade down, fill some needs and pick up some late-round picks?
LOGIC OR LOCO? I can't figure out what's driving the Jags these days. If they want to compete for a division title, they take the best player on the board here. But Wayne Weaver might be getting miserly. If saving slot money is the priority here, a deal could get done.
WILL IT HAPPEN? No. The most interested taker is apparently the Eagles. They're going on the assumption that Eric Berry will still be there at No. 10. I don't see that happening. Berry is top 5 talent any other year.
THE SKINNY: The Ravens are drawing a bunch of attention in the early 20s. Some pundits have them trading down to increase their five pick lot in the 2010 draft. Then there's "experts" who think the Ravens are jonesing for Boise State corner Kyle Wilson.
LOGIC OR LOCO? Trading up is loco. Wilson is not going to be available. He won't fall below the Texans at No. 20 and the Ravens won't find any trading partners in the teens. Trading down, that's a different story.
WILL IT HAPPEN? I think a trade down happens, because ...
THE SKINNY: Mikey apparently thinks everything is bigger in Texas - including Colt McCoy's draft stock. Holmgren is reportedly willing to trade his second round or a pair of late round picks to get into the latter part of the first round.
LOGIC OR LOCO? Knucklehead all the way. America's obsession with "Dancing with the Stars" is easier to explain. The Browns won't need to trade into the Ravens slot or any other first-round spot for McCoy. He'll be on the board at No. 38 if he really wants him.
WILL IT HAPPEN? Boy, I hope not. Why not chillax a little here and revisit QB in the late third round, when you can get better value from Central Michigan's Dan Lefevour or Fordham's John Skelton?
THE SKINNY: The Giants and Osi are apparently divorcing. The Rams' Steve Spagnuolo knows Umenyiora well and wants him something fierce.
LOGIC OR LOGO? Almost too logical to happen. Even if the Giants are asking for your No. 33 pick, consider this a proven commodity as your second rounder.
WILL IT HAPPEN? I think the Giants are desperate enough to get something here that they'll settle for the Rams' third-round pick -- essentially a second-rounder at No. 65.