NFL Lockout: How One Collective Bargaining Agreement Can Change the NFL Draft
NFL Lockout Looming, How Will it Affect the 2011 NFL Draft?
With the collective bargaining agreement edging ever close to expiring on Thursday, it may be time for teams to start looking at the 2011 NFL Draft with a brand new set of glasses.
Things have gotten fogged up so bad at this point regarding a possible lockout that you'd think you were in San Francisco squinting through that old pair of glasses bent just enough to make you lose your mind.
Teams now have to start looking ahead, with new specs, to what could prove to be an offseason with only the draft and nothing else.
Forget those star free agents.
Forget conducting workouts and mini camps.
It's now all about the draft.
If the deadline passes without a peep, then no contracts can be issues, no players signed.
With free agency effectively tossed out the window, teams will have to address their primary needs through the draft.
This could have a major impact.
First and foremost, because so many teams are looking for a quarterback this season, not being able to sign one via free agency could have the top quarterbacks selected a lot sooner than previously thought.
Teams like the San Francisco 49ers widely projected to be in the running for top cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara at No. 7 could instead shift their attention to the QB spot, taking the best signal caller on the board and perhaps reaching a bit to make something happen under center.
Also, the Jake Lockers of the world, quarterbacks whose stocks have fallen this season, could be selected much higher on the board.
Especially due to the fact that most of the top quarterbacks have performed well at the combine, even Locker.
Of course, a reliance on QBs could drop other players' stocks listed at different positions; even Nick Fairley could drop a bit.
What it could conceivably do is improve the players teams not needing quarterbacks would be able to select.
For example, Amukamara dropping from No. 7 could make a team selecting him later in the draft better talent-wise than the teams grasping for the next QB on the board.
It all makes for a potentially interesting scenario, even if the lockout proves little will be interesting in terms of football beyond the draft.
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