General Managers Will Always Pick the Best Player, Regardless of Need
If you believe that one, you should immediately call your cable provider and have them install a block on all infomercials for the foreseeable future.
Of course not.
Choosing the best player available (BPA) is nice in theory, but it is not always practical. Actual team need will always play some sort of role in the draft process.
The Cincinnati Bengals Are Going to Draft a QB in the First Round
Carson Palmer’s statement that he will never again step foot in Paul Brown Stadium has the entire Queen City abuzz. In the literal sense his statement is ridiculous, considering the fact that he could end up with another NFL team that could actually be scheduled to visit Cincinnati.
The Bengals front office is claiming that they won’t trade Palmer under any circumstances. If the Bengals stay true to their word, Palmer will have two options:
(1) Renege on his promise, put on the striped uniform once again and lead his floundering team to mediocrity, or
(2) take the $80 million that is sitting in his personal bank account and head down the path of retirement.
The football minds in the Cincinnati front office, if there are indeed any there, certainly cannot be satisfied with option two, which would turn out to be a lose-lose scenario for both parties. Even if Palmer decides to come back against his will, do the Bengals really want a field general leading the team who really doesn’t even want to be there?
Missouri flamethrower Blaine Gabbert is the dream selection for the Bengals, who will be picking at the No. 4 spot. Many have speculated that the Bengals will grab Gabbert with that pick, but it won’t happen.
They are already sold 100 percent on wideout A.J. Green (Georgia) who is the best receiver in the draft. Instead, the Bengals may look at QBs Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) or Andy Dalton (TCU) in the second round. A fourth-round flyer on Iowa’s Ricki Stanzi may also be a low-risk selection with high-end payoff potential.
Once the labor dispute gets settled, the Bengals may be interested in acquiring a top backup like Kevin Kolb as they wait for their young QB to develop.
Julio Jones Is Every Bit as Good as A.J. Green
This is certainly no knock on Jones, who will be a productive NFL receiver with a couple of Pro Bowl appearances before he is through. While Jones won the statistical battle between the two at the combine (4.39 in the 40 versus 4.48 for Green), he is simply not the natural talent that Green is.
Barring injury, Green should turn into a perennial Pro Bowl receiver in this league within a year or two. He has the talent to post 10-catch, 200-plus-yard games on more than one occasion during the season. Green’s soft hands, big-play ability and unbelievable agility for a man his size certainly vaults him to the top of this year’s draft class.
Tyron Smith is Not the Best Offensive Tackle in the Draft
Many draftniks are saying that this is a weak draft as far as the offensive tackle position is concerned. While there may not be a lot of depth at this position in the later rounds, the three top-rated players are certainly guys that any wise GM would love to have on his team.
Tyron Smith (USC), Gabe Camiri (Wisconsin) and Anthony Castonzo (Boston College) will all be drafted in round one and should all have successful NFL careers if they can avoid serious injury.
Smith’s balance and agility makes him by far the best raw talent among this year’s tackles. He is a great pass blocker and a good run blocker, but he is especially impressive when he has to pull and get to the second level.
The knocks on Smith are that he is still rough around the edges, and that he has played mostly at the RT position at USC—and both are certainly true.
If the Dallas Cowboys grab Smith with the ninth overall pick, they may have to spend a year or so developing him, especially if they plan to move him to the left side. This investment of time however, would pay giant dividends in the future.
The Denver Broncos Are Sold On Marcell Dareus With the No. 2 Pick
If you listen to the top experts like Todd McShay, Mike Mayock and Mel Kiper, the Broncos are going to draft Alabama DT Marcell Dareus to upgrade their decimated D-line with the No. 2 overall pick.
Denver first-year head coach John Fox is having nightmares over this selection because Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller could be an even better prospect than Clay Matthews, Jr.
Dareus (6-3, 319) could be the ideal player to revamp and reshape the Broncos D-line and appears to be a natural fit. The only thing that could prevent the Broncos from pulling the trigger on Dareus could be his higher bust potential.
Dareus’ tendency to gain weight could affect his longevity and productivity. He also did not post the numbers (34 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss) that Auburn’s Nick Fairley did last year.
It’s a razor-close call, but look for the Broncos to pull the lever on Miller a few minutes after the Panthers draft Auburn QB Cam Newton.