With the 2011 NFL Draft just days away, NFL general managers are keeping their draft strategies under lock and key. If a team’s targeted pick is revealed, it could hurt their chances of getting that athlete.
But every year information is "leaked" about a team and who they have their eye on. Certain teams will even purposely send out information hoping to divert other teams from the player they actually covet.
Here are five of the worst smokescreens leading up to draft night.
Rex Grossman is not the future of this team, and with Donovan McNabb on the way out, the Skins need a QB. Washington would be reaching if they drafted Locker No. 10 overall, but he may not be around by the time they select again.
If the Redskins don’t make a stunning move up to get Blaine Gabbert, they are more likely to trade back than reach for Locker at No. 10. The Redskins have a better chance of taking J.J. Watt, then grabbing Christian Ponder in the second round.
With that being said, it only makes sense the Pats will trade down again, right?
Guess again. The Patriots don’t have as much roster space to draft a variety of rookies this year as they have had in the past. They have plenty of picks where they could trade up to grab a defensive dynamo with the first pick overall. Washington and even Cleveland are suggested targets for the Patriots as they surprise teams by going up in 2011 instead of down in the draft.
This smokescreen is already starting to dissipate as the draft gets closer.
The Bengals' front office would never want to admit that quarterback Carson Palmer has won the staredown. Cincinnati would be lost without a QB if Palmer does indeed "retire," and with a talented group of QB’s in the draft, now is the time.
The smokescreen was put up to distract other teams such as the Buffalo Bills from grabbing Blaine Gabbert. The Bengals have looked at every young quarterback in the draft, revealing they have plans of drafting one, maybe as early as the first pick. If Gabbert is on the board at No. 4, he will be headed to Cincinnati.
The Cowboys' front office has announced numerous times that they are willing to trade the No. 9 pick and that plenty of teams are trying to get it. The Cowboys have targeted an offensive lineman, and with plenty of good ones around, trading this pick makes sense, but it’s not Jerry Jones' style.
As a matter of fact, the Cowboys are likely to try trading up with the Arizona Cardinals as a prime trading partner. Dallas also needs a cornerback, and Patrick Peterson is the best in the draft. This will give the Cowboys the position they need to get one of the best players in this class.
It makes sense that the Carolina Panthers would want this smokescreen out in public.
With the No. 1 overall pick, they are the only team that controls their own destiny. With a rookie cap expected, teams are more likely to trade for a top pick, and if the Panthers make it known they will take Newton, the phones will ring off the hook.
The Panthers actually could shock a few teams and pass on Newton to instead opt for defense with the top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Matt Regaw is a B/R Featured Columnist and the founder of BookieBlitz.com, your one-stop shop for sports articles, previews and predictions. Feel free to contact Matt at email@example.com.