The 2009 NFL Draft Kit: Do's and Don'ts

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IApril 24, 2009

This is not a full mock draft.  You can see that by clicking the following link http://bleacherreport.com/articles/151786-2009-nfl-mock-draft-mark-sanchez-to-seattle-crabtree-to-oakland.

This article is about my opinions of "Do's and Don'ts" in terms of what to expect from the NFL Draft on Saturday.

First off, the "Do's"

Do expect there to be a run on linemen (offensive and defensive).  Despite some rumors, I expect four offensive tackles to go in the top 15, plus three defensive ends and one defensive tackle (though the ends might be converted to linebackers).

Do expect wide receivers to tumble.  Wide receivers and quarterbacks are generally the least NFL ready positions, aka "skill positions." 

I know that quarterbacks in recent years have had better luck (Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco), but I still believe quarterbacks by rule should have a "grace period" of three seasons on condition of no exigent circumstances (e.g., status of franchise, injuries, etc.), and five seasons with exigent circumstances.

Do believe that there still is hope for Alex Smith in San Francisco.  Smith came from a non-NFL system at Utah to a bad situation in San Francisco and a rookie head coach, Mike Nolan, and fans that wanted him to be Joe Montana or Steve Young the next day. 

I know that he's been hurt and has had knocks on the size of his hands, but I believe that is mostly nitpicking on a player that had enormous expectations in a bad situation and deficient preparation.  But I still believe that Smith can turn around, if the Niners focus on defense and running and just rely on Smith to be a Chad Pennington type of player.

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Do expect defensive backs to slide.  I think most of the d-backs available aren't worth first-round picks, when the value at other positions is better.  Do expect there to be a run on d-backs in the second round.

Do expect draft madness if the Chiefs select DE Tyson Jackson at third overall.  Jackson would be a great fit for the three-four, but if the Chiefs select him at third overall, it will shake up the Draft board the way that Mario Williams did in 2006.

Do expect trade wheeling and dealing on Draft day.

Now for the "Don'ts"

Don't be surprised if Braylon Edwards, Anquan Boldin, and Chad Ochocinco are traded on draft day.  Their respective teams would rather wait and see what's available before pulling the trigger.

Here's the deal on veteran players.  Generally, contenders need a few veterans.  Unfortunately, some teams try to work backwards from the veterans down to the youth (e.g. Dan Snyder), and it usually does not work.  Teams need to build from the bottom, patiently, and build trust in their foundation before they bring in hired guns.

Subsequently, here are some teams that could and should trade for the said receivers: Chicago Bears, New York Giants, San Diego Chargers, the Washington Redskins, or even the San Francisco 49ers.

I know that Washington has Antwaan Randle El, Santana Moss with Devin Thomas, and Malcolm Kelly in the wings, but don't be surprised if Dan Snyder trades one of those prospects for one of the said receivers in a prospect-for-veteran swap.

Meanwhile, San Diego could do the same by upgrading at receiver by trading Chris Chambers for one of the said receivers.  If you're a contender, it's better to have a veteran quarterback and receiver than it is to rely on inexperience.

Moreover, I think San Francisco would win the NFC West by shoring up the offensive line, adding defensive youth, another runner, and a veteran wide receiver.  Sounds like a lot, but possible if they play their cards right. 

They have a chance at OT Andre Smith in the first round, and can load up on defense the rest of the way; while a receiver like Chad Ochocinco would actually fit well in San Francisco.  The Chad models himself after Jerry Rice and in fact studies as hard as Rice would; that is why it is sad to see a player of his work ethic humiliate himself.  Perhaps a conditional 2010 draft pick would be fair value for Ochocinco.

Don't be hesitant to call the Cleveland Browns organization insane.  There's a reason that the Browns suck, and it's because they keep doing the same things and expect different results.

Don't be surprised if the Seahawks have the first overall pick in the 2010 draft.  If they truly think they can contend—they are utterly, utterly insane.  Their only hope is to find five quality starters and breakout seasons by five roster incumbents, otherwise, this team is on a road to nowhere fast.  That is why they should select the franchise passer now and build around his learning curve.

Don't put your money on Denver to win the Super Bowl or even be in the postseason after the draft.

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