The N.F.L. Draft is the most exciting “offseason” day of the year for all football fans. So much intrigue and so much hope is packed into the 3-Day event where everybody’s favorite teams’ look to rebuild and upgrade their franchises. Yet the 2012 edition of the Draft could be particularly exciting because of the projected amount of trades which could be made in the Draft’s 1st Round. So I felt that it would be prudent to not only discuss some of the bigger moves which could occur in Round 1 of the Draft, but also explain what I believe could be the Steelers’ best option come selection #24. So if I’ve peaked your interest, hit that “Continue Reading” button, and let’s go:
Big Moves For Round 1:
Movement for “RGIII”
The ball was set in motion for the right to draft Robert Griffin III on Monday when Adam Schefter reported that St. Louis is looking to trade out of their #2 slot to acquire a bevy of picks from a desperate team that believes “RGIII” can save their franchise. I can’t blame the Rams myself for the move. I mean after Griffin’s stellar performance at the Combine, selling when the demand for Griffin’s services are the highest is the best thing for the Rams to do at this point. They need a glut of players to help their roster, and trading down with a team that is likely still going to be in the top 10 of the draft while receiving extra picks in the process is just level-headed thinking.
Teams like Cleveland, Washington, and Miami (heck, even Kansas City or Seattle) could all be jockeying for the #2 selection, and all the Rams have to do is wait and see which offer suits them the best. We will have to wait for the Peyton Manning/Matt Flynn Dominoes to fall over the next few weeks. But whichever teams elect not to acquire Manning’s or Flynn’s services, they should be trying to work out whatever deal possible to get that #2 spot.
What makes this #2 spot even more important is the advent of the new (well, 2nd year) Rookie Wage Scale. These QB hopeful teams will not have to worry about the exorbitant amount of money that could be invested in a raw talent like “RGIII,” as the financial blow will be lessened by his contract being slotted to his draft position. Thus, even if “RGIII” doesn’t quite pan out, the team that takes him will be in less than dire straits than a team like the Raiders circa. 2007 when they selected JaMarcus Russell, or a team like Detroit in ’02 when they took Joey Harrington.
Movement for Trent Richardson and Other Backs
With regards to Trent Richardson, I can firmly say that he is the best Back prospect to emerge from the college ranks since Adrian Peterson in 2007. However, Trent Richardson might be passed over early this season. Why? Well, because premiums aren’t placed quite as high on Running Backs as in years past, and the fact that many teams drafting in the Top 10 have other pressing needs to fill.
If a player like Richardson slips due to teams looking O-Line, D-Line, and QB, that is when teams like the Bengals or even Broncos could take a chance and trade up with a team to acquire him in the top 10. I am interested to see where Richardson goes, because if he doesn’t go to Cleveland or Tampa Bay, then the upper half of the Draft will get very interesting. If you go down the Draft Board, teams like Washington, Jacksonville, Miami, Buffalo, Kansas City, Seattle, Arizona, Dallas, and Philadelphia don’t have pressing needs or even needs at all for RB’s. All of these franchises could be willing to slide down if they decide not to go B.P.A. with Richardson and inevitably give a team like Cincinnati (that has 2 1st Rounders) a chance to Draft him.
While RB’s Lamar Miller and David Wilson might not be of Richardson’s caliber, both have low 1st to high/mid 2nd Round grades on them. If Richardson goes early (Top 12), you could see teams that passed on Richardson crawling back into the late 1st Round to fill their need at RB with Miller or Wilson come April. Cincinnati should be looking Miller’s way at #17 or #21 if they can’t acquire Richardson, so Wilson could be a hot commodity from anywhere between #22-#40 for a team that is in need of a RB and cannot wait.
Movement for Ryan Tannehilll
I am not on “The Ryan Tannehill Bandwagon” like others are at this point. Nevertheless, some believe that he is worthy of a 1st Round selection, and there are a number of teams which could take a chance on Tannehill in Round 1 in a couple of months.
I’ve seen Tannehill listed all over the place in Mock Drafts. I’ve seen him go as high as #6 to Washington and I’ve seen him picked in the 2nd Round by Seattle (I had Washington taking him in Round 2 of my last Mock Draft). That being said, if Tannehill falls past #12 and the Seahawks, teams in the early to mid-20’s could be getting offers to move from others at the beginning of the 2nd Round looking to upgrade at QB.
Cleveland could be a “Wild Card” with regards to Tannehill, and if they lose out on “RGIII,” they could be looking in his direction with their second 1st Round pick. But if Tannehill falls past the Browns at #22, it will be only a matter of time before another team looks in his direction, and teams from #23-#32 could all be in line to trade back for multiple picks.
Where Tannehill goes, I have no idea right now as I can only project. Nevertheless, there are QB-needy teams throughout the League, and a player with his athleticism and upside could garner a large amount of interest. All it takes is one team to like him for Tannehill to go in Round 1 though, and teams from Picks #23-#32 should be on high alert for a trade.