Tuesday, April 24, 2007

NFL Draft: Draft Scenarios for the Top 10 Picks

In less than four days, many weeks and months of speculation will come to an end, as college football's elite finally realize their NFL dreams. For many fans, the first ten picks will be the main focus. For that reason, we've broken down the scenarios for these picks, including trades. In effort to demonstrate uniformity among information sources, this article uses resident NFL Draft expert Armin Mohajeri's big board to determine the best player available for each pick as well as extract the top ten picks from his most recent mock draft.

To obtain Armin's full 3-round mock draft, e-mail him at armin.mohajeri@gmail.com.

[Note: This article uses this draft value chart.]

1. Oakland
Best player available: Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
Current scenario: Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
Other: Select JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU

Factors: Believe it or not, the Miami Dolphins hold the key to determining the fate of the overall #1 pick. While this may be another smokescreen synonymous with the week leading up to the draft, rumors are afloat that Miami will release Daunte Culpepper regardless of their ability to land Trent Green. This will allow Oakland to land an experienced quarterback suited for their downfield offense. Of course, there will be questions about whether Culpepper can get his roll on while playing rather than on the sidelines. There’s also the issue of whether Randy Moss will be a Raider in ’07. If Johnson is selected, expect the Raiders to part ways with Moss (likely via trade).

2. Detroit
Best player available: Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
Current scenario: JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
Other: Trade pick with Tampa Bay

Satisfying Trade Offer:
Tampa Bay receives 2nd pick (2600 pts)
Detroit receives 4th (1800 pts), 35th (550 pts), 64th (270 pts), & 68th (250 pts) picks

Factors: If Calvin Johnson is still on the board and Oakland selects JaMarcus Russell with the 1st overall pick, expect Tampa Bay and Denver to make a concerted effort for the playmaking Calvin Johnson. Tampa Bay is the likely trading partner, as the Lions can draft Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams with the 4th pick. As trading partners increase throughout the course of the week, Detroit's asking price will continue to rise accordingly.

3. Cleveland
Best player available: JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
Current scenario: Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
Other: Select JaMarcus Russell (if available), Joe Thomas (if available), Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame

Factors: Romeo Crennel had better make this one count, because his days may be numbered in the cursed town of Cleveland. To cover themselves, the Browns have been playing the smokescreen game for a couple of weeks, suddenly changing course on Brady Quinn and coveting the aforementioned Russell.

4. Tampa Bay
Best player available: Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
Current Scenario: Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
Other: Trade up with Detroit to select Calvin Johnson, select Gaines Adams

Factors: It all comes down to whether Calvin Johnson is selected 1st overall. It’s not a lost cause if they don’t land him. Joe Thomas is a stud at tackle and makes an instant impact on the Bucs’ porous offensive line. Also, the health, or should I say lack thereof, of Simeon Rice may force Tampa Bay’s hand in selecting standout defensive end Gaines Adams.

5. Arizona
Best player available: LaRon Landry, FS, LSU
Current scenario: Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
Other: Select Joe Thomas (if he slips, which he won’t … all while fishing)

Factors: The Cardinals are set at QB, RB, and WR, so that eliminates four likely possibilities. That leaves every year’s sexy playoff pick with Gaines Adams, Joe Thomas, LaRon Landry and a host of reaches. If Adams and Thomas are off the board, will the Cards be willing to give 5th pick money to a free safety or dangle their pick to Brady Quinn suitors?

6. Washington
Best player available: Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
Current scenario: Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
Other: Trade with Miami or Minnesota

Satisfying Offer(s):
Miami OR Minnesota receives 6th pick (1600 pts)
Washington receives (from Minnesota) 7th pick (1500 pts), 72nd (230 pts), & 106th picks (82 pts) OR
Washington receives (from Miami) 9th (1350 pts), 60th (300 pts), & 71st picks (235 pts)

Factors: In most mock drafts, Gaines Adams is not likely to be available, as Detroit is targeting his services. Further, selecting Amobi Okoye at 6 is a reach. While this practice is nothing new to teams like the Redskins or the Bills, they will be position of great leverage to amass Day 1 draft picks, especially with at least two teams vying for Brady Quinn’s services. At this point, a trade in likely in the cards, and for once, Washington may be getting the better end of the deal. If Miami wants to play hardball, the GM at Redskins Park (oh wait, there isn’t one) should take a page out of the AJ Smith book and select the Fighting Irish signal caller.

7. Minnesota
Best player available: Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
Current scenario: Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
Other: Trade pick or select Adrian Peterson (if available) or Leon Hall, CB, Michigan

Factors: To this point, the Vikings brass has all but ended the Tarvaris Jackson experiment by making their Quinn pursuit public. Should Miami hop Minnesota and select Quinn, this pick will lose value and the Vikes may be forced into reaching for a player who fits a need such as Leon Hall. Jamaal Anderson may be selected here too. With that said, if AP falls to the 7th pick overall, then he’s a keeper.

8. Atlanta Falcons
Best player available: Patrick Willis, MLB, Ole Miss
Current scenario: Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
Other: Select LaRon Landry, Leon Hall, or Amobi Okoye

Factors: It’s no secret that Atlanta must address its defense. Thankfully, the best players available all fit potential need areas. While Anderson, Landry, and Hall are all great fits, will Bobby Petrino resist the opportunity to coach his former defensive tackle (Okoye) at Louisville? This factor may play a role dissuading Washington (known admirers of Okoye with zero ability to keep anything in-house) from get maximum value in trading with Miami who holds the 9th pick overall.

9. Miami Dolphins
Best player available: Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
Current scenario: Levi Brown, OT, Penn State
Other: Trade with Washington for 6th overall pick

Factors: As stated earlier, neither the acquisition of Trent Green nor the release or the trade of Daunte Culpepper have any bearing on this pick. Green will be 37 when the season starts and cannot be considered much more than a stop-gap solution for Cam Cameron. If the Quinn pursuits fail, then Levi Brown would be a great addition to an offensive line that interpreted blocking in the most liberal sense.

10. Houston Texans
Best player available: Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
Current scenario: LaRon Landry, FS, LSU
Other: Select Adrian Peterson (if available)

Factors: The deal to get Matt Schaub drained the Texans of valuable second-round draft picks which could have been packaged in an effort to move up and draft Peterson. Based on where they are in draft order, Houston is bound to find a steal on the defensive side of the ball who somehow slipped out of the top nine picks. They can fill similar holes on defense by drafting the likes of Leon Hall and Alan Branch (both from Michigan).


Anonymous said...

If both Peterson and Quinn are available at 6, can the Redskins pry the higher 2nd round pick from Miami (40th) in addition to the 9th pick.

Paymon said...

The original trading scenarios already had the pick weighted in favor of the teams with the higher score (ie Washington), so I'm leaning on the negative side.

I could see Miami offering their 2nd rounder next year in lieu of the 40th pick overall.

Armin said...

Just a comment on Detroit trading their #2 pick: Look for Detroit to get fleeced in this trade. Everyone knows they want to trade down, and Tampa and Atlanta are probably the only trade candidates (and that's only if Calvin Johnson is available). Detroit will take a lesser trade, just so they don't have to pay Gaines Adams (or whomever they select) so much money.

Washington is in the same scenario. They will probably get fleeced by Miami if Quinn is available at 6. However, if they land Okoye at 9, they get a passing grade. Unfortunately, as a Redskin fan, I can see our lack of a GM being a big factor in the Redskins making some horrible decisions.