Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quick Hits: What Jake Long going #1 Overall Means

(For PHSports' complete pre-draft rankings, visit Armin's latest Positional Rankings)

Congrats are in order to the Miami Dolphins. By agreeing to terms with Jake Long, they’ve bitten the bullet and selected the most consistent collegiate player available in this uninspired draft year (and have also proven PHSports right since Armin's mock draft was one of the few who had Jake Long going first). Don’t get me wrong, there are some solid players, but there was no clear-cut best overall choice or superstar. But also, and more importantly, the Fins avoided any sort of hold out through training camp like what the Raiders went through with JaMarcus Russell last year.

With regard to other OTs, this arguably helps players like Branden Albert of UVA and Ryan Clady of Boise State shore up spots in the top 15 selections, if not top 10. Continuing the domino effect, it all but guarantees that 6-7 offensive linemen will go in the first round.

In terms of money and contracts, it seems that the Dolphins relented on contract length, agreeing to make it only a five-year deal rather than the six-year commitment teams tend to prefer. For five-years, Long will get $30 million in guaranteed money and can earn up to $57.5 million overall. Last year Russell received $32 million in guaranteed salary with the possibility of earning $61 million. So much for the Tuna’s attempt to pay less to this year’s #1 than what the Raiders paid last year. Based on this deal, I would expect to see a lot more five-year deals for the first 16 players selected this draft than six-year contracts. Also, look for a about a 10-15% bump in guaranteed money for the first round selections. Long received what equates to a 12.5% increase in guaranteed pay from last year’s #1 overall selection.

Now the Rams have about 4 days to try and figure out a contract with their choice, if they hold onto their pick at #2. Look for St. Louis to concentrate their efforts on Glenn Dorsey out of LSU and possibly Chris Long of UVA.

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