Draft Blog 3.31.2008
Less than a month away from the NFL Draft, there's still a siginificant amount of murkiness surrounding the top of the first round.
In previous years clarity seemed to arrive as the day for selecting neared. But this year there's so little seeming interest in clubs dealing up to a higher level combined with the uncertainty of just who belongs at that level, that the picture remains somewhat muddy.
Let me amplify. Virginia DE Chris Long is a heckuva player. But if taken with the top overall pick Miami will wind up paying Long more than $60 million. Is he worth it? Is any player in this draft worth that much? No. But some player will go #1. The team taking him will in all likelihood get a very good player (be it Long, LSU DT Glenn Dorsey, Arkansas RB Darren McFadden, Boston College QB Matt Ryan or a couple others). But that team will almost certainly also overpay dreadfully.
If the players near the top were considered "sure things" there would be more desire for teams to trade up and select them. But there simply aren't SURE THINGS available.
Long's a "high motor" guy but some scouts feel he's already "maxed out" his potential.
Dorsey's got knee injuries worries. Ryan's solid. But a star? McFadden has "personal baggage".
Dallas, the only team that has two picks in round one (#22 and #28) has already said it's not going to trade into the top five. But action could happen starting at #7 where New England's always ready and willing to deal.
The middle third of the draft has seen what moderate trade action has occurred in the last couple of years and that could be the case for this season. It is there that the next couple of "plateaus" happen in this draft. And it's there in picks 11-25 that there appears to be a great deal of disagreement of who goes where.
I sampled four mock drafts from very respectable "draft experts". In picks 11-25 these four had 26 different players somewhere within these 15 picks.
There's value in having picks in the mid-to-late first-exactly where Dallas has them. At each position (#22 and #28) it's very possible the Cowboys will find a player available they may have rated 5-10 spots higher.
Though Dallas' history under Jerry Jones suggests he'll deal, deal, deal, perhaps the best Round One strategy might be sitting tight and waiting for the runner (Jonathan Stewart or Felix Jones, the WR (Malcolm Kelly, Devin Thomas or DeSean Foster) or the corner (Leodis McKelvin or Mike Jenkins) drops in your lap.