I'm not upto speed on the draft yet. Even when I am, I will just be repeating what I read elsewhere, since I don't know squat about college football. But, based on the little bit I've seen/thought about so far, here are a couple thoughts:
> Raiders draft first. They're the real wild card. Logic says that they could use help at QB or LT, but last year they passed on Matt Leinart to take a safety. So I think there is a good chance they defy logic and steer clear of QBs again this year. They also probably wouldn't take Joe Thomas (LT) considering their fiasco with bust Robert Gallery a couple years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if Oakland went after Calvin Johnson (WR). They lika dem playmakers, even if the position isn't exactly a need. But, again, they're a wild card.
> Lions go next. Last year, they also passed on Leinart in favor of a LB. I think last year might have been more of a stabilization, putting Kitna at QB. I could see them deciding that now might be a good time to draft a high QB to sit under Kitna for a year, ala the Bengals and Carson Palmer. They probably wouldn't go with Joe Thomas, with Jeff Backus getting a huge contract last year.
> That brings us to the Browns (or the Bucs, depending on the coin flip). My thoughts:
- We will NOT take a QB. Too many other needs, and they want Frye to get another year.
- We SHOULD NOT take a WR, even if Calvin Johnson is a demi-god. I think with Edwards, Jurivicis, and Travis Wilson, we would be loath to take a WR even if they get the best grade.
- Linebacker is not a need. While we could certainly use another impact OLB to start filling in for the aging McGinest, its a very low need right now. If we take any linebackers, it shouldn't be in round one.
- Safety probably isn't a need. If we resign Brian Russell, that will be a safe sign that no safety will be drafted. Unless they've given up on Pool.
- Tight end is set.
- Other than that, we could use players at any of OL, DL, CB, RB. Alot of people have been tossing the name Adrian Peterson (RB) as a Browns pick. It certainly seems like a possibility, but I would prefer to stick it out with the guys we have already, and work on fixing the line. I think I could be happy if we drafted nothing but OL and DL.
Alot of this is premature, since free agency will have a huge impact on our perceived needs (eg, if we sign one or two OL starters, it will drop on the priority list).
However, now is probably a good place to point out one of my draft pet-peeves:
There is no need to suggest "We should try to trade down". That is a given. If a team approaches you and offers you fair value (ie multiple 1st rounders, or even a 1st + 2nd + more) for your first round pick, you should ALWAYS take it. But the fact of the matter is, it that doesn't happen all that often.
Teams who draft later on are drafting later on because they have better teams, and so fewer needs. They aren't about to gamble their future on a single pick no matter HOW good he looks. Now, of course there are the occasional teams that DO target a particular player (Denver going for Cutler, Giants going for Manning, Saints going for Williams) that result in monster deals. But those deals are NEVER started because a team wants to trade down. They're started because a team wants to trade up, and the team that trades down just happens to be lucky to get the windfall.
Hopefully we'll get lucky and someone will want to trade up to get our pick. Seeing Brady Quinn or Jemarcus Russell fall to us certainly could help.