Niblets with NFL Draft sauce for 4/25/09

nib nfl

By Bill Smith

Rumors that we might believe:

The Browns are rethinking their draft away from a WR and more toward a D player. Both BJ Raja (Boston Col) and Brian Orakpo (Texas) seem to be the leaders.

However, the Jets have a deal with Jacksonville to move to the 8th pick if one of the 3 players they want is still on the board. The Jags want desperately to trade out of 8 to get more picks.

The Pats are looking hard at Clay Matthews OLB USC. They love players with a pedigree and smart guys. Matthews may turn out to be the best of the USC linebackers and he was a walk on in college.

I predict:

Don’t expect the Edwards (WR Cleveland) trade to be completed but a QB deal could be. It looks like the Giant deal is dead.

The deal with The Lions signing QB Matthew Stafford (Georgia) increases the chances that some team will want one of the Browns QBs. Reportedly the Vikes are interested among others.

The Lion’s pick also drives up the value of 3rd QB Josh Freeman (Kansas St). Look for him to be gone by pick 19 Tampa.

While a number of potential suiters might like to trade up to get QB Mark Sanchez (USC) but he will be taken by Seattle with the 4th pick. The value of the 3rd pick 2200 points. That is too much for the Jets at 17 or Tampa at 19 to get to.

ILBs will fall. Both James Laurinaitis (Ohio State) and Rey Maualuga (USC) have fallen to the bottom of the first round or maybe into the second. The value of an ILB is lower than OB and neither of them had a particularly great pro day.

Chris Beanie Wells (RB Ohio State) has fallen but has gotten up. Because of his toe problem and his 40 time early in the draft season he fell to the late 1st or early 2nd but he has made a comeback. Look for Wells to be gone no later than 21 to the Eagles.

The Bengals are not worried about the off the field problems that OT Andre Smith (Alabama) had by getting suspended for the Bowl game and quiting at the Combine. The Bengals will take Smith with the 6th pick unless BJ Raji is there. That might cause them to change players.

Despite the hype a couple of players will under produce based on their draft position.

OT Eugene Monroe (Virginia) is soft. While he will become an outstanding pass blockers, he will never be the run blocker you would expect.

3-4 OLB Brian Orakpo (Texas) is not a pass rush specialist and will disappoint the team that drafts him. He will be a good backer but not the pass rush guy they think they got.

Tyson Jackson DE LSU and Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio State will be among the candidates for D rookie of the year.

Rumors that are probably not true:

The NFL has told the Bengals that they must use the no huddle offense in 09. That is only because felons violate their probation if they are within 20 feet of each other.

Detroit seriously considered bringing Mike Vick in as their starting QB and taking an OT with their first pick. That was not because they though Vick was a winner. They knew that PETA would send hundreds of protesters into the stadium and the Lions could use the extra attendance.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

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