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Pi Network

Draft King Analysis
February 3, 2012
Lou Pickney,

Reader feedback is always welcomed here on Draft King. Sound off with your thoughts on Twitter (@LouPickney) or via email at

Here we go, showtime. February has arrived, and that means the Super Bowl, the combine, the start of free agency next month, and then by April it's the draft. After that it's a long grind until training camps begin.

I need to correct a misconception I wrote about on here regarding use of the so-called "poison pills" in offer sheets made to players under the transition tag or franchise tag. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement specifically prohibits poison pills. There isn't much out there about it, and the specific change is something I must have overlooked in the hoopla that ensued after both sides ratified the new NFL CBA.

Article 9, Section 3, sub-section (e)(iii)
Notwithstanding Subsections (i) and (ii) above, no Offer Sheet may contain a Principal Term that would create rights or obligations for the Old Club that differ in any way (including but not limited to the amount of compensation that would be paid, the circumstances in which compensation would be guaranteed, or the circumstances in which other contractual rights would or would not vest) from the rights or obligations that such Principal Term would create for the Club extended the Offer Sheet (i.e., no "poison pills").

So much for my poison pill ideas, though with teams having held off from using it since the Seahawks vs. Vikings poison pill battle of 2006 (was there owner collusion?), it probably wouldn't have made an actual difference. But that does eliminate some outrageous potential scenarios, like the Redskins poison pilling Drew Brees.

In my appearance on the Batchelor Pad radio show yesterday I revealed my Super Bowl pick: New England 27, NY Giants 20. And, as I mentioned on the show, it's interesting how the return of Patrick Chung and the associated improvement in the Patriots' pass defense hasn't received more run in the press, particularly with so much attention turned toward the NFL with the Super Bowl approaching.

Some draft-related storylines worthy of your attention:

-The thought that USC OT Matt Kalil would be the runaway choice as the first offensive lineman to be drafted has taken a hit as of late, particularly with NFL Network's Mike Mayock rating Iowa OT Riley Reiff ahead of Kalil on his list earlier this week. But don't worry too much about Kalil slipping, not with his talent level.

-Is Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill going to be drafted in the first round? Many prognosticators seem to think so, and with the NFL being so tilted toward the passing game under its current rules, it would seem possible. One year ago people weren't sure if Florida State QB Christian Ponder would be a first round pick, and he ended up going #12 overall to Minnesota.

-Who is the most likely wide receiver to go after Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon? I like Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd, but Baylor WR Kendall Wright and South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery are also in the running. In a related note, Jeffery is #1 on my "most likely top prospect to have his last name misspelled" list. I've seen several examples of Jeffrey written instead of Jeffery. No sighting yet of any Geoffrey spellings, like the giraffe from Toys R Us.

-When will the run on interior offensive linemen begin? This year is stronger than most with top-tier interior OL talent, with guys like Stanford OG David DeCastro, Georgia OG Cordy Glenn, Wisconsin C Peter Konz, Ohio State C Michael Brewster, and Georgia C Ben Jones all likely to go in the first two or three rounds. I imagine DeCastro will go in the 15-20 range of round one, though him going in the 10-14 range wouldn't be outright surprising.

Offensive tackles have a special value, but a quality interior offensive lineman can also make a major difference, particularly for a team that might be one or two players away from having a strong offensive line. I doubt we'll see DeCastro go ahead of USC OT Matt Kalil or Iowa OT Riley Reiff, but that doesn't mean that he (or any other top interior offensive line prospects) can't have an immediate impact.


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