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Draft King Analysis

January 11, 2008
Lou Pickney,

Reader feedback is always welcomed here at Send your thoughts to me at

From: Tim Kelly
Date: Jan 10, 2008 12:05 AM
Subject: Mock Draft

Greetings from a Chiefs fan in Kansas City. I've been keeping up with your mock drafts along with others around the internet, and thought I'd comment.

With each update of your mock draft, you continue to predict the Chiefs selecting Chris Long, a defensive end. There are several reasons why this isn't likely or logical. First of all, despite the fact that Jared Allen is scheduled to become a free agent, the Chiefs have made it clear that they have no intention of allowing Allen to leave, even if it means using the franchise tag on him. If (and it's a BIG "if") the Chiefs were to end up franchising and trading Jared Allen, THEN I might consider your prediction more logical. However, I find it VERY unlikely that the Chiefs will let Jared Allen get away.

Secondly, less that 2 years ago, the Chiefs spent a first round draft choice on Tamba Hali, a defensive end. This was an investment of not only a first-round draft choice, but also an investment of first-round money. Hali has had a pair of solid, though unspectacular seasons. Hali is a starter, he's a favorite of coach Herm Edwards, and he certainly hasn't done anything yet to lose his job or be considered a "bust".

Thirdly, the Chiefs have FAR more pressing needs on the offensive side of the football. Their offensive line has deteriorated to the point of embarrassment, and they need to prepare to replace aging veterans. Offense is the way to go, and if an offensive player of the caliber of Jake Long is off the board, I would consider it far more likely that the Chiefs would look to trade down and pick up additional draft choices rather than taking a defensive player or reaching on an offensive player too early.

Jared Allen
Jared Allen is a superstar at defensive end. (WD/Icon SMI)

Keep up the good work, but let's let go of the notion that the Chiefs would be drafting Chris Long.

Lou: You make a compelling case for the Chiefs not taking Chris Long. It's hard to argue with the notion that retaining Jared Allen creates needs well beyond defensive end. I concur with that. And you're right that Kansas City has Tamba Hali at the other DE spot. But if Kansas City is willing to let a talent like Chris Long fall past them as far down as #5, who would they be willing to take to justify such a move? Might they be in a spot to make a surprise pick, perhaps a quarterback like Briam Brohm?

The big problem that the Chiefs face in trading is the invisible wall between the #5 and #6 pick. For reasons that pertain to the rookie salary cap, it is difficult to trade into, or out of, the top five.

If Kansas City had ended up with the #6 pick, it might have served them better in the long run than having #4 or #5, since they've had the latitude to trade down with ease. Jake Long lasting to #4 or #5 seems unlikely. Last year Arizona was in a similar position, and the Cards opted to stretch to take Levi Jones at #5.

The problem this time around seems to be that there is no #2 equivalent to Jones for this year's draft, at least not from what I've observed. Sam Baker is versatile, but that won't likely put him into the top five.

So, if Jake Long is not an option, does that mean that the Chiefs will roll the dice on Brian Brohm or Andre Woodson, or perhaps even Matt Ryan if KC ends up drafting in front of Atlanta? Would coach Herm Edwards and GM Carl Peterson, both of whom have to feel the pressure to win in 2008, be willing to take a "developmental guy" in a rookie QB? We shall see.

In any event, I will reconsider the Kansas City projection for the next update.

From: "J.J."
Date: Jan 10, 2008 4:01 PM
Subject: 2008 NFL mock draft

A few comments on the top 6 of your latest mock draft. First of all, Parcells will trade the 1st pick. He did it with the jets in 1997 and he will do it here because dorsey does not fit the 3-4 two-gap system he wants to run. Secondly, the chiefs will not take chris long because they already have allen and hali and are desperate for offensive line help. They may sucker the jets into trading up for long knowing that the patriots may also have interest. I'm a jets fan and it never falls their way unless they pay a heavy price to get the player they want. It's a draft curse that has been going on for close to 40 years!!

Lou: See, I told you that I had a number of e-mails taking me to task for the Chiefs pick. Point taken.

As for Parcells trading the #1 overall pick, he held onto it in 1993 to bring Drew Bledsoe on board with the New England Patriots. And while he traded it in 1997 with the Jets, to me that's hardly an indication that he *will* trade it. But it shows that he has the willingness to potentially trade it, which is the important part.

With Parcells, he's not the GM; that title belongs to Jeff Ireland. But it appears to many observers that Parcells is the one calling all of the shots. As for the head coach position, the Dolphins don't have anyone in that spot, but it's the worst kept secret in football that Cowboys assistant coach Tony Sparano is expected to be named the new head coach in Miami once Dallas ends its playoff run.

It will be interesting to see to what level Parcells micro-manages. He was hired to turn the Dolphins into winners, and I write this not as a criticism of Parcells (who has proven his skills time and time again), but more out of the sheer curiosity of how Parcells will handle a team president job when he's not the coach. Will the Dolphins run the "Parcells style" 3-4? That has not yet been decided (at least to the public), but it could impact what Miami opts to do at the #1 spot.

If the Dolphins pass on taking Dorsey, I would be most surprised. But with Parcells in charge, he's going to what he thinks is best for the team. And if that includes passing on Dorsey or trading down or whatever, it's what he's going to do. Regardless of the outcome, it will be fun to see how it plays out.

From: Keat Bhutani
Date: Jan 11, 2008 2:06 PM
Subject: Ravens

Happy New Year. I love the site.

I know a lot depends on who the new coach is going to be, but give me your thoughts on what the Ravens will do. Here are my thoughts:

Round 1 - Malcolm Jenkins

Round 2 - Quentin Groves, Ali Highsmith, or Xavier Adibi

Round 3 - traded to Bills in McGahee deal

Rounds 4 to 7 - fortify the OL, DL, and find a TE

The Ravens will have several compensatory picks due to the FA losses this past year. So, those could be of great use in to add talent to the roster.

Lou: Since you wrote me, Malcolm Jenkins has announced that he plans to return to Ohio State for his senior season. He has until Tuesday 1/15 to change his mind, but it appears that he'll be out of the mix. As it is, the odds are good that Baltimore will have its pick of the CB litter at #8, though it would be a stretch for Mike Jenkins or Antoine Cason to go that high.

However, with Malcolm Jenkins heading back to school and Oklahoma CB Reggie Smith also undecided as of this writing (but possibly returning due to breaking a toe during the Big XII title game), corner could be at more of a premium than originally thought going into the draft. The risk of moving down is that if Baltimore really likes one particular corner over the rest, there's always the chance that they'd lose out on their guy by moving down.

Of the three OLBs listed for round two, I strongly doubt that Groves would still be on the board at that point. If he is, that would be the steal of the draft. Highsmith is a strong run-stuffer, and Adibi is physically gifted. The Ravens will likely be looking for someone in that area who could do what Terrell Suggs can do, since he is entering unrestricted free agency and is likely to be paid some big cash on the open market.

It would surprise me for Baltimore to pass on a QB in round one... unless the Ravens have their eyes on someone like pending restricted free agent Derek Anderson.

The Ravens don't have a third round pick (McGahee trade) or a fifth rounder (Jared Gaither in the supplemental draft), but as you mentioned they should land multiple compensatory selections. As an aside, I'm not sure what not having a third rounder would do for them being able to potentially sign Derek Anderson, since the highest free agency tender for a restricted free agent is a first and a third round pick, which almost for sure what Cleveland will sign Anderson to if they don't have a long-term deal in place before free agency arrives.

There is also the factor of the head coaching vacancy that could impact things as far as the draft and long-term planning go, but with Ozzie Newsome being such a good general manager, I'd think that the impact from the new coach would be less than you might see in other situations.

From: Josh Obergfell
Date: Jan 11, 2008 2:29 PM
Subject: (no subject)

Heard something very interseting today on the mike and mike show on espn. they Chad Johnson on the Show today he was sounding like he wanted out of Cinci what are the chances Mr. Money Bags, (Jerry Jones) goes after Ocho Cinco Could You Imagine The Combo Of T.O. and Chad and still drafting a player like Desean Jackson, and getting a running back like charles, and haveing MArion The 3rd Not the metion One Of the BEst TE in Witten People Would be saying New Egland WHo?

Lou: I addressed the Chad Johnson situation in yesterday's mailbag, but I can't forsee the scenario where both he and Terrell Owens are on the same team. Moreover, with Cincinnati in control with CJ under a long-term contract (with a team option keeping him around through 2011), it seems to me that the Bengals are the ones who will be calling the shots with him.

From: Sandy Faulkner
Date: Jan 11, 2008 3:30 PM
Subject: Draft King Mock Draft

Very good mock draft and interesting comments. I did notice that you include no trades at the moment and they are difficult to predict anyway. As an avid fan of the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys, I do enjoy the process and mock drafts.

Chris Johnson
East Carolina's Chris Johnson has rare speed for a running back. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)
Your analysis seems good on Dallas although I seriously doubt Dallas will ever take an OT/OG/C in the 1st round as long as Jerry Jones is there. Any other round yes but in the 1st, just no way. I could see a CB in the first along with a RB.

I do wonder what you think about the trade possibilities with Parcells and Jones this year though. As much as everyone knows that Jones want McFadden, I seriously doubt that Jones would trade up to the 1st overall spot to get him, plus I really don't believe McFadden is worth the 1st pick overall. I can see Jones parting with Bobby Carpenter, Anthony Fasano and Jason Ferguson in a trade with Miami but just how much that would bring is suspect.

Looking forward to your next updated mock.

Lou: I learned pretty early on that projecting trades is a sucker's game; it's hard enough to line up who will go where without trying to figure out what trades may go down during the draft as well. There are way too many variables involved to make it worthwhile to either me or my readers.

The Cowboys, with their two first rounders, have a wide variety of options. Likely needs include an RB to compliment Barber (replacing Julius Jones), an offensive tackle (backup or starter) to fill the spot that will be vacated by Flozell Adams, a wide receiver to begin developing now for live after T.O., and help in the secondary. How the Cowboys handle Ken Hamlin could impact things a great deal, though acquiring a cornerback with a first rounder is a distinct possibility either way.

If you look at supply and demand, there is a wealth of riches at running back in this draft, to the point where I'm planning on projecting Dallas won't take a RB in the first round the next time I redo the mock on here. That will hold true, I predict, even if they keep both picks. Could you imagine Dallas using a second rounder on a burner like East Carolina's Chris Johnson? Or, if he's gone, a prolific talent like Ray Rice or Kevin Smith? Even if they wait until considerably later in the draft, the Cowboys could land someone like Ole Miss RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis. But, any way you slice it, the Cowboys should come out of it just fine.


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