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National Football League
Draft King Analysis

February 12, 2008
Lou Pickney,

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According to multiple published reports, Vikings 24-year-old DE Kenechi Udeze has been diagnosed with leukemia. He is said to be undergoing medical tests to determine the severity of the condition, though he will likely require chemotherapy to fight the disease. The Vikings landed Udeze out of USC with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2004 Draft.

The switcheroo games are set to begin within the NFL, with teams cutting players (including established veterans) while others consider everything from trading talent to contemplating the use of the franchise tag.

Baltimore, which last year lost OLB Adalius Thomas to free agency, is not going to repeat history with DE/OLB Terrell Suggs. The word out of the Ravens camp is that the team hopes to ink Suggs to a long-term deal, but that they will use the franchise tag on him if necessary. That indication makes me think it's even more likely that the team will go for a QB at the #8 spot, particularly since the club's cap room situation is tight enough at this point to prevent any big moves on the open market.

The Dolphins gave QB Trent Green his walking papers yesterday, as part of a roster purging that is likely to continue. WR Marty Booker also was shown the door as Bill Parcells and his crew starts to pare through the remnants of a 1-15 team.

As for who Miami will target with the #1 overall pick, whispers out of South Florida are that Virginia DE Chris Long, the player projected by Draft King to go in the top spot as of this writing, is deemed by management to be the best value for the money, or at the very least the most likely to live up to the billing and pressure of the top spot.

There have been some rumors floating that the Dolphins may consider Boston College QB Matt Ryan at the top spot, but I just don't see that considering the team's many needs on defense and the fact that the team brought in former BYU QB John Beck with a high second round pick in last year's draft. Never say never, but I'd doubt Ryan would go to Miami at the top spot.

Rumors about a Miami/Dallas trade won't go away, but the reality is that Dallas doesn't have what it takes to move into that top spot. Trading into the top five is going to require multiple first rounders, and Dallas has that, but to get to #1 you need more than a couple of late first rounders. There are some mentions that have been made of Marion Barber being part of the equation, but he's going to be a restricted free agent as of 2/29. And even if Dallas retains him with a high tender offer, that would put him on board for just one more year. And, as I've explained in the tenuous situations with Detroit WR Roy Williams and Jets LB Jonathan Vilma, teams trading for a player would want a guy with one year left to sign a new deal. That makes a complicated situation even more difficult to maneuver.

There is some talk that the Rams would consider trading down from #2, which makes a great deal of sense given that there will be multiple high-end players on the board there regardless of what The 2008 NFL Combine is just around the corner, which should be the next time we see prospects make some major moves up (or down) the board. You probably won't see the very elite players work out there, but there will be some very interesting comparisons to be made at some key spots, including running back and cornerback.

According to the Washington Post, there might be interest by the Redskins to bring Chad Johnson on board. I'm not sure how much validity there is to that, but CJ would provide a big target for Washington, which could reasonably list wide receiver as a need spot -- particularly a guy like CJ. Drew Rosenhaus is going to push for a new contract for Johnson wherever he goes, and I could see him talking Daniel Snyder into inking Johnson to a new deal, despite the fact that he is already under contract through 2010 (with a 2011 club option.) The question on the other end is simple: what would Cincinnati find acceptable in return for him?


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