According to Rotoworld.com, Delaware QB Joe Flacco is tearing up his pro-day and reportedly threw a 60 yard strike on the fly while…standing still! Flacco is likely to be a 1st round QB and with a plethora of NFL scouts, GM’s, and other team reps in attendance, the stock for Flacco is rising. If Matt Ryan has any desire to not suffer the fates of Aaron Rogers and Brady Quinn, he will need to have a lights out combine. Flacco may not be a top 5 pick but teams wanting him may try and move back into round 1 late and pick him up…much like Cleveland did last year. For a team like Atlanta, that move may be closer to reality as they could possibly move down with Dallas.
Which brings us to the Cowboys fortunes. There are 4 running backs worthy of a first round grade and that group may shrink by one. Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart may have toe surgery which could sideline him for 4-6 months. Although the injury is not considered serious, it will likely force teams interested in a 1st round running back to look elsewhere. The obvious number 1 talent at the position and perhaps the draft is Darren McFadden, behind DM has been Felix Jones, Stewart, and Rashard Mendenhall who has been steadily climbing. Dallas has been one of those teams who will target a RB in round 1. Stewart’s injury could create a problem with that.
Consider this. The ‘Boyz are “mocked” to do two things, trade up for DM or select Felix Jones with one of their 1st rounders. The Stewart injury could force a team picking before Dallas to take Jones a little earlier than projected. In fact, with Jones becoming the 3rd back in the group now, Stewart may be the only option for Dallas, even at 22. Mendenhall could be taken by the Carolina Panthers and Jones could be taken a few slots later by Chicago. Leaving Dallas staring at the one situation they didn’t want to be in.
With the Falcons looking QB, the Cowboys may be more inclined to throw more at the birds to get DM allowing the Falcons to pass on Matt Ryan for a shot at Joe Flacco. The Falcons could easily take Flacco with the 22nd overall selection and still be able to address the Oline, Dline, or secondary with the Cowboy 28th.
The Miami Dolphins of course could throw a wrench into all of this by drafting Darren McFadden in round 1 and then working on a trade for him after the fact. A notion that has upside, downside, and everything in between. The problem with this scenario is that in the event Miami can’t move him, they are saddled with a player that fits no specific need although he would be a boost to an anemic offense.
With the draft a short 43 days away, teams will start planning out their strategies now while they have the time. A team like Dallas may be able to move up cheaper as the top teams try and move down…want to move down. It appears as though any chance of Atlanta moving up to 1 is all but a dead issue. With Flacco performing well, Atlanta may do themselves far more by simply dropping back.
While it is almost certain that Atlanta will not move up for Ryan, there is another team who’s name is causing a stir in the large pond. Kansas City. A local Miami reporter has breathed the words move up in conjuction with their name, as they may want to get in front of St. Louis to draft Jake Long. Nothing more than a ripple, but something to at least keep an eye on.