The NFL Draft kicks off round 1 tomorrow night at 7:00 PM. Tonight, I will co-host “On The Fin Side” on Finsradio.net starting at 8 eastern and tomorrow will host a live pre-draft show on Finsradio.net as well leading up to the draft. Then for the draft, you can join our live DRAFT chat here on PhinPhanatic or on Phinatics.com as well. Why so much draft coverage? Simple, with the draft closing in, a myriad of trade rumors are floating around that warrant discussion.
No talk of this years draft has been nationally monitored like that of Ryan Tannehill. At one time he was almost assuredly going to Cleveland at number four, something I have never been on board with. The men in the know said any team wanting the A&M QB would have to trade up to the 3 spot with Minnesota. While the Vikings are still the hot topic of trades this morning, it’s the drafting of someone not named Tannehill that would be the draw.
The Vikings are said to be interested in Morris Claiborne or Justin Blackmon. Likely a ruse to get some other team to jump up to three to take one of them allowing the Vikes to move down. The trade rumors don’t stop with the Vikings and that third overall pick.
Cleveland has been rumored to be interested in moving out the four spot but it would take an interested team that holds a high value on any of Matt Kalil, Claiborne, or Blackmon. The likelihood of Cleveland making a trade out of 4 is remote and the reason is that it’s too costly to move up to four where the Browns will likely take RB Trent Richardson. That would indicate two of the three mentioned above would drop past Cleveland and one of those would drop past Tampa Bay.
Tampa is not on the rumor list but anything can happen. Following Tampa are the Rams at number six and it should be noted that they are a team that may have interest in jumping back in to the top five should they feel WR Justin Blackmon will be gone. If Blackmon is not taken by the Vikings, he likely will slide the Rams as Tampa is not expected to draft a WR with the fifth overall pick. It’s for that reason I believe the Rams will sit tight and wait. Jacksonville however is another story.
The Jaguars have made it clear they want out of the seven spot and considering it sits one slot in front of Miami, the powers that be indicate any team wanting Ryan Tannehill slotted lower than 8 will need to get to this spot to take him. The problem here is that teams are apparently waning on the idea of drafting RT in the top 10 and that includes the Dolphins. The Jaguars however will be in play with a number of other teams looking to make a strike on defensive players or possibly the second rated WR in the draft, Michael Floyd. I fully expect the Jaguars to be working the phone lines prior to being on the clock and well into their allotted time.
The Dolphins are the most likely landing spot for Ryan Tannehill however it appears that maybe this is more smoke and mirror games than actual interest. While the Dolphins have done everything to quash the rumors of owner Stephen Ross‘ interest in the QB, it’s very possible that the entire rumor was in fact started by the Dolphins themselves in an attempt to show more smoke than actual interest. The Dolphins have been media slammed for months so taking this approach would be something that everyone would actually expect to be true. The fact that both Ross and GM Jeff Ireland were so prepared to discount the rumor leaves me to believe they had the time to actually prepare for its release.
All that being said the Dolphins and Jeff Ireland have held their play pretty close to the chest thus far but that has not stopped some rumors to make their way around the internet. Both the Philadelphia Eagles who seem to covet DT Fletcher Cox and the Dallas Cowboys may be showing some interest in moving up to 8. The Cowboys are interested in two players, S Mark Barron who could also be a target of the Bills and Donari’ Poe who would likely be their fall back option.
The Dolphins do sit in an enviable spot at the 8 position because they seek an edge pass rusher as do the Carolina Panthers at 9 and the Bills are a team that some may try and jump at 10 for Barron. The Dolphins will sit on their clock as well.
The Panthers haven’t shown much interest in moving up or down and I don’t expect them to be involved in a major move but if a trade with the Dolphins fails to materialize, the Panthers could take an offer for a team wanting to get in front of Buffalo and they will likely entertain the offers.
The Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks have been the two teams rumored the most as parties interested in moving up for Ryan Tannehill. If reports out of KC are correct, the Chiefs won’t take RT at their own spot let alone moving up for him and no one else on the board presents the Chiefs with enough interest that they will give up picks to move up. The Chiefs are very high on MLB Luke Kuechly so I expect them to sit tight and grab their guy. Seattle sits about the same with me. They appear to be all talk in terms of driving interest but the fact they just signed Matt Flynn, I highly doubt that they spend a first round pick on another QB this year.
I have discussed Dallas and Philly already so the next team/s that could make draft day moves are the Bengals who own two first round picks, the Patriots who own two first rounders, and the Chicago Bears.
The Bears have been rumored to have interest moving up and possibly to obtain the aforementioned Kuechly. However, I don’t believe that they will pony up the needed picks to move in front of KC and frankly I’m not convinced that the Chiefs would pass on Kuechly for a better than average offer. The Bengals with their two selections will be a team to watch. They can stay put and add talent to their young roster or they can move up or down. I haven’t heard much talk in the form of interest on their part, but it’s a team to watch as others will want to move around and that puts them in play.
The Patriots round out the first round teams who could be trading on day 1. While some believe they will try and move up to secure S Mark Barron, it would completely be out of the Bill Belichick character to do so. In fact, I would put more money on the Patriots moving one of those picks to a team wanting to get back into round 1 and taking a 2nd and a first next year or something similar. The Patriots if nothing else know how to accumulate draft picks. This year the Patriots have no selections after the fourth round so their first round selections offer the team the best chance to add picks to this years draft.
There are always teams who surprisingly jump ahead of everyone for a player no one had them targeted for and their are always teams who overpay for those moves. As such, there are those teams most feel will make a move and have their selection in to the Commissioner without wasting a full minute. We find out everything tomorrow night.