With its new Thursday night slot (er, afternoon for the non-East Coast folks - you guys are always getting a raw deal - NO SUSHI FOR YOU!) it will be easy for many folks across the country to miss the NFL Draft.
And THIS ONE will be the one not to miss.
Why is it gonna be the wildest draft ever?!
1) It features the Oakland Raiders.Yes - expect the unexpected once again.
(and before you spout off that every draft features the Raiders and their crazy "combine-induced" picks of nautical disasterousness, remember they're taking next season off thanks to that little Richard Seymour trade with the Pats.)
2) Lots and lots of trades.
Multiple teams have lots of picks. Seattle, San Fran, Denver, Philadelphia.
3) Bill Belichick and the Pats.I'm giving you 6 to 5, that he'll flip next year's Raiders pick for a pick THIS year. Expect more wackiness with the Pats this draft.
4) Most Wanted: Pick #33, Rams 1st Pick of the 2nd Round1st of the 2nd round on Friday will be a bidding war that will go through the night. Before this season, you didn't have a WHOLE NIGHT of wheelin' and deelin'. Perhaps that's when the Pats make their move - maybe it'll be Denver - SOMEONE will make a move for that Rams pick and St. Louis will take the big bushel of picks with Glee. Everyone knows this - which leads us to.......
5) Pick #30, #31 and Pick #32.31 teams will want the Rams pick at #33 but they know (except for one) they won't get it. Some of the smarter teams will decide, hey if I'm gonna pay through the nose, I'm doing it BEFORE the bidding starts and my guy is gone. Expect some crazy action on the Vikings, Colts and Saints choices in the bottom three.
6) C. B. A.A lot of people complain about the ridiculous prices for unproven talent. But guess what? No one complains about the bargain-basement contracts picks get in the bottom half of the first round and the beginning of the second. Who knows what a new CBA will bring - but teams can LOCK into a player they want now, in a deep draft and get a tremendous contract. Moving into the late 1st round or 2nd round is almost like playing it safe with all the CBA turbulence ahead and we all know NFL coaches LOVE TO PLAY IT SAFE. (Except for Coach Payton, who does Super Bowl onside kicks and I bet, peddles his #32 pick into more risk-taking, BASKETT FULL OF GOODIES.
Side Note: The Eagles amongst other teams, have ALWAYS determined that high 2nd round picks are the best in the draft when you offset contract values with player values and have never been hesitant to trade down into the second round. The pick they got for Donovan? They prefered it was early second round vs. early first round.
Eagles Picks - 2nd Round (2009 Base Salary + Bonuses)
2009: LeSean McCoy - ($310k + 1.37 Mil)
2008: Trevor Laws - ($385k + $419k)
2008: DeSean Jackson - ($385k + $398k)
2007: Kevin Kolb - ($460k + $736k)
2007: Victor Abiamiri ($460k + $529k)
Jets' Vernon Gholston ($2.9 Mil + $6.286 Mil= $9.2 Million)
Now Abiarmiri is a solid backup whereas Laws hasn't established himself at all. Kolb is now the starting QB as is McCoy at RB and we all know how DeSean worked out. With all the money saved by 1 top of the 1st round bust vs. FIVE 2nd round picks, you can literally afford to overpay for a free agent.
More and more teams are learning, bottom of the 1st, top of the 2nd round is WHERE ITS AT!
7) Its a deep draft with lots of curious options at QB.Claussen slipping? McCoy? Tebow? Some intriguing choices plus a lot of teams setup to take a QB they can develop (KC, Philly, SF, Arizona)
So what are you going to see? Wild trading - maybe some "reaching" and no chance that there will be value picks at the QB position. Teams will be jockeying around like an auction - wild draft trading WILL ENSUE!
My trade predictions:
1. There will be no movement in the top 4 (the dollars are so insane, these picks almost have negative value)
2. Seahawks will bounce around with their picks.
3. Jaguars will move down out of their 10 slot by any means possible.
4. 49ers may move up with their 13th pick and down with the 17th one.
5. Patriots will move their 2011 Raiders 1st rounder to get a second pick in this draft
6. One (or more) of the Vikings, Colts and Saints will swap out of the bottom of the 1st round.
I also suspect several player trades will go down (in particular with running backs) after Day 1.
Now with all this action, just don't be stuck in traffic getting home to see it.
(Blatant Plug: CBSSports.com is covering it strong. Today, we had the NFL team bloggers from FanSided.com do a REAL live mock draft . Of course, we're covering the NFL Draft all weekend - check out our coverage. )