I came across this story today. Ralph Vacchiano relays some of Gil Brant's draft thoughts. Some are pretty unique.
• LSU DE Tyson Jackson will go in the Top 5. Not might. Will. This qualified as the biggest shocker, to me, since almost every mock draft I looked at pegged Jackson to be a mid- to late first-rounder at best. I thought the Top 5 was pretty locked in, too. But, of course, I shouldn’t have doubted Mr. Brandt. I asked around after the show to see if I could confirm it, and sure enough one NFL source I know did tell me he’s heard the Kansas City Chiefs might take Jackson at No. 3, or trade down and take him a few picks later.
I'm sorry, but I can't see the logic in taking a 3-4 DE in the first five picks of any draft. Quarterbacks, left tackles, and stud linebackers, running backs and receivers go in the top 5. Not 3-4 ends.
• The Seattle Seahawks, at No. 4, will likely select either Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree or USC QB Mark Sanchez.
I smell smoke. Unless they're completely down on Monroe because of his knee, he makes too much sense. I could see them drafting Crabtree, even after signing Houshmandzadeh, but they need to maintain continuity up front. Hasselback will be 34 before the season starts, but is he close enough to the end of the line to take a guy like Sanchez, who you'd probably expect to start in '10?
• Crabtree will fall somewhere between Picks 4 and 10, though given the variables it was impossible to guess exactly where.
Not much of a prophecy there.
• The Oakland Raiders will take a receiver at No. 7 (and it’s hard to imagine them passing on Crabtree if he’s available, so I suppose we can narrow down Crabtree’s placement to 4-7).
• There will be no defensive backs taken in the Top 10.
• The Saints, at No. 14, are looking for a big cornerback, and Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins is a good bet to be their guy.
• The New England Patriots, at No. 23 will take a linebacker.
• Oklahoma T Phil Loadholt (6-7, 332) will go in the first round of the draft. His teammate, G Duke Robinson (6-5, 330, and the top-rated guard on most boards), will not.
I don't see either of them going in the first. Pittsburgh is the only team I could see Loadholt going to, and I don't find that too likely.
• Cincinnati DE Connor Barwin didn’t begin this process as a first-rounder, but he has managed to sneak himself into the bottom of the first round.
Yeah he's rising, but I think the first is a bit too high. The Patriots do like him, and I him going there with the 34th pick, even after taking Cushing in the first. Cushing's versatile enough to play in or out, but I hear a lot of talk that he'd be better off inside in a 3-4. I think the Patriots would be pleased to get both of those guys with their first two picks.
• The Buffalo Bills are targeting a DE with the 11th pick (and not Tennessee DE Robert Ayers, by the way). They are also pretty high on Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew, but aren’t likely to take him unless they trade down a few spots. (Important note: Things have obviously changed a little since then, since the Bills acquired a second first-round pick from Philadelphia in the Jason Peters trade. Now the Bills have both the 11th and 28th pick. Of course, they also have an obvious need for a tackle).
Yes to DE at 11. I've got DE and OLB as their biggest needs, and they should be able to have their pick of everyone but Orakpo at DE. Regarding Pettigrew, they've long been linked to him. That's why I love the fact that they picked up the late #1 from Philadelphia. If Pettigrew gets past the Falcons, I love him to Buffalo at #28.