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Five Draft Predictions You Can Set Your Watch To

As April 25th approaches, more and more is becoming clear about the Draft.  It is still too early to tell who will be selected when, but certain trends are developing.  I personally would never be presumptuous enough to think that I can predict the exact order in which players will be taken in three weeks, but I am audacious enough to believe that I can not only identify those developing trends but go out on a limb and call them facts.  It helps that no one can currently prove me wrong, but I’m sure this will be thrown in my face if any of these assertions are eventually found erroneous.  I’m still willing to claim that you can take these “facts” to the bank.

1.  No matter the order, Aaron Curry, Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe will be selected in the top four picks.  Ok, this one is a little obvious, but let me start with a putt.  If Matthew Stafford is taken first by Detroit, the next three picks will be the three stated above.  The other possibility is that they are taken in succession with the top three picks and Seattle takes Michael Crabtree, Matthew Stafford or even Mark Sanchez whom Seattle is rumored to prefer over Stafford.  Either way, Monroe, Smith and Curry are the safest players in the Draft and will be taken accordingly.

2.  There will be no less than three OT’s selected in the top 10 picks.  Out of the top 4 OT’s Eugene Monroe and Jason Smith are no brainers, but Andre Smith has character issues and scouts have questioned Michael Oher’s ability to be a franchise LT.  There are simply, however, too many teams that need help at OT for this fact to be wrong.  Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City, Seattle, Cincinnati, San Francisco are all strong possibilities as landing spots for a LT this year.  Michael Oher’s fantastic Pro Day vaulted him back into a conversation as a top 10 pick, and as for Andre Smith, Cincinnati doesn’t care about character and Mike Singletary won’t shy away from a teaching challenge.  There is an outside chance that all four could be taken in the top 10, but that limb is still a little shaky to walk out on.

3.  The latest Matthew Stafford will be selected is 8th.  Detroit and Seattle are considered the most logical locations for Matthew Stafford, and Jacksonville is probably not looking for a QB, but Stafford will not make it past Jacksonville because they won’t be able to resist the top rated player at the position.  Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn were both subject to the dread QB draft slide, but both of those players were the second QB selected in their respective years.  Stafford played close to Jacksonville in the SEC so Jaguars scouts and fans are very familiar with the Georgia signal caller.  Also, as I’ve stated before I think that Jack Del Rio is on the way out and new G.M. Gene Smith is planning for his and the team’s future.  Don’t forget, David Garrard is Del Rio’s QB so as he goes, Gerrard goes.

4.  At least one team that is slated to pick between 11 and 15 will trade down.  All five teams have reasons to trade down and might have takers.  Buffalo will benefit if a player with top 10 talent slips that the Bills aren’t interested and they would love to trade down so they can justifiably take TE Brandon Pettigrew who they love.  Denver is the least likely, but they’ve already shown that they’re rebuilding and want to collect draft picks.  Washington traded away their second and fourth round draft picks, while New Orleans has traded all of theirs away except their first, fourth and seventh round picks.  The Texans are likely willing to move down, but Rick Smith would probably receive less than usual in return because he would be bidding against New Orleans who will be desperate to receive more picks.

5.  Denver will not trade up to get a QB.  Trading up to get a QB would completely undermine the reasoning that Pat Bowlen and Josh McDaniels used to deal disgruntled QB Jay Cutler to Chicago.  The only way that Denver will come out of this deal not looking like they got duped is by rebuilding Mike Nolan’s defense.  If they draft a QB, he will be constantly compared to Jay Cutler as was done with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre last year, but this would be a straight out of college rookie.  I don’t even think that Denver would take Sanchez if he slipped to them at 12, but I’m not certain enough to call it fact because they haven’t shown the utmost intelligence since McDaniels took over.  My guess is they’ll take front seven defensive players with both the 12th and 18th picks, especially because you it’s difficult to compare those players to a QB.

If you disagree with any of these claims, or have predictions of your own, feel free to tell me so in the comments.  As the Draft gets even closer, more trends will become clear enough to me that I can continue to envision myself as a modern day football Nostradamus.  Stay tuned.