Posted: Tuesday April 24, 2007 12:49PM; Updated: Tuesday April 24, 2007 1:49PM
THIS VIKINGS FAN WANTS CALVIN JOHNSON. From Aaron Rickard of Highlandville, Mo.: "Do you see any scenario in which the Vikings could trade up to get Calvin Johnson? As a Vikings fan who believes a receiver is their biggest need right now, I don't see why they wouldn't consider making the move. The fan base has been on a downslide ever since Randy Moss was traded away to Oakland for what has amounted to peanuts. The Vikings need to bring some excitement back to this team and at least make an attempt to put some scoring threats on offense.''
No chance, unless they want to deal next year's first-round pick. And that would be foolish. Not trying to denigrate Johnson, but the receiver position is not valuable enough to trade two very high picks for, in my opinion.
YOU DON'T WANT TO SADDLE YOUR FRANCHISE WITH A HEADACHE LIKE THIS. From Ross Knudsen of Star, Idaho: "I have a draft scenario for you that I'll be the first to admit is totally cracked. But here it is: Sooner or later a perennial bottom-feeder like Detroit or Arizona is going to be 'saddled' with yet another top-five pick that they can't trade out of, and they won't have the room under the cap to justify yet another high-first-round contract with $20 million-$30 million in guaranteed money. Do you think any such team might have the brass to go into the draft with the following attitude? 'We are picking Joe Snow. But we are not paying high-first Benjamins for him,' and if he says he will sit out all season and re-enter the draft next year, then so be it. Could it happen?''
No. For a team, the draft is one of the highlights of the year. If you tell your draft choice right away that you're going to break the system and pay him less than his slot dictates, the guy is going to hold out, not sign. And then your fans are going to burn the GM in effigy, and all the attention to the team will be negative. The better way to fix the system is to do it in the next collective bargaining agreement, not on a wildcat basis. But I like your sentiment, Ross. You're right. The top picks have too much financial control over the system.
THE TITANS WANT AN IMPACT DEFENSIVE PLAYER. From Doug Flanagan of Franklin, Tenn.: "Almost all mock drafts have the Titans picking a wideout in the first round. I think they would be better served to take a D-Lineman, especially an end. They had very little pass rush in '06 and, on paper, this appears to be a good WR class, so waiting until round two to pick a receiver might make sense. Any chance that Adam Carriker, Jamaal Anderson or Jarvis Moss will be available at pick 19? Really enjoy your writing -- MMQB and Roger Ebert's movie reviews are the only must read columns I've come across.''
Thanks, Doug. Very nice of you to say. I totally agree about the receiver position, but I don't think Carriker or Anderson will be available at 19. Still, rather than take a Robert Meachem at that spot, I'd rather take the best defensive player on the board, then an Anthony Gonzales or Steve Smith in Round 2.
GOOD POINT, MATT. From Matt of Dallas: "I understand the firestorm of reaction to the leak of the information that three top prospects admitted at the combine that they had smoked pot. I just hope there's no negative reaction to that revelation from them rather than an appreciation of integrity on their part. I'm 28. I graduated college in 2001. If I had to answer the question of did I ever use marijuana in college, my answer would be yes. Followed with a wondering, didn't everyone? It's college.''
Couldn't agree more. The best thing said to me about the "revelation'' that the three prospects had smoked pot at some point in their pasts was from a personnel guy -- a guy in his 50s, a hardline guy -- who told me what's the big deal with a kid experimenting with pot, because 75 percent of kids who go to college today end up at least trying it during their college days.
ERIK RANTS. From Erik of San Francisco: "Please keeping raising awareness about how crazy the NFL Draft salary situation has become. I don't know if it's that most NFL GMs/owners just aren't very smart or what but it has obviously become a detriment to have a top 10 pick. With the salary cap it just makes no sense to pay an unproven player the kind of money teams will have to pay to sign those picks. If nothing changes, eventually GMs will figure it out and either trade those picks for anything they can get, or just keep passing on the pick and waiting to pick until they get to a slot that actually makes sense to draft at. And please tell me that teams are not stupid enough to actually use that draft value chart when it doesn't even account for salaries and the salary cap!''
THIS IS A GOOD QUESTION, AND I THINK I HAVE A GOOD ANSWER. From Aaron of Toronto: "Will your boycott of an alleged steroid cheat extend to confirmed cheats such as Shawne Merriman?''
No. Merriman was tested, caught, and suspended. Barry Bonds was not tested, not caught, not suspended ... for years.
LEAVE BEN ALONE, HE SAYS. From Will Riedel of Cincinnati: "Why are you ripping Big Ben for answering a reporter's question truthfully? He didn't say he didn't respect the man or appreciated what he did for him. He answered a question about a coach who no longer is there. Are you the president of the N.J. chapter of the Bill Cowher fan club?''
No. I just think Ben's got some amnesia here. What did Bill Cowher do that was so bad for the guy's career?