SI.com At The Draft Blog (cont.)
Irving, Texas 5:54 p.m.
Here's an example of the draft-season axiom that the more you hear, the less you know: Coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in late February, I was fairly well convinced that Baltimore loved Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco and would trade back into the lower half of the first round to get him. I wrote that at least a couple times.
But lately the buzz has been about Michigan's Chad Henne as having ascended to the No. 2 highest rated quarterback in this draft, and that the Ravens were all over him. Guess not. If Matt Ryan didn't fall to No. 8, Flacco was their guy all along.
I love the pick. Flacco's got the best arm of any quarterback in this draft, he's got the moxie you want from your QB, and I say in the long run he'll be the best of the Class of '08 passers. Baltimore has their quarterback of the future, and Henne and Brian Brohm will have to wait for some other needy teams to call their names. --Don Banks
Flowery Branch, Ga. 5:45 p.m.
The first upset of the day down here: Sam Baker, a four-year starter and favorite punching bag of the Mel Kiper set, just got grabbed by the line-hungry Falcons. Baker had a knee scope lat year, then missed three midseason games with a hamstring injury. He was the fifth- or sixth-rated tackle by most of the draftnik press, and now he's the seventh offensive lineman taken. Atlanta traded from its strength in an interesting deal, dealing a pair of twos and a four to Washington for a one, three and a five. The numbers: Atlanta deals overall picks 34, 48 and 103 to Washington for 21 (Baker), 84 and 154.
Could the Falcons have sat at 34 and gotten Baker? We'll never know. Obviously the Falcons didn't want to take the risk. --Peter King
Kansas City 5:38 p.m.
The dominoes began falling for the Chiefs today.
Coach Herm Edwards said that with the acquisition of LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey at No. 5, Tamba Hali will move from left end to right end, and tackle Alfonso Boone will start at left end on run downs. The tackles will be Dorsey and Ron Edwards, with Tank Tyler and Turk McBride in the mix.
The Chiefs plan to initially line up Virginia guard Branden Albert (taken at No. 15) at tackle, though Edwards did not say which side. --Jim Trotter
Chicago 5:33 p.m.
Why did the Bears tab Vanderbilt's Chris Williams over slightly higher-rated tackles Branden Albert of Virginia and Jeff Otah of Pitt? GM Jerry Angelo said Williams had a longer history at left tackle, where Chicago needs immediate help. He also said Williams' intelligence (remember, he went to Vandy) might help him make a quicker transition.
"It may be his strongest point," Angelo said. "I think it's real important (for offensive linemen). We need this player to contribute." --Marty Burns
Alameda, Calif. 5:29 p.m.
No more picks, no more interest? Looks like the rest of the Bay Area football media wants to enjoy the beautiful weekend, too. Less than an hour after the Raiders made Run DMC their man, the party looks to be over. The buffet is closing up and there are less than 20 scribes still here, probably a third of the scrum that waited around for the No. 4 pick.
A conference call with McFadden might be nice -- it's supposedly upcoming. So would a trade for more picks today that would actually help the team. Then again, so would an afternoon on the grass in Berkeley's Tilden Park. --Jonah Freedman
East Rutherford, N.J. 5:21 p.m.
Nothing has happened at Giants headquarters since the coffee maker went haywire two hours ago. The sound kept going in and out on the lone television in the press room (only on ESPN), so we, too, are now watching the NFL Network, although the periodic silence was admittedly wonderful.
My favorite line from the coverage so far? When one NFL Network analyst said, "Jerod Mayo loves the game of football." You think?
Before the Patriots snapped him up with the 10th pick, some thought Mayo could fall to the Giants and fulfill a need at linebacker. Weakside linebacker Kawika Mitchell went to the Bills and Reggie Torbor, who filled in on the strong side for Mathias Kiwanuka when he broke his leg, went to the Dolphins. It looks like the front-runner for the 31st pick, barring any unexpected trades, is still safety Kenny Phillips. --Elizabeth McGarr
Tempe, Ariz. 5:14 p.m.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt came into the draft wanting a cornerback and said that there were two at the top of his board that he wanted. After that there were about five that he thought would be available somewhere in the late first and into the second round. If one of his top two corners was available at No. 16, he was going to take him and as luck would have it the guy they wanted all along -- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie -- was there.
Most of the media here at Cardinals camp figured Arizona would take Rashard Mendenhall, arguably the best player and tailback still on the board, and then take a cornerback in the second round, but in the end Whisenhunt couldn't pass up adding Rodgers-Cromartie to a depleted secondary in the pass-happy NFC West. --Arash Markazi
Flowery Branch., Ga. 5:11 p.m.
Oops. I was wrong. I blew it. I thought Baltimore would take Michigan QB Chad Henne at No. 18, but this one's a stunner. Three personnel people I know and trust don't think Joe Flacco is in Henne's league. They think Henne's a better leader with a better resume, a four-year starter at a very high level of play. And Flacco certainly isn't going to be ready to play as soon as Henne. This one really surprises me. --Peter King
Irving, Texas 5:07 p.m.
Sometimes it's the moves you don't make that turn out to be your best. That's what the Saints will say one day about the first day of the 2008 draft. If the NFL Network is correct, the Saints offered the No. 5 Chiefs this year's first round pick (No. 10), next year's first-round pick, and this year's seventh-round pick in order to move up to five and take LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.
Remarkably (at least to me), the Chiefs turned down New Orleans and took Dorsey themselves. The Saints then responded by trading up from 10 to No. 7 New England, getting USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis for the price of swapping first-round picks and throwing the Patriots a third-rounder. That's getting the draft's second-best DT -- and a player some feel is close to Dorsey's level -- for a heck of a lot less of a price tag.
I say the Saints will wind up thanking their stars that the Chiefs turned them down. At least now New Orleans still has the ammo to get Jeremy Shockey away from the Giants, and they'll have a first-round pick next April. --Don Banks
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