'Twas the night before the draft
As we head into the last evening before the NFL draft, I'm going to try not to be a rumor-mongerer. Rather, I'm going to tell you what I heard reliably throughout the day Friday, in this final pre-draft edition of ...
Five Things I Think I Think
1. I think -- and I'm gonna go in chronological order here -- I can't tell you anything more about the Rams than you probably already know because they're bottled up pretty tight this evening. My gut feeling is they'll take Chris Long over Glenn Dorsey, though the defensive staff clearly would prefer Dorsey.
2. I think the most likely scenario at No. 3 is for the Falcons to take Boston College QB Matt Ryan. Now, understand that GM Thomas Dmitroff absolutely loves Dorsey. Would it stun me if the Ryan thing didn't happen? It would be a surprise, but not a stunner, because I know how much this team loves Dorsey. However, the chance to get a quarterback for the next 10 years that the coaching stuff likes a lot, almost universally, could be too much for the Falcons to pass up.
3. I think the next bit of drama -- after, in my scenario, the Raiders taking Dorsey -- is what the Chiefs will do at No. 5. As I wrote 11 days ago, there's a high likelihood that the Patriots, at No. 7, and the Jets, at No. 6, could both be in contention for this pick if Chris Long is still on the board. My scenario has him gone. But as long as Long is available at No. 5, I expect the Jets and Patriots, who both like him a lot, to make inquiries with the Chiefs (and I'm sure it's been done already) to acquire the fifth pick.
4. I think the most interesting team, if only for the number of directions they could be headed Saturday afternoon, is New Orleans. The unlikeliest scenario is New Orleans trading up to get Dorsey because the Saints will not have enough ammunition. More likely is a trade from their spot at No. 10 to the Ravens at No. 8 or the Pats at No. 7 if USC's Sedrick Ellis is still on the board. Ellis is the Saints' preferred choice behind Dorsey. Now, let's say that the other team that likes Ellis, Cincinnati, trumps New Orleans and picks Ellis. Then the Saints will be very much in the market to trade down and to pick one of the corners that have first-round grades like Leodis McKelvin of Troy or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from TSU.
5. I think these are the most interesting stories traveling over the phone lines tonight and into Saturday morning:
The Eagles are asking too much for Lito Sheppard, the cornerback who wants a new big-money contract. Philly talked to Tampa Bay, but the Bucs are not interested in surrendering their second-round pick because they'd also have to pay Sheppard just under what the premier corners have been making the past few seasons. That's too much. I expect Sheppard to end this weekend as an Eagle.
Kansas City has had dialogue with Buffalo at No. 11 about trading up if premier left tackle Ryan Clady is still on the board.
The cornerback more teams have atop their board than anyone else is McKelvin. One team views him as the Albert Lewis of this draft -- he's a former Pro Bowl corner for the Chiefs for you new-school folks reading -- a smooth, very quick, totally unafraid kid who will make an easy transition to the next level.
I don't see any receiver getting traded this weekend but I wouldn't be shocked if the Raiders traded DE Derrick Burgess.
See everyone Saturday at the SI Writers at the Draft live blog, beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.