Snap Judgments (cont.)
The buzz about the Chiefs resuming their attempts to trade veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez has restarted, and it sounds as if the Eagles might have nosed ahead of the Falcons as the most likely trade partner. Philly is thought to be willing to give up a third-rounder for Gonzalez. But Kansas City is seeking at least a second-round pick for a player it considers a future Hall of Famer, and may not be willing to bear the brunt of any criticism that could come if it's perceived to have given away Gonzalez too cheaply.
I'm pretty sure I won't be leaving Florida's Percy Harvin in the No. 22 slot to the Vikings in my final mock draft Thursday. Even though Minnesota is eager to add a play-making receiver to their run-heavy offense, the buzz surrounding Harvin for weeks now has centered on him potentially being one of the players who tested positive (for marijuana) at this year's combine.
Harvin is indeed on that list, according to a FoxSports.com report, and the Vikings, given their recent off-field issues dating from the Mike Tice coaching era, just can't go there again with a pick as risky as the Gators' junior. Come Saturday night, many NFL talent evaluators expect Harvin to fall into the mid-to-low 20s of the first round. Another receiver-needy team that I've heard will not touch Harvin is No. 30 Tennessee, who is still feeling the effects of the Pacman Jones' error.
The Saints like all three of their top choices at No. 14 quite a bit, and they still haven't definitively settled on which player they'll pick if all three remain on the board. But my hunch at the moment is they have USC linebacker Brian Cushing at No. 1, Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie'' Wells a very close second, and Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins at No. 3.
This is the first draft he's overseeing, so we're going to cut new Lions general manager Martin Mayhew some slack. But when Mayhew claimed Tuesday in a news conference with local Detroit media that "there's been some moderate interest'' from teams wanting to strike a deal for the Lions' No. 1-overall pick, the response drew laughter for obvious reasons.
At some point later on, I'd like to hear Mayhew give us his definition of "moderate.'' My guess is a couple teams probably called the Lions and inquired what Detroit was willing to give them in order to take the burdensome pick off its hands?
Here's a potential meaningful coincidence that could really come to fruition by Saturday night: In 1996, the first-year Baltimore Ravens selected University of Miami middle linebacker Ray Lewis at No. 26 in the first round. This year, the Ravens might find themselves in position to select the eventual heir to Lewis' throne, and it very well could be ... another inside linebacker, from a warm-weather school, at No. 26, who at least phonetically answers by the same first name: USC's Rey Maualuga.
I don't know about you, but I've got chills.
As much as the Chiefs feel Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry might be the cleanest prospect in this draft, as many have labeled him, he's still a linebacker. And in his schooling in the Patriots Way under Bill Belichick, Pioli learned that one of the rules was that you don't usually spend first-round picks, especially top-five picks, on linebackers.
True, Pioli and Belichick went against their history in taking Jerod Mayo No. 10 out of Tennessee last season in New England. But that's the exception, not the rule, and it was driven by the Patriots' obvious need at the position. And for that reason, I'm hearing Pioli may not opt to spend No. 3-level money on Curry no matter how impressive the ex-Demon Deacon is.
From what I understand from the PR powers that be at SI.com, I'll be making my debut in the world of Twitter at some point this weekend, in order to better covey any and all (140-character or less) thoughts and insights I might have about this year's NFL draft.
I am atwitter with anticipation, as I hope you are.
NFL Truth & Rumors