NFL Draft Watch: Spin City
Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com
Here’s some draft-related rumors and whispers as we flip over officially to April.
Fat in the Middle — According to Tony Pauline, he hears that there is a glut of players getting second round grades and because of that, it could cause some craziness at the back-half of the first round of the 2013 Draft. That might be so, but it also might be that there will be a number of teams looking to trade out of the second half of the first round … not sure it that
Is Lacy Lagging? — Also from Pauline, he notes that scouts are getting fed up with Eddie Lacy and his continued delay of his workout. Scouts say that now, but they aren’t in charge of setting the board so their input might get drowned out by a GM looking to upgrade their backfield. Lacy had a heavy workload in Alabama and played behind a fantastic offensive line, but is he up for the challenge in the NFL and is Lacy’ stock as high as it was back in January? This sort of thing always come down to the tape, but it sounds like teams are either cooling on him due to the workout issue, or they are downplaying him to try and push him down the board around the league. Either way, this is not a Trent Richardson scenario for Lacy. More than anything, this might put a little more of a premium on guys like LeVeon Bell, Jonathan Franklin and maybe even Montee Ball.
The Rise of the Quarterbacks? — Todd McShay joined Van Pelt & Russillo recently and thinks that FSU QB EJ Manuel will get drafted in the first round based on his toolset. Meanwhile, Pauline wrote that there’s going to be a late first round stunner at the QB position and puts Barkley, Manuel and Nassib in that group. Meanwhile, Smith is being compared to Ryan Tannehill who was a player who jumped up during evaluations and landed with the Dolphins early in the draft and played well in his rookie season. There might be some fire behind all of this smoke, but for now it sure seems like a lot of teams are turning on the spin cycle as we jump into April. Read this article from draft legend Gil Brandt on the matter for a good primer on draft spin.
Flying High — Two months ago players like Ziggy Ansah and Dion Jordan seemed like middle first round picks, but as always happens the players have impressed some organizations and now with coaches involved in the evaluation process since January, they’ve jumped even higher. While they might have seemed like options that could have been available at the ninth pick, they might go earlier than the Jets pick. Even so … keep them in mind as one of the might slip through as analysts have pumped up Jordan and Ansah likely because the teams have done so.
The Arizona Gambit — The value in quarterbacks isn’t in the first round, despite all the reports. The value will come on Day Two and if Jets are looking to draft a QB, the Cardinals might prove to be an excellent human shield should both teams wait until the second (38th, just prior to Jets) or third (69th, three prior to Jets) round of the draft to find a passer. The Jets are undoubtedly looking at an offense with West Coast sensibilities and a passer who would fit such a system. New Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is on the record as saying that “I hate the West Coast Offense.” Arians prefers big armed quarterbacks who can spread the field … a classic Coryell statement. That’s good news for the Jets. Cardinals have been linked now repeatedly to NC State QB Mike Glennon, the big-armed passer hastily compared to Joe Flacco. Glennon probably won’t be of interest to the Jets due to his skillset, but his selection by the Cardinals might be a signal for the Jets to make a selection if they want a quarterback, and the loss of Glennon from the board might not concern the Jets war room in the bargain.
Austin, Not Miami — Sounds like the Dolphins aren’t interested in Tavon Austin, and that makes sense given all the resources the Dolphins just spent on receivers over the last month. Should the Jets be interested and hold off at No. 9, he still might be there at the 13th pick … so if the Jets want him and trade Revis … I’d look for that scenario to play out. If the Jets miss out on Austin and are still looking for a speedster playmaker, I’d expect them to keep Marquise Goodwin on their radar.
A Tru Corner — Desmond Trufant was considered a second rounder coming into the draft season but it sounds like after the Senior Bowl he’s proven that he can be a reliable corner in the NFL and he could very well go in the end of the first round. We’re sure that Jet Isaiah is happy for his little brother.