Thursday, April 25, 2013

Round 1: Expect a Frenzy

In a draft full of uncertainties, one thing we know is that the first round will be unpredictable. Last year, there were nine first round trades. This year could match that.

- I wrote an article earlier about the possible trade options for the Eagles at number four. There's plenty more teams that are expected to be on the move.

- It is reported that Cleveland is looking to jump Detroit, possible all the way to number three, to nab BYU DE/OLB Ziggy Ansah or LSU OLB Barkevious Mingo.

- San Francisco is also reportedly looking to move up, probably around 14 to snatch Texas S Kenny Vaccaro. They have 13 selections, and not many needs to fill, except safety and defensive line.

Although WR is not a need, the idea
of Austin in Philly is enticing.
- The Rams covet WR Tavon Austin, as do many teams. But with two first-round picks, they have the ammo. Especially because they might only have to move up to the 7-11 range.

- Speaking of Tavon Austin, sources reported earlier that the Eagles are expected to target an OT at number four, unless they can trade down. If that happens, Austin is said to be strong on Chip Kelly's radar. Austin has video-game playmaking ability and elite versatility, he's lined up at slot WR, RB, PR, and KR.

- Rumors keep churning that Buffalo and the New York Jets could be looking for a QB in the top half of round one. Reports surfaced that Geno Smith tops the Jets' QB rankings, although Nassib is a good fit in Mornhinweg's west-coast offense.

- Look for a team like Jacksonville or even the Eagles to trade back up late into the first round to grab one of the quarterbacks like Matt Barkley and E.J. Manuel.

- Most Eagles fans expect Howie to pull the trigger on a quarterback at some point in the first four rounds, but I'm not so sure. Kelly has raved about Michael Vick's grasp of the offense and he's got one or two years left in the tank. Next year's draft class seems much better suited for a first-round QB, Johnny Manziel and former Oregon Duck Marcus Mariota could declare. Mariota has size, at 6'4" 212 lbs, and he thrived under Kelly as a freshman. 

It seems more logical to wait a year for the franchise quarterback, rather than reach on one this year. Especially with a draft class which is loaded with line depth in the second and third rounds.

- Baltimore also has a plethora of picks, and their said to be looking to aggressively move up as well. Likely to grab Alabama RT D.J. Fluker. The big fella fits their power OL scheme. They'd probably have to move all the way up around 10, in front of San Diego and Miami.

Here's Jimmy Johnson's famous NFL draft-pick value chart. When pondering what trades will occur, you can see the expected compensation. The traded picks should be close in points to the return package.

Here are players who will rise and fall in all this mayhem:


- WR Tavon Austin: As mentioned above, he's extremely versatile and a game-breaker. Offensive coordinators are salivating at the thought of having Austin.

- CB D.J. Hayden: After medical reports cleared him of injury, Hayden's stock has gone from second-round pick to middle of the first. Some scouts have him rated above Dee Milliner.

- OG Johnathan Cooper: The athletic guard has moved into the top 10 in many mock drafts. His athleticism is unique for such a big frame.


- DL Star Lotulelei: He's my second-rated player, and I'd be very happy to hear Goodell call his name to Philly. But the versatile lineman has fallen to the middle of the pack in the first round according to most experts, although I'm not sure I buy it.

- QB Matt Barkley: Once upon a time, Barkley was a projected high first round pick. Now, I don't think his name will be called in the first round.

- OLB Dion Jordan: I think he'll take a mini-tumble on draft day. Jacksonville was thought to be a likely landing spot, but I think he could be jumped by Ansah and Mingo, falling into the latter part of the top-10.

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Follow me on Twitter @Matt_Chastain25 and @OfficialEagles_, I'll get you back.

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