In 2008, eight offensive linemen were taken in the 1st round:
Adding to the panicky nature of the teams making sure they got OL help in that draft, it is noteworthy that the Chiefs, Panthers and Falcons all traded up to get their guys. As a result, the chain effect may have been that players like Sam Baker and Duane Brown, who were not thought of by most people as “1st round guys,” came off the board earlier than expected.
This year, a similar situation could play out in which 6 offensive linemen could be taken by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at 18. Those six players would be OTs Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson, and DJ Fluker, as well as OGs Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper. However, unlike 2008, the next tier of offensive linemen is also a talented group. Those players would include offensive tackles Menelik Watson, Terron Armstead, Justin Pugh, and Kyle Long, as well as OG Larry Warford.
There’s a thinking that if the Cowboys miss on an offensive lineman in the 1st round, they could still get a talented offensive lineman in the 2nd. However, if “The Big 6″ are gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at 18, there’s also a very good chance “The Next 5″ could be gone by the time the Cowboys are on the clock at 47.
And therefore, if indeed one of “The Big 6″ is still there when the Cowboys are on the clock at 18, they cannot screw around and get cute. Just take him.
Last year, the Vikings held the 3rd overall pick. The Browns were drafting at 4th overall, and were apparently spooked that some other team was going to jump ahead of them to take Trent Richardson, so they moved up one spot to ensure they got their guy. The cost: a 4th round pick, a 6th round pick, and a 7th round pick.
Since they already had Adrian Peterson, there was no way the Vikings were going to take Richardson, and they wound up taking Matt Kalil at 4th overall. They essentially got 3 extra picks… for free.
The Eagles could realistically find themselves in a similar situation. The ideal scenario for the Eagles would be if two offensive tackles come off the board within the first three picks, most likely Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher. That could set off a bidding war for that 4th overall pick between OT-desperate teams like the Lions (5), Cardinals (7), Chargers (11), and Dolphins (12) for the services of the last remaining stud LT, in this scenario, Lane Johnson.
If at that point in the draft versatile OLB Dion Jordan were still on the board, the Eagles’ best bet might be to simply move back one spot, still get their guy, and pick up some freebies from the Lions in the process.
Per Dan Pompei, “according to a survey of front office men,” as many as 13 cornerbacks could be taken in the first two rounds. They are (in alphabetical order):
- Southeast Louisiana’s Robert Alford
- Cal’s Marc Anthony
- Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks
- Utah State’s Will Davis
- Connecticut’s Dwayne Gratz
- Alabama’s Dee Milliner
- Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer
- Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes
- Rutgers’ Logan Ryan
- Mississippi State’s Darius Slay
- Boise State’s Jamar Taylor
- Washington’s Desmond Trufant
- Connecticut’s Blidi Wreh-Wilson
It really just kind of feels like that’s the direction the Redskins will go with their first pick at 51.
Tony Pauline recently wrote that the Giants really like Alabama guard Chance Warmack:
If Warmack does start to slide I am told the New York Giants would love the opportunity to select him as they feel he’s a great fit for their system. Moving towards the draft it seems one of the Giants early targets, Warmack’s teammate DJ Fluker, will be out of reach. One late round blocker I am told the Giants like is Emmett Cleary of Boston College, who has drawn praise from the teams offensive line coach Pat Flaherty.
Tony has good sources and lives in NY, so I trust his report. One interesting scenario could be the Giants trading up ahead of the Cowboys with the Steelers at 17. The Steelers have drafted more offensive linemen than any other team in the league the last 5 years, so it would likely not be on their radar with the 17th overall pick. Additionally, with the exception of safety, there aren’t many similarities in terms of team needs when comparing the Steelers and Cowboys. Therefore, the Steelers may not be all that worried about the Cowboys picking ahead of them. The cost for the Giants to move to 17 may not be all that high, if they want to jump the Cowboys.