It’s coming folks. We’re now two weeks away from the NFL Draft, and with that comes the annual onslaught of posturing and hyperbole. It’s great. So come with us, and let’s drown in rumors together every day.
When the Rams traded the second pick in the draft to Washington, the general consensus was that St. Louis had their eyes on Oklahoma State Wide Receiver Justin Blackmon. Sam Bradford had an abysmal 2011, but the lack of talent amongst his offensive supporting cast was borderline criminal.
The Rams are in a tough spot. Coming off a 2-14 year, choosing the best player available should be the easy strategy for new head coach Jeff Fisher and his staff. The need for an elite WR is glaring, but scouts remain torn on Blackmon’s ability to be a true No. 1, citing his lack of overwhelming size and explosion off the line. That’s led to rumors about the Rams targeting Alabama Running Back Trent Richardson at the top of their draft board.
From Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Don’t waste your breath talking to Jeff Fisher about the decline of the running back as the NFL evolves into more and more of a passing league. It will fall on deaf ears.”I haven’t devalued the running back position,” Fisher said. “You’re talking to the wrong person. I want as many of them on the roster as you can get.” So don’t be shocked — or even surprised — if the Rams take Alabama running back Trent Richardson if he’s available at No. 6 in the draft, on April 26.
Whether Richardson will still be on the board remains to be seen. If the Browns opt for Ryan Tannehill at No. 4 followed by the Bucs taking Morris Claiborne (with LaGarette Blount already the featured back in Tampa) this scenario could play out, and Richardson could be drafted as the successor to Steven Jackson.
Jackson is injury prone, and has played only two full 16-game seasons over his seven-year career, missing 10 games since 2007. Although he’s still been productive when healthy and had 1,478 all-purpose yards in 2011 and he isn’t showing any major signs of slowing down, father time is always a gradual, cruel demon. Jackson has received at least 300 carries in two of his last three seasons, and he’ll turn 29 this summer, putting him one year away from the age when running backs typically lose their hair and require the regular use of a walker.
Soon enough he’ll be able to travel more often when he retires. Don’t forget condoms, Steven.
Hold on, here comes more smoke…
- Mike Mayock wouldn’t take Quinton Coples in the first round, or the second…or at all. [RotoWorld]
- Tony Pauline says if Dontari Poe is gone at No. 14, the Cowboys will select Mark Barron. [Draft Insider]
- Pauline’s sources also tell him there is a ‘very real chance’ the Bears select Kendall Wright with their first-round pick. With Johnny Knox slated to begin the season on the PUP list, Chicago may be looking for someone to play opposite Brandon Marshall with Earl Bennett lining up in the slot. [Draft Insider]
- With the Vikings are apparently souring on Matt Kalil at No. 3. Former Colts Exec. Bill Polian reports the Dolphins could move up to the three hole to select Tannehill before the Browns get a chance.[ESPN]
- This isn’t a rumor exactly, but former Texans GM Charlie Casserly used to peruse mock drafts in order to a) determine who other teams were thinking about taking and b) see which players would be taken in in the first round. So making these mocks that mostly fail isn’t a useless endeavor after all! [NFL.com]
- Jim Irsay all but confirms what we already know. The Colts are taking Andrew Luck. [SI.com]
- An NFL executive says half the teams in the top 10 are trying to trade out. [CBS Sports]
- The Cowboys have discussed trading Felix Jones. Will they opt to pair a rookie (Lamar Miller, David Wilson, Chris Polk etc.) with DeMarco Murray next year? [PFT]