We have a new daily post dedicated to draft rumors that we’ve titled “hearsay and speculation” because we’re quite clever. But since we’re almost into the lawless territory that is the final week before the draft, the rumors have morphed into a gargantuan beast that can’t be contained within the limits of a single post.
The beast must be fed and groomed, or the draft will become violently angry at Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, and others who mock it relentlessly.
As fascinated as we are with the daily rumor grind, please be assured that we’ll only be passing along more loosely sourced speculation if it’s truly capable of rocking the draft’s core. This is one of those times, we think.
Riley Reiff has long been viewed as a staple in the top half of the first round, and the best offensive tackle available who’s isn’t named Matt Kalil. Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks agrees, and he called Reiff the “consensus second-best tackle” in his mock draft published earlier today. Banks slotted Reiff at No. 13 where he’ll be available to fill a need for the Cardinals, while the Bills have been another popular landing spot for the soon-to-be former Iowa Hawkeye, and Buffalo at No. 10 was the pick for both Kiper and McShay.
Alen Dumonjic, our very own draftnik and X’s and O’s fiend, wrote that it may not always be pretty, but Reiff gets the job done, and he should be an elite talent at his position in the NFL. So why does everyone seem to hate him so much?
We’ve noticed the Reiff hate campaign brewing recently during our team-by-team previews. Tyler Nickel, the Cards scribe from Revenge of the Birds, isn’t sold on Reiff, and neither was Brian Galliford from Buffalo Rumblings, who doesn’t think he’d be the first choice if Bills GM Buddy Nix is leaning towards a tackle in the first round.
And now we have the detonation of this mini blast from the Sporting News’ Russ Lande, who thinks Reiff could tumble out of the first round entirely.
Iowa’s Riley Reiff has been rumored to be a top-10 pick since he announced he was leaving school early for the draft. According to sources, teams don’t view Reiff as highly. Teams question whether he has the athleticism to be effective pass blocking at left tackle. These concerns will likely place Reiff toward the bottom of the first round or possibly the top of the second round.
Go ahead and grab your salt shaker now, screw the top off, and dump the contents all over your computer screen. You’ll look at little odd, and you’ll piss off the IT department because it’ll be the sixth time this week you’ve dumped table dressings on your computer, but you’ll be safe from draft rumors.
Just know that as the annual speculation snowball builds, there’s some truth hidden somewhere, and David DeCastro could easily leapfrog Reiff. That’s what you’re hoping for as a Bengals fan, since Cincy could conceivably pass on DeCastro at No. 17 and fill another need with Dre Kirkpatrick, and then wait quietly for the falling Reiff a few slots later where they’re on the clock again at No. 21.