Ben Liebenberg/AP
Ben Liebenberg/AP

I Think … It’s Draft Day!

Expecting to see a trade in the top five? Don't hold your breath. The 2014 NFL draft kicks off today—praise be to Goodell—and while Houston wants nothing more than to move out of the top spot, the Texans likely will stay put and take . . .

Still dubious about a big trade at the top of the draft. Trades will happen; they always do. But at the top of the draft? Too much to give away for risky players who aren’t quarterbacks.

So here are 10 Draft Things I Think I Think, hours before we finally kick off this sucker:

1. I think if Houston wants to trade the No. 1 pick—and there is mounting evidence the Texans really do want to deal—the chances are very slim … unless the Texans don’t try to do a ransom deal. Let’s say you’re Oakland, and you’re dying for Jadeveon Clowney. Houston will want at least Oakland’s 2014 and 2015 first-round picks. Going down from one to six (Atlanta) or Minnesota (eight) would require at the very least this year’s second-round pick to make the deal happen. Why, if you’re sitting there knowing you can get a prime player at a position of need, do you deal for a player who might be number one on your board but is not a mortal lock? Houston’s problem is there are a lot of very good players there to choose—but not the kind of faultless franchise player there was a couple of years ago when Andrew Luck went first overall.

2. I think, when the dust settles, Houston, with some regret, will probably take Clowney. Regret because the Texans wish they could move down and take Khalil Mack and get a pick or two as a broker’s fee.

3. I think you can take it to the bank that Khalil Mack will not get past the Oakland Raiders.

4. I think, if somehow Clowney doesn’t go number one, you should not eliminate him from the Rams at No. 2. I don’t just think that; I know it. Not saying the Rams will pick Clowney if he doesn’t go No. 1. But the Rams love him, aren’t concerned about his lousy production in 2013 at South Carolina, and, though I know they would prefer a standout tackle, Clowney versus Greg Robinson would be a serious discussion in the draft room. And has been.

I will be very surprised if the Niners don’t make a big move by the middle of the first round.

5. I think I cannot find a spot for Johnny Manziel in the top half of the draft if Tampa Bay passes on him. Not sure if that says more about the wimpiness of the teams in the top third of the draft or more about NFL decision-makers coming to their senses with so much on the line by picking the lightning rod that is Manziel. And I do not think his landing spot is Dallas, with all due respect to Mike Mayock.

6. I think one of the big spots in this draft is No. 19. The Dolphins don’t have a tackle at 19 they love, and at No. 20 sits Derek Carr-smitten Arizona. Teams behind Arizona know they have to move up to at least No. 19 if they want a shot at Carr. I am sure new Miami GM Dennis Hickey is getting some calls about the pick, and if I were him, I’d sell.

MAY DAY! ABORT!

The selections have yet to come, and there’s uncertainty about next year’s venue, but one thing is crystal clear, Robert Klemko writes: the draft must move back to late April. FULL STORY

7. I think there’s a team with a very good veteran quarterback in his 30s that loves Blake Bortles. Just loves him. And if Bortles somehow falls into the twenties, this team is going to try to trade for a pick to get him.

8. I think I will be very surprised if the Niners, with six picks in the top 100, don’t make a big move, a Falcons/Julio Jones-type move, by the middle of the first round tonight.

GALLERY: An entertaining look at players reacting after they were drafted

9. I think, speaking of Atlanta, my gut feeling after talking to two agents with top-10 picks Wednesday night is the Falcons will not sell the farm for anyone at the top of the draft, and will go left tackle at No. 6.

10. I think this could well be the first draft in awhile with no trades in the top five. There’s just too much disagreement on the value of the picks—and no quarterback that stokes the fire of GMs with itchy trigger fingers for solving the quarterback problem.

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98 comments
majenngs
majenngs

Peter King loses more credibility the more he speaks. 

mcrowden
mcrowden

Any one believe Washiington will blow up the whole draft by offering Kirk Cousins (a non-rookie, proven commodity) to some QB needy team (Jacksonville or Cleveland perhaps) and getting a top pick?

RS1022
RS1022

11. Denver, New England and Seattle are hoping both Carr & Bridgewater are still around when they pick, because those picks will have prime value as teams try to get the QBs on the 5 year deals.


12. The draft broadcasts for both networks will approach 50% Manziel, 50% everyone else


13. Thoughts of Denver or New England picking Bortles with a 1st is nonsense



rexeccoach
rexeccoach

The draft does matter as some of those selected will become all pro someday.  That being said there are Tom Brady, Russel Wilson and many others who turn out to be top performers in the NFL despite being lower round draft choices.  Forecasting the future is dubious at best.  So sit back and enjoy the draft and don't take whatever happens too seriously.

VIPOD4ever
VIPOD4ever

The draft gets blown up immediately when the Texans trade the first spot to the Falcons for Clowney, quickly followed by the Rams trading the second spot to the Bengals for Mack.


(just my wild/off the chart prediction) 

Whatever
Whatever

Sigh. Why would the Cardinals take Carr at No. 20 when they need guys who can help immediately in their battles with the rest of the NFC West? Carson Palmer was good the second half of the season as the offense started to get into a groove and everyone knew what they were supposed to do. Now with a LT and Cooper coming back from missing all of his rookie season, the O line is solid. The Cards can do some serious damage in the NFC West, and very likely be a playoff team, with a little help at linebacker, pass rusher, and safety. A backup QB who may not beat out Ryan Lindley or Drew Stanton is a waste of a first round pick.

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

It would be interesting to know how highly touted Clowney would be if he had not made that one big play where he hit the running back before he could take the handoff.  That play was so hyped it has to influence how he is perceived.

TheHip1
TheHip1

The Raiders will not give up picks for any player in this draft. They will trade down to acquire more if anything. If Mack is there at 5, he wears Silver & Black

Cool
Cool

Suh proved that extra ordinary player like him can be disruptive to other teams, but he didn't win any games for Detroit.  Now he is teamed with another wrecking machine and it still isn't winning games for Detroit.  The argument that Houston will somehow become a contender because they pick Clowney is laughable.. they need a QB to lead the team.

dsolarz
dsolarz

you don't think a gut feeling

BendjiNzau
BendjiNzau

That's crazy that someone as popular and marketable as Johnny Football, would not make it in the top 5...


Sportsredo
Sportsredo

Hey peter, everything is pretty specific until #7 - why? What gives and it's your opinion so why not express it? It's not like you say "An experienced GM in the National  Conference believes a team with a veteran QB will trade up". Tell us please, isn't that why you wrote the article to express your opinions?   

parkerstreet
parkerstreet

Let's see.

The worst team doesn't know whether it wants the best player?


Ok, I got it now....

BradConner
BradConner

Clowney goes to Houston, then Houston turns around and takes Shaw!

MMoney0021
MMoney0021

2 predictions: 


1.  Manziel will land in St Louis (originially thought Dallas).   Atlanta and St Louis will swap picks and Atlanta will gain a conditional round pick.


2.  Bortles slides into the late 20s.  Seeing as though Houston I would project taking him at 33 tomorrow, I say the Pats deal with Minnesota and the Vikings take Bortles at 29.  Pats get the 40th pick in the draft and an additional 3rd or 4th round pick.  

Rusi
Rusi

Good lord Peter, why don't you just come out and say the Denver Broncos love Bortles?!? I mean the only other teams with good quarterbacks in the 30s are Atlanta, San Francisco and Seattle. We know it isn't the latter two and the former is highly unlikely. Waitta keep that one secret. 

FranklinMint
FranklinMint

@Whatever  They're not going to take Carr. If Bortles somehow falls that far he might be too irresistible to pass up, but they're not taking Carr.

Thundrra
Thundrra

@Cool  All that proves is that the Lions are so mismanaged its crazy.  What else do they need to win?  They have a terrifying D line, a solid QB, one of the greatest receivers of all time and they still can't make the playoffs in a division where the only contender is Green Bay. 

FranklinMint
FranklinMint

@BendjiNzau  Because the ultimate popularity and marketability is winning, and teams aren't 100% sure they can do that with him. 

Whatever
Whatever

@BendjiNzau  No, it's not crazy. He doesn't see open receivers and he's pretty small (not muscular or large-framed). E.g., Russell Wilson may be short, but he's built like a tank. Manziel is built more like RGIII only shorter, and seeing what has happened to RGIII scares GMs away (especially because Manziel's game is mostly backyard flag football stuff).

BradConner
BradConner

@Sportsredo  

Ummm, haven't you noticed that any media is all hearsay!  and writers get paid to give their opinion.  thats why they have comment threads for these articles

BrownTrout
BrownTrout

Too many cretins on the board today.

daytripper6364
daytripper6364

Hey, @decredico Get A F'ing Life!  if you don't like Peter, why are you reading him and posting on his article?

Snort
Snort

@decredico  This is brilliant.  Do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

Whatever
Whatever

@Rusi  Why would the Broncos take Bortles? They have Oswieller behind Manning, and he looked very good in preseason last year. 

ChrisHogle
ChrisHogle

@Rusi How about New England? The down side is coming. Maybe now is the time.

EaspenJones
EaspenJones

@Rusi  I would be shocked if that team is the Broncos.  Remember in 1992 when the Broncos drafted Tommy Maddox at 25 and Elway never even talked to Maddox.  You think Elway would put Peyton in that same situation?  I don't. 

ericwkillian
ericwkillian

@Rusi  

I thought he meant a QB in his 30s, so either Denver, Dallas or NE

BradConner
BradConner

@Bucky182 @Rusi  

probably because N.O. gave Brees a great contract not long ago!  and another good class of QBs are due up next year!  Hundley, Mariota, Braxton miller, Bryce Petty...Winston in 2 years or so!  So a team with a great QB could wait for one of those QBs to take next year or 2

EaspenJones
EaspenJones

@ChrisHogle @Rusi  It's only a matter of time until Belichick does his thing on Tom Brady: trade before the decline begins.  

bfa2ak
bfa2ak

@ericwkillian @Rusi  


Except he said that if he falls into the 20s, this team will try to trade a pick for him. It's possible it's NE or Denver, but they Mallett and Osweiler, respectively. And it seems odd that he would say "trade a pick for him" as opposed to just "trade up for him" if we're only talking about moving up a few spots (since this is if he calls in the 20s).


Cowboys could make sense, although that would certainly undercut the Manziel rumors. The sleeper team: Steelers. 

Bucky182
Bucky182

@BradConner @Bucky182@Rusi I understand that but the contract really holds no bearing if a team is looking at their next (potential) franchise quarterback. Montana was still playing well, winning Super Bowls, and under contract when the 49ers traded for Young. Rodgers got drafted while Favre was playing under a huge contract. It happens.

Say it is New Orleans. If they draft him then he's under contract for a minimum of four years. In that four years (or less), New Orleans saves money through his rookie contract and if after those three, four, or five years they decide he's the guy, they let Brees go. Remember, just because someone signs a huge contract does not mean they'll play it out. New Orleans does have more pressing needs but it shouldn't be something to completely rule out.

Whatever
Whatever

@BradConner @Bucky182 @Rusi  But N.O. let Chase Daniels go as their backup last year in free agency, so they're likely in the market for a backup who can learn from Brees. However, N.O. has more pressing needs at O line and DBs.

SportPage
SportPage

@EaspenJones @ChrisHogle @Rusi  He's already too late then, although the decline has been minimal over the last couple years. I expect the next couple will be more dramatic.

Whatever
Whatever

@bfa2ak @ericwkillian @Rusi  The Cowboys do NOT make sense to take any QB. They just signed Romo to a huge contract last year! They would get killed under the cap if they cut Romo (no one will trade for him with that contract), and no QB in this draft is anywhere near as good as Romo. The Cowboys need to replace their ENTIRE defense, yet they take a QB they don't need? Stupid.

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