The NFL Draft fast approaches and we are being pummeled with opinion on who will take who, who will trade up, who will trade down and who will burst onto the scene or bust catastrophically. And we love it. We pour over the mocks, jump on the boards and discuss it and throw around our own opinions on the subject. Speaking of which, follow me to the clearing at the end of the jump for my take on some of the big issues.
Here are my thoughts on some of the bigger stories of the draft in no particular order....
-Everyone (except Adam) has Carolina taking Cam Newton with the 1st overall pick. I know the Carolina offense ranked 32nd last year, but I think it was more schematic than personnel. With new HC Ron Rivera in charge, would anyone really be that surprised if he didn't decide to show a bit of patience with 2nd year QB Jimmy Clausen and chose either Marcell Dareus or Patrick Peterson to shore up the biggest needs that his ailing defense has?
-Speaking of Cam Newton, I honestly think if the kid lands in Carolina, he's doomed to failure. My personal opinion is that he'd be much better served falling a few spots and landing in Arizona, but would they consider him over Blaine Gabbert? San Francisco might be a nice place for him, as well, and if he falls all the way to the 7th pick, I can't see the 9'ers passing him up. I'm not as down on Newton as some are and I think Dane's comparison to Daunte Culpepper earlier today was not only a good one and illustrates two things. He's going to need help around him and he's going to have to work hard to avoid injury.
-And speaking of Blaine Gabbert, why is this kid getting no attention (from anyone except Adam)? It's only my opinion, but I like Gabbert to be the QB everyone wishes they took when they look back at the 2011 draft.
-Back to San Francisco, nearly every mock I've seen has the 49ers taking Patrick Peterson at the 7th overall pick. While I think this is a great pick, it wasn't the defense that hurt the Bay City Ballers nearly as much as the offense. With the quarterback, running back, offensive line and wide receiver issues the 49ers have, it will be interesting to see if they pick the best available player (which will be Peterson if he's still on the board) or the best available offensive player. I bet they zig when everyone thinks they're going to zag. (David Taylor had them taking Cam Newton, and I tend to agree if he falls that far)
-Lester spoke of not being surprised if no running backs are taken in the 1st round in a post earlier today, and I think he hit the nail on the head. I am not seeing first round talent at that position in this class. In fact, I'm not sure that, were it not for need, a running back would be taken in the first two rounds. I'm not high on the RB class this year.
-There are some positions I am very high on: Offensive tackle, defensive tackle and wide receiver. I think that there will be high quality players at these positions available into the 4th round, which is why, unless someone drops who is a real bargain, I hope the Bears either trade out of the first round or pick up a different need in the first. Maybe a corner or a guard, which are two positions that I think are far less deep in the talent department.
-There's a lot of talk about the Bears trading up in the draft. I wouldn't bet on it. The Bears have far to many needs to trade away picks this year or next to move up in the draft. Moving down is a far more likely option, and one that fits Jerry Angelo's history better.
Well, those are some of my thoughts, folks. Let's hear yours, now. Sound off!