With the NFL Draft drawing closer, all focus has shifted to the future. In other words, how can each team use its draft picks to better serve themselves in the years to come. The 2005 edition of the NFL Draft may be one of the most intriguing, despite the fact that others will say it is lacking compared to years past. The reason for the intrigue this year is the lack of a consensus number one overall pick.
The NFL Draft itself has become a stand alone event much like the ongoing NCAA basketball tournament. It seems that everybody has a mock draft, a draft board and of course, an opinion on every player that ever stepped on a field. In short, it seems that everybody knows of a self appointed “draft expert”. You can ask them who they feel will go with the number one pick, most likely to the 49ers and most likely they will lay up with either Alex Smith or Aaron Rodgers. Really? That is just too easy. Take a deeper look at those whose opinion matters and has a shred of validity and in addition to Smith and Rodgers, you will hear the names of Braylon Edwards, Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson and those from California, blinded by the sunshine and movie stars, may offer Mike Williams. While Williams’ being tabbed with the number one overall would shock many of the world’s draft pundits, it would keep with the kind of surprises and emotional upheavals that teams give their loyal fans every year on a spring weekend in April. But the other names are legitimate choices for whatever team holds the top pick. You could make a solid argument for each of those prospects and why they should be chosen first. None would be wrong and certainly the team who picked them would have themselves a bright future.
It remains to be seen how this year’s NFL Draft will play out. Will the 49ers trade out of the top spot? Will they opt for one of the talented young franchise quarterbacks? Both are good questions and how they answer the questions could change the draft for many of the teams holding high first round picks. Assuming the Niners stay with the number one pick and elect to pass on the quarterbacks and instead get an instant playmaker in Michigan wide receiver, Braylon Edwards, that could cause the Browns to rethink their pick and so it would start. The possibility of the Niners taking Edwards has gained momentum in recent weeks despite “draft experts”deeming that notion as much as, “embarrassing”.
No one really knows what teams are really thinking as they head toward the draft. Teams openly mislead the media and talk up players that they don’t want so they can go after the ones that they really do want. The whole process has so much gambling on a prospect’s future and impact on their team that watching teams move inside their “war rooms” is like watching The World Series of Poker.
While some things on draft day are certain; like the Vikings missing their pick, Mel Kiper Jr’s hair not moving and Jet fans booing their draft pick, two things remain uncertain and that is who will be the number one pick and who will be Mr. Irrelevant 2005?
This article was released on 2005-04-01.
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