To Denver: Asante Samuel
To Philadelphia: 4th (110 via NYJ) and 5th (139 via STL) in 2012 draft.
Why it makes sense for us: Asante Asante!( "thank you" in Swahili) As much as I love Asante and believe he takes too much heat from Eagles fans and coaches, its clear that, for whatever reason, however wise or unwise, his days in green are numbered. Perhaps if Samuel were more mentally flexible, we could keep him as a defensive weapon utilized in a variety of roles. For example, he could line up at NB, from which he could play zone underneath or on the flat, reading the QB and baiting him into errant, pressured throws. His gambling wouldn't be as costly with deep help behind him. However, none of that will happen, partially because he insulted the front office, which has staked everything on the press coverage ability of DRC and Asomugha, which supposedly better suit our scheme. I'm sure gonna miss that peerless anticipation, 7+INTs a year and consistently excellent coverage.
Why it makes sense for Denver: With the coup of Peyton Manning, Elway's Broncos are gunning for a Super Bowl ring in 2012 and a four time pro-bowl CB could put them over the top. Adding the best passing QB ever to a Broncos team that went 13-3 with the worst passing attack in the NFL might be enough, but they're riddled with holes Peyton won't fill, especially in the secondary. The Broncos still have $14 million in cap space after opening the vault for Manning, and a immediate need for a starting CB. They could look to fill that hole with Stephan Gilmore, Janoris Jenkins or Dre Kirkpatrick, but Gilmore will likely be gone by pick #25, and the latter two have character issues the Broncos are probably trying to avoid after their recent off-the-field embarrassments.
The Broncos have plenty of other needs to address in the early rounds (DT, S, RB, WR) and acquiring Samuel frees them to focus on DT in the first round, while immediately strengthening their secondary with one of the league's best defensive play-makers. For two mid-round picks, a super bowl contender with a short window can upgrade their biggest need with a proven, healthy pro-bowler. Samuel will thrive poaching hurried throws behind John Fox's blitzing front seven, against teams Manning will force to throw early and often.
To Green Bay: 1st (15). = 1050 points
To Philadelphia: 1st(28), 2nd(60), 3rd(132) round picks. 660 + 300 + 132= 1032 points
Why it makes sense for Philadelphia:
- I'm assuming Kuechly, Cox and Coples are gone.
There is excellent value in rounds 2-4. This is typically true of any draft, but this class in particular.You might call it the "sweet spot" of this draft. There are 7-8 truly elite players, then a second tier of about 50-60 guys, with very little differentiating them. Then there is a very solid 3rd crop of guys who can go anywhere between the late 2nd and early 5th. Look at ANY mock draft and you'll find some very desirable players available in round four.
- Jason Peters's torn achilles tendon puts strain on the entire offense - McCoy and Vick will get hit harder and more often by REs and ROLBs, who are typically the last guys you want hitting your star players. McCoy will have less room to run and Vick will have less time to throw. Our other linemen will have to work harder to compensate for Peters's absence. In short, Peters's injury makes every offensive player work harder to achieve the same results, or worse, making them all more susceptible to injury. This pushes mild depth concerns on offense up to average needs, which may need to be addressed earlier than originally planned. Stockpiling early round picks enables us to help the offense without sacrificing picks reserved for upgrading the defense.
- Take Asante away and our secondary is a huge question mark - DRC might be the most physically gifted cornerback in the league, but he's coming off two bad years and is a free agent after this season. Nnamdi is Asante's age, but made more and played worse last year. Many claim Nnamdi's physical talents will enable him to dominate well into his 30s, but I think Asante's superior instincts have a longer shelf life. We all hate to admit it, but the play of those two pro-bowl caliber CBs we were so excited to get last summer, cannot be described as anything other than a disappointment. Behind them is Curtis Marsh, who hasn't shown much, other than questionable instincts on special teams. Joselio Hanson was an improvement over DRC covering the slot, but had a bad year as well, could be on the downside of his career and has no proven backup. Nate Allen cost us a game single handedly, giving up three touchdowns, although, to be fair, was forced to play before he was 100% and played better toward the end of the year. Still, do you have full confidence in Nate Allen as BDawk's long-term replacement? The jury's still out on Jarrett, but the 2010 version clearly needed a ton of work in the weight room, film room and practice field. Coleman is an average safety at best, and is best suited as a 3rd safety, backing up both positions. The 2012 Eagles secondary could be the great one we envisioned last off-season, or the shaky one we saw in 2011, minus its best player. If Samuel is traded, we need to address the position relatively early, for depth. Since we're not getting day 2 picks for Samuel, acquiring extra ones allows us to pick up that extra corner without changing our original plan.
Why it makes sense for Green Bay: Click on the link & let Packers fans speak for themselves: Why we're trading up. To summarize: Green Bay badly needs an impact player on defense and is already right up against the cap, so they don't even have money to sign all their draft picks. So, they'd like to package their first three picks to move into the 14-16 range, where they'd either take Barron(if Nick Collins isn't coming back) or the defensive player available.
1st(28) - Devon Still DT PSU - Not sure why he's still "underrated", after running a 4.94 at his pro day at 6'5" 305. I suspect that some teams actually really like him, are trying to keep quiet about it and won't let him slip this far. How often do you see productive, athletic, healthy, ideally sized DTs from a major conference drop this far? Same goes for Worthy- I don't think either will drop to the 2nd round. Normally seniors don't get as much pre-draft attention, because teams already scouted them for four years, and maybe that's the case with Still.
Still shows an explosive first step to beat his man off the snap, upper body strength to counter the blocker's punch and a variety of overpowering pass rush moves. Devon Still also displays decent awareness reading the play, bulk to anchor against the run, an ability to shed trapping guards and surprising speed chasing rushers out of bounds.Still's highlight film:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7-il4z0QRc
Jerel Worthy DT MSU - A huge load at 6'3" 315. When he's on, he's impossible to contain without a double-team. He'll probably be gone by pick 28 and is a very real option at pick 15,
Kendall Reyes DT UCONN - Runs well for a 6'4 300 pounder. Versatile, with some natural pass-rush ability.
Derek Wolfe DT Cincinnati - Most productive interior lineman in BCS, tall, with a non-stop motor, well-suited for UT, but lacks bulk against the run.
2nd(49) Michael Kendricks LB Cal - We just need better linebackers, and he might be the 2nd best in this draft behind Kuechly.(David is up there too) Capable of starting from day 1 at any one of our three LB spots, but probably fits best at WIL. At 5'11 3/4 240, some consider him too small for SAM, but he's already the same size as many excellent 4-3 linebackers, like Tulloch and Beason. With DeMeco Ryans hobbling around on his still mending achilles tendon, we need FAST linebackers flanking him on both sides, and Kendricks ran a 4.41. He has excellent instincts against the run and his speed allows him to cover TEs, RBs, and even most slot receivers in coverage.
alternatives: Lavonte David, Bobby Wagner, Zach Brown. I prefer Lavonte David to any of them, including Kendricks, but don't think he'll be available at this point. David and Brown especially would add a lot of value as nickel LBs, who play as many snaps as anyone in the pass happy NFL. We need at least one of those four LBs, but two would be fine as well.
TO JAX: pick #51
TO PHIL: 3rd #70, 4th #101, 7th
Why? because the 2nd tier DEs: Vinny Curry, Cam Johnson, Chandler Jones will probably be gone by this point, so might as well trade down and stockpile picks. Even if Jacksonville didn't want to make this deal, another deal would make a similar one. The value is in their favor.
2nd (60) Brandon Boykins CB Georgia - I feel guilty putting him here, because he appears in so many mocks, but we need both a dangerous kickoff returner and a veritable nickel cb, and Boykin excelled at both roles for the Bulldogs. My only issue with him is his size- at 5'9" 178, he's basically stuck playing the nickel if we stick with press-man coverage. That's okay, because in the pass-happy NFL, the nickel is on the field over 60% of the time, much more than a 2 down linebacker. I consider nickel cb a critical, oft-neglected position on any defense. Boykin supposedly plays bigger than his size, but the ideal NCB is around 5'11" 205, quicker than fast, changes directions well, plays the run tough as a safety and gladly blitzes with abandon.
other nickel CB possibilities in the 2nd-3rd:
Nebraska's Alonzo Dennard- close to the ideal size for a nickel back, but doesn't change directions as effortlessly as Boykins, which is critical to covering the Wes Welkers of the world. He struggles downfield, but that wouldn't be an issue playing inside.
VT's Jayron Hosley - Skinny, but excellent instincts, leaping ability and straight-line speed. Offers additional value as a returner.
3rd Bruce Irvin DE WVA - Fastest DE in the draft. One dimensional rusher who would be dangerous in our wide 9 rotation.
3rd Nigel Bradham LB FSU - 5 star recruit with the size/speed to play any LB position in the 4-3. Phenomenal athlete and huge hitter, who will be great on special teams until he wins a starting spot.
other SAM possibilities here: Keenan Robinson, Dontarrio Davis
3rd Nick Foles QB AZ St - Most underrated QB in this draft? The Eagles recently brought him in for a visit. He's 6'5" 243 with a strong arm and excellent deep touch. Despite getting hit constantly behind a shaky line, Foles threw for 4,334 yards last year. Not a mobile QB; he's a big, smart, traditional pocket passer with the mental toughness needed to QB in Philly. Has a much higher ceiling than Kafka.
other possibilities at QB: Brock Osweiler(he'll go in the 1st), Russell Wilson (I'd wait til the 5th)
4th Brian Quick WR Appalachian St - Watch his highlight film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Nn5OhdzRyI
4th Robert Turbin RB Utah State - Finding a decent backup for Shady is a priority and perhaps we shouldn't wait this long to find one. Turbin is a very powerful, muscular RB with 4.5 speed and better quickness. Catches the ball well, but needs experience blocking, however, with his ridiculous upper body strength(30 reps), he could potentially thrive in pass protection.Again, watch his highlight film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8ywX06YgAA
Other possibilities at RB: Isiah Pead, David Wilson - I prefer Pead to Turbin, but he'll probably go in the 2nd or 3rd round. He's a dynamic runner who excels in the open field but also in pass protection. I absolutely love David Wilson, but he'll go very early. If we pick a RB in the 2nd, Wilson would be a perfect fit. We need a top-notch backup to take pressure off McCoy, because if we lose him, we're done.
4th Nate Potter OT/G Boise St - Tough, mobile Mudd-type, with good size: 6'5" 290. Needs to bulk up.
Other possibilities at this pick: Phillip Blake C/G Baylor
5th Brandon Hardin CB/S Oregon St. - He missed all of last year due to a shoulder injury, but was highly regarded the preceding year. He's 6'3 215 and played CB in college, but many see him as a safety in the NFL. At his recent pro-day, Hardin showed he was more than healthy with a 4.36-4.40 40 yard dash, 35 1/2" vertical and 24 reps. He was known for big hits, especially as a special teams gunner. He'd be a great project as a press-man CB or FS, offering depth, versatility and special teams help in the meantime.
Other possibilities: Omar Bolden, Trumaine Johnson
6th Lucas Nix G PITT - Came to Pitt as a 5 star recruit and opened holes for Shady and Dion. Moves very well, despite his ideal size 6'5 1/4" 303. Smart, mobile & versatile, playing G and OT. Hustles to the second level and finishes blocks, competing every down with a nasty temperament. Perfect late-round project for Mudd.
6th Akiem Hicks DT Regina - A couple days ago, someone on NFL network said when Hicks was at LSU, he was considered more talented than Michael Brockers. He's enormous: 6'5 320 35+inch arm length, 10+inch hands. Great athlete, extremely strong and plays angry. Washburn project we can stash on the practice squad. High ceiling/low risk.
6th Terrell Manning LB NC State - Raw, athletic and excellent in coverage. We can definitely afford extra LB prospects.
other 6th round LBs: Audie Cole - remember him?
7th(from Jax) Quinton Saulsberry C Miss St - Finally got our backup center.