Well, the season that many months ago we thought might not be has finished it’s qualifying round and is headed towards it’s real season now. Unfortunately for most, only 12 clubs qualify for the bonus round, which leaves 20 left in line waiting for next fall already.
That means that the NFL Draft rumor mill can get to spinning it’s wheels with a bit more of a concrete picture now that the order in which the league’s lessors is set. One of the most intriguing races yesterday afternoon was to see who would not end up in, but who would end up the furthest out. When the Colts kept to their usual form of the year and fell to the nearly equally depressing Jacksonville Jaguars, it locked them in atop the Draft for the first time since 1998, when they selected Peyton Manning…who is now in hot water with them landing this pick and the best QB to approach the NFL since him sitting right there for the taking as well.
However, there will be a lot of time for the dynamics of how this will all play out to be discussed, so for now here is how the non-playoff NFL Draft will go, along with a few of the biggest needs of each spot. Coin flips will be used to decide who will go in which spot in a few locations, and they will be noted with asterisks.
1. Colts (2-14): Luck or a QB (not the same thing) DT, WR, OLB, Guard
2. Rams (2-14): OT, WR, LB, DT, CB
3. Vikings (3-13): CB, OT, S, WR
4. Browns (4-12): WR, RB, DE, QB, OT
5. Buccaneers (4-12): OLB, CB, OT, OG, RB
6. Redskins (5-11): QB, CB, OT, DT, WR
7. Jaguars (5-11): WR, CB, DE, QB, OT
8/9* Panthers (6-10): DT, OLB, WR, OG
8/9* Dolphins (6-10): DT, OT, QB, ILB, S
1o. Bills (6-10): OLB, WR, CB, OT, DE
11/12. Chiefs (7-9): OT, DT, QB, CB, TE
11/12* Seahawks (7-9): QB, DE, DT, OG, RB
13. Cardinals (8-8): OT, OG, OLB, QB, C
14. Cowboys (8-8): CB, S, OLB, OT, C
15. Eagles (8-8): ILB, OT, OLB, SS, DT
16. Jets (8-8): OLB, SS, OT, OG, RB
17. Bengals [via Raiders for Palmer] (9-7): CB, SS, OLB, DT, OG
18. Chargers (8-8): OT, DT, OC, OG, WR
19. Bears (8-8): WR, OT, FS, OLB, SS
20. Titans (9-7): DE, OG, DT, OLB, F/SS
There’s a lot of debate to be had and there’s a lot of football to play….except if you’re on this list. But no matter what, my advice is to not get too comfortable with where your team may be today, because this draft will have more wheeling and dealing than maybe the last three combined. Stay tuned.
In the in-between time, follow my wheeling, dealing, bumbling AND stumbling on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.