Possible First Round Picks That Could Make You Go HUH?


Last year it was C.J. Spiller and Tyson Alualu being drafted by teams that seem to come out of no place. Who might it be this year? That’s tough becxause this draft is one of the crazier drafts I can remember in some time. With the CBA mess and seemingly with more quarterback needy teams then in forever, and few consensus top players, mock drafts have been all over the place. I’ve been wondering lately what kind of effect a lack of a CBA could have on the draft as the draft gets closer and closer each day.

Will teams look to fill needs through the draft concerned that they won’t be able to get the players they want in free agency? That’s a huge question. Because we must remember that teams can not sign Undrafted Free Agents after the draft either.

Let’s assume that they will fill needs through the draft, here are some very long-shot, dark-horse picks that won’t surprise me if they happen on draft day. Even if they make other people go, huh?

These are not predictions of what will happen, but these are rarely discussed possibilities.

Cameron Jordan #3 to the Bills

I’m just using this one because in a twittersation with Brain Galliford of Buffalo Rumblings he said this was a “dark-horse pick” for the Bills. I don’t see it though. I’ve never been in the camp that the Bills will draft a defensive linemen early. They drafted Alex Carrington and Torell Troupe last year in the 2nd and third rounds. Kyle Williams played at an All-pro level according to profootballfocus, and they gave Dwan Edwards a decent contract last year. I think they’ll shy away from the defensive line.

#5/#4 Tyron Smith, Arizona Cardinals/Cincinnati Bengals

I know this isn’t getting any play anywhere, but the Cardinals have arguably the worst offensive line in the entire league, Tyron Smith has all the physical ability in the world. He has great size, Huge hands (11 inches), Long arms, quick feet, good strength in the weight room and everything teams are looking for in a tackle prospect. Also, like quarterbacks tackles are one of the few positions that teams will over-draft because of need.

I think the Cardinals will, at least briefly consider Smith. Imagine if Newton goes 1, The Redskins move up to 2 and grab Gabbert, Miller goes 3, and Peterson goes 4. Where do the Cardinals go then? OL has to come into the picture. Is this a long-shot? Yes. Would it be a pick made that people look back and say, I should have consider that, I think so.

As far as the Bengals go, I think obviously the front runner is A.J. Green or QB, but a big reason for their demise last year was an inability to run the ball like they did the year before. Tryon Smith played RT at USC and  able to play RT immediately in the NFL in the opinion of many. I think this is more possible if they move down, but right now I’d probably put it at like 10 percent.

Phil Taylor at #11, NT, Texans

I know this is a major reach, but the Texans can’t play the 3-4 without a nose tackle and there are very few early round nose tackle in this draft and Taylor is the only one of two who might even get a sniff on the first round of big boards. Now, if they think Stephen Paea will last until the second round he could be an excellent fit in Wade Phillips system.

I think it’s most likely they go DE/OLB, or Prince Amukamara, but I wouldn’t be blown away if they grabbed Phil Taylor because he’s one of the few decent Nose Tackles in the first couple of rounds.

#14 St. Louis Rams-Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

I’ve only seen Clayborn linked to the Rams one time, From Sportingnews, I think. But the more I think about it the more it makes sense. I just have this feeling that NFL teams will love what Clayborn brings and will over look his average season last year and be intrigued by his great season two years ago. Clayborn is, perhaps, the most physically ready defensive end to play in the N.F.L. right now and is a player that could fit well with Spags because he can come inside and rush the passer from the defensive tackle as he liked to do with Justin Tuck when he was with the Giants.

Jimmy Smith to the Giants at 19th overall

The names that have been most associated with the Giants are Offensive linemen Castanzo and Mike Pouncey, Gabe Carimi. DT Corey Liuget, LB, Akeem Ayers, and RB Mark Ingram.

But if you look at the draft trends of the Giants, you’ll notice that the Giants haven’t spent early round picks on RB or Offensive linemen much at all in the last decade.

3 total offensive linemen, one running back, and 2 LB’s taken in the first three rounds of the draft since 2000. At some point this becomes a  core team philosophy.

An interesting factorid: since 2001 the Giants have spent more of their first pick on Secondary than they have on the defensive line.

What I know the Giants do love though is big cornerbacks. Jimmy Smith is very good size for a cornerback and also has good speed. He is just what the Giants look for in the draft, and unlike the other positions they have show more of a penchant to draft CB’s early especially Reese who has drafted Ross, Thomas, and Phillips (S) all in the first round. Perry Fewell has also been known as a guy who is good with secondaries so keep an eye on Smith.

Mark Ingram to the Chiefs at 21st overall

Maybe not likely, but Jones is getting older and they need a complement to Charles.

Others who could make it into the first round not getting much publicity.

Christian Ballard, DL, Iowa. Three of the draft people I’ve talked to have mentioned Christian Ballard as the player that could be the most like Tyson Alaualu out of all the players in the draft. He’s a versatile hard-working defensive linemen who any team would enjoy having. He’s not dynamic, but he’s very solid and good. He could be someone a team “reaches” on much like Alualu last season.

Jabaal Sheard, DL, Pittsburgh

Randall Cobb, WR, ATH

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