Every year during the NFL draft there are instances that make the analysts and fans say: “What?!” Only time will tell what those instances will be this year, so for now all we can do is guess. Here are three possibilities…
1. A trade for the No. 1 overall pick
Too expensive in the past, the cost of trading up to the No. 1 spot is now much more affordable because of the rookie wage scale. Yes, it still requires a bounty of selections to move up to the top spot, but no longer are teams also saddled with having to dish out a guaranteed contract upwards of $50 million, as the St. Louis Rams had to do with Sam Bradford in 2010. So with it being more affordable to trade up to No. 1, with the presumptive top choice (Jadeveon Clowney) being a once-in-a-generation defensive end prospect, and with the team currently at No. 1 (Houston) linked to several different positions and players, the climate exists this year for a trade of this magnitude.
2. Three wide receivers off the board
It would be an extremely rare occurrence for this to happen. There were three receivers off the board in the first nine picks in 2004, but other than that it’s uncommon to see more than three off the board in the Top 10. But there are many receiver-needy teams this year, and several of them (St. Louis, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, Tampa Bay) pick before the Vikings at No. 8. You can argue Sammy Watkins is the second best player in this class, so the Rams could take him at No. 2 and if they don’t pounce then either Jacksonville or Cleveland could grab him. A quick look at the Raiders depth chart reveals a need for talent at receiver, so perhaps Mike Evans is a fit there. And the Buccaneers recently traded Mike Williams, plus Vincent Jackson isn’t getting any younger, so they are a potential third candidate for a receiver (Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Marquise Lee).
3. No quarterbacks taken
Sounds crazy, right? It would be unusual for no quarterbacks to be taken in the Top 7 seven picks, as it’s happened only twice since 2000. This year, though, you can punch holes in all of the top-rated passers. Plus, we’ve seen several quarterback-needy teams hedge their bets this offseason by securing a veteran who could open the season as the starter (Jacksonville – Chad Henne, Oakland – Matt Schaub, Tampa Bay – Josh McCown, Minnesota –