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Whoa - a 2006 #1 for Edge or Alexander? (ESPN Insider)

phunwin

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Scouts Inc./ESPN Insider said:
Saban is exploring the possibility of trading a first-round pick in 2006 to Indianapolis for Edgerrin James or to Seattle for Shaun Alexander. If he can put together a favorable deal with one of those two teams, drafting Smith with the second pick would make a lot more sense.

Whoa.
 

phunwin

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I may as well just post the whole thing.

Scouts Inc./ESPN Insider said:
The 49ers negotiated with Aaron Rodgers' agent Wednesday and were scheduled to negotiate with Alex Smith's agent Thursday in an attempt to pit one against the other and get the best deal possible. Contrary to popular belief, San Francisco could be in a great position in these negotiations. If the agents are dialed in to the rest of the teams selecting at the top of the draft, they will realize there is the potential for the odd-QB-out to plummet.

Our information points to the Dolphins' drafting Ronnie Brown at No. 2, the Browns' selecting Braylon Edwards at No. 3, the Bears' choosing either Mike Williams or Cedric Benson at No. 4 and the Buccaneers' drafting either Carnell Williams or Mike Williams at No. 5.

With the Titans (No. 6) and Vikings (No. 7) unlikely to select a quarterback, one of the two top quarterbacks could fall all the way to the Cardinals at No. 8 – and there's no guarantee Arizona would take Smith or Rodgers over Antrel Rolle. In short, taking a bad deal at No. 1 might be better for the client, even if it makes the agent look bad.



Aaron Rodgers's agent must be careful in his contract negotiations with San Francisco.The Dolphins met with Smith on Wednesday, and the meeting is said to have gone well. It's certainly not out of the question for the Dolphins to use their second overall pick on Smith (assuming Rodgers goes first to the 49ers). Nick Saban knows he has options.

Saban is exploring the possibility of trading a first-round pick in 2006 to Indianapolis for Edgerrin James or to Seattle for Shaun Alexander. If he can put together a favorable deal with one of those two teams, drafting Smith with the second pick would make a lot more sense.

The other reason for bringing Smith in on Wednesday is to create a smoke screen. By meeting with Smith and spreading rumors that the Dolphins could take him at No. 2, Saban could be increasing his odds of striking a deal to trade down.

There have been some rumors that the Buccaneers are one of the teams looking to move up, but we're not buying it. Coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen have done their due diligence in case one of the top two quarterbacks falls to them at No. 5.

However, we're hearing they didn't fall in love with either Smith or Rodgers – at least not enough to mortgage the rest of their draft. From what we hear, the Buccaneers are much more likely to draft Mike Williams or Carnell Williams with the fifth pick.


Running backs in limbo
There is quite a bit of posturing going on between teams at the top of the draft who need a running back – the Dolphins, Buccaneers and Cardinals – and teams possessing expendable veteran running backs – the Bills (Travis Henry), Seahawks (Shaun Alexander) and Colts (Edgerrin James).
Right now, the teams with the high draft picks hold all the leverage, because if they don't like a proposed deal they can simply turn it down and threaten to take one of the top running back prospects. If the Seahawks and Colts want to unload their disgruntled backs as much as we're told, they'll probably have to wait until draft day to get a deal done. At that point, the Seahawks and Colts have to hope the teams in need of running backs get nervous about not being able to land their prospect of choice, or simply get caught bluffing.

We still think the Cardinals will get a deal done for Henry, but it won't happen until draft day. As previously reported, there is a standoff between Cardinals head coach Dennis Green and Bills GM Tom Donahoe regarding Donahoe's proposed swap of second-round picks (Nos. 44 and 55). Both Green and Donahoe are taking hard-line stances right now, but both teams want a deal to get done.

The Cardinals want Henry so they can use the No. 8 pick on a cornerback (ideally Rolle) instead of a running back. It makes just as much sense for the Bills, who not only want to deal their disgruntled backup running back, but also specifically want L.J. Shelton because he's a much better option at left tackle than any prospect they could draft in the middle of this year's second round.


Browns eyeing Edwards?
We keep hearing three names out of Browns camp – Edwards, Georgia DE David Pollack and Auburn QB Jason Campbell – in that order. The Browns obviously have a bigger need at quarterback than they do at wide receiver, but new GM Phil Savage's philosophy is to draft the best available player.
If Edwards is available when the Browns pick at No. 3, don't be surprised if he is the pick – even if Smith or Rodgers is still on the board. From what we're told, they covet Smith over Rodgers. If Edwards is gone and Smith is on the board, they would draft Smith.

If both Edwards and Smith are gone at No. 3, Cleveland would do its best to trade out of the pick before making a decision between Rodgers and a top defensive prospect, such as Texas OLB Derrick Johnson or Rolle.

Pollack is on the radar for trade purposes. If the Browns get a deal done to trade down, they would covet Pollack, who would be a great fit as a rush linebacker in Romeo Crennel's 3-4 scheme. If the Browns go in a direction other than quarterback with their top pick, Campbell should be their second-round selection.


Benson might fit in Chicago
The Bears shouldn't be considered in the aforementioned trade scenario because they're just as willing to draft a top wide receiver – Edwards or Williams – as they are a running back. They are, however, more enamored with Benson than many realize. The goal is to draft an offensive playmaker with the fourth overall pick, and the wish list is as follows: Edwards, Benson, Brown, Mike Williams and Carnell Williams.


The Bears need an offensive playmaker and they may have their eye on Cedric Benson.The Bears certainly will entertain offers to trade down, but it would have to be for multiple picks. Benson is the team's personal favorite due to the system Ron Turner will run as first-year offensive coordinator.

Much like his brother, Norv (the Raiders head coach), Ron's offensive system is designed around the power running attack, which helps open things up for the vertical passing game. The scary part for Benson, however, is that if the Bears don't take him at No. 4, he could free fall down to the Texans at No. 13 or the Panthers at No. 14, especially if the Cardinals (No. 8) get a deal done for Henry.


Drug tests could doom DTs
The draft's defensive tackle class has taken a hit thanks to the positive drug tests that reportedly came back from the combine on Northwestern's Luis Castillo and Wisconsin's Anttaj Hawthorne, both of whom were considered second-round prospects. Testing positive for marijuana will hurt Hawthorne, but Castillo's case is the more serious of the two.
Steroids is a prominent issue right now, and teams will be nervous about drafting Castillo and sending the wrong message. Secondly, the biggest reason for Castillo's rising stock was his jaw-dropping performance at the combine, which apparently was aided by steroids. Hawthorne still has a chance to come off the board in either the second or third round, but it's not unimaginable that Castillo could drop all the way to the draft's second day.

Also reportedly testing positive for marijuana were Wisconsin OG Jonathan Clinkscale, Clemson DT Eric Coleman and Bowie State DB Atcheson Conway. Coleman and Conway already were mid- to late-round prospects, but Clinkscale might have cost himself a spot on day one.
 

KB21

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I don't buy it. This goes against everything Nick Saban has stated that he wants to do. IMO, this may be something that adds to Nick's bluff, or possible bluff, with Alex Smith.
 

DOLFANMIKE

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I'm not saying I wouldnt do it, because both players are GREAT players. But next years draft is supposed to be LOADED. I'm kind of hoping if we trade Surtain and make the Bucs trade back that we can grab a 2nd and 3rd rounder next year in the deals.
 

BuffBillsMan90

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Surtain plus a conditional #1 makes sense. Miami would get something else in return as well besides the RB
 

KB21

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I would never trade Surtain straight up for a running back, much less trade him and a 1st round pick for a runner.
 

Boomer

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I would be EXTREMELY disappointed were this to happen. When you get the chance to draft a back with thousands of yards less on the clock and who is 6 years younger, you do it. Nick's raison d'etre from the start has been that he doesn't want to give picks away and he's pissed about the Feeley trade. Can't see him giving the 2006 and all that cash for either of those 2.
 

phunwin

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I agree with you in principle, Boom. But if the price was right, I'd consider it. i.e. it's only a #1 if James/Alexander runs for over 1500 yards or something.

Then again, we tried that once before and look where it got us. :(
 
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