interresting to note, kirwan heedes everyones remarks and put hawk back at 5. one coach who sat with v. young was trully impressed (a. shell?). 2 players who wouldve been 1st rounders failed drug tests (roderique white? kirwan dropped him out of steelers #32 down to steelers #64) then said on the radio he may even slip to 3rd round. check the link for rnd 2
(April 23, 2006) -- Soon after I released my first mock draft last week, I heard from a few NFL executives and coaches around the NFL. One front office executive told me his scouting department only gave 18 players a first-round grade. Another scout told me his team has 21 players with a first-round grade. The shortage of perceived first-round talent due to various reasons is causing a number of teams to think about moving up into the top 12-15 picks. And it is also causing some teams down in the bottom third of the draft to move down, if possible. Did the Broncos know something about this draft early enough to sell off its No. 22 pick? One personnel man told me that if all the guys with medical alerts and off-the-field baggage were clean, then this draft would have a solid first round. But the risk/reward means taking very talented players in the second round where the money is significantly less.
A couple of things that rang clear to me this week that influenced my mock draft were: Vince Young has done a nice job on his visits around the league. One coach said, 'I was expecting to meet a Michael Vick kind of guy and felt more like I sat down with Donovan McNabb'. Two defensive coaches weighed in on Manny Lawson and described him as a cross between Jason Taylor and Jevon Kearse. Both of those veteran players entered the NFL under 240 pounds. Lawson has weighed anywhere from 241 at the Combine to 233 on his visits. Two players, who I will not mention, have apparently failed a drug test and will not be top choices next week. Unfortunately, one of those players is a clear-cut first-round talent. I was curious about the sudden rise in interest in quarterback Kellen Clemens this past two weeks and although he will not be a first-round selection, he may have moved into the second round on some boards. One QB coach I respect told me Clemens simply has the best combination of arm strength and mechanics in the draft.
The most important thing I heard this week and typical of the feelings around the league with just days to go before the draft was, 'We have all studied these players so much that we found something wrong with everyone of them. Now we have to go back and remember the good'. I will post my final mock draft on April 28, but here's version No. 2 and there are some changes. This mock draft does not take into account any future trades, but it does consider late free-agent signings. As for rumors floating around right now: Oakland is moving up to take Vince Young at the No. 2 spot; Tennessee is internally split about Matt Leinart and Vince Young; and there going to be upwards of eight corners drafted in the first round. These are all part of the art of deception. Believe what you want to believe at this point.