Intrigue at top of board highlights late Monday draft buzz … No word as of late this evening whether the powers that be in Arizona – to be exact G.M. Steve Keim, head coach Kliff Kingsbury and owner Michael Bidwill — held there penultimate draft meeting today to make a final decision on what to do with the #1 pick overall at this week’s draft. The cynic in us says “Man, if they don’t know by now … ” although we also have to remember that just a year ago, Cleveland didn’t really make the decision to take Baker Mayfield with the first pick overall in the 2018 draft until just a few days before the draft. For those that have been on another planet the past little while, the Cardinals have been widely expected to select Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray with this year’s top pick despite the fact they traded up last year to get QB Josh Rosen with the 10th pick. And just to spice up the pre-draft drama, there are several reports out there that the Cardinals have actually been quietly listening to trade offers for the top pick. Interesting!
If the Cardinals are indeed serious about the possibility of trading down, they won’t be alone among teams with top 5 picks. Indeed, both San Francisco and the New York Jets, who have the 2nd and 3rd picks overall respectively, are believed to be eager to trade down from those spots and acquire extra picks. There is additional word out of San Francisco that the 49ers, who have long been believed to be targeting Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa if they stuck at #2 may now be leaning toward taking Alabama DT Quinnen Williams at that spot.
Meanwhile, no one will be surprised if the Jets move off the 3rd pick as they have reportedly been hawking the selection pretty much since January. And one rumor that won’t go away has the Jets trading the pick to Washington which would then select Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. That’s a long way to go for the Redskins to get to the 3rd pick from the 15th, its been down before. At the same time, there are other reports that the Redskins are more inclined to try and move up into the latter part of the top 10 to try and beat the division-rival NY Giants to Duke QB Daniel Jones. Then there are other reports which still have the Redskins as the favorites to land Arizona’s Rosen in a draft-day deal. What it all means is that there are still a ton of options on the table for the upcoming draft which likely won’t be answered until Thursday evening.
There may also be a hint of evidence supporting the notion that the Jets will move the 3rd pick to someone looking to select Ohio State’s Haskins in the latest nonsense out of Oakland. Recall that late last week there were reports that Raiders’ head coach Jon Gruden and G.M. Mike Mayock had sent all their scouts home for the duration of the draft because they feared their draft plans would be leaked. Earlier today, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Raiders needed the heightened secrecy because they are looking at a surprise pick of some sort with the 4th pick. The fact is that there is almost no pick the Raiders could make at #4 that would require secrecy. Indeed, the only scenario in that regard that would make sense is if they intended to take a QB like Haskins at #4 – and that would qualify as a surprise – and didn’t want someone to leapfrog them with a trade with the Jets. Stay tuned.