Saturday, April 14, 2012

The what-if game

Time for a game of what-if with regards to the National Football League’s college draft later this month, targeting the Browns in particular.

We all know what’s going to happen with the first two picks. The Indianapolis Colts will select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and the Washington Redskins will take Baylor quarterback The Third.

Ho and hum.

But what if . . .

The Minnesota Vikings put the third pick up for auction and someone, say the Miami Dolphins or Philadelphia Eagles or Kansas City Chiefs, bites? The Vikings move down, one of those three teams, which would love to draft a quarterback, takes Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill, and the Browns have the pick of the litter.

What to do, what to do?

If the Vikings do, indeed, find a buyer and pick up an extra pick or two along the way, Browns chieftains Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert Jr. will be staring at offensive tackle Matt Kalil, running back Trent Richardson and wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

Each of those athletes is rated the best at his position by just about every draft guru. And with Luck and The Third gone, it’ll be interesting to see what the Browns’ draft board looks like. Who occupies the top spot?

Is it Richardson, whose reputation as a hard, tough runner could help keep pressure off Colt McCoy? Is it Kalil, who would make a terrific bookend tackle to Joe Thomas? Or maybe it’s Blackmon, an Anquan Boldin (as a rookie) clone who can come in and improve the passing game right away.

Quite a decision for the H&H guys. Then again . . . what if . . .

The Browns decide they can get one of those guys if they drop down to, say, St. Louis, just a couple of picks away at 6, because the Rams are desperate for a wide receiver for Sam Bradford?

That way, they could pick up an extra selection (as if 13 isn’t enough already) and really stock up, or at least have ammunition enough to move back into position to select a third first-rounder.

But what if . . .

The Rams decide they could stay put and pick up Blackmon, anyway, because they believe the Browns need Richardson or Kalil more?

Then what if . . .

The Browns drop massive hints they are staying at 4 and taking the Oklahoma State wideout, forcing the Rams to at least pick up a phone and try to read what’s really going on in the Cleveland war room?

Then what if . . . Hold on, Wait a minute. We’re getting a little ahead of ourselves.

What if the Vikings can’t be convinced to move from 3 and make a selection?

What if . . .

The Vikes stun everyone and make Louisiana State cornerback Mo Claiborne their pick? That would put H&H in the same situation, a win-win situation.

But what if . . .

The Browns have no intention of staying at 4 and desperately look for a partner so they can move down? Given what they did last year with Atlanta, that is not only very possible, it’s highly probable.

So many different scenarios to ponder. So many possibilities with what could go down on the 26th of this month. Holmgren and Heckert had better have plans A, B, C, D and E ready for the first round because it looks as though just about anything can happen. Or not.

That’s the biggest what if.

What if . . .

Nothing happens and the first 10 picks are made without a hitch? No trades. Just rumors. And every 15 minutes, no one moves.

It almost never fails. Just when you expect all kinds of fireworks to go off, it’s disappointingly business as usual.

All that juicy talk leading up to the lottery. All the possibilities and probabilities. All that guessing. All that drama and nothing to show for it.

All for naught.

No comments:

Post a Comment