By Tom Waterman, WSOE Sports
Are you finding yourself in kind of a NFL lull? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat just waiting for any news about your team? Don’t worry you aren’t the only one. With free agency starting over two weeks ago and all the big names including Albert Haynesworth, Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Kurt Warner having already changed teams or resigned with their old ones, there just doesn’t seem to be much newsworthy stuff happening. Arguably the biggest story of the off-season so far was T.O. surprisingly being cut by the Dallas Cowboys and then latching on with the Buffalo Bills. However, with the NFL Draft only a little over a month away, it is never too early to start throwing out predictions for how the draft will shake out.As of now, my top 5 picks of the draft are:
1. Detroit Lions: QB Matt Stafford, Georgia
– I’m not 100% sold on Stafford myself. He does have great size and very strong arm, however in eight SEC games last year he only had 12 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, not exactly superb numbers. Plus his accuracy is questionable. However, having the chance to take their potential franchise quarterback and pairing him with one of the leagues top young wide outs is too good of an opportunity for Detroit to pass up.
2. St. Louis Rams: OT Jason Smith, Baylor
– After the release of LT Orlando Pace there is glaring hole on the left side of the Ram’s offensive line, and the extremely athletic tackle out of Baylor fits the bill perfectly.
3. Kansas City Chiefs: LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
– Curry, who is one of the most versatile players in the draft because of his combination of size and speed, would be a great addition here in Kansas City fitting in a linebacker core that already includes Derrick Johnson and newly acquired Mike Vrabel. Curry is just too good of a player to pass up at this pick.
4. Seattle Seahawks: QB Mark Sanchez, USC
– In a surprise pick the Seahawks pass on an offensive lineman and take the quarterback with the most upside in the draft. Sanchez, a one year starter at USC, comes into a situation where quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is coming off an injury-riddled and unproductive season as quarterback. I see the Seahawks passing on the solid and safe choice of Offensive Lineman Eugene Monroe and jumping at the opportunity to take the athletic big-armed quarterback.
5. Cleveland Browns: DE/LB Brian Orakpo, Texas
– The Browns who are desperate for playmakers on defense jump and will jump at the chance to take the Nagurski and Lombardi Award winner. Orakpo will be a great fir in their 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker, much in Terrell Suggs type of fashion.
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