Deal or No Deal: The Alternate 2010 NFL Draft
Written by Ben Morgan on 05/02/2010
One of the things about the 2010 NFL Draft that really stood out to me was the quality of players available for small change in the later rounds. I'm not talking about the College Players either. I'm talking about established starting calibre NFL players available through trades for a variety of reasons. For some it's due to character issues. For others, they've had disappointing careers thus far having been early picks. For others it's nothing more sinister than not really fitting a new system or being pushed out in favour of a younger player. So, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at a hypothetical draft class you could put together if you really went all out on the trades and ignored the fresh blood. This should be particularly true when you look at what teams have multiple mid round picks. By the time you hit round 3 of the NFL draft you're happy if you can get a good role player out of it. By the time you hit round 5 realistically you're looking at guys who will probably just be Special Teamers in the NFL. Sure there's great players who've come out of each round but the odds of that get longer with each pick. By the time you're into the 7th round, you'd be happy if the kid even makes your roster.
I figured I'd pick out a team with a lot of mid round picks and see what you could work. So I took the Cleveland Browns. Prior to draft season the Browns had one 1st rounder, one 2nd, three 3rds, one 4th, four 5ths and 2 6th round selections. They traded their 4th and 1 5th to the Eagles for Sheldon Brown and Chris Gocong and I figure we'll let that stand, not least because it's hard to figure out exactly what pick was for which player. That still leaves us with plenty of picks to play with though. Now, no players were traded for a first round pick at all this year so I'm also going to go along with the Browns' first pick of Joe Haden, the CB out of Florida. But once we're beyond him there's a few things can do. Firstly I'm going to ignore the players Cleveland already has on the roster and simply look at this as an exercise. So beyond round 1, who was available in trades?
Round 2: Donovan McNabb QB, Brandon Marshall WR
This is a tough one. McNabb is old but a genuine franchise QB. Marshall is young and prodigiously talented but has character concerns. Either will also require more compensation next year and Cleveland only has 1 2nd round selection but 3 3rd rounders...
Round 3: No players available
...and combing 2 of those 3rd rounders is at least the equivalent of a second round pick. If the Browns couldn't swing a trade for McNabb or Marshall directly with 2 of their 3rd rounders they could surely find another team willing to give them a second rounder for 2 3rd rounders. Browns fans, say hello to your new starting QB and new Pro Bowl WR.
Round 4: Kirk Morrison LB, (LenDale White RB/Kevin Vickerson DT)
Let's start by looking at White and Vickerson who went to the Seahawks in exchange for trading down in rounds 4 and 6. Essentially when you're trading your draft picks that makes them something of a freebie. White is a big banging RB and Vickerson is a disappointing DT who may fit better at 3-4DE anyway. Sadly the Browns no longer have a 4th rounder. But, they do have a late 3rd rounder left. So let's send that to the Titans and take White, Vickerson and their 4th rounder. Which in turn gives us the ammunition to make Kirk Morrison a Brown AND get another 5th rounder from the Raiders into the bargain. That makes 4 remaining 5th rounders.
Round 5: Santonio Holmes WR, Bryant McFadden CB, Leon Washington RB, Quentin Groves DE, Ted Ginn Jr WR, Ernie Sims LB, Tony Scheffler TE, (Adam Carriker DT)
Firstly, I'm a big fan of Tony Scheffler and to go some way to replacing the production of Kellen Winslow, I'm picking him up and the 7th round pick that the Lions got in exchange. Which still leaves me 3 5th rounders. All of which enables me then to bring in Adam Carriker for nothing more than trading down in rounds 5 and 7. Carriker has struggled in St Louis but should suit DE in the 3-4 better. My new 7th round pick is lower than the one the Redskins gave for Carriker so we'll chuck them a 6th rounder instead. We can still pick 3 guys from that list up there. For me it has to be Santonio Holmes, Leon Washington and Ernie Sims. McFadden and Ginn are decent but we've already grabbed Joe Haden and Sheldon Brown at CB as well as 2 other WRs. Groves might be a good 3-4OLB but he's the least appealing player here.
That really concludes what we can do as there weren't any trades made for players in rounds 6 or 7 so we can still pick up a couple of late round rookies like Myron Rolle with our 6th rounder and well, whoever you fancy in round 7... but Willie Reid DE and Selvish Capers OT were both pretty highly rated by us and Reid figures to maybe be an Outside Linebacker in the 3-4. What does out full draft class look like?
First Round: Joe Haden CB
Second Round: Donovan McNabb QB, Brandon Marshall WR
Third Round: LenDale White RB/Kevin Vickerson DT
Fourth Round: Kirk Morrison LB, Sheldon Brown CB
Fifth Round: Santonio Holmes WR, Leon Washington RB, Adam Carriker DE, Chris Gocong OLB, Tony Scheffler TE, Ernie Sims LB
Sixth Round: Myron Rolle S
Seventh Round: Selvish Capers OT, George Selvie OLB
Talk about turning around a franchise in one draft... up there is a completely new set of top end Offensive Skill players and 5 or 6 new starters on Defense.
The downsides? Of course there are always downsides, the biggest one being you've probably not got much hope of keeping all of them in 2011 as many will be in the final year of their current deals. And of course, were a new salary cap to be brought in you may be completely screwed. Chuck in the fact that the Marshall and McNabb moves also mean you're already down 2 picks next year as well and it's not all roses. Just an interesting exercise that highlights how over-rated draft picks are versus proven veteran talent and how the NFL is changing.
Last Edited: 05/02/2010