NFL Draft Specials: Four Shocking First Round Predictions
These First Round Moves Will Shock the NFL
It's not an NFL Draft unless someone or something crazy happens. It could be a last-minute blockbuster trade involving top picks, a superstar being shipped out, or a pick nobody expected and one that doesn't make sense or all of the above.
With as many as five quarterbacks expected to go in the first round, we have handfuls of teams all willing to do anything and trade anyone to get their QB. We look at four potential first-round shockers:
The New York Giants Trade Odell Beckham Jr.
One does not simply trade the most electrifying player in the NFL but Giants' wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been front and center in trade rumours since last season. The three-time Pro Bowler and arguably the best receiver today has had diminishing returns for the Giants, been injured, and is on the final year of his rookie contract. Not to mention he can be a bit of a drama king.
Teams have done it in the past when they ship their top receiver. The Saints traded away Brandin Cooks two years ago. The Dolphins just sent Jarvis Landry to Cleveland. The NFL is a copycat league and the Giants could trade OBJ and use the returns: most likely a first-rounder and a slew of draft picks, to draft a replacement receiver and upgrade other pieces of the team.
The most likely trade candidate would be the Los Angeles Rams. Playing in a fickle market, the Rams made big moves this offseason in a bid to go for it all. Adding a game-breaking receiver like OBJ not only cements their Super Bowl contender status but gives the team a popular figure to market.
The Buffalo Bills Draft Lamar Jackson
Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane would go as far as foot massages and an unlimited supply of buffalo wings just to move up in the draft. The Bills have been desperately trying to trade up likely for the Browns' fourth-overall pick to take Josh Allen or Josh Rosen. But so far no luck.It's plausible they get this done at the last minute but maybe the Bills stay pat and shock the football world instead.
The franchise has never been shy about pulling crazy moves at the deadline. In 2013, they took quarterback EJ Manuel with their first pick, a reach that blew up on their faces. But this won't deter a team in dire need of a signal-caller. Enter Lamar Jackson. The quarterback prospect from Louisville has been projected anywhere between the top-ten to the second round.
Jackson would be an upgrade over Tyrod Taylor but his issues with accuracy could limit his playmaking. But the Bills are at least familiar with quarterbacks like him and could work around his limitations. An alternate option would be starting him slowly in favour of A.J. McCarron. Though the Bills are fighting to return to the playoffs so Jackson will hit the ground running.
The New England Patriots Draft a Quarterback
Rumours of Tom Brady retiring is an annual tradition like the Cincinnati Bengals getting smoked in the playoffs. You'll have to go as far back as 1993 to find the last time the New England Patriots drafted a QB (Drew Bledsoe) so it'll be a bit shocking to hear the Pats take Mason Rudolph with the 31st pick of the NFL Draft but it makes plenty of sense.
This could be more of a case of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers back in 2005 when the Packers used their 24th pick to take the Californian. Rudolph is 6'4" and has a cannon for an arm but needs plenty of fine-tuning and it's why he is a great match for the Patriots. He'll arguably be in the best situation for the quarterback prospects in the draft.
The story will shift to Brady and the Pats' situation with the news media drumming up drama giving the Oklahoma State senior the space to develop without being in the spotlight.
The Cleveland Browns Draft Saquon Barkley
It's not an NFL Draft unless the Cleveland Browns are doing something to make headlines. The Brownies hold the first and fourth picks in the draft and are coming from the second 0-16 season in the NFL. They made several moves in the offseason acquiring quarterback Tyrod Taylor from Buffalo and Jarvis Landry fro Miami among other things. Yet they are still expected to draft top QB prospect Sam Darnold.
Throw out all those research notes as the Browns will go off-script and snatch the draft's top prospect, running back Saquon Barkley from Penn State. The 21-year-old has superstar potential and is being likened to the likes of Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette and will immediately boost any team's ground game. Taking Barkley isn't crazy but will surprise almost everyone.
Doing this would change the Browns', and other teams', draft strategy. The Browns can then elect to use their fourth pick to take a quarterback like Josh Allen. Darnold being vocally against Cleveland could lead to this decision or at least force a swap between Cleveland and a team like the Jets or Dolphins.
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A tidal wave of sports has been rocking Canada as of late and now you throw in the NFL Draft as a reminder of football season! Canadians can tune in to TSN or Sportsnet to catch the latest news on the NFL among other sports but they should also head to Canadian-friendly online bookmakers when it comes to a little more action.
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