After his pro day at the start of March we reported several teams moved linebacker A.J. Hawk near the top of their draft board. Several franchises rate him as the top defensive player in this draft. This still holds true today as teams with early selections such as the New Orleans Saints have Hawk as the second best player on their board.
Yet the dilemma remains; do you take a linebacker with the second pick of the draft when an offensive tackle and defensive end of almost equal grade are also available? It is a tough call for the Saints and as a result expect them to use all their allotted time in round one trying to trade down.
Where will Hawk end up? He won't get past the Green Bay Packers at five and don't be surprised if the Jets scoop him up at number four.
Haloti Ngata is another player causing a stir. Teams such as the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens seemed poised to make a move ahead of the Cleveland Browns should the big run stuffer get past the Buffalo Bills at number eight. Ngata may not last that long as the Oakland Raiders have shown a lot of interest in the Oregon product recently.
We are hearing the labeling of Ngata not being a defender who plays hard for 60 minutes is a one-sided story.
Seems the staff at Oregon, usually known for "over-coaching" players, went very easy on Ngata the three years he dressed for the Ducks, never pushing the big lineman. In fact, many thought Ngata was babied in Eugene as there was a desire not to over-work the highest rated high-school player to be recruited by the program in some time.
Not to worry, as sources have told us Ngata has done everything asked of him, plus some, in workouts leading to the combine and his pro day.
Two defensive backs coming off of injury are shooting up draft boards. Both Antonio Cromartie and Jason Allen have solidified themselves as first-round choices and may end up in the middle of the frame.
The Chicago Bears are very high on Cromartie but think it is entirely possible the Florida State cornerback could be off the board by the 26th pick. The Jacksonville Jaguars also like Cromartie and would select the defensive back even though they just signed Brian Williams in free agency.
It is quite possible the Miami Dolphins take a stab at Cromartie, as sources have told us right now the team's decision could come down to the Florida State product or Jason Allen of Tennessee.
With the recent trade of Sammy Davis, the Chargers could bring Jamar Fletcher back into the mix. Another team also vying for the services of the former first-round choice is the Atlanta Falcons.
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