Post-Draft Insider Notes 3.0

What role will Brian Leonard have for the St. Louis Rams? What other running back were the Philadelphia Eagles considering in the third round?

Late Round Picks Could Get longer Deals

League sources have told to expect a large number of late round picks to sign long term contracts. A record number of four year deals, the longest allowed under the new CBA, are expected to be handed out to sixth and seventh round selections over the next few months. The precursor to this was the inordinate amount of two-and-three year deals that were signed by undrafted free agents last week. 

Hunt to Fill a Role; Pittman To Push McAllister Out?

It's not unusual for a team to draft off their board but it's rare when they select a lower rated player at a particular position when a prospect with a higher grade is still available. Yet that is exactly what a league source indicated the Philadelphia Eagles did last month in the third round. Targeting a running back, the team clearly identified Ohio St. University's Antonio Pittman as the top ball carrier when their pick approached. But with the 90th selection the team chose Penn St. University's Tony Hunt, who was rated lower than Pittman. Why? The Eagles wanted a bigger back for those "third and short" situations and justifiably feel Hunt is better suited in that role compared to Pittman and Hunt also has good hands. Hunt's addition leaves a crowded backfield for the team.

Pittman was eventually selected by the New Orleans Saints in the next round and some see that as writing on the wall in the near future. A league source indicates this could be the last season in New Orleans for veteran RB Deuce McAllister as the team has to much salary tied up in two running backs, those being McAllister and Reggie Bush.

Leonard To Beef Up

A league source told us the immediate plan for the St. Louis Rams with second-round pick Brian Leonard is for him to put on weight and use him at fullback. Leonard will also be used to spell starting RB Steven Jackson as the their prime ball carrier during games.

Leonard lost a bunch of weight prior to Senior Bowl week back in January and checked in around 225 lbs.

Free Agent Defensive Player Finds Lots of Interest

Several teams got into a bidding war for Jyles Tucker last week after the draft. 

Eventually it was the San Diego Chargers beating out the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets. The Chargers had the edge as their is a relationship between Tucker's camp and defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell. The team plans to use Tucker, who played defensive end and defensive tackle in college, at outside linebacker in their 3-4 defensive alignment.

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