Perhaps never have so many teams in a position to make the top 10 picks in the draft been so willing to move out of those spots and so many teams in the middle to latter stages of the draft been so willing to move up to get into those spots.
In a bizarre twist of fate, there is no consensus No. 1 pick. Last year, QB David Carr emerged as the No. 1 pick, Julius Peppers was No. 2 and the rest fell into place. This year, the No. 1 pick isn't even assured.
The Bengals, who hold the No. 1 pick, are still debating the merits of taking QB Carson Palmer. A growing sentiment for defensive-minded head coach Marvin Lewis to go after DE Terrell Suggs has died down since he had a very sub-par Pro Day at Arizona State -- posting 40-yard dash times in the 4.8 to 4.9 second range.
The same is true for the Texans at No. 3, the Bears at No. 4, Cowboys at No. 5 and Cardinals at No. 6. The Texans could go for OT Jordan Gross or WR Andre Johnson, but could trade down in the draft and get a solid OT and WR package in the first round. The Bears seemed destined to take QB Byron Leftwich, but the signing of Kordell Stewart has put that plan on hold...at least for now...and the Bears are talking trade.
At No. 5, the Cowboys have a storied history of trading down in the first round, and the addition of new head coach Bill Parcells, himself noted for trading out of his draft picks to acquire more players, has only made that possibility more likely. At No. 6, the Cardinals need to add offense but apparently are content to wait for a QB until the second round and, if Andre Johnson is gone at WR, are also willing to trade down.
Then come the Vikings. While VU is being told that the Vikings are confident one or more of the four defensive players they want at No. 7 -- DTs Jimmy Kennedy and Dewayne Robertson, DE Terrell Suggs and CB Terence Newman -- will be on the board when they hit the clock, Red McCombs could be the sticking point. McCombs, who is still the subject of constant rumors about the selling the team, has expressed an unwillingness to hand over another $10 million signing bonus like the one given to Bryant McKinnie. If that happens, either another long holdout will occur or the Vikings will have to go in a different direction.
Enter the New Orleans Saints. A very solid Saints source has told VU that the Saints and Vikes have had preliminary talks about trading the No. 7 pick to New Orleans in exchange for two picks in the first round from the Saints -- Nos. 17-18 in the draft.
In addition, VU has been told that the Jets are looking to get into the top seven or eight picks and have targeted the Vikings and Cowboys as the two most likely scenarios to trade their two first-round picks -- Nos. 13 and 22.
While any trades will likely be contingent on who is off the board by the sixth pick, the fact the Vikings are talking and leaving the lines of communication open is a promising sign for fans looking to stockpile picks in the early rounds of next month's draft.
Vikes Talking Trade
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