Rumors, Rumors, Rumors

Let the lying begin! As teams prepare their draft boards for this weekend, otherwise diligent journalists have become part of the game -- spreading rumor as fact in the days prior to the draft.

The days leading up to the draft have typically been known for rumor-mongering running amok. For 360 days a year, responsible journalists try to confirm and re-confirm stories before they run them. But for five days, these same people become little more than gossiping fishwives.

So it is that this year has become a rumor-filled funfest. Let's see. The Broncos are interested in giving up their entire draft to move up to get Calvin Johnson. The Bills are looking to make a trade with the Chiefs for Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson. The Raiders are going to either trade Randy Moss or sign Daunte Culpepper if he's released so they can take Calvin Johnson. If the Vikings want Brady Quinn, they'll have to move up to get him. A team might trade in front of the Vikings to snag Adrian Peterson.

While any of these scenarios is possible, how probable are they? The reality is that few teams in this era give away their draft plans. While everyone remains convinced the Raiders will take QB JaMarcus Russell with the first pick, even that isn't certain because too many people know about the man-love Al Davis has for Johnson. From that point on, the entire draft could be thrown into disarray.

The facts are much different from the rumors. Over the past two seasons, none of the picks in the top 10 of the draft have been traded. In both years, rumors were floated that this team wanted to move up, this team wanted to move down and plausible scenarios were laid out about how to get those deals done. Will this year be different or a repeat of the "talk is cheap" scenario.

While the first pick is too spendy for anyone to pony up what would be needed to get to get it, it's clear the Lions have a plan to move out of the No. 2 spot. It's also clear that the Redskins, who have the sixth overall pick but nothing else until the fifth round, are willing if not desperate to move out of the No. 6 spot to pile up more picks.

Because the draft has become a form of free agency, where teams have covered a some of their weaknesses during the free-agent period and can target specific players on draft day to meet their most pressing needs, many of these projected trades will have to wait until draft day itself. If the Raiders swing a deal for a veteran quarterback that allows them to take Johnson with the first pick, there could be no trades at all, as players expected to be gone forced the deck to be re-shuffled.

But until then, let the writers have their fun and pass on information that may or may not be true – more likely not than true.

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