Thursday, April 22, 2010

The winds of change are definitely in the air.

-- And just like that, the AFC North has changed. The Pittsburgh Steelers - one of the premier franchises in the NFL - will lose QB Ben Roethlisberger for the first six games of the 2010 season. In addition, Roethlisberger will be assessed by a team of psychologists. The results of these tests could reduce or even extend his suspension. Already talk of a trade is rife, but the reality is no team - even if they're desperate for a QB - will touch Roethlisberger this season. The Steelers will likely now have a QB competition between Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich for the starting job. It could even add an interesting dynamic to the draft, as we could see the Steelers take a QB, though probably not until the third round. -- The Minnesota Vikings have acquired free agent Lito Sheppard. Sheppard was released earlier this year by the Jets. It makes sense for a Minnesota team that is growing increasingly long in the tooth at the CB position. Sheppard is a pretty good corner and will likely see most of his action this year as a nickel back. -- So tomorrow the NFL draft kicks off at 7:30 ET. For those that are interested and unable to get it on TV, you can catch all the coverage of the event live on (I should be on the payroll the amount of free publicity I give them guys). So what are some of my last minute thoughts going in? 1) What will the Rams do at one? Well, it's not really a burning question because we know that unfortunately they're going to go with Bradford and hamstring their franchise for the next 5 years at least, but I had to get it out of the way didn't I. 2) Suh or McCoy? Who will the Lions take at number two. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced they'll take Suh. 3) Will the Browns go for Clausen at number 7 overall? Like most early picks, their choice here has the potential to cause great disruption further down the line. If they take Eric Berry instead (providing he's there), expect DB's to come flying off the board thick and fast afterward. 4) Bruce Campbell or Jason Pierre-Paul. One of these dramatically over rated players will probably go at number 8, when the Raiders come on the clock. 5) The Bills at 9. Predicting this pick will be the toughest of all in this draft. Another one of those picks where there are so many directions to head in it's mind boggling, and the ripples will be felt way down the first round. 6) The first of the 49ers picks at 13. Only of interest if you're a 49ers fan like me. Or, unless you're hoping to pick up an OT, OG or DB later in the first round. Another big ripple pick. 7) The 49ers at 17. Read the same as above. 8) Steelers at 18. Project Tebow? 9) The Patriots at 22. For how long? 10) Sorry to harp on this point, but what is it about the very hard working, successful, very coachable, determined, athletic, tough, accurate and charismatic Tim Tebow that scouts and analysts still dislike enough to grade him as a second or third rounder? Have a great day everyone.

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