How free agency has affected draft
Almost one week of the NFL's free agency period is in the books, and that means some of what we thought we knew about the first round of this year's draft is already painfully out of date. Here's a look at 12 teams that have had their draft wish list impacted in some way by key gains or losses in free agency, or in the case of the Jets, a key trade just before it began:
Those moves left Atlanta feeling deep enough at cornerback to trade underachieving 2007 second-round pick
The defensive emphasis in free agency leaves the Broncos open for taking a receiver like
I still see Texas defensive end/outside linebacker
Having signed another ex-Cardinal free agent in safety
But the Bears aren't entirely sitting out one of the deepest drafts in years, and after their big free agency purchases, they still have needs at almost every position in the secondary. In a stroke of good fortune for Chicago, there's plenty of cornerback and safety talent in the middle rounds, and we can't help but remember the Bears have had a knack at times of finding good defensive backs at something other than the top of the draft (
With Kampman secured, Jacksonville could choose to entertain any and all trade down offers, perhaps for a team eager to take Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, if he should linger. Then again, the Jaguars could be tempted by Clausen themselves, although the win-now mentality in Jacksonville probably precludes a first-round quarterback. Dropping down into the middle of what is a very deep first round shouldn't hurt Jacksonville, which has other needs at safety and linebacker, and it might be a way to reacquire a second-round pick in the process.
Williams is open about his eagerness to return to tackle in a 4-3 formation, the position he was productive in before his two mostly lost years playing end in Cleveland's 3-4 front. If both his and Vanden Bosch's games rebounds in Detroit, the Lions could avoid placing too much of a rookie burden on Suh, instead allowing him to play alongside a pair of veterans who would only aid his development as a playmaker.
At running back, the prospects who make sense for Houston's draft slot are Clemson's top-rated
The big question, of course, is what will No. 4 Washington do if it comes down to choosing between top-rated offensive tackle