Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we stare down the NFL's first three-day draft extravaganza, the start of which is thankfully now less than a week away...
• Miami's roll of the dice with the
The Dolphins simply had to get more explosive on offense to keep pace with New York and New England in the now-glamorous AFC East, and Miami was about to fall back to also-ran status in the hyper-competitive division if it didn't go for the bold stroke. Marshall was the best available playmaker on the market and the Dolphins had the wherewithal to land him. It's not more complicated than that.
But here's my biggest question about the deal: While Marshall's statistics have been phenomenal as a Bronco, what exactly has he shown the past two years in Denver to inspire the confidence that $24 million guaranteed implies? Experience teaches us that when it comes to players with maturity issues, heaping money on them usually has the opposite effect of what's intended.
Is big money going to make Marshall a team-first player, a more responsible representative of the franchise and a better teammate? That's not usually how it works and I believe
• The Marshall trade reminded us that for all the headaches and hassles they cause, there's always some team ready and willing to give one of the NFL's troubled star receivers their next opportunity in this pass-happy league. It's something we've come to count on, like the potential for quarterback change in Cleveland.
Marshall acted up in Denver and Miami rewards him with a fat new contract, even after Dolphins coach
Okay, it's not a 100 percent fool-proof observation.
• Avoiding criminal charges Monday started
Oh, and where exactly does one find the "quality'' of bodyguards that Roethlisberger apparently runs with and is willing to do his bidding in this particular area of recruitment? Nice guys doing honorable work for a friend. I wonder if any of them have college-aged daughters?
• When the NFL regular-season schedule is released Tuesday, I'm guessing Steelers reserve quarterbacks
• On another front of the NFL's scandal beat, the release of that grainy footage of a boozy
That Jones likes to shoot his mouth off and run down a former Cowboys head coach or two from time to time isn't exactly a news flash. Just ask
• Jaguars general manager
But if the Jaguars don't find a trade partner -- and they're hoping someone shopping for either receiver
• Speaking of the relatively untested Pierre-Paul, I have him going to No. 8 Oakland in
But Graham is the prospect who could spark the most trade inquiries on Thursday night, because in addition to Tennessee, San Francisco (No. 13 and 17), Atlanta (No. 19) and New England (No. 22) are all thought to be targeting him.
• I get the sense that some team near the bottom of the round is plotting a major surprise on the quarterback front on Thursday night. Maybe its No. 30 Minnesota opting for
Did I cover all my bases?
• Caught draft-niks
• I asked Ravens coach
"Yeah, he's done,'' Harbaugh said. "He can't hit the curveball.''
• I left him in my No. 6 slot to Seattle for now, but there are some NFL personnel men who believe Iowa offensive tackle
Bulaga makes some scouts nervous because he has short arms and was also beaten like a rented mule last season by some of the best pass-rushers in this year's draft (see
"It'll shock you when I say this, but I know some people have him graded out as a third-round pick,'' one league personnel man told me this week. "A lot of pass rushers beat him badly last year. And if you watch that film, and add in that his arms are shorter than you'd like a tackle to have, how high can you take him? I know he's well-coached and has (Iowa coach)
• I think the Ravens have a decent chance of trading offensive tackle
I think a pick in the first half of the second round might get the job done for the Ravens, and maybe somebody offers them that after missing out on one of the top six to eight tackles in this year's draft class. People are trying to put Dallas and Baltimore together on a Gaither deal, but the Cowboys' second is toward the bottom of the round, and that alone probably isn't going to be enough compensation for the Ravens.
• If I had to put money on a couple of players who won't wind up going in the first round after residing there in most mock drafts all year, it'd be USC safety