Draft Day: Prologue (pre-draft trades)

NFL Draft Day is tomorrow (and Sunday, despite the common singular name). I'll have a thread going on here tomorrow throughout the first round and probably some choice picks in the 2nd.

In the meantime, I've graded out some right-before-draft-day trades that have just come to pass:

Oakland: 2005 2nd rounder (#38, 6th pick in 2nd), 2005 3rd rounder (either #73 or #78, not announced which)
Houston: Philip Buchanon

Oakland grade: A-
Houston grade: C-
Buchanon was a 1st rounder in 2002, and has never lived up to that. He's got talent but is wildly inconsistant and struggles to stay healthy. He has been labeled a "bust" by many. In a CB heavy draft, it's unthinkable that Houston would trade away a pick near the top of the 2nd round, which could have netted a solid CB prospect. Throwing in a mid-3rd round pick as well is more puzzling. Buchanon is a prima donna, self-proclaimed "Showtime", and has a very public love affair with himself. It says something when a player is chased out of Oakland due to character issues. It should say everything you need to know. How he will fit in Houston's team-play atmosphere, I can't imagine. As a fan of a different team in the AFC South, I'm grinning at this deal. A C- grade is generous, only granted because Buchanon can, on occasion, flat-out play.

Washington: 2005 1st round pick (#25)
Denver: 2006 1st round pick, 2005 3rd round pick (#76, 12th pick in 3rd), 2006 4th round pick
Washington grade: D-
Denver grade: A++++++ graet ebayer!!11
Denver scored. Washington has become a circus, and it has just gotten worse. Denver was looking to trade out of the 1st round, as there isn't a lot of home-run talent at the end of the 1st. Washington, meanwhile, seems to covet Auburn QB Jason Campbell so much that they move up to a pick that's well before where Campbell should go (Campbell was expected to go midway through the 2nd round), so that they can take him in a huge reach. The other possibility that Washington seems to like is taking their new 1st rounder, along with their existing one (#9) and trade up to the top of the draft and take someone like Braylon Edwards. Edwards is a talent, but Washington will have essentially traded TWO first rounders, a 3rd, AND a 4th to get him. For a team with swiss cheese-like holes, that's just stupid. In all likelihood, the 2006 1st rounder that Denver got in the deal will be a top 10 pick, and it could be top 5 the way Washington is heading.

Miami: 2005 2nd round pick (#46, 14th in the 2nd), 2005 5th rounder (#162)
Kansas City: Patrick Surtain, 2005 5th rounder (#138)

Miami grade: A
KC grade: B-
Miami had Surtain on the market for a 3rd rounder. KC has coveted Surtain for a while, particularly after backing away from Samari Rolle after their docs brought a spinal condition of Rolle's to light. But KC lacked a true 3rd round pick thanks to the John Welbourn trade of last year (they have a 3rd round compensatory pick, but comp picks cannot be traded). So after a long stand-off, KC went ahead and forked over their 2nd rounder for Surtain. Miami gets a real score in the form of a 1st-half-of-the-2nd-round pick for a player they wanted to dump. KC gets a very good player at a position of major need. Surtain is still 2 years away from hitting 30, so age isn't a concern just yet. Word is that the Chiefs are signing him to a 7 year deal, with $13-14 million in guaranteed bonus. That's Too Damn Much (tm) for a player who is very good but not *dominant* at his position, especially if the figure turns out closer to 14. Younger players of the same caliber (if not name recognition), like Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot, received just over $10 in bonus in their deals. Gary Baxter got $10.5 from Cleveland and he's better than Surtain is at this point. Samari Rolle got $11 mil. As such, I downgrade my "grade" of the deal for KC to "B-" from a "B" or even possibly a "B+" otherwise. If the final confirmed signing bonus turns out closer to $10-11 mil, then the grade goes back up.

I was going to go ""WTF was up with two threads on the same topic?"" but I guess this one is different enough... so I posted my link in the other one.

"*Legion*" wrote:

Washington: 2005 1st round pick (#25)
Denver: 2006 1st round pick, 2005 3rd round pick (#76, 12th pick in 3rd), 2006 4th round pick
Washington grade: D-
Denver grade: A++++++ graet ebayer!!11
Denver scored. Washington has become a circus, and it has just gotten worse. Denver was looking to trade out of the 1st round, as there isn''t a lot of home-run talent at the end of the 1st. Washington, meanwhile, seems to covet Auburn QB Jason Campbell so much that they move up to a pick that''s well before where Campbell should go (Campbell was expected to go midway through the 2nd round), so that they can take him in a huge reach. The other possibility that Washington seems to like is taking their new 1st rounder, along with their existing one (#9) and trade up to the top of the draft and take someone like Braylon Edwards. Edwards is a talent, but Washington will have essentially traded TWO first rounders, a 3rd, AND a 4th to get him. For a team with swiss cheese-like holes, that''s just stupid. In all likelihood, the 2006 1st rounder that Denver got in the deal will be a top 10 pick, and it could be top 5 the way Washington is heading.

Technically, for valuation purposes, picks in later years are considered as picks in current year + the number of years out they are so if they go after Edwards, Washington essentially would have traded a 1 (their #9), a 2 (2006 1st round), a 3, and a 5 to get him. It''s still a whole lot but not as much as stated. At least it''s still less than Ditka gave up to get Ricky Williams (thank go Haslett kicked the pothead to the curb... or Miami, anyway).

"Grumpicus" wrote:

Technically, for valuation purposes, picks in later years are considered as picks in current year + the number of years out they are so if they go after Edwards, Washington essentially would have traded a 1 (their #9), a 2 (2006 1st round), a 3, and a 5 to get him. It''s still a whole lot but not as much as stated. At least it''s still less than Ditka gave up to get Ricky Williams (thank go Haslett kicked the pothead to the curb... or Miami, anyway).

I hate that line of thinking because it seems too short-sighted. I''ve heard it before but I don''t buy into it much myself. But that''s hair-splitting. The important thing is that a team with so many holes can''t be getting rid of draft picks left and right. Snyder''s Boys need to learn how to build through the draft. They keep dumping draft picks! They had no 2nd or 4th round picks last year. They had no 1st or 4th round picks in 2003. There''s a major connection between pissing away picks and not having young talent and depth.

Poor John Riggins on SIRIUS NFL Radio, he''s just so damn frustrated at his old team. It''s funny to listen to him. I feel for poor Redskins fans.

Washington: 2005 1st round pick (#25)
Denver: 2006 1st round pick, 2005 3rd round pick (#76, 12th pick in 3rd), 2006 4th round pick
Washington grade: D-
Denver grade: A++++++ graet ebayer!!11
Denver scored. Washington has become a circus, and it has just gotten worse. Denver was looking to trade out of the 1st round, as there isn''t a lot of home-run talent at the end of the 1st. Washington, meanwhile, seems to covet Auburn QB Jason Campbell so much that they move up to a pick that''s well before where Campbell should go (Campbell was expected to go midway through the 2nd round), so that they can take him in a huge reach. The other possibility that Washington seems to like is taking their new 1st rounder, along with their existing one (#9) and trade up to the top of the draft and take someone like Braylon Edwards. Edwards is a talent, but Washington will have essentially traded TWO first rounders, a 3rd, AND a 4th to get him. For a team with swiss cheese-like holes, that''s just stupid. In all likelihood, the 2006 1st rounder that Denver got in the deal will be a top 10 pick, and it could be top 5 the way Washington is heading.

I agree Denver definately got the better end of this deal. However considering the Redskins were had a top five defense last year and have a great running back if they can use these two first round picks to upgrade their offense a bit they could sneak into the playoffs next year in a weak NFC. Of course that''s assuming they Sean Taylor decides he wants to play football this year.

Miami: 2005 2nd round pick (#46, 14th in the 2nd), 2005 5th rounder (#162)
Kansas City: Patrick Surtain, 2005 5th rounder (#138)
Miami grade: A
KC grade: B-
Miami had Surtain on the market for a 3rd rounder. KC has coveted Surtain for a while, particularly after backing away from Samari Rolle after their docs brought a spinal condition of Rolle''s to light. But KC lacked a true 3rd round pick thanks to the John Welbourn trade of last year (they have a 3rd round compensatory pick, but comp picks cannot be traded). So after a long stand-off, KC went ahead and forked over their 2nd rounder for Surtain. Miami gets a real score in the form of a 1st-half-of-the-2nd-round pick for a player they wanted to dump. KC gets a very good player at a position of major need. Surtain is still 2 years away from hitting 30, so age isn''t a concern just yet. Word is that the Chiefs are signing him to a 7 year deal, with $13-14 million in guaranteed bonus. That''s Too Damn Much (tm) for a player who is very good but not *dominant* at his position, especially if the figure turns out closer to 14. Younger players of the same caliber (if not name recognition), like Antoine Winfield and Fred Smoot, received just over $10 in bonus in their deals. Gary Baxter got $10.5 from Cleveland and he''s better than Surtain is at this point. Samari Rolle got $11 mil. As such, I downgrade my ""grade"" of the deal for KC to ""B-"" from a ""B"" or even possibly a ""B+"" otherwise. If the final confirmed signing bonus turns out closer to $10-11 mil, then the grade goes back up.

From what i''ve read Nick Saban insisted he wouldn''t trade Surtain for less than a second round pick and once Oakland got a second rounder for Buchanon there is no way Miami was letting Surtain go for less than a second. I also think this is actually a pretty good trade for KC. Their window is closing if they want to win anything with that offense they needed some serious upgrades to their secondary and this is definately a lot better than what they had, and now they have someone who can at least cover Randy Moss on paper.

Legion, you forgot the biggest pre-draft trade there was Vikes-Raiders. I''d be interested to see your evaluation of that one.

"Stric9" wrote:

Legion, you forgot the biggest pre-draft trade there was Vikes-Raiders. I''d be interested to see your evaluation of that one.

Well, I was focusing on the trades in these past couple of days.

But as for the Moss deal, I would probably grade Oakland out to an A, mainly because of how they''ve been able to replenish some of the lost draft picks in the time since then. They''ve gotten back into the 1st round (#26) by trading Doug Jolley away to the Jets. They''ve gotten back into the 2nd round as well as an additional 3rd round pick by trading Buchanon in highway robbery to the Texans. They''ve got Moss AND a full draft for this year. Napoleon Harris, however, is a quality starter that they will miss.

As for Minnesota? I think they undervalue what Moss brought. Nate Burleson had a good year last year, but a huge part of that was from the coverages rolled over in Moss''s direction. Getting Nappy Harris was a main cog that the team''s ""new"" defense was built around. Daunte Culpepper had a monster season last year, but the offensive dynamic was built around Moss. Only one receiver got over 1,000 yards, and just barely. But 8 different players caught for over 200 yards. Essentially, they ran a very horizontal passing offense, taking advantage of the fact that defenses were so scared of Moss that they couldn''t squat down in the short coverages. Linehan was brilliant like that. But he, like Moss, is no longer there. They''re a team in total flux, and it''s anyone''s guess what sort of offense they run this upcoming season. They could draft a top RB and play a more ball control, West Coast style offense, and rely on the improved defense to help win, instead of the offense just scoring 40 points. They got good value in pick #7, as well as Nap Harris. So they didn''t get taken for a ride by any stretch. But it''s tough to forecast what the Vikings will be like when they show up on the field this fall. I''ll grade them out as a B. They got a good linebacker and a good value pick at the #7 spot, but I think the best they can hope to do is *match* the value that Moss provided.

Speaking of other trades, Oakland gets an A for the Doug Jolley trade to the Jets. Jolley represents less value for Oakland than before, thanks to the coming of Moss and the deep-ball passing game that will follow. Moss and Porter will be the focus of the passing game. Jolley was a fit for the West Coast offense of the team''s previous regime. At the same time, the Jets grade out no lower than a B for the deal. The Jets wanted a tight end, and there''s only one legitimate 1st round prospect: Heath Miller. The Jets might have been worried about his sports hernia surgery, and they might have been worried that another team could''ve made a move on Miller (though most mock drafts had him available at #26, some had Jacksonville take him at #21, and teams with few needs like Pittsburgh could very easily have made a small move upward in the 1st round to take Miller ahead of #26). So the Jets remove the risk from the equation and get a player that perhaps they like better than Miller (Miller is a bigger, more complete TE, while Jolley is faster and a more pass catching centered TE). Jolley hasn''t been superb in his production so far, but he will probably fit better with the Jets (Pennington needs a target like this guy).