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.