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Dolphins move on Albert should depend on details

Sometimes the devil is in the details and that's where the Dolphins are with Branden Albert.

As multiple media sources reported Wednesday, and as I reported on this blog on March 22, the Dolphins are considering making a trade for the Kansas City Chiefs franchise player.

[Update: John Clayton of ESPN is reporting the Dolphins have been given permission to speak with Albert and he'll visit the Dolphins and take a physical soon. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald is reporting the sides are talking contract.]

On its face, the idea makes sense.

The Dolphins lost left tackle Jake Long to St. Louis in free agency. The club has a need and coach Joe Philbin didn't exactly endorse the idea of Jonathan Martin as his starting left tackle when he discussed the issue last month. The Dolphins also had a price point for Long and they have not used the cap space that was intended for Long on anyone else.

So the team can afford to sign Branden Albert and believes Albert to be a left tackle upgrade over Martin.

But ...

The devil is in the details.

The only way this trade makes sense is if the Dolphins do it in conjunction with another trade and only after Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel comes off the board on draft day. That's right, this trade only makes sense if Joeckel isn't available because if he is on draft day, the Dolphins look like fools.

Consider:

If Joeckel goes No. 1 overall to Kansas City, then the Dolphins can be certain the best LT in the draft is gone and they move on. But if KC picks Eric Fisher and Joekel drops to No. 3 or No. 4, the Dolphins must, must, must try to trade up to get him. That move would be expensive in that it would require a second-round pick and other considerations. But it makes more sense than the Albert trade because that also will require a second-round pick plus a more expensive contract than Joeckel.

And Joeckel, unproven in the NFL as he is, is probably going to be a better player than Albert.

So the Dolphins would be going for a better player (Joeckel) using basically the same draft pick compensation (well, maybe more expensive but only slightly) and pay a lower contract in the transaction.

So if the Dolphins don't wait for draft day to make this Albert trade, they're not really thinking through all the contingencies. And if Joeckel then falls, the Dolphins will look downright foolish.

Then there is this:

Even if Joeckel goes No. 1 overall as expected, the Dolphins can simply trade a No. 2 for Albert, but they would still look kind of silly. You see, why pay a high draft pick and a big contract to Branden Albert when you could have had Jake Long for the big contract and kept the pick?

You mean to say the Dolphins played hardball with Long only to cave on Albert?

I understand Long is seemingly diminished and often injured. Trust me, I made the point here many times. But Albert comes with no guarantees, either. He basically had a very good season in 2012. But it was only good enough for the Chiefs to want to trade him. He's been injured during his career. He's struggled with weight issues. He was a turnstile in 2009, giving up nine sacks.

And, again, the Chiefs are willing to let him go so they can draft a rookie to play the same position.

So it's not like Branden Albert is a slam dunk worth-it move.

This is where the devil has to be in the details.

If the Dolphins pay Albert as much as Long got in St. Louis, they look dumb. If the Dolphins get Albert for much cheaper, they still have a find a way to recover that second-round pick they still gave up for him.

And how do they do that?

Well, here is my perfect scenario that would prevent me from thinking the Dolphins got ripped off on getting Branden Albert. If the Dolphins trade away their lower of two second-round picks for Albert and then trade down from No. 12 overall to a lower pick in the first round while then pickinng up a second-rounder for the move, I'll be straight. I'll be good.

The haul would then be a lower first, Albert (albeit at a big contract) and two second rounders for all those moves.

The trade down would mitigate the sting of giving up a second for Albert because it recovers a second-rounder for the trade down.

By the way, if the Dolphins somehow end up giving Albert more money than Long got from St. Louis, something is significantly amiss because even with his multiple injury issues, Long was still a better player than Albert when healthy.

All this has to play out.

The devil will be in the details.

 

needs to be part of another draft-day trade down

Comments

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And to add to Craig's points jpao, Albert is TWENTY-NINE!!! In a league steadily getting younger. And how do we know Miami doesn't have another guy on their radar in the 2nd round. There's more than the top 3 tackles in the draft.

Armando, where do you derive that trading for Albert would be the same compensation as trading up for Johnson? Trading for Albert would only cost us ONE pick. That's ONE potential starter. Whereas trading up for a LT would cost us potentially THREE starters. The 12th, 42nd, and either the 77th or a player. YYou're not doing your math right.

I think this is a bad bad deal for the Phins. It makes little sense in any way. The contract dollars are too high and the draft pick is way too high.

And if it's not bad enough to give up a second people are talking about moving down in the 1st to make up for the lost pick. So we give up a second rd and our lose a high first to move down? NO WAY..do I do that.

This could be the most unpopular move of the off season Mr. Ireland. Be careful not to burn up all the good will you built this year. Just say no.

Craig, if I knew they would have done this, I would have preferred to keep Jake Long (and pay him). We're of the same mind on this one bro.

Beleive in Martin. Draft a OL or two later their are always good linemen late in draft.

Here is a thought how about us getting a pass rusher to fix the problem opposite Wake and use some of that money to get some of these contracts fixed later in season.

Go Dolphins!!

mred @ 840,

Agreed bro. Armando seems to be willing to sacrifice a whole lot to move up to fill just 1 need. The cost it would take to move up to take Joeckel? Are you serious? It would take 1600 points to move from #12 to #2 if Joeckel didn't get picked by KC at #1 and if Joeckel slips to #3 its 1200 points which is roughly 3 draft picks besides switching places in round 1.

Andy,

Respectfully bud, I think you're wrong. You said,'who cares about the money. It's not our money'. Yeah but we care about the team. It's the team that gets screwed with the wrong move. I could be wrong but my guess is you've been among the many who felt the team was overpaying for Long and Dansby. Guess what? It won't be long before you're singing that tune on Albert as well. He's not worth the money he'd be making because he's still under the old system. We'd be chopping this guy in a year or two because of age and money. If this franchise has had an achilles the last 10-15 years, it's giving up draft picks for guys that weren't worth it. (Feeley, Gordon, Culpepper, even Brandon Marshall). This is more of the same. We want to get better, we need to stop repeating past mistakes. This is another one waiting to happen.

keep in mind randy starks is holding out. n odrick is a dt not de that he has been playing.possible trade albert n starks straight up or throw in a 3rd rounder.

Plus to give up our 1st and a 2nd for a unproven player just don't sound better than given up a 2nd for a player that has done it for years.

DC @8:41am,

Exactly right! Me too. I don't believe Ireland will make this move. This is all media speculation and smells fishy to me. I believe it's a smokescreen for other moves he wants to make. We'll see.

Yeah, this is why I was one of the guys who said they should just have paid jake Long. Not because I thought he was God but because even at his worst he played a pretty good left tackle and it's a problematic position to fill. hated opening up another hole on this team. If we had jake right now, we just sit back and take the best player that falls at 12. Now we may have to give up a 2nd pick as a penalty for not giving Jake and extra $500k a year more than what we were offering. Silly...

Craig M,

Good point who Miami's achilles heel being trading away Second rounders for players but this time around we have 2-Seconds and 2-Thirds. It's been an aggressive offseason upgrading the roster.

And you're right I was the one saying Long was getting paid too much and and Dansby likewise but that was because they were 2 of the highest paid at their position and Dansby was no different then Channing Crowder who he was brought in to be this huge upgrade over. Long is a rapidly declining player from a skill standpoint and injury. I say don't worry about the money cause Albert isn't going to be paid as some top 5 LT and if he was then I'd be fully on board with worrying about the contract.

Andy, I agree with getting Albert but the money should always be a concern for fans. Mortgaging the future for 1 year is a concern. So we make the playoffs this year but have no money to retain our players next year, then what? I really don't care how much they spend as long as they are always cognizant of the future. Are we mortgaging the future for 1 year, I don't know but it is a concern.

I hope we get Albert, I hope we sign himm to a multi-year contract. He's worth it and IMO a better player than Long. But only time will tell that.

I also disagree with the choices at 12. I like Vaccarro and Star but I would rather see sacks, forced fumbles or TD's. My choices if they are available are Austin and Mingo. Or trade back for extra picks. there will be trade partners in this draft despite the depth.

Regardless, I hope this team takes a shot in the draft on either Terron Armstead or Reid Fragel. Either of these guys is physically mature and atheltic enough to handle the position. Could be a matter of mentally adjusting and if the light bulb goes off early for either of these guys, watch out....

Andy,

Have you heard Albert in any interviews lately? This guy wants to get PAID! I'm telling you, this guy is a headache waiting to happen. He's on the book this year for $10 mil or so but he wants a long term deal. What kind of money do you think he's going to settle for?

Guess what, we're going to tie a whole bunch of money up in a LT that when both guys are healthy isn't as good as Jake Long.

Craig,

I don't get where you're coming from that Albert isn't a good OT. He was in the top 5 on pressures allowed the last 2 seasons. He's an excellent run blocker, and a whole lot more versatile than what we had the last 4 years. He will cost a pretty penny but there is only cheaper in the draft, not better where Miami would get one.

Mark,

I still think the FO played things properly with Long. They were in it until the end (whether their interest was genuine or not) and they didn't end up getting stuck with a big contract. Now the other shoe has to drop and I believe their priority will be getting a top LT in the draft. If they fail on one of the big three I believe they'll look at either trading for Albert or signing Winston and letting Martin play RT. Personally I like the last option better than overpaying for Albert but we'll see. Good chance Albert is on the street next year, so if guys want him then you can sign him then, at a reduced price.

6bucks7games, sooooooo is that why 3 out of the 1st 6 picks in this year's draft are going to be O-Linemen. Interesting your logic.

That should have said 'let Martin play LT'.

Texas,

Whats up man? Im not about mortgaging the future either. I should of expanded on the point I was trying to make. The point I was trying to make was that Albert will get paid but with the way this team has been handing out contracts and this is much to the credit of Aponte and Ireland, pretty much all of them Miami is able to cut players after 2 years without a whole lot of dead money that will hurt the team and ALbert's contract would be no different. They are operating at a high level for a change and I think the plan is to operate this way from here on out. So I hope I cleared that up. Im not saying spend foolishly on him because they won't do it anyway.

As far as the players we have to completely disagree on 1. Mingo has bust written all over him and to me is not worth a first rounder at all even if Miami traded back I don't want him, just my opinion. As far as Tavon Austin I'd be fine with him being the selection and excited for the possibilities with him working the slot, PR and KR.

JUSTIN CREDIBLE, you're not giving up a 1st and a 2nd. You're just giving up a 2nd because you get a 1st back.

Texas,

I think what I'm trying to say is, I don't believe Albert is worth giving up a pick and paying $8-10 million a year on a long term deal. I base that on his age, his issues with weight, his attitude and his injuries. If you think this is a guy we should be investing in long-term then you're welcome to your opinion. We obviously don't see this guy the same way. Were he on the street, in Winston's position, I would be interested but he's not. He holds the cards on this one and I say pass....

Texas, Star had more sacks than Mingo last year.

sign Winston. And draft at #12 the best player on the board, not a need. Why do all this other crap.

Andy,

Don't want to beat a dead horse here but are you suggesting the team get rid of Albert after a couple of years because of his age and contract? Does that sound like a good way to use our picks? I'm not for it. It's more of the same.

I also noticed you said, 'don't overpay for Albert'. Guess what. They'd have no choice. This guy wants to get paid and he's going to hold out until he gets it. This guy sees himself as a top tier LT and I just don't....sorry. I think there's a good chance 2 or 3 of the kids being drafted this year will have passed him in no time. Just my opinion.

Craig, what I don't like is the price point they were going to pay for Long and what he signed for was reportedly small. maybe there were more guarantees for Long in StL? I don't know. But regardless, these contracts are easily moved out. Even Wallace's gigantic deal is in effect a 3 year deal. Miami can cut bait with littel cap impact after three seasons. And Jake's deal was nowhere near that level. I will check out Long's cap hit with the rams and see how long they are really on the hook for him. But I bet it's only about two years. Maybe he got more cash up front. Frankly, I don't care about cash up front, match it, I don't have to sign taht cheque. I only care about the cap hit because that impacts how aggressive we can be.

Craig M,

Jake Long will never play to the level we all wanted to remember him for. That wasn't a season or 2 ago. It's been 3 years from the ELITE, Jake Long. It's been 2 years since Jake Long was good. What have you done for me lately? The Answer is be very inconsistent and exposed on a weekly basis for a lack of athleticism, not being able to handle speed rusher and flat out terrible in run blocking. Check out Pro Football Focus ranking on Jake Long he was at the bottom 1/3 in run blocking, middle in pass blocking and middle in overall LT in the leage. Albert on the other hand was top 1/3 in all 3 categories.

At this point in their respective careers Albert is a better player then Long. Don't get me wrong you take both players at the top of their game and Long wins that but you can't think that a player is able to go back to a form 3 years prior even if relatively young. Injuries are part of the game and it's an area that has diminished Long.

I'd rather build through the draft...

Just as I thought, it's in effect a 2 year deal with the Rams. Starting in year 3 of the deal, they can cut Long and start saving money against the cap. This is something Miami should've done with him. To me, the bad move of the offseason.

"Trading a second in no way makes you look dumb when a rookie is completely unproven. It also allows Miami to fill another more pressing need or a chance to add an elite talent and best player at their position in this draft like Star Lotulelei or Kenny Vaccaro."

Andy,

Agreed. People get so carried away about 2nd round picks!!! The only decent player that Parcells &/or Ireland ever drafted in the 2nd round was Misi.

Mando also left out the fact that KC thought enough of Albert to franchise him instead of letting him walk. That means that IF they can't trade Albert-- which may happen--they're on the hook for over $9 Million. Forget giving up a draft pick there's no guarantee that there's a team willing to do a mega deal with Albert. If you're KC you don't take that risk unless you're prepared to pay him. Some team may ultimately bail them out of paying Albert the franchise tag but who the hell knows???

I honestly don't know how good Albert is since I haven't watched very many KC games in the past four or five years. I also don't know the severity of his back injury. However if Philbin wants him then that's good enough for me.

If the Jags don't take Fisher (& they might) I believe we may have to trade up to Number 3 with the Raiders to get him. I don't think that Philly @ 4 or Detroit @ 5 would pass on him.

Mark,

Agreed. You know I'm as big a Long fan as you. But at the end of the day injuries just turned this guy into something else. He just wasn't a guy we could count on any more and that's dangerous, reagrdless of how much we'd be paying him. Far better to start over, get a younger, less-injured guy and a reduced price. Does that read: BETTER player? Not necessarily. But I think the logic to go that route makes sense.

Armstead, Watson, Long, Fragel, Quessenberry. There are choices the 2nd day...

armando,
bap,
b*randen a*lberts p*hin.
lol

dc long is done.

I kinda want to see Yeatman in action...

Agreed bro. Armando seems to be willing to sacrifice a whole lot to move up to fill just 1 need. The cost it would take to move up to take Joeckel? Are you serious? It would take 1600 points to move from #12 to #2 if Joeckel didn't get picked by KC at #1 and if Joeckel slips to #3 its 1200 points which is roughly 3 draft picks besides switching places in round 1.

Andy,

I know we need a LT but we have several other areas to address like CB, S, TE, RB, DE, maybe DT, maybe Guard. I don't think trading up for either Tackle is the way to go.

Craig - two quick replies to your response direct at me.

NUMBER 1: I didn't say someone has to live in KC to know about Albert. I was clealry not talking to you. When I do, I address it to you, like I am now.

What I said was this:

"For all of you saying Albert is not worth it....I don't think you know much about him. I lived in KC twice in my life so I keep a close eye on the Chiefs each year."

I completely stand behind that statement...most people on this board have never seen Albert play a down, let alone a full game.

NUMBER TWO: Obviously nobody, including me, knows what will happen. WE are all commenting and offering our thoughts. I am suggesting that its very safe to assume Joekel and Fisher will not be available. The Chiefs are making it very clear they want one of them. The other teams in the top 4 are likely to take the other instead of trading with the Fins. That is what I believe and that is something I'd bet a lot of $'s on. Johnson is the one that MAY be available and I don't see him as a guaranteed LT starting day one. Look at Martin, he was rated one of the top tackles last year. He isn't likely ready year 2 to play LT.

Andy,

You'll get no argument from me that the team did the right thing as far as not resigning Long. He could have a HUGE comeback season this year in St. Louis but I agree with the teams logic not to take the risk. My only point was, if both guys are healthy Long's the better player....hands down. Good he return to good health? I'm not a doctor or close enough to the situation but it's happened to other guys. Regardless, right move for the team to make.

Considering his history and pro football focus ranking him at 25 of all LTs, I would recommend NOT doing this trade. Paying him more than $5 mil/year and giving up the first 2nd round pick is too much. My suggestion is wait, wait, wait. If all fails, get playmakers like Eifert, etc and pick a LT in the third round.

Craig M,

Im not suggesting that they get rid of Albert after a few years at all what Im saying is that they aren't overloaded with contracts they can't get out of. If people want to get technical about the business side of the NFL when let's face it we know very little how it works besides the obvious. But if you look deeper into some of these recent Dolphin contracts they are basically voidable after a year or 2 with little to hurt the future cap. That's the price of trading, Albert could be good or could be a bust we won't know until the games start. But judging from recent production Albert is an upgrade to Long, period.

I seriously doubt a trade is in place before an extension is worked out. Ireland has been good this offseason at identifying players he wants and at what price. If a deal can't be worked out that makes financial sense then the trade wont be made.

no lt = moore starting by week 3.
lol

Got a write up on Eifert in my inbox today, too long to put it all here but I will highlight some things ...

NFL Films Senior Producer Greg Cosell has endorsed Eifert every step of the way. “This kid was split outside the numbers, running vertical routes against corners and catching the football,” Cosell said after studying the tape. “He improved his blocking significantly. He’s a better player than he was a year ago, and he’s a far better prospect than Notre Dame’s Kyle Rudolph.”

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock is another premium evaluator who is sky-high on Eifert. “I think he’s the #1 TE in the draft,” Mayock said. “He is an athletic TE who is a mismatch for just about any linebacker or safety. He is a completely different animal than Kyle Rudolph. Rudolph does not have the athletic ability or the ability to get vertical like Eifert.”


Critics of Eifert have had little to work with since he assumed a starting role with the Fighting Irish. If there’s one area where he needs to improve, it’s in the blocking department. But Cosell isn’t worried about that, saying in an interview last week that he thinks Eifert is “the best combination of power-blocking and pass-receiving TE since Rob Gronkowski.”

JPAO,

Again, I'll disagree with you. I think Ireland has something up his sleeve, likely a trade up. This Albert stuff is a smokescreen, IMO.

And I totally disagree with you on Johnson. I see him as a day one starter....not a guarantee...but a day one starter. This guy has great athleticism. Only thing he's missing is experience and maybe a bit more strength. I like this guy a lot.

I'll agree that they are unlikely to be there unless we trade up. That's the route I'd go but I'd be targetting Fisher. I think the Raiders want to make a deal and that's what I'd be focussing on.

@ 9:14, i do like the secondary talent at OT - especially the guys you mentioned - except for Menelik Watson. They guy is weaker than Martin. NO thanks ...

DC - a response back to you posts and questions pointed to me earlier. I tend to agree with you on a lot of things Fins related. I don't necessarily disagree with some of you points today. Including, in an ideal world the team would find Starters in teh draft and play on the line together for sometime.

I like the idea of Pouncy, Martin, Warmack/Cooper.
I like the idea of Pouncy, Martin, Fisher/Joekel.

I just don't think Fisher/Joekel will be there in reality and I don't want to give up a 2nd and 3rd to get them (which is what it would likely cost at a minimum).

So, all I am saying is get Albert for a 2nd pick. He is 29 but I disagree that is too old. He will likely play 4-6 years. Given the violence of the game nothing is guaranteed. I'd take a solid proven starting LT for 4-6 years.

Take him and you can still get Warmack/Cooper with #12 and build a OLINE around three young anchors.

Finally, I don't think he will get paid $8-10 million (I actually think that was from Craig's earlier post)as a LT. If they can get him for an average of $6-7.5m per I would lock him up for 4-5 years.

We'll see how it all shakes out.

You're Right Mando No Way They Give Kansas City A 2nd Rd Pick And On Top Of That Sign Albert To An Expensive Long Contract Deal , They Should Have Kept Long Instead , Make No Sense To Me , The Only Way I'll Do The Trade With Kansas City Is For One Of Our Defensive Tackle , I Mean Starks For Albert Two Franchise Tag Players With Similar Demands , I'll Rather Keep Soliai Than Starks, Anyway One Of Those Will Be Gone Next Year For Sure, I'll Rather See Starks Go Than Soliai , All That Depends On Albert Asking Price Too , Dolphins Should Draft Best Right Tackle With One Of The Second Picks, Move Back From 12 And Get An Extra 2nd , This Year Draft Is Loaded With Similar Players (Talent) From Pick 20 To 100

Mark,

I like Eiffert a lot. He's high on my list of guys we should be taking. I still prefer getting that OT but if there were a way to get Eiffert as well, then I'd be on cloud nine. Unrealistic? Probably. But that would be a dream scenario.

"Don't want to beat a dead horse here but are you suggesting the team get rid of Albert after a couple of years because of his age and contract? Does that sound like a good way to use our picks? I'm not for it. It's more of the same.

I also noticed you said, 'don't overpay for Albert'. Guess what. They'd have no choice. This guy wants to get paid and he's going to hold out until he gets it. This guy sees himself as a top tier LT and I just don't....sorry. I think there's a good chance 2 or 3 of the kids being drafted this year will have passed him in no time. Just my opinion."

Craig,

I don't understand why you can't just let the process work itself out. If Philbin thinks Albert is an upgrade over Long & is worth the money who are you to argue??? Philbin forgot more about O-line in the last five minutes then you've learned in your entire life. You also have no idea how good Joeckel or Fisher or Johnson will be in the NFL. No one does.

You've been defending Jake Long more than his wife going back to last season when he was getting schooled. Let it go already....

Craig, sterngth is not missing from Lane Johnson. he's on par with Fisher and Joeckel on the bench (one rep better actually) - the strong guys are Armstead and Fragel. Fragel is especially interesting - former TE (yes another one). Played at Ohio State. I find the guys from this school are a little underrated in this draft. Urban meyer does produce players ...

Mark,

I still would prefer Mingo over Star. I like Star but feel like we're pretty good at DT and have some depth behind our Starters.

As with any player they can all be busts but IMO Mingo has the fastest first step and closing speed that I've seen in a long time.

I would not have him as a DE, he would be strictly LB.

JPAO,

Sorry man, it seems like I'm picking on you this morning but how do you propose to get Albert down to $6.5-7.5 mil a year? He's on the books for $10 mil this year.

Are you suggesting he'll agree to a long term deal for $6.5-7.5 mil within the next week to make this trade happen? If you've been listening to Albert he's unhappy because he hasn't got a long term deal from KC. This guy is in LA-LA land as to what he thinks his value is in today's NFL. He's still in the old CBA world which isn't even close to what today's reality is. And why would be even pay a 29 year old guy $6.5-7.5 mil a year when we can get a much younger guy for $3-4 mil a year. Again, I just see this as flawed.

Eifert at #12 makes the most sense... Go get Tannehill as many weapons as possible

Craig,

Albert hasn't had weight issues. He had some issues with his back last year which would scare me so the medical staff will have to do their due diligence but I believe he has started since being in the league and only missed 3 games last year.

Craig, sterngth is not missing from Lane Johnson. he's on par with Fisher and Joeckel on the bench (one rep better actually) - the strong guys are Armstead and Fragel. Fragel is especially interesting - former TE (yes another one). Played at Ohio State. I find the guys from this school are a little underrated in this draft. Urban meyer does produce players ...

Mark,

My favorite prospects in this draft are Joeckel & Fisher but in NO WAY are either guys sure things. That's the problem with this whole draft. There are no Larry Fitgerald's or Calvin Johnson's or Andrew Luck's or Jonathan Ogden's.

There are a bunch of very good prospects but no one who is truly elite IMO.

we need a lt. albert is 25st ot. not top 5 nor top 15.is there much difference between 25st ot and 32st ot? our best offer is bess/albert, not 2 round pick

Albert's one of two things:

A headache waiting to happen OR

A diminishing asset, who's going to be overpaid.

Either way, I wouldn't be interested.

Craig,

I go agree however that he is looking to get paid. Wallace was looking to get paid too and we paid him. I say the Albert deal would be a very good move on our part.

i agree, mando big time wrong on this albert a muchhhhhhhh better player than long

albert has been damn good here in kc. second rd pick for him would be a wise move. keep thill protected. martin there would be a joke

WNPs,

Who am I to argue? I'm expressing an opinion....same as you and everybody else here.

And of course I have no idea how Joeckel and FIsher will turn out but I like them a whole lot more as sure things than some of the guys being proposed in the 2nd or 3rd round as LTs. I see going that route as a complete waste of a pick, IMO.

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