There is nothing quite like the month leading up to the NFL Draft. Rumors abound and sources are all too willing to share a team's draft plans and potential targets. It's a great time of the year to be a football fan, with more stories than you can possibly read pouring out. Of course, whatever news story you are reading, you can bet there's a good chance you will read the exact opposite tomorrow.
Welcome to smokescreen season.
Normally, the "where there's smoke, there's fire" axiom is accurate. Not during the pre-Draft period for the NFL. Instead, where there is smoke, there may be absolutely no truth to the story.
Take a recent report fom the Palm Beach Post's Andrew Abramson. Last week, he posted a report based on a "knowledgable source" within the Miami Dolphins that basically laid out the team's draft plans for this year. Included in it was the idea that the Dolphins rank the top offensive tackle draft prospects as Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan, and Cyrus Kouandjio.
The report goes on to explain that the Dolphins do not fear Kouandjio's health issues, where he repeatedly failed physicals at the Scouting Combine on his surgically repaired knee, and they will draft him with the 19th overall pick if none of the top three tackles fall to them. They also have ruled out drafting a linebacker, despite rumors of C.J. Mosley potentially being in the running for the pick, and will instead move Koa Misi to middle linebacker.
The report is strong enough that the Palm Beach Post, in their third mock draft of the year, changed their Dolphins pick to Kouandjio.
Today, Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider provides nearly the exact opposite of Abramson's report. As Pauline writes in his News & Notes section today, "Contrary to recent published reports I've been informed Cyrus Kouandjio is not a first round target for Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey. In fact I was told the team won't consider him in the first frame due to medical red-flags."
Pauline continues, stating that the Dolphins are most interested in Zack Martin from Notre Dame, but do not expect him to still be on the board when they select with the 19th pick. In that case, the Dolphins will be looking to trade down in the first round, possibly with an eye toward Joel Bitonio from Nevada.
Two reports. Two completely different situations. The Dolphins either love Kouandjio, or they want nothing to do with him in the first round. Who is correct? Maybe both. Maybe neither.
Welcome to smokescreen season - where two opposite reports are the norm and nothing should be taken as truth.
It's a wonderful time to be an NFL fan.