The day is finally here, with the 2014 NFL Draft set to take place later tonight in New York City's Radio City Music Hall. While the last few weeks have been filled with rumors and speculation, there's nothing quite like Draft day, when every possible scenario will be played out over the radio waves, on TV broadcasts, and throughout print/internet media. Smokescreens are standard today, but somewhere in all of them is actual truth.
How can you tell what is real and what isn't? You can't. Not until the Draft is over - and sometimes (usually) not even then.
Some of my personal favorite/confident picks (assuming the players don't go surprisingly earlier): Zach Martin to the Bills, Anthony Barr to the Titans, Ra'Shede Hageman to the Steelers, Morgan Moses to the Ravens, Brandin Cooks to the Jets and Ja'Wuan James to the Dolphins.
Could the Dolphins actually be considering James? Over the past few weeks, there has been a few other comments that the Dolphins like James. Galko backs up his first blurb about picks with this comment on the potential James to Miami pick:
Yes, Ja'Wuan James to the Dolphins. Played right tackle for Tennessee the last four years, never missed a start, high character and can plug-and-play at their biggest need. It's a fit.
A lot of people will jump up and scream at the idea of Miami "reaching" for James. When you think about it, though, it may be the best option for the Dolphins. If they do like him, they most likely will have to take him prior to their currently held 50th overall selection in the second round. While the ideal situation may be to trade back, it seems like nearly every team in the middle of the draft is looking to trade back, so there may not be a trading partner available. The Dolphins are though to have a first round grade on James, may want to pick him, and only have the 19th pick as a viable place to land him.
In that case, "reaching" for the player you want isn't really reaching. It's taking the player you want with the pick you have.
Again, this is assuming Miami cannot find a trade partner. We can all agree, if the Draft falls how many expect, the Dolphins should trade back; however, a trade takes two sides, and the Dolphins would have to find someone willing to pay a decent price to get the 19th pick. Just because Miami wants to move back does not mean someone else will want to move up to the spot.
Another quick hit from Galko features a player many would like to see come to Miami: Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley. Over the recent few weeks, Mosley has gained steam as a potential first round pick for the Dolphins, if all of the linemen are selected already. Galko, however, thinks Mosley could be available in the second round:
CJ Mosley is off of more than a couple team's boards, and others have knocked him down a round because of his medical concerns. Don't be surprised if he's not picked on Thursday.
Once again, this is smokescreen season at its peak, but there could be some truth behind this as well. Walter Football is also pointing to some teams expecting Mosley to fall, possibly as far as the second round, while SI.com sees the highest Mosley could go tonight as the Dolphins at 19, but more likely he will slide later due to the "clear potential headache" of the injury concerns. Franchises are worried about the health of Mosley's knees, and know the history of Alabama players entering the NFL with injury history. (Side note: the same exact sentence would work if you replaced "Mosley" with "Kouandjio," referencing offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.) Mosley also had elbow and hip injuries last year that limited his effectiveness.
Throughout the day, leaks and rumors will fly all over the place, as teams try to scare each other away from the player they want to select. Which ones are real, and which are false? You'll have to decide.