The Easter evening trade between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins involving QB Donovan McNabb will have a profound impact on the NFC East in 2010. But will the blockbuster trade have a more immediate impact on QBs in this year’s NFL draft?
It depends who you ask. As several national draftniks updated their mock drafts, I noticed a couple with surprising developments. Don Banks of SI.com projects Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen falling all the way to the Vikings at #30 as a result of the McNabb trade, while Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune pointed out that the Sporting News Today also sees the Vikings winding up with Clausen.
Independent of how the Vikings have graded Clausen, I don’t see the Vikings ending up with him because I don’t see the QB falling to #30, or very far down the 1st round at all. Even if the trade of McNabb takes Washington out of the running for a top-notch QB, there are still plenty of other QB-needy teams in front of the Vikings who are likely to scoop up Clausen if given the chance.
The following are teams (pick number) in front of the Vikings whom I think are candidates to select Clausen: St. Louis (#1), Kansas City (#5), Seattle (#6 and #14), Buffalo (#9), San Francisco (#13 and #17) and Tennessee (#16). Several other draftniks out there have Clausen going much earlier than #30, including NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks and Pat Kirwan (#9 Buffalo) and ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. (#8 Oakland).
With all of that said, let’s operate under the assumption that Clausen does “slide.” The 2 previous QBs to significantly slide down the draft were Brady Quinn and Aaron Rodgers. But even they were taken well before #30, with Quinn going to Cleveland with the 22nd pick and Rodgers going to Green Bay at pick #24.
One more aspect of this situation to consider: the possibility of a trade to acquire Clausen. There may be a team that feels strongly enough about Clausen that they would trade ahead for the chance to take him, which adds even more teams to the list of potential Clausen landing spots listed a couple of paragraphs above this one.
So where will Clausen ultimately land? I’d say not with St. Louis because if the Rams select a QB with the 1st pick it will likely be Bradford. And although Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss was Clausen’s head coach at Notre Dame, I think Kansas City is leaning another way. That leads me to believe Clausen will land either in Oakland (#8), Buffalo (#9) or San Francisco (#13), with an outside chance that Cleveland considers him at #7.
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