The majority of teams that held fifth-year options on their first-round picks chose to exercise them, leading Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com to examine whether it makes sense for a franchise to trade into the first round of the draft. For example, had the 49ers and Bengals traded back into the first round of the 2011 draft to select quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton, respectively, they would have had the choice to keep them around in 2015 at reasonable rates. But because both QBs were second-round picks, San Francisco and Cincinnati are now forced to either negotiate long-term extensions for the young signal-callers, or franchise tag them at a salary of about $19MM. The entire piece is worth reading, as Fitzgerald also looks at what it would cost in terms of draft picks to trade up into the first round.
More news and notes about next week’s draft:
- Rumors abound about a potential trade “that could blow the top off the draft at the QB position,” tweets Louis Riddick of ESPN.
- The Panthers plan to have a last-minute visit with Penn State receiver Allen Robinson, reports Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Carolina, of course, has a dire need at the receiver position, as the top of its depth chart at the position currently features the likes of Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant.
- The Chiefs could be a landing spot if a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater falls in the first round, writes Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. The Chiefs hold pick No. 23, and general manager John Dorsey doesn’t sound like he’s against the idea of using that pick on a QB. “I think it’s a unique group. As everybody knows, the quarterback position is the high premium. There are a lot of teams that need quarterbacks that are gonna do everything that they feel is best for their organization,” Dorsey said. “But do I think there’s some depth here with the quarterbacks? Yeah, I do.”
- Defensive tackle Dominique Easley might be an option for the Bears in the second round, especially if they opt to use their first pick on a safety or linebacker, writes Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Easley, who was viewed as a first-round talent before tearing ACL, has deemed himself “85 to 90 percent” recovered.
- In his latest mailbag, Paul Guiterrez of ESPN.com writes that if the Raiders are faced with a draft day decision between Sammy Watkins and Jake Matthews, he thinks the team would opt for the playmaker in Watkins.