Ndamukong Suh Doesn’t Make Cents at #1
In early February, I predicted that Ndamukong Suh would be the first pick of the NFL Draft.
It’s funny how things change, isn’t it?
It is becoming quite apparent that the NFL and the Players Union aren’t going to reach any sort of agreement that would preclude a 2010-2011 NFL season without a salary cap. Thus, when free agency opens up in March, players are going to be sold to the highest bidder, and salary caps will not be an issue for the bigger market and more profitable teams.
Because there won’t be a salary cap, teams may have to adjust how they are going to approach the NFL Draft. One such measure teams will have to consider is the value of the positions they are drafting.
Without a salary cap, the upcoming free agent period is going to consist of free agents, at premium positions, demanding premium prices. Thus, players at the defense end, tackle, quarterback and outside linebacker positions are going to get serious money during the free agent period. As a result, any team hoping to sign a premium position player is going to have to use their money on premium positions.
Enter the St. Louis Rams.
While the Rams are unlikely to be big buyers in free agency, they certainly will be hoping to upgrade at the key positions, like offensive tackle, defensive end and quarterback.
Notice I didn’t mention defensive tackle.
Defensive tackle just isn’t a game-changing position in the game of football. Sure, Warren Sapp helped make the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense one of the best ever, but Glenn Dorsey hasn’t exactly changed the Kansas City Chiefs defense since his arrival. That is why the Rams would find it difficult to spend first round money on Suh when they have yet to settle in on a quarterback, offensive tackle or even a defensive end.
Not to mention, the Rams have already used two of their last three first round picks on defensive tackles. Thus, picking up Suh would be the equivalent of Matt Millen drafting nothing but wide receivers in Detroit.
So don’t be surprised when Suh isn’t the guy going to the Rams. It’s probably going to be a quarterback, offensive tackle or defensive end, and since the best player at those positions is Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, I imagine he will be the guy to go to the Rams at pick number one. I don’t necessarily agree with Bradford going number one, but that’s a story for another day.