In the first interview for Draft Daze, ESPN’s Todd McShay had a lot of interesting stories to tell and some intriguing predictions for the 2012 draft. Here are a few highlights from the interview (the rest will appear in the book).
1. Even though a lot of mock drafts are sending USC tackle Matt Kalil to St. Louis at No. 2, McShay said he would be shocked if Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III wasn’t selected there. With St. Louis fairly settled at quarterback with Sam Bradford, McShay thinks the Rams will trade back with a team desperate for a franchise quarterback – and there could be a number of them.
2. In addition to the trade he anticipates at No. 2, McShay thinks this year’s draft could be something like a swap meet, with teams trading back and forth frequently. He thinks the rookie salary cap and the collective bargaining agreement that was ratified last summer will make teams more likely to move their picks. The lower salaries for rookies and better understanding of the game’s future should alleviate the worries that may have held some teams back last year.
3. McShay thinks one of the draft’s biggest mysteries rests with the No. 3 quarterback. Right now, no one knows who it is. Andrew Luck and RG3 seem to be the obvious 1-2 tandem. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill is talented, but a bit unpolished after transitioning from wide receiver a few years ago. Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden had a productive college career, but is also 28 years old . Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler is a behemoth at almost 6-8, but that incredible size might actually be somewhat of a limitation. And Arizona’s Nick Foles has great measurables, but he was also rather unsuccessful as a starter, underwhelming this past season. McShay will spend the next several weeks trying to solve the mystery of the No. 3 quarterback, and he said that will be a fun mini-project during his draft preparation.
Many thanks to McShay for the interview minutes in a busy season that is full of film study and short on free time. Follow him on Twitter (@McShay13) and check out his work with ESPN, including the entertaining podcast, First Draft.