Ripples from Donovan McNabb trade likely to be felt on draft day

A quick look at the ramifications of the Donovan McNabb trade on the April 22 NFL draft:

McNabb trade means Sam Bradford more likely than ever to be heading to St. Louis.
McNabb trade means Sam Bradford more likely than ever to be heading to St. Louis.

• St. Louis Rams. Many people around the league had expected Washington to make a big attempt at trading up from the No. 4 spot to the Rams’ No. 1 spot to take Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford. The only other teams that might consider such a move — Seattle and Buffalo — aren’t as likely to pay the price and thus the Rams probably are stuck in the top spot.

• Bradford. Rumors have been swirling for weeks that Bradford wouldn’t be willing to sign a contract before the draft — although he refuted such notions last week. With no other team in the picture, the Rams now have more leverage in negotiations, too. Unless an unknown team steps forward and blows away the Rams with a trade offer, Bradford will sign with the Rams in the hours before the draft.

• Jimmy Clausen. Although we always doubted Redskins coach Mike Shanahan’s reported interest in Clausen at No. 4 — thinking it was simply a negotiating ploy with the Rams — Clausen certainly isn’t going to Washington now. If the Bills don’t take Clausen at No. 9, he could be in for a Brady Quinn-like freefall in the first round.

• Tim Tebow. Many NFL personnel men figured that if Bradford and Clausen were selected in the top 10 then Tebow could be the pick of a team in the 20s. If the Bills pass on Clausen and he drops into the 20s, that could bump Tebow back to the second round.

• Detroit Lions. When the Redskins were rumored to be drafting a QB, many thought the Lions could trade down below the Redskins and still get one of the top two offensive tackles. After picking up McNabb, the Redskins almost certainly will select a left tackle at No. 4 to protect his blind side. If Detroit is locked into one of two offensive tackles, the club almost certainly has to stay put at No. 2 and take their pick or take a big gamble in trading down.

• Seattle Seahawks. Before the McNabb trade, the Seahawks at No. 6 were in good position to get one of the top two offensive tackles. Now, they might have to settle for the third-best guy on their draft board unless they trade up.

• Buffalo Bills. The Bills could be the big winners of the McNabb trade. First, it means they should have the option to take Clausen at No. 9. If that’s the player new GM Buddy Nix identifies as the team’s QB of the future, he’d have great leverage to get Clausen signed while on the clock April 22. Reason being, Clausen and his agent would know he could drop 10-20 more spots down the first round if the Bills pass on him.

For more than 640 player scouting reports from Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus an updated Mock Draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

A quick look at the ramifications of the Donovan McNabb trade on the April 22 NFL draft:

McNabb trade means Sam Bradford more likely than ever to be heading to St. Louis.
McNabb trade means Sam Bradford more likely than ever to be heading to St. Louis.

• St. Louis Rams. Many people around the league had expected Washington to make a big attempt at trading up from the No. 4 spot to the Rams’ No. 1 spot to take Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford. The only other teams that might consider such a move — Seattle and Buffalo — aren’t as likely to pay the price and thus the Rams probably are stuck in the top spot.

• Bradford. Rumors have been swirling for weeks that Bradford wouldn’t be willing to sign a contract before the draft — although he refuted such notions last week. With no other team in the picture, the Rams now have more leverage in negotiations, too. Unless an unknown team steps forward and blows away the Rams with a trade offer, Bradford will sign with the Rams in the hours before the draft.

• Jimmy Clausen. Although we always doubted Redskins coach Mike Shanahan’s reported interest in Clausen at No. 4 — thinking it was simply a negotiating ploy with the Rams — Clausen certainly isn’t going to Washington now. If the Bills don’t take Clausen at No. 9, he could be in for a Brady Quinn-like freefall in the first round.

• Tim Tebow. Many NFL personnel men figured that if Bradford and Clausen were selected in the top 10 then Tebow could be the pick of a team in the 20s. If the Bills pass on Clausen and he drops into the 20s, that could bump Tebow back to the second round.

• Detroit Lions. When the Redskins were rumored to be drafting a QB, many thought the Lions could trade down below the Redskins and still get one of the top two offensive tackles. After picking up McNabb, the Redskins almost certainly will select a left tackle at No. 4 to protect his blind side. If Detroit is locked into one of two offensive tackles, the club almost certainly has to stay put at No. 2 and take their pick or take a big gamble in trading down.

• Seattle Seahawks. Before the McNabb trade, the Seahawks at No. 6 were in good position to get one of the top two offensive tackles. Now, they might have to settle for the third-best guy on their draft board unless they trade up.

• Buffalo Bills. The Bills could be the big winners of the McNabb trade. First, it means they should have the option to take Clausen at No. 9. If that’s the player new GM Buddy Nix identifies as the team’s QB of the future, he’d have great leverage to get Clausen signed while on the clock April 22. Reason being, Clausen and his agent would know he could drop 10-20 more spots down the first round if the Bills pass on him.

For more than 640 player scouting reports from Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus an updated Mock Draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

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