NFL Draft Grapevine (1 Viewer)


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Sep 30, 2004
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By Chris Nelson/

The draft order procedure always had good intentions. The worst teams from the previous season get the highest picks and thus the opportunity to draft college football's best prospects, all in hopes of being more competitive in the years to come. In some ways, however, it has become more of a curse than a blessing.

The pressure on the team with the No. 1 pick in the draft is enormous, due in large part to the skyrocketing money being paid to top draft picks. Last year's first overall pick, Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, received a $61 million contract with $29 million guaranteed. This year's top pick could receive guaranteed money pushing $35 million. It is a steep price for any player, let alone one that has never played a down in the NFL. If a team chooses the wrong player, it can be a salary cap burden for years and is a black mark on the franchise. It is also a big reason why the Miami Dolphins, on the clock with the first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, would love to trade down. Unfortunately, it takes two to tango, and no one's dancing.

Stuck at the Top

Coming off a 1-15 season in 2007, it's no secret the Dolphins have many holes to fill. While they addressed some of those needs with a spending spree early in free agency, plenty of holes remain. The quarterback situation remains up in the air. Their starting running back is coming off a serious knee injury, and they lack a proven No. 1 receiver. They essentially haven no left guard or right tackle. The secondary has plenty of bodies, but is lacking in talent.

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