Monday, March 23, 2009

Ed Thompson NFL Draft Q+A

Ed Thompson from Fox Sports and took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions for PFT in regards to the NFL Draft. You can read more from him here.

FDT: Are we looking at a Brady Quinn/Aaron Rodgers type of fall for either Mark Sanchez or Matthew Stafford?
ET: It wouldn't be out of the question, but if it happens it will be because teams perceive they have a greater need than QB in the early picks, not because of any knocks or concerns about these guys. They're both worthy of an early selection in the first round. With the Lions (No.1), the Jaguars (No. 8), the Redskins (No. 13) and the Jets (No. 17) are all in need of talent at the QB position, I don't think either player will fall further than that. The 49ers (No. 10) and Denver (No. 12), depending on what happens with Jay Cutler's situation, are other teams that could grab either one if they drop that far.

FDT: Which small school talents could have big impacts in this draft?
ET: None will make a bigger splash than Liberty RB Rashad Jennings, who I think is going to have the ability to get substantial playing time as a rookie. QB Mike Reilly out of Central Washington, DE Lawrence Sidbury out of Richmond, ILB Dan Skuta out of Grand Valley State, and OLB Jason Williams out of Western Illinois are others worth watching.

FDT: Is Aaron Curry as close to a sure-thing as you can get in this draft?
ET: Yep. He's a tremendous athlete who has the drive and focus to not only pay attention to the details, but apply them quickly to his game. Whoever gets Curry is going to have an immediate impact player and a guy that they can eventually count on to become a leader on their defense.

FDT: Now that the Bills have added a wide receiver via free agency, what do you think they may look at at Pick 11?
ET: If they want to use it on defense, which is where I think they'll go, then it's a defensive end like Everette Brown or Aaron Maybin. If they want to give Trent Edwards another big target, they may go TE with either Brandon Pettigrew or Jared Cook

FDT: Did the Patriots selecting Jerod Mayo last season break that old-wives tail that the Patriots don't draft linebackers in the first round, and would they consider Brian Cushing or Clay Matthews at 23?
ET: I think so and yes, Cushing or Matthews would be excellent picks for the Patriots. Another guy that would be a nice pick for them at that slot is Larry English out of Northern Illinois if both of those USC linebackers are off the board.

FDT: The Colonial Athletic Association has two really good defensive players in this draft, Lawrence Sidbury from Richmond and Jovan Belcher from Maine. Do you see them being drafted and do you see them making any impact in this league?
ET: They are both raw talents and will need time to develop. I think Sidbury's a true bubble guy in terms of possibly getting picked up late, but I think Belcher is more likely to get an attractive offer as an undrafted free agent.



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