Fresh Draft Crumbs By Rafael Vela Update: One of you asked the difference between Thomas Howard and Brent Hawkins. A source read the question and e-mailed this explanation: “Hawkins is a pure edge rusher while Howard is an actual linebacker. Howard excels in coverage, not rushing the QB. One player is DeMarcus Ware while the other is Cato June. Two completely different players.” Just got off the phone after some long, info-gathering calls. Here’s the latest: – This will be a LONG first round. Teams are shopping picks around like crazy. The consensus is that there will be about 11 or 12 guys who will likely go in some order, but once we get to Baltimore or Philadelphia’s spot, the “soup” begins. One source confirmed what I mentioned a few weeks ago when I first looked at the draft books. There is no consensus after those first dozen or so players. Team draft boards are all over the map. Those mock drafts you’ve been reading are even less valuable than normal. I’ve been told we WILL see lots of surprising picks in the late first round and that some guys we expect to go high will drop. “This will be the most fun draft I’ve ever seen, because there’s so much uncertainty,” one said. – Starting at the top, I’ve been told to disregard all the talk that Vince Young will drop. He has gotten beyond all the silly talk that emerged after his Wonderlic tests. One source told me that everybody he talks to considers him a worthy pick and that he’s considered a much better QB prospect than Michael Vick. Most concerns about his mechanics have faded, with Mike Martz saying today that he sees nothing wrong with Young’s mechanics. Any team that wants him will have to go up and get him. He won’t drop. We’re heard all the Raiders rumors the past few days, but I was also told that Cardinals HC Dennis Green is infatuated with Young; – The Jets have talked to at least a dozen different teams about trades. Expect them to deal, with either the 4th, the 29th or both; – Dallas is one of the twelve the Jets have contacted. The Cowboys have looked up and down but seem mostly interested in dealing down; – The Patriots have talked to the Ravens about trading up. My source for this rumor thinks New England may want to jump the queue and get their pick of the cornerbacks; – I’ve been told that Manny Lawson’s stock is dropping, in great part because Kamerion Wimbley’s is rising. Bobby Carpenter’s is up a bit as well, but Wimbley is the high riser. Of Lawson, one source told me, “look, there are maybe five or six teams that could take him, Cleveland, Miami, Dallas, New England and the Jets. If they pass on him, he’ll sink because he’s too small to be a 4-3 end. He might be a Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila in the best of circumstances, but do you want to spend a first round pick on a player like that if you play a 4-3?” – I’m also told Chad Jackson is dropping and that Santonio Holmes is preferred by many organizations looking at WRs. – I was told by one source that Thomas Howard is not a strong bet to land in Dallas. “Bill Parcells has gotten rid of his smaller linebackers,” he said. “I don’t think he’s going to bring in another one.” – I also got a bad report on Gabe Watson. “He may have had a good Senior Bowl, but his game tape is ugly. The good Big Ten centers abused him. Nick Mangold toyed with him the way a cat plays with a mouse. We couldn’t wait to turn his tapes off,” this source said. – Mangold is rising as is N.C. State DT John McCargo, who might sneak into the late first, with a team like Carolina. – I asked for a name at OLB if Dallas passed on the big names early. “Keep an eye on Brent Hawkins of Illinois State,” I was told. “He has an unbelievable first step. I like Chris Gocong too, but this guy could be a real mid-round sleeper.” More rumors and news as I get it. I expect the rumor mill to spin out of control tomorrow. We may even see a few trades.