Brady Quinn Redux? By Rafael Vela I’ve had a horrible time putting together my picks for the NBCSports mock. I have rarely seen a year like this one, where there is so little consensus among players, even those at the top of round one. Go to your local book shop, pick up three or four draft publications and put them side by side. Nearly every player is dinged by at least one of the books. Case in point — Jake Long. The Dolphins are negotiating to make him the top pick overall but the Sporting News/War Room folks give him a second round grade. And he’s not alone. Mario Manningham tops the WR rankings in one publication but is a 2nd rounder in another. Ditto for Limas Sweed. And it’s not just the semi-pro draft book folks who are all over the map. I spoke to a source today who told me there’s wide variance among the NFL teams’ boards as well. Which means there will be a lot of surprises on draft day. It also means there’s a lot of opportunity for a team like the Cowboys, because it has two first rounders. Not only are they first rounders, but they’re strategically-situated first rounders. The drop off from first round to second-round grades will come around Dallas’ 22nd pick, which means that teams might be more eager to trade up to either 22 or 28 and get the first-round rated guy they like, as Cleveland did last year for Brady Quinn. I’ve been told the Cowboys could trade either one of the picks for a veteran; to move down into round two and pick up an extra high pick or for a #1 next year. Let’s take one popular hypothetical. – Detroit is in love with four players: Florida DE Derrick Harvey, Illinois RB Rashard Mendenhall, the USC LB Keith Rivers and Tennessee LB Jerod Mayo. They fear Harvey will be gone when they come on the clock with the 15th pick. There was a story in one of the Detroit papers last week that the team was nervous because the Bears, who pick 14th, were flirting with Mendenhall. The Lions cut Kevin Jones and let T.J. Duckett leave for Seattle without ever contacting his agent. Their RB corps consists of Tatum Bell and Aveion Cason. They’re desperate for a quality back. GM Matt Millen is on the hottest of hot seats. His team toyed with a winning record last year but collapsed late and finished 7-9. He and HC Rod Marinelli know their employment clocks are ticking. Millen has not produced a winner during his tenure. Marinelli was supposed to be a defensive guru but his team finished dead last in points allowed last year. They are both living in the now. CNNSI’s Peter King went on Michael Irvin’s radio show after the owners meetings and said Jerry Jones had spoken to Millen about swapping a number one for WR Roy Williams. Millen apparently said he would wait to see how the draft shook out. The key point is that he didn’t dismiss Jones’ overture out of hand. Let’s say for argument’s sake that Detroit gets Harvey or Mendenhall at pick 15. Would they then consider flipping Williams to get a guy like Mayo to team with the promising Ernie Sims? Or, if Millen wanted to keep Williams to maximize his odds of winning in ‘08, would he consider swapping next year’s #1 and another selection for one now? If he’s fired next February he won’t care where that pick falls. And being these are the Lions, the odds are as good they’ll finish 5-11 as 11-5, maybe better. That’s conjecture. Here’s a factoid which could make a scenario like this real. The source I spoke to this morning told me that at least three teams have Michigan QB Chad Henne rated number one at his position and that he could easily go late in round one. He thinks that there could be a push by a team or teams to get ahead of Miami at pick 32 to select Henne and/or Louisville QB Brian Brohm because the Dolphins are not going to select Matt Ryan at #1 and he’s convinced they need a QB. Henne’s rise offers Dallas a chance for another Quinn-like deal. Watch the Rams at pick 2 and the Falcons at pick 3. If St. Louis passes on Glenn Dorsey, the Falcons may pick him and pass on Ryan. If Dorsey becomes a Falcon, Atlanta might package some of their three second-round picks to get their QB, a scenario I detailed three weeks ago. Also look at Miami. I read a rumor that I could not track down that Bill Parcells and Jerry Jones have discussed a swap that would drop Dallas from 22 to 32 and have the teams swap 3rd rounders; this scenario would give Dallas picks at 28, 32, 61 and 64; in other words, they would double dip at the turns of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounds, just like fantasy players do. I’m guessing this is simply a proposed deal that could be triggered if Miami finds the right player on the board. Might that be a QB? Or a guy like Mayo, whom the Dolphins like? Right now, I’m think that Dallas will look for a RB like Felix Jones at either 22 or 28 and will move the other pick, for a veteran WR or to trade down for WR or CB talent. I’ve been told the fits at 28 are not good for the CBs and WRs Dallas likes. The James Hardys, Antoine Casons and Tracy Porters would work better about six to fifteen spots down. If the Cowboys can’t find a dance partner and stay at 28, do not be surprised if an OL or LB or even a QB becomes the pick. Don’t be surprised with anything they take there. What I know for certain is they won’t force the board for need. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.