Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson is expected to join OT Ryan Clady as Boise State's second ever first round pick in tonight's NFL Draft (5:30 p.m. on ESPN and NFLN). Get your lame interview questions ready, Trey Wingo.
How high will Wilson go? What teams are interested in the Bronco CB? Where will Wilson be watching? For answers to these and more, join me after the jump, and feel free to share your draft predictions in the comments and in the poll.
Will Wilson be in New York?
Close. He'll be at home in New Jersey, watching the draft with family, friends, and an ESPN camera person with little regard for personal space. No word yet on if Jared Zabransky loaned Wilson a rugby shirt to wear.
On a related note, be sure to check out the Twitter feed of Kyle's brother Gerry all day today for some good updates on what's going on in the Wilson camp.
The latest buzz about Kyle Wilson's draft stock
Yahoo Sports writer Charles Robinson rendered my $7.99 ESPN Draft Guide useless with a column on Wednesday about Wilson's high regard in many NFL war rooms. Per Robinson, Wilson is many team's No. 1 cornerback prospect.
Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson will be the first cornerback drafted. All the public talk has been about Florida’s Joe Haden, but Wilson has the major personnel buzz. Teams love his speed and athleticism, and believe the few kinks in his game can be ironed out with coaching.
And unlike Haden, personnel departments think Wilson hasn’t touched his full potential. He had a very good Senior Bowl and raised some eyebrows. And in the interviewing process, he comes off as confident, if not a little feisty. Don’t be shocked if he’s plucked inside the top 10.
Robinson is not alone. In Twitter's truth ocean comes confirmation from ESPN's Michael Smith:
As usual, my man is spot on. Cld go No. 7 RT @YahooSportsNFL: Don't be shocked if Boise State's Kyle Wilson is the 1st cornerback drafted.
It is hard to tell what to believe around draft time, but with late word leaking like this from experts like Robinson and Smith, you have to believe that chances are pretty much even that Wilson goes before Florida's Joe Haden. It will all depend on which team is picking and how that particular team sees the draft board.
Wouldn't every team be interested in a potential lockdown corner with a great work ethic and personality? You'd be surprised. Here is tonight's NFL Draft order and a bit of information on the interested teams.
- St. Louis Rams
- Detroit Lions
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Washington Redskins
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Seattle Seahawks
Cleveland Browns. This sounds like the earliest that Kyle Wilson would go, and as the Draft nears, it seems like more and more a possibility. From the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto (not his real name):
I believe the Browns have cooled on Florida cornerback Joe Haden. I think they'd rather take a guy who has the potential to be an impact cornerback than a pure safety at No. 7. I keep wondering if Wilson doesn't somehow come into play, especially if the Browns trade down a few notches.
The guy they'd rather take: Kyle Wilson, presumably. The Browns put Wilson through a private workout in Boise, and Wilson visited with the team in Cleveland.
- Oakland Raiders
- Buffalo Bills
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Denver Broncos
- Miami Dolphins
San Francisco 49ers. San Fran is very interested in corner help since the CB Formerly Known As Nate Clements does not cut it any more. Depending on how the Niners see the Haden-Wilson competition, either CB could go here at No. 13 or four picks later at No. 17
- Seattle Seahawks
- New York Giants
Tennessee Titans. Tennessee is likely to go pass rusher, but you would think they had learned something from their halcyon days of Chris Carr at DB and PR. Attention, Titans: Wilson is like Chris Carr times two.
San Francisco 49ers. See above (No. 13).
Pittsburgh Steelers. When doesn't Pittsburgh need corner help? Actually, they don't need corner help when they need O-line help worse. But if there are no O-linemen left who are worthy of the pick, Wilson could be the guy.
Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons do not have much depth in their secondary. Wilson would help.
Houston Texans. The consensus landing spot for Wilson is in Houston where the Texans are looking to replace Dunta Robinson.
- Cincinnati Bengals
- New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers. Green Bay is a definite possibility, even though they have reigning DMVP Charles Woodson at CB.
Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are supposedly looking for a safety to help out Quintin Mikell, but if they can't move up for a value pick, they could conceivably jump all over Wilson if he's free.
- Baltimore Ravens
- Arizona Cardinals
- Dallas Cowboys
- San Diego Chargers
New York Jets. There was talk early on about Wilson landing in New York. But with the trade for Antonio Cromartie, this looks less likely.
Minnesota Vikings. Chadd Cripe believes this is the latest that Wilson will go, perhaps because Ian Johnson demands a Mall of America Pretzel Time buddy now that Vinny Perretta is gone.
- Indianapolis Colts
- New Orleans Saints
Mock draft roundup
Collecting various mock drafts about Wilson is apparently not as novel a concept as I thought it would be. The IPT's Dave Southorn beat me to the punch by posting a list of notable mock drafts. Below are some that Southorn chose as well as some new ones that I picked up on.
No. 24 Philadelphia. Southorn listed Kiper as picking Wilson to go to Houston, but in Kiper's latest mock (posted yesterday), the helmet-haired-one has him slipping to Philly. Taking Wilson's place in Houston? Fresno's Ryan Mathews. I will now light myself on fire.
And then there's this:
If tape alone told the story, (Haden) still would be, by leaps and bounds, the best corner in the draft this year.
What about tape of the Fiesta Bowl?
No. 30 Minnesota. If you want to impress your friends at your draft party tonight, try this little factoid on them: Todd McShay has no idea what he's talking about. That's the rumor going around anyway. McShay is the Trev Alberts of the NFL draft.
Southorn originally had this pick listed as No. 24 to Philly.
No. 20 Houston Texans. Per King:
Texans steal Wilson, a physical force with good closing speed, this low in the round.
No. 20 Houston Texans. Kirwan mentions that Wilson "is a very confident guy who claims he's the best corner in the draft." Is it confidence if it's a fact?
No. 16 Tennessee Titans. Gosselin is one of the most highly respected NFL writers on the planet, so what he says is gold. He sees D-line depth being too thin at this point for Tennessee to go anywhere other than CB. He has Haden off the board at No. 13.
No. 19 Atlanta. The NFP sees a CB need for Atlanta, and with Haden off the board, Wilson is the obvious next choice.
No. 27 Dallas Cowboys. Scouts is convinced that Wilson is Top 20 talent but sees him falling all the way to No. 27. Even worse, they have Alabama CB Kareem Jackson going to Houston at No. 20 ahead of Wilson.
No. 19 Atlanta Falcons. PFT's mock draft was completed in late March, which was like seven years ago in draft years.
No. 13 San Francisco. Simmons has Wilson over Haden, which is only notable probably because someone told Simmons this was the case. Adam Schefter he is not.
And for comedy relief, I present ...
No. 20 Houston Texans. If Bleacher Report says it's true, then it is either a) completely not true at all or b) plagiarism.
If Clevelend does not take Wilson at No. 7 (or trade down a couple spots for him), it appears that Wilson will be Houston's to have at No. 20. The teams standing in Houston's way are Tennessee and Atlanta, but what with this being the NFL Draft and all, anything is possible.
NFL Draft strategy
I thought it would be fun to do a quick overview of some varying draft strategies that I have heard tossed around lately. Feel free to share your favorite strategy in the comments.
Draft for need. This strategy is employed by a lot of teams because it is safe and justifiable. Why take a player at a position where you are already stacked?
Draft the best available player. This strategy was perhaps best epitomized by the Vikings' draft classes of yore that contained Randy Moss (when Cris Carter was already on the team) and Adrian Peterson (when Chester Taylor was doing just fine thanks). Talented players who fall in the draft make interesting decisions for many NFL teams. The ones who draft for best available tend to pounce on these opportunities and let the position battles sort themselves out.
Draft a blue chip player whenever possible. Bill Simmons' new favorite NFL meme is blue chip players. Every team has to have a handful, so if you can get one in the NFL Draft, you absolutely have to take that chance. For instance, should a team make a safe pick of an offensive linemen over a potential blue chipper like S Eric Berry?
Draft the player with the most marginal value. I heard this strategy explained on Simmons' latest podcast with Football Outsiders' Aaron Shatz. Basically, it comes down to this: You would draft Sam Bradford high because the talent of Sam Bradford has a greater margin than that of the No. 5 QB in the draft. You would not draft Eric Berry high because Berry's talent is not a giant margin greater than that of the No. 5 safety. This explains why certain positions (which may have a marginal value over other positions) tend to always go higher.
Where do you think Wilson will fall in tonight's first round? Any team you don't want to see him end up with? Think he'll go before Florida's Joe Haden? Share your thoughts in the comments, and vote in the poll.