From Larry R in Appleton, WI
Since so many rules are different this year and probably different for the next few years, how does this change the draft process and the draft value chart? Here are a few things to consider when looking at the maneuvering coming up in this years draft.
- 2011 and 2012 rookie salary caps will make draft choices more valuable than ever before. Extra draft choices will mean more rookies to work with in camp and fewer high priced veterans. For most teams, there will be a strong temptation to keep more rookies on the final 53 man roster (or maybe it will be some higher number). Whatever the final roster count is, the owners will really want to have rookie contract player around and the only 5th and 6th years players around will be the super stars. The average age of the NFL player is about to drop.
- It is possible that teams will have to decide which rookies make the team as much on their performance in tryouts as on their performance in preseason games. My theory is that if an agreement is not reached in the next couple of weeks, there will be nothing to really force a settlement until regular season games are in danger of being canceled. An agreement in early to mid-August would mean all regular season games could still be played (ugly, sloppy games but we would still get a 16 game season to watch).
- If a team could trade this years draft choice for roughly the same slot next year, they just might be tempted to make the trade. A rookie without training camp or preseason is not likely to be worth much to the team until next year anyway.
- At least the Packers are likely to need more bodies in 2012 than they do in 2011. There will likely be fewer returning IR players as well as more experienced players with expired contracts leaving at the end of 2011-2012 season. Therefore those 2012 rookies will have a better chance at making the roster. 2011 will be a tough year for more than 4 or 5 to make the team (rounds 1, 2, and 3 plus one or two surprises free agent).
- I would love to see Barnett back this year with 3 very capable starters competing for 2 positions but I think the best we can realistically hope for is trading Barnett for a 3rd round pick about week 2 of the preseason (if there is one). If there is no preseason, the trade deadline will be important for the first time in years.