- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2007

Five random questions nine days from the draft:

1. Why aren’t the Detroit Lions considering a quarterback with the No. 2 pick, assuming they stay there?

The Lions have Jon Kitna as their starter, haven’t won in a billion years and have no real hope for the future. They should think about drafting JaMarcus Russell (if he doesn’t go first to the Raiders) or trade down a couple spots and grab Brady Quinn.

Taking any quarterback high in the draft is a risk. For every Peyton Manning, there are several busts like Jeff George, David Carr and the disaster that was the 1999 class (Tim Couch, Akili Smith, Cade McNown - all taken in the top 12).

The Lions need to give their fans hope. They need to show them they’re willing to do something semi-bold and hand the keys to Mike Martz’s offense to a young quarterback. But with Matt Millen still in charge of the football operations, count on a safe pick that will blow up in their face.

2. Why is it possible that Oklahoma RB Adrian Peterson will fall?

It’s a combination of two things: Cleveland deciding between Peterson and Quinn and the needs of the teams that pick immediately after the Browns.

If the Browns go running back at No. 3, Peterson is their guy. If they go quarterback, Peterson could fall out of the top 10. Arizona (Edgerrin James), the Redskins (Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts), Minnesota (Chester Taylor), Atlanta (Warrick Dunn and Jerious Norwood), Miami (Ronnie Brown), Houston (Ahman Green) and San Francisco (Frank Gore) feel they don’t need a running back. If I were the Vikings, Falcons and Texans, I would think otherwise.

The aforementioned scenario is what Marv Levy is hoping for in Buffalo. The Bills draft No. 12 and would need about 15 seconds to get their card up to the podium.

3. Which team is least likely to screw up their first round pick?

Recent history suggests New England will do the right thing. Since 2001, the Patriots have had seven first-round picks and all have contributed, chiefly Laurence Maroney, Logan Mankins, Vince Wilfork, Richard Seymour and Ben Watson.

The Patriots draft Nos. 24 (acquired in the Deion Branch deal from Seattle) and 28. Expect the Pats to stay put and draft two starters or one starter/one future starter.

4. Which team is most likely to screw up their first round pick?

Arizona. This is more about its history than about Ken Whisenhunt, who I think will turn around the Cardinals pretty quickly since they have a ton of talent on the roster.

But if I were the Cards, I would trade down just to avoid the jinx. Check out these picks: Tom Knight (No. 9, 1997), Andre Wadsworth (No. 3, 1998), David Boston (No. 8, 1999), Thomas Jones (No.7, 2000), Leonard Davis (No. 2, 2001), Wendell Bryant (No. 12, 2002), Bryant Johnson (No. 17, 2003) and Calvin Pace (No. 18, 2003).

The Cardinals have hit with Larry Fitzgerald and Matt Leinart. The jury is out on Antrel Rolle.

5. If the Redskins manage to secure a second- and/or third-round draft pick by dealing out of the No. 6 spot, what’s their recent history in those rounds?

Since The Danny assumed the franchise in 1999, the Redskins have drafted some solid players in rounds 2-3, which again raises the question of why doesn’t the team value those picks more. They currently don’t have a pick in either round this year.

The breakdown:

2000: DB Lloyd Harrison in round 3. Played one season with the team.

2001: CB Fred Smoot in round 2. Started for four seasons, went to Minnesota for two years and returned this offseason.

2002: RB Ladell Betts in round 2, CB Rashad Bauman and WR Cliff Russell in round 3. Betts has developed into a fine player, Bauman played two years before being cut (and playing three years with Cincinnati) and Russell was cut in 2004 and has played for the Bengals and Miami.

2003: G Derrick Dockery in round 2. Dockery started for four seasons before signing a monster free agent deal with Buffalo earlier this year.

2004: TE Chris Cooley in round 3. Cooley has 165 catches and 19 touchdowns in three seasons.

2006: LB Rocky McIntosh in round 2. McIntosh couldn’t get on the field until late in the year but is expected to get first shot to start this year.

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