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Slip sliding away

It must be getting close to draft day because the stories about players stock slipping are hitting the media in abundance. Here are a few I picked up from yesterday.

From ESPN Insider (sub. required):

As strange is it seems, Vanderbilt QB Jay Cutler could fall to No. 16 or No. 17 if he's bypassed by Arizona and Detroit (ninth and 10th picks), and that appears to be the likely scenario at this stage, according to's John Clayton.

The Lions, who may trade out of the pick, are leaning toward drafting defense. Texas safety Michael Huff is a candidate, although the Lions might feel better about taking him a little lower. The Cardinals appear to be targeting Florida State linebacker Ernie Sims.

If Cutler is still on the board at No. 15, he will be a strong consideration for Denver, according to Clayton.

From another ESPN article:

Offensive tackle Winston Justice and defensive back Jimmy Williams were once considerations, but concerns about character have caused both players to drop a bit on some teams' draft boards.

Jimmy Williams also has been the victim of some vicious pre-draft rumors. Williams, who once was considered an elite prospect in the 2006 draft class, has seen his stock drop considerably the last few months. Part of the free fall can be attributed to his inconsistent play as a senior. However, reports of behavioral problems at Virginia Tech and a bipolar condition have also buzzed around NFL circles, leading to some serious doubts regarding his character and mental state.

According to a source, the Buccaneers have an extremely high grade on USC's Justice and would consider moving up for him if they can get a reasonable offer to make such a deal. If that's the case, the Bucs likely would need to trade up ahead of the Eagles, who also have interest in drafting Justice, with the 14th pick. A possible suitor could be the Ravens, who are interested in moving out of the 13th spot to acquire another first-day pick.

Also, if the Cowboys are looking to trade down, Pittsburgh is a potential partner.


Steelers | Team expected to try to trade up in first-round
Jim Wexell, of the Tribune-Democrat, reports the Pittsburgh Steelers have 10 draft picks for the NFL Draft, but do not have 10 openings. As a result, the team is expected to attempt to trade up in the first round of the draft. The team's director of football operations, Kevin Colbert, said, "We'll be open to use some of those extra picks for the possibility of moving, sure."

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