We are now less than a week away from the 2015 NFL Draft, and all of the high hopes, excitement, disappointment, and comedy that entails. The only thing better than the draft is the immediate snap-judgments that happen right after the draft, where the media assigns draft grades to every team for the long-term careers of guys who haven't even picked a jersey number yet.
It's time for more idle speculation in this week's mailbag.
Question: Where do the two quarterbacks go?
Answer: I still think Tampa Bay takes Florida State's Jameis Winston with the first pick. Recently, ESPN's Chris Mortensen announced that Tampa was definitely, absolutely, 100 percent taking Oregon's Marcus Mariota. So I feel pretty sure on this one, since Mortensen used zero facts to back up his report, and seemed to be making predictions with the aid of dice. Mariota has the edge on Winston in every way physically, but Winston just has a mystique about him. He played under center, and he's a leader. Tampa Bay needs that desperately, a person who can be the face of their team and wake up their crowd. The last guy Tampa Bay had who could sell a jersey was Keyshawn Johnson, and that didn't end well.
Of course, Winston's outgoing nature also leads to things like theft charges, rape allegations, and public profane jokes that don't go very well. He could go either way in the NFL, but so could every single other quarterback.
Mariota goes second to someone who's willing to trade up, I suspect the Jets here. Tennessee will waffle on this one and trade down or pass on him, trusting Zach Mettenberger to help them complete their transformation into the "Music City Oakland Raiders."
Q: Who else needs a quarterback that might make a move?
A: Everyone, always, including teams that drafted one last year. After looking at the last five years of quarterbacks taken in the draft, I can't help but think at least one of these two guys won't make it and Bryce Petty or Brett Hundley would be a better pick for value in the second or third round. When you really look at the wasted potential of quarterbacks in the draft, it's almost as disheartening as looking at Kevin James' movie career.
Q: What do the Cowboys do?
A: Prior to a couple of years ago, I would have said "Draft a disappointing player who vanishes after his second year and winds up working at a Home Depot." Dallas has turned things around in the draft room though, possibly by keeping a Pinkerton Guard with a tranquilizer gun on staff to calm down Jerry Jones when the team goes on the clock.
The need for a ball carrier is obvious with the departure of that running back from Oklahoma, and the addition of that other running back from Arkansas. I think they get a back, but not in the first round. This pick's got to go to the defense, either a cornerback or a pass rusher. I'd love to see Connecticut's Byron Jones go here, or Washington's Marcus Peters if he's still available.
Q: Where does Adrian Peterson wind up?
A: Answer cloudy…try again later.
Q: No, seriously.
A: The last year for Peterson is a fine example of why I hate it when analysts call guys who are still playing "sure-fire Hall of Famers." Anything can still happen in their careers, and AD had the wheels fall off in the worst way last year. Right now, he's still the property of the Minnesota Vikings, so they're going to have to decide whether or not they still want him, and if Peterson wants to play in Minnesota. I can't see him going to Dallas under that big contract; it makes no sense to not pay your NFL-leading rusher $6 million and then turn around and trade for an older back who'll get more than $12 million. The Raiders are a possibility, but more than likely he'll stay a Viking unless they decide to release him.
My only prediction is that wherever he winds up this year, he'll run angry. Very angry.
Reid Kerr talks a lot, as his wife always reminds him. Reid's novel "The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape" is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. You can always tweet questions, comments, and angry messages to him at @reidaboutit.