In the hours leading up to the draft, we'll be hearing all sorts of rumors that Team A is trading up, and Team B is trading down. Team C wants Player A, and Team D is considering jumping back into the first round. By all means, listen to those rumors, but understand one thing, they're largely smokescreens.
Here's the facts of the matter. Teams have known who they want to target for weeks. Personnel departments have been poring over game tapes of these prospects for months, and barring some type of sudden surprise such as a draft day arrest, these teams know exactly who they want and where they want to take them.
It's because of the incredible amount of due diligence that goes into the draft that draft day rumors are so perplexing. Teams are aware that half of what other teams are putting out is complete BS, and the other half was accidently leaked. The problem is determining which half to believe.
Ideally, a draft day rumor will get an opponent to make a move that harms their value in the draft while not affecting your's at all. That's not the way it always happens, but that's the goal. For example, there are now multiple reports floating about that the Bills are now in love with Matt Barkley even more than they are with Ryan Nassib. It may be true, but chances are that it's just an attempt by the Bills to throw other teams off their tracks.
As important as free agency is in the NFL, the draft is still king of the offseason. The players taken today should be the elite players of tomorrow, and many of them will make immediate impacts on their teams. Just don't believe everything you hear leading up to the draft, unless it's Roger Goodell announcing a pick. That, you can take to the bank.
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