I’m happy with the Schaub trade. I was afraid that the Falcons brass would be too conservative and play it safe by keeping Schaub as injury insurance, as opposed to getting maximum value out of him via trade. I was wrong. And it’s hard to remember the last time it felt so good to be wrong.
Why I’m so excited is simply because of the potential of what the two additional draft picks allow for us. We can now package either one of our two second round picks this year, plus the extra one for next year and move up further at the top of the draft. Possibly as high as the second or third pick overall.
Now, I’m sure that the Calvin Johnson speculation will certainly begin. But I don’t think the Falcons will go in that direction. They’ve already invested two first round picks in Roddy White and Michael Jenkins, and spent some dough on Joe Horn. I don’t expect Johnson to be added to the mix.
Instead, I’m excited because I believe the Falcons might be making a push for Adrian Peterson, whom I assume will be a Top 5 draft pick this year. On my own personal board, Peterson is No. 1. He’s the guy that I believe can help this team the most in 2007 and also over the next five seasons.
I believe the Falcons need a strong running game to complement Vick. Now, I know what you’re saying, we’ve been the No. 1 rushing team for three years running, how can it get any stronger? But we lack a true feature back. Dunn is good, but his play last year indicates he’s on the decline. Norwood is talented and has potential, but he’s small, and lacks the build to be a 20-25-carry runner. Peterson, I believe is that type of player. Peterson is both powerful and fast (as fast as Norwood) and can be the type of running back that can be the foundation of this offense.
I don’t think Michael Vick is capable of being that. He’s been doing it all alone for the past five years, and it really hasn’t gotten the desired results. We need someone that can take pressure off Vick, and if and when Vick is not performing up to par, can be relied upon to make the offense work.
Peterson, in my eyes, is that player.
But I’m not sure if we’re making a play for Peterson. Truthfully, I don’t think moving up two spots helps us better secure a player like LaRon Landry or Jamaal Anderson, the two most popular projections in various mock drafts. We would have to probably leap frog Minnesota in order to assure getting either of those players.
And although I’m hopeful that Peterson is the target, I’ve been wrong before, and thus far several times this off-season. The signing of Ovie Mughelli was a great shock to me, as was the release of Hartwell, along with the trade of Schaub. My ability to predict what McKay & Co. are thinking has been severely hindered. Likely because Petrino’s presence adds a new element to things. So while I’m hopeful that they will be pursuing a running back, it could very well mean McKay will be looking to target Johnson, a receiver.
But I will say this, if we do manage to pull Adrian Peterson in this off-season, I’m going to be as ecstatic as I was the day that we traded up to get Vick.