We're already beginning to see the pieces fall a bit differently. Everyone makes their projections as early as January (or even sooner for those pundits just looking to stir the pot), but yet the NFL draft hardly goes according to anyone's plan so early in the offseason. Some, like Mike Mayock, seem to have a firmer hold on things than others, but really it's such a shot in the dark at the stages before the Combine that's mostly conjecture and hopping on popular opinion.
Now that we're starting to see some Pro Days in the rearview mirror, we're starting to get a more accurate assessment of what might happen come draft day. It's interesting, then, that some of the guys mentioned as possible picks for the Chiefs at the No. 5 spot in the draft are now being labeled as much lower. For example, some thought ILB Rolando McClain was a possible pick along the likes of Eric Berry. But it's been no contest for the last two weeks in terms of predictions and "buzz," as McClain is now finding himself predicted in the middle of the first round and the value of inside linebacker truly evening out. This is a league won along the lines, and it seems predictions are finally noticing that.
Anthony Davis was considered a possible offensive lineman capable of being snatched by the Chiefs based on his measureables and predicted upside. Instead, he's falling as fast as anyone in this year's first round with his recent refusal to weigh in, showing up late and looking sloppy overall.
Meanwhile, players like Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams, Alabama nose tackle Terrence Cody, OT Charles Brown and others find themselves predicted a lot higher than even a few weeks ago. The reason is that it's clear that teams must take advantage of the deep talent along the lines in this year's draft and find ways to control the line of scrimmage on either side. In my estimation, it wouldn't surprise me to see 7 linemen -- offensive and defensive -- taken in the top 10 of this year's draft.
It's just impossible to tell for certain what will happen, so we might as well relax and be okay with the changing tides. Then again, that's half the fun this time of year is arguing over the various scenarios.