In a development that has taken place remarkably early, the Miami Dolphins have agreed to terms with offensive tackle Jake Long on a 5-year, $57.5 million contract ($30 million guaranteed), which will make Long the first overall pick in Saturday's NFL Draft. The Dolphins have been negotiating with Long for over a week; the team, headed up by Bill Parcells, had also been rumored to be interested in defensive ends Chris Long (Virginia) and Vernon Gholston (Ohio State).
While at first glance it may not be the best news to hear that the draft's elite tackle prospect will be playing in the division, this is a development that could be a favorable one for the Buffalo Bills. It has been quite some time since the clear best option for the Bills in the draft has been to trade down; the Bills, who are likely to target a wide receiver or cornerback with their top pick, could trade down and still pick up the top player on their board (whoever that may be).
With Long off the board at the top pick, the draft stock of other top-flight offensive line talent immediately rises. Specifically, Boise State's Ryan Clady, Virginia's Branden Albert and Vanderbilt's Chris Williams are now players that teams picking immediately below Buffalo could target in a move up. There have always been players that teams could target in a move up, but with the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots also likely to target offensive linemen in the top ten picks, one of those top linemen could be too tempting to pass up for a team below Buffalo.
Last year, the Bills surprised draftniks everywhere when they took Stanford QB Trent Edwards in the bottom of the third round of the draft. Those same draftniks were surprised again (along with everyone else) when Edwards proved that he could win games at the NFL level right out of the gate. Now, draft experts are looking for the next Trent Edwards, and CBS Sportsline's Clark Judge thinks that that player is Edwards' former backup.
This is one last reminder, folks - tomorrow morning (which could technically be midnight tonight or any time tomorrow), Buffalo Rumblings is switching over to a new blogging platform called SBN 2.0. So take one last good look around you, because today is the last day you'll see Rumblings as it appears now. The new platform is spiffy, but there will be a bit of a transition period. Please know that myself, as well as the tech gurus (who will have a "this is what you should do now that we're upgraded" post up immediately after migration) will be around tomorrow to assist you with any questions or feedback you may have. Stay tuned!