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NFL draft full of unknowns

Mel Kiper Jr, Todd McShay, or even Willie Nelson. Take your pick. None of the so-called NFL draft experts know for sure who the teams are looking at or what they think are their biggest needs.

Oh, everyone has a pretty good idea, but no one knows for sure and NFL teams’ front offices don’t tip their hand and they love to send up smoke screens.

When the draft hits prime time Thursday on ESPN fans will get a chance to match wits with their favorite team’s brain trust. Some fans will be happy, others will grumble, and then there will be some who want to clean house.

Trades always factor in the selection process. For instance, if the Cleveland Browns work a deal to get the No. 1 pick from the St. Louis Rams, they could take Sam Bradford and mess up a lot of draft boards.

But don’t look for that to happen. The Rams don’t just need a quarterback. They must have a quarterback. They need help at a lot of positions, but quarterback is imperative.

Let’s look at the Cincinnati Bengals who are more in need of offensive players, mainly receivers. A tight end is a must and with the aging Chad Ochocinco and death of Chris Henry, a wide receiver has to be a priority.

Also on the wish list are safety, defensive end and placekicker.

The Bengals will take a long, hard look at tight end Jermaine Gresham, safety Earl Thomas and wide receivers Dez Bryant and Golden Tate. Of course, all that is base on availability.

When it comes to the Browns’ needs, just name the position.

Releasing Derek Anderson and trading Brady Quinn emptied the quarterback position and the signing of free agent Jack Delhomme isn’t much of a solution.

Safety, defensive line, tight end, wide receiver are all on the draft board and with 11 selections, the Browns can fill a lot of holes or put together a nice trade.

Of course, if you don’t like your teams draft selections, you can always start a campaign to hire a new general manager.

Maybe Willie Nelson would be interested.

—— Sinatra ——

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.