The 5 Big Questions

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

With the NFL draft on April 22 now just days away, several burning questions have emerged.

Whether you are a draft connoisseur or don't know your quarterbacks from your cornerbacks, here are five of the things people are talking about:

Who is going first?

The usual query before any draft and the answer remains murky.

The Rams are on the board and desperately need help just about everywhere. Does the team go for the flashy fan-pleaser in Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, or the higher rated but less exciting defensive tackles, Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy?

Taking nothing away from Suh or McCoy, who will be outstanding pros, the betting here is a team that hasn't had an ace pivot since Kurt Warner was leading it to Super Bowl appearances years ago, will opt for Bradford. That is the word out of St. Louis with just Bradford's injury history (he missed most of 2009 with a shoulder injury before bouncing back with a stellar campaign) possibly scaring them off.

Bradford has the size, mobility and arm strength to be the total package.

It's unlikely the Lions at two or the Bucs at three will be unhappy with whoever is available. Suh is going to be a monster on defence. He has size, strength and athleticism to spare and some scouts consider him not only the best defender in this draft, but in the last half-dozen.

McCoy is not too far behind. A few notable types even rank him over Suh. He is the highest-rated player in the draft by Scouts Inc.

What do NFL teams really think of Tim Tebow?

Few college players have ever been as good as Tebow was at Florida. He was the first collegiate player to both rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season and was also the first sophomore to win the Heisman.

But the NFL is a different beast altogether and many coaches and execs doubt Tebow can thrive in the pro game with his weak arm and odd mechanics. Not to mention Tebow's outspoken nature puts off some.

Still, Tebow has enough admirers that he will probably go in the first round.

Jacksonville, a dying franchise that fails to sell out its games has the 10th pick and while Tebow would be a reach there for sure, GM Gene Smith is facing pressure from fans to go for the local favourite.

"He's a guy we think a lot of. We're looking for talent, character and competitiveness in every player. If I think he has those things, he may become a Jaguar, but we're going to stick with our board," Smith told Jacksonville.com.

Former Tampa Bay coach John Gruden told the Miami Herald recently: "Somebody that really wants Tim in their locker room, that can see down the road and have a vision for him, they will take him and take him earlier than some people expect.''

Reports indicate the Donovan McNabb-less Eagles, who pick 24, love Tebow and could grab him there and let him learn beside another great hybrid QB, Michael Vick. New England could also pluck him at 22 and allow him to study at the feet of Tom Brady.

How will labour relations/ the cap-less season affect this thing?

The NFL is marching towards labour Armageddon next year. This season will be played without a salary cap meaning the teams that are most profitable can really take advantage. It is clear the rookie payscale will change whenever a new deal is worked out. Rookies simply get too much guaranteed cash up front and we've seen it cripple teams for years when many of them turn out to be useless or limited.

For now though, teams can still give the top picks a barrel-full of cash. That could lead to the uber-rich franchises moving up to acquire higher picks or the guys who appear to be the most difficult to sign. It could also lead to some of the teams at the top passing on the best talent, because even in a cap-less world, they still might not want to pay them going forward.

The economic downturn has hit some owners very hard. Those bosses could pass on the big-money guys and spend even less as a team than before.

Will spreading it out lead to more intrigue?

The NFL has spread this year's draft over three days.

Round 1 now goes in prime time. Rounds 2 and 3 go Friday night and 4-7 now take place on Saturday.

That will allow teams to talk trade all day Friday before the second round gets going. Previously it was a more rushed affair where the second round came quicker. As well, there is now a large gap between the third and fourth rounds.

The talk is the changes will lead to far more wheeling and dealing than usual.

The Patriots have three second rounders and expect to be very busy.

With more time to lust after desired players, GMs will likely come full throttle after valuable second- and third-round picks, resulting in a more exciting weekend for NFL fans and more tired executives who pull all-nighters after the opening and third rounds.

What's the QB situation besides Bradford and Tebow?

This is an intriguing, but overall weak QB crop. Bradford should be a star and Tebow could be, but Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen will likely go in between the pair.

Clausen has almost as many doubters as Tebow, but just as many observers think he can be a star.

Sports Illustrated dubbed him "The Kid with the Golden Arm" before Clausen even got to high school and he went on to put up great numbers for the Fighting Irish.

Cleveland or Buffalo are seen as likely landing spots.

If they don't grab him though, Clausen could freefall.

Colt McCoy is probably next after Tebow. He is regarded as a great leader with questionable size. He won an NCAA record 45 games as a starter.

Tony Pike and Dan LeFevour will also go in the first couple of rounds.

After that, there is not a lot of quality to choose from.


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