Usually by this time in the pre-draft process, we’ve known the identity of the first pick in the NFL Draft.
And sometimes the second. And third. But this year, guesses are all over the map as to what’s about to happen in five hours or so.
Part of the reason for the uncertainty is the lack of track record for the guys making the choices themselves.
The current owners of nine of the first 14 picks are teams with new coaches, general managers, or both.
That makes it harder to forecast, because in many cases, the guys making the pick have never done it before to establish a pattern.
You can take a stab at Kansas City’s strategy based on positional need, but the Luke Joeckel–Eric Fisher mystery comes in part from the fact GM John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid haven’t drafted together, so it’s hard to know how they think and work.
What will Jaguars GM David Caldwell do? Or Chargers GM Tom Telesco? You’re as well-served trying to frame the question in terms of former executive Bill Polian, who trained them both. Will Panthers GM Dave Gettleman draft the way they drafted with the Giants when he was on staff there, or does he have his own theories he wants to put into place? Same with Steve Keim, who might blaze a different trail for the Cardinals now that he’s in the big chair.
You can look Joe Banner’s Eagles background for clues as to how he’ll run the Browns, but you can’t assume the Eagles will be run the way they have in the past based on new coach Chip Kelly’s preferences.
That makes tonight nearly impossible to nail down, as so many teams take the first step in creating new identities.