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Liar! Fraud!! Phony!!!  No, this isn’t a recap of my girlfriend cheating on me.  It’s a preview of the 2007 draft.  If you believe anything you have read or heard over the past 2 months, chances are you also believe Nicole Ritchie has been spotted at a buffet line.  It’s the lies, deceit and unsubstantiated rumors that make the NFL Draft my favorite sporting event and the others aren’t even close.  With that being said, let’s try to make some sense of the latest gossip floating around NFL war rooms.  
The Falcons are the Frontrunners for Calvin Johnson.  Everyone believes the Lions want to move out of the number 2 spot.  Just as the Raiders are looking for an excuse to draft Johnson, the Lions are searching for the justification to pass on the Georgia Tech wideout.  It’s always sad when a fan base dictates your future but if you’re Matt Millen, what other choice do you have?  There is already a website dedicated to your demise and you have watched three recent first round selections crash and burn.  Well, Charles Rogers just burned while getting high and Mike Williams just crashed into every drive-thru in the Detroit metropolitan area.  In a sick way, I am hoping the Raiders take Johnson off the board just so ESPN can replay the Lions brass wetting their pants.
The point is, whether its Gaines Adams, Joe Thomas or Patrick Willis, the Lions want out and the Falcons are the team that can accommodate them.  In addition to their first-round selection (number 8 overall), the Falcons have ammunition in the form of 2 second round picks (39 and 44) and 3 fourth round selections.  Falcon owner Arthur Black is smart enough to know that Mike Vick’s Ultimate Dog-fighting Championships aren’t going to boost the Falcon fanbase.  If Blank really wants Johnson, he’ll get him. 
One more thing on the Lions, does anyone else find it curious that no one is talking about the Lions taking a quarterback?  I know that Mike Martz is an offensive wizard but do you really want Jon Kitna as the face of your franchise?
What will the Bucs do with the #4 pick?  The one certainty in the 2005 draft was that Jon Gruden would make Cadillac Williams the next starting running back of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  This is important because draft prognosticators once believed that Gruden and Calvin Johnson represented a marriage that was destined to happen.  We are now hearing the Bucs front office will not mortgage their future to move up and are more than content to stay in their current slot or trade down.  I have heard Johnson, Adams, Thomas, Quinn and Peterson all tied to this pick.  Umm, correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this team have a young Cadillac Williams and nineteen potential starters at quarterback?  But that is Gruden for you.  The words logic should never be included in a sentence describing the Buccaneers offseason moves.  Trying to guess who they take on Saturday is like predicting what crime Pac Man Jones will commit next.
The Redskins are a lock to move down…The potential trading partners appear to be Miami, Atlanta and Minnesota.  The Dolphins and Vikings would reportedly move up to draft Brady Quinn and the Falcons would explore making a move for an impact defender.    Unfortunately for the Redskins, it looks like Quinn is going to the Dawg Pound and the Falcons could still get a player they covet at 8 or pull off the deal with Detroit.  That leaves Adrian Peterson as the prized commodity that teams would make a play for.  However, Peterson’s agent recently confirmed that his client may have to undergo surgery for the collarbone injury that was supposed to be a moot point.  Former Raven executive Phil Savage says the injury won’t affect his draft status.  That’s easy for him to say since Cleveland wasn’t going to draft Peterson in the first place. 
The Skins desperately want to move down since their next selection doesn’t come until 2025 and don’t discount the possibility that The Danny makes the big splash for Johnson. For the sake of simplicity, let’s force Washington to pick in their current position.  It looks like it will come down to Landry out of LSU or teenage phenom Amobi Okoye.  Gregg Williams unit got torched faster than Adam Archuleta’s contract last season.  Everyone points to the lack of sacks from the defensive front seven, but the secondary got picked on more than a fat kid at recess.  In a perfect world, the Redskins would move down and allow the draft to dictate their pick for them but if they stay at 6, look for Landry in a Skins uniform (hopefully they don’t give him AA’s old number). 
You’re Guess is as good as the experts…This is why the draft is so amazing.  No one knows what the hell is going down.  The worst thing that can happen is a Friday night deal being finalized in Oakland, which would ruin the drama of Roger Goodell strolling to the podium for the first time.  Fortunately for us, the Raiders are probably too cheap and too inept to finalize negotiations with whomever they select.  By the way, what could be better than Oakland and Detroit having the first two picks in the draft?  It’s the same thing as letting Don Imus and Tim Hardaway combine for a State of the Union address. We have no idea whether Al Davis will overrule his grandson Lane Kiffin and make the pick for the silver and black.  Will we get to hear Davis comment on the pick via teleconference from his hospital bed?  Will the Raiders make the number one guy don an all-white sweatsuit once selected? 
These are questions that will be answered in a matter of hours.  So sit back and enjoy the best sporting event there is and while you’re waiting for Saturday, could you find me a loyal girl who won’t cheat on me?

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Shan Shariff

About Shan Shariff

Shan Shariff is a Sports Talk host and Program Director for Delmarva’s ESPN Radio 1240 in Cambridge, MD.  He is recognized for his interviewing skills and ability to attack a subject from a number of different angles.  He has interviewed the likes of Jim Brown, John Wooden, Red Aurebach, Oscar Robertson, Brooks Robinson and Earl Weaver.  Shan is a native of Maryland and attended college at American University in Washington, DC.  While there, he interned for the George Michael Sports Machine and traveled back and forth to Salisbury, MD for television experience at WMDT Channel 47.  After graduating, Shan did play-by-play and color for the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association.
Shan gets made fun of constantly for winning a state tennis championship in mixed doubles although he openly admits to not being good enough to win one by himself.  If you want to harass Shan regarding his love for the Redskins and Lakers, tune in Monday-Friday from 10am-1pm on Delmarva’s ESPN Radio AM 1240.

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