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Pro Football Weekly's Eric Edholm brings you hot news and the inside scoop about the NFL.

Cutler trade changes draft landscape

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Posted April 02, 2009 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

Jay Cutler is a Bear. As I listen to GM Jerry Angelo address the media via teleconference, I remain stunned at today's developments. As much as I bagged on Cutler in my previous blog, it's hard for me to deny his talent. I am still of the belief he needs some refinement and probably will benefit from coming to a place like Chicago where others such as Brian Urlacher are more steeped in the team's leadership structure (as opposed to, say, Detroit, where he'd be the A-1 face guy).

But let's take a quick look at how this move affects the draft. First the principles:

Bears: They are left with No. 49 as their top pick, and you'd have to think they'd be looking receiver. If they see either Kenny Britt, Brian Robiskie or Hakeem Nicks on the board, the Bears will be giddy. If the choice comes down to Mohamed Massaqoui, Derrick Williams or Louis Murphy, they might not be as thrilled, but they probably would be content. Then with their third-rounder they keep (the compensatory pick) at No. 99, they can go secondary or perhaps pass rusher.

Broncos: You'd have the think the team has some plans for Kyle Orton as the starter this season, but I don't think they are done at QB. I believe the one they truly want is Mark Sanchez. Can they get him at 12? Probably not. But they now have the ammo to move into the top 10 and get him if they want. But the Broncos certainly don't want to give up too much. This defense is still in disrepair, and they need help at a number of spots -- mostly on the defensive line and at linebacker. If Sanchez is out of the picture, they perhaps could get NT B.J. Raji at 12 (especially after his reported failed drug test) and maybe Brian Cushing at 18. Are both those guys going to be avaiable? Maybe not, but if they were it would be a steal.

And now for the trickle-down effect as it stands now: 

Lions: With Cutler gone, you'd have to think Matthew Stafford becomes the No. 1 pick. Although some feel the Lions like Sanchez and that he's growing on them, I still think Stafford is their guy at the end of the day.

Redskins: Unable to make a deal, they have to think about an offensive tackle at 13. But might they be enamored with Sanchez? Stay tuned, although their leverage is limited with five picks and only two from 13 up until 150.

Jets: They now have to move up if they want Sanchez, but they might be content to sit and wait for Josh Freeman. 

This trade has rattled the cages, and it only should make you and NFL people alike more excited for the draft. It's three weeks from Saturday, folks. Lots to talk about still. 

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