DA Draft Buzz: Notes for the Draft's First Day

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

We have just a few hours before Roger Goodell steps to the podium and announces the Cleveland Browns on the clock. We intend on blogging throughout the draft during all three days, but first a little financial news.


I’m told two players who will end up being selected later than most expect are Miami tight end David Njoku and Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp.

I’m told the belief is the Dolphins have come off Lamp and will look defense in Round 1 or trade down if the opportunity arises. The Dolphins like the guard prospect that should be available to them in Round 2. The name I’ve heard all week is Isaac Asiata.

As we mentioned earlier this week the team to keep an eye on are the Atlanta Falcons. If the pass rushers come off the board faster than expected look for the Falcons to make a move north in the hopes of securing one.


Eagles Infatuated with Christian McCaffrey?

Sources tell me the Philadelphia Eagles are infatuated with skill prospect Christian McCaffrey but realize they’ll likely have to trade up ahead of the Carolina Panthers in order to draft him.

The sixth pick, presently owned by the New York Jets, is in play, but the question is whether the Eagles have enough ammunition to move up/

Movers and Shakers

Sources tell me Missouri’s Charles Harris and Derek Barnett of Tennessee are the fastest last-minute movers and will be drafted earlier than most people presently project.

I’m also told the player being most undervalued is Colorado defensive back Chidobe Awuzie.

Conversely I continue to hear Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey is the player being most overrated and could fall out of Round 1.


While most players hope to be the first or second player selected in the draft, from a dollars-and-cents point of view it may make more sense to be the third or fourth player selected this weekend.

During the combine I mentioned the Tampa Bay Bucs were the frontrunners for DeSean Jackson, in large part due to zero percent “jock tax” as it’s known -- or in layman’s terms, income tax.

In the end Jackson signed with Tampa Bay.

Yesterday I had a lengthy conversation with certified public accountant Robert Raiola, affectionately known as “sports tax man” throughout the business.

Though the rookie salary cap numbers have yet to be released, Rob told me it looks like the third player selected in this year’s draft will net more from his rookie contract then the first two selected if the draft order remains the same.

Let’s use the rookie salary cap numbers from 2016 to make the point.

The second pick of the 2016 draft signed a contract which totaled $26,685,484. The second pick is presently held by the San Francisco 49ers. The tax rate in the state of California is 13.3 percent.

Last year the fourth pick of the draft signed a contract totaling $24,965,720.

That pick is presently held by the Jacksonville Jaguars, from the state of Florida, which has an income tax rate of zero percent.

If we apply California’s tax rate of 13.3 percent to the total contract given to the second pick of last year’s draft, the end result is $23,136,314.

This means the fourth pick of the draft will end up with approximately $1,829,406 more in his pocket.

The Chicago Bears own the third pick of the draft. Illinois has a tax rate of 3.75 percent.

Last year Joey Bosa signed a contract worth $25,882,931 in total. After California state taxes, Bosa will take home $22,440,501.

If Chicago held the pick, his take-home pay would end up at $24,912,321 by the time the contract is complete.

When John Lynch was named as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, many people shook their heads.

Just hours before the draft, Lynch looks like a genius.

Over the course of the past six weeks, he has led people to believe the Niners would take Solomon Thomas with the second pick. Then it was Leonard Fournette. Then Mitchell Trubisky. And now it’s Jamal Adams. And don’t forget -- they also want to trade down.

Lynch has kept everyone guessing -- and that’s the name of the game on draft day!