The blockbuster Darrelle Revis trade threw some complications into the process for those trying to win the Twenty Questions Draft Contest on Buccaneers.com. Predicting the team’s first overall pick – now #43 instead of #13 – became much more difficult, and several other questions were impacted by the trade as well. Fortunately, the swap with the Jets came down on Sunday, at least giving participants a couple days to send in revised entries.
That #1 question – who will the Bucs take with their first pick – is still awaiting an answer on Friday afternoon. The same is true of the next two questions, which ask for predictions as to the positions the Buccaneers will target with their second and third overall picks (now third and fourth-round selections, respectively). Likewise, we don’t yet know which player will come off the board immediately before the Bucs pick, and that one too got a lot harder when the Bucs traded away #13.
Some of the Twenty Questions answers came into focus on Thursday night, however. In fact, nearly half of the contest – nine of the 20 questions – has already been determined. Here is what we know so far (number indicates which question in the contest it was):
5. Who will the Carolina Panthers draft with their first overall pick?
DT Star Lotulelei. The defensive tackles fell farther than expected, which worked out well for the Panthers but probably threw a lot of our entries for a loop.
6. Who will the New Orleans Saints draft with their first overall pick?
S Kenny Vaccaro. Right after the Panthers nabbed Lotulelei, another Buc division rival stepped up to the podium. Safety was definitely seen as a position of need for the Saints, so this one might have been foreseeable for some of our contest entrants. On the other hand, #15 overall is a little higher than most experts predicted the Texas safety would be selected.
7. Who will the Atlanta Falcons draft with their first overall pick?
CB Desmond Trufant. The Falcons once again traded up to get their man, this time making an eight-spot jump to get to #22 and take the Washington cornerback. That almost made Atlanta the answer to contest question number 14, as well…but not quite. See below.
8. How many cornerbacks will be drafted in the first round?
4. (Dee Milliner, D.J. Hayden, Desmond Trufant, Xavier Rhodes) This might have been a little lower than some contest entrants expected, but it went somewhat according to the expert predictions. That is, this year’s corner class was seen as relatively deep, but lacking in top-notch stars. So it’s not surprising to see several of the potential first-round names still available as Round Two begins.
14. Which team will make the trade that moves it up the most spots in the first round?
San Francisco. There’s a decent chance that a number of our contest entrants got this one right. Because they were loaded with so many draft picks to begin the night, and they already have a talented roster, the common line of thinking was that the 49ers would package several of those picks to get higher. Indeed, they did, moving from #31 to #18 to grab LSU S Eric Reid. That move of 13 spots was the biggest jump by any team from one first-round pick to another.
15. Which side of the trenches will be the first one to have five players drafted: Offensive Line or Defensive Line?
Offensive Line. This draft belonged to the blockers up front. Three of the first four picks were offensive tackles, with only Oregon DE Dion Jordan (#3 to Miami) crashing the party. The defensive linemen did manage to tie it up at 3-3 just six picks into the round, but guards Jonathan Cooper at #7 and Chance Warmack and #10 got the OL to the finish line first.
16. In what order will the following four players be drafted: Utah DT Star Lotulelei, Texas S Kenny Vaccaro, Alabama G Chance Warmack and Florida State DE Bjoern Werner?
Warmack, Lotulelei, Vaccaro, Werner. As was just mentioned, Warmack went 10th overall, to the Titans, and we already covered the manner in which Lotulelei and Vaccaro went back-to-back to NFC South teams. Werner, picked 24th overall by the Colts, was the last of the four to come off the board.
17. How many of the 32 players drafted in the first round will be underclassmen?
14. That’s a little lower than in recent years, so this one could prove tough for our contest entrants.
20. Let the waterworks begin: Which draftee will be the first one shown crying on the ESPN broadcast of the first round of the draft (choose none if you believe no players will be shown crying)?
Lotulelei, Star. Man, Lotulelei has his imprint all over this contest. For awhile, it looked like “none” might carry it, as all of the top picks in New York managed to hold it together despite the inevitable big hugs from their moms. Fortunately, ESPN had cameras in the houses of some of the top prospects who did not come to New York, as was the case with Lotulelei. The big Utah defensive tackle didn’t exactly break down, but he could be seen dabbing at the corner of his eyes, and that was enough. Later, Florida State QB E.J. Manuel cried more extensively on the NFL Network broadcast, but by the time he was interviewed on ESPN he had gotten it back together.
So, how many of those nine questions did you get right? Considering how difficult some of the other questions became after the Revis trade, if you are off to a good start with those nine you might be in position to win the whole thing. Contest winners will be notified by e-mail once all the answers are in, and the contest results will be posted on Buccaneers.com in the coming weeks.