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McNabb deal to have ripple effect on draft, scheduling and more

Only two teams were directly involved in the Donovan McNabb trade, but, for one reason or another, several others could feel some aftershocks.

Let's take a closer look at which clubs were affected the most by the deal and where they go from here:

St. Louis: The Rams might not have given up the top overall pick under any circumstances. They desperately need a quarterback, and seem convinced they'll get an outstanding one in Oklahoma's Sam Bradford. However, if they wanted to trade the choice (and avoid the enormous financial burden that goes with it), the Washington Redskins figured to be the most likely partner. Now that they have McNabb, the Redskins presumably will hang onto the fourth overall pick and use it for some much-needed help on their offensive line.

Post-McNabb mock drafts

In his latest mock draft, Pat Kirwan breaks down how the Redskins' trade for Donovan McNabb will affect the rest of the first round of the NFL Draft. Read ...

Seattle: The Seahawks (who hold the sixth and 14th picks) are looking for a left tackle, although a quarterback (such as Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen) can't be ruled out at No. 6. The Redskins, after giving up their second-round pick as part of the compensation for McNabb, are left with only one selection in the top 100. If they don't take one of the top-rated offensive tackles at No. 4, new general manager Bruce Allen could do some wheeling and dealing with Seattle in order to pick up some extra choices.

Cleveland: The No. 7 spot, where the Browns pick, is a possible (but not likely) place for Clausen to land. The Browns' acquisition of Jake Delhomme only makes sense if he is a bridge to a long-term answer that currently doesn't reside on the roster. They could try and move to the top for Bradford, but they have too many other needs to address to give up what it would take to get there. Team president Mike Holmgren -- who sent another former Fighting Irish quarterback (Brady Quinn) packing -- is on record as saying he wished he liked Clausen more. Chances are, he won't like him enough to pass on a much higher-rated defensive player such as cornerback Joe Haden or tackle Gerald McCoy.

Oakland: At one point, the Raiders were considered the favorite to get McNabb, but he apparently didn't see them as being close enough to contention to join for the final few years of his career. The Raiders are still looking for a quarterback upgrade, but aren't expected to try to get it with the eighth overall pick of the draft. They'll likely continue to strive to get what they can out of JaMarcus Russell. They'll also see what sort of competition Bruce Gradkowski can provide in training camp.

Buffalo: The Bills also were among the teams known to have had a strong interest in McNabb, but they, too, fell into the not-close-enough-to-a-contender category. Many league observers assume that they'll use the ninth overall choice on Clausen, who figures to be there. But the Bills might not be sold enough on him to take him that high. They could trade down with the intention of taking Clausen or Florida's Tim Tebow later in the first round. Or the Bills could trade up to get the Redskins' No. 4 spot to address another crying need, offensive tackle. Or they could stay put for a tackle and try and get a quarterback in the second round.

Jacksonville: If Clausen is still on the board, the Jaguars could very well be tempted to take him at No. 10. At the very least, they might be able to work a trade with a team that would want their pick, perhaps for a player at another position, and move down for Clausen ... or Tebow?

San Francisco: See the comment next to Seattle, and note the fact that the 49ers own the 13th and 17th choices.

Minnesota: Now that Clausen figures to fall out of the top five and, perhaps, even out of the top 10, he could very well do a free fall all the way down to the Vikings at No. 30. Even if Brett Favre, who reportedly became a grandfather on Tuesday, returns, the Vikes need to secure a quarterback of the future. And this could be the ideal spot.

Observation points

» The notion that the Eagles "staged" the announcement of the McNabb trade on Easter Sunday so they could steal headlines from the Phillies' season opener is silly. The trade happened when it happened. Given that they were doing something that figures to make a division rival much stronger, the Eagles weren't exactly breaking the sort of news that was guaranteed to make all, or even most, of their fans happy.

» I just can't see much of a market for Jason Campbell, the quarterback McNabb is replacing in Washington. True, he has worked with a variety of offensive coordinators, but that doesn't explain everything about his failure to make much of an impact with the Redskins. Could new coach Mike Shanahan and new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan have helped Campbell to improve? Yes, but not to where he will make the sort of difference that a top-flight talent such as McNabb will make.

» Of all of the observations about Tim Tebow that former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly recently shared with me, the one that stands out the most is this: "He looks like he can take a hit." Obviously, that doesn't seem to be as great a compliment as saying the guy has an outstanding passing arm, but Kelly didn't offer that because he has not seen Tebow work out in person (although he did say he was comfortable enough to recommend to the Bills that they take him with their second-round choice). Still, the ability to take a hit is important, because the Bills' offensive line is likely to continue to struggle. And when you compare Tebow to Bradford, Clausen, and Texas' Colt McCoy, it seems as if his thicker frame would allow him to better withstand the punishment that goes with playing the position, especially on a rebuilding club.

» It makes sense that the Eagles are making a concerted effort to get younger. Age is a constant enemy in this game, and too much of it usually gets a team in trouble. The Eagles were headed for such trouble, although I maintain they should have found a way to allow McNabb to finish his career with them. Now that they've purged so many older players from their roster and are counting on more youth, they are likely to take some backward steps. Kevin Kolb might prove to be an excellent starter, but he is going to have his share of growing pains this season. That is why the Eagles have elected to hang on to Michael Vick as a backup. Don't be surprised if Vick, who should benefit from another offseason and a full training camp of learning the Eagles' offense, ends up seeing substantial playing time before the season is over.

» The Cincinnati Bengals would be wise to bring back guard Bobbie Williams (the two sides are reportedly close to a deal). The continuity on their offensive line is crucial to their hopes of taking the next step after their one-and-done playoff appearance.

Interactive 2010 schedule

Before the official 2010 regular-season schedule is announced in April, enjoy an interactive look at the matchups, opponents' records and total travel distances. **More ...**

» One would have to expect that, when the NFL regular-season schedule is announced, a Redskins-Eagles game will be in prime time. My "duh!" vote is for the one that will be played at Lincoln Financial Field.

» It's hard to say whether this is going to turn into another Antonio Gates story, but it's intriguing nonetheless: Former Niagara University basketball standout Tyrone Lewis is testing the NFL waters for a possible alternative to pursuing a pro hoops career in Europe. I've seen the kid play basketball, and he is an extremely impressive athlete. His athleticism, in fact, is what drew enough interest from NFL scouts for him to stage a personal pro day earlier this week. Lewis was a good high school cornerback, but that was five years ago. Who knows? Gates was a basketball star at Kent State before going on to become one of the best tight ends in the league with San Diego (which, by the way, sent a scout to Lewis' workout).

» One more McNabb thought: I heard it suggested that Redskins fans aren't necessarily thrilled to have him because he is nearing the end of his career and they would prefer to have a younger franchise quarterback. Hogwash! Redskins fans have every reason to be thrilled that, finally, they have someone under center who is consistently capable of winning games for them. McNabb is paired with coaches able to bring the best out of him. The future hasn't looked this bright for the Redskins in quite some time.

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