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Saints explore trading up in the draft

Bill Parcells and the Miami Dolphins have been unable to find a trading partner for the No. 1 pick. But the St. Louis Rams now have options at No. 2.

</center> editors are scouring the web to bring you the latest draft reports on all 32 teams. See some of the latest updates here:

Matt Ryan, QB
College: Boston College

Jeff Otah, OT
College: Pittsburgh

Mario Manningham, WR
College: Michigan

The Saints have made inquiries with the Rams about what it would take to go from New Orleans' scheduled 10th overall pick all the way up to St. Louis' at No. 2.

Based on the antiquated NFL draft point chart, the Rams pick at No. 2 is worth 2,600 points. The Saints pick at No. 10 is worth 1,300, and their second round pick is worth another 490, meaning New Orleans is going to have to come up with more than its two first-day picks.

New Orleans is looking at add a stud defensive player, and it could opt for LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, a pick that would be enormously popular in that area, or even Ohio State linebacker Vernon Gholston, who would be a terror on the turf in the Superdome.

People who have spoken with the Saints insist the talks are not substantiative, more informal, but the fact that one team has pursued moving up is noteworthy. This year, no team has been willing to move up to Miami's spot at No. 1, even New Orleans. The Saints are unwilling to pay what it would take to satisify the Dolphins or the player picked at No. 1.

In previous years, teams have declined to move into the top 10 picks. The last time there was any type of blockbuster trade was 2004, when the Chargers and Giants were involved in a trade that featured quarterbacks Philip Rivers and Eli Manning.

As interested as the Saints might be in moving up, the Rams are in no rush to relinquish their pick. They recognize that they're going to come away with help for one of their lines -– either Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long or Dorsey.

In an upset, the Rams could always opt for the top-rated player on their board -– running back Darren McFadden. But it's up to the Saints -– or any other team that's interested –- to entice the Rams with an offer that is good enough to get them to surrender the No. 2 overall pick.

Arms Race

Sometime in the first two rounds, Baltimore is expected to draft a quarterback.

Its actions this past week show how intent the Ravens are on upgrading the position.

Within the past week, the Ravens have hosted visits with Michigan quarterback Chad Henne, Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco, and Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm.

As if that weren't enough, the Ravens also privately worked out Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan on Wednesday.

Ryan could go No. 3 to Atlanta, No. 5 to Kansas City, No. 6 to the Jets or No. 8 to Baltimore. However, if the Ravens decide they like Ryan enough, they always could try to trade up for him.

Remember, in 2003, the Ravens tried to trade up to get former Marshall standout Byron Leftwich and then traded a future pick to draft quarterback Kyle Boller in the first round. This year, the Ravens seem just as intent on landing another quarterback.

Back in Denver

One way or another, Denver now seems intent upon upgrading its running game.

On Wednesday, the Broncos hosted a visit with Boston College offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus, who is projected as a mid- to late- first-round pick. Denver has a gaping need at tackle.

On Thursday, the Broncos will have an even more notable visitor. Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall, whom NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock has rated as his top back in the draft, is scheduled to arrive in Denver. Mike Shanahan never has drafted a running back in the first round in his time as the Broncos head coach.

Picking Mendenhall would give the Broncos the every-down, quality running back they have lacked since trading Clinton Portis to Washington. Denver does have Travis Henry and Selvin Young, but Mendenhall would represent a mix of power and speed that no Broncos back in recent memory has had.

And Denver continued trying to find offensive upgrades on Wednesday, reaching agreement with free-agent wide receiver Darrell Jackson on a one-year, $1.5 million deal that also includes another $500,000 in makeable incentives.

Extra points

» Busy week for Michigan State wide receiver Devin Thomas. He spent Tuesday with the Washington Redskins and will visit the Raiders on Thursday and the Cowboys on Friday.

» Despite the fact that some are questioning his character, teams continue to be interested in Michigan wide receiver Mario Manningham. After visiting Tennessee on Wednesday, Manningham is scheduled to meet with the Raiders on Thursday and the Bengals on Friday.

» Speaking of wide receivers, anyone else noticed who visited the Eagles last week? Thomas, Texas wide receiver Limas Sweed and Cal's DeSean Jackson. After flirting with wide receiver Randy Moss in free agency and bringing in at least three top receiver prospects last week, it's clear the Eagles would like to upgrade their wideouts.

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