Overlooking the fact that NFL teams consistently treat second- and third-round draft picks as if every player taken at that stage in the Draft is going to be Dan Marino running a 4.5, how is it that Daunte Culpepper, an upper-tier player at the most important position on the field, is worth a second-round pick, but John Abraham, an upper-tier player at a less important position, is apparently worth a second-round pick AND a quality quarterback prospect. I understand that Culpepper could be damaged goods and that reduces his value, but Abraham hasn't exactly been a model of durability either. I also understand that Culpepper cost the Dolphins a huge signing bonus, but Abraham will probably present the same challenge for the Falcons. The only distinguishing characteristic, as best I can tell, is that Culpepper completely burned his bridges with the Vikings and reduced his trade value as a result. The Jets and Abraham appear to be at an impasse in terms of his contract value, but they have the option of keeping him with the franchise tag again, so he has more value to them than Culpepper does to the Vikings.
As far as trading Matt Schaub is concerned, I'm not totally certain on his contract status, but if this is indeed his last year with the team and would be unlikely to re-sign because he wants to be a starter and knows that will never happen in Atlanta, then the Falcons ought to trade him now. It's nice having a solid insurance policy for Mike Vick and there are those of us who would love to see Schaub and Vick actually compete for the job, but I might as well start looking for real estate in Washington, D.C. on the assumption that I'm going to be tabbed by Dubya for the next Supreme Court vacancy. Vick is the starting quarterback, as the franchise has totally committed to him financially. Given that context, the team cannot commit too much money to a back-up and they have to take any chance they get to flip that back-up into a quality starter. If they indeed turn Schaub into Abraham, then their use of a third-round pick on the Wahoo will indeed have been an inspired decision. They got a cheap back-up for two years and then turned that back-up into an upper-tier starter who answers a major need. With Abraham in the fold and Lawyer Milloy under consideration at safety, the team could focus on the corner position with their first round pick and the offensive line (especially the left tackle spot) with their second-rounder. Assuming that T.J. Duckett is let go, then a back-up running back will be a priority with the third or fourth round pick, with a space-eating defensive tackle being one other priority. (Rod Coleman would benefit greatly from a Gabe Watson-type next to him, although Gabe isn't going to be around after the first round.) There, I've just plotted out the Falcons' entire Draft. You can now spend April 29 frolicking outside. You're welcome.
One other note on Matt Schaub: the fact that the Jets are so interested in him is quite a compliment, since his one start last year was against New England, a team whose defensive coordinator, Eric Mangini, is now the head coach of the Jets. He was impressed enough by that performance to have apparently identified Schaub as his #1 target. Maybe we can't chalk Schaub's performance in that game up to New England's battered secondary. Does Mangini see Schaub as his Brady, a tall, but relatively immobile passer who has decent arm strength, terrific accuracy, and a degree from one of this nation's two premier public universities? (You know I couldn't resist making that remark.)