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The only time you hear more lies than the days leading up to the draft is during a Presidential campaign. After studying the NFL draft since 1960, I guess I have seen and heard about all the rumors and stories many times. Here are my impressions of what is true and what is a smoke screen.
The Texans will trade out of the 1st pick.
Getting something close to the value for DE Jadeveon Clowney at the top spot will be very hard. Although they are clearly open for business, the asking price they want is a high 1st and 2nd this draft and the trading team’s number 1 in 2015. I doubt they will find someone to pay that price.
The Lions want to trade up to get WR Sammy Watkins.
The Lions would love to trade up to get Watkins but it will be costly. While several teams in the top 5 would love to trade down, they expect a lot. For example a trade from 10 to 2 would cost the Lions their first, second (45), the third (95) and their 1st in 2015. While the Rams might offer a slight discount, that is a high price to pay considering that at 10 the Lions could get one of the other WR prospects that would be almost as good. They have a lot of needs and won’t make the trade.
The Bills want to trade up to get their man.
The Bills reportedly want OLB Khalil Mack from Buffalo Univ. but will likely have to get to 2 to get him. The same type of cost applies to move from 9 to 2. The Bills will settle for another OLB and save their picks. The final price is determined by how motivated the Rams are to move down.
Teams that need QBs will trade back into the 1st round to get their favorite.
This will happen for a very simple reason. The new CBA allows teams that pick in the 1st round get a 5th year option on the player they take. If the QB works out, they will exercise the option. If not, they won’t have to worry about it because the GM that replaced them will have that decision.
Everybody wants Johnny Football.
The Rams are very interested in drafting Johnny Manziel.
This is a message to QB Sam Bradford—get it done or you are gone. They will take a QB somewhere in the draft but not at 2 or 13. Bradford is in double jeopardy because he has a high cap number and no more guaranteed money in his deal.
The Browns are looking to take Manziel with the 4th pick.
While Browns owner Jimmy Haslem may really like him, there is a huge risk at taking such a frail QB that high. They may trade down and take him but it will not be at 4. Either Mack or Watkins would have to be on the board at 4 to give a team a reason to trade up.
The Cowboys are hoping to trade up to get Manziel.
This was another QB message. “Tony Romo get us into the playoffs this year or you will be gone in 2015.” It was also an attempt by Jerry Jones to get some interest in a team trading above them to get Manziel so that the player he wants really falls down to 16. But the cost of such a move would be so high that Jones quashed the rumor in a recent press conference.
The Raiders are interested in getting Manziel.
While Manziel would put people in the seats, the Raiders need to win now or the front office will be gone. I am not sure they would want to bet their jobs on Manziel getting wins by himself. It is possible but not likely.
The Falcons want to trade up to get pass rush help.
This one is true. They would love to trade up to 3 or 4 from 6 to get Mack or one of the OT prospects. He is the best pure OLB pass rusher on the board. The Falcons front office has a history of big trades up and 6 to 4 would not be overly costly. The likely deal with the Browns at 4 could be for 6, 37 (2nd) and 68 (3rd). The Browns likely take that deal but would be better off drafting Mack.
Most of the “well known” mock draft posters have inside information from the teams.
While some like Mel Kiper do have very solid connections around the league, most do not. They base their mock (aka guess) based on the needs of the various teams. No team wants leaks based on what they will do. Front office people have been fired for less than spilling the team’s beans.
Forget the mock drafts, it is the position rankings that are important.
This is true. While there is no way most mockers have inside information, to be taken seriously they need to be as honest as possible on the ranking of players. However, different people look for different things. It also depends on which games a media scout sees. I rate every draftable player when I chart a game. I do between 120 and 250 games a year to provide the draft postings on this site.
Most teams drafts are based on “best available” concept.
Usually teams at the bottom of the draft will take the best available player (bap). The teams at the top of the draft have too many holes to ignore and go bap. If you don’t fill your holes as a GM, your replacement will.
The Jets will move up to take Odel Beckham Jr. WR LSU.
Beckham is moving up due to his size and speed. He has moved to the 3rd spot on most people’s WR lists. He is a solid prospect with good up side and the ability to highpoint the ball. The Jets likely would have to get to 10 and the Bills and Lions may be willing to trade down if they can’t trade up or get their man at their current spot.
The Browns will draft 2 quarterbacks in 2014.
The Browns signed two vets at the position. However, until they fix the right side of the line they can use all the QB prospects they can get.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think.
NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk NFL draft with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .
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Last minute NFL Draft trade rumors. by Bill Smith