Freeman On Clowney, Texans, Harbaugh

The latest edition of Mike Freeman’s Ten-Point Stance column at Bleacher Report features several notes from the scouting combine, including the latest on which direction the Texans may be leaning with the first overall pick. Let’s dive in and round up a few of the highlights from Freeman’s piece….

  • While he cautions that smokescreens or flat out lies are common at this time of year, Freeman reports that a number of sources say the Texans are now favoring Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 pick. “We’ve never really seen anything like Clowney,” said one Texans official. “There’s the chance he could redefine the position the way Reggie White or Bruce Smith did.”
  • The view around the league suggests the Texans are starting to “slowly fall in lust” with Clowney, says Freeman. Still, in addition to Freeman’s own concerns that the latest rumblings could be a smokescreen, it’s worth pointing out that he reported nearly the same thing about Houston and Johnny Manziel just a week ago. It’s probably fair to assume that Manziel and Clowney aren’t the only players the Texans will reportedly covet before May 8.
  • Several team officials believe the apparent rift between 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and the team’s front office is reminiscent of Bill Parcells‘ situation in New England. Parcells ended up making his way to the Jets, where he assumed greater control of personnel decisions, and it looks like Harbaugh will eventually want a similar position, either in San Francisco or elsewhere, writes Freeman.
  • Despite reports to the contrary, the Dolphins aren’t interested in bringing back Jonathan Martin, and are simply trying to create the impression that they are, says Freeman. Even though it appears neither the team nor Martin wants a reunion, it could be in the best interest of both sides to present that as a realistic possibility in order to create some trade value for the young lineman. A trade, rather than a release, would ensure that the Dolphins get something for Martin, and would mean the 24-year-old gets his full rookie-contract salary rather than having to settle for the league minimum as a free agent.
  • Freeman keeps hearing that not many teams will trade up in this year’s draft, since the class is believed to be incredibly deep. In other words, if a team misses out on one target, there will usually be two or three viable alternatives. However, Freeman isn’t convinced that this will reduce draft-day trades, noting that it could make clubs more inclined to trade down, meaning the cost to move up wouldn’t necessarily be as steep as usual.
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