AFC Notes: Mariota, Clowney, Jaguars

Probably the most-discussed prospect during this year’s pre-NFL draft cycle, Marcus Mariota has drawn the interest from numerous teams who think they have a chance to either select him in the top 10 or move up to No. 2 to make the pick.

At No. 6, the Jets are doing their research. GM Mike Maccagnan and five additional “decision-makers” flew to Eugene, Ore., to work out the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, reports Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

New coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey joined the Jets’ contingent. Bowles noted earlier this week Geno Smith remains the Jets’ starter, but the former second-round pick has played wildly inconsistent football in two seasons.

Elsewhere around the AFC …

  • Last year’s No. 1 pick and the most-hyped defender to come out of college this decade, Jadeveon Clowney is making “terrific progress” on his recovery from microfracture surgery, the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reports. Clowney, who told McClain he couldn’t put weight on his right leg until around seven weeks transpired after his Dec. 2014 surgery, hopes to be back on the field by Texans training camp. But the microfracture procedure is one of the worst to undergo if the goal is a quick recovery, although Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce emerged to make an impact less than 12 months after an October 2013 procedure.
  • The Jaguars are “almost certain” to take Florida defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. at No. 3 overall, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. opined to the Florida Times-Union‘s Hays Carlyon. As for the Jags’ second-round pick at No. 36: Kiper noted running backs Todd Gurley and Tevin Coleman (Indiana) before mentioning Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, a former projected first-rounder who sustained a torn ACL in the Liberty Bowl, as a possible wild-card choice, per the Times-Union. Ogbuehi played guard alongside 2013 Jags No. 2 overall selection Luke Joeckel with the Aggies in 2012. Kiper cites the Jaguars’ myriad additions in free agency providing flexibility in Round 2.
  • The former coaches of the Jags’ marquee free agent signings, Julius Thomas, Davon House, Jermey Parnell and Dan Skuta, offered positive stances about their fits in Jacksonville, reports the Florida Times-Union’s Ryan O’Halloran.
  • After helping the Ravens save more than $2MM in 2015 cap space, Lardarius Webb hopes to finish his career in Baltimore, reports the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson. The longtime Ravens corner can earn up to $18MM over the next three years thanks to $500K playing-time incentives in each of those prospective seasons. “Doing the restructure, I’m glad it helps the team financially to make more moves to make the team better,” Webb told Wilson. “It’s not easy losing great players like Torrey Smith, Haloti Ngata and Pernell McPhee, but this happens every year.”
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