Free agency is dominating NFL conversation at the moment, but the draft isn’t that far away, either. Here are the latest news and notes surrounding collegiate prospects and their impending entry to the league:
- In a piece previewing several developmental options that could make sense for Dallas, Gil Brandt of NFL.com reveals that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently told Brandt “unequivocally” that his club will not select a QB with the fourth overall pick. Dallas has been linked to Cal’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, as the thinking goes that the team would like to draft an heir apparent to Tony Romo — in fact, Jones said this morning that he’d like to find Romo’s successor. But the Cowboys have enough holes, especially on defense, that it probably makes more sense to use their first pick at a different position, especially if the front office is confident Romo can steer the ship for a few more years.
- UCLA linebacker Myles Jack is drawing rave reviews from NFL coaches, and they believe Jack can play five positions, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The 6’1”, 225-pounder was certainly a jack-of-all-trades (excuse the pun) for the Bruins, as he saw time at both inside and outside linebacker, safety, nickel corner, and running back, and even returned the occasional kick. Jack is the No. 1 overall player of Josh Norris of Rotoworld‘s big board.
- Another collegiate linebacker — Notre Dame’s Jaylon Smith — was thought to be competing with Jack to become the first defensive player selected, but that changed when Smith suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his final college game. A report last week indicated that NFL clubs are also concerned about possible nerve damage in Smith’s ankle, but it sounds as if at least one team isn’t worried. According to ESPN’s Todd McShay, via Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com (Twitter link), Smith is still the No. 1 overall player on one club’s draft board. On the other hand, “a couple” other teams have removed the linebacker from their boards altogether.