Despite the concerns surrounding South Carolina standout Jadeveon Clowney, his potential will make it next to impossible for the Texans or Rams, who hold the top two picks in the draft, to turn him down, writes Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Echoing those sentiments, ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner is hearing that Clowney will be the No. 1 overall pick, whether Houston drafts him or another team moves up to nab him (for what it’s worth, Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets that even if Houston wants to trade out of the first pick, the team may be unable to do so).
As a result, the Rams will still be on the lookout for defensive tackles when they are on the clock with the No. 13 overall pick. We heard a couple of days ago from our own Luke Adams that Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald will have a number of teams interested in his services between picks No. 6 and No. 16, and, in a separate piece for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Thomas writes that Donald’s pass-rush skills would be a perfect complement to starters Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford.
Wagoner, meanwhile, thinks that even if the Rams miss out on Clowney, the team might nonetheless be inclined to trade down from its No. 13 overall selection, perhaps to a club like the Browns that wants to move up to secure a QB. Although St. Louis would also be interested in trading down from its No. 2 overall pick, Wagoner believes there is little chance of that happening.
A quick look at some other NFC clubs:
- SI.com’s Don Banks thinks that the Rams will not be able to pass on Clemson WR Sammy Watkins with the No. 2 selection.
- Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune provides a nice look at the approach new Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner is taking with his roster this spring, particularly his quarterbacks.
- ESPN.com’s Andy Jasner writes that the Eagles‘ interest in Indiana WR Cody Latimer might be growing, but Sheil Kapadia of Philadelphia Magazine has a hard time believing Latimer is a real possibility for the Eagles’ No. 22 overall pick. Kapadia is probably correct, but Latimer is one of the biggest risers in this year’s draft and probably would be a first-round selection in a year where the wide receiver class was not as deep.
- Although ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett believes the Saints have quality run-stoppers on the defensive line, he does believe they need to get more athletic at linebacker over the course of the next several seasons.
- In his latest mock draft, Jim Duncan of the Times-Picayune says the Saints will trade up seven spots to No. 20 overall to select Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks.