As the draft season has evolved, more and more pundits have come to believe that Jadeveon Clowney will be the first player taken in the draft. CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora lends his support to that theory, adding that although the Texans would love to trade down from their No. 1 overall pick, they will find it hard to do so. If they do manage to find a trade partner, the most likely scenario, La Canfora writes, is a team like the Falcons moving up to take Clowney. Of course, someone like Greg Robinson could be the target in such a move, but Clowney is still the top prize in this year’s class.
La Canfora goes on to describe in detail the options available to the teams holding the first five picks in the draft. For instance, he notes that the Rams are “wheeler-dealers” and have been entertaining calls for the No. 2 overall selection, although those conversations have not intensified as of yet. La Canfora believes that, if the Rams stay put and Clowney is somehow still on the board, they will go with Clowney. If Clowney has been taken, then Robinson would be the answer, though Jake Matthews would get some consideration as well. If, however, the Rams do find a trade partner and move down in the draft, then the Johnny Manziel-to-St. Louis rumors that have already been circulating in full force would gain even more traction.
Now let’s continue to clean out the draft notebook:
- Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta says that there are three elite prospects in the draft: Clowney, Robinson, and Khalil Mack, according to Jim Corbett of USA Today Sports. There has been enough chatter surrounding each of those players to at least keep them in the conversation surrounding the first overall pick.
- Like a lot of wide receivers in this year’s class, Clemson’s Martavis Bryant, despite being a first-round talent, will probably end up being a Day 2 selection, tweets Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. Marvez cites Bryant’s college coach, Dabo Sweeney, who adds that Bryant would have benefited from one more year at Clemson.
- As we learned yesterday, it is more difficult to draft a wide receiver than almost any other position. The 49ers know that better than anybody, writes Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Since 1990, the 49ers have drafted 10 wideouts in the first three rounds of the draft, and only three of those players logged more than 78 career receptions. San Fransisco is, as Branch notes, expected to dip its toe into the pool of early-round receivers yet again this year, and GM Trent Baalke acknowledges the difficulty of the task.
- NFL.com’s Albert Breer tweets that Odell Beckham, Jr. and Ryan Shazier are two players who could go a little higher than expected. We learned earlier tonight that at least one team above the Jets’ No. 18 overall pick loves Beckham, and Shazier has put himself alongside C.J. Mosley as the second-best LB in the draft outside of Mack.
- Unfortunately for Mosley, middle linebackers are becoming more and more of an afterthought, write Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune.