While none of this year’s crop of collegiate quarterbacks are projected to be as successful as Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, NFL personnel men do see four QBs — Memphis’ Paxton Lynch, Cal’s Jared Goff, Michigan State’s Connor Cook, and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz — as being worthy of a first-round pick, according to Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com.
Elsewhere in draft-land, Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net reports that Penn State signal-caller Christian Hackenberg, once projected as potential first-rounder himself, is likely to enter the draft, and will probably announce as such in the near future. Two other collegiate players — Boise State edge rusher Kamalei Correa and Stanford tight end Austin Hooper — are intent on entering the draft, as well, says Pauline.
- Free agent corner Cary Williams, who visited with the Titans yesterday, is still drawing the attention of the club, tweets Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com. Tennessee management will reportedly make a decision on whether or not to sign Williams at some point early next week. Williams, who was cut by the Seahawks on Monday, has also garnered interest from the Rams.
- In other Tennessee news, Titans linebacker Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil suffered torn patellar tendon in practice on Thursday and will require surgery, meaning he’ll miss the rest of the season, reports McCormick (Twitter link). Practice squad ‘backer J.R. Tavai is a candidate to be promoted to the active roster, adds McCormick.
- Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin believes Blaine Gabbert can be the 49ers‘ quarterback of the future, writes Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. Gabbert has led San Francisco to a 2-2 record in his four starts, averaging 240 yards per game while throwing five touchdowns and three interceptions. For what it’s worth, he’s only signed through next season, with a 2016 cap charge of $2.25MM.
- Peyton Manning has $4MM riding on whether or not he gets to start in the playoffs — as Mike Klis of 9 News writes, Manning could earn $2MM for winning the AFC Championship Game, and another $2MM for winning the Super Bowl. Manning must start those games, adds Klis, meaning he can’t earn the bonuses by coming on in relief. At this point, though, it’s hard to see how the Broncos can turn back to Manning given how Brock Osweiler has played.