Draft Rumors: Titans, Browns, J. Smith, Cowboys

The NFL season isn’t over yet, but teams around the league are already looking ahead to the draft April, spending this week meeting with and scouting players at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Checking in from Mobile, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has several interesting draft-related tidbits to pass along, so let’s dive right in and check out the highlights….

  • The “biggest buzz” at the Senior Bowl this week is that the Titans are “absolutely” shopping the first overall pick in the draft, says Miller. General managers from rival teams expect the Browns and Rams to have the most interest in trading up to No. 1, though Cleveland exec Sashi Brown said earlier this week that he’d be shocked if his team moves up from No. 2.
  • Wherever the Browns end up picking, the expectation around the league is that they’ll target a quarterback, and Miller has heard all week from scouts that Cleveland prefers Carson Wentz to Jared Goff.
  • Jaylon Smith, who tore his ACL and LCL in the Fiesta Bowl, is already rehabbing twice a day as he recovers from the major knee injury, sources tell Miller. The Saints are among the clubs keeping a close eye on the Notre Dame linebacker, and it still appears likely that he’ll come off the board in the top half of the first round.
  • Miller’s sources don’t expect Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to use his team’s first-round pick on Tony Romo‘s backup and eventual successor. According to Miller, Dallas is more likely to roll the dice on a player like Robert Griffin III or Johnny Manziel — not necessarily as Romo’s successor, but at least as a short-term backup.
  • Sources inside the Texans tell Miller that Houston figures to focus on the offensive side of the ball with its first few picks in the draft.
  • Miller identifies Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler, Clemson wide receiver Charone Peake, and Temple defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis as some prospects that have improved their stock this week in Mobile.
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