Quinnen Williams

Draft Rumors: Jets, Bills, Bosa, Bush, Eagles

Are the Jets and Bills preparing to work together tonight? For weeks, reports have steadily emerged indicating the Jets would not be averse to trading down from No. 3 overall. That prospect has gained steam Thursday, with GMs expecting Gang Green to have buyers for their pick. The Bills might be one of them. The Jets are a decent bet to trade down tonight, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets, adding one team is under the impression New York already has a deal in place. Teams don’t make a habit of intra-division first-round trade agreements, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes (on Twitter) the Bills may be considering moving up to acquire Quinnen Williams. Cimini mentions Williams as a key part in the Jets’ potential trade-down scenario, so if the Cardinals and 49ers choose Kyler Murray and Nick Bosa — as they are expected to — we could have a trade shortly after.

Here is the latest calm-before-the-storm draft buzz:

  • Linked to just about every other key player atop this draft, the Raiders are now connected to Bosa. They may be interested in moving up to select the Ohio State-honed pass rusher, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com notes (via Rotoworld’s Evan Silva, on Twitter). With the 49ers expected to take Bosa at No. 2 overall, the Raiders would seemingly have to trade into the Cards’ No. 1 spot to pull this off.
  • Vic Fangio‘s previous team used the No. 8 overall pick to nab Roquan Smith. He may have a similar wish this year. The Broncos‘ first-year coach “very badly” wants Devin Bush to spearhead his new linebacking corps, La Canfora notes. Denver cut its top coverage linebacker, Brandon Marshall, earlier this year and has a need for a three-down inside ‘backer.
  • The Steelers made calls about possibly trading up for a defender, but they may be resigned to the fact they will not be able to add one of their targets. They do not view Bush as an attainable player, per JLC (on Twitter). With the Broncos linked to Bush at 10, the Steelers would have to likely jump at least 11 draft slots to be in strong position to land the Michigan linebacker prospect.
  • Vanderbilt-produced cornerback Joejuan Williams has risen into first-round consideration, and the Chargers are intrigued, per La Canfora. The Bolts do not boast a plethora of dire needs, putting them in position for a best-player-available pick at No. 28.
  • Although the Eagles brought back Timmy Jernigan, they are still going to be in the market for a possible first-round defensive tackle, Jeff McLane of Philly.com tweets. The Eagles are fairly stacked on their defensive front, especially having added Malik Jackson this offseason, but they have been mentioned as a candidate to add another lineman in Round 1.
  • If the Giants address their pass rusher and quarterback needs tonight, they may be hoping to help their secondary on Friday. They should be expected to consider a safety either in Round 2 or Round 3, per ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). Big Blue acquired Jabrill Peppers this offseason but has needs everywhere else in its secondary.

Latest On Cardinals No. 1 NFL Draft Pick

With hours to go before the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cardinals’ plans for the No. 1 overall pick remain shrouded in secrecy. Just recently, Cardinals GM Steve Keim reached out to Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to let him know he’s still a possibility to go first overall, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. 

At this point, only GM Steve Keim and a few others know the identity of the top pick, Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). It still sounds like Kyler Murray will be the pick, but no one knows for sure, especially since there have been no trade talks surrounding Josh Rosen at this time.

Further complicating matters is a split of opinions in the Arizona front office about whether Rosen and Murray could co-exist on the roster together. One team source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that the situation would not work after Rosen was selected to be Arizona’s QB of the future just one year ago. Another team source, however, feels that it could work.

Stay tuned.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Draft Rumors: Cardinals, Murray, 49ers, Broncos

On Saturday, Arizona State receiver and local product N’Keal Harry visited the Cardinals for a private visit, NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport tweets.

Possessing the size, strength and speed of a prototypical outside receiver, Harry could be an option for Arizona should he still be on the board when the team is on the clock at No. 33. Harry should fully be in play there, as the Cardinals reportedly like the value of going receiver with their second-round pick, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller tweets.

Should the team go with Harry, it would pair him with another local standout in Christian Kirk, who impressed as a rookie before missing time with an injury down the stretch. The pair of young wideouts would join veteran and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald in a potentially loaded receiver corps for either Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray, should the team go with the Oklahoma product as expected a week before the draft.

Here’s more draft talk from around the league:

  • Sticking with the Cardinals, though the team has been heavily linked to Murray, Kent Somer of the Arizona Republic believes the team should pass on the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. He thinks the team should stick with Rosen, attempt to trade down to pick up more picks, and, if that option is not possible, take either Quinnen Williams or Nick Bosa.
  • Speaking of Williams, many NFL executives reportedly prefer the Alabama defensive lineman to Ohio State’s Bosa as the draft’s top overall prospect, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes. In a poll of 14 personnel members by Bob McGinn, six chose Williams as the top picks, twice as many as Bosa, who received the second most. Also receiving votes were Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Jeffery Simmons.
  • The Broncos have been heavily tied to quarterback’s heading into this week’s draft. Helping pick that signal-caller, if they do indeed go that route, is new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, who learned how to pick the position from 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, the Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran writes“Kyle had a lot of success (evaluating quarterbacks) and (he) showed me some things that I use in the evaluation process,” Scangarello said. “It’s a tough position to evaluate. You just get them in (the meeting room) and you try and find out what you can about them.” Denver has been linked with Drew Lock, but Daniel Jones, Murray and Dwayne Haskins could all fit the bill at No. 10 if everything falls right.
  • The 49ers have been heavily tied to either Bosa or Williams with the No. 2 pick on Thursday, but the team is looking to the skill positions for their Round 2 pick, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco writes. At the top of the list is wide receiver, where they are looking to find a starter-level pass catcher to complement second-year wideout Dante Pettis and veteran Marquise Goodwin. Maiocco notes the receivers who have been in for a visit include Harry, A.J. Brown, Hakeem Butler, Jalen Hurd and Deebo Samuel.

 

 

Latest On 49ers’ Draft Plans

Assuming the Cardinals select quarterback Kyler Murray with the first-overall pick, it’s expected that the 49ers would subsequently take Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa with the second-overall pick. However, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes that this perception could be the 49ers’ way of throwing rival teams off their trail.

Florio says that “some in league circles believe that the extent to which the 49ers are allowing that perception to exist unchallenged could mean, in reality, that the 49ers are planning to do something else.” If this is truly the case, and the 49ers aren’t 100-percent focused on selecting Bosa with the second pick, then this could vicariously lead to a pair of draft scenarios.

For starters, the 49ers could simply be eying Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. If the organization is looking for an Aaron Donald-type player who they could easily throw in to the interior of their defensive line, then Williams would seemingly be the perfect choice. Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily explain why the 49ers aren’t doing anything to decrease the Bosa-to-San Francisco talk. If the team intends to take Williams with the second pick, they could just publicly refute the Bosa rumors. On the flip side, perhaps they’re keeping their mouths shut until they get clarity on Arizona’s pick.

The other scenario revolves around a trade. As Florio points out, it was only two years ago that the 49ers acquired an extra pair of third-rounders and an extra fourth-rounder for simply moving down one spot in the draft. If, say, the Jets are particularly enamored with Bosa, the 49ers could use their own “interest” in the Ohio State standout to get more out of a trade. Either way, if the 49ers are hoping to make a trade and draft Williams, they probably won’t be able to drop much further than fourth-overall; the majority of mock drafts have some combination of Murray, Bosa, Williams, and Kentucky edge defense Josh Allen in their top-four.

Draft Rumors: Giants, Gary, Allen, Bills

The Giants‘ meeting with Kyler Murray got all of the headlines, but the Oklahoma quarterback wasn’t the only big-name prospect to get face time with the club on Thursday. The Giants also hosted Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary and Kentucky pass-rusher Josh Allen, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears.

At this rate, it would be a surprise if Murray is available for either of the Giants’ first-round picks at No. 6 and No. 17. However, Gary and Allen could be in range for a team that is said to be prioritizing pass-rushing. Allen would represent the safer bet based on his college production, but that also means that he could be gone by the time the Giants take the podium. Gary, who boasts serious raw skills, should last a bit longer after tallying just 3.5 sacks last season.

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:

  • Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor will visit the Panthers on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Taylor, a 6’5″ lineman, could project as either a right tackle or guard at the next level, which could be helpful for a team that has overhauled its O-Line this offseason.
  • The Bills are set to meet with Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, as Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. Unfortunately for Buffalo, Williams is unlikely to be around at No. 9 overall, so they’ll probably have to trade up in order to land him. Recently, Williams met with New York’s other two teams.
  • The Bears will huddle up with Alabama running back Josh Jacobs, the team announced. Jacobs is widely rated as the best three-down back in this year’s class, but he does not offer the same kind of upside as last year’s top-drafted RB Saquon Barkley. Still, the Bears will have to get creative if they want to land Jacobs – Thanks to the Khalil Mack trade and last year’s move up for wide receiver Anthony Miller, the Bears won’t be on the board until the third round (No. 87 overall).
  • The Bills hosted an interesting mid-round prospect in Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). Jackson could be a natural fit for the Bills as his size and athleticism mirrors that of QB Josh Allen.

NFL Draft Rumors: Brown, Harry, Cardinals

This week’s combine re-checks produced very positive news for Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Brown, who has been out of a boot for weeks, was given the thumbs up on his surgically-repaired foot.

Despite the injury, the 5’9″ receiver is widely projected as a first round pick. Last year, Brown put himself on the NFL radar with 75 catches for 1,318 yards and ten touchdowns.

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:

  • Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry will work out for the Cardinals on April 20 at ASU, according to a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss (on Twitter). Head coach Kliff Kingsbury, GM Steve Keim, and president Michael Bidwill will be among those on hand for Harry’s only private NFL workout. Harry isn’t a contender for the No. 1 overall pick, but he could be a candidate for the Cardinals’ first pick of the second round (No. 33 overall)
  • The Rams are meeting with Clemson defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell on campus, Rapoport tweets. Both players are expected to go in the first round, but the Rams may be out of range at No. 31 overall.
  • Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams will visit the Jaguars on Thursday, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).
  • Houston cornerback Isaiah Johnson will work out for the Falcons on Thursday, Rapoport tweets. The converted wide receiver came away with two interceptions in each of the last two seasons and could go as high as the second round.

Draft Rumors: Quinnen, Taylor, Jacobs

Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is meeting with the Cardinals today, and is scheduled to sit down with the Jets and Giants in two weeks, according to Ian Rapoport and Kimberly Jones of NFL.com (Twitter links). While most observers believe Arizona will ultimately use the No. 1 overall selection on Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, Rapoport indicates both Williams and Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa are still in consideration for the top pick. The Jets and Giants present more realistic landing spots for Williams, who is viewed as the best interior prospect available. He’s also met with the Raiders and 49ers, each of whom hold top-five picks.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • The Falcons are working out Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor on Thursday, tweets Rapoport. Along with Alabama’s Jonah Williams, Taylor is considered one of the top tackle prospects on the board in 2019. Taylor, who didn’t work out at the combine due to injury, has also met with the Jaguars. Atlanta, for their part, released right tackle Ryan Schraeder earlier this year and extended Ty Sambrailo, who figures to enter the season as the Falcons’ starter on the right side. Taylor would be a luxury choice for Atlanta, who hold the 14th overall selection.
  • Alabama running back Josh Jacobs visited the Ravens today, reports Josh Norris of Rotoworld (Twitter link). Viewed as the best running back available in the draft, Jacobs could be on the board when Baltimore picks late in the first round. While Jacobs isn’t an elite athlete, he’s considered a true three-down back who could help immediately. The Ravens, of course, signed veteran Mark Ingram to pair with Gus Edwards, so running back isn’t necessarily their most obvious area of need.
  • The Rams hosted Florida edge rusher Jachai Polite on Wednesday, tweets Norris. The pre-draft process has not been kind to Polite, who had been viewed as a potential first-round selection. Polite performed poorly during athletic testing, while his interviews with clubs were also widely panned. Additionally, Polite is battling currently battling through hamstring injuries. Los Angeles re-signed pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. and also added Clay Matthews, but given that a club can never have too many defensive ends/linebackers, Polite could be in consideration.
  • Kansas State offensive tackle Dalton Risner met with the Broncos on Thursday, per Norris (Twitter link). Denver invested a 2017 first-round pick in Garett Bolles and made Ja’Wuan James the NFL’s highest-paid right tackle this offseason, but Risner could slide to guard if selected by the Broncos. Indeed, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com’s best comparison for Risner is Bears interior lineman Cody Whitehair.
  • The Seahawks will visit with Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry before the draft, tweets Mike Garafolo of NFL.com. Harry (6’4″, 213) managed at least 70 receptions, 1,200 yards, and eight touchdowns in each of the past two seasons. He should be available when Seattle makes its first-round pick at No. 21, and could reinforce a Seahawks receiving corps that already includes Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin.

Draft Notes: Ferguson, Williams, Gary, Jags

Louisiana Tech-produced edge prospect Jaylon Ferguson will have one of the busiest Aprils on tap for any NFL hopeful in memory. He is set to meet with 22 teams this month, according to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. The Bengals and Buccaneers are two of the teams who have requested summits. Those visits will occur this week, per Laine. Ferguson set the Division I-FBS sack record with 47 in his four-year run with the Bulldogs, accumulating 67.5 tackles for loss in the process. But a simple battery conviction, stemming from a fight at a McDonald’s during his freshman year, resulted in a partial ban from the Combine. Teams are looking to examine Ferguson more thoroughly.

Here is the latest from the draft world:

  • While Nick Bosa is expected to be the first defensive player off the board, Quinnen Williams has been looming as a potential top-three pick as well. The Alabama interior defender met with the 49ers on Monday night, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets, adding a Raiders summit is up next for the high-end D-line prospect. Holding the No. 3 overall pick, the Jets figure to also be in play for Williams. Both Bay Area teams, however, are doing extensive work on this class’ top defenders.
  • Another possible top-10 defensive line pick, Rashan Gary spent time in Jacksonville on Tuesday, per Pelissero (on Twitter). The Jaguars visit represents one of many for the Michigan-developed defensive lineman. He was already mentioned as a 49ers, Raiders and Bengals top-30 visit. Gary finished his Wolverines career with just 9.5 sacks, but the 6-foot-4 defender carries elite measureables — including a 4.58 40-yard dash — that have him projected as one of the top players available.
  • While the Jaguars may have erred in not using their most recent top-10 pick to take either Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson in 2017, and instead rolling with Blake Bortles for two more seasons, they are understandably not connected to this year’s crop of draft-eligible quarterbacks. The team that gave Nick Foles $50MM guaranteed, however, did do “a ton” of work on these passing prospects during the 2018 college football season, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. While Breer mentions the Jags as a team that could be a stealth quarterback suitor at No. 7 overall, that would certainly be an interesting use of offseason resources.
  • After meeting with the Cowboys, safety prospect Johnathan Abram will trek to Arizona for a Cardinals powwow, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic tweets. Abram is this class’ top safety, per NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah. The Mississippi State alum, who began his career at Georgia, notched two interceptions and three sacks last season. He also made nine tackles for loss. The Cardinals’ second pick comes at No. 33.