Between interviewing prospects and posting content and prepping for PFT Live and having lunch with Mrs. PFT, I’ve been trying to get a feel for how the top of the 2014 draft will unfold.
Here’s the best info we currently have for the first 10 picks.
1. Texans: The Texans are telling teams that if they don’t get the package they want for defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, they’ll simply draft him. Some buy that, others don’t. G.M. Rick Smith previously has said that they know who they want, and that they may trade down to get him. Owner Bob McNair has said Clowney is the best player in the draft. Taken together (and assuming it’s not some of the stuff that the creature on their helmet logo would leave behind him in the grass), this suggests that they want someone other than Clowney. So will they ultimately cut the best deal they can get to trade down for Khalil Mack, Johnny Manziel, or Blake Bortles? Or will the Texans take Clowney? The prevailing view among league sources I’ve polled is Clowney.
2. Rams: They’d also like to trade down, but signs are pointing to tackle Greg Robinson being the pick.
3. Jaguars: One of two teams believed most likely to move up for Clowney, they are believed to be considering Mack, receiver Sammy Watkins, Manziel, and maybe Bortles if Jacksonville uses the pick.
4. Browns: All signs are pointing to tackle Jake Matthews.
5. Raiders: We’ve heard they prefer receiver Mike Evans to Watkins. There’s also a whisper or two that owner Mark Davis really likes quarterback Derek Carr in this spot. Which would be the quintessential Raider move.
6. Falcons: If the first five picks are Clowney, Robinson, Mack, Matthews, Evans or Watkins, the Falcons are screwed. With either Evans or Watkins and both Manziel and Bortles available, they could trade down. Some think they could panic and trade up to No. 1 to get Clowney. There’s also a chance they trade up to No. 2 for Mack, but this would likely result in the Rams losing their clear shot at Robinson.
7. Buccaneers: If Evans or Watkins are left, that’s the pick. Jay Glazer reports that the Manziel talk was a smokescreen. Aaron Donald becomes an intriguing option here, notwithstanding the presence of Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald on the roster.
8. Vikings: Aaron Donald or Bortles/Manziel, with the possibility of their highest-rated corner.
9. Bills: Could they take receiver Odell Beckham if Evans and Watkins are gone? Best available tackle is an option. Eric Ebron would be a surprise but not a shock. Also, Donald could be an intriguing pick, given Marcell Dareus‘ recent off-field issue.
10. Lions: Evans or Watkins if there, Donald if there, or best available corner. Possibly a tackle if Taylor Lewan is still available.