I Feel a Draft
Much has changed since I put pen to paper and rendered my predictions on how this 2014 NFL draft will go. But exactly how much has changed and for whom is still a mystery as no GM worth their salt is going to reveal their hand before the draft begins. So with that, let's take a look at some of the top guns making noise and see if we can pinpoint where these future heroes (or zeroes) will wind up.
Jadeveon Clowney (-600 Odds to be drafted 1st overall)
Will he or won't he don the jersey of the Houston Texans with the number one overall pick in the draft? The Texans have gone from a premier defense to a shell of their former selves in terms of stopping the run. They were actually quite good containing the pass, ranked third in the NFL last season, but they were among the cellar dwellers in sacks and rushing yards allowed. They need a chaos maker and a freakish athlete bringing both the heat and the pain. The former Gamecock would appear to fit that bill but this team may turn their attention to offense and trade out of the first pick with a team that's got a top five selection and a hard-on for Clowney.
The Jaguars and Falcons could make the Texans a Godfather offer and allow Houston to take the quarterback of their choice while getting a healthy return of additional high end draft picks in the process. But no matter what happens, Clowney is sure to be one of the first names called on Thursday night.
Johnny Manziel (+150 Odds for draft position 'Under' 4.5)
Johnny Football would look great in a Raiders uniform. It's really where he belongs. But Al Davis has departed this earthly plane and the feeling is that the outlaw mentality that made the Raiders so good in the 70's doesn't work so well in this high flying, technocratic NFL of today. Sure the Seahawks have some of that swagger as evidenced by their championship performance last season but they are finely tuned athletes that focus like a laser beam rather than merely tough guys creating havoc with reckless abandon and no concern for team football.
Reports out of Oakland have surfaced that suggest the Raiders are content with Matt Schaub, the outcast from the Texans who lost his way and looking to rekindle his mojo as a member of the Silver & Black. Therefore, Manziel will in all likelihood be plucked by either Cleveland or Tampa Bay unless Houston eschews conventional wisdom and drafts the controversial passer from Texas A&M.
That being said, if Minnesota decides that
Christian Ponder is going to be their man then they either trade out at number
eight or take an edge rusher like Anthony Barr of UCLA. If that happens then guys like Teddy
Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Derek Carr could slide all the way down to the
20's and beyond! There are so many top
notch offensive linemen and speedy wide receivers that teams may be losing
enthusiasm for this rookie class of signal callers.
Elite QB's Could Slide
While football guru and ESPN sage at the mountaintop Ron Jaworski is quoted as saying of Manziel, "I wouldn’t take him in the first three rounds," most scouts and front office brass do not see a Tim Tebow comparison even though Johnny Football is a roll out quarterback who makes plays with his legs in order to then use his arm. Sound familiar? Regardless, it appears as though Manziel is now the consensus QB of choice but I still believe NFL GM's are playing possum and putting out disinformation campaigns that may force others into selecting a player that they may not be truly keen on