NFL Draft Rumors: Latest Updates Around the League
With the biggest free-agency moves now in the past and the NFL draft just days away, movement around the league will mostly revolve around setting draft boards, trading for picks and adding a cheap veteran player or two to fill a pressing need.
Might there be a blockbuster trade? It's probable, actually. Will draft picks be moved? In this draft, you better believe it.
So with that in mind, let's run down some of the latest rumors making the rounds in the NFL this week.
Branden Albert, Kansas City Chiefs
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One of the more interesting personnel developments over the next two weeks will be how the Kansas City Chiefs handle the tackle position. Will they draft a left tackle with the top overall pick? Will Branden Albert willingly move to the right side?
Per the latter, it may be unlikely, and the Chiefs are apparently shopping Albert. From Peter King of Sports Illustrated:
Kansas City hasn't found any takers for franchised left tackle Branden Albert—I hear the Chiefs would take a high second-round pick for him—and regardless whether Albert's moved or not, I don't see them doing anything but taking tackles Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher first.
In a year bereft of a top overall talent, going the safe route with a tackle might be the smartest move for the Chiefs. Then again...
Could Chiefs Trade Top Pick?
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The team could look to trade the top overall pick. According to Mike Freeman of CBS, that's exactly what the Chiefs have been trying to do:
Some team personnel men are saying the Kansas City Chiefs are making it clear they are willing to trade out of the top overall spot.
They are basically advertising this, I'm told, in neon lights. Like a special at Macy's. One scout called it "begging." The Chiefs aren't giving the pick away but they are letting many people know the pick can be had.
Without a franchise quarterback at the top of this draft, however, I can't imagine anyone paying a steep price to move up to No. 1. Try as they might, the Chiefs won't be able to move that pick.
Are the Miami Dolphins Interested in Moving Up for Lane Johnson?
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The Miami Dolphins have a major void at several positions, including cornerback, but Chris Wesseling of NFL.com rounded up a series of rumors that suggests the team might do whatever it takes to land one of the top three tackles in this year's draft:
The solution is to trade up, as Ireland is armed with extra second- and third-round picks from last year's Vontae Davis and Brandon Marshall trades. The Palm Beach Post "keeps hearing" the Dolphins are high on Johnson, and suggests pairing the 12th pick with the 54th or 77th overall to move up.
It makes sense. The team should put a premium on keeping young quarterback Ryan Tannehill protected, and with the additions of Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and Dustin Keller in free agency, it's clear the team wants to throw the ball around this year.
To do that, Tannehill has to stay upright. Johnson has become one of the hottest names in this year's draft, so don't be shocked if the Dolphins find a way to get him.
The Philadelphia Eagles May Be Targeting Star Lotulelei
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The Philadelphia Eagles have a ton of needs with Chip Kelly's new offense being instituted and the move to a 3-4 defense. But one such player the team is apparently interested in is Star Lotulelei, who could either play the nose or defensive end in the scheme.
Eagles have been nutty about getting players who fit the 3-4. Hear they like Star Lotulelei a lot to play all along the line, even at nose. Where they go—Geno Smith, pass rusher, best corner in the draft—I don't know, but my guess is pass rusher.
I've been mocking Lotulelei to the Eagles for several weeks now, so I obviously believe this selection would make a ton of sense. The Eagles need to solidify the trenches, and Lotulelei's versatility would be a huge plus.
Darrelle Revis, New York Jets
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No, Darrelle Revis hasn't been traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yet. And now we might have to wait a little bit longer before the deal goes down, via ESPN:
The New York Jets have put trade talks with the Tampa Bay Buccaneerson hold regarding Darrelle Revis, whose MRI confirmed Monday he's ahead of schedule in his rehab, sources have told ESPN.
As the Jets began voluntary workouts in the morning, sources told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio the team, before continuing to explore a trade, would examine its star cornerback for the first time since an October surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee.
Oh good, let's drag this out a little longer. Hooray!
So what type of compensation will the Jets be looking for? A steep one, according to Peter King ofSports Illustrated:
At 13, Tampa Bay is growing impatient with the Jets on this Darrelle Revis trade. What I'm hearing is the current discussion is first-, third- and fifth-round picks for Revis, though I don't know which picks are this year and which next.
That's a pretty steep price, but if the future is now for the Bucs, perhaps it is worth it. Expect this to go down in the next week or so.
Could Jets Target Ryan Nassib?
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There's no question the Jets should look for the quarterback of the future, what with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow as the team's top options. But will the Jets use the No. 9 pick to select a successor? Who might the team be interested in drafting?
From Rich Cimini of ESPN:
The Jets invited Geno Smith (West Virginia), EJ Manuel (Florida State) and Zac Dysert (Miami, Ohio) to Florham Park for pre-draft visits. It's unlikely they will pick a quarterback at No. 9, but it wouldn't be a shock if they choose one in Round 2 (No. 39 overall). I'm told they like Ryan Nassib (Syracuse), projected as a late one/early two. In fact, Mornhinweg and Nassib—a couple of guys with a Philly connection—dined together in Syracuse after his pro day.
If the Jets really like Nassib, however, they will probably have to move back into the first round to select him. I highly doubt he drops into the second round.