NFL Rumors: Intriguing Storylines Heading Toward 2013 Draft

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NFL Rumors: Intriguing Storylines Heading Toward 2013 Draft
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The suspense continues to increase as the draft nears.

There's a little more than one week until the 2013 NFL draft, and pro football has plenty of rumors brewing in the background.

This is not surprising either, because the draft has inconsistent depth of talent across the positional spectrum: The offensive and defensive lines are the vastest by a wide margin.

As a result, it will be one intriguing draft to say the least. As we get closer to draft day, here are a few storylines to closely monitor before the clock begins in Round 1.

 

AFC West Shake-Ups

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs are reportedly interested in trading out of the No. 1 overall pick, according to Mike Freeman of CBS Sports:

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."

What does K.C. do at No. 1 overall?

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KC is certainly facing a tough decision here. At the same time, it's quite fortunate to hold the No. 1 pick in a draft overloaded with highly talented offensive linemen. So, if the Chiefs remain at the top spot expect either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher to get the call.

Should the Chiefs find a trade partner, well, it's obviously going to cost that team quite a bit. Factor in the number of linemen to choose from (offense or defense) and Kansas City actually moving back would be surprising.

Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos need a standout running back. Mike Klis of the Denver Post wrote of which positions we can anticipate the Broncos targeting in Round 1:

The Broncos are expected to make their first pick, which is not scheduled to happen until No. 28, from one of three positions: cornerback, defensive line and running back.

Given the departure of Elvis Dumervil to the Baltimore Ravens, as Klis reported in late March, a defensive end seems more likely for Denver, though. Not only are there better overall prospects at the position as opposed to running backs, but the Broncos took San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman in 2012.

In addition, the strongest of ball-carrier talent in this draft resides during the second and third rounds. Reaching for a back in Round 1 is simply too much of a risk by comparison.


Keep an Eye on Miami and Cleveland

The Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns share something in common, but perhaps it's just coincidental. Regardless, it's something to watch for as the draft nears.

First, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com tweeted this of Miami's potential on trading up:

Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post also mentioned the interest of Oklahoma's Lane Johnson:

Second, Peter King of Sports Illustrated mentioned Cleveland's aspirations on Monday:

Another team that wants to trade out badly. The Browns might figure they can trade down a few spots and still get Geno Smith if that's who they want; maybe one of the tackle-loving teams -- Buffalo, San Diego, Miami -- will figure if Joeckel and Fisher are gone here, the only way to get Lane Johnson is to move ahead of Arizona at seven

The Browns are in the perfect spot for Miami, because a deal here would propel the Dolphins right behind Detroit. By the same token, Miami avoids giving up more since a deal with Kansas City would take a lot.

As for Cleveland, this decision must hold off until it goes on the clock. Why? The Browns desperately need a cornerback to pair with Joe Haden, and Dee Milliner is the perfect prospect. And if Milliner happens to be available at No. 6, Cleveland has to seize the opportunity.

Should Milliner already be off the board, then looking to trade back is a good idea. No other corner is worthy of a top-five selection.

 

San Francisco Looking to Bolster Passing Game?

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Stretching defenses downfield more often in 2013 would become a competitive advantage for the San Francisco 49ers. Peter King also wrote  of this on Monday:

Coach Jim Harbaugh has been at a high number of receiver workouts, I'm told. "This isn't about 2013 for the Niners,'' one GM told me. "Harbaugh knows he'll be there for a while. They just lost Randy Moss, and Anquan Boldin is there for a year, and they don't know about [2012 first-round pick] A.J. Jenkins [out of Illinois]. Receiver's very logical for them there.''

A receiver is a great move for San Francisco at the back end of Round 1. That said, it also depends on which targets remain available. Playmakers like DeAndre Hopkins and Cordarrelle Patterson fit nicely, but it's a slim chance that either lasts to No. 31 overall.

What should the 49ers do at No. 31 overall?

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Depending on how badly the 49ers want a receiver, though, will have an impact on the decision. Certainly trading up increases the odds of landing Hopkins or Patterson, but others capable of making a strong impact are California's Keenan Allen, Baylor's Terrance Williams and Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton.

In short, the 'Niners wouldn't have to trade up for either of them—maybe Allen—or could snag Williams or Patton on Day 2. If anything, the 49ers need a safety to help limit the big plays that exposed their coverage during Super Bowl XLVII.

Plus with Dashon Goldson jumping ship to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com), going safety in the first round is the most logical selection.

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