Rumor has it that Star Lotulelei won't fall past the Arizona Cardinals, who own the No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
This time of year, however, it's tough to believe anything. Teams are setting up smoke screens upon smoke screens in an effort to keep their intentions unknown, and they use the media to do the job for them.
With the draft literally days away, these are the latest rumors swirling around a few of the top players likely to be picked in Round 1 at the Radio City Music Hall on April 25.
Star Lotulelei Is in High Demand
Ever since Lotulelei was held out of workouts at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine with an apparent heart condition, his draft stock has been in question.
Since then, however, he's been cleared for football "without restriction" by Dr. Joseph Stehlik of the University of Utah Health Sciences Cardiology Division. This news has apparently caused Lotulelei's stock to climb back up into the top of Round 1, and there have been a few noteworthy rumors on that front.
SI.com's Peter King wrote in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column that the Philadelphia Eagles like Lotulelei "a lot to play all along the line, even at nose."
PhiladelphiaEagles.com's Adam Caplan doesn't see Lotulelei falling out of the top 10, though he didn't go as far as King to say he'd be selected by the Eagles:
Adam Caplan @caplannfl
Don't see it.RT @PlayTheDraft: Star Lotulelei close to falling out of the Top-10 @ http://t.co/dZdp0QRjzu ---> Down another 109 pts. today.4/17/2013, 7:13:49 PM
Should the Eagles go in another direction, though, and should the three top tackles be selected before the Arizona Cardinals make their pick, the big man won't likely fall past No. 7. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah said on Path to the Draft (via Rotoworld.com) that Lotulelei could be a "fallback option" for Arizona.
This is a lot of smoke about Lotulelei as a top-10 pick, and where there's this much smoke, there must be fire. He'll be one of the early selections in Round 1, of that you can be sure.
Luke Joeckel Will Be the First Player Selected In Round 1...or Will He?
We alluded to smokescreens earlier in this column, and there are conflicting rumors about who the Kansas City Chiefs will select with the No. 1 overall pick.
Two notable NFL insiders who are as plugged in as anyone in the industry can't agree on this topic. Both agree that the Chiefs will select an offensive tackle with the first pick, which confirms what SI.com's King reported in MMQB, but they can't agree on who it'll be.
NFL Network's Jeremiah believes Eric Fisher could be the man, saying there's "A lot of buzz out there":
Daniel Jeremiah @MoveTheSticks
I wouldn't be shocked if the Chiefs decided to take Eric Fisher with the #1 pick. A lot of buzz out there. #NFLDraft4/17/2013, 7:15:23 PM
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora is hearing different reports from his sources: "While this draft does have some alluring tackle prospects, the reality is Luke Joeckel will go first overall, sources said, and Eric Fisher will go in the top five."
There may not be a wrong answer here, at least as far as the Chiefs are concerned. Both young tackles are incredible prospects, and both of them will be instant starters wherever they land.
Only one more week until we find out which one will go No. 1.
Cornellius 'Tank' Carradine Could Be Headed to San Francisco
The San Francisco 49ers already feature one of the top defenses in the NFL and certainly a top-three front seven.
Aldon Smith is already one of the NFL's top pass-rushers, but imagine if he had a running mate like Carradine to play on the other side of the field. That's a scary thought for opposing offenses.
It's one that could become reality, too, if you believe the latest rumor.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported on Wednesday that the 49ers will be sending scouts to Carradine's pro day on April 20 and that he is a "legitimate possibility" for the 49ers in Round 1:
The 49ers will attend the Saturday workout of Florida State defensive lineman Tank Carradine, a legitimate possibility for the team in the first round. Carradine was leading the Seminoles in sacks (11) when he suffered an ACL injury that ended his season. He had surgery Dec. 6 and has not been able to run for scouts until now.
Barrows goes on to suggest that Carradine could become an eventual replacement for Justin Smith on the defensive line, but his skill set is more suited for pass-rushing on the edge.
Either way, he'd be another blue-chip defender for the 49ers—a team loaded with top-flight talent on that side of the ball.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.
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