The NFL draft is moments away from beginning, and rumors that would shake up the first round are flying around. As always with draft rumors, these must be taken with a grain of salt, as teams are trying to alter perception of the round.
The 2013 draft class has a lack of elite talent but is very deep overall. That should lead to various trades, with teams looking to get as much value as possible during the first round. The numerous trades expected should lead to some interesting surprises.
Here is the latest buzz heading into the first round.
Eric Fisher at No. 1
The latest rumors circulating just prior to the draft are that the Chiefs will go with offensive tackle Eric Fisher over Luke Joeckel if they keep the pick.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora broke the news:
Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora
While KC has not informed Eric Fisher he is the #1 pick, they intend to take him. Always the (slight) chance of a trade, otherwise its him4/25/2013, 10:27:21 PM
The pick comes with an element of surprise, as many saw Joeckel as the better prospect throughout the draft process. Fisher's impressive performance at the Senior Bowl and the combine seemed to boost his draft stock.
Fisher is considered the nastier and more athletic prospect, despite playing at a smaller school. This pick doesn't change much in the top of the draft other than teams having to switch out Fisher for Joeckel.
San Francisco 49ers set to move up
The San Francisco 49ers are apparently looking to turn their massive amount of draft picks into a top 15 pick in the draft.
ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted out the 49ers' intentions:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Increasing chatter of SF coming up into top 15. 49ers looking to strengthen an already tough defense.4/25/2013, 2:24:12 PM
Moving up certainly makes sense for the 49ers. With double-digit draft picks, they won't be able to add that many players to their roster. It makes more sense to package some of those picks to improve their standing in the first round.
The 49ers could be looking to add a defensive tackle or a safety with the pick. Sheldon Richardson could be an attractive option on the defensive line, while Kenny Vaccaro could be a great addition to their secondary.
Tavon Austin attracting tons of attention
Tavon Austin has shot up draft boards in the weeks leading up to the draft. The electric, playmaking wide receiver could even go in the top 10.
Adam Schefter also had this to say about Austin:
NFL on ESPN @ESPNNFL
“There’s no way he’s going to get out of the top 10 picks today. He’s just created too much excitement.” - @AdamSchefter on Tavon Austin4/25/2013, 10:22:45 PM
The Jets are a reasonable destination for Austin, as they need to add speed to improve their offense. With the ninth pick in the draft, it could come down to them taking Austin within the top 10. The Buffalo Bills could be another team interested in adding the diminutive speedster. With plenty of teams likely looking to trade down from the top 10, a team could trade up to grab Austin.
In terms of teams trading up, the Rams could be an option. With two first-round picks, the Rams could afford to move up by sacrificing some mid-round picks. Drafting Austin would be a huge addition to the Rams offense and help to get the most out of quarterback Sam Bradford.