Days grind slowly past as the 2014 NFL draft continues to rest firmly on the horizon. It's an excruciating time for fans, and one that certainly isn't helped by the wealth of rumors that continue to make the rounds.
In a given day, a single fan's team can be linked to the top player at a position of need, a potential trade up to grab an elite player or a trade down to maximize value in a deep class.
Talk about pulling at the heartstrings.
The current order is as follows, with some of the latest rumblings afterward.
|2||St. Louis Rams (from Redskins)|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|12||New York Giants|
|13||St. Louis Rams|
|18||New York Jets|
|21||Green Bay Packers|
|24||Kansas City Chiefs|
|22||San Diego Chargers|
|26||Cleveland Browns (from Colts)|
|27||New Orleans Saints|
|28||New England Patriots|
|29||San Francisco 49ers|
Dallas Cowboys Want to Jump Up?
Add Jerry World as a team that wants to potentially move up in the proceedings.
Currently entrenched at No. 16 overall, Dallas is not in a position to grab an elite prospect. According to ESPN's Calvin Watkins, the team wants to nab just that if the price is right:
"Multiple sources have said the Cowboys aren't trying to move up from No. 16 to No. 2. However, the sources did say the Cowboys would be willing to make a move up if it were able to obtain an elite player who can fill an immediate hole."
One can presume the Cowboys are serious about upgrading the defensive trenches, so two prospects come to mind in the top 10—defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and tackle Aaron Donald.
There's an outside chance Donald tumbles to No. 16, but Jones and Co. may not want to take that chance with Henry Melton gone. The Cowboys have to be in win-now mode given Tony Romo's health, so expect Jones to swing a deal.
Prediction: Cowboys trade into the top 10 and draft Aaron Donald.
Khalil Mack the Shock of the Draft?
Each year there is a stunner in the draft.
Fans have the foresight this year to properly nail down Buffalo's Khalil Mack as said stunner. His combination of elite athleticism and overall pro-ready game nixes the criticism that he comes from the MAC.
NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah goes as far as to say Mack is perhaps a better prospect than Clowney, per NFL.com's Daniel Kim:
I think Khalil Mack is just more of a violent football player. He's got more shock in his hands. And we talk about versatility, Khalil Mack has that interception production. I've seen him drop in zones, I've seen his instincts in coverage. I don't worry about him there.
According to Peter Schrager of Fox Sports, all of the above will have Mack off the board very early:
The Khalil Mack "hype" is real. I've heard he won't fall past no. 3.— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) April 11, 2014
This isn't a shock. Mack's in play for Houston at No. 1 overall as a pass-rushing outside linebacker. His versatility would give him a role in St. Louis at No. 2. Above all else, Mack is the type of pass-rusher the defense in Jacksonville desperately needs.
Expect him to land there and act as the face of the unit.
Prediction: Khalil Mack gets picked by Jacksonville at No. 3.
The Curious Case of the Philadelphia Eagles
It was pretty simple about a month ago—Philadelphia was going to add a top-tier defensive back in the first round and call it a day.
How quickly things change.
Now there's a void at wideout, and it sounds as if the team may be serious about grabbing one in the first round—and even trading up to grab a top guy like Mike Evans, per ESPN's Adam Caplan:
As scary as Mike Evans would be across from Jeremy Maclin, a trade up doesn't make a ton of sense.
If the Eagles are intent on getting a wideout, 2014 happens to provide the deepest class in recent years. There's no reason to give up a massive amount of resources for one player this year, especially with plenty of quality options on the roster already such as Maclin, running back Darren Sproles, Riley Cooper and tight end Zach Ertz.
Prediction: Eagles stand pat and take best wideout available.