Lying season. Silly season. Call this time in the NFL whatever you want, but with the 2014 NFL draft being pushed back to May 8, this year's leadup to it is sure to be absurd.
Whether it's the ever-changing quarterback carousel with the top three constantly shifting around or teams looking to trade up, down and all around, this year's draft is setting up to be a memorable one no matter where some of the top prospects fall.
And with a plethora of elite players being scrutinized and picked apart each day, more rumors are released every week. Even names like Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel, who are projected by many to go at the top of the draft, aren't safe from the scrutiny.
Then there are the teams that appear to be anything but decisive about their draft decisions. Both the Houston Texans and St. Louis Rams were rumored to be moving down earlier in the offseason, while a few teams might be looking to scale up the board to get the player they want.
Here's a look at some of the latest rumors and what they could mean for each player or franchise.
Teddy Taking a Tumble
Oh, Teddy Bridgewater. After an extremely successful tenure with the Louisville Cardinals, Bridgewater apparently now has too small of a frame, is too inaccurate and could be a second-round pick.
Wait, Bridgewater—a second-rounder? That's now what NFL scouts are now saying, according to John Middlekauff of 95.7 The Game:
More NFL people I talk with the more I think Bridgewater falls to the 2nd round— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) April 4, 2014
So maybe pro days really do matter.
Bridgewater came out at Louisville's pro day without gloves to prove that he could get the job done without them, but he fell flat on his face. He looked befuddled during the process and ultimately hurt his draft stock in the process.
ESPN’s Todd McShay provided his thoughts on Bridgewater’s performance (via ESPN.com's Michael DiRocco):
In coming to these pro day workouts for 14-15 years, the vast majority of them, almost all of them, the QB ends up outperforming what you see on tape. There's no defense. There's no pass rush. You're in shorts and a T-shirt and it's a scripted workout that you've been working on for 30-40 days with your wide receiver.
So to see Bridgewater come out here today and be the exception to the rule ... this is a rare occurrence for a QB in his pro day, who is not nearly as efficient and effective when he is when studying his tape.
Private workouts are still taking place, so there's really no confirmation that any teams aren't high on the former No. 1 quarterback prospect. Teams like the Cleveland Browns have two selections in the first round, so if he slides back to No. 26, they could give the former Louisville signal-caller a chance.
With plenty of time still left in the process, Bridgewater's stock could fluctuate again. Or, as our next rumor points out, there might just be more teams looking for a franchise quarterback like Bridgewater.
Surprise Teams Looking for Quarterbacks
There are several franchises known to be looking for the next superstar quarterback. Teams like the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans could be going after a signal-caller, but the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns need a quarterback for the future.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com believes that the Jags and Browns are definitely looking for a new franchise player behind center but is also hearing talks about other franchises looking at signal-callers in the 2014 class, per Marc Sessler of NFL.com:
Rapoport named Tampa Bay as one team prepared to dial up a signal-caller at No. 7 after the Buccaneers spent the pre-draft process hosting a laundry list of top prospects at the position.
Rapoport also cited Arizona as a candidate to pick an heir apparent to Carson Palmer at No. 20. That aligns with the latest mock draft from NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah, who projects the Cardinals to select Fresno State's Derek Carr.
What could also factor into this decision is what players are ultimately left at either of those picks. Four of the top five teams with draft picks might be looking at quarterbacks, the remaining prospects might be worth waiting until the second or even third round.
Names like Zach Mettenberger and A.J. McCarron likely won't rise up into the first round. But if Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel or even Derek Carr are still on the board, it just might be enticing enough for one of those surprise teams to pull the trigger.
Lions Leaning Toward Trading Up
After narrowly missing out on the playoffs in 2013, the Detroit Lions still ended up with a great draft pick at No. 10 in May.
But with a need at a few different positions, the already great offense in Detroit might be looking to move up to grab one of the most talented players in the class. Rapoport explains the Lions' line of thought in moving up, per Sessler:
Let's start in Detroit, where the Lions loom as candidates to trade into the top five for one of the draft's top prospects, Rapoport said.
One potential target? Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who staged a pre-draft visit with the team Tuesday. Vice chairman Bill Ford Jr. and Lions receivers Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate were on hand to greet the young pass-catcher, who figures to be long gone if Detroit stays at No. 10. With the Lions also linked to Texas A&M's Mike Evans, this front office appears hell-bent on adding a top-flight receiver to the mix come May.
Just step back and imagine that tandem for a second: Sammy Watkins and Calvin Johnson. Megatron and his minion. Not only would that make the Lions one of the deadliest receiving corps in the NFL, but throw Golden Tate in the slot, and Matthew Stafford has enough talent to outgun any NFC North defense.
While mock drafts are somewhat of a dream world where anything can happen, Will Brinson of CBS Sports explains a scenario in which the Lions trade up with the St. Louis Rams to get the explosive wide receiver.
With a deep receiver class, the Lions might also get to wait and see if Mike Evans falls into their lap. But if Detroit does make a deal happen, it would instantly be a contender with the Green Bay Packers for the division crown.
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