The 2014 NFL draft is arguably the biggest league event of the year outside of the Super Bowl, and as such, there's news aplenty just over 24 hours away from the onset of Round 1.
Some of the draft's biggest names—Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney and Teddy Bridgewater—seem to find their names in new rumors each day. All three have been linked to the No. 1 overall pick at various times during the offseason, and it's still quite likely that one of the three will end up there.
Then the question is about where everyone else will land.
It's hard to keep track of the latest goings on, but here's everything you need to know as of now.
Buffalo Wants to Trade Up…to the Top
The Buffalo Bills currently own the No. 9 pick in the draft, but that could change within the next 24 hours. Mike Florio of NBC Sports is reporting that the Bills are considering trading up to either the No. 1 or No. 2 pick.
Presumably, this would make their targets either Clowney or offensive tackle Greg Robinson. Florio broke down the appeal of both players for the Bills:
Clowney would be installed as the bookend to Mario Williams in Jim Schwartz’s 4-3 defense, giving the Bills a potentially dominant pass rush, especially with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus creating havoc in the middle.
Robinson, conversely, would instantly help the offense produce more yardage and points in a pass-happy league.Some think the Bills would be willing to dangle receiver Stevie Johnson as part of a trade package, but if the goal is (as it should be) to win now, it wouldn’t make sense to shuffle him out of Buffalo.
Moving up for Clowney is a no-brainer. Considering he's one of the only presumed can't-miss prospects available, the Bills would do well to trade up and grab him. Moving up for Robinson is interesting, though.
Yes, Robinson is ahead of Jake Matthews, Zack Martin and Taylor Lewan on the offensive line, but I don't think he's worth jeopardizing the future for by trading an excess of picks. The No. 9 pick could still yield them Martin or Lewan (or Matthews, if he falls). Any of those three have the potential to play at the same level as Robinson.
It will be interesting to see what happens.
Cleveland Wants Bridgewater
The Cleveland Browns are in desperate need of a quarterback, and it's assumed that either their No. 4 or No. 26 pick will be used to take one. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports that it will probably be the No. 26 pick, and it will probably be Teddy Bridgewater:
Browns general manager Ray Farmer is enamored with former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and will strongly consider him at No. 26, league sources have told cleveland.com.
The sources said Farmer has had a fascination with Bridgewater since last fall, and would like to land him at No. 26. The Browns have even looked into trading up from No. 26 to get Bridgewater, one source said.
Bridgewater was falling down draft boards recently, but it looks as if the Browns don't want to risk another team taking him before they get to pick at No. 26. The Arizona Cardinals (No. 20) and the Cincinnati Bengals (No. 24) could potentially be in the market for a quarterback, so perhaps the Browns will look to move in front of both those teams.
“What Teddy Bridgewater has is toughness. I saw this kid get smashed against Florida and come right back.”-Jon Gruden pic.twitter.com/POXSGeWjQb— ESPN Monday Night (@ESPNMondayNight) May 7, 2014
If the No. 4 pick is used on a receiver like Sammy Watkins, then Cleveland should be in good position heading into the season. With Bridgewater throwing to Watkins, Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, the sky is the limit for that offense.
Johnny Football Doesn't Want to Play in Jacksonville or Houston
Johnny Manziel can't control his fate on draft night, but it appears as if he's trying to persuade a couple of teams to not pick him. Don Banks of SI.com reports that Manziel's family doesn't want him to go to the Houston Texans, and also that Manziel himself isn't a fan of Jacksonville:
Their thinking is that Manziel will find it far easier to distance himself from his "Johnny Football'' persona and focus completely on football if he's not near the circle of peers who comprised his college-era partying crowd. His family is said to be in favor of anywhere but Houston, but I'd have to think Dallas would pose the same set of complications in their view.
I've also heard that Manziel himself isn't wild about the idea of landing in Jacksonville, one of the NFL's smaller markets, and that the Jaguars would not be his first choice of employers. It's not a preference based on people, only location.
Many mocks, including my most recent one, had Manziel going at No. 3 to Jacksonville. They have a need for a quarterback and could probably hand him the reins from day one. It's an ideal situation for him, especially when you consider that the team is in its second year of rebuilding. In theory, they'll be competing soon.
Houston is a great place for Manziel considering the talent around him. The Texans boast a top defense, a playmaking wideout in Andre Johnson and a first-year head coach looking for a quarterback to grow with.
It'll be interesting to see if these rumors impact his standing on draft day.