OLB Ray cited for pot possession … Missouri OLB Shane Ray, a first round prospect for the 2015 draft, reportedly was cited earlier today on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. According to the police report Ray was originally pulled over for speeding and a lane violation when the pot was discovered. If nothing else it falls in the ‘Man, how stupid can you be!’ for being found with the stuff less than 4 days before the draft, especially given that Ray’s grade may already have been slipping because of a nagging toe injury.
Draft buzz update … With the draft now just over 75 hours away, most NFL teams are locked away in their respective war rooms across the country putting final touches on their 2015 draft plans, however, there is just enough buzz out there to justify an update to the Draft Buzz file.
Two more team mocks for the price of one … With less than 4 days to go until the start of the 2015 draft and GBN Associate Editor Pigskins Paul Guillemette is still grinding out team mocks including Houston and Philadelphia this afternoon.
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Final positional rankings posted … With less than 4 days to go until the 2015 draft, the final GBN positional rankings have all been tweaked and posted. The schedule is for us to then have our final Big Board ranking of the top 300+ prospects posted on Tuesday morning. For those wish to download any of these files for printing, a PDF function has been added to each file. They can also be printed off the original page although we recommend starting the printing on page 2. However, if anyone does run into issues with printing etc. please let us know so we can try and tweak the system.
Knee injury clouds Boise State RB grade … There have been several reports including one earlier today by Bob McGinn of Journal-Sentinel who has some of the best sources in the business, that several teams have either have either removed Boise State RB Jay Ajayi from their boards entirely of have have backed way off because of concerns about an old knee injury. Ajayi suffered a serious ACL injury and while he came back and had a very good career with Broncos there are real concerns about how it will hold up to the rigors of an NFL season.
Morning update … Almost mercifully, it does not appear there is much new on trade talks involving the first couple of picks at this week’s draft, however, there are a few items of interest further on down the board in this morning’s issue of the Draft Buzz file.
Trade rumors blowing … With less than a week to go before the start of the 2015 draft the NFL rumors of possible trades are starting to pick up steam. In fact we have been suggesting for several weeks now that no one should be shocked if in the end Philadelphia, Cleveland and Tennessee get together on some kind of three-way deal that would see the Eagles end up with Oregon QB Marcus Mariota with the second pick overall, the Browns get veteran QB Sam Bradford from the Eagles, while the rebuilding Titans get a passel of picks to start their rebuilding project under 2nd year QB Zach Mettenberger. And CBS Sports is reporting this hour about a rumored trade between the three that would go somewhat as follows: the Eagles trade Bradford to Cleveland for the 19th pick, the pick the Browns reportedly offered St. Louis for Bradford before he was shipped to Philadelphia and then the Eagles would send the 19th and 20th picks along with DT Fletcher Cox and MLB Mychal Kendricks to Tennessee for the #2 pick, which they would use to take Mariota. We won’t know for a few days yet whether there is any truth to the rumor, but the fact that actual names of players are included makes it at least noteworthy at this point and suggests that indeed something may be afoot. Stay tuned!
Jets to gauge trade up scenarios … NFL G.M.s don’t usually say much of anything at their pre-draft media availability sessions, but new Jets’ general manager Mike Maccagnan had a few nuggets when he took to the podium earlier, In particular, Maccagnan said that the Jets, who have the 6th pick in this year’s opening round, were “going to reach out to every team ahead of us to kind of just gauge to get a value on what they’re looking for in compensation.” The Jets, of course, need a quarterback, and have been mentioned as a possible suitor in a trade to acquire either of Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, the top two prospects at the position this year, both of whom are expected to be gone when the Jets finally get on the clock. Maccagnan stressed though that that does not necessarily mean that the Jets will be moving up, but that “you hear what the market value is basically, and then what you do is see what unfolds with the first few picks and who is available. We’ll have that discussion when we get to the draft if we want to move up.” Maccagnan added, though, that the Jets could also move down and in fact he was philosophically pre-disposed to try and stockpile picks rather than add one just player. Indeed, if the Jets aren’t able to make a move up to grab one of the QBs, they may in fcat be sorely tempted by any trade down offers as they enter the draft with just 6 picks.
OLB Ray gets better second opinion … What do they always recommend if one has a difficult medical problem: Get a second opinion! That’s the case for Missouri OLB Shane Ray, a top 10-15 prospect for the 2015 draft, who has had a nagging toe injury that an earlier report suggested could require surgery that would sideline him for an extended period and needless to say significantly impact his status for next week’s draft. According to a report by NFL.com, though, Ray got a second opinion and the follow-up recommendation was that he need not need surgery, but that rest was required. And that would be a big deal for Ray as the rehab timetable for surgery was anywhere from 3-5 months which could make his availability for the start of the season somewhat questionable whereas if rest is the cure he could actually be ready to participate in team OTAs next month. Ray suffered the injury at the Citrus Bowl last season and it prevented him from running at combine in February. Ray did run at Missouri’s pro day last month when he posted a decent 4.64 time, but didn’t look particularly nimble in the agility drills. Even if Ray does not require surgery teams may be scared off at the draft because toe injuries can be tricky. And that could make it still problematic for Ray whose stock had already taken a few hits after his less than overwhelming pro day work out.
Dolphins mocked … GBN associate editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette continues his series of team mock drafts today with the Miami Dolphins.
Under the radar … Even with just a week to go until the start of the 2015 draft the search for sleepers goes on and GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has a list of guys who probably aren’t all that well known nationally but have definitely caught the attention of pro scouts.
More Mariota to Philly talk; new twist in ‘L’affaire pattes du crabbe,’ hilite daily roundup … It was the first rumor with legs in this year’s draft cycle and while it has kind of drifted into the background in recent weeks speculation that Philadelphia, and head coach and G.M. Chip Kelly in particular, are still thinking seriously about trying to acquire Oregon QB Marcus Mariota in this year’s draft just won’t go away. And that speculation has gotten some new life in the past day or so with news that the Eagles have not had any meaningful discussion with QB Sam Bradford, whom Philadelphia acquired in a trade with St. Louis earlier this year. The assumption is that if the Eagles were indeed committed to Bradford, who has only one year left on his contract, they would have entered some kind of talks with him about an extension. On the other hand, if Bradford was ultimately going to play elsewhere, then presumably any new team would want to work their own arrangement. Of course, it was always a bit of a long-shot that the Eagles would ever be able to get from the 20th pick overall to the 2nd where they would be almost guaranteed getting Mariota, who played for Kelly when he coached at Oregon, although the one scenario that would appear to work for just about everybody would be for Cleveland to acquire the 2nd pick from Tennessee for the 12th and 19th picks and then send #2 to Philadelphia for Bradford and the 20th pick … Former Florida State Jameis Winston, who is projected to be the first player selected this year, added a new twist to the incident in which he was arrested for allegedly stealing $30 or so worth of crab legs from a local grocery when he said that a store employee had actually given him permission to take whatever food he wanted given his celebrity. And while that may get Winston off the hook for stealing, its not quite in the clear on that one as it is also a violation of NCAA rules for athletes to accept improper benefits like free crab legs. No word yet though whether the NCAA is considering taking away the Seminoles’ 2013 national championship over the report, but no doubt they are investigating. Meanwhile, it now appears that Winston will not make a pre-draft visit with the Jets in New York after all. The Jets had originally hoped to hold a private workout with Winston, but that never happened because of scheduling conflicts – which in itself was a little hard to believe – and now his visit with the Jets is reportedly off too. Hard to know what it means other than it certainly doesn’t look like Winston is destined to play for the Jets, although it is interesting in the sense that the Jets would appear to have been the only team that could have reasonably traded up to the #1 pick to get Winston … The fact that the NFL has suspended Dallas DE Greg Hardy for the first ten games of the upcoming season may have thrown a bit of a wrench into the Cowboys’ draft plans. Dallas had hoped that Hardy might only be suspended for 4-6 games and they would have him for the better part of the upcoming season. And with nobody else at the position, Dallas may have to invest another early pick on the position to get them over the hump this coming fall, although its still unlikely the Cowboys would use their first rounder on a DE. Speaking of the Cowboys, they remain the favorite to ultimately land Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson who has been re-instated by the league. Peterson has made it clear he does not want to return to the Vikings and would prefer to finish out his career in his hometown. And after losing DeMarco Murray to Philadelphia the Cowboys have to be very interested, but at what cost for a 30-year old RB with a huge cap hit. Dallas, though, is not the only team interested in acquiring Peterson though as Arizona, Oakland and Baltimore have also reportedly at least kicked the tires on a possible deal … With a week to go before the draft, players are still being moved around draft boards around boards around the league. A couple of defensive linemen who appear to be gaining traction are Florida State DE Mario Edwards, who has impressed at pre-draft workouts after dropping some weight this off-season, and Clemson DT Grady Jarrett. Neither guy is likely to be a first rounder next week, but neither may have to wait all that long on the second day to hear their name called …
ONE WEEK TO GO !!! Hard to believe that the long wait is almost over, but the 2015 draft starts one week today. Hang in there guys!!
GBN on the air … ‘The’ Great Blue North ‘Blog Radio’ Draft Report Show goes in a special time slot at 8 PM ET later tonight on blog radio; and with the draft now just 7 days away the show will be extended to 90 minutes. Join host Eric Lamb and GBN analysts Colin Lindsay and Pigskin Paul Guillemette, along with our special guests as we talk about the latest drafted related buzz on Blog Talk Radio. Fans can also call the show with questions or comments at 1-347-826-7213.
Chargers express support for Rivers, albeit tepidly … The NFL has been abuzz these past couple of weeks over rumors that San Diego could try and trade star QB Philip Rivers as part of a deal to move up and select Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. And Chargers’ G.M. Tom Telesco did not do much to quash those rumors at his pre-draft presser earlier today. Telesco did say that Rivers ‘is our quarterback, and it is our plan and intent that he is our quarterback well into the future.” So far so good, but Telesco was somehat more evasive when asked about the possibility of trading Rivers and acquiring Mariota. Asked if he’s talked to Tennessee about a trade, for example, Telesco said he was “going to leave that go.” Telesco also basically responded ‘no comment’ when asked whether the Chargers had actually made a concrete offer to Tennessee for the #2 pick and whether Rivers and/or his agent have been told that he won’t be traded. , Telesco said: “All discussions with players and agents really stay between us, but I think I have been pretty clear with what our thoughts are on Philip.” Telesco also said the Chargers were simply doing their due diligence when they by went to Eugene earlier this month to work out Mariota privately, presumably just in case he dropped all the way to their current pick at #17. While it would appear to be almost unthinkable that the Chargers w0uld ever consider trading the face of the franchise while still in his prime, but Rivers, who has only one year left on his contract, has publicly expressed reservations about signing a long-term deal if the franchise were to move to Los Angeles.
Dolphins add top vet WR … Miami has reportedly come to terms with veteran WR Greg Jennings, one of the top free agents still left on the market, to a 2-year, $8M deal. Jennings had played for Green Bay and Minnesota during a productive 9-year NFL career to date. In Miami he will join a receiver corps that also includes emerging young stars in Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills. The Dolphins, who have the 14th pick in this year’s draft, had been thought to be seriously considering a wideout with their #1 pick, but with the top prospects at the position expected to be off the board before the mid-way point of the opening round could be freed up to address other concerns at DT, OG and corner.
Two more for the price of one! Team-by-team mocks: Cleveland and Washington … Over the course of the final week or so until the 2015 draft, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette will continue taking a slightly different tack on the concept of the mock draft by essentially doing one for as many teams as possible including the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns, the latter of which of course has those two first round picks third year, which and are featured in this edition. Doing it this way rather than the more traditional pick-by-pick method provides the opportunity o go into a little more detail on the options that the respective team has in different rounds.
Pretty quiet on NFL draft front … With just over a week to go until the start of the 2015 draft, its pretty quiet around the NFL as teams hunker down in their war rooms putting the final touches on their draft boards. The big mystery which may not be answered until around 8:15 PM ET on April 30th is whether any team trades up into the top 5 or so picks to acquire Oregon QB Marcus Mariota with Cleveland, which has two picks in the opening round including the 12th and 19th selections, one of the leading possibilities for a move up. And while Browns’ head coach Mike Pettine appears to have fielded more questions about Johnny Manziel’s immediate football future at his pre-draft presser yesterday, he didn’t throw any cold water on the notion that the Browns might move up when he answered simply ‘Sure, why not!’ when asked whether the Browns were still open to trading up for Mariota. The implication from Pettine, though, was that nothing was likely to happen until teams actually get on the clock next week. Stay tuned. And speaking of Manziel, here’s nice piece on how teams try and evaluate player’s real passion for the game in their pre-draft evaluations. Meanwhile, no position appears to draw more diverse reactions from pro scouts this year that the offensive line and the Florida Times-Union has a piece on the some of the questions along the offensive line this year.
Bucs know top pick; ain’t sayin’ though … This year’s draft is still ten days away, but Tampa Bay G.M. said at a pre-draft presser earlier today that the Buccaneers know which player they will be selecting with the first pick overall. In fact, Licht hinted that the Bucs have pretty well known since the combine who was going to be their guy. Licht also added, though, that while the Buccaneers know who the pick will be they do not intend to open negotiations with their choice until after the draft; he also said that the Buccaneers were also likely use the majority of their allotted time once they get on the clock on the 30th just in case “somebody offers you something that you can’t refuse”. What it all likely means is that Tampa Bay has indeed settled on their pick – almost assuredly Florida State QB Jameis Winston – they’d be more than happy to trade it away for a package of picks. And while its unlikely any other team would trade up to get Winston given all his off-field isues, with as many as a half dozen teams intrigued by the idea of moving up for Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, the Buccaneers may be hoping that one of those teams decides to take chance out of the equation of trying to acquire the second pick from Tennessee and makes an offer for the top pick.
He’s back !!! …. Philadelphia has reportedly signed QB Tim Tebow to what is believed to be a 1-year deal. Tebow, one of the great players in college football history at Florida, was a surprise late first round pick by Denver in 2010 and also had NFL stops at New England and New York with the Jets, but was never able to consistently duplicate his college success in the pros. No word, though, whether the acquisition of Tebow will impact any thoughts the Eagles might have about trading up in the 2015 draft in order to try and acquire Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.