Late Tuesday draft buzz

April 25, 2017

With the draft now less than 48 hours away, it is still relatively quiet around the NFL, but there is a little bit of buzz starting to heat up. In fact, about the only storyline around the league the past week or so was that Cleveland, which was reportedly split on whether to take either DE Myles Garrett or QB Mitch Trubisky with the first pick overall, was working to try and trade back up into the top 10 from the 12th pick to grab Trubisky if, as expected, they take Garrett at #1. The NFL Network added some fuel to that speculation with a report from NFL analyst Michael Silver which indicated that the Browns have had discussions about trading up from the 12th spot with at least three of the other 7 teams with top 8 picks. Silver speculated that the three teams were Tennessee (a #5), the Jets at #6 and Carolina at #8. First, we would have thought that the Browns would actually have had pretty serious talks with all 7 teams picking right after them; and while the Titans and Jets would make a lot of sense, it just seems to us that Carolina would be a little late to ensure getting Trubisky …

In fact, one other story that has resurfaced in the past few hours is that Carolina is actually much more interested in trying to trade up to the #2 spot with San Francisco. What isn’t as clear is exactly who the Panthers would be moving up to target. The original story several weeks ago was that the Panthers were interested in DE Solomon Thomas, but more recent reports suggest it might be for RB Leonard Fournette, although Thomas is still in the mix and would actually make more sense. Take your pick!! …

Figure that that there is a better than even chance that CB Gareon Conley, who is reportedly under investigation by Cleveland for an alleged sexual assault earlier this month, could suffer the same fate as former LSU G/T La’el Collins suffered two years ago when he was completely passed over at the 2015 draft after it was reported that he was a ‘person of interest’ in the murder of an ex-girlfriend. In the end nothing came of it for Collins, but it was too late for him to be drafted. Whether Conley falls all the way out of the draft remains to be seen, but its unlikely he’s going to be taken in the top half of the opening round as had been projected up until today. And that could be a bit problematic for teams picking in the middle of the first round who are looking for help at CB. Conley was being considered as the #2 CB in this draft behind Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore and there is a drop-off into the 20s for the next tier of corners. There is a similar story for Florida DT Caleb Brantley. Brantley was a second day prospect until he was charged with assaulting a woman earlier this month and there is a growing buzz that no one should be totally surprised if he isn’t drafted at all … On the other hand, while most teams boards are pretty well set, one guy who appears to be maybe making a late first-round push is USC CB Adoree Jackson.