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Breaking Down the Latest 2014 NFL Draft Rumors, Speculation

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The Latest Rumors You Need to Know About

Sam
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With just over two months until it all begins, the 2014 NFL Draft is seeing its fair share of speculation and rumors beginning to swirl. Especially with the 2014 NFL Combine in the rearview mirror, the stock of certain players is rising and dropping faster than anyone can keep track of – or at least, according to the media.

I’m here to help you sort out some of the biggest rumors finding their way around the NFL right now.

While many rumors from around the NFL start as facts, a good chunk of them are twisted and molded to be what the media wants them to be. All it takes is one wayward writer to say that Jadeveon Clowney will fall out of the Top 10 for folks everywhere to begin fueling the fire. It’s part of why fans everywhere are surprised every year when certain hyped players fall in the draft. Put simply, NFL teams value players much differently than the media does.

Sometimes, however, there is some truth to rumors. Whether it’s real words heard from an NFL executive's mouth or scouts who have serious concerns about a particular prospect, rumors can occasionally reflect reality. More often than not, though, that isn’t quite the case.

Don’t fret – I’ve got you covered. With an objective view and plenty of unbiased NFL Draft experience, I’ll give you a realistic look at what’s going on in the draft world.

Here’s a look at the latest rumors and speculation surrounding the NFL Draft and my thoughts on what’s really going on.

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Will Teddy Bridgewater Fall Out of the Top 10?

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Seems like a rather crazy idea, right? Well not to former NFL scout John Middlekauff, who tweeted a couple weeks ago that he “wouldn’t be shocked to see [Bridgewater] drop out of the top 10.” I, on the other hand, can’t fathom a situation where the Louisville gunslinger gets past the Minnesota Vikings at No. 8. With so many quarterback-needy teams at the top, there’s simply no way Bridgewater, this class’ most NFL-ready passer, falls out of the Top 10.

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Has Aaron Donald Worked His Way Into the Top 20?

Donald
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

If you paid any attention to the Combine, you know that Donald was one of the top standouts regardless of position. Not only did he post amazing measurable, but looked good in positional drills and displayed the tremendous athleticism you can’t help but notice when you put on Donald’s tape. One of the teams to take notice of Donald’s recent surge up draft boards is the Dallas Cowboys, who, according to TFY Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline, are considering Donald as an option for their first-round pick. I’m a huge fan of the Pitt product, and I don’t think his “small frame” should keep him from getting the attention his talent deserves.

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Is Khalil Mack a Top 5 Pick?

Mack
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll start by saying yes. If we’re basing this off of natural talent and upside, there’s no denying that Mack should be a Top 5 pick. Not only was he a star for a subpar team, but he showed up against top competition and consistently made highlight plays. Several sources from around the league see Mack as one of the best players in the 2014 class – he’s Mike Mayock’s No. 1 prospect – and I have no reason to disagree with them.

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Johnny Manziel Already a Better Passer Than Russell Wilson?

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According to one NFL scout, Johnny Football is “a better passer than the guy who won the Super Bowl.” Now I’m no NFL scout, but that seems like one of the boldest – and frankly, stupidest – statements I’ve heard throughout the pre-draft process. We’re already hearing that a polar prospect like Manziel is better than Wilson, one of the top up-and-coming quarterbacks in the league who recently helped his team to a huge Super Bowl victory? If he was going for the sensationalist approach, he nailed it.

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Will Michael Sam Go Undrafted?

Sam
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Following a disappointing Combine performance, there’s been some speculation that Sam could go undrafted when May finally rolls around. According to NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, if he doesn’t do better during his Pro Day, Sam could be a “seventh-round pick, possibly even going undrafted.” While it seems like an overreaction, his Combine performance really was underwhelming. The tape shows more than a late-round prospect, but his poor pre-draft showing combined with his recent announcement regarding his sexual orientation could lead several teams to stray away from the Missouri defensive end.

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Is Blake Bortles the Best Quarterback of the Bunch?

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When it comes to this quarterback class, determining the top prospect is more based on personal preference than talent and potential. Well, if you ask NFL Films’ Greg Cosell, he’d tell you that Bortles is the class’ top passer, citing his pocket passer qualities and ability to extend plays. As you read earlier, I’m a firm believe that Bridgewater is still the best quarterback available. Bortles, however, is quite an intriguing prospect who definitely has the tools – athleticism, arm strength, leadership – to develop into a quality starter. The best quarterback of 2014, though? Maybe not.

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Who Are the Texans Targeting at No. 1?

Clowney
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More than likely, we won’t find out until the night of May 8 who the No. 1 pick will be. At least according to rumors, the Texans have been wavering for the past few months on who will be their guy. The latest word coming out of the rumor mill is that Houston has turned their attention back to Jadeveon Clowney, who turned in a sensational Combine performance. However, plugged-in Texans beat writer John McClain continues to insist the team will go quarterback with the first pick. It seems like what they decide to do at No. 1 will be a mystery for the next two months. Just remember, rumors are rumors.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.