The 15 Latest 2014 NFL Draft Rumors You Need to Know

The Latest Rumors Surrounding the 2014 NFL Draft

Tom Savage
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

At this time of the year, the rumor mill is churning out nonsense left and right. With the 2014 NFL Draft just over a week away, smokescreens are going up everywhere and lies are flowing freely. It’s just part of the pre-draft process. I’m here to help you wade through the mess and make some sense of the latest rumors, though.

With that in mind, here’s a look at 15 NFL Draft rumors you need to know with just over a week to go.

Derek Carr the first quarterback to come off the board?

Derek Carr
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr the first quarterback to come off the board?

Derek Carr
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

According to Charles Davis, Carr will be the first quarterback drafted when May 8 rolls around. I, however, am not so sure about that. While Carr is definitely an intriguing talent who might just be the most NFL-ready right now, he’s doesn’t offer the most upside. Believe Davis if you want, but Carr won’t be the first passer to come off the board.

Jimmie Ward to hear his name called on Day 1?

Jimmie Ward
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmie Ward to hear his name called on Day 1?

Jimmie Ward
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

While I’m no fan of this idea, there are many draft analysts out there who believe Ward should be a first-round pick. He’s a well-rounded safety with plus coverage abilities, toughness against the run and versatility, but might be a reach on Day 1. Will some safety-needy team reach for him in the first round or will he land in the second round where he belongs?

Cyrus Kouandjio falling to the third round?

Cyrus Kouandjio
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Cyrus Kouandjio falling to the third round?

Cyrus Kouandjio
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper, there’s a significant chance that Kouandjio could fall all of the way to the third round due to health concerns regarding his arthritic knees. While a slide of that magnitude certainly isn’t unprecedented, it seems unreasonable. Kouandjio has elite upside, but hasn’t lived up to his potential so far. The high ceiling, though, will be enough for some team to take a risk in the first two rounds.

Cowboys targeting Johnny Manziel at No. 16?

Johnny Manziel
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys targeting Johnny Manziel at No. 16?

Johnny Manziel
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

According to CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz, the Cowboys will “figure out a way to get” Johnny Manziel during the upcoming NFL Draft. Following this statement, several other sources denied such interest from Dallas, but it’s still an intriguing idea. Manziel would be a fan favorite with the Cowboys, and could put the process of replacing Tony Romo in motion. Still, it seems illogical to think they’ll go quarterback at No. 16.

Taylor Lewan to be a Top Six pick?

Taylor Lewan
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Lewan to be a Top Six pick?

Taylor Lewan
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lewan’s stock has fluctuated greatly throughout the pre-draft process, but it appears to be peaking at the right time. With numerous teams in the Top Six expected to target tackles, there’s a good chance that Lewan could be taken early on Day 1. What’s even crazier is that the Michigan product might not be the third tackle to come off the board – he might go before Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson, or both.

Packers set on taking Ryan Shazier on Day 1?

Ryan Shazier
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Packers set on taking Ryan Shazier on Day 1?

Ryan Shazier
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a well-known fact that the Packers want to upgrade at inside linebacker during the draft. At No. 21, though, the best available prospect, C.J. Mosley, might already be off the board. The next best bet might be Shazier, an outside linebacker who has the athleticism and skill set to transition inside. If the Packers are serious about addressing the position early, Shazier might just be their choice in the first round.

Cody Latimer going in the first round?

Cody Latimer
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Latimer going in the first round?

Cody Latimer
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

One of the draft’s biggest late-risers, Latimer has seen his stock soar over the last month or so – and for good reason. The Indiana product offers a terrific combination of size and speed, and has the skill set to start immediately for whoever drafts him. Seeing how many receiver-needy teams sit at the bottom of the first round, it’s absolutely reasonable to think he’ll hear his name called on Day 1.

Is David Fales a diamond in the rough?

David Fales
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Is David Fales a diamond in the rough?

David Fales
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve always been rather high on Fales as a mid-round prospect with the arm talent to develop into a starter, but not everyone else was on board. That is, until recently, when the masses decided that Foles is suddenly a worthy quarterback prospect. With tremendous accuracy, pocket presence and leadership, he could be a winner if inserted into a system that masks his short stature and average arm strength.

Ja’Wuan James a sleeper to be first-round pick?

Ja'Wuan James
Twitter

Ja’Wuan James a sleeper to be first-round pick?

Ja'Wuan James
Twitter

Over the last couple of years, offensive tackle has been at a premium when it comes to the NFL Draft. That’s why a 6’6’’, 310-pound tackle with long arms and good athleticism seems like a Day 1 prospect on the surface. However, his average technical skills make a first-round pick unreasonable. The Dolphins have a first-round grade on James according to the Miami Herald, but would be making a mistake picking him that early.

Is Kyle Fuller the class’ top cornerback?

Kyle Fuller
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Is Kyle Fuller the class’ top cornerback?

Kyle Fuller
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

While the majority of the buzz at cornerback surrounds Darqueze Dennard and Justin Gilbert, there are some who believe Fuller may be the best in the 2014 class. According to NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, the former Hokie is the best cornerback available, and I’m inclined to agree with him. I’ve long been a Fuller fan, due in large part to his physicality and instincts in coverage. Don’t look now, but he could be the first off the board.

Teddy Bridgewater falling out of the first round?

Teddy Bridgewater
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater falling out of the first round?

Teddy Bridgewater
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

After a poor Pro Day and reports that he was underwhelming in private workouts, Bridgewater appears to be headed for a major draft-day slide. Some even believe he could fall into the second round. While Mayock now sees him as the class’ No. 5 quarterback, I find it hard to believe that a bad day in shorts is enough to outweigh two years’ worth of outstanding film. Bridgewater is still the best quarterback prospect of 2014.

Anthony Barr better than Khalil Mack?

Anthony Barr
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Barr better than Khalil Mack?

Anthony Barr
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Three out of seven NFL.com draft analysts prefer Barr over Mack as the 2014 class’ top outside linebacker. Well that’s great for them, but I could never get on that bandwagon. Barr is an exciting athlete with extremely raw talent. Mack, however, is a polished product with elite athleticism, technique and playmaking abilities. If Barr goes before Mack, I’ll lose some faith in the NFL.

Aaron Donald going in the Top 10?

Aaron Donald
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Donald going in the Top 10?

Aaron Donald
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Initially, Donald was considered a fringe first-round talent. Next he took a step towards the mid-20s range. Then, he was considered a realistic option for the Bears at No. 14 or the Cowboys at No. 16. Now, apparently, he’s a serious candidate to go to the Falcons at No. 6. What took everyone so long to figure out Donald is a legitimate NFL talent? I won’t be surprised one bit if Donald ends up a Top 10 pick.

Falcons serious about moving up for Jadeveon Clowney?

Jadeveon Clowney
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons serious about moving up for Jadeveon Clowney?

Jadeveon Clowney
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

If the Falcons don’t stay still at No. 6 and pick up Donald, they could choose to trade up to the No. 1 or No. 2 spot in hopes of drafting Clowney. The team fielded a pathetic pass rush in 2013, and didn’t make much of an upgrade via free agency. While it would certainly cost them a pretty penny to move up to one of the top two spots, it seems realistic considering their draft history for the Falcons to jump up for Clowney.

Tom Savage flying up draft boards?

Tom Savage
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Savage flying up draft boards?

Tom Savage
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In less than a month, Savage went from a late-round talent verging on undraftable to a potential first-round pick. I’m not sure why that’s the case, but apparently the hype train is chugging along at full speed. The latest rumor is that the Patriots are targeting him in the Top 40. If they choose to take that route, it could end up being one of the biggest mistakes in NFL Draft history – or one of the biggest steals.

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.


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