NFL Draft rumors 2014: Rams interested in Sammy Watkins, Vikings looking for RB

Streeter Lecka

With just a few days to go before the 2014 NFL Draft, the top of the board is still tough to figure out.

After taking four wide receivers over the past two NFL Drafts, you would think the St. Louis Rams would be looking to fill other areas with the second overall pick in this year's draft. But with their previous selections struggling to live up to expectation, the team is reportedly eyeing former Clemson star Sammy Watkins.

Despite public insistence from head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead that the team is content with its receiving corps, it's being reported that some in the organization would like to take Watkins, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Watkins is no doubt the top wideout prospect in the draft, but are the Rams willing to commit yet another high pick to the position? They traded up to grab Tavon Austin at No. 8 last year and added his West Virginia teammate, Stedman Bailey, two rounds later. Austin showed flashes of brilliance last season, but St. Louis needs another playmaker outside and it's uncertain if anybody else on the roster has the ability to step into that role. Watkins would likely be able to do that from day one, but there are plenty other areas of need in St. Louis.

Vikings looking for a backup running back

With Toby Gerhart off to Jacksonville, the Minnesota Vikings are in the market for a running back to back up Adrian Peterson. According to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press, they'll likely be looking to pick one up in the draft.

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General manager Rick Spielman expressed concern over Peterson's workload, saying the team needed someone to help shoulder the responsibility.

"[Peterson's] getting to the point where you don't have to give him the ball 50 times a game for 16 games. Adrian's the face of our franchise, but [offensive coordinator Norv Turner] has a history of having two backs to keep him fresh, because I think it's very important as you go through the season that they're still strong in Week 16 and they're still strong when you get into the playoffs."

In addition to looking for a spell back next season, the Vikings may be looking forward to a time without Peterson, who turned 29 less than two months ago.

This year's running back crop is not particularly strong, but Ohio State's Carlos Hyde, Auburn's Tre Mason, LSU's Jeremy Hill and Florida State's Devonta Freeman were all mentioned as possible targets, according to Tomasson.

Quarterback not in play for the Raiders?

The Oakland Raiders are picking in the top five of the NFL Draft again, and it appears they will continue their tradition of passing on a quarterback. The Raiders are not considering Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles with the No. 5 pick, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.

However, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was noncommittal about Oakland's draft plans and said the team is open to anything. McKenzie did concede that Oakland has a bit more flexibility after bringing in Matt Schaub this offseason.

"What it does is just give us some stability at that position, and we needed that," McKenzie told Tafur. "Because we traded for Schaub, does that mean we're going to bypass a (quarterback) that we've got graded a certain way? No."

Will Cyrus Kouandjio fall out of the first round?

Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio is getting mixed reviews from NFL teams about his injured knee, according to ESPN's Todd McShay. Kouandjio's health is one of the only things standing between him and being a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Where Kouandjio gets drafted will eventually provide some evidence to how healthy his knee is.

McShay told that Kouandjio probably should have returned to school for one more season, but he could be a nice value for some team if he falls to the second round on draft weekend. Kouandjio underwhelmed at times as a junior but has shown flashes of dominance, which makes him an attractive prospect.

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