Make room for one more rumored Johnny Manziel suitor. The St. Louis Rams are climbing aboard.
In his latest MMQB, Peter King of Sports Illustrated reports that Rams general manager Les Snead recently returned from a trip to Texas Tech to meet with Kliff Kingsbury, Manziel's offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Texas A&M in 2012. King reports that Snead came away "thinking Manziel could adjust to life well as an NFL passer."
NFL Mock Draft
NFL Mock Draft
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network fanned the rumor fires shortly thereafter, reporting that the Rams had an "interesting" meeting with Manziel at the NFL Combine in which everybody but Manziel, Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher were kicked out of the room.
St. Louis owns two of the top 13 picks. While King says it's unlikely they would use the No. 2 overall selection on Manziel (he says they favor Greg Robinson there), they're open to grabbing him at No. 13 if he's still around.
Don't forget that the Rams still have Sam Bradford. But considering Bradford's monster contract and the fact that he's coming off ACL surgery, it seems reasonable that St. Louis is at least doing their homework on other options. If the Rams were looking to move on, they could even package Bradford and the No. 13 pick to move higher in an attempt to bag Manziel, though Rapoport claims they are not shopping Bradford for now.
Khalil Mack going ahead of Jadeveon Clowney?
Jadeveon Clowney has long been the favorite to go No. 1 in the draft, be it to the Houston Texans or another team that trades into that spot. But NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt doesn't even think Clowney will be the first defender off the board. In Peter King's latest MMQB, Brandt stated he believes Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack will be drafted ahead of Clowney.
NFL Draft Odds
NFL Draft Odds
"I don't think Teddy Bridgewater falls to the second round. I think Johnny Manziel will go in the top five, but not No. 1. And I think Khalil Mack gets picked ahead of Jadeveon Clowney," Brandt said when prompted by King to name Day 1 moves that will surprise.
Mack has made a strong move up draft boards in recent weeks, but there aren't many experts outside of Brandt predicting him to overtake Clowney. SB Nation still has Clowney going No. 1, with Mack being selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 3.
Brandt's prediction is certainly intriguing, but take it with a grain of salt. These guys get paid to stir up intrigue, and now that we're finally into draft week, the crazy is going at full blast.
Chiefs could grab a QB in Round 1
Add the Kansas City Chiefs among teams that could be looking to grab a quarterback in the first round. NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport is reporting that, thanks to rocky contract negotiations with Alex Smith, the Chiefs may be on the lookout for a long-term option under center.
It was reported last week that Smith, who has one year remaining on his contract, has begun extension talks. Apparently those are going poorly enough that the Chiefs are looking to hedge their bets elsewhere, though you have to question this rumor considering how much Kansas City has already invested in Smith. They traded away two second round picks to the San Francisco 49ers to acquire him, including this year's. If the Chiefs were to grab a quarterback on Thursday, they would have essentially spent three upper level picks on the position in the last two years.
If they actually do plan to grab a quarterback early, they'll have limited options at No. 23. Manziel and Blake Bortles will be long gone, so they'd have to hope that either Derek Carr or Teddy Bridgewater falls to them.