Deciphering the Latest NFL Draft Rumors!
It’s just hours away at this point and there are plenty of NFL Draft rumors being thrown around. The NFL Draft is no stranger to rumors, as GMs and execs constantly throw out smokescreens either to throw off other teams or to try to increase the values of players/picks. Either way, trying to figure out which is true and which are not can be futile at times… but it is also a ton of fun! Let’s figure out which rumors will impact Fantasy Football and seem to be true and which are just blowing smoke.
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Making Sense of NFL Draft Rumors
Kyler Murray Will Not Go Number 1
Pete Prisco of CBS reported over the weekend that the Cardinals will not be selecting Kyler Murray with the top pick. According to the report, ownership wanted to draft Murray to help sell tickets, but the team will be going in another direction now.
This sounds like a lot of hoopla to me. Murray is still the betting favorite to go with the first overall pick and there is no secret new head coach Kliff Kingsbury views Murray as a future franchise QB. This sounds like a smokescreen so that teams think that Josh Rosen is off the market and perhaps those teams now have buyers remorse. The Cards have had no luck in trading last year’s first round pick, so a report like this would only seem to help their cause. If you have been reading my NFL Draft work you know I am high on Murray and view him as the best fantasy QB in this class. I believe he has the highest ceiling, due to his strong arm and great running ability, as well as the safest floor due to the boosts in value he sees with his legs. Think about it, the top two scoring rookie QBs on a per game basis last year were Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, arguably the worst passing first round QBs. Murray’s legs make him a safe bet in fantasy. If the Cardinals do end up passing on him I believe they will take Nick Bosa and Murray will fall to either the Raiders at four and no further than the Giants at six if another team doesn’t trade up to nab him.
Giants, Chargers and Dolphins are Josh Rosen’s Top Suitors
Adam Schefter has reported that these three teams are the top suitors for last year’s 10th overall pick. We have heard reports that the Giants have no interest in shipping the sixth or 17th overall pick for Rosen and GM Dave Gettleman has said they will not be offering the Giants second round pick (37th overall) for Rosen. The Chargers could view Rosen as Rivers’ potential replacement, but Rivers is still playing at a high level and I am not sure the Chargers give up capital to immediately help their Super Bowl aspirations for the future. Although, it would be a nice fit and allow the Chargers to focus solely on improving immediately, since they will know they have Rivers replacement on the roster. The Dolphins seem like the most likely candidate to do so, but we have repeatedly heard that their plan is to tank next year for Tua!
I am not buying this rumor. I am completely ruling out the Giants (see below) and while I think the Chargers and Dolphins make sense, I have a feeling a team that we have not heard reportedly in on Rosen will jump in and get a deal done. Some teams that would make sense are the Bucs, Titans, Packers, and Redskins. If I am correct above, the Cards will definitely be flipping Rosen, it just comes down to who is the highest bidder.
The Giants Will Draft Daniel Jones
There have been many reports indicating that the Giants view Daniel Jones as the top QB on the board. This should not surprise anyone. I mean Dave Gettleman has been making the Giants the laughing stock of the NFL since he took the job. Why would that change now?
I believe this to be true. In fact, the only question to me is which pick do they use to nab Jones: six or 17. We have heard rumors that the Giants want to select an edge rusher at six, which would leave them with two options: hope Jones fall to pick 17 or trade up to ensure you land him. I actually see the Giants trading back up to select him, being fearful that Miami or Denver will pull the trigger on him. One way or another, I expect the QB who did not look great or come close to putting up big numbers in his time at Duke to go to the Giants in the first round, if for nothing more than Jones had the same QB mentor as Peyton and current Giants QB, Eli Manning.
Eagles, Colts, Raiders Interested in Josh Jacobs
This makes sense. Even after trading for Jordan Howard we know the Eagles and Doug Pederson always wants to add RB depth. They do have Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement and Josh Adams on the roster. Because of the depth they already have, I would be surprised if they ended up using a first round pick on a running back, especially when they can get a similar talent in the middle rounds. Running back is not a pressing need for the Eagles. I can buy this more on the Colts front, as Marlon Mack showed flashes last year but has consistently battled injuries. He ran well behind the Colts O-Line, but I do believe Jacobs would come in and be a factor immediately, if not steal the job away from Mack. The Colts have Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins behind Mack but were able to find those guys in the mid-to-late rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. I would expect them to add a running back but go that route once again.
The Raiders are the team I am most buying to be true. First, they have multiple first round picks so investing early in an RB will not kill them. Also, Jon Gruden sent all his scouts home and we know he runs a team like it is 1985. Additionally, the Raiders have the biggest need at running back. Currently, the Raiders have Isaiah Crowell, Jalen Richard, and DeAndre Washington on the roster. While Crowell disappointed with the Jets, I do believe there still is talent there. But he is not the longterm answer (if that even exist for running backs). My thinking is that Gruden loves Jacobs’ power rushing and sees some Marshawn Lynch in those legs.
Drew Lock is a First Rounder
Jason La Canfora is convinced that Drew Lock will go in the first round.
I am buying this rumor, as I have expected Lock to go in the first round since before the combine. The team I most expect to pull the trigger is the Denver Broncos. We have heard rumors that Broncos GM John Elway is infatuated with Lock, if no other reasons than he is tall (6’4). Lock reminds me of a better-passing version of Bills QB Josh Allen, without the rushing ability, which is why we are all excited about Allen for fantasy. Although the Broncos traded for Joe Flacco and he says he is just entering his prime, we all know he is on his way out of the league. The way Flacco talks about the Broncos not needing to draft a QB sounds like a player who knows he is bound to suffer the same fate he did last year when the Ravens drafted a QB in the first round and Flacco didn’t even last the year as the starter. Whether the Broncos take Lock at 10th overall or trade down, I do expect him to be the next in a long line of tall QBs selected by Elway.
Patriots Interested in Will Grier
There has been rumored speculation that the Patriots are interested in West Virginia QB Will Grier.
I am buying this rumor. The Patriots know that Tom Brady, who will be 42 at the start of next season, is ultimately on his way out. He could play another year, maybe three, maybe more. But we know father time is undefeated and Brady will sooner or later have to retire. We also know that Bill Belichick wanted Jimmy Garoppolo to replace Brady. I ultimately believe he still wants to step down with Brady’s replacement on the Pats roster.
Grier is the perfect Pats prospect. He is an accurate QB who had success in college. The one knock on him is arm strength, but if there is any system I believe he can come into and do well in it is this one. The Patriots will likely look to draft Brady’s backup and Grier profiles as the QB that will most likely be available at the end of the first round.
Michael Florio is the winner of the 2018 FSWA Baseball Article of the Year and was a finalist for the 2017 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year. He has hosted video/radio shows, written for a number of print and web publications including the AP, NY Daily News and much more!
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