by Jason Cole
January 21, 02014
Although the NFL draft is still almost three months away and the NFL scouting combine isn’t for another month, several team executives said Monday and Tuesday that preliminary trade talk is al-ready being bandied about at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
In particular, there are several teams interested in moving back in the draft in hopes of obtaining extra picks in the second and third rounds. The reason is that because 102 underclassmen have entered the draft, this year’s draft is expected to be one of the deepest in many years.
“You’re going to see a lot of players who would normally be second-round picks end up in the third round. Same goes for the mid- to late-first round picks ending up in the second round,” one team executive said.
While this draft is expected to have a number of top-end stars available in the top 10, includ-ing defensive end Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina and quarterbacks Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel, some teams may opt for depth in this draft.
“If you’re in a rebuilding mode, I think it would be really tempting to move back to pick up a couple of extra picks,” said another executive, who pointed to Jacksonville as a team that would fit that profile. The Jaguars have the No. 3 pick and are in need of a quarterback, but also have needs at numerous other spots.
St. Louis, which has the No. 2 overall pick from Washington via the Robert Griffin III trade in 2012, is also looking to move down. A Rams coach joked about the team taking Clowney at No. 2 and putting him on the field with fellow defensive ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long, but then admitted that might be difficult.
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