The NFL draft is 17 days away, which means more than two weeks of pre-draft speculation. There will be another two weeks of inaccurate mock drafts/guessing games by NFL observers. Teams will “leak out” information to reporters as a smoke screen to disguise their real intentions.
Unfortunately, most of us will consume every morsel of the pre-draft speculation.
Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain recently reported the Texans were interested in selecting South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney with their No.1 overall pick. Now Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback reports the Texans are more interested in Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack than Clowney.
Houston, at No. 1, isn’t set on Jadeveon Clowney. In fact, one FORS (Friend of Rick Smith) told me the Texans general manager likes Khalil Mack over Clowney, and we still don’t know which quarterback Houston would choose if it chooses one first overall. I still think the Texans would go with a more sure thing with the first overall pick than a quarterback—and that sure thing could also be tackle Greg Robinson. But imagine Mack, the outside linebacker from the University of Buffalo, being the first pick in a stacked draft. Wouldn’t that be something—a second straight Mid-American Conference player (Eric Fisher, Central Michigan, by Kansas City) as the top pick in the NFL draft?
There is only one thing certain about Houston – the Texans will pick first. Outside of that, all bets are off.
The majority of NFL teams set their draft boards before the scouting combine. While draft experts speculate about the stock of a player rising or falling, that does not occur behind the scenes. The only way a team loses interest in a player this close to the draft is because of an injury or recent off-the-field incident. Other than that, each team has already ranked the available players.
However, it is way more fun to talk about Santa Claus than admit reality.
Houston currently knows if it will select Clowney, Mack, or even Johnny Manziel. The Texans will not show up on draft day without a game plan. Even though their selection might be news to NFL fans, those within the organization will not be surprised.
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