Welcome to draft week. Let’s get started with a league-wide roundup. And if you haven’t done so already, check out yesterday’s post on Darrelle Revis, EJ Manuel and Matt Scott.
Let’s start with Geno Smith. Good luck finding anyone who has a handle on where the West Virginia quarterback is going to go. Tweeted ESPN’s Chris Mortensen:
Geno has become mystery man in draft If not in top 8,it could be a long 1st round RT @larrygravy52:what about geno smith?
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 21, 2013
And SI.com’s Peter King added:
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, tweeting Sunday night about what more and more people in the NFL feel: Only four or five teams in the first round could take West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith — the consensus top quarterback in this week’s draft — and there is absolutely no guarantee that one will.
Obviously, there’s plenty of misdirection this time of year, but up until now, we’ve been discussing Smith as a possibility for the Eagles at No. 4. I’ve said for weeks that I don’t think they’re going to take him at that spot, but what if he falls into the 20s? What if he’s there at the start of the day Friday?
On one hand, you could argue that if the Eagles don’t like him enough to take him at No. 4, then they’re not going to take him if he falls. But that’s not really true. The farther he falls, the lower the risk. To exaggerate the point, I can pretty much guarantee the Eagles would take Smith if he was available in the sixth or seventh round.
My guess? Smith is still going to go in the top-10, but clearly, no scenario is off the table for Thursday night.
On that same note, Mortensen reports that there’s a “growing belief” that the Bills could take Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib with the No. 8 pick. Nassib played for coach Doug Marrone at Syracuse, and if Buffalo feels good about him, it might avoid the risk of waiting for him in the second round.
In his latest mock draft for Rotoworld, Josh Norris has Nassib going No. 8:
The closer we get, the more confident I am that this will be the pick. A “get your guy when you can” scenario, if you will. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the quarterback run does not take place until later in the first-round.
Norris also thinks the Eagles could trade back into the first round (No. 29) for EJ Manuel:
Like the Jaguars, this selection could be a number of quarterbacks, but Manuel fits the bill in many categories. “Clean slate” and “coachable” are words frequently floating around Manuel, which leads me to think the NFL believes the QB was held back by coaches in college.
Greg Cosell of NFL Films unveiled the first of his two-part mock draft on Yahoo Sports, projecting picks 17 to 32. Obviously, that’s not where the Eagles pick, but there are some names he has going in the first round that are of interest: Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien (No. 21), Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown (No. 25), UCLA defensive lineman Datone Jones (No. 26), Florida State defensive lineman Tank Carradine (No. 28) and Alabama defensive lineman Jesse Williams (No. 31).
All of those players could be second-round targets for the Eagles if they fall.
Meanwhile, King predicts another potential target, Oregon offensive lineman Kyle Long, will also go in the first round.