Dec 5, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) walks off the field after defeating the Cincinnati Bearcats 31-24 at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Fact or Fiction On Top Rumors

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Rumors are running rampant as the 2014 NFL draft gets closer.  Time to sort out which ones are probably fact and which are fiction.

Atlanta Falcons to trade up for Jadeveon Clowney

By far the rumor that has gotten the most attention of late is the idea that the Atlanta Falcons are in discussion with the Houston Texans for a possible deal for the #1 pick.  If that were to happen it would be plainly obvious who the Falcons are after.  Their defense sorely needs a pass rusher and Jadeveon Clowney from a talent standpoint is the best in the 2014 NFL draft and perhaps the best in the past ten years.  He would thrive in that Georgia Dome stadium on that fast turf provided coordinator Mike Nolan can coach him up following a shaky 2013 campaign.

Rumor Validity:  Fact

Detroit Lions will use Ndamkong Suh as trade bait

When trading up in a draft every team would like to give up as few future picks as possible.  Often a way to accomplish that is by including a player in the package.  The Detroit Lions are one such team that might have that in mind, which explains the idea that they could deal Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in order to jump up to take either Clowney or wide receiver Sammy Watkins.  The question is are the Lions prepared to part with a 27-year old dominant player in his prime, regardless of his personality issues and is there a team who can handle his hefty $22 million salary cap hit?  The options are certainly limited.

Rumor Validity:  Fiction

Teddy Bridgewater will drop to the second round

It’s amazing what a difference a year makes.  Following his terrific upset of might Florida in the Sugar Bowl, Teddy Bridgewater looked like the next big thing at quarterback.  Nothing change after a very solid junior season at Louisville.  Unfortunately production doesn’t win the race anymore in draft eyes.  Since the end of the college season Bridgewater has endured one of the shakiest pre-draft schedules in recent memory.  Not only did he choose to skip the scouting combine, but his pro day workout proved to be a bomb as several passes were off the mark.  This has led some to believe he might not even go in the first round.  Hints from private workouts haven’t change anything and nothing about Bridgewater as a personality has shown he can change minds.

Rumor Validity:  Fact

Tampa Bay Buccaneers will draft Johnny Manziel

Lovie Smith came in and made wholesale changes to the structure of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster.  The most important was making 34-year old former backup quarterback Josh McCown his starter.  That hasn’t stopped the Bucs from hinting they fully plan to take a quarterback in the 2014 NFL draft and recent rumors have said if Texas A&M standout Johnny Manziel falls to them at #7 they will take him.  Manziel is indeed an attractive target.  He would be a great draw for ticket sale in a notoriously hard stadium to fill and has a playmaking skill that is rare despite his size.  Still, the Bucs have more pressing needs in other areas and wouldn’t have signed McCown and kept second-year man Mike Glennon if they planned to take a rookie early.

Rumor Validity:  Fiction

Derek Carr could be second quarterback gone

Another quarterback-centered idea is that Fresno State star Derek Carr, who led the entire NCAA in passing in 2013 might not just go in the first round but be the second quarterback off the board, meaning he would have to leapfrog either Manziel or UCF standout Blake Bortles.  Initially Carr was looked down upon for not playing in a pro-style offense, facing rather soft competition and have a thinner-than-preferred frame.  Yet his elite arm strength, good decision-making and mobility have kept him afloat and several reports have said he knocking private interviews with teams out of the park.  As the saying goes it only takes one of those teams to pull the trigger.

Rumor Validity:  Fact

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Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Atlanta Falcons Derek Carr Detroit Lions Jadeveon Clowney Johnny Manziel Ndamukong Suh Tampa Bay Buccaneers Teddy Bridgewater

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