NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he heard from several sources at the NFL Scouting Combine that Cleveland is targeting Carr, not Manziel, in the draft, despite reports to the contrary. Additionally, the Los Angeles Times' Sam Farmer writes Sunday in his mock draft that the Raiders left the combine with Carr ahead of Manziel on their draft board.
Farmer has the Raiders passing on Manziel to take Carr with the fifth-overall draft pick (he has Manziel going eighth to the Vikings) and writes, "The Raiders are known for their unconventional picks, so Manziel might seem like a natural fit for them. Word is, though, that they liked Carr more coming out of the combine."
Carr has been ranked among the second tier of signal-callers and is often projected to be drafted late in the first round or early in the second, but there was a report last week that no fewer than 17 NFL quarterback coaches polled at the combine favored Carr over Manziel.
With more than two months to go before the draft, there's enough time for the conventional wisdom to be altered again and plenty of smokescreens will send draft forecasters scrambling for answers. At this point, though, it certainly appears that Carr has the momentum, and it might be coming at Manziel's expense since the reports of Carr's ascent don't include indications that he has surpassed Brigewater and Bortles on draft boards.
Carr's reported rise doesn't mean Manziel is in deep decline -- five of the teams that will draft in the top eight have a need at quarterback -- so it still seems unlikely that the Cowboys will be rewarded for their Manziel free-fall preparation.