Five teams that could surprise with QB pick


Less than a week away from the 2014 NFL Draft, we'd advise you to believe nothing.

Especially at the quarterback position, where the Raiders are busy comparing Matt Schaub to Peyton Manning, the Jaguars are calling Chad Henne their Week 1 starter and Mike Pettine is hinting the Browns might roll into the season with a veteran journeyman under center.

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Our assessment? Complete and utter wind.

Along with the Texans and Vikings, Oakland, Jacksonville and Cleveland are primed to use a high pick on a quarterback come Thursday night -- and they might not be alone.

Beyond the usual suspects, here's our list of clubs that might pull a stunner under center in Round 1:

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It depends on who's left when the Bucs pick at No. 7, but the tea leaves point to Tampa drafting a young quarterback to groom behind aging placeholder Josh McCown. It's crystal clear the team isn't high on Mike Glennon, who could become trade bait as early as Thursday night.

2. St. Louis Rams: Les Snead doth protest too much. Telling all the world that Sam Bradford's his man, the Rams continue to be whispered about as a team that might find his replacement with the second overall pick. They'll travel to College Station on Friday to work out Johnny Manziel. Maybe that's nothing more than due diligence or an expensive junket aimed at freaking out teams lower in the pecking order, but St. Louis burns on our radar as a first-round mystery squad.

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3. Tennessee Titans: They reneged on Jake Locker's fifth-year option and have nothing else at the position beyond cabin-loving "Clipboard Jesus" and Raiders castoff Tyler Wilson. Ken Whisenhunt can't be finished bringing in competition for Locker, who needs to burn the house down for a spot on this roster a year from now.

4. Arizona Cardinals: Bruce Arians once laughed off the idea of taking a quarterback, telling Around The League at the combine that Carson Palmer was set to play until age 37. Please. Arians is among the game's top quarterback tutors, having molded Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh and Andrew Luck in Indy. The time is right to draft a young gun to learn behind Palmer before taking over in 2015, if not much sooner.

5. Dallas Cowboys: Bear with us here: Let's say Johnny Football tumbles out of the top 10, creeping closer, pick by pick, to Dallas at No. 16. It doesn't make a lick of fiscal sense -- not with $55 million in guarantees aimed at Tony Romo -- but we don't put it past Jerry Jones to fall head over heels for Manziel. When it happens, you have Dan Hanzus to thank.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" runs through the latest NFL draft headlines and takes a look at which coaches and GMs are lying about their intentions.