NFL prospects have arrived in New York City, ready to see where they will start their careers. But the conversation leading into the draft isn't just about prospects. Tuesday was centered largely on potential veteran trades.
St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher issued a classic non-denial denial about Sam Bradford's future, saying the Rams aren't shopping Bradford. Fisher didn't say that drafting a quarterback is off the table in Round 1 -- or even with the No. 2 pick. And if the Rams did take the plunge on Johnny Manziel, it's safe to say they would start shopping Bradford then.
It's easy to issue a denial. The Minnesota Vikings said unequivocally Tuesday that Christian Ponder would not be dealt during the draft. Mike Glennon, on the other hand, could be on his way out of Tampa this week, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Glennon had a nice rookie year after getting taken in the third round last season. The Bucs are looking for a second-round pick for him now.
Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers could also be on the market, but the bigger fireworks figure to come from teams looking to move up for draft picks. Sammy Watkins, a potential top-three pick, is convinced the Lions are serious about trading up for him. Watkins' comments to Rapoport on Tuesday offered the rarest of commodities during this week of unconfirmed nonsense: quotes on the record about a potential trade.
Here's what else we learned, or think we learned on Tuesday:
1. Your Johnny Football wrapup for the day starts now. Rapoport believes Manziel will not get past pick No. 13 in St. Louis. If the Rams were willing to take Manziel at 13, it seems bizarre that they wouldn't take him at No. 2. If he's your guy, you just take him. You don't mess around. It's unlikely Manziel would slip that far, but don't look for Cleveland to grab him.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports says the Browns aren't going to draft Manziel. That echoes the words from Rapoport and NFL Media's Charley Casserly, who both have indicated the Browns staff doesn't want Manziel. Owner Jimmy Haslam, on the other hand, loves Manziel. But Browns coach Mike Pettine insists that Haslam won't interfere with the draft process.
Browns fans like Marc Sessler are going to be disappointed that the team is passing on Manziel. They should also be happy to have an owner who lets his hires do their jobs. Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer have enough pressure on them as it is.
2. If the Bucs are looking for a second-round pick now for Glennon, we'd think they will take a third-rounder once the draft starts. It would be a surprise if the Buccaneers don't draft a quarterback by the end of Day 2, and Chris Wesseling's sandwich gambit that Glennon would get dealt on draft weekend is looking pretty tasty.
3. The Lions aren't the only team looking to trade up. Rapoport notes that the Buffalo Bills have spoken to teams about moving into the top five, although they are looking to do it for cheap. The Jets are interested in moving up to draft a wide receiver, likely Odell Beckham. (Considering their interest in Tavon Austin last year, this one passes the sniff test.) The Jets risk actually making their offense interesting if they add another fun weapon like Beckham.
4. If the Bills traded up for a wide receiver, Stevie Johnson might be looking for work before long. We wouldn't be surprised if Buffalo was looking for an offensive tackle there. Then again, the Bills have been attached to most everyone, including tight end Eric Ebron and Beckham.
5. Minnesota's refusal to trade Christian Ponder during the draft is odd. Perhaps they just know that they couldn't get a late-round pick for him. Perhaps it means the Vikings have no plans to take a quarterback early, but even then Ponder is slated to be Matt Cassel's backup.
We're finally almost to the big day. We'll be back Wednesday night to wrap up what we learned on draft eve. In the meantime, you can get your draft preview on with our big podcast extravaganza and check out our NFL Media talent mock draft.