Eight things we learned in Wednesday's draft buzz


Atlanta Falcons fans jonesing for Jadeveon Clowney still have a glimmer of hope.

A week after proclaiming that the No. 1 overall pick is open for business, Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith told NFL Media's Steve Wyche on Wednesday that he has had "enough conversations to legitimately move" from the top of Thursday night's first round.

How to watch the NFL draft
With the 2014 NFL Draft fast approaching, find out how to catch all the action from Radio City Music Hall on NFL Network.  More ...

According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, the belief around the league is that the Texans' willingness to trade has intensified in the past couple of days, perhaps because they are not sold on Clowney.

Rapoport cautions, though, that a trade remains far-fetched due to the prohibitive cost of moving up. One team that talked shop with the Texans on Wednesday told Jay Glazer of Fox Sports that the price tag was three first-round picks and a second-rounder.

That asking price is of course on a sliding scale, with teams closer to No. 1 asked to fork over fewer picks.

Regardless of which team ends up atop the draft board, Deion Sanders is convinced Clowney will be the choice.

Here is the rest of Wednesday's draft buzz:

1. Clowney is already licking his chops for the opportunity to put the hammer down on Andrew Luck in a Texans tag-team with 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt.

While Dan Hanzus was muffing Clowney's request for advice Wednesday, he also missed a chance to send a warning about tugging on Superman's cape, spitting into the wind and tempting the fate of the football gods with premature braggadocio.

2. Is it merely a coincidence that the Bills have checked into trading up and Rapoport is now reporting it's becoming increasingly clear that Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans won't make it out of the top five picks?

Build your own mock draft:
Make your best guesses here for all 32 picks of the first round of the NFL Draft and you could win a trip to attend the 2014 NFL Kickoff game. Play now ...

"The visit with the Bills was one of the best visits that I had," Evans told intrepid Around The League scribe Marc Sessler on Wednesday. "I'd love to play for them."

3. As much football sense as it might make for the Rams to ditch a mediocre Sam Bradford and take a flier on a potential "spontaneous genius" like Johnny Manziel, Jeff Fisher's denials are getting stronger.

Per NFL Media columnist Michael Silver, Fisher brought Bradford on stage in front of a crowd of season-ticket holders Wednesday and reaffirmed, "He's our guy."

4. After the Rams and Browns took turns on center stage of the Johnny Chronicles early in the week, the Jaguars moved to the forefront on Wednesday.

Agent Erik Burkhardt vigorously refuted a report that Manziel would be less than thrilled with the prospect of playing in Jacksonville. The latest turn of the weather vane suggests we might just find out the verity of that prospect by the time the Jaguars are off the clock Thursday night.

5. Mike Mayock placed Teddy Bridgewater below Jimmy Garoppolo and Zach Mettenberger on his top 100 prospects list, so it comes as a bit of surprise that NFL Media's draft analyst has the Louisville quarterback going to the Browns at No. 26 overall in his long-awaited mock draft.

2014 NFL Draft Winds
College Football 24/7 takes a look at the rumors connecting draft prospects with NFL teams leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

» AFC East | North | South | West
» NFC East | North | South | West

» Tracking teams' interest in top prospects

It's not without good reason, though. Browns general manager Ray Farmer reportedly has taken a shine to Bridgewater.

6. Which teams are trying to trade up? The 49ers are targeting a speedy wide receiver. The Broncos could have their eyes on linebackers C.J. Mosley and Ryan Shazier. The Dolphins, meanwhile, might want to move down from No. 19 overall.

7. Where do the top prospects believe they will land? Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson said the Rams and Falcons "really like" him. Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks believes the Jets are "pushing" for him. Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is practically begging the Eagles to trade up for him.

Gregg Rosenthal suggests Philadelphia should be aiming for the draft's highest-ranked wideout instead.

The "Around The League Podcast" Draft Preview Spectacular is all you need before draft day.