Mock drafts of the world, we banish thee!
We've come to the end of the (very) long and winding road to the 2014 NFL Draft. By tonight, all the first-round speculation about one of the more compelling draft classes in recent memory will be put to rest. Thank goodness.
Will Jadeveon Clowney go No. 1? Will a team trade with the Texans to get that pick? Who lands Khalil Mack? Is Sammy Watkins the first wide receiver off the board? And what of Jonathan Paul Manziel? There's no way JFF ends up in ... Jerrah World, does he?
The mocks can soon be mocked. The truth is about to set us free. The inexorable march of time is, for once, working in favor of the common man.
Around The League will be at Radio City Music Hall tonight. Here's some last-minute buzz before Roger Goodell takes the stage:
» Jerry Jones might love Johnny Football, but NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport says it's Blake Bortles who actually sits atop Dallas' draft board at quarterback.» Rapoport reports that the Texans' asking price for the No. 1 overall pick, for at least two inquiring clubs, is three first-round picks at a minimum. Whoa.
» Peter King of TheMMQB.com wrote that he will be "very surprised" if the Niners don't make a "Falcons/Julio Jones-type move" up the draft board. Remember, GM Trent Baalke has six picks in the top 100.
» Also from King: There's a very real chance the Rams take Clowney if the South Carolina stud doesn't come off the board at No. 1. King writes that the Rams aren't concerned about Clowney's drop in production in his final season under Steve Spurrier.
» A week after saying the Browns were best suited to take a QB later in the draft, coach Mike Pettine told USA Today that Manziel will "be in the discussion at four." Does anybody have the slightest idea what the Browns are going to do tonight? Mission accomplished, we suppose.
» Jeff Fisher stood beside Sam Bradford on stage at a St. Louis Rams pre-draft event Wednesday night and told a crowd of season-ticket holders: "Sam's our guy." It will be some cold-blooded primetime soap opera stuff if the team pulls the rug out from under their QB tonight.
» In case you missed it: The Mailman, Chris Wesseling, offered up 12 takeaways from Mike Mayock's first and only mock draft of the year.
» Joe Buscaglia of WGR-AM in Buffalo is reporting that the Bills are "very serious" about taking LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. at No. 9, according to league sources. If that happens, expect to see Steve Johnson on the trade block.
» More Manziel madness: Jordan Raanan of NJ.com is reporting that the Giants would seriously consider drafting Manziel, according to a person with knowledge of the team's draft philosophy. This does not feel like a Giants-like move at all.
» Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reports that the Raiders "are believed to prefer" Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans over Clemson's Watkins. Both players could still be on the board when Oakland picks at No. 5.
» Brett Favre, who has in retirement embraced his destiny as the evolutionary Randy Savage, calls Manziel "the best playmaker" in the draft.
"The linebackers coach (Lou Spanos) was my defensive coordinator last year," said Barr, who was named one of Subway's Famous Fans this week. "I do have a lot of familiarity with that, that defense they play over there. I know Akeem Ayers pretty well, and I think it would be a pretty seamless fit and that'd be awesome."
» The Texans have said for weeks they knew who they liked with the No. 1 pick, but were open to trading the selection. ESPN reported Thursday that Houston now is not expecting a trade and is happy to stick at No. 1 and take their man.
» Manziel is still a possibility for the Minnesota Vikings at No. 8, Rapoport reported. Coaches, scouts and evaluators are meeting later today with the owners to discuss the course of action if Manziel is available when they are on the clock.
» There are conflicting stories out there about Ryan Mallett possibly being traded to the Houston Texans, but Rapoport confirms there is "a lot of interest" in Mallett from Houston. He wouldn't be surprised if a deal happened.
» Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff told NFL Media's Rich Hollenberg he is currently in active discussions about trading the No. 6 pick. Rapoport added it might be easier for the Falcons to trade to No. 4, targeting Mack, rather than getting up to No. 1 for Clowney.
» Rapoport reported that the Oakland Raiders like Derek Carr. While the No. 5 pick is too high for Carr to come off the board, it is possible Reggie McKenzie could trade back into the latter end of the first round to nab the quarterback.
» NFL Media's Jeff Darlington reported from the Jacksonville Jaguars facility that the Jags have "keen interest" in Evans as well as Watkins. The Jags clearly have a need at receiver with the uncertainty of Justin Blackmon's future.
» Seahawks GM John Schneider told NFL Media's Alex Flanagan that it's "fairly realistic" his team will trade out of the first round, where Seattle holds the 32nd overall pick. "Depending on what our board looks like at that point, if a player falls to us, that's great, otherwise, our second and third rounds are pretty strong," Schneider said.
» Rumors of the Detroit Lions moving up to target a wide receiver have run rampant. However, if Detroit stays at No. 10, Rapoport said one player to watch is Barr. The team "loves him," according to Rapoport.