Four smokescreens from NFL draft season

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Draft season is lying season. And no one in the NFL takes it personally: Lying is just how business is done.

There has been misinformation, obfuscation, and avoidance of questions. Teams spread stories through the media behind the scenes, and misdirect questions at press conferences. Or they just say nothing. Even players can be sources for smoke in April, as you'll read about below.

With just a few days left before the big show starts, here are four smokescreens from NFL Draft season we just can't abide by:

Redskins drafting a quarterback


Despite picking up Robert Griffin III's 2016 option, Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan is leaving the door open to draft a quarterback with the No. 5 overall pick. I'm calling balderdash on that smokescreen.

Griffin has told NFL Media's Jeff Darlington that he's been led to believe the Redskins won't draft a first-round quarterback. Per Darlington's sources, Oregon's Marcus Mariota is not a likely target. With so many holes on his roster, McCloughan is actually looking to trade down from the fifth spot. It wouldn't surprise me if McCloughan selects a quarterback later in the draft. I'm just not buying the idea of the Redskins pulling the trigger early at No. 5. -- Chris Wesseling

Chargers trading Rivers?


This one's unusual because the smoke isn't coming from a team -- but from a player. In this case, Philip Rivers.

When U-T San Diego's Kevin Acee pushed publicly for the Bolts to shop Rivers to Tennessee for the No. 2 overall pick -- and Marcus Mariota -- it's crystal clear where the concept came from: Rivers himself.

Whispers of moving Rivers have made for a juicy offseason storyline, but we aren't buying it. Neither are the Chargers, with the team showing zero desire to part ways with their franchise arm. Why would they? Even if they can't work out a contract extension before next season, the Chargers can still franchise Rivers for 2016. It makes far more sense to call his bluff. -- Marc Sessler

Eagles trading Bradford again


Chip Kelly's offseason has been so crazy that Eagles fans now expect utter chaos. That includes potentially trading away the franchise quarterback that Kelly just traded for a month ago. We're not buying this as a legitimate option. Rumors have swirled that the Browns could still acquire Bradford, but it doesn't pass the sniff test. The Eagles have reportedly started contract extension talks with Bradford and are ready to pay him $12.95 million. They worked on acquiring Bradford for a month because Kelly believes it's a perfect system fit.

Yes, Kelly would surely love to nab Marcus Mariota. They could even entertain the possibility of pairing Bradford with Mariota if the Oregon prospect fell out of the top five picks. But Eagles ownership and Kelly have spent the entire offseason talking up Bradford as one of the best young quarterback prospects in the league. It defies credulity that they would have invested so much time and energy into Bradford just to deal him away. -- Gregg Rosenthal

Titans are all in on Zach Mettenberger


Earlier this month, David Climer of the Tennessean wrote that the Titans would not draft Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston, nor would they pull the trigger on a trade for Philip Rivers or Jay Cutler. And why not? According to Climer, Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Ruston Webster viewed Zach Mettenberger as the steal of the 2014 draft, a passer who projects as -- wait for it -- a poor man's Tom Brady.

In fairness, Brady and Mettenberger are both former sixth-round picks who throw with their right arms. But let's face it, going all in on Mettenberger at this point in time is a sure-fire recipe for coach and GM termination. And that's why I don't buy it. The Titans have to be closely tracking the Rivers situation in San Diego, and Mariota would provide a B-12 shot to an organization that desperately needs to up its Q-rating.

The Titans will end Thursday with a quarterback, which will then free them up to trade football's next Tom Brady. There's gotta be a market for that, right? -- Dan Hanzus

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the 2015 NFL Draft and breaks down the biggest rumors and storylines. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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