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2015 NFL Draft: Four storylines that proved to be smokescreens

As the dust begins to settle following the 2015 NFL Draft, the pre-draft smokescreens that helped keep the draft plans of NFL clubs under wraps are beginning to dissipate. Around the NFL examined four such smokescreens two days before the draft.

Here's a quick look at what resulted from those four, plus four more examples of NFL club reps who were shooting straight with a pre-draft narrative.


1. Redskins open to drafting a QB

When Washington picked up a fifth-year option on quarterback Robert Griffin III, general manager Scott McCloughan indicated the move had no impact on the team's draft plans.

Result: The club had 10 draft picks and didn't choose a quarterback. It's hard to imagine that happening if the club hadn't made its commitment to Griffin.

2. Chargers open to Rivers trade

One of the most intriguing subplots in the days before the draft was the notion of the San Diego Chargers trading quarterback Philip Rivers, presumably to move up in the draft and pick Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. ATN's Marc Sessler didn't believe this balderdash even came directly from the club.

Result: A Rivers trade didn't happen, wouldn't have happened, couldn't have happened. And with a rookie presence like Melvin Gordon now in the backfield, the San Diego offense is far better for standing pat.

3. Eagles look to move Bradford

After Philly acquired quarterback Sam Bradford in a trade with the St. Louis Rams in the offseason, there was talk that Eagles coach Chip Kelly was prepared to deal Bradford before he ever had a chance to play a down. Kelly himself might have triggered speculation by saying he had been offered a first-round pick for Bradford just after acquiring him.

Result: Kelly has proved willing to make unorthodox moves to alter the look of the Eagles, but this would have been beyond unorthodox, even for a coach who was clearly smitten with Mariota. A Bradford deal, of course, never materialized.

4. Titans ready to tap Mettenberger

Few balloons were overinflated and floated higher before the draft than the promise Zach Mettenberger showed as a rookie quarterback for the Titans last season. As the narrative went, the Titans were perhaps content to let a sixth-round pick steer the offense in a crucial year for coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Result: The club was so high on Mettenberger that it spent the No. 2 pick of the draft on Mariota, despite the fact that he might struggle as a rookie in adapting to a pro-style offense. Remember while Mettenberger totes Mariota's water this fall that he "has all the tools."

Shooting straight

1. Cowboys content at RB

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had said that picking a running back was not a draft urgency for the club. He obviously wasn't kidding, because eight Dallas draft picks inexplicably came and went without the club acquiring one to compete with free-agent signee Darren McFadden, for whom expectations are measured at best.

2. Steelers reloading secondary

Steelers team president Art Rooney II indicated before the draft that Pittsburgh would be spending multiple picks on defensive backs to bolster an ailing secondary -- did they ever. Pittsburgh invested two of its first four picks on cornerbacks Senquez Golson and Doran Grant and tacked on ball-hawking safety Gerod Holliman, who made an NCAA record-tying 14 interceptions last year, with its final choice.

3. Whaley stands pat

Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley danced around the quarterback question throughout the pre-draft process, saying the team wouldn't "overdraft" at the position. Few believed him, not with EJ Manuel's status as a starter looking as slippery as ever. In the end, the Buffalo QB trio of Manuel, Matt Cassel, and Tyrod Taylor came out of the draft unscathed by a new face.

4. Mariota to play

At the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix, Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said that if the club drafted Mariota with the No. 2 overall pick, it wouldn't be to groom him for a year as a developmental pick. The pick, Whisenhunt implied, is just too high to cede a rookie impact. Well, after taking Mariota with that very pick, Whisenhunt wasn't backing down post-draft.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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