NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt conducted a question-and-answer session via Twitter earlier Tuesday, shedding some significant light on what might transpire next week at the NFL Draft in New York. Below are some of the highlights from Brandt's responses. If you missed last week's exchange between Brandt and several of his 58,800 followers, check it out here.
The price of business
In other words, despite the move being just five picks forward for Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, he'd have to blow a big hole right through the center of the club's 2015 draft to make Clowney his. Worth it? Considering the starting player Atlanta also stands to gain with its second-rounder this year (No. 37 overall) -- presumably lost in a deal with the Texans -- Clowney's impact would have to be massive. To always be known as the guy Atlanta traded up for, Clowney could count on being judged by fans in much the same way wide receiver Julio Jones has: Based on who got the best of the trade, rather than purely on Sunday production.
Raiders in enviable spot
Moving back and adding draft picks could be just the tonic for a team with as many holes as the Raiders must fill -- especially considering the depth of this draft class. But who would be the apple of other clubs' eye at that spot? If Clowney is the Houston Texans' choice at No. 1, and the St. Louis Rams follow with Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson at No. 2, at least one of the following would be available to the Raiders: Clemson's Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M's Jake Matthews, Buffalo's Khalil Mack. Plus, potentially, the entire quarterback field. No doubt, the Raiders will have a shot at someone that some club will want badly.
Sorting out the QBs
Not much in this draft is less certain than how the field of quarterbacks will settle, particularly when there doesn't seem to be much consensus within the clubs, much less the draft experts. The Manziel-Bortles-Bridgewater narrative as the draft's top tier at the position is dead and gone. And one of the up-and-comers is apparently ahead of Bridgewater on certain boards:
Jimmy Garoppolo going ahead of Teddy Bridgewater would have been unthinkable just a few months ago, when Bridgewater was considered a potential No. 1 overall pick, and Garoppolo was hustling to Mobile, Ala., to fill the last of the Reese's Senior Bowl's six quarterback slots. Your club need a quarterback? In the words of Terrell Owens: Get your popcorn ready.
Steelers take corner
Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller has been part of a carousel of cornerbacks who have seemingly passed around the label of the draft's best player at the position. Other fingerprints on that hot potato include those of Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert, Ohio State's Bradley Roby and Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard. Clubs who could be looking in the cornerback direction ahead of Pittsburgh include the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans.
Bucs on fence?
Without directly answering one question, Brandt posed another that should catch the eye of Buccaneer Nation:
Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans is thought to be high on the Bucs' list of options for the No. 7 pick, but someone like Manziel or even UCF's Blake Bortles could be a temptation if available. To a large extent, it comes down to just how the club's new coaching staff views second-year pro Mike Glennon, who performed well under some adverse circumstances last season. Well enough to be the franchise's future at the position? A much clearer answer to that question will emerge after the draft.