Johnny Manziel not among NFL execs' top 5 draft prospects

The top five prospects in this draft basically are set in stone. The big question is in what order they will come off the board May 8.

The makeup of the top five should surprise no one, and each member of that quintet (Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins, Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews) should go in the top seven or eight. But the never-ending quest -- by every team -- for potential star quarterbacks means that a signal-caller (or two) could move into the top five. In addition, the potential always exists for an "outlier" moving in there, as well: As is often said, it only takes one team to fall in love with a prospect and take him much earlier than others expect.

That there has been trade talk surrounding the teams picking first (Houston) and second (St. Louis) also has added some mystery to the proceedings. Presumably, teams looking to trade into those spots have zeroed in on one of the top five prospects. What that means, of course, is that the other teams picking in the top six or seven could have their draft boards upended, and they in turn could be willing to trade down -- and perhaps to a team that values an "outlier" player.

In the seven mock drafts on nfl.com, two have the consensus top five prospects actually going in the top five of the draft (and in the same order -- Clowney, Robinson, Mack, Watkins and Matthews). Two others have four of the top five among the first five picks, and the other three mocks have three of the top five being selected among the first five picks.

The draft is 15 days away, so be prepared to see more and more smoke about who's going where in the ensuing two weeks.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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