The NFL draft is coming and a number of teams have been mentioned in trade rumors connected to the event, including the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers, as those teams could be looking to trade up or down once May comes along for players like Jadeveon Clowney, Mike Evans or Johnny Manziel.
The draft this season is very deep with players ta a number of positions and that could get some of the teams in the top five and top 10 to trade down, which is what the Oakland Raiders did last season with the Miami Dolphins. Reggie McKenzie traded that pick and ended up getting the player he wanted in DJ Hayden and now the team is in position to do it again. Many felt that the Raiders would be in the mix for one of the top quarterbacks at their number five pick, but now that they traded for Matt Schaub, it is unlikely they will look to draft Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater and they could opt for a QB later in the draft like Derek Carr or David Fales.
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The Raiders gave up a pick last year for Matt Flynn and that didn't work out and now they could look to trade down in the first round to get some picks back. There are a number of teams that could target the Raiders pick and as it gets closer to the draft the team will have to decide on how to attack things. The Houston Texans have the number one pick in the draft and they have been rumored to be looking at a trade, but it's more likely that Bill O'Brien will sit tight and make a pick at number one. The team obviously is in need of a quarterback, but they are not tipping their hand, as O'Brien said at the owners meetings that yes, the Texans are probably taking a quarterback, but he gave no indication as to when it would be and that means they could go after someone like Clowney and then pick a QB later in the draft.
Earlier in the offseason the team's owner said they would be open to hearing offers for the number one overall pick, but they would need to get a significant deal to give that up. The team could go after Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or Bridgewater with the number one pick, but they also could go after Clowney if they feel he is not worth passing up. Many have speculated that the pick for the Texans is between Bortles and Manziel and it comes down to whether O'Brien wants that prototypical sized QB like Bortles, or the lightning in a bottle that is Manziel.
The Cleveland Browns are in a very interesting situation, as they have the number four pick and an extra first rounder after making the trade with Trent Richardson and that means they could look to move up or down depending on how things play out. The team is in need of a QB after ditching Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell this offseason and they could go after Manziel or Bortles if they fall to number four. If the Texans take one of them, the team could look to trade up to number two with the Rams, as they could miss out on their top two targets since the Jaguars are also in line to pick a QB and they pick at number three.