NFL Draft Rumors: Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Ra’Shede Hageman

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Blake Bortles

Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Whether it’s Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles, the top pick is bound to be a quarterback. Right? According to the Houston Chronicle, yes.

The Houston Texans will take a quarterback with the top pick, according to longtime NFL beat writer John McClain.

Of course, this report is not as specific as some would like, as only Jadeveon Clowney is ruled out as being the Texans’ choice and instantly becomes the most coveted player on the board. The debate over Manziel, Bortles and Bridgewater remains very much alive, though. Manziel is considered “the hometown kid” having played his college ball in the state of Texas, where Bridgewater is considered the most “NFL ready” and Bortles has prototypical pro quarterback size and arm strength.

According to NFL.com’s most recent mock draft, Bortles’ combine outing might have solidified his status as being “Houston’s guy.” Previously, NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell labeled Bortles as the best prospect of the bunch, but believes Clemson’s Sammy Watkins is a better player than any quarterback in the draft.

Not everybody is of that belief, though.

One personnel man told NFL.com Fresno State’s Derek Carr is the best quarterback of the group. Carr is XN Sports’ No. 4-rated quarterback prospects and is widely considered a first- or second-round pick.

That sentiment is echoed by a report from the Los Angeles Times which indicates the Oakland Raiders list Carr higher on the board than Manziel in the aftermath of the NFL Combine.

Soon-to-be first-round pick Ra’Shede Hageman headlined Minnesota’s Pro Day, and according to reports close to 20 teams were in attendance. Among the coaches on hand for it: the Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings.

Hageman is the third-ranked defensive prospect behind Florida State’s  Timmy Jernigan and Notre Dame’s Louis Nix III. He’s been mocked to team such as the Pittsburgh Steelers as a successor to Casey Hampton or even more likely with Green Bay, which has both B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett headed toward free agency.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.
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