The start of the 2017 NFL Draft is less than one month away, and with most of the free agency frenzy over, most teams around the league have turned their full attention towards it. Here are all the latest draft news and rumors you need to know from around the league:
Joe Mixon may go in first round
Based on pure talent, there is no doubt that Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon would be an unquestioned first round pick. However, a 2014 incident in which he punched a woman in the face dropped him to a second- or third-round prospect, but he may end up going in the back end of the first round anyways, according to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report.
Mixon's willingness in recent weeks to address the character issues that have swirled around him after he was caught on video punching a woman in the face has transformed his image, according to that team official. Not just within that team, but around much of the league.
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Indeed, people around the NFL now tell me Mixon is moving up draft boards.
It's long been believed that Mixon, like Ray Rice, would suffer because his assault was caught on video, and that video would embarrass any team that drafted him. Thus, he either wouldn't be drafted or he'd be selected late. Several team officials say at least four franchises have removed Mixon from their draft boards.
But in this case, I believe Mixon's rise is accurate. He seems to be impressing teams with his sincerity. Teams that once feared taking him are no longer as scared to do so.
Not only is his draft stock improving, but some teams say no player is moving up draft boards faster than Mixon. Apparently he's checking every box as he meets with various franchises.
Mixon might now go as high as the second round. Some even believe the late first round is in play.
Mixon was suspended for the entire 2014 season because of the incident. Last year, he rushed for 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns on 187 carries while catching 37 passes for 538 yards and five more scores.
Mitch Trubisky to Browns at No. 12?
The Cleveland Browns are expected to take Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick, and then they will likely draft a quarterback with the No. 12 overall pick. If they have their pick of quarterbacks at that selection, Cleveland will take North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky, according to Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.
In that scenario, I think they'd take Mentor's own Mitch Trubisky ahead of Deshaun Watson. I think the Browns like his arm talent and his upside potential despite the fact he started only 13 games. But it depends, in part, on how his private workout went with the club in Berea on Friday. Like other teams I've talked to, the Browns need to understand why Trubisky couldn't land the starting job his first two seasons at North Carolina. Even Bruce Arians told me at the NFL Annual meeting "that's always bugging me.'' Trubisky also let Watson steal the show at the NFL Combine. But many talent evaluators I've talked to like Trubisky's arm talent better, even though Watson has the "it'' factor and steps in big games.
Trubisky passed for 3,748 yards with 30 touchdowns and just six interceptions last season.
Panthers unlikely to trade for No. 2 pick
A rumor surfaced last week that the Carolina Panthers were interested in making a trade to acquire the No. 2 overall pick from the 49ers, but such a deal is unlikely to happen, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has never shied away from trading up during the draft, but it has always been during the second or third days. And Gettleman said recently getting the Patriots’ second-round pick in exchange for defensive end Kony Ealy and a third-round pick gives Carolina a lot of flexibility.
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But trading into one of the top overall selections takes a whole lot of currency, the specifics of which the Browns and Eagles laid out last year in this very scenario.
Philadelphia sent the Browns five picks – the No. 8 overall pick, third-round and fourth-round picks in 2016, a first-round pick in 2017 and a second-round pick in 2018 – to move up six spots to take Carson Wentz at No. 2.
The Eagles also received a fourth-round pick in 2017 from Cleveland.
These are the kind of blockbuster deals teams make if they want to draft a quarterback. It’s tough to envision the Panthers giving up that much for a guy who’s not even the best edge rusher in the draft.
The rumor centered around the Panthers looking to draft a "big time defender."
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Related Topics: NFL Rumors, NFL Draft News, Browns News, NFL News, NFL Rumors Roundup, Panthers News, NFL Draft Rumors, Joe Mixon, 2017 NFL Draft, Mitch Trubisky