- Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post, citing sources, says the Texans, Colts and Seahawks are among the teams who have checked in with the Bears to see what a trade to No. 1 would cost.
- All of his sources still expected Alabama QB Bryce Young to be the first pick.
- La Canfora notes some in the NFL think the Bears might even be able to pull off a double trade down: “Everything is falling into place for them. They could trade down more than once. They are in a great position to get a lot of picks.”
- A GM for another team added: “It would be hard for even them to screw this up.”
- The Bears had a formal meeting with South Carolina DL Zacch Pickens at the NFL Combine, according to Ryan Fowler.
The Athletic’s Mike Sando talked to GMs and high-ranking evaluators for a few different NFL teams to try and get a sense of how the league sees the top ten of the draft going coming out of the Scouting Combine. People were split on which cornerback the Lions would like better between Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez or Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon.
“[Lions DC] Aaron Glenn is probably going to like Witherspoon because he is so competitive, but Gonzalez is bigger, longer, faster,” one GM said.
Another thought corner was a strong possibility but brought up the idea of Detroit filling the need via a trade for Rams CB Jalen Ramsey or in free agency, and saving the pick for a spicier option.
“I buy a corner for Detroit, but that is another possible quarterback destination,” the GM said. “It would not surprise me if Detroit said, ‘OK, we are going to upgrade corner by trading for Jalen Ramsey or signing Jamel Dean and saving that pick for a more valuable position.’ Among corners in the draft, I think Gonzalez goes first, and he is the clear-cut No. 1.”
As far as potentially taking a quarterback, other execs around the league expected Detroit to do its homework on an intriguing class. Lions HC Dan Campbell even said at the Combine not to dismiss the idea of them taking a passer. Ultimately, though, most people think the Lions like QB Jared Goff too much to stretch for a quarterback.
“They love Goff and how he fits their culture, and that’s the kind of thing Dan Campbell really cares about,” the executive said via Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post. “And they kept their play-caller [OC Ben Johnson] and they think they can win now. I see them being okay with moving back if someone needs to go to six to get their quarterback.”
- Ryan Fowler reports UCLA OL Atonio Mafi visited with the Lions on Thursday.
Packers RB Aaron Jones is hoping QB Aaron Rodgers won’t be going anywhere this offseason but he did mention he’s confident in current backup QB Jordan Love if he becomes the starter.
“I hope he is not going nowhere,” Jones said on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football. “Especially not Vegas. You know he played with Tae (Davante Adams), so I hope that wouldn’t happen. He’s my quarterback, so I hope he’s back. If he’s back, we are ready to ball with him. If not, then we have Jordan Love, who’s more than capable, and he’s ready to ball as well and ready for his shot.”
“I definitely keep seeing that everywhere the Jets want him, but as of right now, he’s in Green Bay if he comes back and plays,” Jones said. “I don’t want him going anywhere. You guys (Jets fans) can have one of those veteran quarterbacks. Jimmy G, he’s a winner and they can win with him. I like Jimmy G.”
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer points out the trade compensation the Jets would need to give up for Rodgers could be less than a lot of people have been speculating. Breer thinks the Jets’ second-round pick this year and a conditional 2025 pick hinging on Rodgers’ performance and how long he plays.
- Breer adds he doesn’t think the Jets will have to give up a first-round pick, as the Packers don’t have a lot of leverage. Rodgers’ age, contract and limited number of landing spots will constrict his market.
- ESPN’s Rich Cimini also predicted the compensation would be a second and a future conditional third that could improve.
- The Packers have hired Rob Grosso as offensive quality control coach and Kyle Wilber as special teams quality control coach. (Rob Demovsky)
- The Packers had a formal meeting with Texas DL Keondre Coburn at the NFL Combine, according to Ryan Fowler.
- Bryant McFadden, a co-host on Vikings CB Patrick Peterson‘s podcast, said that the veteran defensive back would love to return to Minnesota: “Hopefully we do it again and Minnesota is the destination once again. He’d love to come back to Minnesota.” (Chris Tomasson)
- Vikings LS Andrew DePaola said he’d love to return to Minnesota, but hasn’t been in contact with management: “Yeah I would like to be a Minnesota Viking, I have talked with Matt Daniels about free agency and he wants me to be a Minnesota Viking for the next couple of years.” (Tomasson)
- Georgia CB Kelee Ringo had formal meetings with 15 teams at the combine including the Vikings. (Ryan Fowler)
- Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell expects OT Brian O’Neill (Achilles) to be ready in time for training camp, per Chris Tomasson.
- O’Connell said CB Andrew Booth (knee) is doing very well with his recovery and he’ll be ready for training camp, but they anticipate him being limited in OTAs. (Tomasson)
- Vikings S Lewis Cine (leg) is also doing well with his recovery and O’Connel thinks he could participate in “phase 3 of OTAs.” (Tomasson)
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