The 2013 NFL draft generally is considered to lack the talent of the past few years, and that could lead to more teams offering up their picks for future selections. It also could lead to teams looking to find talent that already is in the league and might be available in a trade.
Enter Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. The former Arkansas star has had two years learning under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and with the lack of elite quarterbacks in this year’s draft, he is an appealing option (as WEEI.com’s Chris Price covered here last month).
According to multiple reports Thursday, the Patriots have received numerous calls about Mallet’s availability. New England picked up Mallett in the third round in 2011 and reportedly wouldn’t take less than a second-rounder for him.
According to Greg Bedard of The Boston Globe, one team that might have interest is the Browns. New general manager Mike Lombardi raved about Mallett when Lombardi worked for NFL Network, and Lombardi’s son, Mick, was a coaching/scouting assistant with the Patriots and got a first-hand look at Mallett in practices.
(The Browns also reportedly are considering trading up from No. 6 in an effort to land West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.)
The other quarterback on the Patriots roster is Mike Kafka, although the team reportedly has been heavily scouting QBs in this year’s draft.
In 2012, Mallet completed 1-of-4 passes for 17 yards and was intercepted once.
• The 22nd overall pick that the Rams received from the Redskins last year is said to be for sale. ESPN’s Adam Schefter made the Rams’ intentions clear on Twitter.
The team also has the 16th overall pick and likely would attempt to trade down to obtain more picks. Last season, coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead had a good draft, picking up Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson, among others.
• ESPN’s John Clayton reports that the Vikings “would like to find a way to take Manti Te’o” in the first round. The Notre Dame linebacker’s future is uncertain following his fake-girlfriend issue and his disappointing in the national championship game.
Current linebackers on the Vikings roster include Audie Cole, Larry Dean, Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson and Marvin Mitchell. Minnesota owns two first-round picks, at 23 and 25.
• The Falcons are looking to trade up in an effort to get a defensive end/pass-rusher, according to Yahoo! Sports‘ Jason Cole. Cole indicates that the Falcons likely couldn’t get much higher than 22 or 23, which would put them in a spot to get Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner.
• Though the draft still is hours away, apparently Jets coach Rex Ryan already has some ideas on how he would use West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin on his squad.
According to Jenny Vrentas of the Newark Star-Ledger, Austin said that his recent meeting with the Jets included Ryan mentioning plans he has on how to use the talented player.
“He made a little joke, ‘We might throw you on the defensive side, a couple plays,’ but it was everything good,” Austin said. “He said he had a plan for me. I talked to the offensive coordinator and they said they like players like me who can bring big-play ability there.”
The Jets have both the ninth and 13th overall picks in this year’s draft.
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