*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Senior Bowl Wednesday Rumor MillUpdated Jan. 23, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
With all the general managers, coaches and scouts in attendance for the Senior Bowl, there is a lot of chatter going around. Here are some of the highlights from around the league on the third day of the 2019 Senior Bowl week.
Grier needed to interview well because he had a suspension at Florida that caused him to transfer. There also has been talk of him and his family being high maintenance, so for Grier to impress in the interviews was very good for his draft stock. The consensus is that Jones, Lock, Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray will get selected in the first round. However, there always could be room for a fifth signal-caller given the need at the position in the NFL. Many have graded Grier on Day 2, but he is in the running to be the fifth quarterback selected and these interviews could help him to rise in terms of where he is valued.
While Clowney is likely to see the franchise tag, sources were not optimistic that Clowney would be signed to a long-term contract and said the franchise tag was probably only an option for one season given the cost. A long-term contract with Clowney probably would have been executed by former general manager Rick Smith. Smith had a string extensions for the team’s first-round picks. Duane Brown (2008), Brian Cushing (2009), Kareem Jackson (2010), J.J. Watt (2011), Whitney Mercilus (2012) and DeAndre Hopkins (2013) were all signed to an extension before their rookie contracts ended. Clowney is the next one up, but under the new regime, it sounds like a multi-year extension is less likely. Houston sources say the cost could be more than what current general manager Brian Gaine is willing to pay.
Sources also said that the relationship between Clowney and head coach Bill O’Brien is not necessarily conducive to either side wanting to do a long-term deal. Of course, the public statements are to the contrary because they have to be for the images of both the player and organization. The Texans feel that tagging Clowney is probably the only way to keep him. If Clowney were to become an unrestricted free agent, they think he could easily choose to sign elsewhere, like other recent desirable free agents A.J. Bouye or Brandon Brooks. The Texans tried to re-sign both Bouye and Brooks before losing them to Jacksonville and Philadelphia, respectively. Some with Houston feel that O’Brien’s ego and coaching style caused those veterans to prefer to move on and that Clowney would leave as well if he is not tagged.
Of course, there were other problems that led to the Texans getting bounced from the playoffs and dropping to a 1-3 postseason record under Bill O’Brien. Sources with Houston say the team has enough money to tag Clowney while also spending to upgrade the roster’s weaknesses along the offensive line and at cornerback. The Texans also have an extra second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft thanks to the Duane Brown trade from 2017. They feel they are in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy next year and sound like they are firmly in win-now mode this offseason.
2019 Senior Bowl Home
2019 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Quarterbacks
2019 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Running Backs
2019 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Wide Receivers
2019 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Tight Ends
2019 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Offensive Linemen
2019 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Defensive Linemen
2019 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Linebackers
2019 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Defensive Backs