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NFL Draft Rumors: Aidan Hutchinson, 49ers, Deebo Samuel Trade, Chiefs, Jameson Williams

Two days before the NFL draft is supposed to be the quiet time because most teams at the top of the first round know what they would like to do by now and often have good intelligence on what other teams are doing.

Not this year.

Maybe that’s because the Jacksonville Jaguars hold the No. 1 pick. And the Jaguars don’t always seem to have clear direction on things — the fact they’ve had a top 5 pick in eight of the last 11 years speaks for itself.

The Jags could come out right now and announce whom they’re going to draft and no one would be able to do anything about it. But as of late Monday, they were considering up to three players and hoping some team might offer a mint for a trade down.

We have no certainty who the three players they’re still considering are, but according to league sources, the idea that Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson should and will be the No. 1 overall pick has been losing steam and it’s been that way for several days.

That’s strange considering Hutchinson has the tape, has the makeup of a top pick, and is a low-risk player both on and off the field.

Is he dynamic?

Probably not.

But good for years to come? Definitely.

So why is Hutchinson potentially losing his grip on the top overall selection?

“I don’t know that he is or isn’t but think it speaks more about Jacksonville than it does Aidan Hutchinson,” one NFL source said. “They should know by now who they want. The idea that last week they were talking about not needing to rush to make a decision suggests to me there’s no consensus in the building yet.

“That’s a distinct possibility.”

Alabama’s Jameson Williams May Not Drop After All

Alabama receiver Jameson Williams tore his left ACL on Jan. 10 and the common thinking has been that it would cost him draft position (and money) because teams might be wary he might not play as a rookie until October or November.

Well, several teams now believe Williams will be ready to participate in training camp when it begins in late July and should be ready for the start of the NFL season the second week of September.

And as a result, according to a source on one team, Williams is the top receiver on their board — with a top 10 grade. The catch is the team doesn’t pick until late in the first round and believes it has no chance to pick Williams.

Williams has been saying he’s ahead of schedule for weeks. He apparently wasn’t kidding.

The OutKick mock draft on Monday morning had Williams slotted out of the top 15. He may go way earlier than that.

Teams Not Buying John Lynch Statements About Deebo

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch on Monday said he wasn’t going to speak with any specifics about the Deebo Samuel situation and how that might include a possible trade. Lynch wouldn’t even confirm Samuel has requested a trade because he said doing so is not in the best interest of the team.

And then Lynch talked about how great Samuel is:

“I can’t ever imagine wanting to move on from Deebo,” Lynch said. “You put yourself through the exercises of, even though we don’t have a first-round pick, you have to be thorough in this process and prepare for everything. And so, you go through and do that and he’s just too good of a player.

Lynch called Samuel “a game-changing player for our franchise” and he wasn’t finished with the praise.

“He’s got tremendous will, he’s a very talented player. I think by virtue of the way he plays, it’s inspiring and so, to me, that entails leadership,” Lynch said. “Do you make people around you better? He checks that box. He’s a great teammate. And I think of things like prior to games, I get out there and he’s always throwing the ball with the fans. I think he’s been a great member of our community, so we’ve got nothing but love for him and nothing but appreciation for what he’s bought, but you just don’t let guys like that walk.

“I can’t envision a scenario where we would.”

So, taken at face value, the 49ers are not planning to trade Deebo Samuel.

But a source on one team believes the 49ers absolutely would be willing to part with Samuel rather than turn the current situation into a team-dividing drama.

And that source called what Lynch said about Samuel on Monday “a classic sales job to drive up the price on the player, not that it needs to be driven up.”

The 49ers do not have a first-round pick in this draft, but one draft scenario for a Samuel trade added a first-round pick in Thursday’s first round and another one in next year’s draft, per a source. So two first-round picks for Samuel could get a trade done.

Unlikely any team gives that much. But, the source said trade talks are negotiations and typically not everyone gets what they want, so the 49ers aren’t getting two No. 1 picks for Samuel.

But don’t discount the possibility of a trade happening.

Chiefs on the clock, but when?

The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the record eight teams with two first-round selections in this draft.

That’s great for the Chiefs!

But the Chiefs internally believe there are between 16-20 legitimate first rounders in this draft. And they happen to hold picks No. 29 and No. 30.

That’s bad for the Chiefs!

So Kansas City wants to do one of two things: They would love to trade back because it is a deep draft and perhaps pick up an extra third-rounder in the exchange. Or they’d like to move up into the teens in the right scenario — if they see an opportunity to pick a player they believe is a legitimate first-round talent.

So while having consecutive picks late in the first round doesn’t seem terrible at first blush, it really isn’t where the Chiefs would love to be if they had their choice.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

 

Written by Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero has covered the NFL since 1990 for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and ESPN. He was a 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 columnist. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and AP All-Pro team voter.

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