2014 NFL Draft News and Notes

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The latest news, rumors and banter surrounding the 2014 NFL Draft.

The Bengals may be in the market for an offensive tackle, and Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio was at one time viewed as a candidate for them at pick No. 24. But after failing a number of NFL team's physicals at the scouting combine, some believe he could fall into Day 2 due to an arthritic knee.

Alalabama's team doctor, Lyle Cain, told NFL.com he that some teams gave Kouandjio a grade of 4, and others a 3, on a 1-5 scale on his combine medical exam.

A rating of 1 indicates an injury-free prospect, while a rating of 5 indicates a significant, and potentially undraftable, risk. A rating of 4 indicates "a significant injury or injuries that may affect longevity, but they aren't lame or disabled. It just may affect them later," Cain told Rapoport. A rating of 3, Cain said, indicates a significant injury but not one that would affect a player in the long term.

Cyrus had some injuries his freshman year, a torn ACL and an MCL. We fixed it that year, two years ago. At the time, he had a little minor articular cartilage wear in his knee. A little bit of an injury. That's just playing football. ... But the combination of the ACL, MCL and articular cartilage wear makes teams concerned there may be a longevity issue," Cain said. "The reality is, he played 27 games after the injury, never missed a practice, and never had the knee treated. These kinds of cartilage injuries are common in sports."

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The Bengals probably won't be in the market for an offensive guard high in the draft, which probably takes them out for the market for Mississippi State's Gabe Jackson. According to NFL.com's Gil Brandt, Jackson is a candidate to be selected late in the end of the first-round, despite having a second-third round grade by most scouting services. 30 NFL teams were on-hand to watch Jackson and the rest of MSU's draft prospects at their pro day, so the Bengals probably were there to see him in action.

Big Blue View has a nice writeup on Jackson.

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The Cleveland Browns have draw criticism (shocker, huh?) for not conducting a formal interview with Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel. It's no secret the Browns are in desperate need of a QB, and Manziel is arguably the best one in this class.

As it turns out, they didn't interview any QBs at the scouting combine. They''ll instead interview them privately during pre-draft workouts over the next few months. They have two first-round picks, and will likely spend one of them on a QB.

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NFL.com's Bucky Brooks sees Missouri defensive end Michael Sam as a fifth-round prospect after his poor showing at the scouting combine.

“He’s a nickel pass rusher. He has the ability to come in on third downs and get after the quarterback. He’s not athletic enough to be that 3-4 outside linebacker and he’s not stout enough to be an every down defensive end. So, you would need to have a role for him.

“When we are looking at the draft, when you are picking players as role players or as specialists, it kind of diminishes their value. He’s a draftable player for sure, but now I think we’re talking about the fifth round. He’s a guy who can contribute to special teams and also as a situational rusher in certain packages.”

The Bengals need some depth at DE after Michale Johnson leaves in free agency, and Sam could be a nice addition in the latter rounds. Robert Geathers, Carlos Dunlap and Margus Hunt figure to get most of the DE snaps, so Sam could fit well in Cincy as a situational pass-rusher.

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