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2014 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Rumors: Jimmy Garappolo A Second-Round Pick; Saints’ Options to Replace Darren Sproles

NFL Draft Rumors: Jimmy Garappolo climbs the draft boards, uncertainty around Logan Thomas, and potential fits for the Saints’ backfield.

Jimmy Garappolo
Jimmy Garappolo

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The conversation about quarterbacks begins with Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Blake Bortles, all considered viable options for the Houston Texans and other needy teams in the first round of May’s draft. But with the Jacksonville Jaguars re-upping with Chad Henne and the Minnesota Vikings doing the same with Matt Cassel, all signs point more quarterbacks coming off the board in Rounds 2 and beyond.

One such player in Jimmy Garappolo.

Ranked No. 9 in the XN Sports’ quarterback  rankings, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. believes the Eastern Illinois prospect will be drafted sometime in the second round — perhaps to the aforementioned Jags or Vikings, maybe to the Texans, Oakland Raiders, or Cleveland Browns.

According to Kiper, he’s gaining plenty of steam as the draft nears. Though he needs a lot of work, he has all the tools to be a n NFL pocket-passer, including the size (6-foot-2 and 219 pounds), quick decision-making and a fast release.

“He seems to be the hot property right now that people are talking about even more than the big three quarterbacks,” Kiper told the First Draft podcast.

Another quarterback that has made headlines of late is Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, the No. 8 quarterback in the XN Sports rankings.

There has been a mixed review of how Thomas’ inconsistent college career will translate to the professional ranks, though the former Hokies standout did perform well in January’s Senior Bowl. Still, questions remain about Thomas’ skill-set, and according to Kiper, he “would not be surprised” to see Thomas lining up as a tight end in two years.

Thomas’ NFL Scouting Combine numbers actually compared to that of Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski — just something to keep an eye on.

With Darren Sproles on his way to the Philadelphia Eagles, the New Orleans Saints could be in the market for a new scat-back.

One prospect mentioned as a possible successor to Sproles in the Big Easy is Florida State running back Devonta Freeman. The No. 8 back in the XN Sports running back rankings, Freeman is being viewed as a Ray Rice sort of back. While in Tallahassee, Freeman was a consistent runner with shifty feet and a lot of power. Like Sproles, he’s an above-average pass-catcher. He hauled in 22 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown out of the Seminoles backfield in 2013.

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