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Despite the weirdness of last week, I still believe the Washington Commanders will draft Jayden Daniels at No. 2 overall. He's a match for Kliff Kingsbury's system, he is as dynamic a playmaker as Washington has seen since rookie Robert Griffin III and, quite simply, he's the second-best quarterback on the board for most teams I speak with.

The worst-kept secret in the league right now is that Daniels and the Las Vegas Raiders desire one another. Antonio Pierce was with Daniels at Arizona State, and sources say Pierce would love to have Daniels in Las Vegas. But there's no transfer portal in college. As one GM said recently, in the NFL, "the rabbit has the gun."

One of Daniels' representatives said last week the former LSU star "will be happy to be a part" of whichever organization drafts him.

Because it's doubtful the Raiders could convince the Commanders to trade the pick, sources find it hard to believe Las Vegas would deal up from No. 13 for any other quarterback. It would be similar to how the Tennessee Titans were interested in the No. 3 pick from the Arizona Cardinals last year if the Houston Texans didn't select C.J. Stroud. But once the Texans took him second overall, the Titans had no interest in moving up to No. 3.

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye could be the third quarterback -- and third player -- selected Thursday night. He has the tools, but one quarterback coach called him "raw as sh--" and said he needs to clean up his footwork. One thing I've heard around the league is that Maye, more than any of the other top quarterbacks, would benefit from sitting a year. "He's a prime candidate for a redshirt year," one coach said.

That may be hard in a league where rookie quarterbacks are starting earlier than ever before (minus the Green Bay Packers, of course.) But if Maye goes to the New England Patriots, perhaps he could sit behind veteran Jacoby Brissett while New England builds up its roster over the next 15 months.

I have yet to speak to someone in the league who believes strongly Maye will be the Patriots' pick. More than anything, most seem to be assuming he's the pick. New England can absolutely explore a trade down, but one source said it "would take a massive offer" for de facto GM Eliot Wolf to move out.

The Cardinals are at the trade table presenting a strong hand. They seem comfortable taking Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 4 overall, but they could very well trade back. Sources say GM Monti Ossenfort has at least two trade-back offers in hand -- at least the bones of the trade -- with more calls likely to come in this week. It doesn't make much sense for Ossenfort to make any deal until the Cardinals are on the clock.

No matter who the Cards take, wherever they are, it'll be a player with high character for head coach Jonathan Gannon's group.

The Chargers are also a prime trade-down candidate, and they become even more so if the Cardinals sit at No. 4. In my mock, I had Los Angeles trading down with Minnesota to pick up picks No. 11 and 23. Sources say Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah doesn't want to give up No. 23 in a trade-up, but it's hard to imagine that won't be part of the price of moving into the top six. "He may not want to, but he'll have to," one GM said.

If the Chargers stay in place, a pass-catcher or offensive tackle seems to be the player. Taking Brock Bowers at No. 5 seems pricey for a tight end, though GM Joe Hortiz comes from Baltimore where they love their tight ends. Most of the league views Joe Alt as a left tackle, and the Chargers already have one of those in Rashawn Slater.

The Giants aren't showing their hand, but it seems they won't just sit at No. 6 and draft any ol' quarterback. If they don't move up, LSU receiver Malik Nabers could be the best fit there. Nabers is the top receiver on a number of boards across the league.

If Joe Alt or Marvin Harrison Jr. is available at No. 7, I don't see the Titans moving out of the pick. If both are off the board, I could see Tennessee being a trade-back candidate. It needs an offensive lineman, but it can get a quality tackle later in the first round instead of overspending on one at No. 7 if it's not Alt.

Trading back may be difficult as teams picking 8 through 10 aren't considered contenders for a top quarterback, so the appetite from the league may not be there.

My biggest regret from last week's mock draft was having Byron Murphy II being picked so late.

He could be the first defensive player off the board. Murphy has gotten a lot of love around the league, and I mocked him to the Los Angeles Rams because the narrative of him replacing Aaron Donald was too good. I don't believe he'll be available at No. 19.

Sources around the league seem to believe the Chicago Bears will go one of two ways with the No. 9 pick: pass rusher or wide receiver.

The Bears sent a fourth-round pick to L.A. to get Keenan Allen in the offseason, but he's 32 this season with one year left on his deal. I sent Chicago Rome Odunze in my mock with the thought Allen is a one-year veteran rental to lead the wide receiver room in a crucial Caleb Williams rookie year. Also, the Bears have been very serious about commitment under president Kevin Warren. I could see Chicago taking a receiver at No. 9 to prove to Williams and the rest of the league how serious the Bears are about this offense. Remember, they locked up offensive coordinator Shane Waldron with lightning speed in the offseason.

Other sources have pointed out the Bears could use the pick on a pass rusher to take some pressure off Montez Sweat. It's a good idea, and it makes roster-composition sense. But the Bears sent a second-round pick to Washington for Sweat (and then paid him) because they didn't anticipate strong options in free agency or the draft this year.

And like so many teams in this draft, a trade down is always possible.

Over this week it has become increasingly hard for me to believe Bowers will be available after the 10th pick. He could certainly go earlier, but it's really hard to imagine a world where the New York Jets leave without him if he's there for the taking.

The team I feel most comfortable won't be picking where they currently sit are the Denver Broncos. Have heard from multiple teams in the top 10 the Broncos have inquired about a trade-up. Have also heard from teams picking after 12 the Broncos have discussed an appetite for trading down. It's obvious Denver desires a quarterback if it can get up to get one. And if not, it wants to accumulate draft capital and get more players.

Zach Wilson's arrival in Denver hardly precludes the Broncos from making a move to get a quarterback in the coming days. It's a deal that had been talked about for more than a month between the two sides. Not saying he'd be taken at No. 12, but Bo Nix to Denver has been floated in some circles this week.

Two of the best interviews throughout the pre-draft process were Harrison and quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

Harrison can immediately go to a team without a veteran in the receivers room and be the leader. That's how impressive he was in meetings with teams I've spoken to.

Two teams that have done a lot of work on quarterbacks told me McCarthy had the most impressive interview of the bunch. You can poke some holes in his game, of course, but one team executive pointed out that he's only 21. McCarthy has room for growth and is extremely young in a draft class filled with COVID-year players. For example, Jayden Daniels is 25 months older than McCarthy.

It's really hard to pin down where Laiatu Latu is going to be picked. Teams generally agree he's the best pass rusher in this year's draft, but he has a serious medical history that will give some teams pause. Most of the clubs I talk to tell me they've either passed him or "yellow" flagged him. I haven't heard directly from a team who has taken him off their board but others apparently have. The talent is undeniable, and it'll come down to if the team picking is comfortable with their medical evaluation of his neck.

So much talk about trading up for a quarterback in this year's draft, but how about a wide receiver?

A few sources noted the Indianapolis Colts could be a mover on Thursday for a receiver should one be available. Indy already paid Michael Pittman Jr., but it can still add another young wideout to group with Anthony Richardson and continue to compete in a hot AFC South.

Right now the Colts sit at No. 15 in a group that could start to see cornerbacks coming off the board. That's a need in Indy, too, but don't rule out Chris Ballard continuing to be aggressive during Richardson's rookie deal.

Everyone is expecting the Philadelphia Eagles to do one of two things (or both) Thursday night: draft a cornerback or trade up. In my own mock, I had them going up from No. 22 to 16 to get Quinyon Mitchell.

Corner is a clear and obvious need for Philadelphia. But keep an eye on the Eagles potentially getting into the offensive tackle market in the first round. Lane Johnson continues to play at an All-Pro level, but he's been doing so playing through injuries that would have felled a mortal. Johnson will be 34 this season and GM Howie Roseman always keeps an eye on the future.

San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch says he "would not anticipate" trading wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk this week, and San Francisco is presenting as though it wants to work things out with its star receiver who's looking for a payday.

I checked around the league for what teams think would be fair value in a Aiyuk trade. Two executives pointed to the A.J. Brown trade as fair compensation for Aiyuk.

In the 2022 draft, the Eagles sent picks No. 18 and 101 to Tennessee for Brown before promptly signing him to a new contract. That first-and-third framework would seemingly be fair for Aiyuk, who just turned 26 and whose next contract would cover the rest of his 20s.

One exec said as long as receivers are getting paid on the market, they'll be expensive to acquire. "Teams will certainly pay a premium for one that's been proven in the league but still young." Said another: "All of these receiver trades have been done with a contract in mind so it should not affect things all that much."

One would think San Francisco, if it deals Aiyuk, would want 2024 draft compensation as opposed to future picks. The 49ers would want to replace Aiyuk now rather than in the future considering its championship window.

Multiple sources around the league believe Chiefs wide receiver Rashee Rice will ultimately be suspended by the NFL for at least two games and perhaps as many as four after an arrest on charges related to a high-speed car wreck in Texas last month.

Rice has said he takes full responsibility for his actions that have resulted in multiple charges. The league punishment likely won't be handed down anytime soon, but the Chiefs understand they'll probably be starting their season without their top receiver.

"The video makes it worse," said one source when discussing the severity of punishment. The source noted a number of high-profile car wrecks involving speed in recent years in the NFL, and the footage of Rice and others wrecking and walking away from the scene could play into how severe the punishment is.

Rice's future potential punishment won't impact what the Chiefs do in the draft. Teams know they want receiver and offensive line help, and I would expect those areas to be addressed early in the draft.

The Carolina Panthers own the top of the second round with pick No. 33, and teams around the league believe they will target a receiver with either that pick or No. 39. That is no surprise based off how last season went, and because it's so obvious, we could see that impact how other receiver-needy teams react in the late first round.

As Thursday's first round gets into the 20s, watch for teams to potentially slide back (or up in) to the first round to get a receiver. Forget the ability to have the fifth-year option on a first-round pick … this is more about making sure teams get their guy before a run on receivers in the top of the second.

Carolina, New England, Arizona, Washington and Los Angeles (Chargers) are currently at the top of the second round. All five could take a receiver. So if there's some late-first-round movement, it could be for a wideout.