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    Latest NFL Draft Rumors: Hendon Hooker Soaring, Bijan Robinson an Eagle, and More

    The 2023 NFL Draft is nearly here, and we continue to monitor the latest draft rumors surrounding names like Hendon Hooker and Bijan Robinson.

    Less than 10 days out from the NFL Draft, and final meetings are coming to a close. Where does Hendon Hooker end up? And what’s the overall thought on the receiver position? Here’s the latest on what I’m being told across the league.

    NFL Draft Rumors: Hendon Hooker’s Stock on the Rise?

    Hendon Hooker has drawn a lot of media attention in recent weeks. Once an afterthought due to the knee injury suffered late in the season, attention on Hooker skyrocketed after Mike Tannenbaum of ESPN projected the Tennessee passer to be selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the fifth pick of the draft.

    So what are people inside the league saying?

    I’ve been consistent with my opinions on Hooker. He’s a talented passer and in the best position of any quarterback in this draft. While the knee injury should prevent Hooker from being an early selection in the draft, it will force him to the sidelines in 2023 as he rehabilitates the injury. From there, he’ll observe and absorb the action while he holds the clipboard and doesn’t dress for the first two months of the season.

    There’s a lot to like about Hooker, but a top-10 pick is very ambitious. According to people I’ve spoken with, there’s a chance a team in the bottom half of Round 1 snatches him off the board. There’s also a chance a team trades from the early part of Round 2 back into the end of the first round and selects Hooker to ensure the fifth-year option in the rookie contract.

    In terms of which team could trade up, the Las Vegas Raiders are a potential destination. The Raiders presently have Hooker rated as the QB3 on their board and don’t believe their top two signal-callers (C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young, in no exact order) have any chance of falling to the seventh pick of the draft.

    MORE: 100% FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator

    It would be a big surprise if Hooker falls past the Raiders at pick 38, and there’s a chance the team trades into the bottom third of Round 1 in order to take him.

    This makes plenty of sense. As Trey Wingo mentioned several times during The Football Insiders, the three-year contract Las Vegas handed Jimmy Garoppolo is more like a one-year deal in the way it’s structured. It’s the perfect situation for Hooker if the Raiders think that highly of him.

    Could Bijan Robinson Head to Philadelphia?

    The coverage the past 24 hours around the league centered on the record-breaking contract for Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. Does the Hurts’ signing change Philly’s draft strategy?

    The feeling among many is the record contract handed to Hurts should make the organization more open to selecting Texas running back Bijan Robinson with the 10th pick. Besides filling a need, people feel the former Longhorn is a great fit for the Eagles’ offense and would take the pressure off Hurts with his versatile game.

    Selecting Robinson in the first round also assures five years of service under the rookie contract. The question is, would Howie Roseman, who does not select running backs early in the draft, deviate from his track record?

    The Wide Receiver Position Is Splitting Opinions

    People in the league describe the receiver position in the upcoming draft as “31 Flavors.” The wideouts come with a mix of sizes, speeds, and skills. Yet, no single receiver checks all the boxes, and there are no elite players at the position.

    Seemingly just two wideouts are locked first-round selections, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, graded as my No. 1 receiver from the get-go, and Quentin Johnston, presently the WR3 on my big board.

    Smith-Njigba, whose official top-30 visits end with trips to see the Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings this week, could be drafted as early as the 12th pick by the Houston Texans, but it’s more likely he ends up with a team selecting in the 20s.

    Johnston was on the outside looking in when the league announced they were inviting just 17 players to Kansas City for the draft. Had the number been as many as 20, the big receiver from TCU would’ve likely received an invite. The New England Patriots think highly of Johnston, but no one I’ve spoken with believes they would select him with the 15th pick.

    If Johnston starts to fall into the 20s, keep an eye on the Kansas City Chiefs. The team is very high on Johnston as they need another big-bodied wideout. Kansas City would be a great fit for Johnston, who would benefit from the structure and professionalism of the organization.

    MORE: 3 Receivers Go in Round 1 in Latest Mock Draft

    A little further down the board, a few teams have Zay Flowers graded as a first-round prospect, though not nearly as many as advertised. Fewer have Jordan Addison — presently WR2 on my board — as a top-32 pick. Jalin Hyatt, meanwhile, seems to be in freefall, as I mentioned two weeks ago, and it would be a surprise if he lands in the first round.

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