Picks, trades that could shape draft
Former NFL GM Bill Polian identifies the 'pivot points' of the 2014 NFL draft
In 2012, we had a fairly predictable top of the draft. The Colts were focusing on Andrew Luck and the Redskins on Robert Griffin III. Even in 2013, we were relatively confident the Chiefs would select a lineman at No. 1, and they did, taking Eric Fisher. But the 2014 draft is topped by a team, the Houston Texans, with a clear need at quarterback -- the most important position in the game -- but with no QB prospect worthy of a No. 1 pick ... particularly with generational pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney there for the taking.
That confluence has put the draft's first pick squarely in play, and I see three potential scenarios that could shape the rest of what likely will be a turbulent first round.
Below are the 2014 draft's most likely early pivot points, a collection of particularly intriguing picks or potential trades that could steer the draft in an unexpected direction. As noted, those surprises could start with the No. 1 pick.
Pivot Point 1: Texans' triple optionPick No. 1, Houston Texans
I see three possibilities at No. 1: The Texans take Clowney; the Texans trade the pick to a team targeting Clowney; or a potential shocker -- they trade the pick to a team targeting an offensive tackle.
To read the rest of Bill Polian's piece on potential trade scenarios in Round 1, plus to gain access to all of Insider's NFL draft coverage, you must be an ESPN Insider.