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Mock Draft Roundup: Raiders Like Carr, But What About Cleveland?

Now that the dust has settled from the NFL combine, it's open season for rumor mongering. The former Fresno State quarterback figures to be a central figure in the rampant speculation to come in the next two months.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL combine is in the rear view mirror. Free agency is just over the horizon. Mock drafts will be subject to a lot of change in the immediate future as teams begin to shore up weaknesses with the open market, but that hasn't slowed the annual rite of picking apart every last prospect. Derek Carr is no exception, and his draft stock will rise and fall as hearsay ebbs and flows.

Name Site Updated Pick # Team
Charlie Campbell WalterFootball 3/3 26 Cleveland
Walter Cheripinsky WalterFootball 3/5 26 Cleveland
Alex Espinoza Bleacher Report 3/4 5 Oakland
Matthew Fairburn Mocking the Draft 3/3 8 Minnesota
Daniel Jeremiah 2/27 26 Cleveland
Pat Kirwan CBS Sports 3/4 32 Minnesota (from Seattle)
Pete Prisco
CBS Sports 3/5 5 Oakland
Rob Rang CBS Sports 3/4 8 Minnesota
Josh Sanchez Fansided 3/5 26 Cleveland
Peter Schrager Fox Sports 2/28 8 Minnesota
Matt Smith 3/5 26 Cleveland
Mike Sudds DraftTek 3/6 35 Cleveland

A month ago, the majority of mock draft experts had Carr ensconsed in the top 10, though he was still slotted behind Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater. Now, the opinions are nearly split: Carr is still considered a first-round talent, yet he's slid down some draft boards to the back half. He's generally perceived as the fourth-best quarterback prospect in what appears to be a three-man race, though it may ultimately benefit him.

Despite the general malaise of the Browns franchise, stepping behind center with an elite left tackle protecting your blind side and a game-breaking wide receiver to whom you can throw downfield has its upside. Of course, many said the same thing about Brady Quinn, so the Cleveland faithful can be forgiven if they are holding their breath regardless of whoever becomes the next franchise signal caller.

There is still a bit of helium behind Carr, however, from certain pockets of the NFL universe. Espinoza's mock draft hints at the rumored interest in Carr by the Oakland Raiders, who are believed to favor him over Manziel. This echoes earlier reports that the Browns share similar sentiments, and lends credence to the above chart. Another report at Sports Illustrated's Audibles claims that one personnel man sees the former Bulldog as the guy in this class, which places him squarely in the minority.

Fresno State's Pro Day will be Carr's next opportunity to change hearts and minds, though I suspect little will change because the book seems to be out. Stay tuned.

Other Mountain West Prospects

There are not many sites that cover multiple rounds at this point, but Matthew Fairburn's latest mock includes two rounds. Walter Cheripinsky has hammered out five rounds. DraftTek has done one better and gone the distance with all seven rounds. Here is where other Mountain West athletes are slotted:

Name Cheripinsky DraftTek Fairburn
Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State 60 (Carolina, rd. 2) 48 (Baltimore, rd. 2) 60 (Carolina, rd. 2)

Shaquil Barrett, LB, Colorado State

174 (Miami, rd. 6)

Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State

212 (Oakland, rd. 7)

Joel Bitonio, T/G, Nevada

90 (Indianapolis, rd. 3) 116 (Arizona, rd. 4)

David Fales, QB, San Jose State

152 (Cincinnati, rd. 5)

146 (Dallas, rd. 5)

Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming

127 (Denver, rd. 4) 160 (Seattle, rd. 5)

Marqueston Huff, S, Wyoming

164 (Cleveland, rd. 6)

Marcel Jensen, TE, Fresno State

129 (Houston, rd. 5)

Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State

143 (Miami, rd. 5) 140 (New York Giants, rd. 5)

Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State

104 (Detroit, rd. 4) 96 (Minnesota, rd. 3)

Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State

160 (rd. 5) 206 (Dallas, rd. 7)

Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

62 (New England, rd. 2) 82 (Chicago, rd. 3)

Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming

141 (St. Louis, rd. 5)