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2014 NFL draft: A.J. McCarron told he could be taken in the first round

2014 NFL draft: Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron told he could be taken in the first round A.J. McCarron would love to be the first Alabama QB taken in the first round since Richard Todd in '76. (Damian Strohmeyer/SI)

Thanks to the NFL's decision to push back the 2014 draft until May, we are forced to sit through an extra two weeks of smokescreens and rumors about how everything could play out when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell takes the podium.

If the latest smoke is indicative of fire, former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron could be one of the fastest rising prospects in the history of the draft.

MORE: 2014 NFL Mock Draft | 2014 NFL draft needs: AFC | NFL draft needs: NFC

With the draft just over a week away, McCarron says he has been told there is a chance he could hear his name called by the end of the first round.

"They felt like I could go anywhere from 16-35," McCarron said during an appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show. "I believe that, too. At the same time, I don't have my hopes set on anything. Whatever happens, happens. It's a blessing for me to even be in this situation."

While McCarron says that he believes the chatter, he seems to understand it could also be a lie.

"It's not like the GMs are calling these guys and telling them, 'Hey, we're going to draft this guy at this number so go ahead and put that out there,'" McCarron said. "One thing I've learned about this whole process, it's nothing but a big secret.

"A lot of times teams will bring in a guy just to bluff another team and make it seem like toward the media that they like this guy and really they have no interest at all in drafting him."

If McCarron were to actually be drafted in the 16-35 range and ahead of a guy like Teddy Bridgewater, it would be one of the biggest surprises we have ever seen. In that range, the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans would all be potential fits, but it is still difficult to seeing a scenario playing out where McCarron ends up in the first round.

GALLERY: Top 10 quarterbacks in the 2014 Draft

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