THE DRAFT ORDER IS MOSTLY RANDOM. I cannot predict how each team will finish the season. The NFL is unpredictable. Cleveland could win the Superbowl for all we know. I do not really believe Baltimore will win the SB or that Miami will pick first. I had to create some kind of order and this is what I settled on. I agree it is a bullshit ranking of teams.

Also, I tried to think “outside the box” so my mock wouldn’t look identical to every other mock out there. None of these picks will actually happen.

1. Miami – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU wide receiver – Brian Flores and Chris Grier will probably try and trade down to get defensive talent. Chase would be a hell of a pick though. The best receiver in college football would be hard to turn down. Even for a defensive coach.

2. Detroit – Christian Barmore, Alabama defensive tackle – Barmore is a reserve defensive tackle for Alabama who I see having a breakout like Quinnen Williams did. Barmore was very productive in limited snaps, and has NFL size. I doubt Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia will be around for this draft, so any pick is realistic for me.

3. Arizona – Devonta Smith, Alabama wide receiver – If Kingsbury’s vision of the offense is to be fulfilled, Arizona will want receivers to make it happen. Devonta Smith is good at being a wide receiver.

4. Chicago – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson quarterback – Lawrence has been dominating the college football world since his freshman season. Chicago would get the dream pick if he were available. And they badly need hope at the quarterback position.

5. Carolina – Justin Fields, Ohio state quarterback – Fields blossomed at Ohio State in 2019. He will be more than up to the task of running Joe Brady’s offense.

6. Jacksonville – Trey Lance, North Dakota state quarterback – In this timeline, Gardner struggles and Dave Caldwell pulls the trigger on a new quarterback. Lance threw literally zero INTs in 2019.

7. LA Chargers – Penei Sewell, Oregon offensive tackle – Shockingly, the Chargers have a bad offensive line. Sewell blocked for Herbert at Oregon and was the nation’s best offensive lineman in 2019.

8. New York Giants – Micah Parsons, Penn state linebacker – Parsons is all over the field creating turnovers. I believe Gettleman will want to build out the defense for New York.

9. Washington – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama cornerback – Washington has a very competitive front seven but could use help in the secondary. I could see Haskins improving but the team still struggling.

10. Cincinnati – Elijah Moore, Ole Miss wide receiver – I know. There are bigger names on the board here. Moore took a big, steamy dump all over LSU’s absolutely SILLY stacked NFL secondary. He’s only 5’9″ (so is Marquise Brown), but he can separate. I anticipate Moore will have a bigger season in 2020.

11. New York Jets – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama wide receiver – Joe Douglas is an offensive line guy. The Jets will still need to get Darnold a pass catcher.

12. Miami (through Houston) – Kwity Paye, Michigan defensive lineman – Paye is built like Rashan Gary, at 277 lbs, but does a great job of actually creating pressure. Paye beat up on Iowa’s vaunted Alaric Jackson.

13. Denver – Walker Little, Stanford offensive tackle – Drew Lock may not be the guy. If he is the guy, Denver could get a high level left tackle to compete with Garrett Bolles for the starting job.

14. Indianapolis – Paulson Adebo, Stanford cornerback – Indy sure does need a quarterback. If they can’t get one of the top picks, they could improve their cornerback situation with Adebo. Kiper had Adebo as his number 2 draft eligible corner before going back to school.

15. Philadelphia – Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC wide receiver – The Eagles actually still need help at wide receiver if Jeffery/Jackson are going to be injury prone/released from the team.

16. Tampa Bay – Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest defensive lineman – Basham could take over for Suh in 2021 or for William Gholston. Basham, at 275 lbs collected 11 sacks and forced 3 fumbles in 2019. He has the size for a 3-4 defense and can create pressure at a high level.

17. Cleveland – Richard LeCounte, Georgia cornerback – If Baker doesn’t show progress, Cleveland could draft a quarterback here. LeCounte keeps creating turnovers, intercepting Baylor’s Charlie Brewer twice in 2019.

18. Dallas – Elijah Molden, Washington safety – Molden doesn’t have prototype height but he is a ball hawk. Molden intercepted two current NFL QBs (Anthony Gordon, Jake Luton) as well as savvy USC passer Kedon Slovis. He came up big in UW’s bowl game against Boise State.

19. Atlanta – Jalen Twyman, Pittsburgh defensive tackle – Twyman can line up between Davidson and Jarrett on the defensive line. Twyman is super disruptive with 10.5 sacks as a true interior pass-rusher.

20. Buffalo – Quincy Roche, Temple defensive end – Roche could afford to eat a few cheeseburgers, but he can give quarterbacks nightmares.

21. Jacksonville (through LA Rams) – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota wide receiver – Bateman routinely torched defenders (with 20 yards per catch) at Minnesota including a 200 yard roasting of number 4-ranked Penn State.

22. Green Bay – Stone Forsythe, Florida offensive tackle – If the Packers really want to lean into a ‘Power-Run’ identity, Forsythe would facilitate such a change. Stone Forsythe is Florida’s best blocking tackle, stands 6’7″, and weighs 329 lbs.

23. Las Vegas – Tommy Togiai, Ohio State defensive tackle – Gruden will want more out of his defensive line. If they are not drafting a quarterback here (and I believe Derek Carr is performing well with very little on offense). This is a big projection, but Togiai already has a reputation for his physical strength and I expect he will blossom next year with a full time opportunity at defensive tackle.

24. Minnesota – Patrick Jones II, Pittsburgh defensive end – Minnesota cleaned up in the draft. One position they could maybe improve on is at defensive end, Jones has the size to maybe take over for Everson Griffen.

25. Tennessee – Lorenzo Burns, Arizona State cornerback – Burns is a productive, seasoned corner who’s been well prepared at Arizona State’s NFL-veteran stacked coaching staff. Burns is lighter than a prototypical corner (175 lbs) but shows ball skills (9 INTs in past 3 seasons) and has experience against NFL wide receivers in the Pac-12.

26. New England – Micale Cunningham, Louisville quarterback – Cunningham shows throws with touch and chucks passes deep with seemingly no effort. Cunningham threw for 11.5 yards per attempt, 22 TDs (passing) and only 5 INTs with minimal NFL talent surrounding him. Unless Stidham shows he is the next New England quarterback, Bill will be forced to make quarterback a priority.

27. Seattle – Isaiah Pola-Mao, USC safety – Pola-Mao could herald in the return of the legion of boom. He has USC ties like Carroll and he’s 6’4″. Pola-Mao’s ball skills could improve, but he has all the measurables.

28. Pittsburgh – Justyn Ross, Clemson wide receiver – The Steelers need to get Juju some help. Ross looks identical to Tee Higgins, but with better tracking/hands.

29. New Orleans – Tanner Morgan, Minnesota quarterback – Brees may want to keep playing after seeing Tom continue into his mid 40s. If not, Morgan has run a super efficient offense at Minnesota and is worth a look for NFL scouts. Morgan averages over 10 yards per attempt, 65 completion percentage and a 30 TD to 7 INT split.

30. Kansas City – Kolby Harvell-Peel, Oklahoma state safety – Harvell-Peel is a budding defensive back at Oklahoma State with plus height weight. Harvell-Peel forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, and intercepted a pass in a close game with a ranked Texas team.

31. San Francisco – Shaun Wade, Ohio State cornerback – Wade has great size and played a very dynamic role for Ohio State in ’19.  The 49ers eventually need to prepare for a life without Richard Sherman.

32. Baltimore – Kylen Granson, SMU tight end – Granson runs a full route OCTOPUS at SMU. He runs short/quick routes. He runs into (middle of field) traffic. He runs deep and has some highlight reel/tight window catches. He has size (6’3″) that Lamar can rely on him as a red zone threat.

 

Players to watch: Dyami Brown – UNC WR, Asante Samuel Jr – FSU CB, Hamilcar Rashed – Oregon state edge rusher,  Dustin Crum – Kent State QB, Matt Bushman – BYU Tight End

Song of the blog post – “We can make the world stop” by Glitch Mob

 

 

Jacksonville – Trevor Lawrence

New York Jets – Justin Fields – I am the only on on the planet who believes the Jets will draft Justin Fields. Zach Wilson has already called three former Jets QBs suggesting Joe Douglas will draft him at 2 overall. I can’t make sense in my head that the Jets will want an injury prone, small school QB behind that offensive line. Justin Fields is a leader. He’s a big play QB. I acknowledge the likelihood of this selection is very low, but I can’t base my mock draft selections strictly off of reports. Certainly the Jets would have no reason to smokescreen their pick, but they have no reason to tell everyone either. This is the only pick that makes any sense at all to me.

San Francisco – Zach Wilson, BYU QB – Wilson is an efficient passer, and the 49ers have the blocking scheme to protect and let him do his work. Supposedly John Lynch and Co. like Trey Lance here. I personally feel all of these top five QBs can be great if given enough time in one system to become good.

Atlanta – Trey Lance, NDSU QB – Arthur Smith, new Falcons coach, made his name most recently by turning Ryan Tannehill from a bust into a high level starting QB. Trey Lance is a high tools, smart guy who just needs experience. The Falcons would drool over what he can do. They can sit him as long as they want, Ryan’s under contract for three more seasons. I believe Terry Fontenot would jump at the opportunity to draft Lance with everything he’s shown he can do, even with his limited passing experience.

Cincinnati – Penei Sewell, Oregon OT – Burrow already lost some rookie season games to injury, and he was actually connecting well with the receivers they have on the roster. I’m sure he’ll want Ja’Marr Chase, Mike Brown is an old school guy who may believe the games are won and lost on the line of scrimmage and I believe he will see this draft as an opportunity to get some slam dunk offensive tackles and still get quality receivers later in the draft.

Miami – Kyle Pitts, UF TE – Chris Grier does a great job of not overthinking his selections and drafting for value. This has served them well so far. Pitts has been lauded as the gem of the draft.

Detroit – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU WR – The Lions have a need at wide receiver with Kenny Golladay gone, Chase is the best wide receiver in the draft.

Carolina – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR – I could see Rashawn slater being the pick here. Facing Tampa Bay twice a year makes me think OC Joe Brady will want firepower to keep up. Waddle helped Tua Tagovailoa and likely Mac Jones become first round picks.

Denver – Mac Jones, Alabama QB – I feel Mac gets unfairly criticized for his team and looks. He throws the ball well. He’ll have a great setup in Denver, the Broncos could be a legit playoff team if they have an above average quarterback next year.

Dallas – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama CB – Teammates with current Cowboy Trevon Diggs, Surtain is seen by many as the top corner in the draft as Farley’s had some injury(back) issues and now even has COVID. Should fit Dan Quinn’s defense well with physical play at Alabama.

New York Giants – Devonta Smith, Alabama WR – Smith is the first Heisman trophy winner to not play QB since seemingly forever. Signing Kenny Golladay suggests Gettleman is now willing to invest in receivers, and Smith would give Daniel Jones every chance to take the next step, 166 lbs be damned.

Philadelphia – RaShawn Slater, Northwestern OT – Former first rounder Andre Dillard has not been healthy and keeping Jalen Hurts upright will be important if they want to see what they have in him. They could also go corner here, with Jaycee Horn or Asante Samuel Jr. The Eagles have invested in LOS positions in the past highly.

LA Chargers – Christian Darrisaw, VA. TECH OT – Darrisaw is a balanced, physical blocker who should run block and has done well in pass protection as well. The Chargers have a gaping need at offensive line generally and Darrisaw played well in 2020.

Minnesota – Jaycee Horn, SC CB – Horn’s one of the top man corners in the draft, Mike Zimmer openly complained about lack of defensive talent on the roster after getting plowed by Alvin Kamara for 6 rushing touchdowns against the Saints who they normally bully. Horn took Seth Williams completely out of the game against Auburn, he should do well in Minnesota.

New England – Greg Newsome II, Northwestern CB – Newsome helped Justin Fields look bad in the 2020 OSU/Northwestern game. Newsome still cracks six feet, and Belichick tends to like his defensive backs tall. I could maybe see Trevon Moehrig or Jamar Johnson here.

Arizona – Alijah Vera Tucker, USC OL – Vera Tucker comes from an offensive scheme very similar to what Kingsbury is running in Arizona. While he started at left tackle in 2020, many expect Tucker to start at guard. Arizona’s weakness is Kyler Murray’s health. I expect offensive line to be a priority for Arizona, and Vera Tucker could reasonably start at guard or tackle on this line.

Las Vegas – Teven Jenkins, OKST. OL – Jenkins is a great run blocker which will be important to the Raiders. I could see the Raiders liking Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah or one other wide receivers. Gruden and Mayock have had great OL play and I see them making that a priority, Jenkins would be a good value here.

Miami – Micah Parsons, Penn State LB – Parsons is a do it all super athlete linebacker, if teams are comfortable with his off field issues. Flores and Grier would draft him if he is still here, Parsons would immediately be one of the best players on the field.

Washington – Trevon Moehrig, TCU S – Washington’s identity is on defense, and Moehrig is a plus size defensive back who many regard as the top safety in the draft. Washington’s struggled at safety.

Chicago – Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame OL – Notre Dame has been an offensive line factory, and Eichenberg played well in 2020.

Indianapolis – Samuel Cosmi, Texas OT – The Colts are solid all around, they need an offensive tackle to replace Anthony Castonzo. Cosmi has great size and has shown the pass protection and run blocking skills to be up to the task for Indianapolis. The Colts have been elite at offensive line, I would be shocked if this wasn’t a priority for them.

Tennessee – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame LB – JOK had an all pro performance against Clemson in 2020. He lacks ideal size, but he flies around the ball like Troy Polamalu. JOK may be asked to move to safety because of his small size.

New York Jets – Jalen Mayfield, Michigan OT – Mayfield has experience at right tackle and should play well there in the NFL. The Jets know they need to be good on the offensive line, they have holes everywhere except for left tackle.

Pittsburgh – Najee Harris, Alabama RB – Harris is a prototype, all round great runner, pass protector, receiving back. Daniel Jeremiah compared him to Matt Forte. The Steelers need a QB and a left tackle, but they may not see the value in those picks here.

Jacksonville – Jaelan Phillips, Miami DE – Phillips is the top edge rusher and played great in 2020. He has NFL size and pressured the passer more often than stud Gregory Rousseau.

Cleveland – Rondale Moore, Purdue WR – Moore can be versatile and can work with the offense that works best for Baker Mayfield. Moore is crazy fast and even stronger. Think of Moore like a roided up Deebo Samuel.

Baltimore – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota WR – Baltimore needs help at wide receiver. Even if Marquise Brown isn’t the answer for them, they don’t have a lot of help even outside of Brown. Bateman is a burner.

New Orleans – Asante Samuel Jr, FSU CB – Samuel is an elite zone corner in the draft. Even at CB3, Samuel would be a big time defender for New Orleans especially against Tampa Bay. at 5’10”, Samuel isn’t even that small.

Green Bay – Eric Stokes, UGA CB – Stokes has great size and played well at Georgia.

Buffalo – Wyatt Davis, Ohio State OG – If Buffalo wants to run the ball better, they should improve their o-line play. Davis has been a major part of OSU’s dominant rushing offense.

Baltimore – Zaven Collins, Tulsa LB – Collins is a versatile linebacker who can rush the passer or play inside. Collins has a gigantic frame and can move around the defense depending on what Baltimore needs.

Tampa Bay – Elijah Molden, Washington DB – Molden is a smaller corner but he has elite coverage skills. Tampa’s done a great job collecting depth in the secondary, and that depth has helped them to be successful against teams like the Chiefs and the Falcons. Molden is likely a CB3 because of his size, but has top coverage chops and will be more valuable late in the season as injuries begin to pile up.

I was expecting that quarterbacks with more college pass attempts would be better overall QBs, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at least looking at these numbers here. The good/bad QBs are all over the map. Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo are at the higher end of the list but Carson Wentz and Tom Brady are at the lower end of the list. The data’s certainly not complete, I didn’t include many backup or third strings QBs.I was expecting that quarterbacks with more college pass attempts would be better overall QBs, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at least looking at these numbers here. The good/bad QBs are all over the map. Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo are at the higher end of the list but Carson Wentz and Tom Brady are at the lower end of the list. The data’s certainly not complete, I didn’t include many backup or third string QBs.

It does concern me a little bit that Trey Lance has the lowest passes of everyone on the list. I feel the NFL needs to take this as a caution that he needs to go the Buccaneers or Falcons. Where he can sit for two seasons and get a real NFL education. Patrick Mahomes threw almost five times as many passes as Lance did in College and he sat for a year (Minus one late season start). Rodgers threw twice as many passes as Lance and sat for three years. Both of these men are very smart, hard working people, and had a ton more experience than Lance did. Throwing him onto ‘Bad Team X’ like New York or Detroit is setting even the smart, most resilient quarterback up for failure.It does concern me a little bit that Trey Lance has the lowest passes of everyone on the list. I feel the NFL needs to take this as a caution that he needs to go the Buccaneers or Falcons. Where he can sit for two seasons and get a real NFL education. Patrick Mahomes threw almost five times as many passes as Lance did in College and he sat for a year (Minus one late season start). Rodgers threw twice as many passes as Lance and sat for three years. Both of these men are very smart, hard working people, and had a ton more experience than Lance did. Throwing him onto ‘Bad Team X’ like New York or Detroit is setting even the smart, most resilient quarterback up for failure.

I find it interesting that although I would label Alex Smith’s a career a success mostly on number of starts, a quarterback with his performance early on would not likely be given a chance for as long as he was. Dwayne Haskins was cut less than two seasons into his NFL career. Josh Rosen was traded after only one season. NFL franchises are more like day traders and less like ‘buy and hold’ investors in that way it feels to me, at least with quarterbacks. This may explain the aggressive nature in which players fight for fully guaranteed money and other benefits in their contract.

Washington Football Team Tight End Logan Thomas ranks in the top half on this list for passes thrown in college, suggesting Washington should probably move him to Quarterback as it is unlikely he’s very bad compared to other NFL backups with that experience. Eagles tight end Tyree Jackson seems to be a similar story. His completion percentage at Buffalo was less than ideal, but I felt he showed enough that he warrants at minimum a practice squad spot or a 3rd string spot on a proper NFL team assuming he gets reasonable coaching and receiver talent. Being tall and fast may have given them a roster spot when shorter quarterbacks may have been free agents looking for work, of course it could have also pigeonholed them from being granted a long enough leash to fulfill their potential, a leash often longer for early draft picks or free agent trades like Sam Darnold or Jimmy Garoppolo. I have no answers their, only questions.

College Career pass attempts for notable NFL QBs:

Kyler Murray – 519

Mitchell Trubisky – 572

Alex Smith – 587

Dwayne Haskins – 590

Carson Wentz – 612

Cam Newton – 628* (336 from JUCO)

Tom Brady – 638

Ryan Fitzpatrick – 641

Josh Allen – 649

Aaron Rodgers – 665

Tua Tagovailoa – 684

Julian Edelman – 706

Ryan Tannehill – 774

Jacoby Brissett – 839

Sam Darnold – 846

Jameis Winston – 851

Tyrod Taylor – 865

Blake Bortles – 891

Joe Flacco – 942

Joe Burrow – 945

Tyree Jackson – 955

Matthew Stafford – 987

Jalen Hurts – 1047

Lamar Jackson – 1086

Kirk Cousins – 1128

Teddy Bridgewater – 1142

Gardner Minshew – 1168

Dak Prescott – 1169

Robert Griffin III – 1192

DeShaun Watson – 1207

Logan Thomas – 1248

Daniel Jones – 1275

Justin Herbert – 1293

Ben Roethlisberger – 1304

Andy Dalton – 1317

Matt Ryan – 1347

Patrick Mahomes – 1349

Russell Wilson – 1489

Baker Mayfield – 1497

Drew Lock – 1553

Jared Goff – 1568

Derek Carr – 1630

Jimmy Garoppolo – 1668

Case Keenum – 2229

Former QBs

Jamarcus Russell – 797

Andrew Luck – 1064

Philip Rivers – 1087

Eli Manning – 1363

Peyton Manning – 1381

Drew Brees – 1678

WISHFUL THINKING MOCK

Jacksonville – Trevor Lawrence

NY Jets – Justin Fields. Fields was QB2 for a year plus until the hype machine started backing Zach Wilson’s performances against North Alabama and other like powerhouses. Zach struggled with injury and doesn’t react well to pressure. Fields is at least a gamer and his worst performance came against a sneaky NFL talent ridden Northwestern defense. His bonkers performance against Clemson is the best single game performance from a College QB since the Cam Newton Era. Wilson would be speared and eaten alive by a barely functioning organization like the Jets, Fields brings the leadership, competitiveness and his “Hero Ball” play would be a STRENGTH not a weakness in this east coast hellhole.

San Francisco – Zach Wilson – Forget all of those negative things I just typed about Wilson, that was smokescreen nonsense. In all seriousness Wilson CAN be great, but he clearly requires more support than the Jets could give him. The 49ers can give him an easier job to do. He had top notch pass protection at BYU in 2020, and he’ll have that in San Francisco. He would be out with injury by week four in New York.

Atlanta (For Now) – Rashawn Slater, Northwestern – The pick here is ‘supposed’ to be Kyle Pitts. Fontenot is used to New Orleans, an overall class organization. New Orleans has had a strong group up front for several years. Slater’s a technician, he’s CRAZY strong, and he could play any position up front. He’s the best pass protector in the draft, and the Falcons are still a pass first offense.

Cincinnati – Penei Sewell, Oregon – Pitts would make sense here, as would Jamarr Chase. Mike Brown is an old school decision maker, and Cincinnati in its’ heyday was strong on the line of scrimmage. This is the OL draft, and I expect NFL teams to get them while they’re hot. Also the Bengals are unsteady overall on the OL. Sewell would maybe be asked to start at Guard, where he would be maybe the best guard in Football immediately.

Miami – Kyle Pitts, Florida – This would be a wet dream for Miami. They would be happy with Jamarr Chase or Devonta Smith.

Detroit – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU – The Lions just need to draft for value. They might swing on a quarterback, I would expect Brad Holmes to see what Goff looks like in Detroit and just building a team before immediately drafting a QB.

Carolina – DeVonta Smith, Alabama WR – I’m not so sold on Darnold that the Panthers WOULDN’T draft a QB here. I think Lance needs a mentor (not Darnold) and Mac Jones is strongly a personal preference draft pick. Stacking up at wide receiver would be a strong ‘pro-analytics’ move that the Panthers are supposedly more bought in on with a new owner.

Denver – Mac Jones, Alabama QB – The rumors are that the NFL scouting community is higher on Mac Jones than the media types are. I understand that Mac is white, but he’s not a tall, cannon-armed QB like Brock Osweiler or Paxton Lynch. In order to NOT sabotage Trey Lance’s career, Denver would need to sign a veteran/mentor QB like Alex Smith or Teddy Bridgewater AND need the patience to sit Lance for bare minimum one season. The Broncos roster is honestly respectable outside of QB.

Dallas – Caleb Farley, LSU CB – Dallas’ defense clearly needs any help they can get. Top secondary play is key when you’re passing as much as Dallas will be.

NY Giants – Alijah Vera Tucker, USC OL – Tucker would likely be asked to move inside. I think Jaylen Waddle or Patrick Surtain II would make a lot of sense here. Tucker is a versatile lineman who Gettleman would like.

Philadelphia – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR – The Eagles are telling themselves they just need a couple of wide receivers to be competitive, and it is a need for them. Waddle might be WR1 in next years’ draft.

LA Chargers – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama CB – The Chargers have long maintained a presence in the secondary. I would expect the best remaining offensive tackle here or the top corner available. Surtain is big game tested and Staley was used to Jalen Ramsey being available with the Rams.

Minnesota – Jaycee Horn, South Carolina CB – Mike Zimmer wants a strong defense, Horn might be the best technician at corner.

New England – Trey Lance, Trey doesn’t fall past here, if he falls to here. Lance’s footwork and throwing mechanics are clean and an old school guy like Bill Belichick will appreciate that. Bill can start Cam as long as he wants until he feels Trey is ready.

Arizona – Rondale Moore, Purdue WR – Moore can lineup in a variety of roles. He lacks ideal height but he was usually the best player on the field while at Purdue and is as strong as an ox.

Las Vegas – Christian Darrisaw, Va Tech OL – Gruden clearly wants to make a statement up front. Darrisaw has some smaller technical flaws, but that’s what coaches get paid to do.

Miami – Micah Parsons, Penn State LB – Parsons can do whatever Flores would ask him to do at a high level.

Washington – Teven Jenkins, OK STATE OL – Jenkins plays with incredible strength and toughness and plays well especially as a run blocker. Ron Rivera has shown a preference for a power run game in the past.

Chicago – Eric Stokes, UGA CB – The Bears need corner help. Stokes allowed 53% completion percentage over his career in the SEC.

Indianapolis – Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame OT – Another Notre Dame bruiser, The Colts need a new left tackle. The Colts has success with Notre Dame lineman Quenton Nelson.

Tennessee – Kwity Paye, Michigan DL – Paye can play at three technique or as an End. The Titans defense was laughably bad in 2020. Paye is the latest Michigan front seven stud.

NY Jets – Asante Samuel Jr, FSU CB – Samuel’s been nothing short of a shutdown corner at Florida State. The Jets badly need O-line help, but that will not likely be a great value pick here.

Pittsburgh – Kellen Mond, Texas A&M QB – This is Ben’s last season, and Pittsburgh may not even want him for 2021. Mond is a rockstar, showed out at the Senior Bowl, Chris Simms who’s been right when others have been wrong really likes Kellen Mond. Mond has started a grip of games in the SEC and keeps the turnovers low. All a great fit for what the Rooneys like in a QB.

Jacksonville – Greg Newsome II, Northwestern CB – Newsome doesn’t have all the ideal measurables of a typical round one corner, but he played a big role in shutting down Ohio State’s passing game. Something Urban surely took note of.

Cleveland – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame linebacker – The Browns don’t have a gaping hole at crucial starting positions like most other teams. JOK is a defensive playmaker and the Browns will find a way to put him on the field.

Baltimore – Terrace Marshall, LSU WR – The Ravens don’t typically draft receivers in the first round. If they want to win playoff games, they’ll need ace in the hole pass game weapons.

New Orleans – Trevon Moehrig, TCU S – The Saints have done a great job here in recent seasons. One of the rare good safety prospects in the draft, they will likely look for receivers in the middle rounds.

Green Bay – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota WR- Green Bay can’t just not draft receivers. Bateman has average height, but that’s not slowed him down in the BIG 10.

Buffalo – Gregory Rousseau, Miami DE – Buffalo wants a better pass rush with their crazy high scoring offense now. Rousseau will come into a great room to learn and grow in.

Kansas City – Brady Christensen, BYU OT – Brady looked really good in 2020, and Reid has had a soft spot for BYU players in the past. Even against the big dogs like USC and UTAH in 2019 Christensen held his own.

Tampa Bay – Milton Williams, LA TECH DT – While not as BIG as Suh, Williams moves incredibly well and could eventually reload at DT when Tampa is ready.

Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Quarterback

Jets – Trey Lance, North Dakota State Quarterback – New coach Robert Saleh is going to be familiar with how devastating it is to have to gameplan against a mobile quarterback. Not only has Lance been extremely accurate with longer passes, he’s a terrific runner and went to the same school as another QB Douglas will be familiar with, Carzon Wentz. The Jets will be in the mix for DeShaun Watson and would likely prefer him most.

Dolphins – Justin Fields, Ohio State Quarterback – Miami looks DECIDEDLY not interested in staying together with Tua Tagovailoa. Fields can physically do things Tua will never be able to do, and Miami may not have a top five pick for a long time. If Watson does get traded, I struggle to see Houston sending him to an AFC squad. Fields is a high ceiling, high floor, mobile, high IQ guy. Dolphins GM Chris Grier still has some additional picks to build out the offensive line to support Fields’ passing tendencies.

Falcons – Rashawn Slater, Northwestern OL – I believe Terry Fontenot will do his homework on Zach Wilson, I don’t feel Fontenot and (Arthur) Smith will want to hitch their wagon to a quarterback with one good season against bad teams and who struggled with injury most of his career. They have time to decide if they want Ryan long term or not. Slater erased Chase Young in the Northwestern/Ohio State game and can play probably anywhere on the offensive line. Arthur Smith is used to having a group of bullies up front.

Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU WR – I like Penei Sewell a lot, but Chase is the best wide receiver and maybe player in this draft. He also caught passes from Joe Burrow at LSU.

Eagles – DeVonta Smith, Alabama WRThey need help at offensive line and wide receiver. Smith knocked everyone’s socks off and helps make the eagles scary again.

Lions – Caleb Farley, VA Tech CB – Brad Holmes had an elite defense in LA, and while they could draft Zach Wilson, I can’t imagine trading for that Jared Goff contract and then immediately turning around and drafting a QB very first thing. Farley can play with tight ends and wide receivers, like Aqib Talib or Richard Sherman in his prime.

Panthers – Zach Wilson, Brigham Young Quarterback – The Panthers look to have established an optimistic culture with some skilled players on offense to help Wilson grow as a passer. I can’t imagine Carolina passing on any of the top 4 QBs if available. Joe Brady should be able to tailor an playbook to help Wilson look good and build confidence as a rookie.

Broncos – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama CB – The Broncos still need a quarterback. Surtain gives Denver good value here.

Cowboys – Kyle Pitts, Florida TE – Dallas needs plenty of help on defense. This might be the highest scoring offense in football if they draft Kyle Pitts and are otherwise healthy on offense. They’ve never replaced Jason Witten.

Giants – Penei Sewell, Oregon OT – I don’t really believe Sewell will be available here, but there is no planet where Dave Gettleman passes on Penei Sewell. Even after drafting Andrew Thomas early last season.

49ers – Christian Darrisaw, VA Tech OT – Trent Williams has been excellent in San Francisco, but unless they move on from Jimmy G. and draft a rookie quarterback, I don’t see how they will come up with the money to retain Williams. Lynch has made the offensive line a priority in the past, drafting Mike McGlinchey in the top half of the draft while they still had Joe Staley at left tackle.

Chargers – Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma OT – The Oklahoma Behemoth has loads of experience in pass pro and Telesco might want him for the franchise left tackle. I would like Jaylen Waddle here to keep up with Kansas City, but that doesn’t feel like something Telesco would do.

Vikings – Kwity Paye, Michigan DLZimmer was vocal about having a terrible defense in 2019. They still need help at secondary, but the front four is even worse. Paye should be able to start at any position up front.

Patriots – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR – Belichick just has to not be an idiot.

Cardinals – Micah Parsons, Penn State LB – The Cardinals will have to be looking at wide receivers here, but Parsons may fall because of a supposed lawsuit at Penn State. Parsons makes the most sense here.

Raiders – Christian Barmore, Alabama DT – We’ve seen Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock take a close look at title game standouts. Barmore played great in the CFB Playoffs against Notre Dame and Ohio State. Gruden knows he needs a pass rush. They will also look at right tackles here as Trent Brown has missed half his games and is making a ton of money.

Dolphins – Jaycee Horn, South Carolina CB – Horn’s played really well against SEC wide receivers and has desirable size at corner. Chris Grier has shown an understanding for a good defensive backfield.

Football Team – Mac Jones, Alabama QB – I don’t know that Rivera will want Jones. Washington doesn’t have a quarterback on the roster for the long term, Jones has played well and would be going to a team with a strong leadership culture with Rivera and Martin Mayhew. Washington may be open to trading for Tua Tagovailoa or DeShaun Watson. Jones stood out at the Senior Bowl and did everything right this season at Alabama.

Bears – Samuel Cosmi, Texas OT – The Bears have several holes, but building the offensive line will be a safe pick here. Cosmi’s performed well in pass pro and as a run blocker. The Bears will consider drafting Mac Jones if he is available.

Colts – Alijah Vera Tucker, USC OT – The Colts will miss Anthony Castonzo, and will need to replace him. They may look to sign Trent Williams out of San Francisco. They may trade up for a Quarterback if they can’t get Carson Wentz or another capable starting quarterback.

Titans – Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah, Notre Dame linebacker – JOK was always around the football and a major player in Notre Dame’s win over Clemson in the regular season. Owusu Koramoah isn’t the biggest linebacker, so he may get moved to safety, but his athleticism and aggression should catch Coach Vrabel’s eye.

Jets – Jalen Mayfield, Michigan OT – In need of a right tackle, Mayfield has experience starting at right tackle and won’t need to learn the position. Mayfield is a stellar blocker in his own right.

Steelers – Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame OT – Notre Dame has been an offensive lineman factory. Eichenberg is battle tested with games against Alabama and Clemson. He’s got terrific size and should fit well with Pittsburgh’s commitment to the run.

Jaguars – Jaelan Phillips, Miami DE – Phillips has won the praise of Daniel Jeremiah with his consistency this season. If his medical situation checks out, Trent Baalke and Urban Meyer would get a great value pick here.

Browns – Azeez Ojulari, Georgia OLB – Vernon’s contract is up, and with the salary cap crunch, Berry may feel compelled to replace him in the draft. Ojulari is a favorite of the analytics crowd, and the scouting community has given him positive feedback as well. At 240, Ojulari’s not a huge defender, but plays consistently.

Ravens – Tutu Atwell, Louisville WR – Tutu does an excellent job of creating yards after the catch. Brown is unhappy with his involvement and downfield receivers like Brown may not be a fit for Lamar as a passer. The Ravens don’t draft receivers early often, but I could see them drafting for Lamar’s growth.

Saints – Dylan Moses, Alabama Linebacker – Moses is a value selection here. The Saints will be looking at wide receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks here.

Packers – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota WR – The Packers should still be making wide receiver a priority for Rodgers and Love’s sake.

Bills – Jay Tufele, USC DT – Buffalo struggled to stop the run. This team is strong overall, Tufele makes them more competitive against offensive mega teams like KC.

Buccaneers – Quincy Roche, Miami DE – Roche played well at the Senior Bowl and has been steady throughout his college career. Tampa relies on a strong pass rush with how much they force other teams to throw the ball.

Chiefs – Wyatt Davis, Ohio State G – Davis is a brutal, crushing run blocker. Reid still has a soft spot for building up the offensive and defensive line.

Lawrence V. Fields 2021

Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields have both looked like elite quarterbacks for at least two years now, and we’re three short months away from the 2021 draft, after both players have officially declared for the draft. It seems a forgone conclusion that Jacksonville will draft Trevor Lawrence, the Jets may trade down or even draft an offensive lineman at number two overall but are the most likely team to draft Justin Fields. Many skilled young passers struggle to adapt to the change from a “top of the tops” high school program and a “top of the tops” college program to one of the worst, most poorly run NFL franchises that expects to lose most of their games (Johnny Manziel, Dwayne Haskins, Sam Darnold). The hiring of Urban Meyer and Robert Saleh were meant, at least in part, to ease that transition. Meyer’s been lauded by Daniel Jeremiah as culture first coach and Saleh’s generally recognized as a perpetually pumped, excited young coach, not unlike the Rams’ Sean McVay.

Lawrence is an overall good decision maker with the football and is very accurate as a deep and intermediate thrower. He can scramble reasonably well and does so with the most success near the endzone.

Justin Fields has a strong arm and has actually completed a higher percentage of his passes and for more yards per attempt than even Lawrence over the past two seasons. Fields is inarguably a better scrambler and is a stocky fellow, weighing 228 lbs at 6 ft 3 (Lawrence is a towering 6 ft 6 at a lanky 220 lbs). I expect Fields to have more success early on as his feet will give defensive coordinators a challenge and he can still throw deep with accuracy. One knock against Fields is that he holds on to the ball for a long time until he finds a pass he really feels comfortable with. This can often be a bad trait, but some quarterbacks, specifically DeShaun Watson and Aaron Rodgers have built long, extremely successful careers as quarterbacks who hold the football for longer than average. Fields’ running ability and competitive nature (on display against Clemson in 2020) I believe give him a distinct advantage if both quarterbacks are placed in bad offensive situations without much support. Lawrence is still a great overall prospect and can literally see the field well with his height advantage, he may be the better prospect if both are given great offensive support structures (offensive line, playcalling, receivers who can get open and catch).

Most quarterbacks don’t get the Peyton Manning-Colts treatment with star skill players and o-linemen making their life easier. Given that Jacksonville and New York have been generally unstable teams in supporting quarterbacks, I think Fields is more likely to be remembered as the better quarterback when both careers come to an end. Justin Herbert’s performance and especially Josh Allen’s incredible season demonstrate that really no one knows anything about evaluating quarterbacks. Maybe the smartest guys in the industry are going to be right 55 out of 100 times, but the draft is clearly an art, not a science. The best quarterback in the draft will probably be Jamie Newman because no one thinks he will be good.

Song of the post – “Santiana” by The Longest Johns

Bernie in a chair – Promotes values of real change for the working class, down to earth, comfy mittens

Uncomfortably sexy vampire woman from resident evil trailer – Dedicated at containing Ethan Winters, Very Charismatic, May or may not eat human flesh. Owns high fashion hats.

Laughing Kamala – Former ADA of state of California, current VP

Tom Brady – Consummate winner, workaholic, leader, tall, handsome, genius, millionaire, Michigan Man.

The PlayStation 6 – A candidate both parties can agree upon.

A Bush (Not Jeb Bush, just a bush) – This will be the Republican Nominee 😊

Kanye West – He is Kanye West

Don Cheadle – Don Cheadle ran for president as a joke, and will not campaign or announce he is running.

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Don Cheadle wins in a landslide

Song of the post – If You by Skrux

Realistic Free Agent and Veteran Options:

The Crown JewelDak Prescott – Not really realistic unless Belichick retires and New England hires Kellen Moore to be their head coach. And they offer Dak Prescott a dozen Dunkin Donuts franchises in addition to the 40 million guaranteed he’ll want. Dak would not want to leave Jerry Jones’ wealthy and warm embrace for cold New England with no receivers barring a major contract dispute.

The Ex-PatsJacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo – I believe the starter for New England in 2021 will be one of these two quarterbacks. Belichick has already put his stamp of approval on both of them and wanted them around for when Tom Brady decided to move on. Both have shown they can handle starting quarterback duties in and out of New England and would operate Josh McDaniels’ offense better than just about anyone. Brissett is the safer option with Jimmy’s health issues, but both would be attractive options for the Patriots to get a trusted vet in at QB. Garoppolo is technically still under contract with the 49ers so they would have to trade for him if San Francisco doesn’t cut him and is open to a deal.

The Grizzled Vets/Mentors – Ryan Fitzpatrick, Philip Rivers, Josh McCown – Fitzpatrick looks FANTASTIC in that Dolphins offense with Chan Gailey. Miami may pay him to stick around another season to support Tua, he would be an excellent bridge quarterback to help tutor a young QB should the Patriots actually draft someone. Rivers doesn’t look like a spring chicken in Indianapolis, but the Colts are winning with him at Quarterback and may lure him back for another season while they draft their future passer. McCown has looked serviceable, but only came out of retirement for the Eagles. He may not be willing to play for another team, especially a bad team. Josh McDaniels would have to adjust the offense for any of these players, they’re not likely to learn the playbook in one offseason with a bunch of castoffs at wide receiver.

The Jilted Ex-loversTyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota – I actually really like all of these options. Taylor does the best job of protecting the football (something Belichick values) and may want another crack at a starting job after being stabbed out of a chance to start with the Chargers. Taylor brings some badly needed mobility to an offense that needs all the help it can get and has started several games. A late round pick who worked his way to the top of the depth chart at Buffalo, Taylor is the most “Belichick”ian of this group. Pro Football Focus’s Sam Monson and Steve Palazzolo repeatedly pointed out how Andy Dalton on the same drive would make a stellar throw, and a horrendous throw on the very next play. Dalton actually earned a second contract and has been a key part of some great Bengals teams. He will be certainly motivated to compete for a starting spot where ever her goes next. Winston’s still got a great arm and can throw with the best of them, but tarnished his reputation in 2019 with 30 interceptions, which the Patriots will not like. Overall, Jameis hasn’t thrown tons of interceptions if you look at his career as a whole, and his ceiling is the highest of anyone they could realistically get. Jameis may not be the locker room presence that the Patriots are looking for in their next quarterback, but beggars can’t be choosers. Mariota is under contract with the Raiders for $10 million. The Raiders’ Gruden and Mayock would likely want a minimum of a third round pick to trade Mariota to a (much hated) AFC foe. Mariota looked great in the Raiders loss to the Chargers where Derek Carr got injured.

The (I say this with love) ScrapheapMike Glennon, Nick Mullens, Blake Bortles, Brett Hundley, etc. – Most of the rest of the group would likely compete for a backup spot in New England, if at all. Mike Glennon has put up better than expected stat lines with Jacksonville and may be attractive to Belichick and Caserio as a competitor for the starting job. Gardner Minshew is an interesting thought exercise, but the Patriots would likely have to give up a lot to get him. Assuming Jacksonville drafts Trevor Lawrence, Minshew would immediately be the league’s top backup quarterback in an offense he’s already familiar with and for dirt cheap.

Sam Darnold – I kind of forgot about Darnold. It is possible the Jets will hold on to Darnold in 2021, but even if they don’t draft a QB at #2, they probably won’t stick with him long term. Darnold was terrific as a prospect coming out of USC. If they can get Darnold for a third round pick, that may be worth it for New England. Dwayne Haskins is now available, but I don’t see how New England can support a young passer who looks like he needs to get back to fundamentals and go somewhere he can be a backup for a bit.

The Draft:

There are lots of great quarterbacks in this draft class. I’m only listing some of the names I feel the Patriots might like or who might be a fit for what Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick value in a QB. I’m excluding the big four (Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance) as their traits are well documented already.

Mac Jones – I see this as the best fit for New England. Jones doesn’t have a ton of starts under his belt, but Belichick is known for being close to Nick Saban and Jones if nothing else is accurate and doesn’t turn the ball over.

Kyle Trask – This is a quarterback I think the Patriots would’ve loved back in 2001, Trask is accurate with several starts against NFL caliber defenses. Trask is not a mobile guy and had loads of talent around him at Florida. He will not have elite talent around him at New England and Belichick will likely prefer a mobile quarterback. Belichick will still value quarterbacks with starting experience, and may be on the Patriots draft radar in round 2 or later.

Sam Ehlinger – Ehlinger hasn’t had much “WOW” tape but has been a consistent, above average performer for Texas for four years of starts. Ehlinger rushed for 4 touchdowns and over 100 yards against Oklahoma, so he’s a capable runner. I personally don’t love his tape, but Gil Brandt has mentioned Ehlinger as among his top seniors for the 2021 class. Ehlinger has gotten it done with a variety of different receiving talent at Texas.

Jamie Newman – Newman’s been described as a more raw, high ceiling prospect rather than a safe, high floor guy. This pick would make sense if the Patriots somehow ended up with Ryan Fitzpatrick or Philip Rivers, a quarterback nearing retirement who would be willing to mentor a rookie/youngster. Newman has made some great throws at Wake Forest and is an athlete with the ball in his hands. If the coaching staff feels they can “coach him up” to protect the football better, Newman could be a steal even in the first round.

Kellen Mond – Mond is a quarterback who would’ve met most of the ‘Bill Parcells QB rules‘. Like Ehlinger, Mond has a ton of starts under his belt. Mond has played against loads of SEC defensive talent and coaching, about as good an education as you can get for the NFL. His accuracy percentage slowly improved into the 60s at Texas A&M and he’s demonstrated he’s an above average runner with the ball in his hands. Mond is a hard worker and will likely be able to handle the challenges of being an NFL rookie on a bad team. Mond’s looked inaccurate at times and will likely need a strong supporting cast to look great (like Kirk Cousins or Andy Dalton). Mond’s lower career yards per attempt suggest he’s more comfortable checking the ball closer to the line of scrimmage than going for the big play. I don’t see this being an issue with Josh McDaniels and the Patriots offense.

Brock Purdy – It’s not yet clear whether Purdy goes back to school in 2021 or declares for the draft. 2020 has been a rough year for him, but there’s been enough buzz around his name that he would likely get drafted in the mid to late rounds. Purdy had some real stinkers in 2020, but generally did a good job of distributing the ball at Iowa State. Like many college offenses, Purdy’s job was more focused on quickly finding the open receiver rather than throwing it deep to his star wideout. Purdy would definitely be a third round selection at the earliest, Belichick’s shown he’s willing to wait on drafting a quarterback even if he has a pressing need.

Brady White – White’s more one of “my guys” that I’ve felt has played at a high level at Memphis, though smarter dudes than me aren’t impressed with his tape. Memphis looks like they run a little more of a vertical offense, but White has no problem taking the checkdown if that’s what’s asked of him. White’s a true senior with a load of starts under his belt, though it’s mainly come against AAC defenses. I feel White would give the offense a little higher of a ceiling, as White has one of the stronger arms in the draft, White’s not a runner, with a career total of negative 23 rushing yards.

Today’s song is “Staring at the sea without you next to me” by San Holo

Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Quarterback

Jets – Zach Wilson, Brigham Young Quarterback – I would trade back here if I were the Jets. I’m not doing trades in this mock. Wilson is playing well at the right time, though I think he needs to gain weight.

Bengals – Penei Sewell, Oregon Offensive Tackle – Ja’Marr Chase or DeVonta Smith would make a ton of sense here as well.

Panthers – Trey Lance, North Dakota State Quarterback – Lance would thrive in Joe Brady’s offense, if anyone would.

Falcons – Christian Barmore, Alabama Defensive Tackle – I see Barmore as the best front seven player available here.

Dolphins – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU Wide Receiver – Value pick for Dolphins, Chase is elite.

Eagles – RaShawn Slater, Northwestern Offensive Tackle – Not a value pick, but the Eagles can’t expect to compete with a group of injury prone offensive linemen. Slater’s played great this season.

Lions – DeVonta Smith, Alabama Wide Receiver – Default value pick until we know who is drafting next April.

Cowboys – Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech Cornerback – Jerry could move on an interior offensive lineman here, but Dallas has made that a priority already with Tyler Biadasz and Connor Williams. Farley’s ceiling is sky high.

Chargers – Micah Parsons, Penn State Inside Linebacker – Alignment of value pick and need for the Bolts. Chargers could take another offensive lineman here like Christian Darrisaw or Samuel Cosmi.

Giants – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama Cornerback – The Giants defense is for real, Surtain could free up more bodies to rush the passer in theory.

Broncos – Justin Fields, Ohio State Quarterback – I don’t know that Fields would be available here, but even John Elway wouldn’t mess up this pick.

Vikings – Daviyon Nixon, Iowa Defensive Tackle – The Vikings aren’t horrible in the secondary, but are horrible up front. Nixon’s been ID’d by Daniel Jeremiah as a pocket penetrator who should succeed in the NFL.

49ers – Jaycee Horn, South Carolina Cornerback – Horn’s got the size and the tape. If the 49ers don’t take a Quarterback, Horn makes the most sense for them.

Patriots – Mac Jones, Alabama Quarterback – Patriots coach Bill Belichick is no idiot and know he needs a passer. Jones is young, but rumor has it NFL talent evaluators like his tape.

Bears – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama Wide Receiver – The Bears are a bad team on offense.

Raiders – Kwity Paye, Michigan DL – Paye can rush the passer, the Raiders still have no pass rush after shipping out Khalil Mack.

Ravens – Wyatt Davis, Ohio State OL – The Ravens wouldn’t use an elite receiver seeing Marquise Brown’s non-involvement in that offense. Davis can make them stronger for inside runs.

Football Team – Kyle Pitts, Florida Tight End – Pitts has plenty of opportunities to be the star on a middling offense.

Cardinals – Asante Samuel Jr, Florida State Cornerback – Samuel doesn’t need the name to get drafted, he’s dominated this season. Not the tallest corner, Samuel could eventually replace Patrick Peterson.

Dolphins – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame Linebacker – The Dolphins have four linebackers on their roster in total, but still need to be able to cover from that position. While not the biggest linebacker at 215 lbs, he’s always around the football. Played well against Clemson and the elusive Travis Etienne.

Jaguars – Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech Offensive Tackle – Cam Robinson isn’t the dude. Generally advisable to make the left tackle position all good when drafting a new quarterback.

Colts – Gregory Rousseau, Miami Defensive End – Rousseau could hypothetically take over for Justin Houston. Very high ceiling edge rusher. Colts need a quarterback but do not think Trask or any available quarterbacks would be draft-worthy here.

Browns – Trevon Moehrig, TCU Safety – Andrew Berry is a stats nerd, and Cleveland has to get creative to not reach majorly here. Moehrig is arguably the top safety in the draft.

Buccaneers – Levi Onwuzurike, Washington DL – Bucs took Vea from Washington and that worked out for them. Will still need to replace Suh.

Jets – Jalen Mayfield, Michigan OT – In need of a right tackle, Mayfield has experience starting at right tackle and won’t need to learn the position. Mayfield is a stellar blocker in his own right.

Titans – Greg Newsome II, Northwestern CB – Newsome showed his stuff by making the Ohio State passing attack look like a bunch of useless goons.

Steelers – Samuel Cosmi, Texas OT – Another team that needs a quarterback, the Steelers have failed to establish the ground game and the blocking up front is a big reason for that. Cosmi’s shown top pass and run blocking this season.

Saints – Dylan Moses, Alabama Linebacker – Moses is a value selection here. The Saints will be looking at wide receivers, tight ends, and quarterbacks here.

Bills – Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma Center – Bills interior offensive line hasn’t been great. A true center, he could move to guard and has tons of snaps pass protecting at Lincoln Riley’s pass heavy offense.

Packers – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota WR – The Packers should still be making wide receiver a priority for Rodgers and Love’s sake.

Chiefs – Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame OT – The Chiefs are losing three starting offensive linemen and Notre Dame is sending another NFL caliber blocker to the next level.

Today’s song is an old one, You’ve got to go by Above and Beyond (Seven Lions remix)

Fixing the Jets (Again)

Posted: December 25, 2020 in Football, New entries, NFL

Get a head coach – I’m not clear on how Adam Gase still has his job, or why he was hired in the first place. A coach with experience like Doug Pederson, Jim Caldwell, or Bill O’Brien would be good. Iowa’s Matt Campbell probably has better offers than to go to New York, but he would help bring a different culture than the “same old Jets.”

Get a quarterback – While the Jets could draft Justin Fields, Trey Lance, or Zach Wilson this organization has repeatedly failed to develop young passers in Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Christian Hackenberg, and now Sam Darnold. I think they should sign a veteran passer like Tyrod Taylor or Andy Dalton and trade back to add key players (offensive tackle, wide receiver, interior OL) to the roster to eventually be able to support a young quarterback instead of just wasting another rookie’s career like they’ve done several times before. Throwing money at Dak Prescott would be my first move, but Prescott’s getting paid every year on the franchise tag, so he would have little incentive to accept a deal from a bottom team like the Jets.

Draft good players – If the Jets got a haul to trade back, they could reasonably draft top tackle prospect Jalen Mayfield who has 16 starts at right tackle to play across from Becton. Standing pat at two and taking Sewell would probably be leaving value on the table with Becton’s early success at left tackle. The Jets will likely draft in the mid to late 20’s with the Seahawks first round pick. While Joe Douglas is supposedly an “O-line guy” and may want to draft another offensive lineman, drafting a wide receiver or cornerback will likely grant them the greatest value at that spot. Ohio State’s Chris Olave or Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr. might be available and provide strong value late in the first.

Hold the Line – Paying up for a higher end offensive lineman like Patriots guard Joe Thuney or Washington’s Brandon Scherff might cost a lot but the Jets line, even with the revamping Douglas did for the ’20 season hasn’t blocked consistently well with the exception of Mekhi Becton. Jets QB1 will perform with more confidence if the line can buy him some time to read the defense. The Jets have usually spent early draft picks and big money on defensive players, and while defense still matters, creating a hospitable environment for a new quarterback will increase their chances of winning football games more than having a killer front three.

Ron Rivera’s Washington Football Team Stomping into the playoffs

Song of the post is Odesza’s Loyal

49ers GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan have put together one winning season since taking over before the start of the 2017 season. Assembling a roster that’s suffered heavily from injury this season, the 49ers sit at 5-7, clawing towards an 8-8 season if they can win three of Washington, Dallas, Arizona, and Seattle in the remaining five games of the year. Nick Mullens is the presumptive starter at QB for the 49ers, going 2-4 as the starter in 2020. While the 2019 season went well for the 49ers, fans are growing tired of the injuries excuse as it continues to be an issue. Lynch needs to stabilize what has been an inconsistent quarterback situation to keep the 49ers relevant long term.

Fix the QB situation – Barring a major deal by luring Dak Prescott or trading for Teddy Bridgewater, the 49ers will need to find a passer in the draft to lead the team in 2021 and beyond. Jimmy Garoppolo looked competitive in the second half of 2019, but his injury prone nature keeps him (and the 49ers) from being a consistent competitor. The 49ers will likely miss out on the big 4 (Lawrence, Fields, Lance, Wilson) unless they are willing to trade up and can find a partner like the Eagles or Panthers. This would leave Lynch drafting Mac Jones/Kyle Trask in the first or a mid round project like Sam Ehlinger or D’Eriq King in the 4th or 5th rounds (49ers do not currently have a 3rd round selection in the 2021 draft). Due to Jimmy’s unreliable health, getting aggressive in trading up allows San Francisco to really take more control of their most important position. A quarterback like Trey Lance, while lacking a lot of passing snaps has demonstrated the “run and shoot” style of play Shanahan might value. Shanahan is one of the coaches who could get the most out of Lance’s mobility and on the run accuracy.

Balance the books – The 49ers will be forced to make some difficult decisions regarding who to resign and who to let walk. Richard Sherman, Solomon Thomas, and Trent Williams are all key players whose contracts run out after ’20. They will not likely be able to pay everyone and will lose some big names in the offseason. Keeping Sherman and Thomas would be nice, but keeping Trent Williams will be essential unless Lynch plans to replace Williams in the draft.

Build the Offense – The impact of players like Henry Ruggs, Stefon Diggs, and Chase Claypool have shown how one player can drastically improve an offense. If the 49ers don’t feel comfortable moving on a QB in the draft early, they can add win value in deep threats like Elijah Moore or Rashod Bateman. Samuel and Aiyuk are great at what they do, but the 49ers still don’t have a great deep speed receiver. Shanahan’s crush on running the ball shows us the value a real deep threat would have for San Francisco in forcing defensive coordinators to move defenders further away from the line of scrimmage.

Replace Robert Saleh – Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has not left the organization yet, but rumors point to his departure after the seasons’ end. Relative newcomer DL coach Kris Kocurek may get the nod, as the defense improved noticeably after he joined the team in 2019. Linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans who’s had success working with Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw and played as a successful linebacker for Houston for several seasons boasts a strong resume for the job as well.

Song of the post is Show Me by San Holo

  • Jets – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson QB – Lawrence is widely considered to be the best quarterback in the class. Only him or Fields would really make any sense at number one.
  • Jaguars – Justin Fields, Ohio State QB – Fields is a strong downfield thrower who rarely turns the ball over.
  • Bengals – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU WR – Chase is the draft’s best receiver, and Burrow’s teammate in 2019 at LSU.
  • Cowboys – Penei Sewell, Oregon OL – Jerry has invested heavily in the offensive line. Because of injuries and departures the Cowboys no longer field a strong group up front. Sewell is this years’ Quenton Nelson.
  • Football Team – Trey Lance, North Dakota State QB – Lance’s ceiling is sky high and lets Washington start over.
  • Chargers – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR – The Bolts need to upgrade their offensive line, but this is an opportunity to draft an elite wide receiver.
  • Giants – Micah Parsons, Penn State LB – The Giants have an identity on defense and don’t want to move on from Daniel Jones yet.
  • Dolphins (from Texans) – Devonta Smith, Alabama WR – Tua gets a familiar face and an elite receiver.
  • Falcons – Christian Barmore, Alabama DT – The Falcons defense continues to be a liability. Barmore and Jarrett could be powerful together.
  • Panthers – Zach Wilson, BYU QB – Teddy’s been impressive in the Panthers’ offense. Wilson could learn from his mentorship and give the Panthers a bigger arm while still throwing with accuracy.
  • Lions – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama CB – It’s tough to predict whether Quinn/Patricia will be in town for the 21 draft. I think Surtain is a great value pick here no matter who is drafting.
  • Patriots – Dylan Moses, Alabama LB – We all know New England needs to draft a quarterback. Belichick feels at home drafting defense. Patriots might go cornerback here, Belichick loves his corners.
  • Vikings – Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech CB – Minnesota’s regretting the guaranteed money Cousins contract. Farley address a deep need in the Vikings defense.
  • 49ers – Elijah Moore, Ole Miss WR – Moore is on fire. He’s a slot receiver, but Shanahan will know better than anyone how to get him down the field.
  • Broncos – Gregory Rousseau, Miami DE – A stud pass rusher, Rousseau can alleviate the loss of Von Miller.
  • Bears – Mac Jones, Alabama QB – The Bears will never be competitive until they get a real quarterback.
  • Dolphins – Kwity Paye, Michigan DL – Paye can line up at End or Tackle. Flores will value Paye’s versatility.
  • Ravens – Richard LeCounte, UGA DB – LeCounte can offset the loss of Earl Thomas, and the Ravens’ secondary is generally not the strongest.
  • Eagles – Alex Leatherwood, Alabama OT – The Eagles have spent high picks on offensive linemen, but they always seem to be injured. No quarterback will succeed in that offense until they have a healthy, strong offensive line. Leatherwood has been Alabama’s left tackle for two seasons now.
  • Cardinals – Travis Etienne, Clemson RB – I know Etienne is a running back, but he would make Arizona so much tougher to defend.
  • Raiders – Rondale Moore, Purdue WR – Moore forces the defense to prepare for a multitude of different options. He’s a deep threat, he takes balls out of the backfield, he has great lateral agility.
  • Jaguars (From Rams) – Chris Olave, Ohio State WR – Assuming the Jaguars get an offensive coach, Olave is a premium slot receiver Fields is comfortable passing to.
  • Colts – Kyle Trask, Florida QB – The Colts are thriving with old man Rivers who may not be back next year.
  • Browns – Shaun Wade, OSU CB – The Browns offense is humming at about its peak. Wade is a value pick here.
  • Jets (From Seahawks) – Jalen Mayfield, Michigan OT – Joe Douglas will want a strong o-line for Lawrence. Mayfield has performed well as a pass protector and can start at right tackle right away.
  • Titans – Patrick Jones II, Pitt DT – The Titans are pretty strong all around. Jones is an excellent interior pass rusher to help Tennessee compete with Kansas City.
  • Buccaneers – Jay Tufele, USC DT – Tufele could finally take over for Suh as an elite interior pass rusher. He’s got the size and pass rushing chops to compete.
  • Bills – Jaycee Horn, SC CB – The Bills defense hasn’t looked as strong in 2020, and Levi Wallace may not return in ’21.
  • Packers – Rashod Bateman, Minn. WR – The Packers can go ahead and finally draft a wide receiver. Bateman is a deep threat.
  • Chiefs – Terrace Marshall Jr, LSU WR – The Chiefs can go any direction here. Marshall would give them some height outside of Kelce.
  • Saints – Kyle Pitts, UF TE – Whoever plays quarterback in 2021 for New Orleans will value the drafts’ best tight end. Pitts is an athlete and has plus height/wingspan, ideal for a younger QB.
  • Steelers – Chazz Surratt, UNC LB – The Steelers typically prioritize the front seven early in the draft. Surratt’s a playmaker who could transition to strong safety if needs be.

Other names to watch for: Christian Darrisaw – VT OL, Justyn Ross – Clemson WR, Wyatt Davis – OSU OL, Amon-Ra St. Brown – USC WR, Trevon Moehrig TCU S.

Week 8 NFL reactions

Posted: November 3, 2020 in Uncategorized
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The Upsets

Cincinnati limited Tennessee’s top five-ranked scoring offense to just 20 points in a surprising win over Tennessee. Joe Burrow did a good job spreading the ball around between a young trio of Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Auden Tate. While legendary receiver A.J. Green has seen more usage in recent weeks, the Bengals offense doesn’t seem to need him to score points. This is not likely the Bengals’ year in a tough AFC North, Cincinnati’s defense showed some teeth and the team overall looks promising for 2021 and beyond. The Bengals get a rare win after Marvin Lewis’ departure.

The Vikings look like the Vikings again. In a defensive showout, Kirk Cousins threw the ball 14 times, which does not bode well for his long term future with Minnesota. Cousins has a lot of dead money tied up in his contract until the end of 2022. This performance demonstrated what Zimmer wants his Vikings to be, a grinding running offense and a defense to keep him in the game. Like Cincinnati, Minnesota’s not likely to go to the playoffs in 2020, but if they can win the bulk of their games for the second half of the season, Coach Mike Zimmer may very well keep his job.

The Raiders and Browns played a weather-impacted game of football with heavy winds. I assumed Cleveland would have the advantage with a healthy offensive line and being one of the most efficient rushing offenses in football when neither Baker or Derek Carr were able to push the ball downfield. I was wrong. Raiders’ defensive coordinator Paul Guenther may have saved his job by keying in on Cleveland’s rushing attack and limiting a Browns’ offense averaging 29 points a game to a WHOLE six points. The Raiders are still alive in a crowded AFC, and even have a coveted win over Kansas City.

Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins put the Rams to bed. While Tua’s numbers were ugly as sin, Miami’s scoring forced Jared Goff to throw 61 times, a deviation from where Sean McVay wants to be as a more run heavy offense. The Dolphins refuse to go away, extending their win streak to three. Miami is fielding one of the league’s top defense as Coach Brian Flores establishes himself as the Belichick acolyte who doesn’t try to copy the Patriot way, and the most successful one (RIP Bill O’Brien). The Rams Sean McVay has been among the league’s steadiest coaches, but a failure to make the playoffs again may put him on the hot seat to perform in ’21.

The Rise of Arizona

I was very critical of Arizona’s decision to hire Kliff Kingsbury as their next head coach. The young coach had failed to keep Texas Tech competitive in a softer college football conference and had just accepted a job as USC’s offensive coordinator. I compared the move to Oakland’s hiring of Lane Kiffin (thumbs down). At 5-2 with a QUALITY win over the Seahawks, the Cardinals look like the favorite in most if not all of their remaining games. Arizona is operating as a top ten team on both offense and defense and Murray’s elusiveness continues to give defenses fits. Never mind the Texans’ gift wrapped DeAndre Hopkins for free. The only weakness I see with Arizona is the lack of an obvious power run game, but that’s not slowed them down so far.

It HURTS to see

Eagles’ franchise passer Carson Wentz is having the worst season of his career. Even in games against awful Dallas or worst in the NFL Washington he’s putting up bad numbers. I wouldn’t venture to guess that Howie Roseman saw this coming, nor would I guess that Wentz is just DONE, as we’ve seen several seasons of high level play out of Wentz. Nevertheless, the drafting of Jalen Hurts gives Philly options should Wentz struggles persist into 2021. They still are on the hook for 70+ million dollars even if they did find a trade partner for Carson, but the Eagles have demonstrated they can be a bottom five NFL team and still win the NFC East, so having no cap space for a season wouldn’t even necessarily keep them out of the playoffs. Especially with Dallas actively working against themselves to be bad on purpose.

New England backing into a top 10 draft pick

The Patriots, even in their ‘down’ years have still been able to claim the AFC East crown for 19 out of the past 20 years. New England isn’t even likely to crack .500, never mind make the playoffs. Last NFL draft, I screamed and writhed in pain as Coach/GM/Dark Lord Belichick chose to not draft QBs Jordan Love or Jalen Hurts, and instead trade down to select safety Kyle Dugger. While Dugger is a fine safety, New England needs a Quarterback to at least give the club hope for the future. Belichick’s drafted 4-year juniors or seniors in the past (quarterbacks) who keep turnovers low, so Florida’s Kyle Trask, Miami’s D’Eriq King, or Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond may fit his profile. Patriots corner Stephon Gilmore has put his house up for sale, indicating Belichick may be looking to move him in the offseason. An additional first round pick may suggest Belichick wants to move up to draft Justin Fields or Trey Lance, or it may just be Belichick being Belichick accruing draft picks because that’s what he does. One criticism I have of Belichick is his lack of understanding for how important offense is. He’s had Brad who’s lifted his offensive castoffs year after year and Belichick’s been able to invest heavily in defense while still getting top offensive production from Tom. If he and Josh McDaniels don’t figure something out offensively in 2021, the ‘Belichick sucks’ crowd will have some fair criticism of his inability to win without the greatest quarterback of all time. I don’t feel that criticism is entirely fair, but the Patriots will have to show resilience in the face of a challenge they haven’t faced in 20 years.

I’ve started listening to this album on my drives home from work. I have a 45 minute-ish drive later in the night, and it helps me to get out of work-brain mode. Twisted Myths – Killigrew