Mock Draft 3.30.22 (Bad version)

Posted: March 30, 2022 in Football
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1 Jacksonville – Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan DE – Jaguars LT Cam Robinson has been franchise tagged. Hutchinson makes the most sense for Baalke and Pederson.

2 Detroit – Malik Willis, Liberty QB – Looking at the quarterbacks in the ’22 class and looking at CJ Stroud and Bryce Young as the stars of the 2023 draft class, Willis with all of his flaws looks like the highest ceiling prospect out of all of his peers. The Lions will start Jared Goff in 2022 regardless of who they draft. Malik Willis could use some help with his accuracy, but looks lightyears ahead of where Josh Allen was at this stage. Willis most closely resembles super QBs Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen with his cannon arm and his ability to move the ball as a runner. Willis will check Dan Campbell’s character box.

3 Houston – Ikem Ekwonu, NC State OL – Lovie Smith specifically first mentioned running the football when asked about running an NFL team. The Texans offensive line when healthy can pass protect, but isn’t beefy in run blocking. The Texans were last place in both yards per carry and total rushing yards last season. Icky is known for his power run blocking.

4 New York Jets – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon DE – Thibodeaux will fill the role occupied by Nick Bosa when Robert Saleh coached at San Francisco. Some intelligent people like Daniel Jeremiah and Jordan Reid believe Travon Walker will get drafted ahead of Thibodeaux. I believe the Jets will desire the pass rush skill of Thibodeaux more than the overall ceiling of Walker.

5 New York Giants – Evan Neal, Alabama OT – With the struggles New York has had at offensive line, they would be lucky to get Evan Neal.

6 Carolina – Charles Cross, Ole Miss OT – The last of the premium tackles, Carolina faces a rebuild in 2022. Cross will be important as they are gutted at O-line.

7 New York Giants (From Chicago) – Travon Walker, Georgia DE – Walker feels like a Wink Martindale guy. The Giants are still soft at defensive end and Martindale could get the best out of Travon Walker.

8 Atlanta – Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame Safety – Young Falcons GM Terry Fontenot invested early in safety last year with Richie Grant in the second round, and they still need help in that area. Hamilton is a prototype safety, and while he had a bad 40 time, he played plenty fast in pads.

9 Seattle (From Denver) – Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa OT – My spidey sense is telling me Seattle will run the ball more with a new face at quarterback. Penning is a bruising run blocker, and can only get better as a pass protector :). If they get Duane Brown back for another season they might draft a cornerback here.

10 New York Jets (From Seattle) – Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati CB – The Jets are terrible at cornerback. And Gardner is an excellent cornerback. Played well against Alabama’s starters.

11 Washington – Garrett Wilson, Ohio State WR – Wilson’s a scheme fit for Scott Turner’s vertical passing scheme.

12 Minnesota – Derek Stingley, LSU CB – Minnesota needs help badly at cornerback. Stingley has played like an elite corner before.

13 Houston (From Cleveland) – Devin Lloyd, Utah Linebacker – Lovie Smith emphasized takeaways when asked about building a team. Lloyd happens to specialize in takeaways. Smith had some talented linebackers like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs when he coached Chicago.

14 Baltimore – George Karlaftis, Purdue DE – Like Walker, Karlaftis has the size to move around the defensive line.

15 Philadelphia (From Miami) – Jermaine Johnson, FSU DE – The Eagles are known for bringing a competitive defensive line. In 2021, they were the second worst team in sacks (29) and Jermaine Johnson was consistent as a pass rusher for Florida State.

16 Philadelphia (From Indianapolis) – Trent McDuffie, Washington CB – McDuffie was an excellent zone corner at Washington and should fit right in with Jonathan Gannon’s defense for Philly.

17 LA Chargers – Roger McCreary, Auburn CB – The Chargers have favored defensive backs early in the draft for several years now. McCreary is battle tested and allowed in the low 40 percent mark for completions. His lone touchdown allowed came against Georgia in 2021. They have a need at defensive tackle, I’m not convinced they will want Jordan Davis if he won’t be able to hold up for the 17 overtime games the Chargers are bound to play in in 2022.

18 New Orleans – Zion Johnson, BC OL – The Saints struggled to run the ball in 2021. The Saints’ interior offensive line could use some work. Johnson is an elite run blocker and could line up at center or guard.

19 Philadelphia – Jordan Davis, Georgia DT – The Eagles are getting older on the defensive line. Davis may need some time to adjust to an NFL schedule as a full time starter, the return of Fletcher Cox will give him that. His combine performance solidifies his first round status.

20 Pittsburgh – David Ojabo, Michigan DE – The Steelers have long prioritized an aggressive front seven. Ojabo may not be able to play in 2022, but he’s still learning the game and can blossom in the Steelers defense.

21 New England – Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson CB – Booth is an excellent man corner which Patriots coach Bill Belichick will covet.

22 Green Bay (From Las Vegas) – Daxton Hill, Michigan DB – Hill played slot corner for Michigan and could fill that role for Green Bay. The Packers have shown a commitment to early investment in secondary in seasons past.

23 Arizona – Logan Hall, Houston DT – Hall played inside at Houston but may move to edge because of his size. Steve Keim has emphasized front seven size/speed athletes early in the draft (Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons).

24 Dallas – Drake London, USC WR – Jerry Jones does a great job of not screwing up his first round picks. Dallas will want a high level offensive tackle, and pass rusher. And cornerback. And Safety. He’s not going to turn down 6’4″ Drake London.

25 Buffalo – Kyler Gordon, UW CB – Gordon is a high ceiling corner. Buffalo will want someone to replace Levi Wallace.

26 Tennessee – Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa C – Tennessee’s had a strong offensive line under their current regime. Linderbaum would likely move to guard. Tennessee would take David Ojabo here if he’s available.

27 Tampa Bay – Jalen Pitre, Baylor DB – Tampa is a strong roster, but they are thin at corner. Pitre thrived as a slot corner, something Tampa badly needs.

28 Green Bay – Devonte Wyatt, Georgia DT – Wyatt might be the best interior pass rusher in the draft. The Packers need wide receivers, but didn’t become the class of the NFC by drafting them in the first round.

29 Kansas City (From Miami) – Jameson Williams, Alabama WR – The Chiefs Air Show will be operating without Tyreek Hill for the first time since 2015.

30 Kansas City – Boye Mafe, Minnesota DE – Kansas City will need to rush the passer now more than ever. Mafe had a terrific senior bowl.

31 Cincinnati – Kenyon Green, Texas A&M OL – The Bengals have already heavily invested in OL. Green is extremely versatile and is a great run blocker.

32 Detroit (From LA Rams) – Treylon Burks, Arkansas WR – Detroit knows they need receiver help. They’ve gone heavy into offensive and defensive line. With some more help for Amon-ra St. Brown, this team could score a lot of points.

Honorable Mentions: Sam Howell, UNC QB; Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan OL

Song of the post – “White Coats” by Foxes

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

 

 

Detroit – Will Anderson, Alabama DE – Detroit has the last ranked defense allowing the 2nd most rushing yards per attempt and the third most rushing yards per attempt. QB Jared Goff is being forced into bad throws by always playing from behind. Detroit will look at quarterbacks here, but neither have terrific upside and neither will experience any success playing on a team with the worst defense in football.

Houston – C.J. Stroud, Ohio State QB – Nick Caserio has a thing for five star quarterbacks. Houston has the worst run defense in football and needs receivers/tight ends for their quarterback. I expect Houston to move on from Davis Mills if Bryce Young or CJ Stroud are available when they draft.

Carolina – Hendon Hooker, Tennessee QB – Hooker is having a career year beating Alabama and throwing 21 TDs to 1 INT. The old school staff in Carolina will appreciate Hooker’s plus height (6’4″) and extensive starting history (35+ starts) while the analytics crowd will like his career-best passing stats and dual threat ability that Stroud and Young haven’t demonstrated. Hooker grew up in North Carolina before attending VA Tech and Tennessee.

Pittsburgh – Jordan Addison, USC WR – I wanted Peter Skoronski for the offensive line, but Addison makes too much sense. Addison is a terrific receiver no matter where he goes, having a rapport with Pickett at Pittsburgh only helps Pickett’s development.

Jacksonville – Jalen Carter, Georgia DT – Jaguars GM Trent Baalke has a thing for big defensive linemen. He drafted Oregon teammates Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner to play defensive line when he was with San Francisco. Carter is a terrific prospect as a pass rusher and against the run and played alongside 2022 jaguars first round pick Trevon Walker at Georgia.

Las Vegas – Peter Skoronski, Northwestern OT – The Raiders offensive line is still in bad shape. Carr will have more time to throw if Peter Skoronski can learn to play on the right side of the line. Skoronski is one of the top prospects in the draft earning praise for his run blocking and pass protection.

Tampa Bay – Bryce Young, Alabama QB – Even if Tom doesn’t retire, it would be hard to Tampa to pass up Bryce Young in the draft.

Philadelphia (From New Orleans) – Bryan Bresee, Clemson DT – Fletcher Cox may finally retire this offseason on Bresee would give the Eagles plenty of competition to replace him. Philadelphia has long made OL/DL a priority early in the draft. Bresee is a top pass rusher in the draft and earned commendation on his lean build from PFF.

Houston (From Cleveland) Quentin Johnston, TCU WR – The Texans are a bad overall roster. They are skinny at wide receiver. Johnston is a native Texan and a huge target. PFF has lauded his YAC ability and would help QB1 for Houston open up the pass game, and consequently, the run game.

Seattle (From Denver) – Myles Murphy, Clemson DE – Seattle has avoided the rebuild and looks to go to the playoffs this year. Their defense is a problem and Murphy is great against the run and a strong pass rusher, both areas of weakness for Seattle.

Arizona – Broderick Jones, Georgia OT – Jones has excelled as a pass protector this season and his 6’4″ height might be preferable for Murray’s height situation. Arizona has struggled on offense and in pass blocking.

Chicago – Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State WR – Chicago badly needs weapons and Justin Fields is looking like he may work out for Chicago long term.

Green Bay – Kelee Ringo, Georgia CB – Until a new general manager takes over in Green Bay, or Aaron Rodgers retires, Green Bay will continue to favor defense and secondary early in the draft.

Detroit (From LA Rams) – Cam Smith, South Carolina CB – Detroit has a bottom tier secondary, Smith is a top shelf corner in the draft. Detroit could also look at wide receiver if someone catches Brad Holmes’ eye.

Indianapolis – Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State OT – The Colts used to be the gold standard for offensive line play. The Jonathan Taylor/Frank Reich offense can work again once they have balanced blockers on the line.

Cincinnati – Nolan Smith, Georgia OLB/DE – Cincinnati would benefit from Smith’s pass rushing skills. The Bengals continue to struggle at offensive line and look anemic without Jamarr Chase.

New England – Jordan McFadden, Clemson OT – McFadden is a four year starter at Clemson and New England’s normally steady offensive line play has been anything but this season.

Washington – Brian Branch, Alabama CB – Washington’s secondary needs love at corner. They could also look at QB if there is someone they like here or wide receiver.

Atlanta – Andre Carter II, Army DE – Carter is 6’7″ and a highly productive pass rusher at Army.

Denver (From Miami through San Francisco) – Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M Safety – Kareem Jackson can’t play forever, the Broncos can draft at a position of need or they can draft for value. Johnson is an intriguing safety prospect who can replace Jackson in the near future.

LA Chargers – Michael Mayer, Notre Dame TE – The chargers wide receivers have had difficulty staying healthy. Mayer brings value in the run game is a serious upgrade as a receiving threat as well.

Seattle – Trenton Simpson, Clemson LB – Simpson has covered well in the slot and has the size to help in stopping the run.

Jets – Anton Harrison, Oklahoma OT – The Jets cant keep their offensive line healthy. Harrison is not the dream prospect that Skoronski or Jones is, but would help keep QB1 for the Jets upright better than the revolving door they’ve had.

Baltimore – Joey Porter Jr., Penn State CB – Baltimore has questions to answer about Lamar Jackson and the type of offense he’s going to thrive in if he remains a Raven for the long term future. Porter Jr. has excellent size and the Ravens will be very familiar with his name.

Kansas City – B.J. Ojulari, LSU DE – Kansas City has one of the strongest rosters, but could use help rushing the passer outside of Chris Jones.

Dallas – Trey Palmer, Nebraska WR – The Dallas offense can be the highest scoring in football with enough receiving weapons. Palmer’s had a breakout season

New York Giants – Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee WR – Hyatt played well against Alabama and is having a terrific season overall. The Giants are suddenly relevant and in need of capable wide receivers.

Tennessee – Ryan Hayes, Michigan OT – A major part of Blake Corum’s rushing success, Hayes could supplant injury prone Taylor Lewan at left tackle.

Minnesota – Jacob Cowing, Arizona WR – The Vikings are enjoying a ton of immediate success under Kevin O’Connell. Cowing could help the Vikings break the damn in arms races against teams like Buffalo and Kansas City.

Buffalo – Jordan Battle, Alabama Safety – Buffalo is experiencing injury issues from their highly touted safety tandem, Battle would’ve been a top pick in 2021, but chose to return to school.

Philadelphia – Bijan Robinson, Texas RB – The Eagles have a complete roster and their record reflects that. Robinson would give them an immediate boost on offense as a runner/receiver if Roseman wants to capitalize on what may be a short SuperBowl window with Jalen Hurts on a rookie contract and the whole team clicking.

Today’s song is Lost at Sea by Zedd

Jacksonville – Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan DE – Hutchinson is playing like the best player in the draft. He draws an extra blocker in the pass rush and is great against the run. The Jaguars have a ton of holes. They were bottom five in sacks in 2021. Everyone and their grandmother has Evan Neal as the pick here. I think Jacksonville leaves the best player on the board by doing that.

Detroit – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon DE – Teammates with 2020 Lions first round pick Penei Sewell, Thibodeaux has devastating pass rush moves. If he has effort issues in run defense, Dan Campbell and company can coach said issues “up.”

Houston – Evan Neal, Alabama OT – Drafting Neal can protect Davis Mills and/or set up the roster to better support their quarterback of the future. Laremy Tunsil played five of a possible seventeen games last season and has a max of two seasons left on his contract. Lovie Smith will surely want Kyle Hamilton as well.

Jets – Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame S – Hamilton’s got absurd range and can move around the field, even as a pass rusher if needs be. He has free safety skills and strong safety size. Not a lot to think about with this pick.

Giants – Charles Cross, Miss. State OL – Cross allowed zero sacks and zero pressures against Alabama. He’s not the same run blocker as Ikem Ekwonu, but is above average in run blocking and pass pro. Brian Daboll will want an offense that can run and pass well.

Carolina – Ikem Ekwonu, NC State OL – The Panthers badly need offensive line help and “Icky” is regarded by some as the top dog in the whole draft. Carolina will be under some pressure to draft a quarterback here. No quarterback will last long behind the current Panthers offensive line.

Giants (From Chicago) – Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati CB – I expect Gardner will be discussed as one of the best corners in recent memory after a few seasons. Even against Alabama’s vaunted receivers he allowed 14 whole yards. He’s a scheme fit for what Don Martindale’s defense.

Atlanta – Drake London, USC WR – Let’s just say (Falcons General Manager) Terry Fontenot has a thing for tall guys. There is a power vacuum in the NFC South with Tom Brady retiring, London could play a big part in Atlanta getting back into the playoffs. Ryan will begging for an offensive weapon with Pitts drawing double coverage now. The Falcons still badly need pass rush, but the quality here is a little riskier than at the top.

Denver – Derek Stingley Jr., LSU CB – Denver will surely be in the market for a veteran quarterback (Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson). New general managers rarely get two swings at the quarterback position. George Paton is a risk averse guy, something we saw last season when he drafted Patrick Surtain II over Justin Fields, I don’t believe he will want any of these quarterbacks for that reason. New Broncos DC Ejiro Evero comes from LA where they had Jalen Ramsey remove a top receiver from the offense’s game plan. Stingley (if healthy) can have that same impact for Denver.

Jets (From Seattle) – Devin Lloyd, Utah LB – The Jets have bigger needs, but Lloyd is a prototype linebacker who reminds me of Micah Parsons. Lloyd doesn’t have quite the size and may not be as great a pass rusher as Parsons, but his coverage skills and run defense should more than justify this pick. The Jets will be looking to add reinforcements at offensive line with Mekhi Becton looking more like a question mark and the interior struggling as well.

Pittsburgh (Trade with Washington) – Malik Willis, Liberty QB – Pittsburgh can move up with probably only giving up one additional first round pick and get their guy. Mike Tomlin has liked Willis a lot. Unless Washington needs to get their quarterback here, they can move back nine spots and get an extra pick in 2023.

Minnesota – Treylon Burks, Arkansas WR – Adam Thielen is getting older and the Vikings could use help in the receiver department. Kevin O’Connell had plenty of star wide receivers in LA for the quarterback to throw to. New general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will value passing production and the skill Burks brings. Adofo-Mensah comes from the Browns analytics friendly front office and should value wide receivers highly.

Cleveland – Garrett Wilson, Ohio State WR – The Browns definitely need help at wide receiver after departing with Odell Beckham. About 40 percent of Wilson’s yards were YAC yards, respectable for a receiver with as much attention on him as Wilson.

Baltimore – Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa OL – Baltimore is one of the steadiest teams in the NFL. They run the ball more than anybody. While Ravens GM Eric DeCosta isn’t known for drafting small school players early, it would make sense to make an exception for Trevor Penning. Penning excels in run blocking and allowed a mere two pressures against Iowa State.

Philadelphia (From Miami) – Zion Johnson, Boston College OL – Zion Johnson is a man’s man. He played well at the senior bowl and is a great run blocker. He took snaps at center which shows versatility that would appeal to the Eagles situation without Brandon Brooks and possibly without Jason Kelce.

Philadelphia (From Indianapolis) – George Karlaftis, Purdue DE – Karlaftis is still somewhat new to Football and has some tackling issues to work out. This man is a behemoth and could possibly even move inside if needed. Karlaftis had seven hurries against Iowa, he should push Derek Barnett to maybe start day one.

Chargers – Trent McDuffie, Washington CB – I would have the chargers take a receiver or even a tight end, but they reload at defensive back early and often. McDuffie is a great value pick here. There will be run-stuffing defensive tackles throughout the draft for LA.

Saints – Matt Corral, Ole Miss QB – Corral tightened up the turnovers in 2021 and showed off his quick release. Plus the Saints don’t mind having a short quarterback. Mickey Loomis could look to draft center Tyler Linderbaum if he’s not thrilled with any of the quarterbacks in this class.

Philadelphia – Martin Emerson, Miss. State CB – Veteran SEC corner with terrific size. While Emerson looked flawed against Alabama, he’s got a higher ceiling than many of his peers and gave up three touchdowns on the season.

Washington (Trade with Pittsburgh) – Jameson Williams, Alabama WR – Jameson Williams is a great asset for Scott Turner’s offense. He bullied corners all season long, if his medical checks out he’d fit well in this offense.

New England – Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson CB – Booth is a strong corner and New England relies on excellent coverage for their defense to operate. Booth was excellent in man coverage in 2021.

Las Vegas – Devonte Wyatt, UGA DT – Wyatt is a strong all around defensive tackle. He’ll improve the Raiders interior pass rush and shoddy run defense.

Arizona – Jermaine Johnson, FSU DE – Chandler Jones looks like he is out the door in Arizona. Johnson is a great player with double digit sacks at Florida State in ’21. He played well at the Senior Bowl.

Dallas – Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma DT – Winfrey came to life in the Senior Bowl. The Cowboys defense doesn’t have a strong interior presence. Winfrey gives them a real inside pass rush option.

Buffalo – David Ojabo, Michigan DE – Buffalo has Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison on free agency. Ojabo would be a huge asset to their DL rotation, if not a starter.

Tennessee – Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina OLB – Tennessee runs a 3-4 so Enagbare would a be a fit. Enagbare had a great senior bowl performance and would give Tennessee the option to move on from either Bud Dupree or Harold Landry.

Tampa Bay – Jalen Pitre, Baylor DB – Tampa has some big decisions to make at QB and wide receiver. They were thin at corner last season. Unless they trade this selection for a big name QB, Pitre would make an aggressive slot corner where they have struggled in 2021.

Green Bay – Roger McCreary, Auburn CB – The Packers like to draft corners early. If Rodgers has a voice in this years’ draft, they could maybe take Trey McBride, as resigning Robert Tonyan will be tough if they want to keep Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams.

Miami (From San Francisco) – Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa C – Mike McDaniel’s offense starts on the ground. Linderbaum is not a sexy pick, but he is great in pass protection and run blocks well.

Kansas City – Jordan Davis, Georgia DT – Andy Reid is a line of scrimmage guy, and the Chiefs gave up the second most yards per carry last season. There’s a lot of respect for Davis and most media types don’t think Jordan Davis lasts this long in the draft. Davis may never get double digit sacks but his pass rush skills can only go up. Davis is an elite run defender.

Cincinnati – Kenyon Green, Texas A&M OL – Green is extremely versatile and great as a run blocker. He can start at right tackle if Reiff gets injured again in 2022. Mike Brown has shown a preference for big school prospects, I believe he will want Green or Darian Kinnard over Bernhard Raimann or Max Mitchell. Cincinnati may trade down here if another team wants to get in front of Detroit for a quarterback.

Detroit (From Rams) – Travis Jones, Uconn DT – Jones is an excellent run defender with plus pass rush skills. Detroit looks like they are prioritizing line of scrimmage talent early, Jones would be an excellent value here. Jones has earned praise for his overall fitness and looks to be an upgrade over the current group for Detroit at defensive tackle.

Song of the post is “I’m Just A Monster Underneath, My Darling” – Krewella

49ers mock draft 2022

Posted: February 10, 2022 in Football, New entries, NFL, NFL Draft
Tags: ,

First round: None 😦

Second round (61st): Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati DE – Sanders posted 8(!) hurries against the vaunted Alabama offensive line in the cotton bowl. He showed leadership as a vocal supporter of other defensive linemen in the senior bowl and has appropriate size for the position.

Third round (93rd): Alontae Taylor, Tennessee CB – An SEC Veteran, Taylor allowed one touchdown on fifty-two targets this season. Strong performances against Alabama and Pittsburgh this season. Zero recorded penalties for the 2021 season.

Third round (compensatory): Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame IOL – Patterson is a longtime starter for Notre Dame at center. Lynch has shown a preference for Notre Dame offensive line with the Mike McGlinchey and Aaron Banks picks early in previous drafts. Laken Tomlinson is up on his contract and Alex Mack is in his late 30s.

Fourth round (132nd): Kolby Harvell-Peel, Ok. State S – Harvell-Peel has been a top safety since his freshman year. He can push for the strong safety job if Jaquiski Tartt isn’t resigned and would be a valuable depth safety if he is. Harvell-Peel has been a cornerstone player for one of College Football’s top defenses for three years.

Fifth round (171st): Keytaon Thompson, UVA WR – Thompson has experience taking handoffs (39 carries in 2021) and has a giant 6’4″ frame that should make him easy to target. Pro Football Focus suggests he’s even a good run blocker, making him extremely valuable in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

Sixth round (185th): Chase Garbers, Cal QB – The depth chart behind Trey Lance is pretty skinny. Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard are both gone. Garbers has displayed good athleticism and a reasonably strong arm at Cal. He started four years and gradually improved during his time there.

Song of the post – “Black Summer” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Round 1: Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson CB – Clemson struggled on offense, and was held together by elite defensive play. Booth Jr. allowed two touchdowns in coverage during the whole season. Booth’s strong man coverage chops will make him attractive to the Patriots scheme.

TigerNet.com, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Round 2: Neil Farrell Jr., LSU DT – The Patriots have been bullied on run defense. Belichick has shown a preference for big bois (Farrell is 6’4″, 325 lbs), and Farrell is a plus pass rusher and shut down Alabama’s rushing offense this year.

“LSUvsGASouth 729” by tammy anthony baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Round 3: Dontario Drummond, Ole Miss WR – Drummond can push through tackles and will fit well in New England’s quick pass scheme. Played well against Alabama. Drummond has speed and a stout build, compares to Sammy Watkins at Clemson.

Round 4: Cade Mays, Tennessee OL – A better run blocker than pass blocker, Mays will likely move to guard in the pros. Should thrive in the Patriots gap run-blocking scheme. Mays plays angry but has technical flaws, the Patriots have elevated later round offensive lineman (Joe Thuney, Michael Onwenu, Shaq Mason) into high level starters and should continue to do so. Mays was a five star athlete in high school, which the Patriots will like.

Round 6: Britain Covey, Utah WR – Britain Covey was made to be a Patriot. Covey is a return specialist who can get open in quick pass plays on offense.

Round 7: Cade York, LSU Kicker – York had a clutch 57 yarder into the fog against Florida in 2020. York should give the Patriots more field goal range which plays well into Bill Belichick’s conservative approach.

Offseason thoughts –

  • Wide receiver Nelson Agholor is a waste in the Patriots offense. He’s at his best when he gets to run down field and separate for a bomb. The Patriots should try to move him for a draft pick or someone who’s a better fit, like Curtis Samuel.
  • For 20 years, Tom Brady kept the Patriots offense relevant even in years when they had guys like Reche Caldwell or Brandon LaFell. Coach Belichick could spend top draft picks and cap dollars on defensive players knowing Brady would put the offense on his back. While Mac Jones has stood out amongst his rookie quarterback peers, the 2020 free agency spending frenzy signaled a shift in how Belichick viewed he needed to build the roster. This draft may show the Patriots spending early picks on wide receivers, a departure from the Patriot Way.
  • One of the Patriots number one goals will be taking back the AFC East. Not only do they have to contend with a superior Bills roster, but they have been pushed around by a middling Miami team. There’s also the New York “49ers” who may not stay bad for long. For Bill Belichick that’s going to look like: 1. Strong pass defense, 2. Convert on third downs, 3. Don’t turn over the football. See you next year.

Song of the post is “New Life” by ak9

2022 NFL Mock Draft

Posted: January 2, 2022 in Football, NFL, NFL Draft
Tags: ,

COULD A DEPRESSED PERSON DO THIS?

(Draft order courtesy of Tankathon.com)

Jaguars – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon DE – Can’t mess this up

Lions – Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan DE – Hutchinson would have to switch positions. Detroit cant face their fans if they pass on Hutchinson/Thibodeaux. A hometown player and a blue chip player. 1 digit IQ coach Dan Campbell will like Hutch’s run defense chops.

Texans – Evan Neal, Alabama OT – Bill O’Brien would still have his job if he could’ve drafted Evan Neal in the first round.

Jets – Derek Stingley, LSU CB – Derek Stingleys don’t grow on trees. Major get for New York.

Giants – Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame S – Hamilton is the next Derwin James/prototype safety player.

Panthers – Matt Corral, Ole Miss QB – Corral has shown he can protect the football and still has a crazy high ceiling. There’s only one way out for Carolina.

Jets (From Seahawks) – Darian Kinnard, Kentucky OT – Kinnard will help the Jets establish a strong run presence. He can move to guard if they are crowded at tackle.

Giants (From Bears) – Ikem Ekwonu, NC State OL – Ekwonu is a powerful run blocker.

Washington – Malik Willis, Liberty QB – Willis has some flaws, but he has the arm to operate Scott Turner’s offense. Pickett looks more like a game manager plus, Willis is one of the more accurate deep ball passers.

Falcons – Charles Cross, Miss. State OT – Arthur Smith will want a stalwart offensive line in Atlanta like he had in Tennessee. Cross can replace McGary as a great pass protector and run blocker.

Broncos – Roger McCreary, Auburn CB – McCreary played well against Alabama.

Vikings – Yorgos Karlaftis, Purdue DE – The Greek import is physically dominant and should help the team transition from Everson Griffin. Karlaftis is a pass rush specialist. Background as a greek mens national water polo player before moving to the states.

Browns – Jameson Williams, Alabama WR – The Browns have a huge need at wide receiver. It’s probably not fair to judge Baker’s bad year while he’s playing with an injured shoulder. Jameson Williams dominated in what “should have” been Metchie’s year at Alabama. Even run heavy teams need a deep threat.

Eagles (From Miami) – Jordan Davis, Georgia DT – The Eagles are the type of team to draft Davis and unlock his pass rushing potential.

Saints – Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa C – The Saints typically draft defense here. Linderbaum is a great overall player and can solidify at guard for them.

Ravens – Andrew Booth Jr, Clemson CB – Like many teams, the Ravens need cornerback help. Booth is battle tested at Clemson and will be valuable against likes of Kansas City, Cincinnati, the Chargers etc.

Steelers – Sam Howell, UNC QB – Howell scrambles like young Ben Roethlisberger and has some nice deep ball throws under his belt.

Raiders – Zion Johnson, BC OG – Johnson is a competitive run blocker and pass blocker. It doesn’t hurt that Mayock graduated from Boston College.

Eagles – Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati CB – Gardner has terrific height and played well against Alabama.

Chargers – Travis Jones, UConn DT – Jones will solidify the Bolts trash run defense and provide real pass rush presence in the middle.

Eagles (From Colts) – Kenyon Green, Texas A&M OL

Dolphins (From 49ers) – DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M DL

Patriots – Devin Lloyd, Utah LB – Lloyd versatility will have him all over the field in Belichick’s defense.

Cardinals – David Ojabo, Michigan DE/OLB – Ojabo is a great value pick here and will likely supplant Chandler Jones if selected.

Bills – Kaiir Elam, Florida CB – Always need more corners

Bengals – Nakobe Dean, Georgia LB

Cowboys – Trent McDuffie, Washington CB

Buccaneers – Martin Emerson, Miss State CB

Chiefs – Coby Bryant, Cincinnati CB

Lions (From Rams) – Chris Olave, Ohio State WR

Titans – Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma OLB

Packers – Devonte Wyatt, Georgia DT

Who Fell?

Kenny Pickett, Drake London, Trevor Penning, and more

Song of the post is “Fight Dirty” by Salvatore Ganacci

George Paton and the Denver Broncos have one of the most talented rosters in Football. Broncos QB Drew Lock has been most specifically NOT the dude since being drafted. Whether he’s not a fit for Pat Shurmur’s quick pass offense or he’s just not starter material, Denver remains in the market for a franchise quarterback. Denver traded for journeyman Teddy Bridgewater who may be more of a fit for Denver’s offense, but hasn’t flashed big game potential since his rookie season. Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will be familar with Teddy from their time in Minnesota (2016-’17), though Teddy was injured for nearly that entire time Shurmur was with the Vikings.

Denver stayed at pick nine and found Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Alabama’s Mac Jones available, two of the draft’s biggest names at quarterback. They chose to draft Patrick Surtain II, and roll with Lock and Bridgewater. Denver will return stud wide receiver Courtland Sutton who missed 15 games last year, who may elevate the offense even with Lock or Bridgewater.

Did Denver have plans to lure Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay? Are Paton and Elway out of their ***damned minds? If the plan was to draft a passer in 2022, they should have traded down, aggressively so, to get a first rounder next season. Surtain’s a fine value pick, but Denver will just win 6 games next season if they don’t find a way to elevate the passing offense. Trading for Rodgers or Deshaun Watson would be the M. Night Shyamalan twist ending that would keep Elway on staff for another decade, but there is little occurring right now to suggest such a trade will take place. Elway has been heavily criticized on whiffing on QBs in the past like Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch, so while I can appreciate the hesitation to take anyone but a “sure thing” at QB, Elway may not have tons of time left before Mr. Bowlen relieves him of his duties.

It’s still unclear what caused Fields to drop as far as he did. His throwing motion? A couple of bad interviews? The decision to pass on Fields and Jones is even more curious. Denver didn’t even draft a late/mid round quarterback, implying they are confident about their QB room.

The only ending to the story that makes Paton/Elway look smart is getting Aaron Rodgers.

The Aaron Rodgers story feels like a non story that’s dressed up by the Pat McAfees of the world (God bless you Pat McAfee) to fill the hours between the draft and the regular season. Some months ago, Russell Wilson seemed destined to part ways with Seattle after bashing his offensive line and repeatedly saying how many times he’d been sacked as a Seahawk. But apparently that’s all in the past and Wilson and Pete Carroll have kissed and made up. Rodgers reportedly compared Brian Gutekunst to Jerry Krause of the Bulls MJ era. This seems specific enough to be believable, but most people don’t really love their boss. I’ve said much worse than that about my bosses in my past jobs. I appreciate that Packers GM Brian Gutekunst stuck to his guns instead of caving to Rodger’s supposed demands to draft a wide receiver.

*Aaron Rodgers demands trade if Green Bay doesn’t start taking his advice, draft receivers in first round*

Packers Executive: “What do you think Boss? Elijah Moore is available, and he’d be great on this offense!”

Brian Gutekunst: “We’re drafting Eric Stokes.”

Packers Executive: “But what abo-“

Gutekunst: *Throws beer bottle across the room* “WE’RE DRAFTING STOKES!”

Rodgers has since sat out of minicamp, so him sitting out for the season or going to Denver is slightly more likely now. DeShaun Watson has reportedly also expressed interest in being traded to Denver, but he has to prove he can avoid prison first. If Watson wants to get traded anywhere, it should be the Las Vegas Raiders, where prostitution is legal.

In Conclusion:

Drew Lock will probably “put it all together” and have a career year, because that’s what happened with Buffalo’s Swell Guy Josh Allen, and I thought Allen sucked. Jerry Jeudy didn’t quite play up to the level of some of his peers, dropping more passes than expected, and Lock will be getting his best receiver, Courtland Sutton back in ’21. They also drafted Quinn “The Belly” Meinerz (who had a great senior bowl in practice) to compete for their starting center position, where Lloyd Cushenberry has struggled.

Rodgers will probably return to practice with Green Bay at some point, he probably just wants to stay home and get high because he’s a 37 year old millionaire who feels he’s earned it. He’s not publicly demanded a trade like Watson has.

DeShaun Watson will inevitably settle out of court with all of his plaintiffs, the criminal charges will get dropped, and he will get traded to the Eagles or some QB desperate team and as long as he keeps being a star QB, eventually the fans will forget about the lawsuits. Like we did with Tyreek Hill, Ray Lewis, Richie Incognito, etc.

That’s Football.

Song of the Post is Flow State (Spoken word with Elena Brower) – Above and Beyond

  • With former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and former 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur, the Jets are the 49ers East. They can be expected to run the same offense and defense that San Francisco has been running.
  • BYU’s loss to Coastal Carolina showed Zach Wilson’s toughness against an aggressive pass rush. This is an environment New York will be facing often in 2021, with well coached AFC East pass rushers and a bottom half pass protecting unit. Against Coastal Carolina, Wilson had less time to find receivers operated like (in my opinion) like Steve McNair quickly finding open receivers and keeping his team in the game.
  • Saleh’s mastery in getting the most out of an average defense and the same offensive scheme that helped Aaron Rodgers have an MVP season in 2020 sets up New York with plenty of optimism for the future. Mobile QBs have given Saleh’s defenses fits in the past. Newcomer Jarrad Davis should be great as a spy in key matchups against Buffalo’s Josh Allen or New England’s Cam Newton. The Jets already have a great run defense with Quinnen Williams and Folorunso Fatukasi, Saleh’s challenge will be finding high level starters in the secondary.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo was serviceable, sometimes GREAT (when healthy) in this scheme. BYU passer Zach Wilson is expected to have stronger overall fundamentals and great Manziel-esque playmaking ability that Jimmy hasn’t displayed at a high level recently. The ceiling for the Jets offense is already much higher with the marriage of Zach Wilson’s “toolbox” and the run heavy, play action centric nature of LaFleur’s playcalling.
  • The Jets’ offensive line is less complete than the 49ers, with starters with Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera Tucker and question marks every where else. As of 6/8/2021, the Jets had met with Morgan Moses, but no agreement between the two parties had been reached. Moses has been a top run blocker in Washington and a solid pass protector, a huge get for NY if they signed him. While Douglas has taken steps to improve this group, the line looks like it’s a season or two away from being an above average group. Wilson was at his best at BYU with great pass protection, and his development will likely hinge on his line’s ability to protect him.
  • Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, and now Elijah Moore give the Jets an actually very promising, young receiving group (Jamison Crowder is currently holding out).
  • UDFA tight end Kenny Yeboah (teammates with early pick Elijah Moore) blew up on Alabama’s defense for 181 yards and two scores. Yeboah has experience blocking but needs to grow in this area to make the roster where running will be so crucial.
  • The Jets corners specifically are pretty bad. They might get gashed this season if the cornerback talent overall does not improve. They spent five late (5th and 6th) round picks on safeties and cornerbacks. This is a team that should sign Richard Sherman.
  • The Jets front seven (or six in nickel) looks competitive after signing Carl Lawson and returning Quinnen Williams. This would be C.J. Mosley’s first fully healthy season since 2018 if he stays healthy this year.

The Jets don’t look like a 12-5 team right now, but the pieces are being assembled for future seasons. Wilson doesn’t need to be perfect right away for this team to take a big leap from 2-14, he just needs to protect the ball and stay healthy. The Jets can win eight or nine game in 2021. Their schedule in 2020 was tough as nails, and they have Houston, Jacksonville, and Cincinnati this season. Miami, who 2-0’d New York last season (and stomped on San Francisco 43-17) did so with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chan Gailey at OC. Both of whom are no longer with the team. I feel with the Jets already strong run defense and play calling switching from A C T U A L Gregg Williams to Robert Saleh, New York will be able to handle Tua’s Dolphins and many other mid-level teams as Coach Saleh and young Zach Wilson progress in their respective roles.

Song of the post – “She’s the one” – Arkasia

I really wanted to write more, my posts are always really short. I don’t have more words without covering whole, other topics or just adding fluff. I have too much fluff as it is. Don’t skip on the song, Arkasia’s a good one.

It’s been a wild 12 months in NFL Land. Many stories have flown under the radar because of all of Covid, Deshaun Watson, Tompa Bay, etc. I want to touch on some of the more recent developments that I believe will become real storylines once the 2021 season starts.

Philadelphia Eagles signed Wake Forest passer Jamie Newman as an undrafted free agent. Newman was an early draft favorite entering the 2020 college football season before curiously opting out of the 2020 season after transferring to Georgia. The Eagles will want to see what they have in Jalen Hurts in ’21 season, but would be foolish not to give Newman some snaps in the preseason to see what he looks in some kind of competitive environment. Newman earned praise for his huge arm and mobility at Wake Forest.

Vikings draft Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond in 3rd round, may supplant veteran starter Kirk Cousins if Cousins experiences another rough stretch. The Vikings owe Kirk a substantial amount of money so cutting or trading him seems out of the question for two more season, but that’s what I thought about Carson Wentz and Philadelphia. The Vikings attempted to trade up, possibly for Justin Fields.

Carolina Panthers signed Northwestern standout linebacker Paddy Fisher. Fisher’s best performances came in his earlier years (2017, 2018). Fisher has ideal size (6’4″, 240) and was a 4 year starter at Northwestern. The undrafted free agent joins a young, aggressive panthers defense.

Balitimore signed undrafted free agent Kenji Bahar, 5 year quarterback out of FCS Monmouth University. Briefly watching some of his plays, Bahar has a big arm and can send the ball far with seemingly little effort. Bahar was clearly underrecruited at Monmouth. Ravens do a great job of sniffing out underrated talent every year. It’s not likely Bahar will see the field barring a Lamar Jackson injury, he may be worth a watch if he gets on the field in preseason. Bahar didn’t have the most complex defenses in the FCS, but showed solid fundamentals and a strong arm and if he can develop anywhere, would develop in Baltimore. Bahar has athleticism, but did most of his damage through the air.

Lovie Smith has returned to the NFL, as the defensive coordinator for the Texans. Lovie went 81-63 as the Bears head coach, including a super bowl berth with literal Human Garbage Rex Grossman. The Bears haven’t had a good coach since. Unless you want to include Matt “8-8” Nagy. If nothing else, Smith will maximize the remaining talent on the stripped Texans defense.

Unless something changes, New Orleans is plowing ahead with Jameis Winston as their presumptive starter for 2021. I believed Jameis would stop in town for New Orleans on his way to a new destination like Chicago or Jacksonville. The Saints were comfortable drafting other positions early in the draft and moving forward with Jameis and Hill. With Brees’ retirement, Winston is the next man up. New Orleans drafted Notre Dame Senior Ian Book in the fourth round, who will have an opportunity to show off his moves to Sean Payton and the Saints brass. Book had a solid if unspectacular career in South Bend, maybe New Orleans’ Jarrett Stidham. This will be the first time since 2005 that the Saints will open the regular season without Drew Brees as their starting QB.

The Eagles offensive line, once among the most dominant in the league has been an injured mess for the past two seasons. Philadelphia has had multiple holes in their roster, choosing to draft DeVonta Smith over RaShawn Slater in round one. Overall they drafted one interior offensive lineman (Landon Dickerson, Alabama C) and signed two UDFAs, Harry Crider (Indiana C), and Kayode Awosika (Buffalo OT) to compete for a role if they are injury plagued yet again. New head coach Nick Sirianni had an elite group of blockers as the offensive coordinator at Indianapolis and will likely need the same in Philadelphia to execute any kind of game plan.

Notable free agents include: OT Morgan Moses, CB Richard Sherman, FS Earl Thomas, DE/OLB Melvin Ingram, OT Mitchell Schwartz, C Austin Reiter, OLB Justin Houston.

Adam Gase is somehow not an NFL head coach, nor an Alabama offensive coordinator
STOLEN IMAGE ALERT: Liberty QB Malik Willis has caught the eye of some high level talent evaluators, including Jordan Reid who described Willis as having “arm arrogance.” Under Willis, Liberty went 10-1, their only loss a 14-15 game against NC State.
Aaron Donald looks like he is part of an advanced humanoid species that will kill and eat the current batch of genetically fat, lazy and generally inferior human beings.
Iowa State’s Matt Campbell reportedly turned down a gigantasaurus contract to be the Detroit Lions head coach.
Gardner Minshew has a nice headband, but no one cares. 😦

It will be okay.

Song of the post is Adventure Club remix of MS MR’s “Hurricane”

Post Draft Storylines

AFC Heavyweight Pittsburgh Steelers after being knocked out of the playoffs by AFC North little brother Cleveland Browns, did not draft or sign a quarterback to compete with Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger struggled at the end of the 2020 regular season and in their loss to Cleveland in the playoffs. The Steelers have the toughest PROJECTED strength of schedule for 2021. This may be the first in a chain of events leading to a rearranging of the AFC North dominance hierarchy. Pittsburgh has been near or at the top of that division for decades.

Kansas City, who lost in the SuperBowl primarily because of injured offensive line issues, traded for Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown, signed All Pro guard Joe Thuney from New England, and drafted Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey. Kansas City will also be returning Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a 2020 opt-out who may have played a pivotal role in the 2020 SuperBowl. I have Kansas City as my top overall team right now.

The Miami Dolphins will have one first round selection in 2022 (from the 49ers) and have thrown all of their chips into the Tua Tagovailoa basket. Tua looked promising, but was benched multiple times for veteran passer Ryan Fitzpatrick late in games. Seeing Justin Herbert have tremendous success, the pressure is on for Grier and Flores to make the Tua pick look like a smart move. Fitzpatrick is now the presumptive starter in Washington. Miami’s depth chart at wide receiver now includes first round Alabama standout Jaylen Waddle and former Texans speedster Will Fuller. Former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is no longer with the organization, as Brian Flores has two co-offensive coordinators in George Godsey and Eric Studesville. While other clubs have a run game coordinator and a pass game coordinator in addition to an offensive coordinator, Miami is the only NFL team with two co-offensive coordinators.

The stars are beginning to align for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. With a healthy offensive line and Dak Prescott, Dallas looks to be substantially more competitive than they were in 2020. The Cowboys spent several draft picks on defensive players, including Penn State ‘backer Micah Parsons. This change along with bringing in Dan Quinn, a more veteran/proven defensive play-caller set Dallas up for a like 11+ win season in 2021. It’s worth mentioning Dallas has the easiest projected strength of schedule (just ahead of Philadelphia) which should help Dallas in the wins department.

Dallas drafted three cornerbacks, two of whom are 6’4″. It’s not clear whether Dan Quinn had input in these selections, Quinn having spent time in Seattle with tall corners Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner in their prime. Nahshon Wright of Oregon State and Israel Mukuamu of South Carolina were mid/late round selections who clearly stood out to Jerry for their size, should challenge for a starting role on a struggling defense.

The Houston Texans will have a first round pick in 2021, they have not had a first round selection in three of the past four seasons. A new head coach and a journeyman vet like Tyrod Taylor would provide Nick Caserio, David Culley and Houston with the perfect cover to soft tank for an elite QB in the ’22 draft. Right now Spencer Rattler and Sam Howell look like the two top prospects at the position, but Joe Burrow and Kyler Murray have taught us that a lot can change in only one season.

Houston may have found a gem in defensive coordinator hire Lovie Smith. It is my opinion that Lovie Smith was done wrong by the Chicago Bears after being fired in a season they went 10-6, and then being displaced for Dirk Koetter, who never accomplished much with his opportunity. Smith should really turn that defense around, albeit they are short on talent to do so. Texans OC Tim Kelly survived regime changes, so one would expect the Texans’ style of offense to remain the same overall. Culley spent time in Baltimore and may want Houston to run the football more as a result.

OPINION: Trey Lance is NOT pro ready, but has exciting potential

I’ve changed my tune on Trey Lance. After watching his dropbacks against 4 teams (Montana State, Illinois State, James Madison and Central Arkansas) I am less confident in Trey Lance’s future in the NFL. Trey Lance threw ten passes in North Dakota State’s championship game against James Madison, winning 28-20. The 49ers will not provide him the luxury of throwing ten passes and barreling down the middle for 5 yard gains against 1-AA talent in the NFC West. He has a high completion percentage, but many of his passes are quick, high percentage passes that would be very difficult for an NFL backup to not complete. He also had the benefit of having a 6’4″ wide receiver in Christian Watson who often found himself wide open from the games I watched.

Lance does have some likeable qualities. He has a cannon arm and will sometimes complete a beautiful deep ball on the run. Lance occasionally made what I would consider a “tight window” throw. It is clear Lance is being drafted based on his potential and not on his current passing prowess. Unless the 49ers plan on switching to some kind of Mike McCoy/Tim Tebow offense like the Broncos ran in 2011, their best bet is to hope Jimmy can stay healthy and to keep him on the roster unless Lance proves he is ready. Lance is an exciting player to watch, it is my opinion that Mac Jones was more accurate in actual downfield, air yards throws, played against NFL caliber defensive players and even threw more often than Tua did with Alabama in previous seasons.

I understand Lance’s supporters will point to his pre snap calling of protections and calling audibles as evidence for his pro readiness. I fully believe Trey Lance is a smart person, lots of smart people have failed at the professional level. Ryan Fitzpatrick graduated from Harvard and didn’t become relevant in the NFL scene until 12 years into his career. Kellen Moore was a super smart quarterback who couldn’t PLAY quarterback, Dallas found more use out of him as a coach, where he is now one of the league’s top offensive coordinators. Young quarterbacks fail not because they are not smart, they fail because their work ethic, discipline, and determination do not matchup with the extremely high bar set from the likes of Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson.

As a 49ers fan I hope Lance becomes the player John Lynch and company envision him being, I feel we’re a long way from that day.