WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT. UTAH HAS A DRAFTABLE QUARTERBACK FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE SHREK 2 CAME OUT.

Utah doesn’t run a pro style offense, so their QBs typically aren’t set up for success in the NFL. On top of that, Utah’s nightlife is lacking, so top QB talent will be more attracted to D1 blueblood programs like Ohio State and Alabama. Utes QB Tyler Huntley hasn’t been passing the ball a ton (this is by design)this year. But when he has, he’s been EXCEPTIONALLY efficient. The 6’1″ Huntley is 5th in the country in QBR (89.5), completing 73.8% of his passes and a gaudy 10.8 yards per attempt. Utah’s run heavy offense has Huntley with 11 passing TDs and 1 INT. Huntley is not a first or second round selection. As a late round prospect, Huntley would be best suited to an organization like LA Chargers or Green Bay where he can learn in an established system behind an NFL QB.

With the success of Gardner Minshew II, Washington State’s senior QB Anthony Gordon has thrived under Leach’s offense. Gordon, like Minshew and Rudolph (both WSU alumni) hasn’t demonstrated a great deep ball but has played to his ceiling of potential in Washington State’s quick pass offense. Gordon, like Huntley, has late round appeal because of what he’s doing well in the College ranks and could go to a roster that doesn’t NEED him to start immediately.

Thursday night prediction

Cleveland vs Pittsburgh

This is coming out at the start of the game (procrastination). I am picking Cleveland to win at home. The Browns can run the ball efficiently and Baker can’t play poorly forever. Pittsburgh can win if their defense keeps them in it, but Baker is play-for-play a better Quarterback than Rudolph, even if the stats this season tell a different story. The Browns defense has a core of strong talent in the front seven and should be able to limit Rudolph and the run game of Pitt. These are the types of games Cleveland wins, scrappy, physical AFC North division games. Put your money on Pittsburgh, because I’m betting Cleveland wins tonight.

Future Freezing Cold Takes

Posted: November 2, 2019 in Football, New entries, NFL

Who did Jalen Hurts piss off?

Hurts is trending to beat Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield’s stat production in their final seasons at Oklahoma. He’s dominating in completion percentage (73.9), QBR (94.6), YPA (13.7). LSU’s Burrow and Alabama’s Tagovailoa have earned their stripes and deserve to be mentioned as top QB prospects. Hurts’ resume is AT LEAST as impressive as Kyler Murray’s (More starts, taller, just as athletic, one elite season at OU) and Murray was the top draft pick and top actual QB of the ’19 class. I’ve been wrong plenty of times before, so I’ll gladly call myself an idiot if Hurts doesn’t become a franchise caliber passer, but he seems to have all the credentials for the job. I don’t see why Hurts isn’t showing up in NFL mock drafts as a potential first rounder, I can’t see how he’s any worse than the third best QB in the draft.

The Eagles are trying to prove the NFC East sucks by winning it with an 8-8 record

That’s it. That’s the whole take.

Dak’s just a businessman doing business, man.

If the Cowboys don’t pony up the cash for Dak Prescott, some team like the Buccaneers or the Bears will pay him ALL THE MONEY he wants. I can appreciate not signing Elliott to a big contract will frustrate fans and selling tickets is a big part of running a business, but if Dallas doesn’t find a way to somehow pay Dak they better be real confident they can draft the heir apparent QB in ’20.

Jacksonville needs to live it up, go all in on the Minshew Train

Gardner Minshew may not end up being as successful as Nick Foles. But Minshew is clicking well in that offense, and he’s being paid pennies on the dollar compared to most other starting quarterbacks. Generally speaking, teams that won a Superbowl in the last 20 years either had Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or a QB on a rookie deal (Wilson, Roethlisberger, Flacco, Wentz). The Jaguars are not that far away from competing in a GAPING WIDE OPEN AFC South. Free agent names like Chris Harris from Denver or Andrew Whitworth from LA could help Jacksonville compete right away in 2020, especially if Dave Caldwell finds a trade partner for Nick Foles and his contract. Jacksonville’s receiving corps with DJ Chark and Chris Conley are really standing out with Minshew throwing the ball. Fournette is averaging five yards a carry this year (after a career worst season in ’18). This team has core pieces in place to compete in the playoffs for years to come.

USC should FIRE CLAY HELTON 

usc oregon

 

That’s all I got. I read in Ian O’Connor’s Belichick that Bill Parcells had Lawrence Taylor have a “practice fight” with another giants offensive lineman to get ready for their Superbowl against Buffalo. So maybe just have practice fights with people to get yourself in the mood before a job interview, date, whatever your ‘Dragon’ is. I think that’s what I’m supposed to take away from that. I mean, it worked for Lawrence Taylor (?)

This Captain Sinbad guy is GOLD

NFL Mock Draft 2020

Posted: October 27, 2019 in Football, New entries, NFL

NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020 (10/27/2019)

  1. Miami – Tua Tagovailoa, ‘Bama QB. Rosen likely goes to his third team in three years. Unless Miami trades down, Tua or Joe Burrow makes the most sense here.
  2. Cincinnati – Joe Burrow, LSU QB. While Cincinnati needs to rebuild their entire offensive line, they have an opportunity to draft a franchise passer.
  3. Washington – Jerry Jeudy, Alabama WR. The Redskins need to find a replacement for Trent Williams, but the value selection is Jeudy. None of the top OTs are ‘sure thing’ prospects like Jeudy is viewed.
  4. Atlanta – Chase Young, Ohio State DE. Young is maybe the ‘slam dunk’ prospect of the draft and whoever drafts at four will be lucky if he is available. The Falcons pass rush has some core contributors (Grady Jarrett, Takk McKinley) but Young would be a stud.
  5. New York Jets – CeeDee Lamb, Okla. WR – The Jets need offensive line help and Lamb is frankly not the best fit for the Jets quick passing game. He’s crazy fast and Gase or whoever is coaching for the Jets should find a way to incorporate Lamb into the offense. Lamb’s been a huge part of Baker’s, Kyler’s, and now Jalen Hurts’ success at Oklahoma. Lamb is an excellent deep threat.
  6. L.A. Chargers – Tristan Wirfs, Iowa OL – If the Bolts don’t draft a replacement QB, they need to get Rivers some better pass pro. Wirfs stand out at Iowa with his physical dominance and could play guard early on while adapting to the pro game. They could also go with a corner here with Kristian Fulton or Jeffrey Okudah.
  7. Denver – Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State CB. I would take Herbert or another QB. Nothing about Drew Lock looks certain to me. Okudah is a very technically sound corner with great speed and physicality.
  8. New York Giants – Laviska Shenault Jr, Colorado WR. Pat Shurmur can use Shenault moves around a lot at Colorado and Shurmur will appreciate his YAC ability. Shenault forces a lot of missed tackles and creates yards after contact efficiently.
  9. Cleveland – Andrew Thomas, Georgia OT. The Browns need a left tackle. Maybe Grant Delpit or Isaiah Simmons could help fortify the secondary if Dorsey finds a suitable replacement before the draft.
  10. Miami (through Pittsburgh) – Kristian Fulton, LSU CB. Flores understands the importance of secondary performance for a team’s success. The Dolphins need help on the offensive line, but Fulton brings more value and with a higher floor.

Buffalo needs to win six of their next eleven games to finish with 10 wins on the season nearly guaranteeing a playoff berth. Three of those games are against Miami (2x) and Washington (1x). Maybe Doug Marrone should’ve stayed in Buffalo.

Stanford Head Coach David Shaw may decide an NFL head coaching job looks more enticing after the Cardinal has started 3-4 with a regrettable loss to the bottom of the barrel UCLA Bruins. Washington is already looking to replace their vacancy and Atlanta or Cleveland may be looking to change their head coaching situation as well.

Nashville may be trading up for a franchise quarterback in the 2020 draft. Marcus Mariota was finally benched for inconsistent play and Ryan Tannehill doesn’t fit the mold of a franchise passer. A lot of buzz surrounds LSU quarterback Joe Burrow who may have overtaken Tua Tagovailoa as the number one Coveted QB of the draft. Burrow has silly good numbers this season with strong performances against ranked foes Texas and Florida.

The Laremy Tunsil trade secured Houston’s present while mortgaging their future with a high-performing left tackle in Tunsil and Miami accruing two more 1s in the next two seasons. This trade will work best for Houston if the Texans continue to win double digit games for their next two seasons, reducing the loss of their draft capital. Miami GM Chris Grier will have both the opportunity and added pressure of hitting on those draft selections as traded away assets Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills look to be performing well in the playoffs in 2019.

The Jalen Ramsey trade to Los Angeles functions in a similar fashion. The Rams have an actual General Manager in Les Snead so they have less of an excuse in giving up so much for one (albeit very skilled) player.

The Bengals organization looks to be in prime position to draft a first or second overall pick in 2020. While Andy Dalton has rarely been the problem in Cincinnati, the Bengals may take this opportunity to “reset” the offense and draft Tua/Joe Burrow/Justin Herbert.

Of all the Raiders off-season Mad Scientist experiments, Richie Incognito is (shockingly) the one that has lasted the longest. Vontaze Burfict is suspended for the season and Antonio Brown is attempting to avoid jail time. Even Right Tackle Trent Brown who’s had no off-field issues before has been accused of domestic violence from his child’s mother. The Raiders are a shocking 3 and 2 with stiff competition in Green Bay on 10/20.

Jonathan Martin, former Miami offensive linemen who accused Incognito and others of Adult Bullying has entered a plea deal to attend “court ordered mental health counseling” to avoid jail time.

I’ve been reading Ian O’Conner’s “Belichick” and it’s fascinating. Highly recommended for Patriots fans.

Top GMs in the NFL

Posted: October 7, 2019 in Football, New entries, NFL

5. John Elway – I’m going to catch a lot of heat for this, as the Broncos have performed terribly lately. At one point Trevor Siemian was the starting quarterback, and Elway shoulders the blame for a lot of this. Elway also won two AFC championships and one SuperBowl ring as GM, successfully courting Peyton Manning and signing key free agents for that run. Critics will say that Peyton won the Broncos that SuperBowl, but Aaron Rodgers hasn’t won a title since 2011 and he’s a similar talent to Manning. Elway may be fired for the Broncos recent failures, but he was pivotal in attracting Manning to Denver in the first place and securing that Title. Elway (ironically) clearly needs help identifying top Quarterback talent, but most NFL teams haven’t experienced a Superbowl win as recently as Denver has (2016).

4. John Dorsey – No SuperBowl wins to Dorsey’s name, but Dorsey was involved with the then-controversial move to draft Patrick Mahomes II (with the Chiefs) and current Cleveland 6-ft-tall QB Baker Mayfield with the Browns. Maybe more importantly, Dorsey is responsible for bringing Cleveland back into the conversation of NFL relevance going 7-8-1 in 2018 (after winning one game in the previous two seasons combined). Dorsey is succeeding where so many previous General Managers have failed in resurrecting the city of Cleveland.

3. Howie Roseman – Roseman built a 2017 Eagles roster that beat Bill Belichick’s Patriots with a backup Quarterback. They went back to the playoffs in 2018 and still boast one of the deepest roster in Football. The Eagles are inconsistent, but they can beat anyone when they turn it on. Roseman was also involved in the decision to draft Carson Wentz, one of the league’s best Quarterbacks. Wentz, a North Dakota State QB, was far from a sure thing.

2. John Schneider – Jon Schneider traded a third round pick (the Seahawks will likely received a third round compensatory pick if they let Clowney leave in the offseason), Barkevious Mingo (first round bust), and Jakob Martin (sixth round pick in ’18) for Jadeveon Clowney. Jon Schneider traded Frank Clark, a former second round pick, for a first round pick, a second round pick and a swap of third rounders. Jon Schneider drafted Russell Wilson in the third round. He drafted future hall of famer Cornerback Richard Sherman in the FIFTH ROUND. He drafted 99 overall (Madden) inside linebacker KJ Wright in the fourth round. He drafted safety Kam Chancellor (one of the league’s top safeties until his retirement) in the fourth round. Jon Schneider drafted running back Chris Carson in the 7TH ROUND, Carson is very quietly one of the best backs in Football. John Schneider even was responsible for trading draft picks for underperforming Buffalo Bill Marshawn Lynch, who ushered in an era of physical Seahawk football. The Seahawks have two SuperBowl appearances and one SuperBowl win under Schneider’s leadership. Schneider continues to amaze me with the trades, draft picks, and deals he pulls off every year. He would be my far away number one GM on this list, if it weren’t for the actual number one.

1. William Stephen Belichick – Bill Belichick is not a great drafter. He routinely whiffs on early draft picks ( 1st round pick Dominique Easley never worked out, 1st round pick N’Keal Harry is on I/R, 2nd round pick 2018 Duke Dawson was on IR last year and is now a Bronco.) He usually signs some nobody white-guy reject from some under-performing team and uses him as a key role player in a championship run (Danny Amendola, Rex Burkhead, Chris Hogan, Wes Welker). Bill almost never pays stars. He paid LeGarrette Blount, one of the league’s most productive runners, about $2.4 million for his TWO YEARS in New England. He’ll gladly ship off an unhappy talent for a mid round draft pick and a six-pack of Sam Adams. One of Bill’s most underrated moves is convincing Quarterback Tom Brady to take a paycut for most of his career so Belichick could afford the depth he needed to build a title contender or at worst a playoff heavyweight.

 

Honorable Mention: Saints GM Mickey Loomis, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert

How I would fix the Jets

Posted: October 5, 2019 in Football, New entries, NFL

The New York Jets have been the last place team in the AFC East for three years running (16, 17, 18). They are last place in the AFC East right now. Their starting QB is out with Mono (confused emoji). And they don’t look overly intimidating on offense with Sam Darnold in the lineup. The Jets actually have a sound group of talent on defense and some bright spots on offense. New Jets GM Joe Douglas still has a substantial task ahead of him if he doesn’t want to watch the playoffs from home for 2020 and beyond. Drawing inspiration from the success of the Patriots, Rams and certain College programs, I would recommend the following changes, listed in order of most to least important.

  1. Get a real head coach – Adam Gase does some things well as a coach, but he ended his time in Miami with a losing record, and that trajectory is not looking to change for the Jets either. I appreciate what Lincoln Riley (OU), Chris Peterson (UW), Mike McCarthy have done for their programs and see them as top candidates for an NFL head coaching job. An eagles coach who is familiar with Joe Douglas like Eagles OC Mike Groh or Eagles RB coach/Assistant head coach Duce Staley could also work with Douglas simply because the two would be on the same page. Staley and Groh have been recently promoted for their valuable contributions in Philadelphia.
  2. Acquire Y.A.C. players – Get offensive weapons who have a low drop rate and even better if they create yards after contact. Le’Veon Bell performs well in this role, the Jets could use more players like him. Washington’s Chris Thompson or Chicago’s Tarik Cohen who aren’t seeing much use may be available this offseason.
  3. Get a legit backup QB/Competition for Darnold – This is easier said than done. A short list of Robert Griffin III, Tyrod Taylor, or Ryan Tannehill may be available via trade for a mid/late round pick. The 2017 Eagles (Nick Foles won a SuperBowl) and Vikings (Case Keenum led team deep into playoffs as 3rd string QB) showed the importance of quality backup QBs. The Seahawks paid their “guy” Matt Flynn but still drafted Russell Wilson in the third round to give themselves more chances to get the franchise guy. It worked out for them. Darnold may or may not work out long term, but having too many starting QBs is a problem much easier to solve than having too much depth elsewhere and no answer at QB.
  4. Run a quick-release offense – Stemming from #2, until the Jets can get a Quarterback that can accurately throw downfield, a quick passing game will minimize the QB’s (Darnold, Falk, Siemian) weakness.  The Jets already run a short passing game similar to this. This doesn’t work for every team, but the Jets offensive line is struggling right now. And unless they can get five average or better players on the offensive line they can copy a pretty successful offense that minimizes poor pass protection.
  5. Build through the draft – It’s not ALWAYS correct to trade down in the draft or to trade current players for draft picks, but the draft is a great opportunity to find low-cost, underrated starters/role players. Great scouting teams like the Patriots and Seahawks often whiff on early picks (Rashaad Penny, Dominique Easley). That’s part of the process. Often those draft picks become essential assets for their franchise though.

 

Free agent fits – WR – Penny Hart, Dez Bryant, Bruce Ellington

TE – Antonio Gates, Luke Willson

RB – Jacquizz Rodgers, Alex Collins

OL – Antonio Garcia, Stefen Wisniewski

Trade candidates – TE Vernon Davis(final year of contract), RB Chris Thompson(final year of contract), RB Tarik Cohen, WR Trey Quinn, WR Emmanuel Sanders(final year), AJ Green (during offseason), WR Trent Taylor, WR Rashard Higgins(Final year)

That’s all I have. Here’s a new song I discovered that I enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhq1NJtyrmQ

 

What was Bill O’Brien thinking?

If NFL teams were run by complex algorithms and AI then all of the trade/free agent decisions would be defensible or at least consistent. It’s a human game run by smart, hard-working but ultimately bound-by-feeling human beings. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien traded two first round picks, a second round pick, special teamer Johnson Bademosi, and offensive tackle Julie’n Davenport for left tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Kenny Stills, a 4th and a 6th round pick (according to Kevin Patra at NFL.com).

It’s clear O’Brien massively overpaid for an average left tackle and an average wide receiver. Thinking about this trade from Bill O’Brien’s perspective, he just saw Andrew Luck, one of the league’s elite QBs retire in his prime. While the Colts certainly invested relatively high draft capital on offensive linemen for Andrew Luck, he was still repeatedly sacked and hit which ended in his early retirement this past month. Young QB DeShaun Watson has already missed substantial time in his career. If O’Brien thinks Tunsil represents the best fix for Houston to improve their offensive line, he would rather give up multiple high draft picks than lose his star QB to injury or retirement. That doesn’t mean Bill O’Brien made the right move, he could have just drafted offensive linemen or traded those picks for decent offensive linemen instead of giving them all up for one player. The Texans, like the Vikings, repeatedly draft high-pick offensive linemen who continue to not produce at an NFL level. The “sure-thing” status of having seen Laremy perform at a starting level was obviously enticing for O’Brien.

It is my opinion that Miami won this trade by a mile.

Jalen Hurts, Jacob Eason, others petition for first round draft status in week one

Hurts put on a ridiculous stat line against Houston. 87% completion, three passing touchdowns, 176 yards rushing and three touchdowns rushing (0 Fumbles/INTs). Certainly Houston does not have the same caliber defense as Washington or Michigan they are still a D1 school, most other starting (top 25) QBs put up less gaudy numbers against DII programs this week. If nothing else, Hurts is on the right track and quickly shedding his ‘game-manager’ reputation from his time at Alabama. It will be exciting to see Oklahoma to player other ranked teams to see what Lincoln Riley and Jalen can do on a consistent basis.

UW QB Jacob Eason waited out Jake Browning’s time at Washington and blew up the scoreboard against Eastern Washington. Browning played more a ball-control scheme in 2018 and ’17 and only passed more than 36 times twice in ’18. Eason completed 75% of his passes on 36 attempts for four touchdowns. Like Hurts, his numbers won’t mean anything unless he can continue to play at a high level against better caliber teams.  Eason had played very little collegiate ball before earning the start at Washington and looks very promising so far.

The guys everyone forgot about/overlooked

  • Houston QB D’Eriq King has been playing well and was on the losing end of the Jalen Hurts how but played reasonably well as a dual threat passer against Okla.
  • 5’11” Mason Fine is still taking snaps for the PRESTIGIOUS U. of North Texas and had another great outing, this time against Abilene Christian. While small school prospects like Fine are unlikely to be drafted before round seven, the emergence of Pat Mahomes has shown that College system QBs (Mahomes played at Texas Tech which throws OFTEN) can be successful at the next level. Fine has consistently produced strong numbers
  • Mizzou QB Kelly Bryant (former Clemson QB) had a strong showing in a loss to Wyoming throwing for 400+ yards, 2 TD, 1 INT for a 64% completion.
  • Utah State’s Jordan Love got outdueled by Wake Forest passer Jamie Newman and a surprisingly competitive Wake Forest team.