Archive for October, 2019

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