Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Quarterback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lawrence V. Fields 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Realistic Free Agent and Veteran Options:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Draft:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Quarterback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fixing the Jets (Again)

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

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

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

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

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

Ron Rivera’s Washington Football Team Stomping into the playoffs

Song of the post is Odesza’s Loyal

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

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

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

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

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

Song of the post is Show Me by San Holo

Trey Lance throws the ball downfield early and often at North Dakota State. He has a strong arm, seems to often place the ball just where his guy can catch it, and finds the open man to catch his passes. Lance ran for over 1,000 yards at 6.5 yards per carry in 2019 (on his way to another 1-AA national title). Overall, Lance looks great. It’s concerning to me that North Dakota State vastly outperforms the other teams it plays that Lance doesn’t ever have to actually make any difficult throws, or go through his reads. Watching his game tape, his receivers are often WIDE OPEN. I have concerns that he may struggle against actual defenses that aren’t ten levels below the offense he’s running. North Dakota State has won eight of the last ten national championships, they are more dominant in their arena than Alabama, Clemson, LSU or any other D-I team is in D1 football. This team in 2016 beat #13 Iowa with Easton Stick at quarterback (Stick was a 5th round selection, nowhere near the player Lance is viewed to be). North Dakota State has a season opener against University of Oregon, which game I believe will be monumentally important in showing the football world how Lance performs when he is NOT racing a Ferrari against proverbial Smart Cars. Oregon recruits actual NFL talent and has a smart coaching staff. There is a lot to like about Lance’s on field performance, I can see why talent evaluators like Daniel Jeremiah are excited about him. Because the level of competition NDSU plays is so low, it’s hard for me to say what Lance would look like in the NFL, where the skill gap between his teams and the teams he faces are much closer than they are at North Dakota State. 

I only watched one game of Justin Fields so far, the Clemson/Ohio State game in the College Football playoffs of 2019. Fields’ stat sheet made him look like he had a rocky outing (30/46, 320 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 14 carries for 13 yards). After watching the game I felt Fields played very well, and the referees made some bad calls that impacted the outcome of the game. His first interception was a sideline pass that Isaiah Simmons made an ultra athletic diving play to pick off. Simmons has absurd speed, height and athleticism even for the NFL game, most of the time that pass gets thrown it goes out of bounds or to his receiver. Fields should shoulder some of the blame for this throw, he understands Simmons is an elite defender, he is partially to blame for this interception, really Isaiah Simmons just made a crazy play on the ball. Fields’ second interception was a timing throw to Chris Olave on a route where Olave fell down and Nolan Turner redeemed himself after being badly burnt on routes previously by giving Justin Fields his third and final interception of the season. On plays like this, Fields has to trust Olave will show up at the catch point or else the defense may have enough time to drive Fields into the turf. Fields did exactly what he should have done, his receiver didn’t show up to catch the ball, the defender was there and picked it off. This is not Justin Fields’ fault. Fields made lots of passes downfield which required accuracy, arm strength, and split-second decision making.

Trevor Lawrence is an elite college quarterback prospect, I feel Clemson ran more YAC (yards after catcb) plays that didn’t demonstrate his arm. Both of Lawrence’s passing touchdowns were brilliant catch and run efforts by running back Travis Etienne. Lawrence himself had a 67 yard run, showcasing his own athleticism. Whether it was excellent coverage, play calling, or Lawrence’s comfort level, Lawrence didn’t pass down field often and I felt Fields outshone him as a passer in this game. Lawrence looks like an excellent thrower of the football overall and I look forward to watching more of his play as the Covid season progresses.

I really enjoyed watching tape of Memphis’ Brady White. White repeatedly threw the ball downfield into relatively tight coverage. Many college offenses run safer “catch in space” plays while Memphis really lets him loose with his arm. White doesn’t play a lot of elite teams as the starter at Memphis. In his bowl game against Penn State, White threw a lot of accurate, downfield passes. He was credited with two interceptions. One was a last second toss while being sacked which he threw towards his offensive line. This was an irresponsible pass but more of a coach-able moment than a deeply instilled passing habit. The interception to Marquis Wilson was Brady White trying to thread a needle too narrow. The pass was right on target for his receiver, but White has to respect the coverage better as Wilson jumped in front of the pass and intercepted the ball. I still feel White played pretty well overall, I would certainly like to see him adjust better for better competition in the future.

Iowa State’s Brock Purdy has gotten attention from some early 2021 mock drafters as a potential early quarterback in the 2021 draft. I felt that while Purdy was not a bad decision maker, most of his successful passes were a product of his offense rather than high level passing. Purdy has lots of plays showing him throw a jump ball to 6’7″ tight end Charlie Kolar, or throwing a quick pass to one of his receivers and letting the receiver create yards after the catch. While I understand this is likely a great gameplan for actually winning games in college, it’s more challenging to see what Purdy looks like if he is asked to make challenging throws. Like Trey Lance, I don’t feel I can confidently say I know who Brock Purdy is as a quarterback because of circumstances out of his control. He seems to protect the football well and take the plays that the defense gives him, but he is not asked to throw downfield enough for me to say how well he can actually throw downfield.

I’ve already written how I feel about Louisville QB Micale Cunningham. I feel he is being underrated and maybe a top two quarterback in the draft class. He has a 22-5 TD/INT ratio, a QBR of 50+ in all but two contests in 2019 (Kentucky QBR 50.0, Clemson QBR 22.6), and is an effective runner. Cunningham may spark concerns he can’t handle a high volume passing offense at Louisville where he hands the ball off a lot and was credited with 122 rushes himself. He has demonstrated impressive quick twitch arm strength and great accuracy. In a rough loss to Clemson, Cunningham placed a 42 (air yards) yard bomb to Dez Fitzpatrick just outside the reach of first round draft pick corner A.J. Terrell. His lone interception went through the hands of wide receiver Tutu Atwell and into the hands of Clemson safety K’Von Wallace. I understand quarterbacks are tasked with protecting the football, this the type of pass Cunningham needed to be willing to risk throwing if Louisville wanted any chance at beating Clemson. The placement of the ball was close enough I blame Tutu Atwell more (although Tutu is a great receiver) for not bringing the pass down over Cunningham for throwing it.

There are still other quarterbacks I want to get into before the draft, guys like: Tanner Morgan, Sam Ehlinger, K.J. Costello, Davis Mills, D’Eriq King, Spencer Rattler, Alan Bowman, Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond, and several more.

Teams likely to draft a quarterback early in 2021 draft:

  • Chicago – With Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace likely gone, it’s tough to know what direction Chicago will want to go at quarterback.
  • Carolina – Carolina looks to either be in position to draft their choice of quarterbacks, or to trade up if they aren’t in the top five. I’d have to believe Justin Fields or some 2020 newcomer would be their top choice, based strictly on current QB hype/overall performance.
  • New England – Bill Belichick will pass on every good quarterback prospect until round seven when he drafts Large WhiteMan from Obscure University. Realistic connections could leave us with Mac Jones from Alabama considering Saban’s/Belichick’s connections, or a “lower-risk” QB like Kyle Trask at Florida.
  • New Orleans – I think New Orleans, who really liked Patrick Mahomes, will really like Trey Lance because of his deep ball and athleticism. Even if Trey Lance struggles a little to go from playing Illinois State to the Atlanta Falcons twice a year, the Saints will be confident they can work with his aggressive throwing he’s already shown.
  • Jacksonville – You can credit Shahid Khan, Jaguars owner, for identifying and pushing the Jaguars to draft Gardner Minshew. If Gardner does not work out long term, Jacksonville would likely to be thrilled with any of the big three (Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Trey Lance). Trevor Lawrence might feel like more of a safe pick after flopping hard on small school risk Blake Bortles. Jamie Newman at Georgia would also be a name to monitor for Jax, as he may blow up in 2020.
  • Pittsburgh – Kevin Colbert may ride out Ben Roethlisberger for 2021 and start fresh in ’22. If he follows the trend of other general managers, I could see the Steelers looking at Jamie Newman and drawing comparisons because of his size and scrambling ability to Ben Roethlisberger.
  • Indianapolis – With Indianapolis, I’m reaching deep into the mists of the unknown. They could pursue a quarterback like Spencer Rattler or Alan Bowman if they develop at their current QB factories (Rattler projected to start at Oklahoma, Bowman at Texas Tech under Matt Wells). They would likely gamble on Trey Lance or be happy with Fields/Lawrence if they lose enough games.

Song of the post is “Why am I here” by Bonjr

 

The Buccaneers depth chart looks STACKED on paper. They have the deepest secondary in the NFL.

bucs offense

bucs defense

This defense has everything. Beefy defensive tackles (Ndamukong Suh, Vita Vea, Khalil Davis), adept pass-rushers (Jason Pierre-Paul, Shaq Barrett), one BILLION early round picks in the secondary (Sean Murphy-Bunting 2nd round pick), (Carlton Davis 2nd round pick), (Antoine Winfield Jr, 2nd round pick), (M.J. Stewart 2nd round pick), (Justin Evans 2nd round pick), (Mike Edwards 3rd round pick), (Jamel Dean 3rd round pick), (Jordan Whitehead 4th round pick).

And while yes, the Bucs did get rid of Jameis Winston, they still have Bruce Arians’ system on offense. Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer, and Jameis Winston all hit career highs in INTs thrown in their first year under Arians’ offense. This strongly implies Tom Brady will have a high INT season in 2020. Tom, (like Carson Palmer) is unlikely to really mesh with the offense until his second year in that system. Jameis, while not a perfect quarterback, had a highly volatile season specifically in Arians’ system. Winston has thrown his fair share of bad interceptions but his TD/INT ratio was nearly identical to Carson Palmer and Andrew Luck under Arians. He was never given that second season to show what he can do. Tampa should’ve traded or cut him before the season if that was their plan all along. Instead they just made him look worse than he was and set back their quarterback development by one year. Maybe Jason Licht thought he had a golden opportunity to land the GOAT in Tom Brady, but Brady’s going to be 43 before the start of the season. I love Tom, but he didn’t have booming arm strength even in his prime (never mind now), he’s smart with the ball and great with intermediate throws, but Jameis was a better fit for that offense in almost every way. Winston still has top-level arm strength and has made great downfield throws throughout his career.

jameis lions

jameis toss atl

winston ravens

Brady is going to have a stat line of 28 TD, 23 INTs and everyone in the NFL will say Brady is washed up and too old when in reality his performance in Arians’ offense will be the same as any other good quarterbacks’. Of course I could be totally wrong about all of this. If Tampa incorporates enough of what Tom ran in New England such that the offense is a comfortable change for him, maybe he’ll have a smoother entrance to Florida.

Jameis recently accepted a $1 million dollar contract to be the backup in New Orleans. He may have turned down more money in other places to rebuild his image as a “Sean Payton” guy, but Jon Ledyard on twitter stated that he believes this is the only contract offer Winston received. In either case, Winston is making less money than Drew Lock this season as he prepares to show his resume for the 2021 season.

I do expect Carolina to be the last place team in the South, but Marty Hurney may have assembled a team too good to draft Justin Fields without trading up. The Panthers drafted stalwart NFL caliber defenders like Jeremy Chinn, Troy Pride, and Derrick Brown who all are good enough to start in the NFL. On offense they signed UDFA Omar Bayless (caught 4 TDs against SMU), former NFL rookie of the year Teddy Bridgewater, and deep threat Robby Anderson. Never mind Christian McCaffrey playing in his prime. I always fall into the trap of believing in a teams’ upside. The Panthers may end up as bad as everyone else is predicting, but I see improvement all over the roster.

Atlanta acquired several former first round selections. New to the team is: RB Todd Gurley, TE Hayden Hurst, WR Laquon Treadwell, DE/OLB Dante Fowler, DE Charles Harris. Outside of Hayden Hurst and Dante Fowler, I don’t know that any of these will make a substantial impact on this team. The Falcons decision to allow new defensive coordinator Raheem Morris call plays on defense will make a substantial impact though.

New Orleans continues to field a strong roster on both sides of the ball. Newcomer Emmanuel Sanders will give Brees a second real receiving threat. The Saints always look extremely competitive in the regular season only to get pushed around by Mike Zimmer in the playoffs. Even though the Vikings had very forgettable corner play in 2019, they were still enough to suppress New Orleans’ offense. Brees is still super accurate, they should still be firing on all cylinders on offense.

Final (Definitely wrong) predictions for 2020:

Carolina: 7 – 9

Tampa Bay: 8 – 8

Atlanta: 10 – 6

New Orleans: 11 – 5

Song of the post – ‘Right here, right now‘ – San Holo

ruggs

Henry Ruggs’ twitter profile photo

I HAVE NO IDEA

  • Henry Ruggs III recorded the fastest 40 in the combine at 4.27.
  • He also tied for the second highest vertical (regardless of position) at 42 inches. This means Ruggs will be more competitive for jump balls even against taller DBs. For frame of reference, Bengals John Ross (speedster who ran 40 yard dash of 4.22) jumped a vertical of 37 inches).
  • Henry Ruggs registered only 1 drop (against 40 receptions). Previous deep threat receivers, John Ross, Darrius Heyward-Bey, struggled with drops.
  • Raiders general manager Mike Mayock cited Ruggs’ speed in an interview and his ability to open up the run game by drawing defenders to him.
  • Ruggs has the second largest hands in the Combine amongst wide receivers (10 1/8″). He has larger hands than 6’6″ Collin Johnson, 6’4″ Chase Claypool, and several others. John Ross (record holder for 40 yard dash) had 8 3/4 inch hands. Darrius Heyward Bey had 9 inch hands.

Ruggs is not just be the “speed” receiver that he’s been advertised to be. His hand size, impressive vertical, surgical hands make him a highly attractive player to have on a team. “Silver and Black Films Presents” did a great job breaking down why Henry Ruggs is a good fit for the Raiders offense.

The 49ers may have had Ruggs as their number one receiver

The 49ers had an established need for a receiver after starter Emmanuel Sanders left in free agency, so they would’ve had impetus to replace him. They had the opportunity to draft CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy, but instead drafted defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, shortly after Vegas drafted Ruggs. The 49ers reportedly had been in touch with Henry Ruggs quite a bit before the draft, and may have had Ruggs as their number one receiver and chose to draft a defensive player when Ruggs was already taken.

Ruggs is an easy guy to root for, watching him in interviews he’s very personable and genuine.

 

 

 

thicc

It’s better to g̶i̶v̶e̶ run between the tackles than it is to receive

Outside of Green Bay’s decision to draft quarterback Jordan Love (which I fully support) Green Bay leaned heavy into installing a power run personnel group. The Packers had a clear need at WR2 to take some of the load off of Davante Adams. This 2020 draft was known for it’s plentiful wide receivers available throughout. Literal K.J. Hill, Ohio State’s all time catch leader, was available in the last round of the draft. The Packers did not draft one wide receiver. Not one. Not even a round seven flyer.

Green Bay? More like Protein Bay, Am I right?

D--9FG5XkAYeyKt

In round 2, Green Bay drafted running back A.J. Dillon. The former Boston College Eagle weighs in at 247 lbs, and stands at 6 feet and zero inches tall. (Just tall enough to get tinder matches.)  Dillon, whose physical profile very closely matches former Buccaneer Mike Alstott, has a highlight reel filled with inside runs that break for 10 plus yards. Dillon runs with surprising straight line speed, he’s not an ankle breaker in change of direction. Dillon is an incredible back to watch. Dillon is more of a 3rd/4th round prospect, seeing Green Bay take him early showed a clear interest in having Dillon be a focal part of the future. This is more interesting considering Green Bay currently boasts one of the NFL’s finest young running back in dynamic runner Aaron Jones.

Hold the line

330px-Jake_Hanson_(cropped)

Brian Gutekunst drafted three offensive linemen. Two of which (Oregon center Jake Hanson, Simon Stepaniak, Indiana) were top performers in the 225 lb bench press at the NFL Combine. (Hanson placed 4th at the combine with 33 reps, Stepaniak 2nd with 37 reps). In a draft where 45 offensive linemen were drafted between 32 teams (1.4/team) the Packers about doubled the average teams’ investment into offensive line. It should be noted that all three offensive linemen Green Bay drafted project to line up as interior offensive linemen. Guards and centers are generally asked to be above average run blockers.

Green Bay’s third round selection went to Cincinnati tight end Josiah Deguara. Deguara was noticeable at the combine for his impressive bench press performance. His 25 reps were best in class among tight ends. Lance Zierlein, NFL draft analyst, wrote how Deguara “Takes run-blocking duties to heart.”

 

The success of Kansas City has inspired several other teams to recruit speed threats to outgun the Chiefs. Green Bay knows what they want to be, and aren’t afraid of setting their own trend. This draft was wildly unpopular with fans and draft analysts alike, and while I think Green Bay could’ve easily drafted a skilled wide receiver to reload at an important position, I respect that they have a game plan and are sticking to it.

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