Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

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?

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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

 

 

Miami drafts Tua Tagovailoa and they didn’t even have to trade up.

kim jong un

The Raiders draft the first wide receiver off the board…..Henry Ruggs?

confusion

The Chargers put their faith in a tall, cannon-armed Justin Herbert

kevin

The Giants don’t draft Mekhi Becton or Isaiah Simmons (Andrew Thomas)

frank dunphy

The Packers anoint their future king, Jordan Love

joker

The Seahawks draft another third round prospect in round one (Jordyn Brooks)

dead dove

The 49ers drafted younger versions of their departed 2019 key players instead of upgrading the secondary (Javon Kinlaw, Brandon Aiyuk)

tenor (1)

On the next episode of N.F.L.

  • Why haven’t the Cowboys signed Dak Prescott to a long term deal?
  • Are the Buccaneers good?
  • Which team will draft Jalen Hurts?
  • Is Jarrett Stidham really going to be the Patriots quarterback in 2020?
  • What will happen to Chris Jones, Jamal Adams, Yannick Ngakoue?

The song of the (short) post is “John Doe” by B.O.B. feat. Priscilla

 

1. Cincinnati – Joe Burrow, LSU quarterback. I guess this is the pick.

2. Washington – Chase Young, Ohio State defensive end. Miami and other teams are trying to trade up here? Snyder seems pretty intent on standing pat here.

3. Miami – Mekhi Becton, Louisville offensive tackle. Supposedly Miami wants to keep their 5th selection and trade up to three. For an offensive tackle. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I guess that could be Andrew Thomas or Jedrick Wills. Becton ran a crazy 40 and is an enormous, 370-lb human being.

4. NY Giants – Tristan Wirfs, Iowa offensive tackle. I will probably regret changing this pick from Isaiah Simmons. If Miami actually moves ahead of NYG to draft a Tackle, that implies Gettleman wants a tackle for real. Rapoport said he believes Simmons will go in the 7-12 range.

5. Miami – Justin Herbert, Oregon quarterback. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wanted to move up for Burrow, and has concerns about Tagovailoa’s health long term. Albert Breer reported that Dan Marino is a huge Justin Herbert fan, who has been an influential voice in the Dolphins’ front office in the past.

6. LA Chargers – Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama quarterback. The Chargers supposedly wanted DeShaun Watson, but took Mike Williams because Rivers wasn’t ready to retire. Telesco just has to not overthink the situation. Tagovailoa is the best quarterback in this draft. They could maybe draft a tackle/defensive player and tough it out with Tyrod Taylor for 2020.

7. Carolina – Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State cornerback. The Panthers will probably want Derrick Brown. But Jeffrey Okudah is the best player available.

8. Arizona – Derrick Brown, Auburn defensive tackle. Rumor has it the Cardinals really want Derrick Brown. They just might get him.

9. Atlanta (through Jacksonville) – C.J. Henderson, Florida cornerback. Dimitroff has traded up in the past and reports are surfacing he wants Henderson. JAX would be a real threat to draft him, so he would probably target the Jaguars to get Henderson. An Atlanta 2nd round pick would satisfy the Jaguars loss of value from 9 to 16 on the Jimmy Johnson trade board.

10. Philadelphia (through Cleveland, Eagles 2nd and 2021 2nd) – CedarianCeeDee” Lamb, Oklahoma wide receiver.  Browns general manager Andrew Berry has a close relationship with Eagles GM Howie Roseman, and may be looking to trade down. Roseman is reportedly interested in trading up to get Lamb.

11. NY Jets – Jedrick Wills, Alabama offensive tackle. Fant received a 3 year, $30 million dollar deal, and wasn’t terrible (allowed 6 sacks) last season. Joe Douglas is a “lineman” guy and could plop Wills at right tackle, Fant at left, and tell himself they’re okay at tackle.

12. Las Vegas – Jerry Jeudy, Alabama wide receiver. Jeudy is a great pick for any team. The Raiders happen to have the worst receiving group in football.

13. San Francisco –  Henry Ruggs, Alabama wide receiver. The 49ers have contacted Ruggs quite a bit during this offseason. I am a 49ers fan and do not want this to be the pick here. But it seems likely.

14. Tampa Bay – Andrew Thomas, Georgia offensive tackle. Thomas is the last of the premium tackles.

15. Denver – Isaiah Simmons, Clemson linebacker/safety.  I’m certain Denver wants a wide receiver. Simmons is a best player available pick, and Fangio will covet a hybrid defensive warrior like Simmons.

16. Jacksonville – Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina defensive tackle. The Jaguars would be lucky to trade down and STILL get Kinlaw. Jacksonville has dominated at the line of scrimmage in the past and Kinlaw would continue that tradition.

17. Dallas – Cesar Ruiz, Michigan guard/center. Dallas lost stalwart center Travis Frederick to retirement. Jerry has repeatedly shown he wants a decorated group up front. Ruiz is one of the top interior offensive line prospects and has a long way to grow at 20 years old.

18. Detroit (Through Miami) – A.J. Epenesa, Iowa defensive lineman. Epenesa is a versatile, edge rusher/run stopper/inside/outside defensive lineman that I think Patricia will value.

19. Las Vegas – Ross Blacklock, TCU defensive tackle. The Raiders will want to build out their line, and a 300 lb defensive tackle who can dunk a basketball is EXACTLY who Gruden would salivate over.

20. Jacksonville – A.J. Terrell, Clemson cornerback. Terrell plays a lot of press and could fit in well with how Todd Wash has been running things in Jacksonville. Terrell might go higher than this, depending on how the draft unfolds. At some point Jacksonville has to reload their secondary, Terrell would be a damn fine corner to do it with.

21. Cleveland (through Philadelphia) – Austin Jackson, USC offensive tackle. Jackson played left tackle at Southern Cal where the Browns badly need help.  Jackson held up well against Utah’s absolutely NFL-riddled defense with backup Matt Fink at QB.

22. Minnesota – Trevon Diggs, Alabama cornerback. The Vikings are SO BAD at corner. His brother Stefon may tell him to stay away, but Diggs is a big, aggressive corner the Vikings could really use.

23. Indianapolis (through New England for #34 and #76) – Jordan Love, Utah state quarterback. Bill Belichick feels gross when he drafts in the first round. This is a Colts type of move. Love could get his ideal situation to sit behind Philip Rivers and then play for a team a with an elite offensive line and innovative play caller in Frank Reich. The Colts are very aggressive and would be a team willing to risk drafting Love.

24. New Orleans – Justin Jefferson, LSU wide receiver. This pick makes too much sense to not happen. Jefferson played in the Joe Brady offense that he stole FROM New Orleans. Brees will be leaning on Sean Payton to draft a receiver. Sanders is on contract for three years, but he’s already an old dude.

25. Minnesota – Jalen Reagor, TCU wide receiver. Kirk Cousins is going to need someone to throw to, and Jalen Reagor is one SPEEDYBOI. He could feasibly operate as a deep threat in the way Stefon Diggs once did.

26. Detroit (Through Miami) – Xavier McKinney, Alabama safety. McKinney is a nice, safe, defensive back pick that Patricia/Quinn can make and feel warm and cozy at night. Patricia had Saban-coached players around him at New England.

27. Seattle – K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU defensive end. What if the Seahawks actually drafted a player that wasn’t a random third rounder? What if they didn’t draft a rotational player for a Mountain West team? The world may never know. Seattle actually has no edge rushers. And some people really like Chaisson’s late season surge.

28. Baltimore – Patrick Queen. LSU linebacker. Queen showed top coverage chops in ’19. Harbaugh and DeCosta could also roll with a wide receiver here, Michael Pittman or Aiyuk maybe.

29. Tennessee – Marlon Davidson, Auburn defensive lineman. Davidson can lineup next to DaQuan Jones and bring pressure down the middle. They have needs at guard and cornerback here, too.

30. Green Bay – Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma defensive tackle. The Packers often draft big men on defense. Gallimore made a splash at the combine. They drafted DL Rashan Gary least year who absolutely dominated as a combine star.

31. San Francisco – Grant Delpit, LSU safety. The 49ers may not be able to find a worthy trade partner here if Indianapolis has already moved up. There’s a big maybe with Dallas moving up for Jalen Hurts, but the 49ers would be moving down 20 spots. And there’s a real chance Dallas wouldn’t have to move up to 31 to get Hurts. The 49ers would have to teach Delpit to be a more solid, wrap-up tackler, which they should be able to do.

32. Kansas City – Denzel Mims, Baylor wide receiver. The Chiefs reportedly want to trade up to get Henry Ruggs. If they fail to get him, Mims would be a solid consolation prize. Mims displayed he can run an actual route tree at the senior bowl. Mims also ran the 40 in the 4.39 range and is 6’3″.

Song of the blog is “Last orders” (Live) by Nothing But Thieves

1. Cincinnati – Joe Burrow, LSU quarterback. The Bengals would probably trade out of here for, say, four first round picks, but they wouldn’t draft any one else here.

2. Washington – Chase Young, Ohio State defensive end. While I won’t rule out Washington drafting Tua Tagovailoa. I think Chase still has the majority vote here. The Redskins don’t entirely know what Haskins looks like as a starting quarterback, and Chase Young is the “sure thing” of the draft.

3. LA Chargers (Trade with Detroit. Detroit gets 6th, 37th, 112th(4th round pick). LA gets 3rd overall.) – Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama quarterback. Tua’s repeatedly shown he’s as healthy as he can be after the combine. The Chargers have signed proven players to rebuild the offensive line and have the offensive skill group (Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler) to compete right now.

4. NY Giants – Isaiah Simmons, Clemson linebacker/safety. – Gettleman knows when to pick the best player available. Tackle will be a tempting choice here, and if Simmons is gone, I think they would take Mekhi Becton or Tristan Wirfs. Simmons can play two or three different positions on the field at a high level.

5. Miami – Justin Herbert, Oregon quarterback. I am not personally sold on Herbert, but some smart people like Daniel Jeremiah and Gil Brandt really like Herbert. Miami OC Chan Gailey is expected to run a spread offense in Miami, one that would take advantage of Herbert’s arm strength if he were drafted. This isn’t Miami’s only move, but I can’t imagine the Fish NOT taking a Quarterback. Herbert is even one of the few quarterbacks to check off all the Bill Parcells QB rules. Parcells is technically Brian Flores’ coaching grandfather (Bill Belichick was Parcells’ defensive coordinator before getting a head coach job at Cleveland).

6. Detroit (Through LA Chargers) – Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State cornerback. Okudah is an ELITE cornerback, drawing comparisons to Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.  The Lions have a giant, gaping hole at corner after trading away Darius Slay, and corner’s an important position to be strong at regardless. The Lions could also decide they like Isaiah Simmons here.

7. Carolina – Derrick Brown, Auburn defensive tackle. GM Marty Hurney has valued drafting players near the line of scrimmage. They could draft a wide receiver here to help fulfill Rhule’s vision of the offense. The Panthers have long held an identity on defense as being a physical team. Brown could be the player Star Lotulelei was meant to be.

8. Arizona – Jedrick Wills, Alabama offensive tackle. Trading for DeAndre Hopkins allows Arizona to address a badly suffering offensive line group. Wills is a technician who thrived at Alabama. Wills can line up at his natural position of right tackle and let Humphries continue to start at left tackle.

9. Jacksonville – Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina defensive tackle. Kinlaw really performed well at the senior bowl practices. The Jaguars have a history of dominating at the line of scrimmage on defense, and Kinlaw has shown he does that well.

10. Cleveland – Mekhi Becton, Louisville offensive tackle. Cleveland has one of the league’s best young running backs (Nick Chubb) and would benefit more from Becton’s strengths as a devastating run-blocker than most teams. The Browns had the most success with Baker in 2018 when they were happy to run the ball a lot. New head coach Kevin Stefanski comes from a team (the Vikings) that ran the ball the 4th most in the NFL. Becton can pass protect better than anyone they currently have slated to start at left tackle.

11. NY Jets – Tristan Wirfs, Iowa offensive tackle. Wirfs showed up at the combine with a 40 in the 4.8 range and already had a reputation for his crazy impressive strength. Wirfs can play guard or tackle in year one and brings badly needed blocking to a struggling NY Jets offense.

12. Las Vegas – CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma wide receiver. Lamb has helped Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray get drafted number one OVERALL. Lamb is the top receiver in the class.

13. San Francisco –  C.J. Henderson, Florida cornerback. The 49ers offense can elevate players without elite talent. Shanahan will certainly want a stud like Jeudy or Lamb, but getting Henderson allows the 49ers to play better defense, and ultimately run the ball more instead of having to play catch up so much. John Lynch was part of a super bowl winning defense in Tampa Bay and will continue to prioritize defense.

14. Tampa Bay – Andrew Thomas, Georgia offensive tackle. I would go with a wide receiver here, especially if Jeudy is available. Thomas has played at right tackle before, and could start for Joe Haeg if he wins the job.

15. Denver – Jerry Jeudy, Alabama wide receiver. Anyone that plays quarterback for Denver would have two great receivers in Sutton and Jeudy for years to come.

16. Atlanta – Xavier McKinney, Alabama safety. Dimitroff has been comfortable drafting Crimson Tide alumni before. Mckinney can take someone’s job as a starting safety or contribute as an important nickel.

17. Dallas – Matt Hennessy, Temple center. My guess is as good as anybody’s. Is Jerry Jones just going to draft a defensive back because they need one? Jerry has always made a priority of building a beast on the offensive line. The analytics crowd and the old-school crowd both really like Hennessy, the small school standout as both a pass and run blocker.

18. Miami – Austin Jackson, USC offensive tackle. Jackson is the best pass blocking tackle available here, and played against a high level of competition at Southern California. OC Chan Gailey is expected to run the spread on offense, their linemen will need to be able to hold up while Herbert finds his open man.

19. Las Vegas – Grant Delpit, LSU safety. The Raiders play a lot of zone coverage where Delpit would be at his best. While Delpit’s missed tackle issues are well documented, he covers at an elite level. Delpit demonstrated top coverage skills and could help the Raiders take on Travis Kelce, Noah Fant, and Hunter Henry as a taller (6’3″) safety.

20. Jacksonville – Isaiah Wilson, Georgia offensive tackle. Daniel Jeremiah’s confident Wilson will be a first round pick. Wilson is about as big as Mekhi Becton and a powerful blocker. Wilson was a right tackle at Georgia, so either Taylor or Wilson would move to left tackle eventually.

21. Philadelphia – Justin Jefferson, LSU wide receiver.  The Eagles are expected to target wide receivers in this draft. Jefferson caught over 100 passes in his ’19 season. He’s 6 foot 3, and ran a 4.43 40. They may trade up for Lamb if they can find a willing trade partner.

22. Minnesota – Jeff Gladney, TCU cornerback. Gladney covers well and is an all around strong corner. Minnesota’s drafted several busts at corner in the past 5 years. Gladney’s got a very high floor. He’s not as tall at 5’10”, but plays like his height isn’t a problem.

23. New England – Kristian Fulton, LSU cornerback. The Patriots play a lot of press, Fulton would fit well with that system. The Patriots have swung and missed on a number of  recent corners. In 2018, Bill traded UP for corner Duke Dawson in the 2nd round. Duke Dawson is currently a Bronco. They also spent a high pick on corner JoeJuan Williams who only played in 9 games and made 5 total tackles.

24. New Orleans – Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State wide receiver. Aiyuk is a YAC specialist with an ENORMOUS wingspan. His 80 inch wingspan is wider than almost all of the tight ends in this class. Aiyuk fits well with the Saints current offense, and can help the Saints’ next QB adjust to the NFL as well. The Saints need what Aiyuk provides. Their offense stuttered against a Vikings team without elite corner play.

25. Minnesota – A.J. Epenesa, Iowa defensive lineman. Epenesa is a strong, all-around d-line prospect as a pass-rusher, run-stopper, and even forced four fumbles in 2019 at Iowa. His size will help him be particularly adept at playing the run, something Coach Zimmer will value.

26. Miami – Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota safety. Grier and Flores have shown they value a strong secondary. Winfield had dynamite season in 2019 at Minnesota. Both Flores and Grier are defensively minded leaders, and both saw Antoine Winfield Sr. play in the prime of his career.

27. Seattle – Patrick Queen, LSU linebacker. Seattle needs to improve at defending dual threat quarterbacks. They have great linebackers in Wagner and Wright, but they could get even stronger in the middle of the field with Queen and his toolkit.

28. Baltimore – Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma linebacker. Murray was all over the field at Oklahoma. The Ravens added Calais Campbell for a late round pick, but really need help at linebacker. Murray has shown versatility in coverage, run defense and occasionally as a pass rusher.

29. Tennessee – Marlon Davidson, Auburn DL. The Titans play a physical brand of football. Davidson brings a versatile profile and can play at end or tackle. The Titans could look to restock at cornerback here.

30. Green Bay – Michael Pittman Jr., USC wide receiver. Pittman’s stock has soared with his giant frame and excellent drop rate. The Packers don’t often draft wide receivers in the first round. I would be shocked to see them not draft a wide receiver with how skinny they are outside of Adams.

31. Indianapolis (Trade with San Francisco. SF gets 34th, 122nd(4th round pick). IND gets 31st.) – Jordan Love, Utah State quarterback. The Colts have a selection at 34, so they wouldn’t have to give up that much to get here. The 49ers will be motivated to trade down if they don’t HAVE to have someone here at 31, they don’t have another pick until round 5. Drafting Love is the type of bold move we see from the Colts regularly. Frank Reich is one of the more forward-thinking minds in football, he’s one of the leaders that can make Love the best version of himself.

32. Kansas City – Jonah Jackson, Ohio State guard. Jackson is maybe the best guard in this draft. He’s got experience at center and guard, giving him versatility if the Chiefs offensive line suffers from injuries like it did in ’19. Andy Reid teams have often drafted offensive and defensive linemen early, and Jackson played well against top competition at Ohio State.

Song of the blog – “Better Days” by Onerepublic. The “feelings” part of my brain shit its pants watching this video.

Cincinnati – Joe Burrow, LSU quarterback. The Bengals would probably trade out of here for, say, four first round picks, but they wouldn’t draft any one else here.

Washington – Chase Young, Ohio State defensive end. While I won’t rule out Washington drafting Tua Tagovailoa. I think Chase still has the majority vote here. The Redskins don’t entirely know what Haskins looks like as a starting quarterback, and Chase Young is the “sure thing” of the draft.

LA Chargers (Trade with Detroit) – Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama quarterback. Tua’s repeatedly shown he’s as healthy as he can be after the combine. The Chargers have signed proven players to rebuild the offensive line and have the offensive skill group (Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler) to compete right now.

NY Giants – Isaiah Simmons, Clemson linebacker/safety. – Gettleman knows when to pick the best player available. Tackle will be a tempting choice here, and if Simmons is gone, I think they would take Mekhi Becton or Tristan Wirfs. Simmons can play two or three different positions on the field at a high level.

Miami – Justin Herbert, Oregon quarterback. I am not personally sold on Herbert, but some smart people like Daniel Jeremiah and Gil Brandt really like Herbert. Miami OC Chan Gailey is expected to run a spread offense in Miami, one that would take advantage of Herbert’s arm strength if he were drafted. This isn’t Miami’s only move, but I can’t imagine the Fish NOT taking a Quarterback. Herbert is even one of the few quarterbacks to check off all the Bill Parcells QB rules. Parcells is technically Brian Flores’ coaching grandfather (Bill Belichick was Parcells’ defensive coordinator before getting a head coach job at Cleveland).

Detroit (Through LA Chargers) – Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State cornerback. Okudah is an ELITE cornerback, drawing comparisons to Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.  The Lions have a giant, gaping hole at corner after trading away Darius Slay, and corner’s an important position to be strong at regardless. The Lions could also decide they like Isaiah Simmons here.

Carolina – Derrick Brown, Auburn defensive tackle. GM Marty Hurney has valued drafting players near the line of scrimmage. They could draft a wide receiver here to help fulfill Rhule’s vision of the offense. The Panthers have long held an identity on defense as being a physical team. Brown could be the player Star Lotulelei was meant to be.

Arizona – Jedrick Wills, Alabama offensive tackle. Trading for DeAndre Hopkins allows Arizona to address a badly suffering offensive line group. Wills is a technician who thrived at Alabama. Wills can line up at his natural position of right tackle and let Humphries continue to play at left tackle.

Jacksonville – Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina defensive tackle. Kinlaw really performed well at the senior bowl practice. The Jaguars have a history of dominating at the line of scrimmage on defense, and Kinlaw has shown he does that well.

Cleveland – Mekhi Becton, Louisville offensive tackle. Cleveland has one of the league’s best young running backs (Nick Chubb) and would benefit more from Becton’s strengths as a devastating run-blocker than most teams. The Browns had the most success with Baker in 2018 when they were happy to run the ball a lot. New head coach Kevin Stefanski comes from a team (the Vikings) that ran the ball the 4th most in the NFL. Becton can pass protect better than anyone they currently have slated to start at left tackle.

NY Jets – Tristan Wirfs, Iowa offensive tackle. Wirfs showed up at the combine with a 40 in the 4.8 range and already had a reputation for his crazy impressive strength. Wirfs can play guard or tackle in year one and brings badly needed blocking to a struggling NY Jets offense.

Las Vegas – Jerry Jeudy, Alabama wide receiver. The Raiders have the worst wide receiver group in football. Jeudy is the best (according to some) wide receiver in the draft class.

San Francisco – CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma wide receiver. The 49ers as of yet haven’t resigned their best wideout from 2019, Emmanuel Sanders. In either case, drafting Lamb is in the interest of their club and winning for seasons to come. Lamb averaged over 20 yards a catch in his 2019 campaign.

Tampa Bay – Henry Ruggs, Alabama wide receiver. Many media voices have been predicting Tampa to draft an offensive lineman here. They could pick a defensive tackle if Brown or Kinlaw are available. I believe Ruggs makes too much sense, Tampa Bay could double down on their strengths and be impossible to stop on offense with Evans, Godwin, and Ruggs lining up.

Denver – Denzel Mims, Baylor wide receiver. The Broncos badly need a receiver across from Courtland Sutton. Mims showed at the senior bowl he’s not a three-route guy, and he showed at the combine he can MOVE (4.38 40).

Atlanta – C.J. Henderson, Florida cornerback. Henderson’s stock has risen with his strong combine performance and steady overall tape. PFF thinks Atlanta’s secondary drastically underperformed last year. The addition of Dante Fowler gives the Falcons a legitimate edge rusher.

Dallas – Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin center. If you think Jerry Jones won’t spend a first round pick on a center no one else was going to think about drafting until round 3, have I got a story for you. Biadasz won the Rimington Trophy awarded to the nation’s top center. Travis Frederick, the Cowboys standout center, retired this off-season leaving Dallas thin at center. The Cowboys like to spend high draft picks on linemen. Kristian Fulton could go here if Dallas wants to pick an interior OL later in the draft.

Miami – Andrew Thomas, Georgia offensive tackle. Miami needs serious help in the front five. Kind of an unlikely slide for Thomas, but Miami will draft him here for sure if he is available. Thomas can line up at right or left tackle.

Las Vegas – Kristian Fulton, LSU cornerback. The Raiders will need to replace some key assets in the secondary, losing Karl Joseph and Daryl Worley. It’s obvious Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock pay close attention to the championship game, where Fulton allowed zero receiving touchdowns. Fulton has allowed a completion rate of 40% since 2018.

Jacksonville – Josh Jones, Houston offensive tackle. Jones showed up and played well at Senior bowl week. Left tackle Cam Robinson has never lived up to the first round hype where he was drafted.

Philadelphia – Justin Jefferson, LSU wide receiver.  The Eagles should target wide receivers. Jefferson caught over 100 passes in his ’19 season. He’s 6 foot 3, and ran a 4.43 40 time.

Minnesota – A.J. Epenesa, Iowa defensive end. Epenesa performs at a high-all around level against the run, and as a pass rusher. The Vikings need a wide receiver along side Thielen, Michael Pittman or Brandon Aiyuk could fit here.

New England – Curtis Weaver, Boise State defensive end. Weaver PERFORMS consistently and had over 19 tackles for loss in 2019. Boise State has been producing quality defenders recently. Weaver represents a potentially high value selection here.

New Orleans – Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State wide receiver. Aiyuk is a YAC specialist with an ENORMOUS wingspan. His 80 inch wingspan is wider than almost all of the tight ends in this class. Aiyuk fits well with this Saints offense, and can help the Saints next QB adjust to the NFL.

Minnesota – A.J. Terrell, Clemson cornerback. Terrell is one of the steadier corners in the draft. He got burned by JaMarr Chase, but Chase is going to burn every one.

Miami – Xavier McKinney, Alabama safety. McKinney has shown he is a solid, all-around high level safety. Flores and Chris Grier have shown they care about the secondary by signing both Xavien Howard and Byron Jones to long term, high dollar contracts at corner. In free agency, Miami added front seven players like Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, and Shaq Lawson. The Dolphins’ safety position is their weakest area on defense, McKinney is “high floor” player the Dolphins should be able to depend on.

Seattle – Bradlee Anae, Utah defensive end. Anae is a senior bowl standout player, but he played very well on a stacked Utah defense in 2019 as well. Anae had 13 sacks in 2019. Seattle has needs at defensive end and Anae’s stock has been on the rise.

Baltimore – Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma linebacker. Murray was all over the field at Oklahoma. The Ravens added Calais Campbell for a late round pick, but really need help at linebacker. Murray has shown versatility in coverage, run defense and occasionally as a pass rusher.

Tennessee – Jeff Gladney, TCU cornerback. I think Gladney fits Vrabel’s defense well. He’s been willing to get involved in defending the run, running corner blitzes, and can operate well in man or zone schemes.

Green Bay – Laviska Shenault, Colorado wide receiver. The Packers won’t actually draft a wide receiver, they’ll draft a random safety out of Utah or Iowa or somewhere. But Shenault would make sense for Green Bay. Davante Adams is the only realistic wide receiver Rodgers can turn to. Shenault’s built his brand on versatility. He can line up in the backfield, out wide, where ever, Shenault’s got a stocky build and moves well, like a running back. If the Packers want to utilize P.A. more Shenault could function like Ty Montgomery and keep the defense guessing what his role will be after the play starts.

San Francisco – Grant Delpit, LSU safety. The 49ers secondary got exposed late in the biggest game of the year. Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill had their way with the 49ers defensive backfield when it counted. Delpit rightfully catches blame for his missed tackles, PFF raves about his rare coverage ability. If nothing else, Delpit should be serviceable as a nickel.

Kansas City – Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma defensive tackle. Chris Jones is on the franchise tag, whether he is in the team’s plans long term remains to be seen. Gallimore give the Chiefs a little freedom to part with Jones if Gallimore continues to develop. Gallimore showed up with a terrific 40 time and Lance Zierlein wrote that Gallimore looked good in senior bowl drills, which may help him get drafted high.

 

Video of the day is Tom Brady being drafted. Also, former packers head coach Mike Sherman (shown in the video) looks like he kidnaps women and wears their skin as a mask.

Song is The Edge, by David Axelrod (from the movie Baby Driver)

Late round/UDFA Quarterback prospects who could become the GUY –

(Leaving out Jalen Hurts, Jake Fromm, Anthony Gordon as likely already drafted passers)

Arizona, Khalil Tate – Dual threat, high ceiling quarterback out of Arizona. Tate’s best work came in his sophomore year, rushing for over a thousand yards and getting 10+ passing TD’s and 10+ rushing TD’s. Tate has arm strength, athleticism, and has shown he CAN perform at a high level. I feel he would best fit somewhere he can learn fundamentals, Seattle behind Russell Wilson, Philly with Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz, or San Francisco with Kyle Shanahan. Tate did not get an invite to the combine so he may go undrafted as teams are struggling to meet with players and run physicals at this time.

Iowa, Nate Stanley – Stanley received some early round draft hype coming out of the 2018 college season, but he returned to school for his senior year, and didn’t repeat at the same level. Stanley’s got desirable height at 6’4″, so a more old school GM like Giants GM Dave Gettleman or Bengals GM Mike Brown might appreciate what Stanley brings as a “pocket passer” as opposed to Tate who competes as a dual threat passer. Stanley, by and large, showed he can keep his turnovers low while maximizing his “deep ball accuracy” (Zierlein) throughout his career at Iowa. Parcells has worked with Cleveland in recent years, and Stanley’s alignment with the “Parcells rules” for drafting QBs (Senior, 30 starts, 23 wins, graduated, 2-1 TD/INT ratio) might influence Cleveland to look at Stanley as a late round passer.

North Texas, Mason Fine – Fine reminds me a lot of Case Keenum, a super prolific passer with ALL of the starts, and is a little shorter (5’11”) than many GMs like. Fine started his first game at North Texas when Obama was still in office. Fine’s YPA never flew off the board (avg. 7.6), but he was consistently an accurate passer and is used to a pass-heavy workload. A team like Arizona (already used to a below 6ft. passer) who passes at a high volume could see Fine as a fit for their offense (as a backup). The Texans could also fit, who’ve collected a group of reliable quick pass receivers (Duke Johnson, David Johnson, Darren Fells Randall Cobb, Kenny Stills) that could help local passer Fine adjust to an NFL offense.

Utah, Tyler Huntley – Huntley’s body of work at Utah showed a very low volume, ultra-efficient passer. Huntley led the Utes to an 11-3 campaign losing out to Oregon narrowly missing out on the CFB Playoffs. Huntley completed over 70 percent of his passes, 10+ yards per attempt with only 4 interceptions against 19 passing TDs (5 rushing). Huntley only thew 301 passes in 2019, suggesting he may be a good fit for a run first offense like Tennessee or Buffalo. I see traces of Alex Smith in Huntley: very risk averse, athletic, and takes what the defense gives him.

Hawaii, Cole McDonald – I don’t typically love system guys like McDonald, but Mahomes went to Texas Tech, the ultimate ‘system’ school, so I’m trying to work around my own biases. McDonald has a big arm, he’s pretty accurate, and he even had an impressive 40 time of 4.58 at the combine. McDonald is definitely used to a pass heavy system like the Chiefs, Rams, or Eagles have, 3+ receiver set offenses would tailor to his comfort zone more than a traditional NFL offense would. McDonald struggled mightily against pressure so he would likely need an already great offensive line/quick pass scheme to be effective.

The Patriot Way can’t be copied 

New Eagle corner Darius Slay said he lost respect of Lions coach Matt Patricia when Patricia told Slay he was “good, not elite.” I can certainly appreciate that the competitive nature of a professional athlete will cause them to bristle at the notion that they are “good” instead of “elite.” Patricia comes from an environment where the head coach (Belichick) routinely shreds their Hall of Fame, actual G.O.A.T. QB on a regular basis, and in front of everyone. So his calling Slay ‘good’ is pretty tame by comparison. Belichick has the leverage to continue to coach like this because Brady has simply put up with it for so long, and the leader of the Patriot way continues to win Super Bowls, and is himself the GOAT of coaches. Patricia and Texans coach B.O.B. are not the GOAT of coaches. They have won zero superbowls as head coaches. And their quarterbacks are younger men who are not used to/wont put up with the old-school hyper critical borderline toxic/actually toxic treatment that football coaches have been shouting out to their athletes for decades all across the country at every level of play. Some people (including myself some times) criticize this younger generation of players for being soft, but a lot of problems that went unaddressed in society are linked to unquestioned facets of society like “the football coach just yells all the time, that’s the way it is.” This change may show us young athletes who don’t respond to criticism with as thick skin as maybe fans are used to, but maybe we’ll be healthier as a society if we acknowledge how this type of behavior gets into the subconscious and try to be a little more human. Like most changes in society, it seems to be more of a trade off rather than an “only good” or an “only bad” change. In my millennial brain, I see it as a “more good than bad” change. Not that I know anything, I just had too much caffeine and needed to write something.

Song of the blog post is G-Eazy’s “Everything will be okay