Archive for the ‘New entries’ Category

This isn’t going to be a list of fantasy football players that have already broken out (Eric Ebron, James Conner) or rookies that every NFL analyst is talking about (David Montgomery, Josh Jacobs) as these are not sleeper picks. They are great fantasy players, but not sleepers. Lettuce begin:

Josh Oliver, Jaguars rookie Tight end. – Foles will need reliable pass-catchers in Jacksonville where Marqise Lee and Dede Westbrook haven’t come up strong in the past as reliable pass-catchers. Oliver was a high volume receiver (among tight ends) at San Jose State and is set up nicely to become a starting caliber, high volume pass-catcher for Jacksonville and the Nick Foles show.

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Wide Receiver. – With the departure of Desean Jackson and Adam Humphries Godwin will have substantial opportunities to grow his involvement in the Tampa offense. UDFA Anthony Johnson will be worth a look at in non-ppr leagues due to his “explosiveness” at the University of Buffalo and how much Tampa is likely to run three or four man receiver sets with one of the league’s most inefficient rushing attacks.

Terry McLaurin, Washington Wide Receiver. – McLaurin is instantly the best wide receiver on the Redskins roster. Whether Case Keenum or Dwayne Haskins is throwing McLaurin the ball he demonstrated elite speed and ‘get-open’ skill as a deep threat at Ohio State. McLaurin shared time with Johnnie Dixon and Parris Campbell who were both very productive so his college numbers weren’t as gaudy as say Davante Adams at Fresno State who was the lone big dog.

Mark Andrews, Ravens Tight end. – Andrews outperformed first round pick Hayden Hurst last season in his rookie season with QB Lamar Jackson. With a full offseason working together, Andrews will become a more trusted weapon in the Ravens offense.

Daniel Jones, Giants QB. – Hear me out. Jones ran for 17 TDs in his three seasons at Duke. Dual threat passers are GOLD in fantasy. Unless Jones totally reeks of bad during the preseason there will be enormous fan pressure for the Giants to start Jones over Eli as early as week one. Jones doesn’t have to Rex Grossman the ball every play 60 yards downfield to Odell Beckham. Shurmur’s offense is asking the future starter to throw a short pass to Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, or Golden Tate, who are all excellent at catching passes of that manner. Jones will have a much stronger supporting cast in New York with a reasonably talented offensive line and skill position players that don’t drop tons of passes.

Arizona Cardinals Defense  – New DC Vance Joseph earned a head coaching gig because of his work with the 2016 Miami Dolphins defense that thrived despite substantial injury issues. The Cardinals legitimately have a group of successful athletes in the secondary and in the defensive line. Newcomers Byron Murphy, Zach Allen, Deionte Thompson all thrived on elite defenses in college and present value acquisitions for the worst team in football. Kingsbury’s Air raid offense will invite opposing offenses to throw the ball quite a bit and the addition of Terrell Suggs to a defense that already had Chandler Jones and Brooks Reed sets up the Cardinals secondary to capitalize on rushed throws. It’s worth nothing that Arizona’s secondary is very strong before adding Deionte Thompson and Byron Murphy.

Spencer Ware, Colts RB – Colts back Marlon Mack is a great runner and a not so great receiver. Nyheim Hines is a great pass catcher and not an elite runner from the backfield. Spencer Ware has thrived as both a runner and a receiver in his offenses he’s been a part of in the past. Whoever gets the most carries for the Colts should have plenty of running room as the Colts now have actual receiving weapons (Parris Campbell, Eric Ebron, Devin Funchess) who will stretch the field. Ware’s ability to catch well and run well should give him the edge up in that backfield.

Matt Gay, Tampa Bay Kicker – If you miss the boat on a kicker in the draft, former Utes specialist Matt Gay connected on over 85% of his kicks and repeatedly made kicks past 50 yards. This is an asset Tampa Bay’s not had in some time. Obviously you’ll want to make sure Gay makes the final roster and kicks well in preseason. Roberto Aguayo had great college stats too but failed to transition at the next level.

Darwin Thompson, Chiefs RB – Thompson was one of the top backs in college for yards after contract. He stands at 5’8″ but repeatedly pushed past contact better than almost anyone else draft eligible for 2019. The Chiefs made it work last season after parting ways with Kareem Hunt, Thompson has every opportunity to thrive in KC.

NOT A SLEEPER

Marquise Brown, Ravens WR – Brown is widely regarded as the top receiver in the 2019 draft class. He will wow Lamar Jackson with his ability to get open and his ability to catch the football, and his ability to not drop the football after catching it (Michael Crabtree). Brown moves crazy fast during speed drills and in real world game-play. Jackson has the arm strength and has a reasonably deep ball to be able to find Brown when he inevitably gets open against the rest of the AFC North’s old man defensive backs.

The Redskins and Bills backfield is an interesting situation to watch. Adrian Peterson performed well in 2018 and Derrius Guice and Bryce Love will both be motivated to show they are true lead backs after struggling from injury during the 2018 season. In Buffalo, LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore are both performing well and motivated to show they’re not too old to compete. Rookie Devin Singletary was essentially a one man show at Florida Atlantic and should eventually win the starting role in Buffalo, though getting those meaningful snaps may be difficult.

  • With Tyreek Hill‘s future on the team uncertain, the Chiefs are VERY LIKELY to spend one or both of their second round selections on wide receivers, if they don’t move up to draft a wide receiver in the second round. Sammy Watkins will line up as the team’s number one wide receiver if Hill doesn’t play for the team in 2019.
  • The Cardinals may trade Josh Rosen to Miami for a second round pick if Yahoo Sports is to be believed, though no deal has been completed. This runs counter to the narrative the Dolphins are “Tanking for Tua” though after Steve Keim drafted first round passers in back to back drafts, Miami could convince their fanbase they can draft a passer in 2020 if Rosen doesn’t win the starting job in a convincing fashion.
  • The Giants Daniel Jones draft selection seems to be a colossal error. Daniel Jones’ best season is measurably about half as good as Dwayne Haskins starting season. The reporter who interviewed Dwayne Haskins after he was selected by Washington mentioned some in the room for Dan Snyder’s Redskins were vocalizing a desire to draft Daniel Jones over Dwayne Haskins. Suggesting this wasn’t a Dave Gettleman specific situation but Jones has some highly desirable traits as a QB prospect. PFF senior analyst noted Jones “does the little things at an NFL level already.”  He goes on to predict Jones will be a top ten selection because Jones “looks like a seasoned veteran” with some of the on-field behaviors (Renner mentions ‘avoiding sacks’ and ‘throwing with anticipation’ as examples of the little things) he’s shown at Duke. Maybe these subtle cues spoke to talent evaluators at an emotional level that numbers cannot. While Dwayne Haskins may not reach the heights he did with Ohio State, an average Dwayne Haskins projects to be a substantially better passer than the best version of Daniel Jones (going off of college production).
  • Sbnation.com’s Dan Kadar correctly points out that Clelin Ferrell played 4-3 defensive end at Clemson, whereas expected draftee Josh Allen lined up as a linebacker which are similar but different positions. Ferrell dominated at Clemson and having a preference for him over Allen because of scheme fit isn’t as crazy as I initially thought. The Raiders other two selections showed no interest in consensus-value drafting as they took a running back in the first round and a safety when prospects like Montez Sweat and Greedy Williams who were top ten value picks on many people’s draft boards were still available.
  • A number of players could potentially be traded after the first round has brought in high level competition for their spot. 49ers DL Solomon Thomas or Jets DL Leonard  Williams may be on the move throughout this draft as teams try to reshape their rosters for 2019.

1 Arizona – Kyler Murray, QB Oklahoma. Would you rather have Jay Cutler and Joey Bosa or Russell Wilson?

2 San Francisco – Nick Bosa, DE Ohio State. I like Quinnen better here, but Bosa will feel safer for John Lynch.

3 New York Jets – Josh Allen, OLB Kentucky. Allen fits the mold of Anthony Barr who the Jets almost signed from Minnesota.

4 Oakland – Quinnen Williams, DT Alabama. Best player available. The Raiders want Devin White. They could say to themselves they got “that guy” in Vontaze Burfict and get more value out of a pass-rusher with Williams if that need has been filled with Burfict.

5 Tampa Bay – Devin White, ILB LSU. White’s perceived value has skyrocketed.  While Tampa Bay needs secondary help, the Kwon Alexander departure may have signified a move to add an inside linebacker as his replacement. White’s generally considered to have ‘top ten value’ where the corners and safeties like Greedy Williams, DeAndre Baker or Nasir Adderley are more rank 15-25 draft value prospects.

6 New York Giants – Ed Oliver, DT Houston. Oliver may not be the next Aaron Donald, he still routinely beats his blocker and will more than replace Olivier Vernon. Dwayne Haskins should be the pick here, but the Giants look like they want to hold out until the 2020 class.

7 Jacksonville – Rashan Gary, DL Michigan. Tom Coughlin won two championships in New York with a front four that could pressure the QB without sending additional blitzers. Jawaan Taylor is the heavy favorite here for the Jaguars in most other mock drafts. Taylor is a run-blocking Right Tackle who’s ceiling, at its very highest doesn’t justify a top-ten selection in any universe. T.J. Hockenson is also very popular here. I struggle to see Jacksonville drafting a Tight End this early. Nick Foles isn’t the identity of the Jaguars, the Defense is. Gary’s a boom-or-bust prospect who will be attractive for Coughlin to move around the D-Line. I would want Jonah Williams here, but I think Tom Coughlin will want Gary at number Seven.

8 Detroit – T.J. Hockenson, TE Iowa. Hockenson can competently block and has demonstrated value as an athletic and reliable pass-catcher. Hockenson can have a Gronk-like impact on the field for Detroit as a dual threat tight end.

9 Buffalo – Christian Wilkins, DL Clemson. Wilkins can take over for Star Lotulelei after the 2020 season, Lotulelei is the highest paid player on the Bills roster with an out after the 2020 season. Lotulelei plays well enough to be a starter but not enough to justify his contract. The Bills starting depth chart has been heavily redone through free agency with four new projected starters on the offensive line, new offensive weapons in John Brown, Tyler Kroft and Frank Gore. Bringing in Wilkins will free up cap space in the future for Buffalo and start alongside Lotulelei in the mean time.

10 Denver – Drew Lock, Missouri QB. John Elway seems to like Lock more than any other QB prospect and he’s still running the show. The Broncos are actually a pretty complete roster with holes at maybe tight end and safety.

11 Bengals – Devin Bush, Michigan ILB. The Bengals are stable on offense but have an aging defense. Dwayne Haskins is being mocked here, but Andy Dalton is still performing better than the majority of first round QBs drafted year after year. Bush can contribute immediately.

12 Green Bay – Montez Sweat,  Miss. State OLB. Sweat has a sky-high ceiling with improving college production throughout his time in school. If Sweat actually falls this far the Packers they can get a value pick.

13 Miami – Jonah Williams, Alabama OL. Williams is a top ten athlete in this draft class. If Miami really wants to embrace the tank, building on the offensive will set up their future QB for success.

14 Atlanta – Clelin Ferrell, Clemson DL. Beasley struggled last season and Atlanta’s defense overall struggled with injuries in the secondary. Ferrell has a tops resume after consistently pressuring the QB. Ferrell has the size to be able to move inside if McKinley moves outside.

15 Washington – Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State QB. If Haskins is available here Washington has to strongly consider drafting Alex Smith’s replacement. Bruce Allen has been drafting defensive talent early as of late, Haskins had a phenomenal season with Ohio State and may be the closest the Redskins get to a heir apparent passer for some time depending on how the 2019 season plays out.

16 Carolina – Jawaan Taylor, UF OT. Taylor fits the Panthers identity as a successful run blocker. He is an adequate pass-blocker as well.

17 New York Giants – Daniel Jones, Duke QB. I don’t like Daniel Jones being drafted in the first round, but supposedly the Giants are high on Jones. Talent evaluators have discussed his height and college coach as reasons why Jones can compete at the next level.

18 Minnesota – Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame DT. The Vikings keep whiffing on early round offensive linemen. Dexter Lawrence has the build of a talent on a 3-man down scheme. Tillery graded well in Pro Football Focus. I think he’ll fit right in on a elite Vikings Defense.

19 Tennessee – Noah Fant, Iowa TE. Delanie Walker is 8,000 years old. Fant can mismatch against linebackers that Mariota can use.

20 Pittsburgh – Greedy Williams, LSU CB. The Steelers secondary needs help. Greedy is a tops coverage man.

21 Seattle – Byron Murphy, Washington CB. Seattle could use an offensive lineman like Cody Ford. Pete Carroll likes defensive backs.

22 Baltimore – A.J. Brown, Ole Miss WR. The Ravens don’t pass a ton, but Brown does an excellent job at getting open and making yards after the catch. The Ravens have NO receivers.

23 Houston – Cody Ford, Oklahoma OL. The Texans still have a bad offensive line. Deshaun Watson needs an offensive line.

24 Oakland – Deandre Baker, Georgia CB. Baker is the most reliable corner prospect in this class. Gruden loves building out the defense.

25 Philadelphia – Andre Dillard, Washington State OT. Jason Peters is 37 years old and not competing at the same level as he once was. Dillard is an elite pass blocking prospect.

26 Indianapolis – Marquise Brown, OU WR. Brown is arguably the best wide receiver in the class. Andrew Luck deserves a real wide receiver.

27 Oakland – Brian Burns, Edge FSU. Gruden is an analytics guy and I don’t buy that he’ll draft a first round running back. Burns helps the Raiders anemic pass defense.

28 Chargers – Dalton Risner, Kansas State OL. The Chargers need help at inside linebacker and offensive line. Risner can play at right tackle in 2019.

29 Seattle (LOL) – Jeffery Simmons, Miss. State DL. Simmons won’t play in 2019, but he has the potential to be a top five player when he gets healthy. Seattle didn’t necessarily plan on having this pick, so they could take this opportunity to draft for talent over need.

30 Green Bay – Parris Campbell, Ohio State WR. Campbell moved well at the combine and caught 90 passes at Ohio State. Campbell fits the mold for speedy, productive wide receivers the Packers have liked to draft.

31 Rams – Dexter Lawrence, DT Clemson. The Rams could draft a tackle to eventually replace Andrew Whitworth. Lawrence can help fill the void left by Ndamukong Suh.

32 New England – Will Grier, WVU QB. Ageless Tom Brady can’t play forever. Grier had a poor Senior Bowl performance but was consistently competitive throughout his college career. Bill Connelly gave Grier good marks in his “success rate” metric for ranking a QB in terms for advancing on 3rd downs and making plays when they count.

U. of Minnesota Safety, Jacob Huff – Huff excelled as both a run-stop safety and in pass coverage, grading out in the top ten of both categories according to ProFootballFocus.com. His playing weight is 210 at the University of Minnesota, so Huff wouldn’t have to bulk up for the NFL. Huff batted down 7 passes, intercepted 2 passes, and forced 2 fumbles during his senior season. Overall Huff performed well throughout the season. During his 13 game senior season, Jacob Huff as the leader of the Minnesota Golden Gophers defense allowed a QBR (score out of max 100) of 54.64 between the 13 starting QBs he faced. That score ranks between Mason Fine of North Texas (#73/128) and Desmond Ridder of Cincinnati (#74/128). Huff faced some serious high level QB talent in first rounder Dwayne Haskins (OSU), Nate Stanley (Iowa), Adrian Martinez (Nebraska), and David Blough (Purdue) throughout the season. I contend Huff performed at a high level on a defense without tons of high level talent around him unlike, say,  safety Taylor Rapp at Washington who functioned as part of an elite defense or Deionte Thompson who played for the fearsome Crimson Tide Defense.

Penn State QB, Trace McSorley – McSorley had a nightmare senior season, completing 53% of his passes and a career low 7.0 (counting full time starter seasons) yards per attempt. In fairness to McSorley, Penn State lost starters Mike Gesicki (Tight End), Daesean Hamilton (wide receiver), and pass-catching fiend Saquon Barkley to the NFL. McSorley also had the #1 drop rate (10%) of receivers in division one college football. If we give McSorley an average drop rate (4%) instead, his completion percentage looks like 59%, which while still a far cry from the 66% he posted in his junior season, is much more forgivable than 53%. McSorley is extremely productive as a runner with over 700 yards rushing and 12 rushing touchdowns (career highs). Against THE Ohio State University, McSorley only completed half of his passes (16/32), for two touchdowns (0 INT), but roasted the Buckeyes defense for 175 yards on the ground with 25 carries. While McSorley likely will need an offense that’s maybe more QB-friendly (Chargers, Giants) but has the deep ball (PFF ranking of 10/53 eligible QBs in average depth of target, how deep a receiver is on the field when pass is thrown) and athleticism to be worth the gamble of a 4-6 round selection.

Utah State RB, Darwin Thompson – The 5’8″ 200-lber averaged 6.9 yards a carry at Utah State. Thompson’s low center of gravity can actually be an asset if we go back and look at the successful careers of Warrick Dunn and Maurice Jones-Drew. Thompson created substantial yards after the carry. Thompson forced 48 missed tackles on 151 handoffs, (PFF.com’s NFL draft guide, subscription required). So on just under one third of Thompson’s carries, he forced a missed tackle. Running backs are undervalued by the nature of playing a in pass-friendly league, and Darwin Thompson who didn’t even get a  combine invite will likely go overlooked in favor of large edge rushers and slot receivers. Thompson didn’t play at a larger program but has shown about as much as a running back can show in order to be a strong NFL prospect.

Northern Illinois EDGE, Sutton Smith – The undersized small school prospect excelled at both stopping the run and pressuring opposing quarterbacks (Top 25% ranking in run-stop percentage and pressures generated according to PFF.com NFL draft report). Smith showed up at the combine weighing in at 233 and ran an unconvincing 4.69 40 for a smaller pass-rusher. Smith may have to get his start on an NFL squad as a special teams contributor. Where Sutton Smith does show up is actual, real football. He sacked the ultra-athletic Utah QB Tyler Huntley twice in a performance where Northern Illinois was over-matched talent-wise and coaching-wise. 230-lb Sutton Smith sacked 6’7″, 245-lb Tyree Jackson twice in the MAC championship game. He can clearly compete against high level athletes despite his size and sub-par 40 time. Smith’s performance at Northern Illinois is no guarantee of success at the NFL level, but his ability to perform at a fundamental level against “better” talent suggests he can do the same at the pro level.

San Diego State WR, Fred Trevillion – Trevillion’s sample size at SDSU is smaller (22 catches, 598 yards, 27.2 yards per catch, 3 TDs) but he shows clear promise as a deep threat receiver in the vein of Brandin Cooks or Josh Gordon. Trevillion stands at 6’2″ but weighed in at 182 on his pro day, so he may struggle with strong press coverage. For those who value the 40 time, Trevillion ran a low-4.4 40 at his pro day (according to draftanalyst.com).  With the success of slot receivers in New England, more teams may be looking for a slot receiver, Trevillion didn’t make a name for himself as a slot receiver at SDCCU Stadium. In a pass-heavy offense, like in New Orleans, Kansas City, or Chicago Trevillion can be an extremely valuable deep threat as a mid to late round player.

 

 

Here’s what we know:

  • The Giants are clearly still a bad team even with Odell Beckham on the roster.
  • Championship teams don’t use superstar wide receivers to win (Patriots, Eagles, Seahawks, Broncos)
  • Odell Beckham’s blue-chip talent is being wasted away on an offense that uses the short-middle passing game, which he himself acknowledged during the 2018 season
  • The Giants need to find an elite QB in order to become relevant again. Elite QBs don’t need elite wide receivers to thrive. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Baker Mayfield, Phillip Rivers, Andrew Luck all performed consistently without stud wide receivers.

The Giants would not have gotten the value that a first, a third and safety Jabrill Peppers will give them if Beckham remained on the roster. Odell would have been an elite receiver stuck on a team that is either bad or otherwise doesn’t properly utilize him, like Larry Fitzgerald with the Cardinals. With two first round picks, the Giants can try to trade up for Kyler Murray if they feel the need, or more likely will try to trade back and set themselves up for a juicy 2020 QB draft class with Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa and Georgia QB Jake Fromm becoming draft eligible.

Counter argument: “Dave, the Giants should restructure their offense to take advantage of what Beckham does well, not trade him.”

That’s certainly a move teams have made in the past. If the player is talented enough, the coach might says: “Let’s change up our scheme to maximize what we can get out of this player.”  Former Denver OC Mike McCoy famously did this with the Broncos during the Tim Tebow glory days. (Though that move more revolved around having Tebow do less of what he was bad at than doing more of what he’s great at.) This might actually work if the Giants were rolling with Dwayne Haskins or Josh Rosen at QB. At thirty-eight years old, Eli Manning is not likely to be the best fit for a downfield passing attack. You could then point the finger at the Giants’ front office for not having an appropriate successor to the QB crown (which I agree is a fair criticism). Dak Prescott fell to round three and became the starter for division foe Dallas while the Giants drafted poor team fits like Eli Apple and Davis Webb to build their roster. But that’s not the situation that’s happening now. Right now, in 2019, with a west coast style passing attack and a thirty eight year old quarterback, converting a powerful deep-threat receiver into precious draft capital is better long-term move considering the Giants waited three years too late to find a replacement at Quarterback.

The Giants did right by Odell by releasing him from Football Prison onto a roster with a competent QB and a real shot at the playoffs. Beckham repeatedly showed frustration with the outcome of the 2018 season after going from 11-5 in ’16 to 3-13 in ’17 with largely the same roster. The Giants were no longer using him for what made him famous-setting him up to burn defenders deep downfield.

The Browns on the other hand desperately needed a “true number one” receiver, or rather just a receiver who will reliably catch the football. Plus, Baker has a deep ball for years that will outlast Odell’s ability to catch deep balls.

No one likes to see the best player on their team get traded away. Raiders fans raged through the night as Khalil Mack was shipped off for two first round picks. Watching your team win five games a year with a couple of superstars on each side of the ball may be appealing to some, but general managers want to give their teams a chance to consistently compete every season, which the Giants did not have at the start of 2018, and are closer to now.

“Is Josh Rosen our quarterback? Yeah, he is, right now, for sure,” Keim said.” (Kevin Patra, NFL.com)

I thought only of this exchange:

Person: “Hey babe, do you love me?”

Significant Other: “Yeah I do. For right now. LOL”

The most benevolent (to Steve Keim) explanation for this quote from Keim is that it’s a smokescreen from the Cardinals GM to provoke trade offers from potential QB-needy teams lower in the draft. The surface-level interpretation of the quote could mean Rosen will soon be replaced come April.

Murray’s a much more complete passer than Rosen stats-wise (Rosen’s 2017 vs Murray’s 2018) while competing against at LEAST as difficult a schedule in the Big 12 than Rosen in the Pac-12. Personally, I believe the Cardinals storyline makes little sense to hire Kliff Kingsbury and hold on to Josh Rosen when Kyler Murray is openly available, but then, at one point it almost made sense for the Cowboys to draft Johnny Manziel instead of Zack Martin. If the Cardinals roll the dice on Murray at One overall, the first handful of picks may look like this:

  1. Arizona – Kyler Murray
  2. San Francisco – Quinnen Williams (SF has two first rounders starting at Edge right now)
  3. Oakland (Trade with Jets) – Nick Bosa (Oakland has the league’s worst pass rush)
  4.  New York Jets – Josh Allen (Allen plays at outside linebacker and is a better scheme fit for what Jets are doing.
  5. Tampa Bay – Andre Dillard – Getting a left tackle who can pass-block is pretty damn important. Jawaan Taylor, Jonah Williams and Greg Little are sexy tackles when it comes to measurables, but Dillard grades out at the best pass-protecting tackle in the top group of college tackles according to the nerds at PFF.  Washington State throws the ball a ton and Dillard performed well during his time there.
  6. New York Giants – Dwayne Haskins – There is zero need to overthink this. The Giants should have drafted a QB three years ago.
  7. Jacksonville – Ed Oliver – Maybe the Jaguars sign Nick Foles, or trade for Josh Rosen. As much of as need they have here, Oliver is a really JUICY prospect and the Jags don’t need to reach for Daniel Jones here.
  8. Detroit – Rashan Gary – Admittedly a copout selection Gary could hypothetically play Tackle or End for Detroit depending on if DaShawn Hand works out as Ansah’s replacement or not. Gary’s been praised for his inconsistent if awe-inspiring athleticism for a 280-lb human being.
  9. Buffalo – Christian Wilkins – The Bills are paying enormous sums of money to Star Lotulelei to be an okay defensive tackle. Wilkins has demonstrated effectiveness to stop the run and consistently pressure the quarterback.
  10. Denver – Greedy Williams – Denver may draft a passer but has the luxury of waiting for a deeper class in 2020 with Tua Tagovailoa and Jake Fromm who will be draft eligible.

Just like my post-college life, that mock draft spiraled out of control pretty damn fast. It also leaves many questions unanswered. Who would the Cardinals trade Josh Rosen to? Will the Jaguars ACTUALLY sign N̶a̶p̶o̶l̶e̶o̶n̶ ̶D̶y̶n̶a̶m̶i̶t̶e̶ Nick Foles to a fat contract only to see him turn into the 2018 version of Case Keenum? If the Cardinals don’t draft Murray, how far would he drop? How could Steve Keim look at this face and not envision the future of his franchise?josh-rosen

Find out the answer to all of these questions and MORE on the next episode of NFL Football (now with 29% fewer concussions).

 

Today’s song: Wonder by Adventure Club featuring The Kite String Tangle

 

Texans coach Bill O’Brien has had only one losing season in his five years as head coach in the NFL. Good for him. He also has a 1-3 playoff record including a 7-21 loss to the ragtag Indianapolis Colts (AT HOME). The Colts leaned on castoffs like Eric Ebron, Margus Hunt and Pierre Desir who underperformed at their old teams and thrived in their roles in Indianapolis. The Colts don’t have a strong ground game. They don’t have a true number two wide receiver. They have a rookie head coach.

O’Brien has a career coaching record of 42-38 (.525). For reference, Jim Harbaugh has an NFL coaching record of 44-19-1 (.695) and Wade Phillips (Rams DC) 82-64 (.562). The real measuring stick here for O’Brien isn’t his regular season record. It’s postseason success. The Texans have a slew of star players on both sides of the ball. Beating the Colts at home should be a cake walk for this organization.

2019 won’t get any easier for Houston. While the Jaguars are no longer a threat, the Titans arguably improved from last year going 9-7 on a cupcake schedule to 9-7 this season a schedule that’s more middle of the road. The Colts are obviously back on track as well. The Texans won the AFC South but that doesn’t mean a thing if they get knocked out by their baby brother in the wild card match-up. O’Brien was hand picked by former Texans GM Rick Smith, so Brian Gaine, Smith’s replacement may decide to bring in a face he feels is a better fit for his vision of the team. Firing a head coach after a 12-4 season may seem questionable on the surface, but O’Brien is 1-3 in the postseason and has one of the more talented rosters available. Bill O’Brien is shaping up to be the 2018 version of Jeff Fisher with a barely above 500 record.

Young names like Kliff Kingsbury or Lincoln Riley may be more available than previously let on if the price is right.

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Another team was scheduled to play the Playoff Nick Foles Eagles’ this season. Although I will say this may have been a closer match-up than it at first appeared as Chicago had one of the softest schedules in the NFL. Defending the Matt Nagy/Trubisky duo didn’t seem to be too tough for the Eagles’ severely injured secondary. Thirty-five year old Darren Sproles will be healthy to face his former team in New Orleans next week. A rematch of a game that saw the Saints dropping a forty-burger and only allowing one score against Philly. Logic would dictate that Drew Brees and Sean Payton should win this contest by just doing their Saints thing. But Logic has not been in the building for some time now and my undying need to doubt Nick Foles only seems to make him stronger. 

If you watched football in the 2000s you’ll remember Chargers/Patriots games involving overly talented Chargers teams losing to old man Troy Brown on freak-accident fumble recovery plays. We have another Chargers/Patriots game with two QBs who are salty and mentally unhinged in their own special way.

Take care of yourself. I love you.