Archive for the ‘New entries’ Category

George Paton and the Denver Broncos have one of the most talented rosters in Football. Broncos QB Drew Lock has been most specifically NOT the dude since being drafted. Whether he’s not a fit for Pat Shurmur’s quick pass offense or he’s just not starter material, Denver remains in the market for a franchise quarterback. Denver traded for journeyman Teddy Bridgewater who may be more of a fit for Denver’s offense, but hasn’t flashed big game potential since his rookie season. Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will be familar with Teddy from their time in Minnesota (2016-’17), though Teddy was injured for nearly that entire time Shurmur was with the Vikings.

Denver stayed at pick nine and found Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Alabama’s Mac Jones available, two of the draft’s biggest names at quarterback. They chose to draft Patrick Surtain II, and roll with Lock and Bridgewater. Denver will return stud wide receiver Courtland Sutton who missed 15 games last year, who may elevate the offense even with Lock or Bridgewater.

Did Denver have plans to lure Aaron Rodgers out of Green Bay? Are Paton and Elway out of their ***damned minds? If the plan was to draft a passer in 2022, they should have traded down, aggressively so, to get a first rounder next season. Surtain’s a fine value pick, but Denver will just win 6 games next season if they don’t find a way to elevate the passing offense. Trading for Rodgers or Deshaun Watson would be the M. Night Shyamalan twist ending that would keep Elway on staff for another decade, but there is little occurring right now to suggest such a trade will take place. Elway has been heavily criticized on whiffing on QBs in the past like Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch, so while I can appreciate the hesitation to take anyone but a “sure thing” at QB, Elway may not have tons of time left before Mr. Bowlen relieves him of his duties.

It’s still unclear what caused Fields to drop as far as he did. His throwing motion? A couple of bad interviews? The decision to pass on Fields and Jones is even more curious. Denver didn’t even draft a late/mid round quarterback, implying they are confident about their QB room.

The only ending to the story that makes Paton/Elway look smart is getting Aaron Rodgers.

The Aaron Rodgers story feels like a non story that’s dressed up by the Pat McAfees of the world (God bless you Pat McAfee) to fill the hours between the draft and the regular season. Some months ago, Russell Wilson seemed destined to part ways with Seattle after bashing his offensive line and repeatedly saying how many times he’d been sacked as a Seahawk. But apparently that’s all in the past and Wilson and Pete Carroll have kissed and made up. Rodgers reportedly compared Brian Gutekunst to Jerry Krause of the Bulls MJ era. This seems specific enough to be believable, but most people don’t really love their boss. I’ve said much worse than that about my bosses in my past jobs. I appreciate that Packers GM Brian Gutekunst stuck to his guns instead of caving to Rodger’s supposed demands to draft a wide receiver.

*Aaron Rodgers demands trade if Green Bay doesn’t start taking his advice, draft receivers in first round*

Packers Executive: “What do you think Boss? Elijah Moore is available, and he’d be great on this offense!”

Brian Gutekunst: “We’re drafting Eric Stokes.”

Packers Executive: “But what abo-“

Gutekunst: *Throws beer bottle across the room* “WE’RE DRAFTING STOKES!”

Rodgers has since sat out of minicamp, so him sitting out for the season or going to Denver is slightly more likely now. DeShaun Watson has reportedly also expressed interest in being traded to Denver, but he has to prove he can avoid prison first. If Watson wants to get traded anywhere, it should be the Las Vegas Raiders, where prostitution is legal.

In Conclusion:

Drew Lock will probably “put it all together” and have a career year, because that’s what happened with Buffalo’s Swell Guy Josh Allen, and I thought Allen sucked. Jerry Jeudy didn’t quite play up to the level of some of his peers, dropping more passes than expected, and Lock will be getting his best receiver, Courtland Sutton back in ’21. They also drafted Quinn “The Belly” Meinerz (who had a great senior bowl in practice) to compete for their starting center position, where Lloyd Cushenberry has struggled.

Rodgers will probably return to practice with Green Bay at some point, he probably just wants to stay home and get high because he’s a 37 year old millionaire who feels he’s earned it. He’s not publicly demanded a trade like Watson has.

DeShaun Watson will inevitably settle out of court with all of his plaintiffs, the criminal charges will get dropped, and he will get traded to the Eagles or some QB desperate team and as long as he keeps being a star QB, eventually the fans will forget about the lawsuits. Like we did with Tyreek Hill, Ray Lewis, Richie Incognito, etc.

That’s Football.

Song of the Post is Flow State (Spoken word with Elena Brower) – Above and Beyond

  • With former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and former 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur, the Jets are the 49ers East. They can be expected to run the same offense and defense that San Francisco has been running.
  • BYU’s loss to Coastal Carolina showed Zach Wilson’s toughness against an aggressive pass rush. This is an environment New York will be facing often in 2021, with well coached AFC East pass rushers and a bottom half pass protecting unit. Against Coastal Carolina, Wilson had less time to find receivers operated like (in my opinion) like Steve McNair quickly finding open receivers and keeping his team in the game.
  • Saleh’s mastery in getting the most out of an average defense and the same offensive scheme that helped Aaron Rodgers have an MVP season in 2020 sets up New York with plenty of optimism for the future. Mobile QBs have given Saleh’s defenses fits in the past. Newcomer Jarrad Davis should be great as a spy in key matchups against Buffalo’s Josh Allen or New England’s Cam Newton. The Jets already have a great run defense with Quinnen Williams and Folorunso Fatukasi, Saleh’s challenge will be finding high level starters in the secondary.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo was serviceable, sometimes GREAT (when healthy) in this scheme. BYU passer Zach Wilson is expected to have stronger overall fundamentals and great Manziel-esque playmaking ability that Jimmy hasn’t displayed at a high level recently. The ceiling for the Jets offense is already much higher with the marriage of Zach Wilson’s “toolbox” and the run heavy, play action centric nature of LaFleur’s playcalling.
  • The Jets’ offensive line is less complete than the 49ers, with starters with Mekhi Becton and Alijah Vera Tucker and question marks every where else. As of 6/8/2021, the Jets had met with Morgan Moses, but no agreement between the two parties had been reached. Moses has been a top run blocker in Washington and a solid pass protector, a huge get for NY if they signed him. While Douglas has taken steps to improve this group, the line looks like it’s a season or two away from being an above average group. Wilson was at his best at BYU with great pass protection, and his development will likely hinge on his line’s ability to protect him.
  • Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, and now Elijah Moore give the Jets an actually very promising, young receiving group (Jamison Crowder is currently holding out).
  • UDFA tight end Kenny Yeboah (teammates with early pick Elijah Moore) blew up on Alabama’s defense for 181 yards and two scores. Yeboah has experience blocking but needs to grow in this area to make the roster where running will be so crucial.
  • The Jets corners specifically are pretty bad. They might get gashed this season if the cornerback talent overall does not improve. They spent five late (5th and 6th) round picks on safeties and cornerbacks. This is a team that should sign Richard Sherman.
  • The Jets front seven (or six in nickel) looks competitive after signing Carl Lawson and returning Quinnen Williams. This would be C.J. Mosley’s first fully healthy season since 2018 if he stays healthy this year.

The Jets don’t look like a 12-5 team right now, but the pieces are being assembled for future seasons. Wilson doesn’t need to be perfect right away for this team to take a big leap from 2-14, he just needs to protect the ball and stay healthy. The Jets can win eight or nine game in 2021. Their schedule in 2020 was tough as nails, and they have Houston, Jacksonville, and Cincinnati this season. Miami, who 2-0’d New York last season (and stomped on San Francisco 43-17) did so with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chan Gailey at OC. Both of whom are no longer with the team. I feel with the Jets already strong run defense and play calling switching from A C T U A L Gregg Williams to Robert Saleh, New York will be able to handle Tua’s Dolphins and many other mid-level teams as Coach Saleh and young Zach Wilson progress in their respective roles.

Song of the post – “She’s the one” – Arkasia

I really wanted to write more, my posts are always really short. I don’t have more words without covering whole, other topics or just adding fluff. I have too much fluff as it is. Don’t skip on the song, Arkasia’s a good one.

It’s been a wild 12 months in NFL Land. Many stories have flown under the radar because of all of Covid, Deshaun Watson, Tompa Bay, etc. I want to touch on some of the more recent developments that I believe will become real storylines once the 2021 season starts.

Philadelphia Eagles signed Wake Forest passer Jamie Newman as an undrafted free agent. Newman was an early draft favorite entering the 2020 college football season before curiously opting out of the 2020 season after transferring to Georgia. The Eagles will want to see what they have in Jalen Hurts in ’21 season, but would be foolish not to give Newman some snaps in the preseason to see what he looks in some kind of competitive environment. Newman earned praise for his huge arm and mobility at Wake Forest.

Vikings draft Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond in 3rd round, may supplant veteran starter Kirk Cousins if Cousins experiences another rough stretch. The Vikings owe Kirk a substantial amount of money so cutting or trading him seems out of the question for two more season, but that’s what I thought about Carson Wentz and Philadelphia. The Vikings attempted to trade up, possibly for Justin Fields.

Carolina Panthers signed Northwestern standout linebacker Paddy Fisher. Fisher’s best performances came in his earlier years (2017, 2018). Fisher has ideal size (6’4″, 240) and was a 4 year starter at Northwestern. The undrafted free agent joins a young, aggressive panthers defense.

Balitimore signed undrafted free agent Kenji Bahar, 5 year quarterback out of FCS Monmouth University. Briefly watching some of his plays, Bahar has a big arm and can send the ball far with seemingly little effort. Bahar was clearly underrecruited at Monmouth. Ravens do a great job of sniffing out underrated talent every year. It’s not likely Bahar will see the field barring a Lamar Jackson injury, he may be worth a watch if he gets on the field in preseason. Bahar didn’t have the most complex defenses in the FCS, but showed solid fundamentals and a strong arm and if he can develop anywhere, would develop in Baltimore. Bahar has athleticism, but did most of his damage through the air.

Lovie Smith has returned to the NFL, as the defensive coordinator for the Texans. Lovie went 81-63 as the Bears head coach, including a super bowl berth with literal Human Garbage Rex Grossman. The Bears haven’t had a good coach since. Unless you want to include Matt “8-8” Nagy. If nothing else, Smith will maximize the remaining talent on the stripped Texans defense.

Unless something changes, New Orleans is plowing ahead with Jameis Winston as their presumptive starter for 2021. I believed Jameis would stop in town for New Orleans on his way to a new destination like Chicago or Jacksonville. The Saints were comfortable drafting other positions early in the draft and moving forward with Jameis and Hill. With Brees’ retirement, Winston is the next man up. New Orleans drafted Notre Dame Senior Ian Book in the fourth round, who will have an opportunity to show off his moves to Sean Payton and the Saints brass. Book had a solid if unspectacular career in South Bend, maybe New Orleans’ Jarrett Stidham. This will be the first time since 2005 that the Saints will open the regular season without Drew Brees as their starting QB.

The Eagles offensive line, once among the most dominant in the league has been an injured mess for the past two seasons. Philadelphia has had multiple holes in their roster, choosing to draft DeVonta Smith over RaShawn Slater in round one. Overall they drafted one interior offensive lineman (Landon Dickerson, Alabama C) and signed two UDFAs, Harry Crider (Indiana C), and Kayode Awosika (Buffalo OT) to compete for a role if they are injury plagued yet again. New head coach Nick Sirianni had an elite group of blockers as the offensive coordinator at Indianapolis and will likely need the same in Philadelphia to execute any kind of game plan.

Notable free agents include: OT Morgan Moses, CB Richard Sherman, FS Earl Thomas, DE/OLB Melvin Ingram, OT Mitchell Schwartz, C Austin Reiter, OLB Justin Houston.

Adam Gase is somehow not an NFL head coach, nor an Alabama offensive coordinator
STOLEN IMAGE ALERT: Liberty QB Malik Willis has caught the eye of some high level talent evaluators, including Jordan Reid who described Willis as having “arm arrogance.” Under Willis, Liberty went 10-1, their only loss a 14-15 game against NC State.
Aaron Donald looks like he is part of an advanced humanoid species that will kill and eat the current batch of genetically fat, lazy and generally inferior human beings.
Iowa State’s Matt Campbell reportedly turned down a gigantasaurus contract to be the Detroit Lions head coach.
Gardner Minshew has a nice headband, but no one cares. ūüė¶

It will be okay.

Song of the post is Adventure Club remix of MS MR’s “Hurricane”

Post Draft Storylines

AFC Heavyweight Pittsburgh Steelers after being knocked out of the playoffs by AFC North little brother Cleveland Browns, did not draft or sign a quarterback to compete with Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger struggled at the end of the 2020 regular season and in their loss to Cleveland in the playoffs. The Steelers have the toughest PROJECTED strength of schedule for 2021. This may be the first in a chain of events leading to a rearranging of the AFC North dominance hierarchy. Pittsburgh has been near or at the top of that division for decades.

Kansas City, who lost in the SuperBowl primarily because of injured offensive line issues, traded for Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown, signed All Pro guard Joe Thuney from New England, and drafted Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey. Kansas City will also be returning Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a 2020 opt-out who may have played a pivotal role in the 2020 SuperBowl. I have Kansas City as my top overall team right now.

The Miami Dolphins will have one first round selection in 2022 (from the 49ers) and have thrown all of their chips into the Tua Tagovailoa basket. Tua looked promising, but was benched multiple times for veteran passer Ryan Fitzpatrick late in games. Seeing Justin Herbert have tremendous success, the pressure is on for Grier and Flores to make the Tua pick look like a smart move. Fitzpatrick is now the presumptive starter in Washington. Miami’s depth chart at wide receiver now includes first round Alabama standout Jaylen Waddle and former Texans speedster Will Fuller. Former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is no longer with the organization, as Brian Flores has two co-offensive coordinators in George Godsey and Eric Studesville. While other clubs have a run game coordinator and a pass game coordinator in addition to an offensive coordinator, Miami is the only NFL team with two co-offensive coordinators.

The stars are beginning to align for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. With a healthy offensive line and Dak Prescott, Dallas looks to be substantially more competitive than they were in 2020. The Cowboys spent several draft picks on defensive players, including Penn State ‘backer Micah Parsons. This change along with bringing in Dan Quinn, a more veteran/proven defensive play-caller set Dallas up for a like 11+ win season in 2021. It’s worth mentioning Dallas has the easiest projected strength of schedule (just ahead of Philadelphia) which should help Dallas in the wins department.

Dallas drafted three cornerbacks, two of whom are 6’4″. It’s not clear whether Dan Quinn had input in these selections, Quinn having spent time in Seattle with tall corners Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner in their prime. Nahshon Wright of Oregon State and Israel Mukuamu of South Carolina were mid/late round selections who clearly stood out to Jerry for their size, should challenge for a starting role on a struggling defense.

The Houston Texans will have a first round pick in 2021, they have not had a first round selection in three of the past four seasons. A new head coach and a journeyman vet like Tyrod Taylor would provide Nick Caserio, David Culley and Houston with the perfect cover to soft tank for an elite QB in the ’22 draft. Right now Spencer Rattler and Sam Howell look like the two top prospects at the position, but Joe Burrow and Kyler Murray have taught us that a lot can change in only one season.

Houston may have found a gem in defensive coordinator hire Lovie Smith. It is my opinion that Lovie Smith was done wrong by the Chicago Bears after being fired in a season they went 10-6, and then being displaced for Dirk Koetter, who never accomplished much with his opportunity. Smith should really turn that defense around, albeit they are short on talent to do so. Texans OC Tim Kelly survived regime changes, so one would expect the Texans’ style of offense to remain the same overall. Culley spent time in Baltimore and may want Houston to run the football more as a result.

OPINION: Trey Lance is NOT pro ready, but has exciting potential

I’ve changed my tune on Trey Lance. After watching his dropbacks against 4 teams (Montana State, Illinois State, James Madison and Central Arkansas) I am less confident in Trey Lance’s future in the NFL. Trey Lance threw ten passes in North Dakota State’s championship game against James Madison, winning 28-20. The 49ers will not provide him the luxury of throwing ten passes and barreling down the middle for 5 yard gains against 1-AA talent in the NFC West. He has a high completion percentage, but many of his passes are quick, high percentage passes that would be very difficult for an NFL backup to not complete. He also had the benefit of having a 6’4″ wide receiver in Christian Watson who often found himself wide open from the games I watched.

Lance does have some likeable qualities. He has a cannon arm and will sometimes complete a beautiful deep ball on the run. Lance occasionally made what I would consider a “tight window” throw. It is clear Lance is being drafted based on his potential and not on his current passing prowess. Unless the 49ers plan on switching to some kind of Mike McCoy/Tim Tebow offense like the Broncos ran in 2011, their best bet is to hope Jimmy can stay healthy and to keep him on the roster unless Lance proves he is ready. Lance is an exciting player to watch, it is my opinion that Mac Jones was more accurate in actual downfield, air yards throws, played against NFL caliber defensive players and even threw more often than Tua did with Alabama in previous seasons.

I understand Lance’s supporters will point to his pre snap calling of protections and calling audibles as evidence for his pro readiness. I fully believe Trey Lance is a smart person, lots of smart people have failed at the professional level. Ryan Fitzpatrick graduated from Harvard and didn’t become relevant in the NFL scene until 12 years into his career. Kellen Moore was a super smart quarterback who couldn’t PLAY quarterback, Dallas found more use out of him as a coach, where he is now one of the league’s top offensive coordinators. Young quarterbacks fail not because they are not smart, they fail because their work ethic, discipline, and determination do not matchup with the extremely high bar set from the likes of Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson.

As a 49ers fan I hope Lance becomes the player John Lynch and company envision him being, I feel we’re a long way from that day.

Jacksonville – Trevor Lawrence

New York Jets – Justin Fields – I am the only on on the planet who believes the Jets will draft Justin Fields. Zach Wilson has already called three former Jets QBs suggesting Joe Douglas will draft him at 2 overall. I can’t make sense in my head that the Jets will want an injury prone, small school QB behind that offensive line. Justin Fields is a leader. He’s a big play QB. I acknowledge the likelihood of this selection is very low, but I can’t base my mock draft selections strictly off of reports. Certainly the Jets would have no reason to smokescreen their pick, but they have no reason to tell everyone either. This is the only pick that makes any sense at all to me.

San Francisco – Zach Wilson, BYU QB – Wilson is an efficient passer, and the 49ers have the blocking scheme to protect and let him do his work. Supposedly John Lynch and Co. like Trey Lance here. I personally feel all of these top five QBs can be great if given enough time in one system to become good.

Atlanta – Trey Lance, NDSU QB – Arthur Smith, new Falcons coach, made his name most recently by turning Ryan Tannehill from a bust into a high level starting QB. Trey Lance is a high tools, smart guy who just needs experience. The Falcons would drool over what he can do. They can sit him as long as they want, Ryan’s under contract for three more seasons. I believe Terry Fontenot would jump at the opportunity to draft Lance with everything he’s shown he can do, even with his limited passing experience.

Cincinnati – Penei Sewell, Oregon OT – Burrow already lost some rookie season games to injury, and he was actually connecting well with the receivers they have on the roster. I’m sure he’ll want Ja’Marr Chase, Mike Brown is an old school guy who may believe the games are won and lost on the line of scrimmage and I believe he will see this draft as an opportunity to get some slam dunk offensive tackles and still get quality receivers later in the draft.

Miami – Kyle Pitts, UF TE – Chris Grier does a great job of not overthinking his selections and drafting for value. This has served them well so far. Pitts has been lauded as the gem of the draft.

Detroit – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU WR – The Lions have a need at wide receiver with Kenny Golladay gone, Chase is the best wide receiver in the draft.

Carolina – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR – I could see Rashawn slater being the pick here. Facing Tampa Bay twice a year makes me think OC Joe Brady will want firepower to keep up. Waddle helped Tua Tagovailoa and likely Mac Jones become first round picks.

Denver – Mac Jones, Alabama QB – I feel Mac gets unfairly criticized for his team and looks. He throws the ball well. He’ll have a great setup in Denver, the Broncos could be a legit playoff team if they have an above average quarterback next year.

Dallas – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama CB – Teammates with current Cowboy Trevon Diggs, Surtain is seen by many as the top corner in the draft as Farley’s had some injury(back) issues and now even has COVID. Should fit Dan Quinn’s defense well with physical play at Alabama.

New York Giants – Devonta Smith, Alabama WR – Smith is the first Heisman trophy winner to not play QB since seemingly forever. Signing Kenny Golladay suggests Gettleman is now willing to invest in receivers, and Smith would give Daniel Jones every chance to take the next step, 166 lbs be damned.

Philadelphia – RaShawn Slater, Northwestern OT – Former first rounder Andre Dillard has not been healthy and keeping Jalen Hurts upright will be important if they want to see what they have in him. They could also go corner here, with Jaycee Horn or Asante Samuel Jr. The Eagles have invested in LOS positions in the past highly.

LA Chargers – Christian Darrisaw, VA. TECH OT – Darrisaw is a balanced, physical blocker who should run block and has done well in pass protection as well. The Chargers have a gaping need at offensive line generally and Darrisaw played well in 2020.

Minnesota – Jaycee Horn, SC CB – Horn’s one of the top man corners in the draft, Mike Zimmer openly complained about lack of defensive talent on the roster after getting plowed by Alvin Kamara for 6 rushing touchdowns against the Saints who they normally bully. Horn took Seth Williams completely out of the game against Auburn, he should do well in Minnesota.

New England – Greg Newsome II, Northwestern CB – Newsome helped Justin Fields look bad in the 2020 OSU/Northwestern game. Newsome still cracks six feet, and Belichick tends to like his defensive backs tall. I could maybe see Trevon Moehrig or Jamar Johnson here.

Arizona – Alijah Vera Tucker, USC OL – Vera Tucker comes from an offensive scheme very similar to what Kingsbury is running in Arizona. While he started at left tackle in 2020, many expect Tucker to start at guard. Arizona’s weakness is Kyler Murray’s health. I expect offensive line to be a priority for Arizona, and Vera Tucker could reasonably start at guard or tackle on this line.

Las Vegas – Teven Jenkins, OKST. OL – Jenkins is a great run blocker which will be important to the Raiders. I could see the Raiders liking Jeremiah Owusu Koramoah or one other wide receivers. Gruden and Mayock have had great OL play and I see them making that a priority, Jenkins would be a good value here.

Miami – Micah Parsons, Penn State LB – Parsons is a do it all super athlete linebacker, if teams are comfortable with his off field issues. Flores and Grier would draft him if he is still here, Parsons would immediately be one of the best players on the field.

Washington – Trevon Moehrig, TCU S – Washington’s identity is on defense, and Moehrig is a plus size defensive back who many regard as the top safety in the draft. Washington’s struggled at safety.

Chicago – Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame OL – Notre Dame has been an offensive line factory, and Eichenberg played well in 2020.

Indianapolis – Samuel Cosmi, Texas OT – The Colts are solid all around, they need an offensive tackle to replace Anthony Castonzo. Cosmi has great size and has shown the pass protection and run blocking skills to be up to the task for Indianapolis. The Colts have been elite at offensive line, I would be shocked if this wasn’t a priority for them.

Tennessee – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame LB – JOK had an all pro performance against Clemson in 2020. He lacks ideal size, but he flies around the ball like Troy Polamalu. JOK may be asked to move to safety because of his small size.

New York Jets – Jalen Mayfield, Michigan OT – Mayfield has experience at right tackle and should play well there in the NFL. The Jets know they need to be good on the offensive line, they have holes everywhere except for left tackle.

Pittsburgh – Najee Harris, Alabama RB – Harris is a prototype, all round great runner, pass protector, receiving back. Daniel Jeremiah compared him to Matt Forte. The Steelers need a QB and a left tackle, but they may not see the value in those picks here.

Jacksonville – Jaelan Phillips, Miami DE – Phillips is the top edge rusher and played great in 2020. He has NFL size and pressured the passer more often than stud Gregory Rousseau.

Cleveland – Rondale Moore, Purdue WR – Moore can be versatile and can work with the offense that works best for Baker Mayfield. Moore is crazy fast and even stronger. Think of Moore like a roided up Deebo Samuel.

Baltimore – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota WR – Baltimore needs help at wide receiver. Even if Marquise Brown isn’t the answer for them, they don’t have a lot of help even outside of Brown. Bateman is a burner.

New Orleans – Asante Samuel Jr, FSU CB – Samuel is an elite zone corner in the draft. Even at CB3, Samuel would be a big time defender for New Orleans especially against Tampa Bay. at 5’10”, Samuel isn’t even that small.

Green Bay – Eric Stokes, UGA CB – Stokes has great size and played well at Georgia.

Buffalo – Wyatt Davis, Ohio State OG – If Buffalo wants to run the ball better, they should improve their o-line play. Davis has been a major part of OSU’s dominant rushing offense.

Baltimore – Zaven Collins, Tulsa LB – Collins is a versatile linebacker who can rush the passer or play inside. Collins has a gigantic frame and can move around the defense depending on what Baltimore needs.

Tampa Bay – Elijah Molden, Washington DB – Molden is a smaller corner but he has elite coverage skills. Tampa’s done a great job collecting depth in the secondary, and that depth has helped them to be successful against teams like the Chiefs and the Falcons. Molden is likely a CB3 because of his size, but has top coverage chops and will be more valuable late in the season as injuries begin to pile up.

I was expecting that quarterbacks with more college pass attempts would be better overall QBs, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at least looking at these numbers here. The good/bad QBs are all over the map. Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo are at the higher end of the list but Carson Wentz and Tom Brady are at the lower end of the list. The data’s certainly not complete, I didn’t include many backup or third strings QBs.I was expecting that quarterbacks with more college pass attempts would be better overall QBs, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at least looking at these numbers here. The good/bad QBs are all over the map. Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo are at the higher end of the list but Carson Wentz and Tom Brady are at the lower end of the list. The data’s certainly not complete, I didn’t include many backup or third string QBs.

It does concern me a little bit that Trey Lance has the lowest passes of everyone on the list. I feel the NFL needs to take this as a caution that he needs to go the Buccaneers or Falcons. Where he can sit for two seasons and get a real NFL education. Patrick Mahomes threw almost five times as many passes as Lance did in College and he sat for a year (Minus one late season start). Rodgers threw twice as many passes as Lance and sat for three years. Both of these men are very smart, hard working people, and had a ton more experience than Lance did. Throwing him onto ‘Bad Team X’ like New York or Detroit is setting even the smart, most resilient quarterback up for failure.It does concern me a little bit that Trey Lance has the lowest passes of everyone on the list. I feel the NFL needs to take this as a caution that he needs to go the Buccaneers or Falcons. Where he can sit for two seasons and get a real NFL education. Patrick Mahomes threw almost five times as many passes as Lance did in College and he sat for a year (Minus one late season start). Rodgers threw twice as many passes as Lance and sat for three years. Both of these men are very smart, hard working people, and had a ton more experience than Lance did. Throwing him onto ‘Bad Team X’ like New York or Detroit is setting even the smart, most resilient quarterback up for failure.

I find it interesting that although I would label Alex Smith’s a career a success mostly on number of starts, a quarterback with his performance early on would not likely be given a chance for as long as he was. Dwayne Haskins was cut less than two seasons into his NFL career. Josh Rosen was traded after only one season. NFL franchises are more like day traders and less like ‘buy and hold’ investors in that way it feels to me, at least with quarterbacks. This may explain the aggressive nature in which players fight for fully guaranteed money and other benefits in their contract.

Washington Football Team Tight End Logan Thomas ranks in the top half on this list for passes thrown in college, suggesting Washington should probably move him to Quarterback as it is unlikely he’s very bad compared to other NFL backups with that experience. Eagles tight end Tyree Jackson seems to be a similar story. His completion percentage at Buffalo was less than ideal, but I felt he showed enough that he warrants at minimum a practice squad spot or a 3rd string spot on a proper NFL team assuming he gets reasonable coaching and receiver talent. Being tall and fast may have given them a roster spot when shorter quarterbacks may have been free agents looking for work, of course it could have also pigeonholed them from being granted a long enough leash to fulfill their potential, a leash often longer for early draft picks or free agent trades like Sam Darnold or Jimmy Garoppolo. I have no answers their, only questions.

College Career pass attempts for notable NFL QBs:

Kyler Murray – 519

Mitchell Trubisky – 572

Alex Smith – 587

Dwayne Haskins – 590

Carson Wentz – 612

Cam Newton – 628* (336 from JUCO)

Tom Brady – 638

Ryan Fitzpatrick – 641

Josh Allen – 649

Aaron Rodgers – 665

Tua Tagovailoa – 684

Julian Edelman – 706

Ryan Tannehill – 774

Jacoby Brissett – 839

Sam Darnold – 846

Jameis Winston – 851

Tyrod Taylor – 865

Blake Bortles – 891

Joe Flacco – 942

Joe Burrow – 945

Tyree Jackson – 955

Matthew Stafford – 987

Jalen Hurts – 1047

Lamar Jackson – 1086

Kirk Cousins – 1128

Teddy Bridgewater – 1142

Gardner Minshew – 1168

Dak Prescott – 1169

Robert Griffin III – 1192

DeShaun Watson – 1207

Logan Thomas – 1248

Daniel Jones – 1275

Justin Herbert – 1293

Ben Roethlisberger – 1304

Andy Dalton – 1317

Matt Ryan – 1347

Patrick Mahomes – 1349

Russell Wilson – 1489

Baker Mayfield – 1497

Drew Lock – 1553

Jared Goff – 1568

Derek Carr – 1630

Jimmy Garoppolo – 1668

Case Keenum – 2229

Former QBs

Jamarcus Russell – 797

Andrew Luck – 1064

Philip Rivers – 1087

Eli Manning – 1363

Peyton Manning – 1381

Drew Brees – 1678

WISHFUL THINKING MOCK

Jacksonville – Trevor Lawrence

NY Jets – Justin Fields. Fields was QB2 for a year plus until the hype machine started backing Zach Wilson’s performances against North Alabama and other like powerhouses. Zach struggled with injury and doesn’t react well to pressure. Fields is at least a gamer and his worst performance came against a sneaky NFL talent ridden Northwestern defense. His bonkers performance against Clemson is the best single game performance from a College QB since the Cam Newton Era. Wilson would be speared and eaten alive by a barely functioning organization like the Jets, Fields brings the leadership, competitiveness and his “Hero Ball” play would be a STRENGTH not a weakness in this east coast hellhole.

San Francisco – Zach Wilson – Forget all of those negative things I just typed about Wilson, that was smokescreen nonsense. In all seriousness Wilson CAN be great, but he clearly requires more support than the Jets could give him. The 49ers can give him an easier job to do. He had top notch pass protection at BYU in 2020, and he’ll have that in San Francisco. He would be out with injury by week four in New York.

Atlanta (For Now) – Rashawn Slater, Northwestern – The pick here is ‘supposed’ to be Kyle Pitts. Fontenot is used to New Orleans, an overall class organization. New Orleans has had a strong group up front for several years. Slater’s a technician, he’s CRAZY strong, and he could play any position up front. He’s the best pass protector in the draft, and the Falcons are still a pass first offense.

Cincinnati – Penei Sewell, Oregon – Pitts would make sense here, as would Jamarr Chase. Mike Brown is an old school decision maker, and Cincinnati in its’ heyday was strong on the line of scrimmage. This is the OL draft, and I expect NFL teams to get them while they’re hot. Also the Bengals are unsteady overall on the OL. Sewell would maybe be asked to start at Guard, where he would be maybe the best guard in Football immediately.

Miami – Kyle Pitts, Florida – This would be a wet dream for Miami. They would be happy with Jamarr Chase or Devonta Smith.

Detroit – Ja’Marr Chase, LSU – The Lions just need to draft for value. They might swing on a quarterback, I would expect Brad Holmes to see what Goff looks like in Detroit and just building a team before immediately drafting a QB.

Carolina – DeVonta Smith, Alabama WR – I’m not so sold on Darnold that the Panthers WOULDN’T draft a QB here. I think Lance needs a mentor (not Darnold) and Mac Jones is strongly a personal preference draft pick. Stacking up at wide receiver would be a strong ‘pro-analytics’ move that the Panthers are supposedly more bought in on with a new owner.

Denver – Mac Jones, Alabama QB – The rumors are that the NFL scouting community is higher on Mac Jones than the media types are. I understand that Mac is white, but he’s not a tall, cannon-armed QB like Brock Osweiler or Paxton Lynch. In order to NOT sabotage Trey Lance’s career, Denver would need to sign a veteran/mentor QB like Alex Smith or Teddy Bridgewater AND need the patience to sit Lance for bare minimum one season. The Broncos roster is honestly respectable outside of QB.

Dallas – Caleb Farley, LSU CB – Dallas’ defense clearly needs any help they can get. Top secondary play is key when you’re passing as much as Dallas will be.

NY Giants – Alijah Vera Tucker, USC OL – Tucker would likely be asked to move inside. I think Jaylen Waddle or Patrick Surtain II would make a lot of sense here. Tucker is a versatile lineman who Gettleman would like.

Philadelphia – Jaylen Waddle, Alabama WR – The Eagles are telling themselves they just need a couple of wide receivers to be competitive, and it is a need for them. Waddle might be WR1 in next years’ draft.

LA Chargers – Patrick Surtain II, Alabama CB – The Chargers have long maintained a presence in the secondary. I would expect the best remaining offensive tackle here or the top corner available. Surtain is big game tested and Staley was used to Jalen Ramsey being available with the Rams.

Minnesota – Jaycee Horn, South Carolina CB – Mike Zimmer wants a strong defense, Horn might be the best technician at corner.

New England – Trey Lance, Trey doesn’t fall past here, if he falls to here. Lance’s footwork and throwing mechanics are clean and an old school guy like Bill Belichick will appreciate that. Bill can start Cam as long as he wants until he feels Trey is ready.

Arizona – Rondale Moore, Purdue WR – Moore can lineup in a variety of roles. He lacks ideal height but he was usually the best player on the field while at Purdue and is as strong as an ox.

Las Vegas – Christian Darrisaw, Va Tech OL – Gruden clearly wants to make a statement up front. Darrisaw has some smaller technical flaws, but that’s what coaches get paid to do.

Miami – Micah Parsons, Penn State LB – Parsons can do whatever Flores would ask him to do at a high level.

Washington – Teven Jenkins, OK STATE OL – Jenkins plays with incredible strength and toughness and plays well especially as a run blocker. Ron Rivera has shown a preference for a power run game in the past.

Chicago – Eric Stokes, UGA CB – The Bears need corner help. Stokes allowed 53% completion percentage over his career in the SEC.

Indianapolis – Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame OT – Another Notre Dame bruiser, The Colts need a new left tackle. The Colts has success with Notre Dame lineman Quenton Nelson.

Tennessee – Kwity Paye, Michigan DL – Paye can play at three technique or as an End. The Titans defense was laughably bad in 2020. Paye is the latest Michigan front seven stud.

NY Jets – Asante Samuel Jr, FSU CB – Samuel’s been nothing short of a shutdown corner at Florida State. The Jets badly need O-line help, but that will not likely be a great value pick here.

Pittsburgh – Kellen Mond, Texas A&M QB – This is Ben’s last season, and Pittsburgh may not even want him for 2021. Mond is a rockstar, showed out at the Senior Bowl, Chris Simms who’s been right when others have been wrong really likes Kellen Mond. Mond has started a grip of games in the SEC and keeps the turnovers low. All a great fit for what the Rooneys like in a QB.

Jacksonville – Greg Newsome II, Northwestern CB – Newsome doesn’t have all the ideal measurables of a typical round one corner, but he played a big role in shutting down Ohio State’s passing game. Something Urban surely took note of.

Cleveland – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame linebacker – The Browns don’t have a gaping hole at crucial starting positions like most other teams. JOK is a defensive playmaker and the Browns will find a way to put him on the field.

Baltimore – Terrace Marshall, LSU WR – The Ravens don’t typically draft receivers in the first round. If they want to win playoff games, they’ll need ace in the hole pass game weapons.

New Orleans – Trevon Moehrig, TCU S – The Saints have done a great job here in recent seasons. One of the rare good safety prospects in the draft, they will likely look for receivers in the middle rounds.

Green Bay – Rashod Bateman, Minnesota WR- Green Bay can’t just not draft receivers. Bateman has average height, but that’s not slowed him down in the BIG 10.

Buffalo – Gregory Rousseau, Miami DE – Buffalo wants a better pass rush with their crazy high scoring offense now. Rousseau will come into a great room to learn and grow in.

Kansas City – Brady Christensen, BYU OT – Brady looked really good in 2020, and Reid has had a soft spot for BYU players in the past. Even against the big dogs like USC and UTAH in 2019 Christensen held his own.

Tampa Bay – Milton Williams, LA TECH DT – While not as BIG as Suh, Williams moves incredibly well and could eventually reload at DT when Tampa is ready.

Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Quarterback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fixing the Jets (Again)

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

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

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

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

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

Ron Rivera’s Washington Football Team Stomping into the playoffs

Song of the post is Odesza’s Loyal

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