Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Turnover Machine C.J. Beathard is out for the Thursday Night Football Game of the year contender 49ers/Raiders matchup, so the 1-6 Raiders will face 3rd string QB Nick Mullens tonight at Levi’s Stadium. Mullens might be the best college QB to ever play at Ole Miss and certainly the overall defensive production from Jon Gruden’s squad right now will be slightly lesser than the 3-4 Southern Miss Golden Eagles football team from the prestigious Conference USA.

Recently signed Bills wide receiver Terrelle Pryor happens to have a higher career completion percentage and Passer rating than projected starter Nathan Peterman. Peterman has thrown eighty-one passes in the NFL (regular season) nine of which have been caught by a member of the other team. So he has an eleven percent chance to throw an interception whenever he throws the ball. I’m CONFIDENT the Bills have a chance to beat Chicago this Sunday.

In Miami, rookie passer Sam Darnold of the Jets will face off against Brock “the oz” Osweiler for the Dolphins. Osweiler has a sub-60 career completion percentage in an era where it’s easier than ever to throw the ball and whose level of play at Houston compelled the Texans organization to surrender additional draft picks to trade up for DeShaun Watson. Darnold, who certainly has a high ceiling in the NFL has in his rookie season thrown ten interceptions in eight games and accumulated a QBR rating of 35.4 (out of 100).

I can certainly understand people have strong feelings about racial/social inequality and the treatment of minorities in the U.S. today. For many people Colin Kaepernick represents the problem of a black man not being able to find employment because lesser qualified white men are given priority. I don’t know what it is like to be a minority, or an African-American in a primarily white country.

I do know that Colin Kaepernick performed at a high level between 2012 and 2014, and if that quarterback were on the free agent market he would be a steal for any team without top QB play. But that quarterback is no longer available. A quarterback who failed to eclipse a total QBR of 50 in his last two seasons of play is available. A Quarterback who failed to get more than a PFF rating of 50 in his last two season of NFL play is available. If Cam Newton started kneeling and vehemently denouncing police brutality, he would still have his job. Because Cam Newton can do his job well. Any time a QB throws an interception twitter demands explanations as to why Kaepernick remains unsigned. The Jaguars don’t improve by replacing their bad Quarterback with another bad Quarterback. They have to replace him with a good one.

NFL team ownership has been blamed for Colin’s unemployment in the NFL. Jaguars owner Shahid Khan is himself an immigrant to the United States and is not some rich white guy/white supremacist who hates players kneeling for social justice. He wants his team to be good. And Colin’s not a guy who helps his team be good. So they haven’t signed Colin. Why they’ve continued to trust in Blake is baffling, but that’s for another time.

For the record, I don’t hate Kaepernick, I watched him lead my 49ers to a SuperBowl berth and a narrow loss to Baltimore. I feel I understand players kneel because they believe they are helping impoverished minorities get attention and resources they need to climb out of poverty and depression. Even if you disagree with his strategy, he’s not trying to harm anyone, he’s trying to help people at least from his perspective. But the notion that he should be forced into the NFL because Blake Bortles and Nathan Peterman are bad is not correct in my view. Those teams need to find ACTUAL good Quarterbacks. Not a different kind of bad Quarterback.

In the end I’m probably just an ignorant sack of shit who doesn’t know anything. Here is a highlight reel of Kyler Murray, the best QB in College Football, who is going to play Baseball because he doesn’t want his brain to turn into the pink slime they use to make Taco Bell meat.

Week Eight

Posted: October 21, 2018 in Football, New entries, NFL

Dave so far:

Week (4) 9-6, Week (5) 8-7, (6) 12-3

DEN over ARI – Denver’s suffered some narrow defeats to two of the NFL’s elites: the LA Rams and the Chiefs. As bad as Case Keenum’s been, Denver fields a more complete roster than Arizona. They are running well with Freeman and Lindsay, they have receiving weapons when Keenum does throw well, and the defense is strong at every level. The Cardinals defense is surprisingly competitive and Josh Rosen hasn’t been too bad for a rookie, but the Cardinals haven’t established a rhythm on offense and are the last place rushing team. Expect several field goals. UPDATE: I expected the game to be a low-scoring affair but Denver’s defense recorded multiple pick sixes and Denver UNLOADED on Arizona. Keenum didn’t play terrific football but the defense and ground game more than won the game even if a lesser QB were at the helm.

LAC over TEN – Tennessee has a home game so they technically have a chance. The Chargers have a plus four turnover ratio (Titans have zero), a successful balanced offensive attack and an OKAY defense. The Titans have been particularly vulnerable to the run this season and the Chargers should be able to punish this. The Titans have a chance if they can limit the Chargers to field goals, but Mariota hasn’t shown success in throwing the team back into the game. Rivers has a deep ball threat in Tyrell Williams and can mount a comeback if needs be.

NE over CHI – Chicago looked to be gaining steam until they fell in overtime to Miami and Brock Osweiler. The Bears still field a strong core on defense. The Bears haven’t been consistent on offense and only seem to be able to capitalize against bottom five defenses. The game should be fairly close as the Bears will at worst have a strong defense. The Patriots defense has been reliable since their two early losses and their offense showed they can score early and often against Kansas City. If you subscribe to the “common foe” theory, both of these teams played the Dolphins. The Patriots whooped their ass and the Bears lost to Brock Osweiler. Super Bear Khalil Mack is questionable for this game.

IND over BUF – What an awful game. I don’t want to try and pick a winner here. The Colts this season have been hamstrung by rampant injuries on their defense. They are less injured than normal and get to play at home. Derek Anderson in at QB for Buffalo is a much better option than Nathan Peterman but the Colts offensive line is much better than Houston’s and shouldn’t surrender as many sacks.

JAX over HOU – On the one hand, Houston has a quarterback, two great receivers and some playmakers on defense. On the other hand, Jacksonville has an offensive line, a pretty good defense and home field advantage. Jacksonville is rocking a -9 (Houston -1) turnover ratio, second to last in the NFL. The difference in talent and competitiveness between Jacksonville’s front seven and Houston’s pass protection is expected to be enough to make Jacksonville heavy favorites by people who know more about this type of thing than I do. While Jacksonville is a flawed team, their defense should propel them to a victory over the woeful Texans.

DET over MIA – Lions HC Matt Patricia is very familiar with how Miami does things from his indentured servitude in New England. While Miami deserves credit for rocking a winning record and playing at home, Detroit is a much more stable roster on October 21st. Brock Osweiler rocked the NFL world with a win over the Chicago Bears, but Patricia’s group is not going to fall to a trap game, especially when they are the team with the worse record at this juncture. The Lions can choose to favor the run with Kerryon Johnson and their revamped offensive line or the pass as Matthew Stafford remains one of the league’s better QBs. There’s no remotely scientific explanation for Miami winning a competitive football team right now.

MIN over NYJ – The Jets defense deserves credit for getting them to three wins and Sam Darnold while not always perfect hasn’t been garbage either. The Vikings offense has taken off with Kirk Cousins likely to set franchise passing records this season with Thielen and Diggs playing EXTREMELY well as the top duo of wideouts in the NFL. The Vikings have backslid from their dominance in 2017, they should be able to win by sticking to the script against a rookie QB and rarely effective running backs Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell.

PHI over CAR – Carolina can win football games when they’re establishing a run game rhythm and have an early lead. They didn’t do that last week and tried to pass the whole (3/4ths) of the game and failed in claiming the lead in doing so. If Carson opens the game with a few turnovers, Carolina can score, say, ten points and control the game with Newton, some short passes, and McCaffrey. Carson Wentz is far too talented a passer to do that. The Panthers are a competitive team but the Eagles are more dynamic and can throw when the run is not there, or run when facing extra defensive backs, etc. The Panthers haven’t shown they can reliably do that this season. This could be a preview of a playoff matchup. The Eagles should win this.

TB over CLE – Tampa Bay has an awful defense and we could see Baker’s best game of the year on Sunday. Cleveland has shown grit in close games with heavyweights Pittsburgh and New Orleans but they haven’t been consistent as a unit. Jameis wins the shootout with better weapons that Cleveland simply lacks the depth to cover. Nick Chubb would have to absolutely take the game over for Cleveland to win in Tampa, and he doesn’t have the offensive line play for that to be likely.

BAL over NO – This should be a great game. Drew Brees has certainly been impressive all season but John Harbaugh gets paid the big bucks in part because he’s shown the ability to win chess matches with coaches of Sean Payton’s caliber over the years. The Ravens have excellent depth in the secondary and a strong offensive line which has allowed them to eat the clock when they need. Ravens kicker Justin Tucker can kick it from sixty yards if it gets to that. The Saints offense is elite but their defense hasn’t been dominant like they were in 2017.

WAS over DAL – This almost smells like a tie to me. Washington’s defense should have no problem covering Dallas’s receivers. Dallas defense should also have no problem covering Washington’s backups as Paul Richardson and Jamison Crowder are out. Old timer Redsksin QB Alex Smith has earned his stripes more than Dak Prescott and knows when to throw it away when Dak may still throw an interception in what I expect to be a low scoring game where every PAT counts. It should also be mentioned that the Redskins have a plus four turnover ratio (Cowboys 0), are playing at home, and just outphysicaled (not a real word) a VERY physical Carolina Panthers team last week. Dallas has been great at ATT Stadium but winless on the road.

LAR over SF – San Francisco has no business attempting to win this game. Sure the players naturally want to compete but John Lynch should be wanting his team to be looking forward to 2019. We could see Sean Mannion taking snaps for Los Angeles by the third quarter if both teams are playing in their own best interest. In all seriousness, San Francisco has imitated a competitive team after CJ Beathard has taken over. If Sean McVay gets caught looking ahead to Green Bay, this could be a potential trap game as Matt Breida will want to make his presence felt against a vaunted defense that’s surprisingly soft against the run, though that’s statistically unlikely to be enough to win the game. The Rams should win by 14 plus.

KC over CIN – The Bengals have looked impressive this season with Geno Atkins maybe pacing for his best season ever. The Chiefs went to Foxboro Stadium and lost by three because of a freak accident misplay by rookie defender Breeland Speaks. These Chiefs are not to be trifled with. Dalton and the Bengals can beat teams not on their A game, like an injury-riddled Falcons defense or Miami when they have to go on the road. These Chiefs are on their A game. The game also happens to be in Arrowhead Stadium. We can expect another 70+ point game. The Chiefs win.

ATL over NYG – The Giants offensive line is still awful. Matt Ryan’s offense can score all over the place and Ito Smith has made the loss of Devonta Freeman not hurt so bad. Backup right tackle Chad Wheeler should allow several pressure to Takk Mckinley and Co. limiting the Giants ability to stay on the field.

Week Five Picks

Posted: October 3, 2018 in Football, New entries, NFL
I went 9-6 with my picks last week. Here’s my week five predictions:
NE over IND – Julian Edelman returns in time for the Colts game. Patriots should win at home. Josh Gordon will have more time to familiarize himself with Brady and offense. Colts have a better than advertised defense but the Patriots are still in another league right now. And Frank Reich is still learning how to be a head coach.
TEN over BUF – I one hundred percent of the time recommend picking against Buffalo in 2018. Vrabel’s been working some magic in Tennessee and they deserve credit for beating 2 playoff teams from last season.
ATL over PIT – This should be such a close game. Both defenses have been scoring-friendly with Atlanta down three starting former pro bowlers and Pittsburgh just not having strong nickel/safety play. I like Matt Ryan as a better passer right now than Ben Roethlisberger. Ben doesn’t have LeVeon Bell to lean on any more. As unsteady as ATL’s been, the Falcons should continue to expose Pittsburgh’s secondary. I expect Calvin Ridley to go off again this week.
DEN over NYJ – The Broncos play competitive defense and have formed a clear identity on how they’d like to win games. If Case can be accurate, Denver has serious deep threat weapons and a bruising young rushing duo in Royce Freeman and Philip Lindsay. The Jets haven’t demonstrated competitiveness since week one.
KC over JAX – This should be the game of the week. I like KC in Arrowhead stadium. Leonard Fournette is out. The Chiefs defense will have to defend TJ Yeldon and Kendall Fuller will have to capitalize on inevitable Blake Bortles mistakes.
GB over DET – Green Bay’s talented enough they should win here. If Jimmy Graham plays I can’t see how Detroit is supposed to consistently cover him. Aaron Jones is back and gives Green Bay a physical presence.
BAL over CLE – Cleveland finally has hope for the future with Baker, but the Ravens defense might be the best in Football, and they’re getting Jimmy Smith back. As good as Baker’s been, he’s still a rookie and this will be his toughest defensive test yet.
CAR over NYG – The Panthers are having success running the ball with Christian McCaffrey.  The Giants are a mess and need a fresh start at QB. This will be Eric Reid’s first game since 2017. The Giants haven’t shown they can rush the passer or defend the pass.
CIN over MIA – I have to continue to pick the Bengals as long as they are playing clean football. Joe Mixon’s not a lock to return for week five, but Giovani Bernard’s been getting it done in his absence either way. Cincy wins at home. Miami just lost Center Daniel Kilgore.
LAC over OAK – This is actually a losable game for the Bolts. Oakland has kept it close in all of their games through the first half at least. L.A. will get Corey Liuget back and the Raiders still can’t muster a pass rush.
SF over ARZ (Homer pick don’t trust) – C.J. Beathard actually played fairly well against the Chargers last week. You generally don’t want to put any money on Jimmy Garoppolo-less 49ers this year but Arizona has no offense right now. Matt Breida is also playing better than David Johnson so far.
PHI over MIN – Both of these teams seem to be broken. The Eagles soundly trounced Minnesota in the playoffs with Nick Foles. Philly will get back on track with Carson Wentz connecting with Alshon Jeffery and Jordan Matthews.
LAR over SEA – The Rams are pretty good.
HOU over DAL – Dallas is playing disciplined defense and can still run well. Bill O’Brien still fields a strong defensive core and J.J. Watt looks like he’s back. Watson can throw the Texans back into the game and the Cowboys haven’t shown they can do that.
NO over WAS – The Redskins are just good enough to beat teams not on their A Game. The Saints get Mark Ingram back and have home field advantage. The Saints are still a top NFC team.
  1. New York Jets – Ed Oliver, Houston DT – The Jets run a three down linemen set or Nick Bosa would be the pick here. Oliver is stout against the run and an elite interior pass rusher. If there is a coaching change and the defense switches to four down linemen expect Nick Bosa to go here.
  2. Arizona Cardinals – Nick Bosa, OSU DE – Bosa had sixteen stops for a loss in his stellar rookie campaign. Cards head coach is a defensive guru but even if he wasn’t you don’t pass on Nick Bosa assuming Nick is healthy. Bosa can help the Cardinals fill the void left by Demi-God DE Calais Campbell.
  3. Oakland Raiders – Clelin Ferrell, Clemson DE – Jon Gruden had a beast on defense when he won a Superbowl with Tampa Bay, Khalil Mack is no sure thing for the Raiders’ future and Ferrell has already proven his worth as an elite pass rusher.
  4. Buffalo Bills – Rashan Gary, Michigan DE – The Bills traded away DT Marcell Dareus with no obvious replacement. The Bills need all sorts of help on offense, pretty much at every position. Gary can fill in on the edge or at defensive tackle with elite size and production.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Drew Lock, Mizzou QB – Tampa Bay has never signed a QB they’ve drafted to a second contract. They can choose between paying Jameis Winston exorbitant sums of money with future potential off field issues or start fresh with the taller version of Baker Mayfield.
  6. Cincinnati Bengals – Greg Little, Ole Miss OT – Cordy Glenn has an out after this season so if he’s not playing at a seven and a half million dollar level they can dump him and draft his replacement. Even if they keep Cordy, Greg can start at right tackle in the mean time.
  7. Seattle Seahawks – DeAndre Baker, Georgia CB – Baker would have been a first round pick if he would have come out in 2018. I don’t envision Pete Carroll will still be with this franchise when they draft in 2019, regardless Baker represents the draft’s top corner who Seattle will be searching for.
  8. New York Giants – Justin Herbert, Oregon QB – The Giants don’t have their future QB on the roster. Herbert possesses ideal height, size, arm strength, and accuracy that old school football gms like Dave Gettlemen prioritize.
  9. Cleveland Browns – Dexter Lawrence, Clemson DT – The Browns traded away Danny Shelton and have been struggling to fill the void at defensive tackle. Lawrence is the core of an elite defensive line at Clemson and should be able to contribute immediately.
  10. The Jacksonville Badguars – Josh Allen, LB Kentucky – Jacksonville’s defense is elite, but they won’t be able to pay all those players forever. Allen is a highly versatile defender who can rush the passer or play the run if needed. They Jaguars won’t draft a QB here because they enjoy losing.

Dave’s mini-rants:

  • Donald Trump surely has something better to do with his time than to petition ESPN to air the pregame anthem. I’m a conservative and I’m saying this.
  • Ohio State should just fire Urban Meyer. I’m sure guys have done worse stuff and kept their jobs, but there are tons of excellent coaching candidates and retaining Meyer makes Ohio State fans feel dirty. Fans should be able to watch football and not feel dirty.
  • Unless Jon Gruden has some true Gruden Magic up his sleeve, the Raiders should be calling NFC teams to ship away Khalil Mack far away for high draft picks (Packers, Redskins)
  • I will never stop rooting for Raiders UDFA hopeful Chris Warren III as he continues to tear up the preseason
  • Jacksonville is overrated and they won’t go back to the playoffs. If they don’t replace Blake Bortles their head coach gets fired.

 

Kerryon Johnson, Lions Running Back – New Lions head coach Matt Patricia is a defensive mastermind and will implement from his time in New England a more balanced ground/passing mix than has happened in Detroit in the past (The Lions were the last place rushing attack (32/32) in terms of rushing yards per game in 2017). As a defense guy, Patricia should rely more on the ground game and as evidenced by their investments in the offensive line this offseason. First round pick Center Frank Ragnow, free agents TJ Lang and Ricky Wagner bring a new-look offensive line for Detroit. LeGarrette Blount could steal some goal line touches from Johnson, but Blount’s best years are behind him and Johnson should have plenty of opportunity to win the starting job after playing big boy football against future NFL talent at Auburn for three years.

Nyheim Hines, Colts Running Back – The Colts, like the Lions have not boasted a fearsome ground game in seasons past. Hines has shown a strong running presence against above average D-1 defenses such as Florida State and Boston College. Hines’ 5’8″ stature mean that his 197-lb weight should not be a deterrent in helping him push through defenses. It should also be mentioned that the Colts organization invested a first round draft pick on Quenton Nelson who should open sizable running lanes for whoever lines up at running back for Indianapolis. Colts RB Marlon Mack has shown value as a gadget back like Tarik Cohen or Duke Johnson with pass catching prowess, Hines should have ample opportunity to earn the starting role as bruiser with low center of gravity.

Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos RB – I obviously am high on this rookie class of running backs. Freeman was an Oregon power back who has a chance to win a fairly open job against smaller back Devontae Booker who never took off in his rookie season. C.J. Anderson provided the physical presence for Denver last season with underperforming QB play. Freeman showed next level play against UW’s top five defense last season with over five yards a clip with more than one hundred yards. Freeman should see more touches to close out games as his build his tailor-made to push into eight man boxes Leonard Fournette style.

Carlos Hyde, Cleveland Browns RB – Now that the Browns have more reliable QB play they should be able to hand off the ball to fewer eight man boxes in 2018. The loss of Joe Thomas will certainly be felt but the Browns still have strong interior o-line run blocking play and added Austin Corbett for the future. Hyde has never been a sexy option at RB1 but is a reliable workhorse and has a favorable situation in Cleveland. Teammates Duke Johnson and Nick Chubb can threaten to take touches away from Hyde but he should be the favorite as it stands.

Frank Gore, Miami Dolphins RB – Gore entered the NFL when George Bush Jr was the president of the United States. He’s held a starting job since his second season when he ran for 1,695 yards rushing for the 49ers. The Dolphins brought in the league’s top free agent run blocking guard in Josh Sitton and return a quarterback who isn’t Jay Cutler. The involvement of rookie tight end Mike Gesicki should also open up more space near the line of scrimmage for Gore to do his job. Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake showed last season he’s more than capable of being the workhorse if Gore goes down or can’t perform well.

Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles RB – Depending on the size and intelligence of your fantasy league, Ajayi might end up being a first round pick or a late round gem. Ajayi overall boasted the strongest running back play from 2017. While the Eagles will spread the ball around at RB more than say Dallas or the Giants will, their ridiculous offense should still give Ajayi plenty of touches and points with sixteen full games and a full off-season to learn the offense. The Eagles retain an absurdly talented offensive line and have a passing attack to push back linebackers to give Ajayi more space to move the ball.

Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers RB – Breida is truly a late round pickup. Jerick Mckinnon looks to get the bulk of the carries but he has spent most of his career splitting time with another back. Breida is not the pass-catchiest of backs. As a matter of fact, in PPR leagues you should get nowhere near Matt Breida. In other leagues Breida can be a steal. He averaged four plus yards per carry as a rookie and six plus ypc against the Jaguars supposed league’s best defense.

In February of 2014, NFL investigator Ted Wells released a report indicating former Dolphins OL Richie Incognito had engaged in a “pattern of harassment” against teammate Jonathan Martin with comments of a racial nature as well as sexual comments about his mother and sister. The incident was a major news item for the NFL at the time with different fans taking both sides of the situation.* Since then both players’ careers and personal lives have taken a sharp turn into devastation, or so it seems.

Jonathan Martin would later be traded to the 49ers, then coached by his former college coach Jim Harbaugh where he played one season before retiring. Martin recently (Feb. 2018) was arrested after posting on Instagram a message that implied he intended to shoot up his former prep school Harvard Westlake and listed names of former teammates including Richie Incognito next to a photo of a shotgun. Martin would later be detained by police.

Incognito had finished his three year contract in Miami and remained unsigned for a year before signing with the Buffalo Bills. Incognito had a successful three-year run with the Bills before retiring, un-retiring, asking for release from the Bills, and then apparently losing his mind at a gym in Florida (May 2018) where he accused another man of spying on him for the NSA and throwing a barbell at him. Incognito, while not arrested, was subject to involuntary mental evaluation under the Baker Act after his outburst. Incognito posted on his twitter that he is home and hoping to sign with another team.

I am not an expert on mental health issues, playing pro football, or how playing pro football affects one’s mental health. The issues at play with both Martin and Incognito imply that playing professional football, a sport heavily inundated with concussions and inherent violence exacerbate existing mental health issues in players or cause them in the first place.

In 2017, Boston University conducted a study on the brains of 111 former NFL players and found that 110 of them (99%) showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease found in Dave Duerson and Junior Seau, two former NFL players who ended their life after retiring.  I’d love to say I have a solution here. An answer for how to help people like Martin and Incognito, and how to prevent future athletes from having these same situations occur. While I firmly believe bullying is wrong and has no justification I can’t believe that just saying: “Don’t Bully” will make much of a difference. The eventual future looks like Football will have to be so changed that it is unrecognizable to Football today or for Football to be banned altogether. I only have more questions.

Don’t let your kids play Football.

*(Sidenote: I remember reading a youtube comment saying that Martin was a millionaire and an adult and shouldn’t cry about being made fun of at work. I later concluded that one should be able to go to their place of employment without being bullied, harassed, or having your race or family members sexually commented on by a coworker, NFL player or not.)

Final Mock Draft

Posted: April 26, 2018 in Football, New entries, NFL
  1. Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, USC QB – All this last second talk of Baker Mayfield smells like a smokescreen. ““Baker Mayfield … runs around and he kind of gets the ball downfield, has some good accuracy there.” That’s not something you say about the guy you draft number one. The Josh Allen predictions almost make sense with how Mahomes was considered a high risk guy. I drink Mike Mayock’s Kool Aid, who thinks Darnold goes at One here.
  2. New York Giants – Bradley Chubb, NC State DE – The Giants won two Superbowls with virtually no ground game. Barkley could make sense as a value pick from a certain angle. I can’t see how Gettleman doesn’t take Chubb. And if forty is the new thirty-five for Quarterbacks, maybe they really think Eli plays two to three more years.
  3. New York Jets (traded with Colts) – Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma QB – Supposedly the Jets like Baker. In the past they’ve taken USC talent. Analytics point to Baker being the only QB worth taking in this draft. With Rosen supposedly being number one for nobody and Allen requiring a multi-year investment to become an NFL starter Baker makes the most sense here.
  4. Buffalo Bills (Trade from Cleveland) – Josh Allen, Wyoming QB – The Bills clearly want to move up. Among reasons for Buffalo to want Josh Allen are; he played in cold weather frequently, he is very tall, and “likes buffalo wings.” In all seriousness, the Bills cannot wait too long to trade up. If the Bills weren’t satisfied with Tyrod Taylor, Allen would represent the polar opposite of the QB spectrum. Rosen is possible here also.
  5. Denver Broncos – Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB – The Broncos don’t have an urgent need to draft a quarterback here. If Barkley is available at five, Denver can replace C.J. Anderson with possibly the best player in the draft. John Elway, himself a former west coast passer will consider Josh Rosen, but could get the number one running back instead of the number four QB.
  6. Green Bay Packers (Trade with Indianapolis Colts) – Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama DB – The Colts are reportedly looking to trade down, and the Packers to trade up. Minkah can take over for Damarious Randall and he plays for Alabama, a school the Packers like to draft from.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, FSU SS  – James is a highly touted prospect from both an analytics and traditional scouting perspective. The Bucs have needs at tackle, running back, and pass rush. James is a value pick who can help to cover all the receiving height in the NFC South.
  8. Arizona Cardinals (Trade from Chicago Bears) – Josh Rosen, UCLA QB – The Bears have lots of needs across the board. The Cardinals have one enormous need behind center. The Cardinals have liked west coast passers who are more of a fit for what they typically like to do. Cardinals OC Mike McCoy will love to get a quarterback who can take over in game three when Sam Bradford goes down with a season ending injury.
  9. San Francisco 49ers – Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame OL – Should Nelson be available here, the 49ers would be smart to pick him up. Jimmy Garoppolo gets two games in 2018 against Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. With the Reuben Foster situation being relatively stabilized (for now) John Lynch can choose to protect his $100 million dollar investment over drafting yet another defensive player in round one.
  10. Raiders – Roquan Smith, Georgia ILB – The Butkus award winner from 2017 should help the Raiders awful run defense. Tremaine Edmunds is a real possibility here as well, but Smith fills an immediate need.
  11. Miami Dolphins –Denzel Ward, Ohio State CB – Unless Miami wants to get in a bidding war with Arizona, they can still land a top defensive prospect at eleven. Vita Vea is not a replacement for Suh, Ward can instantly be the top corner for the team.
  12. Cleveland Browns (Trade from Bills) –Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech LB – The Browns get a highly skilled, plus measurables defender in Edmunds. The Browns could also look at offensive tackle here to replace Joe Thomas.
  13. Washington Redskins – Derrius Guice, LSU RB – The Redskins could use improvement at the running back position and Guice projects to play well in the pros. Drafting a back in the first round isn’t sexy, Guice fills a need for the Redskins and is a blue chip back.
  14. Indianapolis Colts – Harold Landry, BC OLB/DE – The Colts have an atrocious pass rush. Landry is an extremely capable pass rusher who should start of Indy immediately.
  15. Chicago Bears – Will Hernandez, UTEP OG – Hernandez possesses several desirable traits for a starting NFL guard. The Bears need to replace starting high performer Josh Sitton. They also have needs at center where Grasu hasn’t been healthy or consistent when healthy where Hernandez could eventually slot in.
  16. Baltimore Ravens – Daron Payne, Alabama DT – Payne seems tailor-made for what the Ravens like. He won the starting job at Alabama. He plays extremely aggressively
  17.  Los Angeles Chargers – UW DT, Vita Vea – The Bolts run defense is garbage tier. If Vea does one thing well it’s defending the run. If Tom Telesco likes one of the running backs they could acquire Nick Chubb or Penny instead of paying Gordon after the 2018 season.
  18.  Seattle Seahawks – Marcus Davenport, UTSA DE – Seattle has lived and died on defense. The loss of Sherman and Bennett hurt for sure. A great pass rush can make up for holes in the defense. Davenport can provide Seattle with the pass rushing threat that Bennett gave them for so many years.
  19. Dallas Cowboys – Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State LB – I feel Courtland Sutton makes a ton of sense here, but the Cowboys defense needs help. Vander Esch performed well at the combine and can eventually replace the cardboard Sean Lee.
  20. Detroit Lions – Maurice Hurst, Michigan Defensive Tackle – Hurst if healthy could be the steal of this draft. Patricia will want to draft value defenders in his first year with Detroit. Hurst has had medical scares before but had a successful career at Michigan. PFF.COM says Hurst could have a Donald-like impact at the next level.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals from Buffalo Bills – Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame OT – The Bengals offensive line is showing flaws. Cordy Glenn was a several year starter for Buffalo but he is not a long term solution.
  22. Buffalo Bills – Mike Gesicki, Penn State TE – Josh Allen will need some big targets for his 56% arm to throw to. Gesicki blew up the combine and should be a great safety blanket for Allen.
  23. New England Patriots – Lamar Jackson, Louisville QB – TB12 just got another customer…?
  24. Carolina Panthers – Connor Williams, Texas OT – The Panthers overspent on Matt Kalil and it hasn’t worked out. A receiver like D.J. Moore could go here as well.
  25. Tennessee Titans – Josh Jackson, Iowa CB – The Titans need a safety. Jackson has the size to move to safety or just be another great coverage guy.
  26. Atlanta Falcons – D.J. Moore, Maryland WR – Moore is the top wide receiver. The Falcons expect too much of Jones and need a true number two to take attention off Jones. Moore played great in no man’s land at Maryland with different QBs.
  27. New Orleans Saints – Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State TE – Goedert is a true tight end who is willing to block for and a fierce pass catching threat. The Saints offense may regain some firepower from seasons past with a reliable asset that has Goedert’s height.
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Isaiah Oliver, Colorado CB – Oliver nearly shut down any passes thrown his way while at Colorado. Oliver’s 6 foot plus so he can run with A.J. Green and Josh Gordon in the AFC South.
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Calvin Ridley, Alabama WR – While the Jaguars don’t throw the ball a ton, Ridley can become that true number one for when they do. I suppose the Jaguars could look at Mason Rudolph here.
  30. Minnesota Vikings – Okla. OT, Orlando Brown – The Vikings could look at slot corner here. This offensive line is SO BAD considering how good the team is. Brown’s conditioning got called into question when he under-performed at the combine. Brown was a consistent performer against top competition at Oklahoma.
  31. New England Patriots – Courtland Sutton, SMU WR – The Patriots have a need at wide receiver. Bill doesn’t draft wide receivers before round five very often, but that doesn’t mean he won’t. The Patriots could also go with a Tackle, or say, Josey Jewell for inside linebacker.
  32. Philadelphia Eagles – Kolton Miller, UCLA OT – The Eagles lost tons of depth but still feel like the toughest team in the NFL. Drafting Miller would allow them to prepare for a future without Jason Peters. Peters is possibly the best left tackle in football when healthy.