Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

Jacksonville – Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan DE – Hutchinson is playing like the best player in the draft. He draws an extra blocker in the pass rush and is great against the run. The Jaguars have a ton of holes. They were bottom five in sacks in 2021. Everyone and their grandmother has Evan Neal as the pick here. I think Jacksonville leaves the best player on the board by doing that.

Detroit – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon DE – Teammates with 2020 Lions first round pick Penei Sewell, Thibodeaux has devastating pass rush moves. If he has effort issues in run defense, Dan Campbell and company can coach said issues “up.”

Houston – Evan Neal, Alabama OT – Drafting Neal can protect Davis Mills and/or set up the roster to better support their quarterback of the future. Laremy Tunsil played five of a possible seventeen games last season and has a max of two seasons left on his contract. Lovie Smith will surely want Kyle Hamilton as well.

Jets – Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame S – Hamilton’s got absurd range and can move around the field, even as a pass rusher if needs be. He has free safety skills and strong safety size. Not a lot to think about with this pick.

Giants – Charles Cross, Miss. State OL – Cross allowed zero sacks and zero pressures against Alabama. He’s not the same run blocker as Ikem Ekwonu, but is above average in run blocking and pass pro. Brian Daboll will want an offense that can run and pass well.

Carolina – Ikem Ekwonu, NC State OL – The Panthers badly need offensive line help and “Icky” is regarded by some as the top dog in the whole draft. Carolina will be under some pressure to draft a quarterback here. No quarterback will last long behind the current Panthers offensive line.

Giants (From Chicago) – Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati CB – I expect Gardner will be discussed as one of the best corners in recent memory after a few seasons. Even against Alabama’s vaunted receivers he allowed 14 whole yards. He’s a scheme fit for what Don Martindale’s defense.

Atlanta – Drake London, USC WR – Let’s just say (Falcons General Manager) Terry Fontenot has a thing for tall guys. There is a power vacuum in the NFC South with Tom Brady retiring, London could play a big part in Atlanta getting back into the playoffs. Ryan will begging for an offensive weapon with Pitts drawing double coverage now. The Falcons still badly need pass rush, but the quality here is a little riskier than at the top.

Denver – Derek Stingley Jr., LSU CB – Denver will surely be in the market for a veteran quarterback (Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson). New general managers rarely get two swings at the quarterback position. George Paton is a risk averse guy, something we saw last season when he drafted Patrick Surtain II over Justin Fields, I don’t believe he will want any of these quarterbacks for that reason. New Broncos DC Ejiro Evero comes from LA where they had Jalen Ramsey remove a top receiver from the offense’s game plan. Stingley (if healthy) can have that same impact for Denver.

Jets (From Seattle) – Devin Lloyd, Utah LB – The Jets have bigger needs, but Lloyd is a prototype linebacker who reminds me of Micah Parsons. Lloyd doesn’t have quite the size and may not be as great a pass rusher as Parsons, but his coverage skills and run defense should more than justify this pick. The Jets will be looking to add reinforcements at offensive line with Mekhi Becton looking more like a question mark and the interior struggling as well.

Pittsburgh (Trade with Washington) – Malik Willis, Liberty QB – Pittsburgh can move up with probably only giving up one additional first round pick and get their guy. Mike Tomlin has liked Willis a lot. Unless Washington needs to get their quarterback here, they can move back nine spots and get an extra pick in 2023.

Minnesota – Treylon Burks, Arkansas WR – Adam Thielen is getting older and the Vikings could use help in the receiver department. Kevin O’Connell had plenty of star wide receivers in LA for the quarterback to throw to. New general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will value passing production and the skill Burks brings. Adofo-Mensah comes from the Browns analytics friendly front office and should value wide receivers highly.

Cleveland – Garrett Wilson, Ohio State WR – The Browns definitely need help at wide receiver after departing with Odell Beckham. About 40 percent of Wilson’s yards were YAC yards, respectable for a receiver with as much attention on him as Wilson.

Baltimore – Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa OL – Baltimore is one of the steadiest teams in the NFL. They run the ball more than anybody. While Ravens GM Eric DeCosta isn’t known for drafting small school players early, it would make sense to make an exception for Trevor Penning. Penning excels in run blocking and allowed a mere two pressures against Iowa State.

Philadelphia (From Miami) – Zion Johnson, Boston College OL – Zion Johnson is a man’s man. He played well at the senior bowl and is a great run blocker. He took snaps at center which shows versatility that would appeal to the Eagles situation without Brandon Brooks and possibly without Jason Kelce.

Philadelphia (From Indianapolis) – George Karlaftis, Purdue DE – Karlaftis is still somewhat new to Football and has some tackling issues to work out. This man is a behemoth and could possibly even move inside if needed. Karlaftis had seven hurries against Iowa, he should push Derek Barnett to maybe start day one.

Chargers – Trent McDuffie, Washington CB – I would have the chargers take a receiver or even a tight end, but they reload at defensive back early and often. McDuffie is a great value pick here. There will be run-stuffing defensive tackles throughout the draft for LA.

Saints – Matt Corral, Ole Miss QB – Corral tightened up the turnovers in 2021 and showed off his quick release. Plus the Saints don’t mind having a short quarterback. Mickey Loomis could look to draft center Tyler Linderbaum if he’s not thrilled with any of the quarterbacks in this class.

Philadelphia – Martin Emerson, Miss. State CB – Veteran SEC corner with terrific size. While Emerson looked flawed against Alabama, he’s got a higher ceiling than many of his peers and gave up three touchdowns on the season.

Washington (Trade with Pittsburgh) – Jameson Williams, Alabama WR – Jameson Williams is a great asset for Scott Turner’s offense. He bullied corners all season long, if his medical checks out he’d fit well in this offense.

New England – Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson CB – Booth is a strong corner and New England relies on excellent coverage for their defense to operate. Booth was excellent in man coverage in 2021.

Las Vegas – Devonte Wyatt, UGA DT – Wyatt is a strong all around defensive tackle. He’ll improve the Raiders interior pass rush and shoddy run defense.

Arizona – Jermaine Johnson, FSU DE – Chandler Jones looks like he is out the door in Arizona. Johnson is a great player with double digit sacks at Florida State in ’21. He played well at the Senior Bowl.

Dallas – Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma DT – Winfrey came to life in the Senior Bowl. The Cowboys defense doesn’t have a strong interior presence. Winfrey gives them a real inside pass rush option.

Buffalo – David Ojabo, Michigan DE – Buffalo has Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison on free agency. Ojabo would be a huge asset to their DL rotation, if not a starter.

Tennessee – Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina OLB – Tennessee runs a 3-4 so Enagbare would a be a fit. Enagbare had a great senior bowl performance and would give Tennessee the option to move on from either Bud Dupree or Harold Landry.

Tampa Bay – Jalen Pitre, Baylor DB – Tampa has some big decisions to make at QB and wide receiver. They were thin at corner last season. Unless they trade this selection for a big name QB, Pitre would make an aggressive slot corner where they have struggled in 2021.

Green Bay – Roger McCreary, Auburn CB – The Packers like to draft corners early. If Rodgers has a voice in this years’ draft, they could maybe take Trey McBride, as resigning Robert Tonyan will be tough if they want to keep Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams.

Miami (From San Francisco) – Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa C – Mike McDaniel’s offense starts on the ground. Linderbaum is not a sexy pick, but he is great in pass protection and run blocks well.

Kansas City – Jordan Davis, Georgia DT – Andy Reid is a line of scrimmage guy, and the Chiefs gave up the second most yards per carry last season. There’s a lot of respect for Davis and most media types don’t think Jordan Davis lasts this long in the draft. Davis may never get double digit sacks but his pass rush skills can only go up. Davis is an elite run defender.

Cincinnati – Kenyon Green, Texas A&M OL – Green is extremely versatile and great as a run blocker. He can start at right tackle if Reiff gets injured again in 2022. Mike Brown has shown a preference for big school prospects, I believe he will want Green or Darian Kinnard over Bernhard Raimann or Max Mitchell. Cincinnati may trade down here if another team wants to get in front of Detroit for a quarterback.

Detroit (From Rams) – Travis Jones, Uconn DT – Jones is an excellent run defender with plus pass rush skills. Detroit looks like they are prioritizing line of scrimmage talent early, Jones would be an excellent value here. Jones has earned praise for his overall fitness and looks to be an upgrade over the current group for Detroit at defensive tackle.

Song of the post is “I’m Just A Monster Underneath, My Darling” – Krewella

49ers mock draft 2022

Posted: February 10, 2022 in Football, New entries, NFL, NFL Draft
Tags: ,

First round: None ūüė¶

Second round (61st): Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati DE – Sanders posted 8(!) hurries against the vaunted Alabama offensive line in the cotton bowl. He showed leadership as a vocal supporter of other defensive linemen in the senior bowl and has appropriate size for the position.

Third round (93rd): Alontae Taylor, Tennessee CB – An SEC Veteran, Taylor allowed one touchdown on fifty-two targets this season. Strong performances against Alabama and Pittsburgh this season. Zero recorded penalties for the 2021 season.

Third round (compensatory): Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame IOL – Patterson is a longtime starter for Notre Dame at center. Lynch has shown a preference for Notre Dame offensive line with the Mike McGlinchey and Aaron Banks picks early in previous drafts. Laken Tomlinson is up on his contract and Alex Mack is in his late 30s.

Fourth round (132nd): Kolby Harvell-Peel, Ok. State S – Harvell-Peel has been a top safety since his freshman year. He can push for the strong safety job if Jaquiski Tartt isn’t resigned and would be a valuable depth safety if he is. Harvell-Peel has been a cornerstone player for one of College Football’s top defenses for three years.

Fifth round (171st): Keytaon Thompson, UVA WR – Thompson has experience taking handoffs (39 carries in 2021) and has a giant 6’4″ frame that should make him easy to target. Pro Football Focus suggests he’s even a good run blocker, making him extremely valuable in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

Sixth round (185th): Chase Garbers, Cal QB – The depth chart behind Trey Lance is pretty skinny. Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard are both gone. Garbers has displayed good athleticism and a reasonably strong arm at Cal. He started four years and gradually improved during his time there.

Song of the post – “Black Summer” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Round 1: Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson CB – Clemson struggled on offense, and was held together by elite defensive play. Booth Jr. allowed two touchdowns in coverage during the whole season. Booth’s strong man coverage chops will make him attractive to the Patriots scheme.

TigerNet.com, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Round 2: Neil Farrell Jr., LSU DT – The Patriots have been bullied on run defense. Belichick has shown a preference for big bois (Farrell is 6’4″, 325 lbs), and Farrell is a plus pass rusher and shut down Alabama’s rushing offense this year.

“LSUvsGASouth 729” by tammy anthony baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Round 3: Dontario Drummond, Ole Miss WR – Drummond can push through tackles and will fit well in New England’s quick pass scheme. Played well against Alabama. Drummond has speed and a stout build, compares to Sammy Watkins at Clemson.

Round 4: Cade Mays, Tennessee OL – A better run blocker than pass blocker, Mays will likely move to guard in the pros. Should thrive in the Patriots gap run-blocking scheme. Mays plays angry but has technical flaws, the Patriots have elevated later round offensive lineman (Joe Thuney, Michael Onwenu, Shaq Mason) into high level starters and should continue to do so. Mays was a five star athlete in high school, which the Patriots will like.

Round 6: Britain Covey, Utah WR – Britain Covey was made to be a Patriot. Covey is a return specialist who can get open in quick pass plays on offense.

Round 7: Cade York, LSU Kicker – York had a clutch 57 yarder into the fog against Florida in 2020. York should give the Patriots more field goal range which plays well into Bill Belichick’s conservative approach.

Offseason thoughts –

  • Wide receiver Nelson Agholor is a waste in the Patriots offense. He’s at his best when he gets to run down field and separate for a bomb. The Patriots should try to move him for a draft pick or someone who’s a better fit, like Curtis Samuel.
  • For 20 years, Tom Brady kept the Patriots offense relevant even in years when they had guys like Reche Caldwell or Brandon LaFell. Coach Belichick could spend top draft picks and cap dollars on defensive players knowing Brady would put the offense on his back. While Mac Jones has stood out amongst his rookie quarterback peers, the 2020 free agency spending frenzy signaled a shift in how Belichick viewed he needed to build the roster. This draft may show the Patriots spending early picks on wide receivers, a departure from the Patriot Way.
  • One of the Patriots number one goals will be taking back the AFC East. Not only do they have to contend with a superior Bills roster, but they have been pushed around by a middling Miami team. There’s also the New York “49ers” who may not stay bad for long. For Bill Belichick that’s going to look like: 1. Strong pass defense, 2. Convert on third downs, 3. Don’t turn over the football. See you next year.

Song of the post is “New Life” by ak9

2022 NFL Mock Draft

Posted: January 2, 2022 in Football, NFL, NFL Draft
Tags: ,

COULD A DEPRESSED PERSON DO THIS?

(Draft order courtesy of Tankathon.com)

Jaguars – Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon DE – Can’t mess this up

Lions – Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan DE – Hutchinson would have to switch positions. Detroit cant face their fans if they pass on Hutchinson/Thibodeaux. A hometown player and a blue chip player. 1 digit IQ coach Dan Campbell will like Hutch’s run defense chops.

Texans – Evan Neal, Alabama OT – Bill O’Brien would still have his job if he could’ve drafted Evan Neal in the first round.

Jets – Derek Stingley, LSU CB – Derek Stingleys don’t grow on trees. Major get for New York.

Giants – Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame S – Hamilton is the next Derwin James/prototype safety player.

Panthers – Matt Corral, Ole Miss QB – Corral has shown he can protect the football and still has a crazy high ceiling. There’s only one way out for Carolina.

Jets (From Seahawks) – Darian Kinnard, Kentucky OT – Kinnard will help the Jets establish a strong run presence. He can move to guard if they are crowded at tackle.

Giants (From Bears) – Ikem Ekwonu, NC State OL – Ekwonu is a powerful run blocker.

Washington – Malik Willis, Liberty QB – Willis has some flaws, but he has the arm to operate Scott Turner’s offense. Pickett looks more like a game manager plus, Willis is one of the more accurate deep ball passers.

Falcons – Charles Cross, Miss. State OT – Arthur Smith will want a stalwart offensive line in Atlanta like he had in Tennessee. Cross can replace McGary as a great pass protector and run blocker.

Broncos – Roger McCreary, Auburn CB – McCreary played well against Alabama.

Vikings – Yorgos Karlaftis, Purdue DE – The Greek import is physically dominant and should help the team transition from Everson Griffin. Karlaftis is a pass rush specialist. Background as a greek mens national water polo player before moving to the states.

Browns – Jameson Williams, Alabama WR – The Browns have a huge need at wide receiver. It’s probably not fair to judge Baker’s bad year while he’s playing with an injured shoulder. Jameson Williams dominated in what “should have” been Metchie’s year at Alabama. Even run heavy teams need a deep threat.

Eagles (From Miami) – Jordan Davis, Georgia DT – The Eagles are the type of team to draft Davis and unlock his pass rushing potential.

Saints – Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa C – The Saints typically draft defense here. Linderbaum is a great overall player and can solidify at guard for them.

Ravens – Andrew Booth Jr, Clemson CB – Like many teams, the Ravens need cornerback help. Booth is battle tested at Clemson and will be valuable against likes of Kansas City, Cincinnati, the Chargers etc.

Steelers – Sam Howell, UNC QB – Howell scrambles like young Ben Roethlisberger and has some nice deep ball throws under his belt.

Raiders – Zion Johnson, BC OG – Johnson is a competitive run blocker and pass blocker. It doesn’t hurt that Mayock graduated from Boston College.

Eagles – Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati CB – Gardner has terrific height and played well against Alabama.

Chargers – Travis Jones, UConn DT – Jones will solidify the Bolts trash run defense and provide real pass rush presence in the middle.

Eagles (From Colts) – Kenyon Green, Texas A&M OL

Dolphins (From 49ers) – DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M DL

Patriots – Devin Lloyd, Utah LB – Lloyd versatility will have him all over the field in Belichick’s defense.

Cardinals – David Ojabo, Michigan DE/OLB – Ojabo is a great value pick here and will likely supplant Chandler Jones if selected.

Bills – Kaiir Elam, Florida CB – Always need more corners

Bengals – Nakobe Dean, Georgia LB

Cowboys – Trent McDuffie, Washington CB

Buccaneers – Martin Emerson, Miss State CB

Chiefs – Coby Bryant, Cincinnati CB

Lions (From Rams) – Chris Olave, Ohio State WR

Titans – Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma OLB

Packers – Devonte Wyatt, Georgia DT

Who Fell?

Kenny Pickett, Drake London, Trevor Penning, and more

Song of the post is “Fight Dirty” by Salvatore Ganacci

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.

Realistic Free Agent and Veteran Options:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Draft:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, Clemson Quarterback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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