Interesting mock draft released Sunday morning in the Los Angeles Times. The paper's reddbtable NFL beat man, Sam Farmer, had his annual sports writer mock draft-he has been doing it for 10 years – asking him longtime NFL writers whom he trusts in franchise cities to select the team they cover. Kent Somers, now a sports columnist for the Arizona Republic, but a long time card that hit the guy before, feel the franchise very well. This was Somer's pick and his explanation to Farmer: "] Arizona: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama. Cardinals like Josh Rosen, and I don't see them take a quarterback in the first round two years They need help on the defensive line and Williams immediately gives it. GM Steve Keim has made some mistakes in the first round by taking guys who were not so passionate about football (Jonathan Cooper, Robert Nkemdiche). . " Interesting … and although I will disagree with Somers in my projection, swept with Kyler Murray tide wave, I think there is a good motivation for trading down or taking another player. The rose may be 25 percent better in 201 9 with Kliff Kingsbury coaching him than he was last year as a green rookie who was given a new coordinator in the middle of the season. The cardinals have done a good job of shutting down because it was reported in the combination seven weeks ago that Kingsbury released it released that draft Murray was a "clear deal". I stick…
Interesting mock draft released Sunday morning in the Los Angeles Times. The paper’s reddbtable NFL beat man, Sam Farmer, had his annual sports writer mock draft-he has been doing it for 10 years – asking him longtime NFL writers whom he trusts in franchise cities to select the team they cover. Kent Somers, now a sports columnist for the Arizona Republic, but a long time card that hit the guy before, feel the franchise very well.
This was Somer’s pick and his explanation to Farmer:
“] Arizona: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama. Cardinals like Josh Rosen, and I don’t see them take a quarterback in the first round two years They need help on the defensive line and Williams immediately gives it. GM Steve Keim has made some mistakes in the first round by taking guys who were not so passionate about football (Jonathan Cooper, Robert Nkemdiche). . “
Interesting … and although I will disagree with Somers in my projection, swept with Kyler Murray tide wave, I think there is a good motivation for trading down or taking another player. The rose may be 25 percent better in 201
9 with Kliff Kingsbury coaching him than he was last year as a green rookie who was given a new coordinator in the middle of the season. The cardinals have done a good job of shutting down because it was reported in the combination seven weeks ago that Kingsbury released it released that draft Murray was a “clear deal”. I stick with my feeling.
Two other pieces of light drama: I have four quarterbacks going but lower than you think-at 1, 15, 23 and 31. And there is real competition to shop for the only run back I hear going in one round, Josh Jacobs of Alabama. Read on. And enjoy the draft, which will fly on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. It is probably better to say which channels the draft is not on.
We live in a community (I sound like Costanza) screaming “Fake News!” When something seems just too obvious. We must face reality, people. When the card GM Steve Keim enters a meeting with club president Michael Bidwill today in Tempe to discuss the fate of the first overall election, they could do a few things. They could decide to take Murray, the choice of head coach Kliff Kinsgbury. They could decide to take the best edge-spokesman (Nick Bosa) – as I hear is the choice of many in the building or the best player (Quinnen Williams) in the draft. I will be surprised, like America, if the election is someone other than Murray, especially because Raiders, at four, will not want to shop for what it would cost. I want to give you a precautionary gift on Kyler Murray, provided he is picked up here. Over the past seven years of soccer-three years of varsity high school football, a short one-year stint at Texans A&M, sits one year in Oklahoma after transfer, mostly sitting behind Baker Mayfield and starting last year in Oklahoma-Murray’s started 60 matches. He’s 57-3. Who knows if he starts right in the NFL? But in the NFL he could lose more starts in a month than he lost in the previous seven years. It will be interesting to see how Murray adapts to the setback. Not sure he ever had much of it, at least in football.
Niners has loved him since the 2017 cotton bowl, when Bosa’s 1.5 sack led the marauding Ohio State defense in a 24-7 pummeling of USC’s Sam Darnold in the last game of the star QB’s college career. I hear the cardinals think of Bosa as a “generation player” who only talks about their love for Murray if they are willing to forward Bosa and leave him to Niners. Edge rusher is the element San Francisco has not become right. To strengthen the defensive front, 49ers chose Arik Armstead 17th 2015, DeForest Buckner seventh in 2016, and Solomon Thomas third in 2017 … and still their biggest team needs to squeeze the quarterback. Four picks in the top 20 in the span of five drafts along the defensive line – if Bosa does not set up defensive front over the top, this is bad to do.
Imagine Josh McDaniels, Chad O & # 39; Shea and Brian Daboll – the offensive brains of AFC’s eastern designing protection to keep Leonard Williams and Oliver from vanishing games in the coming three or four years. I realize that with the new coordinator Gregg Williams staying with a 3-4 defense that this is not the perfect fit for Oliver, but Williams once broke in to being able to play 42 different defenses with his schedule, and he would figure out how to do it Oliver jobs. For a long time I had penciled into Josh Allen here because of jets edge rusher needs, but when you make a mock, you go to your intestine. And someone I trust told the jets don’t love Allen. So these are the types of scale-tippers that change the board – and usually I get to look like a tough Thursday night at 8:45 ET. We’ll see. Oh, and the jets also want to trade down if they can get a ransom. I don’t see it.
Quinnen Williams. (Getty Images)
My guess after talking to several teams is that Williams is on top of several boards than any player. One of the smartest guys in our business, ESPN’s Jeff Legwold, has Williams at the top of his top 100 list that released Saturday. Since Raiders have a crying need to deal with, their top-ranked DT was not in the top 50 in the 2018 Pro Football Focus DT rankings – Jon Gruden, who has the ultimate say in Oakland, will be the green light this choice, and GM Mike Mayock would like to take Williams here as the first pick of his NFL GM career.
Lots of people love White, a tackling machine that manages 237 thanks with the power of a 260 pound. I take my best guess about what GM Jason Licht would do if he stared at White and Josh Allen here … because Bucs needs a pass-rusher too. Jason Pierre-Paul is 30, and besides perhaps the pernicious Carl Nassib, I don’t think there are eight sacks on roster. But White can go in for the resigned Kwon Alexander and be the sidelines-to-sidelines presence coordinator Todd Bowles would love. Plus, White can be the best defensive leader in this draft.
A veteran man who knows Dave Gettleman said the second day, “Dave wants a pass-rusher in the worst way. He won’t reach for one, but he get one with one of their first three picks. “Giants pick 6-17-37, and if they have their heart set on one of the young quarterbacks Gettleman, as usual has been a good poker player here, for even those who know him don’t know which quarterback he likes – they should be able to get him at 17. Or maybe, if they play their cards right, to shop back to the low first round with the fifth pick in the second round as bait. (The Rams would love to dump out of the 31st election.) Another thing Gettleman would love to love in Allen: No top specter rusher is more experienced: he played in 51 college games.
Daniel Jeremiah said he currently believes that Hockenson may be the reincarnation of Jason Witten. He is the best blocking / receiving tight end to come out for several years, and he must be good so that Jags does not regret a desperately needed long-term thanks like Jawaan Taylor. My feeling is the Tom Coughlin / Dave Caldwell decision comes down to Hockenson or Taylor, and they go with the best tight end to come out this year – to support their new quarterback, Nick Foles, who had a good tight end in Zach Ertz in Philadelphia.
I will be surprised if Lions choose Taylor here. Lions want to replace, and this is the area of the first offensive line man Taylor or Jonah Williams or, in what might be a stretch, Andre Dillard to be picked. Could be Jacksonville, may be Buffalo, or it may be the one that picks at eight. (Man, I really sell Taylor to Lions!) I just can’t figure out which team will jump up here. For a while I thought it was Atlanta, but the Falcon seems inclined to use all his picks, not to trade quite high to move from 14 to eight.
Bills love Quinnen Williams, but I can’t see Raiders parting with him if he’s there at four. Bills can also shop for Josh Allen, or choose T.J. Hockenson if he falls to them. But if they stop, Jonah Williams may be an upgrade to Spencer Long on the right guard or possibly, finally, Ty Nsekhe, properly. Lots of different views in the scouting community at Williams. I’d like to ask Bill’s Nation to look up “quixotic” in the dictionary. This is a good player, one better than Cordy Glenn player, but Williams is not Walter Jones. That being said, it is a smart choice of bills GM Brandon Beane, who tries to build a team game a solid player at a time.
There isn’t a perfect player on the board for Vic Fangio’s defense, but so many teams need an uneven sideline backline (Pittsburgh would love for him to release 20 but I don’t see it), and Many believe that Bush would be a good compliment to the edge-rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. Four or five teams between 10 and 20 would have a serious interest in Bush if he falls over 10.
Over the past week, Burns has become very hot … because he’s running on the low 4.5’s and there’s not enough lace for this lush market. He has some weaknesses, like his size (he will probably play around 248), but I think he will be gone by choosing 20. I think his floor is Tennessee at 19.
Noah Found. (Getty Images)
Scouts who entered Iowa City in recent months told staff that it was crazy about T.J. Hockenson and was nice but not Hockenson-like about Fant. May be unfair because Hockenson is so pro-ready. During his last two seasons in Iowa, the average found 14.7 meters per catch and had 18 receiving touchdowns. Contrast it to teammates Hockenson’s 14.8-yard funds over the past two years, with nine touchdowns. Very interesting. And Fant goes better in the 4.5-second 40 series. This is probably 10 choices too high for Fant, and it wouldn’t surprise me if GM Brian Gutekunst chooses long-term offensive tackling Andre Dillard here instead. But in any case, I can’t see Fant making it from the first round.
Falcons, on deck here, cry. Wilkins slides to 13 would be a gift to rookie Dolphin’s coach Brian Flores, who learned during Bill Belichick that fast 315 pound people-movers in defensive furnishings should be collected and valued. Dolphins have so many needs, and if an offensive tackle they like falls here, it can also be the choice. What about QB? No team in the league-from what I’ve heard-have spent more time investigating Josh Rosen in recent weeks than Miami. Suppose my suede is correct, and Washington and the giants use the draft to take young quarterbacks, and Miami and Chargers are the only teams with one’s interest in the Roses and GM Chris Grier tells Arizona GM Steve Keim on the draft evening: “We I will Give you our third round-78-overall-for the Ros. That’s it. “Tough calls Keim, but knowing that Rosen would be an unfortunate camper behind Kyler Murray, and that this is a good draft in the first three rounds. .. there is a lot to think about right there.
Four players from Clemson and “Bama in the first 14 picks … more on the road. Atlanta needs size and power, and at 6-4 and 342, with a 5.05 40-year-long, Lawrence is by far the rare, he seems to have convinced the NFL team that he did not deliberately take a forbidden subject that caused a positive PED test, which disqualified him from Clemson’s two playoff games, which is another place to look at The best available offensive line also falls.
Dan Snyder may choose future quarterback from his backyard in Maryland. Jersey at the beginning of his high school, and Snyder’s son and Haskins both went to high school at the Bullis School in Potomac, MD Picking Haskins could give Snyder the local man-make-good story the franchise would obviously love. this movie from for the NFL quarters Dan Orlovsky quite helpful and revealing about Haskins.
“Don’t put him in the first round,” a smart guy told me on Sunday afternoon. “So many teams are afraid of him.” Some teams are worried about a heart disease discovered in the sweat after the season, and the NFL Network reported that Sweat has been removed from some draft drafts. A GM told me Saturday: “We think this is a question, but we have been told if we are watching what he can play. This is the kind of things that different groups will have different opinions about.” Another GM told me he thought Sweats upside down, if healthy, is better than Nick Bosa. With the retirement of Julius Peppers, Sweat would be a perfect addition to an edge-rush-needy team — if GM Marty Hurney could come across concerns over the sweat ticker.
PROJECTED TRADE: Houston sends 23rd and 55th elections to giants for this election.
No team in the NFL needs a radical upgrade to handle as much as the Texans. Per Pro Football Focus starting Houston tackles last year, Julie & # 39; s Davenport and Kendall Lamm, enabled 101 quarterback disturbances (sacks, hits, hurries) at Deshaun Watson, which is utterly disgusting considering Watson’s one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the league. Imagine how many pressures he avoided, just by being Deshaun Watson. Dillard is the best tackle on Houston’s board, from what I hear and law believes he has a chance to be a good left thank you.
Speaking of PFF was the lowest ranked NFL center in the league last year Minnesota Minnesota Pat Elflein. The folds pick at 18, 50 and 81, and the notion of the scout track is that two of the three picks will be offensive linemen. They would be better off. Bradbury is a pugnacious guy, a Jason Kelce type, with more speed than most centers in the league now. He could start day one. No, let me change that. With Elflein still in-house, Bradbury had better start day one.
Here’s the fun of mock drafts. Sometimes I hear from a smart GM that says something like: Drew Lock is way too low! Okay, I’m writing back. Who should I give him? Tennessee. No way, I text. You can’t cast Mariota successor yet. So I thought and thought and made an extra call, and some said, if all the players I had left on the board, “Rashan Gary is Mike Vrabel’s kind of player. Give them Gary.” See the science I use here?
Imagine the first corner of the board as a guy who played a year at the Temple after transferring from Presbyterian (SC) College Blue Hose, and who will have one of the big names in the story of any team that prepares him. Words on scouting street are that Mike Tomlin loves Ya-Sin, and with White and Bush of the board in a position of Great Steeler Need (linebacker), Pittsburgh chooses a physical 6-2 corner that made huge games in its one season of (quite) big-time football.
PROJECTED TRADE: Oakland sends 24th and 106th elections to Seattle for this election.
So, the best run in this draft is likely to be picked somewhere in his twenties, and three team-Philly at 25, Indy at 26 and Oakland at 24 and 27 are quite interested. The raiders just have to move three spots forward to make it happen, and would probably not have to deny it in the middle of the choice to do so. I could see Seattle at 21 or Baltimore at 10pm making this type of deal, because Schneider and rookie Ravens GM Eric DeCosta loves to handle. I met Jacobs last week, by the way. Lovely guy. Hungry to be a good NFL player, and he is also versatile. Jon Gruden could make him a 1700-total farm back as a rookie.
Clelin Ferrell. (Getty Images)
New England hopes Ferrell falls 10 more spots, but he doesn’t. Ravensna could also trade-rookie GM Eric DeCosta would love to gather more choices. But Ferrell is an ideal building block on a defensive front that needs a new star. I won’t be shocked if Ferrell is gone if Ravens takes a 10-year center like Texas McCoy in Texas A&M; 38 career starts at a very high level, and Ravens values the offensive as much as any football franchise.
PROJECTED TRADE: New York gets this pick and No. 55 from Houston for No. 17 total.
The Giants could only sit at 5pm and pick Jones, or Drew Lock, too. In my scenario, the giants get their QB for 2020 and beyond after dealing with Houston … and they pick a late second round to go for a long-term security to pair with Jabrill Peppers, or maybe take a shot at Right tackling Gettleman knows that he needs. As for the Jones player, there is a great disagreement in the man who went 17-19 as a college starter. Very smart, but he does not have the deep arm in the other three first-round candidates. In Bob McGinn’s annual dive in the best draft events, the veteran writer quotes an NFL scout saying about Jones: “He reminds me of Ryan Tannehill. It’s just something missing with him.” Damming, but the first four rounds all seem to have been in year.
PROJECTED TRADE: Seattle gets this pick and # 106 from Oakland for No. 21 total.
This is GM John Schneider’s 10th draft with Seattle, and he has traded his first round of picking seven straight years. No question he wants again this year, and so I have him move from 21 to 24 and get an early day-three pick in return. At 24, he must choose a player who can be a composer right away. Abram is that kind of player. More about Frank Clark later, but the pressure will be on Schneider if he moves Clark to find another edge rusher with the production of Clark. Look for the Seahawks to choose a rusher either low in the round here or with their third and fourth rounds.
Some love him. Some believe he is too wispy at 166, and they are worried that he is entering the NFL nursing a foot injury, and he may be injured in the big-boy league. But he is a big threat. Instinctive and fearless. It may be that DeSean Jackson gives the eagles a last season, and then Brown burns in as the deep threat Carson Wentz can grow in the middle age. Two precautions: GM Howie Roseman knocked on the free agent he wanted, drove back Tevin Coleman, and he could steal his RB1, Josh Jacobs, from Raiders and Colts in trade. And Roseman isn’t afraid to work out a guy (Sidney Jones, round two, 2017) who has to sit most or all of his rookie year with an injury. So I would see Jeffery Simmons here too.
He is 6-2 and runs 4.77 in 40-yard dashes. What’s not to like? Thank you, maybe. But the Colts need two things bad: an edge rusher and a shut-backback. Williams is better on the corner than the remaining edge guys are kicking the quarterback. However, keep one thing in mind with Colts GM Chris Ballard: He won’t change his board to suit his needs. If there is a much higher player here, Ballard will take him.
Touchdowns allowed in coverage during their last two colleges seasons: zero. He can run defensive coordinator Paul Guenther crazy with his training habits, but his game production, at least in college, made up for it. If Raiders can get out of this first round with the best defensive pace in the draft, the best races back in the draft and a corner that should push to play instantly, will be a successful first draft of rookie GM Mayock.
May be a weird change for Ford. He protected for the fleet Kyler Murray in Oklahoma last year, and if so, he would protect the statue-esque Philip Rivers of L.A. Chargers have to start planning for the future; Russell Okung is entering his 10th season and is 31 this year. Ford is a good building block for GM Tom Telesco.
PROJECTED TRADE: Seattle sends DE Frank Clark to Kansas City for this election and the 63rd election.
Driving on corners continues. Murphy is an interesting vantage point. Very knowledgeable, but he only played 20 college games, and his speed is in barely acceptable range (4.55) for corners. Seahawks continues to strive for this Legion of Boom II draft. (More about Clark after the 32nd election.)
D.K. Metcalf. (Getty Images)
This would be very anti-Packer. Latest wideout in the first round: 17 years ago, Javon Walker. They have not received a recipient in the top 50 in 11 years (Jordy Nelson, 2008, 36th overall). I could see Andre Dillard here too, but Brian Gutekunst is trying to fill in for a last several years with Aaron Rodgers, giving him the kind of weapon that he can become Aaron Rodgers again. I can go Marquise Brown here if I was Green Bay, but I realize that a 166-pound burner might not have the durability of a Sterling Sharpe-sized player like Metcalf.
PROJECTED TRADE: Denver sends the 41st voter and a 2020 secondary to the Los Angeles Rams for this election.
Feel bad about predicting this. Sometimes in mock drafts you want to get a player in the first round because you think he will be a first round, and you beat him and make the logic appropriate to it. I don’t think Rams wants to pick 31 and feel they can use a trade-down to get a two or three back after handling fourth and second round picks to Kansas City in 2018 for cornerback Marcus Peters. Denver likes Lock, and may be able to capture him as a two-year-old teacher behind Joe Flacco, while retaining the ability to use the 71st election this year on a potential start-up starter, such as Texas A & M tight than Jace Sternberger. A move like this would not surprise me, but I also think how the Denver GM John Elway talks, he could point to a young quarterback until the richer QB draft by 2020.
I don’t think these are the likely patriots, but I don’t know who is and I wanted to get this big player in the first round. The next best DT in the draft (behind Quinnen Williams) to demolish his ACL earlier this year will not be available to play until 2020, and he also has some personal rehab after a previous physical abuse with a woman . Simmons could have the kind of impact Jaylon Smith had for Cowboys after a serious knee injury in his latest college game and the team choosing him must wait a year for Simmons, not the two seasons Dallas gave Smith the opportunity to get physically right. Smith was the 34th pick overall in 2016. We see if a team near the bottom of round or top two takes a shot at Simmons.
In the end, I fought strongly with the Frank Clark trade from Seattle to Kansas City. I had the trade on my first draft mock on Friday, then took it out for 48 hours and just put it back on Sunday night. Waffling came before I sent Clark to the Chiefs because of Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill incidents. And I won’t be surprised at all if the managers don’t. But I take the gig, because Kansas City needs the edge rush is so pronounced. Hunting was cut by the managers last year after the video affected him kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel last offseason. The league and local authorities are now investigating whether Hill may have been involved in child abuse with his three-year-old son. Clark was quoted in police reports 2014 for a house abuse case against his then girlfriend. It may be the Chiefs (or Colts or Jets) have done a lot of due diligence and believe that such accusations are in Clark’s past. But it was tough for me to predict it and it came down to a gut feeling on Sunday night.
So I believe in the cardinals, if they – as I suspect – choose Kyler Murray number one overall, will be inclined to make the best deal they can for the quarterback they picked last year 10th overall, Josh Rosen. It’s easy to say that Rosen is a big boy and he has to get the biggest snub job in the latest NFL story. But he heard Kliff Kingsbury take the job and say on several occasions, Josh is our quarterback, or words in that sentence. Now you throw a guy number one everywhere and asked Rosen to be a good soldier and carry the clipboard and help Kyler Murray win games for the team who misled him about being quarterback under the new coach? Tailor.
I do not know how the draft will fall, but if Miami or Washington or the giants do not throw a quarterback high in the draft, then it seems fair that I offer a third round (78th overall of Miami, 95th overall of the giants, the 96th total of Washington) to Arizona for the Rosen. And Arizona, I suppose, would strongly consider doing the best it could at that time.
I would really be interested if I was Miami. Imagine shopping the 78th election and having a year to see if Rosen has a chance to be the long-term guy. If the dolphins are not convinced at the end of 2019, they would be able to use a first round-picking (plus other draft capital if needed) to prepare the quarterback of the long-term future in a year when the quartz protection is better than this year.
It is also this question: During the last four and a half years, Rosen has been coached by six offensive architects. At UCLA in autumn 2015, Rosen Noel Mazzone, Kennedy Polamalu and Jedd Fisch, followed in Arizona by Mike McCoy and Byron Leftwich last year and Kingsbury this year. Imagine that Rosen has the same system and coach for two or three years in a row. It has not happened to him since high school.
This will be a very interesting week in the Arizona Cardinal’s history, but also in Josh Rosen’s personal history.
Some notes on the 2019 schedule:
• Here is something that simply should not happen. The fact that, after further review, is a blight on the 2019 schedule:
Raider game in Oakland for 48 days between September 16 and November 2: zero.
Raider game in Oakland for 15 days between November 3 and November 17.
I can say almost the same thing to Bucs, except Tampa Bay follows the road dream with just two home books. Kudos to NFL VP to send Michael North to admit to USA Today, “I’d love to do a round of that.” At six consecutive weeks, every franchise goes on the road-London exit. And judging from the feedback – from the two teams and from some in the public – you can be sure that the NFL no longer plans a team away from their home ground, even if a London game is added in six full weeks. The NFL five-person planning team combed 64,713 possible schedules. The slate that the league will play is by no means an abomination. But no team should go 48 days between games on their home field.
I’ll try to interpret why the NFL did what it did with Oakland. First, Raiders and A’s only football and baseball teams share a stadium. The Raiders are not keen to play many games in the field when it is set up for baseball, with the skin’s infield and the height of the cones. I det här fallet hade NFL Raiders hem för de första två veckorna, då hände det här:
Vecka 3: A är hemma på den sista söndagen i baseballsäsongen den 22 september. Raiders var tvungna att vara på vägen, och NFL sätter dem i Minnesota.
Vecka 4: De flesta West Coast-lag föredrar eller accepterar att spela på vägen, någonstans öster om Mississippi, på söndagen innan de åker till London. Det gör resan till England kortare. Så NFL satte Raiders på Indianapolis den 29 september.
Vecka 5: Alla lag i tillfälliga stadion situationer – Raiders flyttar till Las Vegas nästa år – är berättigade att schemaläggas för ett spel i London eller Mexiko. NFL planerade Raiders mot Bears i London den 6 oktober.
Vecka 6: De flesta lag som spelar utomlands vill ha sin dag i veckan efter Europa-spelet. Det är en hejdå här för Oakland.
Vecka 7: Här är NFL: s bör ha riktat sin högteknologiska schemaläggningsprocess för att sätta Raiders tillbaka i Oakland. Även om det finns en chans att spelet sju i American League Championship-serien skulle kunna spelas i Oakland söndag den 20 oktober, är det mycket osannolikt. NFL borde ha planerat Raiders hem på det här datumet istället för på Green Bay.
Vecka 8: World Series Game 5 är planerad till 27 oktober. Återigen, hur sannolikt är A-spelen i det spelet? Hur som helst, det är Raiders i Houston här. Som norr sa lärdom. NFL kommer inte att göra det igen. Och det borde inte ha hänt den här gången.
Tänk om Al Davis såg det här schemat. The Raiders play five straight games between Sept. 22 and Oct. 27, at mid-morning on their bodyclocks. Five games in a row, all at 10 a.m. PT.
• Groundhog Day. “What a shock!” Giants president John Mara said when he got word of the Giants-at-Cowboys opener. Let’s see how six of the last eight NFL seasons have opened for these teams:
2012: Dallas at New York
2013: New York at Dallas
2015: New York at Dallas
2016: New York at Dallas
2017: New York at Dallas
2019: New York at Dallas
• Bills Mafia will be screaming about respect. Bills fans are an insular lot, with the Bills Mafia as loyal a fan group as exists in the NFL. What must the Mafiosos have been thinking when Buffalo was the only team of 32 to get zero prime time games? The coaches must love 14 games with 1 p.m. ET starts, and five road trips of an hour or less in the air. But the fans feel only disrespect. The only nod to national attraction is Buffalo’s first Thanksgiving game in 25 years—the mid-afternoon CBS tilt at Dallas.
• The AFC East will be homebodies.The Jets play 16 games in the Eastern Time Zone, the Patriots and Dolphins 15, and the Bills 14. No AFC East team plays a game in Mountain or Pacific Time this year.
• I have a CBS broadcast idea, if the network I do not work for is listening. On the occasion of the 100th season of professional football, the schedule team put a game with historic significance on each week of the schedule. For instance: Week 1, Packers and Bears, the longest-standing rivalry in the game, meet for the 197th time to open the season … Week 2, Cleveland at the Jets on Monday night, a rematch of the first Monday night game ever 49 years ago. And in Week 4, a rematch of the one of the most memorable games in NFL history, from 38 years ago: Chargers 41, Dolphins 38, in the AFC playoffs, in overtime. Re the CBS assignment? I want Dan Fouts, the heroic Chargers quarterback in that heat-stroke of a game and now a CBS color guy, to do analysis for this game. It’s on CBS. It would be fairly perfect.
“As a kid, my whole dream was to win Super Bowls and play QB in the NFL. For me it was always football. But at the same time it wasn’t.”
—Kyler Murray, to Robert Klemko of The MMQB and Sports Illustrated in a magazine story this week.
Enlightening story. Murray’s been beyond quiet leading to the draft. Reminds me a little of Courtney Brown heading into the 2000 draft—he didn’t want to talk to anyone in the media, to the point almost of it being an issue with NFL teams.
His quote here is meaningful, because it says his father, who is his sporting adviser, has always urged him to have a fallback plan. And baseball, according to Klemko, remains that.
“They’ve become not just relevant. They’ve become prominent.”
—NFL scheduling czar Howard Katz, after scheduling the Browns for four prime-time games this season, the most since they were scheduled for five in 2008. Cleveland was 10-6 in 2007.
“Actually the owner is—he’s really a good guy. He’s been a supporter and he’s done a very good job. You have a good team.”
—President Donald Trump, to WMAL in Washington, referring to Washington owner Daniel Snyder.
In the last 13 seasons of Snyder’s ownership, Washington has not won a playoff game, and has won 10 games or more just one time.
“I want to get it fixed because I don’t want to coach for one more year. I want to coach for a lot more years.”
—Alabama coach Nick Saban, who said he needs a hip procedure that will put him out of action for six to eight weeks. He should be healthy by the time summer practice begins for his 13th season at Alabama. He is 146-21 at Alabama.
“Gronkowski’s parting gift.”
—Patriots defensive captain Devin McCourty.
Bill Belichick turned 67 the other day, which is about the time most normal human beings are seriously pondering retirement. There’s no indication Belichick is. With 56 more coaching victories (regular season and postseason), Belichick would become the NFL’s all-time winningest coach. Top three in wins now: Don Shula 347, George Halas 324, Belichick 292. Shula coached 33 seasons and Halas 40; Belichick has coached 24, and in fairness to the leaders, Shula coached half of his career in 14-game seasons, and the majority of Halas’ years were 12-game regular seasons.
What’s interesting to me is how few of the best coaches ever coached this late in their lives. In fact, 12 of the 15 winningest coaches have not coached, or did not coach, at age 67 or older. Belichick will make that 11 of 15 this fall.
Looking at the top 15, and how many seasons they coached after turning 67:
1. Don Shula: 0. Coached last game at 65.
2. George Halas: 6. Went 47-33-5 and won one NFL title after turning 67.
4. Tom Landry: 0. Coached last game at 64.
5. Curly Lambeau: 0. Coached last game at 55.
6. Chuck Noll: 0. Coached last game at 59.
7. Andy Reid: 0. He is 61.
8. Marty Schottenheimer: 0. Coached last game at 63.
9. Dan Reeves: 0. Coached last game at 59.
10. Chuck Knox: 0. Coached last game at 62.
11. Bill Parcells: 0. Coached last game at 65.
12. Tom Coughlin: 3. Went 19-29 after turning 67.
13. Mike Shanahan: 0. Coached last game at 61.
14. Jeff Fisher: 0. Coached last game at 58.
15. Paul Brown: 1. Went 11-4 after turning 67.
Belichick doesn’t talk about how long he’ll coach—surprise!—but those who know him say they think he’s not close to walking away from football. My take: Halas coached his last game at 72. I would not be shocked if Belichick matches that; nor would I be shocked if he coaches two or three more years and ends it. I never sensed the record mattered to him … but if it does, that means he’ll coach six more years. Seems like a stretch, but those who have been around him say he never shows the signs of stress even during big moments of big games that have made some great coaches walk away. Does he look or sound like a 67-year-old man? Not to me.
A perk of being one of the 23 top draft prospects invited to Nashville for the draft is that each player gets 10 round-trip airplane tickets, plus corresponding hotel rooms for three nights for the player and his travel party, gratis.
So, 230 plane tickets plus roughly 180 luxe hotel rooms (some family and/or friends will be couples, and will share a room) … the cost of doing business for putting on the glitzy show in Nashville.
Thanksgiving game one, 2018: Bears-Lions.
Thanksgiving game three, 2018: Saints-Falcons.
Thanksgiving game one, 2019: Bears-Lions.
Thanksgiving game three, 2019: Saints-Falcons.
No traveling in the last few days (that will change this week), but I delight in bringing you highlights from Friday’s 50 States section of USA Today.
Arizona (Phoenix): Dairy farmer Sine K err was t hought to be the favorite in a state cow-milking contest, but her chances were hurt when a scorpion stung her just below her left thumb. “Her milking thumb,” the paper said.
Colorado (Cherry Hills Village): The city has voted to drop “Swastika Acres” from the name of a subdivision.
Indiana (Seymour): Workers installing sewer lines across a farm have unearthed the fossilized bones of a roughly nine-foot-tall mastodon.
And that’s the news of the day.
Send your questions or comments to me at [email protected]
Lots of Steve Keim criticism. From Ravven L.: “I find it interesting that you say the Cards personnel people are at ‘the upper end among personnel people in belief in their ability to pick players’ but then you detail the incredible lack of talent on that team. How are these two statements compatible?”
My statement was about how confident GM Steve Keim and VP of player personnel Terry McDonough are about their personnel acumen—not about their recent performance in the draft and free agency, which has obviously been lacking. I have had issues with some of the Cardinals’ recent personnel decisions, such as giving Sam Bradford so much guaranteed money last year. And GM Steve Keim, obviously, doesn’t have a lot of job security after a three-win season and the hiring of a coach last year that lasted only one season.
But let’s be fair. Arizona won 50 games in Keim’s first five years as GM, got Carson Palmer very cheap in trade with Oakland, and hired Bruce Arians as one of his first decisions as GM (along with club president Michael Bidwill). In his drafts, Keim drafted Tyrann Mathieu with the 69th pick, John Brown with the 91st, and David Johnson with the 86th. He traded the 61st pick plus guard Jonathan Cooper to New England for Chandler Jones; Jones has recorded 41 sacks in his three Cardinals seasons. It’s okay to say Keim is in a personnel slump, but overall, his six years have been better than average.
A cool email about the Ben Roethlisberger pro day. From Frank Corsoe (former sports editor of the Dayton Daily News and Toledo Blade): “As sports editor of the Dayton Daily News, I went to Ben Roethlisberger’s pro day at Miami in 2004. I swear, I thought the Giants were most interested in Ben. They must have had seven people there from Tom Coughlin, [offensive coordinator] John Hufnagel, [GM] Ernie Accorsi, front-office types, etc. There were more than 100 NFL-connected people watching Roethlisberger perform under leaden skies. Following the workout as the NFL Bedouins were off to the next pro day, I see John Dorsey, then director of college scouting for the Packers [and a former top player at UConn] walking up a hill to his car. So I introduced myself to him. Hi, John, I’m Frank Corsoe, I worked at a Connecticut newspaper and enjoyed your career there. I need to ask you a few questions.
What do you see as Roethlisberger’s future in the NFL?
“Are you his PR guy or something?”
No we cover Miami football and he’s an Ohio kid.
“He’s gonna have a good career.”
If you were drafting quarterbacks this year, how do you rate them?
“If I had the first pick, and this is me, it would be taking Eli Manning. He makes all the throws, reads defenses, has a football IQ off the chart and plays in one of the toughest conferences.”
Is that because he’s a Manning?
“Wait a second. If you think of taking a player because his brother is in the league, you won’t be employed for long. I love my job more than anything and wouldn’t risk it for anything that stupid.”
So how do you rate the quarterbacks?
“They will be drafted in this order: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger.”
Good to hear from you, Frank. Moral of the story, I guess, and updated in 2018: Dorsey knows quarterbacks.
1. I think there was a lot of buzz Friday when NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that the Raiders would send home their scouts for the weekend, and for the days leading up to the draft, preventing them from leaking any of the information on the team’s draft board. “The belief is they [Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock] don’t know who to trust and wanted to clear the room,” Rapoport reported. A few thoughts:
• Understand that when Mayock was hired by Gruden and Mark Davis, Mayock took a staff of scouts that had preceded him into the job. For these first few months on the job, Mayock, essentially, was told to trust the scouting reports and counsel of scouts who in many cases he didn’t know. These scouts understand the business. Mayock and Gruden are likely to populate the new scouting staff with scouts who will be loyal to them after the draft. Those on the staff now in many cases were brought in by Reggie McKenzie, dismissed in December.
• Although there is generally good camaraderie between GMs and scouts, some teams do not allow scouts to see the draft board. When Al Davis ran the Raiders draft, according to former Raider employee Mike Lombardi, he didn’t keep an ordered draft board; he kept his list of players in order in a notebook, to keep it away from anyone else. The Patriots, another Lombardi employer, do not open the draft room to scouts unless Bill Belichick wants to see one of them to talk about a player. Coaches and scouts are in the building, but not in the room. “If you’re not a decision-maker,” Lombardi said, “you’re not in the room. Scouts are nearby and coaches are in the building, but the only people in the draft room are the ones who have business in the room. It’s like what Bill says, ’Do your job.’ “ Scouts are not picking the players, so they don’t have to be in the room when the players are picked, in other words.
• But I’ve had access to or knowledge of the inner workings of other draft rooms—Dallas and San Francisco most recently—in which the GMs or owners allow a wide swath of team employees and certainly the scouts to be in the room. So it varies.
• Re Mayock: One of his friends in the league told me the other day he felt this was Mayock’s attempt to take control over a process that he’s running for the first time in his life. “Wouldn’t you think it’s fair for Mike, with three picks in the first round, to close the circle and keep it as tight as he can?” this friend said.
• Mayock’s daughter Leigh tweeted over the weekend that she went out to dinner with her dad recently and when he went to the bathroom, he took his draft notebook with him rather than leave it at the table, where only his daughter was. “Don’t take it personal scouties,” she said.
2. I think for all of you, particularly in Packer Nation, who wonder why in the world Green Bay has never played in England or Mexico, you may not have to wonder that much more. I think Green Bay’s time is coming, likely as soon as 2020, to finally go on the road to play a game in London. The reasons why Green Bay has never had to make the trip are predictable—the Packers don’t want to give up one of eight sold-out home games, and no team hosting the Packers wants to give up that gate because the Packers travel so well and fill the stadium and local hotels with fans. But I think the NFL is conscious of not giving a prized franchise special treatment.
3. I think now, after the Russell Wilson deal in Seattle, there’s only one quarterback contract I expect to see soon: Ben Roethlisberger’s in Pittsburgh. He’s entering the last year of his current deal, he’ll likely sign only one more NFL contract, he’s on record as wanting to play three more years, and the Steelers want him for as long as he wants to play. I expect him to retire playing nowhere but Pittsburgh.
Daniel Jones. (Getty Images)
4. I think this is the time of year it is: I had an NFL coach whose team needs a quarterback tell me last week he didn’t like Daniel Jones of Duke, because though he was a smart quarterback, he wasn’t as accurate or as advanced with his decision-making as he’d like. Then I heard Gil Brandt, prepping for his 61st draft, say about Jones: “When you watch him and you go back  years and watch Peyton Manning, you are watching the same guy.” So who’s right? The coach who wouldn’t draft Jones even in the second round? Or the draft guru of all draft gurus, who has been at this as long as I’ve been alive?
5. I think that’s why the draft is so compelling. So many people. So many opinions.
6. I thinkhowever, I haven’t talked to many people in this pre-draft period who have compared Jones to Peyton Manning. Like, zero.
7. I think the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will not be the same without veteran Steeler beat man Ed Bouchette, who departed for The Athletic last week. I value what Bouchette does so much, and I wish him the best to him in his new job.
8. I think my favorite quote of the spring, and nothing is close for second place, is Giants GM Dave Gettleman responding to a question about the strengths of the 2019 draft by saying, in part, “The wides are thick.” Meaning there are a lot of wide receivers on the Giants board. I just love the way he said it.
9. I think this was an interesting point, from ESPN’s T.J. Quinn on the Robert Kraft case, during an appearance on “Mut and Callahan” on WEEI: “There are people around him who have said to me they can’t believe he doesn’t just take this plea agreement, this diversion agreement that they offered and say, ‘OK, fine, I did this. I am sorry.’ And then move on with it. They are pretty amazed that he’s going to continue to fight it like this.” Man, I could not agree more. This story continues to be in the headlines, and it could have disappeared four weeks ago, when Kraft apologized for the incident. Why apologize if you didn’t do it, and why keep fighting it for four weeks and keeping it in the public eye when you’ve already apologized? It’s baffling.
10. I think these are my other thoughts of the week:
a. God help our country.
b. Important Columbine Story of the Week: Aaron Ontiveroz of the Denver Post, chronicling the voice of Columbine—the people and families who have been most impacted, with the more powerful messages.
c. The photos by Ontiveroz might more powerful than the words.
d. Profile of the Week: ESPN’s Baxter Holmes on the erudite Gregg Popovich, who might know more about wine than basketball, and that is saying something.
e. Story of the Week: The Rise and Fall of a New York Shock Jock, by Nick Paumgarten of the New Yorker. Great story about the downfall of Craig Carton, who teamed with Boomer Esiason on New York sports station WFAN’s morning show. Man, gambling is a one-way street to hell. Just read this piece. And an excellent job of taking us deep inside the story by Paumgarten.
f. “Are you Craig Carton?”
g. “Yes I am.”
h. “You’re under arrest.”
i. My wife and I watch “Jeopardy” most nights. We’ve been riveted in the last couple of weeks by James Holzhauer, the incredibly intelligent, lighning-fast-with-the-buzzer champion who already has the five most lucrative winning shows of all time. Holzhauer is a professional sports gambler, according to the show.
j. Joe Pinsker of The Atlantic with an interesting story about how Holzhauer, essentially, is so brilliant his games are not fair fights.
k. When the challengers get introduced at the start of the show, they’re lambs led to the slaughter. I’ve never seen anything like it.
l. Coffeenerdness: For some reason that is foreign to me, because it’s never happened in my 61 years on earth, I have been getting allergy attacks. And the only thing I want is orange tea packed with lemon and a dot of honey. Three times a day. Marvelous.
m. Good morning. It’s April 22, and Christian Yelich has 13 home runs on the 26th day of the season.
o. The Red Sox won Saturday night on a walkoff pickoff, catcher Christian Vasquez to first baseman Steve Pearce, nailing Tampa Bay’s Tommy Pham. Now there’s something you don’t see every day.
My mock draft stinks. Stinks!
Over/under on direct
hits: Four point five. Hmmmm.