Tag Archives: Daniel Jones

NFL 2020: Ten thoughts before the season

 

Dak Prescott could be on the cusp of a MVP season

By: Elias McMillan

10. The COVID-19 pandemic will affect the season. 

            Look. These teams have been testing for it up and down and 24/7. But they are going to get a positive back, eventually. Someone will make a mistake and the fact that it hasn’t happened yet is nothing short of amazing. But I think that there will be positive tests and it will happen to some big names. And the media will loose their minds about it and call for the season to end. You know it. I know it. Just be prepared for it. The NFL KNOWS this. But that’s why they are prepared. There are protocols in place. Hopefully, they will be able to catch a positive and isolate it in a timely matter to prevent spread. I know that there are no guarantees with this thing. I thought we would be done with it by the summer! What happened with that?!?! But anyways, I think that once the opening week goes off smoothly, this league will never look back. Americans NEED their football and the dealers/owners aren’t taking a “L”. And that’s what I am counting on. Because I don’t need football but I would like to have it so very much. 

9. The messages for Social Justice are NOT going away.

            I think I can say this as a black man and as someone who has been around black people during this summer, “No one is asking for this.” It is not like the racist people in this world will see the “End Racism” stenciled in the back of the end zone and will react like, “End Racism? I didn’t know I had that option.” This pandemic time has been real tough for anybody who wants to see the police not kill unarmed black people because the police are…..killing unarmed black people. That’s what this is all about. Not kneeling. Not the flag. Not the anthem. Its always been about the police killing unarmed black people and having no justice done. That’s it. So, for those who are MAD online about the messages and the protests that are upcoming, sorry, I cant help you. And this will only be for this season. Those who run this league are just now being forced to take their first baby steps away from racism (looking at you, Mr. Snyder), which are going to lead to some cringe fest displays. I’m horrified and I also can’t wait. Are they really going to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before the anthem each week? I heard a rumor that the officials are going to wear “Kente cloth” in October. Just kidding. But see what happens?! Y’all just couldn’t let Colin Kaepernick protest peacefully and finish his playing career. So, now, here we are. 

8. Both New York teams will total 5 wins or less.

            It’s going to be a rough season for the teams that call Metropolis home. The Giants might have a brighter outlook look thanks to Saquon Barkley. QB Daniel Jones will have to prove himself early because so far, he has done nothing. He won a road game in Tampa last year and the media was so fast to crown him. The Jets are ready to crown QB Sam Darnold but that’s going to be hard to do with no weapons around. Excuse me, he does have one weapon in RB Le’Veon Bell but it should be tough sledding for him to even get on the field. Can you believe that head coach Adam Gase has given 87-year-old Frank Gore more reps with the first team offense in training camp? It would be amazing if the Jets could win more than 4 games.

7. The Buffalo Bills will win the AFC East and break the Patriots curse.

            The team from upstate NY will do quite fine this year. The Bills play tough defensively and I like the upgrades they’ve added on offense with WR Stefon Diggs and rookie RB Zach Moss. The race in the AFC East will be a dogfight though. Its going to be interesting to see Cam Newton attempt to lift New England’s lack luster offense and if Miami can get all their young talent in accord and shock some people. But Buffalo’s recent post-season experiences will serve them well, I think. 

6. The hype with Tampa Bay is real.

            Earlier in the off season, I was dead set on thinking that this 2020 Buccaneers team is just a supped up version of the 2019 Cleveland Browns. I mean, they’re certainly the offseason champs, but I don’t see it being a letdown or fluke. There is a reason why all of this talent is gathering there: Tom Brady is ready to win and he’s ready to win now. The Bucs were already a team with a lot of weapons offensively. But you add Tom Brady, who only has to worry about health and not throwing picks, Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy, and now Leonard Fournette? And people don’t give this defense enough credit. They’ll have a dangerous front 7 this year that will hopefully make up for the secondary. New Orleans has a talented roster also but Tampa will be racing them to the top all the way to Week 17.

5. The “Big Ben Revenge” Tour isn’t happening.

            I think the Pittsburgh defense doesn’t get enough credit for what they accomplished in 2019. 8-8? With that offense and those QBs? Definitely impressive. But what if they had a good QB? What would happen? Would 8-8 turn into 14-2? These are the thoughts and questions swirling around the heads of yinzers during the pandemic. Did you see the hype workout videos? Did you see him talk about winning championships? Did you see him apologize to his wife? Listen, its all great and everything. But I’m just not buying any of it. Can Steeler fans just hope that Roethlisberger can stay healthy long enough to get them back to the playoffs? They say that he just needs to stay conscious and standing to be better than backup Mason Rudolph. But if that’s true, what is Rudolph still doing on the roster? You mean to tell me that this well ran organization failed to upgrade the position that doomed them a year ago? But the yinzers are soooo comfortable leaving their championship aspirations up to one man who is 38 and coming off of a serious injury. The NFL is a season-to-season league and father time is undefeated. 

4. The MVP race is going to be TIGHT.

            So, we’re going to have the usual suspects for this award because like the Heisman, it’s just going to go to the best QB. Lamar Jackson. Patrick Mahomes. Russell Wilson. But this year, another will breakout and it will come from the NFC. I’m not sure why but I think the Arizona Cardinals are going to win a lot of games this year or at least be favored in many games. Either way, I can see QB Kyler Murray really start to settle in as a play maker with his arm and legs and playing with WR DeAndre Hopkins will help those stat sheet numbers. Another QB from that conference who I also think will win a lot of games in 2020 is Dak Prescott. Prescott showed great improvement last year as a deep ball passer, while suffering under the coaching of Jason Garrett and being let down by a few huge drops in season altering games. With new coaching and new playmakers, Prescott is going to thrive and I think the entire league will take notice. In fact, I think it will be him. He is my pick. Dak Prescott is going to have a MVP season. Write it down.

3. Baltimore will win the AFC.

Here’s how I see the AFC playing out:

  1. Baltimore – North (Bye)
  2. Kansas City – West
  3. Houston – South
  4. Buffalo – East
  5. Tennessee – Wild
  6. Denver – Wild
  7. Pittsburgh or Cleveland or New England

Man, the playoffs are going to be fun this year. Maybe there won’t be that many surprises but I’m feeling okay about putting Denver in especially with the Chargers losing Derwin James. I’m sure Pittsburgh will make it with a healthy Big Ben but if not, why not Cleveland?! New England wouldn’t surprise me either but I’m worried that Cam won’t be enough to save that offense.

Wild-card Weekend: Chiefs over Steelers, Broncos over Texans, Titans over Bills

Divisional: Ravens over Broncos, Chiefs over Titans

Conference: Ravens over Chiefs

2. For the first time in 25 years, the Dallas Cowboys will win the NFC.

            Here’s how I see the NFC playing out:

  1. Arizona – West (Bye)
  2. Dallas – East
  3. New Orleans – South
  4. Minnesota – North
  5. Tampa Bay – Wild
  6. Green Bay – Wild
  7. San Francisco or Philadelphia

So, let me explain my NFC West pick. I think Arizona, San Fran, and Seattle will win 10 plus games. The division champ will only be separated by one game. I like San Fran’s defense the best but I have questions about their offense. I think Arizona’s defense is going to be good enough to have them in the conversation for the Super Bowl and Kyler Murray will have a breakout campaign. The Cowboys return the number one offense in the league. But imagine if they had a defense that occasionally stopped someone and created short fields for that offense. Imagine if Dak Prescott had new and younger targets (CeeDee Lamb, Blake Jarwin) and not old retreads (Jason Witten, Randall Cobb). New head coach Mike McCarthy came to win and to win now.

Wild-card Weekend: Cowboys over 49ers, Saints over Packers, Buccaneers over Vikings

Divisional: Saints over Cardinals, Cowboys over Buccaneers

Conference: Cowboys over Saints

1. My Super Bowl LV Prediction: The Ravens will win the Super Bowl

            Baltimore and Dallas would be a matchup of two teams that love to run the ball. Man, there would be so much spice if Earl Thomas ends up in Dallas. I would imagine that this would be the game where the Dallas run defense doesn’t show up and Lamar Jackson has his Super Bowl moment. If this were to happen, as a fan, I would just be thrilled to be apart of it.             Prediction: Ravens 38, Cowboys 34

 

NFL 2020: NFC Preview

TeflonTommy

After ruling one conference, Teflon Tommy arrives in Tampa looking to leave his mark on the NFC.

By: Elias McMillan

NFC

NFC East

It’s August and I’m feeling good about the upcoming season for the Dallas Cowboys. I know that when you just read that, your mind was screaming “Noooo. It’s a trap!” But really, I have no problem saying this about Dallas and setting myself up for a major disappointment. Why? Because why not. It is not out of the realm of possibilities to think this. The Cowboys return the number one offense in the NFL. They can certainly run it with Ezekiel Elliott. And Dak Prescott ran an improved passing attack, which added the best WR in CFB. Will the defense hold them back again? We’ll things could be different this time around. Major changes to the defensive line and a Bryon Jones-less, turnover-hungry approach in the secondary would make things even easier for Dak and the offense. But this hype has fallen short time and time again. What if the defense doesn’t improve? What if the offensive line starts to decline? Injuries? Etc. I’m just saying that it looks like new head coach Mike McCarthy has done his due diligence (including drafting extremely well this past April) so I’m expecting this team to win many regular season games. I’m not sure what that means for the playoffs. I feel confident saying that Philadelphia will be next to Dallas in terms of competition in the NFC East. Where Philly lacks in talent they make up for it with grit and toughness, which got them to the playoffs last year.  QB Carson Wentz returns still looking to regain that 2017 form while playing well enough to keep rookie QB Jalen Hurts on the bench. RB Miles Sanders could have a big year as the Eagles “A1” option in the backfield. The Eagles have many questions at wide out but they hope rookie Jalen Reagor can provide some answers. On defense, Philly features a beastly front led by Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, and newcomer Javon Hargrave. CB Darius Slay comes over from Detroit to a secondary that lost Malcolm Jenkins in the offseason. The Washington Football Team may not have a mascot (yet), but they quietly have a nice collection of young talent. Their QB situation is intriguing. QB Dwayne Haskins is looking to fully grasp the starting spot but veteran Alex Smith is also in the mix after rehabbing a gruesome leg injury. Also lost in all the QB talk, how different the offensive line will look without Trent Williams. In the backfield, they had to release one of their younger guys but the remarkable Adrian Peterson, at age 35, may be a player for Washington to rely on. WR “Scary” Terry McLaurin looks to continue his success from his rookie year. Washington has a talented defensive line and even more so now with the addition of DE Chase Young who is said to be the best overall player in the draft. I don’t see the New York Giants winning many games this year. QB Daniel Jones won a game last year at Tampa and the media immediately crowned him. I mean, he did show promise last season but let’s relax. I don’t think he has proven anything yet. The only thing proven about this offense is RB Saquon Barkley. On defense, there’s nothing to be exciting about. It’s just a mixture of mid-level veterans and unproven young guys. It’s going to be a rough year for football in New York.

Playoff Teams in CAPS Projected Finish: 1) DALLAS, 2) Philadelphia, 3) Washington, 4) New York Giants

NFC North

In 2020, Minnesota won’t look too different than a season ago. Which means, on paper, they’ll still have the best roster in the NFC North. QB Kirk Cousins is coming off a good year and the Vikings offense will also welcome back stars like RB Dalvin Cook, WR Adam Thielen, and TE Kyle Rudolph. They traded away WR Stephon Diggs but they drafted a possible replacement in Justin Jefferson. The Vikings will look different upfront defensively this year without Everson Griffen but they’ll feature DE Danielle Hunter who is one the best at his position. Once again, Anthony Barr will lead a talented group at LB. Many changes at the CB position but the Vikings do offer one of the top safety tandems in the league with Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris. It’s almost forgettable that the Packers made the NFC Championship last season. But they were in the position to help their cause in the off season through the draft but they chose not to. I’m guessing that the front office is thinking that the team will be good as long as they have QB Aaron Rodgers though they drafted his possible replacement in the first round. WR DeVante Adams is really good but that stands out even more because Green Bay doesn’t have a reliable second option. I think RB Aaron Jones has proven himself and I’m intrigued to see rookie A.J. Dillon. Green Bay’s defense isn’t all that great but they have two great players in LB Preston and Za’Darius Smith. Chicago is a team with many talented players but I don’t feel so confident about their chances this year. QB Mitch Trubisky has struggled and now he is pretty much playing to keep his starting job as the front office brought in Nick Foles in the offseason. I thought RB Tarik Cohen would break out last year but that didn’t happen. David Montgomery grabbed the reigns of the running duties in the backfield but he may have some injury issues. I do really like Chicago’s WR core. It’s a nice mix of young players and veterans like Allen Robinson. The Bears will have a great pass rush as long as they have LB Khalil Mack and even more so this year with Robert Quinn joining on. The Bears have another playmaker on defense. Safety Eddie Jackson has emerged and earned himself a big contract extension. The Lions will have a decent roster this year but I don’t think they’ll be good enough to contend for the playoffs. QB Matt Stafford returns from injury looking to re-establish himself as one of the better passers in the NFL. They’ll have a nice mix at RB with Kerryon Johnson and rookie D’Andre Smith. Stafford will also have the weapons at WR with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. On defense, Detroit’s front in a work in progress, which is why they brought in Danny Shelton from New England. They are surprisingly talented at the LB position. Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones, and Jamie Collins are all good players. The secondary will be without Darius Slay, putting the spotlight solely on first round pick Jeff Okudah from Ohio State.

Playoff Teams in CAPS Projected Finish: 1) MINNESOTA, 2) GREEN BAY, 3) Chicago, 4) Detroit

NFC South

This division could be defined by the play at the quarterback position. The Saints have had the best overall roster in recent history but they haven’t been able to turn that into post-season gold. New Orleans will return their usual suspects on offense with Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Karmara. The Saints are equipped with reinforcements at the offensive skills positions even at QB with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill.  New Orleans returns most of their starters on defense and they brought back Malcolm Jenkins as a veteran presence in the secondary. The most hyped team in this division is one that signed Tom Brady in the off-season. Tampa Bay had a productive offense a season ago but expectations will be even higher with Brady, who also brought along TE Rob Gronkowski. It was already enough that this offense features Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at WR. There will also be much intrigue in the backfield with the returning Ronald Jones and newcomer veteran LeSean McCoy. My question with this team is if the defense can be good enough to keep the opposing team off the scoreboard. Upfront, Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea can eat up enough blockers to free up playmaking LB’s Devin White and Shaquil Barrett. But that secondary struggled last season. Rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. could be a player that would help that situation. Atlanta will be under the radar once again this season. The stability that QB Matt Ryan has brought to this franchise doesn’t get talked about enough. Atlanta’s offense is really about how dominant WR Julio Jones can be on any given Sunday afternoon. RB Todd Gurley comes home looking to prove that he can stay healthy. On defense, DT Grady Jarrett is the main disrupter on the line of scrimmage and LB Dion Jones is also a big playmaker. Carolina will be rebuilding after firing their head coach, bringing in an inexperienced hire, and going through a messy divorce with the franchise’s most visible player. Now at QB, Teddy Bridgewater is finally betting on himself after a history of being injured in Minnesota and learning from Drew Brees in New Orleans. He’ll be greatly assisted in the backfield by RB Christian McCaffery who is one of the most electrifying players in the league. Bridgewater’s options at WR don’t sound exciting but they do have D.J. Moore and veteran Robby Anderson. The Panthers are going to be really young defensively this year. I like who they added in the draft on their defensive line. LB Shaq Thompson takes over as the leader of this defense after years of playing along side of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis.

Playoff Teams in CAPS Projected Finish: 1) NEW ORLEANS, 2) TAMPA BAY, 3) Atlanta, 4) Carolina

NFC West

So, there’s always a surprise team that breaks out and goes from last place to first. I think that team will come from this division. Seattle and San Francisco have been battling for supremacy in the NFC West more recently but in 2020 I think it will be the Arizona Cardinals who will make a huge leap. QB Kyler Murray flashed potential last year and earned Rookie of the Year honors. I think this season he’ll continue to show improvement and in result, Arizona will be in contention. What is really going to help Murray this year is newcomer WR DeAndre Hopkins. After being casted off by Houston, Hopkins will be looking to show what everyone else knows, that he is one of the best WR in football. In a division with so many great defenses, I think the Cardinals will be able to say that they are among them. The group they have at LB is among the best in the league. They have a premiere pass rusher in Chandler Jones and multiple veterans at the LB position who are going to help mold their top pick in the draft, Isaiah Simmons. If Simmons can accumulate quickly to the pro game, this defense is going to be scary as he is a player who can make an impact as a rusher or in coverage. The Cardinals have had issues with pass coverage but they return veteran CB Patrick Peterson and free safety Budda Baker. The 49ers will be looking to repeat as conference champs this season. Embattled QB Jimmy Garoppolo is back as he is still trying to solidify himself as one of the league’s top passers. San Fran returns tons of depth in the backfield but not at WR where they are already suffering from many injuries. Rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk maybe thrown into the spotlight early in his career. Garoppolo will be able to count on TE George Kittle who is at the top in his position in the NFL. The Niners had a great defense a season ago but there will be changes this year. DeForest Bunkner was traded away from a talented group at defensive line that includes Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead. Rookie DT Javon Kinlaw will most likely fit right in with this group, as he was a highly disruptive force at South Carolina. The 49ers also have a productive group at LB as Fred Warner has been able to develop nicely. I like play in this secondary doesn’t matter much when you have such a dominant front four but loudmouth CB Richard Sherman will lead that group if he can continue to stay healthy. Seattle will stay in the mix in this division as long as they have QB Russell Wilson. Seattle will however be a run heavy offense this year, which means plenty of RB Chris Carson. The Seahawks don’t really have a “No.1” at WR but they’ll return Tyler Lockett who gained over 1,000 yards in 2019. We shouldn’t sleep on DK Metcalf who definitely has potential. I’m sure what TE Greg Olsen has to offer because he just can’t stay off the injured list. On defense, Seattle made a big splash trading for safety Jamal Adams. He joins a secondary that surprisingly struggled last year. Seattle will be tough in the middle of that defense with LB Bobby Wagner roaming around. In Los Angeles, the Rams will open up a new stadium hoping to mark the beginning of a new era for the franchise. I think the Rams have some talented players but as a whole, their roster doesn’t match up in this division. QB Jared Goff is criticized because of his contract but he’s an okay player. Todd Gurley is no longer in the backfield but the combo of Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson wasn’t too bad in his absence. I think rookie RB Cam Akers is going to be the breakout star for this offense. At WR, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are a decent duo. Really, this team only has two great players and they’re both of defense. DT Aaron Donald is beastly and CB Jalen Ramsey talks a lot but usually can back it up. I think the Rams will finish last in this division but probably with a 8-8 record. They wont be a terrible football team. I just think the other three teams in the division have a lot more talent.

Playoff Teams in CAPS Projected Finish: 1) ARIZONA, 2) SAN FRANCISCO, 3) Seattle, 4) L.A. Rams

NFL 2019: Week 17 Predictions (Condensed Version)

Steelers Bengals Football

Can the “Duck Man” lead Pittsburgh past Baltimore this weekend and into the playoffs? Somehow, I doubt it.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 12-4

Season: 147-92-1

Week 17 Picks

Jets over Bills – Buffalo has already clinched their playoff spot and will be better off resting starters. The Jets could have a 7-win season after starting off 1-7. Not bad.

Browns over Bengals – Cincy is committed to the tank. The Browns could finish with seven wins. I said this about Cleveland back in August, “You have to crawl before you can walk.”

Packers over Lions – I see Detroit playing them tough but Green Bay could be in line for a first round bye in the post season.

Chiefs over Chargers – Kansas City has slim chances to improve their playoff position. But they have also had some bad luck this year when it comes to injuries. They could also rest their regulars.

Bears over Vikings – Minnesota is locked in at the 6 spot in the NFC and they’ve already announced that they will rest key starters.

Patriots over Dolphins – New England, with a win here, would clinch the number two seed in the AFC.

Falcons over Buccaneers – After a bad start, Atlanta has rebounded and saved the jobs of their head coach and general manager. That’s something to be proud of.

Saints over Panthers – New Orleans will need to win this one to avoid playing during Wild-Card Weekend. And what is this I’m hearing about Antonio Brown? Sean Payton, don’t do this. It could be fun. But, just say no.

Giants over Eagles – Philadelphia stinks. I’ll applaud their defense for last week, at least. But still. Not a very good team. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley will look dynamic.

Washington over Cowboys – The Dallas Cowboys are a complete waste of time. It would be so “on brand” for the Eagles to lose but then Dallas fails to take advantage. I’m looking forward to the “Dallas fires Head Coach Jason Garrett” update scrolling across my screen. Having to watch this team for another week is punishment enough.

Raiders over Broncos – Oakland, despite the injuries, got the win last week and has a chance to sneak into the post season this weekend. Jon Gruden is quietly doing an okay job in Oakland.

Rams over Cardinals – Two teams with nothing to play for. For those watching this one, count how many times the announcers mention the ages of the head coaches.

Colts over Jaguars – Jacksonville is going to have an interesting offseason coming up in 2020.

Ravens over Steelers – Baltimore has the #1 seed locked up in the AFC and will rest their starters. But even with a playoff spot on the line, I don’t see Pittsburgh being successful with their current situation at the QB position.

Titans over Texans – Houston is going about business as usual this week but I’m not falling for it. If Coach Bill O’Brien has a brain, he will undoubtedly rest his starters this week ahead of Wild-Card weekend. Tennessee will be ready to take advantage.

49ers over Seahawks – San Fran has grown since losing to Seattle just weeks ago. Plus, the Seahawks are a bit dinged up. It is a big spot to win on the road in Seattle but I think the 49ers can do it and clinch home field advantage for themselves in the NFC.

2019 NFL Draft: No Mock. Just Random Thoughts.

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Where will Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray land? I say, not in Arizona.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Alright. Unfortunately, I did not do a NFL mock draft this year. But I’ve always loved this time of year to research and pretend to know what I’m talking about based on minutes upon hours and hours of watching highlights on YouTube. So, again, no mock, but here are just some random thoughts about how I think this weekend will go down in Nashville.

  • What is Arizona going to do with the first pick? Well, I think it is NOT going to be Kyler Murray, the standout QB out of Oklahoma. I’m not a believer in this year’s QB class but Murray is probably the top signal caller in this draft. I just think that’s not saying much. I don’t see Murray as a NFL caliber passer like Mayfield “appears” to be. He’s indeed a talented player. He can throw. He can run. He can be a playmaker. But the HOPE is that he can be Russell Wilson. Can be. Sounds too risky. Wilson is Wilson. But for every Wilson, there’s been 5 or 6 guys with similar skill sets and ran similar, fast, wide open offenses in college that just haven’t panned out. Bottom line is that Murray could be the next great thing in this league but I don’t see it right now as a sure thing. He is going to need work. Arizona DRAFTED a QB in the first round last year. Arizona was a bad team last season. They need to build that team up, put better players around that QB (Rosen) and not muddy the situation further. Arizona should take the best player available at 1 and that player is Ohio State Defensive End Nick Bosa.

 

  • So, where does that leave Murray? I predict that a big trade will happen. I think Arizona, San Fran, the Jets, or Oakland will be the ones to receive the “King’s Ransom”. Which team will pull the trigger? My first thought was maybe the New York Giants. They need to face the facts in the first place about Eli Manning and work on replacing him. If the Giants were crazy enough to trade away OBJ, maybe they would do the same in terms of finding a new QB. But now, I’m hearing a more logical option: Washington. It would be such a Dan Snyder move. Despite that fact such a trade would echo the disaster that was the RG3 situation, Washington is in desperate need for a QB. Freak accidents to Alex Smith and then Colt McCoy completely wrecked their 2018 and the signs are pointing to both of those guys not being back. Ever. Washington NEEDS a QB and I believe that they can convince themselves that Kyler Murray can be their “Russell Wilson”. I can only imagine the trade package they dream up but it will have to be ridiculous.

 

  • Again, I think Murray is the best QB in this draft. From what I’ve seen, I’m not impressed with Dook’s Daniel Jones. I don’t understand the whole “I’ve worked with David Cutcliffe and he knows the Mannings so that means he knows quarterbacks” angle. He might be a better passer but not nearly in the same class of a playmaker. Ohio State quarterbacks have burned me before (I really liked Cardale Jones) but I’m kind of rooting for Dwayne Haskins to fall into a good situation. I think he’s better than Jones and he’s a guy who has shown improvement during his time in college. I think it means something that he’s been able to show improvement as his college career went on. It shows that he’s coachable. I’m not a big fan of this QB class but other passers that intrigue me are West Virginia’s Will Grier and Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson.

 

  • As for the rest of the draft, ehhhhh, I don’t know. Let’s talk the AFC North because there’s been so much talk within that division this offseason. The Pittsburgh Steelers have replaced the Dallas Cowboys in terms of being in the news every week for some unimportant, social media back and forth or whatever. Despite all the talk about AB and Bell and the “Killer B” era ending without a championship, I hope the Steeler faithful realize that the real reason why that era ended the way it did was because of the opposite side of the football. The Steelers have had multiple draft misfires on defense during that time and THAT’S what held them back. I think Pittsburgh will probably look for help on the defense side again. They need to. Inside Linebacker, Cornerback, Safety, Pass Rusher. They are all options. They just need someone to really pan out. Either way, I’m excited about what is about to happen in that division. Because I believe that a changing of the guard is about to happen. You can place your faith in a 37-year-old QB and yes, Ben is still supremely talented. And yes, offensive talent can be replaced and reloaded and blah, blah, blah. But I believe that they will truly miss the production from those guys because they were really, really, good. Especially AB. Ben lead the league in passing last season, I know. But, Father Time is undefeated. So, Pittsburgh really needs a strong defensive draft to finally pan out. I’m not saying that I’m buying into all the Cleveland hype either. But I believe that they will at least be there. I won’t say that the Browns are automatically “contenders” because of the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. They certainly have the talent to maybe be an 8-win team. The AFC North schedule will be tough for all 4 teams in 2019. The Steelers COULD be an 9-10 win team. That’s not far from 8. I think the division will be a dogfight into December. I feel that even Cincinnati could be there. I’m excited to see what they can do now that they finally have a new regime. I wonder if they’ll take a new QB in Round One to really signal the end of the Marvin Lewis/Andy Dalton era. Too bad Baltimore’s defense was gutted in free agency. They now need as much defensive help as Pittsburgh. Either way, the changing of the guard is coming to the AFC North and personally, I can’t wait……

 

  • Let’s talk about my Cowboys finally, who do not have a first round pick. Which I’m not upset about. I guess the Amari Cooper trade “worked”. Dallas went on a run. Won the division. And now they at least have reasonable hope going into 2019. But that hope usually does not translate with this franchise for whatever reason in recent years (23 years to be exact). Especially following a “successful” season. What is a successful season for Dallas anymore? A playoff win? Sad. Anyways, I think Dallas can still find the help they need with their late round selections. A run stuffing DT could be an option. A young safety or tight end prospect could be in play as well. I really want to see which young running back they select because as good as Ezekiel Elliott is, he is still a RB. And watching him last year, I saw a guy who was TIRED. Because they are running him into the ground. Because he is Dallas’ greatest weapon on the entire team. You can’t really say that about any other team where the Running Back, the most expendable player in football, is THE guy who makes it work. PSU’s Miles Sanders, Stanford’s Bryce Love, and Trayveon Williams out of Texas A&M are runners that could be a nice fit.