Tag Archives: Eric Ebron

NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Predictions

Wild Card Round - Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts

Can Andrew Luck and Colts upset the AFC’s top seed on the road Saturday?


By: Elias McMillan

Wild Card: 2-2

Playoffs 2-2

Divisional Round

Indianapolis @ Kansas City – Last weekend’s win in Houston went kind of like I expect it would for Indy. The Colts looked impressive on both sides of the ball. The defense limited Houston to just 7 points. Andrew Luck looked like himself passing the ball around and the Colts even ran the ball well. The Colts have the momentum going into a showdown with the AFC’s #1 seed. Kansas City jumped to the top the AFC this season behind the production of MVP candidate, QB Patrick Mahomes. Even with the suspension of RB Kareem Hunt, the Chiefs offense hasn’t missed a beat all season. On Saturday, the Colts will have to account for the speed of WR Tyreek Hill and the physicality of TE Travis Kelce. I think Kansas City will find success offensively in this matchup. The question for the Chiefs all season has been about their defense. The Chiefs can score a lot but they can also give up a lot as well. The team with the ball last may end up winning this one. There’s a narrative out there about Andy Reid’s teams in the post-season always coming up short. I bet this Chiefs team wants to be the group that bunks that trend. I also think the home field advantage will play a part in this one. Prediction: Chiefs 38 – Colts 33

Dallas @ Los Angeles Rams – Dallas’ victory last week at home against Seattle wasn’t as impressive as they wanted it to be but they got the job done. Now, they will be looking to enter uncharted territory when they travel to LA to face the Rams. Dallas hasn’t advanced to the conference championship round in 20 plus years and they haven’t won a playoff game on the road in about the same time frame. But this is a Dallas team that believes they have it in them. In their case, I believe they have the best defense left in the NFC. The Cowboys did a great job limiting Seattle’s run game last week. I am a bit worried about the secondary, as Seattle really didn’t press the issue until the game was out of the reach. This probably won’t be the case on Saturday night. Even with Todd Gurley returning from injury, the Rams know that they big play offense has been depended on what Jared Goff can do in the passing game. The Rams offense lit up scoreboards for most of this season but they have cooled off significantly heading into the post-season. Maybe losing WR Cooper Kupp to injury has something to do with that. I don’t really believe the Rams have a game breaker at the WR position. Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks are nice players but they don’t demand the entire defense’s attention. If they can’t get Goff going, I think their best bet is to force feed Gurley who is bound to make a big play as a runner or receiver. The Rams have well known players on their defense but as a unit, they just haven’t been that good. DT Aaron Donald is beast and is capable of possibly winning this game himself. Despite having him up front, the Rams are pretty average against the run. Dallas will continue to run the offense through Ezekiel Elliott and he will eventually put the Cowboys in scoring positions. CB’s Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib have a history of making big plays but they are also risk takers. If QB Dak Prescott can stay away from Donald, he’ll be able to find his receivers downfield for some big plays off a double move or play action. The moment I feel that the Cowboys may do something worth talking about is the same moment when they usually disappoint me. Knowing this, I’m still going with my gut on this one. The Rams are not the offensive machine they were earlier this season and usually, a good defense can beat a good offense in January. This will be close but I’m taking the road team in the upset as the Cowboys fans will probably take over the stadium as well. Prediction: Cowboys 27 – Rams 24

Los Angeles Chargers @ New England – Despite Baltimore’s late push last week, the Chargers were fairly in control in that game. Now, they’ll make another long trip back to the east coast to face playoff staple, New England. This isn’t the same Patriots team that we are accustomed to seeing in January. The Patriots were able to win their division and gain a first round bye in the post season but this is probably their weakest playoff team during the Bill Belicheck era. Tom Brady is still a very good QB at his age but the Patriots have had receiver issues all season. Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan have both been banged up and they don’t have much waiting in the wings. The big play guy in the passing game has been TE Rob Gronkowski but even he doesn’t look like his normal self. The Patriots do have a plenty of options at RB but they are a team that just can’t depend on the run. The Chargers proved last week that they can handle a run first offense and it will also help that they have the pass rushers to get after Brady. New England has been known for years recently to have a less than impressive defense. I think this will allow QB Phillip Rivers to really push the issue in the passing game. Rivers has never beaten Brady in the post-season but I think this is his best shot. The Chargers are capable to out-physical New England on both sides of the ball. I like the Chargers in an upset that really shouldn’t be an upset. Prediction: Chargers 29 – Patriots 20

Philadelphia @ New Orleans – As much as I hate to admit, the Eagles actually matchup well with the Saints. I know this is the same team that was blown out by them on the road but a lot has changed since then. The Eagles don’t have a run game so they are forced to unleash the full capability of QB Nick Foles. The play of Foles during this last month are becoming the stuff of legend as he looks to help the Eagles make a return trip to the Super Bowl. I think the play of the Saints secondary plays in favor to the Eagles as that unit isn’t a strength for the home team. Philadelphia has also received great play out of their offensive line.  Knowing that they are a pass-first offense, they are going to need another great performance from that unit as New Orleans has an impressive front four on defense. But I think this game will have to turn on QB Drew Brees exposing the Eagles defense. This was something that the Bears failed to do last week. The Eagles will have to account for RB’s Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram but they should be okay with what they have in their front seven defensively. Philly’s weakness in the secondary and Brees must be able to exploit that. I think the Eagles will be able to do damage and score points in this one but I think Brees will be the one to set the tone causing Philly to play catch up for most of the game. Prediction: Saints 41 – Eagles 31


NFL Playoffs: Wild-Card Round Predictions


QB Russell Wilson marches an impressive Seahawks team into Dallas this weekend.


By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 12-4

Final Regular Season Record: 150-104-2

Wild-Card Round

Indianapolis @ Houston – These interdivisional playoff matchups are usually really competitive so I’m expecting a close matchup here between AFC South rivals. The Colts and Texans split their meetings in the regular season with the road team winning in each matchup. In their first meeting in Houston, plenty of points were scored as the Texans escaped by a field goal. A lot has changed with both teams since then. More so with Indy. The Colts caught fire late this season and they’ve been able to ride their current wave they’re on into the post season. With Indy, you know what you’re getting with their offense. QB Andrew Luck is a candidate for comeback player of the year. At receiver, they don’t have much outside of T.Y. Hilton but TE Eric Ebron has been a breakout player after a disappointing start to his career in Detroit. In the second half of the season, the Colts found their running game as Marlon Mack has emerged as a difference maker along with rookie Nyneim Hines. But what has really been impressive about the Colts this season has been the toughness they’ve shown on the defensive side of the ball. Rookie LB Darius Leonard led the league in tackles this season and he sets the tone for this “bend but don’t break” defense. Houston will present a lot of challenges offensively. QB Deshaun Watson is a playmaker with his arm and legs. It helps that he has an all-Pro WR to go to in DeAndre Hopkins. RB Lamar Miller has also quietly had a nice season. I think this game will hinge on if the Houston defense shows up and makes big plays. The Texans do defend the run well up front with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. But they also have the tendency to give up big plays in the secondary. I think the Colts will be able to attack through the air for some big plays if Luck can avoid the Texans pass rush. Despite having Hopkins, I don’t think Watson will be able to out produce Luck especially with how well Indy’s defense has been playing. Despite winning 11 games, Houston really hasn’t beaten a quality opponent this season outside of that early season victory against the Colts. I think Indy is playing better football right now and they’ll get the win on the road Saturday. Prediction: Colts 34 – Texans 24

Seattle @ Dallas – The Seahawks hammered Dallas at home back in September but in this rematch, I expect them to see a different Cowboys team. After starting the season 3-5, Dallas saved their season by trading for WR Amari Cooper, leaning on their defense, and allowing the other teams in their division to collapse. Seattle has had an impressive regular season that no one really saw coming. Without the Legion of Boom, Seattle stuck to their guns and now they look like a team that no one in the playoffs wants to see. QB Russell Wilson continues to lead this offense efficiently while at the same time having the potential to create a big plays after each snap. RB Chris Carson has been a big part of Seattle’s offense as he is one of the top rushers in football this year. Seattle’s wideouts still have that underrated label on them but defensive backs across the league know how dangerous Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett can be. Yes, the Legion of Boom is gone but this Seahawks defense is underrated. LB Bobby Wagner is a guy that Dallas will need to key on as he is always around the ball. Seattle’s defense ranked in the middle of the road this year against the run and the passing game. I think Dallas can really present some issues for them on offense. As usual, everything for Dallas will run through RB Ezekiel Elliott. But Seattle can not completely write off what QB Dak Prescott can bring to the table. Dallas allowed Dak to gain extra reps last week in a meaningless game in New York. I wouldn’t be surprised if that experience left him with more confidence so we could see him take more chances down the field to Copper and the other receivers. Dallas’ turnaround this season was heavily aided by the play of their defense. DE Demarcus Lawrence has solidified himself as one of the top pass rushers in the game. Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch are basically what Carolina had a few years ago with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. And CB Byron Jones is having an all-Pro season in his first year in that position. The Cowboys on defense will have to focus on preventing the big plays from Wilson but they also have to account for Seattle’s running game. Dallas ranks in the top five for run defense but then I remember what the Colts did to them in their last defeat. I think Seattle is capable of using the run to set up the big plays from their QB. Dallas created a lot of big plays on their own last week but that was against the Giants. These teams are almost equally matched. I guess we also have to consider that Seattle has a knack for under performing on the road. But they are more experienced in these situations. My heart is with the home team but I think Wilson will lift Seattle to victory. Prediction: Seahawks 24 – Cowboys 23

Los Angeles Chargers @ Baltimore – The Ravens really bullied the Chargers a few weeks ago. I think experience will prove to be a great teacher as LA travels up to Baltimore looking for revenge. Baltimore was able to dominate LA in their first meeting upfront on offense and defense. The Ravens collapsed that offensive line and made it tough for QB Phillip Rivers to create in the passing game. I think LA will be better prepared for what Baltimore brings to the table. For starters, the Chargers are healthier on offense. RB Melvin Gordon will be ready to go and big play TE Hunter Henry will also be returning from injury. Baltimore has a tough front 7 on defense but their secondary can give big plays. The key for the Chargers will be to keep their QB away from pressure so he and WR Keenan Allen can attack this secondary. LA’s defense has been shaky but they have some great individual talent. I’m a big time believer in edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Rookie safety Derwin James is another young player who makes plays on this defense. The Chargers will have to focus on stopping what Baltimore can do in the running game. Rookie QB Lamar Jackson has been a killer with his running ability during Baltimore’s run to a division title. RB’s Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon have proven to be more than serviceable recently as well. LA shouldn’t dare Jackson to throw but they do have to account for Baltimore’s strength, which is the run game. If the Chargers can better protect Rivers this time around, I really like their chances on the road. Rivers is at the end of his career. These opportunities for him are not guaranteed. Knowing this, I think the Chargers will make the best of it and score the upset. Prediction: Chargers 29 – Ravens 24

Philadelphia @ Chicago – Finally, a game that is not a rematch from earlier this season. The Bears eliminated Minnesota last week in the final game of the regular season, making this matchup possible. Philadelphia defied odds late in this season, scoring upsets in LA and against Houston to spring them into the postseason conversation. The Eagles, much like last year, are rallying around QB Nick Foles. Foles didn’t start the 2018 season great but he has really come on recently. The Eagles are going to have to lean on Foles and the air attack in this game. The Eagles don’t have a run game to talk about and they’re facing a defense that is tough upfront and in the secondary. I expect to see LB Khalil Mack and company to set the tone in this game at the line of scrimmage and in the backfield pressuring the QB. I also believe that Philly’s defense will not be able to account for Chicago’s many weapons on offense. QB Mitch Trubisky has a great cast around him in the backfield with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen and at wideout with Allen Robinson and rookie Anthony Miller. The way the Eagles got into the post season was a nice story but it will end in Chicago on Sunday. Prediction: Bears 27 – Eagles 13


NFL Playoffs: 2017 NFL Wild-Card Weekend Predictions!


Miami’s run to the playoffs started in Week 6 against the Steelers. On Sunday, the Dolphins will meet them again in Pittsburgh.

By: Elias McMillan


Last Week: 14-2

Final 2016 Regular Season Record: 163-91-2

NFL Playoffs: Wildcard Weekend

Oakland @ Houston – For the second straight year, ESPN gets stuck with coverage of a playoff game in Houston that no one really wanted to see. Oakland was such a great story this season until about 2 weeks ago. Within that time, they have lost their starter and backup QB in rout to already being clinched for a post-season berth in the playoffs. Where Oakland goes from here is anyone’s guess. Houston has had its QB troubles recently too. Houston’s 72 million dollar man, QB Brock Osweiler, was bench about 3 weeks ago but because of a concussion suffered by his replacement, backup Tom Savage, Osweiler will be back in the starting position this Saturday. We have to imagine that Osweiler isn’t feeling too confident about his standing as the leader of the offense or as a competent QB in this league. The fact is that Osweiler hasn’t lived up to expectations this season. I’m not sure if Houston is going to need Osweiler to be great to win this playoff game. Houston has other weapons on the team that will make them a tough out for the Raiders. RB Lamar Miller had a good first season with the Texans. He was held out from the last two games of the regular season and he should be fresh and ready to go this weekend. Oakland will have to find a way to account for Miller as they ranked 23rd in the league in run defense. Houston is going to have to run the ball effectively in this game in order to control the clock and to keep Osweiler from making a mistake. Oakland doesn’t have a strong run defense but their defense can affect the game in other ways. Edge rushers, Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin, have made a living this season at creating chaos in the opponents back field. Oakland allows quite a few yards through the air but I like the way safety Reggie Nelson has been playing lately. Oakland doesn’t have the best defense in the playoffs but they have the ability to create turnovers that can change the game. After being down two QB’s, the Raiders will have to start QB Connor Cook on Saturday who is making his career debut as a pro. Cook is a real wildcard in this matchup because no one knows what to expect from him. Oakland’s offensive line has a huge task ahead of them as they will have to protect their young QB against a pretty good Houston defense. DE Jadeveon Clowney has finally emerged as a difference maker on the field with the absence of J.J. Watt. Oakland has had a serviceable running game this season so with Cook starting, we may see a steady dose of RB Latavius Murray. Houston has one of the top pass defenses in the league so it will be interesting seeing how Cook want to attack them with Amari Cooper or Michael Crabtree. In their matchup earlier this season, Houston outplayed Oakland really but they were on the wrong end of a couple of bad calls. I bet Oakland thinks that can play better than what they did in the last matchup but Houston probably has the bigger revenge chip on their shoulder. Oakland won 12 games this season and I think their playmakers on defense will be the difference. I’m taking the Raiders in a low scoring affair. Prediction: Raiders 18 – Texans 14

Detroit @ Seattle – In the second game on Saturday, we’ll see two teams that don’t look like they are ready to make a run towards the Super Bowl. Detroit squandered their lead in the NFC North to the Packers in a matter of 3 weeks. Seattle wrapped up the NFC West earlier but since the injury to Earl Thomas, they haven’t looked the same. Detroit still has its work cut out for them if they hope to upset Seattle who is usually a monster at home. But with the way Seattle has been playing lately, they are definitely vulnerable right now, even with the home field advantage. If Detroit can keep Seattle from controlling the clock on offense, they’ll have a shot at winning this game. Detroit has been inconsistent at stopping the run on defense but Seattle’s run game has been inconsistent as well. I don’t know how well Russell Wilson will play but Detroit will have to find a way to pressure him in order to keep him from making big plays. Last year in the playoffs, Wilson struggled in that first game at Minnesota but was still able to make the big play late to help Seattle get the victory. With the state of the Seahawks offensive line, I believe the Lions will be able to get after Wilson. Seattle is still pretty good defensively even without Earl Thomas. The Seahawks have a good pass rush and one of the top run defenses in the league. Detroit should have a hard time getting the run game going which will open the door for QB Matt Stafford to try to win the game with his arm. The Legion of Boom isn’t quite that without Thomas in the lineup so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Stafford find the matchups that will help him get his team down the field. TE Eric Ebron has emerged recently and WR’s Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin are more than familiar with the Seattle secondary. I think this game will be closer than what many people think. Detroit hasn’t won in a month and I don’t think I have faith in their defense to totally shut down Seattle offensively. A wildcard in this game will be TE Jimmy Graham who can destroy a defense’s game plan at any moment. I’m going with the home team. Prediction: Seahawks 26 – Lions 21

Miami @ Pittsburgh – Miami starting the season with a 1-4 record going into their Week 6 matchup at home against the Steelers. Who would have known that game was the start of a 9-2 run in the post season? Miami has had a remarkable and unlikely run to the playoffs this season and it is fitting that they’ll be in Pittsburgh on Sunday for this Wildcard matchup. People see the city name “Miami” and think, “Oh. There’s no way a team from Miami can win in Pittsburgh in January!” That thinking is common but couldn’t be more false. Miami is a ten-point underdog this weekend but I think they could stand a chance in Pittsburgh. Miami was able to beat Pittsburgh in their first matchup this season because of RB Jay Ajayi and the Miami run game. A great coach once said that a good run game is one thing that is guaranteed to travel with teams no matter which stadium they’re playing at. If Miami brings their running attack and is able to control the clock, they’ll be able to limit Pittsburgh’s scoring chances on offense. QB Matt Moore will be starting for the Dolphins and I don’t see him coming out with the goal to just air it out against the Steelers secondary. Pittsburgh’s defense as a whole has gotten a lot better since Week 6 so Moore will have to be careful and be selective about the shots to take down field. Miami does have more than capable WR’s in Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills. This game will feature two defenses that can allow both offenses to put up a lot of numbers but again; I see where Pittsburgh’s defense has improved. Not so much with Miami. I don’t have much confidence in Miami limiting Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, or Antonio Brown on Sunday. For Miami to stand a chance on defense, they will need to bring the pressure towards Roethlisberger for all 4 quarters. The Steelers have a decent offensive line but they’ll have a huge chore ahead of them on Sunday in the shape of DE Cameron Wake and DT Ndamukong Suh. I think too many things would have to go right for Miami for them to upset Pittsburgh on Sunday. Miami could slow the game down with Ajayi or harass Roethlisberger behind the line of scrimmage. But the Steelers just have too many weapons for Miami to account for. They wont be able to stop Bell on the ground and with time, Roethlisberger should be able to find big plays down the field against the Dolphins secondary. Miami could make it interesting but I like the Steelers at home. Prediction: Steelers 36 – Dolphins 28

New York Giants @ Green Bay – The second matchup on Sunday features two of the hottest teams in the NFC. Green Bay rode their hot streak into winning the NFC North last week. The Giants have looked impressive down the stretch and many believe that they could be gearing up for another championship run. I have to give Green Bay credit for catching up with Detroit and winning the division but on Sunday, they might match up poorly against the Giants. The Giants have done a tremendous job defensively recently and they might present some issues to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense. New York may not have the same pass rushing abilities they had when Jason Pierre-Paul was healthy but they playing well against the run and the secondary is also playing out of its mind right now. If the Giants can’t get after Rodgers, he will have time in the pocket but many QB’s have found it tough recently against the Giants secondary. Green Bay is going to have to figure out a creative way to get receivers open down the field. Another thing I don’t like about this matchup for the Packers is that their defense really isn’t good. They have had their issues this season at stopping the run and they are recently faced with multiple injuries in the secondary. The Giants don’t have a strong rushing offense but they do have some talented backs that might be able to find some space against the Packers front seven. And with a hurting secondary, the Giants and their talented trio of receivers should be able to make big plays down the field. Rodgers is the hot QB right now and he has powered the entire Green Bay squad during their run into the playoffs. Green Bay has been an overachiever in recent weeks so; I think they’ll be able to put up a good fight especially at home. But with the way that the Giants defense has been playing recently and with the state of the Packers secondary, I can see the Giants winning this one by the skin of their teeth. Prediction: Giants 24 – Packers 21

NFL 2016: Week 15 Predictions!


Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers are ready for the bright lights of Jerry World.

By: Elias McMillan


Last Week: 8-8

Season: 128-78-2

Big Five Games of the Week

Tennessee @ Kansas City – The Titans won a game last week at home against Denver and it was one that they absolutely needed. Tennessee is still tied along the top of the AFC South and their playoff hopes remain to be very real. They will have a tough task this week on the road at Kansas City. The Chiefs are coming off of some extra rest days after taking care of Oakland last Thursday night. Kansas City’s confidence is sky high and they are looking to take control of the AFC West heading towards the playoffs. Kansas City’s defense will provide a tough test for Tennessee’s offense. RB’s DeMarco Murray and rookie Derrick Henry will have their hands full with the Chiefs front 7. QB Marcus Mariota will struggle to find big plays this week going up against KC’s secondary. The Titan defense did a great job last week limiting Denver’s scoring chances. I think Alex Smith will continue to move the football this week, as he seems to play better at home. I think Tennessee has a legit chance at making the playoffs even without winning their division. But I also think they will definitely lose this week. Prediction: Chiefs 26 – Titans 17

Indianapolis @ Minnesota – The Colts’ playoff chances are starting to dwindle. After dropping a huge one last week at home to divisional rival Houston, Andrew Luck and company will now have to travel to Minnesota to face one of the toughest defenses in the league. Minnesota is still fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive. This game on Sunday is sort of an elimination game. Minnesota has dealt with injuries all season but they have been able to lean on their defense to score some huge victories. This will have to be the case this Sunday. The Colts get their strength from their offense. WR T.Y. Hilton is among the league leaders in receiving this season but he’ll face a stiff task this week in CB Xavier Rhodes and the Vikings secondary. Minnesota’s defensive front seven is tough as well and they will make things hard for RB Frank Gore. The Colts defense was starting to play better but then, their starting middle LB got suspended last week for the season. Houston’s running game took advantage of that last week and the Vikings might be able to do the same even though Adrian Peterson isn’t quite ready yet to return. Minnesota will need this game and that will make next week’s matchup with the Packers even bigger. Prediction: Vikings 23 – Colts 20

Detroit @ New York Giants – Despite only scoring 10 points last week, it was enough for the Giants to end the Dallas win streak and they are brimming with confidence in December. The Giants still have plenty of issues but sweeping the rival Cowboys is a great feather to have in ones cap this season. The Giants still have work to do to get to the playoffs and this week’s game at home against the Lions, another 9-win team, will be huge for them. QB Matt Stafford’s dislocated finger on his throwing hand is a potentially huge development. Stafford is said to be okay and plans to play the rest of the year with the injury but we have to wonder what effects will come from that. The chess match between the Lions passing game and the Giants secondary might tilt this entire contest. I’m think that the Lions might be able to lean on their defense in this game. The Giants cant run the ball and Eli Manning has been mistake prone lately. I feel like the only thing that the Lions have to do is to make sure that WR Odell Beckham Jr doesn’t single handedly win the game for New York like he did last week. I’m going out on a limb here but I say that the Lions will upset the Giants on the road. Detroit really needs this one to keep Green Bay and Minnesota at bay in terms of the NFC North. Even with a loss, the Giants might still be a sure bet to make the post season. Prediction: Lions 21 – Giants 20

New England @ Denver – This game kinda lost its luster with no Peyton Manning in the fold for Denver. I’m sure that CBS will see that when the ratings come out after the game. Denver is in serious trouble. They have a brutal three game stretch to end the season and their playoff chances right now are looking bleak. I didn’t think they would lose last week on the road at Tennessee but now they really have their backs up against the wall. New England looks like the most impressive team in the AFC right now. Tom Brady is Tom Brady. New England’s backfield has all of their weapons healthy and playing at a high level. And we are starting to learn the names of the new defensive stars on this team. I didn’t quite understand why the Patriots would trade away Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins but last week on MNF, we saw how they are just able reload their defense with young talent. Denver’s offense is in a rut and I don’t think New England will let them out of it. Denver still have a really good defense and they will have to be the ones to keep the Broncos in this contest. If Von Miller looks the way he did the last time the Patriots came to town, Denver might have a good chance at winning this game. I think Bill Belichick will use last years AFC Championship game as motivation this week and the Patriots will be better prepared for Denver’s pass rush. I think there will be too much on the plate for Denver’s defense. I like the Brady bunch to score a road victory this week. Prediction: Patriots 24 – Broncos 16

Tampa Bay @ Dallas – NBC could not resist milking the Dallas Cowboys ratings machine one more time before the playoffs. The 11 game Cowboys win streak was snapped on the road last week in New York. Despite a valiant effort by the defense, especially by LB Sean Lee, the Cowboys only scored 7 points and the passing offense struggled. The Cowboys return back home this week to face a suddenly hot Tampa Bay team that has won 5 straight and are looking to keep pace with Atlanta in the NFC South. Tampa’s recent turnaround has been part due by their defense. Tampa is strong upfront and DT Gerald McCoy leads them. Rookie DE Noah Spence is starting to make his mark as a pass rusher. Tampa’s secondary has been making big plays late recently. Tampa also has a lot going for them on offense. QB Jameis Winston and his great weapon in the pass game, WR Mike Evans, have been giving opposing defenses a lot to deal with recently. Tampa’s run game has gotten stronger with the return of RB Doug Martin. Tampa has momentum on their side going into the biggest game for the Bucs in a while. Despite that, Dallas is really upset about how last week went down and they will be chopping at the bit to start a new win streak this week. QB Dak Prescott is starting to cool down significantly from his hot start to the season. Prescott and the passing game will have to bring the goods early in this one. I feel that the scenario of Prescott getting the hook for Tony Romo may become a real thing. Getting big plays out from the WR’s is important but for this team, the running game is more important. I think we will see the Cowboys offensive line oppose its will on the young Tampa defense on Sunday night. Ezekiel Elliott will remain everyone that he is a legit MVP candidate. And if the Dallas defense can play like it did last week, Tampa and the rest of the NFC will be in big trouble. I see a bounce back, statement game from Dallas happening on Sunday night. Prediction: Cowboys 27 – Buccaneers 20

The Rest of Week 15

Seahawks over Rams – Jeff Fisher was finally fired this week. Seattle’s uniforms will be really bright. That’s all I got.

Dolphins over Jets – QB Matt Moore was brought back to Miami for this reason. He will have to be the one to keep Miami’s playoff chances floating this week.

Bills over Browns – Buffalo disappointed me last week. They’ll get back on track this week against Cleveland.

Packers over Bears – Green Bay is streaking but they can’t overlook Chicago on their way to a big game next week vs. Minnesota.

Steelers over Bengals – What I just said about Green Bay applies to Pittsburgh as well. Cincinnati might be getting AJ Green back this week. The Bengals will play Pittsburgh tough at home. Pittsburgh has to stay away from the cheap stuff with Vontaze Burfict. What am I saying? There is going to be a fight and I want to see one.

Ravens over Eagles – Baltimore needed to try harder last week against New England. Philadelphia shouldn’t provide that much of a challenge for them. Again, they can’t overlook this game going into next week’s Christmas matchup at Pittsburgh.

Texans over Jaguars – Shout out to Jadeveon Clowney for playing hurt last week at Indy. That performance might have won the AFC South for Houston.

Falcons over 49ers – Atlanta looked really good last week. They could be peaking at the right time. Julio Jones has to get healthy though.

Cardinals over Saints – Arizona can score points. New Orleans couldn’t even do that last week.

Raiders over Chargers – San Diego was playing well recently but they were hit with all the injuries last week. Oakland should be able to bounce back after dropping a big one in Week 14.

Washington over Panthers – Josh Norman will get his revenge, as Carolina will be watching him in the post season this upcoming January.

Week 15 Fantasy Football Picks

QB: Kirk Cousins (Washington) – Carolina’s pass defense has been really bad this season. Cousins has to play well for Washington to win.

RB: Devonta Freeman (Falcons) – Against the San Francisco defense, Freeman will definitely have his chances at breaking one. You might as well start his backup, Tevin Coleman, as well.

WR: Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals) – With Michael Floyd off the team, Carson Palmer will be looking for Fitzgerald more often for the rest of the season.

TE: Tyler Eifert (Bengals) – Eifert has been coming along strong and he appears to be back at 100% after missing most the season due to injury. Dalton will find him for some huge gains this week.

DEF: Seattle – The Seahawks defense should be able to feast against Jared Goff tonight.



NFL 2016: Week 12 Predictions!

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions

The Lions will be looking to take the lead in the NFC North on Thanksgiving.

By: Elias McMillan


Last Week: 10-4

Season: 97-62-2

Big Five Games of the Week

Minnesota @ Detroit – The Vikings were able to end their losing streak last week at home. Now they are sitting at 6-4 and tied at the top of the NFC North with the Detroit Lions. This Thanksgiving Day matchup will have serious playoff implications in terms of the NFC North title. The Lions are coming off a win at home to Jacksonville but it was none too impressive. I think it was important for Minnesota to get back to winning last week as they were in danger of completely falling out of the playoff race. Minnesota still has issues offensively currently but if their defense can play like it did last week, they have a chance at the end of each game. Detroit has made a habit out of winning close games this year and they’ll probably have to do the same on Thursday. The matchup of the game will be the Minnesota defense against the Detroit offense. It will be strength vs strength when it comes to Matthew Stafford and the Lions passing game against Minnesota’s secondary. I think this game will turn on Minnesota’s inability to get anything consistent going on offense. Detroit’s defense hasn’t been great this season but they have the talent up front to get after Sam Bradford, create pressure and cause mistakes. Because of the Vikings defense, this game will go down to the wire but I like the home team. Prediction: Lions 26 – Vikings 23

Washington @ Dallas – Washington is riding high going into Thursday’s game against rival Dallas. Washington is wining ball games with their passing attack and their active defense. Kirk Cousins is playing well right now and we are seeing how talented of a receiving core that Washington has. Washington’s defense isnt great as an unit but they have a talented group that can rush the passer and make plays in the open field. If Washington is riding high currently, then what does that make Dallas? The Cowboys have won nine straight and are showing no signs of slowing down. This winning streak for Dallas starting at Washington and many of the things they were able to do in that game could carry over into this matchup. I think Dallas will be able to run the ball on Washington’s front seven. I think Washington’s secondary will not be able to account for all of the talent Dak Prescott has to go to. Prescott will have to beware of Josh Norman on passing downs as he seems to always be in the right positions to make plays for his defense. The lack of a pass rush from Dallas does worry me because with time, Cousins should be able to have his way with the Cowboys secondary. But I think the Cousins hype is probably a little too high going into this game. Cousins played big in a primetime game so everyone is ready to crown him but no one is talking about how bad Green Bay’s secondary is. I think Cousins will play well on Thursday but it will not be a repeat of what we saw last Sunday night. Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys offensive line will set the tone of the game and I don’t see Washington slowing them down. I think Dallas will go on to win their tenth straight game. Prediction: Cowboys 34 – Washington 27

Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis – I was ready to write off the Colts earlier in the year but they continue to do well especially against AFC South foes. I could see them beating a desperate Pittsburgh team on Thursday night at home but certainly not without Andrew Luck. Luck will probably miss this game due to a concussion and that might be the window that the Steelers will need to score the road victory. The Steelers were able to stop their losing streak last week at Cleveland but that’s certainly nothing to write home about. The Colts are fighting for a playoff spot just like the Steelers so I expect this one to be well fought. I like the Steelers with Andrew Luck out of the question but lets not write off the Steelers defense ability to lose to QB’s like Scott Tolzien. Pittsburgh’s defense has been such a letdown in big moments this season so it wouldn’t surprise me if Tolzien actually plays well. The Colts still have weapons on that side of the ball without Luck. Frank Gore is playing well recently and you can say the same for the Colts receiving core led by T.Y. Hilton. Indy’s defense is underrated but I think they will have their handful with what Pittsburgh brings to the table. For the Steelers to win this game on Thursday, they will have to overwhelm the Colts with a steady diet of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. If Ben Roethlisberger can stay on his feet and play mistake free football, I don’t see why not the Pittsburgh offense can be successful. This will be another close one but I’m taking the Steelers over the home team without its best player. Prediction: Steelers 35 – Colts 27

Kansas City @ Denver – Losing to Tampa Bay at home is bad look for the Chiefs. I’m a fan of what the Chiefs have on their team. They have a tough defense, they get after the QB, they are tough to run against, they have playmakers in the secondary, and they play ball control offense that is effective. That being said, in a tight AFC West race, they cant afford to have slip ups like they did this past week. Now, they will go on to face Denver at home, which will be a tough chore. Denver’s defense will prove to be as tough as Kansas City’s. I think the difference will be Denver’s ability to execute on offense. Denver is tough at home and maybe Kansas City has some things to figure out in their own camp after a tough home loss. I like Denver in this one. Prediction: Broncos 22 – Chiefs 18

Green Bay @ Philadelphia – If the Packers are not done now, this Monday night will be their funeral. Green Bay can’t stop anyone on offense. But that’s not really news. The news is that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense isn’t able to make up for the defense by scoring enough points at the end of the game. Going into Philadelphia this week will prove to be a perfect storm for the Eagles. The Eagles play well at home this season and Green Bay’s recent struggles serve well to their strengths. I think the Eagles defense will give Rodgers a tough time and rookie Carson Wentz will be able to look as good as he has in months facing the Packers and their toothless defense. I’m not sure if it will be a blowout but I’m expecting Philadelphia to get a big win at home on Monday night. Prediction: Eagles 33 – Packers 24

The Rest of Week 12

Falcons over Cardinals – Atlanta will be charged up coming off the bye week. Arizona can’t get it done on the road this season.

Bills over Jaguars – Buffalo has done a great job recently at competing til the end and closing out games in the 4th quarter. They will have to do the same this week against a Jaguars team that is hungry to end their losing streak.

Titans over Bears – Tennessee has to get over their slow starts. Chicago has so many injuries right now. Tennessee must take advantage.

Giants over Browns – Cleveland will not get their first win this week.

Dolphins over 49ers – This will be the best-looking matchup of the week and maybe the year. Miami will be wearing the throwbacks from the ‘70’s, which will look great paired up with San Fran’s road uniforms.

Saints over Rams – LA cant score no matter who’s at QB. Drew Brees will find tough sledding against the Rams defense but he’ll do enough to get New Orleans the victory.

Ravens over Bengals – I think Cincinnati is done. The injuries to A.J. Green and Giovanni Bernard will seriously hurt this offense. Baltimore is a confident bunch despite falling last week at Dallas.

Texans over Chargers – I watched the Monday night game last week and thought, “Maybe Houston isn’t as bad as everyone thinks.” The Texans were hurt big time by the officials in that game and they’ll be ready to get back on track this week at home.

Seahawks over Buccaneers – Trap game for Seattle here. Tampa is coming off a big road win but Seattle is playing some of its best football right now. Fun fact: Both Tampa and Seattle entered the NFL in the same year.

Raiders over Panthers – I wasn’t that impressed with Oakland last week but Carolina will find life even tougher without defensive leader Luke Kuechly.

Patriots over Jets – I think the Jets will score more with Ryan Fitzpatrick back in the lineup but they wont beat Brady and the Pats.

Week 12 Fantasy Football Picks

QB: Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) – Ben has had his recent injury problems but he has also had some of his biggest games statistically against the Colts defense.

RB: Jay Ajayi (Dolphins) – Against the 49ers defense, the J-Train should be rolling this week.

WR: DeAndre Hopkins (Texans) – San Diego allows the third most yards in the air this season. I think Hopkins will catch plenty of balls down field on Sunday.

TE: Jimmy Graham (Seahawks) – Every week, it seems like Graham is making a big play for Russell Wilson.

DEF: Buffalo – Rob Ryan’s unit did a great job at the end of last week’s game in Cincinnati. I like the Bills defense this week against a Jaguars offense that seems to not be able to get it together.

Elias McMillan’s 2014 NFL MOCK Draft! (TWO ROUNDS!)


South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney is the best player in this years draft and it probably isn’t even close.

By: Elias McMillan

I thought that the build up and the wait for last years draft was long. Man, was I wrong. Well, it is finally the week of the draft which probably means that you’re tired of looking at Mock Draft after Mock Draft after Mock Draft. But finally, here’s a Mock Draft that isn’t like the others. Because I did this one myself. And for the first time, I decided to do NOT one but TWO rounds! So, here it is. The best Mock Draft and the last Mock Draft you should read before Thursday night!


1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: The first pick overall in this draft should be a “no-brainer” for the Texans. Houston does have other needs but when you have the top pick in the draft, you’re probably better off taking the best player in the draft. Not only is Clowney the best player in this draft, but he can also fill some of the needs on this Texans defense. Clowney is a pure edge rusher with wide receiver speed but he is also big enough and athletic enough to play multiple positions on the defensive line. All the questions about Clowney’s work effort and drive just seem pointless to me. This guy was the 1st overall pick in this draft since he declared for South Carolina in high school. You don’t pass on a prospect like that. Teaming this kid with J.J. Watt will strike fear in AFC South QB’s for years to come.

2. St. Louis Rams – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: St. Louis has been long rumored to take an offensive lineman with this 2nd overall pick. But in a turn of events, I have them taking the OT out of Texas A&M and not the OT out of Auburn. Matthews has NFL bloodlines and is probably the most “game ready” OT in this draft. Matthews was apart of a great offensive line in college protecting one of the best QBs in the game. Plus, Rams HC Jeff Fisher coached Matthews’ dad in the league for years. This pick will help QB Sam Bradford to stay off his back next season.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Here’s a bit of a shocker. The Jaguars are looking to upgrade the QB position and create competition with veteran Chad Henne. They can do that with this pick and fill the stadium back up. Manziel is a special player with a body of work that has been able to stand up against top competition in college. Manziel has great instincts and can make all of the throws that a NFL QB can. The way he improvises outside of the pocket cant be coached and will provide some of the most exciting plays you would see. Manziel might have to adjust his play some in the pros but once he becomes comfortable, he could develop into one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in football. With Manziel, Jacksonville would be getting an extra-motivated player who will get to face Houston (the team that passed on him) twice a year. The bad part is that if Jacksonville does take him, he will be on a team with very little offensive weapons around him.

4. Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: I’m betting that Cleveland is wishing for Manziel to drop to them at pick #4. If not, I don’t see them just taking the next best QB available. If they take the best player available, it will probably be the speedy, playmaking receiver out of Clemson. Pairing a guy like Watkins with another playmaker like Josh Gordon would really free up the offense and create a lot of opportunities. Watkins would provide a great complement to Gordon and would be a boost for the special teams as a return man. Cleveland does have a great need at QB but they might be able to address that with their other 1st round pick.

5. Oakland Raiders – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn: The hardest thing about these mock drafts is predicting what the Oakland Raiders are gonna do. I didn’t have Greg Robinson going as the top OT because he is young and could take some time to develop. But he is the most physically gifted offensive lineman in the draft and the Raiders would take him immediately at #5. Robinson is a raw prospect but once he is coached up, he would become a staple on the Raiders offensive line for years to come. He is this draft’s Tyron Smith.

6. Atlanta Falcons – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: The Falcons ranked among the bottom in the entire league in sacks. They need to upgrade that pass rush to improve the defense so picking this small school prospect might be a perfect fit. Mack is sort of a risky pick in this draft. He was a great player in college as a edge rusher and he certainly looks the part. But he is a mid major product who didn’t play against top competition in college. Mack is a guy who could become the next Von Miller or the next Aaron Curry. It is a gamble that the Falcons would be able to take given their need for a young pass rusher on defense.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: Mike Evans is the third A&M Aggie I have coming off the board in the top ten. Tampa traded away one of their top receivers recently so they definitely have a need at the position. Evans was largely impressive last year in college as a huge target with great speed. Evans is a rare receiving prospect that is long enough to win in jump ball situations and still has the ability to run away from defenders. Evans could develop into a Plaxico Burress type of player in the league.

8. Minnesota Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: I’ve gone back and forth with this selection. I think Minnesota is definitely gonna go with a QB here because it has been a position that has held this team back for the last couple seasons. I have no idea why the stock in Teddy Bridgewater has gone down since his college career ended. You would think that one of his arms fell off since January by the way these analysts talk about him now. But I think, Bridgewater is the most “battle-tested” QB in the draft. The kid just seems to rise his game in the face of adversity. He is a proven passer and great athlete outside of the pocket. Bridgewater is probably the most “pro-ready” of the QBs in this draft but his draft stock took a major hit because of a bad pro day? Please. I hope that Minnesota doesn’t fall into the hype of the pro days actually meaning more than his actual college career.

9. Buffalo Bills – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: The Bills ranked in the bottom five in the league in sacks given up so their offensive line is in need of a upgrade. Michigan’s Taylor Lewan is the next best OT available and would be a great fit for the Bills. Lewan is a huge athlete with a mean steak and would provide some great blocking at right tackle. If Buffalo is looking to protect their investment in last years 1st round pick, EJ Manuel, then Lewan would be the pick at #9.

10. Detroit Lions – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: The Lions have one of the best defensive lines in football. Last season, the league learned that having great play at defensive line doesn’t always mean that you have a great pass rush. The Lions have the ability to stuff the run but they struggle at getting pressure to the QB. Anthony Barr has become one of my favorite prospects in this draft. He has pure pass rushing ability on the same level as a Clowney or Mack. Barr is quite like Detroit’s 1st rounder from last year, Ziggy Ansah. Like Ansah, Barr is rather new to playing as a pass rusher and he does need to be coached up before becoming a true impact player. Ansah showed flashes of development last year and I think the Detroit coaching staff wouldn’t have a problem getting Barr to where he needs to be. Barr might be a bit of a project but he offers a huge upside for a defense that needs to create more pressure.

11. Tennessee Titans – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State: The Titans lost their best CB in free agency over the summer. Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard is coming off an impressive college career and would be an immediate impact player in the secondary. Dennard offers decent cover skills in man and zone situations. He doesn’t have top end speed but Dennard is a physical player that isnt afraid of offering support in defending the run. He’s a sure tackle and shows great fundamentals when making plays.

12. New York Giants – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: Eli Manning is looking forward to having a bounce back year in 2014. In order to do that, he might need a big playmaker opposite of Victor Cruz. Having one that can go across of the middle of defenses wouldn’t hurt either. Ebron would be just what the doctor ordered for this Giants offense. I don’t see Ebron as an Antonio Gates type TE but he is the best TE in the draft. He isnt quite the athlete that Gates is but he is a big body that has WR type speed. I don’t think Ebron has as sure hands as a Tony Gonzalez but his long arms and big frame give him the ability to make catches even when the ball is off target. Ebron to the Giants would make a lot of sense.

13. St. Louis Rams – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville: The Rams have one of the best up and coming defenses in the league. What they are missing is a true difference maker in the secondary. Calvin Pryor is the best safety in the draft and he would be an instant starter for Jeff Fisher. Pryor has a great nose for the football and he just flies around the field from sideline to sideline making plays. I don’t think his cover skills are on the level as an Earl Thomas but he is an active centerfielder that rarely gets beat. What he doesn’t have in size he makes up for in speed and instincts. He could end up as the next Brian Dawkins or the next Reggie Nelson.

14. Chicago Bears – Haha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama: The Bears are looking to get younger on defense. They’ve addressed their defensive line in the free agency more than their secondary so I think they’ll address that with pick #14. Haha Clinton-Dix is not only the best name in the draft but he is also a pretty good player in the secondary. Clinton-Dix is a lot more athletic than Calvin Pryor and shows similar speed when coming down in run support. Unlike Pryor, Clinton-Dix struggles in coverage sometimes especially in one-on-one situations. But he is a great open field tackler and he usually makes big plays around the football. There’s no way that the Bears are planning on starting Ryan Mundy at safety so I expect them to explore that position with this pick.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State: I believe that the greatest need on the Steelers defense is at defensive line. But I don’t think there is anyone good enough at that position to take at #15. Pittsburgh could improve their secondary by finally taking a CB in the 1st round. Justin Gilbert is the best athlete at CB in this draft. He offers top end speed and superb cover skills. The knock on Gilbert is that he is a bit of a softy and he isnt great at giving run support. Gilbert is gonna have to be coached up to become more of a physical player but he already has the natural gifts of having speed and being able to stay with receivers. Gilbert would fit right in with the Pittsburgh defense as a possible replacement for Ike Taylor.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Pittsburgh

The Giants, Bears, & Cowboys will be targeting Pitt’s Aaron Donald for their 4-3 defenses.

16. Dallas Cowboys – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh: Aaron Donald had a more than impressive final season at Pitt. Then, he topped that off by blowing people away at the combine. A lot of the experts don’t have Donald making it all the way down to pick #16 but if he does, Dallas will rush to the podium to make that pick. Donald is a great player but he might not be the best fit for some teams that pick before Dallas. Donald has great disruptive ability but he is a bit undersized and probably would be suited in a 3-4 defense. Playing in a 4-3 defense would mean more one-on-one assignments that Donald strives against. Donald would be a perfect fit for Rod Marinelli’s defense as a pass rusher that can provide a great push in the middle of the line of scrimmage.

17. Baltimore Ravens – Zach Martin, OT/OG, Notre Dame: Baltimore’s two biggest offensive stars, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice, had down years in 2013. And after losing Michael Oher in free agency, the Ravens might be in the market for some offensive line help. Zach Martin is a quality player who can play multiple positions on the offensive line.

18. New York Jets – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State: I have the Jets getting a true playmaker at pick #18. Cooks won the award for best college receiver last season all while breaking numerous Oregon State and Pac-12 records. Cooks is a former track star with blazing speed. Throughout his college career, he has proven to being pretty sure handed receiver. The Jets will jump at the opportunity to take this kid as they are desperate for a star at the receiver position. Cooks will be able to help special teams as a returner but he should be able to develop into a true #1 receiver in this league, much like DeSean Jackson.

19. Miami Dolphins – Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama: This might be a bit of a reach but the Dolphins had serious offensive line issues last season. They need immediate starters at Tackle and Guard. Kouandjio does come with some injury concerns but he was a heck of a player for a major program in college. Kouandjio offers great athleticism for his size and he should be able to play left or right tackle for Miami. Either way, Ryan Tannehill will be happy to have him on his offensive line. The Dolphins offensive line allowed the most sacks in 2013, by the way.

20. Arizona Cardinals – C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama: C.J. Mosley is one of favorite prospects in this draft. Mosley is a top ten talent in this draft but he does have some injury concerns. Mosley is a play making LB with great speed and even greater instincts. Mosley’s natural ability will command him plenty of playing time as a rookie. Arizona might have a need at ILB because Carlos Dansby left for Cleveland and Daryl Washington might be facing suspension due to legal troubles. Mosley would be a great pick here for Arizona because he’ll probably be the best player available in this part of the 1st round.

21. Green Bay Packers – Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois: The Packers would be in a scramble at #21 with the Cardinals take CJ Mosley. So with the best LB off the board, I see the Packers reaching a bit for the best safety available. Jimmie Ward might be a reach at #21 but he compares very well to the other two top safeties in this draft. The Packers secondary was very poor last season especially in the middle of the field. Ward is a smaller player but he can fly around to the football with great speed. Ward might actually be a better player in coverage than Pryor and Clinton-Dix. Ward has a nose for the football and turnovers usually happen when he is around. Ward doesn’t have the typical NFL size you would want for his position but he’ll play “big” in the Packers secondary.

22. Philadelphia Eagles – Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU: If the Eagles are looking to replace DeSean Jackson, they should trade up or hope Brandin Cooks drops to them at #22. If not, they can take the next best receiver in LSU’s Beckham Jr. Beckham doesn’t have the top end speed that Chip Kelly would be looking for in a WR but he probably has the best hands in the draft. Beckham is a consistent pass catcher who could develop into a “go-to” guy for QB Nick Foles. Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin are NOT #1 receivers. Beckham could come into Philly and play right away.

23. Kansas City Chiefs – Ra’shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota: Kansas City has taken a defensive lineman in the 1st round 3 times in the last 7 years. Last season, the Chiefs were rolling through the AFC until late in the season where age and injuries caught up with them. By taking the defensive lineman out of Minnesota, the Chiefs will be getting younger and would be adding some much needed depth that unit. Hageman might not be the best fit for a 3-4 defense but he is a huge body with long arms and he might be able to use that to take up many blockers. Hageman big frame and quickness at the line of scrimmage makes him a decent pass rusher as well.

24. Cincinnati Bengals – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri: The Bengals have a need at defensive end with Michael Johnson leaving for Tampa in free agency. Kony Ealy is not only a great player but he’s a confident one as he has already proclaimed himself to be the best DE in this draft. Ealy may not be as athletic as Clowney but he does have a great talent for getting to the QB. There’s a reason why his college teammate, Michael Sam, won SEC defensive POY honors last year. Ealy’s pass rushing ability causes many QB’s to roll out opposite to where he is lined up. Ealy has that rare ability to impact plays without even sacking the QB. He would be a perfect fit for the Bengals defense that needs to get younger on the defensive line.

25. San Diego Chargers – Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame: San Diego already has two decent ends on that 3-4 defensive line. Louis Nix would provide depth and he might even start immediately for them at the nose tackle position. Nix is huge but he is really active and will definitely demand a double team from offensive lines. Inside LBs, Donald Butler & Manti Te’o, would reap the benefits of a solid defensive line in that 3-4 defense.


Central Florida’s Blake Bortles is a huge question mark in my eyes.

26. Cleveland Browns – Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida: This is another pick that I when back and forth with. Simply put, I don’t like Blake Bortles as much as a lot of other “experts”. Bortles comes off to me as a “favor of the month” type prospect that has really benefited from the draft “process”. Most of these analysts didn’t even know this guy until near the end of last college football season. Bortles is a tall, strong-armed QB that can really throw the deep ball. Bortles also shows a bit of athleticism, which has all of these scouts drooling for some reason. I guess the thinking is that since Bortles is a big kid that can move a little, he is gonna develop into a Roethlisberger or Cam Newton type of QB. What these experts are NOT saying is that for every Roethlisberger and Newton, there are 3 or 4 JaMarcus Russell’s, Christian Ponder’s, & Josh Freeman’s. But I digress. Bortles could develop into a fine NFL QB but I think he will take more time to develop compared to Manziel and Bridgewater. I think Bortles could go as high as #8 to Minnesota because his big body might be ideal for some of those cold weather NFC North match ups. If Bortles goes where I think he should go, he might be in the green room for a while on Thursday night. If he drops into the teens and the Browns are worried about getting a QB in the 1st round, they might wanna to trade up for him because there might be multiple teams bidding for him (Houston).

27. New Orleans Saints – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech: The Saints have done a great job at remaking their secondary this offseason. Getting Kyle Fuller at #27 would move than complete that process. Fuller is a fiery competitor that made a lot of plays in the secondary throughout his college career. Fuller would greatly benefit from playing with a guy like Champ Bailey. Fuller is quick enough and physical enough to fit in as the team’s nickel corner. Fuller is probably the best tackling CB in the draft outside of Darqueze Dennard.

28. Carolina Panthers – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia: I know. I know. Everyone in Charlotte would be crying for a WR with the Panthers first round pick but the team has other pressing needs. Carolina had a starting offensive tackle retire this offseason so there is currently a gaping a hole in Cam Newton’s protection. Did I mention that Newton is coming off of ankle surgery? The Panthers need to protect their investment with this draft pick of Morgan Moses. Moses offers great long arms and quickness that will help him as a run blocker. But mainly, they are gonna need Moses to be coached up and to protect Newton at all costs.

29. New England Patriots – Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State: Jernigan would be a true steal for the Patriots if he lasts this long on day one. Jernigan is one of the top defensive line prospects in this draft. The knock of him is that he is kinda young and he might take awhile to develop. But Jernigan is a huge kid with a high motor. He specializes in stopping the run and because of that, he could be a great fit in New England’s 4-3 defense. Jernigan would really benefit from playing behind veteran Vince Wilfork as well.

30. San Francisco 49ers – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: The 49ers need better play from their corners in 2014. Bradley Roby is a top prospect in this draft and he probably deserves to go higher than #30. Roby is an athletic freak with top end speed. Playing in the Big Ten, Roby has a physical temperament and can really lower the boom in run support. Roby is the type of guy that plays with reckless abandonment and because of that, he’ll fit in nicely on this 49ers defense.

31. Denver Broncos – Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State: Shazier is the 2nd Buckeye I have coming off the board late in the 1st round. Shazier would be a perfect fit for the LB needy Broncos. Denver lost a couple from that position in the offseason and Shazier could provide an immediate starter in this defense. Shazier has excellent speed from sideline to sideline and has a knack of getting away from blockers. Shazier could stand to get bigger but he isn’t a “tweener” type of LB. Shazier’s skill set is perfect for a 4-3 defense looking for a weak side LB.

32. Seattle Seahawks – Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame: Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt is an interesting prospect because he is athletic enough to play DE in a 4-3 defense and he is big enough to play DE in a 3-4 defense. Tuitt is an amazing player to watch because he is 300+ pounds but still has outstanding pass rushing abilities. If drafted by Seattle, Tuitt would add more depth to an already awesome defensive line. If Tuitt is unable to make the transition to a 4-3 DE, he would make a fine pass rusher inside as a DT. Seattle could use Tuitt at multiple positions in a 4-3 and that would make him attractive for Seattle at the end of the 1st round.


Georgia vs Auburn

Auburn’s Tre Mason will be a 2nd Round target for many teams.

33. Houston Texans – Tre Mason, RB, Auburn: To start off round 2, the Texans will take the first RB off the board. You might have expected a QB to be taken here but I believe that the Texans have a greater need behind starting RB Adrian Foster who has been injury riddled recently. Also consider that Foster’s back up, Ben Tate, will be starting in Cleveland this fall. Mason is a little speedy guy who can carry the load as a second option in the backfield. Mason is tough for his size and could be a valuable third down option for whoever starts QB for Houston.

34. Washington Redskins – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU: And to think that Washington could of had the second overall pick. Anyways, Verrett would be a great addition to the Redskins secondary. Verrett has tons of experience at defending the pass in the pass-happy Big-12. He has excellent speed and decent enough cover skills to go in the 1st round. Verrett might serve as a possible replacement for DeAngelo Hall who really should be out of the league anyway.

35. Cleveland Browns – Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State: Carlos Hyde would be the sentimental pick for the Browns. Hyde was a very productive back at Ohio State who gotten better from year to year. Hyde is a big physical runner who averaged over 7 yards a carry last year. Hyde could provide some very valuable goal line carries for this new look Browns offense.

36. Oakland Raiders – Marqise Lee, WR, USC: Getting the hometown kid would go over well in Raider Nation. Lee has been highly recognized as one of college’s top receivers for the last couple years. He has gone through some injury problems but when healthy Lee would provide a quality target for Matt Schaub. Lee has great speed and he often does well in one-on-one situations.

37. Atlanta Falcons – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington: This might be a reach even for the 2nd round but the Falcons need a replacement for Tony Gonzalez. I like Seferian-Jenkins for Atlanta because he may not be the best athlete but his size will make him an attractive target for Matt Ryan. Seferian-Jenkins has the ability to win in jump ball situations and could develop into a great receiving threat in the red zone.

38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee: Tampa needs a tackle to replace Donald Penn who left for Oakland. Penn’s play really started to decline last year so they probably needed to replace him anyway. Richardson would play right away for Tampa protecting Mike Glennon.

39. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU: I’m not sure if I’m buying into Toby Gerhart as a starting RB in this league. Jeremy Hill is a reliable back who provided some big moments at LSU. If the Jags do draft Manziel like I have them doing, they are gonna need a running game by committee to help Manziel shoulder the load on offense. Hill would be perfect for that.

40. Minnesota Vikings – Dee Ford, DE, Auburn: Dee Ford blew away a lot of the scouts during the Senior Bowl. Some might have him as a first round prospect but Minnesota would be happy to grab him here. The Vikings might be looking for a Jared Allen replacement in the draft and Dee Ford could provide that. Ford specializes at getting to the QB and will help bring along the youth movement to the Vikings defensive line.

41. Buffalo Bills – Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State: The Bills lost a starting safety in free agency. Bucannon isnt exactly a ball hawk but he is a great physical open field tackler in the mold of a Dashon Goldson.

42. Tennessee Titans – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: The writing is on the wall for Titans QB Jake Locker. New head coach Ken Whisenhunt might want to develop his own QB and that guy might be Derek Carr. Carr wasn’t really impressive against top notch competition but he does have a big arm and he threw for a bunch of yards in college. Tennessee could bring him in to either push or replace Locker.

43. New York Giants – Dominique Easley, DT, Florida: Easley was an active, big body at the line of scrimmage for Florida. He does have some injury concerns but he would be able to fit in as a pass rusher in the middle of the Giants defensive line.

44. St. Louis Rams – Keith McGill, CB, Utah: The NFL is a copycat league so big physical corners might be in high demand in this draft. The Rams might be looking to build their own “Legion of Boom” with this draft pick. McGill is a big physical corner that offers great speed outside.

45. Detroit Lions – JaWuan James, OT, Tennessee: How about some more protection for Matt Stafford? The Lions didn’t give up many sacks last year but they are still in need for a tackle as they lost a starter in free agency.

46. Pittsburgh Steelers – DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State: I feel like no one is talking about the holes currently on the Steelers defensive line. They have a great need there and this instate product might be able to help them. Jones is a big body with great hands and long arms. Jones would fit well in a 3-4 defense.

47. Dallas Cowboys – Xavier Su’a Filo, OG, UCLA: I very much doubt that Su’a Filo will last this long in the draft. He’s probably is the best guard in the draft and there would be no way that Dallas would pass on him in the 2nd round. Dallas does have a need at guard and Su’a Filo would help solidify the offensive line for years.

48. Baltimore Ravens – Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford: Baltimore gets even more offensive line help. They could play Zach Martin at guard and then plug in this guy from Stanford as Flacco’s new right tackle.

49. New York Jets – Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech: QBs Geno Smith and Michael Vick both love using tight ends. Amaro doesn’t play as big as he really is but he is a great route runner and even a better receiver as a TE. The Jets have a big need at the position and he would immediately pay off in this offense.

50. Miami Dolphins – Stanley Jean Baptiste, CB, Nebraska: Cortland Finnegan and Brent Grimes aren’t young anymore. Jean Baptiste would provide depth and quality play as a nickel CB.

51. Chicago Bears – Lamarcus Joyner, CB, Florida State: The Bears are another team with old CBs.


QB Jimmy Garoppolo comes from a small school but could have a high NFL ceiling.

52. Arizona Cardinals – Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois: Carson Palmer might still have football left in him but the Cardinals need to start grooming his successor. Garoppolo is a great small school product who makes tons of great plays from outside the pocket. He needs to become more polished inside the pocket but that might come with time behind Palmer.

53. Green Bay Packers – Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State: Aaron Rodgers gets another playmaker to replace James Jones. Robinson has decent speed and long arms that helps him in jump ball situations. Robinson is also really good after the catch and that makes him a fit for Green Bay’s offense.

54. Philadelphia Eagles – Marcus Robinson, CB, Florida: Starting CB Cary Williams was a free agent dud for the Eagles last season. They might be looking to replace him.

55. Cincinnati Bengals – Christian Jones, OLB, Florida State: The James Harrison experiment didn’t really work out. Christian Jones is a dynamic LB prospect that would be suited in a 4-3 defense.

56. San Francisco 49ers – Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt: Once I found out that Matthews is related to Jerry Rice, this pick began to make a lot of sense. The 49ers are looking to get younger at WR and Matthews is player with raising stock in this draft.

57. San Diego Chargers – Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State: San Diego ran the ball well last season. And with signing Donald Brown, the Chargers are looking forward to having an even better ground game. Getting more offensive line help will definitely help San Diego to continue to build upon the running game.

58. New Orleans Saints – Kyle Van Noy, OLB, Brigham Young: The Saints defense did pretty well last season despite all of their injuries. With this pick, the Saints could provide depth and improve their outside pass rush. Van Noy is a tall, pass rushing athlete in the mold of a Jason Taylor.

59. Indianapolis Colts – Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State: The Colts lost a starting safety in free agency. Brooks is a “in the box” physical safety to could start on day one.


Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin could provide Cam Newton with a huge target.

60. Carolina Panthers – Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State: Here is the moment that Panther fans have been waiting for. Carolina gets a big play receiver for Cam Newton in the second round. Benjamin doesn’t have a lot of speed but he is a huge target that could become an immediate red zone threat.

61. San Francisco 49ers – Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU: San Francisco’s great defensive line might be getting a little old. Taking this young LSU defensive tackle might help down the line.

62. New England Patriots – Joel Bitonio, OG, Nevada: The Patriots might be looking for offensive line help after a disappointing season from Dan Connolly.

63. Denver Broncos – Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State: The Broncos need a starting Center and this in state product is the best Center in the draft.

64. Seattle Seahawks – Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice: The Seahawks lost Brandon Browner in free agency and Byron Maxwell is easily the weak link in the “Legion of Boom”. Seattle might be looking for depth and an upgrade in the secondary.