Tag Archives: New Orleans Saints

Uniform Grades for all 32 NFL Teams

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By: Elias McMillan

So, I did this once before about 7 years ago. Since then, there’s obviously been many changes across the NFL uniform scape. Going into this 2020 season, we’ll see seven different teams with new duds. I thought this would be a good time to refresh my original rankings. This time, I separated my grades, not by conference, but by categories (Classics, Modern, and The Worst). I used a A+ to F grade scale for each uniform combination being used by the teams currently. At the end of each assessment, I ask myself if the team should totally REBRAND, GO BACK to a prior uniform, or STAND PAT with what they currently have. Through this experience, I’ve learned that I’m a tough grader. When I did break it down, 4 different divisions ranked higher than the others averaging out to B+ grades. The lowest division was the NFC West. Alright, let’s begin with the teams that scored the highest: The Classics.

The Classics

Las Vegas Raiders – A+

Grades: Black/Silver: A+, White/Silver: A+, Throwback: B+

Summary: The best uniform in the NFL. Timeless. Iconic. Throughout different cities, the Raiders brand remains as strong as ever with the shield logo and the silver and black uniforms. The silver numbers on the throwback don’t look as good as the road ones but its still a decent uniform.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: They can’t make changes now even though they’re in a new city. I shutter to think.

Chicago Bears – A+

Grades: Blue/White: A+, Orange/White: B-, White/Blue: A+, Throwback: A

Summary: The Bears have the iconic uniforms in the NFL if you ask me. Pretty much unchanged for most of this franchise’s history, the Bears blue, orange, and white scheme has stood the test of time. The Orange jerseys are not the best but they serve as a nice switch up.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: The Bears might play around with different throwbacks each year but their basic home and away duds will remain.

San Francisco 49ers – A+

Grades: Red/Gold: A+, White/Gold: A, White Throwback: A-

Summary: Here’s another iconic uniform in NFL history. The 49ers have had plenty of great moments in franchise history in the home reds or the white away jerseys. The gold helmet and pants are synonymous with their history. They’ve had some bad alternates in the past but their current throwbacks have received a warm reception. I never really liked the blocked numbers for them but the all-white is clean.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: They’ve flirted with some disasters so; they’ll be better off sticking with their current uniforms.

Dallas Cowboys – A

Grades: White/Silver: A, Blue/White: B, Blue/Silver: B+, Color Rush: A

Summary: The Cowboys, currently, have inconsistencies with their blues and silvers but they still have one of the most iconic uniforms in sports. You can’t beat the silver helmet and white jersey combo. It just feels like Sunday afternoon. The Blue jersey doesn’t get enough love either. Their color rush, a play on the throwbacks that they wore in ‘94, are solid and clean.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: The brand is too iconic to change. Once the one shell helmet rule changes, we’ll see the throwbacks with the white helmets again.

Pittsburgh Steelers – A

Grades: Black/Yellow: B+, White/Yellow: B+, Color Rush: A, Throwback: A+

Summary: The black and gold of the Steelers has been a staple when you talk about iconic uniforms in sports. They’ve pretty much stuck with the basic black helmets and yellow pants with black striping for decades. The italic numbers were groundbreaking in the ‘90s but they probably should go away. The Steelers have had some terrible alternates in recent history but they should definitely stick with their current ones.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? GO BACK: They brought back the block numbers as a throwback and they are awesome. They should just bring that back to both home and away uniforms. I don’t care how close it is to Iowa’s uniforms.

New Orleans Saints – A

Grades: Black/Gold: A-, Black: A, White/Gold: B+, White: B, Color Rush: A

Summary: The Saints have some of the sharpest uniforms in the league. They are basically the Raiders of the NFC sans the successful history. The gold numbers on the all-white color rush uniforms really pop and are among the most popular sets in the league. The all-blacks at home are good. They’ve recently started wearing white pants on the road, which actually look good as well.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: The Saints have no reason to change anything. Don’t bring back the gold jerseys.

Green Bay Packers – B+

Grades: Green/Yellow: A+, White: B+, White/Yellow: A, Throwback: C

Summary: Green Bay’s uniforms have been virtually untouched for decades and that’s how it needs to stay. Either home or away, they have one of the NFL’s most iconic looks. I like the addition of the white pants just so the announcers can call them the “White Cheese” uniforms. The throwback uniforms they currently have are awful. I’m sure they can find some type of better alternate from their past to use.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: I don’t need to explain why. Simple and iconic, there would be great outrage if Nike ever switched them up.

Indianapolis Colts – B+

            Grades: Blue/White: B+, White: B+

Summary: The Colts uniforms have been virtually untouched for the entire history of the franchise, spanning between decades and different cities. In 2020, they will be introducing some winkles that aren’t really dramatic but are different. There will be a new number font and a few new logo marks but their home and away uniforms will pretty much remain the same.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: The uniform is boring but classic. No need to change these, ever.

Kansas City Chiefs – B

            Grades: Red/White: B+, Red: B-, White/Red: B+

  Summary: Kansas City’s uniforms have stood the test of time and are a modern day classic. The “fire truck” red stands out in all of their combinations.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: No reason to modernize these.

Miami Dolphins – B

Grades: Aqua/White: B+, Aqua: C, White: B, White/Aqua: B-, Throwback: A, White Throwback: A

Summary: After a rebrand and a slight number font change, I think Nike finally got the Miami Dolphins right. Their “regular” home and away sets are okay but only overshadowed because of how good their throwbacks look. Bringing those back were a gift and a curse. At least they’ve moved from their “orange” phase.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? GO BACK: Miami opened Pandora’s box when they brought back their throwback uniforms. Time to scrap the rebrand and embrace this “return to the past” fad.

Buffalo Bills – B

Grades: Blue/White: B, Blue: C, White: B+, White/Blue: B-, Throwback: A-, Color Rush: C

Summary: Buffalo’s uniforms should be acknowledged as a classic. The decision to go back to white helmets turned out to be a good one. I think their best look is their all white throwbacks with the vintage mark on the helmet. The red color rush needs to go but Shady McCoy did a great job making that uniform look cool in the snow a few years back.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: Reebok had Buffalo in some strange looking threads years ago. They won’t go back to that.

New York Giants – B

Grades: Blue/White: B, White/Grey: C, White Throwback: A

Summary: I hate the Giants as a team (I’m a Cowboys fan) but I must admit, I really like their home uniform. Something about that solid blue jersey. The away duds almost look like they’re from a different team. It’s just that the red has become too dominant. The away set should be closer to what their current throwback is.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? GO BACK: In fact, to piggyback off of my last point, the Giants should just go back to the uniforms from that era.

The Modern Designs

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The Chargers absolutely nailed it.

Los Angeles Chargers – A+

Grades: Blue/White: A+, Blue/Yellow: A+, White: A+, White/Yellow: B +, Throwback: B, Navy: A+

Summary: Where do I begin?! I love everything about this rebrand. As they said in the promo video, they took an already classic uniform and improved it. Love the addition of the numbers on the helmet. The lightning bolt down the pants are great. The all-Navy alternates maybe my personal favorite in the set, especially with the navy bolt logo on the helmet. Just about every detail on these new sets are a homerun.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: Don’t change a thing. I’m already thinking of playing with the Chargers in the next addition of Madden just so I can use the uniforms.

Cleveland Browns – A+

Grades: Brown/White: A, Brown: A+, White/Brown: A, White: A

Summary: Maybe its because the Browns were in uniform hell for a while. But besides that, Nike really nailed it with this reboot for Cleveland. Going back to a more traditional uniform has gain a positive reaction and I think it will influence more teams to do the same (looking at you, Seattle, Arizona, LA Rams). I’m biased because my high school colors were orange and brown but the Browns have always had a classic look. It’s just that the product on the field was so bad that fans couldn’t even notice. They kept the color rush from last year also which is a good thing.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: No need to change anything now. No orange jerseys. Orange pants? Maybe. Make the playoffs, first. Then, we’ll talk about orange pants.

Minnesota Vikings – B+

Grades: Purple/White: A, Purple: B, White/Purple: A, Color Rush:  B+

Summary: I like Minnesota’s current set. I like their unique number font and I like how they fixed the color on the matte helmet to match the purple on the jersey. The color rush with the yellow numbers isn’t bad either.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: The Vikings are another team that needs to stick with this traditional look.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – B+

Grades: Red/Pewter: A, White: B, White/Pewter: A, Pewter: C

Summary: Tampa Bay is yet another team that will be entering the 2020 season with new uniforms. The greatest part of this upgrade for Tampa is that Nike got rid of those awful “alarm clock” looking numbers. With the new set, block numbering returns and none of the weird piping. It’s a simple uniform but bold because of the red and pewter. Tampa already had an awesome helmet. Now, it’ll be paired with the pewter or white pants. I think Nike get a lot of warranted criticism but they at least got this one right. I don’t even think the all-Pewter uniforms are bad.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: They just left uniform hell. They’ll be keeping these new ones for a while, I imagine. I know many are wishing for the original Bucco Bruce to return with the orange creamsicle uniforms. Maybe when the NFL changes its “one-shell” rule with the helmets.

Baltimore Ravens – B+

Grades: Purple/White: B-, Black/White: B, Black: A, Purple: B-, White: B, White/Black: A-, White/Purple: C, Color Rush: B

Summary: The Ravens have had their look for a while now and it’s starting to get boring. I think the black jerseys and pants combos are their best look, easily. The purple pants are interesting but looks out of place with the white jersey and black helmet. They have one of the better color rush uniforms but that doesn’t say much.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: The Ravens look might of gotten stale with me but I cringe to think what Nike would do to them. I think Baltimore should keep what they have currently.

Carolina Panthers – B

Grades: Black/Grey: B, Blue/White: B-, White: B, White/Black: C, Black: A, Blue/Black: B-

Summary: Carolina has had one of the best color schemes in the league since they entered it. Their uniforms have been mostly unchanged but the few changes that have been made were good ones. The addition of the black pants was popular as their all-black uniform is one of the best in the league. I like their light blue alternate jersey but it doesn’t look quite right with the white or black pants. I wonder why they don’t just pair them with the home grey pants.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: Like I said, outside from minor changes, Carolina has had the same look for years. Nike has no need to muck it up.

Philadelphia Eagles – B

Grades: Forest/White: B, White: B+, White/Green: B+, Black: B

Summary: The Eagles have had their sharp look for a while now and it’s starting to get dull. It’s either that or too many people are clamoring for the Kelly Green uniforms to come back. But if we all just stop being nostalgic, you’ll notice that the current set is decent. The helmet goes great with the green jersey or with the all-white uniform. The black underlining might be the first thing to go if they ever do make a change.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? GO BACK: Though the current set isn’t that bad, they should totally go back to the Kelly Green, ditch the black, and bring back the grey pants. Basically what Atlanta should have done. Philadelphia can beat them to the punch.

Jacksonville Jaguars – B

Grades: Black/White: B+, Black/Teal: B, Teal/White: C, Teal/Black: B, White/Black: A, White/Teal: C-, Black: A, White: A

Summary: It’s been a wild ride but I think this franchise is content with their latest set from Nike. The actual jerseys and pants set are kind of boring but they pop enough to make a pretty unique and great uniform. But I can only say that for half of the set. Jacksonville’s uniforms have been iconic because of the success they’ve had in them. When I think about the all-Black or the black helmet/pants combo, I think of big post-season wins. The black helmet is great when paired with the all-white uniform or jersey. Not so much with the teal jersey but it looked much better in the past. The teal pants look like they don’t belong in this set.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? GO BACK: The teal jersey with the black helmet really looked nice with the original number font. Jacksonville should at the least bring this jersey back as a throwback.

Houston Texans – B-

Grades: Navy/White: B-, Red/White: C, White: B-, White/Navy: B, Navy: B, Navy Rush: B+

Summary: Houston has had the same uniforms for 20 years. The Navy helmet and jersey combo is starting to get bland but it is still one of the nicest looks in the league. The red jersey looks out of place in the set since they’ve stopped pairing it with the red pants. The red numbers, however, on the navy color rush really pops in a good way. Houston’s white sets of uniforms are also good, I think.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: There’s an outcry from Houston football fans to bring back the “Love Ya Blue”uniforms. But I think the Texans would be better off sticking with their current set.

Washington – B-

Grades: Red/White: B, White/Red: B+, Throwback: C

Summary: Nickname and logo aside, Washington actually has a pretty decent and iconic set. As one of the league’s oldest franchises, they bring a unique combo with the burgundy red and yellow. I think their road uniform is currently their best. They used to have yellow pants, which were good with the home jersey; not so much with the road. The throwback they currently wear isn’t bad but it doesn’t match the helmet color.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: The right answer is a total rebrand but that’s a conversation for another day. As long as they have that team name, I’ll expect them to just stay with their current uniforms.

Detroit Lions – B-

Grades: Blue/Grey: B, White/Grey: B, White/Blue: B-, Throwback: B+, Silver: C

Summary: Detroit rebranded a few years ago and it was a positive move. Sticking with their original blue/silver/white set and moving from the unneeded black outlines. Detroit also kept their throwbacks which one of the nicest looking ones in the league. I’m not too crazy about the all-silver uniform. They added blue pants with this current set and it isn’t too bad.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: Nike rebranded them recently so there isn’t a need to make any dramatic changes.

New York Jets – B

Grades: Green/White: B, Green: B-, White: B-, White/Green: B+, Black: B+

Summary: The Jets recent rebrand was met with a mixed reaction but I don’t really think of it as being a complete failure. I think they did miss a chance to do something real special and different. Instead, we got a boring template for a uniform and a barely changed logo. I do like the new helmet. Usually I’ll hate on the BFBS trend but these black uniforms aren’t bad.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? STAND PAT: These current uniforms are an escape from the past so I don’t see them going back anytime soon.

New England Patriots – B-

Grades: Navy: B-, White/Navy: B-

Summary: New England is yet another team that is getting new uniforms for 2020. But these are a surprisingly underwhelming. I guess they are based off the navy color rushes from recent seasons. New England’s previous uniforms weren’t that great to begin with but these new ones are just too plain looking. Not terrible but boring.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? GO BACK: Not sure what route New England should go but many liked the Patriot Pat on the helmet and the red jerseys.

Seattle Seahawks – C

Grades: Navy: B+, Green/Navy: D, White/Navy: A-, Grey: C, Green: D

Summary: The grades for Seattle are kind of skewed because they decide to still wear those lime green abominations. The Navy uniforms aren’t bad and their best on the road have been with the navy pants. That green is terrible though. And I’m on the fence for the grey uniforms as well. The designs of these uniforms aren’t terrible but some of the color combos are.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? GO BACK: I remember when Seattle rebranded in the early 2000s, they had a vote for the color of the helmet. I guess navy won, but now’s the time to go back in history (like every other franchise, apparently) and bring back the silver and royal blue look from the 80s.

The Worst

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Aaron Donald is too good of a player to be seen in these this season.

Los Angeles Rams – D

Grades: Blue/Yellow: A, Blue: C-, Bone: F

Summary: I keep trying to spin this into a positive for the Rams. But then, I look back at the reveal and I’m blown away. How could Nike let this happen? They had a chance to just keep things simple and return to the glorious uniforms of the early 90’s. Instead, we got gradient numbers, nametags, and something called “Bone”. Here’s the one positive: prior to this, the Rams were an absolute mess. Mismatched logos. Mismatched helmets and uniforms. It was bad.  With this new set, at least they have what looks like the classic blue/yellow home uniform. But the all-Blue looks like ridiculous pajamas. I hope they plan to wear the yellow pants on the road. Whoever thought this “Bone” idea for the road uniform was a good one should be punished by wearing it. One last positive thing: the new helmet is great. It’s a modern twist on the classic and the horns are meant to resemble the ones on the new logo.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? GO BACK: I didn’t hate the new Rams logo set as bad as everyone else did. They just need to go back to the drawing board with the uniforms. No need to complicate things.

Denver Broncos – C

Grades: Orange/White: C-, Blue/White: B-, White: B, Orange: C

Summary: The Broncos broke ground with their rebrand in the late 90’s but now; their current set is bland. They had the right idea going with the orange jersey as their home uniform years ago but it just looks mismatch now with the blue helmet and white pants. The all-Orange Crush color rush is probably a glimpse of what they will wear in the future but they are clearly in line for maybe not a total rebrand but at least new uniforms.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? GO BACK: With the Orange color rush, you get the throwback “D” logo on the helmet but it still doesn’t look quite right with the current navy blue. When they do the rebranding of the uniforms, they’ll need to not only bring back the orange home jerseys with the block numbers but they’ll need to also bring back the rocky mountain sky blue.

Atlanta Falcons – B-

Grades: Black/White: B, Black: B+, Red Gradient: D, White: C, White/Black: B, White/Red: B-, Throwback: A-

Summary: The Falcons rebrand for 2020 was disappointing to me. The two obvious things that bothered me were the red gradient jersey and the “ATL” word mark on every jersey. I feel like pro uniforms usually don’t have city names on the front, seems like a college move. Atlanta’s throwback uniform seems to be unchanged from recent years but they missed a great opportunity to bring back the grey pants. The new helmets even include a grey facemask so, it would make even more sense. Atlanta’s new matte helmets are the best part of the uniforms, btw.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? GO BACK: In about five years, Atlanta will do what Cleveland has done and get rid of the city mark and the gradient uniform and go with a more classic look. And they better bring back the grey pants.

Cincinnati Bengals – B-

Grades: Black/White: C, Black: B, White: B, White/Black: B-, Orange/White: C, Color Rush: B

Summary: I feel like I’m being kind here with the B- grade. The all-black and all-white uniforms aren’t too bad for me but it goes downhill from there. Reebok really screwed up this redesign from the early 2000’s. The patchwork jersey and weird piping is where this design is doomed. The color rush “white tiger” isn’t a bad idea but the helmet is still orange so why even try.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? REBRAND: It is an open secret that Cincinnati will be getting the full Nike treatment sooner than later. I bet they incorporate elements from the white tiger uniform. I hope this doesn’t mean a gradient helmet. Nike, please, learn from your mistakes in Jacksonville and now Atlanta. The NFL is changing the one shell helmet rule soon anyways. Stick with the tiger stripes and just simplify the uniforms.

Tennessee Titans – B-

Grades: Navy: B+, Blue: B, Blue/Navy: B, White: B, White/Blue: C, White/Navy: B, Navy/Blue: C

Summary: Tennessee rebranded a few years ago with mixed results. I don’t hate the helmet change but the uniforms have been really underwhelming. The Titans have many different combinations but I had a tough time deciding which one I liked best. Tennessee “best blue” in this set is the navy but I feel that it should be the light blue because division rival, Houston, is navy. The light blue jersey in this set is okay but the light blue pants just don’t look right.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? REBRAND: Tennessee’s uniforms are way too busy. They need to rebrand to something a lot simpler. I’m not sure what that would look like. They should make light blue their primary color and maybe red numbers. That could work on a simpler uniform.

Arizona Cardinals – C

Grades: Red/White: B-, Red: B, White: C, White/Red: C-, Black: B, Black/White: C-

Summary: The Cardinals have pretty much stayed the course since rebranding in 2005. It seemed radical at the time but I think it was only because their uniforms were so boring before. All of the losing didn’t help either. But its kind of ironic now that the more basic designs are starting to comeback. Arizona’s set fails to hit because of its weird piping that was trendy with the NFL at the time.

Rebrand, Go Back, or Stand Pat? REBRAND: I don’t think they need to completely turn back to the 90’s but I hope their next rebrand is simpler and uses yellow as a secondary color over black which makes them look like an Atlanta Falcons knock off. Also from the 90’s, they used to incorporate the Arizona state flag. They should try that again. I’ve seen mock-ups that aren’t too bad.

 

 

 

 

 

2020 NFL Mock Draft (Three Rounds!)

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This year’s draft will hinge on which team will take a chance on QB Tua Tagovailoa.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, this year’s NFL Draft will be different to say the least. And because of social distancing, teams will have a harder time making evaluations on players as many pro days and one-on-one interviews had to be canceled. With those factors considered, one scout was recently quoted saying “Mock Drafts everywhere will probably be all over the place, not even being close to resembling what the teams are really thinking”. That being said, I’m feeling REAL good about my mock this year. And because of all the time I’ve had to work on it, for the first time, I mocked the first 3 rounds! It’s not exciting. It’s not worthy of an exclamation point. I’ll never do that again. Anyways. Cincinnati, you’re up…..

ROUND 1

1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU: This will be one of those drafts where the first overall pick was determined back when the college football season ended. QB Joe Burrow took the NCAA by storm in 2019 winning the Heisman and leading his LSU Tigers to a national championship. Though loaded with talent, Burrow was the triggerman for the Tiger offense, accounting for 60 touchdowns. Now, Burrow will have the chance to turn around a franchise needing a change at QB from Andy Dalton.

2. Washington – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State: Washington has an interesting decision to make at pick number two. They could either trade the pick to a QB needy franchise or they could just take the best player in the draft. I think they will choose the latter. Washington wouldn’t exactly be drafting for need here but the addition of Young would make that defensive front seven one of the best units in the league. Young is your prototype blue-chipper at defensive end. With elite size and speed, he dominated during most of his college career and he should be on pace to be an outstanding pro.

*****TRADE***** Lions trade 3rd overall pick to Dolphins for 5th overall pick, 18th overall pick, 4th round pick (141), and a 2021 1st round pick.

3. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama: Miami has three picks in the first round and I don’t believe they attend to keep them. I think the Dolphins will pull the trigger, throw caution to the wind, and make the big trade in this draft for the player they’ve wanted since 2018. Miami has the assets to pull off such a deal. The only question will be with finding the right trade partner. Washington is a candidate but they would be missing out on the best player in the draft. Detroit on the other hand really has nothing to lose. Three first round draft picks is a steep price for a player with durability issues. But Miami can afford it. If healthy, Tua is talented enough as a passer where he probably would have gone first overall. If he’s healthy, great. If not, you can sit him a year. This is all weighing him showing that big time talent once he’s healthy.

4. New York Giants – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia: The Giants have a chance to grab a talented football player at the 4th overall spot. They could do that with Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons. But I think they’ll go to the other side of the ball and think about protecting their future franchise QB, Daniel Jones. Thomas, out of Georgia, has been rising up draft boards and he’ll help improve an offensive line that struggled in 2019.

5. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State: Detroit trades back and still gets the corner they need. The Lions traded away Darius Slay in the offseason but signed veteran Desmond Trufant in a responding move. They still need to get younger at that CB position as their pass defense was the worst in football last year. Okudah is regarded as the best corner in this year’s draft so; this selection for Detroit would make sense to me.

6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: When you look at the Chargers roster, you’ll see that quarterback is a glaring need. I don’t know why the Chargers haven’t reached out to one of the free agents (Newton, Winston) but I don’t believe is it because they have big time faith into Tyrod Taylor. This tells me that they are thinking “QB. No matter what” in the first round. If they wont trade up for Tua, my guess is they’ll be okay with picking this kid out of Oregon. Justin Herbert could have left college a year ago and been a top pick but he decided to stay at Oregon where he really didn’t improve his draft status but he also didn’t hurt it. I see Herbert as an average player that shouldn’t go in the top-10 but sometimes these QBs find a way to get drafted earlier than they should. I think Herbert throws a good ball and is more athletic than you might think. That may be good enough for the Chargers to take a chance with him at pick number 6 overall.

7. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn: Carolina is going to have to be good defensively if they hope to compete in the NFC South in the near future. Right now, their defensive line looks depleted and they need space eaters up front so that LB group can make plays. I think Derrick Brown fits the build for what the Panthers need up front at 315 pounds. I watched his highlight reel and this guy is throwing offensive lineman into QB’s and literally suplexing ball carriers. He’s a disrupter.

8. Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama: The SEC continues to dominate this mock draft. I criticized Arizona for not taking Nick Bosa last year over their future franchise QB Kyler Murray. Now that they have Murray, I think Arizona better start investing in that offensive line. Depending on aging veterans who get injured isn’t going to cut it. Many consider Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr. to be the best offensive tackle in the draft.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson: Jacksonville is in the middle of a messy rebuild so it may not be the best locker room environment for any rookie. But with DE Yannick Ngakoue looking for the next train leaving Duval, the Jags could select the most versatile defender in the draft. Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons can make an impact for any defense as a pass rusher or in coverage as a linebacker or safety. I think the Jaguars are in the market for a young beast at linebacker since the sudden retirement of Telvin Smith. They’ll be thrilled for the opportunity to take Simmons at 9.

10. Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville: Up front, the Browns were average at best offensively. They should honestly call Washington about trading for Trent Williams. If they want all those skill players to help boost the offense, Baker Mayfield is going to need protection. Mekhi Becton is a monster at 6’7 but is also an accomplished player at tackle earning All-ACC honors in 2019. He’ll help Cleveland get younger at that position while developing into the team’s future starting left tackle.

11. New York Jets – Tristan Wirfs, OT/OG, Iowa: This a deep wide receiver class so the Jets will wait to address that position. Instead, I think the Jets need to make sure they getting the most of Le’Veon Bell. They had the 2nd worst run offense in the league last season and if you watched this offense in 2019, you’ll see that it wasn’t the player’s fault. The Jets need to invest up front and Tristan Wirfs is a mauler. Able to play tackle or guard, they will find a place for him early in his career on this offensive line.

12. Las Vegas Raiders – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama: The Raiders have an “Antonio Brown” sized hole in their receiver room and they have the choice of any player at that position in this draft. This WR class is deep but everyone knows that there are three standouts at the top. Any of them could end up getting selected first but I think it is going to be Jeudy. The All-American is coming off a productive college career and his top end speed should allow him to be a constant deep threat for Derek Carr.

13. San Francisco 49ers – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina: After trading away DeForest Buckner, the 49ers would be real lucky if this disrupter falls to them at 12. Kinlaw has been long rumored to be a top-10 selection in the draft even before his final season as a Gamecock started. If you ever watched a South Carolina game, you would notice Kinlaw as the huge person in the middle of the field pushing the opposition backwards. Kinlaw offers great size and athleticism. He’ll be a factor as a pro against the run or as an interior rusher.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida: I’m thinking if Tampa Bay is really investing into Tom Brady for the next few years, they might be looking for pass protection at this pick. But I feel if the top 4 offensive linemen are gone, they won’t reach for one. Instead, how about improving that secondary that was 30th in the league last season. Florida’s CJ Henderson is a long and lanky dude with elite speed. They could use him in Tampa.

Lamb202015. Denver Broncos – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma: Denver gets a big target here for QB Drew Lock. Lamb may be the best receiver from this talented class. He is your future #1 WR who was the top target of 2 of the last 3 Heisman trophy winners, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Lamb is a possession receiver who can catch balls over the middle and can go up and get it in the redzone.

16. Atlanta Falcons – K’Lavon Chaisson, DE/OLB, LSU: Atlanta ranked near the bottom of the league in sacks last season and they parted ways with edge rusher Vic Beasley. Chaisson is a promising prospect at just 20 years old but was a defensive MVP on a talented LSU Tiger defense. Scouts say that Chaisson has a “high ceiling” meaning that he could develop into a premiere pass rusher in the NFL.

17. Dallas Cowboys – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama: Dallas might be thinking defense with the departures of Robert Quinn and Byron Jones. But I think they’ll be okay with one of the top 3 WR falling to them. The Cowboys had a great passing attack in 2019 but this would put them over the top. Ruggs offers game changing speed, which will make him a threat every time he touches the ball.

18. Detroit Lions – Grant Delpit, S, LSU: After taking the top corner in the draft earlier, Detroit gets the chance here to remake their secondary with the extra pick from Miami. At the top of the safety class this year are two guys from the SEC. I think LSU’s Grant Delpit separates from the group as more of a ballhawk type of player. Though it may not matter in the fall, Delpit’s time in the 40 also may put him over.

19. Las Vegas Raiders – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma: After helping their offense with the 12th pick, the Raiders go to the defensive side with this selection. Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray plays with great intensity and just flies to the football. He’s the type of the player that Coach Gruden gravitates to and says “Hey man. You know what? (Nods) You’re a good football player, man.”

20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama: Once upon time, Jacksonville had a slew of young defensive studs. And it was good. Good enough to almost make a Super Bowl. Two years later and that foundation has since then fallen apart. Now, Jacksonville must reload on defense, which is why I think they’ll spend their second 1stround pick on Alabama safety Xavier McKinney. Now, Delpit from LSU might be a hair faster but McKinney offers similar speed and is more of a thumper defending the run.

21. Philadelphia Eagles – Austin Jackson, OT, USC: Eagles fans will be screaming for a wide out here at 21 but their roster has major holes at other positions. Take for example: offensive tackle, where mainstay Jason Peters was not retained. If the Eagles are going to stick with injury prone QB Carson Wentz, they are going to need a new left tackle. USC’s Austin Jackson might be a reach but I think Philly needs him especially with Washington landing Chase Young.

22. Minnesota Vikings – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU: Minnesota got this pick by trading away a wide out so, they’ll aim to replace him here. Justin Jefferson has been described as “QB friendly”. Despite being barely above 6 feet, Jefferson built a solid college career by always getting open and being able to play well on the outside or in the slot. He’ll fit in well opposite Adam Thielen in the Vikings passing attack.

23. New England Patriots – Zach Baun, LB, Wisconsin: The Patriots could go many ways with this selection but I think they’ll give attention to a defense that was their strength last year but will be missing many pieces due to free agency. New England may be looking at the linebacker position as Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins left for new teams. Wisconsin’s Zach Baun doesn’t look like a typical NFL linebacker but his talent makes him stand out. Considered a sleeper but rising across many draft boards, Baun is a sure tackler and is a demon coming off the edge. Again size might be an issue but he is described as a grinder. The type of player that would catch the attention of Coach Bill Belichick. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pats think about their QB situation here too.

24. New Orleans Saints – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State: I really don’t know what the Saints will do with this first round pick. If you look at their roster, you don’t really see many glaring holes. Except at backup QB; a position on a football team not usually addressed in the first round. But consider this: Teddy Bridgewater is now in Carolina, Taysom Hill is on a restricted one-year deal, and the face of the franchise is about really to hang ‘em up. Jordan Love is a small school product but he sits tall in the pocket and throws a really good ball. What a great situation it would be for him to learn under Brees and Sean Payton and eventually lead this Saints team into the new decade.

25. Minnesota Vikings – Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State: With their second 1st round pick, Minnesota may be looking to replace veteran DE Everson Griffen who left via free agency. Yetur Gross-Matos, probably the best name in the draft, was a productive all-conference player at Happy Valley and would be a fit as an edge rusher in a 4-3 defense.

26. Miami Dolphins – Josh Jones, OT, Houston: After trading three 1st rounders to get Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins could look to add some protection for their investment. Miami allowed the second most sacks in the league and had a league worst ranked run game. Tua Tagovailoa or not, they need to address their offensive line. Josh Jones would be the next best tackle off the board. Miami can still add other pieces later.

uamooww5y7bnqoquics227. Seattle Seahawks – AJ Epenesa, DE, Iowa: Seattle’s defense was kinda bad last year if you look at the numbers. The once-renounced secondary was ranked near the bottom in the league and they were second to last in the league in sacks. Jadeveon Clowney will not be back and I don’t think Bruce Irvin is a suitable replacement. I think Pete Carroll will consider the pass rusher out of Iowa, Epenesa. He’s not exactly a speed rusher off the edge but at 6’5 he offers tremendous size and great technique. Able to play on the edge or inside, I get major “J.J. Watt vibes” watching his highlight tape. His size and length make him a chore for any offensive lineman and I think he could develop into a great defender.

28. Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU: With the moves the Ravens have already made in this offseason, you would think that upgrading the defense is a priority. I feel that they still haven’t recovered from the loss of C.J. Mosley. LSU’s Patrick Queen was the “QB” of a very talented defense in college. He offers great range and speed from sideline to sideline and decent coverage skills. He could eventually be a leader for this defense in the future.

29. Tennessee Titans – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU: Confession: I don’t like many of the corners in this draft. Many great athletes but not enough physicality. There are a few exceptions though. Jeff Gladney is less than 6 feet but has been one of the top corners in the Big 12 and he isn’t shy when it comes to tackling. He could help Tennessee’s aging secondary.

30. Green Bay Packers – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado: Green Bay’s passing attack kinda had a dull season ranking 17th in the league. Shenault Jr. from Colorado could be able to help them to return to elite status. Shenault Jr. is a load for a wideout at 225 pounds but offers elite speed, running a 4.5 forty yard dash at the combine. He can be a possession receiver in the slot and a receiving threat from the backfield as a RB. Shenault Jr. may remind Packers fans of Randall Cobb.

31. San Francisco 49ers – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson: Higgins from Clemson is one of the tallest receivers in this draft class. But other than height, he offers big play capability every time he touches the ball. Higgins displays excellent hands, ball skills, and underrated speed. He’ll fit right in with a San Francisco offense looking for more young playmakers.

32. Kansas City Chiefs – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU: And the first round ends with another member of the National Champions. The Super Bowl Champion, Chiefs, did not retain a couple of their corners and they are looking a little thin at that position. I like Fulton who showed his toughness in press situations last season starting in all 15 games for the Tigers during their championship run. Leading the secondary in pass breakups, he’ll be a welcomed member of the Chiefs secondary along side fellow Tiger, Tyrann Mathieu.

ROUND 2

33. Cincinnati Bengals – Akeen Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State: To start the second round, I have the Bengals turning attention to their defense. They’ve addressed their secondary in free agency so here they’ll go linebacker with this small school product. Davis-Gaither is one of those undersized linebackers that defensive coaches value because of their ability to slip past blocks and make tackles.

34. Indianapolis Colts – Terrell Lewis, DE/LB, Alabama: The Colts traded their first round pick for some interior help on the defensive line. With their first 2nd round pick, they’ll aim to add some speed to their outside rush. Alabama’s Terrell Lewis may have had some injury problems in college but when healthy, he can be a force off the edge. Lewis is an incredible athlete for a guy north of 250 lbs. and that combination of size and speed could serve this Colts defense well.

35. Detroit Lions – Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame: Detroit already addressed their defense in the first round but the brother angle here is too good to pass up. The Lions already have Romeo Okwara so how about drafting his little brother Julian from Notre Dame. Julian is a versatile pass rusher that can also make plays as a linebacker.

36. New York Giants – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama: Trevon Diggs will probably go higher in the draft but I just didn’t like him as much as a prospect. Diggs offers great length and speed but lacks physicality. He does have great skills when the ball is in his hands. The Giants would fill a need here as their pass defense ranked near the bottom last season.

37. Los Angeles Chargers – Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State: Looking at the Chargers roster just frustrates me. Not only is it screaming “JUST SIGN CAM NEWTON”, the Chargers only have two, yes, TWO running backs under contract. But this scenario, I would imagine they will look for help at tackle to protect their future franchise QB they got in the 1st round.

38. Carolina Panthers – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson: Carolina is looking thin in the secondary. Terrell took a beating in the National Championship game in college and they keep reminding us about it. Despite that, he’s a pretty good prospect and he’ll be looking to bounce back with a chip on his shoulder as a rookie.

Swift202039. Miami Dolphins – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia: Finally, the first running back comes off the board. Miami continues to add to its young offense with the back from Georgia. Swift isn’t the speedster that his name suggests but he’s kind of a “do-it-all” type of back. I mean, he does have speed but he can also run between the tackles and be a consistent target as a receiver.

40. Houston Texans – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin: Might start to see a string of RBs being selected? Probably not. But I could see Houston taking a flyer on one of the most productive backs from CFB. Taylor’s workload in college might have been heavy but I don’t understand why that would hurt his stock. Taylor is your prototypical 3 down back that would fit in any scenario in the backfield.

41. Cleveland Browns – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State: On first thought, I didn’t think the Browns were thin at WR but they are. If that’s the case, they’ll love this speedy dude out of the Pac-12. There are similar guys at WR in this draft but what pops on Aiyuk’s tape is his smoothness. The way he gets in and out of his cuts. He has crazy vision and speed, which makes him dangerous with every possession. He does carry a bit of an injury concern but he could be a real difference maker for this Browns offense. And you can’t forget his return abilities on special teams. This would be a real good get for Cleveland.

42. Jacksonville Jaguars – Cam Akers, RB, Florida State: Leonard Fournette will be the next “veteran” to part from what was once a great roster in Jacksonville. But while he is still under contract, Jacksonville can attempt to get the most out of their running game by drafting his maybe replacement in the 2nd round. Cam Akers is a better player than what he showed in college, as he just happened to play on some bad offenses. At barely 6 feet, he displays toughness and getaway speed with each carry.

43. Chicago Bears – Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma: Chicago has two selections in the 2nd round. With this pick, I see them adding some youth to their defensive front. Gallimore was a big time disrupter as a Sooner, earning the incredibly awesome nickname, “The Canadian Bulldozer”.

44. Indianapolis Colts – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor: With their second pick in this round, the Colts decide to add a new dimension to their passing attack. Mims is an intriguing prospect with the ability to go up and get the ball in red zone situations. His stock has been rising recently and he might go sooner than 44.

45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia: The Buccaneers can add some protection for their newly signed QB with this selection. Wilson is not just the “other tackle from Georgia” in this draft. Wilson showed promise against some of the best pass rushers in the SEC and at just 20 years old, he has time to develop.

46. Denver Broncos – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn: Good luck pronouncing that last name. Noah was one of the corners in this draft who I thought had good tape. A physical competitor, this receiver turned cornerback will be a good addition for Denver.

47. Atlanta Falcons – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia: Atlanta might be thinking about a corner with this pick, as Desmond Trufant is now a Lion. Hall may be a forgotten prospect because of health reasons but if healthy, many say he would be a first rounder.

48. New York Jets – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU: The Jets are in desperate need for a playmaker at wide receiver. Reagor is not only tough for his size but his speed is undeniable. The Jets would be lucky if he were to drop to them in the second round.

49. Pittsburgh Steelers – Marlon Davidson, DE, Auburn: I see the Steelers getting younger up front with this selection. I was just blown away after watching this guys highlights and thought he is a fit for Pittsburgh. At 305 lbs., this guy is active up front and is the ideal size for a defensive end in a 3-4 defense. He played on the outside in college and I wondered how was that possible. Then, I watched the highlight reel and the guy is crazy athletic for his size and was a major disrupter coming from every point at the line of scrimmage. I had to go back and change the pick after watching his highlights. It just looked like such a Steeler pick here with Davidson.

usa_today_11157508.153598795250. Chicago Bears – Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota: Eddie Jackson has emerged as a great player and leader for the Chicago secondary at free safety. With Ha-Ha Clinton Dix gone, the Bears can draft their next strong safety of the future by selecting this Golden Gopher. Winfield Jr., son of a former NFL player, has shown great promise while at Minnesota. Despite his 5’9 frame, Winfield is a striker as a tackler and an absolute ball hawk in zone coverage. He’ll be a great fit in this defense. He might develop into a “Bob Sanders” type player.

51. Dallas Cowboys – Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State: The Cowboys loves their BSU Broncos. I guarantee they’ll add another one in this draft. It will be this guy or the receiver, Hightower. But anyways, Dallas will be on the hunt for another edge rusher with the departure of Robert Quinn. After not addressing this in the first round, they’ll find the MWC defensive player of the year in this round. Weaver had a productive final season at Boise State and he just fits what the Cowboys usually draft. Unheralded and maybe underrated, Weaver could be a nice surprise for any team.

52. Los Angeles Rams – Josh Uche, DE/LB, Michigan: The Rams probably need pass rush help with Dante Fowler signing with Atlanta. Uche would be a fit for them with their second round pick. Though undersized, Uche showed great pass rushing ability and versatility while at Michigan.

53. Philadelphia Eagles – KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State: The Eagles finally get some receiver help in the second round. Hamler is one of the smallest players in the draft but also might be the fastest. Hamler is able to use his speed to get open; jumping in and out of cut like a jackrabbit. His ability to stretch defenses will be valuable, as it will free up space for his teammates. This would be a good get for Philadelphia.

54. Buffalo Bills – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU: I went back and forth with this one because the Bills just found their future RB last season in Devin Singletary. But Head Coach Sean McDermott likes to use multiple backs in his offense and they all usually have a certain role. Edwards-Helaire seems like that type of guy who you may not see coming but ends up making the big play in the game. One of the shortest backs in the draft, CEH offers tough running and was an underrated target in the passing game. He’s the type of player you might find on a Bill Bellichick roster. But I have Buffalo taking him here.

55. Baltimore Ravens – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU: I don’t think the Ravens should just settle and count on the veterans they added on their defensive line. They need youth. They need depth. Blacklock could certainly provide that. He’s actually a popular name right now, rising up on team’s draft boards.

56. Miami Dolphins – Cesar Ruiz, OG/C, Michigan: Miami continues to invest into their offense. They drafted the tackle earlier but here they can take one of the top interior blockers in college football. Ruiz can play guard or center and should be a lock in the second or third rounds.

57. Los Angeles Rams – J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State: One of the high profiled prospects in this draft, I think the former Buckeye would fit well in this LA backfield. Dobbins certainly wouldn’t be replacing Todd Gurley but he could be apart of a prospering run game with Malcolm Brown. A shifty workhorse, Dobbins, would bring a change of pace to the Rams offense.

58. Minnesota Vikings – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah: Minnesota is in the market for a corner after the departure of Xavier Rhodes. Jaylon Johnson is one of the more physical defensive backs in this draft and he plays a style of football that Coach Mike Zimmer will like.

59. Seattle Seahawks – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State: Damon Arnette’s tape was impressive to me. You figure the guy would have a lot of opportunities playing corner opposite of Jeff Okudah in college. And he took advantage of that opportunity, displaying physicality and ball skills. I wouldn’t be surprised if a team selected him with a need at corner. Seattle pass defense wasn’t great last season.

60. Baltimore Ravens – Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC: How about the Ravens getting a target on the outside for Lamar Jackson. Pittman Jr. has the look of a future #1 receiver and he plays like one. He’s a combination of size and speed but he also displays great hands rather in a crowd or when he has to go up and get it. He would be a great complement to Marquise Brown.

https---images.saymedia-content.com-.image-MTY3NTg2MzY2OTYyNTQxOTU5-usatsi_1350635661. Tennessee Titans – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame: Cole Kmet is the top tight end in the draft. Not really a strong class for tight ends this year but I see some guys that could make a difference for some offenses. QB Ryan Tannehill would benefit from having a consistent target at that position, something Tennessee hasn’t had since Delainie Walker.

62. Green Bay Packers – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State: This may be a reach but the Packers need to toughen up the middle of that defense. Harrison is a true throwback at linebacker. Attacks gaps and ball carriers with reckless abandon. He may lack in athleticism but he is a sure tackler from sideline to sideline.

63. Kansas City Chiefs – Wille Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State: Another reach at LB but Willie Gay Jr. has impressed scouts during this draft process. His ability to defend and tackle on the edge going sideline to sideline will get him drafted earlier than expected.

64. Seattle Seahawks – Ashtyn Davis, S, California: Really tempted to go QB here. But hey, did I mention that Seattle’s Legion of Boom is no more? Their secondary needs a rebuild. After taking a corner earlier, they can take an impact safety here to end the second round.

ROUND 3

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Justin Madebuike, DT, Texas A&M
  2. Washington – Byran Edwards, WR, South Carolina
  3. Detroit Lions – Lloyd Cushenberry III, G, LSU
  4. New York Jets – Jordan Elliot, DT, Missouri
  5. Carolina Panthers – Zach Moss, RB, Utah
  6. Miami Dolphins – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
  7. Los Angeles Chargers – Netane Muti, G, Fresno State
  8. Arizona Cardinals – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
  10. Cleveland Browns – Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
  11. Indianapolis Colts – Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
  12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Terrell Burgess, S, Utah
  13. Denver Broncos – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
  14. Atlanta Falcons – Tyler Biadasz, G, Wisconsin
  15. New York Jets – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
  16. Las Vegas Raiders – Jonah Jackson, G, Ohio State
  17. Las Vegas Raiders – Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
  18. Dallas Cowboys – Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
  19. Denver Broncos – Davon Hamilton, DT, Ohio State
  20. Los Angeles Rams – Jonathan Greenard, DE, Florida
  21. Detroit Lions – Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
  22. Buffalo Bills – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
  23. New England Patriots – Jalen Hurts, QB, AlabamaHurts2020
  24. New Orleans Saints – Nick Harris, G, Washington
  25. Minnesota Vikings – Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
  26. Houston Texans – Darrell Taylor, DE, Tennessee
  27. Las Vegas Raiders – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
  28. Baltimore Ravens – Robert Hunt, G, Louisiana
  29. Tennessee Titans – Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
  30. Green Bay Packers – Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
  31. Denver Broncos – Matt Peart, OT, Connecticut
  32. Kansas City Chiefs – Anthony McFarland Jr., RB, Maryland
  33. Cleveland Browns – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
  34. New England Patriots – Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
  35. New York Giants – Brandlee Anae, DE, Utah
  36. New England Patriots – Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic
  37. Seattle Seahawks – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
  38. Pittsburgh Steelers – Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
  39. Philadelphia Eagles – Alex Taylor, OT, South Carolina State
  40. Los Angeles Rams – Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
  41. Minnesota Vikings – James Proche, WR, SMU
  42. Baltimore Ravens – Lamar Jackson, CB, Nebraska

Revisiting my 2015 NFL MOCK Draft

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Marcus Mariota could have been a Jet if the draft would have gone the way I thought.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Five years ago, I posted a review of the very first NFL Mock Draft I did back in 2011. I thought it would be interesting to see which selections ended up working out and which ones I was dead wrong on. As the 2020 draft approaches, I decided to do pretty much the same thing again but with my 2015 Mock Draft. How much different would the NFL landscape look if that draft would of went the way I saw it? Lets see.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

      My Pick: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

            Actual Pick: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

Well, I got the first pick correct. Winston, coming off a National Championship at Florida State, was linked to the Bucs immediately as the draft process started. The Florida native, despite being linked to many allegations and controversies, was the top pick for Tampa in this draft and he went on to lead the Buccaneers’ offense for the last five years. He maybe a bit of a problem child and a turnover machine but he leaves Tampa this offseason holding many franchise passing records. I would say that this selection paid off for Tampa even with the lack of team success in the post season.

  1. Tennessee Titans

            My Pick: Leonard Williams, DT, USC

            Actual Pick: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

I guess I was thinking that Tennessee wouldn’t reach for a QB and just take the best player available. Leonard was hyped coming out of SC as one of the top players in the PAC-12. I thought he would have been the safer pick for the Titans who instead went QB. Mariota had some great moments early in his career but consistency became an issue, leaving him to be dumped by the Titans this offseason. Williams has made one Pro Bowl in his career but though he wasn’t taken here, he was a top ten pick.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars

  My Pick: Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Florida

            Actual Pick: Dante Fowler Jr., DE, Florida

Two for three to start. Not bad. This edge rusher had to rebound from an ACL injury to start his career but eventually turned into a player that helped “Sacksonville” to return to North Florida. After some disagreements with the brass, he was shipped out but then helped his new team reach the Super Bowl in 2018.

  1. Oakland Raiders

   My Pick: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

            Actual Pick: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

I guess the beginning of this draft was easy to predict? Cooper was the top receiver in college football, playing for one of the top programs in the land. The selection paid dividends immediately for Oakland but Cooper’s stats began to fade in his third season. After being traded to Dallas, Cooper was able to regain his form and he signed a 100 million dollar contract to stay with the team a week ago.

  1. Washington

            My Pick: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

            Actual Pick: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

I thought Washington would go for the pass rusher out of Clemson. Instead, they went with a safe pick in Scherff who has started in every game he played in Washington and has earned Pro Bowl honors in 3 seasons. Beasley ended up having success in Atlanta for 6 seasons, leading the league in sacks in 2016.

6. New York Jets

     My Pick: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

            Actual Pick: Leonard Williams, DT, USC

I basically swapped decisions from Tennessee and New York. But imagine what the Jets could have done with a young Mariota. It would have at least gave them some stability at that position. Williams, though talented, couldn’t stick with the Jets so they traded him across town to the Giants.

7. Chicago Bears

My Pick: Kevin White, WR, WVU

            Actual Pick: Kevin White, WR, WVU

This one was also easy to predict but has a tragic outcome. Kevin White had all the tools as a receiver coming out of West Virginia but just couldn’t stay healthy. He is now out of the league.

8. Atlanta Falcons

            My Pick: Alvin Dupree, OLB, Kentucky

            Actual Pick: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

I, at least, had the right idea for Atlanta. I knew they needed a pass rusher and I bet they were thrilled to take Beasley at 8. Dupree is talented but this would have been a reach.

9. New York Giants

  My Pick: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

            Actual Pick: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami(Fl)

Right position, wrong player. Though, I’m sure NY would have taken Scherff if he was available at 9. Instead, they took Flowers who quickly flamed out but is trying to reclaim his career at guard with the Dolphins.

10. St. Louis Rams

        My Pick: La’el Collins, OT, LSU

            Actual Pick: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

I obviously wrote this Mock before it was revealed that Collins was a suspect in a MURDER investigation which caused him to fall out of the draft completely. Todd Gurley ended up being successful as one of the league’s leading rushers in terms of yards and scores. Slowed by injuries recently, he finds himself back home in Georgia in 2020 with the Falcons. Collins, after being cleared of all allegations, was signed by Dallas and is currently one of the best right tackles in the league.

11. Minnesota Vikings

            My Pick: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

            Actual Pick: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

In his five seasons as a Viking, Waynes put in solid work with a highly acclaimed Minnesota secondary. But I guess he never developed into a star and Minnesota decided to let him hit free agency. I thought they would have gone with Parker who is still with the team that originally drafted him.

12. Cleveland Browns

My Pick: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

            Actual Pick:  Danny Shelton, DT, Washington

I thought I would have more misses. Shelton was held coming off a successful career as a Huskie. Then in Cleveland, he never really lived up to the hype and was shipped off to New England after 3 years. He actually posted the best numbers in his career last season and was able to sign a deal last week with Detroit.

13. New Orleans Saints

My Pick: Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

            Actual Pick: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

Randy Gregory’s highlight reel from college displayed his elite speed, which made him a top prospect in this draft. But questions began to arise about his substance abuse issues and caused him to slip out of the first round completely. The Saints went with Peat who is currently an all-pro, protecting one of the league’s top passers.

14. Miami Dolphins

My Pick: Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida

            Actual Pick: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

Miami took their chance to draft the first receiver in the draft as Parker dropped to them at 14. Sparring used for whatever reason, Parker had a career season in 2019. Perriman was taken later in this first round.

15. San Diego Chargers

            My Pick: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

            Actual Pick: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

The Chargers traded up with San Francisco to bring Gordon to their backfield. Ironically, I had Gordon going to San Diego in my Mock but in the second round. Gordon’s career may have started slow but he had some productive years for the Chargers. After a strange 2019 that included a contract hold out, he’ll tote the rock for Denver this fall.

16. Houston Texans

    My Pick: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma

            Actual Pick: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

Green-Beckham was yet another prospect from this draft that saw his stock drop because of issues off the field. Don’t know if he was even considered for Houston at 16 but the Texans went with Johnson who had a limited impact during his time with the team. Green-Beckham was unable to stick in the league while Johnson is currently signed with Cleveland.

17. San Francisco 49ers

My Pick: Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

            Actual Pick: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

I made this pick for the Chargers but they decided to move up for Gordon. With the Niners in this spot, they went with a defensive lineman that would help them solidify that unit up front for years. Ray was one of the top pass rushers coming out of the SEC but couldn’t stick with the team that drafted him. He’s currently a free agent.

18. Kansas City Chiefs

My Pick: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

            Actual Pick: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

I was way off on this one as Strong wasn’t selected until the 3rd round. Peters turned out to be a good player for the Chiefs but was also volatile and disruptive. The talented corner was traded out of KC to LA and traded AGAIN to Baltimore where they locked him up on a multi-year deal. In five seasons, Peters has totaled 27 interceptions. Strong totaled 31 receptions in three seasons for Houston and later Jacksonville.

19. Cleveland Browns

    My Pick: Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State

            Actual Pick: Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State

Crazy how Cleveland had two first rounders eight spots apart and I was able to predict both of them. Drafted as a Center, Erving was an unique prospect that played multiple position on the offensive line but couldn’t stick in Cleveland. He was traded to Kansas City in 2017 but won a Super Bowl title with them as their starting left guard.

20. Philadelphia Eagles

My Pick: Landon Collins, S, Alabama

            Actual Pick: Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

I was wrong on the pick but I’ll like to think Philly wishes they would have selected differently. Collins went in the second round to the rival Giants where he became a All-Pro safety. Agholor couldn’t keep his footing in the city of brotherly love where he developed his rep as a guy with bad hands. Had a 8-touchdown season two years ago. Now, he’ll catch or drop passes in Las Vegas with the Raiders.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

My Pick: Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA

            Actual Pick: Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

Cincy could have gone away with the Vontez Burfict problem if they would have listened to me! I can’t believe that Kendricks lasted in this draft to the 2nd round. He turned out to be a great player for Minnesota. Ogbuehi has suffered in his career due to injuries. But he is still employed, playing in Jacksonville last season and signing a deal with Seattle in 2020.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers

       My Pick: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut

            Actual Pick: Alvin Dupree, OLB, Kentucky

Byron Jones

I had Dupree drafted in the top ten so this was a steal for Pittsburgh. Dupree has had a shaky start to his career but Pittsburgh was patient with him and it paid off as he totaled 11plus sacks last year. I always mock a corner to the Steelers every year. Jones is currently the highest paid corner in league history so, I would imagine he would have worked out for Pittsburgh as well.

23. Denver Broncos

My Pick: Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas

            Actual Pick: Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

This pick originally belonged to Detroit who I thought was looking to replace Ndamukong Suh. Instead, they traded down with Denver and they decided to pair the young SEC pass rusher with Von Miller and an aging DeMarcus Ware. I remember watching this at home and I couldn’t believe that Brown was dropping like this. I was excited because Dallas was picking at 27. Anyways, Brown ended being a beast for the team that drafted him.

24. Arizona Cardinals

My Pick: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

            Actual Pick: D.J. Humphries, OT Florida

Well, Gurley surprisingly went in the top ten so I didn’t know what the Cardinals were going to do. Humphries has fought off injuries in the desert and has turned out to be a good pick for Arizona, starting in every game he has played in. He resigned with the team for 45 million dollars last month.

  1. Carolina Panthers

My Pick: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

            Actual Pick: Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington

Peat turned out to be a good pick for the Saints earlier in this draft but Carolina also selected a quality player. Thompson hasn’t made a Pro Bowl yet but he made a grand addition to what Carolina already had at LB with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. With Kuechly and Thomas now gone, Thompson had a career year in 2019 and he has solidified his place as the leader of the Panthers defense.

  1. Baltimore Ravens

My Pick:  Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

            Actual Pick: Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida

Johnson was taken earlier by Houston but has yet to really make an impact in the league. Instead, the Ravens went to receiver and selected Perriman out of UCF. In Baltimore, Perriman couldn’t overcome the injuries and ended up being passed along from there to Washington and to Cleveland. Last season in Tampa, he did catch 6 touchdowns, appearing in 14 games. He’ll be with the Jets in 2020.

27. Dallas Cowboys

   My Pick: Owamagbe Odighizuma, DE, UCLA

            Actual Pick: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut

I might go long on his one. First off, if I had known that Malcolm Brown from OU was still going to be available, he would have been the pick. Second off, I was waaaay off on this pick for Dallas. I guess I was watching film on Eric Kendricks and saw this other guy on UCLA’s defense making plays. Odighizuma fit the mold for a traditional defensive end in a 4-3 defense. But he would have been a reach and Dallas should have just taken the best player available. I guess, I learned a valuable lesson in 2015 about drafting the BPA over drafting for need. Odighizuma, selected in the THIRD round, is now out of football. Byron Jones was drafted to play free safety, a ball hawking safety. Instead, he was terrible in zone but did well in man-to-man against tight ends. Also, if you play safety, you have to tackle. Jones, an Olympic quality athlete, was not the type of player to lower the boom. After THREE years of experimenting with him at safety, someone finally had the bright idea to move him into corner where he excelled in man-to-man situations, earning him Pro Bowl honors. In five seasons, he has totaled TWO interceptions and Miami decided to give him a boat load of money this offseason. The end.

  1. Detroit Lions

    My Pick: D.J. Humphries, OT Florida

            Actual Pick: Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke

I drafted Humphries for Denver who ended up trading up. Detroit was still thinking offensive line help. Tomlinson couldn’t stick in Detroit for whatever reason but the 49ers traded for him in 2017 and he started for the team in the Super Bowl last month.

  1. Indianapolis Colts

         My Pick: Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

            Actual Pick: Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami(Fl)

Armstead didn’t make it down to 29 but the Colts ended up with his college teammate, DeForest Buckner, five years later. Phillip Dorsett was an exciting pick at the time for the Colts. With Andrew Luck at QB, Dorsett was met to be a great compliment to T.Y. Hilton at WR. Instead, he was traded for Jacoby Dorsett in 2017 but was apart of a Super Bowl winning team with the Patriots in 2018. He is currently a free agent.

  1. Green Bay Packers

My Pick: Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State

            Actual Pick: Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State

The Packers could have went with McKinney who ended up being an All-Pro for Houston. Instead, they went safety with Randall and had mixed results. Randall was actually productive with Green Bay but they ended up trading him before the 2018 season. Randall was sent to Cleveland and is now a free agent.

31. New Orleans Saints

My Pick: Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

            Actual Pick: Stephone Anthony, LB, Clemson

Anthony was a great athlete out of Clemson but he couldn’t stay healthy and he was traded off to Miami years later. He is currently out of the league. I thought the Saints would go tight end at the end of the first round. Maxx Williams was highly touted coming out of Minnesota but did very little, being drafted in the 2nd round by Baltimore.

32. New England Patriots

My Pick: Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

            Actual Pick: Malcolm Brown, DT, Texas

Malcom-Brown-Rob-Carr-2It would have been so “Patriots” if they had drafted the troubled Peters coming out of Washington. Controversial young player gets straighten out and learns the championship way from Bill Belichick. It would have been so “them”. Instead, they made the obvious decision and took Brown who should have gone in the top 20. Brown went on to be an anchor on the Patriots defensive line, having apart of two Super Bowl winning defenses. And then, despite having success with him, the Patriots throw him away to New Orleans in a trade and he is still a beast. I still can’t believe Dallas took Byron Jones over him in this draft.

NFL Wild-Card Weekend Predictions

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Minnesota heads to the NOLA this weekend to face the NFC South champs.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 10-6

2019 Regular Season Record: 157-98-1

NFL Playoffs: Wild-Card Weekend

Buffalo @ Houston – The Texans in the opening game of the NFL playoffs is starting to become a tradition for some reason. Why can’t the NFL give QB Deshaun Watson some limelight in primetime? He is definitely deserving of it. Watson and the Texans will face a stiff test Saturday in the form of Buffalo’s defense. The Bills rank third defensively in the league and are especially good at defending the pass. A matchup to watch in this game will be between WR DeAndre Hopkins and Buffalo’s all-pro corner, Tre’davious White. On offense, Buffalo lacks the explosiveness that Houston has but the Texans aren’t a strong defensive team this year. Houston might get a boost from the return of their leader DE J.J. Watt. The battle within the trenches will loom large in this game. Buffalo usually runs the ball well, which could set up QB Josh Allen to attack down the field. This will be determined by which Houston team shows up. Buffalo will have a shot if they are able to limit Watson and the passing game. If not, I don’t see Buffalo being able to out produce the Texans offense. Prediction: Texans over Bills

Tennessee @ New England – The Titans have been a fun story to watch this year. It looks like they’ve finally found their answer at QB in Ryan Tannehill. RB Derrick Henry won the rushing title. And WR A.J. Brown has made some big plays in just his rookie season. Enter the AFC East champs, New England, who like the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, just refuse to die. The Patriots blew a huge opportunity last week losing to Miami and missing out on a first round bye. Now, because of that lost, many are doubting the team’s edge as they’ll face a young and up-and-coming Tennessee squad. I feel like we could say this every year recently but this is the time where New England reminds everyone of who they are. Yes, Tom Brady’s best days are behind him but it is around this time of year where we usually see the best out of him. Tennessee’s defense isn’t all that great and I think the Patriots offense will find plenty of opportunities. Tannehill was one of the highest rated passers in the league this season but he’ll face one of the league’s top pass defenses on Saturday. New England is also tough against the run. It is going to be strength vs. strength seeing Henry going against this defense. Tennessee will have a chance in New England if they bother Brady and force him to play outside of himself. I have more faith into Belichick and the Pats defense giving Tannehill his toughest game of the season. Prediction: Patriots over Titans

Minnesota @ New Orleans – The Saints have had some of the worst luck in the postseason in recent memory. With the clock ticking down on QB Drew Brees’ career, the pressure to leave this post season as champions couldn’t be higher for New Orleans. The Saints are clearly equipped for a Super Bowl run but they’ll have to take care of Minnesota on Sunday first. Minnesota is probably the most unimpressive team in the post season this year. QB Kirk Cousins has played well at times but he usually falters when the lights are the brightest. RB Dalvin Cook has been a bright spot for the Vikings and he should be fresh as he was being held out during the last few weeks of the season due to injury. With time, Cousins should be able to attack the Saints secondary with Stephon Diggs and Adam Thielen. The challenge for Minnesota will be at the line of scrimmage where the Saints offer one of the league’s top run defenses. On the flip side, Minnesota’s defense was once considered one of the best in football but has struggled this season. They will have their hands full with Brees and the NFL’s top receiver, WR Michael Thomas. I think we can guarantee that the Saints will be able to score into the thirties on Sunday. The question will be if Minnesota can get key stops or if Kirk Cousins can go toe-to-toe with Brees without turning over the ball. Prediction: Saints over Vikings

Seattle @ Philadelphia – I guess it is impressive that Philadelphia made the playoffs this year despite all of their injury problems. But Philadelphia also has a problem with overall talent. QB Carson Wentz has been reduced to a guy who can only check down to running backs, throw to tight ends, and receive answered prayers when outside the pocket. It doesn’t help that his receiving core has been reduced to nothing as well as the season went along. Philadelphia has been able to lean on their defense recently. With multiple backups in the secondary, Philly’s front seven has picked up the slack. Seattle isn’t the healthiest team going into the playoffs also. They had to call back RB Marshawn Lynch from retirement as starter Chris Carson went down. The Seahawks offensive and defensive lines are also a bit banged up going into Sunday. Despite that, I expect overall talent to dictate this game. QB Russell Wilson should be able to command his offense against a shorthanded Eagles secondary. What makes me nervous for Seattle in this game is that their defense has been mainly unimpressive this season, ranking near the bottom against the run and the pass. The Eagles, despite lack of talent, have been unpredictable at times this year. Playing at home will definitely help their cause on Sunday. I think Seattle will win but this just feels like a game that Philadelphia will be in until the very end. Prediction: Seahawks over Eagles

NFL 2019: Week 16 Predictions (Condensed Version)

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The woeful NFC East will be decided this Sunday in Philadelphia.

 

By: Elias McMllan

Last Week: 10-6

Season: 135-88-1

Week 16 Picks

Texans over Buccaneers – Jameis Winston is putting up great numbers sans all the turnovers. But without Mike Evans and Chris Goodwin, he will struggle.

Patriots over Bills – I really like Buffalo in this matchup but I don’t trust their offense against the Patriots defense. Also, Tom Brady’s record against the Bills is really good.

49ers over Rams – San Fran still has plenty to play for while the Rams are all but out of it in the NFC.

Falcons over Jaguars – Atlanta is playing hard to save the job of their head coach. And it is working.

Ravens over Browns – Hard to believe that Cleveland beat this Baltimore team earlier in the season. Lamar Jackson will see to it that result will be forgotten after this Sunday afternoon.

Saints over Titans – New Orleans will have to beat a tough Tennessee team if they hope to earn a bye in the NFC Playoffs. For the Titans, these last two games are basically the playoffs for them.

Colts over Panthers – Rookie QB Will Grier will get his first taste of NFL action as a starter this weekend against a Colts defense that is usually tough.

Dolphins over Bengals – Tank Bowl 2019. Cincinnati is committed to landing Joe Burrow next April.

Steelers over Jets – I love the Le’Veon Bell revenge game angle but the Jets are so bad. Pittsburgh must rebound before facing Baltimore in Week 17 if they hope to make the post season.

Giants over Washington – Daniel Jones returns to the lineup to hopefully spark this Giants offense.

Broncos over Lions – I’m struggling to find something interesting about this game. Oh yeah, Denver will be wearing their “color rush” unis.

Chargers over Raiders – Oakland will be without a few pieces of their offensive line. That tells me that they are packing it in for 2019.

Cowboys over Eagles – This is a game that a fully expect Dallas to win which does make me nervous. Dallas looks every bit like the 7-7, average, under achieving team but Philadelphia has looked worst. If Dallas blows this opportunity, the head coaching decision at the end of the season will be easier for Jerry Jones to make.

Seahawks over Cardinals – Seattle appears to have a clear path to winning the NFC West with their last two games at home.

Chiefs over Bears – Either Chicago fell back down to earth last week or maybe they are just a better team at home. Either way, they will have their hands full with the Kansas City offense.

Packers over Vikings – I can’t believe that Green Bay is on the verge of earning a first-round playoff bye. I just don’t think they’re that good. I think Minnesota could beat them on Monday but not without Dalvin Cook.

NFL 2019: Week 15 Predictions

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Who wants to win the AFC South? Ryan Tannehill and the Titans face Houston twice in the final three weeks of the season.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 11-5

Season: 125-82-1

Top Five Games of the Week

Chicago @ Green Bay – Don’t fall into the hype that was the Bears offense last week. They were playing against a defense with no teeth. I mean, lets give Mitch Trubisky some credit but c’mon. They made him look like Steve Young out there. Anyways, I’m going to have to assume that the Packers defense will be a stiffer test for Chicago on the road. Green Bay showed last week against Washington that they can win even when they don’t play their best football. Chicago is still holding on to slim playoff hopes while Green Bay is comfortably in the first place in the NFC North. I think the Bears will calmly fall back down to earth this week. Prediction: Packers over Bears

Houston @ Tennessee – The Texans were shocked at home last week by Denver. They mounted a small comeback attempt but Denver lit up the scoreboard early and Houston was unable to recover. They cannot afford a slow start like that this week against a divisional opponent. Tennessee has been the story of the second half of the season that no one is talking about. QB Ryan Tannehill has brought this passing offense back to life and RB Derrick Henry is continuing to provide stability in the run game. Houston’s defense has struggled mightily recently and they cannot under estimate what the Titans will bring to the table on Sunday. As well as Tennessee has been playing, I still don’t trust them to be consistent. After a big win on the road, I could see them having a let down at home. QB Deshaun Watson will be looking to bounce back after disappointing last week. I’m taking the Texans on the road. Prediction: Texans over Titans

LA Rams @ Dallas – The Cowboys sprang into a playoff team last season because of their defense. This season, it will be that same unit that could keep them out. Dallas couldn’t stop a soul last week, as they were embarrassed in Chicago. The defense that currently leads the league in missed tackles has to find an answer soon or else they’ll be on the outside looking into the playoff picture. The Rams have had their struggles this year but last week at home, they shocked a pretty good Seahawks team. What was surprising was how well their defense played against Russell Wilson and how QB Jared Goff seemed to have total command over his offense. The Rams finding their grove last week couldn’t have come at a worst time for the Cowboys. LA kicked Dallas out the post season last season because they couldn’t stop their running attack. I think we’ll see more of the same this week. What could be different is that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is not the same QB he was a season ago. I think he’ll continue to will this offense down the field along with a steady serving of Ezekiel Elliott. But it won’t mean a thing if the defense can get LA’s offense off the field. Prediction: Rams over Cowboys

Buffalo @ Pittsburgh – Again, you have to hand it to coach Mike Tomlin for having his team in the playoff conversation after all the losses they’ve faced on offense. Pittsburgh’s formula for success this season involves a tough defense and an offense that can just do enough to not lose the game. I don’t see this working out for Pittsburgh in the long run but it might work for them in terms of making the post season. Pittsburgh is also good enough to make bad teams make stupid mistakes. For example, the Steelers put the heat on Arizona last week but the Cardinals could have been in that game if it wasn’t for their stupid mistakes. Bad teams usually play worst especially against good defenses. Buffalo isn’t a bad team. They are very good defensively and they have one of the league’s top running games. But I’m worried about how they’ll perform under the bright lights of prime time. I feel that Buffalo is the better team but I wonder if they’ll start to make stupid mistakes on the road against a good defense. To me, it just feels like a game that Buffalo would lose. Prediction: Steelers over Bills

Indianapolis @ New Orleans – The Colts really need this one this week to stay in the AFC playoff picture. But their defense isn’t stopping anyone recently and on offense, they seem to be slowed by injuries. The Saints are not in great shape going into this Sunday night game, either. They are dealing with multiple injuries up front defensively which could open the door for the Colts’ running game. This could be a high scoring affair and if it is, my money is on Drew Brees and Michael Thomas who is on pace for a career year. Prediction: Saints over Colts

The Rest of Week 15

Ravens over Jets – I’m worried about the health of Lamar Jackson on a short week going up against a Greg Williams defense. Hopefully, Baltimore can get a sizable lead in the 2nd half and let RG3 finish the game.

Patriots over Bengals – “Dem Pat-tree-us are nothin but CHEATERS. Chuck Noll’s STILLERS got ‘em rings LEGIT….”

Buccaneers over Lions – Jameis Winston is on pace to lead the league in passing and interceptions. I wonder how free agency is going to treat him next year.

Chiefs over Broncos – Denver appears to have hope in the form of rookie QB Drew Lock. If they can beat KC on the road, that would be eye opening.

Dolphins over Giants – I think we can count on this Miami team competing for all 4 quarters. Can’t say the same for this Giants team.

Eagles over Washington – Philadelphia got to be careful here. Washington offers a more capable offense than what they saw from the Giants last week.

Seahawks over Panthers – Is Seattle starting to revert into that team that randomly struggles on the road?

Raiders over Jaguars – Must win for Oakland. Not only for their playoff chances but it is their final home game at the Coliseum. I said it once and I’ll say it again, it is a damn shame that the Raiders are leaving California. The NFL = Brand Killers. All for the mighty dollar. SMH

Browns over Cardinals – These teams lead the league in tripping over themselves. At least Arizona is young. Cleveland, what’s your excuse??

Vikings over Chargers – I think we are witnessing the ending of the Phillip Rivers era for the Chargers.

49ers over Falcons – This might be a surprising good game. Both teams offer great play at the line of scrimmage. San Fran is on a roll right now though.

NFL 2019: Week 14 Predictions

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With 4 games left in the season, the 6-6 Cowboys would like to begin their playoff push tonight in Chicago.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 11-5

Season: 114-77-1

Top Five Games of the Week

Dallas @ Chicago – With 4 weeks left in the season, the Bears have a slim chance at making the playoffs, currently sitting in third place in the NFC North. A win tonight at home would definitely help their situation. Chicago, after a tough start, has gained momentum recently winning their last two games. Dallas is desperate for something positive after losing their last two. Though they are still in the driver’s seat in the NFC East, their play recently hasn’t spurred any confidence. I think the Cowboys are in a “back against the wall” scenario and how they respond to that will go a long ways in terms of closing out their division, solidifying their playoff spot, and possibly saving the job of their head coach. In recent years, the Cowboys have responded well in these situations. In the last two seasons, Jason Garrett has led them to 3-1 records in the month of December. Tonight, the Cowboys will have to be the aggressor. Their defense has been lacking impact plays recently and that’s something that must change. Chicago doesn’t have much to offer besides their defense. Dallas must protect the football on offense and the defense can’t let Mitch Trubisky beat them. Dallas has to start playing like they’re desperate. Tonight, on the road in Chicago, would be the best time for that. Prediction: Cowboys over Bears

Baltimore @ Buffalo – The Bills were impressive on Thanksgiving. They can really start to turn heads in the AFC with another strong performance against one of the top teams in the league. Baltimore is on a roll right now, taking on all opponents. Last week against San Francisco, they battled all the way down to the last second and were victorious. Buffalo is a talented team that is especially receiving great play upfront defensively. But it seems like nothing can derailed the Lamar Jackson train right now. Buffalo is going to need some dynamic plays offensively to keep pace with the Ravens offense. I don’t know where they can get that from. December games in Buffalo can be tough but I think this Baltimore team is built for it. They handled the weather well last week. Prediction: Ravens over Bills

San Francisco @ New Orleans – The 49ers lost a tough one last week but I came away feeling good about their standing in the NFC. They took one of the league’s best teams down to the wire in a game that could have gone either way. This Sunday, they’ll face another great opponent in New Orleans. The Saints have had some hiccups this season but they are still one of the proven best teams in the conference. I think they will be in trouble this week though. New Orleans has struggled against strong defensive fronts this year. The 49ers have the formula for getting to the QB and limiting their opponents scoring chances. The Saints aren’t bad defensively either but I think they have some holes up front that the 49ers running game can expose. Much like their game last week in Baltimore, I think San Fran is looking at a contest that will be determined in the last minutes. Prediction: 49ers over Saints

Kansas City @ New England – New England’s lack of offense finally caught up to them last week. They have done some amazing things defensively this season but at the end of the day, you must figure out a way to score points. Tom Brady needs help at the receiver position and the offense’s running game can only do so much. Kansas City pretty much has the opposite problem. Patrick Mahomes’ offense can look unstoppable at times and they will pressure New England’s defense in a way that they haven’t seen all season. I have to wonder if Brady is going to ask owner Robert Kraft to bring back Antonio Brown after this one. Prediction: Chiefs over Patriots

Seattle @ LA Rams – The Rams got a much-needed win last week but thanks to the Seahawks and 49ers, they seem like a playoff long shot. Seattle is a team where you pretty much know what you’re going to get each week. They just play hard and it’s a reflection from their head coach, Pete Carroll. I honestly can’t stand him but year in and year out, his team competes at a high level. No matter what they have in the backfield or at receiver, they are solid offensively. A lot of credit should also go to QB Russell Wilson. The Rams have been shaky offensively this season. QB Jared Goff has been inconsistent and the play calling suggests that they don’t really trust that RB Todd Gurley is fully recovered from injury. The Rams should also be better defensively since acquiring CB Jalen Ramsey but that transaction hasn’t really proven its worth yet. Seattle has had issues in the past on the road but I think they’ll handle this week’s test. Prediction: Seahawks over Rams

The Rest of Week 14

Falcons over Panthers – Who had Ron Rivera getting fired before Dan O’Quinn? Not me.

Browns over Bengals – Cincy finally won last week. I think Cleveland will benefit from playing one of the league’s worst defensive teams this week.

Packers over Washington – Does Washington have some momentum left over after beating Carolina last week? Technically, they are still alive in the horrible NFC East.

Vikings over Lions – Minnesota should feel good about their playoff chances. They still can afford a let down at home against a division rival.

Jets over Dolphins – Dare I say that the Jets play better this year at home?

Buccaneers over Colts – In a mild upset, I see Tampa’s defense stepping up against a wounded Indianapolis team.

Texans over Broncos – Houston has the potential to play well against any team in the league.

Chargers over Jaguars – The Chargers were hosed by the refs last week. They are owed one.

Raiders over Titans – Another upset here. Tennessee is playing well but they are inconsistent. Gruden will have his guys ready to play at home this week.

Cardinals over Steelers – The formula of having a good defense and very little offense can only take you so far in this league. Arizona isn’t great but they aren’t the Browns.

Eagles over Giants – Sorry to be the buzz kill here but the potential return of Eli Manning will only help the Eagles pass rush, right?

NFL 2019: Week 11 Predictions (Condensed Version)

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Do the Browns have any chance at home tonight against the Steelers? Maybe.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 4-9

Season: 82-65-1

Week 11 Picks

Browns over Steelers – Cleveland isn’t a very good football team. But strange things happen in these Thursday night games. Maybe Cleveland’s defense will put out a strong effort at home and Baker Mayfield will avoid making those game changing mistakes against a pretty good Pittsburgh defense. I’m going out on a very, very weak limb here.

Cowboys over Lions – Dallas can’t overlook Detroit because Matt Stafford is out. This is still the team that made Sam Darnold look serviceable. The Cowboys need to completely block out last week’s late game debacle from memory and play to their potential from start to finish.

Jaguars over Colts – Indy started struggling as soon as the injury bug began to creep up. Jacksonville will be looking for a strong performance from the returning Nick Foles.

Bills over Dolphins – Buffalo must stop the bleeding on the road against one of the worst teams in the league that happen to be on a 2 game win streak.

Vikings over Broncos – Minnesota really didn’t do anything special last week in Dallas. They were fortunate because they deserved to lose. Anyways, that was a confidence builder for them going forward. They should be able to take care on Denver at home.

Saints over Buccaneers – New Orleans must be careful here. They struggled to protect Drew Brees last week. Tampa Bay can rush the passer and they can score points. This one could be real competitive until the end.

Jets over Washington – The Jets have at least proven that they can beat the really bad teams. In the NFC East.

Panthers over Falcons – I don’t trust what Atlanta was able to pull off last week but they will win more if that defense shows up more often. This week, they’ll have to find an answer for MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey.

Ravens over Texans – Easily the game of the week here. Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson will put on a show. Houston’s defense might be shaky with absence of J.J. Watt.

49ers over Cardinals – San Fran is a bit banged up on both sides of the ball. Arizona might be able to take advantage.

Raiders over Bengals – Oakland got the win last week at home against the Chargers. Next week, they got the Jets. The Raiders can’t let this opportunity for a winning streak slip thru their hands.

Patriots over Eagles – Philadelphia has played well against New England in recent history for some reason. I think the Pats will be more than ready for them coming off their bye week.

Rams over Bears – Jared Goff is starting to look really shaky and it is costing LA games. The Rams face another good defense this week. They can’t let Mitch Trubisky outplay their QB.

Chiefs over Chargers – Kansas City got their QB back but the defensive issues continued last week. The Chargers played KC well last season and I’m expecting this divisional matchup to be competitive again.

NFL 2019: Week 8 Predictions

Carolina is fresh off the bye week and winners of 4 straight. They’ll meet undefeated San Francisco this weekend.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 7-7

Season: 58-47-1

Top Five Games of the Week

Philadelphia @ Buffalo – It shouldn’t be that big of a mystery of why Buffalo is sitting firmly in 2nd place in the AFC East. The Bills are getting it done defensively especially on the road. They will be at home this Sunday against a Eagles team who were embarrassed last week in Dallas. Philadelphia’s issues on defense have been persistent this season. The Eagles have also been a victim to their own sloppy play on offense. Buffalo’s offensive isn’t what I would call “explosive” but they are efficient. If Buffalo can stay the course offensively, control the clock, and stay away from turnover, their defense can usually take care of the rest. QB Carson Wentz needs to get back on track but he’ll face a highly ranked Bills secondary on Sunday. Prediction: Bills over Eagles

Carolina @ San Francisco – Carolina should be fresh coming off the bye but they’ll still be without QB Cam Newton. Without Newton, Carolina has caught fire offensively and are currently sporting a 4 game winning streak. On Sunday, they travel to San Francisco who still hasn’t lost this season. I think this game will come down to play at the line of scrimmage. San Fran’s defense has been getting it done upfront with an elite pass rush and a top ranked secondary. Carolina’s defense is improved this season and their secondary ranks not too far behind the Niners’. QB Jimmy Garoppolo will be eager to get newly acquired WR Emmanuel Sanders involved in his offense. Carolina will also have to deal with the 49ers rushing attack. Panthers RB Christian McCaffery is currently playing like a MVP candidate and the 49ers defense will have to key on him on every possession. This will probably be one of the best matchups of the weekend. It’s a shame that not many in the country will be able to see it. Prediction: 49ers over Panthers

Arizona @ New Orleans – I’m not sure how but the Arizona Cardinals have won three straight after starting the season 0-3-1. They’ll easily face their toughest test of the season on Sunday when they face the Saints. The Saints haven’t missed a beat since losing QB Drew Brees to injury. You have to give credit to QB Teddy Bridgewater for keeping this offense afloat in his absence. I think the Cardinals are in big trouble this weekend because of two things: The New Orleans defense and the crowd noise inside the Super Dome. Arizona’s defense is going to have to come up with some big plays in order to keep this one close. If their pass rush and disrupt Bridgewater, they could have a chance. Prediction: Saints over Cardinals

Cleveland @ New England – This might have seemed to be a good matchup on paper when the NFL schedule was released last spring. The Browns do have two wins on this season but they have been the complete opposite of New England. They are sloppy, undisciplined, and wilt when under the microscope. Talent wise, Cleveland is on par with many top teams in the league. I think, at least. Odell Beckham Jr has been a disappointment but he is still usually really good. Same can be said for WR Jarvius Landry. QB Baker Mayfield takes a lot of heat but I think he is better than what he has shown this season. Cleveland’s offensive line has been a huge issue and each week I wonder why they haven’t offered the farm to Washington for LT Trent Williams. That move could potentially save their season. But now, lets go back to reality: New England is going kick Cleveland’s butt on Sunday. New England’s defense will be a nightmare for Mayfield and Beckham will throw many sideline tantrums. If Tom Brady can steer clear of Browns DE Myles Garrett, he’ll have an easy day at the office. Prediction: Patriots over Browns

Green Bay @ Kansas City – NBC Executives must have been screaming bloody murder over the news of the Patrick Mahomes injury. The possible matchup of Aaron Rodgers and Mahomes would have been must see TV. Despite Mahomes’ injury, I still think we’ll see a good game on Sunday night. Matt Moore is…well…Matt Moore. But he knows the offense and the Chiefs still have plenty of offensive weapons. Rodgers had a classic game last week completely dominating Oakland. He’ll have a much tougher go at it on Sunday. I think Kansas City’s defense is underrated. They struggle against the run but they do have a legit pass rush. Outside of the Smith bros on defense, Green Bay is pretty average defensively. I think Moore will play safe, mistake free football at home and score a slight upset over the overrated Packers. Prediction: Chiefs over Packers

The Rest of Week 8

Vikings over Washington – The last time these two teams played, Case Keenum was starting for Minnesota and Kirk Cousins was in Washington. Just one of those weird stats.

Seahawks over Falcons – Atlanta is phoning it in. The Falcons’ faithful will be booing a lot.

Bears over Chargers – LA just keeps finding interesting way to lose.

Lions over Giants – Detroit needs this one to stay on track in the NFC North.

Buccaneers over Titans – We know that Tampa can score and they’ll be fresh coming off their bye week.

Colts over Broncos – Indy firmly took control of the AFC South last week. They can afford a let down at home.

Rams over Bengals – The fire sale in Cincinnati will be starting real soon. How much for one Geno Atkins? Just asking for a friend.

Jaguars over Jets – Who should be more embarrassed: the Jets for how they looked last week or Dallas who lost to them two weeks ago?

Texans over Raiders – Deshaun Watson must shake off last week and attack Oakland’s secondary that gave up gazillion yards through the air last Sunday.

Steelers over Dolphins – Pittsburgh can’t overlook winless Miami. A win here would give the Steelers some hope going forward.

NFL 2019: Week 4 Predictions

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Surprise! The Lions are undefeated. On Sunday, they’ll face Kansas City at home.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 9-7

Season: 29-18-1

Top Five Games of the Week

Philadelphia @ Green Bay – The Eagles are in the need for a confidence builder after losing at home to the Lions in Week 3. Too bad that things will not get any easier for them as they will kick off Week 4 in the NFL on the road against a good Packers team. Green Bay has surprised everyone this year with how well they are playing defensively. It is now Aaron Rodgers and the offense that needs to step up. I think Rodgers will have a big game tonight against a poor Eagles secondary. QB Carson Wentz will have to perform at a high level tonight in order to keep the pace against Rodgers. The Eagles will be receiving more help in the passing game with a couple of key guys returning from injury. But I don’t think it will matter if the Packers defense continues to play like it has in the first 3 weeks. Prediction: Packers over Eagles

New England @ Buffalo – The undefeated Bills area nice surprise to start the 2019 season. But here comes the Patriots to crush their dreams in this early season matchup. Buffalo has a huge chore on Sunday but they can help themselves by keeping the home crowd into it with some big plays in the 1stquarter. The fans at the Ralph will be fired up at the pre game so the Bills must really prioritize getting off to a good start. I imagine this would mean QB Josh Allen testing that Patriot secondary and the Bills defense getting after Tom Brady. Given the atmosphere at the stadium on Sunday, it would be interesting if this game was competitive late into the 4thquarter. Weirder things have happened but usually New England plays great in Buffalo. I’m not sure if the Pats will be able to put up many points against the Bills defense but they find a way to pull this one out at the end. Prediction: Patriots over Bills

Kansas City @ Detroit – The Lions did tie with Arizona earlier this season but they are still technically unbeaten. Detroit also shocked the NFL last week upsetting the favored Eagles on the road. Now, the Lions return home to face the team with the hottest offense in the NFL, Kansas City. Detroit’s defense is underrated especially in the secondary. That unit will face a great test Sunday as the Chiefs offer a boatload of offensive weapons. QB Patrick Mahomes is the reigning MVP and he is playing like he’s going to win that award again this year. His counterpart on Sunday, QB Matt Stafford, has pretty good arm too but Detroit has had problems protecting him. I think the Kansas City defense will get after Stafford in the backfield and force him into some mistakes. If the Chiefs defense can give Mahomes some short fields to work with, he will fill the stat sheet. Prediction: Chiefs over Lions

Minnesota @ Chicago –Chicago’s defense showed up in a big way on Monday Night. They are going to have to play that way every week to get a victory. QB Mitch Trubisky didn’t play too badly against Washington but it’s looking more and more like he has regressed in 2019. Minnesota’s defense is usually tough and they will make it hard for that Bears offense to operate, even at home. LB Khalil Mack is capable of taking over ball games so, Minnesota must do whatever to prevent that from happening. Double teams. Triple teams. Whatever. QB Kirk Cousins is a good player but he is also the type to fold under pressure. He is going to have to step up in the face of this defense and deliver for his team on the road. If not, we could see an upset. Prediction: Vikings over Bears

Dallas @ New Orleans – The Cowboys got through their first 3 games of the season like a walk in the park. Now, we will get to see what this team is really about as they’ll face 3 out of 4 quality opponents before going into the bye week. First up, the New Orleans Saints, who are coming off a huge road victory at Seattle. The most notable thing with the Saints at the moment is that they are without QB Drew Brees. That seemed to not matter last week as QB Teddy Bridgewater delivered and WR Michael Thomas and RB Alvin Kamara provided big plays. The Cowboys had a season defining win last season against the Saints and I’m sure New Orleans hasn’t forgotten about it. Both defenses in this game are really going to get after the opposing offenses. Both teams will also attempt to control the line of scrimmage with the run game rather it be with Kamara for New Orleans or Ezekiel Elliott for Dallas. QB Dak Prescott has been great at providing big plays down the field this year when he has time. DE Cam Jordan had a huge game against Dallas last year and that Cowboys offensive line will have to account for him again on Sunday night. Dallas didn’t look as sharp last week and I think New Orleans will be able to ride the high of last week’s big win in Seattle. Dallas is also having problems, yet again, with getting to the QB on defense. It wouldn’t surprise me if Bridgewater is successful attacking through the air. Prediction: Saints over Cowboys

The Rest of Week 4

Falcons over Titans – I’m beginning to think that Tennessee’s Week 1 victory over Cleveland has over rated them.

Colts over Raiders – Indy might have a tough time defending home field against a fresh Oakland team.

Chargers over Dolphins – I think I read that it’s been a while since the Chargers franchise has won in Miami. They’ll have a great chance to buck that trend on Sunday.

Washington over Giants – Let’s see if all the Daniel Jones love will continue with Saquon Barkley out of the lineup.

Ravens over Browns – Baltimore has been talking how they are tired of hearing about Cleveland. They will be looking to make a statement this week.

Texans over Panthers – Kyle Allen looked great last week. I think Houston’s defense will be too much for him to overcome.

Rams over Buccaneers – Tampa should have won last week but the game winning field goal was off target. The Rams wont give them a chance at a last second victory.

Seahawks over Cardinals – Seattle’s defense will be looking to bounce back after being dominated last week at home.

Jaguars over Broncos – I like the Jacksonville defense to look really good against “statue quarterback” Joe Flacco. Jaguars LB Josh Allen could be the next Von Miller.

Steelers over Bengals – I wouldn’t call this a must win for Pittsburgh in Week 4 but, yeah, it really is. If they drop this one at home, it could get ugly in the Steel City as Pittsburgh would start the season in the AFC North basement.