Tag Archives: Washington Redskins

Uniform Grades for all 32 NFL Teams

NFL-FILMS-1024x612

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

vfivis9ibjmdnkkgaypg-2

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

Screen Shot 2020-06-17 at 11.24.04 PM

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!)

2020-nfl-draft-tua-tagovailoa-1

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

NFL 2019: Week 17 Predictions (Condensed Version)

Steelers Bengals Football

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

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 12-4

Season: 147-92-1

Week 17 Picks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NFL 2019: Week 2 Predictions

Houston Texans v New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees and the Saints will be looking for revenge this Sunday in LA.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 10-5-1

Season: 10-5-1

Top Five Games of the Week

Minnesota @ Green Bay– Green Bay’s defense had a surprising, dominating performance Week 1 in Chicago. Either that or Chicago was having major issues on offense. I think it was a little bit of both. Minnesota’s defense was equally impressive at home, nearly shutting out an Atlanta team with a usually explosive offense. I think both defenses will bring it on Sunday in this key, early season, divisional matchup. I think the difference in this contest will be the Vikings offense. RB Dalvin Cook had a productive season opener and the Packer secondary will face a stiffer challenge in Kirk Cousins and the Vikings passing game. Prediction: Vikings over Packers

Seattle @ Pittsburgh – After an offseason of headlines and controversy, I thought Pittsburgh would come out last week playing with their hair on fire. Instead, it was New England who lit them up to the tune of a 30-point victory. But fearless leader and father of 52 grown men, Ben Roethlisberger, alerted the masses this week saying that there is no need to panic. And he’s right. 0-1 is just that. But judging from what I saw last week, this Steelers team better start turning it around soon. The home opener against Seattle could be a good start but it will be a challenge. Seattle struggled at home last week against Cincinnati but they were bailed out once again by the usually suspects, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks defense. If Roethlisberger can’t find success against this stingy Seattle defense, Pittsburgh could be in trouble. Mainly because the Steelers defense looked like they couldn’t stop anyone last week. I’m not expecting Wilson to attack the defense like Brady did in Week 1 but he might if he feels that he can find success. I could see Seattle jumping out in front in this one before Pittsburgh mounts a second half comeback. But then, it will be Wilson who will put his team in position to close this one out on the road. Prediction: Seahawks over Steelers

Dallas @ Washington– The Cowboys were as impressive as any team in the NFC last week. I was sort of surprised because though the Giants aren’t very good, they always seem to give Dallas a game usually. Washington looked great early in Philadelphia before completely falling apart. Despite their collapse, Washington should feel good about their passing game as Case Keenum threw for 400+ yards. For Washington to get the win over the rival Cowboys on Sunday, they must be able to attack on offense for 60 minutes. Dallas has struggled against the run recently and that issue has seemed to follow them into this season. Barkley had some huge gains last week and veteran RB Adrian Peterson will be looking forward to similar success. What helped the Dallas defense last week was how the offense was able to control game. Dak Prescott looked really comfortable going down the field last week as he posted a perfect passing rating. I think he could see similar success against Washington but only if his offensive line can protect him. RB Ezekiel Elliott isn’t back to his old self just yet but that will change as the season goes along. Dallas’ balanced attack will be key this Sunday in terms of controlling the clock and keeping the defense fresh. This one will probably be tougher than last week but starting 2019 2-0 in the division would be huge for Dallas. On the other hand, Washington does not want to start this season 0-2 in the division. Prediction: Cowboys over Washington

New Orleans @ Los Angeles Rams – No doubt that the Saints have had this date circled when the schedule came out. On Sunday, the Saints will be looking for a huge road victory against the team they should have beaten in last year’s NFC Championship. New Orleans showed real mettle last week at home, winning on a late field against Houston. The look just as good as they did last season and maybe even better. The offense can still put up big numbers and that defense seems to get by with that “bend but don’t break” mentality. The Rams won a physical battle in Carolina Week 1. I think their defense will face a greater challenge this week. The Rams struggled against the run in Carolina and I think RB Alvin Kamara will be used effectively in this matchup.  New Orleans will be looking to beat LA on the field on Sunday and leave the officials out of it. Prediction: Saints over Rams

Philadelphia @ Atlanta – The Eagles started last week on shaky ground, allowing Washington to get the jump on them. They eventually recovered but their pass defense still left the game looking pretty weak. It seems like the Eagles have this issue every season. At least, recently. On paper, I think Philly’s issues in the secondary should serve as an advantage for Atlanta in their home opener. The Falcons offense was embarrassingly bad in Minnesota and they should be looking to prove that they are better than what they showed. But then, I remembered this same matchup a season ago where Atlanta still struggled against this Eagles defense. I think we’ll see the same story on Sunday. Prediction: Eagles over Falcons

The Rest of Week 2

Panthers over Buccaneers – It seems like Bruce Arians has a long way to go with fixing this Tampa offense.

Bengals over 49ers – This is a toss up. I think Cincy can still be a surprise team this year.

Chargers over Lions – The way Detroit folded last week in Arizona was embarrassing.

Colts over Titans – For whatever reason, Indy has been able to own Tennessee in this divisional rivalry recently.

Patriots over Dolphins – This one will get ugly real quick. Antonio Brown might make this game watchable.

Bills over Giants – Don’t look now but maybe Buffalo can be the team to challenge for second place in the AFC East this year.

Ravens over Cardinals – I’m here for the Lamar Jackson show to takeover the league. Here for it.

Texans over Jaguars – Watson and the Texans played good enough to win last week. They’ll close out a banged up Jacksonville team at home.

Chiefs over Raiders – Kansas City is banged up but I’m not buying into Oakland.

Bears over Broncos – Denver looked better than Chicago last week. But it’s going to be tough for the Broncos to protect their statue (ala Drew Bledsoe) of a QB, Joe Flacco.

Browns over Jets – Cleveland took their lumps last week but since then, the Jets have completely imploded with multiple major injuries.

NFL 2019: NFC Preview

Eagles-QB-Carson-Wentz-says-his-back-isnt-fully-healed

If Carson Wentz is healthy, the Eagles could be serious contenders in the NFC this season.

 

By: Elias McMillan

 

NFC EAST

It seems like things will never change in the NFL’s “glamour” division. The NFC East hasn’t seen a repeat champion in 15 seasons and I think that tradition will remain the same in 2019. The Dallas Cowboys have come the closest to bucking that trend as they have won the division three times in the last six seasons. But if you’ve been paying attention to that franchise, you should know that they usually disappoint after a successful season. Usually. If you look on paper, the Philadelphia Eagles probably has the most talent in the division from top to bottom. A lot is going to depend on the play of the QB. Nick Foles almost lifted Philadelphia again in the 2018 postseason, winning on the road in Chicago and almost upsetting New Orleans. With Foles now in Jacksonville, Philly will be depending on Carson Wentz to return to his 2017 form where he was a MVP candidate. He’ll have plenty of help this season as the Eagles are deep at the skill positions. At WR, DeSean Jackson returns to Philly joining Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. The Eagles should have an improved backfield this season as well. They acquired RB Jordan Howard from Chicago and drafted speedster Miles Sanders from Penn State. On defense, DT Fletcher Cox leads a loaded group on the defensive line. Veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins also returns though Philly’s secondary seems to always be a weakness year in and year out. The defending champion Cowboys also return with a talented roster in 2019. A lot of the talk during the offseason with Dallas has been about the contract situations of QB Dak Prescott, WR Amari Cooper, and star RB Ezekiel Elliott. I’m sure all three will get their deals, respectfully, especially Elliott who is easily the most important player on the roster. Despite all the talk about the offensive side of the ball, the real reason why Dallas made a run to the postseason last year was their defense. I think Dallas will be strong defensively again in 2019. LB’s Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch are the cornerstones for this defense right now and for the future. The Cowboys should be able to get after QB’s this season with DE’s Demarcus Lawrence and newcomer Robert Quinn. Dallas needs to find an answer in the middle of their run defense as they absolutely killed them in their playoff loss against the Rams. In the secondary, they have promising young talent. Safety Xavier Woods could have a breakout season. CB Byron Jones made the Pro Bowl last season but he gives up big plays in crucial situations. I don’t see Dallas extending his contract unless his interception numbers improve. He has 2 in four seasons as a pro. If Washington didn’t get derailed by injuries on both sides of the ball last year, they probably would have won the division. They enter the 2019 campaign with holes in their roster due to injuries and losses in free agency. The QB position is still reeling after injuries last season to Alex Smith and Colt McCoy. They may have to lean on Case Keenum to start this season but if he’s shaky, the cries for rookie Dwayne Haskins will get louder. What else might not help is the absence of OT Trent Williams. Without him, it may not even matter who Washington starts at QB. I really liked Washington’s defense at the beginning of last season. I think losing LB Preston Smith will hurt them this year though they did draft a possible replacement in Montez Sweat. Washington has young talent on their defensive line but that unit has to stay healthy this year. The secondary already has CB Josh Norman but they should receive a boost with the addition of safety Landon Collins. No one is expecting much out of the New York Football Giants this year as they lost Collins and Odell Beckham Jr. in the offseason. Surprisingly, QB Eli Manning returns in what should be his swan song. The Giants used their top pick in the draft on QB Daniel Jones from DOOK and I expect that they do plan to play him. The leash on Manning this year should be short. If trading away OBJ wasn’t bad enough, the WR core turned into a complete dumpster fire right as training camp began. Injuries and suspensions will leave the QB’s with not a lot of reliable options in the passing game. RB Saquon Barkley will be tasked with literally carrying this offense. The Giants defense is in full rebuild mode. They could surprise some teams but they have a lot of young and unproven talent. Rookies CB Deandre Baker and DT Dexter Lawrence will have to grow up quickly in their first seasons. Projected Finish: 1) Eagles, 2) Cowboys, 3) Washington, 4) Giants

NFC NORTH

The Chicago Bears had zero buzz entering the 2018 season until they made an acquisition that completely turned their franchise around. Trading for edge rusher Khalil Mack made Chicago into a contender in the NFC and he’s a difference maker that could keep Chicago atop this division for a couple years. Chicago’s defense really didn’t have an identity since Brian Urlacher retired. Now, they feature one of the top front sevens in the league that specializes in getting to the QB. On offense, the Bears will be looking for QB Mitch Trubisky to continue to improve as a down the field passer. The backfield will look different this year, as Jordan Howard was send away to Philly. RB Tarik Cohen could have a breakout season and rookie RB David Montgomery has impressed so far in the preseason. Minnesota will be looking to rebound after a disappointing 2018. QB Kirk Cousins will be forever criticized in the media because of his contract but I believe he’s a much better player than people let on. The emergence of WR Adam Thielen has been a huge help for Cousins and the passing offense. Thielen and Stephon Diggs form one of the top 1-2 punches at receiver in the league. Minnesota is still waiting for RB Dalvin Cook to breakout as he has a ton of ability. The Vikings defense took a step back last season. They’ll be looking to bounce back in 2019 with many returning starters including LB Anthony Barr who almost left in free agency. I think Green Bay is going to go through some growing pains this season as they are rebuilding. Replacing familiar names with young talent could actually workout for them in the long run especially on the defensive side. LB Clay Matthews is gone but free agent signing, LB Preston Smith, is a younger, talented replacement. On offense, everything will be tied to all-world QB Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is still the top passer in the league but the Packers need to do a better job at protecting him, as he isn’t getting younger. WR Davante Adams has solidified himself as one of the best WR in the league and as Rodgers’ top target. Every year it seems like Green Bay will be waiting for somebody to breakout at the RB position. Maybe it will be RB Aaron Jones who scored 9 times last season. In Detroit, it’s looking more and more like the Matt Patricia experiment will be ending soon. This could be a make or break season for him as Detroit has a roster than shouldn’t be in the NFC North basement. I feel bad for QB Matt Stafford who is on his way to being the latest star player to have his career wasted at Ford Field. If Detroit doesn’t have a great season, I wonder if he would try to force his way outta there though it would be hard because of his massive contract. Stafford will have decent talent around him this year. WR Kenny Golladay had a breakout 2018 season and RB’s Kerryon Johnson and C.J. Anderson should be a formable duo in the backfield. I think Detroit’s defense could be good enough to keep the Lions in games this season. They had a top 10 secondary last year and upfront, they added DE Trey Flowers from New England and DT Mike Daniels from Green Bay. I’m not sure what Daniels has left in the tank but I love the revenge factor of him signing with Detroit after being cut by the Packers. Projected Finish: 1) Bears, 2) Vikings, 3) Packers, 4) Lions

NFC SOUTH

In recent years, I have picked the Saints to come out of the NFC because on paper, they appear to have the best or one of the best rosters in the league. The same could be said again going into 2019. The way the Saints’ season ended last year should serve as enough motivation to see the team atop this division again. On offense, they return elite talent at the QB, RB, and WR positions. RB Alvin Kamara will have a new partner in the backfield this year in Latavius Murray. Drew Brees will also have a new weapon in the passing game, TE Jared Cook. New Orleans’ defense was pretty decent last year and I think the addition of DT Malcolm Brown from New England will make them stronger. I think the Carolina Panthers had a great offseason but their success will be tied to the health of QB Cam Newton. If Newton is back to 100%, Carolina could be a sleeper in the NFC. I still think Newton doesn’t have enough help on the offensive side of the ball. RB Christian McCaffrey proved himself to be a legit threat behind the tackles as a runner and as a receiver. WR D.J. Moore needs to have a similar breakout season in 2019. I really like how Carolina improved their defense in the offseason. They have a nice mix of young talent (rookie DE Brian Burns) and veteran leadership (DT Gerald McCoy). The LB group will miss Thomas Davis but they still have Luke Kuechly, Shaq Thompson, and newly acquired veteran Bruce Irvin. The Atlanta Falcons did reach the Super Bowl a few seasons ago but they seem to reach expectations. As long as they have QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones, they are going to put up big numbers. But Ryan isn’t getting enough help from his offensive line. Atlanta addressed that in this past draft but those young blockers are going to have to grow up fast. RB Devonta Freeman returns to the backfield for Atlanta but without Tevin Coleman who left in free agency. Atlanta defense has been seen as a weak point on this team but they do have great individual talents in LB Deion Jones and edge rusher Vic Beasley. Tampa Bay has a long way to go in order to be competitive in this division again. But I really like the hiring of new head coach Bruce Arians. Him and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will be tasked with saving the career of QB Jameis Winston who is running out of favor in the organization. Winston still has the tools to be a successful QB in this league but he hasn’t been able to put it all together. Hopefully, the coaching change will help.  The reliable WR Mike Evans returns to provide big plays in the passing game. Tampa also resigned OT Donovan Smith to help keep Winston upright. Tampa’s defense is going through a transition, marked by the sudden release of long time Buccaneer, Gerald McCoy. They added veteran Ndamukong Suh to the defensive line but the real newcomer to look for will be rookie LB Devin White. I would be surprised if this Tampa team won a lot in 2019 but this season will be really all about fixing Jameis Winston. Because if they are picking high in next year’s draft, they probably be looking for a new QB. Projected Finish: 1) Saints, 2) Panthers, 3) Falcons, 4) Buccaneers

NFC WEST

The LA Rams made a surprise run to the Super Bowl last season and they could be in line for a return visit. QB Jared Goff will look to keep improving and the return of WR Cooper Kupp from injury should help. Kupp will return to an already talented group at WR that includes Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. RB Todd Gurley is the real engine that keeps this Rams offense running. His health has been concerning recently but if healthy, he’s the best back in football. The Rams have the best defensive lineman in football in DT Aaron Donald. On the edge, they traded for DE Dante Fowler late last season and that move paid off greatly for LA. He returns to a Rams defensive line that should be the tops in the NFC. The Rams also added a pair of veterans on defense looking to prove that they still got it: LB Clay Matthews and safety Eric Weddle. Last season, we learned that no matter how many faces change on both sides of the ball in Seattle, they’ll always have a chance with QB Russell Wilson behind center. Wilson will be without reliable target Doug Baldwin this year but he will be expecting big things from rookie WR DK Metcalf. Outside of Metcalf, WR Tyler Lockett proved to be a playmaker in the offense last season. On defense, Seattle traded away their best pass rusher in the offseason. They’re going to need someone on the defensive line to step up. The strength of Seattle’s defense is still intact as long as they have LB Bobby Wagner in the middle. San Francisco has accumulated so much young talent in recent years, I feel like they could be a surprise team this season. A lot is going to depend on the play of QB Jimmy Garoppolo who has not looked great so far in preseason. San Fran is also really missing a big play WR. In the backfield, they are loaded with returning starter Matt Breida and free agent signee Tevin Coleman. I think this 49ers team has promise because of their defense. They acquired DE Dee Ford from Kansas City and picked up the top pass rusher in the draft, Nick Bosa. If the 49ers do one thing well this year on defense, it will be getting after the QB. San Fran also signed LB Kwon Alexander who was a playmaker in Tampa Bay. I’m not sure what CB Richard Sherman has left in the tank but it would be nice if this defense saw contributions from him in the secondary this season. Arizona is starting back at square one this season after firing their head coach after one year. They brought in Kliff Kingsbury to coach the team despite having zero NFL experience and they drafted a talented young QB first overall who will be tasked with fixing an offense that was pretty bad last season. This experiment in Arizona is going to be a great success or a great disaster. QB Kyler Murray will have enough veteran help around him in WR Larry Fitzgerald and RB David Johnson. Great pass rushers, Chandler Jones and newcomer Terrell Suggs will headline Arizona’s defense. I like the addition of LB Jordan Hicks who made a lot of big plays in Philadelphia. CB Patrick Peterson returns to the secondary, which was one of the best in football a season ago. Arizona will be hurt without Peterson as he will be suspended for the first 6 games of the season. Projected Finish: 1) Rams, 2) Seahawks, 3) 49ers, 4) Cardinals

 

2019 NFL Draft: No Mock. Just Random Thoughts.

1060097618

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

By: Elias McMillan

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

NFL 2018: Week 17 Predictions

1074692338.jpg.0

All eyes on Sunday will be on Cleveland’s rookie QB, Baker Mayfield.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 11-5

Season: 138-100-2

Week 17 Picks

Bills over Dolphins – Buffalo gives DT Kyle Williams a hero’s send off into retirement.

Packers over Lions – This meaningless game will be highlighted by Aaron Rodgers, I guess.

Patriots over Jets – New England still needs to lock up that first round bye in the playoffs. They’ll put their best foot forward against a competitive Jets team.

Saints over Panthers – Teddy Bridgewater will hope to have a strong game as he auditions for a potential job elsewhere.

Giants over Cowboys – Dallas can’t improve their seeding in the NFC. I think New York will win it late against the Cowboys’ backups.

Falcons over Buccaneers – Atlanta’s defense will strive against a Tampa Bay offense that turns over the ball too much.

Texans over Jaguars – Houston is still in play for a potential bye in the post season.

Chargers over Broncos – LA was bullied last week. They’ll need a strong performance this week to put that Baltimore loss in the past. Also, the AFC West crown is still up for grabs.

Chiefs over Raiders – KC needs this one to lock up the AFC West in what could be a high scoring affair.

Rams over 49ers – No Todd Gurley worries me for LA. San Francisco has played decently at times late this season. I still like LA in this match up but don’t be surprised if the Niners make things interesting.

Vikings over Bears – I thought Minnesota would falter on the road last week. This week, I think they’ll clinch the final playoff spot in the NFC. Minnesota has been a stronger team at home. Chicago may want to knock Minnesota out this Sunday but they might be better off facing a familiar opponent in the wildcard round.

Steelers over Bengals – Pittsburgh needs help to get into the playoffs but in terms of this week’s game, they should roll against the 2ndstring of the Bengals.

Seahawks over Cardinals – Seattle may rest their starters but that may not even matter. Arizona will lock up the first overall pick in next April’s draft.

Eagles over Washington – The way Philadelphia has rallied behind Nick Foles is reminiscent of last season. Too bad they won’t make the post season.

Ravens over Browns – Baltimore has only lost once since their bye week. If the Ravens defense shows up like they did last week, Bayer Mayfield will be in for a world of hurt.

Colts over Titans – With the final playoff spot in the AFC on the line, I’m going with the healthiest team. Marcus Mariota will try to give it a go on Sunday but I doubt that he’ll be able to play the entire 60 minutes. I like Andrew Luck and the Colts on the road.

NFL 2018: Week 16 Predictions (Condensed Version)

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos

The Chargers could find themselves on top the AFC West after this weekend.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 9-7

Season: 127-95-2

Week 16 Picks

Titans over Washington – Jacksonville gifted Washington a victory last week on a late turnover. Tennessee will not blow this opportunity as they still have post-season hopes.

Chargers over Ravens – This should be a really good game. Both defenses will make a lot of plays but I think the difference will be Phillip Rivers. It will also help that Melvin Gordon may be returning from his injury.

Browns over Bengals – Baker Mayfield gets another chance to stick it to his former head coach, Hue Jackson.

Cowboys over Buccaneers – After no showing last week, Dallas absolutely needs this one to clinch the division once and for all. They can not sleep on this Tampa team which offers a high scoring offense and quality players on their defensive line.

Lions over Vikings – Minnesota has been so inconsistent this year. I think those issues will pop up once again on the road.

Colts over Giants – Indy’s defense is playing at a high level right now.

Dolphins over Jaguars – Jacksonville has already checked out mentally this season. Miami has slim playoff hopes but they’ll play their best at home.

Patriots over Bills – New England is going through some issues but they’ll right the ship at home against Buffalo.

Jets over Packers – I don’t think Green Bay has won a road game all year.

Eagles over Texans – I don’t think Houston is as good as their record is. Philly is a wounded animal but they believe that still have a shot at the post season and they will rally around Nick Foles at home.

Falcons over Panthers – Carolina’s collapse this season has been unbelievable.

Rams over Cardinals – I wouldn’t panic yet about how Jared Goff has looked recently. A loss here against a bad Arizona team wouldn’t help though.

Bears over 49ers – San Francisco has played great a home recently but I think Chicago will get it done on the road by the strength of their defense.

Saints over Steelers – New Orleans’ defense didn’t start the season great but they are now hitting their stride at the right time. I like Brees to outduel Roethlisberger in what could be a high scoring contest.

Seahawks over Chiefs – After a bad loss on the road, I think we’ll see Seattle bounce back at home this week.

Broncos over Raiders – The only reason to watch this game is to see what the fans of Oakland will destroy in the stands.

NFL 2018: Week 13 Predictions

michaelthomasweek12

Michael Thomas and the Saints have won 10 straight. They’ll look to make it 11 tonight.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 14-1

Season: 99-75-2

Big Five Games of the Week

New Orleans @ Dallas – The Saints haven’t looked back since their Week 1 loss. They’ve been able to pull off 10 straight victories while looking like the team to beat in the NFC. The Cowboys looked dead in the water a month ago. Now, they are winners of three straight and are suddenly in the driver’s seat in the NFC East. I don’t think Dallas is in the same class as New Orleans this season but I think they’ll at least have a fighting chance tonight against them at home. The Cowboys have a tough defense that will be put to the test tonight by the passing attack of Drew Brees. New Orleans has been able to hide their defense with what they are able to do offensively but are lacking a bit in their secondary. I don’t think Dak Prescott is going to be able to beat them with his arm though. The Cowboys will have to control the clock and let Ezekiel Elliott dictate the pace of the game. The Cowboys offensive line is still banged up and the Saints have the talent up front to possibly give them plenty of problems tonight. I think Dallas will keep it competitive at the least but the Saints should prove to be better. Winner: Saints

Baltimore @ Atlanta – The Falcons are on the verge of packing it in this season. Baltimore has a defense capable of winning games for them but currently they are receiving great support from the other side of the ball. Rookie QB Lamar Jackson is still learning on the job but he has led this offense during two straight victories. Atlanta is the team that needs this win more on Sunday but Baltimore is playing better right now. Winner: Ravens

Minnesota @ New England – Minnesota has been pretty average this season. They are able to show flashes of greatness on both sides of the ball but they don’t look like the team from last year. New England has once again sleep walked to the top of their division but now its their time to start playing well to prepare for bigger challenges down the road. I think the Vikings best chance to win this one on the road is to unleash that pass rush onto Tom Brady. New England’s offense is getting healthy at the right time with the return of TE Rob Gronkowski and RB Rex Burkhead. Thinking of the RB position, the Patriots look like they may have a legit run game this year with the emergence of rookie RB Sony Michel. As usual, New England has a very beatable defense but Kirk Cousins has been on the wrong end of some mistakes recently. I’ll take the Pats at home. Winner: Patriots

LA Chargers @ Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh hasn’t been sharp in a few weeks so last week’s loss in Denver wasn’t all that surprising. The Chargers were able to respond from a loss against Denver last week. They looked really impressive against Arizona especially offensively. QB Phillip Rivers is coming off one of his best games as a pro and he’ll look to keep that momentum going this Sunday in Pittsburgh. I think Rivers will be able to attack this Steelers defense through the air with much success if he is able to have time in the pocket. Pittsburgh’s ability to get to the QB could be a determining factor in this game. The Chargers defense has been inconsistent this season but they are getting healthy at the right time. The Steelers have so many weapons on offense and I think Chargers will have their hands full trying to account for them all. A great performance at home from the QB (Roethlisberger) will make last week’s mistakes a distant memory. Winner: Steelers

Washington @ Philadelphia – Huge game for both teams. This is pretty much an elimination game for Philadelphia. The Eagles looked like they could have dropped last week against the Giants but they were able to fight back for a late victory. The Eagles are just not playing well right now and the injuries are starting to pile up on defense. Washington is still capable, I think, to play well defensively but I don’t know if they can get enough from their offense with Colt McCoy behind center. The Eagles are going to need QB Carson Wentz to raise the level of his offense on Monday night and provide some big plays against a tough Washington defense. If not, this one could get ugly quick. Winner: Eagles

The Rest of Week 13

Broncos over Bengals – Denver has won two straight and have a favorable schedule down the stretch. Cincinnati is packing it in with Andy Dalton out.

Rams over Lions – LA should be well rested for this one.

Packers over Cardinals – Arizona is bad and Green Bay is undefeated at home.

Dolphins over Bills – Ryan Tannehill played decent last week.

Bears over Giants – I’m worried about the Mitch Trubisky injury.

Panthers over Buccaneers – Carolina has lost three straight so they need this one to stay in the playoff race.

Colts over Jaguars – Indy’s chances for the post season are starting to look better each week.

Texans over Browns – Houston can’t lose and they also have a favorable schedule down the stretch.

Titans over Jets – Tennessee has slim playoff hopes and they fight Sunday to keep them alive at home.

Chiefs over Raiders – The most important thing here for Kansas City is to stay healthy.

Seahawks over 49ers – Seattle should roll at home.

 

Fantasy Football Picks of the Week

QB: Deshaun Watson (Texans) – Watson’s big play ability should be in full display against the Cleveland secondary.

RB: Phillip Lindsay (Broncos) – Denver’s running game should have a field day against Cincinnati.

WR: Tyreek Hill (Chiefs) – Hill will run circles around Oakland’s secondary.

TE: Jordan Reed (Washington) – Washington is going to need big plays in the passing game to beat Philadelphia. Reed should get plenty of looks.

DEF: Indianapolis – The state of Jacksonville’s offense should allow Indy’s defense to strive on Sunday.

NFL 2018: Week 12 Predictions (Condensed Version)

mccoyw12

The stage is set for Colt McCoy to keep Washington’s NFC East title hopes afloat.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 4-9

Season: 85-74-2

Week 12 Picks

Bears over Lions – I’m worried about Chase Daniels starting for Chicago but maybe the Bears defense can limit what Detroit can do offensively.

Cowboys over Washington – Whenever it looks like things maybe looking up for Dallas, I usually expect them to completely fall on their face. But this isn’t the same defense Colt McCoy defeated three years ago. This is a huge spot for Dallas. If they are able to run the ball and control the clock, they can win this one and suddenly find themselves in the playoff picture.

Saints over Falcons – Atlanta stinks. They have too much talent to stink but they do. New Orleans probably will not win out going into the playoffs but I doubt that they drop this one.

Bills over Jaguars – Jacksonville is broken and QB Josh Allen will be looking to prove Jalen Ramsey wrong at home.

Browns over Bengals – Cincinnati’s defense is really bad right now. Look for Bayer Mayfield to have a big game on the road.

Patriots over Jets – New England hasn’t looked like themselves recently. Sunday would be a great time for them to get back on track against a weak opponent.

Eagles over Giants – I don’t trust either team. But a loss for Philly here would be the nail in the coffin for their season.

Buccaneers over 49ers – The offensive talent for Tampa needs to will their team to a victory.

Seahawks over Panthers – Carolina hasn’t been the same since getting beat down in Pittsburgh. Seattle is a tough team that could be in the playoff conversation real soon.

Ravens over Raiders – I’m not sure how long Baltimore’s offense can operate without a passing game but despite that, they’ll still be good enough to beat Oakland.

Chargers over Cardinals – The Chargers usually get hot at the end of the season and not collapse like they did last week. They better figure themselves out soon, as their schedule is about to get really tough.

Steelers over Broncos – Pittsburgh won ugly last week. This game could be similar.

Colts over Dolphins – Indy looks like they could go on a run. But Miami is getting Ryan Tannehill back Sunday. This one could be sneaky competitive.

Vikings over Packers – Minnesota has issues but on Sunday they literally only have to worry about one guy. They should have beaten Green Bay earlier this season. That should provide enough motivation, especially at home.

Texans over Titans – I’m not sure when Houston’s winning streak will end but Tennessee will not beat them without Marcus Mariota.