2017 NFL Draft reactions

Written by :
Published on : April 29, 2017

 

2017 NFL Draft started on Thursday, live from Philadelphia. Part of this new format where the NFL Draft will move from city to city each year. Round 1 opened and from the gate there were huge trades, surprises and plenty of drama. Let’s look back at the first few rounds and cover all the big storylines.

 

Head scratchers

The Chicago Bears move up from #3 to #2 overall to select North Carolina quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky. Now, the pick isn’t necessarily bad but the Chicago organization gave up so much to make the move. They lost their 3rd and 4th round picks this year, plus a 3rd rounder next year. To make matters worse, Trubisky only ever started 13 games in college. Oh yeah, the Bears already gave QB Mike Glennon 3 years/$45 million and said he is the starter. So all those assets for someone fans wont even get to see play. They sure are putting a lot of pressure on this kid.

 

 

Titans add weapons

Tennessee can run the ball and they have a decent defense but they didn’t have much talent for QB Marcus Mariota to throw to. Until now. The team spent 3 of their first 4 picks on pass-catching standouts Corey Davis WR from Western Michigan, Taywan Taylor WR from Western Kentucky and Jonnu Smith TE from Florida International. This young core should have the Titans in playoff form sooner than most think.

 

Red flags

The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon in round 2. Mixon is no doubt a talented runner but he also famously punched a woman and broke several bones in her face. This issue is being resolved in the legal sense but his character is clearly in question. In a similar instance, we have the Oakland Raiders first round choice Gareon Conley. This CB out of Ohio State is in the middle of rape allegations and could still be charged which would ruin his NFL career. I can’t understand how either franchise could pick these guys. It’s not only risky but it communicates that this type of behavior is acceptable. WHICH IT IS NOT.

 

 

College buddies

Five different teams drafted multiple athletes from the same school. The Dallas Cowboys picked DE Taco Charlton and CB Jordan Lewis from Michigan. The Detroit Lions took LB Jarrad Davis and CB Teez Tabor out of Florida. The Baltimore Ravens went all defense with their first 4 picks and two players from Alabama; CB Marlon Humphrey and LB Tim Williams. Washington got in on the Bama train by taking both DT Jonathan Allen and LB Ryan Anderson. And lastly, the Seattle Seahawks took two Michigan players, S Delano Hill and WR Amara Darboh. Rookie year will be way easier with your college buddy around.

 

Browns do great! Mostly.

Cleveland had 3 first round picks including #1 overall. That’s crazy. They also passed on all 3 QB’s that went in the round (Trubisky to Chicago, Mahomes to Kansas City, Watson to Houston). They did land some serious ballers in DE Myles Garrett from Texas A&M, S Jabrill Peppers from Michigan and TE David Njoku from Miami. In round 2, the Browns found their QB in DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame. This is strange because Kizer is raw and needs time and feels like a real project. Maybe this was an overreaction from day 1 to day 2. After everyone asked why the team hadn’t solved their long standing issue. In round 3, Cleveland added DT Larry Ogunjobi out of Charlotte. They still have 5 picks left and the defense is looking more and more fierce. The only question is, who is going to lead this unit on offense?

 

Only time will tell how any of these moves will pan out. So let’s all agree to meet back here in 4 years and we can have a really cool and retro 2017 NFL Draft conversation.

 

Pick me!

 

 


Lions must focus on defense in the draft

Written by :
Published on : April 2, 2017

 

 

The Detroit Lions have spent the better part of the last 50 years as the laughing stock of football. From pee wee to the pros, the Lions like the Browns and other oft-maligned franchises, were synonymous with ineptitude. The team that squandered the careers of Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson, two legends of the gridiron. Lions and losing went together like peanut butter and jelly, but in the last few years something crazy has happened. The team has been pretty damn good at times, and mediocre at worst. For the last three seasons the team has been a legitimate contender for the division and they have made the playoffs twice in that period.

 

Gone are the days of planning for the next year’s draft in October and November. Fans in the Motor City expect to be in the running late in the season. The new goal isn’t just having a winning record or even making the playoffs, it’s winning a playoff game; something that hasn’t happened since 1991. If that goal is going to be achieved this season then there is still quite a bit of offseason work to be done. Especially on the defense.

 

 

There is an almost complete consensus that the Detroit Lions are one of the early winners of this year’s free agency. After losing Riley Reiff and Larry Warford, two long time starters on the offensive line, there was concern that an already somewhat porous unit was going to take a big step backward in 2017. Then general manager Bob Quinn surprised many people by spending big money to acquire two of the best offensive linemen available. On the opening day of free agency, right tackle, Rick Wagner, was signed away from the Baltimore Ravens. Days later local boy and longtime Packers guard, TJ Lang, was signed after it seemed like a certainty that he was headed for Seattle. These two are immediate and significant upgrades over their predecessors on the line, especially when it comes to pass blocking, where they rank as two of the best at their positions in the league. Quinn had a goal to upgrade protection for Matt Stafford and he executed his plan swiftly.

 

Those upgrades on the offensive line did not come cheap, however, and depending on who you ask, the Lions now only have about $8 million in cap space. That cap space doesn’t preclude them from making more moves in free agency but it does most likely take them out of the running for the big names like Zach Brown that are still on the market. That could be of concern because the Lions have yet to improve their defense whatsoever this offseason, and if anything the talent pool on that side of the ball has gotten more shallow.

 

Linebacker Paul Worrilow was signed from the Falcons and cornerback DJ Hayden was signed from the Raiders. Worrilow has value as a special teamer but if the Lions are forced to start him then that’s a bad sign. Hayden has the potential to start at the nickel position if he can stay healthy and replicate his performance from last season. Both of the guys are nice depth pieces but they aren’t difference makers. That is troubling on a Lions defense that is in dire need of guys who can make big plays, especially after the team chose to part ways with the once electric but now injury plagued DeAndre Levy.

 

 None of the defensive signing so far are game changers, including Paul Worrilow.

 

A few more depth pieces with some potential have been signed along the defensive line. Akeem Spence, Cornelius Washington and Jordan Hill will all contribute but the team must generate a better pass rush this year. Ever since Ndamukong Suh took his talents to South Beach there has been no pressure up the middle. Last year, that weakness really came back to bite them as opposing quarterbacks were allowed record setting completion percentages against the defense. If there’s no pass rush then the defense will surely flounder again.

 

The cap constraints and a free agency class that is short on defensive playmakers at this point means that the Detroit Lions are going to need a defensive haul of epic proportions in this year’s NFL Draft. There are huge holes on the defensive line and at linebacker and the way that the team sits right now, the offense will need to score 40 points a game for them to be successful. In the NFL, you can’t expect to have sustained success if you’re forced to rely solely on the offense. This team must dedicate the lion’s share of their draft picks to the defense because the guys they have right now simply can’t get the job done.

 

 


The NFL free agency mambo

Written by :
Published on : March 15, 2017

 

NFL free agency has only been a few days but already the complete landscape of football has changed. Huge names have moved and found new homes while others have decided to hang up the cleats and retire. Millions are being tossed around and it’s a lot to process. Let ScoreBoredSports ease your weary brain with this helpful review of all the big transactions so far. Strap on your dancing shoes and let’s all do the free agency mambo.

 

WR Brandon Marshall to Giants

2 year/$12 million dollar deal saves Marshall from moving homes or facilities as he switches to the Giants. The former New York Jet will join Odell Beckham Junior in the receiving corps. Should make for a pretty solid unit.

 

WR Pierre Garçon to 49ers

This organization is totally rebuilding. They need offensive weapons. Garçon is nice possession receiver but it’s unsure who will be throwing him the ball. Got to start somewhere, though it looks like San Francisco overpaid.

 

 

OT Ricky Wagner and OL TJ Lang to Lions

Oh boy, the Lions add some beef upfront to help keep Stafford alive. As a fan, I love any effort to improve the o-line and help our lackluster running game.

 

TE Dwayne Allen to Pats

This was a trade with the Colts where Allen and a 6th round pick went to New England for only a 4th round pick. Seems like a small price tag for a guy that will blossom under Brady. But that’s what the Pats do.

 

RB Mike Tolbert to Bills

Mike packs his bags and leaves the Panthers to join Shady McCoy and the other backs in Buffalo. This team loves to the run the ball so look for Tolbert to get the short yardage/goal line duties.

 

 

QB Brian Hoyer to 49ers

I expect the new heads of the organization to draft a QB but this will be their starter for the time being. Hoyer has flashed moments where it looks like he has all the tools for the job. This will be a tough test. Hopefully, they can add a few more pieces around him.

 

S Barry Church to Jags

Jacksonville focused on defense in last year’s draft and maybe those picks will pay off but they couldn’t stop anyone last season. Church is a vet who Jacksonville hopes can bring some leadership to the secondary.

 

WR DeSean Jackson to Bucs

DJax headed to Tampa where his skills should pair well with star WR Mike Evans. This could be a nasty duo. This team has playoff sleeper written all over it.

 

 

K Steve Hauschka to Bills

Hey, kickers matter and Steve is one of the best. The long time Seahawk is bringing his talents to north beach. This is a good pick up for any team.

 

WR Kenny Britt to Browns

Get that money Kenny, but it sucks to be on Cleveland. This team needs tons of help and they don’t seem close to an answer. Would love to be wrong.

 

CB AJ Bouye to Jags

Jacksonville continues to invest on the defensive side of the ball with the splashy signing one of the top cornerbacks available, but they paid for it. 5 year/$67 million.

 

 

WR Alshon Jeffery to Eagles

Philly adds a big time target for a 1 year/$14 million deal. This is all about fit. That’s why the contract was only for a season. If Jeffery soars, expect a huge offer next year.

 

CB Logan Ryan to Titans

The other top defensive back on the market lands in Tennessee. This is another team that is quietly building a real competitor.

 

DE Julius Peppers to Panthers

Homecoming. I love when a player gets a chance to head back to his old team for another tour. Fans bust out their old jerseys and we all have fun.

 

 

WR Terrelle Pryor to Washington

1 year/$8 million and suddenly you are QB Kirk Cousin’s new favorite target. He will replace Jackson and keep the passing attack rolling in the Capitol.

 

TE Martellus Bennett to Packers

Just what Aaron Rodgers needs, a Super Bowl winning-mega talent. Ugh. The only worse headlines are from the real news.

 

WR Brandin Cooks to Pats

God damn it. How do they keep reloading so fast? It’s almost like every player in the league wants to play there and win one of those fancy trophies. New England sent their 1st and 3rd round draft picks to New Orleans for Cooks and a 4th rounder.

 

 

TE Lance Kendricks to Packers

Looks like Green Bay is following the Pats model of the two TE sets as they add another big body pass catcher.

 

WR Kendall Wright to Bears

Chicago needed to do something after losing top wide out Jeffery. Wright becomes the go-t0 guy in the Windy City. The real question is, with Jay Cutler gone, who is throwing the ball?

 

QB Nick Foles to Eagles

Another reunion. Foles will presumedly be the number two quarterback behind Wentz, who just finished his rookie year. Foles should be considered a top tier backup. Someone who is ready to start and win in the event of an injury.

 

 

RB Eddie Lacy to Seahawks

The big back joins Seattle on a 1 year/$5 million deal with $3 mil fully guaranteed. His weight is an issue. Some reports have him at 267 lbs. That’s heavy for a running back. The hope is he becomes the new Marshawn Lynch but that may be unrealistic.

 

QB Mike Glennon to Bears

Chicago has finally cut ties with Jay Cutler and they need a new signal caller. Glennon may not set Chicago on fire but he is young, 6’6″ and has experience. Not a sexy signing but the free agency market for QB’s is slim.

 

Some big names are still available. Guys like Dont’a Hightower, Adrian Peterson and Colin Kaepernick are still looking for a team. The NFL draft is a month away so we can expect to see some more action in the coming days. But most of the high profile talent is already off the board. This is such an exciting time for football. I can’t wait for the season opener.

 

Show me the money.

 

 


Let’s update the NFL combine

Written by :
Published on : March 2, 2017

 

 

Before the NFL draft, we hold a Miss America-style pageant of football skills called the NFL combine. A showcase for college athletes trying to make the leap to the pros. The combine is voluntary but it creates helpful data that top brass use in deciding whether they want to draft someone or not. The combine evaluations measure speed, strength and agility. Events include the 40 yard dash, bench press, broad jump, vertical jump, shuttle run and the 3-cone drill. But modern football is a different game, so let’s add some events to round out the combine for today’s football.

 

Reading and Writing

All combine athletes should have to take a basic reading and writing test. Nothing crazy but all of them graduated high school and presumedly went to at least a few college classes. I’m sure everyone would like to know which prospective players can read at an adult level. This is not just to make fun of “stupid” football players, as many GMs would love to have a metric on brain-power before they waste a first round pick on a dummy.

 

test taking

 

Field Sobriety

Most NFL athletes are forced to take this test sometime in their career, so maybe younger players should start practicing for it now. The field sobriety test at the combine would act like a random police traffic stop. The combine athlete would start in the prop car and a coach, acting as the cop, will ask the player to step put of the vehicle a preform a series coordination tests. The main goal here is to NOT get arrested. Hell, everyone should practice this stuff. Oh and memorize the alphabet, backwards.

 

Special Skills

This is where each star gets to shine. Every combine competitor will get 1-5 minutes of solo stage time where they can showcase any non-football talent they have. Whatever that may be: standup comedy, singing, juggling, ventriloquism, yo-yo tricks, whatever they are proud of. Some may say this is unnecessary but I’ll argue that it can only benefit both parties by knowing more about each other. Communication is never a bad thing. Now curtains up, full lights, party time!

 

Talent-Show

 

All the above ideas are about getting to know the men beyond their physical attributes. This is the element that the current combine is sorely missing. Players aren’t just how many reps they can lift or how fast they can run. My new combine gives a deeper look into the person as a whole package.

 

Do you have a great idea for a modern combine event? Please leave it in the comments. Do you have a special sports skill or a crazy trick shot video? Tell me and I’ll make ScoreBoredSports put it on the front page. Pinky swear.

 

Is it football yet?

 

 


The Next Step: Detroit Lions offseason needs on offense

Written by :
Published on : February 15, 2017

 

 

In the previous installment of The Next Step we talked about the Detroit Lions and how desperately they need to improve their defense if they want to get to the next level. Defense wins championships and the lack of one can get you bounced from the first round of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion, as was the case when the Lions faced the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round. While improving the defense is paramount to establishing a consistently good team, all parts of the team should be examined every offseason and that brings us to the offense.

 

The Lions offense has carried the team for years now and Matthew Stafford, before his late season finger injury, seemed to prove that he has finally put all the pieces together. He carried the team in 2016 and was the only consistent bright spot. And even that went to hell after the finger injury. It’s time for the team to take some pressure off of Stafford and build a complete offense. Here’s what they should do if they want to accomplish that goal.

 

Offensive Line

The starting offensive line that the Detroit Lion rolled out last season is full of young talent. Rookie first round pick Taylor Decker proved that he is the left tackle of the future and Travis Swanson surprised everyone by becoming one of the better centers in the league, after an extremely rocky first two years in the NFL. Former first round left guard Laken Tomlinson on the other hand proved that he is quickly headed for bust status, but never fear! Rookie Graham Glasgow took over and did a good job. He also showed some versatility by moving to center when Swanson went down with a concussion that would cause him to miss the final five games of the year. All these players will most likely be on the Lions roster in 2017 (unless Tomlinson gets him self cut from the team, which is possible) so the left side of the line is set. But the right side could be a little tricky.

 

 The Lions must re-sign Riley Reiff.

 

At right guard is former third round pick Larry Warford, who has been very good at times but hasn’t lived up to a stellar rookie season four years ago. At right tackle is former first rounder Riley Reiff who moved to the right side after the team drafted Taylor Decker. Both are above average-to-good players but both will be unrestricted free agents this offseason. It will be very hard to keep both so that means a choice must be made. While Larry Warford is probably higher rated at his position compared to other guards around the league than Reiff would be against his peers, good tackles are just too hard to come by. If the price is right, the team should re-sign Reiff, let Warford walk, and move Laken Tomlinson back to his more natural position at right guard. They should also draft some developmental players in the mid/late rounds of the draft, but by no means should they be giving big money to any free agents. If Reiff decides he wants left tackle money then you let him walk and hope Corey Robinson can step up and fill in.

 

The team is also in desperate need of a blocking tight end. Eric Ebron is great for catching passes (when he doesn’t drop the ball) and he gives the offense an explosiveness that it has been missing but having him block has not worked out. The Lions haven’t had a tight end who can block since Brandon Pettigrew so expect them to draft someone to fill this role. If they don’t address this need they will surely regret it.

 

Deep Threat

Let’s face it, with Calvin Johnson gone from the offense the Detroit Lions had no true deep threat. Sure, there were some plays when Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, or even TJ Jones would get behind the defense. But they were few and far between throughout the 2016 season. For the most part, the offense was predicated on getting their shifty receivers the ball near the line of scrimmage and letting them breaks plays after the catch. There were long stretches when receivers could not get separation from opposing defensive backs. This has to change and the way to do that is by finding a speedy guy who can take the top off of the defense and open up the field underneath.

 

 In your dreams, Lions fans.

 

I think the answer here, like with the offensive line, should come from the draft. With as much work as the defense needs, spending big in free agency seems like the wrong move. I’m in favor of re-signing Anquan Boldin (should he choose not to retire) but he isn’t a giant threat to beat anyone deep. DeSean Jackson would be an amazing addition but with all the holes on defense, it seems unlikely that Bob Quinn will pay what it takes to get him on the team. The Lions should spend a mid round pick to find the fastest receiver available who can catch the ball well.

 

Power Runner

The Lions say that Ameer Abdullah is still slated to be the top dog in the backfield in 2017. And there’s no reason he shouldn’t be. He may be considered in an injury concern by some after missing most of last season and part of his rookie season with various injuries but that doesn’t seem fair. In the 18 games he has appeared in he has been absolutely electric and the offense is a totally different machine with him on the field. He should be the top back on the depth chart, but that doesn’t mean the team shouldn’t have other options. Fans love Zach Zenner but the Lions’ offense needs a real powerback.

 

The smartest thing to do would be to draft someone in a late round and hope that they can show enough to become the third option behind Abdullah and pass-catching extraordinaire Theo Riddick. Dwayne Washington, a sixth round pick last year, could blossom into the role but he had a very hard time seeing his holes last year and the team should have other options going into training camp. Should the team look to free agency Eddie Lacy could be an option. If he comes cheap it would be hilarious to see him run over some Green Bay Packers next season. Either way the team needs someone who can punish the defense between the tackles. Something they do not have right now.

 

 Eddie Lacy as a Lion?

 

That does it for the roster needs on offense but I have one more thing to add and it many Lions fans might think that I’m crazy. It’s the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Lions need someone new calling plays for the offense. After a great start to his career as offensive coordinator of the Lions, Jim Bob Cooter seems to have regressed. The play calling was awful at times last year and he has shown an inability to adjust as games wear on. I have no doubt that he will start the season calling plays in Detroit and hopefully he can continue to learn in second full offseason as offensive coordinator but keep an eye on how he performs in the early part of next season. If the offense leaves something to be desired he could be relieved of his duties mid season.

 

What do you think the Detroit Lions need to do on offense? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

 

 


The Next Step: Detroit Lions offseason needs on defense

Written by :
Published on : February 1, 2017

 

 

Some people see the Detroit Lions 2016 campaign as a failure. Some people see it as a success. Regardless of whether you think the team needed to win the division or that Wild Card game in Seattle in order to say that the season was a success, you have to admit that they surpassed most everyone’s preseason expectations. Nine wins and a trip to the playoffs is nothing to scoff at, but the 26-6 thrashing that the Lions took at the hands of the Seahawks proved that there is still a way to go before this team is contending for titles.

 

The team has a few very solid pieces in place and has the luxury of some nice depth on the roster, but there are some big holes still. With a few good moves this team could be a dangerous. General Manager Bob Quinn and head coach Jim Caldwell have a chance to solidify this roster and make the Lions legit. Defense wins championships so we will focus on that unit for this first installment about the Lions offseason.

 

The Detroit Lions defense was historically bad in 2016, especially against the pass. Though opposing quarterbacks carved them up through the air, I actually believe that the Lions’ secondary is the most solid unit on the defense. Darius Slay will be a solid number one cornerback for years. Glover Quin is in his prime and has a year left on his contract. Guys like Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs, Tavon Wilson, and Miles Killebrew have a ton of potential and provide solid depth. They could certainly use a solid number two cornerback who can turn and run with faster receivers (Logan Ryan from New England?), but I place most of the blame for the unit’s pass defense woes on the front end, especially the defensive line.

 

Defensive Line

 JPP has proven he can still rush the passer. Will the Lions be willing to pay him?

 

The team gambled on returning Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, and Devin Taylor back to start at defensive tackle and defensive end along rising star DE, Ziggy Ansah. And they lost big time. With Ziggy battling injury for most of the year, the defensive line was not able to get consistent pressure. Kerry Hyder, a guy I had never heard of before 2016, lead the team in sacks (8) and the team only had 26 overall. They must upgrade here if they want to turn this defense around, and though Hyder certainly earned a spot in the rotation with his efforts this year, everyone except Ansah should be on the chopping block.

 

The team may be interested in a guy like Jason Pierre Paul to start at defensive end across from Ziggy, but he may come at a price tag that is far beyond what GM Bob Quinn is willing to pay. JPP would make the Lions’ starting DEs absolutely terrifying but it seems like a pipe dream at this point. There are too many holes to be filled to spend the likely $11-13 million/year that JPP will command. Other guys like Andre Branch out of Miami or William Gholston from Tampa Bay could be more cost effective options in free agency. Defensive ends Taco Charlton out of Michigan or Daeshon Hall out of Texas A&M could be available when the Lions pick in the draft and they have the size and skills to develop into the type of player they like.

 

As far as defensive tackle, it seems likely that the team will release Haloti Ngata unless he takes a pay cut and Tyrunn Walker should allowed to walk out the door. The Lions already have one replacement starter in A’Shawn Robinson, who was drafted in the second round last year and led the line in passes defended with seven. Robinson needs to develop into a force in the interior if the Lions defense is going to get back on track because I don’t see the team spending big money on a free agent stud, if that even exists this year. I think the focus will be on defensive end and they will allow Robinson to develop while finding a band-aid type player in free agency and a more developmental prospect in the draft.

 

Linebackers

 The Lions could certainly use a linebacker who can generate a turnover or two.

 

Linebacker needs some major help too. When he signed a lucrative contract two offseasons ago, DeAndre Levy looked like the future stud playmaker on the Lions defense. Injuries have derailed his career since then and he has played in only 6 of 32 possible games. He may be healthy, but then again he could get injured again. Or he could retire after showing obvious displeasure with the league and the way it conducts business regarding its players and their health. Hopefully he will still be able to contribute and make plays but the team can’t count on it and even if he does, there are other major holes.

 

Tahir Whitehead has been the starting middle linebacker for two years now and it’s clear that it isn’t working. Three years ago, when he was the third best linebacker on the team and was playing on the strong side, he thrived. The team needs to do everything in their power to make that happen again because when he is the best option at LB, the team is in trouble. That makes finding a new starting middle linebacker priority one. In free agency, the two names that are being floated around are Zach Brown from Buffalo or Dont’a Hightower from New England. The two will definitely come at a high price, but if the team wants to spend the money then Zach Brown is the guy for this team. With Reggie Ragland returning from injury, it seems likely that the Bills will let him walk following his 147 tackle effort in 2016. If the Lions can put him in alongside Tahir Whitehead and (hopefully) DeAndre Levy then this unit can be very solid, but it’s going to cost them. I think it would be money well spent.

 

Should the Lions choose to address the need at linebacker in the draft the big name that has been floated is Zach Cunningham out of Vanderbilt. Reuben Foster from Alabama would be amazing but there is very little chance he drops low enough in the first round for the Lions to snag him. Cunningham has the athleticism, size and speed to step into the role in the middle immediately but is a bit of a problem in the missed tackle department. He would definitely have some learning to do and if the Lions are really in win now mode with head coach Jim Caldwell potentially on the hot seat, then they may opt for a more expensive solution in free agency.

 

 Cunningham could be the MLB of the future if he can clean up his tackling.

 

These are just some of the moves that the team needs to make this offseason. In the NFL you can never rest easy and you always need to be looking for upgrades at all positions. Expect the team to make some moves that don’t correspond to anything I’ve listed here. Stay tuned for the list of offensive needs for the coming offseason.

 

 


Joey Bosa and the Chargers both screwed this up

Written by :
Published on : August 27, 2016

 

 

After the most recent collective bargaining agreement was finalized, most people thought that it would be the end of rookie holdouts. And for a few years those people were correct. That’s until the San Diego Chargers drafted the 2014 Big Ten Defensive player of the year, Joey Bosa, out of OSU. The situation between the team and Bosa has deteriorated to the point where the two have taken to the media to bash the other side and try to gain sympathy from the public. But how did we get here?

 

When the Chargers drafted Joey Bosa with the 3rd overall pick this past spring, the team and the fans thought that their pass rush had finally found the boost it has needed. Instead, Bosa has yet to practice with the team and has indicated that he is willing to sit out the entire season and re-enter the draft next spring. This all seems so puzzling when you consider that the NFL now has set salaries for rookies and the big holdup is minor details regarding the signing bonus and the team’s ability to recoup that money should they cut Bosa. As it stands now, Bosa is the owner of the longest rookie holdout since the new CBA went into affect. And it’s not even close.

 

 

Many people, including the Bosa camp, will say that the Chargers are being cheap. They’re probably right. The Chargers want to break up the signing bonus on Bosa’s guaranteed $25 million contract and include offset language. Both of these things are somewhat unprecedented for a 3rd overall draft pick and the reality is that it’s a pretty insignificant point to be holding up the contract on a player that could have contributed early and often. The team is being stubborn and once again showing the world why they are a second-rate organization in the NFL. But they also have all of the leverage, so you can’t really blame them for refusing to be pushed around by some snot-nosed Buckeye hotshot.

 

As a rookie, Joey Bosa should be learning the ins and outs of the NFL. Game speed and the skill of his opposition will be like nothing he saw in the Big Ten. The fact that he is missing out on all of this could be detrimental to his development. He has no power in this situation and if he really does sit out the entire season, it seems unlikely that he will be drafted as high as he was this time around. Some teams might consider him to much of a headache to deal with, or maybe they will be scared that a year off of the football field eroded some of his skills and conditioning.

 

 

The Chargers may have their reputation tarnished, but they never were much of an appealing destination for players to begin with. At the end of the day, the Chargers will still be an organization that is worth millions, even if it is run like garbage. Joey Bosa on the other hand, stands to lose out on millions of dollars. If he comes back from a year off of football and looks like Maurice Clarett did after he went from top prospect to slow, fat trash monster in his year off of football, then he sure is going to look stupid.

 

Both of the parties are probably at fault here, but only one has the chance to be ruined from it and that is Joey Bosa. It’s probably too late to repair the relationship between the two but it’s not too late to make something out of Bosa’s rookie season. The Chargers will still be a laughing stock among NFL Front Office’s no matter what, but they are used to that. They won’t bend and because of that Joey needs to sign the next offer they give him, even if it isn’t as good as the last one he so stupidly turned down. His livelihood could depend on it.

 

 


Minnesota Vikings: We got our man

Written by :
Published on : April 29, 2016

 

The Minnesota Vikings went into the 1st round of the NFL draft desperately needing help on the offensive side of the ball and they got it. Arguably the best Wide Receiver in the draft, the Vikings stole Laquon Treadwell with the 23rd overall pick. Vikings General Manager, Rick Spielman, has been known to wheel and deal in the draft, but his patience paid off.

 

Spielman played it smart by not getting the fastest player, but they got the guy that fits QB Teddy Bridgewater’s strengths the most. Minnesota tried having an outside “burner” with Mike Wallace in 2015, but that was an unmitigated disaster. Treadwell is an outside receiver who ran a 4.64 forty-yard-dash, but you don’t need blazing speed for his skill set.

 

 

Some comparable wide recivers: Anquan Boldin (4.71), Larry Fitzgerald (4.63), and Hakeem Nicks (4.63) that matchup with Treadwell. The Vikings also feel that Treadwell can get faster as he heals from his broken left tibia/dislocated ankle. By shoring up offensive line concerns in free agency (Alex Boone and Andre Smith), the Vikings got to focus on their weakest position in the draft.

 

 

The personnel for offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, is going to be real cute for a franchise quarterback (Bridgewater) who has been labeled as a “game manager” during his short two year career. Minnesota frequently runs the ball with Adrian Peterson on first down, but by adding Treadwell, they can keep defenses on their heels. Surprisingly, New York Giants passed on all of the WRs in the first round. Eli Apple (CB), the Giants 1st round pick, may pan out wonderfully, but why not pair up Treadwell with Odell Beckham Jr?

 

Most expect to see Treadwell and Stefon Diggs to be the starting outside WRs for the Minnesota Vikings on opening weekend at Tennessee.

 

 


A Mockery of the NFL Draft

Written by :
Published on : April 28, 2016

 

 

This is not a mock draft, it’s a mockery of the crazy draft coverage we have come to love and hate. If you want someone to guess who your team is going to choose then ask Mel Kiper. If you want football jokes then I’m your huckleberry. Most experts say that the best way to build a winner is through the draft and I generally agree. This list will address what each NFL franchise needs to become successful right now. Let’s get to it. The first team is on the clock:

 

1st – Los Angeles Rams

With the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select a really good lawyer! This mid-level team just got bumped up to first class and I don’t know if they are ready for the off-the-field life in Los Angeles. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least two different Rams get into legal trouble this first year. Rams need a top flight legal team. It’s an investment in their future.

 

2nd – Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles should pick either Andy Reid or Donovan McNabb. Remember how solid they were back then? Like in the NFC Championship every year good. Maybe they just need Mrs. McNabb and some Campbell’s Chunky Chicken Noodle soup.

 

 

3rd – San Diego Chargers

Stem cells! Yup, that’s their pick. A giant vat of stem cells. I think they had 200 players go on season ending injured reserve last season. Ouch.  A few well-placed stem cell injections will have these guys back in the division race.

 

4th – Dallas Cowboys

Clones of Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. One of these guys (Tony) is always hurt. I think everyone in Texas would like to see a full year of them playing together.

 

5th – Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags offensive unit is decent and has a core of young talent. Where they need help is on defense so I suggest drafting the Incredible Hulk. A great run stopper who can also rush the passer. You do not want to make him angry.

 

hulk

 

6th – Baltimore Ravens

Will Smith from Men in Black so he can use his memory-eraser thing to get America to forget about that Ray Rice elevator tape. This team can’t win until we all move on.

 

7th – San Francisco 49ers

A time machine. So the 49ers can go back just a few short years when they looked like the most stacked team in the league. Back when the city and management loved coach Harbaugh. They lost the Super Bowl and it all started to unravel.

 

8th – Cleveland Browns

A genie or a wizard. Someone magical. This squad needs spiritual help of the cosmic order to reverse the bad juju they carry into every game. I’d also take a voodoo priestess or witch if they had a quick enough 40 yard dash time.

 

9th – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Johnny Depp. The ultimate Buccaneer, Mr. Captain Jack Sparrow himself! They try so hard to act pirate at those home games. But they never win much. Some star power could turn that all around.

 

jack sparrow

 

10th – New York Giants

A hair stylist for Odell Beckham Jr. He is the best player on the team and you want to build around your greatest assets. OBJ has fantastic hair and that could use some full-time attention.

 

11th – Chicago Bears

Anyone to replace Jay Cutler. Literally anyone. Do you know a guy?

 

12th – New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Graham. I don’t how they ever let their version of Gronk leave. But since then, their offense has been missing something. I’m sure Brees would love it.

 

13th – Miami Dolphins

LeBron James. It helped the Heat win a championship. I mean if Dan Marino can’t win one then Ryan Tannehill has no chance at a ring without some serious assistance. If James brought his talents to South Beach then I could see the Phins winning not one, not two, not three but 18 championships.

 

 

14th – Oakland Raiders

A moving van to get them to Los Angeles. I don’t know what they are waiting for? There are millions of fans in LA who would greet them with open arms. Plus they can join the Rams and play at their new stadium. Oakland has no cash for a new building so this seems like a no-brainer.

 

15th – Tennessee Titans

A real Titan. I’m talking the enemy of Zeus and the other Greek Gods. Huge, elemental terrors that can destroy a city in an instant. Hopefully, this rookie will help lower opposing offenses 3rd down completion percentages.

 

16th – Detroit Lions

Sonic the Hedgehog. Many fans want to see O Line improvements but that can be addressed in later rounds. The Lions must deal with the retirement of Calvin Johnson by drafting a speedy receiver who can take the top off the defense. Plus he’d look good in those blue and silver uniforms.

 

sonic

 

17th – Atlanta Falcons

Rick from The Walking Dead. He’s from Atlanta so the fans will love him, plus he will do WHATEVER it takes to win. You got to have guts to play in the NFL and Rick Grimes knows guts.

 

18th – Indianapolis Colts

A new kidney for Andrew Luck.

 

19th – Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bill, the serial killer from Silence of the Lambs. Also knows as John Grant, Jack Gordon or Jame Gumb. This guy is a sneaky pick because he can play multiple rolls, has that killer instinct and should not be underestimated. Also the name thing is kind of perfect.

 

jame Gumb

 

20th – New York Jets

Jets could use a new QB but I think they should get Donald Trump to act as owner, GM and coach. Maybe QB too if he is up to it. Trump already reps NYC hard and claims to make “the best deals” so it should be a perfect fit.

 

21st – Washington (offensive name omitted)

A new owner. Dan Synder sucks bad. Change your racist team name already.

 

22nd – Houston Texans

A body guard for Brock Osweiler. Management gave this guy tons of money so nothing can happen to him or they are screwed. This organization is acting like they are a good QB away from a deep playoff run. If Brock is the guy then you must keep him safe.

 

23rd – Minnesota Vikings

The big dragon from Game of Thrones. This is a controversial choice because the beast could do some harm to Minnesota but I think the Vikings are the one team that could maybe work with the dragon and find some success. This is for sure a boom or bust pick but the upside is colossal.

 

GOT dragon

 

24th – Cincinnati Bengals

This one is easy. Much like the Giants, the Bengals need to help the stars they have. I’m talking about getting some hair dye for Andy Dalton. I know being a ginger is his thing but no redhead has ever won the big game. It could be that simple. Hair dye.

 

25th – Pittsburgh Steelers

Cyborg reconstruction for Ben Roethlisberger. This guy is the heart and soul of the team but I’m suggesting replacing is heart and soul with cold steel. Help Big Ben stay on the field for all 16 games plus the postseason. Think somewhere between The Six Million Dollar Man and Robocop. Dead or alive, we’re going to the playoffs.

 

26th – Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks are still hurting from their SB loss to the Pats back in February, 2015. So they should draft Doctor Frasier Crane from Frasier and Cheers. He could help heal their bruised egos and get them back to fighting form. Goodnight Seattle.

 

 

27th – Green Bay Packers

These guys always have great drafts so I’m not going to even offer joke advice for them. I hope they take kickers in every round.

 

28th – Kansas City Chiefs

KC needs a suitcase full of cash to bribe the commissioner so they can leave the AFC West and instead join the much less fierce AFC South. They could switch places with the Houston Texans and that will create an easy path to the playoffs on a more regular basis.

 

29th – New England Patriots

The Pats lost this pick for cheating. So with their second round choice they get a rule book. You dirty cheaters.

 

30th – Arizona Cardinals

A real Cardinal from the Vatican. Maybe their sacrilegious name has been keeping them back. If they finally get the blessing they need from the Catholic church then a Lombardi trophy could be in store.

 

FrancisCards

 

31st – Carolina Panthers

This crew is already fairly loaded but the reason they lost the Super Bowl was because of the pressure from Von Miller and the other members of the Broncos D, so an offensive lineman seems like a good fit. WWE Super Star Brock Lesner would fill in great at either Tackle or Guard.

 

32nd – Denver Broncos

A young Peyton Manning. With old Peyton retiring and Osweiler leaving, the team is in the lurch. They need a signal caller with some promise and no one seems like a better fit than young Peyton, or maybe young Elway.

 

 

Tell me who you wish your team would select in the comments below.

 

Draft dodger.

 

 


What are the Eagles doing?

Written by :
Published on : April 21, 2016

 

Normally this is a relatively quiet time of year for the NFL. We are a week away from the 2016 NFL Draft, and usually the biggest news around the league is about teams beginning their offseason training programs. But not this year. GMs around the league have determined to make 2016 an exciting one for the NFL, even when there aren’t any games being played.

 

The Rams got the party started last week when they traded up to get the number-one pick in the 2016 NFL Draft from the Tennessee Titans. In addition to the top pick, the Rams got a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick but it didn’t come cheap. In return, the Titans got the Rams’ 15th overall pick, two second-round picks and a third round pick this year. The Rams also gave up a first-round and third-round pick in next year’s draft. That’s a lot of stuff to give up in order to move up and get a quarterback who isn’t a consensus stud, whoever it might be. But I get it. It’s their first year in Los Angeles and they’re looking to make a splash. Add in the fact that Jeff Fischer is just about the most uninspiring coach in the league and is on his way out if they don’t win more than seven games this year, and it’s easy to see why the Rams are so desperate for a QB not named Case Keenum or Nick Foles.

 

But what excuse do the Eagles have for making such a ridiculous trade yesterday? If you ask me they don’t have one. This seems like a really bad trade all around. The Eagles moved up to 2nd overall pick in the draft by giving the Browns their 8th overall pick in the first-round, a third-round pick and a fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, a first-round pick next year and a second-round pick in 2018. The Browns also sent the Eagles a fourth-round pick for next year. That is an enormous amount to give up for one of two quarterbacks who they are so indifferent about that they don’t really care which of the two falls to them. Oh yea, they also just gave Sam Bradford a two-year, $35 million dollar contract this offseason, and a three-year, $21 million dollar contract to Chase Daniel! How does that make any sense?

 

 The face of a genius.

 

The Eagles roster has been ravaged by three years under the mad scientist, Chip Kelly. His great experiment involved shipping off all of the Philadelphia Eagles’ most talented players and leaving the team with holes all over the field. Sounds like a fun game right? Not if you’re an Eagles fan. I suspect that Chip Kelly has always been a secret Giants’ fan and his entire strategy was to ruin the team. If that’s true then his mission was very successfully accomplished. It was on his watch that the Eagles lost, in one way or another, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy. Most coaches would kill to have those kind of players scoring touchdowns for them, but not Kelly. And that’s why he is gone, off to San Francisco where the talent pool can’t possibly get any worse under him.

 

So with holes all over the field, the Eagles decided to give up a stable of picks to move up six spots and draft someone who might, one day, maybe be a decent quarterback in the NFL. Smooth move. What the team should be doing is using all of those draft picks to build their franchise the right way and fill as many holes as they can this year. Add to that the fact that Sam Bradford is now reportedly super pissed about being lied to by management and this whole thing looks like it’s going to get a little messy over the next season or so. Good thing my Lions get to play them this year!

 

 


Fantasy Football Saints, Sinners and Sleepers: RB Edition

Written by :
Published on : August 28, 2015

 

“Here we lay bare the souls of those who play the game for our entertainment. We praise the saints, condemn the sinners, and root out the sleepers who can help your fantasy football team stay on the righteous path.”

 

The second installment of Saints, Sinners and Sleepers will explore the running back position heading into the 2015 NFL season. These are the best of the best, the worst of the worst and some of the most underestimated in their field. The following players can help you gain entry into the pearly gates of a fantasy football championship, or send you to the seventh circle of a losing season. Heed the words you are about to read, and know that it is truth.

 

Saints

Look for Le’veon to be stiff arming and breaking ankles all season long.

 

Le’veon Bell- There’s that two game suspension to worry about but even that isn’t enough to knock the halo off of this saint’s head. He’s just that good. DeMarco Murray got all the hype last season but the they both averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Bell is going to be much fresher though, having rushed the ball 102 less times than the now Philadelphia Eagle, Murray. He is going to benefit considerably from defenses focusing on Antonio Brown, and he will make them pay for leaving the box to cover the deep part of the field. Look for him to keep improving and solidify his role as the best running back, fantasy or otherwise. The offense in Pittsburgh will be miraculous this season and it will be Saint Le’veon who leads them to the promised land and elevates all those around him.

 

Marshawn Lynch- After some speculation that he was thinking about hanging up his holy cleats, Saint Beastmode re-upped with the Seahawks this offseason. The heavens have smiled upon the Skittle loving running back in recent years and he has shown no signs of slowing down. He has started all 16 games in the last three seasons, and rushed for 13 touchdowns last year. There is a little bit of concern surrounding the interior of the Seahawks line due to the fact that they lost their starting center and left guard from last season, but don’t be surprised to see Marshawn making miracles happen all season long. The addition of big play threat, Jimmy Graham, will only make the offense scarier and leave opportunities for Lynch, as defenses try to defend against the deep ball.

 

Adrian Peterson- After the suspension and arrest last season for child abuse, it’s hard to consider Adrian Peterson a saint, but we must remember that this is solely related to this player’s performance in fantasy football. I condemn the acts of AP the person, but praise the deeds of AP the saintly football player. This man is going to come back and immediately put the fear of God into opposing defenses. Last time he had a chip on his shoulder (after he tore his ACL) he went on to rush for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdown. And this time its personal. Peterson believes that he was mistreated by both the league and the Vikings organization. He is hell bent on showing the world that he still belongs in the pantheon of great running backs, both past and present, and is most certainly still a number one running back in fantasy football.

 

Sinners

This duo is just bound to upset and disappoint Cowboys fans.

 

Darren McFadden- I don’t know how there are people out there who believe that this fantasy football sinner can still redeem himself. Sure, the Cowboys have a great offensive line, but not even they can cleanse this man. He just can’t play anymore, plain and simple. McFadden hasn’t averaged more than 3.4 yards per carry since 2011 and has had the second lowest yards per carry of any back over the last three seasons. The writing is on the wall for the former 1st round pick from Arkansas, and with him splitting reps with Joseph Randle this season there just isn’t any reason to believe that he can turn his career around and shake his status as a sinner.

 

Reggie Bush- As a Lions fan, I’ve had the chance to watch every game that Reggie Bush has appeared in over the last two seasons. In 2013 he was a breath of fresh air for the team up in Detroit, but in 2014 he couldn’t shake the injury bug and it seemed as if he had lost a little bit of the burst that made him a threat on the outside corner and in the passing game. The former Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl champion doesn’t seem to be durable enough to run between the tackles, as he did in Miami. With the deterioration of all of these skills, as well as his body, it’s hard to see how anyone could justify drafting this sinner. He has yet to appear in a preseason game which points to the questions about his durability, but either way, stay away from Mr Bush, lest he turn you into a sinner as well.

 

Isaiah Crowell- Last year people were high on the undrafted rookie out out of Alabama State after he rushed for 2 touchdowns in week 1, but this is an entire team of sinners that should be banished to the fires of Hades. The Browns are a mess and in the Cleveland’s two preseason losses, Crowell has rushed for a sinful 20 total yards. To be honest, I don’t see many players at any position on the Browns roster that are worth drafting this year in fantasy football. The only possible exception, Duke Johnson, has a good amount of hype (we’ll get to that later), but has yet to see any preseason action. Either way, this offense is not going to be very good, especially when you consider that defenses have nothing to fear in the passing game. Because of that, the run game is going to struggle even more with sinners like Crowell getting carries. I think there’s a strong chance he stays on the sideline until he can atone for his poor play.

 

Sleepers

Tre will be getting his groove on in the end zone a lot this season.

 

Tre Mason- All the hype in St Louis this season revolves around 1st round draft pick Todd Gurley, but former SEC Offensive Player of the Year and last year’s 3rd round draft pick, Tre Mason should not be forgotten. In 12 games last season he rushed for 4.3 yards per carry in an offense that ranked near the bottom of the league. If Gurley’s left knee isn’t ready to go by the beginning of the year, it’s easy to see Mason making his mark on the ground in St Louis and hanging onto a large share of the total carries for the Rams. He will probably be available in the later rounds of most drafts and will be a definite steal for anyone with the foresight to draft him. Plus his dad is Maseo from De La Soul, which is totally badass.

 

Ryan Matthews- Hopes for Philadelphia’s running game were high when they signed Ryan Matthews early in the offseason. Then they also went and signed DeMarco Murray, making the backfield very scary, while simultaneously turning Matthews into a bit of an afterthought. Make no mistake though, Matthews will see the field early and often come game time, and with Murray’s injury history, there’s a strong chance that Matthews starts a few games this year. He has averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry in four out of his five seasons as a pro and will benefit from the downhill running style that is typical in Kelly’s high flying offense. If he falls to you in mid-to-late rounds, you would do well to draft him.

 

Duke Johnson- I already talked about the young man out of Miami (Fl) when telling people to avoid the evil doer Isaiah Crowell in the Sinners section above. He was much talked about coming into April/May’s NFL Draft and to tell you the truth, I’m pretty surprised that he dropped all the way to the 3rd round. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry during his career with the Hurricanes, which is pretty damn impressive. With the running backs in front of him looking pretty awful during the preseason and two quarterbacks who have looked the same, odds are that the ball is going to be in the explosive running back’s hands more often than not. If he continues to fly under the radar, then you should grab him late.

 

 

 


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