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  2. I like him. I think he's being overlooked. Would love it.
  3. G-Dawg comments: Peter King is a very plugged in NFL reporter that had the staple MMQB for Sports Illustrated for decades - he has tremendous sources and knows all the front offices - regardless, it's just a mock - but with some intel behind it. King correctly projected 3 days before the draft 8 years ago that Falcons were brewing/stewing on a trade-up for either AJ Green or Julio Jones and then wrote the tell-all after the fact on how it all went down. Falcons first choice was actually AJ Green but the Bengals didn't want to trade out and selected Green for themselves. As a Dawg fan, I love AJ, but we got lucky there. Anyway, here's his draft and there is no trade prediction in it - which will please most of you. Given that the Falcons have been so connected w/ Ed Oliver, that the NY Jets have been hinted at "dying to get out of the #3 pick" - and now all of a sudden Ed Oliver is "their guy" - color me suspicious - that Jets are taking Oliver - maybe they are just trying to tempt Dimitroff to move up to #3. I don't see it though - and if we did move up to #3, it would have to be for Quinnen Williams who is just a cleaner evaluation on and off the field - and also has the prototypical size without sacrificing speed. Without further ado, here is his draft. FMIA Mock Draft: Four Trades, Four QBs and the 2019 No. 1 Pick Will Be… by Peter King, NBC - Monday, April 22, 2019 Interesting mock draft dropped Sunday morning in the Los Angeles Times. The paper’s redoubtable NFL beat man, Sam Farmer, had his annual sportswriter mock draft—he’s done it for 10 years—in which he asks longtime NFL writers he trusts in the franchise cities to make the pick of the team they cover. Kent Somers, now a sports columnist for the Arizona Republic, but a long-time Cards beat guy before that, knows the franchise very well. This was Somers’ pick, and his explanation to Farmer: “Arizona: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama. The Cardinals like Josh Rosen, and I don’t see them taking a quarterback in the first round two years in a row. They need help on the defensive line and Williams would immediately provide that. GM Steve Keim has made some mistakes in the first round by taking guys who weren’t that passionate about football (Jonathan Cooper, Robert Nkemdiche). So I can see them taking Williams.” Interesting … and though I’m going to disagree with Somers in my projection, swept along with the Kyler Murray tidal wave, I do think there’s a good rationale for trading down or taking another player. Rosen can be 25 percent better in 2019 with Kliff Kingsbury coaching him than he was last year as a green rookie who was handed a new coordinator in mid-season. The Cardinals have done a good job in shutting up since it was reported at the combine seven weeks ago that Kingsbury let it slip that drafting Murray was a “done deal.” I’m sticking with my gut feeling. Two other bits of light drama: I have four quarterbacks going, but lower than you think—at 1, 15, 23 and 31. And there is real competition to trade up for the only running back I hear will go in round one, Josh Jacobs of Alabama. Read on. And enjoy the draft, which will air on ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network. It’s probably better to say what channels the draft is not on. 1. Arizona: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma We live in a society (I sound like Costanza) that screams “Fake News!” when something seems just too obvious. We need to face reality, folks. When Cards GM Steve Keim walks into a meeting with club president Michael Bidwill today in Tempe to discuss the fate of the first overall pick, they could do a couple of things. They could decide to take Murray, the choice of head coach Kliff Kinsgbury. They could decide to take the best edge-rusher (Nick Bosa)—who I hear is the choice of many in the building—or the best player (Quinnen Williams) in the draft. I’ll be surprised, as will America, if the choice is anyone but Murray, particularly because the Raiders, at four, are not likely to want to trade up for what it would cost. I do want to give you one cautionary tale on Kyler Murray, assuming he is picked here. Over the last seven years of football—three years of varsity high school football, a short one-year stint at Texans A&M, sitting a year at Oklahoma after transferring, mostly sitting in 2017 behind Baker Mayfield, and starting last year at Oklahoma—Murray has started 60 games. He is 57-3. Who knows if he starts right away in the NFL? But in the NFL, he could lose more starts in a month than he lost in the previous seven years. It’ll be interesting to see how Murray adjusts to adversity. Not sure he’s ever had much of it, at least in football. 2. San Francisco: Nick Bosa, edge rusher, Ohio State Niners have loved him since the Cotton Bowl in 2017, when Bosa’s 1.5 sacks led the marauding Ohio State defense in a 24-7 pummeling of USC’s Sam Darnold in the last game of the star QB’s college career. I hear the Cardinals think of Bosa as a “generational player,” which just speaks to their love of Murray if they’re willing to pass on Bosa and leave him to the Niners. Edge-rusher is the element San Francisco hasn’t gotten right. To fortify the defensive front, the 49ers chose Arik Armstead 17th in 2015, DeForest Buckner seventh in 2016, and Solomon Thomas third in 2017 … and still their biggest team need is pressuring the quarterback. Four picks in the top 20 in the span of five drafts along the defensive line—if Bosa doesn’t put the defensive front over the top, this is some bad drafting. 3. New York Jets: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston Imagine Josh McDaniels, Chad O’Shea and Brian Daboll—the offensive brains of the AFC East—designing protections to keep Leonard Williams and Oliver from wrecking games over the next three or four years. I realize that with new coordinator Gregg Williams staying with a 3-4 defense that this isn’t the perfect fit for Oliver, but Williams once bragged about being able to play 42 different defenses with his scheme, and he’d figure out how to make Oliver work. For a long time, I’d penciled in Josh Allen here because of the Jets’ edge-rusher need, but when you do a mock, you go by your gut. And someone I trust told me the Jets don’t love Allen. So those are the kinds of scale-tippers that change the board—and, most often, make me look like a dope Thursday night about 8:45 ET. We shall see. Oh, and the Jets would like to trade down too, if they can get a ransom. I don’t see it. 4. Oakland: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama My guess after talking to multiple teams is that Williams is at the top of more boards than any player. One of the smartest guys in our business, ESPN’s Jeff Legwold, has Williams atop his Top 100 list that dropped Saturday. Since the Raiders have a crying need at tackle—their top-rated DT was not in the top 50 of the 2018 Pro Football Focus DT rankings—Jon Gruden, who has ultimate say in Oakland, will greenlight this pick, and GM Mike Mayock gladly will take Williams here as the first pick of his NFL GM career. 5. Tampa Bay: Devin White, LB, LSU Lots of people love White, a tackling machine who, at 237, tackles with the force of a 260-pounder. I’m taking my best guess of what GM Jason Licht would do if he was staring at White and Josh Allen here … because the Bucs need a pass-rusher too. Jason Pierre-Paul is 30, and other than possibly the precocious Carl Nassib, I don’t think there’s an eight-sack guy on the roster. But White can step in for the departed Kwon Alexander and be the sideline-to-sideline presence coordinator Todd Bowles would love. Plus, White might be the best defensive leader in this draft. 6. New York Giants: Josh Allen, edge rusher, Kentucky A veteran personnel man who knows Dave Gettleman said the other day, “Dave wants a pass-rusher in the worst way. He won’t reach for one, but he’ll get one with one his first three picks.” Giants pick 6-17-37, and if they have their heart set on one of the young quarterbacks—Gettleman, as usual, has been a good poker-player here, because even those who know him do not know which quarterback he likes—they should be able to get him at 17. Or, perhaps, if they play their cards right, to trade back up into the low first round with that fifth pick in the second round as bait. (The Rams would love to dump out of the 31st pick.) One other thing Gettleman would figure to love in Allen: No top-prospect rusher is more experienced: He played in 51 college games. 7. Jacksonville: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa Daniel Jeremiah said the other day he thinks Hockenson could be the reincarnation of Jason Witten. He’s the best blocking/receiving tight end to come out in several years, and he’ll need to be good so the Jags don’t regret passing on a desperately needed long-term tackle like Jawaan Taylor. My feeling is the Tom Coughlin/Dave Caldwell decision comes down to Hockenson or Taylor, and they go with the best tight end to come out in years—to support their new quarterback, Nick Foles, who had a great tight end in Zach Ertz in Philadelphia. 8. Detroit: Jawaan Taylor, T, Florida I will be surprised if the Lions pick Taylor here. The Lions want to trade out, and this is the area for the first offensive lineman—Taylor or Jonah Williams or, in what may be a stretch, Andre Dillard—to be picked. Could be Jacksonville, could be Buffalo, or it could be whoever picks at eight. (Man, I’m really selling Taylor to the Lions!) I just can’t figure out which team will jump up here. For a while I thought it was Atlanta, but the Falcons seem inclined to use all their picks, not trade a fairly high one to move from 14 to eight. 9. Buffalo: Jonah Williams, T-G, Alabama Bills love Quinnen Williams, but I can’t see the Raiders parting with him if he’s there at four. Bills could also trade up for Josh Allen, or pick T.J. Hockenson if he falls to them. But if they stay, Jonah Williams could be an upgrade to Spencer Long at right guard or possibly, eventually, Ty Nsekhe, at right tackle. Lots of differing opinions in the scouting community on Williams. I would ask Bills Nation to look up “quixotic” in the dictionary. This is a good player, a better-than-Cordy Glenn player, but Williams is not Walter Jones. Having said that, it’s a smart choice by Bills GM Brandon Beane, who is trying to build a playoff team one solid player at a time. 10. Denver: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan There’s not a perfect player on the board for Vic Fangio’s defense, but so many teams need a rangy sideline-to-sideline linebacker (Pittsburgh would love for him to drop to 20, but I don’t see it), and many think Bush would be a great compliment to edge-rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. Four or five teams between 10 and 20 would have serious interest in Bush if he falls past 10. 11. Cincinnati: Brian Burns, edge rusher, Florida State In the last week, Burns has gotten very hot … because he runs in the low 4.5s and there aren’t enough edge-rushers for this voracious market. He has some weaknesses, like his size (he’ll probably play around 248), but I think he’ll be gone by pick 20. I think his floor is Tennessee at 19. 12. Green Bay: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa Scouts who went into Iowa City over the past few months told me the staff there raved about T.J. Hockenson and were nice but not Hockenson-like about Fant. Might be unfair, because Hockenson is so pro-ready. Over his last two seasons at Iowa, Fant average 14.7 yards per catch and had 18 receiving touchdowns. Contrast that to teammate Hockenson’s 14.8-yard average over the last two years, with nine touchdowns. Very interesting. And Fant runs better, in the 4.5-second 40- range. This is probably 10 picks too high for Fant, and it wouldn’t surprise me if GM Brian Gutekunst picks long-term offensive tackle Andre Dillard here instead. But in any case, I can’t see Fant making it out of the first round. 13. Miami: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson Falcons, on deck here, cry. Wilkins slipping to 13 would be a gift for rookie Dolphins coach Brian Flores, who learned under Bill Belichick that quick 315-pound people-movers in the defensive interior are to be collected and valued. Dolphins have so many needs, and if an offensive tackle they like falls here, that could be the pick too. Regarding QB? No team in the league—from what I’ve heard—has spent more time researching Josh Rosen in recent weeks than Miami. Suppose my mock is correct, and Washington and the Giants use the draft to take young quarterbacks, and Miami and the Chargers are the only teams with even some interest in Rosen, and GM Chris Grier tells Arizona GM Steve Keim on draft night: “We’ll give you our third-round pick—78 overall—for Rosen. That’s it.” Tough call for Keim, but knowing Rosen would be an unhappy camper behind Kyler Murray, and figuring this is a good depth draft in the first three rounds … well, that’s a lot to think about right there. 14. Atlanta: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson Four players from Clemson and ‘Bama in the first 14 picks … with more on the way. Atlanta needs size and power, and at 6-4 and 342, with a 5.05 40-yard time, Lawrence is exceedingly rare. He seems to have convinced NFL teams that he did not knowingly take a banned substance that caused a positive PED test, disqualifying him from Clemson’s two playoff games. This is another spot to watch the best-available offensive lineman fall too. 15. Washington: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State Dan Snyder gets to pick the quarterback of the future from his backyard in Maryland. Haskins’ family moved to Maryland from New Jersey at the start of his high school years, and Snyder’s son and Haskins both went to high school at the Bullis School in Potomac, Md. Picking Haskins could give Snyder the local-guy-makes-good story the franchise obviously would love. I found this piece of footage from for NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky quite helpful and revealing about Haskins. “Don’t put him in the first round,” one smart guy told me Sunday afternoon. “So many teams are afraid of him.” Some teams are worried about a heart condition discovered in Sweat after the season, and NFL Network reported Sweat has been taken off some teams’ draft boards. One GM told me Saturday: “We think it’s an issue, but we’ve been told if we keep a close eye on it, he can play. This is the kind of thing that different teams will have different opinions on.” Another GM told me he thought Sweat’s upside, if healthy, is better than Nick Bosa’s. With the retirement of Julius Peppers, Sweat would be a perfect addition to an edge-rush-needy team—if GM Marty Hurney can get past the worry over Sweat’s ticker. 17. Houston: Andre Dillard, T, Washington State PROJECTED TRADE: Houston sends 23rd and 55th picks to Giants for this choice. No team in the NFL needs a radical upgrade at tackle as much as the Texans. Per Pro Football Focus,the starting Houston tackles last year, Julie’n Davenport and Kendall Lamm, allowed 101 quarterback disruptions (sacks, hits, hurries) on Deshaun Watson, which is downright abominable considering Watson’s one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the league. Think how many pressures he avoided just by being Deshaun Watson. Dillard’s the top tackle on Houston’s board, from what I hear, and teams think he’s got a chance to be a good left tackle. 18. Minnesota: Garrett Bradbury, C, North Carolina State Speaking of PFF, the lowest-rated NFL center in the league by far last year was Minnesota’s Pat Elflein. The Vikings pick at 18, 50 and 81, and the perception on the scouting trail is that two of those three picks will be offensive linemen. They’d better be. Bradbury’s a pugnacious guy, a Jason Kelcetype, with more quickness than most centers in the league now. He could start day one. No, let me amend that. With Elflein still in-house, Bradbury had better start day one. 19. Tennessee: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan Here’s what funny about mock drafts. Sometimes, I hear from a smart GM who says something like: Drew Lock is way too low! Okay, I text back. Who should I give him to? Tennessee. No way, I text. You can’t draft Mariota’s successor yet. So I thought and thought and made one extra call, and some said, of all the players I had left on the board, “Rashan Gary is Mike Vrabel’s kind of player. Give them Gary.” See the science I use here? 20. Pittsburgh: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple Imagine the first cornerback off the board being a guy who played one year at Temple after transferring from the Presbyterian (S.C.) College Blue Hose, and who will have one of the great names in the history of whatever team drafts him. Word on the scouting street is that Mike Tomlin loves Ya-Sin, and with White and Bush off the board at a position of great Steeler need (linebacker), Pittsburgh opts for a physical 6-2 corner who made tremendous plays in his one season of (fairly) big-time football. 21. Oakland: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama PROJECTED TRADE: Oakland sends 24th and 106th picks to Seattle for this choice. So, the best running back in this draft will probably be picked somewhere in the twenties, and three teams—Philly at 25, Indy at 26 and Oakland at 24 and 27—are quite interested. The Raiders would have to move only three spots ahead to make it happen, and probably wouldn’t have to denude its mid-round picks to do so. I could see Seattle at 21 or Baltimore at 22 do this kind of deal, because Schneider and rookie Ravens GM Eric DeCosta love dealing. I met with Jacobs last week, by the way. Delightful fellow. Hungry to be a great NFL player, and he’s a versatile back too. Jon Gruden could turn him into a 1,700-total-yard back as a rookie. 22. Baltimore: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson New England hopes Ferrell falls 10 more spots, but he won’t. The Ravens also could trade—rookie GM Eric DeCosta would love to accumulate more picks. But Ferrell is an ideal building block on a defensive front that needs a new star. I won’t be shocked if Ferrell is gone if the Ravens take a 10-year center like Erik McCoy of Texas A&M; 38 career starts at a very high level, and the Ravens value the offensive line as much as any franchise in football. 23. New York Giants: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke PROJECTED TRADE: New York gets this pick and No. 55 from Houston for No. 17 overall. The Giants could just sit at 17 and pick Jones, or Drew Lock, too. In my scenario, the Giants get their QB for 2020 and beyond after trading down with Houston … and they pick up a late second-round pick to go after a long-term safety to pair with Jabrill Peppers, or maybe take a shot on the right tackle Gettleman knows he needs. As for Jones the player, there’s a wide disparity in opinion in the man who went 17-19 as a college starter. Very smart, but he doesn’t have the deep arm of the three other first-round candidates. In Bob McGinn’s annual deep dive into the top draft prospects, the veteran scribe quotes a NFL scout saying of Jones: “He reminds me of Ryan Tannehill. There’s just something missing with him.” ****ing, but the four first-rounders seem to all have zits this year. 24. Seattle: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State PROJECTED TRADE: Seattle gets this pick and No. 106 from Oakland for No. 21 overall. This is GM John Schneider’s 10th draft with Seattle, and he has traded his first-round pick seven straight years. No question he wants to again this year, and so I have him moving from 21 to 24 and getting an early day-three pick in return. At 24, he needs to pick a player who can be a tone-setter right away. Abram’s that kind of player. More about Frank Clark later, but the pressure will be on Schneider if he moves Clark to find another edge-rusher with the production of Clark. Look for the Seahawks to pick a rusher either low in the round here or with their third and fourth-round loot. 25. Philadelphia: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma Some love him. Some think he’s too wispy at 166, and they’re worried that he enters the NFL nursing a foot injury, and he might be prone to injury in the big-boy league. But he is one big threat. Instinctive and fearless too. Could be that DeSean Jackson gives the Eagles one last season, and then Brown steps in as the deep threat Carson Wentz can grow with into middle-age. Two cautions: GM Howie Roseman struck out on the free-agent he wanted, running back Tevin Coleman, and he could steal his RB1, Josh Jacobs, from the Raiders and Colts in trade. And Roseman is not fearful of drafting a guy (Sidney Jones, round two, 2017) who has to sit most or all of his rookie year with an injury. So I’d watch Jeffery Simmons here too. 26. Indianapolis: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU He’s 6-2 and runs a 4.37 time in the 40-yard dash. What’s not to like? Tackling, perhaps. But the Colts need two things badly: an edge-rusher and a shutdown cornerback. Williams is better at corner than the remaining edge guys are at sacking the quarterback. However, keep one thing in mind with Colts GM Chris Ballard: He’s not going to change his board to fit his needs. If there’s a significantly higher-rated player here, Ballard will take him. 27. Oakland: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia Touchdowns allowed in coverage over his last two college seasons: zero. He might drive defensive coordinator Paul Guenther crazy with his practice habits, but his game production, at least in college, made up for that. If the Raiders can come out of this first round with the best defensive tackle in the draft, the best running back in the draft, and a corner who should push for playing time immediately, it’s going to be a successful first draft for the rookie GM Mayock. 28. Los Angeles Chargers: Cody Ford, T, Oklahoma Could be a strange change for Ford. He protected for the fleet Kyler Murray at Oklahoma last year, and, if this happens, he’d be protecting for the statue-esque Philip Rivers in L.A. The Chargers have to start planning for the future up front; Russell Okung enters his 10th season and turns 31 this year. Ford’s a good building block for GM Tom Telesco. 29. Seattle: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington PROJECTED TRADE: Seattle sends DE Frank Clark to Kansas City for this pick and the 63rd choice. The run on corners continues. Murphy’s an interesting prospect. Very savvy, but he played just 20 college games, and his speed is in the barely acceptable range (4.55) for corners. The Seahawks continue the quest in this draft for Legion of Boom II. (More on Clark after the 32nd pick.) 30. Green Bay: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi This would be very anti-Packer. Last wideout taken in the first round: 17 years ago, Javon Walker. They haven’t taken a receiver in the top 50 in 11 years (Jordy Nelson, 2008, 36th overall). I could see Andre Dillard here too, but Brian Gutekunst is trying to stock up for one last multi-year run with Aaron Rodgers, giving him the kind of weapons that will allow him to be Aaron Rodgers again. I might go Marquise Brown here if I were Green Bay, but I realize a 166-pound burner may not have the shelf life of a Sterling Sharpe-big-bodied player like Metcalf. 31. Denver: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri PROJECTED TRADE: Denver sends the 41st pick and a 2020 second-rounder to the Los Angeles Rams for this choice. Feel bad about predicting this. Sometimes in mock drafts, you want to get a player in the first round because you think he’s going to be a first-round pick, and you wedge him in and make the logic fit after that. I do not think the Rams want to pick at 31, and feel they can use a trade-down to get a two or three back after dealing fourth and second-round picks to Kansas City in 2018 for cornerback Marcus Peters. Denver likes Lock, and might be able to snag him as a two-year learner behind Joe Flacco while retaining the ability to use the 71st pick this year on a potential starter at a need position, like Texas A&M tight end Jace Sternberger. A move like this wouldn’t surprise me, but I also think the way Denver GM John Elway’s talking, he could punt on a young quarterback until the richer QB draft of 2020. 32. New England: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State I don’t think this is the likely Patriots pick, but I don’t know who is, and I wanted to get this great player in the first round. The second-best best DT in the draft (behind Quinnen Williams) till tearing his ACL earlier this year won’t be available to play until 2020, and he’s also got some personal rehab to do after a past physical altercation with a woman. Simmons could have the kind of impact Jaylon Smithhad for the Cowboys after a serious knee injury in his last college game—and the team that picks him will have to wait only one year for Simmons, not the two seasons Dallas afforded Smith to get physically right. Smith was the 34th pick overall in 2016. We’ll see if a team near the bottom of round one or top of round two takes a shot on Simmons. In the end, I struggled mightily with the Frank Clark trade from Seattle to Kansas City. I had the trade in my first draft of the mock on Friday, then took it out for 48 hours, and just put it back in Sunday night. The waffling came before I sent Clark to the Chiefs because of the Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hillincidents. And I will not be surprised at all if the Chiefs don’t do it. But I’m taking the gamble, because the Kansas City need for edge-rush is so pronounced. Hunt was cut by the Chiefs last year after video surfaced of him kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel last offseason. The league and local authorities are now investigating whether Hill may have been involved in a child abuse case with his three-year-old son. Clark was cited in police reports in 2014 for a domestic abuse case against his then-girlfriend. It could be the Chiefs (or Colts or Jets) have done a lot of due diligence and believe such accusations are in Clark’s past. But it was tough for me to predict that and it came down to a gut feeling Sunday night. 10 Things I Think I Think 1. I think there was a lot of buzz Friday when NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that the Raiders would send home their scouts for the weekend, and for the days leading up to the draft, preventing them from leaking any of the information on the team’s draft board. “The belief is they [Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock] don’t know who to trust and wanted to clear the room,” Rapoport reported. A few thoughts: • Understand that when Mayock was hired by Gruden and Mark Davis, Mayock took a staff of scouts that had preceded him into the job. For these first few months on the job, Mayock, essentially, was told to trust the scouting reports and counsel of scouts who in many cases he didn’t know. These scouts understand the business. Mayock and Gruden are likely to populate the new scouting staff with scouts who will be loyal to them after the draft. Those on the staff now in many cases were brought in by Reggie McKenzie, dismissed in December. • Although there is generally good camaraderie between GMs and scouts, some teams do not allow scouts to see the draft board. When Al Davis ran the Raiders draft, according to former Raider employee Mike Lombardi, he didn’t keep an ordered draft board; he kept his list of players in order in a notebook, to keep it away from anyone else. The Patriots, another Lombardi employer, do not open the draft room to scouts unless Bill Belichick wants to see one of them to talk about a player. Coaches and scouts are in the building, but not in the room. “If you’re not a decision-maker,” Lombardi said, “you’re not in the room. Scouts are nearby and coaches are in the building, but the only people in the draft room are the ones who have business in the room. It’s like what Bill says, ’Do your job.’ “ Scouts are not picking the players, so they don’t have to be in the room when the players are picked, in other words. • But I’ve had access to or knowledge of the inner workings of other draft rooms—Dallas and San Francisco most recently—in which the GMs or owners allow a wide swath of team employees and certainly the scouts to be in the room. So it varies. • Re Mayock: One of his friends in the league told me the other day he felt this was Mayock’s attempt to take control over a process that he’s running for the first time in his life. “Wouldn’t you think it’s fair for Mike, with three picks in the first round, to close the circle and keep it as tight as he can?” this friend said. • Mayock’s daughter Leigh tweeted over the weekend that she went out to dinner with her dad recently and when he went to the bathroom, he took his draft notebook with him rather than leave it at the table, where only his daughter was. “Don’t take it personal scouties,” she said. 2. I think for all of you, particularly in Packer Nation, who wonder why in the world Green Bay has never played in England or Mexico, you may not have to wonder that much more. I think Green Bay’s time is coming, likely as soon as 2020, to finally go on the road to play a game in London. The reasons why Green Bay has never had to make the trip are predictable—the Packers don’t want to give up one of eight sold-out home games, and no team hosting the Packers wants to give up that gate because the Packers travel so well and fill the stadium and local hotels with fans. But I think the NFL is conscious of not giving a prized franchise special treatment. 3. I think now, after the Russell Wilson deal in Seattle, there’s only one quarterback contract I expect to see soon: Ben Roethlisberger’s in Pittsburgh. He’s entering the last year of his current deal, he’ll likely sign only one more NFL contract, he’s on record as wanting to play three more years, and the Steelers want him for as long as he wants to play. I expect him to retire playing nowhere but Pittsburgh. 4. I think this is the time of year it is: I had an NFL coach whose team needs a quarterback tell me last week he didn’t like Daniel Jones of Duke, because though he was a smart quarterback, he wasn’t as accurate or as advanced with his decision-making as he’d like. Then I heard Gil Brandt, prepping for his 61st draft, say about Jones: “When you watch him and you go back [20] years and watch Peyton Manning, you are watching the same guy.” So who’s right? The coach who wouldn’t draft Jones even in the second round? Or the draft guru of all draft gurus, who has been at this as long as I’ve been alive? 5. I think that’s why the draft is so compelling. So many people. So many opinions. 6. I think, however, I haven’t talked to many people in this pre-draft period who have compared Jones to Peyton Manning. Like, zero. 7. I think the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will not be the same without veteran Steeler beat man Ed Bouchette, who departed for The Athletic last week. I value what Bouchette does so much, and I wish him the best to him in his new job. 8. I think my favorite quote of the spring, and nothing is close for second place, is Giants GM Dave Gettleman responding to a question about the strengths of the 2019 draft by saying, in part, “The wides are thick.” Meaning there are a lot of wide receivers on the Giants board. I just love the way he said it. 9. I think this was an interesting point, from ESPN’s T.J. Quinn on the Robert Kraft case, during an appearance on “Mut and Callahan” on WEEI: “There are people around him who have said to me they can’t believe he doesn’t just take this plea agreement, this diversion agreement that they offered and say, ‘OK, fine, I did this. I am sorry.’ And then move on with it. They are pretty amazed that he’s going to continue to fight it like this.” Man, I could not agree more. This story continues to be in the headlines, and it could have disappeared four weeks ago, when Kraft apologized for the incident. Why apologize if you didn’t do it, and why keep fighting it for four weeks and keeping it in the public eye when you’ve already apologized? It’s baffling. 10. I think these are my other thoughts of the week: a. God help our country. b. Important Columbine Story of the Week: Aaron Ontiveroz of the Denver Post, chronicling the voice of Columbine—the people and families who have been most impacted, with the more powerful messages. c. The photos by Ontiveroz might more powerful than the words. d. Profile of the Week: ESPN’s Baxter Holmes on the erudite Gregg Popovich, who might know more about wine than basketball, and that is saying something. e. Story of the Week: The Rise and Fall of a New York Shock Jock, by Nick Paumgarten of the New Yorker. Great story about the downfall of Craig Carton, who teamed with Boomer Esiason on New York sports station WFAN’s morning show. Man, gambling is a one-way street to ****. Just read this piece. And an excellent job of taking us deep inside the story by Paumgarten. f. “Are you Craig Carton?” g. “Yes I am.” h. “You’re under arrest.” i. My wife and I watch “Jeopardy” most nights. We’ve been riveted in the last couple of weeks by James Holzhauer, the incredibly intelligent, lighning-fast-with-the-buzzer champion who already has the five most lucrative winning shows of all time. Holzhauer is a professional sports gambler, according to the show. j. Joe Pinsker of The Atlantic with an interesting story about how Holzhauer, essentially, is so brilliant his games are not fair fights. k. When the challengers get introduced at the start of the show, they’re lambs led to the slaughter. I’ve never seen anything like it. l. Coffeenerdness: For some reason that is foreign to me, because it’s never happened in my 61 years on earth, I have been getting allergy attacks. And the only thing I want is orange tea packed with lemon and a dot of honey. Three times a day. Marvelous. m. Good morning. It’s April 22, and Christian Yelich has 13 home runs on the 26th day of the season. o. The Red Sox won Saturday night on a walkoff pickoff, catcher Christian Vasquez to first baseman Steve Pearce, nailing Tampa Bay’s Tommy Pham. Now there’s something you don’t see every day.
  4. The House can no longer dodge its constitutional duty. It must open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump, and bring the debate out of the court of public opinion and into Congress, where it belongs. Some members of Congress are in favor of issuing a subpoena to Mueller for unredacted data to aid their inquiry.
  5. If you get good value, you should always take a QB you are high on. They be a top notch back up, or a trade asset down the line. Not in the 1st or 2nd, but 3rd or beyond is fair game for a QB.
  6. Just a huge coincidence they use the same phrases, I'm sure of it.
  7. Alford has always been overrated on this board, as has Poole. Oliver has potential to be an upgrade. Keep waiting for Trufant to return to pre-injury form. We’ve seen him play at top 10 shutdown level before. He even showed some glimpses of that last year. It’s in him. Deion Jones played well when he came back from his injury, don’t see any reason to be concerned there, at all. Neal injury is worrisome, if for no other reason than physicality is such a big part of his game. But we now know kazee can fill that void for both he and Allen. And we also know falcons are drafting corner(s) in this draft, including a slot in case kazee has to move back to safety. Takk entering year 3 is when DE’s can tend to breakout. Quinn’s rep is a DL guru, and Takk appears very coachable. A good on-point draft and better DC coaching can make a world of difference for this D. I may be alone, but i’m very excited about this defense’s potential. More than anything, it’s dependent on being more aggressive from a coaching perspective and staying healthy. I think maybe you and others are caught up in some recency bias from all the injuries last year.
  8. I wonder where our resident brain worm conservative boomers get their catch phrases from
  9. All of these arguments are valid. I just based my choices on who we keep seeing the board suggest we need to get over the hump, and every one of those are ones that we read about. The only positions on defense which I don't consistently see suggested that are needed are MLB and SS, hence why I left them out. Every single one of those players are either limited to the point of not being "top tier" or, in Grady's case, assumed to not be here next season by many. Regardless, the thread is more of just a fun thought experiment/time waster heading into the draft.
  10. Trump really pays attention to the news. He posted 138 million people died in Sri Lanka. 20 minutes later he took the tweet down when Melania LOL and spit her coffee out.
  11. I loved the part when Tyrion was all "tell me your story, we have all night" to Bran, then in his next scene he's sitting with Jaime by the fire. Like, Bran started talking and Tyrion went "omg this is so ******* boring and this weirdo doesn't even drink, where's Jaime ...."
  12. now he is more similar to Ryan that Daniel Jones. I hope Finley has an NFL career ahead of him. good guy too
  13. Doubtful they'll paint the entire endzone since the endzone is also the goal box for Atlanta United games.
  14. With the draft just days away, it’s time to look at players who could be selected much earlier than anyone presently expects and mention the teams that could choose those players. I’ve talked about the rising status of Juan Thornhill, Sean Bunting, Dexter Lawrence and Andre Dillard multiple times in stories and during podcasts, and it’s time to move on to newer names. Will Grier/QB/West Virginia: In all honesty, I’m late to the party on Grier despite listing him as a Riser in week five. I was informed that he was rising up draft boards weeks ago and struggled to believe it, but as they say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. So where could Grier land? As early as the late part of Round 1 and no later than the middle portion of the second frame. Who could draft the Mountaineers quarterback? The New England Patriots have shown a ton of interest in Grier and could draft him as the first round closes out. The New York Giants also like Grier, and he could be their fallback plan if they don’t take a signal caller in Round 1. The Carolina Panthers also have an infatuation with Grier and will consider him in the second round. As we mentioned last week during The Draft Analysts podcast, Carolina is looking to add a quarterback during the second day of the draft. Dawson Knox/TE/Mississippi: I was debating Knox and Jace Sternberger of Texas A&M with a scout buddy during the Senior Bowl, and he believed Knox would be drafted earlier, as he was the better athlete. How much earlier? Right now, the belief is that Knox could end up being the fourth tight end off the board and land in the top half of Round 2. Teams love his athleticism and upside and believe he was miscast at Ole Miss. He’s visited or worked out for 13 teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Billsand Tennessee Titans. The Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars are two more teams on that list and are the franchises currently leading the chase for Knox heading into the draft. Nate Davis/OG/Charlotte: Since the Senior Bowl, Davis has been a player on the rise. Teams love his size and believe he could quickly start on Sundays. Truth be told, there was a concern over whether Davis could handle a complex blocking scheme, one reason he’s had a large number of predraft visits. His official visit list included the Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. Right now the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthersseem the hottest for Davis, and they could look his way in Round 3. Trysten Hill/DT/Central Florida: Over the summer, I labeled Hill as the top pro prospect from UCF and stamped him as a potential fourth-round pick. I may have underestimated the defensive tackle by two rounds, as he’s presently getting top-60 buzz. His travel schedule the past three weeks has been extensive, as Hill made trips to visit defensive tackle-needy teams such as the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns. Where does he end up? Don’t be surprised if the Dallas Cowboys, another team that needs help up front, grab Hill late in Round 2, as the UCF junior is the perfect fit for Rod Marinelli’s defense. Ben Banogu/Edge/TCU: Banogu followed up a terrific week of practice at the Senior Bowl with a strong workout at the combine and looked outstanding during his pro day. He’s an athletic defender with size, speed and growth potential, and teams love his versatility. The ability to rush the passer out of a three-point stance or standing over tackle has a large amount of the league interested in Banogu, and it’s the prime reason why he may end up in the second round. His official visit list includes the Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys. The Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawkscurrently have second-round interest in Banogu. Sione Takitaki/LB/BYU: Takitaki was not graded by scouts entering the season, but he could land in the draft’s initial 75 selections. He’s displayed a well-rounded game and in many ways reminds me of former BYU linebacker Fred Warner, the 70th selection of last year’s draft who is now starting for the San Francisco 49ers. Takitaki visited the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans over the past month. Right now, it seems like the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs andCincinnati Bengals are the favorites for his services. Ty Summers/LB/TCU: Summers has really flown under the radar outside of the scouting community despite outstanding workouts during the combine and pro day. His 40-yard dash time of 4.51 seconds was in the top third of linebackers at the combine, and it was an outstanding mark for a prospect who measures 6017 and 241 pounds. The versatility to be a run-and-chase linebacker on the inside and a coverage ‘backer on the outside is helping to push Summers up draft boards. Considered by most to be a late-round pick, it’s not out of the question that Summers lands in the fourth round. Three teams who have an early grade on Summers include the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans andBaltimore Ravens. Darnell Savage/S/Maryland: We’ve documented Savage’s rise during our podcast multiple times, as the safety left the combine graded as a third-round pick but has now moved into the early part of Round 2. Why the furious move up draft boards? Teams believe Savage is a safety who can transition to cornerback in certain packages and most assuredly play over the slot receiver. His list of official visits included the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Bucs. Based on sheer interest, the Los Angeles Chargers, Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals are leading the charge for Savage.
  15. Alford is overrated by the boards. We'll see what oliver brings. Trufant, meh Campbell meh Jones came back fine but we'll see if he can stay healthy Rico, wanna replace him anyway Neal scares me a little Poole was severely overrated. He was toasted constantly and always gave up third down. Takk is average but he will be a nice piece.
  16. I would just throw down a few bags of grass seeds and call it a day!
  17. Yep. Agreed. A lot of questions. The injuries exposed a lot for the defense. Losing Debo and Neal and Rico let them truly see who was good independently. Campbell not stepping up last year was an eye opener, for example. The thing is, a lot of the positions with question marks are filled with guys they aren't replacing this weekend (CB1, CB2, LEO, DE, WLB). That's Tru, Oliver, Vic, Takk, and Campbell.
  18. Was thinking the very same thing!
  19. If Allen or Bosa can’t happen, give me Winovich in round 2 or 3. Most of the tier 2 round 1 guys seem to have a lot of question marks. the comments they make about Ferrell benefitting from 2 studs on the line could be said about the 2 DTs as well, up to the scouts to determine which ones really were the game changers.
  20. In 2017 Robert Alford played like an All his play has diminished and he is gone. Trufant at least seemed like he was trying in 2017, and sometimes playing great. Last year you didn't know what you were going to get from the guy at all. Devondre Campbell's play seemed like it was on the upswing in 2017, but last year he was invisible when he was good and worse when he was bad. Deion Jones suffered a serious injury since 2017. Keanu Neal suffered a more serious injury. So did Rico Allen. Brian Poole was solid at Nickel in 2017. Now we just don't know what the Nickel is going to be. Takk looked like he was going to be a breakout stud in 2017 but we are still waiting for him to breakout. So yeah man I just don't see that much to be excited about with the defense. If everybody bounces back strong from injury, I think they could be average though. That might be good enough.
  21. Couldn't afford it. My degree came from the school of hard knocks.
  22. I voted FS just because Quinns scheme functions best with an Earl Thomas type assuming you have a consistent pass rush. Rico is solid and dependable but a long rangey fs he is not. There isnt a FS early in the draft worth taking this year but you figure its on Quinns mind going forward.
  23. Sure, but why would we replace a starter we already have on a long term deal when there are much bigger holes to fill.
  24. Yup...Crazier things have happened.
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