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The Los Angeles Rams drafted Jared Goff aboriginal overall, as best of us expected. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Carson Wentz additional overall, as all of us expected, d that the Rams took Goff.
Then came the drama.
The Dallas Cowboys alleged Ezekiel Elliott, acceptation that the best active aback in the nation will comedy abaft the best abhorrent band in the NFL. Defense? The Cowboys will anguish about that on Friday. Elliott’s Ohio State teammates bedeviled the aboriginal bisected of the aboriginal annular so thoroughly that no one would accept blinked if some aggregation drafted Brutus the Buckeye.
The Denver Broncos traded up for Paxton Lynch. The Cleveland Browns traded bottomward for Corey Coleman. Abrasion fears alone Myles Jack out of the aboriginal annular entirely. And the abrupt actualization of a marijuana video on the amusing networks angry Laremy Tunsil from the best non-quarterback in the chic into a guy who had war apartment scrambling.
Here are grades for all 31 selections alternating with aloof reports, stats, analysis, a antic or two and alike some acumen on why Eli Apple’s comestible selections adeptness amount to an NFL scout.
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Bleacher Address proudly presents Mike Tanier’s Deadly Authentic Quarterback Comparisons for Jared Goff:
Jargon-Free Aloof Nutshell: Goff is an acutely authentic abbreviate passer with solid mechanics whose admeasurement (6’4″, 215 lbs), athleticism and arm backbone accommodated minimum NFL-starter standards. If the stars acclimatize and 20 things breach appropriate for him career-wise, Goff could be Aaron Rodgers. He’s abundant added acceptable to max out as a mid-tier starter.
Start with the archetypal burden a first-round quarterback faces.
Factor in the burden that comes with actuality the quarterback a aggregation traded a swag bag of abstract picks to select. He isn’t aloof a quarterback; he’s a quarterback and a arresting aback and a adorning lineman and that appulse amateur in aing year’s abstract the aggregation wants but cannot have. He’s not aloof an investment; he’s a mortgage who armament the affectionate of belt-tightening that’s consistently actuality felt.
Layer on the burden that comes from actuality the aboriginal starting able quarterback in 20 years in one of the bigger media markets on earth. His aggregation allegation advertise tickets and PSLs. Heck, it’s still alive out facility-type plans.
Oh, and the apprenticeship agents has been activity 7-9 for about bisected a decade and cannot abstract about in rebuilding access too abundant longer. So slather that burden on top of all the added pressure.
Now, booty that alive alembic of multidirectional burden and abode it on the amateur not of a Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck who grew up about the NFL, not of an incandescently able Cam Newton, not alike of a Jameis Winston, who is already a acclimatized adept of the highs and lows of the limelight, but on the amateur of Goff, whose greatest career achievement came in article alleged the Armed Armament Bowl.
Clearly, there are armament that will actuate Goff’s success that are able-bodied aloft the branch of his accurateness or footwork.
It’s absurd to booty this aces out of its context. Goff is a actual acceptable prospect. The NFL and abstract media accept spent four months acceptable themselves that he is a abundant one. He’s actuality asked to do the appointment of a generational prospect. His allowance for absurdity will be about nonexistent.
Goff drew a lot of Ryan comparisons during the abstract runup. Let’s appraise that comp. Ryan is bigger and has a bigger deep-sideline arm, but added similarities authority up well: Both are accurate, complete and technically complete (ignore the additional bisected of aftermost year for Ryan), and their academy profiles were similar.
Ryan was acknowledged immediately, acceptable 11 amateur with appropriate stats as a rookie. The Falcons went out and got him a Hall of Fame bound end in Tony Gonzalez the aing year. They afresh confused up in the abstract in 2011 to baddest Julio Jones to reinforce their advance and about-face Ryan into a Pro Bowler who could bound with the Seahawks in the playoffs.
Where will Goff’s Gonzalez and Jones arise from? The Los Angeles Rams spent all of those added picks to get him. Their bound ends are currently Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey.
Ryan additionally aing a Falcons aggregation in accessible rebuilding mode, with new coaches and admiral with the affluence of time and admirers captivated to accept a quarterback who wasn’t in prison. Ryan faced pressures but not the boundless ones Goff now faces.
Did I acknowledgment Goff will accept to face the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals twice? He is accepted to advance for the playoffs in this division—not apprentice from his chastening until he settles in and advice arrives. Because advice isn’t coming.
For this aces to succeed, Goff cannot be Ryan or Andy Dalton, because the Rams are not the Mike Smith Falcons or the Cincinnati Bengals. Goff allegation be complete abundant to save a authorization from itself beneath crazily difficult conditions. The Rams accept saddled Goff with what should not be a job for Goff. It’s a job for a Luck or Manning. Or for an able quarterback such as Brock Osweiler (pressure-tested aftermost year) or Ryan Fitzpatrick (could duke off to Todd Gurley and agreeableness the army while the amphitheater is actuality built). Or one of the quarterbacks who was accessible while the Rams had all those added picks but were quadrupling bottomward on Sam Bradford.
Good luck, Jared Goff. There is a lot to adulation about your game. But the burden is on. And on and on and on.
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Bleacher Address proudly presents Mike Tanier’s Deadly Authentic Quarterback Comparisons for Carson Wentz:
Jargon-Free Aloof Nutshell: Wentz is a alpine small-school guy with a abundant arm, able all-embracing accurateness and appropriate athleticism. The 6’5″, 237-pounder played in a non-gimmicky breach adjoin antagonism aloof a rung beneath mid-majors, but he still faces a abrupt ramp-up to NFL competition, and his abbreviate accuracy, able and abridged attendance all allegation refinement.
The Philadelphia Eagles are badly gluttonous addition Donovan McNabb.
We should accept apparent this advancing aback they assassin Doug Pederson. Pederson is an Andy Reid surrogate. He’s additionally a adviser in Philly for the Advancing of the McNabb, dating aback from his canicule as McNabb’s bumbling on-field drillmaster in the astern 1990s.
Eagles buyer Jeffrey Lurie is harkening aback to the celebrity canicule of the aboriginal 2000s. The Eagles never won the Air-conditioned Bowl aback then, but they won about 11 amateur per year and the alignment operated like a precision-tuned machine. The drillmaster and quarterback were amid the keys to that stability. Aback McNabb age-old and Reid’s arrangement began to crop abbreviating returns, the Eagles were rudderless. Dream Team? Chip Kelly? Tim Tebow? Lurie wants things aback the way they were.
So the Eagles approved their new McNabb. But what would he attending like? He would be big and athletic. He would bandy an admirable abysmal pass. His short-range accurateness would accomplish you appetite to go watch that admirable abysmal canyon again. He would be calm, confident, able and pleasant, admitting not absolutely a glass-eater.
There would be added signs and portents. Eagles admirers allegation adopt a active aback to the aing McNabb; Ezekiel Elliott was this year’s Ricky Williams. There would be fan outrage. That light-throwing adventure in the Flyers playoff d appropriate afore the Browns trade? The Philly Phaithful acquainted a agitation in The Phorce.
OK, that’s blame it. But the Eagles see a little McNabb in Wentz, aloof as they see Reid in Pederson and Pederson in Hunt Daniel. (Not alike the Eagles are abiding what they see in Sam Bradford anymore.)
The Wentz-McNabb allegory is complicated, however, and it’s a stretch. There’s a quarterback in the NFL appropriate now from a baby affairs with a abundant abysmal arm, appealing acceptable mobility, arising authoritative and short- to mid-range accurateness who will never admonish you of Tom Brady. He’s still a appointment in progress, but he has abounding Wentz-like attributes.
Don’t beam or cry. Bortles threw for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns aftermost year. He is destined for a able career if the Jaguars anytime amount aggregate out. His 2015 achievement was a solid indicator of what Wentz could advance into afterwards a year of tutelage.
Now…how abounding aerial abstract picks would you barter to get Bortles?
Come to anticipate of it: How abounding aerial abstract picks would you barter to get 2000-10 McNabb?
Like the Rams, the Eagles incurred so abundant accident that the accolade allegation be about stratospheric. Wentz is a actual acceptable prospect. But for this alternative to appointment out, he has to be much, abundant more.
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The animal academician can alone authority amid three and bristles San Diego Chargers facts at any one time.
Try it for yourself. Philip Rivers is a abundant adept quarterback. (One.) The authorization may be moving. (Two.) Antonio Gates has been about forever. (Three.) Keenan Allen looked like a superstar afore accepting aching aftermost year. (Four.) Eric Weddle, the best, best acclaimed amateur on the defense, is now on the Ravens. (Five.)
New fact: The Chargers aloof drafted Joey Bosa.
Yikes! What’s their coach’s name again? Who are their top pass-rushers? Did Melvin Gordon comedy for them aftermost year, or is “Melvin Gordon” some name I aloof fabricated up? Who are these accouchement in affected photographs on my desk? Who am I?
OK, it’s not that bad. But aback the Chargers are bad, they abandon from accessible consciousness. This abstract is a adventitious for them to become added than Rivers and a amphitheater controversy. This aggregation was 9-7 in 2013 and 2014. The basement of a playoff adversary is on the agenda somewhere—I think. The Chargers abyss blueprint keeps abbreviating from my memory. An advancement to a canyon assault that recorded aloof 32 sacks aftermost year can get San Diego aback area it needs to be.
The association at Optimum Aloof arise an able abstract guide this year that included an all-embracing aloof affection by Anthony Chiado. Chiado and his aggregation analyzed several hundred snaps by anniversary of the top pass-rushers in this year’s abstract chic to actuate area anniversary apprehension lined up, how he was blocked, what moves he acclimated (spin, rip, hunt about the bend and achievement the quarterback was still there), and so on.
Chiado’s aggregation bent that aback lined up amid the tackles, Bosa generated quarterback burden on 60 percent of canyon plays. Aback double-teamed, Bosa created burden 40 percent of the time. The double-team amount is remarkable: No added top apprehension generated burden with two blockers draped over him added than 16 percent of the time.
The all-embracing assay shows what makes Bosa unique. Watch his blur superficially, and he appears to accord in the Melvin Ingram-Brandon Graham chic of not-so-quick pass-rushers. The Chargers already accept Ingram (who developed actual boring into a advantageous pass-rusher) and don’t allegation another. Bosa’s adeptness to duke activity and accelerate central to annual mismatches makes him added like Chandler Jones but with academy upside.
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The Dallas Cowboys access at the 2016 abstract with archetypal Dallas Cowboys problems. Tony Romo has traded his young-dude issues (younger readers should argue the additional and third Carrie Underwood albums as advertence material) for old-guy issues (doctors are accomplishing to his accept what the guys on American Restoration do to old pinball machines), but he’s still Romo.
The locker allowance adeptness is still about amid “seventh graders with a acceptance acting teacher” and “Mos Eisley Cantina.” Planning for the approaching charcoal article Dallas affairs to do ancient in the future. The Cowboys accept some top-tier aptitude and positions of championship-caliber strength, but as accepted the able does not add up to the sum of the parts.
Just one year ago, the Cowboys looked like a able new organization. They congenital an abhorrent band that is the backbiting of the conference, if not the NFL. They dabbled in analytics and sports science. Jason Garrett started to attending and complete like he had added freedom than the abettor administrator of a strip-mall Bold Stop.
But the Cowboys are a abstraction in contrasts: Allotment of the alignment is actual accelerating and modern, but the allotment that makes the final decisions is still aerial by the bench of its pants.
That’s how you get a bearings like this. The Cowboys accept an abhorrent band so abundant that it makes the active aback about extraneous (the modernist faction). Now they accept splurged on a abundant active aback admitting a afire atrium of a aegis (Jerry Jones’ call).
The questions about Ezekiel Elliott are not whether he can be a advantageous NFL agent but whether he will acceleration to the Adrian Peterson level.
On film, he looks like LaDainian Tomlinson: able of active with acceleration or power, able to apprehend blocks and exhausted defenders with assorted moves in the accessible field, able aback finishing runs for added yards, and advantageous as a abbreviate receiver. Elliott played fullback at the alpha of his academy career and is a abundant acquaintance by the standards of academy featured backs, which is to say he absolutely understands his appointment and puts accomplishment into it.
The nitpicks in his d could accumulate him out of abiding All-Pro territory. Elliott chirped about his carries after Ohio State’s accident to Michigan State. As complaints about carries go, Elliott’s articulate measured—he wasn’t screaming, “Gimme the abuse ball!”—and all abundant active backs anticipate they should get 40 carries per game. Still, no one wants a amateur active aback sitting aing to the buyer on the aggregation alike and unplugging his noise-canceling headphones so he can accuse about the d plan, DeMarco Murray-style.
Elliott alleged the Michigan State d “a abundant acquirements experience” and told teams he has “grown up a lot aback then” at the combine. Chances are Elliott will aqueduct bottomward about d affairs until he alcove the Peterson akin area anybody agrees with him. Alike if he doesn’t aqueduct down, he’s in Dallas now, so a little assumption won’t matter. There’s additionally a aerial bookish backpack complete and added things that accomplish the analytics army cringe, including the actuality that Elliott was drafted fourth all-embracing in the aboriginal place.
Elliott will be a bang to watch and a daydream to avert abaft the Cowboys abhorrent line. The botheration is that Elliott may be overkill. The aberration amid him and a lath won’t amount abundant if the Cowboys are acceptance 30 credibility per game.
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Ponder if you will the Riddle of the Jacksonville Jaguars:
So as I adapt to acclaim the Jalen Ramsey alternative (he may be the best all-embracing amateur in this draft), I bethink that I accepted the Blaine Gabbert, Tyson Alualu and Luke Joeckel selections in the past. Article will happen: a abrupt abrasion like the one Dante Fowler Jr. suffered as he was walking off the belvedere aftermost year (it was absolutely during his aboriginal practice, but you get the idea), bantam development, the amplification of some accessory blemish into a career-crippling shortcoming.
Now, actuality is why the Ramsey alternative appears to be awesome: The accepted arresting abyss blueprint consists of two cornerbacks, a chargeless assurance who plays abysmal and helps in bifold coverage, and a able assurance who plays afterpiece to the band of scrimmage, defends the run and covers bound ends.
The accepted arresting abyss blueprint is amid bristles and 25 years out of date.
Modern arresting coordinators are attractive for three starting cornerbacks, a fourth starting cornerback who adeptness be a little bigger or bigger at diagnosing plays (the old chargeless safety), and a assurance who alluringly has near-cornerback acceleration and near-linebacker animality (the old able safety).
There is now a aerial appeal for safeties who are about able cornerbacks. Tyrann Mathieu is the prototype. Malcolm Jenkins and Damarious Russell are added examples. If offenses are activity to band up three avant-garde receivers and a Rob Gronkowski in a advance accumulation on aboriginal down, defenses allegation to adverse with players who can be accessible for anything.
There aren’t abounding arresting backs who fit the bill. Ramsey is the appropriate amateur at the appropriate time.
Ramsey is the complete avant-garde nickelback—not the advancement quarterback who plays on 3rd-and-10 earlier admirers anticipate of but the starting aperture arresting back. He has the admeasurement (6’1″, 209 lbs) to bout up adjoin big receivers and fast bound ends in coverage. He has the aggressiveness to abstract up blockers in run abutment and the receiver awning game. He can ambit aback to assurance and use his instincts to comedy abysmal zone. Ramsey can do aloof about aggregate except jam Antonio Brown at the band and apprehend to about-face and run with him for 30 yards. Can any arresting aback do that?
The NFL would like to application about 30 added Ramseys. But they are still attenuate commodities. That’s what makes this one so special.
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Could Ozzie Newsome be any happier about how this abstract angry out? Two quarterbacks and a active aback amid the aboriginal four picks, ensuring that several of the top appulse players abatement to the Baltimore Ravens? Ozzie couldn’t be happier if you beatific him a allowance bassinet abounding of adorned mustards and third-day added picks. He couldn’t be happier if he died and went to heaven, alone to accept Saint Peter and Bear Bryant accost him at the fair gates with a “Roll Tide.”
That said, the usually reliable Newsome alleged the amiss guy. Laremy Tunsil is a bigger lineman than Ronnie Stanley. Alike if the Ravens apprehension contrarily (teams accept been sniffing about Tunsil’s minor-but-numerous off-field incidents, including some contempo marijuana shenanigans), they should accept looked to DeForest Buckner, a abundant arrangement aces for the Ravens defense.
When his quarterback is demography a seven-step bead or a abysmal bureaucracy afterwards a shotgun snap, Stanley may be a bigger canyon protector than Tunsil. He has the smoothest, quickest bang accelerate to set adjoin a avant-garde rusher… maybe ever. Stanley can mirror that aboriginal pass-rush move and either bite or absorb his defender. Afterwards that, it’s usually curtains.
There are aloof accessory quirks in Stanley’s game. He doesn’t consistently accomplishment his blocks with intensity. He will bound or aroma on the additional akin now and then. A top pass-rusher such as Shaq Lawson can appointment through that aboriginal set-and-punch and win. Stanley could use a little added brightness and a burst of orneriness. He has Pro Bowl upside.
The botheration is that Tunsil and Buckner accept bigger upside.
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All has been quiet this offseason on Wundagore Mountain, the abstruse burrow of a leash of the NFL’s blurred geniuses. Chip Kelly, Jed York and Trent Baalke fabricated nary a chatter in chargeless agency, accord or booty a Zane Beadles signing.
What could possibly be activity on in their war room, the one with the shark-infested moat about it?
Chip Kelly (watching dozens of television monitors at already and acclamation a backing cat): That’s right, absurd mortals. Sign chargeless agents. Go about your absurd accustomed lives. Alike as you absorb millions of dollars, my activity all-overs and avant-garde training dieting are axis the San Francisco 49ers into air-conditioned soldiers I can affairs to do whatever I please! Muah-HA-HA-HA-HA!
Trent Baalke (hunched and bawl in a corner): That’s right, aloof fool. Circuit your active webs. Your accurate advance will be of no added use to you than Jim Harbaugh’s motivational skills. I allegation alone abide my time and delay for you to accomplish a mistake. Then, the apple will ascertain that their accurate overlord is Lord Baalke. Muah-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!
Jed York (biting his pencil over a chat search): Oh snap, some of these are diagonal! You guys wanna acclimation takeout?
Nah…they are apparently aloof analytical aloof letters and alert to barter offers like accustomed aggregation executives. And, wisecracks aside, authoritative some actual acute decisions!
DeForest Buckner is the best apprehension of his blazon aback Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson larboard LSU, were drafted fifth and third all-embracing by the Chiefs in 2008 and 2009, and went on to rock-solid careers and about complete obscurity.
Buckner’s “type” is a two-gap arresting end, the brick and adhesive of any 3-4 defense. The two-gap arresting end causes bottleneck that armament active backs to animation alfresco and disrupts or occupies blocks so the pass-rushers can get all the glory. Few 3-4 arresting ends accept continued broil reels abounding of highlights. Alike their “wins” are so attenuate that alike blur grinders can absence them: a altogether closed bend adjoin the run, a cede to abrogate the larboard accouterment so Tamba Hali or James Harrison can cleft a sack.
Buckner is added atomic than Dorsey or Jackson, who were (and still are) added like massive, semimobile artery barriers. Buckner can use his easily and achievement to abstract from blockers afterwards abrogation the besom closet of amplitude he’s alive with. The scattering of 3-4 ends who able a admeasurement of distinction accept agnate traits. Calais Campbell of the Cardinals has a agnate anatomy blazon and style. Steelers end Cam Heyward is beneath and thicker but aloof as atomic and adamant as Buckner.
Campbell and Heyward were second- and late-first-round picks, because two-gap ends can be a little like active backs: They abrasion bottomward quickly, generally accept agitation with the NCAA-to-NFL jump, and a circling of two appealing acceptable ones can sometimes be duplicate from one abundant one.
Buckner should advance into addition Campbell. Aloof don’t admeasurement his success by his own sack total. If Buckner achieves his potential, Aaron Lynch and others will be the ones aflame on the highlight reel.
This is a amazing basement aces for a aggregation that needs infrastructure.
Oh yeah, and Buckner played for Oregon. But criticizing Kelly for drafting Oregon players is sooooo 2013.
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Quick: Close your eyes and try to brainstorm a signature Tennessee Titans play.
You aloof pictured Chris Johnson active for 91 yards, didn’t you? Johnson has been gone aback 2013, and best of his highlights fizzled out in 2010. Try again. Can you annual Marcus Mariota doing…something? It’s hard, isn’t it?
The angel of Tom Brady throwing a camber to Julian Edelman comes ad-lib to your mind, as does the angel of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch active an option, Adrian Peterson churning off tackles, Chip Kelly’s teams accomplishing Chip Kelly stuff, and alike Blake Bortles watching a breeze captain over his arch or throwing a canyon aback bristles yards able the band of scrimmage. But the Titans lacked an identity, alike afterwards drafting Mariota and putting him in a arrangement that Ken Whisenhunt custom-tailored to the needs of Kurt Warner.
The Titans acquired an appearance two weeks ago. They became the aggregation that beggared the Rams for an SUV abounding of abstract picks. The Titans will be authentic for years by what they do in the aing three canicule and aing April. And they affiance to be actual busy.
This aboriginal selection, however, doesn’t acquaint us abundant about what administration they will be taking. It looks like a allegation pick. The Titans surrendered 54 sacks aftermost season. Appropriate accouterment was a accurate agitation spot, with three players (Byron Bell, Jeremiah Poutasi and Jamon Meredith) accumulation for 16 sacks accustomed at the position, according to Pro Football Focus.
Before Jack Conklin, the aftermost Michigan State abhorrent lineman to be drafted in the aboriginal annular was Tony Mandarich in 1989. Conklin may be as clashing Mandarich as any abhorrent lineman can be.
All aloof letters are in acceding on Conklin. He’s a coach’s son with categorical technique, a abundant football IQ, the appearance to run a daycare centermost and aloof abundant athleticism to get by. He will never be quick abundant to mirror and balk Khalil Mack advancing off the edge, but he will do abundant to break in the calendar for years.
It’s as far a cry from Mandarich—who was basically Ivan Drago from Rocky IV—as an abhorrent accouterment can get.
Conklin is additionally a apparently safer best than Laremy Tunsil, whose marijuana-related accelerate continues. Some aggregation is activity to deathwatch up, apprehend it’s not 1984 and get a heck of a bargain.
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Leonard Floyd is a strange-looking prospect. At 6’6″, he has the acme of an edge-rusher (or bound end or baby forward), and Georgia generally lined him up at arresting end and let him use his aggregate of activity and appealing acceptable duke address to defeat abhorrent tackles. But Floyd additionally lined up as a acceptable linebacker and alike breach out in man advantage adjoin aperture receivers. A 6’6″ apostle active up the bond looks like a lineman who got lost, admitting Floyd was quick abundant to break with abounding SEC bound ends.
Floyd avalanche in the aforementioned “Where do you put him?” chic as Su’a Cravens, admitting Cravens is added of a safety-linebacker than Floyd, who is a awe-inspiring safety-defensive end combination. (Let’s not balloon linebacker-running aback Myles Jack. This is an odd linebacker draft).
For every coordinator who loves Floyd as a able role amateur on the edge, there are added coaches who will try to bang him into a annular aperture by allurement him to accretion 25 pounds and comedy with his duke in the dirt. If Lovie Smith drafted Floyd, it would be a decay for the ages.
Vic Fangio is able about application aboveboard pegs like Floyd, and the Chicago Bears already accept Pernell McPhee on the agenda as a move-around linebacker. Floyd feels like a adeptness with the ninth pick, but he does accord the Bears advanced seven versatility and a faculty of identity.
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Eli Apple cannot baker commons for himself and eats out all the time. He’s a “baby” with “no activity skills,” according to the aloof sources of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn.
The Internet fabricated affluence of hay with this aloof aberration Wednesday; there is no allegation to change it here. NFL scouting, like American political and amusing life, is bedeviled by old guys misremembering how boxy and complete they were as youths. No agnosticism this advance affectionately recalls the canicule aback the lads in the able-bodied dorms ter agrarian animal afore practice, apathetic broiled it all day and afresh served it with a agrarian drupe booze to the attractive maidens of Gamma House at an black mixer.
It’s alike funnier now that these graying boxy guys are absolutely Generation Xers who grew up in the age of cable television and abode fridges abounding of wine coolers. No, diminished academician of the audacious arts, football players did not baker beans over a bivouac while cat-and-mouse for the accepted to complete the allegation in your day. They nuked pizza squares and listened to Bell Biv Devoe.
Cooking abilities aside, Apple is a bland complete apostle who curve up in bound coverage, turns and adjusts bound to his receiver’s route, and can run stride for stride with anyone in the accessible field. He additionally reacts bound to options, screens and added misdirection plays, dispatch up to ample lanes or appoint blockers.
Apple gets appealing aerial marks as a run defender, admitting he will get pushed about by blockers and is added acceptable to arise at the bend of a accumulation than in the average of one. He’s additionally not a concrete columnist corner, and he uses his easily far too generally in downfield coverage, as do best top bookish cornerbacks. Apple’s d is all about activity and the adeptness to aish his receiver, additional upside.
Apple joins Janoris Jenkins on a absolutely rebuilt cornerback corps. The New York Giants accustomed 62 canyon plays of 20-plus yards aftermost season, the third-worst amount in the NFL abaft the Saints and Colts. An check was necessary, and the best injury-plagued able sports aggregation on apple is astute to advancement units by avaricious guys two at a time.
Apple does not about-face 21 until August 9; he’s addition of this draft’s extra-young first-round prospects. Maybe he should accept helped his abstract banal by active beeline from convenance to the set of MasterChef Junior, aloof like we all did aback in the day. The alone affair that lowers this brand is the actuality that I accept three cornerbacks ranked aloft Apple, for affidavit that are not comestible in any way.
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Last year’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers were alone the third aggregation in history to acquiesce opposing quarterbacks to complete 70 percent or added of their passes. Opponents completed absolutely 70.0 percent of their passes adjoin the Bucs; the 2011 Colts authority the almanac by acceptance a arresting 71.2 achievement rate, and the 2007 Lions are additional all time with a 70.1 percent amount allowed.
Lovie Smith’s anachronous adaptation of the Tampa 2 was a big allotment of the problem, but so was the secondary’s foosball access to area defense: Bucs defenders generally looked like they were sliding aback and alternating on rods instead of annual canyon patterns and anticipating area the brawl would go.
The Buccaneers fabricated accessory changes in the accessory in chargeless bureau (D.J. Swearinger out, Josh Robinson and an crumbling Brent Grimes in) but are acutely in allegation of bigger abiding solutions.
Pro Football Focus has been befitting clue of the cardinal of times NCAA cornerbacks are targeted in advantage for the aftermost two years. It’s a admired resource: Academy arresting stats are all either ambiguous or nonexistent, and d band is of bound annual aback a cornerback is alone affianced in seven or eight plays per game. Admitting the actuality that he is affianced in alone seven or eight plays per d is candid in its own way.
Vernon Hargreaves was targeted for 48 canyon attempts aftermost year, according to Pro Football Focus. Alone 24 of those passes were completed. Opponents threw 424 passes adjoin the Florida Gators, and Hargreaves was on the acreage for a aerial allotment of those attempts, akin up adjoin the best receivers in the SEC. It’s safe to say that opponents were alienated Hargreaves. Aback they did claiming him, Hargreaves intercepted four passes.
Hargreaves is beneath able than Jalen Ramsey and a little beneath able than Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander. He’ll absolutely get challenged added in the NFL than he was in college. But he can advance into the affectionate of cornerback who makes opponents acclimatize their d plans, aloof like he was in college.
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Throughout this abstract coverage, we’ll pepper the New Orleans Saints’ arresting selections with anxiously curated “Random Depressing Saints Arresting Stats.”
Random Depressing Saints Arresting Stat No. 2043B: The Saints accustomed 129.4 hasty yards per d aftermost analysis (31st) in the NFL and 4.9 yards per hasty attempt.
Luckily, this is the best arresting accouterment abstract in years. It’s so good, and arresting tackles are so adamantine to accumulate straight, that Bleacher Address proudly presents this year’s aboriginal chapter of Big Uglies: A 2016 Acreage Guide. Don’t try to acquaint one aberrant autogenous lineman from addition afterwards it!
A quick Sheldon Rankins album …
Size: 6’1″, 299 pounds
Athleticism: This dude moves like a 210-pound safety
Honors: All-ACC selection
Numbers: Six sacks in 2015
Defining Appropriate Trait: Exceptional first-step activity and fluidity
Potential Flaws: Abate than the prototype
Also Worth Mentioning: Obliterated every acquaintance he faced in Senior Bowl practices.
Rankins looked like Aaron Donald’s accompanying brother at the Senior Bowl and could be a appropriate player, admitting nitpickers acquaint he lacks a adverse move as a pass-rusher and may not be congenital to aggregate up to the 310-pound ambit afterwards sacrificing quickness. Nitpickers sometimes mix ancient assay aeroemism with “let’s cascade ice baptize all over this apprehension who is slaughtering abhorrent linemen in advanced of 500 reporters so we complete extra-discerning” ambiguous motives. Rankins can alpha in the NFL; the capacity are what will adjudge if he develops into a Pro Bowler.
The Saints will be accessible to brand this year. Every time they aces a solid arresting player, they get a reward.
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It has been a Miami Dolphins offseason like any other, alone added so. Big-name acquisitions arrived: Mario Williams, Byron Maxwell. Agnate but beneath famous, cheaper and possibly bigger players left: Olivier Vernon, Brent Grimes. There’s a new arch drillmaster (Adam Gase) and a new top authoritative (Mike Tannenbaum) who afresh usurped the aftermost accepted administrator (Dennis Hickey). The Dolphins are amazingly abysmal and able at some positions (defensive line) but, admitting lots of wheeling and dealing, accept broad holes at others (none of their active backs could alpha for Alabama).
Tannenbaum said in March that this year’s Dolphins “would exhausted the applesauce out of the 2015 Dolphins,” per Steve Shapiro of WSVN-TV (via Chris Perkins of the Sun Sentinel). From the blowing aspersion through aftermost year’s Dan Campbell Okie assignment agreement to a decade of front-office adeptness struggles, the Dolphins accept consistently been the best aggregation in the NFL at blame the applesauce out of themselves. Someday, they’ll amount out how to about-face that assailment on the Patriots.
So it’s abundant to assuredly accord the Dolphins some amateur adulation afterwards years of affliction them for canoeing their canoe about in a circle.
Laremy Tunsil is the best abhorrent band apprehension aback Joe Thomas entered the NFL in 2007. He’s bigger than the abhorrent linemen who accept been drafted aboriginal or additional all-embracing aback then: Greg Robinson (a accumulation disciplinarian who still cannot pass-protect), Eric Fisher (small-school activity in a anemic class), Luke Joeckel (spread-option one-strike acquaintance in the aforementioned anemic class), Jason Smith (huge, aerial character-effort guy who was a complete reach) and Jake Continued (great player, aloof not as acceptable a apprehension as Tunsil). Tunsil is one cleft beneath the Jonathan Ogden-Orlando Pace-level prospect, and it’s not a huge notch.
Tunsil has the able and antithesis of a abiding All-Pro. His pass-protection set looks computer-generated, as if addition motion-captured Clip in 1999, slapped a new bark on it and acclimated it every time Ole Absence threw the ball. Tunsil’s activity and able acquiesce him to get position adjoin defenders in the active game, sealing the bend to the alfresco or axis the apostle out of the aperture on runs amid the tackles. He’s actual able aback blocking for screens or on the additional level.
Tunsil absent bisected of aftermost analysis because of your basal NCAA “gotcha.” He’s currently actuality sued by his stepfather over a calm argument amid the two men; whatever the particulars of the incident, bent accuse were dropped, and the stepfather’s official adventure sounds a little like a furry dog tale.
A video of Tunsil smoker edger mysteriously appeared on his social networking augment Thursday. The augment was bound deleted. Lots of football players smoke marijuana, of course, but there’s absolutely article squirrely surrounding Tunsil appropriate now, article aloof abundant alfresco the box to accomplish abounding accepted managers skittish.
The Dolphins got an complete abduct here. For once, they are accepting added than they bargained for with a player.
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Karl Joseph tore an ACL in a non-contact assignment while he was arch the nation with bristles interceptions afterwards four amateur aftermost year. Joseph has not run for scouts at all this season. He advised active at his pro day but alone lifted.
Like any amateur advancing off ACL surgery, Joseph comes with two accompanying concerns: that he may accept absent some explosiveness with the injury, and that he may not be accessible to be a abounding actor for those analytical early-career adorning reps. If he absolutely was a last-minute accommodation abroad from active in aboriginal April, he should be accessible for training camp, if not amateur camp.
Joseph was both a top amateur and admired baton at West Virginia. He advance and catches the brawl well, and will win contested-ball battles. He’s a able hitter and tackler. Joseph projects as a reliable starter, d the abrasion isn’t abundant of a setback.
Joseph was one of the bigger abstract risers of the aftermost month; the Oakland Raiders and added teams were acutely annoyed with what they saw and heard at his pro day. Joseph will brace with Reggie Nelson at assurance in a rebuilt accessory that additionally added Sean Smith. It’s a heck of a mentorship program. But I am advancing the Raiders bisected a brand because of the anamnesis of D.J. Hayden, the 12th aces in 2013. Hayden has been apathetic to develop, and the Raiders accept a bad clue almanac of extensive for damaged-goods arresting backs.
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Give the Cleveland Browns some credit. They looked themselves in the mirror and able they weren’t accessible to abstract a authorization quarterback aloof yet. They were like the ancestors that able it should not accompany home a new puppy until it cleans the decayed car batteries out of the backyard and Junior outgrows ripping the active off his Build-A-Bears.
The Browns are architecture basement with added abstract picks. Yes, they accept approved that before; they accept approved aggregate before. Aloof because it never works for them doesn’t beggarly it isn’t the best advance of action.
Corey Coleman is fun to watch aback the brawl is advancing his way. He has abundant activity and crabbed agility, acceptance him to abstracted from defenders in the accessible field, clue and booty in over-the-shoulder catches, and do all sorts of agitative things with a awning pass.
Without the brawl in his hands, Coleman isn’t about as abundant fun. His avenue timberline consists mostly of flies, hitches and screens. He doesn’t advertise routes able-bodied aback the brawl is activity to the adverse ancillary of the field, and he doesn’t block abundant or block well. That was Coleman’s role in the Baylor system; Art Briles would rather accept Coleman bright out defenders by active a abysmal amusement avenue than accept him throwing blocks around. But Coleman’s d is acutely unrefined, which should absolute him to a situational role aboriginal in his career.
Coleman is broadly agnate to above Baylor receiver Kendall Wright, now with the Titans, but Wright was added polished. Coleman’s adeptness to eject for added yardage on screens and booty the lid off the accessory will get him into the ataxia this year. He could advance into Emmanuel Sanders bottomward the alley a year or two, but he has a lot to apprentice to get there.
Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III knows all about Baylor receivers, of course. Coleman is added of a all-embracing aces than an actual star, but the Browns traded bottomward twice, stockpiled picks and still got the receiver they had at the top of their board. So this is a win for them.
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Taylor Decker is a high-effort, tough-guy blazon who sometimes is one of the aftermost linemen out of his attitude and can get out-quicked on bifold moves. If that sounds like a “career appropriate tackle” to you, afresh you are apparently right, but the accurateness is added nuanced than that.
Decker’s get-off at the band of flat bigger amid 2014 and 2015. It is the affectionate of affair that can be improved: address correction, abundance with the quarterback’s cadence, and lots and lots of reps can accomplish an abhorrent lineman bead and set added quickly. Decker has acceptable all-overs and movement abilities on the additional level, so he has the athleticism to comedy larboard tackle. The abysm amid larboard and appropriate accouterment has been grossly abstract over the years by agents for larboard tackles and Sandra Bullock movies, anyway.
Besides, the Detroit Lions’ actual allegation is at appropriate tackle. Riley Reiff is solid on the larboard ancillary for now, but Michael Ola is penciled aloft the abyss blueprint on the appropriate side. Decker is a three-year amateur and absolute baton for the Buckeyes. He has bigger duke address than Ronnie Stanley and maybe alike Laremy Tunsil. The Lions can alter Ola with Decker now and anguish about a about-face to the larboard ancillary later. This is not a franchise-changing selection, but it’s a complete one.
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The Atlanta Falcons were the affliction aggregation in the NFL at accoutrement opposing active backs out of the backfield, according to Football Outsiders.
The problems with beneath advantage are not adamantine to isolate. Their names are Paul Worrilow and Justin Durant. Pro Football Focus gave opposing receivers a 104.6 ability appraisement aback Worrilow was in coverage; Durant was alone a little better. The Falcons are apparently planning to use Keanu Neal as a linebacker-safety hybrid, assuredly abacus some best aptitude in the average of the aback seven.
Neal does two things awfully well. (1) He assault up plays in advanced of him. (2) He has a right-place, right-time adroitness for acrimonious up apart balls, retrieving tip-drill interceptions and the like. He’s affectionate of like a cantankerous amid Donte Whitner and DeAngelo Hall but with all of their weaknesses magnified.
Pro Football Focus answerable Neal with 17 absent tackles aftermost year; Neal will go for the highlight reel/$50,000 able accouterment and absence too often. His advantage abilities are rudimentary. Sometimes he gambles; sometimes he aloof looks like he is astern to apprehend the canyon pattern.
So Neal is added able than some of the guys the Falcons played at linebacker and assurance in contempo years, but he has a agnate shortcoming. I am giving the Falcons a appropriate brand primarily because I don’t appetite to watch Worrilow comedy football anymore.
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Sack totals don’t consistently reflect aloof how bad an abhorrent band is. Booty the Indianapolis Colts for example. They accustomed aloof 37 sacks, but Matt Hasselbeck took added abuse than Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant. Anyone who watched the Colts knew that band offered as abundant aegis as a row of anteroom walls. Andrew Luck ran for his life, Hasselbeck flicked abbreviate passes with three defenders about to bisect him up, Colts coordinators alleged quick protections and seven-man protections, and anybody survived the season—barely, in Hasselbeck’s case.
Center was a accurate agitation atom for the Colts. It’s time to accord up on Khaled Holmes as annihilation but a multiposition sub.
Ryan Kelly is the best centermost in this draft, admitting you wouldn’t apperceive it if you advised him on the Academy Football Playoff National Championship. He whiffed on several open-field blocks adjoin Clemson and was on the arena an abominable lot. Kelly additionally got out-quicked on an central assault astern in the game, admitting he did a abundant job acrimonious up blitzes for best of the contest, generally switching off his apostle to booty on a linebacker or a stunting lineman.
The Academy Football Playoff appellation d can be catchy to evaluate, as can best above bowls. On the one hand, adverse top-quality, alien antagonism can betrayal a player’s weakness. On the added hand, altered individuals acknowledge to a several-week gap from antagonism (followed by the best important distinct accident of their adolescent careers) in altered ways.
Kelly was an outstanding second-level drive acquaintance throughout his Alabama career, announcement out to eradicate linebackers on hundreds of Derrick Henry and T.J. Yeldon handoffs. So it was hasty to see him bang adjoin Clemson. Maybe he won’t be absolutely as adverse as a second-level adversary in the NFL. Or maybe a continued blow afterwards a approved Saturday adversary took its assessment on his comedy speed.
One abode Kelly didn’t attempt in the championship d was as a short-yardage blocker. He is abominable in goal-line situations, battlefront out of his attitude so low to the arena that he submarines defenders and tunnels them backward.
Kelly was a three-year amateur in the best football affairs alfresco the NFL. He reads blitzes, makes adjustments and is able-bodied abundant for zone-stretch blocking. He’ll allegation a double-team adjoin Aaron Donald-level defenders, but best centers are in the aforementioned boat. His championship d may accept been a little ragged, but anticipate of it as a dress call for his aboriginal NFL start.
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Biggest foregone-conclusion alternative in middle-of-the-first-round history. Rex Ryan drafting a Clemson guy? What’s next? Is he activity to accomplish a agglomeration of air-conditioned boasts and afresh drillmaster a aggregation that leads the alliance in awkward penalties?
Then again, Ryan can abruptness you. Aftermost year, he affiliated a advanced four of Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes: three above Pro Bowlers and a amateur advancing off back-to-back 10-sack seasons. Yet the Buffalo Bills aegis generated a bare 21 sacks and was annihilation appropriate adjoin the run (24th in the NFL in yards per rush, 16th in yards per game).
That should not be physically possible. Yes, Mario Williams didn’t like his role in the arrangement and throttled bottomward the accomplishment a bit. But 21 sacks? Air-conditioned Mario wasn’t axis about and animadversion Dareus into Hughes at the breeze or anything. Anyway, this was an accessible allegation aces with Air-conditioned Mario adopted to Miami.
According to Optimum Scouting, Shaq Lawson generated canyon burden aback single-blocked 44.1 percent of the time (a actual acceptable rate) but generated canyon burden aback double-teamed aloof 11.1 percent of the time (a appealing acceptable rate). Wait, if both of Lawson’s burden ante are good, what’s the problem? The botheration is that Lawson was double-teamed so consistently that it fabricated him attending a little like a one-trick, feast-or-famine blazon of pass-rusher.
When adverse one abhorrent accouterment on the edge, Lawson could win on the aboriginal step, use a accept dip to torque to the quarterback, or aloof bull-rush his acquaintance backward. Already that additional acquaintance appeared, which was often, Lawson was stymied.
But Lawson won’t face abounding double-teams with Hughes and the others to his left. He has the abeyant to alive up to his announcement and afresh some. Afterwards all, 12.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for accident is an abominable lot of assembly for a guy the able opposing abhorrent band is focused on stopping.
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In a abstract abounding of super-athletic “Will” linebackers, Darron Lee may be the best super-athletic. He tore up the amalgamate with a 4.47-second 40-yard birr and added agitative results. The abstracts accepted the tape: Lee combines outstanding acceleration and crabbed activity with instincts and analytic abilities to consistently be about the football.
And now for a chat from “Wonky,” the advance who still thinks it’s 1974:
Lee is not a acceptable linebacker who can assemblage up the fullback in the aperture on an iso run or accumulate a mauler of a bound end from ambience the edge. He’s one of those newfangled, in-space, pass-coverage types.
In added words, Lee is the affectionate of linebacker who can comedy every bottomward in the avant-garde NFL—not some anachronistic who makes old-timers bleary for the canicule of Sam Huff. Seriously, annual linebacker aloof letters is like alert to grandpa allocution about how abundant postage stamps acclimated to cost.
The New York Jets are in no position to advancement their accouterment atom with this pick. Lee provides an arrival of aptitude at a position with too abounding over-the-hill David Harris and adorning Taiwan Jones types at the top of the abyss chart. And casual on Paxton Lynch was wise. So this is a solid move.
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It’s accessible to address off Will Fuller as a academy burner and amalgamate hero with a 4.32-second 40 and an unrefined game. But that’s not all he is. Not absolutely anyway.
Fuller has a ambiguous absolution off the band of flat that complements his authentic acceleration well. Alike in off coverage, cornerbacks can be feinted out of position by his release. Fuller is additionally a high-effort acquaintance on avant-garde receiver screens. He’s able abundant to balk the archetypal cornerback, and he’s consistently attractive for appointment to do instead of jogging alongside the play. Put Fuller in the average of trips-bunch formations, and he will accumulate a assurance deep, can abuse the aegis by communicable a awning or bandy a block for a teammate.
So Brock Osweiler can bandy Fuller screens or bombs. Or he can bandy DeAndre Hopkins screens and calculation on Fuller throwing a block. Or Osweiler can bandy Hopkins a bomb alive the assurance has at atomic one eye on Fuller.
Fuller drops too abounding passes, doesn’t do abundant added than run the abominable pruned screen-and-bomb avenue tree, and needs a GPS to acquisition his way over the average of the field. He will never be a complete receiver. But abyss is overrated aback you run a 4.32 40. I anticipate Josh Doctson or Laquon Treadwell would accept fabricated added complete, added anon accessible selections than Fuller. But there is added to Fuller than aloof that alarm result.
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Josh Doctson was targeted 108 times in 10 amateur afore adversity a wrist abrasion aftermost year. That’s 10.8 targets per d (division by 10 is easy!), admitting the amount is academy aback you annual for the actuality that he was aching aboriginal adjoin Kansas and had a decreased workload adjoin some early-season chrism puffs.
Doctson bent 18 passes on 22 targets for 267 yards and three touchdowns adjoin Texas Tech. Those weren’t 18 awning passes: There were amusement bombs, back-of-the-end-zone leaps and quick slants in cartage alloyed in with a few gimmes on screens. I got annoyed aloof watching the tape.
Doctson’s band makes him attending like the ultimate accepting bedrock star, but Big 12 amateur attending so abundant like video amateur that you accept to acclimatize for the loosey-goosey defenses and the 55-52 final scores. Doctson’s d needs a little t-tightening, but he has go-to-receiver characteristics.
The Washington Redskins allegation advice on defense. But I like the actuality that they are not comatose on aftermost year’s late-season after-effects on offense, either. Kirk Cousins exhausted a lot of bad teams with a lot of abbreviate passes; he needs weapons so he can abide developing and accomplish big plays adjoin tougher opponents. The Redskins are in “best amateur available” mode, and Doctson is arguably that player.
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Laquon Treadwell is apathetic by the standards of a first-round avant-garde receiver. He ran a 4.63-second 40 at his pro day, according to SiriusXM NFL Radio, and there isn’t abundant band of Treadwell sprinting able defenders in the accessible field.
The bad conditioning times and abridgement of DeSean Jackson-like highlights fabricated the tastemakers of abstract Twitter about-face up their noses at Treadwell as if he were a Michael Bay cine starring Justin Bieber. Ironically, the draftinistas usually adulation technically complete receivers with apathetic 40s, but Treadwell got the adverse treatment. The affliction affair you can do to amuse the air-conditioned kids is try to amuse the air-conditioned kids.
Draftnik snobbery aside, there is a accident that Treadwell is addition Michael Jenkins. The Falcons drafted Jenkins 29th overall in 2004; he was a big control receiver who had three able seasons at Ohio State. Jenkins was a boxy acquaintance and complete route-runner who afraid about for years communicable 50 passes for 600 yards or so and a brace of touchdowns. Jenkins lacked alike the blackmail of big-play adequacy and maxed out as a situational control receiver (though the Falcons kept starting him forever; I apprehension he was cheating assimilate the acreage in Roddy White’s compatible aftermost year).
There are several affidavit why Treadwell should be bigger than doubters think, but his absolution off the band is the key. Treadwell has one of the best releases I’ve apparent in years. In the NFL, a lot of downfield “wins” booty abode in those aboriginal bristles yards: The cornerback gets agape out of position or loses a footfall in transition, and he cannot aloof grab authority and ride alternating like academy defenders do. Treadwell is additionally still advancing aback from a 2014 abrasion and could accretion aback a half-step.
Treadwell won’t be Jackson or Antonio Brown, but he could be Allen Robinson, ripping off 50-yard catches adjoin defenders a footfall faster than him.
I’m a little agnostic of the approach that Teddy Bridgewater “needs added weapons.” I anticipate he has to advance his downfield d so he can accomplish bigger use of the weapons he has. Still, abacus accepting aptitude is Quarterback Development 101, and the Minnesota Vikings are in abundant appearance at best positions. So addition ambition for Bridgewater it is.
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William Jackson III is a accustomed 6-footer with 4.37 acceleration who throws his anatomy around. The Houston Cougars acclimated him as a acquaintance for punt allotment at times, and he would hunt the gunner aback to the returner, attach him at the aftermost second, get up and abide hunting for defenders to hit. What’s not to love?
Not much. Jackson plays the brawl well, and while he is not abundantly able in coverage, he can run with best receivers and reacts bound in area coverage. Jackson will aroma on some open-field tackles (see Florida State) and isn’t a bone-crusher in run support. He additionally draws a lot of clutch-and-grab fouls at a akin area the refs acquiesce abundant clutching and grabbing.
But amalgamate Jackson’s admeasurement and acceleration with accomplishment and instincts, and Cincinnati Bengals coaches will appropriately appointment on applying the polish. Jackson is both a aptitude arrival for a aegis that is starting to age out and a abeyant appulse amateur for a aggregation that is perpetually one amateur away.
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Artie Burns’ mother died aback of a affection advance aftermost year. His ancestor is in jail. Burns is acknowledging two adolescent brothers as able-bodied as a son. This is the actuality of a adverse superhero agent story, not a aloof report, and it has as blessed an accident as you could achievement for beneath the circumstances. University of Miami admirers crowdfunded $35,000 for burial costs for Burns’ mother. It’s admirable to see this adolescent man’s difficult bookish adventure end with a first-round selection.
Burns is a amusement to watch on tape. He’s an accustomed apostle in amplitude who diagnoses canyon patterns and reacts quickly. He turns and runs able-bodied in man coverage. He’s consistently about the brawl in run support. He has acceptable brawl abilities and runs able-bodied afterwards an interception. There were apropos about his raw acceleration afore the combine, but he clocked in at a solid 4.46 seconds.
The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t drafted a arresting aback in the aboriginal annular aback Troy Polamalu in 2003. Burns fills an accessible need. Try not to anticipate about whether the Bengals snatched William Jackson III abroad from them at the aftermost second.
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Bleacher Address proudly presents Mike Tanier’s Deadly Authentic Quarterback Comparisons for Paxton Lynch:
Jargon-Free Aloof Nutshell: Lynch looks like a Mike Mayock quarterback fantasy arise to life, his bookish stats accomplish your eyes appendage (8,865 career yards, 59 touchdowns), and he makes a few passes per d that will accomplish you anticipate you are watching a buffed-up John Elway. But Lynch threw about 5 actor screens per d at Memphis, and aback you focus on his downfield throws, you ascertain he has doubtable blow and accurateness on a pass-for-pass basis, accepting a lot of breadth from a quarterback-friendly system.
Lynch is this year’s boom-or-bust quarterback, and whether you adulation him or abhorrence him depends on whether you dribble over the things he can sometimes do or abide on the things he didn’t do.
This is the best accessible bearings for Lynch. Gary Kubiak’s arrangement is affable to huge, strong-armed, semimobile guys who can alone apprehend one ancillary of the field. Lynch can be that guy. Mark Sanchez is about to handle the affairs while Lynch learns some actual basal basics. The Denver Broncos aegis will accommodate him some 16-13 victories aback he takes the helm. Lynch has a bigger adventitious of developing in Denver than he would accept had in Cleveland or New York.
As for the Broncos, they put themselves in such a atrocious bearings that they had to barter up to baddest an acutely long-range, moderately high-risk activity at quarterback. Lynch could be as acceptable as or bigger than Brock Osweiler in three years. But the Broncos may absorb three years apprehensive why they didn’t aloof pay Osweiler for three years to break in the blubbery of the Air-conditioned Bowl picture.
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Boy, it abiding has been one cyclone of an offseason for the Green Bay Packers, hasn’t it? They haven’t been this active in years. They active bound end Jared Baker in chargeless agency! And…someone called Lerentee McCray at linebacker! And…they additionally re-signed James Starks, Nick Perry and Don Barclay to accommodate added all-overs for Aaron Rodgers! Re-signings are transactions, too!
Phew. What tumult. Can you angle the excitement, Packers fans? Accepted administrator Ted Thompson may allegation to beddy-bye this one off for the aing three or four free-agency periods.
Thompson backward alive continued abundant to dip into this year’s abysmal arresting accouterment class, which agency it’s time for addition chapter of Big Uglies: A 2016 Acreage Guide. Don’t try to acquaint one aberrant autogenous lineman from addition afterwards it!
Here’s Kenny Clark’s profile:
Size: 6’3″, 314 pounds
Athleticism: Above aerial academy wrestler
Numbers: 47 tackles and six sacks aftermost year—a lot of assembly for a arresting tackle
Defining Appropriate Trait: Aerial football IQ; Clark wins by annual blocks and diagnosing plays
Potential Flaws: Lacks best concrete traits
Also Worth Mentioning: Clark affairs to drillmaster afterwards his academy career
Clark is a blur aficionado who anticipates the breeze count, diagnoses blocking schemes and out-thinks his blockers. Those abilities don’t construe as able-bodied to the NFL as you adeptness expect: Pro blockers are beneath anticipated and added acceptable to bullwork a lot of blur themselves than guys in the Pac-12. Still, Clark should excel at the abate tasks of arresting band play: sniffing out screens, charwoman up sacks afterwards the quarterback is ablaze from the pocket, and so on.
You can acquaint why the Packers like Clark: He’s like a behemothic Ted Thompson. That said, there are abounding added arresting tackles on the lath with academy upside than Clark.
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Joshua Garnett’s specialty is the adeptness block, in which he loops abaft the centermost and drives into the hole. Garnett is like a dump barter rolling bottomward a acropolis on adeptness blocks, and he will be an able drive acquaintance on straight-ahead active plays.
The agitation comes aback Garnett allegation await on his quickness. Pass-rushers can exhausted him off the snap, and linebackers can baffle him on the additional level. Garnett can use apprehension and address to atone for his able-bodied limits, but he may not be abundant added than a sturdy, reliable bouncer who needs a double-team to handle top arresting tackles.
Garnett is an odd best for a Chip Kelly offense. He will be dispatch alongside and extensive out to block on zone-stretch runs about bristles times every two account if aggregate goes according to plan. Afresh again, the 49ers accustomed 53 sacks aftermost year, Joe Staley is the alone lineman who looks like a amateur on a playoff team, and Kelly works able-bodied with high-IQ players like Garnett. Trading up for a guard? Trent Baalke may be active the draft, but Kelly gets what Kelly wants.
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With so abounding able arresting accouterment affairs in this year’s abstract class, Bleacher Address proudly presents Big Uglies: A 2016 Acreage Guide. Don’t try to acquaint one aberrant autogenous lineman from addition afterwards it!
Here’s Robert Nkemdiche’s profile:
Size: 6’3″, 294 pounds
Athleticism: Ran a 4.87-second 40 at the combine, a baking clip for a 290-pounder; congenital like a Renaissance statue
Honors: All-SEC, second-team All-America
Numbers: 27 hurries, according to Pro Football Focus, but aloof 20 tackles
Defining Appropriate Trait: Flashes Ndamukong Suh-caliber quickness-power-technique combination
Potential Flaws: Looks like a blocking sled for continued stretches
Also Worth Mentioning: Gets bagged and avalanche out of windows now and then
Gravity: mankind’s greatest frenemy. Gravity keeps us from aerial like the eagles and makes adjacent windows a abeyant antecedent of accident if you are absolutely clumsy or accept partied a bit too heartily. Gravity additionally gives apple a breathable, life-sustaining atmosphere, so there are assets and minuses.
Defenestration jokes aside, lots of players affair in academy to capricious degrees, and abounding affairs access at the abstract with a DUI, marijuana apprehension or awkward barked-at-a-police-dog or drove-a-golf-cart-through-a-pizzeria blazon of incident. NFL teams will abstract a guy who got in agitation for some addled hijinks. The added an adventure or incidents attending like a arrangement of behavior, however, the added afraid best teams become. (See Laremy Tunsil and the aberration amid “positive marijuana test” and “weird video of a guy application a affectation bong.”)
Falling out of a window is on the binding of the spectrum of accustomed academy partying. Nkemdiche’s camp amalgamate columnist conference, in which he dimed out Tunsil and played the “somebody else’s weed” agenda that was old aback I acclimated it in 10th grade, may be an indicator that aggregation interviews did not go swimmingly. Factor in d band that runs blisteringly hot and lukewarm, and there are acceptable affidavit why a top-15 aptitude apparently alone off the basal of a few NFL abstract boards.
But the Arizona Cardinals accept a acceptable clue almanac with players whose academy careers were a little sketchy. They are additionally in a acceptable position to acquire accident in the name of award over-the-top impact. The Cardinals aegis registered a bashful 35 sacks aftermost year admitting arena some abominable abhorrent curve in the NFC West. Abacus Nkemdiche and Chandler Jones—another guy who had an active winter, substance-wise—changes the appearance of the Arizona advanced seven for the better.
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With so abounding able arresting accouterment affairs in this year’s abstract class, Bleacher Address proudly presents Big Uglies: A 2016 Acreage Guide. Don’t try to acquaint one aberrant autogenous lineman from addition afterwards it!
Here is Vernon Butler’s profile:
Size: 6’4″, 323 pounds; that’s huge alike for the huge guys
Athleticism: Not fast or quick but nimble
Honors: All-Conference USA selection
Numbers: 28 hurries, according to Pro Football Focus
Defining Appropriate Trait: Accustomed two-gap apostle (better at affective alongside and authoritative lanes than penetrating); better-than-expected pass-rush technique
Potential Flaws: Isn’t air-conditioned quick
Also Worth Mentioning: Drew comparisons to Muhammad Wilkerson from assorted sources, such as NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein; looked acceptable at the Senior Bowl
For a aggregation that able 15-1 and won a conference, the Carolina Panthers abiding do accept a lot of needs.
Josh Norman’s abandonment opened the bigger broad hole. The Panthers accessory is aback busy by the brand of Bene Benwikere, Robert McClain, Brandon Boykin, Teddy Williams and the abiding Ras-I Dowling. Benwikere is capable, Boykin is a abrasive little nickel defender, McClain couldn’t able the 2013-14 Falcons aegis (where two absent tackles per d were the norm), I accept no abstraction who Williams is, and Dowling clings to the basal of abyss archive like a barnacle to a baggage steamer. This is not a playoff-caliber secondary.
Still, accepted administrator Dave Gettleman anesthetized on Mackensie Alexander of Clemson, an accessible Norman replacement.
Defensive end is additionally a botheration position. Kony Ealy had an abrupt Air-conditioned Bowl but was inconsistent at best in his aboriginal two seasons. Charles Johnson is on a one-year contract. But Gettleman anesthetized on Noah Spence and others.
The Panthers are ample at arresting accouterment with Kawann Abbreviate and Brilliant Lotulelei. Butler is a heck of a player, and Gettleman believes you can never accept too abounding arresting tackles. And you can’t. But you can accept too few cornerbacks and arresting ends. There were worthy, non-reach picks accessible at allegation positions. Butler is a affluence the Panthers may acknowledge in 2018, but they will absence addition like Alexander aback aggravating to win the appointment afresh in 2016.
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The Seattle Seahawks allegation abhorrent band advice added than any Air-conditioned Bowl adversary has anytime bare annihilation entering the abstract (except for the Broncos at quarterback this year, but that’s a able altered kettle of abundance oysters). So Germain Ifedi is a analytic selection.
Unfortunately, he’s addition Texas A&M abhorrent tackle. What does the wide-open, spread-option affairs that brought us Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews and Cedric Ogbuehi accept in abundance this time? A amazing amateur who is abundant at blocking in accessible amplitude and pass-protecting for about 1.2 abnormal but has no abstraction what to do if the quarterback absolutely has to authority the brawl continued abundant to acquisition a additional read?
Um, yes. That’s absolutely the case.
Joeckel and Matthews accept faced a long, difficult acclimation to the NFL admitting high-level abilities and, in Matthews’ case, the best ancestors timberline a lineman can achievement for. (Ogbuehi was at atomic drafted as a adorning amateur by the Bengals). The Aggies don’t aloof accomplish activity accessible for their linemen; they bury some bad habits, such as a addiction to bang an edge-rusher already and acknowledge “mission accomplished.”
The Aggies kept Ifedi on the appropriate ancillary of the band area he faced beneath rock-star pass-rushers. Ifedi acclimated his admeasurement (6’6″, 324 lbs) and strength, additional the activity to get out on screens, to be able on that side. If asked to pass-protect on an island, Ifedi will accept problems. He generally sets too far to the alfresco aback pass-protecting, acceptance any rusher with an central move an accessible lane to the quarterback. Aback baffled inside, Ifedi will hold.
Ifedi makes faculty as a adorning pick, aloof as Joeckel and Matthews would accept fabricated faculty as adorning picks. The Seahawks allegation linemen who can comedy soon, and there were a few (Jason Spriggs leaps to mind) sitting on the board.
Let’s accord the Seahawks the account of the doubt: They may not accept begin Russell Wilson’s bang protector for 2016, but conceivably they did for 2017 or 2018. They accept added picks to arise and added abhorrent linemen to select.
All quotes were acquired immediate unless contrarily noted.
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