The Daily Briefing Tuesday, April 24, 2018

AROUND THE NFL 

Our schedule analysis today is on the teams in the two North divisions.  Shocking, but not surprising, how little schedule respect the NFL gave the teams in the AFC North not named Pittsburgh.

– – –

Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com is keeping track of which 2015 first rounders are having their fifth-year options picked up.  We have six in red that are unlikely to be picked up.  There are some others that are tough decisions.  Here it is:

 

1. Tampa Bay has picked up Jameis Winston‘s option.

 

2. Tennessee has picked up Marcus Mariota‘s option.

 

3. Jacksonville seems unlikely to pick up Dante Fowler‘s option, given that he’s not a starter and has had injuries and legal issues.

 

4. Oakland will surely pick up Amari Cooper‘s option.

 

5. Washington has picked up Brandon Scherff‘s option.

 

6. The Jets have picked up Leonard Williams‘ option.

 

7. Chicago probably won’t pick up Kevin White‘s option because of his history of injuries.

 

8. Atlanta is likely to pick up Vic Beasley‘s option.

 

9. The Giants will have a tough decision on whether to pick up Ereck Flowers‘ option.

 

10. The Rams will definitely pick up Todd Gurley‘s option.

 

11. The Vikings will definitely pick up Trae Waynes‘ option.

 

12. The Patriots will have a decision to make on Danny Shelton‘s option after trading for Shelton from Cleveland.

 

13. New Orleans has picked up Andrus Peat‘s option.

 

14. Miami will likely pick up DeVante Parker‘s option.

 

15. The Chargers will likely pick up Melvin Gordon‘s option.

 

16. Kevin Johnson‘s option will be a tough decision for the Texans.

 

17. San Francisco will have a tough decision on Arik Armstead‘s option.

 

18. The Rams will definitely pick up Marcus Peters‘ option.

 

19. Kansas City is unlikely to pick up the option on Cameron Erving, whom they acquired in a trade with the Browns.

 

20. Philadelphia will likely pick up Nelson Agholor‘s option.

 

21. Cincinnati will likely pick up Cedric Ogbuehi‘s option.

 

22. Pittsburgh will likely pick up Bud Dupree‘s option.

 

23. Denver will likely pick up Shane Ray‘s option.

 

24. Arizona will face a tough decision on D.J. Humphries‘ option, given that he has missed more games than he has played through three seasons.

 

25. Carolina has picked up Shaq Thompson‘s option.

 

26. Baltimore is unlikely to pick up Breshad Perriman‘s option.

 

27. Dallas will likely pick up Byron Jones‘ option.

 

28. San Francisco will likely pick up Laken Tomlinson‘s option after acquiring him in a trade with Detroit.

 

29. New England seems unlikely to pick up Phillip Dorsett‘s option, given his limited production after arriving in a trade with Indianapolis.

 

30. Cleveland will likely pick up Damarious Randall‘s option after trading for him from Green Bay.

 

31. Miami seems unlikely to pick up Stephone Anthony‘s option after he didn’t do much following his trade from New Orleans.

 

32. New England is likely to pick up Malcom Brown‘s option.

 

NFC NORTH

 

CHICAGO

SCHEDULE NOTES

As they did with the Browns, the NFL gives Chicago two early primetime games then ushers them off the national stage (except for Thanksgiving on CBS in Detroit)…The Bears have often picked up a cross-flexed game on CBS, but none in advance this year (if you don’t count Thanksgiving)…All four games with the AFC East are lined up in a row starting after the bye on October 14…They play Detroit twice in 12 days, we can’t ever remember a tighter divisional duo…After the Packers opener, no division games until the first Lions meeting on November 11.

 

Sun. Sept. 9                at Green Bay Packers                        8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Mon. Sept. 17             Seattle Seahawks                   8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Sun. Sept. 23              at Arizona Cardinals                4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Sept. 30              Tampa Bay Buccaneers         1 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 7 — BYE

Sun. Oct. 14                at Miami Dolphins                   1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Oct. 21                New England Patriots             1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Oct. 28                New York Jets                                    1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Nov. 4                 at Buffalo Bills                         1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Nov. 11               Detroit Lions                            1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Nov. 18               Minnesota Vikings                   1 p.m. (FOX)

Thr. Nov. 22                at Detroit Lions (Thanks)        12:30 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 2                 at New York Giants                1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 9                 Los Angeles Rams                  1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 16               Green Bay Packers                1 p.m (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 23               at San Francisco 49ers           4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 30               at Minnesota Vikings               1 p.m. (FOX)

 

 

DETROIT

 

DETROIT LIONS

 

Mon. Sept. 10             New York Jets (Mon)             7:10 p.m.(ESPN)

Sun. Sept. 16              at San Francisco 49ers           4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Sept. 23              New England Patriots             8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sun. Sept. 30              at Dallas Cowboys                  1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Oct. 7                  Green Bay Packers                1 p.m. (FOX)

        Oct. 14 — BYE

Sun. Oct. 21                at Miami Dolphins                   1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Oct. 28                Seattle Seahawks                   1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Nov. 4                 at Minnesota Vikings               1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Nov. 11               at Chicago Bears                    1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Nov. 18               Carolina Panthers                   1 p.m. (FOX)

Thr. Nov. 22                Chicago Bears (Thanks)         12:30 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 2                 Los Angeles Rams                  1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 9                 at Arizona Cardinals                4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 16               at Buffalo Bills                         1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 23               Minnesota Vikings                   1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 30               at Green Bay Packers                        1 p.m. (FOX)

 

 

GREEN BAY

SCHEDULE NOTES

The Packers have four of their five primetime games jammed into the middle of the season, then they dominate FOX’s early window in December…They only show up once (at the Rams during the World Series) in FOX’s 4:25 pm “America’s Game of the Week” slot (subject to flexing of course)…They meet division foes in three of the first five games…There are three two-game road trips.

 

Sun. Sept. 9                Chicago Bears                        8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sun. Sept. 16              Minnesota Vikings                   1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Sept. 23              at Washington Redskins         1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Sept. 30              Buffalo Bills                             1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Oct. 7                  at Detroit Lions                        1 p.m. (FOX)

Mon. Oct. 15               San Francisco 49ers               8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

         Oct. 21 — BYE

Sun. Oct. 28                at Los Angeles Rams              4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Nov. 4                 at New England Patriots         8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sun. Nov. 11               Miami Dolphins                       1:00 p.m. (CBS)

Thr.  Nov. 15               at Seattle Seahawks               8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN)

Sun. Nov. 25               at Minnesota Vikings               8:20 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 2                 Arizona Cardinals                    1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 9                 Atlanta Falcons                       1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 16               at Chicago Bears                    1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 23               at New York Jets                    1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 30               Detroit Lions                            1 p.m. (FOX)

 

 

MINNESOTA

SCHEDULE NOTES

The Vikings get four primetime games and two big appearances on “America’s Game of the Week”…Only one division game before November, nothing but division games in November…The pair of two-game road trips are east-west doozies (Rams-Eagles and Patriots-Seahawks).

 

Sun. Sept. 9                San Francisco 49ers               1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Sept. 16              at Green Bay Packers                        1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Sept. 23              Buffalo Bills                             1 p.m. (CBS)

Thr.  Sept. 27              at Los Angeles Rams              8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN)

Sun. Oct. 7                  at Philadelphia Eagles 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Oct. 14                Arizona Cardinals                    1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Oct. 21                at New York Jets                    1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Oct. 28                New Orleans Saints                8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sun. Nov. 4                 Detroit Lions                            1 p.m. (FOX)

        Nov. 11 — BYE

Sun. Nov. 18               at Chicago Bears                    1 p.m. (NBC)

Sun. Nov. 25               Green Bay Packers                8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sun. Dec. 2                 at New England Patriots         4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Mon. Dec. 10              at Seattle Seahawks (Mon)    8:15 P.M. (ESPN)

Sun. Dec. 16               Miami Dolphins                       1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 23               at Detroit Lions                        1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 30               Chicago Bears                        1 p.m. (FOX)

 

NFC SOUTH

 

CAROLINA

The Panthers have exercised the fifth-year option on LB SHAQ THOMPSON.  Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

The Panthers made official what everyone expected, that 2015 first-round draft pick Shaq Thompson‘s fifth-year option has been exercised.

 

Thompson, a linebacker who started 14 games last season, has definitely played well enough in his three NFL seasons that the Panthers wouldn’t want him to walk in free agency next year.

 

The 25th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, Thompson is set to make a base salary of $936,000 this season. In 2019, his fifth-year option salary will be $9.2 million. That salary is guaranteed for injury, meaning the Panthers would have to pay it even if Thompson suffers a serious injury this year and can’t pass a physical next year.

 

NFC WEST

 

SAN FRANCISCO

Leadership from QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO.  Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

Like finding more places in a pizza to stuff cheese, football players have a knack for finding more time to work out.

 

With plenty of quarterbacks organizing sessions before and/or after the offseason program, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has another twist on the effort: During. Garoppolo told reporters on Monday that he’s now getting teammates together on Saturdays for extra work.

 

“We had our first one this weekend,” Garoppolo said. “It’s just something that I like to do. It kinds of gets us away from the coaches and everything, and allows me to talk to the receivers about specific things, or the tight ends or running backs. We try to get everyone out there that we can. I understand people have things that they have to get to. But we had a great showing this Saturday. It was good. Just to be on the same page with those guys, talking through route concepts and how they see it versus how I see it, it just gets us on the same page.”

 

Garoppolo realizes that it’s important not to overdo it on the weekend, given that players are working out during the week.

 

“You’ve got to take care of their legs,” Garoppolo said. “They’ve got us working pretty hard during the week, so you’ve got to be careful with that. But those guys, our receivers, tight ends and running backs came back in great shape. The conditioning part of it, it always makes my job easier when I can throw forever because those guys are willing to run. It’s nice to have that luxury.”

 

Garoppolo explained that it wasn’t an idea that he lifted from Tom Brady, but that it’s something Garoppolo has been doing for a while.

 

“I’ve done that since high school,” Garoppolo said. “It’s one of those things, when the coaches aren’t there you kind of see a different side of guys. They open up a little bit or tell you how they see a concept compared to how it is written in the book. Just a little bit at a time for us to talk through things, I guess.”

 

While Garoppolo chose to be candid about the fact that he and other players are working out on their own, he wasn’t willing to say everything — including the location of the workouts.

 

“I can’t say that,” he said.

 

So the place where it happens will remain a secret. But it’s no secret that the 49ers have a new franchise quarterback, and that he’s doing what he needs to do to make the team better.

 

AFC WEST

 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Former Clemson WR MIKE WILLIAMS seemed like a good first round pick one year ago, but things did not go as planned in his rookie season.  Ricky Henne of Chargers.com:

 

The NFL Draft kicks off in just over 72 hours, meaning there are several top-flight prospects hyped as can’t miss athletes who’ll make an immediate impact.

 

Mike Williams was in their shoes exactly one year ago.

 

The Clemson wide receiver was regarded as the top player at his position, and one that would be able to help his team out right away.  He was a consensus top 10 pick, and ended up going seventh overall to the Los Angeles Chargers.

 

Unfortunately, as most know, he tweaked his back less than two weeks later during the first day of rookie mini camp. Williams missed the rest of the offseason program as well as training camp before he was cleared to practice once the regular season began.  He was thrown into the fire, and it all added up to equal a lost season for the talented wideout.

 

Now, Williams is warning his doubters not to label him a bust.

 

He admits he’s heard people throw that term around after catching just 11 passes for 95 yards in 10 games.

 

However, careers aren’t made after just one season.

 

Rookie years can often be rocky.

 

Remember, Melvin Gordon did not find the end zone once as a rookie before becoming one of the game’s most prolific touchdown machines.  In fact, the last three Chargers chosen in the first round prior to Williams (Jason Verrett, Melvin Gordon, Joey Bosa) all missed at least a quarter of their rookie campaigns, but bounced back the following season to make the Pro Bowl in year two.

 

He isn’t making any guarantees, but he’s excited to finally show the fans the real Mike Williams.

 

“I’m excited about this year to not only prove to everybody else, but prove to myself that I know who I am and what I can be,” he explained. “I’m real confident in my abilities.  I wasn’t capable of doing what I can do last year because of the injury.  This offseason, I feel 100%.  I’m ready to go out there and dominate. Everyone faces adversity.  It shows what kind of player you are when you can bounce back from adversity. I’m looking to redeem myself and show everyone what I’m capable of doing.

 

AFC NORTH

 

BALTIMORE

SCHEDULE NOTES

Other than the Steelers, the other AFC North teams are only involved in three primetime games and none after Week 3 that don’t involve the Steelers…A three-game road trip for the Ravens starting on September 30, then a three-game home stand (with a bye) starting on November 4…So the Ravens do not play outside of Baltimore in all of November.

 

Sun. Sept. 9                Buffalo Bills                             1 p.m. (CBS)

Thr.  Sept. 13              at Cincinnati Bengals              8:20 p.m. (NFLN)

Sun. Sept. 23              Denver Broncos                      1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Sept. 30              at Pittsburgh Steelers              8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sun. Oct. 7                  at Cleveland Browns               1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Oct. 14                at Tennessee Titans                4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Oct. 21                New Orleans Saints                4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Oct. 28                at Carolina Panthers               1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Nov. 4                 Pittsburgh Steelers                  1 p.m. (CBS)

        Nov. 11 — BYE

Sun. Nov. 18               Cincinnati Bengals                  1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Nov. 25               Oakland Raiders                     1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 2                 at Atlanta Falcons                   1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 9                 at Kansas City Chiefs             1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 16               Tampa Bay Buccaneers         1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Dec. 22 or 23      at Los Angeles Chargers        TBD (TBD)

Sun. Dec. 30               Cleveland Browns                   1 p.m. (CBS)

 

 

CINCINNATI

SCHEDULE NOTES

The Bengals have fallen quite a bit in the last few years with nothing but 1 p.m. games except for the trip to L.A. and the obligatory Thursday game…And that’s stashed on NFL Network in Week 2 against Baltimore…So you will find the Bengals 12 times in the CBS early window…They don’t meet Cleveland until November 25…They finish with 3 of 4 on the road.

 

Sun. Sept. 9                at Indianapolis Colts                1 p.m. (CBS)

Thr.  Sept. 13              Baltimore Ravens                   8:20 p.m. (NFLN)

Sun. Sept. 23              at Carolina Panthers               1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Sept. 30              at Atlanta Falcons                   1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Oct. 7                  Miami Dolphins                       1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Oct. 14                Pittsburgh Steelers                  1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Oct. 21                at Kansas City Chiefs             1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Oct. 28                Tampa Bay Buccaneers         1 p.m. (FOX)

         Nov. 4 — BYE

Sun. Nov. 11               New Orleans Saints                1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Nov. 18               at Baltimore Ravens               1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Nov. 25               Cleveland Browns                   1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 2                 Denver Broncos                      1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 9                 at Los Angeles Chargers        4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 16               Oakland Raiders                     1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 23               at Cleveland Browns               1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 30               at Pittsburgh Steelers              1 p.m. (CBS)

 

 

CLEVELAND

SCHEDULE NOTES

The Browns are mainly on Sunday with the Jets providing the obligatory primetime game on NFL Network in Week 3…That said there is a sneaky Saturday national game in Denver in Week 15…The first Battle of Ohio isn’t until November 25…Four games on FOX with the Saints and Panthers cross-flexed home games.

 

Sun. Sept. 9                Pittsburgh Steelers                  1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Sept. 16              at New Orleans Saints            1 p.m. (FOX)

Thr.  Sept. 20              New York Jets                                    8:20 p.m. (NFLN)

Sun. Sept. 30              at Oakland Raiders                 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Oct. 7                  Baltimore Ravens                   1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Oct. 14                Los Angeles Chargers 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Oct. 21                at Tampa Bay Buccaneers     1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Oct. 28                at Pittsburgh Steelers              1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Nov. 4                 Kansas City Chiefs                 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Nov. 11               Atlanta Falcons                       1 p.m. (FOX)

        Nov. 18 — BYE

Sun. Nov. 25               at Cincinnati Bengals              1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 2                 at Houston Texans                  1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 9                 Carolina Panthers                   1 p.m. (FOX)

Sat. Dec. 15                at Denver Broncos                  TBD (NFLN)

Sun. Dec. 23               Cincinnati Bengals                  1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 30               at Baltimore Ravens               1 p.m. (CBS)

– – –

Silly us, we had presumed John Dorsey was thinking about two big ole QBs in SAM DARNOLD and JOSH ALLEN as he contemplated his first overall pick.  But now a new name is rumored.  ESPN.com:

 

Baker Mayfield “definitely” has been a part of the Cleveland Browns’ considerations with the No. 1 draft pick, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and the former Oklahoma quarterback cannot be ruled out as a possibility for the top overall selection Thursday night.

 

The source said the Browns may have already decided whom they would select at No. 1. But before that final decision, whenever it was made, Mayfield was in that conversation.

 

The inclusion of Mayfield in the Browns’ conversation adds murkiness to the top of the draft, where Cleveland owns picks Nos. 1 and 4.

 

Browns general manager John Dorsey didn’t provide many hints on the team’s draft strategy when he met with reporters last Thursday, saying that he expected at least four quarterbacks to be picked in the first round.

 

The Browns, coming off an 0-16 season, are expected to select a quarterback with one of their first two picks. ESPN’s Mel Kiper projected Cleveland to select Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen at No. 1 in his most recent mock draft, with Mayfield going to the Miami Dolphins with the 11th overall pick.

 

USC’s Sam Darnold also is widely viewed as a candidate for Cleveland with the first overall pick, and UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen has been projected ahead of Mayfield among draft-eligible quarterbacks.

 

Mayfield, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, recently visited with the Browns. Dorsey referred to Mayfield as a “pleasant fella” during his Thursday news conference.

 

A name that does not appear in this “rumor” is Haslem, but somehow we feel it should.

 

 

PITTSBURGH

SCHEDULE NOTES

The NFL picks the Steelers as it’s leading AFC brand in 2018…They get five primetime games, plus four late doubleheader games on CBS (two that would naturally be 1 p.m. matchups)…We note that in four of the five primetime games, the Steelers are clearly the perceived draw as they meet up with lesser brands…The Steelers divisional slate is frontloaded with five of the first eight games…The finale with Cincinnati is the only AFC North game after November 4…Very balanced as Pittsburgh will have the same amount of home and away games after each even-numbered game.

 

Sun. Sept. 9                at Cleveland Browns               1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Sept. 16              Kansas City Chiefs                 1 p.m. (CBS)

Mon. Sept. 24             at Tampa Bay Buccaneers     8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Sun. Sept. 30              Baltimore Ravens                   8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sun. Oct. 7                  Atlanta Falcons                       1 p.m. (FOX)

Sun. Oct. 14                at Cincinnati Bengals              1 p.m. (CBS)

        Oct. 21 — BYE

Sun. Oct. 28                Cleveland Browns                   1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Nov. 4                 at Baltimore Ravens               1 p.m. (CBS)

Thr. Nov. 8                  Carolina Panthers                   8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN)

Sun. Nov. 18               at Jacksonville Jaguars          8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sun. Nov. 25               at Denver Broncos                  4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 2                 Los Angeles Chargers 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 9                 at Oakland Raiders                 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sun. Dec. 16               New England Patriots             4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 23               at New Orleans Saints            4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Sun. Dec. 30               Cincinnati Bengals                  1 p.m. (CBS)

 

AFC SOUTH

 

JACKSONVILLE

Coach Doug Marrone says the Jaguars did not pay QB BLAKE BORTLES to be the same Blake Bortles we have come to know.  Marc Sessler at NFL.com:

 

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone has made it clear all offseason what Jacksonville needs from Blake Bortles come September: A tangible uptick in play.

 

“We’re looking to see great improvement from him going into this next season,” Marrone said at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, days after the team laced Bortles with a three-year, $54 million extension packed with $26.5 million in guarantees.

 

Marrone echoed those words in March at the Owners Meetings — and again on Tuesday during a sit down with the gang from Good Morning Football.

 

“By being rewarded a contract — like I always tell the players — you get rewarded with that contract, obviously, we expect something in return and we expect you to make a big jump again this year,” Marrone said of his fifth-year signal-caller.

 

Bortles played with determination down the stretch, shrugging off endless quips from the media to guide Jacksonville within a hair of the Super Bowl.

 

For all his ups and downs, Bortles put his capabilities on display in a marvelous thrashing of the Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round before nearly taking out the Patriots in the conference title bout.

 

Marrone on Tuesday pinpointed where he noticed a positive shift in his quarterback’s play. Entering the team’s Week 8 bye, the Jaguars finally had a chance to “really implement a full installation, a full season of what we wanted to get done from an offensive standpoint.”

 

“And we really saw Blake make … great strides from the Cincinnati game on,” Marrone said. “I think that was important. And he showed us he can do a lot of good things with the football and showed he was able to improve.”

 

The Jaguars pulled themselves out of the Kirk Cousins derby and seem to have little interest in trading up for a passer in this week’s draft. None of this precludes the club from adding competition, but Jacksonville is married to Bortles for at least another season.

 

 

THIS AND THAT

 

 

2018 DRAFT

Cork Gaines of Business Insider collects the results of some of the many Mock Drafts and averages them:

 

We surveyed 13 NFL Draft experts who have released mock drafts recently to get a sense for which players teams might be considering with all 32 first-round picks. With so many experts projecting trades in the first round, it is difficult to pinpoint a consensus draft order, but we can get a sense of where each player might end up and how early they might hear their name called.

 

The experts: ESPN’s Mel Kiper, ESPN’s Todd McShay, NFL.com‘s Bucky Brooks, NFL.com‘s Chad Reuter, NFL.com‘s Charley Casserly, NFL.com‘s Daniel Jeremiah, Walter Football, CBS Sports’ Will Brinson, CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco, Rotoworld’s Josh Norris, The Ringer’s Danny Kelly, USA Today’s Luke Easterling, NFL Draft Scout’s Rob Rang.

 

1. Josh Allen, QB (Wyoming)

Average mock draft position: 1.8

Highest draft spot predicted: 1 (9 experts)

Most common destinations*: Cleveland Browns (9), Buffalo Bills (3), Denver Broncos (1)

 

Key expert quote: “Allen, my top-ranked quarterback, can sit behind Tyrod Taylor in 2018 and take the Week 1 snaps in 2019.” – Kiper

 

2. Sam Darnold, QB (USC)

Average mock draft position: 1.9

Highest draft spot predicted: 1 (4 experts)

Most common destinations: New York Giants (7), Cleveland Browns (4), New York Jets (2)

 

Key expert quote: “The buzz around the Giants is that they would like to take Darnold if he’s on the board at No. 2. Dave Gettleman would have quite the predicament if that’s true and the Browns yank on Allen.” – Brinson

 

3. Saquon Barkley, RB (Penn State)

Average mock draft position: 4.5

Highest draft spot predicted: 2 (2 experts)

Most common destinations: Cleveland Browns (6), Denver Broncos (2), New York Giants (2), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2), Indianapolis Colts (1)

 

Key expert quote: “A dream scenario for GM John Dorsey, who gets his QB at No. 1 and the best player in the draft at 4.” – McShay

 

4. Josh Rosen, QB (UCLA)

Average mock draft position: 4.5

Highest draft spot predicted: 2

Most common destinations: New York Jets (8), Buffalo Bills (4), Denver Broncos (1)

 

Key expert quote: “General manager Mike Maccagnan didn’t trade up to not take a quarterback. And starter Josh McCown will be 39 when Week 1 begins.” – Kiper

 

5. Bradley Chubb, DE (NC State)

Average mock draft position: 4.6

Highest draft spot predicted: 2

Most common destinations: Cleveland Browns (6), Indianapolis Colts (4), Denver Broncos (2), New York Giants (1)

 

Key expert quote: “Pairing Chubb with Myles Garrett would give Cleveland one of the most exciting and potentially dominant defensive lines in the league. The former Wolfpack star is a tough and physical pass rusher and was excellent against the run, too, finishing second among all defenders last year in tackles for a loss (26.0). ” – Kelly

 

6. Quenton Nelson, G (Notre Dame)

Average mock draft position: 6.4

Highest draft spot predicted: 5

Most common destinations: Indianapolis Colts (5), Chicago Bears (3), Denver Broncos (3), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2)

 

Key expert quote: “The Colts’ decision to trade back is perhaps the best indication yet that the club is satisfied with Andrew Luck’s recovery. Acquiring three second-round picks (including the Jets’ 2019 selection) to move down three spots and still have arguably the best player in the entire draft available? That’s a huge win for the Colts, who could use Nelson’s size, athleticism and nastiness inside.” – Rang

 

7. Baker Mayfield, QB (Oklahoma)

Average mock draft position: 6.5

Highest draft spot predicted: 3

Most common destinations: Miami Dolphins (3), New York Jets (3), Buffalo Bills (2), Denver Broncos (2), Indianapolis Colts (1), New England Patriots (1), New Orleans Saints (1)

 

Key expert quote: “Mayfield has the presence and accuracy the Jets are looking for at the QB position.” – Jeremiah

 

8. Denzel Ward, CB (Ohio State)

Average mock draft position: 9.9

Highest draft spot predicted: 6

Most common destinations: Chicago Bears (2), Oakland Raiders (2), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2), Washington Redskins (2)

 

Key expert quote: “Easy choice here, too. The Bucs’ pass defense was woeful in 2017, and Ward is the best true corner in this class.” – Kiper

 

9. Tremaine Edmunds, LB (Virginia Tech)

Average mock draft position: 9.9

Highest draft spot predicted: 8

Most common destinations: Chicago Bears (4), San Francisco 49ers (3), Buffalo Bills (2), New York Giants (2)

 

Key expert quote: “Edmunds fits the athletic profile of Ryan Pace’s early-round selections during his tenure with Chicago. Edmunds also fills a need in the wake of Jerrell Freeman’s release. ” – Walter Football

 

10. Roquan Smith, LB (Georgia)

Average mock draft position: 10.7

Highest draft spot predicted: 8

Most common destinations: Oakland Raiders (6), San Francisco 49ers (2)

 

Key expert quote: “The Raiders have a choice between the high-motor sideline-to-sideline Smith and the less-polished but freakishly gifted Tremaine Edmunds. A tough call, but I’ll go with Smith here.” – McShay

 

11. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S (Alabama)

Average mock draft position: 10.9

Highest draft spot predicted: 7

Most common destinations: San Francisco 49ers (5), Miami Dolphins (3), Green Bay Packers (2),

 

Key expert quote: “Another versatile defender the 49ers can plug into an increasingly impressive group on that side of the ball. Wouldn’t be opposed to them getting more protection for Jimmy Garoppolo either.” – Brinson

 

12. Derwin James, S (Florida State)

Average mock draft position: 11.3

Highest draft spot predicted: 7

Most common destinations: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5), Los Angeles Chargers (2)

 

Key expert quote: “My favorite defensive prospect in this class. On the first snap of the game, James might line up as a split safety. The second snap he might line up in the slot. Then outside corner. Then back to safety, either strong or free. I know it was a down 2017 season, but James is extremely talented with plenty of positive tape.” – Norris

 

13. Vita Vea, DT (Washington)

Average mock draft position: 13.3

Highest draft spot predicted: 10

Most common destinations: Washington Redskins (6), Miami Dolphins (3), Oakland Raiders (2)

 

Key expert quote: “Vea is a perfect fit for a defense that needs to get stout versus the run (last in league in run defense last season). James would be a possibility if still on the board, especially with Su’a Cravens gone to Denver.” – McShay

 

14. Marcus Davenport, DE (Texas-San Antonio)

Average mock draft position: 16.2

Highest draft spot predicted: 9

Most common destinations: Seattle Seahawks (3), Detroit Lions (2), Green Bay Packers (2), San Francisco 49ers (2)

 

Key expert quote: “With Michael Bennett traded to Philadelphia and Cliff Avril’s future still in doubt, Seattle will need help off the edge. Davenport is raw, but he’s big, fast, and physical—and could make an impact immediately by carving out a rotational pass-rushing role alongside Frank Clark, Marcus Smith, and Dion Jordan.” – Kelly

 

15. Harold Landry, Edge (Boston College)

Average mock draft position: 19.2

Highest draft spot predicted: 12

Most common destinations: Tennessee Titans (4), Green Bay Packers (4), Seattle Seahawks (2)

 

Key expert quote: “Getting another defensive player to help out Mike Pettine’s defense makes a ton of sense, especially a out-of-the box rusher for a team looking to make a run now.” – Brinson

 

16. Calvin Ridley, WR (Alabama)

Average mock draft position: 19.3

Highest draft spot predicted: 15

Most common destinations: Baltimore Ravens (4), Arizona Cardinals (3), Carolina Panthers (3)

 

Key expert quote: “Ridley, once projected to go in the top 10, has been projected as late as No. 29 in this mock draft. He tested extremely poorly at the combine. However, not all front offices are obsessed with metrics.” – Walter Football

 

17. Mike McGlinchey, OT (Notre Dame)

Average mock draft position: 22.2

Highest draft spot predicted: 10

Most common destinations: New England Patriots (3), Baltimore Ravens (2), Cincinnati Bengals (2), Philadelphia Eagles (2)

 

Key expert quote: “This deal gets New England in the position to take a left tackle. McGlinchey’s NFL comp is Solder, so he’d make sense here.” – McShay

 

18. Josh Jackson, CB (Iowa)

Average mock draft position: 22.7

Highest draft spot predicted: 14

Most common destinations: New England Patriots (4), Seattle Seahawks (4), Green Bay Packers (2)

 

Key expert quote: “Jackson and 2017 third-round pick Shaquill Griffin can help Seattle transition into the next phase of the Legion of Boom.” – Kiper

 

19. Lamar Jackson, QB (Louisville)

Average mock draft position: 22.7

Highest draft spot predicted: 9

Most common destinations: Arizona Cardinals (4), Buffalo Bills (2)

 

Key expert quote: “Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon give the Cardinals some freedom not to play Jackson right away, although it would hardly be surprising to see him on the field in 2017. Larry Fitzgerald might not mind too much.” – Brinson

 

20. Da’Ron Payne, DT (Alabama)

Average mock draft position: 22.9

Highest draft spot predicted: 13

Most common destinations: Los Angeles Chargers (5)

 

Key expert quote: “He is a player who would help improve them in a big way up front. They need to get stouter against the run.” – Prisco

 

21. Leighton Vander Esch, LB (Boise State)

Average mock draft position: 23.6

Highest draft spot predicted: 8

Most common destinations: Dallas Cowboys (2), Los Angeles Chargers (2), Pittsburgh Steelers (2)

 

Key expert quote: “[He] is closer to Tremaine Edmunds than given credit for. He is uber-athletic and presents uncommon size at the position. If the Cowboys aren’t fond of the defensive tackles or receivers here, linebacker makes sense.” – Norris

 

22. DJ Moore, WR (Maryland)

Average mock draft position: 24.2

Highest draft spot predicted: 15

Most common destinations: Dallas Cowboys (4), Jacksonville Jaguars (4), Carolina Panthers (2)

 

Key expert quote: “With Dez Bryant no longer in the picture, the Cowboys need to add some playmaking receivers. Moore is just the type of tool that Dak Prescott could utilize: A standout on “layup throws” like quick slants, curls, digs, and screens, the former Maryland star has extraordinary elusiveness and speed after the catch, and is capable of taking a short pass and turning it into a big gain on any given snap.” – Kelly

 

23. Taven Bryan, DT (Florida)

Average mock draft position: 26.3

Highest draft spot predicted: 19

Most common destinations: Atlanta Falcons (6), Detroit Lions (2)

 

Key expert quote: “Bryan is ultra-twitched up and he’s exactly what the Falcons are looking for in their defense. There’s a chance he could go much earlier than this spot, but if he’s still on the board, I can’t see the Falcons going in another direction.” – Jeremiah

 

24. Jaire Alexander, CB (Louisville)

Average mock draft position: 28.5

Highest draft spot predicted: 13

Most common destinations: Pittsburgh Steelers (3), Arizona Cardinals (2)

 

Key expert quote: “They always seem to be in need of an upgrade at corner. Alexander is a player that scouts have raved about to me.” – Prisco

 

25. James Daniels, C (Iowa)

Average mock draft position: 28.5

Highest draft spot predicted: 20

Most common destinations: Minnesota Vikings (4), Cincinnati Bengals (3)

 

Key expert quote: “Minnesota could look at guards or tackles with this pick. Daniels could move to guard for the Vikings.” – Kiper

 

26. Rashaan Evans, LB (Alabama)

Average mock draft position: 28.6

Highest draft spot predicted: 19

Most common destinations: Pittsburgh Steelers (4), Tennessee Titans (2)

 

Key expert quote: “I’ve had the Steelers taking Lamar Jackson in my previous updates, but with Ben Roethlisberger saying that he wants to play for three more years, it makes sense for the front office to look elsewhere. Pittsburgh obviously needs to replace Ryan Shazier, who won’t play in 2018. Rashaan Evans’ stock has slipped of late, but he could still be chosen in the opening round.” – Walter Football

 

27. Isaiah Wynn, G (Georgia)

Average mock draft position: 28.8

Highest draft spot predicted: 18

Most common destinations: Buffalo Bills (2), Minnesota Vikings (2), Seattle Seahawks (2)

 

Key expert quote: “The Bills gained draft capital by trading away Cordy Glenn but do not currently appear to have the players on the roster to handle losing its best blocker. Like Glenn, Wynn stood out at left tackle at Georgia but has the build some feel is better suited for guard.” – Rang

 

28. Will Hernandez, G (Texas-El Paso)

Average mock draft position: 28.9

Highest draft spot predicted: 20

Most common destinations: Minnesota Vikings (4), Cincinnati Bengals (2)

 

Key expert quote: “Not a lot of holes on this roster, so Minnesota probably will look at the offensive or defensive line here. Hernandez will help shore up the O-line to protect the investment the Vikings made in Kirk Cousins.” – McShay

 

29. Hayden Hurst, TE (South Carolina)

Average mock draft position: 29.6

Highest draft spot predicted: 16

Most common destinations: Baltimore Ravens (3), New Orleans Saints (3)

 

Key expert quote: “Coby Fleener hasn’t done much in two years, and Hurst would be a clear upgrade. The NFC is loaded in 2018, and the Saints should be in the thick of it again.” – Kiper

 

30. Maurice Hurst, DT (Michigan)

Average mock draft position: 30.3

Highest draft spot predicted: 19

Most common destinations: Atlanta Falcons (2), Detroit Lions (2)

 

Key expert quote: “The Falcons are always on the look out for defensive value in the draft and adding another player to the defensive line would go a long way for them here.” – Brinson

 

31. Derrius Guice, RB (LSU)

Average mock draft position: 30.4

Highest draft spot predicted: 13

Most common destinations: Detroit Lions (2), New England Patriots (2)

 

Key expert quote: “Guice is a top 10 talent, but the question in his evaluation is his impact in the receiving game. That might not matter with the Patriots, since they deploy a rotation and feature backs in their best role. Guice isn’t necessarily bad in the passing game, it’s that we don’t know much about him in that area thanks to LSU’s offense.” – Norris

 

32. Kolton Miller, OT (UCLA)

Average mock draft position: 31.2

Highest draft spot predicted: 19

Most common destination: New England Patriots (6)

 

Key expert quote: “The Patriots don’t often draft offensive linemen in the first round, but they have a big hole to fill at the tackle position following the departure of Nate Solder.” – Jeremiah