AROUND THE NFL

NFC NORTH

 

DETROIT

Is this a silly signing?  Kyle Meinke of MLive.com:

 

The Detroit Lions have added some experience to their quarterback competition by signing Tom Savage to a free-agent deal. Terms were not disclosed.

 

Savage, 28, is a sixth-year pro who spent last season as a backup in New Orleans, San Francisco and Cincinnati. He began his career with the Houston Texans, who took him in the fourth round of the 2014 draft.

 

He hasn’t taken a snap under center since 2017, when he started seven games and appeared in eight for Houston. He completed 125 of 223 passes that year (56.1 percent) for 1,412 yards, five touchdowns, six interceptions and a passer rating of 71.4.

 

For his career, Savage is 181 of 315 passing (57.5 percent) for 2,000 yards, five touchdowns, seven picks and a passer rating of 72.5.

 

Savage joins Connor Cook in the fight to back up Matthew Stafford, and the Lions may not be done either. GM Bob Quinn once said it’s good football business to draft a quarterback about every other year, and the Lions haven’t taken once since adding Brad Kaaya in the sixth round in 2017.

 

Detroit has been doing a lot of legwork on the quarterbacks in this draft, including speaking to top prospects like Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins. Of course, it would take at least the eighth overall pick to grab either player, and maybe even higher than that. Quinn has said he’s open to using the pick on a quarterback, but given the years and money still left on Stafford’s megadeal, it’s far more likely Detroit adds a developmental quarterback on Day 2 or especially Day 3 to compete with Savage and Cook at QB2.

 

NFC WEST

 

SAN FRANCISCO

EDGE JOEY BOSA is fully aware that his political philosophy is not in line with most of the denizens of the community whose team holds the second overall pick.  Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

Former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa was once outspoken on Twitter. Now he’s less so.

 

Bosa, who has praised President Trump and called Colin Kaepernick a “clown” in tweets that he later deleted, told Kevin Van Valkenburg of ESPN.com that he decided giving up his political tweeting was only practical because he might get drafted by the 49ers, who represent one of the most liberal cities in America.

 

“I had to,” Bosa said. “There is a chance I might end up in San Francisco.”

 

Bosa, of course, didn’t “have to” do anything. For an example of a player who chose to prioritize his freedom of expression over his NFL career, he need only look to Kaepernick, the so-called “clown” who isn’t in the NFL anymore because he kneeled during the national anthem. And Bosa certainly wouldn’t have suffered the same fate as Kaepernick — he’d get drafted no matter how much he tweeted about politics, although some teams might be weary of a player who would be polarizing with the fan base.

 

Not wanting to risk a backlash, Bosa is now keeping his political opinions to himself.

 

We used “denizens” and then were worried we might be offending someone – so we looked it up to make sure we had it right.  We think we did, “an inhabitant or occupant of a particular place” is what we intended.

 

 

SEATTLE

The Seahawks are signaling a willingness to trade their franchise tagged DL FRANK CLARK.  Matt Verderame of Fansided.com:

 

The Seattle Seahawks used their franchise tag on defensive end Frank Clark this spring, but the word in NFL circles is he can be had for the right price.

 

Earlier this offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs used their franchise tag on outside linebacker Dee Ford. He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2020 second-round pick only weeks later.

 

The Seahawks could be exploring a similar scenario with Frank Clark.

 

Multiple league sources have told FanSided they believe Seattle is willing to hear trade offers, provided they include a second-round pick as a starting point.

 

Clark, 25, was slapped with the franchise tag on March 4. Less than a week later, reports initiated that the former Michigan star would hold out into the summer without a long-term deal in place.  The four-year veteran has been extremely productive in his short career. Last year, Clark notched a personal-best 13 sacks and has 32 sacks over the past three seasons.

 

Clark’s value is significant, but there are questions about his past. While in college, Clark was arrested on charges for assault and domestic violence, resulting in him being kicked off the Wolverines. This came two years after Clark was charged with second degree home invasion, in connection with stealing a computer. He later pled guilty.

 

For now, the belief is that General Manager John Schneider is focused on getting the Russell Wilson contract done. Wilson’s camp recently levied a self-imposed deadline of April 15 for a long-term pact to be agreed upon, otherwise the Pro Bowler is willing to play out the final year of his deal.

– – –

Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com looks at how the Seahawks could cast aside QB RUSSELL WILSON.

 

Less than a week remains until the Seattle Seahawks reach Russell Wilson’s deadline to negotiate a mega-deal, and there isn’t much reason to expect them to make history together at this point. Nothing I’ve heard gives me the sense that a deal is anything close to imminent, and Wilson’s Tax Day cut-off point to talk contract is already looming.

 

The mere fact that this April 15th “deadline” exists at all is indicative of the bleak odds that a deal gets done. When it comes to quarterbacks of this magnitude, the need to impose any sort of artificial deadline at all doesn’t apply. Because, generally, it’s such a foregone conclusion that both sides already know in the back of their minds where it’s going, and it’s just a matter of carving out a spot on their calendars to get there. There is not only an unspoken vibe, but in almost every recent case I can think of (Aaron Rodgers/Packers, Matt Ryan/Falcons, Drew Brees/Saints, Ben Roethlisberger/Steelers) either one party or both is falling all over themselves to make it abundantly clear to the fans and the media that the QB is going absolutely nowhere.

 

Yet in this instance, there has long been a strong sense from those close to Wilson that the QB has never been fully appreciated – let alone celebrated – by Seattle’s brass, a sentiment further honed by the club’s scouting of first-round quarterbacks over the years and their tepid-at-best attempts to procure his services for the long term. Something has always seemed a bit off given all Wilson has accomplished. When it comes to record-setting QB negotiations, and showing a top-five QB the love, one of these things is not like the other.

 

When you hear Art Rooney II or Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert talk about Roethlisberger there is a finality to their comments; they have been down this road several times before and another deal is just a matter of time. Mark Murphy, de facto owner of the Packers, spoke about Rodgers’ next deal at this time a year ago as a fait accompli, as did Falcons team president Rich McKay whenever Ryan’s name came up last offseason. It was fairly matter-of-fact, and neither side saw a need for a cut-off point prior to the start of the offseason workout program, because it was going to be a fairly straight-forward negotiation whenever they set their minds to it.

 

But we are at a different time in the league, now, already, believe it or not. The cap will keep soaring and is perhaps about to spike drastically with an influx of sports wagering money flooding perhaps before the start of the season. And the television deals are getting closer to their expiration with a new horizon in online streaming now a big part of the revenue pie. Oh, and just yesterday formal negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA got underway. And Wilson has never missed a snap and is already a historically significant quarterback whose career passer rating and clutch production have him in the rarest of stratospheres.

 

To further complicate things, the Seahawks’ franchise is in a purgatory of sorts after owner Paul Allen passed away last season, and at the recently completed NFL owner’s meetings a very trusted source said it could easily be years before that team is sold. Add all of that up – and the Seahawks’ ability to franchise Wilson in 2020-2022 – and, well, let’s just say it’s complicated.

 

Seattle’s lack of anything close to a contract overture to Wilson a year ago – despite him being at precisely the same spot in his contract as Rodgers was in his (both had two years remaining) – with Wilson performing at a higher level than him and being healthier, too, always baffled me. That was the sweet spot to hammer something else, yet there wasn’t even an exploratory phone call. A franchise that has been forward-thinking and proactive for years on contracts, including then-record deals for guys like Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor during Wilson’s tenure there, let an entire long offseason transpire without any words being exchanged, much less proposals.

 

And, well, given the daily, ongoing drama between Antonio Brown and the Steelers, and with Big Ben about to get yet another huge payday, I can’t help but compare the way Rooney and Colbert and all of management have rallied around their quarterback – to a fault – and compare it to the relative silence coming out of Seattle after Sherman went to lengths to take shots, both subtle and overt, at Wilson on his way out of that organization. It’s not even close.

 

So add all of that up, and the fact that a guy like Ryan – whose postseason resume can’t compare and who is significantly older than Wilson – will receive an audacious $74M fully guaranteed in the first two years of his contract alone (2018-2019) as part of $95M in total guarantees at signing, and, well, let’s just say the price of doing business with Wilson just continues to rise. And, given all of that, there has been no reason for his camp to initiate anything, and no reason to talk at all once the preparations for the 2019 campaign begin next week, either.

 

If it’s me, the first digit on the annual value of any new contract better start with a 4, or a number easily rounded up to 40 (like, oh, $38.5M). Otherwise, I wouldn’t be all that inclined to sign anything. And if in fact next Monday’s deadline passes without any real traction, then the Seahawks face placing the franchise tag on him next February and facing a very real deadline of July 15, 2020 to complete a multi-year extension. It’s really that simple. Or they trade him. Or they do both, potentially (tag him a year from now as a precursor to a mega-deal elsewhere via trade).

 

And as much as none of that is on the front-burner right now, I’d point out that Babe Ruth got traded and Wayne Gretzky got traded and Odell Beckham, Jr just got traded a few weeks ago. Never say never in pro sports. No one is untouchable and if this Tax Day deadline passes without any substantial movement, other teams will surely notice. Which got me to thinking … hypothetically … what kind of Russell Wilson trade would make sense?

 

I had a smart football guy whisper something to me about what a three-team swap between the Seahawks, Cardinals and Giants might look like, and, frankly, I thought it was a pretty cool concept. One I don’t see happening for various reasons – mostly because it would run counter to whatever Dave Gettleman and John Mara are trying to accomplish by propping up Eli Manning like the dude from “Weekend At Bernies” – but it did get my attention.

 

And since the Giants could, conceivably, easily walk away from Manning if they did something as novel and out-of-character as this, I’ll pass along his theoretical trade (this is a slight variation based on what I was told as I massaged it just a smidge in the sake of equity):

 

Trade scenario No. 1

Arizona gets: New York Giants’ picks at 6, 17 and 37 overall

Giants get: Wilson

Seahawks get: 1st overall pick (could use on Kyler Murray) and conditional 2nd or 3rd (if Wilson goes to playoffs – third – or wins Super Bowl – second – in next 2 seasons)

 

It actually adds up.

 

In essence, Wilson gets dealt for three first round picks – which is fair value (guys like Jay Cutler went for two first-rounders) – but it’s split up over two teams. According to the ‘ol Jimmy Johnson draft value chart (which is hardly the Bible anymore but is a worthwhile reference point) – 6 + 17+ 37 = 3080 points, while 1st overall is worth 3000. That’s basically a wash between what Arizona gets and what the Giants give up and what the Seahawks get in return. Oh, and the Giants get one of the top three QBs in the world, who is committed to playing beyond age 40 and is still very much in his early prime having just turned 30 in November, landing smack in the biggest media market in the world to sell jerseys and luxury suites and all that stuff.

 

The Giants moved on from OBJ, who they thought was trouble, and get a squeaky clean QB who is good for about 10 wins all by himself and immediately makes them vibrant and viable again. Sure, they wouldn’t pick until the third round in this draft, but with Wilson and Saquon Barkley and a tweak here or there, the potential for a robust offense is abundant. Gotta give to get.

 

Seattle won a Super Bowl with an undersized, uber-athletic QB with a strong baseball background who was making peanuts at the time, just a few short years ago. Might they do it again? Arizona can go get a stud tight end and the top WR on their board and build around a young QB making peanuts whom they just traded up to take 10th overall less than a year ago (Josh Rosen).

 

Sounds like a potential win-win-win to me. Eli is cut post-June 1 for cap savings and Wilson will earn every penny in the Big Apple. Would I do this if I was Seattle? Heck no. But then again I would have been falling all over myself to give him Rodgers’ deal last spring. And if you aren’t ready to start paying Wilson $40M a year or franchise him three times, then you simply must keep an open mind about all other options.  

 

This initial conversation about what a three-team Wilson swap might look like got me to thinking about what other trades-in-theory might make sense on some level. I came up with this:

 

Trade scenario No. 2

Oakland gets: Wilson, Giants pick at 37, and Giants 2020 1st round pick

Seattle gets: Oakland’s picks at 4, 24 and 27

Giants get: Derek Carr

 

Follow me here. Seattle gets three first-round picks for Wilson, albeit two of them are pretty late in the round. Still, now they control the draft and could take a QB and 4 or land a blue chip stud and package picks to move up and take a QB, or if they like the kid from Duke, maybe he is there at the end of the first round. The Giants essentially trade a high second round pick and a future one to get a young QB who has flashed Pro Bowl potential and is signed long-term to a team-friendly deal (again, cut Eli post-June 1). And Jon Gruden gets a truly top notch QB to work with, very much in his prime, with a host of weapons around him. Wanna start selling tickets in Vegas? You will now.

 

And after giving up so much draft capital they get another future 1 to keep them in great shape in 2020. And having a trade for Carr already lined up as part of a three-way swap would be big for them, rather than having to peddle Carr after the fact if they simply acquired Wilson in a traditional trade.

 

If we think Wilson – even at $40M a year – is worth at least the first-overall pick, then that’s 3000 draft-value points right there and in this case Oakland is giving up 3220, but also getting back real value from the Giants. For what it’s worth, there were at least rumblings about the Browns and Seahawks making sense as trade partners a year ago when Cleveland held the 1st and 4th overall picks and about to take Baker Mayfield, and Wilson and the Seahawks not talking about a contract. This hypothetical option would be somewhat similar.

 

Again, this is an exercise conducted largely in the clouds. My suspicion is Wilson plays out this season for a steal at $17M and gets Seattle back to the playoffs and then gets tagged (and then trade rumors swirl like mad come next February). And the Cardinals will stay at first overall and take Murray and peddle Rosen, eventually, for whatever they can. But time is clearly running out now on a five-year marriage between Wilson and the Seahawks, and I will always believe the very best time to secure the future Hall of Famer’s services for the foreseeable future came and went last spring.

 

AFC WEST

 

KANSAS CITY

The wheels of Missouri justice have ground slowly, but identified the creep with a laser pointer.  The AP:

 

A citation has been issued against a Missouri man accused of flashing a laser at New England quarterback Tom Brady during the Patriots’ AFC championship game victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

 

Prosecutors said Tuesday that 64-year-old Dwyan Morgan, of Lee’s Summit, faces a single count of disturbing the peace, a municipal violation.

 

Television stations posted footage after the game showing a green light flashing on Brady late in the Patriots’ 37-31 overtime victory on Jan. 20. Prosecutors say Brady was unaware of the laser.

 

Laser pointers are banned at most sporting events because of the potential for distraction and safety reasons. The light can damage the retina after even a short period of time.

 

Morgan doesn’t have a publicly listed phone number and couldn’t be reached by the Associated Press for comment.

 

 

THE RAIDERS

Jack Del Rio is glad he’s not the Raiders coach tasked with managing WR ANTONIO BROWN.  Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

As former Jaguars and Raiders coach Jack Del Rio pivots to a season in the media, he’s saying plenty of things. And he’s supplementing his head’s up regarding a potential Russell Wilson trade by invoking an opposite portion of the anatomy.

 

“I love the talent, but [Antonio Brown] has clearly shown that he’s going to be a pain in the ass,” Del Rio tells NFL.com. “He’s a very talented guy and I would love to have him. I would work with him no problem. If [players] have talent, you tend to tolerate it a little bit unless it becomes disruptive to your team. He’s going to have to learn that to really help the team. If he continues doing the things he’s been doing, just like he upset the Steelers, he’s going to upset the next team he’s on. There are certain things — I mean, this is America and he’s free to do what he wants — but those aren’t the things that are indicative of a good teammate. The working hard and being a good player definitely helps the team, which is why he’ll continue to get chances to be special until his skills deteriorate. That’s when people will get tired of him.”

 

Plenty of people already are tired of him, based on an unrelenting effort to settle scores even after he has won the game. And the Raiders’ coaches and players should be at least a little leery about ending up on the wrong end of Antonio’s wrath, if/when things don’t go the way he hopes they will in Oakland.

 

AFC NORTH

 

CINCINNATI

WR A.J. GREEN likes what he hears from and about new head coach Zac Taylor.  Herbie Teope of NFL.com:

 

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green compared his excitement level to the “first day of school” as he and his teammates reported Tuesday for the start of the voluntary offseason workout program.

 

From new head coach Zac Taylor to being back in the locker room, Green certainly has plenty of reasons to embrace an uptick in the energy level with his teammates.

 

But there is arguably one specific area that generates a lot of enthusiasm in the seven-time Pro Bowler. And it came after Green reviewed what Taylor accomplished in his previous stint as an assistant wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach with the Los Angeles Rams.

 

“Just watching the offense, just watching some of the Rams’ highlights, and their playbook made it very exciting,” Green told reporters Tuesday, via the Bengals’ official website. “It’s my first time being with an offensive-minded coach. Just him being the head coach, being in the meeting rooms going through everything, all the offensive plans, so it was very exciting for me.”

 

The arrival of Taylor signals an alteration to what Green had grown accustomed to in previous seasons under defensive-minded head coach Marvin Lewis, who was let go after 16 seasons.

 

With Taylor on the Rams’ offensive staff over the past two seasons, Los Angeles boasted one of the league’s top units in consecutive campaigns, made the postseason twice and advanced to Super Bowl LIII before losing to the New England Patriots.

 

Taylor also previously worked with a diverse set of wide receivers, which includes Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, among others. Cooks and Woods each produced 1,000-yard receiving campaigns in 2018.

 

In Cincinnati, Taylor has one of the NFL’s dynamic wide receivers in Green, who has six 1,000-yard seasons over his eight-year career. So, it’s easy to see why the Bengals’ No. 1 receiver is thrilled to get to work with Taylor.

 

“I think he’s definitely going to be hands-on and I think that’s good,” Green said. “He’s young, looks like the offense is going to be very high flying for us. We have the talent to be real good. We just got to put everything together.”

 

AFC EAST

 

NEW ENGLAND

The Patriots have tried to fill the void created by losing Gronkowski from their roster with an even longer last name.  Mike Reiss of ESPN.com:

 

In their first personnel move at tight end since Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement in late March, the New England Patriots have agreed to a one-year deal with Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a source tells ESPN’s Field Yates.

 

The Patriots have not announced the move, but Seferian-Jenkins confirmed in an Instagram post that he was signing with the team.

 

The Patriots also hosted former Broncos and Texans wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and former Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon for a visit on Wednesday, a source told Yates.

 

The 6-foot-5, 262-pound Seferian-Jenkins immediately becomes the Patriots’ most accomplished pass-catcher at tight end, with 116 career receptions for 1,160 yards and 11 touchdowns in 43 games over five seasons.

 

The other four tight ends on the Patriots’ depth chart — Jacob Hollister, Stephen Anderson, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo — have combined for 71 career receptions.

 

Seferian-Jenkins, 26, had 11 catches for 90 yards and a touchdown before going on injured reserve in early October with a core muscle injury that required surgery. He became a free agent when the Jacksonville Jaguars declined his $500,000 option for 2019.

 

 

THIS AND THAT

 

 

2019 DRAFT

Is this a sign that the draft stock of QB DWAYNE HASKINS is sinking?  Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

The NFL revealed the names of the players who will attend the NFL draft, and the most noteworthy name missing was that of Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

 

We don’t yet know the reasons that Haskins is not attending, but it may be another indication that his draft stock is sinking. Players don’t like long waits on draft night, and if Haskins and his camp haven’t sensed that any of the teams with high picks are high on him, they might think it’s wiser to stay home and enjoy the draft with family and friends, without the constant pressure of live looks at them sitting their awkwardly waiting for the phone to ring.

 

Three other quarterbacks — Kyler Murray, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones — will be in attendance. Until recently, Lock and Jones were widely viewed as behind Haskins on most draft boards. That may no longer be the case. No one should be surprised if Haskins’ name is the fourth quarterback called.

 

Other top prospects not attending the draft include Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary, North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury and Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell.

 

If Haskins is sinking is it for valid reasons?  Or will he be the 2019 version of DeSHAUN WATSON?

– – –

How about a Mock from Ric Seritella of NFLDraftScout.com:

 

As many as a dozen defensive linemen could be selected in the first round. On the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s possible that running backs are shut out of the first round entirely this year. Meanwhile, quarterbacks will always be a hot commodity, with four being selected in version 2.0. Be sure to check back for exclusive updates leading up to the draft!

 

1. Arizona – QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma: The worst kept secret in the NFL is that the Cardinals are all in on Murray, whose decision to play football pays off in the short-term.

 

2. San Francisco – DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State: While the 49ers have stacked their defensive line, Bosa is too good of a talent to pass up and could wreak havoc lined up opposite of Dee Ford.

 

3. NY Jets – DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama: The Jets need to continue to add blue chip players such as Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams—Williams serves as a cornerstone type of talent.

 

4. Oakland – DT Ed Oliver, Houston: What a fit, Oliver appears tailor-made for the new-look Raiders, as Jon Gruden, along with GM Mike Mayock continue to churn the roster.

 

5. Tampa Bay – DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State: Reports have indicated that the heart condition discovered at the combine was minor, paving the way for the Bucs to pair Sweat with JPP.

 

6. NY Giants – OLB Josh Allen, Kentucky: While many needs exist, securing a potential impact pass-rusher seems like another offering that’s too good for GM David Gettleman to refuse.

 

7. Jacksonville – OT Jonah Williams: With big money invested in new quarterback Nick Foles, making sure he is well protected should be the Jaguars top priority entering the draft.

 

8. Detroit – CB Greedy Williams, LSU: The selection of Williams instantly makes him the best player in the Lions’ secondary, which seems to never get repaired properly; Greedy will make an impact immediately.

 

9. Buffalo – TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa: If quarterback Josh Allen is to succeed, surrounding him with weapons will be critical. Hockenson not only upgrades the passing attack but also the run game due to his blocking.

 

10. Denver – ILB Devin White, LSU: This is a volatile spot in the draft, as many options exist such as a quarterback or a trade. However, the smart thing to do would be to select White, who brings instant stability on defense.

 

11. Cincinnati – QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State: New head coach Zac Taylor deserves a new franchise quarterback if this Bengals organization is ever going to get over the hump.

 

12. Green Bay – ILB Devin Bush, Michigan: The loss of one fiery leader, Clay Matthews, via free agency, is replaced with another emotional fireball in Bush, who wears his passion on his sleeve.

 

13. Miami – QB Drew Lock, Missouri: Nobody keeps a seat warm better than “Fitzmagic.” With the newly acquired Ryan Fitzpatrick already in tow, the Dolphins can afford to bring Lock along at his own pace.

 

14. Atlanta – DE Rashan Gary, Michigan: With more beef needed up front and an underwhelming Vic Beasley entering the final year of his contract, Gary presents an upgrade.

 

15. Washington – QB Daniel Jones, Duke: The Redskins acquired Case Keenum, so the fact that Jones isn’t forced to start right away is paramount, as the cerebral Duke signal-caller learns the complex playbook of Jay Gruden.

 

16. Carolina – DE Brian Burns: Should this scenario play out, it would be a match made in heaven for the Panthers, who are in dire need of pass-rush help and Burns, who is a rare talent.

 

17. NY Giants (from Cleveland) – OT Andre Dillard, Washington State: Coming off his 15th season, quarterback Eli Manning has never been sacked more than he was a year ago, an alarming 47 times.

 

18. Minnesota – DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson: The presence of Wilkins in the middle of the defensive line would open up pass-rush opportunities on the edge for Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen.

 

19. Tennessee – DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson: With a big need up front, Lawrence brings plenty of size and athleticism to fill the void.

 

20. Pittsburgh – WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi: From AB to DK, the Steelers try their best to move on from the Antonio Brown fallout.

 

21. Seattle – FS Deionte Thompson, Alabama: The “Legion of Boom” is nothing but a memory, it’s time to rebuild up the secondary and that begins with Thompson at the safety spot.

 

22. Baltimore – WR Hollywood Brown, Oklahoma: This is an excellent complimentary piece to the offense, as Lamar Jackson possesses the arm strength to allow Hollywood to run underneath the ball and score touchdowns.

 

23. Houston – OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida: After a season in which quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times, the Texans must plug up some holes on the offensive line at all costs.

 

24. Oakland (from Chicago) – TE Noah Fant, Iowa: Gruden hails from the Al Davis Raiders and can surely appreciate the “Fast and Furious” Fant. Along with AB and Tyrell Williams, Fant would be dynamite!

 

25. Philadelphia – OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma: The Eagles need to inject some youth into the offensive line, Ford could play inside for a season and eventually take over for Jason Peters.

 

26. Indianapolis – WR A.J. Brown, Mississippi: Adding an explosive playmaker such as Brown could be the luxury weapon that elevates the Colts offense into the upper-echelon.

 

27. Oakland (from Dallas) – CB Julian Love, Notre Dame: The Raiders allowed the most points in the league (467) last season, including a league-worst 36 touchdowns via air, Love works.

 

28. LA Chargers – OT Greg Little, Mississippi: This could be the final run for future Hall of Fame signal-caller Phillip Rivers; providing additional protection would be beneficial.

 

29. Kansas City – DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson: New defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will transition the Chiefs to a 4-3 scheme and Ferrell can help offset the loss of Justin Houston and Dee Ford.

 

30. Green Bay (from New Orleans) – OG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College: A feisty, pulverizing blocker who fits the Packers mold, Lindstrom would be an instant fan favorite amongst the Cheeseheads.

 

31. LA Rams – DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame: Picking up Tillery cancels out the loss of Ndamukong Suh and provides Aaron Donald with another dynamic tackle to dance with in the middle.

 

32. New England – DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State: A projected top ten talent, Simmons could easily slide due to medical and character concerns; he would likely sit out his rookie campaign.

 

And here is a Mock from Charley Casserley who thinks DREW LOCK is going to be sitting around for the Patriots at #32.  He also thinks Miami is going to stand aside and trade down with the Giants to let the Giants draft a quarterback.  Wouldn’t New York want to get ahead of the Dolphins who need a QB?

 

1 – ARIZONA

Kyler Murray – QB

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior (RS)

New Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury gets the quarterback to lead his Air Raid offense.

 

2 – SAN FRANCISCO

Nick Bosa – Edge

School: Ohio State | Year: Junior

The 49ers get a bookend to pair with Dee Ford, giving them a legitimate pass rush.

 

3 – NEW YORK JETS

Josh Allen – Edge

School: Kentucky | Year: Senior

The Jets need a pass rusher, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded out of this pick.

 

4 – OAKLAND

Rashan Gary – Edge

School: Michigan | Year: Junior

The Raiders’ only chance to get a premier edge rusher is here, not in the 20s.

 

5 – TAMPA BAY

Devin White – LB

School: LSU | Year: Junior

He’s an instinctive football player who can make plays from sideline to sideline.

 

6 – NEW YORK GIANTS

Quinnen Williams – DT

School: Alabama | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Giants GM Dave Gettleman stays true to his draft board and takes the best player available.

 

7 – JACKSONVILLE

Jawaan Taylor – OT

School: Florida | Year: Junior

The Jaguars want to be physical up front and run the ball, and Taylor allows them to do that. Look for them to address their tight end need later in the draft.

 

8 – CAROLINA

Montez Sweat – Edge

School: Mississippi State | Year: Senior

PROJECTED TRADE WITH LIONS. The pass rushers are flying off the board, and the Panthers need one.

 

9 – BUFFALO

Andre Dillard – OT

School: Washington State | Year: Senior (RS)

If I were the Bills, I’d move Dion Dawkins to right tackle and slide Dillard — the best pass blocker in the draft — in at left tackle.

 

10 –  DENVER

T.J. Hockenson – TE

School: Iowa | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Joe Flacco loves throwing to tight ends, but I could also see the Broncos taking a quarterback here.

 

11 – CINCINNATI

Devin Bush – LB

School: Michigan | Year: Junior

Bengals fill a major need on defense with the athletic Bush.

 

12 – GREEN BAY

Cody Ford – OT

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior (RS)

The Packers need an upgrade at right tackle.

 

13 – NEW YORK GIANTS

Dwayne Haskins – QB

School: Ohio State | Year: Sophomore (RS)

PROJECTED TRADE WITH DOLPHINS. The Giants jump ahead of the Redskins to get Eli Manning’s successor.

 

14 – ATLANTA

Ed Oliver – DT

School: Houston | Year: Junior

Pass-rushing defensive tackles are a major priority for the Falcons.

 

15 – WASHINGTON

Clelin Ferrell – Edge

School: Clemson | Year: Junior (RS)

The Redskins have been looking for a pass rusher to play opposite Ryan Kerrigan for years.

 

16 – DETROIT

Deandre Baker – CB

School: Georgia | Year: Senior

PROJECTED TRADE WITH PANTHERS. The Lions fill their biggest need and pick up some extra draft capital in the process.

 

17 – MIAMI

Christian Wilkins – DT

School: Clemson | Year: Senior

PROJECTED TRADE WITH GIANTS. Wilkins gives the Dolphins a playmaker on the inside of their defense.

 

18 – MINNESOTA

Jonah Williams – OL

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

The Vikings address one of their most glaring weaknesses by picking Williams, who can play left tackle or left guard.

 

19 – TENNESSEE

D.K. Metcalf – WR

School: Mississippi | Year: Sophomore (RS)

The Titans’ offense has a lot of pieces, but it’s still lacking a true speed receiver on the perimeter — Metcalf would give them that. They also need to address the interior O-line, but I think they can do that in Round 2.

 

20 – PITTSBURGH

Byron Murphy – CB

School: Washington | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Murphy is an excellent technician at the position, helping to bolster the Steelers’ secondary.

 

21 – SEATTLE

Brian Burns – Edge

School: Florida State | Year: Junior

The Seahawks add a pass rusher opposite Frank Clark, who’s currently set to play the 2019 season on the franchise tag.

 

22 – PHILADELPHIA

Greg Little – OT

School: Mississippi | Year: Junior

PROJECTED TRADE WITH RAVENS. The foundation of the Eagles’ recent success has been the strength of their O-line, so adding a quality player here helps now and for the future.

 

23 – HOUSTON

Rock Ya-Sin – CB

School: Temple | Year: Senior

The Texans lose out on an offensive lineman with the Eagles’ savvy trade, but rebound by selecting Ya-Sin to fill a need at CB.

 

24 – OAKLAND

Irv Smith Jr. – TE

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams and Irv Smith with Derek Carr! The Raiders have made a lot of moves this offseason to become a better football team.

 

25 – BALTIMORE

Marquise Brown – WR

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior

PROJECTED TRADE WITH EAGLES. Ravens grab a WR who can stretch the defense and play in the slot.

 

26 – INDIANAPOLIS

A.J. Brown – WR

School: Mississippi | Year: Junior

Brown will fill the slot for the Colts, but he can also play outside, too.

 

27 – OAKLAND

Dexter Lawrence – DT

School: Clemson | Year: Junior

The Raiders continue to re-build their defensive line by taking the third Clemson Tiger in Round 1.

 

28 – LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Daniel Jones – QB

School: Duke | Year: Junior (RS)

The Chargers find Philip Rivers’ heir by selecting the most pro-ready quarterback prospect in the 2019 draft class.

 

29 – KANSAS CITY

Garrett Bradbury – C

School: N.C. State | Year: Senior (RS)

The top defensive players are gone, so the Chiefs upgrade their O-line.

 

30 – GREEN BAY

Taylor Rapp – S

School: Washington | Year: Junior

Safety was a major problem for the Packers last year, but Rapp and free-agent pickup Adrian Amos are the solution.

 

31 – LOS ANGELES RAMS

Jerry Tillery – DL

School: Notre Dame | Year: Senior

The Rams take the best defensive lineman prospect left on the board. Michael Brockers can shift inside to play nose tackle, while Tillery lines up at defensive end.

 

32 – NEW ENGLAND

Drew Lock – QB

School: Missouri | Year: Senior

Tom Brady can play until he is 45 and then Lock will take over!