AROUND THE NFL

Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com says no consensus has emerged on the Competition Committee about how to change replay to avoid horrible calls such as the one that denied the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl.

 

Early discussions among NFL competition committee members suggest the league is unlikely to make significant changes to replay review this offseason.

 

While emphasizing that talks remain in the early stages, New York Giants co-owner John Mara — a longtime member of the committee — said he’s “not sensing a lot of support for making changes.”

 

Members spent the past two days discussing the present and future of replay in response to a missed pass interference call near the end of regulation in the NFC Championship Game. Mara said it’s possible the league’s officiating department could change on-field mechanics to better guard against such misses, but he added that it’s unrealistic to expect results from expanded replay or the addition of an eighth on-site official.

 

“Calls are just missed,” Mara said. “Officials are just human. They’re going to miss calls from time to time. … To think that we’re going to be a system where calls are always going to be corrected from New York or from upstairs, I just don’t think we’re there or even close to being there.”

 

Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy, another member of the committee, echoed Mara’s view.

 

“I think there is still a concern about reviewing judgment calls,” Murphy said. “We’ll study, but I don’t think anything is imminent that something will change. … Unfortunately, the reality is that officials are human. They make mistakes. Coaches make mistakes. Players make mistakes.”

 

Committee discussions here at the NFL scouting combine in essence rehashed previously rejected ideas. Committee chairman Rich McKay joked that the topic has come up every year “since like 1986,” and Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said there aren’t many new ideas to consider.

 

“We’ve had these conversations,” Jones said. “And you start rehashing them, and you go, ‘Oh my gosh, we’ve had this conversation again and again and again and again and again.'”

 

In recent years, the committee and most owners have rejected plans that would expand replay for new categories of eligible plays and/or adding an eighth official to each game’s crew. Neither garnered enough support to move to a full vote of owners.

 

Mara said adding an ability to challenge no-calls, for example, raises questions about what replay officials would review.

 

“Are you going to look for one area or check the entire offensive line?” Mara said. “I think you get into a lot of areas with a lot of unintended consequences, and I just don’t think there is a lot of sentiment for going in that direction at this point.”

 

Unique variables this offseason include the no-call in the NFC Championship Game. Officials failed to flag Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman in the fourth quarter — a decision that had a direct impact on the Rams’ 26-23 overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints.

 

The rapid expansion of sports gambling also adds an element to ensuring credibility of officiating calls.

 

Jones said the no-call in the NFC Championship Game has created “energy” to discuss the system. But like Mara, Jones noted that mistakes are part of the fabric of the game. Notably, no one involved in the decision — not commissioner Roger Goodell and not any member of the competition committee — has expressed public support for expanding replay or adding an official.

 

“Over the course of time,” Jones said, “everybody gets affected by a call, by a player making a mistake, by a coach making a bad decision. Those things happen.”

 

McKay said he expects several teams to propose “significant” changes to replay, but he indicated the committee’s discussions will be limited more to “tweaks” that could give the system more capacity to correct obvious mistakes. Last month’s missed call provided a natural impetus for discussion, but McKay did not commit to anything beyond that and said he does not think the committee will reach a consensus until the March 24-27 owners meetings in Phoenix.

 

“Given the significance of the play, and the focus on that error late in the game, you need to have a top-down discussion again,” McKay said. “I think that’s the right thing to do. When you have it, you may come up with some ideas to modify replay, add to, subtract from, whatever it may be. I think that’s a healthy discussion.

 

“And also, I think you’re going to have some people who have historically wanted to expand replay and want to use this moment to have that discussion, which I don’t blame them for wanting to do. For any discussion about it, you have to go all the way through, meaning end to end, because there are so many complications to it, in the way it impacts the game, officiating, time of game, pace of game, all those things. We are going to do that.”

 

In other news, McKay confirmed that the committee has discussed a handful of on-field celebrations that included players or other team officials who were on the bench. McKay said the committee will remind teams that only players on the field can participate but said the reminder will not affect the celebrations themselves.

 

NFC NORTH

 

CHICAGO

G KYLE LONG will remain with Chicago.  Adam Johns in the Chicago Sun-Times:

 

The Bears and right guard Kyle Long agreed to a restructured contract that frees up much-needed salary-cap space for the team.

 

“Bear for Life,” Long said on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

 

Long, 30, was slated to have an $8.5 million cap hit in 2019, the result of a four-year, $40 million extension he signed just before the 2016 season.

 

The Bears needed cap space but weren’t willing to part with Long. The Bears still believe in him, while he remains committed to them.

 

The details of Long’s restructured deal weren’t immediately available. But it will provide the team with more financial flexibility. Last week, the Bears released tight end Dion Sims, a move that saved $6 million against the cap.

 

A first-round pick in 2013, Long spent the last three seasons battling various injuries, starting only 25 games. He suffered a right foot injury last season in the Bears’ victory against the Jets and missed the next nine weeks. But he returned for the  season finale against the Vikings. He also played every snap against the Eagles in the playoffs.

 

Long’s reworked deal means that all five of the Bears’ offensive line starters are set to return in 2019 for coach Matt Nagy.

 

The Bears signed right tackle Bobby Massie to an extension in January and could give center Cody Whitehair one soon.

 

“[Long] had a unique year in the fact that he came in learning the offense, being a leader in the room and then had that injury,” Nagy said after the season. “He was able to work back to a position where he could play again and got back in there. He’s a big guy, being able to play against big defensive tackles and three-techniques. He helps you there. But I was proud of how he handled this year, how he got through it both mentally and physically. It was good for him.”

 

 

GREEN BAY

Change in Green Bay and the big question is how will QB AARON RODGERS respond to it.  Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

The Packers have a new head coach and Matt LaFleur is bringing new offensive concepts with him to Green Bay, which has led to a lot of wondering about how quarterback Aaron Rodgers will adjust to the changes on the sideline.

 

While offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said the new offense won’t be completely new, there are going to be differences and teaching old dogs new tricks has a mixed track record of success. Given Rodgers’ sometimes prickly personality, there have been questions about how well that will work this season.

 

Packers president Mark Murphy said on Tuesday that Rodgers “has to embrace” the changes and expressed confidence that the quarterback will do exactly that.

 

“He’s driven,” Murphy said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “He wants to win championships, and I think he knows that he’s got only so many years left. I’m excited. I think he and Matt, I think that relationship is going to be crucial. He’s the head coach but he’s the play caller.”

 

Rodgers’ only public comments regarding LaFleur’s arrival came from Atlanta during Super Bowl week. He said that change is usually “tough at first,” but that things usually work out for the best. The hope for the new-look Packers is that the tough part is as short as possible.

 

NFC EAST

 

DALLAS

The Cowboys are looking to give a substantial contract to QB DAK PRESCOTT says Clarence Hill, Jr. in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram:

 

Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said signing defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to a contract extension is the team’s biggest priority of the offseason for obvious reasons.

 

He is an unrestricted free agent and someone they desperately want to keep.

 

But not far behind Lawrence in the pecking order for contract extensions is quarterback Dak Prescott, who is heading into the final year of his rookie deal.

 

Prescott, who due to make $2.045 million next year and is currently the 17th highest paid Cowboys player, has clearly outplayed his contract as a fourth-round pick in 2016.

 

Jones said the Cowboys could wait until next year but acknowledged that Prescott is deserving of a new deal now. And it’s the right thing for the Cowboys to do.

 

“You look at a quarterback who’s had the success he’s had.  He’s started since Day 1, he’s a fourth-round draft pick,” Jones said between competition committee meetings preceding this week’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “You can imagine, I’m sure what Dak is thinking too. He’s the leader of the football team, as most quarterbacks are. He’s done everything the right way, and I think he deserves to have his contract looked at in a very progressive way.”

 

When Jones says “progressive”, he means giving Prescott market value quarterback money between $25-30 million annually.

 

Prescott made $450,000, $540,000 and $630,000 in each of the last three years in which he started every game for the Cowboys, won rookie of the year in 2016 and made the Pro Bowl twice.

 

The Cowboys are all in Prescott as the long-term answer at the quarterback. So Jones said there is no reason to wait.

 

“I just think it’s the right time to look at it,” Jones said. “He is in the last year of his contract. We have always said we would like to look at players, especially guys we think have long-term futures with us and we are sure of that. And the last year of your contract you would like to extend.

 

“It makes sense. We will have to see. Go to work and see what happens.”

 

Prescott beginning preparing for a new deal last offseason when he left his first agent Jeff Guerriero of ProSource Sports for Todd France and the mega talent conglomerate known as Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

 

NFC SOUTH

 

ATLANTA

The Falcons will be retaining the services of DE VIC BEASLEY in 2019:

 

At a time when some think that the Falcons will be parting ways with veteran defensive end Vic Beasley, the Falcons don’t plan to end their relationship with the 2015 first-round pick. Currently.

 

Via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, coach Dan Quinn said that keeping Beasley around is “the plan right now.”

 

“I’m very excited about where I think he can go to, and we’ve had good conversations about the impact that he can make,” Quinn said regarding the man who in his second NFL season led the league in sacks with 15.5. “The biggest impact that he can make is doing it really consistently.”

 

After racking up an average of nearly one sack per game in 2016, Beasley has had a grand total of 10 sacks. His fifth-year option salary of $12.819 million is due to become fully guaranteed on the first day of the league year.

 

But while the Falcons apparently won’t be dumping Beasley before he hits the books for $12.819 million for the 2019 league year, Beasley will need to earn a second contract.

 

“He’s knows that,” Quinn said. “We know that. . . . If he’s the competitor we think he is, then those are the moments you live for. I’m excited to see what he can be this year.”

 

Beasley partially moved to outside linebacker in 2017 before moving back to defensive end in 2018. His ability to cash in with a big-money long-term deal with the Falcons or someone else will depend on what he does in the coming season at defensive end.

 

AFC WEST

 

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

The Chargers don’t seem as concerned about basketball as the Chiefs.  Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

There’s been some handwringing this offseason about Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes playing basketball, with the front office urging him to stop because they’re worried about injuries. Another AFC West team seems to feel differently.

 

Chargers defensive backs Derwin James and Casey Hayward are playing basketball together this offseason, and the Chargers like what they see so much that they posted a highlight.

 

It’s a pretty impressive highlight: Hayward lobs the ball off the backboard, and James goes way up to dunk, while the hapless guy they’re playing against, who looks like just an ordinary dude at a rec center, can do nothing about it.

 

Perhaps the Chargers’ front office is going to urge the social media team not to post those highlights so as not to encourage James to keep playing, but more likely the Chargers are fine with some offseason basketball. And James certainly looks like he can play.

 

 

THIS AND THAT

 

 

FREE AGENT PREDICTIONS

From the crystal ball of John Breech of CBSSports.com:

 

Over the next four weeks, there’s a good chance the unpredictable is going to happen, because that’s what seems to happen during every offseason in the NFL.

 

Will Le’Veon Bell get the contract he was hoping for? (Spoiler alert: Probably not). Where will Antonio Brown end up? Will Odell Beckham get traded? I’m going to try to answer those questions for you, and more, with these nine bold predictions for the NFL offseason.

 

Wide receiver drama finally comes to an end

Prediction 1: Antonio Brown ends up in the NFC West

If one thing has become clear this offseason, it’s that Brown is almost certainly going to get traded at some point over the next few weeks, which raises one obvious question: Where will Mr. Big Chest be playing in 2019?

 

According to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora — the man who originally broke the news that Brown wanted a trade back in January — the Steelers are hoping to trade Brown to an NFC team, so that’s the route we’re going to go with this prediction. The guess here is that Brown ends up in the NFC West with either the Cardinals or the 49ers.

 

The 49ers make sense because that’s where Brown seemingly wants to go. Since the beginning of the offseason back in January, Brown hasn’t really been trying to hide the fact that he’s interested in playing for the 49ers. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen Brown respond favorably to being recruited to San Francisco by 49ers tight end George Kittle. We’ve also seen Brown follow the 49ers on social media and he even shared a painting on Instagram that featured him and Jerry Rice. Oh, and he also told Rice that he wanted to play in San Francisco.

 

Of course, just because Mr. Big Chest wants to play for the 49ers doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. For one, the 49ers are going to have to make a generous offer because the Steelers have made it clear they’re not going to give Brown away for free. The other part of this is that the Steelers might try to spite Brown in this trade by sending him to a team that he doesn’t want to play for. Brown has said he wants to play for a winner and it would be a perfect ending to this situation if the Steelers sent Brown to Arizona, the team that ended the 2018 season with the worst record in the NFL.

 

For a look at the eight most likely potential landing spots for Brown — and four teams he definitely won’t be playing for — be sure to click here.

 

Prediction 2: Odell Beckham gets traded

I’m not the first person to make this prediction and I probably won’t be the last, and that’s mainly because it’s starting to feel like the Giants don’t want to deal with all the drama that Beckham brings to the team. For one, it was just four months ago that Beckham basically threw Eli Manning under the bus during an ESPN interview that also featured Lil Wayne. The Giants receiver also wouldn’t say for sure whether or not he wanted to be in New York. The Giants were so upset with the interview that they decided to fine him.

 

Oh, and that wasn’t the first time the Giants have been upset with Beckham. There was the video from last offseason that showed Beckham holding a brown cigarette in his left hand. There was also the time that Beckham celebrated a touchdown by peeing like a dog in September 2017. After that incident, he was forced to have a private meeting with Giants owner John Mara, who wasn’t happy with the situation.  The Giants also weren’t thrilled that Beckham and other receivers went on a South Beach boat trip before the team’s playoff game in 2016. The Giants ended up losing that game to the Packers 38-13, and after the loss, Beckham punched a hole in a wall at Lambeau Field.

 

I could go on, but I won’t, because I think you get the point. Basically, there’s a long list of reasons why the Giants might be open to a trade. If a team is willing to throw a first-round pick at the Giants, it won’t be surprising at all to see Beckham get dealt between now and the NFL Draft. One potential landing spot could be the 49ers, which could bump Mr. Big Chest out of San Francisco. Another intriguing landing spot would be in Cleveland, and the Browns could afford Beckham, because they have nearly $80 million in cap space, according to Over The Cap.

 

So what does Odell think of all this?

 

@obj

 ONE DAY. Everything will all make sense in the end. I promise u. Story’s unfolding, it’s all a part of the journey. #JustWait

 

I hope he’s right because nothing makes sense right now.

 

Prediction 3: A new receiving weapon for Tom Brady

Unless you’re a die-hard Patriots fan, there’s a good chance that you can’t name a single wide receiver the Patriots currently have under contract right now, besides Julian Edelman.

 

Josh Gordon? Nope. He’s going to be a restricted free agent.

Chris Hogan? Nope. He’s going to be a free agent.

Cordarrelle Patterson? Nope. He’s going to be a free agent.

Phillip Dorsett? Nope. He’s going to be a free agent.

 

I think what I’m trying to say here is that if the Patriots don’t sign a receiver in free agency, they might have to switch their offense to the single-wing next season. Although I’m sure Bill Belichick would love to roll with an old school offense like the single-wing, the more likely scenario here is that the Patriots sign a receiver and the prediction is that the receiver they sign is Golden Tate. This moves makes sense for multiple reasons: For one, the Patriots actually had some interest in Tate just before the 2018 trade deadline in October. Not to mention, the Patriots could theoretically end up landing Tate at a somewhat affordable price, which isn’t usually something you can say when you’re talking about the best receiver available in free agency during any given year. Also, Tate just made $31 million over the past five years and at this point, he might be willing to sign at a slight discount if it means a chance to win the Super Bowl.

 

The quarterback dominoes fall into place

Prediction 4: Nick Foles makes his way to Florida

The Eagles have spent the entire offseason playing mind games with the rest of the NFL, which is why no one really seems to know what’s going to happen with Foles. As things currently stand, Foles is set to be a free agent on March 13, but that could change if the Eagles decide to hit him with the franchise tag, which is a decision the team will have to make by March 5. The prediction here is that Foles ends up in Jacksonville or Miami, depending on how his situation breaks down.

 

If Foles gets tagged, it’s going to be difficult for the Jaguars to land him in a trade. The tag number for a quarterback is expected to be roughly $25.1 million for one year, which is a price the Jaguars will have a tough time affording, considering the fact that they basically have negative cap space right now. If the tag happens, then the Dolphins become a logical trading partner. If Foles ends up being a free agent, that’s where the Jaguars come in. If that happens, the Jags could get creative to get Foles’ new contract to fit under their salary cap for 2019.

 

Although the Giants and Redskins also seem like logical landing spots, the Eagles will likely do everything in their power to keep Foles from going to an NFC East team. 

 

Prediction 5: Case Keenum follows Foles to Florida, but not with the same team

When the Broncos decided to trade for Joe Flacco, they apparently forgot to tell Case Keenum that a deal was about to go down, because he was shocked when the trade happened.

 

One thing that shouldn’t shock Keenum is the idea of the Broncos cutting him. With Flacco now in Denver, the writing is on the wall for Keenum: He’s either going to be traded or cut by the Broncos. The Jaguars and Dolphins will probably be paying close attention to this situation and that’s because they both need a quarterback. The prediction here is that one of these teams is going to land Foles and the other team will go home with the consolation prize of Keenum.

 

Prediction 6: Mr. Tannehill goes to Washington

With Alex Smith unlikely to play in 2019, the Redskins are in serious need of a starting quarterback and it appears that all options are on the table. One thing we know for sure is that the Redskins are definitely open to trading for a quarterback and we know that because they were the Broncos main competition for Joe Flacco. With Flacco now in Denver, the prediction here is that the Redskins will turn their eyes to Miami to try and pull off a trade with the Dolphins. For Washington, there’s a lot of upside to adding Tannehill. For one, he should come cheap. The Dolphins don’t really seem interested in keeping him, which means Washington probably won’t have to give up much to land him. The other upside for the Redskins is that Tannehilll has an affordable contract that Washington could easily absorb. The Dolphins quarterback is scheduled to make just $18.725 million in 2019, but none of that money is guaranteed. Tannehill’s 2020 salary of $19.5 million also isn’t guaranteed, which means he could be released after the 2019 season with little cap repercussions.

 

There’s also the possibility that the Redskins might not even have to pull off a trade for Tannehill. If the Dolphins can’t find a trading partner, there’s a good chance they’ll end up cutting Tannehill, which would allow the Redskins to work out an even more team-friendly contract.

 

Prediction 7: Colin Kaepernick gets signed

Of all the predictions on this list, this one might be the craziest, and that’s mainly because Kaepernick has been out of football for the past two years due to the fact that there have been zero teams willing to sign him. Although there were probably multiple teams that passed on him due to his politics, it’s also possible that a few teams only passed him because he was in the middle of a collusion lawsuit against the NFL. With that case now settled, it could pave the way for Kaepernick to get back into the league. One person who definitely thinks Kaepernick is going to get another shot is his lawyer, Mark Geragos. During an interview after the settlement was announced, Geragos named two teams that might go after Kaepernick: The Patriots and Panthers.

 

The Patriots make sense if only because signing Kaepernick might be the perfect way for them to make some offseason headlines that don’t involve their owner.

 

It also wouldn’t be surprising to see the Dolphins or Seahawks make a play for Kaepernick. Although the Redskins and Jaguars both need a quarterback, it’s highly unlikely either team would go after Kaepernick due to political reasons (Redskins owner Daniel Snyder was reportedly not happy about player’s kneeling and Jacksonville’s Tom Coughlin has said his team has zero interest in Kaepernick).

 

Le’Veon Bell returns to football

Prediction 8: Bell joins Jon Gruden in Oakland

If I’ve learned one thing about the Raiders over the past two years, it’s that they’ve perfected the art of making a splashy move any time they need some positive PR. After the NFL’s 32 owners approved the team’s move to Las Vegas back in March 2017, the Raiders kept their fans in Oakland happy by luring hometown hero Marshawn Lynch out of retirement and convincing the Seahawks to trade him. After the team broke ground on their new stadium in Vegas in November 2017, the Raiders kept their fans in Oakland happy by signing Jon Gruden to a 10-year deal just two months later.

 

This year, the Raiders have spent most of the offseason as the NFL’s only homeless team and what better way to make fans forget about that than adding Bell. With Lynch and Doug Martin both over the age of 30, it’s not that crazy to think that Gruden will be looking to bring in a younger running back. The advantage of having Bell is that he can catch passes out of the backfield, which is exactly the kind of running back Derek Carr needs right now. Ever since his leg injury in December 2016, Carr seems to have a minor case of the jitters and it would probably help him a lot to have a back to dump the ball off to.

 

Oh, and lets not forget the fact that Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, an Oakland native, really wants to see this move happen.

 

Although there have been reports that Bell ballooned up to 260 pounds during his year away from football, his trainer has sternly denied those accusations, which means the reports probably won’t scare away the Raiders.

 

One NFL Draft prediction

Prediction 9: Kyler Murray is a top-5 pick

Although Murray will almost certainly be selected in the first round, most draft pundits out there don’t feel that he’ll be taken in the top-five. In our five mock drafts here at CBSSports.com, only one writer has Murray going in the top-five and that’s Will Brinson, who has the former Oklahoma quarterback going with the first overall pick to the Cardinals. Brinson’s mock might sound crazy, but don’t forget, the Cardinals are coached by the guy who said he would take Murray first overall if he ever got the chance.

 

Of course, the reason most other people aren’t projecting Murray to go in the top-five is because he doesn’t have the size of a prototypical quarterback. Murray is listed at  5-foot-10 and 195-pounds, although there have been recent reports suggesting that he’s now up to 206. There will be a lot of teams that DON’T like Murray because of his size, but the good news for him is that it only takes one team to love him to make the top-five happen, and based on how many quarterback-needy teams there are in the draft this year, it won’t be surprising at all to see Murray taken with one of the first five picks.

 

If the Cardinals don’t take Murray with the top pick, then that will open the door for a team like the Jaguars, Dolphins or Giants to trade up and grab him. 

 

 

 

 

BROADCAST NEWS

Decent ratings for the AAF.  Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com:

 

A tumultuous week for the Alliance of American Football resulted in a weekend of increased interest.

 

Via Andrew Bucholtz of AwfulAnnouncing.com, the AAF’s Week Three games on NFL Network had significantly increased ratings over Week Two.

 

The official numbers, first reported by SportsTVRatings.com, show that the Saturday night game generated an average audience of 491,000, up from 424,000 in Week Two. On Sunday night, the prime-time game drew an average crowd of 515,000, a 90,000 viewer increase from Week Two’s comparable crowd of 425,000.

 

Making the Sunday night number even more impressive is the fact that the game competed head to head with the Oscars. And while there may not be a significant overlap in demographic, a lot of people watched the Oscars. Still, 515,000 didn’t — and that’s good for the AAF.

 

Whether the AAF can continue to steadily grow remains to be seen. For now, though, the AAF should be happy that it has carved a niche that maybe, in time, can grow into something much larger.

 

 

2019 DRAFT

Today’s Mock Draft is from Chad Reuter at NFL.com:

 

Each year, I find myself reaching an irrational level of excitement about the arrival of the NFL Scouting Combine (March 1-4 on NFL Network).

 

While some complain that the event takes a measure of athletic ability that doesn’t always translate once the pads are on, I view it as a chance to get as many of the top prospects as possible in one place at the same time. Now, teams can’t afford to use draft picks on unproductive players lacking competitive spirit and physicality, even if they test well in Indy — their film and recommendations from coaches are still the keys to their evaluation. However, seeing the physical tools for each player in direct comparison to their peers is also part of the projection process — one that should not be overlooked.

 

General managers, scouts and coaches also get a chance to talk to prospects during combine interviews and watch them interact with coaches on the field. The combine is a non-contact event, but league personnel will take away something about the competitiveness of each player based on his willingness to listen attentively and give full effort in the drills.

 

This mock draft is only one possible scenario for how things will play out once picks are being made in April, using the information we have heading into the combine. The 102 selections listed here take into account team needs at this very moment, as well as the talent of the prospects. Free agency, which begins on March 13, will obviously alter the outlook for each organization.

 

1 – ARIZONA

 Nick Bosa – Edge

School: Ohio State | Year: Junior

If Josh Rosen really is head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s guy at QB, then picking the best player in the draft makes sense here.

 

2 – SAN FRANCISCO

Quinnen Williams – DT

School: Alabama | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Williams and DeForest Buckner will cause major headaches for opposing offenses.

 

3 – NY JETS

Josh Allen – Edge

School: Kentucky | Year: Senior

Not only is Allen a fantastic pass rusher, but he can move well in space to make plays against the run and in coverage.

 

4 – RAIDERS

Rashan Gary – Edge

School: Michigan | Year: Junior

Even though Gary had just 3.5 sacks for the Wolverines this past season, he will be a powerful asset for the Raiders on the edge.

 

5 – TAMPA BAY

Josh Jacobs – RB

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

If I were projecting trades, I’d move the Jaguars or Dolphins into this spot so they could get their favorite quarterback. The Bucs could then nab their new bell-cow back in Jacobs with one of those later selections.

 

6 – NY GIANTS

Dwayne Haskins – QB

School: Ohio State | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Haskins is a pocket passer who can effectively move the Giants’ offense after 2019, the final year of Eli Manning’s contract.

 

7 – JACKSONVILLE

Kyler Murray – QB

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior (RS)

The Jaguars tried the prototype prospect in Blake Bortles; now they take a strong-armed and athletic passer who will present big problems for opposing defenses.

 

8 – DETROIT

Clelin Ferrell – Edge

School: Clemson | Year: Junior (RS)

Ferrell’s length and motor give him a real chance to be an excellent three-down player at the next level.

 

9 – BUFFALO

T.J. Hockenson – TE

School: Iowa | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Hockenson will be a welcome addition to Buffalo’s offense as a safety valve for second-year quarterback Josh Allen and a devastating blocker for the running game.

 

10 – DENVER

Jawaan Taylor – OT

School: Florida | Year: Junior

Denver must improve the offensive line so Joe Flacco can be at his best. Taylor’s power combines with Garett Bolles’ toughness to form strong bookends up front.

 

11 – CINCINNATI

Greedy Williams – CB

School: LSU | Year: Sophomore (RS)

The Bengals’ pass defense was poor in 2018, so the team needs a playmaker like Williams in the secondary.

 

12 – GREEN BAY

Jachai Polite – Edge

School: Florida | Year: Junior

The Packers could part ways with free agent-to-be Clay Matthews. Their need for an explosive pass rusher is paramount.

 

13 – MIAMI

Drew Lock – QB

School: Missouri | Year: Senior

It appears Ryan Tannehill is on the way out. The Dolphins could trade up to ensure they get the new signal-caller they want, whether it is Lock, Murray or Haskins.

 

14 – ATLANTA

Jonah Williams – OG

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

The Falcons line up Williams at guard to help in pass pro and bring some balance to an offense that just ranked 27th in rushing yards.

 

15 – WASHINGTON

Daniel Jones – QB

School: Duke | Year: Junior (RS)

The Redskins apparently expect Alex Smith to miss the 2019 season. Jones should grade well in team interviews. Throwing well during workouts could cement his spot in the first round.

 

16 – CAROLINA

Devin White – LB

School: LSU | Year: Junior

Fourteen years after selecting Thomas Davis in the middle of the first round, Carolina finds his replacement in the rangy White.

 

17 – CLEVELAND

Ed Oliver – DT

School: Houston | Year: Junior

Oliver’s combine performance is key to his draft stock. If he is longer and bigger than expected, then he will go high. If not, he will end up a mid-first-round bargain for someone willing to trust the film more than than the tape measure.

 

18 – MINNESOTA

Christian Wilkins – DT

School: Clemson | Year: Senior

Wilkins really should go higher, as he is an athletic player with scheme versatility — and has the sort of positive character every team wants in a first-round pick. We’ll see if a strong combine forces teams to ignore other roster needs to bring him in.

 

19 – TENNESSEE

 Montez Sweat – Edge

School: Mississippi State | Year: Senior

Sweat’s a strong and steady outside performer who will help 2018 second-round pick Harold Landry replace the retired Brian Orakpo and free agent-to-be Derrick Morgan, should he depart.

 

20 – PITTSBURGH

Marquise Brown – WR

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior

Antonio Brown has said goodbye to Steeler Nation. Marquise would be a nice fit, using his speed and quickness to elude defenders as Antonio did in Pittsburgh for nine years.

 

21 – SEATTLE

Johnathan Abram – S

School: Mississippi State | Year: Senior

Assuming Earl Thomas does not return to Seattle in 2019, Abram steps in Day 1 as a leader and playmaker.

 

22 – BALTIMORE

D.K. Metcalf – WR

School: Mississippi | Year: Sophomore (RS)

If Metcalf’s medical history is not an issue, he could go higher due to his ability to make big plays downfield. For now, I’ll say the Ravens take a shot on a potential home run hitter for Lamar Jackson following the release of Michael Crabtree.

 

23 – HOUSTON

Andre Dillard – OT

School: Washington State | Year: Senior (RS)

Dillard’s smallish build (for a tackle) and unwavering ability to protect his quarterback will remind Texans fans of longtime starter Duane Brown.

 

24 – OAKLAND (from Chicago)

Deandre Baker – CB

School: Georgia | Year: Senior

Free agency could raid Oakland’s talent at cornerback. Baker brings consistency and competitive fire to the position.

 

25 – PHILADELPHIA

Kelvin Harmon – WR

School: N.C. State | Year: Junior

The Eagles’ receiving corps could look completely different in 2019 between the loss and gain of free agents — and potentially picking up a young playmaker like Harmon.

 

26 – INDIANAPOLIS

Dexter Lawrence – DT

School: Clemson | Year: Junior

GM Chris Ballard says his team must continue to improve up front. Lawrence will be tough to move from the middle of the Colts’ D-line.

 

27 – OAKLAND (from Dallas)

Chris Lindstrom – OG

School: Boston College | Year: Senior

New Oakland GM Mike Mayock taps a hard-nosed player from his alma mater to bolster the offensive line.

 

28 – L.A. CHARGERS

Dalton Risner – OT

School: Kansas State | Year: Senior (RS)

New England exposed the right side of the Chargers’ line in the Divisional Round. Risner is not massive, but he’s tough to beat and could play multiple positions.

 

29 – KANSAS CITY

Byron Murphy – CB

School: Washington | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Murphy is slight, but is not afraid to mix it up with larger receivers and is a willing hitter.

 

30 – GREEN BAY (from New Orleans)

Irv Smith Jr. – TE

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

Jimmy Graham will likely be back in Green Bay, but Aaron Rodgers needs another playmaker at the tight end position.

 

31 – L.A. RAMS

Jaylon Ferguson – Edge

School: Louisiana Tech | Year: Senior (RS)

Ferguson’s pass-rush ability makes him a good fit for the Rams if they don’t retain Dante Fowler.

 

32 – NEW ENGLAND

Jeffery Simmons – DT

School: Mississippi State | Year: Junior

The Patriots are willing to take chances on players with medical issues ( Rob Gronkowski, Marcus Cannon, etc.). Simmons’ ACL tear may not be a deal-breaker for them.

 

Reuter goes on for two more rounds here.