Do the Jets have Deep Pockets for the Deep Threat, Robby Anderson?

Do the Jets have Deep Pockets for the Deep Threat, Robby Anderson?

We all knew Robby Anderson’s contract with the Jets was ending at the end of this season but we didn’t know how depleted the entire team would be. The 26 year old wide receiver has surely grown into himself. Anderson has had a decent year with 5 touchdowns on 49 receptions at Week 17. But if the rumors are true, that he’s looking for a 4 year, 10 million dollar contract the Jets might not be able to resign him.

Robby Anderson was once labeled a “One Trick Pony” since most of his plays were speedy deep routes. This year he was utilized in more plays and short passes. He has had his ups and downs with this team but the fact remains that Sam Darnold loves him. Unfortunately, the might not be able to afford to the Sam and Robby duo.

Robby’s career high is 63 catches for 941 yards – two years ago. That’s definitely not a $10 million dollar caliber receiver. Many have tried to compare him to his wide receiver counterparts such as Tyler Lockett, Emmanuel Sanders and Larry Fitzgerald. All are getting paid between 10-12 millions dollars a year. Yet they all have more receptions and/or yards than Anderson. A valid argument could be made for an 8 million dollar a year contract with performance incentives. Outside of that, 10 million for a number 2 wide receiver with mediocre numbers seems outlandish.

Joe Douglas will have his hands full this off season as he tries to rebuild the Jets from the ground up. The team is depleted and needs a new offensive line, pass rush, and corner backs which will be quite costly! What a difference a year can make in the NFL. The Jets went from having the 2nd highest cap in the league to having to try and get position players on a budget. After addressing these issues he will have little left to figure out how to address his wide receiver and running back situation. If Anderson is unwilling to negotiate, his return is highly unlikely.

2020 Post-Regular Season NFL Mock Draft

2020 Post-Regular Season NFL Mock Draft

For all of the teams that didn’t make the playoffs, it is officially draft season for you. For 20 NFL fan bases, their Google search history will be flooded with mock drafts and prospect highlight tapes. The draft in some way, shape, or form gives teams and their fans hope for following years. New players excite people and speculating on their future destinations keeps everybody talking until draft night.

This class is loaded with offensive talent that is unlike most others. There are possibly up to seven quarterbacks, four running backs, and roughly up to 15 wide receivers that could find themselves in the first round of this year’s draft. That leaves open the possibility of teams waiting on offensive skill players until the later rounds so they can get an early bid on the top tier defensive players and offensive linemen. With that being said, let’s see how the draft could possibly shakeout before the playoffs commence.

1. 2020 Post-Regular Season NFL Mock Draft

It is no secret that this pick is virtually a no-brainer. The Bengals need a quarterback and Joe Burrow is the best one in the class. Not only that, but he’s from Southeast Ohio so there should be a sense of comfort for Burrow. Burrow had one of the best seasons in college football history completing almost 80% of his throws and leading LSU who quickly became the best team in the country. He’s a real solid athlete that can move outside the pocket and deliver the ball from weird angles. His accuracy is off the charts and he certainly has suitable arm strength for the NFL. This pick is a no-brainer for the Bengals and it has been for a long time.

2. Washington Redskins- Chase Young (DE, Ohio State)

Chase Young could very easily be the best player in the draft and possibly the best prospect we have seen in a significant amount of time. Young was by far the most dominant defensive player in the country this year and showed that he is virtually unblockable, even by future NFL offensive linemen. Washington is getting a player that solidifies their front seven and could step into their defensive line from day one and be their best player. Pairing 6’6” Young and 6’6” Montez Sweat would be a dream come true for the Redskins. Throw Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne in the middle and that sets up one of the best defensive fronts in football. It’s understandable when people say that they should address the offensive side and help out Dwayne Haskins, but Chase Young is just too good to pass up.

3. Detroit Lions- Jeffrey Okudah (CB, Ohio State)

The Lions have a nice plethora of young corners already on the roster with Darius Slay, Justin Coleman, and Amani Oruwariye, but this secondary would jump to another level with Okudah. He is clearly the best corner in this draft and possibly the best corner since Jalen Ramsey. Okudah at 6’1” has good size for the position and can line up both on the perimeter and in the slot. His strength comes in man coverage, but can be coached up to become more consistent in zone. The Lions have a lot of options here, but Okudah is a can’t miss prospect at the position and if Darius Slay ends up elsewhere in the future, they have a future number one corner to fill in just fine.

4. New York Giants- Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama)

This is the sexy pick that Giants fans can get excited about. Jerry Jeudy is just simply fun to watch. He is unbelievable at creating space and is possibly the best route runner evaluated in the past two decades. There is no doubt that Jeudy is a special talent. The Giants were heavily criticized two years in a row for taking Saquon Barkley instead of a quarterback in 2018 and then taking Daniel Jones as the heir apparent to Eli Manning last year. Taking Jeudy here will give the G-Men one of the most dynamic and exciting combination of skill players in football. Jones proved that he can be starter in this league and Barkley has established himself as one of the league’s best backs. Jerry Jeudy should explode from day one in the NFL and give the Giants a receiving core to be feared.

5. Miami Dolphins- Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama)

Ok, here we go. Everybody drop your tomatoes and hear me out. Tua Tagovailoa is still a special prospect despite the injury. We haven’t heard anything new about the hip and that’s good news. It’s understood that hip injuries are serious and need to be monitored heavily, but if the Dolphins are still infatuated with Tua and think he is the future of the franchise, they should take him at this spot. He has a great arm with great accuracy that can be paired with solid athleticism and scrambling ability. He is unique in the fact that he is left handed and can complete passes at a 70% clip. He has developed fast and barring health, he should continue to get better in Miami. The fit just feels seamless. Tua to Miami. It feels meant to be.

6. Los Angeles Chargers- Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon)

Justin Herbert could have come out last year and have been the best quarterback in the draft, but he decided to go back for one more season at Oregon to try and compete for a national title. Though his title aspirations fell short, he showed NFL scouts how special he can be. He has a big athletic body that can move extremely well. Herbert has a very good arm that will definitely translate to the NFL. His accuracy and decision making could use some work, but he is a really coachable kid with a team-first mentality and should improve quickly. Philip Rivers does not look like he will continue his career in LA and the Chargers don’t have their future answer on the roster so Herbert feels like a great fit here.

7. Carolina Panthers- Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn)

The Panthers are in a really uncomfortable spot because they’re too low to draft a quarterback, but too high to address a definitive position of need. So they go with the best interior defensive lineman in the draft with Derrick Brown. Brown is the definition of a disruptor on the defensive line. He has the size to clog running lanes and the speed to be a legitimate pass rusher from inside. Brown is incredibly explosive and consistently bullies offensive linemen. There are questions about him when he can’t get his arms extended, but Brown is so quick off of his first step that he shouldn’t get caught too much. Carolina’s front seven was one of the strengths of the team and they should make the effort to keep the defensive line young and explosive.

8. Arizona Cardinals- Ceedee Lamb (WR, Oklahoma)

This is a fit that should get everybody excited. Kyler Murray and Ceedee Lamb are quite familiar with each other as they were teammates at Oklahoma and they will be playing in a very similar system as they did in college as well. Ceedee Lamb should thrive within Kliff Kingsbury’s offensive scheme. His size and catch radius fits perfectly in an offense that is based around spacing and making plays in the open fields. Lamb has great hands and a ton of big play ability that should benefit the arm of Kyler Murray. The only knock on Lamb is that he is not lightning fast, but by no stretch of the imagination is he slow. Lamb can still run very well, but he isn’t Tyreek Hill. Adding Lamb to this offense should help elevate the production of the team and the development of Murray going forward.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars- Isaiah Simmons (LB, Clemson)

The Jaguars defense took a clear step back this year after the injury to Myles Jack and the trade of Jalen Ramsey. So the Jags use the first of their first round picks on Isaiah Simmons who is as versatile of a defensive player as there is in college football. He began his career at safety with Clemson and then outgrew the position so he shifted to linebacker and became an elite prospect at that spot. Simmons can line up virtually everywhere on a defense. Pass rusher, inside linebacker, safety, slot corner, pick a spot and he can probably play it to some level. The Jags need somebody that can help this defense rebound and adding a crazy athletic linebacker in Simmons to pair with Myles Jack should help that from the beginning.

10. Cleveland Brown- Andrew Thomas (OT, Georgia)

The Browns get very fortunate here by snagging the best offensive lineman in the draft. We can point the blame in a lot of areas for Cleveland’s disappointing season. Recently fired coach Freddie Kitchens, Baker Mayfield, an inconsistent defense, were all contributors, but the offensive line was a big factor in their lack of success. Thomas is a stepping stone to fixing that problem. Thomas is great in both run blocking and pass protection and should be able to start at left tackle week one. One of the things that makes Thomas so intriguing is his versatility. Her played both left tackle and right tackle at Georgia this year and has the ability to play guard if needed. This is a must have for the Browns and they would be really fortunate to have Thomas fall into their lap like this.

11. New York Jets- Jedrick Wills (OT, Alabama)

Once Sam Darnold came back from mono this season, the Jets were actually not a terrible football team. Darnold played very well when given some sort of protection from his offensive line. The problem was that almost never happened. The Jets had one of the lowest graded offensive lines in football last year so that becomes top priority here. Wide receiver, pass rusher, and corner are also needs, but none as urgent as this need in the trenches. Wills had the benefit of being Alabama’s best offensive lineman protecting Tua’s blindside at right tackle. He should be able to move over to left tackle easily if the Jets decide to move him there. Wills thrives more in run protection as of now and needs to get quicker on his feet in pass pro, but he’s a strong kid that can be more than serviceable right out of the gate.

12. Las Vegas Raiders- Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama)

The second of possibly three Alabama wide receivers goes off the board here to the Raiders who are opening a new stadium in Vegas next year. Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden did well last year in the draft hitting on a lot of players that made an impact right away. Maxx Crosby, Trayvon Mullen, Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram, and of course Josh Jacobs, just to name a few. I don’t buy the fact that the Raiders are dying to move on from Derek Carr. So instead they give him a weapon that can be viewed as a mirror image to Tyreek Hill. He has elite speed and over the top ability and should have no problem creating space with his speed. His route running is not great and that may plague him in the short and intermediate passing game, but Ruggs is definitely a difference maker in any offense and the Raiders could use a legitimate speed threat at receiver to pair with Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow.

13. Indianapolis Colts- Javon Kinlaw (DT, South Carolina)

The Colts are another team that are in an uncomfortable spot. They could easily use a wide receiver as well as possibly a quarterback, but at 13, they don’t really have those options. So they address the defensive line where they can use an upgrade on the interior by drafting Kinlaw. Javon Kinlaw has risen up draft boards like crazy over the course of the season because of his aggressiveness and explosiveness. He is incredibly strong and will bully NFL guards on a week to week basis. He can affect the game in both run stoppage and pass rushing. The knock on Kinlaw is that he has a raw mind and will misdiagnose offensive schemes and plays from the line of scrimmage. He also has a tendency to show a lack of energy late in games, but with solid coaching (and the Colts definitely have that), he should reach his potential as a massive disruptor on the defensive line. Chris Ballard hits another homerun here.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Jonathan Taylor (RB, Wisconsin)

Most people will have the Bucs entertaining a quarterback here, but I don’t see a quarterback worth taking at this spot that fits with Bruce Arians. I think they will give Jameis Winston another shot and instead give him a future superstar running back in Jonathan Taylor. Taylor is one of the best running backs I have seen at the college level. He has dominated for years at Wisconsin and has gotten better every year. He is great in open space and has a knack for finding gaps in the line and down the field. He has good speed for a running back and can definitely break one when he finds the right hole. He isn’t as good of a pass catcher as you would want him to be, but in Tampa, they have plenty of pass catching options with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate, OJ Howard, Ronald Jones, etc. Taylor is a great fit for Tampa as they finally give Jameis Winston a suitable running game.

15. Denver Broncos- Tristan Wirfs (OT, Iowa)

Some view Tristan Wirfs as the best tackle in the draft. I think his anticipation can get a little better, but there is no doubt that he is a phenomenal talent. Wirfs has a huge frame at 6’5” 322 lbs and should immediately be able to handle NFL pass rushers. He played right tackle at Iowa, but he should be able to move to left tackle and replace Garett Bolles without issues. The Broncos look like they might have something with Drew Lock at quarterback, Philip Lindsay in the backfield, and with Courtland Sutton at wide receiver. Noah Fant at tight end also looks really solid. They just need to get better up front. Wirfs gives them two bookend tackles along with Ja’Wuan James who they signed last year in the offseason. 

16. Atlanta Falcons- AJ Epenesa (DE, Iowa)

The second straight Iowa player goes here with AJ Epenesa. He is a gifted pass rusher with great size and athleticism which the Falcons desperately need. The Falcons are reportedly planning to keep Dan Quinn as their head coach and Epenesa should be a nice new toy to play with in Quinn’s defensive scheme. He is a strong player that wins a lot with a bull rush style of pass rush. He has the speed to use more finesse moves when needed, but he doesn’t often use it. He may need to gain more confidence in that area, but his talent along with his size could force him into the top ten. The Falcons are getting a steal here with Epenesa and are addressing a need due to the inconsistency of Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley.

17. Dallas Cowboys- Grant Delpit (S, LSU)

The Cowboys have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL and still missed the playoffs. It says a lot about their coaching staff. But that roster could take a hit in free agency as they could lose multiple players in the secondary. Grant Delpit is the pick here. He is easily the best safety in the draft and the Cowboys have needed one for a while. Delpit has a ton of talent in multiple different areas and doesn’t have a glaring weakness. He is extremely affective as a box safety stopping the run and in blitz packages. He can be really versatile in both man and zone coverage. Delpit is a special talent and should make an immediate impact. His only knock is that he isn’t the best tackler and that’s what is causing him to slip somewhat. He is still a physical player, but he does have a tendency to miss tackles that he shouldn’t. The Cowboys getting Delpit here would be very fortunate and he should fit with whoever their new coach is.

18. Miami Dolphins (via PIT)- D’Andre Swift (RB, Georgia)

The second of three picks here for the Dolphins and they take the second running back off the board in D’Andre Swift. After nabbing Tua with their first selection, Miami takes a running back that some people have as RB1 on their boards. He is incredible in the open field and despite his small frame (5’9” 215 lbs), he runs with plenty of power. Swift runs with great balance and can be really hard to take down. He is incredibly agile and can make people miss with ease. Swift can also make plays in the passing game when needed as he is a solid route runner out of the backfield. Swift’s primary issue is that he isn’t a great blocker as a running back so that may limit his snaps on third down. He has to become a better pass protector if he wants to consistently be an every down back. However, Miami needs talent and playmaking at running back and Swift definitely brings that. Pairing him with Tua should be fun to watch right out of the gate.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI)- Kenneth Murray (LB, Oklahoma)

Yes, a defender from Oklahoma is getting drafted this early. Despite being in the Big 12 which has a reputation for terrible defenses, Murray is an extremely talented player that can win in multiple facets. He tends to be more of a finesse player than a power player in most cases. He’s extremely patient in the second level and doesn’t overly commit to one side leaving himself vulnerable. He has great speed and athleticism and anticipates how plays should shape up to be. His lack of aggressiveness does show at points where he gets caught looking weak in some aspects, but he does find ways to make plays when needed. The Raiders need to get better in the middle of their defense. Aside from Tahir Whitehead, they don’t have much at that position so adding Murray would improve that defense immensely.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)- Kristian Fulton (CB, LSU)

After the Jags traded Jalen Ramsey to the Rams, we have to assume that they will use one of their two first rounders to address corner. So they will use the pick they got from the Rams to pick up Kristian Fulton who has the potential to be a number one corner in the NFL. Fulton is great in press coverage and can lock down receivers with ease especially in the short and intermediate passing game. He has decent size for a corner (6’0” 200 lbs) and he pairs it with solid speed to not get burnt on deep routes. Fulton struggles with 50/50 balls and isn’t a great timing player. He also isn’t the most physical tackler so he will have a tendency to miss tackles in the open field. The Jaguars now have to address corner and sure up this defense that took a step back this past year. They do so by adding Fulton and Isaiah Simmons in the first round.

21. Philadelphia Eagles- Paulson Adebo (CB, Stanford)

The Eagles were riddled with injuries all season long, but the fact remains that they have struggled to get corner right for a number of years. Sidney Jones, Ronald Darby, and Rasul Douglas have all taken steps back so they address it again by getting Adebo. He has great size for the position (6’1” 190 lbs) and can run with almost any wide receiver and not get lost. Adebo is a former wide receiver and it shows with his ability to follow routes, cause turnovers, and battle in the air for the ball. This is something the Eagles need in a corner. The challenge will be that he is only a two year starter and is very new to the position. Sometimes his anticipation wavers and he’s late on reads. But at this stage, the Eagles have to take a chance on a kid with massive upside because they have to hit a homerun at corner. Pass defense has been a problem for years and they have to flood talent in this area.

22. Tennessee Titans- K’Lavon Chaisson (DE, LSU)

The Titans might have found their answer at quarterback with Ryan Tannehill at least for the time being so they address the defense by adding another pass rusher in K’Lavon Chaisson. Chaisson has a great sized frame at 6’4” 250 lbs and has some great speed off the edge. Injuries caused him to miss the entire 2018 season so he is a little raw in his skillset right now. But the physical tools are all there and he can win at the point of attack in multiple ways. Chaisson also works well in a lot of defensive sets with his ability to cover and spy as a linebacker. Mike Vrabel will love this kid’s versatility going forward as he continues to improve as a player. Adding Chaisson to this defensive front should scare teams. Having Chaisson, Harold Landry, Jurrell Casey, and Jeffrey Simmons on the same line will cause problems in the AFC.

23. Buffalo Bills- Tee Higgins (WR, Clemson)

The Bills added Cole Beasley and John Brown at wide receiver in the offseason to give Josh Allen more targets and they certainly helped. But the Bills could still use a guy with a larger catch radius than those two. Tee Higgins gives them that. Trevor Lawrence’s go to guy this year stands at 6’4” 215 lbs and can go up and get it with the best of them. Higgins has great hands and can win a lot of matchups as a deep threat. He isn’t the most polished route runner, but that could be because Clemson limited him in the route tree. Higgins has great breakaway speed for his size and should make up for some of the deficiencies that Josh Allen occasionally has with his accuracy. He’s a go to redzone threat every time down the field. Tee Higgins is a perfect fit in Buffalo and should make an impact right away.

24. Minnesota Vikings- Alex Leatherwood (OT, Alabama)

The Vikings offensive line made big strides this year with the development of Brian O’Neill and Garrett Bradbury. But they could still make upgrades and turn this into a strength of their team. Leatherwood might be the most athletic offensive lineman in the draft and he can play wherever you need him to along the front line. He played left tackle at Alabama and can certainly make that transition in the NFL, but if the Vikings need him to play guard, he can absolutely do that. At 6’6” 310 lbs, he has a large, but athletic body that can move quickly both vertically and laterally. He isn’t the most polished as far as technique and using his hands to keep rushers out of the pocket, but he is a coachable kid and should develop into a real consistent pass protector. Leatherwood would fit well with what Minnesota is trying to establish along the offensive line.

25. Miami Dolphins (via HOU)- Yetur Gross-Matos (DE, Penn State)

Gross-Matos is an extremely long player with great athleticism. He stands at 6’5” 264 lbs and uses those long arms to win battles and the point of contact from the outside. He plays with a ferocious motor and he never gives up on a play. He is very advanced with his pass rushing moves as far as hand usage and rushing from different spots along the line. Gross-Matos has a great head on his shoulders and is very developed as a player. He does have a tendency to play slower than he should not because of a lack of effort, but lack of understanding. He has trouble making reads at certain points and sometimes struggles finding the football after contact. With that said, the Dolphins have to get better in the front seven and after using their first two picks on offensive players, they invest in a high-upside pass rusher here.

26. Seattle Seahawks- Austin Jackson (OT, USC)

The Seahawks need offensive linemen and they need them badly. They haven’t had a good offensive line in a long time and they need to start protecting Russell Wilson who they just paid $35 million per year. Austin Jackson has been flying up boards and the Seahawks snag him right here. Seattle has to replace Germain Ifedi at right tackle and Jackson should do that immediately. Jackson has a long athletic body that makes him affective in both pass and run blocking. He has great footwork and uses his hands really well to irritate defenders. He has a tendency to “tip his pitches,” based on his stance. He can sometimes give away the play based on how he stands at the line of scrimmage. Jackson can also panic when he goes up against faster pass rushers so he can be prone to penalties. With that being said, the Seahawks have to upgrade the offensive line and Jackson definitely does that.

27. New England Patriots- Jake Fromm (QB, Georgia)

The time has come. The Patriots have to address quarterback. Tom Brady has taken a significant step back this year and his age might finally be catching up to him. There is no shame in the Patriots addressing quarterback early in the draft this year. Plus, the guy that they are getting fits perfectly with what they want to do. Jake Fromm’s best quality is his head. He is the smartest quarterback in the draft and it isn’t particularly close. He would work incredibly well with Bill Belichick and Fromm’s lack of skill in certain areas can be coached around with Bill. Fromm has a solid arm with good athleticism. He can get spotty with throws, but overall, has a good all-around skillset. If he can cut down on the interceptions and become a little more accurate, than Jake Fromm should become an excellent quarterback in this league.

28. New Orleans Saints- Justin Jefferson (WR, LSU)

The Saints have a very well-rounded roster with talent all over the field. One of the things that they need however is a number two receiver. Justin Jefferson fills that need very well. He has good size at 6’3” 192 lbs and has great big play ability. Jefferson is supremely athletic and can make plays down the field with his speed and ability to create separation. He is coming out of LSU playing with Joe Burrow who was the most accurate quarterback in college football this year. Jefferson should make the easy transition to playing with the most accurate quarterback in NFL history in Drew Brees. Jefferson can sometimes play smaller than his frame suggests. He isn’t great at 50/50 balls despite his athleticism, he can sometimes let the ball get too deep on his body instead of extending his hands for catches, and he doesn’t use his hands well to separate at the line of scrimmage. However, he’ll only have to be the number two wide receiver as Michael Thomas is the clear number one. Jefferson should fit really well with the Saints without leaving the state of Louisiana.

29. Kansas City Chiefs- Trevon Diggs (CB, Alabama)

Kansas City has to commit to building this defense. They will have no problem outscoring you on any given night, but they can allow a lot of points on the other side of the ball. The Chiefs have to address corner in order for that to get any better. This is where Trevon Diggs comes in. Diggs is an exceptional corner with great zone coverage ability. He has great size for the position (6’2” 207 lbs) and shows it. He can win the battle at the end of the route consistently and is great at going after the ball while it’s in the air. His biggest weakness is as a tackler and it’s a pretty big weakness. He comes off with the impression that he doesn’t like to hit. For his size, he should definitely be better at bringing guys down in space. However, as a coverage corner, he is outstanding and the Chiefs need guys that can keep the ball from getting down field.

30. Green Bay Packers- Tyler Biadasz (C, Wisconsin)

The Packers made a lot of moves both in the draft and in free agency to improve their defense last year. This year, they should focus on the offensive side. The depth at wide receiver in this class is incredible so they will elect to wait on one until the later rounds. Instead, they address a need on the interior offensive line. David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga are good tackles and Elgton Jenkins took strides this year at left guard. But they need to address the center position specifically. Corey Linsley is not getting the job done up the middle. He is the clear weak link. Adding Biadasz should help significantly in both the run and pass game. He plays with a ton of heart and should quickly become a leader in that offensive unit. He wouldn’t have to leave the state of Wisconsin and can settle in nicely as the starting center for Aaron Rodgers. He can sometimes get crossed up by different blitz packages, but that should improve with experience. Biadasz would be an excellent pick for the Packers this late.

31. San Francisco 49ers- Bryce Hall (CB, Virginia)

The 49ers are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NFL, but they could use some help at corner now and in the future. Bryce Hall provides that. An ankle injury limited his season to just six games, but he has great tools to be a great corner at the next level. Richard Sherman is getting older and they don’t have a reliable number two. Bryce Hall gives you great physicality at the position at the line of scrimmage, in the open field as a tackler, and in blitz packages. He also has great ball skills and can create turnovers at a high rate. He needs to work on his ability to stick to his man in man coverage, but he plays well as a zone player and could possibly move to safety in some sets. Hall has great upside and if it weren’t for the injury that shortened his season, he could have been a top 15 selection without question.

32. Baltimore Ravens- Dylan Moses (LB, Alabama)

The Ravens drafting Dylan Moses at the end of the first round could end up being the steal of the draft. The Ravens need somebody that can officially replace CJ Mosley at middle linebacker. Dylan Moses can do that from day one. He is an extremely physical player who is phenomenal at stopping the run. He can cover at a high level in zone coverage concepts and is phenomenal when used at a second level spy. His athleticism allows him to make some really impressive plays when making tackles and chasing down players. He isn’t great in man coverage, but the Ravens have an incredibly deep secondary so his responsibilities in that area should be pretty limited. Moses saw his stock fall significantly due to an injury that caused him to miss the entire season, but when healthy, he is an elite linebacker prospect that the Ravens should jump on. They could also address pass rusher, but with a player like Moses on the board, they can’t pass him up.

All That Glitters Isn’t (Red and) Gold

All That Glitters Isn’t (Red and) Gold

Last nights nail biter regular season finale game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers wasn’t pretty. After last nights game, I think we saw two teams that are flawed and not Super Bowl bound. Unfortunately, the Seahawks flaws seem to come from injuries. They have lost their 3 starting running backs, #1 tight end, their star offensive tackle, all cornerbacks and Clowney on defense is believed to playing hurt. They lost their receiver Jaron Brown in the first series of last nights game leaving only Lockett, Metcalf, Moore and Ursula, making any kind of offense very challenging. The 49ers on the other hand are all healthy with the exception of Tart and Dee Ford. They had all of their starters including Bosa and Staley that they didn’t have in the first Seattle matchup. Why is this important to know? A Super Bowl destined team that’s almost completely healthy doesn’t let Russell Wilson come back from such a lead in the 2nd half with a completely decimated team.

The Niners appeared to dominate the whole first half when they went up by 13 at the half. The return of Marshawn Lynch this week actually Appeared to hurt the Seahawks as the Niners defense could almost guarantee he wouldn’t be involved in the pass game. Getting the offense started for Seattle seemed to be a real struggle going into half-time as they trailed 13-0.

The 2nd half Seattle offense definitely picked up the pace at the helm of Russell Wilson but the Niners seemed to have dropped off. Wilson led 3 touchdown drives and on the next drive he brought them back within 4 points. With the game on the line and seconds to play Wilson spiked the ball to stop the clock since there were no timeouts remaining. He had one incomplete pass and then game the first game changing moment. Jacob Hollister was completely draped by Fred Warner as a clear and blatant pass interference. The ball actually hits off of Hollister’s face mask as he couldn’t move his arms to catch it! This became a no call and no New York review that actually cost the Seahawks the game as they would’ve had a fresh set of downs at the goal line. The game ended with a costly delay of game and a 4th down stoppage of a Hollister catch within inches at a score of 26-21. The refs managed to make that call but ignored the pass interference that could’ve won the game for Seattle.

Strong teams don’t allow leads to slip away in over a third of their games. They put the final nail in the coffin and move on. Some say that’s what the 49ers do on a technicality because it’s a win but football is more intricate than that. From the Cardinals, first Seahawks matchup Saints, Rams and last nights game vs Seattle we watch them continually struggle to win games.

They’re very fortunate to have clinched the Bye and after last night they’ve showed the world they’re going to need it. This Seahawks-Niners game could very well have a part 2 in 2 weeks at Levi Stadium where the Hawks beat the Niners back in November and broke their undefeated record. More will be revealed in this playoff contention. One thing for sure, there is a team that knows how to get it done and they’re led by the man who set the Highest Comletion Record in NFL history. Just a friendly reminder to fans: All that Glitters Isn’t Gold.

Which NFL Head Coaching Vacancies Are The Most Attractive?

Which NFL Head Coaching Vacancies Are The Most Attractive?

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Black Monday in the NFL came and went, with one of these least active days we’ve seen in recent time. Only one organization made a move as the New York Giants fired Pat Shurmur. Three other head coaching vacancies arose prior to Monday, as the Cleveland Browns fired Freddie Kitchens hours after the season ended while the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins made their firings during the season. In all, four head coach openings were available before the Redskins hired Ron Rivera as their head man on Tuesday morning. So with the Browns, Giants and Panthers still open, which is the most attractive situation?

1) Cleveland Browns:

Despite the dysfunction in the front office, the Browns are the most attractive job because of the talent on the roster. Stepping into either New York or Carolina is a rebuild situation while stepping into Cleveland is a ready to win situation. More than anything, the Browns need a leader as their head coach. Someone who can hold players accountable, lead from the front and create a culture that hasn’t existed in Cleveland in what feels like an eternity. The concern is the possible upheaval in the front office, as general manager John Dorsey’s job is possibly in jeopardy, although it seems like that decision could ultimately be made by the new head coach. If that’s the case, the new head coach either way will have a general manager who shares the same vision, which is key to putting a successful team out on the field.

The biggest priority is developing Baker Mayfield, who despite having a rough sophomore season has shown the ability to be the guy moving forward. The Browns won last offseason and built a tidal wave of hype heading into 2019 mostly because the players knew the talent they had. Players quit at the end of the year in part because they saw a loaded roster that was being wasted by incompetent coaching. Having a leader take charge, put players in positions to succeed and bring that 2018 second half swagger back will have the Browns on the up-and-up in 2020. This job has the highest ceiling and the quickest chance for success.

2) Carolina Panthers:

New owner David Tepper is ready to put his fingerprints all over this organization and guide Carolina under his vision. This started with the ousting of Rivera and could continue with the dismissal of franchise quarterback Cam Newton. Carolina is an interesting job because outside of Christian McCaffrey and Luke Kuechly, there isn’t much talent on the roster that stands out. The good news with that reality is the new head coach can shape the roster to his vision and pick his franchise quarterback. That is a luxury few head coaches are offered, as the other three openings this year all have young quarterbacks in place that the new coach will have to adopt.

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey gets patted on the head by offensive guard Trai Turner (70) after scoring a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday, December 29, 2019. DAVID T. FOSTER III DTFOSTER@CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.COM

Another bonus is the NFC South power structure. While the Saints are division champs yet again, Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger. The Buccaneers never established any sort of threat this decade and the Falcons are running it back with a head coach who’s gone 7-9 in consecutive seasons despite having a talented offense. The division, while currently ruled by the Saints, could be up for grabs in a few years, which is the perfect timetable for a new head coach to rebuild the roster, find his franchise quarterback and be in the perfect position to capitalize if the Saints have a downfall post Brees.

3) New York Giants:

The Giants are an interesting situation. On the one hand, you have most of the pieces already set in place for future success as Daniel Jones showed signs he can be the guy moving forward, Saquon Barkley is a stud, Darius Slayton emerged as a reliable receiver and the offensive line flashed improvement. This should be enough for any candidate to jump at. Why the Giants are ranked third of the three teams is their decision to keep general manager Dave Gettleman. It’s been an interesting two years for Gettleman, who has made some nice draft picks in Jones, Slayton and a few defensive players yet struck out mightily in free agency. Trading Odell Beckham Jr. a few months after signing him to a contract extension is a massive black eye on his resume, not to mention to the other free agent misses like Nate Solder and trading for Alec Ogletree have not exactly worked out.

Entering a situation where the general manager is anything but secure is a tough ask for a head coach to accept, especially with how ownership seems divided on the direction of the team. The Giants have been one of the most stable franchises in the NFL, yet it’s been their instability the last few years that has made this job less desirable. There is a real possibility that a new general manager could take over next season, which automatically creates insecurity for the new head coach. This uncertainty moving forward is why the Giants are the least desirable head coach vacancy.

Just How Many Super Bowl Contenders Are There in the NFL?

Just How Many Super Bowl Contenders Are There in the NFL?

NEW YORK, N.Y.- With the NFL season winding down, the look ahead to the playoffs has already begun. As we enter into week 16, most of the playoff slots have been filled, with just the AFC South and second wild card up for grabs in the AFC while the NFC is mostly set outside of determining who will represent the NFC East. 

So with not much debate about which teams will make the playoffs, let’s turn our attention towards just how many teams can legitimately contend for the Super Bowl. It’s one thing to make the playoffs, but it’s a whole other discussion if a team can contend with the best each conference has to offer and come out on top. With that said, I believe there are six teams, three in each conference, that have a case for winning the Super Bowl.

AFC:

Ravens: Does anything else need to be said? Baltimore has been the most dynamic and exciting team in the NFL this season. Lamar Jackson has taken the league by storm, leading the way of the best scoring and rushing offense. But the Ravens aren’t just doing it with offense, as their defense is top-10 in scoring defense, passing yards allowed per game and rushing yards allowed per game. The Ravens are hot, riding a 10-game winning streak that includes wins over the Seahawks, Patriots, Texans, Rams, 49ers and Bills. Good luck to any AFC team that has to go into Baltimore this postseason.

Chiefs: Kansas City has flown under the radar during the second half of this season as Patrick Mahomes worked his way back from a dislocated kneecap. The offense of the Chiefs is unquestioned, but the continued concern is on the defensive end. They were unable to close out the Patriots in the AFC Championship game last year and didn’t improve much during the first half of this season. The last four games have been a different story though, as the Chiefs defense has allowed just 11.2 points per game. They also received some help this week, claiming veteran defensive end Terrell Suggs, who should bring a championship mindset to the unit. If the defense can carry this level of play they’ve shown the last four games into the playoffs, the Chiefs just might be able to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) celebrates an interception during the first half of Sunday’s football game against the Oakland Raiders on December 1, 2019 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. C/ Kansas City Star

Patriots: This pick is more out of respect for Bill Belichick and his ability to draw up defensive schemes to stop even the most potent offenses. The defense has led the way, owning the best scoring defense at just 12.9 points per game. Stephon Gilmore has been the best shutdown corner in 2019 and has thrown his name into Defensive Player of the Year consideration. The offense has struggled more than it ever has in the Belichick-Tom Brady era, yet is still doing enough to win games. This team isn’t dominating like it usually does, but would anyone be surprised if we saw New England representing the AFC in the Super Bowl for the fourth consecutive season?

NFC:

49ers: San Francisco has shown the ability to win games in so many different ways that they will be the toughest out of any team once January hits. The 49ers can win shootouts (beat the Saints 48-46 in the Superdome), beat you by strictly running the ball (40 attempts for 275 yards vs. Browns, 38 times for 232 yards vs. Panthers) and win a defensive slugfest (9-0 shutout win over Redskins, held Packers to 198 total yards in 37-8 win). Having the capability of winning in various ways will make the NFC West leaders a matchup nightmare for any team they have to play. Not to mention the biggest question mark with this team, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, has shown the ability to step up in huge moments.

Seahawks: Seattle has been led by MVP candidate Russell Wilson, who’s taken his game to another level with the identity of the team switching from the defensive side to the offensive end. Backed behind the best offensive line they’ve had in Wilson’s career, the Seahawks have the third best rushing attack in the league, averaging just under 142 yards per game. This has allowed Wilson to pick apart defenses that load up the box to stop the run. Wilson has been extremely efficient, on track for the second best completion percentage and the least amount of interceptions thrown in his career. Seattle has been one of the best teams in the league at not beating themselves, committing just the fifth least defensive penalties, recovering the most fumbles, intercepting the third most passes and having the third best turnover differential at +13. Having an opportunistic defense that forces turnovers and an offense that rarely gives the ball away is a great recipe to come out of the NFC as the last team standing.

Photo courtesy Newsweek.com

Saints: New Orleans may have had a better record at this point in the season last year than they do this season, but there’s no doubt the 2019 team is head and shoulders the better team. The biggest reason for this is Drew Brees, whose thumb injury that forced him to miss five plus games turned out actually to be a blessing in disguise. While the Saints offense limped to the finish line last year, they have been unstoppable this season, averaging 34.8 points per game since their loss to the Falcons back in week 10. Brees has looked rejuvenated despite Alvin Kamara still working his way back from injury. Brees’ early season break could be the main difference in getting the Saints over the hump and back into the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately for teams like the Packers, Vikings, and Texans, inconsistency and glaring holes are the biggest reasons why they were left off this list. There haven’t been many years where there are so many teams legitimately in the discussion of representing their conference in the Super Bowl like we have in the NFL’s 100th season. Any combination of the six teams listed above would create a memorable finish to the 2019 season, so sit back and enjoy the postseason.

If It Doesn’t Happen This Year, It Never Will

 

NEW YORK, N.Y.- An all-too-familiar image flashed on the
television Sunday afternoon as Jason Garrett was seen clapping his hands and
shouting encouraging words towards his players coming off the field as yet
another game slipped out of the grasp of the Dallas Cowboys. This image has
become synonymous with the Cowboys, seeming almost as iconic as the star that
brands their logo. The beleaguered head coach has earned a reputation of his
teams underperforming on the big stage, and it’s time for the Cowboys to make a
change if they are truly serious about finishing the season as the lone team
standing.

 

 

 

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and
over and expecting different results.” This is a powerful message from Albert Einstein
that Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones needs to recognize, as he continues
to expect championship results while employing the same head coach that has
proven time and time again he is unequipped to tackle that task.

 

 

 

The NFL head coaching position is the most impactful of all four major sports. We’ve seen brilliant head coaches elevate bad teams and terrible head coach destroy great teams. The latter is what is happening to the Cowboys with Garrett at the helm. One of the best indicators of this is simply looking at the win-loss record coupled with the talent on the roster

 

The Cowboys have built one of the best rosters in football
this season and have done so smartly, locking up young players on long-term
deals earlier in their careers to save money in the future. Every position
group is solid and Dallas is littered with top-five players at their respective
position. Ezekiel Elliott. Leighton Vander Esch. Amari Cooper. Demarcus
Lawrence. The list goes on and on. This roster is built for sustained success
and on paper, should be one of the elite teams in the league.

 

 

 

The problem is “the clapper” hasn’t been able to take all of
that skill and translate it to wins on the field. While the Cowboys are 6-5 and
alone in first place in the NFC East, a large part of that “success” so far has
been beating inferior teams coupled with the rest of the division struggling
mightily. Their six wins have come against: Giants (twice), Redskins, Dolphins,
Eagles and Lions. The combined record of those teams is 14-40-1. On the flip
side, Dallas has yet to beat even an average team, losing to the Saints,
Packers, Jets, Vikings and Patriots. With the talent in place to win these
games against tougher opponents, the blame has to fall upon the coaching staff.

 

 

 

The good news if you are a Dallas fan is that it seems like the czar of the Cowboys is finally getting fed up with losing and coming after Garrett. After Sunday’s loss to the Patriots in which New England was severely outmanned yet still found a way to win, Jones called out the coaching staff, saying “I don’t think there’s a game where a coaching staff couldn’t do better.” Jones also went on to say he “shouldn’t be this frustrated” given the makeup of this roster, echoing the same sentiment that a majority of the fan base has been lamenting for years.

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing this first major criticism towards Garrett from
Jerry should be an encouraging sign for fans because the Cowboys’ championship
window is as wide open as it might ever be. With so many key pieces in place
for the next few years, Dallas needs a head coach that can put them in
positions to succeed and take this team to the next level. In the 10 years that
the former Cowboy quarterback has been the head coach, has there ever been a
game where Garrett was credited with outcoaching the opponent?

 

 

 

The best analogy to describe the 2019 Cowboys is to compare
them to a sports car. Dallas has a souped-up engine in a great offensive line,
powering the rest of the team to have success. Ezekiel Elliott is like the best
set of tires, running steady to give the offense rhythm. Adding Amari Cooper to
this offense is like taking the restrictor plate off the engine. And the
defense is a reliable pair of brakes, providing a safety blanket. The only
issue is the driver of this perfectly crafted vehicle is a man who’s unable to push
this car to its potential.

 

 

 

Criticism of Jason Garrett’s conservative decision making
isn’t new. Neither are the calls for him to be fired. But those calls do take
on a different meaning with the way the team is currently constructed. Dallas
has never been better equipped to win their first Super Bowl since 1996 than
they are in the next two-to-three years. Jerry has to realize this and bring in
a coach that can take this team to its peak, something Garrett has failed at
for the past 10 years.

 

 

 

If Jerry truly wants to win another Lombardi Trophy, he
needs to heed Einstein’s advice and try something new, or run the risk of falling
into a never-ending cycle of insanity.