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NFL billboard: Kyler Murray # 1, no other QBs in the top 10

The finish line is in sight. In less than 100 hours, the Cardinals take on Kyler Murray with the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Or they will not do it. And this is what the story looks like for each of the four quarterbacks at this year's class – there are a variety of results that are possible for each of them in three days.

The rest of the 2019 class? Many of them are in a similar situation.

After working on the phones for seven months, learning about these particular perspectives and trying to put the pieces together, I feel like there are four or five players standing out over the internet crowd. I assume that all five (there is one is a joker card) are within the top 1

0 choices, and I can divide them into levels.

ANIMAL 1: Ohio State DE Nick Bosa and Alabama DT Quinnen Williams [194559002] ANIMAL 2: Kentucky LB Josh Allen and LSU LB Devin White [19659002] ANIMAL 2 WILD CARD: Houston DT Ed Oliver

I call Oliver a wildcard because he is not for everyone. White could also be considered one, as the linebackers lose weight outside the ball. But I think if you look at most of the teams, you'll see these five names near the top.

After that you can not say who goes where.

"The meat of this draft is Day 2 and Day 3," said an AFC employee on Sunday night. "The second to fourth round is where it is. When we pass the first level with the elite guys, everything is the same for me.

"After Bosa, Allen and Quinnen Williams," said one AFC GM, "it's a real crapworm. "

This means that most of the teams I've talked to in the past two weeks expect to focus on boys with a second round in the 12-16 division. There are so few real blue chip players in the class. The downside? Well, the flip side is that the second round of the second round could extend to the third round, and it is expected to reach into the third day.

This brings together a lot of good, equal players and a very unpredictable first round. Maybe that sounds like a cop-out in front of my dummy. Maybe it is. But I can not remember a draft where there were as many questions as the players at so many locations (corner, receiver and every offensive line point, to name but a few) were so close to the draft day.

And of course that includes the most important position of all.


Robin Alam / Icon Sportswire on Getty

This week at MMQB we're heavy on design information, but we will too …

• Let's take a last look at it Throw on how the Russell-Wilson deal came about and why it made sense for the Seahawks quarterback.

• Review the process Planners have worked through the last three months and explained how it all starts.

• Identify a potential landing site for franchised Seahawk Frank Clark.

• Take a closer look at what happened to the Raiders Scouts over the last few weeks and the potential challenge that the team was responsible for.

• Detail of some veterinarians who might be trafficking during the draft (remember, the left tackle of the Super Bowl champions, Trent Brown, was traded on Friday-Friday last year).

And, as we deal with the drafting of information, we will deepen a bit with Murray, Montez Sweat, and why a quarter of the first round could be the selection of offensive linemen. So there is, and I will be projecting the opening round of Thursday night in my first glow for a few months …

OK, so we've noticed that there are many moving parts in this year's class, and I'll mention it The following: None of these are my own assessments of players. I'm not a reviewer, but I talk a lot to people who are, and after college football, I look at part of my job that a baseball writer in the minor leagues would be watching.

Here's a jab On Thursday night it continues, and I'll probably make another chance after making a few dozen phone calls in front of my board pillar, which will go up on the morning of the draft. Let's go …


Requirements: DT, OLB, OL

What I Know: There is much Smoke last week about the Cardinals leaving with Kyler Murray's first pick. At the moment I still believe that they take him for two reasons. First, I think he's the new coach of Kliff Kingsbury (and that's not from Kingsbury, but people who know him). And second, I think if they did not go that way, Josh Rosen's situation would have been handled differently. It would not dazzle me if that choice were Quinnes Williams. But I know a number of NFL people who would be deterred.

With the first selection: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma


] Needs: WR, S, DE

What I Know: The Niners have done all the necessary work on Nick Bosa – he took him out after his practice day in Columbus and brought him to San Francisco for a & # 39; 30 & # 39; Visit. I also know that you have a good deal of background on how he will fit in with coordinator Robert Salah's defense. Remember, Nick's older brother Joey plays for Salah's old boss / mentor, Chargers DC Gus Bradley. The affection for Bosa was no secret, and he already had a huge front.

Second choice: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio


Requirements: DL, OL, WR [19659002] What I Know: There was a commotion in the last week that the trainers here really like Oliver like. Remember, DC Gregg Williams trained Aaron Donald with the Rams and surely he would love a guy like Oliver. Enough to take him over Quinnen Williams? Could be. For now …

With the third selection: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston


Requirements: DE, ILB, RB

What I Know: Four years ago, I recall that Scot McCloughan took Brandon Scherff, a Guardian, with the fifth overall victory. That was his first choice with the Redskins. He wanted to make a statement about what he was looking for in players. And I could see Mike Mayock with LSU LB Devin White as well. The thing is, in this scenario, there is a man on the blackboard who is too good a player to pass it on.

With the Fourth Choice: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama


Requirements: LB, RB, DT [19659002] What I Know: This is a team that does not act despite its record feeling far away. So it would be a good idea to get someone to an emergency site that can play right now and exactly what Todd Bowles wants to defend. And on the street, it is said Tampa loves White, who would help replace the late Kwon Alexander, and has the personality to evolve on an NFL defense to Alpha.

With the fifth pick: Devin White, LB, LSU


Requirements: QB , DE, WR, 19659002] What I Know: Logically, if you have a quarterback enough to win him in the first round – essentially tying your job with that player – then you would You should not be cute and wait until he comes the second of your picks to take him. Come to the Giants who own their favorites # 6 and # 17. But enough of those from the scouting community have reminded me how old Dave Gettleman (best player!) Has been in the past week to take the plunge (or not)?) On this. The best player at this time is clearly …

With the 6th selection: Josh Allen, DE / OLB, Kentucky


Need : OT, TE, WR

What I Know: Here, most teams expect the top three tackles to start (Jonah Williams, Jawaan Taylor, Andre Dillard). And I've heard that it's going to be Taylor forever, right down to the last few days. Some people have pointed out to me how Tom Coughlin wants to emphasize the culture after last year's confusion and how Jonah Williams, even if not an attack, works best for it. Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson would not shock me here either. And early on it was talked that the Jags could be the surprise quarterback team. But I've heard a lot less about that lately.

With the 7th selection: Jonah Williams, OT / OG, Alabama


[19599002] ] Needs: TE, LB, RB

What I Know: The lions really would like to go down and collect picks, which makes them almost like everyone else. If not, an edge rusher (Rashan Gary?) Could be in the game, and there's even speculation in league games that they might be the surprise quarterback team. But I suspect now, instead of drawing one in the first round, they'll find a weapon for the guy they already have by aiming straight for the center of the fairway.

With the 8th selection TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa


Requirements: OT, CB, DT

What I Know: What I know: is the word for Oliver – and there's a way he could go (the Giants, Jags and Lions like bigger defensive line people). Suppose he does not make it to that point and it is of the utmost importance to get the help of young Bills from QB Josh Allen. And while she's with D.K. Metcalf, the overwhelming consensus is that this way way is too high for him. So Allen gets a bodyguard and no weapon. Jonah Williams played for OC Brian Daboll in Alabama. Unfortunately for the bills, he is already on board, as we have interpreted it that way.

With the ninth selection: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington


Needs: ILB, TE, C

What I Know: Your connection to Drew Lock goes all the way to the Senior Bowl. And I'll say they're doing punt at the QBs this year. Michigan LB Devin Bush has been hotter lately by the coaches involved in this process. And it's said that Broncos' new coach, Vic Fangio, fresh in the Chicago defense, can see a little Roquan Smith in Bush. [194559005] With the 10th Option: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan [19455918]


Necessities: ILB, QB, OL [19659002] What I Know: The Bengalis have been associated with Bush for as long as I think there is a possibility that he is the choice. But he is not in my mockery. I was tempted to give Dwayne Haskins to the Giants at the age of 6, but he has now fallen from the top 10. With Andy Dalton moving into a contract year, and the franchise being reset behind new coach Zac Taylor, other teams are joining Cincinnati with Haskins. We will too. [194559005] With the Eleventh Selection: Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State

  Dwayne-haskins Rose Bowl


Needs: TE, WR, DT

What I Know: The Packers were looking for an upgrade to their line, and there was a lot of excitement connecting them to the two narrow ends of Iowa. I think that's the word for Hockenson. Since he's gone, and although it could be a bit difficult to have this guy with Jimmy Graham still there …

With the twelfth selection: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa


Requirements: QB, DE, OT

What I Know: The dolphins are here wide open and in terms of long-term thinking. That is, an offensive or defensive lineman makes sense. I have been told that it will be a priority for new coach Brian Flores to find a cultural magnet. Good that there is a guy here who really fits. This is another trade-down opportunity, and perhaps a point at which someone comes to an offensive duel, but Miami has made the choice …

With the 13th selection: Christian Wilkins , DT, Clemson


Requirements: DE, OT, DT

What I Know: Wilkins has been here for a while It makes sense for Grady Jarrett to leave Atlanta after 2019. But it makes more sense for me that the Falcons would look for Vic Beasley's successor here (in a Bruce Irvin clone). And that's even tempting, I think they'll take one of the offensive linemen on board.

By the 14th choice: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State


Requirements: QB, LB, WR 19659002] What I Know: You've done all the work on all the quarterbacks, one I've heard that they're connected to most, now gone – that's Haskins, who actually, whether he believes it or not, has attended high school with the son of the owner Dan Snyder. I could see her for Haskins. I could also see them taking an edgebreaker. Or do this …

With the 15th selection: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri [194559002]



What I Know: GM Marty Hurney has been focusing on the offending linemen in this design cycle, and he says they really are like Garrett Bradbury of NC State. But he would be a jolly fit after signing Matt Paradis. So you have a need to catch a guy who has fallen a bit.

With the 16th selection: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida


[19659002] Requirements: QB, DE, WR, RT

What I Know: If you're looking at # 6 quarterback, keep an eye out for Clemson's Dexter Lawrence. If not, the name of Daniel Jones has been associated with them throughout the process – some Boy Scouts have told me that Eli Manning is mechanical – and I know a lot of people who believe it's more than only one point connection. The Giants were in North Carolina to visit Jones, and brought him to visit. Too simple?

With the 17th selection: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke


Requirements: OT, OG, DT [19659098] What I Know: I truly believe Mike Zimmer would love if the Vikings would tap into the abomination talents available in this draft and later turn to the offensive line. I just think, depending on how this works, they can not afford to wait. And here is one who would work well for her.

With the 18th selection: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College


Needs: OLB, DT, S [19659002] What I Know: Due to the presence of coach Mike Vrabel in many edgeplayer workouts and the needs of the team, it is believed that this will be the case of some kind of player for a defensive front, Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan loses. So, let's start with that, and a guy who fits Vrabel (even though Kevin Dodd's 2016 GM Jon Robinson may take a little break if he takes that guy) …

With the 19. Selection: Clelin Ferrell, DE Clemson


Requirements: CB, LB, TE

What I Know: The chance that White or Bush fell here is slim, which brings the long-term cornerstone of the team back into the foreground. Among the top guys, there are some concerns about the character traits of LSD Greedy Williams and Georgia Deandre Baker, as well as some questions about the sportiness of Washington's Byron Murphy and Vandy's Joejuan Williams. What leaves a very interesting corner outlook in a year in which the Steelers needed a safe game.

With the 20th selection: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple


Necessities: DE, DT, FS

What I Know: The potential trade of Frank Clark would be a In the defensive line, GM John Schneider has the opportunity to roll a few guys who are considered risky. He was never shy about doing that, so I'll see him swinging on this one for the fences.

With the 21st selection: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan


Requirements: OLB, ILB, WR [19659002] What I Know: Metcalf is causing quite a stir. And the ravens have defense needs. But most of all, I've heard that they'll continue building the running game around Lamar Jackson, even after they've spent on Mark Ingram. So I would not rule out Josh Jacobs here. Or a big, bad offensive liner.

With the 22nd choice: Cody Ford, OG, Oklahoma


Needs: OT, TE, CB

What I know: They've researched a lot about the offensive tackles, and I could swap them to get in position to win one of the top three men or trade down to sign up for Al Tama Young or Ole Miss Greg Little to position. Since we do not project trades, they will in this case have a versatile piece for the line, with the hope that they can later support the point of attack. I'm tempted to give them a corner, but the selection is …

With the 23rd selection: Eric McCoy, C / G, Texas A & M

OAKLAND RAIDERS [19659093] Requirements: DE, ILB, RB

What I Know: I believe that Mayock, based on what I know about him, will choose a certain type of player. And I think there's another runner out there who's that kind of player.

With the 24th selection: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama


[19659002] Requirements: RB, LB, WR

What I White: Philly is in a great place. The lineup is in good condition, they do not have to meet the needs, and they can take a risk for a falling player who is outrageously athletic and well suited for his defense.

With the 25th selection: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State


Requirements: WR, DE, LB [19659002] What I Know: Ballard's 2018 generation design was able to effectively update the largest requirements of the free-broker team, adding Devin Funchess as the recipient and Justin Houston as the Edge Rusher – what allows the team to find a man who would be maybe watching Bosa and Quinnen Williams alone on tape. But an ugly incident in high school and a torn ACL are of course part of the file.

With the 26th election: Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi [194559002]


Requirements: DE, ILB, RB [19659002] What I Know: You've already heard what I know about these guys. At No. 27, it would be nice to find a replacement for Jared Cook, and Noah Fant is gone.

With the 27th selection: Irv Smith, TE, Alabama [194559002]


Requirements: OT, CB, DT [19659002] What I Know: The Chargers are in great shape, giving them a shot, among others, for the heir to Russell Okung or even for the heir to Philip Rivers. (I would not be surprised to see you at the Josh Rosen Market if Arizona takes Murray with you.) No matter what, you have the flexibility to become the best player available here.

With the 28th election: [19459007DexterLawrenceDTClemson


Requirements: C, OLB, CB

What I White: Oklahoma WR Marquise "Hollywood" Brown would be a great insurance for Tyreek Hill, given his imminent situation. And I've heard that they'll take a corner forever. But that fits in perfectly with a player I knew was as tall as the teenagers available to the Chiefs instead of Mitch Morse.

With the 29th election: Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State


Requirements: TE, WR, DT

What I know: I think they'll turn to the offensive line someday. And that may be this point. But I also know that Matt LaFleur's offense needs a burner, as he had in Taylor Gabriel in Atlanta, and Sammy Watkins in LA. And Hollywood is still here.

With the 30th selection: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma


Requirements: LB, OG, C

What I know: John Sullivans gone. That's Rodger Saffold. Meaning, if the right offensive lineman falls the Rams, the guys there would be pretty happy. Thanks to the Packers, who rank Brown 30th, this happens here …

By 31st choice: Elgton Jenkins, G / C, Mississippi State


Requirements: DE, TE, WR

What I Know: Bill Belichick keeps looking forward, mentioning the need for larger ones in his pre-draft press conference Receivers and sporty tight ends. The Patriots had Patrick Chung for a while in this role. You could find another, bigger version of him. And I think that's what they're going to see in this guy instead of just cornering like most people do.

With the 32nd election: Joejuan Williams, DB, Vanderbilt

  Russell Wilson Contract Extension


In a way, this year's Russell Wilson trial reflected what we saw four years ago between the quarterback and the Seahawks of groundbreaking terms, before a four-year extension with a fairly conventional structure. After completing this recently completed deal (which took place shortly after midnight on April 15-16), Wilson's agent pointed out an important distinction.

And it's an important aspect in shaping the approach of Mark Rodgers, who has made his name, and found his way to Wilson, who works in baseball.

"Four years ago, I felt like I was in a baseball arbitration hearing comparing my customer's stats with a comparable company," he said recently. "This time, I felt like I was representing one of the NFL's best players, and nobody argued about that."

After all is over, we can sift through some details and find out what was important when pushing over the goal line. As usual, some finer details tell how team and players have come to a compromise. At the beginning of the negotiations, Wilson's side had made three proposals to the Seahawks (at least one had tied up money as a percentage of the salary cap), and the final deal contained elements from each.

Here are some elements that have advanced the team and players to this middle ground.

1) The cash flow. Wilson will receive $ 70 million this year, $ 88 million between this and next year and $ 107 million in the first three years of his deal. Seattle stuck to its policy of not funding warranties in the coming seasons, but the two and three seasons are guaranteed in March of that year. And the Seahawks would have to pay $ 70 million for a year and carry $ 52 million in dead money to carry him dead in March and $ 44 million a year and $ 39 million in dead money to cut back in March. He almost certainly has three years behind him.

2) The combination of service bonuses in the years 2022 and 23 as well as the no-trade clause. With roster bonuses of $ 5 million in March this year, it was logical that Seattle had to make an early decision if he intended to leave Wilson at those times, and the no-trade Clause limited was the options of the team in this scenario. In fact, if Wilson does not collect his $ 20 million in 2022 or his $ 26 million in 2023, it is very likely that Seattle will need to ship it at the age of 33 or 34.

3) The price for marking in 2024. Wilson's cap number for 2023 is $ 39 million. That means setting the franchise day in 24 if the rules stay the same, that would be at least 120 percent, or $ 46.8 million. Another meeting in '25 would cost $ 56.16 million. These tags are always a framework for doing business, and these numbers mean that Wilson would be well over $ 100 million in the first two years of four and four-year contracts in four years, mid-30s.

4) A final sweetener. The deal includes escalators (based on the first-round Pro Bowl, the Super Bowl MVP, and Offensive Player of the Year awards, as well as touchdown passes, yards, and completion levels), which will earn Wilson another $ 6 million. And if he hits them, it would probably be good for everyone.

So the bad news for the players here? Wilson's contract has not broken the precedents of Seahawks, nor did he target the folly of the NFL's ridiculous funding rule (which forces teams to fund each fully guaranteed dollar in advance with the League), giving teams an excuse to trap themselves in contracts. That's why Kirk Cousins' contract was such a milestone.

However, Wilson had earned $ 23.24 million more in the last three years than he had played his current deal and two franchise tags (like cousins) and numbers to get another bite of the financial apple. All this is certainly no loss for him.


If you want a complete overview of the schedule and the effects of the movement Three star players (and the amazing rise of the Browns and the … Phillies?!?) Were on the program, check out my schedule on Thursday. And if you want a leftover, I found it quite interesting. Well, I'll give it to you now.

The first question I asked the planners when I came to Val Pinchbeck on Wednesday was simple: When does that actually start? The answer is the day after the end of the previous season. Dann erklärten sie, dass die Teams erst Ende Januar ihre Stadionblöcke und andere Anfragen erhalten müssen und erst danach im Super Bowl die endgültige Frage der Netzwerke erhalten.

Also, was tun? tun sie im Januar? In diesem Monat wird zum größten Teil das Erkennen und Platzieren der so genannten "eingeschränkten" Spiele verbracht. In der Vorlage von insgesamt 256 Spielen werden ungefähr 50 davon (fast 20 Prozent) gefunden, die nur in die eine oder andere Richtung verschoben werden können.

„Mathematisch gesehen sind es die Spiele mit den meisten Einschränkungen Durchsuchen Sie diesen unendlichen Lösungsraum “, erklärte Mike North, Vizepräsident von Broadcasting, bevor er auf einen Fernseher mit dem Zeitplanraster zeigte. "Sie sehen es oben in Woche 5 in einem blauen Kästchen mit einer Unterstreichung, das heißt Packers at Cowboys, Fox ist blau, die Unterstreichung ist doppelter Titel – Sonntagnachmittag 4:25, Packers-Cowboys klingt richtig.

Punkt, Howard [Katz] sah sich die Liste der 256 an, suchte Packers-Cowboys aus und sagte: 'Ich denke, das gefällt mir als Fox-Doppelpeitsche, ich glaube nicht, dass ich es in der ersten Woche sehen will, ich nicht Sicher wollen wir es bis Woche 16 speichern, also irgendwo in der Mitte. Sie wissen, dass die Cowboys in Woche 13 an Thanksgiving spielen werden, also wissen Sie, dass es nicht da sein wird, sie arbeiten in ihren eigenen Stadionblöcken, sie haben die Rangers, die auf der anderen Straßenseite spielen.

der richtige Ort, um Packers-Cowboys einzusetzen, um aus diesem einen Asset den maximalen Nutzen zu ziehen? Multiplizieren Sie diese Konversation mit allen 256 dieser Spiele. Wie können Sie mit jedem dieser Assets den maximalen We rt erzielen? “

Katz, der Planungszar, sprang daraufhin:„ Was wir aber tun werden, ist, dass wir nicht einfach sagen: ‚Das Spiel muss da sein "Wir werden sagen:" OK, wir würden dieses Spiel gerne in den folgenden Wochen sehen, also wird Mike eine Regel [into the computer] schreiben, um sicherzustellen, dass das Spiel dahin fällt, wo wir es haben wollen. "Es gibt andere Spiele Wo werden wir sagen: "Wir wollen es definitiv in dieser Woche und nur in dieser Woche." Was der Computer tut, ist, Seed-Pläne zu generieren, die auf dem basieren, was Mike als geeignet in den Computer gelegt hat. In den Seed-Plänen kann es also 36 bis 50 Spiele geben. “

Und North sagte:„ Je weiter wir in den Prozess einsteigen, desto eingeschränkter werden wir, wenn wir Dinge sehen, die wir mögen und anziehen Es mag nicht so sein, etwas einzusperren, etwas auszusperren, desto kleiner muss dein Samen sein, um noch genug Flexibilität zu haben, um ihn mit einem fertig gestellten, spielbaren Zeitplan zu lösen. "

Millionen und Millionen und Millionen “, sagte Katz. „Jeder der Seed-Zeitpläne wird Spiele in Punkte setzen, die auf dem basieren, was Mike dem Computer erzählt hat. „Wir sind bereit, dieses Spiel an einem dieser verschiedenen Orte zu sehen.“ Jeder Zeitplan ist anders. “

Wie Sie sehen können, ist es kompliziert – die Jungs in diesem Raum verglichen es ständig mit einem Zauberwürfel – und das ist es wichtig, wie die Liga, die fünf Beamte mehr als drei Monate dafür engagiert, darauf hinweisen würde. Denken Sie daran, dass jeder Bewertungspunkt der Liga viel Geld einbringen kann. And as we get closer to the next set of broadcast rights deals (the current ones expire in 2023), it’s easy to figure that these things are only going to become more vital to how the league is doing business.



1) The Raiders sending their scouts home certainly got the attention of those in the NFL community on Friday. As I’ve heard it, those guys were in town for the previous three and a half weeks. Generally, even the teams that don’t let their scouts into the final set of meetings just before the draft will keep them around in case they have to pull them in to discuss a prospect or a position. And so the fact that the Oakland staff was sent for the airport, and not told when they’d return (and most aren’t expecting to), at that juncture was unusual. But I’m not sure there’s a whole lot else there. Mayock, in his first draft as GM, and with three first-rounders, wants to be careful. And he knows how information is trafficked this time of year, having been on the other side of it in the media. Still, that’s not the end of it. If Mayock does clear out the scouting department, he’ll likely run into challenges similar to those that faced Buffalo two years ago, trying to hire guys who may be under contract in other places. And then, there’s the back end of the draft. Generally, the scouting department does the heavy lifting on college free agents, tapping into their connections to try and pluck players from across the country. You’d assume that’ll be more difficult without the scouts around.

2) If Murray goes first overall, it won’t have cost him in the draft process. But there are certainly questions out there from the people who have met with him about how much football he knows. His athleticism is unquestioned. He can pick stuff up. Yet he’s struggled some with teams on the board. That issue dovetailed with the fact that he didn’t have the rep for being a grinder in college that, by comparison, former teammate Baker Mayfield did. And there was his benching for the first few plays of the Baylor game last fall, a result of Murray being late for a couple 6 a.m. Friday walkthroughs. At other positions, of course, these sorts of things aren’t as big a deal. At quarterback, they usually merit some deeper digging. Maybe with school, and presumably baseball, out of the picture, you’ll get a different Murray. I haven’t heard his aptitude for learning the position questioned. But how much he knows has come up a bunch in my discussions with teams on the quarterbacks in this year’s class.

3) You may notice the number of offensive linemen in my mock draft (eight), and my feeling is that it is, in part, yet another example of teams looking ahead a year to frame their strategy. You’ve read in this space that some teams may wait on quarterbacks and receivers, seeing what this year’s class is, and knowing those positions have potential to be significantly stronger in 2020. With the offensive linemen, the opposite is happening. Not only has it gotten harder to find and develop offensive linemen (which is why so many established ones have gotten paid both in free agency and by their own teams), a peek ahead to next year has revealed a relatively barren landscape. Notre Dame left tackle Liam Eichenberg and Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz have a shot as headliners, but there’s not a ton of depth or overall promise—which has created urgency for teams to get their guys in 2019. We mentioned last week that the idea of just hitting “a double off the wall” in Round 1 with interior guys like Bradbury, Lindstrom, McCoy and Ford made sense in a year without a ton of elite prospects at premium spots was appealing to teams. And it makes even more sense if you don’t think you’ll be able to hit one next year.

4) I would pay attention to Sweat’s decision not to go to Nashville for the draft. We had it in the Monday Afternoon Quarterback last week that his heart condition would knock him off some teams’ boards. And it doesn’t end there. Failed drug tests earlier on as a collegian, his dismissal from Michigan State, and his handling of the pre-draft process have added to the trepidation teams have on the 6' 6", 260-pound freak, who blistered a 4.41 40-yard dash and posted a 36-inch vertical in Indy. Thursday could be interesting for a player who, on talent, should be a Top 10 pick.

5) The future of Seahawks DE Frank Clark hangs in the balance this week, and it’d hardly be a surprise if Seattle moves him. One team to watch closely—the Chiefs. Yes, it could be complicated for K.C., given Clark’s past, and the year they’ve had, from Kareem Hunt to Tyreek Hill. But they’ve discussed making the move to replace Dee Ford with a 6' 3", 265-pound end who would be a better fit in Steve Spagnuolo’s base defense than Ford projected to be. Word on the street is the Seahawks are driving a hard bargain, asking for a first- and a second-round pick, and there’d be the matter of working through a long-term deal off Clark’s $17.1 million franchise tag. But the Chiefs are in an interesting spot to do something like that—with their first-rounder sitting at the bottom of the round and cap space there with QB Patrick Mahomes still on his rookie deal. As always, stay tuned.

6) The veteran trade market should be active this week. Clark’s name is the biggest, but not the only big one. Teams are keeping an eye on former Cardinals first-rounder Robert Nkemdiche. And San Francisco’s Arik Armstead could be involved in discussions, too (although I’m told he is in the Niners’ plans at this point). Oakland’s Justin Ellis, who the Raiders signed to a three-year, $13.5 million deal last March, is another defensive lineman who’s believed to be available. And most of you know about Duke Johnson’s situation in Cleveland. As for receivers, I did ask a couple teams, and the most significant name I could come away with that could be moved was Dallas’s Allan Hurns, who’s coming off a significant injury. There just aren’t a lot of answers at that position this offseason, which leads us back to…

7) There are teams that have D.K. Metcalf, despite his physical tools, as the third receiver in what’s a pretty mediocre class at the position. There’s a lot of love out there for Oklahoma’s Hollywood Brown. And after asking around the last few days, I can tell you a good number of respected evaluators actually prefer Meltcalf’s Ole Miss teammate, A.J. Brown, to him. I think those three could come off the board in any order, with Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry a wild card in that mix.

8) So who will the Russell Wilson contract really affect? I don’t think it changes much for Patrick Mahomes or even Carson Wentz, who’ll get top dollar whenever they get extended. But I think it could create some difficulty down the line in negotiations involving guys like Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota, Dallas’s Dak Prescott or Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky. On one hand, it seems like it would be out of hand for those guys to ask for money inching close to $40 million aper year. On the other, Oakland’s Derek Carr became football’s highest paid player after just one really good year, and San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo topped him and everyone else seven months later, with just seven career starts on his ledger. So maybe it wouldn’t be? Which is to say, yes, the skyrocketing of the quarterback market—the top end of it rose 40 percent (from $25 million to $35 million in average per year) over the last 22 months—may well complicated things in a few locales.

9) I saw that Giants GM Dave Gettleman said this to NJ.com’s Steve Politi: “I’ve been to seven Super Bowls. I feel very strongly that I know what it should look like, what it should smell like, what it should taste like. And, so, you can look at me and say, well, I either know what I’m doing or I’m a big fat rabbit’s foot. Neither one’s bad, right? I like my resume so far.” I’m gonna agree with him, and I know that’s not popular. Gettleman inherited a salary cap tire fire in Carolina and cleaned it up quickly. The Panthers went 12-4 in his first year, then won the division at 7-8-1 in his rip-the-band-aid off campaign of 2014, and came back to go 15-1 and make it to the Super Bowl in 2015, with a roster rebuilt on the fly. And his firing had very little to do with his team-building acumen. So I’d say it’d be fair to give him more than a year to rework what was a really bad roster in New York.

10) We’re right at the end of the evaluation process, but these last few days can be the time when teams try and sneak guys in without anyone knowing—with the thinking going that there’s less time for word of meetings or workouts leaking one. One happened over the weekend with the Cardinals working out Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry (as my buddy Ian Rapoport reported Saturday). Another example was Patriots OC Josh McDaniels meeting with Baker Mayfield the Monday before the draft last year. And we’ve got a good story from a few years back of one working out. It was 2008, and the day before the final day for in-house visits, the Texans contacted Texas DT Frank Okam and asked him if he could get from his hometown of Dallas to Houston the next day. He said yes, drove over, answered Houston’s questions about his passion for the game. And days later, they took him in the fifth round. So keep an eye out for these this week.



“I understand that, but I can’t change their opinions. Not being cocky in any way, but if a Rookie of the Year doesn’t sway that mindset then I don’t know what will. My mindset is continue to prove to the people in this locker room and this building that they got the right guy. A guy who is going to buy-in and get other people to buy-in and take that leadership role. I’ve been able to show that show so far, and I believe I can take that to another other level.”

Giants RB Saquon Barkley on whether New York should’ve taken a quarterback second overall last year. This is a fair response from him, but the answer to what will sway the mindset is simple: The Giants needs to win. And that may be an unfair standard to pin on a running back, which is exactly why the question is being asked in the first place. If Sam Darnold becomes what the Jets think he will, then the only thing that will silence those questions is the Giants finding the right guy at the position, and a way to get back in contention with Barkley there.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was wearing a “spiritual gangster” shirt, by the way. And yup, that’s a shot at Anthony Davis, who may or may not be in Kerr’s division next year (probably not).


Now, this wasn’t very nice of Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence. (By the way, Lawrence has upped his trolling of Eli Manning to now include a shot of he and the Giants quarterback on the banner of his twitter page. I’m not even kidding.)

Not sure what Rovell’s getting at, but I support it.


S/O to Pro Football Talk czar Mike Florio for calling my attention to this very special look at the Vikings’ schedule.


Really topical.


1) For the first time in forever, the NBA’s East semis should be fantastic—so long as the Bucks, Sixers and Raptors close out their series as everyone expects them to. Those three and the Celtics bring plenty of star power to the table, and this should be a good introduction to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid for casual fans, and a re-introduction to Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard after those two missed last year’s playoffs.

2) Gotta be happy for Gordon Hayward, going home and playing well in a playoff setting, after the 18 months he’s had.

3) NBA Playoff ratings being down 26 percent can’t be all that surprising with LeBron James out of the mix. But it does underscore, again, how star driven basketball is, and how critical it is for that league to elevate guys like the four we mentioned above over the next month or so, because LeBron might be back next year, but he won’t around forever.

4) Was interesting listening to Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel’s podcast on Sunday and hearing that Washington QB Jacob Eason, a former five-star recruit who transferred from Georgia, has been a little disappointing this spring, with most expecting he’ll take over for four-year starter Jake Browning. Eason was one quarterback I had my eye on to be a potential Murray/Haskins breakout draft prospect in 2019.

5) Was weird seeing Albert Pujols’s name in a headline again, but there he was.

6) This is a commitment to journalism. (Happy Easter, by the way!)


You knew I wouldn’t leave the teams without first-rounders hanging, right? There are four of them—Dallas, New Orleans, Chicago and Cleveland—and this is as good a place as any to assess whether or not their moves out of the round were worth it.

And the easy conclusion to make? It was.

The Cowboys (needs: DT, FS) landed Amari Cooper for what wound up being the 27th pick. Provided they re-sign Cooper, and they plan to, he’s a better prospect than any of the guys in this year’s draft class. By a fairly wide margin. And still just 24.

The Bears (needs: OLB, RB) got Khalil Mack for, with some pick swapping mixed in, the 24th pick and their first-rounder next year. I’d say they’re happy with that, Mack having changed the face of their team in Year 1 of the Matt Nagy Era. It’d take something pretty crazy happening soon for Chicago to regret that one, though there’s plenty of room for Oakland to make the deal work for them too.

The Browns (needs: CB, S) and Saints (DE, TE) are murkier—Cleveland, because we haven’t seen Odell Beckham suit up yet, and New Orleans, because we haven’t seen enough of Marcus Davenport. But given how those two stack up against players available where those picks are (17th and 30th, respective), you can make a strong case that both teams have a really good shot at coming out winners.

So what you need to know from all this: Being aggressive and creative as a problem solver helps, even if it might make some draft day down the line a little less exciting.

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