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NFL Mock Draft: Peter King chooses how Round 1 will go

My advice to all professional and fan predictors of the NFL Draft 2018 in the hours before the first round Thursday: Be careful with the absolute statements. Three of the first four picks are controlled by two men (Cleveland GM John Dorsey at one and four, GM Dave Gettleman the Giants at two) who could work for the CIA. There are an excessive number of very tall teams that I think they want to give in, and maybe only a modest value because of the strength of the second and third rounds and the slenderness of the first round.

"This year it seems like there is no norm," said San Francisco GM John Lynch on Saturday. The Niners take ninth place in the first round. "I let our analytics people go through every scenario we could face at nine o'clock and it could be 50 of them."

And so this year's qualifying preliminary round is a dart throw, if ever there was one. Wish me luck. Trades (and wild guesses) included.

. 1
Cleveland-Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Although half of the free world has Josh Allen among the Browns, it would still be a risk because he does not dominate in the middle of the competition. Dorsey is a measurable guy, and Allen is THE measurable quarterback here (6 "5", 237 pounds, 4.79 in the 40s.) But a few things have influenced my reputation, one is Mike Mayock, the conscience of the NFL Network has a way He said the Browns made too many mistakes in quarterbacks, and they can not risk themselves here, that made a lot of sense – and Mayock is a guy who loves longtime Josh Allen "And we're all Prisoners of the people we know in this league. And someone I trust, who is very often right and very well connected, told me on Sunday that it is not all. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the science of mock: Darnold is safe, has great potential, and most NFL folks believe he can reverse the turn-over bug (37 career variations in 26 USC games). Darold is a jock, who wants to be a great football player. And at 8:46 am Sunday, here I am. All I can say, good luck to anyone who puts on the first choice in the design n my wafting logic.

. 2 New York Giants-Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

It only seems logical. No insider here – although I've heard Sunday that Darnold is the type of Giants, if they opt for a quarterback. Last year, Gettleman earned Christian McCaffrey eighth place for runner-needy Panthers. The Giants have not had a big back in 12 years since Tiki Barber retired. The consistency of Barkley – three straight 1000-yard rushing seasons at a high level of competition, rushing averages of 5.9, 5.5 and 5.9 yards per rush – must attract the Giants, as does the thought of Barkley, Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and Left go up against Nate Solder to relieve 37-year-old Eli Manning.

. 3 New York Jets-Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Could be Baker Mayfield, easily. And there were times in the process when I was sure it would be Mayfield. But I give the jets the safest QB thing in this design, as long as you can live with the ghost of his two documented concussions and all the noise (which I consider total nonsense) about Rosen's life of other interests. The jets need a player who can be polite, cultured and ready for Broadway, and this quarterback is as good as anybody else since Namath.

. 4 Cleveland-Bradley Chubb, Edge, NC State

I spent most of Saturday trying to find a way to give the Browns the heir to Joe Thomas in the altercation with Mike McGlinchey, and just could not do it with one Trade-down work. Nice consolation prize here. Chubb lost 10 sacks and 20 tackles two years in a row and is easily the best front-seven-champion in a weak class. But Dorsey will have several options here if he wants to move.

. 5 Arizona (from Denver) -Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Call this premonition that will not be led astray again. I've always thought that part of the Cardinals regretted the 2017 draft when they skipped with a 37-year-old quarterback (Carson Palmer) possibly in his senior year of teams that took Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson got one and three picks in front of them. Besides, the Cardinals do not like Baker Mayfield. They love him . That's a good thing, because John Elway likes him too much. Interesting weird bedfellow scene in the cafeteria of the Broncos during Mayfields campus visit. Elway sat alone with Mayfield at a table and talked. Walking through the salad bar: Case Keenum

6. Buffalo (from Indianapolis) – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

While we are looking for a landing pad for all quarterbacks, I would like to remind you of four points: A) I do not know if Buffalo loves Allen; B) but I hear that they love his ability to throw it through the sea effect, wind and snow; C) Allen is a talkative, ingenious version of Jim Kelly, a gun-armed work in progress that fans in western New York will love; and D) I think this trade suits both teams because I'm not sure if the Colts would ask for both bill-first picks in return. Due to the strength of the second round, I was able to see Colts GM Chris Ballard, who collectively rated the 53rd and 56th picks higher than the 22nd pick in this draft. So, 12, 53, 56 and, say, 96 for six? Could be just. It would leave the Bills with their second of two First-Rounders.

. 7 Tampa Bay-Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

No end to the love for the versatile Fitzpatrick, who can play either in the corner, in the slot or in a flash as a linebacker. And he has done it for three full seasons at the highest level of college football that NFL people love. Denzel Ward could also go here, but my bet is on the esteemed Fitzpatrick. Late Note: One or two teams snooping in this area of ​​the design Dear Fitzpatrick.

. 8 Nelson, G, Notre Dame, Chicago Quotation

If this does not happen, every mischief leader in America is proven to be the cheater we are all. I mean, there is usually a universal agreement on something at the top of the draft. This year, it's become universal bargain on the man Notre Dame line-coach-new-bear line coach Harry Hiestand coached in his college career, Nelson. And it fits in with what new coach Matt Nagy wants – a Mauler that will help Nagy build the running game and protective front wall to give Mitchell Trubisky the space and time he needs for medium protection. Smart selection.

. 9 San Francisco-Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

As a sideline player in this draft, he has no comparison. I've also considered McGlinchey and the cornerback Denzel Ward here – just like the Niners. But I left McGlinchey because the Niners believe that Joe Staley, who turns 34 in August, can play two more seasons on a good level. And the need for Smith, especially with the uncertain future of linebacker Reuben Foster, could be great in defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's scheme, where athletic playmakers are a must-have for linebackers.

10th Oakland-Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame

The Raiders have several needs, and Denzel Ward and Derwin James fit perfectly here, with a Scotch-taped secondary (only Gareon Conley is solid in the corner; free safety Reggie Nelson turns 35) in September) for the new coordinator Paul Guenther. But left-wing Donald Penn (35 on Friday) may have a year or two left, and a franchise quarterback remains a franchise quarterback in part because of his way of being protected. Derek Carr would vote for this selection.

. 11 Miami Vita Vea, DT, Washington

The New Suh. This selection is more notable for what the dolphins do not do. Like everyone else, I was pretty sure Miami would be one of those squads who wanted to buy a quarterback. That was a MO of club architect Mike Tannenbaum in his career – the Splash Move. And maybe it happens. But lately, through what I've heard in the preliminary drafting process, I think that Miami will rather stay with Ryan Tannehill (who has missed the last 19 games with an injury) and continue the progress he was making with Adam Gases in the Season 2016. We will see. A word of caution with Vea: He has to manage his weight if he wants to be more than a two-player.

12th Indy (from Buffalo) -Tremaine Edmunds, OLB, Virginia Tech

A note about what the Colts did when I was here (and I have my doubts) that Indy had delivered the sixth pick to Buffalo for the first time , two seconds in the middle and a low-third-round pick. In January, Colts GM Chris Ballard had the picks in rounds 1, 2 and 3, 3, 36 and 67 in total. With this second trade-down of the debut, the Colts would have 12, 36, 37, 49, 53, 56, 67 and 96 … and 2019 the second round of jets this year. With all the holes to fill, Edmunds is a very good start. Raw but fast (4.54 in the 40) and physically. Great need for the D. of the Colts

13. Washington-Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

For years, he has the speed and the hands to anchor a needy Washington second, and he would go higher if he had a larger body. Another blow was that he only had two breaks in two or more squadrons for the Buckeyes, but Jalen Ramsey was not a productive picker when Jacksonville got him in 2016. Also, Washington needs edge help so I can see Marcus Davenport in the game here.

fourteenth Green Bay – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

For a team that has recently spent so much capital on the secondary market (five defensive backs in the first two rounds of the last four drafts), the Packers will need a corner for new things Coordinator Mike Pettines scheme. Tramon Williams, age 35, could start at Green Bay this fall. The big hit on Jackson is his 4,54 speed in the 40, and that's a legitimate concern. But his eight picks in the Big Ten last year have scouts in the eye, and some think he could be Richard Sherman. He's tall (6 feet-1), instinctively, a former wide-out like Sherman, and like Sherman he has a frame that can add some power. Marcus Peters also does not have the great speed, but he has proven that even in the NFL win wisdom and instinct.

15th Denver (from Arizona) – Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida

Hughes has some personal concerns that could throw him off the wall, so this is as delicate a choice as mine; It is a necessity for the Broncos, which I believe will have to deal with a few positions of great need and go around the corner. Look for interior designer James Daniels from Iowa. Broncos need in both places. And of course, Elway will be tempted to stay and gather Baker Mayfield in this scenario. Hard calls for him, but he does not want to throw away Paxton Lynch yet. What Elway sold in this theoretical deal was Arizonas No. 1 in 2019, which could be a top-10 selection if the cards are the worst team in NFC West.

sixteenth Baltimore-Derwin James, S, Florida State

Ravens love his instincts, his love for football and his position versatility. He could end up as a WILL linebacker and side-to-side chaser and hitter. Watch out for Marcus Davenport here when James is gone. Lamar Jackson is one option, but I see Baltimore meets a greater need and Joe Flacco gives this season to consolidate his future in Baltimore.

17th Los Angeles Chargers-Colton Miller, T, UCLA

Boom or bust type for many people in this design. Need a selection for the chargers. Strange that Melvin Gordon had struggled so much on the ground with such a good back last year; they were 32nd in the league in rushing. More importantly, the chargers need some long-term answers to a patchwork unit for a few years. You may need to be patient with this one-year starter.

18th Seattle-Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio

You know how we always say This team never thought that Player X would be there? This is the first example of this in the first round. Davenport could go 10 to Oakland, and in some places in between. I think GM John Schneider thought it wise to make that choice at that point, and he would have played very well if a good player were not available. Good for the Seahawks – who were a bit unlucky in recent drafts (especially with Malik McDowell) – able to stay and get a man who looks like the second-best curb-out in this design.

19th Dallas D.J.. Moore, WR-KR, Maryland

What, no Calvin Ridley? The Alabama wideout seemed to be as natural here as the Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans, who had a great need for Dallas in one position (side linebacker). But Moore, a quick riser with return capability, could solve two problems for Dallas, and the Cowboys want to find a long-term recipient to be what Dez Bryant was not since signing a huge deal in 2015. However, it is a risky venture, based on the recent performance of so many failed number one picks.

20th Detroit-Da Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

This is an Albert Breer Special. I stole it from him, and I'm not ashamed to say it. Payne is the kind of versatile, large-scale decorator who will be Matt Patricia over the next three years if he builds a strong front. Payne is 311 pounds, a bit like a Malcom Brown guy, and he's only 20, with plenty of time to become a classic two- and three-down player to disrupt the interior of the NFC North.

21st Cincinnati-Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

The Brown family has a history of quarterback dating back to Boomer Esiason in the second round of 1984, and this would surely upset the locker room and design. So many reliable draftniks (Mayock, McShay, etc.) think that Jackson has the potential to be the most exciting and prolific quarterback in the crop – but you must show him your insult. Are not they doing good coaches? Do you get very good players and adapt their systems to the players? I like this selection for the Bengals, even though she could push Andy Dalton out of the city in 2019 (five out of seven starting seasons with a sub-90-pass rating).

22nd Buffalo-James Daniels, G-C, Iowa

Need help. Smart of the Bills insisted on succeeding in their businesses, and offered to different teams that they had to keep this choice to support a part of their team that was hit by a wild offseason. Gone: Center Eric Wood and Guard Richie Incognito (retired) and grab Cordy Glenn (traded). If you had told someone at the Bills front office that they would finish the first day of the design with a quarterback of the future and the second-best interior lineman in the draft with a lot of experience in pro-style football, they would do it a lot happy.

23rd New England-Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

The Patriots are the chameleon of the first round. From this morning I can not see that they are acting in the forefront of the draft for a quarterback. But I can see that they do something else – I just do not know what it is. Act next year? Gronk treat? Do you pack a lot of picks to look for a loved one like Bradley Chubb? Most of the time, I think the Patriots will adjust to the long-term future. With Evans playing in tandem (at least early) with his Companion Tide alum Dont & a Hightower, the Patriots would have a force on the linebacker over the next few years.

24th Carolina-Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

There are not many national championship caliber wideouts in an era of crashing first-time production in the design that demonstrate Ridley's potential. Alabama is not a bombing raid and Ridley has caught 89, 72 and 63 balls in his three seasons. But he is not a big, deep threat, which is why he is still here at 24. Still, the need for the Panthers is huge here and Ridley's slides past is a gift for Cam Newton.

25th Tennessee-Harold Landry, Edge, Boston University

The Titans would need to partner with luck if Landry is still on the board after 75 percent of the first round. One year ago, following Landry's 16.5-sack season in 2016, he decided to return to BC and was mocked in some preliminary drafts as the first pick of 2018. But an ankle injury slowed his production, and now a team will take him on the come. The Titans desperately need Landry's help, and new coach Mike Vrabel will ensure that he has enough chances to finish his place.

26th Atlanta-Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Some Boy Scouts think that Bryan, at 291 pounds with a Sub-5.0 40 times, will be a better pro than a colleague. He had only 16 tackles behind the line in three NCAA seasons and should do well next to Grady Jarrett. Atlanta needs depth along the defensive, and even though Bryan has only 35 players per game, it's a need to be addressed.

27th New Orleans Frank Ragnow, C-G, Arkansas

My surprise of the first round. The saints could use a center with a versatile position. Max Unger is 32. Right Warden Larry Warford will play at 31 this year. The saints are in an interesting position. For the first time, they have no crying need to enter the design, and can afford to design around a sixth offensive lineman that could launch in 2019 or 2020 at Guard or Center. Ragnow has time in the strong SEC both in the middle and in the guard, and the Saints think he's the brutal player (with some athleticism) who could start for them for a few years.

28th Pittsburgh-Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Oh, how nice it would have been if the design had fallen right to the Steelers and they could take an all-field playmaker to replace the fallen Ryan Shazier. This playmaker, Leighton Vander Esch, could be available at the age of 28 … but he has a cervical cancer problem that causes some to get away from him this week. In Alexander, the Steelers could get a 4.38 cover type who is eager to attack and is a physical player in run support. He would fit in well with Mike Tomlin.

29th Jacksonville-Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A & M

The Jags can not love any of the remaining wideouts, but they have a need, and Kirk was very productive as a college player, if not particularly explosive. He had 80, 83 and 71 catches, with a total of 26 touchdowns, in his three college seasons, and the Jaguars now need a producer after the offseason losses of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Things are going fast in Jacksonville, and Kirk will have to produce right away.

30th Minnesota-Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

The Vikings can stuff holes here instead of looking for the best player available, regardless of their position. The Guardian Group for Minnesota is their biggest weakness (possible starters: Nick Easton, Tom Compton), and Hernandez, many scouts think, is a plug and play day-1 starter with the kind of streak in the running game that he will make an immediate favorite of the quarrelsome Mike Zimmer. I love this choice for you.

31st New England-Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

It's clear to me that the Patriots need long-term players, and Vander Esch has got some teams in the league with uterine problems in Boise, and he has only a very good season on his side continue. Cool story. He played eight-man football in high school in Idaho, and only recently appeared as a strong bottom of the first round contestant. Some teams have tagged him for his neck problems and there is a great chance that the Patriots are worried too much about picking him up here. We will see.

32nd Philadelphia-Connor Williams, G-T, Texas

But I think the Eagles are much more likely to make that choice; I just do not know who. You are looking for a trade – I can tell you that. Philadelphia has no choice in round two or three and the Eagles will not pick up until the end of the fourth round. From now on they go from 33 to 129 without a choice. Therefore, they will try to negotiate all night on Thursday. If they stay … The Eagles have a 35-year-old left-footer, Jason Peters, who's badly injured, and start the guards (Stefan Wisniewski and Brandon Brooks), who will be 29 this season. Connor is the perfect choice for them, in the unlikely event that they stay.

Draft marginalia

Some citation-related notes:

• Denzel Ward deserves my respect. Ohio State's Cornerback had an ankle on the combine and left without doing any of the traditional athletic exercises, including the 20-yard short shuttles. A team wanted this short shuttle. This team told Ward that it needed the shuttle to complete his evaluation. A team member told Ward that he could even find a friend to make a cell phone video of Ward making the shuttle and send it to the team. The team did not hear anything back. Finally, on Saturday, the coach got a ping on his smartphone for this team. It was from Ward, with a slightly shaky video of him making the short shuttle somewhere in an empty field. I doubt this team will pick him, but it says something about Ward's completion of this task, which is impressive.

• The last word about the quarterbacks. I've asked a long-standing and well connected scout what he hears about the order of the best quarterbacks in this design. In other words, if teams with quarterbacks should show their boards, in which order would they go? "Allen, very close to Darnold. Then Mayfield. But the people who love Mayfield like Mayfield. "Be aware that Arizona will get into Mayfield by passing the jets and broncos.

• There will be some trades in this design that may seem one-sided. Several team members told me in the In the past few days, they rate the selection on Day 2 (second and third rounds) so high that they would be willing to take a little less to come down, where could that come in. Cleveland (four), Indianapolis () six), Baltimore (16), Seattle (18), New England (23, 31), New Orleans (27), Philadelphia (32). "This is not your typical design," said a veteran club official on Sunday. "The second, third and even fourth round are gold. You can say less than the trade value table and still make a very good trade if you get several picks in those rounds.

• The design was more fun. In the 17th and final round of the 1972 draft, GM Joe Thomas of the Baltimore Colts turned to 32-year-old PR guy Ernie Accorsi and said : "I am exhausted. You make the choice. "The tips for the 17th round were at that time training camps, with great opportunities to ever create an NFL roster, the draft was not televised in 1972, and the later rounds were one thing to do, Accorsi gave him that name: Tim Berra, broad receiver / kickback, UMass How cool Yogi Berra's son, drafted into the NFL. "And he made the team!" Accorsi said. "He gave us a kick for a touchdown in an exhibition game, and he made our list for the season. "

• Hall of Fame Factoid I used to use but never grow old In 1964, these were consecutive Picks:

Round 7, 88. Overall to Dallas: Bob Hayes, WR, Florida A & M
Round 7, 89. Overall to Detroit: Bill Parcells, OT, Wichita State

Parcells was selected 21 points ahead of Leroy Kelly and 40 ahead of Roger Staubach.

Call to all Plan Nerds!

If you are bored by the process of creating the NFL schedule, please skip this section. It's right off the schedule Nerdland. But I like it, and it's a cool example of how the sausage is made.

Sometimes, as I gather information for my annual story-like-this-NFL-for-this-year schedule, I hear interesting stories about things related to the schedule, often from people all over the league, sometimes from People from the Val Pinchbeck Room, where over four months of digital trial-and-error, get four NFL staff to handle the 256 games of regular season games.

This year's story revolves around the Rams Chiefs game in Mexico City. Do you see the photo above? It's a stack of "dead dates" that looked promising and was enough to get tough looks from the master of the schedule, Howard Katz. After leaving the Pinchbeck room on Thursday night, I called to see how the league's schedule developed (in most districts, I heard). And a few people talked about Rams-Chiefs, and how this became one of the really attractive games in the league this year. They wondered how ESPN got it – and whether CBS or FOX (for a Thursday afternoon) or NBC (Sunday night) were in the mix.

The answer is, as it turns out, they were all.

Remember the game: two divisional champions, all of whom will be very good in 2018, exporting the game to a place where there are sure to be 100,000 people – in an atmosphere that is extremely hot. There was the extra fun of the Chiefs exchanging one of the best young corners, Marcus Peters, against the Rams this year, and Peters wanted to take revenge on the Chiefs.

The league has set the game for Week 11. Apparently the schedule makers, especially Katz and Mike North, preferred the game on Thursday night. COO Kevin Demoff told me, yes, that was the case, and the urge to make this a showcase game began in the Super Bowl. For two reasons: The league wanted to reward FOX for salvaging the league by raising Thursday night's fees to $ 660 million for the 11-game package, up 30 percent from 2017, and simply for a potentially huge rating for a pack of games that needed lift based on falling Thursday ratings from 2017. Besides, it was probably a really fun game, and the bigger the audience, the better for the NFL.

A few problems. The league failed to bring two teams to Mexico City in a week, unless they had their bye the previous week. And no team wants a Thursday night game, because that would mean that the team would have to go back to work on Saturday before the game and would suspend the players a few days before the game. For players, this is a taboo. There was also a problem for the Rams: Customs at Los Angeles International Airport closes at 12:30 daily. The Rams would probably have to stay overnight in Mexico City and pay for it the next day. Teams hate to stay on the streets after street games.

It was the Rams who relinquished the home game to make the Mexico game a reality, so the league had to get it right for them. Demoff said North worked on him during the Super Bowl week to play in Mexico on Thursday night. "But we insisted it could not happen," Demoff said. "Especially on a Thursday, bye-bye problem, and for all the prime-time games we would have the customs issue at LAX, we thought this game should be a double-header game on Sunday afternoon."

Early Sunday was outside, because the Rams would retreat to a 10:05 PT game; West Coast teams hate the early Body Clock games. The Sunday double header was interesting … but what would happen if the planned Sunday night game had to be ended and the League wanted to bring Chiefs-Rams there? Tough to flex to a game in Mexico and say to NBC: You have to make an international game in 13 days. And if the league made it a game on Sunday, what if the Chiefs or Rams stank and the league broke out? Es ist schwer, CBS zu sagen, so schnell eine Mannschaft nach Mexiko zu bringen.

Montagabend war das Zollproblem für die Rams real. Was, so meinten die Scheduler, könnte passieren, wenn wir den Chiefs und Rams in der 12. Woche – der Thanksgiving Week – ihren Abschied geben würden? Diese Woche hat traditionell keine Freigaben, weil es schwierig ist, einen guten Sonntagsplan zu erstellen, wenn drei Thursday-Spiele für Thanksgiving gestrichen werden und es sowohl Sonntag als auch Montag Nacht gibt. Zwei Teams auf Wiedersehen zu geben, würde für Sonntag eine dünne 10-Tages-Schiefertafel bedeuten.

Aber die NFL sah, dass sie einen anständigen Zeitplan erstellen konnte und den Chiefs und Rams weiterhin Byes gab. Pats-Jets und ein Jags-Bills-Playoff-Rematch im frühen CBS-Fenster; Giants-Eagles und Russell Wilson-Cam Newton im frühen FOX-Fenster; Steelers-Broncos als CBS-Doppelspiel; die Packers-Vikings Rivalität am Sonntagabend; Deshaun Watson-Marcus Mariota am Montagabend. Nicht der beste Sonntag der Saison, aber auch nicht schlecht.

Und so geschah es. Das Auf Wiedersehen ist zu spät, aber für zwei Teams, die hoffen, die Playoffs zu machen, sieh es so: Zwei Teams (Washington und Carolina) haben in Woche 4 Freigaben, was bedeutet, dass sie drei Spiele spielen werden, ein Wiedersehen haben, dann 13 spielen gerade Wochen. Jetzt haben zwei Teams in Woche 12 das Aufwiedersehen, was bedeutet, dass sie 11 Wochen in Folge spielen werden, um die Saison zu beginnen, sich zu verabschieden und dann fünf Spiele zu einer Zeit des Jahres zu spielen, in der der Abschied wahrscheinlich mehr benötigt als Washington und Carolina in der 4. Woche.

Hier kommt das Foto des Stundenplans ins Spiel. Ich habe gehört, dass einige von ihnen wegen der Rams-Chiefs-Kerfusion gestorben sind. Aber es wurde gelöst, ohne viel Aufmerksamkeit. Und jetzt wissen Sie, wie Probleme mit dem Zeitplan gelöst werden und warum zum Teil vier Leute vier Monate dafür brauchen.

Eine Perspektive aus dem Norden: "Das Unglaubliche ist nicht einmal, dass wir eine halbe Sekunde durchstehen Millionen Planungsmöglichkeiten jetzt … Das Wunder ist Val Pinchbeck, um dieses Ding von Hand zu bauen. Ein Spiel auf ein Mal. Nicht einmal in der Lage zu sein, Dinge wie Restdisparität, Reisen, Stadionblöcke zu betrachten, nicht einmal im Stande zu sein, nachzudenken, oh, so-und-so fing letztes Jahr einen Trip mit drei Spielen ein, also sollte es ihm nicht wieder passieren. Wir können jetzt wirklich scharf unterscheiden. "

Am Ende berücksichtigte die NFL 59.031 Flugpläne, einschließlich einiger der toten Flugpläne, die Rams-Chiefs in allen verschiedenen Fenstern hatten. Das ist etwas, sehr wahrscheinlich, hätte Pinchbecks Zeitplan niemals in Betracht gezogen.

Zitate der Woche


"Ich glaube wirklich – und das ist Mike Mayock, der nicht Johnston redet Dorsey, ich habe keine Insiderwissen – mein Bauchgefühl sagt mir, wenn Sie sich zwischen den beiden entscheiden, Josh Allen könnte die höhere Decke haben, aber Sie haben so viele Male in Cleveland bei Quarterback verpasst, können Sie sich einen anderen leisten einer mit deiner ersten Wahl? Your first pick has got to set the tone, and I think at the end of the day it will be Sam Darnold, and he's got a little Brett Favre in him, which I think John likes. John likes a little swagger. He'll make some mistakes and turn the ball over, but at the end of the day, that's what my gut tells me.”

—NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, on his annual pre-draft media call Friday.

I am skeptical of virtually all mocks these days—including my own. But I will be watching Mayock’s Wednesday night (NFL Network, 8 p.m. ET) and divining his picks—and his clues.


“Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy. But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL.”

—The similarly ostracized Colin Kaepernick, on unemployed safety Eric Reid, in remarks quote by the New York Times, as Kaepernick received a prestigious award Saturday night from Amnesty International.


“We all know that the elements in Cleveland play a role. I think hand size is important. With that being said, hand size in November and December in the elements when it is snowing, when it is raining, it is muddy, the hand size … That is what you were talking about in terms of the fumbles of (Sam) Darnold. You are worried about that sometimes. So, hand size.”

—Cleveland GM John Dorsey, in discussing the quarterback-preference factors at his draft news conference Thursday.

Josh Allen’s hand size is the biggest among the top prospects, at 10 1/8 inches. Sam Darnold’s: 9 3/8.


“Does he win? Does he have accuracy? Does he have a strong arm? Can he throw the ball in the red zone and in tight windows? Can he drive the ball? At the end of the game, does he win? That is kind of what I look for.”

—Cleveland GM John Dorsey, in discussing the quarterback-preference factors at his draft news conference Tuesday.

Darnold was 20-4 as a college starter, Allen 16-9 (at a lower level of competition).

My point: Look for clues in what Dorsey says during press conferences at your own risk.


“Really, the process couldn’t be more boring. But there’s such an incredible fascination with the end result.”

—NFL schedule-maker Howard Katz, who works with a four-person team for four months to come up with the schedule each year. I wrote about it Thursday night, the process of 1,000 computers spitting out 59,031 possible schedules, quoting Katz and longtime aide Mike North about the process.

Said Katz: “Mike is trying to get the computer to think the way I’m thinking.”

Stats of the Week


So when the draft kicks off Thursday night, one team’s fans are going to have to be patient. Like, ridiculously patient.

The Rams’ first pick is the 87th overall choice, barring a trade. That’s two-thirds of the way down into the third round. Los Angeles will not have a pick Thursday night for the approximately three-and-a-half-hour first round. Los Angeles will not have a pick for the approximately two-and-a-half-hour second round. Los Angeles will not have a pick for about the first 70 minutes of round three. In total, that’s seven hours of dead time for Rams fans.

Thursday’s draft coverage starts at 8 p.m. ET. Nothing for the Rams that night.

Friday’s draft coverage starts at 7 p.m. ET. Nothing for the Rams that night, if the timing is approximately what it was last year, till about 10:38 p.m. ET.

Then nothing till late in Round 4, the 35th pick of day three.

That better be one heck of a draft party, with lots of free booze, for the Rams in Los Angeles this weekend.


Two hitters in Red Sox history have three home runs in a game three times.

Ted Williams hit three home runs in one game at age 27, 38 and 38.

Mookie Betts has done it at 23, 23 and 25.

Tweets of the Week





Pod People

From “The MMQB Podcast With Peter King,” available where you download podcasts.

• This week’s conversation, as a precursor to the quarterback-rich 2018 draft, is a piece of living history with former Baltimore Colts and New York Giants GM Ernie Accorsi, recounting his role in the notable 1983 and 2004 quarterback drafts. In 2004, the Chargers were scheduled to pick first and Accorsi’s Giants fourth, and Philip Rivers, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger were the first three passers slated to go. The Giants wanted Manning. I called Accorsi the Friday night before the draft and said I heard he’d be getting a call from Chargers GM A.J. Smith about a deal when the Giants were on the clock. San Diego picked Manning one, and Accorsi picked up the story when the fourth overall picks approached.

“A.J. had said, ‘We'll talk Friday. I'll call you Friday.’ I wasn't going to call him because I knew if I was going to chase him, I had no chance. I never heard from him Friday, and that's also the day Cleveland [picking seventh and offering a second-round pick for the Giants to move from four to seven] called. I was tempted by that, because we had heard that Roethlisberger might slip, but what stopped me very late in those negotiations was, what if I go to seven and lose him now? And I'm not going to forgive myself. There are other good players there but you know how I felt about the quarterback, so I backed out at the last second.

“I usually picked right away. I wanted to be decisive. Let's get the guy. I might have done it because I will tell you, not hearing from him on Friday, not hearing from him on Saturday morning, I had pretty much given up hope that we were going to be able to make this trade. But that call from you gave me pause. I was sitting there … at the seven-minute mark of the 15-minute interval, my secretary said, ‘A.J. is on the phone.’

“A.J. said, I'll never forget this, 'Do you want Eli?' I said, ‘Yeah, A.J., I want Eli. He said, well, you got 'em, but I have to have [young Giants defensive end Osi] Umenyiora.' I said, ‘Look, I told you six weeks ago, I'm not trading Umenyiora. That's a deal breaker.’ He said, ‘Will you give me next year's No. 1, among other picks?' I said, ‘Yes, I will.’”

Factoids That May Interest Only Me

The Bills cut linebacker Nordly “Cap” Capi the other day.

Cap Capi was due to make $555,000 this season, with no pro-rated signing bonus to add to Cap Capi’s cap charge, so the Bills’ cap savings for cutting Cap Capi is $555,000. Cap Capi carries no future cap charge, so Cap Capi’s 2018 cap charge is the only relevant cap consequence for Buffalo cutting Cap Capi, according to cap site Over The Cap. Should Cap Capi sign with another team, Cap Capi’s cap charge in 2018 would likely be equal to what Cap Capi’s cap charge in Buffalo would have been.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think I hope the 32 NFL owners saw Colin Kaepernick get the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award in Amsterdam on Saturday night. An internationally noted citizen cannot find employment in the NFL. If that’s not a damning indictment of the NFL, I don’t know what is.

2. I think this would earn a disapproving stare from Houston coach Bill O’Brien:

a. The Texans played the Patriots in Foxboro on Sept. 22, 2016.

b. The Texans played the Patriots in Foxboro on Sept. 24, 2017.

c. The Texans will play the Patriots in Foxboro on Sept. 9, 2018.

3. I think this is the definition of fan loyalty: Since midseason 2016, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are 6-12, including losses of 62-3, 56-14, 54-21 and 56-14. On Saturday, they drew 86,818 paying customers to see their spring game.

4. I thinkif you want to know why we are buried in a hillock of mock drafts today, read The MMQB’s Tim Rohan story. And read Bill Belichick talk about the godfather of mocks and of scouting college players for every team as a hobby, the late Joel Buchsbaum. What a relationship Belichick and Buchsbaum had. As relayed by Hub Arkush, Belichick once said: “Joel was one of my best friends.”

5. I think I am one person, flailing against the gigantic windmill that is NFL Draftmania, which is so loved by the NFL because it keeps NFL beat people and draftnik sites in full-draft-promotion mode for four full months, further bolstering the prospect for higher ratings on the three-day draft weekend. It is absurd that the NFL draft begins 108 days after the college football season ends, and 152 days after the last big Saturday of the college football season. There is no good reason for the draft to be so late, and to add to the already mountainous degree of difficulty for these college players by preventing them from working with their teams till May.

6. I think bigger isn’t always better, but you’d never know that by covering the National Football League.

7. I think I appreciate Awful Announcing’s Matt Yoder drawing attention to the bloated draft coverage by pointing to a passage in a Sporting News story about the NFL’s draft plans for the Dallas area this weekend, and the TV plans therein:

“And as the annual football festival grows in popularity, some league executives envision the draft potentially becoming the sports equivalent of a U.S. presidential election—a sports event televised simultaneously across most or all of the national broadcast networks: NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN’s sister Disney network ABC. This year’s event will be televised by a record six TV entities, including two broadcast channels (Fox and ABC) and four cable networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and NFL Network). ABC will simulcast ESPN’s coverage of Rounds 4-7 on Saturday. That means all seven rounds will air on broadcast television for the first time.

“That’s one of the key provisos, said sources. If the league’s other broadcast partners eventually want the draft, they would likely have to televise it on their main broadcast channels, not their smaller sports cable networks. In other words, NBC Sports would have to show it on NBC, not NBCSN, and so forth. Fox is airing it this year on so-called “big Fox” rather than its FS1/FS2 cable channels.”

Writes Yoder: “I can think of few things further detached from reality than the NFL actually envisioning the draft (again, not the Super Bowl, not even a game, but the draft) being on the same level as the presidential election.”

8. I think the best football news of the week, other than the fact that we’ve got only three days of hype yet before round one, is that the Monday night games will (should) be over before Colbert every week now. The new start time: 8:15 p.m. ET, 15 minutes earlier than the old time.

9. I think congrats are in order for Chris Palmer, the first head coach in the revitalized history (1999-today) history of the Cleveland Browns. He’s now the athletics director at the University of New Haven, the place that gave him his first football head-coaching job in 1986. Talked to Palmer the other day, and he’s happy living a totally different life at a small liberal-arts college, giving back for what became his good fortune a long time ago.

10. I think these are my other thoughts of the week:

a. Story of the Week: by Yuki Naguchi of National Public Radio, bringing home the story of opioid addiction to middle America. It’s a touching piece from Muncie, Ind., with a hopeful girl dead a year after thinking she’d beaten it, and parents who bled savings and retirement income to try to save her life.

b. I listened to that three times. It left me incredibly sad. But it’s something we’ve got to face as a country. We've got to address this scourge.

c. Excellent job by the Pulitzer Committee, on this same subject, recognizing the Cincinnati Enquirer for its project on the scourge of heroin on greater Cincinnati, spending a week in the area documenting the crisis. In that week, 18 local residents died of heroin use, and there at least 180 heroin overdoses. One week, one metro area, one medium-sized city, one substance, 18 needless deaths.

d. College Football Story of the Week: by Paul Myerberg of USA Todayon the quarterback recruit, Brevin White from California, who chose Princeton over Alabama. Cool tale.

e. Pro Football Story of the Week: by Greg Bishop of SIon why Jake Locker walked away to a monk’s like in rural Washington.

f. Good lesson there. One of the things about studying players during the draft is judging love of the game. From what I’m told, no one in the NFL questioned the desire of Locker entering the 2011 draft. And there he was, less than four years later, saying he had no desire to play the game.

g. The interview on “HBO Real Sports” between Bryant Gumbel and Derek Jeter ought to be interesting. Saw some quotes from it Saturday night. Gumbel asked Jeter pointedly about tanking. Jeter denied tanking. Gumbel pressed him. Jeter said, “You’re mentally weak.”

h. Beernerdness: Okay, okay. It’s not sober April anymore, not with this weekend’s trip to San Francisco. Just too much good beer here. Rain check. When my daughter Laura saw the logo on this bottle—The Penske File American Pale Ale (Faction Brewing, Alameda, Calif.)—she knew she had to get it for me. (Google “Seinfeld Penske File,” kids.) Delicious, with just the right hoppy bite.

i. RIP Gil Santos, the 36-year radio voice of the Patriots. For many New Englanders, Santos was the lifeline to a young team fighting for respect and attention in the late sixties during the AFL days. More recently, till his retirement in 2012, Santos was as respected a play-by-play voice as there was in the NFL for his even-handed approach to a team exploding in popularity.

j. RIP Harry Anderson, the best understated comedic TV actor of a great sitcom era.

k. RIP Bruno Sammartino. For a very short time in my adolescent life, I watched phony wrestling on snowy over-the-air TV on a Springfield, Mass., station, and Sammartino was my colorful favorite.

l. RIP Barbara Bush, one of the classiest, most forthright women of our lives. Great story told by her husband. When their son, George W. Bush, was visiting his parents during his presidency, he put his feet up on a coffee table at their home, and his mom sternly told him: “George, get your feet off my table!’’ George Bush the elder said: “The guy is president of the United States! Give him a break!” She said, “No! He knows better!”

m. RIP Earle Bruce, the successor to Woody Hayes at Ohio State. Coached the Buckeyes in the best college football game I covered way back in the day—John Elway-led Stanford 23, Ohio State 20. A good man.

n. I wish I could watch Andrelton Simmons play shortstop a few times a week. He is an amazing glove-man. The diving double play he started against the Red Sox the other day was absolutely nuts.

o. Congrats to Oakland’s Sean Manaea for no-hitting the best team in baseball, and doing it decisively. A gem. Ten strikeouts against a team hitting as well as the Red Sox, and no truly loud outs. I watched a lot of the game on TV, and what was notable—and to Manaea’s credit—was his ability to make good hitters chase a bunch of bad pitches.

p. Ninth inning Manaea thoughts: “My heart was beating out of my chest.”

q. Two hours and 16 minutes! What was this, a 1936 no-hitter?

r. Manaea did get some help along the way, on Andrew Benintendi being called for running out of the baseline with two out in the sixth on a play at first base. Benintendi might have been out of the baseline, but the play was pretty close, and as he said, it’s likely not a call in a run-of-the-mill game that’s not a no-hitter in progress: "I think if we have 10 hits at that point, that’s a single.”

The Adieu Haiku

One more Josh Allen
            rumination? I dare you.
            One more, and I'll puke.

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