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The Cowboys finished their draft without adding any defensive backs, which left room for them to bring in four of them as undrafted free agents.
Three of the four are listed as cornerbacks, including Charvarius Ward. Ward had two interceptions and 13 pass breakups for Middle Tennessee State over the last two seasons and joins Kam Kelly from San Diego State and Portland State’s Donovan Olumba as new pieces at the position. The Cowboys also signed former Oregon safety Tyree Robinson.
Dallas also signed two wide receivers after drafting two of them over the weekend. Missouri State’s Malik Earl and Iowa State’s Marchie Murdock join third-round pick Michael Gallup and sixth-round pick Cedrick Wilson as rookie targets.
So where each of those teams could look at Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen and Josh Allen at this time last year, and say to themselves, We’ll be okay, they couldn’t do the same this time around.
Not right now, there isn’t one (that would go first round as it stands), said one AFC college scouting director.
The Texans made such a G.M. change this year when Brian Gaine was hired after Rick Smith went on leave and now they’ve made a slew of other changes. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports that the team has dismissed assistant general manager Jimmy Raye III, director of college scouting Jon Carr, assistant director of college scouting Mike Martin, college scouting coordinator Matt Jansen and college scout Seth Turner.
Raye was hired when Gaine left the Texans for a job with the Bills last year and he interviewed for the top job in Houston before Gaine returned. He also interviewed with the Panthers before they bumped Marty Hurney from interim G.M. to a permanent position.
Gaine presided over eight selections this year, although the Texans didn’t pick until the third round thanks to trades that sent this year’s first- and second-round picks to the Browns. One of those trades landed Deshaun Watson, which likely made it easier for Gaine to swallow sitting out until the 68th pick.
But what’s clear, to me, is that this wasn’t a fly-by-night decision by the Cleveland brass.
No matter what happens over the next years with Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the greatest and most prolonged dynasty in NFL history, no matter when they stop adding to their unparalleled achievements, go their separate ways, and transition from the present to the past tense, there is this comfort to be found:
The dynasty will survive forever, even after it ends.
This uncommonly chaotic Patriots offseason, in which Brady and teammates with lesser clout seemed to passive-aggressively question Belichick’s tactics, lent itself to negative thinking and a whole lot of parsing about what exactly is going on here. That mindset pretty much began the moment Malcolm Butler headed down the tunnel and toward the locker room, his jersey still as crisp and white as when he put it on, in the weird aftermath of the Super Bowl loss to the Eagles.
Originally selected by the Broncos in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft out of Miami, Franklin went on to start 70 games in Denver. He helped the team win the AFC West four years in a row and was part of the team’s Super Bowl squad in 2013.
While there’s work to be done with Jackson’s consistency as a passer, the collegiate results were pretty impressive—and anyone shocked that four quarterbacks were picked before Jackson has good reason to be.
Through three seasons as Louisville’s starter, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner completed 619 passes in 1,086 attempts for a 57.0 completion rate, 9,043 yards, 69 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. As a runner, he was incredibly dynamic, gaining 4,132 yards and scoring 50 touchdowns on 655 carries. The completion percentage was one of the dings on Jackson’s NFL potential, but when you compare that to Josh Allen’s 56.2 completion rate in his two seasons as the starter at Wyoming and consider that Allen went seventh overall to the Bills…well, Jackson’s slide to the final pick of the first round seems odd.
So far, the Detroit Lions have drafted a center, a running back and a safety. They also gave up their fourth-round pick to move up in the second round to secure that running back, Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson.
The Packers needed secondary help — they always need secondary help — coming into this draft. Green Bay allowed a 102 QB rating last season, and the image of their cornerbacks getting torched in the 2016 NFC championship game against Atlanta isn’t that far removed from memory. There were staffing changes around coach Mike McCarthy this offseason, but the draft plan didn’t change.
Gutekunst doubled down and grabbed Iowa’s Josh Jackson, an All-American cornerback who had first-round projections. Jackson Alexander is a solid pick. Jackson is a value pick. Their styles complement each other.
The latter had eight interceptions for the Hawkeyes. These cornerbacks played well in big games. It’s a clear message to the rest of the defensive backs on the roster — which includes 2017 second-round picks Kevin King and Josh King — that the problem needs fixing. New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is bringing in a new scheme, and Green Bay didn’t make a bold move in free agency at the position, other than bringing back veteran cornerback Tramon Williams. Morgan Burnett is gone, too. Winners and losers of Round 1 That’s good news in April, but the Packers have been down this road enough times.
Torres’ blast, the second of his career, came off reliever Dan Otero and it marked the Yankees’ second walk-off win in three days. On Friday, Miguel Andujar, another rookie, cracked a walk-off single.
On April 26, Gary Sanchez launched a walk-off home run vs. the Minnesota Twins at home.
The comeback for the Yankees started ferociously Sunday.
Neil Walker’s double brought home Aaron Hicks, who had doubled to start the ninth inning, tying the score, 4-4, following the Yankees’ three-run eighth inning.
With Walker on second, Miguel Andujar, needing to hit the ball to the right side to advance the runner, grounded out to third for the inning’s first out. When Giancarlo Stanton pinch-hit for designated hitter Tyler Austin, Cleveland intentionally walked him to set up a force.
The two quarterbacks are also slow-playing their relationship. Jackson told reporters Saturday that he has yet to speak to Flacco and doesn’t yet know what he’ll learn from the 33-year-old veteran.
Instead, his main focus right now is getting comfortable taking snaps under center; Jackson played almost exclusively out of the shotgun in Louisville.
Wherever Baltimore ends up placing Jackson in the formation is fine with the rookie, just as long as the team treats him like a quarterback.
Justify had 3,400 more mentions than Bolt d’Oro (9-1), followed by Magnum Moon (11,000) and Mendelssohn (10,100), the site found. Those secondary choices differ from the early line, which listed Mendelssohn (5-1) second and Magnum Moon (6-1) third with My Boy Jack and Audible each at 8-1.
After the Yankees’ afternoon win, manager Aaron Boone was asked if he’d keep an eye on Boston’s score later in the day, considering the outcome could determine a new leader in what’s expected to be a hotly-contested two-team division race.
The Broncos still could jump into the quarterback pool. If they do, it should be the guy with the biggest upside and is most Elway-like in makeup: Baker Mayfield. The Oklahoma product’s arm, moxie and athleticism would be more coveted if he had the prototypical size. But consider Mayfield was measured at 6-2, 215 pounds; only one inch shorter than Elway in his playing days.
Mayfield makes more sense than anyone else that will be available at QB, including Wyoming’s Josh Allen and UCLA’s Josh Rosen, because he checks more of the Broncos’ desired boxes.
There are two other non-quarterbacks the Broncos should consider along the same lines of Barkley and Ward: N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb and Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson. Chubb, however, is looking less likely to slip to them at No. 5. Nelson is set to be available more because of the position he plays than the fact that he’s an elite, top five-worthy talent. Chubb and Von Miller would be quite an edge-rushing duo. Nelson is the smooth inside blocker they should want to put between Bolles and Paradis.
Just one day after the New York Jets sent him packing, Bryce Petty has landed back in the AFC East.
The Falcons pair former Alabama WR Julio Jones with another Alabama WR in Calvin Ridley. He also adds depth behind Mohamed Sanu, which is needed after Taylor Gabriel left this offseason.
NFL.com draft analyst Bucky Brooks said of the pick, “Ridley to the [Falcons] could be scary. [Coach Dan Quinn] and [GM Thomas Dimitroff] always talk about acquiring ‘urgent athletes’ to upgrade the explosiveness on their roster. Ridley is a dynamic route runner with speed, wiggle and hands. Nice WR3 to work into the offense.”
Many viewed Ridley as the top WR in the draft, and many expected him to go in the teens. Atlanta was able to snag him at 26 overall, which is great value at that point in the draft.
The early picks in the NFL Draft were offense-heavy, and specifically QB-heavy. This allowed the Rams to wait as Derwin James fell into their laps with the 17th-overall pick.
Some viewed James as the best defensive player in the draft, and Pro Bowl corner Jalen Ramsey (Jaguars) told Bleacher Report earlier this month what makes James so special.
“He’s the best college football player I’ve seen in a while as far as what he can do on defense and his impact,” Ramsey says. “He’ll probably go down, in my opinion, as the G.O.A.T. safety at Florida State.”
Harvey gave up five runs in two innings in his fourth relief appearance of the season Thursday against the Braves.
The Mets booted Harvey from their rotation April 21 after he looked awful in four starts, going 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA.
Harvey, 29, rivaled Derek Jeter as New York’s biggest baseball star when he dominated in 2012 and 2013 before missing 2014 with Tommy John surgery. He was again excellent in 2015, going 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA and finishing fourth in the National League Cy Young vote.
Teams such as the Yankees were thought to be salivating at potentially giving Harvey a mega contract after he was set to become a free agent following this season.
But thoracic outlet syndrome has appeared to rob Harvey of his once high-octane fastball and turned him into a back-end rotation option at best and unworthy of the big leagues at worst.
Harvey could make sense as a Yankees option on paper, that is.
Ed Dickson- Dickson is known more for his blocking than receiving ability but he is reliable in either department. I think this is a good pickup for Seattle. He brings a more traditional skill set to the team and will probably be the lead man in any running situations.
This offseason, [the Cowboys have] been studying film from his career at Mississippi State and they’re looking to steal ideas and techniques in how they can structure the Cowboys offense to most benefit Dak Prescott. Because like you said, he is not Tony Romo in terms of the same skillset. So the sandlot ball, the Brett Favre Ball, for lack of a better way to put it, is out the window. Dak is not the gunslinger that Tony Romo was.
Ravens fans should now take a deep breath and relax the same way Jackson did when he took the stage at AT&T Stadium in his emerald-green suit to hug NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Too many times during the draft blather, the negatives surrounding a great college player overshadow the positive ones. It becomes easy to forget those moments that helped catch the NFL’s attention in the first place.
Friday was a busy day for Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, a week and a day after he was drafted third overall.
So how did he handle it all, as the Jets began their three-day rookie minicamp?
Amara Darboh- Darboh had a slow rookie year, filed with special teams’ snaps and learning. He has about the same size as Brown, 6’2 and 219lbs, and is fast too. So, they could be the matchup to watch in training camp.
The rest of these guys are really unproven will be battling the undrafted free agents for a roster spot.
Giants GM Dave Gettleman said he was never interested in trading out of the second spot. He did tell WFAN radio on Monday he did receive one very reasonable offer for the pick but wouldn’t give any more details.
Humphries has come along slowly in his young career. After sitting out his entire rookie campaign, however, the 24-year-old has gotten progressively better despite injury issues. Humphries is coming off a torn MCL and dislocated kneecap which caused him to miss most of the 2017 season. He’s expected to be ready by training camp. The Cardinals are counting on Humphries to lock down the left tackle spot.
The Cowboys have long prioritized keeping their offensive line strong, and are close to a series of moves to bolster it.
Via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys are close to a deal to bring back veteran backup Joe Looney, with a deal likely as soon as today.
The 23-year-old was allegedly in possession of a firearm when police found him passed out at the wheel of his car. Worley was asleep in his vehicle blocking the freeway , and he allegedly became combative when police approached him. A taser was used to subdue him. Worley, a third-round pick in 2016, was expected to compete for a starting role with Philadelphia this upcoming season. He could face disciplinary action from the NFL regardless of how his case plays out. Believe it or not, he was actually the second NFL player who had a Taser used on him this offseason.
Saints coach Sean Payton told me Saturday he thinks New Orleans still would have chosen Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk with the 32nd overall pick last April, even if the 49ers hadn’t jumped ahead of the Saints to grab the 31st overall pick, which was used on Foster. I was in the 49ers draft room last year , and the most dramatic point of the weekend was the Niners feeling they struck gold by stealing Foster from the Saints. Foster told the Niners—and later told me—that Payton was on the phone with Foster minutes before it was going to be the Saints’ choice and said the Saints were going to pick Foster.
But as a friend, I would have loved to see him on the field that day. Amendola and Butler are both now with different teams. Amendola signed with the Dolphins this offseason, while Butler got a huge payday from the Titans . Who knows how things might have been different had Butler actually played in the Super Bowl. It’s entirely possible that the Pats would be two-time defending champs, and both players would still be in New England.
I wouldn’t be surprised if only one of these guys is left standing in four or five years, and if so, I’d guess it would be Sam Darnold.
Former Dolphins cheerleader Kristan Ware has filed a complaint against the team and the NFL, alleging she had been discriminated against for her gender and Christian beliefs, including her desire to remain a virgin until marriage.
The New York Times reported that Ware’s complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations alleges she was harassed because of her faith during her three years with the team, while players are allowed to openly profess their religious beliefs in interviews, on-field prayers, etc. She left the job in spring 2017.
Ware claims her troubles began in 2016, after she posted an image of herself being baptized. After that, she claims cheerleading director Dorie Grogan targeted her with “discipline, ridicule, harassment and abuse” for her beliefs. She also alleges other cheerleading officials mocked her for being a virgin.
The Dolphins released a statement saying, “We are seriously committed to providing a positive work environment for everyone associated with the organization. We hold every member of our organization to the same standards and do not discriminate as it relates to gender, race and religious beliefs.”
Ware’s attorney, Sara Blackwell, also represents former Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis, who has sued the Saints and the NFL claiming there are double standards for male and female employees.
Arguably the best receiver in the NFL from 2012-14, when he averaged 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns per season, injuries have diminished his effectiveness in recent years and prompted speculation he could be on his way out. The Cowboys already have added free-agent receivers Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson this offseason.
“I asked if he was going to play another year,” Doering told Sporting News in a telephone interview. “I was doing whatever it took to get signed and continue playing. To me, football was the most important thing.
“He had no feeling like that, no concerns about whether he was going to play or not. He was comfortable with hanging up the cleats forever. That was completely OK because he had found a bigger purpose.”
Josh Allen worked out in front of a lot of scouts from quarterback-needy teams. Besides the Browns’ large contingent, which included owner Jimmy Haslam, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan, Seahawks General Manager John Schneider and Broncos senior adviser Gary Kubiak also made their way to Wyoming.
Everyone knows Allen has a strong arm, and he displayed that again at the end of the workout with several 60-plus-yard throws. But scouts wanted to see him show touch and accuracy.
They’re not all the same, but they do some things that are somewhat interchangeable.If you aren’t a hard-core Rockies fan, you probably didn’t notice.They didn’t wait around to find out.After a back-and-forth battle leading into the final minutes, eventually took over the game on both ends of the floor.A lot of them seem to think they understand CTE and the dangers, but I wonder if they really do.
The crazy part here is that Schefter wasn’t joking. This wasn’t some gag.
Playing devil’s advocate here for a second, when you consider that Washington did pretty well for itself drafting two quarterbacks in 2012, one could convince oneself that this is a legitimately viable solution to Cleveland’s perpetual dearth of talent at the quarterback position.
The Steelers wait on linebacker. Pittsburgh has drafted a linebacker in the first round in four of the last five drafts, including Jarvis Jones (2013), Ryan Shazier (2014), Bud Durpee (2015) and T.J. Watt (2017). Then again, the position remains the focal point of the Steelers’ defense.
Stanford safety Justin Reid is a popular second-round pick across several mock drafts, and he would be a good fit for Pittsburgh. As for running back, this would be a good time for the Steelers to draft Rashaad Penny, an all-around college star back who finished with 2,974 all-purpose yards at San Diego State last season. That’s 645 more all-purpose yards than Penn State’s Saquon Barkley.
Ryan Shazier continues to make his rounds in the sports world.
The Steelers linebacker was honored at his alma mater Saturday during the Ohio State football spring game.
Shazier, who played three seasons for the Buckeyes from 2011-13 before being selected by the Steelers with the No. 15 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, served as an honorary captain for the matchup. He drove a golf cart to midfield and stood briefly without assistance as he received roaring cheers from the crowd at Ohio Stadium.
The Broncos will think about quarterback, for sure, but Barkley would fill their more pressing offensive skill need and would be the best player available. Should a team such the Bills or Cardinals trade up ahead of them to draft Josh Allen, the Broncos won’t force the issue with Baker Mayfield. Allen’s availability would make things more tempting, but Barkley is the more logical choice as a player can help John Elway’s team win now with Case Keenum getting a lot of money to start at QB the next two years.
Pat Shurmur and Case Keenum are out, and John DeFilippo and Kirk Cousins are in. But despite some changes, Minnesota and its trusty defense figure to be contenders in the NFC playoff hunt this season. That is, if they can navigate what appears to be a tough 2018 schedule.
Below is a breakdown of the Vikings’ 2018 schedule. Details of Minnesota’s regular-season schedule, including dates and kickoff times, will be added when the NFL makes it available.
Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks
Toughest tests: The aforementioned Eagles game is the first of several challenges. Another postseason rematch, against the Saints, is just as tough. Beyond those game and the always-dangerous NFC North contests, road trips to LA to play the Rams and to New England to play the Patriots are the Vikings’ key games.