NFC East Draft Recap

NFC East Draft Review

With the NFL draft done, all 32 teams now have their draft picks set heading into the summer and fall. Over the next few days, we’ll be taking a look at each team, division by division, in order to see who came out of the draft with players that fit both need and value.

 

Today, we’re starting things off with the NFC East.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys were expected to target defense or offensive line with their first pick, but they couldn’t refuse when Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb fell to them at 17th overall. Dallas quickly snatched up Lamb, with a plan for him to join Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as one of the team’s starting receivers.

 

Day two of the draft saw the Cowboys address their defense. With their second and third round picks respectively, they took Alabama CB Trevon Diggs and Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore. Diggs is a candidate to start at corner to replace the departed-Byron Jones, while Lamb’s teammate Gallimore will provide depth on the interior of the defensive line.

 

On the final day, Dallas was able to marry need and value with their selections. They added another cornerback in Tulsa’s Reggie Robinson, and found a new potential starting center in Tyler Biadasz from Wisconsin. In one of the best value picks of the draft, the Cowboys ended up with Utah DE Bradlee Anae, a potential third-round pick, near the end of round five at No. 179 overall. They closed their draft out with a quarterback in the seventh round, going with Ben DiNucci from James Madison.

 

Overall, draft experts praised Dallas’ draft, with some even calling it one of the two or three best in the league. It’s hard to disagree, as the Cowboys came out of the draft with several players ready to make an impact right away.

New York Giants

At fourth overall, the Giants had their pick of offensive linemen in order to boost a group that has struggled for several years. They ultimately decided to take Georgia OT Andrew Thomas with their first round pick, a surprise to some. But just as many experts also felt New York got it right with the pick, as Thomas will be a day one starter at either left or right tackle.

 

New York has a perfect combination of need and value met in the second round when they selected Alabama S Xavier McKinney. McKinney was expected to be a first round pick, and should be able to start at either safety spot next to Jabrill Peppers. The Giants then used their round three pick at 99 overall to select the big OT Matt Peart from UConn.

 

Armed with seven picks on day three, including four seventh round picks, the Giants targeted defense. Some notable selections included UCLA CB Darnay Holmes, Penn State LB Cam Brown and Minnesota LB Carter Coughlin. Their only offensive pick on Saturday was Oregon OG Shane Lemieux, who they plan to cross-train at center.

 

As a whole, the Giants made sure that offensive line and athletes on defense, their two biggest needs heading in, were met. Although they didn’t draft a center, true pass-rusher, or even a wide receiver, it was considered a successful draft for New York.

Philadelphia Eagles

With a clear need at wideout heading into the draft, the Eagles did in fact go wide receiver in round one. Although it wasn’t the receiver many people thought it would be, as the team passed on LSU’s Justin Jefferson in favor of TCU WR Jalen Reagor. Even though it was a little bit of a surprise pick, Reagor should provide explosiveness to their offense.

 

Philadelphia continued the surprises on day two, taking Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts in the second round. The Heisman Trophy finalist becomes the backup to Carson Wentz and a viable option in case Wentz gets hurt. It also wouldn’t be a surprise if Hurts was used on certain packages and option plays for the time being. They finished the day with Davion Taylor, the speedy linebacker from Colorado.

 

The draft experts loved Philadelphia’s day three picks, with GM Howie Roseman finding some great value late. Clemson S K’Von Wallace was picked in the fourth round after some believed he could go as high as the second round. They also picked, among others, Auburn OG Jack Driscoll and Boise State WR John Hightower, both of whom were good value picks. In addition to four more day three picks, the Eagles also traded for 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin.

 

Even though some of their earlier picks were considered a little puzzling, the Eagles definitely targeted wide receiver and filled that need. They also improved their depth along the offensive line and at pass-rusher. It’s a solid draft that could be considered brilliant if Hurts ends up becoming a huge piece for them.

Washington Redskins

After the Bengals got the draft started with QB Joe Burrow, the Redskins had the next no-brainer pick and took Ohio State EDGE Chase Young. Young was the draft’s best defensive prospect, and should be a staple on Washington’s defensive line for years to come.

 

With no second round pick, Washington’s only day two selection was a running back near the beginning of the third round, Memphis’ Antonio Gibson. Gibson is a do-it-all running back who new head coach Ron Rivera can deploy in a multitude of ways.

 

Day three was a busy day for the Redskins. The action started with a trade of disgruntled OT Trent Williams to the 49ers in exchange for a fifth round pick this year and a third rounder for next year. With Williams gone, Washington selected his potential replacement in the fourth round, LSU OT Saahdiq Charles. Liberty WR Antonio Gandy-Golden was a good value pick in the fifth round, as was San Diego State C Keith Ismael, who was taken with the pick acquired from San Francisco. The team had three more picks to wrap up the day, including N.C. State EDGE James Smith-Williams, to close out their draft.

 

Desperate for impact players, the Redskins certainly got that in Young, with Gibson and Charles also expected to see the field often. They are hoping that their good draft, paired with the new coach and the development of QB Dwayne Haskins, can propel them out of the division cellar.

 

When you are ready to bet on the teams from the NFC East – head to PayPerHead247; our favorite pay per head bookie site.

Five Coaches on the Hot Seat

The NFL is unique in so many ways and the leash that is afforded coaches is unlike any we see in most of the other professional or even college ranks. Basketball coaches typically receive three seasons (or at least two) to get things back in place unless the results are brutal. Major League Baseball is usually at least two. The NFL is an entirely different animal though as we have seen in recent years with the examples being one and dones Steve Wilks in Arizona and Jim Tomzula in San Francisco. Hell, the Chargers fired Marty Schottenheimer in 2006 after he went 14-2.

 

Today, I want to take a look at the top five NFL coaches who are feeling the heat this season from most likely to be “relieved” of their duties to the least likely.

1-Dan Quinn-Atlanta Falcons

You want to talk about toeing the line, Quinn might be standing on it. The Falcons have a very good quarterback and have surrounded him with weapons in recent seasons but it is always something. They either turn the ball over in the RedZone or don’t get the ball to Julio Jones enough. On the defensive side of the ball they seem to rarely ever stop anyone and this season they let Vic Beasley walk. The Falcons are now three seasons removed from the greatest Super Bowl collapse in history and two seasons removed from their last playoff appearance. Owner Arthur Blank is not going to want to waste his window with Ryan/Gurley/Jones/Ridley for more than one more season.

2-Pat Shurmur-New York Giants

Being from New England, I know a lot of Giants fans and they aren’t happy. Shurmur is 9-23 in two seasons with the Giants and is riding superstar Saquon Barkley into the ground. After the disaster that was the Ben McAdoo era, you have to think that the Giants are ready to make a splash and Shurmur cannot lean on his resume’ for any more leash as his career record coaching record is 19-46.

3-Zac Taylor-Cincinnati Bengals

This one is probably not fair but life isn’t fair and it’s even less fair in the NFL. The one saving grace here is that the Bengals have not been typically quick on the trigger historically. Only Sam Wyche, their first coach, received two seasons or fewer but if the Bengals go 2-14 or 3-13 this season, Taylor is going to be sweating.

 

4-Doug Marrone-Jacksonville Jaguars

The once-promising window for the Jaguars has been slammed shut over the last two seasons and a 11-21 record leading to two last-place division finishes. This offseason, the organization has shaken up its coaching staff, front office, and scouting department. They have also moved on from Nick Foles to Gardner Minshew and parted with Calais Campbell in the offseason after trading Jalen Ramsey during the season. The winds of change are blowing in Jacksonville and Doug Marrone might swept away if the Jags aren’t able to find a rhythm that led to a first place finish in 2017.

5-Anthony Lynn-Los Angeles Chargers

If you have been reading any of my preseason wagers and projections you already know, I am not an Anthony Lynn fan. If you have watched Chargers games in recent seasons you already know, every game is an adventure with at least one “what the?” call coming from the Chargers sideline and Phillip Rivers absolutely losing his mind about something. Well, Rivers and his Hall of Fame career are now gone and it could get ugly in a hurry. My guess is that unless this team signs Cam Newton or Jameis Winston as a stop-gap, they are going to be one of the three worst in the NFL and Lynn will be gone.

 

If you are betting on which NFL Coach loses his job first; head to RealBookies.com; our favorite pay per head bookie site!

 

 

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Here’s what you should know about the 2020 NFL Draft

There is uncertainty regarding the return of many leagues right now, due to the Covid-19 crisis, as we all know, but the NFL, given its scheduled to return until August, for the pre-season, has tried to keep everything in place and hope that things will go back to normal before then. All of us sports fans are hoping the same, and by August, we expect to be back on track and getting ready to enjoy a new season.

However, the first big event of the new NFL season will take place much sooner, in late April, if everything goes as planned; we’re talking about the 2020 NFL Draft, which is set to take place from April 23rd to 25th in Paradise, Nevada. As we all well know, the NFL Draft is the event where all the different teams in the league get to choose their newest and youngest stars, fresh out of college; it is a very important event, as it can mark the present and future for many teams, depending on how many good or bad decisions they make during those three days.

This will be the 85th edition of the NFL Draft, with a total of 255 selections in 7 rounds, and the Cincinnati Bengals will be the ones to choose first.

Sports wagering applied to the NFL Draft

For a long time, the sports betting industry has made it a tradition to offer lines and propositions for the NFL Draft, and it has become a very expected event by gamblers from all over. In fact, this injects some extra adrenaline from way before, as gamblers follow the NCAA Football season with a close eye, so that they’re able to make better betting choices for each year’s draft.

Joining a good Price per Head service provider will assure you and your bookie operation that you will be able to deal these lines and much more for your players, which we’re sure will be eager to make their choices, even more, this year, with the lack of sports events these days.

Some of the options that are usually available to bet on for the Draft, include, for example, total number of offensive players vs defensive players selected in the first round, total of players selected from different NCAA conferences, like ACC, Big Ten, Pac 12 and so on, or total players selected from specific teams, some of the favorites, of course, like Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, etc.  

 

Other NFL bets available right now

It’s important that, as a bookie, you make sure to be offering your players everything they’re looking for right now, and even more during this health crisis. As we said, the NFL is not expected to deal with many abrupt changes, and so, sportsbooks from all over the world are offering future bets like odds to win the Super Bowl, odds to win conferences and divisions, odds to win NFL MVP award, total season wins by team and much more.

Join the Price per Head industry right now and learn from the best, Payperhead247.com to make the most out of the new NFL season, since now! Give us a call today and let’s get started!

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Grading the Winners and Losers in NFL Free agency and Trades

In This piece Rob will grade each NFL Team and take a look at Key additions and Departures in free agency as well as trades.
The teams will be listed in alphabetic Order

Arizona Cardinals- Grade A
Key additions: WR DeAndre Hopkins (trade), DT Jordan Phillips, OLB Devon Kennard, LB De’Vondre Campbell
Key losses: RB David Johnson (traded), DE Rodney Gunter
Notable re-signings/tags: RB Kenyan Drake (transition tag), WR Larry Fitzgerald
The Big trade netting DeAndre Hopkins headlines the off season and gives 2nd Year Qb Murray a big time target. Arizona made some solid moves on the defensive side of the ball while also dumping some bad contracts. Solid off season thus far.
Atlanta Falcons- Grade C-

Key additions: DE Dante Fowler Jr., RB Todd Gurley III, TE Hayden Hurst (trade)
Key losses: TE Austin Hooper, RB Devonta Freeman (released), CB Desmond Trufant, DE Vic Beasley, LB De’Vondre Campbell
Notable re-signings/tags: None
The Falcons made some nice upgrades and did so efficiently  Fowler is better at his point than Beasley and taking a chance on Todd Gurley at a nice price while saying good bye to D. Freeman. Atlanta over paid  to obtain  Hurst while letting go ofHooper, they also lost Campbell and Trufant and now are without a round 2 draft pick. Atlanta could struggle this season

Baltimore Ravens- Grade B-

Key additions: DE Calais Campbell (trade), DT Michael Brockers
Key losses: DT Michael Pierce, S Tony Jefferson (released), G Marshal Yanda (retired)
Notable re-signings/tags: OLB Matt Judon (franchise tag), CB Jimmy Smith.

Baltimore can move ahead by bringing back more of their own guys.They should be a handful after getting Brockers and Cambell, good luck running the ball on this team. They did lose Guard Yanda to retirement and that could hurt as they like to run the ball. However we may see the offense open up a bit this season anyway as Baltimore wont want to become too predictable.

Buffalo Bills- Grade A

Key additions: WR Stefon Diggs (trade), OLB Mario Addison, LB A.J. Klein, DT Vernon Butler, DT Quinton Jefferson, CB Josh Norman
Key losses: DT Jordan Phillips, DE Shaq Lawson
Notable re-signings/tags: G Quinton Spain
The Bills made a statement here picking up Diggs which is the game breaking Wiedout that has been missing for them. They did give up a lot to get him but they are looking to seize control of the AFC East and upgraded what is already a top 3 defense.

Carolina Panthers- Grade C+

Key additions: QB Teddy Bridgewater, DE Steven Weatherly, WR Robby Anderson
Key losses: LB Luke Kuechly (retired), CB James Bradberry, OLB Mario Addison, DT Gerald McCoy, DT Vernon Butler, S Eric Reid (released), TE Greg Olsen (released)
Notable re-signings/tags: S Tre Boston
Carolina gets the C+ grade just for Getting Bridgewater who should make the fan base quickly for get about Cam Newton.They also big up big play threat Robby Anderson. However losing Kuechly who is retiring and a pair of defensive tackles will hurt. They need to draft well this year.

Chicago Bears- Grade D-
Key additions: DE Robert Quinn, TE Jimmy Graham, QB Nick Foles (trade)
Key losses: LB Nick Kwiatkoski, OLB Leonard Floyd, S Ha-Ha Clinton Dix, QB Chase Daniel, WR Taylor Gabriel (released), CB Prince Amukamara (released)
Notable re-signings/tags: LB Danny Trevathan
Chicago is taking a big chance on Quinn here who was solid last year but not so much in years past. Jimmy Graham and Nick Foles may not have much left. The Bears lost a lot of depth on defense and look to be headed in the wrong direction.

Cincinnati Bengals- Grade A
Key additions: DT D.J. Reader, CB Trae Waynes
Key losses: OT Cordy Glenn (released)
Notable re-signings/tags: WR A.J. Green (franchise tag)
The Bengals Went balls to the wall this off season obtaining Waynes and Reader to upgrade the defense. They tagged Green and are likely to take Heisman winner J. Burrows number 1 overall later this month. This would make for a solid off season.

Cleveland Browns- Grade B+

Key additions: TE Austin Hooper, OT Jack Conklin, QB Case Keenum, CB
Kevin Johnson, S Karl Joseph
Key losses: LB Joe Schobert, LB Christian Kirksey, S Eric Murray
Notable re-signings/tags: None
Cleveland did well here landing two of the top free agents in Hooper who is the best tight end available and Top offensive lineman Conklin, both will support an offense which is likely to improve as Mayfield enters his 3rd year at the helm. Cleveland did lose sone quality on the defense. If they upgrade their line backers this grade can easily go to an A.

Dallas Cowboys- Grade D-

Key additions: DT Gerald McCoy, S Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
Key losses: CB Byron Jones, DE Robert Quinn, WR Randall Cobb, S Jeff Heath, DT Maliek Collins, TE Jason Witten, C Travis Frederick (retirement)
Notable re-signings/tags: WR Amari Cooper, QB Dak Prescott (franchise tag), TE Blake Jarwin
Dallas decided to bring back Cooper which they almost had to do and after that tagged Dak Prescott. However they did lose Jones and Quinn and that will be a severe blow to the defense.Another big loss on the offensive line is Center Travis Fredrick as he decides to call it quits. Also departing is Cobb and Witten. This was a rough off season.

Denver Broncos- Grade B+

Key additions: G/C Graham Glasgow, RB Melvin Gordon, CB A.J. Bouye (trade), DT Jurrell Casey (trade)
Key losses: C Connor McGovern, CB Chris Harris, QB Joe Flacco (released)
Notable re-signings/tags: S Justin Simmons (franchise tag)
Denver brings in Melvin Gordon to change the pace with Lindsay in the back field to take the pressure off Drew Lock. They scored getting Casey for a 7th round pick to upgrade the D-line. The Broncos also tagged safety Simmons and did not lose too much other than Bouye. A very Productive off season so far be Denver who looked good late last year.

Detroit Lions- Grade D-
Key additions: OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, LB Jamie Collins, DT Danny Shelton, QB Chase Daniel, S Duron Harmon (trade)
Key losses: CB Darius Slay (trade), G/C Graham Glasgow, LB Devon Kennard, OT Rick Wagner
Notable re-signings/tags: None
The Lions have not done much and lost Darius Slay. They panicked and over paid Vaitai who hasnt been a full time starter. This looks like a long year for Detroit and probably spells the end for coach Patricia who looks in over his head with this roster in the tough NFC North.

Green Bay Packers- Grade C-
Key additions: LB Christian Kirksey, OT Rick Wagner
Key losses: LB Blake Martinez, OT Bryan Bulaga, TE Jimmy Graham, OLB Kyler Fackrell
Notable re-signings/tags: None
The Packers have not done much and wont be as good as last season. They have Kirksey replacing Martinez. Other than that Rick Wagner takes over for Bulage and that will hurt them. The Packers really need to make a splash and we havent seen it yet.

Houston Texans- Grade F
Key additions: RB David Johnson (trade), WR Randall Cobb, S Eric Murray
Key losses: WR DeAndre Hopkins (traded), DT D.J. Reader
Notable re-signings/tags: K Ka’imi Fairbairn, CB Bradley Roby
When the best move you make is bringing back your kicker that shows what a poor job of upgrading your team. David Johnson is no longer the back he was a few years ago and he makes a ton of money, they also  lost one of the best wide outs in the game in Hopkins. They made things worse by over paying Cobb to replace him. This could be one of the worst off seasons for any team in recent history. Yikes.

Indianapolis Colts- Grade B+
Key additions: DL DeForest Buckner (trade), QB Philip Rivers
Key losses: TE Eric Ebron, CB Pierre Desir
Notable re-signings/tags: OT Anthony Castonzo
The Colts bring in Philip Rivers here and this will be a significant upgrade. They also made a big slash trading for one of the best Defensive Lineman in Buckner who will bolster the line and cause havoc. They should be able to replace Ebron without much difficulty. We like their chances in this division and they have had a nice off season.
Jacksonville Jaguars- Grade D
Key additions: LB Joe Schobert, DE Rodney Gunter, CB Darqueze Dennard
Key losses: QB Nick Foles (trade), CB A.J. Bouye (trade), DE Calais Campbell (trade)
Notable re-signings/tags: DE Yannick Ngakoue (franchise tag)
The Jaguars will need a big draft to better this grade as they have not done much to upgrade this team. Their trades have given them some back end draft picks and defensive end Ngakoue isn’t happy with the tag. Schobert is a nice player, but a five-year, $53.75 million deal was simply not worth it and would have been allocated better somewhere else. Be a long year in the AFC South for the Jags.
Kansas City Chiefs- Grade C+
Key additions: OT. Remmers, CB Hamilton, QB Henne, TE Seals- Jones
Key losses: CB Kendall Fuller, DE Emmanuel Ogbah
Notable re-signings/tags: DE Chris Jones (franchise tag) WR Robinson
The Chiefs have been mostly dormant this off season and as seen above have just made some marginal moves. Offensive lineman Remmers may wind up starting but this looks like a team that knows it has to pay Mahomes and wont do too much this off season.
Los Angeles Chargers- Grade C- Perhaps a B
Key additions: G Trai Turner (trade), OT Bryan Bulaga, DT Linval Joseph, CB Chris Harris
Key losses: QB Philip Rivers, RB Melvin Gordon, OT Russell Okung (traded), FB Derek Watt, OLB Thomas Davis, LB Jatavis Brown, S Adrian Phillip
Notable re-signings/tags: RB Austin Ekeler, TE Hunter Henry (franchise tag)
The Chargers have been very busy this off season. They bring back  Ekeler and Henry as they start life without Rivers. The offensive line should be solid with the Turner and Bulaga as upgrades. The Chargers will have to make a move as Tyrod Taylor is not the answer.  Cam Newton or even Jameis Winston might wind up here. Should they obtain either one of these two the grade would go up to a B.
Los Angeles Rams- Grade D
Key additions: DT A’Shawn Robinson, OLB Leonard Floyd
Key losses: OLB/DE Dante Fowler Jr., LB Cory Littleton, DT Michael Brockers, RB Todd Gurley III (released), CB Nickell Robey-Coleman (released), OLB Clay Matthews (released), S Eric Weddle (retired)
Notable re-signings/tags: OT Andrew Whitworth
The Rams have had the second worst off season with only Houston ahead of them. Should they move Brandin Cooks the grading will be even worse.T he losses of Weddle to retirement and releasing of Mathews, Gurley and Coleman will hurt they pick up 2 decent defenders but this team is a shell of what is was just 2 years ago
Miami Dolphins- Grade A
Key additions: CB Byron Jones, LB Kyle Van Noy, DE Shaq Lawson, G Ereck Flowers, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, RB Jordan Howard, LB Kamu Grugier-Hill
Key losses: None
Notable re-signings/tags: None
The Dolphins spent a ton of money adding 6 potential starters and were one of the busiest teams in the off season, They did not lose anyone note worthy and have improved their team in what suddenly looks like a wide open AFC East. The feeling is they will do even more. Right now they are having a solid off season.
Minnesota Vikings- Grade C+
Key additions: DT Michael Pierce
Key losses: WR Stefon Diggs (trade), CB Xavier Rhodes (released), DE Everson Griffen, CB Trae Waynes, DT Linval Joseph, DE Steven Weatherly
Notable re-signings/tags: S Anthony Harris (franchise tag), K Dan Bailey
Minnesota loses one of the top wide outs in the game in Diggs and really the move was predicated on a bad cap situation as they did release some quality players particularly on the defensive side of the ball. They did get an above average return for Diggs but the feeling is that the team lost a lot of depth.
New England Patriots- Grade D
Key additions: DT Beau Allen, S Adrian Phillips, QB Brian Hoyer
Key losses: QB Tom Brady, LB Kyle Van Noy, LB Jamie Collins, DT Danny Shelton, K Stephen Gostkowski (released)
Notable re-signings/tags: S Devin McCourty, G Joe Thuney (franchise tag)
The Patriots start life without Brady and Brian Hoyer is clearly not the answer. There is a newton and or Winston out there but this team looks like it may wait a year and draft a new franchise guy. They still have sone talent mostly on defense and will always be better than we think. But this was a dismal off season unless they get a better QB.
New Orleans Saints- Grade B+
Key additions: S Malcolm Jenkins, WR Emmanuel Sanders
Key losses: QB Teddy Bridgewater, CB Eli Apple
Notable re-signings/tags: QB Drew Brees, G Andrus Peat, DT David Onyemata
The Saints look like they want to take one more big shot at things as they Bring back Brees. The loss of Bridgewater only hurts if Brees goes down. We should see nice production from Sanders and the Jenkins move at Safety will help as well. Quality over quantity in what should be a solid season for New Orleans.
New York Giants- Grade C+
Key additions: CB James Bradberry, LB Blake Martinez, OLB Kyler Fackrell
Key losses: LB Alec Ogletree (released), QB Eli Manning (retired)
Notable re-signings/tags: DE Leonard Williams (franchise tag)
The Giants may have over paid a bit but they did need to defensive help and bringing in Martinez and Bradberry will surely help. They had no choice but to tag Williams after giving the Jets a third rounder for him. If the Giants draft well and can get a solid offensive lineman this C+ goes to a B.
New York Jets- Grade A
Key additions: WR Perriman OT George Fant, C Connor McGovern, CB Pierre Desir, OT Lewis, G Van Roten, CB Poole, CB Maulet
Key losses: CB Trumaine Johnson (released) WR Anderson
Notable re-signings/tags: LB Jenkins, LB Burgess
The Jets swooped in and had one of the best albeit quietest off seasons of any teams. GM Douglas retooled the offensive line led by Fant and saved money replacing WR Anderson with Perriman from Tampa. The Jets bring back two solid line backers and a slew of much needed defensive back help. New York gets a solid A Grading no matter what they do in the draft.
Oakland Raiders- Grade B
Key additions: LB Cory Littleton, DE Carl Nassib, LB Nick Kwiatkoski, CB Eli Apple, S Jeff Heath, DT Maliek Collins, TE Jason Witten, WR Nelson Agholor, QB Marcus Mariota
Key losses: LB Tahir Whitehead
The Raiders did well here getting Mariota and Nassib as well as picking up Agholor who we think can flourish here. Witten comes over to add depth and experience from Dallas and Eli Apple will be a big help in the defensive back field. The Raiders have been very busy thus far and will be much improved this year especially on defense.
Philadelphia Eagles- Grade B
Key additions: CB Darius Slay (trade), DT Javon Hargrave, LB Jatavis Brown
Key losses: OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, S Malcolm Jenkins (released), RB Jordan Howard, LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, WR Nelson Agholor, OT Jason Peters
Notable re-signings/tags: S Rodney McLeod
The Eagles plucked Darius Slay and Hargrave both of whom are expected to start as the Eagles retool on defense.  Philly lost some key pieces as they did not want to over pay. Most of what they lost is replaceable. Philadelphia spent wisely and did well this off season.
Pittsburgh Steelers- Grade C+
Key additions: TE Eric Ebron, FB Derek Watt, OL Stefen Wisniewski
Key losses: DT Javon Hargrave,G Ramon Foster (retired)
Notable re-signings/tags: LB Bud Dupree (franchise tag)
The Steelers did not do a whole lot to really improve. They get some tight end help with Ebron and shore up the offensive line. The loss of  Hargrave who was coming off a big year will hurt. However tagging Dupree was the right move. All in all though this off season was average at best.
San Francisco 49ers- Grade C+
Key additions: Gurard Compton, DE Hyder, WR Benjamin
Key losses: DL DeForest Buckner, WR Emmanuel Sanders
Notable re-signings/tags: DL Arik Armstead, S Jimmie Ward
San Francisco gets a C Grade as they were mostly looking to resign their own players and they did a decent job of it. However the loss of Buckner on the defensive line will hurt as they decided to stick with Armstead. Most of the players they are bringing in are depth deals on 1 year contracts. Nothing exciting thats for sure.
Seattle Seahawks- Grade C
Key additions: OT Brandon Shell, TE Greg Olsen, CB Quinton Dunbar (trade)
Key losses: OT George Fant, DT Quinton Jefferson
Notable re-signings/tags: DT Jarran Reed- Clowney ?
The Seattle off season is basically going to be graded on their ability to bring back Clowney. Bringing back Reed back was a nice move. They lost Fant to the Jets but were able to get Shell and Carolina long time tight end Greg Olsen which gives them a C. Should they get Clowney We will grade them as an A. Yes he is that important.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Grade A+
Key additions: QB Tom Brady, OT Haeg, LB Pieree Paul, DT Suh
Key losses: QB Jameis Winston, DE Carl Nassib, WR Perriman
Notable re-signings/tags: DE Shaquil Barrett (franchise tag), DE Jason Pierre-Paul
The biggest free agent splash this year is Brady to the Bucs. Winston and his picks will be a mere after thought. The Bucs bring in OT Haeg from Indy to protect him and Pierre Paul on defense as well as Suh. The Bucs have had a sensational off season and get our highest grade A+
Tennessee Titans- Grade B
Key additions: DE Vic Beasley, OT Kelly
Key losses: OT Jack Conklin, QB Marcus Mariota
Notable re-signings/tags: QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Derrick Henry (franchise tag), OL Dennis Kelly
The Titans Bring back Tanneyhill and wave good bye to Mariota. The key loss in Conklin on the offensive line though. On defense Beasley is a solid pass rushing pick up and they saved some nice change with offensive linemen Kelly who will replace Conklin. The rest of their moves were one year deals on guys who can add some depth.
Washington Redskins- Grade C-
Key additions: CB Kendall Fuller, S Sean Davis, OLB Thomas Davis, RB Barber, TE Rodgers
Key losses: G Ereck Flowers, QB Case Keenum, CB Josh Norman
(released), TE Vernon Davis (retirement), CB Quinton Dunbar (traded)
Washington has had an average off season thus far as they bargain shopped with Running back Barber and tight end Rodgers. They were smart to tag Guard Scherf and decided to bring back Fuller on defense. they did lose Flowers on the defensive line and he will be hard to replace. They did have a lot of cap space and the feeling is that they would make a bigger splash.
In closing we hope you enjoyed our NFL off season free agency and team activity report. Please stay safe and hopefully we will be able to overcome this pandemic and be able to at some point enjoy one of our favorite sports.

The Raiders need big changes to get in the mix

The Oakland Raiders were just 7-9 this last season with a 24th ranked offense and a bottom feeding 24th ranking in defense. They have their share of issues going on in their team dynamics. They were 4-12 in 2018 – and 6-10 back in 2017. Now, the AFC West has the champions of the NFL in it, with the KC Chiefs – it is obvious, they need to try something new to challenge and move into at least a solid 2nd slot in the division.

Derek Carr at QB has been up and down – he is a solid pocket passer, without a ton of mobility. He isn’t a “running QB” – but he is a QB who can move around – and pick up needed yards with his feet, if he has to. Carr is pretty solidified in his pocket, nothing more, nothing less. Oakland bringing in 26 year old Marcus Mariota, I think was a slick move – it gives him someone to compete with to get his game back up to what many saw as his potential career going to – back in 2015 and 2016.

I think if their management actually gave him someone to throw the ball to – I think a lot of people’s tunes might change about him. He isn’t the worst passer with his steady completion ability – and he is pretty good moving around back there, as his ability to avoid sacks verifies. His TD% ratio has not been great, and he has struggled to push the ball downfield for several seasons. But, it seems he has become lazy and almost complacent as their QB. So although he has had problems – I think he is just one of the issues that needs tightening up on, but the problems go elsewhere as well.

They are also a very poorly disciplined team almost every year – and that falls directly on Head Coach, Jon Gruden. I thought signing him back in 2018 was a good move, but after 2 years, he is 11-21 since then, which is starting to make me feel maybe he is a bit overrated. He came in with a career 6 above .500 seasons out of 11 seasons coaching – which is solid – but they threw piles of cash at him to come back and be the savior for the organization, I would say 11 wins later, the team hasn’t looked so “saved.” They have looked better than from 2018, but this is the year for him to prove something.

Jon Gruden also doesn’t have the team just as he wants it, yet now in Vegas. Their biggest problem on offense has been their receiving corps – they need better WRs. Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow were middling to say it best – with just 1256 YDs and 10 TDs between them, it wasn’t spectacular to watch. Williams can be a great WR2 who should be able to get 800+ yards and 8 TDs on his own – I just think they need that WR1 that is a great pass catcher to bring the best out in him. Oakland has had more than their share of problems stopping the opposition from putting up points, with 26.2 oppg. But, their offense is anemic. They scored 25 or more points in just 3 games in 2019 – a season average of 19.6 /game. They need to concentrate on offense for this team.

With the RB they have in Josh Jacobs – they should be calling 55% percent run to throw – I know Carr wants to chuck the ball, but Jacobs can move the chains on the ground – he is the future for this team. In 2019, the Raiders were 54% throwing the ball to running, which should be flipped. Jacobs should be the offensive leader – they have a 220lb back who can plow through or juke almost everything that comes at him. Jacobs gave them 4.8 YPC, 1150 YDs, and 7 TDs on a team that gave him more than 20 carries in less than half of his games. Imagine if he got 20 or more carries /game in 75% of the games? I think he could be a 12 TD and 1600 YD guy.

Oakland soon to be Las Vegas Raiders has more than their amount of problems to try and clean up for the next season. Gruden needs to keep building, this is a vital year 3. Carr has to push the ball downfield with confidence – and Jacobs must get more carries. I think if Jacobs starts to be the offensive cog and they can get WRs for Carr to move the ball to, this team can potentially be a 10 win team quickly, and at least be in the playoff conversation in their conference.

All the pressure on Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes played another excellent game vs Tennessee with 294 in the air and 3 TDs, Mahomes has already built a legend for himself, after throwing 50TD passes last season, and throwing for 300 or more YDs/game in 55% of the games he has played in. His numbers are something that we really have never seen before, not with Montana, Peyton or even with Tom Brady. He brings poise and awesome arm skills to the QB position, and we are all waiting to see what he does on every snap of the ball.
Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners are built completely different. The Niners are built on running the ball and holding it down with defense – Garoppolo has been the manager-type guy and media has had more than their share of negativity with him as well. He is 100% completely different as a QB – with the fact that he isn’t expected to throw for 300+ YDs, carrying a season average of 248 YDs/game. JimmyG is playing on house money – fans are not expecting Garoppolo to throw for 350 and 4TDs. There is much more expected from Mahomes and the Chiefs. Garoppolo can throw for the yards, as he did when he played vs the Saints and Seattle this season, it is just that San Fran doesn’t need him to throw for massive yards to get the win.
Mahomes has been able to take the torch from Tom Brady and hold off an improving Lamar Jackson to get to the big game. Jimmy Garoppolo went through the uber tough NFC conference – we are watching a battle between 2 of the absolute best teams in the NFL right now. Both teams are the correct teams to be fighting for the trophy. Coach Andy Reid is getting his chance to hold his trophy after 207 regular season wins and 14 seasons with 10 or more wins, and the 40 year old Kyle Shanahan is getting his chance to stand alongside his father, Mike – with the honor and legacy that comes with the name.
A game like this can make many fans question which one of these QBs has the most amount of pressure on their shoulders?
Mahomes is looking, as long as he stays healthy – like he will end his career as a first ballot Hall of Famer. He should have the upper hand at QB, and if he fails it won’t look good for his legend. Mahomes has a chance to further his very special legacy.
Mahomes is not going to torch the Niners defense, not a team that gives up just 169 /game in the air, he will have to play one of the best games of his career, against one of the best defenses that’s taken the field in years. He is gonna have to be accurate, while getting the ball out fast, buying some time when the pocket collapses, and it will. Mahomes has an incredible amount of pressure on his shoulders, as all eyes are on Mahomes to perform well, JimmyG really has nothing to lose. Mahomes has all the skills as a passer and he lacks very little, if we are being honest, as the Chiefs have all the pieces in place if they don’t win…its all on Mahomes.
Kansas City has a different style QB with the 24 year old Mahomes but he has a subpar running game that gets him just 98 /game from the backfield. Wicked defense has been the backbone of the Niners team all season, the dominating pass rush is there. Not to mention Andy Reid never tends to get conservative, preferring to roll the dice with his big armed stud, who is expected to make the big plays when needed.
Jimmy Garoppolo has time, and has no pressure, he’s going into his 3rd start in a playoff game – and he isn’t the legendary QB yet like Mahomes already has on his head. Let’s be honest, no one expected San Fran and Jimmy Garoppolo to make it this far – nobody bought into Garoppolo carrying this team. Garoppolo has been able to get away with handing the ball off and watch his defense play, he needs just to keep doing what he’s been doing, just trust his RBs, trust his monstrous defense, make the smart plays when he needs to and convert the key 3rd down and short throws.
Simple.
Most preseason predictions had San Fran finishing around 3rd in the West. Coming off a 4-12 season in 2018, and only one caliber pass catcher in Deebo Samuel, and he was coming into his 1st season, and he wasn’t looked at, as being a dominant WR. The Niners having the dominating season they had, was great for the fanbase, then making the playoffs as a top seed was the topping.
Jimmy Garoppolo has a great chance to lead a team to a Superbowl win. This is his 3rd season with the team and just his first season starting 16 or more games in a year – they likely have many years of competing. Unfortunately for Garoppolo is if he doesn’t win this game – expect the media-wolves to come out and start banging on him, with the over-tired “Can he can get the job done” narrative.

The most disappointing NFL Teams of 2019

There are a lot of teams that I could go with. The Los Angeles Chargers, the over-hyped Cleveland Browns, or the high expectation of the Dallas Cowboys.
But the team that I have to choose are the LA Rams. LA had some really high expectations as the reigning NFC champs. Then the Rams won just 3 of their first 6 games. Losing a shootout to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 55-40. The Buccaneers – a team with a QB who seems to love throwing the ball to the other team, as much as put TDs on the boards. With all of awesome talent they have on this team – I’m honestly not sure how that’s even possible. They seemed to only win the games they should win – vs the middling to bad teams this season.

The Rams returned this season with the core of guys from last season’s Super Bowl team – and returning to the big game, was surely their thought. But, the Rams not only failed to repeat a strong campaign, but they missed the playoffs. The Rams took a great big step forward in 2018, going 12-4 and getting to the Bowl – most saw them as being the team to beat in the NFC again this year. Then they started tumbling after their 3 game skid in late Sept to early October, where they just never seemed to get it back together.

Todd Gurley’s 2019 year, was far from being the player that we saw over the last few seasons. He put up just 57 YDs/game to last years 89 YDs/game – and only 31 receptions to last seasons 59 catches. His touches went way down – something was just not right with #30 this season – and we all witnessed it. QB Jared Goff was not sharp – passing inconsistency has been a key all year – his passing TD% of throws was the lowest since his rookie season in 2016 – he struggled in many ways to play like last year’s guy.
It felt like LA would make the final push for a ring in 2019. After such a great season in 2018 – nothing about the team really seemed to fire on all cylinders this year. Their rushing D was poor, their offense was shaky, and their Oline was just tolerable.
There was a lot more expected of the defense especially when they have Aaron Donald, Dante Fowler’s season, bringing in Clay Matthews, and then bringing in Jalen Ramsey. Donald was his usual dominant self – maybe not the ginormous wrecking ball that we saw last year – but he was excellent still. Ramsey brought a shutdown kind of play on the field and Fowler was all over the field in his best season ever. But, they still weren’t able to make the plays when needed, or stop teams from pounding the rock on the ground over and over.

They were expected to be far better than just going 9-7, that’s for sure – it is truly mystifying how the Rams have fallen since their Super Bowl.
It goes to show how fast things can turn around for any team, in a short while.

The Top 5 Defenders in the NFL for 2019

What counts as great defense? There are so many factors when anyone is ranking defense and defensive players. Do you rank on sacks, tackles, interceptions, passes defended, or the overall value that the player brings from their respectable position and the value to the NFL winning team they play with?
So many players, younger and veteran, who have had exceptional defensive play in their careers. Some more recently, some a few years back, but I will look at and rank, who is the best playing in the league right now. Unfortunately, this will mean we will not be including some really good players, like underrated Shaquil Barrett, the 27 year old LB from the Bucs – with 15.5 sacks and 2 passes defended in his 2019 campaign.
I am also moving passed Matt Judon – who is having a career year with 8.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. He brings a great future to the team and should remain the core and the foundation of a strong defense for the organization.
But he won’t be on the list.
The talented Minkah Fitzpatrick – who is by far one of the league’s better pass defenders with 5 picks and 9 passes defended, and steady active hands in a very solid young career, he also brings a lot of talent to the tackling in Pittsburgh – and will be terrorizing QBs for years in Pennsylvania. But none of these men will not be making this list.
So let’s get to it, let’s take a look at the best of the best. The absolute cream of the crop, the peak of the big top.
Here are your elite 5 playing right now in the NFL 2019.
5. Za’Darius Smith – the 27 year old DE formerly from the Ravens, has been terrorizing QBs with 10 sacks on the year, which is very good – but it doesn’t show just how much he is in the backfield of teams. He has been such a menacing force with attacking QBs – he carries a league leading 18 QB knockdowns and is 4th in QB pressures this year, and also has gotten the Packers 12 tackles for loss, putting him tops on the team. He has great ability with size at 6-4 and 275lbs – his natural strength keeps opposing teams unprepared for when he gets moving against the Oline. His relentless QB attacking has been more than enough to shake teams to the core.
4.  TreDavious White – the  195lb DB from Buffalo – who has racked up 10 passes intercepted and astonishing 41 passes defended over the last 3 seasons, he is a highly valuable asset for Buffalo. At only 24 years old, he has shown excellent patience and skills that typically only vets show, he has been able to read coverages with meticulousness and will continue to do so. He has great control of his body – an incredible ability to read QBs eyes and feel the body of the WR he is lined up against – helping the Bills to their very highly ranked defensive pass team this year, giving up just 12 TDs in the air.

3. T.J. Watt – the 3rd year, 6-4 LB for the Steelers – T.J. Watt is one of the names that doesn’t always comes to mind when someone thinks of one of the elite defensive players in the NFL.
They would be wrong.
Here is why he is on the list, his instincts, and simply put, he has been an outstanding QB attacking machine for the last 2 seasons, in particular – and he has been the one guy who has always shown up, getting 13 sacks in 2018 and 12.5 already this season, with still 3 games left. His quick eyes also has gotten the Steelers 41 combined tackles and a never ending motor on a regular basis. He will be the heart of this teams defense for years to come.
2. Stephon Gilmore – has had 105 passes defended in 8 years and has been the tops in the NFL for many seasons. Gilmore is the real deal, and when anyone thinks of the top DBs in the NFL, his name is typically what comes up. He shuts down teams, and takes away elite talent, each and every game. With teams only completing 50% of their attempts vs him – he takes guys out of the game – every team knows very well what they are going to be dealing with when they look to go up vs his brilliant physical tenacity. He has helped to carry the Pats in pass coverage with his ferocity and ball hawking ability, he means an awful lot to the success of the team.
1.  Cameron Jordan – has pounded teams for 85 sacks in 9 seasons.
His sack total is something that greats are made of. He has had a career best season with 13.5 sacks – he will likely hit the 100+ mark when all is said and done, probably ending up with around 115 or so for his career. There should be no question as to why this guy is at the top of the list for his play this year. He has been one of the best defensive ends for his entire career, and once he got full time snaps in 2012 – he quickly showed why he was drafted 24th overall the NFL by the Saints. Jordan brings a mindset to a team the minute he steps on the field, he is a sure tackler, and brings leadership on the field with an incredible instinct for where the play is going. There is no team in the NFL who wouldn’t love having this guy on their team.
So any way you slice it, dice it or dissect it, those are the guys that you absolutely cannot go wrong with. You know what you’re getting with anyone of them. You are getting a top of the line player; you’re getting pressure on enemies QBs and making plays across the field.

Christian McCaffrey the best all purpose RB in the NFL

Without Christian McCaffrey – the Carolina Panthers are a pretty average and far less dangerous team to watch on a Sunday. The Panthers need him…big time. The only RB who can compete with McCaffrey in the backfield is the Vikings RB, Dalvin Cook. McCaffrey has been absolutely outstanding – and can make plays on his own, even if their big men up front aren’t playing as good as they normally can. We can see what 23 year old RB has done with a good Oline this year, in particular. The Panthers offensive line has been pretty solid for the season – and seems to have even gotten a little better. McCaffrey is more than just an amazing scat back – he can run between the tackles, run to the outside, run hitch routes and screens. He has proven to have the ability to be able to take on a full season as a RB1 – and I don’t think many ever though he would be a top 5 RB in carries or rushing yards. But here we are – sitting at 3rd in carries, and 2nd in yards.
McCaffrey has also faced his share of loaded boxes – and has still produced a league leading 12 rushing TDs and 1167 rushing YDs. When he joined the team in 2017 – he immediately showed his great all around RB ability with 80 catches and 1086 yards from scrimmage. As we all know that durability is definitely important, and McCaffrey has been that as well. His explosion this season verifies something very good for Carolina and Carolina Panthers fans. The one season in 2017 when he didn’t have 1000 YDs in rushing – he only got around 7 carries/game and was really used as a gimmick and was doing the majority of his damage as a receiver. It is extremely hard and very difficult to consistently run for 100+ YDs in a game when defenses are stacking up the box – because they want to contain a dangerous weapon like Christian McCaffrey. Yet he has still been running for 97 YPG, and has six 100+ yard games this season, out of 12 games played. That is absolutely ridiculous – and if we include games for combined total yards – his number goes to 10 games of 100+ YDs.
The Panthers running game is all on Christian McCaffrey – as there is no other RB on the team that can hold the team together with his vision and calm to get to his holes. D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel are legitimate targets for the Panthers QBs to get the ball to – but McCaffrey is the one who the team looks to move the ball when needed. Christian McCaffrey is the one defense are most concerned about on gameday – and is impressing everyone with his dual threat ability and 75 catches. McCaffrey has a different style than big name guys like Ezekiel Elliot or 11 TD rusher, Derrick Henry – they are both built on brute strength – RBs that blow a LB over and rip off 40+ yards to a TD. Christian is more of a take your ankles and juke out anyone else who’s in front of him. Dalvin Cook has that kind of finesse as well, but CMC leans to that kind of ball play even more – with his quickness he has had since his days playing in college at Stanford.
It is often thought by many in this generation is that in the modern era – a RB isn’t the one who is going to carry a team to the SuperBowl.
And that QBs do.
I disagree.
QBs are obviously a very large part of things – but having that lithe RB who can break a back and take off with the 15 yard run on 3rd and 2 when things are winding down or when you need that big 1st down is crucial. They are the oil to the machine.
McCaffrey blocks and catches as well as any back in the league – he is the most complete package. He has shown his full potential this year with 5 YPC, 16 combined TDs, and an awesome, league leading 1811 yards from scrimmage – we can say I full confidence, he is the best RB right now. He has been the heart and focal point of the Carolina Panthers team and rightfully doesnt look to be slowing down at any time soon.

Tyreek Hill was a huge steal for the Chiefs

At a height of just 5-10 Tyreek Hill was a former WR for West Alabama – and in 2016 – Hill went into the NFL draft, where the Kansas City Chiefs picked him deep into the 5th round at 165th overall. He was a natural “raw” talent coming out in 2016 in the draft and was nowhere near seen as being as big a grab as he has been. The Chiefs did not whiff on their WR pick – like they did in 2015, with their Chris Conley pick in the 3rd round the year prior with a very unremarkable 1806 career receiving YDs and just 8 TDs in 64 games. Through his 1st 54 games, Hill is having an impact that even Hall of Famer WR, Marvin Harrison didn’t quite have at this age and stage. He has put up 3798 YDs and 30 TDs – and Harrison put up 3187 YDs and 29 TDs during the similar period in his career. There’s something to look at there, and now here we are – 4 years later, and Kansas City is reaping the great benefits of the 25 year old Tyreek Hill – while he is leading Kansas City to a 7-4 record, and a potential Super Bowl favorite.
A big reason for Kansas City’s success – has been the fantastic play of Tyreek Hill – Hill and his explosive game for Kansas City has been very impressive to watch every game. With many bigtime games in his 4 years in the league, he has already had 12 games of 100 YDs or more, and 23 games with a 17+ YPC or more as well. He has been far more than just a gimmick guy, but an incredibly valuable weapon that has the instinctual ability to take a 3 yard slant 90 yards in a flash – which has been his calling card. His electric speed is something more than the Chiefs expected in the game. WRs rarely develop such a quick adaptation of the game from college to the pro game – much less before their 26th birthday.
Hill is built for the big stage, and playing for Kansas City – he is always dealing with the big stage. A team that has been battling for the top spot in its division for years, and the ever dangerous QB, Patrick Mahomes. The speedy wideout has put up a huge 215 YDs vs the LA Rams and 169 YDs and 2 TDs vs division rival LA Chargers last year, with games like this under his belt, Hill has made a monstrous difference for Kansas City. He has been beyond just serviceable for the Chiefs – and I’m convinced that Hill is as good as he appears – with his big play ability and breaking speed. He has shown the eye popping ability to blow teams away deep and that he is a special weapon. He is more sure handed than many other WRs – with just around a 3% drop ratio – which also puts him ahead of star WRs, Odell Beckham and Keenan Allen currently.
Hill is something super special and easily one of the top WRs in the league. As always, with any great player – as long as the 5-10 WR stays healthy he will go down as one of the greats, and will very possibly end up in the HOF himself, someday. He will help lead his team to great places. This guy is only going to get better – he can already create immediate space – which is huge for any WRs. The Chiefs have to be beyond ecstatic they have him – because his brightest days are still ahead. We’ll see where things go for Hill and Kansas City – but I think the Chiefs should be very encouraged by the game Tyreek Hill has brought to their team.