I still have some fun nuggets after the draft to mine this afternoon, so let’s dive in …
• I have seen some of the responses to my MMQB column on the Lions focused on the Detroit decision. not to trade lower, and while I appreciate the analysis that leads people to believe that trading lower is forever Right thing to do, I think the composition of this year’s draft class should be seen as vital context for why things turned out the way they did. And after dozens and dozens of calls in the weeks leading up to the draft, and many more afterward, I feel like the league consensus held that non-quarterbacks on the field were broken this way …
Consensus level 1: LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase, Florida TE Kyle Pitts
Level 1/2 Division: Oregon OT Penei Sewell
Consensus level 2: South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn, Alabama WR DeVonta Smith, Northwestern OL Rashawn Slater, Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II, USC OL Alijah Vera-Tucker, Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle
Tier 1 went into the top five. Our float was the seventh choice. Level 2 left for the fourteenth pick. And after that, there was a crash that left many teams with a board full of second-round qualifications. So why didn’t the Lions change? Perhaps because they saw Sewell as the last truly elite prospect to leave. Why did the Jets go up? Maybe because they saw a major drop after Vera-Tucker came off the board. And after he did, the series of quarterbacks they were going to follow – Zaven Collins, Alex Leatherwood and Jaelan Phillips – were prospects that some teams loved and others didn’t like very much. All of which makes the Lions and Jets’ reasoning quite simple. They considered the leading group in this year’s draft to be relatively small, as did many other teams, and they took the opportunity to take advantage of them.
• An interesting thing that came to my mind with the Tim Tebow news Monday: Signing the former Heisman winner could open a big can of worms for new Jaguars coach Urban Meyer with his former players. In the words of one person I spoke to, “They are going to beg you to sign” if you go ahead with the Tebow addition. The reality is that the margins of the NFL are full of frustrated kids because they can’t seem to get the last chance they feel they need to break through. And by picking a 33-year-old draft tight end who hasn’t been on the field in a regular-season game in eight years, Meyer would seem to license any player he owns at Ohio State (or even Florida, though that goes back far enough now) to come to him and ask for at least one proof. Add that to the circus that follows Tebow, and it becomes a little harder to see what the outcome of Meyer’s signing on this would be, aside from the fact that the converted quarterback could be a messenger of what the coach is dealing with. to establish. in Jacksonville. Is it worth having a type of program around? I think you could find someone else to be that guy, but that’s just me. And I say that regarding Tebow for trying.
• The fact that we have passed last week’s mile mark where free agent signings no longer count against the competitive selection formula should give several veterans a clearer view of what to expect. This dynamic is undoubtedly the reason the Ravens waited until six days ago to sign Alejandro Villanueva to replace Orlando Brown at right tackle. So it will be interesting to see what super accomplished players like Richard Sherman and Mitchell Schwarz decide to do (they both have rings and have taken care of their money). My feeling with Sherman is that when / if he signs somewhere it will be largely based on finding the right fit; With Schwartz (who was cut, to be clear, which means that compensation selection was not a factor for him), he could be based a little more on how he feels after his back surgery.
• The signing of former Colts left tackle Eric Fisher is a smart and sensible risk for general manager Chris Ballard, who was second in scouting to general manager John Dorsey when Kansas City spent the first pick at 6: 7 “, 315. -pounder in 2013. Fisher’s career with the Chiefs was very high and low for eight years, but he was playing very well when he fell in the AFC title game. Kansas City, at that point, decided that it was time to get younger in the job, a decision that was based in large part because the Chiefs thought it would be September or October before the 30-year-old Fisher returned in full force again, and because Achilles’ injuries They can be problematic for big men who have risen in years (Kansas City got to see that firsthand with Derrick Johnson). But for the Colts? Right now, Sam Tevi is the starting left tackle, taking the place that Anthony Castonzo held hard for a decade. Tevi for a full year would likely be problematic, particularly given Carson Wentz’s injury history. ry, having it as a bridge to / insurance for Fisher makes sense. It also gives Ballard more time to figure out the long-term solution, assuming Fisher isn’t, after he and the Colts’ staff ended up being lukewarm in the tackle group in the draft beyond Sewell and Slater.
• One person I should have mentioned in Monday’s column: Matt Patricia from New England. He has played a role for Patriots coach Bill Belichick, similar to the one Michael Lombardi played a few years ago. And that meant having one foot in the reworked team selection process this year, where, in my view, Patricia’s institutional knowledge of the venue (dating back to 2004) would be valuable as the coach set out to try to everyone was on the same page where the team reworked some of their practices.
• So in doing my Lions story, I had something specific that I wanted to ask Dan Campbell. People who know Detroit’s new coach told me before the draft, in essence, to forget the idea that he would take a smaller receiver with his first pick in charge. And sure enough, the story was that Jaylen Waddle’s pick at No. 6 triggered a huge eruption of cheers in the Lions’ war room, because it cleared the way to turn Sewell into a Lion. Then the Lions took defensive linemen in the second and third rounds, so I had to ask Campbell if the race against the greats was by design. This was his response: “Look, I feel like probably in our core, [GM] Lace [Holmes] And myself, because of where he came from and where I come from, the greats at the forefront of his line O and line D are essential to be successful. I know in my essence that I believe that. And I feel like he’s the same way. However, that said, they were not going to pigeonhole us to make a move that we did not want to do. We were certainly open to taking a receiver if the right one had been there. But I think Brad spoke well about it, the way this fell for us and the moves that were made, it was too difficult to convey. [Sewell]. It just was. Now am I excited to have three great guys? Yes, I am. I can’t lie to you. I am very excited. But the plan wasn’t to go in and say, ‘Listen, with our top three picks, let’s find the best three majors we can find.’ That wasn’t the plan. “Holmes then added,” He’s right. That’s been mentioned too, is it the wide receiver? It’s really like, shit, when Dan and I first sat in these seats, there were a lot of gaps in this list. Let’s be honest. Whether we’d opted for a damn good player as a wide receiver or a damn good player as a tackle, he would have been a great soccer player that we were excited about. And that would have had an impact.… We tried to not anchor ourselves in that in terms that we have to get one position or another ”.
• I think if you decode Davante Adams’ words to Fox’s Colin Cowherd on Monday, you hit a flaw in the dispute between the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. Adams told Cowherd he didn’t know what would happen before adding: “A lot of things are still being worked out on his part.” Then he said, “Some things have to be fixed.” The contract is obviously one as it relates to Rodgers job security (and how the development of Jordan Love influences that). The aggressiveness with which the team is formed is another. But I feel like Adams was referring specifically to the hard feelings involved. And that’s about communication. Simply put, giving Rodgers more of a heads-up (he got a call when Green Bay was making the move for Love) that a move to his position could come a few days before the 2020 draft, as I see it, ‘I’ve done a big difference, as is including the quarterback in the 2021 offseason plans. I don’t think it’s a good idea to let a quarterback run your team. But I see where, if the guy is the face of the franchise (and Rodgers clearly is), and is deep in his career, he would want to be aware and could be offended by surprises that affect him directly. The reality of the NFL today is that quarterbacks are almost administrators anyway. And it’s hard to see that teams that are reluctant to treat them as such benefit much from that.
• Speaking of quarterback influence: I think the fact that the Buccaneers bring back Blaine Gabbert could have Tom Brady’s fingerprints to some degree. The more experienced backups at the position can often be a resource for the starter, and Brady had those kinds of resources at times in New England (Vinny Testaverde, Brian Hoyer, Damon Huard, etc.). That Gabbert has a decade under his belt in the league would certainly indicate that he could bring something of value to Brady over the course of a season.
• Single digit jersey number changes are coming, and that is going to take some getting used to.
• But it won’t be as strange as seeing “0” allowed in college football last year. That was weird, especially when the greats used it.
• Orr: Final draft of qualifications: analysis of the selections of each team
• Brandt: Rodgers and Packers still fighting for control
• Breer: Ron Rivera’s expectations for the second year in Washington
• Report: Jags expected to sign Tim Tebow to one-year deal
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.