Conventional wisdom in the NFL says that you need at least three years to properly judge a draft class. Sure, giving out grades right after the fact is always fun. But there’s a lot to be said for waiting to see the players actually take the field before we can truly see if they pan out or not.
Left guard Justin Pugh and center Weston Richburg are good starters, but Pugh missed five games with injury and the middle of the line collapsed without him. The right side was a turnstile all year, but the Giants brought back right guard John Jerry and hope that another 2015 draft pick, Bobby Hart, can hold his own at right tackle. They also added free agent signee D.J. Fluker, who can play either right guard or tackle.
With the individual talent up front, there really aren’t many excuses for the line to be as poor as it was last season. A lot of the Giants’ offensive problems can solve themselves if the line just does a better job protecting Manning and opening up holes for Perkins.
With respect to Manning, there’s really not much doubt who the real face of the franchise is here. Odell Beckham Jr. has taken the league by storm since arriving in New York in 2014, and he has a good chance to be this generation’s most iconic athlete. An incredible player and magnetic personality, Beckham is must-see TV.
However, it’s not a one-man show in the Giants’ receiver corps. They have quietly built a strong supporting cast around Beckham. Brandon Marshall was brought in after the New York Jets cut him, and despite some struggles with the Jets’ motley crew of QBs throwing him the ball last year, he can still play at age 33. Sterling Shepard turned in a strong rookie year with eight touchdowns, and with Marshall in town, he can thrive in his more natural slot position. As far as starting receivers go, that’s a pretty good trio of talent the Giants can boast.
NFL broadcasts are definitely going to better in 2017 than they have been in a long time. How do I know this with the season still more than two months away? Because the endless ads for boner pills will no longer be lurking at every commercial break encouraging you to ask your doctor how you, dear older man, can get better at throwing a football through a tire or emasculating those of us who don’t have twin bathtubs in the backyard.
If you want a reliable receiver to move the chains on third-and-short or on the goal line, Boldin is your guy. Matt Stafford, in his one short year with the veteran, trusted him to convert the crucial third downs for the Lions. By my count, he had 41 of the Lions’ first downs and converted 20 of them on third down. Of those, 10 of them were on third-and-short.
Boldin is a free agent, and even though he’s already 36, there are still a few teams that I think he’d fit. The Baltimore Ravens are one. They drafted defense for the vast majority of their picks this year, so getting a wide receiver like Boldin could be useful for Flacco. The Kansas City Chiefs released Jeremy Maclin this offseason, and Boldin could serve as an underneath option opposite of Tyreek Hill. The final option could be the Minnesota Vikings. He could be their third or fourth wide receiver and could help Laquon Treadwell learn the nuances of the game.
Sometimes it feels like the Washington NFL franchise is allergic to organizational stability. In 2015, they won the NFC East title, found their franchise quarterback of the future, and had a highly regarded general manager, Scot McCloughan, building a rock-solid roster. Head coach Jay Gruden helped develop Kirk Cousins into a good quarterback, a fortunate turn of luck for a franchise still reeling from the Robert Griffin III flameout.
The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t expect to have a new general manager in 2017, but they had to find one once they surprisingly parted ways with John Dorsey. On Monday, the Chiefs announced that co-director of player personnel Brett Veach will be their next general manager.
Eli, when you look at Eli, it’s kind of like when you look at LeBron [James], Harrison said. I’m not saying they’re the same, but look at Eli’s numbers. If any other quarterback would have those numbers, it would be an amazing year. But it being Eli, no one is respecting it much like we do LeBron. LeBron could average 30 [points], 15 rebounds and 12 assists and it’s like he didn’t do enough.’
Harrison’s comparison came when discussing the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2017 list, which Manning was not included on. It makes no sense [that Manning wasn’t on the list] when at the same time we’ve got rookies from last year … which I guess makes sense if you go off the year alone.
That’s not so much of a hot take as it would have been if Harrison was trying to call Manning the best player in the NFL, or some type of freak athlete. Because overall, James and Manning are two very different athletes.
Chicago paid out the nose for the opportunity to draft a passer with just one season of starting experience under his belt. The Bears gave up three draft picks to move from No. 3 to No. 2 overall to select Trubisky, who stood out as a third-team All-ACC pick at North Carolina. He’ll have to outplay Mike Glennon to earn a spot behind center, but since the former Buccaneer has only thrown 11 passes the past two seasons, there’s a good chance the rookie can rise to the top of the depth chart.
The 2007 New England Patriots offense was so good that it finished the season 16-0 mostly because nobody could stop the attack.
Tom Brady ended the season with 4,806 yards and 50 touchdowns. He connected with Randy Moss for 1,493 yards and an NFL-record 23 touchdowns, and they made it look easy.
For former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, it’s not just about supporting a new idea and making money he told the Houston Chronicle about the importance of backing businesses like Mikaila’s.
And it also helps that Mikaila is the one in charge.
She’s very special. Obviously, she has a bright future, Detroit Lions safety Quin said. Hopefully, I can be a part of it and nourish it and watch her grow. The sky is the limit.
The Titans needed an undisputed No. 1 wideout and spent the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft to get one. Davis was spectacular at Western Michigan, putting up big numbers against MAC opponents and performing well in non-conference games against the Big Ten. Injuries kept him from much of the pre-draft workout tour, but he’ll be healthy and have plenty to prove for Tennessee when the season begins.
John Ross was the team’s premier pick at No. 9 overall, but it’s Mixon who has the chance to earn the unquestioned top role in the Bengals offense. Ross will team with A.J. Green to give Cincinnati an explosive passing attack, while Mixon could earn the team’s starting running back spot if he outplays Gio Bernard (3.8 yards per carry in 2016) and Jeremy Hill (3.7). That’s a big opportunity for Mixon, who will also have to prove he can keep his nose clean off the field after punching a woman while a student-athlete at Oklahoma.
The Denver Broncos’ quarterback competition hasn’t received much attention this offseason. Thanks to Demaryius Thomas, we finally have some type of gauge on what’s going on in Denver.
Thomas had good things to say about both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch, and hopes that the team will decide on a starter a week and a half into training camp. Trevor been speaking up more than Paxton, Thomas said. You know, Paxton’s still young, and Trevor played a lot more last year. They both had their up and down days.
Broncos can be Super Bowl contenders again if their offense shows more life
It’s hype week.
What exactly is this loosely conceived theme that obviously escaped the attention of the company’s burgeoning ranks of senior management? All this week, our network of 32 team sites and the NFL staff here at SB Nation dot com will feature a series of about an amazing collection of players who are going to dazzle us this year on and off the field.
You can find all of these posts collected here. Keep checking back, because we’ll be adding more as the week continues.
Chidobe Awuzie is a rangy cornerback with great tackling skills, but his pedestrian interception numbers could keep voters from recognizing him. Enter Charlton, who showed strong improvement throughout his college career before landing as Dallas’s first-round pick this spring. At 6’6 and 280 pounds, he’s a beast who can use that leverage to confuse blockers and attack quarterbacks.
JuJu Smith-Schuster has the talent to thrive in the NFL, but as a rookie, he’ll be staring up the depth chart at Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Sammie Coates. As a result, Watt appears the most likely candidate to make a splash in 2017. He’s got name value thanks to older brother J.J., but his resume at the University of Wisconsin paints him as a high-level pass rusher 11.5 sacks in his lone season as a starter last year.
Anquan Boldin has always been defined by his attitude. He runs angry after the catch. He aggressively fights to snag balls out of the air. He understands how to use his body to physically win against tight coverage. Whilehe’s never been the fastest on the field, he has been the model for consistency based on his effort and physicality on each play. For this video, I tracked all 101 targets from 2016 and discussed the general trends of his game.
What have we done to deserve such a reprieve from some of the most obnoxious advertising campaigns of the last 20 years? Nothing. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is losing its patent on Viagra, according to Ad Age. That opens the door for other drug manufacturers to make generics.
Along with Lilly, the maker of Cialis, boner pills helped keep the NFL’s broadcaster’s bottom lines rock solid with nearly $50 million in advertising dollars last year.
However, experts do not foresee ad spending for NFL games to soften. Drug companies have an array of other products they believe pro football fans will be interested in asking their doctors about on the next office visit.
So that’s it. From now on the only dirty old men having fun on TV during an NFL broadcast will be in the owners booth or on the sidelines wearing a headset. But at least, we’ll always have Bill Belichick’s Nantucket photoshoot to remind us.
We look for companies that match our main focus of developing a good product, but are also good people and do it for the right reasons, he said. It’s more than about money to us. We believe that investing in small black businesses is extremely important.
Football season is around the corner, and on Tuesday NFL players began reporting to training camp. It was a special day for Panthers rookie Curtis Samuel, who’s attending his first-ever pro camp. It can be intimidating to start school for the first day, so Samuel’s mom was there to drop him off:
This is so sweet. The video shows Samuel’s mom watch on like a nervous parent while her son walks to camp with Panthers.com writer Bill Voth. Now comes the horrible wait until the end of the day.
I appreciate the trust and confidence that Joe has shown in me, Elway said. Pat Bowlen has always put outstanding leadership in place, and I’m grateful for the support Joe gives us to compete for championships each and every year.
This is a special place, and the Broncos are home to me. While there’s still a lot of work to be done, I’m excited about the future of this team and this organization.
The deal is expected to put Elway well above the market as the highest paid General Manager in the NFL. We’ll add the contract details they are released.
The architect for a winning season every year he’s been at the helm, along with multiple division titles, and a Super Bowl victory is likely going to be the highest paid GM in the league. Well worth the 67-29 record the Broncos have had under his leadership.
Here’s to continuing to win from now on.
Where Lynch is excelling is taking over markets that already have teams. He’s out-selling any Seahawk in Washington, trouncing Cardinals in Arizona, and poor Andrew Luck didn’t stand a chance in Indiana against Beast Mode.
“He is built sort of like Jae Crowder, he is big up top and is a physical player,” the international scout said. “But he has more offensive potential. He is already a pretty good shooter from the perimeter, and he is athletic, but he needs to get smoother with his game. He is not going to back anyone down, even at his size, so he needs to work on his ballhandling. But he can rebound and he can score, he will be a very solid NBA player.”
An added bonus has been the play of burly swingman Abdel Nader—chosen with the 58th pick out of Iowa State in the D-League this year. Nader agreed to forgo signing a contract in Europe to stay stateside and play for the Maine Red Claws, and he has been impressive, averaging 22.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists, shooting 40 percent from the 3-point line.
Nader should figure into the Celtics’ future plans, but with Yabusele and Zizic also expected to be on the roster next season, plus at least one more rookie chosen with the Brooklyn pick, the roster would be crowded with first-year players. Unless, that is, the Celtics use these assets in the next three weeks.
According to sources around the league, the Cavs have been pretty dormant on the trade-talk front since acquiring Korver. “I would say they’re waiting for March 1,” one front-office executive said. That’s when the Cavs can bring aboard a free agent who is waived after the trade deadline. Bulls guard Rajon Rondo, unhappy in Chicago, has been mentioned as a possibility.
The Cavaliers’ roster is essentially the same this year as last year. The major loss was US Cheap Jerseys Club backup guard Matthew Dellavedova, and while Cleveland misses him — and James was not happy Texas Rangers Cheap Jerseys to lose him — his absence doesn’t explain all of the team’s problems.
Reed is probably the Mets’ biggest trade chip due to baseball’s new obsession with relievers. Reed, 28, has experience as both a setup man and a closer. He has 123 career saves — including 17 this year — and has pitched to a 2.49 ERA in 2017.
Reed is a control master, walking just six batters in 47 innings. While he’s not a great strikeout artist, he still has more strikeouts (48) than innings pitched.
Who could be interested: Reed is one of the better relief arms available and sure to generate a lot of interest. Pretty much every team in contention could use Reed out of the bullpen, so the Dodgers, Brewers and Red Sox are all in the mix, among others.
The Bulls have inquired about 76ers big man Jahlil Okafor, according to CSN Chicago. Okafor, a Chicago native, has gotten caught in Philly’s frontcourt logjam in his second season.
Need to know: Long one of the more underrated starters in baseball — he has a career 3.36 ERA and a 3.30 ERA this season — Lynn is a free agent after this season, and the Cardinals would be best-served to trade him before the July 31 deadline. The veteran right-hander has plenty of postseason experience, too, though his role has often changed, with 24 total playoff appearances and seven starts. The Dodgers have seen his work first-hand; he’s pitched 13 1/3 innings (two starts and one relief appearance) against L.A. with 14 strikeouts and a 2.92 ERA in the 2013 NLCS and 2014 NLDS. He wouldn’t cost quite as much as Darvish, but the Dodgers would still have to make it worth the Cardinals’ time.
Need to know: The Dodgers and A’s have worked together on deals in the past — Josh Reddick and Rich Hill last year as the most recent example — and Gray would certainly fill a need for the Dodgers. With as closely as the L.A. front office has guarded its top prospects, though, will it pay the steep price Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap it would USA Cheap Jerseys take to acquire Gray, who’s under club control through 2019?
Apparently, Irving thinks he can follow in the footsteps of the “Black Mamba,” who won a pair of titles after playing Robin to Shaquille O’Neal’s Batman during the Lakers’ three-peat in the early 2000s. Late Friday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported Irving, who earned a ring in 2016 as four-time MVP LeBron James’ trusted sidekick, told Cavaliers’ brass he wants to be traded. ESPN’s Chris Haynes followed up with four preferred destinations.
Chief among Irving’s reasons for wanting out: the desire to be the focal point of a team’s offense. He also reportedly doesn’t want to play with James anymore. James, who’s been in North Carolina along with the rest of his family as his sons participate in a national youth basketball tournament, was, as Windhorst put it, “blindsided” by the news.
Granted, there could be much more to this than meets the eye. After all, Dan Gilbert still owns the Cavaliers. Signing Jeff Green and Jose Calderon and re-signing Kyle Korver have been the only moves Cleveland has made this summer. Meanwhile, the Celtics, the Cavaliers’ biggest competition in the Eastern Conference, added All-Star small forward Gordon Hayward (21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game) to a team that won 53 games last year.
Of course, that raises the inevitable question: Is a championship the only measure of success in sports? No, of course not. Good seasons are good journeys, and it’s fine for fans to wish for sufficient entertainment on the court.
But the Larry O’Brien Trophy is still the symbol of the ultimate prize in the NBA, the alleged goal of every team at the start of every season, available to everyone in theory, but attainable for few in reality. That makes moral victories, in one form or another, the necessary consolation prize for every non-championship team. This is just the reality of the NBA, and most fans are willing to tolerate it The Best Cheap Jerseys in exchange Real Cheap Jerseys for six months of entertainment.