Draft Misc - Football Wiretap

Bill Polian Believes 6'3 Lamar Jackson Too 'Short' To Play QB

Feb 20, 2018 10:25 AM

Bill Polian continues to contort himself to dismissing Lamar Jackson's NFL credentials.

"Short and a little bit slight," Polian said of Jackson on ESPN's Golic and Wingo Monday. "And clearly, clearly not the thrower that the other guys are. The accuracy isn't there."

Jackson is 6'3 and 211 pounds, which makes him about league average in terms of height for an NFL quarterback.

Jackson is three inches taller than Baker Mayfield, who Polian is high on. Polian has also been high in the past on Johnny Manziel, who is under 6'0.

Polian believes Jackson should be converted to a wide receiver.

"Exceptional athlete, exceptional ability to make you miss, exceptional acceleration, exceptional instinct with the ball in his hand and that's rare for wide receivers. That's [Antonio Brown], and who else? Name me another one, Julio [Jones is] not even like that."

Ari Gilberg/New York Daily News

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FOX To Televise 2018 NFL Draft

Feb 14, 2018 5:04 PM

Fox will televise the NFL draft for the first time in its history, partnering with the NFL Network for a joint production that will air on both networks.

Fox will televise the first round on Thursday, April 26, and the second and third rounds on Friday, April 27.

ESPN, which has broadcast the draft since 1980, will continue to do so. Since 2006, both ESPN and the NFL Network have broadcast separate productions of the draft. 

ESPN initially didn't pay to televise the draft but they have more recently been charged a rights fee.

Kevin Draper/New York Times

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Giants Want Eli Manning To Return In 2018

Jan 21, 2018 1:28 PM

Dave Gettleman reaffirmed his desire for Eli Manning to remain as quarterback of the New York Giants. But he will be evaluating quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL draft class.

Gettleman described the Jan. 12 meeting as "great" to the New York Post.

The Giants used a third round pick in 2017 on Davis Webb.

Pat Shurmur offered a favorable impression of Manning during his interview with Gettleman.

Chris Mortensen/ESPN

Tags: New York Giants, Draft, Draft Misc, Misc Rumor

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Bryce Love Will Remain At Stanford For Senior Season

Jan 16, 2018 12:13 PM

Bryce Love will return to Stanford for his senior season.

Love was the Heisman Trophy runner-up behind Baker Mayfield.

Love was rated as the No. 2 running back potentially in the draft.

The last three Heisman Trophy runner-ups that returned to school the following season all attended Stanford. Quarterback Andrew Luck (2010) and running back Christian McCaffrey (2015) also came back after finishing second in the Heisman balloting. Luck lost the Heisman to Robert Griffin III after finishing behind Cam Newton in 2010, while McCaffrey finished behind Derrick Henry and then fell to ninth in 2016.

Mark Schlabach/ESPN

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2018 NFL Mock Draft, Version 3.0

Jan 14, 2018 11:00 AM

By Jeff Risdon/RealGM

This is still much more of the “what I think they’ll do” more than the “what I would do” variety in this 2018 NFL mock draft, but I do let personal biases guide the hand in some instances. As always, the projections here do not reflect my personal positional rankings. In some cases they’re not even close. 

1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC. The first pick is almost certain to be a quarterback from Los Angeles. I went with Darnold over UCLA counterpart Josh Rosen here for a couple of reasons. First, there are enough people I’ve talked to within NFL decision-making circles who confirm the chatter around the questions about Rosen’s desire and attitude that I do think it impacts his draft position. Second, Darnold has the higher ceiling, though his turnover-prone floor is lower than expected too. He can be special and won’t shy away from the challenge in Cleveland.

2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. Too much potential to fall beyond here even with the aforementioned questions, which may or may not even be legit. Finding Eli Manning’s replacement is paramount for New York.

3. Indianapolis Colts: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn StateThis will be a very popular projection in the next few weeks leading up to the Combine, and with fair reason. Frank Gore, while still impressive, cannot play forever, and the Colts sorely need more weapons to aid T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle and whomever winds up playing QB.

4. Cleveland Browns (from HOU): Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama. The hope for Cleveland would be Fitzpatrick turning into the next Jalen Ramsey, a positionally versatile impact player in the secondary. Fitzpatrick has that kind of potential, and his game should translate right away.

5. Denver Broncos: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma. John Elway should realize he has to get QB right, and Paxton Lynch isn’t the answer unfortunately. Mayfield’s hyper-accurate passing and fearless swagger make him very tough to look past, even if he’s short and somewhat immature.

6. New York Jets: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia. The big question here is, will they force the QB? In this scenario they do not, instead opting for someone who can be the leader of the defense for years to come. Smith is a special off-ball backer with outstanding tackling power and speed.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bradley Chubb, Edge, North Carolina State. Upgrading one of the league’s most anemic pass rushes is paramount, and Chubb has the ability to make a huge impact right away.

8. Chicago Bears: Connor Williams, OL, Texas. The 2016 Williams is an instant upgrade at either tackle spot, and both Charles Leno and Bobby Massie are better than you might think. The 2017 Williams moves to guard and eventually supplants again Josh Sitton or Kyle Long, coming off an injury. Their biggest needs (WR, TE, WR) do not match the board here, so they are a great candidate to trade back.

9. Oakland Raiders: Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan. Another offensive tackle who was better in ’16 than ’17, but he doesn’t have Williams’ injury excuse. I saw Okorafor in person seven times over three seasons and I love his potential, but there is real risk he’s plateaued in his development too. The Raiders need to take a chance he can take over for Donald Penn, or at least start at RT in ’17.

10. San Francisco 49ers: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU. Guice looked great in ’17 despite a wounded ankle, and his acceleration, strength and balance at full speed are all outstanding. Pairing him with Jimmy Garoppolo could breath even more life into the emerging 49ers offense.

11. Miami Dolphins: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa. Playmaker extraordinaire for a team which needs impact players. Jackson is a player I believe will rise throughout the draft process as both an athlete and a football player.

12. Cincinnati Bengals: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame. Nelson is probably the best player in this draft regardless of position; he will earn my highest draft grade. Adding him to the worst OL in the league is a no-brainer, even if he doesn’t play a premium position. Probably my fave pick in this mock.

13. Washington: Derwin James, S, Florida State. Not the biggest need, as rookie Montae Nicholson paired nicely with volatile D.J. Swearinger on Washington's back end in ’17, but James is a potential difference-maker. He would give the option for multiple nickel and mix/match defensive schemes.

14. Green Bay Packers: Maurice Hurst, DE, Michigan. Hard to know what the Packers D will look like considering Dom Capers hasn’t been replaced yet as of press time, but it’s safe to say they need talent across the board. Hurst appears scheme-versatile and well-prepared to make an impact as both a pass rusher or powerful edge run presence.

15. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming. I still don’t buy the hype one bit on the big-armed Allen, but this is the range where it does appear teams will start to consider him. The Cardinals are losing both Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton, as well as coach Bruce Arians, so the time to roll the dice could be now.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama. The first wideout off the board, and Ridley certainly fits with his size and ability to separate with the ball in the air. His ceiling is lower than some others but not by much, and he’s closer to it than most too.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Billy Price, C, Ohio State. Price is an NFL-ready tactician who can start right away at center or guard. With last year’s draft picks Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney, the Chargers would have an impressive young interior core. Price’s run blocking prowess would be a big hit for Los Angeles.

18. Seattle Seahawks: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma. He’s physical, likes to play through the whistle, and can dominate foes when he gets his weight sunk properly. Exactly what the OL-needy Seahawks need, though he does have more “bust” risk than I’m comfortable with this high. Fascinating player.

19. Dallas Cowboys: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. The Cowboys continue to stockpile young defensive go-getters with Ferrell, a high-floor edge defender who has traits which can blossom at the next level.

20. Detroit Lions: Harold Landry, Edge, Boston College. A scheme-versatile rusher with bend and closing burst, exactly what the doctor ordered for Detroit’s weak pass rush. I know it’s very early for absolute statements but I’ll be absolutely floored if they take a running back here.

21. Buffalo Bills: Arden Key, Edge, LSU

22. Buffalo Bills (from KC): Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville. Back-to-back picks for Buffalo. Key brings sizzle to the pass rush, which didn’t get more than four sacks from any player and whose top two rushers (Lorenzo Alexander and Jerry Hughes) will both be on the wrong side of 30 in ’18. Jackson is a lottery ticket with franchise QB potential and improved his passing prowess in his final college season. He is not a wide receiver, period.

23. Los Angeles Rams: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State. Wait for the buzz on the FCS-level star, who one scout I trust compared to “a more physical Travis Kelce”. I’ve only seen two games in as many seasons but the talent is obvious, and the Rams can use a physical presence in the seams.

24. Carolina Panthers: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn. I continue to believe Davis’ length and physical style will get him in the first round, even if he holds too much and needs work on his transition footing. He’s got some Josh Norman to him, and the Panthers play in a division with some outstanding, big wideouts.

The rest of the first round selections still aren’t set, but this is how they would go based on today’s order

25. Tennessee Titans: DaRon Payne, DT, Alabama. A stout interior presence who can play the run on his way to the quarterback, Payne flashes the athleticism to be an impact interior defender. The Titans have not gotten enough production from the defensive front outside of Jurell Casey.

26. Atlanta Falcons: Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State. The Falcons are in position to address more long-term needs here, and Rankin could wind up being the best tackle in this class. The Falcons depth up front is sorely lacking.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars: Martez Ivey, OT, Florida. Ivey is an impressive tackle prospect too, but he spent his first two years playing left guard for the Gators. That’s where I’d project him in Jacksonville, where the tackles are a lot better than the guards up front.

28. New Orleans Saints: Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State. A better all-around prospect for my money than former Noles DT Timmy Jernigan, Nnadi does the dirty work exceptionally well between the tackles. He can disrupt the opposing backfield, too. The Saints keep building the much-improved defense, a smart hedge against regression and injury.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers: Marcus Allen, S, Penn State. Smart, poised and rangy, Allen would make a nice fit on the back end of a Steelers defense which remains vulnerable over the top.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame. He brings length and power but isn’t as twitchy or laterally agile as the prospects going above him here. The Vikings won’t care as long as the well-heeled McGlinchey can seal open holes and not get beat to his inside shoulder.

31. Philadelphia Eagles: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama. Philly keeps loading up the defense with speed and thumping tackling. Evans’ stock appears all over the place, but I suspect he’ll settle in the 30s once the testing is done.

32. New England Patriots: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU. Another player who could go either 15 or 50 overall. I’ll split the difference and send the big, intriguing Sutton to the Patriots to help sate their seemingly perennial – and perennially overstated – need for wide receivers.

Next five picks:

Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State

Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

Jeff Risdon/RealGM

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Lamar Jackson Declares For 2018 NFL Draft

Jan 5, 2018 11:24 AM

Lamar Jackson has declared for the NFL draft.

Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 2016 and was a finalist this year.

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks Jackson as the No. 7 draft-eligible quarterback for 2018.

"My time in Louisville has produced some of the best memories of my life," Jackson wrote on Twitter. "I have had the pleasure of being in the presence of some of the best professors, coaches, advisers, training staff, athletes and fans, in the nation. With their help, I have been able to grow not only as a quarterback, but as a teammate, student, and most of all, a man."

Adam Rittenberg/ESPN

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Giants Could Afford To Keep Eli Manning While Drafting QB In 1st Round

Jan 4, 2018 3:09 PM

With the future of Eli Manning as part of the Giants remaining unclear, the team could afford to keep him from a cap perspective.

Manning is due $16 million 2018 and $17 million in 2019 plus $500,000 workout bonuses in each season.

The Giants could afford to carry both Manning and a first round quarterback at approximately $7.5 million per season.

The question for the Giants would likely be whether Manning could be convinced to sign off on the idea.

Albert Breer/Sports Illustrated

Tags: New York Giants, Draft, Draft Misc, Misc Rumor

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Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold Declare For NFL Draft

Jan 3, 2018 9:02 PM

Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen have each declared for the 2018 NFL Draft.

Darnold and Rosen are expected to be amongst the top picks in the draft.

In his Instagram video, Darnold thanked his family, friends and the USC coaching staff, especially head coach Clay Helton, for "trusting in a kid from San Clemente High School with such little game tape and for giving me the opportunity and chance to start at such an incredible university."

ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have Rosen as the top-rated draft-eligible quarterback. Kiper has Rosen at fourth overall in his latest Big Board. McShay has him No. 1 overall in his latest Top 32.

ESPN

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Jets Open To Trading Up For Quarterback

Jan 3, 2018 3:44 PM

The New York Jets are open to trading up for a quarterback in the draft. The Jets currently own the sixth overall pick.

"The simple answer to that question is yes," Mike Maccagnan said when asked about trading up. "If that was a player we felt strong about, we would have no qualms of potentially trying to go up and get him."

Maccagnan made inquiries in 2016 about trading up for either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz.

Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen are expected to be the top available quarterbacks.

Rich Cimini/ESPN

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Saquon Barkley Signs With Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports

Jan 3, 2018 3:00 PM

Saquon Barkley has signed with Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports.

"It was a really easy decision," Barkley said. "A lot of people came around my way, but they were focused on me and they did a great job at selling my family on setting me up for life, bringing value outside of football. I felt like it was harder for other agencies to pitch that family feel when they were working with 30 or 40 guys."

Roc Nation has signed Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette in recent drafts, both of whom were the top running back selected.

Barkley and his family were invited to Jay Z's home in Los Angeles this week, when the two talked about his business future.

"I'm obviously a big fan of his," Barkley said. "He is a wise man, has a lot of knowledge and gives good advice."

Barkley's representative will be Kim Miale, who also represents Dez Bryant.

Darren Rovell/ESPN

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Sam Darnold Not Ready To Make NFL Decision
Sam Darnold threw for 356 yards on 26-of-45 passing in the Cotton Bowl.

Mitch Sherman/ESPN

49ers Fine With Jimmy Garoppolo Altering Draft Position
The 49ers were given a 95 percent change to finish with a top-five pick at one point, but now could fall out of the top-10.

Nick Wagoner/ESPN

Josh Allen Leaves Wyoming For 2018 NFL Draft
Josh Allen is rated No. 3 on ESPN's Big Board at the quarterback position.

Edward Aschoff/ESPN

Baker Mayfield Accepts Invitation To Senior Bowl
Baker Mayfield is the first Heisman winner to attend the Senior Bowl since Tim Tebow.

Jeremy Bergman/NFL.com

NFL Could Have 11 Teams Making Change At QB This Offseason
The 2018 draft class could have as many as five quarterbacks selected in the first round.

Bill Barnwell/ESPN

Baker Mayfield Receiving First Round Buzz From Scouts
Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy but there are concerns about his size.

Mel Kiper Jr./ESPN

Josh Rosen Denies Report He's Made Decision On Declaring For Draft
Josh Rosen is expected to be a top pick in the draft if he declares.

RealGM Staff Report

Sam Darnold Rejects Notion Of Avoiding Browns In Draft
Sam Darnold has been widely rumored to stay in school despite his high draft standing.

ESPN

2018 NFL Mock Draft, Version 2.0
Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson are selected first and second in our second mock draft for 2018.

Jeff Risdon/RealGM

NFL Executives Prefer Sam Darnold Over Josh Rosen
In an informal poll of five NFL executives, all five said they would pick Sam Darnold over Josh Rosen.

Daniel Jeremiah/NFL.com

Saquon Barkley, Josh Rosen Remain Top-2 In Mel Kiper's Big Board
Saquon Barkley has struggled over the past two weeks but remains highly productive this season and could run a sub-4.4 40 at the combine.

Mel Kiper Jr./ESPN

Video: Top-10 Prospects For 2018 NFL Draft
With the college football season past the halfway point, the top-10 prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft are coming into focus.

Jeff Risdon/RealGM

2018 NFL Draft To Be Held At AT&T Stadium In Dallas
This will be the first draft hosted in an NFL stadium.

Kevin Patra/NFL.com

Browns, 49ers Have 90+ Percent Chance Of Top-5 Pick
After Week 5 of the 2017 NFL regular season, both the contending teams and those that will be at the top of the draft are becoming more clear.

Kevin Seifert/ESPN

Top High School Prospect Justin Fields Commits To Georgia
Justin Fields elected Georgia over Florida State, Auburn, LSU and Alabama.

Gerry Hamilton/ESPN

Browns, 49ers Have Highest Odds At Securing No. 1 Pick In 2018
The Browns and 49ers also had the top-2 picks in last year's draft.

Aaron Schatz/ESPN

Saquon Barkley Climbs To No. 2 On Mel Kiper's 2018 Big Board
Sam Darnold remains No. 1 with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley ranked No. 2.

Mel Kiper Jr./ESPN

Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Arden Key Headline ESPN's 2018 Top-32
Sam Darnold of USC ranks as the top prospect in the draft class of 2018.

Todd McShay/ESPN

49ers Thought Bears Were Targeting Solomon Thomas
The Bears refused to tell the 49ers who they were targeting at No. 2.

Peter King/Sports Illustrated

Packers Plan On Starting Ty Montgomery Despite Drafting 3 RBs
Green Bay selected Jamaal Williams of BYU in the fourth round, Aaron Jones of UTEP in the fifth round and Devante Mays of Utah State in the 7th round.

Rob Demovsky/ESPN