Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 5 hrs ago
Here's some real talk for you, post-draft: Not all the first-round picks made last week are going to be NFL stars.
We're reminded of this now every year around this time when NFL teams must make decisions on the first-round picks they made a mere three years ago. Optimism was high then, even for what looks like a putrid draft now, but in many cases it's back down to earth with news trickling in for which teams are picking up those players' fifth-year options.
In short: The 2013 draft was pretty awful. And right now, it's really sinking in as teams are now having to admit to a lot of their mistakes.
The 2011 CBA allowed NFL teams to sign first-rounders to four-year contracts with a fifth year at the team's discretion (to be decided before the start of the fourth season). That salary is based off an average of the top players at their positions, with top-10 picks making a higher average.
Other options declined: Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden and Devner Broncos nose tackle Sylvester Williams, although you get the idea that both could still end up staying with their respective teams at less money.
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Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 7 hrs ago
What about giving you some top draft names for 2017? Yes, we’re a bit sick in the head. But we know you’re already — somewhere deep in the backs of your minds — thinking about next year.
So here is a rough list of the top prospect for next year’s draft class. Spoiler alert: It will change between now and then. Just a bit, we suspect. Also: Not every good college football player is listed here. We know that.
1. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson — Watson is an athletic wonder with deep-ball accuracy who had a tremendous game in the playoffs against Oklahoma and Alabama, and that could carry him into a Heisman-winning season and the No. 1 pick in the draft. There are some things to iron out as a passer, and he’s not the biggest guy around, but Watson is a special young man.
6. Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly — The n ephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly really had some
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Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 11 hrs ago
We've capped the proverbial red pen for another year's worth of final draft exams. The good news: Some teams did really well. The bad: Others, not so much.
The grades are in for the 2016 NFL draft, and we fully admit how incomplete it is to stamp a judgment on every team's draft a day or two after it's complete.
Talk to us in a year or three. Or better yet, bookmark this page, revisit in in that time and have a good laugh or two. Today's "underachiever" is likely tomorrow's Pro Bowler, and anyone we labeled a "good value" is sure to be out of the league before their 25th birthday.
The Minnesota Vikings made history on Saturday.
Moritz Boehringer became the first straight-from-Europe draft pick in NFL history when the Vikings used a sixth-round selection on him.
Boehringer quickly is becoming a folk hero here. His story is incredible. He played — get this — for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns of the German Football League and put up monster numbers in 2015: 59 receptions, 1,232 yards, 13 TDs.
At his pro day, held at Florida Atlantic, the 6-foot-4, 227-pound Boehringer put on a show — a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, a vertical of 39 inches, a 10-foot-11 broad jump, 17 reps on the bench press, a 4.10-second short shuttle, 11.15-second 60-yard shuttle, and a 6.65-second three-cone. Those are elite testing numbers for any receiver, much less one with his terrific size.
Teams started digging immediately. Who was this guy? Several teams really did work on him, and the Vikings were among them. NFL Network's Mike Mayock took to Boehringer and promoted his cause, and it turned out that the Vikings were listening.
You can't make this stuff up. A unicorn indeed.
It will be fascinating to see if Boehringer can make it in what would be a unique path to the NFL.
Yes, that's Canada, folks. The NFL will dip its toes in the northern waters occasionally, and the Saints are more willing to do so than other teams it appears. The last Canadian prospect taken this high in the NFL draft was third-rounder Akiem Hicks by New Orleans in 2012 via Regina. And the only other player drafted from Manitoba? Israel Idonije, who had a nice career in the NFL.
Hicks didn't work out in New Orleans, but he found success with the New England Patriots last season after he was traded there and parlayed that into a big free-agent deal this offseason with the Chicago Bears.
Might Onyemata, who was invited to the East-West Shrine Game, pay off down the road? He only has played football for four years now and is in need of more seasoning and refinement. One CFL scout we spoke with noted Onyemata's incredible wingspan (82 inches) and strong short-area quickness ( 7.25 three-cone drill). He also bench pressed 225 pounds 33 times and had a great 10-yard split on his 40-yard dash: 1.66 seconds.
But he's raw, too, and the Saints need help now defensively. Still, the promise could be really good down the road.
From the scouting report:
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CHICAGO – The Jags look scary. Jerry Jones gambled, as only he can. And there was a surprise at what quarterbacks heard their names called on Friday night. Oh, and someone traded UP to get a kicker.
Here are knee-jerk reactions and grades for Day 2 of the NFL draft, which featured Rounds 2 and 3.
1. Cleveland Browns: DE Emmanuel Ogbah – A big, talented rush end who might stand up in the Browns’ 3-4 defense or bulk up and play the end spot. A bit of a curious pick given that uncertainty, but Ogbah is athletic and has a track record of getting to the QB. Grade: C+
2. Tennessee Titans: DE Kevin Dodd – Pass rusher run! Dodd was one of our favorites, Shutdown Corner’s No. 14 overall player, and he has a chance to be a very good pro after breaking out last season and residing in the shadow of Shaq Lawson until the national title game. Dodd can play on his feet, has great length and is ascending. The Titans needed front-seven help. A nice start to their second day. Grade: A-
It was the most exciting, bonkers and confusing first round in recent memory. Tunsil's social media disaster was a big reason for it.
What did Roger Goodell think of all this, watching the draft unfold from his holy chambers in Draft Heights? Here's an interesting quote, via ESPN, from Goodell on Friday morning:
"I think it's all part of what makes the draft so exciting. Clubs make decisions. Sometimes they take risks. Sometimes they do the right things. Sometimes they don't, and we'll see. Hopefully he is going to turn our to be a great young player."
Others, like ESPN's Jim Trotter, agree with us.
Podcast: Breaking down the wildest NFL draft day in history:
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Round 1 of the 2016 NFL draft featured twists and turns that few expected, including a wild ride for Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil after an unfortunate social-media disaster.
But part of the story is also about the players who were not selected. Here are the scouting reports for all of the Shutdown Corner Top 50 players — including 12 of our top 31 — who remain available for Friday's Rounds 2 and 3.
5. UCLA LB Myles Jack 6-foot-1, 245 pounds
14. Clemson DE Kevin Dodd 6-foot-5, 277 pounds
16. Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander 5-foot-10, 190 pounds
18. Alabama DT-DE Jarran Reed 6-foot-3, 307 pounds
CHICAGO – One player's social media accounts dominated discussion. Jerry Jones couldn't pass up on a potential star running back. And Denver may have found its quarterback not named Sam Bradford. It was a wild first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night.
Here's a look at the 31 picks, with knee-jerk reactions and grades:
1) Los Angeles Rams: QB Jared Goff – This pick has been in pretty much since the Rams moved up dramatically from No. 15 to 1, even if they kept the mystery going for a few weeks. Goff is a rhythm passer who has spent three years in the “Bear Raid” offense, and there will be a transition to more of a pro system with a first-year passing coordinator and a second-year QB coach. Patience, Rams fans. Grade: B
5) Jacksonville Jaguars: DB Jalen Ramsey – This is a dream scenario for GM Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley, who now have upgraded their defense with a Day 1 impact defender. Ramsey is expected to play corner and nickel, and he also can impact special teams. What an unbelievable stroke of luck for the Jaguars, who hope to match their explosive offense with a competitive defense. Grade: A
Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 4 days ago
Laremy Tunsil's draft night will go down in infamy.
Minutes before the NFL draft began, a video was posted to Tunsil's Twitter account. It showed Tunsil in a gas mask smoking something, just before he removed the mask to reveal his face.
The tweet was quickly taken down and Tunsil deleted his account, but the damage was done. Attentive eyes quickly posted it to Twitter and YouTube. Tunsil's agent later told Ian Rapaport of NFL Network that his client's account was hacked, but he also confirmed that it was his client in the clip. Tunsil admitted it was him too, after he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the 13th pick — far lower than he was expected to go.
"Man, it was a mistake. It happened years ago," Tunsil told Deion Sanders of the NFL Network. "Someone had my Twitter account and that's how it got on there. Things happens for a reason. I'm glad to be in Miami and I'm going to work my butt off."
"I have to say yeah," Tunsil said, according to Kaplan and other reporters at the news conference.
Tuntil was then interrupted and ushered off the podium, which you can watch here:
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