The NFL is kicking off this week and I have some random thoughts on the league and games. Good luck to all 32 teams- every year a team that folks think will stink is good and the opposite happens to “contending” team. The NFL is a 17 + week reality show.
Whether you like Zeke Elliott or not, the reality of the running back position in todays NFL is this--- very few are good by year 8,9,10. So you must maximize your 2nd contract because that 3rd contract might be year to year. Laveon Bell and Todd Gurley are two other examples of good and bad with ball carriers. Bell cost himself a year of pay and did not get the payday he wanted. He also is going to a bad offense w poor blocking. Gurley is an excellent player but has a history of knee issues. He got paid anyways. His backup in the Rams postseason run (CJ Anderson) has kicked around the league and is now a Lion. Running backs are entering a dangerous place in the NFL power pyramid and players-agents would be wise to adjust contract talks. Why what Melvin Gordon is doing is smart.
With the league rosters set at 53, interesting notes from the Patriots 53: Outside of the last 2 draft classes( 3 #1 picks), how many former # picks do you think New England has on the team? ANSWER BELOW
BTW The Pats have 5 players who have been with the team for 10 years.3 of em are team captains. The other is the returning Super Bowl MVP. 5th is the team’s all time leading scorer. Average draft position? 4.6
Tom Brady 2000 6th rd
Stephen Gostkowski 2006 4th rd
Matthew Slater 2008 5th rd
Julian Edelman 2009 7th rd
Devin McCourty 2010 1st rd
Remember when people mocked the Big 12 Quarterbacks entering the NFL? League has come a long way since Sam Bradford and Blaine Gabbert. In the last 3 drafts, the conference has given us Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
Tom Brady is the new Brett Favre for his backup QBs. The Green Bay Packers used to churn out signal callers to other teams and many became starters for other teams. Ty Detmer, Mark Brunnell, Aaron Brooks and Matt Hasselbeck are just some of the guys who left Lambeau for big pay days and starting jobs on other teams. Check out Brady’s “QB” tree: Matt Cassell. Jimmy Garappolo. Ryan Mallett. Jacoby Brisett. Brian Hoyer.
The Miami Dolphins cut 27 players Saturday. Not one was claimed by another team.
The top 5 Picks in the 2014 Draft have all been traded before signing 2nd deals!!!
Per Field Yates (ESPN)-- Look at this:
1- Houston Texans- Jadeveon Clowney
2- LA Rams- Greg Robinson
3- Jaguars- Blake Bortles
4- Bills- Sammy Watkins
5- Raiders- Khalil Mack
League is as wide open as ever but general consensus is 4 divisions have obvious last place teams: AFC East (Miami), AFC North (Cincinnati), NFC South (Tampa Bay) and NFC West (Arizona) all could in the running for the 1st overall pick in the 2020 draft. Meanwhile, almost every other team in this league could win 6-8 games. A league of parity. What the NFL wants.
Been following the NFL for almost 40 years. Never seen so many teams with bad kicking situations. Runs in cycles. But this is with Adam Vinateri near the end and Sebastian Janikowski retiring. Matt Bryant is back with the Atlanta Falcons after signing this week for his 18th season. HUGE problem, league wide.
THE DRAFT MATTERS!!! People killed the Cleveland Browns for screwing up the QB position for years. Picked the wrong guys, passed on the right guys,etc. It was a mess. Well-- The Miami Dolphins had the 1st pick in the 2008 draft. And had an obvious need at QB. (They had this Marino guy for 15+ years. HE WAS GOOD). The Phins passed on Matt Ryan and took Left Tackle Jake Long. #77 was good but often injured and flamed out of the league. The team then drafted another Offensive Lineman Laremy Tunsel. Who Miami traded over this weekend. The Dolphins now need a franchise QB and Left Tackle. Matt Ryan? Well he is the face of the Atlanta Falcons and a former MVP. He is a Tom Brady greatest comeback of all time away from being a Super Bowl Champion. The lesson here? Draft mistakes set you back. FOR YEARS!!!!
Trivia Answer: The 2019 Patriots have 2 of their own 1st round picks on the roster- outside of the 2018-19 drafts. LBer Donta Hightower (2012) and McCourty (2010) are two key veteran stars-leaders. The team acquired 5 other former 1st rounders in the last 3 years and all could start for the team. All world corner Stephen Gilmore (Bills 1st rounder, 2012) and WR Phillip Dorsett ( Colts 1st rounder, 2015) highlight the group. Defensive lineman Danny Shelton (Browns 1st rounder, 2015) has been the talk of camp and will start inside. Tight End and all around good guy Ben Watson (1st round, 2004) starts his 2nd tenure in New England. The lesson here? You can find good players outside of the 1st round. You can also find fits on other teams. One man’s trash is another’s treasure.