NFL Weekly News & Notes

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Buffalo Bills

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm

Firing the offensive coordinator after the team scored 31 points against a pretty stout New York Jets defense, but yet retaining the services of family after the defense surrendered 37 points in the same game.

New York Jets

Quincy Who?

Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker get the majority of attention in the passing game in the Jets offense. After two weeks of action the receiver with the most catches is none other than Quincy Enunwa. He has 13 catches four better than Marshall. Enunwa currently is second on the team with 146 receiving yards.

Miami Dolphins

Dead In the Water

The Dolphins are 3-9 in their last 12 games dating back to last season. This year the underachieving team is 0-2 and this was a team that looked poised to make a big splash and no pun intended. The Phins spent money in free agency the last two years but have not be able to make the move to the top.

New England Patriots

Jacoby Brissett

Credit the New England Patriots staff that faced a short week of preparation to get Brissett up to speed. Then credits are in order for Brissett for knowing when to throw and when to use his quick feet to get up field. Take a deeper look into Brissett with our 2016 NFL Draft Brissett breakdown. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

A Fuss About Gus

I like Gus Bradley and will allow until Week 5 (If he makes it that long) to jump off the bandwagon of his coaching tenure in Jacksonville if they do not go 2-3. Bradley has been given a lot more wiggle room than other coaches in this league and he knows more than anyone that if the wins above all else do not begin to show, his time as head coach is certainly going to end.

Tennessee Titans

0-4 On the Road

The Tennessee Titans did not win much and do not win on the road much as well. This weekend that snapped the losing streak of 0-4 in their last four road games to sneak out of Detriot with the victory 16-15.

Indianapolis Colts

Chuck Needs A Winning Run

Andrew Luck is not going to get benched and he is not going to get traded. He however may take orders from a new head coach if Chuck Pagano can not get the Colts headed in the right direction. Luck is 2-7 in his last nine games and that downward trend eventually will fall on the shoulders of Pagano.

Houston Texans

Lousy All Around

Imagine playing the Patriots without Tom Brady. Hot damn that sounds good. Then imagine taking out their second string option in Jimmy Garoppolo and facing a rookie quarterback in Jacoby Brissett. That was the opportunity presented to the Texans and they looked awful in all phases of the game. Offense, defense and especially special teams were less than adequate.

Cleveland Browns

Carson Wentz – UGH!

The latest dilemma for Cleveland is their quarterback situation or is that the ongoing never ending saga of their quarterback dilemma. The Browns were in position to draft Wentz but elected to pass on the rookie quarterback to stockpile picks.

Cincinnati Bengals

Kind Of Quiet

The Bengals returned to Pittsburgh over the weekend. This was the first time they faced off since the brutal playoff contest this past January. To be honest the Steelers looked in control the entire game and they handled Cincinnati rather easier than I would have thought.

Baltimore Ravens

Calm Down…

A win is a win but winning against the best is what counts in the end. Beating the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns make the record perfect at 2-0, but I do not believe this team is close to being back near the top. Ozzie Newsome is one of the best and he can build with the best of them but again the 2-0 start isn’t going to get me excited about the Ravens in 2016.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Will Bell Be Back

Le’Veon Bell is one of the best most versatile players’ in the NFL, but he has had two ACL tears and a few suspensions. He is a free agent in 2017 and Pittsburgh would not seem to be the place where he gets a big pay day considering DeAngelo Williams is running wild and this up-coming draft class in the best we have seen in years.

Denver Broncos

Kubiak’s Offense Now

The Denver Broncos defense has returned to 2015 form which was pretty impressive. The offense appears to be better in my mind. Gary Kubiak can run the offense he wanted to incorporate last season but had to manage it with Peyton Manning. This season Kubiak can implement more of what he desired to do last year and the offense appears to be running much more efficient.

Oakland Raiders

69

Derek Carr has thrown at least one touchdown in 20 of his last 22 games, but that doesn’t help when the defense is not stopping opponents. They have allowed 69 points in the first two weeks of NFL action and the bleeding will need to cease if the Raiders really expect to return the playoff football. The Indianapolis Colts are the only team to allows more points (73) after two weeks of play.

San Diego Chargers

Badgers Have One Finally

Melvin Gordon is looking good and that is a good thing for all future Wisconsin Badgers running backs. Time and time agin the Badgers are able to put their running backs in top elechon of draft picks at the position. Most of the time they fail to meet their lofty expectations and Gordon is making good in his second season he can deliver.

Kansas City Chiefs

 Big Yards Per Carry

Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West are averaging six yards per carry. The standard of four yards per carry places you in the upper elechon and consider West is pumping almost seven yards each with a 6.7ypc this season. Jamaal Charles should find the same success with and considering he ranks second all-time amongst running backs with a career 5.5ypc, he may even bump up his average.

Washington Redskins

Cousins Tosses Ints

Dare I mention it because I do not want to curse the Washington quarterback, but the Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde signal-caller threw two picks in the opener Monday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He threw another critical pick against the Washington Redskins in Week 2. Cousins nearly lost his opportunity to lead the Redskins after opening last season with eight interceptions in the first six games. The Skins finished 7-3 down the stretch that coincided with his success by throwing just two picks over that ten game stretch. Cousins bet on himself to get a large contract at seasons end and the pressure to perform will never be under more scrutiny.

Philadelphia Eagles

Wentz Wins

Last season the Eagles started 0-2 before winning their first game in Week 3 against the New York Jets. Philadelphia was able to get off on the right foot by beating the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 and it was with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz starting the game. Wentz earned his first road win in veteran fashion by executing the offense with precise throws. The Browns and Bears to likely to the two worst teams in each of their respected conferences, but none the less the fearless rookie quarterback is off to a fantastic start in Philadelphia.

New York Giants

Cutting It Close

The New York Giants are 2-0 and should be very happy about the current start to the 2016 season. They have have two games by the total of four points. Depending on your own personal view of the Giants it can say they are barely winning, winning close games or lucky to win at all. In the end they have a two time Super Bowl quarterback under center with weapons and a revamped defense. New York is in position early on win the NFC East.

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Has Found Dez

Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott threw 45 passes in the Week 1 loss to the New York Giants. Only one pass was caught by Dez Bryant. In Week 2, Prescott threw 30 passes and seven of those landed in the hands of Bryant who finished with over 100 yards receiving. It is a good sign that the rookie has found the star wideout.

New Orleans Saint

Top 5

It is very early but I think the Saints are going to be picking in the Top 5 of the NFL Draft next season. A lot of convincing is going to lead me to think otherwise. The offense struggles more than it every has and in the past to see 13 points wasn’t the final total from the game but the results from the first quarter. The defense will be a work in progress. Too many questions for this to be the year the Saints are vying for a playoff spot.


Atlanta Falcons

 The Next Jim Everett: Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan can sling it and post big numbers but at the end of the day will he be like Everett who was very good but never played to level of the best in the game. Ryan has had his moments and he also has some options, but looking back the best the Falcons were with Ryan was when Michael Turner was in the backfield.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Good Jameis/Bad Jameis

Jameis Winston found his mid-season stride in game one against the Falcons. He had an incredible 71.9 completion percentage (23 for 32) and threw four touchdowns and one interception. That all happened in Week 1 and in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals, well just let’s say it didn’t go so good. He threw four interceptions, his yards per completion plunged from 8.78 to 4.67 between facing the Falcons compared to the Cardinals, and his completion percentage drop almost 20 percent. He will have his ups and down remember this young man is in only his second season.

Carolina Panthers

Cam Is Super 

Cam Newton is one hell of a football player. His size and strength along with all his other attributes make him a player that truly is unique not only amongst his current generation but for all generations of the game.

Chicago Bears

Know These Names  

Deshaun Waston. Brad Kaaya. Chad Kelly. Are just a few of the names the Chicago Bears fan base should get to know at the quarterback position that will be near the top of the 2017 NFL Draft board.

Detroit Lions

 Smack In The Face

Week 1 – The Lions are 7-2 over their last nine games dating back to last season. They were triumphant Week 1 on the road against the Indianapolis Colts in dramatic fashion. Matt Prater hit from 43 yards out with four seconds remaining in the game to give the Lions a 37-35 lead that jumped to 39 as time expired with the Lions forcing the Colts into a safety. Those type of victories build momentum that can carry a team. Week 2 – Then they lose to the Tennessee Titans 16-15 at home in the final minutes. That is not a momentum builder and the Lions still remain inconsistent.

 

 

 

Green Bay Packers

Rodgers Is Going To Explode

The Packers Aaron Rodgers looked awful against the Minnesota Vikings. He will return in Week 3 with a vengeance that erase any doubts about his current place amongst the NFL’s best at quarterback.

Minnesota Vikings

Vikings No Joke

Watching the Vikings all year long last season I was hesitant to give them the proper kudos for their success. They however have proved to be a real commodity regarding teams with series playoff aspirations. The deal for Sam Bradford in my opinion excels the offense in the absence of Teddy Bridgewater. Adding a vertical aspect to the offense makes Adrian Peterson even more dangerous. Mike Zimmer has always had my respect, but he also has me believing Minnesota is for real.

Arizona Cardinals

Palmer Is Struggling 

Week 1 – The Arizona Cardinals were to team I laid claim to for representing the NFC in the next Super Bowl. Carson Palmer play has me very concerned with his last few performances. His NFC Championship game was an obvious clunker with four interceptions and that is where the concern emerges. I know it is ludicrous to think he has fallen off his game that quickly, but against the New England secondary it seemed like every pass he threw was contested or nearly picked off by the Patriots. His passer rating was 108.5 during the first 15 games of the regular season last year. His last four overall games have resulted in a average passer rating of 70.8 leaving reservations of their potential until Palmer finds his rhythm. Week 2 – I take back some of the blame on Palmer’s poor Week 1 performance and credit the Patriots defense. New England dismantled the Houston Texans shutting them out 27-0 and now it seems that unsung unit was to blame for the bad Palmer game in Week 1.

San Francisco 49ers

Is He 100% All In

Colin Kaepernick is now known for sitting during our nation’s national athem and Blaine Gabbert’s play is helping Kaepernick get used to sitting during games. This is not to say he can not take back the job if Gabbert struggles but to think he is devoting 100% of his time to his craft at quarterback appears to evaded the once promising prospect. There was a time when he looked unstoppable and now he seems lost in transition in between half-ass quarterback and a young man aiming to take on some of the larger issues in our society.

Los Angeles Rams

Week 3 Goal: Score A Touchdown

It takes baby steps to get where your going and the Rams are a perfect example. In Week 1 they failed to score a single point. They put points on the board in Week 2 but those nine points were all from field goals. The next step towards walking is putting the ball in the end zone for six points.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Hurting For Offense

This team has lost it’s identity on offense. Marshawn Lynch is gone. Max Unger traded for Jimmy Graham unfairly would never be able to eqaul his potential in the Seahawks offense. Russell Wilson remains, but after two games the offense is in shambles. They rank 31st in the league in points scored which is good because they rank 2nd in the league in points allowed. The defense has stepped up but the offense is not near the level of a legit playoff contender.

Buffalo Bills

Rookie Watch

Adolphus Washington, DT, 3rd Round
Washington steps into the starting role in Rex Ryan defense in his rookie season. At Ohio State Washington, provided the Buckeyes with a high intensity player on the defensive interior. He has great hustle that is predicated on his versatility. He should be a bright spot for the Bills.

New York Jets

Rookie Watch

Jordan Jenkins, OLB, 3rd Round

Jenkins was the anchor to the Georgia Bulldogs defense being named a team captain and starting three years. Along with fellow rookie teammate Darron Lee (2016 1st Rd) the Jets have a young nucleus at the linebacker position. Jenkins currently is the teams starting outside linebacker and provides terrific sideline to sideline speed. The sure handed tackler should be heard often for making plays and being around the football.

Miami Dolphins

Rookie Watch

Laremy Tunsil, OT, 1st Round

It has been a rebuilding project of image and talent for Tunsil, since the facemask fill with pot videro aired the night of the 2016 NFL Draft. Athletically there are few who can match Tunsil and when he is focused he can be very special. Head coach Adam Gase will need to play extra attention to Tunsil both on and off the playing field. Miami has four former first round picks starting in their line-up that includes Brandon Albert (08′), Mike Pouncey (11′), Ja’Waun James (14′), and Tunsil.

New England Patriots

Rookie Watch

Joe Thuney, LG, 3rd Round

The former North Carolina State guard will work along side left tackle Nate Solder. Their early work will be to aid quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo into a safe working area as he replaces the suspended Tom Brady the first four games of the season. Thuney is versatile and was one of the players I thought did a very good job show casing that versatility at the East West Shrine this past January.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Rookie Watch

Jalen Ramsey, DB, 1st Round

Plenty of excitement surrounds the Jaguars heading into this season and deservingly so, with the possible potential on the current roster. Ramsey along with their first round pick Dante Fowler Jr. and second round pick this year Myles Jack the optimism is obvious. Personally thought Ramsey was the best prospect in this draft class and he proved at Florida State he can take over a game from the secondary. That is an impressive feat to accomplish.

Tennessee Titans

Rookie Watch

Tajae Sharpe, WR, 5th Round

Sharpe has done a superb job of adapting to the pro game in such a limited amount of time and by doing so he has placed former first round pick Kendall Wright, behind him on the teams depth chart. Derrick Henry is the big name rookie currently on the roster, but Sharpe should equal Henry’s impact on the field this season. Second year quarterback Marcus Mariota already appears to have a comfort with the former UMass receiver.

Indianapolis Colts

Rookie Watch

Antonio Morrison, LB,, 4th Round

D’Qwell Jackson has done a splendid job of eluding ‘Father Time’ over the course of his 10-year career. Morrison is a rangy linebacker who excels at zeroing in on his target. He has battled some injuries at Florida but the former Gator can flat out play when he is 100%. The Colts always could use another household name on the defensive unit. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis were once the star of this defense. Freeney has been long gone as Mathis continues his high level of play.

Houston Texans

Rookie Watch

Will Fuller, WR, 1st Round

Sure he drops the ball from time to time, but he can get deep and feel he is a better route runner than he is given credit for. Fuller enters a offense as the first round pick with little pressure on him, due to the fact that DeAndre Hoplins and Jaelen Strong sit atop the depth chart. Fuller can ease into the position and then apply his speed to the slot and take the top off the defensive coverage.

Cleveland Browns

Rookie Watch

Emmanuel Ogbah, OLB, 2nd Round

Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo were supposed to be the Browns long-term solution at outside linebacker. Kruger was released and plays for the New Orleans Saints and Mingo was traded to the New England Patriots. Ogbah now enters the position with the second round tag next to his name so expectations will be high for him to produce. His college tape reveals a young man who possesses an extremely intense motor. He is just fun to watch.

Cincinnati Bengals

Rookie Watch

Clayton Fejedelem, S, 7th Round

This is a personal favorite and ever since seeing him at the East West Shrine Game, I felt pretty confident he would make the 53-man, regardless of what team he was selected to play for. He is the Kurt Coleman or Chris Maragos of the league. Walk-on player at college with a nose for the football, who is tucked on the bottle of the depth chart but give him time he’ll emerge.

Baltimore Ravens

Rookie Watch

Ronnie Stanley, LT, 1st Round

Not too much pressure for the former Notre Dame star offensive tackle. Just step in your rookie season to handle the blind side of the franchise quarterback, who is coming off an ACL injury. Stanley will face his ups-and-downs this season like any other rookie, but he has shown good consistent reps in camp. Ozzie Newsome hopes this is a 10-year plug and play guy from the get go.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Rookie Watch

Javon Hargrave, DT, 3nd Round

Hargrave has been impressive during training camp and the preseason. If you pay close attention the final product of Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and Hargrave give the Steelers and very fierce front on the defensive line. He will gain more and more time with the starters as the season progresses, but he serves as an ideal piece to defensive unit.

Denver Broncos

Rookie Watch

Devontar Booker, RB, 4th Round

The Broncos got a steal in the fourth round and this also coincides why I so strongly disagree with Dallas Cowboys selecting Ezekiel Elliott being the fourth overall in the entire draft. With so many other needs the Cowboys should have grabbed a guy with Booker’s potential and addressed their punch less defensive unit. Booker should eat into the carries C.J Anderson until he finally secures the starting job in Denver, I’d say by Week 6.

Oakland Raiders

Rookie Watch

Jihad Ward, DT, 2nd Round

Sadly, one of the most exciting things I looked forward to watching in the NFL this season was the progress made by the trio of youngsters on the Raiders defensive line. Khalil Mack, Mario Edwards and Ward were the object of affection in my eyes. Edwards was placed on the IR with a chance to return later in the season but our initial glance to the future will be placed on hold until them. Ward has done a great job in camp and brings versatility to the position. He can plug the whole as well as disrupt the passing game with great efficiency.

San Diego Chargers

Rookie Watch

Hunter Henry, TE, 2nd Round

Antonio Gates outlasted Ladarius Green who was in a prime position to wrangle the starting job away from the future Hall of Fame tight end. Gates still sits atop the depth chart and continues to excel at being the trusted target to Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers. Enter Henry, the second round pick out of Arkansas who possesses the run catching ability the Chargers offense had made famous for tight ends over the Gates tenure. Keep your eye on the future as Henry embarks into his rookie season.

Kansas City Chiefs

 Rookie Watch

Tyreek Hill, WR, 5th Round

Hill possesses a very rare speed even the faster players in the league would envy. He has some issues off the field in college that almost derailed his chances of making it in the NFL. His impact will not be enormous, but Hill should receive enough touches to ignite the crowd and earn some highlight time in the Chiefs offensive scheme.

Washington Redskins

Rookie Watch

Su’a Cravens, LB, 2nd Round

The Washington Redskins will work Cravens into the line-up along the same ideology that Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams employ Deone Bucaanon and Mark Barron. Both drafting as safeties but have become the new hybrid linebacker. Cravens fits the criteria and will look to earn snaps behind Mason Foster.

Philadelphia Eagles

Rookie Watch

Carson Wentz, QB, 1st Round

Wentz from possibly being inactive for the start of the season, to now jumped over Chase Daniel as the starting Eagles quarterback, after Sam Bradford was traded to the Minnesota Vikings. Wentz was the second overall pick in the entire draft and plenty of observers felt he could easily been the No. 1 pick overall. He’ll rely heavy on Ryan Mathews early on before he gains confidence to go down field.

New York Giants

Rookie Watch

Darian Thompson, FS, 3rd Round

The New York Giants ranked last in total defense last season and Thompson will be needed desperately. The Giants added plenty of defensive help via fee agency and Thompson will be a critical piece to resurrect the defense. He closes to the ball quickly and has spent time at both free and strong safety. Thompson leaves Boise State as an two-time first team All-MWC (2014-15) safety.

Dallas Cowboys

Rookie Watch

Dak Prescott, QB, 4th Round

One tackle made by Cliff Avril on quarterback Tony Romo, changed the future of Prescott. He has a fantastic preseason and now he’ll have zero time to sit behind Romo since he is going to miss a large portion if not the entire 2016 NFL season. Prescott has athletic ability to suit his mental toughness thus far to give the Cowboys some early hope.

New Orleans Saint

Rookie Watch

Michael Thomas, WR, 2nd Round

Thomas is in position to be an off the radar Rookie of the Year candidate. Thomas possesses great size and I love his fight for the football. When you place him in the New Orleans Saints offense it seems logical that he’ll be able to make an early impact.


Atlanta Falcons

 Rookie Watch

Deion Jones, LB, 2nd Round

The LSU Tigers will miss the intense hustle Jones now brings the Falcons. He is a fast and explosive player who excels at finding the football play after play. Rarely out of position he knows his gaps and stands atop the depth chart in Atlanta. Head coach Dan Quinn knows defense and Jones will be relied on to be the next Jesse Tuggle.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rookie Watch

Noah Spence, DE, 2nd Round

Spence originally committed to Ohio State, but he eventually had to transfer to Eastern Kentucky after being suspended and eventually declared ineligible after failing two drug tests. He has changed his ways and I feel he is as good as talent as those taken in the top ten of the 2016 NFL Draft. Nothing was more pleasing than seeing this young man dominate the Senior Bowl practices and has since continued his level of play in training camp and the preseason.

Carolina Panthers

Rookie Watch

James Bradberry, DB, 2nd Round

The Carolina Panthers currently have zero offensive rookies on their roster offensively. That is not the same case when it comes to the defense where two rookies are placed atop the depth chart. Bradberry and third round pick Daryl Worley will play a vital role in the out come of how the Panthers season eventually turns out. With Josh Norman off to the Washington Redskins the void is large.

Chicago Bears

Rookie Watch

Leonard Floyd, OLB, 1st Round

Long, lean and athletic is the description of Floyd. Seeing him in the final preseason game in Cleveland against the Browns you take notice of his quickness and ability to get behind the offensive line. The Bears are desperate for a new defensive identity and Floyd is going to be the guy given the first shot at the title.

Detroit Lions

 Rookie Watch

Taylor Decker, LT, 1st Round

Decker finds himself playing left tackle and will face the best defensive lineman snap after snap to protect Matthew Stafford and provide potency to the ground game. Decker has a bit nasty and I like that of every offensive lineman. The Lions are sneaky good and could make some noise in the NFC North and a lot of that success will be due to the play on the left side of the offensive line.

Green Bay Packers

Rookie Watch

Blake Martinez, LB, 4th Round

The rookie has already been given the starting job and he’ll be calling the plays in the Green Bay huddle on the defensive side of the football. Martinez reacts quickly and changes direction very smoothly. He is able to get to the sideline and takes pride in attacking the ball carrier. He is going to be fun to watch in the Packers defense.

Minnesota Vikings

Rookie Watch

Laquon Treadwell, WR, 1st Round

The acquisition of Sam Bradford, only increases the value of Treadwell in my humble observation. Bradford will be able to get the football vertical and Treadwell should really thrive having a seasoned veteran under center and add the fact that Adrian Peterson draws the defense to the line of scrimmage, there is a strong possibility Treadwell emerges as a star in 2016. Remember he was not at all to pleased being selected behind the other receivers taken in the first round. He’ll play with a chip on his shoulder.

Arizona Cardinals

Rookie Watch

Marqui Christian, SS, 5th Round

The former Midwestern State safety is the ‘poor man’ version of Jalen Ramsey. That is why I wanted to make sure we addressed his upside and potential as he is tucked beneath the giant names of Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. Christian can play defensive back or safety and has terrific size and athleticism. Exciting to see this young man emerge on the NFL landscape and move up the ladder.

San Francisco 49ers

Rookie Watch

DeForest Buckner, DE, 1st Round

Chip Kelly continued his Oregon Duck craving by selecting Buckner in the first round. Buckner is a force and the days of Justin Smith seem like decades ago and also coincided with the 49ers success that has quickly evaporated. The defense is absent of Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith is gone as well, so the void is left to be filled and San Francisco hopes he’ll seize the job as the leader of the defense.

Los Angeles Rams

Rookie Watch

Tyler Higbee, TE, 4th Round

Several years have past and I have always fallen for the hype of the now Los Angeles Rams. Jared Goff is poised to become the starting quarterback and Todd Gurley displayed his incredible running ability last season so the next name on the list to eye up is none other than Higbee. He is a pass catching tight end with great size and speed. He’ll be the target Goff looks to the most as the duo grows together in the league.

Seattle Seahawks

Rookie Watch

Alex Collins, RB, 5th Round

The Seattle Seahawks are superb in talent evaluation and hitting on guys who fit their system to perfection. Collins, C.J. Prosise, Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael are stand on the verge of being ‘The Guy’ in the Seattle backfield. Collins may have the long-term edge on the competitors.

Buffalo Bills

Rookie Watch

Adolphus Washington, DT, 3rd Round
Washington steps into the starting role in Rex Ryan defense in his rookie season. At Ohio State Washington, provided the Buckeyes with a high intensity player on the defensive interior. He has great hustle that is predicated on his versatility. He should be a bright spot for the Bills.

New York Jets

Rookie Watch

Jordan Jenkins, OLB, 3rd Round

Jenkins was the anchor to the Georgia Bulldogs defense being named a team captain and starting three years. Along with fellow rookie teammate Darron Lee (2016 1st Rd) the Jets have a young nucleus at the linebacker position. Jenkins currently is the teams starting outside linebacker and provides terrific sideline to sideline speed. The sure handed tackler should be heard often for making plays and being around the football.

Miami Dolphins

Rookie Watch

Laremy Tunsil, OT, 1st Round

It has been a rebuilding project of image and talent for Tunsil, since the facemask fill with pot videro aired the night of the 2016 NFL Draft. Athletically there are few who can match Tunsil and when he is focused he can be very special. Head coach Adam Gase will need to play extra attention to Tunsil both on and off the playing field. Miami has four former first round picks starting in their line-up that includes Brandon Albert (08′), Mike Pouncey (11′), Ja’Waun James (14′), and Tunsil.

New England Patriots

Rookie Watch

Joe Thuney, LG, 3rd Round

The former North Carolina State guard will work along side left tackle Nate Solder. Their early work will be to aid quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo into a safe working area as he replaces the suspended Tom Brady the first four games of the season. Thuney is versatile and was one of the players I thought did a very good job show casing that versatility at the East West Shrine this past January.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Rookie Watch

Jalen Ramsey, DB, 1st Round

Plenty of excitement surrounds the Jaguars heading into this season and deservingly so, with the possible potential on the current roster. Ramsey along with their first round pick Dante Fowler Jr. and second round pick this year Myles Jack the optimism is obvious. Personally thought Ramsey was the best prospect in this draft class and he proved at Florida State he can take over a game from the secondary. That is an impressive feat to accomplish.

Tennessee Titans

Rookie Watch

Tajae Sharpe, WR, 5th Round

Sharpe has done a superb job of adapting to the pro game in such a limited amount of time and by doing so he has placed former first round pick Kendall Wright, behind him on the teams depth chart. Derrick Henry is the big name rookie currently on the roster, but Sharpe should equal Henry’s impact on the field this season. Second year quarterback Marcus Mariota already appears to have a comfort with the former UMass receiver.

Indianapolis Colts

Rookie Watch

Antonio Morrison, LB,, 4th Round

D’Qwell Jackson has done a splendid job of eluding ‘Father Time’ over the course of his 10-year career. Morrison is a rangy linebacker who excels at zeroing in on his target. He has battled some injuries at Florida but the former Gator can flat out play when he is 100%. The Colts always could use another household name on the defensive unit. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis were once the star of this defense. Freeney has been long gone as Mathis continues his high level of play.

Houston Texans

Rookie Watch

Will Fuller, WR, 1st Round

Sure he drops the ball from time to time, but he can get deep and feel he is a better route runner than he is given credit for. Fuller enters a offense as the first round pick with little pressure on him, due to the fact that DeAndre Hoplins and Jaelen Strong sit atop the depth chart. Fuller can ease into the position and then apply his speed to the slot and take the top off the defensive coverage.

Cleveland Browns

Rookie Watch

Emmanuel Ogbah, OLB, 2nd Round

Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo were supposed to be the Browns long-term solution at outside linebacker. Kruger was released and plays for the New Orleans Saints and Mingo was traded to the New England Patriots. Ogbah now enters the position with the second round tag next to his name so expectations will be high for him to produce. His college tape reveals a young man who possesses an extremely intense motor. He is just fun to watch.

Cincinnati Bengals

Rookie Watch

Clayton Fejedelem, S, 7th Round

This is a personal favorite and ever since seeing him at the East West Shrine Game, I felt pretty confident he would make the 53-man, regardless of what team he was selected to play for. He is the Kurt Coleman or Chris Maragos of the league. Walk-on player at college with a nose for the football, who is tucked on the bottle of the depth chart but give him time he’ll emerge.

Baltimore Ravens

Rookie Watch

Ronnie Stanley, LT, 1st Round

Not too much pressure for the former Notre Dame star offensive tackle. Just step in your rookie season to handle the blind side of the franchise quarterback, who is coming off an ACL injury. Stanley will face his ups-and-downs this season like any other rookie, but he has shown good consistent reps in camp. Ozzie Newsome hopes this is a 10-year plug and play guy from the get go.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Rookie Watch

Javon Hargrave, DT, 3nd Round

Hargrave has been impressive during training camp and the preseason. If you pay close attention the final product of Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and Hargrave give the Steelers and very fierce front on the defensive line. He will gain more and more time with the starters as the season progresses, but he serves as an ideal piece to defensive unit.

Denver Broncos

Rookie Watch

Devontar Booker, RB, 4th Round

The Broncos got a steal in the fourth round and this also coincides why I so strongly disagree with Dallas Cowboys selecting Ezekiel Elliott being the fourth overall in the entire draft. With so many other needs the Cowboys should have grabbed a guy with Booker’s potential and addressed their punch less defensive unit. Booker should eat into the carries C.J Anderson until he finally secures the starting job in Denver, I’d say by Week 6.

Oakland Raiders

Rookie Watch

Jihad Ward, DT, 2nd Round

Sadly, one of the most exciting things I looked forward to watching in the NFL this season was the progress made by the trio of youngsters on the Raiders defensive line. Khalil Mack, Mario Edwards and Ward were the object of affection in my eyes. Edwards was placed on the IR with a chance to return later in the season but our initial glance to the future will be placed on hold until them. Ward has done a great job in camp and brings versatility to the position. He can plug the whole as well as disrupt the passing game with great efficiency.

San Diego Chargers

Rookie Watch

Hunter Henry, TE, 2nd Round

Antonio Gates outlasted Ladarius Green who was in a prime position to wrangle the starting job away from the future Hall of Fame tight end. Gates still sits atop the depth chart and continues to excel at being the trusted target to Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers. Enter Henry, the second round pick out of Arkansas who possesses the run catching ability the Chargers offense had made famous for tight ends over the Gates tenure. Keep your eye on the future as Henry embarks into his rookie season.

Kansas City Chiefs

 Rookie Watch

Tyreek Hill, WR, 5th Round

Hill possesses a very rare speed even the faster players in the league would envy. He has some issues off the field in college that almost derailed his chances of making it in the NFL. His impact will not be enormous, but Hill should receive enough touches to ignite the crowd and earn some highlight time in the Chiefs offensive scheme.

Washington Redskins

Rookie Watch

Su’a Cravens, LB, 2nd Round

The Washington Redskins will work Cravens into the line-up along the same ideology that Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams employ Deone Bucaanon and Mark Barron. Both drafting as safeties but have become the new hybrid linebacker. Cravens fits the criteria and will look to earn snaps behind Mason Foster.

Philadelphia Eagles

Rookie Watch

Carson Wentz, QB, 1st Round

Wentz from possibly being inactive for the start of the season, to now jumped over Chase Daniel as the starting Eagles quarterback, after Sam Bradford was traded to the Minnesota Vikings. Wentz was the second overall pick in the entire draft and plenty of observers felt he could easily been the No. 1 pick overall. He’ll rely heavy on Ryan Mathews early on before he gains confidence to go down field.

New York Giants

Rookie Watch

Darian Thompson, FS, 3rd Round

The New York Giants ranked last in total defense last season and Thompson will be needed desperately. The Giants added plenty of defensive help via fee agency and Thompson will be a critical piece to resurrect the defense. He closes to the ball quickly and has spent time at both free and strong safety. Thompson leaves Boise State as an two-time first team All-MWC (2014-15) safety.

Dallas Cowboys

Rookie Watch

Dak Prescott, QB, 4th Round

One tackle made by Cliff Avril on quarterback Tony Romo, changed the future of Prescott. He has a fantastic preseason and now he’ll have zero time to sit behind Romo since he is going to miss a large portion if not the entire 2016 NFL season. Prescott has athletic ability to suit his mental toughness thus far to give the Cowboys some early hope.

New Orleans Saint

Rookie Watch

Michael Thomas, WR, 2nd Round

Thomas is in position to be an off the radar Rookie of the Year candidate. Thomas possesses great size and I love his fight for the football. When you place him in the New Orleans Saints offense it seems logical that he’ll be able to make an early impact.


Atlanta Falcons

 Rookie Watch

Deion Jones, LB, 2nd Round

The LSU Tigers will miss the intense hustle Jones now brings the Falcons. He is a fast and explosive player who excels at finding the football play after play. Rarely out of position he knows his gaps and stands atop the depth chart in Atlanta. Head coach Dan Quinn knows defense and Jones will be relied on to be the next Jesse Tuggle.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rookie Watch

Noah Spence, DE, 2nd Round

Spence originally committed to Ohio State, but he eventually had to transfer to Eastern Kentucky after being suspended and eventually declared ineligible after failing two drug tests. He has changed his ways and I feel he is as good as talent as those taken in the top ten of the 2016 NFL Draft. Nothing was more pleasing than seeing this young man dominate the Senior Bowl practices and has since continued his level of play in training camp and the preseason.

Carolina Panthers

Rookie Watch

James Bradberry, DB, 2nd Round

The Carolina Panthers currently have zero offensive rookies on their roster offensively. That is not the same case when it comes to the defense where two rookies are placed atop the depth chart. Bradberry and third round pick Daryl Worley will play a vital role in the out come of how the Panthers season eventually turns out. With Josh Norman off to the Washington Redskins the void is large.

Chicago Bears

Rookie Watch

Leonard Floyd, OLB, 1st Round

Long, lean and athletic is the description of Floyd. Seeing him in the final preseason game in Cleveland against the Browns you take notice of his quickness and ability to get behind the offensive line. The Bears are desperate for a new defensive identity and Floyd is going to be the guy given the first shot at the title.

Detroit Lions

 Rookie Watch

Taylor Decker, LT, 1st Round

Decker finds himself playing left tackle and will face the best defensive lineman snap after snap to protect Matthew Stafford and provide potency to the ground game. Decker has a bit nasty and I like that of every offensive lineman. The Lions are sneaky good and could make some noise in the NFC North and a lot of that success will be due to the play on the left side of the offensive line.

Green Bay Packers

Rookie Watch

Blake Martinez, LB, 4th Round

The rookie has already been given the starting job and he’ll be calling the plays in the Green Bay huddle on the defensive side of the football. Martinez reacts quickly and changes direction very smoothly. He is able to get to the sideline and takes pride in attacking the ball carrier. He is going to be fun to watch in the Packers defense.

Minnesota Vikings

Rookie Watch

Laquon Treadwell, WR, 1st Round

The acquisition of Sam Bradford, only increases the value of Treadwell in my humble observation. Bradford will be able to get the football vertical and Treadwell should really thrive having a seasoned veteran under center and add the fact that Adrian Peterson draws the defense to the line of scrimmage, there is a strong possibility Treadwell emerges as a star in 2016. Remember he was not at all to pleased being selected behind the other receivers taken in the first round. He’ll play with a chip on his shoulder.

Arizona Cardinals

Rookie Watch

Marqui Christian, SS, 5th Round

The former Midwestern State safety is the ‘poor man’ version of Jalen Ramsey. That is why I wanted to make sure we addressed his upside and potential as he is tucked beneath the giant names of Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu. Christian can play defensive back or safety and has terrific size and athleticism. Exciting to see this young man emerge on the NFL landscape and move up the ladder.

San Francisco 49ers

Rookie Watch

DeForest Buckner, DE, 1st Round

Chip Kelly continued his Oregon Duck craving by selecting Buckner in the first round. Buckner is a force and the days of Justin Smith seem like decades ago and also coincided with the 49ers success that has quickly evaporated. The defense is absent of Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith is gone as well, so the void is left to be filled and San Francisco hopes he’ll seize the job as the leader of the defense.

Los Angeles Rams

Rookie Watch

Tyler Higbee, TE, 4th Round

Several years have past and I have always fallen for the hype of the now Los Angeles Rams. Jared Goff is poised to become the starting quarterback and Todd Gurley displayed his incredible running ability last season so the next name on the list to eye up is none other than Higbee. He is a pass catching tight end with great size and speed. He’ll be the target Goff looks to the most as the duo grows together in the league.

Seattle Seahawks

Rookie Watch

Alex Collins, RB, 5th Round

The Seattle Seahawks are superb in talent evaluation and hitting on guys who fit their system to perfection. Collins, C.J. Prosise, Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael are stand on the verge of being ‘The Guy’ in the Seattle backfield. Collins may have the long-term edge on the competitors.

This is an unofficial and independent source of news and information not affiliated with any team(s) or the National Football League (NFL).

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