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27 2019
The NFL Draft is an all year long business nowadays. With many sites churning out mock drafts for 2021 and 2022 already Tyquan Lewis Jersey 2019 , we like to assume that we have a good base knowledge of who will be first round picks years in advance. Sometimes though, there are late bloomers and risers that fly up draft boards with strong seasons and propel themselves into first round players without anyone really noticing until draft time. In this weeks Scouting Notebook, Ill be looking at a couple guys who have emerged as first round players with strong seasons in 2018. There wont be a guest evaluator in todays Notebook but I will be throwing in a brand new Colts mock draft in this piece for all of you to enjoy. Without further ado, lets jump into this weeks Scouting Notebook.Jachai Polite, Edge (62 260)Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsBackgroundPolite has exploded in his Junior season with Florida and really caught the eye of many evaluators. Playing in more of a sub-package role in his first two seasons, Polite only tallied 4 sacks in two years. This past year in a starter role, Polite burst onto the scene with 18 tackles for a loss, 11 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles. He was named First Team All-SEC in his breakout season.AnalysisEverything you look for in an edge rusher from an athletic standpoint. Insane burst off of the line that allows him to get to the edge in a hurry. Great bend around the corner too as he utilizes his length and speed to get around opposing tackles. Has all the tools to be a special pass rusher in the NFL. Will need to play more consistently in order to be great in the NFL but Polite has the full package.Film RoomWay too quick to get beaten to the edge, even by receivers and running backs.Insane spin move here to get off of the tackle and hit the quarterback.Quickness, bend, and burst all on display here.Fit with the ColtsPolite would be a great fit with the young pass rushers that GM Chris Ballard has already added to this roster. With Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay serving in more situational roles behind Polite and Jabaal Sheard in this hypothetical situation the Colts would have a very stout rotation of young pass rushers. Also, Polite has all the potential to be a stud NFL pass rusher, he just needs refinement. With a player like Sheard and a future Hall of Famer in Robert Mathis coaching him up, Polite just may very well be able to hit that potential with the Colts.Hakeem Butler, WR (66 225)John Gutierrez-USA TODAY SportsBackgroundIowa States Butler has flown up draft boards with his highlight reel play this season. Serving the first few years of his career in the shadow of Allen Lazard although I doubt that the 66 Butler could be in anyones shadow Butler has emerged as not only Iowa States number one receiver this year, but maybe the number one receiver in the 2019 class. After only garnering 831 yards receiving in his first two seasons, Butler tallied 51 catches for 1126 yards 22.1 yards per catch and 9 touchdowns in his Junior season.AnalysisImpressive size and length that Butler uses expertly to beat defenders. Knows how to box out defenders to gain position on jump balls. Very good after the catch as his big, solid frame is too much for defenders in one on one situations. Deceptively quick and agile despite longer frame. Made Bruce Feldmans preseason Freak List with a projected 37 inch vertical and 11-1 broad jump. Needs to refine his route running a bit but hes a physical specimen who threatens a defense at all three levels.Film RoomGreat body control, hands, and run after catch here by Butler to turn an underthrow into a touchdown.More of Butlers insane run after catch ability here as he stiff arms his way for a touchdown.Shows off his excellent hands here as he makes the contested catch with a defender all over him.Fit with the ColtsThis is potentially my favorite fit in the whole class for the Colts. Butler has great size but dont let that fool you into thinking hes not a great athlete. Butler is fast, agile, and can test defenses from many different areas. With TY Hilton and potentially Deon Cain testing teams on the outside Indianapolis Colts Ryan Grant Jersey , Butler can dominate the underneath and medium areas of the field. If given one on one situations, Butler has the size and athleticism to win more often than not. Overall, I love Butlers play and I think hed be a perfect fit with the Colts offense.Bryce Hall, CB (61 200)Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty ImagesBackgroundMaybe not as big of a late riser as others in this piece, but Hall is an under the radar guy who could be a first rounder come draft time. A starter since his Freshman year at UVA, Hall has been the model of consistency at cornerback. For his career, Hall has 131 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, 5 interceptions, 33 pass deflections, and 3 forced fumbles. Hall was named First Team All-ACC for his stellar Senior season.AnalysisExperienced corner with great length for the position. Great leg drive out of his backpedal to come down field in a hurry. Quick feet which allows him to match some of the better receivers hes faced. Ball magnet which is evident by his 20 pass deflections in his Junior season. Solid run defender who is a consistent tackler. Very good blitzing from the slot as well. Needs to improve his discipline in coverage but length, athleticism, and experience should put him into first round consideration.Film RoomShowing off his length against one of the top receivers in the class, Hall gets the one handed interception here. Showcases his tackling in space here on this option play.Hall is able to stop on a dime here and break up the pass to the curl route.Fit with the ColtsColts are in desperate need of more talent at corner. Kenny Moore II and Pierre Desir have been solid, but adding a lengthy, versatile guy like Hall could be wise. Hall is a very good athlete something that most of the Colts corners are lacking and has the burst to fly downhill in zone coverage. His ball skills could add another playmaker to a defense that has forced a turnover in every game this season. His ability to blitz and tackle makes him versatile enough to move around the defense. Overall, Hall would be a solid addition to the Colts defense for multiple reasons.Riley Ridley, WR (62 200)Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesBackgroundRarely used in Georgias run first offense in years past, Ridley put together a fairly productive Junior campaign. The brother of Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley, Riley started his collegiate career slowly, only notching 26 catches in his first two seasons. As a Junior, Ridley was able to get more involved and put together a season with 38 catches for 498 yards and 9 touchdowns. AnalysisGreat size and athleticism that would pair well in the Colts offense. Excellent body control on contested balls. Showcases strong hands when catching in traffic. Tough and physical player who isnt afraid to go over the middle in the danger area. Good route runner when able to show off his ability Womens Ryan Grant 2019 Jersey , much like his brother. Burst and agility are excellent for a receiver his size. Needs more usage and targets as his analysis right now is more of a projection than anything.Film RoomSmart route here as Ridley is able to find the open space in zone coverage and catch the ball in traffic.Great route here as he is able to work himself open and make a nice catch away from his frame. A bit of a backyard style play here but Ridley is able to work himself open late in the game and make the game winning catch.Fit with the ColtsRidleys size and strength over the middle would fit perfectly with TY Hilton and the Colts. He could line up as the X receiver and lock down that position for years. With his burst and strong hands, Id imagine that Reich could use him similarly to Dontrelle Inman this season but with more upside and greater potential for expanded usage. If he can develop his route running a little bit more, I can definitely see Ridley tearing up the NFL next season if he decides to declare.Mock DraftJust a quick disclaimer for this mock draft before I go through the selections: All of these selections were done using the up-to-date draft simulator at Fanspeak. I tried to keep all of the picks as realistic as possible to where I see players going come draft time. If you would like to do a mock of your own, I strongly advise checking out Fanspeak for yourselves.Round 1: Jachai Polite, Edge, FloridaAthletic, bendy edge rusher with sky high potential. Immediately improves pass rush.Round 2 (Jets): Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa StateInsane athlete with great size as well. Instantly gives Luck another great target in pass game.Round 2: Renell Wren, DL, Arizona StateBest burst off the line in the class. Another pass rusher, this time from the interior.Round 3: Dawson Knox, TE, Ole MissSlipping due to lack of targets, Knox is an athletic pass catching tight end that Reich and the Colts can use in a multitude of ways.Round 4: Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn StateSavvy, lengthy playmaking corner who can instantly come in and contribute.Round 4 (Comp Pick): JahShawn Johnson, S, Texas TechAthletic safety who can come into the box or play in two deep looks with Malik Hooker.Round 5: Tyre Brady, WR, MarshallMore size and skill at the receiver position. Another productive weapon to add to Lucks arsenal.Round 6: Karan Higdon, RB Cheap Ryan Grant Youth Jersey , MichiganTough, hard nosed runner who improved a lot as a Senior. Colts need a fourth back who is a tough runner to complete their committee backfield.Round 7: Paul Adams, OT, MissouriBig, developmental tackle to sit behind Braden Smith and Anthony Castonzo.Final ThoughtsWith the Colts finding themselves more on the winning side these past few weeks, theyve slowly knocked their draft position to more of a mid-first round pick. Not saying that is a bad thing as the young guys are playing meaningful games in December and there are still talented players to be drafted in the mid-late first round. All of these guys listed above could be first round picks but also could be available with the Jets second round pick that the Colts acquired in this past draft. There is plenty of talent to be had in this upcoming draft and the Colts are looking at three top 50 picks potentially. Again, if any of you have any suggestions for future Notebooks or any players you want to see featured in these pieces, comment below or tweet me @Zachhicks2 on twitter. Lets do something fun today and have everyone submit their own mock drafts in the comments below. I want to see who you all select with the Colts draft picks in the 2019 Draft.Indianapolis Colts Rookie Report: Week 4 vs. Houston Texans Injuries continue to plague the Indianapolis Colts. This certainly places more pressure on rookies and second-year players to impact the outcome of football games. The bad news is that this will sometimes breed some inconsistencies and growing pains. The good news is that the Colts rookie class has continued to handle the heavy workload quite well and all of this early experience could payoff considerably down the road due to intensive player development.As has been the case all season, young Colts played a major role in the outcome of Sundays home divisional game against the Texans. Lets take a look at their contributions and see how their impact is changing.OffenseThe offensive contributions are still heavily influenced by Quenton Nelson and running backs Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines. Nelson has still played every down in 2018 and has established himself as a building block for the units future. He was visibly abused on a stunt by Jadeveon Clowney on Sunday but is still the best young lineman on the team.The running game is starting to fall off entirely in Indianapolis. This is certainly impacting the role and production for rookie rushers Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines. Wilkins only carried the ball 8 times for 16 yards and Hines rushed 4 times for 10 yards. Neither player was particularly effective but when the play-calling balance is 62 passes to 14 runs (excluding quarterback scrambles), it wont be easy to get things going.Indianapolis fell behind early in the first half that saw little signs of offensive life. This certainly changed the game plan and the half time adjustment was to put the team on Andrew Lucks shoulders and move the ball through the air. No player was a greater beneficiary of the new game plan than Hines. This was a breakout game for him as a receiver and as a facet of the passing offense. He caught a team high 9 passes on a team high 11 targets for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns.With second-year running back Marlon Mack still on the sideline and veteran Robert Turbin serving the final game of his suspension, Wilkins and Hines dominates the offensive snaps. Hines was in the game for 68% of offensive snaps with Wilkins gathering 35% of the opportunities. The only other running back to take a snap was Jeremy McNichols with 2 total.DefenseThe Colts run defense has continued to look strong through four games but the pass defense struggled against the Texans. This could be partially due to injuries keeping Quincy Wilson out of the game and ending Kenny Moores day early but Houston was able to effectively move the ball through the air. I think its fair to point out that fans might be overlooking at least 14 points that Houston scored that were essentially due to offensive mistakes in the first half meaning that the defense was far better than the score indicates but the final passing play in overtime was a prime example of some of the struggles the unit faced.Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard didnt have a signature play this week but he did continue to set the tone for all of the defense. He missed his first snap of the season after hobbling off of the field but was immediately back in, gathering 99% of the defensive snaps. He led the team with 13 tackles, including 8 solos and 1 sack. Through four weeks, Leonards 54 tackles is 8 more than any other player this season and one of the highest four week totals in history. Also this:There is nothing more fans can ask from Leonard to this point in the season. He has vastly outperformed any legitimate expectation and has to be considered a front runner for NFL defensive rookie of the year. It is exciting to imagine what he will be able to accomplish if he can stay healthy the rest of the way. The other rookie defensive contributor is edge rusher Kemoko Turay. He followed up a breakout performance against the Eagles by adding another half sack on an impressive play against the Texans. He has been visibly improving and has created pressure on the quarterback for much of the season. His stat sheet also included another quarterback hit. He led all other rookies with 36% of the defensive snaps.The only other rookie to see the field on defense was linebacker Zaire Franklin who took five total snaps and continued to out-pace veteran Najee Goode who took only 1.Second-year contributors, Malik Hooker and Nate Hairston continued to be relied upon for a full days work on defense, taking every snap. Linebacker Anthony Walker took 84% of the defensive snaps with Kenny Moore behind him at 37%. Moore left the field with concussion early in the game and did not return.Of the second-year players, the biggest contribution came from Anthony Walker who finished the game with 10 tackles, including 9 solos, a sack, and 2 tackles for a loss. He continues to play a bigger and bigger role in the Colts new defense and has been promising since he returned from injury. Hooker finished the game with 2 tackles, Hairston with 4, and Moore with 3.
27 2019
The Jacksonville Jaguars are counting on newcomer Carlos Hyde to help veteran Blake Bortles.The Jaguars (3-4) believe Hyde's physical running style will pay immediate dividends Orange Johnny Manziel Jerseys , especially for their embattled quarterback."People are brought here or drafted and developed here to play a certain type of football," coach Doug Marrone said. "Not to say that we can't play any other way, but that's what we have worked on. If we can play to the identity that we want to play, then we feel that will help us become a better team and start winning some games."Jacksonville acquired Hyde from Cleveland last week in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick and expects the Browns' leading rusher to play a significant role against Philadelphia (3-4) in London.Bortles could be the beneficiary.The fifth-year pro has really struggled the last three weeks, turning the ball over eight times and throwing just two touchdown passes. He fumbled twice in last week's 20-7 loss to Houston , leading to 10 points and his benching. Cody Kessler finished the game, but was sacked four times in five drives, fumbled once and threw an interception.Marrone opened up the quarterback job following the game, but decided less than 24 hours later to stick with Bortles .The coach made it clear that he doesn't see Bortles as the only problem. Injuries have been the main culprit, with Jacksonville down two left tackles, two tight ends, two running backs and receiver. Receivers also have dropped passes, and the offensive line has been shaky at best.The entire offense was built around Leonard Fournette, a physical runner who sets the tone and takes pressure off Bortles and the passing attack. Without him, the Jaguars have looked lost on that side of the ball.Hyde should help."I run angry, downhill, smash-mouth football," said Hyde Johnny Manziel Jerseys 2019 , who has 382 yards rushing and five touchdowns this season. "That's been my game ever since I started playing this game, so I think I'll fit in perfect here."The Jaguars are counting on it."You can never replace a guy like Fournette, but if there's anybody who can do so, you look at a guy like him," safety Tashaun Gipson said. "You talk about a physical, angry, downhill runner. He leaves the games and you look up and he had 85 (yards) on a day, a physical, tough 85. That's the type of mentality that you want to bring. That's what helps this offense thrive."I don't know what can happen and what spark he may bring, but I'm hoping it's a spark that we need. Obviously, this team can definitely use a spark. I hope they give him the ball many, many times. I had to tackle him, so good luck to the guys in Philly that got to tackle him."The Jaguars pushed Bortles' weekly media session to Friday in London, where he gets his first chance to talk about regaining the starting job for the second time in 14 months. Marrone also benched Bortles during the 2017 preseason, only to name him the starter nine days later.Fournette and the ground game was a big key to Bortles' success last season, especially in the postseason.The Jags hope Hyde will have the same effect on him."I believe in him, I always have," team captain and defensive end Calais Campbell said. "He's earned that right. I know as of late he hasn't been playing as good as he could Orange Terrance West Jerseys , but earlier this year he was playing some really good ball. I see it in him all the time."He's hot and cold like anybody else. Hopefully we can get him on a hot streak here and turn this corner. When he's doing it well, it's nice to watch and nice to see and he sparks the whole team; the defense feeds off it." BEREA, Ohio 鈥?The Cleveland Browns believe theres remorse in Kareem Hunts heart. The NFL hasnt gotten that far.Following their own investigation, the Browns signed Hunt to a one-year contract Monday, giving the former star Chiefs running back a second chance after a video showed him pushing and kicking a woman.I think were all appalled by it, general manager John Dorsey said at the teams headquarters, hours after the Browns announced the controversial signing. It is an egregious act. We all understand that. But after doing our research, extensive research, analyzing the situation, we came to the conclusion that I am willing to help a man from a second chance moving forward to be a better person, and thats all you can ask for in society, and thats all Im trying to do.Soon after the disturbing video surfaced in December, Kansas City released the 23-year-old Hunt, who was seen in a physical altercation with the woman last February during an argument in the lobby of a Cleveland hotel where he stayed.While Kansas Citys actions drew public support, the move put Hunts career in peril and placed him on the commissioners exempt list. He was in his second season with the Chiefs and one of their best players after leading the league in rushing as a rookie.Now, the Browns feel comfortable giving the Cleveland native an opportunity to make amends. Hunt, who sought treatment and counseling, could still be suspended by the league under its personal conduct policy for the incident and two others that surfaced after he was released by the Chiefs.The leagues investigation is ongoing Terrance West Jerseys 2019 , and until its completed the Browns wont know if or when hell be able to play. Hunt has not been charged with a crime.Dorsey drafted Hunt in 2017 and feels the former Toledo backs contrition is genuine.Ive known him since 2016 and Ive found him to be a neat, young guy, Dorsey said. Now lets reiterate, the egregious act that he did commit there is no room for those types of things. We all know that moving forward. But as you go along and you start to see that this individual is truly remorseful, he understands the instances that took place there and hes trying to make himself a better person now moving forward, and thats all you can ask for.Dorsey said he spoke to numerous individuals during the teams investigation, adding he did not reach out to the victim, who has not spoken publicly about the incident.In a statement released by the team, Hunt said:First off, I would like to once again apologize for my actions last year. What I did was wrong and inexcusable. That is not the man I was raised to be, and Ive learned a great deal from that experience and certainly should have been more truthful about it after the fact. Im extremely grateful that John Dorsey, Dee and Jimmy Haslam and the Cleveland Browns organization are granting me the opportunity to earn their trust and represent their organization in the best way possible on and off the field.I am committed to following the necessary steps to learn and to be a better and healthier person from this situation. I also understand the expectations that the Browns have clearly laid out and that I have to earn my way back to the NFL. Im a work in progress as a person, but Im committed to taking advantage of the support systems that I have in place to become the best and healthier version of myself.Hunts incident is one of the more high-profile assault cases to plague the league in recent years.In 2014, Baltimore running back Ray Rice was captured on video punching and knocking out his then-fiancee in an elevator. He was released by the team and never returned to the NFL.The Browns, coming off a tumultuous 7-8-1 season that followed an 0-16 record in 2017, are creating headlines by giving Hunt a second chance even as the NFL has not yet decided on his status. Dorsey expects the league to wrap up its investigation within a couple weeks.Dorsey expects backlash for the decision to sign Hunt, but feels he knows Hunt well enough to believe hes changed.I truly, in my heart of hearts Orange Bernie Kosar Jerseys , believe there is a humble soul within that person, I really do, Dorsey said. He owns up to it. hes remorseful and I think he understands the magnitude of it, and right now he wants to be a better person and prove to people that, you know what, that was an isolated mistake that I made and that will never happen again.Hes got to earn that trust from today moving forward.Hunt, of course, could wind up with a suspension for a portion of the 2019 season. A player who is placed on the commissioners exempt list may not practice or attend games, but with the teams permission he may be present at its facility on a reasonable basis for meetings, individual workouts, therapy and rehabilitation, and other permitted non-football activities.If and when he is able to play, Hunt could have a major role with the Browns. Nick Chubb ran for 996 yards as a rookie last season and the team has Duke Johnson, a versatile back who also is one of the teams best receivers. Johnson signed a three-year, $15.6 million contract in June.
20 2019
Marcus Davenport shows off raw talent in Saints preseason debut Since being drafted with the 14th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft (as well as costing an additional first rounder that was traded to the Packers) Marcus Davenport has had every eye glued on him. The cost to draft him has many expecting White Marcus Davenport Jersey , no, requiring, he been an instant success. His first round draft status even has many expecting Davenport to be the immediate starter opposite Cameron Jordan. The Saints have taken a slower approach.This week against the Los Angeles Chargers marked the first time we had seen Davenport during the preseason as Sean Payton announced the weekend prior he was expected to practice during the week and see time during the game. His first performance in the black and gold showed off the rawness that was his buzzword following the draft. It also relieved a lot of the restlessness as everyone finally was able to see him take the field.Deuce Windham 2018 NFL Draft GuideIn my 2018 NFL Draft guide I saw Davenport as a project player that possessed an extremely high ceiling, but was also very raw coming out and would need time to develop. Against the Chargers we got to see the unique traits that made him so desirable for New Orleans. Run DefenseIn the above guide one of the traits described a positive under projection is his ability as a sound tackler. During the 1st quarter with the starters still present the Chargers ran a wide receiver end around that forced Marcus to defend against the run. In this situation Marcus has what is known as containment. The responsibility of containment is to be prepared against plays such as this end around that threaten the backside. Los Angeles leaves Davenport unblocked hoping he will follow the action of the fake and come down the line. The thought is that he will vacate his gap to try and meet the runningback behind the line where Taylor Stallworth is which leaves the pulling tight end free to block the next level. Instead, Davenport keeps good gap integrity and forces the play outside. A negative on this play is that Davenport actually gets caught slightly over-pursuing Chargers receiver Travis Benjamin which is a bit understandable considering Benjamin is 510, 175 lbs. and is moving upfield while Davenport is moving laterally. However Marcus Davenport Jersey 2019 , this is a play where we see Davenport show off not only his athletic ability but his elite length as well. Hes able to stop his momentum, reach the outside shoulder of the receiver and then use his weight and length to bring Benjamin to a dead stop. Following the draft one comment Dennis Allen made that has been repeated throughout camps and the preseason was, Mentally he has the things that we are looking for that gives him the chance to have success. In the scouting world this is often referred to as mental processing and it can show itself in several ways. In the below run play it shows up with the young rookie Davenport displaying an understanding of his responsibility in multiple play calls and situations. Previously we talked about Davenport having the assignment of containment which forced him to sit on his gap, maintain integrity, and defend the edge. In this play Davenport understands that Vonn Bell coming down takes that responsibility which then allows him to use his play strength and crash down the line. The blitzing defensive back and Davenport meet at the ball carrier to force a tackle for loss.Everything matters in a play. Small details are the difference between a rep that is won and one that is lost. While the blitzer is allowed to come free Davenport still must deal with the left guard. By using good hand placement and play strength to strike the outside (left) shoulder of the guard hes able to bypass the potential block and get to the ball carrier. Pass RushWhile defending the run was certainly a positive from his first preseason game it was how he fared as a pass rusher that will determine if he gets a passing grade from the coaching staff. After all, that is the main reason he was brought in to join Trey Hendrickson White Tre'Quan Smith Jersey , Alex Okafor and Jordan. One of the weaker reps of the night for Davenport actually came on the play where he received credit for a half sack.Marcus is actually the last player off the line of scrimmage on this rep and it seemed that early on there was some rust that needed to be knocked off of the first year defensive end. He allows his pad level to rise a bit high before attempting his pass rush move and its actually the combined pressure of Hendrickson, Sheldon Rankins and Bell that flush the quarterback into the waiting arms of David Onyemata and Davenport. Rankins does a great job of splitting the gap against the center and guard and Hendrickson shows a dominant first step with a quick dip and rip to run the arc. Davenport gets a motor sack here. He never gave up on the play and was able to get to the quarterback. These types of hustle plays are still valuable.For an example of a positive pass rush rep you dont have to go very far in the game. Against tackle Sam Tevi Davenport is going to use a very familiar move in the swat rip to apply pressure on Jones and win the edge. As the game progressed and Davenport got more reps he began to better acclimate to the speed of the game.While he does allow his pad level to rise a bit there is still a stellar example of great hand eye coordination to swat the outside wrist of the left tackle and then follows it up using good ankle flexion to bend and move laterally towards the quarterback. This play doesnt pick up a sack, but the combined pressure from the Saints forces an errant throw that falls incomplete. Many of these traits (both positive and negative) were noted in the 2018 NFL Draft profile I created for him earlier this year. At times he allows his pad level to rise in which gives offensive lineman greater surface area on his frame to engage and latch onto. Other negative traits he showed at UTSA were not present in this game against the Chargers, specially his propensity to false step. Due to a lack of interior pressure the above play doesnt lead to a sack, but Davenport does flush the QB up into the pocket. This is another example of his athleticism to corner the edge and win. Davenport didnt play far into the second half, but the little we did see him showed a player that was getting quicker off the ball at the snap and becoming more comfortable in his role off the edge. Following the game Davenport said he felt ok about his performance and said there were somethings he could have done better Tre'Quan Smith Jersey 2019 , including finishing on quarterback, closing better and using more pass rushing moves. For his first performance against NFL talent Davenport held his own, and in many of his matchups he left victorious. The rawness he walked into New Orleans with isnt gone, and it cant be expected to be cleaned up in just one summer, yet its easy to see after this performance what teams around the league saw in Marcus. The important thing was getting him on the field and gaining game time, competitive reps. Just two weeks are left in the NFLs regular season for 2018. Theres nine games on deck for early kickoff across Week 16. Heres a look at all the matchups.Atlanta Falcons (5-9) at Carolina Panthers (6-8)Cincinnati Bengals (6-dirol.gif at Cleveland Browns (6-7-1)Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9) at Dallas Cowboys (8-6)Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1) at Detroit Lions (5-9)New York Giants (5-9) at Indianapolis Colts (8-6)Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10) at Miami Dolphins (7-7)Buffalo Bills (5-9) at New England Patriots (9-5)Green Bay Packers (5-8-1) at New York Jets (4-10)Houston Texans (10-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)The Cowboys can clinch the NFC East with a win New Orleans Saints Patrick Robinson Jersey , and could also do it if both the Eagles and Redskins lose. The Patriots can clinch the AFC East with a win or a Dolphins loss, and its kind of crazy that its taking them this long to wrap it up. Finally, the Texans can win the AFC South with a victory or Colts and Titans (Saturday game) loss.
20 2019
Name: Taylor RappSchool: WashingtonHeight: 60Weight: 212 lbs2018 stat line: 13 games Womens Joe Jackson 2019 Jersey , 59 tackles, 5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 4 passes defensedOne of the Cowboys biggest needs this offseason is finding a safety who can play opposite of Xavier Woods. Luckily for Dallas, there are several talented safety prospects that could potentially be available when the Cowboys make their first pick at 58. Last week I talked about Virginias Juan Thornhill, and today its Washingtons Taylor Rapp. Rapp has spent the last three seasons as a key cog in Chris Petersens dominant defense. He started 10 games as a true freshman and won Pac 12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. In his sophomore season, Rapp was named to the All-Pac 12 first team and he became a first team All-American prior to his junior year. That big label inevitably led to his statistics underwhelming some, which may cause Rapp to fall to the Cowboys. That shouldnt deter anyone from thinking that Rapp is anything other than a physical defender with a football IQ better than most. In games where Rapp is asked to play the run Dallas Cowboys Robert Okereke Jersey , he diagnoses things very quickly and breaks on the ballcarrier, almost always taking sound angles when initiating contact. One aspect that Rapp excels in is detecting misdirection plays, which was something that Cowboys safety Jeff Heath - and others, for that matter - was routinely confused by when playing the Rams. Unlike Thornhill, Rapp is a very physically aggressive safety who seeks out the contact and backs up that enthusiasm with great leverage when taking on blocks. In the open field, Rapp usually opts for the safer wrap up tackles, but when theres other defenders nearby, hell lay out some big hits. In previous years Cheap Alize Mack Youth Jersey , Rapp did a tremendous job of using those big hits to knock the ball loose. Similar to Thornhill, though, Rapp doesnt possess otherworldly speed or athleticism that would make him a viable option at free safety in a single high concept. Rapp has good explosiveness which makes him very effective in shallow zone coverage and in man coverage on tight ends and smaller slot receivers. Rapp has shown the ability to, on occasion, take on those deep safety responsibilities, but relying on him in that role for a full game is not wise. As such, Rapp would work well with Woods in the backfield. Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard liked using Woods as an occasional blitzer this year, and Woods saw a lot more man coverage inside the redzone as well. In those situations Dallas Cowboys Tyron Smith Jersey , Rapp could function well as the deep safety while Woods slides into the box, but Woods would primarily be the single high safety regardless. Rapp has a lot of great traits that fit the mold of an ideal box safety, especially in Dallas scheme. His biggest weakness is the speed and burst, but that might not be enough to deter teams from taking him higher than 58. As we wait for Dak Prescotts new contract to be finalized, we see how he compared to his predecessor."On Saturday morning the great Bob Sturm launched a stat about Dak Prescotts redzone rushing ability into the stratosphere and I couldnt stop thinking about it.What Dak can do on the ground is quite obvious, he has 18 rushing touchdowns over three years for crying out loud. Its one of the many tools in his belt, a belt that many people believe is legitimate enough to warrant a big payday for the young signal-caller.Weve spent a lot of time talking about Dak Prescotts pending contract and there are a lot of opinions on whether or not he should get a big one (there are really two... yes and no). In the spirit of trying to look at how the Cowboys in particular handle contracts of this variety, I thought back to the last time they handed out a big-time extension to their most important player Womens Tyron Smith 2019 Jersey , a quarterback. That would be Tony Romos deal back in 2013.Romo got his deal at a very interesting time considering Joe Flacco had just sort of reset the quarterback market after winning Super Bowl XLVII for the Baltimore Ravens.There were plenty of people who were upset when Romo got his deal on that fateful March day six years ago (re-visit the original post and check out the comments if youd like), unless youre Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady theres going to be someone mad because... its the internet.Thinking about Romo then and Prescott now, I wondered how the two compare. Obviously things are different, but given the way Romo developed after his new deal (specifically the 2014 season) its fair to say people arent mad about it in hindsight despite him only starting 34 games after signing it. Here are Romos three seasons that preceded his big deal in 2013 and Dak Prescotts that have led us to this point.3 years leading to deal3 YEARS BEFORE DEALTony RomoDak Prescott3 YEARS BEFORE DEALTony RomoDak PrescottObviously things were very different for the Cowboys from 2010-2012 than they have been over the last three seasons, but this data is very interesting. For what its worth, in both three-year stretches an NFC East rival won the Super Bowl in the second season (Giants then, Eagles now), Tony Romos teams were 2-4 in total against New York in that stretch while Daks have gone 4-2 against Philly (although the season finales in both of his first two seasons - a win and a loss - were both moot games). The overall point here is that there were definitely people who were upset about Romos deal at the time Dallas Cowboys Sean Lee Jersey , and he more than justified it, and thats despite how little return the team saw on it from a games played standpoint. Dak has shown all the reasons in the world to believe hes an ascending player... looking at what the first three years of Prescott is next to a later-career Romo has to make you feel optimistic. When the Cowboys finally do end up signing Dak Prescott to a huge deal there are going to be people that are miffed, its unavoidable. Just remember what things were like six years ago though and know that a lot can change. Sometimes it doesnt even take that long.
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With a projected $106.6M of available cap space White Nyheim Hines Jersey , the Indianapolis Colts could potentially become major players in the NFLs upcoming free agency period. Of course, general manager Chris Ballard has..."With a projected $106.6M of available cap space, the Indianapolis Colts could potentially become major players in the NFLs upcoming free agency period. Of course, general manager Chris Ballard has emphasized efficient spending during his short tenure in Indianapolis, as opposed to entering win at all cost bidding wars with other NFL suitors. Still, the Colts have dabbled with big name free agents in the past, as Ballard reportedly entered talks with the likes of Alshon Jeffery, Andrew Norwell, and AJ Bouye among others during prior free agency periods. Its just when a free agents perceived value is exceeded by his agents asking price, Ballard has no qualms with generally packing up his chips and walking away from the table. Here are 6 free agents who could pique the interest of the Colts:6. Adrian Amos, S, Chicago BearsPatrick Gorski-USA TODAY SportsOriginally a 2015 5th round pick of the Chicago Bears, the 60, 214 pound Amos has emerged as one of the better young safeties in football. The 25 year old is fresh off a season for the Monsters of the Midway, in which he recorded 73 tackles, 2 interceptions, 9 passes defensed, and a sack in all 16 starts for the leagues most dominant defense. Per Pro Football Focus (subscription), Amos was their 8th best safety overall last season with a +82.7 grade overall. Of course, the Colts have free agency questions of their own at safety, namely whether the team should re-sign defensive captain Clayton Geathers, whos poised to test the free agency market for the first time in his career. Geathers has had his fair share of durability concerns, as does fellow starter Malik Hooker, meaning the Colts could withstand to add another insurance policy in the backend of their secondary regardless. Amos is not only that, but much, much more. 5. Tyrell Williams, WR Indianapolis Colts Justin Houston Jersey , Los Angeles ChargersDenny Medley-USA TODAY SportsHaving been signed by the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2015, the 27 year old Williams has been a bit overlooked by playing in a talented receiving corpsoften overshadowed by 2x Pro Bowler Keenan Allen among others. Still, hes coming off yet another productive season for the Bolts, in which he recorded 41 receptions for 653 receiving yards (15.9 avg. ypr) and 5 touchdown receptions in 16 games (10 starts). For perspective, that 15.9 yards per reception average was the 11th best in football, just three spots below the Colts very own T.Y. Hilton (16.7 avg. ypr)indicating that Williams is quite the prolific deep threat in his own right. At 64, 205 pounds, Williams also looks the part of the big bodied wide receiver that Colts fans have been clamoring for on the opposite side of Hilton. Theres a definite need for Indy too, as the Colts have struggled finding a consistent go-to #2 wide receiver to complement Hilton since franchise great Reggie Wayne last played. Dontrelle Inman was a pleasant surprise last season, and Chester Rogers has had his moments, but both are best suited as #3 wide receivers on a truly elite offenseand the Colts could simply withstand to upgrade. With Williams, its just a matter of cost. Theres been speculation that Williams could command $11M+ annually, which seems too steep of a price to pay for a wideout whos been very goodbut never great. However, if his market becomes more realistic, it could be a welcome opportunity for the Colts to capitalize and improve their receiving corps for Andrew Luck. 4. ZaDarius Smith, DE, Baltimore RavensPatrick McDermott-USA TODAY SportsEntering the league as a 2015 4th round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, the 64, 272 pound Smith has become one of the key young players for what has been a notoriously stingy defense. The 26 year old recorded 45 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and a forced fumble in 16 games (8 starts) for Baltimores defense last season. For comparison purposes, the Colts leading pass rusher, Denico Autry, had 9 sacks last season. Per Pro Football Focus, Smith was their 16th best graded pass rusher with a +78.7 pass rushing grade among edge defenders. The Colts finished with 38 sacks last season, which was only the 19th most in the NFL. For defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus unit to take the next step, the Colts will have to increase their pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Smith wont be mistaken for franchise greats Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis anytime soon Womens Justin Houston 2019 Jersey , but hes another young pass rusher who could consistently generate 8-10 sacks per season for the Colts defense going forward. Something thats not so easy to turn down, when the Colts simply dont have enough of it. 3. Preston Smith, DE, Washington RedskinsBrad Mills-USA TODAY SportsOriginally a 2015 2nd round pick of the Washington Redskins, the 65, 265 pound Smith has become one of the more unheralded young pass rushers in football. Hes set to test the free agency market, having recorded 53 tackles, 4.0 sacks, and an interception in all 16 starts for the Redskins defense last season. While Smith didnt get the sack output he was likely hoping for in 2018, hes just one season removed from an 8.0 sack year with Washington in 2017. Smith has freakishly long arms and would add athleticism and pass rush to a defensive frontthat could still use it. Only 26 years old, hes the type of young pass rusher that Chris Ballard could bet on, hoping that his best seasons are still well ahead of him. 2. Trey Flowers, DE, New England PatriotsChristopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY SportsHaving been drafted by the reigning Super Bowl Champions in the 4th round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the 62, 265 pound Flowers is yet another defensive end who could interest the Colts in free agency. Flowers is coming off a season for Bill Belichicks defense in which he recorded 57 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 passes defensed in 15 starts. Per Pro Football Focus, he earned their 13th best pass rushing grade among edge defenders, boasting a pass rush grade of +79.9. The 25 year old could command $17M annually on the open marketwhich seems awfully rich, but his success doesnt appear to be a byproduct of Belichicks defensive genius, as he looks like the real deal defensively. As mentioned, the Colts could use pass rushing help, and Flowers is the biggest name of the three mentioned here. 1. Landon Collins, S, New York GiantsBrad Penner-USA TODAY SportsMany Colts fans are already very familiar with Landon Collins Nyheim Hines Jersey 2019 , as the prior regime controversially passed over him in order to draft former wide receiver Phillip Dorsett in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Since then, Collins has become a 1st-Team All-Pro and 3x Pro Bowler, leaving Colts fans to wonder what simply couldve been in horseshoe blue. Theres rarely second chances in sports, but the Colts could have a shot to finally bring Collins home, as the 25 year old safety is not expected to re-sign with the New York Giants.The 60, 222 pound Collins had 96 tackles, 4 passes defensed, and a forced fumble in 12 starts for the Giants defense last season. Hes a throwback, downhill, hard-hitting safety, whos going to punish opposing ball carriers, but hes no slouch in coverage either. He already has 8 interceptions in his 4-year careerincluding 5 picks in 2016. Hes a perfect complement to fellow starter Malik Hookers more coverage oriented, ball hawking style at free safety, as Collins will no doubt mix it up at strong safety. Hed bring much needed physicality to the backend of the Colts secondary and help further their defensive identity of not only being fast and swarmingbut nasty. Something that Colts fans fondly remember from Bob The Hitman Sanders all too well, when he infamously roamed between sidelines. Playing in the prime of his career, Collins could be that type of special enforcer talent at safety for the Colts yet again. It has been over 2 years since Andrew Luck traveled to Nashville to face off with the division rival Tennessee Titans. In his career, he is a perfect 10-0 against the Titans and will look to extend that streak for at least one more game. If he does, he will carry the Indianapolis Colts to an improbable playoff berth. If he does not, the Colts fairy tale run will come to an end just short of that goal.Game Time8:20 pm ET Sunday December 30, 2018LocationNissan Stadium - Nashville, TNTV ChannelNBC - Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color), Michele Tafoya (sideline)RadioWFNI (1070 The Fan) and WLHK (HANK FM) Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Jim Sorgi (color) and Caroline Cann (sideline)Westwood One - Kevin Kugler (play-by-play), Jason Taylor (color)Referee AssignmentWalt AndersonEnemy BlogMusic City MiraclesTwitterFollow @StampedeBlue for the complete Colts coverage.FacebookLike Stampede Blue on Facebook!PodcastsApple Podcasts | Stitcher | Art 19 | SB Colts Cast YT Channel
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