Friday, May 9, 2014

Josh Gordon Faces Season-Long Suspension

Breaking News: After drafting Johnny Manziel in the first round of the NFL Draft last evening, the Cleveland browns received devastating news that star wide receiver Josh Gordon may be facing a season-long suspension due to yet another failed drug test. Last June, Gordon was suspended for a failed drug test, and missed the first two games of the season; however, with a second failed draft test in the league, Gordon may now be out for the rest season. The 2013 season was a breakout season for Gordon, where in 14 games, Gordon caught 87 passes for 1,646 yards and 9 touchdowns. Clearly, the Cleveland Browns are working hard to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history, and Gordon's suspension may ruin any chances of hoisting the trophy this season.

First Round Draft Picks Who Will and Won't Have a Fantasy Impact

Will - Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills
It will come as no surprise that I would expect Watkins to be a fantasy football stud this year, seeing as he was the top receiver drafted, and, in my opinion, the second best player overall. Watkins has top-notch speed and gets past defenders in the open field with ease. He will also benefit from the fact that, despite being the fourth overall pick, he was not drafted by a team with quarterback problems, as E.J. Manuel can be effective when healthy. Because Watkins is not a huge red zone target, you shouldn't expect him to be your number one fantasy wide receiver, but he has the potential and the physical skills to put up a lot of yards this season.

Won't - Any Quarterback Drafted In the First Round
Bortles, Manziel, and Bridgewater are all decent prospects, but none of them are ready to turn into productive day one starters, even though they may be forced to try. I'm least optimistic with Bortles, as he will be surrounded by a very poor Jaguars offense with very few weapons. In Manziel's case, the potential is there, but he needs to work on his fundamentals before he can make a significant impact. Bridgewater may be the most pro-ready of the three, and he will have Adrian Peterson to work with, but right now we aren't even sure if he's going to start this year.

Will - Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Much like Watkins, it won't surprise anybody that I'm predicting Evans to have a good fantasy football season, as he was the seventh overall pick and has incredible physical tools. What will be most beneficial to Mike Evans, though, is the fact that he will have Vincent Jackson lining up across from him. With Jackson and a decent quarterback, Mike Glennon, Evans will have countless opportunities to prove himself.

Won't - Odell Beckham Jr, WR, New York Giants
Beckham Jr. is a solid player, but the Giants didn't have an immediate need at wide receiver and Eli Manning tends to be inconsistent. He will need to beat out Jernigan and Randle just to become the Giants second option after Victor Cruz. Beckham Jr. may well become a fantastic player in the future but for the present, it would be best to temper your expectations.

Will - Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints
I think Cooks will have the most productive fantasy football season of anybody not named Sammy Watkins in this draft. Cooks has incredible speed and great open-field skills that will make him an immediate fantasy football producer, especially with Drew Brees as his quarterback. The only thing that could slow up Cooks is the fact that the Saints have so many options on offense, but I think he will sidestep this problem by stepping right into the void that Darren Sproles left.

Won't - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
There is no denying that Benjamin is a physical specimen, but what worries me is that his route running is subpar and his hands could use some work. Sure, he has a huge catch radius, which would seem to be helpful with a quarterback like Cam Newton who has a tendency to be inaccurate, but if Benjamin can't catch the ball or create separation by running a clean route, then that goes to waste. Fortunately for Panthers fans, the skills that Benjamin currently lacked are attainable, but don't expect him to produce huge numbers right away.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Live Blog

With the conclusion of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, our live blog comes to a close. You can watch tomorrow night to see the second and third rounds of the draft, with several big names still left on the board. Thanks for reading!
Update (11:47): The Minnesota Vikings have traded the Seattle Seahawks for the thirty-second pick. With the thirty-second pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select...Teddy Bridgewater!!!

Update (10:57): Twitter is going crazy over Manziel's selection as the twenty-second pick in the draft:

Update (10:50): With the twenty-second pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select, Johnny Manziel!!! Quite possibly the biggest storyline to emerge from the first round of the draft, Cleveland decides to select Manziel with their twenty second overall pick, after selectin Justin Gilbert at eighth

Update (10:00): With the seventeenth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select, C.J. Mosley!!!

Update (9:47): With the sixteenth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select, Zack Martin!!! Dallas Cowboys fans did not seem very happy with the pick, even though it was a very safe pick for America's Team

Update (9:52): The Dallas Cowboys' pick is in. Will jerry Jones decide to draft Texas native Johnny Manziel?

Update (9:47): With the fifteenth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select, Ryan Shazier!!! Meanwhile...
Update (9:44): With the fourteenth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select...Kyle Fuller!!!

Update (9:30): With the thirteenth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select...Aaron Donald!!!

Update (9:30): With the twelfth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select...Odell Beckham!!!

Update (9:23): NFL Draft on Twitter (thus far)
Update (9:13): With the eleventh pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans select...Taylor Lewan!!!

Update (9:13): With the tenth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select...Eric Ebron!!! (announced by Barry Sanders) Ebron will now be spending next season alongside the best receiver in the game, Calvin Johnson, along with Golden Tate and Matthew Stafford
Update (9:11): With the ninth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select...Anthony Barr!!! And Manziel continues to wait...
Update (9:04): With the eighth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select...Justin Gilbert!!! Many people believed Cleveland was looking to select Gilbert, yet Johnny Football remains in the green room
Update (9:01): The Cleveland Browns have traded picks with Minnesota to jump from 9th overall to 8th overall
Update (9:00): With the seventh pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select...Mike Evans!!! Alongside wide receiver Mike Evans, this can be a receiving corp in Tampa Bay
Update (8:51): With the sixth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons select...Jake Matthews!!!
Update (8:44): Twitter reacts to the Oakland Raiders selecting Khalil Mack
Update (8:43): With the fifth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select...Khalil Mack!!!

Update (8:40): Twitter reacts to Buffalo selecting Sammy Watkins
Update (8:38): By trading the fourth overall pick, Cleveland will receive the 9th overall pick in this year's draft, as well as a first and fourth round pick in next year's draft

Update (8:37): With the fourth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select...Sammy Watkins!!!

Update (8:35): Twitter reacts to the Jacksonville Jaguars drafting Blake Bortles
Update (8:33): The Buffalo Bills have just struck a trade with the Cleveland Browns! Buffalo will most likely draft Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins, or Jake Matthews.

Update (8:31): With the third pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select...Blake Bortles!!! The first quarterback taken in this draft is NOT Johnny Manziel, but rather, a quarterback from USF
Update (8:26): Twitter reacts to Greg Robinson being selected second overall
Update (8:24): With the second pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select...Greg Robinson!!!

Update (8:19): Twitter reacts to Jadeveon Clowney being selected first overall
Update (8:16): With the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select...Jadeveon Clowney!!! JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on the same defensive line will be absolutely terrifying.

Update: (8:14): The pick is now in, just waiting for Goodell to walk on stage...

Update (8:05): The NFL Draft is now underway! The Houston Texans are now on the clock
Update (7:45 PM): NFL Draft on Twitter

Update (7:29 PM): The walk up songs for each player has now been released by the NFL. Below are the songs for some of college football's biggest stars:

QB Johnny Manziel: Draft Day - Drake
DE Jadeveon Clowney: The Man - Aloe Blacc
QB Blake Bortles: Blow Up - J. Cole
WR Sammy Watkins: Look What You've Done - Drake
LB Khalil Mack: Happy - Pharrell Williams
OT Greg Robinson: Happy - Pharrell Williams
OT Jordan Matthews: Through the Wire - Kanye West
See the full list here

Update (7:21 PM): Players now arriving at the red carpet. Forty minutes away!
We are nearly one hour away from the 2014 NFL Draft, where some of the biggest names in college football will continue their football careers into the National Football League. Stars like Jadeveon Clowney, Sammy Watkins, and Johnny Manziel are set to take the stage tonight at 8:00 (eastern time). To view our most recent mock draft, click here. All of us here are looking forward to seeing the future stars of the National Football League. Stay tuned

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Offensive All-Team

Quarterback: Teddy Bridgewater: Bridgewater may have dropped as a preseason favorite to be selected first overall, but in my opinion, he remains the best quarterback in this year's draft class. His arm strength, accuracy, and elusiveness in the pocket make him a dangerous offensive threat. Don't believe me? Just look at this play:

Running Back: Tre Mason: Mason served as Auburn's offensive superstar during their magical run to the BCS National Championship Game. Not only did Tre finish 3rd in the nation in rushing touchdowns (23), 5th in rushing yards (1,816), and 6th in the Heisman voting, but he also broke legendary running back Bo Jackson's single season rushing record at the school.

Wide Receiver: Sammy Watkins: Does this come as a surprise? Watkins is BY FAR my favorite offensive player int the draft, and quite possibly, the most talented prospect in the 2014 Draft Class, offense or defense. Watkins' final game against the Ohio State Buckeys in the Orange Bowl (16 catches for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns) further proved his incredible skill on the football field. Watkins is a guaranteed starter, and a Pro-Bowler within his first two seasons.

Tight End: The best characteristic of Eric Ebron from North Carolina is his incredible quickness. At 6'4", Ebron recorded a 40-yard dash time of 4.56, second among tight ends, meaning it is a remarkable number for his position. Some have Ebron going as high as 12th overall (Giants), which is more than likely given Ebron's athletic talents.

Tackle: Jake Matthews: While protecting quarterback Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M over the course of his career, Jake Matthews, son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, did a great job protecting the dual threat quarterback. Matthews, along with Greg Robinson, is one of the bets offensive lineman in this year's draft class, and by attending a school within the SEC, NFL teams know that Matthews has faced serious competition in college.

Guard: Zack Martin: The main problem with Zack Martin of Notre Dame is that he played 50 of 52 games in college at the tackle position. NFL scouts say that he lacks the size necessary to become a pro tackle in the league, which is why they want him to adjust to the role of guard. If this transition is smooth, which is highly likely thanks to his athletic talents, Martin will be a dominant force in the NFL.

Center: Marcus Martin: Marcus Martin was named to the All-Pac 12 team back in 2013, but was also the first true freshman to start at guard at USC since 2004. Martin has great size, where at 6'3" he weighs 320 pounds. Martin is projected to go in the second round, but is certainly a solid pick for any team looking for young talent at center.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0

1. Houston Texans: DE Jadeveon Clowney: There has now been movement atop our mock draft: instead of having a quarterback being selected first overall, we believe the Houston Texans will take Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds, the fastest of any defensive lineman. Plus, alongside former Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt, the Texans could have the best pair of defensive ends in recent memory.

2. St. Louis Rams: OT Greg Robinson: Everyone seems to have offensive tackle Greg Robinson penciled into the second spot in the draft ever since his team made it's way to the National Championship. Scouts saw the holes he created for star running back Tre Mason at Auburn, and this skill set will certainly help in the NFL.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Blake Bortles: The Jacksonville Jaguars have not had an above average quarterback since their last playoff appearance in 2007 under David Garrard. The Jaguars passing game ranked 2nd to last in the league last season, and they are definitely going to be looking for a quarterback other than Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert.

4. Cleveland Browns: QB Johnny Manziel: The debate taking place among football fans throughout the country is who is the better quarterback: Johnny Football, or Blake Bortles. We believe Bortles will end up being taken ahead of Manziel, but it's not like the Browns will be getting a mediocre quarterback with Manziel. After a great combine and pro-day, it would not come as a surprise if Manziel was even taken first overall in the draft.

5. Oakland Raiders: WR Sammy Watkins: Sammy Watkins is the most talented player in the NFL Draft. His combination of speed, height, hands, and jumping abilities makes him the most lethal offensive weapon of this draft class. Also, it has been reported that the Oakland Raiders will not draft a quarterback in the first round, even though last year's quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, left the team.

6. Atlanta Falcons: OLB Khalil Mack: Even though Mack is coming from a college with absolutely no reputation for producing solid football players, Mack's draft stock has been soaring upwards. His 10 sacks, 100 tackles, as well as 2.5 sacks in the season opener against Ohio State attracted attention from NFL scouts, and his 40-yard dash time (4.65), broad jump distance (10'8"), vertical jump (40.0), and 20-yard shuttle time (4.18) all ranked within the top 5 among linebackers. Mack is the real deal.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Mike Evans: We believe that for the first time since 2011, two wide receivers will be taken within the top 10 picks of the draft: the last time it happened, AJ Green and Julio Jones were taken 4th and 6th overall, and both became Pro-Bowl wide receivers. Evans was Manziel's primary wide receiver last season at Texas A&M thanks to his size (6'5"), speed (4.53), and jumping ability (37.0 inch vertical). Evans is an incredible red-zone target, and the Buccaneers are looking to enhance their offensive unit.

8. Minnesota Vikings: QB Teddy Bridgewater: If I was the Houston Texans, I would spend my first overall pick on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater; however, for whatever reason, Bridgewater's stock has quickly fallen ever since he was the early favorite to be selected first overall at the beginning of the season. Bridgewater's arm strength, elusiveness, and ability to throw on the run would be a great way to take some pressure off of Adrian Peterson offensively.

9. Buffalo Bills: OT Jake Matthews: Even though Jake Matthews is projected to be taken ninth overall in this mock draft, it is possible that he is selected as high as the first overall pick. The Buffalo Bills are in need of young talent on the offensive line, seeing that they ranked 28th overall in sacks allowed last season.

10. Detroit Lions: CB Darqueze Dennard: It seems apparent that the Detroit Lions will draft a cornerback with the 10th overall pick, but there is a question of what cornerback will be selected by the Lions: Darqueze Dennard or Justin Gilbert? Gilbert may have recorded the fastest combine of any cornerback in this year's draft class, but Dennard served as one of Michigan State's key defensive leaders in their quest for a national title.