Terry Pegula is a man on a mission, that mission being finally bringing a winning culture to Buffalo. Something that certainly hasn't been accomplished in his time there as an owner. Pegula is the owner of the Buffalo Sabres and Bills for those of you that didn't know. Last week he fired the head coach and GM of the Sabres and now he has done the same for the Bills. Kinda strange how he went about it for the Bills and that's what we're going to dive into.
Rex Ryan, former coach of the Buffalo Bills, was fired immediately after the season. If Pegula was going to make a GM change it would've made sense to fire Doug Whaley at the same time as Rex Ryan, this way you can hire a new head coach/GM tandem together. Instead, Pegula hired McDermott to be the coach of the team, held onto Whaley for awhile as GM, and then the day after the draft is officially over it's announced Whaley got the boot, this doesn't make sense. Why would they allow a guy they want to get rid of to draft a whole class of players, well it turns out it was McDermott calling the shots at the draft. Whaley wasn't the only one fired, the entire scout team was as well, so obviously Pegula wasn't satisfied with the talents we had been getting out of the draft in recent years.
In 2013 Whaley was named the full time GM of the Buffalo Bills, since they haven't made the playoffs since 1999, obviously he didn't not build an all that successful team. Shaq Lawson, Sammy Watkins, and E.J. Manuel were his 3 first round draft picks, not one of them has panned out. Lawson still might and if Watkins can stay healthy he might too, but E.J. Manuel was terrible and they gave up a lot to get Watkins. Might I add there's a lot of wide receivers better than Watkins that came out of that draft too. Whaley did added pieces like McCoy and built a strong defense, however the Tyrod Taylor contract was probably the final nail in his coffin.
The Bills are once again moving on, they seemed to have a really successful draft actually, acquiring players that can come in and start right away while adding more picks for next year's draft. The Bills might finally be building the right foundation for a winning future. The Sabres seem to be doing the same. If Terry Pegula can just finally get the right guys in there to lead his franchises to victory, maybe he'll finally get a taste of the playoffs. Times are certainly changing in Buffalo.
Well ladies and gentlemen, the day has finally arrived, one of the most exciting, and stressful days of the year - The NFL Draft. This year's draft class is stacked, top to bottom, with defensive studs left and right, one of the best running-back classes we've seen in recent years, and a ton of QB's with first-round potential.
I have yet to do a mock draft, on paper or blogging, so you will all get to see the first and only top-10 mock that I will do. I could have done the entire first round, but I feel that this top-10 is so stacked and exciting that it would be more than enough. So, without further ado, here we go:
First Overall Pick - Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett (DE - Texas A&M)
There are a few reasons why I think the Browns will end up taking the consensus top talent in this draft in Myles Garrett, and the biggest is that I think the Browns are going to make a trade to acquire another top-10, or better yet, top-5 draft pick. Garrett has faced some criticism for his perceived "laziness" and lack of dominance on paper from his season last year with Texas A&M, but I think when it comes down to it, this kid is a freak, no if's, and's, or but's. He reminds me (and many others) of Jadeveon Clowney, because of his size, speed, and skill-set. Will Garrett come right out of the gate and dominate? I can't say for sure, but if he sheds that "lazy" title, and puts forth a legitimate effort every play of every game, I think the sky is the limit for this kid.
Second Pick - San Francisco 49ers: Jamal Adams (S - LSU)
Jamal Adams is a freak athlete, and after his awesome pro-day where he shed a ton of time off his 40-yard dash, I think his draft stock has shot up even higher than it was. Adams was speculated to be a top 10 pick for almost all the year, but in recent weeks he has continued to climb the rankings. He's a physical safety, with great speed and coverage skills, and with new 49ers GM John Lynch being a stud safety his entire career, I think this pick makes sense, especially when the 49ers already have a great young safety in Eric Reid, they can potentially have one of the better safety duo's in the league. I know people have thrown a couple other names around for the 49ers, predominantly on the defensive side except for Leonard Fournette, but I think Adams is the safe pick and that's why I expect him to go #2.
Third Pick - Chicago Bears: Solomon Thomas (DL - Stanford)
I think this pick for the Bears all depends on who the 49ers take. We know the 49ers are high on Thomas as well, so if they do take Thomas and not Adams, the Bears will definitely take Jamal Adams, but for the sake of this mock, he's not on the board. Solomon Thomas is an absolute stud and terrorizes offensive lines. He can play outside and inside, and thrives in both spots, and with the Bears defense in need of help, I think Thomas is the perfect piece to keep building around. He's drawn comparisons to Aaron Donald with his quickness and strength, and I think the Bears would be ecstatic to get a player of Donald's caliber.
Fourth Pick - Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette (RB - LSU)
On our last Podcast I said that I think Fournette is the best player in the draft, and I think he will explode onto the scene in this coming season, and I also said he will likely land in Jacksonville. I think this pick makes sense for the Jag's if they don't go with a QB here, which I don't think they should because although Bortles has struggled, they can grab a solid QB in the later rounds, and shouldn't pass on a player of Fournette's caliber. The Chris Ivory signing didn't pan out as the Jag's had hoped last season, as he couldn't stay healthy and failed to crack 100 rushing yards in any of the games he did play in, so getting Fournette and pairing him with Bortles to hopefully take some pressure off him and not force them to throw the ball 50 times a game, we could see Blake Bortles take a step forward in the right direction. Leonard Fournette is a bruising back who can hit the outside of the field and take off in an instant, while still stiff arming and hurdling everyone in his way, the kid is as good as it gets.
Fifth Pick - Cleveland Browns (Traded From Tennessee Titans): Mitchell Trubisky (QB - UNC)
We've heard rumors that the Titans have been fielding offers for the 5th pick, and we have also heard rumors that the Browns have been looking to trade for a pick somewhere in the top 7 or 8, so I think this is the deal that gets done in some way or another. The Browns are in desperate need of a franchise QB, and while I don't think Trubisky is the answer, they sure do. Trubisky is definitely a solid QB, I don't think he's a scrub in anyway, but I do find him to be more of a game-manger than a star, and I think the Browns need someone who will be able to take over games, but we will just have to wait and see. The Browns have a ton of draft picks in this draft, and people across the league are praying that this is the year that they actually get some of those picks right, and with two top-5 picks, they can hopefully do that.
Sixth Pick - New York Jets: Marshon Lattimore (DB - OSU)
Many people are speculating that if the Browns can't get a deal done with the Titans, they will look to make one with the Jets, but again, for the sake of this mock, let's just say they get the #5 pick and the Jets are still on the board at #6. This is one of my harder picks, because the Jets truly need help everywhere, but I think as a franchise and team that has had its best years from successful defenses, they go with the best cornerback in the draft in Lattimore. The Jets have had a dominant secondary for the majority of the last 10 years because of Darrelle Revis and co., but with all of those guys gone, it's time to get another stud in their secondary for Todd Bowles to help build this defense around. However, I would not be surprised if the Jets went with the O.J. Howard here, but I still say they go defense.
Seventh Pick - San Diego Chargers: Malik Hooker (S - OSU)
In almost any other year's draft, Hooker would be the #1 Safety on the board, but Jamal Adams is just too much of a freak athlete for Hooker to claim that #1 spot. The Chargers need help on defense, and the secondary especially after they lost Eric Weddle, so I think Malik Hooker is the perfect move here for the Chargers. Hooker has great range, ball skills, and closing speed, which helped him rack up 7 interceptions last year at Ohio State. The Chargers defensive line also needs help, with Joey Bosa virtually a one-man wrecking crew, so Alabama's Jonathan Allen would also make sense at #7, but I think Hooker will provide the Chargers with a huge spark in the secondary and will be a great addition to a struggling defense.
Eighth Pick - Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey (RB - Stanford)
The Panthers are in desperate need of some help for Cam Newton on the offensive side of the ball, and while I think they'd love to have Leonard Fournette fall to them at #8, I just don't see it happening. Christina McCaffrey is an absolute stud with the ball in his hands and has seen his draft stock rise higher than almost anyone in this year’s draft in recent weeks between his Pro-Day and Combine. McCaffrey is a dual-threat out of the backfield, with great hands and can run crisp routes to work defenses in the passing game, and we all know what he can do with the ball in his hands in the backfield. Not only can he be a passing game threat out of the backfield, but the Panthers will absolutely put him out in the slot and let him wreak havoc there as well. And if they're confident enough in his durability, there aren't many return-men better than Christian McCaffrey.
Ninth Pick - Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Allen (DL - Alabama)
Jonathan Allen is an absolute animal on the defensive line, and after his 2016 season many people placed him in their top-5 picks, and almost everyone has him as a top-5 talent, but I think the way the chips fall, he lands in Cincy at #9. Allen can play inside and out just like Thomas can, and he can bring power and speed to a defense that needs help. However, he has been battling a serious shoulder injury, which has scarred some teams away, and that could have him sliding out of not only the top-5, but the top-15 in some people's mock drafts, but I think the Bengals take the risk on this kid and get one of the best players in the draft at #9. If he can beat the shoulder injury and play the way almost everyone predicts he can and will, the Bengals will be in for a real treat.
Tenth Pick - Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams (WR - Clemson)
This was hands down the hardest pick for me to decide on, because I think the Bills are very unpredictable in this spot. Do I think they need a QB? Absolutely not, I think Tyrod Taylor can be the starting QB for this franchise for years to come, but for whatever reason, it seems as if Buffalo does not feel that way, so them grabbing Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes wouldn't shock me. But I think if they are going to put some trust in Taylor, they need to get him some help in the receiving game, and I think there's no better option that Mike Williams. While O.J. Howard wouldn't surprise me here either as they could look to move Charles Clay and keep Howard at TE, I still think Mike Williams is the move. Pairing him with Sammy Watkins, if Watkins can stay healthy, would be perfect for the Bills.
Those are my top-10 picks, but as we all know, anything and everything can happen on draft night, so we will just have to wait and see how things shake out. Let me know what you guys think either in the comments or on social media, and may the odds be in your team's favor tonight.
D'Onta Foreman played trough the 2016 without missing a game despite tragically losing his infant son. D'Onta Jr., the son of the great Texas running back, was never given much of a shot. Born 15 weeks premature, D'Onta Jr. was 15 ounces at the time of his birth, 50 days he spent in intensive care battling before passing away due to intestinal infection. Such a sad story, I can't even imagine having to be a parent at any age having to go through that horror, but to do it at the age of 20 has to be significantly tougher.
Foreman didn't really tell anyone about this tragedy until recently when he told the NFL network. This happened during the season in which he was trying to build his resume to raise his NFL draft stock. The kid has a ton of stress on him already just dealing with being a student athlete, mix a sick infant son into the equation and I'm shocked he was even able to leave bed in the morning. The day his son passed away D'Onta Foreman had the best game of his life, he ran for 3 touchdowns and 341 yards to lead his team to victory over Texas Tech. After, he said he wanted to leave it all there since he was playing for his son.
If Foreman can strive through adversity like that putting up the biggest numbers in his career through the toughest time in his life, he's NFL ready for sure. He's battle tested, he has been through more at 21 years old than most people go through in a lifetime. I have nothing but respect for Foreman and hope he has an outstanding NFL career, he definitely deserves it.
If you guys' listened to this week's latest Podcast (if you haven't, you should), you heard me and Dylan discuss both of these potential #1 picks, and now with the draft just a day away, who will the Browns take first overall?
If there's anything we know about the Cleveland Browns organization, it's that they have no idea what they are doing, and the pressure is really on as they have the top pick in the draft, in one of the most talented drafts in recent memory. The consensus #1 player in the draft is Myles Garrett, and while some people are skeptical that Garrett could be a bust, as Warren Sapp put it, "he's a lazy kid who makes 4 plays a game" - but with the physical intangibles he has, it's hard to to completely dismiss his ability. On the other hand, this draft has a plethora of QB talent, and most specifically it seems teams are very high on Mitchell Trubisky, and the Browns certainly need a QB, because with Osweiler holding the reigns, things won't be great. So who do the Browns Take?
While all signs were pointing to them taking the pass-rushing freak out of Texas A&M, it seems that as of today - as Adam Schefter reported that he has heard rumblings from all over that the Browns will take Trubisky #1 - Garrett might not be their choice. The Browns had apparently been in contact with multiple teams in the top-8 or so, looking to make a trade to get a second pick in the top-10, which would potentially give them a chance at both Garrett and Trubisky, but it seems those talks may have faded out.
Personally, I think Garrett is the better #1 pick for Cleveland, because while he may not be a superstar on film and stats, he is an absolute freak athlete, and in the NFL, that can be all it takes to be a star. Additionally, I don't think Mitchell Trubisky is going to be a superstar QB in the NFL, I think at best he's a career game-manager, and in all honesty, the Browns don't need a game managing QB, they need someone who will elevate them to the next level.
The NFL draft is always one of the most chaotic days in the sports world, and I love every second of it, so it's going to be interesting to see where the chips fall tomorrow, and I hope for the sake of the league, the city of Cleveland, and the Browns organization, they don't screw this draft up - again.
Well folks, the most devastatingly powerful runningback of our generation is officially back in the NFL, as Marshawn Lynch and the Raiders have reached an agreement, and it is expected that the Seahawks will complete the trade of Lynch (pending a physical) sometime in the very near future.
"Beast Mode" shocked the world when he retired from the NFL following the 2015 season, and while many speculated he would return to the NFL at some point, things were very uncertain. But now, he's heading home. Marshawn Lynch eats, sleeps, and bleeds everything Oakland, and I am thrilled that he will get to suit up in the Black and Silver for their final two seasons in Oak-town before they head to Vegas.
Lynch's deal is speculated to be around 3$ million per year for a 2-year deal, with a $2 million dollar incentive if he breaks 1,000 yards, with a max value of about 8.5$ on the table for Beast Mode.
Marshawn Lynch absolutely dominated his one year of retirement just as he did opposing defenses for years, by making headlines all year long for the exact right reasons, by just being him, traveling the world and spreading joy everywhere. For a man of very few words, he was more vocal in retirement than all of his NFL seasons combined, and I have absolutely no doubts that he will take the NFL by storm once again.
The addition of Lynch automatically makes the Raiders a Super Bowl contender, as if they weren't already. Last season they played incredible, and looked like they would challenge the Pat's to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, but after Derek Carr went down with a leg-injury, their hopes and dreams were squashed.
I am a big-time Raiders guy, I've felt bad for those fans for years as they have stayed very true to the Black and Silver even in the worst of seasons, and my heart broke for them when the team decided to leave for Las Vegas, but I hope Marshawn and the awesome core they already have from last year can bring a Super Bowl title to Oakland before they pack their bags.
Talent wise, Joe Mixon is without a doubt a first rounder, it was his off the field actions that left his draft stock in question. He still may very well go in the first round despite blatantly punching a girl in the face that was caught on video for the world to see. One anonymous NFL executive said Joe Mixon isn't just the best running back in the draft, but is the best player in the entire draft. Bold, I get that Joe Mixon had an outstanding season at Oklahoma and he put up great numbers at his pro day, however saying he's the best player is quite a stretch. Especially when he's clearly not even the best player at his respective position in the draft. Leonard Fournette is easily the best pure rusher and most NFL ready back coming into the league. Christian McCaffrey is the most explosive and overall most gifted athlete coming into the league, which leaves Joe Mixon just a notch below them.
I have two lines of thinking when it comes to why this NFL executive would say this. For one, maybe he actually is that drunk and truly believes it. If that's the case I feel bad for whatever team has that executive, my best guess, the Browns. Also, if this executive isn't bullshitting, Mixon will be going in the first round pick because if they think he's the best player in the draft they're obviously going to take him with their first pick, right. Unless it's an executive from the Vikings because they gave up their first round pick this year for Sam Bradford, yeah, must've been that guy.
My other line of thinking is some GM is just saying this to raise the interest in Joe Mixon. If one executive is willing to say that, another executive might be like "okay I thought I was the only one, but if other guys think like that, I'll take the risk." That's got to be the reason because there's no way people actually believe Mixon is better than Fournette, Myles Garrett, and Jamal Adams. Someone's just doing this in a desperate attempt to sway another team's mind from selecting McCaffrey and Fournette so they can land them. Here's a third option, maybe it's just pure nonsense, probably just some GM saying it to say it because they can. If it's an anonymous quote who cares what you say, it's not like you're going to have to answer to it. As long as everyone knows Joe Mixon isn't the best player in the 2017 NFL draft, we're good here.
Fuck Joe Mixon
Now now, nothing is official, just mutual interest between the two parties involved according to @RapSheet on twitter. If this move is to happen, the Giants really struck gold on the offensive side of the ball this offseason. LeGarrette Blount has completely reinvented himself from troubled athlete to beast athlete that just goes about his business. Almost identical to what happened with Marshawn Lynch, except Blount just wasn't nearly as good, and doesn't run his mouth quite as much. Doesn't mean Blount isn't still a helluva back. The perfect compliment to Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen in a Giants backfield that may have just returned to it's glory days.
Any true Giants fan remembers the days of the three headed monster at running back, not the two man combo of Bradshaw and Jacobs, but the three headed monster of Bradshaw, Jacobs, and Derrick Ward. They only played one season together because Ward eventually got paid elsewhere for putting in work on the Giants. Blount, Perkins, and Vereen will be able to match that monster if not improve off that monster making a better one. The original monster had two thousand yard rushers, Derrick Ward and Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw was the young speed back at the time. He added another 400 yards to the total leaving the Giants with about 2,500 rushing yards on the season, a number we've probably never come close to matching in following years. I understand the offensive line was one of the more elite groups in the league at that time, except the difference is I believe this group has more talent.
Brandon Jacobs was a nice guy, solid player, and a Giant I'll never forget. People always seem to romanticize over Jacobs and think he was this big bruiser back that could always pick up that big yard when you needed it, which just is not the case whatsoever. I remember countless times on 3rd and 1, even 4th and 1 when Jacobs just couldn't fall forward for that extra yard. He had the size and strength, he just could never learn how to run low, ultimately ending his career early because he became useless. Blount is a way better power back than Jacobs. He ran for 18 touchdowns last year, that's something the Giants need. A guy that can just pound the rock into the endzone in tough goalline situation because lord knows last year we were the worst in those spots.
Paul Perkins is going to be an every down back for the Giants one day, believe that. He isn't the fastest or strongest guy, but he makes good cuts, has good vision, and doesn't mind throwing a block for his QB. Shane Vereen is the receiving back that can catch out of the backfield better than almost any other RB in the NFL. With this core group of guys, Eli Manning's job will become that much easier. Allow me to reference the 2008 season yet again when we had the original three headed monster at running back, Eli had an amazing year. Yeah he didn't throw for many yards, that's only because he didn't need to with his running game leading the way. The Giants went 12-4 that season and if it wasn't for Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg the Giants probably go back to back that year. The past is the past all we can do now is try to recreate it and signing LeGarette Blount would do just that.
Yesterday, the reports came out that AP and the Saints were in serious contract discussions and a deal seemed inevitable. Today, the deal was made official, Adrian Peterson, has signed with the New Orleans Saints to begin the next chapter of his career. I already wrote a blog on how I felt about this due to the news breaking yesterday, so check that out HERE.
I didn't understand the move yesterday, and today I feel the exact same way. How does AP leave the Vikings, a team that has a pretty decent shot at making the playoffs, for the New Orleans Saints, who have almost no shot at making the playoffs. In all honesty, it seems like AP just flat out fucked up. He went into free agency asking for a big payday while wanting to play for a winner at the same time, something that's just not possible as a running back in this day an age. Any winning franchise isn't going to spend big money for a running back, I don't care if the guy is Barry Sanders, the position just isn't as valuable as it used to be. Only way AP was getting a big pay day was if he signed with some garbage team. He lowered his price tag and started visiting teams like the Seahawks and Patriots. One of two things happened in those visits, they couldn't agree on a price tag, or those teams didn't want him, and I believe it's the latter.
Why would these already successful teams want an old AP. The guy doesn't run block, he can't catch out of the backfield, and he fumbles far too often for a Bill Belichick running back. The fact of the matter is these NFL guys are really smart, they know AP is very one dimensional, and in this day an age that really isn't worth much. What AP failed to realize was the Vikings built their team around him, no other team was willing to do that at this point in his career. After awhile he started running out of options, so he took the first deal he could get with a decent team, which turned out to be the Saints. I could be completely wrong, although my theory makes a lot more sense than AP rationally thinking he could win a Super Bowl within the next 2 years in New Orleans.
Now this is a move I don't necessarily understand. Don't the Saints already have a really good running back in Mark Ingram, I get that he's not AP, but at this point we don't even know if AP is still AP. The tandem of Brees and AP sounds scary, although it'd sound a whole lot scarier 3 years ago. The Saints are trying to keep up in a crowded division that is filled with teams that'll be competitive. Anything will help and if adding AP to an already potent offense is what they think will get them over the hump by all means do it. Also, AP's price tag has gone down a bit now that interest for him has died down, if they can get him at the right price, why not.
Nothing is official yet, anything can happen, so I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. The way this is being reported makes it seem like it's basically a done deal, that and the fact Vikings play the Saints on opening week Monday Night Football. Pretty sketchy how the league set that up before this was even a done deal.
I don't think this deal puts the Saints over the hump, the Defense still isn't quite there. If the offense can put up ridiculous numbers with the two headed monster at running back and Drew Brees doing his thing, maybe they can sneak into the playoffs with a wildcard. This offense would have to be something real special for that to happen. AP wanted to go somewhere he can win, I just don't see that happening with the Saints.
DeShone Kizer just became my least favorite quarterback ever and he hasn't even played a down in the NFL. The former Notre Dame quarterback is entering the NFL draft as the 3rd best quarterback on most draft boards. No one can be sure, but he might not even go in the first round based on how the draft plays out. There's so much uncertainty surrounding the top QB's in this draft that no team is willing to commit their 1st round pick to them already, which shows how much uncertainty surrounds these guys. Well, Kizer certainly seems to be very confident in his ability and his future in the NFL. In an interview with USA Today Kizer said, ""No one else can do what I can do, and I've truly figured out in this [draft] process, if I can maximize all my potential in every aspect of the game -- this is bold -- I do have the ability to be the greatest quarterback to ever play."
Yeah it is bold, too bold for a guy that couldn't even dominate in the college game. I understand he's trying to sell his draft stock and show he's confident in himself, so I was going to cut him some slack, but he wasn't finished making outrageous comments. Next he said, "Imagine taking Brady's intellect and Brady's preparation and putting it on a guy with Cam Newton's body. Why can't I be the greatest? The only thing stopping me from is me. That's what's driving me now."
Insanity. DeShone Kizer thinks he's two super heroes in one, meanwhile he's not even a super hero at all. A combination of Tom Brady and Cam Newton, you'd be the first overall pick without question, obviously none of the professional scouts see what you see. His own coach at Notre Dame said he wasn't ready for the NFL and that he should still be in college. That's harsh, I've never heard a coach say that about a player entering the draft before. Kizer is a pretty big dude, although Cam Newton is still bigger, was way better coming out of college, and Cam proved that with his college success. Tom Brady was the ultimate out of nowhere late round miracle, Kizer isn't that, and he isn't going to have Bill Belichick as his coach either.
DeShone Kizer did back track via twitter saying his comments were taken out of context, but that's just him being afraid of the adversity he was getting for his words. If you're going to make bold comments you stand by them and back them up. Not cower away when you start receiving opprobrium for your remarks. Kizer has a lot to learn about talking to the media and a lot to learn about the game of football before he is the greatest of all time at anything in this league. Walk the walk, don't talk trash, especially as a rookie.