The world of sports can change so quickly. One minute you’re up and the next you’re out of the league. It happened in basketball to Carmelo Anthony and now it’s happened in the NFL to Cam Newton. The persona, the perceived ego, the media attention have all combined and created a storm that shows no signs of clearing up right away. As Cam awaits, here are the best landing spots for him.
Cam Newton is no Russell Wilson, but he’s as close to a fill in you’ll find, if Seattle had to bring someone in. Pete Carroll embraces guys being themselves, Seattle fans are very open, and the offense has potential.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders signed Marcus Mariota to be Carr’s backup. If Derek Carr is injured or traded the Raiders can’t expect to win games with Mariota. Cam would give you a higher upside on the field and off the field media coverage moving to a new city.
Injuries hit the Falcons every year but its never hit Matt Ryan. If something were to happen and with Quinn on the hot seat, the Falcons could opt for the 2 for 1 special of selling tickets and trying to win by bringing in the GA native.
After seeing what Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges did last year, if Big Ben gets injured again Pittsburgh should opt to upgrade the position since they didn’t use the draft to fill the need. Tomlin is the kind of coach who can handle the media attention and locker room presence of Cam, I mean Tomlin had Antonio Brown for years.
My final NFL Mock Draft before it all goes down has come. With many rumors floating around it’s hard to put a hold on what is real and what is not. With the Covid-19 spreading throughout the world, the NFL Draft is awfully weird. Like come on, a virtual draft? Are we playing Madden 20? These Owners, General Managers, coaches, and scouts have their hands full. Full of promise and hope as well as the slim chance of not being fully prepared from something that no one could’ve expected. I’m hoping the tape I’ve watched and the sources I’ve come in contact with are leading me down the right path, in what will ultimately come down as one of the most memorable drafts in NFL History.
The first and second pick will go as chalk but where will the board start to shake? I won’t partake in any trades because, 1) it’s hard to predict and 2) it is always some random team that comes out of nowhere and wrecks the draft. Here’s my 3rd and final version of how it will all shape out come April 23rd.
1. Cincinnati Bengals
QB Joe Burrow, LSU
This has been the #1 Pick since he beat Alabama. Throughout the process it took awhile but Joe Burrow will get his nickname back, The Bayou Bengal. He will head up to Cincinatti with the likes of A.J. Green, Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd, not to mention 2019 1st round draft pick Jonah Williams, who will be healthy this season leading the way to protect the former Heisman trophy Quarterback. Can Joe Burrow be more than a one hit wonder? Lets wait and see.
2. Washington Redskins
DE Chase Young, OHST
They said Chase Young only weakness is that he “can’t beat triple teams” and even though that’s a HUGE knock against him, he is the best player in the 2020 NFL Draft and every team knows it. Chase Young would be the first pick in most drafts following guys like J. Clowney and M. Garrett as top picks but it’s fine, he can be Von Miller (2nd overall in 2011) and Nick Bosa (2nd overall in 2019) who both went on to win DROY. Rivera won’t waste time with this decision.
3. Detroit Lions
DB, Jeff Okudah, OHST
Jeff Okudah is one of my favorite players in the draft and will be the 3rd Ohio guy off the board, if the Lions keep the pick. However, everyone has proclaim that Lions GM Bob Quinn would like to trade back, but the question is, how far? The Lions need talent and after trading All Pro CB Darius Slay, the CB position is a dire need. I predicted this defense would be top 8 in the league and my prophet prediction was way off (lions defense ranked 31st in 2019). If the Lions draft Okudah, Matt Patricia could right my wrong. NO BRAINER decision for them here.
4. New York Giants
OT, Jedrick Wills, BAMA
With the ability to play either tackle spot, I have Wills as my highest ranked O-Lineman in the draft. Wills is big (6’5 320 lbs), strong, quick and athletic. Giants have invested in Daniel Jones (6th pick in 2019) and Saquon Barkley (2nd pick in 2018) the only way to protect and clear lanes for those investments is to continue to work the trenches. Daniel Jones fumbled 13 times in 9 games, Giants please give this man some help!
5. Miami Dolphins
QB, Tua Tagovailoa, BAMA
Miami has been toying with the media for awhile throwing everyone off into a loop of which QB they like most, even with GM Chris Grier visited Bama on more than one occasion, could it all be smoke screen? In my opinion, Tua is the best QB in this draft! Don’t let what Joe Burrow did in 1 year overlooked what Tua has done, dating back to the championship comeback vs UGA as a true freshman. Tagovailoa has the highest ceiling and yet the lowest floor. The injuries are concerning but I believe he’s ready to take the NFL by storm. He has a quality arm that can make any throw required in the NFL. Accuracy and poised, no wonder he’s been compared to Drew Brees.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
QB Justin Herbert, ORE
I am not a fan of Justin Herbert but the Chargers probably will not find themselves drafting this high for the likes of Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. This roster is ready to win now and with Tyrod Taylor, I think they can. However, we know what Tyrod is and that’s the reason that Herbert is rumored and linked to go here. Will he be the future?
7. Carolina Panthers
LB Isaiah Simmons, CLEM
Superior Being, Freak of Nature, Never Seen Before. I don’t know what to really call Simmons but this is a FOOTBALL PLAYER. He can probably play every position on the field and succeed. With this selection, Simmons will instantly be a top 5 player on the team and have huge holes to fill left by Luke Kuechly, who decided to retire. Simmons is a baller and if used right will be a 1st ballot Hall Of Famer.
8. Arizona Cardinals
IDL Derrick Brown, AUB
Cardinals pulled off a heist of a trade by acquiring DHop from the Houston Texans. They filled the need at WR that they desperately needed. Now Kingsbury has to pay attention to the defense side of the ball. Every great pass rusher needs an interior lineman that can leave them 1 on 1. How can the Cardinals help Chandler Jones? Derrick Brown is the guy at 8.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
IDL Javon Kinlaw, SCAR
Another IDL off the board in back to back picks. Kinlaw is another favorite of mine and 1B for my rankings with Interior DLine play. Just like the Cardinals, Josh Allen need someone in the middle to eat up blocks and pressure the QB from the inside. Kinlaw has been seen to squat bench press over 2,000 lbs, in the WWE we called this ‘A monster among men.’
10. Cleveland Browns
OT Tristian Wirfs, IOWA
Jack Conklin was signed in FA to protect Baker Mayfield, even that is not enough, Wirfs was very impressive at the combine with measurements and his on the field workouts. He comes in as a day 1 Franchise Left Tackle in this offense giving them two anchor positions at both Tackles spots.
11. New York Jets
OT Andrew Thomas, UGA
The Jets did a good job with the OL in FA but still it’s a need important enough to draft in the 1st round. The Jets really need weapons and with all WRs on the board, it is very hard to pass it up. What good does it do if Darnold is laying on his back?
12. Las Vegas Raiders
WR Henry Ruggs, BAMA
Raiders will value speed here. I think Henry Ruggs will be the best WR in this class. He is a complete WR, it just so happens he has blazing speed with it. Ruggs III will go down as the steal of this draft. ‘Prophet Prediction’
13. San Francisco 49ers (via IND)
WR Ceedee Lamb, OKLA
49ers moved Buckner to the Colts and acquired a top 15 pick. With the uncertainty of the position, why wouldn’t Shanahan get a star in the making? The best way to prop up Jimmy G is to surround him with talent. Ceedee Lamb is one of the smoothest players I’ve ever seen coming out. He’s a difference maker on an already made team.
14. Tampa Bay Bucs
OT Mechi Becton, LOU
The biggest giant to ever play football — thats Becton. That’s all I can say, but he’s the right pick for a team who just signed a 40+ year old QB. Now that Brady finally has the weapons, it does him no good if he has to run for his life, and lets be honest, Brady wouldn’t get far.
15. Denver Broncos
WR Jerry Jeudy, BAMA
The Broncos have big plans in 2020 and Jerry Jeudy could be the icing on the cake. Drew Lock went 4-1 as a starter, adding Melvin Gordon in the running game and a special talent in the passing game can elevate Lock to another level. Pat Shurmur is getting back to the play calling duties and what fun he’ll have with Jeudy to play with.
16. Atlanta Falcons
CB CJ Henderson, UF
The Falcons signed Dante Fowler to lower the need for a pass rusher in the 1st round. Dan Quinn needs to get back in his Seattle days with elite DB play. CJ Henderson is clearly the pick here to boost up the secondary. Hopefully he doesn’t fall in the trend for most Gator DBs.
17. Dallas Cowboys
EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
The second best pass rusher in the group behind Chase Young. Chaisson is raw but he has all the tools to help the Cowboys Front. Cowboys messed up a few years back taking Taco Charlton over TJ Watt, this a can’t miss selection that even Ray Charles could see.
18. Miami Dolphins (via PIT)
WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
I know, Justin Jefferson!? Well, if you invest in a QB like the Dolphins have with the 5th pick in the draft, getting Tua the weapons is very necessary. Devante Parker finally showed up to his 1st rd billing and Preston Williams came on strong. The dolphins receiving core is also brittle (Wilson, Hurns, Grant, Williams injuries) but a guy like Justin Jefferson, who’s interchangeable with any WR position can make this WR group special.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI)
LB Kenneth Murray, OKLA
Murray is a fast and physical linebacker who flies around the field and is always around the ball. He is very well put together and a good tackler. Raiders drafting the WR-LB combo with their 2 draft picks are a win-win for this organization.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)
CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
Fulton has slowly fell down in the latest mocks and he does the same for me here. He’s no Jalen Ramsey but he knows that he has the over top type of abilities with the confidence to match. Jaguars remaking this team and are a few years away. Kinlaw and Fulton will be a very good start.
21. Philadelphia Eagles
LB Patrick Queen, LSU
WR is the biggest need for the Eagles and Howie Roseman doesn’t draft Linebackers in the 1st round. That’s two statements that are already against me but adding Hargrave and Slay tells me that the Eagles want to sure up the defense. Instead of patching it up — let’s get a right away starter who has all the instincts to be a leader.
22. Minnesota Vikings (via BUF)
CB Jeff Gladney, TCU
The Rhodes are closed now and The Vikings has lost 3 starting CBs in Free Agency. Jeff Gladney has real cover skills to run with receivers and prevent separation. Zimmer will fall in love with his length even though he’s a smaller Corner. He can be lined up as an outside or inside corner and can excel around a talented football team.
23. New England Patriots
IOL Cesar Ruiz, MICH
Ruiz just seems like he was born to be a Patriot. He’s an IOL who can play at Center or at either guard position. The Patriots have issues everywhere on the roster, but nothing like the OL. Shaq Mason regressed, Thuney is on a franchise tag (NE is financially strapped) and David Andrews can’t stay healthy. Ruiz is a well-balanced blocker in the ground game and in pass protection. Bill should be looking to build the trenches again.
24. New Orleans Saints
EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, PSU
I believe the Offense is to blame for their shortcomings in the playoffs but most believe it’s the defense. A way to keep pressure off the offense is for the defense to continue to get after the QB. Davenport, Rankins and All Pro DE Cam Jordan could use another pass rusher to sure up the line. I love Gross-Matos’s motor and relentless pursuer of the football. How many sacks can he get down at the Bayou?
25. Minnesota Vikings
WR Denzel Mims, BAY
Two things about Mims that would be similar to Stefon Diggs, are his ability to make contested catches and his run after the catch ability. Those two traits for WRs are the main reasons I love Denzel Mims here. With an accurate QB in Kirk Cousins mixed with Mims’ size, this could be a dream pick for the Vikings.
26. Miami Dolphins (Texans)
S Xavier Mckinney, BAMA
Mckinney has moved up on my board as the #1 Safety ways ahead of Delpit and Winfield Jr. McKinney is the jack-of-all-trades in the secondary, as he is able cover tight ends and wide receivers, can play deep zone free safety, also has the strength to tackle and can be the eighth man in the box. McKinney has size, speed, athleticism and upside to be the perfect safety in the NFL. Dolphins just hit a A+ Draft and it’s only the first round.
27. Seattle Seahawks
OT Josh Jones, HOU
Another tackle off the board with this pick here. I am not a big fan of Seattle’s roster. I still believe it’s Russ or a bust. The only way to prevent Russell Wilson from injury is to protect him. This OL stills struggle, Josh Jones falls into a High Ceiling and Low floor player. Seattle should take the risk.
28. Baltimore Ravens
DE AJ Epenesa, IOWA
Ravens have to replace Judon as he plays 2020 on the franchise tag. Epenesa at 6’6 and 280, he has all the power from the edge. Epenesa can play the solid base end on 4-3 defense but is best suited as a five-technique end in a 3-4, either way, Ravens will gear up to get after the QB.
29. Tennessee Titans
OT Austin Jackson, USC
Titans lost Conklin to Free Agency and to fill the void at tackle, they’ll select Austin Jackson. He easily gets to the second level on the backside of run plays and does a good job getting on LBs in space and for King Henry and the Titans, that fits perfect.
30. Green Bay Packers
WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
I’m a huge Reagor fan. They have a lot of options here but at the end of the day, Devante Adams needs help and signing Jimmy Graham didn’t help that. Reagor has the ability to take the top off the defense and is a home run hitter. Great change of pace option for Rodgers.
31. San Francisco 49ers
S Antoine Winfield Jr. MINN
His dad was a great corner, his son can potentially be a great safety. A couple injuries but he’s another jack-of-all trades, who’s a ball hawk, high IQ safety. Continuing to add help on that defense is the smart thing to do, John Lynch will love him.
32. Kansas City Chiefs
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU
The Chiefs have to hit on draft picks due to the Mahomes contract that will follow. With that being said the Chiefs should select someone who can be a star on a cheap deal. Although Damien Williams was the star of the Super Bowl, Andy Reid may throw a curveball and have my only RB to go in the 1st RD. CEH is my #1 running back in this class and is easily the best 3 down RB. I haven’t found a weakness in his game yet and pairing him alongside the best player in the NFL, the league should watch out.
Who’s Hiring? The time is upon us again, the infamous Black Sunday and Monday for NFL Head Coaches. Jay Gruden and Ron Rivera didn’t make it to this point after being fired mid-season, but for some of their contemporaries this can be a dreaded day. Some coaches like Dan Quinn were able to string together some wins and get a vote of confidence from ownership, while Pat Shurmur and Freddie Kitchens were relieved of duties relatively immediately.
With those jobs and a few others expected to open, what factors should potential candidates look at to be sure it’s the right fit. Candidates should make sure stand a chance to succeed so they don’t become a casualty of Black Sunday & Monday in the not to distant future as well as avoid a 1 and Done situation. (Steve Wilks in Arizona 2018-2019 and Freddie Kitchens 2019-2020)
We believe there are 5 things every coach should consider: GM/Ownership, Location, Roster, Quarterback, and Division. We have graded each of these categories and ranked them by perceived level of importance to assess which coaching situations are the most and least desirable. Here are our rankings for the available jobs from Best Job to Worst.
*K is For Keven, R is for Rashad for their reasoning*
K: With Dak contract situation looming, I still believe this team has the best QB situation out of all available jobs. With the roster already in place with the likes of Zeke, Cooper (contract looming), Gallup, the OL and an above average defense any coach would be happy given the state of the team. I gave the GM/Owner grade a C because of the involvement of Jerry Jones. He is everything you do not want as a coach because he has so much power in the NFL. I can see big names turning down the Cowboys for this reason alone but in a division so wide open this job takes the cake.
R: The Cowboys, America’s team, is set up great for the future but who will be there to lead them. Jerry and Stephen have put together a deep roster the only major question being how much is Dak Prescott worth. If you don’t mind Jerry lurking and always being in the shadows this is a job you can expect to walk in and win games immediately.
New York Giants
K: The G-Men will be introducing their 3rd coach in 5 years for the 2020 season. Why would this job be 2nd? Well it should not be too hard to turn around. A defensive-minded coach should be lured here with Daniel Jones getting experience as a rookie and multiple weapons they have on offense including a top 4 draft pick, the right coach can quickly get the Giants to the promised land. Just like for the Cowboys, the division is another luring factor, it so wide open I can see the Giants going from 3rd place to 1st similar to the 49ers in the NFC West.
R: After 2 attempts at hiring an offensive minded head coach the New York Giants could be headed in the opposite direction this time around. A solid offensive coordinator to pair with the young core of Daniel Jones, Saquon and young receivers should be enough to keep them headed in the right direction. The defense is where the attention should be. A personable defensive oriented coach who can handle the New York media and mask the shortcomings of talent would be ideal.
K: Panther are here more so because of me than Rashad. Reports say that Panthers prefer an offensive minded coach and that is just what they need. I believe they will draft a QB like Tua from Alabama or keep their signal caller Cam Newton. A coach looking for his QB this is a great scenario because of what scheme they could bring. The defense need some fixing but with guys like DJ Moore and CMC in place the right Coach-QB pairing could get panthers in the mix of things, especially with a 4th place schedule and the 7th pick in the NFL Draft.
R: The Carolina Panthers are in a precarious position. You have a new owner looking to make a splash. Firing Ron Rivera mid-season turned out to be terrible but at least you got a head start on your search. The QB and O Line situation need to be addressed and being in a tough division makes this coaching hire very important.
K: I don’t believe this is a great job, I mean it’s solid. If Marrone is fired, good luck to whoever is next because this roster does have holes. I do like the division, there’s no team who just owns it, hopefully Jags can get back to that magical season of 2017.
R: It feels like a decade has passed since the Jacksonville Jaguars had the Patriots on the ropes in the AFC Championship. A lot has changed in the 2 years since. No more Coughlin, Bortles or All-Pro stud Ramsey. Based on reports, I would guess this team needs a players coach who can manage multiple egos and unfortunately, you have to walk into the QB dilemma of Minshew vs Foles. I guess no State taxes and the warm weather of Florida make this job somewhat appealing. Not to mention, this division always seems to be up for grabs until the last week of the season and you could be walking into a solid young roster.
New York Jets
K: Adam Gase should be fired, beating Bills without their key guys in a meaningless week 17 means nothing. What you seen from Tannehill in Tennessee, DeVante Parker in Miami and Kenyan Drake in Arizona is simple to say Gase doesn’t know what he’s doing on the offensive end. But for a new coach to walk in with a young QB in Sam Darnold, solid weapons and a superstar safety there is something that can be built. The AFC East, with the Patriots dynasty about over, the division is there for the taking. The location of being in New York, young roster and a competent GM, its a solid job to take.
R: This franchise is down right special and I don’t mean that as a compliment. They’ve done everything backwards. Letting a GM conduct a draft just to fire him afterwards makes no sense. Now you’re in search for a coach to pair with a GM and QB in Darnold who’s shown some signs of growth. After the Gase debacle do you go offensive minded again or defensive? If not for injury this defense had some potential. Roster and division will be the biggest challenges to overcome for this incoming coach.
K: “Browns gonna Brown”, a famous saying everyone knows, and to me it is somewhere I just don’t want to be. The GM is better and to be honest was going in the right direction under Hue Jackson. Even with a young QB, superstars at the WR and DE position, if I am a young coach I wouldn’t touch it. A Mature coach? Well that’s different.
R: Expectations killed the Browns this season. Freddie was in way over his head with this one. With so much young talent it’s more imperative now than in years past the Browns get the right guy. It won’t be easy coaching against 2 Future Hall of Famers, managing multiple egos, expectations of fans and media and most importantly installing some discipline and accountability. The Browns were one of the league leaders in penalties and do I even need to mention the Myles Garrett debacle. The coach for this job must be a high character guy, proven winner and somewhat of a disciplinarian.
K: All I know is, Daniel Snyder is terrible but they’ll have Chase Young. That is it, that’s my analysis.
R: The nations capital, home of the Washington Redskins has also been the home of dysfunction. From Dan Snyder on down this franchise has had its fair share of bad moments. But entering this new decade there’s a chance to turn it around. The roster is relatively young and has shown flashes of productivity. The division is tough yet winnable as there has not been a repeat champion since the Eagles in 2003-2004. The coach to take this job has to be a believer in Haskins. When Haskins was drafted it was reported the room was divided on him as the guy. If the new coach does not believe in him and doesn’t have a track record of being able to create a winning culture there’s a good chance it’s a bad hire.