The second week is here and there were many surprises in week one. From the four-touchdown game by Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, to the 27-point fantasy outburst from Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski. We look back on those performances, and look ahead to the upcoming week with our weekly prediction column: Take it to the Bank.
AP Gets It Together
Last week, we watched as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was held to just 31 yards on 10 carries. Not really the numbers that fantasy owners were expecting after almost all took him in the first round. This week, Peterson and the Vikings return home for the first time this season. I’d expect AP to get his regular workload and should make an impact against a Detroit Lions team who lost some big guys off their line this offseason.
It’s On Like Gronky Kong
This past week, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan said that he may have to opt to put three defenders on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. While I found this a bit humorous, I don’t really think that Rex was kidding. There will be times where Gronk has three players covering him. I’d expect Gronkowski to have a below average game, but anything is possible. Pats wide receiver Julian Edelman is expected to have a good fantasy outing, and Danny Amendola is a sneaky play this week.
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was in for a huge week in week one, becoming just the second rookie quarterback ever to throw four touchdowns in his first career game. This week, Mariota turns his attention to the Cleveland Browns, who just allowed a big game to New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. Expect big things for the rookie this week.
Macaroni and Brees
The search party is out for New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees this week. Listen, I know that he still threw for 355 yards last week against the Arizona Cardinals, but the stat that stood out to me was that Brees had only one touchdown pass on four trips to the red zone. Now while there is concern about Brees, the veteran will get to try in week two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who allowed four touchdown passes in the first half to Marcus Mariota. We’ll see how much easier that makes it for Brees. Start him as normal.
In case you haven’t heard, the St. Louis Rams have been practicing with running back Todd Gurley this week. The rookie halfback isn’t supposed to return to the lineup until week four after tearing his ACL last season at the collegiate level with Georgia. This is great news for Gurley owners, as it signals the possibility of a week three return. Currently, Gurley is listed as questionable for this week’s matchup against the Washington Redskins, but I’m not confident that Gurley will play this week. Look for Tre Mason to get the start at running back for the Rams.
UPDATE (Sunday 9/20 @ 11:30 AM): Gurley is inactive today. The Rams are targeting a week three return.
Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy
By Alex Horowitz
He has never started a professional football game. He has thrown nine total pass attempts, only one of which was a touchdown. And yet when Johnny Manziel entered the game for the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, you would’ve thought he was the second coming of Peyton Manning, based on the reaction of football fans around the nation. “Johnny Football” is more so known for his off-the-field life rather than his football skill, but nowadays that is what captivates people; it’s like the whole Tim Tebow mania from 2011.
Sure, he was a Heisman award winner at Texas A&M, but even two years later he still is one of the more popular players in the National Football League. In this age of Twitter and other types of social media, our society has become fascinated with his “fun” lifestyle, for lack of a better term. While he parties frequently and has been arrested on multiple occasions, this should not impact his talent as a quarterback in the least; the hype has already been bought into though. Cleveland is strongly considering starting Manziel next Sunday versus Indianapolis, but they would be incredibly foolish to do so. Simply put, Manziel has not learned the ropes yet to succeed in this brutal league.
Normally, a young quarterback would need to prove himself over a fairly long period of time in order to win the starting job. In the case of Manziel, what has he done to boost his on-field resume? A 10-yard rushing touchdown started a comeback effort last week, but ultimately the Browns fell short. However, this literally was his only positive play of the season. The majority of his time has been spent on the sideline, learning the ropes from the coaching staff and incumbent starter Brian Hoyer. That’s not to say this experience is not beneficial, because there definitely is value in learning from a seasoned veteran. But the mental side is only half the battle. Having the ability to hit open receivers and escape pressure is an entire challenge in an itself, and one that Manziel is not ready for at this current time- no matter what the media or anyone else makes you believe.
Brian Hoyer certainly is not one of the top quarterbacks in today’s game. His 46.67 total quarterback rating this season ranks 28th among all qualified quarterbacks. Only a handful of signal callers are worse than him in that regard. He has not had much to work with though. His leading receiver, Josh Gordon, was suspended for the first ten weeks, and Cleveland’s running backs have posted the fifth-worst yards-per-carry average league wide. These excuses aside, Hoyer has led the Browns to a 7-5 start, which is the most important statistic of them all. His team is in the thick of the AFC playoff race, something even the most optimistic of fans would have been skeptical of months ago.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This will be a tough concept for Browns fans to accept, but unless they want to be heartbroken yet again, Johnny Manziel must continue to remain the backup quarterback. If the team decides otherwise, then another chapter of disappointment will be added to Cleveland sports lore. Unlike “The Drive”, “The Shot”, or “The Fumble”, this curse will be much more straightforward.
Alex Horowitz is a senior at Briarcliff High School and is an aspiring sports writer. As a lifelong sports fan, he has rooted for the New York Knicks, New York Mets, and Detroit Lions. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhorowitz3
By Brett Malamud
This week has Peyton Manning on the precipice of NFL history. Manning needs just two touchdowns to tie Brett Favre for the all time touchdowns record. Here’s what else is on tap for week seven:
BYES: Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-Jets (1-5) at Patriots (4-2), Thursday @ 8:25 PM EST
The Jets come into this matchup off their loss to Peyton Manning and the Broncos. They showed signs of promise, and kept with Denver for most of the game. This week they’ll face another hall of fame quarterback in Tom Brady. Brady was excellent last week against the Bills and hopes to continue his success. I believe that the game will be close throughout, but I’m taking New England. Verdict: Patriots
-Falcons (2-4) at Ravens (4-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Falcons lost to the Bears last week in a game that was close through three quarters before Chicago pulled away. They’ll face the Ravens, who return home after their biggest win this season. Joe Flacco finished his day with five touchdown passes in route to a 48-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I’m going to pick the Ravens to stay hot. Verdict: Ravens
-Titans (2-4) at Redskins (1-5), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Titans barely edged out the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, in a performance that Tennessee should not be proud of. They allowed 336 passing yards to Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. This week they’ll have a tougher matchup against Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins who threw for 354 yards against a tough Arizona Cardinals defense. The task will be tough, and I think it’ll be too difficult for the Titans to stop Cousins. Verdict: Redskins
-Seahawks (3-2) at Rams (1-4), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Seahawks were shocked last week by the Dallas Cowboys. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson was held to just 126 yards on the day. The Rams also were defeated last week, taking a Monday night loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Look for Rams rookie quarterback Austin Davis to show some promise against a deadly Seahawks defense, and ultimately win. The Rams will continue powering through their rough schedule. Verdict: Rams
-Browns (3-2) at Jaguars (0-6), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
I picked the Browns to win last week and they did against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’re going to win this one too, especially against the winless Jaguars. Verdict: Browns
-Bengals (3-1-1) at Colts (4-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
Last week’s Bengals-Panthers game ended with Mike Nugent kicking a 36-yard field goal wide right as the clock expired to end the game in a tie. The Bengals now look to regroup as they head into Indianapolis. They’ll try to stop a red-hot Colts team, led by quarterback Andrew Luck and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. The Colts come off of a win in Houston on Thursday Night Football. They’ll take this one, especially at the rate they’ve been playing at. Verdict: Colts
-Vikings (2-4) at Bills (3-3), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Bills couldn’t handle Tom Brady and the Patriots last week, and that sent them to an even 3-3 on the season. Bills quarterback Kyle Orton did look good though and hopes to continue that this week. He’ll match up against Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater couldn’t find the endzone last week against the Detroit Lions. I think that will change, but the Bills will run away with this one. Verdict: Bills
-Dolphins (2-3) at Bears (3-3), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
Jay Cutler impressed last week, torching the Atlanta Falcons for 381 passing yards in route to a 27-13 victory. This week, the Bears turn their attention to the Miami Dolphins, who come off of a closely contested game with the Green Bay Packers. This game will be very close, but I’m going with Chicago here. Verdict: Bears
-Saints (2-3) at Lions (4-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Saints head off of their bye week into Detroit, where they’ll take on the Lions. Injuries will have an impact in this one, as the Saints will likely be without tight end Jimmy Graham, and the status of Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is up in the air as well. The one achilles heel of the Lions could be their running game, currently ranked 29th in the league. With that said, look for wide receiver Golden Tate to step into the spotlight and lead the Lions to a close victory. Verdict: Lions
-Panthers (3-2-1) at Packers (4-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST
The Panthers escaped last week’s game with a tie after the Bengals kicker Mike Nugent missed a 36-yard attempt as time expired in overtime. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton had 284 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air, in addition to his 107 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Panthers will take on the Packers at Lambeau Field this week. The Packers beat the Dolphins this week and look to continue their win streak. I believe that they will. Verdict: Packers
-Chiefs (2-3) at Chargers (5-1), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST
The Chiefs come in off of the bye week after being defeated in San Francisco the week before. The Chargers on the other hand squeaked out a victory against the Oakland Raiders. Quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns. San Diego has the third ranked defense and will have to stop the Chiefs’ run game. I think they will, and will charge past the chiefs this weekend Verdict: Chargers
-Cardinals (4-1) at Raiders (0-5), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
I’d be shocked to see Oakland come away with a victory in this one. The Cardinals took down the Redskins last week, and the Raiders took a loss to the Chargers. Look for the Cardinals to keep the Raiders winless. Verdict: Chargers
-Giants (3-3) at Cowboys (5-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST
A battle is brewing in the NFC East. The Eagles and Cowboys are currently tied for first place at 3-1 and lurking behind them is the Giants at 3-3. The Giants are sure to miss wide receiver Victor Cruz after he tore his patella tendon, ruling him out for the rest of the season. Odell Beckham Jr. and Ruben Randle will have to step up, knowing that they’ll have to get open quick due to the bad offensive line that the Giants have. I’m going to have to go with the Cowboys simply because of their offense, that took down the mighty Seattle Seahawks last weekend. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and running back DeMarco Murray should have a big day. Verdict: Cowboys
-49ers (4-2) at Broncos (4-1), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST
My game of the week is right here, with the 49ers traveling into the Mile High City. The Broncos are fresh off of their win against the Jets last week. Peyton Manning is two touchdown passes away from tying Brett Favre for the all time touchdowns record. He’ll most likely tie the record on Sunday. The 49ers took down the Rams last week, but will probably take a loss to Peyton and the Broncos here. Verdict: Broncos
-Texans (3-3) at Steelers (3-3), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST
The Texans took a loss at home on Thursday Night Football to send them to an even 3-3 record. The Steelers took a loss to the Cleveland Browns. With both teams looking to bounce back, expect a good game here. I’m going with the Steelers, who head into this week with the sixth ranked offense in the league. Verdict: Steelers
By Jack Allen
Yes, what you see is what I believe. Under starting quarterback Brian Hoyer last fall the Browns went 3-0 before Hoyer suffered an ACL tear. With the 22nd overall pick this last spring the Browns selected Texas A&M’ phenom quarterback Johnny Manziel. We’ll see whether Manziel sits under Hoyer or takes the starting position. With a good defense and an offense ready for a good quarterback, I really believe this is THE year in Ohio. The city is ready for a return to the playoffs. With Hoyer and Manziel as a one two punch, and with a healthy defense, the Cleveland Browns are definitely a scary team in the AFC North.
The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t won a playoff game in almost 25 years. With an identical roster, I don’t think this team is good enough for their division’s up and coming competition. After a terrible performance at home in the Wild Card playoff game against San Diego, I think its going to take time for Andy Dalton and the Bengals to get back to the dance. They have a good offense, but in my opinion, it’s nothing special and not good enough. This divisional I think will be the biggest surprise, and a let down to NFL analysts this season.
The 2013 Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens struggled last season, but eventually gave themselves a chance that they blew in the final two weeks of the season getting outscored 75-24. Head Coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco had a legendary defense in the year they won the Super Bowl. Without that defense, I firmly believe this team isn’t even good enough to compete for a playoff birth. Last season they had an easy schedule and were lucky to be in any type of playoff race. They set themselves up for a wild card birth, but they still blew it. They did add Steve Smith this offseason, but until Joe Flacco can return to that great form and more improvements around the whole team, they won’t be headed anywhere. Former pro bowl running back Ray Rice will return in week 3 after he serves a two game suspension.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to come across the realization that it’s time for some big changes after this season. After missing out on the playoffs in a heart breaking fashion last year, they aren’t going to have the same chance with this team. With other teams in the AFC getting better, this will be a real “Shift in Power” for the Steelers in the wrong direction. Mike Tomlin should be on the hot seat after their struggles. They are going to be in need of a better receiving core, and perhaps a young quarterback. Roethlisberger is 32 years old and so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stock up on an understudy to Big Ben. Steel City, prepare for a major let down this upcoming season.
1). Browns 10-6
2). Bengals 8-8
3). Ravens 6-10
4). Steelers 5-11
Jack Allen is a writer for dabuzzza.com. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Queens Park Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball. His favorite athletes are David Wright, John Tavares, Geno Smith, Allen Iverson and Charlie Austin. He is a very passionate and determined fan. You can follow him on twitter @JackAllen99.
The NFL Draft starts at 8:00 PM EST tonight. You can follow the draft coverage here
|1||Houston Texans||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||South Carolina|
|2||St. Louis Rams (From WSH)||Greg Robinson||OT||Auburn|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Blake Bortles||QB||Central Florida|
|4||Buffalo Bills (From CLE)||Sammy Watkins||WR||Clemson|
|5||Oakland Raiders||Khalil Mack||OLB||Buffalo|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||Jake Matthews||OT||Texas A&M|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccanners||Mike Evans||WR||Texas A&M|
|8||Cleveland Browns (From MIN)||Justin Gilbert||CB||Oklahoma State|
|9||Minnesota Vikings (From CLE) (Via BUF)||Anthony Barr||OLB||UCLA|
|10||Detroit Lions||Eric Ebron||TE||UNC|
|11||Tennessee Titans||Taylor Lewan||OT||Michigan|
|12||New York Giants||Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||LSU|
|13||St. Louis Rams||Aaron Donald||DT||Pittsburgh|
|14||Chicago Bears||Kyle Fuller||CB||VA. Tech|
|15||Pittsburgh Steelers||Ryan Shazier||LB||Ohio State|
|16||Dallas Cowboys||Zack Martin||OT||Notre Dame|
|17||Baltimore Ravens||CJ Mosley||LB||Alabama|
|18||New York Jets||Calvin Pryor||S||Louisville|
|19||Miami Dolphins||Ja’wuan James||OT||Tennessee|
|20||New Orleans Saints (From ARI)||Brandin Cooks||WR||Oregon State|
|21||Green Bay Packers||Ha-Ha Clinton Dix||S||Alabama|
|22||Cleveland Browns (From PHI)||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs||Dee Ford||DE||Auburn|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||Darqueze Dennard||CB||Michigan State|
|25||San Diego Chargers||Jason Verrett||CB||TCU|
|26||Philadelphia Eagles (Via CLE) (From IND)||Marcus Smith||DE||Louisville|
|27||Arizona Cardinals (From NO)||Deone Bucannon||S||Washington St.|
|28||Carolina Panthers||Kelvin Benjamin||WR||FSU|
|29||New England Patriots||Dominique Easley||DT||Florida|
|30||San Francisco 49ers||Jimmie Ward||S||Northern Illinois|
|31||Denver Broncos||Brandon Roby||CB||Ohio State|
|32||Minnesota Vikings (Via SEA)||Teddy Bridgewater||QB||Louisville|
Draft Day Trades:
- Bills acquire No. 4 Pick (Sammy Watkins) from Browns for No. 9 pick (Anthony Barr), plus 2015 1st & 4th round picks
- Browns acquire 8th pick (Justin Gilbert) from Minnesota for 9th pick (Anthony Barr)
- The Cardinals traded No. 20 (Brandin Cooks) to New Orleans for No. 27 (Deone Bucannon) and their third-rounder, Pick No. 91.
- The Browns traded Pick No. 26 (Marcus Smith), and their third-rounder, Pick No. 83, to move up to No. 22 (Johnny Manziel)
- Vikings acquire the 32th pick (Teddy Bridgewater) for the 40th pick and 108th pick
Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy
By Ryan Crawford
My mock draft 1.0 was devoid of the early QB run that was expected and mock draft 2.0 follows the same pattern. I think that now that the QB situation has gotten murkier and that there will be a lot of moves both up and down that do not involve the QBs. Houston at 1 and St. Louis at 2 are both candidates to move down. With St Louis having 2 and 13 I believe there is no doubt that Rams GM Les Snead will be moving all over the place. We heard rumors for months that every pick from 3 to 7 could also be in play. Here’s my most recent stab at it.
1. HOUSTON TEXANS- Jadaveon Clowney-DL- South Carolina
Clowney is still the best player in the draft. I don’t think it’s a question at this point that he goes number one. I think the question is who makes the pick. Probably will be the Texans but the Falcons are interested and there are a couple of rumors about the unknown suitors as well.
2. ST. LOUIS RAMS- Greg Robinson- Tackle- Auburn
I do not think the Rams make this pick but if they do it will be the manchild Robinson or WR Sammy Watkins. Could Cleveland move up a couple picks?
3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS- Khalil Mack-OLB- Buffalo
This is what I wrote in Mock 1.0 and I’m sticking with it. “The Jags need a QB bad and if they jump it would probably be Bortles but I think they wait till later rounds to grab the QB and keep building their defense”
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Sammy Watkins-WR-Clemson
I’m convinced the Browns will not pick a QB with this pick and word is they are so intrigued with Watkins that they may move to 2 to get him.
5. OAKLAND RAIDERS- Mike Evans- Wide Receiver- Texas A & M
To me this is the toughest pick of the draft. If one of the elite 4 drop it becomes a no brainer but if not, hmmmm… I’m gonna slot big receiver Mike Evans in here as it is imperative that the Raiders get a receiver, so why not one of the best?
6. ATLANTA FALCONS- Taylor Lewan- Tackle- Michigan
The Falcons need linemen to protect Matty Ice and Lewan is rising up the board. I still think they have a realistic shot at going to number 1 for Clowney.
7. TAMPA BAY BUCS- Odell Beckham Jr- WR- LSU
I think the Bucs will trade down for multiple picks but if not they grab the third wide receiver in seven picks. Don’t sleep on Beckham Jr. One of my favorites in the draft.
8. MINNESOTA VIKINGS- Aaron Donald-DT-Pittsburgh
Vikings need to rebuild the defensive line and this guy is a great place to start. Maybe a QB in round 2?
9. BUFFALO BILLS- Jake Mathews- Tackle- Texas A&M
I had Eric Ebron in Mock 1.0 but that was before I realized Jake Mathews might be available. A no brainer as the Bills need a tackle badly.
10. DETROIT LIONS- Darquez Dennard- Cornerback- Michigan State
The Lions should go for a corner or a receiver here but with the run on receivers, they can get the top rated corner.
11. TENNESSEE TITANS- Justin Gilbert- CB- Oklahoma State
Johnny Manziel? Not yet…. Defense wins championships and a corner is a priority.
12. NEW YORK GIANTS- Eric Ebron- TE- North Carolina
It’s no secret the Giants are in dire need of a top flight tight end. Best tight end in the draft drops into the Giants lap at 12.
13. ST LOUIS RAMS- . Johnny Manziel-QB-Texas A&M
No way the Rams pick at 13. Maybe up or maybe down but not 13. My hunch from Mock #1 had the Cowboys getting Johnny Manziel at 16. It seems my hunch from a month ago has gained a little traction in the media but I’m not sure he gets that far because word is the Rams love him. Could you imagine if the Rams didn’t have to trade a boatload of picks for a running QB with a rocket arm and he turned out better than RGIII?? Is that Daniel Snyder we hear sniffling? Wow.
14. CHICAGO BEARS- Ra’Shede Hageman- DT- Minnesota
Bears need defensive line help. Hageman is a rock on the line and will help.
15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS- Zach Martin –T-Notre Dame
Looking for another Tackle, Martin is being described by pundits as one of the safest picks in the draft.
16. DALLAS COWBOYS- Dee Ford- DE- Auburn
Cowboys are looking for defensive help and Ford will help offset the loss of DeMarcus Ware. I expect the Cowboys to be another team that tries to trade down.
17 BALTIMORE RAVENS- Brandin Cooks- WR- Oregon State
Ravens rumored to be trading down as well but can really use another weapon for Joe Flacco and Cooks is Tavon Austin redux.
18 NEW YORK JETS- Calvin Pryor- S- Louisville
Another quote from Mock 1.0: “Yes I know the Jets need another receiver badly but this guy is a hammer and Rex is drooling at the thought of a young Ed Reed. The Wide Receiver class is very deep and they will get a couple in later rounds”. We will stay with this pick for Mock 2.0.
19. MIAMI DOLPHINS- Morgan Moses-Tackle- Virginia
It’s no secret that the Dolphins need some serious help on the offensive line and this guy should slot in at one of the tackles.
20. ARIZONA CARDINALS- Kony Ealy- DE/LB- Missouri
Could this be a QB landing spot? My guess is there are enough QB prospects for the Cards to look in round 2 or 3. Ealy fills big defensive needs for the Cardinals.
21. GREEN BAY PACKERS – CJ Mosley- ILB- Alabama
The Packers need a lot of help on defense and Mosley makes a lot of sense in this spot.
22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES- Anthony Barr- OLB- UCLA
A PAC-12 Linebacker for Chip Kelly to help keep Romo, RGIII and Eli in check.
23. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS- HaHa Clinton-Dix- S- Alabama
Chiefs are absolutely thrilled that Dix drops down this far and quickly gobble him up.
24. CINCINNATI BENGALS- Teddy Bridgewater- QB- Louisville
We will see if all the rumors about Bridgewater landing here are true. My gut is no but I’m gonna take a shot anyway.
25. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS- Louis Nix- NT- Notre Dame
It seems that everyone who did a mock draft has Nix going to the Chargers. Can you say Perfect Fit? A strong nose tackle prospect.
26. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Blake Bortles-QB-UCF
In my first mock I had Bridgewater dropping down this far. Now I have Bortles dropping to the Browns. Either way it’s a good spot for the Browns to pick their QB of the future.
27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS- Ryan Shazier-OLB- Ohio State
Staying with my choice from Mock 1.0: “The Saints need to improve their defense and Shazier is a good step in that direction. He can play inside or move outside if needed at the linebacker spot”. Kony Ealy is now an option here as well.
28. CAROLINA PANTHERS- Kelvin Benjamin- WR- Florida State
Clearly one of the biggest needs on this team is a big go-to target for Cam Newton.
29. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- Kyle Fuller- CB- Virginia Tech
Too good a player to pass up and of course Revis will be a Free Agent at the end of the year anyway (sound familiar??)
30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS- Marqise Lee- WR- USC
My first Mock choice for the Niners stays in play. “In need of another young receiver, 49ers are thrilled to get Lee at 30”.
31. DENVER BRONCOS- Kony Ealy- LB/DE- Missouri
Can you ever have enough pass rushers and defenders? I think not.
32. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS- Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE- Washington
They probably trade down a few and pick up a couple of picks from a team looking to jump the top teams in round two for a QB. Think Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Zach Mettenberger or AJ McCarron??
Other Potential 1st Round Picks (besides the QBs)
DeMarcus Lawrence DE Boise St
Joel Bitonio G Nevada
Jason Verrett CB TCU
Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State
Bradley Roby CB Ohio State
Davante Adams WR Fresno State
By Brett Malamud
Finally the time has come and the wait is over. After making his mark in the NCAA, Johnny Manziel has declared himself eligible for this year’s NFL draft. The Heisman winner is a projected top-ten pick with many even placing him in the top-five. While Manziel is a scrambling quarterback, he averaged 317 passing yards per game for a total of 4117 yards. This is 408 yards more than he threw for last season, a season in which he won the Heisman Trophy. In improving his passing game, Manziel had to take a step back in tucking the football and running. He rushed for only 53% of what he had rushed in 2012. However in the end, the touchdown totals remain to be consistent. Manziel finished with 47 touchdowns in 2012 and 46 touchdowns in 2013. Not too shabby when you consider the fact that Manziel threw for more yards than Andrew Luck did in any of his seasons at Stanford.
Manziel does have his problems though. He has been in the news for his behavioral issues. He was arrested back in 2012 for getting in a late night fight and possessing a fake ID. The issues continued even after he won the Heisman Trophy. He overslept while attending the Manning Passing Academy. He was kicked out of a University of Texas fraternity party. He also voiced his displeasure with Texas A&M by tweeting that he “can’t wait to leave College Station” after he received a parking ticket. His taunting on the field became quite the story during the 2013 season, and was regularly featured on ESPN. But the most notable issue came in early August 2013. The NCAA began investigating whether Manziel accepted payments from autographs that he had signed in January 2013. While it is widely believed that he did accept the money, the NCAA could not find any evidence and suspended him for only the first half of the season opener against Rice.
Right now if you look at the NFL draft order, Houston has the first pick. The Texans need a quarterback and are expected to draft Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater. The St. Louis Rams have the second pick and while it seems that they might need a quarterback, they have showed no indication that they want to dump Sam Bradford. The third and fourth picks belong to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns respectfully. Both teams need a quarterback. The Oakland Raiders sit in the five spot and the Vikings sit at the eight spot. It’s possible that they could each want to draft a QB as well. UCF quarterback Blake Bortles is on the board as well but it’ll be interesting to see which QB gets drafted first.
An interesting pick for Manziel though could be the New York Jets. The Jets currently hold the 18th pick. Now I’m not saying that Manziel is going to slip to the 18th pick. We did see Brady Quinn slip to the 22nd pick back in 2007, after being projected to go in the top ten. Manziel is not likely to slip based on the amount of teams needing quarterbacks. Therefore, only way the Jets can get Manziel will be by trading up picks to draft him. I think that a run at Manziel could be what the Jets need. Now I know some people look and they’ll say, “why would they do that?” Well, they’ve done it before. Back in 2009, the Jets traded up to the fifth pick to select USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. Now I know that didn’t turn out to be such a great decision now that Sanchez has lost the starting position, but Manziel is a bigger threat than Sanchez ever was. The Jets current starting quarterback, Geno Smith, had the lowest QB rating in the entire league. General Manager John Idzik stated at the end of their week 17 game that they will “look at quarterbacks” in the offseason. It is this statement that shows that Idzik doesn’t believe that Smith is “the guy.” If the Jets want to get their hands on a reliable quarterback for years to come, they must trade up and select Johnny Manziel.
Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy