Fan Q&A: Cowboys chances, how much longer for Brady and the Rock in 2020

Here are your questions answered by yours truly.  You may not always agree with my response, but I promise I will always respect your inquiry of my knowledge by giving you honest reasons and thorough explanation as to why I feel the way I do.  You can participate in the weekly Fan Q&A by emailing your questions to beastman757@gmail.com

Do you think Dallas will make it as far if not further this year?

I don’t think the Cowboys will win 13 games like they did last year.  They appear to have a tougher schedule and you can make the case the other teams in their division got better.  That doesn’t mean Big D won’t contend for a championship because they definitely have the offense to do it.  If the season were to start today I would pick Dallas to win 11 games and make it as far as the NFC Championship game.  Dak will make more big plays downfield and with a healthy Darren McFadden it will give them the options to limit Zeke’s carries and preserve him for a bigger load late in the season.  There are huge questions marks on the defensive side of the football.  Dallas drafted some talented players, but will they be able to make a contribution so early in their careers or will inexperience get the best of them?  Vegas has the Cowboys winning 9.5 games (over/under) and around 9-1 odds to win the Super Bowl behind the Patriots.

How much longer will Tom Brady play?

My answer may surprise you.  I think there is a good chance this is Brady’s last season.  Here are my reasons why:

  1. Gisele– Gisele Bundchen is the breadwinner in the Brady household.  The supermodel expressed that she wanted her husband to retire after this past Super Bowl and she has leaked to the media that Brady allegedly played with concussions.  Tom has made it clear he wants to play as long has he can, however his wife is a bigger influence on his decision to continue playing despite him dismissing her desire for No. 12 to hang it up publicly.  Remember Brady skipping out on the White House visit at the last minute?  That was because of Gisele.  Don’t under estimate the power of persuasion this woman’s beauty possesses on top of being the mother of Tom’s kids.
  2. Jimmy Garoppolo– The fact that the Patriots held onto Jimmy Garoppolo says a lot about the future of Tom Brady. If New England wanted to trade Garoppolo there were plenty of suitors who had the ammunition in draft picks to pull the trigger and make the deal.  The Pats opted not to meaning Jimmy G is going to get paid.  Garoppolo does not want to sit on the bench forever (he will be entering his fourth season) and while he is under contract he has expressed a strong interest in wanting to be a starter, yet he remains a good citizen (for now) in Foxboro which may allude to the fact he knows his time is coming.
  3. Bill Belichick– When we speak of the Patriots dynasty it will always be linked to Brady and Belichick. You can’t have one without the other….or can you?  Detractors of the New England franchise won’t label each as the G.O.A.T. because they will only give the edge to the quarterback play or the coaching, not both.  So this is where ego comes into play.  Belichick can launch himself into a new stratosphere if he could win a championship with another QB.  Belichick is more likely to achieve that scenario as opposed to Brady going the route of Peyton Manning and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy while riding off into the sunset in an unfamiliar uniform.  In my mind Brady was better than Manning, but Tom is not the plug and play quarterback that Peyton was.  I think it would drain Brady mentally and take the fun out of the game for him to go somewhere else, learn an entire new system and team culture after having the luxury of familiarity for two decades.

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Will Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson run for President in 2020?

This is not as outlandish as it sounds.  No matter how you feel about our current Commander in Chief you have to admit his election has forever changed the political landscape.  There have been quite a few celebrities that have been voted into office, but up until this year none went straight to the White House without having prior experience as a government official.  I think the Rock’s campaign would do well with voters.  It has been established that he is second to none when it comes to speaking into a microphone live in arenas at max capacity.  He could appeal to America’s youth because of his career in the WWE and action flicks.  Given his Samoan/African Canadian heritage he would have the opportunity to build a multi-cultural coalition.  Yes he is Hollywood, but also has some conservative views which might attract some people on the right.  Now will it actually happen?  I don’t think so….at least not next election cycle.  The Rock has won a national championship in college football, he’s been pro wrestling’s biggest superstar and is currently a leading man in Tinsel Town.  So why not add President to his resume?  The Rock announced his candidacy for the Oval Office on Saturday Night Live with Tom Hanks as his running mate.  Given the venue I doubt it has any real validity.  Rock is only 45; he is in the prime of his acting career.  Unless he truly has a patriotic itch it makes no sense for him to throw his hat into the ring for Decision 2020.  I view this as a publicity stunt (similar to what Hulk Hogan did in WCW after Jesse Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota) in order to suggest that he should be cast for a POTUS role like Martin Sheen or Kevin Spacey.  Click here to see Rock’s big announcement. Odds Shark currently has Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at 100-1 odds to win the presidency in 2020.  Click here to see where he ranks among the other contenders.

Romo’s Legacy will be just “Dandy”

1491964954690There once was a quarterback who played for the Dallas Cowboys.  He was a charismatic, fun-loving leader who often did not get the respect or credit he deserved.  This guy was tough, took a beating and played through injuries.  He took a losing franchise and made them relevant, yet when he performed on the biggest stage the final act was more symbolic of a Greek tragedy as opposed to happily ever after.  He hung it up while he still had something left in tank.  He took a job in broadcasting and finally earned the kudos he should of had during his playing days.  In retrospect the fans and organization appreciated the colorful playing career he had and he found his way into the Cowboys Ring of Honor.  While he didn’t earn a bust in Canton, he was honored with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award at the Enshrinee’s Dinner.

It sounds like the past, present and potential future for Tony Romo? Right? Take another guess.  That is a brief synopsis of  the late Don Meredith’s legacy in professional football on the field and in the booth.

Long before Romo and any other recognizable Cowboys quarterback, there was “Dandy” Don Meredith.  Meredith, who played his high school and collegiate ball (SMU) in the North Texas area, joined the hometown expansion Cowboys in 1960.  He never made it to the Super Bowl, but Meredith has to be given credit as the man who established playing quarterback in Dallas as a glamour position in professional sports.

Meredith did more for his legacy as one of the original broadcasters on Monday Night Football.  It made viewers recall what a very good quarterback he was and how his playing career was just inches from being legendary.

The epic of Dandy Don is one of my favorite football stories.  He was a character like no other.  So why aren’t there any movies or books about him?  Well there kind of is.  His former teammate and good friend Peter Gent wrote a novel titled North Dallas Forty in which fictional quarterback Seth Maxwell is based on Meredith.  The controversial and captivating read was later made into a movie.

Tony Romo’s ballad could be the inspiration for a paperback or a Hollywood script one day, however now that he heads to partner up with Jim Nantz he will have the opportunity to add to his legacy in a new fashion.  Many feel that Romo is receiving a shot at CBS that he doesn’t deserve considering he has no broadcast experience.  That may be true and it likely won’t be an easy transition, but I’m betting on Romo. The curiosity of Romo’s commentary will give the ratings a slight boost and younger fans will appreciate a familiar player that they grew up watching calling the action.  I predict he will surprise a lot of people with unique insight.  Meredith retired after the 1968 season before joining Monday Night Football in its debut in 1970.  That didn’t turn out too bad, did it?

But let’s go back to Tony Romo the player.  How should he be remembered?  Is he being shown too much love on his way out the door? What did he accomplish to receive this praise?  In sports there is room for a lot of different characters, novelties and myths.  Not everyone gets to be the knight who slayed the dragon and rode off on a white steed with a beautiful princess’s arms clutching his waist.  We might envy the ultimate hero, but we don’t always identify with him.

The role of Romo as the tragic hero is something that we are more able to relate to.  Many of us in life have had to work hard to conquer the odds and in doing so we were able to exceed expectations, but for whatever reason the big break never came and the grand milestone achievement eluded us.

Even though it didn’t have a fairy tale ending, it doesn’t take away the incredible plays Romo made on the field.  There are certain things he did at the quarterback position that only a sorcerer could duplicate.  He made football in Dallas fun again.  Whether you loved him or hated him you wanted to see him play because he seemed to add high drama to the game.  He teased you into thinking he might pull it off only to blow it in the final minutes or he fooled you that he would fold again while stealing another win.

Romo doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame, but he was just a couple plays away from greatness.  Take away a non-catch here, a bobbled snap there, a drive-killing penalty here or a fluke injury there and the narrative on Romo has changed significantly.

Unlike Meredith, Romo is receiving the accolades he deserves as he rides off into the sunset.  Just because he didn’t deliver hardware it doesn’t mean fans can’t appreciate the fact that he set team records, made some of the most memorable plays in franchise history and did it all while sacrificing his personal health.

What’s next for the undrafted kid out of Eastern Illinois?  Will he be as revered of a broadcaster as Dandy was?  Let’s not look that far ahead.  Joining Meredith in the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor would make the most sense for the near future.

 

Covering the Bases: OBJ, Rookie Linemen, EIU QBs, McCloughan’s Mouth, and the Playmaker’s Prediction

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Cover This

When you make video game-like catches it is only fitting that you appear on the cover of the NFL’s most coveted hand-eye coordination product played by the majority of those who still live in mom’s basement.

Odell Beckham Jr. beat out Rob Gronkowski to be the Madden 2016 cover boy.  The Offensive Rookie of the Year, who probably made the most impossible catch ever witnessed in a nationally televised football game, will aim to start this season healthy and with the return of Victor Cruz we could see No. 13 re-write the record books.

Oh yeah I guess we have to mention the Madden Curse.  Most of those guys that were “cursed” happened to be running backs that flamed out after so many carries which happens to plenty of guys that have never been on the box of the popular EA Sports game.  OBJ isn’t going anywhere unless it is further up the ladder of NFL stardom.

Divided Lines

What if tragedy had not taken place and La’el Collins was drafted in the first round?  Brandon Scherff was ranked as the highest lineman on most big boards, but would the Redskins have been more inclined to trade the pick knowing that they could still land either Scherff or Collins with a later selection?  And what about the Giants?  They likely land a better player in Collins as opposed to having to reach for Ereck Flowers.

Instead Collins joins the Dallas Cowboys, a team that already has the best offensive line in football.  Jerry Jones signed this man at a discount price which also adds insult to injury.  Either way you slice it the top three rookie prospects on the offensive line are playing in the NFC East. Of the three who will have the better career?  Collins probably has the best chance to be a Pro Bowl player, not because Scherff and Flowers are necessarily less talented, but more due to the fact of who he is playing alongside with.

Alumni Weekend

If Tom Brady’s four game suspension stands after the appeal process it will mark the first time in NFL history that two quarterbacks from Eastern Illinois University will square off against one another.  Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo are separated by 11 years from their time at their alma matter, but you could make the case that they are already forever linked.  Romo’s success as an undrafted free agent put EIU on the map and gave Garoppolo additional exposure that automatically enhanced his draft status.

Outside of the Panther faithful in Charleston, IL there probably aren’t too many people eager see this match-up which was supposed to be Brady’s first and maybe only appearance at AT&T Stadium.  Saints head coach Sean Payton is the only other EIU quarterback to play in the NFL and that was with the Bears in 1987 as a replacement player during the strike.   Former Redskins, Broncos, and Raiders head coach Mike Shanahan also played under center for the Panthers, but his playing career was cut short due to injury.  Former Minnesota Vikings head coach and current Kansas City Chiefs offensive assistant Brad Childress is also a graduate of the school.

Great Scot!

Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan is pumping some life back into the front office and he is doing so without making outlandish free agent signings attached to bad contracts that Washington was previously known for under Daniel Snyder’s regime.

Yes McCloughan has made some very solid off-season moves, but when I say he is pumping life back into the front office I’m referring to his passion and humor.  Snyder, vilified in the nation’s capital, has about as much personality as a dead fish.  Bruce Allen the former GM and current team president is hardly the man his father George Sr. was who talked more trash about the Dallas Cowboys than any modern day fan when he coached the Skins in the 1970s.

McCloughan attend a Washington Capitals playoff game praising their “out of control” fans.  He’s already comparing draft pick Matt Jones to Beastmode and he was recently quoted saying that outfielder Bryce Harper would make a better safety than cornerback given the fact that he’s white.  With the exception of Jerry Jones what other GMs do this?  I can’t wait to hear what this man says next!  Hopefully this is McCloughan’s normal behavior and not the bottle talking (he’s a recovering alcoholic) because with these type of statements he should be a media darling and a fan favorite if he can turn the tide in DC.

Unlike Mike

We are only halfway through May and already Philly fans are annoyed with Cowboy nation ranting and raving over their high profile rookie acquisitions.  While there is some uncertainty in the City of Brotherly Love as to where the Eagles might finish this year a familiar enemy thinks they will take back the division.

The Playmaker, Michael Irvin, the biggest homer when it comes to his former team, is rolling with Philadelphia to beat out his beloved Cowboys in the NFC East.  The man whose career ended at Veterans Stadium while Eagles fans cheered him being carted off in an ambulance cites the decision by Dallas not to bring back DeMarco Murray leaving him to sign with Philly as the main reason why Big D won’t retain their division crown.

Irvin was very critical of the organization he spent 12 seasons with for not forking over the dough to re-sign the NFL’s leading rusher.  He felt it sent a bad message throughout the locker room that someone went out and performed at the highest level only for the team to think that the performance wasn’t worthy of being rewarded.  Even with the Cowboys offensive line that features three Pro Bowlers, the Playmaker agrees with others that “you can’t just put anybody back there”.

The more I think about it it isn’t that surprising to see Irvin feel this way.  After all he didn’t have a winning season in Dallas until Emmitt Smith was the featured back.  The Cowboys of the 1990s also had a great offensive of line, but in 1993 the games Smith didn’t suit up for because of a holdout or injury they lost.  When he was on the field they won every contest including the Super Bowl confirming Irvin’s reluctance to embrace running back by committee.  If the Cowboys get off to a fast start or Philly stumbles out the gate no one will be shocked if Irvin changes his tune.

Brady, Shady and a Big Bargin in Big D

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Inflated Chances

Deflate Gate is alive and well.  The release of the Wells Report has revived this thought to have been dead story claiming Tom Brady likely had prior knowledge about the under-inflated footballs used in last year’s AFC title game.  There is now even talk of Brady being suspended.  If that were the case it could have a positive impact on NFC East teams pending the length of the suspension.

Personally I’m tired of the outcry on this issue.  Brady may or may not have known about the air pressure in some footballs, yet people are acting like the man set an orphanage on fire.  It’s ridiculous!  That being said this could potentially be big for Dallas if it is a four game suspension as they wouldn’t have to face Brady for their October match-up with the Patriots.  If it’s an eight game suspension Washington would avoid facing No. 12 as well.  As for the Giants and Eagles?  They need to hope for a Sean Payton type suspension.  They have the Pats Week 10 and Week 13 respectively.

Reduced Rookies

Last week the Cowboys made headlines by drafting talented, but troubled defensive end Randy Gregory.  They landed him at pick No. 60 which many experts dubbed easily the “biggest steal of the draft”.  Less than a week later Dallas may have made an even bigger one.

La’El Collins, arguably the best offensive lineman entering the draft, had to leave Chicago prior to the event due to the murder of his ex-girlfriend.  Collins was never believed to be a suspect, however given what transpired with Aaron Hernandez no team wanted to touch him and he went undrafted.

He was questioned by authorities and once it became clear Collins had nothing to do with the tragic incident he instantly became the most coveted rookie free agent.  His decision to take Jerry Jones’ offer means that the Cowboys basically got three first-rounders and out of the three the two most talented ones came at a huge discount.

A Chip on his Shoulder

LeSean “Shady” McCoy was the face of the franchise for the Philadelphia Eagles so it came as a shock to many when he was traded to Buffalo in March.  It’s no secret that there is no love loss between McCoy and Chip Kelly, however the comments made recently by McCoy regarding his former head coach raises a new issue.

McCoy claimed that Kelly wants “full control” which is no secret, but he also emphasized that Kelly got rid of “all the good black players”.  So does the man they call Shady have a legit argument or is it just a case of him having bitter ax to grind?

Yes Kelly did sign and draft other black players, but he also gave an extension to mediocre receiver Riley Cooper last season who a year earlier was recorded dropping an N-bomb.  Philly’s best receiver DeSean Jackson was let go the same off-season that Cooper signed his deal.

Kelly has yet to address McCoy’s comments.  Are they worth acknowledging?  Stay tuned as I’ll have more to say when it comes to Shady’s feelings towards Kelly.  Circle your calendars for December 13th when the Eagles host the Bills.

NFC EAST TEAMS MAKE NOISE FOR HEADLINE SELECTIONS AND MISSED OPPORTUNITIES


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Another NFL draft has concluded.  While grades were posted immediately after the card for Mr. Irrelevant was handed in, a draft truly can’t be evaluated until 2-3 years later when we really find out whether these former college stars will sink or swim in this league.

Here is a quick look at some of the big takeaways from this weekend.

A New Scherff in D.C.

A lot of people were surprised that the Washington Redskins went with Iowa’s Brandon Scherff with the No. 5 overall pick.  Leonard Williams was still on the board and while he might not be the best fit Washington’s 3-4 scheme, it could have been a good trade opportunity with another team.

In retrospect this pick looks great.  The Skins have added a guy to their roster that can play multiple positions on the offensive line.  This move also says a lot about Scot McCloughan’s philosophy when it comes to team building.  When he was with San Francisco and Seattle he was part of front offices that put heavy emphasis on putting together powerful offensive and defensive lines.  McCloughan addressed much of the needs on the defensive line via free agency this off-season.  His selection of Scherff confirms his commitment to upgrading the big boys on the other side of the ball.

Byron Jones Gives Cowboys Breathing Room with Uncertainty at Corner

Even though Dallas has three potential starters at corner under contract the reality is a lot different than it is on paper.  It is still unknown if Brandon Carr will take a pay cut and if he won’t his days in Big D might be numbered.  Morris Claiborne (in the last year of his rookie deal) is coming back from injury and his play thus far for his career has been nothing short of disappointing considering where the Cowboys traded up to get him in the 2012 draft.  The Cowboys best corner Orlando Scandrick, is scheduled to make chump change this season and has chosen to skip team voluntary workouts displaying his displeasure when it comes to his earnings.

Combine workout wonder Byron Jones could be a big sigh of relief for the front office and coaching staff.  The consensus is Dallas made a solid selection with the No. 27 overall pick which could light a fire under the veteran corners with contract quandaries.  The former UConn Husky’s  unique athleticism also gives him the ability to play safety as well.

Oh Yeah that Randy Gregory Guy 

Randy Gregory became a household name Friday night not because where he was drafted, but because of where he wasn’t drafted.  Gregory’s bad timing of off the field issues took a huge toll on his draft status.  The likely otherwise top 10 selection dropped to No. 60 overall when Dallas scooped him up.

The Cowboys got a gift and a lot of fans on social media were stunned that he wasn’t taken any earlier in second round.  Gregory was a ferocious pass rusher at Nebraska, but fans and spectators need to be patient because this product still needs some polishing.  Gregory is 6’6″, but only weighs 235 lbs.  That is 20 lbs below the league’s average defensive end.  This kid probably needs a little time to really grow into his body.  He did put up 24 reps on the bench press at the combine and when you consider his long arms and low weight that is pretty impressive.  Can you imagine the power gains he could accumulate if he is able to bulk up?

Running Back Not Selected by Cowboys Despite Deep Class

Jerry Jones said running back wasn’t a “must” for the Cowboys heading into the draft.  He wasn’t bluffing as Dallas did not feel it was a huge area of concern despite losing the league’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray via free agency to the rival Eagles.

There are a couple of theories as to why the Boys did not draft a running back.  For one it could be they like the running backs they have.  Even if they don’t have one that can be the workhorse Murray was they have guys that do different things well and possibly think they can replace the production with multiple backs instead of finding a Murray clone.  The second reason being is that the Cowboys are truly sticking to their draft board and found more pressing needs with offensive line depth and defense.  Many of the players selected on Saturday they will likely count on to improve their special teams units which played below expectations last season.

No Mariota for Philly

It’s no secret that Chip Kelly wanted Marcus Mariota so bad he would have almost traded the Liberty Bell for him.  Keyword “almost”.  Kelly offered a lot, but at the end of the day he stuck to his word saying he would not mortgage the organization’s future which is what the Titans wanted him to do for that No. 2 pick.

Many names of veteran players were rumored to be part of a possible trade package in order to acquire Mariota.  With these players staying on the roster it makes one wonder if there will be any kind of repercussions for this?  Perhaps a rift between Kelly and these guys?  The mysteries of Chip Kelly’s master plan continue.

Finally a Receiver for the Birds

DeSean Jackson was let go and Jeremy Maclin opted for Kansas City meaning the Eagles lost two Pro Bowl receivers in back to back years.  Chip Kelly has taken some criticism for letting so much production walk out the door with no sense of urgency for a suitable replacement.

Unable to land Mariota, Eagle fans got an answer at wide out with the selection of Nelson Agholor.  Agholor was the fourth receiver in selected in the first round Thursday night.  He might not have the superstar potential that the three taken before him do, but he could turn out to be a solid No. 1 receiver for years to come in a system in which Jackson, Maclin, and Riley Cooper all experienced career highs in receiving yards.

Kelly Stocking the Pantry for Defense

We’ve seen offensive minded head coaches, especially those with strong philosophies (or big egos) invest heavy on that particular side of the ball.  After selecting USC’s Nelson Agholor, the remaining five of the Eagles draft picks all were used on defensive players.  As crazy as we think that mad offensive scientist of a coach Chip Kelly might be, at least he is not ignoring the defense in his new role as GM.  Kelly knows he can’t afford to have his defense give up the plays they did last season down the stretch that cost them a playoff spot.

Giants Had No Choice but to Reach for Flowers

When the Giants drafted University Miami OT Ereck Flowers with the ninth overall pick many experts considered it somewhat of a desperation move.  Well it was.  But can you blame them?  The Giants offensive line was putrid last year and former first round selection Justin Pugh has yet to live up to where he was selected a couple years ago.

Flowers has all the tools to be a very good tackle in this league.  If he his coachable at the next level then he could very well be worthy of his selection after all.  His presence may also give the Giants the luxury of moving Pugh inside to guard.  Is Flowers the next Tyron Smith or Alex Barron?  Bet that he’ll never be as good as Smith, but never as bad as Barron.  If he can at least be an adequate starter in his rookie season the Giants will be satisfied.

G-Men’s Day 2 Picks Already Reminiscent of Championship Stars

When the Giants did not re-sign two-time All-Pro safety Antrel Rolle it made an already suspect secondary that much weaker.  The Giants took an aggressive approach in finding Rolle’s replacement by trading up to the first spot of the second round to grab Landon Collins.  Collins is the same height as Rolle and unlike other Alabama safeties he’s got incredible ball instincts.  Collins also outweighs Rolle by about 20 lbs which means he has the potential to be a much more physical player that can be an immediate impact starter.

Collins isn’t the only Giants draft pick drawing similarities to a former Big Blue All-Pro.  UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa name may be harder to pronounce than Osi Umenyiora, but he is already being compared to Justin Tuck who was also a third round selection.  Like Tuck, Odighizuwa also has the size to play both defensive end and defensive tackle.  Steve Spagnuolo, who was the defensive coordinator during Tuck’s best seasons, is back with the Giants in the same role.  Think he didn’t have any influence on that pick?

Expectations Entering Tonight’s First Round

NFL-Draft-logo-gold-03-22-15The 2015 NFL Draft kicks off in the great city of Chicago this evening.  As awesome of a venue as Radio City is in NYC, I think a lot of people are welcoming the change of scenery.

There is no mystery as to what will take place with the No. 1 overall pick when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Jameis Winston.  After that who knows what will transpire?  This draft isn’t exactly full of star power which isn’t always a bad thing because it usually means you can anticipate more spontaneity creating a lot of excitement.

Here are some thoughts on each team heading into the first round on what should be a memorable night in the Windy City.

Dallas Puts Peterson Trade Talk out to Pasture Opting for Younger Backs

Dallas is doing the right thing by not going after Adrian Peterson.  Unless Minnesota lowers their asking price and Peterson is willing to take a significant pay cut there is no need to pursue a 30 year-old running back when there is loads of talented backs in this draft.

Todd Gurley should be off the board by the time the Cowboys pick.  They might have a shot at Melvin Gordon, but don’t be shocked if they pass him up for Tevin Coleman who might be the most complete running back in this draft.  He’ll likely fall behind Gurley and Gordon which may give Dallas an option to address defense with their first pick.  Also don’t be surprised if the Cowboys have selected more than one running back when the draft concludes especially if they have found one that can also contribute on special teams.  If that is the case Joseph Randle, Ryan Williams, Lance Dunbar, and Darren McFadden will be put on notice.

Draft is Critical for Giants 2015 Success, Must Address O-Line

Did the New York Giants really get better in free agency?  It is questionable why they overpaid guys like Dwayne Harris and JT Thomas.  The signing of Shane Vereen should complement Rashad Jennings nicely, however outside of Danny Woodhead running backs that leave New England don’t have a good track record in their new landing spot.  The G-Men also brought back a lot of their own players and with the exception of Jason Pierre-Paul no one from that group is making anybody tremble.

The Giants have the skill positions to get back in the playoffs, but they need better blocking to compete as a top-tier offense.  New York has to find a blue chip offensive lineman and a couple of guys that can at least contribute (don’t have to be great, but can play a role or fill a void) on defense.  Brandon Scherff out of Iowa would make a ton of sense and from where the G-Men pick in the first round there is a good chance he’ll be wearing Big Blue.

Don’t Rule out Marcus Mariota in Philly

The Eagles are not out of the Mariota sweepstakes just yet.  While they probably won’t try to make a deal with Tennessee to move up to No. 2 there is the chance that if Mariota falls past No. 5 then the New York Jets with the No. 6 pick could be that trading partner the Eagles are looking for to land the former Oregon Duck.

It looks like the Titans are not in love with the idea of drafting Mariota.  The team that is a real threat to Philly in terms of acquiring the young signal caller is Cleveland.  Apparently the Browns are offering their two first round picks to the Titans for their No. 2 spot.  Word has it that the Browns might start drafting a quarterback every year until they get it right.  That sorry strategy is no surprise from an organization that repeatedly shoots themselves in the foot as if it were a bodily function.  It is no guarantee Tennessee will take Cleveland’s deal especially if they have their heart set one of the top pass rushers or receivers in the draft.  The Eagles don’t have the leverage to trade up that the Browns do, but don’t sell Chip Kelly short. Should the Titans reject Cleveland’s offer and Mariota drops, Kelly does have some young talented players he could package with draft picks to trade if he is so infatuated with the kid he once recruited.  Either way we’ll find out by Thursday night’s end if Sam Bradford is here to stay in the City of Brotherly Love or if he was merely brought in as a bargaining chip.

Skins Sitting Pretty at No. 5

The Washington Redskins have to be really excited about this draft.  Why not?  They actually have a first round pick this year!

The Skins are in a good spot at with the No. 5 pick.  While new GM Scot McCloughan has made some light smoke screens as to the possibilities of the team taking Marcus Mariota I wouldn’t buy it.  McCloughan is looking for his next Russell Wilson, but he knows he doesn’t have to take him at this spot.  Heck he might not even be in this draft!

If Amari Cooper is still there at No. 5 I don’t see Washington passing him up, although if they have Kevin White or DeVante Parker ranked higher on their draft board they could go with one of those guys as well.  It looks like Washington plans to retain a 3-4 flex defense for the coming years which might have them interested in Dante Fowler creating a bookend sack tandem with Ryan Kerrigan.

These all seem like good options, but if I had to bet I believe McCloughan is going to trade this pick to accumulate more draft selections and honestly that is the best move.  The Skins have a lot of needs and if they somehow become involved with a team that wants to trade up for Marcus Mariota this could pay big dividends for them.