The NFL QB Carousel: Breaking Down What Every Team Will Do At QB

Cam Newton of the New England Patriots

Round and round here we go, where it stops, nobody knows! The NFL QB Carousel is in full swing as free agency starts next week.

Teams need a good quarterback to compete for a Super Bowl. Correction, teams need the right quarterback to compete for a Super Bowl. For those saying “No shit, Sherlock,” you’d be surprised with how many teams don’t understand this concept!

It’s not hyperbole to say this has been a wild few months at the quarterback position. It almost resembless an NBA offseason with all of the trades. Matt Stafford is now a Ram, Jared Goff is a Lion, and Carson Wentz is a Colt.

Between free agency and the draft, more teams are going to address the quarterback position. Here are my QB projections for every team.

  • Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes
  • Tampa Bay Bucs – Tom Brady
  • Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen
  • Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers
  • Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert
  • Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow
  • Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield
  • Baltimore Ravens – Lamar Jackson
  • Tennessee Titans – Ryan Tannehill
  • Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Muray
  • Minnesota Vikings – Kirk Cousins
  • Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence*

*I’m putting the Jags on this list because there is a 99.9% chance they take Trevor Lawrence.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers – Benjamin Roethlisberger
  • New York Giants – Daniel Jones
  • Las Vegas Raiders – Derek Carr
  • Los Angeles Rams – Matthew Stafford
  • Detroit Lions – Jared Goff
  • New England Patriots – Cam Newton
  • Indianapolis Colts – Carson Wentz
  • Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott

That leaves us with 12 teams who must decide on QB for the upcoming season. Some of these teams will take care of their needs in the draft. Others will try to make a blockbuster trade in hopes of changing their franchise. The biggest wildcard is Deshaun Watson and the Texans. There is no chance he’s the starting QB for the Texans on opening day. If that’s the case, where will he end up?

Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan is still good enough to start in the NFL. He’s your classic fantasy QB who gets you 300 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. The Falcons are in salary hell because Ryan and Jones combine for over $63m of their cap. Will they try to move Ryan? I doubt it. As I said, he’s still capable of leading a team to the playoffs. However, they may draft Ryan’s successor with the fourth pick in the draft.

New Orleans Saints – Jameis Winston / Taysom Hill

My wish was finally granted. Jameis Winston upgraded his eyesight!

This all comes down to Drew Brees. After losing to the Bucs, it appeared as if Brees played his last game for the Saints. However, Brees is now working out like a guy who wants to play again. There’s a difference between doing some mobility stretches in the morning and pushing sleds up the street. Does he want to make a comeback? My gut tells me Brees retires, which means the Saints should sign Jameis and keep Taysom Hill as the backup.

Chicago Bears – Alex Smith

The Bears are screwed if they don’t acquire Watson, Russell Wilson, or one of the top QBs out of college. Seriously, what can they do if all else fails? I love Mitch Trubisky (the person) and I actually believe he’s a competent QB. However, he’s not a franchise-changing player. Nick Foles is an expensive backup QB, not a starter. If they can’t trade for Wilson or Watson, I would sign Alex Smith and Trubisky to one-year deals. Then, fire Ryan Pace and (possibly) Matt Nagy and draft a QB next year.

Washington Football Team – Ryan Fitzpatrick

Once again, we’ll see if the WFT can draft a top QB or trade for Watson. However, Riverboat Ron Rivera and Ryan Fitzpatrick were made for each other. Fitzy would love to sling it to Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas. This seems like a perfect fit.

Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Hurts

History tends to repeat itself. Will the Eagles draft another quarterback to compete with their starter? It didn’t work well for Wentz, let me tell ya that! The Eagles need to rebuild. Draft weapons, take care of the offensive line, and see if Jalen Hurts is “the guy.”

Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson

Hahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Imagine having a top-five QB and trading him away because you couldn’t take care of him? Couldn’t be my team! In all seriousness, the Hawks should jump in the Pacific Ocean and never come back if they trade Russell Wilson.

San Franciso 49ers – Sam Darnold

I’ve never wavered from this prediction. If the Jets trade Sam Darnold, it will be to the San Francisco 49ers. Sorry Jimmy G, but your health is an issue. If you can’t stay on the field, then you can’t be a franchise QB. Those are the rules. Kyle Shanahan is going to unlock Darnold and remind us all why we loved the SoCal QB out of USC.

Carolina Panthers – Teddy Bridgewater/Trey Lance

It’s no surprise that the Panthers want to make a splash with a new owner who is not afraid to spend money. Teddy B is a serviceable QB, but the Panthers will be looking to upgrade. If they don’t get Watson, the draft is where they’ll make their mark and take a guy like Trey Lance.

New York Jets – Zach Wilson

The Mormon Manziel is coming to New York City if and only if Watson gets traded elsewhere. Zach Wilson’s stock is soaring as he continues to garner comparisons to Aaron Rodgers. Pair him with some WRs and another tackle and the Jets will be much improved in 2021.

Miami Dolphins – Deshaun Watson

Miami, this is the move to make. You have the ammo to make the move with the first-round picks. You have the QB to send back to Houston in Tua Tagovailoa. With Flores as the foreseeable coach in the future, Watson would be happy as a member of the Dolphins organization for the next decade.

Houston Texans – Tua Tagovailoa

See above. This is not personal, Tua. It’s just business. I like Tua, but Watson is the superior talent right now.

Denver Broncos – Drew Lock/Justin Fields

Drew Locks has shown flashes of potential, but he’s not the guy. It’s time to go back to the drawing board. Denver will most likely trade up in the draft to take a QB like Justin Fields. Let Fields compete with Lock and hopefully (for John Elway’s sake), Fields comes out on top.

What should your team do at QB? Let me know in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Undrafted College Football Players Should Be Allowed to Return to CFB

College football players undrafted Hunter Bryant Washington Hawaii

The 2020 NFL Draft was definitely one to remember. It was completely virtual due to the Coronavirus. Potential draft picks watched at home. They awaited a phone call informing them that they were selected by an NFL team. Elite players, like Joe Burrow and Chase Young, accomplished their goal of being a first-round NFL Draft pick. However, many NFL Draft hopefuls did not realize their dream of being selected in the NFL Draft. Unfortunately, for many of those players, their football career as players may be over. It is true that many of them will attempt to earn a spot on a team as an undrafted free agent. Entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent is not easy and will not happen for all of them. This realization is especially unfortunate for draftees who left college early to enter the NFL Draft.

Every year, some college football players decide to forego their remaining college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. NFL rules require draft entrants to be out of high school for three years and to have used all of their college eligibility before the start of the next college football season. However, college players with remaining eligibility request league approval to enter the NFL Draft early. 99 players were granted special eligibility for the 2020 draft. This means that 99 players who had remaining college eligibility gave up their remaining eligibility for a shot at the NFL. Despite the fact that only 1.5 percent of college football players go pro, 99 players still thought it was best to enter the draft. Why do college football players make the decision to forego their remaining eligibility given the odds of making it to the NFL?

Reasons College Football Players Leave College Early to Enter the NFL Draft

There are many reasons college football players forego their remaining college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. There are two reasons that stick out the most. One reason is due to the unrealistic sense that many college football players have about their prospects of being drafted. Many college football players prematurely forego their remaining college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft, even though they are not ready. Another reason college football players forego the remaining college eligibility because some from disadvantaged backgrounds and need to make money. College sports is a billion-dollar business but the players’ only compensation is a cost-of-attendance scholarship. While a scholarship is valuable that does not mean that players should be limited to only that.

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College Football Players who Come From Disadvangeted Backgrounds Would Greatly Benefit from Getting into the NFL as Quickly as Possible

Roughly 86 percent of African-American college athletes come from families that live below the poverty line. Since the Coronavirus pandemic, the inequities that many college athletes face have become even more visible. For example, Sam Williams, a University of Mississippi linebacker, tweeted about the hardships he is facing since being unexpectedly home from school. Specifically, Williams tweeted:

We worked so hard to get out of the hood but forced to go back to the hood…Still gotta pay rent so all of our money gone and I can’t swipe my ID nowhere in Alabama. Then if we get help it’s a ‘violation’. I just don’t understand.”

Williams highlighted a problem that may college athletes are facing. A study conducted by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice prior to the pandemic highlights many of the issues that college athletes face. 452 Division I athletes were surveyed. 24 percent of them suffered from food insecurity in the 30 days prior. Food insecurity is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. The survey sheds light on the issue of food scarcity amongst college athletes across all the divisions. Williams’ tweet and the survey’s findings further demonstrate the needs of many college athletes, particularly those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Everybody Gets Rich Except the Players

Furthermore, Williams’s tweet and the survey certainly make it clear why a college football player would leave college football eligibility on the table for a shot at the NFL. Due to the NCAA’s asinine amateurism rules, college football players are precluded from sharing in the billions they generate outside of a cost-of-attendance scholarship. While coaches, athletic directors, and other sports administration personnel make millions, the players are capped to a scholarship.

As Williams tweeted, college athletes cannot receive any assistance that is not first approved by the NCAA. If an athlete does, he will be subject to an NCAA violation, just ask Chase Young. Why would an athlete remain apart of a system that stops them from earning their true worth and risk injury, while everyone else makes millions?

The Good News is that the NCAA Can Fix Both of These Problems and Retain College Football Players

The NCAA can fix these problems and retain college football players if they would simply amend their rules. One way the NCAA can fix this problem is by allowing college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). After mounting pressure, the NCAA is finally on the track to allow that to happen. If the NCAA does this, it could take the pressure off of players to go pro to make money. Last month, the NCAA announced that they are moving toward allowing college athletes to profit from their NIL. However, only time will tell how much the NCAA will amend their current rules to actually help the athletes.

Currently, college football players cannot return to college football after they enter and go through the NFL Draft even if they have remaining eligibility. Why is this the case? How does this benefit the football players? How does it benefit college football? The truth is that these rules do not benefit the players nor college football. This is another way the NCAA can fix their problems. The NCAA should change its rules to allow players who are not drafted to return to college football. It is time for things in college football to change. Change is more than possible, just look at recent changes in college basketball.

Recent Changes in College Basketball

Sweeping changes have come to college basketball during the last four years. In 2017, a scandal was exposed in college basketball. Soon after, the NCAA amended college basketball rules. The NCAA began to allow NBA Draft entrants with remaining eligibility to return to college. Prior to entering the NBA draft, the player must seek an evaluation from the National Basketball Association’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee. If the player intends to return to college, he must remove his name from the draft list and declare his intent to return to college within 10 days of the conclusion of the NBA Draft combine. These types of rule changes are exactly what the NCAA should adopt in college football.

The NCAA Should Allow College Football NFL Draft Entrants to Return If Undrafted

Two former NFL Players who entered the league as undrafted free agents agree that college football players could benefit if the NCAA made changes to their rules. Patrick Cobbs entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He believes that college football players could benefit from being able to return to college after entering the NFL Draft. Cobbs, a running back, led the nation in rushing in 2003. As a junior, Cobbs was projected to be a second or third-round draft pick. He stated that if he had the option to try his chances at the NFL Draft and return to college if undrafted he would have taken advantage of it.

Greg Camarillo also entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He also believes that college football players could benefit from being allowed to return to college football after the NFL Draft. Both Cobbs and Camarillo believe that an advisory committee should be created for potential draft entrants. Camarillo stated that the committee should create a program to give the players a realistic sense of their chances in the draft. Potential draft entrants should be required to consult the committee before entering the draft.

Both Cobbs and Camarillo do not think that agents should be a part of the committee due to potential bias. They suggest that the committee be made up of former NFL scouts, former coaches, and former NFL and college players. Camarillo suggests that the advisory committee’s evaluations take place immediately after the college football post-season.

The NCAA Should Be Proactive in Making These Changes in College Football

If the NCAA adopted these changes it could greatly change the landscape of college football for the betterment of the players. A player should not be forced to forego his remaining college eligibility just because he entered the draft. The idea of college football players being able to return to college if undrafted is gaining traction amongst prominent college coaches. Recently, the University of Michigan coach, Jim Harbaugh, released a proposal in support of this issue. He suggested that undrafted players be allowed to return to college. The NCAA needs to take note and make changes before they are forced to like they were with basketball.

Unafraid Show’s Pac-12 2020 NFL Draft Preview: Part Two

Unafraid Show's Pac-12 2020 NFL Draft Preview: Part Two

The 2020 NFL Draft is drawing near as Pac-12 Prospects have made their cases to teams as to why they should draft them. The Pac-12 has many players who could help teams out this upcoming season.

This article is part of Unafraid Show’s two-part NFL Draft preview.

Quarterbacks Lead the Way for Pac-12 in 2020 NFL Draft

Justin Herbert – QB Oregon

Justin Herbert will be the first Pac-12 player off the board on Thursday. However, there has been more debate of who will go first between Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa. Some pundits even view Herbert as better than Joe Burrow, the presumptive first overall pick on Thursday. Herbert would be an interesting fit with certain teams such as the Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers. Both teams have receivers that could ease the pressure on Herbert. It will be interesting to see if Herbert is a day one starter or if he has to sit and learn. After being a starter for the majority of his college career, he has the potential to have a successful rookie season.

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Jacob Eason – QB Washington

Jacob Eason is primed to be a Day Two pick at the 2020 NFL Draft. Eason was the National Gatorade Player of the Year during his senior year of high school in 2015-16. However, Eason had an uneasy college career that started at Georgia. Still, Eason is a pocket passer that teams could see as an eventual starter. The best situation for Eason would be a place where there is an established veteran starter that he can learn from. Possible teams that fit that bill include the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints.  

Anthony Gordon – QB Washington State

Anthony Gordon was named Second Team All Pac-12 in 2019. Gordon was able to thrive in Mike Leach’s Air Raid system, making him an intriguing fit as a backup in some of the hybrid NFL systems. Gordon could be a legitimate backup with teams such as the Arizona Cardinals who employ Air Raid concepts. However, Gordon looks to be a Day Three draft pick in part because he played in the Air Raid system in college. The last quarterbacks to play in Mike Leach’s system, Luke Falk and Gardner Minshew, have both started NFL games. It will be interesting to see if Gordon could have a similar career trajectory.

Steven Montez – QB Colorado

Steven Montez Colorado

Like Gordon, Steven Montez figures to be a late-round draft pick. Montez has great arm strength, but has flaws in his game. When he would extend plays during his time at Colorado, Montez would sometimes be able to find receivers open downfield. Those types of plays simply do not happen often in the NFL, but Montez’ ability to extend plays could help him as long as he takes care of the football.  

Pac-12 Offensive Talent Present In 2020 NFL Draft

Zack Moss – RB Utah

Zack Moss figures to be one of the first running backs off the draft board. However, he may not hear his name called until Friday night. He ran a 4.65 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, which is considered underwhelming for a running back. On the flip side, Moss was First-Team All Pac-12 in 2019, rushing for 1,416 yards and 15 touchdowns. The cousin of Santana and Sinorice Moss, two former NFL wide receivers, Moss could be a good power back option for some teams. Potential fits for Moss include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He proved himself as an effective pass-catcher at Utah with 28 receptions. Tom Brady loves throwing to his running backs, and Zack Moss would be an interesting piece in Bruce Arians’ and Byron Leftwich’s offense.  

Michael Pittman Jr. – WR USC

Michael Pittman Jr. will probably be a Day Two draft pick. With a deep wide receiver class in the 2020 draft, Pittman will be a steal for whoever gets him. A Biletnikoff Award finalist, Pittman posted 1,275 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in 2019 for the Trojans. With a bigger build, Pittman could complement a team who needs a possession receiver. Pittman ran a 4.52 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. He has the speed to do well at the NFL level.

Brandon Aiyuk – WR Arizona State

Brandon Aiyuk is in the same boat as Laviska Shenault as far as his draft stock. NFL Network reported that Aiyuk had core muscle surgery on April 7. Aiyuk is regarded by many as a first-round talent. He had big-play ability at Arizona State. The team that ends up drafting Brandon Aiyuk will be getting a playmaker that can excel in both the receiving and return game on special teams. A prime fit for Brandon Aiyuk would be the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is still looking for a solid second receiver along with Davante Adams, and Aiyuk fits the bill.

Austin Jackson and Calvin Throckmorton Could Help Teams on Offensive Line

Austin Jackson – OT USC

Austin Jackson has the potential to be a first round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. His athleticism will attract teams on draft night. Teams may view Jackson as a project though because his fundamentals need work. A team who may look to draft Jackson either late in the first round or early in the second round could be the Denver Broncos. Jackson figures to compete for a starting job wherever he goes.

Calvin Throckmorton – OG Oregon

Calvin Throckmorton led a talented group of offensive lineman at Oregon in 2019. However, Throckmorton had an uneasy performance at the 2020 Senior Bowl. Still, he was a First-Team All Pac-12 Selection in 2019, and can play any position along the offensive line. Throckmorton finished his career at Oregon with a 3.8 GPA and Second-Team Academic All American honors. He will probably be a Day Two pick, but a team who wants an intelligent, versatile offensive lineman should know that Throckmorton fits that description.

Evan Weaver, Jaylon Johnson Lead Defensive Players from Pac-12 in 2020 NFL Draft

Evan Weaver – LB California

Evan Weaver garnered Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019. However, he is projected to be a late-round draft pick because he is simply undersized. Despite that, Weaver led the country with 182 tackles during the 2019 season. He ran a 4.76 40-yard dash, and has the intangibles to be a contributing member for an NFL team. Weaver may not be the prototypical NFL athlete, but he will have a chance to prove himself if a team is willing to give him a chance.

Jaylon Johnson – CB Utah

Jaylon Johnson could be a first-round draft pick on Thursday. Johnson garnered First-Team All Pac-12 Honors in both 2018 and 2019. Johnson also received All-Academic honors. Teams that value a good mix of talent with hard work will see Johnson as someone they want on their football team. Standing at exactly six feet, some people may question Johnson’s size at the cornerback position. Still, he plays the position with physicality and is not afraid to challenge opposing receivers at the line of scrimmage. Don’t be surprised if Johnson is a late first-round pick on Thursday.

After 2020 NFL Draft, Pac-12 Players Will Start Next Chapter

There is plenty in store once the 2020 NFL Draft gets rolling on Thursday night. We will be able to see where all of the Pac-12 standouts from the 2019 season will end up starting the next phase of their football career.

Unafraid Show’s Pac-12 2020 NFL Draft Preview: Part One

Pac-12 NFL Draft 2020

The Pac-12 is hoping to have multiple first-round draft picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. The conference has many offensive and defensive prospects that teams will be looking to draft between April 23-25. Today, we will look at prospects who are possible Day Two draft picks.

This article is Part One of a 2-part Pac-12 NFL Draft Preview.

Trey Adams of Washington May Have Rocky 2020 NFL Draft Road

Adams’ college career was derailed because of injuries. Still, his talent presents teams with an intriguing option for teams. Adams ran a 5.6 second 40-yard dash at the combine, along with a 24.5 inch vertical jump and a 92 inch broad jump. These numbers were not great, and Adams did not make the best impression on NFL scouts. A Sports Illustrated article featured a Pro Football Weekly analyst who criticized Adams’ time at the combine. The same article reported that Adams may have not been smart with certain answers he gave in interviews. Adams is ranked number 90 in ESPN’s Best Available list, but it will be interesting to see if he can salvage being picked within the first two days of the draft.

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Devin Asiasi Looks to be Day Two Pick at 2020 NFL Draft

Asiasi broke onto the scene in 2019, as he caught 44 passes for 641 yards and 4 touchdowns. He started his career at Michigan, but wanted to be closer to home. He was able to find a place in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense at UCLA. His play in 2019 helped him attain the ranking of the third-best tight end available according to ESPN’s Best Available list. A team with a need at tight end may look at drafting Asiasi. He fits the bill of being a more physical tight end that still possesses breakaway ability. Due to the class at tight end being not as deep this year, Asiasi should be a Day Two draft pick.

Bradlee Anae Made Great Impression At Senior Bowl

Anae received First-Team All Pac-12 honors in 2018 and 2019. He also wreaked havoc at the Senior Bowl in January, as he tallied three sacks in that game. At the combine, Anae ran a 4.93 40-yard dash. Anae could become a hybrid player in the NFL, playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme. He had 13 sacks his senior year at Utah. It is shocking that Anae is not higher on draft boards. He is ranked as the 83rd best prospect on draft boards. The 2020 NFL Draft is deep at the defensive end position, but Anae should be a Day Two pick.

Ashtyn Davis’ 2020 NFL Draft Stock Affected By Pro Day Cancellation

Originally a scholarship track athlete at Cal, Davis became a second-team all-conference football player. Davis could be a Day Two draft pick, but some teams are having trouble evaluating him after his Pro Day was canceled. He sustained a groin injury in Cal’s game against UCLA on November 30th and was unable to run at the combine. Thus, Davis does not have a recorded 40 time. However, being a safety who can act quickly off the ball makes Davis an intriguing prospect for NFL teams.

Troy Dye Could Go Up Draft Boards Due to Football IQ

Troy Dye is a great option for teams as a Day Two draft pick because of his high football IQ. Dye did not participate in drills at the NFL Combine. Still, he had a productive season in 2019 with 52 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. Dye played the entire game against Washington this past season despite breaking his thumb early in the game. Teams like qualities like toughness and football IQ, and Dye possesses both. It would be a shock if Dye was not a Day Two draft pick.

Laviska Shenault Jr. Could Be First Round Pick, But Injuries a Concern

Laviska Shenault Jr. is another example of a player whose college career was impacted by injuries. When Shenault is 100 percent, he is a freak of nature on the football field. However, he had to have core muscle surgery in early March. Shenault was dealing with a core muscle injury for the majority of the 2019 season but still garnered team MVP honors at CU. He had 56 receptions for 764 yards and four touchdowns in 2019. When he was healthy, Shenault was the favorite target of quarterback Steven Montez. Shenault may be a late-first round draft pick, but may slide to an early second-round pick because of this injury.

All of the prospects talked about in this article are being projected as Day Two draft picks. Next week, we will preview prospects that may have greater first-round potential, such as Justin Herbert and Brandon Aiyuk.

Pac-12 Football Review: USC NSD Fail, Donte Williams, NFL Combine Invites

Pac-12 Football Review: USC NSD Fail, Donte Williams, NFL Combine Invites

USC’s Poor National Signing Day Highlights it’s Pac-12 Football Recruiting

Last Wednesday, National Signing Day came and left. While there wasn’t much Pac-12 football activity, Colorado kept its guy. That is to say, Ashaad Clayton signed with Colorado.

And all Buffaloes sighed.

Certainly, the four-star running back out of New Orleans is a great addition. With that signing, Colorado made a big move. It showed its school is doing the work.

However, the program that needed to make the biggest leap failed miserably.

So many Pac-12 football programs brought it this offseason. Utah and Arizona State made huge strides. Meanwhile, USC fell. Firstly, USC boasts (if that word can be used) just 13 three-five star recruits for 2020.

  • Two four-star recruits
  • 11 three-star recruits

In short, their 2020 recruiting is dismal.

When compared to Pac-12 football programs, USC’s 2020 class ranks 10th. Just above Washington State and Arizona. Overall, USC’s distressing 2020 class is outside of the top-50 in college football. Their 55th-ranked class is completely pitiful. Especially considering their 2019 feats:

  • 8 wins, 5 losses
  • 32.5 points per game
  • Holiday Bowl berth
  • Breakout true-freshman Kedon Slovis

This was a huge alarm for the Trojans. But thankfully, USC stole Donte Williams away from Oregon.

Pac-12 Top-Recruiter Donte Williams Heads to USC

Unfortunately, cornerbacks coach Donte Williams’ move to USC was not because of football. As seen from his Tweet, it’s a move to his “father’s aging/failing health”. Family first. Respect.

Though is move to USC is family-driven, Williams is still a gift for their program. Prior to this news, USC recruiting was in free-fall. They were 10th in the Pac-12. Barely ahead of Washington State. That’s not acceptable for their program. So, they need to treat Williams as best as they can. During his short time with Oregon, he’s ranked:

  • 5th-best recruiter in Pac-12 in 2019 class
    • 62nd-best in nation
  • Best recruiter in Pac-12 in 2020 class
    • 7th-best in nation

Understanding that, this move is incredible for USC. They needed him bad. With his recruiting, he’ll become instrumental in their success. Certainly, Williams will be missed in Oregon. But for USC, he’s their savior.

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2020 NFL Combine Pac-12 Football Participants

On Friday, the NFL released its full list of 2020 NFL Scouting Combine invites. Of the 337 prospects invited, here are the Pac-12 football players:

Arizona (1 invite)

  • J.J. Taylor, Running Back

Arizona State (4 invites)

  • Brandon Aiyuk, Wide Receiver
  • Eno Benjamin, Running Back
  • Cohl Cabral, Offensive Line
  • Michael Turk, Punter

Cal (3 invites)

  • Ashtyn Davis, Defensive Back
  • Jaylinn Hawkins, Defensive Back
  • Evan Weaver, Line Backer

Colorado (4 invites)

  • Tony Brown, Wide Receiver
  • Steven Montez, Quarterback
  • Laviska Shenault Jr., Wide Receiver
  • Davion Taylor, Line Backer

Oregon (7 invites)

  • Jacob Breeland, Tight End
  • Troy Dye, Line Backer
  • Jake Hanson, Offensive Line
  • Justin Herbert, Quarterback
  • Juwan Johnson, Wide Receiver
  • Shane Lemieux, Offensive Line
  • Calvin Throckmorton, Offensive Line

Oregon State (2 invites)

  • Isaiah Hodgins, Wide Receiver
  • Jake Luton, Quarterback

Stanford (2 invites)

  • Colby Parkinson, Tight End
  • Casey Toohill, Line Backer

UCLA (4 invites)

  • Devin Asiasi, Tight End
  • Darney Holmes, Defensive Back
  • Joshua Kelley, Running Back
  • JJ Molson, Kicker

USC (2 invites)

  • Austin Jackson, Offensive Line
  • Michael Pittman, Wide Receiver

Utah (9 invites)

  • Bradlee Anae, Defensive Line
  • Francis Bernard, Line Backer
  • Julian Blackmon, Defensive Back
  • Terrell Burgess, Defensive Back
  • Leki Fotu, Defensive Line
  • Javelin K. Guidry, Defensive Back
  • Jaylon Johnson, Defensive Back
  • Zack Moss, Running Back
  • John Penisini, Defensive Line

Washington (7 invites)

  • Trey Adams, Offensive Line
  • Salvon Ahmed, Running Back
  • Hunter Bryant, Tight End
  • Myles Bryant, Defensive Back
  • Jacob Eason, Quarterback
  • Aaron Fuller, Wide Receiver
  • Nick Harris, Offensive Line

Washington State (2 invites)

  • Anthony Gordon, Quarterback
  • Dezmon Patmon, Wide Receiver

Somehow, Utah leads the way in combine invites for Pac-12 football programs. As a result, their school gained instant respect. Their school-record nine combine invites is great for their program’s recruiting. But, it’s a tough task to replace.

“It is not hard to figure out why we were formidable on defense this past year and why we had statistically one of the best defenses we have ever had at Utah,” said head coach Kyle Whittingham. “It is going to be a big challenge replacing those guys.”

Deseret News

Apart from a lackluster finish, Utah played well in 2019. As a result, they nearly made the College Football Playoffs. Or, at least they were in the discussion. These nine combine invites were a large part of their winning. In other words, it’s a big loss to the program.

Nevertheless, Utah is upping their recruiting game by leading the Pac-12 in combine invites.

Colorado’s Mel Tucker Calms Anxious Fans

Last Tuesday, Mark Dantonio retired after 13 seasons as Michigan State’s head coach. It was reported that Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell and Colorado’s Mel Tucker were those interviewing.

Although it was Tucker’s first season ever as a head coach, no program wants to lose their H.C. Furthermore, no program wants to lose their coach after the coaching carousel already hired the most qualified candidates. Consequently, it’s not the best time to hire.

But, Tucker made sure to raise the spirits of the Colorado program, its players and its fans.

Arizona State Close to Adding Robert Rodriguez as D-Line Coach

Reportedly, the Arizona State Sundevils are reportedly close to signing Robert Rodriguez as defensive line coach. Because of Jamar Cain’s departure, Rodriguez is a big hire.

Rodriguez just completed his fifth year with the Vikings. During that time, he worked closely with Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson. They utilized aggressive schemes for playmakers Daniel Hunter and Everson Griffen. As a result of his NFL experience, Rodriguez is a sound hire. Above all, Rodriguez will be paid to bring defensive pressure.

Unfortunately, Cain left behind more than defensive coaching. Jamar Cain is considered one of the best recruiting coaches. Losing him hurt. But, Rodriguez coached for UTEP from 2008 to 2014. So, at least he does understand how collegiate coaching and recruiting works. Both as a player and a coach.

Pac-12 Players Needing Big Years for the NFL Draft

Pac-12 Power Rankings Week 4

College football is finally here. The Power Rankings are in and the season has started. But the Pac-12 season is more than just teams and team-wins. There is an individual end game… The NFL Draft.

Each year, a maximum of 256 college athletes can be drafted each year by the NFL. Only 256. Out of every college and thousands upon thousands of draft prospects. Most players make their way onto scouts’ lists early in their collegiate careers. But, for this set of senior, offensive Pac-12 players, they desperately need to make the most of their final season.

The Five Offensive Pac-12 Players Needing it Most

Aaron Fuller – UW – Senior – Wide Receiver

With 58 receptions and 874 yards, Aaron Fuller finally had his breakout season in 2018. He led the Huskies in 2018 and looks to do the same this season. Even though UW lost the Rose Bowl, Fuller stood out with 7 receptions. Furthermore, he’s cemented himself on the Biletnikoff Award watch list.

Nonetheless, Fuller has a lot to prove this season. As many already know, the most talented wide receivers in college leave early for the draft. Of note though, the 2019 NFL draft was different. Deebo Samuel, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Parris Campbell and Andy Isabella were drafted in the second round. All of them were seniors. So, there is definitely hope for Fuller. And with 874 yards, he certainly has a good base to build off of.

But, he still needs to step up. Fuller has to display explosiveness. At 5-foot-11, 188lbs, he’s not going to turn heads like DK Metcalf. However, he’s the type of receiver the NFL is evolving to enjoy. As a senior, Fuller has to get the counting stats, display good route running and hands for the scouts, ball-out at the Senior Bowl. If he’s having his best year, hopefully he’ll get a chance to push his name into the draft with an NFL Combine invite as well. All in all, Fuller needs to be Washington’s steady and reliable playmaker this year. 

Anthony Gordon – WSU – Redshirt Senior – Quarterback

2 games. 5 attempts. 3 completions. 17 yards. 1 interception.

That is all that Anthony Gordon, redshirt senior, has to show for his WSU career. Yet, somehow he earned the nod from Mike Leach. After losing Gardner Minshew, the Pac-12’s leader in pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns, Mike Leach turned to the older, yet unknown, Gordon. 

As a true underdog, Gordon first played in Junior College for the City College of San Francisco. But, he led the CCCAA Conference in passing yards (3,864) and touchdowns (37) as a true freshman. In addition, Gordon led his team to a CCCAA Championship and earned the CCCAA Championship Game MVP. So, he’s at least got that going for him.

Now, after redshirting and sitting on the bench for three seasons at WSU, it’s Gordon’s time to shine. Fortunately for him, he plays for Washington State University. He’s got a team around him and the perfect head coach for quarterbacks. In Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense, quarterbacks are given friendly schemes and can compile big numbers. As a redshirt senior with no NCAA experience, Gordon needs everything he can get. Off all of the offensive Pac-12 players on this list, he’s the biggest underdog right now. In order to make it to the NFL, he needs to brand his name on the NFL scout list with big-time throws and massive numbers.

Noah Togiai – OSU – Redshirt Senior – Tight End

Snakebitten by injuries, Noah Togiai has to prove that he can stay healthy. After breaking out in 2017 with 34 receptions, 461 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, Togiai caught just 10 passes in 2018. His production took a major dip and injuries were a large part of that.

“He’s done a lot of good things,” Beavers offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren told NBCSNW. “I think last year he was probably like 80 percent… I don’t think we really saw what he’s capable of doing in the pass game.”

After tearing his ACL in the Beavers’ second game of 2016. Additionally, he missed the first three games of the 2018 season. Thankfully, Togiai was granted an extra season of eligibility in 2017 because of his ACL tear. He’s lucky. Because of this medical hardship season, Togiai didn’t have to finish his collegiate career on a 10 reception, 77 yard season. However, he needs to prove he is able to withstand the brutality of an NFL-level game. Can he do that? It’s unclear, especially considering he’s battling an ankle injury he sustained in spring camp. But, if he can stay healthy, Togiai could become Oregon State’s third receiver and one of the best offensive Pac-12 players at the tight end position.

Juwan Johnson – Oregon – Redshirt Senior – Wide Receiver

Unfortunately for Oregon, their wide receiving corps hit the injury bug. Brenden Schooler, Mycah Pittman and Juwan Johnson are each dealing with their own. While Schooler and Pittman are likely out for the first few weeks, there is hope that Johnson can suit up for Auburn.

If Johnson is able to suit up, he could quickly become a favorite target for Justin Herbert. Because if the Penn State transfer is one thing, he is a large target. At 6-foot-4, 230lbs, Johnson certainly garners attention. He’s big, powerful and has a frame unlike the other receivers on the team. Johnson also brings experience to the Ducks squad. He played the most games of any Ducks receiver. As a veteran, he is going to be both a role-model for younger receivers and a reliable option for Herbert.

“I’m here to be a leader,” he said. “That’s my job here, come in and bring a leader and bring that energy to the team. I want to bring the guys up so we can win a Pac-12 championship, national championship and those sort of things.”

If he can regain his health, Juwan Johnson can step into the void and separate himself from the rest of Oregon’s playmakers. The path for him to breakout in the list of top, offensive Pac-12 players is there. He’s on a great offense, on a top team, with needs at the position. Get healthy and get out there Johnson.

Cameron Scarlett – Stanford Redshirt Senior – Running Back

No Bryce Love. Washington drafted him in the fourth-round of the 2019 draft. No JJ Arcega-Whiteside. The Philadelphia Eagles picked him up in the second round. No Trenton Irwin. The Miami Dolphins scooped him up as an undrafted free-agent. So, Stanford lost their feature back and two top receivers. Someone needs to step up.

Out of the shadows steps Cameron Scarlett. The fifth-year back has yet to break out. Which makes complete sense. He’s played behind not only Bryce Love, but Christian McCaffrey as well. It’s not easy to usurp Heisman hopeful running backs. But this year, he doesn’t have to. The backfield is his for the taking.

Fortunately for Scarlett, he’s not completely green. In both 2017 and 2018, he displayed versatility in rushing and receiving. Scarlett’s 719 rushing yards and 283 receiving yards in 2017 and 2018 display this. He also notched 8 rushing touchdowns in each, along with 1 receiving touchdown in 2018. Finding the paydirt is obviously a good thing. Moreover, Scarlett displayed exceptional special-teams play. In 2017, his 1,008 kick return yards ranked second nationally and first in the Pac-12.  

His feature-back size (6-foot-1, 216lbs), combined with his dual-threat ability and versatility in the return-game, should provide ample opportunity for him in 2019. But, he’s a redshirt-senior without a feature-back year on his resume. Scarlett has to make that happen. In 2019, he needs to capitalize on volume and display his ability to be a bell-cow back.

Eight 1st-round Picks Who Dominated the NFL Combine but were Busts

NFL 1st round picks who were busts combine

NFL 1st- round draft picks bust for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they don’t have the love, desire, work ethic, or mentality to make it. Other times, they are poorly coached, asked to play out of position, or placed in schemes not suited for their skill set. General managers, scouts, and fans often fall in […]

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Kyler Murray Follows in LeBron’s Footsteps w/Uninterrupted Partnership

Kyler Murray Uninterrupted LeBron Partnership

It is no doubt that Kyler Murray is a special and rare talent that is destined for greatness. After all, he is the first player to be selected in the first round of both the NFL and MLB draft. His destiny for greatness does not end on the football field. Murray has not suited up for his first NFL game and is already showing the world that he is “More Than an Athlete” with a partnership he has with LeBron James’ media company, the Uninterrupted. King James and his business partner Maverick Carter started the Uninterrupted to give athletes a platform to share their content.

In the 2019 NFL Draft, Kyler Murray ascended to greatness as he joined two exclusive clubs. He joined the elite club of overall number one picks. Murray also joined the very small elite club of African-American quarterbacks selected as the overall number one pick. Murray is the fifth African-American quarterback to be selected number one. He is preceded by Micheal Vick (2001), JaMarcus Russel (2007), Cam Newtown (2011), and Jameis Winston (2015).

Kyler Murray is not Just Another NFL Player

Murray informed everyone of his partnership with the Uninterrupted during the Draft with his Great Gatsby inspired pink suit. On the inside of the suit were the Uninterrupted’s logo and the slogan “I am More Than an Athlete.”

Image result for Kyler Murray Maverick Carter

Murray has a two-year deal with the Uninterrupted to develop content for the platform. The content is likely to include short and medium length videos for social media and a feature-length documentary. Murray stated that he wants to be an example early for all athletes and show that athletes have value off the field. With this deal, Murray is doing just that. Murray has not even attended an NFL practice yet and is already building a brand off the football field. He is a part of a growing trend amongst young athletes who seek to show that they are “More Than an Athlete.”

Rashan Gary is another pioneer in this arena. Prior to the NFL Draft, Gary announced that he was starting his own sports agency. Gary was drafted by the Green Bay Packers as the number twelve first round pick. While Gary is looking forward to his NFL career, he stated that he started the sports agency because he realizes that football is not forever. Gary is showing that he is “More Than an Athlete” with his entrepreneurial spirit in founding his own sports agency.

Young Athletes Adopting the More Than an Athlete Mantra Will Inspire the Next Generation of Athletes

Kyler Murray and Rashan Gary are already inspiring the next generation of athletes. They are serving as an inspiration by setting an example of what it means to be “More Than an Athlete” as a young athlete just starting a professional career. Murray and Gary realize their value and have found a way to capitalize on it off the field. Their endeavors will likely go a long way to increase diversity in sports media and sports management. The precedent that they have set is sure to be a game-changer for future generations.

The NFL Draft is Exciting, Captivating and Should Never Stop

NFL Draft Ratings is Exciting and should go on forever

The NFL Draft Proves that Football Remains the King

Each and every year, the NFL Draft wins over fans. In 2018, the NFL draft totaled 45.8 million people. This year, 11.01 million viewers tuned in for the first round. Football always wins in America. The NFL didn’t just grab fans, they dominated the night. Thursday brought four sporting events:

  • NFL Draft: First-Round Coverage (11.01 million viewers)
  • NBA Playoffs: Denver Nuggets vs San Antonio Spurs (1.8 million viewers)
  • NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets (1.4 million viewers)
  • NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: St. Louis Blues vs Dallas Stars (>1 million viewers)

Unlike other sports, the NFL continue to reign as king of sporting television. Odd as it may be, a football draft is more appealing than NBA or NHL playoffs by a nine million margin. In fact, the first-round NFL draft coverage is over 2.5 times more than the sum of the three NBA/NHL game viewers. Even though many think of the NFL Draft as nothing more than a name-call or chance to boo Roger Goodell, the draft is full of heightened excitement and fun.

Reason One: Following Your Favorite College Athletes

In America, we love football. From high school to the NFL. So, when it comes to the NFL draft fans already have their favorite guys. They already watched their guys make highlight reel jukes, catches, hits or plays on the ball. Fame and prestige (though without the funds that should come with that) are bestowed upon collegiate athletes. Football players have swag and we love to see them on the field. But more than just their success on the field, fans love the stories behind the athletes. Watching collegiate sports is like watching cherry blossoms bloom in Washington D.C. Players are growing on a national platform. One blink and they are gone. These athletes overcome incredible adversity to get to the NFL draft. It’s easy to feel invested into their lives. Happiness and joy culminate when your favorite athlete gets that call.

Reason Two: Putting Hope in Your NFL Team

https://twitter.com/JazzSportsBook/status/1121586881693663233

When it’s your team’s turn to pick, nothing else matters. You find yourself glued to the TV, staring at the computer or constantly refreshing your phone’s sports app. There is an overwhelming experience of anticipation. No, it’s not the same as watching a Hail Mary or final shot in basketball, but there is suspense nonetheless. Because this pick matters. It could matter for years. This player could elevate your team to new height. Maybe they could even be a future hall of famer. But, at the same time, that choice could also send your team into a downward spiral. Commit to the wrong quarterback and your team will wait 5-10 years before competing. The stress is real and it defines a fan.


Reason Three: Surveying the Competition

https://twitter.com/POVOFBEST1/status/1121817530627235840

More important than your team’s choices, are the choices of the competition. Division rivalries are once again restoked. The draft is a time to cheer, and to jeer. Hopefully the enemies draft the biggest bust in the draft. It’s a beautiful feeling watching the opposition flair and falter. However, if the opposition is rising while your team is flailing and faltering, it can be maddening. Still, as odd as it may be, excitement can be heightened by that sense of disaster. It’s almost too bad to look away. Whatever success or failures happen, it is a certainty that the draft captivates fans of the game.

Reason Four: The Prep-Work

The NFL Draft is Exciting, Captivating and Should Never Stop

For the nerd and analyst, preparing for the NFL draft is an adventure in itself. We spend countless hours listening to podcast, reading articles and creating spreadsheets. Friends bet each other about their top picks. Fans fall in love with prospects and painstakingly hope for their team to make the “right” choice. Just as many hobbies are as much about the process as the results, the draft is no different. Pursuing data, opinion and knowledge is an incredible journey to those with passion.

Reason Five: Fulfilling the American Dream

The NFL Draft is Exciting, Captivating and Should Never Stop

In true American fashion, the NFL captivates us with stories of triumph. Players rising from poverty and heartbreak to national fame. Instantly, players like Christian Wilkins, Josh Jacobs and Kaleb McGary come to mind. They overcame poverty, violence, tragedy and homelessness. This happens again and again. Each round of the NFL is littered with athletes that grew up in foster-care, homeless or eating noodles for dinner. Watching athletes rise from nothing inspires each of us to greatness in our own lives.

The NFL Draft is Illegal, Excessive and Boring. Fans Should Skip It.

2019 Nfl draft Nashville

Firstly, I could not be more happy for every player drafted and realizing their dream. But, NFL draft itself is excessive, dull, annoying, and illegal. As the NFL Draft wraps-up, I wonder what the hell you are all doing watching this thing. The NFL has gotten so big that the Draft is now three days long and has become like the Oscars in the watching lexicon of many fans. I don’t get it. The funniest thing is to watch the draft from 3 or 4 years ago to see how many times a team gets a pick wrong. Here are some reasons why you should be doing something else with your life!

Excess and what is with that funky music?

The NFL Draft is just another extension of the leagues excess. The NBA Draft is one day in and out quick shopping. The NFL is now three days of 20 million guys on all the networks talking about real, “value” and whom they have rated higher than someone else. People, they are guessing, trust me. Each network has two crews now and 20 talking heads covering the event. Now they have music bands playing blaring music over the coverage making it hard for Rich Eisen or any analyst to speak. Brilliant.

The Buzzwords

What gets me is the use of creative words during the draft that is just hilarious (“Bubble Butt,” “High Motor,” how a QB can, “Make all the throws”). It’s just overkill, but then again the commentators covering this monotonous event must be creative coming up with unique words to describe over 200 players. This guy has great “hands.” Great. He should. He is a wide receiver. Here are some more buzzwords you will hear that will make you chuckle!

Seeing former players in bad health make the picks

I am going to get killed for this, but it’s hard for me to watch. Jim Brown the other night crawled to the podium to make the Browns draft pick. I admire him, and he is one of the greatest players to play the game, but to see this was hard on my eyes. It’s also a message to these young guys getting drafted that football is a brutal sport that could impact your health when done. I love the old timers, but maybe select a guy who is in better health. Sad moment in the draft that is not needed. Reggie Wayne and Pat McAfee, on the other hand, killed it.

Tough to watch!

The NFL Draft is an inexact science that is often wrong

Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, and Johnny Manziel prove the NFL Draft is not an inexact science. That with all the opinons on these players of what they will be and not is simply ridiculous. Here are just a few opinions of some players from this year alone. Look, the NFL draft is an opinionated soap opera, and teams make these selections without really knowing if that player will live-up to expectations. Opinions from scouts lead to picks by coaches and general managers. It’s a crapshoot. Sportscasters from every network also create tons of opinions before the actual event. Can scouts and sportscasters measure heart? Nope!

Why show emotion, whether happy or sad, from something you can’t judge for three years? Check your feelings. Not worth it for the crapshoot that is the NFL Draft. Go out and enjoy life. Here is an opinion that I think Mr. Taylor would like to take back.

The NFL Draft is boring.

Remember watching this young man get passed by 21 teams?

If you think about it, it’s incredibly dull. I’m watching it because I’m covering it. Plus, who wants to see the next Aaron Rodgers sitting in a green room when people are passing him that shouldn’t be. Sure, it’s human drama, but I don’t want to view it. I’m not a soap opera kind of guy. These are all kids who are becoming professional. I wish them all well, but to sit through hours of the NFL Draft you are a fan that needs to jump into life or get one. Besides, the phone updates work just fine, thank you.

Bad Outfits

Devin Bush, what were you thinking? I mean, I thought he was injured when I first saw that attire. Deion Sanders was lying when he said he liked it. Just horrible. He will be a much better player than that outfit, trust me!

The NFL DRAFT is Illegal.

All the drafts are unethical. Taking a job applicant and assigning the rights to that player to one employer is illegal. But this the NFL, which they do what they want as all the major sports do. The Draft is a moneymaker. It’s not going to change. Why can’t these players pick where they want to work? Like most Americans have that right to choose employment. The “draftee” should be able to pick his team instead of the other way around; the draft should be against the law. Set a salary cap so one organization can’t get everyone, but let them choose who they want to play for. It’s 2019, not 1970. Plus, it would eliminate teams being able to tank and suck for a better draft pick. Make it a free agent process with each club set with equal money and allow these players to pick where they want to play.

Just go outside and enjoy the sunshine!

Is the NFL Draft going away? It should, for it’s illegal, but it will probably only get bigger and more superfluous. You don’t need to worry about this monotony of rounds 4 to 7 or any of the NFL Draft. Your team did well. They got at least one guy that will be a solid player. Which pick that is who knows. The teams don’t even know who will be a great pro, trust me. No need to lose sleep on these 3 days of excessive NFL braggadocio. Beach time!