When the Chicago Bears welcome the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field, the Bears front seven will be tasked with stopping Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Less than a year after tearing his ACL, Burrow has rebounded, including a solid showing against the Minnesota Vikings in week 1, where the 24-year old quarterback tossed two touchdowns, 261 passing yards while posting a completion percentage of 74.1 percent.
“Yeah I feel like he’s a lot more athletic than he may look,” Nichols said via the Bears official YouTube Channel. “You know he has the ability to you know make great throws, smart guy, and he also has the ability to get out the pocket if you let him so you know we just gotta contain him and keep him in there and do everything we can to affect him.”
Cincinnati’s offense starts and ends with Burrow. Containing an ascending quarterback who’s playing with confidence will be key for Sean Desai and the rest of the defense, which struggled to get after the quarterback in week 1, a game that included multiple miscommunications within the Bears secondary, which led to big plays.
Burrow was also the driving force behind the Bengals explosive plays in week 1, hitting wider receiver Ja’Marr Chase in stride for a 50-yard touchdown pass. Showing some single-high safety looks that eventually translate into two-deep safety looks can also benefit the Bears defense, as Desai will look to continue sending exotic blitzes in Burrow’s direction, hoping to cause some confusion.
“That’s why you have 17 opportunities, just to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” Nichols said. “And you just keep getting better and better as a group.”
For a Bears defense that’s hoping for a major bounceback, limiting Burrow starts with guys like Nichols but continues with players like Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Roquan Smith, Eddie Goldman, and many more.
The New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals are living up to their respective reputations as two of the NFL’s scariest franchises in the modern standings. Entering the 2021 season, the teams are the owners of the longest playoff droughts in football. New York has a sizable margin at ten years, while the Bengals are at five seasons alongside the Cardinals and Broncos. Cincinnati is also nursing the longest active streaks between conference title game appearances (32 years) and playoff victories (30).
It’s thus only appropriate that these doomed squads go head-to-head on Halloween.
If anything, these franchises whose respective timelines have been dominated with tricks appear to have a pair of treats working with them under center. Cincinnati is set to welcome back Joe Burrow, the top pick of the virtual draft in 2020, while the Jets are set to counter with Zach Wilson, the second overall pick from the most recent selections.
The Skinny On the Bengals
The Bengals’ rebuild has entered the stage where they’re eradicating the remnants of the closest thing Queen City has had to professional football glory days since a rare Super Bowl appearance a majority of their fanbase has only seen on YouTube.
Andy Dalton, Andrew Whitworth, Rey Maulaga, and Domata Peko had already vanished. More Cincinnati jerseys became outdated this offseason, as the team bid farewell to Geno Atkins, A.J. Green, Gio Bernard, and Carlos Dunlap. Only tight C.J. Uzomah is left over from the Bengals’ last playoff trip, 2016’s meltdown at Paul Brown (Stadium).
The operation is being overseen by head coach Zac Taylor, who is entering the all-important third year at the helm. Cincinnati is a historically patient franchise: Taylor is only the 10th man to wear the headset for the franchise in their five-plus decades and his predecessor lasted 16 years in the spot without a single playoff victory.
Cincinnati’s fortunes were expected to be reversed by the arrival of Burrow. The standings left much to be desired…the Bengals won twice in Burrow’s ten starts…but reached heights unscaled by not only Cincinnati quarterbacks but legends of the entire league. Burrow became the first NFL freshman to throw for 300 yards in three consecutive games as well as the first to tally 400 passing yards, three passing scores, and a rushing six-pointer in a single contest.
This being the Bengals, however, the good times weren’t made to last. Burrow suffered a devastating injury during a November loss in Washington and was forced into an extensive rehab. Time will tell if Burrow returns to his dominant form that earned him the Heisman and a national title at LSU. But he found ways to turn his rehab process into a building block for his potentially game-changing career. The procedure, he believes, afforded him a chance to fix some of the flaws that perhaps hid beneath the glitz and glamour of his football career to date.
“With my knee, it felt the same. But I tweak my throwing motion every offseason and tweak my base. It was actually kind of beneficial for me, because I really started from the beginning and was able to refine some things that needed refining,” Burrow told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer about his offseason. “I’d like to be more explosive. And I think I was really good in quick-game situations. On fourth down, we were really good. Empty, we were really good. But we need to be more explosive with play-action passes. All of our downfield passing needs to improve.”
In addition to losing Burrow, the Bengals also lost top rusher Joe Mixon to a foot injury. The next generation of Cincinnati weaponry has presented itself through Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, who united for 1,749 yards and 10 scores last season.
In addition to the high-profile arrival of receiver Ja’Marr Chase (chosen fifth in April), the Bengals had to spend their offseason accounting for the loss of several defensive starters, including pressure artist and Jet-to-be Carl Lawson…who, alas, will not partake in the reunion with Cincinnati due to injury.
Cincinnati signed Trey Hendrickson after a breakthrough season in New Orleans in the hopes of replacing Lawson’s pressure production. A revamped secondary welcomes depth options Ricardo Allen, Eli Apple, Chidobe Awuzie, and Mike Hilton, while Trae Waynes is a de facto newcomer after a pectoral injury cost him the entire 2020 season.
The Bengals’ revamped top defense looked good in the “take-it-with-a-grain-of-salt” summer sessions, allowing no points in two contests. Hendrickson was enthused by what he learned from defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, who prides versatility in his front seven.
“It’s looking very unique of anything I’ve ever played before,” Hendrickson said of the defense to Ben Baby of ESPN after his first practices with the team in June. “I think it’s playing to both the defense and what I can bring to the table.”
How to Beat Them
-Make Them Pray for Penei
One of the most shocking twists of the draft was the Bengals’ curious decision to leave accomplished Oregon blocker Penei Sewell on the board in favor of Chase, one of Burrow’s favorite targets during the Tigers’ national championship run.
There’s no doubt that Chase has the potential to be an elite, big-play talent and that his victorious chemistry with Burrow could come up big as the team tries to drag back to mere football relevancy. But the Bengals learned the hard way that they need to find further protection for Burrow. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to pounce (pun intended) on the draft’s most powerful blocker, especially with one with experience on the blindside? Even when taking his season-ending injury into account, Burrow was still tied for ninth in sacks allowed.
The Bengals partly made up for passing on Sewell with the signing of Riley Reiff (who replaces the ineffective former Giant Bobby Hart) but the left side is guarded by tackle Jonah Williams and guard Quinton Spain. Williams is a first-round pick from 2019 that has had trouble staying healthy while Spain takes on larger duties after losing a competition against Cody Ford and Brian Winters in Buffalo.
The Jets won’t have the services of Lawson but it’s going to be crucial to attack Burrow’s blindside and make the Bengals regret their fateful decision. It’ll be a particularly big chance for those lining up on the outside, ready to attack the already vulnerable Bengal backfield.
-Do It For Carl
One of the Lawson-centric metrics Jets fans are probably sick of…or can’t get enough of…seeing is the fact that Lawson was one of only 11 defenders to reach double-figures (10.5) in the “Sacks Created” advanced category. That number becomes downright jaw-dropping when a look at the defensive rankings reveals that the Bengals earned a mere 17 sacks last season…the worst output in the league.
There would be, perhaps, no better tribute to Lawson than to make the Bengals realize just how much they miss Lawson. That’ll come down to the offensive line working against Cincinnati’s adjusted pass rush. The Bengals also drafted Texas’ Joseph Ossai in the third round (29 tackles over the last two seasons), but he’s starting the season on injured reserve and could be out the whole year. Much like the Bengals will look to take advantage of the Jets’ fledgling, developing secondary, the Jets must take advantage of a Queen City pass rush searching for clarity and momentum.
If anyone knows just how deadly a Cincinnati pass rush attack can be. In their last get-together in November 2019…when the Jets fell to an 0-11 Bengals squad…Sam Darnold was sacked four times and knocked down nine more: six times alone by Dunlap and one further time by Lawson himself. The Bengals’ visit with a new quarterback to protect is a big chance to show how far they’ve come.
Just a few days ago, the world saw BYU QB Zach Wilson produce one of the most memorable pro days in the past decade. Wilson caught the eye of so many that he’s viewed as a virtual lock to the New York Jets. Wilson’s performance may have booked him a ticket to MetLife for some, but others were less than enthused about his performance in shorts and drew comparisons to Sam Darnold’s past performances. The reality is that although Wilson is unproven, sometimes it’s better to take a shot at contention than aspire to toil in mediocrity. That shot is trading Sam Darnold and selecting Zach Wilson.
The case for trading Darnold goes beyond just the bad outweighing the good; since the day Darnold came out of USC, there has always been concern about his turnovers and decision making.
In two seasons as the quarterback for the Trojans, Darnold had 57 TDs to 22 INTs. Darnold also had a completion percentage of 64.9% in college, which is above average, but not a number that jumps off the page. For comparison, Zach Wilson had 56 TDs to 15 INTs. Not only that, but his completion percentage was over 3% greater than Darnold.
The eye-opening season that vaulted Wilson above Darnold in these categories was last season. After spending his offseason with John Beck, Wilson saw a jump from around a 64% completion percentage in his first two seasons to 73.5% last season. He also saw his interceptions drop from 9 in the season before to 3. Not to mention his pass attempts went up by over 25, his yards per attempt went up by nearly 4 yards and his touchdowns went up by an astronomical 22 touchdowns. Wilson refined his game and had a jump on par with that of Joe Burrow. Wilson’s decision-making is evidently better than Darnold’s was at this point, and there is an argument to be made Wilson has grossly exceeded where Darnold was when he came out of college.
The problem for Darnold is that his biggest issue was never talent, everyone knows he is talented. Darnold needed to see a jump in key categories like completion percentage and his touchdown to interception ratio, and it’s just not there. Darnold had a completion percentage of 59.8% throughout his three seasons to this point, along with a touchdown to interception ratio of 45 to 39. His touchdowns barely outweigh his interceptions, and his completion percentage ranked below nearly every quarterback who started a game last season. Darnold lacks confidence, and that stems from a lack of development. He doesn’t trust himself, and when he does, he tries to overcompensate with poor decisions.
It has been beaten to death how bad of a supporting cast he had, and that is true. I legitimately cannot think of a worse offensive line or wide receiver room than the Jets trotted out last season. Not to mention the utter incompetence of head coach. Darnold has not had help, and he has not seen any legitimate progression to this point. Sam Darnold is capable of making throws like Zach Wilson, and he has proven it, but Darnold has not developed, and with a new head coach, new offense, and a new future for the Jets, it may be best for parties to separate. It’s an unfortunate reality that, once again, a Jets quarterback has not worked out, but Darnold has not developed enough to earn the keys to the kingdom, and Wilson at least gives the Jets a chance to start fresh and the front office personnel a chance to take their guy.
With the New York Jets now preparing for their second batch of interviews where they will condense the field to bring them into Florham Park. With that said, I broke down the Jets three defensive coordinator candidates, three offensive coordinator candidates, and now today is the mixed bag group. A former head coach, a rising secondary coach, and a young offensive coordinator drawing comps to Sean McVay.
Marvin Lewis (Former Bengals Head Coach)
Marvin Lewis began working as a graduate assistant and then later a linebacker’s coach for Idaho State. From there he parlayed his success there into gigs at Long Beach State, University of New Mexico and University of Pittsburgh. He had considerable success and within just eight years he received enough attention as a linebackers coach that he was brought up to the pro ranks. While at his first stop, the Steelers, he worked as a linebackers coach for three years. Then, Lewis received his shot with the Ravens as a defensive coordinator for five years, winning a Super Bowl during that time, before joining the Football Team in the same role for a season.
Despite his background, from 2003-2018, Marvin Lewis is best known for his resurrection of the Cincinnati Bengals franchise. In his 15 years he led the team to the playoffs seven times with a record of 131-122-3 but an 0-7 playoff record. Lewis was undoubtedly a capable and competent leader, but he failed to close when it mattered most on the biggest stage. The losses on the biggest stage ultimately led to the team, letting him go. Lewis, at 62 years old, is still trying to get back to coaching in the pros as he has been helping former Jets coach Herm Edwards in Arizona State, first as a consultant and now as a co-defensive coordinator.
Looking forward, Lewis is a leader and has proven that in his career. One has to wonder if maybe the time off benefited him by giving him time to reevaluate. I think Lewis has a shot of getting a hire in this cycle for a couple of reasons. The first being that he has proven capabilities of turning around a franchise. The other is that his years of connections give him a shot of assembling a talented staff. If a team is looking to rebuild and they want someone to see it through, Lewis is a strong candidate. If you want someone to take your team to that next step though, Lewis has not proven he can do that. The other flaw is his age, and how much longer he even wants to coach, this continues to further my belief that he is a transitional coaching candidate.
Joe Brady (Panthers Offensive Coordinator)
Joe Brady is someone I have highlighted in great lengths during this coaching search and it’s lead up. Brady is known as the 31-year-old offensive wiz kid from Carolina. The former college wide receiver began his coaching career at his alma mater, Willian & Marry. After rising to a linebackers coach position there, Brady received a shot to be a graduate assistant at Penn State. He then received a massive opportunity to receive the tutelage of Sean Payton as an offensive assistant for the New Orleans Saints where he was able to learn first hand how to conduct the offense. Then, he made a decision that Sean Payton at the time told him was a massive mistake, he bolted from New Orleans to head to nearby LSU as the passing game coordinator and receiver’s coach. That decision was not a mistake, but rather, the reason he is a candidate for a head coaching gig.
At LSU, en route to a national championship, Brady architected one of the top offenses in college football history. He took Joe Burrow and brought him from an average college quarterback that likely would be a late round draft pick to, a Heisman campaign, where he had a 76.3 completion percentage and produced a line of 5,671 yds, 60 TDs, and 6 INTs. Burrow took a massive leap and became the first overall selection in the draft. Brady also allowed guys like JaMarr Chase and Justin Jefferson to go from household names to one being a top 15 prospect in this draft class, Chase and one being labeled by some as the next star receiver in the NFL, in Jefferson. Now, since leaving LSU, the team and specifically offense was a shell of themselves and Brady’s exit has been widely attributed to why.
Joe Brady left LSU and took the jump to Carolina to coach under Matt Rhule as his offensive coordinator. The offense was not the most spectacular, but if you look at the jump that players took under his guidance that is indicative of success. Mike Davis filled in masterfully for Christian McCaffery being able to jump into his role to an extent and keep the train moving. Guys like Curtis Samuel, Robby Anderson and Ian Thomas all took massive leaps and proved themselves as legitimate offensive weapons under Joe Brady as well. Brady was able to adapt consistently, instilling a game plan for former XFL star PJ Walker’s first career start on Thursday Night Football that played off his strengths.
Brady has proven to be moldable, adaptable and innovative in his brief but impressive coaching career. He has drawn comparisons to Sean McVay leading many to think he is the next star coach. I have qualms with how he would build a staff based on his minimal coaching experience and I wonder about his leadership based on his youth. With that said though, it sounds like if Terry Fontenot, a New Orleans Saints executive, lands the Atlanta Falcons general manager position, Brady will likely follow him. The Jets were reportedly impressed by him and he was in the select few of candidates they believe could get a second interview. Ultimately, it sounds as though Atlanta is the likeliest home though.
Aaron Glenn (Saints Secondary Coach)
Aaron Glenn is an intriguing coaching candidate. The former New York Jets defensive back is a former All American and has been inducted into the Texas A&M sports hall of fame before being drafted by Gang green with the 12th selection in the 1994 draft. Glenn played for the organization for seven years before being taken by the Houston Texans in the expansion draft. He then played for the Texans, Cowboys, Jaguars and Saints before retiring in 2008. He then spent some time in various capacities, including time away from the game, before taking a general manager position with the Houston Stallions of the Lonestar Football League. He spent a year there before joining the Jets as a scout. Then, Glenn began his coaching career.
The former pro bowler received an opportunity to work as the assistant defensive backs coach for two seasons in Cleveland. The Browns provided him a shot at coaching and launched his career. The Saints then brought Glenn on in the 2016 season as a defensive backs coach, and he’s done wonders for the secondary in his time there. Glenn has been able to elevate the level of play of guys like Marcus Williams and Ken Crawley among others. Glenn has been able to be a hands on teacher and he’s learned from a great in Bill Parcells.
Glenn is a leader and a well-connected coach. His former playing days give him extensive ties for a potential staff. However, he has minimal coaching experience running a system or implementing a scheme. Glenn deserves defensive coordinator looks, but the premise of hiring Glenn before he even gets to control a side of the football does not instill me with the most confidence. He is a smart football mind, making him a dark horse for the job. However, if the Jets go with a young offensive mind, hiring Glenn as a DC would be a home run.
With the New York Jets now sitting at an 0-11 record with only five games to go, it is apparent the team needs a change of pace. That is likely to come in the form of a. Full-scale rebuild, starting with the coaching staff. As the team will likely move quickly with their coaching search, I decided to take an individual deep dive into some of the guys who could lead the New York Jets into the next era. This begins with Carolina Panthers Offensive Coordinator Joe Brady.
Who is Joe Brady?
Joe Brady was born in 1989 in Miami Lakes, Florida. Brady played wide receiver in high school and earned an opportunity to play College Football at Willam & Mary. After a college playing career there, Brady begins his coaching career as a Linebackers coach before becoming a grad assistant at Penn State. Then, Brady got an opportunity of a lifetime to serve under Sean Payton as an Offensive Assistant. Payton saw a lot of potential with Brady, but when he took a gamble on heading to the college level under coach Ed Orgeron at LSU, Payton thought he was making a mistake.
Looking back, that chance Coach O took on Brady, and he took on a young and hungry LSU paid off immensely. When Coach O handed Brady the keys to the LSU offense, he revamped it and took it from the 38th ranked offense in the country to the 1st ranked offense in the country in just one season.
The offense was so explosive that they were able to roll over competition on the way to their National Championship. Along with that, he was crucial in the development of now Bengals starting quarterback Joe Burrow. In Burrow’s Heisman campaign, he had a 76.3 completion percentage that produced a line of 5,671 yds, 60 TDs, and 6 INTs. Not only was the passing attack spectacular, the rushing attack was spectacular. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 1,414 yards and 16 scores, which only led him to be a first-rounder.
While on the topic of talent, I would be remiss without mentioning all the NFL Draft picks that came from last year’s offense and have excelled at the next level. Arguably the top rookie QB, RB, and WR are all LSU products. Now, this begged the question of how would Brady translate to the NFL, and he has answered that with emphatic success.
Joe Brady in the NFL
When Matt Rhule, a guy the Jets were heavily interested in before Adam Gase jumped from the college ranks to Carolina, he brought rising star Joe Brady with him. Brady has not disappointed. Brady inherited an offense ranked 27th in all of football in 2019 and has brought them to the 7th best offense in the NFL in only 10 games. With 6 games to go along with the impending return of Christian McCaffery, that ranking can only improve.
With McCaffery out, though, the offense has still hummed along perfectly fine. Guys like Curtis Samuel and Mike Davis have stood out in a big way, along with an impressive season from former Jets receiver Robby Anderson. The offense is innovative and unique, and the success he received at LSU has absolutely translated seamlessly to the next level. With a talent group that isn’t even on par with what it could be, Brady has built a resume capable of being a head coach, and at 31 years old, he would be a fresh, innovative hire, but why the Jets?
Why would he be a good fit?
The Jets have tried everything in the past few years. Todd Bowles was a discipline heavy defensive coordinator who was supposed to carry over the hard work culture built under Rex Ryan. Bowles failed to get on the same page with the management and could not gain control over the locker room after a strong first season. Then the Jets hired Adam Gase. This was a hire that was not received well, but fans set out to give him the benefit of the doubt. He has been absolutely awful, and the coach who was supposed to bring a head coaching background has only brought incompetence.
Joe Brady would be the anti-Bowles/Gase hire. He is a fresh, innovative mind along the lines of Sean McVay and Kyle Shannahan and would immediately revitalize the franchise. Not only that, but with 98 million dollars in cap space, a renowned general manager in Joe Douglas, and a plethora of draft capital, the resources are there to build a competitive team that would work around Brady’s strengths. Not only that but pairing Trevor Lawerence and Joe Brady is the kind of tandem that excites everyone repping the Green and White.
Brady would be the best offensive-minded coach the Jets could grab, but is he a leader? Brady is 31 years old and inexperienced. If Brady can step up and show he is capable of being a leader in the interviews, he could be the easy favorite to be the coach. However, if he does not seem like a guy who could instill a winning culture in New York and mentor Trevor Lawerence, then maybe he is not the right hire. With that said, I firmly believe Brady deserves and should be the next head coach of the New York Jets.
The New York Giants have found themselves in a rare spot on this Monday morning – -they are road favorites against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Giants are five-point road favorites. This will be the first time since last season the Giants will be favorites heading into an away game. The team last season was the Washington Football Team in week 16, and they were one-point favorites.
Why are the Giants the favorites?
The New York Giants have emerged as favorites due to several reasons. Every Giants loss except for one has been by 10-points or fewer, and coming off a rest-week, they should be in a great position to emerge victorious in week 12.
Big Blue is gaining a few players back that were currently on the COVID-19 list, punter Riley Dixon and long snapper Casey Kreiter. The Giants are also gaining their second-round draft pick in Xavier McKinney. Oshane Ximines is coming back from injury as well. The Giants are healthy and now gaining a few big pieces back to the defense that has played pretty well as of late.
Bad news for the Cincinnati Bengals this morning, their star rookie quarterback Joe Burrow has torn his ACL and will be out for the rest of the season. If that is not enough, the Bengals will also not have their star running back, Joe Mixon that was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury.
When Burrow went down with an injury, the backup Ryan Finley came in and tried to win for Burrow. In the nicest way possible, Finley did not look impressive at all. Washington dominated Finley when he stepped in at quarterback.
For all you gamblers!
According to BetMGM, the Giants are early favorites. The Giants are five-point favorites against the Bengals. From what it seems like, the spread is only going to go up. The over/under opened at 42.5 points. From what I have heard, everyone is going to hammer the under. The money line is as follows, the Giants -233 and the Bengals +190.
From what it seems like the Giants are going to win by more than five points. If I were a bettor going to bet on this game, which I am, I would hammer the under and take the Giants as five-point favorites early before the spread keeps going up and up.
With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, over the next few days, I plan on breaking down the best and brightest talents in this year’s class. The QB position has a lot of name value at the top of the class, but with concerns for each guy, who is the best in the class!
1. Joe Burrow LSU
Pro Comparison: Tony Romo
Joe Burrow is the Heisman winning perineal number one selection. Burrow is a talented, charismatic, franchise cornerstone. Burrow put up absolute video game numbers last season with 60 touchdowns and only 6 INTs. Burrow is destined to lead the Bengals, however, the Ohio kid will have his hands full. The stigma around the Bengals, weather and the young unproven coach could all play a part in Burrow’s downfall. Burrow needs to stay humble and stay grounded, and not let mistakes dwell on him. His injury at Ohio State led him to LSU. He played poorly at first. Then, Joe Brady, his hard work and Ed Orgeron led Burrow here. Now, all he’s going to have is his work ethic at the next level. If Burrow can stay grounded, he’s going to be a good Quarterback, if not there is just potential. Tony Romo always had an exciting feel, just like Burrow.
2. Tua Tagovialoa Alabama
Pro Comparison: Russell Wilson
Tua is the opposite of Burrow. He is charismatic and incredibly talented, but the comparisons end there. Tua gained notoriety from his clutch championship debut. He’s a leader and a game-changing talent. Tua is a star. I admittedly like Tua better than Burrow. However, Burrow is the much safer pick. Tua has a very sketchy injury history with his ankle and knee problems. Tua is a beast and has proven himself against elite SEC talent, but injuries and his mobile skill set may not translate to the next level as well as Burrow’s skill set. Russell Wilson is a leader, and mobile, Tua is both of those things, making them an easy comp.
3. Justin Herbert Oregon
Pro Comparison: Blaine Gabbert
Herbert is the most pro-ready of these three guys. Burrow is going to have a big adjustment period, Tua has injury questions and transition questions as well. Herbert is a clean-cut, comfortable prospect. Herbert is an excellent pocket passer, with a unique skillset and he’s an absolute gunslinger. His throws have great velocity. He also throws one of the cleanest and balls in this class and he impressed me with his mid-range accuracy. Herbert is a good QB, in the right spot, he could be a very good starter. The Blaine Gabbert comparison seems fair to me. He’s a safe prospect, who could be a great backup if all else fails, but if with the right coaches to bring along his development, it could be much better than Gabbert.
4. Jordan Love Utah State
Pro Comparison: Josh Allen
Love is incredibly intriguing. He’s got an absolute cannon for an arm. He had a very good season a year ago, but last season was very average. His Sophmore year, he had 32 touchdowns, last year he had 20. The talent drops off is to blame, because Love had no true viable weapons. Love is a small school prospect with question marks just like Josh Allen was, he’s got a great deep ball and is very mobile. Love is a good QB, he has a lot of potentials and if all goes well, he could be the best in the class, if he struggles, he’ll be a forgotten prospect.
5. Jalen Hurts Oklahoma
Pro Comparison: Dak Prescott
Hurts is a very solid QB prospect. He needs at least a year of development before taking over as a starter. However, he could develop into something special in the right system. Hurts is a leader with a team-first attitude. Hurts can kill you with his legs and his arm. The fact Tagovailoa took his job, and he struggled at times at both Bama and Oklahoma, is worrisome. In the ideal system, Hurts could be the next Dak Prescott. He can be a gem on Day 2, or a solid backup like RG3 someday.
Honorable Mention: Anthony Gordon
To clarify, Gordon is not my number six guy, that would go to Eason or Fromm. Anthony Gordon deserves recognition and has shot up my draft board. He’s a developmental prospect entirely. He impressed in Mike Leach’s Air Raif offense and he could be a suitable backup at the next level. Where he shined and deserved a mention is because I think he’s a good leader who had to fill in, in a tough situation after the tragic passing of Tyler Hilinski, and he stepped up and impressed. That’s a leader and a guy who deserves a mention.
The NFL is preparing to embark on a virtual representation of the Draft, and it’s going to be a wild experience. Especially for the New York Jets and Giants!
The 2020 NFL draft will be different than any other draft for the New York Jets and Giants and the NFL. Roger Goodell won’t be shaking Joe Burrow’s hand and taking a picture as he holds up the Bengals jersey. There won’t be a war room filled with GMs, scouts, and coaches; instead, Joe Douglas and Dave Gettleman will likely be on Zoom with their staff. This is a drastic change, but with the current state of the world, it’s not the least bit surprising.
The NFL Trudges On
League personnel and many NFL analysts believe the decision to go forward with the draft is a heavily controversial one. Adam Schefter even said on ESPN that, “They are determined to put this on while there is carnage in the streets.” The league is determined to move forward and adapt to the continually changing conditions of our world and put on the draft. Now this year’s draft is less spectacle and more Fantasy Football. Let’s just hope nobody auto picks their draft.
In all seriousness, the NFL is providing a distraction for the country in these wild times, but at what cost? The players don’t get to celebrate with the commissioner and enjoy the recognition they’ve fought for so long to earn. The players can’t even enjoy the moment with extended family without disobeying CDC guidelines. The players are being deprived of the joy associated with achieving their childhood dreams of being drafted. It leads many to wonder if there would be more joy associated with the draft had it been postponed.
In the end, there’s going to be a draft. There’s going to be trades and the usual wall to wall coverage. The social aspect of the draft and the festival-like atmosphere that was prominent in Nashville last year is gone. Instead, the world will watch from home as Joe Burrow gets the call to achieve his NFL dreams from home, along with every other prospect as they celebrate while following CDC guidelines.
The 2020 NFL Draft is right around the corner. Mock drafts are abundant on the internet, and all of them usually start the same way. Typically, the first pick is Joe Burrow to the Bengals. Then, the second pick is Chase Young to the Redskins. After that, the picks can vary.
Burrow and Young are expected to be top-two picks, and if they are not, it would be a shocking turn of events. But what would that shocking turn of events look like, and how could it benefit the New York Giants?
A Team Trades For Tua
For Chase Young to end up with the Giants, the Redskins have to pass on drafting him. Now, there are plenty of positions of need for the Washington Redskins. It would not hurt to draft a new left tackle or even a wide receiver. However, Chase Young is the best player in the draft and cannot be passed up for any other prospect.
But, the Redskins might consider passing on Young for a haul of multiple prospects. Let’s assume the Bengals draft Joe Burrow at number one overall. This means the draft’s top quarterback is off the board. But still, there are at least three other teams that might want to draft a quarterback: the Dolphins, the Chargers, and the Panthers. So what will happen to those teams?
It is possible that a bidding war forms for the draft’s next best quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. A team like the Miami Dolphins might want to trade up to the second overall pick to ensure that no one else trades ahead of them and steals Tua. The Redskins would easily be able to get two (maybe even three) first-round picks in exchange for the number two overall pick.
So, to play devil’s advocate in this scenario, let’s assume the Redskins are blown away by a trade offer for the number two overall pick by a quarterback-needy team. They trade down and receive a haul of draft picks while a team moves up and selects Tua Tagovailoa. This leaves Chase Young still on the board for the Lions with the third overall pick.
Three Quarterbacks In A Row?
There are two quarterback prospects in this class that are considered “elite.” That would be Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, the quarterbacks that, in this scenario, were just drafted first and second overall. But sometimes, teams draft for positional need and subsequently reach on quarterback prospects.
Enter Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. The former-Duck is not considered to be nearly the same prospect as Burrow or Tagovailoa, but he still projects as an NFL starting quarterback. One of those three teams mentioned above that did not land one of the top two quarterbacks might settle on the draft’s third-best quarterback.
The Lions are another team with multiple positions of need, not just one gaping hole in their roster. They could draft a linebacker, a cornerback, or Chase Young. But what if they too decide to trade down? A big haul of draft picks might entice them to pass on Chase Young.
This scenario sees quarterbacks get drafted with each of the first three overall picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Burrow to the Bengals is a lock. However, trades would need to occur for picks two and three to be spent on a signal-caller. If they are, though, that would lead to a draft-day fall for the best player in the draft class.
Chase Young would be passed on for two quarterbacks and fall right into the lap of the New York Giants. With the fourth overall pick in this scenario, the New York Giants select edge rusher Chase Young. Chase Young racked up 16.5 sacks in 2019 en route to being a Heisman Trophy finalist. The top-tier pass-rusher would change the Giants’ defense and give opposing quarterbacks a reason to be afraid. This scenario is a long shot. But, it is the scenario for which Giants fans should be hoping.
The New York Giants may have received some inspiring news outside of their organization for their NFL Draft plans on Tuesday. Everyone knows how the quarterback position can make NFL teams do some pretty wild and creative things. The Giants could be in prime position to capitalize.
When will Tua Tagovailoa be ready?
In November, Tua Tagovailoa had major hip surgery after sustaining a season-ending injury against Mississippi State. Many wondered how significant the injury would be to the mobility of one of the most sought after QB prospects in quite some time. On Tuesday, Tua and the NFL received some promising news.
Tagovailoa’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, reported that the quarterback could be back to throwing and working out before next month’s NFL Combine. Although he will be at the Combine, he will not be participating in the NFL’s workout. Instead, expect Tua to show off his recovery in a scheduled throwing session before the Combine, or at Alabama’s pro day in March.
Who is Joe Brady?
Also on Tuesday, the Carolina Panthers announced the hiring of LSU QB coach, Joe Brady, as their offensive coordinator. Many New York Giants fans may be familiar with that name, as he has been linked to Matt Rhule throughout the hiring process.
Joe Brady has quickly become one of the hottest names in the coaching ranks. A grade assistant at Penn State from 2015 to 2016, Brady found himself making quite a leap into the NFL. After his stint at PSU, Brady was hired by the New Orleans Saints as an offensive assistant from 2017 to 2018. That is when LSU came calling, making Brady their passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach.
This past season, Joe Brady was honored with the Broyles Award, given to college footballs top assistant coach. His work with eventual Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow, has been recognized as one of the greatest seasons ever. The Ohio State transfer finished off his Heisman season by breaking the FBS single-season record for touchdown passes with 60, including 12 in the College Football Playoff alone. That success paid off, not only for the eventual 1st overall pick in Burrow but also catapulting Brady into the offensive coordinator role with the Carolina Panthers.
How does this help the New York Giants?
The Giants, picking 4th overall in April’s draft, could be in prime position to capitalize on what could be a rush on top QB prospects.
The Miami Dolphins, picking 5th, have been linked to Tua Tagovailoa for nearly more than a year. The phrase “Tank for Tua” was often iterated following a Dolphins loss in the 2019 season. With five picks in the first two rounds, including three in the first, Miami has all the ammo necessary to ensure that they get the coveted quarterback. They may aim to trade up above the New York Giants, knowing that the Lions, who pick 3rd, could also be a potential partner for another team in the QB market. It seems unlikely that the Washington Redskins would be willing to give up the highly regarded Chase Young, but what if Miami calls with an offer they can’t refuse?
Another team of intrigue is the Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton’s time with the Panthers seems like it has a real chance of being over. The oft-injured QB is heading into the final year of his contract. If the Panthers were to move on from Cam, he would free up more than $19 million in cap space and cost only a $2 million cap hit. So how does this help the Giants?
Panthers give New York Giants another option.
The Panthers seem poised to claw into the new era with changes across the board. Hiring the young Matt Rhule and bringing in an even younger, quarterback savvy offensive coordinator screams overhaul. Bringing in a guy that turned Joe Burrow from transfer to record-setting Heisman winner, National Champion and likely 1st round pick, could spell QB change in Charlotte. Carolina may not have the same resources as Miami would to sway Washington, or even Detroit, but what about the Giants?
It’s no secret that the Giants need all the help they can get. Unfortunately, that may mean a process extending beyond this season. Would an offer of multiple draft picks, including a pick or two in the 2021 Draft, be enough to get Dave Gettleman to trade down for the first time in his career? If Carolina does move on from Newton, expect them to try to get into position for Oregon QB Justin Herbert. Herbert, a 6’6″passer with excellent mobility, often draws comparisons to none other than Cam Newton. It seems like a perfect fit to me.
Is the Chase Young dream still alive?
Probably not, but let’s speculate for a minute. What IF the Miami Dolphins use multiple 1st round picks to sway the Redskins out of the 2nd pick? What IF the Panthers, Chargers, or even Raiders get Detroit to budge from the 3rd pick in order to get Justin Herbert? I know, I know… that’s a lot of “if’s” and a lot of luck. However, is it that unlikely? Could the Giants still end up with the pass-rushing prospect they’ve needed?