Mahomes’ injury has limited his mobility, which has taken away his strength. It’s obvious he’s not the same player when he can’t move around. Can the Broncos take advantage of Mahomes’ lack of mobility? If they can, they have a real shot at winning this game.
Raiders @ Packers
The Raiders have made a lot of improvement this season, but the Packers look like they can beat just about anyone right now. I can see the Raiders winning this game, but I think they’ll have to play near perfect in order to do so. Aaron Rodgers and their revamped defense will likely be too much.
Rams @ Falcons
The Rams need to rebound after getting smacked around by the 49ers last week. The Falcons just need to get a win after losing four straight games. Despite the Rams struggling, they look like the better team, and they just added CB Jalen Ramsey.
49ers @ Redskins
The 49ers are dominating the NFL right now, and they’ve proved they can beat a good team after beating the Rams. The Redskins have a win, but it was against the Dolphins, who everyone has beaten. They’ll start another losing streak this week.
Texans @ Colts
Both of these teams are coming off a win over the Kansas City Chiefs. These two division rivals are looking like some of the better teams in the league right now, but only one can come out on top. Who can continue their hot play?
Vikings @ Lions
The Vikings dominated the Eagles last week and are looking good with their passing attack once again. This game shouldn’t be so easy though, as the Lions are coming off a game where they got screwed by terrible officiating. They’ll be seeking to earn a win and will come out firing. It’s always fun watching an NFC North matchup.
Jaguars @ Bengals
The Jaguars proved last week they can at least hang with some of the best teams in the league. They hung in there with the Saints and gave them a tough time. They’ll be too tough for a horrible Bengals team searching for a win.
Cardinals @ Giants
Two rookie quarterbacks face off against each other in this one! Kyler Murray vs. Daniel Jones will be fun to watch. Both quarterbacks have had their moments, but they’ve also had some rough times. Which quarterback will shine in this game?
Dolphins @ Bills
After coming off another loss to the then also winless Redskins, is anyone picking the Dolphins to win this one?
Chargers @ Titans
Both of these teams are in need of a win. The Chargers just haven’t looked right, and the Titans have looked so poor that they’re switching quarterbacks now. I feel like the Chargers have more offensive weapons than the Titans. However, the Titans have a good defense, and we saw what the Steelers were able to do on defense to the Chargers last week.
Ravens @ Seahawks
Russell Wilson seems to be the leader in the MVP race right now. He’s making play after play and keeping his team in the NFC West race. Now he faces a tough matchup against Lamar Jackson and the 4-2 Ravens. This game will be fun to watch, as we get to see two quarterbacks who can make plays with both their arms and feet. We’ll see who comes out on top.
Saints @ Bears
I believe the Saints are the best team in the NFC right now, even without Brees. They’ve built this team to win without Brees, and it’s obvious that plan has worked. This will be a tough matchup for Teddy Bridgewater, as the Bears have one of the best defensive groups. However, so do the Saints. I feel like both defensive units will have a good game, but which one can do a better job of controlling the opposing offense?
Eagles @ Cowboys (Sunday night)
As long as Jason Garrett is the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, I will not pick them to win another game for the rest of the season. I’ll leave it at that.
Patriots @ Jets (Monday night)
The Patriots crushed the Jets 30-14 last time around, but this time the Jets have Sam Darnold. Will that make a difference? Maybe a little bit, but ultimately, it won’t matter. Patriots remain undefeated.
Now it’s time to look at the division that has probably made the most changes throughout the offseason. The Jets, Dolphins and Bills have all made several moves this offseason with one goal in mind. That’s to unseat the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots.
In case you forgot, the New England Patriots won another Super Bowl this past February. It was probably one of the uglier Super Bowls in history. Nonetheless, that’s not the biggest thing everyone is talking about with the Patriots.
There’s been a lot of news on the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins lately too, but they’re going in opposite directions this season. I’ll explain that more in each section. I think all eyes are on the New York Jets and their newest RB Le’Veon Bell. They seem to be the top contenders to unseat the Patriots. Can they do it?
1. New England Patriots
Last season’s record: 11-5
Postseason Result: Won Super Bowl (13-3) against the Los Angeles Rams
DE Michael Bennett (Philadelphia)
DE Mike Pennel and S Terrence Brooks (N.Y. Jets)
TE Matt LaCosse and RT Jared Veldheer (Denver)
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Jacksonville)
TE Benjamin Watson (New Orleans)
WR Demaryius Thomas (Houston)
WR Cameron Meredith (New Orleans)
WR N’Keal Harry (32nd)
CB JoeJuan Williams (45th)
DE Chase Winovich (77th)
RB Damien Harris (87th)
QB Jarrett Stidham (133th)
Retired TE Rob Gronkowski
DE Trey Flowers (Detroit)
OT Trent Brown (Oakland)
DT Malcom Brown (New Orleans)
WR Chris Hogan (Carolina)
DE Adrian Clayborn (Atlanta)
WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson (Chicago)
TE Dwayne Allen and CB Eric Rowe (Miami)
The Big Question:
When you win six Super Bowl titles in 19 years with the same QB-coach duo, there’s not much you need to question about your team. However, given three factors, the Patriots even have some questions. One factor is the age of QB Tom Brady and how much longer he’ll continue to play. Factor two is the injury to C David Andrews and the offensive line. The final factor is the retirement of TE Rob Gronkowski.
Despite all these factors, the Patriots will likely still finish atop the division and have one of the best records this year. I think they have plenty of offensive weapons, so they don’t need to worry about who to get the ball too, so let’s look for them to make another run at a Super Bowl.
2. Buffalo Bills
Last season’s record: 6-10
Postseason Result: N/A
C Mitch Morse (Kansas City)
WR John Brown (Baltimore)
WR Cole Beasley (Dallas)
TE Tyler Kroft (Cincinnati)
G Spencer Long and WR Andre Roberts (N.Y. Jets)
G Jon Feliciano (Oakland)
OT Ty Nsehke (Washington)
RB T.J. Yeldon (Jacksonville)
CB Kevin Johnson (Houston)
OT LaAdrian Waddle (New England)
RB Frank Gore (Miami)
DT Ed Oliver (9th)
OT Cody Ford (38th)
RB Devin Singletary (74th)
TE Dawson Knox (96th)
LB Voseasn Joseph (147th)
CB Jaquan Johnson (181th)
RB LeSean McCoy (Kansas City)
G John Miller (Cincinnati)
TE Charles Clay (Arizona)
RT Jordan Mills (Miami)
TE Logan Thomas (Detroit)
RB Taiwan Jones (Houston)
RB Chris Ivory (Free Agent)
The Big Question:
This defense proved they’re worthy of being amongst the top in the league. This defense led the Bills to a Wild Card spot two years ago, despite their struggles on offense. The offense continued to struggle a lot last season as well. With a new QB in Josh Allen and an offensive line that could not protect, it was hard for Allen to get things going.
The Bills spent a lot of time this offseason trying to improve their offense. They drafted another OL in Cody Ford and signed a young RB to work with Allen. They also got two WRs who are proven veterans to help control the game on offense. With all these changes that have been made by the Bills, I really like Josh Allen’s chances to became an elite QB this year. He could likely help lead his team to a playoff spot again.
3. New York Jets
Last season’s record: 4-12
Postseason Result: N/A
RB Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh)
ILB C.J. Mosley and Ty Montgomery (Baltimore)
G Kelechi Osemele
WR Jamison Crowder (Washington)
C Ryan Kalil and K Chandler Catanzaro (Carolina)
WR Josh Bellamy (Chicago)
G Tom Compton and QB Trevor Siemian (Minnesota)
CB Brian Poole (Atlanta)
TE Ryan Griffin (Houston)
DT Quinnen Williams (3rd)
LB Jachai Polite (68th)
T Chuma Edoga (92nd)
TE Trevon Wesco (121th)
LB Blake Cashman (157th)
CB Blessuan Austin (196th)
CB Morris Claiborne (Kansas City)
QB Josh McCown (Philadelphia)
WR Jermaine Kearse (Detroit)
G James Carpenter (Atlanta)
CB Buster Skrine (Chicago)
K Jason Myers (Seattle)
RB Isaiah Crowell (Oakland)
C/G Spencer Long and WR Andre Roberts (Buffalo)
DE Mike Pennel and S Terrence Brooks (New England)
TE Clive Walford (Miami)
OLB Jeremiah Attaochu (Kansas City)
The Big Question:
The Jets have improved themselves in a huge way at the RB position with Le’Veon Bell. We hope to see him help the young Jets offense win more games, but we also don’t really know what to except from Bell after he was sitting out a year due to his holdout with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Will Bell be able to get himself back into the form he was with the Steelers in 2017? He’s the key to the success of the Jets’ offense. He came to New York for a new beginning, and he has the abilities to be the best RB in the league when he has his head straight.
Having a young QB and WRs like Sam Darnold, Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa, the Jets could put up some solid offensive numbers. It’s the questionable play calls and defense that worries me about this team, but hopefully they get a few more wins than a season ago.
4. Miami Dolphins
Last season’s record: 7-9
Postseason Result: N/A
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Tampa Bay)
TE Dwayne Allen and CB Eric Rowe (New England)
TE Clive Walford (N.Y. Jets)
QB Josh Rosen and DE Robert Nkemdiche (Arizona)
RT Jordan Mills (Buffalo)
WR Allen Hurns (Dallas)
G Chris Reed (Jacksonville)
WR Ricardo Louis (Cleveland)
DT Christian Wilkins (13th)
G Michael Deiter (78th)
LB Andrew Van Ginkel (151th)
T Isaiah Prince (202th)
RB’s Chandler Cox (233) and Myles Gaskin (234)
QB Ryan Tannehill and DE Cameron Wake (Tennessee)
OT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills (Traded to Houston)
LB Kiko Alonso (Traded to New Orleans)
RT Ja’Wuan James (Denver)
RB Frank Gore (Buffalo)
WR Danny Amendola (Detroit)
DE Andre Branch (Arizona)
DE William Hayes and G Josh Sitton (Free Agent)
TE A.J. Derby and DT Sylvester Williams (New Orleans)
The Big Question:
Do I need say more… The Dolphins have traded away their best chance to win games this year. They went from having a nice looking offensive team, to a “let me hang out in South Beach for a year” team. The Dolphins traded QB Ryan Tannenhill away and got QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen in return. That doesn’t do anything if you don’t have anyone to protect or catch the ball.
That’s why the offense is going to be one of worst in the NFL, despite having Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage in the backfield. I can’t see much coming from the Dolphins offense. That’s why I have them as the worst team in the league. After trading OT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills, my decision was made.
Tomorrow is officially the biggest day in the NFL offseason. It’s draft day baby! It’s time of the year we finally get to see just what our favorite teams are planning on doing for the 2020 season! The internet has been flooded with mock drafts and opinions on who is taking who from fans and experts alike. Here at Fourth Quarter Sports, we wanted to join the party!
With most of the smoke screen’s up, and all the rumors out there, Joel, RahimAli and myself put together our thoughts on tomorrow nights first round! Below you’ll find our picks for each team, along with a breakdown of some of our most notable picks.
Mock Draft breakdowns
I think it’s obvious Kyler Murray will be the No. 1 overall pick at this point. It’s going to be amazing to see what new Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury can do with a talented quarterback like Murray. The question that remains is, what are they going to do with second-year quarterback Josh Rosen?
For the Niners, this pick makes perfect sense. They didn’t do as good as they had hoped for last year with the additions of Jimmy Garappolo and Jerrick McKinnon, but both of those guys got injured and missed the rest of the season. So the Niners should leave the offense alone for now, especially after drafting to protect their quarterback last year.
The Jets’ offense is still a question, but they did find ways to stay in games with the offense they did have, so let’s get them better on the defensive line. The Raiders, oh Raiders! We could honestly go anywhere with this first pick, but they have three picks in the first round thanks to the Amari Cooper to Dallas and Khalil Mack to Chicago trades. The fourth pick belongs to the Raiders, and with that pick, they will try to find their replacement for Khalil Mack in edge rusher, Josh Allen. The Raiders will then draft TE Noah Fant to replace the loss of Jared Cook to the Saints, and add RB Josh Jacobs to add more depth at a position they just couldn’t get a handle on over the past few years.
Now I know the pick for Dwayne Haskins may surprise you for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they could probably get their guy at 10, so they trade with the Denver Broncos. Let’s be honest, the Broncos are completely lost at QB and are looking for anything and everything that will get them back on the right side of things. They signed Case Keenum last year, and then traded him to Washington after trading for Joe Flacco, but Flacco isn’t the best option either. Tampa Bay is looking for a guy who could help them with the weak defense they had last year. That guy could be linebacker Devin White.
The New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars are also two teams who could’ve used a QB with their pick, but it appears that neither one will get one. The Giants actually take wide receiver D.K. Metcalf to replace their loss of Odell Beckham Jr. They also did go with QB Daniel Jones in hopes that he could potentially take over for Eli Manning.
With Haskins and Metcalf already off the board, the Jaguars would settle for an offensive linemen to both protect newly acquired QB Nick Foles, and help the run game of RB Leonard Fournette. That offensive linemen is Jawaan Taylor, and he will be asked to do more earlier on the season, as they try to reclaim the division.
The Detroit Lions’ biggest struggle wasn’t on offense, but instead it was on defense. They could honestly use a lot of help in different areas, but we’ll have them take an EDGE like Rashan Gary.
The Buffalo Bills used free agency to help them improve themselves with the offensive weapons, and their defense is fairly decent, but they need to worry about one thing. That one thing is protecting second year QB Josh Allen, who will be one of the young bright stars in the league if he can stay healthy. Hopefully drafting an OT like Andre Dillard will help with that.
The Cincinnati Bengals are like the Lions in the fact that they need more than what they can get. Though the offense took a big hit with injuries to the QB, WR, TE and RB, all those guys are expected back ready and healthy, so the Bengals will focus on getting themselves an EDGE in Montez Sweat.
The Green Bay Packers are going to be a totally new looking team. They will have a new head coach and several different players. The one constant is QB Aaron Rodgers, and they will look to the draft to find him more offensive weapons. With the 12th pick, Green Bay will draft TE T.J. Hockenson as the future of Green Bay with the injuries and age of Jimmy Graham being in question. The late first round pick, 30th, will be a speedy receiver who will come in to take the place of Randall Cobb, who has moved on to Dallas.
The Miami Dolphins are most certainly looking for a QB in this draft, but don’t be surprised if they try to trade up to get Haskins or Murray. I think Drew Lock might be a better pick for how they like to run their offense. Let’s see how the Dolphins’ players around him can play though after being very inconsistent all of last season.
At 14, the Atlanta Falcons have their man. Okay, we all believe they should be trying to draft an OL to help protect QB Matt Ryan, but when one of the best defensive linemen falls to you, there’s no way you pass him up. Plus, the Falcons are known for going defense early in drafts, so that’s why Ed Olivier makes perfect season. Pairing him up with Grady Jarrett could be good for the Falcons, who struggled defensively last season.
Washington now has three different QB’s on the roster, and that’s why we can’t see them taking one in the first round. Whether it’s Colt McCoy, Case Keenum or Alex Smith who starts for the Redskins, they need to find a way to protect and keep them healthy, so the addition of an OT like Jonah Williams would help!
The Carolina Panthers offense wasn’t the problem at all, despite watching QB Cam Newton struggle to play through an injury all season. We aren’t focusing on the offense, because the defensive is the bigger priority. They too need an Edge rusher who can disrupt the opposing QBs, especially being in a division like the NFC South. That’s why Clelin Ferrell is the perfect pick here.
The Minnesota Vikings are one of those teams who are almost ready to get to the big game, they just need a few more pieces to help with that. Those pieces are on the offensive line, and an addition of Cody Ford could be a huge plus for the Vikings as they try to give Kirk Cousins more time to do what he does best.
The Tennessee Titans could go with many different positions here, but with an aging defensive line, it’s only fitting they go with a younger defensive linemen in Dexter Lawrence, as he hopes to lead the Titans in sacks and hopefully help them get back into the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers could go in any direction, but we know the offense will figure things out without having to worry about the drama of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, so we’ll leave the offense allow for now. Instead, let’s help them get better on defense with one of the best linebackers available in the draft, Devin Bush!
Had the Seattle Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson not agreed to a deal, this pick might have happened earlier, and with different people involved. Fortunately, it was a done deal this past week, and now the Seahawks can turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball. There is always going to be the defensive first when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks and their draft picks. This year will be no different as they select DL Christian Wilkins.
The Baltimore Ravens pick is pretty obvious. They are going to go one of two ways with a receiver or a DB. Given the style of offense that the Ravens play with Lamar Jackson at QB, I am going to pass on them taking a wide receiver here. Instead, they will take safety Jonathan Abram to try to help feel the void that is left with Eric Weddle’s departure.
The Houston Texans have had some success with their offense and how things have been going for them! They will need to address the aging defense and having a young corner back like Greedy Williams could definitely help as they look to go even further.
The Philadelphia Eagles could also use the help at cornerback as they saw what Saints QB Drew Brees and WR Micheal Thomas did to them twice last season. An extra DB to help them cover the better receivers in the NFC could help them be a Super Bowl team again and I think Byron Murphy will be a good addition.
The Indianapolis Colts shocked the world last year the way they were able to make the playoffs. The good thing about this pick is that they know what direction they want to go in, but it’s a matter of which one they want to draft. After watching the young defense hold teams down, the offense led by QB Andrew Luck would turn it up. They need to get him more weapons though and that’s where this pick comes in at. Marquise Brown will be a nice complimentary piece to the weapons like T.Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron, and Marlon Mack.
For the Chargers, it’s a pick that will help add a few more years onto QB Philip Rivers playing career. That pick is offensive guard Chris Lindstrom.
Had it been the Kansas City Chiefs pick , they would’ve taken a receiver because we know how important it is to have somebody who can catch the ball deep for the arm of QB Patrick Mahomes. It’s also a security blanket for if anything does go wrong with the investigation of WR Tyreke Hill. That’s why A.J. Brown would be a nice addition to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Los Angeles Rams are probably the most stacked team on the defensive side of the ball and they don’t really need to go out and draft much, but they will need to think about the future of their offensive line and QB and that’s why this pick to grab Garrett Bradbury makes perfect sense. It will allow him a year or so to develop into one of the young offensive players.
But now it’s the pick that everyone is always interested in. That pick is the pick of the Super Bowl winning champions, New England Patriots. It’s a tough decision because you want to see them go for a tight end, but with both Hornsenon and Fant have already gone off the board this late, we could see the Patriots find a steal in a player like Brian Burns who has fallen in the draft because of other positions on the offensive side that needed to be addressed. So why not take advantage of another man’s treasure.
This draft is a polar opposite from last years draft. The year before was loaded with quarterbacks and offensive weapons while this one is loaded on the defensive side of the ball. All positions have crazy first round depth and all can be major play makers for their respected teams.
Arizona fans will see yet another quarterback took in the first round this year, this time a Heisman Trophy winner in the name of Kyler Murray. Murray going here is not that much of a surprise. The only question left is where Josh Rosen is going to go and how much are the Cardinals going to get for him.
I think the biggest surprise in the top ten is going to be TJ Hockenson, Tight End from Iowa going as high as eight to the Detriot Lions. Matt Patricia is a protege of Bill Belichick and I think he is going to try and model his offense around the great one. Though I think it is a stretch for a Tight End, but he is versatile and I think used well could produce for the Lions.
Another surprise to round out the top ten will be Drew Lock going to the Broncos. Rumors have it that Elway is in love with the quarterback out of Missouri and I think we can all say that Joe Flacco isn’t the long term answer for them. Expect them to sit Lock behind Flacco, learn a little and take over as early as this season.
A pick that I really love is Marquise Brown, a wide receiver from Oklahoma going to the Redskins at fifteen. The Skins have not seen a great receiver since the days of Art Monk running routes. With Derrius Guice getting healthy alongside Alex Smith and newly acquired Case Keenum, I think this is a great opportunity for them to add more weapons for the future.
RaShan Gary once considered a top ten pick, drops in the laps of Pittsburgh at twenty. I am a Michigan fan and I will be the first to say that Gary is highly overrated. Never produced the numbers many in Ann Arbor expected from a top recruit in the nation. Really is a workout warrior and I think tape really shows that. An environment like Pittsburgh could change that though.
At twenty-two, I think the Raven’s will go with EDGE rusher Brian Burns. To me, this is a typical pick for the Ravens who lost half their defense to free agency this year. Needing to replace the likes of Suggs and Preston Smith, Baltimore is going to need rebuild in that area. Burns will play a pivotal part in that process.
At twenty-four and twenty-seven, the Raiders add to their offense with weapons like RB Josh Jacobs from Alabama and TE Noah Fant from Iowa. The second TE took from Iowa, Fant will replace the missed Jared cook in the Silver and Black. A better pass catcher than a blocker, Fant will provide a safety blanket for Carr. With the news of Marshawn Lynch retiring, Oakland now has a need at running back and Jacobs is the best option. Built like a tank Jacobs was the best runner in the three-headed monster that formed the Bama backfield. He is also the best pass catcher the Tide had to offer as well.
All in all, I feel there will not be many shockers in this first round. I will say though I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints trade up into the first round to take one of the premier defensive players this draft has produced.
Despite the rumors we’ve heard about Kyler Murray not going No. 1 overall to the Cardinals, I still believe he’s going there. If he goes number one, Nick Bosa is a sure fire second pick. The next few picks of Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen coming off the board are pretty standard compared to most mock draft’s I’ve seen.
The biggest variation between the three of us starts at pick five, where I have the Bucs taking OT Jawaan Taylor. I believe the Bucs need to get better along the offensive line if Jameis Winston is actually going to be what he was drafted to be. The back and forth rumors of the Giants taking or not taking Dwayne Haskins at six hasn’t swayed my pick. I believe that’s where the Giants should go. At pick seven, the Jags need to get Foles a big target, which is why D.K. Metcalf comes off the board there.
Now let’s skip down a bit to where the Titans pick. You’ll notice I have them taking Rashan Gary. If you’ve seen a lot of mock drafts, you probably haven’t seen many where Gary is out of the top 10, if not the top five. I believe Gary will fall because he doesn’t stick out to me as being on the same level as the guys who are slated to go above him.
Another interesting pick I have comes right after the Titans. I have the Steelers selecting Antonio Brown’s cousin, Marquise Brown. I think a lot of people want to see that happen, mostly for the drama it will cause, although that’s a reason why it may not happen.
I think the last really interesting pick I have in the first-round would have to be QB Daniel Jones going to the Chargers. Jones will become the next franchise QB for the Chargers. He’ll sit behind Rivers for a year or two, and then take over the starting role after watching and learning from a great QB.
The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine starts tomorrow! That means we’re one step closer to the 2019 NFL Draft. Being closer to the NFL Draft can only mean one thing. An NFL Mock Draft! Who doesn’t love an NFL mock draft?
My first 2019 NFL Mock Draft comes before the combine, meaning my NFL mock draft picks are based on where teams view prospects as of right now, as well as team needs. Which player(s) will your favorite team land in the first-round this year?
Pre-Combine NFL mock draft
1. Arizona Cardinals: DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
There’s a lot of speculation around the Cardinals ending the Josh Rosen experiment early to take QB Kyler Murray. It’s a real possibility that does happen, but I’m not sure it’ll be with the first overall pick. If the Cardinals are looking to draft Murray, they could trade down a few spots with teams who aren’t looking for a QB. For this NFL mock draft, the Cardinals are picking first. That means they’re going to, or at least should take the best player in the draft. That player is Nick Bosa.
2. San Fransisco 49ers: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
DT may not be the biggest need for the 49ers, but it’ll be extremely hard for them to pass on Quinnen Williams. Williams is more than just a DT. He can play all along the defensive line. It didn’t really matter where he played at Alabama, he dominated. The 49ers have the second pick, and should take the second best player in the draft.
3. New York Jets: DE Josh Allen, Kentucky
One of the biggest needs the Jets have this offseason comes along the offensive line. Sam Darnold needs more protection. The problem with that is, is there an offensive lineman in this class who’s worth taking at No. 3 overall? Most people would say no. With that being the case, the Jets can look to fill that need in a later round. With the third overall pick, they’ll choose to fill another need by getting one of the best pass rushers in the draft. The Jets weren’t horrible at pass rush last season, totaling 39.0 sacks on the season. However, they definitely need to get better on the edge with an elite pass rusher, as no player on their defense had more than 7.0 sacks this past season. Josh Allen is a big, explosive pass rusher who the Jets desperately need on their defensive line.
4. Oakland Raiders: DE Rashan Gary, Michigan
Oakland’s pass rush was almost non existent last season, recording a league low 13.0 sacks the entire season. Finding an edge rusher who can make an immediate impact for this defense should be their number one priority. With three first-round picks, I could see a possibility of Oakland moving up to land Nick Bosa, but this NFL mock draft doesn’t include trades. Regardless of if they stay put or move up, a DE will likely be their first selection. I also think Gary would make a nice addition next to former teammate Maurice Hurst.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Greedy Williams, LSU
Greedy Williams has been highly ranked throughout the season, but many question some of his abilities. How he does at the combine will heavily determine where he’s drafted, but for now, we’ll keep him here. Williams sticks out because of his 6’3″, 183 lbs size. We all know how much teams are loving those bigger CBs in today’s NFL. Williams can help the Bucs fix one of their biggest problems from a season ago. In terms of pass defense, this team was bad. They gave up the seventh most passing yards per game last season. In addition to that, they allowed the highest passer rating to opposing QBs. Greedy Williams can instantly improve a pass defense that mightily struggled.
6. New York Giants: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
I know there’s some speculation about the Giants sticking with Eli Manning, but I think that’d be a mistake. If they do stick with Manning as the starter, it’s time to get a guy who can take over for him when they finally realize they’re not going anywhere with Eli. Dwayne Haskins is the top QB in this class, so the Giants should pull the trigger on him here.
Who really knows where Kyler Murray will go? He could go first overall. He could go in the later part of the first. I think a team with an early pick will see his potential and take him. If the Jaguars know what’s good for them, they’ll take a QB here. They could go with guys like Drew Lock or Daniel Jones, but I’m not sure they’re the right fit for the Jaguars. I’m also not sure they’re worth drafting this high. I believe Murray is the right fit for this team and is worth taking at this spot.
8. Detroit Lions: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
There’s a good chance the Lions will be losing Ezekiel Ansah, who is their best pass rusher. That means they’ll have to find an elite pass rusher in the draft who can take his spot. That pass rusher is Clelin Ferrell. Ferrell was highly effective during his time with Clemson. I think he can come into the NFL and produce right away.
9. Buffalo Bills: OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
There are many options for the Bills with this pick, but I think addressing the offensive line is the best one. They’ve got their so called franchise QB, although I don’t think that’s the case. Anyway, if they want Josh Allen to develop into who they think he can be, they need to protect him better. The Bills gave up 41 sacks last season. That’s too many for a young QB who struggles with accuracy. He needs protection and he needs it now.
10. Denver Broncos: WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
It looks like the Broncos are rolling with Joe Flacco this coming season. For Flacco to be effective in Denver, he needs to have weapons. After shipping DeMaryius Thomas away, that left the Broncos with Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton as the top two weapons. Sutton had a good rookie season and should continue to grow, but Sanders tore his achilles not too long ago. Even if he does return next season, he likely won’t be the same player. Having a big receiver in Sutton will be nice, but now they need a speed guy to take the top off the defense. Maybe Antonio Brown’s cousin Marquise Brown can be that guy.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Drew Lock, Missouri
Cincinnati may continue to roll with Andy Dalton at QB, but I believe they should end the Dalton era and move on to someone else. I’m still not sure how I feel about Drew Lock as an NFL QB, but he’s thought of as one of the top QBs in the draft by many. With Haskins and Murray off the board in this NFL mock draft, Lock is the best QB option for the Bengals with the 11th pick.
12. Green Bay Packers: DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
The Packers could go multiple ways here, but I think their best bet is to go with an edge rusher. This team recorded 44.0 sacks last season, but there never seemed to be the constant edge pressure teams like to have at the position. I believe Montez Sweat can be just as good as the DEs predicted to go ahead of him. He can be a constant pressure to opposing QBs, which will help out the young secondary of the Packers in a big way.
13. Miami Dolphins: QB Daniel Jones, Duke
If the Dolphins haven’t realized that Ryan Tannehill isn’t going to take them anywhere by now, I don’t know when they will. Tannehill has always been destined to be a quality backup QB, but not a franchise QB. It’s time for the Dolphins to move on from him. It might be a bit of a stretch taking Daniel Jones 13th overall, so they could trade down, but again, this NFL mock draft doesn’t cover potential trades. However, if they feel like he or another QB still on the board can be their true franchise QB, they have to pull the trigger.
14. Atlanta Falcons: DT Ed Oliver, Houston
There’s a possibility DT Grady Jarrett could be gone this offseason. If that’s the case, that would be a huge blow to the Falcons on defense, meaning they’d need to find his replacement. If he stays, drafting another DT won’t hurt either. Ed Oliver is projected as one of the better players in this draft by many. Some have him top two. I’ve seen others rank him around this spot. We’ll have to wait and see how he tests to get a more accurate feel for where he’ll go. I believe he’ll do well and move way up in my next NFL mock draft. If he does land here, the Falcons would be getting a top notch player who can help this defense, regardless of if Grady Jarrett sticks around.
15. Washington Redskins: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
The Washington Redskins have been looking for a number one receiver for a while now, so it makes perfect sense for them to target one of the top receivers in this draft. D.K. Metcalf has the size to be a dominant receiver in this league, especially in the red zone. I think his fellow Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown might be a better prospect right now, but Metcalf definitely has the potential to be a great NFL receiver. With questions at QB, it would also make sense for them to target a top QB in this draft, but they’ll likely have to trade up to get the guy they want. In this NFL mock draft, all the first-round worthy QBs are already off the board.
16. Carolina Panthers: LB Devin White, LSU
The Carolina Panthers won’t be getting Thomas Davis back next year, which means they have a hole to fill at LB. Enter Devin White. White is a big, athletic LB who could step in and fill the open spot left by Davis from day one. There may be other needs the Panthers need to fill, but I think it’ll be too hard to pass on Devin White if he’s available here.
17. Cleveland Browns: CB Byron Murphy, Washington
There are several ways the Browns could go here. They could solidify their offensive line. They could choose to get a true number one WR for Baker Mayfield. Or they could choose to draft one of the best CBs in this draft and pair him with last year’s No. 4 overall pick, Denzel Ward. Ward played exceptionally well for the Browns last season, and it looks like he’s going to be a great CB for years to come. Now the Browns need to find a guy who can play alongside Ward for years to come. Byron Murphy has all the tools to be great CB in the NFL. The CB tandem of Ward and Murphy could be scary a couple years down the road.
18. Minnesota Vikings: OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
There’s no question in my mind what position the Vikings need to address in the first-round. That position is offensive line. It doesn’t matter if they go OT or G, they just need offensive line help. With no Gs really having the first-round pedigree in this class, OT looks like the choice. Jonah Williams is one of, if not the best OT in this draft class. He would instantly upgrade the Vikings’ offensive line, helping them protect their big investment in Kirk Cousins.
19. Tennessee Titans: WR N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
The Titans had a great defense last season, but their offense held them back. Derrick Henry didn’t get going until late in the season. Hopefully he can carry that over into next season, but even if he does, Marcus Mariota still needs more weapons. The Titans’ leading receiver last season was Corey Davis, who had 891 yards and four TDs. He improved a lot last season, and should continue to improve. Delanie Walker should be back at TE, but the Titans still need more, which is why I have them drafting a top WR in N’Keal Harry. He and Davis could be a scary duo down the road.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
If the Steelers really are parting ways with Antonio Brown, they’re going to need someone to fill his spot. Nobody is going to step right in and produce the way he did, but they need someone with potential to do so down the road. For now, JuJu Smith-Schuster is going to be the number one receiver. He had a great season, but will he be able to produce the same without Brown demanding so much attention? Pittsburgh needs to draft a receiver who can come in and take the pressure off JuJu.
21. Seattle Seahawks: DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
Despite the Seahawks being very good defensively last season, the middle of their defensive line needs a little bit of work. They have some nice pieces on their defensive line, but they need more help. You can never have too many pass rushers. Christian Wilkins is a guy who can not only be an effective pass rusher on the inside, but a guy who can also make big plays against the run. He would help solidify the young defensive line the Seahawks have.
22. Baltimore Ravens: WR Riley Ridley, Georgia
John Brown led the Ravens in receiving last season, recording 715 yards and five TDs. In order for Lamar Jackson to develop as a passer, the Ravens have to surround him with receiving threats. Riley Ridley didn’t put up huge numbers in college, but he projects to be a better pro than college player. He has all the tools he needs to be an effective receiver. He may not produce right away, but he would provide Lamar Jackson with a young receiver to grow alongside of.
23. Houston Texans: OT Andre Dillard, Washington State
After allowing Deshaun Watson so be sacked more times than other QB last season, the Texans must make offensive line their priority in the first-round. Andre Dillard could step in right away and increase protection for the Texans’ franchise QB. Their line was so bad last season, I might even consider moving up in the draft to try and get one of the top two OTs if I were them. If they choose to stay put, Andre Dillard is another great OT prospect who should develop into a really solid NFL starter.
24. Oakland Raiders (From Chicago Bears): LB Devin Bush, Michigan
After getting Rashan Gary with the fourth pick, the Raiders will come right back to Michigan for their second selection in the first-round. Not only is this another selection of a Michigan player, but it’s a selection of another defender. Improving the pass rush will help the Raiders defensively, but they’ll need a lot more than that. This defense gave up the most points in the league last season. LB is also a need after getting rid of Khalil Mack. I’m not saying Devin Bush is Khalil Mack, but he is a solid LB with the tools teams want from the position. Bush may be a little undersized, but he makes up for it with his play. If he has a good performance at the NFL Combine, Bush could move up in my next NFL mock draft.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama
Philadelphia is in need of an upgrade at the RB position this offseason. Jay Ajayi is coming off a torn ACL and is set to be a free agent. Darren Sproles missed a lot of last season and is also set to be a free agent. The Eagles still have Corey Clement, but he’s also coming off a knee injury. There’s not a guy on that roster right now who you could consider a true workhorse RB. Alabama RB Josh Jacobs is considered the top RB in this draft class. He has all the tools and skills a team could want from their workhorse RB. He should be able to provide Carson Wentz with the run game he needs to get back to his MVP form.
26. Indianapolis Colts: DE Jachai Polite, Florida
Indianapolis improved defensively throughout the course of the season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t holes to fill. For this defense to take the next step, they have to get a more consistent pass rush. Last season they ranked 19th in sacks, totaling 38.0. If this defense is going to be taken seriously, they have to find a guy who can be their consistent pass rusher. Jachai Polite had 11.0 sacks last season. Before that, he had only recorded 4.0 sacks in two seasons. That’s why he’s ranked lower than the other top pass rushers, but you can see the potential and growth is there.
27. Oakland Raiders (From Dallas Cowboys): CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple
Now that the Raiders have taken care of their front seven with their first two picks, it’s time to take care of the back end of their defense. Oakland actually ranked 14th in passing yards allowed last season, which is good considering how bad this defense was, but it’s not good enough. Oakland needs a CB who can develop into a shut down guy. CB Rock Ya-Sin might not be well known because of where he played football, but NFL fans will soon know his name. He’s got great ball skills and natural instincts. His 6’2″, 190 lbs size will also be something he can use against bigger receivers in the NFL.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma
The Chargers actually did pretty well along the offensive line last season, until late in the year. As the Chargers began to play some of the better defensive teams, it became more clear the offensive line needed some work. The LT position is in good shape right now, but the RT position could use an upgrade. In order for the Chargers to stay competitive, they have to keep Philip Rivers upright as much as possible.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
The secondary for the Chiefs was absolutely terrible last season. Their defense totaled 52.0 sacks, which was tied for the most in the league, but even with the pressure put on opposing QBs, the secondary always let them down. Giving up the second most passing yards per game is not a good way to help out one of the best offense’s in the league. I’m not worried about the offense at all, but something has to be done about the secondary. Georgia CB Deandre Baker can help with that.
30. Green Bay Packers (From New Orleans Saints): TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
Packers fans might be pushing for a WR at this spot, but in this NFL mock draft, there’s not a guy left who’s worth taking here. Instead, the Packers will go another route in this NFL mock draft to give Aaron Rodgers a weapon. I know the Packers already have Jimmy Graham, but there’s nothing wrong with having two TEs who can make plays. T.J. Hockenson might not be as athletic as his Iowa teammate TE Noah Fant, but he’s more polished as a TE in the areas of receiving and blocking. He does both very well. I’m sure Aaron Rodgers could find creative ways to use him.
31. Los Angeles Rams: S Jonathan Abram, Mississippi State
There’s a good chance Lamarcus Joyner won’t be returning to this team next season. If that’s the case, they’ll need to find a replacement. Even if Joyner does return, it’s not like he had the greatest season last year. The Rams can use an upgrade at S regardless. Jonathan Abram is the top ranked S in the draft by many, so a team in need of a S, such as the Rams, would be wise to target him with their first pick.
32. New England Patriots: TE Noah Fant, Iowa
I can honestly see the Patriots trading out of this spot, but they’ll stay put for this NFL mock draft. With their selection, the Super Bowl champs get the other Iowa TE with the final pick in the first-round. Noah Fant may not be as polished all-around as T.J. Hockenson, but he’s a big bodied TE who’s a great receiving threat. With questions about the future of Rob Gronkowski, drafting a TE would be a good direction for the Patriots to go. If Gronk doesn’t stick around, they’ll have a potential replacement. If he does stick around, they’ll have another receiving threat for Brady. We’ve seen two TEs be heavily involved for the Patriots before and work out nicely on the field.
As is always the case after the NFL Scouting Combine, things will change based on how players perform, so keep an eye out for my second 2019 NFL Mock Draft shortly after the combine wraps up!
What did you think of your teams’ selection(s) in my first NFL mock draft of the season? Comment below who you’d have your team taking in an NFL mock draft below!
Le’Veon Bell will finally become a free agent! After watching their star RB sit out last season because of his contract, the Pittsburgh Steelers are moving on. Reports are that Bell will become a free agent after the Steelers say they won’t use any tags on him. Le’Veon Bell will soon be able to choose where he’d like to next play football.
As an RB who’s obviously demanding a lot of money, Bell’s options are somewhat limited on where he can go. Because of his high salary demand, many have cited the following list in reference to Bell’s name. Why? This list holds the names of the top 10 teams with the most cap space this offseason. Chances are, Le’Veon Bell’s next destination is somewhere on this list.
Just because these 10 teams have the most cap space, it doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell. Not only is Bell wanting a high salary, he’s likely looking for a place where he can dominate carries, and more importantly, win football games. That limits the options on the above list. We’re going to break down this top 10 list, ultimately coming up with the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.
Round 1: Winning (Potential)
Of the list of top 10 teams with the most cap space, how many teams can really offer Le’Veon Bell a winning situation? The Colts, Texans, Seahawks and Cowboys were all in the playoffs this past season, so they automatically make it on to the next round.
Just because a team wasn’t in the playoffs last season, it doesn’t mean they can’t offer a winning situation. The Cleveland Browns were much improved this past season, and will likely continue their upward trend after a string a great moves last offseason. They’re an intriguing option, so we’ll move them on to round 2. The Jets only won four games a season ago, but Sam Darnold showed why he’s the next franchise QB for the Jets. They should be much improved next season, and Bell could help them get there, so we’ll include them too.
If I’m including the Jets, I have to include the 49ers. They were also 4-12 last season, but that was without their starting QB for most of the year. With Garoppolo back and some good moves this offseason, they should be much more competitive next season.
That leaves us with the Bills, Raiders and Bengals. Does anyone want to play for the Bills? No. Raiders? Definitely no. Bengals? I don’t think so. These three get eliminated, while seven teams move on in their quest to be the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.
Round 2: Bulk of the carries
We’ve got the Colts, Texans, Seahawks, Cowboys, Browns, Jets and 49ers left. Let’s get rid of some easy eliminations in this round. Which teams already have a featured RB?
Cowboys: Dallas has Ezekiel Elliott. I think Le’Veon Bell could fit in with this offense if used correctly, but he’s not going to want to share time with Zeke.
Browns: They’ve got a young RB in Nick Chubb. They also just signed RB Kareem Hunt. Not enough room for Bell in this backfield.
Texans: Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue make a pretty good combination. I don’t see room for Bell here.
Seahawks: Seattle has a 1,000 yard rusher in Chris Carson. They also have Mike Davis and Rashad Penny, who both ran for over 400 yards last season. Russell Wilson with Le’Veon Bell would be dangerous, but I don’t see it happening.
One could argue the Colts could be eliminated, but I’m not sure Marlon Mack is a true starting RB. I think he’s more of a really good backup. Four more teams have been eliminated, leaving us with the Colts, Jets and 49ers as the potential teams to be named the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.
Round 3: Best QB
The third and final round is too easy. The Colts have Andrew Luck, the Jets have Sam Darnold and the 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo. Going back to round 1, I gave the Jets and 49ers a pass because of their potential to win, but that heavily depends on how well Darnold processes and how well Garoppolo comes back from his injury.
If Le’Veon Bell wants to play with the best QB available, picking the Colts is the easy choice. An Andrew Luck and Le’Veon Bell combination would be lethal. Throw in T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron. Don’t forget about Marlon Mack being the backup RB. That’s quite the combination.
The Indianapolis Colts are the best landing spot for Le’Veon Bell. They can give him everything he wants. They’ve got the most money to spend, a place where he can dominate carries, one of the best QBs in the league, and a place where he can win football games and have a real chance at competing for a Super Bowl title.
It’s not my decision to make, but if I’m Le’Veon Bell, the Indianapolis Colts are the team I’m pushing to play for.
After taking the time to look back at some of the best Super Bowl moments for both the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots, we turned our attention to the best moments of their first Super Bowl match. As we prepare ourselves for another encounter between the two teams, we will look back at some of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all-time.
There are several different moments in the 53 year history we could call great. Narrowing it down to just 15 makes it even harder, but we at Fourth Quarter Sports have come together to make it the best we can. So let’s take a look at the top 15 Super Bowl moments of all-time.
15. Max McGee’s Touchdown, Super Bowl I
Many people may not think of this as one of the best moments in Super Bowl history, but most of us probably don’t even know who Max McGee is or what team he payed for. He played for the Green Bay Packers in the first ever Super Bowl. His touchdown was the first ever touchdown scored in a Super Bowl. It was a 37-yard pass from QB Bart Starr to open the game. The Packers never looked back.
What makes this moment more special, is that McGee wasn’t even suppose to play after he missed curfew. It’s not like he was the superstar WR on that team. He only caught four passes in the 1966 season. But on that day of Super Bowl I, he was the hero with seven receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns, as the Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.
14. Joe Namath’s Guarantee, Super Bowl III
How could you not put a moment like this on the list? This is known to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history. The best part about it was when quarterback Joe Namath publicly guaranteed a Jets victory. He walked off the field with one finger pointing to the sky as he did what he said he would do. Namath made the guarantee three days prior that the Jets would beat the Baltimore Colts. He did it with a balance of passing and running plays, as running back Matt Snell totaled 121 yards and a touchdown.
Namath and Jets had a 16-0 lead heading into the second half, where the Colts made the decision to change quarterbacks and go back to Johnny Unitas. He led them to a scoring drive. However, it was too late for Unitas and the Colts, as Namath and Jets won the game for the first time in the AFL after the Green Bay Packers won it the past two years in the NFL.
Hear more about how Namath felt after they won here.
13. Devin Hester returns opening kickoff against Colts, Super Bowl XLI
It was Super Bowl XLI when we saw the Chicago Bears against the Indianapolis Colts. It was also the first Super Bowl game that featured two African American head coaches (Bears’ Lovie Smith and Colts’ Tony Dungy), which means there is a historical fact to this moment as well. But this was likely the worst moment of the game for the Bears, as they lost to the Colts 29-17 after leading 17-3 at halftime. So why is Devin Hester on the list? Well, he did something that has never been done. That was taking the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. It went down in history as the fastest TD in the Super Bowl, scored in just 14 seconds.
Let’s keep in mind that Hester was just a rookie returner who led the league in both kickoff and punt returns with six total. This kick return was the first ever opening kickoff return for a TD in a Super Bowl. There were eight other guys who were able to return a kickoff for a TD in a Super Bowl, but none were as special as this one.
Riggins was known as “The Diesel” during his time in the NFL. It was moments like this that gave him the name. In the Redskins’ first ever Super Bowl, they were down to the Miami Dolphins 17-13 with 10 minutes left to play. They faced a 4th-and-1 situation on the Dolphins’ 43-yard line. Riggins ran over Dolphins DB Don McNeal for the decisive score that put the Redskins ahead for good. He was the workhorse for the Redskins’ first Super Bowl win, carrying the ball a record 38 times for 166 yards in a Super Bowl. The touchdown run at the moment was the longest run from scrimmage in the history of the Super Bowl.
11. Montana, 49ers win in Bill Walsh’s final NFL game, Super Bowl XXIII
If you thought the Niners were the team in the 80’s, you thought right. That was mostly because of the coach-QB duo of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana, who had a lot of success together, including three Super Bowl titles. This is the most memorable Super Bowl moment, because this was the last game Bill Walsh coached in the NFL.
This Super Bowl was the closest of the three they won together, and the second against the Cincinnati Bengals. This was a Niners team that was down 16-13 with three minutes remaining in the game. The ball was at their own 8-yard line. The Niners were not worried, as they had “Joe Cool” ready to lead the drive, which he did as they capped off a 92-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to WR John Taylor with 34 seconds remaining. That’s the way to end a coaching career. Let’s not forget that Montana and the Niners made it back to the Super Bowl without Walsh and crushed the Denver Broncos 55-10.
10. John Elway “Helicopter” Spin, Super Bowl XXXII
Elway and the Broncos struggled to win Super Bowls. In fact, Elway had lost his first three Super Bowl appearances until this Super Bowl, where he pulled out all the stops to get his first Lombardi Trophy. It was Elway’s determination that helped the Broncos pull off this win against the defending Super Bowl champion Packers. Elway took us all on a thrill ride, as he gave us one of the most iconic moments in Super Bowl history.
The Broncos and Packers went back and forth all game, as the Broncos ultimately came out on top 31-24. It was the third quarter drive that was 13 plays and 92-yards that gave the Broncos the lead back in a tied game. One of those plays was an 8-yard scramble for a first down by Elway, in which he dove and got hit by multiple Packers defenders while spinning through the air like a Helicopter. The Broncos followed that up by getting a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Terrell Davis.
Want to watch Elway fly like a Helicopter? Look here!
9. Redskins’ Williams becomes first African American QB to win a Super Bowl, Super Bowl XXII
From one successful Broncos Super Bowl to one of the Elway losses. It was Super Bowl XXII when Elway and the Broncos built a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter. But what would happen next is something that none of us would’ve predicted.
It was a second quarter full of touchdowns, five to be exact. All five were scored by the Washington Redskins and their QB Doug Williams. Williams and the Redskins scored 35 points in a quarter which was the most points ever in a single postseason quarter in NFL history at the time. The first touchdown was an 8-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Ricky Sanders, which tied a record for the longest pass in a Super Bowl game. Sanders and rookie running back Timmy Smith both set Super Bowl records: Sanders for receiving (193) and Smith for rushing (204).
Williams also made history, as he was the first African American QB to win the Super Bowl. He also put himself in the record books with all his success in that one game alone.
Watch this great performance by the Washington Redskins and Doug Williams here.
8. The Fridge’s TD, Super Bowl XX
Is your refrigerator running? Maybe you should want it too? That’s what the Chicago Bears did in Super Bowl XX against the New England Patriots. It was already a 34-3 lead with three minutes left in the third quarter, so why not have some fun? Bears coach Mike Dikta made the decision to go with his 300+ pound defensive linemen to run the ball for a 1-yard touchdown. That linemen was rookie William “The Refrigerator” Perry, who lived up to his first-round draft status. Perry became the first 300 pound guy to score a touchdown, and Bears Hall of Fame RB Walter Payton loved it.
It’s not everyday you can be sensational, unless your name is Lynn Swann and you played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in ’70s. In this Super Bowl, Swann earned MVP honors, as he played the best game of his career. In this game, he made two sensational catches. The first was a juggling catch while falling to the turf for a 53-yard gain, and the other catch was a score on a 64-yard touchdown. It would help the Steelers win their second consecutive Super Bowl, and first of two against the Cowboys.
When you’re down one point with 2:16 remaining, you have no real pressure on you besides getting into field goal range. That is actually what the Buffalo Bills QB did against the New York Giants, as they were down 20-19. Bills’ QB Jim Kelly marches the team down the field and gets to the Giants’ 29 with eight seconds left. What happened next was part of a long losing streak in the Super Bowl. The Bills had a losing streak in the Super Bowl that will always be remembered. This play is the worst of them all. Bills’ kicker Scott Norwood set up for a game-winning 47-yard field goal, but he misses wide right and their streak continued.
5. Desmond Howard’s 99-yard return, Super Bowl XXVII
In another Super Bowl the Patriots lost, it came down to the speed of one man. That man was Desmond Howard, as he stopped the Patriots momentum from completing a comeback. It was a late score by New England in the third quarter to close within 27-21. That was until Green Bay’s Desmond Howard returns the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the Packers’ 35-21 win.
Howard was a nearly unstoppable force as a return specialist, like we saw from his college days. He led the NFL in punt return yardage and touchdowns in 1996, along with the Super Bowl MVP award when he finished with 244 total return yards.
4. James Harrison’s 100-yard pick six, Super Bowl XLIII
From a great kickoff return touchdown to an even greater interception returned for touchdown. It was a memorable Super Bowl for the Steelers, as they had two unforgettable plays to help them clinch their 6th Super Bowl (tied most in history). This play was the first one, where James Harrison grabbed an interception off of Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner late in the first half to give them a 17-7 lead. He took the interception 100 yards for a touchdown with seconds remaining in the half. It was the longest play in Super Bowl before it was broken by Jacoby Jones’ 109-yard kickoff return touchdown in Super Bowl XLVII.
Watch the big boy run down the sideline for a score here.
3. Dolphins complete perfect season, Super Bowl VII
There is nothing like having a perfect season. There is only one team ever in the NFL who has won all their games. That team was the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The closest team to come to that was the 2010 New England Patriots with their 18-1 record. But the Dolphins were too good and had no worries about their record, besides ruining the chance to shut out the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl. The only real mistake they made in the game was trying to make something out of an already broken play, when kicker Garo Yepremian attempted to throw a forward pass after a blocked kick and Redskins cornerback Mike Bass would get the team’s only touchdown of the game.
What the Dolphins complete their perfect season here.
2. Santonio Holmes goes toes in for the victory, Super Bowl XLIII
This is the second part of an amazing Super Bowl by the Steelers. As you previously read, Harrison made a clutch interception at the end of the first half to put the team ahead by 10 points. But after watching Kurt Warner ledd his team back, the Steelers found themselves down by three with little time left. That was just enough time for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger to find WR Santonio Holmes in the end zone.
This final drive was all Holmes, as he had four catches for 73 yards. Despite being in tight coverage, Holmes catches the ball and somehow nabbed a game-winning touchdown pass on the tips of his toes, just barely staying in bounds with less than a minute left on the clock.
This was the Super Bowl the New England Patriots were supposed to be undefeated in, as they were up 14-10 late in the fourth quarter. It looked like things were going in that direction for the Patriots, until this happened…
New York Giants QB Eli Manning escapes two tackles and launches a pass down field on 3rd-and-five. Giants WR David Tyree jumped and pinned the ball against his helmet for a 32-yard catch that will go done in history as one of the greatest catches of all-time. But that wasn’t game-winner. The Patriots had one more chance to stop the Giants march, until four plays later when Manning connects with Plaxico Burress for the game-winning touchdown, as the Giants shock the previously undefeated New England Patriots.
As amazing as all these plays have been, there will certainly be many more plays left off. Some of which are in the honorable mentions find below.
Jacoby Jones’ 109-yard kickoff return touchdown – Super Bowl XLVII
Dyson 1-yard short against Rams – Super Bowl XXXIV
Malcom Butler’s goal line Interception- Super Bowl XLIX
Adam Vinatieri’s FG for Patriots first Super Bowl win – Super Bowl XXXVI
Others have yet to be determined. Going into this, I wanted to focus on some of the records and first ever moments that led to some plays making it in over others. I couldn’t ignore the first ever Super Bowl with Vince Lombardi as the coach. I mean, the title is named after him. What memorable moments will this year’s Super Bowl bring?
And also don’t forget to return this weekend for some more Super Bowl talk. Please share your thoughts about the top moments in Super Bowl history!
After looking at head coaches on Wednesday and then linemen on both sides of the ball yesterday, I wrap up the week (but not the series) looking at a group of defensive backs up for the NFL’s Hall of Fame. Three of these men played the bulk of their careers as free safeties, while the other two were corners. Interestingly, the last three all played together in 2009 for the Denver Broncos*, and four out of five of these players played in Denver at some point in their careers, while three out of five played for the Jets–but never together.
*That Broncos squad, Josh McDaniels’ first, went 8-8 while the defense ranked third against the pass.
For my comparisons throughout this series, I’ve been looking at the Hall of Fame list posted on pro-football-reference.com. According to the last, there is no distinction between safeties or cornerbacks. Instead, PFR refers to all of those players as “defensive backs.” So, instead of breaking these five players down by position like I did yesterday with guards and tackles, I’ll be comparing them to fellow defensive backs.
However, I will be comparing them to defensive backs of a certain era–from 1989 until 2013, the former because that’s the earliest any of these five began his career, and 2013 because that’s the last year that any of these guys played.
Steve Atwater, Free Safety: Denver Broncos, 1989-1998 & New York Jets, 1999
Atwater, known for his bone-crushing hits over the middle, went 20th overall to the Broncos in the 1989 draft out of Arkansas. Over the next decade, he started at least 14 games every season. He picked off 24 passes, forced five fumbles, recovered eight fumbles and collected 1,125 total tackles. He made All-Pro in 1991 and 1992 while reaching eight Pro Bowls in a span of nine years. He was one of the team’s defensive leaders when Denver won back-to-back Super Bowls in the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
John Lynch, Strong Safety/Free Safety: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1993-2003 & Denver Broncos, 2004-2007
Over the years in Tampa Bay, John Lynch led a revolution that helped transform the Bucs from the Yuks into a Super Bowl winner. The Stanford product went in the third round of the 1993 draft to Tampa, where he’d patrol the center of the field for the following 11 seasons. In that time, he went to five Pro Bowls, made All-Pro twice, and won Super Bowl XXXVII. Lynch later left for Denver, where he made another four Pro Bowls before retiring. In the end, that’s nine Pro Bowls, two All-Pro selections, seven trips to the playoffs and one championship.
Ty Law, Cornerback: New England Patriots, 1995-2004; New York Jets, 2005, 2008; Kansas City Chiefs, 2006-2007; Denver Broncos, 2009
Ty Law was another first round pick, going No. 23 to the Patriots out of Michigan in 1995. He was part of the team that lost Super Bowl XXXI to the Packers, but then he collected three Super Bowl rings at the start of the Brady-Belichick Dynasty. By the time he retired as a member of the Broncos, he’d made five Pro Bowls (four with the Patriots, one with the Jets) and had been named All-Pro twice. He finished his career with 53 interceptions, seven of which he returned for touchdowns, which is the 11th most all-time.
Champ Bailey, Cornerback: Washington Redskins, 1999-2003 & Denver Broncos, 2004-2013
Before getting dealt to the Broncos for running back Clinton Portis prior to the start of the 2004 season, Champ Bailey had already intercepted 18 passes and collected 312 total tackles while getting voted into four Pro Bowls as a five-year member of the Redskins. Over the next 10 seasons in Denver, he’d be named All-Pro three times while making another eight Pro Bowls. He led the league in interceptions with 10 in 2006 and finished his career with 52.
Ed Reed, Free Safety: Baltimore Ravens, 2002-2012; New York Jets, 2013; Houston Texans, 2013
The 24th overall pick out of Miami (Fla.) in the 2002 draft, Reed played 11 years for the Ravens before splitting his final season between the Jets and Texans. In his first decade-plus in Baltimore, Reed was named the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year, won one Super Bowl, made nine Pro Bowls and was elected All-Pro five times. Throughout his 12-year career, Reed intercepted 64 passes, which is seventh all-time. His 1,590 interception return yards is the most all-time.
Which of the five of Atwater, Lynch, Law, Bailey and Reed gets into the Hall of Fame? Remember two things: 1) Only a maximum of five finalists can be inducted in a given year, and 2) I’ve already selected center Kevin Mawae and guard Alan Faneca. I have at most three remaining spots between these five and three offensive playmakers I’ve yet to discuss.
Based on those factors, I believe only one defensive back has a shot at making it into Canton this season. Right off the bat I’m going to eliminate three of them: Steve Atwater, John Lynch and Ty Law. Each of those three defensive backs previously had shots to make it, yet failed. This year, they face even tougher competition with first-time nominees Champ Bailey and Ed Reed.
And it’s at those two that I’m going to take a closer look.
There are 26 defensive backs in the Hall of Fame. Of those 26, five retired after 1999: the ageless Darrell Green, Rod Woodson, Deion “Primetime” Sanders, Aeneas Williams and Brian Dawkins.
As far as longevity, both Bailey and Reed stack up with those five. Bailey made more Pro Bowls than any of those players, while Reed made more than all but Woodson. Only Woodson and Sanders made more All-Pros than Reed, while Bailey only edges out Green in that category. Regarding interceptions, only Woodson’s 71 overshadow Reed’s 64. Meanwhile, Bailey’s 52 interceptions only beats Dawkins’ 37.
Here’s what I’m getting at: Bailey and Reed both compare very well to the five defensive back members of the Hall of Fame from around their era. Much like with the discussion I had yesterday about guards Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson, though, the two will be compared against each other as their careers overlapped from 2002-2013.
Starting with longevity, Bailey gets the edge as he started longer at his position. Bailey also has a 12-9 edge regarding Pro Bowls. But, in less time as a starter, Reed has more All-Pro selections, 5-3. Reed won a Defensive Player of the Year award while Bailey never did. Reed also collected 12 more interceptions than did Bailey (again, in fewer years), and Reed was part of a Super Bowl-winning squad whereas Bailey never reached that height.
For the time being, Ed Reed gets my vote for Canton. Perhaps, after the next article, I’ll re-visit Bailey.
But for now, I’ve used three of my maximum five slots: Ed Reed joins Kevin Mawae and Alan Faneca.
Today, I’m taking a look at the five linemen who are finalists for the NFL Hall of Fame. Among them, one is a center, two are guards, one is an offensive tackle and one is a defensive end/defensive tackle. I’ll first take a look at the three interior linemen before moving on to the lone tackle. Then I’ll wrap up with the sole defensive player.
Kevin Mawae, Center: Seattle Seahawks, 1994-1997; New York Jets, 1998-2005; Tennessee Titans, 2006-2009
Though he began his career as a guard, Mawae moved to center in 1996 and played there for the next 14 seasons. As of today, there are only 12 centers in the NFL Hall of Fame. Mawae stacks up well with all of them.
One thing that can’t be overlooked is longevity in the league. That can incredibly help a player who’s able to play at a high level for years on end, but lack thereof can also be detrimental, as I’ll get to shortly with a different player.
For Mawae, it helps.
Mawae spent 15 of his 16 years as his team’s primary starter at his position, either avoiding or playing through injuries. He made All-Pro three times with a period of nine seasons coming between his first and third selections. He was elected to his first Pro Bowl when his was 28 and his last when he was 38. In 12 seasons, he not only played in, but also started all 16 games.
Among Hall of Fame centers, only one was his team’s primary starter at his position more than Mawae–Mick Tingelhoff, who is allegedly a real person, did it 17 times. Only three centers were named to more Pro-Bowl teams than Mawae. The biggest hit against Mawae is the low number of times he made All-Pro.
However, Mawae should overcome that. From his rookie year until he hung ’em up, Mawae was a stalwart on his team’s offensive line. Not only that, he anchored the lines as a center for 14 seasons. This LSU product should become the 13th center elected to the NFL’s Hall of Fame.
Alan Faneca, Guard: Pittsburgh Steelers, 1998-2007; New York Jets, 2008-2009; Arizona Cardinals, 2010
Perhaps unfairly, Faneca and Hutchinson are squaring off against each other for a single spot in Canton. Because their careers overlapped so much, from 2001-2010, these two will be compared against each other and will most likely take away votes from one another.
And now that I’ve pointed out how unfair it is comparing these two great guards against each other, I’m going to do exactly that.
First, let’s take a look at Faneca. Another LSU product, Faneca went to the Steelers as the No. 26 pick in the 1998 draft. He immediately stepped into the fray, playing in all 16 games the following season, starting 12 of them. For the following nine seasons, Faneca helped hold down the left side of Pittsburgh’s offensive line en route to seven Pro Bowls, six All-Pro selections and a victory in Super Bowl XL. After leaving Pittsburgh, he’d make another two Pro Bowls with the Jets before retiring as a member of the Cardinals after the 2010 season.
Then there’s Hutchinson, taken with the No. 17 overall pick by the Seahawks in the 2001 draft out of Michigan. In 10 seasons, Hutchinson would start at least 12 games, going the full 16 games on eight occasions. Between his time in Seattle, Minnesota, and Tennessee, he made seven Pro Bowls and five All-Pro teams. His teams reached the Super Bowl only once, where his Seahawks lost to Faneca’s Steelers.
There are exactly 20 guards in the Hall of Fame. Only three of those 20 have made more All-Pro teams than Faneca, with only five making more Pro Bowls and a mere two having been his team’s primary starter at his position longer. For Hutchinson, five made more All-Pro teams, eight made more Pro Bowls and 12 were primary starters for a longer period of time.
This year, Faneca gets the nod. Hutchinson may in the future, but not in 2019.
A stalwart at left tackle for the expansion Jaguars beginning in 1995, Boselli made five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1996-2000. In the middle of that run, he also made three straight All-Pro teams, from 1997-1999. Throughout his time in Jacksonville, he helped legitimize the young squad, helping the team reach the playoffs in 1996 (when they reached the AFC Championship game), 1997 and 1998.
Sadly, after playing a possible 47 out of 48 games between 1998-2000, injuries hit Boselli hard. He played in only three games in 2001. Later, the Houston Texans selected Boselli with their first pick of the expansion draft, but he never played for them, retiring after the 2002 season.
Though Boselli was dominant for a solid six seasons with Jacksonville, longevity is taken into account when being considered for the Hall of Fame. Of the 28 tackles in Canton, all of them played at least eight seasons. Of the three who played a mere eight seasons, two retired before 1930 while the other retired after the 1955 season.
While there’s no doubt that Boselli is one of the greatest Jacksonville Jaguars, he didn’t play long enough to make it in the league’s Hall of Fame.
Richard Seymour, Defensive End/Defensive Tackle: New England Patriots, 2001-2008 & Oakland Raiders, 2009-2012
The No. 6 overall pick in the 2001 draft out of Georgia, Seymour enjoyed a very successful start to his career with the Patriots, making five straight Pro Bowls from 2002-2006 while being named to three All-Pro teams from 2003-2005. Perhaps more importantly, he won three Super Bowls during his New England tenure, capturing Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX. With the Patriots, Seymour accumulated 39 sacks, 357 total tackles, 64 tackles for loss and at least 37 quarterback hits.*
*Quarterback hits is a stat that pro-football-reference began keeping during the 2006 season.
After the 2008 season, the Patriots traded Seymour to the Raiders for a future first-round draft pick (used in 2011 to take tackle Nate Solder). While in Oakland, he made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2010 and 2011 before retiring after the 2012 season. In his four seasons in Oakland, Seymour collected 18.5 sacks, 139 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss, and 42 quarterback hits. Except for 2009, Seymour spent the majority of his Raiders career as a defensive tackle.
But despite Seymour’s versatility to slide back and forth between end and tackle, he didn’t do enough to get into the Hall of Fame. He was one of the defensive stars of those early Patriots dynasty teams, and yet the Patriots continued winning after he departed. He never collected more than eight sacks in a single season, nor did he disrupt offenses enough to ever threaten to win any Defensive Player of the Year awards.
Richard Seymour was good, not great, and won’t make it into Canton.
Recap Through Two Articles
Yesterday, I took a look at head coaches Tom Flores and Don Coryell, passing on both of them. With today’s selections of Kevin Mawae and Alan Faneca, I’ve elected two of a maximum of five players. Tomorrow, I’ll look at five members of the secondary before wrapping up next Monday with an article on three offensive play makers.
Of the eight remaining players, only one is a lock.