2016 NFL Draft kicks off with a bang:

Photo credit: Jon Durr / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Quarterbacks are still king

The Los Angeles Rams started the draft off by selecting the best player on the board and that was Jared Goff when it came selection time for the Rams. Goff was the most polished quarterback on the board and has the ability to be the best quarterback the Rams have ever had. Goff gets to stay in his home state of California and gets a chance to lead the resurrected Los Angeles Rams back into NFL limelight. The Rams paid a lot to get the number 1 pick but they got the decision right by picking Goff. Gurley and Goff will be a nice tandem offensively for years to come. The second overall pick went to the Philadelphia Eagles and they selected Carson Wentz. This is a strange pick because the Eagles are overloaded at the quarterback position. Now the team losses out on several future draft picks and they already started chemistry issues with starting quarterback Sam Bradford. We’ll see how it plays out in Philly but things aren’t looking that promising right now. Still the Eagles got a good qb in Wentz and maybe that can make up for everything the Eagles gave up to get to that number 2 pick.

Tunsil goes up in smoke

Laremy Tunsil was widely predicted to be the number 1 pick heading into the 2016 Draft and all that fell apart when Tunsil released a video of himself wearing a gas mask on his Twitter account right before the draft started. The gas mask is a marijuana smoking device and the timing of the video was just awful for Tunsil’s draft stock. Tunsil fell all the way to the number 13 spot where the Miami Dolphins were able to snag up the former Ole Miss offensive tackle. It’s a good fit for Tunsil and Miami but the character issues and red flags are certainly there for Laremy Tunsil. It will be up to him to address these concerns and make sure he doesn’t have any let downs for the Dolphins. The are counting on this guy and if he focuses he can be a tremendous football player in the league.

Ezekiel Elliott goes to the Dallas Cowboys at the 4th spot

With Joey Bosa being selected by the Chargers in the 3rd spot, Jerry Jones was put in decision making mode. He ultimately decided that Ezekiel Elliott out of Ohio State would be the best choice for the Cowboys moving forward. The Cowboys load up their backfield by drafting the most talented running back in the draft. Elliott will be a great fit for the Cowboys and when you blend him with Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. You begin to notice that the Cowboys have effectively built a backs by committee system that will help take the pressure off Tony Romo in his return from shoulder surgery. You can almost guarantee that the Cowboys, that offensive line, and Elliott will have it going offensively and you can’t blame the Cowboys for taking this pick. They are a better team with Ezekiel Elliott.

Charity of the day: Wilderness Society

Go donate! www.wilderness.org

Las Vegas is looking more and more like the Raiders next home:

Photo credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Raiders proved today they are serious about relocating to Las Vegas and owner Mark Davis is willing to put his money behind the offer. Davis stated that he would contribute $500 million dollars towards building a stadium in Las Vegas and those funds show Davis’s commitment to the project. The Raiders had their rent raised from $925,000 to $3.5 million a year at the Oakland Coliseum. That move is cutting in to the Raiders profits and that move is pushing the Raiders and Oakland apart when it comes to securing a long term deal. However you can’t blame Oakland when the Raiders made it clear that they wanted to be in Los Angles. So you have both sides of the equation that damaged that relationship, and on top of that the bottom line is the Raiders want to tap into a new market and maximize profits. That was the motive of wanting to move to Los Angles and that is the motive for them now wanting to move to Las Vegas. Building a new stadium and relocating the football team would bring a lot of hype and publicity which would bolster sales. Now that the Raiders have a competitive team on the field as well, a move would really cash in for the Raiders organization and Mark Davis. That is why we have seen such a strong push from the Raiders to head to Nevada and why the deal continues to materialize a little bit more each day. The Raiders have the option to stay in Oakland until at least 2018 and the organization hopes when that when the time comes they have a home instead of finding themselves in similar situation like they are in now. All signs point to Las Vegas being that landing spot and don’t be surprised if a deal is struck for the Raiders.

Charity of the day: Wilderness Society

Go donate! www.wilderness.org

Josh Doctson is the best wide receiver in the 2016 Draft:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

Every year the NFL Draft provides the league with some big time wide receivers and this year TCU’s Josh Doctson headlines the group. Doctson was flat out phenomenal during his time in Fort Worth Texas and the dynamic receiver recorded back to back 1,000 yard receiving seasons. Not only that but during his junior and senior seasons Doctson was also able to record over 10 touchdown receptions both years. So when you have a guy that has put up back to back 1,000 yard seasons, and back to back 10+ touchdown seasons. You know you’re getting an elite level talent who has produced on the field before. That past production at the division 1 level is what makes Doctson stand out so much. When you draft Josh Doctson you’re not getting a player who has to develop into effective receiver. You’re getting a guy who has honed his craft as a receiver, and has put in the work year in and year out. That level of polish is why Josh Doctson looks so appealing to NFL teams, because you know you’re getting a guy who can come in and produce for your team right away. Docston is the exact opposite of someone like Braxton Miller, who has a ton of upside but is still a raw wide receiver. Truthfully it’s always better to draft players who have built up a name for themselves as an effective football player at a particular position. It’s also always better to draft players who have consistently put up big games at the lower levels of competition (college, and high school). Josh Doctson has been an elite level wide receiver going all the way back to Mansfield Legacy High School and those years of repetition allowed him to become one of the best wide receivers in the draft today. Expect this guy to be the first wideout taken off the board tomorrow, he is just that good and not many teams will want to pass Josh Doctson up.

Charity of the day: Children’s Defense Fund

Go donate! www.childrensdefense.org

Sleeper of the draft: Carl Nassib

Photo credit: Justin K. Aller

Author: Jon Kuzma

With the draft 48 hours away teams are looking to finalize their draft boards and put themselves in a position to succeed. One player out there who isn’t getting nearly the recognition that he deserves on any team’s draft board is Carl Nassib out of Penn State University. Nassib was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Vince Lombardi Trophy award winner last year in Division 1 college football. Nassib also lead the nation in sacks (15.5) and forced fumbles (6) showing that between the lines he is a pure football player. On top of that Carl Nassib had 19.5 tackles for loss last season, and often times was the best defensive player on the field for either team. That consistent effort from Nassib in 2015 should have earned him more respect than a 3rd round draft prediction and this guy can come in and certainly help a team out. You don’t have that kind of production at the college level and not know how to play the game of football. A lot of times at the combine we get blown away by a guy’s 40 time and bench press statistics. Carl Nassib is a guy where you plug in the tape and get blown away with his performance on the field. At the end of the day you have to find players who can play the game of football, not guys who shine at the combine. Carl Nassib is a guy that can truly play the game and if a team were to take him in the 3rd round they would be getting an absolute steal. Carl Nassib is at least a 2nd round talent, and maybe when this is all said and done we will think he should of went higher than the 2nd round. The guy is just that good on the football field and it’s really a shame that he has been this undervalued.

Charity of the day: Center for Biological Diversity

Go donate! www.biologicaldiversity.org

Jameis Winston continues to impress with his leadership:

Photo credit: Joe Robbins

Author: Jon Kuzma

Jameis Winston was outstanding as a rookie for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Winston actually had a better rookie campaign than both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. While many people were concerned with Winston’s off the field behavior. The scouts and Winston supporters  on the other end of the argument seem to be rewarded for their faith in the quarterback. Winston has done nothing but exceed expectations since arriving in West Florida, and the naysayers have clearly missed judged the former Florida State quarterback. Jameis Winston was just a kid having fun when he got in trouble off the field and we’ve watched him mature into a true leader right before our eyes. Now with news breaking out of Tampa that Winston has shown up to voluntary minicamp in the best shape of his life. It’s just another testament of Winston’s ability to elevate the bar for this football team. That commitment to his owner personal health and fitness should result in even greater production from the Bucs’ signal caller. It also shows that Winston understand the responsibility that comes with being a high profile quarterback in the Nation Football League. Winston has been working with trainer Tim Grover and Grover has stated that Winston lost “18 pounds” since being on that particular training regimen. A more athletic Jameis Winston will allow the quarterback to be more fleet footed on the field. It will also help Winston transfer the kinetic energy that is distributed through his throws more efficiently. Both of those key improvements to Jameis Winston’s game will allow the quarterback to put up even better numbers in 2016. Don’t be surprised if Winston throws more than 30 touchdowns in his second season of professional action. This guy understands the game, and is excellent at executing on the field as well. There is a reason he was the number 1 pick in the 2015 Draft and that because there is no ceiling in sight for Jameis Winston. He can truly get it done in every phase of the game.

Charity of the day: Center for Biological Diversity

Go donate! www.biologicaldiversity.org

Why Deflategate is bad business for the league:

Photo credit: Ezra Shaw

Author: Jon Kuzma

With news breaking today that the The Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals will overturn the Deflategate decision and make Tom Brady serve a four game decision. You have to wonder why the league would even want to keep this unbearable situation alive. The whole case has been a black eye for the league since it was first announced and instead of burying the petty allegations after the first court decision. The league decided to appeal that decision and ultimately they were rewarded for their legal action. During the case the league’s lawyers continuously attacked Tom Brady’s decision to destroy his cell phone and labeled those actions as poor behavior and a way to hinder the investigation. While in the early court appearances in which Brady won the judge was all in favor of the Patriots quarterback. It seemed in today’s appeal the court clearly favored the league. That is why Brady’s suspension was reinstated and why the league walks away the winner in today’s meeting. It will be up to Brady to fight this thing once again, and not roll over for the league. Goodell and company are adamant to make Brady pay for those deflated footballs and it won’t be an easy battle for Brady’s lawyers. Truthfully this whole situation has been a huge set back for the National Football League and the punishment of 4 games clearly is a punishment that outweighs the crime. We don’t know if Brady had any certain knowledge of the footballs being deflated and the Patriots trounced the Colts 45-7 in the game that the deflated footballs were supposedly used. To let this investigation linger over the league for this long and to put this much pressure on Brady, who is a guy who helped build this league is completely unfair. Goodell’s power is almost guaranteed to be restricted because of actions like this when the next collective bargaining agreement comes around and the commissioner should be embarrassed how he handled this issue. It’s absurd we are still writing about this situation nearly two years later and it took away from so many positives things that are going on around the league. Enough is enough.

Charity of the day: American Civil Liberties Union

Go donate! www.aclu.org

Sam Bradford is trying to push his way out of Philadelphia:

Photo credit: Rich Schultz

Author: Jon Kuzma

With news breaking out of Philadelphia that the Eagles have traded up in the 2016 Draft and plan to draft a quarterback. Current starting quarterback Sam Bradford has voiced his frustration with the Eagles plan and has stated that he would like to be traded from the team. Bradford who just received a 2 year $36 million dollar contract with the team on March 1st. Now seems to be completely unhappy with the organization and would like to continue his career elsewhere. While many people will be frustrated with Bradford’s decision, in some ways you have to feel bad for the guy. He thought he found a home in Philadelphia, and a team that believed in his talents. Only to have that support pulled out from underneath him and now it appears the Eagles will draft either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff with the number 2 overall pick in the Draft. Bradford understands that with the team choosing one of those quarterbacks, his time at the helm in Philadelphia will be limited. The surprising move in all this is the fact that the Eagles also signed Chase Daniel this offseason, so most people thought the Eagles were set at the quarterback position for the upcoming season. Eagles brass clearly thought differently, and the Eagles believe having an elite level quarterback will bode well for their future. All of these moves by Philadelphia explain why Bradford only received a two year deal and while they paid him $22 million in guaranteed money. It’s clear that the team doesn’t have a long term vision where Sam Bradford is the focal point. If Bradford does indeed get traded he will be on his 3rd professional team and find himself battling to prove his worth again. It’s a tough situation for Bradford at the end of the day because now he must pick up all his belongings and move again. Then walk into a new locker room and try to win the starting quarterback job. The off the field factors make it difficult for Bradford and he will have to find another situation that fits well with his abilities. Maybe if the Broncos could pull a deal that would be a good location for Bradford, or even the Jets if they don’t want to wait around for a Fitzpatrick deal to materialize. Regardless of where he goes, it does seem like the end of Sam Bradford’s time in Philadelphia.

Charity of the day: American Civil Liberties Union

Go donate! www.aclu.org

Melvin Gordon must get better in 2016 or his career will be over before it started:

Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel

Author: Jon Kuzma

Melvin Gordon was one of the most prolific running backs in all of college football just a couple seasons ago and that is why the Chargers selected Gordon 15th overall in the 1st round of the 2015 draft. That move was supposed to bolster the Chargers’ rushing efforts and make life easier on quarterback Philip Rivers. Instead the Chargers finished 31st in yards gained through rushing the football and were forced to throw more often due to the ineffectiveness of their ground game. Now with Gordon entering his second season of NFL action it’s officially do or die for his professional career. Gordon finished his rookie season with only 641 rushing yards and didn’t have a touchdown or a 100 yard rushing performance in a single game. That is completely lackluster for a 1st round pick and the complete opposite of how Gordon played at Wisconsin where he was able to rush for 4,915 yards and 45 touchdowns over the duration of his college career. That won’t sit well very long with the Chargers and Gordon now finds himself in a position where he has to prove his worth or he might be out of a job rather quickly. Gordon was also out performed by teammate Danny Woodhead and if that happens again in 2016, you’d have to think that the team moves forward with Woodhead as the full time starter. The one good thing going for Gordon is the fact he acknowledged he didn’t produce enough last season. Gordon stated that he “sucked” as a rookie and that ability to own up to his let downs might mean he can address those shortcomings on the gridiron. If he does everything right in the off-season and takes his training regimen seriously there is no reason Gordon can’t get back to playing at a high level of football. Regardless the success must come on the field and it has to come in 2016 for Gordon or the “bust” word will be coming into play. Something no draft pick wants to be labeled as.

Charity of the day: AdoptAPlatoon Soldier Support Effort

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The Buffalo Bills would be best off trusting Tyrod Taylor:

Photo credit Brett Carlsen

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Buffalo Bills announced recently that they may be in the market for a quarterback. While you can’t blame the Bills for wanting to land a big name quarterback. The team would be better off sticking with Tyrod Taylor and upgrading the other positions on their roster. Taylor was surprising effective in 2015 finishing the year with 20 touchdown passes and only 6 interceptions. So it would make more sense for the Bills to draft a defensive tackle to put next to Marcell Dareus, rather than drafting a quarterback early on. That move would allow Rex Ryan’s defense to take the next step on the defensive front and it would greatly improve the Bills overall as a team. In the second round the Bills should draft another offensive lineman. With the Bills having two talented running backs (McCoy and Williams) and also Taylor who can carry the ball effectively. The Bills would benefit greatly from adding a 2nd round offensive lineman to the mix. Not to mention Rex Ryan prefers a ground and pound philosophy and the Bills had the second most rushing attempts in the National Football League in 2015. You’d have to think that Ryan will stick to that same approach and that is why going with a lineman with the 2nd pick would have such a great impact for this team. Finally by trusting Tyrod Taylor it allows the Bills to draft a wide receiver in the 3rd round and ultimately that gives this team the best chance to succeed. All the moves above aren’t possible if the Bills draft a quarterback early on. On top of that if you do draft a quarterback it would also lead to one quarterback sitting on the bench and not being utilized. It would be a much wiser decision for the Bills to add players who can potentially get on the field in 2016 and add to what the guys brought in 2015. We’ll see if the Bills get this decision right and we will also see how just how much they respect Taylor as a quarterback?

Charity of the day: Women for Women Internation

Go donate! www.womenforwomen.org

Joe Flacco can be elite at times:

Photo credit: Patrick Smith

Author: Jon Kuzma

The debate recently out of Maryland is whether or not Joe Flacco is an elite football player? While it seems like the state is divided on that discussion, without doubt Joe Flacco is a good football player and at times has been elite. However the question seems to be is he elite all the time? If you were looking at Flacco’s films from the 2013 playoffs the year which Baltimore would go on to win Super Bowl XLVII. You would say that without a doubt Flacco is an elite quarterback. The Ravens quarterback did a great job of understanding where the defensive pressure was coming from, and continuously stepped up in the pocket and made big time throws. During that period Joe Flacco was easily an elite quarterback and if you took him out of that equation. It would of been much tougher for the Ravens to win the Super Bowl that year because Flacco was truly “that good.” Is Flacco an elite player all the time though? He is on the bubble and sometimes he is and sometimes he isn’t. That would lead a lot of people to believe that he isn’t elite because he isn’t consistently playing at that high level. All of the tools are there but it’s the consistency that the fans in Maryland would like to Joe Flacco address and if he can get better in that area. Hands down Joe Flacco can be one of the best in the business. It will also take the Ravens adding some talented players around their signal caller to help improve his chances for success. Losing talented offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele certainly doesn’t help Flacco’s case and the Ravens must address that particular loss in the draft at some point. However with 162 career touchdowns passes and only 102 career interceptions. One thing has been for certain, and that is the fact that Joe Flacco has been very good. Now with a new 3 year $66 million dollar contract in hand we will see if Flacco can elevate his game and play elite level football every down in 2016. It’s hard to bet against him.

Charity of the day: Women for Women Internation

Go donate! www.womenforwomen.org

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