With the draft one week away here is Endzoneblog.com’s 1st round predictions for all 32 teams:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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1. Browns – Sam Darnold
2. Giants – Bradley Chubb
3. Jets – Baker Mayfield
4. Browns – Saquon Barkley
5. Broncos – Quenton Nelson
6. Colts- Tremaine Edmunds
7. Buccaneers- Roquan Smith
8. Bears- Mike McGlinchey
9. 49ers- Derwin James
10. Raiders- Denzel Ward
11. Dolphins- Josh Rosen
12. Bills- Josh Allen
13. Redskins- Da’Ron Payne
14. Packers- Courtland Sutton
15. Cardinals- Vita Vea
16. Ravens- Calvin Ridley
17. Chargers- Taven Bryan
18. Seahawks- Billy Price
19. Cowboys- Isaiah Wynn
20. Lions- Joshua Jackson
21. Bengals- James Daniels
22. Bills- Minkah Fitzpatrick
23. Patriots- Jaire Alexander
24. Panthers- Marcus Davenport
25. Titans- Leighton Vander Esch
26. Falcons- Rashaan Evans
27. Saints- Lamar Jackson
28. Steelers- Maruice Hurst
29. Jaguars- D.J Moore
30. Vikings- Will Hernandez
31.Patriots- Kolton Miller
32. Eagles- Sony Michel

The big winners will be Sam Darnold going number 1 to the Cleveland Browns and Bradley Chubb going number 2 to the Giants. Tremaine Edmunds and Taven Bryan should also go a little bit sooner than expected.

The big losers of the draft are Saqun Barkley who once was considered the number 1 overall pick. Barkley will fall to 4 and then end up in Cleveland. Josh Allen is another player who could end up sliding due to his questionable accuracy. Finally Minkah Fitpatrick falls down the board and then ends up in Buffalo.

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The Raiders biggest weakness is the fact that they can’t get enough stops on defense. Expect Oakland to try to change that with this upcoming draft:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Everyone knows the Oakland Raiders offense is in good hands with Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, and Amari Cooper. Therefore the defense is the side of the ball that needs to be addressed in this upcoming draft. It feels like Oakland should pick a defender with their top two picks and a good haul would be Roquan Smith out of Georgia and Harrison Phillips from Stanford. General Manger Reggie McKenzie brought onboard Tahir Whitehead to solidify the linebackers a little bit. The combination of Bruce Irvin and Whitehead will definitely be a decent group as far as stopping the run goes. Now McKenzie and the front office should pick up Roquan Smith two put next to those other two guys. Suddenly that becomes a trio linebackers that have a ton of speed. You know Irvin, Whitehead, and Smith are going to cover a lot of ground and generate stops. Smith also has great instincts and was a Butkus Award winning player at the collegiate ranks. Which adds a high achiever to this defense and should help raise the excellence of that group collectively. Plus Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther has a nice blitz package and Smith will mesh perfectly into all of that. So it’s easy to see why Roquan Smith fits this team he has the speed to guard the pass and will be an above average rusher just like Irvin. From there the Raiders need to beef up the defensive line a bit to clog up some holes. Harrison Phillips is the ideal guy for that role and his 42 bench press reps of 225 pounds prove the former Cardinal standout has brute strength. Phillips has also put together some pretty good tape. When you plug in his film you notice that Harrison Phillips usually works a swim move to successfully get into the offensive backfield. Even though you can see that move is coming it’s much harder to stop when you’re on the field and trying to contain the talented defensive lineman. Together those abilities upfront (Phillips) would mesh with the speed behind him. Oakland should be able to keep some points off the board if they pursue these top defensive prospects and that’s going to be a recipe be for success.

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All eyes are on Derrick Henry after DeMarco Murray’s departure from Tennessee. Henry has the Titans backfield all to himself:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The past couple of seasons the Tennessee Titans have had Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray splitting offensive carriers but now Murray is no longer with the team. That opens the door for Henry to step up and carry the workload all by himself. The 23 year old (Henry) is heading into his third professional season and wants to crack the 1,000 rushing yards mark for the first time in his career. One thing that hurts Henry’s chances of doing that is Jack Conklin’s status. The Titans starting right tackle is recovering from surgery for a torn ACL. If Conklin isn’t up to up par then Henry will have a less talented offensive line upfront. Which means Henry himself will have to be even better. When you look at what Henry’s strengths are? You immediately begin to notice this is a 6 foot 3 inch 240 pound downhill runner who can flat out intimidate defenders. When Derrick Henry gets a head of steam and barrels through people that will strike fear in the Titans opponents. Anything that involves power Henry is going to excel at. Whether that’s a stiff arm or running up the middle and racking up the tough yardage this guy can handle it. We know know Head Coach Mike Vrabel has a defensive minded philosophy. Henry is almost the perfect back for that type of system because he can control the time of possession and keep Vrabel’s defense on the sidelines resting. That’s when the Titans will find themselves in more favorable circumstances. Then when this team gets down by the goal line there’s no doubt about who’s getting the football and Henry will covert often in those situations too. There’s going to be a lot of fans in Nashville wearing the number 22 Titans jersey this upcoming season. Derrick Henry has been a really good every step of the way leading up to the NFL and now it’s his time to have success at the pro level as well.

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Kenny Clark has been the perfect run stopping defensive tackle for Green Bay. The Packers have been much better upfront ever since Clark came onboard back in 2016:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Before the Green Bay Packers drafted Kenny Clark they were ranked 21st against the run back in 2015. Since then the Packers have finished 8th and 17th against the run so there has definitely been some improvement. Especially when you consider Aaron Rodgers was injured last season and therefore the offense had a lot of three and outs. Ultimately that kept the defense on the field much longer but when Rodgers returns the Packers defense will find themselves in a much better position to succeed. Regardless though Kenny Clark is going to do his part in the trenches. Clark recorded 55 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season which is pretty good for an interior defensive lineman. Now going into his third year of action Clark could take the next step and really start applying pressure. Keep in mind the former UCLA run stopper also plays the nose tackle position which is double teamed very frequently. To be able to withstand all that punishment and still put together quality stats shows the 22 year old (Clark) is a talented player. It’s not easy to thrive in those conditions but then again the 6’3 313 pound Clark has a physical advantage. Offensive lineman simply struggle to match up against the young Packer and that’s going to be something to keep an eye on this upcoming season. If Kenny Clark gets it going that means the linebackers behind him will be protected from offensive lineman who are trying to get to the next level. So it’s like a chain reaction when a defense can win at the line of scrimmage and Green Bay will have to get into the backfield if they want to create real chaos. Clark is a guy that can make that happen and the future is definitely bright for number 97 in Green and Yellow.

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Chicago’s running backs are some of the best around. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen are a tough duo to contain:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The NFC North is shaping up into one of the better conferences and Chicago is a team that seems to be getting things back on track. Last year people started to notice that the Bears were improving and it’s only a matter of time before they have a shot at a winning record. A lot of that is because of the stable running backs they have up there in the Windy City. The most notable of that bunch is the former Indiana University alum Jordan Howard. Howard is coming off back to back 1,000 yard seasons and has emerged as a marquee player in the National Football League. That was surprising considering Howard was drafted in 5th round but if you watched this guy play at UAB or after when he transferred to Indiana. The game film doesn’t lie Howard has a knack for making plays on the football field. Howard was All-Conference USA (2014) at UAB and then All Big Ten (2015) for the Hoosiers. He continued that great run by going to the Pro Bowl his rookie season (2016) and now Howard is on every defensive coordinator’s radar. The problem with trying to stop Chicago’s running game is they have another running back who can be very effective. That player is Tarik Cohen who also has a very strong football background. Cohen was the all time leading rusher in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference coming out of North Carolina A and T. Chicago thought very highly of Cohen and drafted him in the 4th round of the 2017 draft. It’s shocking that a 4th and 5th rounder eventually turned into one of the most formidable rushing attacks at the highest level of the game. Both ball carriers help control the time of possession for the Bears offense. Everything else seems to falls into place from there. Mitchell Trubisky has the luxury of handing the ball off to two very talented guys this upcoming season. Which can really wear down opposing defenses especially late in the game.

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Nick Foles made it clear he would like to become a starter again and he also acknowledged a trade would be the best move for him:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Philadelphia Eagles back up Quarterback Nick Foles has had name thrown around in trade negotiations all off-season and we finally got some clarity how Foles feels about all of this. Foles told a member of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he has heard about all the possible trades going on and “he would like to be a starter again.” Basically that gives the indication that Foles is willing to part ways with the Eagles if it means he gets to be some other team’s number 1 quarterback. This is significant because it shows even though Foles has outstanding character (which has been obvious in his effort to work with and develop Carson Wentz) he still wants to pursue his own path and go his own way. That’s part of being a professional when you get to this level and you’re working to establish yourself you almost become a like a hired gun going to the highest bidder. Nobody can blame Foles for wanting to move up the depth chart and truthfully he has earned the right to have those discussions. Nick Foles put the Philadelphia Eagles on his back and brought a Vince Lombardi Trophy home to the City of Brotherly Love. Foles also earned a Pro Bowl appearance (2013) the last time he was a full time starter which means all signs are pointing to the 29 year old being the real deal. There’s no doubt Howie Roseman and the rest of the Eagles front office would like to keep Nick Foles but at the same time if the price is right it’s very possible the talented signal caller could be exchanged for draft picks or even a player(s). We know if Foles has it his way that would happen sooner rather than later so we’ll see if Philly is willing to pull the trigger on a trade before they’re comfortable? Two possible destinations that come to mind are the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll already showed his cards when he made it clear he wanted to select Patrick Mahomes in the last draft. If Carroll brought onboard Foles he could then trade away Russell Wilson for a very high price (Wilson led the NFL with 34 passing TDs 2017). Wilson is a stats machine but his style of play isn’t ideal for NFL success. Mobile QBs don’t do too well in this league and that could compel Carroll to make a move especially since Wilson would yield some nice returns. The Colts are in a similar situation and they have already acquired a boatload of draft picks (9) after trading down in the 2018 draft with the Jets. If the Colts used two of the second round picks they have to pick up Foles. Indianapolis could then turn around and trade Andrew Luck and Jacoby Brissett. That’s going to put the Colts in a position where they have a brand new gunslinger to lead the Frank Reich era. Not only that but Indy would also have a lot of draft capital to build around Foles.

Charity of the day: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

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Josh Doctson is finally putting it all together. With the addition of Alex Smith Doctson should really flourish this upcoming season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Washington Redskins 2016 first round draft pick Josh Doctson was terrible his rookie season recording 66 yards and 0 touchdowns for the entire year. Doctson completely turned his luck around in his second season though by contributing 502 yards and 6 TDs to the Redskins offense. With that much progression from year one to year two fans in the D.C area have to be ecstatic about what Doctson can bring to the football field in 2018. From an attributes stand point it’s clear the former TCU receiver gets the job done with his terrific leaping ability. Doctson was a top performer at the 2016 combine in the high jump and broad jump so that’s definitely where his strengths lie. When you put him in one on one situations this guy can high point the football and leave defenders surprised by how well he climbs the ladder. Doctson is also much more experienced and confidant these day therefore he’s going to be the best version of himself. It’s getting to the point where the promising young Redskin can become a 10 touchdowns per season type of player. That’s obviously on par with the elite receivers in the NFL which makes it apparent Josh Doctson is going to be anything but a bust. Alex Smith will also be the quarterback commanding Washington’s offense too and that could yield even more favorable results for this passing offense. Smith is a tactician and understands everything opposing defenses are going to throw at him. Expect the former Chiefs starting QB to deliver strikes downfield frequently which will bring another type of precision to Jay Gruden’s scheme. Doctson has to feed off that energy and elevate his play to a new level too. By playing the part of the lead receiver role the 25 year old Doctson will be targeted often. All of these factors should work heavily in his favor and now Josh Doctson is one of the emerging stars in pro football.

Charity of the day: Environmental Defense Fund

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Josh Gordon signs his exclusive rights tender with the Browns and will look to continue his comeback tour:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Josh Gordon missed two seasons because of suspensions but now the Cleveland standout is looking to keep putting his best foot forward. Gordon recently signed his exclusive rights tender with the Browns for roughly $800,000 dollars and that means the former Baylor alum is going to be back in the fold for this upcoming season. Obviously there wasn’t very many doubts that Gordon would return but it’s still incredible to see this guy turn his life around for the better. Josh Gordon has always had the talent to dominate at the pro level. The 27 year old is big and fast which always translates to the NFL game. The ability to come back from adversity also says something about Gordon’s resilience. Most other players that find themselves in Josh Gordon’s situation end up fading into obscurity. As long as the Browns top receiver (Gordon) can stay clean there’s no doubt he has some strong characteristics which will be very beneficial to this organization. You know the thing is Gordon has had a rough life and didn’t fully understand the direction he was heading in. However with age comes maturity and now the 2013 NFL receiving yards leader (Gordon) is going try to put his troubled past behind him once for all. Hopefully this new approach goes beyond just the football field. Even when Gordon retires he should try to walk the straight and narrow path because he has a lot to offer society. It’s all about channeling his passion into creative and positive outlets. There’s opportunity as a football coach, sports agent, or plenty other jobs in the industry. Gordon also would be a great mentor or motivational speaker because he can relate to people who are going through similar circumstances that he went through and show them how to recover from their struggles. Anything is possible and we’re all rooting for the man known as Flash.

Charity of the day: Environmental Defense Fund

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The Denver Broncos made a foolish decision by releasing C.J Anderson. He was one of their top offensive weapons in 2017:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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With news coming out of the Denver area that the Broncos are releasing C.J Anderson you have to wonder what this front office is thinking? Anderson rushed for 1,007 yards in 2017 and he was one of the top offensive weapons for the Broncos. Ever since the Super Bowl this team has been off their game and it’s because of a series of bad roster moves. Cutting Anderson is just another bad choice by Denver’s decision makers and this could really come back to haunt this offense once the regular season rolls around. Obviously Elway was thinking about saving $9 million dollars over the next two seasons but Anderson was one of the few good players on this roster. Maybe there’s hope that Saquon Barkley will fall to this team in the draft or it’s possible Elway feels like he can get a competent ball carrier in one of the later rounds. Still though it’s a gutsy move to cut your leading rusher especially when you consider how bad this team was in the passing game. If you take C.J Anderson off last year’s Broncos team they would be in serious trouble. It almost makes you wonder if Jamaal Charles is resurrecting his career at off-season work outs because this doesn’t make sense. There’s been rumors that Devontae Booker will actually be the starter but those guys were second tier from a production stand point. Nobody knows what is next for Anderson either? When you look at the teams that need a running back Miami, San Francisco, New York (Giants), or Indianapolis would all get a boost from a tough every down back like the former Bronco (Anderson). We know CJ Anderson played college football in California so it seems like the 49ers could be a likely destination.

Charity of the day: Environmental Defense Fund

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Rob Gronkowski is sending a clear message to Bill Belichick by not showing up to the Patriots off-season program. He’s basically telling Belichick his overbearing ways won’t be tolerated:

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Rob Gronkowksi isn’t going to show up to the Patriots off-season program and two things really stand out about that. First it’s that Gronkowski is tired of going through all the additional team activities now that he is a veteran. We’ve seen players like Michael Strahan and Brett Favre skip parts of training camp in the past because they felt like they earned their stripes. While this is just the early voluntary workouts Gronkowki will likely report once the mandatory team events start taking place. Gronk has the same mindset as Strahan and Favre though which is the fact that they were all getting older in age and wanted to limit the bumps and bruises. It’s a long season and players naturally get banged up so there’s no sense in overdoing it and burning out their bodies. The second reason Gronkowski is holding out is partly out of rebellion to Bill Belichick. It’s clear Belichick’s overbearing and stubborn ways have worn thin on Gronkowki’s psyche. It’s definitely hard for Gronk to reel it in and abide all of Belichick’s rules. At any point in the season that relationship could end up becoming combustible. There’s no doubt that Gronkowski feels like Belichick to some degree cost New England the Super Bowl. The decision to bench Malcolm Butler definitely didn’t sit well with all the players in the Patriots locker room. It’s becoming very apparent that Belichick must be more flexible in his approach this upcoming season or he is going to risk losing the locker room. Belichick’s structure has helped turn this football team into a dynasty but he’s had some serious miscalculations at times (kicking the ball away in overtime, benching Butler, trading away key players, power struggle with Brady). The Patriots regime could collapse if the tensions in Foxborough aren’t smoothed over.

Charity of the day: Mental Health America

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