The thing Landon Collins does well is stop the run. Which means the Washington Redskins defense won’t surrender many yards on the ground:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Washington Redskins had the 17th ranked defense in 2018 but they were actually better than that. This team lost Alex Smith and Colt McCoy to injuries and because their offense couldn’t sustain drives the defense was on the field for most of the games.


So their defensive ranking tanked in the second half of the season but there’s more to be optimistic about than meets the eye. The Redskins front seven is very good and they also signed Landon Collins. The former New York Giant is a strong safety who is almost a lock for 100 tackles per year. When you add him to the core they already have in Washington it’s easy to foresee that there’s not going to be many running lanes against this group. Losing Zach Brown definitely hurts and it was risky to cut him. On top of that Reuben Foster tore his ACL so the inside linebacker position has become a weakness. Although there’s still enough talent for this ball club to be suffocating in 2019. Collins will also bring an energy to this locker room and Jay Gruden will end up respecting his leadership. All of Collins teammates know that he’s going to lay it all on the line on every single snap. It’s easy to feed off of that because people want to model themselves after players who have a warrior mindset. Montez Sweat should bring something to the mix as well and the Redskins are finally getting their act together.

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The Washington Redskins defense won’t surrender many yards on the ground this year.

John Ross has no room for error. Another poor season might be the end of his time with the Cincinnati Bengals:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Cincinnati Bengals already considered trading away John Ross this off-season. The former 1st round pick has struggled to live up to expectations after entering the NFL back in 2017.


While Ross is known for being a speed demon who can take the top off the defense. He’s struggled to match-up against defensive backs at the next level due to his lack of size (5’11” 190 pounds). Because of those limitations John Ross has only recorded 210 yards and 7 touchdowns over his first two years in the league. Now if there’s any good news it’s that all 7 of those touchdowns came in 2018 and maybe this guy can build on that achievement. The problem is there’s zero margin for error. With Ross’ name already being thrown around in trade talks it’s clear he’s on very thin ice. Yeah new head coach Zac Taylor probably likes Ross’ speed but at some point or another he has to produce. Ultimately it’s about consistency and whether or not there’s a role for him on this team? You know A.J Green and Tyler Boyd are the top options and Taylor would probably prefer a cheaper third receiver. For example the New York Giants drafted Darius Slayton in the 5th round and they’re paying him $2.7M for a four year contract. That’s much less than Ross’ four year $17M deal and those funds could be used to revamp this roster. Which means the writing is on the wall and some other team could probably acquire Ross if they send the Bengals the right trade offer.

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross has no room for error.

Expect the Tennessee Titans to cut Harold Landry loose in 2019. His role should grow quite a bit:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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When the Tennessee Titans traded up to get Harold Landry it was surprising that the Boston College pass rusher fell to the second round.



Most of the teams out there gave Landry positive reviews but sometimes a player will tumble for reasons that are unknown. However that ended up being a stroke of good luck for the Titans because Landry held it down in a limited role. As a rookie he only started in three games but somehow the 23 year old was able to record 4.5 sacks. Clearly those numbers would’ve been better had Landry been on the field full-time. So you can already see where things are going from here. Mike Vrabel will probably cut Harold Landry loose and let him have a much larger role this upcoming season. At the end of the day he’s too talented to be sitting on the bench and Tennessee needs to get to the quarterback. That’s what Landry’s specialty is and he’s also very good at stripping the football. It all starts with this guy’s ability to burst off the edge and then bend under the offensive tackle’s block. There’s almost an art form to pass rushing and Landry is a natural. His sacks total should shoot up to around 10 per year with him getting more snaps. Tennessee has to be excited about this situation because Landry can give their defense the juice they’ve been lacking.

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Harold Landry’s role should grow quite a bit in Tennessee.

Instant offense. Why the Atlanta Falcons hit the jackpot when they drafted Calvin Ridley:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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When you think about the Atlanta Falcons offense Matt Ryan and Julio Jones probably come to mind first. Those two have been the foundation of the team’s passing attack but they also got another important addition when they drafted Calvin Ridley back in 2018.



Ridley was a star for the Alabama Crimson Tide and he didn’t skip a beat in the Falcons offense. With 821 yards and 10 touchdowns this was actually one of the best rookie seasons we’ve seen for a wide receiver. His stats are up there with Eddie Brown and Sammy White who also dominated in their first year of action. Of course the best ever was Randy Moss’s rookie season with 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns. That’s once in a century type of production though and the fact that Ridley makes the list says something about his potential. The knock against him was that he’s a little bit undersized but Ridley made up for it with his explosiveness. Atlanta loves to use him on slants and crossing routes which tap into Ridley’s exceptional yards after the catch skills. The other thing he excels at is double moves such as the out and up pattern. Defensive backs can’t keep up because he’s so fluid in and out of his breaks. Matt Ryan couldn’t ask for a better supporting cast because these wide receivers are making his job much easier. The Falcons will probably have two 1,000 yard receivers on their roster. Especially when you take into consideration that Ryan will have more time in the pocket thanks to the Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary picks.

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The Atlanta Falcons hit the jackpot when they drafted Calvin Ridley.

The Houston Texans need to get the most out of Deshaun Watson and that’s why they drafted a couple of linemen to give him more pass protection:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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In the National Football League good quarterback play is so important. The defenses are so fast that they can swallow up the running game very quickly. So you need a quarterback that can beat teams with their arm talent and luckily for Houston they already have that guy.



Deshaun Watson is an incredible player but he was sacked more than any other QB during the 2018 season. What good is having a superstar under center if he doesn’t have any protection up front? That’s exactly the situation the Texans found themselves in and they decided to bolster their offensive line by drafting Tytus Howard and Max Scharping in the first and second rounds. Those two young guys will add some youthfulness to the pass blocking in front of Watson. Which should result in greater production through the air. Now instead of taking pressure on every snap Watson should have more time in the pocket. He threw for 26 touchdowns a year ago without much help at the line of scrimmage and those numbers should jump over 30 touchdowns with the adjustments they’ve made. Everyone in the front office knows Watson is the key to unlocking this ball club’s true potential and they made moves to ensure that happens. Even though Houston just fired their general manager (Brian Gaine) you can see why they made some of the decisions they did personnel-wise. Every choice was made with the Super Bowl in mind and it’ll be interesting to see if Howard and Scharping are enough to get them there?

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The Texans drafted two offensive linemen to give Deshaun Watson more time in the pocket.

The regular season hasn’t even started yet and Zac Taylor is quickly realizing that winning in Cincinnati is an uphill battle:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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There hasn’t been much to celebrate lately if you’re a Bengals fan. The team finished with a 6 and 10 record and were 4th in the AFC North last year.


Cincinnati also had the worst defense in the entire NFL and it’s pretty clear that Zac Taylor is facing some tough odds in Southern Ohio. To make matters even worse first round pick Jonah Williams will miss the 2019 season with a shoulder injury. Losing such a key piece is always difficult but it’s even worse when you’re an offensive minded coach like Taylor. The Bengals offense was counting on this guy to provide some stability up front and now that will be put on hold. It’s another tough blow for an organization that needs every break they can get to be competitive. Even if Taylor does call some excellent plays they still have a long ways to go before they can get stops on the other side of the ball. Which means time of possession is going to be critical for Cincinnati. They need to rely on Joe Mixon and let him control the tempo of each game. With Mixon’s physical running style it gives this group a chance to impose their will on their opponents. Then Andy Dalton and A.J Green have to step up and do what they’ve always done. Really that starts with being healthy which was a problem they faced this past season. Another factor is Tyler Eifert and what his situation is going to be? Eifert has struggled to stay on the field but when Dalton, Green, and him are playing at a high level this ball club is very tough. Once they change the culture the Bengals will become a more enticing team to play for but at the moment it’s one of the hardest jobs in the NFL.

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Zac Taylor is finding out quickly that winning in Cincinnati is an uphill battle.

The Baltimore Ravens are crossing their fingers and hoping Earl Thomas can turn back the clock:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Baltimore Ravens lost a lot of defensive talent this off-season and they signed Earl Thomas to patch those holes. It’s tough for a safety to have a big impact when the front-seven isn’t generating enough pressure.


However if there’s anyone who can create opportunities on the back end it’s certainly Thomas. This is a pure free safety and what that means is his ball hawking skills are the strength of his game. When Thomas plays the deep middle third he always jumps the routes that are in his zone and those takeaways can tilt the odds in Baltimore’s favor. He’s also got really sticky fingers and if there’s any tipped passes Thomas is coming down with the interception. From a talent standpoint there’s no denying how spectacular the 30 year old is. The biggest challenge for Earl Thomas will be whether or not his body holds up? The last time this guy played in all 16 contests was back in 2015. That’s a big red flag considering the Ravens just paid Thomas a 4 year $55M contract. In fact he’s the highest paid player on the team and when you spend that kind of money you better get it right. This has the potential to be one of the worst free agency busts we’ve ever seen especially if Thomas plays a season or two and then retires. Give his agent some credit though because that was a nice deal to sign after all of the medical problems Thomas has faced.

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The Baltimore Ravens made Earl Thomas their highest paid player and now they’re hoping he can turn back the clock.

Out of the stable. The Denver Broncos will benefit from a more confident Courtland Sutton:

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Last year the Denver Broncos were transitioning to a new era particularly at the wide receiver position. Demaryius Thomas was on his way out and eventually got traded to the Houston Texans.


A move that was made to make way for rookie wide receiver Courtland Sutton. The 2018 second round pick out of SMU was outstanding in his first professional season recording 704 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. Those were impressive numbers out of the gate and it’s amazing how effective he was. Sutton has a big frame at 6’4” 216 pounds and he creates mismatches on game day. Smaller corners have trouble tackling this guy and Sutton can also win one-on-one battles by high pointing the football. Where he does his best work though is over the middle. It seemed like Case Keenum connected with Sutton often on slants, posts, and drags. Having that safety valve is crucial for this offense because those are easier throws to make. Now with Joe Flacco at the helm we could see more vertical routes out wide. So it’s possible that Sutton will be asked to stretch the field more frequently and it’s likely he’ll flourish on deep patterns as well. At the end of the day this a pure football player and Courtland Sutton can make the clutch catch. Denver is going to hand the reins to the 23 year old and he should go over 1,000 receiving yards this time around.

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The Denver Broncos will benefit from a more confident Courtland Sutton.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks might be the most underappreciated player in all of football:

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There’s always more than a handful of players who don’t get the respect that they deserve.


Some are flying under the radar and become more popular down the line. Others like Brandin Cooks are overlooked and even passed over by former employers (Saints and Patriots). This is obviously shocking because Cooks is coming off 4 straight 1,000 yard seasons. You don’t have that kind of production unless you’re one of the top receivers in pro football and Cooks will be crucial in the Los Angeles Rams success once again. Ndamukong Suh is no longer with the team, the offensive line is a little bit worse, and Cooper Kupp is battling back from an ACL tear. So Cooks has to be sharp because Sean McVay is relying on his output. Jared Goff can’t throw the ball down the field if he doesn’t have Brandin Cooks’ speed out wide. Robert Woods is better on slants and drags but he’s not as fast as Cooks. Those are abilities that Los Angeles can’t afford to lose. Meaning he has to stay healthy and perform at a high level. Fortunately for this group Cooks has been consistent and there’s no indication things will change anytime soon. New England may have gotten cold feet when Cooks got knocked out of the Super Bowl by Malcolm Jenkins but the Patriots have been burning through pass catchers ever since. While Cooks hasn’t skipped a beat since then and it looks like he finally has a home in California.

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Brandin Cooks has been very underappreciated throughout his career.

The Cleveland Browns defense is being overlooked and people are forgetting just how good Myles Garrett is:

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Right now everyone’s talking about the Cleveland Browns offense. You hear a lot about Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., and Jarvis Landry but don’t forget about the other side of the ball.


A group is only as good as their best individual and for this team that’s Myles Garrett. The 2018 first overall pick has been exceptional over his first two years recording 20.5 sacks. Garrett typically lines up at the right defensive end spot and left tackles have their hands full trying to block this guy. He’ll go right around the edge and then hammer the quarterback. The other thing Garrett is really good at is strip-sacks. By knocking the ball out of the QB’s hands it creates chances to get off the field. By forcing takeaways Cleveland is much more likely to win and it makes for some exciting football. Myles Garrett also doubled his production from year one to year two and that means the Browns have to be very optimistic for this upcoming season. We could be witnessing a player who can finish around the 20 sacks mark and that’s so much output for one defender. The addition of Olivier Vernon will also take some of the focus off of Garrett so he’s in a good situation with week one quickly approaching. If the former Aggie (Garrett) can become a top 5 talent then we can probably expect to see the Browns in the playoffs in January.

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The Cleveland Browns defense is being overlooked.

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