New England will have two first round picks in this upcoming draft after trading Brandin Cooks to the Rams:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Patriots are going all in on this NFL Draft and that was clear when the team traded away Brandin Cooks to the Rams. New England picked up an extra first round pick which is going to be huge when draft night rolls around. There’s a number different options the Patriots could go with those two selections. Either they can take two really good players on day one or use both of those picks to trade up to the early first round. There’s been rumors that the New England’s front office really likes Josh Rosen but what if Belichick was really chasing after Bradley Chubb. Belichick coached up North Carolina State’s pro day and it was clear he really likes the defensive end. Belichick even made a comment to Chubb that “there was no chance they would see him at the number 31 draft spot.” Well now Belichick has enough draft capital to move up into the top five and select the stand out pass rusher. Defense wins championships and there’s really no other players like the top defender coming out of college. Of course if the Patriots want to just keep those two picks they could pick up D.J Moore at 23 and Maurice Hurst at 31. That would be a great first round haul for New England and suddenly this organization might have enough firepower to get over the hump. Whatever choice Bill Belichick makes would be a nice boost for the Patriots roster. Ultimately it will come down to what the team feels is the best course of action for them? However it’s easy to believe that one of these two routes could be the path this franchise goes down just because it would give them a lot this upcoming season. Josh Rosen on the other hand would have to sit around on the bench for a couple of years which doesn’t seem like an ideal fit.

Charity of the day: World Resources Institute

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The Los Angeles Rams trade a 2018 1st round pick and a 6th round pick for Brandin Cooks. An acquisition that will significantly bolster LA’s passing game:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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What an off-seasons it’s been for the Los Angeles Rams and we know now they’re not done yet. General Manager Les Snead just pulled the trigger on a deal to acquire Brandin Cooks from the New England Patriots. Snead and the Rams gave up their 2018 1st round pick and a 6th round pick in order to make that deal happen. It’s a smart move for Los Angeles because Cooks will be more polished than an incoming rookie. The Rams plan on winning a Super Bowl this upcoming season and a first year player isn’t going to help as much as Cooks will. Obviously the setback is giving up that first round selection but that’s still a much cheaper price than acquiring Odell Beckham Jr. Cooks is coming off three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons so he’s obviously an explosive player who can help the vertical passing game. The combination of Goff and Cooks could end up being a big time duo this upcoming year as well. Goff should be even better in his third season of action and the Rams are doing everything they can to put talent around their young QB. Cooks will fill the vacancy that Sammy Watkins left behind in this offense and the only concern is the former Patriots size. Brandin Cooks is 5’10 185 pound which is very undersized for an NFL wide receiver. That’s compared to Watkins’ 6’1 205 pound frame but the good news is Cooks had better stats than Watkins. LA is really hoping that translates into a little bit more production in the passing game. Overall this is just another piece to the championship puzzle. The Rams organization will have a ton of firepower entering training camp. It will be up to Sean McVay and Wade Phillips to put everything together and make this a Super Bowl winning team. On paper they certainly have all the talent to do so.

Charity of the day: World Resources Institute

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D.J Moore is a player that is really shooting up draft boards. Teams with a need at wide receiver will have to take a long look at the Maryland stand out:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The top three receivers in the NFL Draft are clearly Calvin Ridley, D.J Moore, and Courtland Sutton. While Ridley seems like the best prospect out of those three, D.J Moore is really starting to build up a following. The former Maryland Terrapin is hands down the best with the ball in hands out of that trio of players. When it comes to yards after the catch Moore is absolutely lethal and a lot those skills come from Moore’s kick return abilities. Really that adds another element to this kids game because he give teams something on offense and through special teams. Some coaches are going to specifically peg Moore because of that dual role potential. Winning the special teams battle is imperative and D.J Moore can really help a team get a leg up in that phase of the game. Now if there is any knock against the 2017 Big Ten Receiver of the Year (Moore) it’s that he is slightly undersized at 6 feet tall. Regardless of that Moore is extremely explosive. Whether it’s a jailbreak screen or a bubble screen on the outside the incoming rookie is going to make defenders miss and rack up some great yardage. Those are plays any offense could benefit from and it feels like a great comparison for D.J Moore would be Steve Smith. Smith had a prolifc career with the Panthers and Ravens despite only being 5 foot 9. Moore plays bigger than his frame just like Smith did and when you have a player cut from that same cloth you have to go after him. Carolina or Jacksonville could be two possible destinations for Moore. They both need another wide receiver and a fiery competitor so those are teams you have to keep an eye on at the end end of the first round. Whoever does select the human spark D.J Moore will be much more dynamic offensively. It’s very possible Moore comes in and earns a starting job from day one.

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Jimmy Graham and Muhammad Wilkerson are two notable acquisitions for the Packers. Green Bay’s success will still come down to Aaron Rodgers health though:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Packers made some notable additions this off-season by bringing onboard Jimmy Graham and Muhammad Wilkerson. Graham is a huge acquisition because he’ll help this team put up a lot more points through the air. Some of Grahams best days came while playing with Drew Brees. Graham was able record more than 10 touchdowns in a season three different times while playing for New Orleans. That means the new Packers tight end could be in that same ball park of production by playing with an elite QB like Aaron Rodgers. On the defensive side of the ball Muhammad Wilkerson should aid this defense a little bit too. Wilkerson had 46 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 1 interception with the Jets. If Wilkerson can improve on those totals in Wisconsin the talented defensive lineman will be such a huge boost for the newly led Mike Pettine defense. The Packers were ranked 22nd in yards surrendered in 2017. Wilkerson should improve that ranking and he’ll also help apply pressure in the trenches which is really where the game of football is won. So from a fundamental stand point you can see why this organization decided to sign both players because the idea is that they can both provide an impact immediately. Still though if Aaron Rodgers can’t stay healthy then this ball club is going to have a ton of problems. We know first year Green Bay General Manager Brian Gutekunst picked up DeShone Kizer as an insurance policy. However if Rodgers can’t suit up neither Brett Hundley nor Kizer can keep the Packers in the hunt. Ultimately that means the pass protection upfront will be the biggest key for this team. It’s pretty clear Rodgers has durability issues so those big hogs on the offensive line have to stop their QB from taking hits. Aaron Rodgers also has to do a better job of staying in the pocket and not putting himself in spots where he can get hurt. The new picks up will help significantly but Rodgers has to be on the field if the Cheeseheads want a shot of going back to the playoffs.

Charity of the day: HelpMeSee

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Jarvis Landry is going to make a great impact for the Cleveland Browns. Landry is a world class competitor:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Cleveland Browns made a smart move by trading for Jarvis Landry. Not only is Landry an outstanding pass catcher he is one of the true competitors in the National Football League. It’s just rare to find a player that has as much passion that Landry brings to the table. To think Cleveland acquired this guy from the Dolphins for a 2018 4th round pick and a 2019 7th round pick is just amazing. Landry is worth so much more than that and the Browns really got a steal. You have to wonder what Miami was thinking because that was just a bad trade on their part. Regardless of that Cleveland walks away much improved because now they have a wide receiver that is going to set the tone for the rest of the players in their locker room. From a leadership stand point Jarvis Landry is always front and center. The 3x Pro Bowler produces in the stats category and he serves as a momentum lightning rod. Even when Landry isn’t getting the ball he is known for delivering bone crunching blocks. Cleveland’s offense will feed off those kind of plays and John Dorsey has to feel like he took Dolphins G.M Chris Grier to the cleaners. There’s no way 4th round and 7th round selections are going to replace Landry. Really there’s been a series of good moves on the Browns behalf which should put them around the 5 or 6 wins mark. Landry should also excel personally and make some big contributions. It should be noted Landry could end up falling short of 1,000 yards receiving due to the fact he’ll have to share the load with Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman. This first season for all new these players in Ohio (Tyrod Taylor, Carlos Hyde and Landry) will really pave the way for the years to come. So it’s very important Cleveland starts off strong and gets rolling from the get go.

Charity of the day: HelpMeSee

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Jordan Poyer was on another level in 2017. The Bills need Poyer to set the tone again this upcoming season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Buffalo Bills Free Safety Jordan Poyer had a break out season in 2017. Poyer went from a mediocre player with the Cleveland Browns to an absolute star with the Bills. Poyer’s stat line makes that obvious the 6th year veteran recorded 95 tackles, 2 sacks, 13 passes defended and 5 interceptions. What really stands out about those numbers is the fact that Poyer is so versatile. The first thing you have to acknowledge is the ball hawking pass defense that helped Poyer constantly break up or intercept throws  If that doesn’t impress you the 95 tackles and 2 sacks should. By being such an effective two way player Jordan Poyer helped solidify himself as a top tier defensive back in the NFL. Usually we see guys that are good against the pass but struggle against the run or vice versa. Not Poyer he’s a complete football player and all the confidence he’ll get from last season should help him raise the bar this upcoming year. If Buffalo wants to go back to the playoffs they will need their defense to continue force turnovers. Which essentially means Jordan Poyer has to come back in 2018 and put together another productive campaign. It’s so easy to get complacent at the professional level because it takes so much output from a player to achieve true success. Sometimes people get burned out from the grind that comes from being a pro athlete and they start to let their foot off the gas a little bit. Poyer has to find a way to actually prepare more now that he’s had some achievements so he avoids regressing. The Bills are a small market team and that means everything must be perfect in order for them to be able to compete against the upper echelon ball clubs. Jordan Poyer has to build on his positive momentum and will Buffalo back into contention. Otherwise all those other AFC franchises are going to do everything they can to make the Buffalo Bills’ latest playoff appearance a one time thing.

Charity of the day: Bob Woodruff Family Foundation

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Terrell Suggs is still a game changer heading into his 16th professional season. Despite his age the Ravens are lucky to have Suggs:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Baltimore Ravens are going to count on a 16 year veteran to help them get back on track this upcoming season. That player is Terrell Suggs and what an amazing career the 7x Pro Bowler has had. Suggs has been a force since entering the National Football League back in 2003. After attending Arizona State University Suggs burst on the pro scene recording 12 sacks in his rookie season. Suggs best year came in 2014 though when he put up 70 tackles, 14 sacks, and 2 interceptions. That was good enough to win Defensive Player of the Year honors and now the Ravens are hoping Suggs can get back to that level of play. Suggs did tally up 11 sacks last season so he’s not that far off from the Defensive Player of the Year pace. With his career winding down it would be nice to see number 55 finish off his playing days with a bang. It’s a long shot that Baltimore will win the Super Bowl but Suggs could lead the NFL in sacks. It’s hard to believe at 35 years old this guy will play a couple more seasons but then again you never know. Julius Peppers is 38 years old and still making a big impact for Carolina. Really it will come down to how well Terrell Suggs’ body is holding and whether or not he is motivated to play? Suggs recently came out and said that he isn’t afraid of CTE because he knows what he signed up for. That gives you an indication that the stand out Raven defender doesn’t fear the consequences of playing a long time. Which almost makes you believe that T-Sizzle could be on the field for at least two or three more seasons. Of course everything changes at the end of each season when players realize they don’t want to go through the grind anymore. So we’re going to have to take a wait and see approach for Suggs before we know what’s in store for him? One thing is for certain if Suggs is on the field he’s going to produce and he’s going to make a lot of big plays. Which means the Baltimore Ravens organization will keep their top defender around as long as he wants to suit up.

Charity of the day: Bob Woodruff Family Foundation

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Geno Atkins is still one of the best defensive lineman in the National Football League at 30 years old. Atkins is in the last year of his contract with Cincinnati and it would be nice to see him go somewhere else:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Cincinnati Bengals have made it public that they would like to re-sign Geno Atkins immediately. However you have to wonder if Atkins wants to return to the Bengals? Cincinnati has struggled the last couple of years and seem to be a long ways away from true success. On the surface there doesn’t appear to be any resentment between this organization and Atkins. At the same time though losing has to get frustrating and Cincy still needs several key pieces before they’re a true contender. Ultimately the Southern Ohio area has been great to Geno Atkins and that support has to be amazing. In contrast to all that though it would be nice to see Atkins go somewhere else and get a fresh new start. Atkins had 46 tackles and 9 sacks as an interior defensive lineman last season and that would be a big help to so many other teams. The 49ers, Titans, and Bears all have plenty of cap room to bring Atkins aboard and those organizations are also heading in the right direction. Obviously there’s a whole season that will play out before Geno Atkins has a chance to test free agency. Yet it feels like a change a scenery would serve the veteran pass rusher well. You can’t fault Geno Atkins if he wants to stay loyal to Cincinnati after everything they’ve been through together. It’s pretty easy to get behind a player staying true to the team that drafts him. From a league and fans stand point though it would be nice to see Atkins in a big market playing for an elite football team. That’s because Atkins is such a fun player to watch and a lot of that goes unnoticed when he is playing with the Bengals. That’s the last thing you want to happen with a player of this caliber.

Charity of the day: Huntington’s Disease Society of America

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Denver needs to have a plan for this upcoming draft. There’s zero margin of error for the Broncos:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Now that the Denver Broncos have signed Case Keenum to be their quarterback they’ll have to address the other positions on their roster. The most obvious weakness is on the offensive line because the Broncos gave up 52 sacks last season. Keenum can’t survive in that kind of environment and Denver must draft an offensive lineman at some point. The question is whether or not that’s in the first round (Quenton Nelson) or in the second round with someone like Billy Price? Nelson is the top lineman in the draft and usually that would be the smartest move especially since Denver is paying Keenum $18 million annually. However it feels like Denver should take Bradley Chubb with their first pick and hold out for Price in the 2nd. That’s going to put the best defender in all of college football(Chubb) in-front of Von Miller. The tandem of Chubb and Miller would be absolutely unstoppable when it comes to rushing the quarterback. The Broncos need to go this route because it gives them a real chance to compete in 2018 and Billy Price isn’t a slouch either. It’s easy to believe that the former Buckeye would protect Keenum well and most likely would do so from day one. Elway really needs to get this draft right and that’s going to take some free thinking on his part. It’s so easy to follow the analysts consensus but every year those expectations are proven wrong. The Broncos front office must go against the grain and be willing to do what’s best for their football team right now. Drafting a quarterback isn’t the solution because that’s not a player who will get on the field right away. On top of all that Bradley Chubb could end up being the next great defensive end in the NFL. That’s just too much talent to pass up on.

Charity of the day: Huntington’s Disease Society of America

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