Patriots

2019 NFL Draft rumors live blog: Latest first-round news, reports, buzz

2019 NFL Draft rumors live blog: Latest first-round news, reports, buzz

The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft will take place Thursday night in Nashville, and the rumor mill is in overdrive.

A lot of the trade rumors involve Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen. Rosen was the 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft by Arizona and had a good-not-great rookie season. The Cardinals own the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, and the top prospect is Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. If the Cardinals select the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, there's no need to keep Rosen on the roster going forward.

How many teams would trade for Rosen? One team linked to the UCLA product has been the New England Patriots, who have 12 picks (tied for the most) in this draft. The Patriots don't have a worthy successor to Tom Brady on their roster right now, so it wouldn't be shocking if they took a QB in this draft or made a trade.

Much of the other buzz includes teams that might trade up or down in Round 1. If Murray or another top prospect starts to slip, we might see some action later in the night. Many of the quarterbacks taken in the first round over the last few years were selected by teams that traded up for that particular player. The best recent case was the Kansas City Chiefs moving up to No. 10 in 2017 to take Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who just won the NFL MVP award.

Keep it right here throughout the night as we track all the notable trade rumors, reports and overall buzz from the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

11:42 p.m.: The Giants and Falcons have traded back into the first round.

11:09 p.m.: The Redskins are back in the first round, and they didn't give up a ton to do it.

10:43 p.m.: We're starting to see a little more trade action in the last third of Round 1.

9:26 p.m.: The Pittsburgh Steelers have traded up to the No. 10 pick in a deal with the Denver Broncos. Here are the details.

The Steelers used the pick to select Devin Bush.

8:34 p.m.: Notes on the Jets (No. 3 pick) and Josh Rosen.

8:08 p.m.: With Kyler Murray and Josh Rosen in the fold, the Cardinals now have a surplus at quarterback.

7:57 p.m.: The Oakland Raiders need a pass rusher, and Nick Bosa was one of the best in college football last season.

7:41 p.m.: Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has been the projected No. 1 pick in just about every NFL mock draft. 

7:05 p.m.: Could the Texans be looking to trade one of their elite pass rushers?

6:22 p.m.: Here are some teams that could move up in the first round.

6:15 p.m.: Could a trade between AFC East rivals be brewing?

5:30 p.m.: Could the Giants wait and not pick a quarterback in the first round?

5 p.m.: The Patriots draft board reportedly is small.

4:33 p.m.: Sounds like the Cardinals have narrowed their options with the No. 1 pick down to three names.

4:23 p.m.: Could we see a little movement in Round 1? Here's the latest.

2:40 p.m.: Could the Patriots trade up for Iowa tight end Noah Fant? Here's what Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst said on a recent podcast.

"But I've been told the Patriots will seriously consider trading up for Fant. That's how much they like him."

2:10 p.m. ET: Let's start off with some rumors from earlier in the day.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Chiefs fan who shined laser in Tom Brady's face pleads guilty in court

Chiefs fan who shined laser in Tom Brady's face pleads guilty in court

The Chiefs fan who shined a laser pointer in Tom Brady's face during the AFC Championship game pled guilty to the charge in court on Wednesday.

Dwyan Morgan, 64, was charged with disturbing the peace for the Jan. 20 incident and faced time in prison. However, upon hearing Morgan's plea, the judge opted to hit him with a $500 fine instead, per TMZ Sports.

If convicted, the charge carried a maximum of one year behind bars plus a $1,000 fine.

Morgan was let off easy in court, but he was punished far more severely by the Chiefs, who banned him from Arrowhead Stadium shortly after the NFL's investigation.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Will N'Keal Harry's contested-catch prowess translate to the NFL?

Will N'Keal Harry's contested-catch prowess translate to the NFL?

Leading up to the start of Patriots training camp, we'll try to answer one question every day as a way of giving you a better idea of where we'll have our focus trained when practices begin. Today we take a look at Patriots first-round pick N'Keal Harry, the skill set that helped him light up the Pac-12, and whether or not that'll translate at the next level.

Tom Brady, for all the superlatives he's earned, isn't the most daring of quarterbacks. He's always cognizant of just how devastating an interception can be to his team's chances of winning, but he's been so careful at times that even he will occasionally admit he needs to take more risks.

“Maybe part of my problem as I’ve gotten older is I want to make so few mistakes,” he told WEEI last season. “Maybe there’s not as much aggressiveness as I would like because with aggressiveness comes more risk. We have, like, a 95 percent chance of winning when we don’t turn the ball over and I think that’s always in the back of my mind, being a little less fearful with the ball and a little more aggressive."

Still, Brady finished last season as one of the most risk-averse quarterbacks in football in 2018. Per NextGen Stats, he was the No. 27 passer (among quarterbacks with at least 150 attempts) when it came to their "aggressiveness" percentage metric, which tracks the number of passing attempts a quarterback makes that are into tight coverage, where there is a defender within one yard or less of the receiver at the time of completion or incompletion. 

Brady has the ability to thrive when he rolls the dice, though. According to Pro Football Focus, he's graded out as among the five best quarterbacks in football over the last three years when attempting "tight-window" throws.

The question now? How often will Brady be willing to gamble, particularly with two of his best tight-window receivers -- Rob Gronkowski and Josh Gordon -- currently out of the mix? 

The answer could depend on how well the rapport between Brady and first-round pick N'Keal Harry develops through training camp.

Harry's calling card at Arizona State was his ability to make contested catches. His highlight reel is littered with jump balls in the end zone and leaping catches -- sometimes one-handed -- deep down the middle of the field. His strength to fight off handsy defensive backs at the catch point (27 bench reps of 225 pounds, 99th percentile) and his eye-popping vertical (38.5-inches, 84th percentile) certainly help him in that regard.

"I would say that one of the things he does well is he plays the ball in the air," Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said after the first night of the draft. 

"I'd say the coverage in this league is tight, regardless of the type of player or receiver that you are. The coverage is tight. You're going to have to make some plays in some tight quarters. Receivers have to do it. Tight ends have to do it. I mean, James White, I know he plays running back, but he's involved in the passing game, [he has to do it]. 

"The windows are smaller, the catches are going to be more contested. If a player has the ability to do that, that's maybe one of his strengths. It was one of Rob's strengths. He can make contested catches. Everybody has something that they do well . . . They have to maximize the attributes that they have."

According to Pro Football Focus, Harry reeled in 53.2 percent of his contested targets at Arizona State, which was the second-highest percentage among receivers in this year's draft class. (West Virginia's Gary Jennings was first at 54 percent.) Harry's 17 contested catches last season tied him for second (along with Patriots undrafted free-agent addition Jakobi Meyers) among draft-eligible receivers last year.

How often Brady gives Harry the opportunity to make those types of plays will be fascinating over the course of the next month or so. Brady traditionally hasn't leaned on rookie wideouts as one of his go-to options, but the Patriots have never taken a receiver in the first round during Brady's career. And one would think that camp is the perfect time for Brady to figure out when he can trust Harry to make a play on a 50-50 ball and when it might be best to lob one out of bounds. 

Harry's not thought of as a burner; he ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the combine. But if recent history is any indication, wideouts with contested-catch ability, even if they don't have track-star speed, can succeed in the NFL. 

DeAndre Hopkins is probably the league's best example of that phenomenon. He's not in the conversation for fastest wideout (4.57 40 in 2013), but he is in the conversation as one of the best receivers in the game because of his ability to use his body and play the ball in the air. He caught 58.1 percent of his contested targets last season, good enough for fifth in the league. 

Michael Thomas of the Saints (4.57 40 in 2016) showed "the ability to go up and win the ball" at Ohio State, according to Pro Football Focus' scouting report from three years ago. It's served him well as he's developed into one of the top pass-catchers in the game. He ranked eighth in the league last season by catching 56.7 percent of his contested targets.

Mike Williams of the Chargers (ninth, 56.5 percent) and Chris Godwin of the Bucs (10th, 52.0 percent) are among the best in the NFL at making plays in tight windows as well, and their scouting reports coming out of college were similar to those written up on Harry. 

NFL.com on Harry: "Wins jump balls with well-timed leaps and frame to shield the finish...Downhill speed fails to threaten most cornerbacks."

PFF on Williams: "May not create enough separation to fit with every quarterback style. Needs aggressive passer to allow him to win at the catch point in contested situations."

PFF on Godwin: "Catches the ball in traffic, using his frame to box out defensive backs...Does not consistently separate against man coverage."

Does that mean that as a rookie Harry will match the production of players like Williams, Godwin or any other established NFL wideout? Not at all. He acknowledged he has a long way to go saying back in May, "I haven't done anything in the NFL yet. It's my job to put in the work and perform and live up to expectations."

But it's clear with Gronkowski retired (for now) and Gordon's availability up in the air that the Patriots went after tight-window artists to help Brady, picking up Harry, Meyers and Demaryius Thomas (third among receivers at converting contested catches in 2017).

Harry, of course, will draw more attention on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium next week than any of the new acquisitions in Bill Belichick's receiver room. Can he get off of press coverage when the pads come on? Can he win jump balls against bigger and more athletic defenders than the ones he saw in college? 

What happens in camp will be far from the final word on Harry's evaluation, but how well his skills translate this summer may give us a window into just how involved he'll be come the fall.  

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.