NFL Draft

Ryan Nall goes undrafted but signs deal with Chicago Bears

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Ryan Nall goes undrafted but signs deal with Chicago Bears

Despite going un-drafted, running back Ryan Nall out of Oregon State University has joined the Chicago Bears. 

Nall was Oregon High School 6A Offensive Player of the Year prior to heading to Corvallis. Originally was expected to play tight end/h-back for the Beavers, but injuries forced him back to running back, where he thrived.

Nall joined a running back committee his freshman year, rushing for 455 yards and three touchdowns.

Nall would end up starting the next two seasons, but never reached the 1,000-yard mark. However, much of this had to do with injuries and inconsistent play along the front line. He managed to put up decent numbers despite the Beavers struggles to grab wins.

For his career Nall totaled 2,216 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. While those numbers may not jump out at you at first, consider that in they both rank among the Top 10 All-Time career numbers at OSU (8th most career rushing yards, and 7th most career rushing touchdowns).

 

Tyrell Crosby drafted by Lions in 5th round

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Tyrell Crosby drafted by Lions in 5th round

With the 153rd pick in the NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected Offensive Lineman Tyrell Crosby out of the University of Oregon.

Crosby was a first-team all-state selection in Nevada prior to heading to Eugene, and came to Oregon with high expectations. He didn’t start his career as a starter, but injuries on the line thrust him into the spotlight.

Crosby seized the opportunity presented to him, starting nine games at tackle and never letting go of the starting job.

Injuries cut his 2016 season short, forcing to miss all but three games, and gave him the juice to come back better than ever for his senior season. He did just that.

Crosby started all 13 games in his final season in Eugene, winning the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12 Offensive Lineman of the Year. He also earned numerous honors, including: First-Team All-Pac-12, College Madness Third-Team All-America, SB Nation and CollegeFootballNew Honorable Mention All-America, and Pro Football Focus First-Team All-Pac-12.

If you need any more evidence of how good he is, just looks at the career stats of the man he opened up running holes for: Royce Freeman

Crosby has all the tools for a long, lucrative NFL career.

 

Broncos select Royce Freeman with the No. 71 overall pick

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Broncos select Royce Freeman with the No. 71 overall pick

With the 71st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected running back Royce Freeman out of the University of Oregon.

Freeman is now the highest Oregon running back drafted since LaMichael James was selected 61st overall back in 2012.

Freeman was one of the best running backs in Oregon history. He jumped on the scene as a freshman and rushed for 1,365 yards and 18 touchdowns, earning a spot on the freshman All-American team.  

He doubled down his sophomore year, rushing for 1,836 yards and 17 touchdowns, earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors.

The Ducks expected big things from him in his junior year, but the injury bug limited him to just 945 yards. At that point in his career many people expected Freeman would declare for the draft, but he surprised everyone by coming back for his senior season.

In his final season in Eugene, Freeman rushed for 1,475 yards and 16 scores. When it was all said and done he passed LaMichael James to claim Oregon’s career rushing yards record (5,621) and career touchdowns record (60).

Freeman put up some good numbers at the combine, running a 4.54 40, throwing up 17 reps in the bench press, and showing off a 34 inch vertical leap. Now it is time to see what Freeman will do in Denver at the next level.  

2018 Oregon Sports News NFL Draft – First Round Reactions … And Overreactions

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2018 Oregon Sports News NFL Draft – First Round Reactions … And Overreactions

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First Round Reactions… and Overreactions

Winner of the Night… Los Angeles Chargers

A lot of people had the Chargers targeting a quarterback to be the heir to the throne when Phillip Rivers hangs it up. They likely would have had to trade up to grab a quarterback that they wanted. They didn’t have to do that to get a complete game changer for their team.

Dane Brugler is the NFL Draft scout that I respect the most. He puts everything into his scouting and evaluations of NFL players. He had Derwin James as his #8 player on his board. The Chargers sat and took him with #17. The Chargers add a freak athlete at the safety position.

Loser of the Night… New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints were set to pick towards the end of the first round at pick #27. All of a sudden the Saints were on the clock after trading for the #14 pick in the draft. They gave the Packers the #27 pick, the #147 pick, and their 1st round pick in 2019. Two first round picks and a 5th round pick to move up 13 spots. This has to be for the quarterback of the future, right?

They used the pick to draft Marcus Davenport, the Edge rusher from University of Texas – San Antonio.

Davenport is a raw pass rusher who has never played a high level of competition. Davenport played basketball and ran track in high school. He still has a lot of development in front of him to become worthy of all of the assets the Saints gave up.

Davenport could be a stud… but when the Saints were set to pick at #27 the more established rusher, Harold Landry, was on the board!

Quarterbacks

Baker Mayfield going first was no surprise if you were paying any attention to ESPN’s Adam Schefter at all on Draft Day. Sam Darnold goes to New York… the Jets. Josh Allen lands in Buffalo, where a lot of people thought he would. Josh Rosen winds up in the desert with the Cardinals.

For the first time in Draft history, four quarterbacks go in the Top-10.

Lamar Jackson later went to the Baltimore Ravens as the 32nd pick in the first round to make up the five quarterbacks that everybody thought would go in the first.

My favorite quote of the night was by the #10 pick Rosen, who said “there were 9 mistakes ahead of me.”

Running Backs

Saquon Barkley went to the New York Giants with the #2 pick. After that there was a lot of silence on the running back front until the Seahawks took Rashaad Penny with the 27th pick.

Both picks are crazy to me.

Barkley is a great back but I have said all along that the Giants needed to draft their quarterback of the future. Instead they took a running back at #2.

Then the Seahawks drafted Penny later on. Penny is a good back, but should have had no place in the first round. Penny is a small back that is brutally bad in pass protection. The Seahawks offensive line is bad enough already. You have to have a running back that can pick up a block occasionally.

After those two, Sony Michel went to the New England Patriots, which is an absolutely great fit.

There is SO MUCH running back talent left for Day Two of the NFL Draft. Derrius Guice, Ronald Jones, Kerryon Johnson, and Nick Chubb. All of whom I have rated as better running backs than who the Seahawks drafted in the first round.

Best Available Headed into Friday’s 2nd & 3rd Rounds

  1. Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
  2. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
  3. Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
  4. Justin Reid, S, Stanford
  5. James Daniels, OC, Iowa
  6. Ronald Jones, RB, USC
  7. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
  8. Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
  9. Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
  10. Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
  11. Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
  12. Rasheem Green, DE, USC
  13. Connor Williams, OG, Texas
  14. Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
  15. Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

Why the Seattle Seahawks traded back in the draft

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Why the Seattle Seahawks traded back in the draft

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The Seattle Seahawks trading their first-round pick to move back is nothing new for fans. We see this year after year because we understand that the NFL Draft is a big gamble. A scout can only do so much to predict if a college prospect will succeed in the NFL, and that leads to some of the best players in the NFL being drafted after the top picks in the first-round. Last year’s Pro Bowl game featured 86 players and only 34 of them were first-round picks.

I know that is not a perfect example, but it illustrates my point that the draft is a crapshoot. The smartest decision is to get more picks so you have a higher chance of getting a player that can contribute and excel for years. This year Seattle has more holes than usual and they need a couple guys that can come in and play significant snaps immediately. I believe the Seahawks need players at every position except for quarterback this year. Linebacker is the Seahawks second most stable position so I would avoid drafting a linebacker early as well.

Best case scenario is the Seahawks trade back in the first-round and then make another trade back into the second-round. They would accumulate at least four to five picks in this year and next year’s draft, that increases their chances of finding a starter or impact player.

What they got from the trade-

After making a trade with the Green Bay Packers the Hawks have a third-round and a sixth-round pick to play with, along with their original picks. The Seahawks believed Rashaad Penny was the right fit for them at pick 27, and they even said they were going to pick him at 18 until their trade was finalized. So, they got the trade they were looking for and the player they wanted. I wanted them to trade back but when Derwin James was almost available at our pick I wanted him on the team. He was the only player at that point that I would have taken over a trade.

Now, Seattle has Penny and will fit him into the offense. He has big play ability and has shown consistency throughout his career at San Diego State University. I wrote about him in an earlier article about which prospects I wanted Seattle to pick in this draft. I think he is an instant upgrade to our running back group and he could be the missing piece in the offense.

Snap Draft Judgements-

I liked the Seahawks moves, I thought they got what they could for a trade and selected someone they felt strongly about.

Lamar Jackson will be the best quarterback coming out of this draft class.

Derwin James will win Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Sony Michel will score 10 touchdowns this year with the New England Patriots.

Josh Allen will not pan out but will flash enough potential that he starts for three years.

I liked the New Orleans Saints’ trade the most out of all the trades, except for the one for Lamar Jackson, they got one of the best pass rushers in the draft to add to an improving defense.

I was tooting Frank Ragnow’s horn throughout the draft process and was very happy he was the first center picked.

I am very surprised both Harold Landry and Josh Jackson are still on the board for the second-round.

2017 NFL Mock Draft – who’s going number one?

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2017 NFL Mock Draft – who’s going number one?

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I love the NFL Draft. How many other sports can dominate the news cycle for weeks leading up to an off-season event? The intrigue in the draft has only increased in the social media age, with the increase in draft related content. And that is so great.

This is the time of year that every team is undefeated. Every team is selling hope for a brighter future. So many of these college kids are fulfilling a lifelong dream.

The thing that differentiates the NFL Draft and other major league sports drafts is just how many difference makers can be found in the draft. The NBA Draft feature 60 picks. Each year, only about 6-8 of those will turn into game changers for their teams, 2-4 will likely become All-Stars.

There are 253 picks in this year’s NFL Draft, nearly half of them will be called upon to start at some point during their rookie year. These are true franchise changing draft picks.

While it is impossible to correctly project all 253 draft picks in this weekends draft, I give my take on the top 32 selections in the first round.

1 – Cleveland Browns – DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

Cleveland has the first pick of the draft for a reason, they are a dreadful football team. One of their lone bright spots last year was the development of wide receiver Terrelle Pryor; well he left in free agency. This team needs an infusion of talent. Garrett is the best player in the draft. The Browns could go QB here, but would likely regret that by mid season.

2 – San Francisco 49ers – QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. New General Manager John Lynch needs to put his stamp on this team in the draft, no better way than by swinging for the fences and finding your franchise quarterback. Trubisky is raw but has all the tools. The 49ers need talent in a lot of places, but you can’t win in this league without an elite quarterback. I am not sold Brian Hoyer is the answer in the bay.

3 – Chicago Bears – CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

This is another spot that Trubisky had been rumored but the Bears just gave Mike Glennon a 3-year, $45 million contract. That would be a terrible use of resources for a team that is so deplete in talent in such a tough division. The Bears have to play Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Sam Bradford two times each season. Getting a cornerback that can help hold those guys under control is huge.

4 – Jacksonville Jaguars – RB Leonard Fournette, LSU

The Jaguars love power backs. They already have Chris Ivory on the roster, but that won’t stop them from drafting a guy that a lot of scouts think is a generational talent. Ezekiel Elliott really changed the way running backs are looked at in the first round. Fournette could, and should be great, unfortunately no one has much faith in the Jaguars organization when it comes to developing offensive talent.

5 – Tennessee Titans – S Malik Hooker, Ohio State

Hooker is a guy that not only will play right away, he will change the entire defense. Hooker has incredible ball skills and instincts, he can cover a ton of ground, and he will anchor this defense for years to come. To draft a safety in the top 5, a team has to know that the player will be a game changer, Hooker is that guy. Honestly in the discussion for best prospect in the whole draft.

6 – New York Jets – QB DeShaun Watson, Clemson

Trubisky is all about the upside and the tools that he has. Watson is all about the intangibles, experience, and leadership that he brings to a team. The way that Watson has played on the biggest stage the past couple years against Alabama has thrust him into the spotlight. I love a guy that has an edge, and leading up to the draft Watson has been quoted by saying that teams that draft Trubisky ahead of him will regret it. That’s confidence.

7 – Los Angeles Chargers – DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford

Joey Bosa was a great pick at #3 last year. This year the Chargers will look to continue to add defensive talent. The defensive bookends of Bosa and Thomas could be nasty for years to come. What Thomas brings to the table is a great football mind, a non-stop motor, and position flexibility. The Chargers would be lucky to have him fall to 7.

8 – Carolina Panthers – RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

If Fournette was here, I think that the Panthers would jump all over it. But the consolation prize is not a bad one at all. McCaffery is such a weapon. He can be a Pro Bowl running back, a very dynamic slot receiver, and an explosive return man. McCaffery matched up with Cam Newton in the Panthers scheme is nasty.

9 – Cincinnati Bengals – DL Jonathan Allen, Alabama

A lot of draft experts have connected the Bengals with some of the more high risk prospects of the draft. I just don’t know that a top 10 pick is going for some of the bigger question marks. Jonathan Allen is a mean defensive lineman. While his shoulders have taken him off of some teams’ draft boards, rumor has it that the Bengals don’t have the same concerns. This would be a great match.

10 – Buffalo Bills – WR Mike Williams, Clemson

Sammy Watkins has been great, and then hurt, and then pretty good, and then hurt, and then average. Now the team has questions whether they are going to take the 5th year option on his rookie contract. That puts his future with the team in future. Williams can be a #2 to Watkins if Watkins can stay healthy, or take over as the primary target.

11 – New Orleans Saints – DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee

The Saints have the luxury of having two 1st round draft picks. That gives them the ability to go best player available. They need to draft a cornerback early, but can do that with the 32nd pick. Here they go with a disruptive pass rusher that can dominate from both end positions. The Saints need to generate some quarterback pressure to cover other defensive inefficiencies.

12 – Cleveland Browns – TE O.J. Howard, Alabama

Garrett at #1, and the best tight end to come into the draft in years. Not a bad first round for the Browns. Howard has the rare ability to play inline as a blocker, and get down field as a receiver. The comparison has been to Greg Olsen, who is only one of the most reliable and consistent tight end targets in the league.

13 – Arizona Cardinals – QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech

Carson Palmer has maybe a couple good years left. Mahomes is a project that would be well suited to sit behind a veteran quarterback like Palmer. Mahomes has all the tools that you hope for in a quarterback; huge arm, leadership, ability to make any throw on the field. The Cardinals make a pick that will pay off in the next few years.

14 – Philadelphia Eagles – S Jamal Adams, LSU

The Eagles would love a running back or wide receiver here that could change their offense, and help the development of their second year quarterback. If Adams were to slip to 14, the Eagles would sprint to turn their card in. Adams is a big time playmaker and will help anchor the secondary for years to come.

15 – Indianapolis Colts – OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin

Andrew Luck is an elite quarterback. The biggest problem is that he can’t stay on the field for 16 games because he is constantly beat on. The offensive line has been terrible the past few years and the Colts will look to stop the bleeding a bit by going with a high upside tackle in the first round.

16 – Baltimore Ravens – WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan

Mike Wallace, Michael Campanaro, and Breshad Perriman are the Ravens top receivers. That just won’t get it done. Davis can be a number one receiver that can dominate possessions and demand attention from the defense which will open it up for the run game.

17 – Washington Redskins – LB Haason Reddick, Temple

Haason Reddick is one of the most versatile prospects in this draft, and the Redskins would be shocked and excited if he were available at #17. Reddick could be a rush end, a stand up linebacker, or a hybrid pass rusher that can disrupt every play. The Redskins need playmakers in the front seven and Reddick would make an impact Week One.

18 – Tennessee Titans – WR John Ross, Washington

Marcus Mariota is emerging as a quality NFL quarterback. The next step for this franchise is to surround him with weapons. Ross broke the 40-yard dash record at the combine and can stretch the field. If Ross can stay healthy after multiple knee injuries, he will be a steal mid way through the first round.

19 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State

Unfortunately for the Bucs, Doug Martin has flashed brilliance, but then a few weeks later looked like a backup. He is currently serving a suspension and will miss the first three games of the season. Cook would step in Week one and be a feature back. This is a great situation for Cook and the Bucs.

20 – Denver Broncos – OT Garett Bolles, Utah

You can’t analyze the needs in this draft without realizing just how badly the Broncos need offensive line help. Bolles has some questions off the field, and is 25 years old, but he would be a day one starter for a line that desperately needs his athleticism and technique.

21 – Detroit Lions – CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama

The Lions could go in a lot of different direction with this pick but I think they would be intrigued with adding a cornerback with the size and skill that Humphrey has. The Lions have Slay and Hayden, but they play in a division that is very pass heavy. Humphrey would carve out a very nice role for himself in Detroit.

22 – Miami Dolphins – OL Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky

Lamp was a relative unknown before the Senior Bowl, where he was the standout offensive lineman of the group. Lamp played left tackle at Western Kentucky, but projects to be an interior offensive lineman in the NFL. Jay Ajayi broke out as a quality running back in 2016 and would be well serve to have a more solid offensive line.

23 – New York Giants – TE David Njoku, Miami

I really don’t think that Njoku falls this far, just so happens to be the way that my draft falls. Njoku would be a great fit in a pass-heavy offense in the Big Apple. Eli Manning would be incredibly happy with a receiving corps of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Brandon Marshall, and Njoku.

24 – Oakland Raiders – LB Jarrad Davis, Florida

Davis is a guy that has started to shoot up draft boards. This is a linebacker that will make his impact felt early in his career. The Raiders look to be heading to an agreement to bring in Marshawn Lynch as their running back, so they will go defense in the first round on Thursday.

25 – Houston Texans – QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame

So many people are talking about how there may only be 1 or 2 quarterbacks taken in the first round. That is ludicrous. The quarterback position has never been more valuable and there are so many teams in the league that need a boost at that position. The Texans take a boom-or-bust prospect in Kizer for one simple reason, they need a quarterback.

26 – Seattle Seahawks – CB Kevin King, Washington

King played his college ball in Seattle, now he will play his professional ball in Seattle as well. King was the second best corner for the Huskies, but he is healthy and will be drafted a round or two sooner than Sydney Jones. King would be a huge addition to the Legion of Boom.

27 – Kansas City Chiefs – DL Malik McDowell, Michigan State

Kansas City has been rumored to have interest in a quarterback but with the top 4 off the board, they won’t go that direction. The Chiefs could trade out of the first round, but if they stay put they should take a swing for the fences. McDowell is big time talent, but has had some effort issues in his time at Michigan State. This would be one of the ideal landing spots for McDowell.

28 – Dallas Cowboys – DE Takkarist McKinley, UCLA

The Cowboys need secondary and pass rush help more than anything else in this draft. With cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Kevin King still on the board, I was tempted to go that way. In the end, I think cornerback is a deeper position and the Cowboys could get a quality starter in Round 2. Takk had an impressive combine, running a 4.59 40-yard dash. In comparison, that was faster than top wide receiver prospect Mike Williams, and faster than any top QB prospect in the draft. McKinley may not be ready Week One after a shoulder surgery post-combine, but will be a disruptive pass rusher as a rookie.

29 – Green Bay Packers – DE T.J. Watt, Wisconsin

The brother of J.J. Watt, T.J., is about to be drafted and the Packers would be an outstanding spot for Watt to land. The question a lot of people have is, would T.J. Watt be a first round draft pick if his last name were Johnson, or Smith? I’m not sure. His combine workout was good, and he is a talented rush end, but we’ll see if he can live up to his last name.

 

30 – Pittsburgh Steelers – LB Rueben Foster, Alabama

There are two major questions surrounding Foster. The first is his injury history. His shoulders have chronic issues, and he plays at 100% all of the time which leaves him open to injuries. The second question is the dilute drug test that is being reported. It isn’t technically a “failed” drug test, but it puts him into the NFL Drug program, and it raises major questions. Pittsburgh has a veteran defense that can take Foster under their wing and help him succeed.

31 – Atlanta Falcons – DE Charles Harris, Missouri

In my opinion, Harris is one of the safest picks in this draft. While he does not have the elite speed or the physical traits that some of the top prospects have, but he is consistent and can be dominant. Harris will make a team in the first round very happy with his addition.

32 – New Orleans Saints – QB Davis Webb, California

A 5th quarterback in the first round?? Crazy, right? Not really. Webb doesn’t deserve to be a first round draft pick but he may be a first round selection. The 5th year on the rookie contract is worth something to teams and someone may try to trade up into this spot to ensure that they could draft a project quarterback that is under contract for 5 years.