2020 NFL Draft

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NFL will block off first 6-8 rows of seats from fans this season

NFL will block off first 6-8 rows of seats from fans this season

There will be no "dream seats" at NFL stadiums this fall, even if fans are allowed in the stands.

The league plans to block off the first six to eight rows of every lower bowl section, including field-level suites, in order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, according to Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal. Those sections will be tarped off, and teams will be given the option to sell signage to local sponsors that will be seen on TV.

According to the Sports Business Journal, the seats covered by tarps will look familiar to those in the English Premier League, which resumed its season last week with no fans.

On Tuesday, The Athletic reported that the NFL will not place a limit on capacity at games, allowing each individual team to make the decision themselves.

"Attendance will be a state-by-state, county-by-county thing," an anonymous NFL source told The Athletic. "It will not be a one size fits all."

Both the Redskins and Ravens told NBC Sports Washington on Wednesday that they plan to follow state and local regulations to determine how many tickets (if any) they sell for home games this fall.

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Drafting Jalen Hurts was a 'stupid pick' by the Eagles, Philly beat reporter Dave Zangaro says

Drafting Jalen Hurts was a 'stupid pick' by the Eagles, Philly beat reporter Dave Zangaro says

One of the most surprising moves of the 2020 NFL Draft was when the Philadelphia Eagles selected Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts with the 53rd overall pick.

Where Hurts was selected -- the middle of the second round -- was not shocking, as the passer was expected to come off the board around that time. Rather, it was the fact that Philly was the team to draft Hurts, especially with Carson Wentz just 27 years old and under contract for five more seasons.

In a recent interview with the Redskins Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro expressed his opinion on the Eagles' selection, and it wasn't a fond one.

"The Jalen Hurts thing was strange," he said. "To get my opinion out there, I think it was a stupid pick."

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The thinking behind the selection is simple: the Eagles wanted an upgrade at backup quarterback. Whether it's fair or not, Wentz has developed the reputation of being an injury-prone player, even though he's missed just eight regular-season games over his four-year career.

Wentz played all 16 games for the Eagles in 2019, just the second time he's played a full season. During Philadelphia's Wild Card matchup with the Seahawks, Wentz was forced to leave early with a concussion and would not return. Additionally, both his 2017 and 2018 seasons ended with trips to the Injured Reserve list, too.

Despite the Eagles' injury concerns with Wentz, using a mid-second round pick on a player that in the best-case scenario likely won't even see the field didn't make sense to Zangaro.

"They had the chance with the 53rd pick in the draft to go out and get a guy to help them win a Super Bowl, which is what they should be trying to do right now with a 27-year-old franchise quarterback," he said. "Instead, they went with an insurance policy.

"I understand the idea of wanting insurance," Zangaro continued. "But there was a very poignant question asked to [Eagles GM] Howie Roseman after the pick, and it was 'What's the best-case scenario with Jalen Hurts?' If you ever need him to play, it's because your franchise quarterback got hurt."

Roseman's response was that the Eagles plan to build a "quarterback factory," and if Hurts becomes a solid prospect, the Eagles could eventually flip him in a trade.

To Zangaro, that thinking doesn't add up. If the Eagles wanted to trade current backup QB Nate Sudfeld, they'd get a late-round pick in return at best. Philly's fifth-round pick from a year ago, Clayton Thorson, didn't even make the roster last season.

Also, if the Eagles were to trade Hurts in the future, it's worth wondering if the value in return for the passer would even come close to the value of the second-round pick they used to draft the quarterback in the first place.

"Say Hurts becomes a good prospect and they have an asset they want to trade, were they ever going to get more than the 53rd pick for him?" Zangaro asked. "No way."

Drafting Hurts shows the organization doesn't believe that their current franchise quarterback can stay healthy, according to Zangaro. Sure, that thinking may be fair, but Zangaro believes if that's the rationale behind the selection, they should come out and say it, rather than making other excuses for the pick.

"They tried to explain it, and they're putting a lot of stock into that position," he said. "That's their go-to line. But to me, it kind of shows a lack of confidence that their quarterback can stay healthy. Which is fair, but come out and say it."

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J.K. Dobbins honors his father with his Ravens' jersey selection

J.K. Dobbins honors his father with his Ravens' jersey selection

Ravens' second round pick J.K. Dobbins has opted to wear No. 27 to begin his career in Baltimore. When the running back lines up in the backfield this fall, it will bring back a familiar sight for many.

Dobbins' size, running style -- and now number -- will mimic former running back Ray Rice's days as a Raven. Despite some on the field success, Rice is remembered more for his involvement in domestic abuse and assault cases that led to the end of his career in the NFL. Dobbins fully understands the perception of the No. 27 in purple from the past, but is solely set on what the future holds for the number now that he is sporting it.

"Ray Rice was an amazing player. People make mistakes," Dobbins said during an Instagram Live on Thursday, reported by the Ravens. "But I wear that number for myself because I want to set a legacy for my own self in that number."

Besides building his own story in the NFL, Dobbins landed on his new number largely due to its importance to his family. No. 27 was what his father Lawrence wore during his football career, which included a few phenomenal seasons at La Grange High School in Texas, the same high school J.K. Dobbins shined at.

"I always wore it in pee wee football. It was my dad's number," Dobbins said. "So the reason why I wear No. 27 is to honor my father."

Dobbins donned the number during his early days of football but then moved away from it for high school and college. Wearing No. 22 and La Grange and No. 2 at Ohio State, Dobbins explained that it was partially due to the fact that he didn't want to live in anyone else's spotlight.

"In high school, I feel like most teenagers have that stage where they want to rebel or be their own person," Dobbins said. "I wanted to be my own person instead of following and doing what my dad wore."

Now, his mindset has changed. With his father no longer around after he died due to a stroke when Dobbins was just 15, the running back wants to honor an important person from his life. For Dobbins, it's no longer about what No. 27 used to be in Baltimore. The number is a way for him to create his own story in the NFL and give new meaning to the stitched numerals on his jersey while paying tribute to his family in the process.

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