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Week Five Friday 10-pack

As the new ’68 VW bus rolls toward the train that will roll me to New York, I justify the write off by banging out the weekly Friday 10-pack.

This week, the write off extends to Tuesday, thanks to the Vikings-Jets Monday night game in the New Meadowlands Stadium.

I’ll be joining Paul Allen, Pete Bercich, and Greg Coleman of the Vikings Radio Network for the third quarter of the game, with the goal of being a little less disastrous than Christian Slater on Monday Night Football in 2006.

And so this week’s edition of the Friday 10-pack puts a little extra focus on the Monday night game.


1.  What will Favre do?

When the Vikings’ offense lines up to play the Jets on Monday night, quarterback Brett Favre will face a dilemma.

When Moss takes off down the field, drawing a cornerback from the line and a safety over the top, will Favre choose to try to be on the front end of one of those legendary rainbows that splash down into Randy’s arms, with Moss somehow securing possession even as he’s draped by two or three men — and possibly an official?  Or will Favre check down to one of the guys who’ll be facing single coverage, like Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe, or Adrian Peterson?

Favre acknowledged the dilemma during his press conference on Thursday.

“I’m like everyone else,” Favre said. “I’m watching the Monday night game, and I’m like, ‘He’s only been thrown to one time?’  So what if he’s covered?  That’s the thing about Randy.  So what if he’s covered?  But does that mean you just throw it to him and you got four other guys that are wide open?  There’s this added pressure.  Maybe it’s just I’m getting old.”

Favre needs to forget about the pressure and just play.  And he needs to defer to the coaches when it comes to distributing the football.  In some cases, it will make sense to chuck it deep, even if Moss is triple-covered.  In other cases, the smart move will be to take what the defense gives Favre.

And that’s why Favre is feeling pressure.  He knows his nature meshes with winging it deep, on pretty much every drive.  And in what apparently will be his final season (unless it isn’t), Favre finally has a guy who reliably will be in position to catch one out of every two or three of those bombs.  

How can Favre resist?  

2.  Revis need to zip it.

Earlier this year, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis called Randy Moss a slouch.  In Week Two, that slouch blew by Revis and made a one-handed grab for the ages, as Revis was playing the Al Czervik broken arm routine

Now, with Revis still recovering from a Moss-induced hamstring strain that traces to Revis’ August holdout, Revis again is taking shots at Moss, claiming that Randy shut it down in the second half of Pats-Jets game.  Revis even has influenced Antonio Cromartie, who by all appearances held Moss in check on a day Revis couldn’t, to join in the chorus, even though it minimizes Cromartie’s accomplishment from Week Two.  

Revis, who seems like a smart guy, isn’t smart enough.  He should take a cue from Bill Belichick and smother Randy in verbal bouquets.  Few other players find more motivation from external sources than Moss, and Moss will be even more ready to face the Jets, thanks to Revis and Cromartie.

3.  Pats set a dangerous precedent.

The circumstances were familiar.  A disgruntled receiver who wants more money from his current team or a trade to a new one begins to cause trouble, agitating and distracting until he gets what he wants or the whole thing explodes.

Five years ago, the “original 81” took that situation to the extreme, pushing the Eagles to the breaking point and beyond after Terrell Owens’ performance against the Patriots in the Super Bowl prompted Owens to push for a new contract.  The Eagles refused to relent, concerned in part that other players could thereafter try to talk their own way out of town.

With the “other 81” (who is now back to being the “original 84”), the Patriots decided not to dig in their heels, giving Moss what he wanted before the situation involved shirtless situps or press conferences featuring guys saying “next question.”  (OK, the second thing still happened anyway.)

Some will now say that the Patriots have set a dangerous precedent.  And anyone who would say that would be right.  Moss has given any future Patriot who wants a new deal or a trade to a team who’ll give him one a blueprint for getting out.

But here’s the thing.  Moss’ talent level and his accomplishments made the team more likely to relent.  Also, when the Pats acquired him in 2007, the transaction represented at a certain level a deal with the devil.  They knew that, eventually, the Moss who metastasized through the Minnesota and Oakland organizations would return, and they accepted the fact that, when it happens, they’ll deal with it.

Moving forward, the precedent that has been set may not be a problem because the Pats seem to be recommitting to the notion of acquiring only those guys who want to be there.    

4.  Will Cushing be the same?

Though most of the attention in Houston this week centers on receiver Andre Johnson, who’ll be a game-time decision a week after missing a game due to a lingering ankle problem, another player who should be watched carefully going forward is linebacker Brian Cushing, the two-time (literally) 2009 Associated Press defensive rookie of the year.

Cushing returns from a four-game suspension.  Unlike the other high-profile players whose quarter-season banishments have ended (Santonio Holmes of the Jets and Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers), Cushing’s punishment arose from a violation of the league’s policy regarding performance-enhancing substances.

Assuming, then, that Cushing actually cheated and that his multiple excuses (as the league concluded) hold less water than a fettucini strainer, the question will be whether he can play at the same level without the benefit of the steroids he took before chasing them with hCG in order to kick-start his natural production of testosterone, which shuts down during a steroids cycle.

If Cushing merely used steroids to speed the recovery of an injured knee in order to ensure that he’d be able to play in Week One of his rookie year, he should be able to play as well without them.

Until, of course, he gets injured, and he’s forced to rehab without the use of impermissible chemicals.

5.  Eagles are taking a huge gamble.

When the Eagles travel to San Francisco for a Sunday night game against the desperate and thus dangerous 49ers, they’ll have two quarterbacks:  Kevin Kolb and Mike Kafka.

If Kolb should have his helmet planted into the Candlestick turf like the stump of a used Christmas tree, the rookie from Northwestern will be pressed into service.

And so the Eagles are taking a huge gamble by not having on the roster a veteran with knowledge of and experience in the West Coast offense.  Last year, when Donovan McNabb went down and Kolb stepped up, the Eagles brought back Jeff Garcia in an effort to beef up a depth chart that otherwise included only Mike Vick.  How, then, can the Eagles choose to fly blind with the only alternative to Kolb being an unproven, unaccomplished, and (in comparison to Vick) dramatically less talented first-year player?

6.  Door should be open for Kolb.

The Eagles apparently are willing to assume (or at a minimum hope) that they won’t have to resort to Mike Kafka until Mike Vick returns from a rib/chest injury.  But what if Kevin Kolb plays as well as he did when Donovan McNabb had a rib/chest injury in 2009?

Coach Andy Reid
already has said that Vick remains the starter, something Reid said about Kolb when Kolb was injured.  If Vick was able to alter that status quo, it’s only fair that Kolb should be able to do the same thing.

Though Kolb currently is saying only the right things, Kolb has to be thinking that the door is open.  If he plays incredibly well (admittedly a big “if”, but not impossible), he needs to have a chance to take his job back.

And if Kolb doesn’t get the same consideration Vick received, Kolb will have clear cause to be upset.     

7.  Peppers comes home.

Bears defensive end Julius Peppers returns home on Sunday.  The one-time high-profile Carolina rookie has a simple goal — demolish the Panthers’ current high-profile rookie, quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

Though the Panthers may not win the game, they’ll surely be obsessed with preventing Peppers from having an impact.  They paid him millions, especially in his final season with the team, and he often complained.  At times, he underachieved.  At other times, it seemed that he didn’t give his all on every play.

If coach John Fox has any desire to finish out the season, he’ll find a way to use Peppers’ past words and actions (or inactions) to fire up the troops to give their best possible effort.  With quarterback Jay Cutler out due to a concussion, the Panthers have a chance to pull this one off.

And if the Panthers were to win only one game this year, like they did in the season that put them in position to pick Peppers, they’d likely want the one win to come against Peppers and his new team.

8.  Keep an eye on Kyle Orton.

When the Broncos traded quarterback Jay Cutler to the Bears for a pair of first-round draft picks, quarterback Kyle Orton was tacked onto the deal as an afterthought.

In his second season with the Broncos, Orton is anything but a forgotten man.

Orton currently leads all quarterbacks with 1,419 yards passing, a pace that would shatter Dan Marino’s all-time single-season record.  Though on one hand it’s not surprising given the extent to which the Broncos have tilted their offense toward throwing the ball, the players still need to execute, and no one ever dreamed that Orton would be able to do it.

If he can fire missiles throughout M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, Orton will move even closer to being regarded as an elite quarterback.

The truth could be that he’s already there.

9.  Colts have no silver lining.

Many league observers assume that the Colts’ slow start (they’re 2-2) represents a major shift from their recent history of 10-0 launches to the season.  The reality, however, is that it’s the second time in three years that the Colts have struggled in September and October.

In 2008, the Colts opened at 1-2 and later slid to 3-4 before catching fire, winning nine in a row.  That year, however, Peyton Manning was hampered in the early going by late-offseason surgery to clean a staph infection out of his knee.

This year, Manning is fine, notwithstanding rumors of lingering nerves problems in his neck.

So if we accept the fact that Manning is firing on all cylinders (and his numbers suggest that he is), the Colts have no reason to think things will get much better as the season unfolds.  It could be, then, that the pack finally is catching up to the Colts, and that the days of 12-or-more-win seasons are done.

At least for 2010.

10.  Uprising of the winless teams?

In one of the most parity-driven seasons since former Commissioner Pete Rozelle decided that seeing the Steelers, Cowboys, and Raiders competing for every Lombardi Trophy, four teams have been unable to navigate the first four weeks of the season with a win.

This week, each of the four winless teams could change the “0” to a “1” in the win column.

In Buffalo, the Bills welcome the up-and-down Jaguars, who probably are feeling a little too good about themselves after pulling off an unlikely win over the Colts.  In Detroit, the close-but-no-cigar Lions could have an exploding stogie in store for the Rams, who probably are feeling a little to good about themselves after winning two games in eight days.  In Charlotte, as mentioned earlier, the Panthers welcome Julius Peppers home, without having to face Jay Cutler.  And in San Francisco, the better-than-their-record Niners get an Eagles team that won’t have Mike Vick.

Don’t be shocked if each of these four 0-4 teams find a way to further prove the parity premise by pushing the bottom of the pack a step closer to the front.

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Eagles not concerned about Smallwood’s history

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The Eagles have devoted a fifth-round pick to a running back who brings plenty of baggage to the NFL.

As explained by Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com, the Eagles aren’t concerned.

Wendell Smallwood, a former West Virginia tailback, faced an allegation of witness intimidation in a second-degree murder case two years ago. His friend pleaded guilty, and the charge that Smallwood tried to convince a witness to change testimony was dropped.

Smallwood also has a history of posting social-media messages containing racial and homophobic slurs.

I don’t believe anything I said. I’ve grown,” Smallwood told reporters after his selection, via Josh Paunil of PhillyMag.com. “I’m sorry if I offended anyone.”

“We are aware of the social media statements Smallwood made. We don’t condone them,” Eagles executive V.P. of football operations Howie Roseman said, per Shorr-Parks. “We have no doubt or concern about what kind of person Smallwood is.”

Roseman explained that the team’s research led to the conclusion that there would be no issues in the future with Smallwood. If there are, somebody is going to be saying, “I told you so.” Here’s hoping no one ever has a reason to say that about Smallwood.

 

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Colts “progressing well” on “complicated contract” for Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws a pass in the first half an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) AP

Colts owner Jim Irsay said late last month that he’d like to have a new contract for quarterback Andrew Luck wrapped up before the fireworks went off to celebrate July 4, but he’s backing off that date as a milestone to watch in talks for a new deal.

Irsay discussed the status of contract talks while talking to the media on the final day of the draft and said that there’s been progress toward an agreement. Irsay expects the deal to get done, but said that he’d be happy getting it done during camp or the preseason if that’s how long it takes.

“Talks are progressing well. We have made progress,” Irsay said, via ESPN.com. “I mentioned Fourth of July before. I don’t think that marker is something that needs to be watched as an indicator. We should be able to come to a deal. Until you do, we still have ground to cover. There’s no question about that. It’s a complicated contract. It’s one that has to work both ways to make sure we’re able to field a great football team. … There are times when you get to camp, you’re into the preseason, you can still get something done.”

Luck is in the final year of his rookie contract and has a $16.155 million salary. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco currently has the highest annual average for quarterbacks at a bit more than $22 million and one of the complications is surely where Luck will rank on that front as well as in guaranteed money in relation to his peers.

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Cowboys draft basketball player Rico Gathers

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 10:  Rico Gathers #2 of the Baylor Bears cheers on his team during a game against the Texas Longhorns in the second half during the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Basketball Tournament at Sprint Center on March 10, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. Baylor won 75-61. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) Getty Images

No college football experience? No problem for the Cowboys on Day 3 of the draft.

In the sixth round, the Cowboys pulled the trigger on a high-risk, high-reward prospect: Rico Gathers of Baylor, who didn’t play college football but played on Baylor’s basketball team. The 6-foot-8, 275-pound Gathers wasn’t viewed as an NBA prospect, but he has the kind of natural athleticism NFL teams look for in tight ends, and he says he’s committed to putting in the hard work necessary to make the transition to football. In Dallas, he’ll learn from one of the best in the business in Jason Witten.

Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones hasn’t been afraid to take chances in this year’s draft. He used the fourth overall pick on Ezekiel Elliott, a very good running back who plays a position that some people think just doesn’t carry Top 5 value in today’s NFL. He then used his second-round pick on Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, who was a phenomenal college player but is recovering from a very serious knee injury. And now he’s taken Gathers with a late pick.

Gathers was an excellent rebounder at Baylor, and now the Cowboys are hoping he can go up and get some footballs, too.

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Dolphins trade cornerback Jamar Taylor to Browns

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 29:  Devin Smith #19 of the New York Jets catches a touchdown pass against Jamar Taylor #22 of the Miami Dolphins in the second quarter during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 29, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

We have our first trade involving a veteran player in this year’s draft.

Cornerback Jamar Taylor has been traded from the Dolphins to the Browns, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The deal was for an exchange of seventh-round picks, with the Dolphins moving up in the last round.

There had been no previous reports that the Dolphins were looking to move Taylor or that the Browns were looking to acquire him, but apparently the Cleveland regime thinks there’s a place for him on the Browns’ defense, and the Dolphins weren’t sure he’d make their roster this year.

Taylor was a second-round pick of the Dolphins in the 2013 NFL draft who played in 12 games for the Dolphins last year, starting six.

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Derek Watt drafted by Chargers, could face big brother J.J. this season

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 26: Derek Watt #34 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs with the football during the second half against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Camp Randall Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) Getty Images

The 2016 draft is rolling toward its conclusion and one of the names to come off the board in the sixth round carries with it the prospect of an interfamily collision in Week 12.

That’s when the Texans host the Chargers and we could see the Watt brothers butt heads during the game. You’re likely familiar with the work of Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and he was been joined as an NFL draft pick by his brother Derek on Saturday afternoon.

The Chargers took Derek Watt with the 198th overall pick. He followed his brother to Wisconsin, but landed on the other side of the ball as a fullback that lined up as a tight end/H-back at times as well. Watt caught 15 passes during the 2015 season and also saw a lot of time on special teams.

He’ll probably need to keep doing that to stick around the NFL long enough to set up the chance to block his brother while trying to open running room for former college teammate Melvin Gordon.

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Bills sixth-rounder Kolby Listenbee calls himself NFL’s fastest man

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 3: Kolby Listenbee #7 of the TCU Horned Frogs carries the ball against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the game on September 3, 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

New Bills rookie Kolby Listenbee isn’t lacking for speed. Or confidence.

Listenbee, a wide receiver from TCU whom the Bills chose in the sixth round of the NFL draft, declared in his first talk with Buffalo media that he believes he’s the fastest player in the NFL.

That might be a bit of an overstatement. Listenbee ran well at the Combine, clocking a 4.39-second 40-yard dash, but that was tied for the eighth-fastest this year, certainly not the fastest time of any current NFL player.

Listenbee, however, says he was running at the Combine while recovering from a sports hernia. And he was a good runner on the TCU track team, so he certainly has the speed to back up his confidence.

As a senior last year, Listenbee caught 30 passes for 597 yards, an outstanding 19.9-yard average, and scored five touchdowns. He also saw occasional action as a kickoff returner. The Bills hope he’ll keep using that speed in the NFL.

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Lions draft first QB since taking Stafford first overall in 2009

during the college football game at Michigan Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Getty Images

The Lions have drafted a quarterback for the first time since taking Matthew Stafford first overall in 2009 and they didn’t have to look far to find him.

Detroit ended the longest current drought without picking a quarterback by selecting Jake Rudock with the 191st pick in the draft. Rudock played a few miles down I-94 from the Lions in 2015 while quarterbacking Jim Harbaugh’s first Michigan team to a 9-3 regular season record and a 41-7 Citrus Bowl romp over Florida.

Rudock was mentioned as a possible target for the Lions in the pre-draft process when General Manager Bob Quinn talked about it being “good football business” to bring in a young quarterback. That’s a deviation from recent years in Detroit, where Dan Orlovsky is back for another year behind Stafford.

Rudock only spent one year in Ann Arbor, but gained a lot of experience in the Big 10 during two years as a starter at Iowa. He showed steady improvement during his year under Harbaugh and the Lions will hope that a dose of Jim Bob Cooter can keep the needle moving in the right direction.

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Browns drafting wide receivers (copy, paste, repeat)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  NFL head coach Hue Jackson attends the New Era Style Lounge at The Battery on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for New Era) Getty Images

The Browns drafted wide receiver Corey Coleman in the first round Thursday night.

Saturday, the Browns drafted a bunch more wide receivers. They started in the fourth round with Ricardo Louis of Auburn and continued in the fifth with Jordan Payton of UCLA and Rashard Higgins of Colorado State.

Also in the fourth, they selected Seth Devalve of Princeton, who’s listed by some as a wide receiver but is 245 pounds and is probably a tight end. This newest new Browns regime has a completely different strategy from past regimes, and it will make for a crowded receiver room when the rookies report for minicamp in two weeks.

Ray Farmer drafted one wide receiver in his two years as Browns general manager: Vince Mayle in the fourth round last year. Mayle was cut at the end of the preseason.

Prior to Mayle, the Browns had not selected a wide receiver in the regular draft since 2012. The Browns drafted currently suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft in 2012.

With Gordon suspended for all but five games over the past two seasons, the Browns haven’t had a No. 1 receiver. Travis Benjamin had a big year in 2015 but left for the Chargers in free agency. So, Coleman and Company will try to find snaps alongside veterans Brian Hartline and Andrew Hawkins, ongoing project Terrelle Pryor, holdover (for now) slot receiver Taylor Gabriel and Darius Jennings, who got some snaps late last season.

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Moritz Boehringer goes to Vikings in sixth round

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Moritz Boehringer got his first exposure to the NFL in Germany by watching a video of Adrian Peterson online when he was 17.

Now they’re going to be teammates with the Vikings.

Boehringer started playing the sport and became a wide receiver in the German league, impressed scouts and then landed on the draft radar with an impressive pro day workout at Florida Atlantic University earlier this year. The Vikings made Boehringer the first player drafted directly from Europe with the 181st pick.

The selection came shortly after Boehringer appeared on NFL Network and talked about the Vikings being his favorite team. Mike Mayock said that Vikings coach Mike Zimmer should call him so he could talk up Boehringer and Zimmer did give Mayock a buxz a short time later.

One imagines the Vikings were already considering Boehringer, who makes for a big target at 6’4″ and 225 pounds. He ran well at the pro day workout, so there’s a lot of raw material to work with. With four years of football experience in Europe, raw might not be a strong enough word so it’s up in the air where things will go from here.

That doesn’t make the story any less enjoyable on a Saturday afternoon.

[Photo credit: Vikings on Twitter]

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Ravens take Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds

ANNAPOLIS, MD - DECEMBER 28:  Keenan Reynolds #19 of the Navy Midshipmen rushes the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the third quarter of their 44-28 win during the Military Bowl at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on December 28, 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

After a great college career at Navy, Keenan Reynolds is getting his chance in the NFL. And he won’t even have to leave Maryland.

The Ravens chose Reynolds, the former Navy quarterback, in the sixth round at Pick 182. He was announced as a wide receiver, and that’s where he’s expected to play in the NFL.

It’s unclear at the moment whether Reynolds will be able to commit himself fully to football right away. His obligations to the Naval Academy mean he could be pressed into full-time military service for as long as five years, although last year the Pentagon allowed another football player, Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona, to play a full NFL season while doing work for the Navy in the offseason.

Reynolds is the NCAA’s all-time record holder in touchdowns, so his college football pedigree is great. It’s unclear how well he’ll be able to transition from a run-first quarterback in Navy’s option offense into a slot receiver, punt returner or anything else the Ravens want him to do. But he has earned a chance in the NFL.

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Chiefs add Kevin Hogan, reportedly tried for Paxton Lynch in first round

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Kevin Hogan #8 of the Stanford Cardinal runs in an 8 yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the 102nd Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2016 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

After the Broncos traded up to take quarterback Paxton Lynch in the first round of the draft, Lynch’s agent Leigh Steinberg said in an interview on 104.3 The Fan in Denver that the Chiefs joined the Cowboys as teams that tried to land his client.

The Chiefs had the 28th pick in the first round and traded out of that spot after the Broncos snagged Lynch at No. 26. General Manager John Dorsey didn’t say whether that was the case, but said, via ESPN.com, they made the deal because a couple of players they targeted were off the board.

Kansas City did get a quarterback in the fifth round of the draft when they selected Kevin Hogan of Stanford with the 162nd overall pick. Hogan was the starter for the Cardinal for most of the last four years and finished his college career with a 65.9 completion percentage and 75-29 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Hogan, who also ran for 15 touchdowns, doesn’t have the biggest arm and may have a ceiling as a game manager, but there are worse traits to build a career as an NFL backup around. Aaron Murray and Tyler Bray will likely battle to back up Alex Smith in 2016 with Hogan as the No. 3 to start his time as a professional.

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Jason Licht didn’t want to risk missing out on Roberto Aguayo

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Place kicker Roberto Aguayo #19 of the Florida State Seminoles kicks a field goal in the first quarter against the Oregon Ducks during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2015 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Buccaneers made Roberto Aguayo the first kicker to get drafted in the second round since 2004 on Friday night when they traded the 74th and 106th, which was acquired when they dropped two spots in the first round, picks to the Chiefs for No. 59.

It’s unusual enough to see a kicker get picked in the second round that General Manager Jason Licht’s decision would be questioned even if he hadn’t traded up to do so. After he did, he explained why the team was so aggressive about bringing Aguayo into the fold.

“Taking Roberto — the importance of special teams is paramount,” Licht said, via Pewter Report. “When you get a chance to get the best kicker in the history of college football, I didn’t want to risk it. I wanted to take him. I have a lot of confidence in him; I like the way he’s wired. I like the body of work that he’s put out there, obviously. A great kicker can be the difference in several games. I’ve been around some great ones: Adam Vinatieri, [Stephen] Gostkowski. Those guys are invaluable. We obviously took him, we used a pick to go up and get him. So we feel very confident about it. We needed to be bold there and we were.”

Aguayo went 69-of-78 on field goals — he was perfect inside 40 yards — and never missed an extra point in three years at Florida State, so he has the kind of resume you’d like to see when drafting a kicker at any point. That won’t stop the Bucs from hearing criticism from bucking conventional wisdom about their move for Aguayo, but it makes it easier to understand why the team was so adamant about leaving Chicago with him in the fold.

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Ronnie Stanley takes issue with Schefter’s Tunsil report

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Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley, the sixth pick in the 2016 draft, has faced some criticism for the perception he won’t always roll up his sleeves and rumble. On Saturday afternoon, Stanley has done just that, albeit on Twitter.

In the wake of a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the Ravens would have taken Laremy Tunsil over Stanley but for the gas-mask-and-bong video that surfaced right before the draft began, Stanley said this: “Hey Adam, you’re wrong.”

Stanley obviously cares about the report because it creates the impression that he was viewed as a fallback to Tunsil, propelled to the sixth pick only by Tunsil’s bizarre misfortune. Which suggests that the Ravens have told Stanley that he was their guy, regardless of the video.

Even if Tunsil really would have been the pick.

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Broncos land Devontae Booker in fourth round

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 07:  Running back Devontae Booker #23 of the Utah Utes rushes against the Washington Huskies on November 7, 2015 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Broncos brought back C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman in free agency, which means their top two running backs from last season will be back in 2016.

They added a new face to the mix in the fourth round on Saturday afternoon when they drafted Devontae Booker with the 136th overall pick.

Booker thrived as both a runner and receiver at Utah over the last two seasons and it wasn’t hard to find rankings that put him above several of the six backs that went ahead of him in the draft. Booker did tear his meniscus late last season and he’ll turn 24 next month, which might account for why he was still around late in the fourth round.

The Broncos are obviously comfortable with Anderson and Hillman, but a healthy Booker could work himself into the rotation by September if that versatility carries over to the professional ranks.

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Carl Nassib goes from walk-on to round three

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Three years ago, Ryan Nassib entered the NFL as one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft. He surprisingly slid to round four. At the same time, defensive end Carl Nassib was an unknown walk-on at Penn State.

On Friday, the younger Nassib ended up being drafted a round higher than his older brother.

The decision of the Browns to make Carl Nassib the 65th overall pick represents the culmination of an amazing journey from a kid who never gave up on his NFL dream. Perhaps no one is more amazed than his former college coach, Bill O’Brien.

“I can remember one story where he came and basically . . . I questioned how important football was to him,” O’Brien said last November, when Nassib was having a breakout season with the Nittany Lions. “He said to me, ‘Football is really important to me. I’m going to play pro football,’ and I said to him, ‘Are you kidding me?’ You need to be concerned about playing at Penn State. Forget about pro football.'”

Nassib reflected on O’Brien’s advice after being selected by Cleveland.

“I always had dreams of playing in the NFL since as long as I can remember,” Nassib said. “A lot of people did not agree with that and that never deterred me from my dream. Bill O’Brien told me what he thought so I just kept working my hardest and never let that phase me.”

As Nassib’s hard work has led to success, he has apparently worked even harder. Which means he could be working harder still now that he’s in the NFL.

“Earning a scholarship was incredible,” Nassib told reporters on Friday. “When I earned my scholarship, it really motivated me to let everybody that I was the real deal. It was a great experience at Penn State. I could not have asked for anything more from Penn State.”

The Browns will be asking for plenty from Nassib, a draft pick that the front office opted to use instead of trade.

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