Is Andy Dalton the only thing holding the Bengals back against the Texans? Can the Vikings repeat against the Packers? Will the Ravens play harder in honor of their retiring emotional leader? Who will win the battle of the rookie QB between Russell Wilson and RGIII?This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: PFT Sunday picks
The Chiefs didn’t have a pick in the first round and Mississippi State defensive tackle Chris Jones didn’t get picked in the first round despite getting an invite to the green room, but both waits came to an end with the 37th overall pick.
Former Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson announced the pick for the Chiefs, who traded their first round pick to the 49ers on Thursday night. Jones was selected with a pick they received in return and Kansas City also has the 59th overall selection.
Jones declared for the draft after his first full year as a starter in Starkville, which saw him show a lot of potential as a pass rusher from the interior of the line. There were some knocks about his effort level, although he showed at the combine that he could keep running even when his wardrobe wasn’t cooperating.
Jones will play alongside Dontari Poe this season, but Poe is entering the fifth and final year of his contract so the partnership could be a short-lived one.
The Chargers addressed a need and got their tight end of the future by selecting Hunter Henry at No. 35 overall.
Eight-time Pro Bowler Antonio Gates will be 36 in June. Henry is not just the team’s tight end of the future, though. He’ll be asked to contribute right away.
The Chargers lost tight end Ladarius Green to the Steelers via free agency in March. Green only played in 26 games over four years, and though he was good in stretches he was never healthy or consistent enough to fulfill his potential.
Henry, 21, was an All-SEC pick last season for Arkansas after he had 51 receptions for 739 yards and three touchdowns.
The Jaguars have added two of the top defensive players in this year’s draft, although one of them comes with major question marks.
The Jaguars gave up a fifth-round pick to move up two spots in the second round to take UCLA linebacker Myles Jack 36th overall.
Jack would have likely been a top 10 pick if not for concerns about his knee, and the fact he admitted he might need microfracture surgery. That scared off plenty of teams, and the Jaguars in the first round.
But by pairing Jack with cornerback Jalen Ramsey, they’ve added a pair of playmakers to a defense that needed them. If Jack is healthy enough to play for long, they have a chance to make the kind of strides on defense they did on offense last year.
Coupled with last year’s first-rounder (defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., coming off a torn ACL), the Jaguars are crossing their fingers and hoping for health.
The Cowboys made Smith the third pick of the second round on Friday night, 34th overall, and the selection backs up a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN this week that there was interest in taking him before the more common predictions of the third round for the Notre Dame product.
Smith suffered a severe knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl and there are serious concerns about nerve damage to sort out, leaving the Cowboys to take a gamble on a player that would have been gone in the first 5-10 picks if he was healthy. That’s a bet that could pay off handsomely given the kind of playmaker Smith was in South Bend, but there’s a way to go before we’ll have any idea if he’ll still be that kind of player.
Taking that risk won’t help them turn things around in 2016, however, so the defense will still need to be addressed as the draft progresses for the Cowboys.
The Broncos traded up five spots in Thursday night’s first round to select Lynch. The report said Broncos general manager John Elway only wants three quarterbacks for the team’s offseason practices so all three can get reps.
Sanchez has not been a full-time starter since 2012. The Broncos acquired him in a trade in March.
Hoyer had visited the Broncos last week after being released by the Texans.
The Titans teased at the possibility of trading out of the 33rd pick.
But they apparently liked Kevin Dodd too much to pass up.
The Titans took the Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd with the second pick of the second round.
The 6-foot-5, 277-pound Dodd was overshadowed by teammate Shaq Lawson last year, but had 12.0 sacks and attracted plenty of attention in his own right. He wasn’t there to shake the commissioner’s hand, as he left after not being chosen in the first round last night.
The Titans needed all the pass-rush they can get to make Dick LeBeau’s defense work, and Dodd gives them a chance to improve there.
The second day of the 2016 NFL draft is underway, and in a bit of a surprise, the Cleveland Browns actually made a pick, rather than making a trade.
The Browns took Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah with the 32nd overall pick, a selection that they think will provide them with a powerful pass rusher for years to come.
Cleveland’s primary priority in this year’s draft has been to stockpile more picks, and they’ve already acquired an extra 2017 first-round pick, 2017 second-round pick and 2018 second-round pick. But while there was talk that the Browns had offers for the 32nd pick, they liked Ogbah enough that they decided to stay put and take him.
A native of Nigeria, Ogbah as the Big 12 defensive player of the year in 2015, and he’s a big part of a rebuilding effort in Cleveland.
In preparing for the draft, NFL teams always try to find out whatever they can about other teams’ draft boards, while staying quiet about their own draft boards. This year, the Ravens were able to find out a secret that the Chargers kept from the public: They loved Ohio State’s Joey Bosa.
Everyone was surprised when the Chargers took Bosa with the third overall pick in the draft. Everyone, that is, except Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta, who announced the pick in advance to everyone in the Ravens’ draft room.
“San Diego is taking Bosa. Bosa was on the phone for two hours on Tuesday night with [Chargers Owner] Dean Spanos,” DeCosta told the room, according to the team’s website.
“How good is that information?” coach John Harbaugh asked.
“Guy who told me has not been wrong through the years,” DeCosta replied.
The guy wasn’t wrong last night, either. But the Chargers will surely be interested in knowing who spilled the beans.
Many have been confused by Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford’s desire to leave Philly. Former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn isn’t. Quinn explained Bradford’s mindset during a Friday visit to PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio.
“He came into the league being a guy who got paid $60 million to be a starting quarterback and to play and really didn’t have to deal with any sort of competition throughout his career because economically he was paid so much,” Quinn said. “I think he finds himself now in a situation where that’s what he comes to expect and that’s all he knows. He’s never had to necessarily grind it out and compete against someone else on the roster.
“So he signs a new contract and he’s thinking, ‘Alright, I’m the guy for this team for at least the next couple years.’ He feels like, ‘Well, I don’t have to deal with worrying about the second overall pick in the first round to compete with and hear the fans clamor for him the second that I throw an interception, the second I end up playing bad.’ He’s never had to adjust to that before in his career, so he doesn’t know how to deal with it and he wants to go somewhere where he feels like he can be the guy. He probably feels that way because he had his best statistical season last year for the Philadelphia Eagles. Even though he hasn’t been healthy for 16 games throughout his career he still wants to be the guy. He still thinks he has the ability to be the guy so he’s just looking for that opportunity. So you could see why he would feel that way, unfortunately that’s just not the position that he’s in anymore in the NFL. It’s not like he’s the first pick overall coming in the draft, like a Jared Goff, who has some time to prove himself. He now has to prove himself even among his own roster and his own quarterback room.”
Quinn makes a lot of sense. Hopefully, Bradford will see what Quinn had to say and take it to heart. While it may take some time to get Eagles fans back on Bradford’s side (if they ever were), Bradford’s best bet is to accept his changed circumstances and commit to competing. It’s something many quarterbacks far more accomplished than Sam Bradford have had to do.
The son of ESPN analyst and former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis is facing third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.
Ray Anthony Lewis III, a sophomore defensive back at Coastal Carolina University, turned himself in Friday. Two alleged victims told police he assaulted them on Jan. 23 at an apartment near the Coastal Carolina campus.
His arrest warrant alleges knowledgeable sexual battery of an 18-year-old female who was incapacitated from the use of drugs and/or alcohol.
Lewis III, 20, transferred to Coastal Carolina after playing two seasons at the University of Miami, his father’s alma mater.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might have found Laremy Tunsil’s fall “exciting,” but the president of the players union found it offensive, and hopes generations of young players learn from what happened to the new Dolphins tackle.
NFLPA president and Bengals tackle Eric Winston took the league to task for the mixed messages they were sending players at the draft this weekend, as Goodell exulted in how the drama surrounding Tunsil’s being hacked, shamed and losing millions of dollars was good for (his) business.
In a series of messages on Twitter that threatened to turn into a Jerry McGuire-style mission statement, Winston made it clear the difference between the union’s feelings and the league’s.
“I have been stewing over what happened last night and what was said earlier today. This is what I think:,” he wrote. “Last night everyone saw a young man’s dream turn into a nightmare. The mistakes he made in the past were released out there to millions with an intent to harm him. What did the NFL do? Nothing. In fact, if Roger is to be believed, they loved it because it made the draft “so exciting.”
“The NFL invested big on this marketing campaign of ‘family.’ It was all over Chicago on every billboard.
Let me dish out some free advice to the young men coming into this league this weekend: they are not your family. This is a business.”
“I hope that what Laremy said is true and that he learned from his mistake. I wish him good luck and hope every drafted player is wise to what it takes to make it in the NFL and who really has your back.”
Between Winston’s admonition and executive director DeMaurice Smith’s “SMH” to Goodell for other comments, it’s clear the gulf between the players and the league isn’t getting any smaller.
Largely lost in last night’s Laremy Tunsil limbo was the fact that someone violated his privacy and, in turn, broke the law.
As explained by Jason Lisk of TheBigLead.com, whoever hacked Tunsil’s Twitter account and posted video of Tunsil smoking marijuana with a gas mask and a bong faces up to five years in prison under the Stored Communications Act, if “the offense is committed for purposes of commercial advantage, malicious destruction or damage, or private commercial gain.”
Even without an improper purpose, the potential sanction consists of not more than one year for a first offense and up to five years for a second offense.
The improper purpose apparently need not actually result in harm. As written, the statute refers only to purpose not effect. And common sense suggests that whoever was getting into Tunsil’s social media account(s) wanted to harm his draft stock.
Deadspin notes that someone had been trying to sell the Tunsil video for weeks. Whoever had the video either knew or guessed Tunsil’s password, hacked his Twitter account, and in turn broke the law.
Getting in may have been easy. Covering it up could be impossible. Here’s hoping that the relevant federal officials quickly swoop in to investigate. If the hack committed in Major League Baseball justified the devotion of federal resources last year, the misconduct directed at Tunsil merits a similar response.
Tunsil also should be ready to pursue civil liability. However, the person who did it quite possibly doesn’t have the resources to even begin to compensate Tunsil for the damages resulting from however many spots he fell due to the hacking.
Well, the Browns did take a wide receiver last night, and that was apparently enough to change their minds about another one.
According to the league’s daily personnel notice, the Browns have released veteran wideout Saalim Hakim.
They just signed Hakim Monday, after he had taken part in a weekend minicamp as a tryout player. He has spent time with the Jets, showing some degree of promise as a return man.
But whether the addition of first-round wideout Corey Coleman had anything to do with the decision to release Hakim or not, they had a sudden change of heart.
After a brief absence due to an allergic reaction, Dolphins first-round draft pick Laremy Tunsil appeared in Miami this afternoon but declined to discuss the issues that arose during last night’s draft.
Asked who hacked his Twitter account to post a video showing him smoking a bong while wearing a gas mask, Tunsil answered, “I don’t know nothing about that. I’m here to talk about the Miami Dolphins.”
Asked about the text messages that appeared on his hacked Instagram account appearing to show Tunsil asking an Ole Miss coach for money, Tunsil answered, “I’m here to talk about the Miami Dolphins.”
Asked about Ole Miss releasing a statement about potential NCAA violations involving him, Tunsil answered, “I’m just here to talk about the Miami Dolphins.”
Are you sensing a theme yet?
Tunsil did say he’s looking forward to being a Dolphin and grateful to be drafted at all, even if he slipped from a projected Top 5 pick to No. 13 overall.
“It’s exciting just to be a part of this organization,” Tunsil said. “I got drafted in the NFL so I’m happy.”
Tunsil said that with a smile, suggesting that he’s enjoying his first day in the NFL after a rough entrance to the NFL.
The Panthers added a defensive tackle to the roster on Thursday night when they made Vernon Butler the 30th overall pick of the draft and the position group got a little deeper on Friday.
PFT reported Friday afternoon that the Panthers claimed Robert Thomas off of waivers from the Dolphins and the team made the move official a short time later.
Thomas was waived by the Dolphins on Thursday after the conclusion of a three-day minicamp. Thomas played one game for the Dolphins last season after the team signed him off of the Patriots practice squad in early December, but wound up on injured reserve after assisting on one tackle in a Week 13 victory over the Ravens. Thomas has also spent time with the Redskins and Seahawks since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas in 2014.
The Panthers now have Butler, Thomas and Paul Soliai behind Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei. Short is set to be a free agent after next season while the team has exercised its fifth-year option on Lotulelei’s contract.