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Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones acknowledged after the first round of the NFL draft that he was disappointed about a player who got away: Quarterback Paxton Lynch.
Jones said that after taking running back Ezekiel Elliott with their first-round pick the Cowboys were trying to trade back into the first round to acquire Lynch, who ultimately went to the Broncos.
“We were working real hard to get up there for the quarterback – Paxton Lynch,” Jones said.
Jones said just when he thought he had a deal in place to get Lynch, the Broncos jumped in and made a deal with the Seahawks that allowed them to take Lynch 26th overall.
“Frankly, give Denver credit,” Jones said. “I thought we had it done. It was that close.”
Jones said the Cowboys’ staff loves Lynch and thinks he has the potential to develop into a franchise quarterback. The Cowboys were hoping he’d develop behind Tony Romo.
“He’s a top prospect – got probably the highest upside in the draft,” Jerry Jones said. “Congratulations to Denver.”
When new Bills pass rush Shaq Lawson recently visited PFT Live, he expressed dismay at being required to return to Indianapolis for the medical re-check, insisting that his shoulder is fine. To no surprise, Lawson has reiterated that position following a post-selection report that he needs surgery.
Via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, Lawson said there’s “no truth” to the claim that he needs a procedure to repair the upper arm joint that is fairly important to a pass rusher. Lawson added that the right shoulder is the shoulder at issue, but that it’s not an issue — even though something about it has been an issue since his freshman year.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported following the selection of Lawson by the Bills at pick No. 19 that the former Clemson standout “will need shoulder surgery,” that it will “sideline him 4-6 months at some point,” and that the surgery will happen “probably after next season.”
Time will tell whether the surgery is necessary. However, whatever the issue is, Lawson will spend his full rookie season playing with it. If he plays well, why would he need surgery at all?
The Cleveland Browns already have shown a willingness to trade down and stockpile picks. They still have more than 12 hours to do it again.
Ever since the NFL decided to move the first round of the draft to prime time, the revised format gives the team at the top of round two an extended opportunity to shop the pick based on the players who remain available after the initial round ends. If a team picking below the Browns covets a players strongly enough, the Browns could slide back for the third time this draft, acquiring more picks both now and in the future.
A trade hinges on whether the Browns get an offer they like — and whether there’s a player they decide they must have right out of the gates in round two. Quarterbacks Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg are available, as is running back Derrick Henry.
The Cowboys have admitted that they were trying to get back into round one to get a quarterback. If they want Cook or Hackenberg, Dallas could try to leap up from No. 34. The Titans, picking at No. 33, won’t be taking a quarterback, but they could trade down and let a team that wants to cut the line in front of the Cowboys do just that.
Which raises the possibility that the Cowboys were lying about trying to trade back into round one to get a quarterback, in order to ensure that one or both of the picks used before them on Friday night end up devoted to players at a position on which they don’t plan to focus. The Cowboys still need to bolster their pass rush; that could be their true agenda on Friday evening.
They went 1-2, as expected, but there was no run on quarterbacks late in Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft.
The Broncos traded up from No, 31 to No. 26 and selected Paxton Lynch, but no other quarterbacks were taken.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Cowboys tried unsuccessfully to make a trade back into the first round to beat the Broncos to Lynch. So, the Broncos have their quarterback of the future and probably won’t be further involved with trade talks involving Colin Kaepernick and Sam Bradford.
The Browns hold the first pick of Friday’s second round, at No, 32, and could also be looking to draft a quarterback. The Cowboys hold pick No. 34 and on Thursday were true to owner Jerry Jones’ earlier words that they’d pursue a quarterback, just not in the first round.
By most pre-draft rankings, Connor Cook is probably the next quarterback off the board. Cardale Jones, Dak Prescott, Christian Hackenberg and Jacoby Brissett, in some order, are in the next group. Whether Cook goes early on Friday or is around for 20 more picks is anyone’s guess.
The wheeling and dealing Browns will probably field calls about their pick and could move it to a team that wants to come up — and not necessarily for a quarterback. Other teams that could potentially be in the quarterback market in the second round are the Chiefs (Nos. 37 and 59), Saints (47), Bills (49) and Jets (51).
The PFT simulated draft had the Seahawks taking guard Germain Ifedi at pick No. 26. They slid down to No. 31, and they still got him.
Ifedi becomes the last pick in round one, beefing up an offensive line that needs plenty of help.
It’s actually bad news for Ifedi, because it’s better to be the first pick in round two than the last pick in round one. The difference on the four-year contractual value isn’t significant, but the Seahawks now have the ability to use the fifth-year option to keep Ifedi away from the open market. Because the franchise tag is never used on an interior offensive lineman (the formula makes it left tackle pay), Ofedi would have been much better off over the long haul with a four-year deal.
The Seahawks will be better off with more help on the offensive line, especially at the inside. More and more teams are loading up the interior pass rush. Ifedi can help slow down the push up the middle that quarterback Russell Wilson will be facing.
Six of the 25 players that took the NFL up on invitations to attend the draft in Chicago remain available at the end of the first round with UCLA linebacker Myles Jack headlining the group.
Jack was expected to be one of the first players off the board for much of the pre-draft process and it wasn’t hard to find people who thought he was the best player in this year’s class, but concerns about the health of his knee triggered a free fall on Thursday night.
Jack admitted Wednesday that he might need to have microfracture surgery and said he understood that the questions about his knee could trigger a drop in the draft. That drop will extend into the second day, where he’ll join Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith as defensive playmakers available for teams willing to roll the dice that things will work out medically.
Jack will have some company during his second night in the green room. Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland also went unpicked and reportedly has a medical question mark of his own due to an enlarged aorta. A pair of Alabama defensive tackles — Jarran Reed and A’Shawn Robinson — will also be back for Round Two.
Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd and Mississippi State defensive tackle Chris Jones round out the group of draft attendees that didn’t hear their names called in the first round. The Browns will be on the board with the No. 32 pick when the draft resumes on Friday night.
Dave Gettleman can’t get enough hog mollies.
Despite having a pair of young starting defensive tackles, the Panthers General Manager added another one, using the 30th pick on Louisiana Tech big man Vernon Butler.
But Gettleman loves having depth up front, and now the Panthers can put Butler alongside free agent pickup Paul Soliai and give the defending NFC champs one of the most solid interior lines in the NFL.
They have bigger needs, but they like big bodies, and this gives them another one.
The Cardinals selected Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche with the 29th pick of the first round.
Nkemdiche, 21, is regarded as one of the most talented players in the draft, but there were concerns about his consistency on the field and his behavior off of it. He fell out of a fourth-floor window last December in Atlanta, and that’s just one thing he discussed with teams on his pre-draft tour.
He had three sacks and seven tackles for loss last season.
The Cardinals clearly don’t mind taking players some teams consider character risks and have hit on Tyrann Mathieu, a third-round pick in 2013 who’s become a productive player and stayed out of trouble. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said after the pick that Nkemdiche is “a top-10 talent” and that Cardinals coach Bruce Arians “is the kind of coach” who can get the best out of Nkemdiche.
They met with him twice. There won’t be a third session.
With the Broncos trading up from No. 31 to No. 26 to acquire quarterback Paxton Lynch, they’re out of the running for quarterback Colin Kaepernick. General Manager John Elway has confirmed the fairly obvious reality to Mike Klis of 9News.com in Denver.
The development leaves Kaepernick without a clear destination for 2016, unless the Jets decide to abandon the pursuit of 2015 starter Ryan Fitzpatrick and swing a deal for Kaepernick. And it means that Kaepernick likely will remain with the 49ers for at least another season.
The question becomes whether Kaepernick wants to be there. At some point, he needs to realize that he has no other options, and that he should focus on being the best player he can be.
The San Francisco 49ers acquired a second first-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, and with it they selected Stanford guard Joshua Garnett.
San Francisco’s pick was No. 28 overall, acquired in an on-the-clock trade with the Chiefs. The 49ers sent their second-, fourth- and sixth-round picks to Kansas City to make the deal.
The 49ers wanted to bolster their offensive line, and they’ve done so with Garnett, who has a chance of starting as a rookie. Stanford coach David Shaw, working the draft for NFL Network, acknowledged that Garnett has to improve in pass protection but spoke highly of Garnett’s toughness and competitiveness.
Some thought the 49ers would look for a quarterback in this draft, but that search appears to be done. The 49ers will go with Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick, and Garnett will help protect one of them.
The Packers used their first-round pick on a defensive player from UCLA, but they didn’t stop linebacker Myles Jack’s drop down the draft board.
Green Bay used the 27th overall pick to add defensive tackle Kenny Clark to their defensive line.
Clark has a wrestling background that he put to good use while tussling with opposing offensive linemen during his collegiate career. He was particularly strong at stopping the run, which should come in handy for the Packers after B.J. Raji opted to take at least the 2016 season off rather than re-sign with the team this offseason.
Clark won’t turn 21 until October, so there should still be a lot of room for growth in the years to come. He had six sacks and 11 tackles for loss during his final year in school and further development as a penetrator would make this pick look even better down the line.
The Denver Broncos seem to have moved on from the idea of Colin Kaepernick.
Denver moved up five spots in the draft in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks to select Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch with the 26th overall pick in the first round.
With trade talks stalling with the San Francisco 49ers over Kaepernick, the Broncos began to look elsewhere for potential quarterback solutions in the wake of Peyton Manning’s retirement.
The Seahawks picked up a third-round pick, No. 94 overall, from Denver to slide back five selections to the 31st and final pick of the first round.
With Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian the only quarterback currently on the roster, the Broncos had to be aggressive when Lynch and Connor Cook remained on the board late in the first round. Teams such as Dallas and Cleveland held early second round picks and could have been looking into similar trades to get the quarterback they needed as well.
The Steelers selected Miami (Fla.) cornerback Artie Burns with the No. 25 pick in the first round.
Burns was also a college track star and is an early entry to the draft. He was a two-year starter at cornerback who had six interceptions last season.
The Steelers did not hide their interest in many defensive backs but saw Karl Joseph, at No. 14 to the Raiders, and Keanu Neal, at No. 17 to the Falcons, come off the ahead of most projections. Then the Bengals took cornerback William Jackson at No. 24.
Burns ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds at the Scouting Combine. Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin called Burns “a good piece of clay to mold in 2016.”
The Bengals can’t get enough first-round cornerbacks.
With the 24th overall pick, they just took Houston’s William Jackson III.
Jackson has the kind of size-speed combination that made the Bengals notice, but they also were able to beat the cornerback-needy Steelers to the punch, since the entire world knew Pittsburgh needed one as well.
Tackle Laremy Tunsil’s slide down the draft board stopped when the Dolphins took him 13th overall, but a night that started out badly thanks to a video of him smoking pot going public kept getting stranger.
After Tunsil was picked, his Instagram account appeared to be hacked in a similar fashion to his Twitter account with screenshots that purported to show conversations between Tunsil and a member of the Ole Miss athletic staff regarding payments to Tunsil from the school. Tunsil was asked whether he took money while he was in school at a press conference Thursday.
“I made a mistake,” Tunsil said, via Hugh Kellenberger of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. “That happened. I’d have to say yeah.”
Kellenberger reports that an NFL staffer stepped in and stopped the press conference as follow up questions came Tunsil’s way. Tunsil was suspended seven games by the NCAA last year for receiving improper benefits while in school.
Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier said in a press conference that the team feels “very comfortable” with all the information they have about Tunsil. He added they’d heard rumors about the pot video and that it occurred two years ago.
There have been other fake statements and tweets attributed to Tunsil bouncing around on a Thursday evening that has him in the news for different reasons than most people expected.