NFL announces 128 players making early entries into 2021 draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Allstate Sugar Bowl Semifinal Game - Ohio State v Clemson
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The deadline for players to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft has passed and the league announced the players who are leaving school early on Friday.

There are 128 players with eligibility left making the jump. Thirty of those players have already accumulated enough credits to get their degrees while the other 98 are leaving ahead of that point.

A full list of those players can be found below:

Paulson Adebo, DB, Stanford
Jack Anderson, G, Texas Tech
Calvin Ashley, T, Florida A&M
Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville
Aaron Banks, G, Notre Dame
Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
Larry Borom, T, Missouri
Bobby Brown, DT, Texas A&M
Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
Shakur Brown, DB, Michigan State
Tyson Campbell, DB, Georgia
Jackson Carman, T, Clemson
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Louisiana State
Brady Christensen, T, Brigham Young
Andre Cisco, DB, Syracuse
Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Samuel Cosmi, T, Texas
Aashari Crosswell, DB, Arizona State
Drew Dalman, C, Stanford
Christian Darrisaw, T, Virginia Tech
Jamin Davis, LB, Kentucky
Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio State
Brendan DeVera, LB, ASA JC
Brennan Eagles, WR, Texas
Adrian Ealy, T, Oklahoma
Caleb Farley, DB, Virginia Tech
Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford
Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Paris Ford, DB, Pittsburgh
Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
Kendrick Green, G, Illinois
Olaijah Griffin, DB, Southern California
Darren Hall, DB, San Diego State
Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville
Trey Hill , C, Georgia
Anthony Hines, LB, Texas A&M
Darius Hodge, LB, Marshall
Jevon Holland, DB, Oregon
Jaycee Horn, DB, South Carolina
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Wyatt Hubert, DE, Kansas State
James Hudson, T, Cincinnati
Talanoa Hufanga, DB, Southern California
Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
Jermar Jefferson, RB, Oregon State
Jamar Johnson, DB, Indiana
Ernest Jones, LB, South Carolina
Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami
Kelvin Joseph, DB, Kentucky
Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Florida State
Brenden Knox, RB, Marshall
Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Hunter Long, TE, Boston College
Terrace Marshall, WR, Louisiana State
Jalen Mayfield, T, Michigan
Isaiah McDuffie, LB, Boston College
Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
Isaiah McKoy, WR, Kent State
Alim McNeill, DT, North Carolina State
Evan McPherson, K, Florida
Ifeatu Melifonwu, DB, Syracuse
Davis Mills, QB, Stanford
Dax Milne, WR, Brigham Young
Trevon Moehrig, DB, TCU
Elijah Moore, WR, Mississippi
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Israel Mukuamu, DB, South Carolina
Marcus Murphy, DB, Mississippi State
Josh Myers, C, Ohio State
Greg Newsome, DB, Northwestern
Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa
Tre Norwood, DB, Oklahoma
Azeez Ojulari, LB, Georgia
Joseph Ossai, DE, Texas
Jayson Oweh, DE, Penn State
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo
Ronnie Perkins, DE, Oklahoma
Jaelan Phillips, DE, Miami
Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Blake Proehl, WR, East Carolina
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami
Chris Rumph, DE, Duke
Asante Samuel, DB, Florida State
Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
Stevie Scott, RB, Indiana
Penei Sewell, T, Oregon
Tyler Shelvin, NT, Louisiana State
William Sherman, T, Colorado
Jamien Sherwood, DB, Auburn
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Southern California
Benjamin St-Juste, DB, Minnesota
Caden Sterns, DB, Texas
Eric Stokes, DB, Georgia
Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
Patrick Surtain, DB, Alabama
Tamorrion Terry, WR, Florida State
Bryce Thompson, DB, Tennessee
Tommy Togiai, DT, Ohio State
Tommy Tremble, TE, Notre Dame
Joe Tryon, LB, Washington
Jay Tufele, DT, Southern California
Marlon Tuipulotu, NT, Southern California
Christian Tutt, DB, Auburn
Jaylen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh
Alijah Vera-Tucker, G, Southern California
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Shaun Wade, DB, Ohio State
Ar’Darius Washington, DB, TCU
Connor Wedington, WR, Stanford
Pro Wells, TE, TCU
Rachad Wildgoose, DB, Wisconsin
Adam Williams, P, Memphis
Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina
Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech
Pooka Williams, RB, Kansas
Seth Williams, WR, Auburn
Trill Williams, DB, Syracuse
Marco Wilson, DB, Florida
Zach Wilson, QB, Brigham Young
Nahshon Wright, DB, Oregon State

In addition to those 128 players, the league also announced that three players who inquired about their draft status were informed they can be selected without special eligibility. They are:

Walker Little, T, Stanford
Foster Sarell, T, Stanford
Jordan Smith, LB, Alabama-Birmingham

PFT’s NFL 2020 conference championship game picks

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We had one disagreement last week. MDS took the Bills, and I took the Ravens. We otherwise went 3-0 straight up and 2-1 against the spread.

So he was 4-0 and 3-1, and I was 3-1 and 2-2.

Through two weekends of the postseason, MDS is 8-2 straight up, and I’m 7-3. Against the spread, he’s 6-4 and I’m 4-6.

This week’s picks appear below. I have a chance to catch him. The picks appear below.

Buccaneers (+3) at Packers

MDS’s take: When these teams met in the regular season, it was a one-sided beatdown, with the Bucs winning 38-10. I don’t think that game has much bearing on this one, though. Aaron Rodgers isn’t going to get shut down by the Tampa Bay defense the way he did that way, nor is the Packers’ defense going to have as bad a game as it did. I see this as a close and competitive game that could go either way, but in the end I like Rodgers to make one more play than Tom Brady in the fourth quarter.

MDS’s pick: Packers 30, Buccaneers 24.

Florio’s take: Something happened to Tampa Bay’s defense in the second half of Sunday’s win over the Saints. If that someone can continue in Green Bay, the Bucs will be headed to the Super Bowl. The challenge for the team that falls behind early in this one will be to not let pessimism creep in, especially when it will be tempting to wish for a quit exit from the cold temperatures. That’s why it will be more critical then ever for the Buccaneers to avoid stumbling out of the gates — which they did all too often during the season, including against the Packers. Then, a 10-0 hole became a 38-10 win. Now, it won’t be quite so easy.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Packers 24.


Bills (+3) at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Chiefs have played so many games recently in which they did just enough to win, that it almost feels like it has to come back to haunt them at some point, and they’ll let another team hang around too long and lose. But I just don’t see it happening on Sunday, at least not if Patrick Mahomes plays, as I think he will. The Chiefs’ offense can run up a lot of points on the Bills’ defense, and I don’t see Josh Allen keeping pace. The Chiefs will make a statement and advance to their second straight Super Bowl.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Bills 24.

Florio’s take: The Buffalo offense is nearly as good as Kansas City’s. But the Kansas City defense is better. And that should help create the difference in this one — assuming Patrick Mahomes plays and isn’t significantly impaired by his toe injury.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 31, Bills 27.

Jaguars will pick 25th after Rams loss in divisional round

Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers
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New Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer knew his team had the first overall pick in the draft when he took the job and now he knows where the team’s second first-round pick will fall.

Jacksonville acquired the Rams’ 2021 first-rounder as part of the deal for cornerback Jalen Ramsey in October 2019 and it will be the 25th overall selection after the Rams lost to the Packers on Saturday. They also acquired the Rams’ 2020 first-round pick, which they used to take edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson.

The Browns, Ravens, and Saints also have their spots set for April’s draft after losing over the weekend. The entire order appears below:

1. Jaguars

2. Jets

3. Dolphins (via Texans)

4. Falcons

5. Bengals

6. Eagles

7. Lions

8. Panthers

9. Broncos

10. Cowboys

11. Giants

12. 49ers

13. Chargers

14. Vikings

15. Patriots

16. Cardinals

17. Raiders

18. Dolphins

19. Washington Football Team

20. Bears

21. Colts

22. Titans

23. Jets (via Seahawks)

24. Steelers

25. Jaguars (via Rams)

26. Browns

27. Ravens

28. Saints

FMIA Divisional Round: Chiefs Prove HenneThing Is Possible, Beat Browns

Divisional Round - Cleveland Browns v Kansas City Chiefs
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When it was over, and when Kansas City backup quarterback Chad Henne floated back to the locker room after the biggest five-yard completion of his life—and quite likely the biggest five-yard completion in franchise history—Patrick Mahomes was waiting. Congrats all around after Kansas City survived over Cleveland 22-17 to advance to its third straight AFC [more]

NFL compensatory picks for minority coaches and executives explained

Los Angeles Rams v Miami Dolphins
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The news that the Lions are hiring longtime Rams executive Brad Holmes as Detroit’s new general manager means that for the first time, the league’s new rule rewarding teams that help develop minority coaches and executives will be put into place.

Holmes is a minority, so the Rams will now receive a third-round compensatory pick in both the 2021 NFL draft and the 2022 NFL draft for losing Holmes.

Those third-round picks will come after the compensatory picks that are awarded to teams for losing free agent players. We don’t yet know how many third-round compensatory picks will be awarded for losing free agents, but if there were five regular third-round compensatory picks, those would be picks Nos. 97-101. Then the first compensatory pick for losing a minority player or executive would be No. 102.

If multiple teams lose minority coaches or executives, multiple third-round compensatory picks will be awarded. They’ll be awarded in the same order that teams choose in the draft, so the team that’s higher in the draft order would also be higher in the compensatory pick order.

These compensatory picks are in addition to the 32 compensatory picks that are regularly awarded. So while the draft would typically have 256 overall picks (32 in each of seven rounds, plus 32 compensatory picks), there can now be more than 256 picks because of the additional compensatory picks.

The full text of the NFL resolution is below:

2020 RESOLUTION JC-2A

Whereas, the member clubs believe that policies designed to promote equal employment opportunity and a diverse and inclusive workforce advance significant league interests, including improved decision making, enhanced business performance, and representing the NFL as an employer of choice that hires and promotes based on merit; and

Whereas, the member clubs have adopted policies extending over several decades in furtherance of these goals, including policies designed to permit upward mobility and advancement of club employees, particularly those in coaching and football operations roles; and

Whereas, the member clubs believe that it is appropriate to take additional steps to enhance opportunities for employment and advancement of minorities and women in key positions, including leadership roles in coaching, personnel, and football operations,

Be it Resolved, that the League Policy on Equal Employment and Workplace Diversity will be amended as follows:

(i) The employer-club of a minority employee who has been hired by another club as its Head Coach or Primary Football Executive (General Manager) shall receive Draft choice compensation in the form of a compensatory Draft pick in the third round in each of the next two Drafts for an employee hired as either a Head Coach or Primary Football Executive, or for the next three Drafts if it has two employees hired for both positions. The reference to the hiring of employees into “both positions” could be by the same club or different clubs. The following will apply to the Draft choice compensation:
a. Any compensatory Draft picks awarded pursuant to this Policy will be at the end of the third round following all compensatory Draft picks awarded to clubs pursuant to Appendix V of the NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
b. If multiple clubs are awarded compensatory Draft picks pursuant to this Policy, then the order of those picks at the end of the third round will follow the original selection order for that Draft established prior to any trades or other adjustments.

(ii) The employer-club shall be eligible to receive this Draft choice compensation if:
a. The minority employee hired as a Head Coach or Primary Football Executive has been employed by the employer-club for a minimum of two full seasons; and
b. The minority employee is not the Head Coach or Primary Football Executive of the employer-club and is hired into the same position with the new club. There can be no break in employment between clubs.

Submitted by Workplace Diversity Committee

Effect: Establishes a system that rewards clubs for developing minority employees who move to the position of Primary Football Executive or Head Coach with other clubs.

Reason: Supports development opportunities for minority employees to advance goals of diversity, equity and inclusion.

PFT’s NFL 2020 divisional round picks

Baltimore Ravens v Buffalo Bills
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Last week, MDS and I agreed on all six games. We got four of them right. Agains the spread, MDS went 3-3. I was a pathetic 2-4.

This week, we disagree on one of the four games. For the only three, we have the same winner, both straight up and against the spread.

Check out all picks below, and chime in with your own in the comments.

Rams (+6.5) at Packers

MDS’s take: Aaron Rodgers is playing his best football, and the Rams will be going with either an injured Jared Goff or an injured John Wolford. There are other lenses from which to view this game, and some of them favor the Rams, namely that the Rams have the superior defense. But even if that defense plays well against Rodgers, in the end I think Rodgers and Davante Adams make enough big plays to win this game.

MDS’s pick: Packers 30, Rams 20.

Florio’s take: The Packers need running back Aaron Jones to have a solid performance as he moves toward free agency. They also need quarterback Aaron Rodgers to find slivers and creases into which the ball can be thrown to receiver Davante Adams, even if he’s blanketed by Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey. On defense, Green Bay needs to sell out to stop the run and force the Rams to beat them by throwing the ball through the cold Lambeau air.

Florio’s pick: Packers 31, Rams 21.


Ravens (+2.5) at Bills

MDS’s take: Over the last several weeks, the Bills may be playing better than any team in the NFL. The Ravens are playing good football at the right time, too, but I don’t think I’d pick anyone to go to Buffalo and beat the Bills right now.

MDS’s pick: Bills 27, Ravens 20.

Florio’s take: The Ravens continue to be the hottest team in the NFL, and the Bills had a near miss against the Colts. Baltimore can run the ball very well, and the Bills can’t. That could be the difference, especially if it snows.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 24, Bills 21.


Browns (+10) at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Browns poured it on early and never looked back against the Steelers, but the well-rested Chiefs are simply the better team. Patrick Mahomes will outplay Baker Mayfield and I expect the Chiefs to get at least one big play on special teams.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Browns 21.

Florio’s take: The best-case for the Browns includes slowing things down, shortening the game, and limiting the number of possessions that Kansas City will have. Even then, can Cleveland outscore a Kansas City team that always finds a way? It’s doubtful.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 35, Browns 24.


Buccaneers (+3) at Saints

MDS’s take: Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees should be an NFL playoff classic, and it’s a game that could easily go either way. The Saints are favored and won both regular-season meetings handily, but I just have a feeling that the Bucs are peaking at the right time, while the Saints are slowing down as the season wears on.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 28, Saints 27.

Florio’s take: Throw out the first two installments of this series; the Buccaneers have improved dramatically since Week One and Week Nine. Tom Brady has played 17 games with his new team, and the offense is peaking. In what likely will be the last career game for Drew Brees, it quite possibly will be yet another heartbreaking exit from the postseason for the Saints.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Saints 23.

Coaching carousel shouldn’t spin until after the Super Bowl

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As the NFL’s annual game of multi-million-dollar musical chairs continues to unfold, teams trying to navigate the postseason face inevitable disruptions and distractions to their preparations as assistant coaches have been interviewed and will continue to be interviewed.

Eventually (and maybe soon), dominoes will begin to fall. Some candidates whose teams keep winning may find themselves on the outside looking in because: (1) they’re not eligible to be hired because their teams are still playing; and (2) other candidates are free and clear.

In the past, we’ve suggested that teams should be able to hire assistant coaches whose current teams are still playing postseason games, in order to prevent an unfair outcome for those who shouldn’t be punished for being employed by a successful team. The better option could be to simply slam the brakes on the coaching carousel until after the Super Bowl.

That approach would give all teams that may be making a change more time to make their decision as to whether to make a change, since they won’t have to immediately fire a coach (or not fire a coach) for fear of missing out on a preferred replacement. It also would give teams that make it to the postseason a full and fair chance to pursue their prospects to the conclusion, with minimal disruption to their coaching staffs.

Although every candidate for a head-coaching job who interviews while also working for his current team would insist that the situation does not undermine preparations for the next playoff game, the truth is that it does. It just does. Beyond the time consumed by preparing for interviews with owners of other NFL teams and the time spent conducting the interviews, the assistant coach whose current employer has a playoff game must balance the possibility that his ship has finally come in, or that it hasn’t.

As one league source recently explained it to PFT, the assistant coach who comes home from work on a Tuesday night during the playoff push isn’t met with questions from his spouse or significant other regarding the nuances of game planning. The spouse instead asks for full and complete updates about the potential for getting a head-coaching job.

It’s an effort in compartmentalization that can be avoided. The league has declined to change the rule because this is the way it’s always been. Revising the rule would lead to, as those who oppose change would say, unintended consequences.

But what would the unintended consequences be if the clear rule was enacted (and enforced) preventing teams from interviewing anyone until after the Super Bowl? While the possibility of what will come next easily could become a focal point for families who could end up with a bigger title and a bigger salary, the best and only way to handle the situation will be to realize that what will come next will reveal itself after the Super Bowl ends and the window for hiring coaches opens.

And while a delay would result in teams not having coaches in place for events like the Senior Bowl, so be it. Teams often haven’t hired new coaches before Senior Bowl week, which is more of an exercise in scouting than coaching, anyway.

Change needs to happen. Maybe someday it will. The sooner it does, the better.

Jets secure 23rd overall pick with Seahawks loss

Wild Card Round - Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks
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The Wild Card round is over and six more spots in the draft order have been secured as a result.

One of those spots goes to a team that didn’t play a snap over the weekend. The Jets now know that they will have the 23rd overall pick as a result of the trade that sent Jamal Adams to Seattle before the season. The Seahawks lost to the Rams on Saturday afternoon.

The Jets will also pick second overall in April, but the Jaguars will have to wait at least one more week to learn where the pick they acquired from the Rams for Jalen Ramsey will fall.

The current draft order appears below:

1. Jaguars

2. Jets

3. Dolphins (via Texans)

4. Falcons

5. Bengals

6. Eagles

7. Lions

8. Panthers

9. Broncos

10. Cowboys

11. Giants

12. 49ers

13. Chargers

14. Vikings

15. Patriots

16. Cardinals

17. Raiders

18. Dolphins

19. Washington Football Team

20. Bears

21. Colts

22. Titans

23. Jets (via Seahawks)

24. Steelers

FMIA: How The Browns—And A Guy Named Blake—Survived Weird Wild-Card Week And Upset The Steelers

Wild Card Round - Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
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On Heinz Field Sunday night, after Cleveland won its first playoff game in 26 years, wide receiver Jarvis Landry was being shepherded to a post-game radio interview by the Browns’ media man, Peter John-Baptiste. Landry stopped. “Wait!” he said. Landry said, “I gotta talk to coach. Now. I need to see him.” After one of [more]

Full vote totals for 2020 NFL All-Pro team

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans
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The Associated Press revealed the 2020 NFL All-Pro team on Friday and it included a pair of unanimous selections.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald were both named by all 50 voters. The full voting totals have now been released and the choices at several other positions were nearly as clear cut.

Titans running back Derrick Henry, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs, Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt, Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard, and Bears kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson each received at least 43 votes.

Tyreek Hill of the Chiefs edged DeAndre Hopkins of the Cardinals for the third wide receiver spot by three votes while Colts linebacker Darius Leonard just beat out Devin White of the Buccaneers for the third spot at that position.

Safety was another tight postion. Tyrann Mathieu of the Chiefs had 19 votes and made the first-team with both Budda Baker of the Cardinals and Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. They tied with 18 votes and Jamal Adams of the Seahawks was fourth with 14 votes.

The full vote totals for this year are below:

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Packers, 46; Josh Allen, Bills, 2; Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs, 2.

Running back: Derrick Henry, Titans, 47; Alvin Kamara, Saints, 3.

Tight end: Travis Kelce, Chiefs, 50.

Wide Receiver: Davante Adams, Packers, 49; Stefon Diggs, Bills, 48; Tyreek Hill, Chiefs, 24; DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals, 21; Justin Jefferson, Vikings, 5; Calvin Ridley, Falcons, 1; DK Metcalf, Seahawks, 1; Cole Beasley, Bills, 1.

Left Tackle: David Bakhtiari, Packers, 26; Garett Bolles, Broncos, 13; Trent Williams, 49ers, 7; Terron Armstead, Saints, 2; Laremy Tunsil, Texans, 1; Eric Fisher, Chiefs, 1.

Right Tackle: Jack Conklin, Browns, 18; Ryan Ramczyk, Saints, 11; Tristan Wirfs, Buccaneers, 10; Orlando Brown Jr., Ravens, 5; Braden Smith, Colts, 5; Daryl Williams, Bills, 1.

Left Guard: Quenton Nelson, Colts, 24; Joel Bitonio, Browns, 16; Ali Marpet, Buccaneers, 7; Elgton Jenkins, Packers, 2; Rodger Saffold, Titans, 1.

Right Guard: Brandon Scherff, Washington, 23 1-2; Wyatt Teller, Browns, 10; David DeCastro, Steelers, 8 1-2; Zack Martin, Cowboys, 3; Chris Lindstrom, Falcons, 3; Nate Davis, Titans, 2.

Center: Corey Linsley, Packers, 18; Ryan Kelly, Colts, 8; Frank Ragnow, Lions, 8; Rodney Hudson, Raiders, 5; Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers, 4; Jason Kelce, Eagles, 2; Ben Jones, Titans, 2; JC Tretter, Browns, 1; Mitch Morse, Bills, 1; Erik McCoy, Saints, 1.

Edge Rushers: T.J. Watt, Steelers, 47; Myles Garrett, Browns, 36; Khalil Mack, Bears, 6; Za’Darius Smith, Packers, 4; Trey Hendrickson, Saints, 3; Haason Reddick, Cardinals, 2; Brandon Graham, Eagles, 1; Cam Jordan, Saints, 1.

Interior Linemen: Aaron Donald, Rams, 50; DeForest Buckner, Colts, 25; Chris Jones, Chiefs, 10; Cam Heyward, Steelers, 8; Grady Jarrett, Falcons, 2; Leonard Williams, Giants, 2; Ndamukong Suh, Buccaneers, 1; Quinnen Williams, Jets, 1; Stephon Tuitt, Steelers, 1.

Linebackers: Fred Warner, 49ers, 39; Bobby Wagner, Seahawks, 35; Darius Leonard, Colts, 18; Devin White, Buccaneers, 16; Demario Davis, Saints, 14; Lavonte David, Buccaneers, 10; Roquan Smith, Bears, 10; Eric Kendricks, Vikings, 3; Blake Martinez, Giants, 2; Myles Jack, Jaguars, 1; Zach Cunningham, Texans, 1; Deion Jones, Falcons, 1.

Cornerbacks: Xavien Howard, Dolphins, 47; Jalen Ramsey, Rams, 25; Jaire Alexander, Packers, 18; Tre’Davious White, Bills, 6; Marlon Humphrey, Ravens, 2; James Bradberry, Giants, 1; J.C. Jackson, Patriots, 1.

Safeties: Tyrann Mathieu, Chiefs, 19; Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers, 18; Budda Baker, Cardinals, 18; Jamal Adams, Seahawks, 14; Jessie Bates III, Bengals, 8; Justin Simmons, Broncos, 6; Adrian Amos, Packers, 6; John Johnson III, Rams, 4; Marcus Maye, Jets, 4; Jordan Poyer, Bills, 3.

Kicker: Jason Sanders, Dolphins, 23; Justin Tucker, Ravens, 11; Younghoe Koo, Falcons, 10; Jason Myers, Seahawks, 4; Graham Gano, Giants, 1; Mason Crosby, Packers, 1.

Punter: Jake Bailey, Patriots, 26; Jack Fox, Lions, 12; Michael Dickson, Seahawks, 9; Corey Bojorquez, Bills, 2; Tress Way, Washington, 1.

Kick Returner: Cordarrelle Patterson, Bears, 43; Andre Roberts, Bills, 7.

Punt Returner: Gunner Olszewski, Patriots, 28; Jakeem Grant, Dolphins, 11; Andre Roberts, Bills, 6; Ray-Ray McCloud, Steelers, 3; Hunter Renfrow, Raiders, 1; Nyheim Hines, Colts, 1.

Special Teamer: George Odum, Colts, 28; Matthew Slater, Patriots, 7; Zeke Turner, Cardinals, 4; Nick Bellore, Seahawks 4; Justin Bethel, Patriots, 2; Dennis Gardeck, Cardinals, 1; Gunner Olszewski, Patriots, 1; Andre Roberts, Bills, 1; Cordarrelle Patterson, Bears, 1; Tyler Matakevich, Bills, 1.

Long Snapper: Morgan Cox, Ravens, 27; Luke Rhodes, Colts, 8; Tyler Ott, Seahawks, 7; Jon Weeks, Texans, 2; L.P. Ladouceur, Cowboys, 2; Rick Lovato, Eagles, 1; Charley Hughlett, Browns, 1; Nick Sundberg, Washington, 1; J.J. Jansen, Panthers, 1.

Travis Kelce, Aaron Donald unanimously selected as All-Pros

Los Angeles Rams defeat the New England Patriots 24-3 during a NFL football game.
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Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald highlight this year’s All-Pro team, as the only two players who were selected by all 50 Associated Press voters.

The full first-team All-Pro squad is below:

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Wide receiver: Tyreek Hill, Chiefs; Stefon Diggs, Bills; Davante Adams Packers
Running back: Derrick Henry, Titans
Tight end: Travis Kelce, Chiefs
Left tackle: David Bakhtiari, Packers
Left guard Quenton Nelson, Colts
Center: Corey Linsley, Packers
Right guard: Brandon Scherff, Washington
Right tackle: Jack Conklin, Browns

Edge rusher: T.J. Watt, Steelers; Myles Garrett, Browns
Defensive tackle: Aaron Donald, Rams; DeForest Buckner, Colts
Linebacker: Bobby Wagner, Seahawks; Darius Leonard, Colts; Fred Warner, 49ers
Cornerback: Xavien Howard, Dolphins; Jalen Ramsey, Rams
Safety: Tyrann Mathieu, Chiefs; Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers (tie) and Budda Baker, Cardinals (tie)

Special teamer: George Odum, Colts
Long snapper: Morgan Cox, Ravens
Kickoff returner: Cordarrelle Patterson, Bears
Kicker: Jason Sanders, Dolphins
Punter: Jake Bailey, Patriots
Punt returner: Gunner Olszewski, Patriots

PFT’s 2020 NFL wild card playoff picks

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills
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I know it’s officially now the “Super Wild Card” playoffs. Other than to make that point, I won’t call it that. (I prefer “Super Duper.”)

But what I will do, along with MDS, is make picks for the six games to be played this weekend.

Before that, we need to wrap up some loose ends from the regular season.

For Week 17, I went 14-2 and MDS went 13-3. He wins the regular-season contest, 167-91 to 164-94.

Against the spread, I went 96-1 and MDS was 8-7-1. For the year, I’m at 120-126-10 and he’s at 104-142-10.

We’ll reset everything to 0-0 and give 13 postseason games a whirl. He are the picks for the first six of them.

Colts (+6.5) at Bills

MDS’s take: Indianapolis has a strong defense, but I just think Josh Allen has too many weapons to choose from for the Colts to shut him down. Philip Rivers may play well, but in the end Allen and the Bills will make enough big plays to host a game in the divisional round of the playoffs for the first time in 27 years.

MDS’s pick: Bills 28, Colts 24.

Florio’s take: The Colts need to crank up the running game and take the full 40 seconds of the play clock as often as possible, keeping Bills quarterback Josh Allen on the sideline for as long as possible. The Bills need to crank up Allen, unleashing him as a runner — like they did last year in the playoffs — and trusting that he won’t be reckless with the ball, like he was last year.

Florio’s pick: Bills 34, Colts 20.


Rams (+3.5) at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The Rams’ defense should play well against Russell Wilson, but I’m not sure I can trust the Rams’ offense, regardless of whether Jared Goff or John Wolford is at quarterback. I like Seattle to win a close, low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 16, Rams 13.

Florio’s take: Russell Wilson is getting too deep into his career to blow a shot at enhancing his legacy on a team that quite possibly will be led by John Wolford.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 24, Rams 21.


Buccaneers (-8.5) at Washington

MDS’s take: This is a closer game than people think, as Washington’s defense matches up well with Tampa Bay’s offense. But in the end I think Tom Brady makes a big play, Alex Smith comes up short, and the Buccaneers advance.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 20, Washington 14.

Florio’s take: The key to stopping Tom Brady is to pressure him up the middle. Even then, the opponent needs to score points. Washington won’t be able to score enough — unless Chase Young has multiple touchdowns on his own.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Washington 14.


Ravens (-3.5) at Titans

MDS’s take: The Ravens are coming on strong at the right time, and the Titans’ defense is highly suspect. I think Lamar Jackson will have a big game as he earns his first playoff win.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 31, Titans 30.

Florio’s take: The Ravens already have won five straight de facto playoff games. That’s the best way of turning the page on the narrative that they can’t win in the playoffs.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Titans 21.


Bears (+10.5) at Saints

MDS’s take: The Saints have the best defense Mitchell Trubisky has faced this season, and I don’t think he’s going to be up to the challenge. New Orleans will win comfortably.

MDS’s pick: Saints 27, Bears 20.

Florio’s take: Another gut-wrenching exit from the postseason could be looming for the Saints. But not on Sunday.

Florio’s pick: Saints 30, Bears 20.


Browns (+6) at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Browns barely won last week, when they had everything to play for and the Steelers had nothing to play for. This week, the Steelers show they’re the better team.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 30, Browns 17.

Florio’s take: We’re about to find out how valuable a good coach is, based on the absence of Cleveland’s head coach.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 27, Browns 17.

Ranking the available coaching jobs

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers
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Plenty of people in media rank open G.M. and/or coaching jobs. Even some of the candidates for those jobs (and sometimes their opinions are subject to change based on whether they get a given job). The topic of my own ranking of the open jobs has come up this week, on PFT Live and elsewhere.

So let’s reduce it to writing, for the six head-coaching jobs. This is my own personal assessment, and I’ll explain the reason for each specific placement below.

Feel free to attach a comment with your own ranking. Or to call mine nutty.

1. L.A. Chargers.

Why No. 1? Two words: Justin Herbert. The sixth overall pick in the 2020 draft is the real deal. He’s already one of the best quarterbacks in football.

And the roster is otherwise stocked — much more stocked than their record this year suggests. Joey Bosa. Derwin James. Keenan Allen. Mike Williams. Just to name a few.

There’s one caveat, and it’s an issue over which the next coach must take control. Why are the Chargers suffering so many injuries? The next coach should order a comprehensive review of all strength, conditioning, and training aspects of the organization in order to check whether the injuries are the product of bad luck or poor methods. While many injuries are unavoidable, injuries can be minimized with the right approach to flexibility, exercise, and nutrition. The Chargers need to re-evaluate all of their systems in this regard.

Still, the presence of Herbert makes this the best job. With the right coach, the Chargers could take over the L.A. market and consistently challenge the Chiefs in the AFC West.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars.

Draft picks, cap space, low expectations, a division that isn’t as competitive as most of the other seven, and the ability to select Trevor Lawrence make this a great job. For starters, I’d want to know how many game will be played every year in London as the schedule expands to 17. I’d also want to know whether owner Shad Khan’s recent comments suggest that he’ll be closer to Jerry Jones than Robert Kraft when it comes to direct meddling.

If Lawrence becomes what most think he will be, this could end up being the best job. For now, though, I’ll lean toward the team with the quarterback who has shown that he can get it done at the NFL level.

3. New York Jets.

Former G.M. Mike Maccagnan was building the team from the outside in. Current G.M. Joe Douglas is building it from the inside out. And that’s the right way, with the offensive and defensive lines being the primary focus.

The big question is whether the quarterback will be Sam Darnold or whether the second overall pick will be used on a guy like Justin Fields. I’d want to know what the front office envisions, and whether the powers-that-be will trust me to make and to implement the right plan for the most importation position on the team.

4. Wait until next year.

Before addressing the final three, I need to say this: Instead of taking one of these jobs, I’d be inclined to wait until 2022. Each of the bottom three teams has executives nudged between G.M. and coach, executives who can (and will) whisper into the owner’s ear and potentially undermine or interfere with my efforts. From Rich McKay in Atlanta to Jack Easterby in Houston to Rod Wood and now Chris Spielman in Detroit, a difficult job becomes even harder when there’s a possibility that competing agendas will arise in the same football organization.

But if I don’t think the window won’t be open for me next year and I’m willing to take my chances, this is the way I’d rank them.

5. Houston Texans.

If Deshaun Watson wants me to be the coach, I want to be the coach — if Deshaun Watson is also willing to accept the fact that I’m the coach. If he doesn’t want me to be the coach, I want to know what the plan is for dealing with a disgruntled franchise quarterback before taking the job.

Also, I’d need assurances that Jack Easterby will never be in the locker room on the sideline or anywhere near the players or coaching staff. The job is hard enough without worrying about football’s Littlefinger trying to stick a shiv in my spine.

6. Detroit Lions.

Some teams have one executive as the buffer between coach/G.M. and ownership. The Lions now have two: Rod Wood and Chris Spielman. I’d rather stay put and take my chances in 2022. Or 2023. Or never.

7. Atlanta Falcons.

I’m not touching a job that will have two General Managers. And that’s what the Falcon will have — the actual General Manager and Rich McKay. Sorry, Arthur, but until you reduce the number of cooks, I’ll wait for a different kitchen.

Throw in a salary-cap mess, with or without Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, and it’s just not worth playing craps with my future career interests by becoming the next Falcons coach.

Will Deshaun Watson ask for a trade?

Cincinnati Bengals v Houston Texans
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The Texans have suggested that they’ll listen to quarterback Deshaun Watson when hiring a coach. But what if they ultimately don’t hire the person he’d like to be coached by?

Rumors already are circulating, and we’ve already heard them from multiple different people, that Watson has quietly broached with teammates the possibility of requesting a trade. If that’s happening, it may just be a strategic effort to ensure his views are respected by ownership. Regardless, it raises the stakes and crosses a bridge and potentially sets the foundation for Watson eventually to decide that he’d like to continue his career elsewhere.

We can already hear the reaction. “He just signed a new contract, the cap charge would be crippling!

Take a look at the contract. Trading him would result in a cap charge of $21.6 million. The Herschel-sized haul of draft picks that a Deshaun Watson trade would generate would more than justify it.

It’s too early to think about where he’d potentially be traded. It’s not too early to make a list of teams that would possibly clamor to get him. The Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Raiders, Broncos, Washington, Eagles, Bears, Lions, Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Buccaneers (if Tom Brady is one and done), and 49ers are the most obvious.

Other teams that on the surface don’t need a quarterback would be wise to at least consider the possibility of an upgrade.

As the Texans decide on their next coach (and it presumably will be someone represented by Bob LaMonte, for reasons to be addressed later today), keep an eye on the possibility that Watson will respond by making it known privately, and possibly publicly, that he’s ready to move on and move out.

Tom Brady will continue to rewrite the NFL postseason record book

NFL: JAN 03 Falcons at Buccaneers
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Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady already owns his own page of the NFL postseason record book, and he’ll rewrite that page when the Buccaneers take on Washington on Saturday.

Here are a few of the postseason records that Brady owns, and some notes on how far everyone else in the league is from equaling Brady’s records:

Games played: Brady will appear in his 42nd career postseason game on Saturday. His former teammate Adam Vinatieri is in second place all time, having appeared in 32 career postseason games. Jerry Rice is third with 29 games, and if Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski plays on Sunday, it will be his 29th postseason game, moving him into a tie with Rice for third all time.

Games started: Brady has started all of his postseason games, so he’ll extend that record to 42 as well. Kickers aren’t considered starters, so Rice is next with 29 starts.

Games as winning quarterback: Brady has 30 postseason wins. Joe Montana is second with 16. In third place, Terry Bradshaw, John Elway and Peyton Manning are in a three-way tie with 14 postseason wins, and Ben Roethlisberger can also earn his 14th career postseason win if the Steelers beat the Browns on Sunday.

Passes thrown: Brady has thrown 1,627 passes in the postseason. Peyton Manning, with 1,027 postseason passes, is the only other quarterback to throw more than 1,000.

Passes completed: Brady has completed 1,025 passes in the playoffs. Peyton Manning completed 649, and no one else even has 500 career completions in the postseason.

Passing yards: Brady is the all-time leader with 11,388 career postseason passing yards. Peyton Manning is second with 7,339, followed by Brett Favre with 5,885 and Joe Montana with 5,772. The next three quarterbacks on the all-time passing yards list are all active in this year’s playoffs: Ben Roethlisberger with 5,256, Aaron Rodgers with 5,027 and Drew Brees with 4,967.

Passing touchdowns: Brady has 73 career postseason touchdown passes. Joe Montana is next with 45.

Brady will keep adding to his records on Saturday, and maybe for quite a few postseason games after that.