All posts by Griffin Mathiews

2019 NFC East Standings Predictions

  1. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles quietly had a very good offseason. Sure, they lost Michael Bennett, Nick Foles, Golden Tate, and Jordan Hicks. However, the Eagles also added some really good talent in free agency when they acquired Malik Jackson and DeSean Jackson. They also added some really good young players in the draft that can help for many years to come. Andre Dillard will likely replace Jason Peters at left tackle possibly after this season. Wide Receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside adds even more depth to the Eagles already crowded wide receiver group. Also, running back Miles Sanders will likely see a big role right away considering the Eagles uncertainty at the position. The Eagles are stacked on offense overall and if quarterback Carson Wentz can stay healthy then the team could be a super bowl contender once again. The Eagles also are stacked at pretty much every position on defense which makes the team even more complete. Overall, it is difficult to find a weakness on the Eagles roster and if they live up to their potential then they will be the favorites to win the NFC East.

2. Dallas Cowboys

If there is a team that can challenge the Eagles for the division then it is likely the Dallas Cowboys. The good news is that the Cowboys barely lost any players this offseason except for reliable slot receiver Cole Beasley that they replaced with Randall Cobb. Dallas also didn’t add much in the draft since they didn’t have a 1st round pick. The Cowboys are still a playoff caliber team if all goes well, but they didn’t really do much to get better this offseason. The Cowboys still have a terrific core of talented players on offense with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper leading the way. Dallas shouldn’t have too much trouble scoring points, but they do have some holes remaining on defense. They have a few talented players like DeMarcus Lawrence, Byron Jones, and Leighton Vander Esch. However, they still have needs at safety and some more impact players on the defensive line as well. Dallas has a good roster overall and they will likely challenge the Eagles for the division in 2019, but the Cowboys likely don’t have enough depth to be a better team than the Eagles.

3. Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins had a good offseason overall and they certainly had a terrific draft by landing quarterback Dwayne Haskins and elite defensive end prospect Montez Sweat in the 1st round. The Redskins also added elite safety Landon Collins in free agency which should improve their defense even more. They did lose impact outside linebacker Preston Smith in free agency, but that was the only key loss this offseason. Overall, the Redskins have really good potential in 2019, but they also have some major questions especially at the quarterback position. The Redskins will be without Alex Smith this season, so the team is hoping that Haskins can step in as a rookie and make a big impact right away. If the Redskins can get solid play out of Haskins then Washington could be a playoff team. They have Derrius Guice back from injury to give a boost to the running game, but the passing game is the main concern for the Redskins. Washington really doesn’t have an impact player at wide receiver and they of course still don’t know who will be their starting quarterback in week 1. The Redskins have plenty of talent on defense with Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, and Ryan Kerrigan leading the way in the front 7. However, they also have Landon Collins and Josh Norman to be the impact players in the secondary. The defense shouldn’t be much of an issue, but the offensive uncertainty is what could hurt the team’s playoff hopes in 2019. Washington has tremendous potential if all goes well, but they also could be a major disappointment especially if they don’t get good play out of the quarterback position.

4. New York Giants

The New York Giants are widely considered the worst team in the NFC East especially after the strange offseason that they had. They lost pro-bowl caliber players by letting go of Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, and Landon Collins this offseason. They did add some good talent in the draft by selecting defensive tackle Christian Lawrence in the 1st round and cornerback DeAndre Baker in the 2nd round. However, the Giants are a team in a major rebuild mode. Sure, the Giants did add Golden Tate, Jabrill Peppers, and Kevin Zeitler, but that won’t be enough to make the Giants even close to being playoff contenders. The Giants do have some good pieces to build around on offense with Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram. However, the Giants still have aging quarterback Eli Manning, a bad offensive line overall, and a defense that has concerns at most of the spots. The Giants do have some players that they can build around for the future, but they are at the beginning stages of what could be a painful rebuilding process.


2019 AFC East Standings predictions

  1. New England Patriots

The Patriots might dynasty might not be at its peak any longer especially with Tom Brady nearing the end of his career. However, there is just no team in the AFC East that has been able to challenge the Patriots for many years. That will likely be the case again this year even though the Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski, Trey Flowers, and Trent Brown this offseason. The Patriots weren’t very busy this offseason other than adding Michael Bennett via trade and wide receiver N’Keal Harry in the 1st round of the draft. Tom Brady doesn’t have many options in the passing game and the Patriots are somewhat weak on defense as well. However, the Patriots always find a way to win and they’ll win the division again because the other teams in the AFC East are still really dysfunctional.

2. New York Jets

Just when it appeared as if the Jets were heading in the right direction they then fired their general manager in a very surprise move especially since the GM helped hire new head coach Adam Gase in January. The Jets certainly didn’t shy away from spending in free agency as they likely overpaid to sign key free agents such as Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, and Jamison Crowder. The Jets theoretically got better this offseason especially since they didn’t lose much in free agency. The Jets defense got even better in the draft with the addition of Quinnen Williams and he should make a big impact right away. The Jets have a talented roster overall, but it remains to be seen whether that will translate into wins. The Jets likely have enough talent to make a playoff run, but I’m just not sure whether they are a playoff caliber team or not.

3. Buffalo Bills

Some people view the Bills as being a sneaky team in 2019, but I’m just not sold on that idea yet. Buffalo did some serious work to try and improve their offense in particular. They added wide receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley in free agency to try and give young quarterbacks some weapons in the passing game. The additions of those two receivers will undoubtedly make their passing game better, but it likely won’t improve the position drastically. The offensive line was particularly bad for Buffalo last season, but I really like the moves that they made by signing proven veteran players like Mitch Morse, Spencer Long, and Quinton Spain. Also, the Bills added Cody Ford in the 2nd round of the draft and he should make a big impact right away. Buffalo’s offense will likely be better in 2019, but they still have some more work to do to make it even an average offense. Meanwhile, on defense the Bills have some talented players and they made the unit even better by drafting dominant defensive tackle Ed Oliver in the 1st round. I’m not too concerned about how the defense will play in 2019, but the Bills need to be much better on offense if the team is going to be a playoff contender. Maybe Buffalo can surprise us this season, but it seems unlikely considering the lack of talent that they have especially on offense.

4. Miami Dolphins

Miami likely is the worst team in the AFC East, but it seems as if they aren’t even trying to win games in 2019. The Dolphins just hired new head coach Brian Flores and that will likely create a tough transition for the franchise in 2019. Also, the Dolphins have a major question mark at the quarterback position after trading away Ryan Tannehill. Miami did add veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and young quarterback Josh Rosen, so those two players will likely compete for the starting job. Overall, the Dolphins lost several key players this offseason and they barely did anything to replace the players that departed. The Dolphins roster wasn’t good to begin with and now it is even more depleted after this offseason. Miami especially doesn’t have much talent on offense, but they could have a decent defense if their young players can step up. The Dolphins added defensive tackle Christian Wilkins in the 1st round of the draft and he should add to a good young core of defensive players to go along with Xavien Howard and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Miami will likely be battling for the honor of being the worst team in 2019, but at least they are starting to build their roster around some good young players.

Ranking the top 5 tight ends in the draft

1. T.J. Hockenson – Iowa

T.J. Hockenson lacks the athleticism that his college teammate Noah Fant has. However, Hockenson is still a very good pass-catcher and he was actually more productive last season than Fant. Hockenson needs to add more strength, but he is a good enough blocker that he has the ability to be an every-down tight end at the NFL level. Hockenson should go in the 1st round and he would be a terrific addition for a team that has a need at the position.

2. Noah Fant – Iowa

Fant was just as productive as Hockenson during his time at Iowa, but Fant arguably has a higher upside because of his athletic ability. Fant is a terrific pass-catcher and he would be a major threat in the passing game for any NFL team that drafts him. However, Fant should be an every-down tight end because he is a capable blocker and that is why he’ll likely be a 1st round pick.

3. Irv Smith Jr. – Alabama

Irv Smith Jr. isn’t nearly the all-around tight ends that Hockenson and Fant are. However, Smith Jr. is still a terrific receiving tight end that can be used as a major weapon even as a slot receiver at times. Smith Jr. has some work to do as a blocker, but he can still be an every-down tight end which is why he’ll likely get picked at some point in the 2nd round.

4. Jace Sternberger – Texas A&M

Jace Sternberger is probably the best pass-catching tight end in this draft class and he put up terrific numbers at Texas A&M last season. However, his draft stock is lower than it should be because of character concerns and his below average blocking skills. Sternberger certainly isn’t an every-down player, but his terrific receiving skills will make him a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick.

5. Dawson Knox – Ole Miss

Dawson Knox is one of the more intriguing options in this draft’s tight end position group. He might not be the terrific pass-catcher as some of the other guys, but he is surprisingly fast as proven by his 4.51 40-yard dash time. Also, he is a good enough blocker that he can be used as an every-down tight end. Knox probably isn’t versatile enough to use in the slot often, but he is a really good old-fashioned tight end that should go somewhere in the 3rd round.

Ranking the top 5 wide receivers in the draft

  1. D.K. Metcalf – Ole Miss

The wide receiver class might not be very strong this year, but D.K. Metcalf is one of my favorite players in this draft mostly because he is an athletic freak. Metcalf has ideal size for a wide receiver as he’ll spend most of his time on the outside. However, Metcalf also has terrific speed as proven by his 4.33 40-yard dash at the combine. Metcalf didn’t have much production at the college level, but he has the physical tools to be a very good NFL wide receiver and that’s why he’s a lock to be a 1st round pick.

2. Marquise Brown – Oklahoma

Maybe Brown doesn’t have the size and physicality to be able to make contested catches at the NFL level, but that’s not why Brown will likely be drafted in the 1st round. Brown is extremely fast and he can be used specifically as a deep threat at the NFL level. Brown isn’t the all-around player that Metcalf is, but Brown will be a major weapon for any NFL team that drafts him.

3. A.J. Brown – Ole Miss

A.J. Brown might not have the same physical tools that his college teammate D.K. Metcalf has. However, Brown was an even more productive receiver at Ole Miss than Metcalf was. Brown doesn’t project very well as a strictly outside receiver because he lacks the size and physicality to go up against bigger cornerbacks. That being said, Brown is a really good slot receiver and he can be a 1,000 yard receiver very soon at the NFL level. Brown has the chance to go in the 1st round of the draft, but he could be taken early in the 2nd round as well.

4. N’Keal Harry – Arizona State

N’Keal Harry had very good production at the college level and he has proven that he can he can be very good at making contested catches because of his size. He’ll likely play mostly on the outside because of his physical style of play, but he can occasionally be used in the slot as well. Harry isn’t great after the catch and he might not be the biggest playmaker out there, but he still has the potential of being a decent number one receiver in the NFL. Harry will likely be picked early in the 2nd round, but he could manage to slip into the 1st round of the draft as well.

5. Parris Campbell – Ohio State

Parris Campbell had a terrific college career at Ohio State mostly because he was elite at running outstanding routes out of the slot position. Campbell is most known for his elite speed as evidenced by his 4.31 40-yard dash at the combine. Campbell didn’t run many deep routes in college, yet he has the speed to beat just about any cornerback at the NFL level. Campbell will likely go early on in the 2nd round of the NFL draft.

Ranking the top 5 QB’s in the 2019 draft

  1. Kyler Murray – Oklahoma

Kyler Murray might not be the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft, but ultimately he has the highest potential in this draft. Murray has tremendous athletic ability as proven by being a 1st round pick in the 2018 MLB draft. Murray isn’t necessarily a great pocket passer, but he still has the ability to extend plays very well. Murray reminds me a lot of Russell Wilson mostly because of their height and athletic ability. Murray might never play at that level in his NFL career, but he could be pro-bowl caliber quarterback for a very long time.

2. Dwayne Haskins – Ohio State

Dwayne Haskins doesn’t necessarily have the potential that Murray has, but he probably is the most NFL-ready quarterback in this draft. Haskins is a terrific pocket passer and he has underrated athletic ability as well. Haskins’ draft stock has fallen somewhat since Murray declared for the draft, but Haskins should still be draft in the top 10.

3. Daniel Jones – Duke

Daniel Jones is another quarterback that probably isn’t ready to start right away at the NFL level, but he has the intangibles to be a very good NFL quarterback. Jones is a good pocket passer and he has some good athletic ability as well. Jones probably will get picked around the middle of the 1st round in the draft, but he could go sooner than that if some team really likes him.

4. Drew Lock – Missouri

Drew Lock will probably go higher than Daniel Jones in the 1st round of the draft, but that doesn’t mean that I believe he’ll be the better quarterback. Lock is ready to start right away at the NFL level because he is a really good pocket passer. However, he doesn’t have as much potential as Jones which is why I’m saying that Jones will ultimately be a better quarterback. That being said, Lock still has a decent chance of being a top 10 pick in the draft.

5. Ryan Finley – North Carolina State

There is a big dropoff between Drew Lock/Daniel Jones and Ryan Finley in the draft. Finley won’t be a 1st round pick, but he can still be a decent starting quarterback at some point in the NFL. That’s why Finley will likely go in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft and he could be a good pick for a team like the Patriots or Chargers that have the patience to be able to develop him. Finley doesn’t have a high upside, but he is an intelligent quarterback that is a good pocket passer as well.

2019 NFL 1st round Mock Draft

  1. Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray – Quarterback – Oklahoma

The Arizona Cardinals already have a young quarterback with young potential as Josh Rosen is still their starter right now. However, Rosen struggled last season and there is some concern that he might not fit well into Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. Kyler Murray definitely has more athleticism than Rosen does and Murray is also a talented passer as well. Murray is very similar to Patrick Mahomes who Kliff Kingsbury coached in college while at Texas Tech. The Cardinals offense doesn’t have much to be able to support Murray, but Murray is the type of player that can make the Cardinals offense better on his own. Rosen is a talented young quarterback and he might be very successful elsewhere, but all signs are clearly pointing to Murray being their new quarterback.

2. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa – Defensive End – Ohio State

The 49ers have some good young defensive lineman and DeForest Buckner proved that he could be a really good pass rusher as he had 12 sacks last season. However, the 49ers don’t have another edge rusher that can consistently get after the quarterback. Nick Bosa is a terrific playmaker and he is arguably the best player in the entire draft class. Bosa would help to add some much needed talent to the 49ers defense and he would help to make the 49ers defensive line elite.

3. New York Jets – Josh Allen – Defensive End – Kentucky

The Jets could easily trade this pick to a team in desperate need of a quarterback. However, I’m going to assume that the Jets will keep this pick and draft the best edge rusher available. Josh Allen is an extremely athletic defensive end and it will be tough for offensive tackles to match his speed coming off the edge. No player for the Jets had more than 7 sacks last season and adding Allen would fill a major need for the team.

4. Oakland Raiders – Quinnen Williams – Defensive Tackle – Alabama

The Oakland Raiders lacked any disruption from their front 7 last season after they traded away Khalil Mack. However, the Raiders have a chance to make their defensive line much better if they add a player like Quinnen Williams. He is extremely athletic for a player of his size and he has terrific strength to go along with it. It will be tough for interior offensive linemen to be able to keep up with Williams’ speed and he would be a major upgrade over what Oakland had at defensive tackle last season.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devin White – Inside Linebacker – LSU

Tampa Bay suffered a major loss this offseason when star linebacker Kwon Alexander departed in free agency. That loss was especially painful since the Buccaneers are moving into a 3-4 defensive scheme for the 2019 season under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Devin White is very similar to Kwon Alexander and not just because they both attended LSU. White is a dynamic linebacker that makes plays all over the field and he’ll be needed to improve a Buccaneers defense that has been awful in recent years.

6. New York Giants – Rashan Gary – Defensive End – Michigan

Maybe the Giants decide to go with Dwayne Haskins or another quarterback in this spot, but the more pressing need for the Giants is along the defensive line. The Giants traded away Olivier Vernon who was the team’s best pass rusher. That left a major void at defensive end for New York and it is something that they need to address early in the draft. Rashan Gary would be a good pick in this spot because he has ability to stop the run and provide some much-needed pass rush for the Giants. Gary was an inconsistent pass rusher in college, yet he is still a player that would be a major upgrade at defensive end for the Giants.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jawaan Taylor – Offensive Tackle – Florida

The Jaguars just found their new starting quarterback with Nick Foles this offseason. However, the issue is that besides Leonard Fournette he really doesn’t have much to work with on the offensive side of the ball. Jawaan Taylor would be a terrific pick for Jacksonville because he would be an instant upgrade as a pass-protecting offensive tackle for the Jaguars. It is difficult to find franchise-caliber left tackles these days and Taylor is certainly that type of player as he is a terrific pass-protector and he will be very helpful for Fournette and the running game as well. The Jaguars desperately need some protection for Foles and Taylor would be an immediate solution.

8. Detroit Lions – Montez Sweat – Defensive End – Mississippi State

The Detroit Lions are prepared to lose defensive end Ziggy Ansah in free agency, but that loss won’t hurt too much since they signed Trey Flowers to a massive contract in free agency. The issue for the Lions though is that they don’t really have another consistent pass rusher that they can rely on. Montez Sweat would certainly help to upgrade the Lions defensive line especially since he is one of the most athletic defensive ends that I’ve seen in a very long time. Sweat would provide Detroit with another consistent pass rusher and it would make their defensive line very good.

9. Buffalo Bills – Andre Dillard – Offensive Tackle – Washington State

Buffalo has several options that they could go with this pick, but the main concern should be surrounding young quarterback Josh Allen with some talent on offense. Allen struggled last season mainly because of the lack of weapons that the team had and the offensive line play was poor as well. Dillard is probably the best pass-protector in this draft and he showed really good footwork at the combine as well. Dillard would be an upgrade for the Bills offensive line and he would help to give Allen the time necessary to make plays.

10. Denver Broncos – Drew Lock – Quarterback – Missouri

Denver just added Joe Flacco this offseason and he is viewed as the likely starter for at least the 2019 season. However, the Broncos need to find a long-term solution at the quarterback position and that is something that Flacco can’t provide. It would be kind of surprising if the Broncos don’t go with a quarterback here and the rumor is that the Broncos have been very impressed with Missouri quarterback Drew Lock. It would be a good situation for Lock since he wouldn’t feel the pressure to play right away and he could learn under a veteran quarterback. Either way, the Broncos need to do something to find a young quarterback that they can build around and Lock could be that guy.

11. Cincinnati Bengals – Dwayne Haskins – Quarterback – Ohio State

The Cincinnati Bengals could decide to opt for some defensive help with this pick, although if a good quarterback like Haskins fall to them then it might be difficult to pass up. Cincinnati already has a decent quarterback with Andy Dalton, so the quarterback position isn’t necessarily a pressing need. That being said, Dalton is just an average quarterback at best and we know what type of player he is at this point. Haskins offers a much higher upside than Dalton and he would help to bring some much needed excitement to a franchise that really needs it. Haskins is an NFL-ready quarterback, but it would be ideal for him to spend a year backing up Dalton before he takes the reigns as the starter for the Bengals.

12. Green Bay Packers – Devin Bush – Linebacker – Michigan

The Packers need some help in their front 7 overall and it is very possible that they could decide to go with a pass rusher such as Brian Burns with this pick. However, the Packers could use some speed at the linebacker position and that is what Devin Bush can provide. The Packers lack a true playmaker at linebacker and Bush would be an upgrade at the inside linebacker position, although he is capable of playing at all three linebacker spots. Green Bay needs some more playmakers on defense and Bush would help to provide some more speed at linebacker.

13. Miami Dolphins – Clelin Ferrell – Defensive End – Clemson

The Dolphins could decide to draft a quarterback in this spot if they find somebody that they really like. However, Miami has many needs and their best option might just be to take the best player available. Miami has a desperate need for some pass-rushing help especially since their top two pass rushers Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn both departed this offseason. The Dolphins are hoping that Charles Harris can improve and provide some spark to the pass rush, but the Dolphins need to draft another pass rusher either way. Clelin Ferrell might be overlooked in a really deep defensive line group in this draft. However, Ferrell is probably the best pass rusher overall as he had 11.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss last season at Clemson. Ferrell would provide an instant impact for the Dolphins defensive line and he is a player that the team can build around during their rebuild.

14. Atlanta Falcons – Ed Oliver – Defensive Tackle – Houston

A year ago it looked like Ed Oliver would be the top pick in this year’s draft, but it appears that he likely won’t even be a top 10 pick at this point. That being said, Oliver is still a terrific player and the Falcons would be getting terrific value if Oliver is able to fall to them. The Falcons already have Grady Jarrett at defensive tackle and their defensive line is already above average. However, adding Oliver would make the Falcons defensive line dominant which is important considering the division that they play in.

15. Washington Redskins – Brian Burns – Defensive End – Florida State

The Redskins could decide to go with a quarterback in this spot considering their uncertainty at the position. However, the Redskins have a major need for a pass rusher after the departure of Preston Smith this offseason. Burns would form a dynamic pass-rushing duo with Ryan Kerrigan and it would help to improve the Redskins defense overall.

16. Carolina Panthers – Jonah Williams – Offensive Tackle – Alabama

It wouldn’t be that surprising if Williams goes higher in the draft, but if he falls to the Panthers then they should take a chance on him. Williams played at left tackle during part of his college career and he could play offensive tackle in the NFL because he is an above average pass rusher. However, he is versatile enough to play guard as well because of his ability to be a power blocker in the run game. Either way, the Panthers need to keep star quarterback Cam Newton healthy and Williams would fill a need along the offensive line for the team.

17. New York Giants – Daniel Jones – Quarterback – Duke

Eli Manning was once a very good starting quarterback for the Giants, but at this point he is just an aging quarterback that is clearly way past his prime. Manning might still be the starter in 2019, but the Giants need to find a younger option at the quarterback in this draft. Jones seems like the perfect fit for the Giants because he is a quarterback that is still raw, but he has some really good potential. The good news is that Jones wouldn’t have to start right away and he could be a quarterback that the Giants could build around for the future.

18. Minnesota Vikings – Cody Ford – Guard – Oklahoma

Cody Ford played offensive tackle during college and it is possible that he could play that position in the NFL. However, Ford is most likely going to become an interior offensive lineman at the NFL level. Ford would fill a huge need for the Vikings at the guard position and it would help to allow Kirk Cousins and the rest of the Vikings talented offense to succeed.

19. Tennessee Titans – Christian Wilkins – Defensive Tackle – Clemson

The Titans already have a really good defensive tackle with Jurrell Casey, but the other interior defensive line spot is a major weakness for the team. Christian Wilkins can help fill that void and strengthen the Titans defensive line. Wilkins is a really good interior pass rusher and he would be tough for guards to block because of his quickness. Wilkins would help the Titans pass rush will also providing another playmaker for their front 7.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Greedy Williams – Cornerback – LSU

The cornerback position continues to be a major position of need for Pittsburgh and it is likely something that they’ll address in the first round. There are several cornerbacks that the Steelers could draft in this spot. However, the perfect fit would be LSU cornerback Greedy Williams if he falls to the Steelers in this spot. Not too long ago it seemed that Williams would surely be a top 10 pick, but that is seeming like a distant possibility at this point. That being said, Williams has the physical style of play that the Steelers like from a cornerback and he certainly doesn’t shy away from competing. Williams is still likely the best cornerback in this draft and he would provide a major upgrade at a big position of need for Pittsburgh.

21. Seattle Seahawks – Jeffery Simmons – Defensive Tackle – Mississippi State

Jeffery Simmons certainly could fall further than the 21st overall pick because of the couple of big question marks that come with him. First of all, Simmons has some character issues after he had a domestic violence incident during college. Also, Simmons suffered an unfortunate incident in February when he suffered a torn ACL. However, Simmons is a top 10 talent in this draft, but he falls because of the uncertainty surrounding his injury. That being said, Simmons is too talented for him to fall too far and he fits the type of player that head coach Pete Carroll would love to draft.

22. Baltimore Ravens – D.K. Metcalf – Wide Receiver – Ole Miss

The Baltimore Ravens addressed the wide receiver position last offseason, but none of the signings that they made really made a difference. Baltimore needs to address the position badly early in the draft and they need a wide receiver that can be a true game-changer. D.K. Metcalf certainly fits that description as he has the physical traits that everybody looks for in a wide receiver. Metcalf has terrific size to be able to make contested catches, but he also has outstanding speed as evidenced by his 4.33 time at the combine. The Ravens will be a run-heavy team moving forward with Lamar Jackson at quarterback, although Metcalf would add a much-needed playmaker to the Ravens passing game.

23. Houston Texans – DeAndre Baker – Cornerback – Georgia

The Houston Texans have a glaring need at cornerback especially after they saw Kareem Jackson and Kevin Johnson depart this offseason. Houston did add Bradley Roby in free agency, but that doesn’t completely fill the void at cornerback. There are several options available to fill the spot, but DeAndre Baker seems like the best fit. Baker doesn’t have ideal size for a cornerback, but he is good in coverage and he provides some good run support as well. Baker projects probably best as a slot cornerback, yet there is no doubt that he’ll help fill the big need that Houston has at the position.

24. Oakland Raiders – Noah Fant – Tight End – Iowa

The Oakland Raiders suffered a major subtraction this offseason when star tight end Jared Cook left in free agency. Cook was the Raiders top receiver last season and his departure has left the Raiders with a huge void at the tight end position. The good news is that the Raiders have a couple of options to fill the void in the 1st round of the draft. Noah Fant seems like the best option because he is a very athletic pass-catching tight end that is similar to O.J. Howard of Tampa Bay. The Raiders already added some much needed threats to their passing game by acquiring Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams this offseason. However, adding another really good target like Noah Fant will make the Raiders passing offense even more dangerous.

25. Philadelphia Eagles – Marquise Brown – Wide Receiver – Oklahoma

The Eagles have Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery as their top options in the passing game. Also, the Eagles added speedster DeSean Jackson this offseason, but he hasn’t been very consistent in recent years. Philadelphia also has Nelson Agholor as another possible option at receiver, but he has struggled mightily since being drafted by the Eagles. Philadelphia needs a long-term option at the wide receiver position and Marquise Brown is exactly the type of playmaker that the Eagles need. Jackson and Agholor could only be around for the 2019 season and who knows what type of production that Philadelphia will get from them anyways. Brown is a speedy receiver and he has the potential to be a star for Philadelphia for many years to come.

26. Indianapolis Colts – Dexter Lawrence – Defensive Tackle – Clemson

The Colts defense made some big strides last season, but they still have a big need at defensive tackle heading into the 2019 season. However, the good news is that the defensive line group in this draft is extremely deep and they should have some good options to choose from. That being said, Dexter Lawrence seems like a terrific fit for Indianapolis. He is a big player that clogs up the middle and he has some surprisingly really good pass rush skills as well. The only real concern about Lawrence was his suspension towards the end of last season at Clemson, but there is no doubting that he would be a major upgrade for the Colts.

27. Oakland Raiders – Chris Lindstrom – Guard – Boston College

The Oakland Raiders have several holes remaining on their roster even with this being the 3rd pick of the 1st round. However, the Raiders have a big hole to fill at the guard position especially after they traded away Kelechi Osemele this offseason. Lindstrom is a good pass-blocker because of his good footwork and his ability to handle speed rushers. However, Lindstrom doesn’t have much power for the position which could be a concern if he faces really powerful defensive tackles. Either way, Lindstrom would fill a need for Oakland at guard and he is the type of player that can start right away.

28. Los Angeles Chargers – Rock Ya-Sin – Cornerback – Temple

The Chargers might have more pressing needs in the draft than the cornerback position. However, the Chargers do have a need for a corner on the opposite side of their best cornerback Casey Hayward. Rock Ya-Sin would be a terrific addition because he has the size and speed to be able to defend receivers on the outside. Also, he has terrific ball skills which he proved last year at Temple when he had 12 pass deflections. Maybe the Chargers decide to address a bigger need in the 1st round, but Ya-Sin would make the Chargers secondary really good.

29. Kansas City Chiefs – Byron Murphy – Cornerback – Washington

The cornerback position was a major issue for the Chiefs last season after they traded away Marcus Peters. Byron Murphy would provide an instant impact for the Chiefs secondary in 2019. Murphy put up really good stats last season when had 58 tackles and 4 interceptions at Washington. He doesn’t have great size and he doesn’t have great speed either, but he is a physical corner that won’t be afraid to challenge receivers. If the Chiefs defense is to get better next season then they’ll need a cornerback like Murphy to improve the pass defense.

30. Green Bay Packers – Taylor Rapp – Safety – Washington

The Packers created a huge void at safety when they traded Ha Ha Clinton-Dix last season. Sure, the Packers did fill that void somewhat when they signed Adrian Amos in free agency, but safety still remains a big need. Taylor Rapp would be really good fit for Green Bay because he is a versatile safety that would give the Packers a talented playmaker on defense. Rapp did many things during his time at Washington as he showed his good coverage skills while also posting an impressive 5 sacks last season. Rapp would fill the Packers need at safety and he is the type of player that can make an immediate impact.

31. Los Angeles Rams – Garrett Bradbury – Center – North Carolina State

The Rams don’t have many needs, but offensive line is certainly the area that they need to focus the most on. Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth is returning for another season, but he is really old in age and will have to be replaced soon. Also, starting guard Rodger Saffold and starting center John Sullivan both left this offseason. The Rams will almost certainly address the offensive line in the 1st round and center Garrett Bradbury would be a logical fit. Bradbury isn’t the most powerful center, but he gets the job done using his technique especially against interior pass rushers. Los Angeles has a lot of work to do in the draft with their offensive line, but Bradbury would at least fill a major void at the center position.

32. New England Patriots – A.J. Brown – Wide Receiver – Ole Miss

It is amazing that the Patriots won the super bowl despite Tom Brady barely having anybody to throw to besides Julian Edelman. The retirement of star tight end Rob Gronkowski makes it even more important for the Patriots to find some pass-catchers that can make Tom Brady’s job easier. A.J. Brown could be a solution to the problem and he is the type of player that the Patriots can use as a match up nightmare for opposing defenses. The reason I say that is because he is a proven slot receiver, but he also has the size and strength to play on the outside. Brown is great after the catch and he would be the playmaker that could help take a lot of the pressure off of Julian Edelman. Either way, wide receiver is a position that New England needs to address and if they add Brown then the Patriots offense could become even more scary.

Packers were wrong to fire McCarthy before the end of the season

I think most people would agree that it was a terrible loss for the Packers on Sunday as they lost to the Arizona Cardinals 20-17. That game ended up being the last straw for Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and deservedly so as the Packers fell to 4-7-1 on the season. However, the decision that was made to fire Mike McCarthy was poor timing and somewhat disrespectful for a coach that has done so much for the franchise. There is no doubt that McCarthy deserved to be fired because his team has severely underachieved since the beginning of the 2017 season. That being said, he doesn’t deserve all of the blame for the failures of the Packers this season. The Packers have had to deal with numerous injuries especially on defense and the roster has been poorly constructed on both sides of the ball. McCarthy deserves some share of the blame, but the general manager and the players deserve a lot of blame as well. I don’t disagree with the decision to fire McCarthy right now because it really has no benefit at all. The team should have waited until the end of the season to fire him because firing him during the season is just disrespectful considering how much he has accomplished. McCarthy deserved to finish the season especially since he gives the team the best chance to win right now. Most coaching candidates won’t be available until after the season, so there is really no benefit of firing a coach at this point in the season. Firing McCarthy has just created even more dysfunction in the Packers organization and they should’ve let McCarthy finish the season. Overall, McCarthy did a very good job with the Packers as he led the team to the playoffs 9 times in his nearly 13 seasons as the head coach. McCarthy will certainly get another coaching job very soon and it is just unfortunate that the Packers made such an impulsive decision to fire him just a few games before the end of the season.