As week 17 commences in the Madden PFL Pro 10 league there is still plenty to play for with playoff spots up for grabs and seedings open to change. Here is the final regular season preview before the league enters January football (in February).
With something to play for across the board of the PFL Pro 10, the second season reaches its penultimate week. The playoff mix in the AFC is wide open with the three AFC East teams in the hunt for January football, its high risk and reward for the Bills, Jets and Dolphins with the slim chance of nabbing the number 1 seed but with the Jacksonville Jaguars nipping at their heels and one of these vaulted franchises could slip out altogether.
Giants draft grade B-: The Giants made some moves before the draft started. The first move was to obtain Mettenberger from the titans, they gave up OLB Jacquan Williams but that’s a small price to pay if Mettenberger will be the man under centre. Then the New Yorkers obtained a bunch of picks from the pats by trading away their 3rd round pick. Good trade? Well that all depends on what they did with the picks of course. We will circle back to that later cause the giants made another trade, this one with the Saints. Giants sent Stevie Brown to New Orleans to obtain their 3rd round pick. The off season moves all were focused on gathering draft picks, this is something the fans always like but it does put more pressure on the coach to make the right picks. So here we go.. how did the Giants use the picks they gathered? With the 3rd pick in the NFL draft the Giants select…. Parker Smith HB. Do we see a lot of HB’s this early in the draft? No, should we see them this early in the draft? Well we should if they are this talented, the 21 year old rookie from Pittsburgh is a monster trucking and stiff arming his way through the field butalso spinning and juking with ease this guy can do it all. If the Giants hand him the ball enough he could throw his name in the OROTY conversation. In the 2nd round the Giants went for RG Darrin Galvin, who was picked to open up holes for Smith to run through and that is something he did a lot already for Michigan St. In the 3rd round the Giants got to pick again and Evan Turner DT heard his name being called. This will probably prove to be a reach because not many people expected him to go this early and frankly he shouldn’t have gone that early. Giants had a lot of picks in the later rounds and those are always difficult once to pick and to judge. In the 5th round they took Mack Hilliard WR this kid has decent speed and really nice hands, when he played for Illinois St. he made some amazing catches. But the critics ask them selves if he is fast enough and if his round running is crisp enough? If he manages to get better at running routes he could be a red zone threat with his 6 foot 4 body. In the 6th round Kristoff Felton HB was picked up by the Giants he has been amazing on special teams in college and this is where we suspect he might see some playing time for the Giants also. All in all the Giants got a lot of fresh blood and it remains to be seen how many rookies actually end up on the 53-man roster. We are at least excited to see who makes it!
Redskins draft grade A: The skins had a difficult season last year which resulted in the 2nd overall pick, after a low action off-season the draft couldn’t come soon enough for the skins fans. With the 2nd overall pick the skins took QB Jared Langford and what a pick it was. The Georgia golden boy seems on all parts to be one of the best QB to come out of college since Peyton manning. He has a cannon of an arm and is very accurate, with his 6 foot 2 he also has the body to be a great passer. So the skins were off to a flying start in the draft and they used to 2nd round to give Langford a weapon to throw to in the person of Sedale Norwood WR. This kid is 6 foot 4 and has great hands and rout running ability. If he and Langford can get on the same page this can be a nice duo for years to come in Washington. In the 3rd round the skins found a beast of a guy… literally Harris Ellison LE is 6 foot 7! Apart from being that big he also has some speed and gets after the QB what a pickup in round 3. The scouting for the skins was really good because they also managed to get a great guy in round 4! Russell Buchanan HB played for Ohio State and proved to be a pass catching HB who is elusive and doesn’t shy away from breaking some tackles. The fans in Washington must be ecstatic with such a young explosive new offense, it will definitely not be boring to watch the skins play next season.
Eagles draft grade C-: The Eagles shocked the league and especially their fan base by giving away their 1st 2nd and 3rd round pick to move up 7 spots in the first round and gain an extra 4th round pick. The fans did believe they gave up way to much to get that pick. On the other hand the Eagles just won the SB so that made the fans trust that the guys upstairs know what they are doing. With the 25th pick the Eagles took Connor Murphey C from Alabama. This kid was a very popular pick after he showed of his huge strength at the combine. His run blocking is also really good the only thing he can work on is pass blocking. In the 4th round the Eagles picked up corner Dion Hurst who is going to have to battle to get a spot on the 53-man roster which says a lot about his projected ability. With their own 4th round pick the Eagles went o-line again with Evan McGhee LT a solid backup. All in all not a very exciting draft in Philadelphia which is what can happen after you win the SB. The positive side of things is that the eagles didn’t lose anyone so they still are the top contenders to bring next years SB to Philly.
Cowboys draft grade C+: The cowboys underperformed last year and ended up with the 15th pick. The roster of dem boys looks pretty packed with talent already so there’s not much needed to make that push for the playoffs possible. In the 1st round the Cowboys selected Brody Snelling TE one of the most pro ready players in the entire draft. This kid is a giant with his 6 foot 6 body and he also has a good pair of hands on him adding a big threat to the aerial attack of the cowboys. All in all might prove to be a great pickup at 15. There wont be many line backers that will have a good matchup against this kid. In the 2nd round the Cowboys added Parker Jones HB to the backfield and if we are to believe the coaches he will be the immediate number one running back on the roster. And if you would’ve asked any HB pre-draft ‘where would you like to end up?’ they would’ve all probably have said Dallas. Running in the gaps behind that stacked o-line will be his pleasure. And if the gap closes don’t be surprised if Parker still runs through/over it. In the 3rd round Dallas went QB in Chance Bradley and im being very positive when I say this kid is a project and I wont expect to see him on the field any time soon. Chances(yes that was on purpose) are that he wont ever see the field. All in all 2 strong pickups to an already stacked roster promises good times in Dallas. QB still remains a big problem for dem boys though.
49-ers draft grade A: On to the big rivals of the cowboys, the 49-ers had 2 trades leading up to the draft. First of they got their hands on Lamin Barrow MLB from the Bears. The former 5th roundpick was acquired for a 2nd round pick. The fans found it a rather high price for the line backer but the coach was happy to build some depth behind Bowman. The other trade was the trade with the Eagles where they got the long side of the stick according to most people. Where they picked up a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick for their 1st and 4th round pick. With their first pick in the draft the 49-ers went for LT Morris Ogletree to protect Kaeps blindside. What Morris lacks in strength he doubly makes up for in blocking technique this kid is a multi talent in the pass and the run blocking. With the 8th pick in the 2nd round the niners picked up WR Tajh Lewis a very agile athletic WR who doesn’t relies on speed but more on his ability to pick balls out of the air. His rout running is crisp and he will be a big weapon in the red-zone. With the 32nd pick in the 2nd round the 49-ers went for Gordon Hurd LG in a draft that was pretty deep at the 0-line Gordon is a nice pickup especially in the pass game he can keep many pass rushers at bay. (pun intended) With the 3rd pick in the 4th round B.J. Finley LE came of the board and this was one of the biggest steals in the entire draft. This kid is fast and knows his way to the QB. He also tends to pickup everything fast so he will be a project for the coming years but don’t think you wont see him on the field in his first year we are sure he will get some playing time. In DeMarkus Barkley DT 49-ers found another nice late round pickup. This tackle is not far from being ready to start day 1 and that in round 4 not to shaby! The niners didn’t stop there in the 5th round they took Stephond Bruton FB who is a high regarded player at his position can run the ball and catch it a multi talent. This kid will help the niners get that 1st down. Great pickup again, to round up the fans in san Francisco are insanely hapy with the draft and are looking forward to next season. Last year they just got to the playoffs with all this new talent the fans are dreaming of that championship game.
Rams draft grade B: Think your offseason was busy? Try putting Donald on the trade block and see what happens to your inbox! After the trade with the Texans was denied by the commishes the rams struck a deal with the Dolphins. Hell bound on letting Donald and the 1st overall pick walk they wanted PICKS and maybe an impact player or 2. Well they sure got that much in WR Devante Parker widely seen as one of the better receivers in the league. Still the public opinion swayed to the Dolphins getting the better part of this deal. This all could be silenced on draft night of course, getting 3 potentially impact players next to Mitchell and Parker might change the views on that deal. So lets dive in to the first pick of the Rams which was the 11th overall pick. Davion Austin QB came of the board and what a pick it was. This kid has the atlethic ability of Mariota and the arm of Winston add his sponge like ability to soak up knowledge to the mix and you got yourself a game changer at the QB position. And how do you put a price on that franchise guy under center? We know many franchises tried to put a price on that and it was never a cheap one. There’s only one concern with this kid and that is that he’s slightly injury prone. A heavy burden falls on the o-line this year to prevent Austin from getting banged up to much. With the 24th overall pick Trenten Armstrong WR came of the board, another solid pick since the Rams added speed with Parker they went for a big guy to get more presence in the red-zone. And if this kid can do something well its get him self open and come down with the ball. With their own 2nd round pick the Rams showed they wanted to keep their new QB upright by picking up Glenn Holland LG this kid has a lot of strength can block well, only thing he needs to work on is to get some impact in his blocks. He didn’t ‘pancake’ one guy in college and although this is not a must it would give Gurley that chance to pick up yards like its nothing. With the 2nd round pick they got in the Donald-deal Dondre Carter RT came off the board. The scouts were especially impressed with his bench-presses during the combine and his ability to put guys on their asses. His big development area is his blocking and his football IQ. This raises the question if he will see any playing time next year already. In the 3rd round the Rams went with Chrishon Jefferson WR and this kid has some wheels! His catching ability is also on point the only reason he might have dropped this far is because of his size (5’8”) but when Parker and Armstrong are already on the field how many defenders will Jefferson get on him? We think not many and that might be a big mistake. Great pick up, in the later rounds the rams didn’t seem to pick up any impact players but with potentially 5 starters picked up this offseason St. Louis can’t wait for the season to commence.
Cardinals draft grade B-: It was a quiet offseason in Arizona with no trades leading up to the draft. The fans were kind of hoping/anticipating that the cards would make a move for a QB. In their mind this was the only piece missing from getting to the SB next season. And with the 22nd pick it would be hard/impossible to get that franchise guy under center. Pick after pick was made and the fans hope was fading. When it was time to announce the Cardinals pick the fans were hoping the guys upstairs wouldn’t reach and take a QB out of need that wasn’t any better than what they currently got. And luckily for them Malik Hughes ROLB was chosen. This kid is quit the player and might be one of the biggest talents in the entire draft, so to get him at 22 was nothing less of an absolute steal. In the 2nd round Cuiney Murray CB was chosen this is a kid who can do anything at the position just isn’t the quickest guy you will ever meet. His vertical leap left everyone stunned at the combine what made up for his size (5’10”). In the 3rd round Dre Charles HB came of the board and this can be seen as kind of a steal also. This kid is agile has loads of speed and can also catch passes. This multi-talent will probably be the backup of Johnson but he can also serve a roll in special teams and on duo hb plays. We expect him to see quit some playing time next season. Then in the 5th round the cards finally went for a QB but the experts don’t expect him to play a lot and if he does that probably means the Cards are in big big trouble. All in all the cards went for best available and made some great pickups that way. The future will tell if it’s enough to go all the way.
Seahawks draft grade C-: The Seahawks are known for not making any big deals the last couple of years. They try to get quality players in the draft and keep their core groupe of playmakers together. And who can blame them? When you have players like Sherman/Russell/Kam etc.you don’t need to make big deals. So the Seahawks got to pick 16th overall and took Will Richards RT from UCLA. A big kid with a lot strength and decent blocking skills. He was also one of the few o-line man who had decent awareness. So Seattle was of to a good start in the 2nd round they surprised friend and foe to go for a QB Ryan Jackson who was projected to go far later in the draft. Its not hard to see what they liked about the kid and that was his athletic possibilities, this kid knows how to scramble which is why they p probably liked him as stand-in for Russell. The real shock was that this kid has terrible terrible accuracy and can’t throw the ball that hard 2 things that are kind of mandatory for playing the position like its supposed to. Terrible pick up in the 2nd round, in the 3rd round Antwaun Scott MLB came of the board. This kid also has nice speed and knows how to tackle guys. He won’t be ready to start in the first season we think but if he watches Wagner enough there’s no telling how good this kid can end up to be. In the remaining rounds the Hawks didn’t manage to pickup any meaningful players what meant that it was a pretty disappointing draft for Seattle.
Vikings draft grade C-: On to the North we go and Minnesota was looking forward to the draft. This is already a good team with young stars but you can never have enough stars! The Vikes made no offseason moves and got to pick 21st overall and went for Shaakir Scott DT. This kid isn’t as big as many other DT’s but he is agile and he can get to the QB using his power and technique. In the 2nd round Minnesota added Tyler Russell WR, this kid, as many WR’s in this class isn’t the fastest of receivers. He does however tend to make crazy catches and runs his routes as well as you can expect from a guy fresh out of college. Lane Chisholm RT was the 3rd round pickup for the Vikes, we aren’t to confident in this pick because he does some things average and others below average he could have gone way later in the draft so it was a bit of a reach. We don’t expect to see him on the field much next season. Kind of the same can be said for 4th round pickup Jarrick Gandy CB. He has average speed and his coverage is good enough. His football IQ is terrible though and that makes it hard for him to be in the right place at the right moment that combined with him being short we don’t expect to see much of him. All in all it wasn’t the best draft for the Vikes, it helps that they already have a quality packed roster so they probably wont lose sleep over it.
Packers draft grade C: The pack didn’t flinch in the offseason and made no moves at all. And why would they, last season ended in the championship game for Green bay so with some talent in the draft maybe that will take them to the SB next season. In the first round the packers picked up Darius Hunter CB and it was a real nice pick. Darius is 6 foot and has crazy speed, he sees the game and knows where to be and his coverage skills are good also. Darius may have been the best corner in the draft or at least one of the best, great pick! The 2nd round proved that the first round pick may have been a fluke because Claudeson Austin LE was way way lower on all the other teams draft boards and he shouldn’t have gone in the 2nd round. I’m not even sure he will make the 53-man roster, in the 3rd round the pack took another swing at a defensive end in the from of Aldrin Walls RE. In our book this was a better pick then Austin but still wasn’t the best pick they could have made. He has some skills to work with (strength/tackle/Hit power/block shedding) but his football IQ is so low that he doesn’t even know which end-zone is his own. We don’t expect to see much of him in his first season but with some good help he might become a good player in a couple years. The other picks were also definitely no starters, we don’t want to say it was a failed draft for the pack because they got one power pick and maybe that’s all they needed to get to the SB. Very curious to see how this season will go for Green Bay!
Bears draft grade B-: Well in a division with the Packers and Vikings the Bears needed to add a lot of talent to be in a place where they could compete with these teams. Chicago decided to move MLB Barrow to San Francisco to obtain their 2nd round pick. In other words they were laying it all on the draft to spice up the team.In the first round Khrystian McKay ROLB came of the board, Khrystian is a great run stopper mmmkay? He’s not the kind of guy who will get to the QB a lot or can cover people for long but he is a though grinder who will wreck people if they come near to him. In the 2nd round Brandon Gilbert DT was chosen this kid does know how to get to the QB and did that on a regular bases for Georgia. With the SF pick Isaac Patrick CB was acquired, a solid pick who has some speed and has nice coverage skills. In the 3rd round QB A.J. Blake was picked up, this was a contested one because even though he has enough power in his arm to get a nice spiral his accuracy in college was lacking and there are not many (if any at all) that get better passing rating in the NFL then they had in college. You can’t blame the Bears for trying to get a QB though since Cutler is getting older and last year threw 26 INT’s (even though he put up 35 TD’s its just to many turnovers). Despite the technical difficulties the Bears can be pleased with a decent draft where they picked up a couple starters. Curious to see how they will fair versus the packers and vikes next season.
Lions draft grade C-: To close out the division we go to Detroit to see what the Lions had in store for us. The Lions have more holes in their roster then Swiss cheese. If they are able to pick up 7 starters that would be great but they still would have a hard time competing in this division. Not surprisingly the Lions got an early pick (5th) and with that pick they chose Demarcus Duncan WR from Florida. This was the last place we expected them to go for with already having megatron in the roster. It did force us to look closer in to this kid and we like what we see there. DeMarcus is 6 foot 4 has decent speed and amazing hands, seriously this kid doesn’t drop a thing. Stafford must be extremely pleased with this pick up although he also could’ve used some protection. In the 2nd round Josh Hunter LE came of the board and this was a bad pick at this stage of the draft. Yes he has a lot of upside he can tackle HARD and knows how to run over people to get to the QB. If he will also be able to do this against NFL 0-lineman is a big big question mark though. The Lions must know something the rest of us don’t cause they were very decisive on picking this kid. In the 3rd round Davion Spriggs CB came of the board and again this was an ok pick but this kid has so low football IQ that it wouldn’t surprise us if he took all year just to learn the playbook. The rest of the draft was more of the same so overall it was a disappointing effort from Detroit only picking up 1 true starter in such a depleted roster that’s unacceptable.
Buccaneers draft grade B-: The Buccs didn’t have a busy offseason but wore involved in one of the biggest trades this offseason where QB Winston was traded to the Chiefs for 2 1st round picks. Who will be the winner in this trade all depends on what Tampa Bay manage to get out of those first round picks. Lets not forget Winston is the former #1 overall pick and you won’t find a QB like him any time soon. We do understand the trade though since Tampa lost Winston 8 weeks last season but Glennon seemed to manage the offense just fine. Back to the draft the Buccs wore looking for WR’s and CB’s because those wore the big holes in the roster last season. With the 9thoverall pick Phillip Daniel CB came of the board, there was no surprise to that pick. Daniel is a big CB who has good coverage skills and knows how to play the position. He has decent speed on him and did get a pick every now and then in college. With the 27th pick the Buccs went for Taz Morgan WR from Southern Miss. This kid has a good acceleration and is very agile so he knows how to pick up some yards after the catch. His route running is good good and he knows how to make those contested catches. With their 3rd 1st rounder Tampa went for Ben Morris C this was kid has strength to spare and has decent blocking skills. There won’t be many guys he will let through without a fight and he can play guard just as good as he can play centre. In the 2nd round Tampa went for Russell McNeil MLB this kid has good speed for the position and can make those contested tackles. However his coverage and football IQ are unreliable at best and he wont be a starter anytime soon. In the 4th round Tampa picked up Tyri Nelson and we do like this pick, this kid is 6 foot 4 and has great great hands maybe even better so then Morgan. The knock on this kid is his route running and acceleration are not good enough for the NFL these need to improve for him to see much playtime. We do however believe he will get his shot in the red-zone next season. With the remaining picks the Buccs didn’t get any impact players, eventually the way Daniel and Morgan will play will decide of the Winston trade was a good plan for the Buccs. They do however posses the talent to make it worthwhile.
Saints draft grade C+: With the new coach the Saints displayed some great offense but games wore being lost on the defensive side of the ball. Therefor we knew this offseason would be spent on making the defence better in New Orleans. In FA the Saints picked up a lot of players and bolstered their team with some veterans. After that a trade was made with the Giants to obtain veteran SS Stevie Brown for their 3rd round draft pick. After that a deal was made to obtain WR Jalen Strong this came at a high price though because the Saints sent their #8 overall pick to Houston. No body doubts the talent of Jalen because the kid can ball but we do however doubt if the pick couldn’t have been better used to bolster the defence. On the other hand if you manage to put up 35+ points every single game you are bound to start winning games. On to the draft we go, the saints traded away their first 4 picks the 2nd and 4th round pick probably during the season. This meant the Saints wore on the clock for the first time on day 3 in the 5th round Risean Blake WR was picked up he has a lot of speed and that was the main reason he was picked up. He might play a role in the special teams but other then that we don’t expect much from him. With only getting to pick in the late rounds it wasn’t a surprise that the Saints didn’t obtain any young studs in the draft. We do however believe the team got a lot stronger through FA and the coach seems to implement a win now strategy. We are curious to see what this already explosive team can do with all these extra weapons.
Panthers draft grade C: The Panthers didn’t make any waves in the offseason and why should you when you got a roster like them? So lets go straight to the draft, with the 18th pick Carolina picked up Bryan Duncan SS. And we understand this pick the kid is big has speed and hits HARD. In Tennessee he was also used as a kick returner this says a lot about his athletic ability. In the 2nd round the Panthers went with LOLB Jermauria Fields this was even a better pick then the first round pick this guy is great against the run and can also be assigned in a zone coverage defence. His biggest downside in college was he had some problem picking off balls that wore thrown right at him. With his Football IQ he manages to get to the right place often but when the ball comes at him he has brick hands. With all the remaining picks the Panthers didn’t manage to get an impact player. Luckily enough they are one of the few teams in the league who don’t actually need that much impact players.
Falcons draft grade C: Atlanta also didn’t take part in the offseason and patiently waited for the draft, so lets dive in to it. The falcons wore picking 12th and in the 1st round they went for Kevin Aiken TE. This guy is 6 foot 6 and doesn’t let go of anything he will be an important weapon and might be that big target the fans are looking for since the departure of Julio last year. In the 2nd round DeMarcus Patrick RT was picked up by Atlanta. We believe there wore better guys available at this point in the draft. With Jake Long still going strong we don’t think it was a particular big need for Atlanta. Tray Fisher SS was picked up in the 3rd round and that was a nice pick up. This kid has speed and high hit power. What he does better then many other SS’s is picking the ball off, don’t be surprise when this guy catches balls some receivers just can’t catch. In the 7th round Corvin Austin WR came of the board and for this point of the draft this was a good pick, we believe in time he can become a capable backup at the position and wont be surprised if he makes the final team. Draft could’ve gone better for the Falcons and we are curious to see what they will be able to accomplish next season.
Pats draft grade B+: In a deal with the Giants the Pats decided to trade away their late round picks for a 3rd round pick. Before already having traded away their first and second round picks in order to get to aqib Talib and Taylor Lewan. This trade how ever was done without approval of the commishes which lead to a 4 game ban for all players involved. After spygate/deflategate this tradegate is the next scandal the pats organisation got to endure. After all the dust settled the Pats had 3 picks in the draft and they made it count! With WR Huval picked up in the 2nd round they got an absolute steal. This kid is blazing fast and also has a nice pair of hands, we expect great things of him while everyone is focused on stopping AP. In the 3rd round the pats chose to bolster their offensive line and got away with another great pick up Center blake has a lot of strength and nice run blocking, only question marks on him are if he's also able to block pass rushers trying to get to the qb. With another pick in the 3rd round the Pats picked up defensive tackle Wilson. His numbers look pretty solid all around but there's not one area he excels on whether or not he will have an immediate impact remains to be seen. With the draft pick-ups and the two big impact players they picked up in the trade season tickets are flying of the shelve in New England.
Jets draft grade A: With the 13th pick in the draft the Jets went with QBRashaun Barker. It was known before the draft that the Jets wore looking to get that franchise guy under center with starting Petty last season and Geno Smith the year before that the Jets seem to be looking at their 3rd starting QB in 3 seasons. But if this pick works out no one will even mention the names Petty or Geno in New York. And Barker has all the athletic abilities to be that guy for the Jets this combined with his cannon of an arm it looks like the sun will shine a lot in New Jersey this year. In the 2nd round the jets got an absolute steal in DJ hunt OLB. This kid has a pair of wheels under him and misses almost no tackles at all chances are big he will see a lot of the field upcoming season.In the 4th round the Jets picked up Guard Felix Fulton. This kid looks to have what it takes to play the position his biggest question marks lay in his ability to read the game and to stop the pass rush from coming in. We are curious if he will get some time on the field this year already. We would not be surprised if he got some time to show his abilities in pre-season so its all on his shoulders now.In the 5th round the jets got a TE in Ty Shipley he is pretty fast for the position and is known for making crazy catches. That being said he also had some trouble making the easy catches in college we think this kid will prove to be a solid backup.Normally we don’t talk about 6 round picks but C Jackson Gordon from Arizona has massive strength good blocking ability and seems to understand the game well. We have absolutely now idea how this kid dropped this far but he looks GOOD. With a possible franchise QB and so many immediate impact players we think the rookies will help Jets to maybe even a play-off position this year, well done in New Jersey!
Bills draft grade C: So the bills knew a quiet off-season and that seemed to carry over to the draft. Without their first round pick the Bills did not succeed in making a lot of impact picks. With their first pick the Bills went for a QB this was understandable with Taylor throwing 11 TD’s over 23 INT’s last season. In the 2nd round the top qb prospects wore of the board already but the Bills believe to have found their future in QB DeSean Carter we must say he has a cannon of an arm and his accuracy is pretty spot on. He might actually be able to beat Tyrod out of the starting line-up.Other note-able pick-up was Jimmy Jackson LE in college he found his way to the QB plenty of times. There are people who question if he will also be able to do this in the highest level but there arren’t many sure things in the 4th round of the NFL draft. We have a feeling he might just pan out and get a lot of playing time this year in Buffalo. The overall feeling is Buffalo had their eyes to much on the positions of need and could have gotten better talent in the places where they picked.
Dolphins draft grade B-: The Dolphins managed to SHOCK the NFL on the morning of draft day with a huge huge trade with the Rams. They gave up 2 first round picks a 1nd round pick, Devante Parker and Earl Mitchell to pick up Aaron Donald and the number one overall pick. This was widely considered to be the biggest shock on draft day ever! The critics swung both ways with a lot of prays for the Dolphins with picking up arguably one of the best defensive players in the league AND the first overall pick. They did however give up a lot of picks and what looked like their starr WR Devante Parker. Come draft day Dolphins still had 7 picks to make from which the first was ofcourse the most important one. The Phins chose Cedric Fisher CB as the first overall pick in the NFL draft. This came as a shock to a lot of people cause according to most people Hilliard was the nr 1 corner in the draft. After taking a closer look Fisher wassn’t far from Hilliard and some immediately said they actually understood the pick and found Fisher better. It is always hard to predict who will prove to have the biggest impact in their rookie year. The biggest upside to Fisher is his size his speed and his coverage ability. The biggest question mark remains his awereness/football IQ. But one thing is for sure, It does help any corner when the QB they are playing against has a very limited amount of time to make a good read with Aaron Donald rushing to him. The phins picked twice in the 3rd round Tank Grant OLB from Colorado has a lot to prove cause there are many people sceptic about his ability to play at the highest level. With the other 3rdround pick the Phins wen twith Travis QB, this pick also lead to some discussion in Miami with Travis not having the biggest cannon as arm and also has some accuracy problems. All in all the draft of the Phins could have gone better but the fans in Miami probably couldn’t care less and are happy with picking up 2 big defensive guys in Donald and Fisher. The offensive side of the ball remains to be seen with the departure of Parker and no real successor in sight.
On we go to the AFC West
Raiders draft grade B-: The raiders had a busy off-season with making 3 trades leading up to the draft. First off they made a deal with the Bengals who are notorious for making a lot of trades. The trade however wassn’t the most talked about. Ellis DTfor a 6th round pick, Ellis did show promise at times but the raiders wore never convinced he would make it to their roster. So they picked up an extra pick and dropped (in their eyes) deadweight. The next deal was of the same nature the Raiders acquired a 5th round pick for a back-up DT. There wore talks they may have gotten a bit more but all in all not the most exciting of trades again, Raiders continue to rack up late round picks and offloading the defensive line. The 3rd and final trade was also made with the Titans and was a bit more exciting. The raiders said goodbye to Bentley CB and added WR Douglas. The raiders needed more options at WR so this was an understandable trade from the guys in Oakland. With much anticipation the fans in Oakland looked forward to the trade with having quit some picks to make. With the 10th pick the Raiders selected McGhee MLB from Ohio State. This was a surprising pick with Raiders already having quit some MLB’s. The critics on the kid wore good none the less he is a strong guy with some speed and when he gets to the man with the ball you KNOW he will make the tackle. The biggest flaw on him are his coverage skills with his zone and man coverage being pretty bad. If the raiders work on this part of his game he might be a day 1 starter in Oakland though! With the 2nd round pick the Raiders went with a position of need: WR smith has nice hands and sometimes makes amazing catches. With his size and jumping skills the QB can just toss it up in the air and he will probably come down with it. His biggest concern is his lack of speed. In the 3rd round the raiders went WR again in Chris Collins. Also a guy who can make a lot of catches is big and can jump high. We see a pattern here and if all goes well for them we expect Oakland to be pretty deadly in the red-zone this year. Other picks in Oakland wore not to flashy but that doesn’t mean they can’t surprise us. All in all the raiders addressed positions of need with quality players we are curious to see what they can do this season.
Chiefs draft grade C+: Oh what an off-season the Chiefs fans got! They acquired the 9th overall pick from the Titans for 33 year old WR Brandon Marshall. This was considered to be a steal for the Chiefs although Marshall still is an amazing red-zone threat the regression on his speed made him unappealing to a lot of teams. There for the fans couldn’t believe they got such an early first round pick for the old-timer. And even though Kansas City will miss this big man they got a chance of a big talent in return. Or so we thought… cause not long later another big trade was announced in Kansas city. They acquired arguably the best young QB in the league for two first round picks among which the 9th overall pick they just gotten from the Titans. With already a play-off bound team did the Chiefs just secure their place in the AFC championship game? When the Chiefs wore on the clock they shocked EVERYBODY including their pick(2nd round) kicker Johnson who couldn’t believe he went in the 2nd round. Neither could everyone else cause picking a kicker in the 2nd round is uncommon but to pick a kicker who had some accuracy problems and doesn’t have outstanding kick power was even more surprising. In the 3rd round chiefs fans couldn’t believe what transpired… the owners selected a PUNTER in the form of Cory Cameron. Cory did how ever have nice stats and wouldn’t have to move very fart since last year he punted for Kansas state. This pick might actually work out but with the 2nd round pick being a kicker everyone was shocked at how day 2 of the draft went for the chiefs. In the remaining rounds the chiefs failed to pick up extraordinary talent which oddly enough they maybe wore not looking for. Chiefs fans are still a bit confused after those nice pre draft trades the draft seemingly did not go their way.
Chargers draft grade A-: The chargers had a quiet off-season but wore looking for some big impact after a not so successful 2016 campaign.With their first pick they went for CB Adrian Nelson. This was a solid pick-up the secondary needed improvement and Nelson can be an immediate impact for the chargers with his great coverage skills and decent speed/athletic ability. In the 2nd round the Chargers went offense with Sedale Brown WR. Sedale Brown has good hands and can also make the contested catches. He isn’t about the big flashy plays but that’s not what he is getting picked for. What he can do is also be a good addition to the special teams in San Diego. With their 2nd pick in the 2nd round the chargers went o-line in the form of LT Gardner, this kid will have a big impact protecting the blindside of Rivers. Gardner has great great blocking skills and is expected to start right away. In the 3rd round the Chargers added a pass rusher named Michael Swope(LE). This kid had a lot of people raving about him and is a really really nice pick up in the 3rd round. All the way in the 7th round the chargers managed to get RT Colby Russell this kid has decent pass blocking stats but great run/impact block stats. Also with some nice strength this can easily be called a diamond in the rough. The fans wore hoping on some impact players and that’s exactly what the guys upstairs delivered, great day in San Diego.
Broncos draft grade C: After trading away their top picks not much was expected in Denver of this draft. With already a championship team in place there also wasn’t that much riding on this years draft. In the 3rd round the broncos wore on the clock for the first time this draft. They selected WR LeVeon Pugh a 5 foot 8 guy from Miami. He is especially known for his blazing fast acceleration and his juke moves. That’s why we feel he will be mainly used in special teams his first year in the NFL. Apart from special teams he does have nice hands and can make the catch with people around him so maybe he will grow in to an important pass catcher in Denver. In the 4th round the Broncos chose to go for a corner in the person of Maggit. This turned out to be a bit of a gamble because the next round the broncos went corner again with picking up Karrington Knox from Penn State. Who oddly enough was rated higher on many peoples draft boards then Maggit. If either of the two gentleman can make an impact in Denver remains to be seen but they will get the chance to play them selves in to the spotlight. All in all the fans can be content with the draft, with only picking in the later rounds you never know what a player might be able to achieve.
That takes us to the AFC North!
Ravens draft grade B+: Baltimore was looking forward to the draft, the off-season was quiet and the team that’s there already seems to be able to make a play-off season possible. So any talent that might be added on the draft would kind of be a bonus. In the first round the Ravens drafted 26th it didn’t take long for them to decide who they wore going to take. Shawn Jones OLB was still there and so the call was made pretty quickly. Although Shawn doesn’t excel in getting to the qb or covering big parts of the field. He is a great great run stopper with his strength and hit power he caused a fumble or 2 in collage. 2 picks later the Ravens wore on the board again! Picking up R.T. Knight HB, at Kansas state he was almost unstoppable with his speed and trucking ability he tends to run over people and it takes several defenders to stop him. In the 2nd round the Ravens went with WR Blake this is a big kid who tends to make amazing catches. He has an amazing pair of hands. His biggest downside is that he’s not that fast at first and he doesn’t seem to posses a lot of football IQ. In the Redzone though he can be a nice addition to this team. In the 3rd round the ravens got a nice adition for the o-line in Raynard Farrell LT. Hes pretty decent all around except he needs to get better at protecting the qb. Making lanes for the hb is something he did well already in college. Skipping threw to the 6th round the Ravens got a diamond in the rough with LG Nunley. Yes sure he has some areas he has to improve on but he could be a pretty sweet backup that late in the draft. All in all a great draft in Baltimore that will definitely sell some season tickets.
Steelers draft grade B: The Steelers kicked of their draft in the 1st round with the 7th overall pick. They wore ecstatic that the by many people perceived to be number 1 CB in the draft was still there in the person of Hilliard. Hilliard has speed/size/athletic skills and coverage skills all going for him. A real good start to the draft in Pittsburgh. In the 2nd round the Steelers added some pass rush to their defensive line with picking up Casey Hixon RE. Casey excelled at block shedding in college and is expected to get to the QB in the NFL also just fine… the biggest knock on him was his speed if that will become a problem remains to be seen. In the 3rd round the Steelers added a giant in the form of TE Deandre Gordon. In his time with UCLA he made some amazing catches but followed that up by some sloppy drops. If he works on his catching ability he can in time become a starter, for now he isn’t expected to start right away. In the 4th round the Steelers added some depth at the HB position with Delafonta Pederson. For a 4th rounder he is a solid pick, don’t expect him to run over people but he can edge his way threw some defenders and get yards that way. With the remaining picks the Steelers didn’t manage to get great value but that’s a hard thing to do.
Browns draft grade C+: New coach Trooper UK decided to not make some big trades and first checkout what talent he had on the roster and where he wanted to improve his team. He chose to do this via the draft so it was clear he would pick for positions of need and not really best available. How did that work out for the Brownies? In the first round they picked up Rashaud Terrell FS this was a real nice pickup for the browns a 6 foot 1 safety with decent speed and agility. He can improve on the coverage area but we have been told he seems to absorb knowledge like a sponge so don’t be shocked if he grows immensely during the season. Because safety was a big point of concern for the Browns it wasn’t a surprise they went for another safety with their 2nd pick Rashaud(yes another rashaud) Smith SS from Grand Valley St. was picked up and this was considered a nice pickup also. He has to improve in the same area as his buddy Terrell but his hit power is amazing and he also had some INT’s in college we are curious if Rashauds can form a feared duo in the backfield in Cleveland. Other then the safeties the Browns failed to acquire more above average talent. With the talent they already have and the new safety duo the league is curious what the new coach is able to get out of them.
Bengals draft grade C+: We all know the coach in Cincinnati doesn’t shy away from a trade every now and then. In the path to the draft we saw the Bengals make two trades, first off they traded with the Texans. Everyone knew the time of Dalton was over in Cincinnati the Texans took this opportunity to get him and they gave up their CB Johnson. This was a nice pick-up for the Bengals they traded a back-up QB that they had given up already for a former 1st round pick and potential starter. The other trade wasn’t a big one as we discussed when we talked about the raiders. A 6th round pick was given away for Ellis DT, if he can have impact we don’t know but we are curious to see if he makes the roster. The bengals tried to trade out of the first round also but didn’t manage to find the right deal. So with the 31st pick in the draft they selected Ace Miller LT from Washington. Ace can prove to be an immediate starter with his superb blocking skills and nice strength. The biggest question on him is his football IQ. In the 2nd round the Bengals added Evince Douglas DT from UCLA this big guy has strength to spare and also gets to the QB every now and then. He also has good acceleration for a man of his size. Might be a starter right out of the gates. In the 4th round Cincinnati selected DeMikael Gresham LE also known for getting to the QB. Its not a secret what the Bengals wanted to get in this draft. They wanted to get bigger and have more people to try and get to the QB. 3 good picks for the Bengals leaves the fans pleased and eagerly awaiting next season after just losing the SB last season can the Bengals go all the way next season?
That leaves the AFC south
Texans draft grade B-: It was quit the off-season for the Texans fans with a lot of trades. Lets start at the beginning. The Texans started of with a trade with the Saints they acquired the 8th overall pick and gave up receiver Jalen Strong. This was a trade between to coaches who have known eachother for a long time and made sure to both benefit. Who got the best end of the deal is being discussed but only the season to come will tell us. The next trade was done with the Pats, the Texans lost a good guard(Brooks) and picked up good pass rusher with LE Jabaal Sheard. Then the much debated deal with the rams was denied, the Texans coach did prove here that his negotiation skills are on point but the Rams owner was protected from giving up Donald for to cheap. (we definitely understand the Texans tried to add him to the roster we can only imagin what him next to JJ watt would mean for the rest of the league)After that the Texans made one final trade with the bengals to acquire Dalton who is projected to walk away with the starting job in Houston. That brings us to the Texan’s draft, with the acquired 8th overall pick the Texans chose DeMarcus Philips DT from Texas A&M. A nice young pickup who has the ability to be a day one starter. Biggest downside on him is that he has low football IQ and has proven to be a hard learner so it will be hard to develop him. With their own 1st round pick the Texans picked up Aundre Blake SS. The kid has speed decent coverage skills nice hit power and really nice hands also. Don’t be surprised if he comes away with a pick or 2 next season. In the 2nd round the Texans picked up HB Antwan Mason he proved to be a pretty good running back on all phases on the college league. Nice trucking but also elusive the big question on everyones mind was if he could play his game on the next level with being good and all fronts but not being super in one thing. In the 3rd round the Texans picked up TE Aaron Finnegan who is a pass catching TE but sometimes has trouble making the easy catches. We don’t expect to see Aaron on the field much this season. The Texans made a lot of changes to the team not only in the draft and we are excited to see what next season will bring for them.
Jaguars draft grade B-: The Jags had a quite off-season and wore picking 19th overall in the 1st round.Marcus Talbott CB from Auburn got his name called out and is reporting in Jacksonville for rookie minicamp soon. Marcus was a high projected pick on many teams’s board he was one of the better corners of his draft class. With great great coverage skills and nice speed he is projected to have a great career. The one downside to him is that he does seem to drop easy picks sometimes, but as long as he breaks up the pass the people upstairs will be more then happy with him. In the 2nd round the Jags went OLB with Aaryn Jackson, so Jackson will play for the Jacksonville Jaguars…. say that 3 times fast. Aaryn has great acceleration and therefor can get to the QB he does need to work on his block shedding and finesse moves to do it consistently though. In the 3rd round the Jags went for FS David Bishop, david is a versatile player who does a lot of things right. His lack of football IQ and coverage skills might lead him to end up as SS since he does have nice hit power. A warning to the qb’s out there don’t throw the ball his way this kid has a nice pair of hands and he will pick you off! With the Bengals 3rd round pick the jags selected Justin James RT he needs some work on his strength and pass block abilities I don’t see him be a starter right away decent backup though. All in all very curious to see what the jags will be able to do with their new talent next season.
Titans draft grade C-: Where to start with the Titans? What an offseason they had with quit some trades! Lets start at the first one with the Giants. Titans said good bye to Mettenberger and welcomed OLB Williams. A logical trade since Mettenberger wasn’t seeing the field anyway since Mariota was drafted. Titans fans do need to cross their fingers for mariota to stay healthy because they have no depth at all at the position now. Then the big trade with the patriots went down AKA tradegate. Titans lost Talib and Lewan but gained a 1st and 2nd round pick and MLB Avery Williamson. A big trade also with the penalty the titans arrent able to use Williamson and the 2 guys they pick up in draft for the first 4 games of the season we will come back on this to see who will be the victims of this trade. Then the titans made yet another big trade they chose to pickup Marshall and sent away the 9th overall pick which meant they did not feel there was enough talent in the WR class or they just couldn’t wait to get Mariota on one field with Marshall curious how this all will turn out! After that followed two trades with the Raiders we already discussed, so on to the draft we go! With the 20th pick in the 1st round the Titans picked Hunter LG from Wisconsin This kid has high strength and good blocking we will think he is going to be a starter after his 4 week suspension(1st victim of tradegate). In the 2nd round the Titans went HB by picking up Rashaun Mincy who is a shifty HB with some nice juke moves he proved to be difficult to tackle. Then the other 2nd round pick the titans obtained in tradegate I couldn’t find also couldn’t find if they traded it away so kind of a mystery here. In the 3rd round the titans picked up Javonte Donnelly LT this kid is STRONG and he also has decent blocking skills. The weird thing is that the impact of his blocks is really low especially for a man that strong its kinda weird. In the 4th round the Titans tried to replace Mettenberger but Jessie Wallace is a wildcard at best he doesn’t have great accuracy and also doesn’t have a big cannon. All in all the titans maybe should have traded away more of their picks because the draft didn’t seem to go their way.
Colts draft grade B: Well the Colts knew a quiet run up to the draft. They had the 6th overall pick and made it count! The colts selected WR C.J. Evans who has speed for days, next to the speed he has awesome hands who don’t seem to drop a pass. The colts aerial attack just got dangerous since now they have 2 big time weapons. We won’t be surprised if Evans turns out to be the offensive Rookie of the year. In the 2nd round the colts went for C Trey Norris and again made it count with a lot of strength and great blocking skills Norris will be an immediate impact player! The 3rd round wasn’t the best for the colts with OLB Morgan Sampson they could have gotten a better player at this spot. Deadset on getting a hit rather then a miss on the OLB spot the colts selected Josh Nelson in the 4th round, there’s lots of things that can be better on this kid but he has speed and so much power that he sometimes just moves threw tackles and gets to the QB. This will be a wildcard but can possible work out for the Colts. With the remaining picks the colts didn’t really get anything anymore. But just because of the first 2 picks the Colt fans cant wait for the season to start cause they are going to see one explosive offense next season!
*the pre draft trades wore also included to the draft grade
Tonight after the settlement of a few sim games the final standings are in! The top 2 of each group will play in the MaddenPFL Cup & the bottom 2 will play in the shield. Standings have been based on wins with point differential used in case of a tiebreaker. I would also like to thank all coaches for getting a majority of the games played we were only left with a handful of games.
Click below to find out the final standings, the brackets will be posted shortly.
Welcome to In The Redzone - Where we get to know some of our newer members to the site. In this edition we catch up with our newest Swedish member Liridon, whose the newest coach of the Saints in the Pro 8.
Continuing with our Pro 10 previews today we are joined by one of the commisssioners Dan McGrath. Dan is going to look over what is our first preview of the AFC conference and focus on the AFC West. Dan will highlight some of the key players to watch out for on each team that you have to stop! But who will win the AFC West this year, well click below to find out who has the best chance.