Bandwagon Hating Is Trending Up: A deeper look into the rise of bandwagon hatred.

By Will Stevenson

I had a day off over the weekend, so I was able to catch up on some NBA Playoff basketball: I was intrigued. One of the hardest things to do in this era of social media and sports is to not get caught up in being a full-blown hater: Not Magic Johnson HIV since I was born  hater, I mean full blown Tom Hanks in Philadelphia hater. At this moment in time, our fandom has gone bandwagon in reverse. Instead of jumping on the Warriors and Cavaliers fan club, we’ve gone in the opposite direction, and now we are bandwagon haters. We don’t like anything: Lebron’s superior play, Cavaliers offense, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, none of it. I don’t even know who people actually cheer for anymore, I just know who they don’t like. So over the weekend I was able to watch Lebron play a brand of basketball that seem unnatural in this day in age. Lebron is shooting 60% from the field, 48% from three, running the break, and then doing the most demoralizing thing possible: Posting up. We should enjoy the basketball being played by the upper echelon teams. We always talk about how much heart a player or team doesn’t have, or talk about how teams don’t compete or play their best in the playoffs, but we seemingly overlook the teams that do perform at the highest level.

The level of basketball has reached a stratosphere that resembles the early 80s when teams where averaging over 115 points per game and defense seemed inferior. The Warriors adopted the Suns philosophy and won a championship. After that display of three-point greatness, the NBA had to do something: Either get on board and lose, or stick to your guns and lose.

In The West:                                                      In The East:

Spurs                                                                  Cavaliers                Nets
Rockets                                                              Wizards                  Hawks
Blazers                                                               Celtics                     Hornets
Grizzlies                                                            Bulls
Suns                                                                   Pacers
Nuggets                                                             Heat

Look at those teams. The Warriors literally made half of the NBA change their offensive philosophy and makeup up their team structure. There are a few teams that haven’t, and ironically one was just swept (Raptors), and another is well on their way (Jazz). Just so happens their playoff exits come from the Warriors and the Cavaliers.

Maybe you don’t like either team, probably because they aren’t your team and  you don’t stand a chance. But why the need to become a bandwagon hater? What is it in your soul that will not allow you to appreciate these teams? Would you feel better if the Rockets were dominating this era? We were just calling James Harden a ball-hog and Mikey D a loser coach a year ago. You think the Spurs are still boring, even though Kawhi Leonard is playing more of a Westbrook/Melo offensive game than you think, but you wouldn’t know because you don’t watch. You don’t believe in John Wall, still. The Celtics have a short guard who you dismiss once he losses. The Pacers have Lance Stephenson, and the Hawks and Grizzlies are literally the same playoff team every year. I’d add in the Clippers, but come on.

So what do you want? Do you want the Warriors and Cavaliers to lose so you can have your meme game on ten? Or is it the hater in you that just won’t appreciate greatness. You speak of Jordan in such high regard, it would only seem obvious you would hold Lebron in the same stature by looking at his body of work. Many may scoff, but Jordan was swept three times in the first round and his opponents never had a chance once Phil arrived. Jordon lost just like Lebron use to. So what’s the point of the back and forth? We dismissed the Steve Nash Suns and the Chris Webber Kings for being “soft” and shooting threes all the time. Well, threes are in, and it’s never going back. So deal with it. Also deal with the face that Lebron and the Warriors have literally made all of your little teams change coaches, players, concepts, presidents, general managers and the way they draft players.

I get it, you’re mad. You’re angry. Your team can get past either of these teams and it hurts to know it’s true. Sure, an injury can happen at any time, but beyond that occurrence or a hot shooting series: Your just going to have to hop on the hater-bandwagon. Enjoy.

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Pace and Space: The New Era of NBA

By Will Stevenson

“Guys just don’t lose their defensive ability, the new “space and pace” has stolen it from them, not allowing player’s to play to their defensive strengths.”

 

Before the playoffs began, I wondered what “playoff basketball” would look like under the new area of “space and pace” offense in the NBA. I was drawn to the nostalgia of games in which teams didn’t score above 90, and defenses were insistent on keeping players out of the paint. The rules of the game were to never allow any easy baskets inside, and force players to take jumpshots. As the NBA pace sped up, more traditional big men were forced off the floor, and new and improved shooters were added to the lineup. The Pick & Roll has evolved into more than just PG and big man, the P&R now involves one guy at the top of the key, a roll or fade teammate, and the other three teammates stand around the perimeter, leaving the lane open for penetration. Defenses use to be able to trap, hedge and rotate, but with the offense shooting threes, defenses are forced to switch to keep the man with the ball out of the lane, leaving centers and non perimeter defensive big man on an island against a guard or forward who will take them off the dribble. I wondered how teams would play defense during the playoffs with them being more focused on offense during the regular season. I thought teams would “turn it up” in the playoffs, but I was wrong. The new “space and pace” has allowed offensive players to reign supreme and do what they do best: Get mismatches. The days of Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutumbo and other defensive centers is almost over, with Rudy Gobert holding down the fort. It’s not that centers were cheating by standing in the paint, or somehow maneuver around an illegal defense call, the big man they are guarding is setting a pick 30 feet from the basket and/or is behind the arc ready to shoot a three or make a skip pass to the next shooter. So not only does John Wall a threat to shoot, he also knows there’s no big man in the paint to contest his penetration, and if there is, he’s too far away to close out on a shooter.

The Celtics shoot threes, that’s what they do. The run an offensive set that keeps Isaiah Thomas at the top with four players around the three-point line. They run a P&R with on of those players and force a switch, then they shoot a three, pass, or penetrate. It worked well during the season, but not now: They aren’t hitting anything versus the Cavaliers. On the defensive side, Al Horford, Kelly Olynyk and Amir Johnson are getting toasted in the P&R. They seem to switch every time onto Lebron James, hoping to keep him out of the paint, but they are no match for his shooting, passing and penetration.

I don’t think the NBA is trash, nor should it be ashamed of the overall product. Just as the NFL, the NBA is going through an offensive surge while the defense is trying to catch up on the fly. Defensive principles have to be worked on, practiced, and perfected. Will it happen? Not in the near future. What does Defensive Player of the Year mean these days? Rudy Gobert got paid, Andre Roberson will probably get paid, and they are two defensive minded players that excel in what they do. Take notice that Jon Leuer, Miraz Telenovic, Chandler Parsons, Ryan Anderson, Anthony Tolliver and other three-point shooters all received multi-year 10 million dollar contracts for shooting only (Tolliver is making 8 per year). So to be a defensive standout is rare, and although it will pay, being an average or below average shooter will pay your more, quickly. Kelly Olynyk won’t be paid for his defensive prowess this offseason, nor will GMs override his defense when compared to his shooting and passing. He will get paid, regardless if his switching on the P&R leads to easy baskets.

Look at the Orlando Magic, a team that has been lottery locking since Dwight Howard and the shooters left. If you remember their “Free agent big board” that was leaked a month ago, their priority players were shooters. They are looking for players who will stretch the floor, and are also average or below average on defense. The Magic are not an outlier, they are the norm of the NBA. There’s a 6’10” 14 year old right now shooting jumpers and threes. He looks at Karl Anthony Towns and sees himself. He knows KAT is an offensive force in the paint, the block, the perimeter and penetration. This boy may love to block shots and play in the paint because he is young, but coaches know his fast track to the NBA is predicated on his being a perimeter player. Yes, he could be the next Dream, or Ben Wallace, but only a few teams need those, and you have to be at the top of your game to be that type of player. Look at Bismack Biyombo. After a surge in last year’s playoffs, he signed with the Magic. He’s making 17 million a year and the Magic couldn’t care less. He can’t get the nod over Nikola Vuvecic, and he couldn’t play post defense to save his life. BB can’t shoot free throws, pass, or shoot, and his defense isn’t all-around. His man to man defense, pick and roll defense and shot-block chasing is all suspect, therefore he’s on the bench. But he’s paid.

There won’t be another Detroit Pistons team again. The Jazz and the Grizzlies were the closest thing, but they were run out of the building in the playoffs once again. Also remember the Wizards: They were built as a defensive team, and even signed Ian Mahimi to a 4yr/$64mil deal in the offseason. They were one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Why? How? The pick and roll crushed them every single time. Gortat can play in the post, but that’s it. Ian Mahimi looked like Enes Kanter out there trying to keep Isaiah Thomas in front of him. Guys just don’t lose their defensive ability, the new “space and pace” has stolen it from them, not allowing player’s to play to their defensive strengths.

So while you sit and complain about the super teams, realize the team you cheer for isn’t as good, and no matter how many players you try to add to these sub-teams, unless their principles change, they will continue to lose.

Well, there is Lebron, so I don’t blame you for being mad. I’d be to, if I cared.

NFL 2017-2018 Preseason Schedule

 

By: Will Stevenson

Can you feel it? Just imagine the droughts and sounds of the NFL season. Two-a-days, minicamps, veteran camps, seven on seven drills, torn acl’s, Non-contact injuries, position battles, and most importantly: Expert analysis of guys in shorts.

There are countless things that could irritate a football fan, but actual football isn’t one of them. So between now and the first preseason game, we have months to comb through every team, transaction and predict who will do what when the season rolls around. It will be exciting to see how the top drafted rookie quarterbacks find their footing on teams that made the playoffs last season: Chiefs and Texans. We all know how the preseason goes: Stars play in one or two games for a few series, then the backups. I also have an interest in fringe plays attempting to made rosters within the new safety guidelines for special teams.

So let us take a look at the preseason schedule. The competition will be early as starters make their way off the field after a few possessions, but don’t let that deter you from consuming the whole game. Position battles, overall team health, sheer talent, and a basic understanding of the team’s philosophy will be on display. So it’s not the Pro Bowl, but it’s damn near close for those first few series.

Not need to worry. Football is own it’s way, and it starts with the Hall of Fame Game on August 3rd with the Cowboys and the Cardinals.

 

 

NFL/Hall of Fame Game – AUGUST 3
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 3 Dallas Cowboys vs Arizona Cardinals 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM NBC
WEEK 1 – AUGUST 9-13
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET
Wed Aug. 9 Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Friday Aug. 11 Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Friday Aug. 11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Friday Aug. 11 San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs 8:00 PM (CT) 9:00 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Tennessee Titans at New York Jets 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams 6:00 PM (PT) 9:00 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 PM (MST) 10:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 13 Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts 1:30 PM (ET) 1:30 PM
Sunday Aug. 13 Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM
WEEK 2 – AUGUST 17-21
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 17 Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 17 Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM ESPN
Friday Aug. 18 Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans 2:00 PM (CT) 3:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys 6:00 PM (CT) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 New York Jets at Detroit Lions 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 19 New England Patriots at Houston Texans 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 PM (MST) 10:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 20 Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:00 PM (ET) 4:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 20 New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM
Monday Aug. 21 New York Giants at Cleveland Browns 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM ESPN
WEEK 3 – AUGUST 24-27
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 24 Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 24 Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Friday Aug. 25 New England Patriots at Detroit Lions 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Friday Aug. 25 Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM CBS
Sat Aug. 26 Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 New York Jets at New York Giants 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM CBS
Sat Aug. 26 Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos 7:00 PM (MT) 9:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 27 Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans 12:00 PM (CT) 1:00 PM FOX
Sunday Aug. 27 Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins 4:30 PM (ET) 4:30 PM FOX
Sunday Aug. 27 San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM NBC
WEEK 4 – AUGUST 31
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET
Thurs Aug. 31 Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers 6:00 PM (CT) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 New York Giants at New England Patriots 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs 7:30 PM (CT) 8:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos 7:00 PM (MT) 9:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM

Big win for the Redskins as Jonathan Allen Drops to #17

By John Moore


Jonathan Allen Drops to #17, Big win for the Redskins

As a die-hard Redskins fan, I never thought (prayed) that Jonathan Allen would fall as far back in the draft like he did. I wanted him last year when he declared for the 2016 draft but later went back to finish college.  The arrival of Allen is a sweet homecoming for the former Crimson Tide who grew up playing High School football just five miles from Redskins Park in Ashburn, and was also a Redskins fan. He admitted that when the Redskins appeared on the board to pick, he was hoping that Washington would be the one to get him on the stage with a No. 1 jersey.

Allen isn’t the rusher who screams off the edge, but he is a pass rush threat due to his powerful hands, giving himself opportunities while reading the ball. The Alabama starter played in a 3-4 base defense and lined up all over the line. Playing mainly as a base end before pushing inside on passing downs. He turns speed to power with body control and contact stability while also showing the ability to cut through gaps and beat blockers. Similar to how the Seattle Seahawks use Michael Bennett. Allen is one of the most talented prospects in the 2017 draft class and deserved a top-three overall consideration.

dak-prescott-ncaa-football-alabama-mississippi-state

The Redskins dealt with defensive struggles that last two seasons. The unit ranked 28th in 2016, allowing 378 yards per game. It struggled against the run (24th) and the pass (25th). Allen’s selection represents a concrete step forward within the team. They have taken a step in the right direction with this pick. Allen will be paired with the two free agent defensive tackles the Redskins signed during free agency, Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, which was a total overhaul of the defensive line, don’t forget Zach Brown as well. To be able to see Allen line up with Kerrigan, Brown, McClain and, if healthy, Galette on the line and Breeland, Norman, Cravens and Swearinger in the backfield, I believe this is a big improvement on defense that fans have been asking for, for years.

Now that he’s in the NFL, Allen hopes to create his own legacy, but he’ll closely watch some of the top players to see how they attack opponents. Notably Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. “For me, my motivation is to prove why the Redskins were right and smart for drafting me,” Allen said. “That’s going to be my motivation. So, I mean, it’s definitely going to sit in the back of my mind, but I have a job and I have a business to do, and that’s what I’m going to do.” Jonathan Allen will be wearing the #95 this coming season.

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AFC South Grades

By Tim Couch Jr.

The days we’ve been waiting for all off season has come and gone. We sat in front of the television, everybody waiting until their teams picked. Either you liked the pick or you didn’t. Its all about did they fill their needs.

Jaguars

Needs: OL, TE, RB, DL, QB

1st round pick 4: Leonard Fournette; Running Back Louisiana State University A+

2nd Round pick 34: (From Seahawks through 49ers) Cam Robinson Offense Tackle Alabama B+

3rd Round pick 68: Dawuane Smoot Defense End Illinois C+

4th round pick 110: Dede Westbrook Wide Receiver Oklahoma B-

5th round pick 148:  Blair Brown Line backer Ohio B

7th round pick 222: Jalen Myrick Corner Back Minnesota C-

7th round pick 240: (From Dolphins) Marquez Williams Full Back Miami (Ohio) B

Overall Grade: B

Texans

Needs: QB, OL, LB, S, CB

Round 1 pick 12: (From Browns through Eagles) Deshaun Watson Quarterback  Clemson A+

Round 2 pick 57: Zach Cunningham Line Backer Vanderbilt A

Round 3 pick 89: D’Onta Foreman Running Back Texas B

Round 4 pick 130: Julie’n Davenport Offensive Tackle Bucknell C+

Round 5 pick 142: Carlos Watkins Defensive Tackle Clemson C

Round 6 pick 169: Treston Decoud Safety Oregon State D

Round 7 pick 243: Kyle Fuller Center D

Overall Grade B+

Colts

Needs: OL, DL, RB, LB, CB

Round 1 pick  15: Malik Hooker Safety Ohio State A

Round 2 pick 46: Quincy Wilson Corner Back Florida A

Round 3 pick 80: Tarell Basham Defensive End Ohio B

Round 4 pick 137: Zach Banner Offensive Tackle  University Of Southern California B

Round 4 pick 143:  Marlon Mack Running Back  South Florida C

Round 4 pick 144:  Grover Stewart Defensive Tackle Albany St. (Georgia) D

Round 5 pick 158:  Nate Hairston Corner Back Temple D

Round 5 pick 161: (From 49ers through Redskins)  Anthony Walker Jr. Line Backer NorthWestern D

Overall Grade C-

Titans

Needs: CB, WR, LB, OL

Round 1 pick 5: (From Rams)  Corey Davis Wide Receiver Western Michigan B

Round 1 pick 18:  Adoree’ Jackson Corner Back University of Southern California A+

Round 3 pick 72: (From Patriots through Panthers)  Taywan Taylor Wide Receiver  Western Kentucky B

Round 3 pick  100:  Jonnu Smith Tight End Florida International C

Round 5 pick 155: (From Eagles)  Jayon Brown Line Backer  University of California Los Angeles B

Round 6 pick  217:  Corey Levin Offensive Line  Tennessee-Chattanooga D

Round 7 pick  227:  Josh Carraway Outside Line Backer Texas Christan University C

Round 7 pick  236:  Brad Seaton Offensive Tackle  Villanova D

Round 7 pick 241:  Khalfani Muhammad Running Back California C

 Overall Grade B-

AFC EAST Draft Grade 2017

By Billy Clemmons

We all know that giving draft grades on players that haven’t even played a down of football in the NFL is meaningless but we do it anyway for fun so here it goes.

New England Patriots: The Patriots only had four picks in this year’s draft trading away the first and second round picks for Brandon Cooks and Kony Ealy. New England didn’t have many holes to fill and had to wait until the 83rd overall pick pick to make their first selection. The Patriots took Youngstown State edge rusher Derek Rivers. He certainly was a productive player, recording 41 sacks over his collegiate career. They then drafted left tackle Antonio Garcia along with  Deatrich Wise Jr. and Conor McDermott. While none of these players are what you call stand out, they can be perfect fits for what Bill Belichick does and it’s what the Patriots as a whole do so well, turn no names into big names and who are we to question the reigning Superbowl champs?

B

Buffalo Bills: The Buffalo Bills fire their GM Doug Whaley just a day after the draft which goes to show they’re not sure about the direction this team is going.

The Bills traded down from 10 to 27 in Round 1, getting the No. 91st overall pick and a 2018 first round pick. They selected talented CB Tre’Davious White at 27, then used the No. 91 as part of a trade up for WR Zay Jones. The former is an outstanding coverage corner but not to the level of Marshon Lattimore, who was available at 10, but a starting caliber player. Jones essentially replaces Robert Woods, and he could be a good one.

Day 3 picks of note beyond that: G/T Dion Dawkins, who will have a chance to win a job in camp; and QB Nathan Peterman, who slid into Round 5 but could be groomed as a possible Tyrod Taylor replacement down the line.​  Matt Milano at No. 163 could be a steal so keep an eye out. Over all I think they had a decent draft but the firing of the GM might be cause for concern.

C+

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins seem to be the closest competition the Patriots have in that division. While Miami’s defense has been good at times, it can be better with more help from the offense. They chose to still load up on defense however. They selected Missouri DE Charles Harris NO. 22 overall, Ohio State LB Raekwon McMillen  in round 2 and Clemson DB Cordrea Tankersley in round 3 to to name a few. It was mostly a defensive draft, witch is surprising with a offensive minded coach in Adam Gase. I still think they lack the fire power needed to compete for the division but that defense should be fun to watch.

B-

New York Jets: Can Todd Bowles turn the corner with this franchise? I mean it’s a difficult situation at the quarterback position to come into. With the 6th overall pick the Jets selected LSU S Jamal Adams. They selected in the second round select another safety in the second round, Florida S Marcus Maye. I question the roster building logic behind taking two safeties in the first two rounds when there were other talented prospects in other areas of need. The Jets tried to trade up more than once on Day 2 of the draft. They made calls to inch up in the second round without any luck before taking Maye. Washington DB Kevin King would have been a logical target. I’m not even going any further from here my mind is made up, they have too many holes to fill to be loading up on one position.

C-

 

AFC WEST Draft Grades: My Scale Different

By Will Stevenson

I could filibuster about how I don’t pay much attention to the draft, but this isn’t about me. It’s about the pure fact that hope is in the NFL air. For the AFC West, last year was a witness to a surging Raiders squad, the familiar playoff squander by the Chiefs, the “you should’ve gotten a QB bro” Broncos, and the “down by 4 with 2 minutes to go and must go the length of the field with no timeouts” Chargers. With such a tight division, the draft is a way to sure up spots on the 53-man roster. The Chargers and Chiefs have aging quarterbacks, while the Raiders and Broncos have young possible stars. Hope, that’s all we want as fans, so let’s look back at the draft and see how these teams faired.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs pulled a Bears 2.0 by actually trading up to pick a quarterback Pat Mahomes, with their first round selection. I don’t know who will be first out the door: Andy Reid or Alex Smith. Smith’s days aren’t number like you would expect. Smith has been a steady quarterback with one of the best regular season win records over the past three seasons, but it is the playoffs where he stalls. Nobody sees the Chiefs nor Smith as elite, so drafting a QB isn’t a reach. He can wait in the wings (barring a Smith injury) while the Chiefs rack up 10 wins and learn from Smith and more than likely a new offense. The fear is the “Jesus Backup” will put pressure on Reid and the Chiefs from a fanbase and possible players that want to see change. With Jamaal Charles gone, the Chiefs added running backs in the draft which will bolster their running game as usual. The Chiefs, like the Broncos don’t have an issue with finding a running game through free agency, but the Chiefs are hoping for a diamond in the rough. With Derrick Johnson’s injury history and age, I felt they needed to look for some linebacker help, but I can’t hold it against them that much.

Chiefs Draft Grade: They did aight

Oakland Raiders:

I feel like Al Davis would be smiling up on the Raiders draft. They went for speed, talent, and even made 6 of their 9 selections on defense. Latavious Murray bolted in the offseason, leaving the running back position in flux so to speak. They selected Elijah Hood, running back from UNC, in the seventh round, so hopefully he’ll make the squad. The Raiders were a poor excuse for a defense last season, so going out to select defense was high on their draft board. The Raiders were able to tap in to every position that needed a youth boost through the draft, and that’s all a fan can ask for.

Raiders Draft Grade: Raiders gonna raid

Denver Broncos:

The draft has been kind to the Broncos over the years. John Elway has been able to find the playmakers on offense, defense and on the offensive line. Like most fans, we all want that quarterback, but Elway wanted to sure up the tackle position and tight end. Although Siemian and Lynch are young, the need to upgrade at quarterback aren’t as rushed when you have a championship defense. The Broncos have a recently injured tight end and a tackle, what’s to worry about? The Broncos were also able to get Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie, who may be able to cause trouble as slot receivers. With the selection of Demarcus Walker, expect him to play dividends later in the season as teams worry about keeping Von Miller out of the backfield.

Broncos Draft Grade: It doesn’t matter if one neither of these quarterbacks get them to the playoffs.

Los Angeles Chargers: (Sounds weird)

Health. All they needed to do was draft a healthy player and I would give them an A. If any of their draftees play more than 8 games, I’ll raise it to an A+. The Chargers had to address their needs from the previous season’s injury list. The drafted Mike Williams (how many of those are there in the NFL) and linemen Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney. Clipboard Jesus won’t steal the show as the Chargers still invest in Phillip Rivers with young talented offensive lineman. They were also able to select Rayshawn Jenkins and Desmond King for their defensive backfield. With the departure of Eric Weddle last season, they need someone to step up as the passing game increases in the AFC West.

Chargers Draft Grade: Half of their picks will have to start due to injury