First-round pick WR Nelson Agholor worked almost primarily with the second and third team offenses during the Philadelphia Eagles' spring practices. Jordan Matthews, Riley Cooper and Josh Huff all worked ahead of him. According to one NFL executive, this won't be the case for very long.
"He should be good, real good,'' the executive said to Mark Eckel, of True Jersey. "I'd bet on him. He'll come in and produce right away. He has the right mentality and just a great approach to the game. He's going to help them.''
The exec believes that Agholor's arrival will also help Matthews reach a higher level of play.
The Eagles need a WR1 with the departure of Jeremy Maclin. This exec also said he thinks Matthews is a nice WR, but not a number one; however the two will work well together. Rookie WRs don't always come in and put up big numbers, but perhaps that trend is starting to show signs of changing a bit. Given the Eagles offense and the amount of plays they like to run, Agholor is at least in a good offensive situation. We have Agholor ranked 39th among our WRs which puts him as a low-end WR4. His ADP, though, is the 8th round in ten team leagues - a round or two, or even three, higher than a lot of the guys ranked around him. There may be some safer options on the board to think about.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 6:51pm
The Broncos placed their $12.82 million franchise tag on Thomas in March and have until 2 p.m. on July 15 to secure a long-term deal. If not, Thomas can sign the one-year contract and play on the guaranteed tag this season. Elway sits two-for-two in these situations, having worked out deals with kicker Matt Prater and left tackle Ryan Clady.
Going three-for-three represents a challenge even for a former top Major League Baseball prospect like Elway. The sides began discussing an extension a year ago but have been unable to bridge the gap. Thomas ranks among the game's elite. The Broncos have said they want to sign him long term. However, they would like it at a fair cost that represents a compromise by both sides.
The author says: the Broncos are attempting, it appears, to find a balance between respect and restraint. They know Thomas is a playmaker. The also know Thomas is better than Mike Wallace, the game's second-highest paid receiver with $30 million guaranteed on his contract. They also realize that the entire industry views the contract of top-paid wideout Calvin Johnson, whom Thomas has said he believes he's better than, as an outlier. It has tangled the web with Dez Bryant's talks with the Cowboys; he's in the same franchise-tag situation as Thomas. Thomas is third on our WR list but his ADP shows he's been the fourth WR off the board at the position. We project him for 106 catches and over 1,500 yards.
Depends on whom you believe.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter said Monday on ESPN Radio: “Despite reports that they think a deal could be coming down this week. Today, a deal doesn’t sound like it’s close. It doesn’t sound like anything’s close.”
“A week from now? We may be having an entirely different conversation. Last moment, one side steps up, the other side gives in, they meet in the middle. But today, as we stand, I don’t think we’re going to get a deal with Dez Bryant.”
Meanwhile, CBSSports.com reporter Jason La Canfora tweeted: “Sounds like a Dez Bryant deal isn’t out of the question this week. Expect things to continue evolving and possibly conclude by midweek.”
The Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Bryant but he hasn't signed the $13 million tender. The deadline is July 15 for the Cowboys to reach a long-term deal with Bryant. Bryant has threatened to sit out the first game of the season if no deal is in place. In a twist, Bryant recently shot a Sunday Night Football promo for the same game he threatened not to attend, the story said. Bryant would cost himself $754,000 for each game he skipped, according to the article. Bryant is fourth on our WR list, but is actually going late first round ahead of our third ranked WR Demaryius Thomas.
The reality is he hasn’t had a productive season since 2012, when he caught 66 passes for 943 yards and six touchdowns, but the Eagles would sign right now for anything close to those numbers.
Think about this: On an awful Browns team with quarterback havoc, Austin was on pace for 63 catches, 757 yards and three TDs before lacerating his kidney in a freak injury. Last year, Riley Cooper caught 55 passes for 577 yards and three TDs.
If sports science can keep him healthy, and with some stability at QB in Chip Kelly’s offense, Austin could at very least be more productive than Cooper and is probably more reliable than Josh Huff, who still has to prove he can be consistent and values the football.
Austin will have to battle some young guys drafted by Chip Kelly in order to get on the field, but like the piece mentions, Austin is pretty much the veteran presence at the position. With pass-catching RB Darren Sproles and emerging TE Zach Ertz also around, there are going to be a lot of targets to get the ball to, but Austin could be a guy who makes a move in camp and jumps on the fantasy radar, so he's perhaps worth keeping an eye on in this fast-paced offense.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 12:31pm
Heading toward training camp at the end of this month, there is no shortage of questions about the St. Louis Rams' offensive line. At least outside the building.
But within the walls of Rams Park, there seems to be plenty of confidence that a group with only one established and experienced starter (left guard Rodger Saffold) will be just fine by the time the real games start in September.
“They’re going to be ready to go, so that’s not going to be an issue," Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said.
It's a lot of belief for a unit that currently figures to have two rookies starting on the right side and a center with somewhere between zero and four NFL starts to his name. The story pointed out it's faith based solely on what took place in organized team activities, so projected rookie starters Jamon Brown and Rob Havenstein have never so much as put pads on in the NFL. There was a noticeable difference in Nick Foles last year with the Eagles when his line became banged up, so it's something to keep an eye on.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 11:57am
After spending the last four years trying to make it as an NFL quarterback, Terrelle Pryor is now in Cleveland, trying to make it as a wide receiver. He says he has the talent not just to earn a roster spot, but to be a great wide receiver.
“I believe I can get great at anything,” Pryor told KDKA. “Just need the reps and just got to prove it.”
Pryor said he has the work ethic that only the great ones have.
“There’s not a lot of guys who work like I work,” he said. “I truly believe that. I believe somebody who works extremely hard is Antonio Brown. Definitely I’ve worked with him, I have had to opportunity to work out with him an awful lot. We spent a lot of time together in 2011 down in Florida, so I saw his work ethic. The drive, the nights we would run in the sand along the ocean, run 6 miles every night.”
We had a story on this item last week. Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot said there just may not be enough time for Pryor to learn all the details involved in the transition from QB to WR, but that it was definitely worth a shot to try and convert Pryor.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 10:30am
Ronde Barber knows a thing or two about quarterbacks after spending his entire 16-year NFL career trying to intercept them. So what does he think about the Bucs’ new signal-caller, Jameis Winston? Last week, the Buccaneer great sat down with CBS to discuss.
“He gives you the spectacular, but he also gives you the rookie," Barber said, via JoeBucsFan. “But what I will say about (Jameis) is he plays with zero fear. He’ll let go of any ball. He has that confidence. I’ve played against guys that have supreme confidence in themselves and their ability to make plays. You can already see it. He has no fear letting the ball go."
It’s easy to draw the comparison between Winston and Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel. Winston succeeded Manuel as Florida State’s starter and both were first-round picks in the NFL Draft. But according to Barber, they’re nothing alike.
“The guy that preceded him at Florida State, E.J. Manuel, I did a couple of games of Buffalo over these two years that I’ve been working at FOX, and he is the other way,” Barber said. “He’s timid. He holds the ball. He’s scared to deliver it when he needs to. This guy (Winston) is the complete opposite, maybe to a detriment at times; he throws a lot of interceptions."
Winston will likely see many highs and lows this season, as any rookie does. But the good news is he's got two, star WRs to throw to in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. The bad news is the offensive line is a question. It may be a tough go at first, but things should start to click with game experience. We rank Winston 24th, which puts him outside QB2 range in ten team leagues, but he could end up being a waiver wire pickup at some point this season with QB2 value and a chance to be a streaming starter.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015, 9:31am
Per Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune, the Seahawks may begin to groom Gary Gilliam at left tackle as the season progresses, given that Russell Okung is in the last year of his contract. Also, rookie Mark Glowinski eventually could push J.R. Sweezy at right guard.
Regardless of who plays in 2015, they’ll need to play better than they have.
The story pointed out some who could be directly affected by poor line play if it continues, mentioning quarterback Russell Wilson has faced consistent pressure in passing situations, which could make it difficult for the Seahawks to take full advantage of tight end Jimmy Graham. And it could make running back Marshawn Lynch more likely to call it quits following a season of getting banged around by defenders that the offensive line fails to keep away from him.
Daniels and Green appear locked in on the top two spots, and depending on the frequency at which the Broncos use certain personnel groups, could both end up with play counts that reflect being starters.
Julius Thomas, who scored 24 touchdowns the last two years, left for Jacksonville. We rank Daniels 16th on our TE list, but project him for only about 5 TDs this season. While Daniels has the experience in Gary Kubiak's offense, and Green the experience with QB Peyton Manning the last four years, the story points out the job description for the tight ends is a bit different than it was the last three seasons - there'll be a bit more blocking involved. Daniels ADP is the 12th round, however. Compared to those around him, that's about three rounds earlier than Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Eifert who are ranked ahead of Daniels on our list.
According to two sources, the Packers have no plans to release the sixth-year veteran, who was charged with a misdemeanor for discharging a firearm in public. According to the police report, Quarless fired two shots into the air outside a parking garage and was arrested at 5:35 a.m.
Quarless was released from custody. No future court dates have been set yet, according to the Miami Beach Clerk of Courts.
The 26-year-old is expected to compete for the starting job with second-year tight end Richard Rodgers. The story went on to say Quarless could be subject to discipline under the NFL's personal conduct policy. The policy states that a player could be placed on paid administrative leave or on the commissioner's exempt list if "formally charged with a crime of violence, meaning that you are accused of having used physical force or a weapon to injure or threaten another person."
He’s a seasoned, mature veteran and the leader of one of the winningest pro football franchises over the last decade. Flacco is the Super Bowl XLVII MVP and has the most playoff wins of any NFL quarterback since he entered the league in 2008.
Last season, he had his best statistical outing yet, putting up 3,986 passing yards and 27 touchdowns. Nobody wants to see those numbers regress even if Flacco has his fourth coordinator in four years. In fact, the hope is that he gets even better and breaks the 4,000-yard milestone.
When asked about what he’ll do to better his game in 2015, Flacco didn’t say a single thing about stats, wins or any accolades, such as getting a Pro Bowl nod for the first time.
Instead, he named three specific goals:
1) Stay healthy
2) Maintain strong communication with his OC Marc Trestman
3) Work on his footwork
Perhaps the most important fantasy-related item to take away here is Flacco building his relationship with Trestman. The story said Flacco isn’t worried about the offense under Trestman due to its similarity to the system Gary Kubiak implemented last season. Flacco is ranked 16th among our QBs this year. He lost his deep threat in Torrey Smith but the team drafted Breshad Perriman, who is expected to start alongside Steve Smith, and fill the deep threat void. We project Flacco for 4,259 yards, which would put him tenth. He'll continue to have QB2 value and probably could start for your fantasy team in certain matchups.
Monday, July 6, 2015, 6:41pm
Clayton, who's now retired, wound up catching 44 passes for 471 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie as he started 10 games. And Torrey Smith, the former Maryland standout now with the San Francisco 49ers via a five-year, $40 million contract this offseason, caught 50 passes for 847 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie second-round draft pick in 2011.
Perriman is eyeing a starting job and is hoping to make an immediate impact as a deep threat and otherwise following an offseason where he flashed playmaking skills and explosiveness along with a tendency to lose his concentration and drop passes.
“It’s a goal of mine, but at the same time, it’s not really on my mind," Perriman said as the Ravens concluded their June minicamp. "I’m just really trying to focus on getting better every day, just going out there, take it day by day and see how it plays out."
The story said Perriman had one extremely rough practice where he dropped four passes, but didn't dwell on his mistakes or make excuses for his lapses. He is competing with Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown and Michael Campanaro for a starting job opposite five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smtih. But as the story also points out, at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, Perriman's size and 4.22 speed in the 40-yard dash would provide a natural complementary presence to Smith. Perriman is actually listed 41st on our WR list, so he's getting later-round draft attention and owners are taking a chance on him as depth on their fantasy team.
Monday, July 6, 2015, 6:35pm
“When Josh was here he was the touchdown man and I’m here to fill his shoes,” Bowe told NEOMG during minicamp. “It’s my job to do that in this offense and I believe I can do that.”
“If I get (a touchdown) in the (home) opener first quarter, the floodgates are open and the Dawg Pound is going crazy,” he said. “It’s going to be awesome. Once I start that, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I might go crazy.”
The 6-foot-2, 222-pound Bowe has the right attitude, and he seems optimistic that last season was an anomaly, the story said. Bowe has totaled 532 catches for 7,155 yards and 44 touchdowns, all with Kansas City, but last year he put up a 60-754-0 line. Every one of the Chiefs’ 18 touchdown catches last year went to a running back or tight end. We rank Bowe just 58th on our WR list heading into camps.
Monday, July 6, 2015, 1:47pm
“He’s a quarterback’s best friend … For one, he’s a veteran guy,” Smith said, via the team’s website. “He understands the game on and off the field. He’s a beast of a player. You can’t say enough good things about him.”
That’s part of the reason why Ron Jaworski and others think the needle is pointing up for Smith heading into the 2015 season, although that optimism is tempered by those who think the problems of his first two seasons have had more to do with Smith than with the players next to him on offense, the story went on to say. Smith ranks just 29th on our QB list.
Leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, Oregon star QB Marcus Mariota was billed as a "project," bound to struggle with the transition from a college spread offense to a pro style.
After an impressive showing in offseason practices, though, the Tennessee Titans have reason to believe Mariota will find instant success as a rookie.
Veteran receiver Harry Douglas recently raved about the "unbelievable accuracy" Mariota showcased in OTAs and minicamp.
"I feel like Marcus has done everything he needs to do to get the ball to his receivers," Douglas added, via ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky.
Mariota also drew praise from wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson who said Mariota has been "deadly accurate" in practices. Of course it's only practices. Mariota ranks just 26th on our QB list but certainly has a chance to improve on that. However, the Titans group of WRs isn't all that impressive. Kendell Wright ranks the highest at just 45th on our WR list. He's joined by Justin Hunter (70th), Dorial Green-Beckham (89th), Douglas (101st) and Hakeem Nicks (142nd).
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