Even though the preseason isn’t for another few months, the NFL continues to prove itself to be a year-round sport. The combine, the draft, the start of mini-camps. There is no shortage of NFL news each and every day. And this week was no different so let’s look a few stories from around the league.
The NFL Draft
It seems as if everyday Todd McShay or Mel Kiper Jr. is releasing an updated mock draft. And as we get closer to Draft week, we are sure to hear even more prognosticating. The biggest story is the quarterbacks. The first 3 picks should be quarterbacks. With at least three more following in the first round. Don’t be surprised if more teams trade up to grab one of them. It is a strong class and NFL teams always need good quarterbacks. Even the Patriots are not immune as the search for Tom Brady’s replacement has to begin sometime. It’s being widely reported they are interested in Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.
It will take some time before we can decide who are the steals and who are the busts but the one player lost in all of this quarterback talk is the best player in the draft, Saquon Barkley. The running back from Penn State blew up the combine and the team that selects him will have a Week 1 starter. Most mock drafts have Cleveland taking him with their 2nd overall pick (4th) and this would be wise. This kid is the real deal. And this is what makes the draft interesting. It’s not the best player being picked, it’s the player the team needs being picked.
There are plenty of prop bets in the NFL. Especially during draft week. And this year you will find plenty based on the quarterback. Who goes first? What order do they go? Most mocks have Josh Allen as the first pick right now with Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen following. But don’t be surprised if Saquon Barkley jumps up to number 2 and the Giants. He’s is that good of a prospect plus the Browns’ plans going sideways is bound to happen. They’re the Browns after all and what can go wrong will.
Dez and Jerry
Superstar players and management having very public feuds in the offseason is nothing new. Especially with the Cowboys. Or Dez Bryant. Or Jerry Jones for that matter. This week these two will meet to discuss Bryant’s very big contract after having a very bad year. Dez wants to keep his money while Jerry wants to restructure.
There is also the chance the Bryant is simply cut. And if that is the case, be sure to note where he goes. He is a huge target and a huge asset and he’d be primed for a big year on another team. He’d immediately improve any teams’ odds in year-end bets as well as your fantasy football team.
It seems Richie Incognito has retired. At least, according to a series of strange tweets. One moment he was looking to play one more season and the next his body is failing. The strangest part came when he stated, “I just want to be in the Hall of Fame.” Now, Incognito has been a very good lineman in his career. Other times, not so much. And, of course, he is famous for his racist bullying of Jonathan Martin. And that does not a Hall of Famer.
But his departure will hurt the Buffalo Bills’ and their rushing attack. Incognito has been a cornerstone of its’ success playing at a Pro Bowl level the last 3 seasons. This will hurt Buffalo in the Futures and year-end bets so pay attention to who replaces him before placing a bet.
The draft and quarterbacks will dominate the NFL storylines the next few weeks and rightfully so. But there are always smaller moves being made that have just as much impact on a team or the odds down the road. And we’ll be looking for more to report on next week.