Pick It Apart; Christian Wilkins

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: #13

Player: Christian Wilkins

Drafted by: Miami Dolphins

Grade: B

Analysis: I think it’s fair to assume that if you ask 10 different ‘Fins fans about how they thought the Dolphins would approach their first 1st pick in the draft, I think you’d get a lot of different answers;

From trading back and accumulating yet more picks, to a Quarterback such as Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock etc.

I am not too sure how many of them would have selected a Defensive Tackle, and even less of those would have selected Christian Wilkins.

Brian Flores, the former Patriots DC, decided to beef up the O-Line with a 6”3, 315lb brute from Clemson. This will no doubt add help to a defence that were 27th in total points allowed and 29th in total yardage surrendered and bottom 10 in most rushing defence categories.

He’ll be remembered on draft day as the guy who jump bumped the Commish (shame it wasn’t a bit harder) and you can tell by his aura that he is a leader.

He is a hardworker, illustrated by the fact he got his degree in 2 and a half years. On the field, he racked up tackles from his freshman year, all the way to his final year. Wilkins can do it all, break up passes, tackles, stuff the run and sack the QB. The reason the grade is a B (if you haven’t noticed, I’ve given a lot of A’s thus far), is that I question whether or not it was the right pick at this position.

Whilst the Dolphins are lacking in a multitude of areas and have a bucket load of picks in 2020, I wonder if they had any calls from other teams to move up because I think Wilkins would have been there for another 5-10 picks. Even if he wasn’t, there would be comparable alternatives for them to choose from.

The positives though, he has character, talent and the athleticism to succeed in the NFL and will be asked to do a lot of it on his own in year one considering the rest of the talent on the roster. Next year and a few years from now though, if Miami invest wisely, it could be a force to be reckoned with Wilkins being the jewel in the crown.

Fantasy Football Impact:

Miami are not relevant for fantasy defences, unlikely to be too relevant in IDP but will certainly be the stud player and top points scorer of this team in my opinion. Just depends on how many points he can get. The defence will be on the field a fair bit so individual opportunity is there.

Pick It Apart; Ed Oliver

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: #9

Player: Ed Oliver

Drafted by: Buffalo Bills

Grade: A-

Analysis: The rumour mill was churning that Ed Oliver could have gone as high as #3 overall to the Jets, so this has to merit some kind of value here to the Bills at 9. I think that this was about right for the defensive tackle out of Houston. It would have been interesting to see if they would have still opted for Oliver had TJ Hockenson been on the board.

The Bills defence, middle of the pack in terms of rushing defence in yards and 26th in sacks(but ranked no.2 overall) do need a bit of an oomph up the gut after the exit of Kyle Williams and Oliver will bring it. He brings a quick, explosiveness to the position and whilst many say he may be too big (6”3 and heavier than Aaron Donald for perspective), he will do exactly what Sean McDermott picked him for. Although many considered Oliver to have a somewhat underwhelming 2018 and final college season (Oliver declared prior to his final college season that he would declare for 2019), he still finished with 54 tackles (14.5 for loss, 3 sacks( in 8 games after missing a bit of time with injury.

His transition in to the league will mean that he’ll look to fill those big boots vacated by Kyle Williams and does bring a slight question mark about character (had a bit of a run in with a coach in college during a game over a jacket). Expect Sean McDermott, a coach known for his knack of getting the most out of his players and getting them all to play for him, to give Oliver 1 simple task…get after the Quarterback. McDermott attended Oliver’s pro day and it seems as if Oliver was hand picked by the Bills HC should he have gotten to #9 overall, so it would have been REALLY interesting if TJ Hockenson was there. Unfortunately, that’s something we’ll never know….just like why Jon Snow didn’t pet Ghost before leaving Winterfell.

Fantasy Football Impact:

Buffalo Bills defence are sneaky good, and Oliver could be a sneaky addition in IDP leagues with his duty to essentially go and get the Quarterback. Considering how good the back end of this defence is and the other teams in this division, he could rack up a decent about of sacks in his rookie year.

Pick It Apart; Josh Allen

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: #7

Player: Josh Allen

Drafted by: Jacksonville Jaguars

Grade: A-

Analysis: It’s funny how you can be shocked and also not surprised with one pick. Yes, Jacksonville are renowned for their defence and how shutdown it can be. Also, their offence is not all that, even with Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles joining the ranks (let’s not also forget about the mighty Geoff Swaim, people). Everyone kind of expeting TJ Hockenson to fill this slot but I guess the talent of Josh Allen won through here for Doug Marrone and the front office. Allen, an overlooked 2 star recruit who was only just a Kentucky grad after a late offer used that as his inspiration to be the best form of himself that he could be, earning team captain honours in 2018. Allen has overcome a lot from his youth; often being sent home from school due to his hygiene, being bullied because of a speech impediment and crying numerous times. Now, he is one of the most feared pass rushers coming in to the NFL and I think his attitude, the way he has carried himself through his life and his desire to be the best is what makes Jacksonville a great destination. I say that because great players always have space made for them on any team. Jacksonville had needs on offence and there were plenty of options available to them, but they still decided to go with Josh Allen.

His knocks are his short arm length (47th%ile at combine) and his small hands (1%ile!) but this is not going to stop him getting to Luck, Watson and Mariota (maybe) on a stacked defence. He brings a wide variety of talents along the line and is a guy who can get to the QB in a straight line or round the bend. He has a variety of moves which he executes to a good level, can set an edge and also is adept at dropping back in to coverage if required.

In summary, the Jags are getting an elite athlete, who can fulfill a number of duties along the line and is another jewel in the crown of this defence which may just find it’s mojo again in 2019. He will fill roles at SAM linebacker and an edge rusher on passing downs, he’ll slot in just fine in the NFL.

But, is it enough to say it was the right pick when there were other needs on offence?

Fantasy Football Impact:

Jacksonville are a perennial top 3 defence in fantasy football, Josh Allen will help keep the Jags at the forefront of people’s mind when picking defences in the double digit rounds. Working opposite Yannick Ngakwoue, they have just had a new delivery of sacks in Sacksonville.

Pick It Apart; Nick Bosa

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?


We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….


Pick: 2nd Overall


Player: Nick Bosa


Drafted by: San Francisco 49ers


Grade: A+


Analysis:

I love, love, love this pick and the fit for the 49ers. I’ve said this through the whole of the pre draft process that I thought that Nick Bosa was and is the best player available in this draft class and nothing has changed my mind since.

When the regular season was coming to a close, I thought that San Francisco were playing their way out of contention for Bosa with wins against Denver and Seattle. Then Kyler Murray came along and saved their bacon by choosing to play football and the rest is history.

On the field I feel that this is a hand-in-glove fit with what the 49ers want to do in the defensive line. Solomon Thomas just has not cut it in the Bay Area and Bosa coming in is an instant upgrade. It’s a little bit of a shame because Thomas is an ex-top 10 draft pick which is obviously a little bit of a bitter pill to swallow since he’s now on the trade block.

Anyway, back to Bosa… I feel Bosa will work really nicely with recent trade acquisition, Dee Ford, who will be the Leo pass rusher, leaving Bosa to be the more traditional defensive end who both rushes the passer and also sets a strong edge in the run game. It really reminds me of my Los Angeles Chargers with Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa… the 9ers also have DeForest Buckner as their Jerry Tillery in situ already.

I’ve gone on record to say that I think that I think now the 49ers should have their players back to health and with Bosa drafted in, I feel they could be a Superbowl candidate. I expect them to make the playoffs this season and be a threat to whoever they play.


Fantasy Football Impact:

Well, he’s going to help the San Francisco defense get off the field by the way of solid tackling and sacks, get turnovers by way of forcing fumbles and in turn that helps out your offensive players from the 49ers too because they should be on the field more, especially more than last year.

Where Do They Go From Here; Denver Broncos

After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…

Today we take a look at the Denver Broncos.

Don’t forget to check out the AFC West podcast where we talked to Sam Lane and Stocks from 5yardrush and got their thoughts on them!

How Did Last Season Go?

The Case Keenum experiment didn’t bear all the fruits for John Elway and Broncos Country.

They put themselves in a position for a wildcard berth at 6-6 but 4 straight (humiliating) defeats to 2 teams picking in the top 4 of the 2019 draft and 2 divisional rivals cost them. What else cost them was a 3-6 start before their bye week giving them too much to do in hindsight.

Bottom half in the league in terms of yards and points on offence tells you how well Case Keenum’s Broncos did. Only scoring more than 25 points twice all season against an out of sorts week 1 Seattle Seahawks at home and the Cardinals –  a team who were the worst in football. Keenum himself has a season QB rating just pushing over 80…not the Minnesota Case Keenum, that’s for sure.

A bright spot on offence was the running backs, where Philip Lindsay burdst on to the NFL scene as an undrafted rookie. Bumping out draft pick Royce Freeman and dust collector Devantae Booker to surge to the top of the depth chart. Anyone taking a punt on him in the early weeks of fantasy football waiver wires were beaming.

Emmanuel Sanders had a good season despite his age nearing the number where father time comes calling. Injury curtailing his career so I guess in a way, father time caught up. It remains to be seen whether he will be the same again in 2019. Draft picks Courtland Sutton and DeSean Hamilton showed flashes at times to the point where the Broncos were happy enough to send Demaryius Thomas to the Texans for a bag of dust.

The defence looks a shadow of it’s former Super Bowl winning self and home field advantage is ever present at mile high. That said their first round draft pick Bradley chubb had himself a good season (I guess you should being picked at no.5 overall) and allowed Von Miller to continue doing his thang. The pair combined for 26.5 sacks in 2018, breaking Broncos records all over the shop.

Housekeeping

The Broncos own pick 10 in the draft but it’ll be decent odds they pick from that spot come the end of April. Elway loves a case of the itchies.

The Broncos also own picks 41, 71, 125, 148, 156, 182 and 237.

Cap wise, the Broncos have around $11m available at this moment.

Outgoings

As mentioned, Demaryius Thomas was let go for that bag of dust which has now flown away to New England via the Texans (and a trip to the hospital).

The Case Keenum project was shut down after 1 year and other names that have left Mile High include Center Matt Paradis, corner Bradley Roby and TE Matt LaCosse

Incomings

If you ask Elway, Joe Flacco is entering his prime so is a massive upgrade on Keenum in that respect (ooook). Kareem Jackson comes over from Houston along with CB Bryce Callahan and RT Ja’Wuan James

Outlook for Next Year

The young pieces on offence will be hoping Joe Flacco is that upgrade on Case Keenum ad many will look to Sutton and Hamilton to come to the fore in the passing game and for Lindsay not to be hampered by his serious arm injury that curtailed his impressive 2018 rookie year.

Surely though, the pairing of Miller and Chubb on the edges of the defence will be the cornerstone to the Broncos winning games. A tough division, a tough schedule too with the AFC South and NFC North not making things too easy in their quest for a wildcard berth (nor does their 3rd place finish giving them the Browns and Bills (away) as their other fixtures outside their division). Sorry fans.

Prediction

For me personally, I am not sure how the Broncos will be contenders again under Elway whilst he keeps whiffing at the GM position.

For 2019, this division is going to be too hot for Denver with KC and LAC in prime position for an assault on the Lombardi Tophy. With Oakland being a wildcard and making some positive moves, don’t be surprised to see the Broncos bottom of this division and picking top 10 again in 2020. Once again, sorry fans.

That being said, their home field is decent enough advantage for a few wins a season and whilst the Broncos may not be on primetime much this season, we see them first up in the HOF game vs Atlanta.

I think they max out at 7 wins, and that’s generous of me. Be thankful.

Fantasy Football

Joe Flacco – Joe Flacc-no

Philip Lindsay – likely to be overdrafted but unsure what round – injury dependant.

Royce Freeman – potential hold in dynasty if Lindsay struggles to return.

Emmanuel Sanders – mid to late rounds (injury dependant) – WR 2 ceiling

Courtland Sutton – Later rounds – WR3

DeSean Hamilton – shallower league perhaps undrafted – WR4 with upside.

 

 

Don’t get all defensive

We turn our attentions to the defensive side of the ball for this podcast and are helped out by Joel Bishop of The Inside Zone, Inside the Pylon and Pro Football Ready.

Before that we find out whether Game of thrones returning was a greater comeback than Tiger Woods’s win at Augusta, what Wilson’s contract means for the next guys up and why avocado share prices have soared.

Adam Foxcroft tries to better Adam Walford’s score on the Full10Questions and we announce the winner of the April competition (you have 1 week to claim!)

Times:

1st Down – News and Notes : 4:29

2nd Down – Defence draft prospects : 10:51

3rd Down – Full10Questions: 49:15

4th Down – Podcast housekeeping and Competition winner: 57:39

Where Do They Go From Here; Redskins

After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…

Today we take a look at the Washington Redskins.

Don’t forget to check out the NFC East podcast where we talked to Scott Mackay and got their thoughts on them!

How Did Last Season Go?

The season was going swimmingly well but as was the case the season before, injuries decimated their playoff chances.

Even before the season started, their new shiny toy in the backfield Derrius Guice went down for the season with a torn ACL. This led to the signing of Adrian Peterson who, at the ripe old age of 33, stepped in with another 1000 yard season when many thought that he didn’t have the legs anymore.

The most important nail in the coffin for Washington though was week 11; The Redskins were 6-3 before a horrific injury to Alex Smith against the Texans at home changed the whole landscape of the Redskins aspirations.

More injuries to the offensive line which is commonplace for the Redskins (again had one of the highest adjusted wins for injuries for a 2nd year in a row) meant that the defence just had to cover over too many cracks to keep the team up and winning games.

It is a testament to the defence that they still had an outside shot at even winning the division or a wildcard berth in week 16 when they lost to the Titans.

Redskins fans got to see the whole depth chart at QB with Colt McCoy and Josh Johnson – the guy with the most American name ever, getting some playing time at FedEx field.

As mentioned, no January football for the Redskins which seems very harsh considering they were the pacemakers for the majority of the way but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these injuries keep happening. The training regime or the way these players recuperate must be looked at.

Housekeeping

Washington have the 15th pick of the 1st round along with picks 46 (2), 76 (3), 96 (3), 153 (5), 173 (5) inside the top 200. Washington were awarded 4 compensatory picks for this year’s draft.

The Redskins have $12m in cap space at this precise moment.

Outgoings

A couple of key players have exited for pastures new.

They include tackle Ty Nsekhe and WR Jamison Crowder on offence, with safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and linebacker Preston Smith on defence.

Incomings

The Redskins went la la with Ha Ha’s replacement, signing division rival’s safety Landon Collins from the Giants to a huge deal. 6 years, $84m contract is quite the investment.

Desperation around the Alex Smith quandary saw them go get Quarterback Case Keenum, who is surely a 1 year bridge gap to either a 2020 draft QB.

Washington have re-signed Adrian Peterson to a deal, which intimates that Derrius Guice may not be ready to go full blast in week 1.

They’ve also signed the flag collector Ereck Flowers from the Giants and oldie Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to 1 year deals.

Outlook for Next Year

The bucket load of draft picks are a godsend for the franchise due to Alex Smith’s cap investment and the Redskins could be teetering on purgatory for a while.

It’s fortunate that the Giants are a god-awful team too (we’ll get to them tomorrow) because otherwise, this franchise would be rooted to the bottom of this division. Case Keenum isn’t a quarterback that is going to lead this team to January football.

Look for the redskins to add primarily on offence in the draft, needing some WR help and possibly a Tight End at 15 should TJ Hockenson fall there.

Prediction

When September comes around, I’m not sure there will be many excited Redskins fans about the season. I can’t see any scenario where the Redskins make the playoffs and will probably be challenging for the top 5 or top 10 in the 2020 1st round picks.

I think the backfield will be interesting and you’ll probably find that as the weeks progress, Adrian Peterson’s role will diminish and Derrius Guice’s will increase as they ease him back in.

Defence will need to keep playing to it’s high level and if Case Keenum is able to find any of his 2017 form with the Vikings and Jordan Reed is able to play at least 3 quarters of the team’s games, then they may get to 8-8.

But like other teams always lingering in the 8-8 nightclub, you need to get chucked out and visit the top 5 draft pick pub before you can get access into the double digit win club (please drink responsibly).

Fantasy Football

Case Keenum – undrafted – low QB2/QB3

Adrian Peterson – Later rounds – RB3

Derrius Guice – mid to late round – RB3

Josh Doctson – just….no

Jordan Reed – later rounds – TE1 upside

 

 

Where Do They Go From Here; Titans

After our divisional season review podcasts, we are now looking to the future and asking where each franchise goes from here. We put ourselves in the chair of being GM or the owner and going over what moves we would make in order to win a Superbowl, make the playoffs or just regain some pride…

Today we take a look at the Tennessee Titans.

Don’t forget to check out the AFC South podcast where we talked to Adam Foxcroft from the Long Snappers Pod and get their thoughts on them!

How Did Last Season Go?

Last season has to go down as a disappointment considering a new OC in Matt LeFleur was brought in to steer the ship with Mike Vrabel to a new exciting offence, separate from the “exotic smash-mouth” stuff that was rammed down our throats. That said, another winning record and the third straight season of 9 wins (which was good enough for a playoff birth in 2017). The signing of Dion Lewis probably didn’t work out how Tennessee wanted it to and neither did the progression of Marcus Mariota. Mr Wet Wet Wet as we call him on the podcast, had multiple injuries lingering throughout the season, leading to Blaine Gabbert getting some playing time.

It’s fair to say that the defence carried the Titans this season in most games and have the rare accolade of being a team to post a shut out (vs Giants) but also be shut out too (vs Ravens). 3rd best in terms of defensive points allowed and 6th worst in terms of points scored tells it’s own story about the Titans season (shoutout to Kevin Byard for the 66yard special teams trick play touchdown!).

Housekeeping

At the time of the article, the Titans have a healthy $23m in cap space and own the 19th overall pick in the first round of the 2019 Draft (coupled with pick 51 in round 2 and pick 83 in the 3rd).

Outgoings

Some of the time I wonder if Titans HQ is like the film get out where once you’re in, you can’t escape (suitable film title when you think about it).

That’s the short way of putting that nothing is troubling the exit door.

Incomings

The saviour is here! Ryan Tannehill is going to fix all of the problems at QB.

No, but seriously, Tannehill as a backup is not bad insurance for when Mariota struggle with injury again this season. May actually be a smart move if they wish to dump Mariota who is on his final leg of his Rookie contract.

A few signings on both sides of the ball include slot receiver Adam Humphries coming over from Tampa who apparently preferred them to New England despite them offering more money. Rodger Saffold agreed to a 4year, $44m deal to help with the offensive line, one of the best graded units coming in to the 2018 season.

Cameron Wake joins on the defensive side of the ball from Miami with a 3yr $23m deal and a player they’ve managed to keep in free agency saw Kenny Vaccaro re-sign too to the tune of 4yrs $26m (also want to shout out that they have a player called Dee Liner on the defensive line, I kid you not).

Outlook for Next Year

This year hinges all on Marcus Mariota.

Yes he has another new OC to listen to, but this year it’s Arthur Smith. He has already been at the Titans previously as the Tight End’s coach so hopefully the transition will not be as painful as Mariota’s arm injuries suffered in 2018. It’s going to be interesting to hear the vibes coming out of camp about him because whilst he could easily be extended in terms of contract, it’s not too farfetched to imagine a world where Mariota is a free agent in 2020.

The defence is here to stay and should be the main reason why Titans win the games they do in 2019, I am not sure the offence will be able to put them in a position to eke out 1 or 2 more wins that would put them in serious consideration for a division title.

That said, don;’t be surprised if the Titans tinker with the prospect of drafting a WR or even a Tight End to go along with Davis and Humphries to try and ensure opposing defences respect balance on their offence.

Prediction

As said above, whilst the Titans D will put them in consideration as a wildcard team, I’m not sure the offence is going to hold up their end of the bargain.

Henry is in a contract year so it will be interesting to see how much they use him (haven’t we been here before?) and whether they can finally get some consistency going on offence in terms of production and stability at the HC position. Arthur Smith shouldn’t have too many problems implementing what he wants and knows the personnel well so bedding in period shouldn’t cause too much concern for Titans fans.

Surely we couldn’t have another 9-7 season could we?

I reckon we will.

Fantasy Football

Marcus Mariota – No, thank you.

Derrick Henry – RB2 ceiling – 4th rnd pick

Dion Lewis – RB3 – 6th rnd pick

Corey Davis – WR 3 – 5th rnd pick *Potential BUST alert*

Adam Humphries – WR 3 – 7th rnd pick

Delanie Walker – TE1 (aren’t they all!?) – double digit rounds