I don’t believe any entity in sports knows how to create hype for seemingly innocuous events quite like the NFL.
This week they released the 2019 schedules in prime time. Social media was on fire with love/hate from each fanbase. And some teams spared no expense on video excellence in sharing their schedule with everyone.
Perhaps it’s just because so many teams don’t have a first-round pick in next week’s draft – Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, New Orleans – or maybe fans are just so hungry or anything football related, but the excitement surrounding this year’s reveal was amazing.
The first day of the NFL’s “Free Agent Frenzy” period is over and a few teams made quite a splash. And even though free agency hasn’t truly started, the legal tampering period has brought some great news to some teams.
This is the time of year where Armchair Experts try to predict what their teams will do and are filled with either excitement over signings or depression when their team isn’t as active as they think they should be.
While the drama surrounding the trade of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders took a lot of the focus over the weekend, Monday’s free agent activity brought us all back into the mix.
The Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions made the loudest noise in adding talent to struggling teams. Their fanbases seem to be really excited about the possibilities these new players bring, but they aren’t the only teams who were active yesterday.
If you haven’t noticed there is a new vibe to the Chicago Bears. It started the moment head coach Matt Nagy entered Halas Hall with an attitude to #BeObsessed.
His goal was to ingrain into the hearts and minds of each player to stop playing mediocre football, which was something they became used to during the Marc Trestman and John Fox eras. But it had to start with the players believing that they could.
So Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace chose to bring in key players to prime their pump and motivate change. The additions of offensive and defensive weapons such as wide receivers Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, tight end Trey Burton, and linebacker Khalil Mack have already paid in dividends. But it is more than just on the field. The desire to win and play as one unit has shown in every play.
Nothing is a gimme in the NFL, even if a backup quarterback has been slated to start under center. And the Buffalo Bills should be no exception.
That seems to be the case with Sunday’s matchup between the Buffalo Bills (1-7) and the Chicago Bears (4-3). The Bills have just come off a loss on Monday Night against the New England Patriots. The Bills defense was able to hold the run and passing game to just kicking points in the first three quarters.
It was only in the 4th quarter that the Patriots offense was able to anything. Running back James White sealed the deal with a touchdown while the Bills shut quarterback Tom Brady down through the air.
Since March, when the Bills traded left tackle Cordy Glenn and the 21st pick to Cincinnati to move up to the Bengals’ spot at #12, it was clear that the goal of the 2018 NFL draft for Bills’ General Manager Brandon Beane was to get the franchise quarterback the fans have been dreaming about.
The first four all went in the top 10 but it took a while for Jackson to find a home. In what may have been the most joyful moment of the evening for a lot of his fans, the Ravens traded back into the first round to get him at 32. Two went to the AFC North and two went to the AFC East. Both those divisions are going to see the quality of competition rise significantly in the next couple years.
Earlier we had listed the first 15 draft picks with a trade. Let’s see what happens with the rest of the teams and who will get drafted from 16-32. So here is the final attempt in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.
Free agency is pretty much on the quiet front with some players still trickling on to teams, such as quarterback Blaine Gabbert to the Tennessee Titans, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Los Angeles Rams. But now it’s all about the draft and filling the holes that will make or break a team. So here is my attempt at Round 1 of the NFL Draft.