The NFL offseason often brings a lot of changes and excitement to teams and their fans. Additions to teams, beloved players or coaches leaving, hold outs, the draft, drama is always present in the offseason. However, when a player retires, the drama seems to subside, and nostalgia takes over.
We all know its coming. No one can play football forever. But when a player has made an impact on the league, it’s hard to imagine them not being on the field anymore. It feels like a loss for fans, but a loss that they understand and respect.
The start of the 2019 NFL year has had a number of notable retirements, and its only March. Here are a handful of newly retired players that will be missed by fans.
Julius Peppers. Defensive God. His name alone put fear in the hearts of offensive coordinators around the league. In his amazing 17 year career which included time playing for the Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Bears, Peppers was a 6 time All Pro, with 9 Pro Bowl nods. It’s straight to Canton for Julius.
The 2019 NFL Draft seems to be very defense heavy. As we dive deeper into the draft, the next most important question for the team is: Who is gonna be on the line to block all these pass rushers and linebackers?
According to many, Alabama’s left tackle Jonah Williams should be the first linemen to come off the board. Where the 6’5 301 pounder lands is anyone’s guess, but he is considered to be the best blocker in the draft.
Early in his college career, 2016 Williams played as a true freshman at right tackle earning two all American freshmen teams, as well as all American SEC team. He moved to left tackle his sophomore year and declared for the NFL draft this year following his junior year.
If you’re a person that believes defenses win championships, then this 2019 NFL draft is right up your alley.
This is one of the most top-heavy defensive drafts I’ve seen in quite a while. With the exception of Kyler Murray, who declared 2 weeks ago for the draft, several NFL mocks had eight of the top ten picks being defensive players. Now, how this all really turns out is anyone’s guess, but… it’s interesting.
A lot can happen before we hear the commissioner declare that the Arizona Cardinal’s are on the clock, and you’ll be hearing a lot of names before then, so let’s just start with the two popular names being heard around the league.
I’m one of those people who tends to put college athletic programs into buckets based on which sport they are really good at or known for. To me, Kentucky has always been a “Basketball School.” And for good reason, right?
However, this year’s NFL Scouting Combine has given me a new appreciation for what’s going on with their football program.
They finished last season with an impressive 10-3 record and have eight players participating in Combine activities, including a player who may be the top Edge Rusher in this year’s draft, Josh Allen.
Day 4 of the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine brings the defense to the forefront. Defensive Lineman, Edge Rushers and Linebackers took their turn at the 40-yard dash, bench press and other drills.
Many fans have been anticipating Nick Bosa‘s return to the field after suffering an injury last fall that ended his season at the Ohio State University. Kentucky’s Josh Allen has been the talk of draft pick trade rumors all week as teams discuss making moves up the board to get him. Were Montez Sweat‘s (Missouri) amazing numbers enough to propel him into the top ten?
Let’s take a look at these three positions and how the top prospects / performers graded out. It’s up to you to decide how these times / scores should be used in conjunction with film to decide which one works best for your team! Complete stats can be found HERE on the NFL website.
Ok, so the first thing I learned at the NFL Combine is that they call Wide Receivers… Wide Outs. Frankly, I’m not sure why. They all SAY the words “wide receiver” when talking about them, but the official literature calls them “wide outs.”
The second thing I learned is that you have to be really (REALLY) quiet at the workouts in Lucas Oil Stadium. ZERO tolerance for noise, clapping, anything that might distract the players from having their best results. With over 6,000 fans in attendance, the stadium workers were kept pretty busy policing the crowd.
All-in-all, it was an amazing experience for me today to see first-hand what these young men were going through. While the TV gives you an up-close perspective, the sights and sounds of being in that stadium must be experienced in person.
Today it was all about Quarterbacks, Tight Ends, and Wide Outs. Let’s take a look at who the top performers were in each category.
This weekend, all eyes in the football world are on the NFL Combine taking place in Indianapolis.
300 College players were invited to participate in drills and get measured so that Top Executives, Coaching Staffs, Player Personnel Departments and Medical Personnel from all 32 NFL teams can evaluate them. These players are all hoping to make a good impression this weekend so that, along with their game film, will get them drafted into the NFL in April.
I spent some time this afternoon talking with a few of the defensive linemen that are here for the Combine and will be working out tomorrow.
Safety is a position that has always had its superstars. Ed Reed, Ronnie Lott, Rod Woodson, Rodney Harrison, so many great athletes have played safety. When looking at this season’s free agent safeties, you can easily find one future Hall of Famer, with a possibility of a few more. These are impact players, and teams should be sending armored trucks full of cash to their houses, but there is a good chance that won’t happen.
I asked NFL columnist Mike Freeman what his thoughts on the market for safeties would be this year. He wasn’t optimistic. “It may be a while before we see a thriving safety market. I could be wrong but despite defenses dominating the Super Bowl, we’re still seeing teams devalue the position.”
He’s not alone. Many analysts and members of the media agree that the market will probably not be what many players hope it will be. Case in point, Eric Reid.
During the next few weeks, I will be writing articles on the top 10 prospects heading to the NFL Combine. And I’m proud to announce OurTurf Football will be there live and in person to bring you all the top stories from Indianapolis.
I won’t even pretend who my first NFL prospect is gonna be. For all my followers and colleagues who know me, certainly know it’s gonna be a quarterback.
Right out of the gate, this weeks spotlight is Heisman Trophy winner QB Kyler Murray out of Oklahoma. Murray is listed at 5’10” – 190 lbs.
A dream that has been floating around for many years and has finally found a voice through the Alliance of American Football.
The league came about as a way to appeal to the undrafted college players, the tossed aside unsigned NFL players and former coaches. It is an opportunity for a chance at redemption and to be a part of a league that gives players a stage to prove they have what it takes to play in the NFL. Below are a few things we learned from the inaugural kickoff:
Old and untapped running backs and wide receivers show their skills.
Former first-rounder for the Cleveland Browns, Trent Richardson bounced around the NFL but proved he still had game with 2 rushing touchdowns, 23 carries, 58 rushing yards, and a fumble for the Birmingham Iron.
Keep an eye out for RB Jhurell Pressley of the Salt Lake Stallions. He went undrafted in 2016, bounced around five different NFL teams but was impressive in the opener with 18 touches for 84 yds, 2-2pt conversions, and a receiving TD.