When people talk about NFL stars who were found in the late rounds of the draft, there are a few names that are always brought up. Tom Brady, Richard Sherman, Bo Jackson, Terrell Davis… it’s a long list. The western divisions in both conferences have a tendency to find these players regularly and turn them into superstars. Let’s take a look at this year’s picks and see if there could be another future star.
You can find an entire list of AFC draft picks for each team here.
If you didn’t catch the Sunday AAF San Diego Fleet’s win over the San Antonio Commanders you missed out on a great game and the emergence of a shifty running back.
Ja’Quan Gardner stands at 5’-7” and around 191 pounds. He went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft after leading the D-IAA conference with 206 carries, 1322 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns at Humboldt State. He caught 20 passes for 212 yards and two TDs while returning two kickoffs for scores as a senior.
He was also a First Team All-GNAC honors and rushed 249 times for 1,300 yards and 18 TDs, while making 42 catches for 324 yards in 2016. Prior to that, Gardner led the Division II in rushing with 2,266 yards and 25 TDs on 337 carries as a sophomore. How did he not get drafted? Well, when you are in a draft that had running backs Saquan Barkley, Sony Michel, Kerryon Johnson, Derrius Guice, and Nick Chubb, the odds are against you.
On Friday, Feb. 15th, the NFLPA released a statement saying that the NFL has reached a settlement with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid in their collusion case against the NFL.
The almost 3-year saga has, for all intents and purposes, has come to a sort of anti-climactic close.
Regardless of if you support Kaepernick and Reid or not, it opened up dialog. Or at least attempted to. I had a hard time finding people who could civilly discuss this online, but hopefully more civil discussions were had in “real life”.
The best decision the NFL has made was going back and allowing touchdown celebrations. It even has a Twitter page dedicated to celebrations called @GetYaPopcorn.
Glad they got the message that celebrations are fun. Wish they could get the message about other things, but that’s another post for another day.
Bottom line, the best thing for a good celebration, is winning. One of the more clever ones is from the Chicago Bears, Club Dub. They turn their locker room into a mock club environment and celebrate the win. To show what a big person I am, I’m posting Club Dub-Thanksgiving Edition, when they beat the Lions.
Snakebit. Injury bug. Plain old bad luck. Whatever you want to call it, whatever your favorite term, the San Francisco 49’ers has it. Due to injuries, the promise of the 2018 season, one that looked so bright in the offseason, seems to have lost its luster.
Every team goes through it at some point. Players seem to go down week after week with season-ending injuries. Once it gets started it’s like a train that cant’ be stopped. For San Francisco, injuries hit early and quick.
Obviously, the biggest hit was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who had just gotten a 5 year, $137 million contract. Garoppolo was expected to be the second coming of Joe Montana and was proving he was worth every dime. Then in the third game of the season, he took off for a 13-yard run, sliding at the end. Unfortunately, that slide caused a torn ACL. San Francisco was then forced to go with backup QB C.J. Beathard for the rest of the season.
Being on the road has not been kind to the Tennessee Titans. When the team left Nashville two weeks ago, they were at the top of the AFC South. After a loss to the Arizona Cardinals last week and to the San Francisco 49ers this week, the Titans are now second behind the Jacksonville Jaguars who have two consecutive wins.
It stings, it hurts. What hurts even more, is that Arizona and San Francisco have been having rough seasons with tons of injuries. They were considered teams that should be “easy to beat”. The Titans are making these easy to beat teams look good, unfortunately.
If you are a true competitor, losing should never be something you accept. It hurts and gnaws at you. As a fan, it’s heartbreaking when you know the knowledge and talent are there, but so are mental mistakes. The Bears young QB has no tolerance for losing. He took ownership of bad footwork and not being on the same page as his receivers.
This week’s victory over San Francisco felt like a broken record. The distinct discrepancies between the two halves, the defense keeping Seattle in the game, missed field goals, and the offense finding its footing in the second half. They were able to pull out a win but still did not answer the questions of where this season is heading.
Seattle’s record is now 7-4 yet concern still arises that they will not even make it to the playoffs. Something that has only happened once in the 8 years Pete Carroll has been the head coach. This season has witnessed key contributors like corner Richard Sherman and defensive end Cliff Avril placed on IR; strong safety Kam Chancellor hasn’t played in two games with growing expectancy that he will also join them on IR.