Alright… it’s the business and talent evaluation / acquisition part of the season for the NFL. (I love making things sound fancier than they actually are!) One of my favorite times of the year. Mostly because I enjoy watching the college kids get to move on to the next phase of their lives.
The free agency part of it is good too, but I really like the young ones coming in. Maybe it’s because of the fact that I’m a pediatric nurse practitioner and I love all things growth and development-wise. And watching the growth and development of players is always fun for me. But I digress.
It’s time for one my most favorite events in the NFL year: The Combine. This year, I want to know… who are you looking for at the combine? Some people like to watch a specific position group, and others like to watch a certain player.
It was day 3 here in Mobile for me, both practice sessions were held inside at South Alabama University due to inclement weather, and it was standing room only. We were all ushered into one end zone. I decided to stay close to the goal post and pretty much made that my office for the day!
Today’s sessions consisted of watching the big boys upfront, the offensive linemen.
The NFL is the most popular sport in America. Even fans of teams who feel like their team may not be going anywhere are still heading to games.
To help increase the popularity (like it needs any more help) and give the fans what they want, the NFL Draft has been moving from city to city, and it has worked well. At first, I thought that was sort of a stupid thing to do, but then I saw the response of the people in the cities that host the draft, and it’s been nothing short of awesome.
It’s also nice because a city can now host either a draft or a Super Bowl, giving more options for fans to interact. While a draft doesn’t bring as much revenue as the Super Bowl does, it still gives the city a chance to shine. Much like the success of Nashville this past draft.
Since the beginning of the offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs wasted little time to start rebuilding the defense – by seeking out a new defensive coordinator and staff, in addition to signing six new players.
Some of the #Chiefs‘ defensive additions this offseason:
DC Steve Spagnuolo
LBs – Matt House
DL – Brendan Daly
DBs – Dave Merritt
CBs – Sam Madison
S Tyrann Mathieu
DE Frank Clark
CB Bashaud Breeland
DE Alex Okafor
DE Emmanuel Ogbah
LB Damien Wilson
Kansas City and the KC Chiefs played host to this year’s NFL Regional Combine. 30 college football players from all over the country came to show their skills to NFL scouts. While it may not have had the flash as the one in Indianapolis, it had the same goal.
The Regional Combine is much the same as the main combine in Indianapolis. The same drills, tests, and measurements, just on a smaller scale with fewer players. The Regional Combine often showcases players from smaller colleges or players who may have been under the radar during the regular season.
Speaking with many of the players, the same sentiment was stated over and over. They felt lucky to have been invited, even though it wasn’t the large combine in Indianapolis. Fredrick Jones, DT from Florida state said “It’s an opportunity that God has given me to show what I have and to give it my all. I’m blessed to have the opportunity.”
He wasn’t alone in his feelings of being lucky. Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall also was excited to be in Kansas City. “It was exciting. Getting able to perform, because some scouts may not be at my Pro Day… That was big for me.”
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.
Tonight is the NBA’s Draft Lottery. As a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers, there were many years when this date would have been marked on my calendar in January. We would even joke as the seasons neared the finish line that each loss was “another ball in the hopper.”
How does this system work? And better yet, is it time to consider some type of Draft Lottery for the NFL?
The shock of the NFL Draft is over for Chicago Bears fans and it’s a good thing. The Bears can now focus on developing a team whose goal is to win games and make last season’s horrible 3-13 nightmare disappear.
Despite the “wonderful outlook” for the 2017 season by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the NFL Network, (sarcasm intended), the Bears are not taking anything for granted. According to bearswire.com, general Manager Ryan Pace was graded with a D+ by 15 NFL Executives for his off season moves.
His grading was based on lack-luster veteran free agent signings and the gutsy moves in “selling the farm” for the second overall pick in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Frankly, these owners see the Bears transactions as “scrambling to get to 6-10 or 8-8.” As a matter of fact to them, the offseason was the signing of “a lot of mediocre players on mediocre deals.”
Tell that to the face of defensive backs Prince Amukamara and Quintin Demps or wide receivers Marcus Wheaton or Kendall Wright. The only way these players are going to prove they deserve a shot is to show it on the field. The voluntary OTAs proved to be an opportunity for players and rookies to show that they are ready and hungry to win games. To assume that these players have nothing to offer is absurd and disrespectful.
Let me preface this by saying I don’t follow college football closely at all. I watch a few games every year, but I don’t know any players other than the ones continuously mentioned on TV or social media. This grade is based solely on my knowledge of the game, the Philadelphia Eagles roster pre-draft and my personal opinions on what I think we need to make us a better team… and hopefully a Super Bowl winning team.
I wasn’t as anxious about the 2017 NFL draft as I was in previous years. In fact, this is probably the most calm I’ve felt watching the draft since becoming a football fan. One reason is obviously because we finally have a quarterback in Carson Wentz who is packed with potential and the skills to back up his strong desire to win it all with the Eagles. But also because this is the first time in a long time where I trust the front office and the coach and it was like a huge weight lifted off me when the 14th pick came along and we drafted a defensive end. My thought was Yes! We are finally focusing on defense.
A lot of people on my Twitter feed didn’t really share that same sentiment. They wanted someone that Wentz can throw to or hand off to, something that I agree with but I don’t think running backs or wide receivers are an emergency like having threats in the back field on defense. We have a beastly front four, but corners and safeties we have been inconsistent in and I, for one, thought we were off to a great start in the draft.