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Danny Amendola has reportedly been the "one bright spot" in the Patriots' receiver room so far.

Per the Boston Globe, Amendola is "clearly the most polished receiver on the field." Beat writer Ben Volin says that if the ex-Ram plays all 16 games, there's "little reason" to think he won't top 100 catches this season. Given Amendola's role in the slot, the inexperience at "X" and the Pats' troubles at tight end, the 112.0 catches per season Wes Welker averaged as a Patriot is an extremely realistic goal. Amendola has a WR1 ceiling.
Tue, Jul 30, 2013 09:09:00 AM

Titans traded up with the Ravens to select Alabama LB Rashaan Evans with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

The Titans traded the Nos. 25 and 125 picks for Nos. 22 and 215. Evans (6’2/232) began college as a situational edge rusher before taking over as Alabama’s starting weak-inside linebacker for his final two seasons, earning first-team All-SEC as a senior and finishing his career with 21.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. Evans’ lone deficiency came in coverage, where he remains a work in progress and may not be ready to play on all three downs. Still a relentless, violent, and explosive off-ball linebacker, Evans projects as a plus starter with uncommon pass-rush versatility for his position. He compares to Lawrence Timmons coming out.
Apr 26 - 10:31 PM

Cowboys selected Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Receiver might be the Cowboys' biggest need following the release of Dez Bryant, but linebacker was a major area of concern as well. Vander Esch (6’4/256) earned 2017 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year honors as a redshirt junior, tallying 10 career tackles for loss, four sacks, and three forced fumbles. PFF College credited him with 2017’s most run stops (57) and highest run-stop percentage (15.9%) among draft-eligible linebackers. Vander Esch drew comparisons to LaVar Arrington and Brian Urlacher before the draft, posting the highest SPARQ score (96th-percentile) in this year’s off-ball linebacker class. Supremely athletic with long arms (33 ¾") that help in coverage, Vander Esch is built to play on all three downs. As long as his health cooperates -- he was reportedly flagged for a neck issue by some teams -- Vander Esch should be a quality addition.
Apr 26 - 10:14 PM

Raiders acquired WR Martavis Bryant from the Steelers in exchange for the No. 79 overall pick.

The Steelers let it be known they were ready to trade their walk-year wideout, and the Raiders stepped in immediately. 26-year-old Bryant is headed to a receiver corps that already includes Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson, but will have bounce-back potential after a slow start and coach clashing marred his 2017 return from indefinite suspension. It's no sure thing Bryant meshes with back to the future coach Jon Gruden, but he still offers legitimate upside. Bryant is a gargantuan touchdown scorer who is a threat to rip a big play every time he touches the ball. All that being said, it's a steep price for a free agent to be with a lengthy suspension history.
Apr 26 - 10:13 PM

Chargers selected Florida State S Derwin James with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

James fell further than expected. James (6’2/215) missed all but two games as a 2016 sophomore due to a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee, then rebounded for second-team All-America honors as a 2017 junior with a team-high 49 solo tackles (5.5 TFLs), 13 pass breakups, three sacks, and two INTs. PFF College credited James with a stingy 48.1 passer rating allowed into his coverage last year. He destroyed the Combine, blazing 4.47 with freaky vertical (40") and broad (11’) jumps. Highly athletic with long arms (33"), James can match up to tight ends in man coverage and profiles similarly to Eric Berry.
Apr 26 - 9:58 PM

Saints traded up with the Packers to select UTSA DE Marcus Davenport with the No. 14 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

New Orleans gave up No. 27 overall, No. 147 overall, and their first-round pick in 2019 to move up. It is quite a haul for a non-quarterback, especially considering Davenport is something of a project. His upside is undeniable, however. Davenport (6’6/264) earned 2017 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year to cap a prolific four-year career in which he set school records in tackles for loss (38) and sacks (22), also forcing six fumbles. NFL Films’ Greg Cosell compared Davenport’s tape to Aldon Smith. Davenport predictably shined at the Combine, blazing 4.58 with 79th-percentile SPARQ results. A rangy pass rusher who operated as a stand-up linebacker for the Roadrunners, Davenport is a high-upside prospect who won on sheer athleticism at UTSA, and whose all-around game has room for further growth.
Apr 26 - 9:41 PM

Bucs selected Washington DT Vita Vea with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

The Bucs picked at No. 12 after trading down with the Bills. Vea (6’4/347) earned 2017 Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year, piling up 41 QB pressures and finishing as PFF College’s No. 2-graded run-defending interior defensive lineman. In three years as a Husky, Vea tallied 15 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Vea draws Haloti Ngata comparisons for his gargantuan size and powerful bull rush, but his get off is much less explosive, and Vea played only 62% of Washington’s 2017 defensive snaps. Still, Vea’s tape shows light feet for a big man, position flexibility, and an ability to create space for linebackers behind him to run free.
Apr 26 - 9:25 PM

Dolphins selected Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Fitzpatrick (6’0/204) earned the 2017 Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back, capping his three-year career with nine INTs, 16 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and an Alabama-record four pick sixes. Used in the versatile "star" role by Nick Saban, Fitzpatrick has experience at slot corner, safety, and nickel linebacker, aced the Wonderlic (30), and is a dangerous blitzer. PFF College credited Fitzpatrick with a stingy 59.9 passer rating allowed when targeted the past two years. Less experienced on the boundary – he played only 13 snaps at outside corner last year -- Fitzpatrick’s playmaking ability would be best put to use in a Tyrann Mathieu-like role.
Apr 26 - 9:21 PM

Cardinals traded up with the Raiders and selected UCLA QB Josh Rosen with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Arizona gave up pick Nos. 15, 79, and 152 to get their quarterback of the (very near) future. Sam Bradford will likely start Week 1 but obviously has a laundry-list injury history. Rosen (6’4/226) made 30 starts as a Bruin, going 17-13 and completing 60.9% of his passes at 8.0 yards per attempt with a 59:26 TD-to-INT ratio. UCLA ran a pro-style offense wherein Rosen made anticipation throws and ran traditional play-action plays, so he is advanced conceptually. His tape reveals a mechanically-sound technician with picturesque footwork and delivery, albeit with passing efficiency that dipped sharply on downfield throws and risk-taking tendencies that hurt his consistency. Rosen missed time with a throwing-shoulder injury as a sophomore and two concussions as a junior. Ideally, 21-year-old Rosen will get stronger and iron out his decision making. Long term, Rosen has drawn comparisons to Eli Manning and Trent Green.
Apr 26 - 9:14 PM

49ers selected Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

This is something of a surprise with the 49ers fairly set at tackle, but Joe Staley is entering his age-34 season. McGlinchey (6’8/309) was a three-year starter for the Irish, playing right tackle as a sophomore before guarding the blind side as a junior and senior. McGlinchey earned PFF College’s No. 2 offensive tackle grade in 2017, and No. 1 in run blocking. He also logged the highest Wonderlic score (37) among draft-eligible tackles. McGlinchey’s below-average core strength shows up versus bull rushers, however, and Notre Dame coaches reportedly believed right tackle was always his best position. McGlinchey does offer left tackle length (34-inch arms) and was a consistent executor throughout college. NFL.com O-Line guru Lance Zierlein compared him to Jared Veldheer.
Apr 26 - 9:08 PM

Bears selected Georgia OLB Roquan Smith with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Smith (6’1/236) earned the 2017 Butkus Award as college football’s top linebacker, breaking out for a team-high 137 tackles (14 TFL) and 6.5 sacks. An instinctive, explosive off-ball linebacker who plays with more power than his size suggests, Smith missed just one tackle in all of 2017 and has immense value on passing downs, where he excels as a pass rusher and allowed just 5.7 yards per catch when targeted in his career (PFF). Smith is a cross between Lavonte David and Deion Jones with sideline-to-sideline speed (4.51) and an omnipresent playing style.
Apr 26 - 9:02 PM

Colts selected Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Nelson (6’5/329) made 36 starts at left guard for the Irish, wrapping 2017 as PFF College’s No. 1 rated-overall guard and No. 1-rated run-blocking guard. Nelson has plus arm length (33 ¾") for an interior lineman and repped 225 pounds 35 times at the Combine. After watching his tape, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah deemed Nelson "the best run blocker I’ve ever evaluated." An intimidating, pancake-blocking presence who allowed just one QB hit last season, Nelson was compared to Hall of Famer Larry Allen by NFL.com offensive line guru Lance Zierlein.
Apr 26 - 8:49 PM




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