Nick’s Picks: 2019 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Welcome back to Nick’s Picks. With the divisional round done and over with, the draft order has been updated. With each week that goes by, prospects’ draft stock are in constant flux, so look for some inconsistencies in where prospects are put in the draft.

1. AZ: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

New week, same pick. Yes, with Kyler Murray declaring for the NFL Draft and Kliff Kingsbury’s documented interest in the Oklahoma QB, it could be possible the Cardinals take him. However, for this mock draft, I have them taking Bosa.

2. SF: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

I have been skeptical on putting Williams here, but I think the 49ers will look at what the Rams have in Aaron Donald and see how critical defensive tackles are in the modern NFL.

3. NYJ: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

The first order of business for new head coach Adam Gase: protect Sam Darnold. Williams is a great offensive line prospect and can help both the run and pass game.

4. OAK: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Looks like Kyler plays in Oakland after all! (Assuming they don’t move to Vegas next season). I think Gruden and new GM Mike Mayock will look to move Derek Carr and start fresh with the Heisman trophy winner.

5. TB: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

The Bucs are so deprived of talent that they need to get the best player available. Allen could play at the edge position or as an outside linebacker, and I’m sure Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles will extrapolate the most out of him.

6. NYG: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

This is the second week where I have Haskins going to the G-Men, and it’s looking more and more likely. Manning needs to depart before his entire reputation is tarnished.

7. JAX: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

In last week’s mock, I had the Jags taking a receiver, but I’d like to see how the mock draft shakes out with them taking a QB. Lock could be a nice fit in Duval County.

8. DET: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Man, I love this fit. The Lions are so desperate for a receiving threat for Stafford and Metcalf is among the best big body receivers in the draft.

9. BUF: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

Josh Allen missed a decent amount of games this year due to injury. In order for the Bills to have success moving forward, protecting their quarterback is essential.

10. DEN: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

The Demariyus Thomas + Emmanuel Sanders duo was nice while it lasted. Now, with Thomas gone and Sanders coming back from injury, the Broncos need a new receiving duo. Courtland Sutton and N’Keal Harry could very well be the newest tandem to rock the AFC West.

11. CIN: Devin White, LB, LSU

The Bengals can go so many different directions with this pick, but their defence was historically bad this season. White brings attitude and would become an immediate starter for Cincy.

12. GB: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

What a steal this would be if it comes into fruition. Ferrell is a great pass rusher who brings an immediate presence to this Packers defense.

13. MIA: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Oliver slips a little bit, but I think the Dolphins will find a lot of value in replacing what they miss in Ndamukong Suh.

14. ATL: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

I didn’t have Wilkins going in the first round in my previous mock draft, but his national championship performance and his above and beyond football personality will make teams fall in love with him. Wilkins can either replace or play alongside Grady Jarrett and fortify this defence.

15. WAS: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

I still can’t believe that Washington released D.J. Swearinger. I liked the move to trade for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but who knows if he re-signs with them. Thompson acts as a nice insurance policy (also, he’s an Alabama defender, which seems to be a trend for this team).

16. CAR: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Byron Murphy is shooting up draft boards, but I don’t see the cornerbacks in this draft going too high in this draft. Murphy will be a nice edition to a cornerback group with includes Donte Jackson and James Bradberry.

17. CLE: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

The Browns are pointing in the right direction, but protection was a bit of an issue for them in 2018. Risner can become the franchise left tackle for years to come.

18. MIN: Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma

The main thing Minnesota needs to focus on is protecting Kirk Cousins and giving holes for Dalvin Cook. Oklahoma’s Cody Ford can make Cousins’ crazy deal look like it was worth it.

19. TEN: Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan

I don’t see Gary going super high in the first round due to his size and his lack of production, but his potential is through the roof. With Jurell Casey getting older, Gary can slide in and be a new face on this defensive line.

20. PIT: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Wow, what a slip for Greedy Williams. The Steelers need some better quality defenders, and Williams is arguably the top corner in this year’s draft.

21. SEA: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

The Seahawks surprised many by getting into the playoffs, but they still need to protect Russell Wilson. By the way, it seems like this is always my message every year and the Seahawks never solve this issue. Hopefully they invest in Wilson’s future is all I’m saying.

22. BAL: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

I initially had a receiver going into the first round, but would that really help the development of Lamar Jackson? He doesn’t love to throw to wide receivers, as he heavily utilizes his tight ends. So, I chose to focus on defence in this mock with this dominant DT.

23. HOU: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

Houston has a few offensive needs such as offensive line and tight end. I was tempted to pick an offensive lineman here, but Noah Fant would help Deshaun Watson progress into a top 10 QB.

24. OAK (via CHI): DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia

The Raiders have a ton of needs, and with Baker falling to 24, Oakland can have a shutdown CB for the future.

25. PHI: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

I’m surprised Gardner-Johnson isn’t getting more first round love, but I think he’d fit perfectly in Philadelphia. By adding a safety, this youthful secondary can be lead by Gardner-Johnson and veteran Malcolm Jenkins.

26. IND: Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

Wow, the Colts surely over-performed this season. Their defence is most definitely underrated, but they could use some more interior pressure, and Simmons is among one of the best interior defensive line prospects in this year’s draft.

27. OAK (via DAL): Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

I’m convinced that the Raiders didn’t sign Khalil Mack because Mark Davis didn’t have enough money. That’s the only reason. Now, they have to settle for Brian Burns – who could be a good player, but he won’t be Khalil Mack.

28. LAC: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College

The Chargers have a really solid roster, but they struggled at guard all season long. Lindstrom is a solid guard and could start day one.

29. KC: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

The Chiefs defence really impressed me against Indianapolis, but their cornerback play is suspect. Love can compete for the CB1 day one.

30. GB (via NO): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Aaron Rodgers needs more weapons and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown could be a dynamic playmaker for the Packers.

31. LAR: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

The Rams are in good shape moving forward, but they need some improvement at linebacker. Wilson is an athletic thumper who is going to be yet another product of Nick Saban’s defence.

32. NE: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Tom Brady won’t last forever (even though it’s looking like it). Jones can come in and learn from the GOAT and eventually be the Pats QB for the future.

Nick’s Picks will be posted weekly and draft orders will be updated.

Nick’s Picks: 2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Welcome back, fans of Nick’s Picks! It’s been some time.

With the 2018 NFL Regular Season complete, 20 teams now have their draft slot solidified (unless they trade their pick). These picks are subject to change, due to the typical NFL draft nonsense (risers, fallers, Laremy Tunsil-like situations, etc). Now, let’s take a look at the 1.0 version of Nick’s Picks – 2019 edition.

1. AZ: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Have you taken a look at the Arizona Cardinals’ depth chart? Good God, it needs work.

I contemplated putting Quinnen Williams with this pick, since the Cardinals have a decent pass rush with Chandler Jones and Markus Golden, but there’s no guarantee that Golden returns in free agency (and Bosa’s just so much better than Golden). Bosa’s the pick, and the Cardinals ought to hit a few home runs in this year’s draft.

2. SF: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

I struggled with this pick a lot, since the best player available is Quinnen Williams, but he doesn’t fill a need. I think Devin White could be in the mix for this pick, but it’s a bit rich for my taste.

Allen is a versatile defender who can rush the passer and also play coverage. He’s a tone setter for this defence and will hopefully make John Lynch look smart.

3. NYJ: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

Maybe I’m looking at the wrong mock draft sites, but I can’t seem to find anyone who has Williams to the Jets – and I cannot understand why.

I think some believe that the Jets’ defensive line is good – it’s not bad – however, Quinnen Williams with Leonard Williams would be a nice pairing for years to come.

4. OAK: Devin White, LB, LSU 

I can’t stand looking at the Raiders’ roster. Jon Gruden has littered this roster with washed up veterans who he liked in 2008. Did you know that Leon Hall is playing for them? Unbelievable. Anyway, the Raiders need a tone setter on the defence, and Devin White is a culture changer.

5. TB: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

The Bucs are putting all their chips in with Jameis Winston, and they need to better protect him. Donovan Smith has been a disappointment throughout his career, so potentially Williams could be a franchise blind-side protector.

6. NYG: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Eli Manning will likely start next year, but I envision a Joe Flacco – Lamar Jackson transition with Manning and Dwayne Haskins.

I still can’t believe that Justin Herbert is going back to school. But, at least Haskins can cash out on his impressive year and be the successor to the fringe Hall of Fame quarterback.

7. JAX: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Wait, what??? Not a QB? In this scenario, I believe the Jags will realize that the QBs in this draft are not a high enough calibre to build a franchise around, so they acquire Joe Flacco on a one year prove-it deal.

Jacksonville once had a nice wide receiver duo in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, but now all they have is the underrated Keelan Cole. Harry adds a new dimension to this offence.

8. DET: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Remember in the 2017 NFL Draft when 3 wide receivers went in the top 10? I don’t think it’ll escalate to 3, but there could be multiple.

The Lions need a weapon for Matthew Stafford. He gets a lot of flack, but I don’t think people realize what he’s working with. Metcalf brings a big body presence to the Lions’ receiving corps.

9. BUF: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

I wasn’t a big fan of the Josh Allen selection in 2018, but he looks like someone you can build around. The Bills need to revamp this offence to tailor to Allen’s strengths.

Little is a solid protector and I believe has the versatility to play left and right tackle, or even guard. He’s exactly what Allen needs, and Buffalo will recognize that.

10. DEN: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

The Broncos have quite a few needs – including quarterback – but I wouldn’t draft any QB here. Their secondary needs a playmaker, and Thompson fits this scheme well.

11. CIN: Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma

Side note: I’m shocked that I lived to see the day that Marvin Lewis was fired as Cincy’s head coach.

The Bengals need a lot of help on the offensive line, even with the draft pick of Billy Price last year. Yeah, the pick isn’t sexy, but I’ve never really attributed sexy to the Bengals anyway.

12. GB: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

This season exposed the Packers’ lack of defensive talent. The bright side of Green Bay’s defence are their corners, linebacker Blake Martinez and defensive tackle Kenny Clark – that’s about it. Ferrell brings a spark of pass rush to this struggling defence.

13. MIA: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Ryan Tannehill looks to be out of Miami at the beginning of next season. Lock, although limited, looks to be a good leader and the best QB available. A new horizon is setting in South Beach.

14. ATL: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Some may think that Williams is a top 10 pick, and he very well could be, but I believe that there are more talented prospects that will be selected before him.

Atlanta needs some more personality on their defence. When you get someone named “Greedy”, you get some personality.

15. WAS: DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia

Josh Norman is on the decline, and there’s no one else on this team with CB1 potential. Baker is among one of the best defenders in this draft and will give stability to this rocky franchise.

16. CAR: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

I like James Bradberry and Donte Jackson, but I think they need a bona fide shut down corner.

Carolina’s defence has an odd mix of both young and old players. They must stop relying on old vets like Julius Peppers, Thomas Davis and Captain Munnerlyn and add more young players.

17. CLE: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

How did Ed Oliver slip this far into the draft? I question Oliver’s size transitioning into the NFL, and I know that some don’t care about the “jacket-gate” situation with Houston’s head coach, but I think some teams will question Oliver’s character. Cleveland selects him opposite Larry Ogunjobi.

18. MIN: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

It seems like a lot of people have this, and I tend to agree with the mock draft community. I didn’t like the Kirk Cousins signing, but I do think that he’d be better with more protection.

19. TEN: Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan

The Titans have a few needs, one of which is a versatile defensive lineman. Gary would be a steal at this stage of the draft and would be a nice pairing with veteran Jurell Casey.

20. PIT: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Wow, who would have thought that the Steelers would be just shy of making the playoffs? One of the main reasons why I’m surprised is that they have a very complete roster. Perhaps having a right tackle for the future will help Ben in his final years.

21. SEA: Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

The Seahawks surprised me this year, but they need to build up their defence. Simmons is among the best defenders still available, and he’d pair up nicely with Jarran Reed in the interior of that defensive line.

22. BAL: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Is Lamar Jackson the future in Baltimore? I’d say yes, but he needs help at wide receiver. It’s up for debate as to who’s the best receiver available, but A.J. Brown has some nice traits and will fit well with the Ravens.

23. HOU: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

Deshaun Watson was fighting for his life against the Colts in the Wild Card round. If he had a bit of protection, perhaps Watson leads the Texans to victory. Houston finds a versatile lineman in Cajuste.

24. OAK (via CHI): Brian Burns, DE, Florida State 

I like the Mike Mayock hire for one reason: he knows how to evaluate talent in the draft. Burns is a nice pass rusher who probably won’t be as good as Khalil Mack, but he could emerge as a double digit sack artist.

25. PHI: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College 

Regardless on where you stand on the Nick Foles/Carson Wentz debate, it’ll be important for the Eagles to protect their QB. Their left guard position has been shaky, and Lindstrom is a plug-and-play type of player.

26. IND: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

Darius Leonard is in contention for DROY, but the rest of the linebacking corps is suspect. Fifth rounder Anthony Walker and seventh rounder Zaire Franklin get a lot of reps currently, which could be an issue against the Chiefs. Wilson adds another athlete to this defence.

27. OAK (via DAL): Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

Oakland has many options on how to build via the draft, and I think they’ll try and build their front seven. Brown is an upgrade over P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst and has a tough mentality.

28. LAC: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Philip Rivers is having an excellent year, but how many years does he have left? Since they hardly have any needs, I think getting an intriguing QB prospect in Jones is a smart move.

29. NE: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

The end is near for the Pats. Perhaps Brady has a few more decent years left, but he needs more weapons. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is an electric playmaker who could extend TB12’s career.

30. LAR: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

When watching the Peach Bowl this year, I was shocked by how active and productive Gardner-Johnson was against Michigan. His ascension has made him worthy of a first round grade, and the Rams could use his talents.

31. KC: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

The loss of Marcus Peters has made Kansas City’s defence among the worst in the league. Love can be a day one starter and make the Chiefs’ secondary respectable again.

32. GB (via NO): Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

The Packers need to help out Aaron Rodgers, one way or another. Harmon is a solid receiver who is better than everyone other than Davante Adams in the Packers’ receiving room.

Nick’s Picks will be posted weekly and draft orders will be updated.

Just Brees-ing Through: Why the Saints are My Super Bowl Pick

Just Brees-ing Through: Why the Saints are My Super Bowl Pick

As week 13 approaches, the playoff picture is starting to take shape. In the AFC, the true contenders look to be the Patriots, Steelers, Chiefs and Chargers. In the NFC, the Bears, Rams, Vikings and Saints are looking like they are leading the pack.

The Saints – to put it bluntly – are legit. If you watch them play anyone (except for the Bucs in Week 1), they are far and away the best team in the league. As we all know, the best team does not always withstand the rigours of the playoffs. When watching them play, however, it is clear that the Saints are built to compete.

The Saints are my Super Bowl pick, and here are the reasons why: Continue reading

Who are the Early Candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year?

Who are the Early Candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year?

We’re in the middle of Week 7 of the NFL regular season, and as fans, we’ve gotten to see what the rookies of our favorite teams have been able to accomplish thus far. A few weeks prior, we discussed potential offensive rookie of the year candidates, and today we talk defense.

Personally, I think the DROY race is much more fascinating than the OROY race. Why? The sheer talent on the defensive side has been impressive. I look forward to seeing the progress of these defensive studs for the remainder of their rookie year.

8. Donte Jackson, CB, Carolina Panthers 

Carolina Panthers CB Donte Jackson.

In starting five games for the Panthers, Donte Jackson has shown that he can ball out, despite his pedestrian frame of 5’10”, 180 lbs. Thus far, he’s amassed 28 tackles, a forced fumble and 3 interceptions.

To move up in the rankings, Jackson must assert himself as a ball-hawking corner. He’s tied for being the league leader in interceptions, so if he can continue this trend by finishing the season as the interception king, some voters will give him the nod.

7. Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch.

To quote Skip Bayless, the “Tackling Dutchman” has been a welcomed addition to the Cowboys’ linebacker corps. His 50 tackles on the season may not be a wildly impressive stat, but his influence on the field, as well as the fact that he plays for “America’s Team” may push him into consideration.

If Vander Esch wants to win DROY, he’ll have to collect a few sacks and prove to be a quality coverage linebacker. The trio of him, Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee will be an exciting one to watch for the rest of the season.

6. Roquan Smith, LB, Chicago Bears 

Chicago Bears LB Roquan Smith.

Like Vander Esch, Smith’s production hasn’t been stellar, but his impact has been. In his four games starting, Smith has racked up 31 tackles and 1 sack. Again, not wildly impressive, but his impact can be felt by helping other defensive standouts like Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd get to the QB through his good coverage ability.

Smith must become a more proficient and active tackler to receive DROY consideration. He must also get to the quarterback more, as 1 sack isn’t going to cut it. Regardless of the DROY race, Smith has a promising future in the Windy City.

5. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Before the draft, Fitzpatrick was labeled the “safest” prospect to select. Thus far, it’s hard to argue with that logic. His hard-working mentality has been a welcomed edition to Miami’s lax culture. Through his three games starting and his six overall games playing, the Alabama product has 37 tackles and 1 interception to his name.

Again, his presence is felt through the culture change he’s given this Dolphins squad. To receive more consideration, he’ll have to assert himself as an elite cover safety.

4. Denzel Ward, CB, Cleveland Browns 

Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward.

The highest picked defensive player in the 2018 NFL Draft ranks #4 in the DROY race (for now). Ward has had a strong start to his rookie campaign. He’s amassed 28 tackles, a forced fumble and 3 interceptions thus far.

I’d give Ward the same advice as I did Donte Jackson – assert yourself as a ball hawk. If Ward becomes the interception king and is regarded by season’s end as a top 10 corner, he should win DROY.

3. Bradley Chubb, DE, Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos DE Bradley Chubb.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a massive Bradley Chubb fan during the draft process, but I am now. He’s been as dominant as anyone, with 20 tackles and 6.5 sacks through seven games.

If Chubb wants to run away with the DROY trophy, he has to finish with 13+ sacks and show that him and Von Miller are going to be an issue in the AFC West.

2. Darius Leonard, LB, Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard.

Is this my Colts bias talking? Potentially, but Leonard has the stats to back me up. In five games, “The Maniac” has put up 62 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. It’s safe to say that he’s been an issue for opposing QBs.

To be DROY, Leonard just has to keep playing his best football and stay healthy. Leonard should aim to get at least one or two interceptions, as well.

1. Derwin James, S, Los Angeles Chargers 

Los Angeles Chargers S Derwin James.

Derwin James is laughing at all the teams who passed on him on draft day. Through six games, James has eclipsed 36 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 1 interception. What separates James from Leonard is his reputation of being a thumper, but it will be interesting to see who take it home.

Who are the Early Candidates for Offensive Rookie of the Year?

We’re four weeks in and this season has been nothing short of riveting. As a draft geek, I love seeing how rookies fit with their new teams, and there have been some standouts thus far on both sides of the ball.

Today, let’s take a look at who are the early offensive rookie of the year candidates.

8. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb.

Just barely nudging into consideration is an emerging weapon for Baker Mayfield. Chubb has been an afterthought thus far, but his performance against the Oakland Raiders put the league on notice.

Chubb rushed for 105 yards on 3 attempts (yeah, that’s an average of 35 yards per carry) against Oakland, and the Browns are looking to give him more carries moving forward.

7. Josh Rosen, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen.

This is a true dark-horse pick, but if Rosen can turn this struggling franchise around, then he’ll most definitely be considered for OROY. I thought it was foolish to throw him into the fire against the Bears, but he showed some encouraging traits in his first start against Seattle.

Against the Seahawks, Rosen went 15 for 27 for 180 yards and 1 touchdown. Although these aren’t great stats, given that this was his first start and he didn’t throw any picks, it’s not bad. If Rosen can show that he can be an upper-tier QB in the NFL, he’ll OROY consideration.

6. Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay.

Lindsay is the only undrafted rookie I have on this list, but boy is he deserving of it. I wanted to also include Lindsay’s teammate, Royce Freeman on this list, but Lindsay has shown way more explosiveness and he jumps off your screen.

So far this season, Lindsay has 267 yards rushing and he’s averaging 5.9 yards per carry. If Lindsay can continue with this type of production and be a factor in the passing game, Lindsay should get be in the OROY discussion.

5. Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold.

In some aspects, it’s been a tough transition for the former USC quarterback. He’s thrown 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, and his first appearance on Thursday Night Football ended in a loss to Baker Mayfield’s Cleveland Browns. However, Darnold has shown that he’s the future of the Big Apple.

His performance against the Detroit Lions put him on a pedestal that was probably too high for him, but he showed some spark. If he can revive this season and put the Jets in the middle of the pact, Darnold could become this year’s OROY.

4. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions 

Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson.

Johnson has had a quite, but impressive first four weeks of the NFL season. He became the first Detroit Lions running back since 2013 to rush for over 100 yards in one game.

Through four weeks, Johnson has run for 216 yards for 5.7 yards a carry. He has also been a factor in the passing game, too. In order for Johnson to become OROY, he must be entrusted to be the bell-cow and he must be given the ball more in the passing game.

3. Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns 

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield.

It looks like Hue Jackson’s plan of benching Baker for Tyrod Taylor for a year didn’t work in his favour. That’s alright, though, since Mayfield has shown promise in both his first appearance and first start, respectively. Could Mayfield become Cleveland’s saving grace? If so, would a mediocre record be enough of an accomplishment for him to win OROY?

In his first appearance against the New York Jets, Baker went 17 for 23 and 201 yards. In his first start against the Raiders, the Oklahoma QB went 21 for 41 and 295 yards, with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Not a stellar performance, but Cleveland’s offence putting up 42 points is noteworthy. The title of number one overall pick has lofty expectations, and if Baker can meet them, he’ll be OROY.

2. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley.

Let’s not lie to ourselves, everyone thought Saquon would be the unanimous OROY coming into the 2018 NFL season. Has he lived up to expectations? I don’t think he has, but I blame a lot of that on how poor the Giants are as a collective. It’s no secret: Barkley is versatile. However, in order to win OROY, he must demonstrate that he is an elite running talent.

Over the first four weeks, Saquon has accumulated 260 rushing yards with 3 touchdowns. As well, Barkley has 27 receptions for 193 receiving yards. He’s been good, but he has to push it into the next gear to get my OROY vote.

1. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley.

Perhaps an unlikely leading candidate for OROY, Alabama’s Calvin Ridley has been incredible in the first quarter of the season. Ridley has been an excellent complimentary piece to Julio Jones, and while that isn’t translating into wins, the Falcons must be happy with what they’ve seen.

Ridley has 264 receiving yards and a league-leading 6 receiving touchdowns. Julio takes a lot of targets, as he leads the league in receiving yards, but Ridley will get his fair share of attention from Matty Ice. Look out for Ridley to be my pick for OROY.

Detroit Lions 2018 Season Preview


Giving my season preview for the Detroit Lions 2018 NFL Season including my win-loss record prediction, bold predictions, statistical projections and analysis of the team’s strengths, weaknesses, and key players Matthew Stafford, Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Will the Lions return to the playoffs in 2018?

Kansas City Chiefs 2018 Season Preview


Giving my season preview for the Kansas City Chiefs 2018 NFL Season including my win-loss record prediction, bold predictions, statistical projections and analysis of the team’s strengths, weaknesses, and key players Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Kareem Hunt. Will Patrick Hahomes lead the Chiefs to the Super Bowl?