Latest On Alabama LB Reuben Foster

The Eagles recently had a member of their organization meet with Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, a source tells Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com. Philadelphia had already used of their allotted predraft visits on Foster earlier this year, but likely wanted more information on the ‘backer after a serious of off-field incidents.Reuben Foster (vertical)

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Foster not only got into a dispute with a hospital worker at the combine, but also failed a drug test in Indianapolis last month. Still, he’s viewed as the draft’s top off-ball linebacker, and is still in first-round consideration. Scouts earlier this year said Foster has a “perfect grade,” so teams will have to weigh his on-field production against potential question marks.

Of course, Foster is also tied to health questions after undergoing shoulder surgery in February. Foster was recently able to show a full range of motion, and he got positive feedback during a shoulder ultrasound today, according to agent Malki Kawa (Instagram link). The Alabama prospect is ahead of schedule and will be ready by training camp, per Kawa.

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2017 NFL Draft Pick Capital By Team

While each NFL team is organically handed seven draft picks per season, trades involving draft choices and the compensatory pick process ensures that many clubs end up with more (or less) than their original seven selections. As always, you can view the complete 2017 NFL draft order, but here we’ll look at how much draft capital each club has amassed.

Here’s how many draft picks each NFL club currently possesses:

11 picks

  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Cleveland Browns

10 picks

  • Denver Broncos
  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Washington Redskins

8 picks

  • Arizona Cardinals
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Detroit Lions
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Oakland Raiders
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Tennessee Titans

7 picks

  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Buffalo Bills
  • Chicago Bears
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Houston Texans
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • Miami Dolphins
  • New England Patriots
  • New Orleans Saints
  • New York Giants
  • New York Jets
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers

6 picks

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • New England Patriots

Of course, not all draft picks are created equally. Using Chase Stuart of Football Perspective‘s draft value chart, we can calculate exactly how much draft capital each team owns heading into the 2017 NFL draft:

  1. Cleveland Browns: 96.7
  2. San Francisco 49ers: 65.0
  3. Chicago Bears: 59.1
  4. Tennessee Titans: 58.7
  5. New Orleans Saints: 55.7
  6. Jacksonville Jaguars: 54.5
  7. Carolina Panthers: 54.1
  8. Cincinnati Bengals: 52.1
  9. New York Jets: 50.8
  10. Los Angeles Chargers: 49.5
  11. Baltimore Ravens: 48.7
  12. Indianapolis Colts: 47.1
  13. Buffalo Bills: 45.0
  14. Philadelphia Eagles: 44.1
  15. Arizona Cardinals: 43.2
  16. Denver Broncos: 43.0
  17. Washington Redskins: 41.6
  18. Kansas City Chiefs: 40.7
  19. Seattle Seahawks: 39.1
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 38.7
  21. Detroit Lions: 37.8
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers: 37.6
  23. Houston Texans 37.5
  24. Los Angeles Rams: 36.8
  25. Oakland Raiders: 35.8
  26. New York Giants: 35.6
  27. Miami Dolphins: 34.8
  28. Green Bay Packers: 34.2
  29. Minnesota Vikings: 34.0
  30. Dallas Cowboys: 32.8
  31. Atlanta Falcons: 31.5
  32. New England Patriots: 18.8

Pauline’s Latest: Cowboys, Pats, Redskins

Alabama’s Cam Robinson now appears likely to become the first offensive lineman off the 2017 draft board, according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. Initially viewed as one of several potential Round 1 tackle options along with Utah’s Garett Bolles and Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk, Robinson’s combine workout reportedly intrigued NFL clubs and proved that he could man left tackle in the pro game. Indeed, there’s been an “uptick” in the amount of teams traveling to Tuscaloosa to meet with Robinson over the past few weeks, per Pauline. Also working in Pauline’s favor is that he’s still only 21 years old, while Bolles — for example — will be 25 when the 2017 campaign gets underway.

Here’s more on the 2017 draft, all courtesy of Pauline:

  • The Cowboys have a first-round grade on USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, and also like Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley an “awful lot,” reports Pauline. Jackson may be available for Dallas at pick No. 28, and he’d likely be immediately inserted into the club’s starting lineup after the Cowboys lost both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne during the free agent period. The former Trojan would also add value as a dynamic special teams maven. In 2016, Jackson averaged 29.5 yards on kick returns and scored two touchdowns, and posted 15.8 yards per punt return (and scored twice more).
  • Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis has drawn the interest of both the Colts and Redskins, per Pauline. Meanwhile, multiple teams have Davis slotted as a Day 1 pick, while some clubs even have him rated as a top-20 selection (it’s unclear if Indianapolis and Washington are indeed those teams). Davis is expected to be the second off-ball linebacker selected this week (following Alabama’s Reuben Foster) after posting a 4.56 40-yard dash and 38.5 inch vertical jump at his Pro Day.
  • The Cowboys hosted Florida safety Marcus Maye last week, and Maye is also receiving “a ton of interest” from the Saints, Cardinals, and Patriots, according to Pauline. Originally viewed as a mid-round pick, Maye is now moving off draft boards and could be selected by the middle of Round 2. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compares the Florida senior to Detroit defensive back Glover Quin, noting Maye’s “rangy” tackling ability and “ready-made safety frame.”
  • While the Patriots currently aren’t slated to make a selection until pick No. 72 (early third round), New England is expected to make a move into the second round via some “maneuver,” says Pauline. Originally, the Patriots could have traded up through a Malcolm Butler deal, but the veteran cornerback is now expected to stay put in New England.

Minor NFL Transactions: 4/24/17

Today’s minor moves:

  • Redskins linebacker Will Compton has signed his restricted free agent tender, a source tells John Keim of ESPN.com. Compton had been assigned the original round tender, meaning he’s now scheduled to earn a non-guaranteed $1.797MM base salary for the 2017 campaign. Washington has now re-signed each of its RFAs, as running back Chris Thompson inked his second-round tender last week. Compton, 27, started 15 games for the Redskins last season, racking up 103 tackles while grading as the league’s No. 73 linebacker among 87 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.
  • Another restricted free agent — Chiefs wide receiver Albert Wilson — has also signed his tender, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Like Compton, Wilson is now set to earn nearly $1.8MM during the upcoming season. Wilson, 24, managed only 31 receptions for 279 yards and two touchdowns in 2016. He’ll become an unrestricted free agent in 2018.

Former Bills RB Mike Gillislee Joins Patriots

The Bills have declined to match Mike Gillislee‘s offer sheet, per a club announcement. He will now join the Patriots. Per the terms of his offer sheet, he’ll play for New England on a two-year, $6.4MM deal. The Bills will get the 163rd overall pick (fifth round) from the Patriots by letting him go. That was the better of the Patriots’ two fifth-round choices."<strong

The Bills’ decision to place the original round tender on Gillislee was a surprise in the football world and they might be regretting that decision today. For another $1MM or so, the Bills could have placed the second-round tender on him and – in all likelihood – kept the Patriots and other teams far away. Gillislee averaged 5.7 yards per carry last season and made it clear that he can handle a larger role if given the opportunity. The Bills, for some reason, apparently did not see what the rest of the league saw in the 26-year-old. Now, they’re losing their top understudy and potential heir apparent for starting running back LeSean McCoy.

The Patriots now have a loaded depth chart at running back headlined by Gillislee and free agent pickup Rex Burkhead. Dion LewisJames White, Brandon Bolden, and D.J. Foster are also under contract for the coming season. Today’s news likely spells the end of LeGarrette Blount‘s time in New England. Lewis and/or Bolden may also be on the chopping block. If the Patriots cut Lewis, they’ll only be on the hook for $200K in dead money.

In Buffalo, five running backs remain on the roster: McCoy, Jonathan WilliamsJoe Banyard, Cedric O’Neal, and Mike Tolbert.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints, Adrian Peterson Nearing Deal

The Saints and Adrian Peterson are believed to be closing in on a deal, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The pact would pay him $3.25MM in the coming year with the potential to earn about $1MM through incentives (Twitter link). It’s not a done deal, Rapoport cautions, but things are moving in that direction. Adrian Peterson (Vertical)

Earlier today, it was reported that the Saints were still considering Peterson. Apparently, things have heated up to the point where a deal is in sight. Peterson was reportedly willing to play for $5MM or less in the “right situation” and that asking price may have been worked down over time. Given his age and injury history, Peterson was not left with a lot of leverage at this stage of the offseason. If Peterson remained on the market past the draft, his pool of suitors would have shrank significantly.

Peterson, 32, appeared in only three games last season, compiling 72 yards on 37 carries. However, Peterson was excellent in 2015, when he led the NFL in both rushing attempts (327) and yards (1,485).

At present, New Orleans has four running backs on it roster: Mark Ingram, Travaris Cadet, Daniel Lasco, and Marcus Murphy. If signed, Peterson would slot behind Ingram but presumably still get a decent number of carries.

Photo courtesy of Pro Football Rumors on Instagram.

Steelers Exercise Ryan Shazier’s Option

The Steelers have exercised their fifth-year option on linebacker Ryan Shazier, a source tells Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter). The Steelers technically had until May 3 to make the call, but they didn’t see any point in delaying. "Ryan

There was no real question that the Steelers would trigger Shazier’s fifth-year option. The 24-year-old (25 in September) has been a key cog in the Steelers’ defense for the past two seasons, starting 24 of 25 regular season games played. He had roughly identical production in 2015 and 2016, tallying 87 total tackles and 3.5 sacks in each campaign.

For his work, Pro Football Focus ranked Shazier as the 32nd best linebacker in the NFL last year, tying him with Mark Barron of the Rams and Danny Trevathan of the Bears. His 78.4 overall score was a career high. With his arrow pointing up, the Steelers will retain their rights to him through at least 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers To Audition C Tim Barnes

The 49ers will work out center Tim Barnes on Tuesday, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). This marks Barnes’ first known audition since being let go by the Rams earlier this offseason. Tim Barnes (vertical)

Barnes’ release came as a mild surprise in Los Angeles since he had adequately served as the team’s starting center for two seasons. After 32 consecutive starts for St. Louis/Los Angeles, he’s now seeking his next home. In 2015, he ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 29th-best center out of 39 qualifiers. This past season, PFF ranked him 31st out of 38 qualifiers.

The Niners acquired Jeremy Zuttah earlier this offseason and he currently projects to start at center. If they sign Barnes, it’s possible that the Niners could have an open competition to determine the No. 1 role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers To Exercise CB Jason Verrett’s Option

Chargers GM Tom Telesco says the team plans on exercising cornerback Jason Verrett‘s fifth-year option (Twitter link via Eric Williams of ESPN.com). The news was expected. "<strong

Verrett, 26 in May, missed all but four games last season thanks to a partially torn ACL. Injuries also limited him as a rookie, but he showed what he could do in a full season of work in 2015. In 14 games that season, Verrett earned his first career Pro Bowl nod with 47 total tackles, three interceptions, and 12 passes defensed.

Before being placed on IR, Verrett actually tried to play through the injury. While his toughness was admirable, his play was clearly suffering as a result. Through four games, Pro Football Focus pegged him as just No. 71 out of 114 qualified corners in the NFL. In the year prior, he was among PFF’s best cornerbacks.

Verrett, the No. 25 overall pick in the 2014 draft, will start opposite of Casey Hayward in 2017. Safeties Dwight Lowery and Jahleel Addae will round out the starting secondary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks “Past” Richard Sherman Trade

When asked about a potential Richard Sherman trade, Seahawks GM John Schneider said “right now we’ve kind of moved past it,” as Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times tweets. However, he says would still consider a trade if a big offer comes his way. Richard Sherman (vertical)

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Schneider’s latest comments perhaps send a stronger statement than last week when he said that “odds are” Sherman would be staying put. Sherman reportedly asked out of Seattle, but the team has been unable to oblige that request so far. After originally asking for a first-round pick plus a quality player, the Seahawks lowered the ask to a 2017 first-round pick and a conditional mid-round pick in 2018. Still, no one has met the sticker price.

Now, the two sides are effectively stuck with each other as the draft closes in. If Schneider and Sherman are to be believed, then that’s not necessarily a problem. Both men say that their relationship is in good standing, so things just might be drama free from here on out.

Sherman is under contract with Seattle through the 2018 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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