There is a strong chance that former Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle will be taken in Thursday’s supplemental draft, which allows NFL clubs to select players who for some reason (academic trouble or disciplinary issues are a couple of examples) were unable to enter the standard draft. If a team does choose Battle, it should be the Eagles, Jets or Giants, opines Mark Eckel of the Star-Ledger.
Battle – who is in need of further seasoning – could learn behind established tackles in the Eagles’ Jason Peters or the Jets’ D’Brickashaw Ferguson before eventually taking over for either, writes Eckel. Meanwhile the Giants have two recent first-round tackles in Justin Pugh and Ereck Flowers, but Eckel believes they’d be wise to follow the example of NFC East rival Dallas and try to stock up even more along the O-line.
Landing Battle would likely cost any of the above teams a third-round pick, per Eckel, with the Falcons ahead of them in the draft order. Atlanta is the leading candidate to pick the 22-year-old, on whom it could use a fourth-rounder.
More from around the league:
- Broncos running back C.J. Anderson burst on the scene in 2014, his second season, with nearly 1,200 total yards (849 rushing, 324 receiving) and eight touchdowns in his first true taste of NFL playing time. Anderson enters this season as Denver’s starting back, but Mike Kils of 9News writes that the 24-year-old isn’t resting on his laurels. “I’m going to keep my head down, keep grinding every day and keep pushing. What happened last year, happened last year. That’s completely over and done with,” said Anderson, who will try to fend off Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman for reps.
- Saints rookie quarterback Garrett Grayson is glad he ended up in New Orleans to serve as Drew Brees‘ apprentice, though the third-round pick from Colorado State also would’ve been happy if the Cowboys or Broncos selected him. “There were three teams that I said I’d love to end up at, and that was the Saints, Cowboys and Broncos,” Grayson told NFL.com, per Christopher Dabe of NOLA.com. “They’ve all got older QBs. Two of them are first-ballot Hall-of-Famers.”
- Speaking of Brees, the 14-year veteran’s arm hasn’t shown any real signs of decline, ESPN’s Mike Triplett writes. According to Triplett, Brees attempted 35 throws of 40-plus yards from 2009-11 and completed only seven for 356 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions. Compare that to 2012-14, when Brees went a far better 15-of-35 for 773 yards, seven scores and no picks, and it’s obvious the 36-year-old can still get the ball downfield. That said, in 2014 Brees did put up his lowest yardage and TD totals since 2007 on throws that traveled 20-plus yards, Triplett notes.
- Although new Jaguars offensive coordinator Greg Olson is tasked with helping turn around a unit that finished last in points and second last in yardage a year ago, he’s encouraged with the results so far. “Actually, it’s gone a little bit better than I hoped,” Olson said after minicamp, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. “It’s a really intelligent football team from position to position and that’s made the transition much smoother for them and me.” For what it’s worth, the Olson-led Raiders were the only team to amass fewer yards than the Jaguars last season, and they managed a mere 15.8 points per game compared to the Jags’ 15.6.