Adoree' Jackson

Titans Sign Rookie Adoree’ Jackson

The Titans have officially signed Adoree’ Jackson. The USC cornerback was a first-round pick, taken with the No. 18 overall selection. Adoree’ Jackson (vertical)

Tennessee went into draft night with two first round picks amidst tons of speculation that they would make moves with the No. 5 and No. 18 picks. Ultimately, they stood pat with both, selecting Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis at No. 5 overall and taking Jackson at No. 18. Some expected the Titans to select Ohio State corner Marshon Lattimore at No. 5 while addressing wide receiver or a defensive position in the teens, but they flipped the script by taking Davis first and waiting to select Jackson.

Jackson had a strong junior year with the Trojans as he totaled 55 tackles (including two tackles for a loss) and five interceptions. In addition to stepping up his coverage skills in his final collegiate season, Jackson impressed with his play on special teams as he had two kickoff return TDs and two punt return TDs.

The Titans are still working to complete deals with Davis, third round wide receiver Taywan Taylor, and fifth round linebacker Jayon Brown.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Rumors: Panthers, McCaffrey, Redskins

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman believes that there are “half a dozen” three down backs to be had in this year’s draft and estimated that RB is one of the strongest groups, along with defensive end and secondary positions (link via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer). When talking to reporters today, the GM was asked he considers Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey to be one of those six players.

He can run it. He can catch it. I guess that’s three downs. [McCaffrey] has certainly shown he can carry the load at Stanford,” the GM said.

There has been lots of talk about Carolina targeting a running back at No. 8 overall. Leonard Fournette has been the popular prognostication for the Panthers there, but McCaffrey might also be in the mix. Then again, if Gettleman sees four other tailbacks as well-rounded players, then he might be willing to hold off on addressing the position. Beyond Fournette and McCaffrey, there are also standouts like FSU’s Dalvin Cook, Tennessee’s Alvin Kamara, and Texas’ D’Onta Foreman to consider.

Here’s the latest draft buzz:

  • The Redskins are smitten with Temple linebacker Haason Reddick, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter links) hears. Washington currently picks at No. 17 overall, so Miller believes that acquiring him would require the team to trade up.
  • USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson didn’t take a visit with the Patriots, but there’s been contact between the team and the player, Doug Kyed of NESN tweets. The Patriots may have to get back into the first round in order to get in the mix for him, however. As of this writing, the Pats’ first selection doesn’t come until the third round (No. 72 overall). Jackson rates as the 37th best player on Daniel Jeremiah’s big board and some draft analysts have him up even higher.
  • Two weeks ago, Falcons coach Dan Quinn put Mizzou’s Charles Harris and Kansas State’s Jordan Willis through a workout side-by-side (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).

Draft Notes: Watson, Texans, Eagles, Bolles

Deshaun Watson‘s pre-draft tour will go through an interesting place early this week. The former Clemson star passer will make a trip to Houston and meet with the Texans, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter), who adds the visit will commence on Monday and Tuesday. This is the Texans’ first known summit with one of the high-profile quarterbacks expected to come off the board in Round 1.

The Texans may not have hosted such passers, but the team is expected to take a quarterback early, per CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. The reporter believes Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes won’t get past the Texans at No. 25. Watson has visited the 49ers, Browns, Jaguars and Cardinals thus far.

Houston hasn’t taken a quarterback in the first round of the draft since its first-ever draft pick (David Carr, 2002). Watson could require the Texans to trade up, being connected to the Browns at No. 12, but La Canfora noted recently the post-Mitch Trubisky tier of quarterbacks’ destinations are difficult to pin down. It’s not completely out of the question Watson is there at No. 25, but it would be unlikely.

Here’s more from the 2017 draft class.

  • Gareon Conley‘s early-week itinerary finally appears set. After some confusion, the Ohio State cornerback will be visiting the Jaguars on Monday then pack up for Floram Park, N.J., for a Jets powwow on Tuesday, Rapoport reports (on Twitter). Conley recently adjusted his travel schedule, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, after initially being scheduled to visit the Jets on Monday. Conley, interestingly, may be benefiting from doubts about his former Buckeyes teammate’s health. Perception about Marshon Lattimore‘s hamstring trouble could help elevate Conley’s stock, which looks to have risen into the top 10 and possibly the top five.
  • In more cornerback news, USC’s Adoree’ Jackson has a busy schedule lined up this week. The former Trojans standout will meet with three teams — the Eagles, Rams and Texans — in the coming days, per Rapoport (on Twitter). Jackson’s first stop this week will be in Philadelphia, where cornerback is a need area.
  • The Broncos‘ biggest need is probably at left tackle, and the team will meet with another expected first-round pick here in Garett Bolles. The Utah blocker will trek to Denver for a meeting this week, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. Denver met with Alabama’s Cam Robinson previously. Bolles will be 25 as a rookie, but the Broncos are believed to have “high interest” in him. Two of Pro Football Focus’ worst tackles in 2016, Donald Stephenson and Ty Sambrailo, represent the Broncos’ current top options on the left side.
  • Previously connected to an April Giants meeting, David Njoku will travel to New Jersey on Monday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. The Giants are “very high” on the Miami tight end, and also being believed to have O.J. Howard at or near the top of their draft board, it’s safe to assume Big Blue is targeting tight ends. The team has not had a difference-maker at this position in many years. Adding one would stand to give Eli Manning yet another weapon after the Giants signed Brandon Marshall last month.

Draft Rumors: Bears, Kizer, Kamara, Bolles

The Bears worked out Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer today, tweets Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. Chicago has already met with Kizer on at least one other occasion, but today’s visit was deemed a local workout given Notre Dame’s proximity to the Windy City. Although the Bears signed veteran Mike Glennon to a three-year contract last month, that’s not expected to preclude them from drafting a quarterback this year. Kizer won’t be in play at pick No. 3, but Chicago could consider him if he falls to the top of the second round.

Here’s more on the 2017 draft:

  • The Eagles, Bears, and Panthers will all host Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Kamara, who recently fired his agent, could sneak into Round 1 despite being viewed as a Day 2 prospect for most of last year. A committee back with the Volunteers, Kamara managed less than 1,300 yards rushing during two years in Tennessee, but also averaged more than six yards per carry during that time. He’s also been linked to New Orleans and Minnesota.
  • North Carolina State safety Josh Jones recently completed a visit with the Dolphins, and will next meet with the Panthers, Jets, and Redskins, reports Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter link). Jones is considered a Round 2 prospect, but he’s been hosted by a significant number of NFL clubs during the predraft process, and there’s a chance he could sneak into Day 1. In 2016, Jones put up 109 tackles, three interceptions, and one sack.
  • USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson has met with the Titans and Browns, and has visits scheduled with the Eagles and Texans, as he tells SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Jackson could help a club on the defensive side of the ball, but he’d also add immediate 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).
  • The Bills are hosting Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles today, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). One of the fastest rising players in the draft, Bolles is now considered the top offensive lineman available, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he gets pushed into the top-10 based on the dearth of tackles in the 2017 class. Buffalo, though, already has a long-term option on the left side in Cordy Glenn, while right tackle is spoken for by Cyrus Kouandjio.
  • Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk met with the Giants earlier this week, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Despite drafting Ereck Flowers ninth overall just two years ago, New York has made no promises that Flowers is their left tackle of the future. New York didn’t add any tackles during the free agent period, however, so if the club wants to upgrade its line, it will have to do so during the draft. Ramczyk was named a first-team All-American in 2016.

South Notes: Jaguars, Saints, Titans, Bucs

The Jaguars will host Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster and Ohio State safety Malik Hooker later this week, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union (Twitter link). Jacksonville holds the fourth overall pick, but both Foster and Hooker seem like unlikely selections given the club’s recent draft picks (Myles Jack) and free agent additions (Tashaun Gipson, Barry Church). Still, the Jaguars are likely simply doing due diligence on the draft’s top prospects. Indeed, the club is also slated to meet with running back Dalvin Cook (Florida State), running back Leonard Fournette (LSU), edge rusher Myles Garrett (Texas A&M), and running back Joe Mixon (Oklahoma), as O’Halloran writes in a full piece.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • Count the Saints among the clubs that may consider Mixon, as the controversial prospect met with New Orleans today, tweets Nick Underhill of the Advocate. While a number of teams, including New England and Miami have ruled out selecting Mixon due to an assault incident, the Saints are reportedly among the clubs “digging in” on the 20-year-old. In New Orleans, Mixon would pair with Mark Ingram to give the Saints a lethal running back combination.
  • Missouri defensive end Charles Harris worked out for the Titans on Monday, as he detailed to SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Harris is expected come off the board during the second half of the first round, and could conceivably be an option for Tennessee at pick No. 18. He put up 16 sacks over the past two seasons for the Tigers.
  • The Buccaneers are hosting USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson on Monday, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Jackson, who ranks as Daniel Jermiah of NFL.com‘s 37th overall player, would give Tampa Bay another young defensive back after the team spent a first-round pick on Vernon Hargreaves in 2016. Also a dynamic returner, Jackson could augment a Buccaneers special teams unit that was below average on both kick and punt returns last year.
  • While Chase Daniel had other proposals on the table, the longtime backup chose a reunion with the Saints in part because Drew Brees‘ contract expires after 2017, as Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com writes. “[Brees] could play until he’s 45 if he wanted to,” Daniel said. “And the way his contract is sort of set up, yeah, it’s the last year of his contract, but for me, I’d be crazy to say that didn’t play a little bit into effect to come here, to play behind Drew again, to learn this offense, to get noticed in this offense and to see where it takes me.” Daniel, however, only signed for a single season, as well.

Cowboys Meet With 21 NFL Draft Prospects

The Cowboys have now used more than two-thirds of their 30 allotted predraft visits, and Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link), Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), and Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News have provided the list of prospects with whom Dallas has met:

The Cowboys’ visits with Michigan DE Taco Charlton, UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley, UConn S Obi Melifonwu, UCLA CB Fabian Moreau, and Wisconsin LB T.J. Watt had all been previously reported.

Draft Notes: Mixon, Tight Ends, Giants

A pair of notable college players will not be showcasing their talents at the NFL scouting combine. ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan reports that Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon and Baylor wide receiver Ishmael Zamora were not invited to the event.

Both players have had their share of issues. Mixon was suspended for the entire 2014 season after having punched a woman, while Zamora was suspended three games this past season after videos emerged of him beating his dog. The ESPN report indicates that it’s uncertain whether these “off-the-field troubles were factors in their omission” from the combine.

The Sooners running back finished the 2016 campaign with 1,274 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on only 187 carries. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes Mixon is among the top-five most-talented running backs in this year’s class (behind Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, D’Onta Foreman and Christian McCaffrey). Meanwhile, Zamora appeared in 10 games this past season, compiling 63 catches for 809 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Let’s take a look at some more draft notes…

  • A trio of University of Washington defensive backs are garnering plenty of interest from NFL teams. Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com writes that Budda Baker, Sidney Jones and Kevin King have been intriguing front offices. Jones is generally regarded to be one of the top cornerbacks in the draft, while Baker is projected to be taken outside of the first round.
  • USC wideout Adoree Jackson is a “lock” to be a first-round pick, writes Pauline. His teammate, offensive tackle Zach Banner, is projected to be drafted in the fourth round.
  • While many scouts believe Alabama’s O.J. Howard is the best tight end in the class, Pauline writes that South Alabama’s Gerald Everett isn’t far behind. The talented playmaker impressed coaches at the Senior Bowl, and Pauline notes that he’s currently the top tight end on the Giants‘ draft board.
  • One prospect who didn’t look good during the Senior Bowl was Troy offensive tackle Antonio Garcia, with one scout comparing him to “a deer in headlights.” Pauline notes that the lineman looked unsure of himself during team practices.

Extra Points: Romo, Gase, House

Let’s round up a few notes from around the league as the early Week 11 rage on:

  • We heard earlier today that retirement was a real possibility for Tony Romo at the end of the season, but Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Cowboys‘ newest backup quarterback fully plans to play in 2017 (Twitter link). If Romo did retire, Dallas could recoup $19.6MM from him, according to former NFL agent Joel Corry (via Twitter), which further supports the belief that Romo will not hang it up just yet.
  • The Dolphins have turned their season around in a big way, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports observes that first-year head coach Adam Gase is getting a great deal of credit both inside and outside the locker room. The players have responded to Gase’s no-nonsense, meritocratic approach, highlighted by his decision to release starting offensive linemen Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas, and his decision to leave Jay Ajayi home during the team’s Week 1 trip to Seattle (Ajayi’s subsequent breakout performance, of course, has been a big reason for Miami’s success). Gase has also stood steadfastly by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, which has done wonders for Tannehill’s confidence.
  • The Jaguars‘ signing of Davon House in 2015 was widely regarded as a shrewd move that added a young and ascending player to Jacksonville’s secondary. During the first half of this season, though, opponents were 16-of-19 passing for 204 yards and three touchdowns against House in man coverage, and as Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union observes, House has been fully phased out of the team’s game plan. It seems likely that the Jags will part ways with House in the offseason, as they could save $6MM against the cap without absorbing any dead money.
  • 49ers wideout Torrey Smith is unlikely to play today, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). If Smith does not suit up, his streak of 89 consecutive regular season games played, which dates back to the first game of his rookie year in Baltimore, would come to an end.
  • Bucky Brooks of NFL.com takes a look at two collegiate prospects who are generating a great deal of buzz: USC’s Adoree’ Jackson and South Alabama’s Gerald Everett. Brooks writes that Jackson could be one of the top prospects in the 2017 or 2018 class, and Everett could become the best tight end in the 2017 class, which is especially impressive considering that this year’s crop of tight ends is quite strong.