B.J. Goodson

NFC East Notes: Eagles, McCoy, Giants

With Brandon Brooks going down with a torn Achilles in the second round of the playoffs, the Eagles face an issue regarding how their starting offensive line will look come Week 1. But five months later, Brooks revealed a bit about where his recovery process stands. The veteran guard shared a brief workout video (Twitter link) that shows him doing agility drills again. The fourth-year Eagle will almost certainly begin training camp on the active/PUP list, and it can’t be considered a lock he will be ready for the start of the season. But this represents an encouraging sign from the mammoth offensive lineman.

In the event Brooks is not ready to go in September, a contingency plan might involve a position switch. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who replaced Jason Peters at left tackle as a rookie in 2017, has worked at guard at times this offseason. The Eagles appear to be preparing Vaitai to be their Brooks stopgap, in the event he needs more time, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes. The Eagles drafted Andre Dillard in Round 1 and have rugby convert Jordan Mailata at tackle as well, so Vaitai working at guard may be a way to stay on the roster. This is interesting given that Stefen Wisniewski (24 Eagles left guard starts from 2016-18) re-signed in May. It would stand to reason the experienced interior lineman would be the Brooks fill-in, but Doug Pederson mentioned a possible Vaitai-Lane Johnson right side recently.

Shifting to more NFC East position battles, here is the latest out of the division:

  • The Eagles’ Zach Brown addition figures to clear up uncertainty about their three-down linebacker sets, with Brown joining Nigel Bradham. And despite the return of Paul Worrilow and arrival of L.J. Fort, Zangaro notes Kamu Grugier-Hill remains the third linebacker in base sets and adds it would not be a surprise to see him gut into Brown’s work in nickel sets. Grugier-Hill played 32% of the Eagles’ 2018 defensive snaps. Brown, however, posted a top-10 Pro Football Focus coverage grade last season. Grugier-Hill did not grade nearly as well.
  • Colt McCoy‘s final surgery total from the fractured fibula he suffered late last season: three. The veteran Redskins quarterback is expected to be cleared for training camp, but J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington notes McCoy indeed underwent three procedures since December — the most recent coming in April. McCoy’s knowledge of Jay Gruden‘s offense will help him in Washington’s QB battle and possibly as a mentor type once Dwayne Haskins inevitably takes over this season.
  • Once Janoris Jenkins returned to work this offseason, Deandre Baker remained a Giants first-stringer over Sam Beal this offseason. And UDFA Grant Haley resides as the favorite to replace B.W. Webb as the team’s slot corner, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com writes. While including Beal as a possible challenger for the slot job, along with fourth-round rookie Julian Love, Dunleavy notes the 2018 supplemental draft pick does not have slot experience. This would stand to make the Western Michigan product Big Blue’s CB4 to start the season.
  • Alec Ogletree has one Giants inside linebacker job locked up, and as of now, fourth-year man B.J. Goodson is the team’s base-set starter. Tae Davis remains the nickel replacement for Goodson, per Dunleavy, but rookie fifth-round pick Ryan Connelly is in the mix for this role. The fifth-rounder out of Wisconsin was viewed as one of this draft’s top coverage linebackers.

East Rumors: Redskins, Woods, Britt, Giants

Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles made plans to visit the Redskins this weekend, following Orleans Darkwa in doing so. This effort to add a piece to a reeling backfield won’t be to bring in a starter but to add depth to a position group that needs it. Jay Gruden said (video link) his team is “covering our bases” in arranging visits with these free agent backs. Being merely a four-year veteran with a light carry history, Darkwa certainly has the most left in the tank. He led the Giants in rushing last season. Peterson, though, has recent experience fitting in quickly with a new team. Although he didn’t do well on a per-carry basis behind a struggling Cardinals offensive line, the future Hall of Fame back posted two 130-plus-yard performances last season — the first of which coming in his initial Cards game. Charles fell out of the Broncos’ rotation late in the season, but the two-time All-Pro made it through last year healthy and performed fairly well (4.3 yards per tote) before being shut down.

Washington lost Derrius Guice and has Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall on the mend. Here’s the latest from some of the Redskins’ rivals, along with news out of the AFC East.

  • Projected to be one of the Cowboys‘ starting safeties, Xavier Woods will be out between three and four weeks because of a hamstring injury, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic tweets. Dallas has been linked to Earl Thomas throughout 2018 and is now examining recently released George Iloka. The Cowboys selected Woods in the sixth round last year and deployed him in four games as a starter.
  • Kenny Britt is still dealing with the hamstring injury he suffered during Patriots minicamp. The veteran wideout has not participated in 11-on-11 drills since that setback, Doug Kyed of NESN.com notes. The Pats removed Britt from the PUP list two weeks ago, and the soon-to-be 30-year-old receiver said he’s feeling OK presently. He declined to predict whether or not he’ll be ready for Week 1. The Patriots signed Britt late last season and picked up his 2018 option in March, but considering how poorly he played with the Browns and his injury status, it wouldn’t be a shock if he’s not on the roster by September. The Pats have endured a turbulent offseason at this position, cutting both Jordan Matthews and Malcolm Mitchell, signing Eric Decker and seeing Julian Edelman incur a four-game PED suspension.
  • The Giants made a change in their sub-package alignment Sunday, swapping in Ray-Ray Armstrong for B.J. Goodson at one of the two linebacker positions, per Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. Armstrong and Alec Ogletree worked as Big Blue’s nickel ‘backers at practice. Armstrong played safety in college and has bounced around in the NFL, seeing action with the Rams, Raiders and 49ers before joining the Giants last year. Pro Football Focus graded both Goodson and Armstrong as poor coverage players last season.

Giants Move LB B.J. Goodson To IR

The Giants now have 22 players on IR after making the decision to place linebacker B.J. Goodson on the season-ending injured list Wednesday, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv tweets.

Goodson’s been Big Blue’s starter at middle linebacker all season, but he’s only been available for seven games due to persistent leg injuries. An ankle malady will end his season. The Giants promoted wide receiver Marquis Bundy from their practice squad to fill the roster spot.

A fourth-round pick in 2016, Goodson began the season with an 18-tackle performance against the Cowboys. But he missed the next two games due to injury, and health troubles stuck with the Clemson product this season. He played in 15 games as a rookie, but this marked his first season as a starter. Goodson finished with 53 tackles this season.

The previous Giants regime was not big on investing in linebackers, so it will be interesting if the next one places a greater emphasis on this position. Goodson has two years remaining on his rookie deal and despite a malady-marred year figures to enter the offseason in the mix for a starting job come 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Sign B.J. Goodson, Wrap Draft Class

The Giants have signed fourth-round pick B.J. Goodson, as Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News tweets. Now that the linebacker has inked his contract, the Giants’ entire 2016 draft class is now formally in the fold. B.J. Goodson (vertical)

Goodson, a Clemson product, was selected with the No. 109 overall pick. Goodson reportedly met with 15 teams in total prior to the draft and he apparently made a strong impression on Giants brass. In his senior season, Goodson lead his team with 108 tackles to go along with 14 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions. At the combine, Goodson boosted his stock even further when he recorded a combine high 30 bench press reps at 225 pounds per clip.

Heading into the draft, the Giants were heavily connected to Michigan State tackle Jack Conklin and Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd. Unfortunately for the G-Men, those players came off the board at No. 8 and 9, respectively, but one of the draft’s top corners was still available for them at No. 10. Eli Apple boasts some serious upside and the early reports on him out of Giants camp are positive.

Here is the full rundown of the Giants’ draft:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Draft Rumors: Dolphins, Steelers, Ravens

After trading down a few weeks ago, could the Dolphins trade back up? Miami will consider moving up from No. 13 in order to grab either Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott or UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, multiple sources tell Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald. Moving up from No. 13 to the top ten can be pricey, but top exec Mike Tannenbaum has said that he would be open to such a move for the right player.

Here’s are the latest NFL Draft rumors out of the AFC:

  • The Steelers, currently slated to pick 25th overall in this year’s draft, are unlikely to trade up, but moving down remains on the table, general manager Kevin Colbert said today (Twitter link via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
  • In the wake of the two major trades at the top of the draft, there’s a chance that Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil will still be on the board at No. 6 for the Ravens. Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun explores that scenario, examining whether it would make sense for the club to pass up a top defensive prospect to fortify the left tackle spot.
  • The Chargers are expected to select a tight end at some point during this week’s draft — it’s just a matter of when. We heard last week that the team is considering Ohio State’s Nick Vannett, and Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune takes a closer look at the young tight end as a potential target for the Bolts.
  • Clemson linebacker B.J. Goodson met with 15 teams in total, via either a pre-draft visit or private workout, and the Texans were one of those teams, writes Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • The Dolphins and Jets are among the teams that have shown interest in University of Minnesota cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link), who suggests that Boddy-Calhoun will likely either be a day three pick or an undrafted free agent.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Draft Rumors: Jackson, Buckner, Chargers

NFL GMs have yet to get the results of combine drug tests, but there are already rumors swirling about failed tests for prospects, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets. Among the rumors is that a likely first-round pick has flunked his test.

While we wait to see if a top prospect has hurt his stock, let’s take a look at the latest NFL Draft rumors:

  • Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) is becoming more and more convinced that William Jackson III will be the second cornerback to come off the board in the draft, following Jalen Ramsey. Reading between the lines, that could indicate a drop on draft boards for Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III.
  • Deforest Buckner told Justin Hopkins of 247 Sports (Twitter link) that he is hearing from the Chargers, Cowboys, Jaguars, and Titans “pretty regularly.” The Chargers, Cowboys, and Jaguars all had previously reported workouts with Buckner, but the addition of the Titans is new.
  • Clemson inside linebacker B.J. Goodson is visiting the Colts and Giants this week, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Goodson, who has also visited with the Jets, has had 15 total visits and private workouts. Goodson had 108 tackles last season with 14 tackles for losses and 5.5 sacks.
  • Louisiana Tech Kenneth Dixon spent Wednesday with the Texans, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He has also had pre-draft visits with the Ravens and Patriots, Rapoport adds. As previously reported, Dixon also met with San Francisco.
  • Northwestern fullback Dan Vitale is drawing the most interest from the Buccaneers, Patriots, and Bears, freelance reporter Jenna Laine tweets. Vitale has drawn interest because of his ability to play fullback, H-back, and tight end.

South Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Colts, Ogbah

Following the trend set by the Rams and the Cardinals, among others, the Falcons will be eyeing hybrid linebacker/safeties in this year’s draft, as D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution details. Los Angeles’ Mark Barron and Arizona’s Deone Bucannon are just two examples of “safeties” who have morphed into linebacker roles, and several prospects in the 2016 draft, including LSU’s Deion Jones, USC’s Su’a Cravens, and Florida’s Keanu Neal — all of whom Atlanta has met with — could make a similar transition.

“In the college game, they are more spread out,” said Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. “They are more open. You’re seeing more space players come out, who are the 215-, 225-pound linebackers who are outside and playing in space. Those players, we are finding ways to feature them at the NFL level as well because of their athletic ability.”

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

  • Even if they do end up targeting hybrid linebackers in the draft, the Falcons still need to add talent and depth at the prototypical LB position, writes Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com in his overview of the club as they open offseason workouts. Ohio State’s Darron Lee and Alabama’s Reggie Ragland could both be options for Atlanta at No. 17, opines McClure, who adds that edge-rusher is also near the top of the Falcons’ list of draft needs.
  • The Colts are another club drafting in the middle of Round 1 that could use linebacker help, and as such, could be a fit for Ragland. Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star tweets that not only have the Colts held a private workout for the Alabama standout, but with Clemson’s B.J. Goodson, who starred at the combine.
  • Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah will take a short tour of the NFC South this week, as he’s lined up visits with both the Falcons and the Panthers, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The 6’4″, 270-pound edge rusher could very well be available at either pick No. 17 or No. 30, where Atlanta and Carolina currently sit, respectively.
  • Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld will make a visit to Houston to meet with the Texans on Tuesday, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Sudfeld has also generated interest from the Saints and Cardinals.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Draft Rumors: Jaylon Smith, Cowboys, Broncos

Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith – once considered a sure bet to be one of the top picks in this year’s draft – is expected to sit out next season as a result of the torn ACL and MCL he suffered New Year’s Day, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Smith’s medical re-check Friday didn’t look much different than the report from the combine, when he failed multiple teams’ physicals, tweets Rapoport. The news isn’t necessarily a death knell to Smith’s career, however, as Rapoport adds that “many teams” believe he’ll return to full strength come 2017. While Smith’s first-round hopes appear dashed, he’s still a possibility for Day 2 (the second or third round), per Rapoport (via Twitter). That, however, will hinge largely on a team’s willingness to make a high-risk, high-reward selection in the early going.

Here’s more of the latest draft news:

  • The Cowboys have visited with and/or worked out Oklahoma wide receiver Sterling Shepard, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Shepard put up tremendous production last season (86 catches, 1,288 yards, 11 touchdowns) and could be a fit for the Cowboys in the second round.
  • In addition to the previously reported Lions, Auburn offensive tackle Shon Coleman has visited the Buccaneers, Panthers, Patriots, Titans and Vikings, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
  • Clemson second-team all-ACC linebacker B.J. Goodson has had six visits, three of which have been with the Jaguars, Broncos and Dolphins (reported earlier this week), writes Wilson.
  • The Buccaneers, Cardinals, Chargers and Chiefs are all interested in Bowling Green receiver/returner Ryan Burbring, per Wilson (on Twitter).
  • Arizona State guard Christian Westerman has worked out for the Bengals and Saints, he told Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic, adding that he has an upcoming workout for the Broncos (Twitter link).
  • The Texans are showing “steady interest” in William & Mary linebacker Luke Rhodes, Wilson writes. They also have interest in Toledo defensive lineman Orion Jones, a source told Wilson.
  • Connecticut safety Junior Lee has privately worked out for both New York teams – the Giants and Jets – as well as the Colts, reports Wilson (Twitter link).

AFC Notes: Titans, Raiders, Vegas, Dolphins

While the defensive line doesn’t appear on the surface to be a glaring hole for the Titans, it may be more of a priority in the draft for the team than we think, says Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. One personnel man tells Kuharsky that Tennessee’s line has “no depth,” and given how deep this year’s draft class is at that spot, it makes sense that the team would use at least one of its picks on a defensive lineman.

Here’s more from across the AFC:

  • Richard N. Velotta of the Las Vegas Review-Journal has more details on the presentation Raiders owner Mark Davis is making in Las Vegas later this month. Per Velotta, Davis is appearing before the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee on April 28th to address the proposed Vegas stadium. The committee will be tasked with determining whether to recommend the project for state funding. Jason Cole of Bleacher Report first reported on the meeting on Wednesday.
  • Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd, who recently visited the Seahawks, is paying a visit to the Dolphins today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). As Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes, the Dolphins have shown plenty of interest in Clemson defenders this year, having done “significant work” on linebacker B.J. Goodson, who is also visiting the team.
  • The Steelers have yet to make a decision on the fifth-year option of outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. Pittsburgh has until May 2nd to reach a verdict on the 2013 first-round pick. Last year, 12 of 32 selections did not get their options picked up.
  • Mike Rodak of ESPN.com explores whether or not it makes sense for the Bills to use an early- or mid-round pick on a quarterback in this year’s draft.
  • Contrary to an ESPN report, Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon and former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel aren’t currently living together in Los Angeles, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Panthers, Cowboys, Eagles, Colts

The Panthers worked out three Clemson defenders – end Shaq Lawson, cornerback Mackensie Alexander and linebacker B.J. Goodson – on Tuesday, according to Rand Getlin of NFL.com (Twitter links) and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter). Lawson had a “fantastic” workout with the team and looks like a top-15 pick in the making, per Miller. That would put Lawson well out of the range of Carolina, which has the 30th selection.

More on the draft:

  • Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doesn’t expect the club to take a quarterback or running back with the fourth overall pick, as Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets.
  • Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III says the Dolphins “have shown heavy interest” in him, tweets Jesse Re Simonton of the Miami Herald. Hargreaves, a surefire first-round pick, has a meeting with Miami scheduled for today.
  • The Eagles made significant financial commitments to Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel earlier this month, but owner Jeffrey Lurie indicated that he wants to draft a quarterback at least every other year, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). The Eagles haven’t selected a QB since taking Matt Barkley in the fourth round of the 2013 draft.
  • On drafting a running back, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said, “We’re not done yet” (Twitter link via Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star). The position could be a priority for the Colts, Holder tweets. Notably, the Colts had the second-worst yards-per-carry average in the league last season (3.6) and have an underwhelming stable of running backs led by Frank Gore, who will turn 33 in May.
  • TCU receiver Josh Doctson has visits and/or workouts set up with the Vikings, Browns and Bengals, reports Getlin (Twitter link). The Vikings reportedly think highly of the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Doctson.