Brandon Allen

AFC Notes: Patriots, Luck, Henne

The Patriots‘ best chance to replace the bruising and punishing running of LeGarrette Blount, who was a key part of the team’s success over the past few seasons, could come from a surprising source. In his first attempt to predict the Patriots’ 53-man roster, Jim McBride of the Boston Globe says that UDFA LeShun Daniels, Jr. might be the best-equipped of New England’s stacked running back group to fill Blount’s void. McBride does not believe Daniels will make the team out of camp, writing that he is more likely a practice squad candidate at the moment, but the future is bright for the 6-foot, 225-pounder, who excelled in his senior season at Iowa.

Now for more from the AFC:

  • Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell was kept on the sideline during spring practices, but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says there is nothing to worry about. Mitchell has a more extensive injury history than many second-year players, and New England is handling his workload accordingly to ensure they can keep him healthy for the long haul.
  • We heard earlier this week that Andrew Luck may not be ready for training camp, leading some to wonder if he is also in danger of missing the start of the regular season. Kevin Bowen of Colts.com, however, does not believe that’s the case. Bowen says that if the team was really concerned about Luck’s availability for Week 1, the team would have brought in a veteran QB to compete with backup Scott Tolzien.
  • Alex Marvez of NFL.com tweets that Chargers linebacker Nick Dzubnar is completely healed from the ACL tear that prematurely ended his 2016 season. Dzubnar has primarily served as a special teams contributor during his first two years in the league, but he has performed very well in that role.
  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union takes his first crack at predicting the Jaguars‘ 53-man roster, and there do not seem to be any major surprises there. One point of intrigue is the quarterback position, as O’Halloran speculates that second-year signal-caller Brandon Allen, who was good enough in camp and the preseason last year to convince Jacksonville to keep a third QB for the first time since 2013, could unseat longtime backup Chad Henne.
  • Earlier today we took a look at a few notes on the Steelers and Browns.

AFC Draft Signings: Chiefs, Texans, Jaguars

The Chiefs have signed second-round pick Chris Jones, a source tells PFT (Twitter link). The defensive lineman out of Mississippi State becomes KC’s first rookie to sign. Jones’ stock rose in the weeks leading up to the draft as more and more teams zeroed in on interior pass rushers.

Here are the rest of today’s draft signings from the AFC:

  • The Texans signed fifth-round nose tackle D.J. Reader, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 (via Twitter).
  • The Jaguars sign sixth-round quarterback Brandon Allen, as Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union tweets.
  • The Jaguars signed sixth-round linebacker/defensive end Tyrone Holmes, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • Linebacker Jatavis Brown inked his rookie contract with the Chargers, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets. The Akron product was taken in the fifth-round.
  • The Jets signed seventh-round punter Lachlan Edwards, according to his agency on Twitter.
  • The Patriots signed sixth-round linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill to a $2.44MM deal, including a $100K signing bonus, as his slot dictates, Wilson tweets.
  • The Steelers announced the signing of seventh round draft picks Demarcus Ayers and Tyler Matakevich. Ayers, a wide receiver/returner from the University of Houston, and Matakevich, a linebacker from Temple, are now the first two Pittsburgh rookies to sign from this year’s class.
  • The Ravens signed fifth-round defensive end Matt Judon, Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Texans signed fifth-round safety K.J. Dillon, as Mark Berman of FOX 26 tweets.

Draft Rumors: Elliott, Titans, Cook, Butler

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott is expected to be the first player off the board at his position, and is receiving attention from several teams picking in the first half of the first round. As Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets, Elliott said during an appearance on NFL Total Access that he has visits lined up with the Eagles (No. 8), Bears (No. 11), and Dolphins (No. 13). He has also previously met with Dallas.

With NFL teams focused on working out and meeting with players who may end up on their rosters about three weeks from now, let’s round up a few more draft updates….

  • Deadlines typically spur action in the NFL, which means the best trade offer for the No. 1 pick may not be on the table for the Titans until draft night. Still, as Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com details, GM Jon Robinson isn’t opposed to the idea of making a deal in advance, suggesting it would give his team the opportunity to make plans accordingly. In the meantime, Tennessee continues to take a close look at top prospects, and will bring in Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner on Monday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • ESPN’s Jon Gruden believes that Michigan State’s Connor Cook “is gonna be perhaps the best quarterback in this draft” (Twitter link from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com).
  • Gil Brandt of NFL.com (Twitter link) adds the Lions and Patriots to the list of clubs that have worked out Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler. The Lions have also met with Jordan Jenkins, as the Georgia linebacker confirmed on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link via Alex Marvez of FOX Sports).
  • Marvez also passes along an update from a SiriusXM NFL Radio appearance by Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen, who said he has had workouts or meetings with the Buccaneers, Panthers, Falcons, and Cowboys (Twitter link).
  • In addition to attending local workouts for the Jets and Giants, Rutgers wideout Leonte Carroo is paying visits to the Dolphins and Patriots, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Carroo had an explosive college career, averaging 19.5 yards per reception and racking up 29 touchdowns over the last three seasons.