Brandon Bryant

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, and Jets are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Buffalo Bills

Claimed:

Cut:

Practice squad:

Miami Dolphins

Claimed:

Placed on injured reserve:

Cut:

Practice squad:

New England Patriots

Claimed:

Placed on injured reserve:

Practice squad:

New York Jets

Practice squad:

Extra Points: Dolphins, Anthem, Fisher, Jets

The Dolphins (perhaps unintentionally) became the first team to publicly wade into the national anthem protest debate, as the club listed “proper anthem conduct” as a section under actions considered “conduct detrimental to the club,” reports Rob Maadi of the Associated Press. Miami later clarified that the NFL required clubs to stipulate their anthem policy before training camp, so the Dolphins — who open camp on Friday — were forced to list their policy somewhere. Now that the NFL and NFLPA have announced the league’s anthem stance, which would have fined the clubs of players who did not “show respect” while the anthem was performed, is on hold for the time being, the Dolphins’ actions won’t have much of an effect.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • FOX may aim to hire former Rams head coach Jeff Fisher as a game analyst, but it doesn’t sound as though Fisher will call a full slate. “I don’t think 15-16 games in the fall is something I wanna do right now because I still have that desire to get back on the sideline,” Fisher said, per SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Fisher isn’t going to find a coaching job at this point in the offseason, so it’s unclear why a 16-game schedule would affect his plans to return to the coaching ranks. Nevertheless, Fisher appears likely to re-appear during the 2019 hiring cycle, although it’s anyone’s guess as to whether any NFL clubs will express interest after he posted a 31-45-1 record with the Rams.
  • Former Mississippi State defensive back Brandon Bryant wasn’t selected in last week’s supplemental draft, but he did eventually land with the Jets, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link) has now provided the terms of Bryant’s rookie contract. Bryant will earn the league minimum after inking a three-year deal worth $1.73MM, and also received a $20K signing bonus and a $70K overall guarantee. Certainly, that contract won’t tie Bryant to New York’s roster, but he could force his way onto the club with a standout training camp and/or preseason performance.
  • In case you missed it, new Bears wideout Allen Robinson won’t start training camp on the physically unable to perform list, a good sign after he missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL.

Jets Sign Brandon Bryant

The Jets are expected to sign former Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, a source tells Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Bryant wasn’t selected in Wednesday’s supplemental draft, clearing the way for him to sign with Gang Green.

The team announced the signing Monday.

Bryant has been praised for his high-end athleticism, but he didn’t set the world on fire at his pro day. Still, he ran a 40-yard-dash in the 4.4-second range for teams and he’s viewed as someone who could be a special teams contributor right off the bat.

In a recent scouting report, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com praised Bryant’s “huge upside” and ability to take off in every direction. While he moves well laterally and effectively covers receivers on crossing patterns, Pauline was less effusive in his evaluation of Bryant’s physicality and sense of urgency.

As a freshman, Bryant totaled 63 tackles, three interceptions, and six pass breakups. He has not been able to reprise that performance since then, however, and off-the-field troubles have hurt his stock in recent months. Bryant was arrested and charged for a DUI in January of last year and was declared academically ineligible for this season, prompting him to go pro.

The Jets will start Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye at safety and project to have Terrence Brooks and J.J. Wilcox as their top backups while Rontez Miles heals up from a knee injury. Bryant will work to crack the roster in the coming weeks, and, if he succeeds, he could displace Appalachian State product Doug Middleton.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Brandon Bryant Goes Undrafted

Mississippi State defensive back Brandon Bryant was not selected in Wednesday’s supplemental draft. That means Bryant is now a free agent and eligible to sign with any club.

Prior to Wednesday, it was reported that Bryant was in the mix for one of the draft’s final rounds. However, all 32 teams passed on a chance to take him.

As expected, Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal was the first player off the board when the Giants selected him in the third round. Then, in the sixth round, the Redskins took Virginia Tech’s Adonis Alexander. That leaves the other entrants – Bryant, Oregon State linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu, and Grand Valley State running back Martayveus Carter – eligible to sign with any team.

It’s not clear if Ugwoegbu or Carter will draw interest from clubs, but it’s likely that Bryant will sign somewhere in the coming days. Although Bryant did not meet expectations at his pro day, he has explosive athleticism that could translate into success at the next level.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Supplemental Draft Notes: Beal, Bryant

The NFL’s supplemental draft will take place on Wednesday and the football world is buzzing about former Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal. One scouting analysts for ESPN believes that he is worthy of a second-round grade in terms of talent.

I think he’s going to be a starter within three years for whatever team drafts him,ESPN.com’s Steve Muench said, “and a really good starter at that. You have someone with that frame and those skills, and that’s what teams look for.”

Beal offers good size for the cornerback position at 6’1″ and ran a 4.47-second 40-yard-dash during a recent workout. He is widely projected to go within the first three rounds, becoming the first player taken in the supplemental draft in years.

Here’s more on Beal and the other entrants in the supplemental draft:

  • Mississippi State defensive back Brandon Bryant also has an opportunity to be drafted. Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com offers up a scouting report for the three-year starter, noting that he offers good size and serious athleticism. Although he is fluid and fast in coverage, Pauline dings him for his lack of physicality and sense of urgency. Pauline predicts that he’ll be taken in the sixth-round on Wednesday.
  • When it comes to Beal, Pauline lauds the Western Michigan product for his outstanding closing speed and explosive nature. On the flipside, he feels that Beal does not demonstrate great recognition in zone coverage and notes that his instincts are suspect. Beal – who was said to be in the first-round range for the 2019 draft – should go in the second or third round in Pauline’s estimation.
  • Nat Newell of the Indy Star wonders if the Colts could place a bid on Beal, Bryant, or Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander given their needs in the secondary. With size and the ability to excel in zone coverage, Alexander could be of particular interest to GM Chris Ballard.
  • In addition to the aforementioned three players, Oregon State linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu and Grand Valley State running back Martayveus Carter are also eligible to be drafted. However, their odds of being selected are reportedly slim.

AFC North Notes: Browns, Bengals, Sutton

Several new defensive backs will see action for the Browns this season. Denzel Ward, Damarious Randall, T.J. Carrie and E.J. Gaines are now in the mix in Cleveland. But the team with the top bidding spots in the upcoming supplemental draft is doing its homework on the available DBs. John Dorsey attended Western Michigan safety Sam Beal‘s pro day, and Zac Jackson of The Athletic notes the Browns are studying up on supplemental cornerbacks Adonis Alexander (Virginia Tech) and Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant. The Browns’ 0-16 finish last season guarantees them the first bid position in this non-televised event, so if Cleveland is willing to sacrifice a third-round pick in the 2019 draft, its move would beat any other team that’s willing to part with a third-rounder to the punch. Jackson adds that only Ward and Randall’s jobs look certain this season, with competition set to commence for the other three primary roles in the secondary.

Here’s the latest from the AFC North:

  • On the subject of unsettled secondary situations, the Steelers look to feature training camp battles for the spots that Joe Haden and Morgan Burnett do not hold. The main uncertainty here going into camp looks to be 2017 third-rounder Cameron Sutton, whom Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes could settle in at outside corner, in the slot, or as Burnett’s running mate on the back end. While the 5-foot-11, 188-pound Sutton would make for a diminutive safety, he did receive reps there during the Steelers’ offseason program, per Rutter. Sutton started at cornerback for four seasons at Tennessee and is the Volunteers’ all-time leader in passes defensed. Artie Burns‘ job isn’t certain, per Rutter. Neither is Sean Davis‘. And with Terrell Edmunds set to factor into the mix, the Steelers could sport some interesting sub-packages this season.
  • The Bengals made a late-offseason personnel change. Christian Sarkisian will join the scouting staff as a scouting assistant, per Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Formerly the assistant director of player personnel at Northwestern for a year, Sarkisian will join an eight-person Bengals scouting staff.
  • The tight end who serves as the Bengals’ Tyler Eifert injury insurance, Tyler Kroft is hoping for a long-term extension to stay in Cincinnati.
  • UDFA Janarion Grant may have the inside track to succeed Michael Campanaro as the Ravens’ return man.

Albert Breer On NFL Supplemental Draft

This year’s supplemental draft figures to be the most exciting in years. Those who have been keeping up with Pro Football Rumors in recent weeks are already familiar with Sam Beal, the former Western Michigan cornerback who many say could have been a first-round pick in the 2019 draft. Besides Beal, there’s also former Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander to consider, a player with tremendous measurables and real NFL upside.

There are others in this year’s class, but Albert Breer of The MMQB hears that Beal and Alexander may wind up as the only players selected. That’s bad news for Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant, who recently drew 40 scouts to his pro day.

He’s a nightmare discipline-wise,” one AFC college director said. “Very unreliable, plays outside the scheme, not reliable in coverage, his eyes are all over the place. Just can’t trust him. He’s physical and quick and fast. Should he be draftable? Sure. But with all the other stuff …

The odds seem even dimmer for Oregon State linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu and Grand Valley State running back Martayveus Carter. Although he has some starting experience in college, Ugwoegbu has the size of the safety and clocked in at his pro day with the speed of a defensive tackle. Carter’s size is also working against him as evaluators feel he does not have the necessary bulk to break tackles and run inside at the pro level.

So, while Bryant, Ugwoegbu, and Carter may have a hard time convincing teams to forfeit a 2019 draft pick for them, it sounds like Beal and Alexander are very much on the radar. Beal may have some maturity issues, but that shouldn’t prevent him from finding an NFL home on July 11.

He’s the more talented cover guy [compared to Alexander],” said an AFC scouting director. “A pure cover guy, fits a lot of schemes. He’s a skinny dude, and even though he presses well, you look at his body, how well does he project? … He’s not a bad guy, just kind of a knucklehead. The kind who’ll wear the wrong color socks or miss curfew or have 25 parking tickets and not pay them off.”

Meanwhile, Breer hears that Alexander’s size could make him a fit for the Seahawks. His 40-yard-dash time at his pro day might not have helped him, as he clocked in at 4.50 seconds on one run and 4.60 on another.

If he’d run faster, I wouldn’t have been shocked to see him in the second or third round,” said an NFC exec. “I think the absolute highest he’d go now is third round. He’s so big and long.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Beal, Wake, Giants

Sam Beal is widely considered to be the best prospect in this year’s supplemental draft, and most NFL talent evaluators think he will fall somewhere in the first three rounds of the draft. A tall corner who has the fluidity and speed of a smaller DB, some believe Beal has first-round talent, so he has generated plenty of discussion since he declared for the supplemental draft last month. Gil Brandt of SiriusXM says the Bills, who have an extra fourth-round pick in the 2019 draft, could be a fit for Beal (Twitter link). Meanwhile, John Keim of ESPN.com says the Redskins have interest in Beal as well as fellow supplemental draft prospects Adonis Alexander and Brandon Bryant, but Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says the Patriots are unlikely to select one of those players even though they have the 2019 draft capital to do so.

Now let’s round up a few more notes from the league’s east divisions:

  • Reiss believes that the Patriots, who selected OL Isaiah Wynn with their No. 23 overall selection in this year’s draft, also considered Alabama WR Calvin Ridley in that spot. Although New England’s need for a quality offensive lineman may have swung the pendulum in Wynn’s favor, Reiss also believes the team is more comfortable projecting an offensive lineman to the NFL than a receiver, which made Wynn an easier choice.
  • Though he is 36 years old, Dolphins DE Cameron Wake is still a highly-productive pass rusher, having posted 10.5 sacks last season. Despite that, and despite the fact that he is entering a contract year, Wake has no issues with the team’s decision to use a rotation that it hopes will keep him fresh in 2018. Per Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post, Wake said, “I want to do whatever is going to help the entirety of the team, the entirety of the defense. So, if it means me being a third-down guy, let’s do it. If it means I have to start and play every down, I’ll take that role on, too.”
  • Matt Lombardo of NJ.com does not think the Giants will be players in the supplemental draft, and he says that, while UDFA wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo has looked good in spring practices, even a strong training camp and preseason will likely only get him another chance on Big Blue’s taxi squad, where he finished the 2017 campaign. Of course, a good showing could get the former Maryland and Syracuse product a shot on a different club.
  • Many expected Chad Wheeler to push Ereck Flowers for the Giants‘ starting right tackle job this year, but as Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com writes, Flowers has gotten all of the first-team reps at RT thus far. Dunleavy says Wheeler’s job as the team’s swing tackle is safe, but barring injury, it looks like Flowers will be the right tackle in 2018. However, Flowers is entering a contract year, so Wheeler may get a chance to start in 2019 if he performs well in the swing tackle role.
  • Earlier today, we heard that Redskins HC Jay Gruden may be looking for a new job in 2019 if his club turns in another so-so performance in 2018.

Latest On DB Brandon Bryant

Mississippi State defensive back Brandon Bryant is making his case to NFL scouts in advance of the NFL’s supplemental draft. On Monday, 40 scouts from the Rams, Browns, Falcons, Jets, Giants, 49ers, Redskins, Colts, Steelers, Saints, Jaguars, Texans, Raiders, and Ravens watched Bryant audition, Chase Goodbread of NFL.com tweets

There may have been even more clubs on hand to watch Bryant work out, according to Tony Pauline of Draft Insider (on Twitter). Pauline hears there were “about 20 teams on hand” and he hears his 40-yard-dash times ranged from the high 4.3’s to the low 4.4’s. He also conducted five separate one-on-one meetings on Sunday.

Bryant established himself as one of the top safeties in the SEC in his time with the Bulldogs. Across three years, Bryant compiled 157 tackles and five interceptions in 37 games. This year, after Mississippi State hired Joe Moorhead as their new head coach, Bryant announced he was going pro.

This year’s supplemental draft will take place on July 11. Other entrants include former Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal and Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Safety Brandon Bryant Approved For Supplemental Draft

There will be another talented defensive back available in this year’s supplemental draft. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant‘s applications for the draft has been approved (via Logan Reardon of NFL.com).

Bryant had esetablisehd himself as one of the top safeties in the SEC. In three years with the school, the safety compiled 157 tackles and five interceptions in 37 games. After Mississippi State hired Joe Moorhead as their new head coach, Bryant announced that he’d be leaving the program. Presumably, he was too late to the apply for the NFL draft, forcing him to opt for this alternative.

Of course, despite his talent, it’s uncertain if a team will be willing to take a flyer on the defensive back. If a player is selected during any of the supplemental draft’s seven rounds, the team will have to sacrifice the equivalent pick for the following year’s rookie draft. As Reardon points out, there have only been 43 players selected since 1977, including two in the past six years (the Browns selected wideout Josh Gordon in 2012 while the Rams selected Isaiah Battle in 2015).

Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander and Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal are also eligible for the supplemental draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.