Chris Godwin

Extra Points: Pats, Browns, Bucs, Vikings

Patriots edge rusher Harvey Langi is expected to miss at least four weeks after suffering an internal laceration caused by a hit during practice, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic (Twitter link). While the issue certainly seems serious, a source tells Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) that the injury is relatively minor, and Langi is simply being sidelined for “precautionary reasons.” This isn’t the first time Langi has been hurt by a freak injury, as he and his wife were involved in a serious car crash last October that ultimately landed him on the non-football injury list. An undrafted free agent out of BYU in 2017, Langi was a hot commodity as a UDFA and was reportedly impressing in camp. While this latest health issue may not affect him for the long-term, Langi will lose valuable reps as the preseason continues.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • After being cited for marijuana possession over the weekend, Browns receiver Antonio Callaway intends to fight the charge by arguing the drugs weren’t his, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com. Cleveland management wasn’t made aware of Callaway’s arrest until media reports surfaced, and the club made it clear to Callaway that his actions were unacceptable, as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes. However, general manager John Dorsey believes Callaway did not actually smoke marijuana on the night he was cited, and indicated the Browns have a “low tolerance” policy — in contrast to a “zero tolerance” approach — for minor transgressions. Callaway, a fourth-round rookie out of Florida, is already impressing in his first NFL action tonight as Cleveland faces the Giants.
  • The Buccaneers view second-year wideout Chris Godwin as a starter, writes Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. Head coach Dirk Koetter says Tampa Bay essentially has four starting receivers, pointing to Godwin, Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Adam Humphries as players deserving of playing time. How exactly snaps will shake out once the regular season gets underway is unclear, but Jackson or Humphries, the latter of whom is a slot-only weapon, could be demoted to create space for Godwin. While playing roughly 40% of the the Buccaneers’ snaps in 2017, Godwin managed 34 catches and 525 yards.
  • While Godwin looks to be in line for an expanded role, the same can’t be said for Vikings free agent acquisition Kendall Wright. Because Wright, who signed a one-year deal with Minnesota after spending the 2017 season in Chicago, doesn’t play special teams, he’s shaping up as a weekly inactive, tweets Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Wright, 28, posted 58 receptions in a poor Bears passing offense a year ago, and had been expected to see time as the Vikings’ slot receiver. Instead, other options such as Laquon Treadwell, Tavarres King, or Brandon Zylstra may see more action.

NFC Notes: Schwartz, Matthews, Godwin, Panthers

This past offseason, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was often talked about as a potential target for teams with head coaching vacancies. He was floated as a candidate for several head coaching jobs, but didn’t get any of them.

Schwartz has seen his coaching career revitalized after a resurgent Eagles defense that he oversaw ended up winning the Super Bowl this past year. Schwartz was the head coach of the Lions from 2009 to 2013, and most people seem to think the recent success of the Eagles’ defense will land him another head coaching gig at some point.

In a recent article, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer wonders how long the Eagles will be able to keep Schwartz, and opines that he’ll likely be gone sooner rather than later. McLane notes that Schwartz doesn’t seem particularly attached to the Eagles when he speaks to the press, and that he isn’t likely to be the type of coordinator that sticks around for many years. Schwartz isn’t really keeping it a secret that he wants to be a head coach again, and he’ll likely be moving on from the Eagles whenever the first opportunity presents itself.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Packers linebacker Clay Matthews suffered a broken nose during a charity softball game and had to be transported to the hospital (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network). Matthews has already missed time during OTAs due to a knee injury, so the broken nose shouldn’t effect things too much.
  • Buccaneers second-year wide receiver Chris Godwin had an issue with his mouthguard last season that caused his breathing and stamina to suffer, reports Jenna Laine of ESPN (Twitter link). Laine notes that the issue has since been corrected and that she’s expecting “big things” from him in 2018. It’s significant because the Bucs have made it very clear they love Godwin, and the team could seek to get out of DeSean Jackson‘s contract after this year with Jackson having very little guaranteed money beyond this season.
  • Some NFL owners “dreamt” that the Panthers would sell for $3 billion, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Instead, the Panthers sold to Dave Tepper for $2.275 billion. Breer notes that if the Broncos, who have faced recent controversy surrounding their ownership, were to go up for sale it wouldn’t be “unrealistic” for them to get $3 billion. The value of NFL franchises continues to skyrocket, and the fact that some owners thought the Panthers might get $3 billion shows there’s no sign of the increase slowing down.

 

Buccaneers Notes: Peterson, Front Office, Godwin

While the Buccaneers have a number of young running backs on their roster, the team could be seeking a veteran upgrade. Could that upgrade be future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson? Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders seems to think so.

While the website doesn’t report anything definitive, they cite several reasons why Peterson could be a logical target for the Bucs. For starters, the organization showed interest in the veteran last offseason before he ultimately joined the Saints. Furthermore, while the 33-year-old looked like a shell of his former self in 2017, he could provide an upgrade to the team’s current options (a grouping that includes Peyton BarberJacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims, and second-round rookie Ronald Jones). Finally, Peterson had previously worked out with quarterback Jameis Winston, meaning there’s already an existing relationship between the two.

Following an underwhelming 2017 campaign, Peterson has started posting videos of his workouts to social media in the hope that it will catch a team’s attention. Teams still might be wary after he finished this past year with only 529 rushing yards and two scores on 156 carries.

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of Tampa Bay…

  • For what it’s worth, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reiterates (via Twitter) that there “was no rumor that the Bucs were interested” in Peterson. The reporter also doesn’t expect the team to pursue the seven-time Pro Bowler.
  • Pat Perles, who had been with the Bucs organization for four years, has left to become a defensive analyst for Kansas football, tweets Auman. The executive had recently served as Tampa Bay’s player personnel scout. Perles has also spent time with the Chiefs and Rams organizations.
  • Receiver Chris Godwin was plenty productive during his rookie campaign, hauling in 34 receptions for 525 yards and one touchdown. Now, heading into his second year in the league, the team is expecting even more from the third-rounder. “I see him as a starter,” said offensive coordinator Todd Monken (via USA Today’s Bonnie Mott). “That’s how I see it. He’s earned the right to be a starter. Whether it works out that way or not, I don’t know. But he’s earned the right, finished the year that way … Whatever we’ve asked him to do, he’s done it well, and he’s only going to continue to get better. Why? Because he’s big, he’s fast, he’s physical, he’s smart. He’s going to continue to develop and it’s important to him. He takes care of his body, does it exactly the way you want.” Godwin will still have to battle to work his way up the depth chart, as he’s currently slotted behind Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Adam Humphries.
  • In case you missed, former Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman decided to retire from the CFL yesterday.

Bucs Sign WR Chris Godwin, Wrap Draft Class

The Buccaneers announced the signing of third round wide receiver Chris Godwin. The deal means that every member of the team’s 2017 draft class has now been inked. Chris Godwin (vertical)

Godwin, a Penn State product, recorded 154 catches for 2,421 yards and 18 touchdowns over his three seasons on campus. With the Bucs, he can pitch in as both a slot receiver and an outside option, depending on how he’s needed. Godwin represents one of two major additions at wide receiver for the team this year, along with free agent pickup DeSean Jackson.

Here’s the complete rundown of Tampa Bay’s draft class:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

PFR’s 2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

The 2017 NFL draft is less than a month away, and while the first overall pick may be nearly set in stone, the rest of the first round is as muddled as its ever been. A lot can and will happen between now and April 27th, and there are still plenty of teams near the top that could go in a number of different directions on draft day.

Pro Football Rumors’ first mock draft of 2017 is below. To be clear, this is our projection of what will happen – not necessarily the choices we would make – based on reports and information gathered from beat and national writers, our general assessment of this year’s crop of prospects, and, of course, team needs. Let’s dive in:

2017 Mock Draft 1.0 (Vertical)

1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett, LB, Texas A&M
The easiest prediction of the first round, Garrett was considered the favorite to be selected first overall for much of the collegiate season. Nothing Garrett has done since the 2016 campaign concluded has changed that outlook, and the Browns reportedly have an “astronomical grade” on the Aggie edge rusher. At the scouting combine, Garrett weighed in at 272 pounds, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds, and posted 33 bench press reps. Cleveland was “blown away” by the numbers, and it will pick Garrett knowing he can single-handedly alter their front seven.

2. Carolina Panthers (projected trade with San Francisco)Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
Rumor has it the Panthers are interested in acquiring the No. 2 pick from the 49ers, and I’ve projected that trade will indeed occur (last week, I examined what sort of package Carolina may need to sacrifice in order to move up). While Leonard Fournette could also garner consideration, the Panthers will take Thomas, another signal that Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman values the defensive line above all else. Veteran defensive ends Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers are only signed through 2017, and Thomas would give the Panthers long-term security on the edge. He can slide inside, as well, protecting Carolina against free agent defections by Star Lotulelei and/or Kawann Short.

3. Chicago Bears – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
While the Bears have a number of needs on both sides of the ball, they could stand to add another cornerback, and in Lattimore they’ll secure the best CB in the draft. Chicago did add Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper in free agency, but Amukamara signed a one-year deal and Cooper has done nothing to prove he’s a starting NFL defensive back. Former first-round pick Kyle Fuller‘s time with the Bears may be coming to an end, and Lattimore would give Chicago shutdown corner potential from day one. Chicago hosted Lattimore on a predraft visit on Monday.O.J. Howard (Vertical)

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Defense shouldn’t be a problem in Jacksonville this season, as the team has invested heavy resources — both dollars and draft capital — on the defensive side of the ball over the past two years. The Jaguars’ offense, however, ranked just 27th in DVOA in 2016, and while much of the struggle can be attributed to Blake Bortles and a poor front five, Jacksonville isn’t going to replace Bortles immediately, and there are no offensive linemen worthy of the No. 4 pick. Instead, the Jags will select one of the safer players in the draft, pinpointing Howard to replace free agent whiff Julius Thomas, who was traded to Miami last month.

5. Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams) – Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
The Titans could still use help at both wide receiver and cornerback, but with another pick in Round 1 to address other needs, general manager Jon Robinson goes with the best player available and selects Allen. At least one AFC personnel director believes Allen’s shoulder issues could lead to a draft-day tumble, but Allen would give Tennessee a truly dominant defensive line. He’d team with lineman Jurrell Casey and Sylvester Williams and edge rushers Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan on one of the league’s more underrated front sevens.

6. New York Jets – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Gang Green isn’t in a great position at No. 6. Lattimore and Howard may have been the club’s best options, but they’re now off the board, and it’s difficult to see the Jets selecting another linebacker or defensive lineman given their first-round investments over the past several years. Under center, New York seems to want to give 2016 second-rounder Christian Hackenberg a chance to play, and the team’s visits with this year’s top quarterback prospects are largely viewed as smokescreens. Safety probably isn’t a priority for the Jets, but the the team simply needs talent, and Hooker is the best player left.

7. Los Angeles Chargers – Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Hooker is a better fit for new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley‘s scheme, but Adams will work as well. While he’s not the center fielder that Hooker is, Adams offers the type of versatility the Chargers covet. Los Angeles has yet to replace Eric Weddle, who left after the 2015 season, and while it re-signed Jahleel Addae last month, Adams would serve as an improvement over Dwight Lowery. The Bolts could begin eyeing a long-term replacement for Philip Rivers this year, but they won’t use the seventh pick to find their franchise quarterback.

8. San Francisco 49ers (projected trade with Carolina)Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Even after signing 13 external free agents, the 49ers still have holes all over their roster. Foster would be in consideration for San Francisco even if it holds on to the No. 2 selection, but in this scenario, the club has traded down to acquire more assets while still getting the player it originally targeted. Foster has some negatives — a February shoulder surgery, a dust-up with a hospital worker at the combine — but he’s unquestionably one of the more talented players in the 2017 class. An inside ‘backer by trade, Foster would likely slide into the weak side in the Bay Area given the presence of NaVorro Bowman.

9. Cincinnati Bengals – Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
If the Bengals have a “type,” it’s productive players from the SEC. During Marvin Lewis‘ 14-year run as head coach, Cincinnati has selected a first-round SEC prospect half the time. Barnett fits that mold, as he topped Reggie White’s Tennessee sack record of 33 in only three years. Doubters, however, worry Barnett’s physical traits don’t match his production. But the Bengals need to upgrade on defensive end Michael Johnson, who hasn’t posted an above-average season since 2013. Wide receiver could be another option here, as could a trade back, especially if quarterback-needy clubs want to jump ahead of Buffalo, New Orleans, and Cleveland.

10. Buffalo Bills – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Corey Brown. Andre Holmes. Dezmin Lewis. Brandon Tate. Jeremy Butler. Those are the names on the Bills’ wide receiver depth chart behind Sammy Watkins. It’s the worst group of supplementary pass-catchers in the NFL, and while Buffalo’s offense is heavily run-focused, Tyrod Taylor still needs someone to throw to besides Watkins. Davis comes from a small school, but he’s been extremely productive against lesser production, topping 1,400 receiving yards in each of the last three seasons. He’d immediately become the Bills’ No. 2 receiver.

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