Daniel Jeremiah

NFL Draft Rumors: Bucs, Packers, James

Florida State safety Derwin James spent Wednesday meeting with the Buccaneers and will sit down with the Packers on Thursday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). James, the No. 9 ranked safety in the draft per NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, offers versatility with experience at both safety spots, nickel cornerback, and even outside linebacker. He arguably performs better when playing closer to the line, so the team that drafts him will likely look to continue using him in multiple roles.

Here’s more NFL Draft news:

  • NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb met with the Buccaneers on Wednesday and is visiting the Giants on Thursday, Rapoport tweets. Chubb has another top 5 team visit next week, Rapoport notes, but he did not specify the club.
  • Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy was with the Vikings on Wednesday, Rapoport tweets. Cichy suffered an ACL tear in the summer that prevented him from seeing the field in 2017. Before the injury, he was considered a first-round prospect and he could still come off the board in Day 2 if he demonstrates that he is healthy.
  • Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward is visiting the 49ers on Thursday, according to Rapoport (on Twitter). The Niners pick No. 9 overall and he could be a possibility for San Francisco there. SF will also meet with Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter.
  • The Bears met with a pair of top defensive backs in Ward and Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama), Rapoport tweets. Fitzpatrick previously visited the Buccaneers. The Bears own the No. 8 pick in the draft, so they could be in range for both players.
  • The Vikings met with University of Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams and Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey, Rapoport tweets. Jeremiah has Williams ranked as the No. 21 prospect in this year’s draft while McGlinchey is at No. 35.
  • Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans visited the Dolphins (No. 11) this week, Rapoport tweets. Evans, who played all over in Bama’s front seven, offers strong coverage against both tight ends and running backs.
  • Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne is meeting with the Falcons, according to Rapoport.
  • The Buccaneers, who own the No. 7 pick in the first round, had former Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson in for a visit on Wednesday, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets.

Eagles Interviewed Daniel Jeremiah For Personnel Job

As the Eagles and owner Jeffrey Lurie search for a new “player personnel head,” the organization is thinking a bit outside the box. Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com reports that the organization interviewed NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah for the open position. There was no formal offer extended to the draft expert, and the 38-year-old ultimately signed an extension with NFL Network.

Peter King of the Monday Morning Quarterback reported that the analyst had received a “firm” offer to head an NFL personnel department, as well as a “the-job-is-yours-if-you-want-it feeler” from another organization. Instead, Jeremiah decided to stay in California with his wife and four children.

“The competitive side of me was really excited about it,” he told King. “The scoreboard is an awesome thing, and you can’t replace that in this job. It was really a tough call for me, and for my family. When I was at the Senior Bowl, I had a Friday off-day, and I never left my hotel room. I was just thinking and talking and pacing. I’ve got one of those tracking devices on my phone, and I literally paced 7 miles that day.

“It came down to this: If you’re happy, and we are, then why look so hard for happier? Our kids are 8, 10, 12 and 14. They are thriving. We love our church. We love their schools; my daughter is getting ready to start high school. Let her dig in, and let all the kids dig in to their schools and their lives. So it’s good. I have no regrets about it.”

Jeremiah has previously worked in NFL front offices, having served as a scout for the Ravens, Browns and Eagles.

There were rumbling in early February that the team had halted their pursuit of a new head of player personnel, with the organization expected to make a hire following the draft. The team had previously interviewed Brandon HuntMorocco BrownDwayne Joseph, and Mark Dominik, but the team is set to rely on Howie Roseman to make all moves until a hiring is made official.

Extra Points: J. Smith, Strong, Packers, Cowboys

Typically, teams can get some deals done with their pending free agents between the franchise-tag deadline and the start of free agency, while they still have the right to exclusively negotiate with those players. Last year, for instance, players like Patriots safety Devin McCourty and Packers wideout Randall Cobb re-upped with their respective teams just before reaching the open market.

According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, however, Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell doesn’t expect many players to fall into that category this year. Referring to free agents around the league, rather than just his own players, Caldwell suggested that if they’re not locked up by Tuesday’s franchise-tag deadline, they’ll likely hit the open market. While O’Halloran doesn’t go into detail on Caldwell’s thoughts on the issue, I imagine players will be eager to see what sort of offers are out there for them, now that so many clubs have so much cap space.

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the NFL….

  • Within his weekly MMQB column, Peter King provides a couple interesting draft-related notes, writing that at least one NFL GM remains bullish on injured Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith (“No chance he won’t play at some point, and play well”) and reporting that NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah received at least one offer from an NFL team within the last two months to head up that club’s personnel department.
  • Texans wide receiver Jaelen Strong was arrested late on Sunday night for possession of marijuana, tweets Jason Snavely of ABC15. The off-field incident will put Strong on the NFL’s radar for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, so discipline could be coming down the road.
  • While Packers general manager Ted Thompson hasn’t publicly announced how long he plans to continue in his current role, team president/CEO Mark Murphy said at the combine in Indianapolis that he has an idea of how much longer Thompson will stick around, and Murphy has a succession plan in mind, writes Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
  • As Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News tweets, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is more confident about how to fortify the team’s running back spot than he is for some of Dallas’ holes on defense. “I can actually see ways and options at the running back [position] to get us in good shape,” Jones said. “I don’t actually see ways and have the name in place for the spot relative to the defense.”
  • In his latest piece for The Baltimore Sun, Jeff Zrebiec explores the Ravens‘ potential options for the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, and writes that offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, a release candidate, still appears unlikely to return to Baltimore in 2016.

AFC Notes: Browns, Raiders, Jackson, Ravens

Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday, NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah said that he’s hearing “from several different places” that the Browns are targeting quarterback Derek Carr with the No. 26 pick rather than drafting a signal-caller at No. 4 (link via Marc Sessler of NFL.com). Of course, there’s plenty of time for that stance to change over the next two and a half months. More out of the AFC..

  • Raiders owner Mark Davis spoke to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle about the need for a franchise quarterback, the team’s boatload of cap space, and whether or not this is a make-or-break year in Oakland.
  • Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Talk expects the Broncos and Titans to be in the mix for linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who hit the free agent market today when he was cut by the Browns. Seven teams have reached out to Jackson since his release and he’s currently deciding where to visit first, tweets Jason La Canfora of NFL.com.
  • Torrey Smith is very open to the idea of the Ravens adding a receiver in free agency or the draft, as he tells Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. “The more, the merrier,” Smith said. “The more help you can have no matter what position it is, it’s only going to make us stronger as a unit. Whatever we bring in, whether it’s free agency or a rookie, we’ll welcome him in with open arms.”
  • Although Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star suggested yesterday that Adam Vinatieri could be a franchise tag option for the Colts, that’s not the case, according to Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). As Corry notes, even though Vinatieri didn’t play out two seasons as the Patriots‘ franchise player, he was tagged twice by New England, meaning he’d be eligible for the quarterback’s franchise salary if he were tagged a third time.