Jamal Adams

AFC Notes: Texans, Patriots, Jets

After Texans running back D’Onta Foreman‘s arrest on charges of marijuana and unlawful gun possession last Sunday, his attorney, Chip Lewis, claimed that the rookie didn’t “use or possess” the drug. To help clear himself of wrongdoing, Foreman was voluntarily tested for marijuana, and the results came back negative, according to Lewis (via Mark Berman of FOX 26). “It makes it clear that he was telling the truth,” Lewis said of the outcome. “He was not using marijuana.” Foreman has a July 31 court date, though there’s reportedly a strong likelihood of a postponement because the Texans will be at training camp in West Virginia then.

  • Patriots running back Dion Lewis may have to fight for a roster spot this summer, Mike Giardi of CSNNE.com points out, but colleague Tom Curran says it would be a mistake for the team to cut him if he’s healthy (video link). Fellow back Brandon Bolden should be in greater jeopardy, as he offers little offensively, opines Curran. Lewis has provided solid production as both a runner and pass catcher when on the field during his two-year New England stint, having averaged 4.6 yards per carry on 113 attempts and totaled 53 receptions, but he hasn’t appeared much. A torn ACL in 2015 and the subsequent recovery process kept Lewis out of action for nine games in each of the previous two regular seasons. Releasing Lewis would save the Pats all but $200K of his $1.49MM cap hit, and they’d still have a capable group of backs with Mike Gillislee, James White and Rex Burkhead leading the way.
  • Having moved on from a cavalcade of veterans in recent months, it may look as though the Jets are tanking, but it’s just a full-scale rebuild, contends Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. Tanking is “almost impossible” to pull off in the NFL, argues Vacchiano, who writes that a top 10 to 15 selection in next year’s draft may be the best-case scenario for the club. Picking that late could mean the Jets found an answer at quarterback in Christian Hackenberg, a second-rounder in 2016 who didn’t take the field as a rookie, and saw a slew of other young players emerge as legitimate building blocks. It’s more likely, though, that they’ll end up with a top five pick, potentially putting them in position to find a franchise QB, observes Vacchiano.
  • More on the Jets, whose deal with first-round pick Jamal Adams contains offsets, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Jets, Jamal Adams Agree To Deal

The Jets have agreed to a contract with their first-round pick, safety Jamal Adams, tweets Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. As the sixth overall selection, Adams will land a four-year deal worth approximately $22.25MM, including a $14.3MM-plus signing bonus.

Jamal Adams

Adams was a three-year starter at LSU, where he posted a career-best 76 tackles last season en route to second-team All-America honors. The year before, Adams racked up a personal-high four interceptions. The hard-hitting 214-pounder is a “natural-born leader of men,” according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, who likens him to former Cowboys star Darren Woodson. Adams, along with second-round safety Marcus Maye, will now take control of the back end of a Jets defense that has cut ties with veteran DBs Marcus Gilchrist, Calvin Pryor and Darrelle Revis in recent months.

With Adams under contract, Solomon Thomas (49ers), Corey Davis (Titans), Gareon Conley (Raiders) and Jabrill Peppers (Browns) are the only unsigned first-round picks remaining. Raiders second-rounder Obi Melifonwu also remains unsigned.

Meanwhile, the Jets’ entire nine-player draft class is now under control as training camp nears. Here’s a refresher:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Select Jamal Adams No. 6 Overall

With the No. 6 pick, the Jets have selected LSU safety Jamal Adams.

Jamal Adams (vertical)

Adams was a three-year starter at LSU and he saved his best for the final act. As a junior, Adams had career highs in tackles (76) and tackles for a loss (7.5) as scouts gushed over his hard-charging style. The popular knock on Adams has been that he is a box safety and undeserving of being taken so early in the draft, but scouting experts like Matt Miller of Bleacher Report believe that he can also work well in coverage.

By taking Adams, the Jets are likely replacing Calvin Pryor. Pryor, a pick of the previous regime, has not panned out and the team has already declined his fifth-year option for 2018. Pryor is a one-dimensional hard hitter, but Adams is a much more well-rounded safety.

PFR’s 2017 Live NFL Mock Draft

The 2017 NFL Draft begins on Thursday night, and Pro Football Rumors is back with its second mock draft of the year. While our initial mock attempted to project what will happen in Round 1, we’ve taken a different approach for mock draft 2.0.

PFR editor Zach Links and I conducted this live mock draft on Tuesday morning, rotating picks and breaking down what we would do were we in charge of these selections. We posted each pick on Twitter, followed by a short explanation of our thought process on this page.

Here’s the complete mock:

1. Cleveland Browns (Zach) – Myles Garrett, LB, Texas A&M

I suspect this is the easiest pick either one of us will make all day. Garrett is the best pure talent in this year’s draft and the Browns would be foolish to go in any other direction at the top of the draft.

2. San Francisco 49ers (Dallas) – Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

Reports that the 49ers are considering a quarterback with the second overall selection stand out as a potential smokescreen, and instead San Francisco uses the No. 2 pick to bolster its defense. Hooker, who recently earned a full medical clearance following combine rechecks, has been commonly linked to the Chargers as a perfect fit for Los Angeles defensive coordinator Gus Bradley‘s scheme. But the 49ers are running the same defensive look as the Chargers under new DC Robert Saleh, and Hooker would give the team a centerfielder with the upside of an Earl Thomas. San Francisco’s plan to convert nickel cornerback Jimmie Ward to safety won’t stop it from adding Hooker, who is possibly the draft’s No. 2 overall prospect.

3. Chicago Bears (Zach) – Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford 

Dallas’ bold pick left my Bears with a golden opportunity. The Bears could go safety or cornerback in this scenario, but the talent of Thomas is too good to pass up. Thomas can be used on both the inside and outside of the Bears’ defensive line and I see him as one of the safest talents on the board.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Dallas) – Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

No, we didn’t forget the Jaguars used a top-five pick on Jalen Ramsey in 2016 and then handed a $67.5MM contract to A.J. Bouye in free agency last month. But one of Ramsey’s key selling points last year was his versatility: while he’s a shutdown corner at his best, Ramsey can man the slot, cover tight ends, and dabble at safety. As such, adding Conley doesn’t mean Jacksonville is facing cornerback overload, especially given that NFL clubs are in the nickel more than two-thirds of the time. Conley is viewed as a safer prospect than his Ohio State teammate Marshon Lattimore, and he’d give the Jaguars a Broncos-like secondary.

5. Tennessee Titans (Zach) – Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

The Titans, arguably, get the best cornerback available in the draft even though they are the second team to address the position. No, we don’t have a ton of film to go on for Lattimore, but his combine numbers indicate that he could be a megastar. Few teams in the NFL would have a young cornerback duo like the Titans if they can pair Logan Ryan with Lattimore.Mitch Trubisky Instagram

6. Cleveland Browns (projected trade with Jets) (Dallas) – Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

In need of a franchise quarterback, the Browns send the No. 12 and No. 52 pick to the Jets in exchange for No. 6 with the intention of drafting Trubisky. It’s a slight overpay for Cleveland (at least, based on Chase Stuart of Football Perspective‘s draft value chart, which is likely what the Browns front offices uses), but it does the deal anyway to land a long-term option under center. Given that Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is reportedly pressing the club to select a quarterback early — and the fact the Cleveland may still be considering Trubisky with the first overall selection — landing the UNC signal-caller at No. 5 for the cost of a mid-second-round pick is a move the Browns can’t pass up.

7. Los Angeles Chargers (Zach) – Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

In this scenario, it seems like Allen’s subpar workouts have led to a bit of a drop. His size (6’3″) is a bit of a concern, but he has the ability to be an effective defensive end while spending some time on the inside as well. Allen would look great lining up on the opposite end of Joey Bosa.

8. Carolina Panthers (Dallas) – Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Sitting at pick No. 8, the Panthers certainly have options. General manager Dave Gettleman & Co. could go after a running back like Leonard Fournette or Christian McCaffrey, bring in a young edge rusher to play alongside veterans like Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers, or even reach for an offensive tackle given Michael Oher‘s health questions. With Ted Ginn Jr. and Corey Brown having defected via free agency, the Panthers need another wideout to pair with Kelvin Benjamin. Enter Davis, who topped 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (Zach) – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

Foster’s stock, by all accounts, is slipping after he turned in a diluted urine sample and got into an argument with a hospital worker at the combine. However, with other teams in the market for an inside linebacker (like the Jets at No. 12, for example), it would be somewhat risky to trade down into the teens and expect Foster to still be there. The Bengals have been willing to overlook character concerns in the past, so I see no reason why they can’t do the same here and land the Alabama star.

10. Buffalo Bills (Dallas) – Jamal Adams, S, LSU

While the Bills gave Jordan Poyer a four-year deal with $6MM in guarantees earlier this offseason, I’m still not convinced Buffalo views him as a definite starter. Those questions come to the forefront with Adams still on the board, and the Bills don’t hesitate to take the LSU defensive back. With ex-Packer Micah Hyde also in the fold, Buffalo can field one of the more diverse and flexible safety tandems in the league. Adams is viewed as a leader in the locker room, and has been favorably compared to former Cowboys All Pro Darren Woodson by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.

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Schrager’s Latest: 49ers, Kizer, Humphrey

The 49ers‘ interest in UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been “real” during the entire predraft process, according to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com indicated this morning that San Francisco is considering drafting a signal-caller with the No. 2 overall selection. LSU safety Jamal Adams and Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas are also possibilities for the Niners, per Schrager, who adds San Francisco is willing to trade down if another club is eyeing Trubisky.

Here’s more on the 2017 draft, all courtesy of Schrager:

  • Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer could have a similar draft outlook to Paxton Lynch in 2016 and Teddy Bridgewater in 2014, wherein a club with a need under center trades back into the end of the first round in order to select him, reports Schrager (Twitter link). Any team that does move into the first round for Kizer would have the added benefit of a fifth-year option, enabling them to retain Kizer for a fifth season at a cheap price.
  • One NFL general manager says he’d be “shocked” if Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey isn’t off the board by pick No. 20, tweets Schrager. Last week, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report indicated the Saints, Titans, and Ravens — all of whom pick in the top-20 — could be possible landing spots for Humphrey. Other clubs with picks early in the draft who have a need at corner include the Bills, Cardinals, Eagles, and Redskins.
  • As previous reports have indicated, the Titans are willing to trade out of the No. 5 pick, per Schrager (Twitter link). If Tennessee doesn’t trade away that selection, however, Alabama’s O.J. Howard and Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore will be among the players in consideration at fifth overall. Howard would give the Titans another option at tight end to pair with veteran Delanie Walker, while Lattimore would help fill out one of the league’s worse cornerback units.

NFL Draft Rumors: Mixon, Raiders, Eagles

Is Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon the most talented player in this year’s draft? One nameless personnel executive told Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he believes that to be the case. The other execs surveyed, naturally, went in different directions. Texas A&M star Myles Garrett got 11 votes, LSU safety Jamal Adams got two, and there was one vote cast for Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster and Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. Unlike the others, Mixon doesn’t necessarily seem likely to go in the first round.

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:

Draft Notes: Kizer, Giants, Lions, Jets

Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer does not lack confidence. The Fighting Irish finished last season with a 4-8 record, and there are a number of quarterback prospects (including North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Cal’s Davis Webb) who could be taken before Kizer in the upcoming draft. Despite that, the signal caller believes he should be a candidate for the top-overall pick.

“Name a college quarterback who goes into the game-plan meetings on Monday and throws his notes at the coaches,” Kizer said (via Tom Pelissero of USA Today). “No one else game plans the way I do. No one else prepares the way I do. No one else knows football the way I do. No one else is as big as I am. No one else is as powerful a runner as I am. Pat Mahomes might throw the ball 80 yards and I can only throw the ball 72, but I guarantee he can’t throw an out route the way I can.

“No one else can do what I can do. And I’ve truly figured out in this (draft) process, if I can maximize all my potential in every aspect of the game – this is bold – I do have the ability to be the greatest quarterback to ever play. Imagine taking (Tom) Brady’s intellect and Brady’s preparation and putting it on a guy with Cam Newton’s body. Why can’t I be the greatest? The only thing stopping me from it is me. That’s what’s driving me now.”

Our own Dallas Robinson had Kizer being selected by the Saints with the 32nd pick in PFR’s recent mock draft.

Let’s check out some more draft notes from around the NFL…

  • The Giants are not fans of this year’s offensive line class, reports Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv. The team sorely needs some reinforcement on the unit, and Vacchiano notes that the team could consider Utah’s Garett Bolles and Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk. However, it’s more likely that the organization moves forward with their current crop of lineman.
  • Don’t expect the Lions to be drafting offensive lineman, either. As Kyle Meinke of MLive.com writes, Bob Quinn spent much of last season revamping the unit, so it’s unlikely that he commits more picks to the offensive line. Instead, the general manager expects to select the best players available, especially in the first round. “I’m big into the best player available,” Quinn said. “I mentioned it last year, best player available, meshing with kind of what your needs are on your team, so I think you kind of have to look at both avenues when you’re making decisions in the draft.”
  • LSU safety Jamal Adams met with the Jets earlier this week, tweets ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine. However, the prospect said that the organization was skeptical that he’d still be available with the sixth-overall pick. Adams was projected to be selected by the Chargers with the seventh pick in our recent mock draft.

NFC Draft Visits: 49ers, Eagles, Panthers, Seahawks, Cowboys

The latest draft visits from the NFC:

  • LSU safety Jamal Adams recently visited the 49ers, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Adams will come off the board somewhere in the top 10, though San Francisco’s first-rounder (No. 2 overall) could be too early to select him. The 49ers do want to trade down, however, and if that happens, perhaps they’ll look to Adams if he’s still available.
  • The Eagles hosted Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett and Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson on Monday, according to Rapoport (Twitter links). Barnett joins Missouri’s Charles Harris as the second prospective first-round DE to visit the Eagles, owners of the 14th pick, in the past week. Barnett tallied 13 sacks last season, while no one on Philadelphia’s roster finished with more than 6.5. Wilson, meanwhile, could quickly become “a solid No. 2 cornerback” in the pros, opines NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, who rates him as the 29th-best player in this year’s class.
  • The Panthers, known to be in the market for running back help, had Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel in for a visit Monday, relays Albert Breer of The MMQB (Twitter link). Samuel’s stock seems to be rising because he can also contribute as a receiver and returner, perhaps making him the next Tyreek Hill type to hit the NFL. It’s possible he’ll still be on the board when the Panthers are on the clock in Round 2 (No. 40 overall).
  • Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell met with the Seahawks on Monday, tweets Rapoport, and will visit the Cowboys later this week, reports Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram. McDowell is among the top D-tackle prospects in a weak class of interior defenders, and might be a fit for Seattle at No. 26 or Dallas at No. 28.

Draft Rumors: Watson, 49ers, Texans

Here’s a rundown of the latest NFL Draft news:

  • Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is visiting the 49ers on Monday and Tuesday before meeting with the Cardinals on Wednesday, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Niners, of course, own the No. 2 overall pick and the Cards are at No. 13.
  • The Bills worked out UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky on Sunday, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Owner Terry Pegula was there, along with head coach Sean McDermott. In our mock draft from last week, Dallas Robinson has the Bills passing on Trubisky in order to take a wide receiver.
  • The Texans worked out Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson on Friday before flying to the 49ers over the weekend. Next up is a Panthers workout on Tuesday (Twitter link via Rapoport). Carolina has already met with Robinson, so this could be a sign of serious interest. The Panthers own the No. 8 overall pick.
  • Safety Jamal Adams, who had a strong showing at LSU’s Pro Day, is visiting the Panthers today (Monday), Rapoport tweets. Rapoport wonders aloud whether he’ll be available at No. 8.
  • Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman has workouts for Steelers, Bills, Chiefs, and Patriots, according to a source who spoke with Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).

Miller’s Latest: Bills, Watson, Mahomes

They say that you shouldn’t draft a box safety in the top 10, but that’s not enough to get Matt Miller of Bleacher Report to cool off on LSU’s Jamal Adams. That’s because he doesn’t view him as a box safety. Yes, the Tigers had Adams playing more in the box last year, but he did more coverage work in 2015 and excelled. Anyone who thinks he’s just a box safety, Miller argues, hasn’t looked closely enough at the tape. Miller believes he can go as high as No. 3 to the Bears and “can’t see any way he falls out of the top 10.”

Here’s more from Miller:

  • The buzz is that Bills GM Doug Whaley is “in love” with Deshaun Watson. In fact, Watson may be the first QB off the board if the Bills go for him at No. 10 overall. The 49ers, Bears, Jaguars, and Jets are also in the market for a QB, but some believe that might not happen in the first round.
  • Tennessee edge-rusher Derek Barnett looks like a first-rounder on film, but he hasn’t done well in workouts, Miller hears. Recently, he ran a subpar 4.89 second 40-yard dash at his pro day.
  • Some scouts who attended Patrick Mahomes‘ pro day weren’t super impressed by the Texas A&M product’s scripted throws . One scout said he’s a “thrower, not a passer” while another said [he’s] got some [Colin] Kaepernick to his arm.” All in all, however, those in attendance were high on Mahomes’ arm, athleticism, and poise. Meanwhile, Miller polled six execs and they all said that Mahomes will come off the board in the first round.
  • Solomon Thomas seems like a top five lock and the Jaguars really like him if he’s on the board at No. 4.
  • Chad Kelly injured his wrist during his pro day, but the Ole Miss product was recently cleared to throw and do drops, Miller hears.
  • John Ross‘ 4.22 second 40-yard-dash time turned a lot of heads, but teams Miller have spoken to are worried about his injury history. He has had knee injuries in the past and suffered a torn labrum that was operated on right after the combine.