Jarrad Davis

Lions Rumors: Carter, Maclin, Golladay

The Lions are planning a position switch for a recent draft pick. Additions of D.J. Hayden, Teez Tabor and fifth-round pick Jamal Agnew at cornerback led the Lions to ask their 2015 third-rounder — Alex Carter — to relocate to safety, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports. This would stand to give Carter a better chance to make the roster and attempt to launch a career that hasn’t taken off yet. The former Stanford performer has only played in one NFL game in two years. A 2015 ankle injury put Carter on IR, and the team didn’t see enough from him in 2016 to activate him for more than one contest.

At safety, Detroit has starters Glover Quin — who is in a contract year — and Tavon Wilson, with backups Miles Killebrew and Don Carey behind them. It’s a thinner situation than cornerback looks, as Roster Resource details, but Meinke notes Carter is no lock to make the team. More is expected of Killebrew, a 2016 fourth-round selection, in Year 2, and Carey is a constant on special teams. Jim Caldwell identified Carter’s frame, at 6-foot and 205 pounds, as a reason for the move.

Here’s more out of the Motor City.

  • The Chiefs made one of the more surprising moves of the offseason by making Jeremy Maclin an old-school, June 2 cut. Maclin immediately vaults to the top of the UFA wide receiver contingent, and the Lions could still be in need of a third reliable wideout after Anquan Boldin‘s contract expired. Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com weighs the fit for Maclin in Detroit, noting the salary would have to be right. Maclin just saw the Chiefs move on from a five-year, $55MM contract. That said, Maclin, at 29, probably profiles as a player who will want a role more substantial than as a No. 3 behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. Tate earns $6.2MM per year, and Jones averages $8MM annually. A Maclin commitment may be untenable. Boldin fits that description better, but the sides haven’t talked a deal in a while.
  • June 1 passing means the Lions do, however, gain $5.99MM in cap space after the funds from DeAndre Levy‘s release became available, as Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap notes. The Lions now possess $8.638MM in cap space. Levy’s deal will saddle the team with $4.8MM in 2017 dead money.
  • Third-round wide receiver Kenny Golladay remains the only Lions draft choice unsigned. This is due to the CBA’s cloudier language regarding third-round picks, with Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press noting third-rounders’ base salaries in Years 2-4 of their contracts can fluctuate compared to players chosen in every other round of the draft. Golladay, though, is working out with the team and expected to be signed by training camp.
  • Jarrad Davis signed a fully guaranteed rookie deal worth $10.969MM, Birkett reports. Davis receives a $6.117MM signing bonus. Tabor, assigned to travel from Florida to the Motor City a round after Davis, saw the Lions fully guarantee the base salaries in his first two seasons. Tabor’s signing bonus came in at $1.647MM, per Birkett. Both ex-Gators will have $465K base salaries as rookies.
  • Sixth-round quarterback Brad Kaaya signed for four years and $2.523MM after being a one-time Day 2 prospect, Birkett reports, with a $123K signing bonus. None of the Lions’ draft choices received any additional bonuses beyond their signing bonus.

NFC North Notes: Asiata, Lions, Vikes, Bears

Matt Asiata‘s visit with the Lions occurred this weekend, but the team is not ready to offer the former Vikings starter a contract yet, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets. Birkett adds that the workout went well for the first-time UFA running back, but the Lions are currently going with their holdovers. Detroit’s present backfield houses Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Dwayne Washington and Zach Zenner. The Lions did not draft a running back. An Asiata pact would seemingly stand in the way of the Lions adding LeGarrette Blount. One of the suitors linked to the now-uniquely positioned free agent, the Lions have a need for a reliable runner after Abdullah has failed to stay healthy. The unavailability of he and Riddick, who is already a passing-down specialist, hurt the Lions last season. Asiata has not drawn any other known interest to this point.

Here’s more from Detroit and the latest from some of the Lions’ chief rivals.

  • Jarrad Davis will play middle linebacker and relegate Tahir Whitehead to the competition for one of the outside spots, Birkett notes. Whitehead led the Lions with 132 tackles last season — 45 more than any other Lion recorded in 2016 — but drew scrutiny from Pro Football Focus, which graded the veteran as its second-worst full-time linebacker. Davis played middle linebacker in each of the past two seasons at Florida and appears set to open there for the Lions, who also added Paul Worrilow to the equation there this offseason. Whitehead looks to be the frontrunner for one of the outside jobs in Detroit’s 4-3.
  • Brian Robison said he agreed to a restructured Vikings contract — one that amounts to a paycut in 2017, with his salary being slashed from $5.3MM to $3.9MM — not because the franchise forced him to but because it gives him an opportunity to play 2018 with the franchise. “No. 1 I didn’t have to take a pay cut. It was something I chose to do,” Robison said, per Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “With the Vikings, I thought it was a very complimentary deal both for myself and the organization. On the flip side of it, I got an opportunity to play an extra year here in Minnesota and gives me an opportunity to retire as a Viking and play my entire career in one uniform.” Now 34, the 11th-yaer defensive end is the Vikings’ longest-tenured player and is signed through 2018, and he plans to make that his final NFL season.
  • High-priced Lions guard T.J. Lang won’t join his teammates in workouts until training camp, Birkett reports. The former Packers Pro Bowler is recovering from a January hip surgery, which will shelve him for Detroit’s OTAs and minicamp.
  • The Bears are adjusting some of their quarterback coaching plan for rookie Mitch Trubisky, John Mullin of CSNChicago.com notes, adding, however, John Fox won’t be thinking long-term when he decides who will start come September. Mullin writes that Mike Glennon‘s status as the current starter, one he held at this juncture in the 2015 Buccaneers’ offseason, won’t deter the Bears from starting Trubisky on Day 1 if he’s ready. Trubisky is viewed as more of a project than Jameis Winston, but the Bears’ investment is quite similar to the Bucs’ then.

Lions Sign LB Jarrad Davis

The Lions announced that they have signed eight of their nine draft picks, plus 14 undrafted free agents. The complete list:

Draft Signings:

UDFAs:

As far as draft picks go, Northern Illinois wide receiver Kenny Golladay is the only player that has yet to put pen to paper. The reason for the delay is not known, but third round picks often take longer to sign than other picks as things are less rigid in those slots.

Davis was said to be a target of the Dolphins at No. 22, so it’s a good thing that the Lions were up at No. 21. Davis impressed scouts at his Pro Day when he posted a 4.56 40-yard dash and 38.5 inch vertical jump. As shown on Roster Resource, Davis may be in for a starting role in 2017.

Tabor fell to the Lions at No. 53 but some draft analysts, like NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, felt that he should have gone much higher. The Florida product suffered a hamstring injury during his workout with Detroit and was unable to audition for other teams, so that might explain why he was still available. Then again, we’ve seen “pretend injuries” before, so it’s possible there was a wink-wink deal between Tabor’s team and the Lions.

Kaaya was said to have one of the highest football IQs of any quarterback in this year’s class. It remains to be seen whether he has the arm to make it as an NFL quarterback, but the Lions believe that he can be a solid backup QB, at minimum.

According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (on Twitter), Valoaga got $22K guaranteed ($12K bonus, $10K base) to sign with Detroit. Typically, UDFAs get around $5K, so that’s a sign that Valoaga had at least a few teams interested in adding him to the 90-man roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Eyeing Florida LB Jarrad Davis?

Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis won’t get past the Dolphins and the No. 22 pick represents his floor, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk hears. It’s not clear where his ceiling is, however, and he could very well be off the board before it’s Miami’s turn to pick. Jarrad Davis (Vertical)

There are multiple teams in the teens who will be looking for linebacker help. The Redskins at No. 17 and the Lions at No. 21 could both be possibilities for him, as Florio writes. Peter Schrager of NFL Network previously reported that Davis could go as high as No. 15, where the Colts pick. On most boards, Davis ranks as the second-best off-the-ball linebacker in the draft, behind Alabama’s Reuben Foster.

Davis impressed scouts at his Pro Day when he posted a 4.56 40-yard dash and 38.5 inch vertical jump.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Schrager’s Latest: RBs, Trubisky, Howard

Two running backs, LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, are likely to be among the top eight players selected in this year’s NFL draft, reports Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (Twitter links). The expectation is that Fournette will come off the board first, per Schrager. Speculatively, the 49ers (No. 2), Jaguars (No. 4), Jets (No. 6) and Panthers (No. 8) could be logical fits for either Fournette or McCaffrey. Of those four clubs, only San Francisco’s starting running back (Carlos Hyde) had a strong year in 2016, but the team’s new management reportedly wants to make a change in the backfield.

More from Schrager on the eve of the draft (all links via Twitter):

  • If the Browns don’t take North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky first overall, they could use their second first-rounder (No. 12) in a package to move up for him. Should that happen, Schrager lists the Jaguars and Titans (No. 5) as potential trade partners for Cleveland. Jacksonville is reportedly considering taking a QB at No. 4 to replace Blake Bortles, but that could be a smokescreen. Meanwhile, the Titans are set under center with Marcus Mariota, and they are indeed motivated to move down and collect more picks.
  • Alabama tight end O.J. Howard is poised to be the first pass catcher off the board, beating out wide receivers John Ross, Corey Davis and Mike Williams, according to Schrager. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Wednesday (on Twitter) that Howard received an A-plus medical report, adding that he’s “a very clean, complete prospect.”
  • A pair of linebackers, Temple’s Haason Reddick and Florida’s Jarrad Davis, are entering the draft with soaring stock, relays Schrager. Reddick probably won’t last beyond the first 11 picks, while Davis should go anywhere from 15th to 25th. “Tremendous interviews” helped make Davis a first-round lock.

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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Pauline’s Latest: Cowboys, Pats, Redskins

Alabama’s Cam Robinson now appears likely to become the first offensive lineman off the 2017 draft board, according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. Initially viewed as one of several potential Round 1 tackle options along with Utah’s Garett Bolles and Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk, Robinson’s combine workout reportedly intrigued NFL clubs and proved that he could man left tackle in the pro game. Indeed, there’s been an “uptick” in the amount of teams traveling to Tuscaloosa to meet with Robinson over the past few weeks, per Pauline. Also working in Pauline’s favor is that he’s still only 21 years old, while Bolles — for example — will be 25 when the 2017 campaign gets underway.

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

  • The Cowboys have a first-round grade on USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, and also like Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley an “awful lot,” reports Pauline. Jackson may be available for Dallas at pick No. 28, and he’d likely be immediately inserted into the club’s starting lineup after the Cowboys lost both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne during the free agent period. The former Trojan would also add value as a dynamic special teams maven. In 2016, Jackson averaged 29.5 yards on kick returns and scored two touchdowns, and posted 15.8 yards per punt return (and scored twice more).
  • Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis has drawn the interest of both the Colts and Redskins, per Pauline. Meanwhile, multiple teams have Davis slotted as a Day 1 pick, while some clubs even have him rated as a top-20 selection (it’s unclear if Indianapolis and Washington are indeed those teams). Davis is expected to be the second off-ball linebacker selected this week (following Alabama’s Reuben Foster) after posting a 4.56 40-yard dash and 38.5 inch vertical jump at his Pro Day.
  • The Cowboys hosted Florida safety Marcus Maye last week, and Maye is also receiving “a ton of interest” from the Saints, Cardinals, and Patriots, according to Pauline. Originally viewed as a mid-round pick, Maye is now moving off draft boards and could be selected by the middle of Round 2. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compares the Florida senior to Detroit defensive back Glover Quin, noting Maye’s “rangy” tackling ability and “ready-made safety frame.”
  • While the Patriots currently aren’t slated to make a selection until pick No. 72 (early third round), New England is expected to make a move into the second round via some “maneuver,” says Pauline. Originally, the Patriots could have traded up through a Malcolm Butler deal, but the veteran cornerback is now expected to stay put in New England.

Extra Points: Lions, Packers, Draft, Bucs

UCLA pass rusher Takkarist McKinley visited the Lions this week, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). As a result of the shoulder surgery he underwent in March, McKinley could be on the shelf until at least July. Nevertheless, he still has a realistic chance to end up a first-round pick after breaking out last season with 10 sacks. The Lions finished with a paltry 26 – the fewest in the NFC and the second-worst mark in the NFL.

  • After several years of superb drafting, Packers general manager Ted Thompson has slumped recently, writes Ryan Wood of USA Today. For instance, of the 21 players Thompson selected from 2011-13, only five are still Green Bay’s roster. Moreover, Thompson has found just three Pro Bowlers over the past seven years – a far cry from the seven he discovered during his first half-decade on the job.
  • UConn safety Obi Melifonwu, Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis, Iowa quarterback CJ Beathard and Ashland tight end Adam Sheehan are four draft prospects who could hear their names called quicker than expected, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Melifonwu and Davis are already potential first-rounders, so it’ll be particularly interesting to see how high they go.
  • Buccaneers receiver Josh Huff‘s arrest last November on an unlawful possession of a weapon charge won’t lead to jail time, per Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Huff, who accepted a conditional plea, will instead get six months’ probation. The Eagles released Huff after his arrest, which occurred in New Jersey, and he quickly signed with the Bucs. Huff ended up appearing in three of their games and catching three passes for 41 yards.

AFC Notes: Browns, Raiders, Colts, Steelers

Browns head coach Hue Jackson reportedly likes Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett more than some members of the team’s front office do, but executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown made it clear Wednesday that he’s also fond of the possible No. 1 pick. “We’d be proud to have him,” said Brown (via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com). Meanwhile, vice president of player personnel Andrew Berry downplayed worries that Garrett took too many plays off with the Aggies. “Sometimes those concerns are a little bit overstated,” Berry offered. “The reality is in college football the number of snaps these defensive linemen have to play on a down-in, down-out basis is usually greater than what they’ll have to play at the professional level.”

More from the AFC:

  • The possibility of the Raiders drafting Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis is gaining steam, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). The Raiders are set to pick 24th overall, which is exactly where Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com ranks Davis among this year’s class of draft-bound players. Davis is especially strong against the run, which could intrigue an Oakland team that last season allowed 4.5 yards per carry – good for 25th in the league.
  • The Colts aren’t ruling out drafting Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon or any other prospect with an iffy past, according to rookie general manager Chris Ballard. “Look, guys make mistakes,” he told reporters, including Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. “Tune out the noise. I don’t care what everybody else thinks and their opinions are. (We want to) make our opinions internally, do our work internally … it’s a case-by-case basis, and when we take a guy with issues, we have to have a plan for him to work. We have to have a plan for him to develop in-house, a plan for him to develop as a man.” Ballard also assured media that the Colts are going to take a best-player-available approach, saying, “Look, one thing we will not do: If there’s a player around (that we like), even if we’re loaded at the position, we’ll still take the player.”
  • The Steelers’ top five cornerbacks are set to combine for a meager $9.22MM cap hit in 2017, leading Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com to wonder when they’ll make a greater financial investment in the position. They did show interest in corner Dre Kirkpatrick in free agency, notes Fowler, but he re-signed with the AFC North rival Bengals on a big-money deal. Landing him (or another available, high-profile CB) would have eliminated a draft need for the Steelers, Fowler writes. Now, they’ll have to take a corner for the third straight draft. Per a report from last week, Pittsburgh is poised to select a defensive back in Round 1.

Draft Rumors: 49ers, Jets, Fins, Mixon,

The 49ers are willing to trade the second pick in the draft, which has been the case since at least February. They’ll “listen to anything,” said general manager John Lynch, who revealed that teams have shown interest in acquiring the selection (via Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area). Regardless of whether they trade the choice, the 49ers won’t have top prospects like Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett, Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas or Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey in for pre-draft visits. “I think we know those guys pretty well,” stated Lynch (Twitter link via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com). They did work out Cal quarterback Davis Webb on Tuesday, per Wagoner. Webb is gaining momentum as a potential first-rounder.

More on the draft:

  • The Jets worked out North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky on March 30, but they’ll take another look at the 22-year-old Thursday in the form of a pre-draft visit, reports Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. There are some members of the organization who are quite bullish on Trubisky, Mehta writes. The quarterback-needy Jets, who are set to pick sixth, have also met twice with Texas Tech signal-caller Patrick Mahomes.
  • With their first-rounder, No. 30, the Steelers plan to select the best defensive back available, says Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (video link). That could be Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, whom GM Kevin Colbert “loves,” according to Kinkhabwala. Head coach Mike Tomlin said last month that the Steelers need DBs capable of playing man coverage, noting that New England quarterback Tom Brady roasted their secondary in January’s AFC championship game.
  • The Dolphins’ previously reported visit with Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton took place Wednesday, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.The team also hosted Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis, who, like Charlton, is a prospective first-rounder. PFR’s Dallas Robinson currently has Miami taking Charlton at No. 22 overall.
  • Speaking of the Dolphins, they’ll meet with Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt this week, and he’ll also visit the Saints, 49ers and Broncos in the coming days, relays Jeremy Bregman of NFL.com. The brother of Texans superstar J.J. Watt may end up coming off the board in Round 1.
  • Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is “absolutely in play” for the Vikings in Round 2 (No. 48 overall), Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller told Matt Vensel, Andrew Krammer and Michael Rand of the Star Tribune. Along with Minnesota, the Saints, Bengals and Raiders have shown the most interest in Mixon, per Miller. The Raiders seem like a curious fit, though, given Mixon’s past and owner Mark Davis’ zero tolerance policy regarding domestic violence.