Jordan Leggett

East Notes: Redskins, Cowboys, Jets

Earlier today, we looked at how the Redskins plan to deploy their supplemental draft choice, Adonis Alexander. Now let’s take a look at notes from several other east division clubs, starting with more out of Washington:

  • The Redskins‘ lack of a consistent running game in the Jay Gruden era is the byproduct of a number of factors, as John Keim of ESPN.com observes. While the offensive line is generally a good one (when healthy), the team has struggled mightily in short-yardage situations over the last few years, and some question whether Washington is committed enough to the run, as it ranks 27th in the league in total carries since 2014. But, as Keim points out, the Redskins rank 10th in first-down carries over that same span; the problem is that they rank 30th in yards per carry on first down. So, as one scout suggests, the issue is not running more, it’s running more effectively. The addition of Derrius Guice should help, as would a healthy season from the starters on the O-line and more effective blocking from receivers and tight ends. If Washington is going to push for a playoff spot, it will need an effective ground game to help out Alex Smith and the passing attack.
  • The Cowboys have a new O-line coach in Paul Alexander, who spent the last 24 seasons with the Bengals. He inherits one of the best offensive lines in the league, so he is under a good deal of pressure to keep the train rolling. To that end, he does not plan on making a drastic overhaul, but as Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News writes, Alexander and OC Scott Linehan are implementing concepts that are noticeably different from the ones that previous O-line coaches Bill Callahan and Frank Pollack employed. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott is impressed with the modifications, and Alexander suggests that the linemen themselves have also bought in.
  • Darryl Slater of NJ.com touched on the Jets‘ tight end battle in a mailbag item yesterday, a situation that he delves into more deeply today. Per Slater, Jordan Leggett — whom the team selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, but who missed his entire rookie campaign with a knee injury — is a roster lock, as is 2018 fourth-rounder Chris Herndon. Both players are essentially rookies, and while they both have upside, rookie tight ends rarely produce a great deal in the passing attack. Slater suggests that Leggett and Herndon could see a fairly even split in snap distribution, though they will both need to improve as blockers. He adds that New York is expected to keep three tight ends, and Eric Tomlinson — who is a capable blocker — is currently the favorite for the No. 3 TE job.
  • Per Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins could build a training facility that will allow them to practice where they play. Miami is considering building a $75MM complex on team-owned land adjacent to Hard Rock Stadium, which would be a considerable upgrade from the facility at Nova Southeastern University that the team has trained in since 1993. Although that facility has been improved over the years, it is still a far cry from the first-class complexes that are becoming more commonplace around the league. Other locations remain in consideration, but an upgrade is coming, and it could come as soon as 2020.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/17

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

  • Promoted to active roster: OL Maurquice Shakir
  • Released: WR Griff Whalen

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/18/17

The latest draft signings from around the NFL:

  • The Bills have signed second-round wide receiver Zay Jones, who’s the fourth of their six draft picks to ink his rookie deal. Jones caught an FBS-record 399 passes, including a ridiculous 158 last season, in four years at East Carolina. That production helped lead the Bills to trade up for Jones, who should be the wideout-needy club’s No. 2 WR after Sammy Watkins in 2017. Jones is now dealing with a knee injury, according to ESPN’s Mike Rodak, though it doesn’t seem particularly serious.
  • The Ravens have signed third-round linebacker Tim Williams (per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun), meaning they now have their entire seven-player draft class under contract. Williams, the 78th overall pick, is coming off back-to-back seasons with at least nine sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss at Alabama. The Ravens’ hope is that both Williams and second-rounder Tyus Bowser will beef up a pass rush that finished just 24th in the league in sacks last season.
  • The Cardinals have announced the signing of third-round receiver Chad Williams, a former Grambling State standout. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound Williams went 98th overall to Arizona, whose non-Larry Fitzgerald receivers didn’t offer much production in 2016. Moreover, the 2017 campaign could be Fitzgerald’s last, while John Brown will be a free agent next offseason. Therefore, it was imperative for the Cardinals to invest a relatively high pick in a wideout.
  • The Browns have inked third-round defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, per a team announcement. Ogunjobi, who went 65th overall after a strong career at UNC-Charlotte, might start immediately in Cleveland alongside fellow D-tackle Danny Shelton.
  • The Patriots have signed former Arkansas defensive lineman Deatrich Wise, a fourth-rounder who was the 131st overall selection. Wise underwhelmed as a senior with the Razorbacks last season, when he posted 3.5 sacks after totaling eight in 2015, notes Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. However, the 6-5, 274-pounder possesses “rare physical attributes,” Zierlein writes.
  • The Colts have announced the signing of fourth-round defensive tackle Grover Stewart. Formerly with Albany State, Stewart went to Indianapolis with pick No. 144. He has the makings of a developmental project, according to Zierlein.
  • Jets fifth-round tight end Jordan Leggett, the 150th selection, is now under contract. Leggett racked up a combined 86 catches and 15 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Clemson. Given both the Jets’ woeful tight end production last year and their lack of offseason upgrades at the position, Leggett could be in line to make an impact as a rookie.