Josh Allen (QB)

Jets Acquire No. 3 Pick From Colts

The Jets are moving up. The team has acquired the third-overall pick from the Colts (via Indy’s Twitter). In exchange, the Jets have sent Indy their first-rounder (No. 6) a pair of upcoming seconds (No. 37 and No. 49), and a 2019 second-round pick.’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Jets “explored all options,” including the possibility of adding the top-overall pick from the Browns. Meanwhile, the Colts heard offers from several teams, but they ultimately felt good about the package they received from the Jets.

The general consensus seems to be that the Jets will ultimately use their new pick to take a quarterback. By acquiring the selection, the organization is assuring that they can take one of the top prospects in the draft, a list that includes Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Baker Mayfield. Of course, choosing a quarterback with the third pick will only complicate the Jets’ quarterback plans heading into 2018.

Assuming they take a quarterback in the draft, the team will clearly be leaning on the youngster to lead the organization in the future. However, for at least next season, the Jets would likely turn to veteran Josh McCown for the starting gig. After re-signing McCown earlier this week, the organization reportedly told the signal-caller that he’ll be their starter next season. The Jets also added Teddy Bridgewater, and they’re rostering Bryce PettyChristian Hackenberg, and Joel StaveAt least two of those latter three quarterbacks will be let go prior to the season.

In recent years, we’ve seen several teams trade into a top-three selection in the draft. Last season, the Bears moved up to No. 2 and sent San Francisco No. 3, No. 67, and No. 111. In 2017, the Titans traded the No. 1 pick (along with No. 113 and No. 177) to the Rams for No. 15, No. 43, No. 45, and No. 76 (along with a first- and third-rounder in 2017). That same year, the Browns traded No. 2 (and a conditional fifth-rounder) to Philly for No. 8, No. 77, No. 100, a 2017 first-rounder, and a 2018 second-rounder.

What does this all mean? Well, it seems like both teams could justify the haul they gave up/received. According to’s “Draft Trade Chart,” Indy received solid value for the No. 3 pick. That selection was given a value of 2,200, and their new 2018 selections equal out to a 2,540 value (that also doesn’t account for the 2019 second-rounder). From that perspective, you could argue that the Colts won the trade. However, when you consider the trades from previous seasons, the Jets did an admirable job of not including an additional first-rounder in the package.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Rumors: Griffin, Lions, Jets

UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin did wonders for his draft stock by running a 4.38 second 40-yard-dash, Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter) reports. Griffin is getting considerable buzz in Indianapolis and one head coach remarked to Rapoport that Griffin may have put himself in consideration as a fourth-round pick. Teams were wary about Griffin’s ability to play at the next level because of his amputated left hand. They’re looking at him in a whole new light now, though Rapoport says that evaluators are now going back to the tape to see if Griffin plays as fast as he looked at the combine. Griffin’s 4.38 was the fastest recorded time for a linebacker at the combine in more than a decade.

Here’s more on the NFL Draft:

  • Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, and Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen are all on the rise after strong showings in the combine, Rapoport reports (on Twitter). Allen was once viewed as a second-tier QB in this year’s draft, behind USC’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen. There’s no longer a clear consensus on the order of this year’s top signal callers with talk that Allen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield are climbing boards league-wide.
  • We’ve been hearing a lot about Vander Esch’s rise in particular in recent weeks. LVE’s 4.65 second 40-yard-dash was faster than expected and Tony Pauline of hears that he could go as high as No. 14 when the Packers are called to the podium. Pauline’s understanding is that he won’t get past the Steelers at No. 28 and the Eagles, who pick at No. 32, have already come to the conclusion that he’ll be gone by then.
  • Delaware defensive tackle Bilal Nichols is a name to watch for the Jets and Lions, according to Pauline. Nichols tweaked his hamstring during the 40-yard-dash and was unable to finish the drill, but he should be ready to go before his pro day on March 20.

Peter King On Browns, McCarron, Tannehill

Here’s the latest from Peter King of The MMQB:

  • The Browns have four picks in the top 35 of this year’s draft, but coach Hue Jackson is still pushing for the team to acquire A.J. McCarron, King hears. If the team does go for McCarron in March, the plan would be for the team to also draft a rookie quarterback to be groomed behind him. The Browns, of course, nearly landed McCarron before last year’s trade deadline before a paperwork snag tanked the deal. One has to wonder if McCarron would be skeptical about the Browns’ level of commitment to him in such a scenario, particularly after seeing how Mike Glennon‘s arrangement worked out with the Bears. Then again, McCarron might be faced with a similar scenario with any team that shows interest him.
  • It has been said that the Dolphins are committed to Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, but King is not convinced after speaking with executives at the combine. Miami is look at QBs at No. 11 overall and several people who spoke with King believe they’ll select a signal caller there. Tannehill has missed the last 19 Dolphins games with back-to-back ACL tears.
  • After speaking with several GMs, scouts, and coaches, this is King’s rough consensus for the top ten player’s in the draft: Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, USC quarterback Sam Darnold, North Carolina State edge rusher Bradley Chubb, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward, and Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith.

East Notes: Giants, Foles, Patriots

New Giants head coach Pat Shurmur and GM Dave Gettleman — in stark contract to their predecessors at this time last year — recognize that Big Blue needs to make significant improvements to its O-line in order to return to contention in 2018, as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes. Schwartz views the rapid improvement that the Vikings’ O-line made from 2016 to 2017, in large part due to heavy free agent and draft investment, as an indication that New York will be able to make a similar jump under Shurmur.

Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg are unrestricted free agents and there is no guarantee that either will be re-signed, John Jerry can be cut without many salary cap implications, and the new regime has no connection to Ereck Flowers, so the Giants’ line will be in for a major overhaul, and Schwartz thinks Shurmur is the right man to lead that change.

Now for more notes from the league’s east divisions:

  • Adam Schefter of tweets that Shurmur was able to retain Giants assistant offensive line coach Lunda Wells, who also garnered interest from the Raiders and other teams. New York will promote Wells to tight ends coach. In addition, the team is expected to retain RB coach Craig Johnson, per Schwartz (via Twitter).
  • Carson Wentz believes he will be ready for the start of the 2018 season, which is already leading to speculation as to what the Eagles will do with Nick Foles, who has guided the team to a berth in Super Bowl LII in Wentz’s absence. Jimmy Kempski of the PhillyVoice says the team’s medical staff also believes Wentz will be available when Week 1 of the 2018 season rolls around, and Foles will count for $7.6MM against the cap in 2018, the last year of his current deal. Rather than let Foles leave in free agency after 2018, Kempski speculates that Philadelphia could trade Foles to a QB-needy team this offseason. Of course, the Eagles have the luxury of simply holding onto one of the best backups in the league if they do not get an offer they like.
  • Patriots QB Tom Brady had an appointment earlier this week to remove the 12 stitches on his throwing hand that he played with in the AFC Championship Game last Sunday, per Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). Brady is expected to be fully healthy for Super Bowl LII.
  • James Harrison has given the Patriots‘ defense a nice boost since joining the team on December 26, and the 39-year-old said he does not intend to retire at the end of the season. Per Mike Reiss of, Harrison says he may want to play for up to two more years.
  • Assuming the Jets are not able to land Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold in this year’s draft, Rich Cimini of believes Gang Green would prefer Josh Allen over Baker Mayfield (Twitter link). Although Allen may be more raw than Rosen or Darnold, some believe he has the highest ceiling of any signal-caller in the draft.

Browns Notes: Allen, Mayfield, Thomas

Browns GM John Dorsey holds the No. 1 pick in the draft and he is considering a larger pool of players than you might expect. Speaking to reporters at the site of the Senior Bowl this week, Dorsey indicated that both Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Wyoming’s Josh Allen are in the mix.

In 2013, I had the first pick in the draft with the Kansas City Chiefs, and there really wasn’t a quarterback prospect there,” Dorsey said (via Mary Kay Cabot of “Actually in this class there are four to five prospects that make you think at least are they worthy of that position. So now I think what you do is you let the process unfold.”

USC’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen, of course, are also believed to be in the running. It’s not immediately clear who the fifth player might be, if there is one.

Here’s more on the Browns:

  • We’ve heard rumblings of rookie quarterbacks not wanting to go to the Browns in the past, but Allen says that he would embrace the opportunity to help engineer Cleveland’s comeback. “If I’m fortunate enough to become a Cleveland Brown, you can expect everything from me,” Allen told 92.3 The Fan. “I want to be the guy that turns around the Cleveland Browns. The guy that does that is going to be immortalized in Cleveland forever.”
  • Tackle Joe Thomas, who is still undecided about whether he’ll play in 2018, endorsed the team’s decision to retain coach Hue Jackson in an essay for The MMQB. Thomas was also optimistic about what the future may hold for the Browns, citing the team’s cap room and draft capital. It’s possible that these factors will motivate Thomas to return, but he may also wait until we get closer to the start of free agency to announce his plans.
  • On Wednesday, the Browns formally announced the hiring of former Pittsburgh play caller Todd Haley as their new offensive coordinator.

AFC North Notes: Browns, Ravens, Bengals

The Browns have again landed the No. 1 pick, and after years of stalling, the franchise is expected to try its hand at a first-round quarterback again. But a third name might be creeping into the race alongside Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. projects (Insider link) Josh Allen to be the name called to go to Cleveland at No. 1, and a “high-level personnel executive” concurs. The NFL exec told Mary Kay Cabot of he expects John Dorsey to take Allen at No. 1 overall, and this anonymous decision-maker likens the Wyoming product to a young Ben Roethlisberger. Although, Rosen and Darnold — prior to the workout season — are viewed as readier prospects to run an NFL offense. Cabot notes the same exec told her two years ago the Browns would be set up for 15 years if they were to take Carson Wentz. A three-quarterback pursuit for said No. 1 pick, coupled with the anticipated plethora of available passers on the free agency and trade markets, would make this one of the more interesting offseasons in modern NFL history.

Here’s the latest out of the AFC North:

  • Ben McAdoo remains in the running for the Browns’ OC position, Cabot reports. Texans quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan also interviewed for the post, but Cabot reports Ryan wants to call plays. She adds the Browns might not give him that opportunity due to a lack of experience doing so but notes McAdoo may get that chance since he’s done so previously. Mike Mularkey remains on the radar for this job as well, but Cabot notes he has yet to interview. ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported McAdoo is taking his time in making a decision about where he lands.
  • The Browns finishing the process of hiring an OC without meeting with ex-Steelers play-caller Todd Haley would make for a big surprise, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets. Haley’s also been connected to the Jets’ OC job.
  • Ravens officials believe the team has the makings of forming a “special” offensive line in the near future, and Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun expects the team to target a right tackle in the draft to round out the group. Zreibec writes a Round 1 choice on a tackle to complement 2016 first-rounder Ronnie Stanley shouldn’t be dismissed. The Ravens lost Marshal Yanda, Nico Siragusa and Alex Lewis to season-ending injuries, but Austin Howard graded out well at right tackle. Howard is under contract for the 2018 season, what would be his age-31 campaign, and it would cost the Ravens $2MM in dead money to jettison him.
  • The Ravens are no stranger to accumulating compensatory picks, and Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap expects the team to receive a third-rounder for Ricky Wagner‘s departure. The Bengals are also expected to collect a third-round pick after Kevin Zeitler‘s trip across Ohio. Interestingly, the Broncos‘ one-year rental of Russell Okung stands to earn them a third-round choice in Fitzgerald’s view.
  • Speculation swirled about a Hines Ward hire to run the Steelers‘ wide receivers group, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes. But the Steelers instead hired Darryl Drake, a 14-season NFL coaching veteran who coached Ward at Georgia. Ward worked with the Steelers as a coaching intern last summer.

Draft Rumors: Darnold, Browns, Nelson, Jackson, Allen

While Josh Rosen made headlines with his comments about a preference to land with a better team that held a lower pick rather than a bad one holding a high draft choice, Sam Darnold took the more diplomatic route. The USC quarterback — who has not yet made a decision about forgoing his final two years of eligibility to enter the 2018 draft — said Wednesday (via ESPN) he’d be “honored to play for any team.” This could be key regarding the top of the draft, where both Darnold and Rosen are expected to come off the board if they declare. A report that emerged Sunday revealed Rosen is higher on the Giants than the Browns, who will hold the No. 1 pick, and may reconsider staying in school if the Browns are to pick him. Of course, a similar report surfaced about Darnold last month. Darnold denied that rumor today, however. This interesting leverage game remains in a holding pattern with both passers having yet to announce they’re going to enter the draft.

Here’s more 2018 draft buzz.

  • Lamar Jackson is not expected to threaten Rosen or Darnold’s spots atop the draft, and the former Heisman Trophy winner may be put through an interesting process by some interested teams if/when he declares. Various scouts told’s Mel Kiper Jr. they believe some teams will ask the Louisville phenom to work out as both a quarterback and wide receiver, with the goal being to see if Jackson could transition if he didn’t work as a passer. This is not the first time this has come up regarding Jackson, who has rushed for a staggering 3,974 yards and 49 touchdowns in three Cardinals seasons, nor is it the first time a run-heavy quarterback has been mentioned as a wideout at the next level.
  • Quenton Nelson‘s stock appears to be rising, and’s Albert Breer spoke with an NFL exec who said the Notre Dame guard is a better prospect than Zack Martin was when he came out of South Bend three years ago. Breer tabs Nelson as a top-three overall prospect. Martin went 16th to the Cowboys in 2014 and became the first rookie offensive lineman to land on the top All-Pro team in 57 years. No pure guard has gone in the top 10 since Jonathan Cooper in 2013, but the Redskins moved 2015’s No. 5 overall pick (Brandon Scherff) to guard immediately.
  • The sense in the scouting community is Josh Allen will fall toward the middle of the first round while the two Pac-12 passers go off the board at the draft’s outset, Dan Graziano of notes. Allen remains viewed as a less pro-ready prospect than the other two despite possessing possibly greater physical upside. However, smaller-program passers have done well for themselves in recent drafts. Carson Wentz rocketed up the 2016 board to No. 2, and Blake Bortles (Central Florida) went No. 3 in 2014. The Jets have done extensive homework on Allen, and the Broncos are getting to work on the Wyoming talent as well.


East Notes: Giants, Collins, Cutler, Jets

A day after referring to Eli Apple as “a cancer,” Landon Collins has attempted to walk that back. While that might be difficult, the All-Pro Giants safety issued an apology (on Twitter) today and confirmed he did so in person in a meeting with Apple and Steve Spagnuolo. The interim HC confirmed the meeting, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (on Twitter).

I met with Coach Spags and Eli this morning and I apologized for the things I said yesterday,” Collins said. “I never stop supporting my brother/teammate Eli and the rest of my teammates as we move forward. Just want him to know I’m always here for him.”

On Tuesday during a radio interview, Collins said Apple “needs to grow up.” Wednesday’s apology marks the latest chapter in a weeks-long saga involving the two defensive backs. Earlier this month, Collins said he’d talked to Apple — who has taken a step back this season — and told media the cornerback’s issues were mental and that he was dealing with “significant” personal struggles. Apple then denied Collins spoke with him, and the third-year safety — according to — had to be restrained by teammates as he attempted to confront the second-year corner. Apple has not been suspended like Janoris Jenkins or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were, but he’s been benched and reportedly nearly left the Giants’ facility because of a harsh film-room session earlier this season.

Here’s the latest out of the Eastern divisions.

  • Josh McDaniels remains linked to Patriots exec Nick Caserio regarding GM/HC arrangements, but Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports the New England OC could also be interested in pairing up with Louis Riddick as a GM. Riddick interviewed for the Giants’ GM job last week, although Dave Gettleman is viewed as the favorite. McDaniels and Caserio were a sought-after tandem last year, with the 49ers having shown interest in bringing them to the Bay Area.
  • Adam Gase said Wednesday he has not spoken to Jay Cutler about him returning to the Dolphins in 2018, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. Jackson adds the Dolphins remain committed to having Ryan Tannehill return as their starter next season, but he reported last week the Fins would be open to Cutler coming back as the backup. Cutler will start this weekend’s regular-season finale against the Bills.
  • Davis Webb will rise to the Giants‘ No. 2 quarterback role and take Geno Smith‘s place as Eli Manning‘s backup, Ian Rapoport of tweets. It will be the first time Webb suits up as an NFLer. Smith will be inactive Sunday, and Webb could see time off the bench in the game under the format Ben McAdoo broached with Manning upon benching him earlier this year. Spagnuolo, however, said (via Schwartz, on Twitter) there are “no guarantees” the third-round rookie makes his NFL debut against the Redskins.
  • The Jets are likely to land a pick in the lower part of the top 10, and Brian Costello of the New York Post ranked the most- to least-likely scenarios involving offseason quarterback plans. Most likely is a setup where the Jets draft Josh Allen with their first pick and re-sign Josh McCown to continue his better-than-expected stopgap work. Costello notes the Jets’ top competition for the Wyoming passer could be the BroncosJohn Elway trekked to the Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho, last week to observe Allen in person. The Jets, though, have put in the most work on Allen to this point. Gang Green’s No. 2 scenario? Kirk Cousins, whom Costello recalls the team showing interest in after Smith was sucker-punched in 2015.

QB Josh Allen Declares For 2018 NFL Draft

Draft declaration season is in full swing and we have a top quarterback making his intentions known that he will be turning pro. Wyoming officially announced that their junior starting quarterback, Josh Allen, would be declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft on their Twitter page after the team won the Idaho Potato Bowl this afternoon.

Josh Allen (Vertical)

Allen is going out on a high note after he was named MVP of the bowl game having thrown for three touchdowns and no picks in his final collegiate appearance. However, despite coming into this college football season as one of the most highly-regarded draft eligible signal callers available, Allen struggled versus higher quality defenses during out-of-conference play. He found his footing later in the year, but is now generally thought of in a tier behind fellow prospective first round picks, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and USC’s Sam Darnold.

The quarterback is considered a physical freak by many draft analysts, who features a canon arm and is very mobile for his 6’5”, 233 lbs. frame. Allen is very raw and would likely need time on the bench before playing during the regular season, but could still be taken high in the first round given his elite natural ability.

Allen should be just the first of many top college quarterbacks that will officially declare for the draft as bowl season continues to progress.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Notes: Mayfield, Rosen, Cards, Nelson

The expected recipient of this season’s Heisman Trophy, Baker Mayfield figures to generate plenty of opinions during the pre-draft process. Some of the immediate responses from NFL evaluators have been positive following the Oklahoma senior’s dominant regular season. Albert Breer of surmises from the several-dozen scouts he’s spoken to throughout the season that Mayfield should wind up as a first-round pick, his baggage notwithstanding.

He’s extremely talented,” an AFC college scouting director told Breer. “Guys want to play for him, players believe in him, the staff believes in him. I’ve heard the comparisons to (Drew) Brees, (Johnny) Manziel, (Russell) Wilson, and there’s a little bit of all of them in his game. And he’s not Manziel in terms of the off-field stuff — he studies his ass off; he goes through his progressions; he’s not a typical spread QB. He has first-round ability.”

Mayfield’s height, around 6-foot, could be an issue for some teams. And his Big 12 background may as well. But Breer expects a first-round investment to occur.

Here’s more on Mayfield and other key prospects.

  • Daniel Jeremiah of polled five NFL execs regarding Mayfield’s best destination and didn’t get one definitive answer. While some quarterback-needy teams came up, two decision-makers mentioned the Saints and Chargers as Mayfield fits. Both suggest multiyear apprenticeships behind Brees and Philip Rivers. However, a source told Matt Miller of Bleacher Report Rivers’ resurgence has “basically shut down” the prospect of the Bolts making a quarterback-of-the-future pick in the upcoming first round. Rivers turned 36 on Friday.
  • Josh Rosen is the likeliest of the likely first-round quarterbacks to start from Day 1, a group of seven executives polled by Yahoo Sports concluded. The UCLA passer’s throwing motion is “as elite as it gets for a prospect,” Charles Robinson of Yahoo writes. That septet of execs rated Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Mayfield as the Nos. 2-4 prospects and likely first-rounders. Darnold’s elongated throwing motion and tendency to bail on plays, in the mind of some evaluators, could cost him the No. 1 spot. Allen received the “project” label in this piece, but the Wyoming product’s size/speed/arm strength combination could be enticing — especially come workout time.
  • On Allen, Miller notes the Cardinals are connected to the current junior signal-caller. Miller writes the Cardinals abandoned their first-round quarterback crusade after Patrick Mahomes went to the Chiefs at No. 10, with the team declaring it was going to delay its Carson Palmer succession strategy a year. Allen may be the next guy the Cards are eyeing, viewing his athleticism and potential — and presumably the likelihood he won’t be a top-two pick like the Pac-12 passers — as Mahomes-esque. That might not mean much at the moment, with Mahomes having yet to play, but Miller expects Allen to be a top-10 pick. That’s more than could have been said for Mahomes at this point in last year’s process. The Jets remain the team that’s done the most work on Allen, however.
  • In a post connecting teams with prospects, Miller notes the Bears are “all about” Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley. However, the draft analyst notes the Bears are expected to land a top-10 pick. Ridley, in his mind, does not qualify for such an investment.
  • Notre Dame’s offensive line figures to produce two first-round talents in tackle Mike McGlinchey and guard Quenton Nelson. While McGlinchy’s name has hovered on draft radars longer, Bucky Brooks of notes Nelson is viewed as the better prospect among scouts. One scout declared Nelson was the best prospect he’d seen this season “by far.” Miller notes the Broncos have Nelson rated as the top offensive lineman on their early board.
  • Cowboys coaching and scouting sources told Miller the team doesn’t expect to be holding mid-first-round picks much in the near future, and he writes the team will pursue a higher-end pass rusher “while it can.” That’s bold thinking for a team that is 6-6 and has missed the playoffs in five seasons this decade, but the Cowboys did earn home-field advantage last season. And the need for an impact end remains.