Josh Jones

Draft Pick Signings: 5/19/17

The latest draft picks to sign their first NFL contracts:

  • The Colts have signed third-round defensive end Tarell Basham, the 80th overall pick, meaning all eight members of their draft class are now under contract. Basham starred the previous four years at Ohio, where he amassed 38.5 tackles and 27 sacks, and could help upgrade a Colts pass rush that finished a mediocre 19th in sacks last season.
  • The Bears have locked up second-round tight end Adam Shaheen, leaving first-round quarterback Mitch Trubisky as the only member of their five-pick class who hasn’t signed yet. Shaheen – formerly with Ashland – is one of three Bears picks who attended a small school, and plucking players from relatively anonymous institutions has led to criticism of general manager Ryan Pace. But Shaheen is a “special talent,” according to Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com.
  • A day after inking their top two picks to contracts, the Bills have signed their third selection, second-round offensive lineman Dion Dawkins (No. 63 overall). The former Temple Owl should be a factor on the right side of the Bills’ offensive line in 2017, perhaps as a Day 1 starter at tackle, after the team traded up to land him. The Bills’ veteran options at right tackle, Jordan Mills, Cyrus Kouandjio and Seantrel Henderson, have failed to impress on the field. Further, both Kouandjio and Henderson have dealt with off-field issues. Henderson will miss the first five games of the year on account of a suspension.
  • Former North Carolina State safety Josh Jones has signed his deal with the Packers. Jones, the 61st pick, was one of two second-rounders for Green Bay in this year’s draft. The higher selection of the two, ex-Washington cornerback Kevin King (No. 33 overall), signed last week. Jones, who wrapped up his college career in 2016 with a 109-tackle, three-interception season, joins a safety corps that also includes Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett. With Burnett scheduled to become a free agent next offseason, Jones could be the Packers’ long-term answer at strong safety.
  • Seahawks third-rounder Nazair Jones, the 102nd pick, is now under contract. The former North Carolina defensive tackle, more of a run-stopping factor than a pass rusher, produced 22 tackles for loss and five sacks in three seasons with the Tar Heels. Jones is one of two interior D-linemen the Seahawks used a high pick on, as he followed second-rounder Malik McDowell.
  • The Cardinals have signed fourth-round guard Dorian Johnson, the 115th pick. Johnson was a dominant guard at Pittsburgh, starting in 39 straight games and capping off his Panthers career in 2016 with first-team All-America honors. Arizona already has an established starter at Johnson’s college position, left guard, in Mike Iupati, but it’s not nearly as well off on the right. As of now, 2016 fifth-rounder Cole Toner is penciled in as the starter.
  • One of Johnson’s college teammates at Pitt, offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty, officially became a member of the Giants on Friday. The 200th overall pick started at left tackle in each of his four years at Pitt, where he earned a first-team all-ACC nod last season. Bisnowaty is likely to end up on the right side in the pros, per NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, who notes that he has the ceiling of a low-end starter.

Draft Rumors: Kelly, Peterman, Jones, Chiefs

In addition to the Bills, Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly has also met with the Seahawks and Chiefs, as Kelly told SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). In addition, Kelly said he’s had phone calls with several other clubs. Kelly, the nephew of Bills legend Jim Kelly, is considered a Day 3 prospect thanks a multitude of injury concerns and off-field issues. After recovering quickly from a ACL tear, Kelly underwent wrist surgery in early April and won’t be able to throw for three months. Both Seattle and Kansas City are potentially looking for developmental quarterbacks to play behind Russell Wilson and Alex Smith, respectively.

Here’s more on the 2017 NFL draft:

  • Both the Chargers and Cardinals have hosted Pittsburgh quarterback Nathan Peterman on visits, as Peterman himself explained on Pro Football Talk Live. Peterman, who is likely to be selected on Day 2 of the draft, is viewed as a high-floor signal-caller in the vein of an Andy Dalton. Los Angeles and Arizona each employ veteran quarterbacks in Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer and could be looking to find long-term successors under center. The Chargers, notably, have been more open about their desire to land a youthful passer in 2017, and are reportedly putting in “ample work” on the 2017 class.
  • North Carolina State safety Josh Jones embarked on a “last minute” visit with the Raiders earlier this week, tweets Josh Norris of Rotoworld. Oakland already used a first-round pick on defensive back Karl Joseph in 2016, but Jones could be an eventual replacement for 33-year-old Reggie Nelson. Jones is considered a Round 2 prospect, but he’s been hosted by a significant number of NFL clubs during the predraft process, and there’s a chance he could sneak into Day 1. In 2016, Jones put up 109 tackles, three interceptions, and one sack.
  • A Redskins contingent traveled to Alabama on Friday to meet with Crimson Tide edge defender Ryan Anderson, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Anderson, who managed 8.5 sacks in 2016, has also met with Houston, Carolina, and Arizona. Likely a Day 2 prospect, Anderson was compared to San Francisco’s Ahmad Brooks by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith are penciled as Washington’s starting outside linebackers (Trent Murphy is suspended for the first four games of 2017).
  • Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham took late predraft visits with the Jaguars and Broncos, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Cunningham, a projected Day 2 pick, has also been linked to the Giants and Saints. Earlier this year, a scout told Matt Miller of Bleacher Report that Cunningham “needs to gain strength” and “make more tackles.”

Extra Points: Hankins, Stafford, Falcons

Even though it took him until Tuesday to visit the Colts, newly signed defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins said Friday that his agent had been in contact with the team since the scouting combine in March. “We spoke to ’em I guess when my agent met with them at the combine and always been in contact with them,’’ Hankins revealed (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post). “We were always in contact with a number of teams, and the Colts really stepped out among them all. Took a visit here, met with the coaches and everything just fell right in place. It was a good — I won’t say easy — decision, but it was a good decision for me and my family and I’m excited to be here.” Now armed with a three-year, $30MM contract, Hankins expects to make an impact in Indianapolis from both run-stuffing and pass-rushing standpoints.

Here’s more from around the league.

  • The Lions continue to engage in conversations about a Matthew Stafford extension, and the talks are unfolding amicably, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Bob Quinn told season-ticket holders today he and Jim Caldwell, unsurprisingly, want Stafford in Detroit long-term but still doesn’t anticipate anything being done until the summer. That’s been his stance throughout the offseason.
  • Stafford joins Matt Ryan and Derek Carr as quarterbacks who could become the league’s highest-paid player by summer’s end. The Lions’ ninth-year starter should look to build in protections for future cap spikes to ensure he stays near the top of that list, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. While this kind of deal has not been completed, Florio notes some quarterbacks and agents have tried to insert such language into contracts. It would cost the Lions $26.4MM to use the franchise tag on Stafford next season.
  • O.J. Howard has the Falcons slotted as his final pre-draft visit, Conor Orr of NFL.com tweets. The Alabama tight end would seem to require a near-Julio Jones-level trade from the Falcons if they were to select him, being presently stationed in the No. 31 position. PFR’s Dallas Robinson has the pass-catcher going off the board to the Jaguars at No. 4.
  • The Texans hosted safety Josh Jones on a visit today, per Caplan (via Twitter). Safety may now reside as Houston’s top need on an otherwise loaded defense after the unit lost Quintin Demps to the Bears. An N.C. State product, Jones paid a visit to Miami last week and has trips to meet with the Panthers, Jets and Redskins set up.
  • As he prepares for a contract year, Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland will switch agencies, writes Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post. Breeland is ditching CAA Sports in favor of Joe Flanagan, two sources told Tesfatsion. Breeland has been productive since the Redskins selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, having totaled 42 starts and seven interceptions during his first three seasons. The 25-year-old logged career highs in tackles (71) and picks (three) in 2016, though Pro Football Focus ranked his performance just 81st among 111 qualified corners.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report.

Draft Rumors: Bears, Kizer, Kamara, Bolles

The Bears worked out Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer today, tweets Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com. Chicago has already met with Kizer on at least one other occasion, but today’s visit was deemed a local workout given Notre Dame’s proximity to the Windy City. Although the Bears signed veteran Mike Glennon to a three-year contract last month, that’s not expected to preclude them from drafting a quarterback this year. Kizer won’t be in play at pick No. 3, but Chicago could consider him if he falls to the top of the second round.

Here’s more on the 2017 draft:

  • The Eagles, Bears, and Panthers will all host Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Kamara, who recently fired his agent, could sneak into Round 1 despite being viewed as a Day 2 prospect for most of last year. A committee back with the Volunteers, Kamara managed less than 1,300 yards rushing during two years in Tennessee, but also averaged more than six yards per carry during that time. He’s also been linked to New Orleans and Minnesota.
  • North Carolina State safety Josh Jones recently completed a visit with the Dolphins, and will next meet with the Panthers, Jets, and Redskins, reports Alex Marvez of the Sporting News (Twitter link). Jones is considered a Round 2 prospect, but he’s been hosted by a significant number of NFL clubs during the predraft process, and there’s a chance he could sneak into Day 1. In 2016, Jones put up 109 tackles, three interceptions, and one sack.
  • USC cornerback Adoree’ Jackson has met with the Titans and Browns, and has visits scheduled with the Eagles and Texans, as he tells SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Jackson could help a club on the defensive side of the ball, but he’d also add immediate 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).
  • The Bills are hosting Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles today, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). One of the fastest rising players in the draft, Bolles is now considered the top offensive lineman available, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he gets pushed into the top-10 based on the dearth of tackles in the 2017 class. Buffalo, though, already has a long-term option on the left side in Cordy Glenn, while right tackle is spoken for by Cyrus Kouandjio.
  • Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk met with the Giants earlier this week, per Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Despite drafting Ereck Flowers ninth overall just two years ago, New York has made no promises that Flowers is their left tackle of the future. New York didn’t add any tackles during the free agent period, however, so if the club wants to upgrade its line, it will have to do so during the draft. Ramczyk was named a first-team All-American in 2016.

Draft Rumors: Reddick, Foster, Jones, Titans

The Titans hosted Temple linebacker Haason Reddick on Monday, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). Reddick, something of a swiss-army knife who can play either inside or outside ‘backer, would become yet another piece on a rapidly improving Tennessee front seven. The Titans already boast Wesley Woodyard, Avery Williamson, Brian Orakpo, and Derrick Morgan in the second level. Reddick probably won’t be in consideration for the Titans at pick No. 5, but could be in play at No. 18. The Saints have also expressed interest in Reddick, tweets Miller, and the club “likes him a lot.” New Orleans feels Reddick would be a solid fit in their 4-3 scheme.

Here’s more on the 2017 draft:

  • Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster has set up a busy predraft schedule, as he’s scheduled to meet with the Colts, Bengals, Lions, Titans, and Ravens, according to Josh Norris of Rotoworld (Twitter link). Foster has already met with a number of clubs, and his packed itinerary is unsurprising given that he’s considered the top off-ball linebacker in the 2017 draft. He will combine medical re-checks this week following shoulder surgery, but has already shown full range of motion, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).
  • Like Foster, fellow Alabama alum Cam Robinson has visited a number of clubs already in the draft process, and he has a meeting planned with the Giants, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. New York already has Ereck Flowers at left tackle, but the team has made no promises that Flowers is their long-term blindside protector. I sent Robinson to the Giants at No. 23 in PFR’s first 2017 mock draft. The Ravens have also hosted Robinson, per Wilson.
  • North Carolina State safety Josh Jones is drawing the interest of multiple teams, reports Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Clubs are digging deep: the Rams have visited Jones’ high school, while the Colts and Cardinals both contacted the high school to ask about Jones. Thus far, Jones has also been linked to Baltimore, Miami, Tennessee, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Chicago.
  • Alabama edge rusher Tim Williams visited the Steelers on Tuesday, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Based on pure talent alone, Williams could be a top-10 talent after posting 18.5 sacks over the past two seasons in Tuscaloosa. But some scouts wouldn’t be surprised if he falls out of the first round due to his off-field baggage, which include failed drug tests and September gun charge. The Steelers are looking for another young pass presence given that James Harrison is entering his age-39 campaign.

Draft Rumors: Chiefs, Browns, Ravens, Bills

The Chiefs met with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson today, reports Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link). While Kansas City management has been adamant that Alex Smith is the club’s starter for 2017, that proclamation wouldn’t preclude the Chiefs from attempting to find a long-term option under center. KC has also been linked to quarterbacks such as Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason.

Here’s more on the 2017 draft:

  • Washington wide receiver John Ross has completed his predraft visits, tweets Mike Garafolo of NFL.com, who reports Ross met with the Browns and Ravens. Ross, of course, gained notoriety at the combine after posting a record 4.22-second 40-yard dash. He’s expected to be a first-round selection, and has also been linked to the Titans and Eagles. Although he underwent labrum surgery following the combine, Ross should be ready to roll by training camp.
  • The Bills have hosted Alabama edge rusher Tim Williams, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Williams, who posted 18.5 sacks during his final two years in Tuscaloosa, should probably be a first-round pick based on talent alone, but personnel man have off-field concerns. “We’re worried about [his] weight and love of the game,” one scout told Matt Miller of Bleacher Report earlier this year. Williams was also arrested on a gun charge in September.
  • North Carolina State safety Josh Jones worked out for the Titans on Tuesday and is meeting with the Vikings on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Jones, who is expected to be selected near the end of the first round or in the early part of Day 2, also has visits scheduled with the Browns, Steelers, and Bears, per Rapoport. Thus far, Jones has also been linked to Baltimore and Miami.

NFL Draft Rumors: Thomas, 49ers, Davis

There continues to be lots of talk about Solomon Thomas going No. 2 overall, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report hears (Twitter links). However, he’s not totally convinced that it’ll the 49ers taking him. On one hand, the Niners could use a strong 4-3 defensive end and Thomas could be used a role similar to what Michael Bennett has filled for Seattle. At the same time, Miller can also see the Niners trading out from No. 2, allowing the Panthers or Jaguars to move up for Thomas.

Miller speculates that SF could send the No. 2 overall pick to Carolina for the Nos. 8 and 40 selections. Recently, PFR’s Dallas Robinson ran down a number of scenarios in which the Panthers could come away with that highly-coveted draft choice.

While we wait to see how that plays out, here’s a roundup of the latest draft rumors:

AFC East Notes: Jets, Dolphins, Richardson

The Jets fined defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson “significant” amounts of money for tardiness before benching them for the first quarter of a November contest, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. Indeed, sources indicate to Vacchiano that head coach Todd Bowles — often viewed as overly tolerant of his players’ indiscretions — isn’t so mild-mannered behind the scenes. Still, New York certainly didn’t expect Wilkerson to show commitment issues after inking him to a hefty extension last year.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • While Richardson’s lateness issues (and poor play) could negatively affect his trade value, the Jets still may be able to use the pass-rusher as a trade chit in the coming weeks, writes Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. If New York wants to trade back into Round 1 for a quarterback, for example, the team could potentially package Richardson and its second-round pick (No. 39) to move ahead of of a club like the Texans, who may also be looking for a QB. Getting back into the first round would also allow the Jets to pick up a fifth-year option on the signal-caller of their choice.
  • Dolphins defensive line coach Terrell Williams took a sojourn to East Lansing to work out Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell, reports Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. Recently linked to free agent Johnathan Hankins, the Dolphins are in the market for a tackle to play alongside Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips. McDowell could be on the board when Miami picks at No. 22, although the Fins are expected to target edge help in the first round. The Dolphins are the first known team to meet with McDowell.
  • Safety prospects Josh Jones (North Carolina State) and Justin Evans (Texas A&M) will meet with the Dolphins soon, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Although Miami recently extended defensive back Reshad Jones, the club is still looking for another safety after Isa Abdul-Quddus was released following a neck injury. Jones has also drawn interest from the Ravens, while Evans has met with the Cowboys.

Extra Points: Kaepernick, 49ers, Bears

After talking with general managers at the league meetings, Tom Pelissero of USA Today doesn’t sense that free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s political beliefs have stopped him from landing a contract. The problem isn’t Kaepernick’s asking price, either; rather, it’s that he needs a specific type of offense to fit his style as a mobile signal-caller who has issues with accuracy and struggles when he has to stay in the pocket. Notably, the 49ers’ new head coach, Kyle Shanahan, indicated to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle that they’re not bringing Kaepernick back because he’s not right for their scheme. “I think Colin has a certain skill set that you can put a specific offense to it that he can be very successful in,” said Shanahan. “When we first looked at it … that wasn’t necessarily the direction I wanted to go.”

More from around the NFL:

  • The Bears swung and missed in attempts to reel in high-profile free agents earlier this month, but chairman George McCaskey is hardly holding that against general manager Ryan Pace. “I’ve been very impressed with [Pace] as a leader, as an evaluator of talent,” McCaskey told John Mullin of CSN Chicago. “And one of the things I’ve been most impressed by with him is the discipline he’s shown just as recently as this free agency period. He didn’t want to overpay guys. Too often, I think, you overpay guys who don’t come through for you and then you have a big hole in your salary cap and you’re behind the 8-ball. So I like the discipline he has shown, the restraint he has shown in free agency.”
  • North Carolina State safety Josh Jones visited the Ravens on Thursday, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Jones ranks 48th on the board of Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, so he could be a candidate for Baltimore’s second-round pick (No. 47).
  • “Most signs point to” the Redskins retaining safety DeAngelo Hall on a reworked contract, writes JP Finlay of CSN Mid-Atlantic. The 33-year-old is slated to take up over $5MM in cap space next season, though the Redskins would save most of that ($4.25MM) by releasing him. Hall hasn’t stayed healthy in recent years, having missed 31 of 48 regular-season games since 2014, so he wouldn’t have much leverage if the Redskins were to insist on a pay cut.