Marshon Lattimore

Saints’ CB Marshon Lattimore To Miss Time?

Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore suffered a hamstring strain that has him considered week-to-week, a source tells NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). The injury forced Lattimore out of Sunday’s loss to the Falcons and it sounds like it may keep him out of action for additional games. 

Soon after Lattimore exited Sunday’s game, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones torched the Saints’ D for a 54-yard reception. Lattimore, 23, has 38 tackles and one interception through nine games and ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 31 CB in the NFL. The advanced metrics put him ahead of A.J. Bouye, Stephon Gilmore, Malcolm Butler, Darius Slay, Janoris Jenkins, and several other big names at the position.

The surprising loss on Sunday aside, the Saints are among the best in the league and continue to hold a solid lead in the NFC South. But, they have a critical stretch of games coming up against all three of their divisional rivals, including a grudge match against Atlanta on Thanksgiving. There’s no question that losing Lattimore would hurt as they look to lock down their playoff positioning, so the Saints will be keeping their fingers crossed today.

Lattimore, a 2017 first-round pick, is under contract through the 2020 season thanks to his rookie deal. The Saints can keep him through 2021 via the fifth-year option, but they’ll have to budget appropriately in order to keep him for 2022 and beyond.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Marshon Lattimore To Miss Week 13

The Saints are set for a crucial game against the Panthers, but they won’t have one of their top defenders in that game.

Marshon Lattimore will miss Week 13, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). The ankle injury that kept the standout rookie out of the Saints’ Week 12 game in Los Angeles will do the same today, with Rapoport noting the team is exercising caution to protect its top cornerback.

The Ohio State product tested the ankle before the home game, but it didn’t go well, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Lattimore’s work has been a big reason why New Orleans has been able to stampede back into the playoff race, and his team missed his presence last week in a loss to the Rams. Jared Goff‘s 327 passing yards marked the most the Saints had yielded since Week 2, a week before their eight-game win streak commenced. Ken Crawley also missed last week’s game, but Lattimore’s running mate is expected to play today. Fellow corner P.J. Williams is questionable.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Marshon Lattimore Ruled Out For Week 12

The Saints are going for their ninth win in a row this Sunday when they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams. However, New Orleans must try and win on the road without their outstanding rookie cornerback, Marshon Lattimore, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

"<strongThe 11th overall pick in last May’s draft has been dealing with an ankle injury all week and just couldn’t recover enough to suit up for this weekend’s contest. Rapoport also passes along that the Saints will be without defensive back Ken Crawley as well, so the team’s secondary is about to look much different in Week 12.

Despite the injury, Lattimore is in the middle of a tremendous rookie campaign as he grades out as the fourth best corner in the entire league, accumulating a stellar 92.7 overall score from Pro Football Focus this season. The former Ohio State Buckeye was always expected to be an instant impact type of player, but has passed all expectations in his first nine games of his professional career.

Without their two top corners, the Saints will rely on backups P.J. Williams, De’Vante Harris and Justin Hardee to hold down the back-end of the defense. The team also recently agreed to bring in veteran defensive back Sterling Moore earlier in the week, probably in preparation for the news that was revealed today.

The Saints defense has been one of the better units in football, especially during the team’s winning streak, but it will certainly be tested without Lattimore locking down one side of the field.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Sign Rookie CB Marshon Lattimore

The Saints have officially signed first round pick Marshon Lattimore, according to a team announcement. Second round safety Marcus Williams and third round running back Alvin Kamara have also put pen to paper. Marshon Lattimore (Vertical)

There was tons of trade speculation surrounding the Saints on draft night, but they stood pat at No. 11 and drafted a player who many see as the best cornerback in this year’s class. Lattimore, an Ohio State product, finished his collegiate career with 46 tackles (34 solo), one stop for a loss, four interceptions and 16 passes defensed. In his final year on campus, Lattimore was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and proved to scouts everywhere that he can succeed at the next level.

I’ve studied the top cornerbacks coming out and he’s the best I’ve seen,” one pro personnel director for an AFC team told NFL.com before the draft. “He’s so athletic that he can just post up under the receiver’s chin and shadow him all over the field. And he’s tough, too. He’ll be one of the top cornerbacks pretty quickly.”

The 5-foot-10, 215-pound Kamara was a dual threat as a member of the Volunteers, with whom he averaged 6.2 yards per rush, caught 74 passes, and combined for 23 touchdowns over two seasons. Now, he’ll be learning from the best as he backs up both Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson. Kamara split carries with Jalen Hurd at Tennessee, so he’s no stranger to a timeshare.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Rumors: Butler, Lattimore, Foster

Last night, Saints coach Sean Payton had a candid chat with reporters and shared some interesting info. Here’s a look at the highlights:

  • The coach said all of the trade possibilities the team previously considered for veteran cornerbacks “still remain open” depending on how the rest of the draft falls (Twitter link via Mike Triplett of ESPN.com). Payton, ostensibly, is referring to the Saints’ trade talks with the Patriots regarding Malcolm Butler. When New Orleans drafted Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore with the No. 11 pick, many assumed that the team would back off of its pursuit. Personally, I don’t believe that the Saints will be willing to give up significant compensation for Butler now that they have Lattimore, particularly since locking him down will require a hefty contract.
  • Payton said the Saints even had talks about possibly trading up to land Lattimore. They also listened to offers to trade down, but ultimately stood pat (Twitter link via Triplett). He added that Lattimore was the team’s third or fourth ranked player on the board heading into the draft (Twitter link via Nick Underhill of The Advocate).
  • The Saints were considering Reuben Foster and Takkarist McKinley at No. 32 before they came off the board, Payton told reporters (Twitter link via Triplett). With both players gone, the Saints selected offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk.
  • Payton views Ramczyk, who played left tackle at Wisconsin, as a right tackle (Twitter link via Herbie Teope of the Times-Picayune).

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.

Draft Rumors: Mixon, Lattimore, Peppers

It was reportedly likely as of two weeks ago that Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon wouldn’t last beyond the third round of the draft, but now there’s “palpable buzz” that his stock is dropping, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Interestingly, one league source informed Florio that Mixon will go undrafted, which runs counter to the notion that many teams Mixon has met with are willing to forgive him for his sordid past. Mixon was caught on camera punching a woman in the face in 2014, and while he has since expressed remorse, his future NFL employer will undoubtedly face a public relations backlash upon adding him.

More on the upcoming draft:

  • Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore visited the Jets on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). New York holds the sixth overall pick, with which it could theoretically take Lattimore, but it’s possible concerns over his health will cause him to slide out of the top 10. Should that happen, the Jets may still end up a candidate to draft Lattimore if they succeed in trading down.
  • The Ravens hosted Michigan defender Jabrill Peppers on Tuesday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Peppers expects to serve as a safety in the pros, as do most teams with which he has spoken, but one sees the likely first- or second-rounder as a linebacker and another believes he’s capable of lining up on offense.
  • The Cowboys are in need of pass-rush help, which could come in the form of Missouri defensive end Charles Harris. The club’s attraction to Harris is no secret, reports Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram, though she notes that he might be off the board by the time Dallas is on the clock at No. 28 overall.
  • A couple of NFC West teams are eyeing Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu, per Wilson (Twitter link). Melifonwu met with the 49ers on Tuesday and will visit the Seahawks on Wednesday. Speculatively, the 6-foot-4, 224-pounder could be a fit for the 49ers early in Round 2 (No. 34 overall) or the Seahawks late in the first (No. 26).

Latest On Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley

NFL clubs are beginning to worry about the fragility of Ohio State Marshon Lattimore‘s hamstrings, and have concerns about him staying healthy for a full season, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link). Those injury issues could push Lattimore down draft boards, and may lead to him falling outside the top 10 picks.Marshon Lattimore (Vertical)

Lattimore had been widely viewed as the draft’s No. 1 corner prospect, and was expected to be selected first among that strong position group. In PFR’s first mock draft of 2017, I sent Lattimore to the Bears at pick No. 3. The Titans, too, have shown a good deal of interest in Lattimore and are not expected to pass on him if he falls to pick No. 5.

But those hamstring issues may affect Lattimore’s stock — his hamstring tightened up during the scouting combine in March, and he had similar problems during his time with the Buckeyes. Those problems — and the fact Lattimore is only a one-year starter — could lead to the rise of his Ohio State teammate, fellow cornerback Gareon Conley.

Conley is considered a safer pick than Lattimore, and may now be overtaking the latter as this year’s No. 1 CB. The Jaguars will host Conley for a visit on Monday, reports Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com, who adds the Titans and Saints have also exhibited “a lot” of interest in Conley. NFL teams like Conley’s “work ethic and temperament,” per Pauline, and feels he’s ready to play in the pros immediately.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Miller’s Latest: Trubisky, Mahomes

We took a look at some fresh draft rumors earlier Friday. Here are several more, courtesy of Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller:

  • While Browns head coach Hue Jackson wants the team to select Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett first overall, per Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, that doesn’t mean he’s against taking North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Jackson “likes Trubisky a lot,” writes Miller, who notes there’s a chance the signal-caller will still be on the board when the Browns make their second first-round selection at No. 12 (assuming Garrett’s their initial pick, of course).
  • The Jets have met with Trubisky on multiple occasions, but Miller’s not quite buying their interest. They “would love” if someone traded ahead of them at No. 6 and chose Trubisky, Miller contends.
  • Both the Cardinals and Chiefs “really like” Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, two sources have told Miller. The Cardinals are reportedly interested in trading up from No. 13 for Trubisky, but they could perhaps stay where they are and grab Mahomes. As for the Chiefs, who own the 27th pick, Mahomes visited them last month.
  • The Titans are likely to draft Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore if he’s still available at No. 5, according to Miller; in the event he’s gone by then, Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams will garner consideration. The club met with Lattimore earlier this month, and it subsequently created a need at corner when it released Jason McCourty on Thursday. Tennessee hosted Williams on Tuesday, and has done its homework on the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder.
  • Lattimore may well end up with the Bears at No. 3 overall. Whether it’s him or someone else, one executive is “99 percent sure” the Bears will wind up with a defensive back in Round 1.
  • The Saints “would love” to select Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster at No. 11, per Miller. Otherwise, New Orleans is a possible destination for one of Foster’s college teammates, cornerback Marlon Humphrey, as are the Titans and Ravens.
  • Ohio State running back/wide receiver/return man Curtis Samuel might come off the board before Florida State RB Dalvin Cook, a scout told Miller. Samuel’s ability to impact games in all of those areas is improving his stock, with teams mindful of the damage Kansas City’s jack-of-all-trades weapon, Tyreek Hill, did last season.
  • Like Samuel, Michigan defensive lineman Chris Wormley is a candidate to go earlier than expected. Miller pegs Wormley as a Day 1 starter in a 3-4 defense, adding that he’s unlikely to last beyond the top 50 picks.