Nick Bosa

Draft Rumors: Jets, Bills, Bosa, Bush, Eagles

Are the Jets and Bills preparing to work together tonight? For weeks, reports have steadily emerged indicating the Jets would not be averse to trading down from No. 3 overall. That prospect has gained steam Thursday, with GMs expecting Gang Green to have buyers for their pick. The Bills might be one of them. The Jets are a decent bet to trade down tonight, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets, adding one team is under the impression New York already has a deal in place. Teams don’t make a habit of intra-division first-round trade agreements, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes (on Twitter) the Bills may be considering moving up to acquire Quinnen Williams. Cimini mentions Williams as a key part in the Jets’ potential trade-down scenario, so if the Cardinals and 49ers choose Kyler Murray and Nick Bosa — as they are expected to — we could have a trade shortly after.

Here is the latest calm-before-the-storm draft buzz:

  • Linked to just about every other key player atop this draft, the Raiders are now connected to Bosa. They may be interested in moving up to select the Ohio State-honed pass rusher, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com notes (via Rotoworld’s Evan Silva, on Twitter). With the 49ers expected to take Bosa at No. 2 overall, the Raiders would seemingly have to trade into the Cards’ No. 1 spot to pull this off.
  • Vic Fangio‘s previous team used the No. 8 overall pick to nab Roquan Smith. He may have a similar wish this year. The Broncos‘ first-year coach “very badly” wants Devin Bush to spearhead his new linebacking corps, La Canfora notes. Denver cut its top coverage linebacker, Brandon Marshall, earlier this year and has a need for a three-down inside ‘backer.
  • The Steelers made calls about possibly trading up for a defender, but they may be resigned to the fact they will not be able to add one of their targets. They do not view Bush as an attainable player, per JLC (on Twitter). With the Broncos linked to Bush at 10, the Steelers would have to likely jump at least 11 draft slots to be in strong position to land the Michigan linebacker prospect.
  • Vanderbilt-produced cornerback Joejuan Williams has risen into first-round consideration, and the Chargers are intrigued, per La Canfora. The Bolts do not boast a plethora of dire needs, putting them in position for a best-player-available pick at No. 28.
  • Although the Eagles brought back Timmy Jernigan, they are still going to be in the market for a possible first-round defensive tackle, Jeff McLane of Philly.com tweets. The Eagles are fairly stacked on their defensive front, especially having added Malik Jackson this offseason, but they have been mentioned as a candidate to add another lineman in Round 1.
  • If the Giants address their pass rusher and quarterback needs tonight, they may be hoping to help their secondary on Friday. They should be expected to consider a safety either in Round 2 or Round 3, per ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). Big Blue acquired Jabrill Peppers this offseason but has needs everywhere else in its secondary.

Draft Notes: Steelers, Jets, Giants, Dolphins

One of the more traditional NFL franchises, in terms of offseason aggression, the Steelers appear to recognize the urgency their recent defensive struggles have created. They are making calls about a possible trade-up from their No. 20 spot, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Steelers boast big needs at cornerback and linebacker. It is believed the Steelers will be able to land a corner, perhaps the first corner to go in this draft, at 20. But if Pittsburgh wants to make a big move for a linebacker, it will likely need to acquire a top-10 pick. Devin White is viewed at this point as a top-10 lock, and the Broncos have been the team most connected to Devin Bush at No. 10.

Here is the latest from the draft world, hours away from the 2019 event:

  • The Jets have been a highly motivated seller at No. 3, and Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes (on Twitter) the team almost certainly will have a market to move back. Three GMs informed Mehta the Jets will be able to trade back, if they so choose, despite a sense existing as recently as Wednesday Gang Green would not be successful in moving its pick. This is, however, contingent on Nick Bosa being gone at No. 2, with Mehta adding the Jets would likely select the Ohio State-developed edge rusher if he were available.
  • There may be another seller in the AFC East. Earlier on Thursday, the Dolphins were viewed as a trade-down candidate. Teams are now hearing, per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (video link), Miami is quite motivated to move back from No. 13. The Dolphins are receiving calls about their pick, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). This would make sense, given where the Dolphins are in their rebuilding process. However, they have done extensive work on both Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones, per Pelissero. But with Miami being mentioned as a candidate to wait until the higher-profile 2020 quarterback class to land its passer, Pelissero adds the Dolphins could pass on both Haskins and Jones even if they were available at 13.
  • John Elway also mentioned the probable 2020 QB class this offseason, and it appears likely his team will not select a signal-caller at No. 10. The Broncos have been connected to quarterback at 10, but it doesn’t seem like that will be the move, James Palmer of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Instead, it seems more likely that the Broncos will target inside linebacker, defensive line, and tight end help in the draft.
  • More consistently linked to QBs than either the Dolphins or Broncos, the Giants have a major decision between their top short- or long-term need at No. 6. Viewed as possibly having executed a Haskins smokescreen operation, the Giants may prefer Jones or Drew Lock over him. While Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv notes they “love” both Jones and Lock, neither may be in play at No. 6. Instead, Big Blue may be gambling it can land one of them at No. 17. This would point to the Giants selecting a pass rusher with their initial first-round pick tonight.

King’s Latest: Giants, Bosa, Steelers, Sweat

Connected to two positions primarily throughout the pre-draft process, the Giants appear certain to fill one of those early. Dave Gettleman wants a pass rusher “in the worst way,” a veteran NFL exec told NBC Sports’ Peter King, before adding the team will draft an edge player with one of its first three picks. New York holds picks 6, 17 and 37 but also has been understandably linked to quarterbacks after passing on them early in last year’s draft. The Giants have met with just about every top- and second-tier pass-rushing, hosting Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Ed Oliver, Quinnen Williams, Rashan Gary, Brian Burns, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, Jaylon Ferguson on visits. After trading away Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon in consecutive offseasons, the Giants boast one of the most edge defender-needy depth charts in the game. Their Vernon-powered pass-rushing group last year registered just 30 sacks.

While the Giants may be zeroing in on Dwayne Haskins, they have also done work on possible second-round quarterbacks Will Grier and Jarrett Stidham — in the event Gettleman would dare push his post-Eli Manning QB need to 2020 and prioritize pass rushers early. He has said he would not view a non-first-round pick as a legitimate long-term quarterback solution.

Here is the latest from the draft world, courtesy of the veteran reporter:

  • Adding some intrigue to the Cardinals‘ situation: they believe Bosa is a generational prospect. While King still has them selecting Kyler Murray at No. 1, the report they are not totally committed to this yet — despite just about everything we’ve heard in recent weeks — is a bit more interesting. Bosa visited the Cardinals earlier this month and would obviously fill the team’s need opposite Chandler Jones.
  • While defensive line and linebacker prospects figure to populate the ESPN ticker early in Thursday night’s draft, secondary pieces may not come off the board until the second part of the opening round. One of the teams in need of cornerback help may have a preference. Mike Tomlin “loves” Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin, King writes. The Steelers have a linebacker need too but did sign Mark Barron to pair with Vince Williams. Their 2016 first-round investment of Artie Burns has not paid off, so Pittsburgh’s No. 20 spot may well be a cornerback destination. Ya-Sin, who played at Presbyterian (S.C.) prior to playing one season at Temple, visited the Steelers this month.
  • Brian Burns‘ stock has risen recently, and King mocks the Florida State product to the Bengals at No. 11. Burns ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the Combine and is one of many high-caliber front-seven players available.
  • Another member of that group’s fortune has not been as kind. Montez Sweat will not attend the draft. Some teams have taken the Mississippi State product off their draft boards, and it is now possible he falls out of the first round. Reportedly diagnosed with an enlarged heart, Sweat may have some teams willing to take a chance on him early. One GM told King that Sweat will have an issue with his heart going forward, but if it’s closely monitored, the talented defender can have a career. That would be a boon for someone’s defense, with Sweat blazing to a 4.41-second 40 at the Combine and combining for 23 sacks between the 2017-18 seasons. Another GM informed King he believes Sweat’s upside is higher than Bosa’s, adding further intrigue to this situation.

West Draft Rumors: Cardinals, Murray, 49ers, Broncos

On Saturday, Arizona State receiver and local product N’Keal Harry visited the Cardinals for a private visit, NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport tweets.

Possessing the size, strength and speed of a prototypical outside receiver, Harry could be an option for Arizona should he still be on the board when the team is on the clock at No. 33. Harry should fully be in play there, as the Cardinals reportedly like the value of going receiver with their second-round pick, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller tweets.

Should the team go with Harry, it would pair him with another local standout in Christian Kirk, who impressed as a rookie before missing time with an injury down the stretch. The pair of young wideouts would join veteran and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald in a potentially loaded receiver corps for either Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray, should the team go with the Oklahoma product as expected a week before the draft.

Here’s more draft talk from around the league:

  • Sticking with the Cardinals, though the team has been heavily linked to Murray, Kent Somer of the Arizona Republic believes the team should pass on the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. He thinks the team should stick with Rosen, attempt to trade down to pick up more picks, and, if that option is not possible, take either Quinnen Williams or Nick Bosa.
  • Speaking of Williams, many NFL executives reportedly prefer the Alabama defensive lineman to Ohio State’s Bosa as the draft’s top overall prospect, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes. In a poll of 14 personnel members by Bob McGinn, six chose Williams as the top picks, twice as many as Bosa, who received the second most. Also receiving votes were Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Jeffery Simmons.
  • The Broncos have been heavily tied to quarterback’s heading into this week’s draft. Helping pick that signal-caller, if they do indeed go that route, is new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, who learned how to pick the position from 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, the Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran writes“Kyle had a lot of success (evaluating quarterbacks) and (he) showed me some things that I use in the evaluation process,” Scangarello said. “It’s a tough position to evaluate. You just get them in (the meeting room) and you try and find out what you can about them.” Denver has been linked with Drew Lock, but Daniel Jones, Murray and Dwayne Haskins could all fit the bill at No. 10 if everything falls right.
  • The 49ers have been heavily tied to either Bosa or Williams with the No. 2 pick on Thursday, but the team is looking to the skill positions for their Round 2 pick, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco writes. At the top of the list is wide receiver, where they are looking to find a starter-level pass catcher to complement second-year wideout Dante Pettis and veteran Marquise Goodwin. Maiocco notes the receivers who have been in for a visit include Harry, A.J. Brown, Hakeem Butler, Jalen Hurd and Deebo Samuel.

 

 

Latest On 49ers’ Draft Plans

Assuming the Cardinals select quarterback Kyler Murray with the first-overall pick, it’s expected that the 49ers would subsequently take Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa with the second-overall pick. However, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes that this perception could be the 49ers’ way of throwing rival teams off their trail.

Florio says that “some in league circles believe that the extent to which the 49ers are allowing that perception to exist unchallenged could mean, in reality, that the 49ers are planning to do something else.” If this is truly the case, and the 49ers aren’t 100-percent focused on selecting Bosa with the second pick, then this could vicariously lead to a pair of draft scenarios.

For starters, the 49ers could simply be eying Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. If the organization is looking for an Aaron Donald-type player who they could easily throw in to the interior of their defensive line, then Williams would seemingly be the perfect choice. Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily explain why the 49ers aren’t doing anything to decrease the Bosa-to-San Francisco talk. If the team intends to take Williams with the second pick, they could just publicly refute the Bosa rumors. On the flip side, perhaps they’re keeping their mouths shut until they get clarity on Arizona’s pick.

The other scenario revolves around a trade. As Florio points out, it was only two years ago that the 49ers acquired an extra pair of third-rounders and an extra fourth-rounder for simply moving down one spot in the draft. If, say, the Jets are particularly enamored with Bosa, the 49ers could use their own “interest” in the Ohio State standout to get more out of a trade. Either way, if the 49ers are hoping to make a trade and draft Williams, they probably won’t be able to drop much further than fourth-overall; the majority of mock drafts have some combination of Murray, Bosa, Williams, and Kentucky edge defense Josh Allen in their top-four.

AFC East Notes: Brady, Bosa, Bills, Dolphins

The Patriots began their their sixth offseason program as a defending Super Bowl champion team on Monday, but the player most associated with those titles was not with them. Tom Brady was not present when the Patriots opened their 2019 workouts, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. This is not a surprise, with the 41-year-old quarterback’s plan of staying away until the Pats’ June minicamp again appearing to be in place. Brady set his schedule this way last year. However, Brady might have made one tweak to his offseason regimen. He may report to the Patriots a bit bigger than he did a year ago, with Rapoport adding the 20th-year veteran might be planning to put on some weight this offseason. Brady’s weight has rarely come up during his legendary run. The well-known fitness buff is listed at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds.

Here is the latest from the AFC East, moving to some teams’ potential draft strategies:

  • If the Cardinals and 49ers pass on Nick Bosa, the Jets are going to take him, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News offers. If both Bosa and Josh Allen remained on the board at No. 3, Mehta writes the Jets will take the Ohio State product. Although the Jets have been linked to trade-down scenarios, entering the draft without a second-round pick, Bosa would be the kind of impact pass rusher the team may not be able to pass up. The Jets are not believed to have used one of their 30 pre-draft visits on Bosa, but it’s not like a team that tried to spend $15MM per year to convert an off-ball linebacker into a pass rusher would not have interest in a player viewed by many as the best prospect in the draft.
  • In going with Ryan Fitzpatrick and two backups (Jake Rudock and Luke Falk) who have combined to throw five NFL passes, the Dolphins probably have the thinnest quarterback depth chart in football. They plan to augment the group soon, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald notes. Miami is targeting a quarterback in this draft, but it’s not known if the team wants a first-round passer. The Dolphins have met with Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones. However, if the team most linked to a wait-until-2020 strategy regarding a starting quarterback passes on one in this draft, it is “definitely” eyeing one who could be a backup, Salguero adds. So, Miami could be a mid-round player for one of this draft’s second-tier passers.
  • Eli Harold will line up as a defensive end in Buffalo, Bills GM Brandon Beane said (Twitter link). Harold has worked as an outside linebacker in 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, doing so in San Francisco and Detroit, while also used on the line at times. The Bills have Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy aligned as their starting ends, with perpetual trade candidate Shaq Lawson residing there as well.

Draft Rumors: Bucs, Bills, DL, Saints, Harry

A fifth team emerged on Nick Bosa‘s pre-draft schedule. The Buccaneers will host the impact edge rusher prospect, according to Albert Breer of SI.com. Bosa will have dinner with Bucs representatives on Sunday night and stay in Tampa for a Monday visit. The Ohio State-honed defender met with the Cardinals and Giants last week and has 49ers and Raiders meetings on his agenda. But a Florida trip will follow. It appears next to impossible Bosa falls to the Bucs at No. 5, so the only way Tampa Bay likely would be in position to land him would be through a trade-up scenario.

Here is the latest from the draft, staying with the Bucs:

  • Having visited with LSU linebacker Devin White, the Bucs’ interest has appeared to have increased. The Bucs “love” White, Breer adds, and the off-ball ‘backer has been rumored to have climbed into potential top-five consideration. No non-rush linebacker has gone off the board in the top five since Aaron Curry 10 years ago. Tampa Bay saw Kwon Alexander defect to San Francisco, creating a need here. But No. 5 overall is quite the perch to take an off-ball linebacker.
  • A sixth team scheduled a Montez Sweat summit. The Bengals brought in the Mississippi State-developed defensive end on Monday night, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio tweets. He has already met with or is scheduled to visit the 49ers, Raiders, Bills, Packers and Bucs. Sweat blazed to a 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the Combine and seems likely to go off the board in the top 10.
  • Staying on the subject of draft-eligible ends, Jaylon Ferguson‘s extensive April tour of NFL cities continues. Among the teams on his reported 22-visit tour: the Bills, Giants, Colts, Eagles, Cowboys, Titans and Rams, per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Ferguson met with the Bills on Monday; he will head southeast for his Giants powwow next. His visits with the Colts and Eagles are on tap for this week, with the Cowboys, Titans and Rams meetings are slated for next week. The Bucs and Bengals were already on the Louisiana Tech-produced pass rusher’s docket.
  • This year’s wide receiver hierarchy has not produced a clear-cut favorite, D.K. Metcalf‘s take-notice measurables notwithstanding. One of the top pass-catching prospects, N’Keal Harry, joined Ferguson in meeting with the Bills on Monday, Pelissero tweets. Upcoming for the Arizona State alum this week: visits with the Eagles, Patriots and Saints. Harry rates as the No. 4 receiver prospect — behind Marquise Brown, Metcalf and A.J. Brown — per NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah. Harry met with the Seahawks last week.
  • One of the second-tier defensive tackle prospects, Jerry Tillery remains in recovery from shoulder labrum surgery. But he traveled to New Orleans on Monday for a pre-draft Saints visit, Pelissero adds (via Twitter). The Notre Dame product is not expected to participate in OTAs but may be on track for training camp. The 6-foot-7, 305-pound prospect profiles as late-Day 1/early-Day 2 pick. By virtue of 2018 trades, the Saints hold just one pick in the first four rounds — No. 62 overall.
  • The Jets also parted with extensive draft capital in 2018, in order to land Sam Darnold. As a result, they continue to be mentioned as a team ready to trade down. Gang Green “badly” wants to trade out of the No. 3 slot, Breer notes. The Jets surrendered what became the No. 34 overall pick to the Colts last year, and the Mike Maccagnan-led front office wants to collect a second-round pick via trade.

Nick Bosa To Visit 4 Teams

Nick Bosa is not expected to have to wait long to hear his name called during the first round of the upcoming draft, in the event the Cardinals indeed pass on him. Teams with a combination of a high pick and an edge-rushing need are going to bring in the Ohio State standout.

The Cardinals and Giants will bring in Bosa this week, Albert Breer of SI.com reports, adding that Bay Area trips — to meet with both the 49ers and Raiders — are on tap next week.

Bosa has already had dinner with both Cardinals and 49ers representatives, but official visits to the teams holding the top picks in this draft are on tap. Nearly all mock drafts have Bosa going to one of these two NFC West franchises, most now sending him to San Francisco given the Kyler Murray-Cardinals noise.

The Giants are not believed to be interested in packaging their two first-round picks to move up. The team operating this way would almost certainly prevent landing Bosa. The Raiders hold three first-round picks, but with teams ahead of them linked to Bosa, moving up might be difficult. Oakland finishing last season with just 13 sacks — the lowest team total since the 2008 Chiefs — may further drive the franchise toward addressing this need early in Round 1, however.

Nick Bosa did not boast Joey Bosacaliber stats while with the Buckeyes, registering 17.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss in his three-season run in Columbus. But he has been universally regarded as a top-tier prospect, as his brother was three years ago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Bosa, Cardinals, Mount, CBA

For a long time toward the end of the college season, Ohio State pass-rusher Nick Bosa was the favorite to go first overall in the 2019 draft. But ever since Kliff Kingsbury got the head coaching job with the Cardinals, momentum has steadily shifted toward Kyler Murray. The current conventional wisdom is that Arizona is leaning toward taking Murray with the first pick, and shopping Josh Rosen. But they won’t admit it publicly, and there are reasons to believe they haven’t actually made up their minds yet.

The Cardinals are having dinner with Bosa tonight, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Bosa, the younger brother of Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, dominated in the Big Ten. The Cardinals have been not so subtle with their interest in Murray, but it’s still possible that it’s all been a smokescreen to try and distract from their true intentions with the pick. If the Cardinals pass on him, Bosa is still a lock to go within the first couple of picks. We heard earlier this week that the 49ers were targeting him at second overall.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Free agent linebacker Deiontrez Mount has been accused of assaulting an Uber driver, as Stephanie Butzer of The Denver Channel writes. The incident, which took place early Sunday morning, left Mount with a bloodied nose when the Uber driver fought back. Mount was cited for simple assault and released, but this may not bode well for his stock on the open market. Mount missed the entire 2018 season with a torn Achilles and has just 12 career appearances to his credit between the Broncos, Colts and Titans.
  • Another day, more confirmation that we could be headed for a work stoppage or prolonged battle when a new CBA needs to be negotiated between the league and the NFLPA. There are “plenty of issues that will need to be resolved before a new labor deal can be finalized,” a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, who writes that it’s “highly unlikely” there will be a quick deal. In addition to the widely-known issues about contracts and player compensation, Florio writes that there are other more under the radar issues that will be sticking points, like “the extent to which the NFL wants to expand stadium credits under the current league-union revenue split, with the new Rams’ stadium expected to be” hotly debated. Florio also thinks it’ll be the owners, not necessarily the players, wielding the threat of a lockout in order to try and get a better deal.
  • In case you missed it, Bill Belichick could take over as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator after Greg Schiano stepped down.

West Notes: 49ers, Draft, Bosa, Broncos

The 49ers are in the midst of a pivotal offseason. They dealt with a mountain of injuries last year which excused their poor record, but with Jimmy Garoppolo back healthy next season expectations will be very high. Fortunately for San Francisco, they have the second overall pick at their disposal. For a long time, Ohio State pass-rusher Nick Bosa was the favorite to go first overall to the Cardinals. But with many now expecting Arizona to take Kyler Murray, Bosa could fall into San Francisco’s lap.

To that end, the “consensus opinion at this stage appears to be that Bosa will end up with the 49ers,” writes Matt Maioccio of NBC Sports. One NFL front office member told Maioccio at a recent pro day that the 49ers were going to take Bosa. The 49ers are in desperate need of outside pass-rush, so Bosa makes a lot of sense if he’s available. He would provide a massive boost to Kyle Shanahan’s defense.

Here’s more from the league’s western divisions:

  • The 49ers were expected to be players for Earl Thomas, but ultimately didn’t end up signing any of the big name safeties available. Safety was seemingly a position of need, but the 49ers opted not to make any splashes there. In a recent interview, 49ers GM John Lynch elaborated on the decision to more or less stay pat. “We feel good about our free safety depth. We feel we’re pretty well stocked there,” Lynch said, per Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports. Lynch did leave the door open for a future acquisition, saying “it’s not to say, if an opportunity presents itself, that we won’t go there, but we feel pretty good at our free safety spot.”
  • The Broncos may have traded for Joe Flacco, but that isn’t going to preclude them from looking for a quarterback of the future in the draft. Denver will host Kyler Murray, Drew Lock, Dwayne Haskins, and Daniel Jones on visits before next month’s draft, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Broncos have the tenth pick in the draft and seem to be seriously considering taking a signal-caller then, although Murray and Haskins are likely to be off the board by the time they’re scheduled to pick.
  • The Broncos didn’t pick up their option on linebacker Brandon Marshall, and as such might need to add an inside linebacker to replace him. New head coach Vic Fangio said earlier today that “we like the guys we have but we’re always looking to add guys to all the personnel positions. … I do like Josey and Todd, but we’re always looking to get better” referring to second-year UDFA Josey Jewell and veteran Todd Davis, per Mike Klis of Denver 9News (Twitter link). The Broncos’ run defense has been very inconsistent the past couple of years, so it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see them add a run-stuffing linebacker either in free agency or through the draft.