2018 NFL Draft Class Rankings

I previously promised a more in-depth look at my plus-minus system; Here it is in my ranking of the draft classes from the 2018 NFL Draft. The plus-minus system reflects the overall value of each teams’ collective drafts. The greater the plus is, the greater a value a team got. The minuses are reaches-players who were drafted earlier than they should have been. The the greater a minus is, the more consistently and/or greatly a team reached throughout the draft.

1. Minnesota Vikings: +207

Best Value Pick: Colby Gossett, OG, Appalachian State (+89)

Worst Value Pick: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF (+4)

The Rest:

  • Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh (+10)
  • Jalyn Holmes, DE, Ohio State (+19)
  • Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan (+15)
  • Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn (+70)
  • Ade Aruna, EDGE, Tulane (N/A)
  • Devante Downs, LB, California (N/A)

2. Dallas Cowboys: +165

Best Value Pick: Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama (+90)

Worst Value Pick: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State (-5)

The Rest:

  • Connor Williams, OT, Texas (+19)
  • Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State (-3)
  • Dorance Armstrong, EDGE, Kansas (+28)
  • Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford (+27)
  • Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky (+9)
  • Chris Covington, OLB, Indiana (N/A)
  • Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State (N/A)

3. Green Bay Packers: +126

Related image
Equanimeous St. Brown (Notre Dame WR) vs Nevada; Photo from Youtube

 

 

Best Value Pick: Equanimeous St Brown, WR, Notre Dame (+128)

Worst Value Pick: Cole Madison, OG, Washington State (-35)

The Rest:

  • Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville (-20)
  • Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa (+26)
  • Oren Burks, LB, Vanderbilt (-23)
  • J’Mon Moore, WR, Missouri (+51)
  • JK Scott, P, Alabama (-1)
  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, USF (N/A)
  • James Looney, DE, California (N/A)
  • Hunter Bradley, LS, Mississippi State (N/A)
  • Kendall Donnerson, EDGE, Southeast Missouri (N/A)

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: +100

 

 

Best Value Pick: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama (+49)

Worst Value Pick: DJ Chark, WR, LSU (+10)

The Rest:

  • Taven Bryan, DT, Florida (+11)
  • Will Richardson, OT, North Carolina State (+30)
  • Tanner Lee, QB, Nebraska (N/A)
  • Leon Jacobs, EDGE, Wisconsin (N/A)
  • Logan Cooke, P, Mississippi State (N/A)

5. Seattle Seahawks: +75

Best Value Pick: Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State (+77)

Worst Value Pick: Will Dissly, TE, Washington (-53)

The Rest:

  • Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State (-27)
  • Rasheem Greene, DE, USC (+33)
  • Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF (+37)
  • Tre Flowers, S, Oklahoma State (-27)
  • Michael Dickson, P, Texas (+35)
  • Jake Martin, EDGE, Temple (N/A)
  • Alex Mcgough, QB, Florida International (N/A)

6. New York Jets: +71

Best Value Pick: Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane (+64)

Worst Value Pick: Chris Herndon, TE, Miami (-60)

The Rest:

  • Sam Darnold, QB, USC (+1)
  • Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State (+9)
  • Foley Fatukasi, DT, Connecticut (+57)
  • Trenton Cannon, RB, Virginia State (N/A)

7. New York Giants: +38

Best Value Pick: RJ McIntosh, DT, Miami (+17)

Worst Value Pick: BJ Hill, DT, North Carolina State (-17)

The Rest:

  • Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (+1)
  • Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP (+13)
  • Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia (+16)
  • Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond (+8)

8. Tennessee Titans: +37

Best Value Pick: Luke Falk, QB, Washington State (+34)

Worst Value Pick: Dane Cruikshank, S, Arizona (-21)

The Rest:

  • Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama (0)
  • Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College (+24)

9. Baltimore Ravens: +31

Best Value Pick: Deshon Elliott, S, Texas (+53)

Worst Value Pick: Kenny Young, LB, UCLA (-51)

The Rest:

  • Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina (-9)
  • Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (+5)
  • Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma (+46)
  • Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma (+10)
  • Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama (+29)
  • Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State (-41)
  • Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA (-11)
  • Greg Senat, OT, Wagner (N/A)
  • Bradley Bozeman, C, Alabama (N/A)
  • Zach Sieler, DE, Ferris State (N/A)

10. Philadelphia Eagles: +25

Best Value Pick: Josh Sweat, EDGE, Florida State (+66)

Worst Value Pick: Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh (-48)

The Rest:

  • Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State (+7)
  • Matt Pryor, OT, TCU (N/A)
  • Jordan Mailata, OT, Australia (N/A)

11. Carolina Panthers: +16

Best Value Pick: Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami (+71)

Worst Value Pick: Rashaan Gaulden, CB, Tennessee (-53)

The Rest:

  • DJ Moore, WR, Maryland (-5)
  • Donte Jackson, CB, LSU (+8)
  • Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana (+30)
  • Marquis Haynes, DE, Ole Miss (-23)
  • Jermaine Carter Jr, LB, Maryland (-12)
  • Andre Smith, ILB, North Carolina (N/A)

12. Buffalo Bills: +1

Best Value Pick: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford (+47)

Worst Value Pick: Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State (-52)

The Rest:

  • Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming (-4)
  • Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech (+10)
  • Siran Neal, S, Jacksonville State (-19)
  • Wyatt Teller, OG, Virginia Tech (+19)
  • Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Clemson (N/A)
  • Austin Proehl, WR, North Carolina (N/A)

13. Indianapolis Colts: -5

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Deon Cain official Clemson Career Highlight; Photo from Youtube

Best Value Pick: Deon Cain, WR, Clemson (+118)

Worst Value Pick: Braden Smith, OG, Auburn (-44)

  • Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame (+2)
  • Darius Leonard, OLB, South Carolina State (-25)
  • Kemoko Turay, EDGE, Rutgers (-42)
  • Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State (-26)
  • Nyheim Hines, RB, North Carolina State (-30)
  • Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa (+46)
  • Jordan Wilkins, RB, Ole Miss (-4)
  • Matthew Adams, LB, Houston (N/A)
  • Zaire Franklin, LB, Syracuse (N/A)

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: -9

Best Value Pick: Jack Cichy, ILB, Wisconsin (+77)

Worst Value Pick: Jordan Whitehead, S, Pittsburgh (-56)

  • Vita Vea, DT, Washington (+2)
  • Ronald Jones II, RB, USC (+6)
  • MJ Stewart, CB, North Carolina (-54)
  • Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn (+22)
  • Alex Cappa, OT, Humboldt State (-15)
  • Justin Watson, WR, Pennsylvania (+9)

15. Cincinnati Bengals: -14

Best Value Pick: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State (+24)

Worst Value Pick: Mark Walton, RB, Miami (-27)

  • Billy Price, C, Ohio State (-15)
  • Jessie Bates III, S Wake Forest (+6)
  • Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas (-9)
  • Davontae Harris, CB, Illinois State (+3)
  • Andrew Brown, DE, Virginia (+7)
  • Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan (-3)
  • Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo (N/A)
  • Rod Taylor, OG, Mississippi (N/A)
  • Auden Tate, WR, Florida State (N/A)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16. Houston Texans: -19

Best Value Pick: Justin Reid, S, Stanford (+40)

Worst Value Pick: Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech (-57)

The Rest:

  • Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State (+18)
  • Jordan Akins, TE, UCF (-42)
  • Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest (+22)
  • Jordan Thomas, TE, Mississippi State (N/A)
  • Peter Kalambayi, EDGE, Stanford (N/A)
  • Jermaine Kelly, DB, San Jose State (N/A)

17. Los Angeles Chargers: -23

Best Value Pick: Kyzir White, S, West Virginia (+49)

Worst Value Pick: Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC (-44)

The Rest:

  • Derwin James, S, Florida State (+9)
  • Justin Jones, DT, North Carolina State (-19)
  • Scott Quessenberry, C, UCLA (-18)
  • Dylan Cantrell, WR, Texas Tech (N/A)
  • Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern (N/A)

18. Detroit Lions: -25

Best Value Pick: Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon (+96)

Worst Value Pick: Tracy Walker, S, Louisiana (-91)

The Rest:

  • Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas (-45)
  • Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn (-25)
  • Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama (+40)
  • Nick Bawden, RB, San Diego State (N/A)

19. Washington Redskins: -32

Best Value Pick: Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech (+78)

Worst Value Pick: Geron Christian, OT, Louisville (-87)

The Rest:

  • Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama (-2)
  • Derrius Guice, RB, LSU (+43)
  • Troy Apke, S, Penn State (-64)
  • Shaun dion Hamilton, ILB, Alabama (N/A)
  • Greg Stroman, CB, Virginia Tech (N/A)

20. Denver Broncos: -43

Best Value Pick: Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin (+40)

Worst Value Pick: Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon (-62)

The Rest:

  • Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State (+2)
  • Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU (-3)
  • Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College (-53)
  • Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa (-2)
  • DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State (+1)
  • Sam Jones, C, Arizona State (+34)
  • Keishawn Bierria, ILB, Washington (N/A)
  • David Williams, RB, Arkansas (N/A)

21. Los Angeles Rams: -45

Best Value Pick: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, LB, Oklahoma (+34)

Worst Value Pick: Brian Allen, C, Michigan State (-62)

The Rest:

  • Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU (+14)
  • John Franklin, DE, Stephen F Austin (-38)
  • Micah Kiser, LB, Virginia (+3)
  • John Kelly, RB, Tennessee (+4)
  • Jamil Demby, OG, Maine (N/A)
  • Sebastian Joseph, DT, Rutgers (N/A)
  • Trevon Young, EDGE, Louisville (N/A)
  • Travin Howard, LB, TCU (N/A)
  • Justin Lawler, DE, SMU (N/A)

22. Oakland Raiders: -49

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Maurice Hurst Jr.; Photo from Wikipedia

Best Value Pick: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan (+117)

Worst Value Pick: Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T (-108)

  • Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA (-25)
  • PJ Hall, DT, Sam Houston State (-44)
  • Arden Key, LB, LSU (+32)
  • Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin (-21)
  • Johnny Townsend, P, Florida (N/A)
  • Azeem Victor, LB, Washington (N/A)
  • Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State (N/A)

23. Miami Dolphins: -54

Best Value Pick: Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State (+35)

Worst Value Pick: Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame (-40)

The Rest:

  • Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama (-1)
  • Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State (-16)
  • Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State (-32)
  • Cornell Armstrong, DB, Southern Mississippi (N/A)
  • Quentin Poling, LB, Ohio (N/A)
  • Jason Sanders, K, New Mexico (N/A)

24. Cleveland Browns: -54

Best Value Pick: Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida (+39)

Worst Value Pick: Chad Thomas, DE, Miami (-60)

  • Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (-12)
  • Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State (-5)
  • Austin Corbett, OG, Nevada (-23)
  • Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia (-24)
  • Genard Avery, LB, Memphis (+31)
  • Damion Ratley, WR, Texas A&M (N/A)
  • Simeon Thomas, DB, Louisiana-Lafayette (N/A)

25. New England Patriots: -62

Best Value Pick: Sony Michel, RB, Georgia (-4)

Worst Value Pick: Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB, Purdue (-30)

The Rest:

  • Isaiah Wynn, OT, Georgia (-7)
  • Duke Dawson, CB, Florida (-21)
  • Christian Sam, ILB, Arizona State (N/A)
  • Braxton Berrios, WR, Miami (N/A)
  • Danny Etling, QB, LSU (N/A)
  • Keion Crossen, DB, Western Carolina (N/A)
  • Ryan Izzo, TE, Florida State (N/A)

26. Chicago Bears: -62

Best Value Pick: Bilal Nichols, DT, Delaware (+17)

Worst Value Pick: Joel Iyiebuniwe, LB, Western Kentucky (-58)

The Rest:

  • Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia (+1)
  • James Daniels, C, Iowa (0)
  • Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis (-22)
  • Kylie Fitts, EDGE, Utah (N/A)
  • Javon Wims, WR, Georgia (N/A)

27. Pittsburgh Steelers: -71

Best Value Pick: Marcus Allen, S, Penn State (+27)

Worst Value Pick: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech (-65)

The Rest:

  • James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State (-9)
  • Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State (-4)
  • Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan (-44)
  • Jaylen Samuels, RB, North Carolina State (+24)
  • Joshua Frazier, DT, Alabama (N/A)

28. Atlanta Falcons: -77

Best Value Pick: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado (+13)

Worst Value Pick: Deadrin Senat, DT, USF (-55)

The Rest:

  • Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama (+12)
  • Ito Smith, RB, Southern Mississippi (-47)
  • Russell Gage, WR, LSU (N/A)
  • Foye Oluokun, LB, Yale (N/A)
  • Trey Quinn, WR, SMU

29. Arizona Cardinals: -91

Best Value Pick: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M (+14)

Worst Value Pick: Mason Cole, C, Michigan (-71)

The Rest:

  • Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA (+5)
  • Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham (-39)
  • Chris Campbell, CB, Penn State (N/A)
  • Korey Cunningham, OT, Cincinnati (N/A)

30. New Orleans Saints: -92

Best Value Pick: Natrell Jamerson, S, Wisconsin (-9)

Worst Value Pick: Rick Leonard, OT, Florida State (-46)

The Rest:

  • Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA (-11)
  • Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF (-26)
  • Kamrin Moore, CB, Boston College (N/A)
  • Boston Scott, RB, Louisiana Tech (N/A)
  • Will Clapp, C, LSU (N/A)

31. Kansas City Chiefs: -137

Image result for breeland speaks
Breeland Speaks; Photo from Twitter

Best Value Pick: Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M (+26)

Worst Value Pick: Breeland Speaks, DE, Ole Miss (-123)

The Rest:

  • Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State (+3)
  • Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Clemson (-43)
  • Tremon Smith, CB, Central Arkansas (N/A)
  • Reginald McKenzie, OG, Tennessee (N/A)

32. San Francisco 49ers: -261

Best Value Pick: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (-11)

Worst Value Pick: Fred Warner, LB, BYU (-83)

The Rest:

  • Dante Pettis, WR, Washington (-16)
  • Tarvarius Moore, S, Southern Mississippi (-78)
  • Kentavius Street, DE, North Carolina State (-45)
  • DJ Reed, CB, Kansas State (-28)
  • Marcell Harris, S, Florida (N/A)
  • Jullian Taylor, DT, Temple (N/A)
  • Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee (N/A)
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2018 NFL Draft Grades

Last time, I covered the best values in undrafted free agent signings. Today, I will be grading the draft classes from the 2018 NFL Draft. I have used a plus-minus system for each team to determine the overall value of each teams’ collective drafts (you will see this in greater depth in my next post, which should be published in the next day or two). For now, here are my letter grades in alphabetical order by team location:

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Arizona Cardinals: C-

  • Day 1: A
  • Day 2: C
  • Day 3: F-

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Atlanta Falcons: C-

  • Day 1: A+
  • Day 2: C+
  • Day 3: F-

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Baltimore Ravens: B-

  • Day 1: B+
  • Day 2: A+
  • Day 3: F

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Buffalo Bills: B-

  • Day 1: A
  • Day 2: A+
  • Day 3: F-

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Carolina Panthers: B-

  • Day 1: B+
  • Day 2: C+
  • Day 3: C

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Chicago Bears: C

  • Day 1: A-
  • Day 2: B-
  • Day 3: F-

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Cincinnati Bengals: C+

  • Day 1: B-
  • Day 2: A-
  • Day 3: F+

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Cleveland Browns: C

  • Day 1: B-
  • Day 2: D-
  • Day 3: C+

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Dallas Cowboys: A

  • Day 1: B+
  • Day 2: A-
  • Day 3: A-

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Denver Broncos: C

  • Day 1: A
  • Day 2: F+
  • Day 3: C+

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Detroit Lions: C-

  • Day 1: F+
  • Day 2: F+
  • Day 3: B+

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Green Bay Packers: A-

  • Day 1: B-
  • Day 2: B+
  • Day 3: A-

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Houston Texans: C+

  • Day 1: A-
  • Day 2: A-
  • Day 3: F

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Indianapolis Colts: C+

  • Day 1: A
  • Day 2: F
  • Day 3: B+

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Jacksonville Jaguars: B+

  • Day 1: A+
  • Day 2: A+
  • Day 3: D+

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Kansas City Chiefs: D+

  • Day 1: A-
  • Day 2: F-
  • Day 3: D+

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Los Angeles Chargers: C+

  • Day 1: A+
  • Day 2: C
  • Day 3: D+

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Los Angeles Rams: C+

  • Day 1: A-
  • Day 2: A-
  • Day 3: F-

 

 

 

 

 

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Miami Dolphins: C

  • Day 1: A-
  • Day 2: C+
  • Day 3: F+

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Minnesota Vikings: A+

  • Day 1: A
  • Day 2: B+
  • Day 3: A+

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New England Patriots: C

  • Day 1: B
  • Day 2: B-
  • Day 3: F

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New Orleans Saints: C-

  • Day 1: B
  • Day 2: B-
  • Day 3: F-

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New York Giants: B

  • Day 1: A-
  • Day 2: A-
  • Day 3: D+

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New York Jets: B

  • Day 1: A-
  • Day 2: B+
  • Day 3: C

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Oakland Raiders: C-

  • Day 1: C
  • Day 2: F+
  • Day 3: B-

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Philadelphia Eagles: B-

  • Day 1: A-
  • Day 2: B+
  • Day 3: D+

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Pittsburgh Steelers: C-

  • Day 1: F-
  • Day 2: C
  • Day 3: C

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San Francisco 49ers: F+

  • Day 1: B
  • Day 2: F-
  • Day 3: F-

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Seattle Seahawks: B

  • Day 1: C
  • Day 2: A
  • Day 3: C+

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C+

  • Day 1: A
  • Day 2: B-
  • Day 3: D-

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Tennessee Titans: B-

  • Day 1: A-
  • Day 2: A-
  • Day 3: D-

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Washington Redskins: C+

  • Day 1: A-
  • Day 2: C+
  • Day 3: D-

 

NFL Offseason 2018: The Veteran Cuts

I love March in the NFL. I get chills and goosebumps reading about some of the trades and free agent signings that go down this time of year. In fact, you could make the argument that it’s the best time of the year for the NFL. How is it better than Thursday, Sunday, and Monday gamedays? It’s the one time of year that fans for all teams have hope. Browns fans get to rejoice over their team’s acquisition of a new QB and Patriots fans get to smile mischievously about Bill Belichick’s latest under-the-radar move that will inevitably lead them to another Super Bowl. Of course, with trades and free agency comes the sad truth of quality players leaving fan bases that had become accustomed to seeing them playing for their team, all in the name of salary cap space. While many cuts will come in the next few days before the free agency period begins on March 14, here’s a look at some veteran cuts that have happened so far in the last month…

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  1. RICHARD SHERMAN, CB, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS– 32 interceptions, 99 passes defensed, and 2 touchdowns in 7 seasons with the Seahawks
  2. BRAD WING, P, NEW YORK GIANTS– 80 punts inside the 20 in 3 seasons with the Giants
  3. DOUG MARTIN, RB, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS– 4,633 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns in 6 seasons with the Bucs
  4. DEMARCO MURRAY, RB, TENNESSEE TITANS– 1,946 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in 2 seasons with the Titans
  5. MUHAMMAD WILKERSON, DE, NEW YORK JETS– 44.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in 7 seasons with the Jets
  6. JONATHAN STEWART, RB, CAROLINA PANTHERS– 7,318 rushing yards and 51 rushing touchdowns in 10 seasons with the Panthers
  7. MARTELLUS BENNETT, TE, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS– 6 receptions for 53 yards in 2 games with the Pats
  8. CHRIS IVORY, RB, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS– 821 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns in 2 seasons with the Jags
  9. MIKE GLENNON, QB, CHICAGO BEARS– 833 passing yards and 4 passing touchdowns in 1 season with Da Bears
  10. CHARLES JOHNSON, DE, Carolina Panthers- 67.5 sacks and 19 forced fumbles in 11 seasons with the Panthers
  11. KURT COLEMAN, S, Carolina Panthers- 16 passes defensed, 11 interceptions, and 2 touchdowns in 3 seasons with the Panthers
  12. JERRELL FREEMAN, LB, Chicago Bears- 120 combined tackles in 2 seasons with Da Bears
  13. CHRIS BAKER, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 0.5 sacks in 1 season with the Bucs
  14. BRIAN CUSHING, LB, HOUSTON TEXANS– 664 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks, 8 interceptions, 9 forced fumbles, 1 safety, and 1 touchdown in 9 seasons with the Texans
  15. DARRELLE REVIS, CB, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS– 2 passes defensed in 5 games with the Chiefs
  16. DAVID AMERSON, CB, OAKLAND RAIDERS– 45 passes defensed, 6 interceptions, and 1 touchdown in 3 seasons with the Raiders

2017 NFL Win Projections

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They are finally here. After many hours of contemplation and frustration, I present these 2017 NFL Win Projections for you to laugh out loud at. A couple of notes:

  1. There were few mid-level teams in my projections as most were either really good or really bad. This presented an interesting scenario come playoff time, where 6 teams with winning records did not secure playoff spots.
  2. Nearly half of last season’s playoff teams failed to make it back in my projections, including last season’s NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons.
  3. Both of the #1 seeded teams find themselves in highly unfamiliar territory, as the Detroit Lions last appeared as a #6 seed (2016 season) and the Tennessee Titans have not made a playoff appearance since their #1 seeding 9 years ago (2008 season). Neither franchise has ever won a Super Bowl.
  4. At the reverse end of the playoff seeding, both #6 seeded teams have won Super Bowls in the last 5 years (Baltimore Ravens in 2013, Seattle Seahawks in 2014).
  5. Ultimately, I pitted the New England Patriots against the Detroit Lions in Super Bowl LII. I’m sure Lions fans would be excited to see their team make their first ever Super Bowl appearance (they haven’t won a playoff game since 1991), but I don’t see them being much of a match for the battle-hardened, QB Tom Brady-led Patriots. There are only two teams that have a realistic chance to stop Brady from getting another Super Bowl ring: the Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants. That said, the projected AFC Championship Game would be the most interesting game of the playoffs.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment with your thoughts on my win projections and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to help make my blog as dominant as the New England Patriots. (I don’t like the Patriots either which makes that last sentence absurd so I’ll just skip the smiley face here.) Have a pleasant tomorrow!

NFL Top 10 Players of 2017

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I realized that the NBA Awards are not the only interesting sports awards happening tonight because NFL Network‘s Top 100 Players of 2017 concludes tonight at 8 pm ET on (you guessed it!) NFL Network. Although the NBA Awards are a little more official and have flashier trophies that come with them, the NFL’s list of the Top 100 players is always interesting to see because it gives an inside look at what NFL players think of their peers. Today, the list of names in the Top 10 was released in alphabetical order, so let’s reorder them in order of greatness as a guess for how the ranking will shake out this evening:

  1. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (16 games: 69.9 completion % for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and 3 fumbles for a 117.1 passer rating)
  2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (16 games: 65.7 completion % for 4,428 yards and 40 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and 4 fumbles for a 104.2 passer rating)
  3. Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos (16 games: 78 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles with 0 fumble recoveries, 0 interceptions and 0 touchdowns)
  4. Odell Beckham Jr, WR, New York Giants (16 games: 101 receptions on 169 targets for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns with 1 fumble)
  5. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (15 games: 106 receptions on 155 targets for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns with 0 fumbles)
  6. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (15 games: 322 carries for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns with 5 fumbles; 32 catches on 40 targets for 363 yards and 1 touchdown with 0 fumbles)
  7. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (14 games: 83 receptions on 129 targets for 1,409 yards and 6 touchdowns with 0 fumbles)
  8. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (12 games: 67.4 completion % for 3,554 yards and 28 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and 4 fumbles for a 112.2 passer rating)
  9. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (12 games: 261 carries for 1,268 yards and 7 touchdowns with 3 fumbles; 75 catches on 94 targets for 616 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 fumble)
  10. Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders (16 games: 73 combined tackles, 11 sacks, 5 forced fumbles with 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception and 1 touchdown)

Explanations:

  • I have Khalil Mack ranked last because all the Derek Carr fans seem to think that Carr does everything by himself on CARR’S team. Apparently, despite statistics indicating the contrary, Carr outperformed Dak Prescott last year just because the Raiders have a lesser RB, O-line, and defense. If the Raiders have a lesser defense, so be it. So, I ranked Mack pretty much solely on resentment for all Oakland Derek Carrs (I mean, Oakland Raiders) fans, Derek Carr fans, Fresno State fans, and people from the city of Oakland.
  • You’ll notice that the other 9 players are first organized by number of games played. For those of you who read my NBA Awards post last night, you’ll remember that I said I value most the players that stay injury and suspension free to be there for their team when their team needs them. That rings true for the NFL, too.
  • Tom Brady is ranked above Le’Veon Bell in the “12 games” category because Brady once again led the New England Patriots to their most thrilling Super Bowl victory yet.
  • In the “15 games” category, I ranked Antonio Brown over Ezekiel Elliott because Brown didn’t have any turnovers. The two most important things for an offensive player are holding on to the ball and scoring. Brown was +5 in the holding on to the ball category and Zeke was +4 in the scoring category. 5>4, so Brown edges Zeke.
  • The “16 games” category was the trickiest because there were four players (not including Khalil Mack, of course) who fell into that category. Ultimately, I put the two QBs at the top because QBs are the most valuable players for a franchise. The two Super Bowl teams were both led by QBs on this Top 10 list (Matt Ryan for the Atlanta Falcons and Tom Brady for the New England Patriots), while the teams without definitive starting QBs include the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Rams, etc. The one anomaly was the Houston Texans, who got to the playoffs (and defeated the Oakland Raiders in the playoffs, by the way!) on the arms of Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage.
  • So, 3 and 4 were between Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. I chose Miller over Beckham because, although I love OBJ as a fan of Big Blue, a defensive player usually manages to crack the top 3. Also, OBJ’s stats dropped off this year from last year. Also-also (yes, I meant to put two “also”s there), 13.5 sacks in the NFL is very impressive, especially on a defense that almost carried the Denver Broncos to the playoffs despite Trevor Siemian (don’t get me started on Northwestern) starting at QB.
  • 1 and 2 were easy from there. Matt Ryan a higher completion %, more yards, fewer fumbles, and a higher passer rating than Aaron Rodgers. Oh, Ryan also won the MVP award and led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl, so there’s that.

That’s all for TheHaysWay for now, please leave a comment with your thoughts on my Top 10 ranking and/or on your own Top 10 ranking and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is always welcome to help me improve my blog. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to improve your greatness ranking (and mine, too) 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow!

#20: Personal Blog History!, Referees, and More

What you are currently reading is TheHaysWay blogging history. It is my first post written from inside an airport!

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OKAY, so it’s not THAT exciting. But what is exciting is that I’m actually at the airport, about to go home for the first time since September! Anyway, I came to the airport way too early (about 4 and a half hours too early, to be exact), so it’s blog time.

Finished up my first college finals today, and I can honestly say that professors are insane. You always hear jokes and see memes about how finals are WAY harder than the rest of the class, but you will never know how true that is until you actually experience it yourself. They were borderline foreign language: that’s how different they were from what I’d learned in the classes. Luckily, when you go to class and do all of your homework throughout the term, you don’t have to worry about acing the final. Hard work actually does pay off!

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The Oakland Raiders defeated the Houston Texans in Mexico City yesterday, and the referees were TERRIBLE! I don’t think I’ve seen the refs screw up that badly since the replacement refs in the Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks game. Yeah, they were that bad. The Texans should’ve won that game. To make matters worse, the Raiders still have a better record than the New York Giants with the win, so my friend will probably keep holding that over my head. Of course, he’s a DU friend and I won’t be back at DU until January, so I guess I won’t have to worry much about that.

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Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away! This is the most meaningful Thanksgiving I’ve experienced because I’m coming off of living away from home for the first time. I look forward to all of the ‘F’s of Thanksgiving: Football (PLEASE Washington, beat the Cowboys), Food (my family is getting pizza for Thanksgiving instead of turkey because my sister and I don’t like turkey :).), and Family (for the first time since September. Actually, my mom came to visit in October, but that’s not the same as being home with my entire family.). I keep harping about the fact that I’m coming home, but now I’m actually on my way, so it’s different.

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I’ve been sick for about a week and a half now, and I’m over it. Cough, runny nose, fatigue, eye irritation (that was brief, it’s gone already), nausea (that hasn’t been a factor the last few days, either), and today, I got to add stomach ache to the list. Seriously, I’m wondering when I’m actually going to get better. Mother nature, would you mind cutting me some slack? Nevertheless, I’m still wearing shorts today in Denver’s around freezing temperatures. There was snow this morning, too. I can go the distance!

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Jacksonville Jaguars

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Founded: 1995

All-Time Winning Percentage: 48.6%

All-Time Record: (140-148)

This one SHOCKED me. I know Tom Coughlin led them to a couple of AFC Championships when the franchise was first founded, but #20!? They haven’t done anything for the majority of the last decade! They don’t have a lot of historically great players to hang their hat on either. QB David Garrard is all that comes to mind for me. MAYBE RB Maurice Jones-Drew? Even now, with a young, ‘franchise’ QB, two great, young receivers, and a defense that they spent a bunch of money on during the offseason, they still are at the bottom of the pitiful AFC South. Will the Jags ever REALLY be good?

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on blogging inside of an airport and/or on college finals and/or on horrible referees and/or on Thanksgiving and/or on sickness and/or on the Jacksonville Jaguars and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to support my recovery from sickness. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

#21: Coming Home, Finals, and More

It has been far too long since my last post. I’ve been very sick with some sort of virus, so I have been expending the majority of my energy on trying to recover because I have finals tomorrow and Tuesday. But, I REALLY needed a study break, so here I am!

In terms of studying, I have four finals: two papers and two tests. I have finished one paper, started the other paper, almost finished studying for one test, and just started studying for the other test. So, I’m in a good spot. I have one test tomorrow (the one I’ve almost finished studying for), and the other test, as well as both papers, are due on Tuesday.

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I’m coming home Wednesday morning! I’m so excited! I get to see my family and friends back home! I feel like I already have a lot to do in the month and a half that I will be hanging out with all of them again! Minecraft with my sister, watching football with my parents, catching up with my grandpa, trip to a Trail Blazers game with my mom, watching Star Wars with my friends (including the premiere night of Rogue One), visiting my high school Alma mater for the first time since receiving my IB diploma from there, seeing my IB diploma in person for the first time ever (I have only seen a phone picture of it because it got to my house after I left for DU), and reuniting with my pets! So much for getting rest during Winter Break, right? Just kidding. I’m really excited about all of those things in that long list above. Plus, I get to enjoy some of my favorite local restaurants back home that I’ve missed since I’ve been here. So much to do and so little time to do it!

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The New York Giants are on an explosion of sorts! They have one FIVE STRAIGHT games to go from 2-3 to 7-3! Unfortunately, they are in the toughest division, and are still two games behind the 9-1 Dallas Cowboys. Today, the Giants defeated the Chicago Bears, and I watched the game with two of my friends here who are Bears fans. I put a sandwich on the game with one of them, so I got a free sandwich today!

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There is one more week left of the college football regular season. Wyoming lost to Mountain West foe UNLV last weekend, and Boise State hasn’t lost since their game against Wyoming. So, the last weekend comes down to Boise State @ Air Force, and Wyoming @ New Mexico. Boise State will make the Mountain West Conference Championship Game if they beat Air Force (which they haven’t done in three years) AND Wyoming loses to New Mexico. In order to make a BCS bowl game, Boise State must be the highest ranked non-power 5 conference champion. They are the highest ranked, so they just need to win out to get a BCS bowl AND hope Wyoming loses. I’m a little totally terrified!

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The NFL is back in Mexico tomorrow night for the first time in over a decade as the Oakland Raiders square off against the Houston Texans. The Kansas City Chiefs lost today, so my friend here who is a Raiders fan is REALLY hoping the Raiders win in Mexico to claim sole possession of 1st place in the AFC West. As for Houston, Indianapolis is suddenly 5-5, so if Houston loses tomorrow night, they will be just one game ahead of the surging Colts, which doesn’t bode well for them.

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Seattle Seahawks

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Founded: 1976

All-Time Winning Percentage: 48.3%

All-Time Record: (280-300)

The Seattle Seahawks are amazing today. They have the Legion of Boom, led by loudmouth CB Richard Sherman. They have an electric offense led by QB Russell Wilson and many RBs that all seem to perform really well in Seattle’s offensive scheme. Let’s not forget, they won Super Bowl 48 just three years ago! But, name anything good about Seattle before Russell Wilson came to town. I’ve come up with three positives: QB Matt Hasselbeck, WR Steve Largent, and T Walter Jones. Oh, and they made Super Bowl 40, even though they lost that to the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’ve also had a few veterans come through past the prime of their careers, such as WR Jerry Rice and QB Warren Moon. Overall, I was surprised that the Seahawks were ranked so high. On the bright side, things definitely continue to look up in Seattle.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on sickness and/or on finals and/or on homecomings and/or on the New York Giants and/or on the Boise State Broncos and/or on the NFL in Mexico and/or on the Seattle Seahawks and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to follow the many different paths that my mind apparently takes on a daily basis. 🙂 Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Start

“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald, Author

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe, Tennis Player

I chose two daily quotes today. I looked up the word ‘start’, and these two quotes spoke to me for two VERY different reasons. I’m not really sure how to word the way in which the first quote spoke to me. Here’s my best shot: There are many things I wish I had persisted with, that I have let vanish, either because I wanted to, or because others wanted me to. Maybe, those things haven’t vanished? Maybe, their vitality is still there because of an opportunity to start over? All good things must come to an end, but there is no rule about them not coming back. There are meaningful times in my life that I have lost, and I hope that I will get to start them over again. The first quote gives me hope.

The second quote spoke to me because it is the type of quote I was looking for today. I looked up ‘start’ because the New York Giants have officially started their season 2-0 for the first time in a while! They are using what they have (a new head coach and $200 million improvements on defense) to do what they can to win (DT Jonathan Hankins blocked a New Orleans Saints field goal attempt, and CB Janoris Jenkins returned the block for a touchdown). It also serves as a reminder to focus on the moment. We can’t focus on the past, we just have what we have, and we need to use what we have for right now.

The variety of starts for different NFL teams surprises me this season. For example, I never, EVER would have guessed that the Giants would start 2-0. Here are a few other surprises: Arizona Cardinals (1-1; I would’ve guessed 2-0 many times over), Baltimore Ravens (2-0; They had two easy games, but they’re the RAVENS), Denver Broncos (2-0; I figured they’d skip a beat with QB Trevor Siemian at the helm and go 1-1), Houston Texans (2-0; QB Brock Osweiler hasn’t played particularly well, and RB Lamar Miller takes 30 carries to reach 100 yards, yet, they have won two straight), Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2; I thought this would be the season they turn things around, and possibly start 2-0), Minnesota Vikings (2-0; They don’t have QB Teddy Bridgewater!), Indianapolis Colts (0-2; It’s hard to believe that they were in the playoffs just a couple of years ago because they look TERRIBLE now)

Just a quick note: I am REALLY excited about the Giants 2-0 start. That DOES NOT happen for my team very often. What’s even crazier, is that the favorite teams of my friends and family are NOT 2-0! Those teams include the New York Jets, the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers, the Oakland Raiders, and the Kansas City Chiefs. I REALLY hope the Giants can keep this up. In order to do so, the offense needs to step up because the defense has been having to do too much, thus far. Also, my team needs to continue to FINISH. That was the hardest thing for the Giants of last season. My team lost most of its games in the last two minutes, last season. This year, they have proven that they are at least CAPABLE of finishing games, as they’ve won both of their games in the last two minutes. Great job G-men! I’m so proud of you!

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quotes and/or on the daily news and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you like what you read and you are not yet a follower, become a follower to help me start my journalism career, strong. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Weekend Update: August 6-7, 2016

“Sometimes, it’s super sweet…to NOT know.” -James Roday (as Shawn Spencer from Psych), Actor

The above quote is my lame excuse for being tired and not wanting to search for a powerful quote. Same goes for the repeat scene. But let’s be real, that’s a great scene. Besides, I’ve got quite a bit to talk about. Starting with the Olympics:

  1. Team USA is destroying the competition in Rio. We lead the games in total medal count (12 to second place’s 8), silver medal count (5 to second place’s 3), and we’re tied for first in gold medal count (3). Michael Phelps received his 19th all-time gold medal today in the Men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay. I also saw our archery team take silver because South Korea’s team couldn’t stop hitting the target dead-center. Both of our basketball teams destroyed their competition. For the men’s team, they beat China on multiple threes from Golden State Warriors SF Kevin Durant. Honestly, he looked like more of a splash bro than Golden State Warriors SG Klay Thompson did in that game. For the women’s team, they set new US Olympic records for points scored (120, previously: 114) and largest margin of victory (65 points, previously: 60 points). In fact, they won by more points (65) than the Senegal team scored (55).
  2. Team China and Team Australia are currently tied for first in gold medal count (3), with Team USA.
  3. Team Japan leads the way in bronze medal count (6).
  4. Coming in behind Team USA in total medal count are Team China (8 medals, 2nd place), and Teams Italy and Japan (7 medals, T-3rd place).

So a little bit about my life today as an explanation for why this post is so late. I woke up this morning and proceeded to mow two lawns. After that, I showered, then went to see the new Bourne movie. By the way, after that movie, I said, “I would rather have seen Star Trek: Beyond again.” Of course, Star Trek: Beyond is a fantastic movie, but the point is, the Bourne movie sucks. There is so much action that they forgot about the story. Following that, I had a couple of hours to do some Green Bay Packers-Indianapolis Colts Madden NFL 16 gameplay, in preparation for the Hall of Fame Game (I’ll get back to that), prior to my French Horn recital. Then, I had my French Horn recital. After that, I FINALLY went to get some ‘real’ food (It was about 7pm and all I had to eat the entire day was popcorn at the movie theatre) at Dairy Queen with two of my fellow French Horn players, and our French Horn instructor. Our instructor left after about an hour, but the other Horn players and I kept talking in Dairy Queen for ANOTHER hour. Then, we decided to head over to our local ‘fun zone’ (that’s the technical term) to play some mini golf and bowling. So, I just got home about 30 minutes ago. LONG day. That’s why this is a late post. But I still have NFL news ahead:

  1. I said I would get back to the Hall of Fame Game later…it’s later. CANCELLED. Yeah, the first taste of football since the Super Bowl, back in February was CANCELLED. That was a MASSIVE disappointment after having counted down all of the days until the return of football. Apparently, some of the paint on the field was a slipping hazard. LAME EXCUSE! I WANTED FOOTBALL!!! I DON’T CARE IF IT’S PRESEASON, GIVE ME FOOTBALL!!!!! So, the wait for football now continues until Week 1 of the NFL Preseason begins on Thursday.
  2. The Oakland Raiders are anxious to start winning. OG Kelechi Osemele and DE Mario Edwards Jr threw punches at each other in practice today. They both got booted from the session following the brawl. The attitude is finally back in Oakland! I’m excited! This could be a special season for the Raiders.
  3. LB Brandon Spikes has had a lot of controversy surrounding his off-the-field antics. He did not play in the NFL last season following the discovery of his car on a highway, not far from the location of a hit-and-run. Well, Spikes seems to have overcome his issues, as he signed a one-year contract with the Buffalo Bills today. His antics do seem to match head coach Rex Ryan’s style.
  4. Good news New England Patriots fans, WR Julian Edelman has officially returned to practice. The receiver was previously kept off the field due to a foot surgery he underwent in May. Of course, Edelman might not make too much of a difference with QB Tom Brady suspended for the first four games of the regular season. Still though, a confidence boost for the team, for sure.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or the Olympics news and/or my day (or your day) and/or the daily news and/or whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Sorry and Los Angeles Relocation Decision

  1. BREAKING: The NFL owners (WARNING: the following Star Wars clip contains Jar Jar Binks) voted to allow the St Louis Rams to move to Los Angeles for the 2016-17 season. The Rams received 30 votes in favor of their relocation and needed just 24. The San Diego Chargers have been granted permission to move with the Rams if they choose to, however Chargers owner Dean Spanos has expressed opinions against joining with the Rams in one stadium. The Oakland Raiders withdrew their relocation proposal, however if the Chargers turn down their option to join the Rams, the Raiders may take the Chargers place. Congratulations Los Angeles! Sorry St Louis.

I’m putting the intro here because that was Earth-shattering news. Anyway, sorry I didn’t post yesterday. I had a headache that was borderline migraine so I went to bed without posting. But I’m back today, and AWAYYYYY we go:

  1. The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Clemson Tigers 45-40 in yesterday’s College Football National Championship. The Tigers actually looked like they would pull off the upset until Alabama coach Nick Saban called for a momentum-changing onside kick, from which the Tide never looked back. This win marked the Tide’s 4th championship in the past 7 years.
  2. The Arizona Cardinals have signed veteran DE Jason Babin. This guy has been all over the league: here are his past teams.
  3. Two key WR are on the injury report this week: WR Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs and WR Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers. The Maclin loss could be big for the Chiefs because he has proven to be a valuable asset, however his status is not yet certain. Adams is listed as doubtful but shouldn’t hurt the Pack too much if QB Aaron Rodgers continues to look like himself.