Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 4 Mock Draft

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-13) - Marcus Mariota (QB/Oregon)

Big win this week for Tampa Bay, but it still isn't enough to remove the from this pick. If they remain here, Lovie Smith will look for his guy at qurterback. Mariota has been spectacular this season, and more importantly, he has stayed out of trouble.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) - Leonard Williams (DE/USC)

A running back is a big need too because Toby Gerhart is awful, but the Jaguars aren't reaching this early for that. Williams will help create a pass rush in Jacksonville. At 6'5', 300 pounds, Williams is surprisingly athletic and mobile.

3. Oakland Raiders (4-12) - Andrus Peat (OT/Stanford)

With a new head coach headed to town, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see the Raiders take Jameis Winston here, but I have to imagine that even the Raiders are a bit hesitant about spending the third overall draft pick on him. Instead, they could go after the best player available, who is Peat, a guy who could become a cornerstone left tackle in a division loaded with talented pass rushers.

4. Minnesota Vikings (5-11) - Randy Gregory (DE/Nebraska)

Jared Allen is gone an Everson Griffen is overpaid, the Vikings could look into adding another young pass rusher this offseason in order to take down the slew of quarterbacks in their division.

5. Cleveland Browns (8-8) - Amari Cooper (WR/Alabama)

Cleveland takes the best player available and gives themselves a dynamic passing offense. Could imagine having to defense Josh Gordon, Cooper and Cameron Jordan?

6. Washington Redskins (6-10) - PJ Williams (CB/Florida State)

It is incredible how awful Washington's secondary is. DeAngelo Hall is done for the year and he will be 31 when the season begins next year. David Amerson has not lived up to expectations. Washington will need to find a solution to their secondary.

7. New York Giants (6-10) - Cedric Ogbuehi (OT/Texas A&M)

Giants offense is finally starting to get it together, but it still wouldn't hurt to add a future left tackle. Protecting Eli Manning in the twilight of his career is a must.

8. St. Louis Rams (6-10) - Landon Collins (S/Alabama)

St. Louis isn't looking anywhere near Jameis Winston's direction as long as Jeff Fisher is head coach. Instead, Collins can serve as an immediate upgrade to their poor safety unit.

9. New York Jets (6-10) - Todd Gurley (RB/Georgia)

The Jets are quickly realizing that Chris Johnson was a bad investment. Chris Ivory has performed well, but he can't be counted on the be the feature back. The Jets were successful with Rex Ryan when the focal point of the team was a solid running game on offense.

10. Tennessee Titans (6-10) - Ronald Darby (CB/Florida State)

Blidi Wreh-Wilson has been awful at cornerback this year and opposing quarterbacks are just focusing on him. The Titans need to find a way to replace Alterraun Verner.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-9) - Ellis McCarthy (NT/UCLA)

The middle of Pittsburgh's defense has a void at nosetackle and teams have takend advantage of it, relying on running through the tackles. The Steelers will need to find someone who can play the nose if they want to stop this.

12. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) - Shilique Calhoun (DE/Michigan State)

Atlanta's defense was punched in the mouth by Minnesota and did not put any pressure on Teddy Bridgewater. The Falcons are currently 30th in the league with just 3 sacks.

13. Kansas City Chiefs (8-8) - Stefon Diggs (WR/Maryland)

Alex Smith needs a reliable option at wide receiver. Dwayne Bowe is nothing but a no. 2 guy. Diggs could help expand Kansas City's passing game.

14. Cleveland Browns (8-8) - Shawn Oakman (DE/Baylor)

Barkevious Mingo has not lived up to expectations in Cleveland. The Browns could be looking for another pass rusher next year.

15. Arizona Cardinals (8-8) - Vic Beasley (OLB/Clemson)

John Abraham's career may be over. Even if he does return next season, the Cardinals need to find a young pass rusher for the future.

16. Chicago Bears (8-8) - Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (CB/Oregon)

Kyle Fuller has been fantastic this season but Charles Tillman is oft-injured and the rest of the secondary can't keep up. The Bears need to bolster their secondary.

17. San Diego Chargers (8-8) - Melvin Gordon (RB/Wisconsin)

Ryan Mathews is a free agent after the season and Donald Brown is averaging 2.0 yards per carry. An upgrade at running back is needed.

18. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7) - Dante Fowler (DE/Florida)

Cincinnati never got a replacement for Michael Johnson. Maybe they will this spring.

19. New Orleans Saints (9-7) - Jalen Collins (CB/LSU)

The Saints secondary has been torched numerous times this season. They will need to find a cornerback sometime in the spring.

20. Dallas Cowboys (10-6) - Eric Kendricks (MLB/UCLA)

With all the top pass rushers and cornerbacks gone, Dallas may take a different approach. Sean Lee has a history of injuries, so Kendricks can play along side him and provide an insurance policy in cas Lee goes down again.

21. Miami Dolphins (9-7) - Trae Waynes (CB/Michigan State)

I am moving away from running back for now because Lamar Miller is playing well. Cortland Finnegan is again performing poorly. Brent Grimes is aging as well so the Dolphins should considering adding to their secondary.

22. Detroit Lions (10-6) - Hroniss Grasu (C/Oregon)

Dominic Raiola will be a 36-year-old free agent in the offseason. If they do not retain him, or he retires, they will need to find a replacement at center.

23. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) - TJ Yeldon (RB/Alabama)

Ray Rice is gone, Bernard Pierce clearly doesn't want the starting gig and Justin Forsett is too small. Baltimore needs to find a main running back for their offense.

24. Carolina Panthers (10-6) - La'El Collins (OT/LSU)

I would love to put a running back here, but the Panthers have too much money tied to that position and needs elsewhere as it is. Collins could become the blind side protector Cam Newton needs.

25. Houston Texans (9-7) - Jameis Winston (QB/Florida State)

If Houston wants to be serious contenders again, they have to move away from Ryan Fitzpatrick. It is hard to peg where Winston goes now. Some people are comparing his personality issues to Johnny Manziel, but I disagree, Winston's is worse. Manziel had family money and enjoyed partying, Winston is just an immature idiot.

26. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) - Leonard Floyd (DE/Georgia)

Philadelphia had four sacks against San Francisco, but none after the 49ers second drive of the third quarter. The Eagles need someone who can be a consistent threat to get to the quarterback.

27. New England Patriots (11-5) - Tre Jackson (G/Florida State)

Play along the offense line was just sloppy for New England and it showed with how much pressure Tom Brady was facing. The Patriots need to upgrade their offensive front.

28. Green Bay Packers (11-5) - Devin Funchess (TE/Michigan)

Devin Funchess is playing through pain, but there is no doubt that he will be the top tight end taken in the draft. With an ideal size for the position, Funchess is currently playing wide receiver at Michigan.

29. San Francisco 49ers (11-5) - Jaelen Strong (WR/Arizona State)

Michael Crabtree is in his walk year, Anquan Boldin turns 33 this week and Stevie Johnson is too inconsistent to be relied upon. San Francisco will need to address their wide receivers in the draft.

30. Denver Broncos (13-3) - Noah Spence (DE/Ohio State)

DeMarcus Ware won't be there forever, another pass rusher will be needed to play across from Von Miller.

31. Seattle Seahawks (10-6) - Mike Davis (RB/South Carolina)

If the Seahawks want to afford Russell Wilson's contract extension, they will have to part ways with Marshawn Lynch. Finding his replacement is a must this offseason.

32. Indianapolis Colts (11-5) - Brandon Scherff (OT/Iowa)

Protection is needed for Andrew Luck, who faces constant pressure in each game.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 4 Preview

New York Giants (1-2) at Washington Redskins (1-2)
Vegas Line: Redskins -3.5

The Giants looked like the finally got it all together in a win over Houston while Washington faltered in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia. New York has taken three of their last four games against the Redskins, but Washington is home and Kirk Cousins is a better quarterback than Ryan Fitzpatrick is for the Texans, expect the Redskins to take this game.

Final: Washington 23 New York 20

Miami Dolphins (1-2) at Oakland Raiders (0-3)
Vegas Line: Miami -3.5

The Dolphins have looked terrible since their Week 1 win over New England while the Raiders defense rose to the occasion in a loss to the Patriots last week. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill's seat is getting a little warm, but it may be hot after the weekend is over.

Final: Oakland 24 Miami 16

Green Bay Packers (1-2) at Chicago Bears (2-1)
Vegas Line: Green Bay -1.5

The Packers offense has not fared well against three of the league's better defenses. Chicago, on the other hand, gave the Jets pretty much every opportunity to win the game last week. The Bears secondary is decimated and their run defense is already poor, sounds like a recipe for a shootout.

Final: Green Bay 38 Chicago 31

Buffalo Bills (2-1) at Houston Texans (2-1)
Vegas Line: Houston -3

It will be interesting to hear the crowd's reaction to the return of Mario Williams. Both teams are 2-1 due to a strong defense and running games despite poor play at quarterback. Houston is home in this game, so I have to give the edge to them.

Final: Houston 17 Buffalo 10

Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-2)
Vegas Line: Indianapolis -7.5

Tennessee has struggled after a dominant win over Kansas City in Week 1 and to make matters worse, there is now a chance that Jake Locker will not play (who took the over on 12 quarters before Locker was injured?) The Colts should be able to climb back to .500.

Final: Indianapolis 34 Tennessee 17

Carolina Panthers (2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
Vegas Line: Baltimore -3.5

You just know that Steve Smith has had this game marked on his calendar pretty much since he inked his contract with Baltimore. Carolina is hobbling on offense, which could spell disaster for the Panthers.

Final: Baltimore 23 Carolina 10

Detroit Lions (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)
Vegas Line: Detroit -1.5

The Jets were given several opportunities to take the lead against the Bears despite starting the game down 14-0, but could not capitalize. Meanwhile, Detroit made a statement in a win over Green Bay. Detroit has the momentum, but the Jets defense has kept teams in check all season.

Final: New York 20 Detroit 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh -7.5

One of the first images I found for this game and laughed really hard at the randomness.

Tampa Bay is turning the offense over the Mike Glennon now. Doug Martin and Gerald McCoy are looking healthy again, which is good because Bobby Rainey has fumbilitis. I still don't like their chances against a Steelers team that looked revitalized in a win over Carolina last week, though.

Final: Pittsburgh 28 Tampa Bay 14

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) at San Diego Chargers (2-1)
Vegas Line: San Diego -13

It's officially the Blake Bortles show in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are massive underdogs to the Chargers and for good reason, San Diego is a better team than they appear on paper. Expect the Chargers to walk away with a win.

Final: San Diego 31 Jacksonville 13

Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) at San Francisco 49ers (1-2) Game of the Week
Vegas Line: San Francisco -4.5

Philadelphia's offense has been flying high this season while the 49ers have had trouble maintaining leads. The 49ers have not started off 1-3 or worse since 2010, but that isn't going to stop me from making the Eagles by upset pick of the week.

Final: Philadelphia 24 San Francisco 17

Atlanta Falcons (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (1-2)
Vegas Line: Atlanta -3

Matt Ryan is on the road again, where he generally struggles, but he is playing inside a dome, so expect the same high production from him. For Minnesota, Teddy Bridgewater is set to make his first NFL start, but without Adrian Peterson, expect the Vikings offense to continue to stumble.

Final: Atlanta 33 Minnesota 10

New Orleans Saints (1-2) at Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Vegas Line: New Orleans -3

It's no secret that Drew Brees has owned the Cowboys since signing with the Saints. To make things worse, Dallas now has an unsettled secondary situation with Morris Claiborne. Not a good week for issues in the secondary.

Final: New Orleans 27 Dallas 24

New England Patriots (2-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)
Vegas Line: New England -3.5

Kansas City has looked better each week and they will have Jamaal Charles back for a showdown with the Patriots, don't be surprised to see an upset here.

Final: Kansas City 26 New England 21

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2014 Power Rankings Week 3

Justin's 2015 Mock Draft

1. Seattle Seahawks (2-1)
Last Week: #4

Seattle returns to the top after a one-week absence. The Seahawks again made a statement, defeating Denver in a game that should have never went to overtime while Russell Wilson improved to 19-1 at home in his career.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (3-0)
Last Week: #2

This game went from being a shootout to a brawl, but Philadelphia was able to remain perfect following their win. More importantly, Nick Foles was 3-4 for passes to the end zone after going 0-6 with an interception in his first two games.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (3-0)
Last Week: #3

A strong defensive effort along with Andy Dalton being on the receiving end of a touchdown, Cincinnati looked as efficient as ever.

4. Denver Broncos (2-1)
Last Week: #4

Denver's improved defense still wasn't enough to thwart Seattle on the road. On the bright side, Denver won't have to face Seattle again unless they are in a Super Bowl rematch.

5. Arizona Cardinals (3-0)
Last Week: #9

Arizona's defense rose to the occasion again, shutting out San Francisco in the second half. Drew Stanton, however, was just 3-11 on passes travelling more than five yards.

6. Atlanta Falcons (2-1)
Last Week: #12

Atlanta buried the hapless Buccaneers, giving Tampa Bay the biggest loss in franchise history.

7. San Diego Chargers (2-1)
Last Week: #12

San Diego took care of business on the road against Buffalo, a team they have defeated four times in the last five games against each other.

8. Indianapolis Colts (1-2)
Last Week: #13

Indianapolis was able to forget about their first two games and blow out Jacksonville for a much-needed win.

9. New England Patriots (2-1)
Last Week: #8

They won, but it wasn't pretty. Patriots offense has been inconsistent so far this year.

10. Buffalo Bills (2-1)
Last Week: #7

The Bills running game disappeared last week and with games against Houston and Detroit over the next two weeks, they may need to rely on EJ Manuel in order to win.

11. Chicago Bears (2-1)
Last Week: #14

The secondary is decimated and Jared Allen is showing his age, but Kyle Fuller has stepped up big time for the Bears defense.

12. Carolina Panthers (2-1)
Last Week: #5

Carolina's offense stalled against a Steelers team that looked revitalized, but the Panthers offense is now ravished with injuries. To make matters worse, they don't have a bye until Week 12.

13. San Francisco 49ers (1-2)
Last Week: #10

For the second time this season, San Francisco was shut out in the second half. The 49ers have not scored a point in the fourth quarter this year.

14. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
Last Week: #15

It went down to the wire, but Baltimore was able to survive a scare from a Cleveland Browns team that is better than they look on paper. The Ravens have already played half of their divisional games for the season.

15. Detroit Lions (2-1)
Last Week: #19

Detroit's defense stepped up in a statement game over Green Bay, now their offense needs to come back to life in a road game against the Jets.

16. Green Bay Packers (1-2)
Last Week: #6

The Packers offense, the biggest strength of this team, has fallen flat so far this season, perhaps a game against a depleted Chicago secondary could help.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
Last Week: #20

A solid defensive effort on the road complimented by an offense fueled by a running game made them look like the same-old Steelers last week. LeGarrette Blount and Le'Veon Bell are the first pair of running backs in Pittsburgh to crack the century mark in the same game since 1986.

18. New Orleans Saints (1-2)
Last Week: #17

Saints took care of business in a must-win game, even if it involved Drew Brees getting into a fight. Next up is a prime time game in Dallas that I am sure Rob Ryan and his defense will be ready for.

19. Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Last Week: #21

Dallas didn't abandon the run and came back from a 21-point deficit to stun the Rams. Jason Garrett is now 8-1 when Dallas calls more running plays than passes.

20. Houston Texans (2-1)
Last Week: #16

Without Arian Foster, the Texans offense fell flat against a desperate Giants team. The defense can't bail them out of every game.

21. Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)
Last Week: #24

Without Jamaal Charles, Kansas City still took care of business against Miami. Now they are heading into a Monday night game with the possibility of him returning.

22. New York Giants (1-2)
Last Week: #29

The running game showed up and the Giants protected Eli Manning well in a win, though it should not give a reason for Justin Pugh to talk smack.

23. Miami Dolphins (1-2)
Last Week: #18

Miami took a huge win over New England in Week 1 but have been dominated ever since. Tannehill averaged only 4.8 yards per pass attempt in the loss and his job security in now unstable.

24. New York Jets (1-2)
Last Week: #22

The Jets had plenty of opportunities to take the game away from Chicago but failed to capitalize. On the bright side, it looks like they may have finally realized that Chris Johnson is awful.

25. Tennessee Titans (1-2)
Last Week: #23

No surprise at all, Jake Locker is injured again and is questionable for next week's contest against Indianapolis. The good news, however, is that Tennessee starting turning to Bishop Sankey as the game went on, possibly signaling that he will be the team's lead back.

26. Cleveland Browns (1-2)
Last Week: #25

All of the Browns games this season have been decided on the final play.

27. St. Louis Rams (1-2)
Last Week: #26

The Rams failed to win despite having a 21-0 lead. For the fist time since Week 17 or the 2012 season, the Rams lost after leading at halftime.

28. Washington Redskins (1-2)
Last Week: #27

Chris Baker's blindside hit on Nick Foles will surely fuel the fire in their next meeting, meanwhile Kirk Cousins made another strong case for being the Redskins starting quarterback.

29. Minnesota Vikings (1-2)
Last Week: #28

Vikings struggled to put points on the board again, but at least now Vikings fans can see Teddy Bridgewater play quarterback.

30. Oakland Raiders (0-3)
Last Week: #32

Unless the rest of the winless teams, Oakland actually remembered they had a game to play this week.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)
Last Week: #30

Gus Bradley wasted no time announcing that Blake Bortles will finally get a chance to be the team's starting quarterback and honestly, what was he waiting for? It's not like Bortles was going to learn much watching Chad Henne pretend to play quarterback.

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3)
Last Week: #31

It is Mike Glennon's team again in Tampa Bay, who just could not get it together at all last week.