Many believed that Los Angeles Rams quarterback and first overall pick Jared Goff would be starting by the first week of the regular season. Goff reportedly isn’t even the Rams’ second-string quarterback. The Rams aren’t going to force Goff onto the field, but it’s fair to expect that Goff will get some playing time as the season progresses.
The second overall pick, Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz, likely won’t see the field at all this season. He sits behind QB’s Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel on the depth chart, and needs time to develop.
Denver Broncos QB Paxton Lynch was the third player at his position drafted this spring. The Broncos haven’t named a starter yet, but regardless of who ends up starting their first regular season game, Lynch could start by the end of the year
New York Jets QB Christian Hackenburg, a second round pick, is working on his throwing mechanics, and likely won’t see the field this year. He sits behind QB’s Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith, and possibly Bryce Petty on the depth chart.
This preseason, Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, a fourth round pick, has played exceptionally. He has six total touchdowns and zero interceptions. He could end up as the second-string quarterback behind Tony Romo.
Earlier this offseason, the NFL approved a rule change that moved touchbacks from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line. The NFL is trying to decrease the number of returns by making touchbacks more appealing for returners. However, this move seemed peculiar because kickers may start kicking the ball short of the end-zone with increased hang time to prevent returning teams from starting drives at the 25-yard line.
The new kickoff rule could be a step backwards in the NFL’s quest to make kickoffs safer. The NFL is clear in its intention to make kickoffs safe, and at this point, it seems like eliminating the play is what the NFL is ultimately going to do at some point in the future.
Denver Broncos quarterback and 2016 first round pick Paxton Lynch is expected to sit behind veteran QB Mark Sanchez and develop before he hits the field.
When Broncos general manager and Hall of Fame QB John Elway was asked about Lynch’s status, he responded, “We think he’s going to be ready quicker than a lot of people think.” Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak, who was Elway’s backup quarterback from 1983-1991, said Lynch has “a long way to go, but it’s exciting to see him and what he could become.”
At Memphis, Lynch played in a spread offense. In addition to adapting to the speed of the NFL, Lynch has to learn how to play quarterback under center. The learning curve is steep, but Lynch is a talented player who could wind up starting by the end of the season depending on how Sanchez is playing and if the Broncos are contending for a playoff berth.
The Cincinnati Bengals trounced the Buffalo Bills 34-21 to advance to 6-0 and keep control of the AFC North.
The Bengals’ offensive line had a phenomenal outing, and while the Bills held Bengals wide receiver AJ Green to just 36 yards on four catches, quarterback Andy Dalton completed 22 of 33 passes for 243 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Bengals WR Marvin Jones totaled nine receptions, 95 yards, and a touchdown. Tight end Tyler Eifert also hit pay dirt. Running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard combined for 106 rushing yards and a touchdown.
The Bengals’ defense is a formidable group and continues to keep opposing offenses in check.
The Bengals have one of the most talented roster sin the league and should be in contention for home-field advantage or a first round bye in the playoffs. Regardless of which playoff seed they secure, the Bengals need to prove they can win in the postseason. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1991, and have the talent to finally win a game in the postseason.
They have proved that they can win consistently in the regular season, but have to prove themselves in the playoffs.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson stated that he targeting the 2,500-yard single season rushing mark, according to the Vikings’ official website. Head coach Mike Zimmer said that AP is “going to get the heavy workload” and “as much as he can take, and as much as he can handle in all the things that we’re doing,” per USAToday.com.
Despite playing in only one regular season game in 2014, Peterson appears to be in line for an extremely productive season.
It’s very possible that AP rushes for 1,500-yards plus this season. While the 2,500-yard single season rushing mark has never been reached, Peterson is capable of rushing for more than 2,000 yards, a feat he accomplished in 2012. AP will likely rush for at least 1,500 yards.
With the draft nearing, teams will be weighing possible trade options. Philadelphia Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman recently said, “when you’re looking at trading up, at some point, your board drops off so dramatically in terms of how you evaluate that player. But the history of trading up for one player, when you look at those trades, isn’t good for the team trading up and putting a lot of resources into it,” per Philly.com.
The Eagles could be in the running to trade up, but trading down often leads to better results. Trading down would be beneficial for several teams, including the Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans, and New York Jets.
The Redskins, Titans, and Jets are in a great position to acquire extra draft picks and/or a more experienced player in exchange for their first pick. In the later part of the first round, the New England Patriots are always candidates to trade down. The Pats have had great success moving down and acquiring more draft picks.
Trading down has worked in the past, and is a smart move for several teams.
With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans picking first and second respectively, two quarterbacks coming off the board first is a possibility.
In all likelihood, former Florida State QB Jameis Winston and former Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, both Heisman Trophy winners, will be the first quarterbacks selected. The question is who will be picked first.
Mariota was a front-runner for top quarterback prospect all season, but despite a season good enough for a Heisman Trophy, questions surfaced about whether he is a system quarterback and how his success in Oregon’s spread option will translate to the NFL.
Winston came from a pro-style system, but off-the-field concerns are considered when scouting the former two-sport athlete.
This decision will be different from team-by-team. The Philadelphia Eagles appear to be a great fit for Mariota because of the Oregon connection (head coach Chip Kelly coached at Oregon in the past), but the Eagles are picking 20th overall.
Winston is more ready based his pro-style background, but Mariota’s athleticism is very tough to turn down.