- Both the Giants and Panthers have done plenty of work on Will Grier, La Canfora adds. The West Virginia passer profiles as someone who could be available in Round 2. New York holds pick No. 37, Carolina No. 47. This is the latest we’ve heard on the Panthers’ interest in Grier. Although Carolina brass has reportedly not done more research than usual on quarterbacks in preparing for this draft, Cam Newton has not resumed throwing and is going through extensive shoulder rehab in a second offseason in three years.
Today’s minor moves:
- Signed: OL Brant Weiss (Alliance of American Football)
Kansas City Chiefs
- Re-signed: DB Jordan Lucas (restricted free agent)
- Re-signed: K Harrison Butker, DT Justin Hamilton (ERFAs)
Los Angeles Chargers
- Re-signed: CB Trevor Williams (RFA)
Los Angeles Rams
- Re-signed: S Blake Countess (RFA)
- Re-signed: DE Morgan Fox, DB Dominique Hatfield, WR KhaDarel Hodge, WR JoJo Natson, DB Kevin Peterson (ERFAs)
New York Giants
- Re-signed: WR Corey Coleman (RFA)
- Re-signed: TE Xavier Grimble (RFA)
San Francisco 49ers
- Re-signed: DB Greg Mabin (ERFA)
Here’s a look at the NFC East:
- Eagles center Jason Kelce says he played through a grade two MCL sprain, a broken foot, a “torn elbow” and other nagging injuries in 2018 (Twitter link via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer). Kelce, who recently re-upped with the team on an extension to take him through the 2021 season, says he’s not quite 100%, noting that he’s “as healed as I’m going to get.” Following the Eagles’ Divisional Round loss to the Saints, Kelce hinted that he may end up retiring, so it’s unlikely that Kelce will actually play through ’21. Instead, his new deal simply signals that he’s committed to play this season.
- Eagles running back Josh Adams is expected to miss the start of the team’s offseason conditioning program as he recovers from shoulder surgery, Mike Kaye of NJ.com hears. The good news is that Adams’ six-month timetable from January labrum surgery should put him in line to participate in July’s training camp. Adams put himself on the map last year with a team-leading 511 rushing yards plus three touchdowns. His usage dropped after five consecutive starts, but he’ll have an opportunity to build on that progress in 2019.
- Sterling Shepard‘s contract extension talks with the Giants appeared to have picked up after the Odell Beckham trade, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com tweets. Shepard’s new deal – a four-year, $41MM pact – was larger than expected, though the going rate for wide receivers shot up dramatically this offseason. Had the Giants not extended Shepard, teams such as the Patriots would have been ready to pounce on him in free agency next year.
The Giants will host Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins on a top 30 visit on Monday and Tuesday, a source tells NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). After the G-Men brought out the big guns for Haskins’ Pro Day, chatter is building about the Giants possibly targeting the signal caller with the No. 6 overall pick.
Fully expected to become a top-10 pick, Haskins also met with the Broncos (No. 10) and the Redskins (No. 15) last week. The Giants appear to be well in range, but teams tend to move up and reach for stud QBs. The Giants also have the firepower necessary to move up for Oklahoma star Kyler Murray, but they may prefer to spread the wealth and address other areas instead, including the pass rush.
Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:
- Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf visited the Ravens on Monday, Rapoport tweets. Metcalf could give them a much-needed shot in the arm at WR, but it’s not a given that he’ll be available when they’re called to the podium at No. 22. For now, their WR consists of new addition Seth Roberts, Willie Snead, Chris Moore, and 2018 draft picks Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott.
- Speaking of the Ravens‘ WR need, they’ll host Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown on Monday, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). This year, the Ravens are set to pick at No. 22 overall with no picks in the second round due to last year’s Lamar Jackson trade.
- More from Rapoport, who notes that Ohio State wide receiver Parris Campbell is visiting with the Bengals. Campbell is a very unlikely target for Cincinnati at No. 11 overall, but he could be a candidate for their second-round choice at No. 42. Last year, Campbell broke out with 90 catches for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns.
- Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary will huddle up with the Seahawks and Raiders this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears.
- Arizona State wide receiver will meet with the N’Keal Harry 49ers on Monday before traveling to the Seahawks, Pelissero hears. Projections for Harry are all over the board, but he appears to be a late-first to early-second round type.
- Washington tackle Kaleb McGary will visit the Seahawks on Monday and the Falcons on Tuesday, Schefter hears (Twitter link). The Falcons’ No. 14 pick would probably be a bit high for McGary, who projects as a right tackle at the next level, but a trade-down scenario could bring him to Atlanta.
- The Patriots have done “extra pre-draft” work on Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham and Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson, both of whom visited recently (Twitter link via Pelissero).
- Versatile Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford spent Friday visiting with the Bengals, who pick No. 11 (Twitter link via Rapoport). Ford was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2018 and helped Oklahoma win Joe Moore Award, given to the country’s best offensive line.
Midway through a rather notable offseason, given the recent behind-the-curtain look at their previous power structure, the Packers are investigating some high-end quarterback prospects. They are obviously set at sports’ marquee position, but with Aaron Rodgers set to turn 36 by season’s end, Green Bay is at a similar point compared to when it last made a major quarterback investment. The Packers will host Drew Lock on a visit Tuesday, Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com reports (on Twitter). They also tried to set up a summit with Daniel Jones, but the parties’ schedules did not line up, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds (via Twitter). The Packers took Rodgers when Brett Favre was 36 and sat him for three years. While Green Bay pulling the trigger on a passer would be rather surprising, especially given Rodgers’ contract status, the team does have two first-round picks this year.
Here is the latest from the draft world, staying on the subject of quarterbacks:
- Lock will also meet with the Chargers, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com (on Twitter). Teams have ramped up their signal-caller-related preparation, in the event Kyler Murray does not go No. 1, according to Robinson, who notes some teams believe this year’s passers could slide a bit should Murray not be the Cardinals’ choice atop the draft. Some modest steam picked up on this notion earlier Monday.
- The Dolphins, who already met with Jones, will head to the Duke campus to work out the former Blue Devil starter, Rapoport reports (on Twitter). Teams only have a few more days to host prospects on “30” visits but can still work them out after that deadline passes. Miami will also host Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
- Devin White‘s stock has risen during the pre-draft process, to the point he may be the rare off-ball linebacker to be picked in the top five. One of the teams holding such a selection, the Raiders, brought in White for a visit, Rapoport tweets. The Buccaneers, who hold pick No. 5, have been closely connected to the LSU ‘backer. The Raiders have the No. 4 overall pick. Oakland, which also holds the Nos. 24 and 27 selections, will meet with tight end Noah Fant, on Monday as well, Rapoport tweets. The Raiders lost their starting tight end of the past two seasons, Jared Cook, in free agency.
- For weeks, the Jets have been viewed as a team that would love to trade down. They are meeting with a prospect Tuesday that would support the fact this is a consideration. Ed Oliver will visit the Jets, per Schefter (on Twitter). While the defensive tackle is a surefire first-round talent, he has not been mocked as a player who would be a consideration at No. 3 overall.
- The Titans are visiting with defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, per Rapoport (on Twitter). This is the Notre Dame-developed defender’s second known visit, the first having come with the Saints recently. Tillery remains in rehab after surgery to repair a torn shoulder labrum.
- Not much has surfaced about which teams are researching an Andre Dillard pick. That has changed. The Washington State tackle prospect is visiting the Falcons on Monday and will meet with the Chargers later this week, Schefter tweets. Additionally, Schefter adds the first-round offensive line hopeful has already visited or worked out for a host of teams — the Giants, Jets, Dolphins, Ravens, Titans, Panthers, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Texans, Bengals, Packers, Redskins.
The Giants have long maintained that they will not select a QB in this month’s draft just for the sake of drafting one, but Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv believes that the team needs to identify and acquire the successor to Eli Manning immediately and cannot put it off for another year. The team has the high-end draft capital to land a top collegiate prospect in 2019, and it could still make a play for the Cardinals’ Josh Rosen. There are too many variables that could prevent New York from landing the highly-touted passers in the 2020 class — namely, Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa — and if the Giants don’t get one of those players, then they will have needlessly delayed their return to contention. Vacchiano’s argument has some flaws (for instance, it assumes that a 2019 draft choice or Rosen is the long-term answer), but his point is well made.
The Giants‘ meeting with Kyler Murray got all of the headlines, but the Oklahoma quarterback wasn’t the only big-name prospect to get face time with the club on Thursday. The Giants also hosted Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary and Kentucky pass-rusher Josh Allen, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears.
At this rate, it would be a surprise if Murray is available for either of the Giants’ first-round picks at No. 6 and No. 17. However, Gary and Allen could be in range for a team that is said to be prioritizing pass-rushing. Allen would represent the safer bet based on his college production, but that also means that he could be gone by the time the Giants take the podium. Gary, who boasts serious raw skills, should last a bit longer after tallying just 3.5 sacks last season.
Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:
- Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor will visit the Panthers on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Taylor, a 6’5″ lineman, could project as either a right tackle or guard at the next level, which could be helpful for a team that has overhauled its O-Line this offseason.
- The Bills are set to meet with Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, as Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. Unfortunately for Buffalo, Williams is unlikely to be around at No. 9 overall, so they’ll probably have to trade up in order to land him. Recently, Williams met with New York’s other two teams.
- The Bears will huddle up with Alabama running back Josh Jacobs, the team announced. Jacobs is widely rated as the best three-down back in this year’s class, but he does not offer the same kind of upside as last year’s top-drafted RB Saquon Barkley. Still, the Bears will have to get creative if they want to land Jacobs – Thanks to the Khalil Mack trade and last year’s move up for wide receiver Anthony Miller, the Bears won’t be on the board until the third round (No. 87 overall).
- The Bills hosted an interesting mid-round prospect in Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). Jackson could be a natural fit for the Bills as his size and athleticism mirrors that of QB Josh Allen.
The Patriots had interest in trading for Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard this offseason, according to Pat Leonard of the Daily News. Of course, that’s no longer an option for the Pats after Shepard inked a four-year, $41MM extension with the G-Men.
The value of Shepard’s extension raised eyebrows in the football world, but it’s clear that the slot receiver is well-valued around the league. Had the Giants not re-upped Shepard after his career year in 2018, they would have risked losing him to a free agent market next year that is increasingly strong for receivers like him.
Meanwhile, the Pats will have to look elsewhere for offensive firepower. The retirement of Rob Gronkowski, defection of Cordarrelle Patterson, and suspension of Josh Gordon leaves them with little in the way of targets for Tom Brady. The club could still circle back to free agent Chris Hogan, though we haven’t heard much on that front lately.
The Pats went after Adam Humphries and Odell Beckham Jr. earlier this offseason, but did not come away with either player. They also pursued Jared Cook – even after he agreed to sign with the Saints – as a Gronk replacement, but they were rebuffed. At this stage, the Pats will probably have to zero in receivers in the draft and summer cap casualties.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here are Thursday’s minor moves. More Alliance of American football alums are finding NFL homes.
- Claimed off waivers from Cowboys: G Parker Ehinger
- Waived: CB Jalen Myrick
New York Giants
- Signed: DB Henre’ Toliver (AAF)
San Francisco 49ers
- Signed: OL Daniel Brunskill
- Signed: LB DeMarquis Gates (AAF)
The Giants have not exactly been pegged as Kyler Murray fans, but the franchise in need of a long-term quarterback option is nonetheless hosting the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
The former top-10 MLB draft choice has rocketed into the 2019 quarterback equation, but the Giants have been known to prefer traditional passers. Murray’s 5-foot-10 frame may have given the Giants pause, and were he to somehow slip to No. 6, the team reportedly would prefer Dwayne Haskins over the more athletic passer. Of course, this is probably moot anyway, with Murray almost certainly set to be off the board by the time the Giants go on the clock.
Big Blue has met with Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones. Murray rounds out the quartet of quarterbacks expected to be taken in the first round. The Giants, however, are in need at several defensive spots and have been linked to preferring a pass rusher with their No. 6 overall pick. Jones at No. 17 surfaced as a possible scenario, however. The Giants, who have also discussed a Josh Rosen trade, remain one of this draft’s most interesting teams.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.