|Bet||Odds||Shaun’s Pick||Torsten’s Pick|
|Winner||Chiefs -117, Bucs -105||Bucs||Bucs|
|Over/Under||O56 -113, U56 -108||Under||Over|
|Total Players to attempt a pass||Over 2.5 +165, Under 2.5 -215||Over||Over|
|Total Players with a reception||Over 15.5 +13.5, Under 15.5 -167||Under||Over|
|Jersey number of first TD scorer||Over 24.5 -121, Under 24.5 -103||Over||Over|
|Opening kickoff a touchback||Yes -305, No +230||Yes||Yes|
|O or D lineman to score TD||Yes +800, No -2000||Yes||No|
|A Safety to be scored||Yes +800, No -1667||No||No|
|Successful 2-pt conversion||Yes +230, No -305||Yes||Yes|
|First play from scrimmage||Pass -124, Run +100||Run||Pass|
Tag: Kansas City Chiefs
Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 15 Overall – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama – You can easily argue Jeudy was the best receiver in the draft and I had both the Raiders and 49ers taking receivers in my mock so I was shocked to see Jeudy slide to the Broncos. Courtland Sutton is a very good receiver, but he may be demoted to WR2 by week one, Jeudy is that talented. You can look at Alabama draft picks in the Nick Saban era and find plenty of inconsistency at the NFL level, but WR has been one position that has translated well, and Jeudy should continue that trend.
Least Favorite Pick: Round 3, Pick 77 Overall – Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa – Not a terrible selection and definitely a need given Chris Harris moved on to the Chargers, but there were better options here. I had Troy Pride, Josiah Scott, Bryce Hall, Cameron Dantzler, and Amik Robertson ahead of Ojemudia on my board and all guys I feel could have stepped in better than him. Ojemudia struggles in man coverage, and may be best suited to be a free safety in the long term, not exactly something the Broncos with Justin Simmons already there.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 4, Pick 118 Overall, Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri – Tight End was far from a need for the Broncos, but the fact Albert O was still on the board in day three was a luxury too good to pass up. He is not much of a blocker, but his big body allows him to win contested balls and he ran a sub-4.50 40-yard dash, so he can stretch the field. Adding him to Noah Fant, Jeff Heuerman, Troy Fumagali, Jake Butt, and Nick Vannett gives the Broncos as deep and competitive a TE room as any in the league.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Kendall Hinton, WR, Wake Forest – The Broncos loaded up the offense with weapons in the draft, and they continued it in UDFA. Considered by many as one of the big snubs not invited to the NFL combine, Hinton likely would have truly raised his stock to a sure-fire draft pick had he gone. He is a slot receiver who should make the back end of the roster but could be in competition as one of the slot options in four and five wide sets by year two.
Kansas City Chiefs
Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 32 Overall – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU – The Broncos may have loaded up on offensive weapons in an attempt to keep up with the Chiefs, but the Chiefs went ahead and drafted one of the better all-around RBs in the draft and that offense just gets better. There is a real chance Edwards-Helaire is the go to back ahead of Damien Williams on Week 1. He is short, but sturdy, so he can run inside, but won’t be much of a goal line threat (hint to fantasy owners out there) so he will be more of a guy who is effective between the 20s.
Least Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 63 Overall – Willie Gay Jr., ILB, Mississippi State – I don’t necessarily dislike this pick, I just don’t love it. I liked Gay in the third round, so round two was a bit rich for me, plus there were other inside backers I liked btter. Zack Baun and Troy Dye are both guys I would have preferred, that said, Gay should be a quality player and this being my least favorite pick for the Chiefs is actually a complement to their draft.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 4, Pick 138 – L’Jarius Sneed, S, Louisiana Tech – I don’t like Sneed as a safety, but the Chiefs believe he can transition to corner where he played in 2018, and could bring good value there. He can fly once he gets going and will slide right in as a package defender for the team. Look for him to be a situational player in year one with a shot to be a starter by year two.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Kalija Lipscomb, WR, Vanderbilt – Lipscomb plays like a big receiver but is only 6’ tall. He is no burner, so different from most Chiefs players, however he has long arms and very good hands that allow him to keep moving for the catch and run. He is likely a fifth or sixth option as receiver, but could offer Patrick Mahomes yet another weapon as his game speed is better than his 4.57 40-yard dash would suggest.
Las Vegas Raiders
Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 12 Overall – Henry Rugs III, WR, Alabama – Both first round Alabama receivers go to the AFC West with Ruggs being the surprise first WR off the board. At least, somewhat of a surprise, as this pick screams late owner Al Davis if anything. Ruggs ran a combine best 4.27 40-yard dash and was disappointed by it. Considering his biggest competition for targets is likely the TE duo of Darren Waller and Jason Witten (Tyrell Williams was the Raider number one receiver before this) Ruggs should have every chance to shine in Vegas.
Least Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 19 Overall – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State – A guy I had as my eighth corner going late in round two, Arnette was a shocker going pick 19 overall, fourth among corners. Then again, this is the Raiders who picked Clelin Ferrell fourth overall a season ago. Don’t get me wrong, Arnette will be a starting corner Week One, I am just not sure he was the best option here.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 4, Pick 139 Overall – Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech – Robertson will be given every opportunity to earn a spot as a nickel corner, but likely more of a dime back in season one. He is only 5’8” otherwise he would have been a day two selection and he packs a punch despite his smaller stature. I expect him to line up over the slot receiver for the entirety of his career, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him become a quality blitzer from that position.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Javin White, S, UNLV – Considering the Raiders didn’t have a ton of selections in the draft, and none after round four, it is a bit baffling to see their UDFA list at just seven as of my writing, and two of those are a kicker and long snapper. White is the best fit for the Raiders as he can play a downhill strong safety or linebacker. In order to be safety, he needs a lot of work on technique, while he probably needs to add 20 lbs. if he wants to be linebacker. Despite this, he is a hometown kid two times, growing up in Oakland (where the Raiders were) and going to school in Vegas (where the Raiders are) so he is as easy an UDFA to root for as there is in Raiders camp.
Los Angeles Chargers
Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 23 Overall – Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma – The Chargers moved back into the first round when they saw Murray still on the board late into round one, and got a guy who fits a need perfectly. They lost Thomas Davis, the team’s leading tackler a year ago, and Murray will slide right into that spot. He could battle for the team lead in tackles himself this season and will improve a run defense that was about league average a season ago.
Least Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 6 Overall – Justin Herbert , QB, Oregon – The fact the Chargers had two picks in round one and none on day two didn’t give a ton of options to choose from for least favorite, but I would have considered Herbert to be the selection to any team in the top half of round one. He has all the tools and has the look of a QB in LA, but the inconsistencies are a real concern as is his accuracy. The fact the Chargers have Tyrod Taylor may be the best part of this selection, as they can truly let Herbert work as the backup and soak in the speed of the NFL, but then again what team is really patient enough to let that happen these days?
Day Three Sleeper: Round 5, Pick 151 Overall – Joe Reed, WR, Virginia – This is one of those picks that only die-hard Chargers fans will truly appreciate this season. Reed averaged better than 28.5 yards per return during his time at Virginia and he amassed 17 tackles, meaning he can make an impact returning and covering kicks. As a receiver, he is a well-built slot receiver who was a HS running back so he will be a threat on shovel passes and coming around in jet sweeps. There might not be team that would have suited Reed better, so an excellent fit all around.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Joe Graziano, DE, Northwestern – The UDFA class for the Chargers isn’t great, but there may not have been a more productive player in the class than Graziano. He was a very effective edge rusher in the Big Ten with Northwestern, and that alone is worthy of note. He saw plenty of future NFL offensive lineman and still managed to get to the QB, although his short arm and lack of burst doesn’t suggest he will have the same success at the next level. Overall, I doubt he makes the team, but he may be a practice squad guy asked to put on 20 lbs. or so and work as a hybrid lineman who can attack guards rather than tackles.
We aren’t even a week into the new league year, but already there have been a ton of moves that will help shape the 2018 NFL season. Here is a quick take on the teams I feel have gotten better, worse, and completely confused.
Chicago Bears – They have parted ways with Mike Glennon after giving the reigns over to Mitch Trubisky and brought in two solid backups. I feel like the idea of Chase Daniel is better than the quarterback Chase Daniel, but he is now in Chicago to be the primary backup and will land high on many people’s lists of top backups in the league. Time will tell if Tyler Bray will make the team, but he is another backup with experience. The Bears are where highly thought of college receivers go to die, so it is about time they sign a big time receiver, and Allen Robinson gives Trubisky a real number one target. Add Prince Amukamara, Aaron Lyncch, Sam Acho, and resign Kyle Fuller, and the defense gets a boost as well.
Green Bay Packers – Getting DeShone Kizer as the new backup to Aaron Rodgers is an upgrade, Muhammad Wilkerson for just $5M is all upside, and Jimmy Graham gives Rodgers a scary weapon at tight end. Will be interesting to see how the loss of Jody Nelson will impact the team.
Kansas City Chiefs – They dealt away Alex Smith to make room for Patrick Mahomes and brought in a stud receiver for him in Sammy Watkins. Kendall Fuller will take the place of the departed headache in Marcus Peters, while they also add linebacker Anthony Hitchens to an already solid defense.
Los Angeles Rams – Speaking of Marcus Peters, he is now in LA with the Rams, along with new acquisition Aqib Talib improve the Rams secondary, although they did lose talent up front.
Oakland Raiders – Goodbye Michael Crabtree, make room for Jordy Nelson. In addition to adding a reliable receiver, they are taking their chances on former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin.
San Francisco 49ers – There won’t be a move that goes further under the radar than the 49ers signing Weston Richburg. He takes over as center along side two underperforming first round guards in Laken Tomlinson and Josh Garnett, making the raw talent in front of Jimmy Garappolo something that could become elite. They replace the departed Carlos Hyde with Jerick McKinnon and were the winners in the rush to get Richard Sherman after he was released.
Tennessee Titans – The Titans had DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, two backs that run very similarly, but now part ways with Murray and bring in Dion Lewis who will serve as an excellent change of pace back and easy underneath target for Marcus Mariota. They also spend the money get Malcolm Butler as corner, and word is they will allow him to play.
Dallas Cowboys – Ready for the list of new players the Cowboys have brought in this season? Ok, here it goes:
Did you miss it? Yeah, they haven’t brought in anyone of note, their big signing has been the re-signing of their long snapper. Meanwhile they have said goodbye to Anthony Hitchens, Keith Smith will no longer be in at fullback, and Orland Scandrick has been released. Not a good sign for the Cowboys.
New England Patriots – Ok, maybe my fandom is getting in the way here, but I am not one to say “they always lose talent and somehow win the division”. I am one to say “you just traded Jimmy G for practically nothing after sending off Jacoby Brissett in the preseason, who is gonna be the QB of the future?” Add to that the departure of Julian Edelman (I don’t care if he didn’t play last year, he is still the best receiver the team had) and replace him with the always underwhelming Cordarrelle Patterson? Oh, and we already touched on the fact that Dion Lewis and Malcom Butler are gone.
Arizona Cardinals – Let’s face it, this tweet perfectly sums up the signing of Sam Braford.
Live look in as Sam Bradford arrives in Arizona pic.twitter.com/ymlHA40sGi
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) March 13, 2018
But they also sign Mike Glennon, one who we at The Stain have long been fans of. You also bring back Larry Fitzgerald but lose the Brown brothers, John and Jaron (not really brothers).
Cleveland Browns – Ok, you have picks one and four in the draft and seem to be debating between quarterback and running back…so you trade for Tyrod Taylor and sign Carlos Hyde? I am confused. You trade for Jarvis Landry, a very good WR, but you are going to have to give him a very large contract as he is currently under the franchise tag.
New York Jets – The Jets resigned Josh McCown and went out and brought in Teddy Bridgewater, which would be a solid QB room for a team who just might be a few good pieces away from being respectable…so they go out and trade away their 6th overall pick along with picks 37 and 49 and a second next year to jump up to three where they will no doubt add a QB? What a mess.
So, without further ado, the AFC predictions sure to go wrong:
Kansas City (+2.5) @ Indianapolis, 47: The Indianapolis Colts have been a truly blessed franchise going from Peyton Manning straight into Andrew Luck, but they are not yet a complete team. Even with the franchise quarterback, the Colts needed a corporate partner to buy up the final 1,200 tickets, granted for a good cause, in order to avoid a blackout. Trent Richardson should have a bounce back season in 2014, but it won’t start Saturday against the Chiefs. The Kansas City defense is really good, despite struggling down the stretch, and the Colts just don’t have enough offense. T.Y. Hilton is really the only threat Andrew Luck has ever since Reggie Wayne went down with a knee injury. The Chiefs offense can ride check down king, Alex Smith, to a win in the playoffs, but they are not a Super Bowl contender. Jamaal Charles is an easy MVP in almost any season except this year, and he will have a great game on Saturday. Look for Charles to put up close to 200 yards of total offense in a game where the final score is much closer than the feel of the game, 20-17.
San Diego (+7), @ Cincinnati, 47: The Chargers might have been the most dangerous team of the final four AFC teams that had a chance at the playoffs, but then again they almost lost a must win game against a Chiefs team that was almost entirely backups. The Bengals have an excellent 1-2 punch in the backfield with Benjarvis Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard, and the second best receiver in football, A.J. Green. Their biggest issue is quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton is not a championship level quarterback, he is overrated because of Green’s incredible ability to catch bad balls and defenses ability to keep games close. Ryan Matthews is finally looking like the first round running back Chargers fans had been hoping for since the day he was drafted, and Keenan Allen has emerged as a star at receiver. This will again be a close game, with San Diego covering the spread, but in the end, I see the Bengals escaping with a victory, 27-24.