Kid Reporter John's Read Option: Week 7!

With six weeks of NFL action now in the books, the playoff picture is starting to round into form. The NFC picture is very intriguing, and the competition is wide open for playoff spots and the NFC title. Though they don’t have the track record of some of the other teams, these three NFC teams have established themselves as contenders.

X Option: Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are for real. They came into Green Bay, one of the toughest environments for a visitor to win, and beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers by two touchdowns. Though he threw his first NFL interception, rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has staked his claim as the Cowboy quarterback this season and running back Ezekiel Elliott should eclipse 1,500 yards. The Dallas’ Cowboys defense, though not great, has held up and is good enough for the Cowboys to be real playoff contenders.

Y Option: Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings remain as the only undefeated team in the NFL and their early season performance indicates that they’re a team to beat in the NFC. Quarterback Sam Bradford has experienced a career renaissance and the defense is in the Denver-Seattle category atop the league. Most of all, the coaching staff has done an incredible job keeping Minnesota afloat amidst all the players out. With a possible return from Adrian Peterson later this season, the Vikings could be poised for a deep run in January.

Z Option: Atlanta Falcons
I thought the Falcons early success was a fluke, but after seeing their performance in a losing effort on Sunday, I now think differently. Atlanta held Seattle, arguably the best team in the NFC at the moment, and probably would have won the game if the referees called pass interference on Richard Sherman on the last Atlanta play. The Falcons have the best offense in the NFC, with an improved offensive line, the best one-two combination of any NFL backfield, and the game’s best receiver in Julio Jones. As Sunday showed, their defense has also taken steps forward. With all the struggles in Carolina, the Falcons are the favorite to win the NFC South and will be a team nobody wants to face in the playoffs.

My Picks
Last Week: 9-6
Ravens over Jets
Packers over Bears
Giants over Rams
Chiefs over Saints
Raiders over Jaguars
Lions over Redskins
Colts over Titans
Bengals over Browns
Vikings over Eagles- The Bradford Bowl
Bills over Dolphins
Buccaneers over 49ers Chargers over Falcons
Patriots over Steelers
Cardinals over Seahawks
Broncos over Texans- The Osweiler Bowl

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John's Read Option Column: Week 4!

Hey guys! My two favorite teams, the Cowboys and Ravens, are on a roll, so today I’ll focus on the best teams in football- the undefeated teams. I already talked about the Patriots last Read Option, so I’ll focus on the other four teams today.

X Option: Baltimore Ravens
Honestly, I expected this. The Ravens are a defensive force right now, limiting opponents to just 10 second-half points. Wide receivers Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman are excelling in their first seasons in the Baltimore offense, and the defensive line is one of the best in football. But the best unit is the special teams- they have the NFL’s best kicker in Justin Tucker, have a Canton-worthy returner in Devin Hester and seemingly block a kick every week. Games against the Raiders, Redskins, Giants, and Jets are all winnable, so the Ravens could enjoy their AFC North lead for a while longer.

Y Option: Denver Broncos
As far as on-field play, the Broncos have upgraded at quarterback. Trevor Siemian routinely makes incredible throws and is surrounded by a very talented supporting cast. The defense has picked up where it left off and has shut down three potent offenses in the Panthers, Colts, and Bengals.

Z Option: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles undefeated start is surely a surprise, as they’ve already exceeded the number of wins I projected them to have (2). Quarterback Carson Wentz has taken the NFL by storm and is by far the favorite to be Rookie of the Year. Actually, he should also be in the conversation for MVP. I didn’t think that the Eagles were a real contender, but their 34-3 demolition of Pittsburgh changed that. And the defense has held opponents to an average of nine points per game. NINE POINTS.

Checkdown: What is up with the Minnesota Vikings?
The Vikings lost their quarterback. They lost their All-Pro running back. But they haven’t lost their identity as a playoff contender. The reason why they still stand undefeated and beat the Packers and Panthers is the Minnesota defense, which is, in my opinion, the best in the NFL. The Vikings rank third in points per game allowed, seventh in yards allowed, and have the best turnover differential in the NFL (+8). Just imagine if Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater were playing.

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John's Read Option: Week 3!

Hey guys. Hope you enjoyed a thrilling second week (and almost 3rd) of NFL action! Since I’m writing this after the TNF game, I’m including the Patriots 27-0 blowout in the article. Today I’ll tackle the best team in football, players out, and the best rivalries in football.

X Option: The Patriots are, by far, the best team in football
Without quarterback Tom Brady under center, New England was expected to drop a couple games in his absence. Week 1- they beat the Cardinals convincingly, arguably the best team in football up to that point. Week 2- they topped the Dolphins handily, despite their backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo being out. Week 3- on Thursday Night Football on their third-string quarterback, rookie Jacoby Brissett, against a playoff-caliber team in Houston, the Patriots shut out the Texans 27-0. That is a convincing case for being the best team in football, and it is scary to think of them with Tom Brady starting.

Y Option: Bug of Players Out Strikes Backfields

Quarterbacks and running backs are going down at an astonishing rate and, in some cases, their team’s seasons with them. At quarterback, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo and Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater are out for the preseason, and now they have company on the inactive list. It is so bad that two teams, the Browns and Patriots, are on their third-string quarterbacks because their top two are out. In Chicago, Jay Cutler is down, while Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is battling injury.

Top-tier running backs are also hitting the bench. Minnesota, who already lost Bridgewater for the season, could be without 2012 MVP Adrian Peterson for the remainder of the season. New Miami Dolphin Arian Foster is down, along with Carolina Panthers player Jonathan Stewart, Kansas City Chiefs player Jamaal Charles, Seattle Seahawks player Thomas Rawls, Tampa Bay Bucs player Doug Martin, and Pittsburgh Steelers player DeAngelo Williams.

Z Option: Football’s Best Rivalries
Last weekend, I saw one of my favorite rivalry games in football, the Cowboys-Redskins. Once, the game was between two powers in the NFC, but lately it has come down to who doesn’t blow the game. I was happy when the Cowboys were the ones who didn’t blow the game on Sunday, and even though both teams are mediocre, the rivalry is still fun to watch and I love talking to Redskin fans when we win. Here are some other time-tested rivalries.

· Steelers-Ravens- I’ve seen so many classic Pittsburgh-Baltimore games that I’ve lost count. They’ve been gritty, close classics.

· Giants-Patriots- These two teams aren’t even in the same conference, but every time they play, the score is close no matter how good the Patriots are and it brings up memories of two recent Super Bowls.

· Colts-Patriots- Once it was Brady-Manning, but even with Brady-Luck, this game is always a high-scoring, entertaining three hours.

· Packers-Vikings- If both teams were healthy, this would be the division rivalry to watch.

· Packers-Bears- The oldest rivalry in football has a ton of history and pride at stake.

· Chiefs-Raiders- With Oakland finally returning to respectability, this AFC West rivalry will be one to watch.

Week Three Predictions 
Last Week: 10-6, with RAMS OVER SEAHAWKS!!!
Patriots over Texans
Ravens over Jaguars
Panthers over Vikings
Raiders over Titans
Cardinals over Bills
Redskins over Giants
Dolphins over Browns
Packers over Lions
Broncos over Bengals
Seahawks over 49ers
Buccaneers over Rams
Steelers over Eagles
Chiefs over Jets
Colts over Chargers
Cowboys over Bears
Saints over Falcons

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Read Option Week 1 Recap and Predictions!

Hope you enjoyed the first week of the NFL season! 

NFL fans were rewarded for their long wait with a slate of epic games throughout the league, from the Carolina-Denver opener to the Sunday Night upset by New England. 

Today, I’ll focus on three quarterbacks who made their debut starts and how they fared, in order of their games. Let’s dive in!

X Option: Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
Week One Stats: 21-20 victory over Carolina, 18 for 26 passing, 1 TD, 2 INT, 178 yards

The stats don't pop off the page, but Trevor Siemian staked his claim as the Broncos quarterback for the foreseeable future. Put aside the two interceptions, one coming on a fluke pick by Thomas Davis, and Siemian looked better than any Denver quarterback last season. He looked ready at the beginning of the game and showed poise by leading the Broncos back from a ten-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win a nail-biter. The Broncos made a sound decision by jettisoning Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch will have to wait a couple weeks or months before his first NFL action.

Y Option: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Week One Stats: 20-19 loss to New York Giants, 25 for 45 passing, 227 yards

Dak Prescott came in with the most hype of any player this season and though the Cowboys didn’t win, he looks like the answer in Dallas. With a rushing attack that stalled and a defense that let up big play after big play, Prescott was the reason the Cowboys were in the game. He knew when to throw the ball away to avoid sacks and has already built outstanding chemistry with tight end Jason Witten and receiver Cole Beasley. If the rushing attack gets going, the Cowboys will be a 30-point machine. As a Cowboys fan, I'm impressed by Dak.|

Z Option: Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
Week One Stats: 23-21 win over Arizona, 24 for 33 passing, 1 TD, 264 yards

Why were the Patriots ever considered underdogs in Week 1? Going into Arizona, the team I predicted to win the Super Bowl, with a quarterback that had never started an NFL game, the Patriots pulled off a great win last night in primetime. Jimmy Garoppolo, in place for Tom Brady, went step for step with Carson Palmer and did all that the Patriots could ask for in a backup. In three games, Garoppolo will take his seat on the bench, but with Jimmy G in, the Patriots didn’t skip a beat, so the future of New England looks bright.

Checkdown Option: The Best and Worst from Week One

The Patriots, Cowboys, and Broncos impressed with their performances in the first week, but they weren’t the only ones. The Buccaneers, Raiders, Eagles, Jaguars, Giants and Chiefs were all teams that I didn’t think would make the playoffs but flashed potential on Sunday. On the flip side, the Chargers, Colts, Seahawks, and Cardinals started the season off poorly and will need to turn it around in Week 2.

Week One Pick’em Record: 11-5

Week Two Predictions

Baltimore Ravens over Cleveland Browns
New York Jets over Buffalo Bills
Dallas Cowboys over Washington Redskins
Carolina Panthers over San Francisco 49ers
Pittsburgh Steelers over Cincinnati Bengals
New York Giants over New Orleans Saints
New England Patriots over Miami Dolphins
Kansas City Chiefs over Houston Texans
Detroit Lions over Tennessee Titans
Los Angeles Rams over Seattle Seahawks
Arizona Cardinals over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jacksonville Jaguars over San Diego Chargers
Oakland Raiders over Atlanta Falcons
Denver Broncos over Indianapolis Colts
Green Bay Packers over Minnesota Vikings
Chicago Bears over Philadelphia Eagles

Let me know what you think in the comments!

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John's Read Option for Week 1!

Hey NFLRUSH Readers!

I’m Kid Reporter John and this season I’ll be writing a series of columns breaking down the NFL action called Read Option. Today I’ll take on three takeaways from the preseason and give you my 2016 NFL Predictions!

X Option: Bridgewater out for the season sinks Vikings
Going into this season, the Minnesota Vikings were my pick to win their first ever Super Bowl in February. They had an elite defense, a top-notch running back, and a reliable quarterback who I thought would make a big leap. But due to the absence of Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota is without a reliable quarterback for the season.

The loss of Bridgewater changes the Vikings from sure Super Bowl contenders to in the mix for a Wild Card. A playoff berth would depend on Adrian Peterson having an MVP-type season and the front office acquiring a suitable starter, such as Dallas Cowboys Mark Sanchez. Even if the Vikings make the playoffs, they won’t be able to contend with the NFC super powers.
Y Option: Meet Dak Prescott, the new Dallas Cowboys quarterback
Like the Vikes, the Cowboys are dealing with another player out, Tony Romo. One of his replacements? Rookie Dak Prescott, who has set the league on fire this preseason with a scorching three-game performance. The big question is whether Prescott will be able to translate his preseason success to the regular season.

Unless Prescott has an RGIII-type rookie season, the Cowboys are likely toast in the playoff picture. The offense is dynamic with rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott and a superb offensive line, but the defense has been riddled by injury and suspension and isn’t anywhere close to playoff-caliber. Cowboys fans should hope that they can improve on their 1-11 record without Tony Romo from last year.

Z Option: Super Bowl 51 Prediction!
Like I said earlier, the Vikings were my Super Bowl pick before Bridgewater went out for the season. I’ve adjusted my projections due to the two major players being out- taking the Vikings and Cowboys out of the playoffs and replacing them with the upstart Buccaneers and Redskins. In the NFC, the Panthers, Cardinals, and Packers are the true contenders, while the AFC will be everybody against the stacked Patriots, with the Steelers being the strongest challenger. Expect the two teams that lost in the conference championship games last year, New England and Arizona, to take another step and face off in Houston for Super Bowl LI.

The match up between the Patriots and Cardinals sets up for a memorable game. In one corner, there’s Tom Brady, the four-time Super Bowl champion who will be serving the first suspension of his career earlier in the season. In the other corner, there’s Carson Palmer, who has won exactly one playoff game in his 14 seasons and committed six turnovers in last year’s NFC title game. Both quarterbacks will rebound from their disappointments and will lead unstoppable offenses. The Patriots have Rob Gronkowski, the best tight end of all time, but the Cardinals have receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the best postseason performer of his generation. The difference is defense. Arizona has the best secondary in football (sorry Denver) and with the acquisition of pass rusher Chandler Jones (in a trade with the Patriots), they have a pass rush capable of crushing the vulnerable New England offensive line. I'm taking the Cards 30-21, with Larry Fitzgerald as Super Bowl MVP.

When the red and black confetti falls in February and the Cardinals win their first Super Bowl in franchise history, remember that you heard it here!

Checkdown: Weird Predictions
-Cardinals-Patriots isn’t a surprise match up by any stretch of the imagination, but a few of my predictions are, well, odd. They include…

-The Buccaneers reach the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade, thanks to Jameis Winston

-The Browns, 49ers, and Eagles lose 14 games

-Ben Roethlisberger, Von Miller, Mike Tomlin, Andrew Luck, Ezekiel Elliott
and Jalen Ramsey win awards, ensuring that all the awards are won by first-time winners

-Indianapolis wins their first six games, only to see the streak snapped by Tennessee

-The Bridgewater-less Vikings have the best defense in the NFL

-The Redskins defeat the Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

What are your predictions? Who’s meeting up in the Super Bowl? Are the Cowboys and Vikings done for? Comment below!

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John's Read Option Column: Preseason Edition

Poll: Kid Reporter John's Read Option Column: Preseason Week 1
Hey NFLRushers! 

The Read Option is back and first off, thank you for all of the likes and comments on the first post. Today we'll be diving into competitions from all over the world, ranging from Los Angeles to Denver to Rio in Brazil. 

X Option: Rugby is Awesome!
Down 24-14, Team USA receives the kickoff with only a minute remaining in regulation. After one of the players receives the oval-shaped ball, he laterals it back to Super Bowl champion and former New England Patriots player Nate Ebner. Ebner gets the pitch and breaks into a sprint. Nobody can catch the speedy Ebner, who takes it all the way and dives for a touchdown. No, there is no American football in the Olympics in Rio. This is rugby sevens, one of the coolest and newest sports in the Olympic Games.

As has most of America, I’ve been watching a ton of the Olympic Games and the newest addition, rugby sevens, has caught my eye. It is a nonstop, globalized version of the American football we know and love. In fact, American football is partly derived from rugby, which was popular in the British colonies such as New Zealand and Australia. There are a lot of similarities between the two sports. The two teams aim to advance the ball past the opponent’s try line, which scores five points, and then can attempt a free kick (like a field goal) for an additional two points. To stop the opponents, players tackle the ball carrier and can intercept laterals.

With the rugby sevens competition concluding on Thursday, it leads perfectly into the NFL preseason. I can’t wait for the next Summer Olympic year, 2020, to see Team USA try for the podium again. Maybe even more NFL players will give rugby a shot- imagine a rugby sevens team consisting of J.J. Watt, Rob Gronkowski, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Peterson, Earl Thomas, Luke Kuechly, and Khalil Mack! That team would definitely win gold.

Option Y: Could the Broncos Start TWO Quarterbacks? 
Of course, starting two quarterbacks might seem unlikely, but in the first depth chart for the Denver Broncos, both Trevor Siemian and Mark Sanchez are listed as starters. Sanchez, the former New York Jet and Philadelphia Eagle, has had plenty of experience as a starter, but Siemian, a late-round pick in 2015, hasn’t even taken an NFL snap! The reigning Super Bowl champions also have a first-round pick, Paxton Lynch, on the roster, though he is listed as the third-stringer. Coach Gary Kubiak has time to make a decision on his starter, but ultimately Denver’s hopes of winning the AFC West depend on the quarterback play. While Sanchez and Siemian are currently in line for the starting spot, Paxton Lynch is my pick to start under center in Denver and lead them back to the playoffs.

Option Z: Los Angeles Hosting Their Own Quarterback Conundrum
When a team sells the farm for the number one overall pick in the draft, that player is usually the de facto starter. But for the Los Angeles Rams (the subject of HBO’s Hard Knocks TV series) and quarterback Jared Goff, that isn’t the case. Veteran Case Keenum, not Goff, is currently the top quarterback on the depth charts while Goff continues to get acclimated to a pro system. Keenum will start in the Rams first preseason game and could start for Week 1 of the regular season. Like the Broncos, Los Angeles will rely on their quarterbacks to get them over the hump and into the playoffs. Jared Goff, welcome to the NFL!

Who do you think will win the competitions in Denver and Los Angeles? Who would be on your Dream Team for rugby? Comment below!

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John's Read Option Column: Hall of Fame Edition

Hey NFLRush Readers! I’m Kid Reporter John and this season I’ll be writing a series of columns breaking down the NFL action called Read Option.

I’ll tackle three main topics (the options) from around the league and occasionally add a check down option. With the Hall of Fame happening this past weekend, let’s get started!

X Option: Packers, Colts aiming to take back divisions in 2016

Favored to win their divisions, the Packers and Colts were off their game in 2015, losing the division title to Minnesota and Houston, respectively. Both teams have a chance to bounce back this year, thanks to the returns of several offensive playmakers. For Green Bay, the return of receiver Jordy Nelson should provide a huge boost to an offense that took a step back. Indianapolis get back Luck, their superstar quarterback, and with a rebuilt offensive line and loaded receiving corps, the Colts will be one of the best offenses in the NFL. Both Green Bay and Indianapolis will figure prominently into the playoff picture and maybe even the Super Bowl conversation.

Y Option: Hall of Fame inductees Brett Favre and Tony Dungy receive their moment in spotlight

The highlight of the Hall of Fame game is always the presentation of the Hall of Fame inductees, and this year was no different. On Sunday, Canton welcomed owner Eddie DeBartolo, coach Tony Dungy, quarterback Brett Favre, defensive lineman Kevin Greene, receiver Marvin Harrison, offensive lineman Orlando Pace, quarterback Kenny Stabler, and offensive lineman Dick Stanfel. The Colts and Packers are represented in that list, by Tony Dungy for Indianapolis and Brett Favre for Green Bay. Dungy and Favre represent the gold standard of a Hall of Fame inductee- difference makers on and off the field.

Based on statistics, it is easy to see why Brett Favre was a first-ballot selection. The longtime Packers legend hung up the cleats after racking up the most passing yards, passing touchdowns, and most consecutive games played of any player in NFL history. Favre was revered for his incredible talent, winning three MVP awards and leading the Packers to a Super Bowl victory, and his durability, playing for 20 seasons with 11 Pro Bowl selections and nine 30+ touchdown seasons.The football IQ of Brett Favre also one of his greatest strengths.

Tony Dungy is the only coach in this year’s Hall of Fame class after impressive tenures with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts. In 13 years of coaching, Dungy’s team reached the playoffs 11 times and his 2006 Colts team won Super Bowl XLI. But his impact extended far beyond on-field results. He was the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl and his assistants, including Mike Tomlin, Jim Caldwell, and Lovie Smith, have all coached their own teams to the Big Game. Dungy was also influential in the lives of his players, teaching them the values of family and character.

Z Option
One deserving player who didn’t make the Hall of Fame cut While eight players, coaches, and executives were honored on Sunday, one worthy player is missing from the festivities. That player is Kurt Warner, the former quarterback of the Rams, Giants, and Cardinals. Warner had the most miraculous journey to superstardom of any player, leaving a grocery store job to sign with the Rams as a third-string backup in 1999. Players out in the preseason gave Warner an opportunity to be the starting quarterback, and 16 wins and a couple months later, St. Louis won its first Super Bowl and Warner became a legend. The Northern Iowa product put up monster numbers, took home MVP awards, and was the main man in the Greatest Show on Turf, one of the best offenses ever. After a couple mediocre seasons with the Giants and Cardinals, Warner resurfaced in Arizona and reverted back to MVP form, helping the Cardinals reach their first Super Bowl and coming within inches of a Super Bowl victory. With three Super Bowl appearances, two MVP awards, and one incredible story, Warner’s career merits Hall of Fame honors.
-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: 2016 Draft!

Last week, the first round of the NFL draft captivated audiences, but  fans were left wondering “why?” 

Whether it was the flurry of trades, disappointing draft-day drops, or fantastic selection, the first round produced a full range of emotions. With three of my teams picking in the top six, I was especially interested and hyped up. 

Here are my thoughts on the top ten picks...

1. QB Jared Goff to Los Angeles Rams- Most Consequential Pick
The first selection of the draft was no surprise, given the ransom the Rams gave the the Titans to move from 15 to one. Goff will be the Day 1 starter and the man to lead the Rams into Los Angeles and, hopefully, to the playoffs. The pick is good in the long-term, but Los Angeles isn’t going to reach the playoffs this year, Goff or not.

2. QB Carson Wentz to Philadelphia Eagles- Most Intriguing Pick
The Eagles, another team who traded up for a quarterback, didn’t surprise with their selection of North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. Despite having former Rookie of the Year Sam Bradford and free agent signee Chase Daniel, Philadelphia decided to go with Wentz as the future of the franchise. With so many quarterbacks, there will be an epic quarterback competition, but trading away Bradford would make for an ideal situation- Wentz can develop while Daniel starts, then assume the role of Philly’s savior.

3. DE Joey Bosa to San Diego Chargers- Scariest Pick

A couple months ago, Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa was the top player on the board. Entering last night, the possibility he wouldn’t even go in the top five was real. Instead, the Chargers made an electrifying pick with Bosa over the expected Laremy Tunsil. Bosa is the best pass-rusher in the draft and fills one of the Chargers’ biggest needs. He also gives San Diego the superstar it hasn’t had on defense since Junior Seau. Selecting Bosa was the right move, period.

4. RB Ezekiel Elliott to Dallas Cowboys- Most Exciting Pick
Sometimes it just feels great to be a Cowboys fan and last night was one of those times. For Dallas, the choice was corner Jalen Ramsey, arguably the best player in the draft, or running back Ezekiel Elliott, an elite rusher who draws comparisons to Adrian Peterson. The Cowboys took Elliott, even though they have two 1,000-yard rushers in Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris in their backfield. Defense was a major need, but the addition of Elliott will take pressure off Romo and, behind the best offensive line in football, the Cowboys offense will be the best in the NFC. This was a Cowboys pick and one that could pay off in the playoffs.

5. CB Jalen Ramsey to Jacksonville Jaguars- Most Obvious Pick
Drafting Jalen Ramsey had to be a no-brainer, a slam dunk, for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The addition of Ramsey gives the porous Jacksonville secondary a shutdown corner and favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Jags picked for both need and for the best player on the board and they’ll get a potential All-Pro.

6. OT Ronnie Stanley to Baltimore Ravens- Most Disappointing Pick
Baltimore was unable to trade up with Dallas to snatch Jalen Ramsey, but they were still able to address a big need on the offensive line. I wanted the Ravens to get linebacker Myles Jack, who fell out of the first round entirely, so I was disappointed with the Ravens selection of Stanley, who wasn’t even viewed as the best tackle in the draft. The positives with the selection are Stanley’s character and ability to fill a hole on the offensive line, but I really would’ve liked for Baltimore to bolster their defense with this pick, with Jack, who they could get in the second round, or DeForest Buckner.

7. DE DeForest Buckner to San Francisco 49ers- Most Fitting Pick
After the Ravens passed on Buckner, Chip Kelly and the 49ers took the Oregon product. Buckner is an upgrade on a roster with needs at every position. The 49ers  quarterback position will still be up for grabs with Paxton Lynch falling to the mid-20s.

8. OT Jack Conklin to Tennessee Titans- Most Ignored Pick

The Titans, who traded down to 15, moved up to the 8th spot, presumably to draft Laremy Tunsil, who was a possible top overall pick. Tennessee chose an offensive tackle, but the pick was Jack Conklin. With Conklin, the Titans filled a need and now have two solid young tackles to protect Marcus Mariota. It won’t bring the Titans anywhere close to the playoffs, though.

9. LB Leonard Floyd to Chicago Bears- Most Under-the-Radar Pick
The Bears are trying to load up on talent on defense and the addition of Leonard Floyd should bolster their linebacker position. Floyd gives Chicago a premier pass rusher, even if the Bears had to move up over the Giants to get him.

10. CB Eli Apple to New York Giants- Most Puzzling Pick
This pick was flat-out puzzling. The Giants addressed their secondary needs with the addition of high-priced free agent Janoris Jenkins, and then they overdraft a corner that was projected to go in the mid-20s. Then again, last time New York picked a prospect much higher than expected, it was Odell Beckham Jr.

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best Mock Draft Ever!

All 32 NFL teams are aiming to get talented young players to upgrade their rosters. But what if instead of drafting collegiate players, they drafted Star Wars characters? I’ve enjoyed reading the Star Wars drafts NFL writer Adam Rank over the last couple years and with a whole new movie out, this draft is even more stacked. Below is my mock draft of Rank’s selections.

1. Los Angeles Rams- Anakin Skywalker
The Rams moved to Los Angeles and followed it up by selling the farm to get the top pick of the draft. Anakin Skywalker is the best athlete and has the highest ceiling, if he controls his anger.

2. Philadelphia Eagles- Rey
Like the Rams, the Eagles made a massive trade up the draft board and select the new face of their franchise. Philly goes with Rey, the protagonist of the Force Awakens, who brings potential and grit as the starting quarterback.

3. San Diego Chargers- Emperor Palpatine

The Chargers make an electrifying pick with Emperor Palpatine, also known as the evil Darth Sidious. For an old guy, he can jump and run with the best of them, so safety is a strong fit in Eric Weddle’s absence.

4. Dallas Cowboys- Luke Skywalker

Dallas is aiming for a Super Bowl, but they can’t pass up the chance for a quarterback of the future and select Luke Skywalker. When Tony Romo retires, Luke will be the new hope.

5. Chicago Bears (Proposed trade with Jacksonville)- Chewbacca
Jacksonville and Chicago make a draft-day switch, allowing the Bears to choose Chewbacca, a literal beast. Chewie fills a need on offense and defense and will unleash his fury on the NFC North.

6. Baltimore Ravens- Mace Windu

Mace Windu fits the Raven model. He is athletic, brilliant, and seems like an Alabama-Ozzie Newsome type player. Windu becomes the leader of the Ravens defense as Baltimore builds another shutdown defense. His light saber color, purple, even fits.

7. San Francisco 49ers- Han Solo
Chip Kelly and the Niners take a risk on smuggler Han Solo, who slots in as the starting quarterback. Solo has deadly accuracy and range, so San Francisco could strike gold.

8. Cleveland Browns- Kylo Ren
Even after trading down, the Browns get their guy. Kylo Ren, the newest villain in the Star Wars universe, combines power with ruthlessness and calls the shots for the First Order. Hopefully for Cleveland, that anger won’t get the best of Ren.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Darth Maul
Think about it- Darth Maul would look incredible in a Buccaneer uniform. Maul would form an amazing trio with linebacker Lavonte David and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, ideally settling in as an outside linebacker and pass rusher.

10. New York Giants- Yoda
Ironically, the Giants choose the smallest character in the whole saga. The selection causes confusion, but imagine Yoda as New York Giants running back, juking and hurdling defenders. Don’t doubt Yoda.

11. Jacksonville Jaguars (Proposed trade with Chicago)- Kit Fisto
The Jaguars add the aquatic Jedi, who would work well at any skill position. Fisto would work well as a wide receiver and corner and could go to the pool at Everbank Field during timeouts.

12. New Orleans Saints- Finn
The Saints pick up the underrated Finn, another hero from The Force Awakens. Drew Brees is the quarterback for the next couple years and Finn could be Brees top target after the departures of Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham.

13. Miami Dolphins- Princess Leia
Ryan Tannehill
receives some competition for the starting quarterback spot from Leia Organa. She shines in crisis, staring down Darth Vader in the original movie and leading the Rebel Alliance.

14. Oakland Raiders- General Grievous
General Grievous on the Raiders is too good to be true. Put Grievous on the offensive line and he can block four guys at once, while new addition Kelechi Osemele gets any others. Grievous’ speed makes him a dangerous pass rusher opposite Khalil Mack and an immediate Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

15. Tennessee Titans- Obi-Wan Kenobi
How did Kenobi fall to the Titans? Nobody knows, but the Titans take advantage and add the wise Jedi to mentor quarterback Marcus Mariota. Kenobi could be amazing as a receiver, too.

16. Detroit Lions- Count Dooku
Without Ndamukong Suh, the Lions looked mortal on defense. With Dooku at middle linebacker, they regain elite status and are a defense that nobody wants to face.

17. Atlanta Falcons- Boba Fett
Boba Fett has incredible sideline to sideline range and an otherworldly vertical and putting him in the Atlanta secondary is like a second coming of Deion Sanders.

18. Indianapolis Colts- Jango Fett
Fett has a lot in his arsenal and is an all-around talent for the depleted Colts’ defense, excelling at linebacker and defensive back.

19. Buffalo Bills- Lando Calrissian
Tyrod Taylor
isn’t the answer, so the Bills add the charmer from Cloud City to lead the offense.

20. New York Jets- Poe Dameron
The Jets find their pilot in Poe Dameron, the best flyer in the Resistance. Dameron is reliable and is clutch in the big moments, two characteristics that the Jets need.

21. Houston Texans- Ezra Bridger
Houston adds an insurance policy behind Brock Osweiler, choosing the young hero of the animated Rebels series. For now, Bridger figures as the number 2 receiver across from DeAndre Hopkins.

22. Washington Redskins- Jar Jar Binks
Binks is always at the right place at the right time. He showed incredible instincts and agility in the Phantom Menace and seems like a Washington Redskins player.

23. Cincinnati Bengals- Kanan Jarrus
Ezra Bridger’s mentor, Jedi Kanan Jarrus, is an under the radar pick who works in at receiver and defensive back for the Bengals. With Jarrus, Giovani Bernard, Tyler Eifert, A.J. Green, and Jeremy Hill, the Cincinnati offense is nasty.

24. Minnesota Vikings- The Inquisitor
The Vikings need a household name to lead their defense and with all of the big names off the board, they select the fearsome Inquisitor from the Rebels series. The Inquisitor doesn’t take no for an answer and strikes fear into opponents.

25. Kansas City Chiefs- Admiral Ackbar
Kansas City chooses a new field general, Admiral Ackbar, a hero for the Rebel Alliance and a valiant warrior during the Clone Wars. The Chiefs hope it isn’t a trap.

26. Pittsburgh Steelers- Captain Phasma

27. Green Bay Packers- Bossk
Bossk is more than just another player on the Packers’ defensive line- he is an unblockable, massive, and ruthless beast. 

28. Seattle Seahawks- Asajj Ventress
As fans of the Clone Wars series know, Sith Asajj Ventress has the moves and competes with the best of the best. That makes her a fit with the stingy Seahawks defense.

29. Arizona Cardinals- Tasu Leech
The selection of Tasu Leech may seem surprising, but the leader of the Kanjiklub is an incredible fighter and the unquestioned leader of one of the galaxy’s most feared gangs. Pass rusher could be a natural fit for Leech.

30. Carolina Panthers- Qui-Gon Jinn
Somehow, someway, the Panthers add one of the best Jedi of his generation, Qui-Gon Jinn. Jinn is versatile and will mentor quarterback and reigning MVP Cam Newton, who seems strong with the Force.

31. Denver Broncos- Ahsoka Tano
Denver gets their franchise quarterback with Anakin Skywalker’s apprentice. Tano would match perfectly in a Bronco uniform, though her horns might be a problem.

32. New England Patriots (vacated)- Sebulba

Somehow, the Patriots regain their lost draft pick.

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Thoughts on the Rams-Titans Trade!

The Los Angeles Rams have to be the boldest team in NFL history. Months after moving from St. Louis to Los Angeles, the Rams have made another huge move- trading up for the number one pick in this month's draft. This trade will give them an opportunity to shape the future of their team for the next fifteen years, or sink them back into the mediocrity of the past decade.

The Rams moved up from the 15th overall pick to the top overall, and the cost is high. Los Angeles sends two first round picks, two second round picks, two third rounders, and a sixth rounder for the top overall pick with a couple of mid-rounders.

For the Titans, the move makes a lot of sense, as last year's selection of Marcus Mariota solidified their quarterback position. With the 15th pick, the Titans will have options as they try to add blue-chip talent to their young nucleus.

Los Angeles taking this gamble means that they really want one of the top quarterbacks in the draft. Carson Wentz from North Dakota State and Jared Goff from California are the two consensus top-five picks at quarterback and by moving up, the Rams now select ahead of the quarterback-needy Browns. The Rams have one of the worst quarterback situations in the league- Case Keenum was named the starter for next season- and the position has been in limbo for the last 15 years. 

I love this move for the Titans, but I also think that Los Angeles took a fantastic risk. While no college quarterback suited to start immediately, the pick will be immediately thrust into the action and be the Day 1 starter in Los Angeles. The Rams are ready to contend for the playoffs but won’t do so until they find a quarterback. Free agency has proved unfruitful for the Rams and by the 15th pick, Wentz and Goff will be gone. If the player stumbles, this could be a major disaster that will send the Rams back, but as Arizona coach Bruce Arians says, you have to risk it for the biscuit. With the Rams moving into Southern California, the pick gives the Rams the face of their franchise for a decade or two.

The change also bodes well for my favorite teams, the Chargers, Cowboys, and Ravens, who are picking in the top 6. Offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, projected to be the 1st overall pick to Tennessee, could fall to San Diego if Cleveland also opts for a quarterback. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Myles Jack, defensive end Joey Bosa and defensive lineman DeForest Buckner are generational talents, and with another top-five pick going to a quarterback, those players will stay on the board longer.

My Mock Draft
1. LA Rams (Trade with Titans)- Carson Wentz, Quarterback
2. Cleveland Browns- Jared Goff, Quarterback
3. San Diego Chargers- Laremy Tunsil, Offensive Tackle
4. Dallas Cowboys- Myles Jack, Linebacker
5. Jacksonville Jaguars- Jalen Ramsey, Defensive Back
6. Baltimore Ravens- Joey Bosa, Defensive End
7. San Francisco 49ers- DeForest Buckner, Defensive End
8. Philadelphia Eagles- Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Vernon Hargreaves, Defensive Back
10. New York Giants- Jaylon Smith, Linebacker

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Houston Texans

In the series, I'm putting together a list of the best QBs of each team. This one is for the Houston Texans!

Best Quarterbacks- David Carr, Matt Schaub, Ryan Fitzpatrick
The youngest team in the NFL, Houston, has only been around since 2002 and hasn’t found a franchise player yet. David Carr, their first pick in franchise history, was a disappointment, but Matt Schaub found some success in Houston. Those are the only two quarterbacks to ever start back-to-back seasons for the Texans and have combined to start in 12 of the franchises 14 seasons.

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

Poll: Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
In the series, I'm putting together a list of the best QBs of each team. This one is for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

Best Quarterbacks- Vinny Testaverde, Brad Johnson, Jameis Winston
The Bucs have been around since the 70s and still haven’t found a reliable starter. Vinny Testaverde, the first overall pick in the 1987 draft, stayed for only five years. Hopefully their recent 1st overall pick, Jameis Winston, can blossom into a franchise player in Tampa.

Up next: Houston Texans

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Baltimore Ravens!

Poll: Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Baltimore Ravens!
In the series, I'm putting together a list of the best QBs of each team. This one is for the Baltimore Ravens!

Best Quarterbacks- Joe Flacco, Jim Harbaugh, Steve McNair
The Ravens are known for their fierce defense, notably the 2000 squad that is arguably the best ever. But as far as quarterbacks go, only Joe Flacco has been a quality starter.

Up next: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Jacksonville Jaguars!

Poll: Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Jacksonville Jaguars!
In the series, I'm putting together a list of the best QBs of each team. This one is for the Jacksonville Jaguars!

Best Quarterbacks- Mark Brunell, David Garrard, Byron Leftwich
Of this trio, Mark Brunell stands out as a franchise player. The underrated Brunell led the Jaguars, THE JAGUARS, to the AFC Championship twice and earned three Pro Bowl selections in his time in Jacksonville.

Up next: Baltimore Ravens

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the New York Jets!

Poll: Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the New York Jets!
In the series, I'm putting together a list of the best QBs of each team. This one is for the New York Jets!

Best Quarterbacks- Joe Namath, Vinny Testaverde, Chad Pennington
Broadway Joe and the Jets soared to a Super Bowl title, the first by an AFL team, in the late 60s. Aside from that, the Jets list lacks reliable options.

Up next: Jacksonville Jaguars

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Buffalo Bills!

Poll: Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Buffalo Bills!
In the series, I'm putting together a list of the best QBs of each team. This one is for the Buffalo Bills!

Best Quarterbacks- Jim Kelly, Doug Flutie, Jack Kemp
Jim Kelly is the face of the Bills franchise and led the team to four consecutive Super Bowls. In the 60s, Jack Kemp helped Buffalo win two AFL championships and was an AFL All-Star seven times.

Up next: New York Jets

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Carolina Panthers!

Poll: Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Carolina Panthers!
In the series, I'm putting together a list of the best QBs of each team. This one is for the Carolina Panthers!

Best Quarterbacks- Cam Newton, Jake Delhomme, Kerry Collins
Cam Newton has the potential to be a top-10 quarterback all-time and both he and Jake Delhomme led the Panthers to the Super Bowl.

Up next: Buffalo Bills

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Arizona Cardinals!

Poll: Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Arizona Cardinals!
In the series, I'm putting together a list of the best QBs of each team. This one is for the Arizona Cardinals!

Best Quarterbacks- Neil Lomax, Kurt Warner, Carson Palmer
When you think of the Cardinals, agony isn’t attached like it is with the Browns or Lions or Raiders. But the Cardinals are the losing-est team of all-time and least stable, switching cities like they switch quarterbacks. Those quarterbacks haven’t been great, though Carson Palmer is readying the team for a Super Bowl run.

Up next: Carolina Panthers

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the New Orleans Saints!

Poll: Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the New Orleans Saints!
In the series, I'm putting together a list of the best QBs of each team. This one is for the New Orleans Saints!

Best Quarterbacks- Drew Brees, Aaron Brooks, Archie Manning
New Orleans has struggled for the majority of its history, but the quarterbacks are the bright spot. Drew Brees is a statistical beast and quarterbacked the team to its first and only Super Bowl title. Archie Manning, the dad of Peyton and Eli, was the lone star of the 70s teams.

Up next: Arizona Cardinals

-Kid Reporter John

Kid Reporter John: Best QBs of the Detroit Lions!

Poll: Kid Reporter John: Best QB of the Detroit Lions!
In the series, I'm putting together a list of the best QBs of each team. This one is for the Detroit Lions!

Best Quarterbacks- Bobby Layne, Matthew Stafford, Scott Mitchell
In the glory days for Detroit, Bobby Layne was the superstar quarterback. Layne was selected to two All Pro teams, six Pro Bowls, and won three NFL titles for the Lions in the 1950s.

Up next: New Orleans Saints

-Kid Reporter John