The NFL free agency frenzy has, for the most part, passed, and now football fans are looking forward to the next big event on the calendar- the NFL draft. Here are the best fits for each of my three favorite teams, by pick in the draft.
1. Dallas Cowboys (16th pick)- The Cowboys need to start drafting well. They have not had good drafts for the past few years and have a lot to work on. The big hole is on defense, where the unit ranks as one of the league's worst. There should be plenty of defensive players available, but Jerry Jones's problem has been knowing which to choose (see Morris Claiborne).
Draft Picks that would Help- Because of the departure of DeMarcus Ware, the defense only has one proven player- Sean Lee, who is often injured. The defense needs great athletes, and two of the best are linebacker CJ Mosley out of Alabama and safety Calvin Pryor out of Louisville. Mosley would complement Lee as an inside linebacker and would be starting most of the time given Lee's injury history. Pryor would shore up one of the worst pass defending teams in the NFL and can be a leader. The defensive line is also an issue, as Ware, Jay Ratliff, and Jason Hatcher have left. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald would be the best fit for the Dallas defense, as he is the best interior player in the draft and can also be a leader.
Best Draft Pick: Given the Cowboys do not trade up or down, Pryor would have to be the best pick. Mosley will almost definitely be off the board by the time the Cowboys pick, so he will probably not be a Cowboy. Pryor has been desired by many teams so he could also go off the board, but if he is available he would help the worst part of the defense- the secondary. If he is off the board, Dallas should opt for Aaron Donald.
2. Baltimore Ravens (17th pick)- After a poor offseason in 2013, Ozzie Newsome made had one of the best in recent memory this year. The Ravens had multiple free agents but were able to resign a few major players, such as Dennis Pitta, Jacoby Jones, Daryl Smith, Terrell Suggs, and Eugene Monroe. Those resignings should help fill some holes, but there are still others made by the losses of other players.
Draft Picks that would Help- The offensive line definitely needs more help, so Taylor Lewan from Michigan or Zack Martin from Notre Dame would be solid picks if they are still available. Baltimore also has a need in the receiving core despite the signing of Steve Smith and would benefit from the addition of tight end Eric Ebron, wide receiver Marqise Lee, or wide receiver Mike Evans. The Ravens have traditionally had a stout defense but have a need in the secondary. Safeties Ha-Ha Clinton Dix or Calvin Pryor would be great picks for the secondary. Newsome has been known for picking the best available player, so if linebacker CJ Mosley falls to the 17th pick the Ravens could snatch him up.
Best Draft Pick: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame- The Ravens are trying to find an offensive identity. After the loss of Michael Oher, Baltimore needs a tackle to be a leader and a great blocker in pass and run. Martin has all of those qualities and should be available when the Ravens pick.
3. San Diego Chargers (25th pick)- Of the three teams that are included in this article, the Chargers went the farthest in the postseason, making it to the divisional round. Their needs are mainly on the offensive line, linebacking core, and secondary. The latter is the biggest need, but San Diego should be able to fix that even with the late 1st round pick.
Draft Picks that would Help- This draft is one of the best, and Ha-Ha Clinton Dix, Bradley Roby, Lamarcus Joyner, Jason Verrett, Kyle Fuller and Darqueze Dennard should all be available. Defensive tackle Louis Nix would also be a popular pick and would help stop the run game on a defensive line that is improving. On the offensive side of the ball, San Diego could pick receiver Marqise Lee or tackle Cyrus Kouandjio.
Roby, a former Ohio State corner, would be the best fit. He is projected to go in the late first round and is the aggresive corner that the Chargers need. Roby would also be able to make plays in the secondary, which already has ball-hawk safety Eric Weddle.
NFL RUSH Kid Reporter
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE
While you were out playing 60 this weekend, all 32 NFL teams were hard at work improving their rosters.
Check out the latest and let us know: who did the best?
The Saints re-resigned OT Zach Strief.
The Patriots re-signed WR Julian Edelman and signed WR Brandon LaFell.
The Jets re-signed LB Calvin Pace.
The Colts signed WR Hakeem Nicks.
The Browns signed RB Ben Tate.
The Eagles signed S Nate Allen.
The Giants signed CB Walter Thurmond.
The Broncos signed WR Emmanuel Sanders.
WR Lance Moore is visiting with the Steelers.
QB Brandon Weedenand DE Jared Allen are speaking with the Cowboys.
FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE
Free agent Friday fun fest! The action keeps happening furiously fast. Which of these moves do you the like the best...or not like at all?
The Bears re-signed Charles Tillman.
The Packers resigned DT B.J. Raji.
The Vikings resigned WR Jerome Simpson.
The Buccaneers signed C Evan Dietrich-Smith.
The Dolphins signed DB Cortland Finnegan and G Shelly Smith.
The Ravens signed WR Steve Smith.
The Titans have signed Michael Oher.
The Dallas the Cowboys are looking at DE Julius Peppers.
WR Emmanuel Sanders is talking to the 49ers and the Chiefs.
DB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is talking to both the Jets and the Giants.
FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE
Did you sleep well last night? Because while you were dreaming of puppy dogs and cotton candy, several NFL teams were shaking, baking and deal-making.
Be sure to leave a comment about which teams are making the best moves.
The Ravens re-signed LB Daryl Smith.
The 49ers re-signed CB Tarell Brown.
The Lions re-signed TE Brandon Pettigrew.
The Titans signed LB Wesley Woodyard.
LB Brandon Spikes is talking with the Bills today. Stay tuned.
DE Henry Melton is deciding between the Cowboys and the Seahawks.
OT Donald Penn is close to signing with the Raiders.
WR Julian Edelman will visit the 49ers today.
THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE
The Bills re-signed TE Scott Chandler.
The Jaguars re-signed DE Jason Babin.
The Cardinals signed WR Ted Ginn and LB Matt Shaughnessy.
The Raiders signed DT Justin Tuck and DE/OLB LaMarr Woodley.
The Redskins signed DTs JasonHatcher and Clifton Geathers and LB Darryl Sharpton.
The Vikings signed DB Captain Munnerlyn.
The Colts signed C Phil Costa.
The Chargers signed QB Kellen Clemens.
TE Brandon Pettigrew is reportedly nearing a deal with Jets.
WR Andrew Hawkins is on the verge of a deal with the Browns.
THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE
In a bizarre series of events, OT Rodger Saffold failed his physical with the Raiders and then was re-signed, and passed his physical, by the Rams.
The Ravens re-signed WR Jacoby Jones.
WR Steve Smith was released by the Carolina Panthers. Some team is going to get a great "catch" there.
CB Darrelle Revis signed with the Patriots. Wow.
The New York Jets signed WR Eric Decker.
The Eagles traded for RB Darren Spoles and signed CB Nolan Carrol.
The Buccaneers made yet another big move by signing OT Anthony Collins.
The Jaguars signed DE Chris Clemonsand DT Ziggy Hood.
The Redskins signed DB Tracy Potter.
Not Sure, Yet
WR Hakeem Nicks has visited the Panthers, Colts and Chargers.
The Giants are reportedly talking with WR Ted Ginn.
The Dolphins re-signed DT Randy Starks.
The Ravens re-signed WR Jacoby Jones.
The Giants have re-signed LB Jon Beason.
The Seahawks have re-signed DT Tony McDaniel.
ON THE MOVE
Wow! The Broncos continued their massive talent build-up by signing Pro Bowl DE DeMarcus Ware.
The Lions signed WR Golden Tate.
The Buccaneers signed QB Josh McCown.
The Vikings signed DT Linval Joseph.
The Buccaneers released DB Darrelle Revis.
The Browns released QBs Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell.
TUESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE
It's on! The first day of Free Agency hit like an all-pro linebacker, as teams rushed to add the best available players to their rosters.
Surprise...Darren McFadden is staying with the Raiders! But a bunch of other players landed on new teams, check it out below.
The Ravens have re-signed OT Eugene Monroe.
The Colts have re-signed DB Vontae Davis.
The Raiders have re-signed RB Darren McFadden.
The Falcons signed DT Paul Soliai, DE Tyson Jackson and G Jon Asamoah.
The Browns signed LB Karlos Dansby and S Donte Witner.
The Dolphins signed OT Branden Albert and DT Earl Mitchell.
The Cardinals signed OT Jared Veldheer.
The Raiders signed OT Rodger Saffold.
The Jaguars signed G Zane Beadles.
The Buccaneers signed DE Michael Johnson.
The Chicago Bears signed DE Lamarr Houston.
The Colts signed LB Arthur Jones.
The Titans signed KR Dexter McCluster.
The Broncos have signed S T.J. Ward.
The 49ers signed S Antoine Bethea.
The Eagles signed S Malcom Jenkins.
The Giants signed RB Rashad Jennings and LB O'Brien Schofield.
The Redskins signed WR Andre Roberts.
Which team made the best Free Agent pick-up so far? Tell us in comments!
TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE
In the calm before tonight's storm of transactions, we have a couple of updates to give you on players re-signing with their current teams ... and a few other rumors to whet your appetite.
Players staying with their current teams
The Bengals have re-signed KR Brandon Tate.
The Colts have re-signed K Adam Vinatieri for two more years.
The Giants re-signed a trio of players: DB Trumaine McBride, RB Peyton Hillis and G Kevin Boothe.
The Redskins have re-signed LB PerryRiley.
The Lions are not letting RB Joique Bell get away; they signed him to a two-year extension.
The Falcons have resigned Jonathan Babineaux.
If there are not able to strike a trade, the Buccaneers are expected to release DB Darrelle Revis.
Word on the street has the Panthers and WR Steve Smith parting ways.
The Buccaneers are rumored to have a deal in place with DE Michael Johnson.
It looks like the Redskins will be signing WR Andre Roberts.
The Colts and the Steelers are the favorites to land LB Arthur Jones.
Bears are actively pursuing DE Lamarr Houston.
As expected, the weekend saw a flurry of activity...but the real fun begins tonight at midnight. That's when free agent players are officially able to sign with other teams. Stay tuned, it's going to get crazy!
A bunch of teams resigned their stars before they could test the free agent waters, most notably the Seahawks resigning star defensive end Michael Bennett.
Check out who else is staying with their current team:
DE Michael Bennett resigned with the Seahawks.
LB D'Qwell Jackson resigned with the Colts.
CB Sam Shields resigned with the Packers.
DB Brent Grimes resigned with the Dolphins.
QB Chad Henne resigned with the Jaguars.
QB Matt Cassel resigned with the Vikings.
WR Anquan Boldin resigned with the 49ers.
TE Dennis Pittare signed with the Ravens.
The Dolphins appear on the verge of signing OT Branden Albert.
The Cardinals are the early favorite to sign LT Jared Veldheer.
The Colts are close to a deal to keep DB Vontae Davis.
The Jets are hoping to sign S T.J. Ward.
T Eugene Monroe is expected to resign with the Ravens.
DB Antonio Cromartie was released by the Jets.
The NFL's version of The Wild West begins this Saturday at noon, as hundreds of NFL players will be free to sign with any team that offers them a contract. Think of it as a massive fantasy football swap meet with teams bidding on the players of their choice.
It's going to be crazy! Lucky for you, we've got this handy-dandy NFL RUSH Free Agent Tracker for you. We will constantly update with all the free agent action, so check back often.
We've listed our top 10 offensive and defensive free agents below. Tell us in comments which one you want for your team!
Top 10 Offensive Free Agents
Top 10 Defensive Free Agents
1. Eugene Monroe
2. Branden Albert
3. Ben Tate
4. Eric Decker
5. Hakeem Nicks
6. Knowshon Moreno
7. Julian Edelman
8. Darren McFadden
9. Maurice Jones-Drew
10. Michael Vick
1. Jairus Byrd
2. Michael Johnson
3. Aqib Talib
4. Alterraun Verner
5. Lamarr Houston
6. Michael Bennett
7. Vontae Davis
8. T.J. Ward
9. Randy Starks
10. Karlos Dansby
Be sure to tune into the NFL Network this weekend to catch all of the action!
The offseason has reached the two month mark, and free agency will be starting soon. One of the active teams, the Baltimore Ravens, who lost most of their players after the 2012 season, will probably be making a few other big changes as they look to stay in contention. Here is a recap of the first 2 months of the offseason for the Ravens.
The first move that the Ravens made in the offseason was in the coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell was chosen as the newest head coach of the Detroit Lions, so the first priority was to find a new OC. The wait did not last long. Former Texans coach Gary Kubiak was chosen for the job. Kubiak helped the Texans have a great rushing attack (with Arian Foster and Ben Tate) and a solid passing attack (with Andre Johnson). He will look to improve the underachieving running game while developing former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.
The second priority was to retain some of the stars. Two important players, tight end Dennis Pitta and linebacker Terrell Suggs, were given multiyear contracts. Pitta was injured for most of last season but is Joe Flacco's favorite target. Suggs, a former Defensive Player of the Year, is the best defensive player and leader, not to mention a fan favorite, and the deal will likely make him a Raven for life. These were good moves that the Ravens needed to stay competitive.
Unfortunately for Baltimore, Joe Flacco's massive contract caused them to lose a lot of players last year and will again force them to cut players this year. Two underrated players, fullback Vonta Leach and linebacker Jameel McClain, will be let go after multiple seasons with the team. Leach is a former All-Pro, but he was not a priority for the team. McClain has been with the team for many years but Suggs was needed more. These two moves saved up about 5 million in cap space but will hurt the team.
The Ravens will make a few more moves, ranging from free agency to the draft. Other free agents for the team include offensive tackle Michael Oher, receiver and return specialist Jacoby Jones, linebacker Daryl Smith, offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, defensive end Arthur Jones, safety James Ihedgibo and cornerback Corey Graham. Oher will likely not be resigned, and Monroe was not given the franchise tag. Daryl Smith and Jacoby Jones should be retained because the Ravens have needs at both of their positions. Unfortunately for Ravens fans, most of these players will be let go into the market.
Hopefully, Ozzie Newsome will get a few free agents this offseason. Baltimore has needs at fullback because of Leach's departure, wide receiver, offensive line, and secondary. The most important are probably wide receiver and offensive line. Joe Flacco had a career high in interceptions and the running game was the worst in the NFL despite having star Ray Rice- both partly because the offensive line. Receiver is also a real need because the Ravens have only two proven targets- Pitta and receiver Torrey Smith. Baltimore should aim for a few players to help those needs. Current Raven Eugene Monroe and Chief Brandon Albert should be signed to fill one of the offensive tackle spots, and Alex Mack is a great free agent center. Wide receivers are also a big need and a few bargains are Eagles receiver Jason Avant, Cardinals receiver Andre Roberts, and Chiefs Do-It-All man Dexter McCluster, one of my favorite players in the league.
The Ravens also have multiple draft picks to fill their needs. General Manager Ozzie Newsome has a top 20 pick to use for the first round, and there are a few players that could fall into their hands. Receivers Marqise Lee and Mike Evans would be great fits and tackles Taylor Lewin and Zack Martin are also solid picks. If C.J. Mosley is still available, the former Alabama inside linebacker would be the perfect fit in the defense. In the last 6 rounds, the Ravens should choose dynamic playmakers, such as Kent State RB Dri Archer, but the emphasis should be toward offensive line and receiver help.
Baltimore did not make the playoffs last year, but hopefully they will make a few signings that will bring them back into the mix. Their moves in the last two months have certainly helped that goal.
NFLRUSH Kid Reporter
The first half of this NFL season has been very exciting, especially for my two favorite teams, the Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Ravens. Though their seasons have turned out differently, both have made headlines and caused discussion. Here is a look at the Cowboys and Ravens in this season.
Dallas Cowboys- 4-4
The Cowboys have played well this season by staying competitive in all of their games, including those against tough opponents, but lost close games to the Chiefs (1 pt), Broncos (3 pts), Lions (1 pt), and Chargers (9 pts). The Cowboys have had a chance to win all of them, but have not performed well in the 4th quarter. On the bright side, Dallas is leading their division, which has performed poorly and could be the worst in the league. To win, the Cowboys will need to play better defensively, which was obvious especially when Calvin Johnson had a whopping 329 receiving yards in a Cowboys loss. The most valuable player for them has been wide receiver Dez Bryant, who has solidified himself as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. If the Cowboys want to keep their lead in the NFC East, they must close out games that matter.
Baltimore Ravens (3-4)
I don't want to sugarcoat my favorite team's season, and I would have to say that it is a disaster. Joe Flacco has performed worse than his 120.6 million dollar contract suggests, including a 5-INT performance in a loss to a mediocre Bills team. The running game has faltered as Ray Rice has been playing terribly. Since Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta are not in the Ravens starting lineup, Flacco hasn't had many experienced options to throw to. The defense has held up, but Sam Koch has performed very poorly. The only wins this season for the Ravens have been against the Bills, the dismal Texans, and the slumping Dolphins. For the Ravens to turn their season around, the Ravens should hand off to Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce more often and would benefit from picking up a player like Randy Moss, Beanie Wells, Michael Turner, Cedric Benson, or Brandon Lloyd. Joe Flacco must play well and not turn the ball over. In all of the turmoil, the Ravens have had a very valuable player- inside linebacker Daryl Smith, who has become a good defensive leader and tackler.
NFLRUSH Kid Reporter
Hello I'm Evan and today we are going to talk about the Super Bowl and absolutely AWESOME plays.So let's get to it.
1. Jacoby Jones kickoff touchdown: All I have to say is that was amazing. That guy can RUN! He's like Randell Cobb running down the field. That was AMAZING.
2. Dennis Pitta touchdown: Dennis Pitta has always been a great TE. He's very strong and can bulldoze through people.
3. Flacco to Bolden: Man that was a hard throw. I feel like Bolden needed to wear a catcher's mask!
NFLRUSH Kid Reporter
The regular season is in the books but NFL RUSH Fantasy is just heating up. With many teams eliminated from the playoffs, your go-to guys might be stuck on the bench. Here are the top fantasy performers this season that you can use this week.
QB: Aaron Rodgers (Packers), 329 points
RB: Adrian Peterson (Vikings), 297 points
WR: A.J. Green (Bengals), 194 points
TE: Dennis Pitta (Ravens), 103 points
Defense: Seahawks, 183 points
Wild Card: QB Robert Griffin III (Redskins), 305 points
Make your picks for Wild Card Weekend now!
Take a look at the best possible team that you could have used in Week 15 of NFL RUSH Fantasy. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson went bananas this week.
QB: Russell Wilson (Seahawks), 39 points
RB: Adrian Peterson (Vikings), 27 points
WR: James Jones (Packers), 24 points
TE: Dennis Pitta (Ravens), 24 points
Defense: Cardinals, 24 points
Wild Card: QB Drew Brees (Saints), 29 points
Total: 167 points
Make your picks for Week 16 now!
Hey Rushers! It's been a pretty long time since I last wrote, so I'm glad to get back to it. I have a lot to write about, but the most important thing for me to comment on is the Ravens draft picks. Therefore, I will withhold all other items until I finish that. So, what are we waiting for?
The Ravens got a steal in the 2nd round by picking former Alabama DT Terrence Cody. They also got a DE (Sergio Kindle) in that round. Later on, they addressed their TE needs by taking Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. They also took a chance on two players (WR David Reed and DT Art Jones) that they felt had a lot of upside. With their last pick, Baltimore picked up a veritable truck of an offensive lineman in Ramon Harewood. At 6'7" and 360 pounds, you don't want to get in this guy's way! Sadly, the biggest need the Ravens had was not addressed. Baltimore badly needed to beef up their secondary, but did not select one CB or S. Otherwise they drafted fairly well, but they really needed to draft in that area, and did not. Perhaps they are setting something up for a trade. I would give them an overall draft grade of B-.
I've been very busy the past few weeks! I just finished up an indoor flag football league put on by one of the local private high schools. It was a lot of fun (except for all the turf burns, which I'm still trying to recover from) and we almost beat the #1 team in the state! I'm also currently playing travel baseball. We will play in a tournament in Myrtle Beach at the end of our season, so I'm very excited about that.
When do you get out of school? I just got out in mid-June. It's hard to know for certain, after all the snow wreaked its havoc! My grades are good (I'm getting all A's) but it can be hard to keep them up!
See you on the gridiron,