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The Browns/Eagles trade and NFL “Moneyball”

Written by Justin Higdon on April 21, 2016

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When the Cleveland Browns introduced a new front office plan that included expanding Executive Vice President/General Counsel Sashi Brown’s role to de facto General Manager, and hiring Major League Baseball exec Paul Depodesta, the moves were met by predictably lazy and uninspired takes. The accomplished Harvard graduates have been dismissively called “stat boys,” media members have composed articles and tweets presuming to know what the “analytics say,” and the Browns’ plan has often been boiled down to a fire sale. These critiques appear to be lifted directly from the crusty old scouts depicted in Moneyball, which of course was a movie based on a book based on the analytics-driven methodologies of, among others, DePodesta. Given the NFL’s team salary cap, directly associating DePodesta’s baseball approach to football never made sense to me, so I wondered instead what would be the NFL equivalent to MLB’s team (read more…)


Exclusive Interview with Ferris St. DT Justin Zimmer

Written by Chris Nicolaou on April 19, 2016

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When the ‘sleepers’ for the 2016 NFL Draft are discussed, the name Justin Zimmer is consistently brought up. The Ferris State defensive tackle spent time training with gold medal sprinter Michael Johnson during his NFL Draft preparation.

Zimmer recently attended the Houston Regional Combine, which is one of five that are backed by the NFL where prospects pay to workout in front of scouts. Zimmer also attended Michigan’s pro day.


2016 NFL Draft: Jonah Tuls’ Top 300 Big Board

Written by Jonah Tuls on April 19, 2016

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The road to the 2016 NFL Draft has been a long one, but we are now almost a week away from draft day. It is surreal how fast time has gone by, but I am also thrilled to show you the top 300 players on my big board for the upcoming draft. If you’re not familiar with a big board, this is a vertical, overall ranking of the top prospects in the class, however, they are not where I think they will go in a mock draft necessarily. Feel free to contact me on Twitter (@JonahTulsNFL) if you have any feedback, and without further ado, here is the beast:

First Round Grades (22)


2016 NFL Draft: Ten Things I Think I Think

Written by Kyle Crabbs on April 19, 2016

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We’re officially less than ten days away from the kickoff of the first night of the 2016 NFL Draft. So with that in mind, I think it makes perfect sense to take some time to expand on my thoughts and impressions of the 2016 class and Draft while borrowing from Peter King’s MMQB style in a “Ten Things I Think I Think” column.

  • I can’t remember a longer pre-draft hangover in the past 3-4 years of doing this. It seems like so many folks have run out of gas or exhausted themselves on takes. Almost everyone I’ve spoken with has at one point or another expressed an exhaustion in the Draft over-analysis or process, I’m not certain whether it’s the repeated themes or talking points taking their toll of if we’re just not really enamored with this class in general; but it’s been a struggle for many. I for one (read more…)

  • 2016 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Kyle Murphy, OT Stanford

    Written by Pete Smith on April 19, 2016

    Stanford offensive tackle Kyle Murphy (78)  before the first quarter of an NCAA college football game between Northwestern and Stanford in Evanston, Ill,  Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt Marton

    Kyle Murphy was a 1st Team PAC-12 selection at left tackle as part of one of the more potent left sides in college football along with Josh Garnett at Stanford. This past season, the Cardinal were able to maul opponents and enable Christian McCaffrey to be the Heisman Trophy Runner Up.

    Murphy finished his Stanford career part of a class that played in 3 Rose Bowls, winning 2 of them. Now, the giant offensive tackle with a mean streak in the running game looks to ply his trade at the next level.

    Pete Smith: What’s the ideal weight you’re trying to achieve?

    Kyle Murphy: Yea, I mean throughout the whole combine, pro day, all that type of stuff, I’ve been anywhere from 305 to 310, so I feel good there. I’m just trying to be a good, healthy, lean weight, but just kinda the way my body’s built, and (read more…)


    The Draft Breakdown Podcast, EP 26

    Written by Justin Higdon on April 19, 2016

    The Draft Breakdown Podcast, EP 26

    Seth and Justin are joined by FootballGameplan.com boss Emory Hunt to discuss overrated, underrated, and sleeper prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft class. Plus, the guys examine a developing situation at the top of the first round.


    Danzel McDaniel and the Journey

    Written by Jeff Risdon on April 18, 2016

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    One of the great phenomenon in the draft media is the willingness to pick and choose which prospects get favored status and which ones fade to relative oblivion in draft season.

    It’s not that different from the odd cultural phenomena that emerge at college stadiums every Saturday in the fall. From The Wave to the “jump around” to the ubiquitous Seven Nation Army on repeat twice a quarter from every marching band in the country, they are instantly ingrained in the cultural fabric of college football.

    The last couple of autumns brought forth a new stadium sensation. Somehow, some way, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ emerged as a raucous, full-throated sing-a-long at college football games. “Born and Raised in South Detroit” broke decibel meters in nearby Ann Arbor with over 100,000 Michigan fans screaming along. I went to 9 different college football venues last fall and heard the 1981 pop/rock (read more…)


    2016 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Tony McRae, CB North Carolina A&T

    Written by Pete Smith on April 18, 2016

    Tony McRae

    Tony McRae was 2-Time All-MEAC 1st team corner after initially committing to the school as a tailback. After recording 5 interceptions as a junior, teams stopped trying to throw at him as a senior. McRae also returned a total of 63 kickoffs in his career with 4 touchdowns and an average of 25.7 yards per return.

    Now, the Aggie corner is turning his attention to the NFL and what he can do for a team on the next level.

    Pete Smith: Help me understand the way you guys play defense. I see you play boundary corner and then I see you in the middle of the field as a safety.

    Tony McRae: Okay. I play boundary corner because in the MEAC, the best receivers usually play in the boundary, so the throws are shorter. Our quarterbacks throw a lot of quick game stuff in the boundary, so the best (read more…)


    The Draft Breakdown Podcast, EP 25 – 2016 NFL Mock Draft

    Written by Justin Higdon on April 15, 2016

    New Mock Drafts

    Seth and Justin recap the blockbuster trade between the Rams and the Titans, touch on some news of the week, and close with a full 1st round mock draft that’s sure to raise a few eyebrows.


    Breaking News: Titans trade No.1 pick to Rams

    Written by Bryan Perez on April 14, 2016

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    The NFL Draft is inherently full of unexpected twists and turns, but today’s news of the Titans and Rams agreeing to terms on a trade involving the No.1 pick overall was certainly as surprising as it gets.

    Rams get No. 1 pick, their 4th and 6th. Titans get Rams’ 1, two 2s (43 + 45), 3 and then Rams 1 and 3 next year.

    — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 14, 2016

    The Titans were rumored to be shopping the first pick, but the fact a deal was struck with two weeks remaining before the draft is pretty shocking.

    The Rams paid quite the price to move up, choosing to mortgage their future in an effort to presumably land the 2016 NFL Draft’s top quarterback.

    Coach Fisher’s decision to trade two first-round picks, two second-round picks and two third-round picks is a potentially crippling move if Carson (read more…)


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