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Downvote me all you want, but there is too much negativity in the world right now and this sub is about as Bi-Polar as they come. Here’s my take after calming down.
Super Bowl this, Super Bowl that. Sip sip sip. Now something bad happens and everyone’s off the fucking wagon. Jesus Christ calm down. Shit happens. Stop focusing on the bad, alls that does is ruin your week/ends. Breathe. Calm down and breathe. Look at it objectively. The first 4 games we all agreed were going to be tough. After the first week of NFL football we have some takeaways for those teams. The Vikings D has regressed. A lot. The offense didn’t look particularly we either. The score didn’t look awful because they scored with 1:21 left. A Vikings fan should check in because I know they lurk. AZ was a grindy ass game and their offense didn’t look incredibly good. They also faced a SF offense that is in trouble. The 49’ers shit the bed in more ways then one. Go to their sub, it’s a dumpster fire. Much like ours. NOLA didn’t do shit. Look at the stats. Sub 200 yards passing and Sub 90 yards rushing. TB is just bad. The ST is atrocious and Brady is 43 years old and proved Jameis wasn’t the issue. Was this loss frustrating for the lions and fans. Yes. Did I overreact to seeing a collapse. Yes. Am I still frustrated, yes. BUT now that I have calmed down and looked at it rationally. We played our no. 2, 5 , 6, 7 CB’s, we lost Collins to bullshit * read the refs words, dude flopped worse than an NBA player. That was a complete overreaction, Collins was trying to explain the runner led with the crown of his helm which is a penalty btw We lost our starting RT, and No. 1 wideout. Golladay not being in the lineup hurt us about as much as 4 of our corners leaving the game. Things for optimism are: our defense was solid the first 3 quarters before the CBs legs snapped. (Strength and conditioning coach probably needs to be questioned here) the play calling was conservative to say the least. Fox the punter is a stud. Found a replacement for Martin. AD looks like a man possessed and you bet your ass he’s getting on this entire team about what happened today. A veteran leader with Stafford getting on everyone will only help. We had a pass rush for much of the game. Okwara also left the game in the third. Overall the offensive line was decent. Not bad, but not great. They held up. Besides the forced pass, Stafford was smart with the ball. The deflection literally went straight up into the air (fucking oof) The first 4 games were never going to be easy. You also have to remember the Chicago D ranked 9th last year overall. We still did incredibly well against their stacked ass D with conservative play calling and no Golladay. A few things to round this out. Kerryon needs to be #3 on the depth chart. AD > Swift > Kerryon. The play calling; both offense and defense CANNOT go into conservative mode. Foot on the gas all game. Now was this because they were missing a few players, with no preseason and concerns over injury’s. It could. There is no doubt about it. But play calling especially for Bevell needs to be more aggressive. It will get better though, I have faith in that. With the defensive injuries, I might give a pass here. Our bench CB’s couldn’t keep up in man or in zone. It was extremely obvious. The goal post is a fucking traitor. Tavai getting the offsides is most definitely on him. No one else. You can coach until your face is blue, players still have to make plays / execute. Of course the coach is going to be called into question but it’s still on the players. Thank you for coming to my Ted talk. If you are going to respond to this post, PLEASE I BEG OF YOU, have constructive feedback.
Division: NFC West Record: 9-7 (3rd in Division, 7th in Conference) After a wildly successful 2019 season, the Los Angeles Rams had high hopes for 2020. It was truly Super Bowl or bust for the team, and unfortunately as high as the expectations were the end result was disappointment almost as high. Despite the shortcomings (and media doubt), the team is still in great shape to have another great year and playoff hopes are completely within shooting distance. Here's a brief summary of some of the positives and negatives on the 2019 season. Positives
Over half of our draft class showed real signs of being potential starters for 2020. Bobby Evans and David Edwards stepped in due to injuries and had success. Taylor Rapp was one of the leagues best rookie defenders, and will definitely start in 2020. David Long Jr filled in due to injury occasionally through the year and showed a glimpse of the player he could be after some development.
Cooper Kupp emerging as a potential top 10 WR. I'm just going to lean into the joke, because the dude is honestly the scrappiest WR we've had in a long time, and he puts in serious work. He can make a decent argument for being in the conversation as the best route runner in the NFL.
Despite the season being a disappointment as mentioned above, the fact that as a Rams fan I can look at a year where we went 9-7 and narrowly missed the playoffs as a disappointment has to be viewed as a positive. I've been a fan for my entire life, and wallowing in the years from 2006-2016 has been pretty rough. To have expectations again is nice.
Jared Goff, the most frustrating QB next to Jameis Winston. His rookie year can hardly be counted against him, so after seeing him have a pretty successful 2017 and then a flat out great 2018 was tremendous, and really set the bar high in 2019. To be frank, Jared Goff managed to disappoint in many games this year. Almost off of this disappointment can be attributed to overconfidence rather than bad decisions. Goff doesn't have an issue reading defenses consistently rather he has an issue with thinking he can fit throws in tight windows that he can't consistently place. Taking what the defense gives him has been a problem for Goff throughout his career and in 2019 it was on full display.
We had one of the most predictable defenses in 2019, and having star players like Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey would rightfully make fans think some level of razzle dazzle could be drawn up. We never really saw that in 2019 and teams took advantage.
Our run game never could be consistently established. Our offense starts with the OL and the zone blocking scheme, and with the decline of Todd Gurley, and many injuries sustained on the OL, the run game could hardly ever get established.
2020 Coaching Staff/Changes
Name (* indicates new coach)
Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Coach
Assistant Defensive Line Coach/Defensive Quality Control
Special Teams Coordinator*
Previously with the Detroit Lions
Running Backs Coach*
Previously with the South Carolina Gamecocks
Assistant Quarterbacks Coach
Previously WRs coach
Defensive Quality Control*
Previously Akron CBs Coach
Assistant Offensive Line Coach
Defensive Line Coach
Run Game CoordinatoOffensive Line Coach
Offensive Quality Control
Assistant to the Head Coach
insert The Office joke here
Previously with the Washington REDACTED
Tight Ends Coach
Assistant Wide Receivers Coach
Was Assistant QB coach in 2019
Outside Linebackers Coach
Previously with the Denver Broncos as OLB Coach
Pass Game Coordinator
Wide Receivers Coach
The loss of Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips is a bummer, but something that was absolutely needed. This series I believe was the nail in the coffin for Wade's tenure with the Rams. And while the man has a historic legacy as a coach, ultimately he has a noticeable trend of running the same schemes and without much adjusting throughout the season, and opposing teams inevitably catch on to what he's doing and they counter. This same trend seemed to happen Denver as well. There is no doubt that the son of Bum will be missed, but ultimately I think Wade's hire was primarily to serve as a mentor for McVay while he figured out what it was like to be a head coach in the NFL. Now that McVay has three full seasons under his belt, that need is no longer there. Brandon Staley can be the energy the Rams defense desperately needs, and he could provide a similar spark that McVay set off when he first arrived.
The bigger bummer is the loss of Special Teams Coordinator John "Bones" Fassell. I know what you're thinking, how can a STC possible be more valuable than the legendary Wade Phillips? Coach Bones had been our STC since 2012, as well as serving as interim head coach in 2016 after the firing of Jeff Fisher. Bones was a true leader of men, and is in the conversation of the best STC in the league. In memorandum of this loss, I want to share my all time favorite Coach Bones moment
Free Agent Signings and Departures
3 y31.5 million
3 y30 million
1 y3.9 million
2 y17 million
1 y10 million
3 y7.5 million
1 y5.5 million
Dante Fowler Jr
3 y30 million
Las Vegas Raiders
3 y36 million
New York Jets
1 y2 million
1 y1 million
1 y1.35 million
Lets start our discussion with the departures, because we lost a lot of key starters. Dante Fowler, Cory Littleton, Clay Mathew, and Eric Weddle were four starters on our defense, with NRC being our primary slot DB. Weddle was more of a leader than an anchor on defense, and did a remarkable job mentoring his replacement in rookie Taylor Rapp. Clay Mathews had a nice season but at his age is certainly replaceable. What isn't going to be replaceable is Cory Littleton, who might be one of the most underrated linebackers in the NFL. His coverage ability is going to be sorely missed and leaves the linebacker room, which was already weak, almost defunct. The strategy regarding our free agent signings is a little mysterious. In early free agency we signed Floyd and Robinson, which filled two holes left by Fowler and Brockers, who had originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens. A few weeks afterwards Brockers offer was rescinded by the Ravens, and he resigned at a lofty amount. This effectively leaves the team with a log jam at defensive tackle, with two DTs that do virtually the same thing to be paired with Aaron Donald. I'll explain later in this post how I think our defense might look, but it's certainly a puzzling signing. Resigning Whitworth, in what should be his final contract, is a nice bonus even if it was for another larger than anticipated deal. It gives our numerous young OL talent a wonderful vet to learn from, and despite media reports our offensive line room actually isn't bad. It's just incredibly young, and we have many sophomores who look to make jumps this year.
2020 Draft Class/Undrafted Free Agents
Cam Akers and Van Jefferson are the only players on offensive who should make an immediate impact. Akers could battle for the starting position with Gurley out, and Jefferson could battle Josh Reynolds for WR3. The intriguing pick is Terrell Lewis, who could have been a 1st rounder if healthy. He fills a major need at EDGE for the team, and if he works out will be a massive value pick. Brycen Hopkins will battle with Johnny Mundt for the final TE spot, which may be a tall order given Mundt's proficiency on special teams. But he's a good prospect to replace Gerald Everett, who will demand a larger contract next year. Tremayne Anchrum is probably a longshot to make the team, especially with no preseason games considering we have a logjam of OL prospects with Bobby Evans, David Edwards, Joe Notebloom, among others. For more information on the UDFA list, check out this link. The interesting choices are Easop Winston, Josh Love, and Bryce Perkins. Easop I think may have a decent shot at making the roster, while Josh Love and Bryce Perkins may be able to battle it out for the backup position. The Rams will look to shed future salary cap space where ever possible, and both players have decent ceilings and could be a cheap backup alternative for Goff, but both will have to usurp AAF legend John Wolford who is the leader in the clubhouse.
Projected Depth Chart/Scheme Changes
Offense (* indicates rookie)
The first thing that I envision changing for this Rams offensive is to break out of our traditional 11 personnel into more 11 or 22 based packages. Sean McVay has made no secret about our change to a running back by committee team, which makes sense given the different types of backs we have on the roster. Malcom Brown probably gets the start due to his veteran presence, and because he's a traditional runner of the football. But Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson are both Alvin Kamara-like backs and can open things up for McVay to get more creative. An interesting camp battle will be to see who makes it at wide receiver. Kupp, Woods, Reynolds, Jefferson, and Webster are all locks to make the team, but we will probably carry 6-7 on the roster. I'm partial to Easop Winston and Trishton Jackson to fill those voids but other guys like JJ Koski could also impress and camp and make an impact. As the season goes on, the Rams are going to hope that at least one of these rookies can manage to impress enough to replace Josh Reynolds, as both him and Cooper Kupp are in contract years and we probably won't be able to afford to resign both. On the offensive line front, I'm really excited to see the development that Bobby Evans, Joe Notebloom, and David Edwards show. Make no mistake, if our team is to have flexibility moving forward it is absolutely vital that one, if not all three, of these guys pan out. Luckily, due to injury Bobby Evans and David Edwards were given starting jobs and performed really well all things considered. Evans in particular was given the task to block Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack and really held those guys to minimal impact. As a quick update, the only member of the team to opt out of the 2020 season is OL Chandler Brewer, who was probably a good bet to make the team as a backup OL. In his place I slot Jamil Demby who's been a prospect on the team for what seems like a decade. In any other year, I'd slot a rookie to take over that slot but given the lack of a structured offseason I think the team stays with someone familiar for another year. Defense (* indicates rookie)
David Long Jr
John Johnson III
Our biggest change in identity is going to come from the defensive side of the ball. Losing Wade Phillips is a huge blow to the leadership of the team, but newcomer Brandon Staley may be able to provide a McVay-like spark in ingenuity that provides results. The way that the Rams targeted safeties in the draft, and avoided a massive need in linebacker, makes me believe that we are transitioning to a DB let system similar our neighbors in the LA Chargers. If you do film study on the Chargers, you can see them run a package that consists of 7 DBs occasionally, which works well when you have physical safeties like Derwin James. Luckily for us, we have two incredibly physical guys in Johnson and Rapp, and with the team clearly focusing on DBs I think its in the cards for us to roll this package out in 2020. One area that might be a struggle for us is going to be our defensive line, and generating pressure via the pass rush. Luckily again, we have the greatest defensive player in the NFL and the greatest defensive tackle of all time on our team. Another fortunate circumstance is that we no longer will be marred by Wade Phillips conservative play calling, and in fact may be able to use DC Brandon Staley's expertise as an OLB coach to get improvement out of guys like Okoronkwo and Ebukam, In free agency we signed A'Shawn Robinson, who paired with Michael Brockers can be a force against the run, but neither player is a threat to rush the passer. Leonard Floyd, another free agent signing, is another guy who is strong against the run but struggles in pass rush. This area of defense will be key to the success of the team, and these guys are gonna have to find ways outside of relying on Aaron Donald to generate pressure. Special Teams (* indicates rookie)
Losing Greg Zuerline is going to hurt, and he will always have a place in Rams history for making clutch kicks in the 2018 NFC Championship game. But he grew inconsistent especially inside the 40 yard line, and struggled with injuries since 2017. We drafted Sam Sloman in 2020 but also have two decent UDFA that will compete for the starting job..
Projected Game Results
Week 1: Win (1-0) Dallas Cowboys @ Rams - NBC Sunday Night Football Opening the season at the new SoFi stadium, with potentially no fans is going to be an odd experience. The last time the Rams beat dem boyz was in the 2018 Divisional round of the playoffs. Both teams will struggle early to find continuity, and I'd expect a relatively low scoring, run heavy game. In the end I think the Rams will get the season off to a good start with a win. Rams 24 Cowboys 17 Week 2: Win (2-0) Rams @ Philadelphia Eagles - FOX 10am PST We should finally get to see Goff vs Wentz healthy in full game for the first time. The Eagles have beat the Rams both times they've played Sean McVay, and I think they get things back on track in 2020. I believe our strength at the DL and DBs will be able to effectively manage the weaknesses of the Eagles WRs and aging OL, though the key will probably be Zach Ertz. Rams 30 Eagles 28 Week 3: Loss (2-1) Rams @ Buffalo Bills - FOX 10am PST Our first stumble will come against an underrated team in the Bills. I think having two close games in a row to open the season will leave the team waiting for a crash, and how else to crash than by facing what might be the best defense in the NFL. I expect Tre White and the rest of the secondary to handle Goff and company in a convincing loss. Bills 23 Rams 10 Week 4: Win (3-1) New York Giants @ Rams - FOX 1:05PST Home sweet home, the Rams get back on track with a convincing win over a struggling Giants team. I'll predict an offensive explosion from Goff, somewhere around 400 yds and 4 TDs in a blow out win. Sorry Giants fans, nothing personal. I'm expecting an early struggle for this Giants team as it adjusts to new coach, young QB, with little prep time.Rams 42 Giants 16 Week 5: Win (4-1) Rams @ Washington [REDACTED] - FOX 10amPST I think this gsme is much closer than most might expect. The [REDACTED] are my surprise pick of the year, I have them winning the NFC East. An already tenacious defense led by Ron Rivera and gaining a bona-fide star in Chase Young is going to be fun to watch. I think the key to this game will be quick passes to avoid that ferocious defensive line as much as possible. Rams 24 [REDACTED] 21 Week 6: Loss (4-2) Rams @ San Fransisco 49ers - NBC Sunday Night Football As much as I want to win this game, I think Shanny and those fucks take this one from us. Divisional games tend to be unpredictable and chaotic, and while I do think we split the series with them, being on the road for this one isn't going to favor us. Its going to be interesting to see how DC Brandon Staley chooses to defend Kittle. I dont think shadowing him with Ramsey is the best play, perhaps it's a combination of jamming him at the LOS and covering him in zone. Either way, its a tall order for whoever gets that assignment. 49ers 31 Rams 25 Week 7: Win (5-2) Chicago Bears @ Rams - ESPN Monday Night Football As it stands, McVay will be 1-1 on the year in prime time games. His record as a coach is , which leads me to believe he'll have an edge in winning this one. Of course the Ram fucker Foles might be in at QB, which could spell disaster for our team. I think that our offensive prowess will shine during this long week, and we win in convincing fashion. Rams 36 Bears 20 Week 8: Win (6-2) Rams @ Miami Dolphins - FOX 10am PST We continue this offensive success against a team that will probably be pretty good defensively. HC Tom Flores is a Bill Belichek disciple who learned something important from his former mentor; acquire as many great DBs as you can. The improved secondary will make things tough for Goff and gang, but ultimately working with a rookie QB is going to be hard against a defense with all pros scattered around it. Rams 17 Dolphins 0 ' Week 9: BYE Week 10: Win (7-2) Seattle Seahawks @ Rams - FOX 1:25PST And entering the second half of the season we have our first three game winning streak. Coming off a bye week will give McBae ample time to prepare for a Seahawks team thay frankly will have a struggling offensive line and holes on its defense. Even with Jamal Adams, I expect this team to take a step back in 2020. Rams 31 Seahawks 17 Week 11: Loss (7-3) Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers - ESPN Monday Night Football Facing the best offensive weapons in the league is going to be a tough order for any team this season. Now that they have a QB that will make effective, eccifient decisions this Bucs team should take off. I dont think its particularly close, this is a complete team on both sides of the ball. Bucs 28 Rams 10 Week 12: Win (8-3) San Fransisco 49ers @ Rams - FOX 1:05PST The winning continues as the team really clicks into high gear. A brutal NFC West game will likely be a repeat of Week 6, but with a few more bounces going our way. Being at home will be a helpful factor. Rams 26 49ers 24 Week 13: Win (9-3) Rams @ Arizona Cardinals - FOX 1:05PST If there is any team in the league that McVay can be relied on to spank, its the Cardinals. McVay has yet to be beat by the team in his tenure with the Rams and I expect that to continue at least through this week. Despite a huge game from future MVP Kyler Murray, the Rams prevail, improving to 9-3 Week 14: Loss (9-4) New England Patriots @ Rams - FOX/NFLN/Amazon Thursday Night Football A short week against Belichek spells doom for almost every team, and McVay will continue his struggles against the GOAT. The Pats defense was able to throw Goff off his game on the Super Bowl a few years ago, I expect we see more of this on Thursday. Week 15: Loss (9-5) New York Jets @ Rams - TBD Every team had one puzzling loss, and this matchup with the Jets is ours for the year. I dont expect the Jets to have a grest year but I do think Sam Darnold is universally underappreciated and will have a great game against us. Week 16: Loss (9-6) Rams @ Seattle Seahawks - CBS 1:05PST And we are really ending the year on a slump. Losing to the Seahawks this late in the year isn't great for our playoff hopes, but its always a tall order to go into Seattle and leave with a W. This game may he one of the most important games going into the playoffs and I wont be surprised to see it get flexed. Week 17: Win (10-6) Arizona Cardinals @ Rams - FOX 1:25PST Luckily for us we end the season against our little cousins, and use this opportunity to get our chakras realigned. This game will move us into the 6th seed and bounce Arizona into the 7th seed, becoming the first division in history to have every team make the playoffs.
I think people have forgotten that the Rams were a mkssed field goal away from making the playoffs last year, and thats with playing very sloppy through most games. The only thing holding this team back is the fact that they play in the toughest division in football. I think that Goff has a bounce back year and ends up a top 10 QB for the season. This season will be critical for McVay to really show the new coaches and players that he's capable of not only calling proficient offense but leading an entire team of players. It will be an interesting season, so make sure to wear your damn mask so it actually happens. Thank you for reading, and bless all the knees and keep them healthy!! Thanks for reading!! Bless all the knees and keep them healthy. Link to hub
Miami Dolphins AFC East (4th place) 2019 record - 5-11 New coaches - Josh Boyer - DC Chan Gailey - OC Robby Brown - QB coach Steve Marshall - OL coach Austin Clark - OLB coach Curt Kuntz - assistant DB coach. Coaches gone - Chad O'Shea - OC Patrick Graham - DC Jerry Schuplinski - Assistant QB coach Dave DeGuglielmo - O-line coach Free Agency
Kyle Van Noy
Byron Jones is the big one here. He will start opposite Xavien Howard and will force teams to throw his way more often, which will lead to more picks. Howard is a ballhawk while Jones is more a lockdown guy. They should make a great duo. Kyle Van Noy brings a lot of versatility and much needed experience to the defense. He should be a do it all type of guy under Brian Flores and should fill the Kyle Van Noy role that dolphins fans have been talking about since 2019 started. Who better? Shaq Lawson brings much needed pass rush to Miami. They were downright pathetic in that area last season Emmanuel Ogbah, see Shaq Lawson. Jordan Howard, speaking of pathetic, Miami's running attack was beyond that last year. Ryan Fitzpatrick led the team in rushing. Yes, you actually read that correctly. 38 year old bearded non running QB Ryan Fitzpatrick led the dolphins in rushing for 2019. He had a very measly 243 yards. I still smh typing that out. Howard will fix that issue. Matt Brieda is the lightning to Howards' thunder. He will take a few to the house from mid field this season. Players cut/ lost in free agency
Reshad Jones was one of my favorite dolphins players of all-time so losing him hurts, but it seems it was just his time to move on. A ring of honor player and maybe the best safety to ever play in a Fins uniform. Hard hitter, makes big plays, lots of pick 6's and game sealing interceptions, great tackler, he will be missed. 2020 NFL draft selections Round 1, pick 5 - Tua Tagovailoa Grade - A+ After a year or more of speculation, drooling and hoping for Miami to be in position to grab him, they stayed at number 5, avoided trading up and still got the QB that 99% of Dolphins fans had been praying for. Tua Tagovailoa is a top flight quarterback coming out of college injuries or not. His accuracy and ability to hit receivers in stride in incredible. He doesn't have a huge arm but it's definitely adequate and he maintains that accuracy all over the field. He has touch and great instincts to find the open man. He avoids the sack well, which is something he's gonna have to utilize heavily due to the fact the Dolphins haven't been able to put together a respectable offensive line consistently for the past decade. It's unlikely he'll start right away due to the hip injury he suffered last November and since Ryan Fitzpatrick is in position to maintain his starting role. The covid pandemic did not help him in getting experience, but it did give him more time to rehab. Last I checked Tua had the number 1 and 2 selling jersey in the NFL. To say the least, Dolphins fans are very excited about his arrival. Round 1, pick 18 - Austin Jackson OT USC Grade - B+ This was a pick that sort of divided the fanbase a little bit. He has high upside but is also so young and raw that a lot of fans were justifiably worried he was a reach and wouldn't live up to being the 18th overall selection. He is very athletic and a very hard worker so that's a good sign for his future. He also gave bone marrow for his sister to save her life and somehow still came back and played college football that same year. Absolutely incredible. Personally just that makes me a huge fan of his, but watching his tape he does have some flaws. He played a bad game going against AJ Epenesa, a fellow first rounder in this year's draft. AJ is a very strong player though and even great players have certain guys that give them trouble. He should man the left tackle spot for at least 3 years. There's a good chance he will see a trial by fire season in 2020. Round 1, pick 30 - Noah Igbinoghene DB Auburn Grade - A- This was the first pick that surprised Dolphins fans. Many believe that the Dolphins were targeting a different player at number 26, their original pick, but that player was gone so they traded back. Igbinoghene is an exciting player though. He is figured to man the slot CB position and seems like he has star potential there. It won't hurt having other great CB's like Xavien Howard and Byron Jones to learn from and play next to. He's fast and plays tough. He loves to jam guys and has great play speed to make pass break ups, but he is still pretty raw since he's only been playing defense for a couple years. Should have all the opportunity to snag a "starter" spot as the nickle corner. Most think Bobby McCain will stay at safety so he only needs to beat out Nik Needham who was an undrafted rookie last year. Though Needham did show promise so it isn't a cakewalk. Round 2, pick 39 - Robert Hunt OL Louisiana- Lafeyette Grade - B Nobody was surprised that the dolphins would draft 2 offensive lineman out of their first four picks, but not many saw that guy being Hunt. He plays aggressively and should be a road grader in the run game, though his pass blocking needs refinement. His strength and playstyle will likely give him a leg up on his competition at either right guard or right tackle since head coach Brian Flores loves toughness on the field. He will be given a shot at beating out Jesse Davis for the right tackle spot but will likely land at right guard since he will probably need time to develop at tackle first. Fellow draftee Soloman Kindley, Danny Isidora and Michael Dieter will be competition for him to start. Round 2, pick 56 - Raekwon Davis DL Alabama Grade - B- Davis is strong and plays with a high motor, but lacks great athleticism so his future is a bit murkier than the first 4 players taken by the dolphins. He has versatility and will probably play both tackle and end, allowing for others to move around. Round 3, pick 70 - Brandon Jones S Texas Grade - C+ Jones is projected to be more of a SS than a FS, which makes sense because Reshad Jones is no longer with the dolphins. Brandon Jones has big shoes to fill there. The athleticism and physicality are there, though the ball skills and coverage ability are not. He's gonna have to be kept clean by the coaching staff and his fellow defensive backs if he's going to be able to play a ton of snaps and succeed. Round 4, pick 111 - Solomon Kindley OG Georgia Grade - B Kindley is a destroyer in the run game. He plays to not only win his rep but to shame his opponent. He should be able to find a spot on the line if his pass blocking can even be adequate. Definitely a decent pick at a position of need. Round 5, pick 154 - Jason Strowbridge DL North Carolina Grade - B- Another defensive lineman. I see a theme here this offseason. Round 5, pick 164 - Curtis Weaver DE Boise St. Grade - A Clearly the defensive line was an issue for the dolphins in 2019. Weaver brings some real potential but lacks explosiveness off the edge. Great pickup in the 5th. Round 6, pick 185 - Blake Ferguson LS (longsnapper) LSU Grade - D- I wrote out longsnapper because I'm not sure one has ever been drafted before so maybe some don't know. He will be the only one on the team and has already led to the release of LS Taybor Pepper who was building a gym for his Miami home and posting about it when the news broke. Ouch. Round 7, pick 246 - Malcolm Perry RB/WR Grade - A Perry is a very elusive player that brings a bit of excitement for being drafted so late. He caused an insane amount of missed tackles in 2019 but against bad competition. Obviously it is yet to be seen if he can keep that up against vastly better competition, either way, getting a player with actual potential this late is a steal. UDFA Matt Cole - WR Jonathan Hubbard - T Kylan Johnson - LB Benito Jones - DT Nick Kaltmeyer - OT Ray Lima - DT Kirk Merritt -WR Tyshun Render DE Donell Stanley - C Bryce Sterk - TE Offseason news This was a blissfully peaceful offseason for Dolphins fans (2020 BS excluded). There was one minor incident with Xavien Howard that looked like it could end with a four game suspension but it did not. All charges were dropped and NFL didn't see enough to give any punishment. Maybe the biggest story was Saints WR Michael Thomas losing his damn mind when DeVante Parker tweeted out "A". It was in response to the question "Which is tougher? A. Make a catch while guarded by Stephon Gilmore, or B. Break up a pass while guarding Michael Thomas." It was a far cry from pretty much every offseason Miami has had for nearly twenty years. Pretty much the rest of the story has been Tua, Tua, Tua. Projected starting lineup Offense QB - Ryan Fitzpatrick RB - Jordan Howard RB2 - Matt Brieda WR1 - DeVante Parker WR2 - Preston Williams WR3 - Albert Wilson TE - Mike Gesicki LT - Austin Jackson LG - Erick Flowers C - Ted Karras RG - Robert Hunt RT - Jesse Davis Defense CB - Xavien Howard CB - Byron Jones FS - Bobby McCain SS - Eric Rowe OLB - Jerome Baker MLB - Raekwon McMillan OLB/DE - Kyle Van Noy DE/OLB - Emmanuel Ogbah DE - Shaq Lawson DT - Davon Godchaux DT/NT - Christian Wilkins Nickle corner - Noah Igbinoghene Disclaimer - trying to pin down assignments and starters on a defense that tries to have players play multiple positions and schemes is an exercise in futility. Scheme Offense - Spread offense Chan Gailey has typically used the spread offense throughout his career so that's expected to be the case here in Miami. In the spread offense the basic idea is to force the defense to cover a lot of wideouts in order to open up the run game and pass option, or rpo. Here legendary coach Urban Meyer explains it a million times better than I can, which makes sense since he knows it a million times better. Defense The defense the dolphins will use is a tricky one. They will likely switch between 3-4 and 4-3 regularly and will use many different formations within each one. OLB's will also get after the QB like a DE, DE's will likely slide inside to the DT position, as well. The idea behind the defense is to always have good matchups on the field and to lockdown the receivers with great man to man coverage, allowing the defensive line to get pressure on the QB. It's quite the opposite of what Miami has done in the past, which was to try and get after the QB ASAP and pray that your DB's didn't allow a quick reception, which they usually did. In the past Miami had such great ideas as sending the DE's around the edge quickly but playing off coverage and not trying to take the wideouts off the mark, which almost always just ended up in the QB getting rid of the ball quickly to a wide open receiver running across the middle. Most Dolphins fans found it frustrating to say the least. This new scheme is the opposite of that. They want the DB to knock the wideouts off of his route, while the DE's will play a more contain style and keep the play in front of them rather than running upfield and out of the play. I'm far from an expert on this subject though. Hopefully some of the great Dolphin fans will come on here and clear it up better than I can. 2020 schedule Week 1 - @ New England Week 2 - Buffalo Week 3 - @ Jacksonville Week 4 - Seattle Week 5 - @ San Francisco Week 6 - @ Denver Week 7 - LA Chargers Week 8 - LA Rams Week 9[email protected] Arizona Week 10 - NYFTJets Week 11 - Bye week Week 12 - @ NYFTJets Week 13 - Cincinnati Week 14 - Kansas City Week 15 - New England Week 16 - @ Las Vegas (ew) Week 17 - @ Buffalo Tough schedule for 2020. Starts tough and ends tough. Not a lot of room for error if they want to remain relevant after the bye week. One good thing is there's 3 west coast teams coming to Miami this year and in the past west coast teams have not played well going east and especially going to Miami. It's gonna be tough to make a playoff push, their best bet is to win at home and try and go 4-2 in the division by splitting the Bills and Pats and trying to sweep the Jets. All four teams in the East are looking like they aren't separated by a lot so it's anyone's guess if New England does indeed slip after losing Brady. I'll believe that when I see it. Big shoutout to guys like Kyle Crabbs and Travis Wingfield for helping teach me a lot of this stuff, I leaned heavily on Crabbs' scouting profiles for the draft section, and Wingfield taught me quite a bit about formations. Hopefully I'm not making his teaching look bad 😂. Another shoutout to all the Dolphins fans in Miami dealing with a big covid breakout in Florida. Stay safe you guys and gals!
[Theory]In Superflex, the least impactful position is WR. In Superflex, the most important position to build around is... WR?
Intro Disclaimer #1 This is entire discussion is about superflex (which everyone should be playing) and 0.5PPR (which everyone should also be playing). I suppose it might be handy for other types of leagues, but interpret accordingly. Disclaimer #2 This is also only relevant for owners who aren't trade-shy. You have to be comfortable trading - possible many times. Disclaimer #3 I am bad with stats and such, I go off of my "jellies" a lot, but I think that is an underrated part of dynasty (no stats to prove that...heh). In that regard, I'm sure the statisticians of /dynastyff can poke plenty of holes in this, so take it for what it's worth. EDIT DISCLAIMER This is also talking about team building, continual success in dynasty, not about startups so much (though taking mid-tier WRs in startups is good, too). This is about growing tradeable assets on your squad. Alright, now that I have reduced the audience by about 60%, let's get into it. The title of this piece is intentionally contradictory, and I intend to explain why I believe that WR is the most important position in fantasy. Coping with Cognitive Dissonance In a superflex league, the typical line-up is 1 QB, 2 RB, 2-3 WR, 1 TE, 1-2 FLEX, and 1 superflex (which is another qb 90% of the time). Why is it another QB 90% of the time? In 2019, everyone's favorite poo bucket, #25 QB Mitch Trubisky, scored 206 points. Also in 2019, #5 WR Kenny Golladay scored 206 points. In 2018, journeyman stalwart #19 QB Case Keenum scored 202 points. #11 WR Keenan Allen scored 203. In 2018 it was #17 McCown to #3 Keenan Allen (again). You get the picture. So then, why on Earth would I claim that WR is a more important position to build around? To answer that question, we need to look into a couple of things: points over replacement and perceived value. Points Over Replacement Let's take a look at 2019's stats across the different positions. Last year:
the top 10 WR in the NFL averaged 14.4 ppg
WR11-20 averaged 12.2 ppg
WR21-30 averaged 10.6 ppg
WR31-40 averaged 9.2 ppg
Wr41-50 averaged 7.8 ppg
OK, now let's look at the same RBs, since you're presumably allowed to start the same amount.
RB1-10 averaged 17.2 ppg
RB11-20 averaged 12.0 ppg
RB21-30 averaged 9.4 ppg
RB31-40 averaged 8.0 ppg
RB41-50 averaged 5.8 ppg (yeesh)
Now the top 25 QBs, in tiers of 5 (since you can start less)
QB1-5 averaged 22.7 ppg
QB6-10 averaged 18.6 ppg
QB11-15 averaged 16.7 ppg
QB16-20 averaged 15.3 ppg
QB21-25 averaged 14.0 ppg
OK, whew. From these numbers, what stands out to you? Is it the high score of the low tier QBs? Is it the low score of the low tier RBs? Look closer. We're going to focus on one thing: look at the variation across tiers. Which positions are similar? Correct - the WR and QBs. I think it is pretty well known that the WR position is deeeeep. In real life, and in fantasy. And also well known that the QB is a great source of points in fantasy, especially in superflex. But i wanted to establish the mindset here that while the 5th tier of WR scores only half of what the 5th tier of QB does, the decline in ppg to get to that number is similar. Yeah, yeah, yeah - I know the Lamar Jacksons and CMCs and MT's of the world are important, but this "article" is about building your team, not about drafting a 1st round gimme stud. Perceived Value OK, so I think I have proved the first part of my title: The WR is the least impactful position. There are a lot of them. They don't score as much on the top end as RBs, nor as much overall as QBs, and there are plenty of them to go around. Now I'd like to talk about why they are extremely important to building your team. When drafting (rookie draft), it is commonly said that picks are a crapshoot, right? You have a 50% chance to hit, yadda yadda yadda. Going down in rounds, that % gets smaller and smaller. In Round 1, whatever, take Baker Mayfield, Saquon, CMC, Burrow, CEH. Those are super easy and super obvious. They match the numbers above. If a player is a high round draft pick IRL, and they go to a position that scores more points on the top end like RB, or scarce like QB, then it's a good bet. Do it. We're going to focus on drafting rounds 2-5 here though. Look again at RB tiers. If your chance of "hitting" on a pick is dropping as the draft goes along, and you're past the "obvious" high probability picks, why are you going to even think about drafting a RB in Round 3? Wouldn't you prefer to draft the position that has a ton of players on the roster and on the field, getting a more of a shot to "breakout". Smart money says that's what you want to do. Unless an obvious value falls to you in Rounds 2-5, draft a WR. Now, the perceived value of this. What's the timeline for each position? RBs have notoriously short timelines, right? Approx. 4 year shelf life, and can be fantasy relevant out of the gate. Remember though: if they are going to be fantasy relevant out of the gate, you likely won't have them in R2-5. With QBs, you have another obvious situation. If they are drafted to replace but aren't even very good (looking at you, Jordan Love), take that shot. But getting a useful QB past early round 2 in superflex is just... unlikely. So that leaves the good ol' WR. The position of 6-7 spots on an IRL team. Maybe 8 or so on your dynasty squad. When does a WR get good? It's common knowledge that a WR likely sucks their rookie season, yes? And they kind of follow the "3 year breakout rule", yes? So, therefore, they keep their perceived value for longer than an RB that hasn't produced in his 1st 3 years, or a QB that isn't a starter by Year 3. WRs are given longer to breakout and more opportunity to break out because of the nature of the game. This is where you make your money. If you're going to be throwing darts with your 2-5th round picks, make your darts more valuable after the fact. It seems as if so many WRs hold this weird, tantalizing value that they are going to be HOT SHIT. Sutton. Chark. AJ Brown. McLaurin. Metcalf. DJM. Kirk. Juju. Ridley. Boyd. Deebo. Hollywood. Mike Williams (hmmm). Sammy Watkins. (uhhh...) .Corey Davis (wait..). Dante Pettis (hol' up). The truth is, most of the time, they are just going to end up being average. But what makes the WR position unique is that there are SO. MANY. NEXT BIG THINGS. And this is why you need to be a Trader. You like AJ Brown? Ohhhhh man. He is SUCH a beautiful man. What about his running mate in college, Metcalf? BOING. What if you had BOTH, and someone offered you Daniel Jones or Jimmy G for them? What would you do? What if you had DJ Moore, the uber athletic guy who is DEFINITELY going be a top WR forever and someone offered you Kirk Cousins straight up? Would you trade Keenan Allen + Courtland Sutton for Miles Sanders? This is why you should, at all times, be trying to acquire as many WR as you can. The potential for a young WR is like catnip for the uninformed. The likelihood is that they will cap off at about 10-12 ppg. But having a bunch of players on your squad with 10-12 ppg, and people think they are 16-18 ppg players, makes you rich in resources. I would recommend pulling the trigger on every one of those trades above if your depth allows it (and, if you build your team as I have mentioned, you will), even getting some more picks out of them (to turn into more WRs next year). The scarcity of solid QBs and higher tier RBs trumps anything that a WR outside of the top 7 or so can offer you. Case Studies Let's look at my man, Corey Davis. He was drafted in 2017. He was along with CMC, Fournette, Mixon, Cook, Mahomes, Watson. He never looked good. BUT, the great thing about WR is that they have the built in "Oh, he is learning the offense, he will break out soon!" excuse. Corey Davis in 2018 still had damn good value. If you drafted him in 2017, you could still get decent return. 2019, you could STILL salvage him. Even last year, early in the season, he had some value. That year's draft was absurd, so you can drop down to the 2nd-3rd round and also look at players like Juju, Kupp, Godwin, and Golladay, and compare them with the morons would didn't follow these instructions and went after Jeremy McNichols, Foreman, or Jamaal Williams because they are RBs. In 2018, look at guys like Anthony Miller, Sutton, Chark (maybe DJ Moore?!?!) that were drafted in 2nd-3rd as well. Compare them to the value you get from Hines and Kallen Ballage, RBs that were drafted in that same range. Also, Josh Rosen! Rosen's value tanked almost immediately. You would not trade Anthony Miller for Josh Rosen now, because WRs hold their value on p-o-t-e-n-t-i-a-l. In 2019, according to Mizelle, people really took Damien harris, Darwin Thompson, Justice Hill over Deebo, Hardman, Hollywood, Diontae. Because they were betting on the wrong odds. Conclusion, TL;DR RBs and QBs are important for winning, yes. But for value, WR are #1. Beginning in the 2nd round, barring crazy people ahead of you that drop gems in your lap, take a WR with every pick. It is a better bet. Next year and the year after, the chances are that the value of those drafts picks has gone up more than it has if you didn't draft WRs. Then trade those "false hype" guys to your leaguemates for actual important positions. Fin.
I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part Two
I hope you all have taken full advantage of the past 48 hours or so to regain some sense of normalcy after our adventures through Part 1 of Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot!Without further ado, Part Two: I resume my journey through the truly incomprehensible mind of Kelly Bensimon with a chapter entitled, "Thursday: Tricks of My Trade." Now that we've learned about the basic building blocks of hotness, Kelly promises to share even more hard-earned advice to help us really kick things up a notch. And, as she reassures us:
I'm actually glad for the mistakes I've made because anyone who doesn't make mistakes doesn't learn, and if you don't learn, you're boring!
And if you're boring, you're not HOT! I think I'm starting to get the hang of this! One of Kelly's most important life lessons came at her first horse show, when she made an unbelievably devastating misstep: "I decided to have an egg on a bagel from the food-service van." What kind of unimaginable ripple effects did this poor decision set off? I continue on to learn that Kelly "did all right in the competition." And…that's literally the whole story. Kelly legitimately refers to this as "one of my biggest lessons," as it taught her "to never eat more than I normally would." If life-changing breakthroughs were this easily sparked in my own life, I can't even begin to imagine how self-actualized I would be at this point. At this point in my reading, I have reached the book's first insert, which contains about a dozen glossy color photos from various phases of Kelly's life. Unfortunately, I am far too preoccupied by this picture, in which a carefree, wind-swept Kelly clenches her infant daughter under one arm with all the grace of an NFL wide receiver, to pay the rest of the spread much mind. We continue on as Kelly introduces new dimensions to the basic tips she's previously introduced. For example, you may have had some vague idea that water was important, but Kelly -- always there to help us learn and improve -- digs into the specifics to make sure we're up to date on the HOTtest tricks of the trade:
Staying hydrated is important no matter what you're doing, so I always try to drink eight glasses or about a liter of water a day. Soda isn't water. Coffee isn't water. Water is water. Drink throughout the day; don't try to get it all down at once. You wouldn't drown an orchid, so don't drown yourself.
I am putting in my formal request for a Public Service Announcement in this format, but using the last line of that passage. Also, Kelly clearly does not know how poorly I tend to my houseplants. The next page informs us that, "hot isn't just caliente; it's also spicy and sultry." Kelly promptly launches into yet another list of miscellaneous grocery items, this time focused specifically on "red-hot foods." Except it includes entries like "popcorn with sugar and cinnamon," and "Mike and Ike candy," so I'm not convinced Kelly didn't just lose track of the thread entirely by the time we got a few items in. However, this does seem like an appropriate time to introduce this picture, from the book's second photo insert, which clearly depicts the sleep paralysis demon that has haunted my dreams for the past several nights. We're also treated to this chapter's first "hot button issue" panel, in which Kelly pulls back the curtain on the shadowy, pro-salt cabal trying to control us all with their anti-sodium legislative agenda:
We keep reading about how bad sodium is for our health, but if you eat fresh foods that you prepare yourself, you can determine and control the amount of salt you want to use. I, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, am perfectly capable of deciding how much salt I want to put on my food. I don't need anyone else to salt my food for me. I know that the amount of salt I choose to sprinkle on my food is not going to hurt me.
I read on to find a two-page spread in which Kelly expounds, in rhapsodic praise to rival that of Song of Solomon, upon her ardor for her beloved dehydrator -- "I though I was in love with coffee, but now I think my dehydrator is my truest love." Most of the passage is taken up by an unstructured list of the various things Kelly has attempted to dehydrate ("cucumber," "mangoes," "avocado") but she does manage to squeeze in a few infomercial-ready lines -- "Really, you should buy one; I promise you won't be sorry." Since repetition is the key to reinforcing new concepts, I appreciate that Kelly's next list (of "a few more lean tricks I've learned along the way") repeats a note she originally relayed to us just a few pages ago:
Drink water throughout the day (not all at one sitting).
She's also been thoughtful enough to provide a list of resources for us to use as we soldier on along the perilous journey to HOT. After all, as Kelly says, "I don’t expect you to carry this book wherever you go -- as much as I would love that." As someone who has never before ventured into the wild world of cyberspace, I really appreciated Kelly introducing me to so many fun, useful websites that I might want to check out! In case you, too, just haven't figured out how to navigate this whole Internet thing, I've included a few examples below:
www.amazon.com One-stop shopping for just about any book, periodical, or product you might want to read or buy in order to get HOT.
www.espn.com Everything you need to know to stay up to date on any sport.
www.webmd.com Useful, up-to-date, trustworthy information on medical and health issues.
Can't wait to check these out later! That Amazon one sounds super cool! I'm reminded quickly just how inelegant the transitions in this book are as we move directly from that list into the following:
I suggest that you take a picture of yourself every day…Some days when you're feeling your fattest, you may be surprised to see that you really look great.
Okay, so fat is NOT HOT. Except being comfortable in your body is HOT. And trying to be skinny is NOT HOT. But being skinny is HOT. Thank goodness I still have a few more chapters to go -- I clearly still have a ways to go before I truly understand the logic of HOTness. As it stands, I must admit that I'm a bit baffled. Of course, returning to the previous bit of advice, Kelly doesn't actually have to worry about taking her own pictures like us plebeians -- "Having been photographed so often has provided me with a permanent retrospective catalogue of my life." The chapter closes with these words of wisdom:
The best kind of vanity is being vain about what you put in your body.
Friday's chapter promises to introduce us to the world of "Hot Couture," and I am excited to see what tips and tricks Kelly has managed to accrue over her lifetime in the cutthroat world of modeling . But first, we abruptly transition to a story about Kelly meeting Madonna shortly after both women had given birth. Kelly had "gained a healthy fifty pounds," which I am led to believe, from the context of the anecdote, is NOT HOT. Madonna, on the other hand, was "flat-stomached" and therefore "HOT and cool." Of course, Kelly reassures us hurriedly that she lost all the weight within the following six weeks and was "actually thinner than I'd been prepregnancy." I am at an utter loss as to what the point of this story could possibly be, but -- blessedly -- Kelly is gracious enough to explain:
So what's the lesson here? That Madonna had personal trainers and chefs to whip her back into shape, and I didn't -- and still don’t. I shouldn't have been comparing myself to her in the first place. My advice to you is: don’t compare yourself to anyone else, only to your own personal best.
This is a perfect example of something Kelly does throughout this book, which is to present a completely reasonable piece of advice (don’t compare yourself to others), but couched within such a bizarre and logically disorganized narrative that by the time I reach the ultimate moral of the story, my brain feels like it's been run through a series of meat grinders, and I'm reduced to just nodding along in bemused acceptance. We get a "Kelly's Cardinal Rule" reminding us to "let your body be what your body is and be happy with what you've got." I'm starting to wonder if there is some sort of Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde thing going on behind the scenes here, in which two versions of Kelly are frantically grappling over control of the book's body-positivity dial. I'm literally don't even have to flip the page to see Kelly commiserating with us that "we all have days or occasions when we feel fat" and quipping about her "go-to fat outfit." But also:
Stop praying for what you don't have and be grateful for what you've got.
This amount of cognitive dissonance is truly proof that Kelly contains multitudes. Or has recently acquired some sort of debilitating short-term amnesia. Nevertheless, we continue:
But whatever your shape, show it off. Don’t try to hide it. Hiding is not hot.
Kelly next walks us through figuring out which "season" we are, based on the wisdom extolled in "Color Me Beautiful, the groundbreaking book that was so wildly successful in the early 80s." It's no surprise to me that Kelly, who earlier encouraged us to make our lives easier by using our PDAs, finds this to be an exciting new trend to share. Also, in case you weren't aware, "hair color is also important. You can lighten it or darken it or cover the gray." Lighten it or darken it? The boundaries of my mental universe are truly expanding. Some more fashion tidbits:
Scarves are hippie chic, cool, and always HOT.
If you're narrow, show off how narrow you are with a monochromatic palette.
Ankles are the new cleavage!
Narrow ankles only, I presume. Kelly's selfless, giving nature is highlighted yet again in the following passage, in which she explains:
All these celebrities have stylists who pull the clothes, accessories, and shoes that make them look the way they do. They charge a lot of money for what they do, so why not get some free advice based on my experience.
And what, pray tell, is this coveted advice that Kelly is so lovingly sharing with her readers, free of charge?
Save sweatpants for the gym.
Save PJs for the bedroom.
Dress as if you were the boss.
Remember what Carrie Bradshaw says: "Nothing is casual anymore, even when it says so on the invitation."
Manolo Blahniks are a girl's best friend.
Okay, so far be it from me to complain about the quality of free advice. But. Out of the five pearls of wisdom that make up the "KKBStyle Rules," two of them are rudimentary instructions to wear somewhat-situationally-appropriate clothing, and the other three are the kind of cute sayings that you would find on a piece of poorly bedazzled wall art in the clearance aisle of your local TJMaxx. I'm not impressed. Kelly next tells us how important it is to eat well and exercise, even "when you're premenstrual or having your period." That way, as she continues on, "you'll feel better because your endorphins will be flowing while your body is sloughing off unwanted endometrium and mucus." To be fair, Unwanted Endometrium does sound like a sick band name. Thankfully, the mental image of Kelly's mucus slough is promptly booted from my mind by a careening diatribe about the color red (HOT!):
I even painted my nails red the minute I started writing this book. I wanted to see my short red nails tapping away on my Macbook Pro. Almost every red dress is smokin' HOT, and I've never met a guy who doesn't think a woman in a red dress isn't hot. He's a liar if he denies it.
To repeat, Kelly says she's "never met a guy who doesn’t think a woman in a red dress isn't hot." Poor dear got a bit carried away with her negatives, but I'm sure she'll redeem herself in no time:
When I was sitting in the front row of a Marc Jacobs fashion show a few years ago, I wore a full, red short skirt, a tight red sweater, and red open-toed shoes. One of the editors from The New York Times was sitting across from me, and as we were waiting for the show to begin I kept crossing and recrossing my legs to make him laugh.
Sure, Kelly. To make him laugh. I can only assume she must have written some kind of hilariously clever joke on the gusset of her underwear to have had this editor so tickled pink red.
It was a long wait and after a while some guy I didn't know who was at the other end of the row, leapt towards me and screamed that he was obsessed with my feet. How crazy is it that red open-toed shoes and red toenails could create such a reaction. Red is HOT, even stalker HOT. Yikes!
I'm not clear where "stalker HOT" fits into this whole complex web, but it's reassuring to know that a wise soul like Kelly has such a nuanced appreciation of all of the different ways to be hot. She also gives us some "HOT tips for heating up your image." Like,
Put on a pair of jeans and a white tee shirt.
Put your hair in a ponytail.
Put on a pair of hoop earrings.
Wear your jeans a size smaller instead of a size larger.
For some reason not entirely clear to me at this moment, wearing jeans in your actual size does not seem to be an option. The chapter continues with a reminder to "remember what's on top of your head!"
There's nothing hotter than a HOT head of hair (unless it's a hunky bald guy).
Kelly follows up by offering a list of what she calls "HOT healthy options." Based on the preceding paragraph, you might assume that these tips would have something to do with haircare and hair styling. However, you would be wrong. Instead, we're instructed to:
Enjoy as much watermelon as you like.
Pack a picnic lunch of dehydrated fruit, chamomile iced tea, and mini pizzas made with corn tortillas, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. Eat your picnic in the park.
Come up with something fun you want to try and do it!
Personally, it seems like a bit of a cop-out to make one of the items on your list of fun things to do "make up your own fun thing to do." But who knows? Maybe cop-outs are HOT! Before my faith in our fearless leader starts to waver, however, I read on through the end of the chapter, and my surety is promptly restored:
Besides my hair and my legs, the one thing people always ask me about the way I look is how I keep my teeth so white. And yes, that's also a matter of genetics. I'm blessed with the whitest teeth on the planet, and, no, I've never had them professionally bleached.
The weekend begins as I turn the page to the penultimate chapter -- "Saturday: Heat Up Your HOT Image with Healthy Options Today." Saturdays, as Kelly tells us, are for fun activities. For example:
If you're in the mall, go to different stores and figure out which looks will make you HOT. Ask other shoppers for advice.
Parks are great for people-watching. Who looks fit and healthy?
I sincerely hope that any and all of my friends would give me a stern talking-to if I informed them that my weekend plans consisted of going to a park and…pointing out people I think aren't healthy enough? Kelly then warns us against overindulging on late-night snacks or alcoholic beverages, lest we wake up Sunday feeling "bloating, sluggish, and with deep regrets." Presumably, Kelly then proceeded to rail a massive line of cocaine and hammer out the following frenetic spiel:
You're not going to get fat from having a few drinks a week. You will get fat if your routine is to drink, eat late, and then lie around watching television the next day, eating and making bad food choices. Going out is fun, but when you sacrifice the next day, it's never fun enough. Don't have regrets; enjoy every day. This is a life plan, and yesterday isn't coming back ever again.
The chapter comes to a close with a reminder to "wrap up every day with a great big bow and be ready for your next adventure. But before we close out our week of HOT, we're provided with what I anticipate will be an incredibly useful reference material for us all, the "KKBfit HOT Quiz." If you'd like to take the quiz yourself, you can find it here. However, I'm not entirely sure I would classify it as a "quiz," since it seems to be mostly a set of questions followed by Kelly's feedback on various possible responses. For example:
How Kelly Green are you?
I had a Kelly Green Juice -- Wasn't it yummy? I had a smoothie from the health food store with a splash of spinach -- Great choice! I had kale chips, spinach, and quinoa for dinner last night -- I bet you woke up feeling great this morning! Other?
I presume that the lack of response after the "Other?" choice is supposed to represent Kelly staring at me in deranged disappointment for a few painfully protracted seconds. Some questions, like the one above, don't seem to have any wrong answers at all. In contrast, other questions have clear wrong answers, which Kelly wastes no time in making apparent:
Are you getting enough protein? How many days did you eat chicken, fish, or meat for at least one meal?
I had a grilled chicken salad for dinner on three different days -- That's good, but I wish you'd get a little more adventurous in your choices.
How KKBfit are you?
Haven't had a meal since last night, but I'm going to skip breakfast and go on a run. I won't eat anything until lunch. -- Sorry, but starving your body is not KKBfit.
Are you drinking enough?
I drink when I'm exercising but that's about it -- Not good enough! Try harder next week.
The quiz ends, leaving me entirely unsure of whether or not I've actually made any forward progress towards my HOTness goals, but the next page does promise help for those who "still need more inspiration." Here, it seems that Kelly has compiled a loose assortment of quotes, most of which (I have a sneaking suspicion) were found by searching the keyword "hot" on BrainyQuote.com. Also, this masterpiece from Kelly's ex-husband, noted fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon:
HOT-- It is not about the look, It is not only about the charm, It is the perfect combination: Sweet and tough, Sexy and reserved, Fragile and powerful, And definitely smart. -- Gilles Bensimon
Move over, Rupi Kaur! I hope with every fiber of my being that Gilles Bensimon has published his collected poetry in some kind of volume that I could purchase, read, and have, I'm sure, nothing but positive things to say about. After about a dozen similar quotations, Kelly continues:
Now, as you get ready for Sunday Funday, take a few minutes to think about how you define HOT. Has your definition changed or evolved since you started reading this book? If so, I'm doing my job.
In all honesty, my definition of HOT has definitely been…affected by this experience. So we'll call that a win! Kelly tells us a few stories about times when her friends and family members have come to her for guidance on how to be hot. She explains:
I'm not the food police, but I've made myself the Sven-arbiter (as opposed to Svengali) of what's HOT and what's not.
Case in point:
It's just not hot to belong to the clean plate club.
The chapter closes with a list titled "Why Don't You," which I believe is supposed to be a list of fun activities we can try during a Sunday Funday. Or possibly a list of terrible life hacks for stoned college freshmen:
Use an electric teapot as a clothing steamer.
Make grilled cheese sandwiches or press wraps using a hot clothes iron.
There are very few things sadder to me that imagining someone taking Kelly up on this last bit of advice as a fun way to liven up what must be the most preternaturally boring existence possible. If your idea of fun is white bread and Kraft Singles getting slowly warmed over on your clothing iron, I can only imagine the fit of hysterics that you'd be thrown into by a passable Minions meme. And that brings us to the end of the week. But not -- lucky you! -- to the end of this book. Au contraire -- the remaining 100 pages or so of I Can Make You Hot! feature dozens of unique recipes from the culinary mind of none other than the indomitable Kelly Bensimon herself. In her intro, however, she makes it clear that
No one on earth would ever call me a chef.
Of course not, Kelly -- they'd call you a cook. Otherwise, it's creepy. This portion of the book begins, reasonably enough, with Breakfasts. These include such thoughtfully named delicacies as "My Favorite Cereal" and "My Favorite Pancakes." The recipe for the latter begins with the following introduction:
I'm not the greatest pancake maker, and I probably never will be. But what I am very good at is thinking of unusual things and doing them.
Frankly, I can't argue with that. As she continues:
When in pancake doubt, have fun, add fruit, and see if pancakes can be a vehicle for creating great memories for your family.
Next time I'm in pancake doubt, I'll know just what to do! We move right along into the Soups and Salads section, and are promptly introduced to Kelly's "Jimmy Achoo's Chicken Soup." Which is apparently a play on Jimmy Choo and also described by Kelly as "filled with veggie exploitation," which sounds terrifying. Of the next recipe, "Rich and Skinny Cauliflower Soup with Kale Chips," Kelly reflects:
I adapted this recipe from one I found on the Internet. I wish I could tell you exactly where, but I can't.
The recipe calls for kale chips, which Kelly goes out of her way to inform us can be purchased "at health food stores and many well-stocked supermarkets." We also get a few general "HOT salad tips" that can be applied to many of the recipes throughout this book, such as
There are so many different types of lettuces available today! Try different ones to see which you like best
When you order a salad in a restaurant, ask for the dressing on the side. You're a grown-up and you should get to decide how much you want to use.
With that under our belts, the grown-ups among us move on to "Meat, Chicken, and Fish." In her recipe for "Grilled Rib Eye with Herbes de Provence", Kelly tells us about meeting the famous chef who inspired this dish:
When I met Eric, who was still in his thirties at the time, he still had dark hair. I was caught off guard because I thought all chefs were older, had gray hair, and smelled like garlic.
So perhaps Bethenny should have taken it as a compliment? Kelly continues,
He's since invited me many times to go into his kitchen and cook with him, but my fear of losing a finger by being overzealous has prohibited me from accepting.
It's unclear to me exactly what this means or why Kelly would even be particularly worried about this possibility. Does she have habit of excitedly snatching vegetables out from other people's knives? Does Eric have a reputation for slicing anyone who dares to get in his way? Before I make any headway with this particular mystery, we're introduced to the next recipe, the "Pencil-Thin Skirt Steak." As we learn, "Everyone looks slim in a pencil skirt, so it's only fitting that skirt steak is one of the leanest cuts of beef you can buy." We get a recipe for "Sultry Roast Chicken" in which Kelly shares with us that "in fact, chicken without ginger doesn't taste like chicken to me anymore." This would be more believable if we weren't, a mere two pages later, introduced to a notably ginger-free recipe for "Second-Chance Chicken." As Kelly explains,
I hate the idea of leftovers. To me, eating leftovers means you're too lazy to start over, and I've never wanted my girls to think that we weren't starting fresh.
In the introduction to the recipe for "Bad Girl Wings," Kelly gives us yet another poignant insight into her life as a mother:
These chicken wings are Sea's favorite. I'm sure she loves them because she knows I love wings (she's a cutie like that).
It would obviously be ludicrous to assume that Sea actually enjoys chicken wings authentically. Much more likely that she just loves them because Kelly does. HOT! In a segment labeled "hasta la vista taco bell," Kelly recounts a traumatic experience in which she "discovered that my favorite food choices [at Taco Bell] added up to 580 calories." To me, this seems like a perfectly reasonable amount of calories for one daily meal out of three, but according to Kelly, I am embarrassingly off the mark. Rather, she sighs, "I guess that means my Taco Bell days are over -- unless I decide to chance [sic] Sunday Funday into Fatso Food Day." Not HOT. Kelly tells us about the creative process behind the development of the next recipe, "Spicy Sultry Shrimp and Mango Stir-Fry" (which, for the record, is the second recipe to have the word "sultry" in its title).
This was one of the first dishes I made when I started to cook -- as a science experiment. My "method" was to think of foods I loved and which ones I thought would go well together.
Fascinating! Think of ingredients you like and combine them into a dish that you will then likely also like! The next recipe, for "Kelly's Kalamari," features the following introduction:
I still love fried calamari, but it doesn't love me. Whenever I eat it, it goes right to my stomach and makes a little pooch -- eww!
As a reminder, this is the same Kelly Bensimon who told us that loving our bodies is HOT and dieting is die + t. But also, eww! We trek along into the next portion of the recipe book, succinctly titled "Pizza, Pasta, Potatoes, Grains, Vegetables, and Sides." We get a recipe for "Pizzzzzzzza!," which instructs the reader to obtain pizza dough, pizza sauce, mozzerella cheese, salt and pepper. Spread out the dough, add sauce and cheese, and cook! This is yet another time I'm glad Kelly told us early on in this book to take detailed notes -- these kinds of nuanced culinary creations can only come from the mind of a true master. The same kind of true master who would, as we soon learn, conceive of this particular travesty -- "Pink Pizza." Imagine with me, for a moment, that a dear friend invites you over to their house for dinner. I'm making pizza! they implore you. Come over -- we'll hang out, have a couple beers, catch up on old times! Excited for a chance to relive the glory days, you eagerly accept, only to be met -- upon your arrival -- with this abomination.I thought you said we were having pizza? you sputter nervously. This is pizza, your friend intones, as their eyes slowly fade to black and their hands reach out to wrap themselves around your throat. Kelly goes on to share a recipe for an "Asian-flavored noodle dish" that she has christened (and it truly pains me to type this), "Me Love You Springtime Noodles." Somewhere, the last ember of hope for humanity quietly fizzles out. The following recipe, for "Pasta with Oddkavodka Sauce" begins with a warning:
When you make this (especially for children) just be sure you cook off the alcohol so that you aren't serving vodka to minors or have to assign a designated driver for your guests.
This seems like reasonable and conscientious advice. Until I read on and learn that the recipe calls for 1/8 cup vodka, and makes four servings. If your guests need a designated driver after consuming a half-tablespoon of vodka each, I would strongly encourage them to seek medical advice forthwith. I am reminded once again how different Kelly's and my worlds are with the following exclamation:
Try using quinoa in this recipe instead of the rice -- I call that having your cake and eating it too!
Oh, to live a life in which your most selfish indulgence was quinoa. I suppose this should have prepared me for a few pages later, when Kelly remarks:
Both hummus and guacamole make great toppings for steak or fish. They're my version of béarnaise sauce.
I love hummus. Hummus is great. But there is no possible existing parallel universe in which hummus and béarnaise sauce are interchangeable. One of the final recipes in this section is cryptically titled "Have an Impromptu Pepper Party" and instructs the reader to scoop out the insides of a bell pepper and stuff it with "whatever ingredients suit your fancy." Again, I feel like this fails to meet the definition of an actual recipe, per se, but it is supposedly "quick, fun, and satisfying." We're nearing the book's end (for real this time) with a section on "Breads and Desserts." This includes an inspirational passage in which Kelly shares a personal anecdote:
On Season 4 of the Real Housewives of New York City, I made a mixed fruit pie for my kids with what was left over in the fruit bowl…Don't be afraid to try new things, make mistakes, and have fun doing it.
I can only hope to someday be brave enough and fearless enough to make a mixed fruit pie. Blessedly, the final section , titled "Beverages", looks like it might have exactly what I need in the aftermath of finishing this book. The "GIN-Ginger Beertail," for example, which "was originally made with gin, but I don't like serving gin drinks because I think it makes people mean." We also get a recipe for something called "Babylove," which (thankfully) seems unrelated to another of my favorite reality TV cesspools. It only seems appropriate to share the final recipe of I Can Make You Hot! with all of you. I will definitely be downing approximately seven of these tonight, and I hope some of you will be joining me in spirit. Cheers:
Gummi Bear Martini If you don't have a paper umbrella handy, Gummi Bears are a great way to put more fun in your drink. Makes 1 Drink 2 parts orange, grape, or other-flavored vodka 1 part Triple Sec 1 part white grape juice Splash of cranberry juice Gummi Bears, as many as you like Combine the vodka, Triple Sec, grape juice, and cranberry juice in a tall glass. Add ice and fill the glass with Gummi Bears.
ETA: I am so disappointed in myself for forgetting to include that Kelly has a ceviche recipe that instructs you to marinate raw fish in lemon juice for exactly two minutes before serving. In the interest of food safety, perhaps it was for the best that this nugget momentarily slipped my mind, but sharing this information with you all is the burden I have been cursed to bear. 🙏🏼
A lot of people seem to be really high on Cam Akers so I thought it would be productive to dig into Akers vs. Henderson and see how they compare. So firstly, their draft capital isn't that far off. Akers was pick 52 overall in the 2nd round, Henderson was pick 70 overall in the early 3rd. not a huge difference. Henderson was picked higher than Montgomery and Singletary, and earlier than guys like Moss and Vaughn were this year. Henderson's draft capital is fairly significant, and nothing to scoff at. While it looks bad for Henderson that they used high draft capital on an RB this year, it doesn't always work out that that the newer RB or the guy with higher draft capital wins out (see Aaron Jones, Austin Ekeler, Phil Lindsay, Rashaad Penny, etc.) Next lets compare their physical traits. Darrell Henderson is 5'8 208 pounds, Cam Akers is slightly bigger at 5'10 and 217. That gives Henderson a slightly higher BMI but makes them fairly comparable in weight. Darrell Henderson runs a 4.49 40 and Akers runs a 4.47. This gives Akers a slightly better speed score and burst score. However they're both within the range you want for a runningback to be successful. They both have better speed scores than Aaron Jones and CMC, and they both have better 40 times than Joe Mixon. Darrell Henderson did 2 more reps on the bench, but physically they both have the skills to be successful. Akers has a slight edge and if that does it for you then that's a fair reason to have Akers ahead of Henderson, but the lead is fairly small. Now lets look at their college production. This is where Henderson really shines. It's difficult to compare their production because of the bad line Akers had at Florida State. Any problems with Akers production can just be explained away by the bad line. At the same time it's worth comparing their production. Both played in weaker conferences and didn't face that many top defenses. Henderson struggled in his rookie season but then had 2 years with over 1000 yards rushing at a great clip of 8.9 ypc each year. Henderson also put up 36 rushing TDs and 8 receiving TDs. Henderson also had 63 total receptions in 3 years and 758 total receiving yards, at 12 yards per reception. For comparison, that's more total receiving yards than Swift, Dobbins, CEH, Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, Alvin Kamara. Also important to note, Henderson is tied for the all-time fbs record for yards per carry and was highly efficient on both carries and receptions. Akers had much more limited production, although the argument is that it's entirely due to his bad offense and bad line. Akers had 2 seasons with over 1000 rushing yards, and had a decent number of TDs but fewer TDs rushing and receiving than Henderson. Akers also wasn't very efficient with a career 4.9 ypc and 7.0 ypr. Akers had a total of 69 receptions for 486 yards. Akers production is alright but doesn't look very impressive compared to Henderson. According to playerprofiler though, Akers is slightly higher than Henderson for both dominator and college target share. So what do they each do well? Well the argument for Akers is that he is able to succeed behind a bad line. He was highly recruited out of high school and is elusive, able to break tackles and make people miss. However we've recently seen RBs with a tackle breaking archetype struggle in the NFL (David Montgomery anyone?) Breaking a lot of tackles means a guy wasn't able to avoid tackles and avoid contact, which may have been because of the line or may be an issue with Akers. Henderson also has a lot going for him. Henderson had a ton of yards after contact according to pff, and his 6.16 ypc after contact is first among RBs since 2014 according to pff. Also, 15.2% of Hendersons attempts went for a 15 or more yards, which was first among last years class and near the top of all RBs in the last few years. In 2018 Henderson was 12th of 89 running backs in yards per route run and among 67 div I RBs with at least 75 career targets since 2014 Henderson ranked 7th (and best in last years class) in depth adjusted yards per target. Henderson has some issues. He's not a shifty back, he's more a one cut guy who can hit a hole and take it to the house. Akers is more a shifty dance behind the line kind of running back. Akers might be more of a talented RB overall but Henderson could definitely be a fantasy stud and have some huge games. Henderson was lucky to have a good line and good schedule in college, but being tied for the all-time ypc lead is impressive regardless. Akers has some issues as well, he tries to do too much, doesn't always hit the hole hard and can have issues with vision and decision making. This can hurt him, especially behind the Rams bad line. They both have solid draft capital and realistically I think both could be fantasy producers. The point of writing this article is that I feel like the fantasy community is forgetting about Henderson and acting like he doesn't exist while Akers is going to be a fantasy stud. I'm not here to call that Henderson is going to be better than Akers, I think that's still probably a less than 50% chance. But I think there's a lot of value in acquiring Henderson. He's cheap right now and has a ton of potential. He looked alright last year in limited work for the Rams (who were trying to run Gurley into the ground), but he was just adjusting to the NFL game and the Rams bad line. Henderson is cheap and there is definitely a world where Henderson outperforms Akers. Akers has some issues and we have yet to see him be really succesful (either in college or in the NFL). What if Akers isn't as good as people think? acquiring Henderson is a good way to hedge your bets right now. He isn't just another NFL backup RB.
https://preview.redd.it/p07or75o84151.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5e64517008b35807b279da18bf10a743f31ce568 I've got a pretty extensive NES collection and have for years been writing about the best games for the system while also trying to collect every title. As such, I feel like I've spent tons of time playing all the great games while the lesser known titles usually come in the mail and go straight onto the shelf. I wanted to make more of an effort to explore the entire library of the Nintendo Entertainment System, not just the classics or even the hidden gems, and so I tried out some buddies I either popped in and immediately out or never played in the first place. I spent about half of 2019 going through the games alphabetically and then posting some reviews of these oddball games I figured most folks never touched. All in all, it turned out to be a huge project, longer in word count than probably every paper I slogged through in college. I thought it might be cool to collect the 10 best and worst obscure games I played and share those with y'all and if people want to read the entire articles I'll link those as well. The entire series A through Z can be found here. The "Best Of" Lists can be found here and here. https://preview.redd.it/fojii2sh74151.jpg?width=1000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c24d3c1b600e4d36f336cff23801631ea13402dd 10.PUSS N' BOOTS | 1990 I've been trying to search my brain for any real nostalgic association with the character Puss N' Boots from my childhood. Like I'm sure I knew about him (he's a cat who wears shoes, that's awesome!) but I honestly can't remember his story or any other details really. If you're a big younger that I am, you'll probably remember him fondly from the Shrek movies. I have a young nephew and when he told me recently that his favorite show was The Adventures of Puss in Boots, I thought "shit, I really don't want to sit through this." However, I gotta say it's pretty funny! It reminds me of the general irreverence of shows like Rocky and Bullwinkle or even Adventure Time. Definitely check it out, especially if you've got little dudes to entertain. The NES tale of ol' Puss? Well it's based on a Japanese cartoon I've never seen, but if the show is as bad as this game, that's probably a good thing. Puss N' Boots was published by Electro Brain, makers of other "Huh, that's a game?" titles like Ghoul School, Eliminator Boat Duel, and Stanley: The Search for Doctor Livingston (coming soon to a review near you!) If you've played any of those bad boys you know that Electro Brain puts out interesting but ultimately low production-level games, and Puss N' Boots is no exception. There are a few positives, however. While the music isn't anything too wild, there are at least plenty of unique 15 second long loops for each level (which is asking a lot in most NES titles). Also, each stage takes place in a different location and has some unique design elements: the Ocean stage has you piloting a submarine, the Space Wars stage has a plane, etc. And then...ummm...well...it's a game! https://preview.redd.it/acw2kxqi74151.png?width=500&format=png&auto=webp&s=a50931f52345955006c6b20758f775291919458f The first thing you'll notice here is...yeah this looks like shit. The art style is extremely basic, like "well meaning housewife illustrating her own children's book" beginner's level. Also, the sprites and backgrounds are all similar colors with no outlines so they just indistinguishably bleed into each other. The next thing you'll notice is that the Pussmaster walks SOOOO SLOW, just taking his sweet ass time getting from one place to another. Just like a real cat! However, if you jump he goes 5x faster for some reason, but even stranger is that all the other bad guys also move at that accelerated speed. Weird. Puss N' Boots is also incredibly easy. I can beat the whole game without dying in 15 minutes. AND I'VE NEVER PLAYED THIS GAME BEFORE IN MY LIFE. The main reason for the smooth sailing here is that seemingly the game can only handle one enemy on the screen at a time and they often don't come anywhere near you. Not only that, but it must be having a tough time with loading issues because there are large swaths of each level where there's no enemies at all. Just 5 uninterrupted seconds of Puss gleefully making his way to the right, looking for something to kill. Puss N' Boots has got all the hallmarks of bland game design, not bad per se just incredibly uninspired. The music is extremely simple and repetitive, the sprites and backgrounds are the most basic level of illustration, the animation is almost non existent, the same sound effects are used for everything so you can't tell if you hit something or it you, in fact there's no images or any indication at all that you were attacked other than your lifebar slowly decreasing. Also, even though each level does have different vehicles and whatnot, the gameplay experience is exactly the same: go to the right, shoot things (or don't, most of them won't pose any real threat.) Hmmm I guess you could say the exact same thing about Super Mario Bros, but I don't need anymore page space to explain what all separates these two games other than "it ain't no Mario". Similar Games: Kid Niki: Radical Ninja, Felix the Cat https://preview.redd.it/ccu5bnsj74151.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d9365603767ec2a6748b19ff8d53d3e4445fd4f2 9. DR. CHAOS | 1988 UGGHHH. Just the other day I was wondering "what if there was a game that took all the frustrating things about Goonies II, amplified them to infinity, then dumbed down the graphics, sound, controls, hit detection, and everything else that made that game fun." Well, dreams do come true! Dr. Chaos was made by FCI / Marionette, but on the title screen it says "Pony Canyon" which sounds like an insufferably pretentious indie-pop band opening for Imagine Dragons or something. Marionette also made one of the Dungeons and Dragons games and Phantom Fighter which unfortunately we'll probably revisit come the Letter P. You start the game in a side scrolling level with ultra generic bad guys like rats and bats that kind of reminds me of the Sega Master System title "Ghost House", and for sure like that game, Dr. Chaos would've scared the shit out of me as a child. We didn't all play Silent Hill at age 6 back then and games like this or Friday the 13th or even Castlevania were kinda definitely pretty scary. https://preview.redd.it/358bcunk74151.jpg?width=300&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=2b3ba3ae7e449049c68718f9d1ff802b31fcb7b4 Once the game starts all you see is doors, DOORS ARE EVERYWHERE. What happens when you enter a door? You get a first person view like Golgo 13 or Fester's Quest but you can only turn the four directions. Each direction has cabinets that contain guns and mystery fluids and also MORE DOORS but of course you can't go through these doors, oh no! Eventually you are greeted by two straight up horror nightmares, either a Frankenstein Big Foot who's lungs are on the outside of his body, or a stumpy giant mouthed aunt who's allllllll lips. They're polite monsters though and they wait til you're back outside the 3-D rooms before they attack you. If you ever want to experience your brain completely shutoff, play this game, get frustrated, and then like me watch a walkthrough that's even slower and less satisfying than playing the game in the first place even when you fast forward. I feel like of all the titles on this list, some people out there probably played Dr. Chaos growing up and thus might have some positive nostalgia about it since it's a pretty common NES title. And if that is the case, I am so very very sorry for you. All the other kids who grew up playing Blades of Steel, Super Mario Bros 3, and Legend of Zelda are now CEOs and entrepreneurs and rock stars while you, Kid Chaos, spend your days repeatedly opening doors. And then once inside, opening other doors. And after that? Opening more doors within those doors. And yet the saddest thing? The doors never, ever open for you. (I'm just kidding, I'm sure you're great :) Similar Games: Goonies II https://preview.redd.it/1tlj3ajl74151.jpg?width=1000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=863852e26211261c1f7f8b77226c16d918f2d448 8. ROLLERBLADE RACER | 1993 Finally, I get to talk about a real game: Rollerblade Racer. YEAH! Rollerblade Racer was published by Hi Tech Expressions, which to me sounds like a futuristic "massage" parlor run by rub n' tug robots. They were responsible for many relatively obscure games for the NES, some of which I've covered already (Fun House, Hunt for Red October, Muppet Adventure: Chaos at the Carnival). If you haven't guessed already, they weren't exactly the American Konami, more like the Panamanian LJN. However, what their games lack in good sound, story, gameplay, graphics, replayability, and pretty much every characteristic that would lead you to believe something was fun, they more than make up for it in mouth agape "what the fuck is this" factors. Thankfully, Rollerblade Racer is no exception. God damn this game is gold. The first screen is this dude in full pads/helmet standing next to two traffic cones, head to toe in all pink including the rollerblades draped around his shoulders, arms at his sides. He says: "Hi, I'm Kirk. I just bought a new pair of rollerblades." He needs you to enter the "Super Rollerblade Challenge" that for some reason means that if you win he'll qualify. Huh? I guess I'll do that for you random stranger. Hahahaha, my god, he calls his outfit his "bladegear". GAHHHHHH!!! Haha oh lord, it's too good! Ok, I've calmed down, I'm centered and ready to roll. Kirk, LET'S SHRED. https://preview.redd.it/gnzynufm74151.png?width=500&format=png&auto=webp&s=055278a433d4669de8b6fb811cf2989b1d9572e6 So basically Rollerblade Racer is a really shitty Paperboy knockoff. I was never a big fan of that game, but that's only because the eponymous paperboy had no style and could not carve the pavement like my boy Rollerblade Racer. Poser! You basically just go forward as fast as you can and jump over everything in-sight. Beautifully, because it's rollerblading, the programmers gave you two authentic rollerblade leaps: wheels straight back and legs beneath you, or wheels straight out in opposite directions and legs split out like a crazy person. Bellissimo! The same enemies spawn every three seconds as you go, kind of like watching an old Flintstones where they walk past the same background over and over and over. The dogs and tricycle kids are super easy to avoid, but for some reason those tiny cracks in the road cause my guy to spill like crazy. Throw in a pebble and you've got the true life roller villains captured right there! After you help Kirk borrow a feeling, you head to the city which is somehow even simpler and easier than the last level. If you find the right line on the screen, you can just go full speed and NEVER INTERACT WITH A SINGLE OBSTACLE. I'm not kidding! The only enemies here are puddles and dogs and you will never come close to touching either of them, even as you pass the same thousand wet golden retrievers on repeat. After that, a sea of traffic cones. THE HORROR! A couple more repetitive levels anddddd...hmmm that's the end of the game. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! I have not laughed this much or this often while playing a video game in some time. It's so painfully easy and poorly programmed that it is of course quite comical, but honestly what they really nailed with this game is how rollerbladers weer perceived in the 90s. No one then, or now for that matter, was ever considered cool for blading. Not even the "aggressive inline" featured in games like Skitchin' or rad movies like Airborne could make it a tenth as cool as skateboarding. That's because to skaters, all rollerbladers were a bunch of Kirks unironically rocking single colored outfits that matched their blades, reminding you to always wear full pads every time you glide. Similar Games: Paperboy, Paperboy II https://preview.redd.it/fcpns4en74151.jpg?width=1000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=39dbf194947fe17e00a105244ac95b1a8085a87d 7. PETER PAN AND THE PIRATES | 1991 On the cover the actual name reads "Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates: The Revenge of Captain Hook", making this easily the most cumbersome title in the entire NES library. Not to be confused with Hook which was released a year later, Peter Pan and the Pirates (hereafter known as PPP) is based on an entirely unrelated Saturday Morning Cartoon. I mean I say unrelated, but they're both telling the exact same story as the hundreds of other Peter Pan adaptations. For those that don't know, many of the famous characters developed before or around the 20th century are now Public Domain which is why you see a new Dracula / Frankenstein / Robin Hood / King Arthur / King Kong adaptation come out every few years; Hollywood studios don't have to pay for the rights! I do not remember PPP at all, but it was on the air long enough to get an NES game based on it made (one year!) Oh snap, and this is one of those titles that was only released in North America. I can't seem to find a list that details all of them, but it's pretty rare that there's a game that was released outside of Europe AND Japan. Well, if you lived anywhere outside of the US, Mexico, or Canada consider yourselves fortunate to have missed out because this game blows the big one. One thing I've learned in this review process is that a super easy way to tell a game is awful happens right after you hit the power button and you see the crew credits before the first level. It's like the developers were worried that no one would ever make it to the end and thus never get to see the names of the people responsible. Well, they were right! After giving credit where shitty credit it due, you start the game up and...wow, let that color brown wash over you! You play as Peter (a doy!) and you're gifted with the tiniest, most useless one pixel knife I've ever seen. I mean damn, I've seen some small weapons before but Jesus Christ. Maybe it was a full-sized sword but it's size and usefullness matches it's owner, so once this pint sized goober picked it up the sword shrank sown to Pan sized proportions. It's almost as shitty as Peter's rat-tail. https://preview.redd.it/ps6uy89o74151.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8d25f7ac7fa85c9f0f94bb5243e4392ce046d7a8 Peter can fly, but for the longest time I could not figure how to consistently do it. I thought if I held the jump button that would work, but I kept dropping and rising. All you have do is jump then press a button on the d-pad and you'll start floating slowly in that direction. You need this ability to reach hard to reach spots, but your time is limited (based on how much gold you collect). Of course while floating you can't use your knife which I guess makes sense otherwise you'd just turn this into a shoot-em up and flysplode every bad guy in sight. Man that might've been actually, I don't know, FUN! What really sucks is that this is obviously the main gameplay mechanic, essentially the equivalent of Scrooge's pogo jump from Duck Tales, but because it uses the D-pad you'll find yourself constantly flying when you don't want to and not flying when you absolutely need to. Aside from the usual random enemies like pirates, spiders, and pterodactyls(?) they included the most obnoxious bad guy of the all: every pit, instead of killing you, takes you back to the beginning of the stage. Every pit. FUCK THAT. The music is way too high pitched so even if there were a decent melody hidden in there your ears have to want to hear Geddy Lee's helium solo in order to enjoy it. There are only two sound effects: for jumping and for attacking. I know this because on the first level I caused the music to glitch out and stop playing, leaving only the occasional starter-kit sound effects to illuminate the game's aural mood. What else, well other than PPP looking and sounding like shit, it also plays like shit. The hit detection is horrendous, the jumping is awkward, the aforementioned flying is both the gift and the curse, and worst of all Peter Pan and the Pirates is completely reminiscent of every boring time wasting action platformer you've ever wished you hadn't rented from Blockbuster. But hey, that describes about 40% of the NES library sooooo at least it's in good company! Similar Games: Hook https://preview.redd.it/gh9b45xp74151.jpg?width=1000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=82cf75a3df597fcdd771b5376824eb9b440ba612 6. NFL FOOTBALL | 1989 What's different about this game from NES Play Action Football? Well the first thing you'll notice is a big ol' official NFL logo on the title screen which means that this game features the actual teams, although I don't think there are any actual players names used here. But hey, I get to play as my beloved Atlanta Falcons, so that's not so bad! Wait, what's that? LJN label?!? SPOKE TOO SOON! First of all, instead of a screen that shows you the plays you can choose from, there's a picture of a NES controller with no indication of what you're supposed to do. I just randomly press buttons until the controller lights up and it takes me to the field. Now it shows for several seconds what the formation of the offense and defense is, but still no layout of what play you're trying to run. Like Play Action before it, as far as I can tell you cannot run the ball (WHY?!?), just throw it which is so much more difficult than it needs to be. Also like that aforementioned garbage title, I cannot tell how to choose the target, there's no arrows or blinking players or anything. And wow, I made fun of NES Play Action Football for being slow but Jesus Christ NFL Football is the real deal. Everything from the time to choose plays, to the time between screens loading, to the actual running speed of the players themselves moves at the most crippled of snail's paces. Also, while there is some generic sports music playing on the select screens, once the actual game starts the only sounds are those of the crowd whistling. Majestic. https://preview.redd.it/xol256s684151.jpg?width=500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=555f00d652f4cda1a942fba971929baa3c8cbfc3 One small redeeming thing about NFL Football is that once you throw the ball it cuts to a screen with larger sprites and you have to track and position your player under the ball to catch it. It kinda reminds me of the frisbee section of California Games. It's not great, but it's kinda fun and I bet if you were playing against a friend this little battle screen would be the best part. Beyond that? Naw player, this game is a full pass. I don't know if it's just my cartridge (it sounds like something's rattling around in there), but this game seems real glitchy. Like the screen flashes and shakes whenever I choose an option and coding numbers randomly appear, way more than the usual issues a Q-tip and some Brasso will solve. Also, between every play it cuts to this awful blank brownish green screen for a few seconds; however, I think that's just how they programmed it because they didn't know what to do when the game needed to load. If the NES were a mood ring that changed colors based on the aura of the cartridge placed inside it, truly vomit green is the negative energy of NFL Football encapsulated. Similar Games: 10 Yard Fight, California Games OTHER OBSCURE NES GAMES WORTH AVOIDING Castelian, Castle of Dragon, Blues Brothers, Gotcha! the Sport, Incredible Crash Test Dummies, Indiana Jones (UbiSoft version), Jimmy Connors Tennis, James Bond Jr., Spelunker, Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular, Swamp Thing
Hey All, I've generally had a complaint that mock drafts are blind to GM tendencies, team schemes, and upcoming contracts / need for cap flexibility, so a couple friends and I used quarantine to throw together a three round mock draft (trades inclusive) that tries to pay attention to this. Obviously, we can't know your team's scheme and history as well as you, but we figured it'd be great to share our mock draft anyway and invite any thoughts on it. NFL_Draft can be a little critical, as it should be given we're making guesses that impact the future of your franchise, but we're also big boys so feel free to tear this thing to shreds (or compliment it if you feel so inclined). The thing is far from perfect, so to add to the discussion and educate us a little bit, please feel free to let us know what picks you liked/disliked. To make this easier to read we broke it out similar to Matt Miller's early mock drafts, with Round 1 up front with short descriptions on each pick followed by Rounds 2 and 3 with no detail. Additionally, we've added in the back a summary of trades as well as a break out by team. T-5 days until Thursday! Round 1: CINCINNATI: Joe Burrow, QB There's not much to explain here. What doesn't Cincinnati need? That list starts and ends at WR. They could take any number of players here and they would start tomorrow, but when you're building a team from the ground up, you take a QB, and who better than the guy who threw for 60 TDs, 5,671 yards, a 76% completion percentage, won a national championship, and ripped a cigar in the locker room… small hands and all. WASHINGTON: Chase Young, EDGE Say what you will about Dan Snyder, and you're probably right, but the guy tends to make the right call in the top 10. Since buying the team in 1999, the Redskins have picked in the top 10 an amazing 9 times, but those picks have been Champ Bailey, LaVar Arrington, Chris Samuels, Sean Taylor, Carlos Rogers, LaRon Landry, Trent Williams, RGIII, and Brandon Scherff. Every single one of those players has been a Pro Bowler. Not much to overthink here. Dan Snyder gets a generational talent and easily the best player in the draft, bringing back the hometown kid. DETROIT: Jeff Okudah, CB Patricia's defense is predicated upon a strong secondary playing predominantly press-man coverage, sticking to receivers long enough to create coverage sacks. While Justin Coleman has been vastly underrated for the Lions, there's also no way to play him on the outside, and the Lions will need someone to line up opposite Desmond Trufant with Slay in Philadelphia. Taking a DB in the top 10 is always risky, but so is trading down here. Patricia insists on a versatile defense with no particular scheme, and Okudah's well-rounded skillset including strength as a cover corner, in press-man, in off-man, and zone fits perfectly in Detroit. NY GIANTS: Tristan Wirfs, OL\* Gettleman is no stranger to controversy, but his pick here is far from that. Isaiah Simmons is the best player on the Board, but the young cornerstones of this franchise stand behind a line that with the exception of Will Hernandez probably shouldn't be there in four years. Lucky for Gettleman, he gets his pick of OL, four of whom are arguably worth a top 10 pick almost any year. While Judge may want to take the most NFL-ready prospect in Wills, I imagine Gettleman can't pass up on the athleticism and versatility of Wirfs. With his speed in the open field, quickness in getting to the second level and ability to make blocks in the open field, Wirfs can become Saquon's best friend pretty quick, especially on screen plays. *But honestly, leave it to Gettleman to fool everyone and make a pick out of left field. No, literally, this guy could make a pick from left field and ask Brett Gardner to take NJ Transit down to MetLife on Sundays. MIAMI: Tua Tagovailoa, QB Miami refuses to tank and still wins the Tua Sweepstakes. With all that has gone on in 2020, at least there's some good in the world and Brian Flores is about 40% of it. I completely understand that there are injury concerns about Tua that are hard to overlook. But it's also hard to overlook issues with Justin Herbert -- namely just how off target he could be throwing down the field. I'm not doubting his athleticism or the absolute rocket he has attached to his shoulder, but the fact of the matter is his completion percentage, which is already lower than Tua's, is aided by playing weaker defenses in the Pac-12 and the absolutely absurd number of easy bubble screens and dump passes he throws behind the line of scrimmage. Both QBs are phenomenal, but Tua's accuracy, ability to extend plays, willingness to take hits, and ability avoid sacks outweigh the injury risk. If you're lucky, you have a potential Hall of Fame quarterback, and if you're unlucky, Brian Flores will still probably get you to 7-9 with the Goldman Sachs analyst you call a backup QB. LA CHARGERS: Justin Herbert, QB I spent most of the last pick talking about why not to pick Justin Herbert, but here's why you should: 6'6", 237 lbs, with easily the best arm in the draft and a Josh Allen-esque ability to move. Oregon's play call didn't give him much of a chance to throw it downfield, but when he did it was brilliant. He's the kind of QB prospect that could have tested like Maurice Claiborne on the Wonderlic and still been drafted 1st overall 10 years ago. However, his inconsistency and inability to leverage his athleticism to feeling comfortable throwing on the run and outside of the pockets relegates him to third on my QB Big Board. I don't know whether I buy that the Chargers are planning on starting Tyrod Taylor this year, but whether Herbert gets his shot this year or next, he has a legitimate chance to be a star. CAROLINA: Isaiah Simmons, LB Matt Rhule walks into a full re-build with both ownership and CMC's buy-in. The one thing Carolina doesn't have for the first time in nearly two decades is a Pro Bowl LB. Hurney and company fix that immediately by taking the best athlete in the draft. This isn't Carolina's biggest need -- they have only two DTs that are going to make a roster, so I understand the Derrick Brown arguments -- nor is it typically Rhule's favorite position -- I understand arguments that they may try to continue to add to the line to protect their new franchise QB -- but Simmons is just too talented to pass up. He basically lines up everywhere from safety, to linebacker, to nickel linebacker, and even edge. If you need any more convincing, he ran a 4.39 40 (good enough for 5th best by a WR). ARIZONA: Derrick Brown, DT Keim isn't need blind, but historically he has definitely valued talent over need. If you need proof of that, just go back to last year when Keim and Kingsbury determined Kyler Murray was the best player in the draft and (rightfully) gave up on the Josh Rosen experiment. The Cardinals also just so happen to need a 3-tech guy to anchor the interior of their line, and preferably someone with some versatility given Vance Joseph's scheme (Brown played from 0- to 5-tech at Auburn). The biggest knock is his lack of athleticism, but Brown has shiftiness for his size, attacks at the line, uses his hands well, and explodes through his man. I know a lot of people mock a T here, and that makes sense too, but I just don't see Arizona's line as that urgent of a need that Keim will pass up the best player on the Board. JACKSONVILLE: CJ Henderson, DB If Dave Caldwell had the remote from Click, I'm pretty sure he'd fast forward to the 2021 draft and grabbing Trevor Lawrence. The 2020 season is going to be an ugly one for Jacksonville, and it's only going to get worse as they explore trading Fournette and Ngakoue. Caldwell won't completely ignore the best player available approach -- see Josh Allen last year -- but he definitely leans toward filling a need, and their secondary is an eye sore. I personally think spending a top 10 pick on a corner with Cam Robinson potentially become a free agent is a mistake, but there's also a mile between Henderson and the next best corner available. I imagine the Jaguars explore a trade down a little bit before taking arguably the best cover corner in the draft. TRADE: DENVER - 10 CLEVELAND - 15, 77, 118 Andrew Berry wants Ezra Cleveland, but a top 10 pick is a little rich for him. John Elway wants Henry Ruggs III, but he won't be there at 15. Berry moves back, picking up valuable draft capital to secure rookie contracts for when the bill eventually comes due on the Browns players and they can't afford to extend everyone. DENVER: Henry Ruggs III, WR Henry Ruggs III is an OC's dream. The guys finishes every play and does the little things in a way you rarely see on the offensive side of the ball. He's a great route runner with world class speed and endless hustle, whether he's running with the ball after the catch, finishing a block downfield, or making a tackle on special teams. By moving up six picks, Denver leaves Day 1 with suddenly one of the better WR corps in the league. It's amazing it took everyone this long to notice Ruggs III is the top WR in this class, but I guess that's what happens when you play in Tuscaloosa and everyone on the team is an NFL-caliber player. NY JETS: Jedrick Wills, OL I've seen a lot of mock drafts put a WR here, but I honestly buy that Gase is not that concerned about his WR corps. Not only that, but the value is going to be there in the second round -- especially for a team that needs a big target that can actually go up and get it in the red zone or on a deep route when Darnold wants to gun it downfield. That leaves offensive line as the biggest need, and in particular LT. Gase prefers lineman who are strongest in pass protection, and one of the most NFL-ready OL and pass blockers is somehow still on the Board at 11. Wills can easily slide over the left side and protect Darnold from getting sacked every few snaps, something only mono has been able to do thus far. LAS VEGAS: CeeDee Lamb, WR Numerous outlets have linked Lamb to Las Vegas, and I'm not one to argue. Gruden and Mayock both typically pick their guys and could care less how other people value them. Lamb may be the best true route-runner in this draft class and his toughness is certainly going to translate to the NFL. I've read the criticisms that he has never been forced to play against press-man in college and that he lacks world class speed, but his strengths more than make up for it and at the end of the day he's one of the more high floor WR prospects I've ever seen. SAN FRANCISCO: Andrew Thomas, OL Before trading for Emmanuel Sanders, the 49ers were 6-0 with a WR core anchored by Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, and Kendrick Bourne. They obviously need a WR, but they've also shown they can fair just fine without one. What they would struggle much more to replace is Joe Staley in the supposed 50/50 case he retires. If Staley plays another year, Thomas can kick inside or learn behind him. Shanahan prefers offensive linemen athletic enough to block in a zone scheme, and Thomas is not out-of-this-world athletic presenting a potential issue, but he's also high character and high football IQ, which Shanahan also wants in his players. Would I be surprised if Lynch and Shanahan opted to take Jeudy here? No. Do I see them passing on one of the safest bets to replace Joe Staley? Also, no. TAMPA BAY: Mekhi Becton, OL There wasn't a ton to overthink here in my book - the Bucs are going to take the best T available at 14, and here it's Becton. Tampa Bay's priority is protecting Tom Brady, and Becton gives them the best chance to do that. In a dream world, they get someone a little more polished and ready to play tomorrow (especially given the likely shortened offseason) but Becton is incredibly mobile for someone his size, able to quickly recover, and strong enough to still get ends outside. He'll need to improve his hands and get better in true dropback pass protection given Brady's tendencies, but he can potentially be a huge piece for a team that needs to re-tool its offensive line. CLEVELAND: Javon Kinlaw, DT Cleveland's two biggest needs are LT and FS, but if they were going to take a LT here they would have stayed at 10 and Andrew Berry comes from the Howie Roseman school where you don't pay safeties. Given his analytics background, I imagine he takes best player available, and that's easily Kinlaw. While raw, Kinlaw's talent is undeniable. He's long, strong, and has incredibly active hands. Kinlaw honestly looks like David Irving out there sometimes given his ability to manhandle 300lb offensive linemen, but the Browns wouldn't have to deal with all the off-field issues. The Browns can leave Ogunjobi in on base downs and bring in Kinlaw for 2nd and 3rd down pass rush. Getting Kinlaw also gives Berry the flexibility to make Ogunjobi, Richardson, or Billings cap casualties in future seasons if Kinlaw comes along quicker than expected. ATLANTA: K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE If you watched Atlanta play last year you know this is going to be a defense-heavy draft. It's easy to see that Atlanta needs an outside corner, but it's also hard to justify taking one here with Okudah and Henderson off the Board. I know Fowler enters the fold this year, but I still think Chaisson provides value in his ability to both get to the QB and drop back into coverage. To be successful in the NFC South, Atlanta is going to need to get to the QB, and quickly. Chaisson has legitimate speed and power coming off the edge, making him an every down player. The CB is still there for Atlanta, but it can wait until the 2nd round. DALLAS: Jerry Jeudy, WR This is a similar message to Atlanta above. Dallas absolutely needs an outside corner, but it's just not there. Safety is also a need and the best guy is still on the Board, but the Cowboys have also not historically valued safeties in drafts, especially this high. Thirty years of Jerry tells me that he'll take best player available at 17, and while WR isn't a high priority position for the Cowboys Jeudy's value here is just too good to pass up. The defense still needs attention, but you can address that Day 2. Besides, how much do you need defense if you can put up 40+ points per game surrounding Dak with Zeke, Cooper, Jeudy, and that line? And with 40+ points per game, that's at least 5+ cuts to Jerry grinning and high-fiving in the owner's box. MIAMI: Xavier McKinney, S Brian Flores really started making a name for himself in New England as a safeties coach where the most important piece of a Super Bowl winning defense was Devin McCourty. Miami has plenty of holes, but it also has plenty of picks. The Miami system values versatility and McKinney provides just that as he can play just about anywhere in the secondary. Not only that, but he can provide value as a blitzer as well. The coincidence that this pick was the return for Minkah Fitzpatrick is not lost on me, but another top-tier S from Alabama with a longer runway on his rookie deal is not a bad thing. TRADE: NEW ENGLAND - 19 LAS VEGAS - 23, 98 Suggesting the Patriots trade up in any mock draft is a dangerous endeavor, but they also have an absurd number of picks in this year's draft. Giving Las Vegas a compensatory third to move up and get your pick of the draft's top LBs isn't too bad a price to pay. NEW ENGLAND: Patrick Queen, LB I'm not going to pretend to know what Belichick is going to do in this draft. It's equally likely that he trades out of the first round as it is he moves up, but I what I do know is the Patriots could use more help at LB. In particular, someone with speed who can blitz up the middle and off the edge. Anyone who watched the CFB Playoffs last year saw the speed Queen had off the edge as well as his ability to cover out of the backfield and underneath. He's equally comfortable dropping into zone as he is speed rushing the edge. High football IQ and athleticism screams Patriot to me and he just so happens to fit a position of need. JACKSONVILLE: Kenneth Murray, LB Jacksonville is a little hard to mock for in that they have need at just about every position. However, the defense hasn't been the same since Telvin Smith left. With Joe Schobert joining the fold as an inside linebacker and Myles Jack pushing to the weak side, Murray can work on the strong side. You can make an argument that the usage here isn't worth a first round pick or that Murray can lack football IQ at times, but he also possesses incredible speed and playmaking ability. He can get sideline to sideline and blow up plays in the backfield, and that kind of explosiveness can really help tie a defense together. PHILADELPHIA: Justin Jefferson, WR Philadelphia needs a receiver as bad as I need football right now, and after more than a month in my parents' basement I can tell you that's pretty damn bad. It got bad enough last year I thought the team was going to make an Invincible throwback and call up the guy from the viral fire video for a tryout. You can make an argument for any number of WRs, but Jefferson checks the boxes for Eagles fans: fast and with hands not made of bricks. The guy just had a way of getting open in college, and that's something Philadelphia has really missed the past few years. MINNESOTA: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE This is a risky pick in a mock draft. Minnesota's front office does not historically take DL early in the draft - the only one Minnesota has taken in the first 2 rounds in the last 10 years was Shariff Floyd - instead opting to fill in the line with late round players. However, Griffen's departure leaves obvious need here, and the idea of a player with Gross-Matos' intangibles is interesting for a 4-3 defense that loves to dial up blitz packages on 3rd down. His speed, length, and power are things you can't teach, and his ability to maneuver around offensive linemen is particularly impressive at his height. LAS VEGAS: Kris Fulton, DB Mayock and Gruden trade down from 19 and still grab their next favorite CB prospect along with an additional 3rd round pick. Last year, they demonstrated a desire to fill in team needs with prospects from winning programs. Unless you buy Eli Apple as the outside corner opposite Mullen, this is certainly a position of need. Last year, going after winning players meant a number of Clemson guys. This year, they grab their first National Champion in Fulton. Fulton's ability to stick with his man is why some have him graded as the number 2 CB in this year's class. He's rarely caught out of position, and despite a lack of top-end speed, he shows an incredible ability to recover. TRADE: INDIANAPOLIS - 24 NEW ORLEANS - 34, 75, 193 New Orleans really doesn't have a lot of positions of need this year, and make fun of me if you will, but I buy that Sean Payton is okay with Taysom Hill playing QB for at least a season if needbe. That isn't to say the Saints won't draft a QB, just that they won't reach on one at the end of the first and without a second round pick. The Colts on the other hand will - especially if they value Jordan Love as highly as others have speculated in the past month. Indianapolis gets to take advantage of the Saints wanting to trade down and gives up less than they'd ordinarily have to in order to get back into the first round. INDIANAPOLIS: Jordan Love, QB Not much to get into here. I don't buy for one second that Jacoby Brissett is the long-term answer in Indianapolis, and there have been a lot of experts suggesting the Colts buy the Jordan Love hype train. The upside here is prototypical size for a NFL QB, strong pocket presence, great arm strength and touch all over the field, and high athleticism. He also comes with a ton of risk, namely his inconsistency, turnovers, dangerous throws across the middle, and his regression last year. I'm not going to sit here and defend the pick too much. I tend not to like QBs who take steps back and throw almost as many interceptions as touchdowns playing in the Mountain West. However, while I personally think there's too much risk for Jordan Love to warrant a Day 1 grade, this isn't a Big Board, it's a Mock Draft, and a lot of people smarter than me have suggested Love is a top 10 caliber talent. If you believe that, then he's certainly worth trading up for and grabbing in the back end of the first round. MINNESOTA: Jaylon Johnson, DB After Henderson, it's really a toss-up who you think the next best corner is, but Jaylon Johnson should at least be in the discussion. Utah was quietly one of the best defenses in college football last year and Johnson was certainly a part of that. Johnson is highly instinctive with 4.5 speed and good enough height/length. I'm not sure how much his physicality will translate to the next level given his size, but his ability to read plays and act on them should make him a good cover corner at a minimum. If you need proof, look up his pick sixes on Eason and Huntley last year, where he recognizes the play and makes a change to his coverage and a jump on his ball before it's even thrown. Spielman and Zimmer have shown no aversion to drafting DBs in the first round, and with Rhodes and Waynes departing this off-season Johnson helps the Vikings fill an obvious position of need. MIAMI: Josh Jones, OL Miami could frankly use two tackles, but they wait until it makes sense value-wise and take Josh Jones here. Whoever they pick is going to have to be ready day 1, which makes Austin Jackson out of the question. Jones had a stellar senior year and cemented it at the Senior Bowl. Given he blocked for D'Eriq King he should be comfortable outside of traditional pass sets, which could prove useful if Miami picks Tua as this mock draft predicted. Jones has prototypical size and strength to be an NFL tackle and gets right into the shoulder pads of the defense. The Dolphins have a lot of needs, but thankfully spends its first three picks filling the most important ones. SEATTLE: Julian Okwara, EDGE Death, taxes, and the Seahawks reaching late in the first round. Even if Clowney chooses to re-sign with Seahawks, the team could use another edge rusher to challenge LJ Collier who put together a whopping two tackles his rookie season. I'm honestly surprised mock draft experts haven't been higher on Okwara. He explodes off the line and uses his length and speed to get around tackles. You need to look no further than his performance vs. Virginia, which he absolutely dominated. His bull-rush is NFL-ready and he has the build and mobility to drop off into coverage as necessary. The criticism will remain given his smaller frame, but the production was clearly there at Notre Dame. BALTIMORE: Cesar Ruiz, OL The truth is the Ravens don't have a ton of needs and the top LBs are off the Board at this point. If there's a weakness on the Ravens' offensive line it's at the center position. Ruiz gets out of his stance quickly and stays with defenders throughout the play. Criticism of his athleticism is overblown given he's a center. He's also incredibly young, so there's room for growth. TENNESSEE: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE The Titans biggest need is at corner, but given the number that have gone off the Board already the value just isn't there. Instead, Tennessee can address the hole on their defensive line created by Jurrell Casey's departure. Jeffrey Simmons has the size and athleticism to allow for flexibility in how Tennessee constructs its line, and this means Jon Robinson can approach this pick with a little more of a best player available approach. The best defensive lineman on the Board is A.J. Epenesa. GREEN BAY: Jalen Reagor, WR Nick Bosa embarrassed the entire city of Green Bay on national television and made clear the need for a new tackle, but I don't think Green Bay addresses that quite yet. Brian Gutekunst comes from the Ron Wolf school of thought about best player available, and the T position is a little drained here. Instead, I think GB chooses to find someone to put opposite Davante Adams. Jalen Reagor's fall into the second round of many mock drafts is hard for me to explain. The production was there in college and the combine only supported what we knew from the tape: Reagor is a superb athlete. I think the biggest knock is drops, which would likely only get worse in the NFL, but pairing him with Adams and Rogers could be absolutely dynamic. His double move is something to behold and he's great after the catch. Putting that next to, and allowing him to learn from, Adams is a match made in heaven. TRADE: CLEVELAND - 31, 210 SAN FRANCISCO- 41, 77 San Francisco lacks draft capital given their trades for Dee Ford and Emmanuel Sanders, but has needs. The Browns moved back earlier because Ezra Cleveland is their guy. Berry can't afford to let him go and can get back into the 1st round for a fair price given the Niners need for 2nd and 3rd round picks. CLEVELAND: Ezra Cleveland, OL Cleveland trades back into the first round and addresses its biggest position of need by getting somebody to protect Baker Mayfield. If you buy the rumors that Andrew Berry likes Ezra Cleveland, which I do, then it makes sense to grab him here before anyone else can in the early second. KANSAS CITY: A.J. Terrell, DB Brett Veach and Andy Reid have always valued cornerbacks, and despite the re-signing of Bashaud Breeland the Chiefs are still thin at the position. Given this, I think the Chiefs could go with the next best corner available in their mind. Terrell measures out well with good speed. I'm pretty sure Terrell still has nightmares about Ja'Marr Chase, but so do a lot of CBs not named Cameron Dantzler. That performance shouldn't erase years of strong tape otherwise. Round 2: CINCINNATI: Isaiah Wilson, OL NEW OLREANS: Zack Baun, LB DETROIT: Marlon Davidson, DL NY GIANTS: Josh Uche, EDGE LA CHARGERS: Austin Jackson, OL CAROLINA: Neville Gallimore, DL MIAMI: D'Andre Swift, RB TRADE: NY JETS - 40 HOUSTON - 48, 120 NY JETS: Michael Pittman Jr., WR SAN FRANCISCO: Denzel Mims, WR JACKSONVILLE: Antoine Winfield Jr., S CHICAGO: Trevon Diggs, DB INDIANAPOLIS: Tee Higgins, WR TRADE: MIAMI - 45, 173 TAMPA BAY - 56, 154, Future 4th MIAMI: Brandon Aiyuk, WR DENVER: Jeff Gladney, DB ATLANTA: Noah Igbinoghene, DB HOUSTON: Raekwon Davis, DL PITTSBURGH: Robert Hunt, OL CHICAGO: Kyle Dugger, S DALLAS: Cameron Dantzler, DB LA RAMS: J.K. Dobbins, RB PHILADELPHIA: Grant Delpit, S TRADE: CINCINNATI - 54, 167 BUFFALO - 65, 107 CINCINNATI: Willie Gay Jr., LB BALTIMORE: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR TAMPA BAY: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB LA RAMS: Netane Muti, OL TRADE: LAS VEGAS - 58, 132 MINNESOTA - 80, 81 LAS VEGAS: Jalen Hurts, QB SEATTLE: Ross Blacklock, DL BALTIMORE: Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB TENNESSEE: Damon Arnette, DB GREEN BAY: Lucas Niang, OL KANSAS CITY: Terrell Lewis, EDGE SEATTLE: Ben Bartch, OL Round 3: BUFFALO: Curtis Weaver, EDGE WASHINGTON: Cole Kmet, TE DETROIT: John Simpson, OL NY JETS: Jonathan Greenard, EDGE CAROLINA: Shane Lemieux, OL MIAMI: Lloyd Cushenberry III, OL LA CHARGERS: KJ Hamler, WR ARIZONA: Jonathan Taylor, RB JACKSONVILLE: Bryan Edwards, WR CLEVELAND: Ashtyn Davis, S NEW ORLEANS: Cam Akers, RB TAMPA BAY: Justin Madubuike, DL SAN FRANCISCO: Jordan Elliott, DL ATLANTA: Jake Fromm, QB NY JETS: Troy Pride Jr., DB MINNESOTA: Terrell Burgess, S MINNESOTA: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR DALLAS: Adam Trautman, TE DENVER: Prince Tega Wanogho, OL LA RAMS: Jordyn Brooks, LB DETROIT: Tyler Johnson, WR BUFFALO: Zack Moss, RB NEW ENGLAND: Hunter Bryant, TE NEW ORLEANS: Bryce Hall, DB MINNESOTA: Logan Stenberg, OL HOUSTON: Jeremy Chinn, S LAS VEGAS: Malik Harrison, LB BALTIMORE: Anfernee Jennings, EDGE TRADE: NEW ENGLAND - 93 TENNESSEE - 100, 195 NEW ENGLAND: James Morgan, QB GREEN BAY: Jacob Eason, QB DENVER: Tyler Biadasz, OL KANSAS CITY: Matt Peart, OL CLEVELAND: Logan Wilson, LB LAS VEGAS: Davon Hamilton, LB NY GIANTS: Matt Hennessy, OL TENNESSEE: Van Jefferson, WR SEATTLE: Kenny Willekes, EDGE PITTSBURGH: Leki Fotu, DL PHILADELPHIA: Troy Dye, LB LA RAMS: Amik Robertson, DB MINNESOTA: Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR BALTIMORE: K'Von Wallace, S ------- Trades: DENVER - 10 CLEVELAND - 15, 77, 118 Andrew Berry wants Ezra Cleveland, but a top 10 pick is a little rich for him. John Elway wants Henry Ruggs III, but he won't be there at 15. Berry moves back, picking up valuable draft capital to secure rookie contracts for when the bill eventually comes due on the Browns players and they can't afford to extend everyone. NEW ENGLAND - 19 LAS VEGAS - 23, 98 Suggesting the Patriots trade up in any mock draft is a dangerous endeavor, but they also have an absurd number of picks in this year's draft. Giving Las Vegas a compensatory third to move up and get your pick of the draft's top LBs isn't too bad a price to pay. INDIANAPOLIS - 24 NEW ORLEANS - 34, 75, 193 New Orleans really doesn't have a lot of positions of need this year, and make fun of me if you will, but I buy that Sean Payton is okay with Taysom Hill playing QB for at least a season if need be. That isn't to say the Saints won't draft a QB, just that they won't reach on one at the end of the first and without a second round pick. The Colts on the other hand will - especially if they value Jordan Love as highly as others have speculated in the past month. Indianapolis gets to take advantage of the Saints wanting to trade down and gives up less than they'd ordinarily have to in order to get back into the first round. CLEVELAND - 31, 210 SAN FRANCISCO- 41, 77 San Francisco lacks draft capital given their trades for Dee Ford and Emmanuel Sanders, but has needs. The Browns moved back earlier because Ezra Cleveland is their guy. Berry can't afford to let him go and can get back into the 1st round for a fair price given the Niners need for 2nd and 3rd round picks. NY JETS - 40 HOUSTON - 48, 120 WRs haven't fallen off the Board the way many have thought they would at the start of Round 2, but the Niners would be sure to start that trend, potentially with Pittman. As much as Gase likes smaller, fast receivers, the Jets desperately need a big guy who can work with Darnold. Pittman and Darnold have the USC connection already, and it makes sense to move ahead of San Francisco to get him. MIAMI - 45 TAMPA BAY - 56, 154, 173, Future 4th With WRs beginning to fly off the Board and Brandon Aiyuk still there due to injury concerns, Miami trades up to get him. Tampa Bay, lacking a ton of immediate needs having already added a T, gets extra draft capital in exchange for moving back to a point where at least one of the top four RBs should remain. CINCINNATI - 54, 167 BUFFALO - 65, 107 This is a tough one. There are a number of rumors that Cincinnati is enamored with Willie Gay Jr.'s athleticism and ball instincts. If that's true, there could be legitimate fear that the Ravens could take him at 55 or 60 given their needs. The Bills need picks given their trade for Diggs. The Bengals make the call to get ahead of an in division rival for their guy. LAS VEGAS - 58, 132 MINNESOTA - 80, 81 It's no secret that John Gruden loves his QBs and I think there's a legitimate chance the QB he likes in this draft class that's within reach for him is Jalen Hurts. Getting back into the second round allows him to be the first to take the QBs not projected to go in the first round. NEW ENGLAND - 93 TENNESSEE - 100, 195 There have been rumors that the Patriots' favorite QB prospect in this draft is James Morgan given his arm and the New England climate. Similarly, he's tied to Green Bay who just so happens to be on the clock at 94. If the rumors are true, Belichick should be willing to pull the trigger to move up and get him. By Team: ARIZONA: 1.8 - Derrick Brown 3.72 - Jonathan Taylor ATLANTA: 1.16 - K'Lavon Chaisson 2.47 - Noah Igbinoghene 3.78 - Jake Fromm BALTIMORE: 1.28 - Cesar Ruiz 2.55 - Laviska Shenault Jr. 2.60 - Akeem Davis Gaither 3.92 - Anfernee Jennings 3.106 - K'Von Wallace BUFFALO: 3.65 - Curtis Weaver 3.86 - Zack Moss CAROLINA: 1.7 - Isaiah Simmons 2.38 - Neville Gallimore 3.69 - Shane Lemieux CHICAGO: 2.43 - Trevon Diggs 2.50 - Kyle Dugger CINCINNATI: 1.1 - Joe Burrow 2.33 - Isaiah Wilson 2.54 - Willie Gay Jr. CLEVELAND: 1.15 - Javon Kinlaw 1.31 - Ezra Cleveland 3.74 - Ashtyn Davis 3.97 - Logan Wilson DALLAS: 1.17 - Jerry Jeudy 2.51 - Cameron Dantzler 3.82 - Adam Trautman DENVER: 1.10 - Henry Ruggs III 2.46 - Jeff Gladney 3.83 - Prince Tega Wanogho 3.95 - Tyler Biadasz DETROIT: 1.3 - Jeff Okudah 2.35 - Marlon Davidson 3.67 - John Simpson 3.85 - Tyler Johnson GREEN BAY: 1.30 - Jalen Reagor 2.62 - Lucas Niang 3.94 - Jacob Eason HOUSTON: 2.48 - Netane Muti 3.90 - Jeremy Chinn INDIANAPOLIS: 1.24 - Jordan Love 2.44 - Tee Higgins JACKSONVILLE: 1.9 - CJ Henderson 1.20 - Kenneth Murray 2.42 - Antoine Winfield Jr. 3.73 - Bryan Edwards KANSAS CITY: 1.32 - AJ Terrell 2.63 - Terrell Lewis 3.96 - Matt Peart LA CHARGERS: 1.6 - Justin Herbert 2.37 - Austin Jackson 3.71 - KJ Hamler LA RAMS: 2.52 - JK Dobbins 2.57 - Netane Muti 3.84 - Jordyn Brooks 3.104 - Amik Robertson LAS VEGAS: 1.12 - CeeDee Lamb 1.23 - Kris Fulton 2.58 - Jalen Hurts 3.91 - Malik Harrison 3.98 - Davon Hamilton MIAMI: 1.5 - Tua Tagovailoa 1.18 - Xavier McKinney 1.26 - Josh Jones 1.39 - D'Andre Swift 1.45 - Brandon Aiyuk 3.70 - Lloyd Cushenberry III MINNESOTA: 1.22 - Yetur Gross-Matos 1.25 - Jaylon Johnson 3.80 - Terrell Burgess 3.81 - Donovan Peoples-Jones 3.89 - Logan Stenberg 3.105 - Antonio Gandy-Golden NEW ENGLAND: 1.19 - Patrick Queen 3.87 - Hunter Bryant 3.93 - James Morgan NEW ORLEANS: 2.34 - Zack Baun 3.75 - Cam Akers 3.88 - Bryce Hall NY GIANTS: 1.4 - Tristan Wirfs 2.36 - Josh Uche 3.99 - Matt Hennessy NY JETS: 1.11 - Jedrick Wills Jr. 2.40 - Michael Pittman Jr. 3.68 - Jonathan Greenard 3.79 - Troy Pride Jr. PHILADELPHIA: 1.21 - Justin Jefferson 2.53 - Grant Delpit 3.103 - Troy Dye PITTSBURGH: 2.49 - Robert Hunt 3.102 - Leki Fotu SAN FRANCISCO: 1.13 - Andrew Thomas 2.41 - Denzel Mims 3.77 - Jordan Elliott SEATTLE: 1.27 - Julian Okwara 2.59 - Ross Blacklock 3.64 - Ben Bartch 3.109 - Kenny Willekes TAMPA BAY: 1.14 - Mekhi Becton 2.56 - Clyde Edwards-Helaire 3.76 - Justin Madubuike TENNESSEE: 1.29 - AJ Epenesa 2.61 - Damon Arnette 3.100 - Van Jefferson WASHINGTON: 1.2 - Chase Young 3.66 - Cole Kmet
Football Betting Lines Explained The novice football bettor may be a bit overwhelmed when they first create an account at an online Sportsbook and then look at the posted NFL betting lines. Most bets with your buddy will be on what NFL team will win straight up or who will cover the spread. NFL Betting – The Point Spread. This is the most popular bet on any NFL game and is also known as line betting or sides. Each game will have a favorite and an underdog, and the sportsbook will decide by how many points the favored team should win by. The betting business has never been better. But despite this, it still seems like there are plenty of people out there who have absolutely no idea how betting lines actually work. A puckline is what a spread is called in the NHL, while a runline is associated with MLB betting. In both cases, the spread is almost always -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog, however, the betting odds fluctuate a lot more than in NBA or NFL point spreads because the spread doesn’t usually change. Easily the most popular type of betting for NFL football is “spread” betting or more commonly known as betting against the spread.Bettors who are new to NFL betting or betting in general may be a little confused with NFL spread betting, but it is pretty easy to understand once it is explained to you.
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