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Faust

[Dynasty] 2019 NFL Draft Class

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On 4/10/2019 at 9:22 AM, Faust said:

I thought it might be helpful to pull this set of articles up again highlighting the recent NFL trend towards smaller receivers.

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Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said he sees WR Scott Miller as a "John Brown-type."

Though some coach speak is better left for dead, Arians' is worth noting since the Bucs will likely open camp with an outside receiving role up for grabs behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin — the latter who's been pegged for slot duties early on. Miller's 5'9" frame (though best suited for the slot) and 4.36 forty from Bowling Green's pro day may be just what the Bucs are prioritizing on the outside over the attributes veteran Breshad Perriman and second-year pro Justin Watson bring to the table. It's a battle to monitor closely in camp.

SOURCE: Scott Smith on Twitter

May 11, 2019, 3:15 PM ET

 

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Cowboys RB Mike Weber exited rookie camp Saturday with a knee injury.

He'll receive an MRI to determine the severity. Dallas' seventh-round pick following the selection of Memphis' Tony Pollard in the fourth, Weber was expected to start the year as Ezekiel Elliott's primary backup out the gates. We'll have an update when the team announces it.

SOURCE: ProFootballTalk on Twitter

May 11, 2019, 5:50 PM ET

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Watch Titans rookie A.J. Brown go and your mind will race

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NASHVILLE – He made a ridiculous one-handed catch.

His legs look like they belong to a lineman, but his feet don’t.

He recently worked out with Jerry Rice.

He was the last guy on the field after practice Saturday.

He is not confined to the slot, he’s learning everything, and of that process so far, Titans rookie receiver A.J. Brown said: “It’s a learning curve of course, it’s a different level, but it’s not too bad.”

If these days – this four months and change of NFL morsel scrounging between the draft and actual football – meant anything, we’d be looking at a perennial All-Pro receiver in Nashville. And by “mean anything,” I mean to all who follow Titans football. The three-day rookie mini-camp that concludes Sunday and offered a tiny glimpse to media Saturday means a ton to Mike Vrabel and his coaching staff.

It’s guys in the building, it’s guys on the practice field, it’s playbooks, it’s informal interactions and it’s deeper impressions than are possible during the draft process.

“You start to become comfortable with them and you start to see what their personality is,” Vrabel said, citing the “canned answers” from prospects that all teams try to shake like a receiver against a pressing corner (often by employing weird questions) as they plot their selections.

This is the time for some “true personality,” Vrabel said, and so much work. And they’ve been getting it in this weekend and Vrabel has a scratch on the nose to prove it. Good for them.

And for us? Aside from getting to ask Vrabel and various players more questions about Vrabel “mixing it up” with the players, even though we’ve seen it a thousand times by now and should be used to it? 

Well, there isn’t much to go on yet. A few minutes of viewing Saturday, stretching and individual drills. No sign of No. 1 pick Jeffery Simmons, who’s in the middle of ACL rehab. Vrabel giving outside linebacker and fifth-round pick D’Andre Walker some hands-on guidance (don’t worry, every camera in the joint got that footage).

We did get to see new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith at work, and he was active and vocal – Brown pegged him as “really detailed,” and third-round offensive guard Nate Davis used the word “awesome.” It was fun to see legendary Middle Tennessee State quarterback Brent Stockstill throwing passes out there in a minicamp that also included Josh Smith and LaDarius Wiley of Vanderbilt and Quart’e Sapp of Tennessee.

But if I have to take anything out of this, it has to be Brown. Like Simmons, SEC football fans have seen plenty of him over the past couple of seasons, so it’s no surprise Brown would stand out on a field filled mostly with undrafted guys. He had 160 catches for 2,572 yards and 17 touchdowns in his last two seasons at Ole Miss. He’s a ripped 6-foot and 226 pounds.

Still, that body, those feet, those hands – watch him go and it’s easy to consider the possibilities in an offense that needs more of them. It’s also too easy to fall in love with the way players look against air, and to project the shiny new toy to replace the functional-yet-unspectacular holdovers (in this case, Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe).

Corey Davis and free-agent slot man Adam Humphries are the surest things at wide receiver. It’s going to be interesting after that. And it’s a little bit interesting that Brown – a beastly slot receiver in college who can’t help but be compared with Jarvis Landry – is not carrying that label with the Titans.

“We want him to learn as much as possible,” Vrabel said, and as he talked about Brown and the other rookies, the sound of Brown fighting through pads in a press-coverage drill could be heard (credit WKRN-TV’s Emily Proud with noticing Brown was the last guy on the field and asking about it).

“Those are good problems to have,” Vrabel said.

And this is really as far as anyone can reasonably go on Brown in May: He looks and sounds the part. Have a clean fork ready for the next distribution of morsels – organized team activities – in a couple of weeks.

 

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Vikings Feeling the Salary Cap Squeeze, OBJ Back in Cleveland, Rookie Standouts in Minicamps

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Rookie minicamps are happening across the league, and we’re beginning to hear more about teams’ late-round players. One guy that stood out at his weekend indoctrination was Texans third-round pick TE Kahale Warring. The San Diego State product flashed athleticism and movement skills, along with an imposing frame, for the coaches. He’s raw, so it may take time to find out what he’ll ultimately become in the Houston offense, but the raw ability could help him carve out a role as a matchup guy in Year 1. Worth noting that Bill O’Brien’s pretty good with tight ends, too.

Speaking of tight ends, another guy who stood out at rookie minicamp was Cincinnati second-round pick Drew Sample. Tight end is an important position in the Bengals’ offense, so it would be huge in Zac Taylor’s first year if the team nailed that pick. The staff sees Sample, an outstanding blocker with good receiver skills, playing the role as the traditional ‘Y’ tight end, the same role that Tyler Higbee did in that offense for the Rams. If he’s healthy, Tyler Eifert would then slide into the ‘F’ role as the move tight end, to generate mismatches. And the good news here is that Sample has already shown a pretty good ability to pick up what’s being taught and apply it, which is obviously key to contributing as a rookie.

 

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