New England, Stop Hating on Brady

I need to go on a small rant about Pats fans. I knew they were one of the worst fan bases but this is insane. All these people hating on Brady and being happy he lost and everything need to rethink things. PSA, I am not a Pats fan so this is a non-biased article.

This dude is 43 years old and is the greatest QB of all time. He brought you to 9 Super Bowls, won 6, and broke many records in a Pats jersey. You should be grateful for his time in New England and wish him the best on his career. So what, he had a bad game, it happens. He had many for the Pats and y’all continued to cheer him on and lift him up. His decision has nothing to do with football at this point.

At his age, he knew he didn’t wanna retire in New England, and do you blame him? Awful winters? All 4 seasons in 1 day? I would choose Tampa too! And I guarantee a lot of his decision was based on his family and his brand! Let’s put my sports marketing hat on, which I do have a degree in. He tapped all of the New England market for TB12. I don’t know if y’all saw the shirt he wore prior to the Saints game but it said, TBxTB, that is some dope marketing. The amount of fitness professionals and athletes in Tampa, TB12 is going to skyrocket in sales. This was a great decision for him!

I want to reiterate, I AM NOT A PATS FAN! I couldn’t care less where he went, but Tampa is great for him. So just think about his family and business too. He probably didn’t wanna leave New England but knew it was in his best interest. So Brady, best of luck in Tampa and best of luck for TB12!

Rolling with Royce: NFC North

Last week I started with the AFC so I figured I would change it up. We are going to be looking at the AFC and NFC North this week. I know Drew can’t wait to keep reading this to see who will be the most impactful player for his Packers so lets go! 

Bears: As much as I want to say Kindle Vildor, the answer here is Cole Kmet. Watching him play TE at Notre Dame was crazy! With the lack of production from the Bears tight ends last season, this 6’6” monster has incredible speed and height. He can burn defenders and come down with jump balls. Luckily for Trubisky, Kmet is tall and almost impossible to overthrow. Pending QB play for the Bears, Kmet will have close to 1,000 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. Kmet will be very difficult to cover in the red zone.

Vikings: Another very obvious pick here. With trading away Diggs, they needed to address WR early and they hit the nail on the head with Jefferson. I think he will be Diggs 2.0 and potentially have a better connection with Cousins. Jefferson was my favorite player to watch at LSU and I cannot wait to watch him on the Vikings. You already know I made sure I got him on my fantasy team. After the first couple games, Minnesota won’t remember who they traded away; this is a guaranteed franchise player. Watch out for Justin Jefferson, 750 yards and 8 TDs. 

Lions: The NFC North is making my life super easy. Obviously the pick here is Okudah but I’m going to ask a quick question. Why did they draft Swift? They have Johnson. Is it injury concerns because if so, I get it but still unclear. Back to Okudah. He and Justin Jefferson matching up twice a year for at least 4 years… I might be watching every single one of those games. If you have not watched Okudah at OSU, stop what you’re doing and go watch his tape. This man is nasty. He is mainly a man coverage corner, and I think very relatable to Ramsey. It is possible Okudah will be better than him too! Okudah will shut down every receiver in the North, mark my words! Oh, and have like 5 picks too.

Packers: Here you go Drew. I am sorry I made you wait. Like the Eagles, I think they had a terrible draft. No reason to take Love or Dillon, and James will probably be mad that it’s not AJ Dillon. Jon Runyan is my pick, half because of his draft story and half because I think he will make an excellent guard. If you haven’t heard, Runyan got a call from Wisconsin while texting and accidentally hit decline. Yes, he declined a call from the Green Bay Packers. Luckily, they immediately called back and he answered. I know he played tackle at Michigan but watching him at the combine, everything points to a pro-bowl guard 1 day. I’m not saying he is a day 1 starter, but he once he gets the start, expect to see him every Sunday. 

Rolling with Royce: NFC East

BOTA! We are back with another one! This time we are going to look at the rookies in the NFC East! I hope y’all enjoyed my first one and look forward to the rest! Let’s get right into it…

Cowboys: This one might come as a surprise to you. The Cowboys have always had a great o-line, but recently lost Travis Fredrick. Somehow, they picked up, in my eyes, the best center in the draft…IN THE 4TH ROUND! I know he does have injury concerns and needs a little help with pass blocking but he was projected late first/early second for a reason. If he can stay healthy and get coached up, Travis Fredrick 2.0. And they will still have the best line in the NFL.

Eagles: This was such a hard pick because I think the Eagles had one of the worst drafts this year. Why would you draft Hurts, he isn’t Taysom Hill and will never be. I guess they did address their biggest need in WR so I’ll go there…Jalen Reagor it is; even though I am not high on him at all. Okay, so he is fast and can make defenders miss. That’s all I got. He needs to work on his hands and being 5’11” it will be tough for him to win jump balls. I think he has great potential if he can catch consistently but until he proves that, the Eagles are still at square one. At least the Cowboys will choke the division away to them again. 

Giants: Julian Love is not a safety. I don’t know why they tried him there but thankfully they drafted Xavier McKinney. This dude is a stud and I can’t wait to watch him and Peppers terrorize QBs. He can play everywhere on the field. They can have him and Peppers deep, have him back alone, in the box, blitzing,  McKinney can do it all. He hasn’t “earned” the starting spot just yet but wait, come week 1, he will be out there, and teams will know! McKinney, Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate with 6 picks and at least 5 sacks. 

Washington: A bias really wants me to say Antonio Gandy-Golden but when you get the best player in the draft, that’s the pick. Chase Young! I cannot wait to watch him sack Dak Prescott over and over until Dak wants out of Dallas! Young is going to have a better rookie season than Nick Bosa because, straight up, he is better than Bosa. In a couple seasons, Aaron Donald who? Chase Young is destined to be the best player in the NFL and he will prove it. He’ll have at least 16 sacks. Just be sure to watch his first step off the line, that lights up those sack numbers.

Rolling with Royce: AFC East

Football season is fast approaching, hopefully… To get into the spirit, I’ll be releasing 2 articles a week, about each division, and a rookie on each team to watch out for! Some will be their first round selection, but a lot will be later round steals! Since we live on the East Coast, let’s start with the AFC East!

New England Patriots: This was a tough decision because in my eyes because they hit on their first 5 selections. I think the Pats had one of the best drafts because they filled so many holes without a selection in the first round. With the 27th pick in the 3rd round, they selected Devin Asiasi, a TE out of UCLA. The Pats utilize their TEs more than most teams and it showed last season without Gronk. Asiasi is going to be an animal, especially since Newton continues the TE loving trend. He is a great route runner and receiver but needs to improve his blocking. I anticipate him having around 700 yards receiving and 7 TDs.

Buffalo Bills: As much as I want to say Jake Fromm just because of bias, it isn’t him. They have their franchise QB in Josh Allen so I’m still not sure why they took him. With their first selection coming in the first round, they used it to take AJ Epenesa, to pair with Ed Oliver. I don’t know how he fell this far but once again, Buffalo is able to snag a great pass rusher. If I’m any offensive coordinator or offensive line coach and I have to come up with a plan to stop Oliver and Epenesa, I don’t think I could do it. Getting Epenesa will help the Bills defensive line tremendously. I expect him to have at least 11.5 sacks and be in the backfield a lot. 

Miami Dolphins: Y’all thought I would choose Tua, huh? Nope! I am not very high on Tua because of his injury. I don’t care how many times his agent said he is healthy. Until I see him in a game, I’m not buying the hype. However, the hype of DT Raekwon Davis is real. He went back to Alabama instead of declaring for the 2019 draft and went from a first round pick to a late second round pick but I know the ability to disrupt any offense is there. I know he didn’t have the best season last year but the talent and size are there. He is 6’6 and 311 pounds but is so quick off the line! With his crazy pairing of speed and strength, I think he will easily have 13 sacks and be a contender for defensive rookie of the year. 

New York Jets: Finally we have a player where I can be biased! Denzel Mims! Learn the name because if you don’t know it yet, expect to know it by the end of the year. I know this Jets offense doesn’t have many pieces, especially with losing Robby Anderson, but Mims is a great player to step into that roll and will be Darnold’s favorite target! Mims is 6’3 and has a decent amount of speed. He can blow by defenders and go up and get a jump ball if need be. He can do it all and will have over 1,000 yards receiving and 6 TDs, if Darnold can stay healthy.

Lamar Jackson is #1 on the Top 100?

I really don’t know who came up with this list but they really need to re-do it. There is no way Lamar is better than Mahomes. In fact, I don’t think Lamar is a top 4 QB in the NFL. Spoiler alert, the boys are doing our own rankings, by position, and I can guarantee none of us has him at #1 or even top 3…

Last year, the Ravens went 14-2 and Lamar had a good season. He passed for 36 touchdowns and only threw 6 picks. Those are great numbers until you realize he only threw for 3,100 yards. He was 22nd in the league in passing. As for rushing, he was 6th in the league going for 1,200 yards and 7 TDs. Don’t get me wrong, 4,300 total yards and 43 total TDs is a good season, but as James said when I complained to him about the rankings, “One good season doesn’t make you the best in the NFL.”

Now, the part we all can agree on. Patrick Mahomes got screwed! We all can agree he is the best QB in the NFL and he should have been #1 on the top 100. Despite the knee injury, which everyone worried he would struggle to come back from, he led the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory. He threw for 4,000 yards, 26 TDs and 5 picks, but I think he would have thrown at least 34 if it wasn’t for the injury. 

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed watching Lamar play last year, he is a human highlight reel. So is Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes led his team to a Super Bowl even after a knee injury. Mahomes has back to back impressive seasons while Lamar had this one but doing a lot of it on the ground. I think Lamar has potential to be the best player in the NFL but right now, there is no way he is better than Patrick Mahomes and the NFL needs to fix that! 

2020 Draft: Fantasy Team

Alright BOTA, here is one of our first collective “Fantasy Team” article. Since the 2020 draft is approaching, James and I thought it would be a good idea to create a team of players about to be drafted. We are each going to choose our offense and defense and then let y’all vote on which team you’d rather have. Yes, we may have the same players at certain positions but there will be quite a few picks that will be different. I hope y’all enjoy this content until sports are back up and running!

Royce’s Offense:

QB: Jake Fromm

HB: Jonathan Taylor

WR: Jerry Jeudy

WR: Denzel Mims

WR: Justin Jefferson

TE: Cole Kmet

OT: Andrew Thomas

OT: Tristian Wirfs

IOL: Tyler Biadasz

IOL: Cesar Ruiz

IOL: Shane Lemieux

James’ Offense:

QB: Cole McDonald

HB: AJ Dillon

WR:Jerry Jeudy 

WR:CeeDee Lamb

WR:Tee Higgins

TE: Thaddeus Moss

OT:Tristan Wirfs

OT: Jedrick Willis

IOL: Robert Hunt

IOL: Shane Lemieux

IOL: Solomon Kindley

Royce’s Defense:

Edge: Chase Young

Edge: K’Lavon Chaisson

IDL: Derrick Brown

IDL: Javon Kinlaw

LB: Isaiah Simmons

LB: Patrick Queen

CB: Jeffrey Okudah 

CB: Kristian Fulton

CB: AJ Terrell

S: Grant Delpit 

S: Kyle Dugger

James’ Defense

Edge: AJ Espensa

Edge: K’lavon Chaisson

IDL:Derrick Brown

IDL: Javon Kinlaw 

LB: Isaiah Simmons

LB:Julian Okwara

CB:CJ Henderson 

CB: Jeff Okudah

CB:Trevon Diggs

S: Grant Delpit

S: Ashtyn Davis

Mock 3.0: Burrow No Longer #1?

Yes, you read that title right! It’s a long shot that it happens but it is possible! Here is my latest mock where Joe Burrow does not go #1.

2020 Draft:

  1. Bengals: Edge, Chase Young (Best player in the draft)
  2. Redskins: OT, Andrew Thomas (If Haskins is your guy, get the best overall tackle to protect him)
  3. Lions: QB, Joe Burrow (Stafford is on the way out. Let Burrow develop for a year or 2)
  4. Giants: OT, Mehki Becton (Tested well at the combine and can protect Jones) 
  5. Dolphins: QB, Tua Tagovailoa
  6. Chargers: QB, Justin Herbert (Rivers is gone, get your next franchise QB)
  7. Panthers: LB Isaiah Simmons 
  8. Cardinals: WR CeeDee Lamb (They need a tackle but in Kingsbury’s offense, they need another weapon. Reunite Lamb and Murray)
  9. Jaguars: CB, Jeff Okudah (Trades away Ramsey and Bouye, get the best corner in the draft to start rebuilding)
  10. Browns: OT, Tristan Wirfs 
  11. Jets: OT, Jedrick Wills
  12. Raiders: WR, Jerry Jeudy
  13. Colts: IDL, Derrick Brown (The Colts probably won’t draft him but if he falls, they should jump on him and help that defensive line) 
  14. Buccaneers: IDL, Javon Kinlaw (Assuming they bring back Winston) 
  15. Broncos: WR, Henry Ruggs 
  16. Falcons: CB, Kristian Fulton
  17. Cowboys: S, Grant Delpit (Like I said in my last mock, this pick is up in the air until we know what happens with Prescott, Cooper, and Jones but regardless, they need safety help) 
  18. Dolphins: Edge, K’Lavon Chaisson
  19. Raiders: LB, Patrick Queen (Tested very well at the combine and the Raiders desperately need a linebacker) 
  20. Jaguars: CB, CJ Henderson (Just like that, the Jags have a great corner duo, AGAIN!) 
  21. Eagles: WR, Justin Jefferson
  22. Bills: WR, Denzel Mims (I normally mock Higgins here but I think Mims’ combine improved his stock) 
  23. Patriots: QB, Jake Fromm (Does not look like Brady will be back, sign a vet in free agency and like Fromm develop for a year)
  24. Saints: WR, KJ Hamler (The Saints replace Ginn) 
  25. Vikings: CB, Trevon Diggs (Put the bothers together. I think it will help Trevon develop faster) 
  26. Dolphins: RB, Jonathan Taylor
  27. Seahawks: Edge, AJ Epenesa
  28. Ravens: Kenneth Murray
  29. Titans: QB, Jordan Love (Assuming they franchise tag Henry. Re-sign Tanny or bring in a vet and help Love develop)
  30. Packers: WR, Tee Higgins
  31. 49ers: CB Jeff Gladney
  32. Chiefs: RB, D’Andre Swift (They need a corner but with the ones that are available, it is smarter for them to go elsewhere) 

NFL Combine Players to Watch: Defense Edition

Obviously no combine overview would be complete without taking a walk on the defensive side. From D-line to DB, Royce is here to run it down for y’all, so you know which defensive bois to focus on!

Interior Defensive Line:

1. Javon Kinlaw: This dude is insane off the line! When you add his strength to that speed, you have a lineman who no one wants to block. 

2. Raekwon Davis: He was a sure day 1 pick last year, but chose to go back to Alabama, and I think that hurt him. Will this combine help him get back into the first round? 

3. Ross Blacklock: If it wasn’t for his Achilles injury in 2018, I think there would be a lot more hype surrounding him. He had a great 2017 and 2019 campaign, and after an injury like that, you never comeback the same. 

Edge:

1. Chase Young: This is an obvious one. He is the best player in the draft and I’m excited to watch his combine performance.

2. K’Lavon Chaisson: He has climbed up Draft boards late in the season and during his playoff run. I don’t think he has a chance to get drafted before Young, but it’s possible he climbs into the top 10 with a great performance. 

3. Curtis Weaver: He was the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and he earned it! He has an outstanding football IQ and is a versatile player. I think he can be an early day 2 pick.

Linebackers:

1. Isaiah Simmons: Yes, I am putting him here rather than a safety because he is a linebacker. He is a phenomenal athlete that can also cover. I hope the Panthers take him at 7…

2. Patrick Queen: His biggest downside is that he did not see the field a lot, but he made up for it when he got on the field. He has incredible range and can go sideline to sideline with ease. 

3. Kenneth Murray: He improved his draft stock when he got to Oklahoma. I have seen some player comparisons to Rashaan Evans and I agree. If he can preform like Evans did at the combine, he will show he is worth a first round pick. 

Cornerbacks:

1. Jeff Okudah: He’s the best CB in the draft by a long shot. He is a man coverage corner who needs a little bit of work with zone coverage. I see him as the next Jalen Ramsey. 

2. Kristian Fulton: The National Championship game really hurt his stock. He did not play his best game, but he is still a day 1 pick. I think the combine will show that everyone has a bad game and that it was nothing to worry about.

3. Trevon Diggs: I have him much higher on my board than a lot of experts and, no, it’s not because his brother is Stefon. I watched a lot of his games and I think he has an extremely high ceiling. 

Safeties: 

1. Grant Delpit: This is a half biased pick because he is my favorite player in this draft. He is the best safety, but his downside is his tackling. He missed a lot of tackles this season, but he is a playmaker and I’m excited to see what he can do!

2. Xavier McKinney: I don’t like that he is higher on draft boards than Delpit, but I can understand why. He has great open field tackling ability and a great football IQ. He is a ballhawk and that’s what teams are looking for, a well-rounded safety.

3. Antoine Winfield Jr.: He is able to play the deep half of the field and also man up against tight ends. With how the game has changed and tight ends being targeted more, he has a chance to move up on draft boards after the combine. 

NFL Combine Players to Watch: Offense Edition

Ladies and male ladies, that magical time is again upon us. A time where the next wave of NFL hopefuls get to showcase their abilities and athleticism. I’m talking abou the NFL combine of course! Now with the combine comes a slew of young talent, generally too many players to keep track of, and that’s why ya boy Royce is here to give you a peek at which offensive bois to keep your eye on for the next week:

Quarterback:

1. Jordan Love: Attracting a lot of attention and has the potential to be a high 1st round pick. Is he what a lot of experts think he is? 

2. Justin Herbert: Was potentiality the #1 pick before the college season started, but showed a lot of downsides this season. Combine can help get his stock back up. 

3. Jake Fromm: I loved Fromm at the beginning of the season, but he had a not-so-great year. I still think he is a first round talent and a potential face of a franchise.

Running Back:

1. Jonathan Taylor: A lot of experts think he is not the best back in the draft and I disagree with them. I cannot wait for Taylor to prove them wrong. 

2. Cam Akers: Had an incredible season at Florida State. With Etienne and Hubbard going back, he has the potential to make a big splash

3. AJ Dillion: This is a biased pick. I loved watching him at BC and am excited to see what he does in the NFL.

Wide Receiver:

1. Jerry Jeudy: I do not need to say anything about this one. 

2. Justin Jefferson: Had an incredible playoff run with LSU and a huge game in the championship to rise on draft boards. Was it Burrow or is he legit? 

3. Denzel Mims: Big body athlete who can go up and get the ball! He does have a few downsides which I think have been hurting his stock. 

Tight End: 

1. Cole Kmet: Great receiving threat and can run the route tree effectively. His problem could be his blocking which some teams value very highly.

2. Thaddeus Moss: The name is helping boosting his stock, but I do think he should have went back to LSU. Will the combine make or break him? 

3. Albert Okwuegbunam: He was the top tight end in the class before the season. He did not have a great season, so hopefully the combine can help him get back to where he was on draft boards. 

Offensive Tackles:

1. Andrew Thomas: The most well-rounded tackle in the class. He is starting to fall on draft boards and I don’t know why. The combine will help increase his stock. 

2. Tristian Wirfs: A lot of experts think his shorter arms could be an issue at the next level, but I disagree. I think Wirfs is the 2nd best tackle in this draft. 

3. Mekhi Becton: Came out of nowhere and is skyrocketing up draft boards. 6’7” and almost 400 pounds with a lot of strength, so I can see where all the hype is coming from.

Interior Offensive Lineman:

1. Tyler Biadasz: No clue why he is falling on boards. The best center and overall interior o-line man in the draft. Just needs the combine to back him up. 

2. Shane Lemieux: A lot of strength and was a big part of that offensive line at Oregon. He is a late 2nd/early 3rd in my eyes, but has the potential to be a franchise guard. 

3. Cesar Ruiz: Ruiz is exactly what you want from from an interior lineman. He has played center and guard, so you can move him around. He also has the strength and mobility to help his draft stock. 

NFL’s New Collective Bargaining Agreement

It is rumored that a new collective bargaining agreement could be signed before the beginning of March. If this new CBA proposal is passed, the NFL would have a new pre-season and regular season schedule, as well as a new playoff format. 

If passed, the pre-season would move from 4 games to 3 games and then regular season would go from a 16 game schedule to a 17 game schedule. This has yet to be confirmed since the players still need to sign off on it and would not take effect until 2021 at the earliest. If the players do sign off on the 17-game schedule, there would be 5 billion dollars worth of revenue that would go to the players’ side. 

This new playoff format would go from 6 teams in each conference making the playoffs to 7 teams in each conference. Rather than 2 teams getting a bye, only 1 would. That also means that there would be 3 games in each conference on wild card weekend. It is possible that this new format, if passed, would take effect this season! Another big change would be that the players on the each team that has a bye would receive pay for that weekend. Currently, players that have been on a team that has a bye have not received postseason pay. 

As a fan, I think going from a 4 game to 3 game pre-season is great. It is something fans have been asking for for a while. I know if I watch a pre-season game, it is only for the starters and the starters never play week 4 anyways. Additionally, they should start the season a week earlier. As for injuries: yes, it is less likely for a star to get injured in the pre-season, but again, they don’t play week 4 so it could also increase the chance an injury occurs. Regardless, I am fully on board with a longer regular season. 

First off, I think it’s absurd that players on a team that has a bye do not receive pay for that week. I did not know that and I understand why a lot of players easily agreed to the new playoff format. Like the new regular season schedule, I am fully on board with another team making the playoffs. More football — that’s all I care about. Specifically, because I know my Panthers won’t be back in the playoffs for a couple of years. Hopefully the CBA is agreed upon and ratified before the season, so this new playoff format can begin. Football just ended and I am already looking forward to August.