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Why Julio Jones and Jimmy Garoppolo could soon be traded, plus biggest NFL draft busts of past 30 years

Why Julio Jones and Jimmy Garoppolo could soon be traded, plus biggest NFL draft busts of past 30 years

It’s finally here! Draft week is finally here! 

We’ve been counting down for so long that I was starting to think maybe the NFL postponed the draft without telling anyone. That seems like something they would do. However, that is not the case and the draft will be kicking off on Thursday, which means this newsletter is going to be jam-packed with draft content for the rest of the week. We’ll have so many mock drafts that our mock drafts will have mock drafts and we’ll make sure to include as many rumors as humanly possible. 

With that in mind, let’s get to the rundown. As always, here’s your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link. 

1. Today’s show: Mock Draft Monday

After 10 straight weeks of having a Mock Draft Monday on the podcast, I have some sad news for everyone: Today is the FINAL Mock Draft Monday of the year. We thought about doing one next week to help prepare everyone for the 2022 NFL Draft, but we decided it would make more sense to let everyone mentally recover from the 2021 draft first. 

Since today is the final Mock Draft Monday of the year, we decided do things a little bit differently: Instead of having one of our draft writers come on the podcast to explain their mock draft, we had all of draft writers come on the show TOGETHER to do a live mock draft. Basically, this means that draft gurus Ryan Wilson, Josh Edwards and Chris Trapasso all joined Will Brinson and the four of them went through the entire first round with each guy serving as the “general manager” for eight different teams.  

You can see below how the first 10 picks of the live mock draft played out: 

  • 1. Jaguars (Trapasso): QB Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
  • 2. Jets (Edwards): QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
  • 3. 49ers (Wilson): QB Mac Jones (Alabama) 
  • 4. Falcons (Brinson): TE Kyle Pitts (Florida) 
  • 5. Bengals (Trapasso): WR Ja’Marr Chase (LSU)
  • 6. Broncos (Trapasso pulls off trade with Miami)QB Justin Fields (Ohio State) 
  • 7. Lions (Wilson): WR Jaylen Waddle (Alabama) 
  • 8. Panthers (Brinson):  OL Penei Sewell (Oregon)
  • 9. Dolphins (Edwards pulls off trade with Denver): WR Devonta Smith (Alabama) 
  • 10. Cowboys (Edwards): CB Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)

To find out how the rest of the first-round played out, you’re definitely going to want to listen to today’s show and you can do that by clicking here.

2. NFL Draft trade rumors

From now until the start of the draft on April 29, there are going to be a lot of rumors about the draft. As a matter of fact, over the next four days, you probably shouldn’t believe anything you hear and that’s because draft rumors generally go something like this: 

  • Team A wants to trade up
  • Team A actually wants to trade down
  • Team A was lying and doesn’t want to trade at all

For some reason, that’s how rumors work in the lead up to the draft and the closer to the draft you get, the crazier the rumors get. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the most recent rumors: 

  • 49ers narrow their options down to two. According to NFL.com, the 49ers are eyeing either Mac Jones or Trey Lance with the third overall pick. Apparently, the reason they haven’t decided is because the team’s personnel department wants to take Lance, but coach Kyle Shanahan wants to take Jones, according to ESPN.com. When it comes to the 49ers, I have no idea what to believe anymore and I won’t be surprised if they end up taking Justin Fields. 
  • Patriots could make a move into the top 10. The Patriots aren’t actively looking to make a move into the top 10, but they will strongly consider trading up if Justin Fields somehow falls down to the bottom of the top 10, according to NFL.com. If Fields goes to the Patriots, Bill Belichick is going to win eight more Super Bowls, so the rest of the NFL better not let this happen. 
  • Julio Jones could be on the trading block. The Falcons clearly wanted this rumor to leak because three different outlets (NFL.com, Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports) all reported on Monday that the team has started taking calls for Julio Jones. The Falcons have zero cap room and they could pick some up if they were to trade their star receiver. The catch here is that it would need to be a post-June 1 move, which means the Falcons wouldn’t be able to acquire any picks in this year’s draft (If they trade him before June 1, they’d lose $200,000 in cap space; if the move comes after June 1, they’d net $15.3 million in savings). 
  • Jimmy Garoppolo could be traded. When it comes to trade rumors, one name to watch out for this week is Jimmy Garoppolo. Although the 49ers have insisted that he’s going to be with the team in 2021, Peter King is reporting that Jimmy G is “more available than he’s been.” Basically, this sounds like the 49ers might be willing to dump him if they get a good offer and the funniest thing ever would be if he got traded to the Patriots for a second-round pick. 

The moral of the story here is that I think this means there are going to be a lot of rumors between now and the start of the draft. And let’s not forget, sometimes there won’t even be any rumors about a trade before it happens, which is kind of what we got on Friday when the Ravens sent Orlando Brown and several draft picks to Kansas City in exchange for the Chiefs’ first-round pick. For the full details on that trade, be sure to click here. 

3. Best bets for the NFL Draft

The only thing more exciting than watching the NFL Draft is making money while you’re watching the NFL Draft and to help you do that this year, we’ll be sharing some best bets in each newsletter between now and the draft. 

Today, those best bets are coming from our three draft gurus: Ryan Wilson, Josh Edwards and Chris Trapasso. Each of the guys came up with a few bets that they like going into the draft and I’m going share one bet with you from each guy. 

  • (EDWARDS) First non-quarterback drafted: Ja’Marr Chase (+300). “Atlanta is either going to take a quarterback at No. 4 or trade down to a team moving up to No. 4 to take a quarterback. The No. 5 overall pick would be the first without a quarterback and most believe that Chase will be Cincinnati’s choice, making this bet a good value.”
  • (WILSON) Over/under Najee Harris draft position: Under 28.5 (-130). “Yes, this is -130, and yes, it’s always a reach to expect a running back to go in Round 1, and yes, Overs are typically the way to go when we’re talking about draft position. But the Dolphins are reportedly interested in Harris, and they’re on the clock at No. 18, and if the Alabama running back gets past them, the Steelers could have real interest at No. 24.” 
  • (TRAPASSO) First cornerback drafted: Jaycee Horn (+245). “The idea that Patrick Surtain is by far the consensus top cornerback in the class has faded to much more uncertainty at that position in this class, and after Caleb Farley’s injury news, Horn has a real opportunity to be the first defensive back picked. Like Surtain, he has NFL bloodlines and absolutely rocked his pro day workout. Also, he shows more twitch on film, the one main concern with Surtain. This represents great value, and Horn could go off the board to the Cowboys at No. 10 overall.”

If you want to check out the rest of their bets, be sure to click here. 

4. NFL Insider notes: How the top 10 is going to play out

For the past 10 weeks, I think I’ve shared roughly 117 mock drafts with you from 14 different writers, but this week — since it’s draft week — we’re going add a twist and tell you how an actual NFL team thinks the first 10 picks in the draft will end up playing out. 

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora chatted at length with an anonymous top exec from a team who is trying to get a handle on what the most likely outcomes will be from the picks in the top 10. 

Here’s how the executive sees the first 10 picks playing out:

  • 1. Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
  • 2. Jets: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
  • 3. 49ers: QB Mac Jones (Alabama) 
  • 4. Somebody: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State. “The exec believes the Falcons take a QB all things being equal if they stay here, but they are marketing this selection around the league and seem inclined to move down within reason. Would they go all the way back to New England’s pick?”
  • 5. Bengals: TE Kyle Pitts (Florida)
  • 6. Dolphins: WR Ja’Marr Chase (LSU)
  • 7. Somebody: QB Justin Fields (Ohio State). “This evaluator is of the mind that new Lions president Chris Spielman — an Ohio State guy through and through — is very involved in this selection. And if the Lions stay here, he says not to discount them going QB. It is also one of many potential trade spots for him in the top 10.”
  • 8. Panthers:  CB Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
  • 9. Broncos: CB Jaycee Horn (South Carolina)
  • 10. Cowboys: OL Penei Sewell (Oregon)

It’s interesting to see how an actual team executive sees the first 10 picks playing out, because it’s definitely different than the how we’ve seen the first 10 picks play out in most mock drafts. Basically, what I think this means is that no one really has any idea what’s going to happen on Thursday. The first two picks seem to be pretty set in stone, but after that, you should expect total chaos.  

5. Ranking the best draft picks of all-time

With the 2021 NFL Draft just around the corner, we decided to kick off a series last month that features the top draft picks of all time. The way this has been working is pretty simple: Since there are 32 picks in the first round, we went through and listed the top five picks for each one of those 32 spots. Our countdown started with the 32nd spot, and now, we’ve reached the top two. 

Today we’re going to feature the top-five players who have ever been selected with the second-overall pick.

1. Lawrence Taylor (1981, Giants)
2. Julius Peppers (2002, Panthers)
3. Sid Luckman (1939, Bears)
4. Randy White (1975, Cowboys)
5. Marshall Faulk (1994, Colts)

Cody Benjamin was in charge of putting this ranking together, so if you don’t like it, please complain to him. If you want to read a deeper explanation on the list, be sure to click here so you can check out Benjamin’s full story. On the other hand, if you’d like to yell at Cody on Twitter because you disagree with his list, feel free to click here

If you want to check out the top five players ever at every draft spot from 32nd overall down to second overall, you’ll want to click here. The top five players ever selected with the first overall pick will be coming tomorrow. 

6. Ranking the biggest draft busts over the past 30 years

When the NFL Draft begins on Thursday, every team will be hoping that their first-round pick turns into a future Hall of Famer, but the much more likely scenario is that they end up turning into a total bust. 

Since everyone loves reading about busts, I decided to put together a list of the top-10 draft busts over the past 30 years. To make this list different than most draft bust rankings, I’ve decided to throw in one rule: To qualify for the bust list, you have to be at least a top-10 pick.

The other rule here is that I’m only going to list a maximum of one bust per team. If I didn’t make that a rule, then this list would basically only be made up of former Bengals, Browns and Lions draft picks, and as fun as that list would be, I don’t want to terrorize just those three fan bases. 

With that in mind, let’s get to the list: 

5. Lawrence Phillips, Rams (1996, sixth overall pick). Despite the fact that Phillips was accused of multiple crimes and suspended while at Nebraska, the Rams still decided to take a risk on him in the 1996 draft and that decision ended up backfiring in a major way. Once he got to the NFL, Phillips was unable to stay out of trouble and the Rams ended up releasing him before he even finished his second season with the team. 

4. Charles Rogers, Lions (2003, second overall pick). With the second pick in 2003, the Lions knew they were going to take a receiver and with a pick that high, there were only really two options: Rogers or Andre Johnson. Instead of taking Johnson — who might end up in the Hall of Fame — the Lions decided to go with the hometown hero in Rogers, who went to high school in Michigan and attended Michigan State. Johnson ended up being selected by the Texans with the very next pick.

3. Ryan Leaf, Chargers (1998, second overall pick). You can’t have a conversation about the greatest draft busts in NFL history without mentioning Ryan Leaf’s name. After the Chargers made Leaf the second overall pick in 1998, it all went downhill from there and it went downhill fast. Basically, it was a disaster from start to finish.

2. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders (2007, first overall pick). The Raiders only have themselves to blame for this pick and that’s because they basically ignored every red flag in the book when they selected Russell with the first overall pick in 2007. For one, an NFC general manager literally told Raiders owner Al Davis that taking Russell would be a bad idea. It was also well known that Russell hated studying. Russell also hated conditioning, which are two things you don’t want your top pick to hate. 

1. Akili Smith, Bengals (1999, third overall pick). If you’re wondering how Smith beat out guys like Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell as the biggest draft bust of all-time, there are two reasons. The first reason is that he was horrible during his time in Cincinnati and the second reason is because of what the Bengals gave up to draft him. Before they selected Smith, the Bengals had the chance to trade the third pick to the Saints in exchange for New Orleans’ first-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-round selections in 1999 (12th, 71st, 107th, 144th, 179th, and 218th), as well as New Orleans’ first-round pick in both 2000 and 2001, along with a second-round pick in 2002. The Bengals said no. 

This is actually a list of the 10 worst draft busts and if you want to find out who else made the cut, be sure to click here. 

7. The Kicker: Rob Gronkowski broke a Guinness World Record over the weekend

I think it’s safe to say that no one has had a bigger year than Rob Gronkowski. Not only did he win the Super Bowl back in February, but he added something even more impressive to his résumé over the weekend: He broke a Guinness World Record. 

When I first read about this, I assumed the record was for most hours spent partying during a pandemic, but I was wrong, the record was for catching a football from a 600-foot dropping point. To break the record, someone flew a helicopter 600-feet in the air, then dropped a football down to Gronk. Although I’m pretty sure a football could kill you from this height, it did not kill Gronk, who ended up setting the record by caching the football on his third attempt. You can see the full video of Gronk’s catch by clicking here

If I ever break a world record, it will be for most coffee drank while writing a newsletter, but I don’t think that’s an actual record, which is too bad. 

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