Footballguys.com

Volume 20, #22 -- Sunday Night, May 13th, 2018

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Hi Footballguy,

Good Monday to you. I hope you're ready for a new week as we've got the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Rookie Cornerbacks To Target
Our Dave Larkin looks into the "rookie corner rule" and how it can be applied to the 2018 class.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. NO - Jonathan Williams to fill the void?

2. NO - RB Alvin Kamara won't be overworked

3. DET - WR Golden Tate extension talks going slow

4. ATL - Calvin Ridley getting work all over the field

5. DAL - OLB Jaylon Smith no longer wearing brace

6. IND - Deon Cain to have a role early?

7. LAR - John Kelly to be the backup?

8. TB - Justin Watson impressing early

9. HOU - Jordan Thomas working on blocking

10. MIA - Miami wants Mike Gesicki on the field

11. IND - Nyheim Hines turning heads

12. DEN - Steady role for Royce Freeman?


1. NO - Jonathan Williams to fill the void?

Source: NFL.com - Herbie Teope

New Orleans Saints RB Jonathan Williams was one of the players head coach Sean Payton mentioned when discussing who will step up while RB Mark Ingram is serving his suspension.

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A fifth-round pick out of Arkansas in 2016, Williams lasted only one season with Buffalo. He spent 10 weeks on the Broncos practice squad in 2017 before getting dumped, but the Saints then scooped him up and kept him on the active roster. With Ingram suspended the first month of the year, we'll see if Williams can come through on the potential he still has.

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2. NO - RB Alvin Kamara won't be overworked

Source: NFL.com - Herbie Teope

New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara won't be overworked during RB Mark Ingram's suspension, according to head coach Sean Payton. 'By all means, we don't want to sit there and run the tread off the back with him early in the season because this thing it's a marathon, 16 games,' Payton said.

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Kamara is going to have a larger role in 2018, especially with Mark Ingram suspended the first four games of the year. We'll see him maintain a large role even when Ingram comes back in Week 5. The Saints will continue to use a rotation of backs behind Kamara, likely led by Jonathan Williams while Ingram is out.

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3. DET - WR Golden Tate extension talks going slow

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

The Detroit Lions and WR Golden Tate, who is entering the final year of his contract, have yet to engage in any substantive talks regarding an extension and have indicated to Tate they want to allow first-year head coach Matt Patricia some time to get to know him first, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

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In the final year of his contract, Tate is scheduled to make $7 million in 2018. With his durability and consistent production, Tate could be in line for a contract that pays him over $10 million annually.

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4. ATL - Calvin Ridley getting work all over the field

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - D. Orlando Ledbetter

Atlanta Falcons first-round WR Calvin Ridley lined up in the slot as well as outside during rookie minicamp Saturday, May 12. Ridley is also under consideration to return kickoffs and punts, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Ridley has the route-running ability to line up anywhere on the field. He knows how to set defenders up before making his break, and Ridley can accelerate past corners once the rock is in his hands. We're excited to see what the rookie from Alabama could do, especially with Julio Jones drawing so much coverage away. Ridley has a current ADP of WR47 (11.01) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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5. DAL - OLB Jaylon Smith no longer wearing brace

Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Clarence E. Hill Jr.

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith is no longer wearing a brace on his left ankle and foot due to drop foot. He said he hasn't worn it since resuming workouts in February.

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Two years removed from his major knee injury, Smith is poised to do more for the Cowboys in 2018. He started only six games in 2017 but appeared in every regular season contest. We'll see if without the brace Smith begins to look like the player he once was in college at Notre Dame.

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6. IND - Deon Cain to have a role early?

Source: NFL.com - Lance Zierlein

Indianapolis Colts WR Deon Cain could 'find catches as a rookie' despite being a sixth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, according to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.

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Cain fell to the sixth round even though some felt he would be a second or third round pick. A former high school quarterback, Cain is dangerous with the ball in his hands after the catch. He's got the ability to 'stab and stash' the ball quickly so defenders don't get much of a shot at stripping the ball away. Cain did not increase his production in college with enhanced opportunity and may never be more than a quality rotational player. The upside is there to be more if he can play up to that untapped potential.

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7. LAR - John Kelly to be the backup?

Source: NFL.com - Lance Zierlein

Los Angeles Rams RB John Kelly's versatility as a receiver makes him a better candidate to be the backup to RB Todd Gurley than RB Malcolm Brown, according to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.

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Kelly had 37 catches last year for the Volunteers and can stay on the field all three downs if need be. He's violent as a runner and will use his stiff arm to create space for himself. Kelly is not creative or elusive with the ball in his hands, and has more of a 'no nonsense' style of running the ball. We'll see how he compares to Brown (more of a power back) in the Rams battle for backup running back.

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8. TB - Justin Watson impressing early

Source: PewterReport.com - Scott Reynolds

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Justin Watson has been running 'crisp, precise routes' during rookie minicamp, according to Scott Reynolds of PewterReport.com.

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Watson has what scouts call 'late hands' as he doesn't tip off deep passes are coming in until the final moment. He's not going to run away from many defenders, but Watson is tough and doesn't mind taking a hit to secure a catch. The Bucs have some room on the depth chart behind their top trio at wide receiver (Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries).

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9. HOU - Jordan Thomas working on blocking

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans TE Jordan Thomas has been focusing on refining his blocking techniques during rookie minicamp.

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Thomas is a 280 pound converted wide receiver, and blocking is not his hallmark. He is a receiving threat and can create mismatches against linebackers due to his skill set. The Texans have Ryan Griffin and Stephen Anderson at the top of the depth chart, but Thomas could compete for a spot in the rotation if he proves himself in camp.

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10. MIA - Miami wants Mike Gesicki on the field

Source: The Miami Herald - Adam H. Beasley

Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said they could use more sets with three tight ends this year in order to utilize TE Mike Gesicki.

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Gesicki takes a basketball skill set to the football field and is your prototypical 'F' receiving tight end. We'll be interested to see how Gesicki can be incorporated into the offense, especially since fellow rookie TE Durham Smythe is there as well.

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11. IND - Nyheim Hines turning heads

Source: Colts.com - Andrew Walker

Indianapolis Colts RB Nyheim Hines has displayed an impressive ability to catch the ball, according to head coach Frank Reich.

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Hines should be turning heads as he's got the 'wow' factor when touching the ball as a runner or receiver. He's got the ability to be moved all over the formation as Hines is a running back but can play slot receiver as well. Expect the Colts to mix him into the offense, making him an interesting flier pick in deep PPR leagues with 'what the heck' flex potential.

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12. DEN - Steady role for Royce Freeman?

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman will have a chance to become a '1B' back to RB Devontae Booker, according to Mike Klis of 9News.com.

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Notice how Klis is reporting a '1B' situation. That's accurate at this time as Booker should be the lead back for the Broncos to begin training camp. However, we think Freeman is just a better talent and could overtake Booker for the lead job. We'll watch this unfold in camp as the Broncos look to replace former 1,000 yard rusher C.J. Anderson.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of Footballguys. We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J