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Volume 22, #20 -- Thursday Night, May 7th, 2020
Footballguys Staff Rookie Draft, Cam Newton As A Backup?, And More

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Howdy Folks,

Welcome to Friday. We've got the News and Notes you need plus a fun look inside a recent Rookie Draft from our Footballguys Staff.

Let's do this.

J

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A. Rookie Draft From The Footballguys Staff
Our Daniel Simpkins and Justin Howe with a look inside a rookie draft with our Footballguys Staff.


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1. NFL - QB Cam Newton open to backup role?

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Free-agent QB Cam Newton (Panthers) wants to start in the NFL, but he is open to accepting a reserve role in the right situation, according to sources.

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Newton is still out there for a team to sign and with other former starters landing backup gigs (Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton) it would seem like Newton is next. A team might want to bring him in for veteran depth or for a chance to push for a starting job. Perhaps some team like Jacksonville could see Newton as that sort of player.

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2. LAC - Three-man committee for Chargers in 2020?

Source: 1 No Source

Los Angeles Chargers RBs Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson and rookie Joshua Kelley are all expected to remain involved in the offense this season, according to comments made by office coordinator Shane Steichen.'All three of those guys are going to share the load. They all bring something unique,' Steichen said.

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Ekeler is the main back for the Chargers even if he doesn't get the most carries. What he does as a receiver and a runner makes him a RB1 for Fantasy GMs, standard or PPR leagues. Jackson is a slashing runner who we're interested in seeing get more time. Kelley is the attacking and most punishing runner of the group. The rookie from UCLA does not avoid contact but rather invites it and dares defenders to take him on. We'll see how he fits into this rotation, perhaps working primarily on short-yardage and goal-line situations in 2020.

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3. DAL - QB Dak Prescott's deal will get done

Source: ESPN - Ed Werder

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott will be signed to a long-term contract, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones Wednesday, May 6. 'Dak is the quarterback of our franchise now, and for many years to come,' Jones said. 'We've gotta get his contract--we've gotta get over that hurdle. But we'll do it, it'll ultimately get done.' Jones also said the free-agent signing of QB Andy Dalton has no bearing on Prescott's status with the team.

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The Andy Dalton signing raised a few eyebrows but it seems clear the Cowboys want a deal done with Prescott. Stay tuned.

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4. SF - Brandon Aiyuk could have gone higher

Source: MMQB - Peter King

San Francisco 49ers first-round pick WR Brandon Aiyuk, whom the team selected at No. 25 overall, was a player they would have taken at 13th overall if they weren't able to trade down, according to general manager John Lynch.

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Aiyuk was reportedly their favorite wide receiver in this potentially historic draft class. He basically turns into a running back after the catch and has great open field move and agility to gain yards in chunk plays. Aiyuk makes for the perfect complementary receiver to Deebo Samuel and the rookie from Arizona State should have a large role from day one with the 49ers offense.

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5. GB - Jordan Love could sit two years

Source: MMQB - Albert Breer

Green Bay Packers first-round pick QB Jordan Love was likely taken without any intention of starting in 2020 or possibly 2021, according to MMQB's Albert Breer. Most scouts Breer talked to believed Love was raw to the point where two or three years of runway to becoming a starter would be beneficial.

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Love needs to sit two years as he continues to develop as a passer. The rookie first-round pick from Utah State has nearly perfect mechanics as a thrower but he tends to take a lot of chances with the football. Love will attack a defense vertically and there's not a window he doesn't want to throw into. He needs to sharpen that skill set if he wants to be an effective starter in the pros.

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6. NO - Austin Carr back with New Orleans

Source: ESPN.com - Field Yates

Free-agent WR Austin Carr (Saints) re-signed with the New Orleans Saints Thursday, May 7. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Carr was a restricted free agent but the team did not place a tender on him. He's back and should fill a role on special teams if he makes the 53-man roster.

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7. BAL - J.K. Dobbins signs rookie contract

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens second-round draft choice RB J.K. Dobbins signed a four-year contract with the Ravens Thursday, May 7. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Dobbins is a fantastic prospect and has the skill to be one of the best running backs in the game in the future. The rookie from Ohio State is going to have to work in a RBBC this year with veteran Mark Ingram. We'll see if he can win the top spot on the depth chart in training camp or if Dobbins has to play more of a complementary role behind Ingram in 2020.

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8. NFL - QB Joe Flacco recovering from surgery

Source: Sirius XM NFL Radio - Adam Caplan

Free-agent QB Joe Flacco (neck) has not signed with a team at this point because he is recovering from neck surgery he had in April. He is expected to be cleared by late August or early September.

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Flacco is not the same player he used to be, and we saw that last year when he was an ineffective starter for the Broncos. If cleared by August or September that means Flacco will have to wait until that time for a new opportunity. If another team signs him it will only be as a veteran backup.

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9. BUF - Buffalo signs three draft picks

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Buffalo Bills sixth-round draft choice PK Tyler Bass, sixth-round draft choice WR Isaiah Hodgins and seventh-round draft choice CB Dane Jackson signed four-year contracts with the Bills Thursday, May 7. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Hodgins is a player we will monitor in dynasty formats. He lacks elite speed but he has top-tier field awareness and ball skills. Hodgins can win contested passes with ease and has a knack for finding the weakness in coverage. He's buried on the depth chart right now with the Bills but the rookie has skills worth keeping track of.

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10. BAL - Baltimore rookie WRs are versatile

Source: NBC Sports Washington - Andrew Gillis

Baltimore Ravens WRs James Proche and Devin Duvernay enter their rookie seasons projected to play out of the slot, but both are capable of lining up on the outside. Baltimore doesn't have traditionally defined roles for receivers, according to head coach John Harbaugh. Both players were also credited for their hands, and Duvernay's 4.39-second 40-yard time was discussed by Harbaugh.'We're pretty diverse on our offense, as you know, and we have different kinds of option plays and RPO plays and dropback passes and deep passes, play-action passes, and we have one guy that can really run like crazy and make all kinds of catches,' Harbaugh said. 'We have another guy who can really run routes and has a feel for getting open and catch the ball like crazy. So, Lamar [Jackson] is going to love both those guys.'

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Proche is a strong slot receiver while Duvernay's game is all about speed. Both can be problems for defensive coordinators and we could see them become favorite targets of QB Lamar Jackson. As we continue to see Jackson develop as a quarterback, the Ravens passing game becomes more exciting from a fantasy perspective.

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11. CLE - RB Nick Chubb taking it to defenses

Source: Pro Football Focus

Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb has forced a league-high 110 missed tackles on rushing attempts since 2018 - making him only one of three backs to record at least 100 over that stretch - according to Pro Football Focus.

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Chubb can run through or around defenders. Either way, Chubb is one of the best in forcing missed tackles. He's tough to bring down and there are plenty of fans who feel like he could be the next 2,000 yard rusher. That would obviously be a special season from Chubb, especially since teams don't run the ball that much anymore and Chubb is splitting time with Kareem Hunt. Chubb is one of the best in the game and is a clear RB1 for Fantasy GMs and a late first-round pick in any format.

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12. CAR - WR D.J. Moore a handful in the open field

Source: Pro Football Focus

Carolina Panthers WR D.J. Moore forced 30 missed tackles on receptions over the last two seasons - the most by any receiver and the second-highest mark by a receiver or tight end over that stretch - according to Pro Football Focus.

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Moore is a fine playmaker and we're excited to see how he meshes his game with new starting QB Teddy Bridgewater. He is a low-end WR2 with upside for Fantasy GMs in 2020. Moore has a current ADP of WR20 (4.07) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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13. LAR - WR Cooper Kupp effective as slot WR in 2019

Source: Pro Football Focus

Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp led all receivers with 853 yards from the slot in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Kupp can take advantage of defenders from the slot. He's got quickness and the field vision to gash defenses and that will continue in 2020. Kupp is a low-end WR1 for Fantasy GMs in PPR leagues with a current ADP of WR10 (3.02) in 12-team PPR formats.

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14. CLE - RB Kareem Hunt good at making tacklers look bad

Source: Pro Football Focus

Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt has forced 123 missed tackles on running attempts since 2017 - the second-highest total in the league over that span.

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Hunt is fluid with his movement and can make defenders miss with ease. He stacks moves on top of moves and loses little speed when he changes direction. Hunt will work in the backfield behind Nick Chubb once again in 2020.

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15. LVR - RB Devontae Booker heading to Las Vegas

Source: KXTV News 10 Sacramento - Sean Cunningham

Free-agent RB Devontae Booker (Broncos) reportedly agreed to terms with the Las Vegas Raiders on Wednesday, May 6.

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Booker was a fourth-round pick of the Broncos in the 2016 NFL draft. He was supposed to take over in that backfield but never did. Booker is a hard-charging runner but he lacks field vision. However, he has natural receiving ability and could be used as a pass-catching option behind Josh Jacobs.

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16. LAC - WR Mike Williams looking for big 2020 season

Source: The Athletic - Daniel Popper

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams said he is looking to post 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns this upcoming season.

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Williams certainly has the talent to do just that. It will be interesting to see how the Chargers QB situation shakes out. They have seasoned veteran Tyrod Taylor as their starter but rookie first-round pick Justin Herbert is waiting in the wings. Taylor is safe with the football and may not take many chances with the ball down the field. That could negatively impact Williams' production in 2020.

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17. CLE - WR Rashard Higgins could be No. 3 WR

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns WR Rashard Higgins has a good chance to win the No. 3 receiver job during training camp in part because of his chemistry with QB Baker Mayfield, in the opinion of The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot.

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Higgins was a free agent this year but got little interest on the open market. He returns to the Browns but the WR room is more jam-packed than it was last year. Higgins likely will compete with rookie WR Donovan Peoples-Jones for the job.

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

Peace,

J