The National Football League off season is in full swing and with the draft right around the corner here is my breakdown of the offseason thus far and potential moves in the 2020 NFL draft.
New England Patriots:
The biggest free agency move in the National Football League was the loss of Tom Brady for the Patriots was Six-time Superbowl Champion Tom Brady and how will they move on and fill the void at the Quarterback position. The projected replacement is former Auburn Quarterback and former Fourth Round Draft pick, Jarrett Stidham. The Patriots have brought back and signed veteran Quarterback Brian Hoyer on a one-year deal. Hoyer will tutor and teach Stidham how to be a Quarterback at the pro level. Devin McCourty resigns with the team on a two-year deal. McCourty is still playing at a high level and is the defensive captain and leader in the secondary. He may be the new guy who will carry out the “Patriot way” while carrying the messages between coaches and players. Beau Allen is the replacement for Defensive Tackle Danny Shelton who moved on to the Detroit Lions on a two-year contract. He fits into the defensive system of a big-bodied Defensive tackle that will take up space during the early downs and will be taken off the field during pass-rush situations. Brandon Copeland, the Outside Linebacker, signs with the team and is seen as a guy who will compete and fill depth on the roster. He is a replacement for Kyle Van Noy who moved onto the Miami Dolphins and Jamie Collins who moved onto the Detroit Lions. Copeland is more effective when being used in pass-rush situations.
Draft needs: Tight-end, linebacker, Offensive line, Wide receiver
The Patriots will select Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin with the 23rd pick. He will replace Kyle Van Noy with his ability to get after the quarterback with 12.5 sacks and be versatile in the front-seven.
The biggest free agent move for the Bills is the acquisition of star Wide-out Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings via trade. This pick up gives the Bills the number one receiver they have been looking for to add more punch to their offense and help the development of third-year Quarterback Josh Allen. Quinton Spain signs a 3-year deal that will bring back all five starters who will protect Josh Allen. E.J. Gaines and who will add more depth on the outside to help their excellent young corner Tre’Davious White. Josh Norman had his most productive years in Carolina under Sean McDermott as the Panthers Defensive Coordinator who is now the Bills Head Coach. Mario Addison replaces Shaq Lawson who is now a Miami Dolphin. His 9.5 sacks would have tied the lead for sacks in Buffalo last season. Quinton Jefferson signs a 2-year deal. He adds a championship pedigree with his time in Seattle. He also adds versatility with his ability to play defensive tackle and defensive end.
Draft needs: Edge rusher, Wide-receiver
Chase Claypool WR, Notre Dame will add a red zone threat and a big body receiver for Josh Allen. The Bills have many downfield threats with Stefon Diggs but not a receiver who can get you those 50/50 balls.
New York Jets:
The Jets make a tremendous investment in protecting Quarterback Sam Darnold with the acquisition of George Fant an offensive tackle on a three-year, $30 million deal, Connor McGovern a center who was a 3-year starter in Denver on a 3- year deal worth up to $27 million, and Guard Greg Van Roten on a 3-year deal who is a former Panther. Pierre Desir signs a one-year deal he offers a starting-caliber Cornerback with the releasing of former starters Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts. They also retain Brian Poole for a one- year as their slot corner which in today’s league is a starting position. Also, Poole played 68% of snaps on the Jets Defense last season which was the most by any other corner on the roster.
Draft needs: Wide-receiver, offensive-tackle
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama will give Sam Darnold the number one receiver he needs to help allow him to take that next step and add some punch to an offense that needs more playmakers on the outside with the loss of Roby Anderson.
The Dolphins have made big moves in improving their defense based on versatility and fit with the headliner of these moves former Cowboys Cornerback Byron Jones who is now the league’s highest-paid corner thanks to the fins. Jones led the NFL in the percentage of targets into tight windows at 50%. He also fits the defensive scheme of Head coach Brian Flores who loves to play man to man. The Dolphins defense will have two stud Cornerbacks with the pairing of Xavien Howard. Kyle Van Noy joins his former defensive coordinator from his days in New England on a 4-year 51-million dollar contract. Van Noy’s versatility will be used as a linebacker and as an edge rusher. He also can help cultivate the new culture that the Dolphins started building on at the end of last season. Shaq Lawson signed on a 3-year deal worth 30 Million Dollars the dolphins had no pass rush last year Lawsonn’s 6.5 sacks would have led a team who had only 23 sacks combined all of last season. Also, he could help in run defense. Emmanuel Ogbah is another mid-tier free agent who can add a punch off the edge and against the run and only on a two-year contract worth 15 Million. Jordan Howard Signs a two-year deal. The Runningback will immediately improve the leagues worth rushing attack. Howard who is only 25 years old has shown the ability to be very productive with his time as a Chicago Bear and Philadelphia Eagles. Howard has the third most rush yards and the seventh most rush TDs since entering the NFL in 2016.
Draft needs: Quarterback, Safety, offensive-line, Wide-receiver
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon will be the future signal-caller with his prototypical size and a big arm. Miami will also select Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama who has the versatility and will step into to replace Minkah Fitzpatrick and add to the defensive overhaul that Miami had during Free Agency.
Javon Hargrave signed a three-year deal worth $39 million. The Eagles have added another piece to their talented defensive line group with Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, and Brandon Graham. The Eagles added Will Parks and Nickell Robey-Coleman to a secondary that desperately needs help with the release of veteran and former defensive leader Malcolm Jenkins. The Eagles had a big splash move with a sign and trade for All-pro Cornerback Darius Slay to bolster the Secondary. Detroit received a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick. The Eagles sign Slay to a 3-year 50 million extension. Parks adds versatility with his ability to play safety and Cornerback. Coleman the former Ram is a starting-caliber Corner and probably will compete for playing time in the slot. Jatavis Brown will add more depth and competition to a Linebacker group with the loss of Nigel Bradham. Brown is the former Charger who has started 23 games in four seasons with the team.
Draft needs: Wide-receiver, cornerback, Inside Linebacker
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU with the aging group of Wideouts like Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery Jefferson will add big-play ability and allow the eagles to get younger at the position. Jordyn Brooks, ILB, Texas Tech who can become the day one starter and have an immediate impact. .
The Dak Prescott situation with the Cowboys has gotten very tense with the placing of the exclusive franchise tag on their quarterback. Amari Cooper signed a huge five-year, 100 million dollar deal. Cooper was the number one receiver for the Cowboys and he and Dak Prescott gave the offense a tremendous boost. In 25 games, they have connected on 132 passes for 1,914 yards and 14 touchdowns. Anthony Brown resigns with the team on a 3-year deal, with the loss of Byron Jones to the Dolphins the Cowboys needed to keep Brown who has been very dependable in his first four seasons with the team. Ha- Ha Clinton-Dix reunites with his former coach Mike Mccarthy and signs a one-year deal. He adds depth with starting experience and a starting-caliber safety to the secondary. Gerald McCoy gets added after the loss of Robert Quinn. Mccoy can play different positions on the defensive line which will help in the new defensive scheme for Mike Nolan. Greg Zuerlein signs with the team on a 3-year 7.5 million dollar deal this move will improve the Special Teams unit and create stability in the kicking game where the Cowboys have had trouble the past few seasons.
Draft needs: Cornerback, edge rusher
CJ Henderson, CB, Florida With the loss of Byron Jones the Cowboys need to bolster their Secondary and Henderson is an athletic playmaker with great coverage skills.
New York Giants:
The Giants have added defensive help in the secondary group and the front seven. James Bradberry has signed with the team on a 3-year deal worth 45 million dollars. The team has added a veteran presence in a young secondary. He will automatically be the team’s number one corner. He has shown the ability to hold its own against the league’s top receivers. Blake Martinez signed a 3-year deal worth 30 million dollars. The Giants needed a signal-caller for their defense. Martinez was a tackling machine with 155 combined tackles. Also added to the Linebacker group was another former Packer, Kyler Fackrell on a one-year deal. Fackrell added a pass rusher with not being in the running for the big name pass rusher. Leonard Williams was franchised tagged by the team on an expected salary of 16.1 Million for one year. Williams was the best defensive player on the team through the last eight games. He had 20 quarterback pressures and 14 hurries, tops among Giants defensive linemen after joining the team. Dion Lewis was added to the team on a one-year deal. He could help take some of the load off of Saquon Barkley during the passing downs which can help preserve him for later in the season.
Draft needs: offensive line, Wide-receiver, Outside-Linebacker
Isaiah Simmons, OLB/S Clemson Simmons is a do it all Linebacker and can be a playmaker they have been missing on their defense. Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor Mims has great size and speed who will give Daniel Jones a great target in the red zone.
The Redskins have added some secondary help and some protection for the young Quarterback Dwayne Haskins with keeping guard Brandon Scherff and adding Wes Schweitzer. Scherff was franchised tagged by the team. The team can not afford to lose any more offensive line to help with the rocky relationship with tackle Trent Williams. Wes Schweitzer was signed to the team on a 3-year deal worth 13.5 Million after losing Erik Flowers to Miami. The Redskins have added secondary help after bringing back Kendall Fuller on a 4-year deal. His time with the Chiefs was not that impressive but maybe a change of scenery will help. They also add Sean Davis and Ronald Darby. Davis can add some versatility because he has played Cornerback and Safety with his time with the Steelers. Darby adds more depth in the secondary and on the outside.
Draft needs: Wide-receiver, Tightend, cornerback
Chase Young, DE, Ohio State He is the best defensive lineman and one of the best players in the draft. With this move, the Redskins could be building a young disruptive group up font similar to the San Francisco 49ers.