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AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber

AP Pro32 ballot from Glauber

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Bob Glauber of Newsday:

Week 12

BOB GLAUBER (Newsday)

1. Houston Texans - When your defense isn't at its best, nice to have

Matt Schaub save the day with five TD passes, including the

game-winner in OT of a surprisingly difficult win over the Jaguars.

Not gonna penalize Texans on style points. Bottom line: They got it

done.

2. Atlanta Falcons - Too soon to call it a slump. But a week after

losing a battle against Drew Brees, Matt Ryan throws a career-high

five INTs as Atlanta narrowly holds off Arizona. If he doesn't get

back on track quickly, then there's a problem. A big problem.

3. San Francisco 49ers - You don't often see a quarterback controversy

on a winning team, but the 49ers sure seem to have one. Who's it going

to be, Jim Harbaugh? Colin Kaepernick or Alex Smith? Either way, looks

like Kaepernick has a terrific future.

4. Green Bay Packers - Nothing pretty except the final result, as the

Packers outlast the Lions in Detroit to continue their domination over

their NFC North rivals.

5. Baltimore Ravens - Another ugly win for another highly regarded

team. But when you beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, who cares how it

looks? Ravens now in firm control in AFC North.

6. Denver Broncos - Three more TDs for Peyton Manning and three more

sacks for Von Miller add up to a convincing win over San Diego. Looks

like Denver will cruise to the divisional title and perhaps even a

trip to New Orleans in February.

7. New England Patriots - Blowout win over the Colts is great, but

losing Rob Gronkowski to a broken forearm takes away Tom Brady's

biggest offensive weapon. Pats won't be the same without him.

8. Chicago Bears - Jay Cutler can't get back soon enough, but it's the

defensive meltdown in San Francisco that should have Lovie Smith just

as concerned.

9. New York Giants - Giants return from bye rested and ready, but the

schedule is a killer down the stretch. It starts with Green Bay at

home on Sunday night and includes games against New Orleans, Baltimore

and Atlanta. That one-game lead over Dallas looks mighty tenuous.

10. New Orleans Saints - Hottest team in the league? Could be. Saints

roll to their fifth win in the last six games and are right in the

thick of NFC wild card race. Would be an incredible feat if they get

there after overcoming 0-4 start.

11. Seattle Seahawks - Seahawks return from bye to face reeling Miami.

Can't afford a misstep here, not when Seattle is still very much in

the thick of it in the divisional and wild card races.

12. Dallas Cowboys - Just when it looks like the Cowboys will go

kerplunk - i.e. lose at home to the awful Browns - they pull off a

dramatic comeback and remain a factor. Only one game behind the

slumping Giants, and this thing can change in a hurry.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Another terrific comeback effort from Josh

Freeman in a road win over the Panthers. Statement game now on tap for

Sunday: Falcons at Tampa.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers - With the quarterback situation a mess

because of injuries, it'll be Mike Tomlin's greatest coaching jobs if

he gets to the playoffs.

15. Indianapolis Colts - Mr. Luck, say hello to Mr. Brady. Carry on.

16. Minnesota Vikings - Vikings come off bye with chance to take a

huge step in the division. A win over Chicago, and they're in

business. Looks like they might have to face Jay Cutler, though. Not

easy with Bears in bounce-back mode after San Francisco embarrassment.

17. Cincinnati Bengals - Bengals follow up blowout of defending Super

Bowl champions with another excellent performance, even if the

competition was inferior. But hey, the Chiefs played well the week

before in Pittsburgh, so give credit to Cincy for not giving KC a

chance in this one.

18. Washington Redskins - RG3 has his way against the Eagles' reeling

defense. Still a ways to go in the playoff chase, but at least there's

a chance.

19. Tennessee Titans - Still in the hunt for a wild card, Tennessee is

on the road to face Jacksonville. A tougher task perhaps now that Chad

Henne gets his shot as the Jags' starter.

20. New York Jets - Just the way Rex likes to play: Run the ball, play

good defense, have the quarterback manage the game. The Jets did just

that to beat the Rams on the road. A win over New England at home on

Thanksgiving, and hope lives on.

21. Detroit Lions - It's just about over for the Lions. A Thanksgiving

Day loss to the Texans, and that could be it.

22. Buffalo Bills - Bills are still far from good, but they kept their

flickering playoff hopes alive by beating Miami at home in an ugly

one. Now let's see what they do at Indy in a virtual must-win

situation.

23. San Diego Chargers - Is Philip Rivers really a descending player?

The evidence is hard to ignore. Maybe a change of coaches next season

will signal an eventual rebirth. The Chargers can only hope.

24. Miami Dolphins - It wasn't long ago the Dolphins looked as if

they'd turned the corner. Now they look as if it's 2011 all over

again.

25. Arizona Cardinals - Cardinals haven't won since September. Really.

26. St. Louis Rams - So much for that. A week after the Rams tie the

mighty 49ers on the road, they come up small at home against the Jets.

Not the kind of payback former Jets offensive coordinator Brian

Schottenheimer was looking for.

27. Philadelphia Eagles - The offense is miserable. The defense is

worse. And Andy Reid's time is just about up in Philly. What a mess.

28. Cleveland Browns - Browns come close in Dallas, but can't finish

off the upset. Woulda shoulda coulda - the three words that have come

to symbolize the Browns since their return to Cleveland in 1999.

29. Carolina Panthers - Latest heartbreak for Panthers' fans: Watching

the home team blow a 21-10 fourth-quarter lead with 4:34 to play.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars - Mike Mularkey hands the ball to Chad Henne

after a terrific performance in relief of Blaine Gabbert in Houston.

Let's see if it does the trick at home, where the Jaguars have been

embarrassingly bad.

31. Oakland Raiders - Will Dennis Allen be a one-and-done? Not like

the Raiders haven't pulled the plug early before. Let's see if Mark

Davis is like father Al when it comes to impatience with losing

coaches.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Back to the basement for the Chiefs, who

follow up a gutty effort in an overtime loss in Pittsburgh with a

miserable showing at home against Cincy.

---

Online:

http://pro32.ap.org/poll

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2017 NFL Draft: Final Mock Draft Thoughts

2017 NFL Draft: Final Mock Draft Thoughts

The time is here.

The 2017 NFL Draft, round one.

Thursday. My 11th and final mock draft, completed.

Before getting into all the picks, here are some final thoughts:

CLICK HERE FOR BEN STANDIG'S FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

  • Here are the five players that could really, really screw up my grand plans: QB Mitch Trubisky, ILB Reuben Foster, CB Marlon Humphrey, WR Corey Davis, S Jabrill Peppers. Why? Trubisky is the likely first passer selected. I’d bet the Browns land him with their second first-round selection. It just probably won’t be at 12. That means a trade up. Whether it’s the Jaguars (4), Titans (5) or Jets (6) makes a major difference in how the selections might unfold. Foster is a top-10 talent who some suggest could slide out of round 1 altogether because of various injury/off-field concerns. Humphrey might be the third corner selected. When he comes off the board, a run on corners begins. Does that run begin at 18 or 28? Last month Davis had top-10 projections. Because he hasn’t been able to work out for teams due to injuries, his range is now 10-30. Peppers is a big favorite for many talent evaluators, but where he plays every-down in the NFL is the concern

CLICK HERE FOR BEN STANDIG'S FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

  • Yes, we all know that the Redskins need defensive line help. Don’t freak out if that doesn’t happen on Day 1. There simply are not many (any?) viable options projected in the 15-35 range. Better they take talent for other need areas than reach. Oh, they also might have an issue in the second round for similar reasons. Cheers!
     
  • Speaking of strengths and weaknesses, teams seeking cornerback, safety, edge rusher and tight end love the first two rounds of this draft. Those hoping for offensive line, defensive and wide receiver are hoping for the best.

CLICK HERE FOR BEN STANDIG'S FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

  • For the last 10 mocks I’ve changed the selections for 30 slots numerous times. Two remain the same. Cleveland taking Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garett No.1 – and the Los Angeles Chargers going with Ohio State safety Malik Hooker. The former is clear; one league source told me he’s the best OLB prospect since Lawrence Taylor. As for Hooker, it just made sense from the jump in a Beautiful Mind sort of way.

 

  • If you make me pick a surprise for the top 10 – quarterbacks don’t count – give me Washington receiver John Ross, i.e. the guy who ran the fastest 40-time in the history of the NFL Combine. Teams picking 6-10 all need receivers.

 

  • The “Best Player Available vs. Need” debate is real with the Denver Broncos and New York Giants. Everyone acknowledges both need help at offensive tackle, badly. Viable players – Garret Bolles, Ryan Ramczyk, Cam Robinson – will start going off the board in that range. They just won’t be the best player available. The Broncos and Giants also need a tight end and Miami’s David Njoku could be there. Decisions, decisions.

 

  • Based on likely scenarios – meaning Jonathan Allen, Haason Reddick and Christian McCaffrey aren’t available -- here are the five players I like best for the Redskins at 17: Alabama ILB Reuben Foster, UCLA OLB Takk McKinley, G Forrest Lamp, WR John Ross, Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey.

 

  • Potential slider? Not saying I buy it, but Florida State running back Dalvin Cook slipping to Day 2 is something to consider. If you think Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is some top 10 lock

 

  • Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley's stock improved dramatically throughout the draft process to the point he may have been the second at his position off the board after college teammate Marshon Lattimore. That is until a recent rape allegation halted his rise if not flat out changed direction South. Teams are investigating the situation rapidly, but the uncertainty could drop Conley out of round one. Without knowing which way to turn I left him, but the fact that there are so many intriguing corners in this draft also works against him. Alabama's Marlon Humphrey could fill the second CB void starting with the Saints (11) or Eagles (14).

 

  • The Ravens, barring the unforeseen in front of them, will take one of these players: WR Corey Davis, OL Cam Robinson, edge rusher Derek Barnett/Takk McKinley.

 

  • Three players I like for the Redskins in round 2: Utah safety Marcus Williams, Michigan DL Chris Wormley, Houston pass rusher Tyus Bowser.

CLICK HERE FOR BEN STANDIG'S FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

Ok, here are my 1-32 picks.

Click here for my thoughts on each selection and the entire second round.

1. CLE — Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2. SF — Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3. CHI — Jamal Adams, SS, LSU
4. JAX — Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5. TEN (via LA) — Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
6. NYJ — O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
7. LAC — Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8. CAR — Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
9. CIN — Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
10. BUF — Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
11. NO — Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple
12. CLE (via PHI) — Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
13. ARI — Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
14. PHI (via MIN) — Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
15. IND — Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
16. BAL — Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama
17. WAS — Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
18. TEN — John Ross, WR, Washington
19. TB — Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
20. DEN — Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
21. DET — Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
22. MIA — Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
23. NYG — David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.)
24. OAK — Jarrad Davis, MLB, Florida
25. HOU — Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
26. SEA — Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
27. KC — Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
28. DAL — Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
29. GB — Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
30. PIT — Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
31. ATL — T.J Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
32. NO (Via NE) — Kevin King, CB, Washington

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Ravens Mock Draft Roundup: Looks like Baltimore's getting a new wide receiver

Ravens Mock Draft Roundup: Looks like Baltimore's getting a new wide receiver

This is it. It’s finally the week of the 2017 NFL Draft, signaling the end to all of the mock drafts and educated guesses about which move your favorite team will make in the first round.

As for the Baltimore Ravens, there are a number of different directions they could go — add some youth to their receivers, buff up their defensive line or pull a move that could surprise everyone.

With the countdown to the NFL Draft now down to days, here’s a look at which players draft experts and analysts think the Ravens will take with their No. 16 first-round pick.

 

Corey Davis, WR from Western Michigan

Ben Standig, CSN Mid-Atlantic: He argues the Ravens need to prioritize their receiving unit to give Joe Flacco more consistent opens.

“The 6-foot-3 Davis wasn't just a receiver in 2016. We're talking playmaking monster after catching 97 passes for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns.”

But he also offers up the idea of an edge rusher for the Ravens too.

See Ben Standig's complete 2017 NFL Mock Draft 10.0

Chris Wormley, DE from Michigan

Cameron DaSilva, FOX Sports: Although he asserts Wormley deserves to be a first-round pick somewhere, the Raven’s No. 16 pick could be a bit too high but thinking he’ll still be around by the team’s second-round pick at 47 is “risky.”

“Often overshadowed by other playmakers on Michigan’s defense (Taco Charlton, Jabrill Peppers), Wormley is a great player in his own right, and fits perfectly as a 3-4 defensive end. He can eat up blocks on the edge for Terrell Suggs and Baltimore’s other dynamic pass rushers, while also generating pressure himself.”

Mike Williams, WR from Clemson

Rob Rang, CBS Sports: With the losses of Steve Smith, Sr. and Kamar Aiken, he’s not the only one to point out the Ravens need someone Flacco can rely on, and Williams might be it.

“The Ravens need help at edge rusher and offensive tackle, as well, but general manager Ozzie Newsome may have a hard time letting a prototypical split end like the 6-4, 218-pound Williams slip any further. His ability to box out defenders and win contested passes could make him a quick favorite for Joe Flacco…”

Corey Davis, WR form Western Michigan

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: His argument is quite simple.

“At some point, they have to get Joe Flacco more help outside. This is a player who will end up being the best receiver in this class.”

Cam Robinson, OT from Alabama

Chad Reuter, NFL.com: No matter what’s left by the time the Ravens’ pick rolls around, he argues Baltimore will find someone for the O-Line.

“If Buffalo takes this physically dominant tackle from Alabama at 10, then Ozzie Newsome will find another bargain here.”

 O.J. Howard, TE from Alabama 

Evan Silva, Yahoo Sports: In a year of stand-out tight ends, he asserts this might be the right move for the Ravens.

"Tight ends ordinarily do not make first-year impacts, and the depth of the class could work against the top-end talents. At No. 16, however, I think Howard would be too appealing for GM Ozzie Newsome to pass. 2015 second-round pick Maxx Williams has been a colossal disappointment, and Dennis Pitta is on his last legs. Howard is the pro-readiest tight end in this class." 

John Ross, WR from Washington

Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report: His point is to basically have the Ravens strengthen their offense so it’s reliable and they can leave it alone while working to improve other areas.

“So fast. So record-shatteringly fast. Can also run routes and catch and stuff.”

MORE NFL DRAFT: 15 first-round NFL Draft busts