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AP Pro32 ballot from Gosselin

AP Pro32 ballot from Gosselin

Ballot and comments from AP Pro 32 panel voter Rick Gosselin of Dallas Morning News:

Week 15

RICK GOSSELIN (Dallas Morning News)

1. Denver Broncos - Peyton Manning is making his pitch for a record fourth NFL MVP award. He has steered Denver to eight consecutive victories and thrown 19 TD passes during that stretch.

2. New England Patriots - The Patriots have the worst defense of any division leader. New England ranks 26th in the league, allowing an average of 376 yards per game.

3. Houston Texans - The Texans have lost twice this season, allowing 42 points in both games (Green Bay and New England).

4. San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers can join the Falcons with 4-0 records against the AFC this season with a victory Sunday in New England over the Patriots. The NFC leads the inter-conference series, 31-23.

5. Atlanta Falcons - The Falcons were the last of the NFL unbeatens this season at 8-0 but suddenly look very vulnerable. Atlanta has lost two of its last five games and won two others by four points or less.

6. Green Bay Packers - A Packer win Sunday in Chicago would give Green Bay a sweep of its three division rivals in a span of three weeks and clinch another NFC North.

7. Baltimore Ravens - With an uncharacteristically porous defense (24th in the NFL), the Ravens need more from their offense this season. But a cast that includes QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice and WR Anquan Boldin was underperforming (18th in the NFL) and it cost coordinator Cam Cameron his job. Jim Caldwell takes over Sunday against Denver.

8. Indianapolis Colts - WR Reggie Wayne is attempting to lead the AFC in receiving for the second time in six seasons - with two different quarterbacks. He caught 104 passes from Peyton Manning in 2007 and has 94 from Andrew Luck this season.

9. New York Giants - K Lawrence Tynes is attempting to become the first member of the Giants to lead the NFL in scoring since Don Chandler in 1963. He's No. 1 right now with 137 points.

10. Seattle Seahawks - Every opening-day starting quarterback in the NFL has passed for 300 yards in a game this season except one - rookie Russell Wilson of the Seahawks.

11. Chicago Bears - Jay Cutler passed for 333 yards in the season opener, but he hasn't hit 300 yards in any game since. In six of his starts he's been under 200.

12. Washington Redskins - Sixth-round find Alfred Morris of Florida Atlantic leads all rookie rushers with six 100-yard games this season. He ranks fourth in the NFL with 1,228 yards rushing.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers - The Steelers have the chance to become the only AFC team to go unbeaten against the NFC in 2012 with a victory Sunday over the Cowboys. Pittsburgh has swept the other three NFC East opponents.

14. Dallas Cowboys - WR Dez Bryant has taken over the Cowboys passing game with seven TD catches in the last five games. But he has a fractured finger and his season could be done. That would be a huge blow to the Cowboys' playoff hopes.

15. Minnesota Vikings - Adrian Peterson is averaging 157 yards rushing in his last seven games with eight touchdowns. He's topped 100 yards all seven of those games.

16. Cincinnati Bengals - The key to the playoff hopes of the 7-6 Bengals rests in Pennsylvania. Cincinnati visits the Eagles and Steelers in the next two weeks.

17. St. Louis Rams - The Rams are 4-0-1 in division play in the NFC West this season, which bodes well for the future.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Buccaneers are inept against the pass, allowing a 500-, a 400- and six other 300-yard passers this season. Tampa Bay also has allowed a league-high 10 individual 100-yard receiving games.

19. New York Jets - The Jets have the only defense in the NFL that has not allowed an individual 100-yard receiver yet this season.

20. Cleveland Browns - The Browns are no longer playing like a young team, winning their last three games to boost the coaching stock of Pat Shurmur in the eyes of new team owner Jimmy Haslam.

21. New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees has thrown nine interceptions in his last three games. His 18 interceptions through 13 games already match his career high.

22. San Diego Chargers - The Chargers have scored an NFL-runner-up six defensive touchdowns but have little to show for them - a disappointing 5-8 record.

23. Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins are in dire need of a big-play receiver to accelerate the development of Ryan Tannehill as a quarterback. Look for the Dolphins to go wideout in the first round next April.

24. Carolina Panthers - The Panthers defense has 21 sacks in six road games this season but only nine in seven home games. Carolina visits San Diego Sunday.

25. Philadelphia Eagles - Nick Foles isn't the rushing threat of Michael Vick at quarterback but he's a more accurate passer. He also takes better care of the football.

26. Buffalo Bills - The Bills head north this weekend for their annual game in Toronto. It's a home game for the Bills, but there is no home field advantage - Buffalo is 1-3 in those games.

27. Tennessee Titans - A big part of Tennessee's problem this season is its inability to compete in its own division. The Titans are 4-9 on the season and 0-5 in the AFC South.

28. Detroit Lions - The 4-9 Lions have blown double-digit leads in losing each of their last three games.

29. Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals have lost nine consecutive games with three different quarterbacks. John Skelton is 0-5 during that stretch and both Kevin Kolb and Ryan Lindley 0-2.

30. Oakland Raiders - The Raiders have allowed 400-plus points for the second consecutive season.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jaguars have managed a league-low 14 sacks, which helps explain why opponents are completing almost 64 percent of their passes.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Brady Quinn has passed for fewer than 500 yards in three starts since replacing Matt Cassel at quarterback. The Chiefs rank 31st in the NFL in passing.

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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