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Falcons Could Add To Quarterback Room In NFL Draft

The Atlanta Falcons secured Kirk Cousins this offseason on a four-year, $180 million deal, setting them up to have above-average quarterback play for the first time since Matt Ryan parted ways with the organization. However, the team is not done adding to the quarterback room. "We're definitely gonna add a quarterback," Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot said. "We're not going to into the season with two arms." The team has Cousins and Taylor Heinicke on the roster, but most teams carry between three and five quarterbacks in the offseason. It's unlikely that Atlanta will consider a first-round quarterback in this year's class, but they could begin to take fliers on signal-callers as soon as Round 2 begins. Cousins will turn 36 years old before the start of the 2024 season, so throwing a dart on players like Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix would make sense if they fall to the second round. On Day 3 of the draft, Spencer Rattler, Michael Pratt, and Joe Milton III are potential project options to consider. Although any quarterback Atlanta adds can be safely ignored in single-quarterback formats, they might be worth rostering in deep superflex and two-QB setups considering Cousins' age and the major Achilles injury he is coming off of.

Apr 16, 2024 4:17 PM EST

Commanders Hosting Top QB Prospects Next Week

The Washington Commanders will host Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, North Carolina QB Drake Maye and LSU QB Jayden Daniels for visits next week, according to sources. The Commanders are taking a long look at all three signal-callers as they hold the second overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The Chicago Bears are fully expected to take USC QB Caleb Williams first overall, but if the Commanders don't trade out of the No. 2 pick, they'll have their choice of McCarthy, Maye and Daniels after trading last year's starter, Sam Howell, to the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. McCarthy going second overall would be a pretty big surprise despite the fact his draft stock has been rising since his impressive pro day. If any team is going to trade up to No. 2, it might be the Las Vegas Raiders in order to take Daniels.

Apr 11, 2024 2:10 PM EST

Mark Davis Gives Green Light For Raiders To Draft A QB

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce has obviously been pining for an upgrade over quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Aidan O'Connell with the NFL draft coming later this month. The Raiders have been heavily linked to LSU Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels but would have to move up probably 11 slots -- they currently hold the No. 13 pick -- to "assure" themselves a chance to draft Daniels. Pierce recruited and coached Daniels at Arizona State before he transferred to LSU. It would likely cost the Raiders at least three first-rounders and a third-rounder. "I think everything's on the table," Pierce said. Even if the Raiders are sold on Daniels and want him, it remains to be seen if the Washington Commanders are open for business at second overall. Sources said owner Mark Davis has given his blessing for GM Tom Telesco and Pierce to make a move if it makes sense.

Apr 10, 2024 11:24 PM EST

Dolphins Could Be In On Johnny Newton

The Miami Dolphins could be tempted to select Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton with the No. 21 pick in the first round of this year's NFL draft after Christian Wilkins went to the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency this offseason. If the Dolphins decide to upgrade their offensive line, Oregon's Jackson Powers-Johnson or West Virginia's Zach Frazier could be the pick for Miami. Newton, who stands at 6-foot-2 and 304 pounds, was a force to be reckoned with for the Illini the last two years and had 114 tackles, 13 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss in that span, which is a lot of production from an interior defensive lineman. He also blocked a school-record four kicks in 2023. "He is crafty and slick with some good moves and heavy hands. He's just got a great feel for things in there. This guy is a stud," one coach said.

Apr 10, 2024 2:26 PM EST

Steelers Likely To Address Offensive Line In First Round

The Athletic's Bruce Feldman has a hunch that the Pittsburgh Steelers grab Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu with the 20th overall pick in the first round of this year's NFL draft over JC Latham, Amarius Mims and Tyler Guyton. If they don't go with Fashanu, Oregon strongman center Jackson Powers-Johnson could be the pick. Fashanu was inconsistent in his final year with the Nittany Lions, but he has a lot of potential at 6-foot-6 and 312 pounds. Feldman thinks the 21-year-old offensive lineman is a good bet to continue to polish his game at the next level because of his intelligence. "This is a big, great-looking dude. He comes off the ball well and is good with his hands, but there are times you'd expect him to finish better," one coach said.

Apr 10, 2024 2:18 PM EST

Chargers Want To Have Strong Running Game

The Los Angeles Chargers have relied too heavily on the arm of quarterback Justin Herbert in recent seasons, and new head coach Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff plan to change that trend quickly in 2024. They plan to lean on their running backs to keep defenses puzzled and Herbert's life easier. It's the only kind of offense that new coordinator Greg Roman has operated in his career. Run-game coordinator and tight ends coach Andy Bischoff said the team will strive for a "balanced offense that brings out the greatest strengths in everyone on the unit." They'll be looking to be more physical up front with the offensive line. While this type of offense will mean less attempts for Herbert, it could make him more efficient when he does drop back to pass. RB Gus Edwards scored a career-high 13 TDs last year in Baltimore and should once again have plenty of fantasy appeal.

Apr 10, 2024 2:11 PM EST

Byron Murphy II Could Be A Target For Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals' signing of Trent Brown this offseason diminishes their need to take an offensive lineman in the first round of this year's NFL draft, although it would still be tempting to go with either JC Latham or Olu Fashanu. The Athletic's Bruce Feldman thinks Cincy will go with Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II with the 18th overall pick in the first round later this month after losing D.J. Reader. T'Vondre Sweat has received more hype than Murphy from Texas, but opposing coaches say that Murphy gave them more headaches on game day. The 21-year-old has freaky athleticism and showed it at the scouting combine in February. "He was almost unblockable because he's so quick and twitchy and has balance like a big running back. He's been coached well. The guy is just really disruptive. He was much more of a problem (than T'Vondre Sweat)," one coach said.

Apr 9, 2024 2:31 PM EST

Vikings Could Be Looking For Edge-Rush Help In First Round

The Athletic's Bruce Feldman predicts that the Jacksonville Jaguars will trade the 17th overall pick in the first round of this year's NFL draft to the Minnesota Vikings, who will take Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse. The Vikings lost edge players Danielle Hunter, Marcus Davenport and D.J. Wonnum this winter but added Andrew Van Ginkel and Jonathan Greenard. Verse would bring a disruptive playing style along the defensive line after he made a smooth transition to Florida State from Albany. In two seasons with the Seminoles, the 23-year-old had 18 sacks, 29 tackles for loss and 88 tackles. "He's very physical. He gets after people in the run game. Has some mitts and uses those hands well. He's an explosive athlete and has good burst. Plays like he's always trying to prove he belongs in big-time football," one coach said.

Apr 9, 2024 2:12 PM EST

Eagles-Packers Could Face Off In Brazil In Week 1

It sounds as though the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers will be facing off in Week 1 in Brazil based on comments that Packers president Mark Murphy made on Tuesday morning. "We're either the first- or second-most popular team in Brazil," Murphy said. The NFL continues to try and expand the game internationally and there will be a game in Brazil on Friday of the first week of the regular season this fall. The Eagles will be eager to get the bitter taste out of their mouth after falling apart late last year, including a dispiriting wild-card loss on the road to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, quarterback Jordan Love and the Packers will look to keep things going after impressing in 2023 with a first-round playoff upset over the Dallas Cowboys.

Apr 9, 2024 2:01 PM EST

Troy Fautanu A Great Fit For Seahawks

The Athletic's Bruce Feldman believes that Washington offensive tackle Troy Fautanu would be a great fit for the Seattle Seahawks with pick No. 16 overall in the first round of this year's NFL draft. Fautanu can play tackle or guard at the next level, and the Seahawks need help all over their offensive line. The 6-foot-4, 317-pound offensive lineman could also reunite with his former offensive coordinator, Ryan Grubb, who is now in Seattle. Fautanu started 29 games at left tackle and two at guard for the Huskies and won the Pac-12's top lineman award in 2023. "He is a mauler, but he has good flexibility and agility. He's a tough dude, but sometimes gets himself out of position," one coach said.

Apr 8, 2024 6:51 PM EST

Falcons Sign Kevin King

The Atlanta Falcons signed free-agent cornerback Kevin King to an undisclosed deal on Monday. King was originally a second-round selection (33rd overall) by the Green Bay Packers in the 2017 NFL draft out of Washington. He played all five of his NFL seasons with the Packers and has recorded a total of 197 tackles (158 solo), one sack, five tackles for loss, seven interceptions, 30 passes defended, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 51 games played (42 starts). King took the entire 2022 season off due to personal reasons and missed all of 2023 due to a torn Achilles that he suffered during an offseason workout. The 28-year-old will simply be looking to stay healthy in training camp this summer in order to win a 53-man roster spot and supply secondary depth for the Falcons.

Apr 8, 2024 6:22 PM EST

Broncos Could Pass On Quarterback In First Round

The Athletic's Bruce Feldman isn't sold that Oregon quarterback Bo Nix or Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. are the right fit for the Denver Broncos at pick No. 12 overall in this year's NFL draft, which is why he's projecting them to take Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell instead. The speedy cornerback would be a great addition opposite Patrick Surtain in Denver's secondary after posting a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in February. "He's a phenomenal football player. I'm actually showing a tape of him in our team meeting later this week. His technique, the aggressiveness that he plays with, are things you can study to help your game. He's a very physical player, plays with good anticipation, very good change of direction, good feet, great ball skills," one coach said about Mitchell.

Apr 7, 2024 1:52 PM EST

Falcons Sign Antonio Hamilton

The Atlanta Falcons are signing cornerback Antonio Hamilton, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN. Hamilton spent the last three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals following one year with the Kansas City Chiefs, two years with the New York Giants, and two years with the Oakland Raiders. In 99 career games, the former undrafted free agent has tallied 172 tackles (140 solo), two interceptions, and 25 pass deflections. The 31-year-old has started just 18 games in his eight-year career, so he's unlikely to compete for a starting spot in Atlanta.

Apr 4, 2024 4:49 PM EST

La’El Collins Signing With Bills

The Buffalo Bills are signing veteran offensive tackle La'El Collins to a one-year deal, according to multiple reports. Collins was initially viewed as a top-ten prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft class, but off-the-field noise led to him being undrafted and signing with the Dallas Cowboys following the seventh round. He started in 71 games from 2015 to 2021 with America's Team before making 15 starts for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2022. The 30-year-old missed the entire 2023 season after a late-season ACL and MCL tear the year prior. Buffalo has parted ways with several key veteran contributors this offseason, so they'll likely be in the market for inexpensive veteran starters or depth pieces moving forward. Collins will compete for a starting role on the offensive line in 2024.

Apr 4, 2024 4:33 PM EST

Commanders Sign Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi

The Washington Commanders announced on Wednesday that they have signed free-agent defensive lineman Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi to an undisclosed deal. Ndubuisi is entering his second year in the NFL after joining the Arizona Cardinals in 2022 and the Denver Broncos this last year as part of the league's International Player Pathway Program. He also played in the UFL with the San Antonio Brahmas last year before joining the Commanders. The 23-year-old appeared in just one preseason contest with the Broncos in 2023, recording two tackles. Ndubuisi then served on the team's practice squad for the rest of the year. The Nigerian native will simply be attempting to win a roster spot in Washington this summer out of training camp.

Apr 3, 2024 2:18 PM EST

DJ Burns A Potential NFL Draft Prospect

North Carolina State center DJ Burns has been turning heads during the team's run to the Final Four in this year's NCAA basketball tournament. Now, Peter Schrager of Fox Sports said he has talked to or texted scouts and general managers over the last 24 hours, and the belief is he could draw interest as an offensive tackle prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft class. Schrager said Burns is listed as 6'9", but he's likely closer to 6'7" and has "A+" footwork. The 23-year-old is also listed at 275 pounds. This report is likely speculative for now, but we've seen college basketball players such as Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham transition into NFL stardom. Current Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle George Fant played four seasons of college basketball at Western Kentucky before playing in just two games of football in his senior year with the Hilltoppers. Although Burns transitioning to the gridiron would likely be a lengthy project, it's a development worth monitoring.

Apr 1, 2024 4:59 PM EST

Saints Sign Irish Kicker Charlie Smyth

The New Orleans Saints signed Irish kicker Charlie Smyth to an undisclosed deal on Friday through the league's International Player Pathway, adding him to a group that also includes second-year kicker Blake Grupe. Smyth was formerly a goal keeper for the County Down Gaelic football team in the Gaelic Athletic Association. The NFL UK social media account recently shared a video of Smith making a 63-yard field goal, and he also made 12 of his 16 field-goal tries during the NFL combine in February. The 22-year-old is the first Irish player to sign an NFL contract through the IPP. The Saints would be allowed to carry an extra spot on their practice squad for Smyth if he doesn't make the active roster out of training camp. It's a cool story, but he's unlikely to overtake Grupe as the primary field-goal kicker in 2024.

Mar 29, 2024 2:31 PM EST

Texans Restructure Tytus Howard's Deal

The Houston Texans restructured veteran offensive lineman Tytus Howard's $56 million contract on Friday to create $10.3 million in salary cap space for this year, according to a league source. Howard was due a $14 million base salary in 2024, but the team converted $12.875 million of that into a fully guaranteed signing bonus. His new base salary is now the minimum $1.125 million, and his salary cap figure is down from $18.705 million to $8.405 million. The team also recently restructured guard Shaq Mason's contract to create another $6.4 million in cap space. Howard, a first-rounder (23rd overall) in 2019 out of Alabama State, only played in seven games in 2023 and needed surgery to fix patellar-tendon issues, so it's unclear if the starting right tackle will be ready for Week 1 of the 2024 season.

Mar 29, 2024 2:24 PM EST

Seahawks Focusing On Offensive Line

The Seattle Seahawks are looking to make some additions to their offensive line this offseason. Recently, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said the team has a lot to figure out on the o-line. This team is without left guard Damien Lewis and right guard Phil Haynes who both left for free agency. Possibly, the Seahawks use the 16th overall pick in the draft to add some offensive line. It appears Seattle is still looking to compete next season with Geno Smith slated to be under center. Most of the Seahawks offensive weapons are back, but this team could be in serious trouble if they don't patch up their o-line soon.

Mar 27, 2024 7:57 PM EST

Ryan Ramczyk's 2024 Season Is In Jeopardy

New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk (knee) could miss the entire 2024 season due to lingering knee issues. The 29-year-old missed five games last year, and head coach Dennis Allen said his knee is not responding the way they had hoped. This is a cloudy situation for now, but there will be further updates as the 2024 campaign approaches. Ramczyk was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft by New Orleans and has started 101 games for the organization. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and one-time All-Pro. Needless to say, his absence from the lineup could negatively affect Derek Carr and the team's running backs and wide receivers.

Mar 26, 2024 4:51 PM EST