Tag Archives: Ezekiel Elliot

Buckeyes in the NFL (Week 15, 2016)

There’s one less Buckeye in the NFL this week as 11-year kicker Mike Nugent was released by the Cincinnati Bengals. Nugent had struggled on extra points this season (23/29). The Centerville, Ohio native played the last seven years of his career with his home area team, and is the third all-time leading scorer in franchise history (718). The former 2nd round pick (47th overall) spent time with the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals since graduating from Ohio State in 2005.

Ezekiel Elliott had another monster game in primetime for the Dallas Cowboys. Zeke rushed for a new career high 159 yards on 23 carries, he also added 29 yards receiving on 3 catches. He’s on pace for 1,713 yards which would fall short of Eric Dickerson’s single season rookie rushing record.

The running back who Elliott replaced in the Shoe, Carlos Hyde, had 13 carries for 71 yards and one reception for 6 yards for the San Francisco 49ers in their 41-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Several Buckeyes stood out on the defensive side of the ball as well. Linebacker Ryan Shazier had 5 tackles (3 solo) a sack and a pass defensed for the Pittsburgh Steelers in their 24-20 come from behind win over AFC North rival the Cincinnati Bengals.

New York Giants rookie cornerback Eli Apple had 7 tackles (4 solo) and 1 pass defensed in the G-Men’s 17-6 win over the Detroit Lions.

Joey Bosa had 4 tackles (3 solo) and one sack for the San Diego Chargers in their 19-16 lost to their AFC West rival the Oakland Raiders.

New Orleans Saints rookies Michael Thomas and Vonn Bell played against the Arizona Cardinals in the site of their alma maters College Football Playoff semifinal game against Clemson in two weeks. Thomas had 7 catches for 52 yards and a touchdown, while Bell had 9 tackles (7 solo) in the 48-41 victory.

Philadelphia Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins had 3 tackels (2 solo) in their 26-27 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

New England Patriots special teams ace Nate Ebner had one tackle in their 16-3 win over the Denver Broncos.

Terrelle Pryor followed up his “trash” performance last week against the Cincinnati Bengals with only 4 catches for 19 yards for the Cleveland Browns in their 33-13 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Cleveland is now 0-14.

Houston Texans John Simon and Braxton Miller missed Sunday’s 21-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Simon with a chest injury and Miller is done for the season with a shoulder injury.

On Saturday Night, Darron Lee and Nick Mangold of the New York Jets played against the Miami Dolphins. Lee had 4 tackles (3 solo).  Jalin Marshall was inactive while Devin Smith registered no stats.

Monday Night Football will have a Scarlet and Gray flavor. Carolina Panthers’ Ted Ginn Junior, Corey Brown and Kurt Coleman play against Donte Whitner and the Washington Redskins in the D.C. Area.

Buckeyes in the NFL (Week 8, 2016)

 
That collective sigh of relief you heard Saturday afternoon was from 100,000+ in Ohio Stadium and the millions of fans apart of Buckeye Nation as Ohio State escaped losing to Northwestern while avoiding Urban Meyer’s first regular season losing streak at OSU. So with the win, hopefully Scarlet and Gray fans could better enjoy watching the former Bucks perform on Sunday than last week after the Penn State defeat.

Ezekiel Elliott continued his rush to history in an overtime thriller on Sunday Night Football. “Zeke” had 96 rushing yards on 22 carries, and 4 catches for 52 yards for the Dallas Cowboys in their 29-23 win over divisional rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles. Elliott is the NFL’s leading rusher (799) and is on pace to pass Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson’s rookie rushing record of 1,808. Elliott averages 114.14 rushing yards per game and if he continues at this pace, he’ll finish the season with a new record of 1,826. Safety Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles had 8 tackles (6 solo & 1 TFL) in the loss.

Joey Bosa had 2 tackles and Joshua Perry had 1 for the San Diego Chargers in their 27-19 loss to Bradley Roby and the Denver Broncos. Roby had an interception return for a touchdown and 4 tackles (3 solo) to help the defending Super Bowl Champions move to 6-2.

Mike Nugent of the Cincinnati Bengals helped kicked off the NFL Sunday in London as the Bengals and Washington Redskins played to a 27-27 tie. Nugent scored 3 points on 3 extra points, but missed another that could have given them the one point edge which would’ve given them the win. He also missed a field goal from 50+ yards. Safety Donte Whitner had 9 tackles (8 solo) for Washington.

Ted Ginn Junior, Corey “Philly” Brown and Kurt Coleman of the Carolina Panthers got a huge win that potentially saved the defending NFC Champions slim playoff hopes. Ginn Junior had 5 catches for 53 yards, Brown had only one catch for 3 yards and Coleman had 6 tackles (3 solo) to aid Carolina to a 30-20 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. The Panthers are now 2-5.

Linebacker John Simon had 8 tackles (6 solo) and rookie Braxton Miller had 3 catches for 18 yards for the Houston Texans in their 20-13 win over offensive tackle Taylor Decker and the Detroit Lions.

Rookie wide receiver Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints had 6 catches for 63 yards to lead the team in their 25-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Saints linebacker James Laurinaitis was active this week after missing that pass few weeks with a quad injury, but he didn’t record any stats. Rookie safety Tyvis Powell and tight end Nick Vannett dressed for the Seahawks but also didn’t record any stats.

The game with the most Buckeyes on combined rosters was in Cleveland between the Browns and New York Jets. Terrelle Pryor caught 6 passes for 101 yards as he continues to lead the team in both categories. It was Pryor’s 2nd career 100+ yard receiving game. Jalin Marshall returned one kickoff for 18 yards and 2 punts for 15 yards for the Jets in the 31-28 victory. Jets leading tackler, linebacker Darron Lee, missed the game with an ankle injury. Center Nick Mangold and wide receiver Devin Smith are also members of the Jets.

New York Giants’ Eli Apple and Johnathan Hankins, Ryan Shazier and Cam Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers were on a Bye this week. Carlos Hyde and the San Francisco 49ers were also on a Bye. Hyde has been struggling with a shoulder injury and it’s not known if he will return to action when the Niners face the New Orleans Saints on November 6th.

Offensive Tackle Alex Boone of the Minnesota Vikings plays fellow offensive lineman Mike Adams and the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football.

The NFL has one less Buckeye in the League as veteran linebacker A.J. Hawk was released this week by the Atlanta Falcons, two weeks after he was signed by the team out of free agency.

 

Buckeyes in the NFL (Week 7, 2016)

 
Well, if you’re an Ohio State fan, your football weekend was a little ruined by the current Buckeyes disappointing 24-21 loss a Penn State dropping them from #2 to #6 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. But they’re still in control of their destiny to win the B1G Championship and even earn an invite to the College Football Playoff. Anyhow, hopefully the play of OSU Alums in the NFL lifted your spirits.

2016 #3 overall pick Joey Bosa continues to flourish with the San Diego Chargers. Bosa had another 2 sacks and 5 tackles (4 solo) in San Diego’s 33-30 overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons. His teammate linebacker Joshua Perry had one tackle in the victory.

8-year safety Malcolm Jenkins had 4 tackles and a fumble recovery for the Philadelphia Eagles in their 21-10 victory over the previously undefeated Minnesota Vikings. Offensive tackle Alex Boone of the Vikings also had a fumble recovery.

Eli Apple returned to the New York Giants secondary and had 3 tackles and a forced fumble in the Giants 17-10 win over the Saint Louis Rams across the pond in London.

Wide receiver Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints had his biggest statistical game of his young career. Thomas caught 10 passes from Drew Brees for 130 yards, but no touchdowns in their 27-21 loss at the Kansas City Chiefs. His fellow former Buck on the defensive side, safety Vonn Bell, had 4 tackles (3 solo) in the loss.

In the “Battle of Ohio”, kicker Mike Nugent scored 7 points for the Cincinnati Bengals in their 31-17 win over the winless Cleveland Browns (0-7). Nugent made 4 extra points and a field goal from 36 yards. He also missed two field goals from beyond 40 yards. Terrelle Pryor had 2 catches for 18 yards on the day. Pryor leads Cleveland in receptions (33) and yards (413) and is second in touchdown catches (4).

Rookie wide receiver, kick and punt returner Jalin Marshall had 3 punt returns for 18 yards and 2 kick returns for 38 yards in New York’s win over the Ravens.

Linebacker Ryan Shazier returned to the Steelers lineup after missing two consecutive games and had 2 tackles and a pass defensed in the Steelers 27-16 loss to the New England Patriots. On the other side, special teams ace Nate Ebner had 1 tackle in the victory.

Tight end Nick Vannett, and safety Tyvis Powell of the Seattle Seahawks faced off against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday Night Football, neither recorded any stats. Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Braxton Miller and linebacker John Simon face of against defensive back Bradley Roby and the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.

NFL leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys were on a bye, so were Ted Ginn Junior, Corey “Philly” Brown and Kurt Coleman of the Carolina Panthers.

A handful of former Bucks were sidelined with injury. Darron Lee of the New York Jets missed the team’s 24-16 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Lee came into the game as the Jets leading tackler on the season (30). His Jets teammate, second-year wide receiver Devin Smith, is on the physically unable to perform list. Carlos Hyde missed the San Francisco 49ers 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward missed his second consecutive game of the season versus the New England Patriots, and New Orleans Saints linebacker James Laurinaitis missed his third game over the season against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Buckeyes in the NFL (Week 6, 2016)

 
What at time, to be an Ohio State Buckeye! The current Bucks held on to their #2 ranking in the Associated Poll with a gutsy overtime win a the Wisconsin Badgers, while several former Buckeyes displayed in the NFL why the Scarlet & Gray is “THE” program when it comes to building future pros.

Week 6 of the 2016 NFL kicked off with former Buckeye and #3 overall pick in the 2016 Draft Joey Bosa and the San Diego Chargers making his primetime debut versus AFC West rival and defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos and defensive back Bradley Roby. Bosa followed up his 2 sack first game with only 1 tackle, but had several pressures of Broncos QB Trevor Siemian that forced many errant passes. Linebacker Josh Perry also added 2 tackles for San Diego in the 21-13 win. Roby had 1 tackle and 2 passes defended for Denver in the loss.

Ezekiel Elliott continued his strong rookie campaign against the Green Bay Packers to the tune of his fourth consecutive 100+ yard rushing game. Elliott carried the ball 25 times for 157 yards, and had 2 catches for 17 yards to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a 30-16 win at Lambeau Field. Elliott leads the league in rushing yards with a total of 703 yards.

New Orleans Saints rookie wideout Mike Thomas caught his 3rd career touchdown in New Orleans 41-38 win over the defending NFC South and NFC Champion Carolina Panthers. Thomas finished with 5 catches for 78 yards. His teammate and former Buckeye, Safety Vonn Bell had 7 tackles (4 solo).  On the Panthers side wide receivers Tedd Ginn Junior and Corey “Philly” Brown had 5 catches for 54 yards and 2 catches for 33 yards and a fumble yards respectively. Ginn Junior also had 3 kickoff returns for 66 yards and 4 punt returns for 32 yards. Safety Kurt Coleman 8 tackles (5 solo) in the loss.

Terelle Pryor has got to be the Cleveland Browns MVP thus far this season. Pryor has started at wide receiver and been their best pass catcher, passer and rusher. He did it again on Sunday in a loss to the Tennessee Titans. He had 9 catches for 75 and 2 touchdowns, while also rushing once for 3 yards in the 28-26 loss.

Kicker Mike Nugent scored 5 of the Cincinnati Bengals 17 points on 2 extra points and a 25-yard field goal in the 35-17 loss to the New England Patriots. Special teams ace, Nate Ebner had 3 tackles for the Pats.

8-year safety Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles had a 64-yard interception return for a touchdown (the fourth of his career), 2 passes defensed and 6 tackles (2 solo) in the 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins. Safety Donte’ Whitner made 4 tackles for the Redskins to aid the victory.

Rookie defensive tackles Aldophus Washington recorded his first career sack for the Buffalo Bills in their 45-16 victory over Carols Hyde and the San Francisco 49ers. Hyde had 14 carries for 52 yards in defeat.

Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa collected 2 tackles for the Miami Dolphins in their 30-15 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers were without defensive lineman Cam Heyward and linebacker Ryan Shazier who missed the game to injuries. Safety

Rookie wide receiver Braxton Miller and linebacker John Simon of the Houston Texans took on offensive lineman Jack Mewhort and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football. Miller had 2 catches for 13 yards while Simon made 9 tackles (4 solo) in the 26-23 overtime win.

Three more Buckeyes take the field in primetime on Monday Night Football when Rookies Jalin Marshall, linebacker Darron Lee and second-year wideout Devin Smith of the New York Jets play against the Arizona Cardinals.

Buckeyes in the NFL (Week 5, 2016)

Bosa made his long overdue debut with the Chargers and had a career day. Photo Credit: Chargers.com

The highest Buckeye selected in the 2016 draft–3rd overall–made his long awaited debut in week five and appeared to be well worth the wait. Defensive end Joey Bosa lined up for the San Diego Chargers against the rival Oakland Raiders after missing the entire preseason to a contract holdout, and the first four games of the regular season to injury. Bosa had 5 tackles (2 solo) and two sacks in the Chargers 34-31 loss to the Raiders. His fellow rookie, linebacker Joshua Perry, had 3 tackles.

Ezekiel Elliott had another explosive day for the Dallas Cowboys. The 4th overall pick in the 2016 draft rushed for his third consecutive 100+ yard game. Zeke had 134 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries. He also added 3 receptions for 37 yards in the ‘Boys 28-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. On the other side, kicker Mike Nugent only score 2 points for the Bengals on two extra points and he missed a 50+ yard field goal.

Elliott tied with Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith for the most consecutive 130+ rushing yard games vs. the Bengals. Photo Credit: Cowboys.com

The week got off to a good start on Tuesday for former Buckeyes with the news that 11-year linebacker A.J. Hawk signed with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday after being without a team for the first four weeks. Hawk was drafted number 5th overall in 2006 by the Green Bay Packers where he played until 2014 and won a Super Bowl ring (SB XLV). He spent the 2015 season with the Cincinnati Bengals. Hawk didn’t register any stats in the Falcons 23-16 upset victory over the previously undefeated defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos.

There was supposed to be a prime Scarlet and Gray match up on the field in the trenches in Pittsburgh when the New York Jets faced off against the Steelers; center Nick Mangold versus defensive lineman Cam Heyward. But, both left the game with injury. Heyward left in the first half with a hamstring injury and did not return. Mangold left in the second half with a lower leg injury. Meanwhile, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was inactive for the second straight week, while the guy who replaced him at Ohio State, Darron Lee had 4 tackles (4 solo). Lee continues to be New York’s leading tackler on the season. The Steelers won 31-13.

Terrelle Pryor seemed the be only Cleveland Brown to show up in their blowout loss to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Pryor had 5 catches for 48 yards and 2 rushes for 3 yards, he also had to play quarterback as the starter Cody Kessler and his backup Charlie Whitehurst were both knocked out of the game with injuries. TP was 1 of 3 passing for 5 yards as Cleveland lost 33-13. Special teams ace and U.S. Olympic Rugby player Nate Ebner had 3 tackles for the Patriots in the victory.

Running back Carlos Hyde of the San Francisco 49ers rushed for 78 yards and earned his lead leading 6th rushing touchdown on 22 carries Thursday night against the Arizona Cardinals. The self-proclaimed “El Guapo” also caught 6 passes for 36 yards in the Niners 33-21 loss to the Cardinals.

Rookie Wide receiver Braxton Miller of the Houston Texans made his return to the lineup after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. He had one catch for 12 yards in the Texans 31-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Linebacker John Simon had 6 tackles (3 solo) for Houston in the loss.

Other OSU Alumni news of note, New York Jets rookie wide receiver Jalin Marshall was inactive for the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, while rookie defensive back Eli Apple of the New York Giants missed the Sunday night matchup with the Green Bay Packers with a hamstring injury. Rookies Vonn Bell, Michael Thomas and veteran linebacker James Lauriniatis of the New Orleans Saints were on a bye this week. Their next game is next Sunday versus the Carolina Panthers in Nawlins.

Several Buckeyes hit the field in primetime on Monday Night Football. Ted Ginn Junior, Corey “Philly” Brown, Kurt Coleman, offensive lineman Andrew Norwell of the Carolina Panthers face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Charlotte.

Buckeyes in the NFL (Week 4, 2016)

Carlos Hyde and Ezekiel Elliott swap jersey’s after the Cowboys and 49ers game in Santa Clara, CA. Photo Credit: Cowboys.com

The college Buckeyes set the table well for the ones in the pros with their 58-0 B1G home opener victory over Rutgers. The NFL should just change its name to the BFL, Buckeye Football League, because each week several former Ohio State players are shining on the game’s biggest stage.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott followed up his first career 100+ yard rushing game with another outstanding performance in the ‘Boys 24-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Elliott ran for 136 yards on 23 carries and had another touchdown, his 3rd on the season. “Zeke” now leads the NFL in rushing with 412 rushing yards. So much for that slow start in weeks one and two. He also had one reception for 19 yards. His counterpart on the 49ers sideline, and the guy he replaced at Ohio State, Carlos Hyde carried the ball 15 times for 74 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

Zeke celebrates his 3rd career rushing TD, and 2nd 100+ yard rushing game of his career in the win over the 49ers. Photo Credit: Cowboys.com

On Sunday Night football in primetime, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward registered registered 3 sacks in Pittsburgh’s 43-14 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers came into the game with only 1 on the season. Heyward added 6 tackles (6 solo) and also batted the pass that was intercepted and returned by linebacker Jarvis Jones setting the Steelers offense up inside Chiefs 5 yard line.

It was a rough day for the former Bucks wearing Carolina Panther blue. Corey “Philly” Brown had 5 catches for 48 yards and a touchdown, Ted Ginn Junior added 2 catches for only 14 yards, 2 kickoff returns for 65 yards and 2 punts for 16 yards. Safety Kurt Coleman had 6 tackles (6 solo) and an interception returned for an 8-yard touchdown, but the Panthers gave up a historic day to the Atlanta Falcons as Matt Ryan threw for 503 yards and wide receiver Julio Jones caught 12 passes for 300 yards in the Falcons 48-33 victory.

After scoring his first career touchdown in the NFL last Monday against the Atlanta Falcons, rookie wide receiver Michael Thomas scored his second career touchdown, and added 4 catches for 44 yards for the New Orleans Saints in the their 35-34 win over the San Diego Chargers. Safety Vonn Bell had 6 tackles (6 solo), while 8-year linebacker James Laurinaitis missed the game with a quad injury. Rookie linebacker Joshua Perry collected 3 tackles (3 solo) for the Chargers in the loss.

Terrelle Pyor had another productive day for the Cleveland Browns. Pryor had 5 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown in the Browns 31-20 loss to the Washington Redskins.

Rookie linebacker Darron Lee of the New York Jets came into week three as the team’s leading tackler and added another 7 (5 solo) in the Jets 27-17 loss at the Seattle Seahawks.

Mike Nugent scored 16 points on 5 field goals and 1 extra point in the Cincinnati Bengals 22-7 win over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football.

On the injury front, Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Braxton Miller missed his second game with a hamstring injury. New York Jets wide receiver and return specialist Jalin Marshall missed this week’s game versus the Seattle Seahawks with a shoulder injury and according to head coach Todd Bowles is expected to miss a couple of weeks. Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier missed Sunday night’s victory over the Kansas City Chiefs with a knee injury. In his 3-year career, Shazier has missed 13 games out of 48 to injury. Rookie Cornerback Eli Apple of the New York Giants will miss Monday night’s game against former Buckeye offensive lineman Alex Boone and the Minnesota Vikings with a hamstring injury that forced him from last week’s loss to the Washington Redskins.

2016 NFL Rookies Superlatives

How will the rookies of 2016 fare? We take a guess?

How will the rookies of 2016 fare? We take a guess?

The 2016 NFL draft class had little star power coming into the annual spring meeting, compared to years past. Although, as a group, the story was the Ohio State Buckeye draftees (5 first round picks, 12 overall).

But, even without the star prospects (2017 Leonard Fournette), there should be a few players that help teams take the next step. 36 linebackers were chosen, that was the most of any position. By comparison, there were only 15 quarterbacks selected. It appears teams are making more of an effort to get after the passer. Who can blame them after the way the Denver Broncos proved in the playoffs that defense still wins championships in this offensive slanted league.

But back to the rookie class of 2016. When you have 253 players selected and close to a hundred more signed as free agents, it’s not an exact science to project who will be the standouts and flame outs years from now. But hey, that’s what makes this fun.

So here’s how I think this year’s class will fare at some point in their career.

Most likely to lead the league in passing yards: Cardale Jones, Buffalo Bills. Cardale Jones rose to the National spotlight when he led the Ohio State Buckeyes to the first ever College Football Playoff Championship in 2014, after starting quarterback J.T. Barrett went down with a season ending injury. Many thought he should’ve entered the draft after that 3-game run, but he went back to school to finish his degree and improve his game. It didn’t work out on the field as he struggled, and lost his starting job after eight games. But, I always said Jones’ skill set is built more for the pro game than the fast break, gimmicky, spread offenses in college. His cannon of an arm and 6’5″ 250 pound frame is the pro-type NFL scouts look for at the QB position. I compare him to two-time Super Bowl winning QB Ben Roethlisberger when he entered the 2004 draft out of Miami of Ohio. Jones will start his career on the bench behind Tyrod Taylor, but the keys to the car in Buffalo will eventually be his. With offensive weapons like Sammy Watkins, tight end Charles Clay and running back LeSean McCoy, Jones will have the weapons to put up big numbers.

Most likely to lead the league in rushing: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys. The 4th pick in the draft could very likely accomplish this feat in his rookie season. “Zeke” will be running behind arguably the best offensive line in the League, and with Tony Romo out for the foreseeable future, he will be featured more now that they’ll be breaking in fellow rookie and 4th round pick Dak Prescott at quarterback.

Most likely to lead the league in catches/receiving yards: Sterling Shepard, New York Giants. The 2nd round pick, gets to play with Eli Manning who likes to throw it around the field, and across from Odell Beckham Junior who is going to draw more double teams and bracketed coverage, giving Shepard more opportunities. The Oklahoma Sooner product has been compared to Tyler Lockett, but the best comparison may be to his Giants teammate, the often injured Victor Cruz, who’s spot he’s likely to take.

Most likely to lead the league in total touchdowns (non-QB): Ezekiel Elliott is a dual threat as a runner and receiver, a three down back. It won’t be a surprise to see him flirt with having 15+ rushing touchdowns, and 5+ receiving touchdowns a season for the Cowboys.

Most likely to lead the league in interceptions: Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville Jaguars. Gus Bradley is building a defense similar to the one he coached in Seattle. The pass rushers they have are going to put all kinds of pressure on opposing QBs. So what does that mean? More wounded ducks for a multi talented DB like Ramsey to get his hands on. The 6’1″ 209 pound cornerback reminds me of the late Sean Taylor with his ball hawking ability and speed to fly from sideline to sideline.

Most likely to lead the league in sacks: Leonard Floyd, Chicago Bears. The 6’6″ outside linebacker out of the University of Georgia is a flat out athletic FREAK. His size and speed (4.6 40-yd dash) with a 35 inch vertical leap, has the athleticism that is reminiscent of Super Bowl MVP Von Miller. To begin his career, the Bears coaches will make it simple for him by just sending him flying off the edges to get the quarterback. Floyd could very well be the next great Bears defender following in the footsteps of Brian Urlacher, Mike Singletary, And Dick Butkus.

Most likely to lead the league in turnovers: Christian Hackenberg, New York Jets. The Jets selected Hackenberg out of Penn State with the 51st pick in the second round, but re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick for one-year, so they won’t be counting on the rookie anytime soon. However Hackenberg is definitely in their future plans. I was never a fan of his, during his time in Happy Valley. In three seasons he threw 30 interceptions to 48 touchdowns, while completing only 56% of his pass attempts. Draft gurus like ESPN’s Mel Kiper at one point projected him to be the number QB selected when he entered the draft. That obviously wasn’t the case, because the book is out on him. And, it doesn’t read well. He was also accused of throwing his coaches and Nittany Lion teammates under the bus during the pre-draft process.

Most likely to be a bust, and fade into obscurity: Joey Bosa, San Diego Chargers. I hope I’m wrong on this one as a fellow Ohio State alum. But, being a holdout in the fashion he was, it doesn’t bold well for him. He missed all of training camp and the preseason. The only saving grace is that other Charger rookie holdouts–16 to be exact–like LaDanian Tomlinson, Junior Seau, Philip Rivers and Shawne Merriman worked out okay. Plus, Bosa isn’t playing QB or another complicated position like outside linebacker or in the defensive secondary, so you would think the Chargers coaching staff would just turn him lose and say “Go get the ball carrier” or “just get the quarterback”, making his transition simple.

Most likely to be a Hall of Famer: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys. Look, I’ve bought into the preseason hype. I did in preseason game number one. Check the tweets below and the time stamp.

    

Actually, I was a fan of his when he was at Mississippi State. Prescott probably won’t lead the NFL in passing yards or touchdown passes in a season, but he has all the pieces around him to win games, and that is what matters most. He’s fallen into the perfect situation, a la Russell Wilson in Seattle. The Cowboys have lucked up and found their new millennium triplets in Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott and now Dak. Plus, this offensive line has the potential to be as dominate as the “Great Wall of Dallas” that led Emmitt Smith to the most rushing yards in NFL history. If Dak can channel his inner Troy Aikman–and Jerry Jones can avoid messing it up by forcing the chronically injured Tony Romo back into the lineup–these Cowboys can have a measure of success they haven’t had since the early-mid 1990’s. That would help Prescott’s case to get a gold jacket and bust in Canton one day.