Posts by Eric Edholm

  • Falcons' Devonta Freeman stops his jog, helps woman with lawnmower

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was just getting in a nice little evening jog Monday when he saw a woman struggling in her front yard.

    Eleanor Szendel, 82, was having trouble unloading her lawnmower, and Freeman decided to veer his workout a little bit. Pretty soon he was offering to step in and mow Szendel's grass for her as she was struggling to empty the grass clippings from the mower, because it was getting dark as afternoon quickly was turning to night.

    According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Freeman's offer was respectfully rebuffed — she was pretty much finished — but he instantly endeared himself to Szendel and her daughter-in-law, Denise Szendel, who was planting rose bushes for Mother’s Day nearby.

    Although the famous Falcons and former Florida State footballer didn't initially identify himself, Szendel knew exactly who he was.

    “She was just really touched that he stopped and helped her out like that,” Denise said.

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  • Jared Goff's father happy he's playing for Rams and not the Browns

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Fans are excited about the Rams, and they appear to be excited about Goff possibly taking over as the franchise quarterback in short order, too. But perhaps no one is more excited than the Goff family, namely father Jerry Goff.

    Dad was a former major-league backup catcher with three teams in the early-to-mid 1990s and then raised his baseball- and football-playing son, who went on to star on the gridiron at Cal, the same school Jerry did in the 1980s.

    And as great as Jared's NFL ascension has been, there was a bit of a fear for a long time that his future team could be the Cleveland Browns.

    "There was a time ... we had a really good feeling he was going to end up in Cleveland, which isn't — nothing against Cleveland, it's fine," Jerry Goff, now a firefighter in the Bay Area, told Mitch Melnick and Rod Francis ofTSN 690 in Montreal. "That would have been great; just to get drafted and go anywhere is fine."

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  • Nephew of Junior Seau signs with Los Angeles Rams

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    Junior Seau died almost four years ago to the day, but his spirit lives on in the NFL — as well as his name.

    Ian Seau, Junior's nephew, signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent on Tuesday, according to NFL.com. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Nevada defensive end, who was named first- and second-team All-Mountain West the past two seasons, capped off his career with 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss.

    He's nowhere close to the prospect his uncle was when he came out of USC in 1990, but Ian has risen up noticeably since transferring from Grossmont College. According to a scouting report from NFL.com, the younger Seau "plays with a motor his uncle would be proud of and has a history of making impactful plays" but might have a tough time making the Rams' deep defense as an undersized pass rusher.

    Still, a football-playing Seau is doing work now in Southern California, and it's a great story worth following.

  • Eat this! Philly chef makes statement with anti-Bradford Sam-wich

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    The Philadelphia Eagles and Sam Bradford appear to be digging in their heels over his status, but one area chef isn't taking this whole deal sitting down. He's digging out his utensils and quietly protesting — by making a sandwich in Bradford's (dis)honor.

    Hey, whatever works.

    Per the Philly Voice, chef Drew Abbruzzese of Big Q BBQ restaurant in Levittown has created a sandwich that's just dripping with symbolism and one that expresses his annoyance over the Eagles' well-paid QB saying he wants out. On Wednesday, Abbruzzese will give away 150 of these meaty Bradford creations.

    The ingredients say it all:

    So this is all a bit heavy-handed — both metaphorically and culinarily — but we're not making judgments or taking sides. We just want a bite or two of this bad boy.

    (h/t For The Win)

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  • Wait, are the Jaguars really good now? They're acting like it

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    What is going on here? An 8-24 team the past two seasons. A players-only meeting in late April. No, this is not the sound of panic; it's one of optimism, but also one of demand. No more sitting around and taking the losing.

    "I think the not wanting to settle for what’s been happening sparked it, and just me being a competitor and wanting to win," Smith told ESPN. "Losing ... I’ve always said I’m not a loser, and I refuse to be a loser. So you cannot do this on your own and you have to make sure everybody’s on the same mindset. And that’s the biggest thing, making sure everybody’s on the same mindset."

    But are they good? Like good good.

    But it's that Jaguars defense everyone is really excited to see. Jackson is an instant upgrade. Health willing, 2014 first-rounder Dante Fowler Jr. and 2015 second-rounder Myles Jack are two exciting athletes who can be impact players this season. Jalen Ramsey has a chance to be the best Jaguars DB in franchise history, though let's temper that a tad for now.

  • The 2013 draft is looking more and more like a giant bust

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    Here's some real talk for you, post-draft: Not all the first-round picks made last week are going to be NFL stars.

    We're reminded of this now every year around this time when NFL teams must make decisions on the first-round picks they made a mere three years ago. Optimism was high then, even for what looks like a putrid draft now, but in many cases it's back down to earth with news trickling in for which teams are picking up those players' fifth-year options.

    In short: The 2013 draft was pretty awful. And right now, it's really sinking in as teams are now having to admit to a lot of their mistakes.

    The 2011 CBA allowed NFL teams to sign first-rounders to four-year contracts with a fifth year at the team's discretion (to be decided before the start of the fourth season). That salary is based off an average of the top players at their positions, with top-10 picks making a higher average.

    Other options declined: Oakland Raiders CB D.J. Hayden and Devner Broncos nose tackle Sylvester Williams, although you get the idea that both could still end up staying with their respective teams at less money.

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  • Fournette, Watson top our too-early top 25 list for 2017 NFL draft

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    What about giving you some top draft names for 2017? Yes, we’re a bit sick in the head. But we know you’re already — somewhere deep in the backs of your minds — thinking about next year.

    [Yahoo Fantasy Football is open for the 2016 season. Sign up now]

    So here is a rough list of the top prospect for next year’s draft class. Spoiler alert: It will change between now and then. Just a bit, we suspect. Also: Not every good college football player is listed here. We know that.

    1. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson — Watson is an athletic wonder with deep-ball accuracy who had a tremendous game in the playoffs against Oklahoma and Alabama, and that could carry him into a Heisman-winning season and the No. 1 pick in the draft. There are some things to iron out as a passer, and he’s not the biggest guy around, but Watson is a special young man.

    6. Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly — The n ephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly really had some

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  • The grades are in! How all 32 teams fared in the 2016 NFL draft

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 3 days ago

    We've capped the proverbial red pen for another year's worth of final draft exams. The good news: Some teams did really well. The bad: Others, not so much.

    [Yahoo Fantasy Football is open for the 2016 season. Sign up now]

    The grades are in for the 2016 NFL draft, and we fully admit how incomplete it is to stamp a judgment on every team's draft a day or two after it's complete.

    Talk to us in a year or three. Or better yet, bookmark this page, revisit in in that time and have a good laugh or two. Today's "underachiever" is likely tomorrow's Pro Bowler, and anyone we labeled a "good value" is sure to be out of the league before their 25th birthday.

    [Follow Yahoo Sports draft expert Eric Edholm on Facebook and Twitter]

  • Achtung! Vikings make history drafting German receiver in Round 6

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 5 days ago

    The Minnesota Vikings made history on Saturday.

    Moritz Boehringer became the first straight-from-Europe draft pick in NFL history when the Vikings used a sixth-round selection on him.

    Boehringer quickly is becoming a folk hero here. His story is incredible. He played — get this — for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns of the German Football League and put up monster numbers in 2015: 59 receptions, 1,232 yards, 13 TDs.

    At his pro day, held at Florida Atlantic, the 6-foot-4, 227-pound Boehringer put on a show — a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, a vertical of 39 inches, a 10-foot-11 broad jump, 17 reps on the bench press, a 4.10-second short shuttle, 11.15-second 60-yard shuttle, and a 6.65-second three-cone. Those are elite testing numbers for any receiver, much less one with his terrific size.

    Teams started digging immediately. Who was this guy? Several teams really did work on him, and the Vikings were among them. NFL Network's Mike Mayock took to Boehringer and promoted his cause, and it turned out that the Vikings were listening.

    You can't make this stuff up. A unicorn indeed.

    It will be fascinating to see if Boehringer can make it in what would be a unique path to the NFL.

     

  • Saints trade up for fascinating Canadian defensive tackle

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 5 days ago

    Yes, that's Canada, folks. The NFL will dip its toes in the northern waters occasionally, and the Saints are more willing to do so than other teams it appears. The last Canadian prospect taken this high in the NFL draft was third-rounder Akiem Hicks by New Orleans in 2012 via Regina. And the only other player drafted from Manitoba? Israel Idonije, who had a nice career in the NFL.

    Hicks didn't work out in New Orleans, but he found success with the New England Patriots last season after he was traded there and parlayed that into a big free-agent deal this offseason with the Chicago Bears.

    Might Onyemata, who was invited to the East-West Shrine Game, pay off down the road? He only has played football for four years now and is in need of more seasoning and refinement. One CFL scout we spoke with noted Onyemata's incredible wingspan (82 inches) and strong short-area quickness ( 7.25 three-cone drill). He also bench pressed 225 pounds 33 times and had a great 10-yard split on his 40-yard dash: 1.66 seconds.

    But he's raw, too, and the Saints need help now defensively. Still, the promise could be really good down the road.

    From the scouting report:

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