- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner19 mins ago
John Elway calmed the nerves of Denver Broncos fans wondering who would be quarterbacking the team on Thursday night, trading up in the first round to draft Memphis' Paxton Lynch.
After watching Peyton Manning ride off into the sunset after the team's win in Super Bowl 50 and Brock Osweiler hop on the nearest Brinks truck bound for Houston, the Broncos roster was pretty bare at the quarterback position, and a trade for Mark Sanchez wasn't doing much to allay fears.
So Denver discussed acquiring Colin Kaepernick from the San Francisco, and reportedly had the parameters of a trade in place, but it stalled when Kaepernick refused to take a $5 million pay cut from his 2016 base salary of $11.9 million, which became guaranteed earlier this month.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner7 hrs ago
Round 1 of the 2016 NFL draft featured twists and turns that few expected, including a wild ride for Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil after an unfortunate social-media disaster.
But part of the story is also about the players who were not selected. Here are the scouting reports for all of the Shutdown Corner Top 50 players — including 12 of our top 31 — who remain available for Friday's Rounds 2 and 3.
5. UCLA LB Myles Jack 6-foot-1, 245 pounds
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
Ezekiel Elliott is going to be really productive for the Dallas Cowboys. The best running back in the draft class will run behind the NFL's best offensive line and put up some nice numbers.
That said, taking Elliott fourth overall was an impulsive pick by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has been known to make some impulsive picks from time to time.
One of the benefits of building one of the best offensive lines in NFL history is that virtually any back can have success running behind it. It's a stretch to say any back can have success in the Cowboys offense, but it's not a huge stretch.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
CHICAGO – One player's social media accounts dominated discussion. Jerry Jones couldn't pass up on a potential star running back. And Denver may have found its quarterback not named Sam Bradford. It was a wild first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night.
Here's a look at the 31 picks, with knee-jerk reactions and grades:
1) Los Angeles Rams: QB Jared Goff – This pick has been in pretty much since the Rams moved up dramatically from No. 15 to 1, even if they kept the mystery going for a few weeks. Goff is a rhythm passer who has spent three years in the “Bear Raid” offense, and there will be a transition to more of a pro system with a first-year passing coordinator and a second-year QB coach. Patience, Rams fans. Grade: B
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
Nothing good can happen when NFL teams start dissecting medical records before the draft. It'll either be neutral or bad.
For UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, it was really bad.
Months ago, the thought of Jack slipping out of the top 10 seemed crazy. He did. He seemed like a great fit for the Oakland Raiders at No. 14, but the Raiders took West Virginia safety Karl Joseph. And he kept slipping. Jack was among a few players left in the green room in Chicago late in the first round. The first round ended just before midnight Eastern time, and Jack never heard his name called. Rough night.
Jack was considered a possible top-five pick at times in the pre-draft process. Some wondered if he was actually the best player in the draft. Then the questions started about his knee. Some teams reportedly took him off their board. The possibility of microfracture surgery was mentioned, and that's scary for a team using a high draft pick.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
Well, we have the answer. The Denver Broncos' new quarterback is Paxton Lynch.
After an offseason of mystery, the Broncos let us know who will replace Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. After a trade to move up five spots, Denver took Lynch, the huge quarterback from Memphis.
It would seem that would end the talk of the Broncos trading for Sam Bradford, Colin Kaepernick or acquiring any other quarterback they've been linked to this offseason.
The Broncos traded up from the 31st pick to get the Seattle Seahawks' pick at No. 26. The Broncos gave up a third-round pick, 94th overall, to get that pick. The Broncos had to worry about another team trading up into the first round to take a quarterback, and also get ahead of a team like the Kansas City Chiefs that might have taken a quarterback.
Lynch might not start right away because he could need time to adjust to the NFL. Mark Sanchez could start the season. But the Super Bowl champions will eventually turn the reins over to Lynch.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
Look, believe what you will about Johnny Manziel, the ex-NFL quarterback whose life is now in shambles by his own hand ... it's hard not to feel a twinge of sympathy, or at least wonder what could have been, when you see a photo like this:
That's apparently Manziel at a Columbus, Ohio, bar, watching the NFL Draft prior to a Justin Bieber concert. Two years ago, Manziel was a first-round pick at the draft; now, he's out of the league, facing a variety of legal challenges, and apparently unable to halt the slide that has claimed his football career.
Granted, that photo looks more like Shia Labeouf than Manziel, but here's another photo from later in the evening. Note the hoodie and bandanna:
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
The newest member of the New York Giants, cornerback Eli Apple, was born in New Jersey, but apparently he's never been much of a fan of the team that now employs him.
On Feb. 5, 2012, the day of Super Bowl XLVI, Apple posted this on his Twitter account:
Hate both of these teams but i hate the pats more so lets goo giants!
And just a few months earlier, he posted this:
It's all a little reminiscient of last year, when an old Larry Nance Jr. tweet was given new life when he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers.
But we're guessing if Apple plays well, Giants fans will forgive him.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
Do the Dallas Cowboys have The Triplets 2.0?
Picking fourth overall, Dallas chose Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, and he will join quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Dez Bryant.
Here's some of what Shutdown Corner's Eric Edholm wrote on Elliott:
Upside: If teams draft strictly for talent, he should not wait long to hear his name called. The breakout of Todd Gurley (following an ACL injury, no less) showed that rare talents at running back are the exceptions to the don't-draft-an-RB-high argument. Elliott has that kind of ability, and other than a nagging wrist injury that he's played through, there is not a big durability concern with him. Elliott routinely turns potential losses into gains, will fight through tiny cracks, is a great short-yardage runner and is a three-down contributor. He has very few limiting or discernable weaknesses.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
The NFL Draft began on Thursday evening with the New England Patriots on the sidelines; the team was forced to surrender its first-round pick as a result of the still-ongoing deflategate controversy. But the team wasn't taking its public shaming sitting down; no, sir. The Patriots unveiled a bit of passive-aggressive social media shot-firing, posting the following on Instagram:
The team also changed its Twitter avatar to Brady's 12, an obvious sign of solidarity with their quarterback who, at the moment, is suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season.
This isn't the first time the Patriots have changed their avatar and announced their implicit support of Brady; the teamdid so last May around the time of the releaseof the infamous Wells Report. Not that it made much of a difference; Brady is still sitting pending an appeal. But the #freebrady movement is yet another example of how deeply silly this entire deflategate mess has become.