1) Like most teams with the number one overall draft pick, the Tennessee Titans are open to trading back. With no clear cut franchise altering prospect at the top of the draft, the Titans are exploring their options.
But with last years first round draft pick, quarterback Marcus Mariota, coming off an impressive rookie year, I think the Titans should just stay put and grab left tackle Laremy Tunsil from Ole Miss. Nothing gives a young quarterback more confidence than a good offensive line in front of him and Tunsil has the look of a 10 year starting left tackle.
2) Speaking of Marcus Mariota, did you see what the Philadelphia Eagles, and then head coach Chip Kelly, offered to move up in the draft last offseason for a chance to take him? Mariota's former college coach, Kelly, was running Philly at that time and he offered two firsts, a second and some players according to one report.
It just goes to show you the importance of the quarterback position.
3) Last year Cincinnati Bengals back up QB A.J. McCarron played in 7 games, with 3 starts, and he compiled a 97.1 passer rating and a 66.4 completion percentage in 119 attempts. Yeah it's a small sample size, but it's still a sample size against NFL defenses. QB needy teams were sure to have an eye on his play and it wouldn't surprise me to see some interest in the 2014 5th round draft pick via trade.
But Bengal head coach Marvin Lewis claims they have no intention of entertaining trade offers. In my opinion, that's just dumb. In a perfect world, McCarron would never play a snap in 2016 as he backs up Andy Dalton. Sure he's good insurance in case Dalton is injured, but flipping a former 5th round pick you theoretically won't play into something is good business. McCarron's value may never be higher, and if they can finagle a 2nd or 3rd round pick in return, how do you not make that deal.
4) The Indianapolis Colts have announced that they will retire Peyton Manning's #18 jersey and that they will build a statue of him to display outside Lucas Oil Stadium.
I did find it odd that Manning, who is perhaps the greatest Colt to ever play, decided to technically retire a Bronco. The Colts offed him the ceremonial 1 day contract so he could end his career the way it started, as a member of the Colts, but he declined.
5) I wonder how many NFL fans cross over to the Dancing With The Stars demographic?
It seems every year DWTS (I have been told that is the commonly used acronym for the show) has football players on the show and every year my social media feeds are flooded by the NFL sharing clips of players dancing. This year it's Von Miller and his dance partner popping up on my feed every hour or so.
I do not give a damn about the show and I would imagine many football fans feel the same way.
6) The NFL is looking into making a standard for the gloves that are so popular among the players.
"There are no standards right now," NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent said during Thursday's conference call regarding the proposed rule changes for 2016. "We have been working with our partners Under Armour, Nike to see how we could adjust and have some minimum standards.
The challenge is the tackiness, and the gloves now are so tacky that it's taking away from the true skill level. So we have been working with our manufactures and partners, Virginia Tech, in trying to create a standard in all protective equipment and in particular the gloves. So that frankly is a work in progress because there is no standards in the industry and it appears that we have to create one."
Nothing will be done with standardizing gloves until 2017 at the earliest, but with technology actually aiding in catching footballs these days, something should be done.
7) When the New England Patriots acquired tight end Martellus Bennett in a trade with the Chicago Bears, some wondered how Bennett will fit into an offense with All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski. It's not like head coach Bill Belichick has never had 2 good tight ends on the same team before. Gronk was picked up in the same draft that brought Aaron Hernandez to the Patriots.
Before Hernendez was a convicted murderer, he and Gronkowski formed a dynamic duo at tight end for Tom Brady. They only played three seasons together, but they all put up career bests in 2011. Brady threw for his most yards ever in a season (5,235), Gronk had a career high in receptions (90) yards (1,327) and TD catches (17), and Hernandez hit career bests across the board too with 79 catches, 910 yards and 7 TDs.
Did I mention that Wes Welker had a career high 1,569 yards on 122 receptions for them that season too?
I think they'll figure out how to spread the ball around enough to keep everyone happy.
8) Teams in the market for a blocking tight end, like the Chicago Bears, may have an eye on Baylor's LaQuan McGowan. Check out this clip of him rumbling in for a TD.
The first thing you may notice is his size, McGowan is 6'6", 405 pounds. The heaviest player in NFL history was Aaron Gibson who was listed as high as 410 when he played. Gibson only played 6 years in the NFL, including starting 19 of 20 games for the Bears in 2003 and 2004.
McGowan is a long shot to get drafted and most teams are looking at him for the offensive line, but a player of that size playing tight end would be interesting.
9) When the Oakland Raiders re-signed left tackle Donald Penn to a 2 year, $11.9 million contract, that meant one of the newest Raiders, Kelechi Osemele, would be playing guard. Osemele played both guard and tackle during his four years in Baltimore, so there was some speculation that Oakland gave him a 5 year, $58.5M contract (with $25.4M guaranteed) to man the left tackle spot in place of Penn.
With Osemele now figuring to be Oakland's starting left guard, that makes him the highest paid offensive guard in the NFL. Not bad for a guy that has never made a Pro Bowl.
His contract is probably the starting point for Chicago Bears' three time Pro Bowler and 2017 free agent Kyle Long as he seeks an extension.
9a) Speaking of Kyle Long, he and Bobby Massie, the Bears right side, have been working hard this offseason. If you follow me on Twitter I retweeted this clip out, but in case you missed it, here you go.
These two have worked out together for a while now and that should ease the learning curve they have in their "new" positions.
10) In Dan Kadar's latest mock draft, the SB Nation draft guru has the Bears going with a defensive linemen at 11.
11. Chicago Bears: A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
With Buckner and Stanley both being gone, the Bears could turn to the defensive line. It's the strength of this year's draft and Chicago could have their choice of defensive tackles. Robinson could line up at end, giving the Bears a front line of Robinson, Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman.
I'd be OK with Robinson in this scenario.
That would be in imposing front three for the Bears at 6'4", 6'5" and 6'4" respectively.
What are some of your NFL thoughts this week?