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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs-Rookie Minicamp Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

1) The Houston Texans traded up in the 2017 NFL Draft to nab Clemson quarterback, Deshaun Watson, with the 12th overall pick. While most draft analysts believed that all the rookie QBs would benefit from some time on the bench, Houston GM Rick Smith, recently said that Watson will have the chance to compete for the starting job this offseason.

If the Texans can get any type of consistent play at QB, whether it’s Watson or Tom Savage, they’ll be in the mix for the AFC South crown again.

2) Former Green Bay Packers running back, Eddie Lacy, had a garage sale over the weekend, and he was selling some of his used hats and shirts for $50, and hoodies for $100. But before you think Lacy was just trying to make a quick buck before moving, 100% of the proceeds went to a local homeless shelter, Freedom House.

3) The second quarterback picked in the NFL Draft, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, just went though his rookie minicamp with the Kansas City Chiefs, and his playbook was a bit different than what he had in college.

“It’s a lot more than I had at Texas Tech," he said via ESPN. “Whenever I got up there and called it, then I had to look out there and see the guys and make sure everybody was in the right position. That was pretty much the process, and it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be."

There’s always a learning curve for college players making the jump to the NFL, but for quarterbacks, it’s on another level.

4) We’ve talked about the Spring League a few times in the last few months, and now that the four team league has wrapped up it’s season, it’s worth noting that 10 NFL teams sent scouts to the league.

5) The NFL is considering having less commercial breaks during games.

Mark Lazarus, the chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports, recently sat down with Variety magazine to talk about a number of topics, but this one caught my eye.

We are working on formatting that reduces the number of breaks, but maybe are a little bit longer, maybe 30 seconds longer. We may take out some of the breaks. I think that will enhance the viewing experience. When you have a play, take a break, have a play, take a break, it does not exactly lend to the flow of the game. I applaud them and really, whether it’s us, CBS, Fox, or ESPN, we are all in this together to find the best way to have a good flowing, exciting game.

I think longer breaks would be a fair trade off for less breaks. It’ll give the viewer extra time for that trip to the bathroom or that next visit to the fridge.

6) This is neat.

Torrey Smith, who recently signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, paid the adoption fees for 46 cats and dogs.

Last night at the conclusion of the runway show, Torrey took to the mic to address the crowd. Each year he reminds us...

Posted by BARCS Animal Shelter on Sunday, May 7, 2017

7) Controversial ex-NFL wide out, Plaxico Burress, penned an open letter to the 2017 NFL Draft class. Our own Jack Silverstein, sent us the link to check out and I was only going to give it the skim treatment, but then the open drew me in.

If you’re looking for somebody to feed you a bunch of bullshit about how great you are now that you’ve been drafted, or to give you the “don’t spend all your money” speech like they’re sharing some kind of secret with you, you can just X out this window now and move on, because you won’t get that here. You can go out into the real world and learn for yourself the hard way. Be my guest.

But if you want the juice — if you want to know how it really is — I won’t cut corners. I’ll give it to you straight.

I know you see my name, and you probably think, That’s the guy who shot himself.

Don’t lie … it’s O.K.

I am that guy.

That’s one of the reasons you should listen to me. Because I’m living proof that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. You could have it all — you could be living the dream — and then one stupid decision can change everything.

Burress held nothing back. Check out the full letter when you get a chance.

If I was an NFL rookie, this is exactly the kind of straight-shooting knowledge I’d want.

8) Chicago Bears’ defensive lineman Akeim Hicks is doing good stuff.

9) With New Orleans Saints starting center, Max Unger, suffering a foot injury, some Bears’ fans immediately connected the dots and speculated that Chicago GM Ryan Pace would try and trade the recovering Hroniss Grasu to his former employer. Let’s nip this in the bud, there is no trade market for Grasu. He’s coming off a training camp injury, so there was no 2016 tape to see if he improved on his less that stellar rookie season.

While I’d imagine that Pace would like to flip Grasu for a draft pick if a good deal presented itself, no team will want anything to do with him until he makes it through camp and preseason this year. A strong preseason by Grasu will give Pace some options.

10) I’ve looked at just about every piece of news, speculation and rumor I could find in regards to the Bears’ trade from three to two to take Mitchell Trubisky. I thought this bit from yesterday’s MMQB was interesting. They asked Gil Brandt, a long time NFL executive and currently a senior analyst for NFL.com, this question, “Do you think the Bears made a bad trade, dealing two threes and a four to move up one spot for Mitchell Trubisky in the first round?”

Brandt responded this way (the bold is mine),

No. Everyone has what-ifs in every draft. I’m not sure San Francisco didn’t play blind man’s bluff a little bit, but whatever they did, Chicago couldn’t know exactly what was going to happen if they don’t move up to two. I think the Bears were concerned Cleveland had all that ammunition and could move up. Plus, the agent [for Trubisky] was making it clear he knew his guy would go second. I understand what [Chicago GM] Ryan Pace went through. If you’re not proactive in this league, you die. Without a quarterback, you can’t win. The thing about everybody saying Chicago made a bad move … all those people, if they’re wrong, we’ll never see a retraction. And no one knows now whether it’s a good move or bad move.

We may never know the behind the scenes truth about what went down with this trade, but we do know that the NFL scouts felt much better about the 2017 quarterback class than did the internet scouts.