In today’s nuggets, you’ll read about expectations for DeMeco Ryans in his first year, why Ian Rapoport says don’t pencil in Mac Jones to the 49ers just yet, a story about Phillip Adams, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day on Justin Fields’ best fit, and an NFL Draft analyst making a case for Trey Lance.
Not the case the Ryans.
Ryans an inexperienced former linebackers coach, likes Saleh. But Ryans is taking over a defense that ranked top 5 in the NFL last season without Nick Bosa, and ranked No. 2 in the league the season before that when it had Bosa. Now Bosa is returning from a torn ACL, so the expectation is another elite defense.
Maybe we should temper our expectations.
Saleh was not a great defensive coordinator his first two seasons on the job. He showed promise, built a system and a culture, but his weekly game plans weren’t particular sophisticated, nor were his in-game adjustments. He perfected that part of his job in Years 3 and 4, when his games plans became effective and opponent-specific.
“I think a lot of the buzz is legit. What I don’t 100 percent know is, are they actually doing it?” Rapoport told Eisen. “Because if you talk to other teams in the top 10, and really just other teams in general, everyone agrees Mac Jones is a first-round pick. Not everyone agrees that he should be picked there. So, is he Kirk Cousins-plus for Kyle? Maybe. But I’m not 100 percent ready to say, ‘this is definitely the guy let’s move on to the fourth pick.’”
This is the logical conclusion to draw with Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance also in the mix to go in the top three. While Jones is coming off a stellar 2020 season, Lance and Fields are excellent prospects in their own right with a ton of athleticism that adds to their upside.
Phillips, 32, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Thursday.
Investigators did not immediately pinpoint a possible motive in the slaying of the prominent doctor.
Adams suffered at least two concussions late in the 2012 season with the Oakland Raiders.
“I think the football messed him up,” the former player’s father, Alonzo Adams, told WCNC, the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina.
He did not elaborate.
“I think, early on, an offense that is — run, play-action, get him on the move,” Day told Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks on NFL Network Thursday (h/t Matt Howe for 247 Sports). “He’s really good out of the pocket, controlled passing game. And then as time goes on and he starts to feel more and more comfortable in the pocket with the third-down and red-zone, drop-back passing concepts, he’ll continue to just build. And the more reps he gets at that, the better. But like any time you have a young quarterback, I think things where he’s on the move and athletic and you give him the ability to make plays outside of the pocket is going to be exciting to watch.
“The other thing, part of his game is when you study him in the red zone — he’s really good down there. And so, if we can find ways — we always felt that we could find a way to get the thing into the red zone, that he was really good down there. And so, I think any kind of offense that is going to be able to put him in those types of situations — he’s going to do well early on. And this is a guy who hasn’t played a whole lot of football, when you look at the grand body of work that he’s had. And I think the potential’s through the roof.”
“This is the guy San Francisco should be drafting,” Zierlein said. “This is the guy you trade up additional picks for. I understand the Kyle Shanahan offense. I sat here and covered it under Gary Kubiak, and he learned it from Mike Shanahan. Let me tell you, the one thing that’s missing in all the quarterbacks that you mentioned (Wyche mentioned quick-decision-makers Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins, and Jimmy Garoppolo), how about a guy who can make plays on the move with his feet as well? That’s where the NFL is going.
“You can still make the reads, the multi-level pass progressions that you want to go through. He’s got size. He’s got speed. He’s got attitude. And you know what I love about him? He can really make plays on the move and extend with his feet.”