Jason Bishop

On The Prowl

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The 2020 NFL Schedule has been released. Let’s take a look and predict how the season will play out for Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

Week 1: September 13, Indianapolis Colts: The Jags open up the season at home against a much improved Colts team with Philip Rivers at QB.

Colts will have a very good defense, and with Rivers at QB Indy feels like they are the favorites in the AFC South. At home in the Jacksonville heat I’m going with Jacksonville 24-20. Jacksonville is 1-0 on the season.

Week 2: September 20, at Tennessee Titans: Jacksonville cannot beat Tennessee and will not in Nashville.

Derrick Henry chews up the Jags run defense and the Titans roll to a 31-13 win.

Tennessee is a sleeper team in the AFC. Jacksonville is 1-1 on the season.

Week 3: September 24, Miami Dolphins: Tua rolls into the River City and gets pressured all day by an inspired Jags defense. Jacksonville beats the Dolphins 28-13 to go to 2-1 on the season.

Week 4: October 4, at Cincinnati Bengals: Jacksonville travels to Cincy to take on Joe Burrow and the Bengals.

I’m not sure how much the Bengals improve in 2020.

Let’s go with Jacksonville as Gardner Minshew will out play the 2019 Heisman winner and the Jags win 27-17 on the road to go to 3-1.

Week 5: October 11, at Houston Texans: The Texans seem to be a train wreck, but it won’t matter when Jacksonville comes to town.

Jags will find a way to lose in Houston. Texans win 24-21. Jags go to 3-2

Week 6: October 18, Detroit Lions: I will be in attendance when my Detroit Lions roll into Jacksonville and leave with a victory over the Jaguars.

Matt Stafford leads a game winning drive with less than 2 minutes left in the contest to pull out a road win 31-28. Jags fall to 3-3 on the season.

Week 7: Bye Week

Week 8: November 1, at Los Angeles Chargers: Chargers will beat the Jags in LA 34-13.

This will be one of those head scratcher games for the Jags as they drop to 3-4 on the season.

Week 9: November 8, Houston Texans: The Jags split the season series with the Texans with a nice home win 34-23 to go to 4-4 on the season.

Week 10: November 15, at Green Bay Packers: Don’t even think about it. Packers drill the Jags at Lambeau 38-13. Jags go to 4-5 on the season.

Week 11: November 22, Pittsburgh Steelers: Jacksonville seems to have Big Ben’s number. Jags win a huge home game 27-24 to go 5-5 on the season.

Week 12: November 29, Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield is a bust repeat after me Baker Mayfield is a bust.

Jags win 33-21 to go to 6-5 on the season.

Week 13: December 6, at Minnesota Vikings: Not happening. The Vikings are a very good football team. Minnesota wins 35-17. Jags fall to 6-6.

Week 14: December 13, Tennessee Titans: Nope the Jags are not physical enough for the Titans. Titans win 31-10. Jags fall to 6-7 on the season.

Week 15: December 20, at Baltimore Ravens: I’m not wasting my time on this one. Ravens 41-13. Jags drop to 6-8.

Week 16: December 27, Chicago Bears: Will Nick Foles come in and put it to the Jaguars? The answer is yes 24-20.

Jaguars fall to 6-9. Jags go 0-4 against the NFC North.

Week 17: January 3: at Indianapolis Colts: Playoff bound Colts rest starters and Jacksonville wins 35-19 to finish 7-9 on the 2020 season.

Best case scenario is 10-6 with wins over Detroit, San Diego, and Chicago.

Worst case scenario is 4-12 with a loss at home to Pittsburgh, Houston, and Indy.

New Kids On the Block

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

There’s a changing of the guard taking place at quarterback in the SEC this season, following the exit of three of the top passers in the league: Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Jake Fromm.

Ranking this year’s best is a serious challenge considering all the new faces. Of my top five SEC quarterbacks entering the 2020 College Football season, two are transfers.

Despite losing a phenomenal group of quarterbacks, the conference still has elite talent returning in 2020.

  1. K J Costello, Mississippi State: Costello should flourish in Mike Leach’s Air Raid system in Starkville.

He is a transfer from Stanford, and he has shown the talent to be a top tier quarterback not only in the SEC, but nationally.

In 2018, Castello was healthy and threw for over 3,500 yards and 29 touchdowns.

He is the prototype pocket passer standing 6 foot 5 and weighing 225. He is an accurate passer and has a chance to lead the SEC in passing.

  1. Mac Jones, Alabama: Jones is the toughest guy to predict on this list because of his limited exposure and a bunch of first round draft picks catching passes.

Looking at the numbers 68.8% completions, 1,503 passing yards and 14 touchdowns in four and a half games. The two interceptions against Auburn in the Iron Bowl make me question his decision making.

Bottom line, he is not Tua. He will be surrounded by talent on both sides of the ball. Alabama has the number 1 returning roster.

  1. Kellen Mond, Texas A&M: No one questions Mond’s arm strength, escapability or accuracy, but his consistency must improve.

Mond is a three-year starter under Coach Jimbo Fisher. He has shown improvement each of his seasons at A&M.

Last season, he threw for 2,897 yards, 20 touchdowns, rushed for 500 yards and 8 touchdowns. The Aggies are coming off an 8-5 season, in which they lost to Clemson, Alabama and LSU by double digits.

He has been productive but not at his best in the SEC level. Jimbo expects that to change in his senior campaign.

  1. Jamie Newman, Georgia: A season ago, Newman had 2,868 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 574 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns for Wake Forest.

With a better supporting cast around him and new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Newman could potentially break out.

If the Bulldog’s can tap into Newman’s elite skill set while he trims down turnovers, he will be the best in the SEC in 2020.

My reason for Newman 2nd is the quarantine. He has not been able to work with Monken or his new teammates.

1.Kyle Trask, Florida: Trask wasn’t even the starter at the beginning of 2019, sitting behind Feleipe Franks (now a graduate transfer at Arkansas).

Trask, as is well documented, didn’t even start for his high school team, instead he was watching D’Eriq King (now a graduate transfer at Miami) light it up.

He got his opportunity when Franks went down and never looked back, leading the Gators to 11 wins and completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 2,941 yards, 25 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Trask is steady and he makes the plays that win games.

He needs to work on his quickness and getting the football out faster.

Florida has to replace Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain and Tyrie Cleveland, three starting wide receivers that went in the NFL Draft.

Now, entering the 2020 season, Kyle Trask is expected to be the top-rated quarterback in the SEC.

Outside The 5: A few players right outside the top 5 are Terry Wilson, Bo Nix, and John Rhys Plumblee. My sleeper SEC quarterback is Myles Brennan.

The First Mate

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

In case you’ve been under a rock, you know Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent.

The Buccaneers also traded for his favorite target, Rob Gronkowski. They have not made the playoffs since 2007, but they are a preseason favorite to win the Super Bowl. I’m going to take a look and see who the best player in franchise history is.

The first pick in franchise history was defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, No. 1 overall in 1976. Selmon was one of the NFL’s most dominant pass rushers and the first Tampa Bay player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He played for the Bucs for nine years (1976-84) and he was selected to six Pro Bowls.

Selmon was Defensive Player of the Year in 1979. He was First-team All-Pro three times and second team twice. In his career he had 742 tackles, 78.5 sacks and 28.5 forced fumbles. His number 63 was retired in 1986.

Warren Sapp was drafted by Tampa Bay in 1995 as the 12th pick overall. The defensive tackle had 77 sacks, which is second-most in franchise history. He made seven consecutive Pro Bowls from 1997-2003. He was NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1999.

Sapp was a four-time First Team All-Pro and two-time Second Team All-Pro. He’s First-team on the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and Second-team on the 1990s All-Decade Team.

He was pivotal in leading the 2002 Bucs to win Super Bowl XXXVII. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

Derrick Brooks was also drafted in the first round in 1995 (28th). He played in Tampa his entire career, 1995-2008.

Brooks had 1,715 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 25 interceptions, 24 forced fumbles and 7 touchdowns. He was selected to 11 Pro Bowls, Five-time First-team All-Pro, Four-time Second-team All-Pro and Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. He is also on the 2000s All-Decade Team. He was selected to the Hall of Fame in 2014.

Warrick Dunn was drafted by the Bucs in 1997. He’s the first offensive player on this list.

In his first stint with Tampa Bay he played from 1997-2001. He was AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. He went to two Pro Bowls.

Jimmie Giles played for four teams but was with the Bucs from 1978-86. The tight end went to four Pro Bowls during that time. He holds the team record for touchdowns in a game with four.

Hardy Nickerson (1993-99) was selected to 5 Pro Bowls during that time. He was also a Four-time All-Pro and a member of the 1990s All-Decade team.

John Lynch was known as a hard-hitting safety. He went to 5 Pro Bowls as a member of the Buccaneers. He had three seasons with at least one hundred tackles.

Ronde Barber spent his entire career in Tampa (1997-2012). He is one of two players with 40+ interceptions and 20+ sacks alongside Charles Woodson. He led the league in interceptions in 2001 with 10. He went to 5 Pro Bowls and 5 All-Pro teams.

Simeon Rice is another defensive standout from the early 2000’s. He signed with the team in 2001 and went to 2 Pro Bowls. He recorded double digit sacks in his first three seasons.

There have been several great players to choose from.

I believe Lee Roy Selmon has to be chosen as the best Buc ever.

You’re Fired

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

I was asked the other day to name my favorite Duke basketball player of all time, as well as my least favorite. It was easy to name my favorite (Grant Hill) because it’s one of those things I’ve actually spent time thinking about.

It took me a while to think about my least favorite though, since I tend to try and forget them much like I do with the name of my 11th grade English teacher.

So, with that in mind, I figured instead of writing about the best head coach each NFC South team has hired, I’d go with the ones they couldn’t get rid of fast enough.

To start with, Atlanta’s may have been the easiest. Regardless of what criteria you’re looking at- overall record, handling of the team, how the coach represented the team- Bobby Petrino makes it a clean sweep in all categories.

Petrino’s .231 winning percentage is the worst in franchise history, not counting interim coaches, and the way he left the team by leaving a note in every player’s locker is just the sugar free icing on the gluten free cake that was his coaching tenure.

Not only is he the worst coach in Falcons history, he’s worse than any of the other coaches I’m about to mention, making him the worst hire in the division’s history. (And just think, he became even more of an embarrassment at his subsequent stops.)

Choosing Carolina’s coach was almost just as easy, but for entirely different reasons. Before the Panthers brought in new head coach Matt Rhule, there had only been four coaches in their short history.

Of those four, two made it to a Super Bowl (John Fox, Ron Rivera) and another (Dom Capers) was coach of the year in 1996 and helped the franchise get off to a strong start.

The only coach left is George Seifert, who couldn’t repeat the same type of success in Charlotte that he had achieved in San Francisco. He is also the only coach of the four to have never led the team to a winning season or a playoff appearance.

New Orleans is where the task got a little more difficult because they’ve always had decent coaches since I started following football, beginning with Jim Mora.

There are a few coaches back in the 70’s who didn’t do well, record wise, but I can’t really speak to what they did beyond that. Therefore, I’m going with Mike Ditka as the franchise worst.

As great as Ditka was for Chicago, he was equally as bad for the Saints. He won six games in each of his first two seasons and only three in his third and final one. Plus, there was that year he traded all their draft picks, including their first round pick the following year, to draft Ricky Williams.

Tampa Bay’s coaches are similar to New Orleans, it would’ve been easier to go with an earlier coach based on records. But, like with the Saints, I decided to go with a more recent coach, Greg Schiano.

The current Rutgers head coach will be remembered in Tampa more for having his team rush the quarterback on a kneel down play than anything they accomplished on the field. His tenure was the perfect example of round peg, square hole.

Not all coaching hires can be winners, but these are a few that fan bases would like to forget, all together.

Welcome Back

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

It is starting to look like football season will go forward as scheduled in 2020.

That will be a welcome sight for a sport starved culture in the south, particularly the Southeastern Conference.

Let’s take a look at my top five returning players in the SEC. Again, remember these are my top 5 selections.

 

  1. George Pickens WR/Georgia: Pickens after a slow start, Pickens finished the 2019 season with 49 receptions for 8 TD’s.

He topped it off with a 12-catch performance in a Sugar Bowl win over Baylor.

Pickens should have a monster season in 2020, who ever the QB ends up being in Athens. Pickens is a rare talent and people in Athens have not been this excited about a receiver since AJ Green roamed the sidelines a decade ago.

Look for Pickens to be an all-conference performer this fall. By the way, Jaime Newman will be the man tossing the ball to Pickens.

  1. Najee Harris RB/Alabama: Najee Harris will be the best running back in the SEC this fall. I thought he was the best running back in the conference in 2019, His 1200 yards rushing and 20 total TD’s back up my claim.

Harris is also a great receiver out of the backfield. Harris averaged 5.8 yards per carry in 2019, and Alabama will be the preseason favorite to win the conference in 2020. Harris could be a Heisman Trophy contender this fall.

  1. Jaylen Waddle WR/KR/Alabama: If you watched the NFL draft last week you noticed that Alabama had two wide receivers selected in the first round, and Waddle will be the next great Alabama WR.

Waddle is also the best return man in the SEC as well, with a kickoff and punt return touchdown in 2019.

The Tide will figure out ways to get Waddle the touches he needs to be a game changer this fall. Alabama has become Wide Receiver U in college football at the moment. Their offense should be pretty salty in 2020.

Waddle is said to run in the 4.35 range which will blow the top off an opposing defense.

  1. Ja’Marr Chase WR/LSU: Chase had 84 catches and 20 TD’s and was the best WR on the National Champion LSU Tiger roster in 2019.

Chase won’t have Joe Burrow tossing him the ball, but LSU will find ways to get him the touches he needs. He could be the first WR selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Could Chase be a back to back Biletnikoff Award winner? I would not bet against it.

He eats up opposing defensive backs and spits them out. Chase had 9 catches for 221 yards and 2 TD’s against Clemson in the national title game. He abused CB AJ Terrell of Clemson, who was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 16th pick in the first round.

Chase will be a future Pro Bowl WR at the next level.

  1. Derek Stingley Jr. CB/LSU: Stingley is the best returning player in the SEC, and maybe the country.

He had 6 interceptions as a freshman in 2019. He was a game changer for LSU in the SEC title game win over Georgia as Stingley picked off Jake Fromm twice.

This kid will be at LSU for two more seasons before he can declare for the NFL, and will probably be a top five pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

Could a defensive player win the Heisman again? Coach O says Stingley will get touches on the offensive side of the ball also moving forward.

This kid is a generational cornerback and the best returning player in the SEC in 2020. I bet you opposing offensive coordinators will game plan around Stingley.

The Fall Of Fromm

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Jake Fromm’s career at the University of Georgia ended when he declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. Fromm was a three-year starter at Georgia. He took over for Jacob Eason early in his Freshman season and led Georgia to a National Championship Game.

His 8,224 career passing yards is fourth all-time in Georgia history. He’s second all-time in passing touchdowns with 78, fourth in completions with 621 and 5th in attempts with 982.

Those numbers are, honestly, not all that flashy; however, Fromm was 36-7, led Georgia to three straight SEC Championship Games, a playoff appearance, and national title appearance. Fromm is the greatest quarterback in modern Georgia’s football history.

Let’s go back to 2019. At this time ESPN was predicting Fromm to be the number 1 pick in the draft. So why did Jake slip so far in the NFL draft?

Fromm’s slide became the hot topic during the final day of the 2020 NFL Draft. Fromm looked visibly uncomfortable every time ESPN panned in his home.

The reason for his stock to drop is the pre-draft process did not go well for Jake.  At the combine, he ran a horrible 40-yard dash (5.01). In the passing drills, he showed a lack of arm strength. His physical measurements were also in the low decile.

Due to Covid-19, Fromm was not able to have a pro day and was unable to meet face to face with teams.

To me, getting picked by the Buffalo Bills in the 5th round with the 167th pick was a surprise. Buffalo already has a young starting quarterback in Josh Allen.

Jake Fromm’s fall in the draft highlights a flaw in Kirby Smart’s four seasons at Georgia. Smart’s offense is on its third offensive coordinator in three years. That does decline a player’s stock, no matter how many people say it doesn’t.

Smart’s quarterback room in 2018 included Justin Fields but Fields transferred to Ohio State. In his first season with the Buckeyes, Fields threw for 3,273 yards, 41 touchdowns, rushed for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Georgia could not find a way to maximize Fields’ skills but somehow Ryan Day figured it out immediately in Columbus. Kirby had a couple of top quarterbacks in his program, but somehow ended up utilizing them poorly.

Why didn’t Fromm return to Georgia? Fromm left Georgia because the offense was not highlighting his skills. He escaped an offense that was sick with talent deficiency in the wide receiver department, as well as inexperience at coordinator positions and lack of creativity.

Jake Fromm’s numbers spoke for why he entered the draft.  His completion percentage dipped by seven points, he threw six less touchdowns, and attempted 78 fewer passes.

Combine Jake’s poor showing at the NFL combine with Kirby Smart’s inept offense and now you see why Jake dropped to the 5th round.

The big question for Georgia fans: Was it more gut-wrenching watching Jake Fromm end up being picked in the fifth round? Or, watching former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields go top 10 in next year’s NFL Draft?

Varied Winds

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Trying to get a community of sports fans to come to a consensus of how the draft went for their favorite team is like asking coffee connoisseurs what their favorite brand is- everyone has an opinion and almost no two will be alike.

Even if you find a majority that agrees, it’s mostly determined on the first few rounds only; outside of an NFL scout, who has time to read up on every available player.

So, instead of grading the Falcons picks here are few observations that came to mind regarding Atlanta and the draft.

Because of Atlanta’s draft position, especially in the first few rounds, the end result was almost predetermined to be underwhelming. The main talking points after almost any pick revolve around “value” and “need vs. talent”.

Early in the round you’re more likely to find a player that meets all those criteria, and you know you won’t find one towards the end of the round, so you basically pick a lane and stick with it; the middle of the round can get tricky though.

Do you do what Atlanta did and pick a player like A.J. Terrell, whom most people believe fills a need, fits the system well, and was the best available at that position with the most upside, but is considered to be a reach at that spot, especially when there was better talent available?

What makes the decision tough is that while all five draft recap articles I read unanimously agreed with what I just wrote, every single one listed a different player Atlanta should’ve drafted. So even had Atlanta drafted someone else, the same articles still would’ve been written, just with a different name.

The same issue rears its head in subsequent rounds, albeit on a much lesser scale. Point being, no matter who Atlanta picked, people were going to have issues, and it’s not entirely their fault.

Atlanta will need to hand out “Hello, my name is…” stickers at their first defensive meeting. Most of the Falcon’s biggest needs entering this season are on the defensive side of the ball and their draft reflected that. (When your lone offensive pick is a lineman that probably won’t play much for another year or two, you must feel ok with the side of the ball.)

Regardless of how people feel about those picks, the team will need some of them to contribute quickly, especially Terrell and 2nd round pick Marlon Davidson. I mean, that is why those guys were drafted where they were, right?

Is Atlanta fielding a second, secret team full of undrafted free agents? I realize the number of undrafted players a team signs after the draft has finished varies, but Atlanta almost signed enough to field an entire team before Tae Crowder could be crowned Mr. Irrelevant.

I know they’re making up for only having six draft picks, but it’s almost as if the Falcons front office wasn’t even wild about their draft.

Matt Ryan’s arm just may fall off after attempting his 10,000th pass of the year. Seriously, you’re good entering the season with one viable running back whose knee is one wrong cut away from ending his career? Good luck with that.

Obviously, I have no idea how these picks will pan out, and neither does anyone else. I just hope we all get a chance this fall to see for ourselves. I feel like that’s something we can all agree on.

 

Power Off

By: Mike Anthony

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

With just over four months remaining until the scheduled start of the college football season, there is still no answer to when teams will come out of their suspended status in order to prepare.

There have been myriad discussions about what this means for the 2020 campaign. Everything has been discussed, from when to resume team activities, to how long of a period is needed from first practice to first game, to how abbreviated schedule would work, to whether or not any fans will be permitted to watch the game in person.

In short, there are still many balls in the air.

Regardless of when the games start or how they will look, there is one variable that is sure to be the main factor in the final decision – money.

That’s not some new or surprising reveal as far as motives go, but there is no doubt that money – to be made or to be made up – will determine how college football is next played.

And that factor could be the final straw in an FBS landscape that is already seriously divided between the ‘Power 5’ conferences and the ‘Group of 5.’

Power 5 teams tend to have tighter conference groupings and host more home games, which all cut down on travel expenses. They also have huge network television contracts that they will be incentivized to honor by playing games, even if an altered or limited schedule lessens the payout.

On the other hand, there is the G5. Football teams in the other half of the FBS have larger geographic footprints and travel schedules that are often exacerbated by random long trips to “payout” games at P5 opponents that will never be returned.

And while these schools and conferences also receive money in the form of media rights agreements, it’s safe to say that a check from ESPN+ isn’t keeping the lights on conference-wide in quite the same way as deals with national networks and huge corporations that sponsor P5 marquee matchups and conference championship games.

For years, it has been rumored that the highest level of college football could fracture as it has before. There is a lot of fan support and corporate money that would love to see more heavyweight regular season matchups and a prolonged national championship playoff without giving a second thought to those things coming at the expense of the G5 conferences that have much less money and national appeal.

There are currently arguments that say attended football games simply won’t happen this fall due to ongoing pandemic concerns. If that happens, the biggest and wealthiest schools could probably find a workaround.

It wouldn’t be fun or pretty, but there will be SEC and ACC and national championship playoffs played if games are allowed to continue. If G5 schools follow this schedule, the financial blow will be inconceivable.

Wherever P5 universities with budgets for over-the-top amenities, constant facility upgrades and a private-jet-based recruiting strategy have to skimp through some lean times, G5 schools will already be tapped out as soon as football programs lose any sort of revenue.

One G5 school (Cincinnati) has already cut loose its men’s soccer team. Others are putting coaching staffs on furlough. It’s not just possible, but probable, that these measures will only get more drastic and more prevalent if sports remain shut down.

As advertising and fundraising trends go, it’s pretty safe to assume that when games and attendance resume, it will be the P5 schools who benefit first, even though G5 schools will need the return to normalcy more.

There is also the growing pressure for student athletes to be paid in some form – a totally new cost that would demand an overhaul of every athletic department’s finances.

Unless things change course in a hurry, the already abundant theories of what will happen to Division I sports needs to have another theory thrown onto the pile.

When all of this is done, there could be a complete split. Some big-name and high-dollar schools could easily survive and split off to form some new quasi-professional level of competition.

Less fortunate institutions will be left scrambling just to keep their athletic departments intact or petition the NCAA for rule changes as any significant decrease in football revenue will put in jeopardy the ability for many schools to fund the requisite 16 varsity sports in the coming years.

There are no easy answers for the upcoming economic impact that is coming. There isn’t an FBS school out there that doesn’t need every cent generated by its football program to set budgets for the rest of its teams.

And there isn’t a school out there that isn’t going to see a decrease in that revenue, regardless of what games do or don’t get played.

It will be weeks before any schedules are set and months – or years – before the true impact on the collegiate sporting world is known, but one certainty is that we’re about to be in a whole new ballgame.

Making The Grades

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The first sign of normalcy returning happened with the first round of the NFL Draft.

Let’s take a look at teams in our geographical area and assign a first-round grade.

 

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons selected cornerback AJ Terrell from Clemson with the 16th pick.

Atlanta had their sights set on CJ Henderson from Florida, but Jacksonville took Henderson with the 9th pick.

Apparently, Thomas Dimitroff missed the National Championship game where Terrell got scorched for over 200 yards by Joe Burrow and LSU.

Yes, we know CB is a big need for Atlanta, but Terrell that early in the first round? I don’t like the selection when Kenneth Murray LB from Oklahoma was still on the board. Terrell needs technique work, and there was more value on the board when the Falcons made the pick.

Grade: D

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags had two first round selections.

With the 9th pick the Jaguars took CJ Henderson cornerback from Florida. Henderson was regarded by most as the second-best corner in the draft behind Jeff Okudah, who was selected by the Lions at pick number 3.

Henderson is a good cover corner and has great ball skills. The issue with Henderson is he runs away from contact at times and that worried scouts.

I think this is a reach at #9 for Jacksonville who passed on Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and CeeDee Lamb in typical Jaguar fashion.

Grade: C

At pick 20 the Jaguars selected K’Lavion Chaisson OLB of LSU.

I think this is a great pick for Jacksonville to add another edge rusher to team up with Josh Allen on the Jacksonville defense. The pass rush is back in Jacksonville.

Chaisson is a match up problem who can rush the passer, drop in coverage, and play solid in the run game. Great pick by the Jags to get a three-down player at LB.

Grade: A

Miami Dolphins: With the 5th pick the Dolphins selected Tua Tagovailoa QB from Alabama.

Tua is the man immediately in South Beach. If he can stay healthy, he can be a force in the NFL.

Tua is an accurate passer with a nice touch on the football. Many compare him to Steve Young and if he lives up to that hype then Miami will get back into playoff discussions soon.

Miami has had 21 starting quarterbacks since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season. Ouch!

Grade: A

With pick 18 the Dolphins selected Austin Jackson OT from USC. Jackson is only 20 years old but has very good feet. He may not be ready in 2020 to contribute but has a pretty good upside. The jury is out on this selection.

Grade: C-

With the 30th pick the Dolphins selected CB Noah Igbinohene from Auburn. Another SEC selection in the first round. I like this pick for Miami in a position of need. Tough and physical kid.

Grade: B

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs gave up a 4th round pick to San Francisco to move up one spot to take OT Tristin Wirfs from Iowa.

Iowa may be Offensive Line U right now in college football. Many thought Wirfs was the best offensive lineman available in this draft.

He ran a 4.85 40-yard dash at the combine, and had 36.5 inch vertical jump. This kid is athletic and a valuable asset to protect Tom Brady. I love this pick, and Tampa got a kid that had a top five grade entering the draft.

Grade: A+

It is a relief to watch something live on TV that is sports related.

Beasts From The East

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The SEC East should be a very interesting division in college football. Here is how I think the division stacks up.

Florida: I give the Gators a slight edge over Georgia.

Under Dan Mullen’s watch, Florida has won 21 games and finished in the top 10 in back-to-back years.

The offense needs to take the next step and improve. The offensive line returns four starters so they should get better. Kyle Trask will be one of the best quarterbacks in the conference.

Tight end Kyle Pitts (54 catches) along with receivers Jacob Copeland, Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney make up a strong receiving corp.

The defense should still be strong this season, adding UGA transfer Brenton Cox to strengthen the pass rush. The secondary will be one of the best in the SEC thanks to Marco Wilson and Kaiir Elam.

I think the deciding factor will be crossover scheduling. LSU comes to Gainesville and Georgia plays at Alabama.

Georgia: The Bulldogs lose quarterback Jake Fromm, running back D’Andre Swift and four offensive line starters.

Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman will be the new QB. Last season Newman threw for 2,868 yards, 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 574 yards and 6 TD’s.

WR George Pickens had a good freshman season and he could have a breakout sophomore year.

In 2019 the defense ranked at the top of the SEC in yards per play allowed (4.3) and fewest points a game (12.6). They lost safety J.R. Reed and DL Tyler Clark but return most of the unit intact.

Tennessee: The Volunteers are going into coach Jeremy Pruitt’s third year on the right track.

They started 2019 0-2 but rebounded and won their final six games.

Quarterback play is a huge question mark and they need a drastic improvement. Whether it’s Jarrett Guarantano, Brian Maurer, J.T. Shrout or freshman Harrison Bailey, this position will determine the success of the team.

The offensive line and running backs should be the strength of the offense.

The defense improved, holding teams to 5.01 yards per game. I think the Vols are due for a big upset in 2020. I doubt it comes against Alabama or at UGA. Most likely it will be at Oklahoma or home against Florida.

Kentucky: The Wildcats won 26 games through the first five seasons under Mark Stoops, Kentucky has posted 18 over the last two years. Finishing 8-5 in 2019 was an accomplishment for Stoops and his staff.

Starting QB Terry Wilson was lost for the season due to injury in early September but he is returning. The O-line is one of the best in the conference and they return three backs that have at least 500 rushing yards in 2019.

Kentucky’s defense finished fourth in the SEC in fewest points allowed per game (19.3) and allowed 5.3 yards a snap.

South Carolina: The pressure is mounting for Will Muschamp after finishing 4-8. He hired former Colorado State coach Mike Bobo as offensive coordinator.

They have a few options at QB with transfer Collin Hill (Colorado State), Dakereon Joyner, Ryan Hilinski and freshman Luke Doty battling for the starting job. They lost their top three running backs.

Missouri: The Tigers were 8-5 in 2018 and 6-6 in 2019.

Eli Drinkwitz is in his first year in Columbia. He is coming off of only one year as a head coach at Appalachian State.

They will not be able to make a bowl this season.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores finished 3-9 last season. On the bright side these guys are intelligent since they attend Vandy.

That’s the only thing they have to look forward to.