Prospect AR15

By: Robert Craft news services

Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson, one of the hottest and most difficult-to-sort prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, has every athletic trait I can think of.

At 6-foot-4 and 231 pounds, Richardson has a missile launcher for a right arm. He’s expected to flirt with a 4.4-second 40-yard dash at the combine. He’s even got a big, bright, Draft Day smile.

Richardson will be covered relentlessly for the remainder of the draft cycle, because the football world knows so little about him (and he has incredible skills). He made just 13 starts in college and threw fewer than 400 career passes. Teams will want to know more about his personality, football IQ and leadership.

Somewhere along the way scouts and coaches will learn that Richardson is a prospect who has been waiting a lifetime for this opportunity. Right now, he appears to be the most interesting man in today’s draft cycle.

In his only season as a starter, Richardson completed just 53.8% of his passes for 2,549 yards, 17 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He also rushed for 649 yards and 9 touchdowns.

ESPN’s Todd McShay has Richardson going ninth overall to the Carolina Panthers in his latest mock draft.

From a draft perspective, the most pressing question on Richardson is; how high does his stock rise before late April?

Overall, reactions to Richardson’s pros and cons are mixed, but his ceiling is higher than any quarterback in this class.

When people watch his film, they’ll find the times where Richardson struggled (early 2022), where he progressed and where he improved as the season wore on. Is he closer to being ready than some think? I believe he is

Many wonder if Richardson will be a first-round pick. To me, the actual mystery is whether Richardson will climb into the top 10.

“The questions about his readiness are valid and his game needs refinement” is what pro quarterback coaches will say. On the other hand, offensive coordinators are gonna say, “Give me Anthony Richardson. I’ll give you a quarterback in two or three years who will win BIG.” That to me is a big-time look ahead. It’s a leap of faith in talent.

Physically, he is the most talented quarterback in this class, but he’s not developed yet. He’s not ready. Carolina needs an NFL ready quarterback.

Why not take a shot? In order to have success in this league, you’ve got to have a quarterback. Anthony Richardson has a chance to be a star or you could wind up drafting another quarterback in a year or two. That’s the most fascinating part about him.

Whether he goes to the Panthers or elsewhere, Richardson’s development will be interesting to follow over the next couple of seasons. He might need some time, and picking him before he blossoms could end up paying off in a big way.

So, he might stand as too big a challenge for a franchise without a foundation. For one with ground underneath it and a willingness to develop a QB, though? Richardson could be the lottery ticket it’s always wanted.

Anthony Richardson is an incredibly talented yet unproven prospect, with a heart the size of his frame. For NFL programs, he’s a guy who can either make your draft or break your heart.

Tebow Impact

By: Robert Craft news services

Consumers love Tim Tebow and are happy to see him back in the NFL.

Just 24 hours after signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tebow’s apparel has been flying off the sleeves. reported the top 5 selling items all belong to Tebow: black alternate jerseys for men, women and children, as well as T-shirts for men and women.

The Tebow effect caused Tom Brady’s red Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey to fall to ninth on the list of top sellers.

Tebow’s jersey was the bestselling uniform when he was with the Denver Broncos in 2010, New York Jets in 2012, New England Patriots in 2013 and Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.

In 2016 for a few weeks his New York Mets jersey was the best-selling Major League Baseball jersey in the country.

Tebow’s longest run as the best-selling jersey in sport came as a quarterback at the University of Florida, where even to this day, it holds the record for the most jerseys of a college player ever sold.

Tebow signed a one-year deal (non-guaranteed) to play tight end with the Jaguars. He is currently sporting the number 85 jersey. He might not even wear the 85 jersey for long.

If Jacksonville moves backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, which rumors suggest they are trying, Tebow could claim his iconic 15 jersey.

If that happens, you can bet football and Tebow fans won’t hesitate to complete their collection.

As a sputtering franchise, the Jaguars didn’t warrant much attention last season, but look at them now! The Jaguars are the talk of the NFL on shows, radio and social media around the country.

The attention is only going to intensify as OTA’s starts and the media will be allowed to watch practice in person this week. Tebow obviously has generated most of the attention because of his comeback at age 33 to play tight end, a position he’s never once played.

Jaguars jerseys are three of the top seven and four of the top 15 jerseys on

Tebow is a megastar in the Jacksonville area, a former standout at Nease High School and the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner at Florida. He also helped Urban Meyer win two national championships for the Florida Gators.

Tim Tebow will be trying to land a spot on the Jaguar roster and battling Chris Manhertz, James O’Shaughnessy, Luke Farrell and Tyler Davis on the roster.

Whatever you think of Tim Tebow, you must say, he makes a tremendous financial impact wherever he plays.

On The Other Hand

By: JJ Lanier news services

I think we’re all in agreement, except for maybe anyone that actually works for an NFL organization, that the NFL Combine is more show than substance. It’s similar to proclaiming that a particular movie is the greatest piece of cinema ever created, after having only seen the trailer.

Nevertheless, there is always one athlete who tends to steal the show with a quicker than expected 40-yard dash, or impressing the attendees with the amount of reps they do on the bench press. This year was no different, albeit for one minor exception.

Before the Combine, I didn’t know much about Shaquem Griffin. I knew he played for UCF and I was aware that he did not have a left hand; that was it.

I didn’t know if he was a good player or not. I had no idea if he had been born without a left hand, or if it had been amputated. Hell, I didn’t even have a clue as to what position he played, besides defense. I can promise you, I know now.

Besides impressing everyone with his 40 speed (4.38 seconds), or his 20 reps on the bench press using a prosthetic hand, Griffin is coming off two very successful seasons at Central Florida.

In 2016, his junior year, he was 1st team All-AAC and AAC Defensive Player of the Year. He followed that season up with a senior campaign that saw him receive not only 1st team All-AAC honors again, but AFCA 2nd team All- American, as well.

Over the two year span he combined for 166 tackles, 18.5 sacks, and 1 interception.

I’m not saying Griffin is going to be the next Ray Lewis, but he’s good enough to play on Sundays.

Throw in the fact he did all this without the use of a left hand, which was amputated when he was four years old, and it’s pretty incredible.

All that said, the more interesting question to me is, “Where will he get drafted?”

You can always count on two things happening at the draft: 1. A player is drafted higher than their talent level would suggest, based upon the Combine. 2. A player’s stock will drop, below where their talent level warrants, because of same ridiculous, inane reason. I could see either of those two scenarios playing out for Griffin.

Overall, I think he’s a late 2nd round/early 3rd talent, so it’ll be intriguing to see if a team reaches a bit and drafts him earlier than that, or if they are hesitant and he drops into the later rounds.

Like most draft picks, much of his success will depend on where he goes and who his coach will be. In the right situation, he could be a huge asset for whomever drafts him. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing him on the Panthers.

There will be a lot of feel good articles written about Griffin between now and the NFL Draft, and there should be. What he accomplished in his college career, and what he hopes to achieve at the next level, is something that should be applauded; not necessarily because of what he’s done, but because of what it took for him to get to this point.

I don’t normally get too sentimental about these type of things, but his story is certainly inspiring and I’m rooting for him.

At this point I have no idea what type of professional football career Griffin will wind up having, but so far he’s put out one hell of a teaser trailer.

Jason Bishop Show w Kipp Branch Feb 3

Jason Bishop Show w Kipp Branch Feb 3

Falcons Offseason

draytonBy: Drayton Hogarth news services

Unfortunately, the season did not end the way the Atlanta Falcons had envisioned. With all of the confetti falling to the ground, and the New England Patriots celebrating the historic come-from-behind win in the Super Bowl, the questions immediately began for Atlanta.

The franchise was already aware that Offensive Coordinator, Kyle Shannahan, would be moving on to become the next head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

The Falcons also knew that quarterbacks coach, Matt LaFleur, would become the Offensive Coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams. What took many by surprise was the major shuffle on the defensive side as well.

Coach Dan Quinn decided to remove Richard Smith as defensive coordinator and also dismissed defensive line coach, Bryan Cox. However, no matter who is running the offense or defense from the sidelines, what will determine the success of the Falcons’ future is who is lining up on the field. Let’s take a look at what the Falcons can do to take that final step next season.

On offense, there really aren’t many changes that need to be made. New offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, comes into a pristine offense that just set historic NFL records for scoring.

Matt Ryan is coming off of an MVP season, the running game is a two-headed monster with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Of course, the receiving corp is led by the incomparable Julio Jones, and the offensive line has a great mix of youth and experience.

Draft possibilities for the offense would include offensive guard Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame or Ethan Pocic out of LSU.

If Atlanta looks to the free agent market to bolster the offensive line, Green Bay’s TJ Lang could provide a quality upgrade on the interior line. Other than line depth or upgrades, this side of the ball is practically intact and ready to build on what is in place.

Obviously, this is the side of the ball that Dan Quinn and the front office want to improve upon given the coaching shakeup. There is still a need for quality pass rushers up front.

As we saw in the playoffs, when Atlanta was able to get pressure on Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady, things went amazingly well; when that pass rush wore down? Let’s not go there.

Vic Beasley should continue to progress and seemed to flourish learning from pass rush specialist Dwight Freeney. Atlanta should keep Freeney around for one more season, limit his snaps early to have him fresh for the late season and hopefully playoffs.

The upcoming draft has a solid group of potential sack masters, and Atlanta should prioritize defensive line. This could be a year for Atlanta to make another “Julio Jones” type of move and trade up early to make a run at Myles Garrett out of Texas A&M.

If not, stay at 31 and see if Charles Harris from Missouri or Derek Barnett are available in that draft spot.

In free agency, Atlanta could target New York Giant Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul is still a fierce pass rusher, despite his recent firework incident. Calais Campbell could be a possibility as defensive end or even move inside at 300 pounds. The Cardinals are not in a good spot when it comes to the salary cap and have other high priorities on the roster.

If Atlanta wants to make a move in the secondary, which will automatically get better with their best cover corner Desmond Trufant back healthy, the Falcons could take a run at Atlanta native and best safety in the game, Eric Berry from the Chiefs. It would be a huge boost for the team and a great chance for Berry to come back home and play for his hometown team.

Many teams are not always able to follow up great seasons with another run at the Super Bowl; injuries, chemistry, and sometimes just plain luck don’t always stick around.

However, with the franchise making immediate moves already, it shows that they were not satisfied just to get there. The team wants to take the next step, and right now it seems they are in great shape to do just that.

Ryan Tannehill Worth Miami Dolphins Money

jjBy: JJ Lanier news services

Last summer I wrote a piece revolving around the contract extensions given to Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill, focusing more on the Dolphins and how they really didn’t have a choice considering there weren’t a lot of alternatives for them to choose from.

I still stand by my opinion at the time I wrote it, but much like the dumbbells I own collecting dust underneath my bed, amongst my wife’s photo albums and lord knows what else, I wonder if Miami is starting to have buyer’s remorse?

What started out as a disastrous beginning to the season for Miami (1-4) has turned around somewhat of late. Their offensive line has been playing better, opening up some nice running lanes for Jay Ajayi, who has become one of the league’s leading rushers. Their defense is finally starting to live up to the exceedingly high expectations they were burdened with to start the season, and they are right in the middle of the playoff hunt.

I really want to jump on the Dolphins’ bandwagon and believe that not only will they make the playoffs, but make a run at New England once they get there. I have confidence in the ground game and feel better about their defense with every passing week, but I just can’t bring myself to jump aboard. Mainly, because of Tannehill.

It’s not that I think Tannehill is a horrible quarterback or anything, I just don’t have a lot of confidence in him. I mean, I like the fact I can buy a large cheese pizza from Little Caesar’s for $5. However, don’t confuse my enthusiasm that for so little money I can feed my kids and myself for a night while my wife is out with the fact that I’m actually going to enjoy that pizza. No matter how much I enjoy saving the money it’s not something I want to do with any type of regularity.

To be completely fair and honest though, I must admit my prognostications over the past two months have been anything but stellar. Seriously, take a look and you’ll see a losing streak that should put me on every bookie’s Christmas card list. So, don’t be surprised at all if Tannehill all of a sudden becomes the second coming of Dan Marino.

If you’re a Miami fan, you’d better hope that happens because you don’t have a plethora of other options, if it doesn’t.

Because Tannehill makes so much money it will be extremely difficult to find a trade partner if management decides they want to move him. And you can’t cut him since his release would end in what I would assume to be a huge salary cap hit. For better or worse, he is the Dolphins quarterback over the next few years.

I’m not saying Miami is anywhere near making such a drastic decision like either of those two options would be. But if you feel like you have a team that can make a playoff run (they do), and your quarterback may be the reason you are hesitant to look too far into it (he probably is), you’d like to have a little bit of flexibility, if needed.

Tannehill seems to have all the attributes that you look for in your starting quarterback, but for whatever reason just can’t put it all together on a consistent basis. If Miami is going to make a run at the playoffs they’ll need him to prove me wrong. If the past few months have taught me anything, my money is on Tannehill.

Carolina Panthers Blow Playoff Chances

jjBy: JJ Lanier news services

At this point in the NFL season you pretty much have an idea where every team stands.

Sure, there may be an anomaly like the Kansas City Chiefs last year, who started out 1-5 and then went on the win their final 10 games, but for the most part there aren’t too many big surprises.

In the case of the Carolina Panthers, they are basically the NFL’s version of HBO’s “Vinyl”. There are high expectations at the beginning of the season due to the person who gets top billing, his supporting cast, and the people behind the scenes who put everything together.

Only it turns out halfway through the season you realize you now spend your Sundays not only wishing for it all to be over, but you’re watching episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm instead because you need a good laugh.

Needless to say, the 2016 campaign that started out with hopes of another possible Super Bowl appearance more or less came to an end when Carolina lost to those aforementioned Chiefs, 17-20 this past weekend.

Sure, they’re not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs as of yet, but at 3-6 they might as well be.

The Kansas City loss was actually fairly apropos when you look at the Panthers season as a whole. Much like those lofty expectations to start the year, the Panthers had a lot going for them coming into the weekend.

After a two game winning streak, where it looked like the Panthers Defense was starting to come around and Jonathan Stewart returned to the backfield, things were starting to go their way.

Even though they entered the game 3-5 a win, coupled with what ended up being an Atlanta loss, would put Carolina in better position than you would normally expect for a sub .500 team. Well, obviously, that didn’t happen.

Carolina played like the better team for most of the game, but like in a number of losses they’ve had this year, they just couldn’t close it out in the end. I can almost count on the missed opportunities and mental mistakes taking place about as often as Bobby Cannavale’s character doing lines of coke, which was just about every week.

Even if Carolina were to avenge all three of their NFC South losses from earlier this year, which is a huge “if”, they still play both the Raiders and Seattle on the road, in back to back weeks, followed by a much improved San Diego Chargers team in Charlotte.

Throw in the Washington game and 8-8 is about the best any Panthers fan can realistically hope for. Even a record of 9-7 probably wouldn’t be enough for a playoff appearance.

Over the next two months there will be a lot of talk about “showing what they’re made of” and “getting a jumpstart on next year” which I’ve always thought was a load of crap. The Jaguars finished last season on a tear and was a popular pick to win the AFC South. How is that whole “jumpstart on next year” thing working out for them?

And putting forth a courageous effort? How is playing hard the remainder of this season going to have any impact on next year?