BBS Weekly Roundup (9/13)

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Weekly Roundup-September 13th 2019 will be publishing Weekly Roundup articles on a regular basis, and each piece will include coverage on a range of topics that span from the NFL to College Football.

Topics of discussion for this week:

  1. Antonio Brown’s troubling stint in Oakland, and why he will be on a short leash in New England. 

  2. How Lamar Jackson has played an integral part in transforming how scouts look at QB prospects.

  3. Can Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow end up as top 50 picks? 

Antonio Brown:

As a sixth round pick to the Pittsburgh steelers in 2010, Antonio Brown has proven himself as a top tier NFL WR due to his work ethic and precision on the field. The Hall of Fame caliber player was widely considered as the peak of his position, and was a menacing matchup nightmare who had spurts in which he was nearly impossible to defend. After his prolific relationship with the Steelers crumbled, he was shipped off to Oakland for a light package of picks. However, the not so steep price of a third and fifth round pick that Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden put together to snag AB will end up being like throwing money in the trash. After an embarrassing string of events that occurred in Brown’s short tenure with the team, the 4x All-Pro was released and then signed by the New England Patriots. 

The Antonio Brown saga in Oakland started off with a peculiar foot injury and a dispute over a helmet, then spun into an altercation with Raiders GM, Mike Mayock. And to add on to those occurrences, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, AB used social media to “accelerate his release”, and he ultimately got his way after he turned to Instagram to ask for himself to be cut. AB was later picked up by the Patriots, and just when we thought the drama of Antonio Brown would finally end, rape allegations surfaced and put Brown further under the microscope. 

Roger Goddell has not put AB on the commissioner's exempt list, and Brown will be available to play on Sunday versus the Miami Dolphins. But, AB’s recent issues brings up the question of how he will mesh with the “Patriot Way”. Is Antonio Brown ready to be all about football? Because if he’s not, he may be out the door sooner rather than later in New England. But, if Antonio Brown can work well with Brady and Belichick, we might end up seeing one of the best teams of the Patriot dynasty. It’s yet to be seen how this marriage of AB and the Pats will work out, but it is an extremely interesting equation that can have a profound impact in either a positive, or a negative way.  

Lamar Jackson: 

Baltimore’s first round pick in 2018 has been a polarizing player from an evaluative point of view. In my outlook of his game when he was coming out of Louisville, I highlighted how he will put the league on notice due to his ability to be a difference maker inside and outside of the pocket. I had him rated as my 31st overall prospect, and thought that he had the tools to be a successful NFL QB even though he had some areas that needed work. Lamar took LEAPS in development over the offseason, and showed immense growth in a 5 passing TD performance in a blowout win over the Dolphins last Sunday. 

Lamar Jackson is part of a growing trend of what i call “outside the box” passers, and I believe that his skillset will play a major role in changing how NFL teams view QB prospects down the road. NFL Defenses are becoming more and more explosively athletic, and since Defensive Coordinators are getting better at utilizing athletes to challenge opposing offenses, immobile pocket passers are becoming less and less valuable. General Managers will be looking at movement skills from passers more than ever, and while you don't need to be on Lamar Jackson’s level, functional movement skills are necessary to combat how NFL defenses are functioning. 

Lamar Jackson has shown that he is not your average Quarterback, and he has an extremely bright future that will catapult the Ravens into Super Bowl contention. Lamar Jackson is not a Running Back, folks. 

Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts can both be drafted in the top 50

LSU’s Joe Burrow and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts are the favorites to win the Heisman at this point, and are both legit pro prospects. Joe Burrow had an excellent performance vs the Texas Longhorns in which he showed off a slew of NFL traits. Burrow showed out with a 4 TD, 471 yard performance, while also making game-changing plays that eventually would push LSU over Texas. The subtleties of Burrows movement within the pocket to avoid defensive advances impressed me on film, and he also displayed the toughness that is required from a successful NFL passer. He has the anticipation to place the ball between zones, and can alternate throw speed and trajectory to reach his intended throw point. Burrow is an impressive player, and I am excited to see how he develops through the rest of the season. 

Jalen Hurts was not considered a legit pro Quarterback prospect during his time at Alabama, but he has looked the part under the tutelage of Lincoln Riley. Versus Houston, we saw Hurts accumulate massive amounts of yardage on the ground and in the air, while also showing improvements from a mechanical point of view. I want to see more from Hurts, but there has been plenty of encouraging signs.

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