Posts Tagged With: William Jackson III

Raiders’ Joseph first DB among NFL’s top 100 rookies

Karl Joseph

Karl Joseph

The NFL Network is in the process of gradually revealing its ranking of the league’s top 100 players for 2016, airing a new episode each week that unveils 10 players at a time.

The reveal of the NFL’s list of the league’s top 100 rookies for 2016 was less ceremonial. The whole thing landed quietly all at once as an NFL.com article last week.

Surprisingly, the second-ranked rookie was former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, whose talent is unquestioned but whose injury history allowed him to fall to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the draft. Since the top 100 rookies list is based on who the experts think will make the biggest impact next season — and because some observers still doubt whether Jack will be able to play next season — it was an interesting choice. Continue reading

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Ramsey first of seven DBs picked in NFL draft’s first round

Jalen Ramsey

The 2016 NFL Draft started with a pair of quarterbacks, and toward the end of Thursday’s first round, another QB provided the most authentically emotional moment of the night.

Then there was the twisting, turning story line involving a 315-pound offensive lineman and some social media skullduggery that sent him on a Warren Sapp-like slide down the draft board.

And added to the mix were some crazy red-carpet outfits, one adorable scene-stealing toddler, a handful of unexpected picks and some interesting trades.

Almost lost in all of that was the fact that no position group had a better first round than the defensive backs, a group headlined by No. 5 overall pick Jalen Ramsey, the Florida State corner-slash-safety who is headed to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Continue reading

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NFL Draft 2016 preview: Defensive backs

Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey

In the 80-year history of the NFL Draft, only once has a defensive back been taken with the No. 1 overall pick. That was all the way back in 1956, when the Pittsburgh Steelers took safety Gary Glick out of Colorado A&M (now known as Colorado State). Glick, who was also a kicker, played seven years in the league with the Steelers, Colts, Chargers and Washington. He finished his career with 14 interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries.

Six decades later, 2016 was shaping up to be the year in which a defensive back went No. 1 in the draft again.

The league was ready for it. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

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Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama (NCAA): Jones is probably a better kick returner than cornerback, which says a lot about his electrifying return ability since he is a starter for arguably the best defense in college football. In the Crimson Tide’s 38-0 waxing of Michigan State in the national championship playoff semifinal, Jones helped keep the Spartans scoreless with a second-quarter interception deep in ‘Bama territory. Then the senior CB/KR got into the end zone himself with a 57-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Shiloh Keo, FS, Broncos (NFL): Old, injured and discarded, QB Peyton Manning coming off the bench to lead Denver to a 27-20 victory over San Diego that clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC was something out of a Hollywood script. But that feel-good story wouldn’t have happened if Keo — a Hollywood-worthy underdog in his own right who was unemployed just a few weeks ago — hadn’t gotten an interception late in the fourth quarter to set up the Broncos’ go-ahead score. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

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Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

Demetrious Cox, S, Michigan State (NCAA): Following its 39-38 loss to Nebraska on Nov. 7, the Michigan State defense allowed an average of 12.5 points in its last four games to secure a spot in college football’s national championship playoff. In Saturday’ 16-13 victory over previously-undefeated Iowa in the Big Ten title game, Cox made his defensive contribution with seven tackles and an interception in the end zone off a deflected pass that he literally snatched off a teammate’s back.

Rontez Miles, FS, Jets (NFL): So much was made about star CB Darrelle Revis having to miss Sunday’s Jets-Giants game and whether the Jets’ secondary could handle Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. They didn’t, as OBJ caught six balls for 149 yards and a touchdown, but did good enough against QB Eli Manning and the Giants’ other receivers to help the Jets to a 23-20 overtime victory. Miles’ interception on a fourth down in the fourth quarter in the red zone kept the Giants from scoring a potentially backbreaking TD and set up a key field goal for the Jets. Continue reading

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Pick Six: Players of the Week

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Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:

Eric Berry, FS, Chiefs (NFL): He had already beaten cancer, made it back to the NFL, and made it back into Kansas City’s starting lineup. In the Chiefs’ 23-13 win over the Steelers on Sunday, Berry reached another milestone when he grabbed his first interception since being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last December. The three-time Pro Bowler also had a team-high six tackles.

Lance Austin, DB, Georgia Tech (NCAA): Last week, it was Michigan State freshman DB Jalen Watts-Jackson whose unbelievable special-teams play — a 38-yard touchdown return of a botched punt as time expired to beat Michigan — seemed like a lock for college football’s play of the year. This week, it was Georgia Tech sophomore Austin who made another miracle happen. The Yellow Jackets were tied with Florida State with six seconds left as the favored Seminoles lined up for a 56-yard field goal. The kick was blocked, and Austin picked it up. Seventy-eight yards later, with no time on the clock, he crossed the goal line to give Tech a wild 22-16 victory. Continue reading

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