CALLED UP TO THE MINORS The NFL has made another notable shakeup at a key position, the “deep” running back corps being the only area of need for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last season they had Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant.
This year they have King, Samuels and running back rookie Phillips. That means third-year man Jamaal Charles may have to redshirt another season. He will be the next running back to step up, in their 4-3 alignment.
TEN PLAYERS IN THE NFL’S NEW RECRUITING CLASS
DE Jarran Reed, 6’2″ 282, Saint Louis
But as Pro Football Talk reported, the Bears came close to trading up to select him over San Francisco – it came down to sheer physicality – or to taking Oakland defensive tackle Maurice Hurst – who they signed just before the draft – at No 4. The Bears believed in Reed’s college tape but with a “significantly different skill set.”
“It is worth noting that 49ers general manager John Lynch, Bears general manager Ryan Pace and Dallas GM Jon Kitna, who coached Reed at Alabama, all rank among the top candidates for the head coaching job,” wrote PFT’s Mike Florio.
“The possibility that Reed could stay with the 49ers after he faces off against Pace in the real thing, only adds intrigue to an AFC matchup that will feature two promising players at the most important position on defense.”
Reed has 87 tackles, two sacks and nine pass deflections in 28 career games. He will be paired with a handful of veterans to transition from 3-4 defensive ends into 5-technique defensive tackles in an effort to stop run in front of an improving front four in San Francisco.
Miami’s training camp has been made easier for a team seeking to climb back to relevance by adding six-time All-Pro offensive lineman Josh Sitton. They may also have made a move to boost their dynamic defense by trading away last year’s leading tackler Kiko Alonso, but the Panthers are too tough to gain anything even from it.
LEGENDARY RUNNING BACK SHOWCASE In practice action, Saquon Barkley is already imposing his will on defenders as he continues to learn from his new offensive linemen.
In Houston, defensive end J.J. Watt said this past week that Watt-to-Garrett III was a “possibility”, but since rookie quarterback Derek Barnett is no stranger to the position, it’s unlikely the Texans will bite on trading for the Bills’ starting left tackle.
But Miami will likely make a play for Cousins. Many believe the Seahawks will likely be his next destination – the 6’7″, 258-pound speedster is seemingly in demand after Seattle traded for quarterback AJ McCarron earlier this week.
But Miami, Dallas and Philadelphia are also interested in the 29-year-old QB, though San Francisco, Buffalo and Tennessee are also in the mix.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported last month that Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins are among the quarterbacks the Dolphins have inquired about over the past few months. Ryan is a former No1 overall pick, while Cousins, a former 1st round pick, has yet to have another good season in the NFL.
SIDELINED Miami’s first game without franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill is a difficult one. He has been placed on injured reserve and the Dolphins open up their 2018 slate against the rival Dolphins on the road in Miami Gardens, Florida.
They could face former Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi in the first home game for Chicago (6’3″, 214 lbs), or Panthers’ RB Christian McCaffrey in the home opener for Carolina (6’0″, 220 lbs).