2019 NFL Draft: Winners & Losers

Every team got better after the 2019 NFL Draft—or at least, that’s what every general manager, head coach and owner believes. But what teams truly may have helped their chances on the quest for a Super Bowl?

Indianapolis Colts: A — Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

“How about the job Chris Ballard has done as general manager of the Colts? He absolutely crushed the 2018 draft, finding stars and helping catapult Indy to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth after going 4-12 in 2017. This roster has a ton of young talent. Ballard also landed an extra second-rounder from the Jets in the Sam Darnold trade last year, and that pick ended up at the very top of Round 2 in 2019. That’s good team-building, and the Colts had some very specific needs to fill this weekend. How did Ballard do? I love this class from top to bottom.

Ballard moved out of Round 1, picking up an extra 2020 second-rounder in going from No. 26 to No. 46, which meant Indy had three second-round picks. And I really liked all four of Indy’s Day 2 picks. I was surprised that cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (No. 34) made it out of the first round, but only one corner went in the first 32 picks. He is a little raw, but I think he’ll start immediately. Wide receiver Parris Campbell (No. 59) is a burner, but he also caught 90 passes last season and improved every year. He’ll play some slot and also scorch corners out wide. Bobby Okereke (No. 89) was my fourth-ranked inside linebacker, and he could compete with Anthony Walker for that starting spot. Defensive end Ben Banogu(No. 49) is a really good fit in Matt Eberflus’ 4-3 scheme.

That’s all three needs filled on Day 2. There were also some intriguing additions on Day 3, particularly in safety Khari Willis (No. 109), who I ranked as my No. 50 overall prospect. He broke up 10 passes last season and will be an impact special-teams contributor. Safety Marvell Tell III (No. 144) is a good athlete with a 6-foot-2 frame. Javon Patterson (No. 246) made 39 college starts at guard but will likely move to center.

Ballard & Co. have done it again. This is my favorite draft class.”

Cincinnati Bengals: A- — Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

“It’s tough to know what to think about the Bengals in 2019. While longtime coach Marvin Lewis is gone and Zac Taylor is now in charge, Mike Brown still runs things. That means the team is going to build through the draft and not worry much about free agency. In fact, Cincinnati didn’t make many notable moves, other than parting ways with Vontaze Burfict and re-signing its own guys. After a 6-10 finish last season, is this team better?

This is not a sexy class, but it’s solid throughout. Jonah Williams (No. 11) is a no-brainer immediate starter, either at guard or tackle. Germaine Pratt (No. 72) is a converted safety who will likely end up at outside linebacker in Cincy’s 4-3. The versatility makes it good value. I didn’t love Ryan Finley‘s tape as much as Todd McShay — he gave Finley a second-round grade — but Andy Daltonshouldn’t be locked in long term, so this is another option for Taylor if Dalton underwhelms. To get Finley at No. 104 is solid.

Drew Sample (No. 52) is a really good blocking tight end, but even he didn’t expect to go in the second round. That was high with more complete tight ends available. Renell Wren (No. 125) had an up-and-down career for the Sun Devils, but he impressed at the Senior Bowl and has some intriguing athletic traits. I’m intrigued by the Day 3 running backs with Trayveon Williams (No. 182) and Rodney Anderson (No. 211). Anderson is one of the most talented backs in the class, but he simply couldn’t stay on the field. Williams is going to help spell Joe Mixon in the receiving game. Jordan Brown (No. 223) is a good corner for the seventh round.

Williams and Sample are the only surefire early starters, but there’s some upside with Finley and the Day 3 running backs. This group will help Taylor navigate his first year on the job.”

Other Winners

Buffalo Bills — Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated

“Sometimes you play the board, sometimes the board plays you, and sometimes the board drops your way and you don’t have to do much of anything at all. While Ed Oliver wasn’t going to fit in every defense, he fits perfectly in Buffalo. The fact that versatile offensive lineman Cody Ford was available in the second was simply kismet. While drafting a receiver would have placed a cherry on top of the sundae, this is a draft good for both coach and quarterback.”

Denver Broncos — Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated

“We tend to over-praise when a team’s board aligns with its biggest needs, but I didn’t think there was a way John Elway could have played the first round better. Joe Flacco adores athletic tight ends who can get open in intermediate space, then he gets a quality starter in round two with Dalton Risner and Drew Lock, who has much less pressure than previous Elway draft picks.”

Kyler Murray — Conor Orr, Sports Illustrated

“There’s a good chance he knew about this, otherwise why make the leap with such assurance? Either way, Murray goes from a Double-A bus to nowhere, to assured 40-man roster, to No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. I don’t think there are many players who would continually challenge the draft industrial complex in two sports like Murray did and still come out ahead.”



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Road to Super Bowl 53: NFC West Preview

A change at the top in what looks to be promising future for the entirety of the NFC West headlined the 2017 NFL season. And despite faltering in the playoffs, the future for most of the NFC West appears to be bright, with one of the hottest new teams setting their sights on Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta.

Los Angeles Rams

2017 Record: 11-5, NFC West Champions

The surprise of the 2017 NFL season, rookie head coach Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams jumped out to a 7-2 start on the season before cooling off to finish at 11-5. And despite losing in the Wild Card round to the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons, fans appear to be impressed with what the Rams produced.. and they didn’t stop there.

Many are crowning the Rams as the ‘winners’ of the 2018 NFL Free Agency period, bringing in key additions (and big names) like defensive backs Marcus Peters (Kansas City), Sam Shields (Green Bay) and Aqib Talib (Denver), defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (Miami) and wide receiver Brandin Cooks (New England). With such big names, and a seemingly successful campaign in 2017, expectations are rightfully high as we approach the beginning of a new season.



Seattle Seahawks

2017 Record: 9-7

Opposite of their division-rivals in 2017, the Seattle Seahawks had a seemingly ‘down’ year in 2017, finishing at 9-7 and missing the playoffs.

The Seahawks weren’t content with trying for different results with the same team, opting to reload the roster through free agency with a slew of one-year contracts, including wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown, defensive pass rusher Barkevious Mingo, and boosting their secondary by signing defensive backs Mo Alexander,  and Dontae Johnson.

Fans will be left adjusting to a massively-different look for the Seahawks on defense, featuring the departures of staples such as cornerback Richard Sherman, who signed with the division-rival 49ers, and safety Kam Chancellor, who announced his retirement in late June.



Arizona Cardinals

2017 Record: 8-8

In what seemed to be an odd year for the Cardinals, 2017 saw the team win and lose nearly every-other game, losing key players such as quarterback Carson Palmer to injury once again. And in the 2018 offseason, the Cardinals saw plenty of change.

Head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer respectively announced their retirements early in the offseason, setting in motion a season of change in all aspects for Big Red. Bringing in quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon to battle for the starting spot, and drafting rookie quarterback Josh Rosen out of UCLA, ensures the team has plenty of competition in the QB room. The team also added some offensive weapons in the receiving corps, signing former Dallas Cowboy Brice Butler and drafting the talented Christian Kirk out of Texas A&M.



San Francisco 49ers

2017 Record: 6-10

Quite possibly on of the more intriguing storylines to watch heading into the 2018 NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers started the 2017 season 0-9 and were seemingly playing for the draft. However, a mid-season trade their newly-minted franchise quarterback in former Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo helped spark the team’s wining 6 of their last 7 games to finish at 6-10.

Aside from trading for their franchise-quarterback, the 49ers did plenty in the 2018 offseason to help build around him, bringing in playmakers like former Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon, securing the offensive line and signing former division-rival cornerback Richard Sherman on defense. In the draft, the 49ers, grabbed a solid offensive line presence in Notre Dame right tackle Mike McGlinchey in the first round before grabbing Washington wide receiver and playmaker Dante Pettis in the second.


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2018 NFL Draft Winners, Losers & Maybes

With April’s 2018 NFL Draft officially in the rearview mirror, teams are beginning to set their sights on Atlanta for the pinnacle, Super Bowl 53 in 2019. What teams walked away from the draft winners, losers and maybes?


Arizona Cardinals: On the hunt for a franchise quarterback after the retirement of Carson Palmer, the team managed to not only move up five spots by giving up just a third- and fifth-round pick, but they also manage to snag one of the consensus top three quarterbacks on the board. Former UCLA standout Josh Rosen, who has arguably been one of the more outspoken quarterbacks in this draft, fell right into their lap. And general manager Steve Kim wasn’t done adding wide receiver Christian Kirk out of Texas A&M, and a solid, versatile offensive lineman in Mason Cole.

Indianapolis Colts: For second-year general manager Chris Ballard, the emphasis for the Colts seemed to be clear in this draft; solidify the front lines on both sides of the ball. Ballard took arguably the best physical prospect in this draft, Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson, when the offensive linemen fell to them at #6, and continued the run, grabbing Auburn’s Braden Smith in the second round. Ballard’s moves proved to be fruitful for the team’s draft positioning, with five picks in the first two rounds, and the team used the remaining three to round out the defense with linebacker Darius Leonard(LB, South Carolina State), Kemoko Turay (DE, Rutgers), and Tyquan Lewis (DE, Ohio State).


Oakland Raiders: In a draft that many expected to see the Raiders and new head coach Jon Gruden stand out, the team was seemingly quiet. After starting the draft dropping five spots and only receiving a third- and fifth-round pick in return from the Arizona Cardinals, the team took offensive tackle Kolton Miller out of UCLA. While Miller is a solid prospect, the Raiders have gaping needs on the defensive side of the ball, and plenty of defensive talent was on the board. The Raiders then flipped their third-round pick to the Steelers for controversial wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who, though has tremendous upside, has had his fair share of controversies.

New Orleans Saints: Although the Saints were able to grab one of the top defensive prospects in this draft in UTSA’s Marcus Davenport, the team paid a pretty penny to grab him, giving up two first-round picks to acquire him. Pair that with the team’s lack of a second-round pick in this year’s draft, and the Saints ultimately give up two first round picks to come away with just one player in the first two rounds, and a player who, though raw, has solid potential at best.


Cleveland Browns: The jury is still out. While the Cleveland Browns held both the #1 and #4 overall picks in this year’s draft, it felt as though they still managed to shock the country and experts alike, taking Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and following that up with a first-round stunner in Ohio State defensive back Denzel Ward at #4. Both players have tremendous upside and athletic ability, but because they’re the Cleveland Browns, we’ll wait to judge this draft until we see the finished products.

New York Jets: One could argue that the New York Jets were one of the winners of the draft, given the team’s having USC quarterback Sam Darnold falling to them at #3, despite many considering Darnold the top quarterback prospect in the draft class. However, Darnold’s 22 turnovers (13 interceptions, nine fumbles) have to leave Jets fans skeptical of Darnold becoming the quarterback of the franchise. But the real loss comes at the price the Jets paid for Darnold, giving up the #6 pick, as well as the #37 and #49 overall picks, and a 2019 second-round pick, just to move up three spots. And as the draft began to unfold, it became increasingly clear a quarterback would have probably been available at #6, albeit hypothetical.



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2018 NFL Expert Mock Draft: Picks 11-15

As teams get set for the month of April, the next step on the journey toward Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta involves invigorating the team’s rosters with an infusion of youth; the 2018 NFL Draft. We’re gathering some of the top experts from around the NFL world and taking a look at who they predict will go where, continuing with picks 11-15.


#11: Miami Dolphins

CBS Sports, Bleacher Report: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia | NFL.com: Vita Vea, DT, Washington

“The Dolphins have been showing interest in Smith, one of the draft’s top linebackers. He’d be the long-term stud the team needs next to Raekwon McMillan, and the Dolphins could make him the immediate starter at WILL and look to trade Kiko Alonso to another team where he’d be a better fit. They can also think about getting out from Alonso’s deal next offseason if nothing else.” – R.J. White, CBS Sports


#12: Buffalo Bills

CBS Sports (traded to Cleveland Browns): Vita Vea, DT, Washington | Bleacher Report (traded to Indianapolis Colts): Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA | NFL.com: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

“After trading back, again, the Indianapolis Colts will gain pick Nos. 12, 22 and 96 in this hypothetical deal with the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the No. 6 spot.At No. 12, Ballard and Co. still get a top-notch player who fills a huge need. Marcus Davenport is raw, coming from tiny Texas-San Antonio. But he showed during the season, at the Senior Bowl and the combine that he’s the type of athletic rarity who can make the needed improvements to make an early NFL impact.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report


#13: Washington Redskins

CBS Sports: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia | Bleacher Report: Vita Vea, DT, Washington | NFL.com: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia


“Nothing wrong with more speed being added on defense, and Smith fits the bill. He’s often favorably compared to Atlanta MLB Deion Jones due to his build, and ability to play FAST.” – Charles Davis, NFL.com


#14: Green Bay Packers

CBS Sports, NFL.com: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA | Bleacher Report: Josh Jackson, DB, Iowa

“An offseason of change has the Green Bay Packers looking like a new team heading into the draft. But that new team still has holes to fill at pass-rusher, wide receiver and cornerback.Iowa’s Josh Jackson didn’t help his cause with a 4.56-second 40-yard-dash at the combine, but his play shows a cornerback with ball skills, technique and toughness. He’s a natural fit in defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s scheme, and he and Kevin King give them one heck of a young cornerback duo.” –  Matt Miller, Bleacher Report


#15: Arizona Cardinals

CBS Sports: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville | Bleacher Report: Mike Hughes, DB, UCF | NFL.com: Connor Williams, G, Texas

“Jackson isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the Cardinalshave an offensive coordinator in Mike McCoy who can build the offense to the dynamic prospect’s strengths. Jackson isn’t ever going to be the best passer in the league, but good luck defending a running game that features David Johnson and the threat of the QB running at any time. The Cardinals would ideally trade up for one of the top four QBs, but with so many holes on the roster, they can’t afford to sacrifice picks.” – R.J. White, CBS Sports

To see full mock drafts:

For Matt Miller and Bleacher Report’s full 2018 NFL Mock Draft, click here.

For Charles Davis and NFL.com’s full 2018 Mock Draft, click here.

For R.J. White and CBS Sports’ full 2018 NFL Mock Draft, click here.



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2018 Super Bowl Countdown: Super Bowl XLIII

With Wild Card weekend here and ready to roll, we’re looking back at Super Bowl XLIII between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals.

February 1, 2009

A total of 70,774 fans were on hand to catch Super Bowl XLIII between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals, an instant classic in its own right. The Steelers would walk away victors, a 27-23 thriller over the Cardinals, in the game played once again at Tampa, Florida’s Raymond James Stadium. The victory would give the Steelers their sixth Super Bowl title in franchise history, the first franchise to win the coveted Lombardi Trophy six times.

Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes would take home Super Bowl MVP honors, finishing the game with nine catches for 131 yards and the go-ahead touchdown, a toe-dragging dramatic touchdown that would go on to be the iconic image taken away from this Super Bowl.

The National Anthem for Super Bowl XLIII would be performed by Jennifer Hudson, and halftime entertainment by the legendary Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Super Bowl XLIII would go down as the most watched Super Bowl in history (to date), with over 151 million viewers tuning into NBC to see Al Michaels, John Madden, Andrea Kremer and Alex Flanagan handle broadcasting duties. The cost of a 30-second commercial spot would continue to rise, cashing in at anywhere between $2.4 million to $3 million per commercial.



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Colts Weekly Update: vs Arizona Cardinals

After a disappointing Week 1 performance in Los Angeles, the Indianapolis Colts headed home to take on the Arizona Cardinals in their 2017 home opener at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 2.

Indianapolis Colts 2017 Season

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Defense Wins the Day

Despite a 16-13 overtime loss to the Cardinals, this Week 2 matchup featured plenty of positive takeaways and “moral victories.” The youthful, new-look defense, assembled by new general manager Chris Ballard, showed flashes of greatness early in this game, and eventually it just seemed the inexperience ran the defense out of gas late.

Safety Malik Hooker, the 2017 first round draft pick out of Ohio State, recorded his first interception, picking off Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer in the red zone on a play where Hooker seemed to fool the veteran QB. Rookie cornerbacks Quincy Wilson and Nate Hairston shined, with Hairston recording a sack off a corner blitz late in the game. The Colts defense was able to adequately pressure Palmer, getting to the quarterback four times, sacks by Hairston, linebacker John Simon, and defensive tackles Al Woods and Hassan Ridgeway.

Jacoby Brissett is the Real Deal

When the Colts traded former first round pick Phillip Dorsett late in the preseason to the New England Patriots for quarterback Jacoby Brissett, it was becoming clear the team was solidifying Andrew Luck’s backup position for the long term. In the short term, Brissett proved he has what it takes to give this team an opportunity to compete while the team awaits Luck’s rehabilitation from offseason shoulder surgery.

Brissett completed 20 of his 37 passes for 216 yards on Sunday, far and above the best QB performance for the Colts thus far in this young season. And despite throwing an overtime interception that would lead to Arizona’s game-winning field goal, Brissett put the team in a position to not only compete, but win.. something the Colts have been looking for in an adequate backup QB since Matt Hasselbeck.

Looking Forward

The Colts stay home for Week 3, with the Cleveland Browns (0-2) heading into town. Quarterback Andrew Luck has once again been ruled out for this week’s upcoming game, still working with trainers and doctors to get cleared for practice. The Browns look to be without the #1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Myles Garrett, as Garrett is recovering from an ankle sprain.




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Indianapolis Colts Season Preview: Weeks 1-4

As we embark upon the quietest months of the NFL’s offseason, teams get to work behind the scenes preparing for the road to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. We’re taking a look at the Indianapolis Colts 2017 schedule, the marquee games, matchups and moments looking forward.

Week 1: Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Rams – Sept. 10, 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)

The Colts will travel to Los Angeles, California for the first time in decades to face the LA Rams, the newly-relocated team that formerly called St. Louis, Missouri home. Los Angeles is boasting a new head coach and a re-vamped roster, offering the also renovated Colts roster their first test of the 2017 NFL season. Fans will get a good early window into the re-tooled Colts defense as one of the best running backs in the entire league, Todd Gurley III, will look to lead the offensive attack for the Rams, lining up behind second-year quarterback Jared Goff.

Week 2: Arizona Cardinals @ Indianapolis Colts – Sept. 17, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

A homecoming of sorts in Week 2, as former Colts offensive coordinator (and interim head coach) Bruce Arians leads his Arizona Cardinals into Lucas Oil Stadium for the home opener. Arians led the Colts to a 9-3 record in 2012 while current head coach Chuck Pagano underwent cancer treatment, instrumental in helping lead the team to their 2012 playoff berth. This game marks the second matchup between the two as head coaches, with the Cardinals taking a 40-11 victory against the Colts in 2013.

Week 3: Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts – Sept. 24, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

The #1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Myles Garrett, makes his way to Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 3, in a game that Colts fans hope to seldom hear his name called. This will be the third time the Browns and Colts have met during current head coach Chuck Pagano’s tenure, with the Colts winning both previous meetings. Who will be lining up at quarterback for the Browns remains to be seen, but Colts fans hope quarterback Andrew Luck can take advantage of the Browns defense that helped lead the team to a 1-15 record in 2016.

Week 4: Indianapolis Colts @ Seattle Seahawks – Oct. 1, 8:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

Arguably one of the most anticipated matchups of the 2017 NFL season, the two brightest (QB) members of the 2012 draft class square off in a Sunday Night Football battle. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck holds a 1-0 advantage over Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, a 34-28 victory in 2013. This time, however, the teams meet at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, considered one of the most hostile environments in all the NFL, a game that is sure to test the Colts in communication, and a difficult matchup for the team’s young defense.

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2017 NFL Draft: Big Winners

With the focal points of the 2017 NFL offseason well behind us, teams are beginning to shift their focuses towards the elusive Lombardi Trophy and Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. Which teams walked away from April’s 2017 NFL Draft as the biggest winners and most improved, according to the experts?

Dallas Cowboys – Dane Brugler, CBS Sports

“The surprise team of the 2016-17 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys, focused the majority of their NFL Draft selections on the defensive side of the ball, utilizing defensive players with seven of their nine draft picks. “While the first round pick was solid — not great, not bad — it was the value on days two and three that qualifies the Cowboys for this list. Dallas revamped the secondary with Awuzie and Lewis on day two, adding White later in the sixth round. But the best value was landing Woods in the sixth. The Cowboys traded a future fifth round pick to get back into this draft and get the former Louisiana Tech safety as they try to recreate last year’s outstanding value when they grabbed corner Anthony Brown in the sixth round.” – Dane Brugler, CBS Sports

Arizona Cardinals – Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report

“The Arizona Cardinals, much like the Dallas Cowboys, utilized the historically deep defensive selections in the 2017 NFL Draft to bolster the defensive side of the football. “The Cardinals defense gets even nastier with the addition of Haason Reddick and Budda Baker. Arizona added some nice upside prospects on Day 3.” – Kristopher Knox, Bleacher Report

Minnesota Vikings – Dan Kadar, SB Nation

“Despite trading away their first-round selection in the 2016 offseason to the Philadelphia Eagles, a trade that brought in quarterback Sam Bradford, the Minnesota Vikings managed to find great value with the picks they did have. “(The Vikings) still managed to get first-round value in running back Dalvin Cook. I think he can be a star in the NFL, and trading a fourth-round pick to get him was worth it. On the field, he’s a playmaker who runs with speed, shiftiness, and enough power. The Vikings needed help on the offensive line, and they got it in Ohio State’s Pat Elflein. Whether it’s guard or center, he’s a starter on the line. He’s a tough and instinctive blocker who could become one of the leaders on the team.” – Dan Kadar, SB Nation

San Francisco 49ers – Eric Single, Sports Illustrated

“The San Francisco 49ers managed to trade all around the draft and stockpile picks, both for this draft and the future, under rookie general manager John Lynch. “Maybe don’t mess with the new guy? With the second pick in a wide-open draft, Lynch knew he had the league in the palm of his hand, and the moment wasn’t too big for him. San Francisco’s first-year GM got the Bears to pull the trigger on a costly trade up for Mitchell Trubisky, then landed a player the 49ers needed at pick No. 3 anyway in Stanford star Solomon Thomas, and then jumped back into Round 1 to get another top-five talent in Reuben Foster. Not bad for a greenhorn—we’ll just look past that QB depth chart for a year.” – Eric Single, Sports Illustrated

For a full recap of winners and losers from Dane Brugler of CBS Sports, click here.

For a full recap of winners and losers from Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, click here.

For a full recap of winners and losers from Dan Kadar of SB Nation, click here.

For a full recap of winners and losers from Eric Single of Sports Illustrated, click here.

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2017 Expert NFL Mock Draft (#11-15)

With NFL teams fine tuning their strategies for the upcoming season, sights are set on Super Bowl LII in Houston in 2018. A look at some of the expert predictions for the teams selecting #11-15 in this months NFL Draft from Philadelphia.

#11: New Orleans Saints

CBS Sports, Bleacher Report: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan | MMQB: Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford

“Here’s all you need to know: 30th, 32nd, 31st — that’s where the Saints’ defense has finished the last three years. So it stands to reason that they continue to add defensive playmakers early in the draft, which is why defensive end Taco Charlton — who has drawn comparisons to Chandler Jones — is the pick here.” – Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

#12: Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)

CBS Sports: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama | Bleacher Report: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama | MMQB: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

“Securing a starting quarterback and a generational talent like Garrett would be a home run of a draft for the Browns’ front office. Don’t mess this up, Sashi Brown. Among the top QB prospects, it feels like Kizer is the guy talked about least. He has traits to be a strong pocket passer and is the biggest of the first-round candidates.” – Emily Kaplan, MMQB

#13: Arizona Cardinals

CBS Sports: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington | Bleacher Report: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan | MMQB: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

“The Cardinals need help in the secondary and Jones is a rangy cornerback who plays like a receiver when the ball is in the air. He’s been compared to Marcus Peters, the Chiefs’ 2015 first-round pick.” – Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

#14: Philadelphia Eagles (From Minnesota)

CBS Sports: John Ross, WR, Washington | Bleacher Report: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson | MMQB: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

“Williams is a specialist in traffic and excels at making the tough grade with defenders all around him. He’s not the fastest player in the class by any means, but he is the best overall wide receiver on my board. His route-running, size and length all add up to making him a true No. 1 wideout prospect.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

#15: Indianapolis Colts

CBS Sports: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee | Bleacher Report: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri | MMQB: Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama

“One of the reasons Chris Ballard was attracted to the Indy GM job was Andrew Luck. So Ballard must do everything he can to ensure that Luck is in the best position to succeed—and for Indianapolis, that means addressing an Achilles heel: the offensive line. Pair Robinson with his former Crimson Tide teammate Ryan Kelly, and the Colts are getting back on track.” – Emily Kaplan, MMQB

Full 2017 NFL Draft 1st-Round Mock Drafts.

For Ryan Wilson’s CBS Sports mock draft, click here.

For Matt Miller’s Bleacher Report mock draft, click here.

For Emily Kaplan’s MMQB mock draft, click here.

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NFL Division Preview: NFC West

The NFC West, much like the other divisions, seems to be a two-horse race. Here are the main contenders on the divisions road to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

DivisionPreview (6)

Last Year (2015): Arizona Cardinals (13-3), Seattle Seahawks (10-6), Los Angeles (St. Louis) Rams (7-9), San Francisco 49ers (5-11)

The Arizona Cardinals were the surprise of the 2015 regular season, finishing 13-3 under third-year head coach Bruce Arians and a finally healthy Carson Palmer. Although the Cardinals did not make any big splashes in the offseason, they did get a steal in the NFL Draft in Mississippi’s Robert Nkemdiche on the defensive front.

The Seattle Seahawks experienced a regression in 2015, and with some of the offseason departures, the team will be sporting a new look in 2016. Running back Marshawn Lynch rode off into retirement and the young wide receiver Ricardo Lockette was forced into retirement due to injury.

The newly relocated Los Angeles Rams finished their final season in St. Louis at a familiar 7-9 in 2015. However, the Rams traded a king’s ransom in draft picks to move up to #1 in the 2016 NFL Draft, selecting quarterback Jared Goff out of California. The Rams are looking to finally build around a young quarterback after the disappointing and injury-riddled career of Sam Bradford.

The San Francisco 49ers can be described with one word: mess. After firing head coach Jim Tomsula after just one year at the helm, the 49ers hired controversial former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. Following an offseason that saw many trade discussions and rumors involving quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and uncertainty at the QB position.

Prediction; a two-horse race between the Cardinals and Seahawks, with a much improved LA Rams team fighting for a glimmer of hope. The 49ers sit alone at the bottom of the conference, let alone the division.

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