Detroit Lions: Who Will Be the Starting RB?

The Detroit Lions’ ground game has been a disappointment for years.

Detroit hasn’t had a player rush for 100 yards in a game since 2013, and it ranked last in rushing in 2017 (76.3 yards per game). The Lions took steps to change that in 2018.

In the draft, the Lions spent a first-round pick on center Frank Ragnow. They also signed veteran back LeGarrette Blount and drafted Kerryon Johnson in the second round. Ragnow will help spring a backfield that now includes Blount, Johnson, 2015 second-round pick Ameer Abdullah and receiving back Theo Riddick.nike nfl jerseys cheap

New head coach Matt Patricia and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter now need to figure out who will be the team’s primary ball-carrier.

It probably won’t be Riddick, who is one of the league’s top receiving backs but isn’t a punishing runner. Detroit should hope it isn’t Abdullah, who has averaged just 3.8 yards per carry over the course of his three-year career. If Johnson is ready to step in right away, he could be the top back. Blount, who is an early-down battering ram, could also take the role.

Getting the backfield situated during the offseason will go a long way toward improving Detroit’s rushing attack. In turn, that should bring balance to the offense and take some pressure off quarterback Matthew Stafford.

We saw how unbalanced the Green Bay Packers were last season when Aaron Rodgers went down with a broken collarbone. Green Bay struggled to win without him, and not just because Rodgers has carried the offense for years.nfl jerseys cheap nike

The defense, which allowed 24.0 points per game (26th in the NFL), failed to make game-changing plays or to shut down opposing offenses. Without Rodgers there to rack up points on offense, Green Bay crumbled.nfl nike jerseys cheap

The Packers took steps to improve their defense this offseason. They brought back cornerback Tramon Williams and added defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. They drafted cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson in the first and second round, respectively, and they added Oren Burks in Round 3.nike nfl jersey cheap

The Packers also replaced defensive coordinator Dom Capers with Mike Pettine.

Will these changes catapult Green Bay’s defense into the top five? Perhaps not, but the Packers should expect some significant improvement on that side of the ball in 2018.

In OTAs, the Packers will start to get an idea of just how much defensive improvement they can expect. cheap nfl jerseys nike

Everybody Overlooked Telvin Smith and Deion Jones

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Lesson to be learned: Don’t sweat size

A total of 143 players came off the board before the Jaguars selected linebacker Telvin Smith in the fifth round of the 2014 draft,new nike nfl jerseys cheap  even though in hindsight Smith should have been a first-round selection. Four years into his career, the Florida State product has 452 tackles, seven interceptions, 6.5 sacks and four forced fumbles and is coming off a Pro Bowl appearance at the age of 26.

A total of 51 players came off the board before the Falcons selected linebacker Deion Jones in the second round of the 2016 draft, buy nike nfl jerseys cheap even though in hindsight Jones should have been a top-10 selection. Two years into his career, the LSU product has 244 tackles, six interceptions and two defensive touchdowns and is coming off a Pro Bowl appearance at the age of 23.

Good players are overlooked in every draft, but the mistake teams appeared to make with Smith and Jones (and to a lesser extend Aaron Donald, for that matter) is they discounted those players based on their size. At 6’3″, 218 pounds and 6’1″, 222 pounds, respectively, Smith and Jones are two of the smallest linebackers in the NFL.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal  But they’re also two of the best young defensive players in the league, along with undersized and underdrafted front-seven defenders Eric Kendricks (taken 45th overall in 2015), Kwon Alexander (taken 124th overall that same year) and Donald (taken 13th overall in 2014).

Time and again, “undersized” players have defied expectations by making up for that lack of size with drive, range, speed and playmaking ability. But teams continue to pass on players out of fear they won’t be able to hold up at the next level.

In less than a week, we’ll find out if 6’1″, 236-pound Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith will become the latest victim of that stigma, because Smith has top-10 talent but lacks top-10 size.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Heyman | Mark Reynolds has deal with Nationals

The Washington Nationals have a deal in place with infielder Mark Reynolds, sources tell FanRag Sports. Reynolds played mostly first base for the Colorado Rockies last season. Reynolds hit .267 with 30 home runs, 97 RBI and 82 runs scored in Colorado last season, but went the entire offseason without a deal.
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The Nationals are currently playing Ryan Zimmerman at first base but he’s off to a slow start this season. The veteran came into Thursday with a .111 batting average and one home run. While Nats people say they aren’t worried about Zimmerman, he’s off to a slow start after barely playing in spring training for unknown reasons.

Zimmerman and Reynolds were teammates at the University of Virginia.USATSI_10294760cheap nike nfl jersey

Washington also has Matt Adams on the roster. He’s hitting .211 with a pair of home runs so far this season.

Reynolds has a career slashline of.237/.329/.455 in his 11 MLB seasons. The Nationals came into Thursday with a 6-6 record.

Jon Heyman is an MLB Insider for the FRS Network, the home for his breaking news, information and his weekly Inside Baseball column on FRS Baseball cheap nfl nike jerseys china . Heyman also has been an insider at MLB Network since the channel launched in 2009. Heyman previously worked for CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, Newsday in New York and Sporting News, among other outlets. Heyman is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. The Santa Fe, New Mexico native grew up in Cedarhurst, New York, on Long Island.
Florida is replacing Indiana and will face West Virginia in the 2018 Jimmy V Classic buy nike nfl jerseys cheap at Madison Square Garden, multiple sources told FanRag Sports.

The other game of the doubleheader is Oklahoma against Notre Dame.new nike nfl jerseys cheap

Official dates and times are yet to be determined.

The Jimmy V Classic is always held during the first two weeks of December.

Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons took a slight step back during the 2017 campaign after falling to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Even so, the Falcons feature one of the league’s deepest rosters with young and exciting talent at numerous positions. nfl jerseys cheap nike The goal is to retake the NFC from the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Falcons have the talent to do so after fortifying a few positions.

Defensive Interior

Grady Jarrett developed into one of the league’s best, albeit underappreciated, defensive tackles. Jarrett is a consistent disruptive presence, who formed one half of a strong duo alongside Dontari Poe. Poe only signed a one-year deal during the previous nfl nike jerseys cheap free-agency period, though, and he’s drawn plenty of interest from other teams, per Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com. As a result, the Falcons need to add a significant presence alongside Jarrett. An individual with Poe’s combination of size (346 pounds) and athleticism isn’t necessary. However, a defensive tackle stout at the point of attack should balance the nike nfl jersey cheap  play of the smaller and quicker Jarrett. b0266f56e018f91170d65ebc51dcd2f0_crop_exact

Guard

Wes Schweitzer started all 16 games last season after Chris Chester retired cheap nfl jerseys nike . The Falcons have two options: Either the coaching staff wants to see Schweitzer start one more year, expecting him to improve upon last season’s effort, or the front office decides the position can and should be upgraded. The 24-year-old blocker performed well in stretches, only to provide inconsistent overall play. Also, left guard Andy Levitre turns 32 in May, and he’s entering the last year of his contract. nike nfl jerseys for cheap

Slot Receiver

Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu are a fantastic one-two punch. However, the Falcons are expected to lose Taylor Gabriel to the Chicago Bears in free agency, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Gabriel is an explosive target out of the slot,nfl jerseys nike cheap  even though offensive coordinator Steven Sarkisian didn’t know exactly how to use him. Very few present the same type of speed or ability to create after the catch as the 27-year-old. Veteran options Andre Roberts and Justin Hardy remain on the roster, but neither presents the same type of home run ability.

Carolina Panthers: Convince DE Julius Peppers to Re-Sign

You don’t often hear about a 38-year-old defensive end as nike nfl jerseys cheap  a free-agent priority, but Julius Peppers stands apart from the rest. He tied Mario Addison as a team leader in sacks with 11 during the previous campaign.

According to the Charlotte Observer’s Scott Fowler, Peppers nfl jerseys cheap nike will weigh retirement, but he’s leaning toward a return only to the Panthers.6fba34dadd7e4ec2be70ddd55d42d363_crop_exact

“A source close to Peppers indicates the star defensive end is leaning toward playing but doesn’t want to commit to it yet,” Fowler wrote. “One thing seems certain: He won’t go elsewhere. Peppers will either play for Carolina or retire.”

There’s clearly more left in Peppers’ tank. The three-time All-Pro only started five games and played 499 snaps last term, but he’s still effective when laser-focused on attacking the pocket.

Linebacker Todd Davis hits free agency as an underrated asset on the market. He came into the league as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and developed into a starter over the past two seasons with the Denver Broncos.

The Chicago Bears parted ways with Jerrell Freeman, and Nick Kwiatkoski could see an increased workload at linebacker.nike nfl jersey cheap

Nonetheless, Davis would bring more resistance to opposing ground attacks as a reliable tackler who sniffs out the run. He’s not to going to cover the width of the field as a top-notch pass defender but possesses the toughness this fanbase often sees in its linebackers.

Before handing the job to Kwiatkoski, the coaching staff should consider cheap nfl jerseys nike another former Broncos linebacker to pair with Danny Trevathan in the middle of the defense. Signing Davis would fill a defensive need and avoid dipping too far into Chicago’s cap space for the acquisition.