The Kevin Dodd experiment should be over now

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 06:  Kevin Dodd #93 of the Tennessee Titans pulls down  Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium on November 6, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Titans drafted Kevin Dodd No. 33 overall in 2016 to be an explosive pass rusher. The former Clemson defensive lineman was expected to convert to outside linebacker and be a force off the edge for a team that needed to bolster their outside pass rush. Unfortunately, it looks like the high point of Dodd’s Titans tenure will be the night he was drafted.

Dodd rarely saw the field in his early transition to outside linebacker. He averaged only 19.9 snaps per game in his first nine contests and produced only one sack. A foot injury forced him out of action for the rest of the season after Week 10.nfl cheap jerseys nike

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Kevin Dodd #93 of the Tennessee Titans pulls down Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium on November 6, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA – NOVEMBER 06: Kevin Dodd #93 of the Tennessee Titans pulls down Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium on

His return to the field in 2017 didn’t go much better. He didn’t get onto the field until Week 3 and only averaged 10.2 snaps in nine games. He was inactive for several games.

New head coach Mike Vrabel and the Titans’ coaching staff were going to give Dodd another shot despite his past disappointments. He wasn’t producing as an outside linebacker, but there was an opportunity to carve out a role as a defensive end –nfl nike jerseys for cheap  the position where Dodd thrived in college.

The relationship between Dodd and the new staff didn’t get off to a great start when he skipped the final portion of the team’s voluntary offseason work. While it was not a good look for Dodd, it was forgivable since the workouts were not mandatory.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

However, the problem grew when he was a limited participant in the mandatory minicamp. It was further exacerbated Sunday when Dodd did not report to training camp.

This was a crucial offseason if Dodd was going to save his NFL career, and his level of commitment toward making the roster hasn’t reflected the urgency of the situation.

Dodd has talent. His dominant fourth year at Clemson showed that. We certainly hope all is well with him and his family, but if he simply missed his specified reporting date, then it’s hard to believe the Titans won’t cut ties with the 26-year-old.nike cheap nfl jerseys

He was already was someone who needed to have a strong camp to make the team, but he is not making himself look any better nike nfl cheap jerseys with his lack of participation in the offseason. The experiment with Dodd has gone wrong from the beginning, and there is no coming back from this if he is indeed missing camp for no other reason than not wanting to report.

DT Robert Nkemdiche, Arizona Cardinals

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More than raw talent is needed to excel at football’s highest level. No one rivaled Robert Nkemdiche’s ability at the high school and collegiate levels before he became a 2016 first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals. He’s no longer the most talented guy on cheap nike nfl jersey the field and needed to realize he hasn’t been good enough.

“For me, that severity was not being at the level of potential—just being average,” the defensive lineman said during an interview on Doug & Wolf for Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It’s crazy to me. I don’t like that.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Nkemdiche is, by far, the most naturally gifted among the Cardinals’ interior defenders. The 6’4”, 296-pound lineman is quick off the snap with the athleticism to infuriate opposing guards and centers. But he needs to couple his raw tools with better technique and consistency. cheap nfl nike jersey

“Robert’s going to be tremendous for us this year,” head coach Steve Wilks said during minicamp, per the team’s official site. “He’s locked in. He’s focused. He came back in shape. He’s ready to go. He said, ‘Coach, I’m committed to excellence this year,’ cheap nfl jerseys china nike and so far he’s been a plus on the football field.”

It now falls upon Nkemdiche to prove he’s ready to dominate.

San Antonio Spurs

Oh yes, I’m going here. The San Antonio Spurs have devolved into an afterthought amid the Kawhi Leonard saga. They’re going to trade him and begin some sort of rebuild. Talking about their championship chances is a complete waste of time. Their window has clearly closed.

Except, what if it’s still open?nfl nike jersey cheap

Leonard remains with the Spurs, in case you haven’t noticed. It doesn’t appear that he and San Antonio have kissed and made up, but he hasn’t purchased a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, Philadelphia or Boston either.

A relatively inconsistent market is starting to favor the Spurs. The Raptors are now the betting favorite to land Leonard, according to OddsShark. The optics will change. All they’ve done is shift since the end of the season.cheap nike nfl jersey  And the longer this drags out, the more likely Leonard is to begin the season with San Antonio. nike nfl jerseys cheap china

That doesn’t mean the Spurs won’t pull the trigger closer to the trade deadline. They could. But they’ve offered Leonard the five-year, $221.3 million designated veteran extension he’s eligible to sign, per Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher. Turning down that money, assuming it’s there, will be tough—especially if an outside admirer isn’t pressured into acquiescing to San Antonio’s asking price.

Which team is going to do that? The Celtics, Lakers and Sixers can defend all-in offers, but none of them are in panic mode. Boston is set up to run the Eastern Conference. Los Angeles has LeBron James under lock and key. cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale Philly won 52 games last season with a core that has yet to enter its prime. The urgency isn’t there.

Keeping Leonard feels like a distinct possibility for the Spurs—more than it did a month or so ago anyway. Work things out, and they’re sitting pretty. They won 47 games without him, and the Rockets’ offseason may have weakened their hold on the non-Warriors crowd. cheap nfl nike jersey

Losing Kyle Anderson to the Memphis Grizzlies stings. He profiled as the Spurs’ second-most valuable player last year, according to NBA Math’s total points added. But they’ll hardly notice his absence with Leonard in tow. And letting Tony Parker bolt for the Charlotte Hornets is an understated victory. It opens up more playing time for summer-league standouts Lonnie Walker IV and Derrick White.

Feel free to dismiss the Spurs at my expense. This will look pretty bad if they unload Leonard. But the budding, if still slightly strained, prospect of his return permits their inclusion. They belong here precisely because they’re not supposed to be.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Marcus Smart

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Team: Boston Celtics

Age: 24

Type of Free Agency: Restricted

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.4 blocks

2017-18 Advanced Metrics: 10.8 PER, 0.96 RPM, minus-16.14 TPA nfl nike jerseys cheap

In the last few days, we’ve heard plenty about Marcus Smart and his potential return to the Boston Celtics.

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reported “Smart, according to source, would ‘consider’ the four-year extension offer Celtics made last October, which was worth more annually than the three-year, $33 million deal just signed by Dante Exum.”

But that offer isn’t necessarily available, considering colleague Steve Bulpett revealed the following in the aftermath:

“Sources indicate this may drag on for quite a while. Smart determined his worth to be more than what is out there in this summer’s market, and the Celts are in no rush to bid against themselves. It’s unclear now even if the club is willing to revisit their extension offer from last fall reported in the Herald last week (four years at more than $12 million per) whether that would even work for Smart now.”

If that’s not enough, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge told reporters in Las Vegas that re-signing Smart remains a priority. But Yahoo Sports’ Jordan Schultz relayed a dearth of communication between the two, while several teams, including the  cheap nfl jerseys nike Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets, have inquired about sign-and-trade possibilities. The conflicting information never ends in a situation that seems destined to twist and turn for a while longer. nike nfl jersey cheap

Still, it’s hard to envision Smart in a different uniform. Boston knows how important he is to the team’s success even without a working jumper (see: relentless hustle, passing, defensive acumen, rebounding and plenty more), and that could help the nfl jerseys nike cheap sides agree to a multiyear deal even while he has no leverage. Ask him to run it back on the qualifying offer, and you risk long-standing animosity that prevents the relationship from lasting beyond 2018-19. nike nfl jerseys for cheap

DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks 2.0

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What’s the ideal type of big man to pair with Dirk Nowitzki?

Defensively, you need a strong rebounder who nfl nike jersey cheap can prevent second-chance opportunities while holding down the fort as an interior anchor. Especially as the German 7-footer moves deeper into the twilight of his career, he should be minimizing the amount of banging done in the painted area, instead preserving his energy for spot-up opportunities on the scoring end.

Offensively, the Dallas Mavericks should be looking to pair him with a dominant roll man who can burst into the open space created by Nowitzki’s perimeter-dwelling gravitational pull. More shooting would be great, but that’s not as important as keeping a defense honest with rim-running.

Sound like anyone in particular? cheap nike nfl jersey

If your answer was peak Tyson Chandler, that’s valid. After all, the Mavericks last won a title when those two bigs were working in harmony during the 2010-11 season. But DeAndre Jordan is also a legitimate response, considering his ability to maintain his primary skills while gearing up for his age-30 season. cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Now officially joining Dallas, Jordan is ready to catch lobs from Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic when he’s not exerting himself defensively. He’s a perfect fit, even in a slightly declined state.

Jordan allowing opponents to shoot 63.9 percent at the rim isn’t exactly ideal, but his willingness to contest myriad opportunities is valuable. Despite that porosity around the basket, he still posted a positive score in cheap nfl nike jersey  defensive real plus/minus and could bounce back in a system that doesn’t attempt to funnel everything in his direction.

As a roll man, he’s even better. Though he couldn’t replicate 2016-17’s 99th percentile finish for points per rolling possession (breaking news: Losing Chris Paul’s set-up feeds is a big deal), he still sat in the 84th percentile. Couple that with extreme volume, cheap nfl jerseys china nike and it’s no wonder he remains a valuable offensive presence despite not having any shooting range.

A New Kentucky Pairing for the New Orleans Pelicans

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The entire list of players last season who took at least 300 shots from within three feet, converted at no worse than a 70 percent clip and created at least 40 percent of their shots from that range?

LaMarcus Aldridge cheap nfl jerseys nike
Giannis Antetokounmpo
LeBron James
Julius Randle
Ben Simmons

Even though Randle is still developing moves while driving to his right and doesn’t yet have three-point range—or much jump-shooting range at all, for that matter—his ability to take bigger players off the bounce and convert with either finesse or overpowering physicality around the basket allowed for major strides. He’s a legitimate asset on the offensive end, and the combination of quick feet and strength makes him a defensive asset when nfl jerseys nike cheap  paired with the right big. nike nfl jerseys for cheap

Anthony Davis counts now that Randle is replacing DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo as the leading Kentucky cohort for the unibrowed ex-Wildcat. His rangy defense makes life easier for his running mates, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s now comfortable serving as a primary interior stopper. new nike nfl jerseys cheap

Plus, Randle should immediately be comfortable as a change-of-pace player, as William Guillory detailed for NOLA.com:

“The Pelicans already had one of the fastest paces in the NBA with Cousins in the lineup, but it moved into warp speed after he went down, and Mirotic’s ability to defend multiple positions and shoot from the perimeter allowed him to fit in seamlessly with Davis.

“But adding Randle to the mix will provide some of the paint presence New Orleans lost with Cousins’ departure and a big man that’s capable of grabbing defensive boards and running the floor to create opportunities in transition.”buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

The Lakers were actually slower when Randle played, per PBPStats.com, but that doesn’t mean this power forward is incapable of assuming Cousins’ vacated role. You didn’t have to watch many Los Angeles games to see him darting down the court and looking to set up his teammates in the fast-break game. cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Kendall Fuller, Kansas City Chiefs

The reason Kendall Fuller isn’t higher on this list is because he does most of his work from the slot. While that limits his utility to a degree, what he does with the position made him NFL1000’s top-ranked slot cornerback in 2017.kids nfl jerseys

In just his second season, Fuller allowed an opponent passer rating of 56.7, according to Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, and he averaged fewer than 10 yards per reception, including yards after the catch. That’s hard to do when you’re dealing with slot receivers who are practiced at running two-way routes and other option concepts designed to work against cornerback movement.

Slot corners also have to cover outside receivers when they move inside, which is a different physical challenge. Imagine going from Doug Baldwin to Jimmy Graham in coverage from one play to the next, and you’ll have an idea of what that looks like.

Fuller is able to succeed because he’s well-versed in the fundamentals.nfl kids jerseys

He understands how to use his hands to landmark receivers and keep them from speeding away. He keeps his eyes on the center of the man he’s covering, making fakes harder for receivers to pull off. And he’s quick enough to catch up to a receiver who has gotten away from him as well as to jump the route for a deflection or an interception. He had 10 passes defensed and four picks in 2017 after having just two pass breakups and no picks in his rookie campaign.nfl jerseys for kids

Traded to the Chiefs in January (deal official in March) as part of  cheap kids nfl jerseys the swap that sent quarterback Alex Smith to Washington, Fuller should continue to be one of the best interior pass defenders in the league, and he does have the attributes to eventually move outside if the Chiefs choose to go that way.

Kendall Fuller, Kansas City Chiefs

The reason Kendall Fuller isn’t higher on this list is because he does most of his work from the slot. While that limits his utility to a degree, what he does with the position made him NFL1000’s top-ranked slot cornerback in 2017.nike nfl cheap jerseys

In just his second season, Fuller allowed an opponent passer rating of 56.7, according to Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, and he averaged fewer than 10 yards per reception, including yards after the catch. That’s hard to do when you’re dealing with slot receivers who are practiced at running two-way routes and other option concepts designed to work against cornerback movement.

Slot corners also have to cover outside receivers when they move inside, which is a different physical challenge. Imagine going from Doug Baldwin to Jimmy Graham in coverage from one play to the next, and you’ll have an idea of what that looks like.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Fuller is able to succeed because he’s well-versed in the fundamentals.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

He understands how to use his hands to landmark receivers and keep them from speeding away. He keeps his eyes on the center of the man he’s covering, making fakes harder for receivers to pull off. And he’s quick enough to catch up to a receiver who has gotten away from him as well as to jump the route for a deflection or an interception. He had 10 passes defensed and four picks in 2017 after having just two pass breakups and no picks in his rookie campaign.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

Traded to the Chiefs in January (deal official in March) as part of the swap that sent quarterback Alex Smith to Washington, Fuller should continue to be one of the best interior pass defenders in the league, and he does have the attributes to eventually move outside if the Chiefs choose to go that way.

NFL Rookies Who Will Play Biggest Roles This Season

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Most rookies enter the NFL understanding they must earn their stripes. For a smaller group, there are expectations to look the part of starters and take on bigger roles right away.

In some cases, specifically those of first-rounders, there’s no time to take reps with second- or third-stringers. Several rookies have already lined up with starters in preparation for Week 1.

In other scenarios, coaching staffs opt to follow more gradual plans through organized team activities before ramping up in-house competitions during training camps.

As most teams set up for mandatory minicamps, we’ll take a look at rookies primed to assume the biggest responsibilities during the upcoming season.

There’s no question. The New York Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley with the intention of extending quarterback Eli Manning’s career via an improved ground attack.

In addition to his prospective workload as a ball-carrier, the Penn State product can be a threat in the short passing game, which should help Manning make quick and effective decisions in the pocket.genuine nfl jerseys

Barkley provided a preview of what he brings to the field during OTAs, per Dan Salomone of the team’s official website:

“The second overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft has made the most of non-contact spring football, giving the Giants absolutely no drafter’s remorse. jersey cheap nfl On Thursday, he looked particularly sharp and was heavily involved as he racked up the touches. A valuable outlet for Manning, Barkley made a nice catch down the sideline for a big gain early in practice.”

Similar to 2017 No. 4 overall pick Leonard Fournette and 2016 No. 4 overall pick Ezekiel Elliott, Barkley—also the first running back picked in his draft class—will take on the bulk of the work in the backfield.authentic nfl jerseys for sale

The Cleveland Browns surprised some draft analysts when they drafted cornerback Denzel Ward over pass-rusher Bradley Chubb at No. 4. Nonetheless, the Ohio State product will fill a major void on the boundary.

General manager John Dorsey revamped the secondary, and Ward has stood out after missing some time with a minor hip injury. He took first-team reps during OTAs, and head coach Hue Jackson praised him.authentic nfl jerseys sale

“Ward being out there is because he’s earning it,” Jackson said, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “He’s working at it. He plays a position that we’ve been needing a guy to step up. We see him improving each and every day and doing the things that we’re asking. He needs to continue to do that to continue to be out there, but we know he’s very talented.”

The Browns traded Jason McCourty and Jamar Taylor nike jersey nfl separate deals to clear a path for Ward. The front office signed E.J. Gaines, who should start opposite the rookie on the boundary, and T.J. Carrie, who spent most of his time with the Oakland Raiders playing in the slot.jersey nfl wholesale

Briean Boddy-Calhoun has started 14 games over the past two seasons. nfl nike jerseys for sale He is the only in-house competitor capable of pushing Ward for a spot in the starting lineup.

Shooting Guard: Wayne Ellington

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Team: Miami Heat

Age: 30

Type of Free Agency: Unrestricted authentic nfl jerseys china

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks

2017-18 Advanced Metrics: 12.5 PER, 0.0 TPA, minus-0.31 RPM

Wayne Ellington has developed his catch-and-shoot game—as well as his physical fitness—enough that he should be able to thrive in any scheme. So long as he’s tasked with running around the court in a ceaseless attempt to authentic nfl jerseys cheap china extricate himself from a defense’s clutches, he’ll be able to rise and fire over even the tightest coverages.

“It’s at the top of the list,” the sniper stated about being in the best shape of his career in late January, per the Miami Herald’s Andre C. Fernandez. “Obviously, getting shots up and getting reps is a big part of it but my conditioning is right there with it. If I’m not able to continue to move and be in top condition to wear guys out and continue to run and get guys tired I won’t be able to get those looks and make those types of shots.”nfl jerseys nike

Among the 105 players this postseason who averaged at least 20 minutes per game, Danny Green was the lone man who maintained a higher average speed than Ellington. But unlike his San Antonio Spurs counterpart,nfl nike jersey  this Miami Heat wing was significantly faster on the offensive end—exactly what you’d expect after watching him operate in head coach Erik Spoelstra’s schemes.

He had to control himself a bit more during the long grind of the regular season, but that’s understandable. He still landed in the 77th percentile as a spot-up shooter and the 87th percentile coming off screens (while finishing near the top of the class in frequency).authentic nfl jersey cheap

Though Ellington might not have a sterling reputation that allows for household-name status, he’s become one of the league’s deadliest off-ball shooting threats.

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