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.

No. 16: New York Jets

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Draft Picks: S Jamal Adams (No. 6 overall), S Marcus Maye (No. 39), WR ArDarius Stewart (No. 79), WR Chad Hansen (No. 141), TE Jordan Leggett (No. 150), LB Dylan Donahue (No. 181), RB Elijah McGuire (No. 188),nfl jerseys china  CB Jeremy Clark (No. 197), CB Derrick Jones (No. 204) hi-res-1c47e81de6da38852b2c7d740a5b96ed_crop_exact

Total Starts: 37

Top Performer: Adams

The New York Jets have a talented duo at safety in Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. The former logged two sacks and the latter snagged two interceptions. Each started and played all 16 games last season. The tandem alone pushed Gang Green to nfl wholesale jerseys the middle of the pack.

Running back Elijah McGuire started two games and accumulated 492 yards from scrimmage, and he’s shown enough to maintain a sizable role, per running backs coach Stump Mitchell (via the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta), who compared him to LaDainian Tomlinson.

The Jets didn’t see significant production among their pass-catchers. Wideouts ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen combined for 15 catches and 176 yards. With Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse leading the position,nfl jerseys from china  it’s hard to see upside in production for the second-year receivers.

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.

OG Joshua Garnett, San Francisco 49ers

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Plenty is working against Joshua Garnett as he prepares for his third NFL campaign. Yet, he still has a chance to emerge as the San Francisco 49ers’ starting right guard.

“I think Josh is putting together a pretty nice improvement pattern,” buy nike nfl jerseys cheap offensive line coach John Benton told The Athletic’s Ted Nguyen.

Garnett, whom the 49ers selected in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, is no longer an ideal system fit for the team’s offense. Kyle Shanahan’s zone stretch usually features lighter and more athletic blockers, whereas Garnett came out of a power scheme when he won the Outland Trophy as a member of the Stanford Cardinal. As a result, Garnett spent the offseason reshaping his body and is down to 305 pounds, according to s Nick Wagoner. cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The third-year lineman spent all of last season on injured reserve after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, and he returned a different blocker.

“I see a guy who’s really going for it,” Shanahan said, nfl nike jersey cheap per the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows. “I’ve been very proud of how he’s handled his year off.”

Garnett should be ready to overcome another first-round pick, Jonathan Cooper, in the upcoming guard competition. If not, another team better suited for his skill set could land a potential starter.

Vic Beasley, Atlanta Falcons

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The Atlanta Falcons made a mistake with their handling of 2015 first-round pick Vic Beasley, and the organization is trying to rectify the situation.

Beasley became the eighth overall pick because he could harass opposing quarterbacks. Since the collegiate defensive end didn’t fit prototypical standards (6’3″, 246 lbs), the coaching staff moved him to linebacker and only used him as an nfl nike jerseys cheap edge-rusher in sub-packages.

Beasley led the NFL in 2016 with 15.5 sacks only to see his production drop to five sacks last season.

“I wasn’t rushing as much as I normally would,” Beasley said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter. “There were less opportunities, but it was for the betterment of the team and what the team needed most at that moment. I was fine with that.”

What’s best for the Falcons is unleashing Beasley as a pass-rusher. He’s not nearly as effective working in space as a linebacker. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t have his hand in the dirt at all times, and the staff finally realized this by permanently switching him to defensive end this offseason. nike nfl jersey cheap

“It frees him up to play more first- or second-down nickel and be available in that way and be fresher during the course of the game,” defensive line coach Bryant Young said. “Not that he couldn’t handle it, because I thought he did a good job of handling the [strong side] and playing defensive end. cheap nfl jerseys nike Just having him available to play more reps at defensive end will be good for us.”

The moral of the story is simple: Play a top-10 pick and elite talent at his natural position to maximize effectiveness.

Tavon Austin, Dallas Cowboys

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No one has quite figured out how to use Tavon Austin despite the continued implementation of spread principles at the professional level. The Dallas Cowboys just might have found a way to finally utilize his skill set by moving him to running back. cheap nfl custom jerseys

Austin has been viewed as a wide receiver for the bulk of his career. However, he excelled at West Virginia as a multipurpose weapon before the then-St. Louis Rams used the eighth overall pick to select the 5’8″, 179-pound speedster.

Technically, the Cowboys’ coaching  nike nfl jerseys cheap staff now refers to Austin as a “web back,” which is a glorified third-down role.

“At the end of the day, I’m a playmaker,” Austin said, per the Dallas Morning News’ Brandon George. “That’s how I describe myself. I don’t really care where I’m at on the field. I just want the ball and a little bit of space and let me create, and I’m going from there.”

The ability to create is what’s important. nfl jerseys cheap nike Not asking him to be a refined route-runner or reliable target is a major step in the right direction. As a member of the running back stable, Austin can be handed the ball or targeted out of the backfield. His creativity in space is where he excels.

“He’s a steal,” quarterback Dak Prescott said of the Dallas trade to acquire Austin from the Rams, per ESPN.com’s Todd Archer.

Anfernee Simons Remains Biggest Enigma of 2018 Draft Class

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LAS VEGAS — Anfernee Simons isn’t the type of player that a team like the Portland Trail Blazers typically drafts. Solid playoff teams without much flexibility to add veterans often look for seasoned college players who will be able to contribute right away.cheap nfl custom jerseys

Blazers president Neil Olshey bucked trends on June 21 and put a laser on Simons, placing a bet that his long-term upside will justify the lack of present-day production for a team fighting to stay afloat in a brutal Western Conference free-for-all.

Heading into the draft, Simons was a virtual unknown, as he skipped college to spend a year training at Florida’s IMG Academy. He’s a talented but physically slight prospect who is two years away from being two years away. Simons could be the next Giannis Antetokounmpo, or he could be the next Bruno Caboclo. nfl jerseys cheap nike

The Blazers certainly weren’t expecting him to play much next season when they selected him with the No. 24 overall pick.

“We were looking for the guy with the highest ceiling we could possibly find,” Olshey said on draft night. “He’s really gifted. We felt like he was the most talented guy on the board. He’s got a really bright future, he works, he can dribble, he can pass, he can shoot, he’s a high-level athlete, we know he’s going to work. His skill set translates. When the physical growth catches up to his natural God-given ability, he’s going to be a really good player.”nfl nike jerseys cheap

Any summer-league production should be taken with an entire block of salt, but the early returns on Simons are promising. Although he came off the bench in his Las Vegas Summer League debut against the Utah Jazz on Saturday, he finished with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting. He followed that up the next day with a 12-point performance in a win over the Atlanta Hawks. Simons struggled in his first summer-league start against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, scoring only eight points on 4-of-13 shooting.

“These players are a lot faster,” Simons said after his first game in Vegas. “They know how to finish better. You’ve got to be in the right position at all times. It’s much easier now because there’s a lot more spacing. I was able to get off ball screens and into open spaces and hit those open jumpers and floaters and stuff.”nike nfl jersey cheap

Summer league often serves as a rude awakening to rookies who had success in college. For Simons, that gap is even steeper. A top-10 recruit in his class, Simons initially committed to Louisville before decommitting in the wake of last fall’s FBI investigation into NCAA corruption, which implicated the school and led to the ouster of head coach Rick Pitino.

Simons instead opted to train at IMG, a well-known athletics-focused prep school. He was essentially a fifth-year senior, playing in AAU tournaments against younger competition. He wowed scouts with his athleticism and shooting ability, but his thin frame raised concerns that he wouldn’t be able to handle the physicality of the NBA. Add to that the obvious question marks about the level of competition he faced, and he entered the draft as more of a project than a sure thing. Most major draft analysts projected him as a late first- or early-to-mid-second-round pick.cheap nfl jerseys 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