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Pick cut; others listed … The NFL’s initial roster limit deadline came and went yesterday as all 32 teams got down to the league’s initial 75-man roster limit. And while its not clear that all teams have actually officially reported all their transactions getting down to today’s limit, it appears that the 2016 draft class escaped the first round of cuts relatively unscathed. Indeed, so far we are aware of only one player selected at this year’s draft who was released as part of Tuesday’s moves. That was Seattle RB Zac Brooks, a 7th round selection this past spring. At the same time, though, more than a few drafted rookies were placed on either Injured Reserve, PUP, or the non-football injury list. Buffalo was hit particularly hard as the Bills placed DE Shaq Lawson, the team’s #1 pick this year, on the physically-unable-to-perform list with a shoulder injury, while second round LB Reggie Ragland went on IR with a knee issue. The Bills also placed WR Kolby Listenbee, a 6th round pick this year, on the non-football injury list. Elsewhere, there was no surprise in Dallas where the Cowboys placed second round LB Jaylon Smith on the non-football injury list as a result of that nasty knee injury he suffered in the Irish’s bowl game last January, while across the state Houston placed C Nick Martin, its second rounder, on IR. Other draft picks placed on IR included Baltimore 3rd round DE Bronson Kaufusi, 4th rounders DT Andrew Billings of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh G/T Jerakd Hawkins; Detroit 6th round LS Jimmy Landes; and 7th rounders RB Keith Marshall of Washington and San Diego OG Donavon Clark. At the same time, Jacksonville placed 7th round DE Jonathan Woodard on the physically unable to perform list. Of course, those that survive the first-round of cuts won’t be able to get too comfortable as the final round of roster reductions down to the opening-day 53-man roster are due by 4 PM ET on September 3rd.
Pack gets future Bills’ pick for LB … In what appears to be the only trade of the day as team’s around the NFL finalized their 75-man rosters, Buffalo has acquired veteran OLB Lerentee McCray from Green Bay in exchange for what is being described as a conditional 7th round pick in 2018.
Saints get vet ‘Phins DE for pick … New Orleans has acquired DE Chris McCain from Miami for what is believed to be a conditional 7th round pick this year. McCain is a two-year veteran with a pair of career sacks. With the deal, the GBN trade mart has been updated.
C Stork released; Pats trade nixed … This week’s trade in which Washington acquired New England C Bryan Stork for a conditional 7th round pick was nullified when Stork failed the Redskins physical. Stork’s rights then reverted back to the Patriots who subsequently released him as they had planned to do before the original trade. As a result, Washington gets back its 7th rounder this year.
Browns, Panthers swaps Ps, picks ... Carolina and Cleveland have swung a deal in which the Panthers get veteran P Andy Lee and a 2017 7th rounder in exchange for P Kasey Redfern and a 4th round pick in 2018. With the deal, the GBN Trade Mart has been updated.
And then there were none; Bolts sign top pick Bosa … San Diego has signed former Ohio State DE Joey Bosa, the 3rd player picked overall at the 2016 draft to a 4-year contract. Bosa was the last unsigned pick from this year’s draft to be signed and ends a protracted holdout with the Chargers that threatened to run into the regular season.
Big SEC DT arrested … again … Mississippi State DT Nick James, a second-tier prospect for the 2017 draft, was arrested over the weekend and charged with public intoxication. It was the fourth time that James has been arrested in the past three years after he was previously arrested for driving without insurance in 2013, disorderly conduct and driving with a suspended license in 2014, and public intoxication in February of last year. A big 6-4, 325-pound run stuffing interior defensive lineman, James played in all the Bulldogs’ 13 games last season with 10 starts.
Two more college players facing off-field issues … Oregon has suspended DE Torrodney Prevot for what is being described as a violation of the school’s code of conduct. Prevot reportedly is under investigation by local police after a former Ducks’ female student-athlete filed a criminal complaint against him alleging that he assaulted her twice in the past year. Meanwhile, Marshall has reportedly dismissed veteran starting safety Tiquan Lang. Lang was charged with misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence, possession of a concealed deadly weapon and possession of a controlled substance after he was found asleep in a running vehicle early yesterday morning. Neither player is considered to be more than a late round prospect at this time, but both do have some upside. The 6-3, 250-pound Prevot only had a couple of sacks last fall, for example, but was hoping for more this fall with more playing time. Lang is a little undersized at barely 5-8, 180, but was very active posting 91 tackles and a couple of picks last fall.
Canes boot top defensive prospects … More fall-out from that luxury-car rental case at Miami, as the Hurricanes have dismissed rising junior DE Al-Quadin Muhammad and senior SLB Jermaine Grace from the program. Muhammad led the Hurricanes with 5 sacks last fall, while Grace, one of the faster LBs in the country, was tops in tackles with 79. Both can transfer, but will have to drop down to a lower level if they want to play in 2016. Meanwhile, WR Stracy Coley is also reportedly still under investigation in the case, but it does not appear that he will be either suspended or otherwise disciplined unless new information surfaces.
Steelers IR 4th rounder … Pittsburgh has placed rookie Jerald Hawkins, the team’s 4th round pick at the 2016 draft, on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder injury suffered in the Steelers’ opening week pre-season game. NFL teams have until 4 PM ET on Tuesday to get down to this week;s 75-man roster limit.
Chiefs get vet 49ers’ CB for future pick … Kansas City has acquired CB Kenneth Acker from San Francisco for what is being reported as a 7th round pick in 2018. With the deal, the GBN Trade Mart has been updated.
Duke QB out for year … Duke QB Thomas Sirk, a second-tier prospect for the 2017 draft, will miss the entire upcoming season after apparently re-aggravating an Achilles tendon injury he suffered in February. Sirk’s rehabilitation had reportedly gone smoothy until this week, when he was scheduled to return to full team practices. The 6-3, 220-pound Sirk passed for more than 2,600 yards and ran for another 800 last year, when he led the Blue Devils to a surprise 8-5 record. He was also named the co-MVP of Dukes 44-41 overtime win over in Indiana in the Pinstripe Bowl, the Blue Devils’ first bowl win since 1961. Sirk has used his redshirt year but will be able to apply for a 6th yera of eligibility as he also missed the 2013 season with an earlier Achilles’ injury.
Prelim GBN prospects list posted … A little later than usual, but the annual GBN list of prospects for the 2017 draft has been posted. Please note that while the players in the various positional groups are ranked roughly according to their ability, but it is hardly meant as a definitive ranking at this time. We also included underclassmen, although we tended to focus on those most likely to jump to the NFL this winter.
Football train coming down the track … The start of the 2016 football season is now just over a week away with the opening weekend of the college campaign scheduled for next week. We’ll be warming up for the season with a full week of preview reports next week previewing the start of the college year starting with the release of our annual list of top pro prospects for the upcoming draft in the next couple of days. Then Pigskin Paul and the rest of the guys will be by with their picks and pans predictions for the college season next week. We’ll also have our fearless forecast for the upcoming NFL season which is set to start the following week. And part of our prep for the 2016 pro campaign will be our first ‘real’ projection for next spring’s draft. So whether you are a natural fan of either – or both – the college and/or the pro games, whether you follow the draft as the ultimate in religious experiences, or whether your football interests are more along the lines of fantasy football or predicting the outcomes of the games, stay tuned! It should be a great ride.
Rooks who ‘caught the eye’ of Pigskin in week two of pre-season ... GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has reviewed the tapes from each of last weekend’s pre-season games with an eye on how some of this year’s rookie crop fared in their taste of live NFL action. Here’s Pigskin’s report on which first-year players caught his eye last weekend.
Senior Bowl watch list posted … For those that have not seen it already, the Senior Bowl has posted its initial watch list which includes almost 400 seniors their scouts are watching for this year’s game. The Senior Bowl will then whittle the list down to the 100 or so players that will be invited to this year’s game in Mobile. The Senior Bowl week is scheduled for the week of January 23 this week with the game to kick-off on January 28th.
Browns get Pats pick for OLB Mingo … Cleveland has acquired a 5th round pick in the 2017 draft from New England in exchange for OLB Barkevious Mingo, the 6th pick overall in 2013 who has been a major disappointment with the Browns. With the acquisition of the 5th rounder from the Patriots, Cleveland now has extra 1st, 2nd and 5th round picks next April, although they do not have a 4th rounder. Here is the updated list of traded picks for next year’s draft.
Pats get late conditional pick for vet C … Washington has acquired New England C Bryan Stork for what is being described as a conditional 7th round pick in 2017. The trade was made official earlier today despite the fact that Stork informed Washington officials that he might retire once the two teams reached an agreement. New England was going to release Stork if they had not been able to make a deal. Stork has had injury problems in the past including some issues with concussions.
Bolts rescind Bosa offer … San Diego has pulled its latest contract offer to DE Joey Bosa, the Chargers’ first-round draft pick this past April, and have indicated that they will restructure a new deal that would reflect him playing less than a full season. Bosa, the 3rd player selected overall this year, has missed all of training camp as his agents and the team wrangle over how much of his $17 million signing bonus he’ll get up front, as well as offset language in the case he gets cut. What still isn’t clear is whether Bosa would be willing to sit out the season. If he ultimately doesn’t sign with the Chargers (or another team if his rights are traded,), Bosa would go back into the 2017 draft.
Injuries force vet Badger C to retire … Wisconsin C Dan Voltz, one of the top prospects at the position for the 2017 draft, has opted to retire from football because of injuries. Voltz started 27 games with the Badgers, but also missed a number of games with injuries including a torn ACL suffered in October last fall.