NEWS AND NEAR NEWS

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Star Clemson WR Ross to have surgery … Clemson has confirmed that rising junior WR Justyn Ross, a potential top 10 prospect for the 2021 draft, will have surgery for an undisclosed problem next month. Ross was limited during the Tigers’ spring practice with what were described as “lingering stinger symptoms.” There is also no word on how long Ross will be sidelined, however, the recovery time for neck/shoulder injuries can be awhile and it is very possible that if the season starts on time that Ross could miss some time. The 6-3, 205-pound Ross led the Tigers with 66 catches for 865 yards and 8 TDs last fall.

Pats first to sign full 2020 draft class … New England became the first team to sign their full complement of players selected at the 2020 draft when the Patriots reached a contract agreement with FS Kyle Dugger, the 37th player selected overall this past April. Dugger, from DIII Lenoir-Rhyne, was the first player taken by the Patriots at last month’s draft.

‘Skins rookie recovered from Covid … Washington rookie WR Antonio Gandy-Golden is reportedly the first player selected at last month’s draft to have tested positive for COVID-19. Gandy-Golden, who was selected in the 4th round this past April, reportedly self-quarantined and is now fully recovered. Interesting that Gandy-Golden played collegiately at Liberty which made some headlines earlier this year when the school had their students return to campus with the rest of the country pretty much shut down by stay-at-home orders around the country, although there is nothing here to suggest that had anything to do with Gandy-Golden’s situation. While Gandy-Golden is the first rookie known to have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, LA Rams C Brian Allen and star Denver LB Vonnie Miller are veterans known to have tested positive.

Colts sign three picks … The pace of signing 2020 draft picks remains slow around the NFL, but Indianapolis apparently didn’t get the memo. The Colts were able to come to terms with three more picks signed on Friday bringing their total of signed picks to 7. The three players the Colts signed this weekend include former Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor, a second-round pick, former Washington QB Jacob Eason, whom the Colts took with a 4th round pick, and LB Jordan Glasgow, a 6th round selection. That leaves the Colts, who did not have a first round pick this year, with just two unsigned 2020 picks including WR Michael Pittman, a second round selection who was the first player chosen by Indianapolis this year, and safety Julian Blackmon, a third round pick.

AFC West draft review … GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has been reviewing the 2020 drafts of each NFL division and today he looks at the the AFC West.

NFC West draft review … GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has been reviewing the 2020 drafts of each NFL division and today he looks at the the NFC West.

Dolphins sign Tua … Any concerns in Miami over the signability of former Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, whom the Dolphins selected with the 5th pick overall at the 2020 draft, were erased yesterday when he agreed to a fully guaranteed 4-year contract worth over $30M, including a $19.6M signing bonus. Tagovailoa, in fact, is just the 2nd player selected in this year’s opening round to come to terms. Miami also signed Tua’s former Alabama teammate DT Raekwon Davis, one of the Dolphins second rounders this year, the 56th overall selection.

AFC North draft review … GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has been reviewing the 2020 drafts of each NFL division and today he looks at the the AFC North.

Panthers Brown 1st #1 pick to sign … Carolina became the first team to sign a first-round pick from the 2020 draft when the Panthers came to terms with DT Derrick Brown on a fully guaranteed 4-year deal worth $23.6M.  Brown, the former Auburn star, was the 7th overall selection in this year’s opening round. Elsewhere, Baltimore signed former Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins, a 2nd round pick last month, while Buffalo came to terms with three picks including Iowa DE A.J. Epenesa, another second round pick, along with Central Florida WR Gabriel Davis and former Georgia QB Jake Fromm, who were 4th and 5th round picks respectively.

Schedule day in the NFL … With the rest of the country, slowing starting to reopen, the NFL will release a tentative schedule for the 2020 season this evening. The schedule release gets underway at 8 PM ET and will be covered live by the NFL Network and ESPN. The schedule is expected to September 10th, which would have been the original opening day without the pandemic. However, its believed the schedule will have a number of contingencies built into it. It is expected for example, that the league could schedule only inter-conference games during the first month of the season, such that if the opening had to be delayed by a month they could still play a balanced 12 game schedule. The other main issue facing the NFL could be stadium availability if the country continues to open at different rates. And of course most NFL stadiums are in large metropolitan areas which have generally been hit harder by Covid-19. We shall see.

NFC North draft review … GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has been reviewing the 2020 drafts of each NFL division and today he looks at the the NFC North.

First two picks sign; rate still way behind … It took longer than usual, but the first picks from the 2020 draft have finally signed. Baltimore signed DT Broderick Washington, a 5th round selection at last month’s draft, while New England has reportedly come to terms with former Michigan OLB Josh Uche, the Patriots second-rounder this year. However, the pace of signings this year is way behind last year when close to 100 drftees had been signed by the end of the first week in May.

AFC South draft review … GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has been reviewing the 2020 drafts of each NFL division and today he looks at the the AFC South.

NFC South draft review … No division has undergone more dramatic change this off-season that the NFL South with the arrival of Brady, Gronk, and Gurley. Now GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has reviewed the 2020 drafts of the NFC South to see if any of that momentum carried through the draft.

Dolphins get late Falcons pick for DE Harris … Miami continues to acquire picks for the 2021 draft. The latest has the Dolphins acquiring a 7th round pick next year from Atlanta for DE Charles Harris. Harris was Miami’s first-round pick in 2017, but he totaled just 3.5 sacks in his three year stint with the Dolphins. With the acquisition of the Falcons pick, the Dolphins currently have 11 picks for the upcoming draft including extra picks in both the 1st and 2nd rounds.

Lions take ECU LB #1 in CFL draft … British Columbia swung a deal with Calgary for the first pick overall at the 2020 CFL draft an used the selection to take former East Carolina LB Jordan Williams. Williams is an interesting player in the sense that he actually graduated in 2017 and has not played since. However, he was in camp with Ottawa last year when it was discovered that his mother is Canadian and therefore would qualify as a national player and be eligible for this year’s draft. Such is the sometimes wacky world of the CFL. Toronto had the second pick overall and selected Virginia WR Dejon Brissett, while Calgary selected Southeastern Louisiana DE Ike Adeyemi-Berglund, Edmonton took Buffalo OG Tomas Jack-Kurdyla with the 4th pick and Hamilton claimed Guelph G/T Coulter Woodmansey at #5. Here are all the CFL picks on the draft tracker.

Go east young man … or something like that. GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has reviewed the 2020 drafts of both the AFC East and NFC East.

Draft lite up north … The CFL holds its annual draft of Canadian players tomorrow evening. The CFL draft starts at 8 PM and will be covered by TSN in Canada. The picks are also available in real time on the CFL draft tracker. Calgary has the #1 pick overall which the Stampeders acquired from Ottawa in exchange for QB Nick Arbuckle. Toronto, which also has the 9th pick overall, has the 2nd pick, while British Columbia and Edmonton have the 3rd and 4th picks respectively. Along with Toronto, Hamilton also has two first round picks, the 5th and 8th picks. The two top-ranked prospects for the CFL draft are former Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore and Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool, both of whom were second day picks at last weekend’s NFL draft. And because of that it is unlikely that either Gallimore or Claypool will be available to a CFL team for at least several years so they are unlikely to be selected early at tomorrow’s CFL draft. Same for Alberta OT Carter O’Donnell, the 3rd ranked player on the CFL wish list who signed with Indianapolis as an undrafted free agent this weekend. Buffalo OG Tomas Jack-Kurdyla and Virginia WR Dejon Brissett are the 4th and 5th ranked CFL prospects and are expected to be selected early. Here is the final ranking of players eligible for Thursday’s CFL draft.

Cowboys, Pats, Pack look to lead 2021 comp picks … Compensatory picks for the 2021 draft, of course, won’t be formally announced for many months, however, with most of the top free agents already signed the folks that know how these things work can make a pretty good guess as to which teams will be getting what extra next spring. Lance Zierlein of the NFL Network, for example, has posted a prediction that suggests that Dallas will be the largest beneficiary of compensatory picks next spring with four. In that scenario, Green Bay and New England – so what else is new – will get three comp picks each, while New Orleans, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Chicago and the LA Rams will get two apiece. At the same time, Bsltimore, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Tennessee and the LA Chargers will get one each.

Redskins, Lions sign top UDFAs … It seems somewhat apropos that Washington and Detroit, which had the 2nd and 3rd picks respectively in each round of last weekend’s draft, also ended up signing the top two undrafted free agents on the GBN’s original Big Board. The Redskins, for example, signed former LSU TE Thaddeus Moss, while the Lions came to terms with Washington TE Hunter Bryant. However, in something of a ‘the rich get richer’ scenario, Kansas City may have signed the best undrafted class as the Super Bowl champs signed 3 of the top 14 players on our list of leading undrafted free agents. Included in the Chiefs UDFA haul is former Auburn CB Javaris Davis, #4 on the list, along with Missouri OT Yasir Durant, #6, and Mississppi State C Darryl Williams, who was the 14th best undrafted free agent left on the GBN Big Board. Meanwhile, Cleveland was the only other with two players in the top 15 including South Carolina State OT Alex Taylor, at #8, and Oklahoma State CB A.J. Green at #11. Here is the updated listing of the top undrafted free agents on the GBN board and where they signed.

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