NEWS AND NEAR NEWS

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Second week of pre-season to feature rook QB Murray … The second full weekend on the NFL pre-season schedule kicks off later this evening with 5 games on the slate for tonight. The feature game has Oakland playing at Arizona at 8 PM ET on ESPN with QB Kyler Murray, the first player selected at the 2019 draft, expected to start for the Cardinals. Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury has been a little coy about long Murray is expected to play, but has said that he will get more snaps than in the Cardinals’ pre-season opener last week. Tonght’s other games include Philadelphia at Jacksonville, the Jets at Atlanta, Cincinnati at Washington and Green Bay at Baltimore. The weekend schedule runs through Monday wrapping up with another nationally televised game on ESPN when San Francisco plays at Denver again at 8 PM ET on Monday evening. Meanwhile, the NFL Network will cover four games live this weekend starting with Chicago at the Giants Friday evening at 7:30 PM ET. The NFL Network also has a triple header of live games on Saturday starting at 4 PM ET with Cleveland at Indianapolis, followed by Kansas City at Pittsburgh at 7:30 PM ET and Dallas at the LA Rams at 10 PM ET. Of course, the NFL Network will also have replays all this weekend’s games. Here is the full NFL Network pre-season schedule.

Training camp observations: Week Two … GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has some thoughts on some of the latest developments from training camps around the NFL following the second week of pre-season games.

Tide loses vet ILB for year … Reports out of Alabama indicate that senior ILB Josh McMillon will likely miss the upcoming season with a knee injury, although there is what is being reported as a “small chance” that he could return late in the season. McMillon, who had been expected to start opposite star junior Dylan Moses at ILB this fall, was injured during a scrimmage on the weekend.

Ravens get Vikes pick for PK … Baltimore has reportedly acquired a 5th round pick at the 2020 draft from Minnesota in exchange for PK Kaare Vedvik.

More college football camp injuries … Couple more training camp injuries to report this day. Pittsburgh junior DE Rashad Weaver reportedly tore an ACL during a practice session this week and will miss the upcoming season. The 6-5, 265-pound Weaver had a break out year last fall when he lead the Panthers with 6.5 sacks and 14 total tackles for loss. Weaver still has a redshirt year so could return to school for the 2020 season, but it is very possible that he considers entering the upcoming draft despite the injury. Meanwhile, Notre Dame junior TE Cole Kmet, one of the top draft eligible prospects at the position, incurred a broken collarbone at practice yesterday. Kmet, will reportedly be out 3-6 weeks, which makes it possible that he could miss the first few games of the season.

Browns trade RB Johnson to Texans for conditional mid-round pick … Cleveland has traded veteran RB Duke Johnson to Houston in exchange for what is being reported as a conditional 4th-round pick in 2020 that could escalate to a third-round selection, presumably based on his playing-time and production.

OU CB, others out for year in college football … The good news at this time of year is that college football training camps are open with the season bearing down on us; the bad news is that with college football training camps open there are injuries. Not all injuries actually get reported as unlike the NFL there is no official injury list in the college ranks, but what we do know from the past day or so is that rising Oklahoma junior Tre Norwood is expected to miss the season after suffering an undisclosed knee injury at practice earlier this week. The 5-11, 185-pound Norwood started all 14 games for the Sooners last fall when he had 58 tackles, 1 interception and 5 total pass breakups. Meanwhile, Tennessee DT Emmit Gooden is also expected to miss the current season after he tore an ACL in practice. The 6-3, 305-pound Gooden had 33 tackles as a situational player last fall, but was expected to be a leader of the Vols’ rebuilt DL this fall. Gooden has not redshirted so will be eligible to return for the 2020 campaign. Same story for veteran Toledo C Bryce Harris who will also miss the upcoming season with a knee injury. The 6-3, 285-pound Harris, a pre-season first-team all-conference pick, is a 5th year senior, but will likely be eligible for an extra year.

Ravens get late Jets pick for OG Lewis … Baltimore had been expected to release veteran OG Alex Lewis this week after he was cleared to play this fall, but instead ended up trading him to the New York Jets who put in a waiver claim for his services. In exchange, the Ravens will get a conditional 7th round pick in 2020 for Lewis, a 4th round pick in 2016 who started 10 games last in Baltimore.

Duke CB Gilbert out indefinitely again … Duke has confirmed that redshirt junior CB Mark Gilbert, who was once considered to be a legit first-round prospect, is out indefinitely after undergoing another round of surgery on his hip. Gilbert dislocated his hip in the Blue Devils second game of the year last fall and underwent season-ending surgery in September. For now, the only word from the Duke camp is that they hope to have Gilbert, a first-team All-ACC selection in 2017, back ‘at some point’ this coming season.

Tech LB gets extra year of eligibility … Georgia Tech announced late last week that OLB David Curry has been granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA. In effect, Curry will be a junior this fall with two years of eligibility remaining as a result of not playing in two of his first four seasons with the Yellow Jackets. He redshirted as a true freshman in 2015 and missed the entire 2017 season due to injury. The 6-2, 230-pound Curry, the son of former NFL star Buddy Curry, had 47 tackles in 12 starts last fall.

QB Francois; RB Feaster find new college homes … A couple of reasonably interesting transfers were announced this week in college football. Former Florida State QB Deondre Francois has finally found a new home at D1AA Hampton, where he will be eligible immediately. Francois had originally considered transferring to Florida Atlantic, but that move fell through late last month. Meanwhile, former Clemson RB Tavien Feaster didn’t have to look far for a new football home, as he has reportedly transferred to South Carolina. The 5-10, 200-pound Feaster, who averaged over 6 yards per carry in his three-year Clemson career, but was destined to play behind star Tigers’ RB Travis Etienne, is still a reasonably solid second-tier prospect for the 2020 draft.

If its August, can football be far behind??? … Fact is that we’ve never been able to get our heads fully around football in July, but with the changing of the calendar we are pretty much on our way. Indeed, training camps are now in full swing around the NFL; in fact, Denver and Atlanta are battling in the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton as we speak. Meanwhile, college programs across the country are either currently underway or set to open within the next few days. With that in mind, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has some thoughts on some of the latest developments from training camps around the NFL. Meanwhile, here is the annual GBN Watch List of the top prospects for the 2020 draft we’ll be tracking over the next 8 months.

And then there were none … The final three unsigned players select at the 2019 draft came to terms earlier today as San Francisco signed DE Nick Bosa and WR Deebo Samuel, while the New York Jets inked DT Quinnen Williams. Bosa was the second player selected at last April’s draft, while Samuel was a second round pick. Both signed in time to be on the field when the 49ers open full training camp tomorrow. Meanwhile, Williams ended a short holdout with the Jets when he came to terms. The former Alabama star was the 3rd player taken this year.

Senior Bowl announces scout staff … The Senior Bowl is literally 6 months away as we speak and earlier today game officials released the names of its scouting staff for the upcoming season. Included in this year’s scouting department are the game’s first former NFL player, Mike Young, and its first female scout in Kathleen Wood. Young, who played collegiately at Illinois, before spending 4 years with Arizona in the NFL, will handle the Midlands region, while Wood will have the football-rich Southeast region. The other national scouts will be Brian Adams for the Midwest region, Bill Dekraker in the Northeast, Josh Cox in the Southwest and and Brad Forsyth in the West.  In addition, the Senior Bowl announced that Tanner Chastain, Jeb Boudreaux, and Matt Kelly as in-house scouting assistants.

Pigskin reviews Seahawks draft … As he does every year, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette will be posting reviews of some of the key individual team drafts from this past April. Today, he looks at the draft of the Seattle Seahawks.

Panthers sign ER Burns; just 3 picks left unsigned … Earlier today, Carolina came to terms with OLB Brian Burns, one of just four remaining unsigned 2019 draft picks. The Panthers selected Burns, the former Florida State edge rusher, with the 16th pick in this year’s opening round. With the signing of Burns, there are now only only 3 players from the 2019 draft that remain unsigned including DE Nick Bosa, chosen second overall by San Francisco, and DT Quinnen Williams, the 3rd pick by the NY Jets, along with WR Deebo Samuel, a second round pick by San Francisco.

Giants sign QB Jones; just 4 picks left unsigned … Overnight, the New York Giants signed former Duke QB Daniel Jones, their top pick at the 2019 draft. Jones was the somewhat surprising 6th player selected overall this past April. The signing sets up a potentially interesting competition at QB during training camp for the Giants with Jones trying to unseat Eli Manning for the job. And with the signing of Jones, there are now only only 4 players from the 2019 draft that remain unsigned including first rounders DE Nick Bosa, chosen second overall by San Francisco, DT Quinnen Williams, the 3rd pick by the NY Jets, and OLB Brian Burns, selected 16th overall by Carolina, along with WR Deebo Samuel, a second round pick by San Francisco.

Pigskin reviews Panthers draft … As he does every year, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette will be posting reviews of some of the key individual team drafts from this past April. Today, he looks at the draft of the Carolina Panthers.

Two more picks signed … Two more 2019 draft picks have signed with the Giants signing 3rd round DE Oshane Ximines, while Minnesota has signed 7th round LS Austin Cutting, the former Air Force player who will be allowed to serve his military commitment concurrently as a recruiter, while playing in the NFL immediately. As a result, there are now only only 5 players from the 2019 draft that remain unsigned. Of those, 4 were first round picks this year including DE Nick Bosa, chosen second overall by San Francisco, DT Quinnen Williams, the 3rd pick by the NY Jets, QB Daniel Jones, the 6th overall pick by the Giants and OLB Brian Burns, selected 16th overall by Carolina. The other remaining unsigned 2019 draftee is WR Deebo Samuel, a second round pick by San Francisco.

Bucs sign LB White; number of unsigned #1s down to 4 … Tampa Bay has signed former LSU LB Devin White, the 5th player selected at the 2019 draft. As a result, there are now only only 7 players from the 2019 draft that remain unsigned. Of those, 4 were first round picks this year including DE Nick Bosa, chosen second overall by San Francisco, DT Quinnen Williams, the 3rd pick by the NY Jets, QB Daniel Jones, the 6th overall pick by the Giants and OLB Brian Burns, selected 15th overall by Carolina. The other 3 remaining unsigned 2019 draftees include second round WR Deebo Samuel of San Francisco, 3rd round OLB Oshane Ximines of the Giants, and former Air Force LS Austin Cutting who was a 7th round pick by Minnesota.

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