NEWS AND NEAR NEWS

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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 15th 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.

Ravens list top pick; sign 3rd rounder … Baltimore placed four rookies, including WR Marquise Brown, the team’s opening round pick at the 2019 draft, on the non-football injury list. Joining Brown on the NFI list included DE Jaylon Ferguson and DT Daylon Mack, the Ravens’ 3rd and 5th round picks respectively, along with undrafted rookie free agent WR Jaylen Smith. No reason was given for the designations, but the Ravens may simply be being cautious with Brown who underwent surgery prior to the draft to repair a LisFranc injury. Meanwhile, the other players likely failed a conditioning test at rookie camp. At the same time, Baltimore has come to terms with former Notre Dame WR Miles Boykin, a 3rd round pick this past April who was their last remaining unsigned draft pick.

Pigskin reviews Rams 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 Super Bowl finalists the Los Angeles Rams.

Broncos sign QB Lock; number of unsigned picks now in single digits … For the second day in a row, Denver has signed one of their second round picks from the 2019. Indeed, after coming to terms with former Kansas State OT Dalton Risner yesterday, the Broncos signed former Missouri QB Drew Lock earlier today. As a result, there are now only only 9 players from the 2019 draft that remain unsigned. Of those, 5 were first round picks this year including 4 taken within the first half dozen selections in DE Nick Bosa, chosen second overall by San Francisco, DT Quinnen Williams, the 3rd pick by the NY Jets, LB Devin White, selected 5th overall by Tampa Bay, and QB Daniel Jones, the 6th overall pick by the Giants. The other remaining unsigned first rounder is OLB Brian Burns of Carolina. The other 4 remaining unsigned 2019 draftees include second round WR Deebo Samuel of San Francisco, along with 3rd rounders WR Miles Boykin of Baltimore, and NY Giants OLB Oshane Ximines. The final unsigned pick is former Air Force LS Austin Cutting who was a 7th round pick by Minnesota.

Red Raider DB Parker suspended for year; career done … Texas Tech has confirmed that senior CB Justus Parker lost his appeal of a one-year NCAA suspension and will not be eligible to play this fall. As this was his final year of eligibility, Parker has few options left other than to sit the season or perhaps try and catch on with a CFL team. Parker himself confirmed that the suspension was for taking a banned supplement that turned up in a drug test this past spring. The 6-0, 205 pound Parker originally walked on at Tech after transferring from Texas Lutheran and became a fixture on the Red Raiders defense as their slot corner where he had 4 interceptions and forced 4 fumbles in a breakout year in 2018. Parker had been considered to be a potential late round prospect for the 2020 draft, although obviously the off-field issue isn’t going to help.

Broncos sign 2nd round OT Risner; unsigned picks down to 10 … Denver reportedly came to terms with former Kansas State OT Dalton Risner, the first of 2 Broncos 2nd round selections at the 2019 draft. That leaves just 10 unsigned players selected in this year’s draft including QB Drew Lock, the Broncos other 2nd round selection.

Outrageous!!! … Sometimes you just have to call a dog a dog! And that’s what we are seeing as the NFL keeps talking about the possibility of expanding the regular season schedule to 17 or 18 games as part of the new CBA. In this day and age when the cumulative, degenerative effect of playing a high-collision sport like football is well documented, it is simply outrageous for the owners to even think about increasing the number of games in which the players are asked to participate. It would be one thing if the league was having financial difficulties. It’s not. The NFL has a virtual license to print money and any attempt to expand the schedule in order to increase revenues at the expense of their workers health is nothing more than plain, unadulterated greed.

More Pigskin team draft reviews … As he does every year, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette will be posting reviews of the key individual team drafts over the course of the summer. And with that summer – at least the non-football part – quickly coming to an end, Pigskin has posted a combined report with comments on the drafts of Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver, Tampa Bay and the New York Jets.

College football notes … Hard to believe but college football programs will be opening their doors for the beginning of fall training camps in just over a couple of weeks. Couple of stories we have been following the past few days. At Oklahoma, redshirt sophomore RB Kennedy Brooks has reportedly been cleared to resume playing with the Sooners after being suspended from all team activities while he was investigated for a Title IX investigation. A female student had alleged that Brooks had been “physically violent with her” earlier in the summer; however, while the student filed a complaint against Brooks with the school’s Title IX office, she did not report the incident to police. Not sure what that has to do with anything, but it was enough to get Brooks cleared and returned to football activities. And while he’s hardly a household name at this time, the 5-10, 210-pound Brooks is a rising star in college football who ran for over 1,000 yards in 2018 when he averaged 8.9 yards per carry as he played second fiddle to Heisman trophy winning QB Kyler Murray and figures to be a prime draft prospect as early as next April if he can keep his nose clean off the field. In fact, as soon as he was cleared, Brooks was named to the pre-season Big XII all-conference team where he joins Kansas sophomore RB Pooka Williams in the backfield. Ironically, Williams was also just recently reinstated from a suspension resulting from a domestic battery charge of his own for which he will miss the Jayhawks season opener against Indiana State. Speaking of under the radar emerging college stars, Colorado junior WR Laviska Shenault, arguably the best receiver in the country nobody has heard of, indicated at the Pac-12 media day that everything else being equal that he will be entering the upcoming draft. The 6-2, 225-pound Shenault had 86 receptions for just over 1,000 yards last fall while playing in just 9 games as he was hampered by toe and shoulder injuries.

Pigskin reviews Dolphins, Patriots drafts … As he does every year, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette will be posting reviews of some of the key individual team drafts including a couple of AFC East teams today in the Miami Dolpins and the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

Raiders sign 3rd #1 pick; number of unsigned picks down to 11 … In all the excitement over today’s supplemental draft, we neglected to mention that Oakland has come to terms with former Alabama RB Josh Jacobs, the third of the Raiders first-round picks this past April. Jacobs was selected with the 24th pick this year. We also neglected to mention that earlier in the week, Tampa Bay had signed former Auburn CB Jamel Dean, a 3rd round pick this spring. As a result, there are now only only 11 players from the 2019 draft that remain unsigned. Of those, 5 were first round picks this year including 4 taken within the first half dozen selections in DE Nick Bosa, chosen second overall by San Francisco, DT Quinnen Williams, the 3rd pick by the NY Jets, LB Devin White, selected 5th overall by Tampa Bay, and QB Daniel Jones, the 6th overall pick by the Giants. The other remaining unsigned first rounder is OLB Brian Burns of Carolina. The other 6 remaining unsigned 2019 draftees include second rounders WR Deebo Samuel of San Francisco, along with OT Dalton Risner and QB Drew Lock, both of Denver; and 3rd rounders WR Miles Boykin of Baltimore, and NY Giants OLB Oshane Ximines. The final unsigned pick is former Air Force LS Austin Cutting who was a 7th round pick by Minnesota.

Supp draft updates … A couple of updates from today’s NFL supplemental draft. On the one hand, reading between the lines of several media reports, it appears that Arizona will forfeit its own pick as compensation for taking former Washington State SS Jalen Thompson with a 5th round selection earlier today. The Cardinals have a second 5th round pick which they acquired from Miami in exchange for QB Josh Rosen during the draft. Meanwhile, Jacksonville will reportedly sign former West Virginia WR Marcus Simms, one of the players not selected earlier today, once he passes a physical later this week.

Cards take WSU S Thompson in supp draft … Arizona has reportedly selected former Washington State SS Jalen Thompson in today’s supplemental draft. The Cardinals are believed to have used a 5th round pick to take Thompson, a late entrant in the supplemental draft after the NCAA stripped him of his eligibility for testing positive for a banned substance. What isn’t clear at this point though is whether the 5th rounder the Cardinals will forfeit in 2020 is their own or the fifth-round pick they acquired from Miami in the trade for Josh Rosen this past spring. It also doesn’t appear that any other player was selected in today’s supplemental draft meaning that West Virginia WR Marcus Simms, Syracuse OLB Shy Cullen, Northland WR/TE Devonaire Clarington, and St. Francis of Illinois CB Bryant Perry are free agents able to sign with any team.

WSU SS Thompson works out prior to supp draft … Washington State junior SS Jalen Thompson, the most attractive prospect available in this week’s NFL supplemental draft, worked out in front of personnel people from 26 teams earlier today in what has been described as a solid, albeit unspectacular session. Thompson measured in at just over 5-10 and 186 pounds, which isn’t overly big at all for a strong safety. Thompson also only managed 11 reps in the bench press, which could have some teams worrying about his core strength. Thompson then ran his two 40s in reported times of 4.47 and 4.56. The first was okay, the second not so good. Thompson also posted a 33.5-inch vertical which would have been middle of the pack at the combine, while his broad jump of 10-4 would have been at least top ten in Indianapolis. Same for his short shuttle tome of 4.16 seconds which would have been 9th among safeties at the combine. Thompson is expected to selected with a mid-round pick at Wednesday’s draft.

Pigskin punks Cowboys draft … As he does every year, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette will be posting reviews of some of the key individual team drafts over the course of the next few weeks. And what better way to wrap up the holiday weekend with a review of the Dallas Cowboys, the self-proclaimed ‘Murica’s team!’

A very Happy 4th to everyone!!! … Hope everyone has a great Independence Day but please be safe!!

Iowa RT Wirfs cited for underage drinking; could face suspension … Emerging junior Iowa RT Tristan Wirfs was cited by local police for underage drinking at a local bar on Saturday night. According to the police report, the offense is a simple misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $250. The 6-5, 320-pound Wirfs, a former state champion in both wrestling and track throwing events who is reportedly one of the strongest players in college football, started several games as a true freshman in 2017 before being named honorable mention All-Big Ten last season. Normally this probably wouldn’t even be worth mentioning – Wirfs is 6 months short of the local legal drinking age – but it is the second alcohol related issue for the player who was previously suspended for the season opener last fall after being cited for a DUI. So far there is no word on any further disciplinary action against Wirfs, but it is expected that he could be suspended from the Hawkeyes’ season opener this fall when they host Miami of Ohio on August 31st.

Pigskin reviews Eagles, Redskins drafts … As he does every year, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette will be posting reviews of some of the key individual team drafts including a couple of NFC East teams today in the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins.

Orange LB Cullen works out for pro scouts … GBN Investigative College Football Analyst Larry Parker reports that Syracuse OLB Shy Cullen also had a pretty good pro day workout yesterday in Lowell, MA, in advance of next week’s NFL supplemental draft. Cullen is somewhat undersized at just 5-11.5 and 224 pounds, but posted 40 times just under 4.70 seconds, while he had a 36-inch vertical (which would have been 8th at the combine among LBs) and a 10-5 broad jump (2nd at the combine). He also had good times of 4.26 seconds in the short shuttle and 11.86 in the long shuttle. Three teams – Kansas City, Cleveland and New England – had reps at Cullen’s workout where he reportedly  performed well in positional drills. The supplemental draft is scheduled for July 10th next week.

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