Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-2-215 pound, Marcus Allen?
Allen, who is in of no relation to the 1981 Heisman Trophy winner, 2003 Hall of Fame Inductee, former Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs running back Marcus Allen, but is the godson of Curtis Martin, former New York Jets and New England Patriots running back and 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee. Allen is a player that’s already played the game with the mentality of an NFL player. Throughout his collegiate career, he became the sixth player in Penn State history to have over 300 career tackles. He has a total of 321 career tackles (110 his junior year ), six deflected passes, six tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, one interception and one safety. A few analyst’s and scouts felt Allen should have declared for the draft last season.
Marcus Allen Highlights
A very hard hitter who has great size and is long. A tremendous athlete. Has quick play recognition, and the ability to find his way to the ball carrier with excellent decisiveness. Diagnosis the run well and commits himself as a forceful penetrating safety that is willing to give up his body. Produces his best play near the line of scrimmage. Ability to take great angles to the ball carrier and wraps up and finish through his tackles. Allen is great in filling the gaps when ball carriers attempt to cut back. Has very great strong hands, and the ability to shed off blockers to make tackles. Has the ability to stay deep as the deepest safety refuse to allow receivers to get beyond his depth. Polished enough to cover tight ends, and has ok hip movement to cover receivers. Great reflexes with a great eye to hand coordination. Great leaper, mostly remember him for his blocked field goal against Ohio State. Fellowed safety Grant Haley scooped up the ball and return it the distance for the touchdown to upset Ohio State. (Watch Video)
Allen Blocks Field Goal To Upset Buckeyes
Flies hard to the ball carrier, which allows him to miss tackles. Need to build better awareness of anticipating passes to be able to jump routes. May need to improve more on his feetwork, because he play with tight hips at times. Tends to make unnecessary steps in coverage, in space and his change of direction in coverage becomes extra work. Need to attack ball at its highest point, had one career interception. Speed is questionable at the next level, there may be concerns whether he can play as a single high safety. Probably better fit at the strong safety position, and the ability to play the hybrid linebacker, such as Mark Barron who converted as one a couple season ago. May need to work harder with coverage skills because of the dynamic receivers at the next level. Need to address these issues by the time he’s ready to work out at the 2018 NFL Combine.
Is he a fit for the Rams?
Absolutely, has the desire to get better, and has been working out with receiver and teammate Daesean Hamilton, who’s projected as one of the first receiver's to be selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. Height and size is the prototype under Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips defense, and is a punishing hitter. The Rams lost Trumaine Johnson to free agency, resigned both LaMarcus Joyner and Nickell Robey-Coleman. He's a slight project, but can become a everydown safety in a couple of seasons, but can contribute right away to special teams. Will benefit greatly on working out with athletic tight-ends to match up against slot receivers.
Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-4-335 pound, Tim Settle?
The 6-foot-3 Settle of Virginia Tech declared for the NFL Draft forgoing his final two years of eligibility. In his lone year as a starter, the red-shirt sophomore led the ACC with 12.5 tackles for loss. A bit raw at the position, but has the potential in becoming one of the games most notorious defensive lineman.
Tim Settle’s Highlights
With such a huge body, he has the athletic ability of a defensive edge rusher. He can hold his point of attack and complete the process of stuffing the run. He fights through double teams and has the ability to split the blockers to make tackles. Has cat-like reflexes and has the ability to get up the field, and able to chase down the ball carrier, or make sacks from the interior of the defensive line. Superb with low penetration that allows him to get underneath the blocker to stuff short yardage runs.
Just a red-shirt sophomore, Settle recorded 36 tackles, impressively recorded 12.5 tackles for losses and 4.5 sacks in his only season as a starter. That was good enough to earn him a second-team All-ACC honor as an interior defensive lineman. Capable of playing in both the 3-4 or 4-3 defensive schemes. Has the size to play at the zero to three-technique, and the versatility to line up as a three to five-technique.
Red-shirted his freshman year, and only have one full season as a starter. Tends to rely on his strength to outmaneuver blockers which may cause him at times to over pursue the ball carrier. Probably could have used one additional season as a starter to have solidified a first-round selection.
Is he a fit for the Rams?
Absolutely! Settle has the size, strength, and flexibility to play all over the defensive line. At 335 pounds, he’s a great run stopper and has the ability to put pressure on quarterbacks. In goal line or short yardage situations, he can disappoint many runners with negative yardage on carries. Settle can help shore up an already great defensive front, but however, with the recent great play of Ethan Westbrook, they can lose him at the end of the season.
Westbrook could be seeking for more playing time as well as money, after ending the season on a high note. Rams are uncertain about the status of defensive lineman Dominique Easley who tore his ACL last season. Last season the Rams placed a first-round tenure on Easley but didn’t find any buyers. Easley is eligible to sign with any team of his choice now that he’s unrestricted free-agent. Definitely look for the Rams to add another defensive lineman, and Settle can be that guy that can play right away.
Imagine Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, and Tim Settle lining up all over the defensive line, teams will have to be concerned of Brockers and Settle while trying to provide double-team blocking schemes on Donald. They will definitely have to account for the three and which side the edge rusher is pursuing.
Rams agreed to terms with All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, now this changes the entire complexity of the defense now with a Settle rotating in the mix. In addition, the Rams and Dominque Easily agreed to terms and will be back on the defensive front to help anchor a great defensive line.
2nd - 3rd Round
McGlockton was one of the most difficult defensive tackles to block, in his time, while playing the game. Being matched up with a center or guard one-on-one was like asking the linemen to commit suicide! McGlockton was notorious for barreling through double-team blocks to stuff the run, or had enough speed to get after the quarterbacks. You can see the same exact similarity in Settle, because of his size and strength and his fitness across the O-line.
Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
Who is the 5-foot-11-180 pound, Keke Coutee?
Coutee is a versatile player that can actually line up at both the receiver or corner position. He’s probably a better fit at receiver because of his “jack of all trade” talent on the gridiron. He can be lined up wherever he’s needed because of his blazing 4.38 40 speed. A bit undersized, but the display’s great play from the slot position. Coutee is very effective whether it’s a screen, vertically stretching the field, or on short or deep crossing routes. During his junior campaign, he grabbed 93 receptions for 1,424 yards and 10 touchdowns. Ranked fifth in the nation in receptions and second in receiving yards, is convincing enough for scouts to evaluate him seriously. Coutee had the luxury of catching passes from former Red Raider’s quarterback and the current Kansas City Chief’s 2017 NFL Draft selection, Patrick Mahomes II and is also responsible for putting his current teammate Nick Shimonek on the radar. Coutee had double digits in touchdowns that were over 30 yards, and the longest in his career was an 80-yard reception. He also excels well in the return game as well, taking one back for a touchdown. Hauled in 159 receptions for 2,424 yards, 15.2 reception yard average and 17 touchdowns throughout is a collegiate career.
Keke Coutee Highlights
Possess extreme explosiveness. A sure-handed receiver and a reliable target. Very shifty and maneuver's well in space. Has the ability to take the roof off any defense despite what’s the coverage. Dangerous receiver with the capability to take a five-yard reception off to the races, turning into an 80-yard touchdown. Versatile player that plays on both sides of the ball as a receiver or corner. Ability to return kicks and play special teams.
Despite a sure-handed receiver, has a bad habit catching the ball against his body frame. At the next level, defensive backs will expose this trait and jump his routes. Need to polish his route running as he tends to tip off his route. Usually rounds off his pattern on out routes. A bit high in his route patterns. Needs to secure the ball better in traffic, will be a red light for turnovers at the next level. A little undersized but makes it up with his speed. May need to add more strength to the next level.
How can he help the Rams
It is expected that the Rams will part ways with Tavon Austin this offseason, Coutee can be that dynamic replacement at receiver for Austin. Ability to return kicks and punts has the speed and talent that is a marquee for Sean McVay’s offense, to be a dynamic slot receiver. Not confirmed whether he’s received an invite to the 2018 NFL Combine, but his stock can rise significantly at the 2018 NFL Draft or if he has a great workout at Texas Tech’s Pro Day.
4-6 (Combine or pro-day can change)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburg Steelers
Note: Rams Tavon Austin restructured contract to return on a one-year deal. Prior to NFL Combine, we initially had Coutee rated as a second to third round selection. However, I stock has slipped slightly projecting him as a Day Three receiver.
Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-3-225 pound Nic Shimonek?
Nic Shimonek transferred to Texas Tech as a walk-on after signing with the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. Shimonek felt that the pro-style offense wasn't suited to his strengths as he was accustomed to playing in a spread as he did in high school. It was a wise decision to make, as he sat behind current NFL backups Jake Rudock (Detroit Lions), and C.J. Beathard (San Francisco 49ers). Nic Shimonek earned a scholarship and received his opportunity when Red Raiders starting quarterback Pat Mahomes II, went down to an injury early in the third quarter in a game against the Kansas Jayhawks. Shimonek step in and torched the Jayhawks defense secondary by spreading the ball around. He was 15-21 passing for 271 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. (Watch Video)
Patrick Mahomes II Injured, Shimonek Light's It Up
Shimonek has a great strong arm that has impressed NFL scouts. His senior year, he was 328-493-3,963 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Had a long journey through his collegiate career, despite running his own furniture restoration company with his wife. Had a slightly similar path of the famous Kurt Warner, former Rams quarterback that was inducted into the 2017 Hall of Fame. Shimonek never gave up his fight or dreams to play Division I football. Has a knack for entering games late and providing heroic efforts. Playing in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, he threw a touchdown pass to University of Houston’s Steven Dunbar, leading the West over the East 14-10. Shimonek went 12-18-108 yards and one touchdown in leading the West. (Watch Video)
Shimonek's Game Winning TD In East-West Shrine Game
Nic Shimonek Highlights
The ability to stand tall in the pocket and make all the reads before delivering the pass. Has good arm strength, the ability to deliver the ball from various angles, and delivers quick passes. Great play action a quarterback with the ability to complete short strike passes. Accurate passer even on the run with velocity on the deep out. Read defenses well, and will stay in the pocket to the last second. Moves well in the pocket and has a good sense of pressure to create time to get rid of the ball. Will throw the ball away if there’s no receiver open to minimize turnovers. Ability to come off the bench to provide a spark.
Will struggle with zone defenses, and will try to throw into tight windows, but not as often. Stares down the receiver, allowing the defenses to read and react and jumping routes. Seems to not trust his big arms as his deep passes have receivers has to come back for the ball. At times will avoid the pocket and try to make plays with his feet and refusing to slide. Not as athletic or fast as his predecessor Patrick Mahomes II. Only has one year under his belt as a starter which may shy some teams away despite his upside.
Is he a fit for the Rams?
Yes, I’m going to be honest and say i’m bias with the kid. One of his greateast attribute, was the ability to enter a game late and was very productive. When replacing a injured Mahomes, or entering the senior bowl all-star game, he has showed his experience of producitivity. Rams current backup Sean Mannion may be on the move or released this up-becoming season. Played well in the pre-season but not impressive in his start in Week 17 against the San Francisco 49ers. Shimonek can come in and becomce a solid backup, but will have to out play current third string Brandon Allen. His East-West Shrine Game performance already have convinced scouts that he's a competitor. Shimonek impressed many scouts at the combine and his pro day at Tech. Rams will have a total of 6.0 sixth round picks at 2018 NFL Draft, expect them to use one on a quarterback.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-6- 335 pound Chukwuma Okorafor?
After watching hours of video on Okorafor, it’s hard to believe that he’s a late bloomer to the game. Watched extensive video of him against Michigan St, and Wisconsin. Against Wisconsin, Okorafor matched up against current Pittsburg Steeler’s linebacker TJ Watts, a battle that he struggled against. Growing up in Nigeria, he played soccer as a kid and was challenged with a late growth spurt. His family relocated to the United States where he picked up playing football. Started three-years at playing both tackle positions. He is the most intriguing prospect in a very deep offensive tackle class. Is a massive blocker with unbelievable athleticism for his size. Winner of the Iron Bronco Award, which goes to the player who recorded the most plays of the season. Invited and accepted the 2018 East-West Shrine Game but withdrew because of a thigh injury.
Chukwuma Okorafor Highlights
A massive body that swallows the defender, long arms, and strong hands. Great lateral agility for his size, and surprisingly have lightning quick feet. Great blocker on the point of attack which gets under pad level. Very effective in short yardage or goal line run blocking. Great feet with pass blocking. Ability to change direction and reach the edge against speed rushers.
Needs to improve his hand usage and keep his hands up. Tend to drop hands and allow the defender above his hands and beat him to play. Tends to keep his weight forwarded allowing himself to be out of position against speed rushers. Need to work on zone blocking, whiffs at blocks, even when getting to the second level. Point attack of blocking is like a statue relying on his weight to bully the defender. Tends to get lost or not certain what to do with plays opposite of his side. The recent analyst has reported him as being a little soft, which may affect his draft status from the first round and slide down to a mid-round selection.
How does he fit for the Rams
The Rams eventually at some point will need to replace the 36-year-old veteran Andrew Whitworth, at left tackle. Okorafor has many flaws, but the Rams offensive lines coach Aaron Kromer can fix those flaws. Kromer's effect of the offensive lineman this past season showed tremendous improvement, where the line played together as a unit every game. Okorafor massive body and quick feet are typical for protecting the quarterback blind side. His tremendous power at the point attack will contribute to him opening up holes for Todd Gurley, the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl and 2018 NFL Offensive Player of the Year running back.
2nd - 3rd Round
Donovan Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-4-215 pound Jake Wieneke?
A receiver regarded as one of the most productive wide receiver in FCS history that surpassed the production of Cooper Kupp, the Los Angeles Rams wide receiver. Eclipsing 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first three seasons, and double digits in touchdowns, but missed his senior season by 35 yards from accomplishing his fourth. The most notable game was against TCU in 2016, putting up huge numbers in receiving with eight receptions, 196 yards receiving and two touchdowns. His kicked off his freshman season with six receptions for 105 receptions against a pretty tough Missouri Tiger’s defense. In the 2017 FCS playoffs alone, Wieneke caught 19 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns and even threw a 48-yard touchdown pass. The red-shirt senior finished his career playing in 53 games with 288 receptions, 5,157 yards receiving, 17.9 yds per reception, and 59 touchdowns.
Jake Wieneke Highlights
Has great size which allows him to be a good blocking receiver. Ability to run good routes, with good speed that creates him to be a deep threat. Has great hands to overpower any defender. Big body that is hard to take down, fights for extra yards, ability to break tackles, and the ability to make the defender miss. Very shifty and can play in crowded areas. Four-year starter, very experienced receiver, situations allows him to beat his defender and a great playmaker. Huge red-zone target with over 39 receptions for 11 touchdowns.
May have the questionable speed to separate from NFL defenders. Slightly hesitates when starting routes. Eyes his destination of route location. Run a bit high but finishes his routes crisp.
How does he fit for the Rams?
Wieneke fits in well with Rams because he’s a huge target with a seven-foot wingspan. Big and physical receiver with sure hands. Ability to win the 50/50 balls and huge red zone target. Physicality is significant in the run game, the great blocker can be used as a hybrid tight-end. In the East-West Shrine Game, Wieneke had one reception for 15 yards, but an amazing reception. (Watch Video)
Jake Wieneke Goes Up High For Deflected Pass
Notice the concentration of Wieneke's ability to get up over the defenders and grab the 50/50 ball with his strong hands to come down with the reception.
NFL ComparisonRSS Feed
Erik Decker, Tennessee Titans
Ed “Pi Double i” Henderson
Who is the 6-foot-3-240 pound, Uchenna Nwosu?
Nwosu is a tough linebacker that plays with a high motor, was selected as an All Pac-12 first team. His high motor allows him to make high impact plays against any opposing offenses. A versatile linebacker that can play both as an inside or outside linebacker.
Ucheena Nwosu Highlight's
Versatile defender that can pursuit the ball with his speed and athleticism coming off the edge. Best fit for a 3-4 scheme. Great instincts and awareness of the ball. Has quick hands, and ability to bat down or intercept passes. Recorded 75 tackles (11.5 for loss), 9.5 sacks, 13 pass deflections, and one interception.
Nwosu tends to play a bit upright at times and can get off track when pursuing the ball. Needs to work on coverage skills. Has such defensive talent as a run stopper and pass rusher, without coverage skills will make him a one-dimensional player. Can struggle with a lineman in the run and pass game by getting covered up in blocks. He may be still on the board on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Is he a fit for the Rams?
Certainly, with good size, speed, and strength, he fits well into the 3-4 scheme at the edge. Rams have lost veteran Connor Barwin, traded away Alec Ogletree and Robert Quinn, as he has the fit at those line-backing positions. His 4.6 speed can provide problems for offensive linemen. Perhaps at the 2018 NFL Combine providing an invite or his Pro-Day, he may put in the performance of the year.
2nd - 3rd Round
Nick Perry, Green Bay Packers
Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
The Los Angeles Rams will need to address some offseason concerns as they prepare for the 2018 NFL Draft. They currently have six key players who are eligible to test the free agent market, Trumaine Johnson, Sammy Watkins, Lamarcus Joyner, John Sullivan, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Connor Barwin.
The Rams currently have eight draft selections this NFL Draft, after trading their 2018 second round pick to the Buffalo Bills to acquire a number one receiver in Sammy Watkins. Potentially top four picks above, the Rams probably could select a defensive lineman with their first-round selection, however, Vita Vea may be long gone by the time they select.
First Round: #23rd overall selection
Second Round: No Pick (acquired Sammy Watkins via trade from the Buffalo Bills, in exchanged for their second-round pick)
Third Round: TBD
Fourth Round: TBD
Fifth Round: TBD
Sixth Round: TBD
Sixth Round: TBD (acquired Detroit Lion’s sixth-round pick in exchange for offensive lineman Greg Robinson)
Sixth Round: TBD (acquired Bill’s sixth-round pick in the Sammy Watkins trade)
Seventh Round: No Pick (acquired Derek Carrier via trade from the Washington Redskins, in exchange for their seventh-round pick)
Seventh Round: TBD (receives seventh-round pick of Baltimore Raven’s from conditional trade of Chris Givens)
It’s a no brainer that the probable free agent choice the Rams SHALL keep in Los Angeles, is Wakins. It wouldn’t make sense for the Rams to let Watkins walk away when they traded a second round draft pick to acquire him. However, expect for the Rams to place the franchise tag on him at the trading deadline to get other players resigned.
The last two seasons, the Rams placed the franchise tag on veteran corner Trumaine Johnson, who is more than likely be lost this offseason. However, in recent news, Les Snead, the Rams general manager, has expressed that the Rams may be able to resign him to a deal for this 2018 season.
Lamarcus Joyner, is a Rams starting safety is of a major concern and the Rams can’t afford to lose potentially a second starter of the secondary. Last season Joyner played the best football of his career, being part of a intriguing defensive backfield that was solid. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips loved what Joyner was able to bring to the safety position as an undersized player. Expect Joyner to strike a deal as soon as the free agent signing period start.
Here are some important dates to keep in mind as the off-season begins:
January 1 Clubs may begin signing free agent players for the 2018 season.
January 1 Clubs may renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.
January 1 Option exercise period begins for fifth-year option for first-round selections from the 2015 NFL Draft. To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after January 1, but prior to May 3.
January 6-7 Wild Card Playoffs.
January 7 Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games.
January 13-14 Divisional Playoffs.
January 14 Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.
January 15 Deadline for college players who are underclassmen to apply for special eligibility. A list of players who are accepted into the NFL Draft will be sent to clubs on January 19.
January 20 East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.
January 20 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California.
January 21 AFC and NFC Championship Games.
January 27 Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.
January 28 NFL Pro Bowl, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida.
January 28 An assistant coach whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another club’s head coaching job, may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.
January 31 Deadline for NFL clubs to try out and negotiate with CFL players whose 2017 contracts are due to expire at 12 noon, New York time, on February 13.
February 4 Super Bowl LII, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
February 5 Waiver system begins for 2018.
February 13 Beginning at 12 noon, New York time, NFL clubs may begin to sign players whose 2017 CFL contracts have expired. Players under contract to a CFL club for the 2018 season or who have an option for the 2018 season are not eligible to be signed.
February 20 First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
February 27-March 5 NFL Scouting Combine, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 6 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 12-14 Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2017 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 14. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 14.
March 14 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2018 on all players who have option clauses in their 2017 contracts.
March 14 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
March 14 Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2017 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.
March 14 Top 51 begins. All clubs must be under the 2018 salary cap prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time.
March 14 All 2017 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
March 14 The 2018 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
The first day of the 2018 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14.
March 14 The first day of the 2018 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 14.
March 14 Trading period for 2018 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2017 contracts.
March 25-28 Annual League Meeting, Orlando, Florida.
April 2 Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2017 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 16 Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
April 20 Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign offer sheets.
April 26-28 2018 NFL Draft, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX.
May 4-7 Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 8 Deadline for prior club to send “May 8 Tender” to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a player contract with a club by July 23 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a player contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m., New York time, only with his prior club.
May 11-14 Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
May 14 Rookie Football Development Programs begin.
May 17-20 NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Invited Rookies (typically, first and/or second-round selections) must be permitted by their respective clubs to attend. Such players are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.
May 21-23 Spring League Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia.
June 1 Deadline for prior club to send “June 1 Tender” to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents who received a qualifying offer for a right of first refusal only in order for such player to be subject to the CBA’s “June 15 Tender” provision.
June 2 For any player removed from the club’s roster or whose contract is assigned via waivers or trade on or after June 2, any unamortized signing bonus amounts for future years will be included fully in team salary at the start of the 2019 League Year.
June 15 Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting “June 15 Tender” of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player’s prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).
Late June Rookie Transition Program to be held at individual clubs. Attendance is mandatory for all rookies.
July 16 At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one- year contract with his prior club for the 2018 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular season game.
Mid-JulyClubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies and first-year players beginning seven days prior to the club’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for Veteran players.
Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or “injured players” (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) may report to a club’s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days prior to the club’s first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.
Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the club’s preseason training camp no earlier than five days immediately prior to the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players, provided the club has already opened (or simultaneously opens) its official preseason training camp for all rookies and first-year players.
A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club’s roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who rejoin the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.
July 23 *Signing period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a “May 8 Tender” was made by prior club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
* or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.
July 23 Signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, Prior Club has exclusive negotiating rights.
August 2 Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio.
August 2-5 Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton, Ohio.
August 7 Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season for free agency.
August 7 If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2018, and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2019 League Year.
WorldWide Rams will cover the NFL Draft of collegiate players who have declared for the NFL Draft. Over 106 underclassmen have declared early for the NFL draft with several players only two years removed from high school. It will be very interesting with this years draft as we will also provide mock drafts.
Overview: A year ago, or even last summer, few people would have predicted this match up in the playoffs. The Rams will be hosting their first playoff game in Los Angeles since January, 1986, when they beat the Dallas Cowboys 20-0. It's been even longer since they hosted a game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. That last happened on January 7, 1979, when they lost the NFC title game to Dallas by a score of 28-0. This time the Rams go in as 6 point favorites against the defending NFC Champion Falcons. A win will send the Rams on to the next round of the playoffs, with a road game against the Minnesota Vikings This week's match up is a classic battle between the up-and-coming Rams, led by the youngest Head Coach in NFL history, 31--year old Sean McVay, against the playoff hardened Atlanta Falcons team that many people felt under performed for much of the regular season. Does playoff experience really matter? We may find out on Saturday.
Rams Defense vs Falcons Offense: Anytime you discuss the Rams defense, you have to start the conversation with Aaron Donald, arguably the best defensive player on the planet right now. Donald logged 11 sacks despite missing three games, and he is the proverbial force to be reckoned with. It doesn't help Atlanta that starting left guard Andy Levitre has been placed on injured reserve and won't be available. AD always has the potential to take over a game, as he did a few weeks ago against the Seattle Seahawks. If that happens the Rams will likely win. Of course, as good as Donald is he isn't the only player Atlanta will have to worry about up front. Outside linebacker Robert Quinn, after a slow start, seemed to get the hang of the Rams 3-4 defensive scheme and is someone who can't be ignored when Matt Ryan drops back to throw. Overall the Rams finished fourth in the NFL in sacks in 2017. One of the big match ups when the Falcons have the ball will be Atlanta receiver Julio Jones vs. Rams corner Trumaine Johnson. Overall, though, I am guessing Atlanta will try to run the ball rather than get into a shootout that they would probably lose with the high-flying Rams offense. That means they need a big day from running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman against the Rams 28th-rated rushing defense. While Freeman was held out of the Falcons Tuesday practice and was limited on Wednesday, he is expected to play on Saturday. If the Falcons can run the ball effectively, eat up the clock, and avoid turnovers, they could win this game. I just don't happen to think that will happen. This isn't Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips first playoff game, and I am betting he will have the Rams defense up to the task of limiting the Falcons running game.
Rams Offense vs Falcons Defense: The Rams are the first team in NFL history to go from last in points scored to first, and running back Todd Gurley had a lot to do with that. Not only did TGII rush for over 1300 yards, he also had 64 catches for 788 yards. That's exactly one yard less than Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffrey had in receiving yards...and Jeffrey played one more game. Every week opposing defenses pledge to stop Gurley, and usually they fail. While Atlanta's linebackers appear to be among the quicker, more athletic linebacking units in the NFL, for some reason they had problems with running backs catching passes out of the backfield. Atlanta's pass rush wasn't ''all that'' in the regular season either. They are 8th among the 12 teams making the playoffs in sacks. Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has a high respect for the the Rams offense. He was quoted as saying this week “They’re making a lot of big, explosive plays. They’re doing a good job of dividing defense’s down the middle and that’s where Gurley is getting a lot of those runs. Getting into that second level — a back that big going that fast, you don’t want to let him get to the second level. He’s playing with a whole new motor about himself than the year before and guys upfront are playing really hard. So, it’s going to be fun. I’m excited.” Jarrett is the son of legendary Falcons linebacker Jessie Tuggle. The Rams will want to contain defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who logged 9.5 sacks in the regular season and turned into a one-man wrecking crew against the Dallas Cowboys in a key Monday night game. The Falcons head coach is former Seattle Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn, and the Atlanta defense has a lot of similarities to the Seahawks scheme-wise. The Rams got some good news on the injury front this week with the news that rookie wide receiver Cooper Kupp will play despite a nagging knee injury. Kupp, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins where the Rams go-to wide receivers in the regular season. It's hard to shut down all three of them at once as well as Gurley.
Special Teams: I consider the Rams special teams to be the best in the NFL, and that hasn't changed since the regular season. Having said that, there are a couple of concerns here. Placekicker Greg Zuerlein is out for the year with back problems. Replacement Sam Ficken was two for two on field goal attempts Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, but he did miss a field goal and an extra point in his debut against the Tennessee Titans. He's still something of a question mark. Kick returner Pharoh Cooper was limited in practice this week, but last time I checked he was expected to play. Let's hope so, he's a big weapon in the return game. Otherwise the Rams are solid on special teams. Johnny Hekker is the best punter in the NFL, and a good enough passer to be a threat on the fake punts that the Rams will try every so often. The Rams excel at blocking punts, with linebacker Cory Littleton excelling in particular in that role. This is still an advantage for the Rams, but if Ficken has to win the game with a long field-goal attempt, things could get a little dicey.
Prediction: On paper the Rams should win this game, but as we all know, games aren't won on paper. I don't think Atlanta can win a shootout, but if this turns into a low-scoring grind-it-out battle they have a chance. The x-factor here is playoff experience, which heavily favors the Falcons. However, the NFL released the AP All-Pro Selections this morning, and would you know six Ram players were listed! Aaron Donald, Andrew Whitworth, Todd Gurley, Greg Zuerlein, and Pharoh Cooper (first time selections), with Rodger Saffold being named as a second All-Pro team. I'll take talent over experience and predict a Rams win.
Rams 34 Atlanta 24