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Top 25 players in 2019 NFL free agency | Part One

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2019 NFL Free Agency

With Week 15 of NFL action already started, it’s time to look ahead to the impending 2019 NFL free agency.

In this five-part series, we’ll break down the top 25 players who’ll be deciding whether they want to remain with their current teams or take their talents elsewhere when they hit the open market in March.

For part one of the 2019 NFL free agency preview, we’ll be counting down the first five players on the list.

25. RB Kareem Hunt

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While he is one of the most talented free agents available, signing running back Kareem Hunt would certainly cause a lot of controversy. Hunt was released by the Kansas City Chiefs and placed on the commissioner’s exempt list after a video came out of Hunt shoving and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel back in February.

Being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list is the equivalent of being suspended indefinitely, so there is no way of knowing when Hunt would be able to take the field for his new team. Of course, if the incident with Ray Rice is any indicator of what to expect here it is possible Hunt will never play another down in the NFL.

That being said, the offensive production that Hunt can add to a team may be attractive enough to get a team to test the waters once outrage about the incident has died down.

Prior to his suspension and release, Hunt ran for 824 yards and seven touchdowns according to Pro Football Reference. He also hauled in 26 catches for 378 yards and seven receiving touchdowns.

24. OT Daryl Williams

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Daryl Williams was the Carolina Panthers starting right tackle until he was placed on injured reserve after suffering his second knee injury of the season. Williams tore his right MCL and dislocated his patella in the first week of training camp but opted not to have surgery, instead he elected to rehabilitate his knee. Despite being cleared to play in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Williams didn’t make it through the game before suffering another knee injury.

There’s no word on a timeline for Williams’ recovery, but it is possible that he will return to the field in 2018. Williams became a full-time starter for the Panthers in 2017, starting all 16 games at right tackle. Over the course of his career, Williams has started 29 games and played in 40 games.

23. WR Golden Tate

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The Detroit Lions made headlines this season when they decided to trade Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles for a third-round pick. Tate is in the final year of his contract and the price tag to keep him in Honolulu blue was too steep for the Lions.

Prior to the trade, Tate made 44 receptions for 517 yards and three touchdowns in eight games for Detroit. He has just 19 receptions for 189 yards and one touchdown since being traded to Philly.

Tate has 600 catches, 7,125 yards, and 38 touchdowns for his career. All these stats are brought to you courtesy of Pro Football Reference.

Tate will be 31 years old when the 2019 season starts.

22. OT Trent Brown

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With the best prospective left tackles in the NFL, including Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan, and Duane Brown, signing contracts during training camp this year, Trent Brown is the best option for teams looking for a tackle to protect the blind side

While it’s become increasingly rare for a plus starter on the offensive line to reach the market, the Patriots have many key players in the final year of their respective contracts. This could mean that another team will have a chance to lure Brown away.

21. CB Ronald Darby

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The 2019 NFL free agency looks a little scare when it comes to cornerback options. While there will be plenty of veterans like Brent Grimes, Morris Claiborne, and Orlando Scandrick available as short-term solutions, there aren’t many young building blocks that’ll be up for grabs. Enter Ronald Darby.

The Florida State product entered 2018 on the final year of his rookie contract and was counting on a good year to boost his value in free agency. Unfortunately, Darby suffered a torn ACL during the Eagles Week 11 matchup with the Cowboys.

According to the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus, Darby was among the 30 best cornerbacks in the NFL this season before going down with the injury. In nine games this season, Darby recorded 43 tackles, 12 passes defended, and one INT.

Darby could still earn a huge free-agent contract like Trumaine Johnson did this year, but he may start next season on the physically unable to perform list, which would greatly impact his value. If Darby isn’t going to be ready for the start of the season he may just look to re-sign on a one-year deal with the Eagles.

That’ll do it for our first look ahead at the 2019 NFL free agency. Be sure to check back for the remaining 20 players on our list.

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JUST IN: Free agent DL gets tryout with Detroit Lions

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According to Howard Balzer, the Detroit Lions reportedly held a tryout for DL Geneo Grissom.

Grissom played for the Patriots and Colts in 2018.

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Detroit Lions’ GM Bob Quinn asked about contingency plan for starting season without Matthew Stafford

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NFL: Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints

There are more important things that football and one of those things is family.

For Detroit Lions‘ quarterback Matthew Stafford, his family has always been at the top of his list and it most certainly is now as his wife Kelly was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons

Nov 17, 2015; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford with wife Kelly Stafford during the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly recently announced she had a brain tumor which required surgery. On Wednesday, that surgery reportedly took place, according to an Instagram post by her brother Chad.

The Lions held voluntary workouts this week and one player who was understandably absent was Matthew Stafford.

Stafford, of course, is giving 100% of his time to Kelly and his children, which is what he should be doing.

On Thursday, Lions’ GM Bob Quinn held a pre-draft press conference and he was asked whether or not he had talked to Matthew about Kelly’s situation.

From Detroit News:

“I have a lot of conversations with Matt over the past couple weeks,” Quinn said. “I would say my prayers and the organization’s prayers are with him and his family, with Kelly’s situation. Out of respect for his (wishes), he wants to kind of keep everything private, so I’m going to leave it at that.”

Quinn was also asked about if he needed to make a contingency plan in case Stafford were to miss extended time.

“Nope,” Quinn replied.

BONUS CONTENT:

Detroit Lions’ Perfect 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final Edition

Detroit Lions’ Perfect 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final Edition

It has been a marathon but we are almost to the promised land which is the 2019 NFL Draft!

After hours and hours of research, all of the so-called “experts” will soon be unveiling their final mock draft of the season and none of them will end up being correct.

I, on the other hand, do not claim to be an expert. Instead, I am just a huge fan of the Detroit Lions who happens to believe to know what the Lions’ biggest needs are and which available prospects can fill those needs.

That being said, here is my final crack at what I believe the “perfect” Detroit Lions’ draft would look like.

Remember, this is NOT what I think Lions’ GM Bob Quinn WILL do in the upcoming draft, it is what I think he SHOULD do.

Round 1, Pick 8

Ed Oliver (DL) Houston

I absolutely LOVE Ed Oliver if he is available when the Detroit Lions are on the clock with the No. 8 pick in the first round of the draft. Whether or not he will be available is the big question.

Oliver is an absolute beast and he could come in and make an immediate impact for a Lions defense that should be greatly improved in 2019.

From Dane Brugler (The Athletic):

STRENGTHS: Fluid body control to wriggle off blocks…excellent foot quickness and change of direction skills…shot out of a cannon with his first step…forces holding penalties due to his gap quickness…creates knockback with his speed-to-power skills…ball awareness to track through blocks…uses natural leverage to stay underneath the pads of blockers…better than expected play strength as a run defender…highly aggressive motor and effort never wanes, chasing down plays near the sidelines…dominated from the moment he stepped onto campus and leaves as a three-time All-American, collecting 54.0 tackles for loss over 33 career starts.

WEAKNESSES: Lacks desired frame and length…needs to continue and develop his body and stay in the 280-285 pound range (weighed 274 for most of his final season at Houston)…relied more on motor than brute power to overwhelm blockers in college…not a bull rusher…undeveloped approach with his hands…below- average counter measures once locked up…faced inferior competition in the AAC…several immature moments in college, including an on-field altercation with head coach Major Applewhite regarding a coat issue on the sideline — Oliver has a “young attitude” and has “growing up to do,” according to an NFL scout…missed five games as a junior with a right knee bruise (November 2018) and was limited at the combine with a strained hamstring (February 2019).

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Houston, Oliver was one of college football’s most disruptive players over the last three years, spending most of his time at nose tackle for the Cougars. With his football flexibility and natural biomechanics, he has rare athletic ability for the position with the backfield vision to recognize play designs and disrupt from different angles. Oliver still requires time to develop his body, mind and technique at the next level. He will struggle with long-armed blockers who get to his frame and control his chest, but his energy and motor are both elite. Overall, Oliver won’t be a natural fit for every NFL scheme, but he is an ideal one-gap penetrator due to his athleticism, instincts and relentless nature, projecting best when he is lined up closest to the football.

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BREAKING: NFL announces they will have cameras in 23 NFL Draft War Rooms

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NFL fans will have the privilege of checking out NFL GMs live throughout the 2019 NFL Draft as the league has announced they will feature draft ‘War Room’ cameras in 23 team facilities.

One of the War Rooms featured will be that of the Detroit Lions.

The next step will be to have a channel dedicated to each team so fans can watch what is going on in the War Room at all times!


BONUS CONTENT:

Detroit Lions’ Perfect 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final Edition

Detroit Lions’ Perfect 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Final Edition

It has been a marathon but we are almost to the promised land which is the 2019 NFL Draft!

After hours and hours of research, all of the so-called “experts” will soon be unveiling their final mock draft of the season and none of them will end up being correct.

I, on the other hand, do not claim to be an expert. Instead, I am just a huge fan of the Detroit Lions who happens to believe to know what the Lions’ biggest needs are and which available prospects can fill those needs.

That being said, here is my final crack at what I believe the “perfect” Detroit Lions’ draft would look like.

*Remember, this is NOT what I think Lions’ GM Bob Quinn WILL do in the upcoming draft, it is what I think he SHOULD do.

Round 1, Pick 8

Ed Oliver (DL) Houston

I absolutely LOVE Ed Oliver if he is available when the Detroit Lions are on the clock with the No. 8 pick in the first round of the draft. Whether or not he will be available is the big question.

Oliver is an absolute beast and he could come in and make an immediate impact for a Lions defense that should be greatly improved in 2019.

From Dane Brugler (The Athletic):

STRENGTHS: Fluid body control to wriggle off blocks…excellent foot quickness and change of direction skills…shot out of a cannon with his first step…forces holding penalties due to his gap quickness…creates knockback with his speed-to-power skills…ball awareness to track through blocks…uses natural leverage to stay underneath the pads of blockers…better than expected play strength as a run defender…highly aggressive motor and effort never wanes, chasing down plays near the sidelines…dominated from the moment he stepped onto campus and leaves as a three-time All-American, collecting 54.0 tackles for loss over 33 career starts.

WEAKNESSES: Lacks desired frame and length…needs to continue and develop his body and stay in the 280-285 pound range (weighed 274 for most of his final season at Houston)…relied more on motor than brute power to overwhelm blockers in college…not a bull rusher…undeveloped approach with his hands…below- average counter measures once locked up…faced inferior competition in the AAC…several immature moments in college, including an on-field altercation with head coach Major Applewhite regarding a coat issue on the sideline — Oliver has a “young attitude” and has “growing up to do,” according to an NFL scout…missed five games as a junior with a right knee bruise (November 2018) and was limited at the combine with a strained hamstring (February 2019).

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Houston, Oliver was one of college football’s most disruptive players over the last three years, spending most of his time at nose tackle for the Cougars. With his football flexibility and natural biomechanics, he has rare athletic ability for the position with the backfield vision to recognize play designs and disrupt from different angles. Oliver still requires time to develop his body, mind and technique at the next level. He will struggle with long-armed blockers who get to his frame and control his chest, but his energy and motor are both elite. Overall, Oliver won’t be a natural fit for every NFL scheme, but he is an ideal one-gap penetrator due to his athleticism, instincts and relentless nature, projecting best when he is lined up closest to the football.

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