2021 NFL Draft: Ja’Marr Chase and the joys of the slant route

On its surface, there are few more elementary route concepts in football than the slant. There are different iterations, of course, but it’s an angular route designed to attack the leverage of a defense and have the receiver work in short areas to graze on any open space, and take advantage. There are receiver subtleties, […]

Michigan’s Ronnie Bell moves to the front of the line

It was just two years ago when an under-recruited, underrated wide receiver named Ronnie Bell walked onto Michigan’s campus for the first time. Bell was a basketball star in high school — an athlete with above-average agility — who played football for fun. But he quickly turned heads in practice, enough to warrant playing time […]

Why DJ Chark is The Next Jaguars Player Deserving of a Big Second Contract

Just a few years ago, fans and analysts alike pondered how the Jacksonville Jaguars would be able to fit all of their young talent under the cap. Jalen Ramsey, Yannick Ngakoue and Leonard Fournette were just a few of the young cornerstones the team figured to build around. Now, all are gone. The last time […]

Michael Thomas Is Setting Records, but Julio Jones Is the NFL’s Best WR

Julio Jones is a likely Hall of Famer. Michael Thomas set the single-season reception record last year. They’re both incredible wide receivers. Jones is slightly better. Sure, Thomas was voted the fifth-best player and top receiver by his peers in the NFL Network’s Top 100 countdown. Jones finished just 11th in the balloting and third among […]

NFL Draft Summer Scouting: Ja’Marr Chase and the WRs may be even better in 2021

The crop of wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft was labeled as historic and it lived up to those expectations with a record 13 of them drafted in the first two rounds. And yet, the wide receivers in the Class of 2021 might be even better. Time will tell how the numbers match up, […]

Best routes for rookie NFL wide receivers: Why CeeDee Lamb’s out, Brandon Aiyuk’s screen are unstoppable

The success of a rookie NFL receiver is predicated on not only his overall skill, but also what in particular he brings to his specific offense. So what will the heralded wide receiver group of the 2020 NFL draft bring? We looked at the 16 wideouts who were drafted in the first three rounds in April, identifying their best, […]

So long, goal-line fade: Why one of the NFL’s least efficient passing plays is disappearing

Calvin Johnson is appalled when he hears how rarely quarterbacks succeeded last season in throwing the goal-line fade, a pass he loved to catch during his playing days. Over the course of nine seasons with the Detroit Lions, the wideout mastered the art of hauling in lofty tosses to the back pylon, limbs outstretched as he leapt […]

The most important Alabama players: No. 8, DeVonta Smith

With all the projections about what lies ahead for Alabama’s season, there is one area in which there are no question marks. That’s the offense. That’s no surprise, given that Alabama has arguably the best offensive line in college football, a running back who ended 2019 playing the best football of his career and two […]

K.J. Hamler is the Discount Henry Ruggs

The Broncos are all in on second-year quarterback Drew Lock. Denver’s front office has revamped their offense this offseason with the acquisition of Melvin Gordon in free agency and the selection of Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy with the 15th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Lock is also surrounded by receiver Courtland Sutton, tight end Noah Fant, and running back Phillip Lindsay. Jeudy’s […]

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