By Marc Lawrence — Dallas was one of the biggest winners of the First Round in this year’s NFL draft, and it’s all because a few teams ahead of them made mistakes and handed them Oklahoma WR Cee Dee Lamb at the 17th overall pick. Lamb was the third-best wide receiver prospect ever by Pro Football Focus. He’s a refined route-runner, has great ball skills and is lethal after the catch. Lamb is coming off a season in which he broke 26 tackles on 62 catches and averaged an incredible 11.0 yards after the catch per reception. SI.com said, “Having Lamb and Amari Cooper together almost assures that Michael Gallup will often face one-on-one coverage. And in that same vein, it could mean lighter run boxes for Ezekiel Elliott. This is a quality pick with a potentially significant domino effect … The Cowboys’ steals didn’t stop with just Lamb – they continued to thrive on Day 2 with their 51st and 82nd overall picks. It got to the point that PFF insisted, “The Cowboys are ripping the doorknob off this draft. Every pick they’ve made was much higher on the PFF Draft Board.” … For more on the Cowboys draft and a composite review of their grade from 4 of the nation’s leading football authorities, click here.
Don’t underestimate the Browns’ signing of QB Case Keenum this offseason. In new head coach Kevin Stefanski’s first year as QB coach with the Vikings he guided Keenum to an 11-3 record and a berth in the NFC Championship game after Sam Bradford went down with a knee injury. Keenum came in with a 9-15 record in 24 career starts, a 58.4% completion mark, a 78.4 passer rating and a TD-INT ratio of 24-20. Under Stefanski, he improved to a 67.6% completion mark, a 98.3 passer rating and a TD-INT ratio of 22-7. He also recorded eight games with a 100-plus rating to tie for second-most in team history in a season and tied a team record with 10 games on the season without an INT. Those are the kinds of numbers the Browns are looking for from Baker Mayfield, and a major reason Stefanski won the job. Now you know the rest of the story.
Grinding Out The Profits
From the 2020 PLAYBOOK Football Preview Guide magazine: The promising news for Atlanta this year is, after a 1-7 start to the 2019 season, the Falcons won 6 games during the second-half of the campaign last year. Nevertheless, with the addition of Tom Brady to the NFC South, there won’t be many layups this year. Not when the Dirty Birds face Drew Brees and the Saints in Weeks 11 and 13, and Brady and the Bucs in Weeks 15 and 17.