Redskins S DJ Swearinger campaigns for team to draft DT

DJ Swearinger knows exactly what he wants his Washington Redskins to do in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Swearinger was on Twitter Saturday night sharing his thoughts on what direction his team should take in the draft, making it clear that they need some help on the defensive line. He pointed out how poor the team was against the run last season.

Auston Matthews is heating up at just the right time, especially on the power play, an area where he wasn’t effective for the whole season. William Nylander is the stack with Matthews on and off the power play, while Zach Hyman can be ignored as the third member of the top line. Patrick Marleau is the veteran of the bunch and plays a role on the power play with Matthews, while connecting with Mitch Marner and Nazem Kadri at even strength. He could be a sleeper for the playoffs. Then the team has 36-goal scorer James van Riemsdyk on a third line with Tyler Bozak and Connor Brown. In net, Frederik Andersen has been in the postseason for five consecutive years now and should maintain his steady play from the regular season.

The Leafs are a sleeper pick for the playoffs overall. If they get by Boston, the conference finals are a possibility, and Matthews is the type of player who could be top five for scoring even if they don’t make it all the way.

But it’s not as if he was great before last season, and had a quick downturn, as he has been well below average for each of the past three years. Pro Football Reference has year-adjusted stats so we can compare across different stat environments. Flacco has been well below average in Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt each of the last three years (and in pretty much every other measure, such as Passer Rating). You know how many other guys had a ANYA+ of 95 or lower (where 100 is average) in three straight seasons at age 30 to 32? One. Marc Bulger with the Rams from 2007 to 2009. He never played in another NFL game after that final season.

But that was about the only predictable aspect. The run by the Ottawa Senators was impressive and pushed Erik Karlsson to finish as the top-scoring defenseman. Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne scored the most fantasy points for goaltenders, with Ottawa’s Craig Anderson coming second. Leon Draisaitl matched Filip Forsberg for points, despite the Edmonton Oilers not getting out of the second round. Jake Guentzel’s 13 goals to lead the playoffs didn’t come out of nowhere, but he also wasn’t anyone’s pick for top scorer. Anything can happen.


Kia Roberts, who suggested no discipline in Elliott suspension case, leaves NFL

Kia Roberts, the lead investigator whose recommendation of no suspension for Ezekiel Elliott was at the heart of the Dallas Cowboys running back’s legal fight against a six-game ban, no longer works for the NFL, according to multiple sources.

Elliott was suspended for six games during the 2017 season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

A call to the NFL switchboard confirmed that Roberts no longer works for the NFL.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed Thursday that Gregory is preparing to apply to return to the NFL and the hope is the pass rusher can play in 2018, per David Helman of the team’s official website. Jones provided no further details.

Gregory missed the entire 2017 season after being suspended for at least one year for violating the NFL’s Policy for Substances of Abuse. The 2015 second-round selection has played in just two games since his rookie season.

Cassell was taken in the seventh round of the 2005 draft. He attempted just 39 passes over his first three seasons but in 2008 he was required to play in all 16 games in Brady’s stead. Brissett and Garoppolo were selected with a third- and second-round pick, respectively, in recent years. Brady, 40, has shown no signs slowing down, but Kraft stressed how the nature of the NFL requires teams to be prepared for a worst-case scenario. Part of why the networks pay us the funding they do, and the reason this is the best entertainment product in America, is you don’t know – one play can change a whole season. One play with one person. To do a good job managing an NFL franchise, we’ve always said understanding quality depth management, that’s our business, Kraft said.

The jump from Brown’s league-leading $17-million contract signed a year ago, up to $20 million might seem steep, but the pass-rusher market saw a similar jump when Von Miller inked a contract in 2016 worth over $2 million more than the next highest-paid player at the position. Even if the Giants are struggling with how much to value Beckham from a contractual standpoint, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to receive his true worth on the trade market. New York is reportedly seeking at least two first-round picks for Beckham, but Adam Schefter of ESPN believes he’ll ultimately be traded for a first and a third, or a first and a fourth – essentially what the Minnesota Vikings gave up to acquire average and brittle quarterback Sam Bradford.