Debunking The Myths Against Quarterback Josh Rosen

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After the 2017 season, the consensus among scouts was that quarterbacks Sam Darnold of USC and Josh Rosen of UCLA would be the consensus top two picks in the 2018 NFL draft. Here we are, just about 24 hours before the draft in Arlington and now its believed that Rosen could slip while other quarterbacks such as Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield go in the top 5. What exactly has changed? The stigma from the media and the teams that might be buying into it. What are the knocks on Josh Rosen? They are leadership abilities, size, and injury history while in college.

The first one is very important in the NFL, without you being able to command your team every Sunday, you have no chance of being a franchise quarterback at the next level. The question we have to ask ourselves is why does the media consider Rosen unable to lead though? Is it because he asks questions (he’s smart) and wants to know reasons for some things? Is it because football has a shelf life and therefore isn’t the most important thing in the world to him? Is it because his family is rich so he has something to fall back on after football? By all accounts Rosen is a brilliant individual who sees the game better than any quarterback in this draft class. Has the world become so scared of “millennials” that they would steer clear of them at every turn, especially on the football field? Is that what the world is becoming today? Rosen’s former coaches have raved about his ability to lead his teammates and by all accounts was a fantastic teammate.

The next one is size, we’ve heard it for months and months on end that Josh Allen is a “freak” and he has the prototypical build that scouts look for in a QB or that Baker Mayfield is only 6 feet tall and too short to be a successful QB and that Darnold has no questions about his size. Did you ever really look at the differences between Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen though? The “freak” that people call Josh Allen is 6 feet 5 inches tall and 240 pounds, but what about Sam Darnold who has the size but Josh Rosen doesn’t? Believe it or not, Darnold is 6’3″ 220 while Josh Rosen the one that is questioned about his size is 6’4″ 218 pounds, and their hand size is also pretty much a wash there as well. Is it because Rosen is two pounds less than Darnold he doesn’t have the size that Darnold does?

The last one is his injury history in college where he’s suffered a few concussions. First, let me ask you, name a quarterback in any level that hasn’t suffered some kind of concussion in college. Josh Allen the “freak” has had a broken clavicle in his collegiate career, you know the same injury that Tony Romo suffered and was pretty much never the same player again? Baker Mayfield has also experienced two (that are documented) concussions in college but yet the knock on him is his height in the NFL but not his durability? Does there not seem like there’s some kind of bias against Rosen because he’s a smart guy who likes to ask questions and perhaps because he’s a “millennial” that today supposedly don’t have the same worth ethic?

There are no questions around the league or media about Rosen’s talent. They all say he’s the most pro ready quarterback in the NFL draft. They also say he’s the most polished passer coming out of college since Andrew Luck. They say there’s nothing wrong with his footwork and throwing motion that he could step into a NFL team Week 1. So while there are some concerns against Josh Rosen that I have outlined here, there are different concerns with the other quarterbacks in this draft.  For instance, the concern in Josh Allen is that he hasn’t had a better than 57% completion percentage in any part of his playing career. The concern in Sam Darnold is that he has been a turnover machine throughout his collegiate career and doesn’t have the footwork or throwing motion at the moment to be a NFL quarterback right away. There are flaws in absolutely every quarterback in this draft class yet Rosen seems to be the one targeted the most when I read mock drafts and scouting reports, and articles about the draft class. Ask yourself this question, if all the quarterbacks have flaws in this draft class, doesn’t it makes sense to take the quarterback that most scouts believe has the most talent in this draft class? That by all accounts is Josh Rosen.

 

The Best Trade Brian Cashman Has Made

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against the at Yankee Stadium on September 27, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Over their illustrious history, the New York Yankees have had their fair share of great infielders. Names like Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, Phil Rizzuto and even Alex Rodriguez come to mind, three of those were shortstops (although Alex Rodriguez played 3rd base for the Yankees). Who would have guessed that when Brian Cashman acquired a 24-year-old unproven shortstop from Amsterdam, Netherlands in December of 2014 at the request of Gene Michael who was instrumental in the Yankees dynasty runs of the late 90s through the early 2000s,  he would become the best trade Brian Cashman has made in his history? A history that included trades for guys like Scott Brosius, David Justice, Alex Rodriguez, Aroldis Chapman, and many others.

The year is 2014, Yankees icon and future hall of famer Derek Jeter had just retired, the Yankees were in need of a shortstop to take over for him. In December of 2014, general manager Brian Cashman dealt starting pitching prospect Shane Greene in a three-way trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers. Gregorius, who was by all accounts a wizard defensively but had questions with the bat, mainly would hit against right-handed pitching. Gregorius was coming off a season where he hit .227 with six HRs and 27 RBI in 80 games with Arizona, there was talk of platooning him with Brendan Ryan as he struggled to hit left-handed pitching.

Over his first season with the Yankees, Didi improved from his previous season with the Diamondbacks when he hit .265, with nine home runs and 56 RBI, hardly what anyone would expect from the Yankees shortstop, but fans at the time were spoiled by having Derek Jeter man that position since 1996 through the 2014 season in which the Yankees won five World Series championships. However, over the following two seasons, Didi hit 45 homers (22.5 per year) and drove in 157 runs (78.5) and his hitting improved abundantly vs left-handed pitching. As a matter of fact, Gregorius became a better hitter vs left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching.  The Yankees had their next long-term shortstop, the power that scouts said Didi would one day develop had arrived and the glove was still as good as ever. Furthermore, Didi is just now entering his prime age of baseball years at 28-years-old, so there’s a good chance he can become an even better player and he’s off to a heck of a start in the 2018 season to prove that.

The start of the 2018 season has started even better for Didi, he leads all Major Leaguers in RBI with 27 through his first 22 games, and has already hit eight HRs along with a .358 average and a 1.229 OPS.  He is also first on the Yankees in home runs despite having monster sluggers such as Gary Sanchez,  Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. He’s on pace to have a season better than 2016 in which he hit 25 home runs and drove in 87 despite missing the first month of the season.

When you factor in the scouting it took to predict , the minimal return that Brian Cashman had to give up, the pressure of having to fill Derek Jeter’s shoes, and the production he has given the Yankees over the last two seasons, as well as the start he’s off to in 2018 its pretty clear that not only do the Yankees have their long-term shortstop in Gregorius but it will possibly go down as the best trade made by general manager Brian Cashman.

Is Aaron Judge The Next Captain Of The New York Yankees?

The year is 2013, the New York Yankees are on the clock in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft with the 32nd overall pick. The commissioner Bud Selig announces the next Yankees draft pick. They have chosen a 6 foot 7 inch 3 sports star from Fresno State University, center fielder Aaron Judge. Who would have thought that one day he would be the leading candidate to perhaps one day follow in the footsteps of Don Mattingly and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter as captain of the most historic franchise in sports history the New York Yankees.

Three years later, on August 13, 2016, Aaron Judge made his Major League Debut and in his 1st at bat hit a gigantic homerun into monument park where ironically one day he might have a plaque himself there. The hype was real, the buzz was real, New York was envisioning the next great Yankee. What happened next tho?  The season did not go well for Judge, not only did he get hurt early into his career and missed the rest of the regular season after his call up, but, he also struggled mightily striking out 50% of the time which resulted in fans saying he was a bust and the hype was unwarranted and shattered with boos from Yankee Stadium crowds. What happened next? The arrival of Aaron Judge to the New York Yankees, their fans, and the city.

The very next season Judge won the starting RF spot over Aaron Hicks in Spring Training. What Judge would do in this season was a remarkable feat. He carried a rebuilding New York Yankees team in the 1st half of the season to a record that no one saw coming quite yet. He won the HR derby in a landslide, hitting majestic shot after shot in Miami.  He was awarded Rookie of the Year unanimously with hitting the most homeruns in MLB history by a rookie with 52, and oh yeah, he was also the runner up as the American League Most Valuable Player all in his rookie season.

Over their iconic history, The Yankees have had some amazing ballplayers from Babe Ruth, to Mickey Mantle, to Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, but what makes Aaron Judge special isnt just his immense talent with superhuman power or the ability to hit majestic home runs, steal bases, play gold glove defense or any of those things, it’s how he represents himself and the team, much like Derek Jeter did when he was named the captain of the New York Yankees in 2003. He would go on to be the longest captain in Yankees history until he retired after the 2014 season. In my opinion, much like Derek Jeter, there’s a certain feel to Aaron Judge that you just embrace as a teammate.

You see, this is New York where fans have a love/love and hate/hate relationship. They love you when you’re performing and hate you when you’re not. That however was different for guys like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. They both got shattered with boos at times, but there was no hate at all for them among fans. They were Yankees at heart and New Yorkers through and through. They knew how to represent the Yankees and with honor, prestige and class. Aaron Judge not only hits majestic homeruns, provides gold glove defense in RF, steals bases, helps the Yankees win ball games, but he does it much like Derek Jeter did, with pure class and always with a smile on his face and no matter what he always gave 100% whether it was a routine ground ball to 2nd base, or a homerun that travels 495 feet when he put his head down and just simply ran around the bases refusing to show up the pitcher.

Sure, this might seem like I’m putting the horse before the wagon, because Aaron Judge is only 2 seasons into his Yankee career. There’s also the belief of General Manager Brian Cashman who said that Derek Jeter should be the last ever Yankees captain.  The thing is tho, when Brian Cashman said that, did he know what he had in Aaron Judge? Did he know he had the next not only great Yankee, but most beloved one since Derek Jeter? At the ripe age of 25, Aaron Judge  has the ability to even get better as he’s still 4 years away from his prime baseball years. New York is clearly behind the gentle giant, there is a Judge’s chamber in Right Field at Yankee Stadium because he is so adored by fans and the Yankees, and if he continues to improve even more then one day, like Don Mattingly and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter, New York wont just be saying “all rise the Judge is in session, no, they’ll simply be calling him Aaron Judge, captain of the New York Yankees.

Top 10 NFL Mock Draft.

  1. Cleveland Browns –  QB Sam Darnold. Yes its true that GM John Dorsey loves his big arm QBs, he traded up last year and took QB Patrick Mahomes because of his big arm. I think in the end tho, Dorsey goes with who most believe will be the best QB in this class even if maybe Josh Allen has the highest ceiling.

2. New York Giants – RB Saquon Barkley. The New York Giants are the Wild card here and could change the direction of the 1st round if they go QB here. They could also go Bradley Chubb the DE from NC State. In the end tho, the Giants pass on the QBs and Chubb and go for the highest player on their board and best talent in the entire draft in Barkley and gives Eli Manning that dynamic RB he has never had before along with Odell Beckham JR.

3. New York Jets – QB Josh Allen. I’ve heard the rumors here time and time again about how much the Jets love Baker Mayfield, but I think that has to do with the belief that the Browns are taking Josh Allen at #1. Josh Allen is a guy with a big arm who has played in cold temperatures before, and while his accuracy has been an issue he perhaps has the highest upside in the draft because of his physical tools.

4. Cleveland Browns – DE Bradley Chubb.. With the Giants taking Barkley at 2, the Browns go for Chubb and put him on the opposite end of Myles Garrett in hopes that they can develop a pass rush that will making opposing QBs fear playing the Browns.

5. Denver Broncos –  G Quenton Nelson.  While the Broncos will be tempted here to take perhaps their future QB in either Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen, the Broncos ultimately stick to their plan to try to win now and go with Case Keenum who played pretty well for the Vikings and add a potential hall of fame lineman in Nelson.

6. Buffalo Bills via Indianapolis Colts – QB Baker Mayfield. The Colts are unable to get 2 of their top targets in Bradley Chubb or Quenton Nelson after trading the #3 pick to the NY Jets so they opt to trade down again and Buffalo takes what they hope is their next franchise QB while the Colts collect the Bills 2 first round picks.

7.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Minkah Fitzpatrick.. With Barkley going to the Giants at 2, the Bucs opt for what some consider the best overall defensive player in the draft and for sure the best CB in the draft.

8. Miami Dolphins via the Chicago Bears  QB Josh Rosen- With Quenton Nelson already gone there goes the Bears chance to replace Sitton at their hole at guard. If Nelson were to be there, the Bears would absolutely take him to help protect QB Mitch Trubisky.. In this mock, he is not there so the Bears opt to trade down 3 spots with Miami.  Dolphins take what they hope is their next franchise QB in Josh Rosen who should have no problem going from California to florida weather and producing.

9. San Francisco 49ers – LB Roquan Smith.  The 49ers might be losing last years late 1st round pick Rueben foster due to problems with the law, and even if they don’t, can they really trust that guy to stay healthy?.. The pick here for the 49ers is Smith.

10. Oakland Raiders – LB Trumane Edmunds.  Roquan Smith has been mocked to the Raiders almost in every draft I’ve seen, the Raiders badly need help on the defensive side of the ball, with Smith going to the 49ers, the Raiders take the next and perhaps best LB in the hole draft in Edmunds.

The 2018 New York Yankees Will Be Just Fine

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While its true the 2018 New York Yankees, who sit at 6-6 in the AL East, have started out the season somewhat overwhelmingly. In the end the New York Yankees will be just fine. Here are three reasons why Yankee fans should not worry about where the Yankees stand in the standings as of April 13th. First off, there are 149 games remaining, secondly, the Yankees offense, and third the Yankees bullpen.

With the Yankees sitting at 6-6 there seems to be quite a few fans on social media asking if Aaron Boone is the right man for the job or it this will end up a disaster hiring akin to the Giants hiring a head coach in Ben McAdoo with no experience.  This sounds oddly familiar to what Yankees fans said in 2008 when they hired Joe Girardi after only one season managing with the Miami Marlins. In the end, the New York Yankees won the World Series a year later in 2009 with Joe Girardi at the helm, he also did not have a losing season during the Yankees rebuild while attempting to compete mantra. Aaron Boone may be a first time manager but its pretty clear that Brian Cashman and the Yankees were blown away by his interview with them and his baseball acumen otherwise they would have never hired Boone coming off a season where they came one win shy of the World Series. Aaron Boone is still learning what its like to be a manager, but he has 149 games to go so there’s really no reason to panic about the Yankees record.

The second reason Yankee fans should not worry about the Yankees is their offensive firepower, through 12 games into the season, the Yankees are not getting much production at all from last years MVP Giancarlo Stanton or 2016 runner up Rookie of the year Gary Sanchez, they are missing 1st baseman Greg Bird whom the Yankees believe will be back in May, they have missed Aaron Hicks, as a matter of fact, I believe the Yankees have only had their expected 2018 lineup only 2 games so far in this early season. If you have followed the career of Giancarlo Stanton, you would know that as the weather warms up so does Stanton, the same can be said about Gary Sanchez as both of them seem to be coming out of their slumps to start the season with their last 2 performances in Fenway Park against the Red Sox.  While its true the Yankees have been and probably will continue to be hit with injuries, the Yankees have a valued farm system that includes the likes of Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier and others who in the near future will probably both be seeing time. The good news for the Yankees offense, is so far a sophomore slump for Aaron Judge couldn’t be further from the truth. The Yankees sit 6-6 and a lot of that is due to their offense that hasn’t even been fully healthy this season.

The final reason is the bullpen, last year the Yankees bullpen did blow 21 games from May through July, from Adam Warren all the way to Aroldis Chapman. The 2018 Yankees bullpen has already blown 5 games this season and have been hammered at times by opposing players, but again this is April, slumps will happen, a bullpen that consists of Chapman, Robertson, Green, Betances, Warren among others is simply too good to continue to be this bad for much longer. One bright spot in the pen so far has been Yankee farmhand Domingo German who has excelled through ST and even in his appearances in the Bronx, he might be the next to join the pen full time, tho I believe the Yankees and Brian Cashman would rather allow German to develop more into a starting pitcher. The 2018 Yankees bullpen was expected to be possibly one of the best bullpens ever assembled and so far through 12 games that has not been the case, but the careers of these guys tell you that a 12 game sample size is far too short to believe that this will not turn around.

The Yankees might not go further than they did last year when they made Game 7 of the ALCS, and truthfully the only way to do that would be to make the World Series, but their imposing lineup will warm up as the weather does, the bullpen will right itself, and General manager Brian Cashman has all kinds of assets and money should he need to make more moves to help out first year manager Aaron Boone.

 

A Giant Dilemma

 

Unless you have been living under a rock, as a fan of the New York Giants, you would know by now that the 2017 season for the Giants that originally started with SuperBowl aspirations did not go anywhere near what Giants management and their fans thought it would go. They finished the season with a 3-13 record, their worst in the history of their franchise and now have the 2nd overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft, the dilemma here is do the Giants go for the best player available, or do they go for the QB of the future, Giants fans seem to be split into these 2 categories, win now or plan for the future. So what should the Giants do?

The answer to what the Giants should do in the 2018 NFL draft is not a simple one, with the 2nd overall pick in the draft, new Giants general manager David Gettleman has said that the pick should be someone that you can envision wearing a gold jacket, which means that player you select at 2 has a shot to one day be in the NFL Hall of Fame.
The Giants need to make this pick asking themselves are they much closer to the team they were in 2016 when they went 11-5 or this past season when they went 3-13? Do the Giants really have a chance to make the playoffs this season after their worst season in the history of their franchise? In 2016, the Giants had a record of 11-5 behind a dominant defense that finished 2nd in the league in points allowed per game behind only the New England Patriots allowing only 17.8 points per game. However, the offense was another story averaging 19.3 points per game with many of that coming because of turnovers from the defense, or the defense actually scoring points themselves with takeaways that turned into touchdowns.

So what exactly happened in 2017? Why should the Giants believe they be a playoff team in 2018 after a 3-13 season?.. Well first lets start with what the Giants did not have, the Giants did not have elite WR Odell Beckham JR after Game 5 of the season as he went down with a fractured ankle and was lost for the season, not only that but in the same game the Giants also lost Brandon Marshall for the season also with a leg injury, as well as WR Sterling Shepard who ended up missing 6 games himself, this combined with an offensive line that was putrid and changing from game to game, as well as a putrid running game and the Giants losing key players like Landon Collins, Oliver Vernon and Janoris Jenkins on defense led the Giants to their worst season in franchise history.
Now that we got that outta the way, so what exactly do the Giants do with the 2nd overall pick? The answer seems simple doesn’t it? They have a 37 year old QB that had one of his worst seasons ever and clearly looked on the decline without the talent he’s used to around him, he could not get anything out of his offense that included TE Evan Engram and WR Roger Lewis as his top two targets. However, what about 3rd round pick Davis Webb that former coach Ben Mcadoo refused to play even in a lost season the Giants were experiencing instead going to journeyman Geno Smith at the expense of Eli Manning’s consecutive game streak which was a key component in making the locker room even more divided?. What about the 2016 season when Eli had Odell Beckham JR, but still with a mediocre offensive line and still a putrid running game? What about the 2 games this year in 2017 that Manning had against the Eagles where he threw over 400 yards against the Super Bowl Champions?

 

The 2018 QB class is full of talented prospects, but all with flaws. Sam Darnold is considered the number one QB prospect in this class, but his sophmore season was a far cry from his year in USC as a freshman, Darnold’s biggest knock is ball security issues and sometimes he tries to do too much and throws interceptions, sound familar Giants fans? He sounds exactly like what Eli Manning a 2X Super Bowl champion’s issues. The next best QB prospect is Josh Rosen who some believe is the most polished QB and most ready prospect since Andrew Luck was taken number 1 overall. The knock on Rosen is some believe he has to be challenged, and that football isn’t the most important thing to him, and some question his leadership because of that, there are also the concussions that he suffered in college. Quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen both who appear to be long shots for the Giants round out the top QB prospects in the class.
Now we get to the positions prospects that most scouts believe is where the Giants are leaning with the 2nd overall pick. First and foremos there is the explosive RB from Penn State who not only can do it on the field, but he also shows strong leadership qualities and is a well spoken man from interviews he’s had Saquon Barkley. Barkley before the combine, was a guaranteed top 10 pick, his combine did nothing to hurt that, in fact it turned Barkley into a top 5 pick with some scouts believing that he’s the best prospect in this entire draft. In the past, it has been hard to justify taking a RB so high, but that might have changed over the last few years when the Jaguars took RB Lenoard Fournette 4th overall and the Dallas Cowboys took Ezekiel Elliot also 4th overall, Le Veon Bell is the best running back in the NFL and he’s seeking a massive payday, if the Giants believe that Saquon Barkley is the next Leveon Bell could they pass up on him because of value of the pick at #2 and that very few RBS (Marshall Faulk and Emmitt Smith) were top picks that ended up being a Super Bowl champion, The belief is you can find RB talent in the later rounds, and in 2017 Kareem Hunt a 3rd round pick for the Kansas City Chiefs proved that to be correct, but is there anyone in these later rounds that is even close to Barkley who some believe is the next Adrien Peterson? If the Giants believe he’s the next Adrien Peterson then wouldn’t coach Pat Shumur love to add him to his offense that will include Odell Beckham JR, Sterlin Shepard, Evan Engram, Wayne Gallman among others?

The other 2 best positions prospects are Defensive End Bradley Chubb from NC State and Guard Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame. Some scouts believe that Bradley Chubb is a better defensive prospect that Myles Garett who in his rookie year had 7 sacks in 11 games played. The Giants traded Jason Pierre Paul to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 3rd round pick and to mostly shed most of the money the Giants owed to Jason Pierre Paul. The Giants traded Paul so they need another pass rusher especially since the team combined for an abysmal 27 sacks this past season with Jason Pierre Paul. Do the Giants go with Bradley Chubb and ask him to be what they thought they would get from Jason Pierre Paul when he was drafted? Then there’s guard Quenton Nelson from Notre Dame who scouts believe is someone you can count on to anchor the OL for a decade, fans wonder if just like taking a RB at 2 can you justify taking a guard at 2 even if they turn into an all pro year in and year out? Is the value there? David Gettleman loves his “hog mollies” and Quenton Nelson (6″5 329) absolutely fits that critera, he is also very athletic for a big man and also what some describe as a cant miss prospect.

One thing is for sure, the Giants might never pick this high again, do they take the chance and go with their QB of the future in Darnold, Rosen, Allen or Mayfield and give up on 3rd round pick Davis Webb who Pat Shumur and David Gettleman have both admitted they liked what they’ve seen from him on tape? Does general manager David Gettleman and coach Pat Shumur want their own QB to build around, or do the Giants go with their top position prospect whether it be Barkley, Chubb or Nelson and take a few more shots with Eli Manning at the helm before giving way to Davis Webb or hunt for another QB? One thing is for sure the Giants have a dilemma here, and they can’t afford to miss with the 2nd overall pick.