Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
We are now just one week away from the NFL Draft and I have to say, if the draft is just half as crazy as the rest of this offseason has been, then we're going to be in for a wild night.
Yesterday, Deebo Samuel added some possible spice to the draft with his trade demands since those demands could potentially lead to a monstrous deal before the start of the draft on April 28.
So will the 49ers actually trade him? I have no idea, but since the possibility is now on the table, we went ahead and produced some potential landing spots for today's newsletter. We also have a mock draft, plus we'll be hearing from two former Cardinals players who don't think Kyler Murray will be in Arizona much longer.
As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link. Alright, let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's show: Ranking the defensive prospects in the NFL Draft by position group
The NFL Draft is now just ONE WEEK AWAY and because of that, I'm guessing you can figure out what we talked about on today's podcast and if you can't figure it out, the answer is the NFL Draft.
For today's episode, Will Brinson was joined by two CBSSports.com draft experts -- Josh Edwards and Chris Trapasso -- and the three of them spent nearly the entire podcast ranking every defensive prospect in the draft by position. From linebackers to defensive linemen to pass-rushers to the cornerbacks, Trapasso and Edwards offered their top-five players in each position group.
Edwards was in charge of ranking the top-five cornerbacks in the draft and here's what he came up with:
1. Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati)
2. Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU)
3. Kaiir Elam (Florida)
4. Kyler Gordon (Washington)
5. Trent McDuffie (Washington)
One corner who didn't crack Edwards' top five was Andrew Booth Jr. Although Booth is widely expected to go in the first round, Edwards isn't high on the former Clemson corner.
"It's more of [an injury thing]. He's got a core muscle situation, he had surgery after the season, so that's something that you have to be concerned about," Edwards said.
If you want to listen to today's episode and hear the guys rank the top-five players at each defensive position, be sure to click here. You can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Why Deebo Samuel wants to be traded and where he could land
Deebo Samuel sent shockwaves around the NFL on Wednesday when he decided to go public with his trade demands. Apparently, Samuel doesn't want to play for the 49ers anymore. In most situations like this, a player makes a trade demand because he's unhappy with his contract, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.
As a matter of fact, ESPN.com reported on Wednesday that the 49ers WANT to pay Samuel, but it's not happening because he's cut off all contract talks with the team. So why did Samuel make the trade demand? According to multiple reports, it's because he doesn't like the way he's being used in the 49ers' offense.
Here's a look at the situation:
- Samuel isn't "comfortable" with the way the 49ers are using him. According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Samuel doesn't like being used as a hybrid player. "There are some questions and some frustrations from his standpoint about this usage," Rapoport said Wednesday on NFL Network. "He takes a lot of hits, used like a running back, put all over the field and it just does not sound like he's comfortable with the way he's being used."
- Samuel's preference is to dump his running back role so he can focus on just being a receiver. Tom Pelissero of NFL Media has reported that Samuel simply wants to be a receiver. "Deebo Samuel wants to be a receiver and not a receiver-slash-running back," Pelissero said in an interview with Rich Eisen. "His rushing attempts were significantly up last season from where they've been in the past. We all know that he's a really, really physical player, but there probably are some concerns here about longevity."
- Theory that Samuel just wants to move closer to home. Pro Football talk has also speculated that it's possible that Samuel just wants to be closer to home. The 26-year-old went to high school and college in South Carolina.
The 49ers star got beat up last year and if he keeps playing two positions, that could cut several years off his career, so that makes sense. California is also a long way from South Carolina, so it's not crazy to think he might be a little homesick.
Although one report has indicated that the 49ers have "zero intention" of trading Samuel, they might not have a choice. If he refuses to play for them, San Francisco's best option might end up being a trade. Since the possibility of a trade is now on the table, CBSSports.com's Bryan DeArdo came up with five possible landing spots:
Personally, I don't think the 49ers would trade him to another NFC contender -- like the Packers -- but I do think almost any other team would be in play. To check out DeArdo's full explanation for why each of those five teams made his list, be sure to click here.
3. Kyler Murray to play elsewhere in 2022? Two former Cardinals players don't think QB will be in Arizona much longer
If you love QB drama, then the NFC West has probably been your favorite division this offseason. Not only did Russell Wilson force his way out of Seattle, but Jimmy Garoppolo is likely soon going to be on his way out of San Francisco. Oh, and there's even a chance that we could see Kyler Murray get traded.
Although that third thing sounds unlikely, I wouldn't bet against it. During CBS Sports' "All Things Covered" podcast this week, two former Cardinals players made it clear that they wouldn't be surprised if Murray leaves Arizona in the near future.
- Patrick Peterson thinks a breakup could be looming because the Cardinals don't do enough to try to win. "I've been around K1," Peterson said. "He's a competitor ... And I feel like, no disrespect to the Arizona Cardinals, I feel like they don't put the team in a position to be successful year after year after year. And Kyler Murray's not gonna sit around and wait for that." If you're a Cardinals fan, those are ominous words coming from someone who knows the organization inside and out. Peterson spent 10 years with the Cardinals before leaving following the 2020 season.
- Chase Edmonds doesn't see Murray in Arizona long-term. The former Cardinals running back was asked if he thought Murray would be sticking around Arizona for the foreseeable future. "Man, the way things are, and how people just move and get traded, I don't think so," he said. "It's a new way, bro. It's a new era in the NFL. ... People (are) gonna say a lot of things about K1, but he wants to win more than anything." Edmonds spent four seasons in Arizona, including three with Murray, before signing with the Dolphins this offseason.
What all of this means is that you shouldn't be surprised at all if Murray and the Cardinals go their separate ways sooner rather than later. I've been saying it since February, so I'll say it one more time here, I won't be surprised at all if Murray gets traded before the start of the UPCOMING season.
4. CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones offers his first mock draft
With the NFL Draft now exactly one week away, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't include a mock draft in today's newsletter so I decided to include a mock draft. This one is extra special, though, and that's because it's coming from CBS Sports NFL insider Jonathan Jones.
This is Jones' first mock draft of the year and he put this thing together after spending the past few weeks talking with sources around the league. Looking at the top 10 in Jones' mock, two things really stood out to me:
- He has the Seahawks trading up to six to grab a quarterback
- He has Kayvon Thibodeaux falling out of the top five
With that in mind, let's check out the top-10 picks in Jones' mock:
- 1. Jaguars: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan)
- 2. Lions: DL Travon Walker (Georgia)
- 3. Texans: OL Ikem Ekwonu (North Carolina State)
- 4. Jets: CB Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati)
- 5. Giants: OL Evan Neal (Alabama)
- 6. Seahawks (Mock trade with Carolina): QB Malik Wallis (Liberty)
- 7. Giants: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon)
- 8. Falcons: OL Charles Cross (Mississippi State)
- 9. Panthers (Mock trade with Seattle): S Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame)
- 10. Jets: WR Garrett Wilson (Ohio State)
If you want to see how the rest of the first round plays out -- and trust me, you do -- then you're going to want to click here.
5. How the Steelers can have the perfect draft
Between now and the start of the 2021 NFL Draft, we'll be going over how a few key teams can pull off the perfect draft and after going over the New York teams earlier this week, we're going to turn our focus to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With Ben Roethlisberger now retired, the Steelers are in an interesting position this year. They could end up drafting a quarterback at 20th overall (or even trading up for one), but they don't necessarily have to do that because they signed Mitchell Trubisky during the offseason.
So what should the Steelers do in the draft? CBSSports.com's Bryan DeArdo recently laid out their perfect draft plan:
- Don't settle on a QB. "It's no secret that the Steelers like Malik Willis, who was projected to be their first pick in CBS Sports' consensus mock draft. If Willis is selected before then, there's a good chance that Matt Corral or Desmond Ridder -- the two other top-ranked quarterback prospects along with Kenny Pickett -- are still available. If the Steelers aren't sold on either player, they would be better served spending their first pick on another position, whether that's a receiver, defensive lineman, defensive back or offensive lineman. From there, the Steelers could draft a quarterback later in the draft who, worst case scenario, can serve as a capable third-stringer behind Trubisky and Rudolph for the 2022 season."
- Add receivers. "Pittsburgh holds two Day 2 picks: the 52nd and 84th overall. Given their needs at receiver, expect the Steelers to not wait until the third round to draft a receiver. When it comes to drafting receivers, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has a long legacy of success: The list includes Antonio Brown, Santonio Holmes, Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Plaxico Burress and current Steelers receivers Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool."
- Fix the trenches. "Pittsburgh addressed its needs at guard/center with the free agent signings of Mason Cole and James Daniels. That being said, Pittsburgh should still look into drafting an offensive tackle who can back up Chukwuma Okorafor and Dan Moore Jr. while also serving as a swing tackle. "
You can check out DeArdo's full explanation for his perfect Steelers draft by clicking here. If you want to know how the rest of the AFC North can pull off a perfect draft, click here to see what the Bengals should do and click here to see what moves would make the most sense for the Browns (We don't have a perfect draft plan for the Ravens yet. Sorry, Ravens fans).
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Police release 911 call from Dwayne Haskins' wife
It's been a wild 24 hours in the NFL, and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Dwayne Haskins' wife called 911 on the day of his death. Kalabrya Haskins actually talked to her husband on the morning of his death. Dwayne had called her to let her know that he was leaving his car on the interstate because he had run out of gas. After not hearing from him for awhile, Kalabrya called 911 and asked police in Florida to check on her husband. For more details on the 911 call, be sure to click here.
- U.S Consulate appears to have leaked the date for the NFL's first game ever in Germany. The U.S. Consulate in Germany announced on Wednesday that the Buccaneers game in Munich would be played on Nov. 13, however, don't go writing that in your calendar just yet, because the consulate ended up deleting the tweet.
- Saquon Barkley tired of the BS. The running back is tired of everything that's being said about both him and the Giants. "I'm just tired of whatever is written about me, the BS that's said about me or this team," Barkely said on Wednesday. "I want to go out there and prove to this organization that the player they drafted is still there, I can still do special things with the ball in my hands, and I can help this team." If the Giants or Barkley happen to play well this season, then people will probably stop talking, but if not then the BS will likely continue.
- Von Miller facing lawsuit. TMZ has the details on a lewd lawsuit that has been filed against the Bills pass-rusher. Miller is being sued by a woman who has accused him of sharing sexually explicit photos of her with two unnamed celebrities. You can read more about the lawsuit by clicking here.