Top-10 NFL mock draft, key prospects to watch at 2020 NFL Scouting Combine

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It’s a very rich draft at wide receiver, above average at corner (the high school 7-on-7 tournaments around the country are producing crops of players who can catch and defend against the catch), and good at running back, defensive tackle and quarterback . . . and suspect everywhere else. So, a 2020 NFL Combine Preview.

I asked Daniel Jeremiah, the worthy successor to Mike Mayock on the 28-hour NFL Network TVing of the event beginning Thursday from 4-11 p.m. ET), to give me his top 10 in this draft entering the combine, along with an early top 10 mock draft. They’re pretty different, side by side:

The headlines and opinions, from Jeremiah and others, are interesting heading into the official start of the draft season.

• The Hawaiian’s health. Every quarterback opinion this year is prefaced with, “If Tua Tagovailoa’s healthy . . .” As in: If Tua’s healthy, and his surgically repaired hip checks out, he won’t go below Miami at five. But it’s a big if. Tagovailoa’s a marvelous prospect, but he had two high ankle sprains and a major hip injury in his last 14 months of college football. This week gives 32 team medical staffs the chance to evaluate the hip (especially) and to probe whether his injuries will become professionally chronic, or whether they’re flukes. It’s a really important week for him.
“If I’m picking, let’s say, five, six or seven,” Jeremiah told me Saturday night, “you’ve got the Dolphins, the Chargers, the Panthers. That’s quarterback alley right there. If I’m the Dolphins and I’m picking 5 and my doctor tells me, ‘Look, I think he needs to sit out this entire season to get 100 percent healthy, but in my opinion, the odds are in our favor—that he will return to 100-percent health and will be no more likely to re-injure this hip than you or I, or any other player on the team—then you pick him. I wouldn’t even care if you redshirt him.”

If not? That’s when the pressure will really be on the medical staff. Anthony Munoz, with an iffy knee, got flunked on his pre-draft physical by 14 NFL teams and went on to play 13 years at the highest Hall of Fame level for Cincinnati.

• The Burrow coronation. He’ll speak to the press Tuesday morning and be asked whether he intends to play for the Bengals if picked one overall by Cincinnati, as is expected. That’s one story. The rest of his story? The Bengals, and those hoping he falls, will continue to probe his past, particularly this: One team told me if Burrow had left LSU after his mediocre 2018 season, that team would have given him approximately a fifth-round grade. And now he’s likely to go number one. So should 15 otherwordly games in 2019 (60 touchdowns, six interceptions) bury the evidence of 2018?

Jeremiah: “He was training an hour from my house with [QB coach] Jordan Palmer. He was out there with Sam Darnold and Josh Allen and Kyle Allen. I went up there and watched him work out, throw. I had a chance to visit with him for 20 minutes. I said, ‘Joe, you’re gonna get asked this question at the combine: Why the unbelievable leap from last year to this year?’

“He said, first of all, he’s a grad transfer. Most grad transfers transfer in the spring. He said, ‘I got to LSU after the freshmen had already reported for full camp.’ So you talk about trying to learn everything in a heartbeat and try to get to know your teammates, and then plug in and be ready to play. That’s the first part of it. Second part, he hadn’t played much football in the previous three years. There was some rust. Okay, this makes sense. And then schematically, and this is the big one, they were in a lot of seven-man protection in that offense last year. Burrow, his greatest gift, and you can see it this year when you watch him, is he has the vision to be able to take a snapshot of the entire field, to see everything, to process, and to throw accurately. Well, when you’re in seven-man protection and you limit the number of guys that can get out on a route, you’re limiting the answers you can give somebody. He was handicapped by them trying to mass-protect him. There’s no room for him to use his athletic ability to take off and go if you want. There’s no room for him to slide around, more around, find windows. It was just a congested brand of football.

“And then, you look at this year. He gets [passing-game coordinator] Joe Brady in there. He becomes a master of the offense. At the beginning of the season, they were in a bunch of six-man protection, which he’s playing really well. And he said eventually Joe Brady said in week three or four, ‘Let’s just go five-man protection. Let’s get everybody out into the route.’ When they did that, [he] completed about 80 percent from that point on.

“His super-power is his ability to see the entire field, to work through progressions, and then throw the ball accurately. So they kind of unlocked that super-power this last year. And the rest is history.”

I told Jeremiah: “You’ve got to tell America that on TV this week.”

“I’ve only got 28 hours!” he said.

• The next wave of QBs. Oregon’s Justin Herbert had a great Senior Bowl week and could creep into the top 10. Jordan Love of Utah State could go between 15 and 28. Jeremiah has a pre-combine top 50 out today. He has Love 20, Herbert 21, Washington’s Jacob Eason 47 and Georgia’s Jake Fromm 50.

• Washington should not listen to ransoms for Chase Young. The Ohio State pass-rusher might be better than Nick Bosa. Might be. With last year’s first-round rusher Montez Sweat and (possibly) formidable rusher Ryan Kerrigan in place, Washington could have one of the game’s best pass-rushes on day one. “There’s some guys you don’t trade off of,” Jeremiah said. “I don’t trade off of quarterbacks and I don’t trade off of elite edge rushers because that’s how you win football games. You win championships with great quarterback play and pass rush. We saw two teams at the Super Bowl, one with the great quarterback, the other one with the great pass rush. That’s how the game’s played right now.”

• Embarrassment of riches at receiver. Last year in the draft, 12 wide receivers went in a 52-pick span, between 25th overall (Marquise Brown) and 76th (Terry McLaurin). It’s amazing how many had instant impact in year one: Brown, McLaurin, Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, Mecole Hardman and DK Metcalf. This year, Jeremiah has given 27 receivers grades in the top three rounds; he says it’s the best draft for receivers in the 18 years he’s scouted college players. Since three receivers got picked in the top 10 in 2017 (Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross went 5-7-9) and significantly underachieved, teams have largely taken the attitude that since there are so many good ones in the crop, let’s pass on receiver now and get one in the third our fourth round—such as McLaurin at 76 last year by Washington.

“It’s not just last year where we’ve seen the day two group [rounds two and three] outshine or at least be neck and neck with the day one group,” Jeremiah said. “I think this class this year goes deeper than that. Last year, I probably had 18 or 19 players with top-three-round grades. This year there’s just more of them.

“And it makes sense, with the way the game is being played. These college teams are playing four and five wide receivers at all times. These guys are catching a million balls and the NFL offenses are still asking these guys to swallow a phone book playbook. When you look at what Deebo Samuel did in the Super Bowl . . . Just get the ball in his hands. Use him in the run game. Throw to him. Everything.” Which brings us to . . .

• The positionless player. Pro Football Focus has done a good pointing out how so many teams—Baltimore most notably, but San Francisco and others—have been playing defensive players at multiple spots freely and as a matter of strategy. Samuel’s a good example, or Tyrann Mathieu all over the back end of the Kansas City defense. In this draft, PFF points out that Clemson safety/inside linebacker/outside linebacker Isaiah Simmons played more than 100 snaps at four different positions, and that’s why Simmons has top-10-pick value this year. He’d be a perfect player for Baltimore defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who had a bunch of Swiss Army Knife players.

“Are we heading toward the position-less player profile as we go into the future? That’s where I think it’s going,” Jeremiah said. “And I think guys like Isaiah Simmons have tremendous value. I’ve talked to a couple defensive coordinators around the league about this and they see it. It’s like the way the NBA went. You just want to get as many tall, long, explosive guys on the field as you can. And some weeks you might deploy them differently than others.”

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here. 

What to know about the 2023 Pro Bowl: Dates, how to watch/live stream info, AFC, NFC coaches, competition schedule, and more

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The 2023 NFL Pro Bowl will take place over the course of two days at Allegiant Stadium–home of the Las Vegas Raiders–in Paradise, Nevada. The excitement begins on Thursday, February 2 as NFL fan-favorites compete in a brand-new skills challenge featuring the following events: Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball, Lightning Round, Longest Drive, Precision Passion, and Best Catch.

Sunday, February 5 will feature the following: the Best Catch Finale, Gridiron Gauntlet, Kick Tack Toe, Move the Chains, and three seven-on-seven non-contact Flag football games between the league’s best players.

See below for additional information on how to watch the 2023 Pro Bowl as well as answers to all of your frequently asked questions.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Who are the coaches for the 2023 Pro Bowl?

AFC Coaches:

  • Peyton Manning – Head Coach
  • Ray Lewis – Defensive Coordinator
  • Diana Flores – Offensive Coordinator

NFC Coaches:

  • Eli Manning – Head Coach
  • Demarcus Ware – Defensive Coordinator
  • Vanita Krouch – Offensive Coordinator

How will the 2023 Pro Bowl be different from previous editions of the event?

Rather than the traditional tackle football game, this year’s Pro Bowl will debut a skills competition and a non-contact flag football game.

How will scoring work?

According to the NFL, points will be calculated in the following way:

  • The winning conference of each skill competition earns three points towards their team’s overall score, with 24 total points available across the eight skills events.
  • The winning conference from each of the first two Flag football games on Sunday will earn six points for their team, for a total of 12 available points.
  • Points from the skills competitions and first two Flag games will be added together and will be the score at the beginning of the third and final Flag game, which will determine the winning conference for The Pro Bowl Games.

How to watch the 2023 Pro Bowl:

  • Where: Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada
  • When: Thursday, February 2 (7:00 PM ET) and Sunday, February 5 (3:00 PM ET)
  • TV Channel: ESPN, ABC, and Disney XD

When is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

Where is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 will be contested at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona.

What teams are playing in Super Bowl 2023?

The Philadelphia Eagles will face the Kansas City Chiefs marking the first time since 2017 that both top seeds qualified for the Super Bowl.


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Super Bowl food 2023: Appetizer, entrée, and dessert ideas for Super Bowl LVII inspired by the Eagles and Chiefs

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As the countdown continues toward Super Bowl LVII, the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are getting their game plans set. But while they go over their plays, the rest of America goes over their menus in preparation for the big day. When it comes to the Super Bowl, everything is always the best — the best teams, the best performers and, of course, the best food.

But how can you impress your party in the kitchen while showing support for your favorite team? Let’s take a look at some iconic food from each of the Super Bowl team cities to prepare for Super Bowl LVII.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl LVII: Date, location, how to watch

Philadelphia Super Bowl food

Crabfries

Why have plain old fries when you could have crabfries? That’s exactly what Pete Ciarrocchi, the CEO of the legendary Philadelphia restaurant Chickie and Pete’s, said one day when creating this intriguing concoction.

While the name may be misleading, crabfries do not contain any actual crab, but rather a blend of spices and Old Bay seasoning that allow the dish to take on a subtle seafood flavor. Topped with a creamy, cheesy dipping sauce, the crinkle-cut fries are sure to take your taste buds to the next level.

Cheesesteak sloppy joes

It simply isn’t Philly without a cheesesteak. Keep it casual in your kitchen on Super Bowl Sunday with Katie Lee Biegel’s Philly Cheesesteak sloppy joes, an easy way to rep the Birds.

Can’t get enough of the cheesesteak? Bring some more Philly specials to the table with this cheesesteak dip, the perfect way to amp up your appetizer game and leave party guests feeling like they just took a trip to the City of Brotherly Love.

RELATED: Rob Gronkowski predicts Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII

Water ice

Is the action of the game heating up? Cool down with a classic Philly treat, water ice. First originating in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 1984, the icy dessert is now sold in over 600 stores nationwide. The original Rita’s Water Ice shop, however, still remains open for business.

You can even show a little extra passion for the Birds by whipping up this green apple variation, sure to leave you refreshed and ready for the Lombardi.

Kansas City Super Bowl food

Cheese slippers

If you’re looking for a classy, yet authentic appetizer to bring to the table, there’s no better fit than the cheese slipper. This ciabatta loaf baked with melty cheeses and topped with seasonal vegetables and herbs has Kansas City natives hooked.

While the bread is typically baked to perfection by local shops, test your own skill level with this gourmet slipper bread recipe that you can complete with the mouth-watering toppings of your choice.

RELATED: How many Super Bowls have the Chiefs been to, won?

BBQ burnt ends

It’s rare to hear the words Kansas City without barbeque following short after. If you’re looking to impress your guests with your Super Bowl food spread, get out to the grill and start showing off.

While many cities in America know how to cook up some excellent BBQ, the combination of the sweet flavors and mouth-watering sauce has made Kansas City a hub for barbeque lovers for decades.

BBQ burnt ends, while a bit time-consuming, are  well worth a little elbow grease. The dish is also one of the few in Kansas City with a distinct origin story. The meal first found its creation at Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque, a legendary African American restaurant in KC. Bryant originally made the burnt ends from the trimmings of pork belly, but since then, BBQ lovers have made incredible bites out of many styles of meat.

And if you’re feeling extra ambitious, try fixing up some classic Kansas City sides to pair with your entrée to perfection.

RELATED: What to know about Rihanna, the Super Bowl LVII halftime performer

Chiefs chocolate chip cookies

While there is no specific dessert that defines the Heart of America, you can still show your Kansas City pride with these ever-colorful Chiefs chocolate chip cookies.

Make sure to have your food dye handy, because the red and yellow hue of these cookies are sure to show everyone whose side you are on.

Or, if you’re feeling artistic, design an eye-catching Chiefs jersey out of the fan-favorite rice krispie treats. Whether you make Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce or Chris Jones, you’ll have the tastiest Super Bowl jerseys around.

How to watch the Super Bowl 2023 – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs:

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