NFL draft rumors: What might teams do in first round?

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The full mock draft lands next Monday. For now, I wish I could tell you something of value on all 32 picks, but I’ll only use what my late-week fact-finding ferreted out for NFL draft rumors. Let’s go:

1. CINCINNATI. So there’s little chance the Bengals will trade out of this pick. LSU’s Joe Burrow makes too much sense for the long-term best interests of the franchise. But Cincinnati trading out of the top spot is not unprecedented for the Brown family. After Steve Young signed with the USFL’s L.A. Express in March 1984, they Bengals dealt the top overall pick to New England. The Pats dealt first, first, fifth and 10th-round picks (that’s how long ago it was; there were 12 rounds in ’84) to be able to snag wideout Irving Fryar first overall. The Bengals got shafted, essentially; they picked a pretty good guard (Brian Blados) and got nothing else of substance out of the deal. But the Bengals never would have made the trade had Young been there for them. With Burrow, an Ohioan, on the board, the Bengals should probably sit and take him.

2. WASHINGTON. No one in my sphere thinks Ron Rivera will do anything but log on to the NFL’s secure Microsoft Teams draft channel when Washington is on the clock and enter Chase Young, Ohio State.

3. DETROIT. Defensive player or trade down. Lions would love to find a partner to supply them with a fifth pick in the top 90 of a top-heavy draft. Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah or Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown would be Matt Patricia types. But how about this counter-culture idea from one smart GM on Saturday: “I bet 40 percent of the teams in the league have C.J. Henderson higher on their boards than Okudah. Better cover guy.” Hmmmm. Even a trade down for slightly less value would be smart for Lions GM Bob Quinn.

4. NEW YORK GIANTS. Hard to see Dave Gettleman go anywhere but tackle in this urgent draft for the G-men. Gettleman shocked the world with Daniel Jones at six last year, but the meat-and-potatoes GM is likely to go meat-and-potatoes this year with a tackle. Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs or Alabama’s Jedrick Wills are 1-2 or 2-1 on many draft boards.

5. MIAMI. In free agency 14 years ago, the most fateful decision in the NFL was quarterback-desperate Miami bypassing Drew Brees because of a major shoulder injury in favor of Daunte Culpepper. That, of course, changed the course of pro football history. In the draft this year, the most fateful decision will be another medical one, and it’s in quarterback-desperate Miami’s hands again: to draft Tua Tagovailoa with his injury history, or to pass him by.

Interesting to note that Chris Grier, the current GM, was a Miami national scout in 2006 and watched the organization make the safer, and ultimately dead-wrong, call. Interesting, too, that Grier was Miami’s director of college scouting under football boss Bill Parcells from 2008 to 2010—and one of Parcells’ favorite bromides is, “The most important part of ability is availability.” Tough call for Grier.

I do hear that he and coach Brian Flores are very much against trading the farm to move up to get Burrow—which some in the organization want to do. I doubt owner Stephen Ross will pull the owner card and force a mega-offer to try to move up to number one, but we’ll see. “You can’t say anything with certainty on Tua,” Mel Kiper says.

One last point, and I can’t take credit for it; a smart GM told me this Saturday. Imagine the buzzkill if the Dolphins take Tagovailoa, and there’s a huge virtual celebration, and Adam Schefter or Chris Mortensen take the TV throw from Trey Wingo and say: “Trey, I’ve been told that more than one NFL team gave Tua Tagovailoa a failing grade on his physical exam.” Welcome to Miami, kid.

6. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS. Top-five GM poker-player in the league: Tom Telesco. (So you ask: Who is the top one? Easy. Jacksonville’s Dave Caldwell, who keeps the Jags’ picks from his wife.) A quarterback or long-term tackle makes the most sense; a GM friend of Telesco’s thinks he’s very high on Justin Herbert. But head coach Anthony Lynn is legitimately bullish on Tyrod Taylor, and maybe for more than one year. Talked to Telesco on my podcast this week, and he said the final board gets made, virtually, this week by video conference.

9. JACKSONVILLE. Not a quarterback, I hear. “They really want to give Gardner Minshew a real shot,” one FOC (Friend of Caldwell) says. Defensive impact player like Swiss-Army-knifish Isaiah Simmons makes sense. Biggest question for Jags on draft weekend revolves around the latest really good cornerstone player who wants out, Yannick Ngakoue. Can Caldwell find a fair deal for the defensive end?

10. CLEVELAND. New GM Andrew Berry:

• Is a good friend of Joe Thomas and saw his value in his previous Cleveland tenure;

• Was most recently schooled in the Eagles’ ethos of when-in-doubt-take-an-offensive-lineman;

• Sees a tackle position on the Browns in tatters;

• Watches 2019 Browns tape and sees Baker Mayfield running for his life.

I mean, how does Berry not take one of the four hot-prospect tackles right here? “I agree,” one Browns-watcher on another team said Saturday. “But they love that Boise tackle, and maybe they think they can get him in the second round.” What an apt pick: With the 41st overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Browns select Ezra Cleveland, tackle, Boise State.

11. NEW YORK JETS. Big needs are tackle, wide receiver and pass-rusher. Joe Douglas, the GM with a six-year contract, knows there isn’t a pass-rusher worthy of the pick here, and knows he can get a first-round-caliber wideout at pick 48 in the second round, and sees the best value by far here at tackle. If a value player like Louisville’s Mekhi Becton or Andrew Thomas of Georgia is still on the board, I’m betting tackle here.

Read the rest of this section on FMIA by clicking here.

NFL Playoffs Bracket 2023: Conference Championships TV schedule, start times, seeds, dates for every AFC & NFC game

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The 2023 NFL playoffs are here and the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy is underway for the top teams in the league en route to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona on February 12th.

Check out the NFL playoffs bracket for 2023 below as well as the full schedule, teams, TV channels, live streams, playoffs seeding, start times for postseason games and more. Plus, check back often to see which teams advance and who goes home.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs Schedule

NFL Playoffs Bracket 2023

Here’s a look at the 2023 postseason bracket heading into Conference Championship matchups between the 49ers and Eagles and Bengals and Chiefs.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs, Wild Card Weekend scores: Final bracket, recaps, results for every AFC and NFC postseason game

AFC Conference Championship Game 2023

  • Cincinnati Bengals (3) Kansas City Chiefs (1)

Eliminated: Ravens, Chargers, Dolphins, Bills, Jaguars

NFC Conference Championship Game 2023

  • San Francisco 49ers (2) vs Philadelphia Eagles (1)

Eliminated: Vikings, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Giants

2023 NFL Playoffs TV Schedule

The 2023 NFL Playoffs begin Saturday, January 14th with the Wild Card round – see below for tune-in times and networks for all six matchups across Super Wild Card Weekend, as well as everything we know so far for the Divisional Round.

Conference Championships

Sunday, January 29

  • NFC Championship (49ers vs Eagles) – FOX, FOX Deportes at 3:00pm ET
  • AFC Championship (Bengals vs Chiefs) – CBS, Paramount+ at 6:30pm ET

Super Bowl LVII

  • Date: Sunday, February 12
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Network: Fox

2023 NFL Playoff Scores – Wild Card Weekend

Saturday, January 14

Seahawks (7) vs 49ers (2)

Chargers (5) vs Jaguars (4)

Sunday, January 15

Dolphins (7) vs Bills (2) 

Giants (6) vs Vikings (3) 

Ravens (6) vs Bengals (3) 

Monday, January 16

Cowboys (5) vs Buccaneers (4) 

Divisional Round Scores

Saturday, January 21

Jaguars (4) vs Chiefs (1)

Giants (6) vs Eagles (1)

Sunday, January 22nd

Bengals (3) vs Bills (2

Cowboys (5) vs 49ers (2)

Final 2023 NFL Playoffs Standings

AFC Playoff Picture 2022-23

  1. Kansas City (14-3)x
  2. Buffalo Bills (13-3)x
  3. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)x
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)x
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (10-7)x
  6. Baltimore Ravens (10-7)x
  7. Miami Dolphins (9-8)x

RELATED: Wild card playoff schedule: Cowboys-Bucs will play on Monday Night Football

NFC Playoff Picture 2022-23

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)x
  2. San Francisco 49ers (13-4)x
  3. Minnesota Vikings (13-4)x
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9)x
  5. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)x
  6. New York Giants (9-7-1)x
  7. Seattle Seahawks (9-8)x

X – Clinched playoff berth

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL season and playoffs, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

NFL Conference Championship Picks: Predictions, betting favorites, best plays for 2023 AFC, NFC Championship games

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The NFL playoff semifinals are here and the NFC and AFC Championship games this weekend feature the top seeds in one game and a rematch of last year’s conference title game in the other. Each matchup is rife with storylines and the sports books expect each game to be close. In fact, for just the third time in the Super Bowl era, neither Conference Championship game has a team favored by three points or more.

Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles host Nick Bosa, Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon. Mike Shanahan and the 49ers have not lost since before Halloween while Nick Sirianni and the Eagles have lost just once this season with Jalen Hurts under center.

The AFC Championship game Sunday evening is, as mentioned, a rematch of last year’s game. Kansas City seeks revenge at home against Cincinnati after losing in OT last year. A win by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs would send them to their third Super Bowl in the last four seasons. A win by Joe Burrow and the Bengals means back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl for Cincinnati and a shot at their first Super Bowl win in franchise history.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs AFC, NFC Championship Round Schedule

Our NFL staff at NBC Sports EDGE have done a deep dive into these games to find their favorite plays of Championship Sunday. They offer them on everything from sides and totals to player props. The group includes Jay Croucher (@croucherJD), Vaughn Dalzell (@VMoneySports), and Lawrence Jackson (@LordDontLose). Tail (or fade) as you see fit.

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles -2.5 (Over/Under 46.5)

  • Kickoff: January 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET (FOX)
  • Site: Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA
  • Philadelphia Playoff History: 24-24 (3 Super Bowl appearances, 1 win)
  • San Francisco Playoff History: 37-23 (7 Super Bowl appearances – 5 wins)
  • Series History: San Francisco leads the all-time series with Philadelphia having won 20 of the 35 meetings with one tie between the two. The Eagles have hosted 17 of the games with the 49ers claiming victory in 11 of those. These teams have met just once in the playoffs. Back in the 1996 NFC Wild Card Game (12/29/96) Jerry Rice and Steve Young each scored touchdowns to propel San Francisco to a 14-0 victory against Philadelphia.

Note: If the current line stands, this game will be the first in which Brock Purdy is the underdog. He is 6-1 ATS thus far in his young career. Jalen Hurts is 9-2-1 ATS as a home favorite in his career and a whopping 7-0 ATS as a single-digit favorite at Lincoln Financial Field.

Croucher: George Kittle OVER 3.5 Receptions and Miles Sanders UNDER 6.5 Receiving Yards

The Eagles concede an above-average amount of receptions to opposing tight ends, and in a game where the Niners will likely be throwing, expect Brock Purdy to target his favorite weapon.

Miles Sanders has gone under this number in five straight games, never topping one target in any of those games, and the Niners are elite at defending running backs in the passing game.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023

Dalzell: Dallas Goedert UNDER 47.5 Receiving Yards (-115)

The 49ers have had the best defense against Tight Ends in the NFL for the last two seasons. Opposing Tight Ends as a unit average Under 40 yards per game against San Francisco yet books want Dallas Goedert to get almost 50 himself.

Last week against the Giants, Goedert caught five passes on five targets for 58 yards and a TD, so this line could be a little inflated. He went Under 47.5 yards in three out of four games to end the regular season.

There are so many options in this offense on the ground and through the air ranging from AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, Zach Pascal, Quez Watkins and Goedert. I would play this down to 44.5 receiving yards.

After ripping off that long list of skill position players without even mentioning Jalen Hurts, you can understand why I am also leaning Eagles ML as well.

RELATED: 49ers Super Bowl history

Jackson: Eagles to win by 1-13 points (+310) and A.J. Brown most receiving yards (+210)

Go big or go home. What I saw in the 49ers/Cowboys’ game last week is a Dallas team that played more than good enough to win except at one position. Despite the turnovers and failure to capitalize on a turnover, the Cowboys lost to the 49ers by seven points. The Eagles’ defense is good enough to match what the Cowboys did against the 49ers especially when it comes to rushing the passer. Furthermore, do not expect the Eagles’ offense to be as careless and unprepared offensively as Dallas was against the best defense in football. If you like the Eagles to win, it only makes sense to sprinkle this in.

A.J. Brown only gathered in 22 yards of receptions last week as he frankly was not needed much against the Giants due to the Eagles’ success rushing the ball. Prior to that he had gone four straight games with at least 95 yards receiving. Earlier this week he made some (non-diva) comments about getting the ball and it should be his time against the 49ers. The Niners are the second-best run defense in football so the Eagles will (and can) get it done through the air. Look for the Eagles to flip the script on the game plan and do what works this week which means a solid day for Brown.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs -1 (Over/Under 48)

  • Kickoff: January 29 at 6:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
  • Site: Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas City, MO
  • Kansas City Playoff History: 18-21 (2 Super Bowl wins – 4 Appearances)
  • Cincinnati Playoff History: 10-15 (3 Super Bowl appearances – 0 wins)
  • Series History: These two teams had never met in the postseason prior to last year’s AFC Championship Game. In that game the Bengals defeated the Chiefs in overtime by the score of 27-24. Cincinnati and Kansas City have met 31 times in the regular season with the Bengals having won 17 of the games.

Note: With the line shifting towards Kansas City, the Chiefs have now been favored in 15 straight playoff games. It is the longest streak by any team in the Super Bowl era. Patrick Mahomes has never been a playoff underdog. He is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to be favored in each of his first 13 playoff starts.

Croucher: Kansas City Chiefs ML (-115) and Jerick McKinnon Over 27.5 Rushing Yards (-115)

Coming into last week the Bills and Chiefs were rated as approximately equal, and the Bills closed 6-point favorites at home to Cincinnati. Naturally, Cincy’s impressive performance and the injury to Patrick Mahomes has to reduce the line significantly from -6 but going from -6 to Pk is an over-adjustment. The Chiefs should be 2-point favorites here.

Jerick McKinnon played 44 of 68 snaps last week and is more trusted in pass protection than Isiah Pacheco. A running back playing 65% of snaps in Kansas City’s offense should not be set as low as 27.5 rushing yards, particularly if Mahomes is limited.

RELATED: How to watch Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs

Dalzell: Joe Burrow OVER 24.5 Completions (-122) and Kansa City Chiefs ML (-115)

Burrow completed 23 passes on 36 attempts last week and did not throw a pass from the 12-minute mark until the end of the game, hitting his Under 25.5 completions and 38.5 attempts, barely. I like Burrow to go over his 24.5 and 25.5 completions line in the AFC Championship as I do not expect Joe Mixon to recreate his 100-yard performance, which last week was only his second such outing of the season. At 23 completions in each of the two postseason games, expect that number to increase here.

For the game winner, I will take the Chiefs to extract revenge on the Bengals after losing the AFC Championship Game, 27-24 in OT last season. Patrick Mahomes is healthier than most expected entering this game.

Kansas City has a chance to reach the Super Bowl for the third time in four years, while Cincy is looking to make back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl. I think this line adjusting to a pick-em or -1 for Kansas City is incorrect. I would make this -3 to -3.5 for the Chiefs.

RELATED: Bengals Super Bowl history

Jackson: Isiah Pacheco OVER 47.5 rushing yards (-115) and Will the team that scores the first points win the game? NO (+140)

While the Bengals’ run defense is not a pushover, this prop is simply too low. Do not be fooled by the Bills’ lack of success on the ground last week against Cincinnati because they cannot run the ball against anyone. J.K. Dobbins was able to gain 62 yards on 13 carries against the Bengals in the Wildcard Round. The week prior, Kenyan Drake ran for 60 yards against the Bengals. Pacheco has gone over 55 rushing yards in nine of his last 10 games and should get enough carries to do so again. This one is not hard.

Let’s switch it up a bit and have a little fun for some plus money. The Bengals and Joe Burrow have won the last three games against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs (including the playoffs). In only one of these games (Week 13 of the 2022 season) did the first team to score go on to win the game. Basically, when you have two juggernauts, it does not matter who scores first. Taking the team who scores first to win is currently set at -200 and not is worth that risk.

Enjoy the games and enjoy the sweat.

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