Peter King’s 2020 NFL season predictions

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AFC

We’ll start in the AFC. I’ll put the best teams in three tiers. One: Kansas City, Baltimore. Two: Tennessee. Three (not in order): Buffalo, Miami, New England, Indianapolis, Houston, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Denver. In other words, the fight for the last four playoff spots will be fierce.

I thought one of the most interesting things about this unusual preseason was inside the Super Bowl ring awarded to every Kansas City champion player and coach last week. The score of all three playoff victories was carved there, along with the deficits in each game: 24 to Houston, 10 to Tennessee, 10 (with eight minutes left in the game) to San Francisco. It was a gallant postseason by an excellent team, a team that returns 20 of 22 starters and 20 of 21 coaches.

I don’t have a logical reason to tell you that Kansas City won’t win again. I just have history. It’s happened twice in 25 years. Even the teams that looked peerless—the 2010 champion Packers went 15-1 the next year and got creamed by the Giants in the divisional game—turned out to be flawed. So we’ll see. We also don’t know how COVID-19 will factor into the season, if at all, or whether quieter stadia will matter. And KC’s road schedule (Baltimore; Buffalo on a short-week Thursday; Tampa Bay; New Orleans) is one of the toughest in the league. But I know: It’s foolish to bet against Mahomes and the deepest trove of weapons in the AFC. I just think it’ll be harder this year.

Niblets on the contenders:

• Baltimore. I’m nettled a bit by Lamar Jackson’s two straight playoff clunkers (51-percent passing, 68.3 rating) but think two games do not a reputation make. The Ravens have the most advantageous schedule and road schedule in football. Their 2020 foes had the worst combined record in football last year. And after playing at Houston in Week 2, Baltimore’s longest road trip is a 70-minute flight (Indy). The Mark IngramJ.K. Dobbins one-two punch should be the best in the AFC.

• As for Tennesseeif you read my column last week, you know Tennessee has something special with offensive coordinator Arthur Smith calling the shots—with lots of changeup pitches—in a versatile offense. Did you know Ryan Tannehill last year had the best passer rating from a clean pocket, and the best rating in the game since 2013? Third-round pick Darrynton Evans, if healthy, should be the changeup to Derrick Henry that Smith has wanted. The defense is a concern. But no contender needed the impact of a Jadeveon Clowney more than Tennessee’s defensive front, and so the Titans bought him Saturday night. They’ll need him to chase Drew Lock in Denver in a dangerous game next Monday night.

• Buffalo will be good enough on defense, but Josh Allen worries me. The Bills were held under 20 points in their last five games of 2019. Is the addition of Stefon Diggs enough to get them off the offensive schneid?

• The Tua Tagovailoa watch is on in Miami. But if the Dolphins win 10 games as I think they can, the more important additions will come on defense, in corner Byron Jones and versatile linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

• New England is the mystery team of the NFL, and I’m sure Bill Belichick likes it that way. While the world will rightfully focus on the acclimation of Cam Newton to Belichickland, watch and see how the Patriots adjust to the loss of four starting-caliber linebackers.

• In Indianapolis, I could see Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor being 1,000-yard rushing twins. Frank Reich would sleep better if he didn’t have to rely on Philip Rivers to throw for 340 every week to have a chance to win.

• Why are these numbers significant for Houston: 41, 38, 35, 51? Point totals for foes in four of the Texans’ last nine games, and I don’t see how their defense is much better.

• Since turning 33 in 2015, Ben Roethlisberger has missed 22 starts due to injury for Pittsburgh, 14 of them last year. If he plays 16 games at 38, the Steelers could upset Baltimore and win the division. “Could,” not necessarily “will.” But coming off major elbow surgery, that’s a gamble.

• So much of the Las Vegas allure is their strong base of young talent. Will Derek Carr be good enough and consistent enough to lift Henry Ruggs to greatness and the other offensive weapons to 10 wins? It’s on Carr.

• Denver has changed its offensive identity like no other team in football over the last 18 months. If Drew Lock is even a “B” quarterback, Denver has a chance to make a huge jump from a team that’s won 5, 6 and 7 games the last three years.

AFC Playoff Seeds

  1. Baltimore
  2. Kansas City
  3. Tennessee
  4. Miami
  5. Indianapolis
  6. Buffalo
  7. Las Vegas

AFC Championship Game

Jan. 24, 2021, at Baltimore: Baltimore 27, Tennessee 22.

NFC

Three tiers for the NFC. One: New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Tampa Bay. Two: Minnesota, Philadelphia. Three: Detroit, Green Bay, Arizona, L.A. Rams.

This conference is a nightmare to predict. I woke up early the other day, sat down, scrawled out NFC playoff seedings, and then Sunday put them in an altogether different order. I’ve gone through a period where I thought I’d have Seattle leapfrog everyone into the top seed, but then I figured being in the toughest division in football could give them three division losses. Dallas is the top seed not because I think the Cowboys are the runaway best team but because they’re good, because their front seven should be a monster and their offensive attack very hard to stop, and because they’ve got six games against Cincinnati, Cleveland, the Giants and Washington. New Orleans is a logical top seed, and this is their last best chance in a jumbled conference to give the Saints chance for a second Super Bowl in the Drew Brees era, in probably his last football game. San Francisco, up by two scores with eight minutes left in the Super Bowl and with so many key guys returning, is a logical pick, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Niners went 12-4 and steamed to the top seed. I’m picking Seattle to edge the Niners in the division. It’s overly simplistic to say it’s a referendum on the quarterbacks, but that has much to do with it. I trust Russell Wilson over Jimmy Garoppolo.

I have waffled between the Saints, Seahawks, Niners and Bucs. Now I’m landing on the Bucs to survive the gauntlet of the NFC, and to be the first team ever to play the Super Bowl on their home field.

It’s crazy, picking a 43-year-old quarterback in his first year out of the New England cocoon to make the Super Bowl. It would be Tom Brady’s 10th Super Bowl, by the way, a totally insane achievement that I doubt sincerely will ever be repeated in any of our lifetimes. Three reasons for picking the Bucs:

1. Brady. Jameis Winston threw 30 interceptions in 16 games last year. Brady has thrown 30 interceptions in his last 64 games. You can be pretty sure the Bucs’ turnover numbers—an astounding 41 giveaways—will be cut in half, or close to that, this year. A telling note about the 41 giveaways: The last team to have that many in a season was Cleveland, in 2017. The Browns went 0-16 that year. The Bucs won seven games while turning it over 2.6 times a game. So to put the ball in the hands of a caretaker who still is playing well should pay dividends. (Pro Football Focus metrics counter the common wisdom that Brady had a poor year in 2019, and point out his Patriot receiver group collectively had the worst season of any receiver in the 14 years PFF has been grading every snap of NFL games). His third tight end in Tampa, Cameron Brate, would have been a top-end starter in New England last year. Other than Julian Edelman, the Bucs have five weapons this year (Rob GronkowskiO.J. HowardMike EvansChris Godwin and someone you will hear more about this year, smurfy and speedy Scotty Miller) better than any the Pats had in the passing game. The run game, with Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette, will be at least as good as the one New England had last year. Plus, Brady has heard and filed away everything in the public view about him. Too old, washed up, can’t win without Belichick. “Everybody’s got an opinion about a lot of different things,” Brady told me in camp, and you could tell what he thinks about those opinions. “My opinion is the only one that matters to me. In the end, you can prove them wrong or prove them right.”

2. It’s honestly not that big a leap from 7-9 to the conference title. Remember late last season? The Bucs had won four in a row, holding four foes to 21 points a game, entering the last two games against Houston and Atlanta. Winston’s six picks in those two games led to two one-possession losses. Tampa would have won 10 games with an efficient offense last year. Winning 10 or 11 this year is certainly not hard to envision.

3. Winning in January on the road. Brady’s done it in Pittsburgh twice. He did it two years ago, at 41, in Kansas City, outdueling Patrick Mahomes. With the formidable Saints favored (logically) to win the South, it’s possible Brady would need three January road wins to make the Super Bowl. Tough duty. The Super Bowl has been won by a team with a first-round playoff bye for seven straight years. But particularly in a year when home-field advantage might be diminished because of COVID (“might”), it’s not such a leap to think there could be a Giants of ’07 or Packers of ’10, a low seed that runs the table on the road to win the Super Bowl. Think of the road Tampa might have to travel to win the conference as a low seed: winning at Seattle, Dallas and New Orleans, let’s say, in a 15-day span. Ten years ago, Green Bay had to win at Philly, Atlanta and Chicago—the top three seeds—in 15 days. The difference here, of course, is that Brady’s used to big games in January and no one else on the Bucs is; they haven’t been to the playoffs in 13 years. So Brady will have a lot to shoulder if this happens.

Notes on the rest of the contenders:

• A three-way battle in the NFC North, I think, falls Minnesota, Detroit and Green Bay, in that order. The Vikes’ running game is strong, and the trade of Stefon Diggs for Justin Jefferson, in time, will be a win for Minnesota. Detroit was averaging 391 yards per game on offense at midseason, top five in the league, when Matthew Stafford was lost for the year. Not sure of the ratio in the backfield now that Adrian Peterson is a Lion, but the run game will be good enough. The defense will have four ex-Pats starting, but the most important addition will be cornerback Jeff Okudah, who needs to be a day-one stopper with Aaron RodgersKyler Murray and Drew Brees on the schedule in the first month. As for the Packers, they did nothing to help a needy receiver corps, and they return the same core on D (minus linebacker Blake Martinez) that allowed 37 points to the Niners twice in the last eight games

• Philadelphia has an unsettled offensive line and questions at receiver; I’m dying to see how Jalen Hurts, the second-round Swiss-Army-Knife rookie, fits in.

• Arizona fascinates me. The Cards are one of those teams, suddenly explosive with DeAndre Hopkins and the underrated Kenyan Drake in the backfield who will explode on any given Sunday and embarrass some good teams.

• The Rams went from the Super Bowl to a shaky 9-7 team, out of the playoffs, three times allowing 44 points or more. They need Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey to play like the best in the league at their positions, and they need Jared Goff to play like a $33-million-a-year quarterback, not like a guy they exited the season with major questions about.

NFC Playoff Seeds

  1. Dallas
  2. New Orleans
  3. Seattle
  4. Minnesota
  5. San Francisco
  6. Tampa Bay
  7. Detroit

NFC Championship Game

Jan. 24, 2021, at New Orleans: Tampa Bay 23, New Orleans 17.

Super Bowl LV

Feb. 7 (or thereabouts), 2021, at Tampa: Tampa Bay 30, Baltimore 26.

What a story that would be.

Read more in Peter King’s Football Morning in America column

NFL Draft tracker 2022: Pick-by-pick results, selections, live updates for Day 3, full order

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The 2022 NFL Draft is finally here and the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Travon Walker with the No. 1 overall pick. What will happen with Baker Mayfield and the Browns? Will Deebo Samuel be traded? NBC Sports has you covered with every pick in this year’s draft, from Round 1 through 7. Stay tuned to this page as NFL teams make their draft selections over these three days.

RELATED: How to watch the 2022 NFL Draft on TV, live streaming

The 2022 NFL Draft will air live from Thursday, April 28 through Saturday, April 30. The last four rounds will air on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET (Day 3). The draft will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada, home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Last year, the 2021 NFL Draft was held in Cleveland, Ohio where Trevor Lawrence was selected first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars will once again draft first overall in 2022. For a complete list of all 262 picks, click here for the full 2022 NFL Draft order.

NFL Draft 2022 Picks, Results by Team

2022 NFL Draft Live Pick-by-Pick Results

Round 7 selections

262. San Francisco 49ers – Brocky Purdy, QB, Iowa State
261. Los Angeles Rams – A.J. Arcuri, OT, Michigan State
260. Los Angeles Chargers – Zander Horvath, RB, Purdue
259. Kansas City Chiefs – Nazeeh Johnson, CB, Marshall
258. Green Bay Packers – Samori Toure, WR, Nebraska
257. Arizona Cardinals – Marquis Hayes, OG, Oklahoma
256. Arizona Cardinals – Jesse Luketa, DE, Penn State
255. Chicago Bears (from LAC) – Trenton Gill, P, NC State
254. Chicago Bears (from LAC) – Elijah Hicks, S, California
253. Los Angeles Rams – Russ Yeast, S, Kansas State
252. Cincinnati Bengals – Jeffrey Gunter, DE, Coastal Carolina
251. Kansas City Chiefs – Isiah Pacheco, RB, Rutgers
250. Las Vegas Raiders (from MIN through SF via DEN) – Brittain Brown, RB, UCLA
249. Green Bay Packers – Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State
248. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Andre Anthony, DE, LSU
247. Miami Dolphins (from TEN) – Skylar Thompson, QB, Kansas State
246. Cleveland Browns (from BUF) – Dawson Deaton, OG, Texas Tech
245. Houston Texans (from DAL) – Andrew Stueber, OT, Michigan
244. Arizona Cardinals – Christian Matthew, CB, Valdosta State
243. Kansas City Chiefs (from LV via NE) – Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State
242. Carolina Panthers (from NE via MIA) – Kalon Barnes, CB, Baylor
241. Pittsburgh Steelers – Chris Oladokun, QB, South Dakota State
240. Washington Commanders (from PHI via IND) – Christian Holmes, CB, Oklahoma State
239. Indianapolis Colts – Rodney Thomas, DB, Yale
238. Los Angeles Rams (from MIA) – Thayer Munford, OT, Ohio State
237. Detroit Lions (from PHI via NO) – Chase Lucas, CB, Arizona State
236. Los Angeles Chargers – Deane Leonard, CB, Ole Miss
235. Jacksonville Jaguars (from BAL) – Daniel Hardy, DE, Montana State
234. Detroit Lions (from CLE) – Jonathan Ford, DT, Miami
233. Kansas City Chiefs (from MIN) – Dareke Young, WR, Lenoir-Rhyne
232. Denver Broncos – Faion Hicks, CB, Wisconsin
231. Buffalo Bills (from ATL) – Baylon Spector, LB, Clemson
230. Washington Commanders – Chris Paul, OT, Tulsa
229. Seattle Seahawks – Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers
228. Green Bay Packers (from CHI via HOU) – Tariq Carpenter, S, Georgia Tech
227. Minnesota Vikings (from LV via CAR) – Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina
226. Chicago Bears (from CIN via NYG) – Ja’Tyre Carter, OT, Southern University
225. Pittsburgh Steelers (from NYJ) – Mark Robinson, LB, Ole Miss
224. Miami Dolphins (from HOU via NE and BAL) – Cameron Goode, DE, California
223. Cleveland Browns (from DET) – Isaiah Thomas, DE, Oklahoma
222. Jacksonville Jaguars – Montaric Brown, CB, Arkansas

Round 6 selections

221. San Francisco 49ers – Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Penn State
220. San Francisco 49ers – Kalia Davis, DT, UCF
219. Tennessee Titans – Chance Campbell, LB, Ole Miss
218. Los Angeles Rams – Ko Kieft, TE, Minnesota
217. Detroit Lions – James Houston, TE, Jackson State
216. Indianapolis Colts – Curtis Brooks, DT, Cincinnati
215. Arizona Cardinals – Lecitus Smith, OG, Virginia Tech
214. Los Angeles Chargers – Ja’Sir Taylor, CB, Wake Forest
213. Atlanta Falcons – John FitzPatrick, TE, Georgia
212. Los Angeles Rams – Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
211. Los Angeles Rams – Quentin Lake, S, UCLA
210. New England Patriots (from LAR) – Chasen Hines, OG, LSU
209. Buffalo Bills (from CIN) – Luke Tenuta, OT, Virginia Tech
208. Pittsburgh Steelers (from KC – Conditional) – Connor Heyward, TE, Michigan State
207. Chicago Bears (from HOU through SF via NYJ) – Doug Kramer, C, Illinois
206. Denver Broncos (from TB via NYJ and PHI) – Matt Henningsen, DE, Wisconsin
205. Houston Texans (from GB) – Austin Deculus, OT, LSU
204. Tennessee Titans – Theo Jackson, DB, Tennessee
203. Chicago Bears (from BUF) – Trestan Ebner, RB, Baylor
202. Cleveland Browns (from DAL) – Michael Woods II, TE, Oklahoma
201. Arizona Cardinals – Keaontay Ingram, RB, USC
200. New England Patriots – Sam Roberts, DT, Missouri State
199. Carolina Panthers (from LV) – Cade Mays, OG, Tennessee
198. Philadelphia Eagles (from JAX via PIT) – Grant Calcaterra, TE, SMU
197. Jacksonville Jaguars (from PHI) – Gregory Junior, CB, Ouachita Baptist
196. Baltimore Ravens (from MIA) – Tyler Badie, RB, Missouri
195. Los Angeles Chargers – Jamaree Salyer, OG, Georgia
194. New Orleans Saints (from IND via PHI) – Jordan Jackson, DT, Air Force
193. Dallas Cowboys (from CLE) – Devin Harper, LB, Oklahoma State
192. Indianapolis Colts (from MIN) – Andrew Ogletree, TE, Youngstown State
191. Minnesota Vikings (from BAL via KC – Conditional) – Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State
190. Atlanta Falcons – Justin Shaffer, OG, Georgia
189. Carolina Panthers (from WAS) – Amare Barno, DE, Virginia Tech
188. Detroit Lions (from JAX via SEA) – Malcolm Rodriguez, LB, Oklahoma State
187. San Francisco 49ers (from DEN) – Nick Zakelj, OT, Fordham
186. Chicago Bears – Zachary Thomas, OT, San Diego State
185. Buffalo Bills (from CAR) – Christian Benford, CB, Villanova
184. Minnesota Vikings (from NYJ) – Vederian Lowe, OT, Illinois
183. New England Patriots (from HOU) – Kevin Harris, RB, South Carolina
182. New York Giants – Darrian Beavers, LB, Cincinnati
181. Philadelphia Eagles (from DET) – Kyron Johnson, DE, Kansas
180. Buffalo Bills (from JAX via TB) – Matt Araiza, P, San Diego State

Round 5 selections

179. Green Bay Packers (from IND) – Kingsley Enagbare, DE, South Carolina
178. Dallas Cowboys – John Ridgeway, DT, Arkansas
177. Detroit Lions – James Mitchell, TE, Virginia Tech
176. Dallas Cowboys – Damone Clark, LB, LSU
175. Las Vegas Raiders (from LAR) – Matthew Butler, DT, Tennessee
174. Chicago Bears (from CIN) – Dominique Robinson, DE, Miami (OH)
173. New York Giants (from KC via BAL) – Marcus McKethan, OG, North Carolina
172. San Francisco 49ers – Samuel Womack, CB, Toledo
171. Denver Broncos (from GB) – Luke Wattenberg, C, Washington
170. Houston Texans (from NE via TB) – Teagan Quitoriano, TE, Oregon State
169. Minnesota Vikings (from TEN) – Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina
168. Chicago Bears (from BUF) – Braxton Jones, OT, Southern Utah
167. Dallas Cowboys – DaRon Bland, CB, Fresno State
166. Cincinnati Bengals (from PHI via AZ) – Tycen Anderson, S, Toledo
165. Minnesota Vikings (from LV) – Esezi Otomewo, DE, Minnesota
164. Los Angeles Rams (from LV via NE) – Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
163. Tennessee Titans (from NYJ via PIT) – Kyle Philips, WR, UCLA
162. Denver Broncos (from PHI) – Montrell Washington, WR, Samford
161. New Orleans Saints – D’Marco Jackson, LB, Appalachian State
160. Los Angeles Chargers – Otito Ogbonnia, DT, UCLA
159. Indianapolis Colts – Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State
158. Seattle Seahawks (from NE via MIA) – Tyreke Smith, DE, Ohio State
157. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from JAX via MIN) – Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston
156. Cleveland Browns (from MIN via BAL) – Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati
155. Dallas Cowboys (from CLE) – Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota
154. Jacksonville Jaguars (from PHI via WAS) – Snoop Conner, RB, Ole Miss
153. Seattle Seahawks – Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
152. Denver Broncos – Delarrin Turner-Yell, S, Oklahoma
151. Atlanta Falcons – Tyler Allgeier, RB. BYU
150. Houston Texans – Thomas Booker, DT, Stanford
149. Washington Commanders – Cole Turner, TE, Nevada
148. Buffalo Bills (from CHI via HOU) – Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State
147. New York Giants – DJ Davidson, DT, Arizona State
146. New York Giants (from NYJ) – Micah McFadden, LB, Indiana
145. Kansas City Chiefs (from SEA through DET via DEN) – Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky
144. Washington Commanders (from CAR via JAX) – Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina

Round 4 selections

143. Tennessee Titans – Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Maryland
142. Los Angeles Rams – Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State
141. Baltimore Ravens – Damarion Williams, CB, Houston
140. Green Bay Packers – Zach Tom, OT, Wake Forest
139. Baltimore Ravens – Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
138. Pittsburgh Steelers – Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis
137. New England Patriots (from CAR through LAR via HOU) – Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Kentucky
136. Cincinnati Bengals – Cordell Volson, OT, North Dakota State
135. Kansas City Chiefs – Joshua Williams, CB, Fayetteville State
134. San Francisco 49ers – Spencer Burford, OT, UTSA
133. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jake Camarda, P, Georgia
132. Green Bay Packers – Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada
131. Tennessee Titans – Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan
130. Baltimore Ravens (from BUF) – Jordan Stout, P, Penn State
129. Dallas Cowboys – Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
128. Baltimore Ravens (from AZ) – Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
127. New England Patriots – Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State
126. Las Vegas Raiders – Neil Farrell, DT, LSU
125. Miami Dolphins (from PIT) – Erik Ezukanma, WR, Texas Tech
124. Cleveland Browns (from PHI) – Cade York, K, LSU
123. Los Angeles Chargers – Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
122. Las Vegas Raiders (from IND via MIN) – Zamir White, RB, Georgia
121. New England Patriots (from KC via MIA) – Jack Jones, CB, Arizona State
120. Carolina Panthers (from NO via WAS) – Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
119. Baltimore Ravens – Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB, Alabama
118. Minnesota Vikings (from CLE) – Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri
117. New York Jets (from MIN) – Micheal Clemons, DE, Texas A&M
116. Denver Broncos (from SEA) – Eyioma Uwazurike, DT, Iowa State
115. Denver Broncos – Damarri Mathis, CB, Pittsburgh
114. New York Giants (from ATL) – Dane Belton, S, Iowa
113. Washington Commanders – Percy Butler, S, Louisiana
112. New York Giants (from CHI) – Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State
111. New York Jets (from CAR) – Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana
110. Baltimore Ravens (from NYG) – Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
109. Seattle Seahawks (from NYJ) – Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
108. Cleveland Browns (from HOU) – Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
107. Houston Texans (from DET via CLE) – Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
106. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from JAX) – Cade Otton, TE, Washington

Round 3 selections

105. San Francisco 49ers – Danny Gray, WR, SMU
104. Los Angeles Rams – Logan Bruss, G, Wisconsin
103. Kansas City Chiefs – Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
102. Miami Dolphins (from SF) – Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia
101. New York Jets (from NO via PHI and TEN) – Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
100. Arizona Cardinals (from BAL) – Myjai Sanders, DE, Cincinnati
99. Cleveland Browns – David Bell, WR, Purdue
98. Washington Commanders (from NO) – Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama
97. Detroit Lions – Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois
96. Indianapolis Colts (from DEN via LAR) – Nick Cross, S, Maryland
95. Cincinnati Bengals – Zachary Carter, DT, Florida
94. Carolina Panthers (from KC via NE) – Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
93. San Francisco 49ers – Tyrion Davis-Price, RB, LSU
92. Green Bay Packers – Sean Rhyan, G, UCLA
91. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State
90. Las Vegas Raiders (from TEN) – Dylan Parham, G, Memphis
89. Buffalo Bills – Terrel Bernard, LB, Baylor
88. Dallas Cowboys – Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
87. Arizona Cardinals – Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State
86. Tennessee Titans (from LV) – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
85. New England Patriots – Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
84. Pittsburgh Steelers – DeMarvin Leal, DE, Texas A&M
83. Philadelphia Eagles – Nakobe Dean, LB, Georiga
82. Atlanta Falcons (from IND) – DeAngelo Malone, LB, Western Kentucky
81. New York Giants (from MIA) – Cordale Flott, CB, LSU
80. Denver Broncos (from HOU via NO) – Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA
79. Los Angeles Chargers – JT Woods, S, Baylor
78. Cleveland Browns – Alex Wright, DE, UAB
77. Indianapolis Colts (from MIN) – Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
76. Baltimore Ravens – Travis Jones, DT, UConn
75. Houston Texans (from DEN) – Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
74. Atlanta Falcons – Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
73. Indianapolis Colts (from WAS) – Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia
72. Seattle Seahawks – Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
71. Chicago Bears – Velus Jones Jr., WR, Tennessee 
70. Jacksonville Jaguars (from CAR) – Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
69. Tennessee Titans (from NYJ) – Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Ohio State
68. Cleveland Browns (from HOU) – Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
67. New York Giants – Joshua Ezeudu, G, North Carolina
66. Minnesota Vikings (from DET) – Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma
65. Jacksonville Jaguars – Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky

Round 2 selections

64. Denver Broncos (from LAR) – Nik Bonitto, LB, Oklahoma
63. Buffalo Bills (from CIN) – James Cook, RB, Georgia
62. Kansas City Chiefs – Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati
61. San Francisco 49ers – Drake Jackson, LB, USC
60. Cincinnati Bengals (from BUF via TB) – Cam Taylor-Britt, S, Nebraska
59. Minnesota Vikings (from GB) – Ed Ingram, G, LSU
58. Atlanta Falcons (from TEN) – Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State
57. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from BUF) – Luke Goedeke, OT, Central Michigan
56. Dallas Cowboys – Sam Williams, LB, Ole Miss
55. Arizona Cardinals – Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
54. Kansas City Chiefs (from NE) – Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
53. Indianapolis Colts (from LV via GB via MIN) – Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
52. Pittsburgh Steelers – George Pickens, WR, Georgia
51. Philadelphia Eagles – Cameron Jurgens, C, Nebraska
50. New England Patriots (from KC through MIA) – Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor
49. New Orleans Saints – Alontae Taylor, S, Tennessee
48. Chicago Bears (from LAC) – Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
47. Washington Commanders (from IND) – Phidarian Mathis, DT, Alabama
46. Detroit Lions (from MIN) – Josh Paschal, DE, Kentucky
45. Baltimore Ravens – David Ojabo, LB, Michigan
44. Houston Texans (from CLE) – John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
43. New York Giants (from ATL) – Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky
42. Minnesota Vikings (from IND via WAS) – Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
41. Seattle Seahawks – Ken Walker III, RB, Michigan State
40. Seattle Seahawks (from DEN) – Boye Mafe, LB, Minnesota
39. Chicago Bears – Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
38. Atlanta Falcons (from NYG via NYJ via CAR) – Arnold Ebiketie, DE, Penn State
37. Houston Texans – Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
36. New York Jets (from NYG) – Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
35. Tennessee Titans (from NYJ) – Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
34. Green Bay Packers (from MIN through DET) – Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
33. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from JAX) – Logan Hall, DE, Houston

Round 1 selections

32. Minnesota Vikings (from DET via LAR) – Lewis Cine, S, Georgia
31. Cincinnati Bengals Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
30. Kansas City Chiefs – George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue
29. New England Patriots (from KC through SF via MIA) – Cole Strange, G, Chattanooga
28. Green Bay Packers – Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (from TB) – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
26. New York Jets (from TEN) – Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State
25. Baltimore Ravens (via BUF) – Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa
24. Dallas Cowboys – Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa
23. Buffalo Bills (from BAL through ARZ) – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
22. Green Bay Packers (from LV) – Quay Walker, ILB, Georgia
21. Kansas City Chiefs (from NE) – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
19. New Orleans Saints (from PHI) – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
18. Tennessee Titans (from PHI via NO) – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Zion Johnson, G, Boston College
16. Washington Commanders (from NO through IND via PHI) – Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
15. Houston Texans (from PHI through MIA) – Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
14. Baltimore Ravens – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
13. Philadelphia Eagles (from HOU through CLE) – Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
12. Detroit Lions (from MIN) – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
11. New Orleans Saints (from WAS) – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
10. New York Jets (from SEA) – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
9. Seattle Seahawks (from DEN) – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
8. Atlanta Falcons – Drake London, WR, USC
7. New York Giants (from CHI) – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
6. Carolina Panthers – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
5. New York Giants – Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon
4. New York Jets – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
3. Houston Texans – Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
2. Detroit LionsAidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
1. Jacksonville JaguarsTravon Walker, DE, Georgia

2022 NFL Draft live reaction, updates

Defensive end Davin Bellamy poised to be a breakout Breaker in USFL

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Davin Bellamy made his first impression loud and clear on Opening Weekend in the new United States Football League.

The New Orleans Breakers defensive end lined up on the first play from scrimmage last Sunday against the Philadelphia Stars, then sacked Stars quarterback Bryan Scott.

As he spun Scott to the ground, Scott’s helmet flew off and skittered along the turf. Bellamy walked away with a purpose. The tone was set.

“It was a freebie,” Bellamy said earlier this week to NBC Sports. “But the best thing about that – it was the preparation through the week. We knew once we got that look (from the Stars offense) to just come screaming off the edge and that’s what I did and kind of let things fall where they may.

“You’re never upset about the freebies, so I think it was a good momentum swing for the defense and also kind of demoralized their first drive.”

Bellamy posted two more sacks in the Breakers’ 23-17 win. He was later voted USFL Defensive Player of the Week by fans on social media.

But it wasn’t just him taking the shine off the Stars. It was the Breakers defense as a whole.

Scott was sacked six times in all and suffered a 37-yard pick six at the hands of linebacker Vontae Diggs. The defense also made a goal-to-go stand against the Stars on the ensuing drive after Diggs’ big play.

The Breakers special teams got in on the fun, too. Wide receiver Chad Williams blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety. Williams was later voted USFL Special Teams Player of the Week, giving the Breakers two of the three Player of the Week awards from Week 1 (Birmingham Stallions quarterback J’Mar Smith was voted Offensive Player of the Week).

RELATED: How to watch New Orleans Breakers vs Tampa Bay Bandits: TV/live stream info for Sunday’s USFL game

  • When: Sunday, April 24 at 3:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama
  • TV and Live Stream: NBC and Peacock

The feeling was, as Bellamy put it, “contagious.”

He knows that feeling well. During his college career at Georgia, he contributed to some of the best defenses in the nation, including a top-10 defense during the Bulldogs’ run to the 2017 CFP National Championship game.

He looks to help make the Breakers defense an elite unit, too.

“I’m a firm believer that nothing just happens on Sunday,” he said. “Everything happens through preparation. What everybody saw (last) Sunday is kind of what we’ve been gearing up to through the camp and everything, just demanding a lot out of each other.

“You never reach perfection, but you always strive for it, and that’s kind of what this defense has been doing through the three weeks of camp. (Last) Sunday was just trusting your training out there.”

This Sunday on NBC and Peacock, the Breakers face the Tampa Bay Bandits, whose defense posted three sacks and 12 tackles for loss in a 17-3 win Monday night against the Pittsburgh Maulers.

As part of that prime defensive matchup, Bellamy will get after Bandits QB Jordan Ta’amu, who was a teammate of his when he was on the Houston Texans’ practice squad in the NFL. (Bellamy has spent time with five NFL teams but he spent the most time in Houston, where he had a two-year run over 2018 and 2019 plus another in 2020).

MORE: 2022 USFL Schedule, Week 2 – How to watch/live stream this weekend’s spring football games

“(Ta’amu is) a great player,” Bellamy said. “He’s dynamic with his arm and he’s also dynamic with his legs and also, he’s a great leader. I know about the (defensive coordinator) over there, Pepper Johnson, who coached with Bill Belichick and played with (Lawrence Taylor), so you know that defense is gonna be locked and ready to go. And especially with a leader like Jordan at the top, they’re gonna come out and give us a really good game.”

For Bellamy, the USFL is a chance to show NFL teams he’s matured from his time after graduating from Georgia and can be a plug-and-play pass rusher.

It’s also the next step in a football career that began when he was five years old and already big enough that he had to play up in weight class.

Looking back, Bellamy believes playing up prepared him to be a physical, fearless player. There was a time, however, when a 10-year old Bellamy wanted to quit football.

His mother, Bridget, who raised him on her own and teaches at the same high school he’d later attend (Chamblee Charter HS, Chamblee, Ga.), had none of it. She signed him up for football anyway.

“That’s the best decision someone ever did for me,” said Bellamy, who believes his mother’s efforts to raise him puts his own life in proper perspective.

“We’ve been through a lot – evictions, cooking dinners on a hot plate because you have no electricity, walking to hotels,” Bellamy recalled. “To see how she kept on going through real-life situations, that makes it easy to understand that even though this football thing can take you through ups and downs, it’s just a game.

“To watch how she balanced all that helps me in my day-to-day, going through this. If she can go through raising an African-American male son on the east side of Atlanta with no help, working two jobs, getting evicted left and right, then this football journey’s easy. So, I definitely have learned a lot from her.”

MORE: Everything you need to know about the 2022 USFL season – Teams, key dates, TV schedule, how to watch, and more

Under Bridget’s watchful eye and with her constant support, Davin became a two-sport athlete in football and basketball.

When he got to Chamblee Charter, it looked like basketball could take precedence. But one day in his junior year, a coach on the football team, Rosaria Rice, caught up with him after a great game on the court.

“He’s the one that was like, ‘I know you’re doing your thing in basketball, but you’re six-five, 225 (lbs.),'” Bellamy said. “And he said, ‘There’s a kid in South Carolina right now that’s about your size’ – and at the time, he was talking about Jadeveon Clowney. He said, ‘He’s gonna make a lot of money and I could see you doing the same thing. But you’ve gotta be six-eight, six-nine to go to the NBA.’

“And from that point on, he kind of took it upon himself to create me a football highlight tape, pack me in his car, and we’d gas up the Monte Carlo and we’d start taking visits.”

Football became the path for Bellamy.

Since then, it’s taken him to an SEC championship and a Rose Bowl victory – both coming in the 2017 season, the latter coming with headlines when he told Baker Mayfield to “humble yourself” after Bellamy’s Bulldogs beat Mayfield’s Oklahoma Sooners.

And while his pro career hasn’t seen him play an NFL regular season game yet, he’s gained “priceless” knowledge and tricks of the trade from decorated players like J.J. Watt, Carlos Dunlap and even the aforementioned Clowney.

Now, he comes to the USFL, older, wiser, and ready to put himself on the map – and knowing the best way to do it.

“Essentially, man, it’s trying to find that fine line of doing what you have to do to better yourself and your career,” he explained, “but also understanding that we’re all on that mission to win.”

***

First and 10 with Davin Bellamy 

10 quick questions to get to know the new talent of the USFL

Do you have a pre-game ritual?

“I like to work out about an hour or two hours before the game. I go to workout, do a little lower body, do a little pump, do a little activation. But this is gonna sound very cliché, my whole thing is you practice how you play. And I tend to like to practice really hard. I try to make practice harder than the game. So I kinda have the same routine that I have before practice. I wake up in the morning. If the game’s at 1, I grab a cup of coffee, eat, go work out and then go play the game basically.”

Do you have a post-game ritual?

“It’s immediate recovery. That’s the most important recovery, within the first 30 minutes. Immediately, before I do anything, I jump into the cold tub. The first 24 hours after a game, it’s strictly (the cold tub), and then the next 48, we’ll go towards the hot. But right after the game, I’m shooting toward the cold tub. That’s immediately what I do. The first 20 minutes are so important for inflammation.”

Favorite football player?

“If you had asked me this question 15 years ago, I would’ve just mentioned anybody. … But I’m gonna do a blast from the past. I’m gonna go with Aldon Smith. That’s somebody I’ve modeled my game around. So I’m gonna go with Aldon Smith, even though he’s not in the league currently.”

Favorite movie?

“My favorite movie may be… I’m gonna go ‘American Gangster’ with Denzel Washington.”

Favorite vacation spot?

“I’m gonna go with L.A.”

Favorite food?

“I love me some good, seasoned salmon.”

Most famous person you’ve met outside of football?

“In college, me and Migos got pretty close. At the time, when I was like 21, I was like, in awe – I was like ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening.’ … That was a big deal.”

How would your family and friends describe you as a person?

“Very goal-oriented. I’m a jokester. Very serious. Perfectionist… But if you pretty much ask anybody, they’ll probably say, ‘He’s about his business. He’s funny, but he’s about his business.’ That’s basically it. I’m very goal-oriented, very mission-oriented. I don’t let things deter me from what I’ve got going on.”

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

“I expect people to be as genuine as I am. Like, you know how, if you have a big heart, you expect people to do the same? So, it’s kinda like a trick question, because I don’t wanna change that. But I’ve ended up getting the short end of the stick a lot. So, if I could change something, it would be just to, I guess – I don’t know, it’s kind of a trick question – not be so trusting.”

Name one thing about yourself that not everybody knows about you.

“No one knows that I played the saxophone from fifth to eighth grade, and the only reason I stopped was because of football. … I don’t (practice nowadays) but I really do miss it. I just don’t have the time, especially the last six, seven months of my life, which have been so chaotic – dealing with injuries, different teams and just trying to get back to where I’m trying to get to. I’ve been focused on my ultimate goal. Nothing else has really mattered. But when it’s time to breathe and exhale and the mission’s complete, I’m definitely gonna pick the saxophone back up.”

How to Watch USFL Week 2: New Orleans vs Tampa Bay Bandits

  • When: Sunday, Apr. 24 – 3 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock
  • Where: Protective Stadium – Birmingham, Alabama
  • Live Stream: Peacock