NFL Draft rumors: Falcons not taking QB? Favorite for 49ers’ pick?

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Mock Draft alert! My one and only one is out next Monday. I am not confident, but that’s nothing new.

For now, what I know, and hear, about the draft, 10 days out:

3. SAN FRANCISCO. Today’s the last day of substance in fact-finding for the Niners, with GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan expected in Fargo at North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance’s second workout. The leader in the clubhouse is still Alabama’s Mac Jones, but that’s all Jones is. Credit to Lynch and Shanahan for keeping a tight lid on their preference. I keep coming back to Jones’ accuracy (his 77.4-percent season in 2020 is the most accurate in major-college history) and his touch downfield, with the best accuracy of the top five quarterbacks on passes thrown 20 yards or more downfield.

I think Shanahan will value accuracy and presence over athleticism and prefer Jones, but that’s not inside info—just my gut feeling.

4. ATLANTA. Pivot point of the draft. Falcons are doing a great job of disguising their intentions and, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, will have three reps at the Lance workout today.

What I’m hearing: Owner Arthur Blank is fascinated by the quarterbacks atop the draft, thinking the franchise might not be in such an advantageous position to take one for years. But Blank will not force a decision—of that I am sure. He hired GM Terry Fontenot and coach Arthur Smith and won’t big-foot them on their first big call. Smith likes the quarterbacks too, but also like Matt Ryan, who will play at 36 this fall and likely has four or five solid years left. Fontenot may—and I emphasized may, because I’ve heard varying things here—prefer to trade out of the pick for a ransom, if one is there. But Smith and Fontenot are also value shoppers too. The value here is to take the best non-quarterback in the draft, tight end Kyle Pitts.

5. CINCINNATI. How the Bengals don’t take Oregon tackle Penei Sewell is beyond me, especially because this draft is filthy-rich in receivers—as with every recent draft. But I also hear the drumbeat is loud for Ja’Marr Chase, who made such beautiful music with Joe Burrow in 2019 at LSU (average game: 127 receiving yards, 21.2 yards per catch). Clearly, I’d vote for the Joe Burrow Preservation Plan, and start this draft tackle at 5, guard at 38. Burrow’s good enough, if he has time, to win with Tee HigginsTyler Boyd and a lesser third option (Rondale Moore?).

6. MIAMI. The football world is sure GM Chris Grier wants to come out of round one with a major weapon (Pitts or Chase, perhaps). Grier’s an aggressive man, but I doubt he’d use part of his stash of picks (overall picks 6, 18, 36, 50 this year) to move up to four to get the weapon of Miami’s dreams. He knows he can stay at six and get one of the four electric pass-catchers in the draft. Grier’s maneuvering over the past two years has left him in the power position to do what he and coach Brian Flores really want to do—no question about that. My gut is they stay at six and get the BAW—best available weapon.

8. CAROLINA. The Panthers are in an intriguing spot. Smart money says one of the five quarterbacks will still be on the board at eight, so new Panthers GM Scott Fitterer could be in the luxurious position of having three options: Picking the quarterback and giving him a comfy redshirt year behind Sam Darnold, or trading to a team desperate for, say, Justin Fields here, or taking a very solid player to continue the Carolina rebuild.

One thing I do know (and not just because Matt Rhule just spent a learning day with Jimmy Johnson, who always had a trove of picks to work with) is Carolina wants to come out of this draft with more picks than the seven it currently holds. The average team has 8.1 picks in an NFL draft, including Compensatory Picks. Over the last eight drafts, Carolina has averaged 6.3 picks per year. Knowing Rhule and Fitterer, that’s got to burn them. Particularly after trading three picks for Darnold, look for them to work to gain more April 29-May 1.

9. DENVER. Maybe one of those future picks for Carolina could come from Denver. Connecting dots here: What if new GM and Vikings transplant George Paton (in the room when Teddy Bridgewater was Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2014) passes on a quarterback in, say, the first three rounds and Bridgewater needs a home? Maybe Paton wouldn’t mind putting some veteran heat on Drew Lock. This was not my idea, but I think it makes a lot of sense, particularly if Carolina softens the cap blow by helping with the cash owed Bridgewater.

10. DALLAS. Another trade-up spot for a QB-seeking team if one’s still available. Said one NFC coach: “I can’t see how the Cowboys pass up [Northwestern tackle] Rashawn Slater if he’s there. That offensive line is declining fast.”

15. NEW ENGLAND. Bill Belichick has run or been a chief honcho in 26 drafts—five in Cleveland, 21 in New England. Never has he picked a quarterback in the first round. Once has he picked a quarterback in the second round (Jimmy Garoppolo, 2014). Never has he picked a quarterback in the top 60 of a draft. So you might look at all that history and eliminate the Pats from moving up to 10 or nine or eight to pick a passer. I wouldn’t eliminate that chance, because Belichick is proving this year that there’s no book on roster-building for him, particularly in the post-Brady era. Now, I doubt the Pats will trade next year’s first-round pick, the likely cost to move up into QB-acquisition position, but nothing’s certain with the Patriots now.

As we learned from the un-Belichickian spending spree in free agency, Belichick will do what is best for his franchise in a given year. Now, if they don’t pick a passer in round one, Florida’s Kyle Trask at 46 or 96 (their picks in rounds two and three) wouldn’t surprise me.


Scattering some other observations:

• “DeVonta Smith is one of the best football players I’ve ever seen,” said one GM. “I know he scares teams with his size [170 pounds], but his hands and his presence and how smart he plays . . . I think he’ll have an incredible career.”

• “If I could pick one player in this draft who’s got the best chance to go to the Hall of Fame, it’s Penei Sewell,” one coach told me. “He’s my left tackle from day one.”

• Asked another coach about Gil Brandt’s most-unusual-draft-ever statement, and this coach said: “I agree wholeheartedly. And I agree about how worried he is about the opt-outs. This year’s unprecedented. I’m worried about all the things we don’t know. We don’t really know the prospects, personally or medically, the way we should.”

• Kyle Trask could go anywhere from the bottom of the first round to the fourth. He’s an incredible story. Never started a game in high school, playing behind current Miami QB D’Eriq King. Got scholarshipped out of a Florida football camp to play for the Gators—and told me he would have gone to McNeese State otherwise. Redshirted in ’16, broken foot in ’17, broken foot in ’18. Threw 68 TDs and 15 picks in his last two seasons, and nearly passed Florida to a stunning upset of Alabama in the SEC title game last December.

Big and a bit plodding, but Trask’s QB tutor, John Beck, told me after his workouts in California this winter: “He threw with pro accuracy the entire time. Very consistent thrower, and really can drive the ball.”

Trask told me that his college experience has taught him the “why” of decision-making. “I think that, plus my work on accuracy, consistency and timing has me ready for the next level.” I asked if he had any preference of how high he’s drafted, or by which team. “I am not concerned at all with the number I’m picked,” he said. “I’m just concerned with going to the right team for me. I’m not afraid of competition.” Good answer.

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.


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

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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