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. 

49ers vs Broncos live stream: How to watch SNF online, time, TV channel tonight for NFL Week 3 matchup

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With 2 weeks of action already in the books, all the attention now shifts to Week 3. This Sunday night, September 25, it’s Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers taking on Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos in a battle at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America on NBC and streaming live on Peacock.

Wilson is 16-4 against the 49ers in the regular season and has thrown 36 touchdown passes against San Francisco, the most he’s thrown against any opponent. On the other side, Garoppolo, who entered the game in Week 2 after Trey Lance suffered an ankle injury, owns a 31-14 record as the 49ers’ starting quarterback and has led the team to two NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl.

More from NBC Sports Pressbox:

San Francisco and Denver will meet for the 16th time on Sunday and the 49ers currently hold an 8-7 advantage in the all-time series, including the postseason. The SNF matchup will mark the first meeting between the teams since Week 14 in 2018. The 49ers went on to win that game, 20-14.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

NBC has got you covered with all you need to know about the game including the TV channel, start time, live stream information, and more.

How to watch 49ers vs Broncos live on Sunday Night Football

  • Where: Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado
  • When: Sunday, September 25
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

RELATED: Peter King’s 2022 NFL Season Predictions

This NFL season, Peacock is streaming all of NBC’s NFL games including regular season and playoff games. More from Peacock’s website:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football with a Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here.

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

Tune into Football Night in America this week and all season long, for new weekly segments hosted by Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, now showcasing real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker, courtesy of BetMGM. 

Don’t forget to stick around postgame because Peacock Sunday Night Football Final is going to go deep on all the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

Make sure to visit NBC Sports EDGE, NBC’s betting and fantasy sports site, for in-depth coverage highlighting the players and storylines impacting the football season on Peacock and across NBC Sports digital platforms.

RELATED: Check out all the latest NFL news and Rumors for the 2022 season

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!

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

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The 2022 NFL Football season is finally back in session. This Sunday night features a match-up between Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers vs Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos. NBC and Peacock have got you covered with access to this week’s game as well as every Sunday Night Football game this season. See below for the complete 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule and find out how to live stream every game on Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 2 – Mike McDaniel’s ‘F— It’ Play Powers Dolphins’ Comeback and How 49ers Adjust Without Trey Lance

This year’s Sunday Night Football coverage will feature Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth in the booth and Melissa Stark on the sidelines. Live coverage begins every Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America with the talented group of Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Jason Garrett, Chris Simms, Jac Collinsworth, Mike Florio, and Matthew Berry. Berry, a fantasy football industry pioneer, will also appear on Peacock’s exclusive NFL post-game show, Sunday Night Football Final.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by Simms and sports betting and Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – 49ers at Broncos

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Chiefs at Buccaneers

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

 RELATED: How to watch 49ers vs Broncos – Live stream, TV Channel, Game Preview


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

RELATED: PFT’s Week 3 2022 NFL power rankings

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: PFT’s Week 2 2022 NFL picks


 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!