What Peter King learned from the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine

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From conversations heard in the skywalks of Indianapolis, in the bars and restaurants and coffee spots (you should try the JW Marriott Starbucks or Kaffeine Coffee Co. or Coat Check Coffee, for good coffee and better gossip), some things I was hearing in my Wednesday-to-Saturday visit to the NFL Scouting Combine:

Aidan Hutchinson exits Indy as the odds-on favorite to be the top pick

My hunch is the Jaguars favor a spotless edge prospect over one of the tackles. Hutchinson flew home to Michigan on Sunday morning knowing he did nothing to hurt his cause. I’m not crazy about projecting who’s going to be a good NFL player based on some measured drill in shorts and a T-shirt, and this shouldn’t determine Hutchinson’s draft fate. But if you’ve seen the 3-cone drill—designed to measure a player’s speed while he changes direction in an instant—you know that it’s a valuable tool to judge edge rushers, receivers and cornerbacks. Hutchinson’s 6.73-second time here was faster than all but five players at this combine, two receivers and three defensive backs.

I don’t believe Jags GM Trent Baalke and coach Doug Pederson will be unduly swayed by combine tests. But the tape says a lot about Hutchinson’s raw power and instincts and drive. His college production (30.5 tackles-for-loss plus sacks last season) has made some scouts compare him to former NFL edge player Jared Allen, who put up 136 sacks in 12 NFL season. Their on-field zeal is certainly comparable.

Allen’s 3-cone in the 2004 pre-draft process: 7.11 seconds. We’ll see if Hutchinson’s premier athleticism here means much come the first round April 28.

Herbstreit to the NFL

I heard last night that Amazon—spurned by Troy Aikman, Sean McVay and John Lynch—has settled on ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit to be the analyst on its Thursday night package of NFL games starting this fall. (He’s likely to continue his current ESPN/ABC duties as well.) Andrew Marchand of the New York Post was first to connect the Amazon-Herbstreit dots on Feb. 27.

My first reaction: It seems weird. Amazon would rather have a very good college football analyst who’s never had a regular NFL job do the games than, say, Drew Brees or Sean Payton or Kurt Warner? My second reaction: Herbstreit’s a pro, he’s a big name to legions of college football fans, he must really want to break the college-to-NFL glass ceiling, Amazon surely wanted to make a splash with this hire, and Herbstreit’s a non-status-quo guy. He’s different. It’s a little edgy, a little risky. All that, just my educated guess.

We’re still awaiting decision from two of the great play-by-play people of our lives, Al Michaels and Joe Buck, on their 2022 homes. But when you stream Amazon this fall to watch the Thursday night package, you’ll be hearing a new NFL voice, Kirk Herbstreit, interpret the games.

The Combine’s locale

On Saturday, the day I left, I asked a major NFL operative what he’d heard about the site of the 2023 combine. “If I were a betting man,” he said, “I’d take Indianapolis for at least one more year. The league knows no one wants to move.”

This influential person was not the only one who told me to stick with Indy for 2023. So here’s my call: The combine stays one more year, at least, in central Indiana.

NFL Combine
(Getty Images)

There’s been an assumption that the NFL Scouting Combine, which has been held in Indianapolis for 36 straight years, is on the way to a more league-lucrative site in Dallas (Jerry Jones is pushing hard for it) or Los Angeles next year. There was a funereal tone of voice for everyone when discussing moving the combine. It’s a universally despised idea. No one has to get in a car here, and on long days, no trek longer than a 12-minute walk is crucial in time management. Anywhere else, it’s a commuter’s convention.

“You watch,” one GM told me. “If the combine moves, you won’t see near the number of coaches here as who come now.”

I asked one coach about that, and he said, “Absolutely right. It’s a huge time-suck for us now. I could see lots of coaches staying away if it moves.”

Here’s why that matters: The NFL needs a TV show. NFL Network needs to focus a camera on John Harbaugh watching workouts when discussion of Ravens comes up. When Daniel Jeremiah is talking about the first pick in the Aidan Hutchinson workout, it would help to see Jags coach Doug Pederson studying the field. So if a bunch of coaches don’t come, the TV studio has fewer stars.

Lots of stealth around Aaron Rodgers

I saw Matt LaFleur walk into a meeting with one of Rodgers’ reps in a room at the JW on Wednesday afternoon and stay for maybe 30 minutes. Lots of cloak-and-dagger here about Rodgers, of course. LaFleur left here on Friday to go to left tackle David Bakhtiari’s weekend wedding in California—and certainly saw Rodgers, one of Bakhtiari’s best friends, there. Will-Rodgers-or-won’t-he is the biggest story out there. And whether to stay in Green Bay, ask for a trade or retire (one of the first two is more probable) likely will come in the next nine days, by the time the 2022 league year begins. There’s one narrative out there that Rodgers will make his call by Tuesday’s franchise-tag deadline, but I don’t know why that matters. The Packers are very likely to franchise another good Rodgers pal, wideout Davante Adams, whether the QB stays or goes.

If Rodgers goes, I still think it’s to an AFC team. And as I wrote in December, Denver is most likely. The Broncos are most desperate and will pay the Packers a boatload of picks and at least one good player for the 38-year-old QB. And Rodgers would be reunited with his ex-offensive coordinator, new Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett.

A new leader in the Black coach pack

When I asked around about Black coach candidates to a few NFL GMs, I heard only one name out of three mouths: Detroit defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn. A Bill Parcells disciple, Glenn, 49, is a former 15-year NFL corner with 41 career interceptions. He’s a steely, bright guy who players (I’m told) love playing for.

Glenn interviewed for the Saints’ head-coaching job, and GM Mickey Loomis told me he had a great one. The problem there was Dennis Allen, who’d been on the New Orleans staff since 2015 and has choreographed one of the best defenses in the league. Someone was going to overwhelm the Saints to knock out Allen. Glenn came close.

“Aaron will be a head coach in our league,” Loomis told me.

Nothing imminent on OT

The Competition Committee met in Indianapolis and began to comb through a slew of rules issues. Not a lot done yet on the subject of overtime, which will be the hot-button issue when owners, coaches, GMs and executives meet for the league’s first post-Covid in-person spring owners meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., in three weeks. The committee won’t get down to the nitty-gritty of rules discussion till virtual meetings among the members begin next Monday.

It’s too early to tell whether any change in overtime has a good chance to pass. The overtime conundrum—should the coin flip matter so much, and should each team be guaranteed a possession in the extra period—will be the biggest matter on the table at the league meetings. History tells us two things are important here. Any solution has a better chance of passage if it’s a simple one. And it likely will be easier to pass it for the playoffs now, not for the regular season and playoffs. Why? That’s the history of these kinds of decisions. In 2010, the NFL passed a rule for the playoffs saying a touchdown on the first drive of OT would end the game. In 2012, that rule was applied to all games. That’s the rule on the books now. As I canvassed teams at the combine, there’s no groundswell that something must be done. But two influential people on this issue told me to look at the playoff numbers regarding overtime since the system was changed a decade ago:

Overtime playoff games: 12.
Games won on the first drive of overtime: 7.
Games won by the team winning the coin flip to start overtime: 10.

The numbers for regular-season games aren’t nearly as decisive. I think if the committee—which is not unanimous that anything needs to be done with overtime—has a chance to change the rule, it’s playoffs-only  at least as we sit here today.

I talked to several team people at the combine who think if both teams are assured of at least one possession, the coin-flip winner to start overtime will in most cases defer. The reason is simple: If the team with the ball first in overtime doesn’t score, or turns it over, the team with the ball second needs only a field goal to win.

Daniel Jeremiah’s three main takeaways

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, fresh off the set after six days of analysis, on his three main takeaways from the 2022 combine:

• Good depth. “The overall depth of this class is outstanding. Here are two examples: In a normal year, UConn defensive tackle Travis Jones would have been the buzz of the defensive linemen after a great workout. [Minnesota defensive end] Boye Mafe, same thing. They are first-round talents, and they almost got lost in the shuffle of all the great players here.”

NFL Combine
2022 NFL Draft defensive end prospect Boye Mafe. (Getty Images)

• Georgia players might be better than we thought. Everyone swooned over 341-pound defensive tackle Jordan Davis running as fast as a running back. “But here’s what was really crazy about the Georgia group: The other defensive tackle from there, Devonte Wyatt, is even more explosive. [Defensive tackle] Jalen Carter’s probably the best player on that defense this year, and he’s not eligible for the draft till next year. And Jermaine Johnson could be a top-10 pick—and he had to transfer from Georgia to Florida State to get playing time last season. I have never seen a defense with that kind of talent.”

• Lack of clarity at quarterbackPitt’s Kenny Pickett and Liberty’s Malik Willis “are what we thought they were,” while Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder and UNC’s Sam Howell were impressive. But the quarterbacks exited the combine with as many question marks about being NFL starters as when they arrived.

Good week for Ikem Ekwonu

The offensive tackles will fall in some order like this: N.C. State’s Ekwonu and Alabama’s Evan Neal will duel for the top tackle. Ekwonu had a very good workout and Neal chose to let his Pro Day workout be his showcase (“I had a long season, and I wanted to give myself more time to prepare,” he said here). But Neal’s tackle-guard versatility and 39 career starts for Bama are difference-makers. After the top two, it’s probably Mississippi State’s Charles Cross and Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning. On the interior, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum is loved by the scouts, and he’ll probably go no later than 25.

“Ekwonu entered as the top guy for a lot of NFL people, and he’s leaving as the top guy,” said one scout in Lucas Oil for the workouts.

Ekwonu’s fascinating. He was accepted at Yale and Harvard, but chose N.C. State because Ivy League schools don’t offer athletic scholarships and, of course, N.C. State did. He was one of the most engaging players in his press availability at the draft, talking as much about getting the lead in “101 Dalmatians” in fifth grade as anything else. Lots of bright guys in this draft, by the way. Lots.

We talk too much about 40 times

I’ve always been a get-off-my-lawn guy about the 40-yard dash for players who never run 40 yards in a game. And I don’t think it’s so big for wideouts and corners and backs either. Let’s look at all players who have run 4.26 seconds or faster in the 40 in combine history:

  • 4.22. John Ross, WR, 2017. Drafted by the Bengals fifth overall. Has been invisible—five years, 62 catches, now playing a minor role for the Giants.
  • 4.23. Kalon Barnes, CB, 2022. Exploded onto the scene with a great 40 on Sunday. Thought to be the second-best Baylor corner in the draft, behind Jalen Pitre.
  • 4.24. Chris Johnson, RB, 2008. An excellent NFL back. Led the league in rushing in 2009 and finished with six 1,000-yard seasons.
  • 4.24. Rondel Menendez, WR, 1999. A seventh-round pick of the Falcons. Never played a snap in the NFL.
  • 4.26. Jerome Mathis, WR, 2005. Touched the ball 90 times in a three-year Texans career. Last played at age 24.
  • 4.26. Dri Archer, RB, 2014. Touched the ball 34 times in a two-year Steeler career. Last played at age 24.

Had enough?

But let’s talk about a 40 time

By sheer amazement, the thing that blew people away more than anything in the past few days was a 341-pound man running a 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds. Georgia’s Jordan Davis ran the 40 faster than Patrick Mahomes (116 pounds lighter) did five years ago at the combine. Mahomes ran a 4.80.

Most draft analysts have Davis ranked around the middle of the first round. Fair enough. Lots of disparity in opinion about him, though. “Incredible run,” one GM told me. “But why wasn’t he on the field for Georgia on third down?”

Hmmm. Let’s see. Per Eric Eager of Pro Football Focus, Jordan Davis played 44 of Georgia’s 246 defensive snaps on third down in 2021. That means he played 18 percent of Georgia’s third downs. You’d think that a man who can run that fast would be invaluable on third down because of his ability to shoot through gaps and get to the quarterback. But he was likely the third most explosive interior linemen at Georgia last year, behind Devonte Wyatt and Jalen Carter. And PFF had him as the seventh-rated interior defensive lineman in the this draft.

But Eager pointed out that teams love the big-body nose players who can be athletic too, because it allows them to have fewer players in the box to respect the run on likely passing downs. So Davis still has very good value in the draft, and his performance here likely means he goes no later than 20.

What about Kayvon Thibodeaux?

Not the best week for a potentially difference-making edge player. (He thinks of himself as Jadeveon Clowney II.) Thibodeaux chose not to finish his combine drills; he benched 225 pounds 27 times, which is very good, and ran a 4.58 40, which is also excellent. He came in with questions about taking plays off at Oregon, and he’ll be criticized for dropping out of the combine (he reportedly said it was a “long day,” which didn’t affect the others in the drills), and probably should be.

I talked with one NFL general manager who met with Thibodeaux in Indy and he found Thibodeaux, in this brief snapshot, to be a me guy. Now that’s how one GM sees it; others might have a different impression. I’ve covered the combine for more than 20 years. Prospects come to Indy with some zits on their records every year. Sometimes they’re minimized, and sometimes they keep showing up. The only time I ever heard of a player who just bombed his combine appearance and it contributed to his ruination was Ryan Leaf in 1998. Leaf showed up at the combine weighing 268 and missed his private meeting with the Indianapolis Colts, the team with the number one pick. He was the second pick in the draft and it was a disaster.

But most of these combine mishaps end up having very little to do with where a player gets picked. The tape matters. Private conversations with teammates and college coaches matter. I’d bet GMs in the market for difference-making edge players (Joe Douglas of the Jets, picking fourth and 10th, Joe Schein of the Giants, picking fifth and seventh) will wear out the tape and their college contacts learning everything about Thibodeaux. On April 28, when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road, we’ll know everything about whether Thibodeaux’s ego and effort are real problems to those in the NFL who really matter—GMs with picks between, say, 4 and 15.

Todd McShay’s combine ups, downs

ESPN analyst Todd McShay on the three players whose combine performances moved his needle the most:

Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State. Rising. The former running back and quarterback earned FCS defensive player of the year, had a great showing at the Senior Bowl and just tore up the combine. At 6-3 ½ and 243 pounds, he ran a 4.42 40. I think he’s a day one starter and will be a second-round pick.

Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers. Rising. I need to go back and study more tape on Melton. I saw speed on tape but didn’t think he was a 4.34 guy, which is what he ran here in Indy. He also crushed the broad jump, vertical, and the 3-cone. Quietly had one of the best combine workouts of all the offensive skills players. He’s a really intriguing mid-round prospect.

David Bell, WR, Purdue. Dropping. I knew he wasn’t a track star but running a 4.65 40 is concerning, especially when similarly graded slot receivers (Wan’Dale Robinson, Calvin Austin and Venus Jones) worked out as well as they did.

On Kyler Murray

Next week in the column, I plan to dive deep into the Murray dissatisfaction with the Cardinals. It’s multi-layered, and too much for this week. But three points should be made in the wake of agent Erik Burkhardt’s screed for a new contract for Murray in Arizona.

One: An agent doesn’t go off screaming for a new contract without his client understanding and at least tacitly agreeing with the approach. So Murray knows, and supports, Burkhardt’s policy of pressing hard for the new deal.

Two: I think there’s only a very slim chance Murray plays for the money’s he’s due this year: $5.5 million. Why? He’s a smaller quarterback with a highly suspect offensive line. He inherited a three-win Arizona team that has won 24 games in his first three NFL seasons. He’s got two years of team control left with no assurance that the franchise is going to do a new deal with him, and if it doesn’t, the physical damage he could undergo in two years could have a major influence on his next contract.

Three: By the wording of Burkhardt’s epistle on asking for a new deal, it’s clear Burkhardt and Murray have some major trust issues with the team. Such as: With so many teams hungry for a QB1, will the Cardinals pay him something near what the market will bear?

The next few weeks should be interesting. Murray will be watching if the Cardinals reinforce the offensive line and more with young talent in free agency and the draft. Now this is important. Many, and I am part of this group, wonder why the Murray side should be so demanding when he declined at the end of last season and was awful in the playoff game against the Rams. Good question. That’s an issue each side is going to have to ponder as the Cardinals decide what to do about Murray’s disillusionment.

Question I’ve been dying to ask

Lobby couch, Le Meridien Hotel, Thursday, 7:15 a.m.

“What was your thought process, going for it on fourth-and-one from your own 18 in the third quarter at Vegas in the last game of the year?” I said.

Chargers coach Brandon Staley has thought about this quite a bit, of course. With nine minutes left in the third quarter at Las Vegas, winner goes to the playoffs and loser goes home, the Raiders led 17-14. The Chargers’ offense was stalled. Staley had been aggressive all season, and this day would be no difference. He’d go for it on fourth down seven times in the biggest game of the year. Now was no exception.

Staley:

“First, it was a crazy environment. If you were there in person, you’d know. Totally electric. It was a playoff game

“We get off to a good start on the drive and then it’s third-and-one. We don’t make it. At that point, fourth-and-one at our 18, I just felt like Vegas wasn’t a great short-yardage team, and our punter had struggled. We were the worst net punting team in the league. I really felt like we could get this thing off the ground. On fourth-and-one, everyone’s gonna tell you percentage-wise, go for it. It’s a no brainer in terms of that.”

At your own 18? Not sure about that.

“I felt like at that time, this is gonna get us into rhythm. I really liked the way we were playing on defense. We had put the cuffs on them defensively  They’re not gonna expect us to go for it, number one. They’re not expecting this. And then we didn’t get it. [Austin Ekeler was tackled for a loss of two yards.] So we stopped them right away and they kicked a field goal. Now, talk about the analytics. I had done that during the season. I had done that at different points, kind of a nontraditional fourth-and-one. What happens is on the other side there’s kinda like this effect when you make it that you can see on the sideline. I was hoping for that effect and didn’t get it. I take full responsibility for it and I can see why people would be critical of me.

“A couple days ago, I did a huge [report] on my game management. Timeouts, end-game and the half strategy, fourth downs. I’m like, ‘I’m really proud  a first-year coach, and everyone’s saying, ‘What are his chops gonna be like when you gotta have it?’ I mean, I felt like I was as good as anybody in the league in those situations because I had spent the whole offseason, I spent my whole life like getting ready for it. Our staff, we were connected on how we wanted to play. Our players, they knew how we wanted to play and we just were committed to doing this. I feel like how we played in that game was a reflection of how special we’re gonna be.

“I regret losing. But I don’t regret that decision.”

The Chargers were six of seven on fourth-down attempts that day and 22 of 34 (.647) on the season. My belief is Staley shouldn’t change. The Raiders did win the game by three (the late-game weirdness about playing for a tie probably played into some of that), but last season the Chargers got more good out of the aggressiveness than bad. Staley should repeat his boldness this year.

Irony of the Week

The new coach of the Las Vegas Raiders spent combine week in a highly strange space. There, in a suite atop the Conrad Hotel downtown, Josh McDaniels set up a tape-watching Nirvana with his GM and friend, Dave Ziegler, to study the 2022 free-agency class in between combine workouts and interviews.

This was the suite where Madonna stayed during Super Bowl week 10 years and one month ago, when the Patriots lost again to the Giants. That’s a bad memory for New England. But McDaniels has only good memories of his time with the Patriots. He is one of the few coaches who was a part of all six Patriots’ Super Bowl victories. It’s that history that Raiders owner Mark Davis hoped to buy into when he hired Ziegler, first, and then McDaniels.

NFL: MAR 02 Scouting Combline
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels. (Getty Images)

In this really nice corner suite, the irony of it seemed lost on McDaniels. Four years ago, he’d accepted the Colts head-coaching job, then rejected it after the season, sending the Colts into a hiring tailspin, and McDaniels had been vilified for it. His agent fired him. McDaniels had to accept that he may never get another chance to be an NFL head coach, and if that happened, so be it. When we spoke Thursday afternoon in the Madonna suite, it’s like the weirdness of rejecting the Colts and now being a six-minute walk from Lucas Oil Stadium in his first major act as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders didn’t even occur to him.

He said, “I understood when we made the decision, when I made the decision not to come to the Colts, that it would be unpopular. I also felt like it was the right thing to do for a number of reasons. I’d never really thought about it day to day, year to year: What if this happens? What if I never get another opportunity? I never stressed about that. I’ve been very fortunate in my career in the NFL. I’ve been fortunate to be around great people. We’ve been to Super Bowls and done some amazing things. If I never had the opportunity to be a head coach again, I would never look back on it and say, ‘Wow, my career was a failure’ or ‘We didn’t really enjoy our opportunities in the NFL.’ I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to be here as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.”

More about McDaniels, and his new gig, in the coming weeks.

Read more in Peter King’s full 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