This has been an eventful couple of days around the NFL, as a second head coach was already fired just five weeks into the season, a star quarterback suffered a gruesome injury, and Le’Veon Bell was let go by the New York Jets. So let’s open up the mailbag to talk about the latest NFL Draft rumors and news from around the league.
This week’s questions include thoughts on Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ QB situation, Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, Boston College tight end Hunter Long, and so much more. But first, we begin with Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants.
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Remember, if you have a question you want to send in for next week’s mailbag, you can e-mail it to [email protected] or send a tweet @PFN365 on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTonyPFN, and we’ll try to include it in an upcoming mailbag column.
NFL Draft Rumors & News: The Tony Pauline Mailbag (10.14.20)
What kind of changes do you foresee with the New York Giants next offseason? Is GM Dave Gettleman likely to be fired? Considering Daniel Jones struggles, are you hearing any NFL draft rumors suggesting that the organization is open to taking a quarterback with what will likely be a top-3 pick in 2021?
Considering Dave Gettleman hired a first-year head coach, I doubt he gets fired. The Giants are not impulsive like the Jets and usually don’t do things backward.
And while Daniel Jones has not played great, he’s not killing the Giants, either, and has shown a lot of good signs. There’s no reason to start over with a new quarterback.
Fact is except for the game against the 49ers, the Giants have been in every game this season. Those initial four losses have been against quality opponents and the outcomes of three of the games hinged on just a few plays. Moving towards the middle of the season, I think they really need to get Matt Peart more work to find out if he’s the answer at right tackle, then attack the defense in free agency and the draft.
Watching Justin Herbert do so well has got to be killing Gettleman — that was the quarterback he wanted in 2019, but Herbert went back to Oregon for his senior season.
Do you think Clemson WR Amari Rodgers can do enough in 2020 to move up into the second-day conversation?
I think it will hinge more on how fast Rodgers runs prior to the 2021 draft more than his performance in 2020. He’s a good receiver who does the little things well but has size limitations. I presently grade him as a fourth-round prospect and fast forty times could push Rodgers into the late part of day two.
With the Cowboys losing Dak Prescott to injury and considering his current contract situation, if Dallas loses enough games, do you think the Cowboys actually consider drafting a quarterback early and allow Dak to walk?
There are a ton of variables that have to play out.
What kind of contract does ultimately Prescott want? How does Andy Dalton play the rest of the season? Do they feel Ben DiNucci has any real chance to be a starter?
I’m sure Mike McCarthy would be open to drafting a quarterback early. I doubt Jerry or Stephen Jones would want that, however.
Is it just me or is Oklahoma State RB Chuba Hubbard overrated as an NFL prospect? I just don’t see anything special he does that translates to anything more than a time-share running back at the next level.
I am not a big fan of Chuba Hubbard and believe Alabama RB Najee Harris as well as Clemson RB Travis Etienne bring more to the table as far as versatility and completeness. The issue is this — after the top three guys, the running back position really drops off.
I feel like Boston College TE Hunter Long is criminally underrated. Why is he overlooked by the public and are there any NFL draft rumors about how scouts view him?
I can’t speak for the public view, but scouts like him — they don’t love him.
Hunter Long is good in all aspects of the tight end position, but not great. He’s a solid blocker, but not dominant. He’s a good pass catcher, but not a true seam stretcher. At best, he’s a third-round pick if he runs better than expected before the draft he enters.
Are you hearing any rumors identifying who are some general manager candidates that will get opportunities this offseason?
George Paton of the Vikings, who the Jets wanted more than a year ago and who almost got the Cleveland Browns job earlier this year, will be a candidate.
Two members of the Seattle Seahawks front office, Scott Fitterer and Trent Kirchner, will also be on a lot of lists as potential GM candidates.
Are the Lions losing patience with Matt Patricia? Jim Caldwell was fired by Detroit after going 36-28. Patricia is 10-25-1 as Lions head coach.
Patricia has a very thin margin for error for the rest of the season — assuming he makes that far. The Lions next two games, Jacksonville and Atlanta, are winnable. If they don’t play well and win those games, there is a good chance Patricia doesn’t make it through the month of October.
A big showdown next Saturday between Georgia and Alabama. Who do you like to win the game? And do you think there is a prospect or two who will make a name for themselves in the national spotlight and boost their draft stock?
Georgia/Alabama on Saturday night is a great game from a scouting perspective. There are a ton of face to face match-ups which could end up in draft stock rising:
- Alabama LT Alex Leatherwood versus Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari
2. Alabama wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle versus the Georgia secondary
3. Alabama RB Najee Harris versus Georgia LB Monty Rice
Who do I like? Well, I like Led Zeppelin. But if you’re asking who I think will win, I’m going to go with Alabama based on the recent play of quarterback Mac Jones, which has been brilliant.