Every week, I open up the mailbag for anyone to send me their questions on college football, the NFL, or the 2020 NFL Draft. With the Senior Bowl in the rear-view mirror and the NFL Scouting Combine up next, the news and rumors are only going to increase from here. This week’s mailbag includes information on the 2020 NFL Draft, Tom Brady and his next destination, Tua Tagovailoa, the Atlanta Falcons possible free agency plans, Justin Herbert, and more.
Do you have a question you want to send to me? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @PFN365 on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTonyPFN, and we’ll be sure to include it in an upcoming mailbag column.
The Tony Pauline Mailbag
With the NFL Draft just a few months away, are you hearing anything about the direction the Atlanta Falcons may be looking in?
The belief last year was they would take a defensive lineman in the draft and they went offensive line. Where they sit in the draft this year, they are in a prime position to pick off a top-rated defensive tackle.
Tony, if Tua Tagovailoa never suffered the hip injury, would he be in consideration for the first overall pick? How do you think teams would have stacked Tua vs. Joe Burrow in this hypothetical?
I still have Tagovailoa rated slightly higher than Burrow based on his overall body of work.
There is a feeling in the scouting community that Tagovailoa is a little more difficult to scout compared to Burrow because he’s always been surrounded by great talent – specifically, the offensive line when compared to Burrow.
Did Justin Herbert do anything in Mobile to make the Cincinnati Bengals think hard about drafting him first overall?
In my opinion, the answer is no. Herbert had a great Senior Bowl week. But the way the week is set up, it played right into his hands. The questions about Herbert surround his inability to come through in a big spot and the inability to carry the Oregon offense on his shoulders. Despite his terrific week, there was no opportunity in Mobile to answer those concerns.
Have you heard anything regarding where Tom Brady may end up? There has been lots of speculation about the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Chargers.
The two teams mentioned throughout Senior Bowl week were the Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders. Miami seems to be the team continually in the conversation and I can tell you this:
1) Word is that Tom Brady’s wife prefers Miami.
2) The rumor for months now is Brady will ultimately buy an ownership interest in the Miami Dolphins. If it happens, it won’t be for a few years, but the rumblings over Brady taking an ownership position in the franchise have been getting louder.
What is your favorite part of Senior Bowl Week?
Good question, especially since I’ve attended Senior Bowl practices since 2000. Two things stand out:
1) Selfishly, it’s the first time in more than nine months I get to see people I speak on the phone with all the time yet see a handful of times a year; albeit scouts, agents and other people in the league. I see some of them during Shrine week but more of them at the Senior Bowl.
2) I absolutely LOVE sitting up in the stands and watching the one-on-ones. Watching the linemen battle in the pit as well as the QB/WR/DB battles. I could literally sit up there for eight hours and go back and forth, back and forth, watching the match-ups.
In your Senior Bowl rumors column, you mentioned that the Philadelphia Eagles are likely to go after a big named cornerback. In your opinion, who will the best available cornerback in free agency?
At this point, I don’t know who will be the best at the position. But I can tell you this – several people tell me Logan Ryan will be in play for the Eagles and it makes sense. He grew up right outside of Philadelphia, he’d be a terrific fit from a scheme and personality point of view and he may be slightly less expensive than Byron Jones.
Did you hear anything on the New York Jets’ free agent interests at the Senior Bowl?
I heard nothing from Jets sources but several league insiders believe the team will go hard after Joe Thuney – which makes perfect sense. The Jets need help at every position on the offensive line and Thuney is an immediate upgrade at guard.