NFL Today: Josh Jacobs a No-Show
Josh Jacobs is clearly not interested in being tagged. (Sports Illustrated)
As the 2023 NFL Draft nears, offseason drama has reached a fever pitch: the Steelers landed WR Allen Robinson in a trade; Jalen Hurts — now the highest paid player in NFL history — recently had “minor” ankle surgery; and Carolina GM Scott Fitterer has clarified that QB Bryce Young has not been told he’s going No. 1 in the draft.
Josh Jacobs Still Hasn’t Signed
Less than a month ago, we discussed how different the Las Vegas Raiders offense will look in 2023.
Now, another very familiar face is missing from the team’s voluntary offseason workout program, which began on Monday, as star running back Josh Jacobs has opted to skip the event.
Coming off his finest season (while proving impossible to stop in the virtual world… see video below), he naturally was looking to cash in as a free agent with a multi-year deal. But Las Vegas had other ideas, slapping the franchise tag on Jacobs.
But he has not signed the tag, and obviously still wants a new contract so small wonder he was MIA from workouts.
Given all the change the Raiders have already undergone this offseason, a Jacobs holdout is the last thing this team needs (but we had our suspicions that some kind of change was a possibility). There’s still time to resolve this (the Raiders have until July 15 to pen him to a long-term contract), but it seems clear that we may be headed to Holdout City, so stay tuned…
New York Jets Draft Preview
Future odds suggest the New York Jets are +1300 to win the Super Bowl, but it’s unclear whether those odds factor in the assumption that Aaron Rodgers will the team’s new QB next season (or is he headed elsewhere?).
Either way, one thing is clear: the Jets will need to use the draft to find help protecting their quarterback.
So it’s probably no surprise that Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. recently met with the Jets for a pre-draft visit. New York picks 13th, which should put it in position to land the 6’6″, 315-pound All-American who is considered among the top left tackles in the 2023 draft class.
Other possibilities here, assuming the Jets do go the OT route, are Broderick Jones (Georgia) or Peter Skoronski (Northwestern).
With their five other picks, expect the Jets to focus on adding a centre, defensive tackle, linebacker, safety and perhaps a right tackle.
In a nutshell, this team needs to: (a) protect Rodgers; and (b) build an offense around him. Assuming that, is, that this trade actually happens at some point.
New York Giants Draft Preview
While we’re discussing Big Apple teams, what will the New York Giants do in the draft?
While they don’t select until No. 25, the Giants own a whopping 10 picks this year, so are well poised to fill plenty of holes and build a lot of depth. Expect the team to use the first round to go for either a wide receiver or cornerback.
Overall, the G-Men could use some reinforcements on defense if they hope to close the gap on the Cowboys and Eagles in the NFC East. Expect the Giants to target a linebacker and safety in particular, while also seeking some help on the other side of the ball in the form of a running back and offensive lineman.
Given that this team was among the worst in the NFL in takeaways in 2022, a playmaking cornerback like speedy Michigan product DJ Turner could make sense in the first round. Adoree’ Jackson is set as one of the Giants’ cornerbacks, but opposite him will Cor’Dale Flott and Aaron Robinson be good enough to get the job done?
If New York decides a WR is a bigger priority, Zay Flowers seems to be most logical choice as it would give the team a legitimate over the top weapon. Of course, Flowers may not be there at No. 25, leaving the team to pivot to another wide receiver.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Procol Harum came out of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, the same hometown of actress Helen Mirren. Here’s “Whiskey Train,” from its 1973 compilation album, The Best of Procol Harum. The song was originally released on 1970’s Home.