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USA Today - Fantasy Score

  Packers | Datone Jones to sit a game    Thu Jul 2, 03:54 PM

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Footballguys view: Jones hasn't really panned out since being a first-round pick in 2013. He's just a rotational player for the defensive line at this point and his absence shouldn't affect the Week 1 matchup with the Bears.

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Datone Jones player page


  Jets | Sheldon Richardson suspended four games    Thu Jul 2, 02:22 PM

New York Jets DT Sheldon Richardson has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's policy on substances of abuse.

Footballguys view: Richardson has been a force on the Jets defensive line, and he would be more missed in September if the team didn't have Leonard Williams fall to them at #6. The Cleveland, Philadelphia, Miami, and Indianapolis offensive lines will still have their hands full in the first four weeks of the season.

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Sheldon Richardson player page


  Lions | Jason Jones missed minicamp    Wed Jun 24, 06:36 PM

Detroit Lions DE Jason Jones (undisclosed) did not participate in the team's minicamp because of an undisclosed injury.

Footballguys view: Reports from other Lions beat writers indicate that Jones is recovering from offseason knee surgery. This may have been a clean-up procedure after Jones had to come back from a torn patellar tendon he suffered in 2013. He started all 17 games last year for the Lions, was a strong run-defender and finished with a career-high five sacks in 2014.

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Jason Jones player page


  Patriots | Several could be PUP candidates    Wed Jun 24, 06:12 PM

New England Patriots OT Sebastian Vollmer (shoulder), DE Chandler Jones (hip), LB Jerod Mayo (knee) and LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) are all candidates to start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

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Jerod Mayo player page
Chandler Jones player page
Donta Hightower player page


  Browns | Phil Taylor misses minicamp    Sun Jun 21, 02:51 PM

Cleveland Browns DT Phil Taylor (knee) did not participate during the team's minicamp last week, but the team believes he will be ready for the start of training camp.

Footballguys view: Taylor is a talented and disruptive player in the middle of the defensive line when healthy. The problem is he hasn't been able to stay healthy in recent years. Over the last three seasons, Taylor has missed a total of 20 games. He's due over $5 million this year, but none of that is guaranteed. Taylor could get cut if he doesn't impress in training camp.

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Phil Taylor player page


  Raiders | Mario Edwards Jr. signed    Fri Jun 19, 06:28 PM

Oakland Raiders second-round pick DE Mario Edwards Jr. signed his four-year rookie contract Friday, June 19. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Footballguys view: Edwards isn't much of a pass-rusher, but he does have a powerful base to stand strong as a run-stuffer. In college at Florida State, Edwards didn't ever truly play up to his potential...and that potentially sky-high level remains untapped.

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Mario Edwards Jr player page


  Patriots | Malcom Brown signs deal    Fri Jun 19, 12:48 PM

New England Patriots DT Malcom Brown signed his rookie four-year deal Friday, June 19.

Footballguys view: Brown does a good job of quickly getting off the line of scrimmage after the snap. He has the ability to push blockers back into the quarterback. Brown can control his man at the point of attack, and he does a good job of finding the running back in the backfield.

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Malcom Brown player page


  Buccaneers | Jameis Winston following advice    Thu Jun 18, 11:19 PM

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston said he appreciates the advice he has received from DT Gerald McCoy and believes it is helping him earn the respect of the veterans on the team.

Footballguys view: It's a wise move for the rookie here. Winston needs a roadmap to be a professional, and it's good for him to listen to quality veteran players like McCoy.

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Gerald McCoy player page
Jameis Winston player page


  Saints | Kevin Williams inks deal with Saints    Thu Jun 18, 09:38 AM

Free-agent DT Kevin Williams (Vikings) signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints Thursday, June 18. He received a $500,000 signing bonus, which is his only guarantee in the deal. He has another $1.6 million in playing time incentives.

Footballguys view: The Saints continue to add to the defense in the hopes that it continues to improve from last season. Williams adds some help in run-stopping but is aging and no more than a rotational player.

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Kevin Williams player page


  Panthers | Tyronne Green out for season    Wed Jun 17, 05:43 PM

Carolina Panthers OG Tyronne Green (Achilles') is out for the year with a torn Achilles' tendon he suffered Tuesday, June 16.

Footballguys view: Green was competing for a roster spot with the Panthers, and this news isn't overly devastating. He hasn't played in the NFL since he started about a dozen games for the San Diego Chargers in 2012.

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Tyronne Green player page


  Rams | Chris Long almost 100 percent    Sat Jun 13, 09:10 PM

St. Louis Rams DE Chris Long (ankle) has been encouraged by his progress during organized team activities (OTAs), and he feels like he is almost back to his old self after missing 10 games due to a unique ankle injury in 2014. Long said he is almost back to 100 percent healthy.

Footballguys view: Long missed most of last season, but he did return for the final five games of 2014. He only had one sack last year as he didn't look like his old self. Long has a $12.5 million cap number this year, so getting him back to full strength (and full production) is a must for the Rams.

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Chris Long player page


  Dolphins | C.J. Mosley signed    Wed Jun 10, 01:49 PM

Free-agent DT C.J. M. Mosley (Dolphins) signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, June 10, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Footballguys view: Mosley is reunited with former Lions teammate Ndamukong Suh in Miami. Playing next to Suh last year in 15 games (eight starts), Mosley recorded 26 tackles and 2.5 sacks while helping the Lions be the best run defense in the league.

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C.J. Mosley player page


  Bengals | Geno Atkins impressing    Wed Jun 10, 10:55 AM

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) looks 'scary' in organized team activities, according to defensive line coach Jay Hayes. 'It's scary how fast and explosive he is right now,' Hayes said. 'I think he has the confidence that he has his legs under him. He feels like he did.'

Footballguys view: A scary Atkins is going to be a concern for opponents this season. Atkins can stuff the run, but he also can generate middle pressure against the quarterback. It sounds like Atkins should rebound from a disappointing 2014 where he looked tentative returning from his ACL injury.

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Geno Atkins player page


  49ers | Darnell Dockett to be ready for opener    Tue Jun 9, 03:24 PM

San Francisco 49ers DT Darnell Dockett (knee) said he is ahead of schedule in his recovery and will be ready for the regular season opener. Dockett is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Footballguys view: Dockett could be a nice starter for the 49ers defense if healthy. He continues to recover in mandatory minicamp and may even begin training camp on the PUP list.

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Darnell Dockett player page


  Chiefs | Dontari Poe expected to be fine    Sun Jun 7, 10:29 AM

Kansas City Chiefs DT Dontari Poe (back) is expected to be fine even though he missed some practice last week, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Footballguys view: Poe is a mountain of a man who can plug up the middle of the line. For a big man, Poe can also create interior pressure on the quarterback. The team will be cautious with him moving forward so this minor injury doesn't get aggravated.

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Dontari Poe player page


  Steelers | Steve McLendon had offseason surgery    Sun Jun 7, 10:21 AM

Pittsburgh Steelers DT Steve McLendon said he underwent shoulder surgery earlier this offseason but has completely recovered from the surgery. McLendon said he regained strength in his shoulder and has full range of motion.

Footballguys view: Good news for the Steelers here. McLendon was basically playing with one arm when the Steelers lost to the Ravens in the playoffs last year. This shoulder injury forced McLendon to miss four games in October and November, but he returned to play in the last four games of the regular season and for 26 snaps in the playoff game. McLendon is entering the final year of his contract, and he's looking to impress so he can land a third deal with the Steelers.

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Steve McLendon player page


  Bears | Lamarr Houston week-to-week    Wed Jun 3, 09:15 PM

Chicago Bears DL Lamarr Houston (knee) is considered week-to-week in his rehab from an ACL injury.

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Lamarr Houston player page


  Chiefs | Dontari Poe misses practice    Wed Jun 3, 02:12 PM

Kansas City Chiefs DT Dontari Poe (back) did not participate in organized team activities Wednesday, June 3. Poe's back injury does not appear to be serious.

Footballguys view: The Chiefs are wise to let Poe rest here. The injury is considered minor at this time, and they don't want it to worsen because of some extra reps in OTAs. Poe is a dominant force in the middle of the defensive line who can regularly eat up double teams and stuff the run.

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Dontari Poe player page


  Cowboys | Greg Hardy sits out Wednesday    Wed Jun 3, 01:04 PM

Dallas Cowboys DE Greg Hardy (illness) did not participate in organized team activities Wednesday, June 3, because of an illness.

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Greg Hardy player page


  Bills | Marcell Dareus absent Wednesday    Wed Jun 3, 12:39 PM

Buffalo Bills DT Marcell Dareus did not participate in organized team activities Wednesday, June 3. Head coach Rex Ryan said Dareus' absence was not injured-related.

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Marcell Dareus player page


  Chiefs | Two defenders miss workout    Tue Jun 2, 06:15 PM

Kansas City Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson (knee) and DT Dontari Poe (back) missed organized team activities Tuesday, June 2. Johnson sat with knee inflammation while Poe sat with back pain.

Footballguys view: These key veterans don't need every snap in the offseason. Johnson is a leader the team looks to at the linebacker position. Poe is a mountain of a man who opponents find nearly impossible to move. They'll be back when these minor injuries have cleared up.

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Derrick Johnson player page
Dontari Poe player page


  Saints | Cameron Jordan extended    Tue Jun 2, 10:40 AM

New Orleans Saints DE Cameron Jordan signed a five-year, $60 million extension through the 2020 season Tuesday, June 2. He'll receive $33.6 million in guaranteed money, and $27 million of it will come in the next two years.

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Cameron Jordan player page


  Packers | B.J. Raji is full go    Thu May 28, 07:33 PM

Green Bay Packers DT B.J. Raji (biceps) said he is back to full strength after suffering a torn biceps last season.

Footballguys view: Raji is in a make-or-break season for the Packers. He missed all of the 2014 season after coming off a disappointing 2013 season where he played defensive end. We'll see if Raji can get back on track this season.

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B.J. Raji player page


  NFL | Ray McDonald arrested    Thu May 28, 02:34 PM

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (Bears) was arrested Wednesday, May 27, for the second time in three days, this time for violating terms of his restraining order. He was arrested Monday, May 25, for physical assault on a female.

Footballguys view: McDonald claimed that he had no idea there was a restraining order and was never served. If his career wasn't already done, it is now.

Link to story
Ray McDonald player page


  Bears | Ray McDonald released    Mon May 25, 04:34 PM

Updating previous reports, Chicago Bears DE Ray McDonald has been released Monday, May 25, just hours after being arrested for alleged domestic violence and child endangerment.

Footballguys view: The Bears weren't going to waste any time in this situation. McDonald had been arrested three times in the last nine months. This time, he allegedly assaulted a woman while she was holding a baby. We think the NFL drops the hammer on McDonald with a penalty that could end his NFL career.

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Ray McDonald player page


  Jaguars | Sen'Derrick Marks may not be ready for opener    Sat May 23, 02:45 PM

Jacksonville Jaguars DT Sen'Derrick Marks (knee) may not be ready for Week 1 as he recovers from surgery on his torn anterior cruciate ligament, according to ESPN.com's Mike DiRocco.

Footballguys view: The Jaguars defense could sure use Marks' pass-rushing ability (8.5 sacks last year), especially after losing rookie Dante Fowler to a knee injury. Marks would be nine months removed from the ACL tear when the regular season begins. Putting him on the PUP list to start the season is a distinct possibility. If he's available at the start of the season (big if), then the Jaguars would be wise to ease him in as a part-time player.

Link to story
SenDerrick Marks player page


  Cowboys | Randy Gregory signs rookie deal    Wed May 20, 01:59 PM

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory signed his four-year rookie deal Wednesday, May 20. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Gregory was the team's second-round draft pick.

Footballguys view: Gregory is a talented pass-rusher, but he fell in the 2015 NFL draft after a positive drug test (marijuana) at the scouting combine. He's got the length and the burst to get after the quarterback from the edge, but his technique and diagnostic skills could use some work.

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  Browns | Phil Taylor should be ready for camp    Sat May 16, 10:45 AM

Cleveland Browns DT Phil Taylor (knee) said he expects to be ready for the start of training camp. Taylor said he should be able to do some things during the upcoming minicamp.

Footballguys view: We've always had an appreciation for the player Taylor is and could be....but injuries have taken his career off track. The Browns gave themselves fantastic depth (and a potential star) at the position when they selected Danny Shelton (Washington) in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft.

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Phil Taylor player page


  Cowboys | Demarcus Lawrence to rush more    Wed May 13, 11:42 PM

Dallas Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence will be counted upon in the pass rush more this season, and the team is banking on him making great strides in his second year.

Footballguys view: The Cowboys defense is going to be one to watch for fantasy owners. They've added pass-rushing talent this offseason through the draft and free agency. Plus, it sounds like they want to turn Lawrence loose this year. He is up to 260 pounds, a weight he wants to stay for the season, and he likes the way he gets off on his left side with his right hand down.

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Demarcus Lawrence player page


  Lions | Corey Wootton visits Allen Park    Mon May 11, 10:28 PM

The Detroit Lions worked out free-agent DT Corey Wootton (Vikings) Monday, May 11, according to a source.

Footballguys view: Wootton is coming off a down season, but he's gotten interest from a few teams this offseason. He should sign with a team before training camp.

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Corey Wootton player page


  Eagles | Philly made big push for Marcus Mariota    Fri May 1, 12:51 AM

The Philadelphia Eagles offered the Tennessee Titans two first-round picks, one third-round pick, DT Fletcher Cox, CB Brandon Boykin, LB Mychal Kendricks and QB Sam Bradford in exchange for the 2nd overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, according to a source.

Footballguys view: Chip Kelly tried as hard as he could, but it's difficult to move up from the 20th spot to 2nd overall. We'll see how Mariota works out with the Titans as he seems to be a bit of an odd fit. In Philadelphia, we would have been much more excited about Mariota's pro prospects.

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Sam Bradford player page
Fletcher Cox player page
Brandon Boykin player page
Mychal Kendricks player page


  Eagles | Making big offer for No. 1 or No. 2    Thu Apr 30, 08:06 PM

The Philadelphia Eagles are willing to trade two first-round picks, a third-round pick, DT Fletcher Cox, CB Brandon Boykin, LB Mychal Kendricks and possibly other things in order to acquire the first or second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Footballguys view: It wasn't enough. It seems insane that the Titans didn't pull the trigger on that trade, but they took Marcus Mariota. He's a great prospect so you can't blame him but that's a lot of talent left on the table.

Link to story
Fletcher Cox player page
Brandon Boykin player page
Mychal Kendricks player page


  Bills | Jerry Hughes impressing his coach    Thu Apr 30, 06:51 PM

Buffalo Bills DE Jerry Hughes was pulled from practice Wednesday, April 29, by head coach Rex Ryan, in order for the offense to get some work in. Ryan said Hughes had five or six sacks before being pulled. 'This just in: I am really happy we signed Jerry Hughes back,' Ryan said Wednesday. 'It's rare that you have to pull a guy from practice because he's ruining your practice. I had to pull him today.'

Footballguys view: Hughes is good but remember Bills fans - this is how Rex Ryan operates. He pumps his players way up. The thing you should be concerned with is, how bad is the offensive line if he was getting tons of sacks? Of course, this is all non-contact anyway so again, take it with a grain of salt.

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Jerry Hughes player page


  Falcons | Adam Carriker not offered contract    Wed Apr 29, 07:03 PM

Free-agent DE Adam Carriker (Redskins) was not immediately offered a contract by the Atlanta Falcons following veteran's minicamp Wednesday, April 29. The Falcons want to wait until after the draft.

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Adam Carriker player page


  Jets | Damon Harrison signs tender    Wed Apr 29, 05:20 PM

New York Jets restricted free-agent DT Damon Harrison signed his tender Wednesday, April 29.

Damon Harrison player page


  Packers | Two players waived    Wed Apr 29, 05:10 PM

Green Bay Packers TE Travis Dekker was waived from the Reserve/Military list and DL Aleric Mullins was waived from the Reserve/Did Not Report list Wednesday, April 29.

Aleric Mullins player page


  Jets | Damon Harrison signs tender    Wed Apr 29, 01:02 PM

New York Jets restricted free-agent DT Damon Harrison signed his one-year tender Wednesday, April 29. He is scheduled to make $2.356 million in 2015.

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Damon Harrison player page


  Falcons | Adam Carriker trying out    Wed Apr 29, 03:17 AM

Free-agent DE Adam Carriker (Redskins) is trying out for the Atlanta Falcons during the team's minicamp this week.

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Adam Carriker player page


  Broncos | Quanterus Smith failed physical    Tue Apr 28, 01:16 PM

Updating a previous item, Denver Broncos DE Quanterus Smith (knee) was waived Tuesday, April 28, after a failed physical on his left knee. Smith played in 15 games last year and had 11 tackles and zero sacks.

Footballguys view: Smith's knee problems date back to 2012 when he was leading the NCAA in sacks before his injury. Those problems lingered through his entire career with the Broncos, and it will prevent other teams from having a ton of interest in the pass-rusher.

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Quanterus Smith player page


  Dolphins | Dion Jordan suspended for the year    Tue Apr 28, 01:05 PM

Miami Dolphins DE Dion Jordan will be suspended for the entire 2015 season for another substance abuse policy violation, according to league sources. Jordan will not appeal the suspension.

Footballguys view: Word is the Eagles and the Dolphins were working on a trade that would have reunited Jordan with Chip Kelly. Now, it looks like he's going to miss the entire season. The number three pick in the 2013 NFL draft is looking like a colossal bust.

Link to story
Dion Jordan player page


  Broncos | Quanterus Smith waived    Tue Apr 28, 10:27 AM

Denver Broncos DE Quanterus Smith was waived Tuesday, April 28, according to a source.

Footballguys view: Smith just couldn't stay healthy during his brief time with the Broncos. A fifth-round pick in 2013, Smith was an interesting developmental prospect. He led the NCAA in sacks during his 2012 season at Western Kentucky, but a knee injury cut his season short. That knee injury kept him out of action in 2013 as a rookie with the Broncos, and it slowed him down in 2014 as well.

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Quanterus Smith player page


  Eagles | Three UConn players work out    Sat Apr 25, 02:39 AM

Connecticut CB Byron Jones, WR Geremy Davis and DT B.J. McBryde all worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, April 24.

Footballguys view: Jones is the player to watch here, and he could certainly be an option for the Eagles with the 20th-overall pick in the first round. He has great size for the position, measuring in at 6'1" 200 pounds. Jones is instinctive and has the ability to break up passes consistently. He's not an elite athlete, leading some to think that a switch to free safety might be in his future. Either way, Jones can make plays and will likely be a top-40 pick in the 2015 NFL draft.

Link to story


  Eagles | Philly pursuing Marcus Mariota?    Fri Apr 24, 05:54 PM

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota could be selected by the Philadelphia Eagles if the team could make trades with the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, according to one draft rumor.

Footballguys view: Of course they're looking to add Mariota. The rumor states the Eagles would trade QB Sam Bradford to the Browns for the 19th overall pick, then the Eagles would trade DT Fletcher Cox, LB Mychal Kendricks, the 19th overall pick and the 20th overall pick to the Titans for the second overall pick where they would select Mariota.

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Sam Bradford player page
Fletcher Cox player page
Mychal Kendricks player page


  Dolphins | No vote of confidence for Dion Jordan    Fri Apr 24, 05:27 PM

Miami Dolphins DE Dion Jordan did not receive a vote of confidence from any of the front office people during their pre-draft press conference Friday, April 24. Jordan did not participate in voluntary workouts earlier in the week.

Footballguys view: Jordan has yet to fulfill the promise which had the Miami Dolphins trade up for him. In his defense, he hasn't always been used all that well, but injuries are also an issue. We'll see if he stays with the Dolphins in even a minor role.

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Dion Jordan player page


  Chiefs | Pick up Dontari Poe's option    Fri Apr 24, 04:29 PM

Kansas City Chiefs DT Dontari Poe's fifth-year option in his contract has been picked up by the team, according to a source.

Footballguys view: Poe had a bit of a down year in 2014, though he had a career high six sacks. The Chiefs will probably try and work out a long-term deal over the next year as Poe has become one of the best nose tackles in the NFL.

Link to story
Dontari Poe player page


  Lions | Two draft prospects visit    Wed Apr 22, 02:54 AM

Virginia S Anthony Harris and Michigan State DE Marcus Rush visited the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, April 21.

Link to story


  Chiefs | Mike DeVito will participate in workouts    Mon Apr 20, 02:03 PM

Kansas City Chiefs DE Mike DeVito (Achilles') will be able to participate in offseason workouts, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Footballguys view: Achilles' injuries just aren't are serious as they used to be. The Chiefs should take it easy on DeVito as he continues to recover.

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Mike DeVito player page


  NFL | Darius Kilgo meets with two teams    Mon Apr 20, 07:02 AM

Maryland DT Darius Kilgo met with the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills in recent days, according to sources. Earlier in the visitation perios Kilgo also met with the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.

Footballguys view: Kilgo is an absolute beast in the middle of the defensive line with two years experience playing nose tackle for the Terrapins. He's got outstanding strength, and this helps him get interior push as a pass-rusher from time to time. Kilgo should be a priority free agent picked up after the draft.

Link to story


  Broncos | Angelo Blackson visits    Sat Apr 18, 03:00 AM

Auburn DT Angelo Blackson visited with the Denver Broncos in advance of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Footballguys view: At 6'4" 318 pounds, Blackson can eat up space in the middle of the line at nose tackle. He's not an explosive athlete, and Blackson offers little push against the quarterback. We should see Blackson as a late-round pick in the draft.

Link to story


  Eagles | Joe Okafor visits    Fri Apr 17, 03:09 AM

Lamar DT Joe Okafor met with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, April 16.

Footballguys view: A former Oklahoma State Cowboy, Okafor transferred to Lamar a couple of years ago. He had an impressive pro day, and Okafor could be a good five technique on the defensive line as a rotational player. He's a late-round pick or priority free agent.

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