Dan Hanzus takes questions from you, the readers, in his latest mailbag studying the world of the National Football League.
Settled? You must be an Eagles fan! (Yep, Callum is.) Well, Wentz certainly surged into a healthy lead with his MVP-level performance in 2017. Barring any complications connected to his reconstructive knee surgery, Wentz will enter 2018 as the NFC East's top passer.
This will be a particularly important year for Prescott, who was a less consistent and more mistake-prone player in his second season, a year that was jacked up considerably by Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension and all the drama that surrounded it. But let's be fair here: Dak's struggles weren't all on him, not with the supporting cast installed around him. I mean, how long should Dez Bryant and Jason Witten be locked in as focal points of this passing attack? It feels like the Cowboys need to shift directions, and don't be surprised if that begins in earnest on draft day. While we're here, here's what Jason Garrett said in March at the Annual League Meeting when asked what Prescott needed to improve on in Year 3.
"Really, everything," the coach said. "At the quarterback position -- and maybe every position, but maybe most glaringly there -- there's so much to learn over the course of your career. That's why the guys at that position play longer and it seems like they're playing their best football well into their 30s."
That last point is a good one. Wentz is 25. Prescott is 24. If fans in Philly and Dallas are lucky, the Carson-vs.-Dak debate will rage on for another decade. It's way too early to call the race.
I get your frustration, Bib. We've officially reached silly season in the pre-draft process. Once you get inside three weeks or so, it feels like we hear a lot of the same points being made over and over again at varying volume levels. If I'm installed as Emperor of the NFL (don't rule this out), one of my first acts would be to move the draft up to the first week of April. "This current waiting period is interminable and needless! It must end!" I'd bellow with power and grace from my pulpit, my words nearly drowned out by rapturous applause.
Regarding Allen, would a freakishly strong throwing arm help a young quarterback during the winter months in Western New York? Well, sure, but let's not get too carried away here. Perhaps you're old enough to remember when Doug Flutie took Buffalo by storm 20 years ago. The man had his own cereal, for God's sake! Flutie was (generously) listed at 5-foot-10 and was not known for his throwing power, but he made football fun in Western New York for the first time in the post-Jim Kelly years.
Though it may cost them dearly, it still feels like the Bills will come out of this draft with a highly touted quarterback. His success or failure will be less about one particular skill set and more about the organization's ability to surround him with good coaching, continuity and a strong foundation of surrounding talent. See "Goff, Jared" for a particularly striking example of how much can change when a promising passer has a strong support system instead of weak one.
Would you really classify Luck's shoulder issue as catastrophic? I don't know about that. Debilitating? Sure. Serious? Most definitely. But there's still plenty of optimism that Luck can return to form if he remains on the right path in rehab. Teddy Bridgewater just feels like a different category altogether. Although he got himself back on the field last November, he still hasn't taken a snap of consequence in two seasons, and a maimed Sam Bradford was still deemed a better option at No. 2 behind Case Keenum during Minnesota's playoff run. That was telling. Then there were those comments at the Annual League Meeting from Mike Zimmer, who acknowledged that Vikings medical reports on Bridgwater's knee were less than glowing last season.
Steve DeOssie, obviously.
1) Jaxson de Ville (Jaguars)
2) KC Wolf (Chiefs)
3) Blitz (Seahawks)
4) Swoop (Eagles)
5) Chomps (Browns)
6) Steely McBeam (Steelers)
7) Staley Da Bear (Bears)
8) Sourdough Sam (49ers)
9) Roary (Lions)
10) Billy Buffalo (Bills)
384) Raider Rusher (Raiders)
I used to say "The Room" without hesitation, but then James Franco had to come along and make Tommy Wiseau's fever-dream masterpiece into mainstream fodder, which, quite frankly, felt intrusive. After all, half the fun of watching a truly awful movie is celebrating its wretchedness with family and friends as something of an inside joke. Terrible cinema is weirdly personal like that.
Anyway, here are some truly crappy movies I've enjoyed ironically over the years: "From Justin To Kelly," "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace," "Troll 2" -- those are all classics of the Bad Movie genre. M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening" is absurd and embarrassing for all parties involved. (The trees did it!) Some under-the-radar howlers include the Die-Hard-on-a-mountain rip-off "Crackerjack" and the Billy Ray Cyrus vehicle "Radical Jack." (The two Jacks have no relation, as far as I can tell.) The worst film I ever saw in the theater was definitely "Batman & Robin." ("Stay cool, Boiiird Boy!") "Olympus Has Fallen" and "London Has Fallen" should have ended Gerard Butler's career ... maybe they did.
I touched on the Jets' star-crossed post-Namath history in a column a couple weeks ago. The best? I'd say pre-shoulder injury Chad Pennington was the closest New York has come to a franchise quarterback. Pennington had it all: Smarts, incredible accuracy, great leadership ability, plus the perfect Southern-boy demeanor for the New York market (This is important!). But he wrecked his shoulder twice, injuries that sapped his arm strength and left him a compromised, but still productive, player for the second half of his career. To his credit, Pennington is the only guy to win Comeback Player of the Year honors twice (once with the Jets in 2006 and again with the Dolphins two years later). Overall, Pennington had a solid career, but he's a particularly painful "What if" in Jets history.
(And pipe down with the "What about Brett Favre?" argument. Brett Favre was never actually on the Jets. It never happened. You can't prove it and you'd fail to produce any evidence to support the notion. Let it go.)
Fun. OK, I'm looking at this as a fantasy draft in the sense that the 32 teams are essentially starting over and building a real team with the entire player pool at their disposal for one season. Here's how I'd see the first 10 picks playing out:
1) Tom Brady
2) Aaron Rodgers
3) Carson Wentz
4) Drew Brees
5) Ben Roethlisberger
6) Matt Ryan
7) Russell Wilson
8) Cam Newton
9) Andrew Luck
10) Matthew Stafford
You can get cute and take, oh, I don't know, Andrew Whitworth or someone like that, but the top of the first round will probably see all quarterbacks on the right side of the Dalton Scale coming off the board first. It is fun to think who would be the first non-quarterback to leave the imaginary green room. The fact that Odell Beckham springs to mind tells you how crazy it is to think that the Giants would consider trading their star wide receiver. Jalen Ramsey plays a premium position and would be a solid first-round selection. On defense, you couldn't go wrong with Von Miller. How far would J.J. Watt fall after two seasons wiped away by injury?
We should do this for real.
Cut to 2 Chainz: "I'LL DO IT."
'Til next time.