Josh Oliver Jersey

The Kansas City Chiefs have spent a significant amount of time studying tight ends in the 2019 NFL Draft, including San Jose State tight end Josh Oliver. With very little behind an aging Travis Kelce, the need for tight end depth is paramount and someone perhaps can take over for Travis Kelce when the day comes.

Victor Aquino who helps cover San Jose State sports for The Mercury News answered some questions to provide some insight into the Spartan product.

SJS head coach Brent Brennan knew what he had 2 years ago when he first came on that Oliver was NFL-caliber and would be big in the pass game and centralizing the offense around him at times. Oliver really respected what Brennan and staff asked of him and will give kudos to helping him get to the next level.

For the local Sparta community, it was big; mainly because it was the lone bright star for the current hard-luck program. For Oliver, he’s an understated kinda guy, who no doubt was appreciative of the opportunity, but it was business for him out there.

He’s truly a guy who let’s his play do the talking. He’s kinda of a poker-face too, but an intense and very respectful guy. A very telling fact is Oliver went through a full four years of challenges, different coaches and tough seasons. That says a lot in itself.

Josh Oliver is an interesting tight end prospect and could possibly be a Chief on draft day. There is a lot to like about his abilities, but he will need some coaching.

It’s a good thing the Chiefs have quality coaches and a quarterback that knows how to get the ball to open receivers. Oliver is not my favorite tight end prospect for the second round spot, but someone I’d be happy with when the dust settles on the 2019 NFL Draft.

Jawaan Taylor Jersey

Cocoa High and University of Florida product Jawaan Taylor had to endure an unexpected drop in the 2019 NFL Draft on one of the league’s biggest stages.

One of about 20 prospects officially invited to attend the event in Nashville and be introduced on stage, Taylor expected to do that on the first night, Thursday. Alas, he dropped to the second round, the third pick of Friday night, 35th overall.

He went to the team most 2019 NFL Draft analysts had predicted, only a day later.

“I just had to stay patient and just sat back in the green room. I had to come back. I feel like I showed good character and I didn’t want to get out of character,” he said. “It was a little devastating. I just had so much confidence in myself and I had high expectations for myself but you know, it’s a plan that everybody has and God has for me.”

Taylor had been projected to go first among offensive tackles, but four went Thursday night. He seemed to fit with the Jags as a starter for the right tackle spot.

“I met with them at the Combine and met with them during (Florida’s) Pro Day. I even had a private workout with them and a top-30 visit. I felt like the Jaguars had some interest,” Taylor said. “I feel like I can fit anywhere, so whatever team drafted me I felt like I could fit in. I feel like I can fit in Jacksonville, zone, whatever type of run scheme they want to run.”

Taylor came out after his junior season having started games in each of his three seasons in Gainesville, 35 in all. He said he heard Thursday night that past knee problems had worried NFL teams.

“I’m 100 percent healthy. Little things came out before the draft, the night before, it caught me by surprise. I knew I was 100 percent healthy. I just had to be patient.”

Declaring he has something to prove now, he offered a description of his game for Jaguars fans.

“(I’m) very nasty, I’m very aggressive. That’s just how I play football. That’s just how they play the game. I’m going to make sure I’m coming in and work from Day 1. … A guy that loves to win and very passionate and loves the game. I’m just going to bring that every single day.”

His former Cocoa High teammates Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Jamel Dean now wait to be picked.

Family, friends of Chauncey Gardner-Johnson react to Jawaan Taylor, fellow Cocoa & Gators product going to the Jacksonville Jags in 2019 NFL Draft. Craig Bailey, Florida Today.

Josh Allen Jersey

The Jaguars used the seventh overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to select defensive end Josh Allen out of the University of Kentucky Thursday evening in Nashville, TN. Allen was one of the team’s top five targeted players to draft.

“It means a lot. I am about to go to an organization that really strives to sack the quarterback. That’s what I love to do,” Allen told reporters on a conference call.

Allen considered entering the draft in 2018 but he decided to stay in school instead. He is relieved he made that decision.

“I think about it every day. I would have never been in this situation last year,” he explained. “I decided I am glad I came back to further myself as a person and as a player, as well. I’m just really thankful that I came back and everybody that helped me during this process; I’m forever grateful.”

Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin described Allen (6-5, 262) as an athletic player who can drop in coverage and who rushes the passer. He also referred to Allen as a player who gets on the edge and who has some opportunity for refinement at the professional level. Early indications are that Allen is self-confident too.

“We talked openly on his visit here. We had a real fine visit with him and kidded him of where he was going to go and he said, ‘Well maybe you will have to trade up to get me’ I just reminded him of that one,” Coughlin shared with reporters.“Outstanding young man. A guy who will definitely help our defensive football team and hopefully will continue to get stronger and better on that side of the ball. We have a bunch of picks to work on the rest of the draft.”

There was speculation heading into the draft that the Jaguars would try to bolster their offense by choosing a player such as tight end T.J.Hockenson who was taken by the Detroit Lions with the eighth overall pick. Jaguars’ personnel said all along they would draft the best player available and Coughlin said Allen was too good of a player to pass up.

“He [T.J. Hockenson] was very close up where we were, and they were both were very close, but Allen was a higher thought of player,” Coughlin admitted.

Allen, a Montclair, NJ native, did not miss a game in his four-year career at Kentucky. He played in all 51 games with 35 starts. He totaled 224 tackles, 41 tackles for loss, 31.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, two FFs and eight passes defensed. During the 2018 season he had a team-high 88 tackles and 17.0 sacks while earning consensus first team All-American honors, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and he was honored with the Bronko Nagurski Award, presented to the country’s top defensive player.

“That was certainly part of it, his ability to play over the course of the entire football game and continue to pressure the passer, even though late in the game – like I said, his ability to rush on either side, his ability to drop and his athleticism, as demonstrated by the combine, etc. as well. A very impressive young man and football player.”

““I have never met him. I have been following him on Instagram. I am a huge fan of him. I have been watching him ever since Maryland. I’m a big fan, but now I am about to be a big teammate to him,” Allen said. “We’re trying to win Super Bowls. I know he is. I know I am. We’re trying to be great.”Allen did hear from Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, whose fifth-year option was exercised on Draft Day. The fourth-year Pro Bowler CB is now under contract with the Jaguars through the 2020 season.

“When he messaged me, it was like a dream come true. I looked up to this dude. Now, it’s like I am his teammate. Now it is more fuel to my fire,” Allen added. “Now I have to prove him why I’m the best player in the draft. Plus, I have to earn the respect of him. I am coming in ready to work, ready to work and ready to keep the culture going. That is the type of MO I’m bringing and [I’m going to] earn the respect of my peers.”

Allen’s work ethic will certainly fit in nicely with the hardworking Jaguars defensive unit.

Donte Moncrief Jersey

Donte Moncrief will be replacing Justin Hunter in more ways than one. Not only will Moncrief replace Hunter as one of the veteran receivers on Pittsburgh’s roster, Moncreif, who signed a two-year deal with the Steelers earlier this offseason, will wear Hunter’s old No. 11 as a member of the black and gold. Moncreif previously wore No. 10 as a member of the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Moncrief’s new teammate and fellow Pittsburgh free agent acquisition, cornerback Steven Nelson, will be keeping his No. 22 when he takes the field for the first time as a Steeler. The No. 22 was most recently worn by running back Stevan Ridley, who like Hunter saw his contract with the Steelers expire during the offseason. William Gay, who spent 10 of his 11 NFL seasons with the Steelers, wore No. 22 while helping the Steelers win their two most recent Super Bowl titles.

Moncrief, who caught his first NFL touchdown pass against Pittsburgh, met with the Steelers before being taken by the Colts as the 90th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Playing with Pro Bowl quarterback Andrew Luck, Moncrief caught 152 passes for 1,875 yards and 18 touchdown passes during his four seasons with the Colts. He caught 48 passes for 668 yards and three scores during his lone season with the Jaguars.

Moncrief’s father, a lifelong Steelers fan, wanted his son to play well when his teams previously faced off against the Steelers. He just didn’t want his son’s teams to win. Last month, Moncrief explained his father’s lifelong passion for the black and gold.

“He’s always been a Steelers fan,” Moncrief said of his father. “He liked Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis and all those guys. It’s crazy. Four weeks before I even signed he told me I was coming here. So when I got the call and they told me it was Pittsburgh and my agent told me what it’s gonna be, I knew he was gonna be like, ‘I told you so.’ When it happened, I was happy.”

How did his father react to the news that he was joining his favorite team?

“My dad was happy,” Moncrief said. “Super happy. Even when I was in Indy and we were playing the Steelers, he said he’ll root for me, but he still wanted the Steelers to win. Now I’m Steeler now, so now we’re gonna get on the same boat.”

Nick Foles Jersey

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Since giving quarterback Nick Foles a four-year, $88 million contract that included $50.125 million guaranteed, the Jaguars essentially have rummaged through free-agent bargain bins, scoured sale racks and added several guys that might as well have been marked “damaged goods.”

All the while they were waiting for the draft.

It’s here now and time for Jacksonville to get Foles some help, whether it’s a starting offensive lineman, a mismatch tight end, a big-play receiver or even a third-down back.

The Jaguars are expected to use several of their first four selections on the offensive side of the ball. They have four of the top 100 selections, including the seventh overall pick next Thursday night, and could go in just about any direction.

But there’s little doubt the primary goal is to build around Foles, a guy personnel chief Tom Coughlin, general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone believe is a franchise quarterback capable of helping the team become a playoff contender again.

“We need to improve in that area,” Coughlin said.

Jacksonville parted ways with tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and veteran right tackle Jermey Parnell, creating obvious holes at those positions. The team added tight end Geoff Swaim and re-signed offensive tackle Josh Wells, but neither is considered more than an experienced backup.

So Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams or Florida’s Jawaan Taylor could be potential targets at No. 7.

“To be honest, the foundation of an offense is always through the line,” Foles said. “It’s really hard to run a successful offense without those guys up front.”

Taking a tight end in the top 10 would be more of a stretch, but Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson is expected to go in the top half of the first round. Hockenson caught 49 passes for 760 yards and six touchdowns as a third-year sophomore.

Foles said he has been spoiled by playing with All-Pro tight ends Travis Kelce (Kansas City) and Zach Ertz (Philadelphia), seeing firsthand how elite guys at that position can help an offense — especially when they can block and catch.

“It’s very hard to find guys that are good at both,” Foles said.

Coughlin has made it clear that, even with the addition of Foles, the team has no plans to deviate from its run-first philosophy. That means a commitment to defense, and the Jaguars have issues there, too.



Ereck Flowers Jersey

Flowers, 24, was drafted by the Giants at No. 9 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft, four picks after the Washington Redskins selected Brandon Scherff. Flowers would go on to start for the better part of four years with the Giants, but he regressed year by year, and at the end of his tenure there, he was traded, and he went unclaimed at the start of 2019 free agency.

For a week, Flowers was a free agent, without a contract, and a future. But the Redskins eventually bailed him out, giving him a one-year contract worth $4 million, and presumably knocking out a 2020 sixth-round compensatory pick as a result.

For the Redskins, that is a very dangerous comparison to make.

Yes, Brandon Scherff successfully made the switch to offensive guard. And yes, so have other players who were tackles in college, but projected better as interior linemen in the NFL. But extreme caution must be taken when applying these truths to the Ereck Flowers situation.

Flowers is a tackle who could potentially be better at guard. But Callahan has an enormous amount of work to do if he plans on trotting out Flowers as a starter. Flowers is a former first-round pick, yes, but one of Jerry Reese’s infamous draft selections (We all know how Jerry Reese’s career in New York ended).

Flowers was, in large part, drafted because of his size and numbers at the bench press. He entered the league with sloppy pass sets, footwork, and hands, combined with stiffness and timidity at the point of attack. Four years later, he hasn’t undergone much development in any of those areas. He entered New York as a project, and left as a project. Such stagnation, over a four year period that provided plenty of opportunity, is a red flag.

It’s okay to believe that there is potential for Flowers to excel at guard. He’s not a great athlete, but if Callahan can work his magic, something good could come out of it. But the Redskins cannot proceed through the rest of the offseason with the assumption in mind that Flowers will develop into a starter. Because Flowers hasn’t made much progress in that direction over a four-year span, and if he doesn’t buy in to Callahan’s method of teaching, it won’t happen.

Make no mistake: Ereck Flowers’ development in Washington is far from a guarantee. The Redskins should act as if they still have a pressing need on the interior, because they do. Yes, project tackles can make the transition. But Flowers is a very extreme project to take on.

Andrew Norwell Jersey

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 26: Andrew Norwell #68 of the Carolina Panthers in action against the New York Jets during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler’s job just got a biut tougher. Now, the back up named starter will go into the game on Sunday without left guard Andrew Norwell, who was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, the team announced.

The Jaguars have been decimated by injuries this season, especially on the offensive line. The team played with its fourth left tackle this past weekend in a 24-21 loss to Buffalo. There have been injuries at center and right guard. While the running game racked up 226 yards last weekend, the news of Leonard Fournette’s suspension for fighting will make a tough situation even worse.

“Norwell injured his ankle in Sunday’s loss to the Bills and had to be carted to the locker room in order to undergo a medical evaluation. A report on Monday morning indicated that he’d miss a few weeks as a result of the injury, but, as mentioned in response to that report, the time left of the schedule is working against him.”

It was believed Norwell would miss a few weeks with the injury.

The injury bug has not just bitten this franchise, it has taken a chunk out of the roster on offense and is part of the reason why the Jaguars are now 3-8 without a chance to make the playoffs this season. Jacksonville was one of the least injured teams in the NFL last season.

Norwell was an All-Pro guard in 2017 with the Carolina Panthers before hitting the free agent market. He cashed in with the Jaguars on a five-year, $66.5 million contract with $30 million in guaranteed money. He was expected to make an offensive line that helpd the Jaguars lead the league in rushing per game (141 yards) in 2017 even better.

Injuries have caused major issues and Norwell has played below what he did last season for the Panthers.

Landry Jones Jersey

March 26 (UPI) — The Oakland Raiders have added another quarterback to their roster, signing former free agent thrower Landry Jones.

Jones will join an Oakland team that already is full of potential backup quarterbacks to starter Derek Carr, as Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman are already signed to the team’s roster.

The Steelers drafted Jones in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma, and he spent five seasons in Pittsburgh before being released before the 2018 season.

As the backup in Pittsburgh to Ben Roethlisberger starting in 2015, Jones had a few memorable moments, including leading the Steelers to a week-six win in 2016 over the Arizona Cardinals in which he replaced an injured Michael Vick and threw for two scores and 168 yards in fewer than than two quarters.

During his time with the Steelers, Jones started five games total going 3-2, throwing for 1,310 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

In four years at Oklahoma, Jones threw for 16,643 yards, 123 touchdowns and 52 interceptions.

Cedric Ogbuehi Jersey

The Bengals are set to move on from former first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi.

After a disastrous four-year stint in Cincinnati, all indications are Ogbuehi will be on a new team when the 2019 season begins.

Now, it appears the Jaguars could be a landing spot, as he’s set to visit Jacksonville, according to Jordan Schultz.

This is the first reported visit for the embattled lineman. Even though Ogbuehi is a former first-round pick, it’s hard to see him getting anything other than a small one-year prove-it deal. He simply has no business starting for any NFL team, and he’s got a long way to go just to become a capable backup.

Hopefully, Ogbuehi will find himself and prove he can make it in this league with his next team. I wouldn’t complete rule out a return to the Bengals since they’re lacking offensive tackle depth, but it’s far more likely he ends up elsewhere.

Chris Conley Jersey

After spending four seasons with a very successful Kansas City Chiefs team, recent Jacksonville Jaguars acquisition Chris Conley will be looking to help his new team be just as successful – especially considering they’ve been at the bottom of the league for years with the exception of 2017. In a recent interview with the Florida Times-Union, the veteran talked about making it his job to help the Jags develop the consistency and making what they did in 2017 a more common thing. That, in return, would help them shake their league-wide perception of being a bad team that just got lucky during their recent 2017 trip to the AFC championship.

“I’m excited to come in there and kind of change some of the stigma around who Jacksonville is,” Conley said. “I know Jacksonville has had some success. A couple years ago, (the Jaguars) had a lot of success. I want to be a part of making that consistent, where people realize that this team can contend any year. I’m excited about the opportunity, about building on something that people have already been building.”

Most fans would definitely agree that the Jags have the talent on their roster, especially on the defensive side, and simply put, it’s time for the offense to catch up. That’s exactly what the additions of Conley and his former teammate Nick Foles will hopefully do alongside some of the pieces they already had in receiver Dede Westbrook and tailback Leonard Fournette.

Conley also added that he believes he’ll enter his tenure with the Jags the healthiest he’s been in a while after recovering from an Achilles injury he sustained in 2017. And while he did play afterward in 2018, he admitted that he didn’t feel 100 percent as the injury is something that takes a while to fully recover from.

“Even if you’re cleared to play, there are some things you just can’t do until 1 1/2-2 years after a surgery,” Conley said. “I was met with some of that, with some negativity regarding my capability. But at some point I had to just chalk that up to people just being misinformed. You can’t listen to those things because I know how my body’s responding to the work that I’m putting in. I know how it’s responding to the time since the surgery.”

If that’s truly the case, and he’s 100 percent, the Jags could have a potential steal on their hands as Conley proved to be a freakish athlete prior. During the combine in 2015, he registered the record in the vertical jump (45 inches) and blazed through the 40-yard dash with a 4.35. That sounds exactly like the type of height, weight and speed specimen needed to flourish in John DeFilippo’s high-powered offense, which will need to be at least a top-15 group to get the Jags into the postseason in 2019.