I have some terrific news everyone: As of today, we are now exactly just two weeks away from the 2021 NFL Draft.
That means that 14 days from now, we'll be able to stop arguing over whether the 49ers are going to take Mac Jones with the third overall pick, which is important to me, because CBSSports.com draft guru Ryan Wilson and I are no longer on speaking terms due to his stance on Jones.
So what is Wilson's stance on Jones? That's a great question that you'll be getting the answer to in today's newsletter. We'll also be covering the assault allegations against Aaron Donald and the new team names that Washington might be considering, so let's get to the rundown. As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link.
1. Today's show: The Mac Jones episode
With the 2021 NFL Draft now just TWO WEEKS away (April 29), one thing you'll notice about the podcast between now and then is that we'll be talking about the draft nearly every day. The good news for you is that we don't like to repeat ourselves, so I promise that we won't be covering the same topic EVERY single day. With that in mind, Will Brinson had Ryan Wilson on for today's show and the two of them spent most of the episode breaking down everyone's favorite QB prospect: Mac Jones.
And to be clear, when I say "everyone's favorite QB prospect," I mean "everyone's favorite QB prospect to argue about." The former Alabama quarterback is easily the most polarizing QB in the draft. Some people -- like Wilson -- believe that he'll go third overall to the 49ers, while many other people believe that he'll fall out of the top 10.
Wilson has been high on Jones for a while and he explained why during the podcast.
"After Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones -- to me -- is the most NFL-ready quarterback to go out there in September and try to win football games," Wilson said. "The other quarterbacks, including Zach Wilson, have some questions."
To listen to today's episode on Mac Jones -- and to follow the podcast -- be sure to click here.
2. 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots make big trade to land QB
I promise this entire newsletter isn't going to be about Mac Jones, but we are going to mention him again here and that's because he plays a prominent part in the latest mock draft from CBSSports.com's Josh Edwards.
Edwards has a total of FIVE quarterbacks going in his top seven picks and the most interesting part there is that he has one of those seven quarterbacks going to the PATRIOTS. In the mock, Edwards has the Patriots pulling off a monstrous trade with the Lions to move up from 15th overall to seventh overall. After moving up eight spots, Edwards has the Patriots using their new draft position to select, yup, you guessed it, Mac Jones.
Here's a look at the top 10 in Edwards' mock.
- 1. Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
- 2. Jets: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
- 3. 49ers: QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)
- 4. Broncos (trade with Falcons): QB Trey Lance (North Dakota State)
- 5. Bengals: OL Penei Sewell (Oregon)
- 6. Dolphins: TE Kyle Pitts (Florida)
- 7. Patriots (trade with Lions): QB Mac Jones (Alabama)
- 8. Panthers: WR Ja'Marr Chase (LSU)
- 9. Falcons (trade with Broncos): OL Rashawn Slater (Northwestern)
- 10. Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
To see how the rest of the first round plays out, be sure to click here.
3. Criminal complaint filed against Rams' Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald has been in the NFL for seven seasons and during that time, he's never really had to deal with any legal issues, but that could be changing after an incident that allegedly took place over the weekend. An attorney in Pittsburgh has filed a complaint against Donald on behalf his client, who was allegedly assaulted by the Rams star in the early morning hours of April 11.
The lawyer in this case, Todd J. Hollis, told the media on Wednesday that his client, De'Vincent Spriggs, was attacked by Donald at a club in Pittsburgh at 3 a.m. on Sunday. According to Hollis, the attack occurred after Spriggs accidentally bumped into Donald.
"It was definitely unprovoked," Hollis told KDKA. "I've instructed him not to make any comments, but, as you can see from his arm in a sling, his eye is closed, 16 stitches in his eye and a concussion and other severe injuries he's suffered, this is a severe incident."
If you want to see the extent of Spriggs' injuries, you can do that by clicking here. The Rams offered a statement on the allegations, but will wait to see how things play out before saying anything else.
"We are aware of the reports regarding Aaron Donald," the team said. "We are collecting more information and will have no further comment at this time."
The next step in this case is that police will review the allegations and then decide whether Donald should be charged. If you're wondering why Donald was in Pittsburgh over the weekend, the 29-year-old defensive star went to college at Pitt and is from the Pittsburgh area.
4. Washington has multiple team names under consideration
After undergoing a name change for the 2020 NFL season, the Washington Football Team has already announced that it will be sticking with its new name for 2021, but after that, things are up in the air. The team name could be changing again as soon as 2022, and apparently, the organization has a quite a few options to choose from.
The team sent out an email to season-ticket holders this week with the hope of getting some input on what the new name should be. In the email, each season-ticket holder was given a list of roughly 10 names and was asked to choose which two were the best. Not every season-ticket holder was given the same list and in the end, the organization sent out more than 30 names to choose from. Here's a list of those names:
First City Football Club (FCFC)
DC Football Club (DCFC)
As you can see at the bottom, the team will consider using Football Team going forward, something team president Jason Wright mentioned back in March. As for me, I vote for Presidents and I vote that their logo is William Howard Taft stuck in a bath tub.
5. How the Steelers can have the perfect draft
Between now and the start of the draft, we'll be listing off how each team can pull off the perfect draft, and today, we're going to cover the Steelers.
Although the Steelers ended up winning the AFC North last season with a 12-4 record, don't let that success fool you, this is a team that has plenty of holes it needs to fill heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. Not only could they use some help at running back after finishing dead last in the NFL in rushing last year, but they also will probably need to consider taking an offensive lineman in the early rounds to make up for several personnel losses this offseason.
Our Bryan DeArdo put together a list of four things the Steelers need to do if they want to have the perfect draft.
1. Get a featured back. "While no team solely relies on one running back anymore, it's no secret that Mike Tomlin likes having a featured running back who can close out a game. Tomlin had the luxury of having Le'Veon Bell on his team during the 2010s, and the result was four consecutive playoff berths that included a trip to the AFC title game in 2016. ... With the 24th overall pick, Pittsburgh should be in position to draft either Alabama's Najee Harris, Clemson's Travis Etienne, or North Carolina's Javonte Williams."
2. Strengthen the offensive line. "The team needs to add pieces to an offensive line that lost perennial Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey (retirement) and right tackle Matt Feiler (who signed a multi-year deal with the Chargers). The Steelers will also likely have a new starting left tackle, as Alejandro Villanueva is still on the open market."
3. Replenish the linebacker corps. "Pittsburgh needs some reinforcements at both inside and outside linebacker for the '21 season. While the thought is that the Steelers will first address their running game, don't be overly surprised if the Steelers grab a linebacker with one of their top two picks if the right one is available."
4. Add depth in the secondary. "Pittsburgh lost two key members of its secondary this offseason with the departures of Mike Hilton and Steven Nelson. The Steelers have confidence that Cam Sutton and Justin Layne can replace Nelson and Hilton, but they still need to add a piece or two to the cornerback room before the start of the regular season."
You can check out DeArdo's full explanation for his perfect Steelers draft by clicking here. If you want to know how the rest of the AFC North can pull off a perfect draft, click here to see what the Bengals should do, click here to see how the Ravens should handle things and click here to see what moves would make the most sense for the Browns.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: New Bengals uniforms coming next week
This has been a busy week in the NFL and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of it all, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Bengals getting new stripes on Monday. For the first time in 17 years, the Bengals will be unveiling new uniforms and those will be unveiled April 19 at 9 a.m., so be sure to mark your calendar.
- Seahawks land Aldon Smith. Aldon Smith started his career in the NFC West and now, he'll be returning there after signing a one-year deal with the Seahawks. Smith was originally drafted by the 49ers in 2011 and ended up spending four seasons in San Francisco. However, the 31-year-old didn't play much after that and that's because he was suspended a total of four seasons (2016-19) due to legal troubles. Smith returned in 2020 and played one season with the Cowboys.
- Clowney signs with Browns. We told you all the way back on Monday that Jadeveon Clowney would be signing with the Browns at some point this week and that signing officially happened yesterday. The former No. 1 overall pick inked a one-year deal that's worth up to $10 million.
- Falcons add Cordarrelle Patterson and Duron Harmon. The Falcons just landed one of the most dangerous kick returners in the NFL after signing Patterson to a one-year deal. The Falcons will be the fourth team that Patterson has played for over the past five years following stints with the Raiders, Patriots and Bears. The wide receiver started his career in Minnesota after the Vikings made him a first-round pick in 2013. The Falcons also made another move this week when they added former Patriots safety Duron Harmon on Thursday.
- Steelers re-sign two of their own. The Steelers re-signed two players on Wednesday in the form of linebacker Vince Williams and backup quarterback Josh Dobbs. Williams was actually cut a month ago and although he had offers from other teams, he decided to re-sign in Pittsburgh.
7. The Kicker: Gracie Hunt wins title of Miss Kansas USA
If you're wondering who Gracie Hunt is and what she has to do with football, those are two very valid questions, so I'm going to go ahead and answer those for you: Hunt is the daughter of Chiefs co-owner Clark Hunt and she made some news this week when she won the title of Miss Kansas USA.
By taking home the crown, Gracie will now move on to represent Kansas in the Miss USA pageant, which will be held at some point later this year. Gracie currently works in marketing and development for the Chiefs and is also pursing a master's degree in sport management from the University of Kansas, so it seems like she leads a pretty busy life. However, she did find some time to head to Tampa back in February to watch her beloved Chiefs play in Super Bowl LV.
In a twist, Gracie is actually the second member of her family to be named Miss Kansas and that's because her mom also won the crown back in 1993. To see a photo of the current Miss Kansas, feel free to click here.