Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
For the month of April, this was an NFL Draft newsletter that was written by Chris Trapasso and I'm starting to think that maybe we should have let Trapasso stick around for another week because, once again, the draft is our main topic of conversation today.
Not only will we be handing out more grades, but we'll also be looking at the worst pick from each team. At some point, we'll stop talking about the 2023 NFL Draft, but today will not be that day.
As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. All right, let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's podcast: Handing out NFL Draft grades
For today's episode of the "Pick Six" Podcast, Tyler Sullivan, Katie Mox and Chris Trapasso decided to hand out draft grades.
Yes, I know that Prisco also handed out grades yesterday, but let's be honest, when it comes to draft grades, you can never have enough. As a matter of fact, starting next year, I might starting grading the grades.
Do the Patriots know what they're doing anymore? Did the Titans have a surprisingly good draft? Did the Texans give up too much to trade up to the third overall pick? The gang answered all those questions and more.
Here are four of the draft grades that they handed out on the podcast:
- Patriots: D. "I don't think they had an impactful draft. I don't feel like they've gained much ground, if any, in the now loaded AFC East," Sullivan said. "The Christian Gonzalez pick, it was great that he was able to fall to them at No. 17 overall ... but I think this team needed an offensive tackle and they didn't get that. There is nobody to protect Mac Jones." Sully also noted that he was disappointed that New England didn't use any of its SIX picks in the first four rounds on a receiver.
- Titans: A. "It's really for the top half of their draft," Sullivan said of Tennessee's grade. "They passed on the QB at No. 11 and got Peter Skoronski. ... The only QB on the board at 11 was Will Levis and you're thinking he's going to be long gone by the time the Titans pick on Day 2, but he infamously falls, they trade up and now they acquire their QB of the future. To me, the value there with Will Levis is through the roof. I also like Tyjae Spears in the third round."
- Texans: C. "I feel like this grade is controversial because they did come away with two of the five best prospects in the class," Sullivan said. "I'm giving them a "C" because of what they had to give up to go get Will Anderson at No. 3 overall. They gave up a first-round pick in 2024. This is a team that's not going to be competitive in 2023. This is going to be a high pick. They're getting a good player in Will Anderson, but man, that just feels like a real high price to pay for the guy."
- Cowboys: C. "Mazi Smith at 26, I didn't have him graded that high," Trapasso said. "He's a nose tackle and he's not even an elite pass-rushing nose tackle. I think in today's NFL, in Round 1, you're just not getting the positional value with a nose tackle."
If you want the grades for each team, then be sure to click here so you can listen to today's podcast. You can also watch today's episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. 2023 NFL Draft: Every team's worst pick
Sometimes in life, you have to do the dirty work and that's exactly what Jordan Dajani did this week. After sifting through every pick that was made in the draft, the CBSSports.com writer created a list of the 32 worst picks (One for each team). This doesn't necessarily mean that the player is going to be bad, it could mean that a team filled a positional need it didn't need to fill or it simply drafted a player too early.
Here is a small sample from Dajani's list:
- Chargers: WR Quentin Johnston (First round, 21st overall). "They needed to get a young receiver, but I think Jordan Addison would have been a better pick. Johnson is a big receiver, but he has issues catching the football at times."
- Patriots: K Chad Ryland (Fourth round, 112th overall). "Accurate kicker but doesn't have a big leg. I get kickers can be drafted, but TRADING UP for one in the fourth round?"
- Lions: RB Jahmyr Gibbs (First round, 12th overall). "Yes, he's an air back. Yes, he can do a lot of things. But, again, why take him here when there is a guy like corner Christian Gonzalez on the board?"
- Falcons: RB Bijan Robinson (First round, eighth overall). "This is way too high for a back, even if he's a really good player. Backs don't decide Super Bowls. I know Arthur Smith loves backs, but this is a deep draft of backs and history isn't kind to this type of move. I don't like it because of position value. Good player, bad position."
- 49ers: K Jake Moody (Third round, 99th overall pick). "Very accurate and made a lot of big kicks in his career but does not have a huge leg, but a kicker in Round 3?"
If you want to see Dajani's full list, which also includes the best pick for each team and the most interesting pick, then.
3. Best free agent fits following the 2023 NFL Draft
Now that the NFL Draft is behind us, don't be surprised if we see free agency start to ramp back up again over the next few weeks. For one, now that teams have gone through the draft, they know what holes they have left on their roster and they can look to fill those holes with a free agent.
Also, as of today, free agent signings no longer count against the compensatory pick formula, which means that if any team loses a free agent going forward, they won't be able to benefit from it by being awarded an extra draft pick.
Although free agency has been open for more than six weeks, there are still plenty of talented players out there waiting to be signed and our Bryan DeArdo decided to match those free agents up with the perfect team. Here's a look at a few of the matches that he came up with.
- Ezekiel Elliott to the Bengals. From DeArdo: "The Bengals did draft former Illinois running back Chase Brown in the fifth round, but Cincinnati could still use a back of Elliott's caliber to pair with Joe Mixon."
- Kareem Hunt to the Chargers. From DeArdo: "The Chargers opted not to draft a running back despite Austin Ekeler's recent trade request. Ekeler or not, the Chargers would benefit by adding Hunt, a versatile player and former league rushing champion."
- Jadeveon Clowney to the Bears. From DeArdo: "The revamped Bears could use a player of Clowney's caliber to flank fellow defensive end DeMarcus Walker. Clowney is motivated to show that he is still an elite player after a tumultuous final year in Cleveland. Clowney is just two years removed from his productive 2021 season that saw him record nine sacks, two forced fumbles and 11 tackles for loss in 14 games."
If you want to check out each one of DeArdo's free agent fits,. If you want to see a full list of the best available free agents, .
4. 2024 NFL Mock Draft: Caleb Williams is the top pick
After going 77 straight hours without sleep over the weekend, I assumed that CBS Sports draft guru Ryan Wilson would spend this entire week sleeping, but that is definitely not the case. Instead of catching up on sleep, Wilson spent the past 24 hours putting together his first 2024 mock draft.
One thing you'll notice about the 2024 draft class is that the crop of quarterbacks is expected to be much better than they were this year. As a matter of fact, this year's "Tanking for Tua" could be "Crashing for Caleb" as teams battle it out to finish with the worst record so they can land USC quarterback Caleb WIlliams.
With that in mind, let's check out the top-10 picks in Wilson's first 2023 mock:
- 1. Cardinals (via Texans): QB Caleb Williams (USC)
- 2. Cardinals: WR Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State)
- 3. Colts: OL Olumuyiwa Fashanu (Penn State)
- 4. Commanders: QB Drake Maye (North Carolina)
- 5. Titans: OL Joe Alt (Notre Dame)
- 6. Buccaneers: TE Brock Bowers (Georgia)
- 7. Bears: DE Jared Verse (Florida State
- 8. Falcons: LB Dallas Turner (Alabama)
- 9. Steelers: WR Emeka Egbuka (Ohio State)
- 10. Patriots: OL JC Latham (Alabama)
If you're like me and you're wondering how the draft order was made, it was determined using SportsLine's Super Bowl odds, but in reverse order. Also, if you're wondering why the Cardinals have the top two picks, here's the explanation: The top pick actually went to the Texans, but that pick now belongs to the Cardinals, who acquired it when the Texans traded up in the first round on Thursday to get Will Anderson.
Anyway, if you want to see how the rest of the first round plays out, and trust me, you do,.
5. Fifth-year option deadline is today: Jordan Love gets an extension and everything else you need to know
One of the most forgotten dates on the NFL calendar is the deadline for fifth-year options. This year, that deadline is today, which means teams have until 4 p.m. ET to decide if they want to pick up the fifth-year option of any player who they drafted in the first round back in 2020. (Only first-rounders are eligible for a fifth-year option; all other drafted players are given a four-year deal.)
One of the biggest question marks going into today was Jordan Love. The Packers seemed unsure about whether they wanted to pick up his option, and in the end, they decided to go an unorthodox route with Love. Instead of picking up his option, which would have paid him $20.72 million for 2024, they're . Love is getting $13.5 million guaranteed for 2024, but can make up to $22.5 million if he hits certain incentives.
With that in mind, here's a look at the players who had their option picked up, along with what their salary will be in 2024 when the fifth-year option kicks in (all salary numbers are via Over the Cap).
1. Bengals QB Joe Burrow: Picked up ($29.50 million)
2. Commanders DE Chase Young: Not picked up.
3. Lions CB Jeff Okudah: Traded to Falcons, not eligible to have option picked up.
4. Giants OL Andrew Thomas: Picked up ($14.18 million)
5. Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa: Picked up ($23.17 million)
6. Chargers QB Justin Herbert: Picked up ($29.50 million)
7. Panthers DT Derrick Brown: Picked up ($11.67 million)
8. Cardinals LB Isaiah Simmons: Not picked up.
9. Panthers CB C.J. Henderson: Not picked up.
10. Browns LT Jedrick Wills: Picked up ($14.18 million)
11. Jets OT Mekhi Becton: Undecided.
12. Raiders WR Henry Ruggs: Released.
13. Buccaneers OT Tristan Wirfs: Picked up ($18.24 million)
14. 49ers DT Javon Kinlaw: Not picked up.
15. Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy: Picked up ($12.99 million)
16. Falcons CB A.J. Terrell: Picked up ($12.34 million)
17. Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb: Picked up ($17.99 million)
18. Dolphins OL Austin Jackson: Unlikely to be picked up.
19. Raiders DB Damon Arnette: Released.
20. Jaguars DE K'Lavon Chaisson: Not picked up.
21. Vikings WR Jalen Reagor: Undecided
22. Vikings WR Justin Jefferson: Picked up ($19.74 million)
23. Chargers LB Kenneth Murray: Not picked up.
24. Saints C Cesar Ruiz: Not picked up.
25. 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk: Picked up ($14.12 million)
26. Packers QB Jordan Love: Given one-year extension that runs through 2024
27. Seahawks LB Jordyn Brooks: Not picked up.
28. Ravens LB Patrick Queen: Not picked up.
29. Titans OL Isaiah Wilson: Released.
30. Dolphins CB Noah Igbinoghene: Unlikely to be picked up.
31. Vikings CB Jeff Gladney: Released (Tragically )
32. Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Undecided.
As you can see, the backend of the draft got pretty ugly, as the final six players taken didn't have their option picked up.
If you want to check out all the details on the fifth-year options, be.
6. Extra points: Super Bowl LVII is the most-watched telecast ever
It's been a busy 24 hours in the NFL, and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- Super Bowl LVII breaks viewership record. Nielsen announced on Tuesday that 115.1 million watched Super Bowl LVII, which makes it the most-watched U.S.-based telecast ever. Back in February, the number was originally measured at 113 million, but apparently, there were some irregularities in Nielsen's measurement, which have now been ironed out.
- Jets sign veteran offensive lineman. The Jets added some major depth on the offensive line by Billy Turner on Tuesday. One very notable aspect of this signing is that Turner played with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay for three seasons (2019-21). The Jets will be the fourth team Turner has played for since entering the league in 2014.
- DeAndre Hopkins makes it sound like he doesn't want to leave Arizona. Over the course of the offseason, there have been nonstop trade rumors about the Cardinals receiver, but now, he's hinting that maybe he doesn't want to be traded. In a video posted to social media on Monday, Hopkins had this to say: "I see everybody telling me to stay. Who said I wanna go? Who said I wanna leave? I'm out here working." For a .
- Former Titans star filing lawsuit over 2020 ACL surgery. Taylor Lewan has been having issues with his knee since undergoing ACL surgery in 2020 and he's now going to file a lawsuit over the operation. Since coming back from surgery, Lewan has missed a total of 19 games over the past two seasons due to injury.
- Giants restart contract talks with Saquon Barkley. The two sides will soon be . Barkley was hit with the franchise tag in March, but he hasn't signed it yet. It he plays on the tag, he would earn $10.09 million guaranteed in 2023. For now, Barkley is staying away from the team and he's currently not planning to take part in the voluntary portion of the Giants' offseason workouts.