Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
It took three months, but for the first time this offseason, the NFL has been put on the back-burner of the national sports scene. Between, the , the and Nick Saban/Jimbo Fisher both trying , the NFL isn't exactly a major headline right now, except here in your friendly neighborhood newsletter.
We cover the NFL all the time here and that streak will continue today. Not only are we ranking EVERY offense in the NFL, but Pete Prisco will also be regrading the 2019 draft, plus we'll be going through and predicting every game on the Commanders' 2022 schedule.
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. Ranking the best offenses in the NFL
If you read this newsletter regularly, then you know that the top spot in the rundown is where we usually rehash the latest episode of the Pick Six podcast, but not today. Thursday's episode won't be recorded until this afternoon, so instead, you're getting Jared Dubin's rankings of the NFL's top offenses.
Dubin created a system so that he could rank each offense in the NFL and here's a quick summary of that system:
- He used a weighted grading system where each team was given a 1-5 ranking (1 = terrible, 3 = average, 5 = elite) in the following areas: Quarterback, Play-Caller (head coach or offensive coordinator), Offensive Line, Pass-Catchers (WR/TE), and Running Backs.
- Each team's score was then weighted so that the quarterback was the most important component of the offense, followed by play-caller, offensive line, and pass-catchers, and then finally running backs, so that the weights reflected as closely as possible the reality of the way modern NFL offenses work.
- In the event that teams ended up with the same weighted score, the first tiebreaker was the quarterback ranking. The second tiebreaker was the combined rankings of the play-caller and offensive line.
Hopefully that explanation makes sense, because we're moving on to his actual rankings. Based on Dubin's formula, here are the top-10 offenses in the NFL heading into 2022:
If you want to see the rest of CHICAGO BEARS have the worst offense in the NFL, according to Dubin's formula. They're ranked behind teams like the Panthers, Jaguars and Lions. I feel like it's going to be a long year for the Bears.. One thing I will spoil for you is the team at the bottom of the list: The
2. Regrading the 2019 NFL Draft
It's been nearly two weeks since I've heard from Pete Prisco and although I assumed that was because he was on vacation, it turns out that's not the case. Prisco has gone dark for the past two weeks because he's been busy regrading the 2019 NFL Draft.
This is actually a fascinating exercise and that's mainly for two reasons: For one, Prisco now has three years worth of film from each player so he can determine whether a team's draft class actually ended up being good or bad. Also, we get to see how good (or bad) Prisco's original grade was for each team when he handed them out on the night of the draft in 2019.
Prisco didn't hold anything back with his new grades. Not only did we see two teams get an 'F' -- he didn't hand out a single 'F' in his regrades last year -- but was also saw eight teams get hit with a 'D.'
With that in mind, let's take a look at the three teams with the highest grades and the two teams with the lowest grades.
- Rams new grade: A. "They traded out of the first round — they are allergic to it — and added extra picks. Their first pick came in the second round when they drafted safety Taylor Rapp. He has become a sometimes starter who will compete with 2019 seventh-round pick Nick Scott this season. Both started at times a year ago. They also landed starting corner David Long in the third, starting defensive tackle Greg Gaines in the fourth and starting guard David Edwards in the fifth. That's great drafting. Backup running back Darrell Henderson came in the third. " Prisco's 2019 grade: B
- 49ers new grade: A. "They killed it with their first two picks, taking defensive end Nick Bosa with the second overall pick and receiver Deebo Samuel in the second round. Both are stars. They also added playmaking linebacker Dre Greenlaw in the fifth round. Punter Mitch Wishnowsky came in the fourth. They missed on third-round receiver Jalen Hurd." Prisco's 2019 grade: C
- Titans new grade: A. "They had six picks and four will start this season, with one other — second-round receiver A.J. Brown being traded to the Eagles this year for a first-round pick. That pick was used on his replacement, Treylon Burks. The Titans used their first-round pick in 2019 on defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and then took starting guard Nate Davis in the third and starting safety Amani Hooker in the fourth. Simmons is a star. The best value came in sixth-round linebacker David Long, an above-average starter." Prisco's 2019 grade: C
Those were the only three teams to receiver an 'A' in Prisco's regrading system.
- Bears new grade: F. "They traded their first- and second-round picks in the Khalil Mack deal, so the picks were limited. They did take running back David Montgomery in the third, and he's been a solid player when he's been healthy. The rest of the draft produced one backup in corner Duke Shelley." Prisco's 2019 grade: C
- Patriots new grade: F. "The Patriots had 10 picks in this draft. Of those 10, only two are projected starters. One is third-round running back Damien Harris and the other is punter Jake Bailey. That's it. First-round receiver N'Keal Harry and second-round corner Joejuan Williams have been major disappointments. Third-round tackle Yodny Cajuste is a backup, while third-round edge player Chase Winovich was traded to the Browns for Mack Wilson." Prisco's 2019 grade: A+
If you're wondering how the other 27 teams graded out, you're.
3. Ranking the 10 most impactful draft classes
The players who were selected in this year's draft haven't even played a single down of NFL football yet, but that didn't stop Chris Trapasso from taking a look at all 32 teams to figure out who might have the most impactful draft class this year.
On paper, there were definitely some draft classes that were better than others. So which team will end up having the most impactful draft class?
Let's check out Trapasso's rankings:
- 1. Giants. Impactful rookies: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, OT Evan Neal, WR Wan'Dale Robinson, CB Cordale Flott, OL Joshua Ezeudu, LB Micah McFadden. Trapasso's take: Neal at No. 7 overall? Steal City. There's even a legitimate argument the Giants got a bargain with Thibodeaux at No. 5. The Cowboys would agree.
- 2. Chiefs. Impactful rookies: CB Trent McDuffie, EDGE George Karlaftis, WR Skyy Moore, CB Joshua Williams, S Nazeeh Johnson. Trapasso's take: Moore was a first-round talent who was somehow the sixth receiver picked ... IN THE SECOND ROUND (?!). He will be a budding star with Patrick Mahomes throwing him the football.
- 3. Seahawks. Impactful rookies: OT Charles Cross, RB Ken Walker, CB Coby Bryant, EDGE Boye Mafe, EDGE Tyreke Smith. Trapasso's take: Cross is the instant starter at left tackle, and he's a smooth-operating pass protector. Walker was tied with Isaiah Spiller as my RB1 in this class, and Bryant was one of the longest, most experienced outside corners in the class.
- 4. Lions. Impactful rookies: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, WR Jameson Williams, EDGE Joshua Paschal, S Kerby Joseph, LB Malcolm Rodriguez. Trapasso's take: The Lions also got three future reliable starters on defense with Paschal -- whose on-field energy will be infectious -- Joseph, who's a fluid athlete with telephone poles for arms, and Rodriguez, a former safety turned linebacker who covers well and defeats blocks like an NFL vet. This crew will contribute in a big way this season.
- 5. Cardinals. Impactful rookies: TE Trey McBride, EDGE Cam Thomas, EDGE Myjai Sanders, OL Lecitus Smith, OL Marquis Hayes. Trapasso's take: McBride and Zach Ertz are going to see target after target from Kyler Murray during DeAndre Hopkins' six-game suspension to start the season. Thomas is a pro-ready inside-out type with an awesome finesse game. Sanders is a skinnier, speedier power player who'll thrive around corner.
If you want to see.
4. History says your favorite team won't win the Super Bowl if the QB has a monstrous salary cap number
The season hasn't even started and I already have some bad news for fans of the Packers, Titans and Chiefs: Your team is not going to win the Super Bowl this year.
OK, so I don't know that for sure, but history says that it's not going to happen and it has everything to do with the monstrous salary cap hit that their starting quarterback has.
Since the salary cap was instituted in 1994, no team has EVER won the Super Bowl in a season where their starting QB accounted for more than 13.1% of their total cap space. Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Ryan Tannehill will all be eating up at least 13.7% (Rodgers is at 13.7%, Mahomes is 17.2% and Tannehill is 18.5%).
Cody Benjamin used some information from Bookies.com to figure out what the optimal salary has been for Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks and based on those numbers, there seems to be two quarterbacks who are in a prime position to win the Super Bowl this year.
Most Super Bowl titles are won by quarterbacks who have a cap hit that takes up 10.6% to 12.3% and Wilson and Jackson are the only two that fit that range this year. That range is actually pretty interesting, because if you're eating up that much of the salary cap, it means you're probably a good quarterback, but you're not the highest-paid one in the NFL (In the salary cap era, the highest-paid QB in a given season has never won the Super Bowl). If there's one guy who has helped skew these numbers, it's definitely Tom Brady, who has won seven Super Bowls while playing on below-market contracts.
Anyway, if you.
5. Predicting the Commanders' final record for 2022
From now until the middle of June, we're going to keep things spicy around here by going through and predicting each team's record for the 2022 season. There are 32 teams and we'll be doing one team per day until we make it through every team. We've hit two NFC East teams over the past two days -- the Giants and Eagles -- so we thought we'd keep that theme going today with the Washington Commanders.
CBSSports.com's Jordan Dajani went through Washington's entire schedule and made a pick for each game. Here's a look at his predictions from three key games:
- Week 1: Jaguars at Commanders. "The schedule-makers probably smiled as they made this Week 1 matchup official and that's mostly because Carson Wentz's last game with the Colts came against the Jaguars. That loss was a big reason why Indy wanted to move on from him after the 2021 season. Maybe it's a good thing for Wentz that he will have an opportunity to exorcise some demons from his past in this game." Prediction: Commanders 24-17 over Jaguars.
- Week 3: Eagles at Commanders. "Seattle waffles between Drew Lock and Geno Smith as the former battles an injury suffered behind their makeshift line, and Brian Daboll takes advantage, sticking to the ground to control the ball and quiet the West Coast crowd for a much-needed win." Prediction: Commanders 20-14 over Eagles.
- Week 16: Commanders at 49ers. "The 49ers will be an interesting team to follow with Trey Lance presumably taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterbacks. If Lance is any kind of upgrade over Jimmy G, then this team will be solid. Give me San Francisco on Christmas Eve." Prediction: 49ers 30-24 over Commanders.
Final record prediction: 8-9.
Although that's not exactly impressive, it would be one game better than they finished in 2021. The downside of going 8-9 is that they'll likely talk themselves into another year of letting Carson Wentz be their starting quarterback.
If you want to see Jordan's prediction.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Retirement still on the table for Aaron Donald
It's been a wild 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.
- Why Aaron Donald could still end up retiring. One of the biggest surprises from the Rams' Super Bowl win was the revelation that Aaron Donald was mulling retirement. Although he'll likely end up playing in 2022, that's to ESPN.com, Donald wants a new contract and will likely retire if the Rams don't give him the contract number he wants. The Rams know how valuable Donald is, so I'm guessing they'll likely give him the contract number he wants. . According
- Bills show community support following tragedy in Buffalo. The entire Bills roster was at Tops Friendly Market near Buffalo to show support for a community that was devastated last week following a shooting that killed 10 people. The Bills and the NFL have combined to donated $400,000 to help the Buffalo's East Side community heal.
- Chargers break ground on new practice facility. The Rams don't have a permanent practice facility in L.A. yet, but the Chargers are about to have one. The team broke ground on a new 14-acre site in El Segundo that will feature three football fields. It's not known what the final cost of the project will be, but the Chargers did take out a $276 million loan to make the project happen. The new facility is expected to open in 2024.
- James Bradberry lands one-year deal with Eagles. We mentioned yesterday that Bradberry was going to sign with the Eagles, and now, we know the exact terms of his contract. According to ESPN.com, the one-year deal is worth up to $10 million. The contract comes with $7.25 million in guaranteed money. The Giants will be taking an $11.7 million dead cap hit which means he'll be costing New York more than he'll be costing Philadelphia this season. Advantage: Eagles.