Transcribe your podcast

The Around the NFL podcast. Would let Jamal Williams get his countdown. That's right. Welcome to another edition of the Around the NFL podcast. I'm Greg Rosenthal, sitting in for Dan Hanses in the host chair. He'll be back Thursday, but I'm surrounded by a room filled with some heroes, Mark Sesler and Patrick Lebon.


We're here. Hey, guys.


It's great to have you back, Patrick. I don't know when the last visit was.


I don't remember.


Log of war scenario.


It wasn't that long ago. It was in the playout.


It wasn't that long, but it also... It's anytime I'm not with you guys is...


You feel that? Yeah.


There's a hole that has been filled.


Right. It's like Connor or maybe it was Dan's old saying at the Combine, which if you can tell by the sound quality here and by the fact I said we're in the Chris Wesley podcast studio, we are not in Indianapolis. Breaking news. But he used to say back in the day, it's not about the meat when we would go to St. Elmos, the famous steakhouse. It's about the meat.


That is a Danism.


I would say the same with hanging out with you. The meat, in this case, would be the Alpa store up in the Huddle we had before, whatever that was.We.


Had some carne Asada.Carna.

[00:01:23] was good.It was tasty.


I think we did such a good job not going to the at combine a year ago that the company, the people high upstairs said, Let's not send them again because they seem to thrive by not going to the location.


Right. People still listen to the shows anyways. What do they really know? It's fine. Although, I got to say, if you're listening, Shadowing of the Bay League figures out there, I'm officially putting in our request that we want to go back.I think we do.For 2025. If we are still gamefully employed at this company, which is never a guarantee, I I want to push to go back. I think it's fine. It was nice. On some levels, it's easier to be here, but I want to go back.


I'm with you. I think we should bring Patrick with us as well. I'd like to make it a full group experience.


I, too, would also like to be employed by this spectacular organization in 2025, and I would like to join you guys.


Okay, it'll be fun.


It is a great company.


It has been fun going there, but the year's off were fine. You know what? It was actually almost... On some level, it's easier to watch all these combine pressers. Now, back in our our days as reporters, as real dogged reporters, we would split up all the different podium sessions between the GMs and the coaches. Eighty, 90% of them have a 15-minute session on a podium. We would split it up. We would even have a draft when Kevin Patra and Connor Orr were involved, and we would split it all up.


Now we're talking how the sausage gets made.


This time, we just watched on Twitter, watched on NFL Network, and we got a lot of good sound. We're going to play a game to start this show. We've got Eric back behind the glass. Randy is back there as well. They've been putting together sound clips all day of what's been coming out of these combine presses. Even before we get to a little bit of news, this felt like the news. This felt meteor. We're going to play a little game of, Do we believe it?


I like the meteor callback.


Yes. Do we believe what these men are saying? In this case, it is all men at these podiums. We don't have a woman head coach or a woman GM. It's, Do we believe what these men are saying? Maybe that's the name of the segment. We haven't discussed that beforehand. What do you think?


I think it is appropriate on multiple levels. Yes, I tend to believe nothing, so I want to see if someone can convince me otherwise. What about if you believe?


Okay. If you believe?


Yeah, just if you believe. If you believe. I don't know.


Eric, break the tie. I like do you believe? Do you believe these men? I like having these men. I think when you originally pitched it, you said, Do you believe them?


I think in 2024, the answer would be no to most of them.


Do you believe them? That was the original pitch. Okay. Let's start with Quesi. Quesi Adolfamenta, who's in the spotlight right now because of a lot of these Justin Jefferson talks. I'm getting text from people. You're getting these aggregator who's covering another aggregator who's covering someone who heard whispers that Justin Jefferson may be traded. And it's been the story of the last couple of weeks. It's been annoying me because no one's actually really reported anything. Quesi had some first-person comments on the topic today. We got unbelievably close.


We've said it, and we'll continue to say it. We think he's the best bar receiver in the league and should be compensated as such. We think he's one of the best non-quarterbacks in the league. I think he should be compensated as such.


And so we'll continue to have those dialogs and those conversations.


I promise them, and I will continue to promise them, that I will not talk about our negotiations. I think this job should be done with integrity. So a lot of the stuff that I hear is completely false. But I can't get up here and tell you what's not true or not false, because that's not how I promise to do this job.


So he was talking about contract negotiation that he had with Jefferson. How close he was.


I tend to, despite my comments that I theoretically believe no one in these places, I do believe him because I think part of it is they went through a process last offseason where they cut salary, they cut some veterans. They're in a bit of a rebuild. But why on earth? How do you sell to your fans? Part of this is the PRs of it. How do you sell to anyone, including whoever's going to be your quarterback, the rest of your offense, the rest of your locker room? We're going to find a way to trade the most exciting young wide receiver in the league. And then what's the pathway forward? So I think, yes, they're going to keep him. They want to make it happen. That's my thought on that.


Just taking it all into context, just watching the clip, I believe him. I'm at 85% belief. But then the sourcing on this trade rumor doesn't make any sense. Like Greg said, it's this game of telephone that doesn't have a beginning call. And why would they trade Justin Jefferson? The whole point of this entire process that we're in Indianapolis to do is to evaluate talent, acquire that talent, and hopefully have them on your football team. What's the point of getting a known commodity that you know, as Questy said, is one of the best players in the game if you're going to trade for what?


They got him by trading Stefan Diggs, and it was like, you're not going to just keep Mary go around in this. Right.


I forget now who it was, and I apologize on Twitter who was saying, who knows? They could maybe even not keep cousins. They could end up using some of these draft picks to get a young quarterback. You take one at 11, and then eventually, you use all these resources to go find a number one receiver to support this young quarterback. I did think this was newsworthy. It was noteworthy, I believe him because of the clarity and aggression in which he said that the rumors were false, and also that they got so close. That was new. We never heard that. He said, We were extremely close to getting a contract done Previously, I think he's talking about during last season or before last season. So the fact that he's saying that now or the last time they talk, I feel very confident. I believe you, Quesi. Let's see if we believe Kevin O'Kunal the Vikings coach who's going to talk about Kirk Cousins and his future with the team.


The thing about free agencies itself is this is not Kirk's first time in free agency. Kirk Cousins knows how I feel about him. I've held no secrets there. He knows how the Minnesota Vikings feel about him. I believe Kirk wants to be a Viking, and we're going to work to try to make that the outcome. I believe Kevin O'Kopp. Because, again, maybe it's a Viking thing. It just makes sense. Kirk's ultimately going to make a financial decision for him and his family. The Vikings are going to try to be a part of that. They don't necessarily know the outcomes, but I don't think there's a reason not to try. I did like the timing from Kirk. He was throwing a football and doing a 40% drop back.On a tennis court.On a tennis court.


That threw me.


How do you feel about that, Greg? Would you want Kirk Cousins on you?


Yeah. I believe that... I could be wrong, but I believe Kirk is in the former Tennis Star Club, along with Matthew Stafford and Joe Bries, which does support that tennis is an extremely athletic sport. Unfortunately, apparently, we're losing our best athletes to the NFL.


But it's also a proven stage actor. We've seen him from a musical angle. The Vikings, maybe they're just a believable, transparent organization. But I think Kevin O'Kunnel also came out and said, Wait a minute, this is one of the huge reasons I wanted to come here. It's like, if you're a coach who is an offensive-minded coach and your quarterback is at in the center of that, you go move on from Kirk Cousins to what? And suddenly you could be in a total abyss. He pointed out how much he thought that Cousins was playing a top quarterback before he got injured last year, too. I think they're open to bringing him back, and we'll just see what happens.


Right. I believe that Kirk, all things being equal, for some reason, the Vikings would match any deal out there. I believe Kevin O'Kunal that Kirk Cousins would rather just stay in Minnesota. Why wouldn't he? You could see it on the quarterback show, it's just logical.


You got kids in school.


You have a great system. If they're not equal and another team wants to blow the Vikings out of the water and the Vikings aren't prepared to pay $50 million a year, $100 million guaranteed, and there is a team out there that might want to do that, whether that's Atlanta or someone else, then it's a totally different conversation, and he could lose. We'll see. I'm not as confident that Minnesota and Quessi will meet that price, but I also have no idea if anyone's even going to make that price because he's still 36 coming off a torn Achilles. I think that can't be ignored.


That's why Quessi's answer is believable, and the outcome of that is believable. With Jefferson. Yeah, because this answer, while I believe Kevin O'Neill, it's not as certain that I'm thinking in three years, Kirk Cousins is going to be in Minnesota, whereas I feel pretty confident in three years, Justin Jefferson will be in the bike.


Or even three months. We saw Kirk Cousins. I saw him on the Insider Show. He did have some gold grill to his teeth, and Justin Jefferson appreciated that. So luckily, they're all getting along. They're buddies. It's not as kumbaya, I wouldn't say, in Chicago. I thought Ryan Polls, their GM, had some telling comments when he spoke about Justin Fields on Tuesday. I will say this.


I think you guys know me well enough now. If we go down that road, I want to do right Justin as well.


No one wants to live in gray.


I know that's uncomfortable. I wouldn't want to be in that situation either. We'll gather the information.


We'll move as quickly as possible.


We're not going to be in a rush and see what presents itself and what's best for the organization.


When I hear We want to Do Right by Justin Fields in the context of, if we move him, it matters to us that he doesn't get dropped off a cliff into the worst situation somewhere else. We'll talk to Nate Tice later about some quarterbacks. I would say one thing. As the weeks have gone I put it at zero % that they're keeping Justin Fields. I just put it at about zero %.


Yeah. I've been on that corner that I just didn't see it for many reasons. The biggest ones being that there's two or three great quarterback prospects in this class, and I just think they're a little uncertain about fields. It's just logical. The fact that he repeated those words you said or that you heard multiple times, almost like he had it a little ready that if they do it, they want to do right by Justin. They don't want to live in the gray. He went on polls to multiple other interviews. He wasn't afraid to talk about this. If Justin Fields was their quarterback, they would know by now. If they're planning to take a quarterback first overall, they know by now. It's not like they're waiting to decide. They know what they're going to do. You do not say that about your franchise quarterback publicly if you are going to keep them, period. They know they're trading them. One thing we didn't hear was he even put a timeline on it that, ideally in the next couple of weeks, basically that it's sooner than later, it makes more sense if it happens before or right at the beginning of free agency.


Yeah, and that's one thing that makes sense for the bears, and it makes sense for Justin. I think what Pols is doing there is acknowledging that this is a difficult situation for Justin, who didn't do anything to anybody. He didn't run a foul of anybody. The bears feel that they can to have a better chance to get a better quarterback coming up in the draft. He's acknowledging the circumstance while... Who knows? Do these conversations really change the trade price?


No, they don't.


I don't understand why we have to be coy about it because the price is going to be the price. But I'll ding him for the coyness, but I do believe that he's not angry at Justin. He doesn't want to put Justin in a negative circumstance. When it comes to making the trade, it's ultimately going to benefit Justin because some team obviously wants him, and the bears, they don't.


I don't think it's even that. I don't think it's coy. I think that's the NFL version of not coy. And yet, when people are like, Well, he's got to play his cards close to the vest to keep his leverage. It's like either Justin Fields is available or he's not. The team's trading for him, they're going to know if he's available or not. You need to know that before you trade for him.


Yeah, and Paul said he wanted to know himself by tomorrow. They want to come learn about these other quarterbacks. You've already made your decision.


Right. That's going to be one of the most fascinating stories over the next couple of weeks. Could the Giants be one of the teams? That would be interesting. That'd be a little wild, but who knows? Let's listen to Joe Shane talk about Daniel Jones' future with the team. Joe Shane is the GM of the Giants. I have faith in Daniel. I have faith in Daniel as our starting quarterback. He was answering questions there about Jones' future, not exactly answering the question, but just saying that he has faith in Daniel, and he's a little sharp there.


I can't think of a team that should have a more active, wandering eye at this position than the Giants. I think they mismanaged this exact process with Jones and Saquon a year ago about as poorly as you could, and you're back in the same situation. Jones has a very big price tag, which I think is a problem, but they, to me, feel like a legit candidate to draft another quarterback to compete with Daniel Jones immediately, money aside.


Yes. I don't believe Joshane in this one, that he has faith in Daniel Jones as his starting quarter. Did it sound like it? I think he's going to bring another option in. The timing is tricky because I think he even said he's bringing a veteran in. He said he told Daniel Jones that, and that makes sense. Tyrod is a free agent. Daniel Jones isn't going to be able to be healthy for a while. So even if you're drafting a rookie number six overall or even trading up, you're going to want a tie rod type or a veteran to bring in. So it'll be interesting to see what type they bring in along with what I believe is going to be a rookie. I don't believe him.


Yeah, I believe, I guess in the spirit, because he chose his words very carefully. Daniel Jones is their starting quarterback as per the plans.


But he said he has faith in him. I don't believe he has faith.


Let's get a few beers in Joe Shane and see what he says.


But it seems like the obvious scenario we're evaluating in New Jersey is that there's not a lot of reason to have in faith in Daniel Jones' longtime prospects as the giant starting quarterback.


It's crazy that they gave him that contract, which guarantees him 40 million this year, else he wouldn't be on the team.


But hey, at least they didn't pay the running back, right? Becausethat's the worst case scenario.


Right. One little nugget there was he opened up the possibility of using the franchise tag on Saquon. Joshane did. Kind of pushing back against an Adam Schefter report from Monday that the Giants weren't planning to use the tag on him. He also, by the way, mentioned that the Cowboys aren't planning to use it on Pollard. The Writers aren't planning to use it on Jacobs. The Chargers aren't planning to use it on Echler. None of those are surprises at all. But Shane throwing it out there publicly that actually the cap went up 30 million, and that might have changed our math that maybe we would use the tag on Saquon. Worth noting, this was the first time, and if we were there, Mark, I would have tried to draft Dave Canales, the Panthers. You'd want to cover that present. I would want to cover. I think it'd be a high draft. Sure. Where do you see that?


I think the draft process, we'd sit there, we'd go out and have dinner, and literally, the four or five reporters would go from top to bottom. I think the process was like, Don't get stuck with the GM or coach you don't want to cover. I like new faces, so he would have been high on my list.


Yeah, I always want to see the new face. Canales came out firing at his first presser. How's it going? How's everybody doing? Great. Had a nice workout earlier. Ready to rock. Okay. Just the intensity and the tight-fitting Lykra on him. It was a lot, and I like it. I want to hear more from Dave Canales about his thoughts on his quarterback. No plan to fix Bryce Young.


I think for me, it's about building an offense that we can be proud of, something Something that is tough, something that is smart, that takes care of the football.


Number one, we got to create more explosives. Then, of course, we have to minimize damage with exotic pressures and things like that. I think just elevating the whole group and really asking Bryce to just do his part.


Vibe-wise, what are you picking up here from Canales?


I'm picking up that the workout wasn't that intense that he had. That's a lot of energy. I don't know that it was... Maybe the volume was there. The intensity wasn't necessarily there.


He seems like he would be a good instructor of aerobics.Oh, I think so.Or just maybe a strength trainer.


I'd have to caution myself that that type of persona sometimes where it's like, Hey, I'm great. I worked out this morning and had a healthy breakfast. It's like, that person can rub me the wrong way at a certain hour of the morning?


He did elaborate, guys, right after that. He said it was like a CrossFit thing and then ended with a steep incline walk.




But he framed it as very sweaty.


Yeah, he did some circuit trading. I feel pretty confident.


He's a fit dude.


He's a fit guy, and I think that he is a good fit for Carolina. I do think that all of those problems from 2023 were not Bryce related. It took a team effort to be that bad. So I do believe him. I do believe him that the plan is to come in and fix Bryce. The plan is to have a functional offense that is NFL-level incompetent, and then we can evaluate Bryce. But I don't know that you could really evaluate anybody on that offense.


I think also from his own belief that he can improve all this, Gino Smith, Baker Mayfield. Comeback player of the year and a comeback player of the year candidate in my book, two guys whose careers were lost. Why come in and say, We need to fix Rice? You don't label him that way. You lift all the blame off of the quarterback and start afresh.


Yeah, I think C. J. Stroud was quoted during Super Bowl week, him having a conversation with Bryce Young of just like, Never forget who you are, why you are the one. You You're the one, not me. Kind of saying everything that happened, you're still that dude, and that's going to be a big part of Canales, the mental side of it. I think Mike Daniel did a good job with Tua, for instance. Tua had played a couple of years before. It's just Bryce Young. I think of Alex Smith, who had the worst rookie season I've seen from a first-round pick, certainly a first overall pick. The very next year got a good coordinator, Norv Turner, and played 1,000% better and went from the worst quarterback in the league to a league average quarterback, which is pretty good for a second year. They probably are aiming higher with Bryce, but I can see the parallels in what you said about just making the offense better. One person who is not going to make the offense better in Denver, I think, is Russell Wilson. We're going to go out of Indianapolis, and we're going to go into what is either the home of Russell Wilson or Brandon Marshall.


I'm not really sure.


I think it was Russell Wilson. There's soon to be sold Denver home.


There's comically large books.


Right. I assumed this was not Brandon Marshall's podcast studio, because I would be like, Let's talk to them because they got some cash. This is Russell Wilson's house because I think Brandon Marshall makes a couple of comments. He sees Cierra or Cierra walking around, and he's like, Oh, there goes C. It's at Russell Wilson's house. I got to say, I would be a better podcast host if I had listened to all of this podcast because I actually want to. Because when I heard 80 minutes of this, I thought that actually it's a good use of 1.5 speed. I don't know if you're into that with podcast. I approve it now in certain circumstances. Not like comedy, not if you really love the guest or something, but if you just-For information purposes. This would be a good one, 1.5. But I want to listen to it because I have a feeling it's going to be fun. But I've listened to about seven or eight different sections of it, and some of them were two or three minutes long. So I have listened to a lot of it, including this first one on Russell Wilson talking about winning is a habit.


Listen, I I think in a 12-year period, there hasn't been much that I haven't gone through.


I've been through all the winning.


I've been through some of the losing, not all of it. Somebody said some of it. Some of it. Don't get used to it. Because so many people get used to losing. Winning is a habit, but losing is too. And that's not a habit I'm taking in. That's not a habit I believe in. He does not believe it. The haircut's different. I feel like it means business. He's now freshly shorn, wearing it tight like a Patrick, Claybon. Russ Wilson also tried to leave open the possibility that he could stay in Denver. I got more fired than ever, honestly, especially over the past two years of what I've gone through. Whether it's in Denver or somewhere else. I hope it's in Denver. I hope I get to finish there. I committed there. I wanted to be there. I want to be there.


Hold on. You can go back to Denver, bro. I can go back there. You can play with Coach Payton again. Yeah.


That was Russell Wilson and Brandon Marshall on the I Am Athlete podcast?


I think you just have to look at the Russell Wilson experience in a different way than someone else answering that question. He's admitting no defeat. He's an easy target, and I find him grading to listen to if he goes on and on about his sports psychology stuff. But the one honest comments I thought he said during the season was that how hard last year was for him and how hard this season was just to be seen so differently. I can't think of another quarterback that went from star power to off completely... We look at him as a failure at this point, and to go through that personally probably would try you. But I don't think in his world of worlds, he's getting paid. He's going to get paid a ton of guaranteed money. He was, Why would you want to go back into this cauldron, this experience, which coach Sean Payton, who openly doesn't want you to be.


Now, body language and tone did a lot of work there because when Brandon Marshall was like, Really? Good question by Brandon Marshall. Russell Wilson gives him like, Yeah, Yeah. He gave him a like, Well, maybe. You know, not really.


Yeah, it's not something that he's going to personally enjoy. I don't think Russ is going to be chilling at Sean Payton's house, and they're going to be sharing memories about their times together. But I do think Russ would like a chance to be a starting quarterback somewhere. If that's Denver, he'll take that chance.


That's your only chance. Yeah.


If that's the only one. But yeah, it's grading, and it gives weird podcast grifter. But I wonder… Because so many of those people… We have a nation of people that got grifted. People bought all those Power Energy Band bracelets and listened to Hours of Tony Robbins.We.


Power energy.Yeah..


There was this company that they said that they put holograms.


Actually, my son Walker does wear this one that they said is good for your stomach if you get scar sick, which I I think it has as much effectiveness, but it tricks them into thinking it works.


But yeah, it's weird that people fall for all that stuff, but for some reason, Russell Wilson can't necessarily get away with it. But I think it's all the same. Good point.


But it's just...


He is tiring, but he's a better quarterback than Mason Rudolf.


Well, sure.


The price tag clearly is the difference, but it feels It's weird if he's priced out.


I do worry about him, though, because he's just this relentless positivity, positively. He's going to believe that his belief will take him to the next level because it has. He's achieved more than anyone would have ever imagined. A third-round pick who is a Super Bowl champion, one of the seven or eight best quarterbacks of the last 10 years. Nine Pro Bowl. Right. He's achieved it all, and yet I don't think it's coming. This doesn't happen to every quarterback, but for him, I don't give much chance of it coming back. It's not coming back. I don't think even the starting job is coming back. For him to adjust to what that's going to be like, I think it's going to be difficult. I thought it was going to be difficult sometimes for guys, and they end up doing it really well. I think Cam Newton transitioned into that second Patriots phase of his career pretty damn well, and it worked for him. Maybe Russell Wilson will end up doing that. Even if he's not playing that well, where he's a good teammate and he fits in and it's fine. But to me, it's going to be hard for him to adjust to a point where he's backing up Drake May or something like that.


When the Stealers tell us, and I don't know if I believe them at this point either, that they're not chasing another quarterback, I'm struggling to find the team out there that inside their building, convince themselves Russell Wilson can be our starting quarterback, and this is going to work well. Right.


So he's probably going to get cut. He sent a video of him working out today with Brandon Marshall. They're working out together. Let's ride, baby. Two. Love Nipsey Hustle, but I feel like we got to move on from the Grinding All My Life song is the song for every workout video for pro athletes. At some point, we need to move past that. We're not moving past Sean Payton, though, who had amazing comments. You know he's getting annoyed by Russell Wilson continuing to talk about the contractual nefarious stuff that Russell Wilson was was asked to do by the Broncos. And you know it's annoying the Broncos that Russell Wilson keeps bringing this up. I think that might be why Sean Payton kept hinking about it on Tuesday. I saw this humorous meme the other day where there was a Bronco fan with a shirt on, and there was eight quarterbacks' names across through it, and he's drinking the quarterback Kool-Aid.


Our job is to make sure that this next one doesn't have a line it.


I do believe him.


Yes, I believe him. The fact that he says the next one, he also put a timeline on Wilson.


I would anticipate it being within the next two weeks. I don't think this is going to go to the Eve of March 17th? I think I just said the next two weeks. Yeah, next two weeks.


I love a little fiery Sean Payton. He's a fun value add to have Yeah, I don't know.


I'm trying to remember how he was at the very start of his career, but he has zero... He openly has zero patience for half of these conversations at this point.


Yeah, and he's clear. He lets us know, and that's the thing. It's easy to believe Sean Payton because he's going to say whatever comes to mind, and he said it there.


We're going to know before March 7. He's got the Paris Saint Germain, the cool hoodie on, and he's got the Jordans, and he's living life. He's doing fine. We're going to listen to a few more More people, if we believe them or not. Before we do that, though, we're going to take a little break. We are back, and so are the stars of tomorrow. Taking the field in Indianapolis. We have a front row seat waiting for you. Watch live as our analysts are joined by current players to break down the top quarterbacks, wide receiver, and runningbacks as they compete at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. Don't miss players only combine, presented by Noble with coverage starting Saturday at 2:00 PM Eastern, only on NFL Plus. The boy's into it. The boy wants to watch some combine action. Walker. Walker. Oh, yeah.


A completist.


He got a draft board. He was all excited because they were showing old NFL combinesines, apparently, on the NFL channel. He was confused, thought that was live. I was like, No, don't watch this. Let's wait.


I also saw he was watching one of those top 10 shows with an old clip Wes back in the day.


He is a true junkie, and so he was using his TV time to watch old Top 10 Inseason Trades, I believe was the episode. And Wes was spouting wisdom about the Bobby Lane Trade from Detroit, which is the most Wes thing ever and talking about this curse. It truly is a beautiful thing. We walk in a room and see your son, and he's watching this thing, and West is on it. So Wes lives on. He was so strong in those episodes. If you ever have a hankering, you should go check those out.


He was made for that content.


I was on that episode, too. You were also made for that content. No, I wasn't.


You were, Greg, because when I see those number interstitials on the top 10s, and there's a ball bursting through an aquarium with the number 6 on it, and then Greg Roswell's face comes up.


Or it's like, Wait, why are there five Buxom cheerleaders and the number seven. I was like, Wait, why are they there exactly? But that's the whole show is just in the interstitials.


Does Walker think that every dad is just hanging out on television?


No, I asked him that, and he thinks it's cool. But no, I was bad. We all get better at our jobs. You were saying you had regrets, I believe, about an interview you just did yesterday. I often have regrets about performances on this show. I can say without a doubt, if I could do those top 10s again, I would be better at them now than I was seven or eight years ago.


I would say one thing behind the glass. They often are filmed at the Combine. It's like, go out till 3:00 in the morning and then film this at 7:00 in the morning.


That was a little bit of it. But yeah, Emeka came over and she supported my claim. She's like, Yeah, you're just so chill. Why are you just... I'm just being very chill and laid back, which is not the way to do that. You got to be more like DA, Damon Emman Deloria or whatever. You got You got to come hot. You got to come decisive.


He does it.


Not that I would do that. I'm just saying, trust me, we all get better. Not that things that we do. I would be better. We would all be better, I think.


Yeah, I didn't make my combine appearance that time. I could do better as well.


Mark is a striking television presence. He came from the desk at NFL Network in 2020. You were a different man back then.


A bit of an end around television executives here. Not sure how that all came together.


Ajay Brown was on WIP last week, and we're going to include him in this Do You Believe section because it was talked about in Philly and certainly by Howie Roseman at his combine presser. Aj Brown was talking about the rumors of whether he would want to stay in Philly or not.


I have no problem. I want to be here.


It's simple as that.


I love where I'm at. It's simple as that.


Next question. And he also hit on the talk that there could be friction with him and his quarterback.


I think that's total BS. I'm not going to get into me and his relationship on the air, but it's total BS. You know what I'm saying? It wasn't a problem when I was on my six-game streak. It wasn't talking about that then. So they only started talking about that when we started losing. So of course, you see friction. You see friction from everybody, from the coaches, the players from everybody. So there you go.


The one interesting dynamic to this was that this was on WIP in Philly. He was sitting around listening to everyone going off on the radio and called in. It wasn't a schedule. He called in on his own to bring up his points.


That makes me believe him. If you're going to call in to WIP out of nowhere.


I'm willing to think that it was a very frustrating meltdown, and that's a tough town to have a meltdown in. I think it's like, look, It worked really well the year before. There's still a lot of talented players on that team. I think A. J. Brown's probably found some peace over all that happened. It's like calling in to say, Chill out. It's going to be fine from my side of things.


Yeah, and not I wanted to just make it everything about just how bad the offense was and how disjointed it seemed, but Jalen was hurt at the end of the season, and so was A. J. They were limping across the finish line. So you add all of that to get like, Yeah, there's frustrations. We saw Travis, Kelsey go at Andy Reid in the actual Super Bowl. But as AJ pointed out, they won, so everything's good. We don't have these outside expectations on their relationship because they won. So then we're just to assume that everything's fine, and they hug, and everything's great. But it's just such a binary thing. I'm glad. I'm glad that AJ... Because people might say, Oh, he's clearly paying too much attention. But people are talking about, Yeah, you would like to be able to pick up the phone and call and say, Hey, this is dumb. This has nothing to do with anything. Yes, I believe.


I appreciate that. I hope they keep A. G. Brown and Devante Smith together for another year. I think they will. I think they know what they have. It might get a little tricky once Devante is up for a new contract. He could get a new contract this offseason, but they might not address it yet. At some point, they might break those two up. We'll see. I thought it was interesting Howie Roseman also all but confirmed James Bradbury. He did confirm James Bradbury is going to be with the team. I think that's more of a contract thing Howie, mother. That he has so much guaranteed money in his contract. But if the Eagles had the Chief's defense, they would have been in the conference Championship, and then no one would have been talking about the offense. The offense was okay for most of the year. Let's move on back to Indianapolis. Let's talk to Elliott Wolf. The fact that Elliott Wolf even had a podium was news. The fact that Elliott Wolf confirmed that he has final say on the Patriots roster. This has been a slow build. It's been the expectation. But Elliott Wolf is that dude running the Patriots now, and they're right in the thick of this quarterback talk because they're number three overall.


Some people think they could take one. Some people think they could trade down. What does Elliott Wolf think? I think it's a really good year for quarterbacks.


It's a really good year at a lot of positions.


Like any position, we're going to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, determine who fits for us. We're pretty early in the process here. I haven't met any of these guys. Gerard hasn't met any of these guys. So as we continue through the process here, we'll determine what's best for the team. And one thing about the quarterbacks in this draft, specifically, that I'm excited about is they all look like they're really tough guys, which is obviously great at any position, but the quarterback position, especially. Ellie Wolf's dad, Ron, the famous-He's starting to look like Ron Wolf. Right. Gm of the packers back in the day. Famous He honestly had a philosophy to draft a quarterback every single year. Ever since I heard that, that's been what I then say in articles and then a podcast. I was like, That's a good move. He's drafted a quarterback every year. It was the Patriots move for a while, too, behind braided, and Ron Wolf would keep hitting on these late round pics that would develop into backups that would be trade pics or be good people behind Brett Friar. I think Ellie Wolf is going to do that. Whether he does it with the number three pick or not, I don't know.


He also had some interesting comments. I think it was in a side session because Eric It was grinding tape. He watched it three times over. We couldn't find it anywhere on Twitter. He made this comment that he didn't want the culture there to be as, what was it?


He said, tough guy vibe.Certainly, there's more of an open, less of a hard-ass type vibe in the building. Now, post-Belichick. That's interesting.


I figured if he said that on a camera in front of a mic, it would have been too hard to find the video of it. Yes. But yeah, that one will probably get back to Belichick. Wolf shouldn't regret that he said it because he's just being honest.


Ask those ball boys how the negative comments go inside of England.


He'll probably regret saying it. It'll become a little thing in Boston.


I mean, does it matter?




Because the one thing I don't believe about what Elliott said there is that they're early in the process.


Well, that's true.


I think they've probably done a whole lot of work on the process. Maybe there's a few conversations that they would like to have in person, but I think they're pretty far on.


I mean, Elliott Wolf has been around. There are a lot of John Schneider and other people that go way back in the old Green Bay days where Ron Wolf was there and Elliott Wolf was a kid. People knew him as a kid. He's been in the NFL forever. I find his comments to be a little, not hedging, but he's not going to tell us a thing about what they're doing at quarterback. I'd be stunned if they don't have a bigger plan at quarterback, then rerun. Go back with Mac Jones and Bayly Zappi.


They have to be flexible.They can't do that. Because with the three-pick, you don't know what quarterback you're going to get. Let's say they like Drake May. As you mentioned, and I failed to mention at the beginning of the show, we are getting Nate Tyson to wrap up this show to talk some quarterbacks. Who knows? Maybe Caleb Williams doesn't get taken one, and they love Caleb Williams, and they want to trade to two, and they have resources to get him. Or maybe Drake May falls to three, and they would take him, but they wouldn't take Jaden Daniels, or vice versa. Maybe they're really in on Jaden Daniels, but he ends up going to, and then you have to be able to pivot. There's a lot of things that they'll have to do before that, including getting, I think, someone in the building through free agency that's at least just there, regardless of what they're going to do in the draft. He also was very high on calling Michael Ouenu a core piece and someone they want to build around, which made me think a franchise tag could be coming for Ouenu. Just the level of support he was putting behind him made me think either they're going to get that or maybe they might-Well, they're the third most cap room in the league.


I tend to think they'll be aggressive.


He wasn't as aggressive talking about Kyle Ducker, so I don't think a franchise tag would happen there. Let's wrap up a couple more in Indy. Raheem Morris is the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, and he pointed to one reason why that could be the case.


I'm not afraid to say that we have the ability and we're capable to go out there and win next year. If we do some of the right things, some of the right moves, we can do that. And that's not an arrogance, that's not a cockiness. That is more of a credit to the people that were in the building with me still, some of the people that are not there now and what they've been able to do. If we had better quarterback play last year in Atlanta, I might not be standing here. Perhaps the most honest thing that was said and correct thing that was said at a podium today from Indianapolis. It's 100% true. I think Desmond Ritter and Taylor Heineke would probably agree with that as well. I know Arthur Smith Both would. Maybe there's a few people that think it's Jameis' fault that Arthur got fired, but I think there was a few more things that went into that. Yeah, the quarterback play was bad. It was especially bad in the red zone. They had so many opportunities, and you can think about them week after week after week, play after play, where they didn't get it done there and go on the quarterback position.


That's the way the game goes.


Yeah, it's like one reason for Falcons fans to immediately appreciate Raheem Morris, the way that he's been talked about from people inside the Rams organization and parts beyond, that we needed an energy shift around the Falcons offense. It's very clear right now that if Desmond Ritter is hanging around, he'll be a backup. They're going somewhere else, and that was important, I think.


Yeah, That can't be fun to listen to if you're Desmond Ritter, but it makes a lot of sense. I'm excited about this Falcon's coaching staff. It was interesting, I think, hearing Sean McVade. He gave a press conference in LA because he's not going to the combine about the guys that went to Atlanta and really believing that they put together a great coaching staff, which is, diminish the Rams coaching staff. But that's how it works. Let's wrap up with Tom Tilesko, who's still in the NFL. He's still in the AFC West. He did the rare thing where he lost one job and got another. That almost never happens to GMs. It happened to Tom Tilesko, of all people. I don't mind Tom Tilesko, but he's not the guy that you would have expected that to happen. He is the guy that was asked about Devante say Adams possibly getting traded this offseason. Another GM asked you this week about whether Devante is available.


He's a rater.


It's quick. It is true. It is true. Everyone took that to mean there's no chance Devante Adams is getting traded. I think that's probably true.


I tend to also-But I also don't believe people should be having headlines that he said that we will not trade Devante.


No, I'm with you.


I think it's important that Devante Adams was a big proponent of Antonio pierce being hired and liked that because I think we were heading towards irritated Devante Adams territory with each passing week last season had a lot to do with the coach that got fired, and I think he's in a better place. Quarterback is still a big question, though.


It's a question I think they'll need to answer, and that's something in a conversation they'll need to have with Devante. But ultimately, it's up to Mark Davis and Tom Tilesko to make the circumstances comfortable enough for Devante to be there. It's their choice. Because I asked, we did TA with Steve Smith senior, and I asked him, If you're Devante, do you want to be back in Las Vegas? Steve, like a lot of people, was like, Well, it depends on the financial circumstances. They can make it worth his while to be on a bad football team.


What are they going to do? Pay him more money?


If that's what it takes. If not that, then Devante would probably like to... If he's going to play football. Jackpot, baby.


Yeah, absolutely. But if you like living there and they get a decent enough quarterback, Justin Fields.


Does Justin Fields want to be with Luke Getzey again?


That doesn't happen too often. No.


Why not?


I mean, it just doesn't happen that often.


What's to indicate that they wouldn't work together?


Well, let's get Mac Jones and Matt Patricia.


No, it's not quite the same. I guess you're saying as a Justin Fields fan, if I could read between the lines here, you don't want him It's not going to be with Luke Getzey necessarily because you're not that confident in Getzey. Because otherwise, it's familiarity with the system.He.


Just said yes.Okay. Yes.




I believe Patrick.


No, I believe you. I believe you. But there's only so many spots where he could land, and I feel like that could be okay. If I was a Rater fan, I would like that. At this point, I feel like that would be a good-There would be more hope with Justin, I mean, considering the options. He just feels like that's what Al Davis would have done at this point is go get Justin Fields.


That would be an enticing matchup, and I think you can get over the Oasis part of it, but the Falcons also linger out there as a nice match.


They loved other teams' failed, not failed, but second-chance first-round pick because Justin Fields occupies a weird space where he was better than the average first-round quarterback, actually, if you think about it. He's better than average. He's just not a top 5-10 quarterback yet.


It's weird that the way that the draft doesn't feel like it impacts this as much Cousins does. Cousins is going to slot so much in the quarterback position because it feels like if Cousins is not there for Atlanta, then fields becomes more viable. Then the field, it may depend. Russell Wilson may have a job or may not, depending on where Cousins goes.


That's the big chest piece.


We've now honk for a while. It's been a little bit, but we've got more to come. Before we do any of that, we're going to take a quick break, and then we're actually going to do the news then. That's wild. We're shaking things up, Eric.Innovated. After the break. We are back, and let's do some news. I'm going to tell you what the news clip is before we even hear it, just to give you a little context. This was Peter King being prompted on NBC Sports Network on the birth of my daughter, Ellis Rosenthal. Like Ellie, as in short for Ellis. Everybody's going to say, Ellie is short for Ellis Birks.


Rosenthal is a sick Red Sox fan, just like somebody else on this panel who shall not be named.


My only question is, couldn't you think of a better Red Sox? You know Carly Ostremski, Ted Williams, Alice Birks?


Better than the name of the girl Pudge, I guess.


Yeah, that was this show we were on way back in 2011 on NBC Sports Network. Him roasting me for my daughter's name.


Hey, congratulations to Greg, because we might not have had Peter King if he was talking records like that to me.


We would have been celebrating Peter King's 26th year career. Yeah, that was I took it in good spirit, just the fact that he brought it up. I always remember it. It's also the oldest thing on my phone. It's the oldest saved thing on my phone. Peter King, of course, retired, surprisingly out of nowhere this week, wrote his last football Morning in America column. Happy Trails, Peter King. No one quite like him in football media over the last 30 years. No.


I was thinking about this one combine many years ago where back then you had these long tables where you'd write and you'd be sitting down with people from other publications and stations. Peter King came and sat down like a seat away from me. I was like, I'm not going to bug him, but I was like, this is one of the few football reporters/football minds where I was star struck. It's like him growing up reading Sports Illustrated, growing up reading these guys. Dr. Z, Paul Zimmerman, and Peter King are the two dudes that I would just say had these lengthy, incredible careers where they changed football so much. Peter King, I think the one thing I heard about him consistently and over and over, and you knew when you were young, Greg, in the business was that, I guess, his most recent going away type dinner, it was a mix of 10 old-school veteran journalists that he'd worked with for ages, but then 10 people that were very new to the industry that he just wanted to be part of that as well. He seemed to always nurture, care about young journalists. He really showed incredible faith in some of them that aren't journalists anymore.


It wasn't just lifers that he knew would be. I think Peter King is just a very special part of this industry, and it's like there is no replacing him.


Right. I mean, he bridges the gap of all these generations, and he was the guy, which it's In an industry as big as football writing, and there were other guys over the years, but for a long time, he was the guy. When John Harbaugh, I believe, spoke about it, a couple of people this week They're going to miss. Eric DeCosta grew up reading Peter King and have those memories of those conversations. I think the thing he did better than anyone else is he got players to talk in a way. He got them comfortable to explain the game or explain stories behind the game in a way that was really unique. He did that with Sports Illustrated, and then he did that on the web with MMQB, and then to TV when he was on Football Night in America and everything. He had a great book, Inside the Helmet, where he goes through different positions and gets really… I feel like it's probably out of print. I don't even know, but if you could find it, that was a really great inside look where he spends a lot of time with some of the best players in the NFL, and it's back in the '90s.


It's great. I really think because watching you guys go around and interact with people, and I do want to celebrate Peter King, but you all deserve flowers, too. I'm going to be honest. Because you talked about spanning and connecting these legacies. You guys connect those legacies as well. The one thing that I was thinking about, because Peter came on Total Access the day he retired, was we ran out of time because Peter writes a 10,000-word column every single week for 30 years. Sometimes it can run a little long. But hopefully the industry facilitates growth for the next generation of people that can come through and hopefully get that access and be around to do these interviews and to have these relationships because sometimes it feels like they won't. But I think in the people that I'm sitting with at this table, the dude who's not here, and of course, the number one who's not with us anymore, that legacy, it exists. I don't know why I put on me to say this, but I think it's worth celebrating.


Patrick, that made my week. I don't know. Sometimes you just forget what you even do during the day.


That is really-Right back at you.a I appreciate it. It's one of the reasons why I miss going to the Combine because that's a week for that. You do realize how long you've been doing this. You see the new people coming up. It is a time to have those meetings, dinners, advice, all that stuff. Peter was very helpful to me. That Friday show we did, we had a segment, my old producer Matt Casey reminded me, where Peter essentially played the fantasy football buffoon. How am I messing up in fantasy football? I was the fantasy expert, and that was my role on the show, was the Michael Fabiano of that show. I would come on and we would talk fantasy. We would talk reality and fantasy. Peter would talk about his takes and how that would apply to fantasy, and I would come at him. I was like, Actually, no. We had fun doing that, and he was very nice. He would give me and Matt a ride back to the city in his car. That made a big difference with a newborn getting back an hour earlier instead of having to take the train and had great conversations.


He was just a great dude. Yeah, that book I mentioned, Deep Interviews and what it's like to play these positions and stuff with Boomer Assaison, Barry Sanders, Bruce Smith, Jimmy Johnson. It's a really cool, well-written book. Shows, I think, what he does well. Happy Trails to Peter King. We're going to fly through some news that I just thought was worth noting. Jump in whenever you want to hear. First, let's talk a little just rule stuff. The end zone, countdown rule, where the ball is fumbled into the end zone and then the other team gets it on the 20. That's not going to change. It's over. That is not going to change. Despite some people thinking it's going to change, it's not going to change.


I find it annoying because the NFL seems to do a a job in the offseason of sussing out rules that seem to generate a lot of why does this rule still exist? This is one where you could, I think, temper the cause and effect of that a fumble, and it would make sense to everyone, and we're not doing it.


I think moving I didn't keep the ball, but you move it back to the 20.


Something like that. I maintain the sideline should be the sideline all the way down. If somebody fumbles out of the back of the end zone, that's different. Somebody fumbles in the end zone, the other team recovers it clearly. But I just don't understand the sideline outside of the end zone being different.


There's new competition committee members, Sean McDermott, Sean McVay. Maybe they weren't into it because this thing-They didn't even go to the combine. It didn't even get... They must have been on the conference call or whatever because it didn't even get out of committee, essentially. Steven Jones talked about it, too. Mcdermott benefited from that role in the playoffs. Yeah, that's a good point. The other thing I thought, just a quick note, we don't even need to discuss, is Andrew Berry, your guy in Cleveland. I like that he He's trying to push, and the Browns are proposing pushing back the trade deadline, which I've been talking about for years. I think that would be great. We'll follow up on that if that actually goes through, but I like that the Browns are trying to get that done. Some business happened over the weekend. Tee Higgins officially got the franchise tag, and some thought is that he might get traded. That seems to be a more realistic possibility than with most franchise. I can't tell if it's just speculation or if there's reasons behind it. Brian Burns also looks likely to get a tag. Dan Morgan, the new Panthers GM, said today, If we need to, essentially.


I don't know why you trade Higgins. Considering who the bangles are right now, where your position in the AFC, who your quarterback is, and what that wide receiver room starts to look like if you take Higgins off the team.


Yeah. It's like, how much Andre Yosefas are we willing to build this airplane out of? Why not run it back with T at least one more time?


I think that's what they will do. I'm a little torn. If they're not going to pay T Higgins the money that he'll deserve and will earn next year, and they've been a team that has been willing to just franchise tag guys and then lose them eventually. That's happened a number of times, including with Jesse Bates. I think you could get a pretty... You might be able to get the 17th pick of the draft or the 20th pick of the draft, and you take a wide receiver there. Is that crazy? I don't think that's crazy.


Well, it's like Diggs Jefferson. If you can pull that off, if you get an offer that allows you to do that.


I know you probably... The odds are you probably won't get it right. But the players coming out now have a pretty high success rate at wide receiver. I was trying to think of teams that would maybe give up a first-round pick for Tee Higgins. This probably wouldn't happen until April anyways, but the Colts, that's in the middle of the draft. The Bucks, if Mike Evans leaves, the Texans, the Bills, the Lions. Would you trade for the 25th pick for T. Higgens. I actually, I'm maybe leaning no, but I don't hate it either way.


It depends on how you view your window. Let's say the punt doesn't hit the 49ers and McLeod is able to recover it and the Chiefs lose the Super Bowl, and they're out of the Mike Evans run. Are they willing? Would the Bengals be willing to give T.


Higgens to the Kansas City Chief? No, the Chiefs forget it. But maybe the Texans or the lions or the colts or the Bucks. There's a million teams where it's like, would the Bengals look at it like, Okay, let's not just put everything into this year. Let's keep stretching this thing as much as we can. We're going to pay Jamal.


It's like late early evening in Indianapolis right now. Probably someone from the Bengals is talking to someone from another team about this topic at this very moment.


A couple of other quick items. I mentioned earlier, the cap went up $30 million. That is unprecedented. It was expected to go up a lot, maybe like 18 to 20. This is the after effects of the team's printing money once again, now that the pandemic is in terms of financial repercussions, is in the rear view. That's going to make it easier to keep a guy like Tee Higgins or a guy like Saquon Barkley. Again, there's too much cap space out there, not enough good players. Some of the decent players that have gotten released, though, in the last handful of days, Shaq Barrett from the Bucks. He's in my top 101. He's at 80. Emmanuel Agba, I think, is at the very back end of the top 101. Xavian Howard, the cornerback for the Dolphins, some of the early cuts.


It just all feels financially triggered in these cases, and most of these guys are still solid players, and we'll find another team soon. Right.


They're solid, but not 18, 25 cap charge type of guys. Although Xavier and Howard did have two pretty rough seasons, so I'm not sure the market for him is going to be good. I mentioned Brian Burns, and Brett Veach, the GM of the Chief, said they do figure that they're going to use the tag. Now, he didn't say who it would be on. The logic is it would probably be Lejarius Sneed, and they're going to try to get Chris Jones' sign in the meantime. Eric tells me we might have some breaking news. Let's hear it. Go. Just read it off. There it is right there. The Chiefs have informed Ligerius Sneed. They're going to use the franchise tag for it. I wish I had read that like 30 seconds. There's ways of communications, and then sometimes you get on a roll and it's all good. We got it in here. I'm messaging you in 75 different ways, and eventually holding the fingers, typing fingers up, and Clayvon saw them. I'm more of a live in the moment, looking to Mark's mysterious eyes.


Yeah, you're not alone. People say they'd like to do that.


It's a good thing to do. I couldn't imagine spending my time in a better way.


You have the perfect two seats for it here. It's a one reason why Dan and Mark just shut me out of conversations. Dan just mesmerized.


Mesmerized. I mean, look at those things.


Oh, please. What is happening here?


But I think with Burns and Street, the tag as a negotiation strategy, a step in the negotiation, it seems to be becoming the more popular thing.


I think it was always popular, but I hear you. I think that's the reason why they created the franchise tag.


Well, besides its role as a price control metric, just procedure clearly. Like, Okay, so we're going to do this negotiation, but tag.Right.Now.


Let's continue.If anything, yeah, it's always been about restricting the best players from actually leaving the team. It's a vestige of the old free agency system, and If anything, I think they do try to get these deals done, maybe even more than they did 15 years ago. But you're right, Patrick, most of the time they don't. They just end up getting stuck on that tag. I sense some optimism from Beach, too, on Chris Jones. We will see. Who knows? Maybe we'll have an update.


He said it again. They really, really want to keep him. They think he wants to stay. He's been saying that. The one other little nugget that I thought that the Bucks, both Jason Light and Todd Bowles came out very strongly saying, Mike Mike Evans is very much in our plan. I thought that was maybe not going to be the case. It's like they're going to push to keep him and Baker Mayfield. If I'm a Bucks fan, I like that. We'll see if we can believe them, if that's true.


Yeah, we'll see. I'm sure I do believe them. Man, I think there's going to be some big offers for Mike Evans, so we'll see if they can match them.


It might just honestly, because we're going to see Derek Henry playing somewhere else, and it's weird. We're going to look back. Mike Evans is going in the Bucks Ring of Honor. He may be the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Just a couple of extra years, what's the price? I'm with you. I think you keep him in Tampa.


Yeah, I think they would absolutely love to keep Mike Evans like they're going to keep Levante David. He expects to stay in Tampa. He said as much, We will continue to say things into microphones with our friend Nate Thais. Coming up after a quick break. Nate is going to join us, and we'll talk about some of the quarterbacks at the Combine. That music can only mean one thing. We've got a guest coming up, one I'm very excited about. This is a man who once backed up Russell Wilson at the University of Wisconsin. He is the host of the Athletic football show, including a weekly episode called Prospects to Pros with Dane Brucker, which I have personally listened to all season in an effort to not be as dumb about the NFL draft process this year.


A self-brag arrives in the middle of the introduction. Make it personal.


It's Nate Tice.


What up, Nate? Make it personal.


Not as dumb because there's only so much I can do.


There's only How much I can do. No, your program with Dane is great. It's every Wednesday. People should check it out. I'm not going to say it's a total blind spot on this episode, on this show, but we don't cover it as much until right now. So that's the purpose of you, Nate, to get us smart on these matters.


It's perfect timing for Combine week. By the way, that intro music really reminds me of the Four Horses in WCW with Rathlair and Arna Anderson and everything. It's very much so. I approve of that theme. I have seen people cover that guitar, so it's phenomenal. But no, what better way to talk about the draft than literally Combine week? I think the eye of Sauron moves from the regular season to the draft, and here we are in Indian Apple.


Yeah, you are there. We are in the studio, and yes, our host, Dan Hansis, loves to play that song as a Rorschack test of what people think of. That was, I think, the first time that we heard that.


Yeah, we often get lonely, obsessed, detective driving through the LA night in a BMW or something.


Yeah. Okay, I like that. Something came out from 1983 to 1986. Yeah, something of that sort. Maybe that's why it's Rick Flair in 1994. Because they still acted like it was the '80s, even though it was '95.


Performing a psychological test on every guest is a very damn thing to do. I do because Greg has increased his ball draft knowledge. I wanted to know, Nate, do you feel the level of ball knowledge, generally, has impacted things at the Combine based on the way that it seems like, from what I'm hearing from podiums and interviews, that team officials are very reluctant to say anything. Do you think that your contribution to the level of ball knowledge has stunted conversation?


Just me personally?


It's a team effort, Nate.


But it's a team effort.


No, I think the general fan has has become smarter, and I also think the advanced fan has become smarter as well. I think there is a growing... I mean, shoot, you guys shoot Mina, Bill Barnwell. There's many people out there that do so much good stuff, and that I I think that's what it is. I think that people realize, Oh, there is more to this game rather than just grit and who wants it more, which does matter. But also, yeah, the intricacies of the scheme stuff, even the processes. I mean, there's so many articles you could write, but it feels like there's a new article about some with the draft or training or how teams look at guys. So I do think there is some of that. Also, we're getting into a point where coaches aren't showing up for the combine, which if you told me that 10 years ago, five years ago, I'd be like, Really? This is sick. That That blows my mind. And the player stuff I understand, especially after post-COVID, after the changes of what they realize they can and cannot do. But I do think that people have become more savvy as far as how they answer stuff or even coded stuff, because I do think the general fan has bumped up a lot.


The floor has, I think, raised up a little bit. Maybe I'm just in my own little bubble, but that's how I think.


No, I think the attention and look, the draft community is bigger than ever. There are a lot of draft mix out there. You got to try to stand apart, Nate. You got to cover the NFL and the draft. And one of the things that I've noticed this year is you've been a Drake May guy. And so we got the news this week that the top three expected quarterbacks, Caleb Williams, Drake May, Jaden Daniels, in whatever order they end up going, that's probably the consensus order, but who knows, are not going to throw at the comment. That's not surprising. That's not new for top prospects over the years. But I want to talk about them anyways, because you've been a May guy throughout. Maybe for the average fan out there, why are you a May guy? You're a Caleb Williams guy, too, because I hear you rank the two them probably among the seven or eight, six or seven best quarterback prospects of the last 12 years, where you would have had Caleb Williams number one in almost every draft. You just like Jake May a little bit better, and that the two of them are that high level prospect.


Why the separation between those two and those two as a group? What do you think?


Yeah, I truly think they are as top tier of a prospect as you can get. There's no perfect prospect, of course, and that's going into that. I'll just be corny and say that. But I've been officially scouting guys as far as actually doing this process and watching a six, seven, eight games of all 22 since 2014, when I joined the Falcons. And I would say in that time period, so that's about a decade, Caleb Williams, Drake May, are up there with Trevor Lawrence as in some way, she performed that top tier prospect that I've ever watched. And then you get off of that. I mean, I was pretty high on fields, but he was a tier below that. I was high on I was a full tier below that, even if I liked him or Richardson last year as well. But I think with these guys, Caleb was a guy I got low on during the season, and then now I just studied him. I'm like, Oh, yeah, you're awesome, and you are supremely accurate. I think that's the underrated. I'll start with Caleb, but that's the underrated thing with him is that he's really good from the pocket, and a lot of that scrambling, running around stuff was out of necessity because that offense blew, and the offensive line was no good.


I thought he didn't get a lot of help, which surprised me from going from TV copy to all this way, too. It just grew and grew and grew. I don't know, I'm comparing them to freaking Drew Brees coming out of Purdue because of just that accuracy and how he operates and on top of all the stuff, the ad living and the creation and everything, I think he has rare contact balance. He's tremendous to me. The accuracy and the work from the pocket has been so underrated with him, and that's why on top of all the cool stuff where he gets comparisons to them homes, that's a cool package. But But May, and why I prefer him, it's one A, one B. They're both top five guys to be easy. May, to me, is the prototype as far as size, 6'4, 230. He's a great athlete. I think that's been underrated for him in this process. He is one of the most efficient and explosive scramblers in recent memory as far as coming out of college, as far as just earning first downs. He's smart with getting down to once he gets past there, but I think he's going to run a 4, 6, something.


I think he's a very good athlete. On top of it, he's aggressive, and he works over the middle. And the comparison, and why I always want to bring up the over the middle stuff is, I think of that as three-point shooting, but for quarterbacks. So if you can't do that, you have to be an exceptional athlete, like a Russell Westbrook, who can't shoot, or Or if you have to be like Chris Paul and make... Joe Burrow is a great example. He doesn't really work over the middle as much as you would think, but he's a monster in quick game. And he's a monster in just accuracy and all that. He's like Chris Paul. He can shoot those long twos instead of shooting threes. And so to me, you have to have those gifts. May does that. He launches stuff over the middle with timing, with arm strength, and with just anticipation, throwing stuff, throwing guys open truly. And so... Sorry, I got new headphones because I forgot mine. So I had to buy $20 headphones at the airport.


No, it looks great. It looks great. It looks like a podcaster.


Yeah, right. I know, right? I actually thought it looked like... Remember the dream team when Charles Barkley said, I don't know who they are, but we're going to stomp them or whatever we're going to say? I feel like I have the translation headphones right there. Algerian, I think it was. But I think... No, but I watch him. It's just he's that total package. When I watch these elite guys, it's hard. I'm not really comparing them to Mahomes, but Josh Allen, Lamar, Justin Herbert, those type of guys, a bro, even a Dak Prescott or Matthew Stafford, they work that shit over the middle, over and over and over. It's because that is the juiciest area to create explosive plays, but it requires a lot of balls from the quarterback.


So I saw you- has that. I saw you doing a I went down with Chicago Bears. It might have been a radio station or a pod. It was recent, and you were pounding the table for me. Even this morning on Twitter, I've seen some people coming from such a different place on that quarterback. And you've got people that look at Caleb Williams and say, A big chunk of what he did in college won't work or translate to the NFL. So the opinions are all over the place. But if you're the Chicago Bears and this dog and pony show about what might happen with fields, do you have to believe that they're looking at these two quarterbacks the same that you are, saying, This is an absolute absolute upgrade from Justin Fields without any question, no matter what we're saying publicly, these two guys or who you move on from your current quarterback to get one of them, and I don't know which one it is, but it's like their heads and tails better than Fields in your mind.


I do. I am still high on fields and still think he could be a pretty good quarterback in this league. I just think he has blemishes that I don't know if he can overcome with his throwing style. I just talked about all that stuff throwing over the middle. Fields doesn't do that. He's not good in quick game. He actually His upside still is almost like a Russell Wilson in his prime, running around, launching great deep balls, having some limitations and some of the stuff throwing stuff underneath and over the middle. So when I look at that, and like I said, these two as prospects, I still view higher than Fields. Even though I feel it might be five or six, the guys I've watched in the last 10 years. But I think these guys are a tier better because they do the things that Fields has shown that he hasn't been able to do, even with a little better situation this past year. That's even before getting into the contract stuff. And I know fake smart people want to use that as a whole talking point, but it doesn't matter. And resetting the rookie contract scale, especially when you're paying guys like Montez Sweat and stuff like that.


So that helps the argument as well. I said on that little bears podcast, too. Oh, that's mean. But that bears in the pocket, too. I love those guys. I don't know why I said little. But one of them asked, Would you bump if they traded with Washington, flopped that one pick and got the other guy? It was May in this example. I was like, That's ideal to me if you look at them in the same tier, which is what I do. That would be the ideal one. Trade fields, move back to two, get even more capital, and then take the other guy, the 1B of the two guys.


Right. I don't want to spend any more on this because I want to get to the other quarterbacks, but it does concern me that one of these two guys is going to be coached by the same guy that was coaching that terrible USC offense a year ago. That suddenly everyone's like, Wow, this was really hard to watch this offense. And it's like, That guy is going to be coaching one of them. But let's move on from that.


Yeah, let's go down to Jaden. I I've called it, Nate, Amateur Kinesiology with the body type concerns. How concerned are you with Jaden's body type?


I am concerned. I'm going to put on my boomer scout hat on a little bit. He's got narrow shoulders, and that's frame. It's all about filling out the frame. Even the guy like C. J. Stroud last year, that was 214, I think. He has broad shoulders and big hands. Why I'm bringing that up is frame to grow.


He's already gained 60. That's like me. Big shoulders, big hands. I've always had potential to just get bigger. We don't doubt that. Sorry.


Yeah. No, but with Daniels is that I think he's maxed out. He's already gained 60 pounds. I think he went into college at 140, 145, like a ridiculously low weight when he went to Arizona State. And when you look at quarterbacks, and this is honestly, I remember coming on here, quarterbacks under 210, not even 205, which is what Daniels has listed at, and I think he's more like 195, it's hard to find a quarterback under 210 or even 205 that has had long term success in the NFL. If you look even since 2000, the year 2000, the only quarterback to have adjusted net yards, touch downs, interceptions, take away sack yardage, seven or more is usually a top five, top six quarterback season in a given year. There's only been two quarterbacks. I'm sorry, no, two quarterbacks since 2000 have seven or more. And that's Kirk Cousins and Jeff Garcia. And so, okay, what's dropped at the six yards, which is like a top half season. So above average type of quarterback year, you're throwing in Aaron Brooks. And that's the only other guy that you can throw in there.


Brees has got to be on the border line there. But yeah.


He got the 209. So Brees got the 209. So that's what helps him out.


So that 4 pounds is carrying.


That 4 pounds. Well, that's the thing is Daniel is a 6'4, so he's long and slender. And that's another thing about Brees' stout. That's why I should compare him to Caleb Williams, is they actually are going to weigh about the same. It might be like 2'12 or something. But I think that's where my concerns are, it's just this is a historical outlier. And on top of it, no one has scramble more over the last five years than Daniels, and that's how he chooses to play. It's hard and he's reckless. So it's really just durability stuff that is my main concern. And then on top of it, pulling out of the pocket, like defenders, pulling out of their grasps. So that leaves me just a little hesitant, especially teams talking about or people looking at him as a top five guy. I grade him more as a late first, early second that will probably get inflated, of course. But I've had some blemishes. I'm writing about him right now, and as I dove more into it, I have more concerns than I did going into it.


Yeah, he's someone that... I know the draft mix and you guys on Prospect approach, the QB3 discussion was a big one all season, who's going to be this third quarterback. I would say half the country had no idea that Jaden Daniels was going to be a consensus top five pick. It doesn't mean anything, though, because we've seen that over and over, and then those guys do get taken and very high, and sometimes they're awesome, and sometimes they're not. Of the guys that are throwing at the combine, Michael Penix and Bo Nicks. Is JJ McCarthy throwing? Do we know that? I think he is, isn't he? I think he is. Yes, I think he is. Who's your favorite flavors among the rest of the guys?


I've grown on McCarthy a little bit, but it's not like I'm like, Oh, I'll take him in the first round. He probably will go because I do think Shanehan coaches are going to love him from that tree.


There's got to be a lot of Broncos, McCarthy, and that's a lot higher or even Atlanta at eight or seven.


Atlanta or Vikings at 11. I actually think that's the one. I actually think he'll like him? I just brought up all that weight stuff. Jj McCarthy has the same concerns. He's sub-205 as well. But I actually do think there are some comparisons with him and Cousins when he was coming out of Michigan State, Cousins went in the fourth round. It's not like he was a top 20 And McCarthy has a couple of things that coaches like, and even as you only have so many snaps with him because they didn't throw the ball much, is that he's willing to throw the ball in the middle, not just reckless, but aggressive. And also he can throw on the move. He's a good athlete. He's got a loose, live arm. And certain coaches from certain offenses, they like that a lot. Not so much me. I like big arm throw far. But a guy like this, I can see certain people really like making it, even if I don't have that graded as high. But he's grown on me. And then after that, like Nix and Pennicks, I'm a lukewarm on, or I should say glass half empty on.


And then Spencer Rattler is probably another one. I actually do like how he spins the ball. His more stuff is more off field and maturity and stuff and how he is as a leader. So that I'll find out probably more throughout this week, but he's another guy worth mentioning.


How many quarterbacks go in the first round this time around?


I think four end up going. I think Barth, he gets in there. I think Daniels is in there. Then, of course, May and Williams. I think it'll end up being four.


It's annoying me. You just brought up seven different quarterbacks, and none of them were the subject of most of our text messages over the course of the season, which was Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt. Michael Pratt. Nice mid-round option for a guy who I think will have a nice long career. Absolutely. Athletic, he can make it happen. But we don't need to spend time on Pratt. Before you let you go, Nate, and I do want to thank you once again for during Super Bowl week, you invited me out to get off the strip because Nate is a Vegas local. That was a home game for him. And just to go to a normal pizza place in a normal neighborhood of Las Vegas, which does apparently exist, and it did feel like a breath of fresh air. I never had seen that before, and it really helped recharge me for the week. So that was amazing. Before we let you go, who at a wide receiver position are you looking forward to seeing this week actually do on the field?


Yeah, it seems like Harrison and neighbors aren't doing anything. So in Dunes Day, Roman Dunes Day from Washington, I'm curious what he runs. He's a Vegas guy, too. He actually went to high school right down the road from me, Bishop Gorman. And he was a track star there, but now he weighs about 215, 218. I'm a huge fan of him. I think Dana Jeremiah has a top three guy. He's a really good player. I compare him to Chris Godwin. I'm curious how he runs. I'm excited to watch him. Another guy I'm really excited is AD Mitchell from Texas. Really has grown on me. Really twitchy, transferred from Georgia, big pedigree guy, five-star type of guy. He really grew on me as I watched more and more of him. I want to see how he tests because I think he might be able to jump out of the gym. I'm pretty excited to watch that happen.


I think you've said it all, Nate. You've got 15 other shows that you have to do today, including your own. Then you have any night plans here? I guess you don't need to make plans ahead time in Indianapolis.


Bucky told me yesterday, you have to. You have to.


In terms of reservation.


They were conflicting. Tell me who was right. Tell me who was right, Nate, because Ian said he didn't have to make reservations. Bucky said he did. We assume that Ian's just walking into places because- Red carpet for Ian. What do you have to do? How do you operate in Indy?


I hope I get an invite. If not, I always do a Ruce Chris by myself. I'm a sucker for Ruce Chris. Just going back to I just like the chain, and the Indies one is pretty good. So I always do one meal by myself there. But then usually I'm just hoping for an invite somewhere. I got a 15-month-year-old at home. This is me catching up on sleep this week. That's what I'm doing this week. That's real. Yeah, I got more curfews than I used to when I used to come to Indianapolis. So yeah, just hope for the invite. I think St. Almo's, though, is a little basic. Wow.


I'm being honest. That's a real man right there. That's a man who's comfortable in himself. That he likes spending time with himself and his friend, Ruth Chris. Enjoy, Nate. Just a loser. Thank you.


Just a loser. Thanks, Greg. See you, Nate. See you, guys.


I feel like that was a good entry point. We're just starting. Time to start grinding that tape.


Little primer. I feel behind Nate Tice. I feel like he's doing more work on this than we have. That's okay.


That's his thing. He's making rankings. He's one of the draft next. It's trying to catch up late. Kids in school, especially classes you're not as passionate about, cramming is fine. Doing it all at the last minute is fine if as long as you do enough. As long as you get it done. Right.


There are many paths.


Right. If it's something you love reading and writing, you want to put in the work throughout the whole semester, the class. You're right. The whole time. You're not as into science, just find a... Not a cheat, but find a A Cram at the last time.Whatever.


It takes.Whatever.


It takes. Exactly. I enjoy the draft, but I enjoy the draft process starting with the combine. And watching the combine is perfect prep for it because all that stuff from DJ and it just becomes osmosis to where you're talking about.


They give us that 500-page PDF. You're like, Oh, yeah.


Ola Fashanu's drop step is too big. Dan will be back on Thursday to really settle this thing down. It always gets too long when I'm here running the show. We will be back then. For Mark Sesler, for Patrick Claibon, for Nate Tice, for Chris Westling on the Top 10 show, for Eric and Randy behind the Glass. Heed the call.