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Shutdown Corner
  • We’ve taken the next step here. Although our mock drafts this past year might outnumber our visits to the gym, this will be the first time we project trades. Are they going to happen just like we see them? Of course not. But it's fun to envision scenarios that are not immediately evident, and yet we know that trades are a huge part of the draft landscape.

    There were nine trades involving first- or second-round picks on the first two days of the 2013 NFL draft. In this scenario, we project a pedestrian three — enough to get our creative juices flowing and start the plate tectonics a bit, but not too many to cloud and skew the picture dramatically. But it's no coincidence that two of the three deals involve trades up for quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater. That sort of thing tends to happen on the clock when teams get antsy.

    We’ll check in the night before the draft — 16 agonizing days from now — with our final first-round predictions from the Shutdown Corner

    Read More »from NFL draft: Two-round mock draft projects trades up for Manziel, Bridgewater
  • Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has revealed a shocking bit of news: Jim Harbaugh isn't the most emotional fellow.

    John, honored this weekend with induction into Miami of Ohio's Coaches' Cradle, told a previously-unheard story of last year's Super Bowl, where his Ravens bested Jim's 49ers. After the game, the brothers met at midfield. You'd think: brothers, shared pain and triumph, time for a good hug and all that, right? Yeah, not so much. Watch Jim's reaction here:

    Man. You can just feel the love there, can't you? Jim gives more love to the guy at Target who brings him fresh pleated khakis. Granted, Jim had just lost the biggest game of his career. But John was hoping for a little shared sympathy.

    “I walk up across the field to shake his hand, and he’s a big, strapping guy,” John said. “I look at him and I’m going to give him a little man hug, a little bro hug to say congratulations." He then laughed and said that Jim's demeanor was that of a man saying, "There will be no hug!"

    Read More »from John Harbaugh didn't get a hug from Jim after Super Bowl win, and here's why
  • Some moves make little sense on the surface, but when they're made by a good organization, you shrug and assume they know what they're doing.

    That's the case with the Seahawks trading for quarterback Terrelle Pryor, a move first reported by Pro Football Talk. Multiple media reports, including ESPN and NFL Network, said the Seahawks traded a seventh-round pick to Oakland for Pryor.

    Pryor, a phenomenal athlete who was one of the most highly touted high school recruits of this century, got a chance to be the Raiders starting quarterback, but eventually was replaced by undrafted rookie Matt McGloin. McGloin wasn't very good, and that's the point when it comes to Pryor. He had a great opportunity and did nothing with it.

    Pryor was good in short stretches early in the season. He looked fantastic in a win against the Chargers, who would make the playoffs, in Week 5. But it went south in a hurry. Pryor had seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions, with a

    Read More »from Oakland Raiders trade quarterback Terrelle Pryor to Seattle Seahawks
  • ENGLEWOOD, Colo. There was a bit of a hulabaloo about how Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and offensive coordinator Adam Gase might have broken a NFL rule by visiting Alabama together this month.

    This is what gets attention when the NFL hits a slow time in the offseason. The Broncos' explanation is they were there separately and not working together, and even if something was amiss it's about as minor of a violation as you can get. Instead of getting caught up in that story, realize that coming off the greatest single season in NFL history, five-time MVP Manning flew across the country to pick Alabama coach Nick Saban's brain about how to get better.

    "I certainly know the rules, but I know there’s no rule that says a player can’t get better—at least I haven’t read that one," Manning said, after explaining he and Gase didn't violate the rule that players and coaches can't work together during unauthorized times in the offseason.

    It's no surprise that Manning said all the

    Read More »from Peyton Manning wants to improve on 2013, but is that even possible?
  • Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ path to the NFL was created by Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez, Jimmy Graham and Martellus Bennett. All of those athletes played college basketball before converting to tight end in the NFL. Each former hardwood player thrived on the football field.

    Seferian-Jenkins is not the second coming of Graham, nor does he profess to be, but he played on Washington's basketball team, which was the Pac-12 regular-season champion in 2011-12. He came off the bench that season before eventually focusing on football.

    Most NFL draft experts believe Seferian-Jenkins is a first- or second-round pick. Seferian-Jenkins had 36 receptions for 450 yards and eight scores in 2013. He compiled 146 catches for 1,840 yards and 21 touchdowns in three seasons, and reportedly visited the Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. Seferian-Jenkins also spent time with Shutdown Corner during the pre-draft process:

    Shutdown Corner: Has the draft process been everything

    Read More »from NFL draft: Q&A with Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins


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