Threatening post by NFL BullyGate's Martin prompts HS to close

Threatening post by NFL BullyGate's Martin prompts HS to close

Former NFL offensive tackle Jonathan Martin — harassed by multiple Dolphin teammates during the infamous BullyGate scandal in 2013 — reportedly shared a threatening Instagram story that pictured a shotgun with shells and named former teammates, the team and his high school, prompting his alma mater to shut down Friday.

“When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge,” a written note says, according to a screengrab from the Instagram story.

The social media handles for Bills guard Richie Incognito and Dolphins center Mike Pouncey — who were both found to have harassed Martin in an investigation — are named in the post, along with two of his former Harvard-Westlake High School classmates.

Martin reportedly graduated from the school in 2008.

Instagram story by Jonathan Martin, who spent three seasons in the NFL, prompts his alma mater to shut down Friday.

Instagram story by Jonathan Martin, who spent three seasons in the NFL, prompts his alma mater to shut down Friday.

(David J. Phillip/AP)

In response to the Instagram story, Harvard-Westlake closed both of its campuses in Studio City and Beverly Crest, Calif. on Friday, though the Los Angeles Police Department said there was “no credible threat” against the school.

Harvard-Westlake issued a statement Friday:

“Last evening, we learned an Internet post that mentions Harvard-Westlake by name. Out of an abundance of caution, and because the safety of our students, faculty, and our staff is our top priority, we made the decision to close school today. We are working closely with law enforcement and will share more information when we are available.”

The incident comes a little over two weeks after 17 students and staff were shot to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. There has been a spate of school shooting threats across the country, prompting closures, since the Feb. 14 murders.

Martin, who previously revealed he tried to commit suicide multiple times while in the NFL, was the victim in a bullying scandal that rocked the league. The Ted Wells investigation found that the offensive tackle was subjected to “a pattern of harassment” by Incognito, Pouncey and current Giants guard John Jerry. 

Martin spent three seasons in the NFL, playing for the Dolphins, before being traded to the San Francisco, where he played one season. He retired after the 2014-15 season.

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Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman is now an FBI agent: report

Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman is now an FBI agent: report

Charles “Peanut” Tillman has made the jump from the NFL to the FBI.

The longtime Chicago Bears cornerback has reportedly been accepted into the FBI after graduating from the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Va. A source told Sporting News the 37-year-old is “currently working for the FBI. (He) has his badge and everything.”

News of Tillman’s FBI pursuits spread in September 2017 when the Chicago Tribune reported he had started training to join the bureau.

To become an agent, recruits have to be at least 23-years-old, but younger than 37. Tillman turned 37 Friday.

Charles Tillman played in the NFL for 13 years before retiring in 2015.

(Stephen Morton/AP)

A source told Sporting News in 2017 there likely wouldn’t be a big announcement from the FBI if the ex-corner succeeded. The FBI said the bureau does not comment on personal matters.

However, retired U.S. Marshal Kim Widup told Sporting News the FBI could use Tillman to get more people to join the agency.

“They will try to get him to fade to anonymity as much as they can,” Widup said. “But I think at some point the FBI will also use it as part of their recruiting policy, as in, ‘Look who we got.'”

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Charles Tillman reportedly graduated from the FBI Training Academy in Quantico, Va. and is now an agent.

(Jordan Strauss/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Before making a name for himself in the NFL, Tillman earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. The Bears later went on to draft the corner in the second round of the NFL Draft in 2003.

Tillman spent 13 years in the NFL playing for the Bears and Panthers before retiring in 2015. He was known throughout the league for his “Peanut Punch,” which caused him to force fumbles on defense.

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Fantasy Football: How coaching changes will impact your roster

Fantasy Football: How coaching changes will impact your roster

The 2018 Xclusive Edge Fantasy Baseball Package is now available at! ALL NEW FOR 2018 – A completely reconfigured Cheatsheet Generator so you can create your own custom spreadsheets, rankings and auction values using our highly accurate player projections. We’ve also rolled out a brand new Slack Channel where you can access all your favorite RotoExperts to ask questions or discuss Fantasy Baseball or anything else. Plus, you will also be able to talk Fantasy Baseball with the entire population of RotoNation, a whole community of Fantasy Sports enthusiasts! Your subscription gives you access to the RotoExperts MLB community on Slack for the whole season!

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Year after year, NFL owners become impatient and disgruntled with their team’s place in the standings and look to go in another direction. These decisions over the last several seasons have been really hit or miss around the league. Some teams finally start to head in the right direction while others continue to be mired in mediocrity.

Over the past couple of seasons, we have seen a fair share of coaching successes with Sean McVay and Todd Pederson turning reclamation projects into productive Fantasy offenses. Both Todd Gurley and Carson Wentz have seen their stock rise with the coaching changes to become top tier talent at their respective positions. Both coaches even took forgotten talents like Robert Woods and Nelson Agholor and turned them into weekly starting options with simple scheme changes.

With the good also comes the bad. Sean McDermott and Vance Joseph are two coaches who have yet to get out of the gates. In large part due to a lack of QB play, Joseph has turned the once dominant team in Denver to an afterthought in many Fantasy leagues. Perennial Top 15 receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were reduced to matchup plays at best in 2017. In Buffalo, it doesn’t seem to matter who the coach is, the passing attack for the Bills continues to suffer without any signs of improvement.

The 2018 offseason was once again spinning the coaching carousel with several positions being filled. But of these new coaches, which ones will bolster their team to Fantasy success in 2018? Which ones will falter and ruin the values of some of your favorite players? Let’s take a look at new faces in new places for 2018.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Jon Gruden — Oakland Raiders

Let’s start off with the most high-profile name among the group, which is Jon Gruden. He returns to coaching after several years in the Monday Night Football booth and will look to get the Oakland Raiders team back to prominence after an underwhelming 2017 campaign. Production was down across the board for the Raiders’ offense as Derek Carr and Amari Cooper were huge disappointments to Fantasy owners. Can Gruden’s past as a QB guru spark this offense enough and bring them back to their 2016 form?

Stock Up: Derek Carr and Amari Cooper

With the arrival of Gruden, the passing game behind the duo of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper should be in store for a bounce-back season. Gruden has an extensive history of working with QBs and helping them flourish. That should be the case here as well. Gruden is already on record saying they will unlock Carr’s potential. Don’t be shocked to see Carr rise back up to low-end QB1 status, while Cooper should regain his form as well. If Cooper can get out of his own way and get past his issue with drops, a finish as a WR2 should come very easily.

Stock Down: Raiders Running Game

Although Marshawn Lynch should be back for 2018, it’s easy to say that the years of “Beast Mode” are a thing of the past. Finding a back to count on in this offense will become a headache. I don’t see Lynch holding up to a heavy workload, while the Raiders’ other backs are merely just complementary pieces. Lynch will likely be an RB3 in any format in Fantasy and that will be the best you can get from this backfield.

Frank Reich — Indianapolis Colts

After getting left at the altar by Josh McDaniels and missing the chance to interview a number of other candidates, the Colts finally settled on Frank Reich. Cashing in on a Super Bowl title with the Philadelphia Eagles, Reich will bring his up-tempo style to a Colts offense in need of a makeover.

Stock Up: The Colts Offense

This hire has the potential to help the Colts offense as a whole, but that all hinges on the health of Andrew Luck. With mixed reports out there on the status of Luck’s shoulder, we are all in wait and see mode with this offense. But assuming that Luck will be healthy and ready to go, this is the type of offense that can bring out the best in him. The skill positions will be younger and faster as the team will be likely moving on from Frank Gore and the disappointing Donte Moncrief. Those moves make room for Marlon Mack to shine and the team to find a legitimate WR2 to play alongside T.Y. Hilton. All of this will add up to a nice year for Luck as he ascends to the QB1 level play. First, he will have to prove his health in offseason workouts.

Stock Down: Colts Defense

Frank Reich will have his fingerprints all over this new look offense, but what about a defense that is continually one of the bottom units in the league? That will fall squarely on the shoulders of Matt Eberflus. He comes to Indy from Dallas, where he has coached the linebackers since 2011. Eberflus will find a bare cupboard in Indy, which means the defense will likely be in for a rough transition year here and will not be a Fantasy-relevant unit for 2018.

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur.

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur.

(Julio Cortez/AP)

Pat Shurmur — New York Giants

Pat Shurmur finally will get his chance as a head coach in the NFL and it will be under the bright lights of New York City with the Giants. Shurmur coached up a Vikings offense in 2017 with Case Keenum under center all the way to the NFC title game. There is a lot to like about his play-calling abilities, which should breathe some new life into a Giants offense that has been stagnant for a couple of years.

Stock Up: Eli Manning

All reports indicate that the Giants will stay the course with Eli Manning under center for 2018. With an offseason to work with Shurmur and a healthy group of receivers, Manning could be back in the conversation as a sleeper next season. The Giants have an array of talented receivers to utilize, but in this offense, I expect a healthy Odell Beckham to put together a big season. Don’t be shocked to see Manning push for a 30-touchdown season with his renewed energy.

Stock Down: Running Game

No matter what they do it just seems as though the Giants are cursed when it comes to finding a competent back for this team. All that could change overnight with a draft pick of Saquon Barkley, but that remains to be seen. They could also vie for a back in free agency, like the newly available Doug Martin. The Giants’ front office will undoubtedly address this need but if they go with the pieces currently rostered (Orleans Darkwa and Wayne Gallman), this position will again be one to ignore in Fantasy.

Matt Nagy — Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears went with the young, up-and-coming hire of Matt Nagy to pair with their young QB, Mitchell Trubisky. Nagy comes from the Andy Reid coaching tree after being one of his assistants for a number of years. He will bring with him an aggressive play-calling technique which is what this offense needs. The success of Nagy will begin and end with the progression of Trubisky.

Stock Up: Jordan Howard

After a sophomore slump in 2017, Nagy’s creative mindset could be just what the doctor ordered for Howard. Look for the Bears to use Howard in a similar fashion to way the Chiefs used Kareem Hunt in 2017. Behind a very good offensive line, Nagy could see Howard as the centerpiece to this offense and involve him quite often on a weekly basis. I’m expecting to see Howard rebound back into an RB1 in Fantasy next year.

Stock Down: Passing Game

I’m not sure this passing game could get worse than 2017, but we’ve yet to see anything positive from Trubisky to prove he’s an NFL caliber starter. Nagy will have to perform a miracle much like Sean McVay did with Jared Goff for this passing game to produce anything. Add in the fact that there are no receiver options to speak of on this team, which means Matt Nagy and this front office will have to build a passing game from scratch. Trubisky should not be on any Fantasy radars in 2018.

Mike Vrabel — Tennessee Titans

I like the hiring of Mike Vrabel for the Titans. I think he will bring an edge to a team that has been looking for an identity for some time now. Expect him to improve the defense and make an impact in year one. Vrabel’s blueprint for this team will be to play stout defense and run the ball effectively, setting up the play-action pass game.

Stock Up: Derrick Henry

After a couple of seasons of teasing Fantasy owners, Derrick Henry will likely see his time come as the lead back for the Titans. He immediately jumps into the RB1 discussion on sheer upside alone. With a baseline of 20 touches a game, Henry could be a beast in any format. He is dangerous as a runner as well as a pass-catcher. He’s a true three-down back, which is something that is becoming a rarity in the game.

Stock Down: DeMarco Murray

With Henry potentially becoming the lead back on this offense, what happens to DeMarco Murray? After an awful 2017, and another year of tread on the tires, you could easily see the Titans moving on from him. Even if the team decides to retain him, the chances of him making a big impact in Fantasy next year are very slim.

Steve Wilks — Arizona Cardinals

Steve Wilks comes from Carolina, bringing his defensive mindset to a team that will be in the beginning of a rebuild. Wilks will have to find his QB, fix a broken offensive line, and prepare for life after Larry Fitzgerald. The defense still remains in good shape, but his success will rely on how quickly he can turn this offense around. If he misses on his selection of QB, Wilks’ tenure could be over before it begins.

Stock Up: David Johnson

You can’t really say that David Johnson’s stock is dropping, but coming back from a year-ending injury, he will be looking to reaffirm his position as one of the game’s elite at RB. It will be hard to have too much confidence in Johnson, though, if you remember the performance of the Cardinals’ offensive line last year. Couple that with the uncertainty of the QB position, and defenses will be keying on Johnson in every game played. But to his credit, Johnson will be heavily involved in the passing game as well, which keeps him as one of the more valuable players in PPR formats.

Stock Down: Larry Fitzgerald

For Larry Fitzgerald to still be in the discussion as a WR1 in Fantasy at this stage of his career is a testament to the competitor he is. Call me crazy, but I see his 2018 season being one of his most frustrating of his career. The quarterback that this team signs will be huge for Fitzgerald’s value. I don’t anticipate the team being in on a Kirk Cousins type QB, meaning they could likely be playing a lower-tier option for the year. With Wilks being more of a defensive minded coach, you have to expect that the team will lean on the running game, meaning a lower number of targets for Fitzgerald. I would be shocked to see him get over 100 catches next season.

Matt Patrcia — Detroit Lions

Matt Patricia is the other Patriots coordinator that was offered a coaching job, and unlike Josh McDaniels, he decided to accept it. Patricia takes over a Lions team that was just in need of an atmosphere change after being underwhelming annually. The team is still full of talent to work with, so the question will become how will Patricia fare out of Bill Belichick’s shadow? The defense should hold their own, but can he get more from Matt Stafford and this passing attack?

Stock Up: Running Game

I expect the Lions to be a major player in the free-agency market for a new running back for 2018. If he’s allowed to walk away from New England, Dion Lewis makes a load of sense for this team. He can run in between the tackles, but he will make his hay on check-downs from Matt Stafford. Another name to watch for here would be Carlos Hyde. Either way, the Lions need a running game and with the right signing, that player could be a low-end RB2 in Fantasy.

Stock Down: Marvin Jones

After a successful 2017 campaign in this offense, Marvin Jones could be a regression candidate for 2018. The offensive scheme that I predict Patricia will rely on will be similar to New England with plenty of short to intermediate passing plays, both of which play to the strengths of Golden Tate. You could see a dip in production in both catches and touchdowns from Jones. This could lead to a struggle as a borderline WR3/WR4 for most of the season.

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Odell Beckham can look to buddy Landry in Giants contract talks

Odell Beckham can look to buddy Landry in Giants contract talks

Odell Beckham Jr. was drafted 12th overall out of LSU by the Giants in 2014. His best friend and Tigers teammate, Jarvis Landry, was drafted 63rd overall in the second round by the Miami Dolphins that same weekend.

But as of this moment, after the Dolphins placed the franchise tag on Landry for the 2018 season on Tuesday, Landry is scheduled to make about $16.2 million if he signs the tender, almost double Beckham’s 2018 salary of $8.4 million.

Beckham no doubt is thrilled that his friend Landry is cashing in, either by signing that one-year tender or negotiating a long-term deal with the Dolphins or another team once he’s traded.

But OBJ also is competitive and seeking his own due this offseason on a contract extension, while also trying to avoid the franchise-tag cycle, which doesn’t provide long-term security.

Odell Beckham (left) and Jarvis Landry are both due big-time raises as two of the NFL's top wide receivers.

Odell Beckham (left) and Jarvis Landry are both due big-time raises as two of the NFL’s top wide receivers.

(Lynne Sladky/AP)

Beckham already is underpaid, and Landry’s scheduled 2018 salary only reinforces that fact. Because while Landry is an excellent possession receiver — his 400 receptions are the most ever by an NFL receiver in the first four years of a career — Landry is not the player Beckham is.

So how did this 2018 salary imbalance happen? It’s about the NFL’s contract structures.

The Giants had the ability, since Beckham was a first-round pick, to exercise a fifth-year option on top of his four-year base rookie deal. The Giants exercised that $8.4 million option last spring for the 2018 season, keeping Beckham under control for an extra season in exchange for a large increase in salary (Beckham had made only about $4.5 million combined in base salary in his first four years, per Beckham’s $8.4 million salary becomes fully guaranteed on March 14, the first day of the new league year, yet doesn’t preclude the Giants and Beckham from negotiating a long-term deal thereafter that increases that salary.

But Landry, as a second-round pick, came with no fifth-year option. After four years in the league, he was due to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason unless the Dolphins signed him to a new deal or applied the franchise tag. So Miami used the franchise tag, even though it essentially pays a player a one-year salary equal to the average of the top five salaries at that position the previous year.

And that’s how, as Beckham seeks a mega-extension from the Giants, he suddenly finds his best college buddy Landry pretty much tied with Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins for the second-highest annual salary in 2018 at wide receiver ($16.2) behind only Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown ($17 million).

Now, Landry is in his own predicament, too. The Dolphins have said Landry’s reported asking price of $14.5 million per year on a four-year, $58 million extension is too high, per the Miami Herald. So while Landry could make great money for one year in Miami in 2018, he might only get the long-term security he’s looking for via trade.

Beckham won’t be jealous of Landry, either way. On the contrary, Beckham wants to raise the earning power of everyone around him, not just himself, with his next contract. He is fiercely loyal to close friends such as Landry, and there’s no doubt the 2014 LSU wide receiver class should be proud of what it’s accomplished already in the NFL.

But while Beckham theoretically could play next season on his $8.4 million fifth-year option salary, he’d wind up in the same position next spring that Landry is in now. That is, he’d be watching the Giants franchise tag him for a big 2019 number and keeping him under control without giving him a long-term deal.

The point here is simple: good for Landry that he’s getting paid no matter what in 2018. But if Landry is worth $16.2 million to a team next season, Beckham is worth at least $20 million.



(Julio Cortez/AP)


Speaking of wide receivers, is it possible Giants GM Dave Gettleman will either draft or make a high-priority free-agent signing at this position, despite already having Beckham, Sterling Shepard and tight end Evan Engram?

Twice now this offseason, Giants defensive players publicly have pinpointed wide receiver as a primary position of need given how badly the offense struggled when Beckham, Shepard and Brandon Marshall all got hurt in 2017.

On Jan. 3 on ESPN’s “First Take,” strong safety Landon Collins said of the No. 2 overall pick in the draft: “Probably get some help at wide receiver. Get Odell, Brandon Marshall and Sterling and Eli (Manning) some more options.”

Then on Tuesday on FOX’s “Undisputed,” Damon Harrison’s defense of Manning included this rationale: “He lost his top three receivers for a good portion of the season. We get those guys back, (and) hopefully they bring in some other guys so that depth isn’t that much of a factor if we were to lose somebody.”

Interesting, right? The problem is Alabama’s Calvin Ridley is the only receiver being talked about in a draft crop not getting much hype. And the free-agent class doesn’t jump off the page either: names like Terrelle Pryor, Mike Wallace, Sammy Watkins and Danny Amendola are the most attractive. One mid-level name I’d watch? Cardinals free agent Jaron Brown, 28. Might be an affordable, good fit.

The Giants’ Marshall, 33, though, while under contract for 2018, is an obvious candidate to be a cap casualty this offseason coming off disappointing play when healthy early last fall. The Giants could save more than $5 million by cutting him, absorbing a dead money hit of only $1 million, by releasing him, per

So it’s not out of the question that the Giants will need to add a playmaker here. But the team has plenty of greater needs at other positions, too: offensive line, linebacker, running back and pass rusher (depth) to name only a few.

And they could satisfy this need in other ways, too: like improving the tight end depth of pass catchers to complement the versatile Engram and Rhett Ellison (the Daily News has reported the Giants showing interest in late-round tight end talent such as Mississippi State’s Jordan Thomas and Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Damon Gibson).

But clearly, players from the Giants’ 31st-ranked defense in 2017 felt depth receivers such as Roger Lewis and Tavarres King weren’t good enough last season.


The Giants on Thursday waived LB Deontae Skinner, a limited special teams contributor. So far this offseason, Gettleman has released 2017 Week 1 starting right tackle Bobby Hart (who since has signed with the Bengals), waived DE Ishaq Williams with a failed physical designation last week, re-signed depth offensive lineman John Greco (who played for Pat Shurmur in Cleveland in 2011-12), and waived Skinner.

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Eli Manning ‘can’t play forever,’ says ex-Giants exec Marc Ross

Eli Manning ‘can’t play forever,’ says ex-Giants exec Marc Ross

Giants fans don’t want to hear this, but Marc Ross said it anyway Thursday: Eli Manning “can’t play forever.”

Ross, the former Giants VP of player evaluation, tried his best to steer clear of discussing Manning’s December benching when asked about it on ESPN’s NFL Live Thursday afternoon. And it’s obviously a sensitive subject: Ross was fired less than a month after the Manning drama cost both GM Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo their jobs.

Marc Ross says the Giants have to realize that Eli Manning simply 'can't play forever.'

Marc Ross says the Giants have to realize that Eli Manning simply ‘can’t play forever.’

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

But Ross was candid about how, even if the Giants could have handled Manning’s situation differently in 2017, this is an issue that’s not going away for new GM Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur in the coming years.

“He’s a two-time Super Bowl MVP, his pictures are all throughout the building, everybody loves the guy. We saw what happened last year when it didn’t go his way,” Ross said, alluding to how Manning cried, refused to start a Dec. 4 game in Oakland knowing he’d come out at halftime, and asked the team to issue a press release announcing the move. “And it’s gonna at some point have to happen again. Now how will it be handled the next time? But he can’t play forever. So we’ll see what happens next time.”

The issue of how much longer Manning, 37, will play is coming to the forefront again with the Giants holding the No. 2 overall pick in the draft in position to draft Manning’s successor if they’re not sure Davis Webb is the guy.

The Giants want to find Eli Manning's successor, and they aren't convinced that Davis Webb is the guy.

The Giants want to find Eli Manning’s successor, and they aren’t convinced that Davis Webb is the guy.

(Bill Kostroun/AP)

Manning has only two years left on his current contract, and last season, regardless of the myriad injuries to his top receivers, Manning played poorly, missing throws and making some bad and costly decisions.

Giants president John Mara, after signing off on the move away from Manning, has made clear that the new plan is to go back to Manning in 2018. And both Gettleman and Shurmur appealed to Mara and the Giants in part because they shared that pro-Manning view. But the Manning timelines seem to be getting carried away.

Surrounding Manning with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., more weapons and a better line to make one more run at it in 2018 — two at most through 2019 — is one thing.

But on Wednesday, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., suggested the Giants might draft Penn State RB Saquon Barkley No. 2 overall to continue building around Manning for approximately “the next three-to-five years.”

That doesn’t seem realistic.

Ross was reticent to go into more detail, but even when first asked about Manning, he made reference to an upcoming decision for the new regime on the face of the franchise QB.

“I was on the road scouting at the time, so I’m not talking about it. I’m gonna leave that one alone,” Ross said with a smile about the benching of Manning. “But I think it was something that had been talked about and discussed, and in hindsight it could have been handled differently; some people say it could have, some people said maybe not. It happened, Eli’s still a major presence there … and they just have to decide going forward what to do with that situation.”

Ross had a few more noteworthy insights that Giants fans should hear:

Ross on when he knew the Giants season was going to get bad:

“Actually the Eagles game, the third game of the season. You know we went to Dallas the opening game, we usually play well down there, we played bad. Then we come back Monday night, we’re honoring the ’07 Super Bowl team, we play bad again. And then the third week we go down to Philly, start out playing bad and then we start rolling in the second half like, ‘Alright, this is turning our season around;’ then that rookie kicks a 61-yard field goal and it just felt like this is not gonna be right — and it just felt like the Eagles are gonna be magical and we were having a rough year. And it kinda just kept spiraling from there. A lot of emotions, a lot of turmoil and just to lose a good friend and mentor in Jerry Reese, and Ben McAdoo I got close to. People gotta realize these are real people with families.”

Ross on whether Beckham will be back healthy in 2018:

Marc Ross believes Odell Beckham Jr. will return 'better than ever.'

Marc Ross believes Odell Beckham Jr. will return ‘better than ever.’

(Bill Kostroun/AP)

“I think Odell will be back better than ever, just (because of) the type of drive he has. I’ve been around some gifted guys. He might be the most gifted player I’ve ever been around. And his passion, his desire will make himself become better than he was before.”

Ross on how he thinks Shurmur will fare as head coach:

“Pat, I used to work with Pat in Philly back in the day. I think he has the personality and demeanor to get it done.”

Ross worked as a Bills national college scout from 2004-06 before joining the Giants as director of college scouting in 2007, a position he held through 2012 before a promotion to VP of player evaluation. He then ran the Giants’ drafts and therefore was responsible for the drafting of talent such as Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins, Sterling Shepard, Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Pugh.

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Former Giants VP Marc Ross gives his take on top-5 QBs in draft

Former Giants VP Marc Ross gives his take on top-5 QBs in draft

Marc Ross, the Giants’ recently-fired VP of player evaluation, made an informative cameo on ESPN’s NFL Live Thursday afternoon. And though he is no longer a part of Giants brass, Ross did spend this past fall and winter scouting college quarterbacks for an organization that now holds the No. 2 overall pick in April’s draft.

So it’s noteworthy what Ross reported back to former GM Jerry Reese and the Giants on the top prospects that new GM Dave Gettleman is now evaluating. Here, then, are Ross’ full and interesting opinions of the top-five QBs available in the draft, starting with throwing some cold water on the big-armed kid from Wyoming:


Marc Ross doesn’t believe Josh Allen is the way to go at QB.

(Darin Oswald/AP)

On Josh Allen, Wyoming:

“Josh Allen, everybody keeps talking about he looks the part and he can throw the ball, but there’s a lot more to being a successful NFL quarterback than looking like you’re an NFL quarterback and throwing the ball. Josh Allen to me has a problem with his feel for the game, his pocket poise, his accuracy, and all those are key components of being successful in the NFL. And he did it at a very low level of competition against some bad defenses. So for him not to have dominant performances is a big worry.

Marc Ross believes Sam Darnold can overcome his turnover issues.

Marc Ross believes Sam Darnold can overcome his turnover issues.

(Carlos Osorio/AP)

“Accuracy is one of those things when you see guys who were not accurate in college, they may get a little bit better, but not tremendously better. Through footwork and through mechanics you can get better at it. But him, he just doesn’t have those traits that overcompensate for not having the accuracy and lack of feel for the game. He had a lot of bad filmwork: 10 completions, 11 completions, 12 completions where he just didn’t go out and dominate teams at that level.”

Baker Mayfield is Marc Ross' 'favorite guy' of the quarterbacks in the draft.

Baker Mayfield is Marc Ross’ ‘favorite guy’ of the quarterbacks in the draft.

(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

On Sam Darnold, USC:

“Sam coming into the year, was anointed because of what he did in the bowl game the year before, and rightly so. That was one of the best performances you could see against Penn State. This year he had some struggles. He started off bad with the turnovers, kind of righted the ship throughout the season, still had USC winning, and then he kinda had a bad game at the end there. But he’s got play-making ability like few do, he’s got excellent football character, but he does have the turnovers, both interceptions and fumbles. So he’s got to definitely work on that, and that will be hard to overcome for him, but he’s the type of guy that will do it. And he needs to just be more poised in the pocket, he gets a little too jumpy in there. With his playmaking ability, he tries to do too much with that, as well.”

Josh Rosen's injury history is a concern.

Josh Rosen’s injury history is a concern.

(Mark J. Terrill/AP)

On Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma:

“Baker’s my favorite guy of these guys. To me just, Baker, he has it. When you look at the franchise winning quarterbacks in the NFL, the things that Baker does, he’s a winner, he’s super productive, he dominated at the highest level, not just in his conference but against Georgia and Ohio State with tons of NFL players on the defense. I mean he has a great command, great poise and great feel. So I would take my shot with Baker, a guy that’s done it at the highest level. He may have the height (issue) and those kind of things, but he’s just a big-time playmaker.”

Lamar Jackson's athleticism at the QB position drew comparisons to Michael Vick.

Lamar Jackson’s athleticism at the QB position drew comparisons to Michael Vick.

(Chuck Burton/AP)

Size give you pause? “Of course it does, but I think it’s been proven that (with) height is not a direct correlation between being a good NFL quarterback. And of course there are exceptions, the Russell Wilson’s and Drew Brees’ of the world and he’ll have that to overcome, but the other things that he does, the intangibles off the field, the leadership, the toughness, I just think he’s a special type of player.”

On Josh Rosen, UCLA:

“I think when you look at Josh Rosen, if you’ve got 7-on-7, I mean this guy’s a perfect 7-on-7 quarterback. It gets messy in there and he’s shown he takes a lot of sacks and he’s been injured both years. So that’s a concern for a pocket passer who’s been injured. But if you just want a guy to get up there and throw it and sling it, he’s your guy. The leadership questions off the field, there may be some of those issues that crop up throughout the draft process, so that will have to be well-investigated by the teams.”

On Lamar Jackson, Louisville:

“I love Lamar Jackson. I think it’s unfair to him to just try to throw him away as a wide receiver. I don’t think that’s inspired thinking. With Lamar, you talk about a guy who did improve, I was actually at his very first game at Louisville when they played down at the Chik-Fil-A game in Atlanta and he got in the game and there was another guy starting and it was like, wow, look at this guy, I mean he’s all over the place. But he’s gotten better and better each year. He does sit in the pocket, he can read defenses, he’s very poised, he can deliver on time. The offense they run there, he takes a lot of shots down field, so he’s not running some dink-and-dunk system. He runs pro concepts with what he does. I think everything gets overshadowed because he is just such a dynamic athlete and runner — one of a kind, besides (Michael) Vick, this guy. But he has developed tremendously and he’s going to keep getting better as a passer.”

Ross worked as a Bills national college scout from 2004-06 before joining the Giants as director of college scouting in 2007, a position he held through 2012 before a promotion to VP of player evaluation. He then ran the Giants’ drafts and therefore was responsible for the drafting of talent such as Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins, Sterling Shepard, Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Pugh.

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