The reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs kick off the new NFL season when they host the Detroit Lions in the 2023 NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday, September 7 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs are coming off a season in which they beat the Eagles, 38-35, in Super Bowl LVII, earning the franchise’s second Super Bowl title in the last four years. The Lions are a trendy pick in the NFC North after finishing last season at 9-8, the franchise’s first winning record since 2017.
Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET. Kansas City is a 6.5-point favorite in the latest Lions vs. Chiefs odds, while the over/under for total points scored is 54.5. Before you make any Chiefs vs. Lions picks or NFL predictions of your own, you need to see what proven SportsLine NFL expert R.J. White has to say, given his mastery of picks involving Detroit.
White, a Fantasy and gambling editor for CBS Sports, consistently crushes against-the-spread picks and went 535-450-30 on his ATS picks from 2017-22, which returned more than $3,500 to $100 players. He also closed the 2022 NFL season on an incredible 107-80-6 run on his last 193 against-the-spread and total NFL picks, returning more than $1,800 for $100 bettors.
Moreover, White has a read on the pulse of the Lions. He is 53-35-2 (+1462) on his last 90 picks in games involving Detroit. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, White has locked in on Lions vs. Chiefs from every angle and just locked in his NFL Kickoff Game 2023 picks and predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several NFL odds and betting lines for Lions vs. Chiefs:
Lions vs. Chiefs spread: Kansas City -6.5 Lions vs. Chiefs over/under: 54.5 points Lions vs. Chiefs money line: Kansas City -292, Detroit +235 KC: Patrick Mahomes led the league in passing yards (5,250) last season DET: Jared Goff tied for fifth in the NFL in passing touchdowns (29) last year Lions vs. Chiefs picks: See picks at SportsLine Why the Chiefs can cover Patrick Mahomes is coming off another standout season. The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback led the league in passing yards (5,250) and passing touchdowns (41). His 67.1 completion percentage was the best of his career. For his efforts last season, he earned his second league MVP award.
Mahomes will face a defense that was one of the league’s worst in 2022. Last year, Detroit ranked 30th against the pass (245.8 yards per game) and 29th against the run (146.5). That bodes well for a Kansas City offense that led the league in total offense (413.6). See which team to back here.
Why the Lions can cover Detroit can count on quarterback Jared Goff, who had one of his best seasons as a pro in 2022. Last season, he threw for 4,438 yards, with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. In his final 10 games, he had 17 touchdown passes and only one interception. The Lions went 8-2 over that stretch and narrowly missed out on the playoffs.
In addition, Detroit faces a Kansas City team that may be without one of its defensive stars. Chris Jones, a 6-foot-6 defensive tackle coming off an All-Pro season, is holding out in hopes of receiving a contract extension. His absence would be a major loss for the Chiefs since Jones had a career-high 15.5 sacks last season. See which team to pick here.
How to make Lions vs. Chiefs picks White has analyzed this matchup and while we can tell you he’s leaning Over the point total, he has also discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He’s sharing what it is, and which side to back, only at SportsLine.
For a team that doesn’t want to pay Jonathan Taylor, they sure have a high price tag on the All-Pro back. Last week, the Indianapolis Colts allowed Taylor to seek out a trade and it immediately came with the nugget that they were looking for a first-round draft pick in return. That lofty evaluation of their asset continued to hold firm as the Colts reportedly had trade conversations with various teams, including the Miami Dolphins.
During the negotiations, the Colts asked for star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle “and more” in exchange for Taylor, according to the Miami Herald. A recent report from ESPN that highlighted the Packers were also in on Taylor, acknowledged the Dolphins’ interest in the back as well. That report noted that the two sides discussed deals that included draft picks and players, but none of it was enticing enough for Indianapolis to agree to.
Of course, the Dolphins did not oblige the Waddle trade ask and Taylor ultimately stayed put while being placed on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he’ll be sidelined for the first four games of the season.
Given Waddle’s standing in the league as one of the up-and-coming pass catchers in the NFL, it wouldn’t be shocking to learn that the Dolphins swiftly denied that request. It also brings into question how seriously Indy was in trying to move Taylor or if they were simply going to deal him under the circumstance of a Godfather-like offer.
Waddle, a former No. 6 overall pick, burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2021 by recording the most receptions ever by a first-year player with 104 catches. He followed that up with a 1,300-yard sophomore season where he led the league with 18.1 yards per reception. While Taylor is talented in his own right, having an elite pass catcher in today’s NFL is more advantageous than an elite back.
The Colts can still trade Taylor — and he reportedly still has interested suitors around the league — and they’ll have until the Oct. 31 trade deadline to try and get the compensation they seek.
Matt Corral once had an opportunity to start for the Carolina Panthers. Now, the 2022 third-round pick is looking for his next opportunity. NFL Network reported the Panthers have waived Corral, keeping Bryce Young and Andy Dalton as the two quarterbacks on the active roster.
Panthers head coach Frank Reich said to reporters he’d like to get Corral back on the practice squad, but he’s subject to waivers. If Corral goes unclaimed, there’s an opportunity for him to return to Carolina.
Corral never played a regular-season game with the Panthers. Corral suffered a tear of the Lisfranc ligament in his left foot during the 2022 preseason when he was competing with Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold for the starting job, keeping him out for the year.
The Panthers signed Andy Dalton in free agency and traded up to No. 1 overall to draft Young, so Corral’s future with the franchise was as a developmental quarterback (at best). Corral went 28 of 47 for 249 yards with an interception in three preseason games, compiling a 64.9 rating. If Corral clears waivers, he’s free to sign with any team’s practice squad or active roster.
With Corral released, only 13 players from Matt Rhule’s draft picks remain on the 53-man roster — showcasing the significant changes the franchise has made since firing Rhule last season.
The Tennessee Titans have torn down and built up their kicking room twice this offseason, completing their latest renovation at the NFL’s 53-man roster deadline. After Tennessee sent the New England Patriots a 2025 seventh-round pick for veteran kicker Nick Folk on Tuesday, the Titans reportedly added another specialist to their practice squad on Wednesday.
Per ESPN, the Titans are signing former Cleveland Browns kicker Cade York. York was released earlier this week after a poor preseason, as Cleveland opted to trade for former Los Angeles Chargers kicker Dustin Hopkins.
York was selected by the Browns in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of LSU. He was one of the most successful kickers in program history, and even left school early to enter the NFL Draft. In his rookie season with Cleveland, York converted on 75% of his field goals with a long of 58 yards, and 94.6% of his extra points.
However, York hit a slump this preseason. He went 4 of 8 on field goal attempts in four exhibition games, which included a potential 43-yard game-winner that was blocked with 12 seconds remaining in Cleveland’s final preseason outing against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“People gave me pats on the back, but I hate pity. Pity pisses me off,” York said after the Chiefs game. “I want to be a weapon. I know how good I am and it’s been the most frustrating thing the last month, struggling with that.”
The Browns wanted to add their former fourth-round pick to their practice squad, but York opted for a change of scenery.
“I think you can understand him maybe wanting to go somewhere else and maybe get a breath of fresh air,” said Browns VP of Player Personnel Glenn Cook, via Cleveland.com.
The Titans have famously struggled with the kicker position, and have had 10 different kickers in just the last four years. York is only 22 years old, and could serve as Tennessee’s kicker in the future after the 38-year-old Folk steps away. It’s an intriguing addition made by new general manager Ran Carthon.
Chris Ballard didn’t try to hide his frustration when asked about the ongoing situation with star running back Jonathan Taylor. Mirrored in an ugly contract dispute with Colts owner Jim Irsay, Taylor was ultimately placed on the team’s physically unable to perform list after he was unable to find a trade partner before Tuesday’s team-issued deadline.
The situation has been an ugly one for all parities involved, a fact that Ballard didn’t try to sugarcoat during Wednesday’s gathering with the media.
“I’m not going to sit here and give you a rosy picture,” Ballard said, via CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones. “It sucks. It sucks for the Colts and it sucks for Jonathan Taylor and it sucks for our fans. It’s where we’re at and we’ve got to work through it.”
The ugliness started when Irsay publicly stated that the Colts would not redo Taylor’s contract before the start of the season. Instead of playing under the final year of his rookie deal, Taylor asked for a trade. The Dolphins emerged as one of the teams that was interested in Taylor, but talks never picked up steam after the Colts reportedly asked for wideout Jaylen Waddle “and more” in exchange for Taylor.
With no trades on the horizon, Taylor will miss the Colts’ first four games and could miss more if he decides that he has played his final down for the franchise. The Colts have until the league’s Oct. 31 deadline to trade him if they choose to do so.
For now, the Colts are moving forward with Zack Moss penciled in as the team’s starting running back, with Deon Jackson and Evan Hull stationed behind him. Moss, who was selected 45 spots after Taylor in the 2020 NFL Draft, averaged 4.8 yards per carry on 76 attempts after the Colts acquired him via a trade with the Bills last season.
Taylor’s situation is dampening the excitement around rookie first-round pick Anthony Richardson, who was named the team’s new starting quarterback following an impressive training camp. Richardson, who flourished during his final year at Florida, is doing his best to downplay the hype surrounding him.
“I know (the Colts) invested a lot in me,” Richardson said this week, via Fox59, “but I’m not the only person on this team. They invested a lot into the other players. They invested a lot into this staff.
“I know they’re going to ride with me, and I’m going to ride with them. I don’t really see it as I’m the main guy because, without the other pieces on the team, team not going to work.”
The 49ers made headlines last week when they traded Trey Lance, but they don’t plan on making another shocking move when it comes to Nick Bosa, who is currently holding out in hopes of receiving a new contract.
While he expected something to be done by now, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Wednesday that he is hopeful that a deal will be “done soon,” according to NFL Media. Shanahan then offered a short but direct answer when asked if the team would consider trading the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
“No,” Shanahan said.
It’s one thing to trade a backup quarterback, as the 49ers recently did with Lance. It’s an entirely different animal to trade one of the best defensive players in the league, as Bosa clearly is. The 25-year-old pass rusher is coming off a 2022 season that saw him pace the league with 18.5 sacks.
The second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Bosa has been named to the Pro Bowl in three of his first four seasons. The only year that Bosa wasn’t tabbed as a Pro Bowler occurred in 2020, when he missed all but two games with an injury.
Last spring, the 49ers picked up Bosa’s fifth-year option that would pay him $17.85 million for the upcoming season. Bosa’s current market value is a four-year, $114.61 million deal that would pay him roughly $28.65 million annually, according to Spotrac. That deal would make him the league’s highest-paid pass rusher, just ahead of Steelers linebacker and 2021 Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt. It’s also more than what his big brother, Chargers’ defensive end Joey Bosa, makes as the league’s second-highest paid pass rusher behind Watt.
While Bosa remains unsigned, 49ers general manager John Lynch recently said that the team is “working diligently” to get a deal done. Lynch added that he is confident that Bosa (who has been training on his own during his holdout) will be in shape and ready to play when the contract issue is settled. The 49ers open the regular season at Pittsburgh on Sept. 10.
“Concern is a relative word,” Lynch said during an interview with KNBR Radio, via USA Today. “I don’t like the situation. Since our tenure here we haven’t had a holdout anywhere towards this magnitude. Not something I’m comfortable with. We’re working really hard to try to change that.
“We’re in good communication with his reps. He’s a special player, he’s going to get a special contract, I can tell you that. We’re getting closer and we’re eager to bring this thing to a close.”
The 53-man roster deadline has come and gone, and as it stands now, Kansas City Chiefs star defensive lineman Chris Jones is not a part of that roster. Jones was placed on the Reserve/Did Not Report list Tuesday, which is another indication he’s taking his holdout very seriously. NFL Media reported on Tuesday that there has been no new movement between the Chiefs and Jones. However, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach offered some hope to fans the very next day.
In speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Veach said he’s “certainly hopeful” Jones’ contract situation will be settled soon, and that he will be in the lineup when Kansas City hosts the Detroit Lions in the 2023 NFL season opener next Thursday, via NFL Media. Veach noted that there has been more communication between the two sides over the last few days. This is certainly a positive development, especially considering that Jones indicated on social media this month that he was willing to hold out until Week 8.
Jones has been holding out in hopes of landing a new contract. The All-Pro is entering the final year of his deal, and is due $20 million in cash in 2023, per Spotrac. The Athletic previously reported that Jones is looking for a new deal that will pay him $30 million annually. Veach admitted earlier this month that Jones is deserving of a pay raise.
“He’s a great player, and he wants a big contract,” Veach said, via the Kansas City Star. “He deserves a big contract, and I don’t think there’s any surprises in that regard. But there’s just some hurdles we have to work through in regards to how we can keep this thing going for the short and long term. But we’ve never wavered on, ‘This is a guy that we want to exhaust all of our efforts to get done,’ because that’s how much we think of him.”
Jones has recorded the fourth-most sacks in the NFL over the past five seasons (56.5). He is a four-time All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowler. Just 29, Jones is a vital part of the Chiefs defense and team as a whole.
Give the Miami Dolphins credit for trying to upgrade the running back position this offseason. Miami was in the running for Dalvin Cook before he signed with the New York Jets and has interest in dealing for Jonathan Taylor amid his standoff with the Indianapolis Colts. Trading for Taylor is still a possibility, but the star back is on the PUP list and will be sidelined for the first four games.
Do the Dolphins even need a featured back like a Cook or Taylor? Miami is 25th in the NFL in rushing average, 22nd in rushing touchdowns, and 19th in yards per carry. This was with two players returning who averaged 4.9 yards and 4.7 yards per carry, respectively, last season. It didn’t help the Dolphins affected those numbers by averaging just 22.9 carries per game (31st in NFL), making the franchise go six consecutive seasons without a 1,000-yard rusher — tied for the fourth-longest drought currently in the NFL.
While the Dolphins likely won’t have a 1,000-yard rusher this season, Mike McDaniel’s rushing attack should thrive with a running back-by-committee approach in Year 2. The Dolphins have an impressive stable of backs to use throughout the year.
The leading rusher on the Dolphins last season, Mostert put up a respectable 181 carries for 891 yards and three touchdowns in 2022 (averaging 4.9 yards per carry). He started 14 games and 70.25 yards per game, averaging 6.2 yards per carry. Miami’s rushing attack was significantly hindered when Mostert was inactive for the playoff loss to Buffalo (the game Skylar Thompson started).
Mostert is the lead back in the committee approach, but he won’t be getting the bulk of the touches every week.
The Dolphins acquired Wilson at the trade deadline last season, reuniting him with McDaniel. Wilson played eight games in Miami, finishing with 84 carries for 392 yards and three touchdowns (4.7 yards per carry). Over the final three games, he had 40 carries for 154 yards and a touchdown (3.8 yards per carry).
Wilson, who Miami re-signed this offseason, is likely best suited to complement Mostert, as he’s averaged 10.5 carries per game since arriving to Miami. Mostert averaged 10.0 in that stretch, so there should be a fairly even distribution.
The third-round rookie will add some explosiveness to the running game, even with a shoulder injury that kept him out most of the preseason. He has the highest ceiling of this group, and his 4.32 40-yard dash at the combine is nothing to scoff at.
The Dolphins will ease Achane into the rushing attack, but don’t be shocked if he’s the back getting the most touches in the second half of the year. If Achane can stay healthy, he’s a home run threat in the zone-run scheme.
View Profile Ahmed only had 12 carries for the Dolphins last season despite playing 12 games. He’s at the bottom of the depth chart, but will be relied upon at some point with the injury history of Mostert and Wilson. Ahmed just isn’t a high-volume back, but provides excellent depth for a group that needs it.
An undrafted rookie, Brooks finished with 22 carries for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the preseason — highlighted by a 52-yard rushing touchdown. The Dolphins felt highly enough of Brooks to keep him on the 53-man roster, likely due to his two-touchdown showing in the preseason finale.
At 6-1, 223 pounds, Brooks beat out Myles Gaskin for the roster spot. The Dolphins could use Brooks as a short-yardage back, given the lack of physical backs on the roster. Brooks has a role in this offense.
Joshua Dobbs is battling for the starting quarterback job in Arizona, less than a week after the Cardinals acquired him and moved on from Colt McCoy. There’s a starting spot up for grabs as Dobbs will compete with rookie Clayton Tune for the job.
“I put starting expectations on myself,” Dobbs told reporters Wednesday, via the Cardinals website. “I know the QB situation will play out however the coaches see fit. For me, I am ready to compete every day.”
The Cardinals acquired Dobbs from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2024. On a rebuilding team, Dobbs gets the opportunity to start for the entire season as the Cardinals look toward the future.
That is, if he wins the job.
“I have put in a ton of work, I have a ton of sweat equity and I am extremely prepared for the opportunity,” Dobbs said. “But it doesn’t mean I’m ever complacent.”
Dobbs hasn’t had much of an opportunity to start in the NFL, only getting his two opportunities with the Tennessee Titans at the end of last season. He completed 58.8% of his passes for 411 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (73.8 rating), while also having eight carries for 44 yards.
The Titans signed Dobbs in Week 16 and started him the final two weeks of the year to salvage a playoff collapse. Dobbs was the best option to keep the team in games after Ryan Tannehill was injured, an option he hopes to be in Arizona.
“He’s a guy that understands football,” Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz said. “He’s got a really good grasp of this offense, so him coming into the huddle, calling the formations, calling the plays, has been seamless so far. And he throws a very catchable ball.”
Head coach Jonathan Gannon won’t name a starter yet, but Dobbs has a good of a chance as any signal-caller on the roster.
Now that NFL cutdown day has come and gone, it’s time to highlight the underrated youngsters ready to contribute to the respective teams they made this summer.
Let’s highlight the rookies, who went either undrafted or were selected on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft, you’ll want to keep tabs on throughout the season. They’ll make an impact.
Jaleel McLaughlin, RB, Broncos McLaughlin could be the next Pierre Thomas. Remember him, an undrafted runner out of Illinois who snuck his way onto Sean Payton’s Saints roster way back in 2007 who ultimately became a reliable checkdown, screen, and swing-pass option for the Super Bowl-winning Saints.
McLaughlin isn’t nearly as sizable as Thomas was — he is more explosive. After a dazzling career at FCS powerhouse Youngstown State with a bulky career yards-per-carry average of 6.4 across more than 530 attempts with 30 scores and countless highlight-reel jukes and hurdles in space, McLaughlin was a nifty, twitched-up stud this preseason for the Broncos with 113 yards on 21 rushes with three ground-game touchdowns and 33 extra yards on seven catches. Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine are built like traditional feature and No. 2 backs. McLaughlin can be the third-down lightning bug when needed, and you better believe Payton — one of the early adopters of the running back-by-committee approach — will creatively use him in 2023.
Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Vikings Pace was the talk of Vikings camp, and his ultra-aggressive style at inside linebacker translated to splash plays in the preseason. On just 46 snaps, the former Miami of Ohio and Cincinnati star made eight tackles and had a pressure of the opposing quarterback. The thing with Pace is, he’s short. Not small. Just short with limited length. There aren’t many off-ball linebackers who stand less than 5-foot-11 in today’s NFL.
On film, Pace plays like he’s 6-foot-3. And at 231 pounds, he has plenty of mass to deal with enormous blockers climbing to the second level. He attacks those blocks with authority and sheds like he has 34-inch arms. He’s a deft mover in coverage as well. It felt like Pace locked up a roster spot after the second preseason outing, an extreme rarity for a rookie undrafted free agent. And new defensive coordinator Brian Flores — who was hyper-aggressive calling the shots in Miami — must be enamored with Pace’s blitzing capabilities. At Cincinnati in 2022, Pace generated 55 pressures on 180 pass-rush snaps (almost all as a blitzer), which equates to a gargantuan pressure-creation rate of 30.5%.
Kaevon Merriweather, S, Buccaneers Merriweather had a middling combine. He still had no business going undrafted. Zero. While he wasn’t a high-volume stat-sheet filler at Iowa, he was efficient and rarely out of position. Merriweather had seven interceptions in his final two seasons in Iowa City and at 6-foot and 205 pounds with nearly 32 inch arms, he entered the league with serious NFL safety size.
In the preseason, Merriweather played 84 snaps, registered eight tackles while only missing one, moved the quarterback off his spot twice, recovered a fumble, and had a pass breakup. That’s the type of player he was at Iowa. When he had an opportunity, he was around the football. The Buccaneers have budding star Antoine Winfield Jr. at one safety spot. Newcomer Ryan Neal is penciled in as the other safety starter. But now Tampa Bay has three heady, instinctive back-line defenders given the emergence of Merriweather this summer.
Ronnie Bell, WR, 49ers Bell is a classic, “what if?” case in the NFL Draft. What if he didn’t tear a knee ligament in Michigan’s season opener back in 2021? Where would he have been selected in the 2022 draft? Instead, Bell rehabbed for a year and came back with the same urgent-play style that lends itself to tremendous yards-after-the-catch skill, which is likely the reason Kyle Shanahan gravitated toward Bell on Day 3 in April.
Then with plenty of opportunity to showcase himself in the preseason, Bell rocked for San Francisco — 11 touchdowns for 185 yards and a collection of ricochets off tacklers in space to accumulate extra yardage. Of course, the 49ers are loaded at the skill positions. Yet it’s vital as a legitimate Super Bowl contender to have capable depth at those positions. Bell demonstrated he can be a weapon on short, underneath throws in which the 49ers coaching staff hopes YAC will be accentuated.
JL Skinner, S, Broncos Skinner went in the sixth round almost purely due to medical concerns. He had, at worst, late Day 2 talent and production at Boise State. Heck, before the 2022 season, Skinner had serious first-round buzz after a 92-tackle, seven tackle-for-loss, two-interception, three pass-breakup junior season for the Broncos.
At 6-foot-4 and 209 pounds, Skinner is not only an intimidating presence at safety but possesses the size teams are looking for today to match the proliferation of super-talented, pass-catch specialists at tight end across the league. While not someone who was dominant in the preseason, Skinner proved on 84 snaps he belongs. He had five tackles and only allowed one catch on three targets in his coverage area. The Broncos have plenty of new faces on defense, and Skinner can be a specific matchup type strong safety/linebacker hybrid for Vance Joseph’s defense.
Keaton Mitchell, RB, Ravens Just like Gus Edwards in 2018, the Ravens uncovered another undrafted free agent gem at running back in Mitchell. At East Carolina, the tiny runner was seemingly impossible to corral on the first attempt, and importantly at his size, tested like an NFL-caliber back with 4.37 speed and a 38-inch vertical. Lesser competition be damned — in college, Mitchell averaged 6.5 yards per tote, including a ridiculous 7.2 in his final season for the Pirates.
Of course he has J.K. Dobbins and Edwards in front of him on the roster, two thick, highly capable runners. However, both have dealt with injuries early in their careers, and Mitchell has fresh, 21-year-old legs. In the preseason, he averaged 6 yards per carry on seven attempts and had a long run called back on a holding penalty. By November, Mitchell will be the hot name to add on waiver wires in fantasy leagues all over the country.
Antoine Green, WR, Lions Green is the outside wideout the Lions need on their offense given the loss of D.J. Chark and the suspension of 2022 first-round pick Jameson Williams. At a shade under 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Green has prototypical X receiver frame and flashed his boundary receiver skill along with serious breakaway speed this preseason. He had a 70-yard touchdown which came on a deep in-breaking route in which he caught in stride, flipped on the afterburners and was gone. I actually had a higher grade on him than fellow North Carolina wideout Josh Downs, who went four rounds earlier.
Green too was a pesky YAC option who consistently absorbed contact like a much more compact receiver through his Tar Heels career. For as fun as the Detroit offense should be, the receiver group is relatively thin, which should provide Green with ample opportunity as a seventh-round rookie to prove he should’ve been picked much higher in April.
Jason Brownlee, Xavier Gipson, WR, Jets Take your pick here. While vastly different in size, at least one of these pass catchers will make a difference for the Jets in 2023. Yes there’s Garrett Wilson, Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman. I’m not sure if any of those beyond Wilson are high-volume, incredibly consistent options for Aaron Rodgers.
There’ll be room for others to contribute to New York’s aerial attack in 2023. Gipson is a dynamic, speedy return-man type who can run away from defenders underneath and down the field. I’ve described Brownlee like this since the pre-draft process — he is who we all thought/wished Laquon Treadwell was in the 2016 NFL Draft. He’s long and spindly, and attacks the football in the air like an All-NBA rebounder. Both flashed in camp and the preseason with a collective total of 19 catches for 199 yards.
Eli Ricks, CB, Eagles Possibly the headliner of my currently only existing in my head No Business Going Undrafted Team, Ricks enjoyed a stellar start to his college career at LSU before transferring to Alabama and defending four passes in nine games for the Crimson Tide.
The former five-star recruit was lockdown in the preseason after a noteworthy camp — on 102 snaps, he had five tackles, a pick six, and four other pass breakups. The appeal with Ricks beyond his natural mirroring capabilities, he possesses that built-in-a-lab look at outside corner — 6-foot-2 and 188 pounds with nearly 33-inch arms.
Philadelphia boosts two rock-solid veteran cornerbacks in Darius Slay and James Bradberry. Ricks will pop in as a rookie on occasion to remind everyone he’s the future at one of those spots.