The rumor that running back Saquon Barkley will be selected by the New York Giants with the No. 2 overall pick at this year’s NFL draft is picking up steam.

ESPN insider Todd McShay said Wednesday that it feels inevitable that Barkley will be a Giant after the NFL draft, per Tom Rock of Newsday, adding that Barkley is a franchise-changing player.

But he still has potential, especially if the guidance of an NFL coaching staff can help to improve his vision and post-snap reads. He’s a massive presence in the pocket at 6’6 and 232 pounds, and that body type will always be appealing to quarterback-needy teams searching for hidden gems in the later rounds. There’s a reason why about 16 teams showed up at Marshall’s pro day, per Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst.

As NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein observed, Litton has a quick release, is a quality rhythm thrower and can put good touch on the ball to hit precise targets. That means he offers something to work with, even if his accuracy and decision-making put up concerning red flags.

Johnny Manziel on Spring League: I got to do exactly what I want to do

The second and final doubleheader of the Spring League season was played on Thursday night and Johnny Manziel was once again the center of attention in Austin, Texas.

Manziel ran for two touchdowns in the first half of the game and completed 10-of-16 passes for 188 yards and an interception over the entire contest to wrap up his long-awaited return to game action.

I got to do exactly what I want to do and what I’ve been missing for the last two years, Manziel said, via ESPN.com.

Now Manziel will turn his attention to figuring out where he’ll play his next game. He’s said he’ll play in the CFL if no NFL job materializes.

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Giants GM expresses interest in Dez Bryant after releasing Brandon Marshall

It just makes too much sense for the New York Giants. Following the release of wide receiver Brandon Marshall earlier in the day, general manager Dave Gettleman took to the media and seemingly indicated that the team is interested in free agent pass catcher Dez Bryant.

We already know that Bryant wants to remain in the NFC East after being released by the Dallas Cowboys earlier in the month. Up to this point, no team within the division had shown any real interest in signing the former Pro Bowl receiver. That has now changed.

The final count on the whistles: 30 fouls for the Heat, 26 for the 76ers, and three technicals each as well.

But just like in Game 1, Philadelphia pulled away after halftime and now it’s the Heat back on the ropes.

76ers: Philadelphia had a pair of shooters fouled beyond the 3-point line in the first quarter: Robert Covington made two of his three free throws, and Belinelli turned his chance into a four-point play…. Embiid missed his first five shots, then put his finger to his lips in the universal shush sound to the crowd after getting his first one to fall.

Darnold, he’s like a cow on ice, Dan Shonka told the New York Post. His footwork is all over the place. His feet in the pocket are embarrassing. When you turn the ball over [35 times] in 26 games, you’re intellectually dishonest when you’re talking about bringing in Sam Darnold as your next savior. This guy opens his hands over the ball, it just drops out when he’s in the pocket. If you look at his film, they talk about his accuracy.
Giants 7-round projection | Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb at No. 2?

Shonka scouted for National Football Scouting, the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, the Kansas City Chiefs during his career and is now the general manager of Ourlads.

In two seasons as a starter at USC, Darnold completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 7,229 yards with 57 touchdowns and 22 interceptions on the way to a 153.7 passer rating.

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With the earlier release of the Miami Dolphins’ updated uniforms, Thursday’s theme quickly became one of simplicity.

Jacksonville dumped gold everywhere except in its logo, relying on its very 1990s pairing of dominant colors. It’s a union that has grown from trendy to traditional, punctuated by a lack of accents on most of the uniform.

What remains is the neck accents, which are sharper and have an increased aesthetically pleasing effect with less going on elsewhere. The Jags shield has also been replaced with the team’s primary logo on the left chest.

Perhaps the coolest addition to the Jags’ new duds? The socks.

Griffin is one of the 22 players invited to attend the draft in Dallas, and he said he’s most grateful he gets to have my family there, seeing them fitted for suits and dresses. You only get drafted once.

I’ll be there with these first-round picks who will be worried about when they get picked and where. As long as I do somewhere, I’m grateful. I’m not worried about when or where.

Since his move to linebacker, Griffin finished his junior and senior seasons with a total of 166 tackles and 18.5 sacks. He was named as an All-AAC selection the past two years and was a 2017 second-team All-America.

nalysis: The Lions are in the midst of overhauling their linebacking corps and how much more work needs to be done remains to be seen.

Tahir Whitehead and Paul Worrilow are gone. In their stead, the team added Devon Kennard and Christian Jones via free agency. The Lions also brought in Jonathan Freeny on the cheap, a depth option who could contribute on special teams.

Paired with Jarrad Davis, last season’s first-round pick, the group appears to be bigger, if nothing else.

What’s clear is new Lions coach Matt Patricia places a premium on linebackers, dating back to his time coaching the position in New England. So even though the depth chart appears chock-full following free agency, and three-linebacker packages are on the decline in the pass-happy NFL, we simply cannot rule out further additions in the draft, even as early as the first round.

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Saints pick up Andrus Peat option

The Saints have invested heavily in a quarterback, and they want to make sure to protect him.

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Saints have picked up the fifth-year option on offensive lineman Andrus Peat, keeping him under contract through 2019.

The 13th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the tackle from Stanford bounced around a bit his first two years, but settled in at left guard and became a steady player for them.

Spilling into the third day, less traditional body types come into play. The Lions have shown plenty of interest in Poona Ford during the pre-draft process, despite the former Texas Longhorn measuring just 5-foot-11 at the combine.

It could be argued defensive tackle was one of the Lions’ biggest needs heading into free agency. The loss of Ngata and addition of Williams represent treading water, at best. This draft offers a real opportunity for the Lions to improve a below-average area of the roster.

With the Wizards falling behind by as much as 22 points in the first quarter, Beal would go on to finish with a plus-minus of -34. According to ESPN Stats and Information research, that is the worst plus-minus by any Wizards player in the past 20 postseasons.

But it doesn’t take stats to see that Beal was out of his normal smooth-shooting rhythm, especially when the game was on the line. Though he shot 8-for-17 and scored 19 points in Game 1, he went 3-for-11 from behind the arc combined in the first two games in Toronto. In the fourth quarters of this series so far, the Raptors have held Beal to a total of two points on 1-for-7 shooting, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range.

I really won’t know what to say, that is up to Brad to tell you, Wizards point guard John Wall said when asked about what might be wearing on Beal. He’s been our MVP this year, he’s held it down a lot while I have been out. He is not going to make excuses about playing the most minutes [of his career] or being fatigued.

We have to do a better job, and me as a point guard, of getting him involved and trying to find him shots to make it easier on him. And I know he will be very tough on himself; he is definitely going to get in the gym and get up extra shots and find ways to be more aggressive. We definitely need his scoring and his ability to create for others to make our team better and compete against this team.

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Jaire Alexander visits Titans

The Titans used a first-round pick on cornerback Adoree Jackson in 2017, and they added cornerback Malcolm Butler in free agency. That’s not keeping them from considering the possibility of using another first-round pick on a cornerback in 2018.

Via Paul Kuharsky, Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander visited the Titans on Wednesday.

Over the last few years we’ve seen some dynamic changes in the helmet industry, both from new innovators as well as new helmets and models from incumbent companies, said Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president of health and safety policy.

The purpose of the continuation to rank helmets and the joint decision with the players’ association to prohibit is to increase that movement into better performing helmets. We are encouraged this is an important step for better player safety.

The Houston Texans were next with 4-to-1 odds, followed by the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins at 5-to-1. The Giants were listed at 10-to-1. Bryant, who was scheduled to make $12.5 million in 2018 and count $16.5 million against salary cap, met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday amid speculation that he would be asked to take a pay cut in the wake of declining production the past three seasons. The 29-year-old Bryant had a team-leading 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns with the Cowboys in 2017.

He has gone a career-worst 23 regular-season games without a 100-yard performance. Since signing a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015, Bryant has failed to record a 1,000-yard season or reel in more than eight touchdown receptions in a season.

Leading off with our quality road trip, to go on the road given all the strategic advantages and sweep…. To go out and take four of six was cool, said Kapler. There wasn’t one specific reason. We pitched deep into games. We got some strategic hits. Our guys were gritty, demonstrated a lot of conviction in their pitches for us and produced a good road trip for us.

The Phillies are 10-7 through the first 17 games. That would be considered a quality start to the season and not indicative of some of the turmoil the Phillies went through on the opening road trip.

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Anthony Barr ruined the Packers’ season in Week 6 when he drove Aaron Rodgers into the turf, a hit that resulted in a broken clavicle for the Packers star.

Rodgers later explained to Conan O’Brien(!) the aftermath of the play that cost him all but one of Green Bay’s final 10 games.

I looked over at him as I walked off the field, Rodgers said. Cameras caught me saying something to him, but what they missed was him (giving me the) finger (and the)’suck-it’ sign.

Let’s be honest here: Sam Bradford probably shouldn’t be too fired up for revenge against anybody. No quarterback in the NFL this decade has made more money, and he’s pulled it off without a single playoff start to his ledger. But perhaps one can understand why Bradford might be miffed with a Vikings team that decided to shell out huge dollars for Kirk Cousins rather than retain the quarterback who started their 2017 with a scintillating performance against the Saints in Week 1.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News noted after the deal that New England had an affinity for Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The rumors are generating additional interest after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported longtime Patriots starter Tom Brady has not committed to playing in 2018.

If the organization is concerned Brady may be coming near the end of his legendary career, the talk about it trading up for a QB would make a lot more sense. Before now, it felt more like a smokescreen since the AFC East rival New York Jets and Buffalo Bills are both in the market to upgrade at the position.

Rosen completed 60.9 percent of his throws for 9,340 yards with 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions across 30 games at UCLA.

He’s been competing with Mayfield, Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Allen (Wyoming), Lamar Jackson (Louisville) and Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) for positioning within the loaded quarterback group. He should come off the board during the first half of Round 1, potentially inside the top five.

I was like,’I don’t know how that ball’s getting around like that,’ Cohen said. But I know it’s going to be a good thing because we have as many weapons as we do, to know that everybody’s still going to be able to get the ball and get the yards, it’s a wonderful thing.

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