Player Notes

  • Browns taking wait-and-see approach with Gordon
    The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the Browns are "taking a wait-and-see approach" with suspended WR Josh Gordon.

    Advice: The Browns have Gordon under team control if he gets reinstated next year, but are open to trading him after consecutive suspensions and a team-imposed ban. Gordon dealt with conditioning and playbook issues in five appearances last season, averaging 60 YPG. Cleveland’s front-office/coaching staff isn't counting on Gordon returning to his 2013 form.
    Yesterday, 1:39 pm
    Sun 10:00 am @ NYJ
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Matthews may struggle to find playing time's John Boyle believes it will be a "tough challenge" for WR Chris Matthews to climb the depth chart.

    Advice: Despite his Super Bowl heroics, Matthews is still clearly behind Jimmy Graham, Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin on the target totem pole, and he could find himself behind rookie Tyler Lockett as well. At 6-foot-5, Matthews could be a good fit for the outside receiver role occupied by Kearse, but he will need a very strong training camp to earn a significant role early in the season.
    Yesterday, 10:59 am
    Sun 10:00 am @ StL
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Report: Cowboys and Dez Bryant nearing deal
    CBS Dallas-Fort Worth's Mike Fisher reports the Cowboys could announce a long-term deal with Dez Bryant as early as Monday.

    Advice: "The two sides having moved to such a negotiating comfort level," Fisher said, "that there is discussion about announcing a done deal following the July 4 weekend." Rumors of an imminent deal between Bryant and the Cowboys have been swirling for days, but we have yet to hear anything official from either camp. The two sides have until July 15 to hash out a long-term deal.
    Yesterday, 6:46 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Michael Campanaro on track for camp
    Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (quad) is expected to be ready for training camp.

    Advice: Campanaro has been sidelined with a torn quad since the start of OTAs. He’ll enter camp no higher than the No. 5 receiver. Campanaro is the favorite to replace Jacoby Jones on punt returns.
    Friday, 5:14 pm
    Sun 1:25 pm @ Den
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Brandin Cooks 'playing faster' in Saints offense
    The Saints expect Brandin Cooks to play faster this season.

    Advice: "He’s in his second year with a lot more knowledge of what we’re doing," Coach Sean Payton said. "That allows [him] to play faster. He’s progressed well." The Saints are expected to throw less as they move to a run-balanced offense, but Cooks projects for high-volume targets as Drew Brees’s top option. Cooks is the No. 16 wideout in our early 2015 rankings.
    Friday, 1:57 pm
    Sun 1:05 pm @ Ari
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Teammates speak well of Rishard Matthews
    The Miami Herald reports some Dolphins players believe WR Rishard Matthews would "thrive if he had a larger role."

    Advice: Matthews tried to force a trade earlier this offseason, but it doesn't appear to have hurt his standing amongst his teammates. Matthews has always offered promise in the slot, but is a redundant talent on a team with Jarvis Landry and Greg Jennings. Coming off a 12-catch season, Matthews will be no higher than No. 5 on the depth chart if DeVante Parker (foot surgery) is ready for Week 1.
    Thursday, 10:27 pm
    Sun 10:00 am @ Was
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Josh Morgan making a case for himself with NO
    Saints WR Josh Morgan rivaled Ben Watson for the most total catches during spring practices.

    Advice: Take that with a grain of salt, as receivers always shine in the padless, non-contact practices. But Morgan has put himself in the mix behind Marques Colston. After catching just 30 total passes the previous two seasons with the Redskins and Bears, veteran Morgan has a chance to carve out a role in New Orleans thanks to his blocking prowess and short-to-intermediate catching ability.
    Thursday, 7:42 am
    Sun 1:05 pm @ Ari
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Amari Cooper draws praise from Derek Carr
    Raiders first-round WR Amari Cooper drew praise from Derek Carr for his route running.

    Advice: "He [Cooper] is ridiculous in and out of his breaks," Carr said. "His style of play is perfect for this league. He's good at making fast-twitch movements. I think the sky’s the limit for him." As the No. 1 option in Oakland’s offense, Cooper is set up for early success. Cooper projects for 80-plus catches as a rookie.
    Wednesday, 3:24 pm
    Sun 1:25 pm vs Cin
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Redskins WR Ryan Grant could see expanded role
    Coach Jay Gruden said WR Ryan Grant could see more playing time this season.

    Advice: "Ryan Grant, he’s awesome, man. He really is. He runs every route exactly like you tell him to," Gruden said. "He doesn’t make any mental mistakes. Plays like a 10-year veteran." The Redskins limited Grant to 187 rookie-year snaps, but have been talking up his development. Grant is Washington’s No. 4 receiver behind Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and Andre Roberts.
    Wednesday, 2:15 pm
    Sun 10:00 am vs Mia
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Jared Abbrederis' roster spot in jeopardy
    ESPN Packers writer Rob Demovsky believes second-year WR Jared Abbrederis' roster spot could be in jeopardy.

    Advice: The Packers are a tough squad to crack year in and year out, and Abbrederis missed his entire rookie year with a torn ACL. Fellow second-year WR Jeff Janis is "way ahead of Abbrederis at this point." Abbrederis will need to prove he's healthy and hope the Packers keep six receivers on the final 53-man roster.
    Wednesday, 8:35 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Odell Backham offered baseball contract
    The Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am professional baseball league have offered Odell Beckham a contract.

    Advice: It's the deadest part of the NFL calendar, in case you couldn't tell. A video surfaced of Beckham throwing a softball 80-some odd miles an hour, and the Boulders came calling. "We think that getting experience pitching to professional hitters will give [Beckham] the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson," said Boulders GM Shawn Reilly. The Boulders want Beckham to report to spring training next May. Good one, Boulders. Good joke.
    Wednesday, 7:00 am
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • James Wright sat out most of spring practices
    Bengals WR James Wright sat out most of team drills during the spring.

    Advice: Beat writer Geoff Hobson failed to mention what the reasoning was, but we're assuming Wright underwent some sort of offseason surgery. Wright caught five balls for 91 yards as a rookie and was a fixture on special teams. The Bengals are high on the sophomore. He's the front-runner for No. 4 receiver duties.
    Tuesday, 6:07 pm
    Sun 1:25 pm @ Oak
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Pryor says he's competing as 'slash' player
    Terrelle Pryor says he's competing for a roster spot as a "slash" player.

    Advice: "I'm going to give this slash-player deal a chance," Pryor said last week. "I just want to play football. I'm a playmaker, and I believe if I can touch the ball, I can go to the house, especially if I have space." A "slash" player is typically a quarterback who gets touches elsewhere on the field. The Browns have made it clear they signed Pryor as a wideout, and not a signal caller. Pryor would undoubtedly be used in gadget packages if he cracked the 53-man roster, but his odds live and die on his ability to adjust to receiver.
    Tuesday, 1:46 pm
    Sun 10:00 am @ NYJ
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Charles Johnson spent time w/ 'footwork king'
    Charles Johnson trained with Rischad Whitfield, the "Footwork King," this offseason.

    Advice: We know Johnson has ideal size (6'2/225) and speed (4.4) for an NFL wideout. Refining his route-running ability under Whitfield, who has Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins as clients, will only help him take the next step. Johnson operated as the every-down X throughout the entire offseason program. "He's got everything you need to be a productive player in this league," said OC Norv Turner.
    Tuesday, 7:41 am
    Mon 7:20 pm @ SF
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Funchess blames down 2014 on toe injury
    Rookie Panthers WR Devin Funchess blames his disappointing junior season at Michigan on a toe injury.

    Advice: "We never got to see the full Devin Funchess at Michigan because I did play one season at wide receiver, and I was battling through an injury," Funchess said. "I think up here in the NFL I can make some damage." At 6-foot-4, 232 pounds, Funchess certainly has the size to be an NFL difference maker, but has questionable speed. He ran 4.70 at the Combine before improving at his Pro Day. As a Wolverine, Funchess didn't always fight for the ball in the air, and disappointed after the catch. He'll be a wild card opposite second-year pro Kelvin Benjamin.
    Monday, 11:56 am
    Sun 10:00 am @ Jax
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Doug Baldwin wants to block on special teams
    Doug Baldwin said he wants to contribute as a blocker on special teams.

    Advice: Rookie Tyler Lockett will be the Seahawks' primary return man on both punts and kickoffs. Baldwin, ever the glue guy, still wants to contribute. "Just helping my team in any way I can to help us get to another Super Bowl," he said. Baldwin remains a low-ceiling PPR option as a slot receiver who projects for 60-70 catches.
    Monday, 7:08 am
    Sun 10:00 am @ StL
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Evans says QBs stopped him from doing more
    Mike Evans suggested quarterback play kept him from doing even more as a rookie.

    Advice: Evans caught 68 balls for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns with Josh McCown and Mike Glennon as his quarterbacks. "The quarterback would just look me off, and then I'd be dead," Evans said. "And I didn't understand, because I always think I'm open. Just throw that thing up." Now Evans has an upgrade in Jameis Winston, the Julio Jones "X" role in Dirk Koetter's offense and is still sharply ascending at age 22 (in August). The ceiling here is sky high.
    Monday, 6:39 am
    Sun 1:25 pm vs Ten
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Rashad Greene to be Jags' top slot WR?
    The Florida Times Union projects Rashad Greene as the Jags' top slot receiver.

    Advice: The 5'11/182 Greene won't be asked to win on the outside. The refined route runner will work the middle of the field in new OC Greg Olson's scheme, but won't see much volume. Greene is behind Allen Robinson, Julius Thomas, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee on the target totem pole.
    Monday, 5:54 am
    Sun 10:00 am vs Car
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Marqise Lee to start camp behind Allen Hurns
    The Florida Times Union projects Marqise Lee as the Jags' No. 3 wideout entering camp, behind Allen Hurns.

    Advice: Lee's rookie year started with a nagging hamstring issue and ended with some disappointing on-field performances. Then he missed most of the offseason program due to a knee issue. Lee will have ground to make up if he's going to beat out Hurns for the right to line up opposite rising stud Allen Robinson in two-wide sets. We want more upside in our late-round fliers.
    Monday, 5:50 am
    Sun 10:00 am vs Car
    Week 1 Projected Rank
  • Johnson developing good rapport with Rivers
    ESPN Chargers reporter Eric Williams singled out Stevie Johnson as a player who "developed a good rapport" with Philip Rivers during offseason work.

    Advice: Johnson is quietly set up nicely in San Diego. He'll be an upgrade in the old Eddie Royal slot role and will also back up 34-year-old (in September) Malcom Floyd. Royal was able to catch 109 passes for 1,409 yards with 15 touchdowns over the last two seasons. Williams calls Johnson the "X-factor" in the Chargers' wideout group.
    Monday, 5:18 am
    Sun 1:05 pm vs Det
    Week 1 Projected Rank
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