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DeVonta Smith’s NFL Draft fits: Dolphins, Eagles among best landing spots for Alabama wide receiver



DeVonta Smith's NFL Draft fits: Dolphins, Eagles among best landing spots for Alabama wide receiver

In Sporting News’ latest 2021 NFL mock draft — published right before Alabama’s 52-24 drubbing of Ohio State in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Monday night — Heisman Trophy-winning wide reciever DeVonta Smith was a firm top-10 pick.

After Smith helped the Crimson Tide roll with 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half of that game, there’s a better chance of him going in the top five. 

MORE: Ranking the best NFL head coaching vacancies

Smith has been the consensus No. 2 wideout prospect for a while, jumping teammate Jaylen Waddle. Now, the question is whether Smith has usurped LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase — who opted out of the 2020 college football season after his team’s national championship run a year ago — as the best receiver on the board.

Knowing that potential and knowing the draft order through No. 24 overall, here’s looking at where Smith (6-1, 175 pounds) is most likely to end up as a dynamic NFL rookie:

DeVonta Smith’s best draft landing spots

No. 2: New York Jets

The Jaguars will be locking into Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence at the top. The Jets have been strongly attached to Ohio State’s Justin Fields at No. 2, but there’s also talk of them considering a tackle or another offensive position, sticking with Sam Darnold and giving him bigger help for whoever replaces Adam Gase as head coach.

Fields went off against Clemson in the CFP semifinal to solidify his stock, but watching Smith dominate on the same field as Fields might make the Jets deviate from QB and OT, knowing the team did take Mekhi Becton for the latter position in the 2020 first round. The Jets also drafted Denzel Mims last season, but Breshad Perriman is a free agent after his first, injury-riddled season in New York. Pairing Smith with Mims, with Jamison Crowder in the slot, can’t be ruled out as that could be the massive boost Darnold needs.

No. 3: Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have this pick courtesy of the Texans, thanks to their trade of Pro Bowl tackle Laremy Tunsil. Assuming they don’t use it as part of a rumored blockbuster trade for the Texans’ Deshaun Watson and part ways with Tua Tagovailoa, too, they should consider getting a playmaker for Tagovailoa who can be a great complement to DeVante Parker.

Chase has been a popular pick for them because of his versatility, where he can play between Parker and the promising but oft-injured Preston Williams. With Chan Gailey gone as offensive coordinator, the Dolphins should turn to someone who makes better use of true 11 personnel for Tagovailoa (three wide receivers). So it would make sense for them to think about reuniting Smith with Tagovailoa.

No. 5: Cincinnati Bengals

The Falcons, who pick fourth, have two special former Alabama wide receivers in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. As tempting as it would be to add a third to help Matt Ryan, that team needs to think defense first for its new coach.

As for the Bengals, the thinking has been to upgrade pass protection for second-year franchise QB Joe Burrow with Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, should he still be available. But with A.J. Green unsigned for his Age 33 season, it also would make sense to put Smith opposite second-year second-rounder Tee Higgins, with Tyler Boyd still operating with them in the slot. Smith’s speed and quickness would play well off Higgins’ size all over the field.

No. 6: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are a big wild card in the draft, now that offensive-minded head coach Doug Pederson has been fired on the heels of defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz deciding not to return. They need some key help on both sides of the ball, and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons is a good mesh of talent and need here.

But after taking speedy Jalen Reagor in the first round last year, it wouldn’t be shocking if they go after a second playmaker for the outside and clean up a mess of fading, hurting veterans (Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson) and some disappointing youth (J.J Arcega-Whiteside). Reagor, fully replacing Jackson as the “Z” and Smith taking over “X” would be a nice combination, especially if the latter is reunited with Jalen Hurts, while keeping Greg Ward as the choice “Y” for the slot.

No. 7: Detroit Lions

This is where Smith is going in SN’s latest mock with Marvin Jones Jr. heading into free agency as he turns 32 for next season. Jones had a strong year as the needed No. 1 with Kenny Golladay shelved for most of it with a hip injury. Whether it’s more Matthew Stafford or a new QB with a new coach, the Lions should see how Smith would work well off Golladay. There’s also a chance the Lions don’t re-sign Golladay, leaving a big void at wideout and making a selection of either Smith or Chase an absolute must.

No. 11: New York Giants (via a trade up)

The Panthers at No. 8 need to think quarterback first. The Broncos at No. 9 just took Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy in the first round last year and will get Courtland Sutton back. The Cowboys at No. 10 won’t be going wide receiver again after taking Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb in the first round last year.

Meanwhile, behind them all, the Giants have every reason to get aggressive to get a top-flight wideout for Daniel Jones in Year 3. They would be candidates for a big free-agent signing such as Golladay if he makes it to the open market. But if not, Dave Gettleman should think about jumping up a few spots to grab Smith. Sterling Shepard is a strong No. 2, but Darius Slayton doesn’t profile as an all-around No. 1. Smith can start outside as the “X,” with Slayton as the deep threat “Z” and Shepard moving into the slot to replace strong cut candidate Golden Tate.

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Patrick Mahomes’ mom was not pleased with hit that injured QB: ‘Trash football’



Patrick Mahomes' mom was not pleased with hit that injured QB: 'Trash football'

There’s nothing like a mother’s love — or a mother’s scorn.

Randi Mahomes, mother of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, was like all viewers watching the QB struggling to get to his feet on Sunday afternoon: concerned, worried and a little angry by Mahomes’ departure from the field.

But momma Mahomes took it a step further and took to Twitter to question the hit that sidelined her son — and berate the player who made it in the same 240 characters:

“#51 Wilson that’s some trash football leading with helmet, pulling his head and pushing helmet.. why are you not thrown out!?? Come on NFL,” the tweet reads.

MORE: Could superstar QB Deshaun Watson be on the move? What you need to know

Mahomes took a hit from linebacker Mack Wilson that left him woozy and wobbly as he tried to get to his feet, eventually needing help from KC medical staff to get off the field. Mahomes would enter concussion protocol and his status for this Sunday’s matchup vs. the Bills is uncertain.

There was no flag on the play, as it was unclear what rule, if any, Wilson violated on the hit. Slow motion replays revealed that Wilson’s helmet made contact with Mahomes’ shoulder pads. Most viewers chalked up the incident to just playing football.

Mahomes didn’t harbor any ill will toward Wilson, who reached out to apologize after the game:

The Chiefs would go on to win on Sunday with heroics from backup QB Chad Henne, who helped punch Kansas City’s ticket to the AFC Championship game.

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Deshaun Watson trade tracker: Timeline of rumors, dysfunction detail Texans’ rift with franchise QB



Deshaun Watson trade tracker: Timeline of rumors, dysfunction detail Texans' rift with franchise QB

Not so elementary, my dear Watson.

The yearslong odyssey for the Texans to find a true franchise passer culminated in Houston selecting the Deshaun Watson out of Clemson in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but it looks like the pairing will soon come to an end, with tumult surrounding the quarterback and the franchise leading to lots of smoke and trade rumors.

With organizational chaos dooming the Texans the past two seasons, and ownership reportedly over-relying on the voice and opinions of Jack Easterby and reportedly completely ignoring the voice of Watson, it’s hard to fault Watson for wanting out. He’s a top-five quarterback coming off his best season, still young and with a contract that will prove to be a bargain in a few years.

Total organizational instability — from the top down — has led Watson to, reportedly, being incredibly pissed off and ready to move on from the team that drafted him in 2017. Here’s a timeline of reports and other rumors that detail the interworkings of the Texans organization and Watson’s displeasure with the situation.

MORE: Here are Deshaun Watson’s best trade fits, from Jets to Dolphins

(Getty Images)

Deshaun Watson trade rumors

Jan. 18: Watson likes Instagram post linking him to Jets

Source: Instagram detectives

We’ve officially reached the “NBA drama” stage of Watson trade rumors, with Instagram users discovering that Watson liked a post of a New York Post back page with a story suggesting the Jets should trade for him. No trade requests have been made yet.

Jan. 18: Texans have no interest in dealing Watson, Panthers interested

Source: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Texans have no interest in trading Watson, instead wanting to keep him. Multiple teams, including the Panthers, have called Houston to gauge interest in the passer.

Jan. 18: Watson not answering calls from Texans organization

Source: Sarah Barshop, ESPN

According to Texans beat writer Sarah Barshop, Watson can’t be bothered to answer calls from Texans brass. Adam Schefter also reiterates what we already knew: Watson holds leverage here because of his no-trade clause.

Jan. 18: ‘Great lather’ to get Watson out, but leverage in his favor

Source: Josina Anderson, ESPN

Anderson reminds everyone a key point: Watson has a no-trade clause, and it’s not entirely in the Texans’ best interest to trade away a superstar of Watson’s caliber. In any case, it’s a weak argument, especially if the team is going to continue to do poorly by its star player.

Jan. 18: Watson has yet to ask for a trade

Source: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

Despite all the smoke surrounding Watson and the Texans at the moment, the superstar QB has yet to ask for a trade, per Rapoport. That hasn’t stopped teams from calling to check on Watson’s availability, though, 

Jan. 17: Watson has ‘played his last snap for Houston’

Source: Adam Schefter/Chris Mortensen, ESPN

If the weeks of turmoil and confusion have left any doubt about Watson’s future in Houston, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that some people surrounding the Texans organization feel Watson won’t play another down for the team. A source close to Chris Mortensen added that the only remedy for the situation between Watson and the Texans would be for owner Cal McNair to fire … Cal McNair.

Schefter also added that “Watson’s feelings cannot and should not be underestimated.” Whatever that means.

(Getty Images)

Jan. 16: Watson ‘just wants out’ of Houston

Source: Greg Bishop, Jenny Vrentas, Sports Illustrated

Despite the Texans making moves to try and appease their disgruntled quarterback, Watson just wants out of H-Town, per SI. A culmination of the coaching and GM search and general organizational dysfunction has led to Watson taking a hard stance on his status with the team: Just get me out of here.

Jan. 15: A single tweet sets NFL world on fire

Source: Deshaun Watson’s Twitter

Coming from a Schefter report that Watson’s anger was “at a 2, but now a 10,” the Texans QB sends out a single tweet that seems to confirm this. A later tweet would actually indicate that these were actually song lyrics. (Sure, Deshaun.)

MORE: Deshaun Watson’s latest tweet sends Twitter back into trade frenzy

Jan. 15: Watson photographed in Falcons gear

Source: Instagram

A curious wardrobe decision by Watson, with a photo on an Instagram story showing Watson in a Falcons jacket, coincidentally, outside of a building in New York City. Watson is a Georgia native and likely grew up a Falcons fan.

It’s just a jacket, but let your imagination run wild.

Jan. 12: Texans request interview for Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy

Source: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

The Chiefs OC is a hot commodity on the coaching scene, and was even recommended to Watson by some guy named Patrick Mahomes. While the Chiefs hadn’t initially put in an interview with Bieniemy — missing the window in which coordinators can interview during the playoffs — new GM Nick Caserio is interested in speaking with him. Because of tampering policies, the Texans won’t be allowed to speak with Bieniemy until after the Chiefs are eliminated.

Jan. 12: Andre Johnson speaks, offers Watson advice

Source: Andre Johnson via Twitter

In the words of Deandre Hopkins, when ‘Dre speaks, we listen. The former Texans wide receiver took to Twitter to offer Watson some sage advice: Stand your ground. He also roasted the Texans and their devotion to Jack Easterby, who many question 

MORE: Andre Johnson thinks Deshaun Watson is right to turn on ‘pathetic’ Texans

Jan. 10: Watson’s anger reaching boiling point

Source: Adam Schefter, ESPN

Heads exploded when then head coach/GM Bill O’Brien opted to trade star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals, with Watson himself taking the trade in stride. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Watson’s anger vaulted from a “2 to a 10” with the organization opting not to hire ESPN analyst and former front-office exec Louis Riddick to its GM role.

Jan. 10: More details emerge about rift; Dolphins could be a trade destination

Source: Chris Mortensen, ESPN

If Watson were to be moved, then the Dolphins could be a viable destination for a trade, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Miami, who holds Houston’s first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, would reportedly be open to trading quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and trade assets in exchange for Watson, per Mortensen.

(Getty Images)

Jan. 7: The Texans name Nick Caserio new GM

Source: “Literally us, the  Houston Texans.”

A major part of the reported rift between Watson and the Texans surrounded Houston naming a general manager without Watson’s input, a promise that had been supposedly made to Watson during the season. Instead, owner Cal McNair Jr. and Jack Easterby.

MORE: Ranking the NFL’s head-coaching vacancies

Jan. 5: J.J. Watt offers an ominous apology 

Source: JJ Watt’s mouth

After the Texans fell in Week 17 to the Titans in Week 17, NFL cams caught JJ Watt and Deshaun Watson in a candid moment as the two were walking off the field. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Watt said. “We wasted one of your years.” The Texans would finish 4-12.

Oct. 5: Texans fire Bill O’Brien

Source: “Literally us, the  Houston Texans.”

Well, about a year, many losses and one too many trades too late, the Texans decided to fire head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien after a sluggish start to their 2020 season. The team would name Romeo Crennel the interim head coach.

O’Brien’s tenure as HC would be mired in personnel controversies and several lopsided trades that leave the Texans without a first-round pick in 2021. 

April 2019: Jack Easterby hired by Houston

Source: The Texans

“I think the best way to tell the story is by starting at the end, briefly, then going back to the beginning, and then periodically returning to the end, maybe giving different characters’ perspectives throughout.” — “The Other Guys,” 2010

Arguably the genesis of the chaos in Houston was the hiring of Patriots team chaplain — later “character coach,” whatever that is — as its executive vice president of football operations.

Easterby’s meteoric rise to a such a high office in an NFL franchise is met with skepticism from all avenues, and would come back to haunt the team later.

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Mets fire Jared Porter after report that GM sent lewd texts to reporter in 2016



Mets fire Jared Porter after report that GM sent lewd texts to reporter in 2016

The Mets have fired general manager Jared Porter after an ESPN report released Monday detailed lewd, harrassing and inappropriate text messages sent to a foreign reporter in 2016.

New Mets owner Steve Cohen took to Twitter to announce the news, referencing the “importance of integrity” from his introductory press conference with the team.

“We have terminated Jared Porter this morning,” Cohen’s tweet reads. “In my initial press conference I spoke about the importance of integrity and I meant it. There should be zero tolerance for this type of behavior.”

On Jan. 19, ESPN’s Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan reported that Porter sent 60 text messages to a foreign correspondent covering the Cubs when Porter was a member of Chicago’s front office in 2016. The messages included an image of a bare penis. Porter declined to comment on the report.

The reporter, who has now left the journalism field according to ESPN, did not come forward out of fear of her career being harmed and repercussions in her home country.

“My No. 1 motivation is I want to prevent this from happening to someone else,” she told ESPN. “Obviously, he’s in a much greater position of power. I want to prevent that from happening again. The other thing is, I never really got the notion that he was truly sorry.”

Porter had apologized to the reporter for the messages in 2016 after realizing they were “extremely inappropriate, very offensive, and getting out of line.”

Porter told ESPN on Monday that he had texted with the woman but said that “the more explicit ones are not of me. Those are like, kinda like joke-stock images.”

Porter, 41, was hired by the Mets in December. He had been with the Diamondbacks prior to taking the Mets job.

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