News & Analysis

5 things you need to know for Saturday

By Alejandro Chavez
Aug 5, 2017

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BEREA, OH - MAY 12: DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns passes as head coach Hue Jackson looks on during the team's rookie camp at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility on May 12, 2017 in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Hey there football fans! Here are five pieces of news from yesterday you need to know to start off your day:

Austin Howard signed with the Ravens. Howard will compete for the right tackle spot with Baltimore.

In Baltimore, Howard will enter into a fierce competition with third-year tackle James Hurst. Hurst has mostly played left tackle in his professional career, and was expected to take over the right tackle position after RT Rick Wagner left in free agency for the Detroit Lions.

Howard was cut after a below average season where he was hindered by a shoulder injury. He had a grade of 66.9 in 2016 (52nd) which was a sharp decline from his 82.6 grade in 2015 (13th). In his three-year career, James Hurst has had poor grades of 33.9, 36.4 and 52.5, respectively. Howard on the other hand, had been up and down in the years leading up to 2016, grading at 77.4 in 2012, 74.9 in 2013, and 53.1 (as a guard) in 2014 before enjoying a career year in 2015.

Taco Charlton did not impress his defensive line coach on Thursday. DC Rod Marinelli used the phrase, “wasn’t good enough,” to describe Charlton’s play.

PFF had Charlton with an overall grade for the game of 74.7, highlighting that he did an ‘excellent job of using his length to set the edge and control blockers against the run’. However, Charlton was unable to generate any pressures on the Cardinals quarterbacks from seven pass rush snaps.

During the 2016 college season, Charlton recorded a PFF Pass Rushing Productivity rating of 16.2, which ranked second out of the five defensive ends drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft. This was an improvement on his 2015 rating of 15.1.

Jay Cutler may be willing to return for the Miami starting quarterback role. Cutler could be willing to play for the injured Ryan Tannehill.

Cutler, who played in just five games for the Chicago Bears in 2016, effectively retired from the NFL in May after joining Fox Sports to work on the broadcasting team.

In the limited action he saw in 2016, Cutler recorded the lowest overall PFF grade of his career, at 41.6. He played under current Dolphins head coach Adam Gase in Chicago in 2015, posting the third-best grade of his career (80.8).

We are now four years removed from seeing Cutler at his best, when his 2013 PFF grade of 87.5 ranked seventh out of 41 qualified quarterbacks.

DeShone Kizer is moving close to the starting quarterback role. Reports are that he’s recently moved closer to being named the starter for the first preseason game.

Kizer completed 76 percent of his 63 passes off play-action for seven touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 154.7 passer rating in 2016, which was the highest in college football last season. His 21.2 completion percentage increase on play action passes was the highest by any quarterback in 2016 (minimum 39 attempts).

He was good at extending plays with his feet and finding receivers late in plays. In 2016, Kizer had an NFL passer rating of 107.0 on plays that lasted 2.6 seconds or longer, good for 10th-best among FBS quarterbacks.

Marlon Mack drew praise from his head coach. The Colts’ Chuck Pagano believes that Mack could be a, “special player.”

Pagano also highlighted Mack’s premier ability in pass protection, which shouldn’t surprise anyone that watched Mack go to work at USF. Allowing just two quarterback pressures on 48 pass block snaps, Mack ranked fifth in pass blocking efficiency (96.9) among AAC running backs with at least 30 pass block snaps in 2016.

In addition to his success in pass protection, Mack put on a show with the ball in his hands, as he forced 49 missed tackles to finish ranked first in missed tackles forced among all AAC running backs. He also earned the second-highest elusive rating (93.4) among that same group of backs.

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