Cleat Geeks

Impact & Potential From The 2018 Saints Draft Class

There were many teams that made an impact in their present and future predicament in the 2018 NFL Draft. The New Orleans Saints are one of those teams that found help in multiple needed positions while also taking multiple big risks. The Saints needed to make a few big moves as they found themselves falling in the power rankings to teams they beat like the Los Angeles Rams, who made huge additions to the team via free agency. This 2018 NFL Draft needed to be big for the New Orleans Saints and time will tell for the answers to be discovered. Make no mistake, the Saints made multiple big picks that they think can make an impact immediately.

 

Marcus Davenport and Cameron Jordan to lead a high-velocity Saints pass rush

New Orleans was not going to get a top playmaker with the 27th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, so they traded up to the 14th pick with the Green Bay Packers. Through this trade, the Saints traded away their 27th overall pick, the 147th overall pick (5th round) that originally belonged to the Miami Dolphins, and the Saints’ 1st round selection of the 2019 NFL Draft. By trading up, the Saints were expected to draft LB Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech) or 2016 Heisman Trophy-winning QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville). Instead, the Saints surprised everyone by selecting a raw but physically gifted Defensive End in Marcus Davenport (UTSA).

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Linebacker and Quarterback were positions that were high on the Saints’ list of needs, but they also needed a pass rusher. Last season, 2017 All-Pro DE Cameron Jordan accounted for 13 total sacks in the 2017-2018 regular season. Outside of Jordan, the next highest sack leader was S Vonn Bell and DE Alex Okafor with 4.5 sacks each. Okafor is a playmaker for the Saints but too much is expected from a pass rusher when he is primarily a run stopper. Last season with the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, Marcus Davenport accounted for 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. While he accounted high solo stats, his teammates were not as developed as he was giving him not as much opportunities to make the plays.

Davenport is an excellent pass rusher and a stout run stopper at the line of scrimmage much like Cameron Jordan is for New Orleans. You add in Davenport’s 6’6, 264 lbs. measurements, this makes Davenport a special player with talent and potential of impact too good of a player for New Orleans to pass up with the 14th overall pick. Davenport does have durability issues to go along with his inconsistencies at the beginning of the play. Through a strong rookie mini-camp and a training camp setting, Marcus Davenport could find himself a starter come week 1 of the 2018-2019 NFL regular season. Likely Sheldon Rankins would have to move from the End position to his natural Defensive Tackle position. This also leaves Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata to spilt reps at the other Defensive Tackle position in the Saints 4-3 defensive front.

 

Saints get their #2 Wide Receiver in UCF’s Tre’Quan Smith

The biggest immediate offensive need for the Saints is for them to get another deep threat Wide Out for QB Drew Brees. Two of the top four leaders in receiving yards last season for New Orleans were Wide Receivers. Outside of WR Michael Thomas, the Saints do not have a dominant deep threat Wide Receiver. Ted Ginn Jr. accounted for 787 yards and 4 touchdowns on 53 receptions but can create much more of an impact as a slot receiver. Another top Receiver was needed to deal with the loss of WR Willie Snead via free agency. It would only be fitting that the 2nd player selected by the Saints with the 91st overall pick in the 3rd round was the Saints’ potential #2 Wide Out in UCF’s Tre’Quan Smith.

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Photo by; Underdog Dynasty

Last season, the Saints were 5th in the league in passing yards per game (261.8). This is due to the high-power passing ability of Quarterback Drew Brees, who threw for 4,334 yards and 23 touchdowns on an NFL season record 72% completion ratio. Last season, Tre’Quan Smith accounted for 1,171 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns on 59 receptions with a Knights team that was ranked 7th in passing yards per game (339.3) and 5th in total yards per game (540). Having Smith bring his durability and explosiveness as a high-velocity Receiver will be an instant impact in the passing game. Smith not only compliments Thomas as a co-deep threat Receiver but it also opens the field for Ginn to be a more diverse target and finally for RB Alvin Kamara, who was the Saints 2nd leading Receiver last season (826 yards).

 

Saints get help and depth at multiple positions later in the Draft

On top of some high picks for the Saints, the midround to late rounds of the Draft is where teams usually build on their depth. The Saints made 5 picks in the 4th to 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Of those five players, two of them were Offensive Linemen in Florida State’s OT Rick Leonard (127th overall pick in the 4th round) and LSU’s C Will Clapp (245th overall pick in the 7th round). Another two players selected in the later rounds by New Orleans were Defensive Backs in Wisconsin’s S Natrell Jamerson (164th overall pick in the 5th round) and Boston College’s CB Kamrin Moore (189th overall pick in the 6th round).

Having those players not only builds depth for those position groups but it also provides security for when those starters go down. Each one of the Saints main Defensive Backs (excluding S Vonn Bell) missed a small number of games that still made a negative impact in the Saints ability to defend against high efficient passing offenses. 2017-2018 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in CB Marshon Lattimore missed 3 games, CB Ken Crawley missed 3 games, and rookie S Marcus Williams missed one game. Having Jamerson and Moore come in and fill in slots left by the departed players in Kenny Vaccaro and Rafael Bush will be big for New Orleans.

The Offensive Line for the Saints last season improved significantly, much like the Defensive Backs from the previous season, but they too were not immune to the long slate of injuries. OT Terron Armstead got injured early and OT Zach Strief experienced multiple injuries. G Andrus Peat played much more consistently than the previous seasons but had some injury scares as well. Saints brought in depth and security much like they with the Defensive Backs in Rick Leonard and Will Clapp. Perhaps in the future, if the Saints could not afford to keep the former Pro-Bowl Center in Max Unger, Will Clapp could be groomed into a starting spot for New Orleans.

 

6th rounder RB Boston Scott might be able to contribute early for New Orleans

One late round prospect of the Saints that could make an immediate impact on the field is former Louisiana Tech Running Back Boston Scott. The former Bulldog was selected in the 6th round with the 201st overall pick as the Saints needed to add talent and depth to the Saints backfield. The selection of Boston Scott is also important to the Saints due to the possible unavailability of 3rd year Running Back Daniel Lasco after he suffered a bulging disc in his spine in mid-November. Last season at Louisiana Tech, Boston Scott rushed for 1,047 yards and 8 touchdowns on 138 rushing attempts. Scott is a very elusive back due to his speed, motor, and ability to rush for more yards after contact despite his small 5’6 height.

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Scott might be able to make an early with the New Orleans Saints in his rookie season since the starting Running Back in Mark Ingram is currently suspended by the NFL for 4 games from PED violations. The only Running Backs left on the main roster outside of Ingram are Alvin Kamara, Lasco, and Jonathan Williams, who is looking to sticking with a team in a second consecutive season in his 4 years in the league. If Scott makes a big impression in the Saints rookie mini-camps, team workouts, and offseason training camps, he will earn a potential role as a contributing player in the Saints run game come week 1 of the 2018-2019 NFL regular season. If Mark Ingram’s suspension by the league stands then the speedster in Boston Scott can get an early impact and chance with the Saints.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Schedule Breakdown Weeks 5-8

The Kansas City Chiefs week five opponent will be the Jackson Jaguars. It will be the Chiefs second home game of the season. They last played the Jaguars in 2016 where they won at home 19-14. The Jaguars had a breakout season in 2018. Last year the Jaguars had the second ranked defense in points allowed at 16.8. Jacksonville will be a good test for a young Chiefs offense.

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The Chiefs week six match-up will be on the road against the New England Patriots. Last season the Chiefs faced the Patriots in the NFL season opener where they won 42-27. The Chiefs have won the last two regular season match-ups with the Patriots. Kareem Hunt had a big impact in the game last season. He had 148 yards rushing and one touchdown after fumbling on the opening series. The Patriots have been one of the most dominant teams in the NFL the last few seasons but the Chiefs have been able to play well against them.

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The week seven game for the Chiefs will be at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs last faced the Bengals in 2015 when they lost 36-21. The Bengals have had success against the Chiefs in the last few match-ups. The last time the Chiefs beat the Bengals was 2007. The Cincinnati offense struggled last season finishing last in the NFL in average yards per game at 280.5. The Bengals have played well against the Chiefs recently but they should be a team that the Chiefs match-up well with.

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The week eight match-up for the Chiefs will be at home against the Denver Broncos. It will be their second game against the Broncos in the 2018 season. The Broncos are 5-2 against the Chiefs at Arrowhead since 2011. Denver’s new quarterback Case Keenum last faced the Chiefs in 2013 when he was a member of the Houston Texans. He threw for 271 yards and one touchdown. The Chiefs won the game 17-16. Keenum will be an interesting match-up for the Chiefs because he has only faced the them once in his six year NFL career. The Chiefs have played well in the division in recent years but the Broncos are a tough opponent at Arrowhead.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Schedule Breakdown Weeks 1-4

The Kansas City Chiefs will start the season on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers. It will be the second year in a row the Chiefs start the season on the road. Last year the Chiefs swept the season series with the Chargers. Phillip Rivers has struggled against the Chiefs throughout his career. In 25 match-ups he has 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions and an average of 245 yards per game. The Chargers are expected to improve this season and it could be an interesting match-up week #1.

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The second game will be on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Last season the Chiefs faced the Steelers in week #6. The Steelers won the game 19-13 which ended the Chiefs five game winning streak to start the season. The Chiefs have struggled with the Steelers in recent seasons. The Steelers have won six of the last seven match-ups with the Chiefs. The Steelers have not lost a game to the Chiefs in Pittsburgh since 1986. The Steelers will be a tough match-up for the Chiefs in the early part of the season.

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The Chiefs home opener will be week #3 against the San Francisco 49ers. It is the latest home opener for the Chiefs since the 2007 season. The last time the Chiefs faced the 49ers was in 2014 when they lost 22-17. Jimmy Garoppolo will be the 49ers starter at quarterback this season. The Chiefs faced Garoppolo in 2014 when he replaced Tom Brady in the Chiefs 41-14 win over the Patriots. Garoppolo went 6/7 for one touchdown in that game. The 49ers should be one of the most improved teams this season and will be an interesting test for the Chiefs.

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The fourth game will be on the road against the Denver Broncos. Last year the Chiefs swept their season series against the Broncos. Patrick Mahomes made his starting debut in Denver last season. He went 22/35 for 284 yards and one interception. Mahomes led a 67-yard drive in the last minutes of the game to set up a game winning Harrison Butker field goal. The game was Mahomes first opportunity to get valuable playing time against first-string defenses. Denver is a tough place to play but Mahomes played well last season. Mahomes will need to improve on his performance last season in the week #4 match-up.

Game Recap: Iowa Barnstormers vs. Sioux Falls Storm

On Saturday May 5th, the Indoor Football league hosted three games and the first of those three was between the Iowa Barnstormers and the Sioux Falls Storm. The Barnstormers are currently 6-2 and sit in 2nd place while the Storm are 6-3 and sit in 3rd place. The game took place at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Iowa Barnstormers took a commanding 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter with both scoring drives from Tyler Jamal, who ran the first touchdown for 3 yards and then ran the ball 11 yards for another touchdown about 4 minutes later.
End of 1st: Barnstormers 14 – Storm 7

Both teams combined for five touchdowns during the second quarter but the Barnstormers continued to find their stride offensively with another touchdown early in the second quarter. Drew Powell found his stride on the ground and ran the ball 3 yards into the end zone to give the Barnstormers a 21-0 lead. The Storm were able to find their momentum and disrupt the dominance seen by the Barnstormers early. Lorenzo Brown was able to run a yard into the end zone to cut the Barnstormers lead to 14. However, the Barnstormers were able to regain momentum rather quickly and were able to find the end zone yet again but this time it was a Drew Powell 44 yard pass to Brady Roland. Cody Barber went on to miss the extra point and would leave the Barnstormers with a 27-7 lead with 8:17 remaining before halftime. The Storm would be the team to score on the next three opportunities and ultimately bring the game within four by halftime. The Storm scored with a 1 yard run from both Lorenzo Brown and Lyle McComb. The Storm also got a safety which gave them two more points to an already dominant end of the second quarter.
Halftime: Barnstormers 27 – Storm 23

With 5:45 remaining in the 3rd quarter the Storm were the first team to find the end zone and with that touchdown were able to gain the lead over the Barnstormers. The Storm scored on a Dillon Turner 2 yard run but Miles Bergner would have his extra point attempt blocked by Dame Ndiaya. Drew Powell continued to find his dominance on the ground for the Barnstormers as he was able to scramble and run 27 yards for a touchdown but failed to convert on the 2 point try.
End of 3rd: Barnstormers 33 – Storm 29

The Storm opened up the final quarter with a scoring drive which last a little over 2 minutes. The Storm scored on a Lorenzo Brown 34 yard pass to Mike Tatum. The Barnstormers would find momentum briefly and score on the next two possessions. First, the Barnstormers scored on a 21 yard pass from Drew Powell to Ryan Balentine. The next drive came from a Drew Powell 8 yard pass to Sheldon Augustine. Cody Barber went on to have his extra point attempt blocked by Chris Martin. The next three scoring drives resulted with field goals for both teams. The Storm kicker Miles Bergner successfully made a 39 yard field goal and then made a 25 yard field goal. Cody Barber successfully made a field goal for the Barnstormers when he made a 17 yard attempt.
Final: Barnstormers 49 – Storm 42

Game Leaders:
Passing: Lorenzo Brown (Storm) 9-21, 124 YDS, 1 TD
Rushing: Drew Powell (Barnstormers) 18 ATT, 100 YDS, 2 TDS
Receiving: Mike Tatum (Storm) 3 REC, 69 YDS, 1 TD

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Draft Recap

The Kansas City Chiefs added six players to their roster in the 2018 NFL Draft. Five of the six picks were on defense. The Chiefs focused on depth rather than players expected to make a big impact immediately.

 

The first pick for the Chiefs was 46th overall in the second round. They selected Ole Miss linebacker Breeland Speaks with the pick. Speaks had 67 tackles and seven sacks last season with the Rebels. He did not miss a game in his three-year career at Ole Miss. Speaks projects as an outside linebacker for the Chiefs. He may need a few seasons of development before becoming a full time starter. The Chiefs needed more talent and depth at outside linebacker and Speaks should fill the role well.

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Photo by; SI.com

The second pick for the Chiefs was 75th overall in the third round. They selected Florida State defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi with the pick. Defensive tackle was a big need for the Chiefs and Nnadi should improve the position. Last season with the Seminoles Nnadi had 53 total tackles and three and a half sacks. Nnadi could make an immediate impact with the Chiefs because of the lack of depth at the position.

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Photo by; Stack.com

 

The third pick for the Chiefs was 100th overall in the third round. They selected Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel with the pick. O’Daniel had 88 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss last season with the Tigers. He will likely be an inside linebacker with the Chiefs. The Chiefs already have starters at inside linebacker but the depth for the future was an area of concern. O’Daniel will likely not see a lot of initial playing time but could be valuable for the Chiefs in the future.

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Photo by; Tigernet

The fourth pick for the Chiefs was 124th overall in the fourth round. They selected Texas A&M safety Armani Watts with the pick. Watts had 87 total tackles and four interceptions with the Aggies last season. Safety was an area the Chiefs needed to address in the draft and Watts could see some playing time early in his career.

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Photo by; 247Sports

The fifth pick for the Chiefs was 196th overall in the sixth round. They selected Central Arkansas cornerback Tremon Smith. He did not miss a game in his career at Central Arkansas. Last season with the Bears Smith had 41 total tackles and five interceptions. Smith could make an impact at cornerback because of the lack of depth at the position.

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Photo by; NFLDraftDiamonds

The sixth and final pick for the Chiefs was 198th overall in the sixth round. They selected Tennessee defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie. The Chiefs expect to switch McKenzie to offensive guard in the NFL. Kahlil McKenzie is the son of Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie. He will need time to switch to the offensive line but will be a project for the Chiefs. McKenzie probably will not be expected to make an immediate impact but could see playing time in the future.

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Photo by; SaturdayDownSouth

Overall, the Chiefs addressed many of their needs in the draft. Most of their picks will be used for depth and it could take time before they become starters. The Chiefs have had a rookie pick make the Pro Bowl in each of the last three years and could extend the streak with this draft class.

Alabama Had An SEC & Team Record 12 Players Selected In The 2018 NFL Draft

There are many ways to distinguish a team that is very good for a number of years and a team that is considered a dynasty. For the Alabama Crimson Tide, the continuing success of Head Coach Nick Saban with the Alabama Crimson Tide even after his player’s time in College Football. Last weekend in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Alabama Crimson Tide had 4 players selected in the 1st round as well as 12 total players selected in all 7 rounds of the Draft. This breaks the Alabama school record as well as the SEC record for most players selected in one NFL Draft from one school. The 2003-2004 Ohio State Buckeyes have the all-time Draft record of 14 total players selected in all 7 rounds of the 2004 NFL Draft.

It is certainly worth noting that all 11 starters from Alabama’s 2016 opening day game against the USC Trojans in the neutral site game in Atlanta have been drafted either in the 2017 or 2018 NFL Draft. Each of the players selected in this Draft from the Alabama Crimson Tide was certainly one of the best players available on the board for the team that picked them. While some of them slid deeper than what they wanted to, they were acquired by their selected teams based on a combination of potential, how they fit into their new team’s system, and how they were groomed in college by Nick Saban.

 

Each of the 4 players selected in the 1st round were steals

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Photo by; Stack.com

The first Crimson Tide player to come off the board was voted the Defensive Player of the year in College Football in S Minkah Fitzpatrick with the 11th overall pick to the Miami Dolphins. This was a big pick for the Dolphins considering how Minkah might not have been available for Miami to acquire. Fitzpatrick slipped to the concern by major analysts that he wasn’t a true Safety or Cornerback based on his “Star position” with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Fitzpatrick was one of the best defensive players in this Draft overall, especially at Safety and Cornerback. The Miami Dolphins took advantage of another Offensive heavy Draft as Minkah was the 4th defensive player of the 11 players selected players due to the huge need of Quarterbacks. Although many experts believed Miami would draft a Quarterback, adding talent to the Defense was the biggest need. Last season, the Dolphins were 16th in total yards allowed per game (335.7), 16th in passing yards allowed per game (225), and 31st in pass deflections (53).

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Photo by; The Sporting News

Despite DT Vita Vea (Washington) being selected with the 12th overall pick, the Washington Redskins still need a stout Nose Guard to help with their 32nd ranked (last) rush defense (134.1 rushing yards allowed per game). The Redskins selected DT Da’Ron Payne with the 13th overall pick to solidify the Defensive Line. Payne is a solid run stopper and a surprisingly athletic pass rusher with his huge size and will a bigger impact against highly talented NFC East offenses. The Tennessee Titans traded up multiple spots after acquiring more picks for their biggest position to address with the 22nd pick overall pick. The Titans found a reliable replacement to Avery Williamson (now the Jets) in LB Rashaan Evans, who is one of the most athletic and versatile Linebackers in the Draft. Head Coach Mike Vrabel is very fond of high-efficiency playmaker from the Linebacker position. Evans is a player who can start at Middle Linebacker, where he can make great blitzes, zone reads, and tackle in space, as well as play Outside Linebacker with Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo having to play their natural Defensive End positions.

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Photo by; SBNation.com

The Atlanta Falcons made one of the biggest surprises in the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft by making a moderate need in Wide Receiver their top priority. With the 26th overall pick, the Falcons selected WR Calvin Ridley despite worries that he will be a bust as claimed by many Draft experts because of his poor NFL Scouting Combine performance. The Falcons had the 3rd ranked passing offense (295.3 yards per game) and the 1st overall ranked scoring offense (33.8) in 2016. Last season, the Falcons offense were 8th in passing yards per game (364.8) and 15th in points per game (22.1). There were misconnections between Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian and the Falcons offense. Instead of tearing the building process, the Falcons draft a star Wideout that he knew while he was at Alabama in the 2016 season when he was an Offensive Analyst for the season and the Offensive Coordinator for the National Championship loss against the Clemson Tigers.

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Photo by; SaturdayDownSouth.com

Round 3 through 7 is loaded with Crimson Tide talent

There were many questions on whether the Jacksonville Jaguars would be addressing their offense or their defense mainly in the 2018 NFL Draft. The defense was the big area to address when the Jaguars selected DT Taven Bryan (Florida) in the late 1st round. The Jaguars continued to address when they selected S Ronnie Harrison in the 3rd round with the 93 overall pick. Harrison can make an immediate impact as a very reliable reserve who is needed to make the tackles in open field as well provide deep zone coverage. DE Da’Shawn Hand was the 114th overall (4th round) for the Detroit Lions as they needed depth and more efficient run stoppers at the line of scrimmage. Run stopping and disruption through penetration is a specialty of Hand, as he was never the pass rush specialist that Alabama needed him to be.

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Photo by; 247Sports.com

Former Alabama Crimson Tide Tight End, NFL Hall of Famer, and Baltimore Ravens participated in his NFL Draft as he is stepping down as GM of the Ravens after the 2018-2019 season is over. The Ravens made some big splashes in this Draft but two of them are drafting huge playmakers at his alma mater. The Ravens drafted CB Anthony Averett in the 4th round with the 118th overall pick with the acknowledgment that they need depth and the possibility of Jimmy Smith being opted out after this upcoming season. The Ravens were ranked 12th in the league in passing yards allowed per game (214) but this is with the Ravens Defensive Line creating much impact and support to the Secondary. The Ravens were 9th in the league in sacks yards accounted for (280). With the 215th overall pick (6th round), the Ravens drafted C Bradley Bozeman with the likely situation that he could start immediately. Last year’s starting Center in Ryan Jenson was performing up to expectations for Baltimore and he is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For a team to draft a Punter in the 5th round shows that need a more reliable Punter immediately. The Green Bay Packers selected P J.K. Scott with the 175th overall pick, who was the first Punter off the board. The Packers, last season, were ranked 22nd in punt yards (3,155), 23rd in average yards per punt (44.4), and tied for 30th (last) for punts secured inside the 20-yard line (19). The Washington Redskins continued to provide more support on defense with more Alabama defenders. With the 197th overall pick in the 6t round, the Redskins drafted LB Shaun Dion Hamilton, who stock fell because of his major injury that accorded late in the season. Hamilton now joins Payne, DE/DT Jonathan Allen (1st round selection last year), and DE/OLB Ryan Anderson (2nd round selection last year) of Alabama defenders under Nick Saban the past two seasons.

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Photo by; The Landry Hat

The Crimson Tide had two more players selected in the 7th round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The Dallas Cowboys selected RB Bo Scarbrough with the 236th overall pick to provide more run support for the Cowboys and to relieve Ezekiel Elliot from so much pressure in the run game. Finally, the 12th player selected was DT Joshua Frazier by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 246th pick overall. Frazier was a depth player at Alabama under Da’Ron Payne and will fit perfectly at the Nose Guard position in the Steelers’ 3-4 defensive front.

CIF Roundup: Moving Into May

Champions Indoor Football has passed the halfway point of the season, with teams now beginning to jockey for playoff position as the postseason looms in June.

Here’s a game-by-game look at recent contests in the league:

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Omaha 47, Kansas City 41

Two of the league’s top quarterbacks put on a show as the Beef came away with a big Northern Division victory.

Omaha’s Anthony Iannotti accounted for three passing touchdowns and three more scores on the ground, overcoming the effort from KC quarterback Donovan Portiere, who threw for 305 yards and five touchdowns but was picked off three times.

 

Texas 43, Dallas 9

In what would turn out to be the Marshals’ final game before folding operations (see below), Dallas had little answer for the defending CIF champions in a rout.

Darius Fudge and Jamal Kelley each found the end zone twice for Texas, and the Revs held Dallas to just 147 yards of total offense on the night.

 

Quad Cities 43, Sioux City 38

Tyler Williams pounded out nearly 100 yards on the ground and two touchdowns as the Steamwheelers picked up the Northern Division victory.

Quad Cities’ EJ Hilliard and his Sioux City counterpart Liam Nadler each tossed three touchdown passes on the night.

 

Duke City 42, Amarillo 33

The Gladiators spotted the Venom a quick 15-point lead before taking over behind big games from Jestin Kelly and Dello Davis.

Kelly had four rushing touchdowns, while Davis caught seven passes for 110 yards and two more scores for the first-place Gladiators.

 

Bismarck 47, Salina 36

Despite being outgained by 70 yards on the night, the Bucks used an opportunistic defense to get past the Liberty.

The Bucks forced four turnovers, the final one leading to a 50-yard touchdown return of a fumble by Antwan Smith on the last play of the game to seal the victory.

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Kansas City 61, Bismarck 60

One of the best and highest-scoring games so far this season came down to a late 20-yard field goal by James Kazalski to win it for the Phantoms.

Portiere again was spectacular with six touchdown passes and a TD run for KC, while Omaha punched in five scores with its solid run game, led by Xavier Steward.

 

Amarillo 55, Wichita 31

The Venom exploded for four fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull away from the Force.

Three of those came on passes from Nate Davis, and Amarillo also intercepted the Force three times, with Brandon Henrie bringing one of those back for a score.

 

Salina 60, Sioux City 58

The one-two punch of Dominique Carson and Derrick Bernard were just enough to give the Liberty an important victory while sending Sioux City to a third straight defeat.

Carson had 152 total yards and four touchdowns, while Bernard added three passing scores and another TD plus 80 yards on the ground.

 

Omaha 47, Quad Cities 36

The defending league runnerup from Omaha continued to climb back up the standings with a big win against the Steamwheelers.

Iannotti again was the centerpiece, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for two more, as the Beef inched closer to .500 at 3-4 overall on the year.

 

Dallas is DoneImage result for dallas marshals logo

As feared for a number of weeks could happen, the Dallas Marshals have been forced to suspend operations for the rest of the year due to financial issues.

The Marshals will forfeit all their remaining home games (including one that had been scheduled April 28 against Duke City), while Dallas will be replaced in two road contests by the Texas Power, a minor league squad that has played exhibition games against other CIF members.

Also, the CIF announced last week that the West Michigan Ironmen would officially be joining the league for play next season. The Ironmen had attempted to move from the Indoor Football League to the CIF in the off-season but the move was blocked due to legal action.

 

Standings

North

Salina 5-2

Sioux City 4-3

Bismarck 4-3

Quad Cities 3-3

Omaha 3-4

Kansas City 2-5

South

Amarillo 5-1

Duke City 5-1

Wichita 3-4

Texas 1-5

x-Dallas 1-5

x-Suspended operations

Game Recap: Green Bay Blizzard vs. Arizona Rattlers

On Saturday April 21st the Green Bay Blizzard played against the Arizona Rattlers. The game took place at the Talking Stick Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. Currently the Green Bay Blizzard have a 0-6 record while the Arizona Rattlers have a record of 6-1.

Arizona had a very dominate first quarter both offensively and defensively as they held the Blizzard to just one touchdown. The Rattlers got on the board first with Jeff Ziemba 14 yard pass to Jamal Miles although Petre Sawyer missed the extra point attempt. The Blizzard scored on their next possession with a Bryan Hicks 23 yard pass to Jerome Jones but Jordan Endries missed the extra point attempt. The Rattlers went on to score two more times in the first quarter with the second touchdown coming from Dylan Pebbles 1 yard run and followed by Jeff Ziemba 7 yard pass to Anthony Amos.
End of 1st Quarter: Blizzard 6 – Rattlers 20

The second quarter saw three scoring drives in which the Rattlers had scored on two drives before halftime. However, the Blizzard were on the board first to start the second quarter with a BJ Hill 50 yard kickoff return. The Rattlers went on to score 10 points to end the quarter as Petre Sawyer made a 36 yard field goal and then almost 9 minutes later Jeff Ziemba reconnected with Jamal Miles on a 4 yard pass.
Halftime: Blizzard 13 – Rattlers 30

The third quarter was a big quarter for the Rattlers offensively as they scored on three possessions. The Blizzard were the first to score during the 3rd quarter as Serge Trezy scored on a 10 yard run. The Rattlers found their groove early in the 3rd quarter as Darrell Monroe ran 37 yard into the end zone. The Rattlers had a very successful ground game as Dylan Pebbles scored on a 2 yard run following the Monroe touchdown. BJ Hill was dominate as a return man as he successfully return a 58 yard kickoff for a touchdown. But Darrell Monroe went on to find the end zone one final time in the quarter with a 1 yard run which likely sealed the game.
End of the 3rd: Blizzard 27 – Rattlers 52

The Arizona Rattler scored twice during the 4th quarter and held the Blizzard to one successful scoring drive. The Rattlers scored first in the 4th quarter with a Jarrod Harrington 1 yard run which was followed by a Blizzard touchdown by Bryan Hicks who ran it 2 yards into the end zone. Arizona scored one final time with 7 seconds remaining as Dylan Pebbles ran 11 yards into the end zone to end the game.
Final: Blizzard 33 – Rattlers 65

Game Leaders:
Passing: Bryan Hicks (Blizzard) 11-16, 151 YDS, 1 TD
Rushing: Darrell Monroe (Rattlers) 12 ATT, 94 YDS, 2 TDS
Receiving: Andre McDonald (Blizzard) 4 REC, 73 YDS

Game Recap: Cedar Rapids Titans vs. Sioux Falls Storm

On Saturday April 21st the Cedar Rapids Titans played against the Sioux Falls Storm. The game took place at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Following the game the Cedar Rapids Titans have a record of 1-6 while the Sioux Falls Storm have a record of 5-2.

The Sioux Falls Storm found themselves scoring twice during the first 10 minutes of the game to take a commanding 14-0 lead. The first touchdown came from Lorenzo Brown who ran the ball 36 yards into the end zone. The second touchdown came from another Lorenzo Brown rush but this time it was a 4 yard run. The Cedar Rapids Titans were able to trim the lead down to 7 following a Ralph Lawson-Gayle 4 yard run into the end zone. However, the Storm were able to increase the lead back up to 14 with 2 yard run from Lyle McCombs.
End of the 1st quarter: Titans 7 – Storm 21

The second quarter was dominated by the Storm offense as they scored on four separate occasions before halftime. The first of many touchdowns this quarter came from a 1 yard run from Lorenzo Brown. But the Titans capitalized on their next drive as they tried to stop the Storm momentum. The Titans score on a Jake Medlock 4 yard pass to Javon Bell. But like I mentioned the Storm offense found the end zone a lot this quarter. Following the Titans touchdown the Storm went on to score three more times. The second touchdown of the quarter for the Storm came from a 30 yard pass from Lorenzo Brown who connected with Karim Jones. With less then 5 minutes remaining in the quarter the Storm went on to scored 10 points behind a 30 yard touchdown pass from Lorenzo Brown to Harold Judd and then a 24 yard field goal from Miles Bergner.
Halftime: Titans 13 – Storm 45

The Titans got on the board first in the third quarter with a Jake Medlock 25 yard pass to Ralph Lawson-Gayle. The Storm continued with the momentum and found the end zone on the following possession with a Lorenzo Brown 33 yard pass to Harold Judd. The 3rd quarter saw a lot of back to back scoring action between the two teams as both teams would go on to score one more time a piece to end the quarter. The Titans found the end zone again but this time it was a 12 yard pass from Jake Medlock to Connor Hollenbeck. The Storm capped of the 3rd quarter with a 36 yard field goal from Miles Bergner.
End of the 3rd: Titans 27 – Storm 55

The Titans found their groove in the 4th quarter but were to far behind to complete the comeback. The Titans found the end zone first in the 4th quarter with a Ralph Lawson-Gayle 11 yard run. However, the Storm scored on a 36 yard field goal by Miles Bergner but that didn’t stop the Titans momentum. Jake Medlock used his legs to find the end zone for the Titans as he scored on a 1 yard run. The Titans were down 17 with about five minutes remaining in the game. However, the Storm sealed the game with a Mike Tatum 6 yard run. The Titans ended the game with a Jake Medlock 2 yard pass to Connor Hollenbeck.
Final: Titans 48 – Storm 65

Game Leaders:
Passing: Jake Medlock (Titans) 21-34, 172 YDS, 4 TDS
Rushing: Lorenzo Brown (Storm) 6 ATT, 77 YDS, 3 TDS
Receiving: Connor Hollenbeck (Titans) 9 REC, 66 YDS, 2 TDS

IFL Game Recap: Green Bay Blizzard vs. Iowa Barnstormers

On Saturday April 28th the Green Bay Blizzard played against the Iowa Barnstormers. The game took place at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Currently the Green Bay Blizzard have a 0-7 record and sit in last place in the league while the Iowa Barnstormers have a record of 5-2 and currently sit in 3rd place overall in the league.
Both teams found there way into the end zone during the first quarter with the Blizzard getting on the board first with a Bryan Hicks 44 yard pass to Chris Malott. The Barnstormers responded on the next possession with a Grant Rohach 11 yard pass to Ryan Ballentine.
End of the 1st Quarter: Blizzard 7 – Barnstormers 7

The Barnstormers were able to find the end zone both offensively and defensively as Grant Rohach connected with Sheldon Augustine on a 6 yard pass and then Bryce Enyard returned an interception 32 yard for a pick six. The Blizzard were the last team to score before halftime as Darrius Sims returned an interception 15 yard for a pick six and successfully converted the 2pt attempt.
Halftime: Blizzard 15 – Barnstormers 20

The Barnstormers are the first team on the board to open up the second half as Sheldon Augustine found the end zone on a 2 yard run. The Blizzard responded quickly on the next possession as Jeremy Jones scored on a 2 yard run as well. Barnstormers closed the 3rd quarter as they scored on a Grant Rohach 19 yard pass to Brady Roland.
End of the 3rd Quarter: Blizzard 22 – Barnstormers 33

The Barnstormers score early in the 4th quarter as Grant Rohach connected with Ryan Ballentine on a 3 yard pass. Nearly 10 minutes later the Barnstormers found the end zone again as Grant Rohach found the end zone on a 3 yard run. The Blizzard scored one final time in the game as Jordan Endries successfully made a 51 yard field goal.
Final: Blizzard 25 – Barnstormers 46

Game Leaders:
Passing: Bryan Hicks (Blizzard) 14-27, 154 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Grant Rohach (Barnstormers) 11 ATT, 52 YDS, 1 TD
Receiving: Sheldon Augustine (Barnstormers) 3 REC, 47 YDS, 1 TD

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