Burning questions within the AFC and NFC East, plus rating the OROY candidates and a Dak Prescott harm replace

That is the primary time in Decide Six E-newsletter historical past that I — Cody Benjamin — have delivered two straight day by day doses of NFL content material. Feels fairly particular. Hope you are feeling the identical. Due to John Breech for taking trip to permit us all this unprecedented time collectively. Now let’s get proper into it, as a result of we have a lot to discover across the NFL.

And please, do your self a favor and be sure you’re signed as much as obtain this text day-after-day! You do not wish to miss our day by day choices of the whole lot you have to know across the NFL.

We have AFC West projections, burning questions for 2021, Dak Prescott updates and rather more:

  1. At this time’s present: Projecting win totals for AFC West contenders

Joe Scarnici/Getty Pictures

Now that the draft, free company and schedule launch are behind us, we’re working via each division to “reset” expectations for every workforce within the 2021 season. On Wednesday, I joined Will Brinson on the Decide Six NFL Podcast to evaluation the AFC West. In the event you’re in search of quick-hitting evaluation, win-total projections and different betting tidbits concerning the Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders, that is the episode for you.

Vegas followers can be none too happy, as each Brinson and I provided a depressing outlook for the 2021 Raiders. “I would not mess with Las Vegas,” Brinson mentioned. “If the Broncos commerce for Aaron Rodgers … then the Raiders are far and away the worst workforce within the division, and it isn’t remotely shut … (It is a) exhausting move on the whole lot futures associated, except you wish to take the underneath on their win whole, however even then, 7.5, that is simply not many (wins) in a 17-game schedule.”

The Chargers, in the meantime, drew all types of reward, with Brinson even deeming them sleeper Tremendous Bowl contenders. They have all of the foundational items you are in search of, we famous. You’ve got acquired the younger quarterback who can throw it with anybody. You’ve got acquired an offensive line that they correctly addressed. Fairly merely, if you happen to’re in search of a clear-cut second-place finisher or anyone that would really problem the Chiefs, it is most likely the Chargers.

Catch the whole episode (and subscribe for all types of day by day NFL speak) proper right here.

2. Burning questions within the AFC and NFC East: QBs are X-factors

After a traditionally unhealthy 2020 season, the NFC East could be one of many NFL’s best divisions this yr. In any case, each single one in all their groups — the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles and Washington — are projected to win extra video games in 2021. Nonetheless, there isn’t any scarcity of questions among the many East contenders. Listed here are the 4 greatest ones, in accordance with Cody Benjamin (that is me):

  • Cowboys: Will Dak Prescott return to kind and keep wholesome?
  • Giants: Can Daniel Jones ace his audition?
  • Eagles: How will the brand new coach-QB duo work collectively?
  • Washington: Can Ryan Fitzpatrick final a full season?

As you may see, all 4 groups’ QBs are X-factors. Prescott’s consolation degree post-ankle harm might make or break Dallas’ possibilities. Jones now has higher play-makers however nonetheless wants to chop down on foolish errors. Jalen Hurts remains to be unproven because the presumptive starter for rookie coach Nick Sirianni in Philly. And Fitzpatrick, whereas splashy, can be 38 with an harm and turnover historical past.

QBs are an analogous theme within the AFC East, the place Tyler Sullivan asks whether or not Invoice Belichick can get again on observe, Tua Tagovailoa could make a 12 months Two leap, Josh Allen can replicate his MVP-level success and Zach Wilson can dwell as much as the hype in New York.

3. Rating Offensive Rookie of the 12 months candidates: Fields leads the listing

Now that the draft is behind us, Chris Trapasso has turned his consideration to the longer term for a have a look at the high Offensive Rookie of the 12 months candidates. He is acquired a full rundown for 11 completely different rookies, however here is a peek at his high 5, plus perception on his No. 1 selection:

5. Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle
4. Falcons TE Kyle Pitts
3. Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase
2. Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence
1. Bears QB Justin Fields

Fields is my Offensive Rookie of the 12 months choice for a large number of causes, his phenomenal expertise chief amongst them. On the sector, he is Deshaun Watson 2.0, a receiver-caliber athlete enjoying quarterback with a giant arm, sensible coverage-reading tendencies, and a propensity to tear it deep down the sector and drop it into the bucket. 

And he lands with a Bears franchise ravenous for quarterbacking mastery. It has been so lengthy. Too lengthy. Fields inherits a gaggle completely suited to assist him win OROY. Allen RobinsonAnthony MillerDarnell Mooney, and Cole Kmet aren’t so good {that a} sturdy rookie season from Chicago’s first-round choose can be considered as buoyed by skill-position expertise. However they’re competent, ripe to be elevated by an ultra-talented quarterback. And that is exactly what the Bears have in Fields. 

Due to his fall to No. 11 general, he’ll be considered as considerably of an underdog story, and if Fields has the Bears within the playoffs once more — this time with an environment friendly offense — it’s going to be simple for him to be considered as a the front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the 12 months.

4. Former Packers GM: ‘We have now quite a lot of divas … within the league proper now’ 

Pete Prisco is not the one one who thinks “no participant is greater than the sport,” as he lately remarked whereas forecasting an eventual mending of fences between Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Ron Wolf, who spent 10 years as Inexperienced Bay’s common supervisor from 1991-2000, joined Wisconsin’s Huge Present Community this week to handle disgruntled QBs across the NFL — Rodgers amongst them. His tackle the mounting drama between star QBs and their respective groups?

“We have now quite a lot of divas enjoying within the league proper now. I fail to grasp that every one these guys have long-term offers. I can not imagine the sport has modified that remarkably.”

In different phrases, how did Rodgers and different star QBs — just like the SeahawksRussell Wilson and TexansDeshaun Watson — go from inking long-term commitments with their franchises to making an attempt to flee elsewhere only a few years later? Wolf, after all, is coming from the angle of a lifelong front-office man. A entrance workplace’s job is to place the workforce’s pursuits forward of a participant’s. And many would agree with Rodgers, who’s reportedly miffed on the manner Inexperienced Bay has (or hasn’t) proven dedication to him. That is merely one other reminder that not everyone seems to be totally pro-player, on this case. Rodgers, Wolf presumably causes, is underneath contract, and that must be sufficient.

5. Cowboys insider: Dak Prescott totally recovered, set for offseason work

Wesley Hitt / Contributor

Talking of Dak’s well being being an X-factor for the 2021 Cowboys, our Patrik Walker simply reported the newest from inside America’s Crew’s offseason, and he is acquired some excellent news on the rehab entrance. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy mentioned this week that he expects Prescott to take part in most workforce work throughout OTAs and necessary minicamp, the latter of which begins June 8. In accordance with Walker, nonetheless, Dak has been able to full participation for some time:

Sources inform CBS Sports activities Prescott is already capable of do all the work and has been for a number of weeks now, so the slight reduce is, once more, deliberate on the a part of the Cowboys coaching employees to offer them a possibility to evaluate him post-practice(s) earlier than totally unleashing him. Which means that, barring any unexpected challenge, he is anticipated to be a go for coaching camp when it opens in July … with zero limitations.

Prescott himself seems assured, by the way in which. Fifth-round receiver Simi Fehoko advised reporters this week that the QB has already been teaching up this yr’s rookies, and never solely that, however advised him after the draft that “we’re about to go gentle up the league.”

6. Speedy Fireplace Roundup: Colts all in on Wentz, Patriots add a well-known face

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