Head Coaches Beware Drafting a Quarterback in the First Round—Your Job is at Stake

By Chris Malumphy

Drafting a quarterback in the first round does not bode well for the head coach's job security. Of the 13 quarterbacks drafted in the first round since 2015, only five enter 2019 with their original coach, with five of the teams now on their third coach, if you include the Broncos who moved on from Paxton Lynch but are now on their third coach since drafting him. Of the seven quarterbacks drafted in the top three picks during those years, only Carson Wentz is still with his original coach.

Quarterbacks Drafted in the First Round Since 2015
2015BuccaneersJameis Winston111Florida StateLovie Smith, Dirk Koetter, Brian Flores
2015TitansMarcus Mariota122OregonKen Whisenhunt, Mike Mularkey, Mike Vrabel
2016RamsJared Goff111CaliforniaJeff Fisher, John Fassel, Sean McVay
2016EaglesCarson Wentz122North Dakota StateDoug Pederson
2016BroncosPaxton Lynch12626MemphisGary Kubiak, Vance Joseph, Vic Fangio (with Lynch long gone)
2017BearsMitchell Trubisky122North CarolinaJohn Fox, Matt Nagy
2017ChiefsPatrick Mahomes11010Texas TechAndy Reid
2017TexansDeshaun Watson11212ClemsonBill O'Brien
2018BrownsBaker Mayfield111OklahomaHue Jackson, Gregg Williams, Freddie Kitchens
2018JetsSam Darnold133USCTodd Bowles, Adam Gase
2018BillsJosh Allen177WyomingSean McDermott
2018CardinalsJosh Rosen11010UCLASteve Wilks, Kliff Kingsbury
2018RavensLamar Jackson13232LouisvilleJohn Harbaugh

Draft Status of 2019 Super Bowl Starters

By Chris Malumphy

The Los Angeles Rams will likely start seven 1st round draft picks on defense and three on offense in Super Bowl LIII. The New England Patriots will counter with four 1st round draft picks on defense and two or three on offense depending on whether you consider both Philip Dorset and Cordarrelle Patterson likely to start.

All three members of the Rams' defensive line were selected with picks in the top half of the 1st round: Ndamukong Suh (2010, 2nd pick), Aaron Donald (2014, 13th) and Micheal Brockers (2012, 14th). Two of the Rams linebackers were selected within the top seven picks in the draft: Dante Fowler (2015, 3rd) and Mark Barron (2012, 7th). Both Rams' cornerbacks were selected just after the middle of the 1st round: Marcus Peters (2015, 18th) and Aqib Talib (2008, 20th). Five of the seven Rams' 1st rounders starting on defense were originally drafted by other teams: Suh, Fowler, Barron, Peters and Talib. On offense, the Rams' three 1st rounders all play skill positions: quarterback Jared Goff (2016, 1st), running back Todd Gurley (2015, 10th) and wide receiver Brandin Cooks (Saints, 2014, 20th).

As perennial contenders, the Patriots typically have low draft picks, which is reflected in their starting lineup. On defense, the team has a defensive lineman (Malcolm Brown, 2015, 32nd), a linebacker (Dont'a Hightower, 2012, 25th) and a safety (Devin McCourty, 2010, 27th) selected with the 25th pick or later in the 1st round. The Patriots will also start cornerback Stephon Gilmore, selected with the 10th pick in the 2012 draft by the Buffalo Bills. On offense, the only 1st round pick drafted originally by the Patriots is rookie running back Sony Michel (2018, 31st). Wide receivers Philip Dorset (Colts, 2015, 29th) and Cordarrelle Patterson (Vikings, 2012, 29th) were selected in the first round by other teams and were actually only the 4rd and 5th most productive wideouts on the Patriots in 2018 behind Julian Edelman, the now inactive Josh Gordon and Chris Hogan.

Naturally, 1st round draft picks aren't the only players on the field, and they are not always the best, even on their own teams at the same position as the Patriots' wide receivers reflect. But 1st round choices are players generally considered to have superior athletic ability at the time of the draft. Whether they've harnessed that supposed advantage on the professional playing field is another matter. The Rams went all in on filling their 2018 season starting lineup with high round picks which also includes four 2nd rounders on offense, two obtained from other teams, and another on defense. The Patriots are relying to a greater extent on players selected later in draft. With perhaps the best coach of all time in Bill Belichick going against Sean McVay, the rising coaching star in the NFL, Super Bowl LIII will be a match of contrasting team building styles.

Draft Status of Super Bowl Starters
Rams Offense
QBJared Goff2016Rams111QBCalifornia
RBTodd Gurley2015Rams11010RBGeorgia
RBC.J. Anderson2013    RBCalifornia
WRBrandin Cooks2014Saints12020WROregon State
WRRobert Woods2013Bills2941WRUSC
WRJosh Reynolds2017Rams410117WRTexas A&M
TETyler Higbee2016Rams412110TEWestern Kentucky
LTAndrew Whitworth2006Bengals22355 TLouisiana State
LGRodger Saffold2010Rams2133 TIndiana
CJohn Sullivan2008Vikings621187 CNotre Dame
RGAustin Blythe2016Colts727248 CIowa
RTRob Havenstein2015Rams22557 TWisconsin
Rams Defense
LEMichael Brockers2012Rams11414DTLouisiana State
NTNdamukong Suh2010Lions122DTNebraska
REAaron Donald2014Rams11313DTPittsburgh
OLBSamson Ebukam2017Rams419125LBEastern Washington
ILBMark Barron2012Buccaneers177DBAlabama
ILBCory Littleton2016    LBWashington
OLBDante Fowler2015Jaguars133LBFlorida
CBMarcus Peters2015Chiefs11818DBWashington
CBAqib Talib2008Buccaneers12020DBKansas
FSLamarcus Joyner2014Rams2941DBFlorida State
SSJohn Johnson III2017Rams32791DBBoston College
Rams Special Teams
KGreg Zuerlein2012Rams61171 KMissouri Western
PJohnny Hekker2012     POregon State
KRJoJo Natson2017    WRAkron
PRJoJo Natson2017    WRAkron
LSJake McQuaide2011     GOhio State
HJohnny Hekker2012     POregon State
STMicah Kiser2018Rams510147LBVirginia
Patriots Offense
QBTom Brady2000Patriots633199QBMichigan
RBSony Michel2018Patriots13131RBGeorgia
RBJames White2014Patriots430130RBWisconsin
RBRex Burkhead2013Bengals622190RBNebraska
WRJulian Edelman2009Patriots723232WRKent State
WRChris Hogan2011    WRMonmouth
WRPhillip Dorsett2015Colts12929WRMiami (FL)
WRCordarrelle Patterson2013Vikings12929WRTennessee
TERob Gronkowski2010Patriots21042TEArizona
LTTrent Brown201549ers727244 GFlorida
LGJoe Thuney2016Patriots31578 GNorth Carolina State
CDavid Andrews2015    CGeorgia
RGShaquille Mason2015Patriots432131CGeorgia Tech
RTMarcus Cannon2011Patriots57138 TTexas Christian
Patriots Defense
LETrey Flowers2015Patriots42101DEArkansas
DTLawrence Guy2011Packers730233DTArizona State
DTMalcom Brown2015Patriots13232DTTexas
REDeatrich Wise Jr.2015Patriots425131DEArkansas
OLBKyle Van Noy2014Lions2840LBBrigham Young
MLBElandon Roberts2016Patriots639214LBHouston
OLBDont'a Hightower2012Patriots12525LBAlabama
CBJason McCourty2009Titans630203DBRutgers
CBStephon Gilmore2012Bills11010DBSouth Carolina
FSDevin McCourty2010Patriots12727DBRutgers
SSPatrick Chung2009Patriots2234DBOregon
Patriots Special Teams
KStephen Gostkowski2006Patriots421118 KMemphis
PRyan Allen2013     PLouisiana Tech
KRCordarrelle Patterson2013Vikings12929WRTennessee
WRJulian Edelman2009Patriots723232WRKent State
LSJoe Cardona2015Patriots530166 CNavy
HRyan Allen2013     PLouisiana Tech
STMatt Slater2008Patriots518153WRUCLA

2018 Thousand Yard Rushers—A Young Man’s Game

By Chris Malumphy

In 2018, the Year of the Almighty Passing Game, nine players rushed for more than 1,000 yards. The nine running backs include five players selected in the first round of their drafts, two from the second round, a sixth rounder and one who was signed as a free agent after going undrafted. Each of the first rounders were top ten picks: Saquon Barkley (2nd, 2018, Giants), Ezekiel Elliott (4th, 2016, Cowboys), Adrian Peterson (7th, 2007, Vikings), Christian McCaffrey (8th, 2017, Panthers) and Todd Gurley (10th, 2015, Rams). Players drafted in the second round surpassing 1,000 yards rushing in 2018 were Derrick Henry (45th player overall, 2016, Titans) and Joe Mixon (48th, 2017, Bengals). Chris Carson was selected by the Seahawks in the seventh round, the 249th player drafted in 2017. The Broncos signed Philip Lindsay after he went undrafted in 2018.

Four of the 1,000 yard rushers were the first running back selected in their draft: Adrian Peterson (2007), Todd Gurley (2015), Ezekiel Elliott (2016) and Saquon Barkley (2018). Two others were the second running back selected: Derrick Henry (2016) and Christian McCaffrey (2017). Joe Mixon was the fourth running back selected in 2017 while Chris Carson was 29th the same year. Philip Lindsay was undrafted even though 21 running backs were selected in 2018.

Only the Rams' Todd Gurley repeated the feat from 2017. Gurley holds another distinction. Other than the ageless Adrian Peterson who was drafted way back in 2007, Gurley entered the league longest ago, in 2015. Gaining 1,000 yards on the ground in 2018 was certainly a young man's game.

2018 Thousand Yard Rushers
2018 TeamName
Running Backs Drafted BeforeRunning Backs Drafted After
CowboysEzekiel Elliott
14340   Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, C.J. Prosise, Tyler Ervin, Kenneth Dixon, Devontae Booker, DeAndre Washington, Paul Perkins, Jordan Howard, Wendell Smallwood, Jonathan Williams, Alex Collins, Andy Janovich, Keenan Reynolds, Dan Vitale, Derek Watt, Kelvin Taylor, Darius Jackson, Dwayne Washington, Daniel Lasco, Keith Marshall, Zac Brooks
GiantsSaquon Barkley
13070   Rashaad Penny, Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, Ronald Jones, Kerryon Johnson, Derrius Guice, Royce Freeman, Nyheim Hines, Mark Walton, Ito Smith, Kalen Ballage, Chase Edmonds, Jordan Wilkins, John Kelly, Boston Scott, Trenton Cannon, David Williams, Bo Scarbrough, Nick Bawdon, Justin Jackson
RamsTodd Gurley
12510   Melvin Gordon, T.J. Yeldon, Ameer Abdullah, Tevin Coleman, Duke Johnson Jr., David Johnson, Matt Jones, Jeremy Langford, Jalston Fowler, Javorius Allen, Mike Davis, David Cobb, Jay Ajayi, Karlos Williams, Michael Burton, Cameron Artis-Payne, Josh Robinson, Aaron Ripkowski, Marcus Murphy, Joey Iosefa, Kenny Hilliard
BengalsJoe Mixon
11683Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin CookAlvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, D'Onta Foreman, James Conner, Samaje Perine, Tarik Cohen, Joe Williams, Donnel Pumphrey, Jamaal Williams, Wayne Gallman, Marlon Mack, Brian Hill, Jeremy McNichols, T.J. Logan, Aaron Jones, Elijah McGuire, Alex Armah, De'Angelo Henderson, Sam Rogers, Brandon Wilson, Devante Mays, Marquez Williams, Khalfani Muhammad, Elijah Hood, Chris Carson, Matthew Dayes
SeahawksChris Carson
115128Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, D'Onta Foreman, James Conner, Samaje Perine, Tarik Cohen, Joe Williams, Donnel Pumphrey, Jamaal Williams, Wayne Gallman, Marlon Mack, Brian Hill, Jeremy McNichols, T.J. Logan, Aaron Jones, Elijah McGuire, Alex Armah, De'Angelo Henderson, Sam Rogers, Brandon Wilson, Devante Mays, Marquez Williams, Khalfani Muhammad, Elijah HoodMatthew Dayes
PanthersChristian McCaffrey
10981Leonard FournetteDalvin Cook, Joe Mixon, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, D'Onta Foreman, James Conner, Samaje Perine, Tarik Cohen, Joe Williams, Donnel Pumphrey, Jamaal Williams, Wayne Gallman, Marlon Mack, Brian Hill, Jeremy McNichols, T.J. Logan, Aaron Jones, Elijah McGuire, Alex Armah, De'Angelo Henderson, Sam Rogers, Brandon Wilson, Devante Mays, Marquez Williams, Khalfani Muhammad, Elijah Hood, Chris Carson, Matthew Dayes
TitansDerrick Henry
10591Ezekiel ElliottKenyan Drake, C.J. Prosise, Tyler Ervin, Kenneth Dixon, Devontae Booker, DeAndre Washington, Paul Perkins, Jordan Howard, Wendell Smallwood, Jonathan Williams, Alex Collins, Andy Janovich, Keenan Reynolds, Dan Vitale, Derek Watt, Kelvin Taylor, Darius Jackson, Dwayne Washington, Daniel Lasco, Keith Marshall, Zac Brooks
RedskinsAdrian Peterson
10420   Marshawn Lynch, Kenny Irons, Chris Henry, Brian Leonard, Brandon Jackson, Lorenzo Booker, Tony Hunt, Garrett Wolfe, Michael Bush, Antonio Pittman, Dwayne Wright, Le'Ron McClain, Kolby Smith, Oren O'Neal, Reagan Mauia, Thomas Clayton, Deon Anderson, Justise Hairston, Derek Schouman, DeShawn Wynn, Nate Ilaoa, Jason Snelling, Kenneth Darby, Ahmad Bradshaw
BroncosPhilip Lindsay
2018 undrafted
103721Saquon Barkley, Rashaad Penny, Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, Ronald Jones, Kerryon Johnson, Derrius Guice, Royce Freeman, Nyheim Hines, Mark Walton, Ito Smith, Kalen Ballage, Chase Edmonds, Jordan Wilkins, John Kelly, Boston Scott, Trenton Cannon, David Williams, Bo Scarbrough, Nick Bawdon, Justin Jackson  

2018 Season Playoff Quarterbacks

By Chris Malumphy

Statistics for 2018 Playoff Quarterbacks
(Includes Regular Season and Playoff Games)
Drew BreesSaints52739274.442938.111.0346.561.1191393.5114.88.364.622
Patrick MahomesChiefs62141066.053758.713.1508.1121.9301974.6112.08.666.5280
Russell WilsonSeahawks45429865.636818.112.4367.971.55236210.3110.67.3611.7390
Philip RiversChargers59139466.747998.112.2355.9132.2352255.6102.07.497.722
Deshaun WatsonTexans55437467.544007.911.8274.9101.86540210.5100.26.6012.1627
Jared GoffRams59037964.248748.312.9325.4132.2332255.398.97.557.4120
Tom BradyPatriots61440966.646987.711.5304.9111.8211473.398.37.335.034
Andrew LuckColts70746866.250187.110.7425.9162.3211612.997.26.845.1194
Dak PrescottCowboys59139867.343777.411.0244.191.5583658.996.36.3010.3337
Mitchell TrubiskyBears47731566.035267.411.2255.2122.5261555.294.96.627.6430
Nick FolesEagles26618469.218807.110.2103.883.010553.689.26.036.516
Lamar JacksonRavens19911356.813957.012.384.042.02312810.483.65.6212.2706

3-4 Defenses Top 4-3s in 2018 Regular Season

By Chris Malumphy

Teams that used a base 3-4 defense did better than those typically in a 4-3 alignment in 2018. The four teams allowing the fewest points during the regular season all used a 3-4 defense. Overall, 3-4 teams allowed 22.5 points per game and finished with a 104-86-2 (.547) record. Teams using a 4-3 allowed 23.9 points per game average, 1.4 points than 3-4 teams, and were 150-168-2 (.472) overall. Twelve teams used 3-4 schemes versus 20 using the 4-3 alignment as a base defense.

Of the twelve teams that made the playoffs, five used the 3-4 alignment. Thus, 5/12 or nearly 42% of the teams that used the 3-4 scheme made the playoffs. Conversely, 7/20 or 35% of the 4-3 teams made the playoffs. However, after losses by the Bears, Ravens and Texans, the only 3-4 teams still with a chance to go to Super Bowl LIII are the Chiefs and the Rams.

Points Allowed by Team with Type of Defense
Bears3-428372.94.123.7712-4-0 (0.750)
Ravens3-428780.65.223.7510-6-0 (0.625)
Titans3-430388.45.944.349-7-0 (0.563)
Texans3-431692.76.363.4411-5-0 (0.688)
Jaguars4-331684.45.524.315-11-0 (0.313)
Cowboys4-332495.76.523.7810-6-0 (0.625)
Patriots4-332585.45.874.9211-5-0 (0.688)
Chargers4-332989.16.014.2912-4-0 (0.750)
Vikings4-334183.35.244.138-7-1 (0.531)
Colts4-334493.56.123.9210-6-0 (0.625)
Seahawks4-334794.36.494.9510-6-0 (0.625)
Eagles4-334892.66.364.679-7-0 (0.563)
Broncos3-434990.66.204.466-10-0 (0.375)
Saints4-3353100.37.013.6013-3-0 (0.813)
Redskins3-435995.16.284.507-9-0 (0.438)
Lions4-3360102.77.174.376-10-0 (0.375)
Steelers3-436095.26.274.179-6-1 (0.594)
Bills4-337482.64.904.186-10-0 (0.375)
Panthers4-338299.66.924.707-9-0 (0.438)
Rams3-438493.86.255.0713-3-0 (0.813)
Browns4-339283.45.704.717-8-1 (0.469)
Packers3-4400100.97.074.296-9-1 (0.406)
Giants3-441289.86.454.275-11-0 (0.313)
Chiefs3-442192.76.275.0012-4-0 (0.750)
Falcons4-342398.36.654.897-9-0 (0.438)
Cardinals4-342596.16.074.863-13-0 (0.188)
Dolphins4-343394.16.694.797-9-0 (0.438)
49ers4-3435105.27.464.094-12-0 (0.250)
Jets3-444193.16.544.594-12-0 (0.250)
Bengals4-3455100.07.324.726-10-0 (0.375)
Buccaneers4-3464110.97.744.655-11-0 (0.313)
Raiders4-3467101.08.004.694-12-0 (0.250)

Patriots Rob Gronkowski Tied for Second in All-Time Playoff TD Receptions

By Chris Malumphy

The STATHEAD newsletter published a list of players with 10 or more TD receptions in the playoffs. I've added their career regular season stats to see who made most of their reputation via playoff production. The Patriots Rob Gronkowski, the only active player on the list in this year's playoffs, has a chance to move into sole possession of second place behind Jerry Rice in playoff touchdown receptions. Gronk is currently tied with the Steelers' John Stallworth.

Stallworth had 16% of his overall career touchdown receptions come in the playoffs, the most of any player on the list. Former Packer and Eagle Antonio Freeman is second with 14.1%. The Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald (7.9%) and ex Viking, Raider, Patriot, Titan and 49ers (phew!) Randy Moss (6.0%) had the fewest percentage of their overall career touchdown receptions in the playoffs.

Of the non-active players on the list, only Antonio Freeman and ex-Steeler Hines Ward are not in the Hall of Fame.

Players with 10 or More Touchdown Receptions in Playoffs
(Entering Divisional Round of 2018 Season Playoffs)
NamePlayoffsRegular SeasonPlayoff Percentage
Jerry Rice*224522228951978.9%10.0%
Rob Gronkowski9721278617911.0%13.2%
John Stallworth*10541282736311.3%16.0%
Fred Biletnikoff*11671089747611.5%11.6%
Larry Fitzgerald94210162791165.5%7.9%
Antonio Freeman8231072516110.2%14.1%
Randy Moss*97710152921566.0%6.0%
Hines Ward11811012083858.9%10.5%
* Hall of Famers

Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez and Champ Bailey Among Top Finalists for Hall of Fame

By Chris Malumphy

The 2019 NFL Hall of Fame selections will be announced on the eve of Super Bowl LIII. There are 15 modern era finalists, two contributors and a senior nominee waiting to learn whether they will be enshrined. While each of the 18 candidates has his backers and can make a good case for enshrinement, only four to eight new members will be selected.

The modern era nominees include seven offensive and six defensive stalwarts as well as two head coaches. No quarterbacks are under consideration, although one individual who played the position for over a decade may get in for his success as a coach.

The offensive players include running back Edgerrin James, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, tight end Tony Gonzalez, tackle Tony Boselli, guards Steve Hutchinson and Alan Faneca and center Kevin Mawae.

Modern era defensive finalists include one interior lineman and five defensive backs: defensive tackle Richard Seymour, cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Ty Law, and safeties Steve Atwater, Ed Reed and John Lynch. The coaches are Don Coryell and Tom Flores. The senior nominee finalist also comes from the defensive backfield: Johnny Robinson.

The finalists as contributors are Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Dallas Cowboy personnel evaluation guru Gil Brandt.

Though tough to predict, it would be difficult to imagine a Hall of Fame that did not ultimately include Ed Reed, Tony Gonzalez and Champ Bailey. Pat Bowlen and Gil Brandt are also probable shoe-ins. That leaves some mighty fine talent left for less than a handful of other potential spots this year. In a league which now sports 32 franchises and 53-man rosters many fan favorites with substantial contributions to the game over many years will remain destined to be looking in from the outside of the Hall. It is quite a shame, and perhaps the Hall of Fame should consider establishing another, slightly lower, level of accolade to help preserve the memories and contributions of the numerous others who have shaped America's favorite professional sport. Unless that happens numerous contributors, including many standouts who played somewhat "invisible" positions will never receiver their proper due.

2019 NFL Hall of Fame Nominees
Modern Era Finalists
RBEdgerrin James1999Colts144Miami (FL)
WRIsaac Bruce1994Rams2433Memphis
TETony Gonzalez1997Chiefs11313California
TTony Boselli1995Jaguars122USC
GSteve Hutchinson2001Seahawks11717Michigan
GAlan Faneca1998Steelers12626Louisiana State
CKevin Mawae1994Seahawks2736Louisiana State
DTRichard Seymour2001Patriots166Georgia
DBChamp Bailey1999Redskins177Georgia
DBSteve Atwater1989Broncos12020Arkansas
DBTy Law1995Patriots12323Michigan
DBEd Reed2002Ravens12424Miami (FL)
DBJohn Lynch1993Buccaneers32682Stanford
CoachDon Coryell     Washington
Coach/QBTom Flores     Pacific
Senior Finalist
DBJohnny Robinson1960NFL Lions
AFL Texans
Louisiana State
Contributing Finalists
OwnerPat Bowlen     Oklahoma
EvaluatorGil Brandt     Wisconsin

The 2019 Coaching Carousel is Underway

By Chris Malumphy

Black Monday has arrived for NFL coaches and the 2019 NFL coaching carousel is officially underway. During the season the Cleveland Browns sent Hue Jackson packing and the Green Bay Packers dismissed Mike McCarthy despite a Super Bowl ring and a .618 career winning percentage. Within 24 hours of the end of the regular season, six other coaches met their demise. After one season, the Arizona Cardinals decided Steve Wilks wasn't the answer to their turnaround efforts after just one year on the job. At the other end of the spectrum, Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown decided that the second longest tenured coach in the league, Marvin Lewis, would be dismissed after 16 seasons. In Denver, the revered John Elway will be on his fourth coach in six years after Vance Joseph couldn't make steak out of the quarterbacks Elway provided him like Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum and Paxton Lynch. Perhaps coaching isn't the problem in Denver. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired Dirk Koetter after the coach failed to develop the talents of quarterback Jameis Winston into victories. Dissension in the ranks didn't allow Adam Gase to survive in Miami despite posting a near .500 record with little consistency from his quarterbacks. Todd Bowles couldn't keep losing in New York even though the Jets front office didn't provide him with any viable hope at the most important position on the field until this season. It doesn't appear that the Packers will stick with interim head coach Joe Philbin and the Browns are dithering over whether Gregg Williams' 5-3 record is good enough to retain the position.

With eight firings thus far, 25% of the 32 NFL head coaching positions are in flux. Of the 24 franchises that haven't made changes, 16 have head coaches with winning records for their careers, only six teams are sticking with coaches that have losing records, only two of whom started their tenure with the team prior to 2017: the Redskins Jay Gruden (2014) and the Jaguars Doug Marrone (2016).

There are lots of candidates to fill the vacancies. Among them are a slew of former NFL head coaches, promising coordinators and assistants and a handful of college coaches that NFL teams appear willing to consider. Top candidates appear to include Mike McCarthy, Josh McDaniels (a seeming perennial on these lists), Oklahoma mastermind Lincoln Riley and Adam Gase, who may have some explaining to do about why Dolphins ownership found him wanting. Coordinators and assistant coaches with outside shots include: Brian LeFlores, Matt LaFleur, Eric Bieniemy, Matt Eberflus, Dave Troub and Freddie Kitchens. College coaches include: Pat Fitzgerald, Jim Harbaugh (who took the 49ers to the Super Bowl) and Matt Campbell. Former head coaches, some who've had some success, but perhaps not enough, include Gregg Williams (hoping to hang on with the Browns), Mike Munchak, Dennis Allen, Jim Schwartz, Dan Campbell and Hue Jackson who may land the job in Cincinnati. Others who have no current coaching position but have had relatively recent success include: Bruce Arians, Jim Caldwell, Lovie Smith and John Fox. Only Arians seems to be even mentioned from that group.

2019 Coaching Carousel Underway
CoachCareerCurrent Tenure2018
Sean McVay24800.7502017Rams24800.75013300.813
Matt Nagy12400.7502018Bears12400.75012400.750
Bill Belichick26112300.6802000Patriots2257900.74011500.688
Mike Tomlin1256610.6542007Steelers1256610.6549610.594
Anthony Lynn211200.6362017Chargers211100.65612400.750
Frank Reich10600.6252018Colts10600.62510600.625
Bruce Arians49
Mike McCarthy1257720.6182006Packers1257720.6184710.375
Sean Payton1187400.6152006Saints1187400.61513300.813
Andy Reid19512410.6112013Chiefs653100.67712400.750
Doug Pederson291900.6042016Eagles291900.6049700.563
Mike Zimmer473210.5942014Vikings473210.5948710.531
John Harbaugh1047200.5912008Ravens1047200.59110600.625
Pete Carroll1228510.5892010Seahawks895410.62210600.625
Jason Garrett775900.5662010Cowboys775900.56610600.625
Mike Vrabel9700.5632018Titans9700.5639700.563
Dan Quinn362800.5632015Falcons362800.5637900.438
Ron Rivera715610.5592011Panthers715610.5597900.438
Bill O'Brien423800.5252014Texans423800.52511500.688
Marvin Lewis13112230.5182003Bengals13112230.51861000.375
Jon Gruden999300.5162018Raiders41200.25041200.250
Adam Gase232500.4792016
Doug Marrone313500.4702016Jaguars161800.47151100.313
Sean McDermott151700.4692017Bills151700.46961000.375
Joe Philbin273100.4662018Packers2200.5002200.500
Jay Gruden354410.4442014Redskins354410.4447900.438
Gregg Williams263600.4192018Browns5300.6255300.625
Dirk Koetter192900.3962016Buccaneers192900.39651100.313
Todd Bowles264100.3882015Jets244000.37541200.250
Matt Patricia61000.3752018Lions61000.37561000.375
Vance Joseph112100.3442017Broncos112100.34461000.375
Kyle Shanahan102200.313201749ers102200.31341200.250
Pat Shurmur153400.3062018Giants51100.31351100.313
Hue Jackson114410.2052016Browns33610.0882510.313
Steve Wilks31300.1882018Cardinals31300.18831300.188
Matt LaFleur    2019Packers        
Kliff Kingsbury    2019Cardinals        
Freddie Kitchens    2019Browns        
Vic Fangio    2019Broncos        
Zac Taylor    2019Bengals        
Brian Flores    2019Dolphins        
* Includes Arians' 9-3 record with the Indianapolis Colts in 2012 while filling in for Coach Chuck Pagano who was battling cancer. The NFL has attributed that record to Pagano even though he was not on the sidelines for those games.

2018 NFL Regular Season Statistical Leaders

By Chris Malumphy

2018 Regular Season Statistical Leaders

2018 Statistics by Team

Draft Status of the 2018 Season Pro Bowl Selections

By Chris Malumphy

The initial selections have been made for the 2019 Pro Bowl teams. Long-snappers will be selected later by the Pro Bowl coaches and alternates will undoubtedly be added to the rosters in place of players who will miss the game due to injury or participation in the Super Bowl. While the selection method may be flawed, those who made the Pro Bowl rosters are recognized as among the best at their positions. It is therefore enlightening to see where these players were selected in their respective NFL drafts to see whether NFL front offices are able to identify top players at draft time and to note which players have exceeded expectations.

Naturally, the overwhelming number of Pro Bowl players were selected in the early rounds of their draft but the results vary considerably by position.

Of the six quarterbacks picked for the 2019 Pro Bowl, four were 1st round draft choices. The two that weren't also happen to be the oldest starting quarterbacks in the NFL: Tom Brady (2000, 6th round, 199th player) and Drew Brees (2001, 2nd round, 32nd player). Brady is the player who was selected latest in a draft to make this year's team.

Each of the 6 outside linebackers selected to play in the 2019 Pro Bowl were drafted in the 1st round, including four with top ten picks, and none later than the 23rd selection. In addition, the inside linebackers were all 1st and 2nd round selections. If you need a linebacker in the draft don't delay, it seems that the best go mighty early.

Teams also grab the top cornerbacks early with all eight of the 2019 Pro Bowl selections going within the top 38 picks of their draft, including six 1st rounders (three within the top 5 choices) and two 2nd rounders, the latest with the 7th pick in that round.

While the running back position has been denigrated in recent years, four of the six 2019 Pro Bowlers were selected within the first 15 picks in their draft. Only 3rd rounder James Conner of the Steelers and the undrafted Phillip Lindsay of the Broncos provide evidence supporting the position that topflight running backs can be overlooked early.

Conversely, the only wide receiver selected in the top half of a draft to make the 2019 Pro Bowl team was the Falcons Julio Jones. Moreover three of the eight wide receivers were drafted, if at all, only after more than 160 players had been selected.

Per usual, the best offensive tackles tend to be selected in the top half of the 1st round. Four of the six who made the 2019 Pro Bowl roster were among the top 11 picks in their draft.

Guards were evenly split between 1st and 3rd rounders. Three of the four centers were drafted in the middle of the first round with the fourth being selected near the midpoint of round two. Note that the brothers Pouncey nabbed both of the AFC center positions.

The defensive ends were generally high draft picks with four 1st rounders (J.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, Melvin Ingram and Cameron Jordan), a high 2nd rounder (DeMarcus Lawrence) and a late 3rd rounder (Danielle Hunter).

The selections for interior defensive linemen included 1st rounders Aaron Donald, Fletcher Cox and Cameron Heyward, 3rd round choices Jurrell Casey and Akiem Hicks, and 4th rounder Geno Atkins.

Three of the six safeties (both strong and free) were 1st rounders with two 2nd rounders and a 4th rounder.

Shoutouts are due to undrafted players who made the 2019 Pro Bowl at starting offensive positions including: Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva.

No undrafted player was selected for a defensive position.

Several undrafted players were selected for their standout play on special teams with big markets dominating the action. New York city provides both place kickers with the Jets providing Jason Myers and the Giants Aldrick Rojas, both undrafted. The city of Los Angeles counters by sending both special team selections, each undrafted: the Chargers Adrian Phillips joined by the Rams Cory Littleton. Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern was also undrafted.

Of course, since being selected to the Pro Bowl team is somewhat more like winning a popularity contest than being technically certified as the best at your position. Nevertheless, the players picked are generally held in high regard.

As an aside, isn't it mildly confusing that the players recognized as the best during the 2018 season are identified with the 2019 Pro Bowl. Sure the game is played in 2019. But gee-whiz, when someone wants to look up who were the best players during the 2018 season, should they really have to look at the "2019" Pro Bowl selections.

Draft Status of 2018 Season Pro Bowl Selections
AFCPatrick MahomesChiefs2017Chiefs11010QBTexas Tech
AFCPhilip RiversChargers2004Giants144QBNorth Carolina State
AFCTom BradyPatriots2000Patriots633199QBMichigan
NFCDrew BreesSaints2001Chargers2132QBPurdue
NFCJared GoffRams2016Rams111QBCalifornia
NFCAaron RodgersPackers2005Packers12424QBCalifornia
Running Backs
AFCJames ConnerSteelers2017Steelers341105RBPittsburgh
AFCMelvin GordonChargers2015Chargers11515RBWisconsin
AFCPhillip LindsayBroncos             Colorado
NFCTodd GurleyRams2015Rams11010RBGeorgia
NFCSaquon BarkleyGiants2018Giants122RBPenn State
NFCEzekiel ElliottCowboys2016Cowboys144RBOhio State
AFCAnthony ShermanChiefs2011Cardinals55136RBConnecticut
NFCKyle Juszczyk49ers2013Ravens433130RBHarvard
Wide Receivers
AFCDeAndre HopkinsTexans2013Texans12727WRClemson
AFCTyreek HillChiefs2016Chiefs528165WRWest Alabama
AFCAntonio BrownSteelers2010Steelers626195WRCentral Michigan
AFCKeenan AllenChargers2013Chargers31476WRCalifornia
NFCJulio JonesFalcons2011Falcons166WRAlabama
NFCMichael ThomasSaints2016Saints21647WROhio State
NFCAdam ThielenVikings             Minnesota State
NFCDavante AdamsPackers2014Packers22153WRFresno State
Tight Ends
AFCTravis KelceChiefs2013Chiefs3163TECincinnati
AFCEric EbronColts2014Lions11010TENorth Carolina
NFCZach ErtzEagles2013Eagles2335TEStanford
NFCGeorge Kittle49ers201749ers52146TEIowa
AFCTaylor LewanTitans2014Titans11111 TMichigan
AFCAlejandro VillanuevaSteelers             Army
AFCEric FisherChiefs2013Chiefs111 TCentral Michigan
NFCTyron SmithCowboys2011Cowboys199 TUSC
NFCTerron ArmsteadSaints2013Saints31375 TArkansas-Pine Bluff
NFCTrent WilliamsRedskins2010Redskins144 TOklahoma
AFCDavid DeCastroSteelers2012Steelers12424 GStanford
AFCMarshal YandaRavens2007Ravens32386 GIowa
AFCQuenton NelsonColts2018Colts166 GNotre Dame
NFCZack MartinCowboys2014Cowboys11616 TNotre Dame
NFCBrandon BrooksEagles2012Texans31376 GMiami (OH)
NFCTrai TurnerPanthers2014Panthers32892 GLouisiana State
AFCMaurkice PounceySteelers2010Steelers11818 CFlorida
AFCMike PounceyChargers2011Dolphins11515 GFlorida
NFCAlex MackFalcons2009Browns12121 CCalifornia
NFCMax UngerSaints2009Seahawks21749 COregon
Defensive Ends
AFCJ.J. WattTexans2011Texans11111DEWisconsin
AFCMyles GarrettBrowns2017Browns111DETexas A&M
AFCMelvin IngramChargers2012Chargers11818DESouth Carolina
NFCCameron JordanSaints2011Saints12424DECalifornia
NFCDeMarcus LawrenceCowboys2014Cowboys2234DEBoise State
NFCDanielle HunterVikings2015Vikings32488DELouisiana State
Interior Defensive Linemen
AFCGeno AtkinsBengals2010Bengals422120DTGeorgia
AFCJurrell CaseyTitans2011Titans31377DTUSC
AFCCameron HeywardSteelers2011Steelers13131DEOhio State
NFCAaron DonaldRams2014Rams11313DTPittsburgh
NFCFletcher CoxEagles2012Eagles11212DTMississippi State
NFCAkiem HicksBears2012Saints32689DERegina
Inside Linebackers
AFCC.J. MosleyRavens2014Ravens11717LBAlabama
AFCBenardrick McKinneyTexans2015Texans21143LBMississippi State
NFCLuke KuechlyPanthers2012Panthers199LBBoston College
NFCBobby WagnerSeahawks2012Seahawks21547LBUtah State
Outside Linebackers
AFCVon MillerBroncos2011Broncos122LBTexas A&M
AFCJadeveon ClowneyTexans2014Texans111DESouth Carolina
AFCDee FordChiefs2014Chiefs12323DEAuburn
NFCKhalil MackBears2014Raiders155LBBuffalo
NFCRyan KerriganRedskins2011Redskins11616LBPurdue
NFCAnthony BarrVikings2014Vikings199LBUCLA
AFCXavien HowardDolphins2016Dolphins2738DBBaylor
AFCJalen RamseyJaguars2016Jaguars155DBFlorida State
AFCStephon GilmorePatriots2012Bills11010DBSouth Carolina
AFCDenzel WardBrowns2018Browns144DBOhio State
NFCKyle FullerBears2014Bears11414DBVirginia Tech
NFCPatrick PetersonCardinals2011Cardinals155DBLouisiana State
NFCDarius SlayLions2013Lions2436DBMississippi State
NFCByron JonesCowboys2015Cowboys12727DBConnecticut
Free Safeties
AFCDerwin JamesChargers2018Chargers11717DBFlorida State
AFCEric WeddleRavens2007Chargers2537DBUtah
NFCEddie JacksonBears2017Bears45112DBAlabama
NFCHarrison SmithVikings2012Vikings12929DBNotre Dame
Strong Safeties
AFCJamal AdamsJets2017Jets166DBLouisiana State
NFCLandon CollinsGiants2015Giants2133DBAlabama
AFCBrett KernTitans             Toledo
NFCMichael DicksonSeahawks2018Seahawks512149 PTexas
AFCJason MyersJets             Marist
NFCAldrick RosasGiants             Southern Oregon
Return Specialists
AFCAndre RobertsJets2010Cardinals32488WRCitadel
NFCTarik CohenBears2017Bears413119RBNorth Carolina A&T
Special Teams
AFCAdrian PhillipsChargers             Texas
NFCCory LittletonRams             Washington

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