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NFL Draft

Why Braxton Berrios will make an impact for the Patriots

Ari Russell



(Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY)

When the New England Patriots selected Braxton Berrios in the sixth round, most fans of football in general kind of already in their back of their minds knew this was inevitable. Berrios a small slot receiver was already being rumored to be courted by the Patriots after an impressive showing in the 4th quarter in that four game streak where Miami would win games in close fashion.

Berrios was a guy who wasn’t even on NFL scouts radar before the 2017 season. I mean he could have been signed as an undrafted free agent perhaps, but he probably wouldn’t have even been invited to the combine. However Berrios had a huge senior year and proved to be a guy worthy of being drafted. Now he’s on an organization that has all the pieces in place for him to be successful.

Berrios was the subject of a documentary produced by former Hurricanes Johnathan Vilma, DJ Williams, Antrelle Rolle and Brett Romberg  called Out the Huddle. It certainly helped this project that he was drafted and even better that it was by the Patriots.

The Patriots took Berrios because they were planning on using him right away. The question is that will he replace Danny Amendola right away. Amendola of course signed a contract with the Dolphins and had some words for his old team, before tuning down the rhetoric. This will depend on Berrios in training camp, but he is going to get his chances.

Also the Patriots aren’t known to keeping to many players on the roster once they seem to be fading. That means that Julian Edelman isn;t going to be a Patriot for his entire career. He will probably be able to command another contract elsewhere better than in New England. Does this mean that Berrios will fill in that role as well? It’s highly possible.

Berrios was drafted so they can pass the torch to the next small slot receiver. From Wes Welker to Edelman and Amendola now to Berrios. He’s certainly in the plans of the future. For the next three seasons he will also be a nice and cheap option. He will be a bargain on his rookie contract, which also plays a major role.

Berrios wasn’t the only small slot receiver in the draft, but he was certainly one who fit the overall profile of what they are looking for.

Now Berrios isn’t going to be offensive rookie of the year or anything, but he will have some impact in his rookie season. It will be interesting to see he and Tom Brady connecting to see if there is actual chemistry. If you’re a student of history, you ought to expect this to be a smart draft pick.

Born in the Nation’s Capital, Washington D.C., Ari Russell watched the rise of the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes and knew that he had to be part of the “U” someday. After graduating from Coral Gables, Ari rose through the ranks of the former XM Satellite Radio and then Sirius/XM as college football executive producer. He later spent 2 seasons as the publisher of the website “Beyond U Sports” focusing on major college football/basketball. Ari brings a great perspective on everything Miami, including the Dolphins to F.F.I.

NFL Draft

Dolphins and Jaguars may be very interested in deep WR class

Florida Football Insiders



Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It’s never too soon to start talking about possible premium draft picks coming in April for the NFL’s 2020 draft. And, for the Dolphins and the Jaguars they may both very well be interested in what appears to be the deepest position this season.

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has been touting the 20/20 receiving draft class for several weeks now. And, that included his appearance on the NFL Total Access show Thursday night:

“I started scouting with the Baltimore Ravens in 2003. This is bar none, the deepest, best wide receiver class that I’ve seen, since I began scouting.”

To be more specific, Jeremiah has laid out the six receivers that he has right now in his top 25 of overall players The 2020 draft to be held in Las Vegas at the end of April. Those include: Oklahoma Speedster CeeDee Lamb, Alabama stud Jerry Jeudy, maybe the fastest player in the entire draft tide receiver Henry Ruggs III, National Champion LSU lanky speedster Justin Jefferson, Arizona State physical, big receiver Brandon Aiyuk and Colorado junior eligible Laviska Shenault.

As Jeremiah makes clear, not all of these receivers may end up going in the first round and there are several other names besides on his list that are probably NFL caliber who will still be around in the third round or later and yet make an impact on Sundays.

And that brings us to both the Dolphins and the Jaguars who are likely in need, especially early I’ll try to get one of these Playmakers.

In 2019, the Dolphins saw DeVante Parker develop into the possible number one yearly receiver that they believed he would become when they took him in the first round in 2015. Miami also has high hopes for un-drafted big receiver Preston Williams who was showing promise until suffering a torn ACL in midseason last year. However, other than that, Miami doesn’t have much else to hang their hat on.

As for Jacksonville, clearly in 2019 former second round pick D.J. Chark demonstrated that he has potential to be a number one receiver year in and year out. He showed an early connection with backup rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, and Chark finished the season with 1,008 yards on 73 catches and 8 scores. Jacksonville also got good output from another guy with speed in Chris Conley.

But, from there the talent level drops off in North Florida.

So while there are plenty of factors and variables, like which receivers are when you are coming up for selection, there will apparently be no shortage of players to choose from that can make an impact on night three or even day three of the NFL Draft.

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NFL Draft

Prominent state names among NFL Combine invitees

Florida Football Insiders



Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

A sign that the NFL Draft process is well underway is when the NFL publicizes their official list of players who will be attending the 2020 Scouting Combine at the end of the month.

And, the league made their invite list public Friday afternoon with large 337 draft prospect pool, including some recognizable names from the state:

Some of the most notable names include Heisman Trophy and National Championship winning LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, along with other potential number 1 draft picks at that position, Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama and Justin Herbert of Oregon. There was one state invitee at the QB position and that’s James Morgan, the FIU quarterback.

The running back position has Heisman finalist Jonathan Edwards and also, has several familiar names to state fans led by FSU leading rusher, Cam Akers.

Akers (photo above), who declared early for the 2020 draft giving up his final season of eligibility, is joined by Miami running back and receiving specialist DeeJay Dallas. Also invited was Florida under-sized power back LaMical Perine.

The wide receiver position is particularly deep with invitees by the NFL, and that includes the Gators trio of Tyrie Cleveland, Van Jefferson and Freddie Swain. Also, invited is outstanding UCF wide out Gabe Davis, who gave up his final year of eligibility in Orlando and will be at the combine.

Arguably the best tight end in the draft is Harrison Bryant of Florida Atlantic who led the position nationally in catches and yardage. Bryant could be a first round pick in late April. Also on the Combine list is USF tight end, Mitchell Wilcox.

On the defensive side of the ball is the leading pass-rushing sack artist from college football in 2019 in Chase Young of Ohio State. Miami’s Jonathan Garvin was another defensive lineman added to the mix. Next, Hurricanes linebackers Shaq Quarterman and teammate Michael Pinckney were among the linebacker invitees from Friday.

At defensive back, UCF’s Neville Clark is joined by Florida’s C.J. Henderson, FAU’s James Pierre and Florida State’s Stanford Samuels.

The combine is a five-day process allowing interviews for players with the 32 teams and then, individual position group workouts and 40 yard dash times that will take place at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.

The NFL Network still holds the exclusive rights to televise the workouts, which has now expanded to over 50 hours of coverage for that week

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