The Cleveland Browns might well have the top pick in the 2017 NFL draft, and they (still) need a franchise quarterback.
“This is as bad a quarterback class as I can remember,” ESPN’s Todd McShay wrote in a recent Insider analysis.Insider
“As it stands now, I don’t see a single Taylor Gabriel Authentic Womens Jersey franchise savior in the group. That has to concern teams like the Browns, Bears, 49ers and Jets, who could all be in the market for a quarterback in the first round,” McShay wrote.
It almost rolls off the tongue: That’s Tevin Coleman Authentic Womens Jersey just so Browns.
The Vikings had reasons, professional and financial, to stick by Walsh as long as they did. After a subpar final season at Georgia, he wowed special teams coordinator Mike Priefer with a sharp workout before the 2012 draft, and his leg — along with both of Adrian Peterson’s — became the chief reasons a limited Vikings team was able to go 10-6 and reach the 2012 playoffs. Walsh drilled all 10 of his field goals from 50 yards or more that season and his booming kickoffs were such a constant that the Vikings could stay on top of the field position battle at the Metrodome. He was deadly accurate, sharp-minded and able to rise to the moment — he bookended the Vikings’ regular season with game-winning kicks against Jacksonville and Green Bay and found himself in the Pro Bowl that year.
Even after Walsh missed nine field goals in 2014, there was yet no reason to doubt he would snap out of it, especially once the Vikings moved back indoors in 2016. The team made him one of the league’s highest-paid kickers with a four-year, $13 million extension at the beginning of last year’s training camp, and still had enough confidence in his physical abilities to bet he’d come back strong from the playoff miss this year.
His physical abilities, though, have never been the issue. Whatever happened to Walsh over the last two years, it had become eminently clear he wasn’t going to find the answer in Minnesota. The Vikings, who have just over $900,000 of salary cap space, will have to work out a deal for Kai Forbath under those constraints while Walsh still takes up $1.778 million of cap room this year. The Vikings still owe him $1.5 million in signing bonus cash next spring, and they’ll have to count the remaining $1,65 million of bonus prorations against their 2017 cap.
It’s a costly switch, and one the Vikings hoped they didn’t have to make, but it was the necessary move. The Vikings can get a fresh start with Forbath, while Walsh can hope to catch on with a new team and exit the labyrinth of confidence issues that had ensnared him in Minnesota.
All this should be kept in perspective, though. A year ago at this time there were very few people who knew of Carson Wentz, much less touted him as the second overall pick. The thinking at the combine in February was that there was no quarterback worthy of a being taken in the top 10.
Jared Goff and Wentz wound up going one-two. ?McShay did say there was one player who could be an exception to his rankings: Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina. In his analysis, McShay wrote that because Trubisky emerged this season after hardly playing prior, he had not done as much study of him as he’d like. Once he does, he’ll update and Trubisky “could be moving up my board soon.”