Hello, and happy Wednesday to all. John Breech just realized today that we’re almost halfway through July, which means he’s running out of time to clean out his nearest Bengals apparel supplier. It also means he’s unavailable to bring you the latest NFL news, at least until tomorrow. But you’ve got me, Cody Benjamin, to fill in.
This is the Pick Six Newsletter. Now let’s get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you’re signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don’t want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)
We’ve got pass-rusher rankings, Baker Mayfield comments, holdout news, and more:
- Today’s show: Top 10 edge rushers and D-linemen
Tyler Sullivan joined Will Brinson on Wednesday’s “Pick Six NFL Podcast” to rank and dissect the top 10 edge rushers and defensive linemen ahead of the 2022 season. Some highlights:
- Both guys think the Saints‘ Cameron Jordan remains underrated, with Brinson suggesting he’s a future Hall of Famer
- Sullivan envisions a big year for Khalil Mack going from the Bears to the Chargers, where he should have plenty of chances to rush the passer while Los Angeles has a lead
- The Raiders‘ Maxx Crosby is pegged as a Defensive Player of the Year sleeper after racking up 30 QB hits in 2021 and now lining up opposite Chandler Jones in Las Vegas
Catch the entire episode (and subscribe for all kinds of daily NFL talk) right here.
2. Baker Mayfield introduced as Panthers‘ new QB
The ex-Browns QB addressed reporters as a member of his new team Tuesday afternoon. Here’s the latest:
- Baker admits he was ‘shocked’ about Browns’ QB plans: But he doesn’t regret his time in Cleveland
- Mayfield pays Johnny Hekker to keep No. 6 in Carolina: He’s worn the number since his Texas Tech days
- Panthers not talking extension with Mayfield just yet: The QB’s contract expires after the 2022 season
3. Chiefs‘ Orlando Brown Jr. could skip camp, start of season
With just two days until the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term contracts, Kansas City’s top lineman is all but threatening a significant holdout, with NFL Media reporting late Tuesday that Brown could skip all of training camp, if not the start of the 2022 season, absent a lucrative new deal. The three-time Pro Bowler, acquired via trade from the Ravens before the 2021 season, has yet to sign his tag and is reportedly seeking to be paid in line with the game’s top left tackles.
4. Patriots trade former first-rounder N’Keal Harry to Bears
After three forgettable seasons in New England, Harry has finally found a fresh start, with the Patriots dealing the former Arizona State standout to Chicago in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick. Despite posting a career-high 33 catches in 2020 as one of Cam Newton’s top targets, Harry requested a trade ahead of last season and then missed five games due to injury. He would’ve been buried on New England’s receiver depth chart going into camp, after the team added both Tyquan Thornton and former Dolphins starter DeVante Parker this offseason.
5. Top camp battles to watch: Eagles, Bucs are headliners
With training camp just around the corner, Josh Edwards has identified more than a half-dozen of the most anticipated summer position battles. Rather than stick with just intra-position competitions, like the battle for the Steelers‘ starting QB job, he’s highlighted intra-squad battles, such as these:
- Eagles OL vs. DL: Philadelphia’s offensive line was beat just 8.3% of the time in 2021, which was third-best in the league, according to TruMedia. … Rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis gives the Eagles one of the best interior defensive line rotations with Javon Hargrave and Fletcher Cox.
- Buccaneers OL vs. DL: They (retained) center Ryan Jensen and traded for Shaq Mason to go along with star right tackle Tristan Wirfs. … On defense, Tampa Bay boasts a talented two-deep depth chart that includes Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Shaquil Barrett, Vita Vea, Akiem Hicks … and promising youngster Logan Hall.
- Chargers WRs vs. CBs: Los Angeles spent big in free agency on the defensive side of the ball, bringing in veterans like J.C. Jackson and Bryce Callahan. Those two, along with second-year cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., should start for the AFC West contender this season.
6. Rapid-fire roundup: Le’Veon Bell future, potential QB breakouts
Hungry for more NFL headlines? You came to the right place:
- Projecting Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones’ next steps: Chris Trapasso forecasts 2022 for the young QBs
- Daniel Snyder now on track to testify before U.S. House committee: For now, that is
- Le’Veon Bell skipping 2022 season to begin boxing career: And he’s fighting Adrian Peterson first
- Longtime Bears punter Bob Parsons dies at 72: The converted QB led the NFL in punting several times
- Steelers linebacker aiming for breakout opposite T.J. Watt: Alex Highsmith is set to start in Pittsburgh