14. GREEN BAY PACKERS (7-9)
LAST SEASON: Missed playoffs for first time since 2008 after quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed two months with broken collarbone. His absence exposed how much team's limitations could be covered up by two-time NFL MVP. Davante Adams eclipsed Jordy Nelson as team's top receiver http://www.washingtonredskinsteamonline.com/zach-brown-jersey , but signing of tight end Martellus Bennett turned bad and he was cut at midseason. Injuries ravaged cornerback position for second straight year, while LB Clay Matthews and edge rush couldn't generate consistent pressure. Second-year players Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry joined Mike Daniels as bright spots on defensive line, and Blake Martinez turned into tackling machine at inside linebacker. But subpar season overall led coach Mike McCarthy to overhaul staff.
THEY NEED: OLB, CB, WR, S, RG, RT, TE
THEY DON'T NEED: QB, LT, DL, RB
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA; DE-LB Harold Landry, Boston College; CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State; CB Mike Hughes, UCF; CB Josh Jackson Randy White Jersey , Iowa; S Minkah Fitpatrick, Alabama; S Derwin James, Florida State.
OUTLOOK: Longtime personnel executive Brian Gutekunst enters first draft as general manager. Packers don't often pick this high in first round, so Gutekunst has opportunity to take immediate contributor on defense led by new coordinator Mike Pettine that needs more playmakers. Pass rush could use infusion with Matthews turning 31 this year. Safeties Fitzpatrick and James could provide versatility, especially following departures of Micah Hyde and Morgan Burnett in free agency over last two years.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Keion Crossen spent most of Saturday doing what all NFL bubble players do: wondering, worrying — and, most importantly, refreshing his phone.
“All day. Every second hitting refresh, refresh the Twitter page or whatever you got to do,” Crossen said Sunday after making the New England Patriots‘ final roster as a seventh-round draft pick.
Then came 4 p.m. Saturday — and the phone did not ring.
“It didn’t ring. That’s a good sign,” said Crossen, who spent the day with some teammates, two of whom didn’t make it.
The cornerback from Western Carolina, once a 147-pound high school quarterback, had made it to the opening roster of a team seeking its sixth Super Bowl win this century.
“I enjoyed it at 4:01 and I’m ready right now http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/khalil-mack-jersey ,” he said. “I was focused at 4:02 to get started for Houston week.”
He added he had trouble sleeping both Friday and Saturday nights, the first night worrying and then looking ahead.
“As the business goes, you gotta move on, you gotta prepare, you can’t let your mind stay in yesterday,” he said. “Moving forward for me is a big deal, especially for me coming in Week 1 as a rookie, I want to make sure I know as much as I need to know going into Game 1.
“(Saturday night) I was just more focused on getting to know my opponent. That’s the reason I couldn’t sleep, because I wanted to know my opponent as much as I could before I get with the coaches and everything.”
The opponent for Week 1 is Deshaun Watson, the mobile Texans quarterback who can drive a defense crazy. That’s enough for even a veteran to worry about/
In a strange twist to the story, Crossen said he didn’t tell his parents, Winnie and Thomas, until Sunday morning that he made the cut – and added they didn’t know until he told them.
“They’re happy parents,” he said. “They enjoyed that I get to enjoy my dream. They just hoped the best for me. They did not know … my mom cried, my dad’s a little tough, so he played a little hardball. But they’re happy Allen Robinson Jersey , they’re definitely happy.
“I didn’t call anyone . the last 24 hours I’ve just been waiting. So I kinda knew, I guess, when you all knew, and I’m very happy to be here and I’m ready to get started.”
Crossen dressed in a corner of the locker room with three other young players. Their names, including A.J. Moore and John Atkins, who didn’t make the squad, were gone when he came in Sunday morning. Asked if that was different, he said, “It is. It is, very different. But I’m ready to play, focusing on this week and focusing on what I can do to make the team better.
“It’s always tough (seeing guys go). I know as a rookie class you come in together, some go and some stay, but at the end of the day I wish everyone who’s not here the best and everyone who is here, (to) have a great season.”
And now, borrowing a Bill Belichick phrase, it’s on to Houston.
“I don’t know what to anticipate Joe Looney Jersey ,” Crossen said. “Obviously still a rookie, still learning. I’m just kind of go with the flow. I know we’re going to practice, I definitely know that, so only control what I can control and work hard every day.
“It’s a joy to be here.”
NOTES: The Patriots claimed WR Amara Darboh off waivers from Seattle and WR Chad Hansen off waivers from the Jets. Darboh, 24, was a third-round draft pick (106th overall) in 2017 by Seattle out of Michigan and appeared in all 16 games last year with eight receptions for 71 yards. Hansen, 23, was drafted in the fourth round last year out of California. He played in 15 regular-season games with one start last year and made nine receptions for 94 yards. … Eight players were signed to the practice squad: OL Cole Croston, QB Danny Etling, OL James Ferentz, DL Trent Harris, WR Riley McCarron, DT Vincent Valentine, RB Ralph Webb and CB Jomal Wiltz. All of those players were with the team for training camp. … The Patriots placed 2018 seventh-round draft pick TE Ryan Izzo on injured reserve.
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