Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I'll be honest, when I woke up today, I didn't think I was actually going to get any work done, so it's a borderline miracle that there's a newsletter today. Between Prime Day at Amazon and free Slurpee Day at 7/11, I thought for sure I would be spending 24 straight hours drinking Slurpees and wasting money online, but alas, I managed to carve out some time to finish this newsletter, which is good news for everyone, because we're ranking PUNTERS today and I would have never forgiven myself if we skipped that.
1. Today's show: Breaking down the Jets' offseason and predicting how they'll do in 2023
It's time for another episode of our "All 32" series, and for today's show, we're focusing on the New York Jets. With the Jets getting set to kickoff training camp exactly one week from tomorrow, we thought now would be a good time to talk about them, so that's what we're going to do.
To talk about how things are going in the Big Apple, we brought on former Jets player Leger Douzable, who also happens to currently be an analyst for CBS Sports HQ (We're big on corporate synergy here).
Here are two topics that hosts Katie Mox and Will Brinson covered with Douzable:
- Will Aaron Rodgers survive behind the offensive line? The Jets had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last year and if that happens again in 2023, Aaron Rodgers might not survive the season. However, Douzable thinks we'll see some major improvement from the line. "They can be really good. I think they can be around the 10th, 11th or 12th offensive line in the NFL. I know people will look at that and think, 'Well, that's kind of average,' but considering where they came from [it's not bad.]"
- Can the Jets win the AFC East? The Jets managed to go 7-10 last season even though they had a nightmare situation at quarterback. This year, they've upgraded at QB, and now, Douzable thinks they can win the AFC East because of that. "If they just get adequate play from Aaron Rodgers, I believe the Jets are in a good spot to overthrow the Buffalo Bills to win the division," Douzable said. The Jets haven't made the playoffs since 2010, which is the longest active drought in the NFL without a postseason appearance.
Douzable spent roughly 20 minutes talking about the Jets, and if you want to hear everything he had to say, you can listen to today's show here. You can also watch today's show on YouTube by clicking here.
2. Ranking the NFL's top 10 punters heading into the 2023 season
As you may or may not have noticed, we've been ranking every position group in the NFL over the past few weeks, and believe it or not, we are finally down to our last group: Punters.
It took three weeks to make it through every position group, but we finally did it, so feel free to stop and take a quick bow if you actually read through every one of these.
Anyway, let's get to our ranking of the top 10 punters.
Top 10 punters for 2023
1. Michael Dickson, Seahawks
2. Tommy Townsend, Chiefs
3. Johnny Hekker, Panthers
4. Ryan Stonehouse, Titans
5. A.J. Cole, Raiders
6. Bryan Anger, Cowboys
7. Logan Cooke, Jaguars
8. Jack Fox, Lions
9. Tress Way, Commanders
10. Ryan Wright, Vikings
If there's one thing that kind of surprised me about this year's list, it's that two rookies made the cut with Wright and Stonehouse. By this time next year, Stonehouse might be at the top of the list, especially if he's able to replicate his rookie season. In 2022, he averaged 53.1 yards per punt, which smashed Sammy Baugh's NFL record that had stood for 82 years (Baugh averaged 51.4 yards per punt in 1940).
Anyway, if you want a detailed explanation of my punter rankings, then.
3. Five AFC quarterbacks under the most pressure heading into the 2023 season
Being a quarterback in the NFL is already a high-pressure job, so I hate to add even more pressure here, but that's what we're going to do today.
Jordan Dajani made a list of the five AFC quarterbacks who are facing the most pressure heading into the 2023 season and we're going to take a look at the top-three here.
- 1. Russell Wilson, Broncos. "Wilson is under pressure in 2023 for a couple different reasons. One, if he looks as bad as he did last year, the Broncos could at 35 years old... Wilson is not only looking to rebound from last year, but also avoid being the reason for one of the worst trades in recent memory."
- 2. Aaron Rodgers, Jets. "Rodgers is going to be a Hall of Famer no matter what happens in New York, but he definitely can add to his legacy by pulling a Tom Brady and winning a Super Bowl with his new club. Thanks to the arrival of Rodgers, those are the expectations the Jets have entering 2023, despite having not made the playoffs since 2010."
- 3. Deshaun Watson, Browns. "Everyone is expecting Watson to be improved in 2023, but he is going to have to be more than just improved, he's going to have to be the guy that looks half-worthy of the fully guaranteed $230 million contract he signed."
If you want to see Jordan's full list,.
4. Ranking unproven quarterbacks by how likely they are to succeed in 2023
I wasn't planning on spending half the newsletter talking about quarterbacks today, but it looks like that's what we'll be doing. Not only do we have the five quarterbacks facing the most pressure, but we also decided to rank the NFL's most unproven starting quarterbacks by how likely they are to succeed this year.
The players at the top of this ranking are more likely to succeed than the players at the bottom. Also, one thing to keep in mind is that we didn't include any rookies on the list, which was put together by Tyler Sullivan.
- 1. Brock Purdy, 49ers. "Health permitting, Purdy is in the best spot imaginable out of these young quarterbacks. He plays under an offensive mastermind in Kyle Shannahan and seemed to have no problems running his offense as a seventh-round rookie. Now that he has more experience within the system, he should only improve."
- 2. Justin Fields, Bears. "The Bears have put Fields in a position to succeed in that area by trading the No. 1 overall pick in exchange for a number of assets, including receiver D.J. Moore. As we've seen with some quarterbacks in the past like Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia, adding a dynamic young receiver (Like A.J. Brown) can drastically help their development in the passing game, and Chicago is banking that Moore can have a similar impact."
- 3. Jordan Love, Packers. "Love has been able to marinate inside of Matt LaFleur's offense over the past two seasons, so he should be extremely comfortable within the system, giving him a leg up as he begins his career as a starter."
- 4. Mac Jones, Patriots. "Bill O'Brien's presence alone should have a night-and-day impact on New England's offense and the team also also added some high-upside pass-catching weapons this offseason like JuJu Smith-Schustter and Mike Gesicki."
5. Chiefs superfan arrested after four months on the lam
This almost sounds like a headline that I completely made up, but I assure you, I did not do that. Xaviar Babudar, who's mostly known for being the Chiefs superfan who dressed up as a wolf at home games, was arrested over the weekend in Sacramento. Babudar was such a huge fan that he evn had his own nickname that most other fans knew him by: Chiefsaholic.
Here are a few interesting tidbits to know about this wild case:
- Why was Chiefsaholic was on the run? Babudar was initially arrested by police in December and charged for allegedly robbing a credit union in Oklahoma. In February, he was released on bond and that's when he decided to disappear. At some point in early March, Babudar removed his ankle monitor and fled.
- Chiefsaholic makes Kansas City's most wanted list. After two months on the run, Babudar was added to Kansas City's "Most Wanted" list at No. 5. That list came out in June and it would be more than a month before he would be eventually be apprehended.
- Babudar now facing multiple charges. Babudar was arrested on July 7 in California and charged with one count of bank theft and one count of transporting stolen property across state lines, according to CBS News. Those two charges are related to a robbery in Iowa where Babudar is believed to have gotten away with nearly $70,000. The two federal charges each carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
- Babudar could be spending some serious time in jail. Not only is he dealing with his federal charges, but authorities believe he may have been the culprit in at least six other unsolved robberies that involved more than $800,000 in stolen money.
Honestly, this sounds like a Netflix special waiting to happen.
If you want all the details on this bizarre case, and trust me, you do, then.
6. Extra points: NFL Supplemental Draft is today
It's been a busy 24 hours around the NFL, and since it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you.
- NFL holding first Supplemental Draft in four years. For the first time since 2019, the NFL is holding a Supplemental Draft and that draft will be happening today, although it doesn't look like there will be much drama. Today's draft is only going to feature just two eligible players: Former Jackson State WR Malachi Wideman, and former Purdue WR Milton Wright. You . If you're wondering why the supplemental draft exists or how it works, you .
- Son of Doug Pederson to sign with Jaguars. When a team signs a backup tight end, it's not usually big news, but it is in this case, because that tight end is the coach's son. Josh Pederson, who happens to be the son of Doug Pederson, . I'm almost rooting for him to make the team just because if he gets cut, that could make the next family gathering really awkward.
- J.J. Watt almost signed with the Steelers in 2021. When Watt was a free agent in 2021, he actually considered signing with the Steelers. However, Watt ended up taking that option off the table because his brother T.J. was negotiating a new contract and J.J. didn't want his possible signing to impact his brother's negotiation. You can .
- Terrell Owens says Darren Woodson should be in the Hall of Fame over John Lynch. No one loves to complain about the Pro Football Hall of Fame more than Terrell Owens. First, he was upset because he didn't get in on the first ballot, now, he's unhappy because he thinks Woodson should be in over Lynch. Be sure .