Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
After scaring everyone into the thinking that the schedule release might be delayed for a week, the NFL came to its senses on Monday and announced that the . This means you now have 48 hours to mentally prepare for the schedule release, which isn't even close to enough time. I need at least a month.
Since you now have 48 hours to burn until the schedule comes out, you can start that process right now by reading today's newsletter, which includes the 2023 strength of schedule for all 32 teams.
As always, here's your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. All right, let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's podcast: One thing each AFC team needs to do post-draft
Over the past two months, teams have been doing their best to fill their roster holes through free agency and the draft, but there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered. We decided to ask those questions during Tuesday's episode of the Pick Six Podcast.
For today's show, Tyler Sullivan and I joined host Katie Mox to go through the entire AFC to look at each team's biggest post-draft question mark.
Here's a look at three of the teams we covered today:
- Patriots: They need to get some help at offensive tackle. "I was saying it before the draft, I was saying it during the draft and I'm saying it now, this team needs an offensive tackle," Sullivan said. "They have no one of value signed beyond this season and there's just not a lot there in terms of talent." Sullivan suggested that they might want to think about trying to trade for Bengals' tackle Jonah Williams, which brings us to our next team.
- Bengals: Figure out the Jonah Williams situation. The Bengals tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Before they get to training camp, they need to get this situation figured out. If they're going to trade Williams, they need time to break in a new right tackle (or let La'el Collins know he's going to the starter). If they're not going to trade him, they should make that clear so that this issue isn't hanging over their head going into the season. Right now, it seems like the Bengals are leaning toward keeping Williams. in March after the team signed
- Titans: Get Ryan Tannehill some receiving help. The Titans have one of the worst receiving groups in the NFL, which presents several problems for the team. For one, it will make it tough for Tannehill to succeed. Also, it will make it tough for Derrick Henry to succeed because teams will start loading the box more than they already do to stop the Titans' running back. The Titans should probably start making some phone calls to see if anyone wants to trade them a receiver.
If you want to hear our conversation on the biggest question mark for all 16 AFC teams, you can do that by listening to today's podcast here. You can also watch the entire thing on YouTube by clicking here.
2. 2023 NFL schedule will be released Thursday
The NFL schedule is officially coming out on Thursday. I repeat, the NFL schedule. Please mark your calendar now. And while you're doing that, you might also want to mark Wednesday on your calendar because the league will be revealing several games on the schedule tomorrow.
Here's a look at the games that will be revealed before the schedule release on Thursday night:
- The 10 teams playing in the five international games will be announced on May 10 on NFL Network and ESPN. (We already know the home teams in those games, with the Patriots and Chiefs each hosting a game in Germany and the Bills, Titans and Jaguars each hosting a game in London. This means we'll be finding out the visiting teams in these five games on Wednesday.)
- The NFL will be holding a Black Friday game for the first time ever, and the two teams playing in that game will be revealed by Amazon on Wednesday (May 10).
- CBS and Fox will both be unveiling several select individual games on Wednesday morning. The CBS announcement will come on "CBS Mornings" while the Fox announcement will air during "Fox and Friends."
- The early announcements will end on Thursday morning (May 11) when ABC and NBC both reveal several games that will air on each of those networks. ABC's announcement will be on "Good Morning America" while NBC's announcement will come on "The Today Show."
One other fascinating nugget that came out about the schedule this week is that the NFL is planning to hold a MONDAY TRIPLEHEADER for the first time in league history. Those three games will be played on Christmas, which just so happens to fall on a Monday this year. For more details on that,.
3. 2023 strength of schedule of all 32 teams
With the NFL schedule being released this week, now seems like a good time to take a look at the strength of schedule for each team heading into 2023, so that's exactly what we're going to do.
Based on the final standings from 2022, the Philadelphia Eagles will be going into the upcoming season with the toughest strength of schedule. Philadelphia's rough schedule includes 10 games against 2022 playoff teams, which is tied for the most in the NFL. To put that in perspective, the other Super Bowl team from last year -- Kansas City -- will only have seven games against playoff teams from last season.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the easiest strength of schedule belongs to the Falcons.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the 10 most difficult schedules in 2022 and the 10 easiest:
1. Eagles: 161-123-4 (.566)
2. Dolphins: 158-127-2 (.554)
3. Patriots: 156-128-3 (.549)
T-4. Cowboys: 156-128-4 (.549)
T-4. Giants: 157-129-2 (.549)
6. Jets: 155-129-3 (.545)
7. Bills: 155-131-2 (.542)
8. Commanders: 153-133-2 (.535)
9. Rams: 152-133-3 (.533)
10. Raiders: 150-136-2 (.524)
1. Falcons: 119-167-3 (.417)
2. Saints: 122-164-3 (.427)
3. Texans: 123-163-2 (.431)
4. Colts: 124-162-2 (.434)
5. Titans: 127-157-4 (.448)
6. Panthers: 130-157-2 (.453)
7. Browns: 131-154-2 (.460)
8. Steelers 134-151-2 (.470)
9. Packers: 137-151-1 (.476)
10. Jaguars: 135-148-4 (.477)
To check out the.
4. Five veterans who benefitted from the NFL Draft and five who didn't
Now that the NFL Draft is 10 days behind us, we've had some time to assess how each team's draft is going to impact their roster. For some veteran players, the draft can get a little unconfortable, because your team might be looking to replace you. However, for other veterans, the draft can be an exciting time, because your team is bringing in players who will hopefully help you win a Super Bowl.
With that in mind, CBS Sports' Jeff Kerr made a list of five veterans who were helped the most by the NFL Draft and five veterans who were hurt the most.
Let's look at the top three from each category.
Helped the most
- Lamar Jackson. "Not only did Jackson get paid, but he now has a security blanket in Zay Flowers who he can go to underneath."
- Justin Herbert. "The Chargers added another explosive pass-catcher to their offense by selecting Quentin Johnston in the first round. Pairing him with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams will give Herbert a strong set of weapons."
- D'Andre Swift. "Yes, Swift had to leave Detroit, but he landed in the best possible spot in Philadelphia, where he'll be running behind arguably the best offensive line in the NFL."
Hurt the most
- Ryan Tannehill. "Another year Tannehill will be looking over his shoulder at quarterback. The Titans selected Malik Willis in the third round of last year's draft, even though the rookie never provided much of a challenge for Tannehill's job. Will Levis might provide a more serious threat."
- Tyler Allgeier. "The reward for crossing the 1,000-yard mark during his rookie season in Atlanta? Allgeier's team decided to use a top-10 pick on a potentially generational running back in Bijan Robinson."
- Kenneth Walker III. "Seattle didn't draft Zach Charbonnet in the second round of this year's draft to sit him on the bench. Walker will still be the featured back in Seattle, but some of his touches will surely be taken away by Charbonnet this season"
To check out Kerr's entire story,.
5. From 0 to 99: The best active player wearing each jersey number
You know it's the offseason when we start ranking players by jersey number, but that's exactly what we're going to do today and I think you're going to love it. Cody Benjamin went through all 100 available numbers and came up with the best player in the NFL who is currently wearing each number. The added bonus this year is that he now gets to rank the best player wearing ZERO since players are now allowed to wear that number.
Let's take a look at a few of the numbers from his ranking:
0: Calvin Ridley (Jaguars)
1: Jalen Hurts (Eagles)
3: Russell Wilson (Broncos)
8: Aaron Rodgers (Jets). Rodgers beat out Lamar Jackson for the honor of being the best 8.
12: Darren Waller (Jets). This number once belonged to both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, but now, it's been almost abandoned by starting quarterbacks around the NFL.
28: Jonathan Taylor (Colts)
52: Creed Humphrey (Chiefs). Humphrey beat out Khalil Mack for the honor of the best player wearing 52.
79: Ikem Ekwonu (Panthers)
80: Greg Dulcich (Broncos). Jarvis Landry probably could have won the honor here, but he's still a free agent.
83: Tyler Boyd (Bengals)
85: George Kittle (49ers). Kittle got the nod here over Tee Higgins.
99: Aaron Donald (Rams)
If you want to see how the entire ranking of all 100 numbers turned out,.
6. Extra points: Matt Araiza might be in the clear to return to the NFL
It's been a busy 24 hours in 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.
- Prosecutors reveal why Matt Araiza wasn't charged. The former Bills punter was released by the Bills last August after being hit with a lawsuit that alleged that he took part in a gang rape. However, after a long investigation, authorities determined that Araiza wasn't even at the location where the alleged gang rape took place. Yahoo has a pretty comprehensive story on the police investigation, and you can check out the entire thing here.
- Jets dispute report that they missed on guy they wanted in NFL Draft. After the draft was over, there was speculation that the Jets missed out on the offensive lineman they wanted because they moved back from the 13th pick to the 15th pick in a trade with the Packers. However, Robert Saleh Will McDonald IV. According to Saleh, the Jets weren't planning to take an offensive linemen and that they would have taken McDonald at 13 or 15. and that the Jets got the guy they were targeting all along:
- Texans owner says he didn't pressure team into taking C.J. Stroud. Another report that came out of the draft suggested that the Texans only took C.J. Stroud because owner Cal McNair forced them to. However, McNair insists that wasn't the case. According to McNair, he stayed completely out of the decision-making process during the draft.
- Broncos re-sign Kareem Jackson. The 2010 first-round pick has spent the past four seasons of his career in Denver, and he'll now be with the Broncos for at least one more season . The 35-year-old started 17 games at safety for the team last year.
- Buccaneers add a quarterback. The Buccaneers have already signed Baker Mayfield this offseason, and now, they've added another quarterback. The team announced on Tuesday that they've signed former Rams backup John Wolford.