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Football


Who will win the AFC East in 2017?

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What’s next for Belichick?

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An uprising in the AFC South

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The Cincinnati Bengals used their first round pick on the fastest player in the draft, wide receiver John Ross, and their second pick on arguably the most talented runner in the draft, Joe Mixon.

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No NFL team was busier this offseason than the Cleveland Browns – and no team needed the roster repairs more.

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Washington needed to fix the NFL’s 28th ranked defense to close the gap on the Cowboys in the NFC East and did just that in the draft, using their first three selections on defenders and then addressing the safety position later in the draft.

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When all the wheeling and dealing was done, the Cleveland Browns wound up with three first-round draft picks and all should be walk in starters – pass rusher Myles Garrett, safety Jabrill Peppers and tight end David Njoku.

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Bobby Turner has been a running-back coach in the NFL for 22 seasons. In that time he has produced 16 1,000-yard rushing seasons by nine different backs. And not a one of them was a first-round draft pick.

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Jerry Rice caught more career passes for more yards and more touchdowns than any player in NFL history. He went to 13 Pro Bowls and won three Super Bowls .

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There were 22 position players, both on offense and defense, named to the 1980s NFL all-decade team. All except one have busts in Canton. Jim Covert is the lone omission — and he’s never even been a Hall of Fame semifinalist, much less a finalist.

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Drew Pearson is the only NFL first-team all-decade wide receiver covering seven decades (1930-1990) not enshrined in Canton.

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Jerry Rice became the most prolific receiver in NFL history, playing 20 seasons and catching 1,549 passes for 22,895 yards and 197 touchdowns. He went to 13 Pro Bowls and was the NFL MVP in 1987. That’s pretty good value for the 16th overall pick of a draft.

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Myles Garrett was a two-time All-America from the same school that produced Denver’s Pro Bowl pass rusher Von Miller. But Garrett is bigger than Miller at 6-4, 272 pounds.

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Cal quarterback Jared Goff was the first overall pick of the 2016 draft. But Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, a fourth-round selection, won NFL Rookie of the Year honors. The first pick is not always the best pick.

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The Hall of Fame stands as proof that championships matter. Of the 30 modern-era quarterbacks enshrined in Canton, 24 of them won NFL titles and four others took their teams to championship games.

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When we look at a quarterback, what matters most? What’s the first thing you look at when you measure him up for a bust in Canton? What’s the most important line item on his resume?

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Southern Cal ranks second all-time with 509 NFL draft picks. But the Trojans lead with 80 first-rounders — and a staggering 20 of them have been offensive tackles.

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Dan Rooney also was the driving force of a rule that opened the NFL door for minorities to be hired as head coaches and general managers. Fittingly, it was dubbed, “The Rooney Rule.” He practiced what he was preaching, hiring Mike Tomlin 2007.

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