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2014 Draft Prep: Picking No. 7 overall

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Pick No. 1 | Pick No. 2 | Pick No. 3 | Pick No. 4 | Pick No. 5 | Pick No. 6
Pick No. 8 | Pick No. 9 | Pick No. 10 | Pick No. 11 | Pick No. 12

When you get to No. 7 overall in most standard and point-per-reception leagues, you're at the point in the draft where things start to get interesting with the players left on the board.

By this time in standard leagues, the Top 5 running backs of Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson and Eddie Lacy are gone, and Calvin Johnson has probably been selected as well. In the PPR league, the Top 4 running backs and Johnson have probably been drafted, and Demaryius Thomas could also be gone.

If that happens, which it did during this two-man draft I did with my colleague Dave Richard, then don't worry. You're still going to get a great player. In this case, it was Jimmy Graham in both leagues.

Now, there's a chance Graham could be gone, especially in the PPR format. I would take Graham over Thomas. But don't hesitate to draft Graham in this spot because, barring a Rob Gronkowski return to pre-injury form (which is a strong possibility, mind you), than Graham should be the best player at a thin position. And even if Gronkowski is back at 100 percent, it doesn't hurt to draft Graham here. He's that good.

With your next move, however, target a running back in Round 2. I would even advise drafting a running back with your next two picks. Taking a receiver in the second round would be OK, especially since you'd be looking at someone in the Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall and A.J. Green range. But quarterback is out of the question.

The reason to lock up a running back -- your choices could be from Arian Foster, Montee Ball, DeMarco Murray, Le'Veon Bell, Alfred Morris, Giovani Bernard, Marshawn Lynch, Zac Stacy and Doug Martin -- is the position gets thin quickly. And since you went tight end in Round 1, you don't want to fall too far behind. It's also why I would look at a running back in Round 3.

We typically tell you drafting a quarterback and tight end in the first five rounds is a mistake, and remember receiver is deep this year. Since you invested in Graham in Round 1, load up on running back early and often next. At least that's how I would approach it.

Editor's note: The percentages listed are what position you should target based on that round for each pick.

Round 1

Round 1 - Standard QB 0% RB 30% WR 30% TE 40%
Round 1 - PPR QB 0% RB 30% WR 30% TE 40%

You're going to have to gauge how the draft goes when you pick at No. 7 overall because there's a chance Lacy or Johnson could fall in the standard league, and Johnson could be a surprise and make it here in PPR. You also could decide to draft Peyton Manning in the standard format, which is something I would never do. Most likely, you'll have to make a decision on Graham, and I'm comfortable with him in this spot. His contract situation is settled, and he's been the No. 1 tight end each of the past two years. If he plays to his usual level and no one like Gronkowski or Julius Thomas challenges him for the No. 1 spot, then he's well worth the price in the first round.

Players you can get here (standard): Jimmy Graham, Arian Foster, Montee Ball, Marshawn Lynch, DeMarco Murray
Players you can get here (PPR): Jimmy Graham, Giovani Bernard, DeMarco Murray, Arian Foster, Montee Ball
My selection at No. 7 standard: Jimmy Graham
My selection at No. 7 PPR: Jimmy Graham

Round 2

Round 2 - Standard QB 5% RB 60% WR 35% TE 0%
Round 2 - PPR QB 0% RB 70% WR 30% TE 0%

You might want to gamble on a quarterback or receiver here, but I would plan on a running back in both formats. A good one should still be available in Round 2, and I'd hate to get behind at that position based on how thin it gets. In the standard league, Martin was the best available at the time, and even though early reports in training camp have him losing some touches to Charles Sims, Mike James or Bobby Rainey, I'm still expecting a big year as a low-end No. 1/high-end No. 2 option. He's a great running back to pair with Graham. In the PPR league, I was thrilled to get Bell here. He should be stellar in his second season as the lead rusher for the Steelers.

Players you can get here (standard): Doug Martin, Zac Stacy, Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green
Players you can get here (PPR): Le'Veon Bell, Andre Ellington, Antonio Brown, Randall Cobb, Alshon Jeffery
My selection at No. 18 standard: Doug Martin
My selection at No. 18 PPR: Le'Veon Bell

Round 3

Round 3 - Standard QB 10% RB 50% WR 40% TE 0%
Round 3 - PPR QB 5% RB 50% WR 45% TE 0%

Locking up a No. 1 receiver here isn't a horrible idea, especially when the options are Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Michael Crabtree, Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon in the standard league and Garcon, Crabtree and Jackson in PPR. But I still think the better route is to lock up as much quality running back talent as possible and just stockpile receivers later in the draft. With that in mind, I went with Gerhart in the standard league and Vereen in PPR. Gerhart has the chance to be a breakout running back this season with his move from Peterson's shadow to the starter in Jacksonville. His volume of work should make him a potential Top 15 running back. And Vereen has 80-plus catch potential for the Patriots with the chance to share time with Stevan Ridley running the ball. I like both these running backs in Round 3 in their respective formats.

Players you can get here (standard): Toby Gerhart, Ryan Mathews, Bishop Sankey, Larry Fitzgerald, Julius Thomas
Players you can get here (PPR): Shane Vereen, Bishop Sankey, Peyton Manning, Pierre Garcon, Toby Gerhart
My selection at No. 31 standard: Toby Gerhart
My selection at No. 31 PPR: Shane Vereen

Round 4

Round 4 - Standard QB 20% RB 20% WR 60% TE 0%
Round 4 - PPR QB 10% RB 20% WR 70% TE 0%

As I said earlier, we would avoid drafting a quarterback and tight end together with your first five picks. And since we already have two running backs, looking at receiver becomes a priority. There is great talent at receiver this season, so even if you miss on the elite-level guys you can still corral a good group and be competitive at the position. Keenan Allen isn't your ideal No. 1 receiver, but he is a good No. 2 option worth drafting in Round 4 or 5. Since we passed on receiver through three rounds because we started with Graham, Allen suffices as a capable No. 1 option in both formats. He was good last year with 71 catches, 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns and should post similar stats in 2014.

Players you can get here (standard): Keenan Allen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Shane Vereen, Matthew Stafford, Joique Bell
Players you can get here (PPR): Keenan Allen, Joique Bell, Cordarrelle Patterson, Roddy White, Michael Floyd
My selection at No. 42 standard: Keenan Allen
My selection at No. 42 PPR: Keenan Allen

Round 5

Round 5 - Standard QB 20% RB 20% WR 60% TE 0%
Round 5 - PPR QB 10% RB 30% WR 60% TE 0%

We continued with the receiver theme here to make sure we got the best talent for our rosters. Obviously, you won't pass on a running back or quarterback who makes sense, but none were available at this point in Round 5. In the standard league, the best running backs on the board were Chris Johnson, Rashad Jennings and Ben Tate, so I'll pass. At quarterback, it was Colin Kaepernick, Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck. I like those guys, but I'd rather get another Top 20 receiver with Victor Cruz. The change at coordinator to Ben McAdoo should help Cruz and this entire offense. In the PPR league, we can definitely wait on quarterback even though Matthew Stafford was still around, but receiver is more of a priority. The top running back was Frank Gore, so I passed and went with Julian Edelman, who could be in the 80-plus catch range again as the slot receiver for the Patriots.

Players you can get here (standard): Victor Cruz, Vernon Davis, Percy Harvin, Colin Kaepernick, Golden Tate
Players you can get here (PPR): Julian Edelman, Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Matthew Stafford, Percy Harvin
My selection at No. 55 standard: Victor Cruz
My selection at No. 55 PPR: Julian Edelman

Round 6

Round 6 - Standard QB 30% RB 40% WR 30% TE 0%
Round 6 - PPR QB 20% RB 40% WR 40% TE 0%

You don't have to follow the formula of filling out your running backs and receivers after drafting Graham as I did here, but the pieces fell into place where I thought it made sense. You can always zig when someone else zags and grab a quarterback or multiple running backs and receivers. But since the team is set at those starting spots, we can now target flex options and key reserves, along with looking for a quarterback. As I've said multiple times now, running back is thin, so I'll always look at that position first to see who is available. Ben Tate was the best option in the standard league, and hopefully he can hold off Terrance West enough to be a capable flex option or spot starter if needed. In the PPR league, Pierre Thomas is not only a flex candidate, but potential starter. He led all running backs in receptions in 2013, and now Darren Sproles is gone. That could lead to bigger things this season.

Players you can get here (standard): Ben Tate, Jordan Cameron, Andrew Luck, Mike Wallace, Steven Jackson
Players you can get here (PPR): Pierre Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Ben Tate, Danny Woodhead, Dennis Pitta
My selection at No. 66 standard: Ben Tate
My selection at No. 66 PPR: Pierre Thomas

Round 7

Round 7 - Standard QB 30% RB 20% WR 50% TE 0%
Round 7 - PPR QB 20% RB 30% WR 50% TE 0%

We're at the point of the draft of taking talent regardless of position, so I leaned toward a No. 3 receiver with upside to solidify that position. It's such a deep position this year that someone you draft in this round could become a Top 20 option if not higher. Some of the candidates in the standard league include Terrance Williams, T.Y. Hilton, Eric Decker and Sammy Watkins. In the PPR league, it's Hilton, Watkins, Brandin Cooks and Rueben Randle. Those guys are oozing with upside, especially Williams and Hilton, and we grabbed them here. I could easily start Williams and Hilton as flex options also. And in the PPR league, I planned ahead knowing that only one other owner at No. 12 overall is without a quarterback, and Tony Romo and Robert Griffin III were on the board. I'm happy with either one, so I can gamble here.

Players you can get here (standard): Terrance Williams, Maurice Jones-Drew, T.Y. Hilton, Knowshon Moreno, Eric Decker
Players you can get here (PPR): T.Y. Hilton, Fred Jackson, Steven Jackson, Sammy Watkins, Andrew Luck
My selection at No. 79 standard: Terrance Williams
My selection at No. 79 PPR: T.Y. Hilton

Round 8

Round 8 - Standard QB 40% RB 30% WR 30% TE 0%
Round 8 - PPR QB 40% RB 30% WR 30% TE 0%

In the PPR league, our move paid off. The owner at No. 12 went with Griffin, leaving me with Romo. I love Romo this season because the Cowboys should be great on offense and bad on defense, so Romo should have plenty of chances to throw. In the standard league, only one other owner needed a quarterback before I picked again, and that's at No. 1 overall. The best choices left were Griffin and Jay Cutler. Now, I like Griffin a lot better than Cutler, but there was a running back staring at me I found hard to pass up, which is Devonta Freeman. He could end up as the best running back in Atlanta, especially with Steven Jackson battling hamstring problems in training camp. I'll take Freeman here and go with the leftover of Cutler, Nick Foles or Cam Newton, who were also on the board. I'll try and pair two of those together if Griffin gets drafted this round.

Players you can get here (standard): Devonta Freeman, Danny Woodhead, Jordan Reed, Brandin Cooks, Jeremy Hill
Players you can get here (PPR): Tony Romo, Lamar Miller, Devonta Freeman, Zach Ertz, Brandin Cooks
My selection at No. 90 standard: Devonta Freeman
My selection at No. 90 PPR: Tony Romo

Round 9

Round 9 - Standard QB 70% RB 10% WR 20% TE 0%
Round 9 - PPR QB 0% RB 50% WR 50% TE 0%

Like the PPR team, our move to wait on a quarterback paid off with Cutler coming back. Obviously, Griffin would have been better, but I'm excited about Cutler this season. The Bears made a huge investment in him while letting Josh McCown leave as a free agent. The offseason reports on Cutler have been positive, and he has an amazing receiving corps led by Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. He's the last quarterback I like to wait for, and I did draft him ahead of Foles and Newton because his ceiling is higher. But like I said, I will pair him with another quarterback just in case he gets hurt again. In the PPR league, I took a flier on Dexter McCluster here. If he plays the Danny Woodhead role in Ken Whisenhunt's offense (Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator in San Diego last year) then he could be a star. If not, he's an easy guy to cut at this spot.

Players you can get here (standard): Jay Cutler, Rueben Randle, Nick Foles, Kyle Rudolph, Andre Williams
Players you can get here (PPR): Dexter McCluster, Marvin Jones, Christine Michael, Reggie Wayne, Jeremy Hill
My selection at No. 103 standard: Jay Cutler
My selection at No. 103 PPR: Dexter McCluster

Round 10

Round 10 - Standard QB 20% RB 40% WR 40% TE 0%
Round 10 - PPR QB 0% RB 50% WR 50% TE 0%

I'm not big on taking two quarterbacks in a 14-round draft, but every situation is different. So after drafting Cutler, I was now watching to see what happened with Foles and Newton. Foles went two picks after I drafted Cutler as the No. 12 quarterback off the board, so at that point I planned to take Newton if he made it back to me. This could either be the steal of the draft based on Newton's history or a potential open roster spot if I cut him early in the season. We're down on Newton this year with his reshuffled receiving corps and offensive line and coming off ankle surgery. But he's still someone to target in all leagues just in case he proves us wrong. Just don't overvalue him as a Top 10 option. In the PPR league, I took a flier on Stepfan Taylor, who could surprise as the No. 2 running back in Arizona.

Players you can get here (standard): Cam Newton, Riley Cooper, Tavon Austin, Carlos Hyde, Hakeem Nicks
Players you can get here (PPR): Stepfan Taylor, Nick Foles, Tavon Austin, Chris Ivory, James White
My selection at No. 114 standard: Cam Newton
My selection at No. 114 PPR: Stepfan Taylor

Round 11

Round 11 - Standard QB 0% RB 50% WR 50% TE 0% DST 0%
Round 11 - PPR QB 0% RB 50% WR 50% TE 0% DST 0%

You can look at best player available with these next two picks unless you want to pull the trigger early on a DST. We passed on that option here, and instead bolstered our receiving corps in the standard league with Jarrett Boykin and our running back group in the PPR league with LeGarrette Blount. I like Boykin a lot this season as the No. 3 receiver for the Packers. James Jones is gone, and the tight end position is shaky. Boykin should see plenty of targets in the slot or outside as a complementary weapon behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Blount is worth taking here in the PPR league solely as a handcuff for Bell. Should Bell go down, Blount would likely be a must-start running back in any format.

Players you can get here (standard): Jarrett Boykin, Doug Baldwin, Dexter McCluster, Harry Douglas, Lance Dunbar
Players you can get here (PPR): LeGarrette Blount, Darren McFadden, Anquan Boldin, Andre Brown, Cam Newton
My selection at No. 127 standard: Jarrett Boykin
My selection at No. 127 PPR: LeGarrette Blount

Round 12

Round 12 - Standard QB 0% RB 50% WR 40% TE 0% DST 10%
Round 12 - PPR QB 0% RB 40% WR 50% TE 0% DST 10%

We have a solid group of running backs in the PPR league with Bell, Vereen, Thomas, McCluster, Taylor and Blount. It was in our best interest now to take a reserve receiver behind Allen, Edelman and Hilton. The best option, and someone you should target with a late-round pick, is Rod Streater. I know he plays for the Raiders and has Matt Schaub at quarterback, but Streater should be Oakland's No. 1 target. He's also a third-year breakout candidate and has done well to increase his totals each of his first two seasons. I like stashing him late in all formats. In the standard league, another receiver I plan to target is Justin Hunter. He could also have a breakout season in his sophomore campaign as the expected starter opposite Kendall Wright.

Players you can get here (standard): Justin Hunter, Kelvin Benjamin, James White, Anquan Boldin, Rod Streater
Players you can get here (PPR): Rod Streater, Rams DST, Ahmad Bradshaw, Cardinals DST, Ben Roethlisberger
My selection at No. 138 standard: Justin Hunter
My selection at No. 138 PPR: Rod Streater

Round 13

Round 13 - Standard QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% DST 90% K 10%
Round 13 - PPR QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% DST 90% K 10%

When you wait until the end of the draft to select a DST, especially if you're picking in the middle of the round, you're usually looking at second-tier options, like we were here. But don't fret. A DST like the Steelers is a solid option because of their schedule, facing some offensively-challenged teams like Cleveland, Baltimore, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Houston for the first seven weeks. It might not work out if the defense struggles like last season, but based on past performance and opponent, they were worth the risk here. In the PPR league, we went with the Patriots DST with the hope the additions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner and return to health of Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly and Jerod Mayo pay off with a big year.

Players you can get here (standard): Steelers DST, Saints DST, Chiefs DST, Stephen Gostkowski, Cecil Shorts
Players you can get here (PPR): Patriots DST, Steelers DST, Stephen Gostkowski, Phil Dawson, Saints DST
My selection at No. 151 standard: Steelers DST
My selection at No. 151 PPR: Patriots DST

Round 14

Round 14 - Standard QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% DST 0% K 100%
Round 14 - PPR QB 0% RB 0% WR 0% TE 0% DST 0% K 100%

Justin Tucker is a proven commodity at this point since he was a Top 3 kicker last season in standard leagues and has made 68 field goals the past two years. He's a Top 5 candidate this year. Steven Hauschka is coming off a big season with 41 of 43 field goals, including the playoffs, and has made 57 of 62 field goals the past two years. He's another Top 5 kicker coming into the season.

Players you can get here (standard): Justin Tucker, Mason Crosby, Adam Vinatieri, Shayne Graham, Dan Bailey
Players you can get here (PPR): Steven Hauschka, Shayne Graham, Justin Tucker, Dan Bailey, Adam Vinatieri
My selection at No. 164 standard: Justin Tucker
My selection at No. 164 PPR: Steven Hauschka

The two teams

Standard PPR
QB Jay Cutler QB Tony Romo
RB Doug Martin RB Le'Veon Bell
RB Toby Gerhart RB Shane Vereen
WR Keenan Allen WR Keenan Allen
WR Victor Cruz WR Julian Edelman
FLEX Ben Tate FLEX Pierre Thomas
TE Jimmy Graham TE Jimmy Graham
K Justin Tucker K Steven Hauschka
DST Steelers DST Patriots
Reserve Cam Newton Reserve Dexter McCluster
Reserve Devonta Freeman Reserve Stepfan Taylor
Reserve Terrance Williams Reserve LeGarrette Blount
Reserve Jarrett Boykin Reserve T.Y. Hilton
Reserve Justin Hunter Reserve Rod Streater

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Player News
Texans' O'Brien: WR DeAndre Hopkins can 'be one of the best'
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(12:28 am ET) Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is very encouraged by the performance of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last season, per ESPN. O'Brien went as far as to say that Hopkins can be one of the best.

"He had a really productive year," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "The thing that we really like about Hop and that we want him to continue to do is his work ethic. He’s a hungry player. He works every single day. He came into the spring a year ago and he was learning the offense and thinking out there, then all of a sudden you could see all the work he put in and learning, he just took off."

Due to the departure of wide receiver Andre Johnson, the progression of Hopkins will be under the microscope as he is now the focal point of the passing offense.

"We just want to see him continue and progress," O'Brien said. "We think he can be one of the best, we think he is one of the best. We have a lot of confidence in him and we’re looking forward to seeing him progress when the offseason program starts."

In two years with the Texans, Hopkins has reeled in 128 receptions for 2012 yards and eight touchdowns.


Giants won't rush WR Victor Cruz back to the field
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(12:12 am ET) Although Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is hopeful that wide receiver Victor Cruz will be ready by training camp, the team will not rush him back, reports ESPN.

"I shouldn't say this, because medically I really don't have a definite answer, but by training camp hopefully, even if it's just to bring him," Coughlin said. "We're not going to just throw him to the wind. He'll work his way through. But I hope that would be the target."

Cruz tore his patellar tendon in week six of the 2014 season, causing him to miss the rest of the year. Coughlin is hopeful that he'll return to be the player that he was before the injury.

"I think he'll be the player that he was, and hopefully better," Coughlin said of Cruz. "But as far as when, I would be careful of what I would say there. Hopefully it's the first game. But if it isn't, you know we've done that one before. We just went through it. But I'm hoping it would be."

The former undrafted free agent has tallied 264 receptions for 3,963 yards and 24 touchdowns.


Lions QB Matthew Stafford to take more chances through the air
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was in new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi's system for the first time last season. The team plans on taking more chances down the field in Stafford's second season in the new offense, Lombardi said, according to the team's official website.

“In his second year (in the offense) he’s going to be that much more comfortable,” Lombardi said.

“We’ll be able to tailor the offense a little bit more to what he likes and what he’s good at. I thought he played smart football and sometimes to a fault. We’ll look for him to maybe take a few more chances this year with the football.”

Although Stafford didn't take many shots down the field, he did throw a career-low 12 interceptions in 2014. 

The former first overall draft pick has thrown for 21,714 yards with 131 touchdowns and 85 interceptions during his six-year career.


Colts OLB Robert Mathis plans to be ready for training camp
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis is not ready to run yet, he told Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL. Mathis added that he plans to be ready for the start of training camp.

“It’s not going as fast as I would like to, but we are getting well and we should be clicking in camp,” Mathis told Sirius.

Mathis was suspended for the first four games of last season due to violating the league's substance abuse policy. He then suffered a torn achilles, forcing him to miss all 16 games of the 2014 season.

During his 11-year career with the Colts, Mathis has collected 487 total tackles, 111.0 sacks, 15 passes defensed and 48 forced fumbles.


Lions TE Eric Ebron has been working out with Matthew Stafford
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said that tight end Eric Ebron has been working out with quarterback Matthew Stafford in Atlanta this offseason, reports the Detroit News. Lombardi also said that the plan is to have Ebron be the No. 3 weapon in the passing game this year.

Ebron, 21, finished his rookie season with 25 catches for 248 yards and one touchdown. 


Cowboys' Tony Romo: DeMarco Murray asked me to take a pay cut
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Eagles running back DeMarco Murray was really hoping to remain with the Cowboys this offseason. So much so, he asked quarterback Tony Romo to take a pay cut to remain with the team, Romo said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday, per the Dallas Morning News.

"DeMarco ended up asking me, 'Why don't you take a pay cut?' I said, 'I will. I would take a pay cut to go do this,'" Romo said. "I was like, 'They're going to restructure me.' That's the same thing in some ways, just for the salary cap purposes. He was like, 'OK, now we're back to being friends again.' I would take $5 million less if meant getting him back.

"He knew that. It was just funny how he was literally worried about that part of it for a week. I'm like, 'That's not the reason.' I'm like, 'Obviously I'll restructure. I would even take a pay cut.' He was like, 'OK, we can be friends again.' It's amazing what you think about in those moments."


Giants QB Eli Manning wants to take offense 'to another level'
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Giants quarterback Eli Manning is entering the second year in offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's system. Manning is ready to take the next step now that he is familiar with the system, reports the NY Daily News.

““This year will be a much easier transition, knowing that we have been through so much of it already,” said Manning, who recently had been working out at Ole Miss with some of their receivers and alumni. “It’s definitely a different starting point. I feel good about it. I feel that I have a good understanding of it.

“But there is still room to grow and that is why I try to keep it as fresh in my mind as possible. Looking at old game-plan sheets and calling plays in my head – throwing routes with receivers trying to call out plays to myself, so you don’t let it slip away. It was new last year and it wasn’t something I have been doing for 10 years, so you want to keep it fresh and go through your reminders and all your checks. So when we come back I haven’t taken a step backwards and have to re-learn things. It is still all there. There will be new stuff and we will be taking it to another level.”

Manning has started all 16 games in each season since 2005, throwing for 39,755 yards with 259 touchdowns and 185 interceptions.


Saints TE Josh Hill wants to grow into new role
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) After trading trading Jimmy Graham to the Seahawks, tight end Josh Hill is ready to step into his new role with the Saints, according to the team's offical website.

“I think it might open a few opportunities for me as I continue to grow in my role and just do everything they ask me to do,” Hill said when asked about the trade of Graham to the Seahawks.

Hill recognized that Graham helped him transition from college to the professional level.

“It’s a big difference, especially coming from a smaller school and a smaller city," Hill said. "He was always there for me. We became pretty good friends over the past few years so it will definitely be different without him.”

Head coach Sean Payton believes that Hill is ready to step up.

“Josh Hill is a player that we value a lot," Payton said last week at the NFL annual meeting. "He’s not on anyone’s fantasy first three rounds, I promise you, but he’s a real good tight end. He’s versatile in the running game, in the pass receiving game, a special teams player.”

Hill, heading into his third year in the NFL, has recorded 20 receptions for 220 yards and six touchdowns. 


Cowboys QB Tony Romo excited about this offseason
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is excited about what the offseason holds for him, according to ESPN.

“This is the first offseason where I’ve been able to kind of get after it this early and be able to kind of improve in a lot of different areas that I think you aren’t able to until you get healthy enough to attack it,” Romo said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday. “I’m just excited about that, really.”

Romo, 34, is encouraged by the fact that he is able to do a lot of different things during the offseason process while working out.

“Now I’m able to do that while actually doing functional strength training through different versions of squats,” Romo said. “I’m not putting anything on my back and doing stuff like that but you are doing a lot of single-leg stuff and different things that I started getting into during the season that helped a lot. Now it’s nice to be able to do that in the offseason.”

Romo has thrown for 33,270 yards with 242 touchdowns and 110 interceptions in his 12-year career. 


WR Dwayne Bowe looks to revitalize himself with Browns
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is looking to revitalize his career now that he has joined the Browns, reports ESPN. Bowe was cut by the Chiefs in the middle of March.

"I have a chance to revitalize myself," Bowe, 30, told ESPN.com via telephone Tuesday. "Just sit back and watch."

Browns general manager Ray Farmer has familiarity with Bowe from their time with the Chiefs. The two sat down and watched tape from the 2010 season when he racked up 15 touchdown receptions.

"Him knowing what I can do, seeing me in practice, making crazy plays, splitting the safeties, he knows I still can do that," Bowe said. "I couldn't showcase that last year. He was pulling up old plays, saying, 'We are going to use you just like that.' Moving around, going on motion, trying to hit the deep ball, trying to break plays."

The 30-year-old wideout appreciated his time with the Chiefs and he has no regrets.

"It's been up and down, but it's been fun," Bowe said. "I don't regret nothing. People can talk about the NFL and playing wide receiver -- I feel I still have a good four more years in me."

Over his eight-year career, he has totaled 532 receptions for 7,155 yards and 44 touchdowns.


 
 
 
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