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Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve is a syndicated football column by Frank Coyle that covers NFL and College football year round. It appears in different national publications and on web sites throughout the season and postseason each year.

Broncos, Chargers & Eagles Top NFL Rankings

NFL Power Rankings Week 7 –
Broncos and Chargers Heading for Showdown in late October

Rookies of the Week –
Offensive Player – RB Branden Oliver - Chargers

Defensive Player – CB Bradley Roby - Broncos

Photo – QB Tom Brady - Patriots

Players of the Week
Offensive Player - QB Tom Brady - Patriots

Defensive Player - DE Connor Barwin - Eagles

Team of Week 6 - Eagles
Matchup of Week 7 – Bengals at Colts –

Rank / Team / Record

1. Denver Broncos (4-1)
Broncos’ overpowered a scrappy Jets club.

2. San Diego Chargers (5-1)
Chargers just got by the Raiders with Chiefs on the agenda.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1)
Eagles looked like world beaters vs the GMen.

4. Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
The Seahawks showed flaws in loss to the Cowboys.

5. Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
Colts are on a four game winning streak with AFC rival the Bengals coming to town Sunday.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (3-1-1)
The Bengals kissed the Panthers in tie last week.

7. Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
The Ravens’ just quietly take care of business.

8. Dallas Cowboys (5-1)
Cowboys are a super hot club after trashing the Seahawks.

9. Arizona Cardinals (4-1)
Cards are jumping on soft clubs weekly.

10. San Francisco 49ers (4-2)
The 49ers face the acid test this week when they travel to Bronco country.

11. Green Bay Packers (4-2)
Packers’ are riding the hot hand of QB Aaron Rodgers once again.

12. Detroit Lions (4-2)
Lions host the Saints this week in a matchup that could have huge playoff implications.

13. New England Patriots (4-2)
Patriots drilled the Bills and host the collapsing Jets on Thursday nite.

14. New York Giants (3-3)
The GMen were shocked by the Eagles and face the surging Cowboys in Dallas.

15. Carolina Panthers (3-2-1)
The Panthers go to Titletown in a critical NFC contest.

16. Chicago Bears (3-3)
The Bears beat Atlanta last week and host the erratic Dolphins this Sunday.

17. Houston Texans (3-3)
Texans came up short vs the Colts with in key AFC matchup in Pittsburgh next.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-3)
Steelers’ got whipped by the Browns and face the Texans at home on Monday nite.

19. Buffalo Bills (3-3)
The Bills face the Vikings at home this week.

20. New Orleans Saints (2-3)
Saints had two week to get ready for the Lions in a key NFC matchup.

21. Cleveland Browns (3-2)
The Browns pounded the Steelers and travel to Jacksonville this week.

22. Atlanta Falcons (2-4)
Falcons are banged up and travel to Baltimore in tough matchup.

23. Miami Dolphins (2-3)
The Dolphins let the Packers off the hook last week.

24. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
The Chiefs had two weeks to get ready for critical AFC West matchup in San Diego.

25. Minnesota Vikings (2-4)
Vikings came up lame vs the Lions.

26. Tennessee Titans (2-4)
The Titans held on to beat the lowly Jaguars this week.

27. St. Louis Rams (1-4)
The Rams host the Seahawks in hope of getting into playoff hunt.

28. New York Jets (1-5)
The Jets gave a good effort vs the Broncos, but offense continues to struggle.

29. Washington Redskins (1-5)
The Skins get a winnable game at home vs the Titans on Sunday.

30. Tampa Bay Bucs (1-5)
Bucs get their bye week to figures out their weekly disasters.

31. Oakland Raiders (0-5)
The Raiders get the Cardinals at home in hopes to turn the tide.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-6)
The Jaguars’ are primed to go after the Lions winless season.

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Chicago Hosts NFL Draft 2015 - April 30th-May 2nd

NFL Draft 2015 – Chicago Hosts NFL Draft Event

The 2015 NFL Draft will be held April 30-May 2 at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Thursday.

"We are excited to have fans from throughout the midwest experience the NFL Draft," Goodell said in a statement announcing the draft location. "We look forward to returning the event to the city of Chicago and working with the city, Choose Chicago, and the Chicago Sports Commission to create a week-long celebration of football for our fans. Mayor Emanuel and the city of Chicago presented us with numerous ways to enhance the Draft experience for our fans and incoming players."

Chicago beat out Los Angeles, which was the other finalist in the running to host the league's marquee event next year. Various sites across the country expressed interest in hosting the affair but couldn't beat out a strong bid from Chicago that was backed by Emanuel.

"Chicago is pleased to welcome the 2015 NFL Draft to America's heartland," Emanuel said in a statement. "Next year, NFL fans from across the country will travel here or tune in as the future of their team is decided in Chicago. We look forward to working with the Chicago Bears, the NFL, and our neighborhood partners to make this an event that highlights our world class city and reinvests in our communities."

The NFL Draft 2015 will be held April 30 through May 2. There had been some speculation that the draft was going to be expanded to four days but a three-day format will remain next year. Round 1 will be held on April 30 with Rounds 2-3 scheduled for May 1 and Rounds 4-7 set for May 2.

The new site will mark the first time the draft has been held outside of New York City since 1964, when it took place in Chicago. The draft was held at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan for the past nine years but scheduling issues forced the draft to be moved back this year and the site was already booked in 2015 during the dates the NFL was considering for the event.

The draft itself will be held at Roosevelt University's Auditorium Theatre right in the heart of downtown Chicago. A nearby area big enough to hold a fan festival was a key part of NFL criteria for submitted bids, and this year's event will expand outside to picturesque Grant Park and Congress Plaza. There will be an outdoor fan festival for all three days of the draft.

Frank Coyle is a long time NFL scout and member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

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NFL Power Rankings – Seahawks Gain Top Spot after Super Bowl Rematch Victory

NFL Power Rankings – Seahawks Gain Top Spot after Super Bowl Rematch Victory

Rookies of the Week –
Offensive Player - WR Allen Hurns - Jaguars

Defensive Player - CB Kyle Fuller - Bears

Photo - QB Andrew Luck - Colts

Players of the Week
Offensive Player - QB Andrew Luck - Colts

Defensive Player - LB Jelani Jenkins - Dolphins

Team of Week 3 - Seahawks

Matchup of Week 4 – Eagles at 49ers –

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NFL Power Rankings – Broncos Hold Top Spot with Trip to Seattle in Super Bowl Rematch

NFL Power Rankings – Broncos Hold Top Spot with Trip to Seattle in Super Bowl Rematch This Week

Rookies of the Week –
Offensive Player - WR Sammy Watkins - Bills

Defensive Player - CB Kyle Fuller - Bears

Photo - QB Tom Brady - Patriots

Players of the Week
Offensive Player - WR Brandon Marshall - Bears

Defensive Player - LB Ryan Kerrigan - Redskins

Team of Week 2 - Chargers
Matchup of Week 3 – Broncos at Seahawks –

Rank / Team / Record

1. Denver Broncos (2-0)
Broncos’ go into Seattle this week for revenge.

2. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
The Seahawks are beatable after mediocre performance vs Chargers.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)
Eagles made a great comeback vs Colts Monday night.

4. Cincinnati Bengals (2-0)
The Bengals drilled the Falcons at home last week.

5. San Francisco 49ers (1-1)
The 49ers let the Bears comeback in Sunday night comeback.

6. New England Patriots (1-1)
Patriots blasted the Vikings.

7. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
Packers’ get in the win column with win over Jets.

8. San Diego Chargers (1-1)
Chargers are contenders in the West, but their secondary keeps coming up short.

9. Chicago Bears (1-1)
The Bears won a huge game in San Fran that could have meaning in any tie breakers.

10. Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
Falcons get the Bucs home on Thursday night in key NFC South matchup.

11. Detroit Lions (1-1)
Lions were terrible vs Panthers and face Packers at home in key NFC North matchup.

12. Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
The Ravens continue AFC North tour with Browns contest after big win over Steelers.

13. Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
Cards had a gutty win behind backup QB Drew Stanton vs GMen.

14. Carolina Panthers (2-0)
The Panthers have Steelers at home this week.

15. Buffalo Bills (2-0)
The undefeated Bills get the Chargers at home in a reality check this week.

16. Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
Colts let Eagles steal their Sunday night matchup.

17. New Orleans Saints (0-2)
Saints lost a tough game in Cleveland that makes the Vikings contest vital this week.

18. Miami Dolphins (1-1)
The Dolphins got hammered in Buffalo again.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)
Steelers have 10 days to get ready for the trip to Carolina.

20. New York Jets (1-1)
The Jets failed to finish again and prep for Monday night home game vs Bears.

21. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
Vikings go into New Orleans without Adrian Peterson.

22. Houston Texans (2-0)
Texans travel to Met Life to face a desperate Giant club.

23. New York Giants (0-2)
The GMen face a critical early season matchup that may determine their direction.

24. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
Cowboys beat a bad Tennessee club and go to St. Louis in hopes to get another win.

25. Washington Redskins (1-1)
The Skins go to Philadelphia in key early season NFC East matchup.

26. Cleveland Browns (1-1)
The Browns won a huge game late vs the Saints that they hope they carry through the season.

27. St. Louis Rams (1-1)
The Rams look for two game winning streak with Cowboys coming to town.

28. Kansas City Chiefs (0-2)
The Chiefs hung tough vs Broncos, but go to Miami looking for their first victory.

29. Tennessee Titans (1-1)
The Titans looked terrible vs an average Cowboys club.

30. Oakland Raiders (0-2)
The Raiders face Patriots in key AFC game.

31. Tampa Bay Bucs (0-2)
Bucs has lost two close games, though they show little firepower to make big plays.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
Jaguars got hammered by struggling Redskins. They face a desperate Colts club this week.

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NFL Training Camp 2014 Reporting Dates

2014 NFL Training Camp Reporting Dates

Here are NFL training camp reporting dates and locations for all 32 teams. The information below was announced by the NFL commissioner’s office in mid July

Photo – QB Russell Wilson – Seahawks

Draft Insiders’ 2014 NFL Review – every NFL Team analyzed –
NFL Draft, Free Agency and Training Camp Objectives
Order Today Online or call 1-800-776-1949

Arizona Cardinals: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Rookies: July 22. Veterans: July 25

Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta Falcons Training Facility, Flowery Branch, Ga.
Rookies: July 22. Veterans: July 24

Baltimore Ravens: Under Armour Performance Center, Owings Mills, Md.
Rookies: July 16. Veterans, July 23

Buffalo Bills: St. John Fisher College, Pittsford, N.Y.
Rookies: July 16. Veterans: July 19

Carolina Panthers: Wofford College, Spartanburg, S.C.
All players: July 24

Chicago Bears: Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Ill.
All players: July 24

Cincinnati Bengals: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati.
Rookies: July 21. Veterans: July 23

Cleveland Browns: Cleveland Browns Training Facility, Berea, Ohio.
Rookies: July 23. Veterans: July 25

Dallas Cowboys: City of Oxnard Fields, Oxnard, Calif.
All players: July 23

Denver Broncos: Paul D. Bowen Memorial Centre, Englewood, Colo.
All players: July 23

Detroit Lions: Detroit Lions Training Facility, Allen Park, Mich.
Rookies: July 22. Veterans: July 27

Green Bay Packers: St. Norbert College, Green Bay.
All players: July 25

Houston Texans: Houston Methodist Training Center, Houston.
Rookies: July 21. Veterans: July 25

Indianapolis Colts: Anderson University, Anderson, Ind.
All players: July 23

Jacksonville Jaguars: Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields, Jacksonville.
Rookies: July 22. Veterans: July 24

Kansas City Chiefs: Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, Mo.
Rookies: July 20. Veterans: July 23

Miami Dolphins: Doctors Hospital Training Facility, Davie, Fla.
All players: July 24

Minnesota Vikings: Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, Minn.
All players: July 24

New Orleans Saints: The Greenbrier, White Sulpher Springs, W.V.
Rookies: July 20. Veterans: July 24

New England Patriots: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass.
Rookies: July 20. Veterans: July 23

New York Giants: Quest Diagnostics Training Center, East Rutherford, N.J.
All players: July 21

Russell Wilson

League Announces 32 Compensatory Picks for NFL Draft

NFL Announces 32 Compensatory Selections
NFL announced this week that 13 teams were being awarded a total of 32 compensatory selections to use in the 2014 draft.

Photo - DE Jackson Jeffcoat - Texas

The Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets were the big winners with four selections each. The Ravens were especially well compensated for the free agents losses a year ago of linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger, and defensive backs Ed Reed and Cary Williams. Three of Baltimore's picks are within the first 10 selections the NFL awarded.

The Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams were each given three extra picks. The full list of teams and the picks awarded is below.

A team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in a previous year is eligible to receive compensatory picks. The picks this year were spread over the 3rd-7th rounds. Compensatory picks cannot be traded.

The Steelers will get the first extra pick of the 2014 draft at with the 33rd selection of the third round at No. 97 overall. The Green Bay Packers, Ravens and San Francisco 49ers were awarded the next three picks to finish the third round.

Full list of 2014 Compensatory picks:

ROUND / OVERALL SELECTION /TEAM

3rd Round
33-97 - Pittsburgh
34-98 - Green Bay
35-99 - Baltimore
36-100 - San Francisco

4th Round
33-133 - Detroit
34-134 - Baltimore
35-135 - Houston
36-136 - Detroit
37-137 - New York Jets
38-138 - Baltimore
39-139 - Atlanta
40-140 - New England

5th Round
33-173 - Pittsburgh
34-174 - New York Giants
35-175 - Baltimore
36-176 - Green Bay

6th Round
33-209 - New York Jets
34-210 - New York Jets
35-211 - Houston
36-212 - Cincinnati
37-213 - New York Jets
38-214 - St. Louis
39-215 - Pittsburgh

7th Round
33-248 - Dallas
34-249 - St. Louis
35-250 - St. Louis
36-251 - Dallas
37-252 - Cincinnati
38-253 - Atlanta
39-254 - Dallas
40-255 - Atlanta
41-256 - Houston

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March Madness - NFL Veteran Free Agency and Trading Period –

NFL Team Salary Cap Space - at press time
The new NFL salary cap provided clubs with another $10 million dollars that has been factored into the individual team rosters. This new money boosts many clubs into a higher bracket that could produce a buying frenzy in the opening weeks starting March 11th. The salary cap per team below is a fluctuating total according to ongoing roster moves - resignings, releases and restructuring of current players. The new totals should guarantee a heavily active Free Agent market thru the spring.

2014 Salary Cap By Team

TEAM / 2014 CAP SPACE
Raiders - $63.7
Jaguars - $56.3
Browns - $49.2
Jets - $39.1
Colts - $37.5
Dolphins - $30.3
Vikings - $30.3
Packers - $29.3
Bengals - $26.8
Broncos - $24.9
Ravens - $24.4
Buccaneers - $23.6
Eagles - $23.5
Bills - $22.4
Redskins - $21.9
Giants - $19.2
Falcons - $18.0
Cardinals - $17.6
Seahawks - $13.1
Patriots - $12.2
Lions - $10.6
Titans - $10.1
49ers - $9.7
Chiefs - $9.4
Texans - $8.3
Bears - $8.2
Panthers - $6.6
Rams - $6.4
Chargers - $6.2
Steelers - $3.1
Saints - $2.1
Cowboys - $1.6

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