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The Return of the Fullback

by Terry Matthews  |  @Gridironalytics |   Published Nov 11, 2018

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5 Under-the-radar signings

of 2018

by Terry Matthews  |  @Gridironalytics |   Published Sep 1, 2018

The Return of the Fullback  |  Gridironalytics 5 under-the-radar signings of the 2018 off-season  |  Gridironalytics

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5 under-the-radar signings of the 2018 off-season

by Terry Matthews  |  @Gridironalytics   |  Published September 1, 2018

Image Credit: Erik Drost

 5. RGIII  |  QB  |  Baltimore Ravens

Griffin illustrated in pre-season he still has all the tools to be someone's starter under centre, so its a surprise the Ravens didn't try to cash in off the back of those performances and trade him to a QB-needy team for picks (much like the Jets did with Bridgewater). Evidently Griffin was originally brought in to primarily mentor Baltimore's first-round pick Lamar Jackson, something the Raven's FO think is more valuable than cashing in now. Whether Griffin will see game-time in 2018 seems unlikely, barring an injury to Flacco. But if he does, a mature RGIII might be a better proposition than people expect.

 4. Robert Quinn  |  DE  |  Miami Dolphins

That the Dolphins were able to acquire Quinn for just a third-round pick, ought to be looked at as one of the steals of the off-season. Quinn might not be operating at the level that won him the DPOY award in 2018, but his second-gear is not to be sniffed at. Still explosive out of the blocks, with an excellent bat-down pass-rush move, and terrific dip round the bend, Quinn already looks like he and Wake are one of the most dangerous pass-rush tandems in the league.

 3. Danny Shelton  |  DT  |  New England Patriots

Belichick's defense is fairly unique to the league, incorporating all manner of wrinkles on the front and relying on old-style monster 2-gapping linemen whilst most of the NFL pay big bucks to one-gapping interior linemen. Shelton appears a replacement for 6-6/350lb behemoth Alan Branch, and in terms of measurables anyway should be a solid fit. Shelton was almost exclusively a two-down linemen in Cleveland, coming on early downs when they needed mass and girth against the run; his assignments will probably be somewhat similar in New England, though likely he's given some extra responsibilities and sees more action in obvious pass plays. His pass-rush moves are limited but no doubt Belichick will aim to utilize his bullrush out of the 0-technique on ocassion, teaming him with one-gapping ends along the defensive front.

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  2. Mo Wilkerson  |  DT  |  Green Bay Packers

Comparisons to Albert Haynesworth aside (another D linemen who's production—and some might say effort—dropped way off after penning a mega-bucks deal), Wilkerson arrives in Green Bay after being released by the Jets, looking to get his career back on track. Now 28 years old, Wilkerson should be entering his peak, however his jettisoning by the New York-based franchise so soon after signing a big contract will have set alarm bells ringing. As good as Wilkerson has shown he can be, especially earlier in his career, he's also shown a failure to consistently marry all that talent to effort. Green Bay were obviously comfortable giving him a one-year prove-it contract, worth $5 million. If he balls out, the Packers will have had a real deal.

  1. Ryan Jensen  |  C  |  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Perhaps the premier center to hit the free agent market in 2018, Jensen is a hugely accomplished operator in the middle of the offensive line, mixing nous and excellent play toughness, consistently bringing his 6-4/324lb bulk to bear effectively at the second level in the run game. An important facet of the Raven's offense in 2017, Jensen will instead be plying his trade in Tampa Bay in 2018 and beyond, after the Buccs signed him to a four-year, $42 million contract.