In typical January fashion, I spent Sunday refusing to watch the Patriots turn the Chargers into a hapless band of hippies and wound up kinda sad for Philip Rivers. He’s basically had to fight through Manning or Brady to make it out of the AFC every year of his career. Speaking of sad, I did watch Nick Foles’ magic run out, though, and I am really high on Michael Thomas for fantasy football next year!
I’d be sadder about the Colts loss if I wasn’t blown away at “The Turnaround” to begin with, so you’ll have to forgive me for moving on so quickly. With just three NFL games remaining, (the Pro Bowl does not count as an NFL game) it’s time to talk off-season plans.
Yesterday, Stampede Blue’s staff tossed ideas around as to what we’re going to do moving forward and I wanted to give the community ideas as to what we’ll be doing from here and what important events remain to keep an eye on.
Obviously, we’ve been discussing the draft internally for a while we’ll be starting the research for our draft guide soon and plan to have that out for you all before the draft actually happens. You’ll be happy to know that we’re working on this being the best draft guide available for Colts fans and are looking specifically at reducing costs to you.
The next off-season event(s) prior to the draft will be the East-West Shrine Game (shown on NFL Network) and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl (shown on FS1), both held this Saturday, January 19th, 2019 at 3pm and 5pm EST respectively. I know that several of you are going to roll your eyes at the mention of the two games this Saturday, but consider that playing well in the Shrine game gets you invited to the Senior Bowl and last year’s East-West MVP was none other than Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain, who became a Colt later that spring. The NFLPA Collegiate game will be coached by Mike Tice and former Colts HC Chuck Pagano!
After the two remaining college football games (mentioned above), the next big event is the Senior Bowl (shown on NFL Network), which takes place the very next Saturday, January 26, 2019 in Mobile, Alabama. Colts GM Chris Ballard took the time to point out how important games like the Senior Bowl are for a lot of guys prior to the draft. Bills QB Josh Allen really matured quickly and it showed during the Senior Bowl last year and again, performing well means potentially getting invited to the Combine if you haven’t already been invited as a player.
As hesitant as I am to even bring this up (because who knows what this will look like or become), one week after the Super Bowl, a new football league, called the AAF, or the Alliance of American Football, will begin its first season. From my brief research, the league was started by Bill Polian and Charlie Ebersol. There are 8 teams and the league is basically centered in the South. I noticed that Mike Singletary, Mike Tice and Steve Spurrier are all head coaches in this league. Games will be shown on CBS. One of the things I think that’s really cool about the AAF is that they have a regional draft and because of how small the league is, they have a protection clause that protects local college players from being poached by other teams. Their league season is 10 weeks long, meaning a player could still play in the AAF and if they only signed a 1-year deal, they’d be able to get on an NFL roster this summer. Apparently it will compete with the XFL when it relaunches in 2020.
After the Senior Bowl, the 2019 NFL Combine starts on February 26 in Indianapolis and runs through March 4th. Our objective at Stampede Blue is to have press credentials during the Combine so that we can report directly to you instead of having to wait until we see it on TV to talk about it.
The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday, April 25th through Saturday, April 27th in Nashville, Tennessee. Again, Stampede Blue staff is already talking about attending the draft in person (no press credentials necessary).
The current first round draft pick order is:
1. Arizona Cardinals (3-13)
2. San Francisco 49ers (4-12)
3. New York Jets (4-12)
4. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
6. New York Giants (5-11)
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)
8. Detroit Lions (6-10)
9. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
10. Denver Broncos (6-10)
11. Cincinnati Bengals (6-10)
12. Green Bay Packers (6-9-1)
13. Miami Dolphins (7-9)
14. Atlanta Falcons (7-9)
15. Washington Redskins (7-9)
16. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
17. Cleveland Browns (7-8-1)
18. Minnesota Vikings (8-7-1)
19. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1)
21. Seattle Seahawks (10-6)
22. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)
23. Houston Texans (11-5)
24. Raiders from Chicago (12-4)
25. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
26. Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
27. Raiders from Dallas (10-6)
28. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4)
*29. New England Patriots (11-5)
*30. Los Angeles Rams (13-3)
*31. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
*32. Packers from New Orleans (13-3)
Rookie mini-camp usually starts the week after the draft for all teams, so mark that for early May 2019.
Training camp dates will be announced, but typically the Colts show up 3rd week of July and veteran players show up a few days later.
Thursday, August 1, 2019 will be the Pro Football Hall of Fame game and the teams have yet to be announced.
The 2019 regular season begins tentatively Thursday, September 5th, 2019 in the home of the Super Bowl champion.