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Charles Davis, CBS Sports NFL Analyst

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April 29, 2024 5:31 pm

Charles Davis, CBS Sports NFL Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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April 29, 2024 5:31 pm

CBS Sports NFL Analyst joins Zach Gelb

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Price and coverage match limited by state law. It is the Zach Gelb show on the Infinity Sports Network, hour number three of our radio program. We got to recap the 2024 NFL Draft.

We'll bring in a man that does a great job as an analyst for the NFL Network and also CBS Sports. And I see him rocking that Augusta pullover right now. Have you been to the Masters, Charles Davis? I wasn't anticipating that being my first question, but I see it out of the corner of my eye. So I'm now distracted. I have to ask you that. Hey, Zach, how you doing?

It's good to see you and hear you again. And I've been lucky enough to go twice to practice days. The last two years, matter of fact, I was able to hit the bucket list and then fill the bucket a little bit more, both Wednesdays beforehand. And it's probably the one event that can't be oversold. You know, everybody tells you this, this, this, then you go and you go wasn't quite that.

This is the one that I don't think can be oversold. Everything anyone has ever told me. I was like, Yeah, yeah, they were right. And then some. So I was fortunate to be able to do it.

That's awesome. Charles Davis here with us on the Zach Gelb show. Let me start you off with the Bears. Epic first round, right? We all knew they were getting Caleb Williams that nine, they're able to get Roma dunes. A the Bears last year were seven and 10. I look at this team and I say, why can't they be nine and eight? Why can't they be 10 and seven this year and make the playoffs year one with Caleb Williams?

What do you say to that? I don't disagree with you, but I was thinking that headed into the whole thing. I was thinking that with Justin Fields, to be frank with you, not that I thought that getting rid of just fields and draft Kevin was a bad move.

Organizationally, they had to decide who their person was. We know that. And it's hard not to buy into what you see with Caleb Williams as your true upside. Because the one thing we had with the biggest question mark we have that Justin Fields coming in was how accurate would he be throwing the football? And percentages in college does not mean accuracy in the pros. Because in college, your receivers are usually a lot better than the DBs are going against. For whatever reason, your main guys are pro guys playing college kids, and that's all they're going to be like someone like me.

I was a four-year starter at Tennessee, but what an NFL player. So the separation kicks in, those guys make plays for you, and you're a 67% thrower, but you're not accurate, meaning is the ball in the right spot? Do you stop the receiver before he hits the post safety? Do you pick him low so he doesn't have to pick the big shot? Do you hit the swing and he keeps running?

Do you see where I'm going with all that, Zach? Caleb Williams, that's stuff he's done throughout his time at USC. But everything that was waiting for him, this is the unusual part for a quarterback taken at number one, Zach, that a tight end and cold commit is waiting for him. Receivers named DJ Moore, Keenan Allen, were waiting for him. Running back named DeAndre Swift was waiting for him. First round right tackle last year, Darnell Wright, waiting for him.

You see where I'm going? These people were there, and now they've increased it, bringing in Caleb and Roma Dunze. You know, Agajide, the tackle from Yale, Project City. Two years at Yale, he didn't play a heck of a lot.

COVID was one of them, injuries this past year. Potential, sure, but what you see right now with that offense is kind of what you get, and that's not so bad. And the defense last year, about the last half of the year, was as good as they could imagine, and picking up Montez Sweat.

So now you've got potential playmates on the defensive side, a defensive line with Sweat. The linebackers, I love TJ Edwards, quietly does his job very, very well, right? Terrell Edmonds, not Terrell, but what is it? Tremaine, thank you, brother. I should know that Father Farrell beat me for a touchdown in the Sun Bowl in college.

I'm still trying to get over it. They are playmakers at linebacker, and then the secondary, Jalen Johnson at the corner, Juwan Brisker at safety, and Matt Eberflue coordinating everything as a head coach. I liked where this team was headed, and I'm with you. They are in a position where they can, you know, they can butt their way in if they play well. The kicker was I'm not sure they saw Green Bay getting right as well as they did the last half of last year, too.

I don't know that anyone did. And now Green Bay still looming out there. And of course, Detroit runs a division right now. And that division is really good because I was waiting to see what quarterback Minnesota was going to get, and I wasn't sold on JJ McCarthy going into the draft, but I kept on saying McCarthy goes to the Vikings.

That's a landing spot where he could succeed right away. And you're saying, let me ask you this, Zach, are you saying that because of Kevin O'Connell? Are you saying it because Justin Jefferson and Addison?

All the above. That's what I'm saying. You have a good offensive-minded head coach. You got those two weapons. You got Aaron Jones in the backfield. Hopkins, I know he's coming off an injury at tight end and a guy that knows how to win, and he plays his role, and he's not about ego. I think it's a match really made for one another with McCarthy and the Vikings. And good building blocks in the offensive line. Brian O'Neill still your right tackle. Bradbury's an experienced center, et cetera. It's a Christian Darrisau at left tackle. But for me, it's Kevin O'Connell because I thought that his chops as a head coach were really made, right?

What did I say? He made his bones last year to me. Not the 13-4 rookie season because, Zach, you've seen teams get on a run, okay? We've had coaches win Super Bowls that have never been heard from since, okay? So it happens, right?

You get on a great run, you go. But I thought last year, when I thought Minnesota was primed to take a pretty decent step back, you're not going to win nine one-score games in a season back-to-back years. And they didn't take as far a step back as I thought they would, especially using four quarterbacks because of Kevin O'Connell.

I'm a huge believer in him as a head coach, not just as a quarterback creator, which he is, but as a head coach, pulling all that together. And Brian Floor is doing the job on defense, but the credit has to go to the man out front who held all that together. And I'll be darned, Zach, how was Minnesota in contention as deep in the season as they were? They shouldn't have been.

There was no rhyme or reason for that. But they hung in, they battled, they fought. I give Kevin O'Connell a ton of credit for that. Charles Davis is my guest right now. Four days later, where are you at on the Michael Penick Jr. pick? I'm really wanting Atlanta to be able to yaya at all of us down the road that it worked out exactly as what sounds like is their vision, which is owner Arthur Blank, I want a quarterback succession that Kirk Cousins comes in and makes them the playoff team we expect him to, right, as a starting quarterback. And then two, three years down the road, Michael Penick takes over a perennial playoff team and the transition is nice and easy. I want all that to happen.

I want that to come true. I want that to be right for Atlanta because right in front of them is, yes, a playoff team because Cousins has come to town because last year, Zach, they were deeply disappointed they didn't make it. And they thought it was mainly because of quarterback play. And that was the reason Arthur Smith got bounced as the head coach. Well, you added the quarterback, 100 million guaranteed. You still have Drake London, you still have Kyle pitch. You've got an offensive line with Lindstrom and Matthews and Caleb McGarry. You've got the makings of it. Oh, yeah, that's right.

Bijan Robinson. And we're going to put positionless football here. Someone else to coordinate all Zach Robinson's new coordinator, Raheem Moore is the head coach.

I like where they're going. But if you're saying, what about adding some other pieces glaring need at Rush and the edge rusher and no defensive players were taken yet up until that point, so they had their first bite of the apple where they wanted to go corner edge rusher. No one was taking a linebacker, but they could have done that safety.

You know what I'm saying? Or they could have loaded up an offense and they could have taken a doomsday too. They could have done all that. They could have done any way they wanted to go, but they chose quarterbacks. I'm hoping that down the road, they're able to look at us and go, well, you guys, you just missed the whole thing. We did the playoffs and had our runs with cousin.

He left. He took over team that and made them a playoff team. Here comes Pentax with the idea to make a playoff team. Now that's what it sounds like is the plan. I would have tried to beef up the rest of the team, myself under cousins and worried about that quarterback spot later, but this was an owner driven deal from every indicator down to Terry Fontenot, the GM. And he made it happen.

And I'm really, really hoping that Atlanta has the last laugh. And the thing that doesn't make sense to me is I could get more on board with this. There's nothing against Michael Pentax Jr. If he was raw, if he wasn't NFL ready, you know, if he was a little bit younger, he turns 24 in a few weeks, he's ready to go right away. It seems just ridiculous to make him sit and wait probably two years and pay all that money to Kirk cousins, where if you really love the guy, just take him at eight and you should have never brought Kirk in to begin with.

Well, the other part, Zach is this, and this is just my own personal theory about things. When you draft quarterbacks in the first round, let alone in the top 10, it's really hard for them not to get on the field. It's really hard for you to sit them.

And I know everybody will come running right to me. Mahomes had his first year. That was Kansas City's plan from the word go. They had Alex Smith and they were perennial playoff team.

Let's see, who else can you throw at me? Oh, that's right. Carson Palmer sat his first year with John Kitna. Okay, Cincinnati had a plan there and they weren't that great at that time. Jordan Love had to sit a long time because Rogers was in his prime. Rogers had to sit a long time because Favre was in his prime. But overall, how many times Zach, have you seen a GM or an owner go to the podium and say, Hey, our plan is to essentially redshirt him. You know, we want to give him time.

And game three, he's a starting quarterback. It is really difficult. If you worship Christmas, I mean, celebrate Christmas, you celebrate Hanukkah, you celebrate Kwanzaa. I don't care what you celebrate. When it's time to open the gifts, do you defer them for a year?

You don't. Everybody tears paper and off you go, right? If that team drafts a quarterback in the top 10, at some point, the person who signs the checks is going to get antsy and they're going to want to do it. Heck, Kurt Warner, who's in the Hall of Fame now with the had to sit down with a winning record to make sure Eli Manning got on the field. It's going to happen.

So I don't know when, where, why. But it's $100 million guarantee Kirk Cousins is going to have. We'll see how this all plays out with Atlanta. So you think Michael Pennock, Jr. will at least start one game this year for the Falcons, it sounds like?

I don't know if it's this year. Maybe they can hold him off for a year, but it's not long. And we're taking injury out of his action.

Let's take you out of it. We're just talking about how it goes, but that's the thing cousins coming off the Achilles. We know physically, if you're fine mentally, you start thinking about other things. You could go through a two or three bad game stretch and you know what the fans are then going to be saying, get this guy cousins out and get the overall pick on the field. And the flip side, you're hoping you're motivating it.

Aaron Rodgers hated the fact Jordan love got picked, but he went on one back-to-back MVPs. So you're hoping that part kicks in as well, but here's the other part. What if they lose three heartbreakers early and they start off the season two and four?

Oh, that'd be a mess. And it's possible. And by the way, who are we kidding? Matt Ryan, my steam colleague at CBS, congratulations to him now going into the studio and what a career he's had. He won an MVP, took a team to a Superbowl.

Zach, you've been around the scene a long time. Matt Ryan plays entire career in Atlanta, looking in the stands and seeing more number seven jerseys than he saw number two jerseys. People never quit Michael Vick. Here comes another left-handed black quarterback to Atlanta. Look out.

That's all I'm saying. That city, they're going to be fired up about Michael Pennix now. And rightly so, he's a heck of a player, but he looks a lot closer to what they've been pining for than a guy that they had who may very well go into the hall of fame. Will Bo Nix with Sean Payton, will that eventually be something successful? Cause I could have never seen Bo Nix going with the 12th overall pick.

Yeah, I put him in my final mock in the 12th overall. I actually had my first mock in the 12th overall for the very reason you just meant it's because of Sean Payton. If you've met Sean Payton, you've been around Sean Payton. You've watched Sean Payton. You've heard him on TV. You've heard him coaching. You've heard him, whatever. No one has a better belief in self than Sean Payton about making players better.

And it's been proven over time that it works pretty darn well. So I know that when he got breeze, it wasn't like Drew Brees played poorly in San Diego with the chargers. He had a bad injury. It didn't get cleared, but he got together with Peyton and boy, was that a perfect match for both of them?

It worked. You get a guy with a talent, a guy like Peyton coaching them. Look what other team in the league was going to make a move to pick up Zach Wilson. Sean Payton's like, I'll fix him.

You guys didn't know what you were doing. I'll fix him. But here comes Bo Nix who kind of plays like, like Drew Brees, a little kind of moves like Drew Brees, a little kind of does all those things. And Sean Payton believes he can build around him. That made sense at 12 because of Sean Payton and no other world does it make sense to take him at 12. Let me ask you this, Charles Davis, a lot of people, I know what you just said about Michael Pennix Jr. maybe get on the field sooner than what people think. A lot of people believe that Drake May should sit almost the entirety of this season. When you get into how NFL ready Drake May is, what's the truth on that with your background?

Yeah, the truth is they're probably, everyone's probably right. He's a two year starter at North Carolina, red shirt, sophomore. And it'd be nice for him to have some time to get some habits broken and some other things that he had to break to try and win football games at North Carolina.

I was okay with his habits going crazy because he was trying to find a way to rally his team. Offensive line leaked a little bit on him. Receivers weren't quite as good as the year before. It sounds a lot like Sam Howells last year at North Carolina.

All right. So he had to make more plays with his movement, with his running, making bigger throws. And maybe he was supposed to make it a time trying to fit one in there to try and give them, give them an advantage.

Because in a lot of ways, he and Caleb Williams played similar ball last year at USC. It's almost like if they didn't go out there and put six on the board, it was like a 12 point swing, right? Or 14, if you want to add the extra points because defense might very well give that up. And now you're deeper in the hole.

So there's more pressure on doing it. I'll put it to you this way though. He was taken number three. Okay. So if my theory holds up, Jacoby Brissette will take the snaps to begin this season, but at a certain point, they're going to be out of the playoff race. All right. Unless this, unless this roster dramatically changes between now and the season, Zach, this team is not going to the playoffs this year.

All right. So at a certain point, they're out of the playoff race. Are you going to keep sitting in or are you going to try and give him some, give him some snaps to get him ready for the next season? You know, they're going to end up playing him, you know, the 100% right.

And you know, and you know, you know, your safest place to look for it. Find out when the open date comes, when the schedule comes by week or open date. And if that open date is somewhere from week seven on look for that open date for the quarterback change. Now they have the early open dates makes a little dice here, but at the same time, he's going to play. I said it on the, on the set with NFL network, rich eyes and asked me, Dana, Jeremiah might've been Joel clad at the time. I can't remember over the three days out of the six first round quarterback, how many of them will play this year? Not injury, not whatever.

And I said, five, I really do. I think five of them are going to play. I'm trying to remember who it was that I said, wouldn't play.

That's I guess. Pennix is the one I'm keeping off the field right now because William's your day one starter, you know, Jayden Daniels is a day one starter. Uh, Drake may probably plays like week seven or week eight. McCarthy should be your day one starter. Bo Nix is going to be your day one starter too. I'd be surprised if he isn't so panic. I think some people are looking at Minnesota and thinking they very well could go Sam Darnold.

Yeah. I've got some, some good football people that believe that it may not be the pressure's not there to make him the starter right here right now, but I'm with you. He will start, I think more games than Darnold during the season. I think he will get the ball at some point. Other people are a little more now.

I think they might go down a little bit longer. I was like, I don't think so. So you and I probably are matching up with some other people. And since we don't do anything that has to do with that G word gambling, let's just do it for a friendly, Hey, let's just talk about it.

Speak for yourself, Charles. I can't my contract. So I'll just be, I'll just be in a heavy discussion with someone later. And maybe I'll have to wear their team hat or something like that.

Gotcha. Let me ask you two more things before we let you run about the 49ers. And then the bills, the bills draft, uh, Keon Coleman early in the second round, they said goodbye to Steph Diggs.

You have James cookie of Dalton Kincaid. Let me start you off with the bills there, this new look Buffalo bills team. What do you think they're going to be able to do this year? I think that there'll be in contention again, because Sean McDermott, I think they're going to pump things up on defense. I think they're going to kind of follow a Kansas city model in a sense. Member of Brandon being said, you don't have to have a number one receiver to be successful and Kansas city really didn't, unless you're counting Travis Kelce with number one receiver, I'm pulling out my notes. I won't look at their draft picks again. Coleman is the right type of receiver for Buffalo, big, strong, physical, meaning he can handle December and January.

All right. And a big arm quarterback is going to throw howitzers at him. Look at what they did. Bumping up defense though, going with Cole Bishop, the safety member pop Boyer and Hyde are no longer working together in tandem.

I think Boyer's in Miami, if I'm, if I remember correctly anyway, they've got to do that. I thought that Dwayne Carter and undersized, but highly active defensive tackle comes in, helps their rotation. But I love the pick of Ray Davis to run back from Kentucky.

Why I've been saying for years, the ball in Buffalo. And finally, when Joe Brady took over, did they not run the football a heck of a lot more to James cook, not get a lot more touches. In fact, you could make a, make an argument that they ran the ball more against Kansas city.

They would have come out of that game with a win. They had them on the run and kind of got away from him a little bit. Joe Brady fits Sean McDermott as a defensive head coach. Who's calling the defenses by running the football. That's why I think Buffalo is going to continue to find a way to be contenders because you never get me to think that that big old horse player, number 17 playing quarterback is going to have you out of ball games. No chance that big guy, he can start carrying people with him. This might be his Mahomes type of a time where he goes to total feature guy and everyone come along with them.

I still say Buffalo's in the thick of things. Last thing I'll ask you Niners draft a wide receiver in the first run out of Florida, Ricky Pearsall. I know that they didn't draft a trade IU cause they didn't trade Deebo Samuel at the draft. Do you think both of those guys will still be on the roster come week one? Still hard to envision both of them on the roster still feels like they're going to make a decision and go, but I don't know where the trade opportunities and things come, but I do know this Zach, if there is a team that likes to keep their people and finds ways, San Francisco is one of those teams. Deebo was disgruntled two years ago, essentially. He did our, you know, 2024. I'm taking my ball and going home.

He scrubbed them from social media. They worked it out with him, right? They find ways to work it out with guys they want to keep. And I, and believe me, Ricky Pearsall is not the replacement for either Deebo or Brandon IU. He doesn't play like either one of them is somewhere in between. He's more of an extra accessory than he is a replacement.

So I wouldn't be surprised if San Francisco found a way to make this whole thing work. He is Charles Davis. Does a great job always for CBS Sports and just kills it for the NFL draft for the NFL network. Charles, thanks for the time. We appreciate it so much. Always great to see you, Zach. Continued success. Take care of yourself. You got it. Thanks so much. There he is.

Charles Davis with a comprehensive breakdown of all things NFL draft. We'll take a time out. We're coming on back. It is the Zach Gelb show on the infinity sports network. T-Mobile has invested billions to light up America's largest 5G network from big cities to small towns including right here in yours. And great coverage is just the beginning. Right now families and small businesses can save up to 20% versus AT&T and Verizon when they switch. Visit your local T-Mobile store today. Plan savings with three lines of T-Mobile essentials versus comparable available plans.

Plan features and taxes and fees may vary. Hey everyone, Boomer Esiason here. The NFL draft is behind us and your favorite team is now gearing up for week number one. The free Odyssey app puts you right in the middle of the pro football conversation with the biggest sports radio stations from across the country. The local voices who know your team the best giving you their unfiltered takes on the current state of your squad. It's always football season right here on the free Odyssey app.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-29 18:54:52 / 2024-04-29 19:05:36 / 11

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