Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins points during the first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game against Washington Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

NFL draft fans love to ask about sleepers and who’s being underrated, which is a fun topic, but rarely does anyone ask about who is being overrated. This week, that’s changing.

I asked 10 NFL personnel men—scouts, coaches, GMs and executives—to send me a list of five players being overrated. That could mean overrated by the media or overrated by their peers in football. My only ask was that they explained themselves. 

Before getting into the news and notes of the week—including thoughts on Jaylon Ferguson having his NFL Scouting Combine invite rescinded and the fallout from the Joe Flacco trade—here are those players the pros feel are being overrated.

   

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

“He’s probably QB1 in this class, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good quarterback. This is a bad draft for passers, but he’s still going top five. It’s just how the league works now.” — AFC scouting director

“Haskins scares me, but he has the most traits to work with. Still, he’s not [Jared] Goff or anything. He would have been QB4 in last year’s class.” — NFC area scout

   

Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

“Oof…this guy is just bad. I don’t know what to tell you. He doesn’t move well enough to play left. He’s too lazy. I laugh every time he’s in the first round of a mock draft.” — NFC pro scout

“I think this one is pretty obvious because the hype on him has really died down. I remember reading a mock draft in midseason that had him as a top-15 pick, and he was just never that good.” — NFC area scout

   

Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson

“It’s nothing against the kid, but teams should know better than to draft a nose tackle early. He’s Vita Vea. He’s Danny Shelton. These guys are never worth the early pick.” — AFC general manager

Jon Barash/Associated Press

“We keep hearing he’s fake. I know he’s a great athlete and he’s gonna test real well, but he was never the best or even second-best player on [the Clemson] DL.” — NFC scouting executive

   

David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin

“I love the hype on this kid because it means someone good will fall to us. Everyone sees ‘Wisconsin’ and thinks he must be special when the truth is he’s all-day average.” — AFC area scout

   

Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

“Being short [6’2½”], having a beard and wearing a headband doesn’t make you Baker Mayfield.” — NFC quarterbacks coach

                  

—The NFL rescinded the scouting combine invite of Louisiana Tech pass-rusher Jaylon Ferguson after it was learned during a routine background check that he had been convicted of simple battery stemming from a fight at a restaurant when he was a freshman. Ferguson’s punishment? A deferred judgment and a $189 fine, according to his agent, Safarrah Lawson.

Multiple scouts, coaches and general managers reached out Wednesday night after the news broke that Ferguson, widely considered a top-50 prospect, wouldn’t be allowed to attend the combine. Said one GM: “It’s just bulls–t. This is the NFL trying to protect its image instead of letting us actually talk to the kid and figure him out. And then they want to complain when we do draft guys with character questions. It’s a joke.”

Per NFL.com, in 2016, the NFL put into effect a rule that any player whose background check “shows misdemeanor or felony convictions involving violence or use of a weapon, domestic violence, sexual offense and/or sexual assault” is not allowed to participate in the Combine. 

—The Denver Broncos pulled off a trade to acquire Joe Flacco, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which left many wondering what to make of the team’s reported interest in Missouri quarterback Drew Lock as a draft prospect. A source within the Broncos organization who is aware of their offseason plans told me that nothing has changed. “We’re going to take the best player on our board when the pick comes up. Period.”

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The Broncos sent a fourth-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Flacco but still own a selection in that round thanks to a trade with the Houston Texans. 

Kliff Kingsbury squashed the speculation that the Arizona Cardinals would select Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall…or did he? Kingsbury, in a press conference, said “Josh [Rosen] is our guy.”

Nick Saban also said he wouldn’t be the head coach at Alabama right before becoming the head coach at Alabama. A skeptic could look at Kingsbury’s statement and add a “for now” to it. Until the buzz around the league of Kingsbury’s interest in Murray dies down, this story won’t go away.

—Noted NFL insider Jay Glazer stirred the pot when asked this week for a bold offseason prediction by writing that the New York Giants would trade Odell Beckham Jr. Glazer, who started his career covering the Giants, is rarely wrong when it comes to breaking news, but this seemed more predictive than reported.

—Two more thoughts before moving on this week:

1. Le’Veon Bell won’t have as many suitors as you think. The rumor around the league right now is that the New York Jets aren’t excited to pay him the money he expects. That could leave the Oakland Raiders as his best bet to get paid.

Matt Rourke/Associated Press

2. I will be very surprised if Nick Foles isn’t a Jacksonville Jaguar when the 2019 season kicks off. There are too many rumors connecting the two right now.

                                       

It’s time to update the big board after two weeks on the road evaluating at all-star games. Here’s my most recent top 32:

1. Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

2. Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama

3. Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

4. Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

5. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

6. Devin White, LB, LSU

7. Ed Oliver, DL, Houston

8. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

9. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

10. Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

11. Montez Sweat, EDGE, Miss. State

12. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

13. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

14. Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

15. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

16. Jeffery Simmons, DL, Miss. State

17. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

18. Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

19. Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State

20. Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson

21. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

22. Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson

23. Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

24. Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

25. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

26. Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

27. Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida

28. Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech

29. N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

30. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

31. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

32. Johnathan Abram, S, Miss. State

                                           

6. Stock Up

Georgia wide receiver Riley Ridley is more than the brother of last year’s first-rounder Calvin; he’s also the best route-runner I’ve studied in the 2019 class of wide receivers.

Sean Rayford/Associated Press

Ridley is smooth through his breaks and shows the ability to drop his weight and transition to breaking routes. The subtle tricks of route running look natural to him. And while he doesn’t have a huge frame (6’2″, 200 lbs) his technique and athleticism should allow him to be an early starter for NFL teams. He’s polished, tough, physical and smart.

A good showing at the scouting combine could push Ridley into the first round.

         

5. Stock Down

Iowa State’s Hakeem Butler made some ridiculous catches throughout the 2018 season as a redshirt sophomore and looked like a potential star in this year’s draft class. But after studying his tape more thoroughly, I have serious concerns about his drop rate.

In five games I evaluated, he had five drops. The upside is that he’s a dynamic deep threat and is almost unstoppable on jump balls thanks to his 6’6″ frame. He needs to test well in the speed and agility drills at the combine, but the one event I’ll be focused on for him is the gauntlet drill that asks receivers to catch several balls while working across the field in a straight line.

        

4. Sleeper of the Week 

TCU defensive lineman L.J. Collier might not fit into conventional positional size molds—he’s 6’2¼” and 280 pounds—but his tape speaks for itself. Collier has quick, strong hands while also being able to make himself skinny to shoot through gaps to attack the quarterback.

Butch Dill/Associated Press

The TCU staff raves about Collier, too. He’s considered one of the toughest players in the 2019 draft class. And while not being an upper-level athlete, he’s impossible to miss when breaking down the tape.

           

3. AAF Week 2 

Saturday, Feb. 16

Salt Lake Stallions at Birmingham Iron, 2 p.m. ET, TNT

Arizona Hotshots at Memphis Express, 8 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Sunday, Feb. 17

Orlando Apollos at San Antonio Commanders, 4 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

Atlanta Legends at San Diego Fleet, 8 p.m. ET, NFL Network 

                       

2. If you love Stick to Football and want to meet the crew, you have three chances in March to hang out with us. We’re using a ticketing system for each, but it’s free to sign up (and you get some free swag if you show us your ticket).

March 2: Indianapolis at the NFL combine

March 14: Nashville, Tennessee

March 30: Kansas City Royals’ weekend opener

       

1. Stick to Football has three new episodes this week. On Monday, we talked to Temple defensive lineman Michael Dogbe about what tough means at Temple. Wednesday’s show featured our preview of the 2019 free-agent class and North Carolina edge-rusher Malik Carney talking about prepping for the NFL draft and his suspension from the NCAA for selling shoes. Friday brought us Dexter Williams with a lot of Notre Dame talk. Check out the podcast and subscribe if you haven’t already. We will also post a ton of behind-the-scenes content on our Instagram page.

                 

                       

Matt Miller covers the NFL and NFL draft for Bleacher Report.

Maduro reportedly extended an invitation to the US special envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, to meet with him. The State Department and Secretary of State would not comment on the prospect of such a meeting, but Mike Pompeo said Friday that the overture shows Maduro’s “increasing understanding that the Venezuelan people are rejecting him.”
Protesters flood Venezuela's streets to call for change

Meanwhile, three defense officials tell CNN that US military aircraft will help ferry humanitarian aid to countries neighboring Venezuela in the hopes that the aid might be delivered to the Guaido administration.
US Air Force C-17 aircraft will support the US State Department and the US Agency for International development, flying the aid from the continental United States to Colombia.
While the Trump administration has repeatedly refused to rule out a military option to end the Venezuelan crisis, officials stress that the US military will only be transporting the aid to the region, adding that the flights could take place as early as this weekend. Pompeo noted Friday that the US would continue to deliver “massive humanitarian assistance” “as soon as this weekend.”
While the initial military flights are expected to go to Cucuta, Colombia, a senior USAID official said Wednesday that the US could fly aid directly into Venezuela.
The Acting Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Latin America and Caribbean Bureau, Steve Olive said they are in daily communication with self-declared interim President Juan Guaido and his team on avenues to deliver humanitarian aid to Venezuela.
“We are also committed to pre-positioning goods and supplies in other parts if that’s necessary,” Olive said. “We also are looking at scenarios of flying things in if the situation permits.”
Olive said the Maduro is not allowing access, but that they hoped to “change that scenario shortly.”
Guaido told a large group of anti-regime protesters in Caracas Tuesday that humanitarian aid will enter Venezuela by February 23, calling on all Venezuelans to help hand out the supplies.
Venezuela’s opposition envoy to the United States, Carlos Vecchio, accused Maduro’s government on Thursday of blocking humanitarian aid and manipulating the suffering of the people.
“The pain of our people is being manipulated and they don’t care how much our people are suffering,” Vecchio said while speaking at an international aid conference hosted at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington.
When two US trucks carrying food and medical supplies arrived at Venezuela’s border last week, they found the bridge to Venezuela blocked by an oil tanker and two large containers, according to a US official in the Colombian border town of Cucuta.
Venezuela special envoy, Rep. Omar have contentious exchange over human rights

Venezuela special envoy, Rep. Omar have contentious exchange over human rights

In addition to Colombia, the government of the Netherlands announced Wednesday that the Caribbean island of Curaçao would also be used as a “hub” to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid bound for Venezuela “in close coordination” with Guaido and the US.
US National Security Advisor John Bolton praised the move on Twitter.
The announcement came just a day before the island was visited by Adm. Craig Faller, the head of US Southern Command which oversees military operations in South America.
Both the US and Dutch militaries have used facilities on Curaçao.
A spokesperson for Southern Command described the visit as long planned and said “there was no connection between the Admiral’s visit and the Dutch announcement.”
The US, Canada and a majority of South American and Western European countries have recognized Guaido as the country’s interim president. Russia, China and Cuba continue to recognize the government of Maduro, who retains control over the country’s security forces.

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n

nx3c!– Rubicon Project Ad Tag –x3en

n

n

n

President Trump said he’ll sign the final paper work to declare a national emergency to fund his wall as soon as he gets back to his office — and he’s already anticipating a legal challenge.

“So the order is signed. And I’ll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the Oval Office. And we will have a national emergency,” Trump said.

After he signs national emergency and executive action paperwork, Trump said, “We will then be sued,” rattling off a possible chain of events, which included bad ruling in the 9th Circuit Court, which he has previously lamented.

“We will possibly get another bad ruling, and then we’ll get another bad ruling, and then we’ll end up in the Supreme Court,” Trump said, comparing the process to challenges to his administration’s travel ban.

“And then, hopefully, we’ll get a fair shake.”

What this is about: There has been speculation that Democrats or landowners on the Souther border would sue if President Trump declared a national emergency to build the wall.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said just yesterday that the Democrats could take legal action.

“I may. That’s an option,” she told reporters Thursday.

Watch the moment:

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Were they filtered by labels or sizing?”)},h.videoAdapters = [],h.registerBidAdapter = function(e, t) {var n = (2 n

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“I’m going to be signing a national emergency, and it’s been signed many times before. It’s been signed by other presidents from 1977 or so. It gave the presidents the power,” Trump said. “There’s rarely been a problem. They sign it, nobody cares. I guess they weren’t very exciting.”
The President said that he is doing so to address “an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”
“We don’t control our own border,” Trump said. “We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border and we’re going to do it — one way or the other we have to do it.”
Republicans pay the price for Trump's wall crusade

Trump went on to repeat his past talking points about “tremendous amounts of drugs” crossing into the US from the southern border — even though the majority of those drugs come through ports of entry — and addressed the issue of human trafficking.
He once again reiterated his claim that El Paso, Texas, is safer because of the border fencing, despite statistics showing violent crime rates did not go down as a result of the construction of fencing there.
Through a combination of executive authorities — some of which require he national emergency declaration — Trump is aiming to redirect more than $6 billion in federal funds toward the construction of a wall or barrier on the US-Mexico border on top of the $1.375 billion Congress authorized for fencing in the bill Trump will sign Friday morning. If successful, the actions could allow Trump to fund the construction of hundreds of miles of new border barriers.
Democrats will almost certainly challenge the declaration in court, as critics pre-emptively argued that Trump cannot use the national emergency authority to free up taxpayer funds and build the border wall he has long promised his political supporters.
“Declaring a national emergency would be a lawless act, a gross abuse of the power of the presidency and a desperate attempt to distract from the fact that President Trump broke his core promise to have Mexico pay for his wall,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said in a statement Thursday. “It is yet another demonstration of President Trump’s naked contempt for the rule of law. This is not an emergency, and the President’s fearmongering doesn’t make it one.”
Several Republican lawmakers also expressed serious concerns about Trump’s move to declare a national emergency, concerned about the precedent Trump’s move to bypass Congress might set. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had previously opposed an emergency declaration, said Thursday he would support the move after Trump agreed to sign the compromise legislation to avert another government shutdown.
Trump’s move to sign the bill and take executive action concludes three weeks of negotiations between lawmakers over a budget deal. Trump had privately expressed frustration about the negotiations, which amounted to less border-wall funding than he had requested. The agreement included $1.375 billion for about 55 miles of new physical barriers — based on pre-Trump era designs — in the Rio Grande Valley sector.
During that time, Trump repeatedly hinted that he was planning to use his contested executive powers to build hundreds of miles of new barriers on the southern border regardless of how the congressional negotiations fared. He repeatedly said he had “set the table” to take action.
For weeks, the President and his top officials had repeatedly argued that there is a “crisis” on the southern border. Democrats pushed against that argument, saying there’s no security crisis but rather a humanitarian one.
According to federal data, Customs and Border Protection apprehended nearly 400,000 people along the Southwest border in fiscal year 2018, an increase from 2017 but a decrease from 2016. Many of those apprehended were claiming asylum.
The Trump administration had been actively examining using billions of dollars in unspent Pentagon funds for the construction of a border wall in the event the President declares a national emergency.
A draft proclamation reviewed by CNN last month cited Title 10 of the US Code, which paves the way for Trump to dip into a stash of Pentagon funds that are earmarked for other projects but don’t have signed contracts for spending that money.
Congressional aides told CNN that the Defense Department will select which projects to draw from and Congress will not be involved.
“It will be a DoD action. We in Congress will not have a say,” they said. “The law doesn’t say he has to tell us which project, but you can be sure we will be asking that question.”
A national emergency declaration has not gained widespread support among Republicans, who had previously expressed misgivings about using executive power to fund the wall.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky called it a “bad idea.”
“I generally don’t think it’s a good idea,” added Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
The national emergency declaration still doesn’t guarantee Trump’s wall. The administration is expected to face a slew of legal challenges, including from House Democrats and landowners whose property will likely have to be seized to mount barriers.
House Democrats could introduce a resolution to rescind the national emergency and eventually vote on it on the House floor. It would then go to the Senate, where they’d have to vote on it within a certain time frame. Even if it were to pass the Republican-controlled Senate, Trump could veto it.
The oil giant announced Friday that it has purchased Sonnen, a German startup that makes residential battery systems that store energy generated from solar panels.
The move puts Shell in direct competition with companies such as Samsung (SSNLF), LG (LPL) and Tesla (TSLA), which makes a home battery system called the Powerwall.
Shell (RDSA) declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, but said the acquisition was part of a “New Energies” strategy aimed at balancing rising energy consumption with the need to cut carbon emissions.
The oil company plans to spend as much as $2 billion a year on commercial opportunities within sustainable energy. It first invested in Sonnen in May, when it participated in a €60 million ($67 million) fundraising round.
Climate groups threaten lawsuit to force Shell to ditch oil

Sonnen said the Shell purchase would help it scale up quickly.
“We’re excited to help more households to become energy independent and benefit from new opportunities in the energy market,” Sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann said in a statement.
Sonnen claims that its lithium batteries have a minimum lifespan of 10,000 charging-cycles and are capable of lasting 20 years.
Home energy systems are becoming increasingly popular, especially in areas that suffer from disruptions to their electric grid infrastructure.
Sonnen has sold roughly 30,000 battery systems since it was was founded in 2010. Most of those were sold in Germany, but they are also available in the United States and other markets.

Climate focus

Like other oil companies, Shell is facing increased pressure from activists, shareholders and customers over its contribution to climate change. The UN warned last year that the world has only 12 years to avert a climate disaster.
The company agreed in December to establish short-term carbon emissions targets starting next year. It will also link executive bonuses to the targets.
Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace said earlier this week they are planning a legal challenge against Shell in the Netherlands.
The groups have accused Shell of “deliberately obstructing” efforts to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, the key goal of the Paris agreement.
Shell has said it “strongly supports” the climate accord. But climate activists argue that its fossil fuel activities are inconsistent with the document signed by nearly all of the world’s governments in 2015.
The legal action threatened by the groups would seek to establish that Shell is responsible under Dutch law for its contributions to climate change and for associated environmental damage.
Facebook (FB) confirmed to CNN Business on Thursday that it’s in talks with the Federal Trade Commission, following a report that the agency is looking to levy a record fine against the company for violating an earlier data privacy agreement.
The Washington Post reported the talks on Thursday. Citing two unnamed sources, the publication said the parties are negotiating over a possible multi-billion dollar fine, which would be the largest ever levied by the FTC. A New York Times report also said a record fine was possible in January.
Facebook declined to provide more details on the talks. A spokesperson for the FTC declined to comment.
Facebook could be in hot water with the FTC — again

The fine would mark the first financial penalty for Facebook in the US since the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to light last March. Since then, Facebook has also come under public scrutiny for offering more of its users’ data to companies than it had previously admitted.
Both incidents raised the prospect that Facebook had violated a 2011 consent agreement with the FTC, which required the social network to have a “comprehensive privacy program” and to get the “express consent” of users before sharing their data.
Previous FTC fines against technology firms had minimal teeth. In 2012, the FTC fined Google $22.5 million for violating an earlier privacy agreement with the agency. That same year, Google topped $50 billion in annual revenue for the first time.
But former FTC officials previously told CNN Business the agency may feel more pressure to make a statement with its fine against Facebook in light of all the public attention the company’s data privacy scandals have received.
“This has emerged as a powerful test of the FTC’s credibility as a privacy data protection authority,” William Kovacic, who chaired the FTC under former President George W. Bush, told CNN Business last month. “If it seems to conclude this in a way that is weak, it will suffer tremendously.”
Kovacic said the fine could potentially total in the billions, if the FTC concluded Facebook did violate the agreement. Others, like Ashkan Soltani, a former chief technologist at the FTC, think it’s more likely the fine would be in the $500 million to $1 billion range.
Here's how to delete Facebook (It won't help)

Here's how to delete Facebook (It won't help)

While a fine of hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars would be a blow to Facebook, it certainly would not cripple the company. It made nearly $7 billion in profit in the final three months of 2018 and more than $22 billion in profit for the year.
That said, Facebook also faces the possibility of a billion dollar fine in Europe over its failure to protect user privacy.
Facebook stock gave up some of its intraday trading gains on Friday after the news report broke, but still ended the day up more than 1%.
A regulatory filing by Berkshire Hathaway on Thursday revealed that it sold over 41 million shares in the software company before the end of 2018. The stake was worth over $2 billion when first disclosed in November.
It’s not clear whether the Oracle investment was made by Buffett or his portfolio managers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) typically holds its investments over much longer periods of time.
Shares in Oracle were down nearly 3% premarket.
Buffett’s legendary investment company has also trimmed its stake in Apple (AAPL). Berkshire Hathaway owned 249.6 million shares in the iPhone maker as of December 31, a reduction of 1% from the previous quarter.
The disposals coincided with a dramatic sell-off in tech stocks at the end of last year. Shares in Oracle declined 13% during the fourth quarter; Apple stock dropped 30% over the same period.
Apple warned investors on January 3 that an economic slowdown in China had damaged iPhone sales during the final three months of the year.
Comments from Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger on Thursday indicate the company’s value investing strategy has not changed.
“I don’t know why Apple stock is going up or down,” he told investors. “I know enough about it so I admire the place, but I don’t know enough to have any big opinions on why it’s going up or down.”
“Part of our secret is we don’t attempt to know a lot of things,” added Munger, who was speaking at the annual meeting of publishing company Daily Journal.
The pair each posted a photo on their official Instagram accounts that has everyone buzzing they are engaged.
The photo shows a super close-up of parts of their faces, with Perry appearing teary-eyed and sporting a ring.
Perry’s caption reads “full bloom,” while Bloom’s says, “Lifetimes.”
CNN has reached out to reps for both the singer and the actor for confirmation.
If they do get hitched, it will be second marriages for both.
Perry was married to comedian Russell Brand from 2010 to 2012.
Bloom was married to model Miranda Kerr from 2010 to 2013. The pair share a son, Flynn, who was born in 2011.