4th & Monday: An open letter to NFL rookies

The honeymoon is over for NFL rookies.

Just a week after the 2019 draft, reality set in as a number of teams held rookie minicamps. The competition for coveted NFL roster spots is now underway.  

USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell offers this open letter of advice to the league's newcomers, reminding them that NFL really stands for "Not For Long." 

The NFL newcomer under the most scrutiny is New York Giants QB Daniel Jones, the No. 6 overall selection in the draft. Jones' selection so high in the first round drew heavy criticism and the dreaded bad draft grade. Jones faces a tall task in satisfying those critics and the New York fanbase, and will be judged harshly quite possibly throughout his entire NFL career.

While Jones feels the heat this spring and beyond, this is also the time of year for fawning over how impressive rookies look during workouts in jerseys and shorts. It's good to remember to take said praise with a grain of salt.

Daniel Jones passes the ball during a drill during rookie minicamp. (Photo: Sarah Stier, USA TODAY Sports)

– PHOTOS: NFL offseason workouts | First-round picks | Draft scenes

Monday must-reads

– NFL means Not For Long: With NFL rookie minicamps in full swing, here's some advice for newcomers — inspired by the incomparable Jerry Glanville — about the harsh realities of the league.

– Veterans put on notice: With some top-notch rookies knocking on the door, here are 13 NFL veterans whose jobs suddenly look a little more tenuous than before the draft. 

– Post-draft power rankings: The NFL draft set off plenty of movement atop the power rankings, with several AFC teams seeing their fortunes shift since free agency.

– Vegas, baby! How Raiders' big move impacted draft: Expectations for the newest Raiders players go beyond football matters as the franchise’s big move to Las Vegas looms.

– 9 rookies who could make Super Bowl impact: Winning rookie of the year honors is nice, but it's all about winning Super Bowls in the NFL. These recently drafted players could pay huge dividends.

– Combine could be NFL's next traveling circus: The draft in Nashville was an overwhelming success. Could the scouting combine be the next tentpole NFL event to rotate among host cities? Indianapolis — which has hosted the combine since 1987 — is determined to keep the event.

– ICYMI: Draft grades: Four teams, including the Patriots, received an A, while the Giants were behind everyone else.

Raiders first-round pick, defensive end Clelin Ferrell, takes part in rookie minicamp. (Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)

List of lists

– 100 biggest draft busts ever: The NFL draft has an extensive history of top picks who would only be remembered as busts.

– Ranking all 32 NFL uniforms: The J-E-T-S have new uniforms, but do they compare favorably with some of the NFL's signature looks?

– 13 NFL teams that should change uniforms: Here are 13 teams that should follow the Jets' lead and change uniforms, too.

– Ranking every Super Bowl: Where does the Patriots' triumph in Super Bowl LIII rate among the 52 other Super Bowls?


– Tom Brady vandalizes Matt Damon's home in skit: Brady was the guest on Thursday's episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and he paid a visit to the home of longtime Patriots fan and actor Matt Damon.

– Tom Brady and Danny Amendola made a casual $100K bet: Even after Country House’s controversial Kentucky Derby win, Brady and Amendola were still in the wagering mood.

– Baker Mayfield calls Colin Cowherd a 'donkey': The Fox Sports commentator reiterated his year-old opinion that he wouldn’t have taken Mayfield with the No. 1 overall draft pick like the Browns did last year. Mayfield responded.

Danny Amendola, Linda Holliday, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady attend the 145th Kentucky Derby. (Photo: Robin Marchant, Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

Never too early to look ahead to 2020 draft

– 2020 mock draft: Draft Wire takes a stab at projecting the first round of next year's draft. 

– Next year's top prospects: Sure, a lot can happen between now and late April of 2020, but here's an early look at the top players for next year's draft.

– QBs set to dominate next two drafts: After a weak year for QBs, look for the position to reassert itself in the next two NFL drafts, with Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence leading way.

Justin Herbert figures to be one of the top quarterbacks available in the 2020 draft. (Photo: Russell Isabella, USA TODAY Sports)

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