NFL Network's Brian Baldinger can analyze every position on the gridiron, and Wednesday afternoon fans had the opportunity to receive their very own breakdown from Baldy, as the eleven-year NFL veteran answered questions on Reddit. Here our eleven favorite moments from the AMA.
1. WHICH PLAYER HAS MADE THE BIGGEST JUMP FROM LAST YEAR TO THIS YEAR?
I think Marquez Valdes-Scantling has made the biggest jump. He's going to be a star player there. I also think Orlando Brown is a really good player. He fits in well with what the Ravens want to do. He wants to get guys in a phone booth and beat the hell out of them. Michael Gallup in Dallas right now. He's made a big jump. He might be a No. 1 eventually but he's definitely a high-end No. 2 right now. I also really like what Kyle Allen has done. He's made a big jump and I don't think the Panthers are in any hurry to get Cam Newton on the field right now.
2. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE PLAYER TO DO A BREAKDOWN OF?
Quenton Nelson. (Immediate answer.) He's the most dominant offensive lineman I've seen since Larry Allen. He's a freak. I've never seen an offensive lineman sprint down the field every play to pick his QB up. His QB isn't going to get touched or grazed or breathed on without Quenton Nelson having something to say about it.
3. GOT ANY DARK HORSE SUPER BOWL TEAMS?
It's obviously early, but I want to see if Houston can pick up where they left off vs. Atlanta last week. If they find a way to beat the Chiefs and Deshaun Watson keeps playing like he's playing, I think Houston. Their offensive line is better than it's been in a long, long time. The 49ers, too. They're undefeated. If you're going to do pure dark-horse, you have to go with Texans and 49ers.
4. WE'VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THE PATRIOTS LINEBACKERS AND SECONDARY THIS YEAR. ANY IMPRESSIONS, GOOD OR BAD, ABOUT ANY OF THE PLAYERS ON THEIR DL?
If you look at what they're doing defensively, they're the Golden State Warriors of the NFL right now. It's like positionless basketball. If you look at Jamie Collins or Dont'a Hightower or Kyle Van Noy they're all interchangeable. They're getting home and chasing the quarterback. And Stephon Gilmore is as good at cornerback as anyone out there. You have to go back to the '85 Bears to see a defense this dominant.
5. BEST TEAMS THAT USE THE FULLBACKS? AND WHAT FULLBACKS ARE THE BEST IN THE LEAGUE IN YOUR OPINION?
I think there's a bunch. I think there's a return to FBs. Kyle Juszczyk might be the best. And the most versatile. What he did on the Matt Breida 83-yard touchdown was phenomenal. Alec Ingold in Oakland. He's really good right now. James Develin. What he does in New England is a big part of their offense. Any time the Patriots struggle, they always go back to I formation and try to kick your butt with Develin.
6. RANK THE ROOKIE TACKLES AFTER 5 WEEKS.
It's a little early to do a fully ranking but I will say Jawaan Taylor is doing really well right now. I had him as my top tackle in the draft. I think he's played really well.
7. WHO'S THE ONE PLAYER THAT SHOULD BE IN THE HALL OF FAME THAT ISN'T CURRENTLY?
That's a great question. Eric Allen, Everson Walls and Ray Donaldson. Donaldson is the single best offensive lineman I've ever played with. Everson Walls has 60 INTs; he led the league 3 of his first 4 years in INTs. I played with EA -- those three have been really overlooked.
8. WHO'S A YOUNG PLAYER WHO ISN'T GETTING ENOUGH RECOGNITION IN YOUR EYES?
The tight end from Seattle Will Dissly is off to a phenomenal start. He's second on the team next to Tyler Lockett in receptions. And if you watch his blocking on their rushing TDs, they're running right behind him. I don't know the last time the Seahawks had a tight end like this who can do it all both blocking and receiving. He needs more recognition.
9. WHAT'S YOUR EARLY PREDICTION FOR MVP THIS YEAR? CAN RUSSELL WILSON WIN THE AWARD IF HE KEEPS UP THIS EFFICIENCY EVEN IF HE DOESN'T HAVE THE VOLUME STATS AT THE END OF THE YEAR?
Russell can because the team is winning. His "TNF" game was one of the best you'll see by a QB. But, Christian McCaffrey -- what's he doing right now is phenomenal. He's going to touch the ball at least 400 times this season. He leads the league in rushing and yards from scrimmage. The offense hasn't looked this good in a long time. Wilson, McCaffrey, Patrick Mahomes are all top-line candidates right now.
10. BALDY YOU'RE THE MAN! LOVE THE BREAKDOWNS. DO YOU PREFER CRUNCHY OR CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER?
Well I love peanut butter. At one point growing up I used to eat 7 PB&J sandwiches a day. I love putting peanut butter on one side and jelly on the other. I almost had to go after Jon Gruden when he was in Tampa. He would put peanut butter and jelly on the same side of the bread. Why would you do that?! I go chunky though. My mom always said eat something that sticks to your ribs and that REALLY sticks to your ribs.
11. WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT PLAYING FOOTBALL?
I miss the camaraderie in the locker room. When I was with the Eagles, we were playing the Saints in the late game, I remember laughing at something so hard I didn't think I could stop before kickoff. The whole offensive line, it was just a big cackle for an hour. The Saints kicked our butts in the first half but we won the second half and won the playoff game. Then just flying on the plane on the way back, it was just so fun.