Thursday, January 25, 2018

2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

For those new to my mocks, welcome. It’s good to have you onboard. For those returning readers, thanks for coming back.

1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC – The Cleveland Browns must take a quarterback with this pick. Have some conviction in a player already, and stop being the Jets and waiting until the later rounds to try finding an inevitably terrible signal caller. For the love of peace. Please do this. Now, whomever it is they actually choose will suck, but you gotta take a chance here in a QB-heavy draft. I'm not buying the Troy Aikman comps for Darnold. Personally, I think he looks like actor Sean Astin. More like the Rudy Astin than the Stranger Things Astin at least but still I think I’m on to something. Be wary, Cleveland.

Past. Present. And Future?
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA – On the complete flip side of the Browns (and to a lesser extent the Jets), the Giants franchise has had incredible stability at the QB position. Eli Manning has been the starter for the last 13 seasons and despite his mouth-breathing ways has led the team to two Super Bowl titles. It’s time for him to ride into the sunset and for the Gmen to find the next face of the franchise. Rosen goes from Big City to Biggest City and will probably thrive under new coach Pat Shurmur.

3. Indianapolis Colts: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State РMaybe not an obvious fit but after years of hearing the clich̩ that you should never spend a high pick on a running back, Zeke Elliott and Leonard Fournette changed the way of thinking. Getting Barkley and a healthy Andrew Luck back could make this team an immediate playoff contender in a relatively weak AFC. Indy has the third most money to spend in free agency which is an especially good thing since Ryan Grigson left town. I think this pick shakes up the franchise in a very positive way. They could also trade back a couple spots to a QB-needy team and add some draft capital, but getting Barkley would be my priority.

(TRADE) 4. Buffalo Bills (via Texans via Browns): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming – Does trading down for the Bills' two first rounders and their second rounder make sense? It's basically a perfect match on the "draft value" chart, and I think that's a win for both sides. It allows Buffalo to get a top-tier QB, and it gives Cleveland the thing it covets most: more high draft picks. Now, the pick…If you are going to be successful as a quarterback in Buffalo, you need arm strength above all else. Allen has that. Unfortunately, he’s also very inaccurate as a passer. On the plus side, he’s a great athlete. On the down side, he makes bad decisions. Where does this all shake out? Time will tell. For now, he’s a Megamillions ticket, and if the Bills believe in him, they should move up to grab him.

5. Denver Broncos: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama – When you zig, John Elway zags or just flips over you on his way to the goal line. 2017 was a disaster and everyone is expecting the team to revamp the quarterback position. I think they pull a surprise, and sign Kirk Cousins as a free agent instead of drafting a QB which would allow them to use this pick on Fitzpatrick, a player that could reinforce an already strong secondary. Cutting Aqib Talib would save the team $11m so Fitzpatrick might be a need pick come draft night.

 6. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma – It is time for the Jets to use a high draft pick on a QB that will lead this franchise for the foreseeable future. 2017 was the first time in half a decade that this team didn't waste a pick on a QB. I challenge you to look at these names without throwing up on yourself: Geno Smith, Tahj Boyd, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg. Gross. Mayfield was the best player in college football this year. I get that Heisman success doesn't necessarily translate into NFL success but this guy finished in the top four of Heisman balloting in each of the last three seasons. That just doesn't happen. He's a leader, he throws the ball accurately, and his personality will be an incredible fit off the field in New York. After passing on Deshaun Watson last year, the Jets can't afford another miss this year.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State – Watch film of the Wolfpack and this guy always jumps out. He’s a superstar in the making at a position of need. If he’s there at 7, the Bucs will sprint to the podium.

8. Chicago Bears: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama – I think most mocks will pair the former Bama superstar with second year QB Mitchell Trubisky, and it makes a whole lot of sense. If you want Mitch to make any kind of leap in his sophomore campaign, he needs a number one wideout.

9. San Francisco 49ers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State – The ‘9ers need secondary help and John Lynch should be able to identify that type of talent. For my money, Ward is the most talented DB in the class, but Minkah Fitzpatrick’s versatility will push him higher on the board.

10. Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia – Gruden will love this guy. He’ll be his Derrick Brooks.

11. Miami Dolphins: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame – Another sprint-don’t-walk-to-the-podium pick. No brainer.

12. Cincinnati Bengals: Arden Key, DE, LSU – I’ll take “Talented Players from Big Programs with Off-the-Field Issues” for $400, Alex. Could there be a more perfect Bengals pick? I don’t have an explanation as to why he missed all of spring practice last year, but the Bengals should find out … and then take him anyway because he’s the most talented player on the board.

13. Washington Redskins: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU – I don’t think whomever is under center would complain about having Josh Doctson 1.0 spread wide to one side of the field and Josh Doctson 2.0 spread wide to the other.

14. Green Bay Packers: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech – Clay Matthews’ career is winding down (damn, I’m old), and Edmunds can be his successor.

15. Arizona Cardinals: Mike McGlinchey, OL, Notre Dame – I’m not sold on any quarterbacks here so the Cards take the best offensive lineman on the board. It hasn’t generated much chatter, but Case Keenum to the desert makes a lot of sense to me.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M – The Breshad Perriman experiment didn’t work out. Since the Ravens are all but stuck with Joe Flacco, Kirk gives him a weapon out wide, and he doubles as a dynamic kick returner.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Connor Williams, OT, Texas – Best OL on the board.

18. Seattle Seahawks: Derwin James, S, Florida State – James probably would have been a top 10 pick if he came out after his freshman year but a slow recovery following a torn meniscus injury causes him to slide to Seattle which would be an ideal spot for him, the newest member of the Legion of Boom.

19. Dallas Cowboys: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA – The hottest name on draft boards right now is a Roadrunner from UTSA. He could go 10-15 picks higher or 10-15 picks lower and I wouldn’t be shocked. For now, he stays local and becomes a Cowboy.

20. Detroit Lions: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU – The Lions have not had a player rush for 100 yards in a game since 2013. That’s unfathomable. Guice did it a dozen times at LSU (three of those games he eclipsed 250 rushing yards). He’s the playmaker Detroit needs to balance out the offensive attack.

(TRADE) 21. Cleveland Browns (via Bills): Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama – A personal favorite of mine.

(TRADE) 22. Cleveland Browns (via Chiefs via Bills): Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa – Harrison and Jackson revamp the secondary. Now, Cleveland can spend the rest of the draft on the offensive side of the ball and start to

23. Los Angeles Rams: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma – Zeus 2.0. Brown is the son of the former NFL behemoth with the same name. This Brown is 6 foot, 8 inches of girth and will protect Jared Goff’s blindside for a decade.

Zeus 2.0: A man among boys
24. Carolina Panthers: Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama – Payne might have made himself more money than any other player during this year’s college playoffs.

25. Tennessee Titans: Vita Vea, DL, Washington

26. Atlanta Falcons: Billy Price, OG, Ohio State

27. New Orleans Saints: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama – Obviously I’m partial, but I love this fit. Tackling machine heads to a team desperate for one.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Harold Landry, LB, Boston College

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State

30. Minnesota Vikings: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville – Wait, what? The Vikings have too many quarterbacks as is, right? Wrong. Case Keenum has one foot out the door. Sam Bradford is always one step away from IR, and Teddy Bridgewater has looked underwhelming. Enter another Louisville product, Lamar Jackson. He could be the QB of the future or he could play wide receiver or he could replace Jerrick McKinnon. He gives the team optionality.

31. Philadelphia Eagles: Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia – The Eagles have 20 of 22 starters signed for next year. One of the two unsigned is LB Nigel Bradham. Carter can be a low cost alternative and jump right into the starting lineup.

32. New England Patriots: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State – Another personal favorite. I would hate seeing him face the Jets twice a year for the next decade.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

NBA Trade Idea

Just had this idea:

Sixers get: #1 overall pick in 2017 Draft (Markelle Fultz) from Celtics
   -Would fit in perfectly with young core

Pacers get: #3 overall pick in 2017 Draft (Josh Jackson / Jayson Tatum) from 76ers
   -About as good of a return as Indiana will get for George, a pending free agent at the end of this season

Celtics get: Paul George and the lower of a) the 76ers 2018 1st Rounder or b) the Lakers 2018 1st Rounder (owned by Philly)
   -Celtics cash their plethora of draft capital for a superstar and hedge with a future first rounder

Who says no?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Round 1 Recap

I’ll have a more thorough recap after the draft is done but here are some initial reactions:

The Good
-The 49ers: They were able to trade down from 2 to 3 and then back up into the late first round to acquire Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster. Great haul for the rookies, Lynch and Shanahan.
-The Jets: They got the best player in the draft at 6. That’s a huge win.
-The Bucs: The OJ Howard top-10 buzz was just smoke, but he gives Jameis another pass-catching weapon. It’s finally an exciting time to be a fan of Tampa Bay again.
-My mock: I hit on six of the first 8 picks. (Of course it doesn’t count for anything, but I had Fournette going to the Jags in my first mock and talked myself out of it. D’oh.) And, I didn’t post some kind of final, FINAL mock draft like Kiper and McShay.
-My prop bets: If gambling were legal and you followed my picks, it would have been a money-making night for you as 4 of 6 hit for a profit of 50 fake dollars.
-Takarrist McKinley: Love everything about him including the huge picture of his grandmother that he brought on stage.

I just pre-ordered my Adams jersey. Gonna love this guy.

Not Sure Yet
-The Browns: Eventually they need to find a QB. They had the chance at 12 but instead chose to trade down for more picks. Time will tell but it will be another year of guessing about the future in Cleveland.
-The Raiders: Boldest move of the day wasn’t a trade up for the QBs; it was Oakland taking a guy that was accused of rape this week. They better be correct.
-Alabama: The Crimson Tide had four first rounders which is a tremendous accomplishment; however, aside from Marlon Humphrey, the others slipped much farther than most expected.

The Bad
-The Bengals: I’m not buying John Ross as a good value at 9.
-The Dolphins: Jarrad Davis over Reuben Foster?

Best 25 Available
1. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
2. Kevin King, CB, Washington
3. Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky
4. Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
5. Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
6. Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State
7. Tyus Bowser, LB, Houston
8. Budda Baker, S, Washington
9. Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
10. Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
11. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
12. Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt
13. Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
14. Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
15. Josh Jones, S, NC State
16. Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee
17. DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
18. Nathan Peterman, QB, Pitt
19. Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
20. Davis Webb, QB, Cal
21. Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
22. DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State
23. Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
24. Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
25. Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

Remainder of Jets Draft
Round 2 (Overall Pick)
7 (39). New York Jets: Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky

Round 3 (Overall Pick)
6 (70). New York Jets: Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech
43 (107). New York Jets: Derek Rivers, OLB, Youngstown State

Round 5 (Overall Pick)
6 (150). New York Jets: Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson

Round 6 (Overall Pick)
7 (191). New York Jets: Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Syracuse

Round 7 (Overall Pick)
6 (224). New York Jets: Kyle Kalis, OL, Michigan

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Two Round NFL Mock Draft (And Then Some)

It's been five years since I put together a two-round mock draft. That's too long. For that, I apologize. I'll add all of the Jets picks too just for good measure. For what it's worth - although I will not make up trades in this mock - I think the Jets will work out a deal with either the Browns or .... the Redskins if Mitch Trubisky is still on the board. The Redskins would then deal Kirk Cousins to the 49ers (maybe for pick 34 this year and another second rounder next year?).

The best night of the sports year is almost upon us. And it will be even better without Chris Berman! Enjoy.

Updated as of 7:05pm. I haven't changed my Top 15 since this was originally posted on Saturday. Let's see how it plays out.

Round 1
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DL, Texas A&M
2. San Francisco 49ers: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
3. Chicago Bears: Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
5. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
6. New York Jets: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanfor
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

Reddick might be the biggest beneficiary of Reuben Foster's recent issues.

10. Buffalo Bills: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
11. New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
12. Cleveland Browns: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
13. Arizona Cardinals: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
14. Philadelphia Eagles: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
15. Indianapolis Colts: Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky
16. Baltimore Ravens: Jabrill Peppers, Athlete, Michigan
17. Washington Redskins: Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
18. Tennessee Titans: Kevin King, CB, Washington
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
20. Denver Broncos: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
21. Detroit Lions: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
22. Miami Dolphins: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
23. New York Giants: David Njoku, TE, Miami
24. Oakland Raiders: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
25. Houston Texans: Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
26. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
28. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
29. Green Bay Packers: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State
31. Atlanta Falcons: Tyus Bowser, LB, Houston
32. New Orleans Saints: Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU

Round 2 (Overall Pick)
1 (33). Cleveland Browns: Budda Baker, S, Washington
2 (34). San Francisco 49ers: Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
3 (35). Jacksonville Jaguars: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
4 (36). Chicago Bears: Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee - Rocket scientist.
5 (37). Los Angeles Rams: John Ross, WR, Washington  I’ll call this my boldest prediction (Ross falling out of Round 1).
6 (38). Los Angeles Chargers: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame - Rocket scientist he is not. What was he thinking with this quote? The greatest ever? Last year he was behind Malik Zaire on the depth chart.
7 (39). New York Jets: Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss - It's been five years since a Jets tight end put up more than 400 yards receiving in a season. I'm not sure in Engram would top that mark in 2017, but with an actual QB he would in 2018.

Engram would give the Jets a weapon out wide.

8 (40). Carolina Panthers: Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
9 (41). Cincinnati Bengals: Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC - Pacman 2.0 without the off-field baggage.
10 (42). New Orleans Saints: Davis Webb, QB, Cal
11 (43). Philadelphia Eagles: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
12 (44). Buffalo Bills: Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
13 (45). Arizona Cardinals: Josh Jones, S, NC State
14 (46). Indianapolis Colts: Antonio Garcia, OL, Troy
15 (47). Baltimore Ravens: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
16 (48). Minnesota Vikings: Dion Dawkins, OL, Temple
17 (49). Washington Redskins: Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt
18 (50). Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
19 (51). Denver Broncos: Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
20 (52). Cleveland Browns: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington - There’s a good chance that 2017 becomes a redshirt year, but the Browns won’t be competitive anyway and this would be a smart gamble with the extra pick Cleveland owns in this draft.
21 (53). Detroit Lions: T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
22 (54). Miami Dolphins: Marcus Maye, S, Florida
23 (55). New York Giants: DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State
24 (56). Oakland Raiders: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
25 (57). Houston Texans: Aviante Collins, OT, TCU
26 (58). Seattle Seahawks: Desmond King, CB, Iowa
27 (59). Kansas City Chiefs: Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma - They already have Tyreek Hill so why not?
28 (60). Dallas Cowboys: Gareon Conley, CB Idiot, Ohio State - At some point, the risk that the charges against him are bogus might be worthwhile.
29 (61). Green Bay Packers: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
30 (62). Pittsburgh Steelers: Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama
31 (63). Atlanta Falcons: Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
32 (64). Carolina Panthers: Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan

Dropped Out
Caleb Brantley, DT Idiot, Florida

Remainder of Jets Draft
Round 3 (Overall Pick)
6 (70). New York Jets: Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech
43 (107). New York Jets: Derek Rivers, OLB, Youngstown State

Round 5 (Overall Pick)
6 (150). New York Jets: Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson

Round 6 (Overall Pick)
7 (191). New York Jets: Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Syracuse

Round 7 (Overall Pick)
6 (224). New York Jets: Kyle Kalis, OL, Michigan

Other Thoughts
-I still like the idea of the Bills using their fourth rounder on Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly, nephew of Buffalo legend Jim Kelly.

-Crazy draft idea: The Browns should go all in on a 2017 tank job and focus exclusively on the 2018 season and beyond. Take Garrett at 1 and take the best available players at 12 and 33. Then trade 52 and 108 for a 2018 first rounder. Trade 65 and Joe Thomas (to Seattle or the NYG?) for a 2018 first rounder. Trade Kevin Zeitler for a 2018 second rounder. I know the Browns just signed Zeitler this offseason, but this would essentially allow the team to buy a second rounder for the price of Zeitler’s signing bonus. This series of deals would give Cleveland three 2018 first rounders and four 2018 second rounders along with Garrett in addition to boatloads of cap room.

Prop Bets
-Mitchell Trubisky Selected: Under Pick 11.5. 200 to win 50
-Alabama Players Selected in First Round: Over 4.5. 100 to win 50 (Allen, Howard, Foster, Robinson, Humphrey)
-LSU Players Selected in First Round: Over 2.5. 80 to win 50 (Fournette, Adams, T. White)
-SEC Players Selected in First Round: Over 11.5. 50 to win 50 (Allen, Howard, Foster, Robinson, Humphrey, Fournette, Adams, T. White, Garrett, Barnett, Harris, Davis, Engram, Cunningham) 
-Corey Davis Selected: Under Pick 17.5. 80 to win 50
-John Ross Selected: Over Pick 18.5. 50 to win 50