2018 NFL mock draft February 13

With the season being totally over, teams are looking forward to improving their teams. Free agency starts on March 14 with the 2018 NFL Draft coming a month and a half later on April 26. Here is the latest 2018 NFL mock draft.

1. Cleveland Browns- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

A running back number one? If Rosen doesn’t want to play for the Browns it might happen. Barkley is one of the most complete running backs to ever come out of college and might be the best player in the entire class. The Browns tried to improve the defense in last year’s class, but now need to focus on the offense. With a good offensive line and now Barkley, the offense should improve.

2. New York Giants- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Yes, Rosen has voiced his displeasure over playing for the Browns, so he may fall to pick number two. Rosen had to carry UCLA and ended up having a successful season. He needed to have a good year to clear up any doubts about his shoulder injury he suffered during his sophomore season. The Giants may be without Eli Manning next year and even if he does stay, will need a quarterback of the future.

3. Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, DE/OLB, N.C. State

Josh McDaniels has decided to return to New England and the Colts countered with the hire of Eagles’ offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Reich will be looking forward to work with Andrew Luck. When he is back, the offense will figure itself out. They can improve the defense to make the team more complete when Luck comes back. Chubb is a great pass rusher who has 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons.

2018 NFL mock draft February 13

Sam Darnold (Photo by usatoday.com)

4. Cleveland Browns- Sam Darnold, QB, USC

There are rumors surrounding the Browns and Baker Mayfield, but for now Darnold is the pick. Darnold struggled this season with his decision-making which led to a lot of turnovers. He also has a flawed throwing motion. Some have Darnold as their top quarterback, but his decision-making needs to improve. The Browns have a new GM, who has no allegiances to anyone on the roster, which means DeShone Kizer is likely done as quarterback.

5. Denver Broncos- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

While Allen certainly has flaws in his decision-making and accuracy, he does have a strong arm and is athletic. John Elway went to Idaho to watch him in his bowl game personally. The Broncos have a solid roster, but just need a quarterback to lead the team.

6. New York Jets- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Baker has defied all the critics who have mentioned his size as a reason not to draft him. He can make all the throws and is athletic to avoid pass rushers. His main calling card is his accuracy, which is the best in this draft class. The Jets did well this season for the talent they had on the roster, but need a franchise quarterback.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

He likely fits in best as a safety in the NFL, but can also play corner. Whichever he needs to play, he will excel at. Fitzpatrick will have to help improve a bad Bucs’ pass defense, which ranked last in the league in passing yards allowed.

8. Chicago Bears- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Ward is the best cover corner in the draft. He had to really make his way this season, as he had to sit and wait his turn to get playing time for the Buckeyes. The Bears could use some help in their secondary and taking a weapon for Mitchell Trubisky would be a reach here.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Jackson turned into an All-American corner at Iowa this season and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions. The 49ers got their defensive lineman and linebacker in the first round last year and can now get a good secondary player to go along with them. The arrests of linebacker Reuben Foster are concerning, so keep an eye on that going forward, as it could change what they do with this pick.

10. Oakland Raiders- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith is the best linebacker in college football and does a little bit of everything well. He is especially fast, which is crucial for his coverage and tracking down of ball carriers. With Jon Gruden taking over, he is going to need a Derrick Brooks-like linebacker.

2018 NFL mock draft February 12

Quenton Nelson (Photo by fansided.com)

11. Miami Dolphins- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Adam Gase has said that Ryan Tannehill is the starting quarterback. There are other holes on the team, but they need to have better offensive line play if they are going to be successful. Nelson is one of the best players in the class and will be drafted early despite playing a position that doesn’t usually get talked about this soon.

12. Cincinnati Bengals- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The Bengals were able to go 7-9 with a terrible offensive line. They need help at just about every position and can start with tackles. They have taken tackles before in the first round, but they haven’t panned out. McGlinchey would’ve been a first round pick last year and the Bengals can get good value and fill a need with this pick. If he doesn’t work out at left tackle, he has experience playing right tackle at Notre Dame.

13. Washington Redskins- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

Payne’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but he often gets double teamed. Washington’s interior of the defensive line can be improved, as they allowed the most rushing yards per game in the NFL.

14. Green Bay Packers- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Edmunds does just about everything on the football field well, as a good cover linebacker, rusher and run stopper. The Packers need to make the defense better for when Aaron Rodgers gets the offense going again and he has alluded to it as much this offseason.

15. Arizona Cardinals- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

The Cardinals have to find a new quarterback now that Carson Palmer is retired. Some people are questioning whether Jackson can play quarterback, but he showed improved accuracy this season and is a dynamic playmaker. He should be given a shot to play the position in the NFL.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

A player that went to Alabama that fills a need? Slot him to the Ravens. The Ravens won’t be getting rid of Joe Flacco, so they need to get him some better targets to throw to. Ridley is the best route-runner in the class and produced in college even without the best quarterback play.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Derwin James, S, FSU

Derwin James has fallen down mocks after being thought of as a top ten prospect. He is athletic, but doesn’t necessarily have a set position. The Chargers can use the help at safety and James would be a great addition to help make a good defense better.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU

Reports have come out that it will be tough for Cliff Avril to play football again and Michael Bennett has said that he doesn’t think he’ll be back in Seattle. Key only played eight games this season and had four sacks, but has proven in the past to be a good speed rusher.

2018 NFL Mock draft february 12

Vita Vea (Photo by seattletimes.com)

19. Dallas Cowboys- Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Vea can play both defensive tackle and nose tackle, which is valuable. He has great size at 6’5″ and 340 pounds. The Cowboys are seemingly always weak up the middle of their defense. Shutting down their opponents’ running game would allow them to control the clock like they love to do.

20. Detroit Lions- Billy Price, OG/C, Ohio State

Detroit hasn’t had a solid running game in Matthew Stafford’s tenure as quarterback. Some more balance on offense would make it even better. They may be able to achieve this if they improve the offensive line. Price has tons of experience at guard and center for Ohio State and will start right away.

21. Buffalo Bills- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

The Bills are thin at linebacker and this selection is an immediate upgrade. Evans is a quick, run stopping linebacker that can help out right away. While he went to the same college as other linebackers that haven’t worked out for the Bills, Reggie Ragland, Evans is a completely different player.

22. Buffalo Bills (via KC)- Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

Davis is a lengthy corner for Auburn, who has withstood a lot of good SEC competition. The Bills took Tre’Davious White last year and will likely want to get another corner to pair with him.

23. Los Angeles Rams- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

Los Angeles has good inside pressure in Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, but need better outside pass rushers. Davenport has the build of a great pass rusher, but reports are the media like him more than NFL teams do.

24. Carolina Panthers- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

The Panthers signed Julius Peppers, but he won’t last much longer and they aren’t very deep at defensive end. Landry had a great 2016 season that put him on the map and followed it up with a solid season this year.

25. Tennessee Titans- Justin Reid, S, Stanford

Johnathan Cyprien has been bad for the Titans this year, in one of their lone weak spots on the roster. Reid took a huge leap this season in terms of production and has put himself on the map for a first round selection.

2018 NFL mock draft February 12

Donte Jackson (Photo by theadvocate.com)

26. Atlanta Falcons- Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

Jackson has the potential to develop into a great cover corner. Atlanta needs another corner to pair with Desmond Trufant and should try to take one early.

27. New Orleans Saints- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

The Saints need to plan for the end of Drew Brees’ career sooner rather than later. Their defense was much improved so they can afford to look to the future. Not everyone likes Rudolph, but he has a lot of experience and quite possibly the best deep ball in the class. Sean Payton reportedly loves backup Taysom Hill, but he was more of a running quarterback in college than a thrower.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

Harrison is a good strong safety prospect, who plays physically. Despite being known for all of their great safeties throughout their history, the Steelers are very bad at the position right now.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

Kirk is dynamic when he has the ball in his hands and can play in the slot or on the outside. Jacksonville really doesn’t have too many needs and have said they are sticking with Blake Bortles at quarterback. The Jaguars have a decent crop of young receivers, but they rarely stay healthy.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

The Vikings’ offensive line is much better than last year, but can still be improved. With a good offense and defense, they can afford to make a good unit better. Brown has great size for an offensive tackle and his father played in the NFL.

31. New England Patriots- Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Byan is a more agile and athletic defensive tackle than most and would help improve a below average defensive line. The Patriots need to improve their defense, as the offense wasn’t the reason they lost the Super Bowl.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Connor Williams, OT, Texas

They just won the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback and have a very solid roster. This pick could depend a lot on the health status of left tackle Jason Peters. If he isn’t healthy they’ll need a tackle. Williams’ draft stock has been all over the place, going from early first round to third round back into the first round.

 

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2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology February 12

The NCAA selection committee released their top 16 seeds this Saturday to give a look into how they would seed the teams right now. This can officially put everyone in the mindset for March Madness. Here is the latest NCAA Tournament bracketology. Click to zoom.

 

First four out: SMU, Nebraska, St. Bonaventure, Utah

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2018 NFL mock draft February 7

The Philadelphia Eagles have won their first Super Bowl and now all teams are in the offseason. While free agency is a big part of the offseason, a lot of attention will be paid to the 2018 NFL Draft. Here is the 2018 NFL mock draft February 7:

1. Cleveland Browns- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

A running back number one? If Rosen doesn’t want to play for the Browns it might happen. Barkley is one of the most complete running backs to ever come out of college and might be the best player in the entire class. The Browns tried to improve the defense in last year’s class, but now need to focus on the offense. With a good offensive line and now Barkley, the offense should improve.

2. New York Giants- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Yes, Rosen has voiced his displeasure over playing for the Browns, so he may fall to pick number two. Rosen had to carry UCLA and ended up having a successful season. He needed to have a good year to clear up any doubts about his shoulder injury he suffered during his sophomore season. The Giants may be without Eli Manning next year and even if he does stay, will need a quarterback of the future.

2018 NFL mock draft february 7

Bradley Chubb (Photo by wncn.com)

3. Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, DE/OLB, N.C. State

Josh McDaniels is the next coach of the Colts and will be hoping to get quarterback Andrew Luck back healthy. When he is back, the offense will figure itself out. They can improve the defense to make the team more complete when Luck comes back. Chubb is a great pass rusher who has 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons.

4. Cleveland Browns- Sam Darnold, QB, USC

There are rumors surrounding the Browns and Baker Mayfield, but for now Darnold is the pick. Darnold struggled this season with his decision-making which led to a lot of turnovers. He also has a flawed throwing motion. Some have Darnold as their top quarterback, but his decision-making needs to improve. The Browns have a new GM, who has no allegiances to anyone on the roster, which means DeShone Kizer is likely done as quarterback.

5. Denver Broncos- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

While Allen certainly has flaws in his decision-making and accuracy, he does have a strong arm and is athletic. John Elway went to Idaho to watch him in his bowl game personally. The Broncos have a solid roster, but just need a quarterback to lead the team.

6. New York Jets- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Baker has defied all the critics who have mentioned his size as a reason not to draft him. He can make all the throws and is athletic to avoid pass rushers. His main calling card is his accuracy, which is the best in this draft class. The Jets did well this season for the talent they had on the roster, but need a franchise quarterback.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

He likely fits in best as a safety in the NFL, but can also play corner. Whichever he needs to play, he will excel at. Fitzpatrick will have to help improve a bad Bucs’ pass defense, which ranked last in the league in passing yards allowed.

8. Chicago Bears- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

The Bears have some nice young pieces in Trubisky and Howard, but now need to get a weapon at wide receiver. Ridley is the best route-runner in the class and produces even without the best quarterback play. The wide receivers in this class aren’t very good, so the Bears may want to grab one early.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Ward is the best cover corner in the draft. He had to really make his way this season, as he had to sit and wait his turn to get playing time for the Buckeyes. The 49ers got their defensive lineman and linebacker in the first round last year and can now get a good secondary player to go along with them.

2018 NFL mock draft february 7

Roquan Smith (photo by gridironnow.com)

10. Oakland Raiders- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith is the best linebacker in college football and does a little bit of everything well. He is especially fast, which is crucial for his coverage and tracking down of ball carriers. With Jon Gruden taking over, he is going to need a Derrick Brooks-like linebacker.

11. Miami Dolphins- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Adam Gase has said that Ryan Tannehill is the starting quarterback. There are other holes on the team, but they need to have better offensive line play if they are going to be successful. Nelson is one of the best players in the class and will be drafted early despite playing a position that doesn’t usually get talked about this soon.

12. Cincinnati Bengals- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The Bengals were able to go 7-9 with a terrible offensive line. They need help at just about every position and can start with tackles. They have taken tackles before in the first round, but they haven’t panned out. McGlinchey would’ve been a first round pick last year and the Bengals can get good value and fill a need with this pick.

13. Washington Redskins- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

Payne’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but he often gets double teamed. Washington’s interior of the defensive line can be improved, as they allowed the most rushing yards per game in the NFL.

14. Green Bay Packers- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Jackson turned into an All-American corner at Iowa this season and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions. The Packers need to improve the secondary and make the defense better for when Aaron Rodgers gets the offense going again and he has alluded to it as much this offseason.

15. Arizona Cardinals- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

The Cardinals have to find a new quarterback now that Carson Palmer is retired. Some people are questioning whether Jackson can play quarterback, but he showed improved accuracy this season and is a dynamic playmaker. He should be given a shot to play the position in the NFL.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sutton is a bigger receiver who has put up big numbers in the AAC. The Ravens won’t be getting rid of Joe Flacco, so they need to get him some better targets to throw to.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Derwin James, S, FSU

Derwin James has fallen down mocks after being thought of as a top ten prospect. He is athletic, but doesn’t necessarily have a set position. The Chargers can use the help at safety and James would be a great addition to help make a good defense better.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU

Reports have come out that it will be tough for Cliff Avril to play football again and Michael Bennett has said that he doesn’t think he’ll be back in Seattle. Key only played eight games this season and had four sacks, but has proven in the past to be a good speed rusher.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Vea can play both defensive tackle and nose tackle, which is valuable. He has great size at 6’5″ and 340 pounds. The Cowboys are seemingly always weak up the middle of their defense. Shutting down their opponents’ running game would allow them to control the clock like they love to do.

20. Detroit Lions- Billy Price, OG/C, Ohio State

Detroit hasn’t had a solid running game in Matthew Stafford’s tenure as quarterback. Some more balance on offense would make it even better. They may be able to achieve this if they improve the offensive line. Price has tons of experience at guard and center for Ohio State and will start right away.

2018 NFL mock draft february 7

Tremaine Edmunds (Photo by twitter.com)

21. Buffalo Bills- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

The Bills are thin at linebacker and Edmunds can help them do a lot of different things. He is big, covers, rushes the passer and stops the run.

22. Buffalo Bills (via KC)- Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

Davis is a lengthy corner for Auburn, who has withstood a lot of good SEC competition. The Bills took Tre’Davious White last year and will likely want to get another corner to pair with him.

23. Los Angeles Rams- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

Los Angeles has good inside pressure in Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, but need better outside pass rushers. Davenport has the build of a great pass rusher, but reports are the media like him more than NFL teams do.

24. Carolina Panthers- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

The Panthers signed Julius Peppers, but he won’t last much longer and they aren’t very deep at defensive end. Landry had a great 2016 season that put him on the map and followed it up with a solid season this year.

25. Tennessee Titans- Justin Reid, S, Stanford

Johnathan Cyprien has been bad for the Titans this year, in one of their lone weak spots on the roster. Reid took a huge leap this season in terms of production and has put himself on the map for a first round selection.

26. Atlanta Falcons- Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

Jackson has the potential to develop into a great cover corner. Atlanta needs another corner to pair with Desmond Trufant and should try to take one early.

2018 NFL mock draft february 7

Mason Rudolph (Photo by sportingnews.com)

27. New Orleans Saints- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

The Saints need to plan for the end of Drew Brees’ career sooner rather than later. Their defense was much improved so they can afford to look to the future. Not everyone likes Rudolph, but he has a lot of experience and quite possibly the best deep ball in the class.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

Harrison is a good strong safety prospect, who plays physically. Despite being known for all of their great safeties throughout their history, the Steelers are very bad at the position right now.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

Kirk is dynamic when he has the ball in his hands and can play in the slot or on the outside. Jacksonville really doesn’t have too many needs and have said they are sticking with Blake Bortles at quarterback. The Jaguars have a decent crop of young receivers, but they rarely stay healthy.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

The Vikings’ offensive line is much better than last year, but can still be improved. With a good offense and defense, they can afford to make a good unit better. Brown has great size for an offensive tackle and his father played in the NFL.

31. New England Patriots- Taven Byan, DT, Florida

Byan is a more agile and athletic defensive tackle than most and would help improve a below average defensive line. The Patriots need to improve their defense, as the offense wasn’t the reason they lost the Super Bowl.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

They just won the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback and have a very solid roster. Philadelphia can afford to take the best player available and that could be Evans. He is a quick, run stopping linebacker that can help out right away if needed.

 

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2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology 2/5/18

Only a month and a half until March Madness begins. Teams are about half way through their conference schedules and are jockeying for position. Here is the latest NCAA Tournament bracketology. Click to zoom.

First four out: UCLA, SMU, Nebraska, Marquette

 

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2018 NBA mock draft February 3

+-The NBA season is over the halfway point, which means the “tanking” will intensify. There are some good prospects that many teams will covet in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the 2018 NBA mock draft February 3:

1. Atlanta Hawks- Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke

Not too many mock drafts have Bagley going this high, but he is the best player in the class. The biggest mistake teams make when picking this high is to reach and fill a need. Atlanta needs talented players more than anything and Bagley would provide that. The 6’11” big man is athletic and can do everything on a basketball court, which includes shooting from deep at 34%.

2018 NBA Mock Draft February 3

Luka Doncic (Photo by youtube.com)

2. Orlando Magic- Luka Doncic, G, Slovenia

Doncic projects as a wing player in the NBA, but actually plays on ball a lot for Real Madrid. He stands 6’6″ and is an excellent passer and playmaker. His three point shooting has gone down over the last few years, so Doncic will have to work on that. Orlando lucks out in that they are getting a really good player and they have a need for perimeter players.

3. Dallas Mavericks- DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona

With their selection of Dennis Smith Jr., the Mavericks have a pretty well fit out backcourt. They need some good players on the interior. Ayton is a well-built and athletic big. He is a great rebounder, who often comes up with the ball with plenty of players around him.

4. Sacremento Kings- Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri

Porter has been injured since Missouri’s first game and had to have surgery on his spine. That is a serious injury, but Porter was a highly-coveted recruit and has the ability to play point forward. The Kings could bolster their lineup to include: De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Porter, Zach Randolph and Willie Cauley-Stein.

5. Phoenix Suns- Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma

Young has been the best player in college basketball with his electrifying play. He drives, passes and shoots like Steph Curry, but does turn the ball over too much. He also has struggles on defense, but the offense should make up for it. The Suns need a point guard to replace Eric Bledsoe and to feed the ball to Devin Booker.

6. Chicago Bulls- Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky

The Bulls have struck gold with Lauri Markkanen and now need to give him more support. With the selection of Knox, Chicago can go small with Knox at the four and Markkanen at the five or play a big man and play them at the three and four. Knox has heated up as of late with some clutch shooting and will soon see his name rise on draft boards

7. Memphis Grizzlies- Jaren Jackson, PF, Michigan State

Jackson has been a monster on the inside for Michigan State this season. Per 40 minutes, he is averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds per game. The Grizzlies can pair him and Marc Gasol together on the inside, if Gasol stays in Memphis.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers- Mo Bamba, C, Texas

Cleveland needs more players who are willing to accept their roles and be worth the paycheck. Bamba will be great for defense and rebounding, much like Tristen Thompson should be. He will provide very little on the offensive side of the ball other than dunks.

9. Philadelphia 76ers- Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama

Is it too early to give up on Markelle Fultz? Who knows, but his jump shot isn’t looking too much better. Either way, Sexton is a great player that can get to the basket and distribute the ball.

2018 NBA Mock Draft February 3

Mikal Bridges (Photo by draftexpress.com)

10. Charlotte Hornets-Mikal Bridges, G/F, Villanova

Bridges is one of the most improved players in college basketball this season. He is shooting 43% from deep on the season and provides some good athleticism. The Hornets really need to find out what they are doing with Kemba Walker before taking this pick, as he is seemingly on the trade block every year.

11. Utah Jazz- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

The Jazz hit on Donovan Mitchell in last year’s draft, which means they are set on wing players. They also have Rudy Gobert in the middle. Taking Gilgeous-Alexander to groom behind Rubio wouldn’t be a bad idea. He is a lanky point guard, who plays great defense.

12. New York Knicks- Wendell Carter, PF/C, Duke

Wendell has been a very solid player, who sometimes gets overshadowed by Bagley. He has limited athletic ability, but he is very effective. Carter even shoots the three at a solid clip of 46%. While the Knicks do have Porzingis, he and Carter are versatile enough to play on the court at the same time.

13. Los Angeles Clippers- Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

The Clippers just traded away Blake Griffin and may want to replace him at power forward. Williams hasn’t had a very productive year at Texas A&M, but he is talented.

14. Los Angeles Clippers- Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

With the Clippers having an extra pick due to the Griffin trade they can also improve their perimeter players. Bridges is an athletic wing who already has an NBA body.

15. Philadelphia 76ers- Omer Yurtseven, C, N.C. State

With the earlier pick going to the backcourt, this pick needs to be used on frontcourt depth. Yurtseven is 7’0″ and has taken a huge step forward this season for the Wolfpack.

16. Denver Nuggets- Jared Vanderbilt, SF, Kentucky

Vanderbilt has been out most of the year with an injury, but has come on strong for Kentucky. He is long, which helps him rebound well, but needs to shoot better. The Nuggets can slowly bring him on to fill out the starting lineup.

17. Chicago Bulls- Hamidou Diallo, SG, Kentucky

The Bulls got Knox with their first pick, who can play the three or four, so they now select the super athletic shooting guard. Diallo may be the most athletic in the class and can get to the basket with his strong drives.

2018 NBA Mock Draft February 3

Mitchell Robinson (Photo by sportingnews.com)

18. Milwaukee Bucks- Mitchell Robinson, C, USA

Robinson had intended to go to Western Kentucky, but then dropped out of school to prepare for the NBA draft. The Bucks need more inside depth.

19. Indiana Pacers- Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Indiana could use some backcourt depth and Walker is really starting to come on for the Hurricanes. Both he and Victor Oladipo are versatile, meaning they can play on the court at the same time if need be.

20. Washington Wizards- Brandon McCoy, C, UNLV

McCoy can provide the Wizards with some much needed front court depth and also be a good developmental player.

21. Phoenix Suns- Bruno Fernando, PF/C, Maryland

The Suns picked Josh Jackson last year and Trae Young with the first pick in this mock. They can get a big here to help fill out the roster.

22. Portland Trail Blazers- Chimezie Metu, PF/C, USC

Metu has progressed every year in college and has even developed an outside shot this season.

23. Minnesota Timberwolves- Landry Shamet, PG, Wichita State

Minnesota gets a good defender and a point guard that can learn for a few seasons before challenging for starting minutes.

24. Atlanta Hawks- Dznan Musa, SF, Bosnia and Herzogovina 

The Hawks get their star rookie with the first pick in Bagley and can afford to select a possible draft and stash this one.

25. Cleveland Cavaliers- Trevon Duval, PG, Duke

Duval has played well at Duke and can develop into a good pro. Cleveland’s point guard situation can get a little bit murky after the season.

26. San Antonio Spurs- Troy Brown, G, Oregon

Brown is an athletic wing who needs to develop his outside shot more. Fortunately for him the Spurs are successful at teaching players how to shoot better.

2018 NBA Mock Draft February 3

Alize Johnson (Photo by si.com)

27. Brooklyn Nets- Alize Johnson, PF, Missouri State

The Nets acquired Jahlil Okafor, but still need some more production from the inside.

28. Boston Celtics- Grayson Allen, SG, Duke

Allen can shoot, which will be good for the Celtics’ bench next season.

29. Atlanta Hawks- Allonzo Trier, SG, Arizona

In this mock draft the Hawks have drafted Bagley, a possible draft and stash wing and now get a perimeter scorer.

30. Golden State Warriors- Tony Carr, PG, Penn State

The Warriors will likely need to replenish their guard depth this offseason and Carr has been a star for Penn State.

 

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5 things to watch for in Super Bowl LII

The Super Bowl is fast approaching and will feature an underdog team going against the best franchise of the 21st century. With every game in the NFL there are a lot of things to watch for, but with the Super Bowl there are even more things to be aware of. Here are the top five things to watch for in Super Bowl LII.

1. Brady And Belichick could cement their statuses as the best

Last season Tom Brady won his fifth Super Bowl, with a dramatic comeback win over the Falcons. At this point he has proven all of his doubters wrong and has claimed his spot among the all-time greats. With the win last season, Brady has the most Super Bowl wins ever by a quarterback. He is currently tied with Charles Haley for the most Super Bowl wins by a player regardless of position. A win this year puts him in a class all by himself.

Belichick has had a great 20 year run that ranks him among the best coaches of all time in any way you measure it. His five Super Bowls are the most by a head coach and a win in this Super Bowl will put him in a tie for second with six NFL Championships with George Halas and Curly Lambeau. Only Paul Brown has more with seven. Belichick is only behind Halas in winning percentage of the four coaches named, sitting .3 percent behind him at .679.

2. Chris Long and Legarrette Blount against their former team

5 things to watch for in Super Bowl LII

LeGarrette Blount and Chris Long (Photo by usatoday.com)

There is a short list of players who have won consecutive Super Bowls with different teams. No one significant has won a Super Bowl one year and then beaten that team while a member of an opposing team the next.

Long was cut from the Rams in 2016, mulled retirement and then joined the Patriots before last season. He recorded four sacks in the regular season for New England that season and got his first Super Bowl ring. After the season he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and has now helped lead them to their first title game since 2005.

Blount started his career with the Bucs, but then landed with the Patriots, which led him to more success. After a short stint in Pittsburgh, Blount returned to New England for another stint. He too was on the Super Bowl team last year, but also was on the team that beat the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

Both Long and Blount say it’s all business when they hit the field against their former friends, but it should be fun to watch.

3. The commercials

Almost every Super Bowl party has some non-sports fans that are just there for the party atmosphere and the chance to watch some new, highly-funded commercials. Last year advertisers paid $160,000 per second on average for commercials.

While the commercials aren’t a part of the game, they are a huge part of the event that is the Super Bowl. Some of the most memorable ads have come from the Super Bowl. Whether it’s the Apple 1984 commercial or the Budweiser “Wassup” commercial, fans often relate to the ads for years after their completion.

This year, there are many possibilities, but most fans are probably waiting to see what Bud Light does with their “Dilly Dilly” commercial series.

4. Betting

The Super Bowl is a time where fans of all ages like to gamble. Whether it is a cool board at the Super Bowl party that allows people to put a dollar on the total number of points in the game or betting the over/under, it has a place in a lot of peoples’ lives.

There are many different types of NFL bets that can be placed and that includes prop bets.. Virtually everything in the Super Bowl is bet on. These bets include: what color liquid is dumped on the winning coach, heads or tails on the coin toss, who scores the first touchdown etc.

Casual fans should place some prop bets to make the game a little more interesting, while avid fans can really dive into the more traditional bets.

5. The holding of the Lombari Trophy

5 things to watch for in Super Bowl LII

Tom Brady (Photo by yahoo.com)

Every year after winning the championship, there are some magical moments of watching players celebrate their great accomplishment. When the clock hits zero the confetti starts to come down and the looks of joy start to appear on the faces of the winning team.

Once that settles down, a temporary stage is put on the field to officially award the trophy. Once players and staff get a chance to hold the trophy, it signifies a validation of their life’s work. It also signifies the end of another great season of football and the start of the offseason.

 

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2018 NFL Mock Draft January 31

It’s Super Bowl week, so all teams know what’s in store for them this offseason. They know their needs, their strengths and their weaknesses. The 2018 NFL Draft will be a big way to help them fill those needs. Here is the 2018 NFL Mock draft for January 31st.

1. Cleveland Browns- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Yes, Rosen has voiced his displeasure over playing for the Browns. But, the Browns need a good quarterback and he is the best available. Rosen had to carry UCLA and ended up having a successful season. He needed to have a good year to clear up any doubts about his shoulder injury he suffered during his sophomore season. The Browns have a new GM, who has no allegiances to anyone on the roster, which means DeShone Kizer is likely done as quarterback. If Rosen really doesn’t want to play for them, expect a team to trade up.

2. New York Giants- Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Maybe Eli Manning can mentor Sam Darnold for a year, if he chooses to stay in New York. Darnold struggled this season with his decision-making which led to a lot of turnovers. He also has a flawed throwing motion. Some have Darnold as their top quarterback, but his decision-making needs to improve.

3. Indianapolis Colts- Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State

Josh McDaniels is the next coach of the Colts and will be hoping to get quarterback Andrew Luck back healthy. When he is back, the offense will figure itself out. They can improve the defense to make the team more complete when Luck comes back. Chubb is a great pass rusher who has 10 sacks in each of the past two seasons.

4. Cleveland Browns (via Hou)- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Barkley is one of the most complete running backs to ever come out of college and might be the best player in the entire class. The Browns tried to improve the defense in last year’s class, but now need to focus on the offense. With Rosen, a good offensive line and now Barkley, the offense should improve.

2018 NFL Mock Draft January 31

Josh Allen (Photo by saturdaydownsouth.com)

5. Denver Broncos- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

While Allen certainly has flaws in his decision-making and accuracy, he does have a strong arm and is athletic. John Elway went to Idaho to watch him in his bowl game personally. The Broncos have a solid roster, but just need a quarterback to lead the team.

6. New York Jets- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Baker has defied all the critics who have mentioned his size as a reason not to draft him. He can make all the throws and is athletic to avoid pass rushers. His main calling card is his accuracy, which is the best in this draft class. The Jets did well this season for the talent they had on the roster, but need a franchise quarterback.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

He likely fits in best as a safety in the NFL, but can also play corner. Whichever he needs to play, he will excel at. Fitzpatrick will have to help improve a bad Bucs’ pass defense, which ranked last in the league in passing yards allowed.

8. Chicago Bears- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

The Bears have some nice young pieces in Trubisky and Howard, but now need to get a weapon at wide receiver. Ridley is the best route-runner in the class and produces even without the best quarterback play.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Ward is the best cover corner in the draft. He had to really make his way this season, as he had to sit and wait his turn to get playing time. The 49ers got their defensive lineman and linebacker in the first round last year and can now get a good secondary player to go along with them.

10. Oakland Raiders- Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Oakland really needs to improve the interior of their defensive line and their defense in general. Vea can play both defensive tackle and nose tackle, which is valuable. He has great size at 6’5″ and 340 pounds. Jon Gruden thrived on having good defensive line play when he was a head coach before.

11. Miami Dolphins- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

Adam Gase has said that Ryan Tannehill is the starting quarterback. There are other holes on the team, but they need to have better offensive line play if they are going to be successful. Nelson is one of the best players in the class and will be drafted early despite playing a position that doesn’t usually get talked about this soon.

12. Cincinnati Bengals- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The Bengals were able to go 7-9 with a terrible offensive line. They need help at just about every position and can start with tackles. They have taken tackles before in the first round, but they haven’t panned out. McGlinchey would’ve been a first round pick last year and the Bengals can get good value and fill a need with this pick.

13. Washington Redskins- Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

Payne’s stats aren’t eye-popping, but he often gets double teamed. Washington’s interior of the defensive line can be improved, as they allowed the most rushing yards per game in the NFL.

14. Green Bay Packers- Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

Jackson turned into an All-American corner at Iowa this season and has shown the ability to make acrobatic interceptions. The Packers need to improve the secondary and make the defense better for when Aaron Rodgers gets the offense going again.

2018 NFL Mock Draft January 31

Lamar Jackson (Photo by bleacherreport.com)

15. Arizona Cardinals- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

The Cardinals have to find a new quarterback now that Carson Palmer is retired. Some people are questioning whether Jackson can play quarterback, but he showed improved accuracy this season and is a dynamic playmaker. He should be given a shot to play the position in the NFL.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Sutton is a bigger receiver who has put up big numbers in the AAC. The Ravens won’t be getting rid of Joe Flacco, so they need to get him some better targets to throw to.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Derwin James, S, Florida State

He is athletic, but doesn’t necessarily have a set position. The Chargers can use the help at safety and James would be a great addition to help make a good defense better.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU

Reports have come out that it will be tough for Cliff Avril to play football again and Michael Bennett has said that he doesn’t think he’ll be back in Seattle. Key only played eight games this season and had four sacks, but has proven in the past to be a good speed rusher.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Taven Byan, DT, Florida

The Cowboys are seemingly always weak up the middle of their defense. Shutting down their opponents’ running game would allow them to control the clock like they love to do. Byan is a more agile and athletic defensive tackle than most and would fill a need for Dallas.

20. Detroit Lions- Billy Price, OG/C

Detroit hasn’t had a solid running game in Matthew Stafford’s tenure as quarterback. Some more balance on offense would make it even better. They may be able to achieve this if they improve the offensive line. Price has tons of experience at guard and center for Ohio State and will start right away.

21. Buffalo Bills- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Smith is the best linebacker in college football and does a little bit of everything well. His game is fueled by his speed. The Bills are thin at linebacker and Smith is a day one starter.

22. Buffalo Bills (via KC)- Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

Davis is a lengthy corner for Auburn, who has withstood a lot of good SEC competition. The Bills took Tre’Davious White last year and will likely want to get another corner to pair with him.

2018 NFL Mock Draft January 31

Marcus Davenport (Photo by mysanantonio.com)

23. Los Angeles Rams- Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA

Los Angeles has good inside pressure in Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, but need better outside pass rushers. Davenport has the build of a great pass rusher, but reports are the media like him more than NFL teams do.

24. Carolina Panthers- Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College

The Panthers signed Julius Peppers, but he won’t last much longer and they aren’t very deep at defensive end. Landry had a great 2016 season that put him on the map and followed it up with a solid season this year.

25. Tennessee Titans- Justin Reid, S, Stanford

Johnathan Cyprien has been bad for the Titans this year, in one of their lone weak spots on the roster. Reid took a huge leap this season in terms of production and has put himself on the map for a first round selection.

26. Atlanta Falcons- Donte Jackson, CB, LSU

Jackson has the potential to develop into a great cover corner. Atlanta needs another corner to pair with Desmond Trufant and should try to take one early.

27. New Orleans Saints- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

The Saints need to plan for the end of Drew Brees’ career sooner rather than later. Not everyone likes Rudolph, but he has a lot of experience and quite possibly the best deep ball in the class.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

Harrison is a good strong safety prospect, who plays physically. Despite being known for all of their great safeties throughout their history, the Steelers are very bad at the position right now.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

Kirk is dynamic when he has the ball in his hands and can play in the slot or on the outside. The Jaguars have a decent crop of young receivers, but they rarely stay healthy.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma

The Vikings’ offensive line is much better than last year, but can still be improved. With a good offense and defense, they don’t have too many needs. Brown has great size for an offensive tackle and his father played in the NFL.

31. Philadelphia Eagles- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Another team that doesn’t have too many needs is the Eagles. They could use another linebacker for depth and a future starter. Edmunds is a linebacker who can do it all. He rushes the passer, covers and helps to stop the run.

32. New England Patriots- Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

The Patriots’ defense needs to be revamped. Jefferson was a highly-touted recruit that hasn’t reached his potential yet, which means the Patriots will get the most out of him.

 

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2018 NCAA Tournament bracketology 1/29/18

Only a month and a half until March Madness begins. Teams are about half way through their conference schedules and are jockeying for position. The NCAA Tournament is just over two months away. Here is the latest NCAA Tournament bracketology. Click to zoom.

 

First four out: Syracuse, Missouri, Western Kentucky, Maryland

Next four out: Notre Dame, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington

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Cinderella teams to watch for in March Madness

The NCAA Tournament is less than two months away and the excitement around college basketball is starting to build. It won’t be long before the nation starts filling out their brackets. In order to win a bracket challenge, it will likely take knowing what teams can pull off some upsets. Here are the Cinderella teams to watch for in March Madness:

Boise State Broncos

Boise State is the only team on this list that could get an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. They play in a Mountain West Conference which features Nevada, who are the favorites. If they are unable to win the conference, the Broncos are still off to a great start at 17-4, which has them on the bubble for the big dance.

While they haven’t beaten any teams in the RPI top 50, Boise State has beaten two teams in the top 100: Loyola (Ill) and Oregon. They have no bad losses and are within a few possessions of only having one or two losses. To along with this theme, they have no home losses on the season, only having dropped road and neutral site games.

Their competitive advantage lies in Chandler Hutchison. The 6’7″ wing player has been one of the best players not to be known by too many fans. This season he averages 19.9 points per game and is a matchup nightmare. With 3.4 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game, Hutchison can do it all.

If Boise State makes the NCAA Tournament and Hutchison can get some good support from his teammates, the Broncos can win a few games.

Vermont Catamounts

Cinderella teams in March Madness

Trae Bell-Haynes (Photo by blacktoptv.com)

The Catamounts have made a postseason tournament every year since 2008 and are always competitive in the America East Conference. They look primed for their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Vermont sits at 17-5 on the season and look like they can win the AEC once again.

This season, they too don’t have any wins against the RPI top 50, but have competed well. They lost notable games at Kentucky by four and at Marquette by 10. Their best win this season was over Bradley, who resides in the RPI top 100. They also don’t have a loss at home, losing four on the road and one at a neutral site.

Vermont has been without their best player, Anthony Lamb since the end of December with a foot fracture. The Catamounts are undefeated without him in their last nine games. If he can get back healthy, the team is dangerous. Hopefully with the 6’6″ forward back in the lineup, Vermont can improve on their 323rd ranking in rebounds per game.

With Lamb and Trae Bell-Haynes the Catamounts can compete with most teams in the country.

Buffalo Bulls

Ever since Bobby Hurley arrived on campus the Bulls have been competitive. Even without Hurley anymore Buffalo continues to succeed. They have made the last two NCAA Tournaments, playing tight games with both West Virginia and Miami. This could be the year that the Bulls break through.

Buffalo is 29th in RPI at the moment. While they haven’t beaten any RPI top 50 teams all five of their losses have come to teams in the RPI top 100. Those losses include games to: Cincinnati, Syracuse, St. Bonaventure, Texas A&M and South Dakota State. Their one RPI top 100 win came over Toledo.

They have four guys who can score and average over 13 points per game, which makes them hard to guard. Junior guard C.J. Massinburg averages 18.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He can play with anyone in the country, scoring 29 on Cincinnati and 20 on Texas A&M.

If Massinburg gets hot and gets a little help from his other talented teammates, Buffalo might just surprise people.

Middle Tennesse Blue Raiders

Middle Tennessee is another team that is used to playing in March with two straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. They have gotten past the first round in both years, but can’t get out of the opening weekend of the tournament. This season they have gotten off to a great start at 14-5.

The Blue Raiders also have a very good RPI at 25. They got a big RPI top 50 win over Western Kentucky and a solid RPI top 100 win over Ole Miss. Middle Tennessee has no losses outside the RPI top 100 and all of their losses have come in close games.

Two players have led this team to success. Nick King started his career at Memphis, transferred to Alabama and has finally made his way to Middle Tennessee. He averages 21.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Giddy Potts has been around for the last two NCAA Tournament runs and has 13.4 points per game.

When King and Potts both start to heat up, the Blue Raiders will be hard to beat.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

Cinderella teams in March Madness

Mike Daum (Photo by cbssports.com)

The Jackrabbits are another team that won’t be fazed playing on the big stage due to their two tournament appearances the last two seasons. At 17-6 this year, the Jackrabbits could very well make their third straight NCAA Tournament and win a game.

South Dakota State have two solid wins over Buffalo (RPI top 50) and Ole Miss (RPI top 100). They only have one bad loss, which came at the hands of their rivals South Dakota. Other than that bad loss, they have losses to Kansas, Missouri State, Wyoming, Colorado and Wichita State.

If there is one thing the Jackrabbits can do, it is score. They rank 10th in the country at 86.2 points per game. Against Wichita State they scored 85 points, while against Colorado they dropped 103 points. Junior forward Mike Daum is the team leader with 22.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.

Daum is a big reason the Jackrabbits have made the last two NCAA Tournaments and could be the player that gets them a win or two in this year’s tournament.

 

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LeBron James becomes youngest player to reach 30,000 points

On Tuesday night, LeBron James became the youngest player to join the 30,000 career point club. James hit a jump shot with 1.1 seconds left in the first quarter to get to the milestone against the San Antonio Spurs.

James joins some elite players in reaching 30,000 points. The other players who have scored 30,000 points are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292), Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) and Dirk Nowitzki (30,837).

At 33 years old, James is the youngest player to reach the mark in NBA history. Kobe Bryant was the youngest before James at 34 years of age.

He only needed seven points in the game against the Spurs to reach 30,000 career points. It was just his 1,107th career game in his 15th season in the NBA.

He had the advantage of going straight from high school to the NBA, but has also never had a severe injury to limit his playing time. The fewest amount of games played he has in a season is 62 during the 2011-2012 campaign with the Miami Heat.

While this is surely a big accomplishment, James said he never got into basketball to reach this specific milestone. If James keeps his current scoring average of 27.2, he can pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar within the next four or five seasons. There doesn’t look like an end to James’ career in sight, so moving up higher on this list won’t be a surprise.

 

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