Philadelphia 76ers 2017 NBA Draft

Philadelphia 76ers 2017 NBA Draft Profile

Day three of NBA Draftmas is here to trust the process. Philadelphia fans are itching for their team to become contenders. This year they take another step closer to becoming a playoff team.

Summary

Philadelphia 76ers 2017 NBA Draft

(Photo Credit: ohn Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports)

Philadelphia has not made the playoffs since 2012. Their overall record since then is 109-301. The future is beginning to look bright despite the recent failure. The 76ers improved their win total by 18 from last season, showing that the process is indeed working.

Not all signs are pointing in the right direction though. Last year’s first overall pick, Ben Simmons, did not play a single game due to injury. Their franchise center, Joel Embiid, also dealt with injuries. Embiid was looking like the hands down rookie of the year until he went down with a foot injury. This is his third major injury, and it is never a good sign when big men have multiple knee or foot injuries. If he can remain healthy, he is going to be a top-three big in the NBA.

The 76ers struggled offensively, averaging 102.4 points per game, which ranked 25th in the NBA. They shot 44.2 percent from the field and 34 percent from behind the arc. Those percentages ranked 27th and 25th, respectively. They also turned the ball over at an alarming rate with 16 per game, ranking dead last.

Defensively, the Sixers gave up 108.1 points per game. Opponents shot 46.1 percent against the Sixers. Philly needs to improve both offensively and defensively.

Like many teams drafting early, youth and inexperience plagued the 76ers. To develop into a playoff team, the talent inside the organization needs time on the court together. Simmons and Embiid must remain healthy for this team to start pushing for the playoffs. If they remain healthy and this year’s pick pans out, the 76ers should be geared to dominate the East relatively soon.

Picks & Needs

The 76ers have five picks in the draft, four of which are in the second round. This gives Philly wiggle room to possibly move up for a second first round pick.

First Round: No. 3 (via Sacramento)

Second Round: No. 36 (via New York), No. 39 (via Dallas), No. 46 (via Miami), No. 50 (via Atlanta)

The Sixers have a very solid frontcourt made up of Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Dario Saric. Brett Brown has publicly stated that Simmons will play point guard. The Sixers still need a very reliable shooting guard who can get buckets.

They could also use some depth at the small forward position. Robert Covington is average at best and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is still young and developing. It will be highly unlikely that the 76ers draft five players. One of their late second-round picks could be used on a foreign player who may stay overseas for a few seasons, but five rookies would be too much on an already extremely young team.

Targets & Thoughts

Philadelphia 76ers 2017 NBA Draft

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Pick #3: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky

The Sixers need scoring help from the guard position badly, and Malik Monk is a scoring machine. The SEC Player of the Year averaged 19.8 points per game in his freshman season at Kentucky. Monk shot 45 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from behind the arc.

Every now and then Monk would go off with impressive scoring games. Monk scored 47 against North Carolina, 34 at Ole Miss, 37 versus Georgia and 33 against Florida. He showed just how great of a scorer he is. At his age, he can develop into an ever better scorer in the NBA.

Pick #36: Jaron Blossomgame, SF, Clemson

Jaron Blossomgame is one of the oldest players in this draft. He will have maturity and experience that a lot of draftees won’t have. Blossomgame will be a solid scorer off the bench. He has nice length and size to be a quality NBA defender as well, but will need development in that area.

Pick #39: Frank Mason III, PG, Kansas

Frank Mason III could become one of the best backup point guards in the NBA. Mason has a natural ability to push the ball and creates quick offense. He isn’t afraid to attack the rim to get to the free throw line. Mason will be able to come in and play anywhere from 20 to 25 minutes per game and be a solid role player.

Pick #46: Alpha Kaba, PF, France

Alpha Kaba already has connections on the Sixers. Kaba played with current 76er Timothe-Luwawu-Cabarrot in France. Kaba is able to stretch the floor, something the Sixers could use from a big. Alpha Kaba would not come to the NBA this season and the Sixers could allow him to continue his development for a few seasons overseas.

Pick #50: Aleksandar Vezenkov, F, Bulgaria

Aleksandar Vezenkov is a raw European prospect who is capable of some good outside shooting. Philly will keep Vezenkov overseas until they need him. He has the talent to play in the NBA one day.

Conclusion

The Sixers have another top-three pick that will help them continue the process. Drafting Malik Monk would push the Sixers into playoff contention next season. It isn’t going out on a limb to say Philadelphia will be a seven or eight seed in the East next season. Getting to the playoffs would be the first step. They need that valuable playoff experience for their young core.

In the second round, the Sixers have four more picks that would allow them to be flexible in the draft. They will draft a few players who will stay overseas. Philadelphia is not far from contending for a championship and this draft will push them much closer.

Thanks for checking out the Philadelphia 76ers 2017 NBA Draft profile and tune in tomorrow for day four of NBA Draftmas to see what the Phoenix Suns are going to do.

Day 1 Draftmas: Boston Celtics

Day 2 Draftmas: Los Angeles Lakers

 

Featured Image by Fadeaway World

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2017 NFL Draft Day 3

2017 NFL Draft Day 3: Future Stars

The first two days and three rounds of the NFL draft have finished. The third day of the draft is rounds four through seven. These players drafted on day three sometimes do not even make the roster. So what players remaining, after day two, have a chance to become stars in the NFL? Here are some who may answer that question.

Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss

2017 NFL Draft Day 3

(Photo Credit: Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports)

Chad Kelly is flying high under the radar. Kelly is the nephew of Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly. Chad Kelly had a pretty solid career while at Ole Miss. Going 14-8 as a starter and even notched a win against Alabama. Kelly threw for 6,858 yards, 50 touchdowns, and just 21 interceptions. He also added 958 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground in his career.

Kelly had a lot of problems off the field that have derailed his career. He was kicked off the team at Clemson for actions against the coaching staff. Once he left Clemson he landed at East Mississippi Community College, more commonly known as Last Chance U. There Kelly led EMCC to a 12-0 season and an NJCAA National Football Championship.

If Kelly has learned from his past mistakes and can be a model citizen off the field then there is a chance he can become a star in the NFL. He has great arm strength and can make NFL throws. Kelly has played primarily in the shotgun and will need to work on his under center mechanics. Also he has great touch passing skills and is much better when moving outside the pocket and throwing. If a team takes a risk in the sixth or seventh round there is a good chance Kelly becomes an NFL starter one day.

Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma

Dede Westbrook was one of the top five receivers in all of college football last season. Some would argue he was the best. Last season he had 80 receptions, 1,524 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Westbrook is an excellent route runner with big play capability. In the open field, Westbrook is explosive and turns a lot of good plays into big plays. Some say his size is an issue but make no mistake, Westbrook could be a scary playmaker in the NFL.

 

Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego St.

Donnel Pumphrey is only still available because of his size, 5-foot-8 and 176 pounds.. The Las Vegas product is the all-time leading rusher in NCAA history. NFL tacklers will be able to arm tackling him but that is only if they can catch him. He is so quick and fast that when he sees a hole he hits it without a second thought.  Pumphrey may not become an every-down back in the NFL but he can create momentum-changing plays. One NFL team will be very happy one day because of the risk they took on him.

 

Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU

Malachi Dupre has fallen mostly because LSU has not had a quarterback capable of helping any receiver. LSU has had some of the worst quarterback play in the country which is why Dupre only put up 98 receptions, 1,609 yards, and 14 touchdowns in his three years at LSU. If you throw the ball in Dupre’s direction there is a good chance he will catch it. He has one of the best catch radii of all the prospects. He will have to work on his route running but with a solid quarterback Dupre could break out as the next great LSU wideout to turn pro.

Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina

2017 NFL Draft Day 3

(Photo Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OC3Yp4T7KI)

Ryan Switzer may be the most underrated, underappreciated player in this draft. Similar to Dede Westbrook and Donnel Pumphrey, size is the only reason for that. In his senior season at North Carolina, Switzer snagged 96 receptions for 1,112 yards, and six touchdowns. He has also proven to be a great return man who returned seven punts for touchdowns in his collegiate career. Switzer can be a Wes Welker or Julian Edelman type playmaker in the NFL and that is a reason teams should draft him as soon as possible.

Connor Harris, LB, Lindenwood

Connor Harris could have been a first round pick. He has it all, the size, the speed, and the intangibles. Teams seem to be holding it against him that he played in division II but Harris is a tackling machine. Harris holds the record at 633 career tackles. He has the ability to drop in coverage and has shown impressive ball-hawking skills as well. Any team that drafts him is getting a player who doesn’t have to come off the field and is a prototypical, old-school linebacker.

Jake Butt, TE, Michigan

Jake Butt is the victim of a bad injury at the worst time. Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffery got a lot of heat for skipping their bowl games but had Jake Butt done the same then he wouldn’t have torn his ACL for the second time in his career. Butt would have been a second round pick without the injury but now teams are scared. He averaged 11.9 yards per reception for his career and is a guaranteed first down waiting to happen. Every team in the NFL needs a tight end that can get them out of a jam like that. If Butt can become healthy and get a shot, he has a great chance of being a top 10 tight end in the league.

 

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National Signing Day 2017: SEC

The SEC dominates National Signing Day seemingly every year. This page will be updated throughout the day. Here are how the teams look right now:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Commitments: 24, 5*: 3, 4*: 19, 3*: 1, Other: 1

Nick Saban has assembled another great class. Athlete Dylan Moses (who will most likely play linebacker), offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and running back Najee Harris are some of the best players for the Tide. Harris is supremely talented, but it is a loaded backfield that may not offer much playing time. Alabama recruited a lot of offensive play-makers this season. There a lot of good recruits still considering Alabama.

Top Prospects Signed: ATH Dylan Moses (5*), RB Najee Harris (5*)

2. Georgia Bulldogs

Committed: 26, 5*: 4, 4*: 17, 3*: 5, Other: 0

Kirby Smart has put together a great first full class for the Bulldogs. Offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson and Safety Richard LeCounte are among the best players in the class. In the next few years, Georgia should be dominant in the trenches and well on their way to SEC East superiority.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Isaiah Wilson (5*), S Richard LeCounte (5*)

3. LSU Tigers

Committed: 23, 5*: 0, 4*: 16, 3*: 7, Other: 0

In Ed Oregeron’s first class, he has helped LSU stay prominent in recruiting. He has a lot of secondary and quarterback help on the way. Corner Kary Vincent is one the best players in the class for the Tigers. Quarterbacks Lowell Narcisse and Myles Brennan have different styles, but should help out with LSU’s offensive struggles.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Austin Deculus (4*), CB Kary Vincent (4*)

4. Texas A&M Aggies

Committed: 24, 5*: 0, 4*: 9, 3*: 15, Other: 0

The Aggies have a lot of players coming in this class. Quarterback Kellen Mond is a highly touted player and may get a chance to get on the field, with all of the transfers out of College Station. He leads a class with a lot of wide receivers. Linebacker Anthony Hines is going to be a difference-maker for the Aggie defense.

Top Prospects Signed: QB Kellen Mond (4*), LB Anthony Hinds (4*)

5. Auburn Tigers

Committed: 21, 5*: 0, 4*: 11, 3: 7, Other: 3

The Tigers have a good recruiting class, which they will be expecting to help win the SEC West with. Former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham will be joining the Tigers from JuCo and will hopefully solve the issues at the position. Their best offensive line recruit Calvin Ashley is a tackle who will be looking to get on the field from day one.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Calvin Ashley (4*), QB Jarrett Stidham (4*)

6. Tennessee Volunteers

Committed: 27, 5*: 1, 4*: 6, 3*: 20, Other: 0

Butch Jones has put together yet another impressive recruiting class. Five-star offensive tackle Trey Smith is one of the best in the class and will likely start the season as a starter. Linebacker Maleik Gray will help out with some of the losses they suffer on defense.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Trey Smith (5*), LB Maleik Gray (4*)

7. Florida Gators

Committed: 20, 5*: 0, 4*: 13, 3*: 6, Other: 1

Florida has struggled to find good offense, but they don’t have too many skill position players in this class. They need to hit on the ones they did sign. Their best recruit is offensive tackle Tedarrell Slaton, which should help the offense out. Wide receiver Daquon Green is going to have to step up and be the play-maker Florida so desperately needs.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Tedarrell Slaton (4*), WR James Robinson IV (4*)

8. South Carolina Gamecocks

Committed: 21, 5*:0, 4*: 9, 3*: 11, Other: 1

Will Muschamp is doing a great job of recruiting for South Carolina. Corner Jameyst Williams is committed, but may be flipped. He will help out a secondary that isn’t near the top in the SEC. Shi Smith will give the Gamecocks a weapon at the wide receiver position.

Top Prospects Signed: CB Jamyest Winston (4*), WR Shi Smith (4*)

9. Kentucky Wildcats

Committed: 24, 5*: 0, 4*: 5, 3*: 18, Other: 1

Mark Stoops helped the Wildcats be one of the most improved teams in the country. The defense wasn’t great, so Kentucky emphasized that in this recruiting class. Secondary players Yusuf Corker and Tyrell Ajian will both be expected to produce in the coming years.

Top Prospects Signed: CB Yusuf Corker (4*), S Tyrell Ajian (4*)

10. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Committed: 23, 5*: 0, 4*: 10, 3*: 13, Other: 0

The Bulldogs got a bowl win, but it was a lackluster season otherwise. Coming into the fold will be a lot of defensive players. Brian Cole and Montez Sweat are both JuCo players who will likely help the Bulldogs immediately.

Top Prospects Signed: S Brian Cole (4*), DE Montez Sweat (4*)

11. Arkansas Razorbacks

Committed: 26, 5*: 0, 4*: 8, 3*: 15, Other: 3

Arkansas doesn’t have the best class, but they targeted a lot of offensive players in the class. Brandon Martin is a great JuCo wide receiver that will catch passes from Austin Allen next season. Quarterback Daulton Hyatt is expected to be the future leader of the team.

Top Prospects Signed: WR Brandon Martin (4*), Daulton Hyatt (4*)

12. Missouri Tigers

Committed: 23, 5*: 0, 4*: 0, 3*: 20, Other: 3

Missouri doesn’t look like they will be in an SEC Championship Game any time soon. Defensive line has been a huge target for this class. Defensive tackles Walter Palmore and Rashad Brandon both are great hauls for the Tigers.

Top Prospects Signed: QB Taylor Powell (3*), Rashad Brandon (3*)

13. Ole Miss

Committed: 21,  5*: 0, 4*: 8, 3*: 11, Other: 2

Ole miss is usually a lot higher in these rankings as of late, but this year was a down year for recruiting. Wide receiver D.D. Bowie and Linebacker Breon Dixon are both great finds for Ole Miss.

Top Prospects Signed: OLB Breon Dixon (4*), WR D.D. Bowie (4*)

14. Vanderbilt Commodores

Committed: 20, 5*: 0, 4*: 1, 3*: 13, Other: 6

The Commodores find themselves in a familiar position at the bottom of this list. Defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo and linebacker Colin Anderson will need to help make the Vanderbilt defense elite to win football games.

Top Prospects Signed: LB Colin Anderson (3*), DE Dayo Odeyingbo (4*)

 

ACC Signing Day- Here

Big Ten Signing Day- Here

Big 12 Signing Day- Here

Pac-12 Signing Day- Here

 

Eliminate College Conferences

Change. It is a simply spelt and pronounced word, but becomes complex when people start to deal with change. People run away from change out of fear. People usually grimace at the thought of change. Change is often looked at as a bad thing, but change can also be viewed as a great thing. Change is needed for growth and knowledge. Society finds it hard to change things that are long standing traditions, even if they do not work, are outdated, or completely wrong.

(Photo: Daniel Gluskoter, AP)

(Photo: Daniel Gluskoter, AP)

Take a look at the national anthem controversy for instance. Rather than admit its flaws, people are back-lashing against Colin Kaepernick. Why can’t we admit our faults as people or as a society? Because people hate change, whether it’s for the betterment of society or not. It is so much easier to go with the flow rather than to adapt.

It is time for a change in college football by eliminating any and all conferences. They are unnecessary in this day and age. They serve no purpose other than to please tradition. This is a highly unpopular opinion but hear me out before you grab your pitchforks.

Sep 3, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers players celebrate defeating the LSU Tigers by doing the Lambeau Leap following the game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-269730 ORIG FILE ID: 20160903_jla_sh5_731.jpg

(Sep 3, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers players celebrate defeating the LSU Tigers by doing the Lambeau Leap following the game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY)

The best teams need to play each other weekly regardless of their region or conference. Week one was one of the greatest weeks of college football ever. People are still glamorizing it because it was that epic. We saw great games all over such as (15) Houston defeating (3) Oklahoma. We saw Wisconsin upset (5) LSU. We saw unranked Texas A&M upset (16) UCLA. (18) Georgia beat (22) North Carolina. (2) Clemson had to sneak by unranked Auburn by six points. Fans saw Texas upset (10) Notre Dame in an overtime classic. On a Monday night game, (4) Florida State beat (11) Ole Miss.

Week two also saw some great programs matching up for exciting games. Arkansas was unranked and upset (15) TCU. (17) Tennessee beat Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway in the most attended game in college football history with 156,990 in attendance.

(http://www.usatoday.com/videos/sports/ncaaf/2016/11/18/houston-dashes-louisville's-playoff-hopes-upset/94060980/)

(http://www.usatoday.com)

Since the first two weeks there still have been great non-conference games even as teams have gotten into conference scheduling. In week six, Navy upset (6) Houston 46-40 in one of the most exciting back and forth games of the year. Most recently in week 12, the same Houston team that was upset by Navy, and was unranked, ended (5) Louisville’s shot at making the playoffs. They upset the Cardinals 36-10.

All these non conference match-ups with top programs facing off gave us excitement. Fans of football rejoiced over how fun it was to watch these teams play their hearts off to win these big time games. These games mean so much more with the rather new playoff system that determines a true champion in college football. Eliminating conferences would not eliminate rivalries because schools would be able to schedule 10-12 games completely how they want. The only thing each school would  have to do is make sure they schedule their rival schools annually.

(MARK ALMOND)

(MARK ALMOND)

These huge games are what the fans want to see. It doesn’t have to be just about the fans either. The college football playoff committee highly values a team’s strength of schedule. Nobody wants to see Alabama playing teams like Chattanooga or Kent State, teams in which they manhandled this year. Ohio State shouldn’t be playing teams like Rutgers, who happens to be in their conference, or Tulsa. Clemson games are boring when they play teams like South Carolina State or Syracuse. Imagine Clemson scheduling Alabama, Michigan, and Ohio State. If a team goes undefeated with a non-conference schedule as tough as this, there would be no question they deserve to be in the playoffs.

One of the biggest problems with the state of college football now is that great teams still get snubbed from making the playoffs. We need the best four teams in the country making the playoffs as long as it is a four team format. Maybe one day it will be a six or eight team format to eliminate more doubt, because there will always be a team or two on the bubble.

Currently the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Pac 12 and the Big 12 are known as the power five conferences. Most people can agree these are the top five conferences in the country, with each taking turns on where they rank within the power five.

In the current playoff system, one of the power five conferences will not be represented. A champion from one of these conferences will not have the chance to play in the playoffs and prove they are the best team in the country. This doesn’t account for a team without a conference, such as Notre Dame, who could go undefeated and cause two power five conferences to be left out of the playoffs. It also doesn’t account for a year like this one in which Ohio State and Michigan both look like teams capable of winning a national championship.

(http://www.sbnation.com/)

(http://www.sbnation.com/)

The first ever college football playoff left out TCU and/or Baylor in favor of Ohio State. The debate raged on about which of these teams should have gotten in. Ohio State then went on to win the National Championship as a four seed to quiet the debate, but how do we know, without a doubt, that TCU or Baylor would not have done the same? How do we know TCU or Baylor would’t have beat Ohio State? This is the problem with conferences. The Big Ten was assumed to be the better conference which is why the playoff committee chose to take Ohio State over one of the Big 12 teams. It was all because the Big 12 conference doesn’t have a conference championship game.

There is another issue at hand when it comes to conferences and the entire playoff format. There is always a talk of two teams getting into the playoffs from the same conference. If that were to happen, two conference champions from a power five conference would be left out. This was the problem with the BCS system that the playoffs were suppose to fix. The question that should be asked is how can you be a champion of the nation if you weren’t a champion of your conference? Essentially that is what happens if two SEC or two Big Ten teams get into a four team playoff. Eliminating conferences erases all the doubt. It makes teams schedule harder competition and creates more exciting games. If a school didn’t do it, they wouldn’t get into the playoffs.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Conferences started mostly due to how difficult it was to travel when teams were still taking buses. Colleges can afford to fly their teams in today’s sports and traveling is not as hard as it use to be. What is the need for conferences then? The idea of no conferences at all is highly appealing in my eyes, but will not be popular to most. It would be revolutionary to eliminate conferences. The most remarkable changes in the world once were thought to be outlandish. Conferences are a tired idea that is outdated and the sport can become more exciting by eliminating them.

 

 

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Is the College Football Coaches Poll Right?

The preseason college football Coaches Poll was released on Thursday. And obviously the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers were number one and two.

But after that, did the Coaches Poll get it right?

Coaches Poll

Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Oklahoma at #3 is too high for me. Last time we saw the Sooners they were getting crushed by the Clemson Tigers after being ruled “favorites” in that game. The #4 team in the AP Poll, Florida State, received a first place vote and the Sooners did not. How could the fourth and tenth place team receive a vote and the third place team not? Seems weird to me. Head-to-head, Oklahoma could not beat Florida State. But on September 3rd, the Sooners can defend their number three ranking against #13 Houston and then two weeks later against #5 Ohio State.

How is Ohio State ranked number five after losing almost half their team in the NFL? I don’t understand that. They lost key players on every level of the defense. They also lost a key running back in Ezekiel Elliott, two key wide receivers (Michael Thomas, Jalin Marshall), and a backup/starting quarterback (Cardale Jones). And yet they are above a team like LSU. This Ohio State football team might be the biggest mystery of the 2016 college football season. The recruits coming into this season might be talented but that was in high school and now it is time for big time college football. The Buckeyes just should not have been in the top five. A better spot for the Buckeyes would have been slightly outside of the top five, like number six or seven.

Coaches Poll

Rogelio V. Solis/ AP

Tennessee at #10 is too low. This team has a pretty good chance to get to the College Football Playoff and is almost a lock for a New Year’s Six Bowl Game. They have one the most talented backfields in the nation with quarterback Joshua Dobbs and running back Jalen Hurd. Their defense has some really good pieces on the back end. Cornerback Cameron Sutton is the true star of the defense and is also one of the better corners in the nation. At the linebacker positions, the Vols have veteran Jalen Reeves-Maybin and young talent sophomore Darrin Kirkland Jr. The Vols are behind #7 Stanford, #8 Michigan, and #9 Notre Dame. All teams I think the Vols can beat and are better than them. And someone on this poll believes me because Tennessee received one first place vote.

Another SEC West team was ranked too low. Ole Miss at #12. Ole Miss and #6 LSU have around the same chance to knock off Alabama in the West, yet the Rebels are sitting here six spots behind LSU. The Rebels are even placed behind #11 Michigan State, a team that is still picking the pieces up after Alabama crushed them in the Semifinal of the College Football Playoff. If your team returns a proven quarterback, like Chad Kelly, your team should at least be in the Top Ten. The Rebels should have been a lock in the Top Ten. They were the only team to beat the Crimson Tide last year. They should been shown more respect by the voters.

SEC 2016-2017 Preview

After an entertaining SEC Media Week, I am doing a quick preview of one of the strongest conferences in the land.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

SEC Player of the Year: LSU’s Running Back Leonard Fournette

For me it is a two horse race for the POTY for the SEC. It will be either be LSU’s running back Leonard Fournette or Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly. I think I am leaning closer to Fournette. He is just one of the unicorns of College Football. He is so powerful and so strong, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. He does it all for the Tigers on the offensive side of the ball.

Last year, Fournette accounted for the 45% of the offensive touchdowns, which lead the nation. I think Fournette will comeback this season on mission to prove he should have been in New York last year. Fournette will easily have 2000+ yards on the ground and about 300+ yards receiving. With dual threat quarterback Brandon Harris improving from last year to spring ball and throughout the summer it will make the defense have to defend more than Fournette.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

SEC East Champion: Tennessee Volunteers

The SEC East is pretty much Tennessee’s to lose. The Vols are really only competing with Georgia and Florida for the crown in the East and that is not saying too much. This is because of all the turnover that UGA will have this year. And because Florida will have to play a new quarterback since former starting quarterback Will Grier is no longer there. Second year Coach McElwain has a great core of receivers for whoever the quarterback is but, I would not count on a new starter to take any team to Atlanta for a SEC Championship Game.

Tennessee is just the strongest team in one of the weakest divisions in College Football. South Carolina has a new coach, and possibly a new quarterback that has never played a down of college football.  Vanderbilt is still climbing out of the basement of the SEC, but they do return a good defense. I think this year will be the year we look at as Vandy’s take off year. They will probably still miss a bowl game but the nation will know that Vandy is finally playing football again.

Do you see where I am going with this? Tennessee is the only logical choice to win the division. They have one of the best backfields in the league with quarterback Joshua Dobbs and running back Jalen Hurd. On the defensive side they return seven starters from their stalwart defense of a year ago. Tennessee should run away with the East crown, but it is the SEC East. Anything can and will happen.

Courtesy of AP

Courtesy of AP

SEC West Champion: LSU Tigers

On this side of the conference, we have one of the strongest division in College Football. My big favorites for the West are LSU, Bama and Ole Miss. All of those teams have great reasons why they can win the Division.

LSU with their tandem of Brandon Harris and one of the greatest running backs in school history, Leonard Fournette. Alabama still has Nick Saban, so it does not matter who their quarterback is because most of their quarterbacks are just game managers anyways. Ole Miss has the best quarterback in the conference with Chad Kelly. He is also the only quarterback in the conference with a win against the reigning National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide.

I think the division will be decided on Novemeber 5th when Alabama comes to LSU to play them under the lights of Death Valley. Whoever wins that game most likely wins the division. I think it will be LSU. We all should know that Saban has not found a way to stop a true dual threat quarterback. Until he shows that he can I will always pick the dual threat quarterback against Coach Saban. And LSU also plays Ole Miss at home this year but, they play Arkansas and Texas A&M on the road this year. Both teams look to be very dangerous this year and could spoil some teams National Championship aspirations.

SEC Champion: LSU Tigers

Les Miles has to do this year. After everything that has happened this summer in Baton Rouge, that area needs something to bring them together. Just like how Clemson did something wonderful for the state of South Carolina after the summer they had last year. Not only that, but, Les Miles need this to get the LSU fans off of his back. Last year they wanted him fired and a SEC Championship will be a great rebuttal to those fans. Miles has a great team coming into this season and he needs to strike now before they miss their opportunity with Brandon Harris and Leonard Fournette.

 

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2016 Heisman Watch List

I just finished my Top Quarterback list and now it’s time for my Heisman Watch List. Some of the quarterbacks I listed before might appear here. When I rank these players, I take into account how far I think the team will go and how important that player is to that team’s success.

Christian Petersen/ Getty Images

Christian Petersen/ Getty Images

#5- Ohio State’s Quarterback J.T. Barrett

He is finally going to get his shot to really be the man at Ohio State. Every year he has had another great quarterback on the roster. He played behind Cardale Jones for bits of last season due to his ankle injury to end his 2014 season.

But now for the 2016 Buckeyes he has his chance to do what he could not do in the 2014 season. He has a chance to start the whole season, go to NYC for a chance to lift up the 25-pound bronze trophy named Heisman.

He has put up big numbers almost every time he’s touched the field. Even as a redshirt freshman in 2014 before his season-ending injury, he threw for over 2,800 yards, 34 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions. Barrett also rushed for almost 1,000 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. In the limited time as a starter in 2015 he put up decent numbers coming in for an ineffective Cardale Jones. I believe with a full season of football at Ohio State with Urban Meyer’s offensive genius, he could get some Heisman votes.

AP Photo/ Thomas Graning

AP Photo/ Thomas Graning

#4-Ole Miss’ Quarterback Chad Kelly

On this list, he has what every player he wants on his resume, and a win against football royalty, the Crimson Tide of Alabama.

Kelly is also coming of a year where he and the Rebels only lost three games and won a New Year’s Eve bowl game. And individually he had a great season. He threw for 4,024 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, while also rushing for 500 yards and had 10 touchdowns on the ground.

This was his first season as a starting quarterback. In my opinion his resume is already quite impressive. The 2016 Rebels will be looking for Kelly to take them to Atlanta for an automatic bid in the College Football Playoff, sorry, I mean a SEC Championship.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

#3-Louisiana State University’s Running Back Leonard Fournette

I will say it now: Leonard Fournette was robbed of his chance to go to New York because he was up against Derrick Henry from Alabama that had 95 more rushes than him but only 266 more yards rushing than him.

If you give Fournette the same amount of touches as Alabama’s running back plus Fournette’s 6.5 rush average, Fournette finishes with 2,571 rushing yards. That same running back also had three more games than Fournette and Fournette had 162 more receiving yards than the Alabama running back.

Leonard Fournette was the best running back in the SEC last year and the second best running back in the nation. Therefore I believe he just got overshadowed by the Alabama Crimson Tide name. In 2016, Fournette and the LSU Tigers have a great chance to run the table and get to the Playoffs. Leonard Fournette will be almost everything for this LSU offense. If he does not get over 2,000 yards rushing I will be surprised. Fournette will be in New York this year for the Heisman Ceremony.

Harry How/ Getty Images

Harry How/ Getty Images

#2-Stanford Cardinals’ Running Back Christian McCaffery

McCaffery was the best running back in the nation in 2015 and possibly the best one coming into this season. He should have won the Heisman, but he is another running back overshadowed by a running back from Alabama.

In 2015, he rushed for 2,019 yards and eight touchdowns. He also was great at catching the ball; he had 645 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns.

Also do not forget that he was also dangerous in the return game. As a kick returner, he averaged 28.9 yards per return, 1,070 kick return yards, and one touchdown. In the punt return game, he had 130 punt return yards on 15 attempts and had one touchdown.

McCaffery broke Barry Sanders’ all-purpose record. That should equal a Heisman Trophy. He is the closest thing we have to a Reggie Bush today, he even wears #5. If he breaks his all-purpose record this year and does not get the Heisman it will be a crying shame. It will almost be as bad as Ohio State winning the National Championship game over Miami because of a phantom pass inference call.

Courtesy of The Sports Bank

Courtesy of The Sports Bank

#1-Clemson’s Quarterback Deshaun Watson

He is the best player right now in College Football. If he goes into the draft after this year, he will most likely be the number one pick.

Deshaun has only lost to teams that have been featured in the College Football Playoff (2014 FSU and 2015 Alabama). In addition, both of those squad had Heisman winners.

Watson is the ultimate leader. He will torch any defense with his feet or his arm strength. His resume speaks for itself. He threw for 4,104 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions last season.

On the ground, he ran for 1,105 yards and scored 12 times. He was in New York last year and coming into this season he has the best chance to win the Heisman. I think he and his team are favorites to win the National Championship.

Terrance’s Top Ten Returning College QBs #4 Chad Kelly

And at #4 spot on my list is….

AP Photo/ Thomas Graning

AP Photo/ Thomas Graning

#4 University of Ole Miss’s Chad Kelly-  Kelly had his first season of football last year as a Junior. Kelly started his collegiate career at Clemson. Kelly didn’t play much as a freshman because he was behind one of the great Clemson Quarterbacks, Tajh Boyd and he sat out his sophomore year due to transfer rules. He found his future home at Ole Miss. The 6’2″ QB did well in his full first season as a starting Quarterback. He threw for 4024 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, while also rushed for 500 yards and had 10 touchdowns on the ground. Kelly led the Rebels to a 10-3 record including a bowl win against Oklahoma State, which was one of his best game of the season. Kelly came up big in many of the Rebels games this season.

On September 9th, the Rebels went down to Alabama for this SEC West showdown. The Rebels would win the game 43-37. The Ole Miss offense was hitting on all cylinders especially on Kelly’s miracle fling to Quincy Adeboyejo for 66 yards. For the game, Kelly threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns on the Alabama secondary. He also added 21 yards to the run game and one score on the ground. His passer rating was 171.3 and had an adjusted QBR of 95.8. This was Ole Miss’s first win at Bryant-Denny in about 25 years.

On November 7th, the Rebels had another SEC West showdown against Arkansas that had to be decided in overtime. The Rebels did not come out victorious, losing by a score of 53-52, but it was one of Kelly’s best games. He threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns, and also added 110 yards on the ground while finding the endzone three times using his feet. Kelly was hot, he completed over 70% of his passes, had a passer rating of 190.6, and a season high 98.3 QBR. Even though the team did not win, it showed how effective Chad Kelly could be if he is dialed into the game.

His last big game was against another SEC West bitter rival, Mississippi State. It was Senior Night, and their starting Quarterback, Dak Prescott wanted a win badly. Kelly and the Rebels out dueled Prescott and his Bulldogs. Ole Miss beat their rival 38-27. Kelly threw for 236 yards and had two passing touchdowns, while also having 74 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. He had a 70% completion rate, 158.1 passer rating, and also had QBR of 94.2. Out of 13 games Kelly only threw for under 300 yards five times and threw for over 350 four times.

Next year’s Ole Miss team has the potential to be even better. Though, Kelly will be missing his one of his favorite receivers, Laquon Treadwell, and his left tackle Laremy Tunsil, he still should have great success. He should have another 4000 passing yard season and hopefully less interceptions than his junior year. Kelly has the potential to be a Heisman candidate and one of the first Quarterbacks taken in next year’s NFL Draft.

The Game Haus Play Of The Week – 4/4/16

College sports are the epitome of what the future holds for professional sports. College athletes who give it their all by defining new bounds that lead to establish something incredible all while playing for the love of the sport is truly astounding. If these athletes were given the true opportunity to showcase their skills on a professional level, their efforts would not go unnoticed.

Nevertheless, all athletes have some sort of athletic ability. Sometimes that ability can be defaulted due to a moment’s lapse of judgement that gives another athlete a moment to showcase their skills. This week’s play of the week, does just that. For where there is opportunity, there is the ability to grow.
This particular athlete saw that opportunity and ran for it. Literally, ran for it. But first, let’s set up this play. In the top of the 6th inning of the Mississippi State and Ole Mississippi baseball game, the game was tied 1-1 leading to the bottom of the 6th. An RBI single from Reid Humphreys would lead Jake Mangum to score, increasing MSU’s lead. It wasn’t until the bottom of the 7th inning after Ole Miss was unable to increase their lead which produced a throwing error in the bottom of the 7th that resulted in a failed pickoff attempt where Jacob Robson, a senior, was able to reach home base from 1st to give MSU a final score of 3-1. Yes, you read that correctly. A run scored by Jacob Robson from first base to home on a failed pickoff attempt. The speed of Robson is so extraordinary that if you blinked, you could miss it. Just imagine this speed in the majors. Wow.
Just in case you missed it, Robson’s incredible finish to the MSU game can be seen here:

https://amp.twimg.com/v/f50a124a-59ca-4f7f-995e-fc05b73caa23

If you would like to talk more about this amazing dunk, come meet me and others in the forum.To nominate a play of the week, please post your entries on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram Pages. Perhaps your selection will get chosen for next week’s “Play of the Week.”

Congrats to MSU Baseball for choosing this week’s play of the week.

RG III to the Cleveland Browns: What This Means for the Draft

RG III is now signed to the Cleveland Browns. The deal is for 2 years. Now what should that do to the Cleveland Browns’ draft board? I would not take a quarterback in the first round! Cleveland, please don’t pick a quarterback! We all know y’all can’t draft quarterbacks well. So this time please just ride it out with RG III the next two years.

Jeff Zelevanski/ Getty Images

Jeff Zelevanski/ Getty Images

In this draft, the Browns can do so much with the number 2 pick. If I were the Browns, this is the best situation they have been in in years. You have RG III ready to prove the doubters wrong, and you a quarterback whisperer in Hue Jackson. Jackson made Andy Dalton and AJ McCarron look good. With Jackson’s resume, he might be eligible for Hogwarts. Now back to the draft, there are only two real options for the Browns and the number two picks.

'Zeke fever hits the NFL in 2016. Will he do enough to be ROY? (Photo by: The Big Lead)

(Photo by: The Big Lead)

  1. The Browns need offense weapons. They have a Pro Bowl left tackle in Joe Thomas. Thomas is probably the best left tackle in the game. So I think the next best way to protect any quarterback is to draft a running back. Drafting Ezekiel Elliot is the best option. He is the most complete running back in the draft. A good running game for the most part is second best way to protect a quarterback. Ask Tony Romo and he will tell you the same thing. Elliot can run the ball, catch the ball out of the back field and block. If Coach Hue Jackson wants to he can run the zone game with Elliot. Elliot really does remind me of a back like Jeremy Hill. Both backs can do all three things: run, block, and catch the football. Coach Jackson is very familiar with Hill since Jackson coached Hill in Cincy. The Browns could then see if teams want to trade a pick for their current RB, Isaiah Crowell and use that pick to sure up their O-Line since Pro Bowl center Alex Mack left or get a wide receiver.  Then they keep Duke Johnson Jr. on the team and use him as a change of pace RB, like how Jackson used Giovanni Bernard in Cincy. They can then get a QB in the second round like Christian Hackenberg. I like this option the most.
  2. Rogelio V. Solis/ AP

    Rogelio V. Solis/ AP

    Option 2 is to trade the pick. You can always trade the pick with a team that needs a quarterback, like the 49ers, Rams, or even the Broncos. You trade the number 2 pick and swap first round picks and get more picks to try and develop your team and fill the holes of your roster. Or you trade the pick and get a really good player for the pick instead. If I trade the pick and swap first round picks, I will pick either Ole Miss wide receiver Laquon Treadwell or Ezekiel Elliot, if he is still available. The way the Browns’ roster is crafted now, no QB can strive there because there are no weapons.

Cleveland Browns: Don’t pull a Browns’ move and pick a quarterback in the first round, the city of Cleveland and the state of Ohio is counting on you.