1st Round Complete: Some thoughts and Reaction

By Lawrence Edwards

The first round of the NFL draft kicked off last night and it was full of surprises and head scratching moves. 3 QB’s were taken in the fist round and each team who selected them made questionable trades to get them. However, none was as head scratching as the Chicago Bears. Giving away their 3rd round pick(67 overall), 4th round pick(111 overall) and a 3rd round pick in next years draft just to move up one spot and take a QB who they probably could’ve gotten at their 3 spot if they really wanted him that bad. The 49ers pulled a fast one because there’s no way they were going to take Mitchell Trubisky at 2, I just don’t believe it. I’m sure Mike Glennon is just thrilled.

Cleveland is understandably exhausted at being the leagues laughing stock year in and year out. They showed just how frustrated they were by passing on the questionable 1st round QB talent in this years draft to instead take impact players that will fortify their defense with their first two picks. Myles Garrett was the slam dunk pick obviously but selecting Jabrill Peppers was another solid move. Peppers is a more of SS who can play close to the line, the nickel corner, rush the passer or stuff the run, he has the same knock on him that Giants S Landon Collins had on him coming out which sent him falling to the 2nd round, he’s iffy with ball skills and deep coverage, if the Browns were smart they will take a page out of the Giants book and play him close to the line which are his strengths, they do that, they could have a game changer on their hands. I really like the route the Browns took on this one.

Dalvin Cook and Cam Robinson are still on the board. Cam Robinson and Cook both were projected 1st round picks and whoever gets them may be getting steals, however, Lance Zerlein compared Robinson to Ereck Flowers, not a good comparison at the moment, Ereck Flowers has had a rough go his first two years because technique issues. Now Cook is most likely falling because teams may have off the field concerns with him. He did deal with fumbles but I think the combo of that and getting arrested has caused him to slide, nonetheless, any team who drafts him will get a 1st round talent who can run and catch out of the backfield, Bucky Brooks sees him as the most pro-ready RB in the draft. He will have to keep his head on straight and convince a team he can stay out of trouble.

I like the McCaffrey pick in Carolina, personally I thought he was a perfect fit in New England but having Cam Newton who can run the ball if needed certainly helps McCaffrey. He will thrive catching passes from Newton out the backfield. Think about it, Cam looks like he’s about to take off but drops it over the pursuing linebackers head to a waiting McCaffrey in the flat who takes it for a 50 yard gain… Some don’t like McCaffrey, they compare him to Reggie Bush, which isn’t fair to me, these teams now a days love using RB’s like McCaffrey, look at ATL with Freeman and Coleman, don’t sleep on the man, I’m just saying.

Round 2 kicks off tonight and there are still some quality players on the board I’m really interested to see how teams go about Joe Mixon, he has some character concerns for punching a woman after she hit him first in a bar.  What made it worse was that a video came out much later which caused him to publicly apologize for the incident. If Mixon truly is sorry and those mistakes he made don’t define him, then some team will get a steal of a player, not everyday you see a talent compared to LeVeon Bell not get a chance.

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2017 NFL Draft Preview:

The Cleveland Browns own the number one pick in this years draft and while I genuinely believe quarterback is the biggest need for this team as it stands today, at the same time, I also believe Garrett is the best prospect in this class – and it’s not really close. It’s hard to argue against him given all we know about him, even considering the obvious hole at quarterback. Who know maybe they can trade back up in the top ten and end up with both.

The Redskins are coming off an 8-7-1 season and are in the middle of an offseason that’s included a lot of change. Therefore, the team needs to ace their 2017 NFL Draft and bring in a rookie class with a lot of talent.

How will they do that, though? Starting with pick No. 17, will the Redskins draft a player based on need or based on their board? And which prospects would be the best fits for Washington?

The Titans have a ton of draft capital at their exposure. They just hold eight selections, but two of those are 1st round selections. The growing sentiment seems to be that Titans GM Jon Robinson is going to trade back in some sort of fashion, but the how and who in that scenario remains murky.

The Tampabay Buccuneers will have the nineteenth pick, though there have been rumors of a trade down. Regardless of whether or not the Buccaneers stay put in the first round, move back, or even trade out of it, they’ll add a whole lot of talent this week.

Six years in charge of the Denver Broncos, he’s shown a tremendous ability to make moves through free agency. But, the NFL Draft has been so-so.

After six years, he has only made a few solid picks on the offensive side of the ball — tight ends Julius Thomas and Virgil Green; offensive linemen Orlando Franklin, Michael Schofield, Max Garcia, and Matt Paradis; running backs Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball; wide receiver Cody Latimer; and quarterback Brock Osweiler. Not exactly a star-studded group.

When it comes to the first two days of the draft, the Bengals have nothing special in terms of extra ammunition, holding only their natural picks through the first three rounds, but those are top ten picks at that spot, which is very notable but they also have some very notable needs and it’s not even obvious that they’re going to address them. after losing their two best offensive linemen they are turning their tackle positions over to their young high prospects who have yet to pan out, and they have brought back their former right tackle to start at right guard.

These are just a few teams to keep a eye on in this years draft I couldn’t go over every team but I sure am excited the draft is hear it’s almost like Christmas time for the sports fans.

Billy Clemmons

 

Former Saint Signs with The Green Bay Packers a day of the NFL Draft

Played for the Saints 2006 Through 2015. Then Signed with the Seahawks in 2016. But shortly he was cut from the Seahawks. September Saints resign him to play guard. He lost a Step.  He isn’t The six time Pro Bowler he used to be. He is a Solid pick up for the packers. Since They lost TJ Lang in Free Agency. Jahri Evans isn’t the long term answer for the position. I wouldn’t be Surprised that he would be cut. They need to draft a guard here regardless.

Since they lost Lang they been looking. If they think he is going to help avoid to draft one. They thinking wrong By not drafting one. He is 33 years old now 11 years in. Yes he is a veteran. I know people are afraid By starting a rookie or a young guy. A older guy risks more injuries than a younger guy. He be to bring along the young guy. Other than that they need to draft a younger player to start there.

By

Timothy Kevin Crouch Jr

Playoffs and Iso Joe: The Clippers will never get a SF. Ever.

2015-nba-playoffs-ticketmasterBy Will Stevenson

When the NBA Playoffs begin, I get excited. Not back-flip type excitement, more like Kriss Kross jump over your own leg excitement: Excited, but cool when you see me. Before the playoffs start, we talk about how bad the Eastern Conference is, how deep the West is, and how many bad matchups we have at our disposal. We go through our list of viable upset options and try our best to put our faith in teams we know won’t have a chance to beat the Cavaliers and Lebron. We wondered if John Wall and the Wizards would take the center stage in the Eastern Conference Finals. We looked at the matchup between the Rockets/Thunder and hoped it would be an epic seven game series. We thought the Celtics may actually get swept. We can’t talk ourselves into giving Rajon Rondo any credit. The Clippers have front-row seats to the Joe Johnson experience. I love the playoffs.

The NBA Playoffs are just different. Gone are the 11/12 man rotations and getting all the players on the court to get some experience. Gone are the offensive sets and getting the ball into the hands of those who think they want it. Gone are the regular season notions that free flowing-three point shooting is the answer (not for all teams). The playoffs are when veterans step in and take their best shot at greatness, or another contract. Rajon Rondo, Joe Johnson, Joe Ingles and Boris Diaw have proven once again they are playoff performers. Being a man who is over 30, I can appreciate the aged veterans as they display their talents in a young man’s sport. These individuals (3 on the Jazz) have proven they have what it takes to continue their brand of basketball. The playoffs are tight, never-racking, possession-clinching, and not everyone is ready for it. This isn’t a three game in 4 nights in January. That 0-7 performance with 4 turnovers will keep you on the bench for the rest of the series. We’ve already seen an offensive talent like Enes Kanter get reduced to nothing because he is a terrible defender of the post. His offense could not rule out his bad defensive play.

Isolation Basketball 101:

Watching the Jazz play is like watching the ’94 Knicks. They play defense, run sets, have some young wings, play through the post, and love isolation switches in the fourth quarter. As a former Atlanta Hawks supporter, I was there when Joe Johnson landed with the Hawks. I remember his isolations on the wing. I remember it during the regular season, the end of games, and during the playoffs. Isolation basketball doesn’t work well when you are playing a defense that matches up well. For the Jazz and Joe Johnson, they play it perfectly. Playoff basketball is all about matchups: How can we get our best player the ball, and how can we put the defense in a bind. The Jazz have been able to get the Clippers to switch on pick and rolls throughout the series. Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, JJ Reddick and Ray Felton have all been victims to Joe Johnsons isolations. The Jazz have also allow Joe Ingles to guard Chris Paul this series, although it has been a Chris Paul scoring series with Blake Griffin out with a toe injury. The Jazz have been confident down the stretch of games, and even Rodney Hood has hit some big shots in the fourth quarter. All they need now is for Gordon Hayward to join the party. Joe Johnson’s playoff performance is eerily close to Paul Pierce when he was with the Washington Wizards: A young team with no playoff experience that need a veteran to take the big shots. For the Jazz, it’s working, and the Clippers don’t have anyone defensively to stop it

How Adrian Peterson Will affect Saints draft plans.

Many Saints Fans Thought the Saints would draft Joe Mixon. Then Many thought about Christan McCaffrey going to the Saints. Well that was until the Saints picked up Adrian Peterson. It wipe that clear for another year or so for a running back. So that opens saints to Just Defense End Linebacker Cornerback for the Draft. Saints will go Defense End or Cornerback at 11th and  if they Go Cornerback with the 11th pick They go with TJ Watt at Denfense End instead of Linebacker at 32nd. If they go Defense End at 11th Then They Go Cornerback White LSU. But reguardless the saints needed to go defense all along. They were ranked 27th in defense. Injuries and have missing pieces this past season this draft with the money and picks fill them with this Draft at the end of the day.

By

Timothy Kevin Crouch Jr

NHL Round 2 Preview: Western Conference Preview

thBy Kim Dunning

The Western Conference Semi-Finals begin on Wednesday Night. Four teams that vaulted their way into the series all in different ways.

Two teams swept their first round opponents. The other two pulled what some experts believe to be major upsets.

So without further ado, here is the Western Conference Round 2 Preview.

Western Conference

9778013-nhl-nashville-predators-at-st.-louis-bluesBlues vs Predators

The St. Louis Blues defeated the Minnesota Wild to seal their second round bid. Goal tender Jake Allan was on fire during the series.

The Nashville Predators pulled off the sweep of the favorite Chicago Blackhawks. They Predators held Chicago to three goals in four games.

Goaltending is definitely going to be the way of this series. Both Allan and Predators goalie, Pekka Rinne was lights out against the Hawks. The Hawks have a high powered offense.

This series will be low scoring and full of defensive battles. Actually, it will be a typical Western Conference playoff game. Expect lots of hitting, little scoring and goaltending to boot.

Should both these goaltenders play the way they did in Round 1, this will be a defensive battle. The nod should go to the Preds as they did knock off the favorite.

r202452_1296x729_16-9Ducks vs Oilers

The Aniheim Ducks swept the Calgary Flames to advance to the second round. The Oilers defeated the defending Western Conference Champion, San Jose Sharks, to advance.

Edmonton has a young but good team. They also have this kid named Conor McDavid who is something special. If you don’t watch this series for anything else watch it for him and admire the youth movement in the NHL.

The Ducks have experience and have been resting for longer than the Oilers. Sometimes rest can be bad for a team, but for the Ducks it gives their star player Cam Fowler time to heal.

If Edmonton can come out and play the Ducks like they did the Sharks, this could be a 7-game series. Otherwise, look for the Ducks to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Playoff hockey is the best time of year. If you aren’t watching you should be! Anything can happen, as we saw in the first round. Enjoy the second round and good luck to your club.

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NHL Round 2 Preview: Eastern Conference Preview

thBy Kim Dunning

The NHL playoffs started on April 12, 2017 this year. It has been a wild ride. Round 1 was unforgettable this season. To the surprise of many hockey fans, some clubs did not move on as expected.

We started roughly about two weeks ago with 16-teams. We are down to eight left, all vying for the coveted title of Stanley Cup Champions.

The Chicago Blackhawks were the team to beat. After getting swept out of the first round, there is no clear cut favorites now, except Pittsburgh.

So without further ado, here is the Eastern Conference Round 2 Preview.

Eastern Conference
th (1)Rangers vs Senators

For only the second time in playoff history, The New York Rangers will play the Ottawa Senators. The last time these two teams played each other, New York won the series four games to three. Both teams defeated their opponents in the first round four games to two.

When you think of Ottawa you think of Erick Karlsson and his stellar defensive play. Karlsson played the first round with fractures in his foot. He still managed to get a lot of ice time and performed very well.

When you think of the Rangers, you think of their four line rotation. New York has added to their speed game during the off-season. They roll four lines well and do not have a true first line.

Goaltending for both clubs evenly matched. Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers has found his niche and played excellent in the first round. Craig Anderson also played well in the first round and has become an emotional leader to the club.

This series will come down to how well the Senators defense matches up to the Rangers four lines. The nod should go to the Rangers because they are playing well on the road. The Rangers are looking like the defending Champs last season.

9830438-nhl-washington-capitals-at-pittsburgh-penguins-850x560Penguins vs Capitals

This exciting series is a rematch from last season. The Penguins defeated the Capitals in six games to go on to win the Cup. This could be the most exciting series of round two, at least in the Eastern Conference.

For the tenth time, these two will meet in the playoffs. These two clubs are arguably the best two in the NHL.

In the first round, the Penguins advanced with a 4-1 series win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Capitals had a bit of trouble with a young Maple Leafs team and won their series 4-2.

Washington has a history of second round bounces, but they have a different feel to them. The Penguins have a history of beating the Capitals in the playoffs, having won 8 out of 9 meetings.

The Capitals are a dominate club building their team around beating the Penguins. The question is: Can Washington get over the mental block that seems to hit them when they play the Pens?

This series should go to seven games. This will be a hard fault battle between two good quality hockey clubs. The edge would go to Pittsburgh because this club has been there before. Washington seems to have a curse when it comes to the second round in the playoffs. Not to mention, they struggled with the speed and youth of the Leafs and Pittsburgh has the same type of club.

Should be an interesting match-up and the winner of this series will be the favorite for the Cup finals.

The Eastern Conference is shaping up to be a fun, interesting and exciting series. For those who have a horse in the race still, hang on to your seats and good luck to your club!

 

Stay tuned for the Western Conference preview.