Tuesday, July 26, 2016

2013 NFL First Round Mock Draft

The NFL is just getting started with playoffs, and the teams that are done playing are hoping for the best from the high draft pick they are receiving. The playoff teams, on the other hand, and hoping to still find value with their late picks. This year’s draft is not as full of stars as previous drafts have been, and it is definitely not the year of the quarterback; however, there still are many talented players hoping to hear their names called on April 25th. Here are my picks for the players who will hear their names called in the first round of the NFL draft in 2013.

1. Kansas City Chiefs- Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M.

The Chiefs desperately need offensive line help. They most likely need a quarterback too, but a good quarterback is nothing without a good offensive line. Joeckel, at 6’6 and 310 pounds, is the perfect tackle to shore up a poor offensive line in Kansas City. Protecting Johnny Manziel’s blindside, Joeckel was a main reason Manziel was able to come away with the Heisman Trophy.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars- Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah.

Lotulelei is a beast in the middle of the defensive line at Utah. He was the focus of every offensive game plan when teams faced off against the Utes, and he still managed 41 tackles, and 5 sacks. Jacksonville needs a lot of defensive help, and that starts with the defensive line. With Lotulelei’s 6’4, 320 pound body plugging up the middle, teams will suddenly have a much tougher time moving the ball against the Jaguars.

3.Oakland Raiders- Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker, Georgia.

Oakland has a very below average defense. They are nothing special defending the run, and they are even worse at pass defense. One way to help solve this issue is to draft a linebacker that is solid in run support, and a beast pass rusher. Jones registered 14.5 sacks on the year, a new Georgia record, and finished with 86 tackles, and a pick. He did all of this while missing two games. Jones is the type of exciting player that can shore up a lethargic Oakland defense.

4. Philadelphia Eagles- Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State.

Philly just needs some help, and Werner may be the answer to some of their problems. Werner could help with the pass rush, as he accounted for 13 sacks on the year. He also had 42 tackles, and 7 passes defended. He’s a well rounded athlete that can make an immediate impact on a poor Eagles defense.

5. Detroit Lions- Manti Te’o, Middle Linebacker, Notre Dame.

Detroit already has many weapons on offense, so defense is naturally the way for them to go with this pick. They need some corner help, but there is just no way to pass up Te’o with this pick. He is an inspirational leader, and, in my opinion, should have won the Heisman. He has 101 tackles before the National Championship, along with 7 interceptions. He is great against the run, and in coverage, and will make the Lions’ defense better instantly.

6. Cleveland Browns- Dee Milliner , Cornerback, Alabama.

When you think about poor pass defense, Cleveland comes to mind. They were near the very bottom of the league this season in that category. One way to help change that is to draft a dynamic cornerback. Milliner fits into that category perfectly. While he only had two interceptions on the year, he broke up 16 passes, and 51 tackles. He’s a smart player that knows how to get to the football, and make plays.

7. Arizona Cardinals- Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia.

Arizona goes through quarterbacks like nobody ever should have to. They need to find a solution, and one may just fall to them in the draft. Geno Smith was the talk of the nation for the beginning of the season, as he did not throw an interception until the seventh game of the year. However West Virginia’s offense was soon figured out by opposing teams, and Smith went from being talked about as the number one pick, to just being in the Heisman chase, to no consideration at all. He still finished with 42 touchdowns, and just 6 interceptions, and could solve Arizona’s quarterback problem.

8. Buffalo Bills- Jonathan Hankins, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State.

The Bills are just awful at stopping the run. They were by far one of the worst teams at it in the NFL this season. One way to get past that is to have a huge Jonathan Hankins in the middle of your defensive line stuffing inside runs. That is what Hankins is good for, as he is a polished player who is very capable of neutralizing opponent’s run game.

9. New York Jets- Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC.

Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are definitely not working out well for the Jets. They ended up toward the very bottom of league in terms of passing offense, and could never get much going. Matt Barkley has the potential to change that. He is incredibly poised, and experienced from his years at USC. While his junior year was better than his senior year by far, he still had a very good year, and is a safe choice for the Jets to make. I still believe the Jets should attempt to acquire Alex Smith from the 49ers, but if that doesn’t happen, the Jets need to take their chances with Barkley.

10. Tennessee Titans- Damontre Moore , Defensive End, Texas A&M.

Tennessee was pretty bad in all categories this year. Jake Locker still needs to develop to lead the offense, and the defense was just flat out bad in 2012. One way to fix the defensive problem is the dynamic Moore. Moore registered double digit sacks on the year, and is a well rounded defensive player. He will instantly make an impact for the Titans.

11. San Diego Chargers- Tyler Wilson, Quarterback, Arkansas.

Phillip Rivers’ days in San Diego have to be numbered. His poor footwork, and play in general have led to his falling out of grace with fans. One player who could come in to replace him eventually is Tyler Wilson. He was considered a candidate for the number one pick before the year began, but he did not have the pieces around him to be successful. That’s why he has slipped to pick 11, and why he will be one of the biggest steals of the draft.

12. Miami Dolphins- Keenan Allen, Wide Receiver, Cal.

Ryan Tannehill has proven his ability to play quarterback in the NFL at a high level. The next step for the Dolphins is to surround him with talent to improve their team. Allen could be an answer for them, as he is a 6’3 beast of a receiver who had 737 yards and six touchdown catches before missing his last three games of the year.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Jonathan Banks, Cornerback, Mississippi State.

Tampa Bay was literally the worst team in pass defense in 2012. Jonathan Banks has the ability to help turn that around. Banks finished the year with four interceptions, and seven passes defended. When Banks was doing well, the team was doing well. He would be able to make an immediate impact in Tampa.

14. Carolina Panthers- Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle, Missouri.

Carolina really was not awful in any category this year. They were simply average, and they are in a position to draft the best available player here. This would be Richardson, the beast from Missouri is a stat stuffing tackle that could easily start right away and make the Carolina defensive line that much better.

15. New Orleans Saints- Barkevious Mingo , Defensive End, LSU.

New Orleans has one of the best offenses in the NFL, but they missed the playoffs because their defense just cannot keep up. Mingo will be able to come in, and make significant contributions immediately to one of the worst defenses in the entire league. He only registered 4.5 sacks on the year, but he is an incredible, raw athlete capable of becoming a star.

16. St. Louis Rams- Taylor Lewan, Offensive Tackle, Michigan.

For the Rams to make the playoffs Sam Bradford needs to be better protected. Taylor Lewan could be an answer for the offensive line. Anytime you have a 6’8, 309 pound mammoth protecting you as a quarterback you have the ability to be on the ground much less often.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers- Chance Warmack, Offensive Guard, Alabama.

Pittsburgh went with a guard in the first round last year as well, and it still did not solve their offensive line problem. Pittsburgh needs to get back to running the ball well to becoming playoff contenders again, and Warmack could form a great guard tandem with DeCastro for the future of the Steelers.

18. Dallas Cowboys- Mike Glennon, Quarterback, North Carolina State.

Tony Romo’s tenure in Dallas should be coming to an end soon. He has a plethora of amazing offensive weapons, yet cannot find a way to win. Mike Glennon has never been surrounded by a ton of weapons in North Carolina State, yet has found a way to win anyway. He has a very strong arm, and if he finds himself with the weapons Dallas has he can be very successful.

19. New York Giants- Dion Jordan, Defensive End, Oregon.

The Giants’ defensive ends are not the same as they once were. Osi Umenyiora is spiraling downward in terms of performance from his glory years, as is Justin Tuck. Jason Pierre-Paul had an off year as well, but will definitely pick things up again. A future tandem of JPP and Jordan could wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks for years.

20. Chicago Bears- Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan.

The Bears need offensive line help badly. The poor play of the offensive line led to poor offensive production, which led to blowing a 7-1 start, which led to missing the playoffs at 10-6, which led to Lovie Smith being fired. Eric Fisher could come in and protect Jay Cutler’s blind side immediately, and hopefully help lead a productive offense in Chicago.

21. St. Louis Rams (From Washington)- Eric Reid, Safety, LSU.

St. Louis went with offensive help with their first pick, and with this pick they can shore up their secondary. The pick of Janoris Jenkins last year proved to be immensely successful, and Reid can be a dynamic playmaker as well. With 91 tackles on the year, seven passes defended, and two interceptions, Reid is a well rounded safety that can turn into a really good safety at the next level.

22. Minnesota Vikings- Xavier Rhodes, Cornerback, Florida State.

The Vikings made the playoffs on the back of Adrian Peterson, and the collapse of the Chicago Bears. If they want to stay competitive, the defense needs to get better. This is mainly directed at their secondary, and the dynamic Rhodes would be able to help out with that. With three interceptions and seven passes defended on the year, Rhodes is a very good coverage corner that could help keep the Vikings in the playoff chase.

23. Cincinnati Bengals- Alex Okafor, Defensive End, Texas.

The Bengals already have a very good defensive line, one of the best in the NFL. However, Okafor is too dynamic to pass up with this pick. With 12.5 sacks, and 52 tackles on the year, Okafor is strong, fast, and would make a good line even better.

24. Indianapolis Colts- Jesse Williams, Defensive Tackle, Alabama.

Williams could play well in the Colts’ 3-4 defense. He is 6’4, and 320 pounds, and as strong as any player in the NFL today. With his size, toughness, and strength, Williams is capable of stuffing the middle for the Colts, and could even play some defensive end for a below average Colts defense.

25. Baltimore Ravens- Terrance Williams, Wide Receiver, Baylor.

Terrance Williams led the NCAA in receiving yards for the season, and proved his ability to be a very good wide receiver. He’s a big body at 6’2, and has some pretty good speed, and route running ability. With Anquan Boldin coming toward the end of his career, a Torrey Smith and Terrance Williams duo for years could make Joe Flacco a very happy quarterback.

26. Seattle Seahawks- Tyler Eifert, Tight End, Notre Dame.

The Seahawks need some more weapons for Russell Wilson, and Eifert would be perfect. At 6’6 with soft hands, Eifert is a tight end with the ability to catch any ball thrown his way, and one who can block effectively as well. Eifert would be a good fit for a Seahawks team that just keeps getting better.

27. San Francisco 49ers- Jonathan Cooper, Offensive Guard, UNC.

San Francisco is one of the NFL’s best teams, and one of the most well-rounded teams as well. One area they could shore up a little bit is the offensive line, particularly the guards, and center position. Cooper has been one of the NCAA’s best offensive linemen all year, and could be some good insurance for San Francisco.

28. Green Bay Packers- Barrett Jones, Center, Alabama.

Barrett Jones is a winner, an All-American, and most importantly for Green Bay, he is a fantastic run blocker. Green Bay needs to get better at running the football if they want to stay competitive in a tight NFC North. With Jones there to clear paths for whichever running back Green Bay has next year, the Packers can become a little more two dimensional.

29. New England Patriots- Robert Woods, Wide Receiver, USC.

Robert Woods has the potential to be a star in the NFL. He was underutilized this year by USC with the amazing play of Marqise Lee, but he is a well rounded athlete, and has some of the best hands in college football. Outside of Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker the Patriots did not have a lot of wide receiver production this year, and Woods could help pick things up.

30. Denver Broncos- Giovani Bernard, Running Back, UNC.

The Broncos are good at everything, but could use some help at the running back position. Willis McGahee got hurt this year, and is on the tail-end of his career. Bernard is a tough back, and has some speed to go along with his toughness. He has played for two seasons, and rushed for over 1200 yards, and scored double digit touchdowns in both years. He could be a nice complement back to McGahee to start, and eventually turn into a very good starter.

31. Houston Texans- Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, West Virginia.

The Texans need wide receiver help pretty badly, as their passing game lives and dies with Owen Wilson and Andre Johnson. Austin is one of the fastest players in the entire NCAA, and he can flat out catch. He is on the small side at 5’9, but he finds a way to get open, and he rushed for almost 650 yards on the year to go along with his near 1300 yards receiving. All in all he had 17 touchdowns on the season, and would be a versatile treat for the Texans.

32. Atlanta Falcons- Sam Montgomery, Defensive End, LSU.

Atlanta did not rank highly in any category this year besides pass offense, yet they found a way to win. They need some defensive help, and Sam Montgomery will be the best available prospect for them to take here. He registered eight sacks this year, and 37 tackles for a great LSU defense. He could contribute immediately bolstering the Falcons’ pass and rush defense.

That concludes my first version of my first round mock draft for 2012. Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Please do leave a comment, and let me know what you think!

Tags:2013 NFL First Round Mock Draft

2014 FIFA World Cup Predictions and Picks

It’s time for my 2014 FIFA World Cup predictions and picks. The 2014 FIFA World Cup takes place in Brazil. It, as usual, features some of the greatest soccer players and teams in the world.

Group A includes Brazil, Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon. Heavyweight Brazil will most likely roll to the group win. Mexico, which has had some question marks, will probably come in second and advance. The unfortunate thing for Mexico is they’ll be in the same group as the host of the tourney-which could spell trouble. It seems unlikely for any upsets in this group play.

Group B will feature Spain, Chile, Netherlands and Australia. My picks for this group will include Spain winning the higher seed while the Netherlands also moves on. Chile could certainly be worthy of 2nd place and could potentially shock the world provided they or the Netherlands upsets Spain. While it doesn’t seem likely, the World Cup has featured remarkable upsets in past years.

Group C consists of Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan. My 2014 FIFA predictions for this group puts Colombia at the top while Japan also advances. Greece and Ivory Coast will struggle to put up goals.

In Group D, Italy is perhaps the favorite. England, Costa Rica and Uruguay round out the group.
I think Italy advances as the group winner. England could certainly play a very motivated round and steal a spot from Uruguay. Costa Rica also has the potential to shut down opponents with fierce defense. Ultimately, Italy wins the group and I’ll go slight upset with England also moving on.

Group E has France, Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras. France and Switzerland should finish 1-2 in this group that might be one of the easier to project. Ecuador and Honduras both will find it horribly difficult to defend the other two group members.

In Group F, Argentina is a heavy favorite followed by Bosnia-Herzegovinia, Nigeria and Iran.
My predictions and picks for this group? Argentina will undoubtedly move on barring major injury to several players. I’ll take Nigeria in a very close battle to also advance in 2nd place.

Group G consists of the United States, Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Germany will be the favorite football club by many analysts. Perhaps the USA mens soccer team would be a third pick by most world soccer viewers. I still believe that Team USA and Germany will move on. Germany sweeps group play for first place while the Americans take second.

Group H will pit Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea against one another. I fully anticipate Belgium to win the group. The next spot could be up for grabs. My strong inclination is to lean toward South Korea for the remaining spot.

Those are my 2014 FIFA World Cup predictions and picks for group play.
My predictions for who will take the top prize? My gut feeling is host Brazil wins on penalty kicks in one of the most thrilling finales in soccer history-the final, 2-1. Their opponent? Germany or Spain.

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2014 Summer Events in San Diego

If you live in San Diego or are planning a visit, there are some upcoming events that you might like to consider attending. This is an exciting city where the possibilities are endless and sometime overwhelming but you won’t want to miss out on following events.


Festival of the Bells – Located at 10818 San Diego Mission Road, San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 281-8449 When: July 18-20, 2014 Price: Free

This event takes place during one weekend each year and celebrates the anniversary of Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcal’a. There are 21 Missions in California and this is the Mother of all Missions. During the middle of July people gather during this weekend to celebrate the beginning of Christianity in the western United States. The celebration includes entertainment, dancing, food and may traditional activities which include the Blessing of the Bells and the Blessing of the Animals. There is an original bell rung that dates back to the year 1802. This is a family event and a great learning opportunity for everyone.

Celebrate Fathers Beer and Food Walking Tour – 330 A Street, Suite 143, San Diego, CA 92101

Why not celebrate this Father’s Day one to remember? What better way than to spend the day in Beautiful San Diego among other fathers enjoying a three hour guided tour enjoying award-winning beer, wine and VIP pairings. There will be Porters and Pilsners, IPAs and Ambers, Stouts and Seasonals, all available to thirsty beer-lovers like yourself and those you are with. Other things that are there for your enjoyment are guided tours of scenic La Jolla By-the-Sea, special Father’s Day games including prizes and gifts. There will also be food where you can enjoy burgers, pizza and other available items and tour stops, three of them to be enjoyed. Plan early and make your reservations so you don’t miss out on this exciting event.

San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – Located at 100 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 795-5000 When: June 20-22, 2014 Price: Check their website for seating pricing

For Baseball lovers, this is a great way to enjoy some summer fun in the sun watch great baseball players battle it out for the win. Great atmosphere, food and drink while watching the all American pastime. There is nothing I love better than the smell of hot dogs in the air, a cold beer in my hand and the crack of a bat while onlookers are hollering “hey, batter batter”. The singing of our National Anthem and enjoying the 7th inning stretch are all part of the great sport to be enjoyed this summer.

Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang – Located at Belly Up 143 S. Cedros, Solana Beach, CA 92075 (858) 481-8140 When: June 12, 2014 Time: 8:00 PM to 11:45 PM, doors open at 7pm Price: In Advance $38 Day of Show $40 Reserved Seating $66

Before you enjoy the amazing music of Les Claypool you will have the pleasure of enjoying the opening act, Reformed Whores. Best known for his work with Primus, the alternative rock band, Claypool has many other attributes. Born September 29, 1963 in Richmond, California, Les has the following talents:

  • Singer
  • Lyricist
  • Bassist
  • Multi-instrumentalist
  • Composer

This is one of my favorite artists and there is just no end to his amazing talent and to experience it in person would be something to remember for the rest of your life. Don’t miss out on this upcoming event.

There is so much more happening in San Diego County and you can find more information at San Dieg.org

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2014 Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers - Relief Pitcher (RP)

2014 Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers Relief Pitcher (RP) are based on a single season outlook for the 2014 fantasy baseball season. Deep Sleepers Relief Pitcher (RP) are established for a standard fantasy baseball scoring system in mixed AL/NL leagues. They’re based on players who are flying under the radar to begin the 2014 season. Deep Sleepers Relief Pitcher (RP) are players to consider drafting late in your fantasy baseball draft, or simply keep an eye on to begin the 2014 season and consider picking up from the waiver wire if needed.

C1B2B3BSSOFSPRPTop 10

Cody Allen – Cle

A key piece in the Cleveland bullpen in 2013, Allen has tallied an excellent 2.81 ERA and 115 strikeouts over 99 innings pitched during his first two major league seasons. Seen as a potential closer in the future, the 25 year old Allen will have to beat out the newly acquired John Axford, if he wants to tally saves in 2014. However, the potential and proven ability is there for Allen, which makes him an exciting deep sleeper in relief pitcher for fantasy baseball teams heading into the 2014 season.

Sergio Santos – Tor

Coming to the Blue Jays in 2012 and seen as their answer at closer, injuries derailed Santos’ spot at the back end of the Jays bullpen, while Casey Janssen has taken over the job and run with it. Yet even without the closers job in hand, Santos was extremely successful during his outings in 2013, as he tallied an outstanding 1.75 ERA, 0.58 WHIP, and 28 strikeouts to only 4 walks, over 25 innings pitched. If he can maintain those type of stats, while being second in line for the closers spot should Janssen falter or get injured, Santos offers plenty of upside for fantasy baseball teams in 2014.

Pedro Strop – ChC

After a breakout season in 2012 with the Baltimore Orioles, Strop struggled mightily to regain his form in 2013. With the Orioles becoming tired of waiting, he was traded mid-season to the Chicago Cubs. With a new home and now facing NL lineups rather than AL lineups, Strop quickly showcased his talent in posting a 2.83 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 42 strikeouts over 35 innings pitched with the Cubs. Competing with Jose Veras for the closers job to begin the 2014 season, Strop is a low buy in fantasy baseball drafts, while offering a nice upside.

Hawk Michaels has been drafting a fantasy baseball team since the 2001 season. In an ever transient world, fantasy sports has maintained its stronghold in the lives of millions of sports fans. Here’s to winning fantasy championships in 2014! Hawk Fantasy Sports Blog


Sources: MLB Player Statistics – www.rotowire.com

Tags:2014 Fantasy Baseball Deep Sleepers - Relief Pitcher (RP)

2014 New York Giants NFL Draft Report Card and Player Analysis

The New York Giants had a disappointing 2013 season finishing at 7-9. But the games were a lot uglier than the record indicates. Eli Manning at times looked like a rookie QB getting intercepted multiple times a game.. The Giants forgot how to run the ball. GM Jerry Reese put up a countdown clock to the Super Bowl at Met Life stadium, but it was more of a countdown to their doom. Will the signing of Oakland’s RB Rashad Jennings and back from the injured list, New York Giant David Wilson reestablish the New York Giants much beloved Ground and Pound football. Will The New York Giants be able to make up for the loss of two years worth of players. The Giants let a lot of players walk in the off season and signed almost a whole new football team. They will need a good draft to fill in the needs on the field which are primarily, DT, WR and CB. I think the team is too new to have any chemistry and it will show on the field. I sadly predict that the New York Giants will have a disastrous 5 win season, finishing 5-11. Coach Tom Coughlin will retire and GM Jerry Reese will be fired.

2014 NFL DRAFT PICK RECAP AND ANALYSIS

Odell Beckham WR, Louisiana State Round 1 Pick # 12

The Giants picked #12 and I think they blew the draft pick. They overpaid and could have picked a better player. Two players that would instantly have helped the Giants were Offensive Lineman Zack Martin or DT Aaron Donald who I had projected the draft pick to be in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft.

Weston Richburg C, Colorado State Round 2 Pick # 11

Should a starter from game 1 when he easily takes the starting Center job from J.D. Walton. Richburg adds versatility as he played all over the line in college and knows many different offensive schemes which should make him an instant favorite of new Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. He is smaller than normal lineman but that seems to be The Giants direction, smaller but more athletic which means a lot of pulling guards and tackles and lots of flat passing and screens. Look for them to continue the trend of speed players to round out the offense.

Jay Bromley DT, Syracuse Round 3 Pick # 10

This is the answer to losing Linval Joseph and they overpaid. I had this guy as a late 5th, early 6th round pick so I have zero clue what the Giants were thinking here. They must have fallen in love with his 10 sacks one year. Clearly this guy is not a third round pick. That being said, he Giants keep the theme and draft this pretty quick run stop specialist who can also swim move his way to a sack. I just don’t know if he has the skill, technique and strength to beat a guy who is 35 to 50 pounds heavier and stronger. This isn’t college, it’s the NFL and every player is an All-American.

Andre Williams RB, Boston College Round 4 Pick # 13

We lose an Andre Brown at RB and draft an Andre Williams. Too funny cause I was a big Andre Brown fan and totally disappointed the Giants dumped him. At 5″11 230 He will play more like a fullback. Weak skill catching the ball but is a power runner so I suspect if he shows any promise Peyton Hillis might be going back to his farm in Tennessee before the season starts.

Nat Berhe SS, San Diego State Round 5 Pick # 12

Last year with the same pic, #152, the Giants drafted Safety Cooper Taylor in the 2013 Draft. Just thought that was ironic when I saw it. Had a big day at pro day at San Diego State and posted 4.5 time in the 40, 9’10 in the broad jump,35″ vertical, and 17 reps. Team Captain in college and secondary play caller on the field. Leadership qualities with a nose for the ball. Needs to be taught patience and not to fall for fakes by receivers. With some coaching, this project player definitely can crack the lineup in the future. Should make an immediate impact on cover special teams.

Devon Kennard OLB, USC Round 5 Pick # 34

Father played in the NFL as a lineman for 11 years so he knows the brotherhood of players and was around the game his whole life. I really like this pick. Been groomed to play the game since birth. Has a muscular body, great leadership, and raw skills that make him a pretty good bet that he may hard work himself into the lineup. If he gets quicker could be a great Strong Safety. Good Pick.

Bennett Jackson CB, Notre Dame Round 6 Pick # 11

recruited and played wide receiver for Notre Dame but was switched to defense. That makes this an interesting draft pick. Giants could use him in a lot of roles. He certainly will make the roster for his special teams skill as shown in college to be above average. 6/0″ 200 with 4.5 speed, an amazing 10’8″ broad jump and a 4 second 20 yard shuttle. This guy is quick and has loads of athleticism. I LOVE this guy. Can easily see the Giants turning him back to a wide receiver. That’s what I would.

Overall Team Draft Day Analysis

Weird draft day for the Giants. Really thought they needed more focus on a real stud at Defensive Tackle. Shocked they pulled the trigger on Beckham, don’t get me wrong, I had him penciled in for the New York Jets at #18 and I like him a lot. But a #12 pick is something that doesn’t happen every year and drafting a guy that on most boards was at least a 1/3 of the way further down the first day board is overpaying by definition. I liked the Giants picks, but rarely said “AHA” when they drafted like, wow, great pick. So it was a mediocre day and I am a bit disappointed.

Draft Grade: C+

Too quick on the trigger for Beckham. Should have either traded up in the first and got WR Sammy Watkins or TE Eric Ebron or traded down for WR Brandin Cooks. Both ways would have worked if they were looking for more targets for Eli Manning. They could have also traded up in the second round and landed WR kelvin Benjamin or Dominique Easley.

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2014 Must-See Events at the National Western Stock Show

The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo was born in the great cattle stockyards of Denver in the late 1800’s. Cattlemen and livestock merchants came together to show off the best of their herds, in the hopes of attracting new buyers and higher prices. While they made numerous attempts over the years, the first official NWSS didn’t come to fruition until 1906. This event ran for 6 days, with stockmen and cattle enthusiasts coming from as far away as Chicago to see some of the best cattle in the country. The grand champion steer sold for 33 cents per pound, 23 cents above the current market price. The show was such a success, organizers constructed special seating and touted the show a “must-see” event, adding entertainment, food vendors, and merchants to appeal to the masses.

The Fun Continues

The 25th anniversary of the National Western Stock Show, held in 1931, promised to be a big event. Organizers constructed the Lamont Pavilion, a massive cattle barn, as a place to house the prized cattle that were the foundation of the show. They also introduced the first rodeo in 1931, an event that is still one of the NWSS’s biggest draws. 1944 marked the first Quarter Horse show and sale, which continues to be a popular attraction. More events and animal attraction were added with each passing stock show, and attendance grew across the board. Organizers opened the Hall of Education in 1973 in order to teach the public about life on the farm and in the fields of cattle and horses. The National Sheep Shearing competition was moved to Denver in 1975, and has been hosting their annual competition at the NWSS ever since. One of the biggest controversies during the NWSS is the lack of space for the increasing crowds. Organizers were adamant about keeping the events at the original location, and dozens of improvements were made during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s to accommodate the growing number of spectators.

The Modern Stock Show

As the world of stock shows and rodeos has progressed, so have the events at the NWSS. Attendance has surpassed 500,000 people most years since 1988, and people still anticipate the stock show as much as they ever have. New events, including dog trials and mutton busting, amuse the crowd, and youngsters compete for thousands of dollars in scholarships in a variety of competitions. The 2013 National Western Stock Show and Rodeo promises to be the most exciting to date. More than 15,000 individual animals, including horses, cattle, dogs, rabbits, alpacas, yaks and llamas, will flock to the fairgrounds to compete and show off their skills. The 16-day extravaganza also features a slew of rodeo events, and is slated to be one of the richest regular season rodeos of 2013. This year’s stock show also offers more than 350 vendors for those inclined to shop and partake of traditional fair foods. Young and old alike will enjoy this year’s event, as organizers have placed special focus on making the NWSS a family event. Many vendors will be offering child-friendly fare, and there will be petting stalls and informative booths to show the young ones just how much fun stock shows, and the rodeo world, can be.

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2014 March Madness Predictions Just Before Selection Sunday

One of the most intriguing and exciting men’s college basketball seasons in recent memory is coming to an end. Conference tournaments are just a preview of the NCAA Men’s Tournament, starting March 18th in Dayton . From a team, Wichita State, that will enter the tournament undefeated for the first time since 1991, to Harvard, who have won its 3rd straight Ivy League title , it should be thrilling. Here are four teams that have the best chance to celebrate to “One Shining Moment .”

Best Major Conference Team With the Best Chance To Win the Tournament: Florida Gators

If there is a team that most pundits will agree is the favorite to win this tournament, this would be the most obvious choice. Going undefeated the Southeastern Conference led by Head Coach Billy Donovan will get attention. Donovan led the Gators to National Championships in 2006 and 2007. This year’s group of Gators features senior experience from Casey Prather and Scottie Wilkbein .

Mid-Major Conference Team With the Best Chance To Win the Tournament: Wichita State Shockers

If a team with an experienced head coach matters this time of year, why not a coach with players that are experienced as well? Coach Gregg Marshall and this group of Shockers learned from last year’s semifinal loss and had rolled through their schedule and the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. Even though the 2014 Shockers’ faced the 94th toughest schedule, they know what they need to do go get all the way.

Freshmen Looking To Make a Big Splash In the Tournament: Kansas C Joel Embiid and F Andrew Wiggins

We have seen groups of freshmen get far in this tournament ( 1992 Michigan Wolverines ), even win it all ( 2003 Syracuse Orange ). The biggest question with this team is whether Embiid will be healthy for this tournament and whether Wiggins will use the tournament to showcase his NBA prospects. This team may have the two keys to success to win it all in a dynamic offensive weapon and a defensive stalwart. However, without both on their A-games, they won’t move deep into the tournament.

Don’t Sleep On the Defending Champs, Louisville

Having won a share of the regular season title of the American Athletic Conference, Louisville is hitting its stride . Led by its great team defense , Louisville is still a threat to win it all. Just looking how they manhandled a ranked UConn team in its regular season finale last Saturday, it is easy to see why Louisville has a great chance of repeating. They were able to get balanced scoring and play stifling defense.

Final Four Predictions, With a Dark Horse

Based on what I have seen in the regular season, I think that three of the four mentioned here will get to the Final Four with Louisville repeating? However, if there is a team that can win it all and is Wisconsin. If you take a look at their best three non-conference wins over Virginia, Saint Louis and Florida, they held each to under 60 points. Always watch out for a great defensive team this time of year.

Tags:2014 March Madness Predictions Just Before Selection Sunday

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