Wednesday, April 8, 2009

1. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
For some, an obvious choice here would be a left tackle that could bolster the line for years to come. But the biggest thing the Lions are lacking is a face of the franchise. The Atlanta Falcons faced the same choice in last April's draft and look how it has turned out for them. Matt Stafford is a big, strong quarterback who can make all the NFL throws. Those discussions of Stafford being a frat-pack only, douchebag have been laid to rest, as Stafford scored a 38 on his wonderlic test. This is an obvious choice for the Lions to make, as it stands right now. CONTRACT!

2. St. Louis Rams: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
With the loss of Orlando Pace this off-season and the high probability that the Rams would have taken Jake Long with the number two pick last year had the Dolphins not nabbed him with the number one pick, this seems like an easy pick. Smith is a phenomenal pass blocker on the edge but also a very good run blocker and has the tenacity you would like for an offensive lineman. Another guy here that would make sense is Eugene Moore.

3. Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Curry, ILB, Wake Forest
What can anyone say..this guy has been an absolute freak on the field and in workouts this passed year. With the Chiefs acquiring Matt Cassell this off-season they can now address some needs on defense with this pick. If it were not for Cassell, I could see the Chiefs going for that clowny, child molester from south beach, Mark Sanchez. Curry could fit any scheme either 4-3 or 3-4 and with the ever-aging Mike Vrabel right there beside him, the Chief linebacking corps takes a big step forward.

4. Seattle Seahawks: Eugene Moore, OT, Virginia
I am gonna go with the smart pick here, over what I would like to see. It comes down to Moore and Michael Crabtree, but with the addition of TJ Houshmankillya, I like Moore here. This would be a huge security blanket for the aged Matt Hassleback. Moore is an all around great player and athlete at left tackle who seems to do everything well.

5. Cleveland Browns: Brian Orakpo, OLB, Texas
You wanna talk about a guy who burst onto the college football scene last season, this is him. Orakpo is often referred to as a "workout warrior" but he also showed what he can do on the field, winning the Nagurski Trophy for the Nation's Top Defensive Player in '08. The Brown's pass rushing was absolutely horrible in 2008 and this pick can quickly change that. Now the Browns would prefer Curry here, but no way he will still be on the board.

6. Cincinnati Bengals: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
The Bengals have to go offensive line here. Did anyone else notice how hard it was to watch these guys play last year? It was horrid. Andre Smith seems to be carrying a little extra baggage lately but it should be of little concern, we all know that the Bengals don't need any more off the field distractions. Smith is one of the most talented players in the draft, but many teams ahead of the Bengals don't like his maturity, in my opinion he will be fine, atleast that's the image I get when I look at his family.

7. Oakland Raiders: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Michael Crabtree is an elite wide receiver and is only a redshirt sophomore coming out, that says a lot. Since I have Seattle passing on Crabtree, this is about as far as he should fall. Crabtree is like the Calvin Johnson of a couple years ago. He will give JaMarcus Russell a very good target even a target 75 yards downfield, as Russell can throw it that far....on one knee.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars: BJ Raji, DT, Boston College
The Jags run defense suffered last season and Raji seems to be a very viable option. He impressed all coaches at the senior bowl and had a very disruptive season for opposing offenses. He is a very sturdy 6'1" 330 lbs man, and a hard one to move at that. He looks to be a typical nose guard for a 3-4 scheme but he will be perfectly fine in a 4-3 as well. Now tell the Raiders thank you!!

9. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Maybin, OLB, Penn State
Green Bay recently switched to a 3-4 scheme and Maybin will fit the bill at outside linebacker perfectly. He is a fast, blitzing linebacker and thats what the Packers need alongside AJ Hawk. Coming off the edge is what this guy does best, and he can also put his hand down in the dirt if he was in a 4-3. I smell a championship run.

10. San Francisco 49ers: Mark Sanchez, QB, Southern Cal
As much as I dislike Sanchez he has the ability to be a great NFL quarterback one day. He is very smart and has the intangibles coaches and managers look for. If he has the type of intangibles at this young of an age, I can't wait to see what he can do in 3-4 years. Atleast he won't turn into another Matt Leinart. Shaun Hill has yet to prove to the upbeat Singletary that he can be a winner in this league. Sanchez and Singletary might go along quite well with eachother, I mean they each like pranks and doing things out of the ordinary, that most "normal" people don't even think of. It's all about relationships here.

11. Buffalo Bills: Everette Brown, DE, Florida State
Yet another team that was hard to watch last year were the Buffalo Bills. The offense was always sputtering and the defense was just boring to watch. Brown is a pass rushing specialist and should help the defense that only created 24 sacks on the season, ranking last in the NFL. I think there should be no question with this pick.

12. Denver Broncos: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
You wanna see what a prototype 3-4 Defensive End looks like?...this is it. Jackson is all 6-6 290 lbs and more. At LSU he was a monster on the edge but had a lack of production because he was playing more against the run. In a 3-4 defense Jackson will be an absolute beast. The Broncos must NOT pass up on the opportunity. This guy still has very viable speed for a guy his size and can sometimes get around the edge to the quarterback as he showed in 2006.

13. Washington Redskins: Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
Michael Oher is a freakishly talented offensive tackle. Many teams have backed off a little bit because of some poor workouts, but what matters is how you perform on the field and this guy can be an All-Pro. Oher has come from a very difficult past and knows how to get things done, as he is a very mature young man. He will most likely be a right tackle because of his inconsistency in pass blocking but ask any coach in the SEC, this guy is legit.

14. New Orleans Saints: Malcom Jenkins, FS, Ohio State
With a poor showing in the combine as a cornerback, Jenkins looks to be a good fit at safety. One team in dire need of help in its secondary are the Saints. This is a Super Bowl team if they could finally address the defense. Jenkins played cornerback at Ohio State but some poor 40 times have brought concern to whether he could play corner in the NFL. The Saints can use him at safety or corner any way.

15. Houston Texans: Brian Cushing, OLB, Southern Cal
And USC's reign of dominance in the NFL draft continues. Brian Cushing is a big athlete who is good at everything. He is very good in run and pass defense and has pretty good speed to go along with his big frame. This would greatly help the Texans defense, IF Cushing can keep healthy which he has had problems with.

16. San Diego Chargers: Rey Maualuga, ILB, Southern Cal
San Diego does not seem to have any big problems that need to be addressed at this time. They look like a New England Patriots team, stacked at every position. At inside linebacker though, they seem to lack an explosive, "I'm gonna kill ya!" type of player. Rey well he fits that very well, but don't forget he does have his feminine side, that he showed off at Southern Cal. This guy will absolutely take your head off if you come over the middle and will also clog a hole and find the runner quickly. With Tomlinson staying in San Diego, the Chargers have no need to go after a runningback, kind of the same situation with the Saints.

17. New York Jets: Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
Finally, my favorite player in the draft. Wells is a big, powerful back with great explosiveness. With Thomas Jones turning 31 and possibly in his last year with the team this seems to be the Jets next great runningback. Another option here would be receiver but I don't look at Percy Harvin or Jeremy Maclin, the next two receivers on the board, fitting well here with uncertainties at quarterback. Wells will run over some dudes on his way to the endzone, I absolutely love this pick.

18. Chicago Bears: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
Heyward-Bey is a perfect fit for the number one receiver in Chicago. He checks in at 6-2 210 lbs and has really burst onto the scene with a great season at Maryland and a very good combine. He is the most impressive looking receiver on the board when compared to the likes of Percy Harvin and Jeremy Maclin. Another reason he goes here is because, why would Chicago take Maclin when they have an elite punt and kick returner already on the roster...Devin Hester.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
Well you shove Gruden out the door, and what do you do?...bring in another quarterback of course. Josh Freeman played in a pro-style offense at Kansas State and is a towering 6-6 250 lbs. This guy has a cannon of an arm and physically is ready to play in the NFL. It is often known that knew managements go after their own players, Freeman is these guy's player.

20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas): Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss
With the trade of Cory Redding to Seattle earlier in the year the Lions now have a hole at Defensive tackle. Jerry reminds me of Glenn Dorsey with his short stature and strong body. He has great speed and explosiveness off the line, lets just hope he does not under perform like Dorsey in Kansas City. The Lions could also use some help on the offensive line as well.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
With the Eagles choosing not to re-sign tightend LJ Smith they now have a hole at there. Pettigrew is a big guy at 6-6 260 lbs. and is a tremendous blocker. He is not a great pass catcher but he is not bad at it. He will come in and play from day one most likely. Plus Donovan McNabb needs as much protection as he can get, the dude is hurt almost every year.

22 Minnesota Vikings: Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
The Vikings could use help at corner and wide receiver, but Childress needs to win right away and Britton would be a solid right tackle. Britton is a big guy who has great overall ability but can come in to this franchise and perform right away. If the Vikings are stupid they go for a guy like Maclin, if this becomes the case say bye, bye Childress.

23. New England Patriots: Clint Sintim, LB, Virginia
With Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing off the board by this time the Patriots look to refresh their linebacking corps here. Mike Vrabel is gone, Teddy Bruschi is a question with his health and age, along with Adalius Thomas also turning 32. Sintim played a 3-4 in college at Virginia and could play inside or outside for the Patriots. He is very effective in both the pass and run and also a pretty good pass rusher off the edge.

24. Atlanta Falcons: Larry English, DE, Northern Illinios
Atanta had a great off-season last year and addressed most of their needs, but there are still some more holes to fill. English will have the chance to play both linebacker and defensive end at atlanta to do anything he can to help their pass rush. Abraham on the opposite side will continue to do his thing. I could see the Falcons going with Pettigrew here but he will probably be off the board by this pick.

25. Miami Dolphins: Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Here is the guy that Miami fans will be drooling over for years to come. Harvin has amazing speed and reaches top speed very quickly. He runs great routes and always seems to find a way to get open. And how about that Wildcat formation?..just think of what Harvin can do with the creative play calling in South Beach. Playmaker, playmaker, PLAYMAKER

26. Baltimore Ravens: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
Davis is a big prospect at cornerback. He has the uncanny ability to break up pass plays and create turnovers. He can bolster the Ravens secondary which recently cut Chris McAlister. Davis happens to be one of the most talented players in the draft but character problems will flaw where he ends up. Very impressive physical specimen, kid better not screw it up.

27. Indianapolis Colts: Sen'Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn
Colts have a big need on the defensive line, as they have lacked putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and then also have been unable to stop the run. Marks is another short and sturdy, hold my ground and push you 'round, type of player. Marks can give immediate help to a thinned out defensive line in Indy.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina): Alex Mack, C, California
With the addition of Pettigrew the Eagles will also be looking for more protectin for McNabb, they must go with an offensive lineman here. Alex Mack is the best pure center in this draft and would be a huge help to the Eagles down the road. I'll say it again, you can never provide McNabb with too much protection.

29. New York Giants: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
With Plaxico Burress potentially facing a good amount of time in prison the Giants DESPERATELY need a big wideout. Nicks is a big physical guy who can step in. He is very aggressive in the air but also has great hands and body control also. He has decent speed and is a match-up problem for smaller DB's especially in the redzone.

30. Tennessee Titans: DJ Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
DJ Moore is a bit of an undersized cornerback but he plays much bigger than he is. Very good playmaker, he can also return kicks and punts for Tennessee. He has very good speed and also a pretty good athlete, as he played receiver for Vanderbilt this past season. The Titans will need some playmakers on defense after the huge loss of Albert Haynesworth on the defensive line.

31. Arizona Cardinals: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
This will be a great pick if Moreno does actually slip this far to pick 31. He is a true playmaker at the runningback position, and a perfect fit for the Cardinals offense. He may not be the best at running between the tackles but he is not Reggie Bush. He can take a beating and pop right back up, he helps to stretch the field and is a very good pass catcher out of the backfield. Tim Hightower and Moreno in the same backfield would be awesome.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Max Unger, G, Oregon
The Pittsburgh Steelers could potentially upgrade the corner position with Alphonso Smith from Wake Forrest, but their offensive line has been aging over the years and could be refreshed. Unger played center at Oregon but would make a great option at guard. Alan Faneca is a great player he needs to watch some film on before he takes to the field. The Steelers need to keep Big Ben healthy for years to come, he is a star in the making, just look at that fat contract he has.

Shawn Lynch will set records for Navy

When you see Shawn Lynch casually walking around school, he is a guy most students would not see as the same person he is on the football field every Friday night. Most people, if they have never had a class with him or are not that in to sports have no idea who he is, sureee they have heard his name but they would not notice him if he knocked their books out of their own hands.In the classroom Shawn is a quite, soft spoken young man. And I might add, very humble as well. On the football field though, he is the aggressive, go-do-it-all type of guy. When I looked at Shawn's recruitment I was surprised. It seemed very slow and most teams had little interest. Some of the looks he was receiving were coming from Tuskegee, Jackson State, Southern Mississippi, and Navy. Yes, those are respectable looks and offers for most highschool football players but Shawn is better than that.Shawn is not a guy who jumps out at you as a superb athlete. He does not have the elite speed, amazing hands, crisp route running, or size. There seems to be nothing special about his film or his play, but Shawn is a player who does everything pretty well. He may not be the best at one certain thing but he makes up for it by being good at a little of everything. Shawn is 6'1"-6'2" and around the 175 lbs range. He recently signed a letter of intent with Ken Niumatalolo and the Navy Midshipmen. When Shawn gets to campus in the summer for workouts with the team, he will already be one of the biggest receivers on the depth chart. That receiver depth chart includes the likes of Gary Myers, Greg Jones, and Mario Washington. Gary Myers is the biggest receiver on the three deep depth chart and he is only 6'1" 200. When Shawn gets into a college weight program and adds some more weight to his frame he could potentially be the biggest receiver on the roster.Transitioning from the highschool gridiron to college football's big stage is a huge step for many. But Shawn Lynch is a very coachable player and does what the coaches ask of him. Navy is known for its run-oriented offense as they only threw the ball 46 times last year for under 800 yards, but they averaged out to around 17 ypc. 17 ypc means that Navy stretches the field vertically when they do decide to pass and this is where Shawn Lynch will fit in nicely. He is not afraid to go over the middle and take a big hit, he has good hands, and runs adequate routes, always seeming to find seperation from the DB or settling into a hole of the zone defense.The most receptions for a Navy Midshipmen in a season was Bert Calland when he caught 61 balls in 1972. The most reception yards in a season was 818 by Rob Taylor in 1967. Shawn, in my opinion, will break each of these records by the time he graduates as a Midshipman.Shawn will be the guy that appears on sportscenter in a few years, as a player who does everything right, works hard, and plays above his talent level. He will be on the watch lists for atleast 3rd team All-American by the time he graduates. I'm calling it now, Shawn you have flown under the radar long enough, most analysts would like to call you a "sleeper". You have been a balla at Pelham for 4 years and will continue your success at a new school, a school that turns boys into men, The United States Naval Academy.

Pelham Baseball

Wednesday, the Panther’s baseball team took battle against rival Oak Mountain on a cool night in Bobby Hayes Stadium. Sophomore Trevor Fitts took the mound for the top ranked Panthers against the 12 and 9 Eagles. In the top of the first inning Fitts took no time establishing his dominance over the Eagle hitters, setting them down in order. Senior Alvin Hines led things off for the Panthers in the bottom of the first but popped up to shallow center field. Next up in the batting order was Junior Michael Bishop and on the first pitch he belted a homerun over left-center field wall to put the Panthers up early 1-0. The Panthers went on to score one run in the next two innings, while Fitts continued to exert his dominance he has continually had over hitters this season. The wave of momentum changed in the fourth and fifth innings towards that of the Eagles, scoring one run in each of the two innings cutting the Panther lead to one, 3-2, after five innings of play. The Panthers continued to hit the ball hard, but seemed to lack clutch hitting as the Panthers loaded the bases in the sixth with only one out but failed to deliver any runs as Pinch Hitter Anthony Rodriguez and Centerfielder Alvin Hines both struck out to end the inning, leaving three more base runners stranded. Going in to the seventh and last inning the Panthers held a minimal lead of 3-2. In the top of the seventh Oak Mountain went on to score four more runs by the way of sound fundamental baseball and a towering bomb over the right center field wall. The 6 to 3 lead was too much for the Panthers to overcome as Michael Bishop, Thomas Milstead, and Andrew Bishop all went down on strikes to end the game, and Pelham’s supremacy over in-state competition. Senior Austin Dubberly was 3 for 3 on the night with a single, double, and run scored, but the lack of production from leadoff hitter Alvin Hines seemed to hurt the Panthers on this night. The Number One Panthers fell to 22 and 3 on the season. Their quest to a state championship continues Friday night as they make the return trip to Oak Mountain. I would like to add that this was the Panthers first loss against an in-state team, as their two losses have been from teams located in Madison, MS and Cordova, TN, each by a score of 1-0.

Sophomore Trevor Fitts took the loss for the Panthers, his first of the season. Austin Dubberly led the Panthers at the plate with three hits, and Michael Bishop had a homerun. Oak Mountain’s very emotional ace pitcher, Cary Baxter, struck out 12 and also paced the Eagles at the plate with a homerun to tie the game at three, which began the four run rally.

With the injury to Trae Santos’ elbow and the uncertainty of how long he will be out look for Junior Michael Bishop to take the mound for the Panthers. Alvin Hines, Austin Dubberly, Michael Bishop, and Andrew Bishop will need to pace the Panthers in order to avenge a victory over the highly emotional Eagles this Friday night.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Big Brown, What's up?

After losing his chance at the Triple Crown, finishing last at Belmont, there is still no diagnosis as to what happened that caused Big Brown to slow up during the race. Big Brown was picked by thousands to win the Triple Crown Saturday as he is the best horse anybody has seen in the past 30 years. Those who did so were severely dissappointed. Now a day later there is no reason as to what happened to this Colt. He seems to be walking fine, he is jogging and eating, and seems joyful for a horse. What the heck happened? Nobody really knows right now and until blood work and x-rays come back nobody may never know. Hopefully there is nothing wrong with Big Brown and he was just uncomfortable with the track as this is what his owner, Michael Iavarone thinks, "There's nothing physically that's shown up," he said, speaking by cell phone from his daughter's soccer game on Long Island. "I'm as confused as anybody. The only thing we're resorting to right now is the track might have been too deep for him and he didn't like it out there."

Though I hate the sport of horse racing I hope for the sake of Big Brown he is fine and gets back to racing. Good luck Big Brown!

Rafeal Nadal Makes History

This past Sunday Rafeal Nadal may have cemented himself in history defeating number one seeded Roger Federer in three sets at the 2008 French Open Final. The score to those three sets you ask? 6-1, 6-3, 6-0. That is called domination. Many chose Nadal to win the French Open for his fourth straight time, but not many expected him to take the title in three sets or atleast the way he man-handled Federer. Nadal is the king of clay. On clay courts, playing five sets, Nadal is 41-0. This was Federer's worst loss ever in a Grand Slam, and many think it's safe to say he wasn't playing his best tennis. Federer will now remain the second tier to Nadal until he redeems himself at another Grand Slam. As for Nadal, take it on to Wimbledon baby, just keep on winning. Whether he keeps on winning or not he is surely the king of the clay.

Celtics lead NBA Finals 2-0

In a game where Kobe Bryant and the Lakers posted 41 points in the 4th quarter Boston tied the all-time record for playoff home game wins by defeating the Lakers 108-102. Boston's stifling defense and rebounding have been the deciding factors in the first two games of the Finals. Bryant has had two sub-par performances in which he has gone 20 for 49 in shots made and attempted. The size and toughness of the Celtics have bothered each Bryant, Gasol, and Odom. Game 3 will come from the Staples Center where the Lakers are 8-0 in the playoffs. Look for Boston's bench to be a big factor the res of this series. The most important being Leon Powe. Powe a big man for the Celtics has come in and harassed the Lakers front court, going 6/7 in shots made. In just 15 minutes of playing time Powe scored 21 points. Rajon Rondo has also had his shining moment and is growing up fast. Rondo added 16 assists in lastnight's game 2. It looks as though the Lakers front court needs to toughen up and someone other than Kobe Bryant needs to step up and score. Only three teams have ever come back from an 0-2 deficit in the Finals, no team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit.

One for the Ages

After having their 23 game win streak snapped the LSU baseball team looked as though they were about to drop another one. This loss would have knocked LSU out of the super regionals and sent UC Irvine to face North Carolina in Omaha for the College World Series. But, that wasn't the case. Heading into the eight inning trailing 7-2, LSU tallied two runs to cut the deficit to 7-4. After LSU reliever Louis Coleman held the Anteaters scoreless in the seventh and ninth innings the tiger bats began to come alive. In the ninth LSU plated five more runs to take the lead for the first time since the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the ninth Coleman looked to give up a double until leftfielder Jared Mitchell made a web-gem diving catch for the first out. The second batter of the inning ripped Coleman's first pitch into the rightfield corner for a double. With the tying run at the plate Coleman forced two infield popups to end the sensational comeback victory.
This was LSU's 29th come from behind victory on the season. They force a game 7 on Monday, win and you're going to Omaha. LSU will start Blake Martin who is 5-3 on the season while UC Irvine will counter with Bryce Stowell who is 8-2 on the season with a 2.72 ERA. This is one game for the ages and will never be forgotten in this last series at the Box before it is torn down at the end of the season.