Thursday, April 25, 2013

LRN; 2013 1st Round Mock

What else is there to say before we get after it?!?! It's a MOCK NFL DRAFT!


'Git 'em!

1 Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel, OT Texas A&M There are too many smokescreens being bandied about just days before the draft for me to make the other top-tier offensive tackle, Central Michigan's Eric Fisher, the pick here. The other opportunity that may still be available to Kansas City would be a trade with Cleveland if the Browns do get worried about another team jumping them for the West Virginia quarterback, only if Kansas City believes one of the top two offensive tackles would still be available to them at pick six.

2 Jacksonville Jaguars - Dion Jordan, DE Oregon This makes the most sense for Jacksonville, they're not a good football team and they need to get players. New Jags head coach Gus Bradley is going to build this team around a speed defense it's what he knows. All the discussion that surrounds them possibly taking whichever offensive tackle remains after the Chiefs pick is bogus, Dion Jordan has been the pick since early March.

3 Oakland Raiders - Sharrif Floyd, DT Florida The Gator defensive stand-out fits best in Oakland and they have to have seen that throughout the process. Floyd can be a leader on that defense and really develop into an elite player in this league. Another team who has been trying to drive up the price because they know Floyd will be there five picks later if he doesn't go here.

4 Philadelphia Eagles - Eric Fisher, OT Central Michigan Best possible play here for the Eagles, this is a team who loves the athletic offensive tackle from Oklahoma, Lane Johnson and if they have their choice between the two, I still think they'd like Johnson more than Eric Fisher who might still be available. That being said, the Eagles are the team that Cleveland might use to jump two spots to get their quarterback.

5 Detroit Lions - Lane Johnson, OT Oklahoma This pick is Johnson or Fisher whichever is available. Johnson has impressed throughout the draft process just as Central Michigan's Eric Fisher has. A month ago I don't think Johnson was in the top-five but he is now. Each way I mocked the top-five, I can't see Joeckel, Fisher, or Johnson available so long as Cleveland doesn't find a way to jump up.

6 Cleveland Browns - Geno Smith, QB West Virginia Let me be clear, I don't think I've seen a player have so much said poorly about him that DIDN'T involve an off-field issue, throughout this process in some years. With Norv Turner calling the offense in Cleveland, I know Brandon Weeden can't be long for the Browns and Geno Smith has a monster arm, just like Turner's last quarterback, Phil Rivers.

7 Arizona Cardinals - Ezekiel Ansah, OLB BYU Ansah can rush the passer and fill a need the Cardinals have to get after the quarterback, especially in a division that is getting to be very full of young talented quarterbacks. That being said, I really have no idea what the Cardinals plan to do with the pick. If they were really targeting one of, the top-offensive tackles and they're gone, they might stay on the offensive line and bolster it with a guard.

8 Buffalo Bills - Ryan Nassib, QB Syracuse To have your college head coach get an NFL job with a draft selection in the top-ten is really a dream come true for the Syracuse quarterback. Nassib can run Doug Marrone's offense better than any quarterback in this draft and while they're drafting him higher than he should be, they can't risk him not being there in the second round, which he most likely wouldn't be.

9 New York Jets - Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia Boom! Jets snag Austin knowing they have the Revis pick right around the corner. This would be huge for the Jets because so many teams know how good Austin is and aren't sure how they can go up and get him, the Jets will. Tavon Austin gives them a very good player to put on that offense that let's face it, has none.

10 Tennessee Titans - Chance Warmack, G Alabama There are a group of next-tier offensive linemen, be it guards or tackles. that the Titans need to take, either Warmack, his Alabama teammate D.J. Fluker or Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper. I've liked Warmack all along and would take him first amongst these three.

11 San Diego Chargers - Jonathan Cooper, G North Carolina This is a good way to stay safe and take a player that has probably slid a little further than he would in most years that didn't have such top tier offensive tackles as this draft does. Cooper can instantly improve an offensive line that needs work.

12 Miami Dolphins - D.J. Fluker, OT/OG Alabama I've routinely questioned Miami and their front-office. I don't know if they have it in them to get that trade for Chiefs tackle Branden Albert done before they pick. If that is the case, they still need to address their offensive line issues and Fluker can play a couple different spots (not left tackle) on their offensive line.

13 New York Jets (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Dee Milliner, CB Alabama If you would have told me a month ago that the Jets would swing Revis for the 13th overall pick giving them two picks in the top fifteen and one of them would include the best corner in the draft? I'd tell you that they stole him! The injury questions around Milliner are smokescreens to see him drop, and it's worked. Yes, there has to be questions given the injury to his shoulder, but I'm sure Milliner can play in this league and play well!

14 Carolina Panthers - Kenny Vaccaro, S Texas He is essentially the only first-round defensive back I feel completely comfortable picking. Last years first round selection, Luke Kuechly, worked out fairly well for the Panthers who are just two years from landing Cam Newton. Vaccaro helps in a division with the high flying offenses of New Orleans and Atlanta.

15 New Orleans Saints - Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU The Saints have got to be dying at this point if it shakes out like this. Coming so close to landing the safety they've had their eye on only to see the Panthers take him right away, in the same division none the less. Keep Mingo in 'The Bayou' where can be a cornerstone of their rush defense, not a bad consolation prize.

16 St. Louis Rams - DeAndre Hopkins, WR Clemson The Rams want and need an upgrade for Sam Bradford to throw to, with the departure of Danny Amendola to New England, Hopkins would be that upgrade. Hopkins is a physical player who works very hard at making space for himself, something he'll need to do twice a year against those Seattle cornerbacks.

17 Pittsburgh Steelers - Jarvis Jones, OLB Georgia The Steelers need a football player who can replace James Harrison and get after the quarterback. If any of you think they'll pass up on a guy like Jarvis Jones who is a natural football player and gets after it. That being said picking him is going to take a team who isn't concerned about his medical issues, and the Steelers value football players rather than all the reports above than anything.

18 Dallas Cowboys - Sheldon Richardson, DT Mizzou I love this pick for the Cowboys. Richardson will make NFC offensive lines guard him and take pressure off DeMarcus Ware on the outside. In the Cowboys new defensive scheme, Richardson might be a center-piece type for the future. He is great against the double-team and with some growing up could be that at the next level.

19 New York Giants - Bjoern Werner, DE Florida State The Giants love picking defensive ends and are pretty good at it. Werner is super-productive and will only get better and better playing in that defense with players who can make him look even better. Coughlin and Co. are 'that good.'

20 Chicago Bears - Alec Ogletree, ILB Georgia I like Ogletree more than most, and obviously Chicago needs to replace Brian Urlacher with a pick here in the early going, at least that is what is expected. Ogletree was a monster at Georgia and is an extremely intelligent football player, however I still get the feeling Chicago fans are the only ones who want Te'o.

21 Cincinnati Bengals - Eddie Lacy, RB Alabama I really like Eddie Lacy and hate the undervaluing of running backs. Behind a very solid offensive line in Cincinnati, I only expect solid things from that offense that looks like it is developing into a pretty productive machine behind Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.

22 St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) - Eric Reid, S LSU If the Rams walk out of the first-round and their two picks were Reid and Hopkins, I'd be satisfied, they improved the defense with a big hitter in Reid and landed DeAndre Hopkins to help out the offense, I'd be fine with Eric Reid but would have wanted Vaccaro to slide to flip where I picked the two of them.

23 Minnesota Vikings - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee After parting ways with Harvin, it is no secret that Minnesota needs to add another play maker at the wide receiver position. I would much rather DeAndre Hopkins and Tavon Austin but Patterson is the next best thing and that has to be the Vikings main goal.

24 Indianapolis Colts - Desmond Trufant, CB Washington Trufant is the best second best corner in this draft and he'd be the best remaining player on the board at this point. The Colts absolutely want to get better in their secondary and Trufant would be able to make an impact very quickly.

25 Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks) - Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina I'm sure there a few teams that would like Williams to stuff the run, unfortunately it's his future teammate Adrian Peterson who would need to be the back to be stopped. Williams is a big mean who several teams might reach up and go get if he is still sitting there at twenty-five.

26 Green Bay Packers - Tank Carradine, DE Florida State Carradine will give the Packers production on their defensive line, production that rushes the pass and maks it difficult for Minnesota's offense to move and even more so for Detroit to get time to air it out to Calvin Johnson.

27 Houston Texans - Justin Hunter, WR Tennessee Hard to see the Texans make a move for another pass catcher after they've been able to count on Andre Johnson for so long, but he isn't getting any younger. For what Hunter lacks on the field, there can be no better mentor than a player like Andre Johnson, and look it gives Schaub another big weapon.

28 Denver Broncos - Datone Jones, DE/DT UCLA Let's face it, the Broncos need to fix what they lost in Dumervil. Datone Jones is a very good pass rusher and will excel with Denver, don't expect him to give you what Dumervil did, but he's a good replacement.

29 New England Patriots - Xavier Rhodes, CB Florida State The third Seminole picked already, and you wondered why the 'Noles looked like they were back for the first time in years! Patriot fans could only get so lucky that they've finally picked a corner back who has the potential to be elite at the next stage, and that corner is Rhodes. The player is really good but even more so than that, he's awfully smart and should be able to pick up NFL schemes right away.

30 Atlanta Falcons - D.J. Hayden, CB Houston Strictly a needs thing for Atlanta, they don't have the bullets to move up in the draft and get a player they may covet more, but Hayden is no slouch. Atlanta has holes in their secondary and cannot risk NOT to address them.

31 San Francisco 49ers - Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah Do I actually think that Lotulelei is going to be there at 31? I doubt it, highly, but based on what has transpired in our mock draft, he's available and San Francisco wouldn't let him go out of the first round, he's a talent too good.

32 Baltimore Ravens - Matt Elam, S Florida Ozzie Newsome wants Urlacher in Baltimore, so that leaves Te'o out of a job, and out of the first round. Actually there are a number of players that would have slid at this point other than Te'o. Zach Ertz, the Stanford tight-end who is a first-round talent, Justin Pugh the Syracuse offensive tackle, and the massive Margus Hunt from SMU. My point? Baltimore is going to let someone jump into this round and take a player they need who has made the fall. That being said, Elam is good enough to replace the production lost by Bernard Pollard and even with all the losses the defending champs have had, they'd shape up very well. . . .

Follow-us throughout the entire first round of the NFL Draft for up-to-date commentary on Twitter!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thoughts And Prayers

I debated whether or not to address the events of April 15th at the running of the 117th Boston Marathon in words. My good friend slash co-host of TheRightNowPodcast and I spoke at length last Tuesday night in podcast form addressing our scrambled, confused, angry, and frustrating thoughts. After all which has transpired over the last week however, there are still too many emotions running through my mind to not let it out.

I've lived in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts for thirty years and have never really felt afraid, and while the home my wife and I share is forty-miles west of Watertown, Massachusetts, I didn't feel safe till the second suspect in Monday's Boston Marathon bombings was in the custody of law enforcement. Does putting the entire city and state in a moment of fear mean these two suspected terrorists did what they set-out to do? I do not believe so. How can a terrorist feel as though success has occurred when volunteers, not just first-responders and law enforcement, but volunteers and every-day persons don't sprint away from explosions and watch their fellow-Americans expire, but turn and run directly into the unknown willing to risk their lives for another? To those people, fear was a fleeting moment, to those people the word bravery just isn't enough. Were they scared? Of course. Did that terror bring out the best in them? Absolutely.

Along with an act of terrorism, this was a complete act of cowardice. You allegedly accept our public assistance in the form of welfare, you go to our schools, you live in our cities, you befriend our people, then you do this? You are cowards. You rip families apart, you take young lives, you shatter the dreams parents have for their children. You are cowards. What about your own? Your family. How do you expect them to process this? To leave them with immense confusion and bewilderment, how do you do that? You are cowards. No matter what you've felt or feel about our people, you have made no statement to be proud of by your actions. You've only furthered our belief of what our people are. We are together in a country contrived like no other and when dismay happens around us on any level, we move together, stronger, and proceed.

I don't dare to speculate on how events like this in the future can be thwarted. We'll never fully know, and for our protection, how the FBI investigates the hundreds of thousands of people on their watch list. We don't know what exactly goes on in a terrorists mind when he believes something good will come out of taking the lives of the innocent. Furthermore, at what point in these men's lives did they believe their life was better the way it currently is? One dead, the other about to spend the rest of his years at the very least locked in a cage. Are incidents like this isolated? I'm sure the people who protect us everyday, law enforcement, federal, state, and local, are stopping events everyday that we are not privy to, and I'll continue to put my faith and life in their hands based on what I've seen over the last seven days. As for what we, the average person, can do to help prevent these events? I just don't have the answer.

I appreciate any of you who read this and our thoughts and prayers at LynchyRightNow go out to everyone whose lives will forever be altered. For those who would like to donate to the victims of these atrocities, select TheOneFund here. Thank you.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Just Push >>>

Really though?!?! Are we all in agreement that we want a Heat vs. Thunder re-match?!?! I'm good with that for the next two years after this, book it!

Okay, okay, so part of me wanted a Knicks vs. Celtics match-up in the Eastern Conference playoffs, but not this way, not with that M*A*S*H unit that has become the 2013 Celtics. While we're on the topic of the Eastern Conference, call me when Derrick Rose is back. LeBron James is (excuse me while I choke-up), unstoppable. The Heat are going to cruise through the 'ECP', and they 'gon make it look real easy my friends.

As for the Western Conference, I too like San Antonio, and I love that Coach 'Pop' is definitely in the Phil Jackson conversation and he didn't have to be an arrogant prick to get there, but the Spurs run is over, it's Durant and Oklahoma City's conference playoffs to lose. No?!? 3-1 vs. the Lakers, their probable first round-matchup this season and you thought Durant's throat-slashing gesture was on for the Warriors on Thursday night?!? That was for the entire state of California, the Warriors, the Lakers, the Clippers and even the Maloofs. The residual effects on the rest of The League from Miami's winning streak coupled with the way Oklahoma City is playing, do you doubt what I'm saying?

Who are we dismissing? Really?

The Spurs; Their best record in the NBA in 2012 didn't help them reach The Finals. Up 2-0 to Oklahoma City a year ago, the younger more explosive Thunder ripped off four-straight wins to reach earn the Western Conference title. Letting the Rockets Jeremy Lin go off for 38 in early December, splitting four with the younger Clippers, I won't forget Memphis handling them two years ago as an eight-seed either. Sorry Pop.

The Rockets & Nuggets; At some point in the postseason you've got to actually play defense, which the Rockets and Nuggets don't do. Both teams can push the scoreboard and that really works in the regular season. However, in the postseason things get slightly different. Yes, James Harden & Co. will go off off four 110 a couple times and win a few games, but are they going to be able to stop a team like Oklahoma City in seven games? (2) Twenty+ point losses to Oklahoma City and (1) three-point win proves just that. The Nuggets on the other hand, not only do they play poor defense but you attempt to point out the player on that team who is going to take over a game in the playoffs?!? Exactly.

The Clippers; The 'Clips can run, they're 'LOB City' for crying out loud, but really, do you think that the Pacific Division champs are going to add an NBA Championship two years after winning just 32 games? Why does that matter? Because, it's the NBA where parody does not exist. Since the 1979-1980 NBA season, a span stretching 33-years, only nine organizations have won an NBA title. This would be an issue for the young Clippers led by The League's best guard, Chris Paul. Oh, and they're 0-3 against Oklahoma City this season.

The Pacers & Bulls; Indiana can't win on the road and they were eliminated when Danny Granger went down for the season last month. I love what the Bulls did with an injured Noah and no Rose when they snapped Miami's near-record setting win streak last month, and while they play fantastic defense, it won't be enough to beat Miami in a seven-game series, it's just not enough. If Derrick Rose was healthy, it'd be a different conversation.

The Knicks; They're going to hit the postseason at the right speed that is for sure. In the first-round they're going to get the banged up Celtics who haven't been the same since their loss to Miami back on March 18th, losing 9 of their last 13. Carmelo Anthony has been averaging nearly 39-points a night in April, while the Knicks have been scoring 100+ in ten of their last eleven games. However, 'Melo's playoff record leaves something to be desired and because of that, I'm not moving chips to the center of the felt on that guy.

As the title of this post reads, let's Just Push >>> and get to Oklahoma City vs. Miami as soon as possible, you and I both know there can be no other eventual 2013 NBA Finals. . .

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Can Winning Cure All?

It's a valid question, right?!?! Can winning change how the conversation on you starts? Admittedly, you'll almost always come with a 'but' following the initial statement, then again, how much winning can determine the rhetoric spoken about you? In the wake of golf mega-star Tiger Woods' most recent victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, we are forced to answer that first question.

Tiger's sixth-first place finish in the last 365+ days has elevated him back to the top of the Official World Golf Rankings. Immediately, those of us who pine to see the most dominant and successful athlete in his sport, during the post-Jordan era, begin to pump his fists in victory as he roars up the 18th fairway on Sundays, become over-excited. We want nothing more than to move 'all-in' with him. We push aside any negative comments which are made from the most important women in our lives regarding his personal failures as both a husband and a father. Those remarks from women who are our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, and anyone else for that matter, are dismissed as we edge up on our couches hoping Tiger will win.

In a moment we forget how meek Tiger Woods looked during his 2010 over-publicized, sex-scandal mea culpa. We excuse that he hasn't won a major golf championship since 2008. We dismiss 23-year old rising star Rory McIlroy in nearly an instant, despite his two major championship wins in the last two years. Why?

It's possible that there is just unfinished business with Tiger Woods and his fans. Tiger was supposed to become the most celebrated golfer of all-time, and you and I were supposed to be able to watch him chase down Jack Nicklaus and his 18-major championship victories. Tiger was to be untouchable. He had won like Michael. He had done for golf what Michael had done for hoops. Then that all came crashing-down around him. The butt of jokes, the injuries, the divorce, the scandal, his inability to return to former greatness being paramount, you can pick, but the bottom line was that Tiger had become 'touchable.'

However, you and I still have to answer the question for ourselves. If Tiger is to slip on his fifth 'Green Jacket,' en' route to winning his fifteenth major golf championship next weekend in Augusta, will winning really have cured all?

The answer is yes.

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