SportsNext NFL Mock Draft 2017

Greetings everybody. Welcome to the second SportsNext Mock Draft. It’s that time of the year where dreams come true and college players become legends or draft bust. Last year, I got 10 of my draft predictions correct. Let’s see if that number can go up or down. Here are this year’s first round draft predictions.

 

  1. Cleveland Browns
  • Myles Garrett – DE Texas A&M

 

  1. San Francisco 49ers
  • Jamal Davis – S LSU

 

  1. Chicago Bears
  • Marshon Lattimore – CB Ohio State

 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Leonard Fournette – RB LSU

 

  1. Tennessee Titans (from Rams)
  • Solomon Thomas – DE Stanford

 

  1. New York Jets
  • J. Howard – TE Alabama

 

  1. Los Angeles Chargers
  • Malik Hooker – S Ohio State

 

  1. Carolina Panthers
  • Christian McCaffrey – RB Stanford

 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals
  • Reuben Foster – LB Alabama

 

  1. Buffalo Bills
  • Mike Williams – WR Clemson

 

  1. New Orleans Saints
  • Marlon Humphrey – CB Alabama

 

  1. Cleveland Browns (from Eagles)
  • Mitch Trubisky – QB North Carolina

 

  1. Arizona Cardinals
  • Patrick Mahomes – QB Texas Tech

 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings)
  • Derek Barnett – DE Tennessee

 

  1. Indianapolis Colts
  • Takkarist McKinley – DE UCLA

 

  1. Baltimore Raves
  • Corey Davis – WR Western Michigan

 

  1. Washington Redskins
  • Gareon Conley – CB Ohio State

 

  1. Tennessee Titans
  • John Ross – WR Washington

 

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Dalvin Cook – RB Florida State

 

  1. Denver Broncos
  • Ryan Ramczyk – OT Wisconsin

 

  1. Detroit Lions
  • Jarrad Davis – LB Florida

 

  1. Miami Dolphins
  • Forrest Lamp – OG Western Kentucky

 

  1. New York Giants
  • Garett Bollies – OT Utah

 

  1. Oakland Raiders
  • Haason Reddick – LB Temple

 

  1. Houston Texans
  • Deshaun Watson – QB Clemson

 

  1. Seattle Seahawks
  • Tre’davious White – CB LSU

 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  • Davis Webb – QB California

 

  1. Dallas Cowboys
  • Kevin King – CB Washington

 

  1. Green Bay Packers
  • Joe Mixon – RB Oklahoma

 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers
  • David Njoku – TE Miami

 

  1. Atlanta Falcons
  • Taco Charlton – DE Michigan

 

  1. New Orleans Saints (from Patriots)
  • Adoree’ Jackson – CB USC

Is Colin Kaepernick the New Tim Tebow?

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has received significant media attention throughout his NFL career. Starting from his impressive rookie season in 2011 in which he took the starting job from then quarterback and now Chiefs QB Alex Smith and eventually took the 49ers to the NFC Championship game. The 49ers eventually ended up losing to the New York Giants.

The next year, he took his team to the Super Bowl in which they eventually lose to the Baltimore Ravens.

Kaepernick was never able to repeat his performance from his first two seasons. He struggled under new head coach and eventually losing his starting job to QB Blaine Gabbert under new head coach Jim Tonsula and next head coach Chip Kelly.

He remained on the spotlight even through his struggles as he started the 2016-2017 season by refusing to stand up during National Anthem at the beginning of every game.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said, via NFL.com.

“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Kaepernick decided to opt out of the final year of his contract with the 49ers to test free agency for the first time his career.

It has been a month since the offseason officially began and he has not yet found a new NFL home.

Many NFL experts and celebrities like director Spike Lee feel that the reason he has not found a home yet is because NFL experts are trying to avoid the “media drama” surrounding Kaepernick.

That may be a great hypothesis except for the fact that it has been recently reported that Kaepernick is seeking a $9-10 million/year and a starting job with his new team.

While other players like former Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis and Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger have found many media attention outside of football and were still able to achieve a great NFL career, this is by in no means a comparison to Colin Kaepernick.

Not to say that what Lewis and Big Ben (even though charges were dropped) did were any good, they were awful things they were accused of but they were in a point in which they were elite players in their career (still not defending what they did/didn’t do), Kaepernick’s performance has went downhill for almost two years.

Kaepernick was even given a second chance in the 2016-2017 season as he earned starting jobs again and still couldn’t manage to perform anywhere near how he performed in his first two seasons. He started 11 games last year and saw his team put a 1-10 record, tossing only 2 TDs and being picked off 16 times. Those are not starting QB numbers.

If there’s anybody to compare Kaepernick’s struggles to is former NFL QB and now Minor League baseball player Tim Tebow.

Tebow also found early success in his NFL career as a member of the Denver Broncos, he even won two postseason games. But in 2012 when the Broncos signed superstar QB Peyton Manning, Tebow found himself traded to the New York Jets where he struggled to remain a starter, having only started two games. Tebow was released after the season and attempted it again with the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles but continued to struggle to remain in the roster come NFL Kickoff week.

“I think that when people have belief in something or conviction about something, I think trying to stand for that is a good thing,” said Tebow. “And then it’s all about trying to stand for it the right way.”

A lot of NFL experts have claimed that the reason may be that they didn’t like the attention Tebow is getting for kneeling in prayer after every touchdown he scored. Experts claimed they did not like an openly Christian player openly pray on the field during a pro football game even though they usually pray before and after games.  Tebow was a fireball of media attention ever since he left the Florida Gators to become an NFL player.

Tebow tried it though, he considered being a backup to Patriots great Tom Brady and attempted a job with the Eagles he just did not impress the coaches enough.

Kaepernick, on the other hand wants a salary in the double digits in the million section and he wants to be a starter, whether these are negotiation tools is another story but the point is he hasn’t produced well enough to deserve a starting job in the NFL. He could be a 2nd string or even 3rd string but as a starter, it’s not realistic.

Tebow is now back in his high school roots as a baseball player, in which he’s now trying after perhaps realizing he’s not going to be an NFL QB again. Kaepernick also has baseball roots as he was drafted by the current World Series champs Chicago Cubs in 2009. Not to recruit him into the world of baseball but Kaepernick does have options if he can’t find that contract he’s looking for.

I can not stress this enough, the problem is not Kaepernick’s reason to kneel down, given today’s affairs in this country it is perfectly acceptable and reasonable and it could be a reason why he hasn’t been signed but another reason can also be his performance downgrade the last couple of years, very much like Tim Tebow’s.

 

 

Top 10 Young Players To Keep An Eye On In 2017

Meanwhile MLB.COM presented a list of the top 100 prospects in all of MLB, here is a top ten list of players who are not in the best 10 prospects list that you may want to keep an out on this upcoming season….according to Sportsnext co-host Eriq.

10) Kendall Graveman – Oakland Athletics, RHP. 

Graveman (26) started 31 games last year for Oakland posting a 10-11 record and a 4.11 ERA while striking out 108 hitters. He’s slowly but surely becoming the A’s most consistent pitcher as he started 21 games in 2015. Graveman was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 8th but was part of the Josh Donaldson-Brett Lawrie trade in November of 2014. This Spring he’s recorded a 2.84 ERA, a 1-1 record and a WHIP of 0.87.

9) Mitch Haniger – Seattle Mariners, CF

A first round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012, Haniger (26) is already well traveled. He was part of the trade that sent Gerardo Parra to the Brewers and eventually sent Jean Segura to Seattle. The outfielder played in 34 games last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, tallying up 5 HRs, 17 RBIs, and a batting AVG of .229. His Springs stats so far are 2 HRs, 7 RBIs and an AVG of .409 in 44 ABs. He’s 5th place in hit leaders.

8) Sal Romano – Cincinnati Reds, RHP

Sal (23) was a late pick in the 2011 draft, picked 715th overall. He has not yet pitched in the Big Leagues but he is having an impressive Spring Training with an 1.17 ERA, 1-0, in 5 games played and 1 start. Romano leads all Spring pitchers in ERA.

7) Peter O’Brien – Kansas City Royals, LF

O’Brien (26) is also well traveled, he was originally drafted by the New York Yankees 94th overall in 2012. He was then traded to the DBacks for 3B Martin Prado. He made his major league debut in 2015 hitting .400 in 8 games. In 2016, he played in 28 games but hit only .141. In December of 2016, the Kansas City Royals acquired O’Brien for minor leaguer Sam Lewis.  He is hitting .341 with 6 HRs this Spring. He’s tied with former MVP Bryce Harper for 1st place in HRs this Spring.

6) Stephen Cardullo – Colorado Rockies, 1B

Cardullo (29) is looking into being the starting first-baseman after an injury to new Rockies 1B Ian Desmond. He was the 721st overall pick in the 2010 draft by the DBacks. He played two seasons for them until he was eventually released. The Rockies picked him up and made his MLB debut in September 2015.  In 2016, he hit .214 in 27 games. This spring he’s hitting .361, with 3 HRs in 36 ABs.

5) Ryon Healy – Oakland Athleitcs, 3B

Healy (25) was drafted 100th overall by the A’s in the 2013 draft. He played 72 games last year for Oakland, hitting .305, 13 HRs and 37 RBIs. His spring is also coming along nicely as he’s hitting .323, 4 HRs and 13 RBIs. He’s tied with two others for 2nd place in RBIs this spring.

4) Jesus Aguilar – Milwaukee Brewers, 1B

Aguilar (26) has spent several seasons with the defending AL Champ Cleveland Indians as he was originally signed by them from Venezuela as an amateur free agent. After hitting on .172 in 58 career MLB at-bats, the Indians designated him for assignment. Milwaukee signed him in January of 2017. He’s hitting .417, with 4 HRs in 36 ABs this spring.

3) Eddie Butler – Chicago Cubs, RHP

Butler (26) is a former 1st round pick in 2012 by the Rockies. He never found success in a hitter-friendly ballpark like Coors Field as he posted a career ERA of 6.50 in 28 starts. But he is impressing the defending World Series champs with his 4-0 record and 2.70 ERA.

2) Guillermo Heredia – Seattle Mariners, LF

After defecting from Cuba in 2015 to pursue a contract with Seattle, Heredia (26) has been a Mariner favorite. He played 45 games last year while hitting .250, in 45 games. He’s raking this Spring with a .459 average and 9 RBIs in 37 ABs.

1) Brandon Drury – Arizona Diamondbacks, 3B

Drury (24) played in 134 games last year for Arizona hitting .282, 16 HRs and driving in 53 runs. He’s had 37 Spring ABs and is hitting .459 with 5 RBIs.

 

The Dodgers Are Surrounded By The Magic of Vin Scully

Hall of Fame broadcaster and the Los Angeles Dodgers have been together for 66 years and 2016 will mark the end of this amazing broadcasting longevity.

The Dodgers have 10 retired numbers but even with names such as Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Koufax, and Jackie Robinson, none of them mean more to the Dodgers than the name of Vin Scully.

Scully has called all Dodger World Series titles, including the two they won in Brooklyn. He has called 13 NL pennants, and all 15 NL West pennants.

The famous “Hello, everybody, and a very pleasant good evening to you, wherever you may be..” and “It’s time for Dodger baseball…” lines can’t repeated by anyone else and it’s just a small reason why baseball fans tune in to hear him broadcast a game. His countless stories of meeting MLB greats also won’t be shared by anyone.

One of Vin Scully’s most magical broadcasting moment was Game One of the 1988 World Series where Kirk Gibson surprisingly hit a homerun to give the Dodgers the 1-0 World Series advantage over the Oakland Athletics and it propelled the Dodgers to win the series and the franchise’s sixth and last World Series title.

On September 26, 2016, Vin Scully’s last broadcasting gig at Dodger Stadium, the late inning magic was fitting.

With the Dodgers down a run in the 7th inning, rookie short stop Corey Seager unleashes a triple to score Justin Turner and tie the game. Rockies’ David Dahl gave the Rockies the lead again in the 9th with a home run to right field. Corey Seager come sup again in the bottom of the 9th and unleashes his 26th home run of the year to tie the game. As the game enters extra-inning toward the bottom of the 9th, former Rockie (who was releases by the team during the offseason) Charlie Culberson hit his FIRST home run of the season to help the Dodgers win with a walk-off NL West division victory!

Now that’s the Dodgers are officially headed to the playoffs, can the Dodgers provide the final goal to send Vin Scully off a champion?