Friday, April 30, 2010

Kentucky Derby

Okay, last year's picks were an epic fail. This year I am feeling good. The race will be a mudder so throw some of those lightning fast times out the window. I am going with the following:

#10- Paddy O'Prado
#4- Super Saver
#2- Ice Box

In any order.

*Please note, I am by no means a derby expert. Proceed all wagers with caution as I have never won a derby! These picks are not intended to be wagering suggestions, only my personal predictions. Thanks!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thoughts for Jordan Crawford to Ponder

Experts say if Jordan Crawford enters the draft, he’ll go anywhere from 25 to 45, depending on which underclassmen stay in. Derrick Brown went #40 last year. He averaged 9 minutes and 3 points this year for Charlotte. In four playoff games, he played exactly one minute. He has a 2-year deal, which means he’s OK for next year. But unless he gets a lot better in a big hurry, his NBA future will be tenuous. As Bob Huggins said, “You can have a job, or you can have a career.”

Thank you Doc, hopefully Crawford makes the right move...

Rivals Top 150

Rivals has released their final 2010 Top 150 rankings. Here are where local recruits ended up:

#3 Enes Kanter 6'7" Center (Kentucky)
Sturdy post player with great hands and advanced footwork.

#6 Brandon Knight 6'3" Point Guard (Kentucky)
A physical specimen who can score and defend.

#21 Doron Lamb 6'4" Guard (Kentucky)
Combo guard with a crafty scoring game.

#33 Stacey Poole 6'5" Forward (Kentucky)
Aggressive scorer both inside and outside.

#44 Gorgui Dieng 6'10" Forward (Louisville)
Shot blocker with high ceiling.

#49 Juwan Staten 5'11" Guard (Dayton)
Small and quick guard is a coup for Dayton

#50 Justin Coleman 6'4" Forward (Louisville)
Scorer with strong body.

#86 Justin Martin 6'5" Guard (Xavier)
Nice sized wing who can knock down jumpers

#122 Jay Canty 6'5" Forward (Xavier)
Athletic slasher with good length.

#130 Jordan Latham 6'8" Forward (Xavier)
Physical forward who finished around the rim.

#139 Brandon Spearman 6'3" Guard (Dayton)
Physical guard who can dominate defensively.

A couple of interesting things to note from the list. Currently The University of Cincinnati does not have any recruits from the Rivals Top 150. Also, there are no players from the state of Kentucky that made the list.

Cyclones Advance!

The Cincinnati Cyclones defeated the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 Wednesday night to capture the series and advance to the American Conference Finals for the third straight season.
The #5 seed Cyclones will face the #7 Reading Royals for a chance to play for their 2nd Kelly Cup. Reading is coming off of a sweep of Florida and have not lost a game in their playoff run (7-0-2). Cincinnati went 2-1 against Reading in the regular season. The series will begin this Friday at US Bank Arena.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sports Bucket List

This is a blatant rip-off from one of my favorite sites Kentucky Sports Radio. One of their writers listed their Sports Bucket List, which is something that we have talked about amongst friends many times. Well now it is time to put the pen to the paper (or the fingers to the keys) and put together our sports bucket list.

- Go to a World Series Game (preferably in Cincinnati)
- Attend the NFL Draft
- Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
- Attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton
- Go to a Kentucky vs. Louisville Basketball Game
- Watch a Notre Dame game in South Bend (preferably against USC)
- See an NBA playoff game
- Watch the Masters at Augusta
- See a Baseball game at every stadium in the country
- Go to the Kentucky Derby (NOT in the infield)
- See a Final Four game (preferably Kentucky)

Its a start. What about you? What are the things that you would like do to?

Just who was that kid from Florence, KY?

There were a lot of us confused when Roger Goodell stepped up to the Mic to announce the 18th pick of the draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers he had a kid with him who Goodell indicated was from Florence, KY and his Make-A-Wish dream was to announce the Steelers pick. What!?! A kid from Bengals territory is a Steelers fan? Well, what we didn't know about this kid is he is actually from Belfry, Ky. He is currently living in an Extended Stay Hotel in Florence while he is being treated for Leukemia. Belfry is in southeastern Kentucky near the border of West Virginia, which is essentially Steelers country. So I think we should give the kid a pass. I kept searching for a local story about this kid but the local paper never ran one. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette ran a story about him. Its pretty good.

Check it out here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thoughts on the Draft....

Most Bengals fans were complaining all season that the Bengals needed a Tight End and needed to utilize that position better. Now, some of the same Bengals fans are upset that the Bengals took a Tight End. I think the Bengals went into this draft wanting to take Gresham and when their pick came he was there so they took him. They didn't care who was left on the board. Some early quotes from the Bengals coaching staff they were impressed with his drive and work ethic, which is a point of contention on Dez Bryant.

Do I think Dez Bryant has the talent to be a top WR in the NFL? Yes, will he be? I don't know. We have seen the role of diva receiver before. Receiver can be a tough position to predict in the draft. I know he has the potential to be a great receiver but will he actually be a top receiver? Plus, that is a position where there is already a great deal of money invested in. With Chad Ochocinco, Andre Caldwell, and Antonio Bryant they have resources at the receiver. They could add some depth in the late rounds.

Hit Gresham the only thing most are worried about is his health. And rightfully so, he had had two knee surgeries and missed his entire senior season. So stay tuned.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NFL Draft

Ah, the NFL Draft, where Mel Kiper will tell you that players like Jamarcus Russell remind him of John Elway.

What I would like to see from the Bengals Draft tonight...

If I had my choice, Dez Bryant at WR. I think he is the best WR talent in the draft. But I don't think he will be there. If that is the case I would like to get TE Jermaine Gresham. If for some reason neither or there or if Texas safety Earl Thomas slips I would like to get Earl Thomas. (again don't think he will be there.)

Who I don't want at that pick, Taylor Mays. Everything I have read on him seems like he is destined to be Roy Williams. Sure Williams had his day in the sun from delivering bone crushing hits, but he can't cover anyone. Seems to be the same thing with Mays. I don't like that.

Ondrusek down, Fisher up

The Reds have sent rookie Logan Ondrusek back to AAA Louisville today. Ondrusek had a 11.25 ERA, with 4k's and a 2.13 WHIP in just 6.2 innings of work.

To fill his spot the Reds have called up RHP Carlos Fisher. Fisher has pitched 8 scoreless innings in Louisville only surrendering 1 hit and 1 walk with 8 strike outs. Fisher made his MLB debut last season with the Reds pitching 52 innings in 39 games posting a 4.47 ERA with 48k's.

Calipari and the Cats Strike Again

Indianapolis 2011 PG Marqius Teague has committed to play for the University of Kentucky. Teague has been ranked as the #1 PG of the 2011 class and the #2 overall player behind Kentucky recruit Michael Gilchrist. Calipari is on the verge of having one of the highest rated 2011 classes, and one of the highest rated classes ever.

I think everyone expected Calipari to bring in some top recruits but I am not sure anyone expected what he has done. Calipari has been able to secure some of the top rated players in each of his draft classes at Kentucky. He was doing the same at Memphis but what is different about his situation at Kentucky he is getting multiple top recruits.

Teague has been the target for Louisville coach Rick Pitino for almost 2 years. Pitino poured all of his resources into recruiting Teague and has attended more than 10 times in person. Despite all of this effort Teague opted to play for Calipari because he felt Calipari represented the best opportunity to make it to the league.

I think they may end up just making Kentucky a member of the NBA Developmental League.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 Cincinnati Bengals Schedule


Sun., Aug. 8, vs. Dallas (NBC), 8 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 15, DENVER, 7 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 20, PHILADELPHIA (FOX), 8 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 28, at Buffalo, 6:30 p.m.
Thurs., Sept. 2, at Indianapolis, 7 p.m.

Sun., Sept. 12, at New England, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 19, BALTIMORE, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 26, at Carolina, 1 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 3, at Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 10, TAMPA BAY, 1 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 17, --BYE---
Sun., Oct. 24, at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 31, MIAMI, 1 p.m.
Mon., Nov. 8, PITTSBURGH (ESPN), 8:30 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 14, at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 21, BUFFALO, 1 p.m.
Thurs., Nov. 25, at N.Y. Jets (NFL Network), 8:20 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 5, NEW ORLEANS, 1 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 12, at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 19, CLEVELAND, 1 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 26, SAN DIEGO (NBC), 8:20 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 2, at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

I love the fact that the Bengals will be playing on Thanksgiving night, I can't think of a better way to spend watching the game than with a belly full of turkey and my family around.

Breaking down the schedule, granted it is very early and we really don't know the makeup of our team or any other but on a snap judgement I see 9-7. There are some tough games, this is a tough schedule. But you never know all kinds of crazy things can happen.

Scoreboard Stumper

Last nights scoreboard stumper:

Four MLB players have collected 100 or more hits in last 15 seasons (1995-2009), who are they?

Answer to follow later....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dork moment of the Day

I read a sports related message board on a daily basis. And on that board they were discussing their all-time team. Like my all-time Kentucky team would be Tony Delk, Derek Anderson, Nazr Mohamed, Jamal Mashburn, and Scott Padgett.

Anyhow, this one guy was discussing adding John Wall to his team but, "had some concerns with how his style of play would gel with the rest of the players." I think it is nice that this guy is concerned about the climate and locker room of his FANTASY starting 5!

Edinson Volquez Busted!

According to Edinson Volquez will be served with a 50 game suspension for violating the MLB Substance Abuse policy. The story indicates that the suspension will take effect on April 21. If that is the case, Volquez would be available to pitch for the Reds on June 15th. Truthfully, Volquez would not have been ready to pitch by then as he is still rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

Monday, April 19, 2010

From the Vault: Top 10 NFL Draft Busts under Mike Brown

**Since not much has changed I wanted to re-post this look at some of the disappointments in Mike Brown's draft.

Listed below is a list of what I believe to be Mike Brown’s biggest draft busts. Brown was recently named the #1 worst-decision maker in the NFL draft by Yahoo Sports. Brown took over ownership in 1991 and has been responsible for every draft since 1992. The rankings go from 10 to 1, 1 being the worst.

10. Keiwan Ratliff (2004 – 2nd Round, 49th pick, CB from Florida):
The Bengals drafted Ratliff and immediately game him the chance to take over as one of their key corners, as players such as Tory James and Deltha O’Neal were aging. Ratliff seemed lazy on the field at times and in three full seasons with the Bengals Ratliff only managed to average 33 tackles and one interception a year. I can still remember Ratliff getting burned by elite receivers clear as day. Good luck with the Indy.

9. Chris Perry (2004 – 1st Round, 26th pick, RB from Michigan):
Oh the Bengals thought they found a gem in Chris Perry at the end of the 1st round in 2004… boy were they wrong. Sure, Perry has been plagued by injuries but the thing is he’s been given a chance to come back and was even given the starting nod in 2008, after sitting out 2007. People still believed they would possibly see the 2005 version of Perry but instead they received 269 yards and a 2.6 YPC average on the ground. I partially blame Michigan for his injuries as he was used as a work-horse in college, averaging close to 35 carries per game and was even given 51 carries in one game!

8. Odell Thurman (2004 – 2nd Round, 48th pick, LB from Georgia):
You may be saying to yourself how can a guy who put up 98 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles be considered a bust in his lone season? One reason, the Bengals took a chance on Odell although he had a troubled past. After violating team rules the Bengals game him one more chance, and then one more…. You know what the end result was. A kid with this kind of potential can’t take this gift for granted. What guys like David Pollack would give to be able to play the game again. You’re a bust not because of how you played in your lone year on the field but because how great you could’ve been.

7. Marco Battaglia (1995 – 2nd Round, 39th pick, TE from Rutgers):
This highly sought after tight end once put up 13 catches for 183 yards and 3 touchdowns in one game at Rutgers. Battaglia never amassed more than one touchdown or more than 160 yards in one of his five seasons with the Bengals, enough said.

6. John Copeland (1993 – 1st Round, 5th pick, DE from Alabama):
Copeland played for one of the best defenses in NCAA football history during his 1992 campaign at Alabama where he was a part of the national title winning Crimson Tide. Copeland was suppose to resurrect a horrendous Bengals defense and was immediately given the starting nod his rookie season. Copeland played seven full seasons for the Bengals and put up one solid year where he sacked the quarterback 9 times and had 55 tackles. During the other six seasons Copeland only put up 15 total sacks. Overall, Copeland was never the guy the Bengals thought they would be getting with a top-5 pick in the draft.

5. Reinard Wilson (1997 – 1st Round, 14th pick, DE from Florida St.):
This All-American at Florida State compiled 13 sacks in his senior campaign. Wilson was one of those guys that could never transition over from the D-Line in college to the linebacker slot in the pros. In his second year as a pro Wilson was given a shot at the starting ROLB slot for the Bengals. In 15 games started he only put up 47 tackles, not the ideal numbers you’re looking for coming from a linebacker. He only played six seasons in the pros.

4. Dan Wilkinson (1994 – 1st Round, 1st pick, DT from Ohio St.):
Dan “BIG Daddy” Wilkinson was the Bengals first #1 overall draft pick in franchise history. The BIG man put up close to 25 sacks in two seasons for the Buckeyes and skipped his senior campaign. Usually, you expect BIG things out of the #1 draft choice, unfortunately he never lived up to the hype. Yes, he averaged 6 sacks a year during his four season with the Bengals but he was slow, never really demanded the double teams we thought teams would apply against him, and he was unhappy here. He’s now played 13 NFL seasons and has not once made the Pro Bowl or even been considered an elite DT. Although, Wilkinson would’ve fit in well with the current Bengals teams as he had legal troubles in 1996 for striking his pregnant wife.

3. Ki-Jana Carter (1995 – 1st Round, 1st pick, RB from Penn St.):
Wait… there’s no way the Bengals could manage to have back-to-back busts with the #1 selection in the NFL draft in back-to-back years, right…… wrong. Boy was I excited about this selection as I’d seen Carter go from being an elite high-school running back at Westerville South just outside Columbus to being a star at Penn State. This Rose Bowl MVP immediately was given the reigns as the Bengals starting running back. We all remember his third pre-season game against Detroit when we saw Carter tear his ACL, after that he was never the same. Carter ending up only compiling 1,144 rushing yards in 10 NFL seasons, but hey he’s now thrown out the shoulder pads and writes for a blog,

2. David Klingler (1992 – 1st Round, 6th pick, QB from Houston): This was a close call as both quarterbacks were equally as bad in the pros. However, Klingler had a solid college career and broke records, including throwing for 11 touchdowns in a single game and overall deserved to be a top pick with the numbers he put up in college. In 24 starts with the Bengals Klingler put up an abysmal 4-20 record and threw for only 16 touchdowns compared to 22 interceptions.

1. Akili Smith (1999 – 1st Round, 3rd pick, QB from Oregon):
Congratulations Akili Smith, you’ve earned the honors of the biggest draft bust. The Bengals picked Smith after one solid season at Oregon where he put up 32 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. In four seasons and 17 starts with the Bengals, Smith had a 3-14 record. During this time he only completed 46% of his passes, threw for five touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Smith was out of the NFL by the age of 27. He Akili, you should’ve stuck with baseball.

*Other such as Charles Fisher, David Pollack, and Kenny Irons could’ve made the list; however, these guys played a year or less in the NFL due to injuries.

*Notice they’re five offensive and five defensive busts on my list. QB’s, RB’s, and DE’s accounted for two each. Interesting that I didn’t have one OL or WR on the list.

*Interesting note: A 2008 comparison between the Bengals' scouting department and five AFC teams with a winning percentage above .500 since 1991 shows the winning teams employ five or more scouts whereas the Bengals employ only one.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

NBA Playoffs Set

Here are your matchups for the NBA Playoffs this year.

1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. 8. Oklahoma City Thunder
4. Denver Nuggets vs. 5. Utah Jazz

3. Phoenix Suns vs. 6. Portland Trail Blazers
2. Dallas Mavericks vs. 7. San Antonio Spurs

1. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 8. Chicago Bulls
4. Boston Celtics vs. 5. Miami Heat

3. Atlanta Hawks vs. 6. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Orlando Magic vs. 7. Charlotte Bobcats

My prediction for the finals: Cleveland over Denver for the title in 6 games.

Top Recruits Select Kentucky

Yesterday was a big day for Coach Calipari and the University of Kentucky. They received verbal commitments from two of the top players in the nation.

Brandon Knight, ranked by as the #1 prep prospect in the country, committed to Coach Calipari yesterday. The 6'3" PG from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida won the Gatorade National Player of the Year as both a Junior and Senior. Knight appears to be the total package. He does not have the speed like John Wall but Knight is a much better shooter and is known as one of the best on the ball defender's coming out of high school.

Kentucky also received a verbal commitment from the #1 ranked player in the Junior class Mike Gilchrist. The 6'6" small forward from New Jersey is considered one of the best players to come out of high school in a long time.

Calipari has a track record of preparing kids for the NBA and as long as that continues I would expect to see a lot of these blue chip kids come to Kentucky to play for him.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rumor Mill

*Dont know the truth, but I am hearing interesting rumors regarding the University of Kentucky basketball program. Rumor is that both Jon Hood and Darius Miller are looking to transfer from UK to Xavier. Calipari has already stated that he has between 8-10 scholarships available for next season so he may be anticipating several transfers in addition to the players who have already decided to enter the NBA Draft.

* In other Xavier news, Southern Illinois 5-11 guard Kevin Dilliard is also looking to transfer to the Musketeers. Dilliard averaged 12 points per game as a Freshman and Sophomore for the Salukis and shot nearly 40% from 3 point range.

* If Xavier does add players, others may go. Xavier currently has reached its scholarship limit for next season unless Jordan Crawford decides to remain in the NBA Draft. Look for Brian Walsh or Brad Redford to transfer if an additional scholarship is needed.

2010 NFL Mock Draft

Its finally here! The 2nd Annual 2010 NFL Mock Draft
With the 3 day draft quickly approaching April 22-24, we lay out the selections.
A couple notes:
* New this year: First round and Second round selections!
* This draft is loaded. Probably the best class I have seen in a long time. In addition, the number of OL prospects available is unbelievable.
* In my opinion, no star studded 1st Rd WR's exist in this draft. By that I mean, I don't think there is a guy who will be able to start from Day 1. With that said, WR Dez Bryant will be taken in round 1 and a ton of WR talent is clumped in round 2.

Here we go!
Round 1
1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Bradford is not the best player in the draft. That honor belongs to Ndamukong Suh. However, he is the best QB, and QB is the most desirable position for the struggling Rams. With Donovan McNabb off the board, Bradford is the next best option. Though his past injury history is a concern, its much easier to pay #1 money to a QB than a DT.

2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Suh is the best player in the draft. Period. He falls into the lap of a Detroit Lions team that has a lot of needs especially on defense. Suh fills the hole missing since the Shaun Rodgers departure and could be a perennial Pro-Bowler for the next 10 years with the way he dominates games.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
Though Suh has stolen most of the talk, some consider McCoy to be the best player in the draft. McCoy is a gigantic and disruptive tackle that will work well within a Buccaneer system desperate for help on defense.

4. Washington Redskins: Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
Okung is the best offensive tackle in what is a draft loaded in the position. After the departure of Samuels and an otherwise aging offensive line, the Redskins desperately need an offensive tackle in order to help Clinton Portis and the running game get back on track.

5. Kansas City Chiefs: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
No this is not a mistake. Williams becomes the 3rd Oklahoma player taken in the first 5 selections. Williams is probably the most versatile of the offensive lineman in the draft with the ability to man 4 of the 5 OL positions. He is just the player the Chiefs need to combat their aging offensive line.

6. Seattle Seahawks: Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
This is the first surprise pick of the draft. Seattle would love for Williams or Okung to hang around this long, but the odds are slim. They could reach for OT’s like Bulaga or Campbell instead, but with so many needs they reach for defensive. Morgan is the #1 DE on the board and immediately upgrades a weak pass rush.

7. Cleveland Browns: Eric Berry, FS, Tennessee

The Browns should be estatic if Berry falls this far in the draft. Berry was at one time considered the top player in the draft and is by far the best safety in a weak draft class for the position. Berry has great ball hawking instincts that you can start to build a defense around.

8. Oakland Raiders: Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Al Davis has shown that he is willing to stick with Russell at QB. He has also shown a knack for reaching for talent. Both apply here. At the least, if he is going to stick with his QB, he makes the right move by protecting him with an OT who will give him time and open the rushing game.

9. Buffalo Bills: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
The run on OT’s continues as Campbell becomes the 4th taken in the first 9 picks. Buffalo may reach a bit for Campbell who is not as polished as the other tackles taken; however, their need is too large to pass up. Campbell’s athleticism still gives him the ability to start on opening day.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joe Haden, CB, Florida
The Jaguars have so many needs on the defense that they decide to go with the best player available at this point. Haden displayed great athleticism at Florida and will be a hometown favorite. Not to mention, he is the #1 CB and will immediately upgrade a weak pass defense.

11. Denver Broncos (from CHI): Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
With the recent trade of WR Brandon Marshall, Denver may think briefly about WR Dez Bryant in this position. However, no WR in this class is worthy of a slot this high. McClain is a tackling machine and the best ILB in a draft class weak in the position. He fills an immediate need for Denver, who will look toward WR with their additional pick in Rd 2.

12. Miami Dolphins: Dan Williams, DT 3-4, Tennessee
After picking up their biggest need with the trade for WR Brandon Marshall, Miami can look to fill their hole at DT. The nose tackle position is probably the most important in the 3-4 defense and it is also the most gapping hole in Miami’s front 7. Williams will command double teams in the middle allowing for the blitzing defense to come clean off the edge.

13. San Francisco 49ers: Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
Davis was originally thought of as potentially the best OT going into his senior season, but is now the 5th tackle taken in the draft. Davis is an enormous body with huge upside. The 49ers can reach here with multiple picks in the first round and a glaring need at OT.

14. Seattle Seahawks (from DEN): CJ Spiller, RB, Clemson
Having gone defense with their first pick, Seattle looks offense this time around. Spiller is a dynamic rusher and potential game changer not only from the RB position but also in the return game. His return ability allows him to be the #1 RB selected as well as adding lightning to a weak Seattle backfield.

15. NY Giants: Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
With few glaring needs, the Giants select the best player available in Iupati. Not many people know about him due to his low level college choice, but Iupati plays with a mean streak and can man nearly every position on the offensive line making him a nightmare for opponents.

16. Tennessee Titans: Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Wilson is a physical and athletic corner that some consider to be the best in the draft. He plays a pressure-man scheme that fits directly into the Titans defense. Keep an eye on Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers) at this slot as well, since his twin brother Jason plays for the Titans already.

17. San Francisco 49ers (from CAR): Earl Thomas, FS, Texas
By addressing offense with their first selection, the 49ers can focus on defense with this choice. They would be ecstatic to see Thomas fall to #17, but the possibility is there. Thomas is a ball-hawk and a game-changer that would start from Day 1.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
Bryant becomes the first WR taken, even though he missed last season. This shows both a slip in his draft status and the presence of a weak WR class without a true star player. Nonetheless, Bryant fills a void in the Steeler offense, which lost Santonio Holmes earlier this week. The key is to see if a potential problem child in Bryant can thrive in a city stricken currently with legal trouble.

19. Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri
Weatherspoon has been the pick for ATL for weeks and it looks like he could fall to them. He fits perfectly in Mike Smith’s 4-3 defense and will start at weak side OLB from day 1. Weatherspoon becomes the first LB off the board.

20. Houston Texans: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
With Dunta Robinson gone and a thriving Texans offense, McCourty seems to be the most logical selection. In addition, he may be the best all-around CB in the draft. This may come into handy if the Texans want to overtake Indy in the AFC South. New Orleans proved last year that Manning can be stopped with coverage in the defensive backfield and the Texans are trying to start the same philosophy.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Taylor Mays, FS, USC
The Bengals have a ton of needs and could go in a number of different directions with this pick. I would not be surprised to see Oklahoma TE Jermaine Grisham here, but his recent injury history as well as the drafting of TE Chas Coffman last year may lead the Bengals away. Taylor Mays is a hard hitting safety and freakish athlete. He is the best player available in the draft and was viewed before this season as a potential top 10 selection. With only Ndukwe, Crocker, and Roy Williams in the safety position the Bengals are in desperate need to shore up the back line especially if they run into the injuries that plagued the position last season.

22. NE Patriots: Brandon Graham, OLB 3-4, Michigan
The Patriots love 3-4 hybrid ends that can rush the passer and drop back in coverage. Graham is no different. The Patriots feature a less than average pash rush and would immediately upgrade with this selection. Graham is a Lamar Woodley clone with game-changing ability.

23. Green Bay Packers: Sergio Kindle, OLB 3-4, Texas
Kindle is probably the most complete OLB in the draft and would fit perfectly rushing the edge in the Packers 3-4 defense. Kindle’s size and speed would compliment perfectly with OLB Clay Matthews and form a strong duo for many years to come.

24. Philadelphia Eagles: Everson Griffen, DE, USC
Griffen might be a reach at this spot but the Eagles desperately need help on the defensive side of the football at safety and DE. With no first round safeties available, Griffen becomes the next logical selection. In addition, Griffen is a high motor guy in the mold of Eagles DE Trent Cole, who has had a great deal of success in the Eagles defense.

25. Baltimore Ravens: Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
Cornerback is definitely a position of need for Baltimore, especially with the injury to star rookie CB Ladarius Webb. Jackson is the best CB available, however, don’t be surprised if Florida State CB Patrick Robinson is the selection here instead.

26. Arizona Cardinals: Jerry Hughes, OLB 3-4, TCU
The Cardinals miss players like Karlos Dansby who can play in their hybrid defensive scheme and line up at various positions. Jerry Hughes is the type of player that can do just that. Hughes led a strong TCU defense that finished unbeaten in the college football regular season and is a logical choice to take over the reigns.

27. Dallas Cowboys: Maurkice Pouncey, OL, Florida
With few major needs, Dallas addresses an aging offensive line with the best player available. Pouncey is listed at OC, but can play both guard positions as well. He helps to solidify the Dallas OL while bringing youth as well.

28. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Matthews, RB, Fresno State
With the recent departure of LaDanian Tomlinson, San Diego looks to address the need at RB early in the draft. Matthews is the best RB available and is in the mold of current Charger Darren Sproles. Matthews is a shifty all-purpose back who led the NCAA in rushing for most of the season. He may be a slight reach at this position and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chargers looked DT instead and maybe select Terrence Cody from Alabama.

29. NY Jets: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
I would not be surprised if the Jets look to trade this pick to a team wishing to enter into the back half of the 1st round. The Jets true needs at OG and OLB leave them scuffling as the best players are off the board at this point. Even with the new acquisition of WR Santonio Holmes, the Jets look for a big target and big play WR in Demaryius Thomas to take the pressure of young QB Mark Sanchez.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
In the same mold as formed Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn, video shots and stories of Jimmy Clausen filter television as he is left waiting for 3 hours for this selection. The Vikings biggest need is QB and they get a potential star in Clausen late in the 1st round. Hopefully, Clausen will not have to play on day 1 and will learn from future HOF QB Brett Favre.

31. Indianapolis Colts: Charles Brown, OT, USC

The Colts are looking to shore up a weak offense line by going with the best lineman available and 8th selected in the first round. The Colts have been missing a valuable LT since their championship season and hope to find one in Brown. Brown is not a polished player having started at USC as a TE, but displays massive size and athleticism to make a good NFL tackle.

32. New Orleans Saints: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
The Super Bowl champs get a steal at the end of the first round. The Saints are strong on offense but need DL help. Pierre-Paul is a freakish athlete in the mold of Javon Kearse and has the potential to change games from the edge.

Round 2
1(33) St. Louis Rams: Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame

2(34) Detroit Lions: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State

3(35) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carlos Dunlap, DE 4-3, Florida

4(36) Kansas City Chiefs: Daryl Washington, ILB, TCU

5(37) Philadelphia Eagles (from WASH): Nate Allen, FS, South Florida

6(38) Cleveland Browns: Colt McCoy, QB, Texas

7(39) Oakland Raiders: Jon Asamoah, OG, Illinois

8(40) San Diego Chargers (from SEA): Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State

9(41) Buffalo Bills: Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois

10(42) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from CHI): Damian Williams, WR, USC

11(43) Denver Broncos (from MIA): Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson

12(44) New England Patriots (from JAX): Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma

13(45) Denver Broncos: Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana

14(46) New York Giants: Brian Price, DT, UCLA

15(47) New England Patriots (from TEN): Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati

16(48) Carolina Panthers: Tim Tebow, QB, Florida (QB, WR, DT/DE)

17(49) San Francisco 49ers: 3rd pick Chris Cook, CB, Virginia

18(50) Kansas City Chiefs (from ATL): Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama

19(51) Houston Texans: John Jerry, OG, Mississippi

20(52) Pittsburgh Steelers: Vladamir Ducasse, OT, Massachusetts

21(53) New England Patriots: 4th pick Corey Wooton, DE 3-4, Northwestern

22(54) Cincinnati Bengals: Jimmy Graham, TE, Miami

23(55) Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest

24(56) Green Bay Packers: Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale

25(57) Baltimore Ravens: Alex Carrington, DE 3-4, Arkansas State

26(58) Arizona Cardinals: Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida

27(59) Dallas Cowboys: Tyson Alualu, DE, California

28(60) Seattle Seahawks (from SD): Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati

29(61) New York Jets: Koa Misi, OLB 3-4, Utah

30(62) Minnesota Vikings: Jahvid Best, RB, California

31(63) Indianapolis Colts: Matt Tennant, OG, Boston College

32(64) New Orleans Saints: Sean Lee, ILB, Penn State

Just Missed: Ricky Sapp DE/DT Clemson, Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech, Morgan Burnett SS Georgia Tech, Dexter McCluster RB Mississippi, Chad Jones SS LSU, Rob Gronkowski TE Arizona, Lamarr Houston DL Texas, Aaron Hernandez TE Florida, Brandon LaFell WR LSU, Toby Gerhardt RB Stanford, Eric Norwood OLB South Carolina, Dominique Franks CB Oklahoma

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Few Thoughts.....

- I hope Tiger Woods wins the Masters by 10 strokes this weekend. I admire Tiger for one thing, the way he plays golf. The man is amazing on the course. We always want to put our athlete's up on a pedestal and hold them to a higher standard than we hold ourselves. I don't care if Tiger was sleeping around on his wife, that is a problem that has to be dealt with between himself and his wife. I am very glad to see Tiger get back out there and now I want him to run away with it. That is why I love watching Tiger.

- Bronson Arroyo pitched a hell of a game yesterday. Taking a game away from St. Louis was nice. Lets not forget they are one of the best teams in the league. Now we have Chicago coming to town. What I like about our starting rotation is I think the bottom half of our rotation is much better than most teams bottom half. I like having Bailey with a start left and Mike Leake is still an unknown. This weekend we will see Bailey, Harang, and Leake against the Cubs. I would love to see us grab at least 2 wins from this series and go on the road to Florida even at 3-3.

- We hit on Kentucky and UC and just skipped over Xavier. In X news Jordan Crawford has decided to test his draft stock in the NBA. Crawford is technically only a Sophomore but he missed an entire season when he transferred from Indiana to Xavier. I have not yet heard if Crawford hired an agent, but I would doubt to see him back next year. If he did come back Xavier will be very very strong.

- The NBA playoffs are all but set right now. The West teams are locked in with Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, and the Denver Nuggets. In the Eastern Conference there are 7 locks and one battle for the #8 spot and a date with Cleveland. The Raptors and Bull are currently locked up for the #8 spot and have a date left on the schedule to play each other. In addition to a game against each other, the Bulls have a little tougher road with games against Boston and Okalhoma City left (oh yeah and an automatic win against New Jersey). The Raptors will play Atlanta, Detroit, and New York. The teams already in the Eastern Conference playoffs are: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, and the Charlotte Bobcats.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mass Exodus at Kentucky

The University of Kentucky announced yesterday that five underclassmen have entered their name into the NBA Draft. These players include:

John Wall
Demarcus Cousins
Patrick Patterson
Daniel Orton
Eric Bledsoe

I think we all knew that Wall, Cousins, and Patterson were gone. Bledsoe and Orton kind of surprise me. But early projections have both of these players considered in the first round, which means Kentucky could have FIVE players drafted in the first round of the NBA draft.

With the graduating seniors Ramon Harris, Mark Krebs, and Perry Stevenson. That leaves the Kentucky roster pretty cut down. There have been some rumblings that Darnell Dodson may be leaving but those have all been unconfirmed. So as of right now this is what is left on the Kentucky roster for 2010/2011:

Darnell Dodson
Josh Harrellson
Jon Hood
DeAndre Liggins
Darius Miller

Add to that the already signed freshman:
C- Enes Kanter (5-Stars)
SF- Stacey Poole (4-Stars)

What does this mean for Kentucky next year? There is still some talent on this team with Dodson, Liggins, and Miller all playing significant minutes this season. It is still yet to be seen what Hood can bring to the table, and Harrellson can give you minutes as you need them. But what I think this really means for Kentucky is they will have a good shot at getting some top notch recruits because they can offer one thing, a lot of playing time. I don't think when Calipari put together this draft class he expected each of his stars to be one and done. But he has always stood by his players and if they are ready for the NBA and can get drafted in a high position he encourages them to go.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bengals re-sign two to Offensive Line

The Bengals have re-signed two key players on the Offensive line to try to help Cincinnati make another appearance in the playoffs. On Tuesday it was announced that they had re-signed veteran Bobbie Williams. Now today word came out that the Bengals have agreed to a new contract with Center Kyle Cook. Cook started every game for the Bengals last year at Center and is, in my opinion, the key to any successful offensive line.

If you have read this blog for any period of time you would know my thoughts on the Offensive Line. It is the most important component of any football team. And Cincinnati has shown a great deal of respect for the guys on the line. If they can get a full season of good production from Andre Smith this O-line could be one of the best in the league next year. This will be key for any sort of Bengals success.

Lance Stephenson leaving UC

Big East Basketball Tournament - Cincinnati v Louisville
According to ZagsBlog University of Cincinnati freshman Lance Stephenson has withdrawn from the University and will enter the NBA draft.

I didn't get a chance to watch a lot of UC games this year but what I did see out of Stephenson were flashes of brilliance surrounded by a number of poor shots and poor decisions. I would say that this is also a poor decision. Many believed when Stephenson came to Cincinnati he would be a one and done, but after a season of mediocre play I think this will come as a surprise to some.

What could be a problem for the Cincinnati program, if Stephenson just stopped going to classes and will fail those classes it could cost the Bearcats a future scholarship.

I am interested in the perspective of some UC fans on this one, maybe Matt will enlighten us with his thoughts.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Few Thoughts.....

- Man did I want Butler to win that game last night. The David vs. Goliath thing is tired, Butler was a good team. Anyone who watched Butler throughout the season knows they were a good team. But if that same person tells you that they knew in December that Butler would be in the National Championship game I bet they are lying. Hayward and Mack are two tremendous players, but the fact that they made it that far is remarkable. Duke vs. Butler last night was the epitome of the old adage "Defense wins Championships." Butler held their opponents under 60 in each of their tournament wins. That is just getting it done of defense.

- One game into the season and it seems as if Cincinnati Reds fans are ready to run Dusty Baker out of town. Baker makes some decisions that make me scratch my head but I still don't think he needs to go. Dusty Baker is a proven manager, I will take him over the "baseball enthusiasts" in the crowd. I was screaming yesterday because of his decision to start Laynce Nix over Drew Stubbs. That was until I looked at the numbers. Did you know that Carpenter held right handed hitters to .214 last season. I would say based on that number Baker was justified in trying to see what Nix could do against Carpenter.

- I still think the Reds are going to be okay. With scheduled starts from Cueto, Bailey, and Arroyo we really have yet to hit the meat of our pitching. Aaron Harang got the Opening Day start because he is the elder statesman of the staff, but any Reds fan know he is at best our 4th or 5th best arm on the staff now. Add to that you are going up against one of the best starting pitchers in Baseball with Carpenter and one of the most potent lineups in the National League. I am okay with losing yesterday. From the best that I could gather that was Molina's first career grand slam, I think it was a good idea to pitch to him in that situation rather than Lopez.