Posts Tagged ‘LOCKOUT’

Yup. I feel you Kob.

When I was a kid, I believed in imaginary things. I would talk about them with a vigor and reality that you would think that they were as real as air we breathe or Herman Cain’s ridiculousness. It was fun though, and somehow to me it made valid sense that Stone Cold Steve Austin could punch The Rock in the face 15 times in a row, and Dwayne’s nose did burst into a pizza sauce style platter. It made sense that the winner of Batman fighting Superman had more relevance than the Easter Bunny arm wrestling the Tooth Fairy. These things were real to me, so they really mattered.

Somewhere along the line, the NBA jumped the fence into this zone. And actually it happened in late spring when they decided to not play basketball until business became “fair” (fair remaining the most ridiculous word ever created, right before “equal”). I’ve been down this path with David Stern and his guys before. Back in ’99, when I was transitioning out of my imaginary stage still, I was a HUGE NBA fan. I sat on the edge of my seat and waited out every detail of the Lockout and rejoiced when it was worked out. I was thankful for that horrible little piece of a season they tossed us, and hoped it would never happen again.

Well, again happened, and I’m not up for playing the fool two times in a row. But this presents a huge dilemma for my inner sports fan: because the NBA has the most interesting subplots of any league. It’s easy to compare, fun to talk about (even if morbidly repetitive) and fills in the weeks between football Sundays masterfully. Eventually, it’s going to really suck not having it to both debate, complain about and be in awe at.

However, I’m grown now. I don’t believe in imaginary things, and right now the actual NBA, and any topics around it’s play, is just that: a figment of our very vivid and starved imaginations. BUT if I was going to talk about the NBA around this part of the year, this MAY be what I would be talking around…

 

1. Will the Lakers get right? Like the Yankees and Patriots, you feel like they can do it any year they take the court. Kobe is still there, he’s mad and he’s more well rested than he’s been in like the last half decade. Time for that late career push, time to go for Mike’s numbers, time to cement that legacy for good baby!!!

No, wait, it isn’t. Because the best player the game has since the Jumpman took off his kicks and put on his zoot suit pants isn’t playing in LA, rather he’s watching soccer in Beverly Hills and deciding if he wants to go hoop in Borat’s homeland. So I can’t talk about any of that other stuff, so I won’t.

2. How long will Dwight Howard be in Florida? Hell, when will his time start in Florida again?

3. Do the Mavs have that in them over a whole season? They’re the champs, but come on now, they just got hot at the wrong time. If Dirk played like that over the whole year, he’d be the best player in the game, and we all know that isn’t true…not at this point in his career. But, hey they are the champs, and they beat Kobe, Durant and Wade/Bron to do it, so let’s see if they do it again.

And wait we shall, because….

So let me get this straight: if the season doesn't start, are they the 2011 AND 2012 Champs? I mean nobody else won it in that time, so....I'm just sayin.

4. Who’s better at the point? Best debate in the league: who’s the best at the point? Well, I dig D. Will, cause what doesn’t he do? But Rondo hands the rock around like nobody else and plays the best D. But nobody since Stockton has got the ball around like CP3, and he almost took the Lakers out last year. Russ Westbrook can’t be guarded, and once he picks his shot better…man! But hold up though, you gotta miss me with all of that because D. Rose had the best record in the League AND won MVP, he gotta be that guy.

Well….guess what? We’re all right and we’re all wrong right now.

5. Is Kyrie the answer? The Cavs where flat out terrible last year, but yo, they landed two picks in the top 5 of the Draft. They GOTTA be at least fun to watch now, right? I’ll get back to you on that.

6. Why doesn’t St. Louis have a squad? I mean I’m only explaining this because I live here and a whole lot of folks don’t get why that isn’t happening until either a) either the Rams or Blues are gone and/or b) ever rolls around on the calendar. But since cities that have them already aren’t even watching their squads, I’ll chill on that too.

7. Will Melo and Amare over a whole year be a problem? I would talk about how the Knicks are putting up numbers and giving up a ton of em on the other end. I mean, with Melo and Amare, somebody’s getting cooked and they gotta be one piece away from rocking with the Heat and Bulls right? Well, actually no. No they aren’t.

8. Did you see Blake Griffin last night? Nawl, I didn’t see Blake dunk the entire Staples Center last night, including the championship banners that don’t belong to the Clippers at the roof. Nope, I missed all of that. Shoot me the You Tube link if you come across it though.

Nawl, I didn't see this last night. And you didn't either.

9. Who’s going #1? It’s going to be an amazing college basketball season, but why would I talk about if Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Percy Jones or Austin Rivers is going #1. Why would they go anywhere? So they can chill and play rec games and flag football? Nope. I’m just gonna let them live on their college games like they have four whole years to do it.

10. The Heat: No matter how annoying it gets or how many good points you I’d see, I won’t be able to talk about LeBron being the best player in any game he’s in until (insert your own choke line here). Or why comparing him to Kobe (or anybody else) is (insert another line of choice here) as well. I can’t talk about what would happen if the Heat and Lakers finally played a game that mattered. I can’t see them take on the Dallas again and try to pick their faces up off the ground. Nor is there any point in the constant “What if’s” about who should be doing what, who’s squad it is or if Chris Bosh even has a pulse.

 

Nope. I can’t talk about any of that. So I won’t until a gym is actually unlocked and/or a check is cut. Peace.

 

Follow me on Twitter as continue to rebel against any and all things imaginary at @CheapSeatFan.

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AND THE BEAT GOES ON: NFL Round 2 Mock Draft…

Posted: April 29, 2011 by The Cheap Seat Fan in NFL
Tags: , , ,

Last nights kickoff to the NFL Draft was one of the more random affairs in draft history, with plenty of teams making some eyebrow raising moves. While there was some shifting, a few players moving way up and some sliding out, most of the players stayed true to what was predicted here yesterday. Of the 32 new initiates to the NFL, 25 of them were included correctly here yesterday, and now let’s see if lightning can strike twice with a second mock-up.

The second round is the trade bait round, with more motion happening in this one than any other. It’s the round where teams are most likely to hear out teams looking to move up, especially teams with stockpiled picks such as the 49ers, Broncos and Patriots have this year. There are some big names that have slid into the second and a good amount of talent that easily could have found themselves in the champagne room yesterday. So without further ado, lets take a look at who will be the second day stars, as a very need based round kicks off in a few hours.

33. PATRIOTS: Akeem Ayers-OLB-UCLA

34. BILLS: Ryan Mallett-QB-Arkansas

35. BENGALS: Andy Dalton-QB-TCU

With Carson Palmer the ultimate wildcard, snagging Dalton early helps ease some worries in Cincy.

36. BRONCOS: Aaron Williams-CB-Texas

37. BROWNS: DaQuan Bowers-DE-Clemson

38. CARDINALS: Justin Houston-DE/OLB-Georgia

39. TITANS: Stephen Paea-DT-Oregon State

40. COWBOYS: Rahim Moore-S-UCLA

Moore is easily the best safety available and would become a needed security net in the Cowboy secondary.

41. REDSKINS: Torey Smith-WR-Maryland

42. TEXANS: Brandon Burton-CB-Utah

43. VIKINGS: Brooks Reed-DE-Arizona

44. LIONS: Curtis Brown-CB-Texas

45. 49ers: Colin Kaepernick-QB-Nevada

46. BRONCOS: Kyle Rudolph-TE-Notre Dame

47. RAMS: Bruce Carter-OLB-North Carolina

48. RAIDERS: Orlando Franklin-OT-Miami

49. REDSKINS: Ras-I Dowling-CB-Virginia

50. SAN DIEGO: Randall Cobb-WR-Kentucky

51. BUCCANEERS: Martez Wilson-LB-Illinois

52. GIANTS: Quan Sturdivant-LB-North Carolina

53. COLTS: Marvin Austin-DT-North Carolina

First round talent was dimmed by shady troubles, but is a big value and need in Indy.

54. EAGLES: Ben Ijalama-OT-Villanova

55. CHIEFS: Marcus Gilbert-OT-Florida

56. PATRIOTS: Greg Little-WR-North Carolina

57. SEAHAWKS: Rodney Hudson-G/C-Florida State

58. RAVENS: Allen Bailey-DE-Miami

59. BROWNS: Leonard Hankerton-WR-Miami

60. PATRIOTS: Ryan Williams-RB-Virginia Tech

61. CHARGERS: Jah Reid-OT-UCF

62. BEARS: Drake Nevis-DT-LSU

63. STEELERS: Clint Boling-OG-Georgia

64. PACKERS: Mikel LeShoure-RB-Illinois

LeShoure would give Green Bay yet another weapon and a definite security net if Ryan Grant isn't full speed.


Ensured to get a lot more interesting, and I’ll be on it on Twitter. Come on over, @CheapSeatFan


Quite often, attempting to predict the NFL DRAFT is about as useful of an activity as putting faith in the Bengals. Between trades, leaps of faith and just completely not knowing what GM’s are really thinking, it can be quite pointless even after a few picks.

At any rate, this is a mixture if what makes sense to me, some rumors that are just too prominent to deny and some leaps of faith by me. I don’t agree with all of them (especially at the QB spot), but I don’t want to deny the obvious.

Gabbert could be the fix for several teams in the top 10, and could be too tempting to pass on early.

Here is my complete take on round one, with a second pick after the analysis of what could be the top second option that is still available. Tomorrow I will recap what actually happens tonight, and how much of a hit or miss I make in this effort below.

Welcome back to the real kick off of Football season….I think.

1. PANTHERS-CAM NEWTON-QB-Auburn: There are a lot of red flags that are getting waved around him, but what else is new? Concerns about a major system change, production approach, being a underclassman and well-known character issues are all out there. But also is the fact that he plain out makes plays happen, and when your entire team manages only 16 touchdowns a year ago, you have to address that problem immediately.  Carolina knows this, and while Newton isn’t a day one starter, having him on-board says there is at least a catalyst available now. Drafting for inspiration here. (Marcel Dareus)

If anything, picking Newton shows Carolina fans a definite move towards waking up their dead offense.

2. BRONCOS-MARCEL DAREUS-DT-Alabama: Every level of the Bronco defense has to improve, and Dareus can plug the run with the equal ease that he pressures the pocket with. Combine the fact that he could potentially help on the outside of the line as well, and you get a perfect match in need and talent here. (Patrick Peterson)

3. BILLS-VON MILLER-OLB-Texas A&M: They’ve gotten basically nothing from their pass rush in recent years, especially from the linebacker spot. Miller is the needed spark required on two levels to improve one of the most unproductive front seven in the game. Could be a close call though between this a QB fix. (Blaine Gabbert)

4. BENGALS-A.J. GREEN-WR-Georgia: With much turnover happening on their offense overall, snatching a potential cornerstone play maker at wide receiver is a definite upgrade to the future of the club. He could be the most talented overall player available, and is a steal at 4. (Julio Jones)

5. CARDINALS-ROBERT QUINN-DE-North Carolina: The Cardinals are in need of a number of things, and while QB may make the most sense, a rookie one does not. Quinn helps improve a porous defense that needs to get younger and quicker virtually everywhere. A plus is that he can potentially play stand up linebacker as well. (Blaine Gabbert)

6. BROWNS-JULIO JONES-WR-Alabama:  A go-to option has been needed here badly, and Jones is the quick, yet physical target needed that can fight for passes all over the field. This is exactly what a young Colt McCoy needs, a target he can develop confidence in. (Nick Fairley)

Jones would be a day one go-to guy for a Browns attack that lacks one.

7. 49ERS-PATRICK PETERSON-CB-LSU: The Niners have equal need at QB and corner, but there is no equal to the talent and ability of any player available at this point of Peterson. He is a potential shutdown corner that can also a be threat in the return game as well. (Blaine Gabbert)

8. TITANS-BLAINE GABBERT-QB-Missouri: With the Vince Young era over, the Titans have to start over under center. Gabbert is far from a certain thing, but if given the proper time to adjust to the game, he gives a clear future to an offense that needs some diversity, if just for the sake of extending Chris Johnson’s legs. (Nick Fairley)

9. COWBOYS-TYRON SMITH-OT-USC: If you’ve seen the catastrophe that is the Cowboys’ pass protection, this pick is a gimme. There are better players available, and Dallas could trade back, but taking an athletic tackle that can line up at either tackle is the smart pick. (Prince Amukamara)

10. REDSKINS-J.J. WATT-DE-Wisconsin: It seems to be that the Skins are committed to Watt, especially with no QB or WR worth this high of a pick on the board still. In a defense that got shredded basically every way it could a year ago, anything helps at this point, and Watt is the best 3-4 option available. (Jake Locker)

11. TEXANS-ALDON SMITH-DE-Missouri: This pick could go a number of different ways, as the Texans need a very specific type of player to boost their defense. The temptation could be to go cornerback for a second consecutive year in round one, but Smith fits a double need, as his versatility allows him to help at either DE or outside linebacker. (Prince Amukamara)

Smith is a diversely talented pass rusher that can help Houston in multiple areas.

12. VIKINGS-NICK FAIRLEY-DT-Auburn: A bit of a surprise pick, simply because of his availability still. But his sliding stock could be the Vikes big gain, as he would give them a plug-in to their aging, yet still highly effective defensive tackle group. A bit of a luxury pick, but his upside makes this far from a reach. (Anthony Castonzo)

13. LIONS-PRINCE AMUKAMARA-CB-Nebraska: A perfect scenario for Detroit, who have maybe the biggest need of any team at corner. They get a day one starter, and continue to improve their team quickly via the Draft at need positions. (Jimmy Smith)

14. RAMS-DaQUAN BOWERS-DE-Clemson: Rumored as a top pick candidate for months, he has fallen due to knee concerns. He would be the perfect pick for what Steve Spagnuolo likes to deploy from his pass rush, and after the success the Rams had with a rehabbing George Selvie a year ago, they’ll have no fear pulling the trigger on a more talented prospect here again. (Corey Liuget)

15. DOLPHINS-MARK INGRAM-RB-Alabama: Another perfect pick for a club in need. Ingram fits right in to a Miami backfield that deploys multiple attacks, similar to the matching he ran at Alabama. The Fins get a youthful boost to their backfield and replace the likely departed Ricky Williams as well. (Mike Pouncey)

16. JAGUARS-CAMERON JORDAN-DE-Cal: For the second year in a row the Jags turn to Berkeley to improve their defensive line (Tyson Alahu in ’10). Jordan is a hot riser right now, the type of guy teams will try to trade up for. But if he is still available it is a major boost to the Jags longtime search for an impact outside pass rusher. (Jake Locker)

17. PATRIOTS-ADRIAN CLAYBORN-DE-Iowa: The Pats have to get in on the lot of defensive line talent in this draft. Clayborn is a great fit for NE, with his great balance and burst, giving them a productive front line presence they’ve needed since Richard Seymour was dealt away, which is who they got this pick for ironically. (Anthony Castonzo)

18. CHARGERS-RYAN KERRIGAN-DE-Purdue: SD needs a high energy, ready to play lineman, and thats exactly what Kerrigan is. They have needed a true disruptor to the pocket since Shawne Merriman lost his steroid connect, and no one is a better value or fix than Kerrigan here. (Akeem Ayers)

19. GIANTS-ANTHONY CASTONZO-OT-Boston College: The Giants need to reshape their offensive line, and bring in a big presence to watch Eli Manning’s back. Costanzo is a steal this late, and is the most ready to play left tackle in the draft. He helps the Giants in an immediate way. (Gabe Carimi)

Anytime you can grab the best pure left tackle in the draft at 19, it's a winning year.

20. BUCS-JIMMY SMITH-CB-Colorado: Tampa needs help in the pass rush, but are showing up for that party a bit late. Instead, they get a big coverage help in the 6’3 Smith, who is an immediate fix for the recently released Aqib Talib. (Akeem Ayers)

21. CHIEFS-GABE CARIMI-OT-Wisconsin: The Chiefs were the most improved club in the game a year ago, and a lot of guys stepped up to erase a good number of needs they had. Offensive tackle is one of the new areas they still need to improve, and they fall into a great fit here. Carimi is tough as hole opener and will be a plus RT. (Nate Solder)

22. COLTS-NATE SOLDER-OT-Colorado: Peyton is still the most productive QB in the game, but is getting older regardless. Extending that production by keeping the heat off him, and improving an uninspired run game, is a must for the Colts. Solder does both of these things, and is a good value this late. (Corey Liuget)

23. EAGLES-MIKE POUNCEY-G-Florida: The Eagles need help across their line, and snagging Pouncey give them the ability to upgrade at either guard or center. His twin brother became Pro Bowler as rookie a year ago after being taken in this same range and high quality interior linemen are a definite plus. (Aaron Williams)

24. SAINTS-COREY LIUGET-DT-Illinois: They need more help at defensive end, and very well could reach here for one, but defensive tackle is a relevant enough need also, and Liuget may be the steal of the draft at this point. (Muhammad Wilkerson)

25. SEAHAWKS-JAKE LOCKER-QB-Washington: It’s very difficult to say what they do here, and predicting Locker to go here is a crap shoot simply because someone could have traded back into the first by now to take him, but if he remains this long I think the Seahawks could overlook other needs to take their potential QB of the future now, a round early. (Derek Sherrod)

Locker is the biggest wild card QB pick since Brady Quinn, and his stock is just as volatile on draft day.

26. RAVENS-AARON WILLIAMS-CB-Texas: This is basically a must pick for the Ravens. They have had a need at corner for at least three years now, but have consistently overlooked it. Now they have to pay attention to it, especially with their All-Universe safety net Ed Reed aging and floating retirement annually. (Cameron Hayward)

27. FALCONS-MUHAMMAD WILKINSON-DE-Temple: The Falcons should make a move to better their defensive line opposite of John Abraham, and land one of the better late first rounders available here. (Akeem Ayers)

28. PATRIOTS-AKEEM AYERS-OLB-UCLA: If they keep both first rounders (which we all know is virtually impossible to predict from the Pats front office), they can aggressive address the multiple issues they have on the front seven of their defense with Ayers. He gives them the tackling machine they desperately need, and could quickly make this unit a strength once a again for Belichick. (Danny Watkins)

29. BEARS-DEREK SHERROD-OT-Mississippi State: This answers a long time need for the Bears in pass protection, as they really have to hope to find a fix here that Chris Williams couldn’t give them a few years ago. Safety and receiver could just as easily be the move here, but Sherrod is the best option of any need position. (Jonathan Baldwin)

30. JETS-JUSTIN HOUSTON-OLB-Georgia: With the Vernon Gholston mega-flameout finally acknowledged, and Jason Taylor being basically an antique with only name value now, taking Houston is a good benefit to a team that already has a surplus of blitzing weapons. He’ll be well deployed in Rex Ryan’s constant blitzing attack. (Phil Taylor)

31. SETTLERS-BRANDON HARRIS-CB-Miami: They were able to reach Super Sunday despite featuring a cornerback group that was still prone to be torched over the top, which was exactly what sunk them the year before. Hopefully they take the hint and select Harris, who is solid coverage man that can play the type of physical game Pitt believes in. (Cameron Heyward)

32. PACKERS-CAMERON HAYWARD-DE-Ohio State: The Champs need more pressure to be brought from their front three, and Heyward is a high motor guy that can add that needed punch. Good value pick to fall to a championship team with a clear need. (Brandon Burton)

Don’t see what you think your squad needs? Somebody overrated or underrated? Later on there will be a brief 2nd round mock as well, where you those concerns may be addressed based on what’s left to go from or the potential sleepers that reveal themselves…

As usual, follow me on Twitter for an extensive live Draft Tweet up and more at @CheapSeatFan.