The Betting Corner: MLB Friday, April 26th, 2013

gordon_5axedjyy_zhhnascc4-25-13 Recap:

LOSS: 1 Unit – Texas at Minnesota (Over 8.5)

Season YTD: 30-23 +5.32 Units

Screen shot 2013-04-25 at 11.39.02 PM

Well, both pitchers came to play in this one.  Can’t say we had this one right.  Texas had a few chances with the bases loaded in the middle innings and less than two outs but couldn’t produce the breakout inning we needed.

___

1 Unit – Atlanta at Detroit (+115)

Even though Detroit won against KC the other day, they still haven’t been playing well.  You could argue 4 of their runs were unearned because they came after an error that would’ve ended the inning.  2 of the remaining 3 runs scored were from players that walked due to the wildness of Wade Davis.  Outside of those gifts their offense has been stagnant.  Atlanta on the other hand went into Colorado and took 2 of 3 from the number 1 team in the NL West.

I feel I’ve got a pretty good read on Maholm this year, we’ve been on the right side of two if his games this year (one was last week with Pitt in a 3-1 victory).  He’s coming off the 3 earned runs we called and would love to bounce back against struggling Detroit.  Maholm is holds a 2.60 ERA against the Tigers in 3 career starts.  Add that to his outrageous 3-1 record and 1.03 ERA, I’ll take him as a road underdog against a struggling offense.

Anibal Sanchez on the other hand, while throwing well this year (2-1 with a 1.75 ERA), has struggled against Atlanta in the past.  In 17 starts, he’s 4-11 with a 5.42 ERA (Atlanta’s won the last 5 games he’s started against them).  And if we don’t get up early, it’s always nice knowing Atlanta’s bullpen is 5-1 with a 1.60 ERA on the year.  That’s ranked #1 in MLB.  Detroit, not so much.  They hold a 1-5 record with a 4.86 ERA.  That’s good for 27th in the majors.

___

1 Unit – Philadelphia at NY Mets (Over 7.5) (-120)

7.5 is an awfully low total for these two teams considering their offensive capabilities and who they’re sending to the mound.  Hell, Dillon Gee threw two and a half weeks ago against the Phils and gave up 7 in just 3 innings. Philadelphia hasn’t been playing bad.  They’re getting runners on base, they’re just not getting those timely hits to get over the hump.  Facing Gee again may be the kick they need.  He’s now got a 7.55 career ERA against them in 7 games.

The Mets offense has scored an average of 5.68 runs per game (ranked #1 in the NL) and are currently 7-4 this year against right handed pitching.  Kyle Kendrick has pitched well in the early going, but I expect enough of a hiccup if not from him then hopefully from the Philly bullpen who has fared so well when we’ve gone with them in the last.

____________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for reading The Cover 4! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Oh yeah, tell your friends too!

Jeremy Murray
Sports Activist for The Cover 4
http://www.facebook.com/thecover4
http://www.twitter.com/thecover4

TheCover4.com is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site of any kind. We are simply here to provide information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.

All information regarding gambling is intended to be purely educational from an academic perspective, and not to actually encourage gambling.  We are in no way condoning gambling and are not affiliated with any and all casinos/sports books mentioned.

NHL Debate: MVP, Postseason & Outdoor Games

sid

Through most of the season, Sidney Crosby appeared to be running away with the MVP title, but since missing the last quarter of the season with a broken jaw, has Alex Ovechkin now become league MVP?

Pat: I’m of the belief that Ovechkin has done enough to at least garner significant MVP consideration, if not possibly winning the award.

James: Ovechkin has definitely been on a tear recently but Sid is the MVP. He still leads the league in points and had the Pens on one of the greatest winning streaks in hockey history. He is the MVP.

Pat: While everything you said is true and impressive, the Pens have not missed a beat without Crosby, or Malkin for that matter, and their team depth is coming through. The Caps go as Ovechkin goes as both their slow starts proved this season.

James: One could argue that the Pens are missing a beat without Crosby. He is the greatest player in hockey. Look at his wingers and the statistics they put up when he is around. Crosby is the MVP due to his body of work. If needed, he would be out there.

Pat: Crosby’s body of work is out of this world but the award isn’t for the best player, it’s for most valuable to his team, and Ovechkin is that guy. Early in the year as struggles plagued Ovechkin, they in turn plagued the Caps. The Caps looked cooked early but Ovi regained his old form and now the Caps are knocking on the door for a division title

James: I don’t disagree with you but how many times does the award actually go to the most valuable player to his team? The award goes to the best player, and a lot of the time, the best player on the best team. Sidney finishes first with Ovi a close second.

leafs

Who is the team to watch this postseason?

James: Your preseason pick is on fire right now. The Rangers look hot and have turned up the heat even higher as of late. Great goalie, solid defense and the team is scoring goals. They could be deadly in the playoffs.

Pat: No doubt that the Rangers are coming on, but my team to watch is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their team speed may be the best in the NHL and that, on a well coached team, can translate into great team defense. Team defense plus goaltending plus timely scoring equals Stanley Cup, and the Leafs can compete in all three aspects with nearly any team.

James: You and I both know that if your goalie gets hot then it changes everything. On the flip side, if your goalie is streaking.. Cough cough Marc-Andre Fleury last year… It is gonna be tough for any team to get out of the first round.

Pat: Ouch too soon, but you hit the nail on the head. Goaltending is the most important thing come playoff time. Another team that has it that could make some noise are the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky will win the Vezina IF the Jackets make it in to the playoffs, and if they do get in, don’t treat them like the Jackets of old.

 

winter classic

The NHL is finalizing plans to have six outdoor games in a league-wide series next season. Good or Bad idea? Which games would you most want to see?

Pat: I’m for it as long as the multiple outdoor game format is not an annual thing. The appeal of the Winter Classic has faded a bit but still holds meaning. I’d hate to see the NHL over-saturate the outdoor game idea. As far as the games I’d want to catch, certainly the Ducks versus Kings in Dodger Stadium. It would be great for the exposure of the sport in California.

James: I agree with you that it would be great for the sport to have the exposure to California but the more the merrier. The Winter Classic has lost a little fire but the outdoor games are great for hockey. Publicity, larger stadiums, different atmosphere. Obviously you miss the intensity of an arena but I’m really looking forward to six games!

Pat: I’m open to it once. It could be cool to see all these games back-to-back in unique venues. After the black eye that the lockout left on the league, it could be a great step towards bringing the game back to prominence

James: You’re exactly right on the fact that it is a step in the right direction to bringing the league back to prominence. The lockout was tough but the ability to host outdoor games creates a new audience for hockey fans. Do one a month!

 

____________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for reading The Cover 4! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

For the Fans. By the Fans. Period.

James Kaikis & Pat Davis
Sports Activist for The Cover 4
http://www.facebook.com/thecover4
http://www.twitter.com/thecover4

Eastern Conference Playoff Preview

Ovechkin Skates in Washington, DC

 

With the NHL season winding down and the playoff races start to get tighter between fewer teams, let’s take a look at the playoff-bound and contending teams in the Eastern Conference. We’ll start with the preseason projections and see how all the teams are now in the playoff race.

1. Pittsburgh Penguins – Clinched No. 1 overall seed in the East and Atlantic Division title

Preseason scoop: “Pittsburgh Penguins – No doubt that the thought of a healthy and extra-motivated Sidney Crosby playing with defending MVP and scoring champ Evgeni Malkin is going to cause many coaches and players to lose some sleep in the coming weeks. The two-headed monster spearheads a potent offensive lineup with the likse of Kris Letang and James Neal hiding in Crosby and Malkin’s shadows. The big question for the Pens will be on the blueline, and in net after that colossal defensive breakdown versus Philadelphia in last year’s playoffs. Marc-Andre Fleury will need to return to his dominant form from the regular season, and put that playoff series behind him.”

It didn’t go according to plan for the Penguins this year, but it’s clear that they are thinking cup or bust. Crosby has been sensational in all the games that he has played, and despite missing the last quarter of the season with a broken jaw, he is still likely to win the MVP.Reigning MVP Evgeni Malkin has battled injuries and inconsistency this season, but is getting plenty of time to fully heal down the stretch. General Manager Ray Shero went all-in around the trade deadline acquiring veterans Douglas Murray, Jussi Jokinen, Brenden Morrow and Jarome Iginla. The Pens are surely the team to beat in the East.

2. Boston Bruins – Clinched playoff berth and are neck-and-neck with Montreal for the No. 2 seed in the East and Northeast Division title

Preseason Scoop: “Despite former MVP and Conn Smythe-winning All-Star goalie Tim Thomas sitting the season out due to personal reasons, the Bruins are still sitting pretty in the drivers seat of the division. Tuukka Rask is a more than capable starting goaltender, and there won’t be much of a drop-off for the B’s in the crease. Zdeno Chara captains a roster that will see the return of a healthy Nathan Horton, who was dealing with concussion issues last  season. The big, physical Bruins should be in control of the division from the get-go, especially if their offense starts hot.”

It has been an emotional season for the Bruins. They started by making a “paper trade” of Tim Thomas (although he was sitting out the year, he still counts against the salary cap, so he was dealt to the Islanders so New York could have more salary on the books and the Bruins would have cap room) early in the season. They have been battling with the Canadiens for the division all season, and that race will go right down to the wire. The big story about the Bruins this year is how they will bounce back long-term after the terrorist attack and subsequent man-hunt through the streets of suburban Boston, causing them to have to postpone two games. When play returned to the TD Garden, emotions ran high and were capped by a touching rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by the Boston crowd. With the situation over, and the season winding down, look for the Bruins to get back to business and try and lock up the Northeast.

3. Washington Capitals – Three points ahead of Winnipeg for the Southeast Division with three games left

Preseason Scoop : “Led by superstar Alex Ovechkin, the Caps look to find their winning ways again. A perennial playoff team, and often times a legitimate threat to win it all, the Caps have kept finding ways to blow it. They have yet to put a significant playoff run together, and their goaltending can go from perfect to disastrous in a matter of days. Loaded upfront with Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and new addition Mike Ribeiro, the Caps cut dead weight in Alex Semin, and Braden Holtby proved in last year’s playoffs that he is a franchise-caliber goalie. If Backstrom can shake his concussion issues from last year, and defenseman Mike Green and Ovi can find their form from a couple years ago, and solid role players like Brooks Laich can hold the fort in the defensive zone, the Caps can be a truly dominant team.”

The Caps struggled mightily early in the year and at one point, looked to be a lottery pick. They were losing game after game in ugly ways, letting stupid penalties and disastrous turnovers doom them, and the goaltending was nowhere to be found. Brooks Laich was hurt for most of the year, and Alex Ovechkin’s production was OK, but his desire came into heavy question. Now, Ovechkin has hit the 30-goal mark, which is good for a player in ANY season, let alone a 48-game one (in which he still has three games left). The Caps, if they get in, are going to be very dangerous come playoff time. They’ve gotten hot at the right time, winning nine of their last 10, and Ovi and Mike Green have found their potent offensive forms. Only question will be goaltending for the Caps (as it is for every team).

4. Montreal Canadiens – Clinched playoff berth, battling with Boston for the Northeast Division

Preseason Scoop: “It was a rough season last year for the Habs that saw them finish dead last in the Eastern Conference, and third-worst in the entire league. There is not too much reason to believe this year will be much better. Young star defenseman and future franchise player P.K. Subban has yet to report to camp as a restricted free agent, and the Habs feature an aging lineup of veterans with some young upstart players like Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty. Unless Carey Price can stand on his head night in and night out and steal more than his fair share of games, the 48-game season will feel like an 82-game season in hockey’s promised land.”

Time to eat a little crow on this one. I completely wrote off the Habs at the beginning of the year, and totally underestimated the effect that new coach Michel Therrien would have on Montreal. He got the most out of every player on that roster on a nightly basis, including rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. PK Subban finally signed after a holdout, and now leads the Canadiens in points on the year and is a budding star in the NHL. Carey Price has stolen his fair share of games for them this year, but the majority of the Habs wins have been team wins. As of late however, Montreal has fallen into some inconsistency and some troublesome goaltending. Many feel that Montreal overachieved early in the year, and it’s possible it did. It is also possible that it is just hitting a rough patch that nearly every team has hit and will snap out of this in time for the postseason.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs – Clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2004.

Preseason Scoop: “The hockey-crazed city of Toronto has been desperate for a winner, and this year maybe its year. To say Toronto is a longshot to win the Cup may be an understatement, but I for one am a beLEAFer. After a monumental collapse late last season, Toronto may be a team to benefit from a shortened season. Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul had fantastic seasons last year and look to pick up where they left off. The forward unit is bolstered by the addition of James van Riemsdyk who was traded at the draft from the Flyers for Luke Schenn. While Schenn will be a tough loss, the blueline was and is the Leafs deepest spot, and JVR is a stud. Of course, we can’t for get to mention that  James Reimer needs to be lights out. If the Leafs get into the postseason, you never know what could happen.”

After my “eat crow moment”, here comes the “I told you so moment.” Despite Phil Kessel starting off horribly slowly, and Joffrey Lupul missing a huge portion of the season with a broken arm, the Leafs have returned to the postseason for the first time since 2004, and they are a team that could make some noise. James Reimer has stood tall in net for the Leafs all year, and while they could finish as low as eighth still, look for them to take the fifth seed. Kessel has come on lately and since returning from injury, Lupul has been nearly unstoppable. James van Riemsdyk has been phenomenal for the Leafs, and Nazem Kadri finally had his breakout year in the NHL, showing that they were right to develop him slowly. You have to feel for former GM Brian Burke though, who was fired at the beginning of the year (for refusing to trade for Roberto Luongo according to the rumor mill), he was the one that put this team together, and his last move as GM (trading Luke Schenn to acquire JVR) was arguably his best move yet as GM.

6. New York Islanders – Clinched playoff berth. Currently in a three way tie for sixth place.

Preseason Scoop: “An intriguing team to watch, the Islanders have been a perennial basement dweller in the Atlantic, however they boast an emerging star in John Tavares, backed up by the likes of Matt Mouslon and Michael Grabner. The Islanders are a young team that may benefit from playing every other night, and if they develop of winning streak early, they can be a contender for a playoff spot.”

Again, not many saw the Islanders contending for the playoffs, but for us here at TC4, we are not surprised. John Tavares continued his development as a former first-overall pick to quietly emerge as an MVP candidate. Tavares is 14th in the league in points with 45, but is third in the league in goals with 26, and has really come on the second half of the season. The captain-in-waiting of the Isles has been tremendous, and his supporting cast has done the job too. Moulson has kept pace with Tavares in points with 42, and free-agent signee Brad Boyes has been effective, posting 32 points. Goaltending has been the crutch to this team as Evgeni Nabakov (who refused to even join the team in 2010-11 when it picked him up off of waivers) is tied for the league lead in wins with 32. If he can get to 33 wins, the Isles will be headed to the dance.

7. Ottawa Senators – Clinched playoff berth. Currently in a three way tie for sixth place.

Preseason Scoop: “The Sens present one of the most balanced lineups in the NHL. They’re backstopped by Craig Anderson in net, who is one of the most underrated keepers in the league. In addition, the feature a balanced forward lineup of veterans like Daniel Alfredsson , Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Chris Neil that compliment defending Norris Trophy champion Erik Karlsson’s solid D corps. Injuries have taken a chunk out of the D corps however, and those suiting up will have to play to their max ability right from the hop for the Sens to compete for the division.”

Every player mentioned in our preseason preview for the Senators has missed an extended period of time, with key forward Jason Spezza and defending Norris champ Erik Karlsson still out of the lineup. Injuries have been the storyline for the Senators all season long, but despite having an injured list equal to their active roster, the Senators are in good position to make the playoffs. With only three games left, and a three-point lead over the ninth-place team, their fate lies in their hands, and they are getting healthy. Anderson is back, playing at his Vezina-worthy level, leading the league in GAA and save percentage, but he may have missed too much time due to injury to win the Vezina. If Ottawa gets in, it can present a tough matchup for any team because of Anderson’s play.

8. New York Rangers – Clinched playoff berth. Currently in a three way tie for sixth place.

Presseason Scoop: It’s Stanley Cup or bust for the Rangers this season. After having an impressive season last year despite under-production from superstar free-agent signee Brad Richards, Henrik Lundqvist was lights out and carried them to the Eastern Conference Finals. This season, the Broadway Blueshirts have added yet another star in Rick Nash, and feature an impressive young blueline with Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, and Dan Girardi. Up and down, the Rangers boast the most formidable lineup in the Eastern Conference.”

The most surprising team in a certain position, the New York Rangers are teetering on the edge of the playoff picture, currently sitting in the final position in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. They underachieved for most of the season, and many were wondering if coach John Tortorella, only a year removed from the Eastern Conference Finals, was on his way out of Broadway. Underachieving star winger Marian Gaborik was shipped out of town, and star defenseman Marc Staal suffered a terrible eye injury after taking a shot to the face, and his return this season is questionable at best. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the Rangers are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, and seem to be catching fire at the right time. There is no room for error anymore, which has them playing “playoff hockey” early, and if they can get in, WATCH OUT. Henrik Lundqvist has been sensational all season and is the single biggest reason that the Rangers are still in the hunt, and not talking golf with the Lightning, Panthers and Flyers. Everyone’s preseason pick for Eastern Conference champs still may pull through.

____________________________________________________________________________
Thank you for reading The Cover 4! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Oh yeah, tell your friends too!

Pat

Pat Davis
Sports Activist for The Cover 4
http://www.facebook.com/thecover4
http://www.twitter.com/thecover4

Mock Draft: Version B

Mock Draft: Version B April 25, 2013

There’s only one day until draft day and it’s time to see whether your team’s pick will leave you smiling, yelling at the TV or simply nodding your head. While I’m sure there will be some trades made throughout the draft, this mock is composed if the order goes as is. Usually people build mock drafts that they think improve their old one, I’m going a different direction. It’s not more likely to happen, but a set of scenarios that could result in a completely different draft. Version B takes a few more chances and goes a little unconventional. Draft day always has a couple shockers though.

To view Version1: https://thecover4.com/2013/04/16/nfl-mock-draft-1-0/

(Please read Version 1)

 1. Kansas City Chiefs

Positions of need: Defensive Line and Offensive Line

The Chiefs drafting Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joekel still makes too much sense. Andy Reid needs to protect Alex Smith if he wants to see him do anything productive. Yes, the Chiefs are still looking to trade down to snag some more picks but I don’t see any team trading picks to get the first overall pick. Again, we’re more likely to see Andy Reid in a Weight Watchers commercial before we hear of a trade happening. The Chiefs are going to bring in Joekel, trade Brandon Albert to the Dolphins and hopefully begin a new era in Kansas City. If the Albert trade doesn’t go through, the Chiefs are going to be stuck with more tackles than their run defense had last year.

 Previous Pick: Luke Joekel

Pick: Luke Joekel

 2. Jacksonville Jaguars

Positions of need: Quarterback, Linebacker, Offensive and Defensive Line

As seen from the positions of need for the Jaguars, they need help everywhere.  It’s damn near impossible for the team to make a pick and have it not be a good move. They’re that bad. I still like the idea of taking a pass-rusher here. The entire team had less sacks than J.J. Watt last year. They need the help on the defensive line, and Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan provides that. While the Jaguars may be tempted to snag Ziggy Ansah, Jordan is the more polished of  the two.

 Previous Pick: Dion Jordan

Pick: Dion Jordan

 3. Oakland Raiders

Position of Need: Defensive Tackle

Oakland fans, there is only one day left until the draft and your team has managed to keep its draft pick. Let’s hope they can make it through the next 24 hours. The Raiders lost both Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour this off-season leaving them with a huge need at defensive tackle. I’d prefer Utah’s Star Lotulelei but the media has hyped up Florida’s  Shariff Floyd as the go-to-guy for defensive tackle. The Raiders haven’t had a first rounder in a while and hopefully it’s something that they won’t mess up. The pick’s staying the same and rolling with Floyd.

 Previous Pick: Shariff Floyd

Pick: Shariff Floyd

 4. Philadelphia Eagles

Positions of need: Quarterback, Linebacker and Offensive Line

 Hey, it’s our first change in the draft! From everything that has been coming out of the Eagles camp in the draft, Chip Kelly’s offense GOES. I’m personally about the “try and draft as many Eagles’ players as I can” in my fantasy draft. With this new offense, the Eagles are about to need some offensive linemen that can hustle and keep up. So, whose name will we see on a personalized post-workout smoothie in Eagles camp after the draft? They’ll get themselves an athletic offensive lineman and we’ll see Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher running up and down the field come September.

 Previous Pick: Star Lotulelei

Pick: Eric Fisher

 5. Detroit Lions

Positions of need: Offensive Line and Defensive Line

The Lions lost Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril and Jeff Backus this year. That leaves some major holes at the line of scrimmage. Rumor has it that they really want Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner as well. So do they go for a pass rusher or take the corner to protect from being destroyed by Aaron Rodgers twice a year? I think they’ll roll with Milliner rather than take the risk on Ziggy Ansah. Even though that ESPN article came out about Milliner’s surgeries, I think that’s more news to us than to NFL teams.

 Previous Pick: Eric Fisher

Pick: Dee Milliner

 6. Cleveland Browns

Positions of need: Cornerback and Linebacker

If Milliner fell to them I think they would take him, but they might not have the opportunity. It’s too much of a reach to take a linebacker, they don’t need the last top lineman available, and their dream cornerback tandem is gone. So, I think it’s between snagging West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith or improving their pass rush. I think Smith makes sense with this pick over Ansah. It might seem like a bit of a reach but what do the Browns have to lose? Brandon Weeden is not the future, take the best quarterback in the draft and see where it goes.

 Previous Pick: Dee Milliner

Pick: Geno Smith

 7. Arizona Cardinals

Positions of need: Offensive Line. They need something that can actually move.

 The Cardinals are screaming that Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson made it to them. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if someone was willing to trade with the Browns to move up and snag the last of the elite tackles available. Johnson will never make it past the Cardinals. Old man Carson Palmer will be protected.

 Previous Pick: Lane Johnson

Pick: Lane Johnson

 8. Buffalo Bills

Positions of need: Quarterback

This is where I go a little crazy and completely buy into rumors. As much as I’d love to see Kevin Kolb Kolbing it up next year, I don’t see it happening.  Kolb is the guy that enters the game and everyone you’re watching the game with knows he’s going to mess up, get hurt or both. Doug Marrone and the Bills coaching staff have a good relationship with their former Syracuse quarterback and it seems like they may just take Ryan Nassib with this pick, especially if Geno is gone. Do I think Nassib is a first-round pick? No, but it’s nothing new for me to be surprised on draft day.

 Previous Pick: Geno Smith

Pick: Ryan Nassib

 9. New York Jets

Positions of need: Defensive Line, Linebacker and Wide Receiver

I still think that Rex Ryan is taking a pass rusher, the name has just changed. I said in the first version of this mock draft that it was between BYU’s Ziggy Ansah and LSU’s Barkevious Mingo. The media have been talking up a storm about Ansah and may have just talked him past Mingo. It may be the case that Ryan develops Ansah into an absolute beast. The Jets will now be hoping that Ziggy will be able to cause more fumbles than the ass of Mark Sanchez’s lineman.

 Previous Pick: Barkevious Mingo

Pick: Ziggy Ansah

 10. Tennessee Titans

Positions of need: Offensive Line and Defensive Line 

I still think that its too early to take a guard in this draft and after Lane Johnson there isn’t a lineman worth a top-10 pick.  I think they’ll help bolster their pass rush and add LSU’s Barkevious Mingo. Mingo is one of the best pass rushers available in the draft and is a more polished product than Ansah.

 Previous Pick: Ziggy Ansah

Pick: Barkevious Mingo

 11. San Diego Chargers

Positions of Need: Offensive Line & Linebacker

I just said that guards are not generally top-10 picks and luckily this is pick number 11. The Chargers have a huge need on the offensive line and to give Philip Rivers some protection. Ideally, the Chargers would trade up to the Browns position or higher and take one of the elite tackles. If they’re not able to do that though, look for them to go to the next best thing and take North Carolina offensive guard Jonathan Cooper.

 Previous Pick: Jonathan Cooper

Pick: Jonathan Cooper

 12. Miami Dolphins

Positions of need: Offensive Line, Defensive Line and Cornerback

 The Dolphins lost their staple on their offensive line when Jake Long decided to head to St. Louis and have had their eye on Brandon Albert. This pick is going to be contingent on whether the Dolphins feel they can get the deal done. I think the Albert deal gets done and the Dolphins will still focus on their offensive line. Ryan Tannehill just got some nice toys and is going to need time to play with them. Take a chance on Alabama offensive guard Chance Warmack and protect the quarterback.

 Previous Pick: D.J. Fluker

Pick: Chance Warmack

 13. Jets (From the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Positions of need: Cornerback, Tight End and Defensive Line

The Bucs got the deal done with Darrelle Revis and gave up the 13th pick in the process. The Jets give themselves two picks in the top 13, but gave up arguably the best position player in football. I think the Bucs got a steal by not having to pay future guaranteed money to Revis, and the Jets will look to make a steal of their own with this pick. While Rex Ryan loves defense, the Jets need a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball. I think they take the best wide receiver in the draft and snag West Virginia’s Tavon Austin. The Jets somehow need to find a way into the end zone.

 Previous Pick: Xavier Rhodes (Bucs)

Pick: Tavon Austin

 14. Carolina Panthers

Positions of need: Defensive Line, Cornerback and Wide Receiver

The Panthers need to address their defensive issues. The Panthers are salivating at Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei falling to them in the draft. In my previous version, I had Lotulelei going fourth overall to the Eagles, but its very possible he falls here in the draft (especially considering his medical issues). He could be the steal of the draft if the Panthers can get him here. They’d be fools to not draft him.

 Previous Pick: Sheldon Richardson

Pick: Star Lotulelei

 15. New Orleans Saints

Positions of need: Linebacker, Defensive Line, Safety and Offensive Tackle

 I still think that the Saints and Rob Ryan get themselves a pass rusher with this pick. D.J. Fluker is sitting there but Ryan will convince them to pass him up. Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones didn’t do himself any favors with his draft or pro-day performance, but I STILL can’t see him falling below here. They keep with Jones.

 Previous Pick: Jarvis Jones

Pick: Jarvis Jones

 16. St. Louis Rams

Positions of need: Wide Receiver, Safety and Linebacker

 The Rams have a need at wide receiver but they won’t be able to get the one they want. If Austin is gone at this point in the draft, they might as well snag the best safety in the draft and address their wide receiver issue later. They’ll roll with Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro and improve their secondary immediately.

 Previous Pick: Tavon Austin

Pick: Kenny Vaccaro

 17. Pittsburgh Steelers

Positions of need: Linebacker, Defensive Line, Safety and Tight End

While I didn’t think the Steelers would take an offensive player with their first-round pick, it’s entirely possible. With Kenny Vaccaro, the elite outside linebackers and defensive ends gone, the Steelers may look to potentially replace Heath Miller. Miller’s coming off of surgery and Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert is just getting more and more hype. I had him going  30th last time but this could be the right fit and the right situation. Don’t be surprised if you hear Eifert’s name come pick 17.

 Previous Pick: Kenny Vaccaro

Pick: Tyler Eifert

 18. Dallas Cowboys

Positions of need: Offensive Line and Safety

 As a Cowboys fan I want Kenny Vaccaro to be available here. If he is available and he is passed up, I will be screaming at the TV and hoping Jerry Jones can hear me. Odds are that it’s not going to happen so I think they look towards one of their lines. It’d be between Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker to boost the offensive line or Sheldon Richardson to help the move to the 4-3 defense. Jerry invested heavy in Tony Romo this offseason and needs to protect that investment. Take Fluker and protect the quarterback.

 Previous Pick: Chance Warmack

Pick: D.J. Fluker

 19. New York Giants

Positions of need: Linebacker and Defensive Line

Although the Giants have a need on the defensive line, it wouldn’t surprise me if they addressed some secondary issues. With Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes on the board, I think they would be inclined to take the chance. If you think I’m overvaluing him, opposing receivers against him averaged just 5.7 yards per completion.

 Previous Pick: Bjoern Werner

Pick: Xavier Rhodes

 20. Chicago Bears

Positions of need: Linebacker and Defensive tackle

For the same reasons I said in version 1,  if the Bears take the best player available, they take Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree.

 Previous Pick: Alec Ogletree

Pick: Alec Ogletree

 21. Cincinnati Bengals

Positions of need: Cornerback, Linebacker and Running Back

I think its going Ogletree then Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o or Te’o then Ogletree. I think the pair are going in these two picks.

 Previous Pick: Manti Te’o

Pick: Manti Te’o

 22. St. Louis Rams (from the Washington Redskins)

Positions of need: Safety, Wide Receiver and Linebacker

The Rams do it right here. They get Kenny Vaccaro with their first pick and address their receiver issue with their second. They snag Tennessee’s Cordarelle Patterson and help boost a receiving corps in deep need of a threat. Patterson’s size and speed gives them a legit deep-threat receiver.

 Previous Pick: John Cyprien

Pick: Cordarelle Patterson

 23. Minnesota Vikings

Positions of need: Wide Receiver, Linebacker and Defensive Line

The Vikings need a receiver but with Patterson off the board, it’d be a stretch to grab one here. Also, the elite middle linebackers go right before them. The good news is that they can still address their defensive line issues. I think they’d be smart to snag defensive tackle Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. He may just be too good to pass up.

 Previous Pick: Cordarrelle Patterson

Pick: Sheldon Richardson

 24. Indianapolis Colts

Positions of need: Wide Receiver, Cornerback and Safety

Same argument from version 1 and the same pick.

 Previous Pick: Desmond Trufant

Pick: Desmond Trufant

 25. Minnesota Vikings (from the Seattle Seahawks)

The Vikings have two picks in the first round. They address their defensive line problem in this version with their first pick, meaning they need to take a receiver here. California’s Keenan Allen comes off the board.

 Previous Pick: Sylvester Williams

Pick: Keenan Allen

26. Green Bay Packers

Positions of need: Safety, Defensive Line, Linebacker and Running Back

Again, do the right thing Green Bay.

 Previous Pick: Eddie Lacy

Pick: Eddie Lacy

27. Houston Texans

Position of need: Wide Receiver

The Texans still need a wide receiver but Allen is off the board in this version. They snag USC’s Robert Woods who is just as good, if not better.

 Previous Pick: Keenan Allen

Pick: Robert Woods

 28. Denver Broncos

Positions of need: Defensive line, Running Back and Linebacker

Same reasoning as last time to bolster the defensive line. The only difference is there are better players available in version 2. They still take a Williams, just a better one.

 Previous Pick: Jesse Williams

Pick: Sylvester Williams

 29. New England Patriots

Positions of need: Wide Receiver and Defensive Line

Like I said in version 1, the most dangerous passing game tries to take it to another level. They take the best receiver on the board.

 Previous Pick: Robert Woods

Pick: DeAndre Hopkins

 30. Atlanta Falcons

Positions of need: Cornerback, Defensive Line and Tight End

 Eifert is gone in this version so the Dirty Birds are going to go defensive. Their offense isn’t the reason they are not making Super Bowls. Take the other Florida State defensive end. When have people ever gone wrong with a guy named Tank?

 Pick: Tyler Eifert

Pick: Tank Carradine

 31. San Francisco 49ers

Position of need: Safety

 There’s not too much change for the 49ers and not much change in the safeties. I like Florida’s Matt Elam slightly over Jonathan Cyprien and I think they stick with him.

 Previous Pick: Matt Elam

Pick: Matt Elam

 32. Baltimore Ravens

Positions of need: Linebacker and Safety

The Ravens are looking for a replacement for Ed Reed. Florida International’s Jonathan Cyprien is more than willing to try and step up. The safety from a small school is looking to make a big name for himself in the NFL.

 Previous Pick: Kevin Minter

Pick: Jonathan Cyprien

 

 

 

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: