Mac Jones to the 49ers. Does that work for everyone if you’re a fan of the team? I’m not, but it doesn’t make any sense at all. You traded all that draft capital for a guy you could’ve had at the 12th spot. Jones was surrounded by two top receivers and a good offensive line at Alabama. What doesn’t make sense even more so is you’re going to take him over a guy in Justin Fields who played really well in college and made the big plays when he needed too, and Trey Lance who some believe may have the highest ceiling of any of the quarterbacks.
I’m just not a fan of Jones. Doesn’t move in the pocket, his deep throws are meh to me, and he was surrounded by four or five potential first and second round picks in Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Alex Leatherwood, Najee Harris and Landon Dickerson. Not to mention his off the field DUI arrest in 2017 as a freshman. Questions will surround this pick if it happens. I would go with Fields if I was San Francisco. Jones too many is highly overrated, and not worth what they traded. He doesn’t move in the pocket all. He also doesn’t have the arm talent to make deep throws in the pros. He is the more traditional pocket passer, which isn’t becoming so traditional anymore. Just because Kyle Shanahan thinks he may fit the system, he is what he is, meaning I don’t see any growth for him. His ceiling is where it is now. A mistake could be coming for the 49ers if they do the wrong thing here.
With the 2021 NFL draft scheduled for Thursday, April 29, 2021, we look ahead to pick who would fit best at which team for the upcoming 2021/2022 NFL season. Now, everybody is waiting to hear commissioner Roger Goodell say the words “with the first pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars select……” and we expect it to be Clemson QB, Trevor Lawrence. The six-foot-six-inch strong arm is almost undoubtedly going to be Urban Meyer’s first-ever pick in the NFL draft after being hired by the Jaguars earlier this year.
Seeing as the top 3 picks (Jacksonville, New York Jets, and San Francisco) in the draft are most likely going to be selecting Quarterbacks. Jacksonville is planning to find their head of a new franchise in QB Lawrence. The Jets traded both Joe Flacco and Sam Darnold so a QB would be the smartest bet. Remember the 49ers, who were one pass (overthrown to Emanuel Sanders) away from being Super Bowl Champions in 2019 with Jimmy Garoppolo, who they might be planning to succeed with trading up to number three to show their intention. Atlanta and Cincinnati round out the top 5, with the best-case scenario for Atlanta is to draft Matt Ryan’s successor seeing as the former MVP is 39 years old and is showing evidence of a decline. Cincinnati, fondly called the Bengals, don’t have a QB issue. Joe Burrow, last year’s number one overall pick ended his season abruptly with a torn ACL will be looking to pick up where he left off, and the Bengals can help by getting him some protection in the offensive line.
Some teams will be showing more of an ambition between now and draft night to try and move up the order. For example, New England may have re-signed Cam Newton, but 6-time Super Bowl winning coach Bill Belichick may trade up with a team in the top 10 o try and get a QB who isn’t based on legs. Rumors are they might trade with Dallas to get the number 10 pick to draft possibly Justin Fields of Ohio State or Trey Lance of North Dakota. Either way, this year’s draft will be filled with ecstasy and excitement. Will teams get their desired targets, or will they be swept off the board early? Who will cry with joy, and who will cry with disappointment? The NFL draft will be live at 8 pm on Thursday the 29th of April on NFL Network, ABC, and ESPN.
Players to watch
Devonta Smith (WR)
Kyle Pitts (TE)
Jaycee Horn (CB)
Mac Jones (QB)
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports
If your home fans are chanting “M-V-P!” in April, you know you are doing something right. Citi Field was the site of yet another gem by Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom on Friday night. Facing off against the rival Nationals, deGrom made the art of pitching look like a simple game of catch with Tomás Nido.
The Mets came into Friday’s game limping after getting swept three games by the Cubs at Wrigley Field. A part of an ace’s job in a starting rotation is to be the stopper, and deGrom was that and then some. With a heavily taxed bullpen behind him, deGrom gave his relievers a night off in dominant fashion.
If you are someone who likes good pitching and quick games, I hope you did not turn on the television or arrive at the ballpark late. In front of 8,130 fans at Citi Field, deGrom mowed down the Nationals’ lineup one by one while setting multiple records in the process.
Coming off back-to-back 14-strikeout performances against the Marlins and Rockies, deGrom continued his wizardry on the mound for a third consecutive outing. At least two of deGrom’s three outs each inning came by way of a strikeout in six of his nine innings of brilliance. Only one question remained. Would the Mets’ offense provide the King of Queens with run support?
As the saying goes, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. After J.D. Davis was hit by a pitch and Jeff McNeil walked, deGrom followed that saying to the letter.
A two-run single from Brandon Nimmo put the Mets up 3-0, which by deGrom standards is a boatload of runs.
Taking the lead with him to the mound for the first time in the sixth inning, deGrom made three runs look like 20. The Mets’ ace kept the ball out of play for two innings in a row. deGrom’s fielders behind him were probably stretching right along with the fans in the middle of the seventh, as deGrom struck out the side in both the sixth and seventh inning.
deGrom’s six straight strikeouts gave him a career high 15 and cemented him in baseball history as only the third pitcher in Major League history to strike out 14 batters in three straight starts. The other two? Pedro Martinez in 1999 and Gerrit Cole in 2019.
deGrom’s 14th strikeout was a two-sided record setter as it also put him past Shane Bieber and Nolan Ryan for most strikeouts in a pitcher’s first four starts of the season with 49. Of course, deGrom notched season strikeout number 50 one batter later for his 15th of the night.
Those at Citi Field, including Steve Gelbs, could not believe what they were witnessing. “I mean it’s really just stupid at this point. These are MAJOR LEAGUE HITTERS.” Gelbs tweeted after deGrom stuck out the side in the sixth inning.
With the deGrominator in cruise control, the Mets padded their cushion. An RBI single from Dominic Smith made it 4-0 and Nimmo put the icing on the cake an inning later with a two-run shot. You would think Nimmo’s home run energized the crowd the most in the bottom of the eighth, but it was deGrom stealing the show once again.
deGrom’s appearance in the on-deck circle and subsequent second hit of the night had Mets fans in a frenzy. Bowing down with approval, the “M-V-P!” chants rang throughout the ballpark once again as deGrom raised his season batting average to .545.
The ruckus cheering resumed as deGrom took the mound for the top of the ninth. The good news? deGrom set down the Nationals one, two, three as expected. The bad news? He had to settle for 15 strikeouts as each Nationals hitter managed to make contact. deGrom produced three straight groundouts to complete his 109-pitch, two-hit, 15-strikeout masterpiece in the 6-0 Mets win. By the way, only 25 of deGrom’s 109 pitches were balls.
Photo Credit: MLB.com
In an accomplishment not thought to be possible, deGrom managed to lower his microscopic ERA of 0.45 to 0.31. To put that in perspective, deGrom has more RBI, two, than earned runs allowed this season, one. And if anyone cares, deGrom improved his record to 2-1 on the season. But we all know wins do not reflect this man’s level of mastery on the mound.
deGrom’s follow-up act will come tomorrow night against the red-hot Red Sox at Citi Field who are averaging over five runs per game on the young season. Thankfully, the game is not at Fenway Park, which allows deGrom’s sizzling bat to be in the Mets’ starting lineup.
Photo Credit: AP
Seemingly the moment I turned 18, I received a letter in the mail from the Selective Service. I was compelled, by law, to inscribe myself into serving the United States government, should such wartime or emergency warrant a presidential decree. This is a far cry from the annual NFL draft, where the best eligible football players are pooled to latch on with a professional franchise.
These figurative warriors aren’t exactly signing their name in blood, but continuing a playing career at the highest level of competition is as lucrative as it is fleeting. The average NFL playing career spans only two and a half years. Even if an athlete is drafted and makes at or around a million dollars per year, that is hardly life-changing money for someone in their early-20s, even if it seems that way to them at the time. This is also in lockstep tandem with the inherent risk of a myriad of potentially-debilitating injuries. Concussions leading to CTE, catastrophic ligament tears or bone fractures, and chronic arthritis can all manifest from an early-life devotion to a collision sport. The mega stars of the NFL are vaulted in front of the camera to flaunt the riches of the Shield, while the real gladiators toil in the trenches they dug themselves for pennies on the proverbial dollar.
When you tune into the three-day spectacle that is the NFL Draft this coming week, take note of how happiness and relief are equally painted across the faces of the players who are selected and their loved ones. They made it. It took years of sacrifice and bodily abuse to reach a payday. Some are going to lose their composure and cry, like DK Metcalf. He should be an indication of how difficult a climb it is to reach the pinnacle. DK is the son of an NFL player and still needed to overcome a mountain of hardship and scrutiny to work his way to the league. When he cried, I cried. His tears and shaky voice on the phone with Seahawks brass were as genuine as it gets. Nothing beats the feeling of an emotional weight lifted.
Photo Credit: ESPN
I’ll be glued to my sofa all three days. Yes, I love seeing the reactions from all seven rounds. I live for the back stories. It’s a soap opera for football fans. I get invested in dozens of players from tracking them through college and studying their tape to prepare for the next fantasy season. I love football, they love football, and the draft is both the beginning and the end of the story. It is downright fun to mute the TV to “cut off” Mel Kiper Jr or Todd McShay to offer my dissenting opinion and exclaim how much smarter than them I think I am. There will be times when I applaud a great pick and then choke on my popcorn laughing when a team inevitably soils themselves in their own stupidity (unless it was my Cowboys).
The NFL Draft is must-see entertainment for a person like me. Call us what you want, but there exists a horde of nerds who will be catching the same high in unison. It signals the end of talking season and the beginning of “landing spot season.” As we near the end of a global pandemic, I hope that we can laugh, cry, and argue like it’s 2019 again, with high fives, chest bumps, and bear hugs, while wearing faded, over-washed jerseys that only appear shrunk. Here’s to this being the last draft where we don’t have a buddy’s draught glass to clink in acknowledgement of a player or beer well-picked. Cheers!