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Kyler Murray #1 Pick By Cardinals, Bosa, Williams, Ferrell, White Round Out Top 5

FOOTBALL

Recap of the first round of the NFL draft:

To no one’s surprise, the Arizona Cardinals chose Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the number one pick. At 5’10”, the Heisman trophy winner, Murray, will be the shortest quarterback in the NFL. Murray also has the distinction of being the only player to be drafted in the first round of both the NFL and Major League Baseball drafts.

The San Francisco 49er took defensive end from Ohio State, Nick Bosa, with the second pick, while the New York Jets grabbed the other highly touted defender, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, with the third pick of the draft.

At #4, the Oakland Raiders surprised everyone by choosing defensive end Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson. Everyone assumed they’d pick Kentucky’s Josh Allen (who went to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the #7 pick).

Rounding out the top 5, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose inside linebacker Devin White from LSU.

The other major surprise in the early part of the first round was the Giants picking Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. By choosing Jones, the Giants are signaling they are looking for a future franchise quarterback to replace 38-year old Eli Manning. Draft analysts, however, seemed skeptical that Jones could live up the role of franchise player.

For the rest of the first round pics, click here.

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NFL Move To Shrink Preseason Games, Murray Flawless, Browns Player Talks Way On To Team And Scores TD

FOOTBALL

We’re in the first week of the NFL preseason’s four-week schedule. It’s a great chance for teams to get practice before the regular season begins, but most of the high profile stars aren’t playing full games for fear of injury. In fact, there’s a move to shrink the number of games in the preseason. According to a member of the NFL’s competition committee, Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy, “The reality is that the preseason is changing pretty rapidly. The quality is not good, and it’s changing for the worse in terms of the quality of games. Even if you went to two [per team], I still think with the salaries that we’re paying, that people will be just reluctant to expose players to injuries. So you would have to figure out how much preseason you need to develop and evaluate young players. Veterans just don’t need it.”

Even though most of the star athletes only took a few snaps, there were some standout performances. The number one pick in the NFL, Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, had an almost flawless debut going 6 for 7 for 44 yards in a 17-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The New York Giants controversial #6th pick in the draft, Daniel Jones, had a solid drive with a touchdown and no incompletions to beat the New York Jets 31-22.

One of the best stories of the preseason was Sheehy-Giuseppi earning a spot on the Cleveland Browns roster by pretending to know the VP of player personnel. He made the story even better this weekend by catching an 86-yard punt return touchdown in the Browns’ 30-10 win over the Washington Redskins.

 

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: MARCH MADNESS, JAY CUTLER DRAMA IN THE NFL

Sure, March Madness is upon us.  But… it’s not just the Men’s tournament you should take note of.  While the #1 seeds in the Men’s tourney all seem beatable, the UCONN Huskies women’s team is essentially unstoppable.  They have a perfect 33-0 record, and every single team in the Women’s tourney will be gunning for them.  However, UCONN’s women’s head coach, Geno Auriemma is staying modest about the whole thing, saying “we’re just going to take it one game at a time”.  In other words, if the UCONN women’s team doesn’t win the whole thing, it will be a huge upset.

NFL

In the NFL, the drama between Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels and starting quarterback Jay Cutler continues to escalate.  Cutler was insulted that McDaniels went after Patriots QB Matt Cassel, basically sending Cutler a message that he doesn’t believe in him.  McDaniels tried to explain the misunderstanding — that, yes, he did want Cassel, but only because he has been working directly with him in New England the past couple seasons.  McDaniels was upfront and honest about his intentions, but this excuse just wasn’t enough for Cutler.  And yesterday, he said he wanted to be traded.  This… is a stupid move on Cutler’s part.  He’s the starting QB in a major football city, and he wants out?  The Detroit Lions have expressed some interest in him, and they hold the rights to the #1 pick in the draft, but McDaniels has said he doesn’t want the #1 pick, and isn’t interested in trading Cutler.  We’ll have to see how this develops, but as of right now… it’s pretty messy.

Elsewhere in the NFL, the end of a 4-year experiment.  Matt Jones was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars to be an all around player.  He was a phenom in college, and the Jags thought he could step in at QB, Wide Receiver, or even defense.  He was that talented.  They picked Wide Receiver for him, but he just never panned out.  Plus, he had a lot of ‘off-the-field’ issues with the law (specifically marijuana problems).  Well, last week Matt Jones was arrested on another drug charge, and placed in jail.  That was all she wrote for the Matt Jones era in Jacksonville, as the Jags decided to part ways with the former college stand-out.  He will probably get another chance somewhere, but based on his experience in Jacksonville, teams know what they’re getting into, and most would agree — he’s just not worth it.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Finally, in some rare college FOOTBALL news this time of year, the #1 blue-chip running-back prospect in the country, Bryce Brown, has officially decided where he will spend his college football career.  His answer:  The Tennessee Volunteers.  This is very exciting for Tennessee, and will be a great start for new head coach for Lane Kiffin.  Brown was considering other major football programs (Miami & Oregon), but heading to Tennessee could breathe new life into their program.  The Volunteers are usually always in the Top 10 in college football, but have fallen off a bit in the last few seasons (with Florida taking the reigns as the dominant SEC team).  With this new recruit, expect to see Tennessee back in a major bowl next season.

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WATERCOOLER CHAT: COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

It’s that time of the week again — college football time.  This week’s featured match-up:  #1 Texas v. #11 Missouri.  Here’s why this game is nuts.  Texas is new to the #1 seat, and now are playing protector.  However, just last week, Missouri was vying for the same throne, but a poor performance against Oklahoma State prevented them from moving up the ladder, and they fell to #11.  Usually teams that lose their first game of the season are mentally scared because they know their National Championship hopes have taken a lashing.  But now Missouri gets a crack against the #1 seed, and if they win, they still have a good case at the end of the season to play in the BIG GAME.

Note:  Both of these teams are extremely talented.  Texas is led by QB Colt McCoy (who is the darling of Texas right now), but Missouri has the strong arm of arguably the best QB in the nation — Chase Daniel.  Daniel is on a Heisman campaign and is chomping at the bit for this Nationally Televised Game.  An opportunity to topple the #1 seed is what every college football program lives for (in addition to actually BEING the #1 seed).

Elsewhere in college football, Clemson’s head coach, Tommy Bowden, was fired yesterday because of Clemson’s average 3-3 start.  Clemson was expected to make waves before the season, but have been nothing special and viewed as ‘just another game’ on their opponents schedules.  Furthermore, to make this into a comical situation, Tommy’s brother and Auburn’s head coach, Terry Bowden, said he didn’t feel sorry for his brother whatsoever.  On Yahoo.com, he stated, “So, did Tommy Bowden deserve what happened to him Monday? Unfortunately, yes, he deserved it because he, of all people, knew what to expect when he got into this business. We grew up in it.”  You gotta admire brotherly love.

And the QB controversy in Dallas continues.  Earlier this week, it was reported that Tony Romo would be out for a month with a broken pinkie.  Brad Johnson, the 40-year-old QB, and former Super Bowl winner, would step in.  However, 2 days later, Romo said he thought he could play through the injury.  Now in Dallas, Romo has been practicing one day, then sitting out the next.  The Dallas community has no idea who will start at QB on Sunday against the Rams.  Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner, fears that Romo could get hurt and miss an extended period of time.  But, from a coach’s perspective, having Romo at the helm gives them a much better chance of winning the game — if, in fact, he CAN play.  We’ll have to wait and see how this drama unfolds, but it could be a game-time call. (This, of course, is so frustrating for Fantasy Owners who have Romo…fortunately I don’t have him, but I feel for those who do.)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Finally, last night was Midnight Madness, when all the college basketball programs take the court at midnight to have their first practice of the season in front of packed stadiums.  It’s a campus cultural event that you simply can not miss.  And you have to imagine that in Lawrence, Kansas, home of the Kansas Jayhawks, they must have gone absolutely insane last night when the first ball bounced on the Allen Field House court.  Can they repeat?  Well, at least everyone in that stadium last night thinks they can.

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