Tag Archive | Draft

The Three Major Questions Heading Into Tonight’s NBA Draft Plus Mock Draft 2014

By Nick Guy

  1. What will Cleveland do?

The choices seem to be down to three: Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins or Trade out. While nobody would ever imagine trading out of the first pick in a draft where there are such high ceiling players, we ARE talking about the Cavs. One rumor has the Orlando Magic offering the 4th and 12th picks plus scoring forward Aron Afflalo. If Cleveland is truly in love with Joel Embiid this might make some sense as they could try to add Embiid with the 4th pick and add a second lottery pick and a good player in return. On the other hand if Embiid’s injury problems are chronic and Wiggins or Parker turn out to be…well you know the rest. As for Parker, there are rumors swirling that he wants no part of Cleveland and would be much happier in Milwaukee. If I am the Cavs I would not listen to anyone or anything and just take the best player, pair him with Kyrie Irving and move on. In my eyes that would be Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins has the most upside of anyone in the draft and will be a future star in the league.

 

  1. Where will Joel Embiid land?

Is Embiid’s injury bad timing or good timing? Depends who you ask. I would say bad timing for Joel Embiid but maybe lucky timing for the Cavs? As the draft banter has progressed in the last month or so all I kept hearing was Embiid was going first to the Cavs who were drooling at his potential. My thoughts? Always take the best player which to me means Andrew Wiggins 1st, Jabari Parker 2nd and Joel Embiid 3rd. I wondered if Cavs management had been stuck in a cave for the past 30 years and never heard the stories of Sam Bowie and Michael Jordan or Greg Oden and Kevin Durant? Is it possible they would pass on Wiggins and Parker to pick the injury prone big man with potential? Bad timing for Philly who at pick number 3 had to be giddy in thinking the Cavs would leave them Wiggins or Parker. How lucky can Cleveland be? First they come all the way up to win the lottery and snag the 1st pick and then an injury might actually force them to take the best player? WOW!! With that said, please understand that this is not to denigrate Joel Embiid who is an exceptional prospect. Just not the top prospect. So where does he land? I think the highest spot he could go is 3rd. The 76ers will choose between Embiid and Dante Exum or possibly maneuver within the top 6 or 7 with someone who will take a shot at Embiid. I don’t think he will last past Boston at number 6 and the teams most involved seem to be the 76ers, Celtics, Lakers and Magic.

Look for Joel Embiid to go in that 3-6 range in tonight's NBA Draft (Via USA Today)

Look for Joel Embiid to go in that 3-6 range in tonight’s NBA Draft (Via USA Today)

  1. How will LeBron and Melo’s free agency impact the draft?

When you are chasing free agents of this magnitude there are always two things to remember. First, the more cap room you have the better off you are and second, only one team gets them and the rest are left in limbo. So what does this mean for the draft? Teams will look to couple expiring deals with draft picks to create room for marquee names. The Lakers have already offered #7 with Steve Nash’s contract to suitors. The Bulls are looking to offload their 2 first rounders with Carlos Boozer to fit a max guy. Houston, Miami and OKC are all looking at moving out of the bottom of the first round and into the top of the second round where contracts are not guaranteed. The NBA draft has become a chess board where cap space has become more valuable than a mid level prospect. Expect to see at least a half dozen and potentially more first round picks move tonight. All the movement will be designed to free up valuable space and the beneficiaries of that could be teams like Philly, Utah, Detroit, Phoenix, Cleveland and Milwaukee. Those are the key teams that will have the maneuverability to add a player with an expiring contract without trading one away plus get a sweetener in return. Should be a very interesting night.

 

And now Mock Draft 2014

I will not include trades but I expect at least 6 or 7 and maybe as many as 10 or 12 before the night is over.

1. CLEVELAND- Andrew Wiggins-Kansas

2. MILWAUKEE- Jabari Parker-Duke

3. PHILADELPHIA- Dante Exum-Australia

4. ORLANDO- Joel Embiid- Kansas

5. UTAH- Noah Vonleh-Indiana

6. BOSTON- Doug McDermott-Creighton

7. LA LAKERS- Marcus Smart-Oklahoma State

8. SACRAMENTO- Aaron Gordon- Arizona

9.CHARLOTTE- Nik Stauskas-Michigan

10.PHILADELPHIA-Julius Randle-Kentucky

11. DENVER- James Young-Kentucky

12. ORLANDO-Elfrid Payton-Louisiana Lafayette

13. MINNESOTA- Rodney Hood- Duke

14. PHOENIX- Dario Saric- Croatia

15. ATLANTA- Zach Lavine-UCLA

16. CHICAGO- Gary Harris- Michigan St

17. BOSTON-Jusuf Nurkic- Bosnia

18. PHILADELPHIA- Kyle Anderson –UCLA

19. CHICAGO-Adreian Payne- Michigan State

20. TORONTO- Tyler Ennis- Syracuse

21. OKLAHOMA CITY- Jerami Grant- Syracuse

22. MEMPHIS- Shabazz Napier- UCONN

23. UTAH- Mitch McGary- Michigan

24.CHARLOTTE- TJ Warren-NC State

25.HOUSTON- Jordan Adams-UCLA

26. MIAMI- Patric Young- Florida

27. PHOENIX- KJ McDaniels-Clemson

28. LA CLIPPERS- PJ Hairston_ Texas Legends

29. OKLAHOMA CITY- Cleanthony Early- Wichita State

30. SAN ANTONIO-Clint Capela- Switzerland

 

 

2014 Mock Draft 2.0

By Ryan Crawford

My mock draft 1.0 was devoid of the early QB run that was expected and mock draft 2.0 follows the same pattern. I think that now that the QB situation has gotten murkier and that there will be a lot of moves both up and down that do not involve the QBs. Houston at 1 and St. Louis at 2 are both candidates to move down. With St Louis having 2 and 13 I believe there is no doubt that Rams GM Les Snead will be moving all over the place. We heard rumors for months that every pick from 3 to 7 could also be in play. Here’s my most recent stab at it.

 

1. HOUSTON TEXANS- Jadaveon Clowney-DL- South Carolina

Clowney is still the best player in the draft. I don’t think it’s a question at this point that he goes number one. I think the question is who makes the pick. Probably will be the Texans but the Falcons are interested and there are a couple of rumors about the unknown suitors as well.

2. ST. LOUIS RAMS- Greg Robinson- Tackle- Auburn

I do not think the Rams make this pick but if they do it will be the manchild Robinson or WR Sammy Watkins. Could Cleveland move up a couple picks?

3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS- Khalil Mack-OLB- Buffalo

This is what I wrote in Mock 1.0 and I’m sticking with it. “The Jags need a QB bad and if they jump it would probably be Bortles but I think they wait till later rounds to grab the QB and keep building their defense”

Khalil Mack will be one of the first few selected in this year's NFL Draft (Via AP)

Khalil Mack will be one of the first few selected in this year’s NFL Draft (Via AP)

4. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Sammy Watkins-WR-Clemson

I’m convinced the Browns will not pick a QB with this pick and word is they are so intrigued with Watkins that they may move to 2 to get him.

5. OAKLAND RAIDERS- Mike Evans- Wide Receiver- Texas A & M

To me this is the toughest pick of the draft. If one of the elite 4 drop it becomes a no brainer but if not, hmmmm… I’m gonna slot big receiver Mike Evans in here as it is imperative that the Raiders get a receiver, so why not one of the best?

6. ATLANTA FALCONS- Taylor Lewan- Tackle- Michigan

The Falcons need linemen to protect Matty Ice and Lewan is rising up the board. I still think they have a realistic shot at going to number 1 for Clowney.

7. TAMPA BAY BUCS- Odell Beckham Jr- WR- LSU

I think the Bucs will trade down for multiple picks but if not they grab the third wide receiver in seven picks. Don’t sleep on Beckham Jr. One of my favorites in the draft.

8. MINNESOTA VIKINGS- Aaron Donald-DT-Pittsburgh

Vikings need to rebuild the defensive line and this guy is a great place to start. Maybe a QB in round 2?

9. BUFFALO BILLS- Jake Mathews- Tackle- Texas A&M

I had Eric Ebron in Mock 1.0 but that was before I realized Jake Mathews might be available. A no brainer as the Bills need a tackle badly.

10. DETROIT LIONS- Darquez Dennard- Cornerback- Michigan State

The Lions should go for a corner or a receiver here but with the run on receivers, they can get the top rated corner.

11. TENNESSEE TITANS- Justin Gilbert- CB- Oklahoma State

Johnny Manziel? Not yet…. Defense wins championships and a corner is a priority.

12. NEW YORK GIANTS- Eric Ebron- TE- North Carolina

It’s no secret the Giants are in dire need of a top flight tight end. Best tight end in the draft drops into the Giants lap at 12.

13. ST LOUIS RAMS- . Johnny Manziel-QB-Texas A&M

No way the Rams pick at 13. Maybe up or maybe down but not 13. My hunch from Mock #1 had the Cowboys getting Johnny Manziel at 16. It seems my hunch from a month ago has gained a little traction in the media but I’m not sure he gets that far because word is the Rams love him. Could you imagine if the Rams didn’t have to trade a boatload of picks for a running QB with a rocket arm and he turned out better than RGIII?? Is that Daniel Snyder we hear sniffling? Wow.

14. CHICAGO BEARS- Ra’Shede Hageman- DT- Minnesota

Bears need defensive line help. Hageman is a rock on the line and will help.

15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS- Zach Martin –T-Notre Dame

Looking for another Tackle, Martin is being described by pundits as one of the safest picks in the draft.

16. DALLAS COWBOYS- Dee Ford- DE- Auburn

Cowboys are looking for defensive help and Ford will help offset the loss of DeMarcus Ware. I expect the Cowboys to be another team that tries to trade down.

17 BALTIMORE RAVENS- Brandin Cooks- WR- Oregon State

Ravens rumored to be trading down as well but can really use another weapon for Joe Flacco and Cooks is Tavon Austin redux.

18 NEW YORK JETS- Calvin Pryor- S- Louisville

Another quote from Mock 1.0: “Yes I know the Jets need another receiver badly but this guy is a hammer and Rex is drooling at the thought of a young Ed Reed. The Wide Receiver class is very deep and they will get a couple in later rounds”. We will stay with this pick for Mock 2.0.

19. MIAMI DOLPHINS- Morgan Moses-Tackle- Virginia

It’s no secret that the Dolphins need some serious help on the offensive line and this guy should slot in at one of the tackles.

20. ARIZONA CARDINALS- Kony Ealy- DE/LB- Missouri

Could this be a QB landing spot? My guess is there are enough QB prospects for the Cards to look in round 2 or 3. Ealy fills big defensive needs for the Cardinals.

21. GREEN BAY PACKERS – CJ Mosley- ILB- Alabama

The Packers need a lot of help on defense and Mosley makes a lot of sense in this spot.

22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES- Anthony Barr- OLB- UCLA

A PAC-12 Linebacker for Chip Kelly to help keep Romo, RGIII and Eli in check.

23. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS- HaHa Clinton-Dix- S- Alabama

Chiefs are absolutely thrilled that Dix drops down this far and quickly gobble him up.

24. CINCINNATI BENGALS- Teddy Bridgewater- QB- Louisville

We will see if all the rumors about Bridgewater landing here are true. My gut is no but I’m gonna take a shot anyway.

25. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS- Louis Nix- NT- Notre Dame

It seems that everyone who did a mock draft has Nix going to the Chargers. Can you say Perfect Fit? A strong nose tackle prospect.

26. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Blake Bortles-QB-UCF

In my first mock I had Bridgewater dropping down this far. Now I have Bortles dropping to the Browns. Either way it’s a good spot for the Browns to pick their QB of the future.

27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS- Ryan Shazier-OLB- Ohio State

Staying with my choice from Mock 1.0: “The Saints need to improve their defense and Shazier is a good step in that direction. He can play inside or move outside if needed at the linebacker spot”. Kony Ealy is now an option here as well.

28. CAROLINA PANTHERS- Kelvin Benjamin- WR- Florida State

Clearly one of the biggest needs on this team is a big go-to target for Cam Newton.

29. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- Kyle Fuller- CB- Virginia Tech

Too good a player to pass up and of course Revis will be a Free Agent at the end of the year anyway (sound familiar??)

30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS- Marqise Lee- WR- USC

My first Mock choice for the Niners stays in play. “In need of another young receiver, 49ers are thrilled to get Lee at 30”.

31. DENVER BRONCOS- Kony Ealy- LB/DE- Missouri

Can you ever have enough pass rushers and defenders? I think not.

32. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS- Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE- Washington

They probably trade down a few and pick up a couple of picks from a team looking to jump the top teams in round two for a QB. Think Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Zach Mettenberger or AJ McCarron??

 

Other Potential 1st Round Picks (besides the QBs)

 

DeMarcus Lawrence DE Boise St

Joel Bitonio G Nevada

Jason Verrett CB TCU

Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State

Bradley Roby CB Ohio State

Davante Adams WR Fresno State

Broadway Johnny?

By Brett Malamud

Finally the time has come and the wait is over. After making his mark in the NCAA, Johnny Manziel has declared himself eligible for this year’s NFL draft. The Heisman winner is a projected top-ten pick with many even placing him in the top-five. While Manziel is a scrambling quarterback, he averaged 317 passing yards per game for a total of 4117 yards. This is 408 yards more than he threw for last season, a season in which he won the Heisman Trophy. In improving his passing game, Manziel had to take a step back in tucking the football and running. He rushed for only 53% of what he had rushed in 2012. However in the end, the touchdown totals remain to be consistent. Manziel finished with 47 touchdowns in 2012 and 46 touchdowns in 2013. Not too shabby when you consider the fact that Manziel threw for more yards than Andrew Luck did in any of his seasons at Stanford.

Manziel does have his problems though. He has been in the news for his behavioral issues. He was arrested back in 2012 for getting in a late night fight and possessing a fake ID. The issues continued even after he won the Heisman Trophy. He overslept while attending the Manning Passing Academy. He was kicked out of a University of Texas fraternity party. He also voiced his displeasure with Texas A&M by tweeting that he “can’t wait to leave College Station” after he received a parking ticket. His taunting on the field became quite the story during the 2013 season, and was regularly featured on ESPN. But the most notable issue came in early August 2013. The NCAA began investigating whether Manziel accepted payments from autographs that he had signed in January 2013. While it is widely believed that he did accept the money, the NCAA could not find any evidence and suspended him for only the first half of the season opener against Rice.

Johnny Manziel will enter the 2014 NFL draft as one of the top quarterbacks available (via Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Johnny Manziel will enter the 2014 NFL draft as one of the top quarterbacks available (via Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Right now if you look at the NFL draft order, Houston has the first pick. The Texans need a quarterback and are expected to draft Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater. The St. Louis Rams have the second pick and while it seems that they might need a quarterback, they have showed no indication that they want to dump Sam Bradford. The third and fourth picks belong to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns respectfully. Both teams need a quarterback. The Oakland Raiders sit in the five spot and the Vikings sit at the eight spot. It’s possible that they could each want to draft a QB as well. UCF quarterback Blake Bortles is on the board as well but it’ll be interesting to see which QB gets drafted first.

An interesting pick for Manziel though could be the New York Jets. The Jets currently hold the 18th pick. Now I’m not saying that Manziel is going to slip to the 18th pick. We did see Brady Quinn slip to the 22nd pick back in 2007, after being projected to go in the top ten. Manziel is not likely to slip based on the amount of teams needing quarterbacks. Therefore, only way the Jets can get Manziel will be by trading up picks to draft him. I think that a run at Manziel could be what the Jets need. Now I know some people look and they’ll say, “why would they do that?” Well, they’ve done it before. Back in 2009, the Jets traded up to the fifth pick to select USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. Now I know that didn’t turn out to be such a great decision now that Sanchez has lost the starting position, but Manziel is a bigger threat than Sanchez ever was. The Jets current starting quarterback, Geno Smith, had the lowest QB rating in the entire league. General Manager John Idzik stated at the end of their week 17 game that they will “look at quarterbacks” in the offseason. It is this statement that shows that Idzik doesn’t believe that Smith is “the guy.” If the Jets want to get their hands on a reliable quarterback for years to come, they must trade up and select Johnny Manziel.

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Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy