Category Archives: Football

Updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2-27-2014

Updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2-27-2014

Contribution By: Michael Pawlak

1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

After clocking a blistering 4.53 40-yard dash, Clowney moves up one spot to be the first prospect taken in 2014. I  have  had “the freak” going #2 in all previous mock drafts, but the combine numbers make him easily the best prospect in the draft. If the Texans trade down, whoever picks here will take Clowney.

* This hit is especially painful to Michigan fans.

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Another year, another St. Louis QB gets TKO’d, putting a highly talented team right out of contention. I believe that Sam Bradford has the ability to be good in the NFL, but injuries are catching up. They need protection for their QB and will likely address it with the first of their  two 1st round picks. Matthews is viewed by most as the best tackle prospect in the draft. Sammy Watkins, or Greg Robinson would also make sense here.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Jonny Football posted a great time in the 40-yard dash at 4.68 seconds, and performed in the top 5 among quarterbacks in the vertical jump, broad jump, 3 cone drill, and 20-yard shuttle. He is under 6 feet tall but so is Russell Wilson and Drew Brees. The Jaquars have to take the “sexy” pick here. A few character issues are a concern with Manziel so he should fit right in in the NFL.

4. Cleveland Browns: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

The Browns get a gem here in the 6’5 gunslinger from Central Florida. I have been high on Bortles since my first mock draft, and I the combine solidified that. He put on a display in passing drills, and showed that he was even more athletic than previously though. I see a potential Ben Rothlisberger type QB here, with more athleticism. The Browns need a QB to get up and coming stars Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron the ball.

5. Oakland Raiders: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

I still believe Bridgewater is the best QB in the draft but any time an athlete decides not to perform drills at the combine, it raises a few red flags. I have had Bridgewater going #1 overall up until now. A good pro day could have him moving right back into the top 3, but for now I have the Raiders hitting a home run with a franchise signal caller.

6. **TRADE** Detroit Lions: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Sammy Watkins is as polished as a WR prospect to come out since Julio Jones. The Lions make a bold move and trade up 4 picks with the Falcons to instantly deploy the most dangerous 1-2 WR tandem in the game. Watkins is the Ideal pick for the Detroit Lions. He is 6’1 / 212lb, and ran a stunning 4.34 40-yard dash that created buzz at the combine. It was later changed to a 4.4 and that is still very fast. He was highly productive at Clemson (101 rec. 1464 yards 12 TD) his junior year. The thing that separates Sammy Watkins from the other WR’s this year is the football player mentality. He blocks, brings a swagger, runs clean routes, and produces. If Martin Mayhew should go this route I would be thrilled and likely rage out on draft day.  (Draft day is our “Super Bowl” after all).

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

The Bucs have a roster loaded with talent and could be a break out team this year. The defensive side of the ball has plenty of pieces for new head coach Lovie Smith to transition to the cover 2 defense. Robinson in one word is a Hauss, and could easily go top 3 if a team falls in love with him. He is a big athletic frame who is good enough that he would have been the #1 pick last year over Fisher.

8. Minnesota Vikings: Khalil Mack, DE, Buffalo

The top tier QB options are gone, so Minnesota will look to get the best player available. You have never heard of Khalil Mack because he is from the University of Buffalo. In the NFL teams pay high dollar for pass rushers, and Mack fits the bill. Mack is versitle enough to play in the 4-3 or 3-4 defense. I think he is better suited as 3-4 LB but regardless where he plays the guy flat out makes plays. He will be plugged in as a day 1 starter wherever he goes and will be a Pro-Bowl candidate right away.

9. Buffalo Bills: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Mike Evans is a fast rising WR prospect that was often on the receiving end of Jonny Football’s explosive stat lines. He is clearly the second best WR this draft offers. He is 6’5″/ 230 and ran 4.53 40 and was more fluent than expected in individual drills. He is considered raw with only 3 years playing football, but has the measurables and tape to be a difference maker on the outside.

10. Atlanta Falcons: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

The Falcons moved back 4 spots to pick where the Lions previously would have. In theory , it would cost the Lions a 3rd round pick in 2014 and 2015 to move up.They get a big value pick here with a high upside pass rusher out of UCLA. Barr has the athletic frame, and explosive first step ideal for the edge in the NFL.

11. Tennessee Titans: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Mosley is the best ILB in the draft and as battle tested as they come out of powerhouse Alabama. He anchored the middle of the Tide’s defense and should be a starter right away in the NFL. The Titans were embarrassing against the run in 2013 so Mosley appears to be a good match here.

12. New York Giants: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Taylor Lewan was slotted here months ago by myself when he was viewed as a late 1st round pick. His Impressive combine fueled by the best 40 out of the deep OT group solidifies Lewan as a top 15 pick. 6″7″/ 305 is the ideal frame for an offensive tackle and represents great value here. The Giants desperately need protection for Eli Manning and they get that here.

13. St. Louis Rams: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

The Rams will look no further than mr. shutdown Darqueze Dennard. The Rams could pair Dennard with Janoris Jenkins for one of the most potent CB combos in the NFL. Dennard doesn’t have stats to back up a top 15 pick, but that is because teams wouldn’t dare test that side of the field. He still won the Jim Thorpe award as the nations top defensive back. His combine performance solidifies him as a top tier CB NFL teams dream about. His ability to be a force in the run game and around the line of scrimmage puts him slightly above Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State.

14. Chicago Bears: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Gilbert is a lanky, blaxing fast CB that the Chicago Bears could desperately use. He ran a ridiculous 4.37 40 at the combine and showed well in drills. 6’0′ / 200lbs. and speed to  cover a lot of field is the mold NFL teams search for in CB’s. Gilbert picked off 7 passed and returned 2 for touchdowns. The super athletic CB could cause the Lions frustration for a long tome should the Bears pick him.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame

The Pittsburg Steelers add to their front 7 on defense in a big way with the 340lb. brick wall out of Notre Dame. Nix is the best DT the draft has to offer and should immediately eat up space up front and allow the LB’s lanes to attack in Pittsbburg’s attacking 3-4 defense.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

The Baltimore Ravens need to give Joe Flacco help in the passing game. Ebron is an explosive athlete out of the TE position who could cause havoc over the middle of defenses across the NFL. Ebron is a TE with WR skills and could be a top 5 TE in the NFL someday.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

The Cowboys finally get the piece that will make their secondary respectable again. Clinton-Dix is 6’2″ and has speed to cover a lot of ground. His strength is the ability to cover and finish tackles with authority. HaHa is the best free safety in the draft.

18. New York Jets: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Kelvin Benjamin is a high upside WR with great size. At 6’5″ with awesome hands that he displayed in the National Championship game, he showed that he warrants a 1st round pick.  He enters the draft and passes Marquise Lee as the 3rd best WR based on pure upside.

19. Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

Martin is a prospect that I thought would be an early 2nd rounder with first round value. Martin has tested well and showed that he is undoubtedly a 1st round pick since. He is balanced in the run and pass game and can play multiple positions up front. The Dolphins could use all the help they can get on their plagued OL.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

This massive offensive tackle is just what the Arizona Cardinals need up front. CK has a reputation to be a grater in the run game and athletic enough to play tackle of guard. Offensive lineman battle tested in the SEC make them a safe pick, and the Cardinals do just that.

21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

Calvin Pryor is the second best safety on the board and the Packers could use secondary help/ Pryor is a big safety who has a reputation of being a nasty hitter. He is a run stopper first, but agile anough to drop back and make those pay who go over the middle. Think Bob Sanders,  with much better size.

22. Philadelphia Eagles:  Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh 

Aaron Donald is a prospect that I hadn’t even heard of until the days leading up to the combine. Donald has shown the world that he has what it takes to be a force up front in the NFL. The strong showing at the  Senior Bowl and  combine proved that he is among the top 3 DT’s available this year.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU

Odell Beckham has exploded up draft boards since announcing he was going pro. His game is based on his 6’5 ” height and natural ability to go up and get the football. I see him as an immediate  redzone threat from day one. The Cheifs need all the help they can get on offense.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

The Bengals have a solid defense but are aging up front on the defensive line. Hageman put himself on the map with a dominant showing in the Senior Bowl. This is a deep class for defensive tackles, and this could be viewed as a value pick based on Hageman’s upside.

25. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Verette was a fast rising prospect before the combine. By all accounts Verette did nothing but help his stock with flashes of elite athletic tools and speed. Verette isn’t a big CB, but has the ability to be glue like on any WR he has come across. The Chargers of St. Diego need to inject some life into their secondary and Verette could fit well.

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts): Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

In exchange for Trent Richardson, the Cleveland Browns add a speed edge rusher out of the SEC here. Aside from Clowney, Ealy has the best ability to play DE in the standard 4-3  in the draft, Brings  good size, length, and a quick first step.

27. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

I have a hunch that someone may fall in love with Shazier and pull the trigger on him much earlier than anyone expects. Shazier tested out well and had the best verticle jump of any front 7 defensive prospect.  He is a legitimate tackle machine who plays sideline to sideline, and contributes in pass coverage. Speed is the name of this Buckeye’s game.

28. Carolina Panthers: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

I previously had Lee going much higher than here, but the impressive WR class of 2014 has me dropping him slightly, It is not for a lack of talent that he slides back, this is just a very strong WR draft. The Panthers benefit by getting top 15 talent at a position of dire need. If Lee should fall this far it would be one of the steals of the draft.

29. New England Patriots: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

The New England Patriots love TE’s. With Hernandez getting locked up, and Gronkowski being unreliable due to constant injuries the Pats will go with a difference maker at TE. Amaro has great size and is a play maker the Tom Brady will be happy to welcome on board.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

A combine Freak, Cooks worked his way from a mid-round waiver into a top play maker in the draft.  He posted a 4.3 40 yard dash! He also looked like the quickest WR at the combine in other drills and caught everything thrown his way. Someone (Likely the Lions, Raiders, or Cowboys) could shock the world and roll the dice on Cooks.

31. Denver Broncos: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

Tuitt has been graded as a late first round selection by most of the mock draft world. I will follow suit here as it is a move that just makes sense for the Broncos. Tuitt has great size, and versatility to play inside or outside on the defensive line. A  solid player that should contribute early on in his career.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

When Jernigan announced he was going pro after his junior season, I immediately considered him a top 3 DT. Questions about his effort and ability to stay in shape have me dropping him to the final pick in the first round. If the Seahawks can motivate Jernigan, then they may have the steal of the draft here because Jernigan has elite ability.

On the fringe:

Dee Ford  DE  Auburn

Marcus Robinson  CB  Florida

Derek Carr  QB  Fresno State

Marcus Robinson WR  Penn State

David Yankey  OG  Stanford

Cyrill Richardson  OG  Baylor

Antonio Richardson  OT  Tennessee

Scott Cricton  DE/OLB  Oregon State

Chris Boreland  OLB  Wisconsin

Bradley Roby  CB  Ohio State

Vic Beasley  OLB  Clemson

Austin Seferion-Jenjins  TE  Washington

Your Guide to the 2014 Super Bowl Prop Bets

Sportsbook-Prop-Bets

Your Guide to the 2014 Super Bowl Prop Bets

Contribution by M Jones

It’s almost time for the big game, so people all across the country are finalizing super bowl squares and prop bets, because let’s be honest a big part of sports is the excitement over gambling.  Given that, I wanted to touch on the 15 most interesting prop bets that I came across this morning so people all around can consider making a few bucks on the super bowl while drinking and eating excessively tonight. 

If I was placing some cash on various prop bets tonight, these are the ones i would be interested in.

1 – MVP of the Super Bowl

  Peyton Manning (DEN) QB 11/10  
Russell Wilson (SEA) QB 15/4  
Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB 4/1  
Percy Harvin (SEA) WR 10/1  
Knowshon Moreno (DEN) RB 18/1  
Richard Sherman (SEA) 20/1  
Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR 33/1  
Earl Thomas (SEA) 33/1  
Eric Decker (DEN) WR 33/1  
Golden Tate (SEA) WR 33/1  
Wes Welker (DEN) WR 33/1  
Doug Baldwin (SEA) WR 40/1  
Julius Thomas (DEN) TE 40/1  
Kam Chancellor (SEA) 50/1  
Matt Prater (DEN) 75/1  
Champ Bailey (DEN) 100/1  
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (DEN) 100/1  
Michael Bennett (SEA) 100/1  
Montee Ball (DEN) RB 100/1  
Steven Hauschka (SEA) 100/1  
Danny Trevathan (DEN) 150/1  
Duke Ihenacho (DEN) 150/1  
Zach Miller (SEA) TE 150/1  
Field (Any Other Player) 28/1  

Best Bet – Peyton Manning, but the odds aren’t great for gambling purposes.  Therefore, I will go with Wes Welker at 33/1 as the goal is to make some cash.  He has a lot of pressure to redeem himself after having game-ending drop 2 seasons ago against the Giants with the Patriots.  Fitting if he is able to redeem himself in their home stadium.  The Seattle corner backs are great, but they will most likely be busy with Thomas and Decker on the outside so look for Wes to be running wild across the middle all night.   

2 – Who will the Super Bowl MVP of the mention first in his speech?

  Teammates 1/1  
God 3/1  
Fans 11/2  
Other Team or Player on Other Team 10/1  
Family 12/1  
Coach 14/1  
Owner 25/1  
Does not mention any of the above 9/2  

Best Bet – Probably God, but who knows there may be a wildcard who throws in a ‘Ba-Ba-Booey’.  If Wes Welker wins, he may even make a quick pitch to his New Jersey jump-off and try to set the tone for some post-game celebration action.  I will go with a surprise and say family at 12/1.

3 – Will Percy Harvin be injured in the game? (Must be injured and reported by broadcasters and not return to game)

  Yes +300  
No -500  

Best Bet – YES.  No doubt here.  This guy is the opposite of durable.  Great investment Seattle.

imagesCA9QZHV6

4 – How many times will Peyton Manning say “Omaha” during the game?

  O/U 27½  (-150)o

(+110)u

 
     

Best Bet – Under – Peyton is too smart to keep having the same pre-snap calls.  I am guessing he will go searching for some new advertisement dollars and replace ‘Omaha’ with ‘4 Loko’.

Four Loko

5 – Who will be seen first on TV after kickoff?

  Erin Andrews -140  
Pam Oliver EVEN  

Best Bet – Erin has all the TV mojo after the Sherman debacle.  Hopefully 50 Cent is not on the sideline this time.

130225ErinAndrews1_300x206

6 – How many times will Eli Manning be shown on TV during the game?

  O/U (-250)o(+170)u  
     

Best Bet – Over.  The brother of Peyton will get some press and he has won 2 super bowls for the Giants so he will be all over the broadcast looking as dumb as he usually does. 

eli-manning-i-came

7 – Will Knowshon Moreno cry during the singing of the National Anthem?

  Yes -120  
No -120  

Best Bet – Yes, no doubt here either.  This guy will be crying multiple times before kickoff.

 8 – Will Renee Fleming forget or omit at least 1 word of the official US National Anthem?

  Yes +300  
No -500  

Best Bet – Hell yeah, I am looking purely for some entertainment tonight.  Hopefully she has a full meltdown and Mo Cheeks steps in to help out again.  He has some free time, because on most nights he is not coaching the Pistons.

9 – How long will it take Renee Fleming to sing the official US National Anthem?

  Over 2 minutes 25 seconds +150  
Under 2 minutes 25 seconds -200  

Best Bet – Going on the assumption that i win bet #8, i say over.

10 – Who will have more Points in the game?

  Steven Hauschka (SEA) K EVEN  
Matt Prater (DEN) K -130  

Best Bet – In case the Super Bowl turns into a shitty game, you still have some action.  Hauschka will have more chances as the Seattle offense will not be putting up huge numbers. 

11 – Who will have more Receiving Yards in the game?

  Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR -12½ (EVEN)  
Wes Welker (DEN) WR +12½ (-130)  

Best Bet – Purely rolling with Wes MVP pick at this point, given Sherman will probably be on Demaryius.

12 – Who will have more Rushing Yards in the 1ST QUARTER?

  Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB -7½ (-125)  
Knowshon Moreno (DEN) RB +7½ (-105)  

Best Bet – This one is risky because it depends who gets the ball first.  I will say the safer bet is skittle man.

yahoo_lynch_skittles

13 – Total TD Passes – Peyton Manning (DEN)

  0 10/1  
1 7/2  
2 2/1  
3 5/2  
4 9/2  
5 or more 10/1  

Best Bet – Somewhere in the 2-3 range.  Tough to call, i think Peyton will have a monster day so I’m rolling with 3.

14 – Longest Rush – Russell Wilson (SEA)

  O/U 12½ (-145)o(+115)u  
     

Best bet – Over.  If Seattle has ANY chance to win, he will have to get out and cause trouble on some designed running plays.

15 – Player to score the first TD in the game?

  Marshawn Lynch (SEA) RB 5/1  
Julius Thomas (DEN) TE 15/2  
Demaryius Thomas (DEN) WR 8/1  
Wes Welker (DEN) WR 8/1  
Eric Decker (DEN) WR 17/2  
Knowshon Moreno (DEN) RB 9/1  
Percy Harvin (SEA) WR 10/1  
Russell Wilson (SEA) QB 12/1  
Doug Baldwin (SEA) WR 16/1  
Golden Tate (SEA) WR 16/1  
Montee Ball (DEN) RB 16/1  
Jacob Tamme (DEN) TE 18/1  
Zach Miller (SEA) TE 18/1  
Peyton Manning (DEN) QB 40/1  
Robert Turbin (SEA) RB 40/1  
Field 15/2  
No TD scored in the game 100/1  

Best Bet – This is always one of my favorite bets to look at.  There are so many variables including who wins the kickoff, redzone play calling and so on.  I will go with a longshot for Montee Ball at the goal line for a potential nice payout of 16/1.

Screen-Shot-2014-01-24-at-3_49_53-PM

Good luck!!

Double Down – Super Bowl Odds

Odss_001

Contribution by: A. Fletcher

This Sunday, a projected 111.3 + million viewers will be tuned in to watch Super Bowl XLVIII. Statisticians are expecting this years viewership to break the Super Bowl XLVI (2012) record, which was the 111.3 million. Other than last year, viewership has consistently grown through the past 6 years. The Super Bowl is known to be pretty much the last major media event around.

The Match-up: 

MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and the New York Jets will host as the Super Bowl site. If the Farmer’s Almanac means anything to anyone, it will be played during an “ice storm”. Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks, a battle of the no-shit best teams in the NFL right now, with a mean spread of 2.0 this game just cannot be easily predicted. The #1 best offense in the game vs. the #1 best defense in the game, sets the stage for what someone may call a “hype mission”, haha. This will be the 54th time these two teams have played each other. That number is rather high, because Seattle used be Denver’s rival in the AFC West before moving to the NFC. As far as the past goes, Denver holds a 34-19-0 record against the hawks, according the mcubed.net. No other teams have met that many times before playing each other in the Super Bowl.  Just a little history, not that it matters though.

Snowy Metlife

Numbers:

While betting on the Super Bowl, instead of looking at the historical items, I like to look at what is current and what is relevant. Who is coming to win? Who is coming more prepared? What the numbers say about what they have done this season. I will man up and admit that I was dead wrong on the Pats vs. Broncos game. I thought NE was going to be able to pull it out. I was dead wrong. Denver is the best team that the NFL has seen in the past couple of years. Denver lead the regular season in overall Scoring Offense, Yards per Game, and Passing Offense. Seattle is not in the top 5 in any of those 3 categories. Seattle on the other side of the ball though, lead the regular season in overall Scoring Defense, Overall Defense (opponents yards per game), and Passing Defense, and Denver is not in the top 5 any of those 3 categories. This is a match made in NFL heaven. With Denver trouncing New England a couple weeks ago, they have the highest average winning/scoring margin in playoff games this year as well. Seattle really has not completely ran over anyone in these playoffs. A touchdown one way or the other and this could be the Carolina Panthers playing Denver on Sunday.

download

My John Madden statement: Whoever moves the ball more effectively will win this game, and that team will be Denver. Seattle is truly a great defense, but Denver is ‘that’ much better of an offense that Seattle will be put in a corner early and often and will not be able to keep up with scoring opportunities. Peyton Manning is just simply  ——–>

ColdBlooded

Thanks for the pic Z. Ficht

I am taking Denver ALL DAY at -2, that’s crackhead prices. Also, I am sticking with the Under 48 total points, as my score prediction is Denver 27- Seattle14 .

Remember to go get your free Super Bowl squares that Motown Meltdown is hosting.

https://motownmeltdown.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/motown-meltdown-super-bowl-squares-win-50/

See above link for details. We are paying out $50 to the final score winner. There are limited spots available.

***UPDATED*** 2014 NFL Mock Draft

Contribution by M. Pawlak

**1. Houston Texans** select **Teddy Bridgewater** QB. Louisville. Houston brings in new head coach, and QB-guru, Bill O’Brien. A team that brings in a coach with a reputation in developing QB’s will pull the trigger right away on the best QB in the draft. Bridgewater may be the best QB to come out of the draft since Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. He brings an NFL arm, more particularly, precision accuracy on every level of the passing game.

**2. St. Louis Rams (via. Washington)** select **Jadeveon Clowney** DE. South Carolina. The most talented defensive player in the draft, Clowney is is simply not a human being. He has ideal size for the NFL, speed that rivals most skill position players in the draft, and will instantly provide his suitor with a play maker on defense. Think Julius Peppers here, with the potential to be better. Yeah I said it.

**3. Jacksonville Jaguars** select  ** Blake Bortles**  QB. UCF. Priority number 1 will be getting their QB. The Jags will not have to look outside their own state to lock down their QB of the future. It didn’t take long for everyone in college football  to notice this small school gunslinger. He is known to possess tremendous leadership skills, and an NFL ready body. In the limited amount of game action I have seen, he looks to be in the mold of Ben Rothlisberger with slightly better athleticism.

**4. Cleveland Browns** select  **Johnny Manziel** QB, Texas A&M. Everyone in football was left asking themselves “what the hell are the Browns doing, trading their star RB, Trent Richardson in 2013”? Trent had one of the worst seasons for a RB ever after being traded to the Colts, the Browns look  genius here. They have 10 picks over the first 3 rounds. This allows them to gamble on one of the most exciting prospects in the draft, Johnny Football. A guy that earns the name Johnny Football, and wins a Heisman trophy will undoubtedly be taken in the top 5. Cleveland will roll the dice.

**5. Oakland Raiders** select **Sammy Watkins** WR. Clemson.  Sorry Lions fans, but the best, and most NFL ready offensive play maker comes off the board here. Blazing speed, ideal size to be effective in the red zone, and superstar potential are all traits Watkins brings to the table, along with GREAT hair. His 16-catch bowl game performance will have his draft stock trending upwards. He could go top 3. Think Pierre Garcon right away, with A.J. Green upside.

**6. Atlanta Falcons** select **Jake Matthews** OT. Texas A&M. Despite deploying a porous defense in 2013, and losing their top player (Julio Jones) to injury, the Falcons struggled to keep Matt Ryan upright. In order for Ryan to sling the pigskin around the gridiron he needs protection. They get just that in this 6’5″, 305 lb. Bookend, who is universally viewed as the best offensive lineman available.

**7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers** select **Anthony Barr** OLB. UCLA. Offensive Tackle also makes sense here. Barr can straight out get to the Quarterback. With Lovie Smith implementing the Tampa 2,  a premier pass rusher is of most importance. The Bucs will have to get creative in using him, but the raw talent is there. In most drafts he would be off the board in the top 5.

**8. Minnesota Vikings** select **Derek Carr** QB. Fresno State. Does this name sound familiar? That’s right his older brother is that one time no.1 pick bust. Derek Carr is a better QB than his elder brother, and it speaks to how strong of a draft this year that Derek Carr gets taken here. He is still a work in progress mechanically, but has very good skills and a relatively high ceiling. The Vikings embarrassing QB situation forces this pick, as they attempt to erase the blunder that was Christian Ponder. The Vikings lose out big with UCLA (rs Jr.) QB Brett Hundley  announcing he will return for another collegiate year. He and Winston will likely be the top two QB’s for 2015, both of them being superior to Carr. * Carr performed well in the senior bowl practices, with a good combine, could move up to the Oakland Raiders.

**9. Buffalo Bills** select **Khalil Mack**  OLB. Buffalo. “Mack Daddy”.  Buffalo has to look no further than their own back yard to find this gem. Mack has upside to be the best defensive player in the draft. A plug and play starting OLB with skills that rival Anthony Barr and Clowney, this appears to be a home run pick for the Bills of the north. With Manny Lawson, and Mario Williams already on board, Mack will make this front 7 among the most feared in the league.

**10. Detroit Lions**select**Mike Evans** WR, Texas A&M. [Insert HATE chant here] Okay Lions nation, before you shower me with popcorn and trash let me explain myself here. Can we all agree that it is time for Durham to go away? Did anybody see how productive the Lions offense was when Nate and Broyles were out? Admit it! It was atrocious.Calvin Johnson is from Mars, and everybody knows it. The Lions CANNOT expect him to regularly conquer triple teams. Evans is easily the second best WR in the 2014 draft. He reminds me of more of a basketball player than a WR at this point, but the bottom line is he is 6’5″/230, and he goes and gets the ball. I think Evans is only now beginning to tap in to his potential. He is a very capable red zone option and can spread defenses out with speed.  Evans catches the ball at the highest point and is comparable to Anquan Boldin. With an offensive minded head coach in Caldwell, the Lions will look to get it right once and for all on offense. Check out a short highlight video here:

**11. Tennessee Titans** select **C.J. Mosely** LB, Alabama. The Titans defense was porous in the middle for most of 2013. They should address that right away with NFL ready Mosley. Mosley does everything well, and when he hit’s a RB they drop on site. Offensive line help  could also be a targeted here.

**12. New York Giants**select**Greg Robinson** OT. Auburn. GRob is a bookend tackle in every sense of the word. If this was last year, he would have been a top 5 pick.   Robinson is a natural road grater that possesses the athleticism to guard the edge. The Giants will plug him in at RT right away. Eli Manning will be glad they go this route.

**13. St. Louis Rams** select select **Justin Gilbert** CB, Oklahoma State. To many Lions fans’ disgust, CB’s start coming off the board in a frenzy here! Gilbert is viewed by many as the best CB in the draft. St. Louis will look to pair him with Janoris Jenkins (another guy the Lions passed on) to have one of the most potent young secondary’s in the NFL.

**14. Chicago Bears** select** Darqueze Dennard** CB. Michigan State. Once again [insert HATE chant here] the Lions look right past a local lock down CB.  Dennard will start immediately over in our favorite windy city, Chi-town. The defense here could use all the help they can get, and Dennard will provide them with plenty of it immediately. Prediction: a thorn in Matthew Stafford’s side for at least a decade. How are you going to do this to us Mayhew?

**15. Pittsburgh Steelers**  select **Taylor Lewan** OT. Michigan.  Lewan was vied as a top 5 pick had he come out as a junior. An abysmal 2013 campaign by the Wolverines, and several recent question marks concerning his character, causes Lewan to drop. The fact that the left tackle position is such a premium, Pittsburgh will gladly make this value pick. Lewan has size and agility to protect the blind side of the often-hit Rothlisberger.

**16. Baltimore Ravens** select **Marquise Lee** WR, USC. Baltimore needs to get Flacco some  help and will look no further than this Trojan. Lee has shown flashes of greatness at the collegiate level, but the circus act led by former coach Kiffin overshadowed this. Lee is a do-it-all type receiver and should see the field early. He is  slightly behind Watkins and Evans at WR.

**17.  Dallas Cowboys** select ** Louis Nix** DT, Notre Dame. At 340 lbs. Nix is a space eater inside. The Cowboy’s are thin on the defensive side of the ball, and there is nothing thin about this man. They likely luse DT Justin Hatcher via free agency. Nix is the # 1 DT in the draft, and  would be a good value pick here. Jerry Jones may have a wildcard in his back pocket here, but in the mean time, let’s assume he does the responsible thing and adds to his defensive front. KB is a 6’5″ junior who elected to go pro. He chose wisely, and will be drafted in the first round this year. The New York  (J-E-T-S) Jets  could use this big target on the outside. Benjamin could emerge as a dangerous red zone threat early. It’s hard to imagine the Jets looking to add anything other than offensive playmakers here.

**19. Miami Dolfins** select **Cyrus Kouandjio** OT, Alabama. Miami needs help up front in the worst way. They lost most of their offensive lineman in 2013 to injury, bullying, and suspension.  This unit was a colossal train wreck, as much as Incognito was a colossal Richard. The good news is Cyrus K is a top 15 worthy player that has started multiple seasons for the Tide. We’re talking about a program that churns out more quality offensive lineman than anyone else. Cyrus K is big, experienced, and can play several positions up front.

**20. Arizona Cardinals** select **Vic Beasley** OLB, Clemson. The front seven is aging in the desert making Beasley a solid fit here. Beasley is a well rounded, just solid overall linebacker. He has developed very good pass rush skills and especially showed them off in the later part of last season.  He could be the injection of youth the Cardinals need on defense. This pick will likely be used on the offensive line, or front seven on defense.

**21. Green Bay Packers** select **Calvin Pryor** S, Louisville. Nobody has heard of Pryor, mainly because he just declared as a junior. This man is a big, physical safety who is not shy around the line of scrimmage. He’s on the raw side, but could be a good piece for the future to the Packers sorry secondary. He’s the second best S in the draft, and will not fall much further than here.

**22. Philadelphia Eagles** select **Tim Jernigan** DT, FSU. Tim Jernigan is an ultra athletic DT who is a high upside player. He could be used in multiple ways up front for the Eagles. With a high-octane offense in place, the Eagles will undoubtedly load up on defense early and often on draft day. Jernigan is the most talented defensive player available at this spot regardless of position and is a legitimate gem.

**23. Kansas City Chiefs** select **Eric Ebron** TE, UNC. Tight end has really become a key offensive position in the modern NFL. Ebron is the best option in the draft and will immediately impact Reid’s underwhelming offense. Ebron has the speed and hands necessary of a receiver who must be accounted for by defenses at all time.

**24. Cincinnati Bengals** select **Ryan Shazier** OLB, OSU. Shazier has the ability to play multiple linebacker positions, and plays with great speed. Cincinnati  craves speed on defense and Shazier fits the bill. With a good showing at the combine, Shazier could see his draft stock rise.

**25. San Diego Chargers** select **Jason Verett** CB, TCU. This high powered offensive team will likely select defense early.  To some national pundits Verett is the best CB that this draft has to offer. At 5’10” he lacks the height to match up on the outside but Verett makes up for it with elite speed and athleticism. With most offensive sets in the league being WR heavy, a solid nickel corner is necessary. It is highly unlikely he falls out of the first based on skill alone.

**26. Cleveland Browns**select **HaHa Clinton-Dix** S, Alabama.  Cleveland lands this draft pick for Trent Richardson. They have addressed the QB position with Manziel earlier in the draft. Now they take a crack at the best safety in the draft, Clinton-Dix. He has the skill to legitimately “HaHa” at each and every team that passed on him. The natural born ball hawk will make the Browns secondary scary good and be a pun factory to sportscasters everywhere.

**27. New Orleans Saints**select** Ra’Shede Hageman** DT, Minnesota. Hagman wasn’t invited to my first mock board. His ridiculous training numbers and Senior Bowl have put him on the map, and I’m willing to guess he is going to continue to trend upwards. By draft day, it’s not out of question that Hageman could be in the top 20.

**28 New England Patriots** select **Jace Amaro** TE, Texas Tech. Here the Patriots go again with the tight ends. Gronkowski’s injuries have robbed him the last two seasons, and he just isn’t reliable. Hernandez is off training with Paul Crew and the chain gang  who are eager to take on the the prison guards. Meanwhile, Amaro is just the type of matchup nightmare Billicheck likes to deploy. Amaro is the second best TE in the draft, and not by much.

**29. Carolina Panthers** select **Jordan Matthews** WR, Vanderbilt. With Steve Smith getting up there in age, the Panthers need to add a WR. Matthews is not the physical specimen that the previous  wide receivers drafted are. He is a polished player who can step in and contribute immediately for this Panthers offense. He looked NFL ready in the Senior Bowl.

**30. San Francisco 49ers** select ** Cyril Richardson** G, Baylor. There could be a a WR selected here, but the 49ers will be overjoyed should this 340 lb. hauss slip this far. Richardson is the best interior lineman of this class and could anchor this group for the next decade. He plays with a Larry Warford- like mean streak. Cyril seems like as good fit in this power running attack. Cyril also gets consideration for the all-name team.

**31 Denver Broncos** select **Kony Ealy** DE, Missouri. The Broncos could use a pass rusher and with their offense being led by the likes of Peyton Manning a DE could be just what the doctor ordered.  Ealy is one of the top edge rushers to come out this year, and the Broncos shouldn’t hesitate to get him on board as they need help in their front seven.

**32. Seattle Seahawks **select **David Yankey** OG, Stanford.  Yankey can play anywhere along the offensive line. He played left tackle in college but will probably be more of a ground it out offensive guard at the next level. The Seahawks have few holes, but their offensive line showed vulnerability at times this year.

The Price Is Wrong!

Lions Tickets

Contribution By: Z. Ficht

As we’ve all learned this week, our Detroit Lions have raised their ticket prices for the upcoming 2014 season.  The move comes after arguably one of the worst second half collapses in franchise history, so it makes perfect sense.  Seriously though, as a season ticket holder  this decision is mind boggling. From a business standpoint, how can you justify increasing the cost of your product, when the on field performance has been below industry standards? I would like to state for the record that I am a season ticket holder, and have been since the 2006 season.  My grandfather -who has since passed his seats onto my uncle-, has had Lions tickets since 1955.  A Ficht has always been present at a Lions game for over 50 years.  That was a fact that I used to be proud of, that my family has stuck with this organization through thick and thin (so much thick). But now it seems that the front office could give a shit about its season ticket holders.

The staff of Motownmeltdown is pretty pro-Lions; we currently have three writers who have season tickets (M.Jones, M.Pawlak) and each one of us were absolutely blown away at the choice to raise ticket prices.

Myself (backwards hat) along with M. Jones (shades on the head) with some fools raging for the Lions pre-ticket price increase.  [Not Pictured M. Pawlak]

That hike comes out to be 8.2 percent higher than they were a year ago if you’re looking to put a number to it.  Let’s take a step back and assess the choice shall we? Two years removed from a playoff berth, no home playoff game in 20 years, went 1-6 down the stretch, fired the head coach, hired the most unpopular new coach they could , and raised ticket prices.  Now do any one of those things seem like it would generate a positive response from a fan base? Not in the least, but yet here we are.  A favorite saying of mine whenever I or any of my friends are having trouble coping with the decisions of this organization on and off the field is “who do we root for?” The answer of course is the Detroit Lions, and that is how easy it is to explain away decades of dumb decisions.  You know that it’s coming yet we are always outraged because in our heart of hearts we KNOW that this organization couldn’t make the right decision if it jumped up and bit them in the ass (Walking Dead style). They are destined to screw you over, destined to pull your heart out, look at it beat a few times and then fuck your mom. Just why? WHYYYYYY?????

All this city does is support you Lions, year after god forsaken year.  And we are rewarded with a price increase, hidden behind the disguise of a new ticketing system that breaks down games into sub categories to determine the desired ticket price on a game by game basis.  Teams like New Orleans and Green Bay will be in the “Touchdown” category. Ooohhh, how exciting! But wait, you can now come in and see shitters like Minnesota and Tampa Bay and pay the “Field Goal” price! What a time to be alive.  This pricing structure may sound familiar as the Detroit Tigers implemented a similar style several years ago, which for the record is working out great. I’m sure it’s due to the business model and not the fact that the Tigers have been to three straight ALCS’s.

This move is a slap in the face to a fan base that already has taken about 300,000 across the bow.  Can you throw us just one bone Lewand? I know that you think that we’re right on the verge of breaking through but [spoiler alert] “who do we root for???” That shit is never, ever going to happen.  In a year where God almighty split the proverbial gridiron sea, knocking out quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Aaron Rogers, with Minnesota taking a drastic step back you would think that you could have  fell into a division title.  Not in Detroit.  There isn’t a fan in all of Michigan who truly, TRULY believes that this team can win a meaningful game.  Why? Because they never have, not since 1991 at least, when the current twenty somethings were still in diapers and when the aging fans were twenty somethings.  This was the year and Detroit blew it in monumental fashion.  For this organization to ask their championship starved (hell I’d settle for a home playoff game!) fans to dig into their pockets and pay more money to support this team is insane.  Draft another D-lineman and ignore our needs at wide receiver and cornerback Detroit and I swear I will throw in the towel.

Before this ticket hike the Detroit Lions ranked 29 out of 32 teams for lowest ticket prices.  Pretty reasonable I must admit, but also appropriate for their overall product.  According to a press release from Lions Pres Mr. Lewand “The decision to incorporate an increase in overall ticket pricing was made after careful consideration. To remain competitive in the NFL and offer an extraordinary fan experience, we need to be able to invest right back into our product, and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do.”  Extraordinary fan experience? That’s interesting Tom, I don’t think I’ve ever had an extraordinary experience at Ford Field. Especially not when paying for my $9 a beer, waiting over a half an hour in line to get into the stadium, or watching the Lions lose game after game in an awe inspiring display of ineptitude. I’d happily pay more to alleviate those inconveniences, but sadly I think they are here to stay. So the experience isn’t changing, how about competitiveness? Seems like we’re going pretty strong Lions, fans consistently sell out Ford Field season after season.  If your front office could put together the right collection of players that actually win, I think that Ford Field would become one of the premier venues in all of the NFL.  However, as I pointed out earlier the Lions are incapable of success. Like, someone should take every member of the Lions organization to the doctor and get tested for allergies to winning.  Left untreated, the city may riot.

Despite years of failure and fan frustration, the Lions can still pull this off because it’s the NFL and we Americans eat that shit up like candy.  So raise the prices Lions, draft Johnny Football, bang my girlfriend, and take my job.. it doesn’t matter.  I can bitch and moan until the cows come home, but come September, I will be downtown getting wasted and cheering on our Lions because this is the year! My name is Zach and I have a problem: I’m a Detroit Lions fan. Someone help me.

Who the..? What the..?

Contributed by S. Jacobs

This is the sporting equivalent to VH1’s ‘Where Are They Now’, with some Detroit flare.  Enjoy!

Every so often, while journeying through the inter webs, I come across some things that make me say “Dang!”  I’m not talking 4 Girls/1 Cup “Dang!” but more along the lines of Breaking Bad was the prequel to Malcolm in the Middle “Dang!”

I have been debating when to release this guy’s identity.  I thought would be fun to make it a guessing game, but some of the accolades would be a dead giveaway.  So for this particular post, I’m going to be up front about it; this way, when you go “Dang!, I forgot about that guy” you may be intrigued to read on.  Or you’ll be repulsed and/or a true and faithful follower of the obscure.

Todd Jeffrey Duckett.  You may know him better as TJ, Diesel, or more currently, The RainMaker.

Paul Warner
*Not Rick Ross or Kimbo Slice

  You should know his obvious connection to Detroit Sports.  The major one is as a standout running back at Michigan State under the one and only Nick Saban (even if only for a couple years).  Secondly, this dude is from Kalamazoo.  Thirdly, he was the second leading rusher on the Lions in 2007…behind Kevin Jones…with only 2 more RUSHING TD’s than that of rookie Calvin Johnson.  He also has 2 tackles that year; I don’t want to cheat him.

So what has Diesel been up to since the Seahawks released him in 2008?  Well, according to tjduckett.com, it’s hard to say.  Although he doesn’t deny that TJ exists/existed, he is now Todd Duckett, “Reborn and Rewired.”  He also has an avatar that resembles a cartoon version of Matisyahu (see below). Todd seems to wear many hats, and has found his purpose in life. Purpose beyond giving MSU slappies a reason to talk about Jeff Smoker; and to that I say “Awesome!”   His new identity “is rooted in personal value, philanthropic dedications, business endeavors, speaking passions, spiritual awakening and overall rewiring.”

 DuckettLogo

Todd promotes his various endeavors via his website.  The first of which is Simple-Ts.  The link on the website seems to be broken, but you can find it with a simple search.  It appears to be a small scale, not for profit printing company.  Nowhere can I find how Mr. Duckett…this is weird, he is, and always will be TJ to me.  Nowhere can I find how TJ is involved with this company, but he reps it real hard.  The second endeavor is a community outreach project called New World Flood.  I didn’t go too deep here.  On some real high level research, the idea is that every flood starts with a raindrop, and that each of us is a raindrop of service and sacrifice.  They seemed to be pretty busy in 2012,  but there has not been much in the media aside from providing Thanksgiving meals in 2013-present. The third venture is Duckett Brother Distributing, where, per their tag line, they “never drop the ball”.  Bare bones, it’s a janitorial supply company that his brother, Tico, founded and TJ later became a partner.

I tried watching a speech of his to some high schoolers, but I didn’t make it more than 2 minutes in.  Maybe I’m quick to judge, but it just wasn’t for me.  Seems like his heart is in the right place and I’m happy there is life after football for TJ.  After the uncovering I did, I feel like there is a piece missing surrounding his exit from football.  I mean, the guy had 8 TDs on 60-odd carries and 170-something yards before a vanished.  He had an obvious role on the field, no major injuries, just 8 years in…

You can find out more about his charity and events from his twitter, @ToddDuckett.   YouTube also provides a myriad of highlight reels and some “Todd” after football as well.

There you have it. Todd “TJ” Duckett is alive and well.