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How to Succeed in the NFL Draft
Bill Barnwell has an interesting column in the latest ESPN the Magazine. Excerpts:
  • Several studies ... suggest that no NFL team exhibits any sort of year-to-year consistency in acing the draft. By all accounts, despite all the energy and money teams pour into picking players, the draft is mostly a crapshoot.
  • The 2012 draft saw the Seahawks come away with (Russell) Wilson and Bobby Wagner, but their subsequent two drafts yielded just one regular starter, strugging OL Justin Britt.
  • The 1974 Steelers draft, which delivered four Hall of Famers, is regarded as the best single class in league history, but Pittsburgh's 1975 draft failed to produce a single Steelers starter.
  • The same personnel executives who fawn over Wilson and Tom Brady for having the "it" factor were the ones who also said Mark Sanchez and Brady Quinn had "it" while passing on Wilson and Brady multiple times.
  • Consider how the truly great personnel executives have made mistakes.Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome sent first- and second-round picks to the Patriots to trade up for Kyle Boller.
    Bill Belichick has traded up to grab the likes of Bethel Johnson and Ron Brace.
  • Teams should start from the premise that they know nothing about the draft pool and act accordingly. In practice, that means taking the lottery ticket analogy quite seriously and acquiring as many picks as possible. And wouldn't you know, that's exactly what personnel executives like Belichick and Newsome do. Belichick trades down as much as anybody in football, while Newsome focuses on acquiring compensatory picks to add valuable draft capital.
  • All the evidence suggests that regardless of the era or its schemes, the best way to make one good draft pick is to start with two draft picks.

I saw a good game in Atlanta Thursday, April 21. Unfortunately, the Dodgers prevailed 2-1 in 10 innings. The contest starts a new streak of major league games for me after my streak of at least one game a year that started in 1998 was broken in 2015.

Clayton Kershaw went eight innings for the Bums. The Braves hit him hard early, but he wiggled out of jams, including bases loaded no outs in 2nd when the pitcher grounded into a DP. (I will resist ranting about the DH-less NL.)

18,000+ attended on a school day with as many or more Dodger fans as Braves fans.

LSU Baseball Update - 4/26
I saw most of the Saturday night game of the Mississippi State series on ESPNU while I was in Atlanta.
  • Unfortunately, the Tigers wasted Alex Lange's best performance of the season to lose 2-1.
  • The game ended with a soft liner with the tying run on 3B.
  • LSU managed to salvage the final game of the series Sunday in the second of bookend slugfests around the pitchers' duel in middle.
  • A sweep would have been disastrous after the Bengals won 5 of 6 in their previous two SEC series (2-of-3 vs Vanderbilt and 3-0 at Missouri).
  • Both State and LSU find themselves in a three-way tie for 2nd in the SEC West with Ole Miss at 10-8 in the conference.
  • The Tigers have a crucial series in Oxford this weekend.
NBA Playoffs - 4/26
Sickening injuries to two of my favorite players have dampened my enthusiasm for the NBA playoffs.
  • Disaster #1: Steph Curry's ankle injury followed by an even more serious knee injury that has him out for at least two weeks.
  • Disaster #2: Chris Paul's fluke hand injury that has him out indefinitely after an operation today.
  • The Warriors should still close out the Rockets in a series in which Golden State leads 3-1.
  • The Clippers took a 2-0 lead in their series with Portland but have lost both games in the Rose City and are now faced with the need to win 2-of-3 from the Trail Blazers without their All-Star point guard.
  • A week ago we could lick our chops at the prospect of a Warriors-Clippers matchup in Round 2. Now L.A.'s advance over Portland is seriously in question since Blake Griffin is also lost for the rest of the playoffs.
  • The beneficiaries of the injuries to two superstars are the San Antonio Spurs, who have an easier path to the finals if Curry cannot come back or is seriously hampered when he does, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had an impressive sweep of the Pistons in Round One and look like a sure bet to win the East.

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About This Site
This site is devoted primarily but not exclusively to college and pro football. The unique feature of this site is the publication each fall of the author's rankings of all FBS college football teams and similar rankings for the NFL. I live in New Orleans and am a graduate of LSU and FSU. So I present a Southern and particularly an SEC point of view but one that is reasonably objective. I also publish a monthly Football Magazine with stories from the past and a monthly Baseball Magazine with a similar format. During the winter and spring, there's a monthly Basketball Magazine.

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