A Duo Of Bad Boys

I love the notion and idea of a duo in the NBA. Yes you still need all 5 players on the court in unison but being able to lean on another player that you can depend to bring it at an elite level every night is something special. Neyo said it best “I’m a movement by myself, but I’m a force when we’re together” and that was makes a dynamic duo. It’s a combination of being great individually with great individual success but also the team dynamic success when you pull it together.

What’s the hardest duo to succeed in the NBA? Its when both players aren’t the biggest on the court in height, but can play big amongst the giants in the NBA. We seen Shaq and Kobe dominate, we seen Twin Towers like Tim Duncan and David Robinson dominate and from the wings, we seen MJ and Pippen, but how can 2 guards demonstrate dominance?

Isaiah Thomas,aka Zeke, was the 2nd overall pick in the 1981 draft. A young 20 year old pup from Indiana University, who had stardom written all over his face. In his first 4 years, he average 21 ppg and 10 assists per game. Coming off a Eastern Conf SemiFinals series where he and the Pistons lost 4-2 to the Boston Celtics, it was clear to Jack McCloskey (GM) and Chuk Daly a 2 way player was needed

In 1985 Draft, the Pistons took Joe Dumars from McNeese State University with the 18th pick. He started majority of his rookie season and once he got his feet wet, it was all set up for a potential great backcourt for years to come.

Individually, Zeke is one of the best PGs to ever play the game. During his time with Joe Dumars he averaged 20 points 9 assists, 2 steals and 4 rebounds per game. Although he made previous appearances, Zeke was an 8x All Star with JD as his teammate, a one-time All-NBA nod in 1986 and 2nd All-NBA in 1987.

Dumars was impressive individually as well, averaging 17 points 5 assists, 2 rebounds and was assigned the toughest matchup at the guard position, facing foes like MJ, Clyde and Mitch Richmond, etc. He was a 4-time All Star in consecutive years from 1990 through 1993. 4-time 1st All-Defense and one-time 2nd team all defense and ending up on All-NBA nods (two-time 3rd Team and one-time 2nd team)

We all know the Bad Boys story throughout the late 80s and early 90s but what separates them as the best backcourt duo was the ability to be the best player on the court on the biggest stage.

In 1989, they dismantled the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks without losing a game and with rising superstar, Michael Jordan on the horizon, the Pistons was able to beat them in 6. One year removed from losing to the Lakers in Game 7 due to Isiah Thomas not playing in 1988, this dynamic backcourt was able to sweep Magic and Kareem led Lakers, combining for 49 points per game and 13 assists. This tandem was able to to seek revenge vs LA. Joe Dumars was your Finals MVP (27 ppg and 6 apg) and being known for one of the best defensive players, he came away with the hardware, scoring the most points in the Finals.

The following season, the Pistons’ Finals MVP has arrived making 2nd Team All NBA and another 1st Team All-defense nod. What were the odds he could win the Bill Russell Award for the 2nd straight year? In 1990, the Pistons were able to handle the future of the 90 Teams like sweeping the Indiana Pacers, beating the New York Knicks in 5 and once again holding off Michael Jordan and the Bulls in 7.

Heading into the Finals vs the Portland Trailblazers, this duo once again showed up when it mattered the most. Another year averaging 48 combined points and 13 assists per game brought out another championship that was headed back to the city of Detroit. Joe Dumars in Game 3 went off with 33 points but that alone wasn’t enough to get him the Finals MVP trophy. Zeke, playing less minutes than his duo counterpart, poured in 28 a night with 7 assists and 5 rebounds, shooting 54% from the field and 69% from 3.

Isiah Thomas after winning the 1990 NBA Championship

No backcourt duo will ever be able to pull off what these bad boys accomplished. Together, they accumulated a winning percentage of 59% through 9 years. Pulled off 7 straight playoff trips, 3 straight final appearances, 2 Eastern Conference Finals Appearance me a backcourt duo that, individually stand on their own, have a premier dominating run together that results in multiple championships and both bring home the NBA’s most pinnacle award, the Finals MVP

Myrick 3.0 NFL MOCK DRAFT

My final NFL Mock Draft before it all goes down has come. With many rumors floating around it’s hard to put a hold on what is real and what is not. With the Covid-19 spreading throughout the world, the NFL Draft is awfully weird. Like come on, a virtual draft? Are we playing Madden 20? These Owners, General Managers, coaches, and scouts have their hands full. Full of promise and hope as well as the slim chance of not being fully prepared from something that no one could’ve expected. I’m hoping the tape I’ve watched and the sources I’ve come in contact with are leading me down the right path, in what will ultimately come down as one of the most memorable drafts in NFL History.

The first and second pick will go as chalk but where will the board start to shake? I won’t partake in any trades because, 1) it’s hard to predict and 2) it is always some random team that comes out of nowhere and wrecks the draft. Here’s my 3rd and final version of how it will all shape out come April 23rd.

1. Cincinnati Bengals

Usatoday.com

QB Joe Burrow, LSU

This has been the #1 Pick since he beat Alabama. Throughout the process it took awhile but Joe Burrow will get his nickname back, The Bayou Bengal. He will head up to Cincinatti with the likes of A.J. Green, Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd, not to mention 2019 1st round draft pick Jonah Williams, who will be healthy this season leading the way to protect the former Heisman trophy Quarterback. Can Joe Burrow be more than a one hit wonder? Lets wait and see.

2. Washington Redskins

Associated Press

DE Chase Young, OHST

They said Chase Young only weakness is that he “can’t beat triple teams” and even though that’s a HUGE knock against him, he is the best player in the 2020 NFL Draft and every team knows it. Chase Young would be the first pick in most drafts following guys like J. Clowney and M. Garrett as top picks but it’s fine, he can be Von Miller (2nd overall in 2011) and Nick Bosa (2nd overall in 2019) who both went on to win DROY. Rivera won’t waste time with this decision.

3. Detroit Lions

USA TODAY Sports

DB, Jeff Okudah, OHST

Jeff Okudah is one of my favorite players in the draft and will be the 3rd Ohio guy off the board, if the Lions keep the pick. However, everyone has proclaim that Lions GM Bob Quinn would like to trade back, but the question is, how far? The Lions need talent and after trading All Pro CB Darius Slay, the CB position is a dire need. I predicted this defense would be top 8 in the league and my prophet prediction was way off (lions defense ranked 31st in 2019). If the Lions draft Okudah, Matt Patricia could right my wrong. NO BRAINER decision for them here.

4. New York Giants

Alabama Athletics

OT, Jedrick Wills, BAMA

With the ability to play either tackle spot, I have Wills as my highest ranked O-Lineman in the draft. Wills is big (6’5 320 lbs), strong, quick and athletic. Giants have invested in Daniel Jones (6th pick in 2019) and Saquon Barkley (2nd pick in 2018) the only way to protect and clear lanes for those investments is to continue to work the trenches. Daniel Jones fumbled 13 times in 9 games, Giants please give this man some help!

5. Miami Dolphins

USAtoday.com

QB, Tua Tagovailoa, BAMA

Miami has been toying with the media for awhile throwing everyone off into a loop of which QB they like most, even with GM Chris Grier visited Bama on more than one occasion, could it all be smoke screen? In my opinion, Tua is the best QB in this draft! Don’t let what Joe Burrow did in 1 year overlooked what Tua has done, dating back to the championship comeback vs UGA as a true freshman. Tagovailoa has the highest ceiling and yet the lowest floor. The injuries are concerning but I believe he’s ready to take the NFL by storm. He has a quality arm that can make any throw required in the NFL. Accuracy and poised, no wonder he’s been compared to Drew Brees.

6. Los Angeles Chargers

Stampede Blue

QB Justin Herbert, ORE

I am not a fan of Justin Herbert but the Chargers probably will not find themselves drafting this high for the likes of Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. This roster is ready to win now and with Tyrod Taylor, I think they can. However, we know what Tyrod is and that’s the reason that Herbert is rumored and linked to go here. Will he be the future?

7. Carolina Panthers

usatoday.com in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California.

LB Isaiah Simmons, CLEM

Superior Being, Freak of Nature, Never Seen Before. I don’t know what to really call Simmons but this is a FOOTBALL PLAYER. He can probably play every position on the field and succeed. With this selection, Simmons will instantly be a top 5 player on the team and have huge holes to fill left by Luke Kuechly, who decided to retire. Simmons is a baller and if used right will be a 1st ballot Hall Of Famer.

8. Arizona Cardinals

Montgomery Adviser

IDL Derrick Brown, AUB

Cardinals pulled off a heist of a trade by acquiring DHop from the Houston Texans. They filled the need at WR that they desperately needed. Now Kingsbury has to pay attention to the defense side of the ball. Every great pass rusher needs an interior lineman that can leave them 1 on 1. How can the Cardinals help Chandler Jones? Derrick Brown is the guy at 8.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

L(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

IDL Javon Kinlaw, SCAR

Another IDL off the board in back to back picks. Kinlaw is another favorite of mine and 1B for my rankings with Interior DLine play. Just like the Cardinals, Josh Allen need someone in the middle to eat up blocks and pressure the QB from the inside. Kinlaw has been seen to squat bench press over 2,000 lbs, in the WWE we called this ‘A monster among men.’

10. Cleveland Browns

USA TODAY Sports

OT Tristian Wirfs, IOWA

Jack Conklin was signed in FA to protect Baker Mayfield, even that is not enough, Wirfs was very impressive at the combine with measurements and his on the field workouts. He comes in as a day 1 Franchise Left Tackle in this offense giving them two anchor positions at both Tackles spots.

11. New York Jets

Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Andrew Thomas (71) prepares for Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

OT Andrew Thomas, UGA

The Jets did a good job with the OL in FA but still it’s a need important enough to draft in the 1st round. The Jets really need weapons and with all WRs on the board, it is very hard to pass it up. What good does it do if Darnold is laying on his back?

12. Las Vegas Raiders

AUBURN, ALABAMA – NOVEMBER 30: Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

WR Henry Ruggs, BAMA

Raiders will value speed here. I think Henry Ruggs will be the best WR in this class. He is a complete WR, it just so happens he has blazing speed with it. Ruggs III will go down as the steal of this draft. ‘Prophet Prediction’

13. San Francisco 49ers (via IND)

(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

WR Ceedee Lamb, OKLA

49ers moved Buckner to the Colts and acquired a top 15 pick. With the uncertainty of the position, why wouldn’t Shanahan get a star in the making? The best way to prop up Jimmy G is to surround him with talent. Ceedee Lamb is one of the smoothest players I’ve ever seen coming out. He’s a difference maker on an already made team.

14. Tampa Bay Bucs

Bucs Report

OT Mechi Becton, LOU

The biggest giant to ever play football — thats Becton. That’s all I can say, but he’s the right pick for a team who just signed a 40+ year old QB. Now that Brady finally has the weapons, it does him no good if he has to run for his life, and lets be honest, Brady wouldn’t get far.

15. Denver Broncos

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

WR Jerry Jeudy, BAMA

The Broncos have big plans in 2020 and Jerry Jeudy could be the icing on the cake. Drew Lock went 4-1 as a starter, adding Melvin Gordon in the running game and a special talent in the passing game can elevate Lock to another level. Pat Shurmur is getting back to the play calling duties and what fun he’ll have with Jeudy to play with.

16. Atlanta Falcons

SI.com

CB CJ Henderson, UF

The Falcons signed Dante Fowler to lower the need for a pass rusher in the 1st round. Dan Quinn needs to get back in his Seattle days with elite DB play. CJ Henderson is clearly the pick here to boost up the secondary. Hopefully he doesn’t fall in the trend for most Gator DBs.

17. Dallas Cowboys

SI.com

EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU

The second best pass rusher in the group behind Chase Young. Chaisson is raw but he has all the tools to help the Cowboys Front. Cowboys messed up a few years back taking Taco Charlton over TJ Watt, this a can’t miss selection that even Ray Charles could see.

18. Miami Dolphins (via PIT)

(AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

WR Justin Jefferson, LSU

I know, Justin Jefferson!? Well, if you invest in a QB like the Dolphins have with the 5th pick in the draft, getting Tua the weapons is very necessary. Devante Parker finally showed up to his 1st rd billing and Preston Williams came on strong. The dolphins receiving core is also brittle (Wilson, Hurns, Grant, Williams injuries) but a guy like Justin Jefferson, who’s interchangeable with any WR position can make this WR group special.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI)

Sooner Sports

LB Kenneth Murray, OKLA

Murray is a fast and physical linebacker who flies around the field and is always around the ball. He is very well put together and a good tackler. Raiders drafting the WR-LB combo with their 2 draft picks are a win-win for this organization.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)

AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman

CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

Fulton has slowly fell down in the latest mocks and he does the same for me here. He’s no Jalen Ramsey but he knows that he has the over top type of abilities with the confidence to match. Jaguars remaking this team and are a few years away. Kinlaw and Fulton will be a very good start.

21. Philadelphia Eagles

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

LB Patrick Queen, LSU

WR is the biggest need for the Eagles and Howie Roseman doesn’t draft Linebackers in the 1st round. That’s two statements that are already against me but adding Hargrave and Slay tells me that the Eagles want to sure up the defense. Instead of patching it up — let’s get a right away starter who has all the instincts to be a leader.

22. Minnesota Vikings (via BUF)

Bleacher Report

CB Jeff Gladney, TCU

The Rhodes are closed now and The Vikings has lost 3 starting CBs in Free Agency. Jeff Gladney has real cover skills to run with receivers and prevent separation. Zimmer will fall in love with his length even though he’s a smaller Corner. He can be lined up as an outside or inside corner and can excel around a talented football team.

23. New England Patriots

AP

IOL Cesar Ruiz, MICH

Ruiz just seems like he was born to be a Patriot. He’s an IOL who can play at Center or at either guard position. The Patriots have issues everywhere on the roster, but nothing like the OL. Shaq Mason regressed, Thuney is on a franchise tag (NE is financially strapped) and David Andrews can’t stay healthy. Ruiz is a well-balanced blocker in the ground game and in pass protection. Bill should be looking to build the trenches again.

24. New Orleans Saints

House of Sparky

EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, PSU

I believe the Offense is to blame for their shortcomings in the playoffs but most believe it’s the defense. A way to keep pressure off the offense is for the defense to continue to get after the QB. Davenport, Rankins and All Pro DE Cam Jordan could use another pass rusher to sure up the line. I love Gross-Matos’s motor and relentless pursuer of the football. How many sacks can he get down at the Bayou?

25. Minnesota Vikings

Bleacher Report

WR Denzel Mims, BAY

Two things about Mims that would be similar to Stefon Diggs, are his ability to make contested catches and his run after the catch ability. Those two traits for WRs are the main reasons I love Denzel Mims here. With an accurate QB in Kirk Cousins mixed with Mims’ size, this could be a dream pick for the Vikings.

26. Miami Dolphins (Texans)

247Sports

S Xavier Mckinney, BAMA

Mckinney has moved up on my board as the #1 Safety ways ahead of Delpit and Winfield Jr. McKinney is the jack-of-all-trades in the secondary, as he is able cover tight ends and wide receivers, can play deep zone free safety, also has the strength to tackle and can be the eighth man in the box. McKinney has size, speed, athleticism and upside to be the perfect safety in the NFL. Dolphins just hit a A+ Draft and it’s only the first round.

27. Seattle Seahawks

CollegeFootballTalk

OT Josh Jones, HOU

Another tackle off the board with this pick here. I am not a big fan of Seattle’s roster. I still believe it’s Russ or a bust. The only way to prevent Russell Wilson from injury is to protect him. This OL stills struggle, Josh Jones falls into a High Ceiling and Low floor player. Seattle should take the risk.

28. Baltimore Ravens

Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

DE AJ Epenesa, IOWA

Ravens have to replace Judon as he plays 2020 on the franchise tag. Epenesa at 6’6 and 280, he has all the power from the edge. Epenesa can play the solid base end on 4-3 defense but is best suited as a five-technique end in a 3-4, either way, Ravens will gear up to get after the QB.

29. Tennessee Titans

Pro Football Network

OT Austin Jackson, USC

Titans lost Conklin to Free Agency and to fill the void at tackle, they’ll select Austin Jackson. He easily gets to the second level on the backside of run plays and does a good job getting on LBs in space and for King Henry and the Titans, that fits perfect.

30. Green Bay Packers

Gang Green Nation

WR Jalen Reagor, TCU

I’m a huge Reagor fan. They have a lot of options here but at the end of the day, Devante Adams needs help and signing Jimmy Graham didn’t help that. Reagor has the ability to take the top off the defense and is a home run hitter. Great change of pace option for Rodgers.

31. San Francisco 49ers

Inside the Star

S Antoine Winfield Jr. MINN

His dad was a great corner, his son can potentially be a great safety. A couple injuries but he’s another jack-of-all trades, who’s a ball hawk, high IQ safety. Continuing to add help on that defense is the smart thing to do, John Lynch will love him.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

NJ.com

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU

The Chiefs have to hit on draft picks due to the Mahomes contract that will follow. With that being said the Chiefs should select someone who can be a star on a cheap deal. Although Damien Williams was the star of the Super Bowl, Andy Reid may throw a curveball and have my only RB to go in the 1st RD. CEH is my #1 running back in this class and is easily the best 3 down RB. I haven’t found a weakness in his game yet and pairing him alongside the best player in the NFL, the league should watch out.

Best Available (no order)

Cam Akers, RB, FSU

Tee Higgins, WR, CLEM

Jordan Love, QB, USU

Jermey Chinn, S, SIU

Jaylon Johnson, CB, UTAH

Brandon Aiyuk, WR, ASU

AJ Terrell, CB, CLEM

Trevon Diggs, CB, BAMA

Myrick 2.0 NFL MOCK DRAFT

The NFL combine is here and everyone who loves the draft, like myself, are all tuned in. Owners, General Managers, coaches, scouts finally get to see what the best athletes in college has to offer. From the measurements and interviews to showing what they can do out there on the field, this is the time to answer the most of the important questions. Let’s not get carried away on who has the fastest 40 time or who can have the most reps at the but pay attention to what will translate.

The draft order has been set for a month, with Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl over the San Francisco 49ers in Miami. The Chiefs moved up in the draft through trade to select, future Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes in the 1st round in 2017 and drafted Eric Fisher 1st overall in 2013. So who will select their future Super Bowl Champion — Here’s my 2nd version of how it will shape out come April.

1. Cincinnati Bengals

Usatoday.com

QB Joe Burrow, LSU

Even though his words from recent interviews haven’t embraced the nickname of ‘the Bayou Bengal’, I will continue to pick Joe Burrow here first, every single time. Will he pull an Eli Manning – I’m not sure if he has the leverage to do so. While everything went right for Burrow and LSU in 2019, to me, there lies a concern about him being a 1-year wonder, but the Bengals know Zac Taylor needs everything to succeed and that includes the most important position in football.

2. Washington Redskins

Associated Press

DE Chase Young, OHST

Young is the best player in the 2020 NFL Draft and every team knows it. Chase Young would be the first pick in most drafts following guys like Clowney and Garrett as top picks but it’s fine, he can be Von Miller (2nd overall in 2011) and Nick Bosa (2nd overall in 2019) who both went on to win DROY. Rivera won’t waste time with this decision

3. Detroit Lions

USA TODAY Sports

DB, Jeff Okudah, OHST

Jeff Okudah is one of my favorite players in the draft and will be the 3rd Ohio guy off the board. There have been talks that Lions GM Bob Quinn would like to trade back but how far? Lions need a star, with Darius Slay contract looming, with Slay or without the CB position is a dire need. I predicted this defense would be top 8 in the league and that prophet prediction was way off (lions defense ranked 31st in 2019).  The thing I like about Okudah is he’s phenomenal in pass coverage and to prevent separation with a combination of size, speed, athleticism and instincts. NO BRAINER.

4. New York Giants

Alabama Athletics

OT, Jedrick Wills, BAMA

With the ability to play either tackle spot, I have Wills as my highest ranked O-Lineman in the draft. Wills is big (6’5 320 lbs), strong, quick and athletic. Giants have invested in Daniel Jones (6th pick in 2019) and Saquon Barkley (2nd pick in 2018) the only way to protect and clear lanes for those investments is to continue to work on the OL. Daniel Jones fumbled 13 times in 9 games, Giants please help!

5. Miami Dolphins

USAtoday.com

QB, Tua Tagovailoa, BAMA

Tua is the best QB in this draft! Don’t let what Joe Burrow did in 1 year overlooked what Tua has done dating back to the championship comeback vs UGA as a true freshman. Tagovailoa has a quality arm that can make any throw required in the NFL. Accuracy and poised, no wonder he’s been compared to Drew Brees.

6. Los Angeles Chargers

Montgomery Adviser

DE Derrick Brown, AUB

Yes, Philip Rivers will no longer be the QB at the helm. No, the Chargers shouldn’t panic and draft a QB. Derrick Brown from Auburn is a monster. Interior DL has been the chargers weakness for years and they have the opportunity to fix it. With Ingram and Bosa on the edge and Derwin James at safety this defense can bounce back and be one of the best. He’s a monster in the ground game and as a pass rusher – take BPA (best player available) and don’t look back.

7. Carolina Panthers

Hawkeye Sports

OT Tristan Wirfs, IOWA

Good in both sets, plays with good leverage as a run blocker and sustains his blocks well enough to make room for the stud running back in Christian Mccaffery and blocking for whoever is at the helm for QB next season, if its Cam Newton or Kyle Allen, someone needs to protect. Carolina has a long rebuild ahead. Tackle is not the sexiest move but a building block.

8. Arizona Cardinals

Bucs Report

OT Mekhi Becton, UL

He’s a late riser and physical freak, for his size he has great athleticism – much need blocker for Kyler Murray. Kingsbury need his QB to have more time to execute the offense and this is the start.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

usatoday.com

LB Isiah Simmons, CLEM

Versatility is my favorite attribute. Simmons can play Linebacker, Safety, Slot Corner, Running Back, and Quarterback….. You get my point. With Telvin Smith not coming back, no Jalen Ramsey, this defense needs talent. Imagine Simmons and Myles Jack controlling the middle of the field for years.

10. Cleveland Browns

USA TODAY Sports

OT Andrew Thomas, UGA

Kevin Stefanski did a great job last year as the Vikings OC with a suspect OL and this was Baker Mayfield’s problem last year. He looked like he was seeing ghost so it’s best to add a much need tackle to the team. Baker has everything to succeed from a weapon standpoint but the OL needs to protect and that’s what Thomas from UGA can bring.

11. New York Jets

Alabama Athletics

WR Jerry Jeudy, BAMA

My WR1 in this draft class, with Robbie Anderson looming, either way Jets need a #1 guy for Sam Darnold. Jeudy has been impressive since day 1 with his route running ability. He has the skills to be very dynamic and walk on the team as an instant star. Getting Darnold the tools is succeed should be priorty one.

12. Las Vegas Raiders

Sooner Sports

WR Ceedee Lamb, OKLA

Since Jeudy is off the board, the Raiders will run up to the podium to select Lamb. A lot of people say that Lamb doesn’t have the speed but the Raiders need someone who can get open. Good size, good hands and route running ability, I don’t see Gruden passing up on WR of this caliber.

13. Indianapolis  Colts

(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

DT, Javon Kinlaw, SCAR

The story of Kinlaw should amaze everyone. He’s work extremely hard to get to this point and getting drafted top 15 is the icing on the cake. Kinlaw was the best player at Senior Bowl practices from either team and the first thing that stands out about Kinlaw is his size. He is quick to close and has strength to fight off blockers. Notice I didn’t spend this pick on a QB – it’s because I’m not a fan of the Jordan Love hype train to go this high so take Kinlaw.

14. Tampa Bay Bucs

Stampede Blue

QB Justin Herbert, ORE

I think Jamies Winston will be back but Bruce Arians may be looking for someone to groom. Herbert has something in common with Big Ben, Peyton Manning, and Carson Palmer,ho all played under Arians, the similarity is they all are TALL with a BIG ARM. Learning what NOT to do by watching Jamies can also help.

15. Denver Broncos

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

WR Henry Ruggs

Henry Ruggs may have been the 2nd best WR on this team but he was one of the best in the country. Ruggs will have the fastest 40 yard time at the combine and that enough will move him ahead in the draft. If Drew Lock continue to be the starter having the TE set, the RBS and your #1 WR Cortland Sutton, adding Ruggs as the deep threat would be a perfect fit.

16. Atlanta Falcons

SI.com

DE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU

The Falcons aren’t bringing back Beasley, Chaisson from LSU has great bend around the edge and the ability to create chaos for a team that was toward the bottom in sacks. Chaisson doesn’t have the numbers but if you watch the games, the impact was felt.

17. Dallas Cowboys

Alabama Athletics

S, Xavier Mckinney, Bama

Mckinney has moved up on my board as the #1 Safety ways ahead of Delpit. McKinney is the jack-of-all-trades in the secondary, as he is able cover tight ends and wide receivers, can play deep zone free safety, also has the strength to tackle and can be the eighth man in the box. McKinney has size, speed, athleticism and upside for the NFL. He’ll be a can’t miss prospect for the Dallas Cowboys.

18. Miami Dolphins (Steelers)

(AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

Aqib Talib is old and Xavien Howard is in legal trouble. He’s a clean prospect and can help a secondary right away. I don’t know if I see star but I do see a good piece.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (Bears)

Sooner Sports

LB Kenneth Murray, OKLA

Murray is a fast and physical linebacker who flies around the field and is always around the ball. He is put together well and a good tackler. Raiders drafting the WR-LB combo with their 2 draft picks are a win-win for this organization.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (Rams)

Hogs Haven

CB Trevon Diggs, BAMA                                   

A very physical corner but Diggs is not the Jalen Ramsey replacement, he has above-average instincts but is not a natural defender converting to a CB not too long ago, but he could sneak into the first round because of his skill set.

21. Philadelphia Eagles

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

WR Laviska Shenault, COL

WR is the biggest need for the Eagles. Definitely can be a #1 WR with Carson Wentz – has the speed to be a big playmaker year 1. With all those injuries he can be poised for a BIG year.

22. Buffalo Bills

Bleacher Report

DE Yetur Gross-Matos, PSU

The defense is getting older, Gross-Matos has fallen but maybe the combine is what he needs to insert his name higher in the draft. He’s a good run defender and an improving pass-rusher. Jerry Hughes over 30 getting the replacement could be the selection.

23. New England Patriots

AP

IOL Cesar Ruiz, MICH

He just seems like a Patriot, he’s a lineman who can play at Center or at either guard position. He is a well-balanced blocker in the ground game and in pass protection which can help them get the ground game going and buy time for WRs to get open.

24. New Orleans Saints

House of Sparky

WR Brandon Aiyuk, ASU

The Saints need to help Michael Thomas; Aiyuk has the speed and ability to make it a dangerous duo. Scouts believe that Aiyuk was better than N’Keal Harry, if Harry was a 1st rounder so can Aiyuk.

25. Minnesota Vikings

Buffalo Fanatics

CB Jeff Gladney, TCU

Rhodes is closed now and Waynes should be on the way out tool. Gladney has real cover skills to run with receivers and prevent separation and can be lined up as an outside or inside corner.

26. Miami Dolphins (Texans)

247Sports

RB DeAndre Swift, UGA

Swift ran well for Georgia showing his speed, vision, cutting ability, and versatility. He’s a 3 down back and Dolphins doesn’t have a running back on the roster of his caliber.

27. Seattle Seahawks

CollegeFootballTalk

DT Ross Blacklock, TCU

Could be a one hit wonder but 6’4 and 305 Seattle could fall in love with him and drafting at this spot. Blacklock does have medical issues.

28. Baltimore Ravens

Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

DE AJ Epenesa, IOWA

Ravens have to replace Judon if he leaves in FA, Epenesa at 6’6 280 he has all the power from the edge.  Epenesa can play the solid base end on 4-3 defense but is best suited as a five-technique end in a 3-4.

29. Tennessee Titans

Pro Football Network

OT Josh Jones, HOU

Probably will lose Conklin to FA, fill the void at tackle with Josh Jones who has good size with length, athleticism and agility. Not an overpowering athlete, but he has some functional strength to manipulate and lean on defenders.

30. Green Bay Packers

Gang Green Nation

WR Jalen Reagor, TCU

Same reason with the Saints taking a WR, Devante Adams needs help. Reagor has the ability to take the top off the defense, he’s a speed demon and a home run hitter for the NFL that coaches drool over.

31. San Francisco 49ers

Inside the Star

S Antoine Winfield Jr. MINN

His dad was a great corner, his son can potentially be a great safety. A couple injuries but he’s another jack-of-all- trades who’s a ball hawk safety. Continuing to add help on that defense is the smart thing to do, John Lynch will love him.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

NJ.com

LB Patrick Queen, LSU

The Chiefs has to hit on draft picks due to the Mahomes contract that will follow. With that being said the Chiefs should select someone who can be a star on a cheap deal. Enter Patrick Queen. Queen is a fast linebacker who can go sideline-to-sideline and has three-down starting potential for the next level. He has special speed and athleticism that make him a valuable linebacker in pass coverage

Myrick’s 1.0 Mock Draft

The 2019 NFL regular season is in the books, and much has changed when it comes to the 2020 NFL Draft. The thought was that the Miami Dolphins would be tanking yet they find themselves not in the top 5 after defeating the Patriots in week 17 but still lead with three picks in the first round. Jaguars picked up another first round pick trading away Jalen Ramsey while the Las Vegas Raiders, yea Las Vegas, has two picks with one coming from Chicago who thought to be in the playoffs.

Originally, I wanted to give every team Chase Young and since August that has not changed. The only thing different is the rise of the QB Joe Burrow out of LSU, he’s on pace to have the best season ever as a coach, already racking up the Heisman and throwing 7 touchdowns in the College Football Playoffs Semifinals.

Here’s my initial mock draft at how it could play out come April 2020.

1. Cincinnati Bengals

Usatoday.com

The Selection: QB Joe Burrow, LSU

It’s destiny that the LSU Tiger will head for play for the Cincinnati Bengal. He will be a day 1 starter. High hopes for the Bayou Bengal.

2. Washington Redskins

The Selection: EDGE Chase Young, OHST

He will walk and be a stud right away. Pairing him with Swear, Allen and Payne give this one of the best fronts in football with new coach Ron Rivera and DC Del Rio

3. Detroit Lions

Saturdaytradition.com

The Selection: CB Jeffery Okudah, OHST

Lions want to play man and struggle from the secondary this season. Okudah with his long arms, fast feet and closing speed can help him be a strong candidate for DROY immediately.

4. New York Giants

Alabama athletics

The Selection: OT Jedrick Willis, Bama

No need to use a high draft pick on skills position when you need help to protect your investment. So getting a OL is key. I like Willis – he can be dominate when run blocking and can maximize his ability to help Daniel Jones and Barkley.

5. Miami Dolphins

USAtoday.com

The Selection: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Bama

No way he returns to school, he’s in good position to find himself on a solid team. Pairing him with good weapons would help him pick right back up where he left off in Alabama. He’ll declare and go south to Miami. Don’t count out the Dolphins.

6. Los Angeles Chargers

The Draft Network

The Selection: OT Andrew Thomas, UGA

Lets get physical and tough with this pick and whoever Thomas will be blocking for at the Quarterback position the need and fit is here.

7. Carolina Panthers

Hawkeye Sports

The Selection: OT Tristan Wirfs, IOWA

Good in both sets, blocking for Mccaffery in the run game is a priority as well as blocking for whoever is at the helm for QB next season. He has good control to his game and could play either tackle spot.

8. Arizona Cardinals

Sooner Sports

The Selection: WR CeeDee Lamb, OKLA

The ageless, great, and future Hall of Famer Larry will probably retire. CeeDee Lamb has questions for long speed but why not put him in a system where speed wasn’t Larry’s thing. Can be ROY in Kliff system and pairing him back with Kyler Murray is the icing on the cake.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

Alabama athletics

The Selection: WR Jerry Jeudy, Bama

They retain the staff and will

They retain the staff and will probably keep Minshew. Jags offense can be special with a special WR. Good weapons to put on a show with Fournette, Juedy and Chark Jr.

10. Cleveland Browns

Montgomery Adviser

The Selection: Derrick Brown, AUB

The Browns can get you from the edge consistently once Garrett is reinstated. Imagine pressure up the middle too, and from the best IDL in the class, I mean 6’5 318, he’s a monster and I see superstar.

11. New York Jets

Usatoday.com

The Selection: EDGE A.J. Epenesa, IOWA

Joey Douglas loves big players. Hard to find out as big as Epenesa 6’6 280. All power from the edge here.

12. Las Vegas Raiders

The Selection: LB Isaiah Simmons, CLEM

The leader of a defense Gruden has been looking for. Long arms. Can also cover TEs in man and zone. Potential Defensive nightmare.

13. Indianapolis Colts

NFL mocks

The Selection: WR Tee Higgins, CLEM

Cris Carter always say you should build your WR core like a basketball team. If TY, Pascal are my guards I need a big SF to go along with the TEs. Would’ve seen what Devin Funchess would’ve done in this offense but injuries ended his season early. Tee Higgins and TY can be similar to another former Clemson WR Mike Williams pairing with Keenan Allen. With the right QB watch out for that duo.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Stampede Blue

The Selection: QB Justin Herbert, ORE

IDL is a need if Suh doesn’t comeback. But, I went QB. Reason being as much the fun rollercoaster ride is watching Jamies Winston there’s no way they keep him for the future. Draft Herbert……he has something in common with Big Ben, Manning and Carson Palmer (who played under Arians) TALL AND BIG ARM. Learning what NOT to do watching Jamies can also help.

15. Denver Broncos

Usatoday.com

The Selection: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

CB is still a need. Few months ago they wanted to trade Chris Harris. Here’s a good way to bounce back with Fulton. He’s not long but neither is Chris Harris, he’s a clean prospect and can help right away

16. Atlanta Falcons

Pro football rumors

The Selection: CB C.J. Henderson, UF

Falcons need help at CB position. Very athletic good speed to keep up with any type WR and physical toughness. That’s a need for this division with the likes of Michael Thomas, Godwin/Evans and DJ Moore.

17. Dallas Cowboys

The Valley Shook

The Selection: S Grant Delpit, LSU

Trading for Jamal Adams could fix things but how bout getting the safety he played with in college. Delpit is very versatile and that’s what you need from the safety position. Once he sure up his tackling he will be a good player, maybe not Jamal but close.

18. Miami Dolphins (from Steelers)

http://www.si.com

The Selection: EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU

Got the most important position in football drafting Tua earlier. Here they are with the position that’s supposed to get after guys like Tua. K. Chaisson from LSU is a good pick here. Very versatile playing in any scheme as a 4-3 DE or stand up OLB in a 3-4. Raw but can be a serious problem for opposing teams.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears)

The Spun

The Selection: WR Henry Ruggs III

Ruggs in space can’t be stopped. Similar to would be his rival in KC with elite Speed in Tyreek hill, could help open up a John Gruden offense. Imagine a Jacobs-Ruggs-Waller combination, that’s a very nice.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)

Bleacher Report

The Selection: EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos

Josh Allen had a very impressive rookie campaign and the Jags should continue in that direction and bring back Sacksonville. Plus, Campbell can’t play forever, can he?

21. Philadelphia Eagles

Draft Wire

The Selection: WR Laviska Shenault Jr. , COLO

Have you seen the injuries to the Eagles offense? Easy to why they would take a WR? He has big play ability from Colorado. Definitely can be a #1 WR with Carson Wentz.

22. Tennessee Titans

The Scorecrow

The Selection: IDL Javon Kinlaw, So. Carolina

My philosophy of a GM is not to pay RBs. Do the Titans sway away from that and draft one? I would say yes but a deep RB class I can’t take one first round. This teams needs IDL up front and that’s J. Kinlaw, a long term answer.

23. Buffalo Bills

247sports.com

The Selection: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU

Did they missed out on the run of WRs? Not even, Justin Jefferson should rise up on draft boards especially after a performance of a lifetime. Big body WR 6’3 190. Just what the doctor order for Josh Allen.

24. Minnesota Vikings

Wisconsin Badgers

The Selection: IOL Tyler Biadasz, WIS

Although everyone assumes a CB will be taken. I won’t go that route. Vikings Rookie center, Bradbury, has looked awful all season. With really only one good draft pick on the Offensive line they need to address the interior of again. Tyler Biadasz is the pick.

25. Miami Dolphins (from Texans)

247sports.com

The Selection: CB Paulson Adebo, Stan

QB, check, Edge rusher, check, dolphins need someone to help Xavier Howard in the secondary. How bout a long, playmaker at the cornerback from Stanford, P. Adebo, who can help in both the passes and run game.

26. Seattle Seahawks

The Athletic

The Selection: OT Alex Leatherwood, Bama

I’ll do anything in my power if it helps Russell Wilson. Easy decision. Let’s help protect him. Alex Leatherwood can help.

27. New England Patriots

Alabama athletics

The Selection: EDGE Terrell Lewis, Bama

Could go so many directions as they need pieces pretty much everywhere and to continue to keep Gilmore the best CB in the league lets get him some help up front to get after the QB. Terrell Lewis from Alabama looks the part of a NFL rusher with his length and size. Saban and Bill talk about Bama players to one another. I know Saban has sent plenty of tape.

28. Green Bay Packers

Athletique.com

The Selection: WR K.J. Hamler, PSU

YES, another WR off the board. He gives me hollywood brown vibes. Another player who excelled with Rodgers was Randall Cobb. Hamler speed is top notch can be vital playmaker to continue to help Rodgers as he enters “old man status.”

29. Kansas City Chiefs

CBS Sports

The Selection: RB J.K. Dobbins, OHST

My first RB comes off the board and that is JK Dobbins. He can fit into any system. Andy Reid loves backs who can catch and JK not only can run the ball but can be deadly in the passing game. Matchup nightmare pairing him with Tyreek Hill, Kelce and of course Mahomes.

30. New Orleans Saints

Sooner Sports

The Selection: LB Kenneth Murray, OKLA

K. Murray is very productive with good sideline to sideline range. Would be a steal for a team where their weakness is the middle of the defense.

31. San Francisco 49ers

Alabama Athletics

The Selection: S Xavier McKinney, Bama

Wont be here come April. But since we don’t predict trades — they should address the secondary. The question is a safety versus CB. I would compare McKinney from Bama as a Minkah Fitzpatrick type. He can play either safety spot at a high level. Versatility is my favorite word. John Lynch will hit another home run with this selection

32. Baltimore Ravens

247sports.com

The Selection: EDGE Julian Okwara, ND

Since the Ravens fixed the CB situation by acquiring Marcus Peters, has solid playmakers on offense, a top 5 OL, there’s nothing really left to do but attack opponents QBs. I went with another edge rusher I’ve liked this season. Okwara from ND. He’s a go getter and fits well with the Ravens.

Ranking The Best NFL Job Destinations

Who’s Hiring? The time is upon us again, the infamous Black Sunday and Monday for NFL Head Coaches. Jay Gruden and Ron Rivera didn’t make it to this point after being fired mid-season, but for some of their contemporaries this can be a dreaded day. Some coaches like Dan Quinn were able to string together some wins and get a vote of confidence from ownership, while Pat Shurmur and Freddie Kitchens were relieved of duties relatively immediately.

With those jobs and a few others expected to open, what factors should potential candidates look at to be sure it’s the right fit. Candidates should make sure stand a chance to succeed so they don’t become a casualty of Black Sunday & Monday in the not to distant future as well as avoid a 1 and Done situation. (Steve Wilks in Arizona 2018-2019 and Freddie Kitchens 2019-2020)

We believe there are 5 things every coach should consider: GM/Ownership, Location, Roster, Quarterback, and Division. We have graded each of these categories and ranked them by perceived level of importance to assess which coaching situations are the most and least desirable. Here are our rankings for the available jobs from Best Job to Worst.

*K is For Keven, R is for Rashad for their reasoning*

Dallas Cowboys

K: With Dak contract situation looming, I still believe this team has the best QB situation out of all available jobs. With the roster already in place with the likes of Zeke, Cooper (contract looming), Gallup, the OL and an above average defense any coach would be happy given the state of the team. I gave the GM/Owner grade a C because of the involvement of Jerry Jones. He is everything you do not want as a coach because he has so much power in the NFL. I can see big names turning down the Cowboys for this reason alone but in a division so wide open this job takes the cake. 

R: The Cowboys, America’s team, is set up great for the future but who will be there to lead them. Jerry and Stephen have put together a deep roster the only major question being how much is Dak Prescott worth. If you don’t mind Jerry lurking and always being in the shadows this is a job you can expect to walk in and win games immediately.

New York Giants

K: The G-Men will be introducing their 3rd coach in 5 years for the 2020 season. Why would this job be 2nd? Well it should not be too hard to turn around. A defensive-minded coach should be lured here with Daniel Jones getting experience as a rookie and multiple weapons they have on offense including a top 4 draft pick, the right coach can quickly get the Giants to the promised land.  Just like for the Cowboys, the division is another luring factor, it so wide open I can see the Giants going from 3rd place to 1st similar to the 49ers in the NFC West.

R: After 2 attempts at hiring an offensive minded head coach the New York Giants could be headed in the opposite direction this time around. A solid offensive coordinator to pair with the young core of Daniel Jones, Saquon and young receivers should be enough to keep them headed in the right direction. The defense is where the attention should be. A personable defensive oriented coach who can handle the New York media and mask the shortcomings of talent would be ideal.

Carolina Panthers


K: Panther are here more so because of me than Rashad. Reports say that Panthers prefer an offensive minded coach and that is just what they need. I believe they will draft a QB like Tua from Alabama or keep their signal caller Cam Newton. A coach looking for his QB this is a great scenario because of what scheme they could bring. The defense need some fixing but with guys like DJ Moore and CMC in place the right Coach-QB pairing could get panthers in the mix of things, especially with a 4th place schedule and the 7th pick in the NFL Draft. 

R: The Carolina Panthers are in a precarious position. You have a new owner looking to make a splash. Firing Ron Rivera mid-season turned out to be terrible but at least you got a head start on your search. The QB and O Line situation need to be addressed and being in a tough division makes this coaching hire very important.

Jacksonville Jaguars

K: I don’t believe this is a great job, I mean it’s solid. If Marrone is fired, good luck to whoever is next because this roster does have holes. I do like the division, there’s no team who just owns it, hopefully Jags can get back to that magical season of 2017.

R: It feels like a decade has passed since the Jacksonville Jaguars had the Patriots on the ropes in the AFC Championship. A lot has changed in the 2 years since. No more Coughlin, Bortles or All-Pro stud Ramsey. Based on reports, I would guess this team needs a players coach who can manage multiple egos and unfortunately, you have to walk into the QB dilemma of Minshew vs Foles. I guess no State taxes and the warm weather of Florida make this job somewhat appealing. Not to mention, this division always seems to be up for grabs until the last week of the season and you could be walking into a solid young roster.

New York Jets

K: Adam Gase should be fired, beating Bills without their key guys in a meaningless week 17 means nothing. What you seen from Tannehill in Tennessee, DeVante Parker in Miami and Kenyan Drake in Arizona is simple to say Gase doesn’t know what he’s doing on the offensive end. But for a new coach to walk in with a young QB in Sam Darnold, solid weapons and a superstar safety there is something that can be built. The AFC East, with the Patriots dynasty about over, the division is there for the taking. The location of being in New York, young roster and a competent GM, its a solid job to take. 

R: This franchise is down right special and I don’t mean that as a compliment. They’ve done everything backwards. Letting a GM conduct a draft just to fire him afterwards makes no sense. Now you’re in search for a coach to pair with a GM and QB in Darnold who’s shown some signs of growth. After the Gase debacle do you go offensive minded again or defensive? If not for injury this defense had some potential. Roster and division will be the biggest challenges to overcome for this incoming coach.

Cleveland Browns

K: “Browns gonna Brown”, a famous saying everyone knows, and to me it is somewhere I just don’t want to be. The GM is better and to be honest was going in the right direction under Hue Jackson. Even with a young QB, superstars at the WR and DE position, if I am a young coach I wouldn’t touch it. A Mature coach? Well that’s different.

R: Expectations killed the Browns this season. Freddie was in way over his head with this one. With so much young talent it’s more imperative now than in years past the Browns get the right guy. It won’t be easy coaching against 2 Future Hall of Famers, managing multiple egos, expectations of fans and media and most importantly installing some discipline and accountability. The Browns were one of the league leaders in penalties and do I even need to mention the Myles Garrett debacle. The coach for this job must be a high character guy, proven winner and somewhat of a disciplinarian.

Washington Redskins

K: All I know is, Daniel Snyder is terrible but they’ll have Chase Young. That is it, that’s my analysis.

R: The nations capital, home of the Washington Redskins has also been the home of dysfunction. From Dan Snyder on down this franchise has had its fair share of bad moments. But entering this new decade there’s a chance to turn it around. The roster is relatively young and has shown flashes of productivity. The division is tough yet winnable as there has not been a repeat champion since the Eagles in 2003-2004. The coach to take this job has to be a believer in Haskins. When Haskins was drafted it was reported the room was divided on him as the guy. If the new coach does not believe in him and doesn’t have a track record of being able to create a winning culture there’s a good chance it’s a bad hire.

Why Serbia is Destined To Win Gold

The FIBA World Cup is set to take place in China at the end of next week. The tournament will act as qualification for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and with the field expanding from 24 teams to 32, it will give more teams more opportunities to make a stronger case.

Qualified Teams for FIBA:

  • 5 Teams From Africa (Angola, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia)
  • 7 Teams From The Americas (USA, Canada, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Venezuela)
  • 8 Teams From Asia and Oceania (China, Japan, Iran, Australia, South Korea, Jordan, Philippines, New Zealand)
  • 12 Teams From Europe (France, Germany, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Lithuania)

So why Serbia? Let’s take a trip down memory lane. In the last World Cup, dating back to 2014, Team USA met Serbia in the World Cup Final in Madrid, Spain. Serbia was dealing with a very difficult group with the likes of powerhouses of Spain, Brazil and France. Serbia did defeat Iran and Egypt but lost to all three teams accumulating 7 points (2 points for wins & 1 point for a lost) and advancing to the next round. In the round of 16, Serbia faced the winner of Group B Greece, who went undefeated knocking off teams like Argentina and Croatia in the process. An impressive 18 point win was the spark they needed. The next round, they faced an opponent they lost to before, Brazil. An eight point lost earlier in the tournament now turned into a 28 point blowout led by Milos Teodosic with 15 points. Serbia made their way to the Final Four of the World Cup. Serbia couldn’t avoid yet another FIBA Powerhouse in France, a familiar opponent from just a few games back. France won the 4th quarter by 3 points and ultimately winning the game 74-73. In the Semifinals, after 2 big wins, this time would be different. Serbia was in control for majority of the game, taking a 14 point lead into halftime, as well as a 15 point lead into the 4th. Serbia hangs on,behind Milos’ 24 points, with a 5 point win making the World Cup Final for the first time since winning Gold in 2002, who went by the country Yugoslavia that grace the names of Vlade Divac, Peja Stojakovic, and Vladmir Radmanovic. The question was who would Serbia be playing in the Finals? Of course that’s not really a question, as Team USA won every game by 20 or more points. This would be the case in the World Cup Final — Team USA won 129-96. Serbia took home Silver.

Nikola Jokic drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 2014, in the 2nd Rd with the 41st pick, with not a lot of expectations turned out to be one of the best picks this decade. In the 2016 Olympics, the world got to see his growth to stardom. Just 2 years removed from the 129-96 lost to Team USA in the World Cup, Serbia find themselves in the same group as them, with 2 other good teams France and Australia. In similar fashion, Serbia lost to Australia and France by 15 and 1 respectively, but what was so shocking is that Serbia almost upset Team USA who hadn’t lost an international game since the assembling of the Redeem Team. With the star studded team that the USA presents, they almost slipped through the cracks and if not for a off the rim shot by Bogdan Bogdanovic (Kings) would have took a L. Either way Jokic put on a show at a very young age — posting 25 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in a nailbiting 94-91 lost.

Serbia still made the final round of 8 with another similar path of 2014 FIBA World Cup. Serbia escaped Croatia, then destroyed Australia, who they once lost to before and yet again find their way in another Final match with the Powerhouse of the USA. Very different outcome this time as USA wiped the floor with them coasting to a 3rd Straight Gold Medal winning by 30, leaving Serbia with another Silver Medal.

Nikola Jokic (Serbia) being guarded by Draymond Green (USA) in the Gold Medal Game

Internationally, basketball is getting better and better with a lot of new countries putting more and more teams in the NBA. Teams like Canada, Australia, Greece are all rising with their new talent. Serbia is right in the mix and with Jokic, arguably being the best big man in the league (averaging 20.1 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.2 apg) has to chance to make a statement this upcoming World Cup. Losing Milos Teodosic would hurt for most teams but with a Top Ten player in the NBA and other NBA talent like Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica of the Kings, new Mavericks Center Boban Marjanovic, and former Bucks player Miroslav Raduljica it is easy to see why FIBA World Rankings have them ranked #2 in the World, only behind the United States.

Teammates Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nikola Jokic in an exhibition game

Why do I believe that Serbia will take Gold? Well a lot has to do with their rise as a team but also what Team USA will look like come August 31st. After numerous All Stars dropped out to prepare for the NBA Season, what this USA team lack is an identity. Most times, USA gather the best talent and it can overcome any problems that occurs. Chemistry will play a huge factor for Team USA. While most international countries have been playing together since they were young (Serbia is no different) the United States, with as much talent as we have that’s just hard to do.

Since I’ve been watching international basketball, USA at any given moment has the best player on the court. When USA takeS on Nikola Jokic, this would not be the case. Without a superstar or go to guy as of now, Serbia has the advantages to finally capture Gold.

I’m not the only person who agree. Serbian coach, Aleksandar “Sasha” Djordjevic said in a interview, “Let’s let them play their basketball and we will play ours and if we meet, may God help them.” Sasha has shown no sympathy for “the Americans”, as he referred to them in his interview, claiming this is what happens to most European teams.

With plenty of teams and opportunities, this very well may be Serbia’s chance at obtaining Gold. Look for Nikola Jokic and Co. to finally get the job done and win it all.

Keven’s Keys To Success: Fantasy Football

The best season is finally here, Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football has opened many doors because now you’re not just a fan of the team you enjoy watching on Sundays but now you’re a fan of the game and other players. I’m a Vikings fan but guess who I love? I love Davante Adams for the Packers and I love Kenny Golladay for the Lions. To celebrate the best time of the year with you all I want to give my 5 keys to success.

WR #17 Devante Adams, GB
  1. Know the players, know the game, know the rules. So you asked me how do you do that? Simple, Mock drafts. You should do mock drafts over and over and over again to be completely comfortable knowing where guys are coming off the board. You should also know their Average Draft Position or ADP and you MUST find ways to manipulate the draft.
  2. You should know the format: PPR (points per reception), Half PPR 2 QB leagues, SuperFlex (QB,RB,WR,TE) or Double Flex , how many Running Backs or Wide Receivers are in the starting lineup — that can change the values for different players.
  3. During the Draft, Draft who you want but remember to Draft around their ADP. If they won’t come back to you by your next selection then it is not a Reach. Please, I beg you, wait til the last two rounds to select defense and Kickers — Build your team with depth.
  4. Don’t draft a QB or TE high. Quarterbacks touch the ball every play and dictate where the ball goes and for Tight Ends sometimes they’re asked to block depending on the scheme and not always available to give you points.
  5. After your team is finalized, let’s talk about Trading. I believe I am an elite trader, some would say a Master. Knowing when to Buy High or Sell Low is how you become a master trader. Continuous improvement is what you’re striving for. You don’t have to trade every week but if you’re not getting better then why are you playing? The key is knowing how to make someone say yes. For Example: Someone is struggling with Running Backs, this your time to pounce. Someone loses their QB? Time to pounce. There are — always opportunities in Fantasy Football that you must take advantage. When the time comes, you have to use it.
Trading for D. Adams early in the season

Want more help? Read Matthew Berry’s Draft Day Manifesto

https://www.espn.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/draftdaymanifesto19/fantasy-football-draft-day-manifesto-how-draft-your-fantasy-football-team-matthew-berry-way