Falling Star: Sam Bradford on trading block?

The Rams are looking to move Bradford

The Rams are looking to move Bradford

After bring the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft it looked like Sam Bradford was poised to be the Rams’ franchise quarterback. After signing the largest rookie deal in league history, $78 million dollars over six years, Bradford backed this up by winning the NFL Rookie of the Year in 2010. However, in the spring of 2014, the Rams maybe looking to move their franchise quarterback and Draft his replacement in the upcoming draft.

When healthy, there is no question that Bradford is a talented quarterback, but injury issues and his massive contract may have become to large of a burden for St. Louis to bear. With $27 million dollars owed over the next two seasons in guaranteed money, it’s hard for the Rams to have faith in Bradford’s health. In the Rams last 48 games, Bradford has only started 33 of those games. With the Rams culminating a plethora of young talent the past three off seasons, they could be just a quarterback away from competing in the talented NFC West.

Sources from Rams camp have said this week that the club is looking to trade Bradford and that St. Louis is seriously considering taking Johnny Manziel with their number 2 pick. While this may seem high, there has also been talks that the Rams could also wait at pick 13 in the hopes that Manziel or Bortles could fall to them. While this is a plausible scenario, the big question is can the Rams trade Bradford and will there be a market for him?

There are teams that are desperately looking for quarterbacks, but the Rams will probably not get a high return on Bradford because of his injury history and contract. Even if the Rams agree to swallow a significant portion of the contract, they still at best would fetch maybe a mid round selection or two for Bradford. I propose that the Rams keep Bradford and draft a quarterback. In that scenario you get a talented backup to Bradford who can sit and learn while Bradford can hopefully stay healthy. If he gets hurt, then the Rams have a viable backup to take over. If Bradford plays all, then he will be easier to trade and command a higher value after next offseason. Worst case scenario, Bradford is terrible or hurt, and the Rams go their first round quarterback to take over. While there is still a lot that can happen before the Draft, this is one story we will have to keep our eyes on.

The King and the ring

Does the King and need a ring?

Does the King and need a ring?

Henrik Lundqvist has established himself as the king of the crease on the grandest stage, the world’s most famous arena. Throughout his career for the blue shirts Lundqvist has conquered every mountain there is to for an NHL goaltender. Most career wins and shutouts for the franchise? check. Being the team’s icon? check. Vezina trophy winner? check. There is only one hurdle left for Lundqvist to overcome, a Stanley Cup Championship. If Lundqvist wants to make a case for the hall of fame and cement his legacy as the greatest net minder in Rangers history, he needs to win a championship. There is no question that Lundqvist is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, but to solidify his legacy he needs at least one Stanley Cup.

Just look at other great goaltenders in recent memory. Martin Brodeur has three rings, and even Jonathan Quick has one. Even Hall of Famers Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek have a championship on their resume. In some Rangers fans eyes, Lundqvist cannot be considered the best goaltender in franchise history because even Mike Richter, despite his records being broken by Lundqvist this year, was the backstop to the 1994 championship team. Just ask Lebron, when your nickname is The King, you need to back it up. If he wants to remain the king of the big apple, Lundqvist needs to bring home a ring to The Garden.

Connecticut #1 in all of college sports?

The Champs are here!

The Champs are here!

In a span of 24 hours the melting pot of college basketball wasn’t Dallas or Nashville, but Storrs Connecticut. For the second time in history the UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams are the National Champions at the same time. The school is now an incredible 13-0 in National Title games with four men’s championships and a record best nine National Championships for the women. 2014 will be remembered for the historic run of the men’s team after going through the ringer the previous season and the sheer dominance the women’s program which once again ran the table with 40 wins. After this week the main question shouldn’t be about UConn’s dominance, but the state’s dominance as a whole. Is Connecticut becoming one of if not the best state in the nation for college sports?

Hockey is on the rise in the Nutmeg state

Hockey is on the rise in the Nutmeg state

I can already hear the yelling and screaming already. What are you nuts? Connecticut the best state for college sports? Blasphemous! But is it? In the span of twelve months the state has won 4 National Championships. Last year, Yale won the hockey National Championship to go with the three championships the Huskies added, two in basketball one in field hockey. We all know about basketball. The UConn men remain one of the best programs in the country, and the women are in a league of their own. However, the nutmeg state has become a hotbed for college hockey. Last year both Yale and Quinnipiac made it to the finals in hockey and both have been perennial powers for years with consistent top 15 rankings in the country. With UConn hockey moving into Hockey East and steadily improving, the question is becoming when not if another team from the Constitution state will win the National Championship.

Yeah, but what about football? True Connecticut is not a football state, this isn’t Alabama with the Crimson Tide and Auburn. I think that is pretty obvious, but across the board the other sports in this state prove that Connecticut is the cream of the crop in college sports. Field Hockey? UConn won the National Championship in 2013. Baseball? UConn reached the regionals for the first time in 2013. Along with these national appearances the Connecticut schools have won numerous conference championships across the board.

Connecticut could soon be the place to be.

Connecticut could soon be the place to be.

With already established powerhouses, and strong up and comers, the Nutmeg state could soon be more than just the center of college basketball, but the NCAA universe as well. With some of the greatest underrated fan bases in the country, it’s not hard to see why Connecticut loves it’s college teams. With dominance in basketball and hockey, if Connecticut can establish another team or teams that become perennial powers, it will be hard to argue that Connecticut is not a great home for college sports, but “the home” for college sports.

 

New Carr Smell: Derek Carr not getting attention he deserves

Carr is revving his engines for the NFL.

Carr is revving his engines for the NFL.

When the Houston Texans began their journey into the NFL, they had the number one pick in the 2002 Draft. With that pick the Texans took a quarterback named Carr to build their franchise around. Now, twelve years later, they have the same opportunity once again.

While his brother maybe considered a bust, you cannot sell Derek Carr short because of his brother’s NFL career. The main reason for his brother’s so-called lack of success because he was on an expansion franchise with no talent around him. He was destined to fail. With the Draft approaching we’ve all heard about Bortles, Bridgewater, and Manziel, but not about Carr. He has the build at 6’3 and 220 pounds that scouts are looking for with a great arm. True his competition wasn’t great, but it’s not that far removed from Bridgewater and Bortles in the AAC.

What about his production? Scouts will credit Carr’s success to the spread offense at Fresno State, but he still threw for over 5000 yards in his senior campaign. With 50 touchdowns to 8 interceptions, Carr had incredible production. Throughout his career Carr has thrown for over 12,000 yards, 113 touchdowns, and only 24 interceptions. With a great arm, build, and production it is a head scratcher why Carr is not considered one of the best quarterbacks in this draft.

While many have Blake Bortles as the number one pick, Carr should also

A dark horse in the Draft

A dark horse in the Draft

be included in that conversation. If he lasts past the first five picks, Carr could be the steal of the draft. Despite talented sleepers like AJ McCarron in this quarterback class, still Carr could be the diamond in the rough for a franchise that needs a quarterback. He maybe discounted because of his brothers NFL career, which is a huge mistake. Despite the critics if a team like the Browns or Vikings were to draft Carr, he could finally be the franchise quarterback those franchises have been looking for. Either way, Carr is revving his engines for his NFL opportunity. Who do you think will be the best quarterback from this draft class? Take our poll below! 

 

New York Jets Mock Draft (3.0)

Round 1: Brandin Cooks WR Oregon St. 

The home run threat the Jets have been looking for

The home run threat the Jets have been looking for

Even after signing wide receiver Eric Decker earlier this offseason the Jets still desperately need play makers at the receiver position. To complement the big bodied possession receiver in Decker, Cooks would be an excellent yin to Decker’s yang. What he may lack in size at 5’10, Cooks makes up for with blistering speed and great hands. With the Jets probably missing out on Desean Jackson, Cooks could be a game breaker from game one. With his 4.33 40 yard dash and pro day still ahead, Cooks keeps shooting up draft boards. He may not be a physical receiver, but his speed and ability to make plays in space could give Gang Green a great offensive playmaker.

Round 2: Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame 

A solid all around tight end who could start from day 1

A solid all around tight end who could start from day 1

Even with Jeff Cumberland returning to New York, the Jets still need an upgrade at tight end. While he may not be the most explosive tight end in this draft, Niklas is a well rounded tight end. True, he doesn’t have game breaking speed, but he has soft hands and at 6’6 is a big target in the red zone or on third down. Plus, he’s a very good blocker which is important for a team that runs the ball as much as the Jets. Niklas has all the tools to be an opening day starter for the Jets in 2014.

Round 3: Cyril Richardson OG Baylor 

Some more power for the power run

Some more power for the power run

I can already here the complaints about this one. Why do the Jets need an offensive guard in round 3? Didn’t they just sign Willie Colon? Colon did resign, but only for one year and there are still questions about the offensive line. What was once a great strength is now a huge question mark for the Jets. Ferguson and Mangold did not look like their former pro bowl selves last season. To help sure up the offensive line the Jets should bring in Richardson who is a run blocking road grater at 329 pounds. Not only can he pave the way in the running game, but Richardson has great feet and is a solid pass protector. Richardson could be the Jets guard for the next 10 seasons and help bring stability back to a depleted offensive line.

Round 4: Terrance Brooks FS Florida St. 

A ball hawking safety Rex Ryan has been waiting for

A ball hawking safety Rex Ryan has been waiting for

With three forth round picks the Jets can take advantage of this extremely deep draft class. First, Brooks would be a welcomed addition to the depleted secondary. A well balanced safety who was plagued by inconsistency, Brooks has the talent to be an effective safety in the NFL. While he may not be a playmaker in the back end, he does have a good nose for the ball and has great athleticism. Considered a hybrid safety, his flexibility will play well in Rex Ryan’s defense where players must be flexible and are asked to lineup in different positions. A possible starter in the making, Brooks represents great value here in the early fourth round.

Round 4: Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska 

Idzik struck out in free agency, he needs to hit a home run in draft

Idzik struck out in free agency, he needs to hit a home run in draft

If the Jets mishandled anything this offseason, there is no question that it was the cornerback position. After losing Cromartie and failing to sign top free agents, what was once a strength of the defense is now a liability. However, if the “Seattle Method” has taught us anything is that good corners can be found in the late rounds. At 6’3, Jean-Baptiste has the ideal size and strength to play man coverage in Ryan’s physical defense. While he maybe raw and require some development, Jean-Baptiste could develop into a very good corner for Gang Green.

Round 4: Dri Archer RB Kent St. 

The next Leon Washington?

The next Leon Washington?

Don’t let the size fool you. At 5’8 what Archer lacks in size he makes up for in blistering speed. With a sensational 4.26 40 at the combine, Archer is the faster player in the upcoming draft. Despite not being an every down back in the NFL, Archer could be a dangerous weapon as a slot receiver or with limited snaps in the backfield. Even in the passing game, Archer could be a great weapon on screen plays. Even if he isn’t an impact on offense right away, Archer would be a dangerous return man and give the Jets a great returner with the absence of Josh Cribbs.

Round 5: Ronald Powell OLB Florida 

After injuries in college Powell is hungry

After injuries in college Powell is hungry

A tweener linebacker and defensive end, Powell could be a good project for Rex Ryan. With Calvin Pace getting long in the tooth Powell could become a great backup or role player in 2014. With and ACL injury in 2012, there are red flags in terms of health, but in round five Powell would be a good value pick to at least add depth at the outside linebacking position.

Round 6: Cody Latimer WR Indiana 

Another receiver to add some depth.

Another receiver to add some depth.

After a great college career, Latimer’s size and leaping ability are a lethal combination. May not be a contributor every down, but would provide great depth a receiver and become a reliable red zone target. Could excel in a limited role.

Round 6: Reggie Jordan TE Missouri Western

A project at tight end

A project at tight end

Jordan has all the physical tools to play the position but not the refinement. Despite running poor routes and trouble with his weight, Jordan has an ability to make plays and could develop well. As the third tight end or practice squad could become an effective role player down the road.

 

 

Round 6: Larry Webster DE Bloomsburg

Small school, big potential

Small school, big potential

At 6’6 252 pounds, Webster is an athletic specimen. Despite playing at a small school his rare athleticism could translate into a very effective speed edge rusher. If the Jets can develop him he could be a very good answer for the lacking pass rush they have had. If that doesn’t work out, he has all the tools to be an effective tight end and the Jets could mold him into a tight end. Either way he could be a vital backup or practice squad player that could develop into a great future Jet.

Round 7: Walk Aikens CB Liberty 

Some more depth at corner

Some more depth at corner

Aikens is another big physical corner who thrives in man to man press coverage. He fits the Jets man cornerback prototype and has good size at 6’1. Seattle loves big corners, its time for the Jets to follow a similar model. Aikens would be competing for a backup role and would be perfect for the depleted cornerback depth. What do you think? Do you guys agree? Who should the Jets draft in 2014? Comment below!