NFL Mock Draft Picks 1-10

Here it is, the Version 1.0 of my 2012 NFL Mock Draft on Cardiac Attack Sports. I’m just going through the first 10 picks for the time being, but check back for picks 11-20 and 21-32 later this week.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

What is there to say that you haven’t already seen plastered across ESPN for the past two seasons. This guy’s got the leadership, poise, intelligence, accuracy, and mobility to be an NFL star. Think Steve Young with a smaller learning curve. At best, he could be the best in the game someday. At worst, he’s Bernie Kosar. Either way, Indy has found their quarterback of the future.

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Rex Grossman, John Beck, or RG3? Which of these signal-callers do you think would make Redskins fans excited enough to pay big bucks and show up to games? The best combination of talents above and below the waist, Griffin can give hope to a franchise that has been all but irrelevant for the better part of two decades.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Vikings need an upgrade at left tackle. Badly.  Among players who pass blocked 550 times or more in 2011, left tackle Charlie Johnson ranked 21st out of 29 linemen in pass blocking efficiency last season, one spot behind Doug Free. Being a Dallas fan, I know just how sad that is.

4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

There are three different ways Cleveland can improve their offense with this pick. One, they could draft Blackmon and give Colt McCoy the top-flight receiver he hasn’t had since college. Two, they could reach a bit for Trent Richardson and fix their abhorrent running game. Three, they could reach even more and take Ryan Tannehill. Personally, I feel the team is best served giving McCoy one more year and a few more weapons. Blackmon is a great start, arguably the next Calvin Johnson.

5. Tampa Bay Bucs: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

This is a little high for Brockers, but Tampa Bay has a serious need for a run-stopping lineman and the LSU product is the best available by far. To show just how bad the league’s 32nd ranked run defense was, consider this. Only three teams since 1990 have allowed 150 rushing yards and two scores seven or more times in a single season:  the 1990 Patriots (1-15) and the 2008 Lions (0-16). Another possibility to sure up the line would be fast-rising lineman Dontari Poe, but he’ll have to prove scouts he’s more than just a workout warrior before garnering a top five pick.

6. St. Louis Rams: Riley Rieff, OT, Iowa

Among the Rams many pressing needs, an upgrade to arguably the worst O-Line in the game ranks near the top.  Jason Smith has shown he can’t stay healthy and Rodger Saffold isn’t going to win Lineman of the Year anytime soon, so an athletic tackle from the Midwest who is equally qualified at pass and run blocking would provide St. Louis its best option going forward.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

As pressing as Jacksonville’s needs are at receiver, the No. 7 pick is a bit high to take someone like Michael Floyd or Kendall Wright. Need 1b would be a pass rusher, since Jeremy Mincey was the only threat from around the corner opposing lines had to deal with. A physical specimen at over 280 pounds, Coples still boasts some of the best pass rush moves in the draft. The comparisons to Julius Peppers are a little premature, but I feel he can reach that potential as long as he keeps his occasionally stalled motor running full blast at the next level.

8. Miami Dolphins: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

I could see Miami swapping picks with Tampa Bay to take Rieff instead of St. Louis, but in the case that no trades occur, I feel the Dolphins are best served taking a gamble on Ingram. With the retirement of Jason Taylor, there’s a vacant spot just waiting to be filled by a guy with a quick first step and experience with at linebacker as well as with his hand on the ground. He has a few issues, namely tackling, that could shy a few teams away, but his potential in the right system is through the roof.

9. Carolina Panthers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

In a division that features Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, it’s only fitting that Carolina goes after the draft’s best cover corner and return man. An interception machine, the former wide receiver can track the ball through the air and make Revis-like plays when opposing signal-callers make a mistake. The only reason I have him falling to No. 9 is that there were more pressing needs for the 1-8 teams. That, however, won’t matter if someone goes the “best player available” route. In that case, his other likely destination would be Tampa Bay.

10. Buffalo Bills: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

A bit of a reach at No. 10, Buffalo knows that the money it gave Stevie Johnson and Ryan Fitzpatrick will go to waste if the franchise can’t bring in another receiving threat. At nearly the size of a tight end, Floyd would give his Harvard signal-caller a solid target with great hands, which should open up the running game for C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. It’s the best strategy if the team want to make a postseason run within the lifetime of their owner, 93-year-old Hall of Famer Ralph Wilson.

What a positive note to end a blog with, huh? Thanks for reading my post, be sure to follow me on twitter at @LucasKinser or find me on Facebook. Enjoy March Madness, Spring Training baseball and St. Patty’s Day! Horray green beer!



Jeepers Creepers: How simple math cost ‘Uncle Creepy’ at UFC on FX 2

Everyone adult in the civilized world should know how to count to 30. I could be wrong, but I thought it was part of the basic curriculum of all kindergarten and first grade classes to at least establish that minimum for passing the class. If that’s the case, then how did the bout between “Uncle Creepy” Ian McCall (Not a made-up nickname) and Demetrius “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (Real as well) get counted as a split decision for Johnson (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)…until an adding error was found to change the result to a majority decision (29-28, 29-29, 29-28)…just long enough for a final error in tabulation was discovered, ruling the bout a draw (28-28, 29-29, 29-28).

Did you catch all that? I thought the calculator had already made its way to Australia by now?

McCall and Johnson were fighting for a spot in the finals of the first ever UFC Flyweight Tournament, a four-man format to determine the champion at a new 125-pound weight class. A win last night would have matched up the fighter with Joseph Benavidez to determine the inaugural belt holder. The way the tournament is set up, if a fight is ruled a draw after three rounds, a fourth “sudden death” round is fought to determine the winner.

To rectify the decision, UFC Supreme Leader Dana White stated that a rematch will be scheduled for April. So why am I so annoyed?

The third round was dominated by McCall, so much so that I, along with a majority of fans watching at home, felt the bout should have been stopped. The credentials for “intelligently defending oneself” as stated in the Unified Rules of MMA weren’t being met, as Johnson was face-first on the canvas getting hit probably two dozen times. Some of the punches were partially blocked and McCall was show-boating when he should have been trying his hardest to win the fight, but it seemed clear that the brain of “Mighty Mouse” was going for a ride in the final 20 seconds or so.

The official stat tracker for the UFC, , had McCall landing 83-of-104 strikes in the final frame. To be fair, only 24 were called “significant” strikes, but if the fight had been called a draw initially, Johnson would have had only about one minute to rest up before round 4 began. While “Mighty Mouse” looked like a beaten man, “Uncle Creepy” did a backflip and a number of push-ups after the fight to show the fans he still had plenty of energy left.

Now, Johnson has a month ro recover. He’ll have a chance to game plan for McCall, work on his takedown defense (McCall landed four takedowns on Johnson, who prior to the fight had never been dropped by a fighter 5-foot-5 or smaller) and enter the Octagon more prepared for the rematch. If the fight had instead gone a fourth round, my money’s on the fact he didn’t have another five minutes in his gas tank and would have lost. McCall would be fighting Benavidez for the title and one of the biggest embarrassments in recent UFC history would never have come to fruition.

The solution to this problem is simple. It can’t be reversed, they can’t reconvene the fighters for a one-round bout, the tournament shouldn’t be abolished. However, the UFC needs to enact a policy for all future fights that judges are mandated to take a minimum of 60 seconds to tabulate and re-tabulate their scorecards at the end of a bout before submitting them. If they can’t do simple math, give them a calculator or tell them to find another line of work.

And sadly, this is probably ranked as the 1,903,803th biggest issue regarding judges in MMA, but I don’t have an eternity to air my laundry on the subject. That will be for another blog post.

Thanks again for reading my blog, remember to friend me on facebook at Lucas Kinser and find me on twitter at @LucasKinser. Take care!