Our 2014 NFL mock draft started this week, and there have been a few surprises. Case in point, Johnny Football to the Browns.
I could see it happening, even though the Browns have given every indication that they are not interesting in Manziel. Believe nothing this time of year.
See the rest of the results of the first round so far for yourself:
The top-10 picks:
1. Jadeveon Clowney
2. Sammy Watkins
3. Blake Bortles
4. Johnny Manziel
5. Khalil Mack
6. Anthony Barr
7. Greg Robinson
8. Justin Gilbert
9. Teddy Bridgewater
10. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
STORIES WE LIKE
C.J. Spiller was expected to break-out last year, but instead he busted. Better value this summer, but do you trust him? [CBSSports.com]
What positions does your favorite NFL team need to address in the upcoming NFL Draft? [Yahoo! Sports]
The amount of effort that goes into these rookie scouting reports is impressive. [The Rookie Scouting Portfolio]
I didn’t like Cam Newton before he got to the NFL, but now I do. I feel like the same thing is happening to me and Johnny Manziel. [The Big Lead]
Ready for summer?
If so, fire up your favorite music client (mine is Spotify), pop in your headphones, and queue Tokyo Police Club’s latest release, Forcefield.
Summer anthem after summer anthem. If you’re stuck behind a desk behind multiple monitors in a cubicle underneath florescent lights with no windows in sight, just close your eyes and listen. You’ll see the beach, the sand, the water, and the waves, I guarantee.
Ironic that an indie rock back from Canada can produce such an exceptional summer, beach rock album. Eh?
This is cruising-with-the-top-down music. For one reason or another, I couldn’t come up with a comparable band although I know one is out there. It’s on the tip of my tongue.
So I looked at Spotify’s “Related Artists” section for Tokyo Police club, and this is the company they keep: Two Door Cinema Club, Phoenix, Grouplove, Broken Bells, Bombay Bicycle Club.
Short album — nine songs, 33 minutes — so it’s perfect for your summer playlist. Top tracks are, in my opinion, Hot Tonight, Toy Guns, and Through The Wire. All are playlist-worthy right out of the box.
Album Rating: 67 percent
Any derby fans?
Found this little gem via Jeans & Ties the other day:
For those within driving distance to Louisville, here’s the chance to win two tickets to the Derby and a sweet duffel bag
You can enter the giveaway here.
This year’s Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 3.
STORIES WE LIKE
Building a tight end production model. [RotoViz]
If you are struggling to succeed in daily fantasy leagues, blame your brain. [XNSports]
Way too early wide receiver rankings for 2014 redraft leagues. This won’t be “way too early” for much longer. [Football Guys]
More fantasy football rankings! [ESPN]
Fantasy football is a value-driven enterprise. Owners who can see value and draft value, even in the face of preconceived notions and popular opinion, often fare better than owners who cannot.
Sometimes, players do irreparable damage to their fantasy football value on the field. And sometimes, they do it off the field.
So, fantasy owners, how much do these off-the-field incidents affect how you perceive a player’s value heading into a fantasy draft? Are you less inclined to draft Rice and/or Kaepernick, for example, now than you would have been before?
STORIES WE LIKE
Knowshon Moreno left Denver for Miami, clearing a path for Montee Ball to start at running back for the Broncos this season. A lucrative position. [RotoWorld]
For NFL Draft nuts: Comparing Odell Beckham and Mike Evans, two of the top wide receiver prospects in this year’s class. [RotoViz]
The next time you think to yourself, “I’ll NEVER draft so-and-so player again,” stop and read this. [The New York Times]
Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood are your starting receivers in Carolina. Yikes. [The Fake Football]
April 15, 1912. Never forget.
The sinking of The Titanic is my favorite historical event, so every year I do two things:
1. I re-watch James Cameron’s blockbuster movie from 1997. Now in Blu-Ray and — spoiler — you still cannot see the iceberg coming until it’s too late.
2. I read a Titanic-related book. This year’s literature:
April 15 also happens to mark Income Tax Day here in the United States. Hope your financials aren’t foundering!
STORIES WE LIKE
The Tennessee Titans need help at two of the most important positions on the offensive side of the ball in the upcoming NFL Draft: Quarterback and running back. [RotoWorld]
The impact of defensive packages on yards per carry. Smart read. [Pro Football Focus]
You’ve got to get past the “injury prone” label, people. DeMarco Murray was a man down the stretch last year and is poised for a big season in 2014. [SportsDayDFW]
Get used to hearing this name around here this summer before your fantasy football drafts: Jay Cutler. [XNSports]
To celebrate National Mock Draft month, we enlisted the help of several readers, bloggers, and friends for our annual NFL mock draft.
It starts today.
You can follow along here, if you like:
As you can see, we still are looking for a few GMs to represent some of the NFL teams in the first round. If you are interested, get in touch with us. Otherwise, we’ll use consensus rankings/opinions to make those picks.
We’ll also be posting mock draft updates on Twitter @thehazean.
STORIES WE LIKE
What to expect from Chris Johnson as a running back from here on out. [Pro Football Focus]
Sammy Watkins, who may not be as good as we all seem to think, still is an impressive wide receiver prospect. [RotoViz]
Hue Jackson is the new offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, and he vows to bring more of a threatening rushing attack to the Bengals. Gio Bernard uptick. [ESPN]
The new Denver Broncos’ jerseys are not terrible. Big fan of the orange tops.
But the old ones still are so much better, because of the helmet color and logo.
Ironic that Peyton Manning has played for two teams with horses for mascots given his facial structure, no?
Don’t get upset that I just took a shot at the length of Peyton’s face. I’m allowed, because I’m of a similar breed. #longfacedontcare
Gosh, even Peyton would look handsome in those though.
STORIES WE LIKE
It’s Friday and you’re at the office, so you probably are looking for a good way to waste a lot of time today. We found a way: The RB Prospect Lab. [RotoViz]
If you’ve been thinking about joining a dynasty league, check these updated rookie dynasty rankings first. [2MugsFF.com]
I generally despise “slideshow” stories. But I think if you spent some time knocking these sports-related vacation spots off your to-do list, you’d have a pretty good time. [CNN]
Sigmund Bloom of Football Guys is one of the better fantasy football experts you can follow on Twitter. Check out some of their free offseason content. [Football Guys]
Who here has ditched cable/satellite television for a streaming device like Roku, AppleTV, or another similar device?
I’m interested in hearing your feedback, because, as an Amazon guy, the new Amazon Fire TV has piqued my interest.
I recently read a review of Fire TV on Gizmodo. TLDR, here is the gist of the review:
Fire TV will sell well—it’s already number one in the Amazon store. But as far as making something that’s worth the money, I can’t help but wish Amazon had opted for a little bit slower chipset, left out the gaming, and hit that $50 sweet spot.
I’ve been contemplating kicking DirecTV to the curb for some time now, but a few things keep stopping me.
1. The Woman. She doesn’t like change or new things. Buying a streaming device would mean I’d have to spend a significant amount of time (A) teaching her how to use it (B) fixing it when she breaks it and (C) searching for shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Real Housewives Of Wherever and Reality Television Show Of The Week.
2. Sports. I guess I could figure out the Watch ESPN app, but what if I cannot find the game I want to watch? I know there always is the go-watch-at-a-bar option. But I rather enjoy the watching-at-home experience now for sporting events.
3. No HBO Go, at least with Fire TV. I’m already a Prime and Kindle guy with a Kindle Fire HDX that would pair nicely with Fire TV, but I need something more than I can already get with my Kindle Fire and/or Playstation. I need something to sweeten the deal, like access to HBO shows like True Detective and Game Of Thrones. That would be nice.
STORIES WE LIKE
It’s interesting to go back in time and read some things, especially when they turn out to be pretty accurate. Like this: The Case Against Mark Ingram. Was written before the industry labeled Ingram a bust. [Money In The Banana Stand]
Fantasy football has become a year-round endeavor, particularly if you indulge in dynasty leagues. Here’s a good read for those of you who do play dynasty: 32 Teams, 64 Dynasty Targets. [RotoWorld]
An interview with Renee Miller, a neuroscientist with a passion for fantasy football. Good read. [Zach On Sports]
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger has become an interesting name heading into the NFL Draft. One team on the radar for Mettenberger’s services is the Minnesota Vikings. They definitely are in the market for a QB upgrade. [Fantasy Knuckleheads]
Take a good look at that crowd. Everyone in that shot has heard of Mork and Mindy. You are a long way from Wakarusa. Let’s see if it’s a good fit for you.
You want to go to a music festival? Well New Orleans Jazz Fest is one of the first ones of the year so put it at the top of your list. The weather is warm and there might even be a performer or two that has heard of jazz. Could you tell from the festival name that it is in New Orleans? Do you know how hard it is to have a bad time in New Orleans? I swear I could watch the Twilight marathon near the French Quarter and be happy.
So, let’s find out if attending New Orleans Jazz Fest is right for you. IMPORTANT: If you are a 50-60 year old white male who wears Hawaiian shirts half unbuttoned to flaunt your chest hair and/or has access to a floppy hat, then please skip the question portion of this post because you are the target audience.
- Are you looking for classic rock headliners? Then you belong at this fest which boasts Eric Clapton, Springsteen, Santana and John Fogerty. But keep in mind you will be fighting dancing old people for every square inch of ground within a quarter mile of that stage. But hear me now and hear me good - if you are there for the classic rock headliner either don’t drink or be prepared to pee your pants/on the ground if you want to be able to view the scrawny old bones of Mr. Clapton. This festival is crowded and the main stages are impossible to move up by the act PRIOR to the main act. You are going to camp out basically at that stage if you want to get relatively close. This of course cuts into the wandering/culture/eating aspect of things but you have to make a decision.
- Are you broke? Stay away. This is the most expensive of any festival you will attend. I mean it. Let’s break it down. The fest is 7 days. With weekend passes sold out, you can purchase a single day ticket for $70. You are in New Orleans so how are you not going to drink? Boom there goes another $50. And the food (we will touch on later) will run you at least $40. The biggest budget buster? IT IS OVER AT 7 O’CLOCK. SEVEN OH CLOCK. Seven in New Orleans is like 6:45 a.m. in Cincinnati. You know what happens after Jazzfest? You go out and see more shows. And all that assumes you have a free place to stay. Basically you are dropping a Bonnaroo/Hangout fest weekend ticket on one day of Jazzfest. I’ve been multiple times and the math is always the same.
- Do you like great food? Of course you do, you are an American. Jazzfest has hands down the best food choices of any festival I’ve been. I recommend at least three different options because even though they cost around $10, you’ll be hungry in about two hours because portion size. What I recommend: Crawfish bread, Cochon de Lait po-boy, Crawfish Monica, Any of the teas or strawberry lemonade.
- Are you there to watch the “authentic” New Orleans acts? Then unlike being there for the big acts, you get to enjoy the festival grounds, watch a parade, drink heavily and just watch wannabe hippies. The bad? You just dropped a lot of U.S. Currency to watch acts that perform to maybe a hundred people on Frenchman street every other weekend of the year. The bonus of wandering is there are ten stages going on at the same time during the whole fest. At least you are getting to see some variety.
- You like crappy music? Then they’ve got even you covered by giving valuable stage time to the likes of Shakira and Robin Thicke. I can’t imagine what makes you choose them at a festival with this many choices.
- Obligatory Festival question - Are you there to do drugs? Then not the fest for you. It’s during the daytime! It’s in New Orleans which is humid/hot. They are also smart and book little to no electronic artists, so this is an extremely poor fit for you guys.
I like Jazzfest. It’s in New Orleans and has some of the biggest acts in music. People are really friendly and you get to go out afterwards. Congrats if you get to go this year.
Here’s how you spend your day. Arrive early: 10:30ish. Eat/drink. Wander around. Check out the gospel tent. Eat/drink. Do a little research and find someone mid-day that you can sit out and listen. Eat/Drink. Know what stage the headliner you want to see and watch the person before them (bonus if it’s veteran stage fluffer BETTER THAN EZRA) so that you can get a decent spot for whatever headliner you came to see. Watch Headliner. Eat/drink Head downtown to check out a local artist so that you feel you gave back to both. Also to ease your guilt for not watching Treme that much and now it’s cancelled because you didn’t watch it enough. Sure it was boring at times while it worked out it’s slow-paced character involvement, but not even the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina made it regular viewing did it? I hope you feel at least a little bit of guilt.
Lately, I’ve really been into music that sounds throw-back.
I think it had a lot to do with a recent binge on 1990s alternative rock, fueled by a suggestion from a friend that I go back and listen to The Cardigans debut album (which is fantastic, by the way). The same friend also got me hooked on J.D. McPherson, who is throw-back rock ‘n roll personified.
All that led me to The Men’s recent release, entitled Tomorrow’s Hits. It fits nicely within the vein of throw-back sound: Catchy guitar play, augmented by horns and easy-to-like vocals. All from a band that generally was considered “punk” by way of their first few releases.
If you were a fan of 1990s alternative or 1970s rock (AKA classic rock), you will enjoy this album. It’s short and sweet, which is nice in this day of lengthy extended-edition albums. Just give me the meat of an album, the best that you can offer, without all the baggage and remixes strapped onto the caboose.
The Men delivered on that end and, in doing so, gave us more for less.
Album Rating: 100 percent
(Editor’s note: This is the first-ever perfect rating for an album on The Hazean. It’s that good.)