2021 NFL Mock Draft Featuring Coach T and Fitness Guru Brian Trainor

LordTreeSap, Brian Trainor and Coach T break down the NFL Draft with our official 2021 first round mock.

It’s April again, so you know it’s draft time. LordTreeSap is here along with his fellow NFL gurus Coach T and Brian Trainor to help you guys out with an official first round mock draft.

While Coach is preparing the gameplan of a lifetime this week, it’s not for the State Championship, our boy — a member of the historic 1,000 yard rusher club — is getting married on Saturday and he took some time out of ordering his Yorktown Football-themed wedding cake to give us a mock so shouts to the best offensive coordinator in the tri-state.

Trainor’s spent so much time in the gym this year, you’d think he was one of the NFL prospects preparing for the combine. With a torn labrum ruining that dream, F-45’s own skipped a couple sets of burpees and box jumps this week to give us his Mock 5.0 and he does not disappoint.

As for me, I’m just waiting for the fucking Portland Trail Blazers to win a game so I can keep a roof over my head.

Without further ado, the mock draft of a lifetime.

Here We Go – 1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Coach T: Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson

Genius pick, right? Lawrence is going to be a stud. Doesn’t take a perfect IQ to figure that out. This is the last time I’ll ever say it, why couldn’t the Jets tank properly for my boy @lordtreesap #JetsHorrorStories.

Trainor: Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson

LordTreeSap: Trevor Lawrence QB, Clemson

2. New York Jets

Coach: Zach Wilson QB, BYU

Chill with the Patrick Mahomes comparisons. Zach Wilson looks like the little brother of one of my players playing youth football. He happens to also have some really impressive tape. Let’s see what happens…at least Gase isn’t developing him.

Trainor: Zach Wilson QB, BYU

The kid is a winner on and off the field.

LTS: Zach Wilson QB, BYU

When the Trevor Lawrence dream died in Los Angeles, (Thanks again Sean McVay) my attention immediately turned to our new king Z-Dub. His stock has soared since the season ended and the Hawaiian-Mormon surfer bro has become one of the draft’s darlings. Now, the Jets screwed over Sam Darnold in every possible way, so I’m just praying we learned from our mistakes and give this kid the best environment possible to learn and grow. He’s already off to a good start with Saleh’s offensive staff led by Mike LaFleur replacing the GOAT Adam Gase.

Called it on the first day of the year.

3. San Francisco 49ers

Coach: Mac Jones QB, Alabama

This is where the world has him going, so I guess I do too. Now based on what I know about Kyle Shanahan, (best play-caller in the NFL) and what I’ve heard Trey Lance’s strengths are, I’m surprised there’s not more traction there. I think Shanahan wants a QB that he can connect intellectually somewhat with, and Mac provides that. Insane #’s this year, competitor, should come in and be able to run that offense right away. Jimmy G, you have some competition bud.

Trainor: Mac Jones QB, Alabama

LTS: Mac Jones QB, Alabama

4. Atlanta Falcons

Coach: Kyle Pitts TE, Florida

Chill with the HOF talk, but this dude is an absolute freak. A QB’s best friend is a TE, and new Coach Arthur Smith sure love’s TE’s. Atlanta can draft Pitts and have a huge big 3 with Jones, Ridley, and Pitts. OR can draft Pitts, trade Jones for capital, and go forward with their young weapons.

Trainor: Kyle Pitts TE, Florida

LTS: Kyle Pitts TE, Florida

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Coach: Ja’Marr Chase WR, LSU

I’ve seen all of this Chase and Pitts talk to the Bengals and I’m sorry, for their own sake, IT SHOULDN’T HAPPEN. You saw what a putrid O-line did to their FRANCHISE STUD QB. Go protect that man. Get the best OT in this draft and lock stud to protect your investment. Joe Burrow is a DUDE and if he’s protected, he’ll give the Bengals a shot year in, year out. Oh and Higgins/Boyd ain’t to shabby. However, Joe wants his stud WR. The Bengals went out and got 2 tackles (none of which can do what Penei can do). At this point, all signs pointing to Chase.

Trainor: Ja’Marr Chase WR, LSU

LTS: Penei Sewell OT, Oregon

6. Miami Dolphins

Coach: Jaylen Waddle WR, Alabama

The more tape I watch on Waddle, the moreI like him. He’s dynamic in so many ways, and I think the Dolphins pair Tua with  a deep threat that can make a huge impact right away.

Trainor: Jaylen Waddle WR, Alabama

LTS: Ja’Marr Chase WR, LSU

7. Detroit Lions

Coach: *Trade* New England Patriots – Trey Lance QB, ND St.

WOW!!! This is probably crazy, but Bill has realized in order to win in this league, you need a QB. Plain and simple. There are no QBs next year. Yes Jimmy G may be available. But c’mon, you’re not winning with him. Bill may not have many years left, and if he strikes gold, ya never know. Trey Lance to the Pats. Sap, thoughts?

Trainor: *Trade* Los Angeles Chargers – Penei Sewell OT, Oregon

LTS: Rashawn Slater OT, Northwestern

8. Carolina Panthers

Coach: Penei Sewell OT, Oregon

Penei Sewell is a beast. The Panthers go out and get an absolute savage in this draft.

*Trade* New England Patriots – Trainor: Justin Fields QB, Ohio St.

LTS: Trey Lance QB, ND St.

9. Denver Broncos

Coach: Justin Fields QB, Ohio St.

The Broncos have Drew Lock and DumpDownTeddy, and well they both stink. Justin fields was 1B with Trevor Lawrence at one point, and John Elway goes up and gets his guy (we’ve heard that one before).

Trainor: Micah Parsons LB, Penn St.

LTS: Justin Fields QB, Ohio St.

10. Dallas Cowboys

Coach:  Jaycee Horn – CB, South Carolina 

Jerry loves the “sexy” pick, and Horn provides that on the defensive side of the ball for the Cowgirls. Son of a former pro, he should be a plug & play week 1 starter.

Trainor: Patrick Surtain CB, Alabama

LTS: Patrick Surtain CB, Alabama

11. New York Giants

Coach: Micah Parsons LB, Penn St.

F the Giants. Okay, I’m done. Parsons is an absolute freak, plain and simple. Rushes the passer, plays sideline to sideline, can do it all for a team that goes with the best player on the board here.

Trainor: DeVonta Smith WR, Alabama

LTS: DeVonta Smith WR, Alabama

12. Philadelphia Eagles

Coach: Patrick Surtain Jr. CB, Alabama

I struggle with what the Eagles should do here and my mock has changed a lot (although 15 less times than Trainor to be exact). The Eagles have MANY needs, but I’d say Corner, WR, and LB are most important. If Parsons is there, TAKE HIM. If not, I’m good with Waddle/Smith or Horn/Surtain. I’m very confident it will be one of these 5 guys. As it pertains to this Mock, let’s go with Patrick Surtain, son of a former NFL corner who is ready to play and contribute right now. Any Nick Saban DB is NFL ready, and this kid could be special.

Trainor: Jaycee Horn CB, South Carolina

LTS: Jaylen Waddle WR, Alabama

13. Los Angeles Chargers

Coach: Rashawn Slater OT, Northwestern

Trainor: *Trade* Detroit Lions – Rashawn Slater OT, Northwestern

LTS: Jaycee Horn CB, South Carolina

14. Minnesota Vikings

Coach: Christian Darrisaw OT, Virginia Tech

Trainor: Alijah Vera-Tucker OG, USC

LTS: Micah Parsons LB, Penn State

15. New England Patriots

Coach: *Trade* Detroit Lions – DeVonta Smith WR, Alabama

Trainor: *Trade* Carolina Panthers – Christina Darrisaw OT, Virginia Tech

LTS: Alijah Vera-Tucker OL, USC

16. Arizona Cardinals

Coach: Jaelen Phillips Edge, Miami

Trainor: *Trade* Chicago Bears – Trey Lance QB, ND St.

LTS: Caleb Farley CB, Virginia Tech

17. Las Vegas Raiders

Coach: Alijah Vera-Tucker OG, USC

Trainor: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame

LTS: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame

18. Miami Dolphins

Coach: Teven Jenkins OT, Oklahoma St.

Trainor: Teven Jenkins OT, Oklahoma St.

LTS: Kwity Paye DL, Michigan

19. Washington Football Team

Coach: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Notre Dame

Trainor: Zaven Collins LB, Tulsa

LTS: Christian Darrisaw OT, Virginia Tech

20. Chicago Bears

Coach: Caleb Farley CB, Virginia Tech

Trainor: *Trade* Arizona Cardinals – Caleb Farley CB, Virginia Tech

LTS: Teven Jenkins OT, Oklahoma St. 

21. Indianapolis Colts

Coach: Kwity Paye Edge, Michigan

Trainor: Kwity Paye Edge, Michigan

LTS: K’Darius Toney WR, Florida

22. Tennessee Titans

Coach: Greg Newsome II CB, Northwestern

Trainor: Greg Newsome II CB, Northwestern

LTS: Gregory Rousseau Edge, Miami

23. New York Jets

Coach: Elijah Moore WR, Ole Miss

Trainor: Asante Samuel Jr. CB, FSU

LTS: Greg Newsome II CB, Northwestern

Philadelphia Eagles: Greg Newsome II's game is too sweet to ignore

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

Coach: Najee Harris RB, Alabama

Trainor: Najee Harris RB, Alabama

LTS: Travis Etienne RB, Clemson

25. Jacksonville Jaguars

Coach: Trevon Moehrig S, TCU

Trainor: Trevon Moehrig S, TCU

LTS: Christian Barmore DT, Alabama

26. Cleveland Browns

Coach: Zaven Collins Edge, Tulsa

Trainor: Azeez Olujari Edge, Georgia

LTS: Jamin Davis LB, Kentucky

27. Baltimore Ravens

Coach: Terrace Marshall Jr. WR, LSU

Trainor: Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota

LTS: Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota

28. New Orleans Saints

Coach: Jamin Davis LB, Kentucky

Trainor: Elijah Moore WR, Ole Miss

LTS: Terrace Marshall Jr WR, LSU

29. Green Bay Packers

Coach: Rashod Bateman WR, Minnesota

Trainor: Christian Barmore DT, Alabama

LTS: Elijah Moore WR, Ole Miss

30. Buffalo Bills

Coach: Travis Etienne RB, Clemson

Trainor: Travis Etienne RB, Clemson

LTS: Najee Harris RB, Alabama

31. Baltimore Ravens

Coach: Azeez Olujari Edge, Georgia

Trainor: *Trade* New York Giants – Jaelen Phillips Edge, Miami

LTS: Jaylen Mayfield OT, Michigan

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Coach: Jayson Oweh Edge, Penn St.

Trainor: Landon Dickerson Center, Alabama

LTS: Asante Samuel Jr. CB, FSU

2020 Official NBA Mock Draft Featuring Coach Trager and LordTreeSap

The Lakers hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy less than six weeks ago, the NBA Draft is less than 48 hours away and its November, the season is getting ready to tip off in just over a month, but at this point it is par for the course when it comes to 2020.

The 2020 draft class has garnered a middling reputation, but will be stronger as the round goes on with solid depth. With a ton of unpredictability at the top, there’s still no consensus No. 1 overall pick as the time continues to tick on Minnesota. We’ve already seen a ton of wheeling and dealing in the league, which doubles as an Academy Award-winning drama when the off-season rolls around.

Luckily for you, Brandon “Coach T” Trager and LordTreeSap are here to walk you through the entire lottery for Wednesday’s NBA Draft. Take a look at our predictions and keep it locked on the Daily Mix Report for draft coverage from LTS, while Trager lives the life of luxury in the green room with Obi Toppin.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Coach T: LaMelo Ball, Australia

The most mysterious, yes unmysterious, tantalizing prospect of the draft. If you’re a hoops fan, we all remember what seems like yesterday a young freshman LaMelo pullin’ up from half court in video clips gone viral. Fast forward a few years, LaMelo is a 6’7″ do-it-all PG. I am beyond happy LaVar has shut his mouth and just let his boys have a normal professional career. It was funny at first, but it got old pretty quick.

However, I will give him credit, he said LaMelo would go No. 1, and be the best of the three Ball brothers. He’s made a lot of promises that have yet to come true, but it’s amazing that some of them have. In a draft with no certain No. 1 pick, LaMelo may have the best upside with his size and playmaking ability. Just like big bro Lonzo, he looks to make everyone around him better. I’m not sure how the Ball – Russell Dynamic will look, but if he pans out, a two-guard backcourt alongside KAT doesn’t sound too shabby. I see the Wolves going Ball here.

LordTreeSap: Anthony Edwards, Georgia

Anthony Edwards has been billed as the top prospect for months now, so I don’t think the Wolves will ultimately pass up on the opportunity to pair him with D’Angelo Russell for an explosive back court and potential big three forming with Karl-Anthony Towns. During his best moments, AE looks like a young James Harden without the elite court vision, but a bulldog going to the rim just like the school he reps.

NBA Draft 2020: Anthony Edwards Opens Up on His Surreal Experience With  Michael Jordan and Golden State Warriors - EssentiallySports

2. Golden State Warriors

Coach T: James Wiseman, Memphis

Let me rant quick then I’ll stop, WHY DO THE WARRIORS NEED TO GET REWARDED AT 2!? Yeah, it stinks their two studs were essentially out for the season, but the NBA Gods hand them the No. 2 pick, when the Knicks can’t catch a break. Ok I’m done. The Warriors need a big, and Wiseman offers the best upside. 7+ footer, incredibly athletic, and will eventually step out and shoot, he may be the gem of this draft. Steph, Klay, Wiggins, Green, Wiseman, yeah, the Western Conference forgot about the Warriors. Here we go…

LordTreeSap: James Wiseman, Memphis

This is the layup of the draft. GSW has played it coy as a contender picking at the top of the draft who would probably prefer to flip the pick and assets for a third star alongside the Splash Brothers. If that doesn’t come to fruition, the athletic rim-running Wiseman gives the Dubs another weapon at their disposal and an inside presence they’ve lacked.

James Wiseman Says He Would Be A Great Fit With The Golden State Warriors –  Fadeaway World

3. Charlotte Hornets

Coach T: Anthony Edwards, Georgia

If Edwards slips to three, there’s no way the Hornets can pass up on him. If you look at this dude in a uniform, you may think he’s been in the NBA for 3-4 years. Explosive wing who can get to the rim and shoot the ball. He has that slasher wing in him looking like a young D-Wade at times. MJ may make up for all of his failed drafts with this pick here. Look for the Hornets to go with my favorite player in this year’s draft, Anthony Edwards.

LordTreeSap: Onyeka Okongwu, USC

We never know what Michael Jordan and the Hornets are going to pull when it comes to drafting, we just usually know it’s going to be the wrong decision. Onyeka has soared up draft boards as a versatile big in the mold of Bam Adebayo and everyone saw how valuable he was inside the bubble on Miami’s Finals run.

4. Chicago Bulls

Coach T: Deni Avdija, Israel

These European dudes are so hit and miss, but I feel like these have been more hits than misses of late. Basketball has really stepped up its game overseas, and you’re seeing the product translate to the NBA. Avdija is a strong 2-way player who is very experienced and has played against supreme talent.

The Bulls have a young roster, and he should fit in nicely next to Lavine, Markkanen, Carter, and some of the other Bulls young talent. I think anyone who passed up on (or traded) some guy named Luka would tell you they regret not honoring his dominance overseas. Look for the Bulls to continue to grow their young roster under new coach Billy Donovan with Deni Avdija.

LordTreeSap: LaMelo Ball, Australia

LaMelo Ball, the most polarizing prospect in this draft. You ask five different “experts” about his career trajectory and you’ll probably get five different answers. The final Ball brother has a good chance to be the best of the bunch with the way Lonzo has stumbled out of the gate. Chicago didn’t extend a qualifying offer to Kris Dunn, so a ball handler spot opens up alongside sniper Coby White to form the backcourt of the future. I’m still trying to figure out why Billy Donovan took this job though.

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

Coach T: Obi Toppin, Dayton

This next player is special because I had the opportunity to be a part of his path to the NBA coaching both him and his younger brother Jacob (University of Kentucky). Obi has grown from a 6’1″ high school senior, to a 6’9″ rim-running monster. The reigning National Player of the Year may be the most “NBA ready” prospect. He is incredibly athletic, savvy in the post, and can step out and shoot the 3. He is a prototypical NBA Big.

He needs to improve his perimeter defense/lateral quickness and continue to get stronger. However, he is going to be a consistent NBA player with a long career. From knowing Obi personally, he’s one of the most likable, humble people you’ll ever meet, and everyone who comes across him loves him. Being he played for Dayton in Ohio, I don’t see him slipping past six. I don’t love this spot for him, because this is probably my least favorite team picking in the top 10. However, look for Obi to make an immediate impact wherever he goes.

LordTreeSap: Deni Avdija, Israel

I’m not going to act like I’ve watched Deni Avdija play a full game of basketball, but he’s been on the NBA’s radar for some time. Checking out his skillset, I could easily see a Danilo Gallinari type of career coming his way, which would be a win for Cleveland.

6. Atlanta Hawks

Coach T: Isaac Okoro, Auburn

Full disclosure, I hope Okoro doesn’t get picked here, because I want the Knicks to draft him. Anyway, let’s pair up the talented young hawks with an athletic versatile 2-way wing. Okoro plays hard and will be an elite NBA defender. If he can develop a jump shot, he’ll end up being the highly coveted “3 and D” stud that every NBA team is looking for. Young, Okoro, Collins and co. sounds like a nice young core to me.

NBA Draft news: Auburn star Isaac Okoro to declare for draft

LordTreeSap: Obi Toppin, Dayton

Coach T put Obi on my radar a couple years ago and he’s played his way into a bona fide top 10 pick in that time. Although he’s already 22-years-old, Toppin is a sure-fire fit at the four in the NBA with great athleticism and a capable jumper.

I still feel bad for his Dayton Flyers season being cut short; who knows when they’ll be a potential one-seed again? Atlanta could use Toppin if rumors flying are true that they plan to test the market on John Collins if the two sides can’t agree on a fair extension.

7. Detroit Pistons

Coach T: Patrick Williams, Florida State

Williams seems to be fling up draft boards as a modern NBA big. 6’8″, versatile defender who can shoot the three. The Pistons are in the midst of a rebuild and Williams may be able to learn a thing or two from Blake Griffin, who has had trouble staying on the court.

LordTreeSap: Isaac Okoro, Auburn

Okoro will be a great fit and culture changer for Detroit on the wing for a barren roster that needs a lot of help. A tenacious defender, and if his jumper comes along, he’ll be the type of versatile defense-first wing that just about every team is starving for. We just saw the Trail Blazers pay two firsts for Robert Covington this week. This pick might finally right the wrong of selecting Stanley Johnson in 2015, who I really liked coming out of Arizona.

8. New York Knicks

Coach T: Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State

I can’t invest myself emotionally into the Knicks. It’s a yearly heartbreak that I can’t handle. We kill ourselves, and seemingly find no luck on our side. Mini-rant over. Let’s go with Tyrese Haliburton here, a nice combo guard who is a nice playmaker and can shoot the basketball. He plays hard and I think would be a great fit next to RJ Barrett, and in NY in general.

The Knicks have DESPERATELY needed someone to step in and man the PG position. They have a solid foundational core, and a point guard to help accelerate the rebuild would be huge. Pair Tyrese with RJ Barrett, and Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks two best prospects, and we may be headed in the right direction (at least I have to say that). 

LordTreeSap: Tyrese Haliburton, Iowa State

Coach T and I are on the same page here. The Knicks have been searching for a point guard to power the offense since Stephon Marbury ate Vaseline on a live stream. Haliburton has won me over as a sound decision maker, explosive enough to get to and finish at the rim, and still nail his funky jumper. Sign me up to see if Tyrese can finally fill the lead guard void that has plagued us for eons.

9. Wizards

Coach T: Onyeka Okungwu, USC

Considered by some to be the best true “big man” in this draft, he is already an excellent defender and rim protector. With a healthy John Wall and Bradley Beal this year, the wizards should be an improved team. Look for them to improve their front court with Onyeka.

LordTreeSap: Patrick Williams, Florida State

When early mocks were coming out, I kept seeing Vassell as the top FSU prospect, but P-Will has shot up draft boards in recent months to become the top Seminole available. Williams is oozing with potential as a gritty, do-it-all forward on the floor who makes the right play. Boasting a nearly seven-foot wingspan and still being 18-years-old always helps as well.

10. Phoenix Suns

Coach T: Devin Vassell, Florida State

Okay Suns, no pressure. You have one of the best young talents in the league in Devin Booker who reportedly wants out. Don’t screw this up. Vassell is another one of those potential 3 and D players you can surround Booker with in order to help the Suns be successful. They have some nice young talent with Ayton. Add Vassell to the fold and see what happens.

LordTreeSap: Killian Hayes, France

Another very intriguing prospect who opted for the professional overseas route. My good friend at The Ringer Kevin O’Connor has Hayes as the top player on his big board and he should be in consideration for the Knicks as well. The push in his jump shot does scare me a bit, but he can create and has good size. What a situation this would be to walk into and learn behind Chris Paul as Phoenix makes a push for the post-season.

Why Killian Hayes Is the Best Prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft | The Restart  | The Ringer - YouTube

11. San Antonio Spurs

Coach T: Saddiq Bey, Villanova

Who knows who the Spurs will pick, but whoever they pick, will make an impact at some point, like they ALWAYS do. Bey comes from a great program in Villanova and is a nice complimentary player. He’s 6’8″ and is highly versatile on the floor. I’m sure Pop will find a creative way to make the most out of him.

LordTreeSap: Devin Vassell, Florida State

I’m always looking for 3-and-D players in the draft. Just inject them into my veins — every good team needs them to surround stars with shot making and doing the dirty work defensively. Vassell fits that mold and should be a nice fit with the Spurs. Two FSU Seminoles in the top 11 gives me a chance to just remind the people coach Lenny Hamilton has never made a Final Four.

12. Sacramento Kings

Coach T: R.J. Hampton, New Zealand

In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting players in the draft. One of the most highly rated prospects coming out of high school, Hampton took the Ball route playing overseas this past year. Hampton didn’t get to showcase much of his talent, but he sure has a lot of it. He’s raw, but if he develops, he won’t have many flaws in his game. He’d be a nice piece next to Fox as a 1-2 punch.

LordTreeSap: Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt

With the Kings moving on from Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield wanting out, Sacramento needs to find another two-guard/wing to supplement their losses and give Fox some help. Enter Vanderbilt’s Nesmith, who is the best shooter in the draft and should be a sniper in the NBA.

13. New Orleans Pelicans

Coach T: Aaron Nesmith, Vanderbilt

SVG! Great young core that should start to make waves soon. Let’s go with Nesmith here, who is one of the best shooters in the draft and would fit nicely next to Ball, Ingram, and Zion. Pelicans like to push the pace (whether SVG will want to or not) and this would be a great spot for him stretching the floor for Ingram and Zion to operate inside.

LordTreeSap: Kira Lewis Jr., Alabama

Goodbye Jrue Holiday, hello Kira Lewis Jr. I debated Kentucky’s Maxey here as well, but the speedster out of ‘Bama heads to the NOP. The Pelicans are in a great spot and add their potential point guard of the future here, who plays with reckless abandon when attacking the cup, if they decide to move on from Lonzo Ball.

14. Boston Celtics

Coach T: Killian Hayes, France

There’s a good chance he won’t be available here, but it’d be a nice pick here for the Celtics. He could play behind the likes of Kemba Walker, develop, and potentially be a long-term replacement down the road for Boston.

LordTreeSap: Jalen Smith, Maryland

Anyone that watched Boston knows they need help down low. Jalen Smith was a beast at Maryland. Anytime I watched him play Michigan he seemed to be a lock for a double-double and addicted to cleaning the glass. He could get away with being a smaller five if he bulks up a bit because he’s already a strong defender with a nonstop motor.

Is the NBA Luka Doncic’s League Already?

He has arrived. The first chapter in Luka Doncic’s legacy was written Sunday afternoon, as he rose up over Reggie Jackson with his signature stepback move to sink a game-winner at the OT buzzer to even the series at 2-2. Oh, and that 43pts-17rebs-13asts stat line was without Kristaps Porzingis on the floor and less than 48 hours after badly spraining his ankle.

Doncic powered the Mavs to erase a 21-point 2nd quarter deficit with some help from an unlikely supporting cast that included a combined 46 points from Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. One point Kenny “The Jet” Smith has made on TNT I agree with: Look at this restart with a clean slate like it’s Luka’s third season, rather than thinking of it being a continuation of his sophomore campaign.

How often do we see the superior team win that type of game? I’d argue about 90%. But Luka, being the transcendent talent he is, just wouldn’t let that happen. The 21-year-old is coming along far quicker than anyone expected, and my jaw drops just thinking about what his game is going to look like in just another 3 or 4 years.

A few nuggets on how special that performance was from Luka yesterday: He became the youngest player to drill a buzzer-beater in the playoffs. He joined Oscar Robertson and Charles Barkley to record 40-10-15+ in a playoff game. Doncic is now in the same breath as basketball royalty with Magic Johnson and LeBron James as the only players to put up multiple triple-doubles in the post-season at 21 or younger.

His vision and feel for the game are LeBron-esque. No matter the situation, Luka is totally in control at all times. What’s impressed me most has been his emotional makeup and moxie, as the Clippers have tried to intimidate Doncic on multiple occasions throughout the first four games. This isn’t 2007 anymore; you’re not going to bully the Europeans coming over who have played professionally since they were 16.

Game 1 saw Marcus Morris try to rough up Doncic, which unfortunately led to the ejection of Kristaps Porzingis. We’ve seen Montrezl Harrell call Luka a “Bitchass white boy,” which he’s also apologized to him for (please relax right wing Twitter), and it’s only made Doncic raise his game to another level. He’s even engaged in the trash talk a bit himself, as Luka hasn’t been afraid to scream “And 1” in Morris’s ear or call out Harrell for his flopping.

I don’t know if the Mavs can actually pull this thing off and eliminate the title favorite Clips (shoutout Pandemic P), but Dallas has to be giddy about the future with Doncic and Porzingis at the helm. If I was starting a franchise today, Luka would undoubtedly be my number one pick, and that’s something I don’t know I would’ve said in January.

Game 5 should be fun Tuesday night.

 

 

 

Previewing Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs Inside the Bubble

Take a look at our predictions for every first-round matchup in the playoffs.

The NBA returned inside the Orlando bubble at the end of July and things couldn’t have gone much smoother. Gameplay’s been intense, presentation for the fans feels like real games, and most importantly, ZERO players have tested positive for COVID-19 since August 5th.

The regular-season games have given us plenty of storylines, as the Blazers have been carried by Damian Lillard’s heroics playing as a man possessed, the undefeated Suns became basketball’s darlings, Russell Westbrook’s thigh injury has thrown a wrench into the Rockets championship dreams, and title favorites Lakers, Clippers, and Bucks don’t seem to be as much of Finals locks as we once thought back in March.

With the Blazers clinching the right to take their shot at the one-seeded Lakers on Saturday to fill out the playoff picture, check out our predictions for the entire first round below. Tip-off is slated for Monday at 1:30 pm ET with game 1 of the Nuggets-Jazz series.

NBA-playoff-bracket-2020-Updated-standings-Round-1-projections

Eastern Conference:

(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (8) Orlando Magic

The bubble hasn’t been too kind to the hometeam Magic. Orlando, who went 3-5 in the restart, lost the promising Jonathan Isaac to a torn ACL, which should sideline him through next season. Milwaukee hasn’t exactly been firing on all cylinders since the restart, but cruised to the one-seed and now the real pressure is on for the favorite Bucks to roll through the Eastern Conference. Giannis has been on a mission this season (he’s the favorite for MVP and DPOY) and the Magic should be a light tune-up for him as Milwaukee sweeps.

Bucks in 4

(2) Toronto Raptors vs. (7) Brooklyn Nets

The 2019 champs are a bonafide threat to defend their throne and possibly repeat. I, for one, didn’t believe the Raptors would be this good (finished with the best winning percentage in franchise history) with Leonard heading to the West Coast, which should be a credit to my COTY Nick Nurse and the supporting cast taking their games to the next level.

As for the Nets, nobody could’ve seen a 5-3 bubble trip with a makeshift roster possible. Fans have to be thrilled with the team’s effort, but we know this is all about next year for them. Toronto’s size and depth should give the Nets fits all series, who shouldn’t leave Orlando with their heads hanging low.

Raptors in 4

tenor (2)

(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) Philadelphia 76ers

I want to throw up every time I think back to my pre-season prediction of having the 76ers coming out of the East, as Philly couldn’t be further from contenders right now. A logjam in the frontcourt and a coach that doesn’t know how to deploy his talent, and now minus Ben Simmons combined with a banged-up Embiid, this is the recipe for disaster in Philly. Tatum and Brown have evolved into a dynamic duo on the wing to lead the C’s. As long as Kemba and Hayward stay healthy, this team has a shot to make some noise in the East.

Celtics in 5

(4) Indiana Pacers vs. (5) Miami Heat

This will be the most competitive series in the East. A pair of teams that overperformed this year. Most people will be drawn to the theatrics of Jimmy Butler vs. Bubble MVP T.J. Warren, but my focus is on MIP candidate Bam Adebayo’s ability to control both ends and sharpshooters Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson pushing the Heat over the top to take a hard-fought 7-game series. Miami also has the coaching advantage with Spo > Nate McMillan.

Heat in 7

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Western Conference:

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) Portland Trail Blazers

This isn’t your typical 1-8 matchup. Every Blazer game has felt like a playoff game, as they roll into the post-season on a four-game winning streak. At times, their defense has been dreadful against lesser competition, so I fully expect LeBron to dominate this series and get whatever he pleases when exploiting Portland’s forwards. On the flip side, the Lakers don’t have anyone to answer for Dame, who should be able to steal a game or two by himself with his Bubble MVP heroics. Let’s just hope his tank doesn’t run out of gas (Blazers were a -13 on Saturday against the Grizzlies during his THREE MINUTES on the bench).

Lakers in 6

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(2) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks

A lot has been made of this juicy series with the dazzling future MVP Luka Doncic writing the first chapter in his playoff journal. In his way stands the title favorite Clippers, who have yet to be at full strength inside the bubble, as Sixth Man of the Year candidate Montrezl Harrell is expected to make his debut.

Even with a historically good offense (highest offensive efficiency rating ever), Dallas has been atrocious in late-game execution, as they rank in the bottom of the league in games decided by five points or less. This should be a great learning experience for Luka, Porzingis, and co. but the Clips dispose of Dallas in five.

Clippers in 5

(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Utah Jazz

If this series is anything like their earlier double-OT thriller in the bubble, it should be a classic. Two-man chess matches between Donovan Mitchell and Gobert clashing with the Joker and Jamal Murray are going to be the focus for both coaches, but look for the emergence of Michael Porter Jr. to lift the Nuggets. Injuries to both teams make for a bit of uncertainty, as the returns of Gary Harris Jr. and Will Barton are still up in the air, while Mike Conley just left the bubble to see the birth of his child and will miss at least the first three games most likely.

Nuggets in 6

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(4) Houston Rockets vs. (5) Oklahoma City Thunder

It’s pretty simple; how long is Russell Westbrook out with his thigh injury? If he’s back by early next week, Houston is in good shape. If he’s out for the entire series, the Rockets are in deep trouble. We all know how much Chris Paul wants to stick it to Houston for trading him and how ironic would it be for the Thunder to finally get out of the first round now instead of the Russell Westbrook-PG era.

James Harden is going to put up astronomical numbers, but will he get enough help? Mike D’Antoni is fully committed to the small-ball experiment, so my x-factor for the Thunder will be Steven Adams. Does he get exposed and need to spend a lot of the series on the bench, or does he wreak havoc as a bully on the offensive glass?

Rockets in 7

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Dame Time: With the World at a Standstill, Lillard Finally Getting the Respect He Deserves

“Put some respect on my fucking name,” Lillard barked after leading the Blazers to another crucial 134-131 victory over the Mavs to keep their playoff hopes alive. With the stakes higher than ever and the public microscope gleaming on him, it’s only brought out the best in No. 0.

Lillard tied his career-best with 61 points (22 in the 4th quarter!!) and made history by joining Wilt Chamberlain as the only NBA players ever to post three 60+ point efforts in one season.

Following his missed free throws as part of the Clippers debacle last week, Dame Time has been fully in session, as he’s carried Portland with back-to-back 50+ point games and a pair of victories to keep the Blazers in the driver’s seat to clinch the 8-seed with a win on Thursday vs. the Nets. That’s 112 points in 81 minutes for those keeping score at home and the 10 and 11th 50-point games of his career, which ties him with Allen Iverson for 8th most all-time.

“When I first came here, I told you I didn’t come here to waste my time. They gave us a chance to get in like we asked for, and that’s what we’re here to do. The job still ain’t done, but I said, ‘You know what I’m here for.’ Our work ain’t done yet, but we fighting for it,” he told TNT’s Chris Haynes after the win.

As someone who lets his game usually do the talking, unless he’s in the studio, it’s been awesome to see Dame unleash on detractors while backing it up on the hardwood (averaging 37 points and 9.3 assists inside the bubble).

After calling out Paul George for switching teams and “running from the grind,” Logo Lillard then turned his focus to ethering the fraudulent Skip Bayless with an absolute haymaker on Monday. Not many things this pandemic have made me happier than seeing Skip getting put on his ass with an eviscerating knockout punch of a tweet from Lillard. Take that, old man!

The 30-year-old’s had several prolific “moments” in his career, as walk-off shots to defeat the Rockets (2014) and Thunder last year in the playoffs come to mind when the basketball world was in his palms. With Portland playing on the West Coast, it’s easy for Lillard’s late-night heroics to be reduced to an Instagram clip for followers to take in the next morning.

But this feels different, as the world’s stuck in a five-month standstill, every Blazer game has been must-watch cinema, and Lillard is the A-list star of the show. He seems to finally be getting the mainstream praise and collecting the accolades he’s quite honestly deserved for years. I have him on my All-NBA first team in the guard spot alongside Harden and conversations of him usurping the point guard throne from Steph Curry are bubbling on social media, as Steph and the Warriors have taken a gap year.

The job isn’t done just yet, as the Blazers still need to defeat the Nets on Thursday then win one of the possible two play-in games over the weekend to have the right to face the one-seeded Lakers. If all goes according to plan, Lillard should be the regular season Bubble MVP. This also wouldn’t be your typical 1 vs. 8 matchup, as L.A. has issues of their own to sort out. Being a student of the game, LeBron’s definitely taken note of Dame’s run and knows they don’t have any sort of answer for Lillard at the guard spot defensively.

Oh, and as a gift to fans, Dame and Adidas teamed up to make his Dame 6 sneakers on sale for $61 just for Wednesday in honor of his performance last night.

 

 

10 Players To Watch During the NBA’s Restart Inside the Orlando Bubble

It’s been 138 days since the NBA was shut down on March 11 following the unforgettable scene in Oklahoma City which saw Rudy Gobert test positive for COVID-19 as a harsh reality for the pandemic began to set in.

That horrifying number will (hopefully) be no more on Thursday when the Pelicans and Jazz tip-off serving as the official restart of the NBA regular season inside the Orlando bubble, which just might bring a tear to my eye.

Instead of doing an official playoff preview just yet (I’ll save that for August), I wanted to highlight 10 under-the-radar players who just might win their team a playoff game and could be someone you may have forgotten about during the layoff.

If you’re looking for star players like ‘Bron or Kawhi on this list, you’d be better suited just turning on FS1 and listening to Colin Cowherd talk about how Russell Westbrook and James Harden aren’t a top 10 NBA duo.

1. Gary Trent Jr. – Portland Trailblazers

Gary Trent Jr. became one of my favorite hidden gems coming off the bench this season. Ever since his 30-point explosion back in mid-January against the Thunder, the former Blue Devil has been an integral part of the Blazers’ rotation. That trend should only continue for the playoff-hopeful squad, as Trent Jr. put up 12 ppg and shot 41% from behind the arc during the month of February. He’s also a rock-solid defender on the wing.

P.S. My only issue with GT was seeing him on the virtual blackjack machines in the Bahamas. As a millionaire, it’s time to move to the legit high roller tables, my guy! 

2. Ben McLemore – Houston Rockets

When your career needs to be revived, every offensive-minded player should give Mike D’Antoni a call. MDA gave a lifeline to another career that was on its last breaths with Ben McLemore this season, who evolved into a sniper for the three-point happy Rockets this season. Averaging just under 10 ppg on 40% from three, McLemore’s brought his magic to Disney, as he lit up the Grizzlies during Sunday night’s scrimmage for 26 points on 6-7 from downtown.

3. Bol Bol – Denver Nuggets

Bol Bol is one of the early winners from the NBA restart. After not playing a game this season in Denver, Bol exploded onto the NBA Twitter scene with highlight-worthy plays on both ends of the floor, which flooded IG timelines in the first couple of scrimmages while starting in the BACKCOURT!! with Nikola Jokic. Seeing that untapped potential on display could vault Bol into a secret weapon type of role for Mike Malone’s deep Denver Nuggets.

4. Seth Curry – Dallas Mavericks

For quite possibly the first time in his entire life, the stage will now entirely be set for Seth to shine without overshadowing from older brother Steph anywhere in sight. With Luka and Porzingis occupying the defense’s focus, three-point assassins like Seth Curry become indispensable. Seth was 2nd in the entire NBA while shooting 45% from downtown and the Mavs are going to need him to be lights out in Orlando to spread the floor.

5. J.R. Smith – Los Angeles Lakers

J.R. Spliff is back!!! After going unsigned the entire 2019 season, the Lakers finally decided to listen to me and roll the dice on Earl and reunite him with LeBron inside the bubble. For that reason alone, we need a documentary on the Lakers’ Orlando playoff run. With Avery Bradley opting out and Rondo injured, L.A. will be heavily relying on the likes of J.R., Alex Caruso, KCP, and Dion Waiters to supplement A.D. and Lebron with outside shooting late in games. Smith’s microwave scoring ability came to life on Monday with 14 points in the first half of their scrimmage against the Wizards.

6. Matisse Thybulle – Philadelphia 76ers

One of the most unique young players in the NBA. Matisse not only shines on the court as a lockdown defender, but he’s also become a YouTube sensation off the floor with his Welcome to the Bubble VLOG series, which he shoots and edits himself. The rookie’s versatility on the defensive end and streaky shooting will be needed to help power the Sixers, as coach Brett Brown has his hands full regarding how to best deploy his talented arsenal of weapons.

7. Duncan Robinson – Miami Heat

From Division III standout, to Michigan 6th man, and now a top 100 NBA player, according to Bleacher Report‘s latest rankings. Stories like Duncan’s are to be celebrated, as he landed in the perfect spot to flourish under the tutelage of Eric Spoelstra, Pat Riley, and co. in breezy South Beach. Another 45% shooter from three makes the list, and a bright future is definitely ahead for the Michigan man. Admittedly, I didn’t think there was a chance DR would be an NBA player during his time as a Wolverine.

8. Luguentz Dort – Oklahoma City Thunder

Lu Dort is a name you might not be familiar with if you haven’t caught many Thunder games this year, as I had no clue who he was coming into the season and only found out about him through my brother after watching him pop off the screen one night. Dort has a knack for making good things happen on the floor, as OKC went 16-5 once Billy Donovan inserted him into the starting lineup and management rewarded the Canada native with a four-year extension for his efforts.

9. Jonathan Isaac – Orlando Magic

With the potential to be transcendingly special on the defensive end, Jonathan Isaac’s breakout campaign was forced to take a detour following a devastating knee sprain on New Year’s Day. After the shutdown’s extended layoff, the Florida State product has been cleared for action to participate in the bubble scrimmages, which should bring a smile to Magic fans’ faces if there’s any still out there. During his return to the hardwood Monday night, JI managed 13 points and grabbed 7 boards in just 7 MINUTES on the floor.

10. Norman Powell – Toronto Raptors

Another underrated cog in COTY candidate Nick Nurse’s army that somehow has Toronto back in the mix for an Eastern Conference run even without Kawhi Leonard. Powell would have a case for 6th Man of the Year but ended up starting 21 games. When returning from an injury in late February, Powell posted five straight box scores with at least 22 points to give the starting five unit a jolt before the shutdown.

The Official DMR 2020 NFL Mock Draft Featuring Brandon Trager & Brian Trainor

While much of the country’s been in quarantine for more than a month, we have finally dragged our feet to make it to draft week. This NFL Draft will be unlike any other before, as the entire process will be fully virtual.

Just think about New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman on his 2007 Acer laptop and 100 unorganized Post-it Notes trying to make sure he gets the team’s pick to the league in time. Schefter already said there’s been technical difficulties with the official practice draft, so we could be in for some fun.

Both of my fellow draft experts Brandon “Peter Schrager” Trager and Brian “Mr. F-45” Trainor have taken a break from freaking out about their upcoming weddings to give you the best mock around.

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Dive into the full first round to see whose name your squad will be calling below, or your money back guaranteed.

1. Cincinnati Bengals

Trainor: Joe Burrow – QB, LSU

Not much to say other than the best single season in College football history. Burrow showed incredible accuracy, poise, anticipation and escapability. Other than that, he is just a freakin competitor.

Trager: Joe Burrow – QB, LSU

I don’t remember another QB in my lifetime making this type of turn around. Every single game Joe Burrow played, he was unstoppable. He turned a consistently offensively challenged LSU team into an offense that defenses had no answer for. That was by far the most consistent QB play I’ve ever seen in college. As long as the Bengals don’t royally screw this up (and they may), I believe there’s no doubt Burrow will be a perennial pro bowler for years to come.

LTS: Joe Burrow – QB, LSU

2. Washington Redskins

Trainor: Chase Young – Edge, Ohio State

Do I think he’s as good as the Bosa brothers? No. But he is by far the best edge rusher in this draft. Can’t wait for the Giants to attempt to block this man for 10 years.

Trager: Chase Young – Edge, Ohio State

When I think Chase Young, I think about a high motor player that does not stop working. He plays the run, and as an elite pass rusher. Watching him play this year, he was all over the field from sideline to sideline. Young seems like a can’t miss prospect, someone that new head coach Ron Rivera is surely salivating over.

LTS: Chase Young – Edge, Ohio State

Ohio State's 62-14 Win over Maryland in 15 Amazing GIFs | Eleven ...

3. Detroit Lions

Trainor: Jeffrey Okudah – CB, Ohio State

Detroit tries to trade back from this pick, but Miami and Chargers feel comfortable staying put. I personally think they should draft Derrick Brown, but Bob Quinn and Patricia are drafting for their jobs and will take the safe approach.

Trager: Jeffrey Okudah – CB, Ohio State

I’d like to take this moment to thank the Lions for knowing they’ll get Okudah, so therefore trading their Pro Bowl corner to The Philadelphia Eagles. Darius Slay will be a great fit. Oh back to the Lions, Okudah is a dominant corner who should make an impact right away…except for the fact that it’s the Lions. #ForeverMediocre

LTS: Jeffrey Okudah – CB, Ohio State

4. New York Giants

Trainor: Jedrick Wills – OT, Alabama

THE BEST OT IN THE DRAFT. BY FAR. I’ve watched all of the OTs film from this past year and Wills has the best feet and hands I have ever seen from a OT prospect. Needs to improve on blocking in space, but I think this is the smarter pick for the Giants. Need to protect Jones and Saquon.

Trager: Tristan Wirfs – OT, Iowa

F the Giants, oh whoops, sorry this is supposed to be unbiased. I think Dave Gettleman is an absolute joke, and that opinion isn’t because I hate the Giants, he just is. (S/O Big Dave as a former PE teacher turned NFL GM though, smh). Back to the pick, I killed Dave last year not for the Jones pick, but where he got him. However, I’ll give him this, Jones looked like a legit NFL starter.

Now, with that being said, looking back to 2018 the G Men still should have Sam Darnold not Saquon Barkley. They will be in the same crap predicament all of these teams are who took RB’s in the 1st round. The 2nd contract Barkley’s gets will kill them, and the Giants will still be average. Ok for real, back to the pick. Many “experts” have the Giants picking Simmons. And Simmons is nasty. But DAVE doesn’t care what y’all think! Gettleman invested in Jones, so it’s only right that he gets a big tough guy to protect him. Wirfs is just that. Plug and play to protect Jones. You’re still a joke, Dave. 

LTS: Isaiah Simmons – LB, Clemson

5. Miami Dolphins

Trainor: Justin Herbert – QB, Oregon

Dolphins play it safe and draft their franchise QB. They will regret not drafting Tua for years and years. Simple as that.

Trager: Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Alabama

January 8th, 2018, Tua Tagovaiola was born. No, seriously. I will never forget watching Alabama and Clemson in that National Championship. EVERYONE was thinking, “if only Alabama had a QB that could throw the football (sorry Jalen Hurts).” Then came Tua to the rescue, leading a perfect comeback.To cap it off, who can forget the Dilfer dime dropped from the sky to Smith for the W. Since then, when Tua is on the field, he has been nothing short of a stud.

Let me make this very clear: as Wayne Gretzky once said, “you miss 100% of shots you don’t take.” As Dot once said, “Shooters shoot.” I can go on and on. Here’s the point: you don’t pass on Tua. I don’t care how many injury concerns there are. We have seen how fast a franchise QB can turn around a franchise in a year. Tua won’t flop because of talent, it’ll be because of injury. And I can live with that. This dude is a stud, checks every single box you want in a QB. You can’t pass this man up. If I’m any team with a question at QB, I’m swinging for the fences. The season started with the Dolphins #TankingForTua, they better hope they get him.

Tua Tagovailoa | Official Alabama Highlights ᴴᴰ GIF | Gfycat

LTS: Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Alabama

6. Los Angeles Chargers

Trainor: Tua Tagovailoa – QB, Alabama

Chargers will get a steal here with Tua. He will change their culture around. He will rest behind Tyrod for a year and then take over for years to come. Watch out for the Chargers in the next couple of years.

Trager: Justin Herbert – QB, Oregon

I can’t take credit for what I’m about to say, nor do I remember who I should give the credit to, but I was listening to the radio the other day and someone stated the perfect comparison for what Justin Herbert will be: Josh Allen. Checks off all the boxes you want in a QB: tall, strong arm, mobile. He’ll probably be good enough to be a starter. But is that good enough? As the person said on the radio, BESIDES the Bills, how many teams would be dying to make Allen their QB right now. Is this what you want for your franchise QB? I don’t want to kill Herbert, he may be a stud. But every time I saw him play, nothing popped. He never looked like the top 5 QB he was always talked about being. We’ll see. For now, enjoy Josh Allen – what Justin Herbert will be.

Let’s take a look back at the 2020 NFL playoffs. 1 minute to go, Bills going for the tie or win. Let me present you, Josh Allen:

LTS: Justin Herbert – QB, Oregon

7. Carolina Panthers

Trainor: Isaiah Simmons – LB, Clemson

Athletic freak of nature. That is all you have to say about Simmons. He will make a defense instantly better, but I do think he is a little overrated. He doesn’t make plays that you would like your linebackers to make and he doesn’t make plays that you would like a safety to make. He is very fast north and south, but doesn’t have that quick twitch burst.

Isaiah Simmons 2020 NFL Draft Profile

Trager: Isaiah Simmons – LB, Clemson

Isaiah Simmons is a beast. Period. End of story. He has insane versatility for a defensive coordinator. It’s ironic that I have Simmons falling here, because the last player I remember people talking about with this versatility is Shaq Thompson (Panthers 25th pick in 2015 draft). Thompson wasn’t as highly regarded as Simmons, but has turned out real well for them. With the departure of Luke Kuechly, insert Simmons who can play any LB position on the field, as well as rush the passer. It’s hard to replace Kuechly, but Simmons should be a plug and play star for the Panthers. Matt Rhule, let’s see what you got.

LTS: Derrick Brown – DT, Auburn

8. Arizona Cardinals

Trainor: Tristan Wirfs – OT, Iowa

Arizona could go many different ways here. They could trade back or take DT Derrick Brown, but I think they take an OT that fits them perfectly in Wirfs. He is athletic enough to get out on the edge to help Kingsbury’s offensive system.

Trager: Mekhi Becton – OT, Louisville 

When you think Mekhi Becton, you think about a freakishly athletic BIG MAN. 6’7 370 and he ran a 5.1 40! Well let’s take a look at the Arizona Cardinals 1st pick in the draft from last year… freakishly Athletic QB! Let’s team up this year’s most athletic lineman with a QB that needs protection to throw the football to the likes of..DeAndre Hopkins. I expect the Cardinals to protect their franchise QB as they look to take a big step next season.

LTS: Jedrick Wills – OT, Alabama

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trainor: *Buccaneers Trade With Jaguars* – Andrew Thomas – OT, Georgia

Tampa Trades up and protects TOM! The most NFL ready LT to keep Tom off his ass. Bucs are in a win now type of mindset and they will do whatever it takes.

Trager: Jerry Jeudy – WR, Alabama

MINSHEWMANIA. All jokes aside, I was impressed with Gardner Minshew. I don’t think his ceiling is higher than an average starting QB, but hey, they found a steal for a 6th round draft pick nobody had heard of. I still think the Jags could go QB if they’re sitting here, or they may even trade up. I’m sure if they don’t draft one, they’ll be in the veteran QB market to push Minshew. Regardless, let’s go with Jerry Jeudy here, who I believe is one of the safer players in this draft. Jeudy’s route running is incredible, and he has good speed as well. He has put up extremely consistent, productive #’s at Alabama, and his game transfers to make an immediate impact in the NFL. Give Minshew a stud WR, and maybe he’ll turn out like another 6th round QB who just changed teams?

Alabama Crimson Tide Jerry Jeudy GIF - AlabamaCrimsonTide ...

LTS: Tristan Wirfs – OT, Iowa

10. Cleveland Browns

Trainor: *Broncos Trade With Browns* – CeeDee Lamb – WR, Oklahoma

Trager: Jedrick Wills – OT, Alabama

Jedrick Wills Jr. is most likely the most “NFL ready” lineman in this draft. Shocker, he’s an Alabama product. The Browns have a ton of offensive weapons, and a solid defense. They need to protect the QB they’ve invested a lot in. Wills will step in, with the hopes of replacing the likes of Joe Thomas at the tackle position. If the Browns can put what’s on paper, onto the field, they have the “chance” to be “real good”.

LTS: Mekhi Becton – OT, Louisville

11. New York Jets 

Trainor: Mekhi Becton – OT, Louisville

Trager: CeeDee Lamb – WR, Oklahoma

I said I was only going to do the first 10 write ups, but this is the Lord’s team, LordTreeSap. The Jets could easily go OL here (Jedrick Wills Jr.), but c’mon give Darnold a weapon, and let the kid fly. I’m a huge Sam Darnold believer, and I think we’ll look back thinking the Jets got not only the steal of the 2018 draft, but the steal of NY (sorry again, Giants).

CeeDee Lamb is an absolute stud. He is a complete receiver who can literally do it all. You can’t judge a QB until you put SOMETHING around him. Gase will continue to hold the Jets back (GET RID OF THE MAN), but Lamb should help mask some of Gase’s deficiencies. I think Sap will like this one (He does). 

Best Ceedee Lamb GIFs | Gfycat

LTS: Andrew Thomas – OT, Georgia

I’ll hop in here to write a few things about our beloved Jets. Joe Douglas showed he’s going to be a prudent spender when it comes to free agents, which resulted in a bargain shopping off-season — something fans weren’t used to in recent years with the frivolous Mike Maccagnan.

When Robby Anderson bolted for Carolina, he left a huge hole at wide receiver, but I still think Douglas opts for any of the top four tackles to bolster a revamped o-line. Between his lineman background and making a promise to the Darnold family that he would do everything in his power to protect Sam, Thomas has to be the pick here, while a deep WR class takes a backseat until the second round.

12. Las Vegas Raiders 

Trainor: Jerry Jeudy – WR, Alabama

Trager: C.J. Henderson – CB, Florida

LTS: CeeDee Lamb – WR, Oklahoma

13. San Francisco 49ers 

Trainor: *Falcons Trade With 49ers* – C.J. Henderson – CB, Florida

Trager: Derrick Brown – DT, Auburn

LTS: Henry Ruggs – WR, Alabama 

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Trainor: *Jaguars Pick Swap With Buccaneers* – Derrick Brown – DT, Auburn

Trager: Andrew Thomas – OT, Georgia

LTS: Joshua Jones – OT, Houston

15. Denver Broncos 

Trainor: *Browns Trade With Broncos* – Ezra Cleveland – OT, Boise State

Trager: Henry Ruggs – WR, Alabama

LTS: Jerry Jeudy – WR, Alabama

16. Atlanta Falcons

Trainor: *Falcons Pick Swap With 49ers* – Henry Ruggs – WR, Alabama 

Trager: K’Lavon Chaisson – Edge, LSU

LTS: C.J. Henderson – CB, Florida

17. Dallas Cowboys

Trainor: K’Lavon Chaisson – Edge, LSU

Trager: Xavier McKinney – Safety, Alabama

LTS: K’Lavon Chaisson – Edge, LSU

18. Miami Dolphins

Trainor: *Saints Trade With Dolphins* – Jordan Love – QB, Utah State

Trager: Javon Kinlaw – DT, South Carolina

LTS: Austin Jackson – OT, USC

19. Las Vegas Raiders 

Trainor: A.J. Terrell – CB, Clemson

Trager: Jordan Love – QB, Utah State

LTS: Xavier McKinney – Safety, Alabama

20. Jacksonville Jaguars

Trainor: Jaylon Johnson – CB, Utah

Trager: A.J. Epenesa – Edge, Iowa

LTS: Javon Kinlaw – DT, South Carolina

21. Philadelphia Eagles 

Trainor: Justin Jefferson – WR, LSU

Trager: Justin Jefferson – WR, LSU

I know what you’ve all been waiting for. My take on the Eagles 21st pick in the draft. It’s no secret, everyone has the Eagles going receiver here. And they should. We need to give Carson weapons. If ANY OF YOU doubted the legend Carson Wentz, just look back to what he did at the end of last season. How many QB’s could have taken those Eagles offensive weapons to the playoffs? If Carson doesn’t get concussed in the first quarter, the Eagles win that game. Ok rant over.

As bad as I want a receiver, we desperately need help at LB which we’ve needed for the past few seasons. Our DLine is beast as always, and we have improved secondary depth (despite the massive loss of Malcom Jenkins). Therefore, I would not be upset at all if Kenneth Murray was here and we scooped him up. He’s going to be a stud.

Let’s go with Justin Jefferson who has had 2 very productive seasons in a row, including an unbelievable 2019 in which he had 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 TD’s. He can play in the slot, as well as on the outside. He has good hands, speed, and size. No brainer here. A security blanket who will make an immediate impact for Carson right away.

Top 30 Justin Jefferson GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat

LTS: Justin Jefferson – WR, LSU

22. Minnesota Vikings 

Trainor: Joshua Jones – OT, Houston

Trager: Tee Higgins – WR, Clemson

LTS: A.J. Terrell – CB, Clemson

23. New England Patriots 

Trainor: *Titans Trade With Patriots* Javon Kinlaw – DT, South Carolina

Trager: Kenneth Murray – LB, Oklahoma

LTS: Jordan Love – QB, Utah State

24. New Orleans Saints 

Trainor: *Dolphins Pick Swap With Saints* – Xavier McKinney – Safety, Alabama

Trager: A.J. Terrell – CB, Clemson

LTS: Kenneth Murray – LB, Oklahoma

25. Minnesota Vikings

Trainor: Denzel Mims – WR, Baylor

Trager: Trevon Diggs – CB, Alabama

LTS: Brandon Aiyuk – WR, Arizona St. 

26. Miami Dolphins 

Trainor: Austin Jackson – OT, USC

Trager: Antoine Winfield Jr. – CB/S, Minnesota

LTS: Patrick Queen – LB, LSU

27. Seattle Seahawks

Trainor: Yetur Gross-Matos – Edge, Penn State

Trager: Yetur Gross-Matos – Edge, Penn State

LTS: A.J. Epenesa – Edge, Iowa

28. Baltimore Ravens

Trainor: Robert Hunt – Guard, Louisiana 

Trager: Patrick Queen – LB, LSU

LTS: Cesar Ruiz – C/G, Michigan

29. Tennessee Titans 

Trainor: *Patriots Pick Swap With Titans* A.J. Epenesa – Edge, Iowa

Trager: Joshua Jones – OT, Houston

LTS: Jaylon Johnson – CB, Utah

30. Green Bay Packers

Trainor: *Giants Trade With Packers* – Kenneth Murray – LB, Oklahoma

Trager: Denzel Mims – WR, Baylor

LTS: Ezra Cleveland – OT, Boise State

31. San Francisco 49ers

Trainor: Isaiah Wilson – OT, Georgia

Trager: Brandon Aiyuk – WR, Arizona State

LTS: Ross Blacklock – DT, TCU

32. Kansas City Chiefs

Trainor: Kristian Fulton – CB, LSU

Trager: D’Andre Swift – RB, Georgia 

LTS: D’Andre Swift – RB, Georgia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything You Need to Know About the New York Knicks’ 2019 Draft Lottery Chances

The day is finally here. For me, I’ve had May 14 circled on my calendar since the start of 2019. Not because that’s when I moved to NYC, but because the 2019 Draft Lottery could be one of the most pivotal moments in this tormented franchise’s history. On one hand, the Knicks could revitalize the Big Apple by landing Zion Williamson at No. 1, but on the other, the cyclic dysfunction is more likely to continue at No. 4 or 5.

NYK missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season, finishing the year with a franchise-low 17 wins. I don’t anticipate that streak going on for another season. If you’re like me, you already have Kevin Durant as a member of the Knicks roster come July 4th. With the lottery unfortunately changing its format for the first time, I just want to set the record straight on percentages of where New York could land Tuesday evening.

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Don’t panic. I know, it doesn’t look good when you start breaking down the numbers. There’s a 60% chance we’re staring down a disaster in the making shouting “Same old Knicks” from the top of the Empire State Building, but there’s also an NBA-leading 14% chance the ‘Bockers win probably the most important lottery since 2003 for LeBron James. With Patrick Ewing — our only draft lottery win back in 1985 — representing the Knicks in Chicago on Tuesday, it’s only fitting for him to pass the torch to our next homegrown potential star.

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Overall, I keep the mindset of just landing in the top three (Zion, Morant, Barrett) to keep our roadmap of bringing Kevin Durant and another top free agent to NYC on target this summer. I’m also in the camp that’s more open to dealing the pick in a package (once given a commitment from KD and dependent where we land) to get a player such as Anthony Davis, C.J. McCollum or Bradley Beal that might be available.

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Sit down and do your best at trying to relax when everything gets going at the Hilton Chicago around 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN leading into game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

**Whatever you believe will give us luck tomorrow night, make sure you do it before you go to sleep Monday my fellow NYK compatriots** 

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