T-Time: NFL Mock Draft and USC player predictions

first_imgTrevor Denton | Daily TrojanOn Thursday, the 2018 NFL Draft begins, featuring one of the most intriguing quarterback classes since 2004 — the year Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger all landed in the first round.As many as four quarterbacks could be drafted in the first five picks and it seems like fans and NFL teams alike have no idea what exactly is going to happen. Here is my mock draft for the first 10 picks, plus some bonus predictions for draft-eligible USC players. Each pick is not necessarily what I think will happen in the draft, but rather what I think each team should do, based on how I rate the top prospects. No. 1 Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB USC It has to be Darnold. He’s the toughest and most unflappable quarterback in this draft class, which will come in handy in Cleveland, a notoriously difficult place for young quarterbacks to play. Darnold still has a lot of work to do — his footwork is sloppy and his ball security was non-existent in 2017 (he had a whopping 21 turnovers). But he’s a much more refined and decorated passer than Wyoming’s Josh Allen, whom the Browns seem to also be considering. No. 2 New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB UCLA The Giants have one of the toughest decisions in the draft: Should they draft the best talent available (read: Saquon Barkley) or a quarterback to replace the aging Eli Manning? If I were the Giants, I’d draft a quarterback who can lead the franchise into a new era and then use picks on offensive linemen and skill players in later rounds, where there’s still value. Rosen often looks shaken under pressure, but he possesses all the physical tools to be successful.No. 3 New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB Oklahoma The Jets traded up from No. 6 to No. 3, presumably to acquire an elite quarterback. They have two serviceable options under contract for next year — Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown — so there’s not a ton of pressure to draft a guy who can start  from day one. Therefore, with Rosen off the board, the Jets take Mayfield, an undersized yet cerebral signal caller who won the Heisman Trophy in 2017. No. 4 Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB Penn StateOne could make an argument for defensive end Bradley Chubb at this spot, but the Browns already have a talented defensive front with the likes of Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah. Here, they should fill a more pressing need and pick the most explosive offensive player in the draft. Barkley should make an immediate impact in both the running and passing games, serving as a game-changing playmaker for Darnold.No. 5 Denver Broncos: Bradley Chubb, DE NC StateDenver signed former Vikings quarterback Case Keenum to a two-year $36 million deal in March, so general manager John Elway doesn’t need to reach for Allen at this point in the draft. If the Broncos don’t trade the pick, they should take Chubb, a prototypical pass-rusher who would wreak havoc opposite six-time Pro-Bowler Von Miller. No. 6 Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, OG Notre Dame The Colts need to do a better job protecting their oft-injured franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. They start by picking Nelson, by far the best offensive lineman in this draft class. He’s an elite run blocker and pass protector with a nasty streak that sets him apart from the pack. No. 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S AlabamaFlorida State safety Derwin James also makes sense here, but Fitzpatrick is the more pro-ready prospect. He’s versatile enough to play all over the secondary and he possesses the athletic ability to cover both wide receivers and tight ends. Perhaps more importantly, his work ethic and leadership are unmatched, making him one of Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s favorite players during his time with the Crimson Tide. No. 8 Chicago Bears: Mike McGlinchey, OT Notre DameThis is a bit of reach, but the Bears desperately need to protect their young quarterback Mitch Trubisky before addressing other needs. McGlinchey is a natural pass blocker, who can start for Chicago from week one. No. 9 San Francisco 49ers: Roquan Smith, LB Georgia One of my favorite players in this year’s draft, Smith makes up for his undersized frame (6’1”, 236 pounds) with clinical tackling and excellent coverage skills. With second-year middle linebacker Reuben Foster’s career up in the air due to a domestic violence arrest, Smith will help fill the void at the position, even if he winds up playing on the outside. No. 10 Oakland Raiders: Derwin James, S Florida StateThe Raiders could also use a linebacker of Smith’s quality, but if their Bay Area rivals pull the trigger first, they’ll settle for James — a hard-hitting, big-bodied safety, who plays similarly to the Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor. USC Prospects RB Ronald Jones IIJones is a shifty runner who combines speed, quickness and power. He’ll be a day-two steal in round two or three for a team like the Broncos or Lions, who are in need of running backs. Outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (left) is participating in the Draft. Photo by Emily Smith | Daily TrojanOLB Uchenna NwosuNwosu may not have the athletic ability to become an elite pass rusher, but he’s an intelligent football player with great instincts. He could compete for playing time right away for linebacker-needy teams like the 49ers or Bills. Expect him to get drafted in the third or fourth round. WR Deontay Burnett Burnett lacks explosive speed and a prototypical frame, but he’s a skilled route runner with solid hands. That should be enough for him to get picked up in the seventh round as a team’s backup slot receiver. I could see him going to the 49ers or Eagles, where respective star quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Carson Wentz could use more offensive weapons.Trevor Denton is a sophomore majoring in journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “T-Time,” ran Wednesdays.last_img read more

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City star Toure to donate Sh467 million to Manchester attack victims

Share on: WhatsApp “I think it will take a few days to organise it, but Yaya is in England and can come and present the cheque whenever it is needed,” said Seluk.“Yaya loves Manchester and has a big affinity with the city and its people.“This fund is a chance for us to get the money to the right people, which is very important.” Toure (right) an his coach GuardiolaCity star Toure to donate six-figure sum to Manchester attack victimsManchester, United Kingdom | AFP |  Manchester City’s Ivory Coast football great Yaya Toure is to donate along with his agent £100,000 to the victims and their families of Monday’s suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester that killed 22 people and left more than 60 injured.The 34-year-old four-time African player of the year — capped 102 times and a member of the Ivory Coast side that ended a 23-year drought in lifting the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations — is organising through his agent Dimitri Seluk to ensure the money goes to those it is intended for.“We want to help the victims — the families of the dead or those who are now in hospital,” Seluk told the BBC.“I spoke to Yaya on Tuesday and he was very shocked by the terrible news.“We have arranged with the Manchester Evening News (the local newspaper) to help us get the money to the people who really need it. We don’t want to send it somewhere and nobody knows where it will end up — we want to make sure it goes to people for whom every penny helps.”Seluk added that Toure is still in England despite the Premier League season drawing to a close last Sunday and so will be able to turn up in person to hand over the cheque. read more

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Two dead, several injured after ride snaps in half at theme park

first_imgAt least two people are dead and more than a dozen more have been injured after a ride snapped in half at an amusement park in India.The incident occurred Sunday afternoon at the Kankaria Adventure Park in Ahmedabad.According to the report, for unknown reasons, the main shaft of the ride snapped just as the ride began to gain momentum. As a result, those on the ride were thrown towards along with heavy machinery from the ride. Two people identified as 24-year-old Manali Rajwadi, and 22-year-old Mohammad Javed lost their lives due to injuries from the incident according to the police.26 others were rushed to hospital with serious injuries.An investigation has been launched to determine what cause the ride to fall apart, whether the theme park had a proper licence to operate the ride, and to determine if the ride was up to maintenance standards.last_img read more

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Gov. DeSantis Considers Cuts to State Budget, as Revenues Drop

first_imgThe state’s proposed $93.2 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts on July 1, arrived on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk Wednesday.On Tuesday, the governor warned that he plans to use his line-item veto power in order to make cuts to the budget, due to a loss in tax revenues amid the pandemic.He explained that such cuts could help keep lawmakers from having to revisit the budget before the election.“There’s going to be a lot more vetoes, there’ll be a lot of red,” DeSantis said during a news conference Tuesday.Lawmakers passed the plan on March 19 for the fiscal year that starts July 1.The budget (HB 5001) includes $690 million for Everglades restoration and water projects, as well as $500 million for teacher-pay increases, both of which are priorities to DeSantis.Another $100 million would go to the Florida Forever land-conservation program, while $50 million would be reserved for the Visit Florida tourism-marketing agency and three-percent across-the-board pay raises for state employees. The largest portion of the budget, $39.36 billion, would go toward health and human services programs.Additionally, the budget would boost Medicaid payment rates for nursing homes, and provide additional money to the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities.It also includes $10 million for the Agency for Health Care Administration to hire a contractor who can assist with a Canadian prescription-drug importation program.At the end of the legislative session, Republican leaders put $300 million in reserves to brace against any economic slowdown from the coronavirus.DeSantis plans to move millions of unspent dollars in an economic development program called the Job Growth Grant Fund from the current year to the upcoming year’s general revenue.A May report from the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research said the state’s revenue collections in April were more than $878 million below estimates, largely due to the decline in tourism. Figures for May have not yet been released.last_img read more

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