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T-Bob Hebert

Wake up and talk sports with T-Bob and Kristian Garic on "Double Coverage!"  

Weekdays 6am-9am on 3WL 1350-AM

Twitter: @tbob53
Email: tbob@3wl1350.com

 


T-Bob: TCU Horned Frogs will challenge the Tigers

The LSU Tigers are preparing to take on the TCU Horned Frogs in their opening game of the College World Series this Sunday at 2pm.  But, if you are like me, you are asking yourself “Who are the star players on TCU and what are their strengths and weaknesses?”  Well, my fellow uninitiated friend, allow me to give you a bit of a primer on this Horned Frog baseball team.

First off, Sunday’s game will mark a battle of regular season conference champions.  Sure, winning your conference tournament is nice but it isn’t as impressive as winning the regular season.  If you are crowned regular season conference champs, it means that you weren’t just good for a week, or peaking at the right time.  No, it means that you were consistently a force to be reckoned with throughout the year no matter the situation, no matter the opponent.  TCU comes into Sunday’s game as the Big 12 regular season champion sporting a dominant 49-13 record (18-5 in conference).  

TCU had a helluva time making it to Omaha.  The Horned Frogs won their regional with a 10-inning battle over North Carolina State that saw them barely come out on top by a final score of 9-8.  However, the dramatics were just getting started.  Their super regional was an exhaustive back-and-forth three game battle between two in-state rivals as Texas A&M and TCU fought it out for the right to travel to Omaha.  TCU won the first game handily, but A&M would force game three when they won a defensive 10-inning battle 2-1.  Game 3 is the real story - the two sides played a 16-inning marathon match that saw the Horned Frogs come out on top 5-4 when the winning run crossed at one in the morning!

LSU should be prepared for extra innings, as they have played in 9 such contests this season and come out on top in 5 of them.  

LSU may face their toughest opposing pitcher of the entire tourney this Sunday when senior right hander Preston Morrison takes the mound.  Morrison is currently 11-3 on the year with a 2.55 ERA.  He was just taken in the 8th round of the MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs and could present real trouble for the Tigers if he is in his zone.

Also, TCU’s lineup will feature Big 12 Player of the Year Senior OF Cody Jones.  Jones has amassed 5 home runs and 33 RBI’s on the year but the most impressive stat is the incredible .371 batting average he is sporting!  Jones just got drafted as well as the red hot Royals took the Big 12 POTY in the 6th round, 189th overall.  

Bottom line, LSU will have their work cut out for them from here on out.  If you don’t like close games then DON’T WATCH!  These are the 8 best teams in the nation and it this point anything can happen.  

Congratulations to the Tigers for making it to this point… now it is time to see just how far they can go! 
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T-Bob: The upside of Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry

In part one of my Alvin Gentry blog, I took a look at some of the cons associated with the hiring of Gentry and attempted to view them through a "glass half full" type of lens.  Today, we will look at the positive aspects of the Gentry hire.  What sort of unique skill set does Gentry bring to the table?  Why does he deserve to be the coach of your New Orleans Pelicans?

As far as unique skills go, Gentry’s strongest selling point can be summed up in one word… offense.  Alvin Gentry has made a habit lately of taking pretty good offenses and pushing them to the next level.  Two years ago he helped raise CP3 and the LA Clippers’ level of play to the top spot when he made them into the #1 ranked offense in the NBA and this season he outdid himself when he left for Golden State and made the Warriors into the best offense in the entire league.  

Although Gentry was an assistant for both of these teams, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had this sort of success as a head coach as well.  In the 2009-2010 season Gentry took the Phoenix Suns all the way to the conference finals averaging 115 points per 100 possessions along the way.  This wasn’t just the league’s top offense that year, it was one of the top offenses OF ALL TIME.  

The Pelicans are in desperate need of Gentry’s offensive prowess.  Last season the Pels were the 2nd worst team in the entire NBA as far as “pace of play” (possessions per game) was concerned.  In fact, in the Pelicans' 13 years in New Orleans, only once has the team finished amongst the top half of the league in pace of play (shoutout to Jim Eichenhofer for the stat).  

This should excite you, Pelicans fans. If you have ever bemoaned the plodding pace in which the team seemed to operate in recent times get ready for a style of basketball that literally has not been seen in this city. It is scary to think what Gentry can do with Anthony Davis and this team.  Which brings us to our second, and perhaps most important point…

Alvin Gentry WANTS to be here.  John Calipari didn’t want to.  Tom Thibodeaux didn’t want to.  Alvin Gentry does.  In fact, when Gentry went to meet with the Pelicans he had prepared all sorts of charts and graphs to basically sell the team that he was the man for this franchise moving forward.  What was the specific point of all these charts and graphs you ask?  Gentry made the case that Anthony Davis was underutilized last season and as a byproduct was not able to maximize his own and the team’s full winning potential.  

Alvin Gentry knows the value of having a player like Anthony Davis.  In fact, he said the opportunity to coach in New Orleans could be a career defining moment.  Now, I know we all love this city, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that its not the beignets that have Gentry so excited to be here.  Nope, it is all about Anthony Davis and if we have already acknowledged that the future of this franchise as a whole depends on Davis (which it does) then doesn’t it make sense to bring in a coach whose entire game plan revolves around the young superstar?  
 
What say you… is Alvin Gentry the right man for the job?  Or do you worry Dell Demps and company just replace mediocrity with mediocrity?
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People : Alvin GentryAnthony DavisJim EichenhoferJohn CalipariTom Thibodeaux




 

LSU-ULL Game 1 a masterpiece for the ages

In the 24/7 sports media world we have gotten accustomed to hyping up big games/races/fights to the brink of stratospheric levels only to be let down when these competitions fail to live up to our heightened expectations.  Nowadays, this seems to be the case more often than not.  However, in my opinion, that makes it all the more extraordinary when you witness a game that not only meets expectations but EXCEEDS them.  

Last night was one of those special games.  This was a game in which much of the pre-game chatter surrounding the two teams was focused on the hype and the exorbitantly increased ticket prices.    Needless to say, these two fanbases were asking for a show and in return they got a three act masterpiece that peaked in a beautiful crescendo that will have both sides talking for years to come.

Led by the bat of Jake Fraley and the arm of freshman Alex Lange, the Tigers set the pace in Act I.  In his first two at bats Fraley notched three RBIs, two of which came on a crushing home run to right field that sent the Purple and Gold crowd into a wild frenzy.  On the other side of the ball Alex Lange was straight dealing as he claimed victim after victim with a ferocious curve that befuddled batter after batter.  Act I was on the verge of spiraling out of control for the Ragin Cajuns, but Coach Tony Robichaux and company would not be so easily put aside.  This is a team, after all, that had proven multiple times recently that it isn’t how you start - it is how you finish.

If Act I belonged to the raw power of LSU, Act II was all about the resilience and fight of ULL.  Led by the incredible defensive wizardry of Joe Robbins and the unshakable arm of freshman pitcher Wyatt Marks, the Ragin Cajuns slowly but surely started to turn the tide of the game against the Tigers.  I cannot say enough about the performance of Wyatt Marks.  The amount of maturity, poise, and skill that he displayed in an environment as pressure packed as a hostile Alex Box was nothing short of remarkable.  ULL would finally get on the board in the 6th on an RBI single from Tyler Girouard to make the score 3-1.  The Cajuns seemed to be wearing down the barbarian Alex Lange and momentum was on their side.  Momentum, that they would carry into Act III.

The third and final act of the drama sees the underdog Cajuns fighting and clawing their way back into the game run by grueling run till we arrive at the top of the ninth inning.  Alex Lange had given ground begrudgingly up to this point and although ULL did seem to be hitting with more success, Lange had still managed to fight his way out of jams and avoid any major damage.  With this in mind Paul Mainieri sent his freshman Ace back on the mound with a chance to earn the complete game.

In a move of unexpected brilliance, Tony Robichaux sent the hobbled lefty Brenn Conrad to pinch hit against Alex Lange.  Conrad hadn’t homered on the year yet that didn’t stop him as he turned on the first pitch he saw and BLASTED it over the RF wall to tie the game up at three apiece.  The rogue contingent of ULL fans exploded while LSU fans began to wonder to themselves if perhaps the Cajuns' inexplicable late game heroics were destined to continue.  The HR marked the end for Lange who when it was all said and done put together a scintillating performance that saw him strike out 11 batters.  Parker Bugg would replace Lange and proceed to retire the first three batters he saw and send the game into the final frame of the final act with the score tied three to three.  With one out and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth, Chris Sciambra walked to the plate as Tiger fans throughout Alex Box looked on in nervous ignorance as to how this game would play out.  

On a 2-2 count the DH Sciambra squared his hips and rocketed a ball into the right field bleachers causing LSU fans, coaches, and players to erupt as Sciambra jogged around the bases cementing the 4-3 win in walk off fashion.  Wow… what a game.

Not much more I can say about this one.  It was an absolute pleasure to watch and I cannot wait for game 2.  The game one win puts LSU in a dominant position as the team that wins the first matchup in a super regional goes on to win the series 73% of the time.  However one would be foolish to count out a ULL team that has proven to be unflappable in recent times.  They don’t care how long the odds are, in fact they may thrive on it.  LSU will send Friday night starter Jared Poche to the mount later tonight.  The sophomore has been excellent this season with an 8-1 record and a 3.05 ERA.  Poche is coming off of one of the best outings of his career and will be matched with ULL Freshman phenom Gunner Leger.  Besides having the most appropriate first name of all time for a pitcher Gunner has had quite the dominant season himself.  His 6-4 record doesn’t tell the whole story as Leger has compiled a 2.87 ERA.  The 6’3 lefty has a 4.4 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio and was excellent in his own regional.  Will we see another classic drama unfold tonight? Im not exactly sure but I know I sure can’t wait to watch. 


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T-Bob: The downside of Pelicans' hiring Alvin Gentry as head coach

The Pelicans future got a lot clearer recently when they announced the hiring of Alvin Gentry as their next head coach.  The hire was met with polarizing reactions from the fanbase, as many felt Gentry was a perfect fit for the job while others found him underwhelming.  

Personally, I fall on the optimistic side of the spectrum - I believe that Gentry will bring some much needed change to New Orleans and could be a key piece in keeping Anthony Davis here for the long term. Today, we will take a look at the negative side of Alvin Gentry’s resume and later we will focus on the positive side. 

Anyone who is against this hiring will be all too quick to tell you that in Alvin Gentry’s 12 full seasons as an NBA head coach, he has only finished above .500 in four of them, and has only made the playoffs twice. For a reference point, Monty Williams made the playoffs twice in his five years with New Orleans. On the surface this looks even worse than a lateral move, in fact you could say it was a downgrade... but I do not believe this to be the case.  

Just like I don’t hold Monty Williams’ overall record against him because of lackluster rosters, you cannot hold Gentry’s record over his head. The NBA is a players' league first.  Look at former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown.  In 2009, Brown won 66 games and was NBA Coach of the Year. Of course, he had Lebron James.  Following King James' departure, Mike Brown has been fired from 3 different jobs in 5 years.  Why is this? Because it is a player’s league.  
 
That isn’t to say some coaches aren’t better than others.  There are certainly coaches out there who can take a player’s game to the next level - however the next level of an Alexis Ajinca doesn’t exactly equal the next level of an Anthony Davis. With this in mind, if you take a look at the rosters Alvin Gentry had to deal with, they were subpar to say the least.  In fact, the only time he had a solid roster in Phoenix the team made it to the conference championship before losing to the eventual champion LA Lakers.  

Alvin Gentry knows that the chance to coach a player of Anthony Davis’ caliber is a career-defining moment.  This Pelicans team is young and they are ready to consistently win.  They don’t need a coach that is unsure of himself.  They don’t need a coach that will require learning on the job or training wheels.  No, they need a coach who has a clear vision and is ready to hit the ground running and with twelve years of experience under his belt, I believe Alvin Gentry is ready to be that coach.  

One of the other knocks against Gentry is that he doesn’t necessarily excel at coaching the defensive side of the ball. He is widely recognized as an offensive mastermind.  Well, in an encouraging moment of self-awareness, Gentry seems to have already addressed this issue with the hiring of Darren Erman. This hiring raised some eyebrows, as Erman was fired in 2014 for secretly taping other coaches on the staff he was a part of during his time in Golden State under Mark Jackson.  

While I am not excusing the fact that Erman was secretly taping coworkers, it does say something that immediately after he was fired from Golden State, the Celtics and Danny Ainge scooped him up.  Also, the Pelicans were not the only team vying for his talents this offseason, but Erman decided New Orleans was were he wanted to be.  A former member of the Tom Thibodeau school of defense, Erman helped transform the Warriors' D from the 26th worst in the league to the third best in just two years.  The Pelicans NEED this kind of transformation because last season, despite having Anthony Davis and Omer Asik, the Pels gave up more points in the paint than every team except for the Toronto Raptors.  

In my next post I would like to ignore the negative and focus on the positive.  New Orleans fans should get excited to witness a brand of basketball that has literally never been seen around these parts.  Remember the words of House Gentry… Offense is Coming.
 
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T-Bob: Saints fans should be extremely excited about Davis Tull

Rounds 4 through 7 of the NFL draft are always a bit odd in my opinion.  The reason being that the majority of the players selected today probably won’t end up on an active NFL roster by the time the season begins later this year.  This is the part of the draft where no one really knows who everyone is or which player will end up with which team.  
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It is also a time in which teams can find diamonds in the rough.  Specifically I find that small school guys tend to fall to this part of the draft - yet if the scouts are correct in their evaluation about their guy, these less heralded players can become key parts of your favorite team. Saints fans need look no further than Jahri Evans out of Bloomsburg University, Jermon Bushrod out of Towson, or the Quiet Storm himself Marques Colton out of Hofstra. I should warn Saints fans that these are exceptional cases and should not be considered the norm.  That said, lets look at what the Saints did in rounds four through seven today.

The Saints didn’t have a 4th round pick and had till wait till the 5th round before they once again got to make a selection.  With the 148th pick the Saints chose outside linebacker Davis Tull out of UT-Chatanooga and if there is one guy that was chosen today that Saints fans should get excited about it is Tull.  First off, Tull has great size at 6’3 240 lbs.  Second, Tull has some of the most insane testing numbers I have ever seen.  In fact, one of WWL’s excellent producers Jordan Feigel informed me that if you combine vertical, broad, and bench it results in what scouts call an “explosive” rating.  

Tull had the 9th highest explosive rating of any prospect in the past three years and the second highest in this draft class to Vic Beasley. Finally, Tull has the production to prove that he is more than an underwear olympian.  When a player goes to a small school like UT Chattanooga you want to see them dominate and you cannot get more dominant than Tull was during his college career. Davis was a 3-time South Conference DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR.  Thats insane.  I struggle to put into words how crazy this is when you consider what an individual award Player of the Year is.  That means in his conference there wasn’t even one guy better than Tull for THREE STRAIGHT YEARS.  As if this all wasn’t nice enough he is a smart kid as well finishing up school with 3.54 GPA.  Did I just fall in love?  I think I might have during the writing of this blog.  Bottom line, Sean Payton said they were pleasantly surprised that they were able to get Tull so late and I cannot wait to see him firsthand when OTAs get underway this summer.

Just a few picks later the Saints finally decided to address interior defensive tackle position as they chose Tyeler Davison out of Fresno St.  At 6’2 309 Davison isn’t the biggest DT, however he has excellent technique and production.   Davison amassed 61 tackles, 13 TFLs, and 8.5 sacks his SR year.  Much of Davison’s technical success probably comes from the fact that he was a state champion wrestler in high school.  I don’t know if he will be great but if nothing else he will push the veterans in front of him and not allow them to get complacent.

It seemed as if the Saints were done until round number six but out of nowhere the Black and Gold returned to the 5th round when they traded their 2015 and 2016 6th round picks to the Washington Redskins.  The reason why the Saints decided to move back into the 5th was because they had a particuliarly high grade on UGA cornerback Damian Swann.  During Swann’s conference call, I noticed that Damian seems to have personality in spades so it came as no surprise when I learned that he was a defense captain for the Bulldogs and winner of the UGA’s Coach’s leadership award.  The Saints now have a pretty crowded defensive backfield, however as Coach Payton said after the draft, in today’s football environment with the way the game has evolved you can never have too many defensive backs.

The Saints would go on to wrap up their 2015 draft class with running back Marcus Murphy out of Missouri.  While Murphy played RB in college and put up respectable numbers, his real value may lie in the return game.  During his time at Mizzou, Murphy had 7 kick/punt returns for touchdowns and we all know how badly the Saints need more production in that part of the game.  

When it was all said and done the Saints chose 6 defensive players and 3 offensive players.  In the first three rounds we can see the groundwork of the Black and Gold’s future being laid.  In the final four rounds it appears that the Saints were committed to giving defensive coordinator Rob Ryan multiple guys to throw against the wall and see what sticks.  Although there is almost absolutely no point in trying to judge a draft class I would say that overall I think the Saints did a solid job.  They stuck to their guns, didn’t overreach, and may have laid the blueprint for the future while improving in the present as well.
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T-Bob: To Brees or not to Brees - when is the Saints question

Quarterback Garret Grayson was selected with the 75th pick on the 2015 NFL Draft and my computer almost exploded thanks to twitter.  The interesting aspect of this pick isn’t the player himself.  Whether you wanted Garret Grayson or Bryce Petty is irrelevant.  Realize that the much more interesting point here is that the Saints took a quarterback in the third round.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at what role Garrett Grayson will fill.
 
In the short term, Garrett Grayson represents a solid back-up to Drew Brees.  In the long term, Grayson represents a potential solid starter for the Saints.  The million dollar question, that will be the source of the most controversy, is WHEN does this change take place?
 
I have always thought that when you draft the “heir apparent” (for lack of a better term) quarterback…the maximum amount of time you want them to sit is two years.  In Drew Brees, I believe you have a quarterback who has at least three premium years left.  Therein lies the rub.  What happens if…Brees continues to excel over the next two seasons (which I believe he will)?  What happens if…Garrett Grayson continues to show improvement and gains momentum over that same span?
 
Now, let us take a look at one case we can reference with a similar setup…the Aaron Rodgers/ Brett Favre situation back in 2007.  In that scenario Aaron Rodgers actually sat three whole seasons as the Packers hoped Favre would slow down and make their decision easier.  When that didn’t happen, the Packers basically forced Favre out in favor of Rodgers and the rest is history.  
 
The question becomes…will the Saints be able to make that same decision if it presents itself?  It is worth noting that the Packers and Favre went through a bad breakup and just now seemed to have resolved their issues, as he will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame later this year.  How would the city of New Orleans react to such a bad breakup between Brees and the Saints?
 
Now, I should point out that this is all a bit hyperbolic.  Aaron Rodgers and Garrett Grayson are two completely different quarterbacks.  Also, the issues we are talking about lie YEARS down the road.  Grayson could flat out just not work out, or maybe Brees does fall off and makes the Saints decision easy.  
 
It is for these reasons I would tell Saints fans to calm down and accept the fact that we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, if indeed we ever do.  
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T-Bob: Kikaha's past injuries not a predictor of success with Saints

The Saints just selected Hau’oli Kikaha with the 44th pick of the 2015 NFL draft.  While this isn’t a pick many people were talking about, there was one person who had it pegged from a mile away.  No, it wasn’t me.  As much as it pains me to admit it, my man Kristian Garic…aka K-Dawg…aka the 13th best sideline reporter in the NFL…had this one nailed from a mile away.  He actually told me yesterday to watch out for Kikaha, because he thought Hau’oli was the Saints guy.  Well done K-Dawg.  Now, onto Kikaha…
 
If you are a fan of production, then you have to be in LOVE with this pick.  Last season there literally was not a more productive pass rusher in the entire country.   Kikaha led the nation with an eye popping 19 sacks! On top of that, Kikaha also added 72 total tackles and 25 tackles for loss.  These stats should make your heart beat a little faster.  So, if he is supposed to be so dominant, why were people hesitant about Kikaha?
 

Kristian here just look at the production for Saints 2nd round pick Hau'oli Kikaha. He just fits

Posted by WWL Radio on Friday, May 1, 2015
 
Hau’oli Kikaha started the first four games of his freshman season at Washington, before tearing his ACL back in 2011.  He would come back next year only to tear the same ACL once again in 2012.  
 
For many people this is enough to cross him off your wish list, however, I think this would be shortsighted for a number of reasons.  First, Kikaha played two full seasons in which he dominated since tearing his ACL that second time.  Also, I have always hated using past injuries as a predictor of future success.  The game of football is violent.  Injuries happen.  Look no further than the Saints last year.  Jairus Byrd missed the season.  Both offensive tackles missed time.  Keenan Lewis missed time; even new Saints center Max Unger only played in 6 games.  So, maybe Kikaha gets hurt, maybe he doesn’t.  My point…his past has nothing to do with his future, and from where I am sitting his future looks pretty bright.

READ MORE: Bobby - Kikaha will be a household name for Saints
 
The Saints have now addressed another position of need and I believe fans should be pleased.  Now, the Saints can look to some of the other positions where they could still use additional help.  In light of the Kikaha pick, I believe that DT and WR are where the Saints will look to next. 
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T-Bob: Andrus Peat helps Saints in both short and long term

The Saints selected Andrus Peat with the 13th pick in the 2015 draft and I fully support this decision.  In fact, I applaud the Saints for not overreaching for a pass rusher just because of their perceived need.  First off, if Junior Galette and Cameron Jordan can return to their 2013 form, the “need” for a pass rusher is already lessened greatly.  
 

Team Double Coverage give their thoughts on the Saints 1st round pick Andrus Peat

Posted by WWL Radio on Thursday, April 30, 2015

Plus, let’s take a look at the other available options.  Is Bud Dupree deserving of a 13th pick?  Is he NFL ready? I’m not so sure.  The Pittsburgh Steelers ended up picking Dupree at 22.  Would you rather the Saints have picked a player, who was rated as a top ten pick at 13, or a guy who went at 22 with the 13th pick? Once again, the key word is VALUE.  As far as Shane Ray and Randy Gregory go I’m not so sure their talent warrants a 13th pick…characters issues or not.
 
Now the question becomes where does Peat fit into this lineup?  This is the conversation that will dominate Louisiana sports talk shows over the next few weeks.  I think the Saints could potentially move Peat inside for a year or two, before bumping him out to tackle when Strief retires.  Even if Peat stays at tackle, having a high quality backup who can play on either the right or left side,  is invaluable.  

Look no further than the fact that last season both Terron Armstead and Zach Strief missed time with injuries.  This could simultaneously be an investment in immediate success and the future.  When Strief retires you now have two bookend tackles, who will be critical to easing the quarterback transition from Drew Brees to whomever eventually becomes that heir apparent.  Bottom line, nothing helps a young quarterback ease into the league like solid offensive line play.  
 
It is for these reasons that I support the Saints going Peat at 13.  He is an intelligent, athletic, high character guy who is NFL ready.  Also, as an undervalued bonus, Peat is a sports psychology major.  As someone who benefited greatly from talking to sports psychologists I can tell you that Peat will never lack in confidence in himself and his abilities.  
 
Bottom line, this is a high value pick that can help the Saints in the short term and long term.  Between this draft pick and the Unger trade the Saints have once again fully committed to winning in the trenches and that is a formula for success.
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T-Bob: A look at Louisiana players headed to the NFL

Kwon Alexander was the LSU Tigers leading tackler last season, racking up 90 on the year.  At 6’1 227 pounds many would say that Alexander is on the smaller side for an NFL linebacker, however he makes up for this lack of size with his incredible quickness and speed.  Also, he may not be the biggest but he definitely isn’t afraid as he has shown time and time again he will put his helmet in the Big Boy’s chests.  Alexander’s athleticism is simultaneously his biggest strength and weakness as sometimes his technique can get sloppy due to his ability to just out athletic people on the college level.  Expect to see Alexander taken off the board in round 3 as no matter where he ends up it is all but a guarantee he will start on special teams in year 1.

The first time I realized how fast LSU Cornerback Jalen Collins truly is was when I saw him run down Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon on a 65 yard chase.  Besides his speed, Collins’ biggest strength is without a doubt his size.  His 6’1 frame is exactly what teams are looking for in the post "Legion of Boom" era of the NFL.  As it stands Collins is still a bit inexperienced starting in just 10 games on the collegiate level (see why LSU is named DBU?) and will be a bit of a project for whichever team takes him.  That said Collins is a natural corner who will be ready to start by his 2nd year.  Collins has a very good chance of going in the 1st round and will not make it past round 2.

Many question Danielle Hunter’s production, including myself, yet if you take a closer look at the numbers, Hunter actually had high end tackle production for a defensive end racking up 73 stops in 2014.  The biggest criticism against Hunter isn’t against his statistics overall, as he also led the team with 13 TFLs, but rather specifically his pass rush skills as he registered just 1.5 sacks on the year.  The bottom line, however, is that Hunter’s mixture of size, strength, and speed is FREAKISH.  Also, Hunter doesn’t play lazy, has a high motor.  It is for these reasons I expect Hunter to come off the board in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Southeastern Quarterback Bryan Bennett was one of the most exciting players I ever seen play live.  One of the main reasons why is his elite athleticism which was on display at this year’s NFL Combine where he led all quarterbacks with a 37 inch vert and a 125 inch broad jump.  Bennett has the arm strength to make all the throws and plays with a natural playmaking instinct that can’t be taught.  However Bennett has a tendency to rely on his athleticism too much and if he wants to make it on the next level he will need to improve his accuracy and decision making.  That said, Bennett is an intriguing prospect and one that I would expect to come off of the board either in round 6 or 7.

Tulane Cornerback Lorenzo Doss is an absolute ballhawk as evidenced by the fact that in just three years with the Green Wave Doss had 33 passes defended and 15 interceptions.  When evaluating talent I am always a big fan of production.  Sure, if a guy is a giant that can jump through the roof that’s great but at the end of the day… can he play?  The answer in Doss’ case is unequivocally YES.  Doss is also known as a “workaholic” and is willing to play through pain and has put his toughness on display time and time again.  In my mind whichever team decides to make the move on Doss in either round 4 or 5 will be getting a high value pick.

Up until yesterday La’el Collins was considered a lock to be a first round pick as many considered Collins to be the best overall linemen in this entire class.  Collins was a multi-year starter who appears to be one of the most NFL ready prospects in the entire draft.  He excels at both pass blocking and run blocking and can play either guard or tackle on the next level.  This all may not matter however as Collins has been sought by Baton Rouge police to answer some questions about a tragic murder that took place last Friday.  As of now police are saying Collins is not a suspect however teams are hesitant to take a chance on someone linked in any way with a case this serious. 
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T-Bob's 2015 Mock Mock Draft

Just to do something a little different, here's a recap of the 1st round of the NFL Draft - except not at all.

1st pick - Tampa Bay Buccaneers choose Shane Falco

Quite literally the easiest pick of all time.  The Bucs set a record turning their envelope in mere milliseconds after Goodell Bot started the draft.  The Ohio St grad may have shamed himself in college when he decided to throw the 1996 Sugar Bowl however he found redemption by leading a rag tag bunch of miscreants to a regular season win over Dallas during the players strike.  Additional upside here, due to the fact that the Glazer family is super wealthy and loves their yachts.  Conveniently enough Falco has extensive experience scraping the barnacles off of hulls.  Once again NO BRAINER.

2nd Pick - Tennessee Titans choose Marcus Mariota
 
Mariota is a top flight athlete, absolutely dominated the wunderlich, and went to Oregon.  Oregon’s mascot is the duck.  Ducks are migratory birds.  Mariota is migrating from Hawaii to the US.  *RED FLAG ALERT* The only thing that worries me is that Mariota will be migrating NORTH for the winter instead of SOUTH.  This goes against his natural instinct.  I believe it could result in a turbulent transition to the next level.  

3rd Pick - Jacksonville Jaguars choose Maximus Decimus Meridius

Jacksonville owner Shad Kahn has decided once again that the in-stadium experience is not enough to entice fans to come watch the terrible product the Jags are putting on the field.  With this in mind he has announced that EverBank Field will play host to real life gladiatorial games during the commercials, timeouts, halftime ect.  Maximus, with his renowned combat prowess, was the obvious choice to lead these games.  Who doesn’t want to go to a game where you can chill in the pool while watching fantasy football on the biggest screen in the world with death and glory taking place right below?

4th pick - Oakland Raiders choose Old Han Solo from the New Star Wars Trailer

Whats old is new again! Star Wars is back! I mean did you see that Star Wars trailer?! Anyway, Old Han makes perfect sense for this Raiders team.  Back in 1976 the Raiders had one of the best teams in NFL history.  Star Wars A New Hope first blew people’s minds in 1977.  Just like these new Star Wars movies, the Raiders need someone from their past who has done it before to show them the way.  While he may be a bit of a rebel, Old Solo seems the perfect choice to me.  Plus, the added benefit of Chewbacca being a package deal has potential even if the Wookie has communication problems at times.

5th Pick - Washington Redskins choose Eric Cartman

Daniel Snyder had a bit of a rough season in 2014 as did the Redskins organization as a whole.  Snyder felt a splashy pick was needed in order to make the Redskins relevant again and right the ship heading into 2015.  Cue Eric Cartman.  While on the surface this pick may seem shocking due to the fact that in an episode of South Park from this previous season Cartman was seen to have made fun of Washington’s current predicament.  However, this shock is lessened when one learns that Snyder is a HUGE fan of satire.  Thus he had no issue bringing in Cartman.  In fact, Snyder went so far as to say that Cartman’s extensive success with the CBAA (Crack Baby Athletic Association) proves that he understands the world of sports.

6th Pick - New York Jets choose Dana Holgerson’s Hair Line

The Jets just cannot figure out what they want to do with Geno Smith and as it doesn’t appear they will get either of the top two quarterbacks in the draft (Falco and Mariota).  In light of their plight ownership has accepted the fact that Geno is their guy.  In an effort to rediscover the Geno that warranted a 1st round selection in the first place the Jets are bringing in one of the most influential figures from Smith’s time at West Virginia.  Holgerson’s wispy combover is rivaled only by that of Bill Murray’s character in Kingpin and we all know how great he was at his respective sport.  While I think taking Dana Holgerson’s hairline at six is a bit of a reach on the Jets part it does seem the quickest way to get Geno back to the QB who once torched LSU for 463 yards.  

7th Pick - Chicago Bears choose Body Builder Jay Cutler

Obviously things haven’t worked out for Sad Jay Cutler in Chicago.  They overpaid him and now everyone is upset, including Sad Jay himself.  Well instead of giving up on Sad Jay (waaaaaaay too much money invested) the Bears have decided to bring on Bodybuilder Jay Cutler as a mentor of sorts.  Bodybuilder Jay Cutler has won FOUR Mr Olympia titles and placed second in six others.  He is literally the height of human perfection.  Bodybuilder Jay Cutler will get Sad Jay Cutler super jacked, super tan, and super positive.  Obviously this should lead to super success.

8th Pick - Atlanta Falcons choose Chris Pratt

Perhaps no one had a bigger 2014 than Chris Pratt which why its so shocking to see him fall all the way to the Falcons at number eight.  Pratt first proved he had serious depth with his performance in the Oscar Winning Zero Dark Thirty in 2012.  Even with this performance in mind no one could have expected his meteoric rise in 2014.  Pratt played Starlord in Guardians of the Galaxy, Emmet in The Lego Movie (Best animated film of the year aka THE biggest oscar snub), and most impressively gained massive street cred when he performed a perfect live rendition of Enimem’s “Forgot About Dre” without music in front of DJ Whoo Kid.  I expect the Falcons and Pratt to have great success together in 2015 seeing as how Falcons evolved from dinosaurs and Pratt is set to star in Jurassic World later this year..

9th Pick - New York Giants choose Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg aka "Mag the Mighty" from Game of Thrones

If there was one giant who had a “giant” impact on 2014 it was without a doubt Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg or Mag the Mighty.  Mag was the leader of the giants that joined with the King Beyond The Wall’s army and is said to be the last of a bloodline stretching back all the way to before to arrival of the First Men of Westeros.  How is THAT for a pedigree?  On a personal level, one of the most special moments of my life took place last year and it was when I saw Mag fire a giant bow and arrow.  I don’t know why the idea of a Giant firing a giant bow had never occurred to me up to this point but the results were spectacular and will always hold a special place in my heart.  At 14 feet tall Mag promises to be a monster at almost any position on the field.

10th Pick - St. Louis Rams choose Private Augustus Cole aka “Cole Train"

The St. Louis (Los Angeles?) Rams LOVE defensive linemen.  Well luckily for them Augustus Cole is one of the best.  Thats right, before emergence day when the locust horde killed over a quarter of the human population in just one day, Augustus Cole was one of the best Thrashball players in all of Sera.  In fact, the Cole Train was the number one defensive linemen in the entire league and was worth MILLIONS.  This was all taken away when the locust attacked and therein lies one of the main reasons why I love this pick.  Augustus is hungry.  He wants to be back on top and all I gotta say is good luck stopping the motha-effin Cole Train WOOOOooooooh.  Also, he has a superstar personality that would thrive in Los Angeles so in that respect Cole also fills the role of PR dream come true.

11th Pick - Minnesota Vikings choose Egil Skallagrimsson

You may not recognize Skallagrimsson’s name off the bat however Egil is one of the baddest Vikings in human history.  Egal is not just a physical force, but also shows immense mental prowess as well as he is often described as a warrior poet.  Egil wrote his first poem at the age of 3 and have killed his first man at the ripe old age of 7.  Egil was once said to have taken on and slain eleven men at once however that is not to say that he was some mindless bloodthirsty monster as his years and years of epic poetry paint the portrait of a man who fully understood the depth and breadth of human emotion.  Bottom line, I love both the physical and mental talents Skallagrimsson is bringing to the table.

12th Pick - Cleveland Browns choose Kevin Costner from Draft Day

I did not see the movie Draft Day however I cannot believe that it was very good. This is part of the reason why I don’t think this pick is very good either.  Jimmy Haslam has not exactly been on fire with his decision making lately.  In fact Haslam’s truck stop company was ordered by the Tenn. Gov to pay over 92 million dollars in fees for cheating customers.  Ouch.  To add salt to the wound, Haslam was quoted (*citation needed) as saying that Draft Day inspired him as did the revolutionary techniques that Costner employed in the movie.  I mean get real Haslam… this is the real world not fantasy land.  Would have been far happier with Haslam picking the Pokemon Muk as Muk seems to realistically resemble the Browns far more than Kevin Costner.

13th Pick - New Orleans Saints choose "Steamin" Willie Beamen

There was only ever one direction the Saints were going to go with this pick.  We all know Drew Brees has no arm strength anymore and is basically the worst part of the New Orleans Saints.  Well what did Any Given Sunday teach us to do when you have a struggling, aging quarterback? You replace him with Jamie Foxx.  I fully expect a passing of the torch to take place this season and would not be surprised if almost every kid in the city is singing “My Name is Willie” by the end of the 2015-16 campaign.

14th Pick - Miami Dolphins choose Lebron James

Thats right, you can take the Lebron out of Miami but you can’t take the Miami out of the Lebron.  Throughout his career King James has maintained the stance that he could be the greatest multisport athlete the world has ever seen.  It seems the time for him to put his money where his mouth is has finally arrived.  No one knows why James decided that now would be the right time to make the transition, however it is rumored that it has something to do with Kevin Love (or at least that is what ESPN is reporting).  Lebron will now play for the Dolphins until football season is over at which point he will fly back to Cleveland to make the Cavs good enough to make the playoffs in the East no matter how bad the 1st half of the season has gone up to that point..

15th Pick - San Francisco 49ers choose Chris Borland

Chris Borland may have retired but that doesn’t change the fact that the Niners desperately want him back.  Knowing that Patrick Willis was out of reach (he returned every one of the gourmet sandwiches Jim Tomsula sent him) Jed York and company decided to go all in on the Bring Borland Back campaign.  As a fan of alliteration I approve of this endeavor even if it is doomed to fail.  Once again Jed York fails to see the big picture.  Chris Borland HATES sandwiches.  I mean HATES them.  Why York would hire the sandwich lover Tomsula is beyond me, but the end result will be, in my opinion, that we will never see Borland in a Niners uniform ever again.

16th Pick - Houston Texans choose Lake Minnetonka

This one was a coin flip.  I felt that the Texans were going to go with the 61 inch box that JJ Watt jumped on earlier this summer however in the end I understand how they came to settle on Lake Minnetonka. Houston is in the midst of its worst drought in 500 years and is desperate for clean water.  Minnetonka hails from Minnesota aka the Land of Many Lakes (right?) and therefore one could surmise that the Lake would be well trained in its lake duties.  Minnetonka actually means “Big Water” in the Dakotan Language, and its with that in mind that I give this pick my seal of approval.

17th Pick San Diego Chargers choose the Energizer Bunny

Honestly this one was a bit of a reach.  I know nothing of the Chargers and their incredibly boring and inconsequential team.  I thought they might wish to select Philip Rivers’ bolo tie, however in light of their recent issues I don’t see the franchise heading in that direction.  Bottom line the Energizer bunny keeps going and going and going without anyone noticing as will the San Diego Chargers (well, at least until they move to LA).

18th Pick - Kansas City Chiefs choose Cuba Gooding Jr 

Honestly I would have loved this pick 20 years ago.  Hot off the success of Jerry Maguire he would have seemed to be the perfect solution to the Chiefs wide receiver woes (remember KC didn’t have a single TD from a WR last season).  However, recent years have not been kind to Cuba as his last big hit was Men of Honor in the year 2000.  Actually scratch that, Rat Race came out in 2001 and was great, BUT since THEN Jr. starred in a string of misses including Snow Dogs, Norbit, and Pearl Harbor.  Perhaps Andy Reid can work his kook-aid magic and resurrect Gooding Jr’s career but I’m not holding my breath.  

19th Pick - Cleveland Browns choose Bill Paxton

In a move that is sure to incense Buffalo management and Coach Rex Ryan the Browns have taken the Bills number one target off of the board.  When the Browns acquired the 19th pick from Buffalo there were rumblings that Paxton was in play however I didn’t actually believe Cleveland would go through with it.  I must say I actually approve of this pick (Maybe Costner wasn’t so bad after all).  Bill Paxton is an absolute legend.  He’s starred in such classics as Aliens, Titanic, Terminator, True Lies, Apollo 13…. the list goes on and on.  At age 59 some think Paxton may be getting too old however he put his critics to rest with an incredibly strong 2014 campaign that saw him star in two of my favorites.  Nightcrawler, and the criminally under watched Edge of Tomorrow (trust me I know, Tom Cruise sci-fi action movie… don’t judge a book by its cover).  Bottom line, Paxton is a generational force and is here to stay.  GREAT pick by Cleveland.

20th Pick - Philadelphia Eagles choose Tony Mandarich 

Once nicknamed the Incredible Bulk only to later be given the moniker of the Incredible Bust, Tony Mandarich actually went on to have a decent career with the Colts from 1996 to 1998.  Many felt that Mandarich had reached his full potential, however the mad scientist Kelly believes that in his scheme Mandarich could break through and reach new heights.  The pick up of Manarich has further stoked the flames that the Eagles will indeed be running the triple option on the NFL level.  After trading Sam Bradford for an alchemy set and a hunched over henchmen named Igor, Kelly sits ready to unleash his science on the NFL.  The question remains though… does this madman know something we don’t or is he truly just insane?

21st Pick - Cincinnati Bengals choose Joss Whedon

While the Bengals had their sights set on Eric Cartman due to his success with Gingers in the past they were forced to settle for their second choice Joss Whedon.  As the director of the Avengers, Firefly, Buffy, and Dollhouse (why do people always mention Doll House?) Whedon is one of the most successful Gingers of our day.  I guess the idea is that some of that success will rub off on the Red Rocket Andy Dalton.  While some may doubt this selection I see the value in it.  Not many people know that Whedon actually wrote the movie Toy Story.  An epic tale of friendship about finding ways to accomplish your goals no matter how much adversity you are confronted with.  Did Woody and Buzz give up when Buzz found himself strapped to a bottle rocket by the nefarious neighbor Sid?  No! They pushed through and made it back to Andy against all odds.  Perhaps Whedon can help Dalton achieve playoff success against all odds.  

22nd Pick - Pittsburgh Steelers choose Wiz Khalifa

What’s not to love?  Hometown Hero? Check.  Hit song referencing the teams’ colors? Check.  Sweet tattoos? Check.  Bottom line I think Wiz will look great in the black and yellow and brings the team immediate popularity with the youth.  I also believe that Wiz could be a great mentor to Pittsburgh RB Leveon Bell as he attempts to overcome his marijuana abuse.  Let it be known, Wiz was not the only Khalifa on the team’s mind as ownership almost went with Mia Khalifa until it was seen that Lisa Ann had once again taken her over as the top rated star on various websites. 

23rd Pick - Detroit Lions choose Optimus Prime

This pick may not make sense on the surface seeing as how Optimus Prime and Calvin Johnson aka Megatron are arch enemies HOWEVER I am reminded of an old saying, “As iron sharpens iron so one man may sharpen another.”  Also, “competition brings out the best in everyone.” Also, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat but there is no way you could help your quarterback more than giving him two giant, hyper advanced transforming humanoid robots to throw to.”  Hackneyed cliches aside I fully expect this pick to work out and thats why I have the Lions as one of my sleeper teams heading into 2015.

24th Pick - Arizona Cardinals choose Goorin Brothers New Orleans Hat Shop

Located off of Magazine, the Goorin Brothers Hat Shop seems a perfect fit for Bruce Arians and the Cardinals.  Established in 1895 the Goorin Brothers have an unbelievably rich history of hat making and it is this history that I believe has Arians so intrigued.  We all know Bruce Arians loves his Kangol hats.  In fact Bruce has over 20 of them in a variety of different colors.  Arians’ second most love other than hats is that of innovation.  By employing the Goorin Bros time honored traditions mixed with modern day technologies I believe that this pairing can bring Kangols to a level previously only dreamed of.  It is with confidence that I say by the end of 2015 we’ll all be proud to say we are all members of the Arians Nation. 

25th Pick - Carolina Panthers choose Batman

Although I have some doubts as to how Batman will adjust to the much lower and less dense skyline of Charlotte I do believe, with time, that Bats can make that transition.  With Cam Newton aka Superman leading the Panthers to back to back division titles for the 1st time since the NFC South reorganized in the year 2000 it would appear that this could be a team on the cusp of greatness.  All that potential may hinge on how the new Zac Snyder directed Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice movie is received.  While I myself am an unabashed lover of Mr. Snyder others are not so sure.  If the pick does work out you can expect to see Cam Newton smiling all the way to the bank… because.. you know… he’s best friends with Bruce Wayne.

26th Pick Baltimore Ravens choose Detective Bunk from the Wire

We here in Louisiana take pride in the fact that per capita no state produces professional sports talent at the rate that we do.  Well it would appear that New Orleans native Wendell Pierce aka Detective Bunk will be the latest to join in that great tradition.  Bunk is a homicide detective in the Baltimore Police Department.  While his future may not be as one of the all time greats, Bunk epitomizes the ideal team player.  A thoroughly competent detective, Bunk doesn’t let his talent go to his head as he respects the Chain of Command and always has his partner’s back.  Bottom line, Bunk is very coachable which has to make Jim Harbaugh’s brother John happy.  

27th Pick - Dallas Cowboys choose Greg Hardy

The Cowboys really took Greg Hardy and no one really cared.  I am still kind of amazed that there hasn’t been a bigger deal made out of this up until this point.  I mean I never expected Hardy to be out of the league for good but to go to a team in Dallas that is always so wrapped up in gossip and drama and for no one to care all that much is wild to me.  Either way, I think the NFL got it right with Hardy.  Some will argue he is being suspended far too long however the NFL was dealing with extra normal circumstances and as a business with so much invested in its’ public image its’ first priority was to protect said image.  

28th Pick - Denver Broncos choose Papa John

Wasn’t much mystery to this one.  The relationship between Peyton Manning and Papa John is well documented.  Look no further than their multitude of commercials together to know that they have chemistry that you just can’t teach.  John Elway and company are in “win now” mode as evidenced by the firing of John Fox.  It would seem that Elway is hoping that better ingredients and better pizza leads to better football.


29th Pick - Indiapolis Colts choose Lil Whyte

Character issues aside I can understand how this pick developed.  Lil Whyte has a skill set you just can’t teach.  His ability to take copious amounts of pills and then form an enjoyable hit song about them is unmatched.  Oxy Contin, Xanax Bars, Percoset, and Loritabs, valium, morphine patches, ecstasy are all up for grabs.  Funnily enough, Colts owner Jim Irsay seems to share Lil Whyte’s proclivity for the pill popping which I had to imagine was one of the main motivations behind the pick.  

30th Pick - Green Bay Packers choose Drew Bledsoe

At first, I thought this one was a head scratcher.  The Packers already have what appears to be one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game in Aaron Rodgers; what could they possibly hope to gain out of a retired 14 year vet?  Then the connection hit me like a ton of delicious wine berries.  Wisconson is the land of the cheese.  The Packer fans are themselves “cheese heads” what goes best with cheese? A delicious wine.  This is perfect as Bledsoe’s Doubleback wine business has had great success recently.  In fact, his 2012 Cabernet actually placed 53rd on Wine Spectator’s top 100 Wines.  Looks like you can’t go wrong with this tasty pairing.

31st Pick - Seattle Seahawks (acquired in trade from New Orleans) choose Jimmy Graham

In an unprecedented move the New Orleans Saints traded the 1st round pick they originally received from Seattle back to the Seahawks in exchange for Jimmy Graham.  Not to be outdone Seattle then used their newly acquired old 31st pick to select TE Jimmy Graham.  Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton are sure to be upset by this unexpected turn of events as it looks like the old trickster Pete Carroll has pulled it off again.  When asked about the Graham pick Seattle DE Bruce Irivng had this to say, “Whatever I still think he is soft and I’m going to fight him.”  Fun times ahead in Seattle.  

32nd Pick - New England Patriots choose The Devil

If this pick surprised you then you haven’t been playing close enough attention.  It is well documented that Bill Belicheck and Tom Brady have had dealings with the Prince of Lies for years - it is just that in this new age of NFL transparency they have decided it was in their best interest to go public.  Although many express their doubts over how trustworthy Satan is, or what his true intentions are, we all know that at the end of this 2015 the Patriots will once again be lifting the Lombardi trophy despite the fact that we will say Tom Brady sucks after they suffer another early season loss to some mediocre team.  
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