NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020:Patriots, Raiders, Cowboys, Giants go defense; Bucs, Chargers get in on QBThe first 20 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft were set at the conclusion of the regular season (the Bengals having secured the top overall pick after their 38-35 loss to Miami in Week 16). Pick Nos. 21-24 — the Eagles, Bills, Patriots and Saints, respectively — were set after the wild-card round of the playoffs. Picks 25-28 — Vikings, Dolphins (via Texans), Seahawks and Ravens, respectively — were set after the divisional rounds.The Titans and Packers claimed picks 29 and 30, respectively, after their losses in the conference championship round.Below is the official NFL Draft order for the first 32 picks in 2020, now including results for the entire NFL playoffs.NFL Draft order 2020Pick No.TeamRecord1.Cincinnati Bengals2-142.Washington Redskins3-133.Detroit Lions3-12-14.New York Giants4-125.Miami Dolphins5-116.Los Angeles Chargers5-117.Carolina Panthers5-118.Arizona Cardinals5-10-19.Jacksonville Jaguars6-1010.Cleveland Browns6-1011.New York Jets7-912.Oakland Raiders7-913.Indianapolis Colts7-914.Tampa Bay Buccaneers7-915.Denver Broncos7-916.Atlanta Falcons7-917.Dallas Cowboys8-818.Miami Dolphins(via 8-8 Steelers)19.Oakland Raiders(via 8-8 Bears)20.Jacksonville Jaguars(via 9-7 Rams)21.Philadelphia Eagles9-722.Buffalo Bills10-623.New England Patriots12-424.New Orleans Saints13-325.Minnesota Vikings10-626.Miami Dolphins(via 10-6 Texans)27.Seattle Seahawks11-528.Baltimore Ravens14-229.Tennessee Titans9-730.Green Bay Packers13-331.San Francisco 49ers13-332.Kansas City Chiefs12-4Sporting News’ latest NFL mock draft for 2020 has LSU quarterback Joe Burrow going No. 1 overall to the Bengals, followed by Ohio State edge-rusher Chase Young going to the Redskins. As for the two Super Bowl participants, SN writer Vinnie Iyer mocks the Chiefs bolstering their run game with Georgia running back D’Andre Swift and the 49ers going the defensive route again in Alabama safety Xavier McKinney.”Swift (5-9, 229 pounds) is capable of both getting the tough yards inside and breaking free for big plays in the open field,” Iyer wrote. “He also flashed well as a receiver for the Bulldogs and can excel in the screen game Andy Reid loves.”At 6-1, 197 pounds, McKinney could do it all for San Francisco, handling tight ends in coverage and cleaning up against running backs.” The Chiefs beat the 49ers in Super Bowl 54 on Sunday, bringing the 2019 season to a close and finalizing the NFL 2020 Draft order.The Chiefs, which entered the playoffs as the AFC’s No. 2 seed after a 12-4 season, will take the 32nd overall pick after their 31-20 win. San Francisco, which claimed the top seed in the NFC after a 13-3 season, will get the 31st pick.
The Astros’ sign-stealing scandal has made huge waves in MLB in recent weeks as players continue to criticize commissioner Rob Manfred and the way he handled the situation. The story’s reached the point that players in other sports are taking notice, with NBA superstar LeBron James weighing in via Twitter on Tuesday. Even Mike Trout, the game’s brightest, albeit often dullest and least quotable star, voiced displeasure over the lack of punishment for the Houston players.”I don’t agree with the punishments, the players not getting anything,” Trout said. “It was a player-driven thing. It sucks, too, because guys’ careers have been affected, a lot of people lost jobs. It was tough.”And now the controversy has caught the attention of the NBA’s most well-known player. Manfred’s made it a point of emphasis to bring more attention to the game of baseball, but this likely isn’t what he had in mind, and it seems like it’s going to keep coming for the foreseeable future. Listen I know I don’t play baseball but I am in Sports and I know if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it I would be F*^king irate! I mean like uncontrollable about what I would/could do! Listen here baseball commissioner listen to your…..— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 18, 2020players speaking today about how disgusted, mad, hurt, broken, etc etc about this. Literally the ball(⚾️) is in your court(or should I say field) and you need to fix this for the sake of Sports! #JustMyThoughtsComingFromASportsJunkieRegardlessMyOwnSportIPlay— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 18, 2020The Astros, of course, won the World Series in 2017, a season they cheated by relaying signs through trashcan banging and other means. MLB punished members of the club’s front office and docked draft picks, but players were not reprimanded nor was their championship stripped. James’ comments are more negative publicity for Manfred, who has become an unpopular MLB figure amid this scandal. Earlier this week, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner went took on Manfred by name after the commissioner referenced the Astros’ 2017 World Series trophy — which is called the Commissioner’s Trophy — as “a piece of metal.”“Calling the World Series trophy a piece of metal,…..the only thing devaluing that trophy is that it says commissioner on it,” Justin Turner to me today about the MLB Astros cheating crisis and Ron Manfred’s explanation. #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/Sq3XHWE8W6— Liz Habib (@LizHabib) February 17, 2020MORE: MLB players rip Astros over sign-stealing scandalAtlanta Braves veteran outfielder Nick Markakis, who’s long been one of baseball’s quietest players, didn’t hold back his frustration.“To see something like that, it’s damaging to baseball. It’s anger. I feel like every single guy over there needs a beating,” Markakis told reporters Tuesday morning as he reported to spring training.“I know as players we do not agree with what they did. We don’t stand behind them and never will we support them for their actions. I think they got off pretty easy. They are going to be able to go out there and compete with no ramifications at all,” Markakis said of the lack of punishment for players. “I think the commissioner completely handed it the wrong way, but that’s the way he did it. That’s the way we got to live with it. I know a lot of people disagree with him. The way he handled the situation he should be embarrassed of himself.”
ESPN “College GameDay” analyst Kirk Herbstreit’s comments on ESPN radio Thursday night paint a picture nobody wants to see. “I’ll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall,” Herbstreit said, via TMZ Sports. “If we have college football, I’ll be so surprised if that happens.” MORE: Six things we learned from Steph Curry’s chat with Dr. FauciHerbstreit’s comments might be jarring, but they should be taken seriously. As of Friday morning, there were more than 85,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Spring football was mostly wiped out across the FBS, and most media days take place in early July. The NFL Draft is still scheduled for April 23-25, but public events associated with the draft have been canceled. Before the NCAA basketball tournament was canceled, the conference tournaments attempted to have games that were not open to the public. That is one of the potential hurdles that will need to be addressed with football. “You’re 12 to 18 months from a vaccine,” Herbstreit said. “I don’t know how you let these guys go into locker rooms and let stadiums be filled up and how you can play ball. I just don’t know how you can do it with the optics of it.” The NFL regular season is set to begin Sept. 10. The college football season is scheduled to start Aug. 29 — with a season-opening game between Notre Dame and Navy in Dublin, Ireland. That is yet another layer that needs discussed given the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe. These dates are not as far off as they seem. “As much as I hate to say it, I think we’re scratching the surface of where this thing is going to go,” Herbstreit said. The spread of COVID-19 in the United States has put the sports world on hold. The NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS seasons are on hold, and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was canceled.Will football be next?
Episodes 5 and 6 of ESPN’s documentary series “The Last Dance” aired Sunday and with it brought some amazing footage of Michael Jordan playing a quarter toss game with a security guard.The footage showed just how competitive Jordan got, even in something as silly as tossing quarters at a wall. It also showed how he was willing to gamble on literally anything involving competition and himself. The game was simple in nature: try to toss the quarter as close to the wall without hitting the wall. Wozniak passed away in January 2020 at the age of 69. During his life he spent a lot of time with Jordan, and the NBA superstar treated him well. “I traveled with Michael to every major city in the U.S., but I also went along with his family on vacations, to events, even all the way to Paris. All over the world,” Wozniak told Complex. “A tremendous bond was formed, and we took it seriously. I have a special relationship with Michael that I share to this day.”The late John Michael Wozniak tells the true story of what it was like working as one of Michael Jordan’s security guards. #TheLastDanceFULL STORY: https://t.co/pBDnb5hKaa pic.twitter.com/DnmAyGjsku— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) April 28, 2020In the tribute video for Wozniak, many pictures can be seen with him and Jordan at various points in his career. Jordan Brand even created custom security jackets for Wozniak and his crew. He also told the time of when he and the rest of the security crew got Jumpan tattoos because Jordan said so. This security dude hit Michael Jordan with the Jordan shrug after winning at quarters! #TheLastDance pic.twitter.com/yxFs2kcVnm— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 4, 2020After Jordan lost, the security guard hit the NBA star with his famous shrug pose.The real MVP#TheLastDance pic.twitter.com/cFzzdGOSYj— The Ringer (@ringer) May 4, 2020MORE: The best moments from ‘The Last Dance’His name wasn’t mentioned in the documentary, but that security guard is John Michael Wozniak.Wozniak was a Chicago police officer who joined the Chicago Police Department in 1970. He and a few others worked part-time at Chicago Stadium where they would work as security officers.”That’s how I got the opportunity to work with Michael and his entire family,” Wozniak told Complex in 2016. “Two other police officers had befriended Michael, and he wanted them to provide security for him when he’d have anything to do outside of being a Chicago Bulls superstar. These gentleman approached me. I had worked with them in organized crime department in the narcotics division, and they introduced me to Michael, and Michael said yes.
MORE: Worst prime-time games on 2020 NFL scheduleAnd until he sees that money hit his account, Gurley isn’t talking to anyone in the organization — even his old teammates.”It’s really forget the Rams right now. I don’t even care about them,” Gurley told Jimmy Spencer on the “Uninterrupted” podcast. “I told my ex-teammates that they can’t even text me or call me until I get my money. As soon as I get my money, then I’ll be cool with everybody else.”When asked whether he had been given a reason for the delay, Gurley couldn’t offer a concrete explanation.”I don’t know what their reason is. The worst thing about it is, they know they have pay me too,” Gurley said. “It’s just like — apparently, probably just using the COVID [pandemic] as an excuse. They probably ain’t go no money to be paying nobody. They’ve got that stadium being built right now. All I know is, come June 1, I better have my money.”Rams general manager Les Snead told NFL Network last month that Gurley and Clay Matthews, who was also released by the team, are “definitely” owed money and will be paid. Gurley and Matthews had previously tweeted their frustrations with their contract situations. @RamsNFL past due. Send me money ASAP— Todd Gurley II (@TG3II) April 8, 2020You and me both TG! 😤 Better get some interest with that too 📈 https://t.co/E8RIOhg7sH— Clay Matthews III (@ClayMatthews52) April 9, 2020Matthews recently filed a grievance against the team for the $2 million he is owed, but Gurley is not planning on going down the same road. He believes a grievance will only extend the timeline.”They kind of got the upper hand right now because they know all this COVID stuff is going on,” Gurley said. “So, it wouldn’t make sense for me to file a grievance because this spring case won’t get heard until next spring. And then once you file a grievance, that just puts everything on hold. So it doesn’t even make sense for me to even file a grievance right now.”Maybe Gurley should just hire Jerry Maguire to figure this thing out? Todd Gurley is borrowing a line from Rod Tidwell following his release from the Rams: “Show me the money!”The former Los Angeles running back agreed to a one-year deal with the Falcons this offseason, but he’s still waiting for the Rams to pay him a sizable chunk of change from his previous contract. Gurley was initially owed $7.55 million, but because of offsetting language in his contract with the Rams, the team doesn’t have to pay $2.5 million, leaving $5 million Gurley has yet to receive.
MORE: Live updates from NASCAR at DarlingtonJohnson was dismayed at the way his promising afternoon ended, feeling he wasted a chance at a strong result in the sport’s return amid the coronavirus pandemic. Jimmie Johnson held a lead at the end of the first stage of NASCAR’s Real Heroes 400 race at Darlington on Sunday before losing control of his car.Johnson touched the back of Chris Buescher’s No. 17 car and spun into the opposite wall. The crash ended his day. “Gosh, what I would do to get that corner back,” Johnson said.William Byron pushed ahead to win Stage 1 after Johnson’s crash.Johnson entered Sunday in fifth place in the Cup Series standings with two top-10 finishes in his first four races.
MORE: Wallace appears to pass out in postrace interviewThe drivers’ Zoom-style video was similar in style to a video made Thursday by prominent black NFL players who called on the league to make a stronger statement against police brutality and racism than the one it issued May 30 on behalf of commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell responded Friday with a video statement that gave the players most of what they wanted .The drivers’ full statement:”We’re no strangers to moving fast and we know how life can have that same quality, but now is the time to slow down and reflect.”The events of recent weeks highlighted the work we still need to do as a nation to condemn racial inequality and racism. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others in the black community are heartbreaking and can no longer be ignored.”The process begins with us listening and learning, because understanding the problem is the first step in fixing it. We are committed to listening with empathy and with an open heart to better educate ourselves. We will use this education to advocate for change in our nation, our communities and, most importantly, in our own homes, even after the headlines go away.”All of our voices, they make a difference, no matter how big or how small. It is all of our responsibility to no longer be silent.”We have a long road ahead of us, but let’s commit to make that journey together. Our differences should not divide us. It is our love for all mankind that will unite us as we work together to make real change.” Bubba Wallace, the lone black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. also were shown reading portions of the statement.Last week, Wallace spoke of his experiences with racial injustice last week on Earnardt’s podcast. Earnhardt later praised Wallace’s leadership in educating him and active drivers.Wallace made an individual statement on the track before Sunday’s Folds of Honor Quikrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway — wearing a T-shirt the bore the words “I Can’t Breathe” and “Black Lives Matter.”George Floyd told former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, “I can’t breathe,” as Chauvin held his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes on May 25 while Floyd was in police custody for alleged forgery. Floyd later died. His death ignited protests and rioting around the world. Chauvin, who was fired, has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. NASCAR’s top drivers have added their voices to calls for racial equality in the United States.Kevin Harvick, Kyle and Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano were just a few of the drivers to commit to “listening and learning” and pledge to “advocate for change in our nation, our communities and, most importantly, in our own homes.”
There is no denying that Best Ball leagues are soaring in popularity across all fantasy sports, especially fantasy football. Given the league format and deep rosters, there is certainly a different strategy when it comes to drafting in Best Ball than in your typical season-long fantasy leagues.For those of you not familiar with Best Ball, however, let take a look at the league type before we dive into tips for when your draft rolls around. Kicker/DefenseI lump these positions into the same category. Take no more than two kickers, and take them last in my opinion.For defense, you can certainly take three, but the position itself is very random. I’ll gladly leave it until my final few picks and fill only when I have my kicker position left. Nobody expected the Patriots defense to do what it did last year, just like you cannot predict the Jaguars defense from a few years back to turn into Sacksonville. Grab a few solid defenses or defenses that have a good schedule and rock it. Drafting one early just means you are missing a chance to take a depth play at receiver or running back, which could end up being far more valuable to your long-term success. MORE FROM FANTASY ALARM: Draft Guide | Ultimate NFL Package What is Best Ball Fantasy Football?Best Ball is a fantasy format in which all you do is draft your roster. There are no in-season moves or trades, and you do not “set a lineup” every week. For scoring, your top players at each position will have their scores count for that week, so you no longer will be kicking yourself for leaving a guy on your bench who had a big week or struggle with start ’em-sit ’em questions. Best Ball leagues are typically PPR scoring format, and depending on the site, you play from can range from 10-to-12-man leagues with 20-plus man rosters.Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Tips, StrategyQuarterbackGenerally speaking, you want to draft depth at all positions. That gives you the best chance to outscore your opponent at any given position each week. As is the case in standard leagues, you definitely want to draft two quarterbacks that do not share a bye week. However, unlike standard leagues, it is not unwise to consider drafting at least three players at this position to safe guard against potential injuries or, in the rare case, a sudden retirement like we saw with Andrew Luck last preseason.Again, we are looking at deep rosters here with some sites allowing up to 20-to-22 players per team, which leaves upwards of 11-to-13 bench spots. Now, you can certainly go ahead and snag the likes of Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes to give you the edge at QB1, but ultimately waiting on a quarterback is a strong recommendation given the depth at the position later in rounds compared to the depth at the other skill positions. Especially in Best Ball formats with deep benches, running backs and wide receivers will fly off the board, so make sure you are comfortably set before diving into the QB pool.Running BackAh yes, running back — the position that causes the most ire among fantasy football owners and the one with the most varying strategies on how to draft. Should you go running back early? Should you go zero running back? Should you make sure you draft your handcuffs? Or, should you draft a bunch of starting RB depth as a failsafe for potential injury?There are so many ways to approach the position; however, given that Best Ball drafts are certainly a different animal because of the scoring system and deep benches, you will want to make sure you address this position within the first few rounds. You can certainly stack your depth late, but seeing as running backs are typically among the top scorers in fantasy each season, you do not want to be left in the cold with a bunch of running backs in timeshares while the teams you are up against are rocking a roster of bell cows.With Best Ball being a PPR scoring, you should definitely look for those pass-catching backs, such as James White and Tarik Cohen, in the middle rounds who can put up 70-plus catches and average 10-plus PPR points per week. Their relatively safe weekly floors will help in Best Ball formats during bye weeks or when other players have down games.Ultimately, you can never really draft enough depth at the position regardless of strategy because having that depth could give you a big advantage over the field seeing as you can’t make any roster moves during the season.MORE FROM FANTASY ALARM: Draft Guide | Ultimate NFL Package Wide ReceiverMuch like running back, you need to draft depth at wide receiver — and a lot of it. Fortunately, this season the wide receiver pool is incredibly deep. If you are drafting toward the end of the first round you will have your options of DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill, and Davante Adams, all of whom could be the top receiver in fantasy. It is likely a wise strategy to even double-up at the position if you find yourself drafting toward the end of the first round.With the majority of the focus typically being on the running back position in Best Ball drafts you can often get top end receivers falling a few slots in ADP, and that should be used to your advantage. Right now, we are seeing receivers such as Keenan Allen, Calvin Ridley, Allen Robinson, and Odell Beckham Jr. going in the middle rounds of drafts. All can offer up top-20 upside at the position. It also helps that Best Ball leagues are PPR format, which brings added value to those receivers who may struggle to find the end zone. Guys such as Jarvis Landry, Julian Edelman, and Deebo Samuel figure to see plenty of targets and can rack up the points on the catches.Again, depth is the name of the game here, so putting yourself in position to grab enough quality players will give you the edge in a Best Ball league.Tight EndYou should approach the tight end position in Best Ball as you do your standard league draft, which is to say you should wait. Sure, you can use an early pick on a Travis Kelce or George Kittle, but at their respective ADPs, you should really be looking to draft running backs and wide receivers. I would even consider waiting until I have taken my QB1 before addressing the tight end position. Often, there is not much difference in value between the second tier of tight ends, those ranked between TE6 and TE10, and for that reason I will typically wait until about the seventh or eighth round to address the position. This way I have three-to-four RBs and WRs and maybe a QB.The position itself is pretty solid in these middle rounds as well as you find the likes of Rob Gronkwoski, Hunter Henry, Darren Waller, and Austin Hooper going somewhere between the sixth and ninth rounds in most drafts. There are also some late-round tight ends with appealing upside, such as Mike Gesicki, Hayden Hurst, Dallas Goedert, Eric Ebron, and T.J. Hockenson, to name a few, that may be poised for solid years at the position.
ANKENY — The governor and business leaders announced a statewide coalition of renewable energy supporters last week they say will push for policies that grow wind energy investments in Iowa.The coalition called “Power Up Iowa” was announced at Des Moines Area Community College, where vice president Scott Ocken oversees the program that trains people to work on wind turbines. “We’ve got about 60 students in our energy-related programming. We start about 20 new students in the wind turbine technician program every year…we’d like to double those numbers,” Ocken says.He says the demand is strong for these students. “Just this week we had two employers contact DMACC — they need 40 new wind energy technicians — and they need them now,” according to Ocken. “We started 20 in the fall, we can meet about half of that demand with graduations and attritions, we’ll as close to that as we can get. And then other community colleges will also have to step up.”Governor Kim Reynolds says the program is a key part of her “Future Ready Iowa Initiative” which seeks to prepare graduates for the high demand jobs. “Bringing people together in public private partnerships like Power Up Iowa is helping our state remain in the forefront of energy policy, and a leader on the national level.” the governor said.The American Wind Energy Association says Iowa ranks second in the nation in installed wind capacity, and is a leader in wind manufacturing. Facebook regional manager Matt Sexton, said that’s why they chose Iowa for their facility. “Today our two-point-five million square foot campus is supported by 100 percent wind energy from right here in the state of Iowa,” Sexton said.Sexton said they support the further development of renewable energy. “Just last year we set a goal of reaching 100 percent of renewable energy for all of our operations by 2020. And a big part of that commitment is helping strengthen renewable energy markets, and encouraging others to invest in areas where wind and solar energy are being developed,” according to Sexton says. “Renewable resources are good for the environment and will help to bring further investments to the communities in the state of Iowa.”Iowa currently generates 37 percent of its electricity using wind power.
WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is doing his best to straddle a very thin line as to whether President Trump’s tweet on Sunday about four Democratic women in Congress was racist.Grassley was asked about the president’s tweet, which said the four black, Muslim or Hispanic women should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Grassley did not specifically call the comment racist, but did address the topic.“Racism is wrong,” Grassley says. “I think the American people deserve more civility in their politics. I hope I promote civility. If I haven’t, I ought to be called out for it.” Democrats in the U.S. House say they’ll pass a resolution condemning the president’s tweet as racist.Grassley, a Republican, is remaining on the fence. “Democratic elected officials should avoid name-calling,” Grassley says. “Everybody ought to be treated respectfully. That’s true of these members of Congress and that’s true of the president.”Reports say Iowa’s other U.S. Senator, Republican Joni Ernst, when asked Monday if she thought Trump’s comment was racist, said, “Yeah, I do.” Later, Ernst was asked by a CNN reporter to repeat her statement as to whether the comment was racist. She responded, “Uh, yeah. They’re American citizens,” and called the president’s comment “not constructive” and “not helpful.”The president’s tweet targeted New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib and Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Omar is the only one of the four who was born outside the U-S. She came here as a refugee from Somalia as a child.