Welcome to another edition of America’s greatest 5-pack of questions and answers. Today we’ll be pondering the most recent SCOTUS decision, Notre Dame players in the 2019 NFL Draft, the possible underachieving Irish players, the future of LeBron James, and the best bets following the NBA Draft Lottery.
1 The Supreme Court recently overturned the federal ban against sports betting which now opens the door to individual state’s determining if they will allow such business within their borders. Is this truly a break through for the sports community and the hardcore betters?
My excitement is a little muted because we don’t yet know how this is going to play out in the future. The greed of the sports leagues looms over the whole topic and I agree with anyone who thinks they are more likely to mess things up, or at least complicate matters trying to take a cut of the action.
Additionally, my first gut reaction was hoping casinos all across the country weren’t going to monopolize sports betting. Here in New York State there’s been talk of certain casinos becoming the mothership owners of the betting who then deal out smaller licenses to other casinos. I’m just not dying to go to these third-rate casinos just to place some sports bets.
It would be nice if Vegas could continue to hold some primacy as the sports betting capital of the world. Even if their influence is surely going to decrease it’s a big reason for me to visit The Strip.
I’d be most in favor of American versions of William Hill setting up locations in the legal states and creating fun sports books. That will hurt Vegas, too. To me, it’s the best-case scenario with the lowest odds of wading past grandmothers at slot machines in a smaller local casino.
2 Mel Kiper has approached you and has asked for a list of the top Notre Dame prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Show us your work.
Okay, so I’ve grabbed the top 10 prospects and I’ll order them from worst to first.
LG Alex Bars – He’s lowest for me because his ceiling isn’t very high and he hasn’t displayed a ton of traits that make me think he’s a future NFL starter. Most likely 7th round.
LB Drue Tranquill – Injury history, lack of NFL speed, and questions about his position in the pros are going to be huge question marks. He’s a solid late round flyer who could help on special teams and see how he develops in a couple years.
CB Julian Love – A bit on the smaller side and not particularly fast. He’s always seemed like a potentially great college player who won’t translate very well to the NFL. I’d be surprised if he was picked before the 5th round coming out a year early.
LB Te’von Coney – Most would have him higher it’s just linebackers can have a hard time in the draft. I’d agree Coney’s ceiling might be late 2nd round but I see him more late 4th and into the 5th round.
QB Brandon Wimbush – This seems crazy but it’s mostly because of the value of the quarterback position. I can’t predict this yet if Wimbush truly had an amazing season and improved greatly on his passing his ceiling is higher than anyone else on the team. A little short but with decent improvement he’s a 4th round pick later in the draft.
C Sam Mustipher – The center position can be weird. So many never get picked but occasionally you’ll see a quality college center without perfect measureables selected in the 3rd round.
DE Khalid Kareem – This would mean basically one year of good-to-great college production. I think he’s made huge strides lately and has a ceiling that is quite high. He’s my dark horse pick to possibly leave early and have a much higher NFL stock than we’d ever think a few months ago.
DT Jerry Tillery – Not a great body-type, he’s not really built like an interior lineman. With a strong senior season Tillery would have put together a strong college career and has the talent to stick around in the NFL. He’s a late 2nd round ceiling type of guy for me.
TE Alize Mack – Compared to a couple years ago Mack’s stock has been really depressed. I still believe he’s worth a selection as one of the top tight ends in the draft. The talent is there to be a 3rd rounder.
WR Chase Claypool – No one on this prospect list has “holy s*$#” athleticism and a combination of size and speed like Claypool. As such, he has to be the most valued guy for me. Not necessarily the one I’d bet is picked first among this bunch but the highest ceiling overall.
3 The off-season is know as a time of optimism and projecting players to meet their potential. Let’s go the other way and ask which player do you think has the best odds of underachieving in 2018?
My brain immediately goes to someone on the offensive line or in the secondary. For the former group I think it’ll be too difficult to single anyone out at the moment and if there are struggles the consternation is likely to fall more on coaching anyway.
We’re in a weird and unusual time where there’s plenty of hope for the secondary. I’m naturally pessimistic because it’s the easiest position to look bad and get picked on constantly. My pick would be Troy Pride, though. He’s played a shockingly small amount of football and it looks like he’s being lined up to play the most at corner behind Love. Having him go through a good deal of struggled wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit.
4 We may be seeing the end of LeBron James’ second run with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Should he leave and what’s best for the King?
Sentimentally it would be nice if he stayed with the Cavs and tried yet another rebuild. It’s too bad because their litter of bad trades plus the Brooklyn Nets pick falling to 8th overall has to seal the deal for him to leave. Adding a tier II talent in the draft won’t fix their roster and cap mess.
Doesn’t it make sense for LeBron to head west? Maybe hope you build a strong enough team that can compete deep into the playoffs and cross your fingers the likes of Golden State and Houston meet each other in the playoffs often? It would seem like battling through an improving Eastern conference only to get demolished in the Finals but the league’s best–a fate surely awaiting the Celtics–isn’t a bright future.
Let’s get Kawhi Leonard and LeBron on the Lakers.
5 The NBA Draft Lottery was completed recently, mock us up the Top 5 picks this summer!
These aren’t necessarily my personal picks…
#1 Phoenix Suns – Luka Doncic, Real Madrid
We’re ready, the time has come for the first can’t-miss #1 overall pick from Europe. I’m excited to watch him in the NBA.
#2 Sacramento Kings – Deandre Ayton, Arizona Wildcats
My bust of the group. The face of a 35-year old is going to lead to poor endorsements and a giant waste of talent in the black of the Kings.
#3 Atlanta Hawks – Marvin Bagley, Duke Blue Devils
Like fellow Duke player Jayson Tatum last year he should be much more in consideration as the top player in the draft. I think he has the highest floor in the top five selections.
#4 Memphis Grizzlies – Michael Porter, Missouri Tigers
An athletic scorer with pretty good size feels like it could work out really well in the NBA.
#5 Dallas Mavericks – Mohamed Bamba, Texas Longhorns
Long arms but doesn’t feel like a super high ceiling guy, is that unfair?