What an exciting first night of the 2012 NFL Draft. Trades galore, some unexpected picks and great theatre. "The Stack" is here with some observations and thoughts from the first round as well as with the other top stories from Thursday, so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Friday, April 27:
1. 2012 NFL Draft first round thoughts
The entire first round results and analysis can be found here. It was quite a suspensful night even though we knew who the first two picks were going to be: Andrew Luck getting drafted by the Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin III was drafted by the Washington Redskins. But then things got interesting. Here are some of the highlights from round one:
- Trades: There were a lot of them. While we won't get into the compensation that each team got trade by trade, here are a list of the trades that happened.
- Cleveland traded up to #3 with Minnesota to select Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Minnesota picked Matt Kalil next with the #4 pick.
- Jacksonville traded up from #7 to #5 with Tampa Bay to select Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon. The Bucs selected Alabama safety Mark Barron.
- Dallas traded up eight spots to #6 with St. Louis to select LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Big move by the Cowboys. St. Louis drafted LSU DT Michael Brockers.
- Philadelphia traded up from #15 to #12 with Seattle to select Mississippi State DT Feltcher Cox. Seattle may have reached with their pick, West Virginia OLB Bruce Irvin.
- New England was busy, trading up to #21 with Cincinnati from #27 to select Syracuse DE Chandler Jones.
- Later the Patriots would trade up to #25 from #31 with Denver to select Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower. Denver would later trade out of the first round.
- Minnesota traded back into the first round for Baltimore's #29 pick and took Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith.
- The final trade of the night saw Tampa Bay trade back into the first round with Denver at the #31 pick to take Boise State running back Doug Martin.All in all, eight trades in the first round, the most in NFL draft history.
- Everyone wants to know how many quarterbacks will go in the first round. Well besides the first two, Ryan Tannehill went eight to the Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns took Brandon Weeden out of Oklahoma State. Weeden maybe a bit of a reach, but the Browns need a quarterback and Weeden is very mature (maybe because he's 28).
- Four players from Alabama were drafted though DE Courtney Upshaw was not one of them. Someone is going to get a steal with this guy in round two.
- Detroit and Pittsburgh got steals with OT Riley Reiff and G David DeCastro respectively. Both guys are much better than the spots they were drafted at. It's amazing they fell that far.
- There are always those draft picks that make us scratch our heads. Memphis DT Dontari Poe may have been a bit of a reach for the Kansas City Chiefs at #11, but St. Louis was more of a headscratcher when drafting LSU DT Michael Brockers at #14, especially with Reiff and DeCastro still on the board. Then there's the Seattle Seahawks, who drafted West Virginia OLB Bruce Irvin at #15 overall. He's a good pass rusher, but there are other questions surrounding him.
There are of course many other storylines from the different players and teams. The second round of the draft resumes at 7:00 PM ET tonight on ESPN and NFL Network.
2. Rangers, Devils advance to second round
There's almost nothing better in sports than a game seven in the playoffs and we had two of them on the ice last night. First to New York, where the Rangers avoided what could have been a terrible letdown by beating the Ottawa Senators 2-1 to win the series and advance to the second round where they will take on the Washington Capitals. This game was physical. The refs let them play out there. Both Ranger goals happened thanks to the Senators sleeping a little bit and letting a Ranger find some open ice to get one into the net. Henrik Lundqvist made some big saves to lead the Rangers to victory. New York finally makes its way back into the second round, something the NHL has to be happy about, though they won't admit it.
What's better than a game seven? How about game seven in overtime? Better yet, how aobut two overtimes? That's exactly what we got in the New Jersey Devils-Florida Panthers game where rookie Adam Henrique scored two goals, including the game winner as the Devils won 3-2 in double overtime to win the series and advance to the second round where they will take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Once again the Devils had a 2-0 lead and once again, they let the lead slip away. They can't keep doing this an expect to win. That doesn't bode well for the Devils as they face the Flyers. It should be a very interesting and hotly contested series.
The four semi-conference series are as follows:
Eastern Conference Western Conference
#7 Washington vs. #1 New York Rangers #8 Los Angeles vs. #2 St. Louis
#6 New Jersey vs. #5 Philadelphia #4 Nashville vs. #3 Phoenix
3. Bobcats make history, the wrong history
It was inevitable. The Charlotte Bobcats capped off the worst season in NBA in terms of winning percentage with a 104-84 loss to the New York Knicks. The loss gives the Bobcats a final season record of 7-59, good for a .106 winning percentage. Ouch! That is awful. What is owner Michael Jordan thinking? He has got to be embarrassed by the team that he has assembled. It's not head coach Paul Silas' fault. This team is just awful. Even if they get the number one overall pick and select Kentucky's Anthony Davis, will they be any good? Probably not unless they can get a good free agent or two, but who would want to go to Charlotte? The Bobcats are a mess and Jordan, as great as he was as a player, perhaps the best of all time, is the worst owner sports has ever seen.
4. NBA playoff matchups set
The NBA regular season has concluded and we will have our NBA playoff preview next Tuesday. The matchups have been set and begin on Saturday. NBA TV, ESPN and TNT will broadcast all of the games. Here are the matchups:
#8 Philadelphia 76ers vs. #1 Chicago Bulls
#7 New York Knicks vs. #2 Miami Heat
#6 Orlando Magic vs. #3 Indiana Pacers
#5 Boston Celtics vs. #4 Atlanta Hawks
#8 Utah Jazz vs. #1 San Antonio Spurs
#7 Dallas Mavericks vs. #2 Oklahoma City Thunder
#6 Denver Nuggets vs. #3 Los Angeles Lakers
#5 Los Angeles Clippers vs. #4 Memphis Grizzlies
What a full weekend of sports action. NFL Draft, second round of the NHL playoffs, the start of the NBA playoffs and baseball, you really can't be bored this weekend. Enjoy it.
Coming up Monday: NFL Draft recap with winners and losers, big stories from the weekend
Coming up Tuesday: NBA playoff preview
Comments and suggestions on what to write about are always welcomed and appreciated.