Happy Wednesday, amigo! It's a big day here in the States with the Presidential Inauguration happening, so hopefully everyone behaves themselves and we have ourselves a semi-normal day. It's really all we can hope for at this point!
In any case, we stick to the normal routine and carry on with our sports here this morning, and we've got some good stuff in store for you. Oh, and today's a mailbag day, so stick around for a few fun questions at the end. Thanks to everyone who sent in a Q yesterday ... I appreciate you very much.
📰 What you need to know
1. Could the first four picks of the NFL Draft all be QBs? 🏈
There are only four teams left playing in the NFL this season and, this weekend, that list of survivors will be cut in half, leaving only two teams and one game remaining. That means most of the league is already in offseason mode, planning out their future and assembling a team that will hopefully soon be vying for a Super Bowl of its own.
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One of the first steps of that process will be the NFL Draft, so mock drafts are very much in season right now. Our Ryan Wilson published his latest mock this week and, boy, is it quite interesting. Can you imagine the first four picks of the draft all being quarterbacks? Because Wilson can.
Here's his latest projected top 10:
- Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
- Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
- Panthers (from Dolphins): Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
- Falcons: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
- Bengals: Penei Sewell, OL, Oregon
- Eagles: Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
- Lions: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU
- Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
- Broncos: Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
- Steelers (from Cowboys): Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Four QBs off the board immediately ... five within the top 10 ... plus three wide receivers? Sheesh, let's get CRAZY here, why don't we?
The obvious question begged from this latest mock: Which of those five QBs is being projected way too high? Call me a hater but I'm probably not using a top-five pick on Mac Jones. Sure, he had a great year at Alabama this year, but he's not all that athletic and he had a STACKED supporting cast. Three Alabama offensive skill players in the top ten means that someone is being shielded, right?
You can check out the rest of Wilson's projected first round right here.
2. Blue Jays sign George Springer to six-year deal ⚾
The Blue Jays have gone out and bought themselves a bat, and they paid handsomely to get a good one. The MLB offseason saw one of its bigger free agency splashes on Tuesday night when George Springer agreed to a massive deal with Toronto.
- Springer is signing a six-year, $150 million deal with the Blue Jays
- The 31-year-old OF spent the first seven years of his career with the Astros, making three All-Star teams and posting huge postseason power numbers (he's fourth on the all-time playoff home runs list)
- Springer's 2020 season: .265/.359/.540 (140 OPS+) with 14 homers, 32 RBI and 37 runs
Everyone seemed convinced that the Mets were going to land Springer this winter but, on the same day New York fired their newly hired GM, they also lost out on the Springer sweepstakes. Tough day.
But as for the Jays, this is an intriguing addition. Springer obviously adds even more pop to a lineup that should be pretty explosive, and he also brings a veteran presence and championship pedigree to a relatively inexperienced team looking to take the next step. He should look pretty good in those blues.
3. Sarah Thomas will become first woman to officiate Super Bowl 🏈
We don't yet know who will be playing in Super Bowl LV (I'm going to guess Bills-Bucs) but we do know the team that will be wearing the stripes. The NFL announced the lineup of eight officials assigned to work this year's title game on Tuesday and, in doing so, a little bit of history was made.
- Sarah Thomas will be on Carl Cheffers' crew for this year's game, making her the first woman to officiate in the Super Bowl
- Thomas became the first full-time female official in NFL history six years ago
- Thomas will serve in the down judge position for the game
- Troy Vincent, NFL EVP of football ops: "Her elite performance and commitment to excellence has earned her the right to officiate the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Sarah on this well-deserved honor."
While this accomplishment is a very cool moment worth celebrating, it's also not completely unprecedented for Thomas. She also became the first woman to officiate a college bowl game before she broke into the NFL in 2015. This has been a long time coming, both for Thomas and the NFL. Congratulations are certainly in order.
4. Tiger Woods to miss time following fifth back surgery 🏌
Golf tends to be a whole lot more interesting when Tiger Woods is in the mix and pushing to add to his legendary career totals. Unfortunately, Tiger has been out of action quite a bit and battled inconsistency as he's dealt with various injuries over the years, and now he's once again on the mend.
- Woods has undergone a fifth back surgery (a microdiscectomy procedure to remove a pressurized disc fragment in his back)
- He started experiencing discomfort after playing with his son, Charlie Woods, in the PNC Championship in December
- Woods is expected to make a full recovery, but he'll remain out of action indefinitely
It sucks that Woods continues to deal with these issues, especially as he remains stuck on 82 PGA Tour wins (tied with Sam Snead for most all-time). I'm probably not alone in hoping that Tiger's recovery timetable will allow him to compete in this year's Masters, but that's just 11 weeks away and his status is very much up in the air. Even if he can play, there's no telling what his game will look like after taking months off.
Hopefully Tiger's got some magic left in him but, after five back surgeries, it seems reasonable to think that we might be closing in on the end of an incredible career.
📝 Odds & Ends
- The WNBA's Atlanta Dream, currently co-owned by former senator Kelly Loeffler, are close to being sold
- Matt Norlander's latest college basketball power rankings are out
- The Angels signed lefty Jose Quintana yesterday
📺 What to watch today
🏀 Celtics vs. 76ers, 7 p.m. | PHI -5.5 | TV: ESPN
🏒 Oilers vs. Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. | TOR -150 | TV: NBCSN
📝 Top scores from last night
Zion Williamson had 32 points in the losing effort while Donovan Mitchell posted 28 points and seven boards.
💵 Winning wagers: UTA -6.5, Over (217.5)
Sidney Crosby scored the game-winner in overtime.
💵 Winning wagers: PIT -135, Over (6.5)
John Petty finished with 24 points on eight 3s in the blowout win.
💵 Winning wagers: Bama -120 ,Over (164.5)
Given the opportunity, would you rather have the PS5 or the Xbox Series X? -Alex
I was undecided earlier, but I'm going to stick with the PlayStation, mainly due to the exclusives and some of the early reviews. I was lucky enough to score a PS5 last month but I ended up passing it along to a family member who was struggling to get their hands on one ... it hurt to give it up but it felt like the right thing to do, especially because I mainly game on my PC now. Hoping I'll be able to grab another one sooner rather than later, though.
When watching sports on TVs at a bar ... would you choose a place that a had just a few TVs but better games, or would you choose more TVs/more games but they weren't the best choice of games? Same with beers ... are you a quantity or quality indulger? -Sippee
When it comes to sports bars, I think there's a sweet spot in there somewhere. Obviously you'd like multiple viewing options and a choice selection of games, but you don't want so many where it's overwhelming and chaotic. At the end of the day, I think the games are typically secondary to the social aspect of the bar experience, so you're more willing to pay attention to games you don't really even care about.
As for beers, I'm an equal opportunist. I like quality beers but I also recognize there's a time and a place for cheap beer in bunches, and both are very much appreciated.
Do you use the DMR in Warzone or are you against it? -Eli
I resisted for a while (as I typically tend to do with those OP guns), but I eventually caved because Warzone has never been as broken as it was when the DMR was king. The game was almost unplayable without that advantage, so I had to cave. Extremely glad they nerfed it, though.