I'd like to start things off here with an interesting fact I found out over the weekend: You can't buy wine in Tennessee on Easter Sunday. That fact is brought to you by someone who tried to buy wine in Tennessee on Easter Sunday AKA me.
The good news is that everything ended up working out for me because not only am I going to buy wine today, but I'm also going to grab some champagne so I can toast the huge week that's coming up on CBS. Not only do we have the NCAA title game between Baylor and Gonzaga on Monday night (preview here), but the Masters also tees off on Thursday, so really, there's no reason to watch any channel other than CBS this week.
Actually, there is one other channel you should watch and that's whatever channel airs "Jeopardy!" in your local area. Tonight is the night that Aaron Rodgers will be starting his two-week gig as host. I'm not sure how many hours I've spent watching "Jeopardy!" in my life, but it's definitely way more than any normal person and I will definitely be watching every episode that the quarterback hosts.
Apparently, Rodgers took his preparation for the job pretty seriously and we'll have more on that in today's newsletter. With that in mind, let's get to the rundown. As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link. Also, if you want to stream everything on CBS for for free this week, you can sign up for a free seven-day trial of Paramount+ by clicking here.
1. Today's show: Mock Draft Monday
From now until the draft starts on April 29, every Monday will be Mock Draft Monday on the podcast. What this means is that we'll be bringing in our draft gurus each week to talk about how they think the draft will play out. This week, that means Will Brinson was joined by CBSSports.com draft expert and podcast regular, Ryan Wilson.
After watching two blockbuster trades go down in the past 10 days (49ers-Dolphins and Eagles-Dolphins), Wilson has reshuffled his top 12 picks. On a somewhat related note, has anyone else noticed that the 12th overall pick has turned into a hot potato that no one wants? (The 49ers originally had the pick, but then they traded it to the Dolphins, who traded it to the Eagles and it's likely only a matter of time before the Eagles trade it to someone else.)
During the podcast, Wilson and Brinson also spent some serious time talking about how high both Ja'Marr Chase and Kyle Pitts could end up being drafted.
To listen to today's episode -- and to follow the podcast -- be sure to click here.
Also, since it's Mock Draft Monday, here's a look at the top 10 in Wilson's weekly mock.
- 1. Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence (Clemson)
- 2. Jets: QB Zach Wilson (BYU)
- 3. 49ers: QB Mac Jones (Alabama)
- 4. Falcons: TE Kyle Pitts (Florida)
- 5. Bengals: OL Penei Sewell (Oregon)
- 6. Dolphins: WR Ja'Marr Chase (LSU)
- 7. Lions: QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)
- 8. Panthers: QB Trey Lance (North Dakota State)
- 9. Broncos: LB Micah Parsons (Penn State)
- 10. Cowboys: CB Patrick Surtain II (Alabama)
One thing you'll notice about this week's mock is that Wilson actually took it TWO FULL ROUNDS. So if you want to see how he thinks the first 64 picks in the draft are going to break down, be sure to click here.
2. NFL schedule rumor: No Week 1 Monday doubleheader in 2021
If your favorite thing about the opening week of the NFL season is that you get to stay up until 1 a.m. on Monday watching football, I have some bad news for you: That's likely not going to be happening in 2021.
Peter King of NBC Sports is reporting that the NFL is going to drop the Week 1 Monday doubleheader for the upcoming season. The doubleheader has always been televised by ESPN and to make sure that the network still gets a full inventory of games, the NFL is going to give the sports network a doubleheader on the final Saturday of the regular season, which will fall on Jan. 8, 2022.
If you're like me and you're a huge fan of the Monday doubleheader, I have some good news -- it's not going away completely. Here are a few nuggets on how things are going to work over the next few years:
- 2022 season: ESPN's old TV contract with the NFL ends after the 2021 season, so the league and the network created a bridge agreement for the 2022 season (the bridge agreement allows ESPN to sync up with CBS, Fox and NBC, who will all be starting their new TV contracts in 2023). In 2022, ESPN will get to air ONE Monday doubleheader. The catch here is that the first game will air on ESPN and the second game will air on ABC. One thing that's not clear is if this doubleheader will be played in Week 1 or during another week of the season.
- 2023 season through the end of the TV contract: Once the new TV contract fully kicks in, ESPN will get to air a total of THREE Monday doubleheaders per year with the first game airing on the all-sports network and the second game airing on ABC. Once again, it's not clear if any of these doubleheaders will be played in Week 1 or during another week of the season.
One other thing to note here is that ESPN will get to keep the Saturday doubleheader in the final week of the season from 2021 through the end of the new TV contract, so you should go ahead and get used to that now.
In other weird scheduling news, the NFL is also considering taking a page from the NCAA by incorporating a "Midnight Madness"-style event. The idea would be to get fans amp'd up for the season by having 28 of the NFL's 32 teams open training camp on the same date in a "Midnight Madness"-type of event that used to be big in college basketball. (The reason the event wouldn't involve all 32 teams is because four teams get to start practice early: The two teams in the Hall of Fame game and the two teams playing in the Thursday night opener.)
3. NFL insider notes: Seven sleeper receivers who could still get traded this offseason
It's been nearly 10 days since we've seen a trade go down in the NFL and I'm starting to feel like we're in a rut. I NEED SOME TRADES AND I NEED THEM NOW. Although it's been a while since we've seen a trade happen, that doesn't mean we won't see a few go down over the next several weeks.
With that in mind, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora put together a list of seven receivers who still might get traded this offseason. As La Canfora notes in his column, there are plenty of teams out there who could use some receiving help -- teams like Baltimore, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Las Vegas, Chicago and New Orleans.
"Trades are all the rage in the NFL these days, and there are some very intriguing possibilities at the receiver spot alone," La Canfora writes. "Some interesting, young, cheap options with teams that have either spent huge at that position or have other intriguing options already in place – or that might not want to extend a secondary option at that spot, given other needs and a tight cap situation."
Here's La Canfora's list of receivers who could be put on the trading block:
- Brandin Cooks (Texans)
- Marquez Valdez-Scantling (Packers)
- Cam Sims (Washington)
- Jakobi Meyers (Patriots)
- Scotty Miller (Buccaneers)
- Alex Bachman (Giants)
- Jalen Guyton (Chargers)
To check out the full explanation on why each of those players could end up getting traded, be sure to click here.
4. Aaron Rodgers reveals how he prepped for 'Jeopardy!'
Over the next two weeks, Aaron Rodgers will be serving as the guest host on "Jeopardy!" and if he goes down as the best guest host ever, I'm guessing it's because he did more preparation than any guest host ever. During an interview with ESPN over the weekend, Rodgers revealed that he prepped like a madman to get ready for his hosting gig.
"I watched hours and hours and hours of episodes," Rodgers said. "Luckily Netflix has a few seasons, and I went back to DVR. But I had to watch from a different perspective -- from Alex's perspective. I couldn't watch it as a fan anymore."
Not only did Rodgers watch "hours and hours" of the show, but he ALSO TOOK NOTES during his marathon viewing sessions.
"I took pages and pages and pages of notes," Rodgers said. "I wrote down every affirmative that he said to any type of clue. I wrote down how he would respond if they didn't get it right. I wrote down beat points of the show. I wrote down all the different ways he would take it to break. I wrote down the stuff that he said coming out of break. Literally, I studied for this like no other. I wanted to absolutely just crush it."
If Rodgers does crush it and somehow gets offered the full-time job, that would create an interesting situation in Green Bay. If you want to see what Rodgers' looks like behind the lectern, be sure to click here. The quarterback will be hosting the show every week day between now and April 16, so be sure to set your DVR.
5. Ranking the best NFL draft picks of all time
With the 2021 NFL Draft just weeks away, we decided to kick off a series last month that features the top draft picks of all time. The way this is going to work is pretty simple: Since there are 32 picks in the first round, we went through and listed the top five picks for each one of those 32 spots. Our countdown started with the 32nd spot, with Sunday covering the 24th spot in the draft.
Although we haven't been covering every spot in the newsletter, I'm including the 24th spot today because it's been one of the most loaded spots in draft history. This year, the Steelers have the 24th overall pick and if history is any indication, they should be able to find a star.
With that in mind, here's our list of the top five No. 24 overall picks of all time and fittingly, we have a "Jeopardy!" host at the top of our list:
If you want to read a deeper explanation on the list, be sure to click here so you can check out Patrik Walker's full story. On the other hand, if you'd like to yell at Walker on Twitter because you disagree with his list, feel free to click here. To see today's story examining the best players ever picked at No. 23, be sure to click here.
To keep tabs on our entire rankings, you'll want to click here.
6. Rapid-fire roundup
With a holiday weekend, things didn't get too crazy around the NFL, but there was still news, so let's roll through it in today's rapid-fire roundup.
- Raiders corner gets suspended. Nevin Lawson has been hit with a two-game suspension, which means he'll have to sit out the first two games of the 2021 season. Lawson started nine games for the Raiders last season.
- Patrick Mahomes still in a boot. It's been nearly eight weeks since the Chiefs quarterback underwent surgery on his turf toe and apparently, some fans are mildly concerned about the severity of the injury. Mahomes tried to reassure everyone over the weekend by saying that his foot is "all good."
- Buccaneers starter apologizes after using anti-Asian slur. Tampa Bay cornerback Carlton Davis is in hot water after tweeting out an anti-Asian slur over the weekend. The tweet was quickly deleted and Davis followed it up with an apology. For more details on the situation, you can click here.
- 49ers player believes Jimmy Garoppolo will be team's Week 1 starter. Garoppolo's future might be up in the air right now, but at least one of his teammates believes that he'll be sticking around for the 2021 season. San Francisco running back Raheem Mostert was asked about the team's quarterback situation and said that "Garoppolo will be our starting quarterback" in Week 1.
7. The Kicker: Tom Brady rookie card sells for $2.25 million
I'm not sure what the best way to get rich quickly is, but I'm starting to think that it might involve selling football cards. A Tom Brady rookie card was auctioned off this week and when all was said and done, the card set the all-time record for highest sale price of a football card at $2.25 million. It blew away the old record of $1.32 million, which is what someone paid last month for a similar Tom Brady card. (They're both 2000 Playoff Contenders Championship Rookie Ticket cards.)
The card sold over the weekend is autographed and it's one of only 100 that exist, which is why it's so valuable. Since two have been sold over the past month, that means there could be up to 98 more out there, which means 98 people might have a $2 million football card in their basement and not even know it.
If you need me, I will be spending the entire weekend scouring every basement in my neighborhood looking for this exact Tom Brady rookie card. If you don't hear from me soon, it's because I found one, sold it, and then used that money to move to the Maldives.