Buyers Beware: NFL Prospect May Appear Better than they Seem

The draft is less than a week away and I now have a reason to turn on my television set again.  Although there are other sports to watch true NFL fans understand that their is nothing like the euphoria you feel when your favorite team scores a game winning touchdown or when the defense makes a memorable goal line stand at the one yard line.

It has been nearly three months since Victor Cruz salsa danced his way to a Super Bowl and Tebowmania took the world by storm. With the season swiftly approaching several fans wonder who will be the next surprise or headliner to make noise this upcoming season. Although there are seven rounds in the NFL Draft jobs in your favorite teams’ front office are won and lost based on their ability to affectively evaluate talent, ignore bloated statistics, and ultimately strike gold in the first round and discover diamonds in the rough in the latter rounds.

Although the draft misses that teams make on quarterbacks are more widely publicized recent drafts suggest that investing in running backs, defensive linemen and wide receivers are far too risky and seldom yield consistent success.

In this upcoming NFL Draft 1 running back (Trent Richardson), 3 wide receivers (Blackmon, Floyd, and Wright), and 6 defensive lineman (Poe, Brockers, Coples, Ingram, Upshaw and Cox) are projected as locks to be selected in the first round. However, out of all of these athletes that have been glamorized by playing for premiere programs or who have posted impressive combine numbers I would only draft one of them in the first round. Why not you ask, because the production that you could get for trading the first round pick for a chance at Mike Wallace would yield far better results:

Buyers Beware Athlete May Appear Better than they seem

  1. Trent Richardson –  front office personnel must ask themselves if the wear and tear of the SEC has diminished the amount of years he can be productive in the NFL. He has already gone under the knife for his knee. Is one good year on 1.5 knees worth the investment of nearly 15 million dollars in guaranteed money?
  2. Justin Blackmon & Michael Floyd – although no one can question their production and dominance at the college level one could ask ‘if you act a fool in college what’s to stop you from acting the same way when you have millions dollars at your disposal?
  3. Kendall Wright – be weary of one year wonders, over a four-year career his production only began to eclipse with the development and improvement of his Heisman winning quarterback Robert Griffin. Last year he was only considered a 3rd developmental pick at best, and the only thing that changed between this year and last year was the play of his quarterback
  4. Dontari Poe – if you cannot even register a sack in Conference USA why should one assume that you will be productive in the NFL. Although considered a first  round lock by many, his inability to not dominate his opposition or garner first team all conference honors in a non BCS league is a serious cause for concern
  5. Melvin Ingram & Courtney Upshaw – their production and sometimes dominance in the SEC is well documented but very rarely do undersized lineman contribute consistently in the NFL and only serve as situational pass rushers which does not warrant a first round selection. Elite undersized rushers like Elvis Dumervil, Dwight Freeney and Terrell Suggs are rare breeds and several teams have wasted their first round selections in an effort to find a player with similar measurable
  6. Michael Brockers – although he possess impressive measurables his limited production does not warrant an investment of a first round selection, developmental picks are best selected in later rounds.
  7. Quinton Coples – despite his dominance at the Senior Bowl a player with a questionable motor and inconsistent play will certainly cause a position coach headaches and possibly a front office personnel their job.

Surprisingly through my process of elimination the safest potential first rounder to select amongst these players is the defensive tackle from Mississippi State Fletcher Cox. For three years under the tutelage of a well-respected d-line coach Cox has steadily improved as a tackle that clogs up the running game. It is rare to see an athlete with his impressive measurables who is versatile enough to play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme without little drop off.

You’ve read it here first, FLETCHER COX WILL BE THE STEAL OF THE DRAFT which explains why his stock will continue to rise as draft day gets closer. However the secret is out mock drafts are now projecting him to go as high as the 6th pick in the NFL Draft. – A. Denmark (@Eatdrnkslpsprtz)

Championship, Health, or Olympic Gold: The Decision NBA’s Premiere Players Will Have to Make this Offseason

With the NBA season wrapping up in two short weeks all NBA fans will begin to turn their attention toward the upcoming NBA Playoffs holding out high hopes that their favorite players beat the injury bug and lead their team to an NBA Championship. However, lost in the euphoria of the player’s quest for that NBA Finals moment is the big decision many of the NBA’s biggest stars are going to have to make. Ultimately, several All-NBA players will have to decide what is more important, joining your fellow countrymen in pursuit of a gold medal in the London Olympics or try your hand at hoisting an NBA Finals Championship Trophy.

Although the Olympics is not on the mind of many NBA fans, once the season ends and a champion is crowned everyone will turn their attention to who will be on the Olympic Dream Team in London. Players who decline will have their loyalty and patriotism quested with very little thought given to the tough rigors of a compacted NBA season where players barely had time to practice more less rest.

The rigors of a shortened NBA season have certainly taken its toll on the NBA’s most premiere players:

  1. Kobe Bryant’s shin (USA)
  2. Dwight Howard’s back (USA)
  3. Derrick Rose’s EVERYTHING (USA)
  4. Dwayne Wade’s (@Dwayne Wade) ankle and attitude (USA)
  5. Tyson Chandler’s knee and right arm (USA)
  6. Amare Stoudemire’s back (USA)
  7. Marc Gasol’s hyper extended knee (Spain)
  8. Rudy Fernandez’s knee (Spain)
  9. Andrew Bogut’s arm and shoulder (Australia)
  10. Ricky Rubio’s knee (Spain)

The availability of all the players mentioned above will impact their National Team and their quest for the Gold Medal in London. Although it is likely that Spain and the United States will still battle for gold their journey has gotten significantly harder with the injuries of key players above.

Although Jerry Colangelo is responsible for selecting the TEAM USA the injury bug and a tough NBA season will eliminate several prominent players who many would have been considered locks. Here are some questions our American NBA All-Stars are going to have to answer:

  1. At 34 years old, does Kobe Bryant choose to rest this summer and get healthy or does he risk further injury and fatigue to his body by playing in the Olympics?
  2. Does Dwight Howard risk further injury to his back and accept an invitation to the Olympic team despite the fact that he is going into a contract year in the NBA?
  3. Does Derrick Rose, reigning NBA MVP attempt to play in the Olympics despite the fact that his body is nearly falling apart?
  4. How many players not injured decline an invitation to the Olympic team choosing to rest and spend time with family instead?

Healthy Starting Five: PG – D. Williams  SG – L. James SFK. Durant  

PFKevin Love C Andrew Bynum

Although the NBA regular season has had its compelling moments I believe the playoffs and the offseason will be more exciting.At the end of the NBA season we will soon find ou what matters most – representing your country or getting healthy for the next NBA season. – A. Denmark (@Eatdrnkslsprtz)

PS — also like my fan page on facebook por favor!!!

So You Think You Are Ready to go Pro: A letter to the aspiring NBA players of 2012

As the deadline for college basketball underclassmen to declare for the NBA Draft approaches (April 29th) it is important that these aspiring NBA athletes consider the following:

               1. What are your plans if you make the league?

2. Will you return to school and earn your degree?

3. Will you soil yourroyal oatsand have potential mates sign a prenup?

4. Will you pay your taxes?

After reviewing these questions you would be wrong to presume that I am advocating for college basketball players to stay more than one year because that is certainly not the case. If a young man can serve his country in the military at 18 he should be extended the opportunity to play professionally in the NBA at the same age. However, to all my aspiring athletes who dream of donning an NBA jersey and shaking the hand of David Stern it is critical that you have a plan. To avoid slipping through the cracks an answer to my four questions are needed in order to ensure that you are not mentioned as reasons why a player should NOT leave school early and enter the NBA Draft (i.e. Sebastian Telfair, Hasheem Thabeet and Dajuan Wagner)

My first suggestion is to avoid the euphoria of I Think I Made It Syndrome and foolishly spend your new riches on meaningless depreciable assets such as jewelry and an assortment of luxury cars. Far too many athletes have made this mistake and have found themselves bankrupt and homeless. After grossing nearly $200 million dollars over a ten-year career Allen Iverson has nothing to show for it due to deplorable spending habits and he is now forced to play for pennies in a B-league in Venezuela.

Next word of advice is invest your money in reputable businesses and franchises, please avoid hiring family members and friends at all cost. Like in the movie He Got Game, avoid the leeches at all cost or they will suck you dry. If you are unsure of what your plans are after playing professionally go back to college and earn your degree. If you have a plan be proactive and put it into action, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson wisely invested their money and now they both own NBA and MLB franchises.

Another important thing to avoid is the Shawn Kemp epidemic that nearly all pro athletes fall victim too. Shawn Kemp was once a promising player in the NBA that ate and sexed his way out of the NBA and a possible hall of fame induction. While in the prime of his career Shawn Kemp had 7 kids by 7 different women in ONE YEAR and had to request advances from the Seattle Supersonics in order to keep up with his child support payments and avoid imprisonment. Fed up with his ever-growing waistline, diminishing skill, and questionable personal choices the Rainmaker was cut and never reached his full potential despite many looks from other teams. News flash gentleman, your time in the NBA is short but the young lives that you create are forever and providing them with a sustainable life is a must. Please avoid being like Dennis Rodman, a Hall-of-Fame player who is broke, addicted to drugs, and behind by over 200k on his child support payments

Last and certainly not least please Pay your Taxes and entrust your money to a reputable bank or investment firm to avoid the evil of the IRS. For some strange reason athletes mistakenly believe that they are immune from IRS and therefore do not have to pay taxes. Although Wilt Chamberlin will forever be remembered for scoring 100 points in a game, lets also remember that he spent his last days broke and bankrupt.

In closing, aspiring athletes sign on the dotted line of your prospective agents contract only if you are truly ready for the long journey ahead, getting into the NBA is only the beginning. But securing a life once you leave the game is what will matter most of all in the end. – A.Denmark (@Eatdrnkslpsprtz)