Here’s the latest on Antonio Brown trade rumors

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The Steelers have agreed to try to find a trade partner and send away Brown.

Antonio Brown wants out of Pittsburgh, and it looks like the Steelers are ready to oblige by trading the star receiver.

That’s easier said than done with Brown under contract through the 2021 season. The Steelers won’t save much money by parting with the receiver, and it probably makes sense for the team to smooth things over with the seven-time Pro Bowler. But that reconciliation is looking increasingly unlikely.

Brown turns 31 in July, and has posted at least 1,200 receiving yards in six consecutive seasons — an accomplishment only he, Jerry Rice, Torry Holt, and Randy Moss can claim. Brown also led the NFL in receiving touchdowns during the 2018 season with 15.

But the drama between the receiver and the Steelers boiled over to the point that Brown sat out the team’s Week 17 finale to the 2018 season.

The saga may end with Brown playing elsewhere. That’d be a huge shakeup, and the 49ers, Cowboys, and Packers are all considered possible landing spots. We’ll keep track of all the rumors right here:

Feb. 25

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Steelers’ preference is to trade Brown to an NFC team. They also will not deal him to the Patriots or another team in the AFC North.

Feb. 22

General manager Kevin Colbert joined NFL Network and reiterated that the Steelers won’t make a deal if it doesn’t benefit the team. Colbert said Pittsburgh has received a few calls, though.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo speculated that the Jets could be one of those teams.

Feb. 20

Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN that the trade is in the Steelers’ hands right now. And just because the Steelers plan to attempt to trade Brown doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll happen. There are still some hurdles, and Pittsburgh won’t trade him unless the deal “benefits the Steelers.”

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters the message he conveyed to Brown:

“We’re open to shopping around the league to see what may be available in exchange for your services, by no means are we going to make a trade or any type of move that will not be beneficial to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. Specifically, we will not be discounting you on the trade market, and we certainly will not be releasing you.

All that being said, we’ll take a positive approach. If someone has a sincere interest and they want to make a move — either a significant draft pick, or a set of picks, or a significant player plus picks — and we think it will benefit the Pittsburgh Steelers in the long run, then we’re all in. If not, then we’ll make that decision at that point.”

Feb. 19

Brown met with Steelers owner Art Rooney II and posted that the two came to an agreement that it was “time to move on.”

According to Pro Football Talk, that meeting ended with the Steelers agreeing to attempt to trade Brown. He still cannot hunt for his own trade, though.

Feb. 18

Brown went to Facebook Live to say he’s only interested in guaranteed money.

“If your squad want to win and your squad want a hungry wide receiver who’s the best in the whole world, someone hit my phone,” said Brown. “Tell them I ain’t doing no unguarantees. I ain’t even gonna play myself no more for this NFL. … I think I done everything. What y’all think? What’s left for me to do? Win a Super Bowl? Gotta be the right team for that, right? … If your team got guaranteed money, they want to get to know me and work with me, tell them to call me.”

Feb. 16

Brown posted several tweets to clarify his desire for a trade, even calling out quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and coach Mike Tomlin.

Raising tensions may be a good way for Brown to get himself traded, but it also scared off at least one team, according to NBC’s Peter King:

I think the more Antonio Brown tweets, the more he scares off potential suitors. (That’s not just something I think. In the case of one team, it’s something I know.)

Feb. 12

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Brown has officially requested a trade from the team. That report came just minutes after Brown said his goodbyes to Pittsburgh with a highlights video posted on social media.

Jan. 12

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the Broncos are expected to be an interested suitor:

“Among the teams who may be interested — just based on salary cap space — the Jets would be one, the 49ers, the Colts,” Rapoport said. “I am told to keep an eye on the Denver Broncos. They are one of the teams plotting a run for Antonio Brown.”

Jan. 5

The Steelers are reportedly open to the idea of trading Brown.

“They are expected, over the course of the next couple of months as we head into the 2019 offseason to — at the very least — listen to trade offers,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said. “They haven’t shut the door on the possibility of [Brown] playing for another team.”

Jan. 1

There was some public flirtation between Brown and members of the 49ers on social media shortly after the reports of the receiver’s drama with the Steelers. A few weeks later, Brown posted an edited photo on his Instagram of himself in a 49ers uniform.

View this post on Instagram

When the goat embrace you…….

A post shared by Antonio Brown (@ab) on

Dec. 31

Brown was officially ruled out of a Week 17 game with a knee injury, but reports surfaced later in the week that alleged a blowup earlier in the week caused the absence.

Ben Roethlisberger brushed off the confrontation as nothing, and head coach Mike Tomlin said the knee injury and a lack of communication were the reason Brown didn’t play.


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Nissu’s Debut Video ‘Forever Mine’ Celebrates Love, Equality, and Couples Around the World: WATCH

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Dublin-based Brazilian pop singer-songwriter Nissu has released the video for his debut single “Forever Mine”.

The track was originally released in 2012 and made a splash in Brazil when it was released in conjunction with a marriage equality campaign there. Nissu (Vinícius Lessa de Andrade Teixeira) then moved to Dublin to improve his writing skills and work on his music, joining up with producer Trey Vittetoe on a new version of the track which he released as the first single to a forthcoming EP. A new music video features pictures of all kinds of couples from all over the world. The couples (including vloggers, bloggers, couples whose love was shared on the news, RuPaul’s Drag Race queens, and more) were personally chosen by Nissu to once again send a message of equality.

Said Nissu: “‘Forever Mine’ is about love and how you feel about someone you love no matter what the world may say.

The post Nissu’s Debut Video ‘Forever Mine’ Celebrates Love, Equality, and Couples Around the World: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Tim Donaghy is a permanent NBA stain

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No matter how much the NBA tries to sweep this scandal under the rug, it’s always going to be there.

Is there anything truly new in ESPN’s 12-year anniversary piece on the Tim Donaghy scandal? So many anecdotes and stories have dripped out over the years that it takes some time and searching to determine what’s really fresh and what’s rehashed.

ESPN explains in detail how Donaghy got discovered by serious gamblers, which led pretty directly to his downfall in 2007. There are also some more details on the public reveal of the FBI investigation here.

The writer, Scott Eden, also purports to have spearheaded a more thorough investigation of Donaghy’s calls over the entire period he reportedly picked games for gamblers (both his friend Jack Concannon, and the somewhat more notorious Jimmy Battista). The story determines, based only on made foul calls, that Donaghy probably fixed games.

The NBA retorted that based on its much more in-depth investigation analyzing not just fouls Donaghy called, but other violations and non-calls. That response reiterated that there’s no real indicator of game-fixing beyond one game, which bolsters the idea that Donaghy only used inside information to make his picks, not his power as a referee in impacting games directly. This is an idea, for what it’s worth, that Donaghy admitted to, that federal prosecutors accepted, and the NBA essentially made canon through its independent report by Larry Pedowitz. (The NBA also alleges a few specific factual errors in the ESPN analysis and has some semantic arguments.)

ESPN’s analysis says Donaghy fixed games for years. The NBA’s analysis says (in an extremely legalistic way) that he didn’t. The federal law enforcement apparatus says he didn’t. Donaghy says he didn’t.

Some segment of the NBA fandom — perhaps a majority — will always believe Donaghy did fix games, and that his allegations about impropriety from other NBA referees are true. Some segment of the NBA fandom will take the league’s word for it that Donaghy was a rogue who merely used his info and intuition to make picks, and maybe subconsciously favored teams.

Regardless, it’s clear that the unprovable nature of the allegations will keep the Donaghy scandal alive for years and years.

There are enough drips in this massive ESPN piece — and some crafty dot-connecting among previously published information from a handful of books on the scandal — to rekindle interest in the story, especially with the news peg of the NBA’s embrace of legalized sports gambling.

Here’s the thing: there will always be more drips and news hooks to bring the Donaghy scandal back into the public purview. It will never go away.

David Stern was right to understand that the Donaghy scandal would be a permanent stain on the sanctity of the NBA. He and the rest of the NBA infrastructure did well not to let the disgrace hobble the league in the immediate term, especially since it came in a particularly dark age for the league. This dark age started somewhere around Kobe Bryant’s rape allegations — which, in retrospect, everyone from the Lakers to the league to the media handled poorly — ended with the 2011 NBA lockout, and included the 2008 Seattle Sonics move, the league takeover of the New Orleans Hornets, and the fire sales of the Nets and Bobcats franchises. The Donaghy scandal was the centerpiece of the dark age.

Most fans were never going to give up on the NBA because a ref called some extra fouls in a regular-season game to make some side money. Most fans were also never going to believe the NBA’s party line that no games were actually affected, and that no other ref has ever violated the sanctity of the game by betting on the sport. Because segments of NBA fandom are primed to believe in NBA-related conspiracies in the first place, an actual NBA conspiracy wasn’t such a jolt. Instead of shocked faces, the scandal drew a whole lot of “I-told-you-so’s.”

That Donaghy implicated the league in the infamous Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals actually helped the NBA cruise through the immediate wreckage of the scandal. When that allegation was proven (or “proven”) false, the league was able to benefit from both the propensity of NBA-related conspiracies and the refutation of a specific Donaghy allegation, making him come off even less trustworthy in his other allegations of league malfeasance.

The ESPN report is valuable in connecting dots, providing another outlook on the game-fixing data, and reminding us what we know and what we still do not. It paints Stern in a horrible light, most notably by insinuating, without hard evidence, that the commissioner leaked the FBI’s investigation to the New York Post to hamstring the feds. (This is something most hardcore NBA fans can totally believe, but which even the Post reporter who broke the story denies.)

Beyond all of this, the ESPN report’s greatest achievement may be in proving that the Donaghy scandal has immense staying power. Even if its practical impact was limited to a few NBA rule reforms, a greater push for transparency, and a more strained relationship between the league and its referees, the stain is permanent. It will always be there, no matter how hard the league tries to scrub it out of existence.



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Jacksonville baseball game suffers fish delay after eagle and osprey fight in the skies

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Fish delay.

One of the weirder delays in baseball happened over the weekend when Jacksonville played Jacksonville State.

It should be noted that Jacksonville University are the dolphins, so it’s not like another animal was involved. Though that would have been delightful. Footage of the incident makes it even better.

This might be one of the greatest sports calls in college baseball history:L

“Connor Stevens is going out into shallow right. Is he going to try to get the fish before the eagle gets it? The eagle, circling overhead. Stevens has the fish wrapped up in a towel, and he makes his way back to the home dugout.”

This fish can join the cat and opossum as one of the best animal-related delays in baseball.


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Will the Tide’s latest No. 1 class help them hang with Clemson?

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Bama signed another absurd group, but is it built for revenge?

Nick Saban’s Alabama finished Signing Day with the No. 1 class for the eighth time in nine years. All the trademarks of a Saban team seem likely to continue with the infusion of these 27 new recruits, all but one (a kicker) rated as four-stars or higher.

The Tide signed a lot of five-stars …

The class includes defensive end Antonio Alfano, a 6’4, 285-pounder whom some see as the country’s No. 1 recruit. It has No. 1 offensive tackle Evan Neal, a 6’8, 360-pounder keeping Bama’s pipeline of freakishly large and athletic OL alive. And it has Trey Sanders, the latest No. 1 RB in Bama’s backfield.

… but they already had a lot of five-stars when they lost by 28 to Clemson, so bringing in another load of similar talent might not be quite the answer.

The Tide had Raekwon Davis and Quinnen Williams anchoring their DL, former five-star Jonah Williams at LT, and former five-star RBs Najee and Damien Harris at RB along with five-star QB and Heisman finalist Tua Tagovailoa behind in 2018. Yet they gave up 471 yards and 34 points to Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, then got crushed by Clemson in the National Championship.

While Alabama’s 2019 class was largely complete before the Tide took on Oklahoma or Clemson, it’s worth trying to figure out how much of an immediate difference these freshmen will make against teams like the ones they’ll likely face in the postseason.

Bama couldn’t finish drives against Clemson. Can 2019’s class help avoid that?

The Tide have always been designed to control the trenches. Their flirtations with a more open spread offense in 2018 were about punishing teams that didn’t pay the run enough attention.

The three main Alabama backs combined for 31 carries against Clemson, which yielded 163 yards at 5.3 ypc, but zero TDs and little hope of matching the Tiger output. Tagovailoa was confused by Clemson’s defense and threw two costly INTs due to misreads.

One obvious area for improvement would be a more developed passing attack.

The Tide included two QBs in their 2019 class, both four-stars. Is either likely to win a duel against a top spread offense in 2020?

The higher-rated is Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Tua. He has a similar skill set but is shorter, slower, not as strong or accurate, and a touch more jittery in the pocket.

Their other is Paul Tyson, a great-grandson of Bear Bryant’s. He’s a 6’5 pocket passer with less mobility but a strong arm capable of good touch.

Those two faced in the Alabama HS quarterfinals, with Tagovailoa’s Thompson team winning, 37-13. Tagovailoa was 12-of-21 passing, but for 8.3 yards per throw with two TDs.

He did some real damage early in a fashion similar to his older brother, using the threat of his legs to open up receivers in the RPO game:


That’s a good, old-fashioned zone-read, but with the option of throwing a slant after pulling the ball. Tagovailoa is effective at using his legs to create windows.

Tyson’s team (Hewitt-Trussville) started locking things down with man coverage, and Tagovailoa went fairly quiet while running keep-option plays that freed up Iowa-bound RB Shadrick Byrd behind Alabama-bound OT Amari Kight.

Of Tyson’s 225 completions for 3,193 yards on the year, 174 and 2,705 went to two receivers. Tagovailoa’s team put its best senior DB on Tyson’s bigger target, played a safety over the top against his more explosive option, and played one-on-one on everyone else.


On this play, Tyson’s big-play threat is on the left side, covered up with a safety over the top, and his chain-mover is running a hitch. He throws the flag route to one of his other receivers, who can’t beat man coverage, resulting in an interception.

Tyson went 13-of-34 for 5.3 yards per attempt, with two TDs and three INTs on the night. That said, he might be the more promising passing prospect. Either way, the Tide are a long way from matching a Trevor Lawrence or Kyler Murray once Tua leaves.

Bama’s added a lot of blue-chips on defense, but having a lot of blue-chips didn’t help the Tide against Clemson’s Lawrence.

Alabama’s rebuilt secondary fell victim to the freshmen tandem of Lawrence and Justyn Ross, who matched the Tide’s run game output with just 10 passes that produced six catches and some huge third down conversions.

The Tide had an all-blue-chip lineup of DBs and a dime package designed for matchup immunity against spread teams like Clemson and Oklahoma. They had size at corner with 6’2 Patrick Surtain II and 6’1 Saivion Smith.

But that wasn’t enough against Clemson’s big, skilled wideouts.

At least Bama’s group enters 2019 with more experience. Surtain was a true freshman, strong safety and dime LB Xavier McKinney was a true sophomore, and none of the upperclassmen starters were seniors nor long-term returning starters.

Even with experience, Alabama’s complexity is a potential pitfall. While Saban has leaned more on his nickel and dime packages, they’re just parts of the playbook.

Alabama committed early busts that set the tone against Clemson:


Busts happen to young secondaries, but also when a secondary is carrying a lot of checks while the opponent is just moving fast, finding matchups, and taking deep shots. Alabama not only needs continued infusions of talent and skill, but also perhaps a simplified approach against top spread offenses.

Another issue against both Clemson and Oklahoma was that Bama’s pass rush often depends on big linemen. Against the pace of those spread teams and given the need to chase skill players down the field, bigger DL tend to wear down. Quinnen Williams, Alabama’s relatively lean star nose tackle, needed oxygen on the sideline against the Sooners. The Tide managed zero sacks against Lawrence and struggled to get to Murray after the opening minutes.

It’s not clear that Bama’s new crop will solve the problem of an offense like Clemson’s.

Bama adds seven extremely talented defensive linemen who should ensure Alabama can continue to deploy NFL-bound DTs. However, Alabama can only play two or three of them at a time and doesn’t rotate as effectively as you’d think, some of these guys will likely never break out from the pack, and their dependence on bigger bodies has been part of their issue against HUNH spread teams.

There’s only one edge-rusher in the group, and then a pair of big ILBs who might not fit on the field when other teams go four- or five-wide to fling the ball around. The previous year, the Tide took a few edge-rushers and a lighter ILB, but 2019’s class appears fairly unbalanced. At some point, even if you assemble four of the best at one position, there are diminishing returns for loading up at a certain spot.

The crop of DBs is strong and fairly deep, but also the lowest-rated portion. The ultimate concern is whether any can erase the matchup problems against Clemson, or else allow Saban to develop conservative, zone-heavy schemes to erase passing windows and avoid the need for one-on-one defenders.

The offensive portion of this class tells a similar story.

Alabama recruited a single WR — a blue-chip player, but one of the lower-rated additions — and a huge crew of OL along with potential superstar RB Sanders. The Tide have weapons at WR and more in the 2018 and 2019 classes, but they haven’t been building their roster to emphasize the passing game once Tua and some of his classmates leave.

Bama’s class is essentially business as usual. It’s the deepest and most talented collection of physical brutes, looking to run the ball and stop you from doing likewise.

But if Clemson or a similarly talented postseason opponent can again push the action out to the perimeter with the passing game (easier said than done, even for Clemson), the Tide’s newest No. 1 class might prove as susceptible as the previous groups.


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Florida’s loaded with QB recruits, plus other notes from Orlando

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Jeff Sims (left) and Carson Beck (right)

The Nike Opening regional camp tour rolled into Orlando on Feb. 23, and many of the state’s best players showed up and showed out.

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Nike Opening Regional tour rolled into Central Florida on Sunday, bringing with it more than 100 prospects who held Power 5 offers by late February.

When evaluating players at camps, I always go from position to position. Often, the QB position at camps in Florida is pretty weak. There have been years when not a single Florida QB prospect deserved a Power 5 offer. But even so, evaluators still have to take a look. And if there’s nothing there, just say hello to the coaches and move on.

But 2020 is different in the state of Florida. This Orlando camp featured a number of star QBs.

Florida Statec commits Jeff Sims, from Jacksonville Sandalwood took home the QB MVP honors and received an invite to the Elite 11 finals. Sims is a wiry 6’3, 195, and has a lot of arm talent. But his ball placement was also good on Sunday. Sims has been rapidly improving, and FSU is extremely excited to have him as the leader of the class, as he has been actively recruiting for the Seminoles.

Sims is currently ranked the No. 666 player nationally on the 247Sports Composite. But February rankings are notoriously terrible, and behind the scenes, recruiting writers laugh about how bad they are this early in the cycle. Expect Sims to rise several hundred spots in the rankings. He received an invite to play in the Under Armour All-America Game last week as well.

On equal footing with Sims was Carson Beck, a fellow Jacksonville product. Beck was the most advanced QB at the event. He has a huge arm and knows where to go with the football. He’s also a good athlete, and led Mandarin to a state title in December. He earned an invite to the Elite 11 Finals.

Beck has had two major developments this February: he gave up playing baseball, and he decommitted from Alabama following the Tide’s massive turnover in the coaching staff ranks. While Alabama is still in it for Beck, and Miami has also made a strong impression, it is Florida which sits in the best spot.

It would not be a shock to see Beck become a Gator when he visits in March, though he is intent on giving all three schools a strong look. Like Sims, Beck is also underrated. There are a few “pro-style” QBs rated higher than him who are not even in the same ballpark. Expect that to change.

But the quality QB play did not stop there.

Anthony Richardson, of Gainesville Eastside, followed up a truly ridiculous day of combine testing (6’4, 222 pounds, 4.50 40-yard dash, and a 34.1-inch vertical) with a solid day of throwing. Richardson also earned an Elite 11 Finals invite. As a thrower, Richardson is not on the same level yet as Beck or Sims, but he is improving a lot. And with his running ability, defenses have to spend so much time worrying about who can catch him or who can actually bring him down, that if he can get continue to improve his throwing ability, he’s going to be dangerous in college.

Richardson decommitted from Florida a few weeks ago. The Gators are still in the race, but he is also hearing a lot from Georgia and Penn State. A visit to Georgia is on deck.

The event had depth, too. Tucker Gleason of Tampa Plant, Garrett Greene of Tallahassee Lawton Chiles, Devon Lingle of Neptune Beach Fletcher, Ethan Forrester, of Land O’ Lakes, and Katravis Marsh of Miami Central all had strong days.

Not since 2011, when Jeff Driskel, Teddy Bridgewater, and Jacoby Brissett were spinning the rock, has the state of Florida had multiple top QBs who legitimately belong on the national radar. The receivers at the event didn’t know how lucky they were to have on-target throws.

Six players earned invites to the exclusive Opening finals.

The Opening Finals is a collection of some of the best recruits in the nation, squaring off in drills and combine events every summer. The invites are based on a combination of film evaluation and in-camp performance.

Running back Demarkcus Bowman of Lakeland continued to show off the skills he used to carry the Dreadnaughts to a state title. Bowman is rated as a five-star and the No. 5 running back nationally. The 5’9, 191-pound speedster put up a Nike Rating (a.k.a. SPARQ score) of 107, good for third in the event. Bowman said he has been working on running between the tackles more. As for his recruitment, three schools stand out: Clemson, Florida, and Georgia. Bowman did not tip his hand as to his recruitment, and is not in a rush to make a decision. But he did confirm that Georgia is now recruiting him hard, which is notable because there was thought that the Bulldogs had others higher on their board.

IMG Academy receiver Michael Redding III was excellent. He made highlight catches, checked out physically, and backed it up with excellent testing numbers.

LSU and Notre Dame have shown Redding a lot of love, but as of Thursday afternoon, he did not hold offers from the in-state Gators or Seminoles. That changed several hours later, after FSU QB commit Jeff Sims learned the Noles hadn’t offered and told him that would change that night. Redding then got an offer from FSU.

Cornerback Fred Davis, from Trinity Christian in Jacksonville, continued to show why he is the top defensive back in the state. His transitions when shadowing receivers are effortless, and he has the size at 6’1, 182, and the mentality to be physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage. Clemson and Ohio State are looking strong here. I wrote about Davis a few weeks ago in my 2020 stars to know feature. Davis was my top player of this entire event.

Lake Wales defensive tackle Gervon Dexter was a beast for much of the day. Dexter is still very much learning how to play, but the Gators commitment has an elite blend of power and quickness. Dexter measured in at a legitimate 6’6, 273, and threw the powerball 47 feet, which he claimed was a record for The Opening. Dexter is a solid commitment to the Gators and actively recruits others to Gainesville, though he said he will be taking some visits, including to Florida State and Texas A&M, among others.

FSU linebacker commit Keyshawn Greene made his case to be the best LB in the state. He has the production at the high school level, the measurables, and the testing numbers (4.49 40-yard dash at 6’3, 210). Greene took home the linebacker MVP honors as well.

Defensive end Chantz Williams, of Jacksonville Oakleaf posted a blistering 4.56 40-yard time and was rarely blocked in 1v1s. More on him below.

There may be more players invited from this event.

Meet six four-stars who justified their ratings.

Chantz Williams (see above) and offensive tackle Jalen Rivers, both of Jacksonville Oakleaf, were standouts. Rivers checked in at 6’6, 331, and looks to be in the best shape of his life. He rarely lost reps in 1v1s, and was focused on performing better after an underwhelming Under Armour performance. Rivers said that he had worked hard on staying within himself, being balanced, trusting his positioning and not lunging or reaching. It showed.

Williams and Rivers are intent on attending the same school and have the same Top 5: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, and Miami. A trip to Auburn is next, a visit which was planned for the pair before they released their top-five. When pressed, both said that the Gators are the school they know would have a hat on their table come decision day.

Cocoa athlete Caziah Holmes opened my eyes about his ability to play the running back position. I previously thought he should play defensive back, which he can also do adeptly. Holmes ran a 4.49 40-yard dash, made several defenders miss in 1v1s, and showed true breakaway speed in winning both of the day’s fastest-man races. Holmes is being recruited by Florida State, Miami, and Ohio State, and has a strong preference for playing running back. His uncle was J.T. Thomas, the first African American player for the Seminoles.

Receiver Bryan Robinson of Palm Beach Central was strong on the day. The 6’0 receiver has good toughness and fights for the football. He was one of only two receivers to beat Fred Davis on the day (Redding was the other). Robinson posted a 37” vertical and a 4.30-second shuttle time. Robinson is a Miami commitment, but he is being recruited heavily by Florida and Florida State, who are going to make it tough on Miami.

Demorie Tate, an athlete from Orlando Freedom, had an excellent day as well. Tate plays defensive back and easily blankets receivers thanks to his athleticism and length (6’2). The Florida State commitment is hearing a lot from Alabama, Georgia, and some others as his stock continues to rise.

DB Avantae Williams, of Deland had yet another impressive performance. Williams is listed as a safety on many websites, but he showed the ability to cover receivers like a cornerback. Williams is an explosive player. He is committed to Oregon, though Florida, LSU, and many other schools are trying for the flip. It has traditionally been tough for Oregon to hold on to the commitments of players from Florida.

Keyvone Lee, a running back from Clearwater Superior Collegiate looked like a million bucks. At 6’, 220, he was still plenty explosive. Lee recently decommitted from Florida, but is still very open to the Gators. He simply wants to go through the recruiting process and take visits, and he felt that he committed too early. Lee mentioned Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, and LSU as programs he’d like to visit. This is the second time in about 10 weeks that Lee has looked good at an all-star=type event; he also carried the West team to the title in the c/o 2020 Florida Legends Game.

And meet eight players who looked better than their early rankings and offers might suggest.

At about 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday, a receiver with red, white, and blue cleats had made yet another play. I had no idea who he was. He was not on my roster. After he sprinted to the end zone where I was filming, I asked him who he was. “Tehrenzo Turner,” he told me. “I’m not on the list because I showed up late.”

He may have been late, but the Pensacola Pine Forest receiver made the most of it, winning almost every 1v1 rep I saw him take, including against some of the better defensive backs in the state, winning the receiver MVP on a day that was strong at the position. Turner has no offers, but that should change given how college coaches from Tennessee, Toledo, Iowa State, South Alabama, Penn State, and others followed his Twitter account on Sunday. He was extremely quick in and out of his cuts, and is 5’11, 165. Turner is also a good punt returner. He’s a cool story to come out of a camp and a good example of how players can be discovered at any time.

Running back Marvin Scott, of Port Orange Spruce Creek, is beyond jacked. Players as muscled as he is typically do not shine in non-padded camps, but the 5’9, 205-pound workout warrior showed some legitimate moves and burst. Scott claims offers from Kentucky, Wake Forest, and Louisville, but has no star rating. His is a highlight tape I’ll be pulling up later this week.

Richie Leonard, an offensive guard or center from Cocoa, was arguably the best offensive lineman on the day. Leonard has gotten into better shape, and his confidence shows with his increased body control. He is committed to Kentucky, but his offer list is growing. Leonard is ranked outside the top 700 players nationally, and that’s obviously too low.

Offensive lineman Zach Perkins, of Tampa Berkeley Prep, has zero stars, but looked strong on Sunday, blocking a number of the better players at the event. Perkins is 6’5, 310, with a wide frame and strong weighlifting numbers. He was undefeated in 1v1 drills until very late in the day. Perkins has a few Power 5 offers, including Purdue and Georgia Tech, but more should be on the way. If he can show that he can play tackle, as opposed to guard, his stock could really shoot up.

JeJuan Sparks, defensive tackle from Clearwater Academy Internationa,l had a strong day. He has some reshaping of his body to do (6’2, 325ish), but showed flashes of quickness, blend and power. Sparks has no star rating and no Power 5 offers.

Venice offensive tackle Thomas Shrader is a lean 6’4, 275 and moves well. He drew some tough matchups on Sunday and held his own. It will be interesting to see how he develops as he adds the necessary 30-40 pounds in the coming years. While he has zero stars as of this writing, Shrader has added offers from Duke, Florida state, Boston College, Syracuse, Florida State, and Indiana in recent weeks.

Safety Donovan Thomas, of Jacksonville Oakleaf had a good day as well. Thomas is currently rated outside the top 1000 players nationally, but I like his instincts and length, and believe he might be able to grow into a hybrid linebacker. Thomas holds offers from Kentucky and Boston College.

Defensive back Manny Stokes of Orlando Lake Nona has no star rating and no offers on his various recruit profiles, yet won the DB MVP Sunday. He showed good footwork and patience in sticking with receivers.


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Former GOP Lawmakers Warn Congress to Vote Against Trump’s National Emergency or Risk Undermining Their Constitutional Authority

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A group of almost two dozen former Republicans have sent a letter to GOP lawmakers, warning them to reject Donald Trump’s border wall national emergency or risk undermining their institution and the U.S. Constitution.

Politico reports: “In the letter, the former members wrote that the president’s move undermines the constitutional authority given to Congress to make federal appropriations, and argue that the emergency declaration would set a precedent for future presidents that could one day come back to bite them.”

The House is set to vote on a resolution to block Trump’s declaration on Tuesday, a move that would force a vote by the Senate where GOP lawmakers would have to choose to back Trump or vote against him.

Said the former GOP lawmakers.

We offer two arguments against allowing a president—any president, regardless of party—to circumvent congressional authority. One is the constitutional placing of all lawmaking power in the hands of the people’s representatives. Article 1 of the Constitution, which vests the legislative branch with specific powers, states in section 9: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” The power of the purse rests with Congress because it is
comprised of 535 representatives of the taxpayer and is the most direct connection between those being governed and those governing. If you allow a president to ignore Congress, it will be not your authority but that of your constituents that is deprived of the protections of true representative government.

The second argument goes directly to the question each of you must face: how much are you willing to undermine both the Constitution and the Congress in order to advance a policy outcome that by all other legitimate means is not achievable? The current issue—a wall on our southern border—has gone through the process put in place by the Constitution. It has been proposed by the President, it has been debated by Congress, and the representatives of the people allocated funding at a level deemed appropriate by Congress. We understand that there are many Members of Congress who disagree with the final funding compromise reached by a bipartisan group of legislators. To you, we ask this question: what will you do when a president of another party uses the precedent you are establishing to impose policies to which you are unalterably opposed? There is no way around this difficulty: what powers are ceded to a president whose policies you support may also be used by presidents whose policies you abhor.

Meanwhile, Trump is warning Republicans that they better vote for him, or else, tweeting: ‘I hope our great Republican Senators don’t get led down the path of weak and ineffective Border Security. Without strong Borders, we don’t have a Country – and the voters are on board with us. Be strong and smart, don’t fall into the Democrats “trap” of Open Borders and Crime!’

The post Former GOP Lawmakers Warn Congress to Vote Against Trump’s National Emergency or Risk Undermining Their Constitutional Authority appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Campaign Staffer Says Trump Grabbed and Kissed Her: ‘Super-Creepy and Inappropriate’ — WATCH

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A new federal lawsuit filed by campaign staffer Alva Johnson says that in August 2016 then candidate Donald Trump grabbed and kissed her before a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida. Johnson said the kiss took place in an offstage trailer where she had been assigned to take photos of Trump and various people.

Said Johnson in an interview with the Washington Post: “Oh, my God, I think he’s going to kiss me. He’s coming straight for my lips. So I turn my head, and he kisses me right on corner of my mouth, still holding my hand the entire time. Then he walks on out…I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it. I can still see his lips coming straight for my face.”

The kiss was witnessed by Florida AG Pam Bondi and Karen Giorno, director of the Florida campaign, both of whom deny Johnson’s allegations.

The WaPo adds: ‘About six weeks after the alleged kiss, on Oct. 7, 2016, The Post published the videotape of Trump boasting about his sexual aggression to an “Access Hollywood” host. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them,” Trump said in 2005. “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” Johnson said she was stunned. “I felt sick to my stomach,” she said. “That was what he did to me.”

The post Campaign Staffer Says Trump Grabbed and Kissed Her: ‘Super-Creepy and Inappropriate’ — WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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What Trevor Noah Really Said In Xhosa At The Oscars: WATCH

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Speaking about Black Panther at The Academy Awards last night, Daily Show host Trevor Noah, said a few words in his native Xhosa (pronounced KOSA).

“Growing up as a young boy in Wakanda, I would see T’Challa flying over our village, and he would remind me of a great Xhosa phrase,” Noah began, joking that people sometimes think he’s from the fictional nation. “Abelungu abazi ubu ndiyaxok,” Noah continued, “which means ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart.’”

The audience loudly clapped and cheered the translation, but if you looked closely a handful of the actors from Panther were laughing.

That’s because what Noah really said was,  “White people don’t know I’m lying.”

Happy belated birthday, Trevor!

The post What Trevor Noah Really Said In Xhosa At The Oscars: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Two People Stabbed at Fort Lauderdale Pride

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Two people were stabbed while attending Fort Lauderdale Pride on Sunday, according to local police.

Local10 reports: “Officer Casey Liening, a spokeswoman for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, said the stabbing happened about 6:30 p.m. near the main stage of the festival in the 700 block of Seabreeze Boulevard. Paramedics rushed one of the victims to Broward Health Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The wounds of the second victim were described as superficial, Liening said.”

Police believe the stabbing was the result of a dispute between two parties and was not a hate-related incident.

The post Two People Stabbed at Fort Lauderdale Pride appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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All the NFL free agency rumors you need to know

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Where’s Le’Veon Bell going? Will the Texans franchise Jadeveon Clowney?

The race to Super Bowl 54 begins March 13. That’s the first day teams can officially sign the free agents who can push their rosters over the top and into the NFL’s record books.

This year’s class of available players is loaded with talent, though most of it comes on the defensive side of the ball. Pocket-crumpling pass rushers like DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, and Frank Clark are all set to cash in after superlative seasons — whether that’s on an eight-figure single-year franchise tag deal or a massive long-term contract. Same goes for versatile safeties like Landon Collins, Earl Thomas, and Lamarcus Joyner.

There aren’t as many recognizable offensive standouts in this year’s list of available players, but the headliner is big enough to make up for a lack of depth behind him. Le’Veon Bell finally earned unrestricted free agency after two years of Steelers’ franchise tags, one of which the three-time All-Pro played an Uno “skip” card. The 27-year-old tailback now gets to choose where he’ll like to play next as he searches for the massive multi-year deal that includes the guaranteed money he couldn’t find in Pittsburgh.

Even though there are many big playmakers hitting free agency, a couple more could be available via trade. The Steelers are listening to offers for Antonio Brown, while the Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. can’t seem to shake trade rumors.

How are franchises lining up for what promises to be a mid-March spending spree? Here are some of the rumors following the league’s top free agents into the official start of bidding season.

Le’Veon Bell, RB

2018 team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert says the team won’t franchise or transition tag Bell this offseason. He’ll be completely free to negotiate with teams across the league this spring.

Landon Collins, S

2018 team: New York Giants

Collins has reportedly already packed up much of his locker in northern New Jersey, though to what extent and what that actually means isn’t clear. ESPN’s Josina Anderson’s sources suggest he doesn’t expect to be with the club in 2019, though his feelings may not factor into that decision. While the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz refuted those reports, Collins himself checked in to make it clear he’s not entirely thrilled about the idea of playing for New York under a tag.

Collins is reportedly prepared for a long contract standoff if he’s tagged this spring — possibly long enough to last into the 2019 season. The Giants could keep him in white and blue with the franchise tag at a cost of just over $12 million for 2019. However, contract talks between the two sides are forthcoming, according to NFL Network.

Nick Foles, QB

2018 team: Philadelphia Eagles

Foles voided his mutual option for the 2019 season, but the Eagles might not let the Super Bowl 52 MVP leave that easily. Philly could still use its franchise tag to retain his rights before trading him away in exchange for low-cost assets. The early favorite to trade for Foles, per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, is the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Robbie Gould, K

2018 team: San Francisco 49ers

The Niners are expected to use their franchise tag to retain Gould, who led the league in field goal percentage after making 33 of his 34 attempts in 2018.

Johnathan Hankins, DT

2018 team: Oakland Raiders

Hankins continued his streak of excellent play in the middle last fall, and that caught John Elway’s eye. The Broncos are interested in adding him to their stable.

DeMarcus Lawrence, DE

2018 team: Dallas Cowboys

Lawrence isn’t interested in being tagged by the Cowboys for a second straight year. The dynamic pass rusher would reportedly refuse to sign a franchise tender this spring, giving way to a potential Bell-esque showdown between the two sides. Dallas would prefer to sign Lawrence to a long-term deal rather than resort to using the tag anyway.

DeVante Parker, WR

2018 team: Miami Dolphins

Parker isn’t a free agent … yet. The Dolphins are expected to release the former first-round pick, thus clearing $9.3 million from the club’s salary cap. Parker had his least productive season as a pro in 2018, making only 24 receptions in 11 games.

Cody Parkey, K

2018 team: Chicago Bears

To no surprise of anyone who watched the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, the Bears are expected to release Parkey at the start of the new league year. Despite his infamous double-doink field goal miss that ended Chicago’s 2018 season, Parkey should be able to find a new team.

Earl Thomas, S

2018 team: Seattle Seahawks

Thomas, a Texas native, has been linked to the Cowboys ever since becoming disillusioned with his place on the Seahawks’ spending sheet. He may not be able to earn what he feels he’s worth in Dallas, either. The Athletic’s Calvin Williams reports a Cowboys’s source doesn’t see the team as more than “bargain shoppers” when it comes to the All-Pro safety.


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Don’t worry, Spike Lee: Knicks’ tank is unstoppable

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We have that and more in Monday’s NBA newsletter.

The Knicks beat the Spurs in New York on Sunday, winning at the Garden for the first time since December 1. (It’ll be March next week.) It was only the Knicks’ second win overall since January 4.

This is all to say that these random, surprising wins aren’t a big deal even as the Knicks aim their rays toward the top of the NBA draft lottery. Knicks fans can remain content in knowing this race to the bottom is in hand.

Knicks superfan Spike Lee won a major Oscar for the first time ever on Sunday, and as he arrived on stage to accept the award, Sam Jackson yelled to him that the Knicks won, to which Spike replied “we’re trying to tank!” Just a perfectly Knicksian moment.

But again, this is not a big deal. The Knicks now have 12 wins, one more than the 11-win Suns and two fewer than the 14-win Cavaliers. The three worst teams will have equal odds in the lottery. So the Knicks would need to fall (rise?) to the fourth spot in the reverse standings to suffer for wins. The Bulls are there now with 16 wins. (They haven’t lost since the All-Star break.)

Are the Knicks capable of winning five more games than the Bulls the rest of the way? Are the Knicks capable of winning five more games this season? There are 22 games left. New York has won five games in its last 37 … and that included a chunk of time before they traded Tim Hardaway Jr., who was their most productive player. It’s fine. The Knicks are truly too bad to blow this now.

Scores

Magic 113, Raptors 98
Clippers 96, Nuggets 123
Spurs 118, Knicks 130

Schedule

All times Eastern. Games on League Pass unless otherwise noted.

Warriors at Hornets, 7
Blazers at Cavaliers, 7
Pacers at Pistons, 7
Spurs at Nets, 7:30
Suns at Heat, 7:30
Bucks at Bulls, 8
Hawks at Rockets, 8
Lakers at Grizzlies, 8
Sixers at Pelicans, 8, NBA TV
Mavericks at Clippers, 10:30, NBA TV

Links

Paul Flannery nailed his Sunday Shootaround piece on the NBA’s obsession with off-court drama and how certain strains really are just bulls–t sometimes.

Uh, the Lakers are now three games out of the playoffs. Time to panic. LeBron thinks the team is comfortable with losing, which would make sense because that’s all the franchise has done for like five and a half years now.

REWINDER on the infamous Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals.

Top European teams are starting to threaten their domestic leagues that they’ll leave and just play in the Euroleague full-time.

Paul George on Friday night in OKC vs. Utah was some superhero stuff.

The Worst Playoff Game Ever, one I remember well. I’d nominate 2009 NBA Finals Game 7 too, though.

The Knicks are blaming Fortnite for all the losses, so Knicks fans should be thanking Fortnite, it seems.

Ricky O’Donnell nails it: in the wake of his shoe bursting at the seams, Zion Williamson should do whatever he wants.

Jason Gay on the Sports Franchise Owner God Complex.

Space Jam 2 has a release date.

Zion will play whatever position he wants in the NBA.

Longtime Magic voice David Steele reflects on watching Orlando basketball for 30 years.

LOL I was mostly joking when I was calling All-Star Weekend LeBron’s Tamper Fest 2019 but LeBron and Anthony Davis actually filmed an episode of The Shop in Charlotte. LeBron is just taunting the Pelicans and frankly the NBA.

The Warriors really don’t care about the regular season (except when they clearly do). Meanwhile, Chris Paul was awful salty after the Rockets without James Harden beat Golden State Saturday night.

Alex Wong on the role of T.V. sports anchors when highlights are on tiny computers in our pockets.

It seems like the Clippers may not have been entirely honest when starting the process to get a new arena in Inglewood a couple blocks from the still-functioning Forum.

25 thoughts and predictions for the rest of the Mavericks’ season.

And finally: Ja Rule’s halftime performance during Wolves vs. Bucks the other night was straight Fyre.

Be excellent to each other.


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2019 NFL mock draft: 3 rounds shows just how deep the rookie class is

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Get ready for the NFL Scouting Combine by knowing these deeper prospects.

To get ready for the NFL Scouting Combine, this week’s mock draft stretches out to three rounds.

In projecting 102 picks, some of the strengths of the draft begin to stand out. Everyone is well aware of the quality of the defensive linemen at the top of the draft. But the deeper you go, the tight ends, guards, and cornerback classes show themselves.

Going three rounds also means we finally get a pick for the Chicago Bears, who don’t have a selection until No. 87 overall because of the trades that landed them pass rusher Khalil Mack and wide receiver Anthony Miller.

1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Offseason needs: Offensive line, interior defensive line, wide receiver, tight end

Perhaps this week general manager Steve Keim will provide a little more insight into what direction the Cardinals take with the first pick. Is a trade out really possible? Is there any bit of truth to the Kyler Murray at No. 1 rumors? Is Bosa really the best fit in Arizona’s defense? How those questions are answered will go a long way in forecasting not only the first pick, but the entire draft.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky

Offseason needs: Safety, edge defender, wide receiver, cornerback

There are a lot of things Allen can provide the 49ers. He can be the pass rusher they need. He can help the pass defense in coverage. He gives them a dynamic playmaker. Sure, he has his flaws against the run at times, but leave that to San Francisco’s various first-round defensive linemen. Let Allen make plays. In space, he is special. That was evidenced last season with his 17 sacks and five forced fumbles.

3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

Offseason needs: Running back, offensive line, edge defender, cornerback

According to the New York Post, the Jets will continue operating a base 3-4 defense, despite hiring 4-3 specialist Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator. That will take some of the pressure off finding a great defensive end. It could ultimately lead the Jets to Williams, who is capable of creating pressure up the middle.

4. Oakland Raiders: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

Offseason needs: Edge defender, cornerback, running back, wide receiver

This is where the draft can get interesting if Bosa, Allen, and Williams go in the first three picks. The speculation about Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and the Raiders won’t seem to go away. If the Raiders don’t shock everyone, they could play it safe with Gary.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU

Offseason needs: Safety, edge defender, linebacker, offensive tackle

Gerald McCoy will be back with the Buccaneers, lessening the need to find a defensive tackle in the first round. That could open the Buccaneers to taking unquestionably the best linebacker in the draft this year. White could be in play even if standout linebacker Kwon Alexander is re-signed. The Buccaneers will use more 3-4 looks under Todd Bowles, and they will need a dependable tackling linebacker with range.

6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Offseason needs: Quarterback, offensive tackle, safety, linebacker

The Giants are another team to follow closely at the combine. General manager Dave Gettleman is pretty straightforward, and he will face a multitude of questions about New York’s quarterback situation. His answers should give some hints on which direction the Giants take.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Offseason needs: Quarterback, offensive line, tight end, safety

If the Jaguars choose to not make a deal for veteran quarterback Nick Foles, it could indicate they’re going quarterback in the first round. Maybe it could be Murray. It should be, at least. Murray is an accurate thrower on all levels of the field, and has good arm strength and touch on the ball.

8. Detroit Lions: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

Offseason needs: Edge defender, tight end, linebacker, guard

Ferrell’s workouts at the combine will be important to where he lands on draft weekend. If has a strong week, he has value this high in the draft. The report on him right now is that he’s just a solid athlete. If he can quantify his play with good explosive testing numbers, watch his stock rise.

9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

Offseason needs: Offensive line, defensive tackle, wide receiver, cornerback

Some don’t like Williams as a left tackle in the NFL. For Buffalo, that shouldn’t be much of a concern with 2017 second-round pick Dion Dawkins on that side. For the Bills, Williams could be used at several positions, helping Buffalo get the maximum amount of talent on the offensive line.

10. Denver Broncos: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Offseason needs: Offensive line, cornerback, tight end, linebacker

The Broncos actually have a pretty good group of players on offense, with young guys like running back Phillip Lindsay and receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton. But the team has struggled in recent years to find a weapon at tight end. Hockenson could fill that role. He’s one of the best players in the draft this year, and he has the type of all-around game that will make him effective early in his career.

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Offseason needs: Offensive tackle, linebacker, tight end, quarterback

If White is gone when the Bengals are up, their focus might shift to the offensive line. That could be Taylor or Oklahoma’s Cody Ford. Both are right tackles with experience and could help fix Cincinnati’s troublesome line.

12. Green Bay Packers: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State

Offseason needs: Edge defender, tight end, guard, defensive line

The Packers should easily be able to find a pass rusher with the 12th pick, so combine testing could split a tie between players. Maybe those players are Burns and Florida’s Jachai Polite. There’s a lot to like about Burns as a prospect. He has impressive length and first-step quickness to create pressure.

13. Miami Dolphins: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Offseason needs: Quarterback, offensive tackle, edge defender, defensive tackle

If Murray is gone, the Dolphins could fall back on Lock if they don’t add a viable veteran quarterback before the draft. In Miami, Lock would get personally coached by Jim Caldwell, the Dolphins’ assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach. With a long history that includes working with Peyton Manning during his best seasons, Caldwell could shape Lock and his impressive skill set.

14. Atlanta Falcons: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Offseason needs: Defensive tackle, offensive tackle, cornerback, guard

Oliver has a lot at stake at the combine. If he measures small, some teams will shy away. More importantly, teams will be closely looking at the health of his knee that hampered him for much of the 2018 season. If Oliver checks out medically, a team like Atlanta may have to trade up if it really wants him.

15. Washington: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Offseason needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, safety, guard

This is probably too high for Jones, but desperate teams reach for quarterbacks. Jones is a solid player in the same way that someone like Kirk Cousins is. Nothing about his game is flashy, but he’s dependable.

16. Carolina Panthers: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Offseason needs: Edge defender, offensive tackle, safety, guard

At 6’6 and 252 pounds, Sweat is going to be one of the stars of the combine based on sheer size alone. For the Panthers, he would fill the desperate need at pass rusher.

17. Cleveland Browns: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Offseason needs: Defensive tackle, offensive tackle, linebacker, cornerback

A team like the Browns would love to see four quarterbacks go before they pick. That will lead to a player with a much higher grade, like Wilkins, to drop. Wilkins can be the three-technique tackle the Browns are searching for this offseason to help improve the pass rush.

18. Minnesota Vikings: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

Offseason needs: Offensive tackle, guard, defensive tackle, running back

Although Oklahoma’s Cody Ford has a higher grade going into the combine than Dillard, the Washington State blocker gets the nod because he plays on the left side. Dillard specializes in pass blocking, which is exactly what the Vikings need to keep Kirk Cousins upright.

19. Tennessee Titans: Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida

Offseason needs: Wide receiver, edge defender, guard, quarterback

Polite is just too good of a prospect to let drop further than the 19th pick. The Titans may prioritize a position ahead of edge rusher, but it’s hard to argue Polite’s value. He can line up opposite Harold Landry and give Tennessee a good young pair of pass rushers.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Offseason needs: Linebacker, cornerback, tight end, safety, offensive tackle

Although Williams tends to shy away from physical situations, he knows how to play the football and break up passes. After the Steelers got just eight interceptions a season ago, fifth-worst in the NFL, Williams is the type of player they need.

21. Seattle Seahawks: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma

Offseason needs: Defensive line, guard, linebacker, kicker

It’s possible that Ford is taken in the top 10, so he could be the sort of player who could entice Seattle to hold on to the 21st pick instead of trading down. Ford could start his NFL career playing guard, or make a push to start at right tackle for the Seahawks.

22. Baltimore Ravens: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Offseason needs: Edge rusher, wide receiver, linebacker, running back

Jacobs has the talent of a first-round pick; it’s just hard to find a good spot for him in the top 32. One potential landing spot is Baltimore. He would thrive in the Ravens’ run-heavy system thanks to his agility, vision, and strength running the ball.

23. Houston Texans: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

Offseason needs: Offensive tackle, cornerback, defensive line, tight end

Although Little is the fifth offensive linemen taken in this mock, he still has value for Houston with the 23rd overall pick. He’s NFL-ready as a pass blocker if he can be a little more consistent. That will be a relief to Deshaun Watson, who was sacked more than any quarterback in the NFL last season.

24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago): Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Offseason needs: Edge defender, cornerback, running back, wide receiver

The Raiders could go multiple directions if they land a defensive end like Gary at the top of the first round. Murphy would give the Raiders a cornerback who can work on the outside or in the slot. The Raiders finished 2018 at minus-seven in turnover ratio, and a player like Murphy should be able to turn that around.

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

Offseason needs: Cornerback, offensive tackle, running back, defensive line

Defensive tackles like Dexter Lawrence of Clemson and Jeffery Simmons of Mississippi State may have a higher ranking than Jones, but both are a little too similar stylistically to standout Eagles lineman Fletcher Cox. Those players all excel at taking on blockers and filling gaps, while Jones specializes in splitting gaps.

26. Indianapolis Colts: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Offseason needs: Defensive end, cornerback, wide receiver, defensive tackle

If the Colts don’t go after a wide receiver in free agency, they could have their pick of them in the first round of the draft. They could choose to roll the dice on Metcalf’s upside. That, of course, is assuming Metcalf can move around after packing on mass. That’s something we’ll find out when Metcalf goes through the paces at Lucas Oil Stadium.

27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Offseason needs: Edge defender, cornerback, running back, wide receiver

There’s an interesting juxtaposition with this pick. Essentially it means that the Raiders would have traded Amari Cooper for Brown. It’s a net savings financially, but is it actually an upgrade?

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

Offseason needs: Offensive tackle, defensive tackle, linebacker, quarterback

Los Angeles’ defensive line could get rebuilt this offseason, and a player like Lawrence could become a necessity. He can chew up blockers and has the power to drive them backward. The Chargers’ linebacker group will love playing behind Lawrence because he’ll free them up to make plays instead of taking on guards.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

Offseason needs: Cornerback, safety, defensive tackle, center

The Chiefs could face a messy breakup with former All-Pro safety Eric Berry. If that happens, it’s obvious the Chiefs need to find his replacement. Adderley is a standout pass defender for the position and loves to play aggressively.

30. Green Bay Packers: (via New Orleans): Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

Offseason needs: Edge defender, tight end, guard, defensive line

That’s right, not a tight end with this pick for Green Bay. Risner is a versatile lineman that the Packers could utilize almost anywhere along the offensive line. He’s a pro-ready player too — just what a team like Green Bay needs.

31. Los Angeles Rams: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

Offseason needs: Safety, edge defender, guard, offensive tackle

Rodger Saffold could depart the Rams in free agency, and 37-year-old Andrew Whitworth won’t be around forever. It would be smart for Los Angeles to start working on its offensive line this offseason. Cajuste is a little raw, but his game is that of a starting offensive tackle in the NFL.

32. New England Patriots: Zach Allen, DE, Boston College

Offseason needs: Edge defender, tight end, defensive tackle, wide receiver

With Trey Flowers expected to depart for a big-money free agent contract, the Patriots will be happy to see Allen on the board at No. 32. Like Flowers, he can play along the line and is athletic enough to get home when rushing the passer.

SECOND ROUND

33. Arizona Cardinals: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State

34. Indianapolis Colts (via New York Jets): Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

35. Oakland Raiders: Gerald Willis, DT, Miami

36. San Francisco 49ers: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

37. New York Giants: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

40. Buffalo Bills: Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame

41. Denver Broncos: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

42. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

43. Detroit Lions: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

44. Green Bay Packers: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M

45. Atlanta Falcons: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College

46. Washington: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

47. Carolina Panthers: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

48. Miami Dolphins: Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech

49. Cleveland Browns: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

50. Minnesota Vikings: Isaiah Buggs, DL, Alabama

51. Tennessee Titans: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

52. Pittsburgh Steelers: Charles Omenihu, DE, Texas

53. Philadelphia Eagles (via Baltimore): Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State

54. Houston Texans (via Seattle): Anthony Nelson, DE, Iowa

55. Houston Texans: Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt

56. New England Patriots (via Chicago): Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois

57. Philadelphia Eagles: D’Andre Walker, Edge, Georgia

58. Dallas Cowboys: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia

59. Indianapolis Colts: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, CB/S, Florida

60. Los Angeles Chargers: Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois

61. Kansas City Chiefs: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

62. New Orleans Saints: Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford

63. Kansas City Chiefs (via Los Angeles Rams): Joe Jackson, DE, Miami

64. New England Patriots: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

THIRD ROUND

65. Arizona Cardinals: Ed Alexander, DT, LSU

66. Oakland Raiders: Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic

67. San Francisco 49ers: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

68. New York Jets: Trey Pipkins, OT, Sioux Falls

69. Jacksonville Jaguars: Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

70. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Christian Miller, Edge, Alabama

71. Denver Broncos: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

72. Cincinnati Bengals: Ryan Finley, QB, NC State

73. New England Patriots (via Detroit): Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss

74. Buffalo Bills: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

75. Green Bay Packers: Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State

76. Washington: Michael Deiter, OL, Wisconsin

77. Carolina Panthers: Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State

78. Miami Dolphins: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson

79. Atlanta Falcons: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

80. Cleveland Browns: Terrill Hanks, LB, New Mexico State

81. Minnesota Vikings: Chase Winovich, DE/OLB, Michigan

82. Tennessee Titans: Connor McGovern, G, Penn State

83. Pittsburgh Steelers: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia

84. Seattle Seahawks: Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson

85. Baltimore Ravens: Carl Granderson, Edge, Wyoming

86. Houston Texans: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State

87. Chicago Bears: Amani Hooker, S, Iowa

88. Detroit Lions (via Philadelphia): Saivion Smith, CB, Alabama

89. Indianapolis Colts: Lonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky

90. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Jelks, DE, Oregon

91. Los Angeles Chargers: David Sills, WR, West Virginia

92. Kansas City Chiefs: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State

93. New York Jets (via New Orleans): Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State

94. Los Angeles Rams: Porter Gustin, Edge, USC

95. Cleveland Browns (via New England): Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn

96. Washington: Mike Bell, S, Fresno State

97. New England Patriots: Te’Von Coney, LB, Notre Dame

98. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): Erik McCoy, G/C, Texas A&M

99. Los Angeles Rams: Michael Jordan, G/C, Ohio State

100. Carolina Panthers: Beau Benzschawel, G, Wisconsin

101. New England Patriots: Clayton Thorson, QB, Northwestern

102. Baltimore Ravens: Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma


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‘Green Book’ Wins Best Picture At Oscars

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Green Book won best picture at the Oscars.

The film about the Black, gay artist, Dr. Don Shirley, earned a total of five Oscar nominations.

 Mahershala Ali won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role as Shirley.

The film also won best screenpla . 

The post ‘Green Book’ Wins Best Picture At Oscars appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Adam Lambert & Queen Rock The Opening Of The Oscars: WATCH

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The post Adam Lambert & Queen Rock The Opening Of The Oscars: WATCH appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Rami Malek Wins Best Actor For ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

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Rami Malek, accepting the award for best actor for his portrayal of the bisexual, lead singer of the band Queen, Freddie Mercury, won the Oscar for best actor tonight.

The post Rami Malek Wins Best Actor For ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.


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Spike Lee says the Knicks are ‘trying to tank’ at the Oscars

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Lee wants Zion to go with his Academy Award

Who knew the Academy Awards were sports? Thanks to Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee, now they are! Before presenting a pair of writing awards on Sunday night, Jackson pointed out the avid New York Knicks fan Lee in the crowd, informing him of the day’s results.

New York on Sunday beat the Spurs 130-118, the Knicks’ first home win since Dec. 1. Upon hearing the news, Lee yelled back to Jackson from the crowd, “We’re trying to tank.”

The loss snapped an 18-game home losing streak for the Knicks, and while it was the second win in their last three game overall, it was also their second win in their last 21 games. It’s been a rough season for the Knicks, who are 12-48, but that’s not the worst record in the NBA. The bottom four:

The reason Lee and Knicks fans everywhere are rooting for tanking is Duke star Zion Williamson, widely expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Finishing with the worst overall record doesn’t guarantee the top pick, but does give the best chance in the draft lottery. So it’s a head start, at least.

And if Lee doesn’t get to see his beloved Knicks win the chance to draft Williamson, then at least he can enjoy his Academy Award win for Best Adapted Screenplay for ‘BlacKkKlansman.’


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