Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 1:49 PM
NBA PLAYOFF NEWS/NOTES PLUS OUR LATEST NFL DRAFT REPORT AS WE CHECK OUT RBs, WRs and TEs
So, who has the best shot to "shock the world" here in these NBA Playoff Round I series?
Well, if you checked out the series odds prior to the start of this post-season, you noticed the Milwaukee Bucks were listed as a + 350 (to $100) underdog against the Toronto Raptors while the Chicago Bulls were priced at + 375 against the East's top seed Boston Celtics. Both of these best-of-seven series stood at two-games-to-one in favor of the series dogs - the Bucks and Bulls - entering Saturday's action.
Out West, Utah was listed at + 210 but the early Game 1 injury to C Rudy Gobert may expose the defensive-minded Jazz sooner rather than later here in this set. Lots of great hoop action this Saturday/Sunday and we'll see - among other things - if the Bucks and Bulls can get a serious leg up before we get to a new work week.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers/Bloggers are all geared up for the NBA Playoffs that continue to roll on this weekend/this month/this spring - so just go online right here or call our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 each/every day during these NBA Playoffs and we'll send you straight into the winner's circle. Plus, there's Major-League Baseball on tap every day including exciting weekend action here such as the Washington Nationals at the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox at the Baltimore Orioles. Hey, get 'em while we're hot!
THE NFL DRAFT REPORT
Our extensive Jim Sez NFL Draft coverage rolls on with a look at the top incoming Running Backs, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends:
LEONARD FOURNETTE, RB, LSU - A sure-fire top 10 talent in this man's draft, this former Bayou Bengals' stud has great combo of size (240 pounds) and speed (4.51 time in the 40) but will he stay healthy after missing a slew of time as a collegian? It appears Fournette is only comfortable running out of the I-formation (will that be a problem in the pros?). We'll plug 'em in at #4 with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
O.J. HOWARD, TE, Alabama - Not often that a tight end gets top 10 (and maybe even top five) draft consideration but this special talent could be getting his name called within the first hour of the big show even though he nabbed only 114 passes in his four-year career (not his fault!). Big-play guy in last two national championship games against Clemson (see 9 catches for 314 yards and 3 TDs in the two title tilts). Pencil 'em in at #9 with Cincinnati where constant injury woes to TE Tyler Eifert has Cincy worried these days.
DALVIN COOK, RB, Florida State - Our commentary here is this dude's the best back in this draft even though he's rated only in the #15-to-20 pick range. The fact that this 5-foot-10, 210-pounder is very patient waiting for his blocks to develop and then can dart his way towards pay dirt makes him an explosive player who could sport Barry Sanders-type rushing averages (5 yards per game and up). Let's say Cook goes to Cleveland with the #12 pick.
CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY, RB, Stanford - This versatile 5-foot-11, 203-pounder led the FBS in all-purpose yards each of the past two seasons and he sports great open-field moves that often leave enemy defenders in their wake. Still, there's major questions as to whether this former Cardinal star can handle the between-the-tackles pounding that all NFL backs must endure. Call 'em a top 15 pick with Philadelphia said to be interested at #14.
JOHN ROSS, WR, Washington - Major speedball (4.22 time in the 40) who really helped the Huskies loosen up enemy defenses en route to UW's trip to the college football playoffs. Ross is just 5-feet-11, 188 pounds but he can find the end zone (see 16 TDs last year). Let's call him the 16th pick with the Baltimore Ravens.
COREY DAVIS, WR, Western Michigan - This 6-foot-3, 210-pounder was a consistent force as a four-year starter with the Broncos and last year caught 97 balls worth 1,500 yards with 19 TDs. Great/strong hands that makes him Anquan Boldin-like. Maybe he'll "stay home" with Detroit at pick #21.
MIKE WILLIAMS, WR, Clemson - Once upon a time the word was this 6-foot-4, 220-pounder was gonna be a top three pick but his stock has dropped even after he caught 1,361 yards of passes a year ago. P.S., NFL scouts don't believe he gets "separation" as much as he should. Could be in that 20-to-25 pick range with an outside shot he goes #19 to Tampa Bay.
DAVID NJOKU, TE, Miami - Monstrous 6-foot-4, 248-pounder who is more graceful than one might think (one report says he has a "freakish ease of movement"). Critics claim he drops too many passes and should fall out of Round I. We say he'll go to Dallas at pick #28 or Green Bay at pick #29.
NOTE: More NBA Playoff Updates and another NFL Draft Report in the next edition of Jim Sez. Plus, watch for our NFL Mock Draft next Thursday!