Written By: Adam Poedubicky

Here we are with the second official New York State of Sports Mock Draft. There will be many more to come, but I waited until now to get one done so the combine and first week of free agency would be reflected.

1.     St. Louis (1-15) – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska. He’s too good to pass up at this point. We’ll closely watch the financial situation, as well as Bradford’s OU Pro Day Performance.

2.     Detroit (2-14) – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma. Check out the Lions current depth chart listing for the DT position. They would love to get Suh, but McCoy isn’t too bad of a consolation prize.

3.     Tampa Bay (3-13) – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee. Berry had a great combine, showing he is the next big thing at safety.

4.     Washington (4-12) – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma. Look for coach Mike Shanahan to pick up a new QB to lead his team for many years.

5.     Kansas City (4-12) – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State. The pieces are starting to fall into place for the Kansas City Chiefs. However, they will need an OT to protect Matt Cassel, who was sacked 42 times last year.

6.     Seattle (5-11) – Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame. Pete Carroll fell in love with Jimmy Clausen when he was a senior in high school (like every other college coach). Expect Matt Hasselbeck to have a year to show Jimmy Clausen how to run an offense.

7.     Cleveland (5-11) – Joe Haden, CB, Florida. Although he had a bad combine, the Browns are still in desperate need of a corner to start opposite Eric Wright.

8.     Oakland (5-11) – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE/OLB, South Florida. Sure, the Raiders need an offensive tackle. But once you check out the size and athleticism, you’ll understand why Al Davis won’t be able to pass him up.

9.     Buffalo (6-10) – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers. Trading Jason Peters last year and the early retirement of Brad Butler makes a huge hole even bigger.

10.  Jacksonville (7-9) – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech. The Jags managed to sack the opposing team’s QB only 14 times last year.

11.  Denver – from Chicago (7-9) – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State. With the looming departure of Brandon Marshall, they’re going to need someone to fill the huge void that he will leave.

12.  Miami (7-9) – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee. Jason Ferguson isn’t getting any younger, and Dan Williams is the second best DT, after 1a Suh and 1b McCoy.

13.  San Francisco (8-8) – Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa. This is Alex Smith’s final year to prove himself, so if not, expect a quarterback to go early for them next year.

14.  Seattle – from Denver (8-8) – C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson. Consider this draft a boost of “instant offense” for the Seahawks, who averaged 97.9 rushing yards per game last year.

15.  New York Giants (8-8) – Rolando McClain, LB, Giants. The pieces are starting to fall back into place to give the G-Men a respectable defense.

16.  Tennessee (8-8) – Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas. Kindle has the skills, savvy, and athleticism to play DE or OLB in the NFL.

17.  San Francisco – from Carolina (8-8) – Earl Thomas, S, Texas. Thomas follows his teammate from Texas off the board, as Coach Singletary looks for a safety upgrade, and gets great value.

18.  Pittsburgh (9-7) – Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho. The Steelers need to seriously consider taking Iupati, as Big Ben continuously gets beat up year after year.

19.  Atlanta (9-7) – Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida. Character issues are a major concern here, but hey, it’s Atlanta, it can’t get much worse than the Vick debacle.

20.  Houston (9-7) – Brian Price, DT, UCLA. Houston is out of positions of offense to draft weapons. Time for the defense to start pulling its weight.

21.  Cincinnati (10-6) – Taylor Mays, S, Southern Cal. Safety is a huge need for the Bengals, so expect him to follow the recent Trojans’ exodus to Cincinnati.

22.  New England (10-6) – Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan. Graham is the perfect, do-everything player that the New England defense loves.

23.  Green Bay (11-5) – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland. Campbell’s monster combine shoots him up draft boards, as the Packers are in need for a right tackle.

24.  Philadelphia (11-5) – Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, Missouri. The Eagles defense last year was nothing compared to it of year’s past. The best pure outside linebacker is a good fit.

25.  Baltimore (9-7) – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma. Todd Heap is not getting any younger or healthier. If Gresham can assure his knees are fine, look for him to be another playmaker in the Ravens offense.

26.  Arizona (10-6) – Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State. Losing Antrel Rolle to the Giants isn’t going to be easy to get over without picking up some secondary help.

27.  Dallas (11-5) – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma. Dallas is starting to look like the real deal. Nothing a stud tackle from nearby Oklahoma won’t fix.

28.  San Diego (13-3) – Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State. He showed great size and speed at the combine. I’m not saying he’s the next LT, but he’s the best available replacement

29.  New York Jets (9-7) – Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame. An eventual replacement for Jericho Cotchery, he’ll provide a spark to a good, but unimpressive Jets’ offense.

30.  Minnesota (12-4) – Devin McCourty, DB, Rutgers. McCourty had a great combine, and the Vikings are going to need help at DB if they plan on catching up to the Saints.

31.  Indianapolis (14-2) – Kyle Wilson, DB, Boise State. An athletic playmaker at Boise that can help on defense and on special teams.

32. New Orleans (13-3) – Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama. He had embarrassing combine numbers, but he’s a playmaker. Let’s hope the World Champs can keep him off Bourbon Street


Written By: Matt Vereb

I have rebranded our pick of the day, The New York State of Sports Pick of the Day, in order to avoid problems. This is however, my Streak for the Cash selection of the day blog.

Matchup: 2:30 Connecticut Huskies(17-14) @ St. John’s Red Storm(16-14)

Tuesday marks the opening round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Last year’s Big East tournament was extremely exciting. Syracuse and Connecticut 5-OT thriller was one of the best basketball games I’ve ever seen.

Connecticut has been sitting on the NCAA Tournament bubble for the past month. They’ve posted huge Big East victories at Villanova and against West Virginia. However, for every big victory Connecticut has had, they have a big let down game at South Florida or home vs. Cincinnati.

St. John’s(8-7 Home) plays its home contests at Madison Square Garden. Their last win was a 3 OT victory at DePaul.

UCONN did beat St. John’s earlier this season, 75-59 in Storrs. Connecticut Seniors Stanley Robinson and Jerome Dyson still have an eerie feeling after losing in 5 OTs to Syracuse, 127-117 in the Big East Tournament. Both players will want another shot at Syracuse this year. Connecticut needs at least three Big East Tournament wins to get NCAA Tournament consideration. They get #1 on Tuesday.

The Pick: Connecticut Huskies (17-14)

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Written By: Alex Lowenthal

Looks like Met fans will have to wait a little longer to watch their star shortstop return to the game.  Jose Reyes was scheduled to make his Spring Training debut this afternoon, but that won’t happen today.  He was scratched from today’s game after tests revealed that he has a thyroid imbalance.  He is currently returning to New York for more tests. The thyroid is a gland in your neck that produces hormones and helps control metabolism.

Reyes was cleared to play today following a physical, but GM Omar Minaya said that the New York doctors wanted to take a closer look at Jose, saying that they’re “going to be conservative”.  He was pulled out of pre-game stretching today to head back to the Big Apple.  Reyes said he felt fine and has not experienced any dizziness, fatigue or any other symptoms of a thyroid problem. He said he was anxious to find out what is happening.

These test results can take up to two days, and Jose will not be taking part in any physical activity until we know more.

Photo Credit: New York Daily News

Written By: Mike Ulatoski

The Giants are in the mix for Antrell Rolle, and according to a report, he’ll be in town for a visit on Friday.

According to the Florida Sun-Sentinel, the 27-year-old safety is expected to visit with the Giants Friday morning. The report even says the Giants are expected to offer the Pro-Bowler a contract worth $8 million per year.

The Giants are one of four teams going after Rolle. Earlier today, it looked like the Chicago Bears were the favorites to sign Rolle. But if Rolle is really arriving at the Meadowlands in the morning, it puts the Giants in the drivers’ seat. They don’t bring a guy in unless they’re ready to offer him a contract and they do their best to prevent him from leaving until he’s signed it.

The cost, though, will be huge. This goes against the plans of the Giants’ front-office, which were to not be “big spenders” this offseason (same as last year, when they signed Rocky Bernard, Michael Boley, and Chris Canty, to name a few).

Rolle has already turned down a reported six-year, $38.6 million offer from the Cardinals, who released him rather than pay him a $4 million roster bonus he’s due next week. It’s a good bet he’ll want at least five years, probably at $40 million, with $15 million or more guaranteed.

Rolle has been free to talk with teams before the free-agent signing period began Friday morning at midnight, since he was released Thursday. He played cornerback in his first three seasons with Arizona, and switched to safety prior to the 2008 season.

There are also reports that the Giants are also hot for free-agent LB Karlos Dansby, and they are slightly interested in RB Chester Taylor. Stay tuned, maybe it will turn into a busy night after all for Big Blue.

**Picutred Above: Rays 2B, Ben Zobrist**

Written By: Matt Vereb

Our fantasy baseball draft has been rolling along as each owner has put together a quality roster of players. Here is the breakdown of Rounds 7-10( Kenny led off)


Kenny Alex Matt Mike Bobby Brian Adam Lupo
7 Zobrist, SS Sizemore, OF Haren, SP Votto, 1B Werth, OF Billingsley, SP Hill, 2B Markakis, OF
8 McCutchen,OF N. Cruz, OF B. Upton, OF Moreanu, DH Lind, OF Uggla, 2B Granderson, OF Vazquez, SP
9 M. Montero, C J. Johnson, SP M. Rivera,RP Nathan, RP Broxton, RP W. Rodriguez,SP Soria, RP Ethier, OF
10 Cain, SP F. Rodriguez, RP Beckett, SP Dunn, OF C. Lee, DH A. Soriano, OF Gallardo, SP Papelbon,RP

Reach Picks:

Andrew McCutchen and Wandy Rodriguez

I really questioned Kenny’s selection in Round 8. McCutchen caught fire last season for the Pirates. He hit 12 HRs, stole 22 bases and posted a .286 BA. However, Kenny needs more power on his team. Andre Ethier or Adam Dunn would have made more sense for him in this spot.

I started the closer run in Round 9 and a few nabbed quality relief arms. However, Brian drafted Astros SP, Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a good young pitcher. He has 3.00 ERA and 200 K potential, but Brian left pitchers will better track records(Beckett, Gallardo, Cain) on the board.

Best Value:

Adam Lind

Bobby selected Lind in the middle of the 7th round before I could draft him two slots later. Lind had an impressive 2009 campaign, clubbing 36 HRs, knocking in 112 runs, and batting .300. Can he repeat it in 2010? I think so. Good pick

Owners: React to rounds 7-10; Provide Insight

Photo Credit: daylife.com

Written By: Matt Vereb

Sigh. Nick Johnson is already injured and its only the 2nd day of exhibtion games. Johnson was expected to bat 2nd for the Yankees today, but was scratched due to lower back pain. Given Johnson’s injury history, many Yankee fans were wary of the off-season signing. Johnson and Girardi claim that this injury is not serious and Johnson could have played if it was a regular season game. It’s worth monitoring. The Yankees did face Roy Halladay today, so maybe Johnson just wanted a day at the spa instead. Can’t blame the guy.

Since 2001, Johnson has played 120+ games only four times. He has had a plethora injuries, including hand, back, wrist, face, lower leg, foot, neck, thigh and ‘general medical’ injuries. Johnson has never played as a DH, so we can only cross our fingers for 2010.

Photo Credit: news.yahoo.com

Written By: Matt Vereb

Wake Forest was able to salvage their NCAA Tournament hopes yesterday with a home win over Clemson. Our streak is back at 1. Today’s matchup features two dynamic NBA rookies who are respectively carrying their teams.

The Matchup: 8:05 PM Golden State Warriors at New Orleans Hornets

More Points Scored: Stephan Curry(GS) or Darren Collison(NO)

Both Curry and Collison have averaged 22 PPG over their last five contests. These two will be match uped in this game. Collison(10.4 PPG this season) scored 32 points in Friday’s loss to the Spurs. Since Chris Paul’s injury, Collison has played remarkably well. Curry(16 PPG) has been the lone bright spot the Golden State Warriors.

In his past few matchups, Collison has allowed 20 points to Tony Parker and 26 points to Mike Conley Jr. Curry played great defense in his last game against Bobcat Point Guard, Raymond Felton, limiting him to 4 for 14 shooting from the field.

Curry is a better pure scorer and his team relies on him more for points. Curry has been playing 43+ minutes in 4 of his last 5 contests. Look for him to take a ton of shots as the Warriors will look to keep up with the Hornets.

The Pick: Stephan Curry, More Points Scored

What do you think ESPN Fans? Will Curry Score More Points?

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Photo Credit: news.yahoo.com

Written by: Eric Conway

U.S. Olympic backup netminder, Tim Thomas made 37 saves to lead the Boston Bruins over the New York Islanders 3-2 on Saturday.  The Bruins offense was led by Marc Savard, who netted a power play goal in the second period.  David Krejci and Milan Lucic rounded out the scoring for the Bruins who are the lowest scoring team in the NHL.

The Isles offense was provided by Josh Bailey and Matt Moulson. Moulson collected his team leading 23rd tally of the season.  Personally, I do not think Moulson gets enough ice time.  He leads the Islanders in goals scored by a significant margin now and still fails to see any substantial power play time. Doug Weight has been used to play the point on the first power play unit and he only has 1 goal on the season thus far.  Don’t get me wrong, I respect Doug Weight. He has had a heck of a career, but for the Isles to be handing him all this ice time is a bit ridiculous.  Let some other young guys develop and see more time.

The struggling Islanders are seeing their dim playoff chances fade real quickly after losing their last two games.  The Islanders now sit 13th in the Eastern Conference and are 8 points back of the final playoff spot which is currently held by the Montreal Canadiens.  If the Islanders want to keep any of their slim playoff hopes alive, they must start by winning in their next game on Tuesday as they travel to Philadelphia.  The Isles need to string together a solid winning streak to get themselves back in the thick of the playoff race because there are many teams vying for that final spot.

Other Housekeeping Items:

John Tavares has not scored in his last 17 games.  His last goal came on January 16th in a shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres.  I was at that game and it feels like forever ago.  He has 17 goals on the season and I would like to see him net a few more before the season ends. It will give him some confidence going into a crucial offseason where he needs to obviously get stronger physically and work on his skating.

Mark Streit picked up his 200th NHL point, assisting on Josh Bailey’s goal at 2:18 of the second period.

Islander Fans: How concerned are you? What needs to change?

Photot Credit: topics.dallasnews.com

Pictured Above: Yankee Outfielder, Brett Gardner, In A Dredded Run Down

Written By: Matt Vereb

The Yankees lost their third consecutive Spring Training game today against the Minnesota Twins, 11-0. Overall, I’m virtually indifferent about Spring Training scores and more interested with individual performances.

Today’s Notes:

1. Sergio Mitre threw three solid innings. Mitre gave up no runs, scattered two hits, and struck out three. His velocity has been excellent this season, consistently between 93-95 MPH. He is definitely making his case to be at least involved in the bullpen.

2. Chad Gaudin struggled today. Over two innings, he gave up two long home runs, one hit by Jason Kubel.

3. Outfielder Brett Gardner went 1 for 3 on the day. Gardner layed down an impressive bunt for a hit. However, when he was on first, Gardner got caught leaning towards 2nd base and was involved in a run down. Gardner was safe after Nick Punto dropped the ball. It’s encouraging to see Gardner bunting the ball well and fans can never fault a player for aggressiveness.

4. The most concerning stat today? The Yankees only had one extra base hit today, a double by Uber-Prospect, Jesus Montero. Cano, Teixeira, and Outfielder Marcus Thames did combine for four singles. It would be nice to see one of the regular hit a long home run.

5. Javy Vazquez and Andy Pettitte are the only two starting pitchers yet to appear in Spring Training action. Both players have thrown bullpen sessions and participated in scrimmages, but have yet to have an opposing team. Look for that this week.

Photo Credit: news.yahoo.com

Written By: Adam Poedubicky

According to league sources, the New York Jets have traded safety Kerry Rhodes to the Arizona Cardinals for two draft picks. Rhodes has been a starter for the New York Jets at safety since he was drafted in the fourth round in 2005. His marquee year was 2006, where he was an All-Pro selection, where he logged 99 tackles, 5 sacks, and 4 interceptions. For his services, the Cardinals gave up a 4th round pick in this year’s draft (127th overall) and a 7th round pick in the 2011 draft.

Analysis:

Another great offseason move by the New York Jets. This year, Rhodes was a shell of his former self, eventually being taken out of the starting lineup for Eric Smith. From a financial standpoint, you don’t want to owe a backup safety a $2 million roster bonus. If the New York Jets weren’t paying $3 million to keep Thomas Jones, they certainly weren’t spending $2 million on Rhodes. The 4th round pick has great value and can be used to bolster the already impressive defense. With Jim Leonard already having one of the safety spots locked down, expect Smith to compete for the starting role with at this point, what should be their first round selection, safety Taylor Mays out of Southern Cal. Also, they could trade up, as they have in the past, and attempt to pick up Earl Thomas out of Texas.

This trade isn’t completely one-sided. The ArizonaCardinals were in desperate need of safety help after Antrel Rolle was released and subsequently picked up by the New York Giants. Rhodes certainly isn’t the player Rolle is, but he is a temporary solution. This is a good move by the New York Jets.

How do you feel about this move? Who would you like to see as the starting safeties next year for the New York Jets?