2019 NFL Mock Draft 1-21-19

nfl draft

It’s 2019 NFL mock draft time! The order is now set, up until the divisional round of the playoffs. Team needs were sometimes, but often not taken into account, as it’s still early for a 2019 mock draft in the purest sense.

A true 2019 NFL mock draft can’t really be composed until after 2019 free agency. Have issues with the picks? Of course you do! Many often bones to pick, so have at it in the comments section. Just try to not be like the others who hurl insults and instead keep it classy and professional. Sure, this disclaimer will go completely ignored, as it always does, but I’ll say it anyway- “THERE IS NO NEED FOR NAME CALLING!”

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Northwestern Wildcats Basketball Season Resume/Postseason Profile

northwestern basketball

While there are still 14 games left in the season, the clock is very much ticking loudly for the Northwestern Wildcats. Right now, they’re projected to be in the dreaded Wednesday slate/opening day of the Big Ten Tournament and you know what that means- you have to win the whole conference tourney in order to get into The Big Dance.

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2019 Northwestern Football Very Early Season Preview

2018 was a banner, yet still very strange season for Northwestern football. It saw the first winless non-conference regular season since 1992, Gary Barnett’s very first season in Evanston. However, it also included a very nice bowl win over the Pac 12 runner-up/winner of the league’s south division.

It was an autumn that brought Pat Fitzgerald’s worst loss (Akron) since his very first home game in charge (New Hampshire, 2006) and his first Big Ten Coach of the Year award, on strength of a 8-1 league record. At various points during the season, Fitzgerald brought attention to his non-believers and detractors. At times, he mentioned the odds-makers, bloggers, Clayton Thorson critics and media who he felt didn’t give the offensive line as much positive publicity as he felt they deserved.

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Pat Fitzgerald Emphatically Shoots Down Green Bay Packers Rumors

pat fitzgerald

So much for the Pat Fitzgerald to the Green Bay Packers rumors. In celebrating a record setting come-from-behind Holiday Bowl victory over the #17 Utah Utes, the Northwestern head coach made an emphatic statement.

It was reported by multiple outlets on Sunday that Packers CEO Mark Murphy, who elevated Fitzgerald to head coach in 2006 when he was NU athletic director, was interested in interviewing Fitzgerald for the open Packers head coaching position.

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Green Bay Packers Want to Interview Pat Fitzgerald for Open Coaching Position

pat fitzgerald

According to multiple reports, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald is on the list of candidates to potentially fill the Green Bay Packers head coaching vacancy. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the ball is in Fitzgerald’s court right now too. The Packers have contacted Fitz about scheduling an interview, but the NU mentor is currently focused on preparing his team to take on #17 Utah in the Holiday Bowl tomorrow (full game preview and prediction at this link).

We won’t know until after the bowl game whether or not Fitz will hear their Packers out on their offer, but he “has shut down countless interview requests from the NFL in the past,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

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Holiday Bowl Preview, Prediction: #22 Northwestern Wildcats vs #17 Utah Utes

Since 2014, the Holiday Bowl has featured a matchup of Pac-12 and Big Ten teams, making it a sort of junior varsity version of the Rose Bowl. It’s kind of like how San Diego is the j.v. version of Los Angeles in some ways. That’s not meant to be a slam, San Diego is an awesome city.

The 2018 edition of the Holiday Bowl features a match-up of the teams that lost the Big 10 (#22 Northwestern Wildcats) and Pac 12 (#17 Utah Utes) championship games. The winners of those two conference title games, Ohio State and Washington, will meet in the Rose Bowl the next day. So really, this year more than ever, the Holiday Bowl is a quasi-opening act for the Granddaddy of them all.

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Oklahoma Sooners Provide Most Compelling Northwestern Non-Conf Home Game in Quite Some Time

lon kruger oklahoma

Aside from the very narrow loss to #4 Michigan, the new Welsh-Ryan Arena hasn’t really yet experienced a true rocking atmosphere. While it was indeed electric inside the new barn that evening, the crowd was half (or more) Michigan Wolverines supporters. Friday night brings the Oklahoma Sooners, the first team out of the AP poll and the second out of the coaches polls this week to Evanston.

The back half of a home and home series with OU, this is pretty much the most exciting non-conference home game that Northwestern has seen since…since…well, quite a long time. It can be tough to get a good quality pre-conference opponent to come to your gym, because no one really wants to do home and homes.

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Michigan, Michigan State at Top of Early Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings

michigan wolverines

Early December polls and rankings are to be taken with a grain of salt, but we do know this about the Big Ten- “the Michigans” currently rule the roost. College hoops is a sport as synonymous with gambling as any you will find anywhere in the entire world. Wagering on college basketball at this time of year can be like real money online pokies, there is a ton of luck and chance involved. However, if you want a blue chip then #GoBlue, as the Michigan Wolverines have consistently shown a capability to beat the spread by by a comfortable margin.

They are the clear number one in the Big Ten with arch-rival Michigan State a solid #2 in the league. Next to each team name below you’ll find the following numerical values: overall record, conference record, AP ranking (when applicable) Sagarin rating and kenpom rating.

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#5 Michigan Basketball, Big Ten Bellwether, Provide Good Early Test for Northwestern Wildcats


University of Michigan- basketball school? Well, it certainly feels like it right now as the Wolverines moved up to #5 in the latest AP poll, and hold the highest current position of any Big Ten team. John Beilein has guided Michigan basketball to two national title game appearances, three elite eights and four sweet sixteens in the past five seasons.

Meanwhile Jim Harbaugh, who is paid more than three times as much as Beilein, has yet to accomplish any of the three things he was hired to do in 2015 (beat Ohio State, win Big Ten titles, compete for national titles).

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Northwestern Football Hopes to Make B1G Title Games the New Normal

For Northwestern football, the goal is to have it so Big Ten title game appearances are no longer novel or new, but instead routine. The Big Ten has gotten so used to seeing Wisconsin and Ohio State (sometimes both at the same time) in the league title game that when we do see another program earn a place in Indianapolis, it’s a bold change of pace.

#20 Northwestern lost 45-24 to #6 Ohio State tonight in a game that saw the Wildcats claw back into it during the third quarter, but fade away early in the fourth. After the game, Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald expressed his ambitions of making this game essentially part of the annual schedule.

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#6 Ohio State Buckeyes vs #19 Northwestern Wildcats: B1G Title Game Preview

amos alonzo stagg trophy big ten title

The 2018 Big Ten Championship Game will feature the #6 Ohio State Buckeyes versus the #19 Northwestern Wildcats, a match-up of two teams at opposite ends of the league spectrum on several dimensions. OSU has arguably the largest and most zealous fan base in the league; NU not so much. 

Likewise when it comes to media attention and history of overall success. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald on the attention disparity between Northwestern and Ohio State:

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Why Pat Fitzgerald Was the Only Guy who Deserved B1G Coach of the Year

pat fitzgerald

At 4:51 p.m. today Northwestern football announced that the most famous #51 in their history had won 2018 Big Ten Coach of the Year. Pat Fitzgerald, whose name co-adorns the league’s linebacker of the year award with another #51 from the state of Illinois, Dick Butkus, claims the coaching honor of the first time in his 13 year career.

It’s long overdue, especially when you consider how consistent his teams have been over the years at a.) getting better as the season goes along b.) winning on the road and c.) winning conference games as they are now 15-1 in their last 16 road games.

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