NFL Mock Draft 4-8

NFL Mock Draft 3-10 Round 2

gillette stadium

By Paul M. Banks

For round 1 click here

Click on the following highlighted/bold phrases to read our:

NFL Team Needs listing

NFL Draft Big Board

As always, you can check out my College Football and NFL blogs on the Washington Times.com by clicking the hyperlinked text.

For our NBA Mock Draft click here

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New Orleans Aints Nickname Ain’t No More After Today

Crescent city gives last rites to “Aints” nickname with public Jazz Funeral today

By Paul M. Banks

Perhaps no event in life can define the term “emotional roller coaster” as well as a jazz funeral.The darkest depths of despair signified by the slow, low dirges of horns eventually give way to an up tempo swing encapsulating the most euphoric of highs. In Spike Lee’s documentary “Katrina: a Requiem,” a jazz musician describes exactly what a jazz funeral symbolizes. The slow, melancholic portion represents death, and the person who has passed on. The fast, joyous music that follows expresses “yeah, you’re gone, but it was such a pleasure knowing you,” and “sure, you’ve crossed over to the other side- but let’s celebrate that you’re now in a better place than here on Earth.”

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NFL Mock Draft 2-9

By Paul M. Banks and Peter Christian

Yesterday a football game was played. A game of some significance that you might have heard about. It received a fair amount of publicity.You can read our live blog about it here. If you’re interested in seeing any of the commercials again, and letting some market research people know what you thought about those commercials click here. Or for our Super Bowl drinking game…go here

On to the mock draft, where we made quite a few pick changes this week. And as always you can check out our draft-related lists, by clicking on the highlighted key words below.

NFL Team Needs listing

Offensive Positional Rankings

Defensive Positional Rankings

NFL Draft Big Board

Senior Bowl Draft Stock Report.

Click here for the second round of this mock draft.

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The LIVE Sports Bank Super Blog

by Peter Christian

Hey did you hear? There’s a football game today, and for the first time in two weeks, it’s actually kind of important!

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Super Bowl XXXXIV Drinking Game

By: Peter Christian and David Kay

Is your team not playing in the Super Bowl but you still feel obliged to watch the game because it’s the Super Bowl?  Have no fear.  The Sports Bank has the cure for how to remain entertained during the game while also livening up your Super Bowl Party beyond the delicious taco dip your buddy’s wife made.  Read the following rules, go to the grocery store, stock up on booze, and enjoy.  Please do not drink and drive though.  And as a pre-cautionary measure; The Sports Bank will not be held responsible if you are actually insane enough to try this:
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Fridays with Izzo: Sports “Saving” a City Storyline

By Paul M. Banks

Welcome to a new quasi-weekly feature where we discuss some of the biggest topics in the Michigan State Spartan world, including the insight and observations of legendary MSU coach Tom Izzo. In this edition, we talk about the idea of a successful sports team becoming a battered city’s salvation.

Despite what ESPN, the Chicago Tribune and other corporate media outlets have told you this week, sports does not and cannot save a city in ruins. This week, we incessantly heard about the Saints’ rise supposedly redeeming the city of New Orleans. We’ve been told that the Saints’ winning ways are somehow accelerating the post Katrina rebuilding process. As if each Reggie Bush touchdown run somehow alleviates another unemployed individual out of crippling poverty.

Last April, the MSM wouldn’t leave us alone with their sappy, sentimental “Michigan St. makes the Final Four taking place in their home state, in Detroit; and a Spartans win can lift Detroit out of the economic rubble, as the financial crisis hit this area harder than any other place in the city.”

One man often at the center of those stories was Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo, who seemed to offer a very different viewpoint on this topic from mine. Therefore, his thoughts might offer the perfect test to the validity of my position. Like Friedrich Nietzsche said “the thinking man has no need for refutation- for that he suffices within himself.” So, I wanted to see if I could become a thinking man, and I gave Izzo’s arguments a chance to refute me.

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Pierre Thomas is Just Plain Better than Reggie Bush

pierre-thomas1

By Paul M. Banks

Among Saints RBs, the un-drafted free agent is playing vastly superior to 2006’s #2 overall pick.

The New Orleans Saints offense has been RIDONKOLOUS this season, averaging a NFL best 40 points per game. The next closest team is the Indianapolis Colts and they’re a whopping ten points per game behind. The Saints offense is also naturally number one in yardage, and they rank 6th in passing. Drew Brees and his high powered air attack often come to mind first, but it’s actually the ground game where the Saints are truly heavenly: New Orleans is currently 3rd in rushing. And the backfield’s big star is the highly touted Heisman trophy winner with the flashy reality star girlfriend, right?

WRONG! It’s his “back-up,” the undrafted afterthought from the south suburbs of Chicago that no one thought would even make the team.
reggie-bush-kim-kardashian
Take a look at Pierre Thomas’s numbers this season: 56 carries, 314 yards, 5.6 yards per carry average, 3 TDs. Now take a look at Bush’s: 45 carries, 175 yards, 3.9 ypc, and 1 TD. Bush is listed as the starter, but Thomas is (deservedly) getting more work. Well, you might argue that Bush’s strength is pass-catching, but Thomas has him beat there too with a better yards per catch on both the season and in career averages.

Also, take a look at career rushing numbers. Thomas- 237, 1191, 13, 5.0 yards per attempt, Bush- 463, 1725, 15, 3.7. Since they’re running behind the exact same offensive line, I think we know who should truly be “starting”.

Is it any wonder Reggie Bush is much more known for his reality “star,” famous-for-doing-absolutely-nothing-of-value girlfriend Kim Kardashian than he is for his game?

Aside from having one good pass catching year (his rookie season of ’06), he’s done next to nothing in the NFL, but still has a $12 million a year contract. Because of those facts, you could say he’s been a bigger bust than…insert your own joke about his insipid celebutante significant other here. And perhaps motivation is the problem with Bush. He already has the money and the women, so maybe he doesn’t care about working hard to obtain anything else?

The journey from college to the NFL could not have been more different for NOLA’s two tailbacks. Bush came in with more hype than a summer event movie, and emerged from the nation’s most dominant program, USC. Although picked 2nd, he was expected to be #1 overall while Pierre Thomas went undrafted out of Illinois, a program which has been among the worst in all of FBS for most of this decade. Look no further than the 2008 Rose Bowl, where USC slaughtered Illinois 49-17, to figure out who had the pub working for them in their college days. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that Thomas attended the same alma mater as this author, and grew up pretty close to where I did. He prepped at Thornton Fractional South, a rival SICA Conference school in Lansing, IL. So I know his roots well. illinois_pierre_thomas_sm

And Thomas’ humble beginnings are probably a big part of his desire to succeed, and that drive is making him a much more productive player than the “can’t miss” prospect.  Thomas’ 5.6 ypc is 6th in the NFL, his former Illini teammate Rashard Mendenhall is 7th at 5.4. Very ironic; a program which has been the worst in the Big Ten much of this decade has produced two of the NFL’s top runners this season.

When the Saints take on Atlanta Monday night (Notice I did not use the “when the Saints march in” expression, I didn’t want to torture you by repeating one of the most shopworn phrases incessantly spewed by the laziest of journalist hacks) it will be Thomas, not Bush who sets the pace on offense.