Monday, April 21, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Updated 4/21)

1.Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, quarterback (Central Florida)
2.St. Louis Rams: Jake Matthews, tackle (Texas A&M)
3.Jacksonville Jaguars: Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end (South Carolina)
4.Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins, wide receiver (Clemson)
5.Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack, defensive end/outside linebacker (Buffalo)
6.Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, tackle (Auburn)
7.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, wide receiver (Texas A&M)
8.Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, quarterback (Fresno State)
9.Buffalo Bills: Taylor Lewan, tackle (Michigan)
10.Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, cornerback (Oklahoma State)
11.Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, outside linebacker (UCLA)
12.New York Giants: Eric Ebron, tight end (North Carolina)
13.St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, safety (Alabama)
14.Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald, defensive tackle (Pittsburgh)
15.Pittsburgh Steelers: Darqueze Dennard, cornerback (Michigan State)
16.Dallas Cowboys: Kony Ealy, defensive end (Missouri)
17.Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Pryor, safety (Louisville)
18.New York Jets: Bradley Roby, cornerback (Ohio State)
19.Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin, tackle (Notre Dame)
20.Arizona Cardinals: Dee Ford, defensive end/outside linebacker (Auburn)
21.Green Bay Packers: Timmy Jernigan, defensive tackle (Florida State)
22.Philadelphia Eagles: Brandin Cooks, wide receiver (Oregon State)
23.Kansas City Chiefs: Odell Beckham, wide receiver (LSU
24.Cincinnati Bengals: Kyle Fuller, cornerback (Virginia Tech)
25.San Diego Chargers: Louis Nix, defensive tackle (Notre Dame)
26.Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, quarterback (Texas A&M)
27.New Orleans Saints: C.J. Mosley, inside linebacker (Alabama)
28.Carolina Panthers: Marqise Lee, wide receiver (USC)
29.New England Patriots: Ra'Shede Hageman, defensive tackle/end (Minnesota)
30.San Francisco 49ers: Jason Verrett, cornerback (TCU)
31.Denver Broncos: Ryan Shaizer, outside linebacker (Ohio State)
32.Seattle Seahawks: Joel Bitonio, tackle/guard (Nevada)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Top 50 Overall Prospects+Top 5 By Position in 2014 NFL Draft

The 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City is less than three weeks away. In the spirit of the season, here are my picks for the 50 best overall prospects and the five best at each position in this deep 2014 draft class. Stay tuned for future updates including weekly updated mock drafts and other opinion pieces leading up to draft day!

Top 50 Prospects in 2014 NFL Draft
 
1.Khalil Mack, outside linebacker/defensive end (Buffalo)
2.Mike Evans, wide receiver (Texas A&M)
3.Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end (South Carolina)
4.Greg Robinson, tackle (Auburn)
5.Jake Matthews, tackle (Texas A&M)
6.Sammy Watkins, wide receiver (Clemson)
7.Aaron Donald, defensive tackle (Pittsburgh)
8.Eric Ebron, tight end (North Carolina)
9.Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, safety (Alabama)
10.Justin Gilbert, cornerback (Oklahoma State)
11.Taylor Lewan, tackle (Michigan)
12.Calvin Pryor, safety (Louisville)'
13.Anthony Barr, outside linebacker (UCLA)
14.Brandin Cooks, wide receiver (Oregon State)
15.Darqueze Dennard, cornerback (Michigan State)
16.Blake Bortles, quarterback (Central Florida)
17.Derek Carr, quarterback (Fresno State)
18.Bradley Roby, cornerback (Ohio State)
19.Kony Ealy, defensive end (Missouri)
20.Louis Nix, defensive tackle (Notre Dame)
21.Kyle Fuller, cornerback (Virginia Tech)
22.Dee Ford, defensive end/outside linebacker (Auburn)
23.Odell Beckham, wide receiver (LSU)
24.Zack Martin, tackle/guard (Notre Dame)
25.Ryan Shaizer, outside linebacker (Ohio State)
26.Xavier Su'a-Filo, guard/center (UCLA)
27.Jason Verrett, cornerback (TCU)
28.C.J. Mosley, inside linebacker (Alabama)
29.Jeremy Hill, running back (LSU)
30.Timmy Jernigan, defensive tackle (Florida State)
31.Ra'Shede Hageman, defensive tackle/end (Minnesota)
32.Carlos Hyde, running back (Ohio State)
33.Marqise Lee, wide receiver (USC)
34.David Yankey, guard (Stanford)
35.Jimmy Garoppolo, quarterback (Eastern Illinois)
36.Kyle Van Noy, outside linebacker (BYU)
37.Lamarcus Joyner, safety/cornerback (Florida State)
38.Stephon Tuitt, defensive end/tackle (Notre Dame)
39.Jarvis Landry, wide receiver (LSU)
40.Chris Borland, inside linebacker (Wisconsin)
41.Morgan Moses, tackle (Virginia)
42.Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback (Louisville)
43.Austin Seferian-Jenkins, tight end (Washington)
44.Davante Adams, wide receiver (Fresno State)
45.Marcus Martin, center (USC)
46.Jace Amaro, tight end (Texas Tech)
47.Scott Crichton, defensive end (Oregon State)
48.Tre Mason, running back (Auburn)
49.Troy Niklas, tight end (Notre Dame)
50.Joel Bitonio, tackle/guard/center (Nevada)
                                  
Top 5 Players by Position

Quarterback
1.Blake Bortles (Central Florida)
2.Derek Carr (Fresno State)
3.Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois)
4.Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville)
5.Aaron Murray (Georgia)

Running Back
1.Jeremy Hill (LSU)
2.Carlos Hyde (Ohio State)
3.Tre Mason (Auburn)
4.Bishop Sankey (Washington)
5.Lache Seastrunk (Baylor)

Wide Receiver
1.Mike Evans (Texas A&M)
2.Sammy Watkins (Clemson)
3.Brandin Cooks (Oregon State)
4.Odell Beckham (LSU)
5.Marqise Lee (USC)

Tight End
1.Eric Ebron (North Carolina)
2.Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington)
3.Jace Amaro (Texas Tech)
4.Troy Niklas (Notre Dame)
5.C.J. Fiedorowicz (Iowa)

Tackle
1.Greg Robinson (Auburn)
2.Jake Matthews (Texas A&M)
3.Taylor Lewan (Michigan)
4.Zack Martin (Notre Dame)
5.Morgan Moses (Virginia)

Guard
1.Xavier Su'a-Filo (UCLA)
2.David Yankey (Stanford)
3.Gabe Jackson (Mississippi State)
4.Cyril Richardson (Baylor)
5.Traj Turner (LSU)

Center
1.Marcus Martin (USC)
2.Travis Swanson (Arkansas)
3.Weston Richburg (Colorado State)
4.Bryan Stork (Florida State)
5.Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma)

Defensive End
1.Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)
2.Kony Ealy (Missouri)
3.Dee Ford (Auburn)
4.Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame)
5.Scott Crichton (Oregon State)

Defensive Tackle
1.Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh)
2.Louis Nix (Notre Dame)
3.Timmy Jernigan (Florida State)
4.Ra'Shede Hageman (Minnesota)
5.Dominique Easley (Florida)

Outside Linebacker
1.Khalil Mack (Buffalo)
2.Anthony Barr (UCLA)
3.Ryan Shazier (Ohio State)
4.Kyle Van Noy (BYU)
5.Trent Murphy (Stanford)

Inside Linebacker
1.C.J. Mosley (Alabama)
2.Chris Borland (Wisconsin)
3.Shayne Skov (Stanford)
4.Christian Jones (Florida State)
5.Preston Brown (Louisville)

Cornerback
1.Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State)
2.Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State)
3.Bradley Roby (Ohio State)
4.Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech)
5.Jason Verrett (TCU)

Safety
1.Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama)
2.Calvin Pryor (Louisville)
3.Lamarcus Joyner (Florida State)
4.Jimmie Ward (Northern Illinois)
5.Deone Bucannon (Washington State)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Top 50 Most Underrated Albums of the '2000s: #40

40. Lazarus A.D.-The Onslaught (Self-Released: 2007; Re-Released by Metal Blade Records 2009)
Wisconsin-based thrash revival band Lazarus A.D. just failed to really win anyone over. The incorporation of modern metalcore breakdowns into their music turned off a lot of old-school thrash fans; who subsequently turned to more "true" acts like Havok and Warbringer to get their new thrash fix. This failure to click with most thrash fans has managed to bury just how exceptional of a record The Onslaught is. The Onslaught embodies its title to the fullest: The entire record is an absolute onslaught on the senses. The music is very fast, the vocals are raspy and punk-inspired and the energy levels are off-the-charts. Ironically, the breakdowns that got them so many detractors drive home the excellence of this record. The groove sensibilities they incorporated into their music gave them an edge over many of their peers. Every breakdown is timed to perfection and really emphasizes the power and chaotic nature of their music. When it comes to straight thrash records of the modern era, none is more criminally overlook than The Onslaught by Lazarus A.D.

Standout Tracks
1.Revolution (The Onslaught Part I) http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyEL7ysSAh4
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Solider

Of all the films leading up to The Avengers in 2012, Captain America: The First Avenger was easily the weakest. With The Avengers: The Age of Ultron on the docket for next May, Captain America: The Winter Solider gets the dubious honor of also being the weakest film in the second wave of pre-Avengers films.

The problem with Captain America: The First Avenger was that it was too generic to be anything more than a serviceable comic book film. The big issue with The Winter Solider is that it tries far too hard to avoid being a by-the-numbers Marvel film that is comes off as a bit disingenuous. The script from Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Thor: The Dark World, Pain & Gain) crams a ton of different story arcs into just over two hours, making the film really muddled and hard-to-follow at points. I can't really go into the exact issues with the various storylines without divulging spoilers,  let's just say the attempt at making this an espionage thriller backfired when it reveals the stupid, convoluted origin of the film's true antagonist (which contrary to the title, is not The Winter Soldier).

The Winter Solider is salvaged by the impressive acting ensemble and brilliantly-executed action sequences. Chris Evans has only gotten better as Steve Rodgers/Captain America in each film he's featured in. Evans goes beyond his typical charismatic self and dives into the more human side of the character this time around. The Winter Solider shows more of the struggle Rodgers has faced adjusting to life in the modern day and coping with the fact that everyone he ever loved is no longer with him. The new additions to the cast liven up the film with Anthony Mackie stealing the show as Captain America's sidekick and fellow ex-military man who goes by Falcon while Robert Redford chews up the scenery as Senator Alexander Pierce- who may or may not be against Captain America and his colleagues at S.H.I.E.L.D.

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo (You, Me & Dupree, NBC's Community) rise to the occasion in their first big-budget, non-comedy film. The Russo brothers show a confidence in capturing the massive scale of Captain America that emulates seasoned blockbuster veterans like Michael Bay and Roland Emmerich. The action isn't as frequent as most superhero films, but every action scene is tense, unique and well-shot. The Winter Solider is not one of the better entries in the ever-expanding Marvel cannon, but it's still a pretty entertaining film with a great cast and a number of eye-popping action scenes.

3.5/5 Stars

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

50 Most Underrated Albums of the '2000s: #41

41.Fleshgod Apocalypse-Agony (2011)
Agony marked the start of a new chapter for Italian death metal act Fleshgod Apocalypse. The symphonic elements that played a secondary role on their first two releases (the 2009 LP Oracles and 2010 EP Mafia) got moved to the forefront of their music on Agony. Keyboardist Fransisco Ferinni- who became a full-time member of the band on Mafia- really leaves his stamp on the album with a plethora of triumphant orchestral arrangements and beautiful piano pieces that sets an epic tone for the entire record. The more symphonic sound established on Agony really gave Fleshgod Apocalypse a unique edge over a majority of their peers in the European extreme metal realm at the time of its release. The classical instrumentation is made that much more powerful with the support of the rest of the band. Drummer Fransisco Paoli-who remarkably had only been only playing drums for under two years when Agony was recorded- lays down some of the most astonishingly fast blast beats I've ever heard and Tomasso Ricardi shows vast improvement vocally from Mafia with pitch-perfect death vocals here. Agony saw Fleshgod Apocalypse reach the next level as a band and put a fresh spin on the technical death metal genre.

Standout Tracks

Monday, April 14, 2014

Football Anonymous Podcast

A few of my friends and I started a football podcast entitled Football Anonymous. You can check out the debut episode above. Football Anonymous is about providing an uncensored take on all things NFL from a group of dedicated, outspoken and knowledgeable individuals. I'm really excited about this endeavor because it's the first time I've gotten a chance to collaborate with other people on a project. It also allows me the opportunity to have another outlet to express my opinions and passion for the NFL. Look for a new episode every month from May-August and a new episode every week when the regular season kicks off in September. Hope you enjoy the first episode of Football Anonymous and, stay tuned for more from us in the near future!

Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Updated 4/11)

1.Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, quarterback (Central Florida)
2.St. Louis Rams: Jake Matthews, tackle (Texas A&M)
3.Jacksonville Jaguars: Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end (South Carolina)
4.Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins, wide receiver (Clemson)
5.Oakland Raiders: Johnny Manziel, quarterback (Texas A&M)
6.Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, tackle (Auburn)
7.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, wide receiver (Texas A&M)
8.Minnesota Vikings: Khalil Mack, outside linebacker/defensive end (Buffalo)
9.Buffalo Bills: Taylor Lewan, tackle (Michigan)
10.Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, cornerback (Oklahoma State)
11.Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, outside linebacker (UCLA)
12.New York Giants: Eric Ebron, tight end (North Carolina)
13.St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, safety (Alabama)
14.Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald, defensive tackle (Pittsburgh)
15.Pittsburgh Steelers: Darqueze Dennard, cornerback (Michigan State)
16.Dallas Cowboys: Kony Ealy, defensive end (Missouri)
17.Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Pryor, safety (Louisville)
18.New York Jets: Kyle Fuller, cornerback (Virginia Tech)
19.Miami Dolphins: Zach Martin, tackle (Notre Dame)
20.Arizona Cardinals: Dee Ford, defensive end/outside linebacker (Auburn)
21.Green Bay Packers: Timmy Jernigan, defensive tackle (Florida State)
22.Philadelphia Eagles: Bradley Roby, cornerback (Ohio State)
23.Kansas City Chiefs: Brandin Cooks, wide receiver (Oregon State)
24.Cincinnati Bengals: Jason Verrett, cornerback (TCU)
25.San Diego Chargers: Louis Nix, defensive tackle (Notre Dame)
26.Cleveland Browns: Derek Carr, quarterback (Fresno State)
27.New Orleans Saints: C.J. Mosley, inside linebacker (Alabama)
28.Carolina Panthers: Odell Beckham, wide receiver (LSU)
29.New England Patriots: Ra'Shede Hagman, defensive tackle/end (Minnesota)
30.San Francisco 49ers: Marqise Lee, wide receiver (USC)
31.Denver Broncos: Ryan Shazier, outside linebacker (Ohio State)
32.Seattle Seahawks: Joel Bitonio, tackle/guard (Nevada)