Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wayyyyy Too Early 2018 NFL Mock Draft

My mock draft from the previous two years never made it past the "draft" (get it?). I'm going to write this and publish it immediately.. Obviously it's way too early and I'm reaching for underclassmen who haven't declared. But it's fun to poke fun at Kiper and McShay... who each year underwhelm the masses when it comes to their hideously incorrect mock drafts.

  1. Cleveland Clowns - first things first, this team needs to be re-branded as the Clowns with a logo to match. The Clown would not only be frightening to all involved, but would accurately depict the organization and ownership. . The pick: Sam Darnold (QB - USC). You know they're going to pick the wrong QB, right? 
  2. NY Giants - Josh Rosen (QB - UCLA) - if I were head of personnel for the Giants, I would take the best O-Line available and build the team that way, but after the way Eli has been exiled, they have to part ways after this season and a QB is a must-get.
  3. Indianapolis Colts - apparently they've found their QB of the future in Jacoby Brissett (bravo, Indy), so hopefully they'll address the glaring need on the O-Line and back-7. Quentin Nelson (G - Notre Dame). 
  4. SF 49ers - needs, needs, everywhere... See note above about QB of the future. The 49ers have a ton of young talent across the board, but it wouldn't shock me to see Kyle Shanahan audible for the best Offensive Player in this draft: Saquon Barkley (RB - Penn State).  I expect Carlos Hyde to be released in the off-season. The ghosts of Garrison Hearst and Roger Craig will push for this pick as well. 
  5. Denver Broncos - John Elway's fortune cookie says Lamar Jackson (QB - Louisville). Even though he's probably as talented as the other 3 QBs taken, I just don't see Baker Mayfield passing the personality test to get First Round, Top-15 money.
  6. Cleveland Clowns - Back for more. They're probably too dumb to make this pick, but I'll pretend: Orlando Brown (OT - Oklahoma).
  7. Tampa Bay Bucs - The TJ Ward experiment has failed miserably this season. Minkah Fitzpatrick (DB - Alabama).
  8. Chicago Bears - The offense is starting to grow into something that could be special in a couple years, but the defense could use a little more TLC, especially on the outside. Denzel Ward (CB - Ohio State).
  9. NY Jets - I really want to pencil in Baker Mayfield here but I already said I wouldn't pay him here. The defense is crazy talented but that doesn't mean they shouldn't bolster it further. Bradley Chubb (DE/OLB - Louisville).
  10. Cincinnati Bungals - the other Ohio team needs re-branded as well. Something tells me Marvin Lewis won't be back in 2018... The O-Line is an embarrassing mess. Mike McGlinchey (OT - Notre Dame).
  11. Arizona Cardinals - David Johnson returns in 2018 to find a new tank to run behind... Connor Williams (OT - Texas)
  12. Oakland Raiders - I have no idea who Cory James is so sign me up for a guy who's shown the ability to show-out during big SEC games: Roquan Smith (LB - Georgia)
  13. Washington Redskins - this team always feels like it's a few solid pieces away from being consistently good. Given that they'll likely lose Cousins in the FA market, it really wouldn't surprise me to see them trade down and still get Josh Allen (QB - Wyoming)
  14. Miami Dolphins - is Jay Cutler for real? Is he going to stick around and keep slinging the ball to what seems like a group of crazy-fast RBs and WRs? I'll say yes, for at least one more year. The Fins still need LB help: Josh Allen (LB - Kentucky). And yes, it was fun to stack both Josh Allen's back-to-back.
  15. Buffalo Bills - their first of two picks this round gives them a little flexibility with who they draft, but unfortunately I've let this guy fall too far for even the Bills to pass him up: Derwin James (DB - FSU)
  16. Dallas Cowboys - has anyone seen Dallas' defense lately? This one is easy: Harold Landry (DE/OLB - Boston College).
  17. Green Bay Packers - my ex-coworker is always mad about how porous his favorite team's defense is: Christian Wilkins (DT - Clemson)
  18. Detroit Lions - Poor (but really rich) Matthew Stafford.  Are there any good offensive lineman still on the board? Billy Price (OL - Ohio State)
  19. LA Chargers - the couple times I've watched this team play, they look pretty complete. I say they take the best player available and figure out other needs later: Maurice Hurst (DT - Michigan)
  20. Tennessee Titans - Tough to play a 3-4 when you're lacking LBs: Arden Key (OLB - LSU)
  21. Buffalo Bills - I feel like this is the right place to insert this guy who will potentially form a solid duo in the long-term with Zay Jones for this franchise: Courtland Sutton (WR - SMU)
  22. Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens always seem to find some tremendous draft value (see: Ronnie Stanley). Alex Collins is fine, but everyone has seen what last year's crop of RBs has done in The League this year: Derrius Guice (RB - LSU)
  23. Atlanta Falcons - the only image I associate with the Falcons is a safety getting meanmugged by Julian Edelman in the Super Bowl: Justin Reid (S - Stanford)
  24. Seattle Seahawks - is Russell Wilson getting a vote? If so, it's definitely an O-Line pick: Will Hernandez (G - UTEP)
  25. Carolina Panthers - I'm sure he won't fall this far, but hey, luck of the draft, er, draw. Calvin Ridley (WR - Alabama)
  26. LA Rams - I don't think this team has drafted this low in decades... So they look funny down this far. There's a ballhawk still out there who would fit in on Day 1 and he'll make his money by scorching his 40 during his Pro Day: Joshua Jackson (CB - Iowa)
  27. Jacksonville Jags - Jags and Rams at 26 and 27. This has to be the twilight zone... I project that the Jags find a way to get Eli Manning or Cousins in the FA market and add yet another piece to their dominant defense: Vita Vea (DL - Washington)
  28. New England Patriots - I'd personally prefer that this guy get drafted by another team, but it would fill a need and it meshes well with Coach BB's "swiss army knife" philosophy on defense: Sam Hubbard (DE/OLB - Ohio State)
  29. New Orleans Saints - LB seems to be the weakest spot on this team... Malik Jefferson (LB - Texas)
  30. Minnesota Vikings - Limited choices on the O-Line at the end of the 1st Round, but I have a feeling this guy will turn out better than his current pre-draft grades: Brian O'Neill (OT - Pitt)
  31. Philadelphia Eagles - I could pick anyone here and I'd be wrong: Jamarco Jones (OT - Ohio State)
  32. Pittsburgh Steelers - This sounds crazy, but it doesn't. Baker Mayfield (QB - Oklahoma). Sure, he's got character issues that the Steelers typically don't like dealing with, but that locker room might shape him up to the point where he can have an All-Pro career.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Recipe of the Day (RotD) - Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

More from the Kitchen Daily site. This looks too good to be true. Hello heart attack!


INGREDIENTS

SHRIMP

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing2 tsp finely grated lemon zest¼ cup fresh lemon juice6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced6 small jarred or dried Calabrian chiles, minced20 jumbo shrimp, shelled with tails intact10 slices of bacon, cut in half crosswise

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare the shrimp in a large baking dish, whisk the 1/2 cup of oil with the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and chiles. Wrap each shrimp with a piece of bacon and add to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour; turn the shrimp halfway through marinating.
  2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; brush with oil. Season the shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until the bacon is browned and the shrimp is just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and serve with the cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.
e-roc's twist: since I have no idea what Calabrian chiles are, I would recommend using red chili pepper flakes. If you have a sweet-tooth, I would imagine that a melted brown sugar + butter + ketchup + Worcestershire dipping sauce would be a nice compliment. Bon appetit!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Recipe of the Day (RotD) - Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

I saw this on The Kitchen (one of my new favorite shows on the Food Network - great cast, great food, fun way to spend an hour), and I modified it for simplicity and healthiness.. I did a Google search and found this recipe which is the closest version I could find to what I did.



(props to SkinnyTaste.com for the picture and the recipe... lots of delicious, healthy recipes throughout the site)...

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Servings: 6 • Size: about 1 cup cauliflower • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts
Calories: 119.4 • Fat: 2 g • Protein: 4 g • Carb: 21.4 g • Fiber: 3 g • Sugar: 0.2 g
Sodium: 1172 mg

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 22 oz (6 1/2 cups) cauliflower florets
  • 3/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly spray a large non-stick baking sheet with oil.
  • Combine the water, flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  • Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place on the baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes.
  • While the cauliflower is baking, combine the hot sauce and butter in a small bowl.
  • Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes.

e-roc's twist: I didn't use flour or butter in my version and the hot sauce sticks just fine. I will probably add unsalted butter the next go-round. If you're making this as a dinner appetizer, Skinnytaste recommends a side of celery and dressing, which sounds quite delicious. Also, if you can't find cauliflower florets in your grocery store, chopping up a head of cauliflower the old fashioned way isn't the end of the world. I'm always looking for a good reason to pull out the butcher knife... Bon appetit!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Recipe of the Day (RotD) - Steamed Mussels

I've only ever tried to make mussels once and haven't done it more frequently primarily because of the lack of really great fresh seafood in central Ohio.. It's also a lot of work to debeard these damn things...


Serve over pasta for extra nom nom nom nom... 
  • 2 lb live mussels
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic

Preparation:

Scrub and debeard the mussels. The "beard" is the fibrous hairy thing hanging from one side of the tasty bivalve. Pull it off with a side-to-side motion.
In case you are wondering, a mussel is alive if it reacts. Its shell should be closed. If it is open, sit the mussel on the kitchen counter for a bit. It may close when you are not looking.
Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large, wide-bottomed pot with a lid; I use a Dutch oven. Saute the shallot until it is soft but not browned. Add the garlic and the white wine (I'd suggest a chenin blanc or something crisp, but you can use any decent white), and bring it to a boil. Add the mussels in one layer if possible.
Cover the pot and let the mussels steam for 3-8 minutes. After three minutes, check the mussels; many should be open. You want them all open, but some will do this faster than others.
Turn off the heat and cover for a minute while you prepare bowls and plates.
Spoon out plenty of mussels and broth, which should be briny enough to not need any more salt. Throw out any mussels that did not open.
Serve with crusty bread, more white wine -- and an extra bowl for the shells.
e-roc's twist: for the lazier chef, grab a small bottle of pre-chopped garlic in olive oil, it'll save you a lot of time and money (unused garlic goes to waste quickly)... Also, always cook with wine that you would drink. Other things you can add to this recipe include: shrimp, scallops, and diced tomatoes...Bon appetit!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Recipe of the Day (RotD) - White Chicken Chili

For the 2nd day in a row, the RotD...

Today's recipe of the day (from Foodnetwork.com):


Ingredients: (Serves 8)

  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can white corn
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 (4 1/2 ounce) can of chopped green chilies
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Place chicken in a 4 quart slow cooker.
  2. Top with beans and corn.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, chiles, condensed soup, and chicken broth. Pour over top of ingredients in the crock pot.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
  5. Before serving, stir gently to break up chicken, then stir in the sour cream.


e-roc's twist: Instead of using an envelope of taco seasoning, I usually make my own taco mix (less salt, more heat).  I add in a 4 1/2oz can of chopped jalapeno's for heat and use frozen corn instead of canned corn and I'm always heavy with the amount of corn I use. Perfect sides for this chili include: Fritos scoops and cornbread. Bon appetit!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Recipe of the Day (RotD)

I'm a foodie with distant unattainable cooking aspirations. I love watching the Food Network and Top Chef. The food they prepare is amazing to me.  The best I can do at the moment and be an above average home chef who knows how to make good scrambled eggs, pan seared salmon, and chicken & chorizo paella.

It hit me this morning that I should start to post/share a Recipe of the Day, if for at a minimum, my own benefit. Hopefully this will still be something I do in January 2015...

Today's recipe of the day (from KitchenDaily.com):


INGREDIENTSvegetable cooking spray4 cup cooked cut green beans1 can (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)½ cup milk1 can (2.8 ounces) French's® French Fried Onions (about 1 1/3 cups)1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese32 oz refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits (16 biscuits, or 2 packages)DIRECTIONS
  • Heat the oven to 375°F.  Spray 16 (2 1/2-inch) muffin-pan cups with the cooking spray.  Stir the green beans, soup, milk, 1 cup cheese and 2/3 cup onions in a large bowl.
  • Roll each biscuit into a 4-inch circle.  Press the biscuit circles into the bottoms and up the sides of the muffin-pan cups.  Divide the green bean mixture among the biscuit cups.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the biscuit cups are golden brown.  Stir the remaining cheese and onions in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over the green bean mixture.
  • Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Let the minis cool in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes.
e-roc's twist: I would swap out the buttermilk biscuits for cornbread mix. Cornbread mix is very tacky and the casserole mixture should hold inside the cornbread without getting too messy. Don't forget the cooking spray. I would also skip the cheddar cheese. I don't put cheese on my large green bean casseroles, so I can't imagine wanting them on the mini version. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

2013 Mock Draft (updated 3/15)


This mock draft has been updated for your mockery.
  1. Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Joeckel, OT (TAMU) - So they traded for Alex Smith... While I don't believe that he's any better than the incumbent Matt Cassel, Joeckel might actually give Alex Smith some more time to stand in the pocket... and eventually get sacked or throw the ball in the dirt.
  2. Arizona Cardinals (trade w/JAX) - Geno Smith, QB (WVU) -  Four names that Larry Fitzgerald has nightmares about. Kolb, Skelton, Lindley, Drew Stanton. 
  3. Oakland Raiders - Dion Jordan, DE  (Oregon) - RIP Al Davis, but I'm confident that the Raiders won't let me down here and will take a guy who had great measurables at the combine. 
  4. Philadelphia Eagles (trade from JAX) - Eric Fisher, OT (WMU) - If the Eagles draft any player besides an OL, I'll be shocked and appalled... And consequently, I would expect Chip Kelly to be gone within two years.
  5. Detroit Lions - Dee Milliner, CB (Bama) - I watched the Detroit Lions lose more games by giving up huge 3rd down passing conversions. Spivey will hopefully return from IR to shore up the safety position. 
  6. Cleveland Browns - Cordarelle Patterson, WR (UT) - With Paul Kruger signed at the OLB spot and the team focusing on FA defensive backs, they need to fill the gaping hole on offense called Wide Receiver. 
  7. Jacksonville Jags (trade w/AZ) - Jarvis Jones, LB (UGA) - QUICK! Name one outside linebacker on the Jaguars' roster. Couldn't do it huh? They need a huge upgrade at LB and could easily trade further down and still make this pick. 
  8. Buffalo Bills - Matt Barkley QB (USC) - This draft pick is one of need. He's going to be another USC-alumni QB bust in the NFL. Geno is gone and the Bills are terribly desperate; terrible and desperate.
  9. NY Jets - Keenan Allen, WR (CAL) - Sanchez has no one to throw the ball to. Here's a guy in the mold of TO who can get it done. 
  10. Tennessee Titans - Shariff Floyd, DT (UF) - He's the best player available and fits the Titans 4-3 scheme.
  11. San Diego Chargers - Lane Johnson, OT (OU) - Red rover, red rover, send a friggin' offensive lineman right over. As a fantasy owner of Phillip Rivers, I watched #17 running for his life and throwing off his ass every weekend.
  12. Miami Dolphins - Xavier Rhodes, DB (FSU) - With Mike Wallace signed and Hartline extended, I expect the Fins to address a Swiss-cheese like secondary.
  13. Tampa Bay Bucs - Bjoern Werner, DE (FSU) - I have no idea who any of the TB defensive ends are, so I know they can't be very good. Bucs will need to address secondary in the next couple rounds. The Bucs personnel coordinator should follow up a solid 2012 draft with an equally solid 2013 draft.
  14. Carolina Panthers - Barkevious Mingo, LB (LSU) - First of all, this guy sounds like he came off Key & Peele's All-Star game roster. Second of all, putting Mingo next to Kuechly is reminiscent of the Panthers' glory days with Dan Morgan and Will Witherspoon. 
  15. New Orleans Saints - Johnathan Hankins, DT (OSU) - This is more or less a homer pick, but I think the Saints like defensive players from Ohio State (see: Malcolm Jenkins & Will Smith). 
  16. St. Louis Rams - Star Lotulelei, DT (Utah) - Maybe a reach? If the Rams come to terms with Jake Long (scUM), I think it makes sense that they address the defense..
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers - Johnathan Banks, DB (MissSt) - Steelers could take another offensive lineman or a linebacker here, but my guess is they'll try to clean up some of the mess in the back four first..
  18. Dallas Cowboys - Chance Warmack, OG (Bama) - O-line or linebacker. I'm pretty sure this guy will be the next best player available. Jerry Jones might do (and will do) something stupid so I won't be surprised if he drafts Collin Klein.
  19. NY Giants - Manti T'eo, ILB (ND) - I hear the Giants need a new linebacker.... Defense looked like a shell of itself in 2012. I wonder how many catfish live in NYC?
  20. Chicago Bears - Johnathan Cooper, OG (UNC) - see SD Chargers above. Jay Cutler needs someone to protect him from Suh.
  21. Baltimore Ravens (trade from STL) - Eric Reid, SS (LSU) - We all know how important Ed Reed is to the Baltimore defense... Sounds too easy to just bring in another Reid, right?
  22. Minnesota Vikings - Desmond Trufant, DB (Wash) - Another Swiss-cheese secondary. Vikes are making moves in the FA market, but that also included releasing cornerstone (pun intended) Antoine Winfield.
  23. Cincinnati Bengals - Kenny Vaccaro, S (Texas) - 1st round is too high to draft a RB or any of the remaining OTs... maybe they can trade down and reach for one late. 
  24. Indianapolis Colts - Datone Jones, DE (UCLA) - Lots of holes on the defensive side of the ball... Can Jones be the next Dwight Freeney?
  25. Seattle Seahawks - Sheldon Richardson, DT (Mizzou) - He goes here due to a major oversight on my part.. and the Seahawks DEF gets even better.
  26. St. Louis Rams (trade from BAL)- Alec Olgetree, LB (UGA) - This is the Rams 2nd pick in the first round... Olgetree would be a nice addition to go with Little Animal. 
  27. Green Bay Packers - Barrett Jones, C (Bama) - It's time for Jeff Saturday to retire. Bye bye.
  28. SF 49ers - Matt Elam, FS (UF) - because the rich get richer. It's what happens. Not sure what other pieces the 49ers really need... and they have a TON of picks.
  29. Houston Texans - Jonathan Cooper, OG (UNC) - I watched Arian Foster run great on one side of the ball and crappy on the other.. That only means one thing... 
  30. NE Patriots - Robert Woods, WR (USC) - Bill B. is a draft day enigma or a 100-sided die... I'm going to say WR for fun. 
  31. Denver Broncos - Kawaan Short, DT (Purdue) - I know Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller.... and that's about it.
  32. Atlanta Falcons - Kevin Minter, LB (LSU) - Akeem Dent plays MLB now and had 42 solo tackles on the year. That's pretty pathetic...
Dart throwing predictions...
Offensive Rook of the Year: Geno Smith
Defensive Rook of the Year: Barkevious Mingo