New York Giants select Kadarius Toney with the 20th overall pick, what to know

new york giants, kadarius toney

After months of speculation, the New York Giants have finally made a decision with the 20th overall pick, selection Kadarius Toney. Big Blue had an active free agency period, adding players like Kenny Golladay, Adoree Jackson, Kyle Rudolph, and more. They’re clearly keen on winning now with QB Daniel Jones under center, providing him with ample weapons to utilize.

However, more work is needed, as the Giants’ defense ranked top-10 in points allowed per game in 2020 but their offense ranked 31st on points scored on average. Clearly, a step in the right direction is needed, and it starts with the coaching staff.

Hopefully, Toney can contribute to production instantly and offer an immediate impact for a team that’s committed to winning now. With a 17-game season in 2021, they have more time and games to reach the postseason, and the rookie class this year must play a significant part in their quality moving forward.

What does Kadarius Toney bring to the Giants?

Toney had 1,145 yards and 10 touchdowns last year, representing a fantastic playmaker from the slot who can also thrive from the “Z” alignment. It’s clear the Giants are going all-in on Daniel Jones, as Toney can take a pass to the house at any given moment.

Per the Draft Network:

Toney is an electric slot receiver who’s continued to improve every season in Gainesville. He is much more satisfying than his size indicates because he’s electric with or without the ball in his grasp. His ceiling as a route-runner is a bit limited, but he was highly effective with the package that he was asked to run. Toney’s presence is always felt whether or not he has the ball, as he makes defenses account for him even if he’s strictly a motion player.

BREAKING: New York Jets Select IOL Alijah Vera Tucker

new york giants, alijah vera-tucker

This is not the same old New York Jets. After hinting towards a trade, the Jets have made a move up nine selections to grab a monster from USC. After nabbing their guy at Quarterback, the Jets have grabbed Alijah Vera Tucker. Tucker is a versatile guard from Oakland, now he heads to the Big Apple.

Tucker was a highly touted prospect out of high school, receiving offers from a majority of PAC-12 schools. Tucker immediately excelled at USC and only allowed five sacks in 927 snaps. Tucker, at 6 foot 4, 315 pounds, has the size to carry that excellence over to the next level. Tucker is a plug-and-play guard with the All-Pro potential as run and pass blocker.

With Tucker likely slotting in at left guard, the Jets now have their left side of the line-locked down for the foreseeable future. Pairing Becton and Tucker up ensure Wilson’s blindside will be well protected, which is something that Sam Darnold did not have in his time with gang green. A nice little wrinkle as well, Tucker was a captain for the Trojans, something Douglas has made a point for picking players to this point.

The Jets did have to trade up to nab Tucker, but the cost was not too bad. The Jets moved up nine slots while giving their 23rd selection to Minnesota. They also gave the Vikings both pick 66 and 86. In return, aside from pick 14, they also got pick 143 in the 4th round. While they lost both their third-rounders, with three picks in the 4th, don’t be surprised if Douglas moves back into the 3rd if a guy he covets is there. Now, the Jets look to pick 34 to get their pick of the guys who slip out of the first round, with a prime chance to grab another blue-chip prospect.

New York Rangers Shutout in Disappointing Loss to the Islanders

The New York Ranger’s path to the playoffs just ran into a dead end. Semyon Varlamov stopped 25 shots as the New York Islanders shut out the Rangers by the score of 4-0.

With Boston’s win tonight, the Rangers are now six points behind the Bruins. The Rangers have five games remaining and Boston has six, including two against each other.

In a last-ditch effort to get back into the game, the Rangers pulled Igor Shesterkin for a 6-on-4 advantage with about 7 minutes left and trailing 3-0. However, Mathew Barzal came out of the penalty box, picked up a loose puck, and scored into an empty net with 5:34 left.

Shesterkin finished with 23 saves, falling to 0-4-1 in five starts against the Islanders.

The New York Rangers loss to the Islanders was “demoralizing”

Adam Fox described how bad the loss was for the Rangers in his post-game Zoom conference. “Any loss at this part of the season is going to be demoralizing. We still have some games left and it’s a tough situation we put ourselves in but we are going to keep playing hard and try to get some wins.”

Before the game, Fox was named the winner of the 2020-21 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award is presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” The award, which has been given annually since the 1987-88 season, bears the name of devoted Blueshirt fan and New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986, and passed away on January 10, 2017.

Head coach David Quinn echoed Fox’s statements in his post-game conference. “It’s just disappointing overall. When that team gets a lead they are really tough. I just didn’t love the feel after they scored their first goal. The way they played, it made a long night for us. There wasn’t much to like about our game in any capacity.”

The Rangers and Islanders meet again Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Giants trade back in 2021 NFL Draft First Round

New York Giants

The New York Giants have traded down in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Giants have traded down to the 20th overall pick in the first round with the Chicago Bears. The Giants received pick 20, pick 164 (fifth-round), a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2022 fourth-round pick.

Dave Gettleman, general manager of the New York Giants, was notorious for never trading down in the draft. Tonight he made his first trade down to 20 overall. The Chicago Bears traded up to 11 overall to draft Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.

The Giants missed out on DeVonta Smith and pivoted towards moving down in the draft to gain extra draft capital. Now, the New York Giants have additional capital in this year and next year’s drafts. Barring any more unforeseen trades, Giants will be on the clock at 20 overall.

New York Jets draft Zach Wilson with 2nd overall pick

new york jets, zach wilson

The New York Jets have drafted BYU quarterback Zach Wilson with the second overall pick in the 2021 Draft. Wilson has been the expected pick for some time now, and it has finally happened. Now, he steps into a situation in New York where he will be the starter from the get-go.

The BYU product broke onto the scene this past year with a fantastic junior season. He totaled 3,692 passing yards with a 73.5 completion percentage, 43 total touchdowns and just 3 interceptions.

Wilson seemed to put the rest of his projected draft-position doubts to rest during his pro day. His ability to make all the throws, both on and off-balance, and extend plays has created a lot of buzz and excitement about the next stage.

The new Jets quarterback has drawn comparisons to the likes of Patrick Mahomes and, according to NFL Analyst Lance Zierein, Aaron Rodgers.

“[Wilson’s] an ascending quarterback prospect who possesses the swagger and arm talent to create explosive plays inside and outside the pocket,” Zierlein said in his overview of the quarterback. “The gunslinger’s mentality and improved release points are clearly patterned off of one of his favorite players, Aaron Rodgers.”

If Zach Wilson can resemble the Packers’ star to any degree, the Jets, and their fans, will be head over heels for the next decade, at least. However, the time for talking is over. The clock for him to prove it starts now.

After setback at UFC 261, what’s next for Jimmy Crute?

Jimmy Crute (12-2) had a massive opportunity at UFC 261. He had the opportunity to fight a top six opponent and former title challenger, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (35-16).

Going into UFC 261, this fight was being looked at as a stepping stone for Crute. Many in the media including myself are extremely high on Jimmy Crute and his talent.

A win over someone like Lionheart Smith would put Crute only a win or two away from a UFC title shot. That said, it wasn’t going to be an easy fight and there’s plenty of fight left in Anthony Smith.

When the fight started on Saturday, Crute was really working his leg kicks. He couldn’t get much going up top because of Smith’s piston-like jab that kept popping his head back throughout the first round.

However, Crute was doing some damage to the legs of Smith at UFC 261. You could tell that if Crute just landed a few more kicks to the right spot, Anthony Smith was going to be in a lot of trouble.

Just before the end of the round, Smith landed the perfect leg kick on Jimmy Crute which really injured his knee. Crute struggled to finish the round and the doctor called a stop to the action in between rounds. A disappointing end at UFC 261 for the Australian.

What’s next after UFC 261?

While UFC 261 didn’t go as planned, I wouldn’t say that it’s a major setback. Crute took a big step up in competition and he came up short. That doesn’t take away from his talent or what I think is in store for his future.

I believe that Jimmy Crute will be a serious contender for the UFC title one day. However, Saturday night showed that it’s not quite time just yet. So, what does the UFC do with Crute now?

Well, the first thing is his health. Once it’s determined how long he has to be out, then the promotion can start thinking about an opponent. An opponent I really like is Crute’s original opponent, Johnny Walker (18-5).

Walker and Crute were supposed to fight before Walker got injured. Anthony Smith then jumped in to fight Crute at UFC 261. These two young contenders will still put on an excellent fight and it’s a fight that makes a ton of sense.

No, the New York Jets shouldn’t trade for Aaron Rodgers

The idea of Aaron Rodgers exchanging shades of green seems enticing, but the New York Jets should probably resist.

Let’s go with “Draft Day Bombs” for $1200, Aaron.

As the hours dwindle before the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland (8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ABC/NFL Network), ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t want to return to the Green Bay Packers. The disgruntled Jeopardy! host and Super Bowl MVP turns 38 in December but has continued to post stellar numbers in a career that will undoubtedly end in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Rodgers is the defending NFL MVP, posting career-best numbers in several major passing categories, including a 70.5 completion rate and a jaw-dropping 48 touchdown passes.

With Rodgers upset with Green Bay management…Schefter claims part of it stems from the Packers’ puzzling decision to draft Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with their premier selection last year…fans of non-Wisconsin teams across the league have clicked open their Photoshop apps to don Rodgers in their team’s colors. Supporters of the New York Jets are likely no exception, as there’s little doubt any metropolitan supporter would say no to Rodgers wearing a different shade of green after years of questions and failures at the franchise quarterback spot.

But if the idea of Rodgers exchanging an oval G for capitalized script on his helmet sounds too good to be true…that’s because it probably is.

Rodgers is one of the rare active quarterbacks…heck, probably in NFL history…that can single-handedly turn a team’s fortunes around. Green Bay, laden with controversy and silliness over the past decade-plus, has remained a perpetual prescience in the NFL’s playoff picture thanks to Rodgers’ efforts. But even he might have trouble making a playoff team out of this current Jets squad. The Jets undboutedly improved over the past few months, but it’s still not fair to expect the postseason out of them. There are simply too many established contenders in the AFC and the Jets’ own division appears to be under the control of a Buffalo overlord. Even Rodgers hasn’t ended every season in the playoffs, much less at the top of his quartet.

Even in his late 30s, Rodgers continues to be one of the most impactful and dominant quarterbacks in the NFL. Like Tom Brady before him, he could well continue passing a decade from now, when he’s in his mid-40s. But the Jets can’t afford to take a relative risk like that. No one knows how much longer Rodgers is going to want to do this. Schefter has implied that he may want to settle down with his fiancé, actress Shailene Woodley, and Rodgers himself has set his sights on succeeding the late Alex Trebek full-time.

Today’s offense-worshipping NFL requires a strong starting quarterback but they must also possess a thrower with whom they’re comfortable starting in three-to-five (if he’s not the same guy, that is). The Jets have a chance to fulfill that need with the second overall pick in the upcoming draft, a choice that will likely be used on BYU’s Zach Wilson. It’s better to stick with homegrown talent than going with a guy who would likely lead roll call on the updated “Wait, He Played For the Jets?!?!?” team roster.

“But wait!” you interject. “Why can’t they have both Rodgers and Wilson? What a great mentor for the kid!” The idea that such a union could work is a pipe dream at best. Fans will be welcomed back to MetLife Stadium this season, and the last thing either quarterback needs is for fans to start screaming for his replacement every time he throws an incomplete pass. The Jets have a chance to start fresh with a new roster, but they must work through with as little controversy as possible. Combining Rodgers with a rookie is the very worst way to go about that.

Besides, the Jets have already had one unpleasant experience with a Green Bay legend in Brett Favre. The season itself was more heartbreakingly mediocre than truly unpleasant, but it was nonetheless an endeavor that set the franchise back several years. Its lasting legacy, for example, is the fact it led to the drafting of Mark Sanchez. Additionally, Tim Tebow’s Jacksonville tryout was a stark reminder of the sensational and oftentimes absurd coverage that surrounded the team during Tebow’s one-year term…and he wasn’t even the starter. The combination of Rodgers, (burdened with controversy that’s sometimes far from his own doing), and the Jets (whose mere existence elicits sophomoric social media snickers) would be a marriage of no winners, one where non-football obstacles would rival opposing defenses.

This is a rare opportunity for the Jets to start with something homegrown and surround him with a strong foundation, including a head coach whose hire has earned positive reviews across the league. There’s no use playing with another team’s unwanted toys anymore…even if that toy is an only slightly rugged PlayStation 5.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

NASCAR: Three drivers to watch in Sunday’s Buschy McBusch Race 400

After an eventful Talladega race, the NASCAR Cup Series makes a stop in the Midwest at Kansas Motor Speedway. The race will last 267 laps, equivalent to 400 miles. Last week’s winner Brad Keselowski rolls off from the pole position while last fall’s winner Joey Logano starts 29th after a crash at Talladega. Here are three drivers to watch on Sunday.

Martin Truex Jr. (+650)

To no one’s surprise, Martin Truex Jr. has had a lot of success at Kansas Speedway. Living up to his name of “Mile and a Half Martin”, Truex Jr. has two wins and 12 top-10s in 25 starts on the circuit. Both of his wins came in 2017, the year he won the Cup Series Championship.

2021 has so far been kind to the Truex Jr. and the No. 19 team. With wins at Phoenix and Martinsville, Truex Jr. is the only Cup Series driver with multiple wins on the season and is currently 2nd in points. Expect Truex Jr. to run up front on Sunday.

Denny Hamlin (+600)

Much like Truex Jr., Kansas has been kind to Denny Hamlin over his career. He’s won three times at the track with 8 top-5s and an average finish of 14.5. Hamlin is also the winner of two of the last three races at Kansas.

Although Hamlin’s had massive success this season, he still hasn’t pulled out a victory. With top-10s in 8 of 10 races, Hamlin holds a nearly 90-point lead in the standings with many close calls and stage points this season. Sunday would be a great time for Hamlin to finally break through and secure his first victory of the season.

Chase Elliott (+800)

Someone who’s struggled a bit this season is defending Cup Series champion Chase Elliott. He’s managed just 4 top-10s so far, however, he remains in 8th in the standings due to stage points.

Elliott’s had a good bit of success at Kansas, winning once with 6 top-10s in 10 starts at the track. He has an average finish of 11th and doesn’t have any DNFs. Don’t be surprised if Elliott breaks through for a big victory on Sunday.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees lose a hard fought battle in the 10th at Baltimore

In today’s matinee, it was the finale of the New York Yankees Baltimore Orioles four-game series. The Yankees’ Jordan Montgomery faced the Orioles, Jorge Lopez. It was a mostly cloudy ski at Orioles Park at Camden Yards with a game-time temperature of 79 degrees with only a slight chance of a passing shower. The Orioles won the first game, and the Yankees won the last two games holding down the Orioles to just one run while the Yankees scored 12 runs.

At the top of the first inning, DJ LeMahieu led off by grounding out to short. Giancarlo Stanton flew out to center field. Gleyber Torres ground out to third with the Yankees going down in order for Lopez. At the bottom, with Jordan Montgomery on the mound, Cedric Mullins singled past Urshela at third. Austin Hays had a sac bunt moving Mullins to second. Trey Mancini singled, driving in Mullins for the Orioles early lead. Franco hit into a force at second for the second out of the inning. Severino, with two outs, hit back to the pitcher to end the inning. Orioles 1 Yankees 0.

Gio Urshela led off the second inning for the New York Yankees by lining out.  Rougie Odor struck out, Aaron Hicks walked. Hicks moved to second on a passed ball. Gary Sanchez lined to left. At the bottom, Mountcastle singled to center. Stewart hit into a double play with Odor tagging Mountcastle and throwing to first for the out. Urias walked. Valaika flew out to Hicks. Orioles 1 Yankees 0.

At the third, Clint Frazier lined out to first base. Brett Gardner popped out to short. LeMahieu blooped one into center. Stanton lined to short for a single. Torres went down looking to end the half.  Mullins, at the of the third, lined out to Odor. Hays flew out to Hicks. Mancini singled, and Franco flew out to end the inning. Orioles  Yankees

Gio Urshela ground out to start the fourth inning. Rougie Odor was hit by a pitch and advanced to first base. Hicks got to first on a force out of Odor. Gary Sanchez had a base hit to left. With two on and two outs, Frazier hit to the right-field wall, but it was caught to end the half and leaving two on base.  Severino led off the bottom hit to the right-field walls, but Frazier’s quick heads held him to a single. Mountcastle flew out to a diving catch by Frazier.  Stewart flew out to Gardner in left. Urais ground out to Torres to end the inning. Orioles 1 Yankees 0.

The fifth inning saw Brett Gardner at the plate singling to left field. LeMahieu walked, causing a pitching change. Adam Plutko faced Giancarlo Stanton, who singled to no man’s land in center field loaded the bases with no outs. Torres popped out to first, holding the runners. Gio Urshela struck out swinging. Odor ripped one slowly into right field while Gardner and LeMahieu scored for the Yankees. Hicks grounded out to end the inning, but the Yankees picked up two runs on the great situational hitting by Rougie Odor. Pat Valaika led off the bottom by grounding out. Mullins struck out swinging. Hays flew out to Hicks to end the inning. New York Yankees 2 O’s 1.

At the top of the sixth, Gary Sanchez walked. Frazier hit into a double play for two outs in the inning. Gardner ground out for a fast inning for Plutko. At the bottom, Montgomery entered the inning with 71 pitches facing Mancini, who promptly tied up the game with a homer over the left-field wall and knocking Montgomery out of the game. Chad Green (0.68) took over for Monty, facing Franco, who popped out to second. Severino popped out to  Sanchez. Mountcastle struck out swinging, and Green got out of any further damage. Tie score at 2.

The seventh inning was led off by LeMahieu, who flew out to Mullins. Stanton hit his third hit of the day, a single to left. With that hit, Plutko was out of the game. Torres faced Travis Latkins Sr. With one on and one out, he hit into a double play ending the half, leaving Stanton stranded at first base. At the bottom, with Green still on the mound, Stewart struck out swinging. Urias struck out on a foul tip. Valaika struck out swinging. Yankees 2 Orioles 2.

Gio Urshela walked to start the eighth inning. Aaron Judge came in to pinch hit for Odor. Judge struck out, so the strategy failed. Hicks struck out. Sanchez popped out to second again, leaving a man on base. The bottom of the eighth saw Darren O’Day on the mound for the Yankees against Mullins, who walked. Hays moved to third base on a ball that got away from Sanchez as Mullins, with good speed, scored, giving the Orioles a one-run lead. Mancini grounded to Torres for the first out. Franco popped out to the infield. Severino lined out to left, but the Orioles took the lead. Orioles 3 New York Yankees 2.

At the top of the ninth inning, with last licks on the line for the Yankees, the number 8, 9, and 1 hitter faced the Orioles closer, Cesar Valdez, on the mound. Pinch-hitting for Frazier, Mike Ford walked. Gardner struck out. LeMahieu walked. Giancarlo Stanton struck out. With the Yankees final out at the plate in Gleyber Torres, he doubled to left, tieing up the game at 3 apiece. Ushela lined out to end the inning tied at 3. The bounce into the stands was bad luck for the Yankees as the ground-rule double prevented LeMahieu from scoring.

At the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees sent their closer to the mound, Aroldis Chapman. He faced Mountcastle, who stuck out on the 8th pitch at-bat. It was 101 mph. Stewart struck out looking. Urias struck out for a 1-2-3 put down by Chapman. On to the 10th inning.

At the top of the tenth, Tanner Scott took the mound for the Orioles with ghost runner Gio Urshela at second base; Tyler Wade led off for the Yankees, who failed to get a bunt down. Aaron Hicks chopped back to Scott for out number two. Gary Sanchez was intentionally walked. Mike Ford at the plate went down on strikes as the Yankees failed to take the lead in the game.

At the bottom of the tenth, Jonathan Loaisiga was on the mound for the Yankees facing Valaika with ghost runner Urias at second. Valaika sac bunted Urias to third base. Cedric Mullins had a sac fly to left, scoring Valaika for the Orioles win. The Yankees split the four-game series with the Orioles. The final score was the Baltimore Orioles 4 and the New York  Yankees 3. The winning pitcher was Tanner Scott the loser was Jonathan Loaisiga.

 

 

UFC: Stipe Miocic plans to bulk up in preparation of potential trilogy with Francis Ngannou

MMA, Stipe Miocic

Last month at UFC 260, the heavyweight championship was on the line. The greatest heavyweight champion in the promotion’s history, Stipe Miocic (20-4), was defending his title against Francis Ngannou (16-3).

The fight was a rematch from two years prior. In the first fight, Miocic dominated to retain his UFC heavyweight title. However, the second fight couldn’t have been more different.

Ngannou completely rushed the first fight and gassed himself out. The methodical Miocic paced himself and ended up dominating an exhausted Ngannou. In the second fight, Ngannou was very patient even when he hurt Miocic.

A big flurry in the second round sat Miocic down. He got back up to a swarming Ngannou. Miocic landed a beautiful step back right hand which appeared to stun Ngannou for just a second. This moment was the downfall of Stipe Miocic at UFC 260.

Thinking he had Ngannou hurt, Miocic rushed right into a left hook. The hook completely turned the lights out and Ngannou was crowned the heavyweight champion of the world.

Many were left wondering what would be next for Stipe Miocic after UFC 260. The man has nothing left to prove and he has another baby on the way. Many wondered if he would walk away from the sport.

However, Miocic was just interviewed on The Pat McAfee show, and he’s not planning on walking away. In fact, it’s bulking season for Miocic who is fully planning on completing the trilogy with the new UFC heavyweight champion.

Miocic wants his UFC title back

The former UFC heavyweight champion told McAfee, “I want to get back what’s mine. It’s bulking season. I’m gonna eat as much as I can and get big and strong… I’m trying to get to like, 250. I made 230 last time, not because I tried, but because of training. I’m really going to stick to really trying to gain a little bit of weight, a little bit more mass. I felt good but I think 20 pounds will help.”

While Miocic certainly isn’t small for a UFC heavyweight he was much smaller than Ngannou. Miocic appears to be taking the same strategy Frank Mir took after he lost to Brock Lesnar at UFC 100.

Mir realized he couldn’t defeat the size of Lesnar so he decided to bulk up and he went from 240 to 265. Now, Miocic is of course hoping his journey ends better than Mir’s did.

Miocic is still planning on taking time off to enjoy the birth of his son and spend time with family. Ngannou has his hands full with either Jon Jones or Derrick Lewis next so there’s no need to rush if you’re the former UFC champion.

But, make no mistake about it, Stipe Miocic isn’t going away. The greatest heavyweight of all time is planning on one more run to get back the title that he loves so much.