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The NFL draft is again — and a file variety of Canadians might get picked
Final yr’s “digital” draft was the primary stay sports activities (or no less than sports-related) occasion after the pandemic hit. And it was delightfully intimate. We obtained to see Roger Goodell’s basement, Kliff Kingsbury’s luxurious pad and Invoice Belichick’s canine.
This yr, with the USA getting again on its toes, the draft is reverting to one thing extra just like the made-for-TV spectacle we have come to anticipate. It is being held in Cleveland, the place high prospects will greet the commissioner on (an out of doors) stage after they’re picked on Thursday evening, and (vaccinated) followers will probably be in attendance.
The highest two picks seem like fairly locked in. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence will virtually actually be chosen first general by Jacksonville, and BYU QB Zach Wilson ought to go second to the New York Jets. Then it will get fascinating. San Francisco traded as much as No. 3, suggesting it’s going to look to seize certainly one of three QBs: Alabama’s Mac Jones, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance or Ohio State’s Justin Fields. Different potential All-Execs on the board embody Florida tight finish Kyle Pitts, Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell and LSU extensive receiver Ja’Marr Chase. A pair of Alabama receivers are extremely regarded too: Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith and speedster Jaylen Waddle.
Additionally, a file variety of Canadians may very well be drafted. The consensus is 5 or 6, which might surpass the 4 chosen in 2014. None of them are as tantalizing as Chase Claypool, the Notre Dame receiver who went within the second spherical final yr and have become a rookie-of-the-year contender with the Pittsburgh Steelers. So that you most likely will not hear a Canadian’s title referred to as on Thursday evening (when the primary spherical takes place), however it might occur as quickly as Friday (rounds 2 and three) and absolutely Saturday, when the draft concludes with rounds 4-7.
Here is a have a look at the highest Canadians with evaluation from CBC Sports activities’ Dion Caputi, an NFL draft knowledgeable who evaluates prospects year-round:
Jevon Holland (security, Oregon)
Hometown: Coquitlam, B.C.
Likeliest draft spherical: 2 or 3
Dion’s breakdown: “Holland is your quintessential centre-field security with spectacular vary and the specified ball abilities for the place — a worthwhile commodity in a contemporary NFL that values its passing sport. He additionally affords some particular groups worth as a genuinely dependable punt returner.”
Benjamin St-Juste (cornerback, Minnesota)
Likeliest spherical: 3 or 4
Dion’s breakdown: “St-Juste is a prototypical long-limbed, press-man cornerback with tailored attributes for a zone protection scheme. His worth is considerably hindered by an absence of burst or lengthy pace, however his aggressive type in one-on-one matchups and fascinating measurables make him interesting.”
Chuba Hubbard (operating again, Oklahoma State)
Likeliest spherical: 3 or 4
Dion’s breakdown: “After recording all-world numbers on the bottom in 2019, Hubbard’s manufacturing slipped sharply in 2020 as Oklahoma State handed the ball extra. Regardless of his restricted lower-body drive and minor ball-security issues, Hubbard has a decisive, no-nonsense operating type that professional franchises admire. He is additionally tirelessly sturdy and has above-average imaginative and prescient.”
Josh Palmer (extensive receiver, Tennessee)
Hometown: Brampton, Ont.
Likeliest spherical: 4 or 5
Dion’s breakdown: “One of many premier chain-moving receivers on this yr’s class, Palmer may very well be a much better professional than collegian. Sub-standard quarterback play at Tennessee prompted his athletic capability to fly considerably beneath the radar, however Palmer displays masterful physique management when making changes (and he needed to make many). His upside could also be restricted by his lack of vertical pace, however Palmer’s route-running fundamentals and dependable arms might make him a superb secondary goal within the NFL.”
Along with these 4, Dion sees Iowa offensive lineman Alaric Jackson (Windsor, Ont.) getting picked on Day 3, and he thinks Oklahoma State linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga (Calgary) additionally has a shot to be chosen earlier than the tip of the seventh spherical. Learn extra about Hubbard and the opposite high Canadian prospects right here. And for extra draft perception, follow Dion on Twitter @nfldraftupdate.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. > Vladimir Guerrero Sr. OK, not fairly. Regardless of Vlad Jr.’s having fun with a breakout season (he is tied for the AL lead in homers and ranks third in batting common), Vlad Sr. is a Corridor of Famer and probably the most beloved baseball gamers ever. However final evening, the son did one thing his dad by no means did: hit three house runs in a major-league sport. Certainly one of them was a grand slam, giving Guerrero seven RBIs on the evening. His previous man solely did that when (although his effort, a nine-RBI efficiency in 2004 with Anaheim, was even higher). One other cool reality from Junior’s huge evening: the grand slam got here off Washington ace Max Scherzer, who grew to become the second pitcher (after Ivan Nova) to serve up homers to each Guerreros. Learn extra about Vlad Jr.’s home-run hat trick right here.
Olympic and Paralympic athletes will probably be examined each day for the coronavirus in Tokyo. That was one of many tightened measures launched at this time by organizers and the governments of Tokyo and Japan as they attempt to persuade an more and more skeptical world that they’ll safely maintain the occasions this summer time. Anybody collaborating within the Video games should present two adverse exams earlier than their flight to Japan and, upon arrival, follow an “exercise plan” designed to reduce contact with the general public and even different individuals concerned within the Video games. Worldwide spectators had been dominated out some time in the past. A call on home followers will probably be made in June. The Olympics formally open 12 weeks from this Friday. Learn extra concerning the up to date measures right here.
The ladies’s world curling championship is on. It was unsure after two German gamers examined optimistic for the coronavirus throughout pre-tournament screening in Calgary. They’re in isolation and the complete squad remains to be awaiting medical clearance, however the World Curling Federation mentioned at this time that the opposite 13 groups can begin practising. It is unclear what’s going to occur with the German staff, however the plan is to begin the match Friday as scheduled. Canadian skip Kerri Einarson and her staff, who received their second straight Scotties title in February, will get their first crack at a world championship. Final yr’s was cancelled because of the pandemic. Learn extra concerning the resolution to go forward with this yr’s right here.
The Nationwide Girls’s Hockey League is doubling its wage cap — but additionally placing its Montreal growth staff on maintain. Commissioner Tyler Tumminia says the cap improve (from $150,000 US to $300,000) is a results of new sponsorship offers and the NWHL’s success in rising its fan base regardless of shortening its 2021 season to 2 weeks and having to postpone the playoffs for a few months resulting from a coronavirus outbreak. Gamers will now make a median of about $15,000 per yr. The choice to delay the Montreal staff’s debut till the 2022-23 season is because of pandemic-related uncertainties, in keeping with the league. Learn extra about these strikes and the state of the NWHL right here.
One of many biggest boxers of all time will as soon as once more field somebody who shouldn’t be actually a boxer. Floyd Mayweather hasn’t stepped into the ring towards an precise professional boxer since defeating Andre Berto in 2015. And he hasn’t fought anybody in any respect since stopping UFC star Conor McGregor within the tenth spherical of their stunt bout in 2017 to run his profession file to 50-0. Mayweather’s subsequent opponent is even much less certified. On June 6 in Miami he’ll face YouTube star Logan Paul, whose solely official combat is a 2019 split-decision loss to a different YouTuber who calls himself KSI. For those who might swear Paul simply fought a few weeks in the past, you are considering of his brother Jake — one other YouTuber who not too long ago knocked out former MMA fighter Ben Askren and likewise KO’d ex-NBA participant Nate Robinson final yr. At 6-foot-2 and 200 kilos, Logan Paul is about six inches taller and 50 kilos heavier than Mayweather was in his heyday as welterweight champ. However that issues a lot much less once you keep in mind that Paul is, , not a boxer.
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