Way Too Early Eagles Prediction

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The NFL released the 2017-18 schedule this evening and the Philadelphia Eagles are slated to be on national television four times. 

They will play Washington and Oakland inside Lincoln Financial Field for Monday Night Football. The match-up with Oakland will occur on Christmas with kickoff set for 8:30 p.m. 

Additionally, they will be playing on the road for a pair of Sunday Night Football games. Philadelphia will head to Dallas as well as Seattle. They will also travel to Carolina for a Thursday Night Football contest. 

Here is my WAY TOO EARLY PREDICTION – The Eagles end up 10-6 

This belief is that Carson Wentz takes that next step, while management adds weapons for him through the draft. December will be tough… but good teams find a way to get into the playoffs. It does help that the bye week falls on week 10. They will pickup momentum in midway through the season. 

Full Schedule – Provided by Dave Zangaro 

 

Is Lonzo Ball Worth it?

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The season is now complete and the Philadelphia 76ers have landed with the fourth worst record in the NBA. 

Now fans can turn their attention to the highly anticipated NBA Lottery. On the bright side,the Sixers have an opportunity to grab the Lakers’ selection if the team does not fall within the top three picks. Now the question is… Where will they pick and more importantly WHO? 

Part 1: Lonzo Ball

If Philadelphia is lucky enough to be in the top three, they should put serious thought into taking UCLA standout Lonzo Ball. Yes, his father can cause headaches. Yes, his father stirs up trouble. However, his father is not the one on the court. 

Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball to Philly? 

Ball in my opinion was the best play-maker in the NCAA this season with incredible court awareness. He sees plays before they happen and can attack the rim with his 6’6″ frame. He is drawing comparisons to Jason Kidd, which is currently high praise.

Imagine the combination of Ball and Simmons in the backcourt. The experiment with Simmons running the point would no longer exist, but think of mismatches that would be in their favor.

Strengths

  • Another face of the franchise type of player: A new big 3 with Ball, Simmons, & Embiid … and don’t forget about Dario Saric
  • Tremendous size playing the PG position for Brett Brown 
  • Winning the transition game with Ball and Simmons running in the open court
  • Provides open looks for teammates with passing ability 
  • Brings a winning attitude to a team looking to turn the page 
  • Instantly puts the squad into playoff contention in the Eastern Conference 

Weaknesses

  • There certainly would be questions about who could knock down perimeter shots
  • Can Ball be consistent from beyond the arc with that odd type of shot? Simmons still has to prove he can stretch the floor
  • Will he be happy playing in Philadelphia? Will his father cause trouble? 
  • Would he fit in with the players on the team right now? 

 

 

 

MLB Predictions: 2017 Edition

By: Dave DiPasqua 

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Chicago Cubs snapped a 108-year curse last year with an incredible postseason run to capture the 2016 World Series.

As we fast-forward to now, look for the Cubs to repeat as the 2017 campaign is officially underway. Who knows what will happen over the course of the next few months! 

World Series Prediction: Chicago Cubs over Boston Red Sox in 6 games

NL East: New York Mets 

NL Central: Chicago Cubs

NL West: San Francisco Giants

Wild Cards: Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers 

AL East: Toronto Blue Jays

AL Central: Cleveland Indians

AL West: Houston Astros

Wild Cards: Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers

Phillies Prediction: 77-85

  • Despite being on a three-game skid, the Phillies have shown promise with a young core.
  • They do lack power in the middle of the lineup, which is why this is such a big year for Maikel Franco. He has not shown anything yet, hence the losing streak with him batting clean-up.
  • Need the arms in the rotation to produce with Vince Velasquez being the ace.
    • Personally, I think Velasquez is better suited for the closer position with his strikeout potential.
    • Expect them to deal Jeremy Hellickson and Clay Bucholz at the deadline to bring up guys from the minors (Jake Thompson & Ben Lively to name two).
  • Expect them to throw big money this off-season as rumors fly around the notion of landing … Bryce Harper if the price is right.
  • A player to watch: Aaron Altherr
    • After missing time last year due to injury, Altherr needs to have a big year
    • He has the size (6’5”) and now has to put it all together
  • A pitcher to watch: Jerad Eickhoff
    • Has the ability to be the best of the bunch: 11-14 record with 3.65 ERA in 2016
    • Has good command of his pitches, but needs run support
    • Reminds me of a young John Lackey

 

 

NFL 2017 Mock Draft: Picks 16-20

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Listed below is my official 2017 NFL Mock Draft. These are my opinions on who they should take and not who each team will actually select.

Dave’s 16-20: 

Baltimore Ravens: John Ross, WR, Washington  

Washington Redskins: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

Tennessee Titans: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State 

Denver Broncos:  David Njoku, TE, Miami

 

Charlie’s 16-20: 

Baltimore Ravens: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

Washington Redskins: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt 

Tennessee Titans: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Njoku, TE, Miami

Denver Broncos: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

NFL 2017 Mock Draft: Picks 11-15

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Listed below is my official 2017 NFL Mock Draft. These are my opinions on who they should take and not who team each will actually select.

Dave’s 11-15: 

New Orleans Saints: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee 

  • The Saints can either go offense to replace the production of Cooks or turn towards defense. Personally, Brees will find a way to make it work with Thomas on the outside. Therefore, the team will look to enhance the secondary or front seven. Taking a player like Barnett with a high motor helps cause havoc in the backfield.

Cleveland Browns:  Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson   

  • Cleveland took Garrett with the top selection and now can focus on QB. All three options are available. Personally, Trubisky is not ready. Kizer can turn out to be the best of the bunch, but can’t step in right away. That leaves Watson, who I believe would fit in nicely with the young nucleus being built. 

Arizona Cardinals: Haason Reddick, DE, Temple 

  • Arizona could go with a QB in order to replace Palmer. However, Reddick has done nothing but raise his stock after the season ended. This could be a huge move as Reddick can play all over the field.

Philadelphia Eagles: Christian McCaffrey, RB/WR, Stanford 

  • I have gone back and forth with this selection. Considering the vast amount of depth in the draft, Philadelphia will elect to go with a player who can help Wentz in multiple ways. 
  • He can be lined up in the slot, while also taking handoffs. He causes mismatches all over the field, whether being in the backfield or motioned to the outside. Can he withstand punishment in-between the tackles? My gut says yes. He has vision and is shifty enough make men miss. As a returner, he can learn from Sproles and gradually take that over.
  • Some people say go Dalvin Cook. Others hope a corner falls to No. 14. You don’t want to reach, espeically after Sydney Jones went down. There will be other opportunities to grab defensive backs. Take McCaffrey.

Indianapolis Colts: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

  • This is a no-brainer. Protect your franchise player in Andrew Luck.

 

Charlie’s 11-15: 

New Orleans Saints: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

Cleveland Browns: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

Arizona Cardinals:  DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

Philadelphia Eagles:  Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State 

Indianapolis Colts: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

 

 

 

NFL 2017 Mock Draft: Picks 6-10

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Listed below is my official 2017 NFL Mock Draft. These are my opinions on who they should take and not who each team will actually select.

Dave’s 6-10: 

New York Jets: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State  

  • Hooker is a top talent, but I believe this No. 6 selection will be traded for a team wanting either Hooker or Fournette. This team is rebuilding after letting go of Marshall, Mangold, etc. If they keep it, they can’t go wrong with him.

Los Angeles Chargers: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama   

  • The Chargers want Malik Hooker and with him being off the board… trade. They don’t need a QB this high up or a RB after Melvin Gordon’s performance last season. In this case, they’ll take the next best option in Humphrey. Foster is another possibility.

Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU  

  • No brainer. Adding the likes of Fournette in the backfield allows a solid running game to help Cam Newton setup play-action. The Panthers will return to form with this selection. Complete slam dunk.

Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama  

  • If they were smart, the Bengals would run to the podium and select Foster. He is the complete package with his combination of speed and power. One of the top players in this draft class.

Buffalo Bills: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama   

  • Todd McShay has Howard in his Top 5 right now going to Jacksonville. However, I don’t believe anyone takes him that high. Howard can help in the running game with McCoy and block for Taylor. A safe pick for Buffalo.

 

Charlie’s 6-10:

New York Jets:  Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson   

  • The Jets are a mess and are in desperate need of a franchise QB. Jay Cutler is not exactly the answer to their QB problem. Watson can turn this team right around with his high character. 

Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State   

Carolina Panthers:   Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU  

Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama   

Buffalo Bills:   John Ross, WR, Washington  

2017 Mock Draft: 1-5

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Listed below is my official 2017 NFL Mock Draft. These are my opinions on who they should take and not who each team will actually select.

Dave’s 1-5: 

Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

  • Cleveland has multiple needs, but Garrett has the highest upside of any player in this draft. Taking a QB this high is too risky. Adding Garrett helps win the battle in the trenches.

San Francisco 49ers:  Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford 

  • San Francisco completely imploded last season. With a new era upon them, drafting Thomas helps ease the pain. It is a stepping stone in the right direction, plus the Stanford connection. Taking Jamal Adams wouldn’t be a bad option either.

Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

  • The Bears need a fresh start on defense. Adams is a top prospect in this class and provides an instant presence. Chicago faces good quarterbacks in Stafford, Rodgers, and Bradford twice a season.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DE/DT, Alabama  

  • The Jaguars are stacking up on defense. Incorporating Allen into that defensive line can create havoc. A young nucleus with Ramsey, Fowler, and veteran core makes be believe this franchise just needs a QB. If the Jaguars can take care of the football this season, watch out for the Jaguars.

Tennessee Titans:  Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

  • After the trade with the Rams last season, the Titans have the luxury of adding a top tier cornerback in Lattimore. He can learn from Logan Ryan and play all over the field. You can never have too much depth in the secondary.

Charlie’s 1-5:

Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford 

  • Depends if they trade for Kirk Cousins

Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen, DE/DT, Alabama 

Jacksonville Jaguars: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Tennessee Titans:  Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State   

 

Christian McCaffrey at No. 14?

Philadelphia, Pa. – With the franchise building around Carson Wentz, is it too far-fetched to believe that Christian McCaffrey could be selected No. 14 to the Philadelphia Eagles? 

This team has been busy in free agency, landing Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and Chance Warmack. Don’t forget he brought Nick Foles back to help Wentz moving forward.It goes without saying that Jeffery is the best wide receiver to be in this town since the departure of Jeremy Maclin.

Smith on the other hand adds a deep-threat, similar to when DeSean Jackson was here. Do not count out Warmack on the offensive line, since he is a former first rounder with 323 pounds in the middle. General manager Howie Roseman has indicated that he wants to restructure this team to days of when Andy Reid was at the helm.

Last year, Roseman went up to the second overall selection and brought this city a franchise quarterback. Despite being strapped with a tight salary cap number, he went out and provided Wentz with options on the outside who can change a game.

It is possible that Roseman takes another offensive playmaker at No. 14, even though he added weapons? With Darren Sproles in his final season, maybe McCaffrey could take his role. Ryan Matthews is not the long-term solution either. 

I am not saying that I want them to definitely take the former Heisman finalist, but it is a good question to ask. He can be moved all around the formation and cause mismatches for Wentz to find. This offense will be putting up points and it helps that the duo of McCaffrey and Wentz can grow together. This would be a nightmare for teams in the NFC East. 

The Stanford standout has the speed and moves to be successful. He can be lined up in the backfield, slot, or as a returner in this league. His combine was impressive enough to have him go somewhere in the first round. McCaffrey registered a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash, while scoring a 37.5 vertical. 

I am not sold on him running in-between the tackles, but anything is possible. He is a smaller back but it a necessity in this offense to be able to be a check-down. Think about him on third-downs and keeping drives alive. 

Howie must nail this NFL Draft and has to consider every option. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can Reuben Foster Fall to No. 14?

Philadelphia, Pa. – The Philadelphia Eagles can go in multiple directions with the No. 14 selection in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft next month. 

Do the Eagles add a playmaker for quarterback Carson Wentz? Do they go defense for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz? 

This certainly depends on what the team does in free agency or trades, considering all the rumors around Brandon Cooks. The Saints are seeking a mid-round first rounder for the speedy wide receiver. However, according to reports New Orleans has already declined New England’s offer of their first for Cooks. 

Anything is certainly possible, especially when this could change the landscape of free agency (countless wide receivers testing the waters). 

When it comes to the draft, a player slipping due to a “heated altercation” at the combine was Alabama’s Reuben Foster. The linebacker in my opinion has Top-5 talent with his size and speed. He hits like a truck and plays with an attitude, which this town will love. 

Linebacker is a need for this team as they continue to transition to a 4-3. Additionally, there is a possibility that they deal Connor Barwin and Mychal Kendricks who do not fit the scheme and free up salary cap space. 

Foster can play all three downs. It allows Schwartz the freedom to be creative and allow the front seven to take over games. Jordan Hicks and Foster would be a nice one-two punch for years to come. 

This a deep draft in the first three rounds, which allows the Eagles to grab a corner. Expect to see a move for wide receiver in free agency. 

It does not hurt to take the best player available if Foster somehow falls to No. 14. It is something to at least think about. 

 

 

Sixers are Moving in the Right Direction

By: David DiPasqua, Jr.

The Philadelphia 76ers have hopefully turned a page after drafting Ben Simmons with the top selection in the NBA Draft. 

Despite only having 47 wins in the past three seasons, the city is filled with optimism as things are beginning to unfold. 

One of the Sixers’ prized assets in Joel Embiid has been cleared by doctors to officially play. However, they are being cautious and will not have him participating in summer league.

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Saric likely starts off as Philly’s 6th man 

Another pleasant surprise was Dario Saric’s announcement that he will joining Philadelphia this season. The former first round pick in 2014 provides another reliable scorer who can apparently shoot from the outside. 

Additionally, the team has Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel as twin towers in the paint. There have been several rumors surrounding both players, especially on draft night.

Most likely one of these players will be dealt, but it MUST be for fair value. Otherwise, keep all the bigs and make it work. Think about it, someone will probably be injured or need extra rest (Embiid). Head coach Brent Brown should find a way to make it work. 

The more depth the better. Cut the players who don’t belong in the league. 

Projected Starting Lineup (As of Now)

  1. Jerryd Bayless
  2. Gerald Henderson
  3. Robert Covington 
  4. Ben Simmons 
  5. Jahlil Okafor 

Off the bench bigs: Nerlens Noel,  Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Jerami Grant, & Richaun Holmes 

Off the bench guards: Sergio Rodriguez, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Hollis Thompson, T.J. McConnell, & Nik Stauskas 

2017

Being patient will payoff, considering this team will not be able to sign a player like a Kevin Durant. However, this upcoming season will be huge for a variety of reasons. 

Philadelphia I say will be around 25-30 wins (Right now I’ll say 26), which is good enough to potentially use the Kings’ swap that they own to move up in the 2017 lottery. The Kings are completely dysfunctional, especially with DeMarcus Cousins on the roster for now. In my eyes, they are a lock for the lottery. 

Plus, you throw in the Lakers’ first rounder that hopefully does not fall into the top three again. Luke Walton is at the helm, but a quick fix in LA doesn’t look like it is going to happen.

screen_shot_2016-03-31_at_10-47-11_am-0
Draft Lonzo Ball in 2017 

They did improve with players like Brandon Ingram and some veteran free agents. However, they will be back in the lottery as well.

This potentially lands the Sixers with a pair of Top 5 or Top 10 picks in a pretty deep draft class.

Adding a pair of talented guards to go along with Simmons and company next year will certainly put this team back in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference. 

Here are a 5 names to keep an eye on (Highlight reels are in the link):  

FREE AGENCY

On the free agency front, the Sixers have been relatively quiet. There were rumors with Rajon Rondo and Harrison Barnes, but nothing materialized. Instead the team decided to save their money by signing three veteran guards. The patient approach is the right approach. 

First was Jerryd Bayless, who inked a 3 year, $27 million dollar contract. Bayless is a veteran at the age of 27, who has bounced around during his professional career. With the way contracts were being handed out, this was a good deal for Philadelphia. The team was in desperate need of a point guard who can shoot from the outside (36.5% career 3pt %). He’s not going to win you games, but good in terms of being a catch and shoot player when Simmons brings up the ball. Bayless can run the team for a year or two, until his replacement comes in. Overall, he’s an average player that fits a bunch of needs. 

Sergio Rodriguez is another veteran presence, who has spent time in Europe and the NBA. Signing a one year, $8 million dollar contract tells me that it is an experiment. If it doesn’t workout, then there is no harm in the matter. Rodriguez can stretch the floor, while also providing Brown with another option in the backcourt. 

Lastly is the Episcopal Academy product in Gerald Henderson. The hometown kid was brought in on a two year, $ 18 million dollar deal to play for the Sixers. The glaring weakness was the backcourt, so this makes sense. With the price being right, Henderson will help as another veteran presence who can score.