Draft Day

Joshua Jordan Mock 4.0: The Draft is finally upon us

I don't think Barkley slips past the Browns at No.4, but he could go as high as No.2 to the Giants. Penn State Football/Facebook

Here is my final mock draft and I have made several changes this week, to say the least. I think I have a better feel now for how the middle of the 1st round will play out, but we'll find out for sure tonight. Now, I certainly don't have the resume of Mike Mayock or Mel Kiper, but I do have the luxury of talking football with guys like NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, and have co-hosted draft shows in the Houston market the last few years. I watch as many players as I can, look at the needs and tendencies of every team, and get information from people I trust. So here we go. The NFL Draft is like Christmas morning for me, and I can't wait for this thing to get started. 

1. Cleveland Browns- Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

The Browns finally get their franchise QB. There's a lot of buzz about Baker Mayfield being selected here, so I'll trust what I'm hearing. 

2. New York Giants- NCST DE Bradley Chubb

The Giants find a replacement for JPP, or they trade back.

3. New York Jets- UCLA QB Josh Rosen

I'm hearing that the Jets prefer Rosen over Darnold.

4. Cleveland Browns- Penn St. RB Saquon Barkley

Cleveland selects the best player in the draft. They could trade this pick to Arizona, Buffalo, or even Denver.

5. Denver Broncos- USC QB Sam Darnold

I can't believe it, but I think the Broncos can stay put and take Darnold at #5.

6. Indianapolis Colts- Virginia Tech OLB Tremaine Edmonds

The Colts add an incredible playmaker to their defense.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Ohio St. CB Denzel Ward

The Bucs get the best corner in the draft.

8. Chicago Bears- Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson

The Bears get one of the best players in the draft and protect their young QB.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Georgia LB Roquan Smith

I'm going with Lance's advice and keeping Roquan Smith in my Top 10. If you missed Lance Zierlein shaming me, you can check it out here

10. TRADE--------- Buffalo Bills via Raiders- Wyoming QB Josh Allen

The Bills trade with the Raiders to jump in front of Miami and grab their QB. Adam Gase and the Dolphins are rumored to be interested in a QB, so the Bills make their move.

11. Miami Dolphins- Washington DT Vita Vea 

 The Dolphins replace Suh, and give Tannehill another year.

12. TRADE--------- Oakland Raiders via BillsAlabama DT  Da'Ron Payne

The Raiders get some help on the d-line and add some picks.

13. Washington Redskins- Florida State S Derwin James

Washington gets a steal and adds to the secondary.

14. Green Bay Packers- UTSA OLB Marcus Davenport

The Packers are excited to get their pass rusher. Some compare Davenport to Lions DE Ziggy Ansah, but I see a lighter lowercase Jadeveon Clowney. 

15. Arizona Cardinals- Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

Arizona gets great value and upgrades the secondary.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey

Now the Ravens have bookend tackles with McGlinchey and Ronnie Stanley. I was lucky enough to watch some coaches tape of McGlinchey, and this dude looks legit.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Boise St. LB  Leighton Vander Esch

The Chargers bolster their defense. This guy can PLAY.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Iowa CB Josh Jackson

Pete Carroll and John Schneider get their replacement for Richard Sherman. Jackson posseses size and terrific ball skills. He has Seahawk written all over him.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Florida DT Taven Bryan

The Cowboys could go Rahaan Evans or Calvin Ridley, but I'm betting they would take Bryan if he's available.

20. Detroit Lions- Boston College DE Harold Landry

The Lions get some help on their defensive line. Ziggy Ansah is playing on the franchise tag.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Alabama LB Rahaan Evans 

Evans fills a need and he's a terrific player.

22. TRADE---------Oakland Raiders via Bills- Louisville CB Jaire Alexander

The Raiders take the extra pick from the Bills and get some much-needed help at corner.

23. New England Patriots-  UCLA OT Kolton Miller

The Pats need both tackle and corner, but this draft is thin at tackle. They can grab a corner at pick #31.

24. Carolina Panthers- Alabama WR Calvin Ridley

They get Cam a much-needed weapon outside.

25. Tennessee Titans- Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk

Kirk can help Mariota get the ball out fast, and that will help keep their QB healthy. They just took Corey Davis in the 1st round last year, but there aren't any LBs or pass rushers worth taking here. They may look to trade down.

26. Atlanta Falcons- Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Dontari Poe left in free agency, so the Falcons add a DT.

27. New Orleans Saints- UTEP OG Will Hernandez

The Saints know the running game was a difference maker for them last year. 

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Stanford S Justin Reid

This dude can run and has Pro Bowl potential. 

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Louisville QB Lamar Jackson

Blake Bortles will have competition.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Texas OL Connor Williams

The Vikings spent a ton of money on Kirk Cousins, so they add some help on the line to protect him.

31. New England Patriots- UCF CB Mike Hughes

The Pats get lucky and grab Hughes to replace Malcolm Butler. Hughes should go sooner , but several of the teams in front of the Pats have bigger needs than corner.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- SMU WR Courtland Sutton

The Super Bowl champs add another toy for Carson Wentz, and Alshon Jeffery is recovering from a shoulder injury.

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After dropping the middle game to the Rangers to split the first two games, the Astros looked for an improved offensive showing in the finale on Thursday night to take the series. Here is a rundown of the rubber game:

Final Score: Astros 2, Rangers 1.

Record: 25-25, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (4-3, 3.82 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jordan Lyles (1-5, 7.07 ERA).

Valdez another Houston pitcher to thrive against Rangers

Much like Jose Urquidy on Tuesday and Lance McCullers JR. on Wednesday, Framber Valdez put up an excellent pitching line on Thursday against the Rangers. After allowing two singles in the first and a single in the second, he would settle in and hold the Rangers to just one baserunner, which came via a walk through six frames.

He would try to get through the seventh, but after a long at-bat and one-out double, Dusty Baker would stop his night and go to the bullpen. Unfortunately, that double would end up scoring as Josh James would allow an RBI-single, charged to Valdez, before finishing the inning. Along the way, Valdez was able to ring up eleven Rangers. His final line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 0 HR, 100 P.

Kyle Tucker gets the big hit of the night

Luckily, Houston was still in the lead after the Rangers' run, thanks to a big hit by Kyle Tucker back in the second inning. After Alex Bregman reached base on a walk to become the first runner for the Astros, Kyle Tucker would break out of his recent slump with a two-run home run, putting Houston ahead 2-0 at the time.

Jordan Lyles was otherwise handling the Astros just like Kyle Gibson the night prior, who threw a complete-game shutout. Other than the Tucker homer, Lyles allowed another hit in the second and one in the third before retiring the next 12 Astros in order before an error in the seventh broke that streak, giving Houston their first baserunner since two outs in the third.

Houston takes the series and moves back up to .500

Josh James returned to the mound to start the eighth, and he would get a 1-2-3 inning against the top of Texas' lineup, including back-to-back strikeouts to end it. After another scoreless inning by Houston at the plate, that would set up a save opportunity in the top of the ninth. The opportunity would go to Brooks Raley, and he would notch the save with a scoreless inning, giving Houston the series and moving them back up to .500 at 25-25.

Up Next: The Astros' final three regular-season games played at Minute Maid Park in 2020 are this weekend in a series against the Diamondbacks. In Friday's 7:10 PM opener, Zack Greinke (3-2, 3.77 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston while Zac Gallen (1-2, 3.15 ERA) will be the starter for Arizona.

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