Matthews: Odds Are Against 4 QB's In Top 10

posted by Bob Matthews -

ODDS ARE AGAINST FOUR QBs IN TOP 10 PICKS ALL BEING WORTH IT

NFL history is expected to be made Thursday, April 26, when four quarterbacks are likely to be among the top 10 picks in the college draft.

Will they all be “franchise quarterbacks”? Are they all legitimately good or are a few too many teams ready to take huge risks to fill huge holes at the most important position in team sports?

Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, there have been 48 college drafts. Never have the top 10 picks included four quarterbacks:

Three QBs in the top 10 picks – 4 times.

Two QBs in the top 10 picks – 18 times.

One QB in the top 10 picks – 13 times.

Zero QBs in the top 10 picks – 13 times.

Rating the groups of three QBs picked among the top 10 in the same draft:

1993 – Jim Plunkett 1st overall pick (very good NFL career; won two Super Bowls)...Archie Manning 2nd overall pick (fair NFL career on a poor team)...Dan Pastorini 3rd overall pick (fair NFL career).

2012 – Andrew Luck 1st (very good career and may better rating if healthy again)...Robert Griffin III 2nd (good start; regressed after knee injury)...Ryan Tannehill 8th (decent career so far).

2011 – Cam Newton 1st (very good career and may better rating)...Jake Locker 8th (flop so far)...Blaine Gabbert 10th (flop so far).

1999 – Tim Couch 1st (mostly flopped)...Donovan McNabb 2nd (very good-to-excellent)...Akili Smith 3rd (flopped).

If four QBs are selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, history says it is likely that at least one of those teams – and possibly more – will turn out to be disappointed.

TIM TEBOW HITS HR ON FIRST PITCH HE SEES FOR BINGHAMTON

Former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow hit a three-run home run Thursday night on the first pitch he saw in Double-A baseball as his Binghamton Rumble Ponies won their Eastern League season opener 6-0 before 5,247 home fans at NYSEG Stadium.

Tebow batted seventh and played left field. He also hit into a fielder’s choice, grounded out and struck out.

Last season, in his pro baseball debut at Class A and Advanced A, he hit .226 (97-for-430), with 24 doubles, 2 triples, 8 HRs, 52 RBI, 2 stolen bases in 4 attempts, 43 walks and 126 strikeouts in 126 games.

Tebow’s performance with Binghamton this season will be compared to basketball superstar Michael Jordan’s 1994 Double-A season with Birmingham of the Southern League: .202 (88-for-436), 17 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HRs, 51 RBI, 30 stolen bases in 48 attempts, 51 walks and 114 strikeouts in 127 games.

Jordan was 30 years old in his only pro baseball season. Tebow turns 31 on August 14.

Jordan returned to NBA stardom after his brief fling in pro baseball. Tebow won’t be returning to the NFL.

CALDER CUP FEVER – CATCH IT!!

The Rochester Americans are back where they should be every spring – in the AHL Calder Cup playoffs.

The ultimate goal this season is to win the seventh Cup in franchise history. A more realistic goal is to win a playoff series for the first time since 2005.

Reasons to like Rochester’s chances:

Appear to approaching the playoffs back in fine form, earning 9 of a possible 10 points in the standings in the last 10 games.

Have been an excellent road team this season: 18-8-8-3, 47 of 74 possible points (.635; 6th best in the 30-team AHL).

Solid on special teams: power play 18.9 percent (7th-best in the AHL; 56-for-297)...penalty killing 84.0 percent (8th-best in the AHL; 236-of-281).

Balanced scoring – No Amerk is likely to score 20 goals, but 9 players have 11-or-more goals (rookie C.J. Smith leas team with 17 goals in 54 games) and 8 more players have at least 6 goals.

Reinforcements will be coming down from the Sabres, including defenseman Brendan Guhle and  -- the Linus Ullmark, the sort of goalie who can get hot and carry a team to the Cup (a la Steve Shields in 1996).

Another plus for Rochester is defenseman Zach Redmond, who was selected on Thursday to the AHL Second All-Star Team. He’s third in scoring among AHL blueliners (15 goals + 31 assists for 46 points) and +10 on the plus/minus chart. He was acquired from Montreal Oct. 4 for forward Nicolas Deslauriers. It was a nice kickoff-the-season gift from the Sabres. The 29-year-old native of Michigan has played in three games with Buffalo this season.

Ironic factoid: Thursday was Clay Wilson’s 35th birthday. He was an AHL Second Team All-Star with the Amerks for the 2009-19 season. He was Rochester’s most recent season-ending AHL All-Star selection until Redmond on Thursday.

MEET THE RED WINGS: OUTFIELDERS

Nick Buss – 31 years old; left-handed hitter...Signed as a minor-league free agent, January 3, 2018...A thoroughly professional left-handed hitter...He’s a .294 career batter in 10 minor-league seasons...In five full seasons in the Pacific Coast League he posted batting averages of .303, .307, .296, .290 and won the PCL batting championship with a .348 average (123-for-353) in 114 games last season for Reno, with 19 doubles, 8 triples, 11 HRs and 55 RBI; 27 walks and 54 strikeouts.

Jake Cave – 25 years old; left-handed hitter and thrower...Acquired by Minnesota in a trade with the New York Yankees March, 16, 2018...Had a terrific second half of last season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: .324 batting average (90-for-278; 13 doubles; 3 triples; 15 HRs; 38 RBI; 18 walks; 82 strikeouts in 72 games...He destroyed right-handed pitching (.383; 13 HRs)...International League Player of the Month for July...His 681 hits in the past five seasons rank fourth in the minors

Zack Granite – 25 years old; left-handed hitter and thrower...International League all-star center fielder with the Red Wings last season: .338 batting average (96-for-284; 46 runs; 16 doubles; 4 triples; 5 HRs; 29 RBI; 15 stolen bases in 21 attempts in 71 games)...International League Player of the Month for June (.470 batting average with 55 hits and a .527 on-base percentage)...Hit .237 (22-for-93 in 40 games with Minnesota...Assuming he plays well early, he probably won’t be here for long. Beat out for a Twins roster spot this spring by hot-hitting Ryan LaMarre. Minnesota likes his speed and defense.

James Ramsey – 28 years old; left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower...Consensus First-Team All-American at Florida Stare in 2012...Led the Atlantic Coast Conference in many offensive categories...ACC Student-Athlete of the Year in 2011 and 2012...No. 23 overall pick in the 2012 entry draft by the St. Louis Cardinals...With Columbus (IL) in 2015, he hit .243 with 12 HRs and 43 RBI in 126 games. In 2016, in 83 games with Oklahoma City (PCL), he batted .264 with 8 HRs and 38 RBI...Sat out most of last season and signed with Minnesota as a minor-league free agent December 15, 2017.

Jermaine Curtis – 30 years old; right-handed hitter and thrower...Played at UCLA and drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 entry draft by St. Louis...Began his pro career at Batavia (NY-P League) in 2008. In 43 games, he batted .305 (50-for-164) with 2 HRs and 20 RBI...Had a cup of coffee with St. Louis in 2013 (0-for-3 in 5 games)...In 2016 with Louisville (IL), he hit .291 with 9 HRs and 50 RBI in 89 games.  Last season, he hit .310 in 56 games at Midland (AA Texas League).

WHICH IS MORE EMBARRRASING FOR THE 2017-18 BUFFALO SABRES...

Being the first team in NHL history to finish a season in 31st place or being 47 points behind the first-year expansion Vegas Golden Knights?

At least the Sabres have an NHL-most 18.5 percent chance to “win” the lottery draft for the No. 1 overall pick. Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is the consensus top prospect. He turns 18 next Friday. Buffalo can drop lower than the fourth overall pick.

HOT START FOR NICK GORDON

One of the spring mysteries in the Minnesota organization is why shortstop/second baseman Nick Gordon was assigned to Double-A Chattanooga instead of to Rochester.

Gordon, rated Minnesota’s No. 4 prospect, had a solid 2017 season at Chattanooga (.270 batting average and a .749 OPS) and hit .417 in 15 games with the Twins this spring.

Maybe Minnesota was wary of the weather in the International compared to the Southern League early in the season and wanted to be sure the 22-year-old Gordon gets maximum playing time.

Right now, that looks like a sharp move.

Gordon batted leadoff and played shortstop for the Lookouts in their season-opening 5-4 home loss to Birmingham Thursday night. He had four hits, including a triple.

He figures to be in Rochester – or Minnesota – soon.

SHORT SHOTS

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase told NFL.com that a listless effort by some of his players in a Week 15 loss at Buffalo was an impetus for unloading some big-game players this offseason.

A few interesting NFL Draft over/under prop bets from William Hill US: quarterbacks selected in the first round: 5...QBs selected in Rounds 1 + 2: 5 ½...Alabama players selected in the first round: 4....Running backs selected in the first round: 1 ½...Wide receivers selected in the first round: 2 ½.

Infielder Levi Michael, the No. 30 overall pick in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft out of North Carolina by Minnesota, finally reached the Red Wings late last season (.244, 1 HR and 6 RBI in 12 games). He was released by the Twins this offseason, signed with the Mets, and played second base and batted behind Tim Tebow for Binghamton Thursday night.

ON THIS DATE IN SPORTS...

April 6, 1896 (122 years ago), the first modern Olympics began in Athens Greece, America’s James Connolly won the first gold medal...1952 (66 years ago), Sam Snead won the 16th Masters...1958 (60 years ago), Arnold Palmer won the 22nd Masters...1973 (45 years ago), the Pittsburgh Pirates retired the late Roberto Clemente’s No. 21...1986 (32 years ago), a soccer ball was juggled non-stop for a record 14 hours and 14 seconds.

April 7, 1951 (67 years ago), Ben Hogan won the 15h Masters...1963 (55 years ago), Jack Nicklaus won the 27th Masters...1969 (49 years ago), Bill Singer of the Los Angeles Dodgers earned credit for the first official save...2003 (15 years ago), Syracuse beat Kansas 81-78 in the 65th NCAA men’s basketball championship game.

April 8, 1966 (52 years ago), the AFL elected 36-year-old Al Davis commissioner...1969 (49 years ago), Montreal beat the New York Mets 10-9 in the first Major League Baseball gamer played in Canada...1974 (44 years ago), Hank Aaron’s 715th career home run broke Babe Ruth’s record...2001 (17 years ago), Tiger Woods won the 65th Masters.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Friday, April 6

Spencer Dinwiddie (25)...Julie Johnston (26)...Clarke MacArthur (33)...Jeff Faine (37)...Tim Hasselback (40)...Randall Godfrey (45)...Chad Eaton (46)...Olaf Kolzig (48)...Bret Boone (49)...Sterling Sharpe (53)...Bill Brooks (54)...Janet Lynn (65)...John Shumate (66)...Bert Blyleven (67)...John Beasley (73).

Saturday, April 7

Jared Cook (31)...Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (32)...Suzann Pettersen (37)...Adrian Beltre (39)...Pascal Dupuis (39)...Troy Edwards (41)...Tiki/Ronde Barber (43)...Ricky Watters (49)...Steve Wisniewski (51)...Thurl Bailey (57)...Ted Nolan (60)...Tony Dorsett (64)...Clark Gilles (64)...Zaid Abdul-Aziz (72). Russell Crowe (54) and Jackie Chan (64) are invited to the birthday party.

Sunday, April 8

Cedi Osman (23)...Shareece Wright (31)...Felix Hernandez (32)...Alex Gonzalez (45)...Mark Clayton (57)...Fred Smerlas (61)...Ricky Bell (63)...Jim Lampley (69)...John Havlicek (78).

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