Sports Today: Browns reach new low with botched Bengals trade

Published: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 @ 9:27 AM

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 09:  AJ McCarron #5 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after Jeremy Hill #32 (not pictured) scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 09: AJ McCarron #5 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after Jeremy Hill #32 (not pictured) scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

I clocked out a few minutes before 5 on Tuesday afternoon to get ready for beggar’s night and boy did I miss a lot in the sports world. 

This failed A.J. McCarron trade between the Browns and Bengals is nine kinds of hilarious if you’re not a Browns fan. 

Honestly, even if you are a Browns fan, it’s probably at least two or three kinds. 

And at least now you know your suspicions this regime is absolutely not salvageable are true. That should provide some sort of solace. 

Everybody loves being right, right? 

But seriously: How do these guys still have jobs? 

It was already pretty clear the front office leaders don’t know football. Now they can’t even do paperwork? I thought that was in their wheelhouse. 

What is it they do there if not? 

I try to avoid knee-jerk reactions, but if the reported version of what happened is accurate, the whole place needs to be cleaned out. Nothing else is acceptable. There is literally no excuse for failing to get that done in time. 

This was my favorite part from the Pro Football Talk take: 

By the way, this would have been a really dumb trade, too, unless they have already given up on DeShone Kizer. 

Acquiring McCarron before the draft made plenty of sense. That gave you a veteran with some growth potential or at worst someone to lean on while building up that terrible roster. 

Now they have a first-round talent in the building (Kizer). He was good enough in the preseason to win the starting job, so it’s not like he got there and suddenly they realized he can’t play. 

A team like Cleveland shouldn’t be surrendering more assets than they used to get Kizer, especially when they already have multiple potential caretaker QBs in the organization. It’s ridiculous. And this is the group that values picks over people all the time! 

They can’t even stay true to their own probably misaligned principles for half a season? Yikes… 

As for the Bengals, I guess now we can conclude once and for all Andy Dalton is unbenchable. 

I never thought it was anywhere near likely, but seeing his meek response to adversity last year and this year kept a live a tiny bit of question about what this team might look like with a different presence in the huddle. 

We can forget that now. 

The deal is probably also confirmation they love Jeff Driskel. 

I bet he’s the most talented of trio, for what that’s worth. 

If McCarron were more talented than Dalton, I think we’d have a better chance of seeing him. 

That would make going to him about more than a response to diminishing returns from a veteran who’s steadiness and accuracy are supposed to make up for other shortcomings but haven’t lately. 

Oh well. 

On to Jacksonville… 

As for the first College Football Playoff rankings, Ohio State fans shouldn’t panic yet, but some worry is warranted. 

Sixth looks about right to me given the strength of schedules. 

RELATED: First CFP rankings released

It’s a lot worse than being fifth, too, since only two teams ahead of them play each other (Georgia and Alabama). 

The SEC isn’t getting two teams if Clemson, Oklahoma and Ohio State are all one-loss conference champs. Don’t worry about that. 

But if everyone else in the top five win out, the Big Ten is probably going to be left home this time because the Buckeyes lost to the Sooners. 

Of course Notre Dame is the wild card. The committee likes what the Fighting Irish have done so far better than Ohio State. 

Would a win over a preferably undefeated Wisconsin and being conference champs be enough for the Buckeyes to jump ND? 

Hard to predict, but the Irish resume could still get a lot better, too. 

(Presumably Michigan will be ranked again when Ohio Stage plays them but Michigan State will not.) 

The good news is history tells us the odds of none of those teams getting upset in November aren’t very high. 

Weird stuff just tends to happen in college football. 

Based on who they still have to play, I doubt Oklahoma or Notre Dame win out. 

Clemson also has lose-able games, though probably fraudulent Miami is lurking behind Ohio State with a chance to improve drastically by beating Notre Dame and Clemson. (They won’t.)

I guess there are worse sports to have to rely on unpredictability than college football, right? 

Gus Malzahn on Kodi Burns: ‘He’s going to be at Auburn for a long time’

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 1:08 PM

Kodi Burns earned the respect of Auburn fans as a player, willingly transitioning from a highly rated quarterback to wide receiver to help the Tigers win the 2010 BCS National Championship.

Now as the wide receivers coach, his future seems to be settled as Gus Malzahn gave an update on Burns’ contract status on Tuesday at the Senior Bowl.

“He’s [Burns] is going to be at Auburn for a long time,” Malzahn said, per SEC Country’s Justin Ferguson.

Burns returned to Auburn in 2016 as the co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach and has made an immediate impact, helping a young group of receivers, including Ryan Davis, Nate Craig-Myers, Darius Slayton and Eli Stove, among others, into one of the formidable units in the SEC.

After his playing career ended, Burns joined his current boss Malzahn at Arkansas State for the 2012 season before following him back to The Plains in 2013. In 2014, Burns served as the running backs coach at Samford before moving to Middle Tennessee State as its wide receivers coach in 2015.

Wisconsin-Iowa basketball: Score, live updates, stats (January 23, 2018)

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 1:00 PM

Wisconsin basketball plays against Iowa on Tuesday, Jan. 23. The game starts at 6 p.m. CT. Stay here for score, stats and box score from the game below.

Wisconsin-Iowa basketball score: Live updates

Wisconsin-Iowa basketball: Time, game information

Wisconsin and Iowa play at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Time: 6 p.m. CT

Date: Tuesday, Jan 23

Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa

How can I watch the Wisconsin-Iowa basketball game on TV?

Wisconsin and Iowa will play on ESPN2.

How can I listen to the Wisconsin-Iowa basketball game on the radio?

The Wisconsin-Iowa game is available online at WIBA/iHeart radio.

Wisconsin-Iowa basketball preview

Wisconsin is coming off a 75-50 victory against Illinois on Friday, which snapped the Badgers’ three-game losing streak. It marked Wisconsin’s 12th consecutive win against Illinois, as the Badgers found their shooting rhythm.

Wisconsin connected on 53.1 percent of its field-goal attempts — the Badgers’ best mark in Big Ten play. UW blocked 10 shots, which was its most since a Big Ten Tournament game against Indiana on March 16, 2013.

Brad Davison led all scorers with 18 points against Illinois. Brevin Pritzl (16 points), Ethan Happ (16 points) and Khalil Iverson (13 points) also scored in double figures. But it was the play of freshman big man Nate Reuvers that was equally encouraging.

Reuvers recorded 5 blocks in 16 minutes against Illinois, and his ability to impact the game defensively has been his greatest asset early in his career. Badgers coach Greg Gard praised Reuvers for the manner in which he defended ball screens to stymie the Illini.

“His progression from late October when we scrimmaged Missouri when I couldn’t keep him on the floor to where he is now, I don’t know if I’ve seen a kid come that far in that short of time,” Gard said. “And the biggest thing he’s figured out is how we need to defend, specifically ball screens. …

“He has that uncanny ability. He learns really quick. He picks up on things. He’s a terrific listener. He understands concepts and he’s figured that part out in terms of what we do off ball screens, and he’s got length. He’s quick off the floor. He covers a lot of ground, and he’s just a pup yet, too. But we haven’t had a rim protector like that in a while and he’s obviously just beginning. He’s got a lot of things to get better at, but his instincts are terrific, and his work ethic is really good.”

Reuvers leads Wisconsin with 21 blocked shots despite playing fewer than half as many minutes as forwards Happ and Aleem Ford.

Pritzl’s performances have spanned the spectrum this season. He has been held scoreless three times, but he also is capable of producing some nice scoring punch from the outside. He was excellent against Illinois in finishing with 16 points and burying 3 of 6 3-point attempts.

Pritzl struggled during Wisconsin’s previous three losses from long range, connecting on 3 of 16 3-pointers. But he also has now scored in double figures in five of the last six games. The Badgers have needed someone else to emerge as a consistent scoring threat to complement Happ and Davison. It has taken longer than many would have liked, but Pritzl is capable of being that guy.

“I just got in the gym, made 500 a day, just something easy,” Pritzl said. “I think it helped a little bit. I got a little off rhythm late. Ethan hit me on a couple of good ones I should’ve knocked down. But I’ll get him back for those.”

Wisconsin has been hindered this season by injuries to guards D’Mitrik Trice and Kobe King. Trice underwent right foot surgery in December and has yet to return. King underwent left knee surgery and is out for the season. Those injuries have forced Davison to move from the off-guard spot into the point guard role. But Davison dislocated his left shoulder earlier in the season, and the ailment has continued to cause problems and limit his ability to use both hands during games.

Davison, who is averaging 12.1 points per game, is in rare company as a double-digit scorer in his rookie campaign. Over the last 20 years, Devin Harris, Alando Tucker and Happ are the only Badgers to average double figures in points during their freshman seasons.

Iowa lost 87-64 on Saturday at home against Purdue. The Hawkeyes have lost two straight games and are 10-11 overall, including 1-7 in the Big Ten — which puts them ahead of only winless Illinois in the conference standings.

Iowa has four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Tyler Cook’s 14.5 points per game. Jordan Bohannon (13.3 points), Isaiah Moss (11.2 points) and Luke Garza (10.9 points) also are in double figures.

NFL mock draft 2018: First-round projections, top players, 2018 NFL Draft order (01/23/2018)

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 2:30 AM

NFL Draft 2018 mock drafts have been updated going into the Super Bowl and before the Senior Bowl. You can find 2018 NFL mock drafts below.

Much of the narrative around the 2018 NFL Draft is focused at quarterback. Mock drafts from Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports both have quarterbacks littering the top 10.

Here is a collection of 2018 NFL mock drafts from around the internet, plus Land of 10’s own projection.

NFL mock draft 2018: First-round projections, top players

Land of 10 predictions

  1. Cleveland Browns — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
  2. New York Giants — Connor Williams, OT, Texas
  3. Indianapolis Colts — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  4. Cleveland Browns — Mike McGlinchey, G, Notre Dame
  5. Denver Broncos — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  6. New York Jets — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Bradley Chubb, DL, NC State
  8. Chicago Bears — Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
  9. San Francisco 49ers — Derwin James, DB, Florida State
  10. Oakland Raiders — Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
  11. Miami Dolphins — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
  12. Cincinnati Bengals — Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
  13. Washington Redskins — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  14. Green Bay Packers — Joshua Jackson, DB, Iowa
  15. Arizona Cardinals — Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
  16. Baltimore Ravens — Denzel Ward, DB, Ohio State
  17. Los Angeles Chargers — Orlando Brown, OL, Oklahoma
  18. Seattle Seahawks — James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
  19. Dallas Cowboys — Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
  20. Detroit Lions — Ogbonnia Okoronwko, LB, Oklahoma
  21. Buffalo Bills — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
  22. Buffalo Bills — Arden Key, DL, LSU
  23. Los Angeles Rams — Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
  24. Carolina Panthers — Maurice Hurst, DL, Michigan
  25. Tennessee Titans — Sam Hubbard, DL, Ohio State
  26. Atlanta Falcons — Vita Vea, DL, Washington
  27. New Orleans Saints — Marcus Davenport, DL, UTSA
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Harold Landry, LB, Boston College
  30. Minnesota Vikings — Billy Price, OL, Ohio State
  31. Philadelphia Eagles — Tremaine Edwards, LB, Virginia Tech
  32. New England Patriots — Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

NFL mock draft 2018: ESPN projections by Mel Kiper

  1. Cleveland Browns — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
  2. New York Giants — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
  3. Indianapolis Colts — Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
  4. Cleveland Browns — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  5. Denver Broncos — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
  6. New York Jets — Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
  8. Chicago Bears — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  9. San Francisco 49ers — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  10. Oakland Raiders – -Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia
  11. Miami Dolphins — Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
  12. Cincinnati Bengals — Tremaine Edwards, LB, Virginia Tech
  13. Washington Redskins — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  14. Green Bay Packers — Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
  15. Arizona Cardinals — Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
  16. Baltimore Ravens — Brian O’Neill, OT, Pitt
  17. Los Angeles Chargers — Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
  18. Seattle Seahawks — Derwin James, S, Florida State
  19. Dallas Cowboys — Vita Vea, DT, Washington
  20. Detroit Lions — Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
  21. Buffalo Bills — Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
  22. Buffalo Bills — Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
  23. Los Angeles Rams — Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
  24. Carolina Panthers — Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State
  25. Tennessee Titans — Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College
  26. Atlanta Falcons — Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
  27. New Orleans Saints — Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
  30. Philadelphia Eagles — Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
  31. Minnesota Vikings — Connor Williams, OT, Texas
  32. New England Patriots — Rasheem Green, DE, USC

NFL mock draft 2018: Top players, projection for first round

CBS Sports projection

  1. Cleveland Browns — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
  2. New York Giants — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
  3. Indianapolis Colts — Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
  4. Cleveland Browns — Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
  5. Denver Broncos — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  6. New York Jets — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
  8. Chicago Bears — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  9. San Francisco 49ers — Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
  10. Oakland Raiders — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
  11. Miami Dolphins — Derwin James, S, Florida State
  12. Cincinnati Bengals — Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
  13. Washington Redskins — Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
  14. Green Bay Packers — James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
  15. Arizona Cardinals — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
  16. Baltimore Ravens, Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
  17. Los Angeles Chargers — Connor Williams, OT, Texas
  18. Seattle Seahawks — Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
  19. Dallas Cowboys — Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
  20. Detroit Lions — Vita Vea, DT, Washington
  21. Buffalo Bills — Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
  22. Buffalo Bills — Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
  23. Los Angeles Rams — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  24. Carolina Panthers — Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
  25. Tennessee Titans — Tremaine Edwards, LB, Virginia Tech
  26. Atlanta Falcons — Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
  27. New Orleans Saints — Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, OLB, Oklahoma
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
  30. Minnesota Vikings — Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
  31. Philadelphia Eagles — Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
  32. New England Patriots — Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

2018 NFL Draft: First round order

Pick Nos. 1 through 20 are set now that the regular season is finished.

1. Cleveland Browns

2. New York Giants

3. Indianapolis Colts

4. Cleveland Browns

5. Denver Broncos

6. New York Jets

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8. Chicago Bears

9. San Francisco 49ers OR Oakland Raiders (coin flip)

11. Miami Dolphins

12. Cincinnati Bengals

13. Washington Redskins

14. Green Bay Packers

15. Arizona Cardinals

16. Baltimore Ravens

17. Los Angeles Chargers

18. Seattle Seahawks

19. Dallas Cowboys

20. Detroit Lions

21. Buffalo Bills

22. Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs)

23. Los Angeles Rams

24. Carolina Panthers

25. Tennessee Titans

26. Atlanta Falcons

27. New Orleans Saints

28. Pittsburgh Steelers

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

30. Minnesota Vikings

31.

32.

RB Jordan Scarlett and three other suspended Gators cleared to return to team activities

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 1:04 PM

GAINESVILLE, Fla.  — Four of the nine Florida football players suspended in August for their involvement in a credit card fraud matter, including star running back Jordan Scarlett, have been cleared to rejoin team activities, a source told SEC Country.

Scarlett, the Gators’ starting running back in 2016, wide receiver Rick Wells and linebackers Ventrell Miller and James Houston are enrolled in school and will join Florida’s offseason strength and conditioning program Wednesday.

Defensive end Keivonnis Davis, also one of the nine suspended last summer, is continuing to rehab from a non-football injury sustained in a scooter crash last fall. His future with the football program is uncertain.

The other suspended players had already announced or been reported to have left the program. Former star wide receiver Antonio Callaway declared for the NFL draft, offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort and Jordan Smith announced plans to transfer and defensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones was reported to be transferring to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.

It started looking more likely that Scarlett would return after he opted not to declare for the NFL draft as an early entrant by the deadline last week.

Scarlett had a breakout sophomore season in 2016, rushing for 889 yards and 6 touchdowns on 5.0 yards per carry. He was set to take on an even bigger role last fall before being suspended the week of Florida’s season opener against Michigan.

He’ll rejoin a deep Gators backfield that also returns junior Lamical Perine (the Gators’ leading rusher in 2017 with 562 yards and 8 TDs on 4.1 YPC), sophomore Adarius Lemons (7.2 YPC on 19 attempts) and incoming 4-star freshmen Dameon Pierce and Iverson Clement.

And eventually sophomore Malik Davis, who was a breakout star last season with 526 yards and 2 TDs on 6.7 YPC before sustaining a serious season-ending knee injury, will rejoin the team as well. Neither Florida nor Davis’ family has provided an expected timetable for his return.

As for the other reinstated players, Miller and Houston were freshmen last season and thus have yet to play for the Gators. But with Florida’s lack of proven depth at linebacker, the 3-star prospects give the team a couple more intriguing options to evaluate.

Wells, meanwhile, has also yet to play in a game. The former 3-star prospect redshirted as a freshman before missing all of last season.

This brings a conclusion to the credit card fraud saga that hung over Florida’s 2017 season.