Hernandez should be forgotten: Why the Media should back off


By Derek Franks

A bad guy killed a bad guy today. Somewhere, not too far from you, some gang member, criminal or drug mastermind killed another gang member, criminal or drug mastermind. It happens. On a daily basis. And, fortunately for us, usually innocent civilians aren’t caught in the crossfire. It’s just one bad seed eliminating another from the face of the earth. And sooner or later, that bad seed—either by another criminal or by the law—will also be eliminated from society.

It sounds like one of your favorite mob movies, but really it’s just the universe delivering a rare helping of justice to the darkest underbelly of society, then allowing its operations to continue much to the rest of the world’s misfortune.

That above sentence is exactly what happened with former New England Patriots tight-end Aaron Hernandez. The recently jailed NFL star is suspected of (and likely will be convicted of) killing a man named Odin Lloyd, then very sloppily dropping his body at a park—or killing him at the park, one or the other— near his house and then leaving a trail of evidence and suspicious behavior behind him like a dog who walked around in the mud then tracked it through the house.

Fittingly, I imagine that Hernandez will be in the doghouse before too long.

So why are we talking about this guy? Why am I talking about this guy? Why should anyone give this story a second of attention, even though all evidence suggests that it doesn’t deserve it? Hernandez doesn’t deserve it. The criminals he associates with don’t deserve it. The man he allegedly killed honestly might not even deserve it either.

The resounding argument of course is that Hernandez is a star athlete in the most popular league in the world. And so, it is a fascinating situation that the media must now obsess over because he, after all, is a prominent figure in society seemingly committing a truly awful act. He also was supposed to be a key component in the New England offense this coming season, an ultra-talented weapon for future hall-of-fame quarterback, Tom Brady. He was even engaged to be married and has a daughter with his bride to be.

Yes, there is no shortage of fascinating storylines from this situation. Of course that makes it a media magnet for all the reporters and news stations and twitter feeds to fixate upon. But make no mistake, it’s time for this fixation to stop. At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I argue that the media needs to cut off its on-going stream of “news” dedicated to Hernandez.

Just like the scenarios that opened this commentary, it is likely the case of Aaron Hernandez is nothing more than a thug killing another thug. Lloyd’s personality and past behavior remain in question, sure. We don’t know as much about him as we’d like to. But we do know that he was a drug dealer and that he hung out with a bad crowd. The kind of crowd that, if you do something wrong, you might wind up dead.

What is known about Hernandez is substantially more. He grew up in hardship. His family was poor, working class; his father passed when he was 16. He was a remarkably talented football player; even in high school he garnered a lot of attention before making his way to the University of Florida.

Once in college, Hernandez left a life of hardships for a life of trouble. That trouble was never far from him, never allowing him to escape, no matter how much he excelled on the football field. Many recall a night out at a prominent Florida bar where he became angered with the establishment’s manager for charging him for two drinks he believe he hadn’t ordered. The then Florida quarterback, Tim Tebow, stepped in to pay for the drinks to solve the issue, but Hernandez wasn’t satisfied and instead settled it his own way by punching the manager repeatedly in the face, causing him to suffer a blown out ear drum.

Many teammates attested to the fact that Hernandez livelihood and “friends” were not something that they wanted to be remotely associated with, something almost unheard of in the universe of football players who typically pride themselves on calling their teammates family. After college, when he was gearing up for the NFL, the preliminary psychological tests players take for the league showed that he was “Living on the edge of acceptable behavior” and cautioned that his behavior and personality could “become a problem.” Additionally, he registered the lowest possible score on the league’s maturity test, a “1 out of 10.”

We now know Hernandez acquaintances are no upstanding citizens. It is suggested that he is a member of gangs and was involved in drugs in one way or another. Furthermore, he appears to be connected to several other murders, in one way or another, making it possible that this “NFL superstar”—a title that is supposedly one of the more coveted in the world— has been living an alternate life of serious crime.

What connected the two, alleged killer and victim, was the unlikely “romance” that had occurred: Lloyd’s girlfriend was, in fact, the sister of Hernandez’s future bride and mother of his child. But what separated them was obviously the success of Hernandez’s career, which had eluded Lloyd, a talented football player too, who never made it to college. And yet, they ended up on a strikingly similar path to self-destruction.

Regardless of the actual criminal pasts of either Hernandez or Lloyd, or to what extreme those crimes occurred, or the extent to which the two were actually acquainted, one thing is for sure, they offered little to the benefit of society and did much to objectify it. Hernandez made millions, living the life as one of the most well known NFL players. Lloyd was in poverty and trying to make it in a semi-pro football league. But both had involved themselves in an unbreakable cycle of wrongdoing.

In the end, neither should be glorified. Unfortunately, there was probably some hope that Lloyd might have some day changed his ways. We may never know how far off the path he was. As for Hernandez, what we appear to have in our midst is a spider; one who, behind the scenes of a magnificent show of football charade, spun a web of lies, deceit, poor character and criminal behavior that ultimately led to the death of another. He doesn’t deserve the press, regardless of how fascinating this story is.

It’s time for us to stop obsessing, stop debating, and stop keeping cameras outside his home or fixated on endless searches for evidence. It’s time to quit giving Hernandez this attention that he doesn’t deserve. Let him go, America. Let him disappear into the depths of a life behind bars.

The way I see it, this case is nothing more than one criminal killing another. And that’s a good enough reason for me to forget the whole ordeal and just move on. The rest of us should do the same.


2013 NFL 2nd Round Mock Draft


So we’re 32 picks in and have nearly twice that many tonight (Browns and Saints do not have second round picks). 

33.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Geno Smith (QB – West Virginia)

34.  San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City Chiefs) – Robert Woods (WR – USC)

35.  Philadelphia Eagles – Jonathan Cyprien (S – Florida International)

36.  Detroit Lions – Menelik Watson (OT – Florida State)

37.  Cincinnati Bengals – Kevin Minter (LB – LSU)

38.  Arizona Cardinals – Zach Ertz (TE – Stanford)

39.  New York Jets – Ryan Nassib (QB – Syracuse)

40.  Tennessee Titans – Justin Hunter (WR – Tennessee)

41.  Buffalo Bills – Manti Te’o (LB – Notre Dame)

42.  Oakland Raiders (from Miami Dolphins) – Tank Carradine (DE – Florida State)

43.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – John Jenkins (DT – Georgia)

44.  Carolina Panthers – Keenan Allen (WR – California)

45.  San Diego Chargers – Terron Armstead (OT – Arkansas-Pine Bluff)

46.  Buffalo Bills (from St. Louis) – Damontre Moore (DE – Texas A&M)

47.  Dallas Cowboys – Kawaan Short (DT – Purdue)

48.  Pittsburgh Steelers – D.J. Swearinger (S – South Carolina)

49.  New York Giants – Arthur Brown (LB – Kansas State)

50.  Chicago Bears – Johnathan Hankins (DT – Ohio State)

51.  Washington Redskins – Jamar Taylor (CB – Boise State)

52.  New England Patriots (from Minnesota Vikings) – Margus Hunt (DE – SMU)

53.  Cincinnati Bengals – Eddie Lacy (RB – Alabama)

54.  Miami Dolphins (from Indianapolis Colts) – Blidi Wreh-Wilson (CB – Connecticut)

55.  Green Bay Packers – Montee Ball (RB – Wisconsin)

56.  Seattle Seahawks – Sio Moore (LB – Connecticut)

57.  Houston Texans – Shamarko Thomas (S – Syracuse)

58.  Denver Broncos – Matt Barkley (QB – USC)

59.  New England Patriots – Aaron Dobson (WR – Marshall)

60.  Atlanta Falcons – Jesse Williams (DT – Alabama)

61.  San Francisco 49ers – Quinton Patton (WR – Louisiana Tech)

62.  Baltimore Ravens – Khaseem Greene (LB – Rutgers)

Get the latest from Sports Formulator by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also find us on Google+ and Instagram.

SportsFormulator.com would like to get to know you better.  Can you help us out and spare a minute to answer 5 quick questions?


Matt’s Mind – NFL Draft Round 1 Review


NFL Round 1 is in the books and it’s time to review and see who did great and who took some big risks that better pay off or there will be coaches and GM’s on the hot seat.  I’ll start here with my general thoughts on the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

-Sharriff Floyd was considered by many the top defensive lineman in the draft but he fell all the way to 23 and lands in Minnesota.  Jared Allen has to love the pick and Floyd will hopefully draw some attention away from him.

-The Steelers got a steal with Jarvis Jones at 17.  He’s the perfect fit for their scheme and the loss of James Harrison is rendered insignificant now.

-I was blown away with E.J. Manuel at 16.  As I stated yesterday, I had him as the fifth best QB prospect in this year’s draft and didn’t expect him to go in round 1 at all.  The Bills had everyone fooled as they made a move down in the draft and then snatched Manuel up.  He’s got the arm you want in a NFL QB but his play was inconsistent at Florida State.  This was the biggest gamble in round 1.

-Tyler Eifert going at 21 could be the biggest steal of the draft.  I think he’s the best receiving target in this draft.  Andy Dalton should have a big year and you know A.J. Green will like having someone else out there to distract the defense.

-If Tavon Austin becomes the player many people feel he will, St. Louis could have a great draft.  I think they did a great job of grabbing Alec Ogletree out of Georgia at pick 30.  He should be an impact player for them from day 1.

-The 49ers moving up to get Eric Reid really was a great move.  He should help replace Dashon Goldson right away.  Secondary players out of LSU recently have been impact players right away and he should be no different.

-I’m not surprised Manti Te’o and Geno Smith are still awaiting selection.  Te’o didn’t have great workouts and was dominated in the BCS Championship against Alabama.  You add the fake girlfriend scandal into the mix and teams had a lot of question marks.  Plus his position simply isn’t one that is selected often in the first round.  Alec Ogletree was the only ILB taken and he went at 30.  Te’o will get drafted today though.   For Geno Smith, it has to have been a long night for him.  Some had him as high as pick 6 for Cleveland.  I don’t think he’ll last long today though.  I could see Jacksonville considering him atop round 2.  If he slides by the Jags, I don’t see him .  I think this was a weak QB class but also if you look at how many QB’s have been taken in the early rounds the past few years, there aren’t a lot of teams needing to take a QB very high.  I think Smith is a question mark in the NFL with the scheme he comes from which some NFL teams might have been considering as well.

Look out for a second round mock draft later today!

If you can spare a minute please answer 5 quick questions.

Get the latest from Sports Formulator by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also find us on Google+ and Instagram.

2013 NFL Mock Draft – 1st Round (Final Edition on April 25)


We’re finally down to just hours before the 2013 NFL Draft begins and 32 men are elevated to the professional level of football.  Suspense has developed as it’s rumored the Chiefs could surprise with the #1 pick.  I don’t see it.  Tonight should have guys in the trenches flying off the board early and often.  The skill positions just aren’t loaded with impact players this year.  I do think this is a class that has a few potential perennial Pro Bowlers.  This is the final 2013 NFL Mock Draft so let’s hope it’s right!

1.  Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel (OT – Texas A&M)

While some are speculating it’ll be Eric Fisher, I think Joeckel is a more proven talent having played SEC talent week last year and is ready.

2.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Eric Fisher (OT – Central Michigan)

I think the Jags would love to trade down here and pick up additional picks.  They have so many holes on their roster.  Fisher is a great prospect though and with the struggles they’ve had at QB, solidifying the blindside should help some.

3.  Oakland Raiders – Sharriff Floyd (DT – Florida)

The Raiders’ phone line will be burning up if Joeckel and Fisher are the first two picks.  Several team are wanting a tackle and know Lane Johnson has a good shot of leaving their board at pick 4.  If the Raiders keep the pick they’ll address their aging defensive line.

4.  Philadelphia Eagles – Lane Johnson (OT – Oklahoma)

Chip Kelly needs a mobile lineman and Johnson should transition well to his scheme.

5.  Detroit Lions – Ziggy Ansah (DE – BYU)

This is where the draft will start to really get interesting.  The Lions have a few different ways they could go.  They could try to solidify the offensive line if a tackle falls to them here or even grab one of the elite guard prospects.  They’re probably headed to the D-line but passing up Dee Milliner will be difficult.

6.  Cleveland Browns – Dee Milliner (CB – Alabama)

Numerous needs make this a tough pick to determine.  I think they’ll go with the best player available.

7.  Arizona Cardinals – Dion Jordan (OLB – Oregon)

The Cardinals look to beef up their pass rush to have someone to chase down the young QB’s in their division Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Sam Bradford.

8.  Buffalo Bills – Chance Warmack (OG – Alabama)

The big question here is does Doug Marrone take his QB from Syracuse, Ryan Nassib.  Nassib is a good prospect but grabbing him this high is a big gamble for a first year coach.  I think the Bills are spending all day trying to find a trade partner to move down.  If they hold the pick I think they take the best prospect in the draft.

9.  New York Jets – Tyler Eifert (TE – Notre Dame)

The Jets make a bit of a surprise here and grab the best pass catcher in the draft.  Mark Sanchez will have to feel better knowing he’ll have this big target available.

10.  Tennessee Titans – Star Lotulelei

The Titans need help on the D-line and grab a guy who was once considered to be in contention for the top spot.  Health concerns dropped him but he could be a solid player for years in Tennessee.

11.  San Diego Chargers – D.J. Fluker (OT – Alabama)

The run on tackles early in the draft move Fluker up the board quickly.  He’s a mountain that should be able to keep defenders off of Phillip Rivers.

12.  Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Cooper (OG – North Carolina)

If it hasn’t gone down by the time the 12 pick happens, expect the Dolphins to pick up the phone and seal the deal on trading for the Chiefs’ Branden Albert.  They Dolphins would love to see Tyler Eifert here and could be a prime target to move out of this spot as well for a team looking to move up and grab a pass rusher.  If they Dolphins stand pat, they grab a great pass protecting OG and their offensive line is looking solid for the upcoming season.

13.  New York Jets (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Barkevious Mingo (DE – LSU)

They could grab him at 9 but I think knowing there’s not a huge risk in him being selected 10-12, they let him go and grab Eifert at 9 knowing the Dolphins could snap him up at 12.

14.  Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson (DT – Missouri)

He fits with what they’re looking to do in Carolina.  I wouldn’t be surprised here though if they went with Tavon Austin.

15.  New Orleans Saints – Jarvis Jones (OLB – Georgia)

I think it’s going to be really difficult for Sean Payton to pass up Tavon Austin here but he’ll focus on upgrading a horrendous defense by getting an outstanding pass rusher.

16.  St. Louis Rams – Tavon Austin (WR – West Virginia)

The Rams hope adding Austin can return them to being the “Greatest Show on Turf”.

17.  Pittsburgh Steelers – Alex Ogletree (ILB – Georgia)

I think he’ll be a perfect fit with the Steelers and make an impact right away for them.

18.  Dallas Cowboys – Sylvester Williams (DT – North Carolina)

The ‘Boys need an offensive lineman but I can’t see them reaching again to take one here.  They take a guy who could challenge for a starting spot as they transition to a 4-3 defense.

19.  New York Giants – Bjoern Werner (DE – Florida State)

The Giants could look at the secondary here but I think there will be a glut of players available there for them in round 2.  I think they’ll look at Werner to replace the loss of Osi Umenyora this offseason.

20.  Chicago Bears – Manti Te’o (LB – Notre Dame)

Seems the Bears are looking for a leader and tackling machine.  I have a lot of doubts about Te’o in the NFL but the Bears look like they’re willing to take the chance.

21.  Cincinnati Bengals – Kevin Minter (LB – LSU)

Minter will start day 1 in Cincinnati and could become a big-time playmaker for them.

22.  St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) – Kenny Vaccaro (S – Texas)

Rumors have the Rams wanting to trade back from this spot but it might be tough to do unless a team wants to jump up and grab a QB here.  I think Jeff Fisher grabs a safety to anchor his secondary.

23.  Minnesota Vikings – Robert Woods (WR – USC)

Minnesota needs a LB but seeing two go off the board right in front of them might have them look at a receiver here or defensive lineman.  There’s a bunch of receivers all who could go here.  I think Woods is the choice for his route running.

24.  Indianapolis Colts – D.J. Hayden (CB – Houston)

The Colts made the playoffs but need help in a lot of places.  I think they may look at taking the best player available here.  Secondary help will certainly be useful as they try to make it back to the playoffs.

25.  Minnesota Vikings  (from Seattle Seahawks) – Desmond Trufant (CB – Washington)

Playing Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler each twice a season means you can never have too many good cover guys.  They grab one here.

26.  Green Bay Packers – Eddie Lacy (RB – Alabama)

The Packers might finally have a back.  If Lacy falls to them here it’d be a steal and he could be looking at a huge season.  With Aaron Rodgers being able to drop back and shred defenses, it should give Lacy big holes to run through as a rookie.

27.  Houston Texans – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR – Tennessee)

The Texans will jump at the chance to land this playmaker.  While he’s raw, he can learn from Andre Johnson and could have superstar potential.

28.  Denver Broncos – Tank Carradine (DE – Florida State)

The Broncos need to improve the pass rush after the Elvis Dumervil fiasco.  I think the take a chance on Carradine here.  If he’s healthy by week 1 he can start and make an impact.

29.  New England Patriots – Xavier Rhodes (CB – Florida State)

Rhodes is a guy who could be the best cover guy in the draft but there are some concerns about him.  Bill Bellicheck will take the risk like he did with Aqib Talib.

30.  Atlanta Falcons – Datone Jones (DE – UCLA)

They need to replace John Abraham on the defensive line and grab a guy who’s worked his way into the first round.

31.  San Francisco 49ers – Matt Elam (S – Florida)

The loss of Dashon Goldson makes safety a priority for the defending NFC Champs.  They debate Elam or Eric Reid.  I think Elam fits them a little bit better.

32.  Baltimore Ravens – Eric Reid (S – LSU)

The lost Ed Reed this offseason and will replace him in round 1 with a great safety out of LSU.

Get the latest from Sports Formulator by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also find us on Google+and Instagram.

Matt’s Mind – 2013 NFL Draft Prospects


The NFL Draft is tonight so I’m going to shake some draft rooms to their core as I reveal my thoughts on several of tonight’s draft prospects.


These are guys I expect to make an impact from week 1 of 2013 through the rest of their career.  It’s a draft without much star potential.  I think there are a few players with Hall of Fame of potential but most will just be solid with potential for a couple of Pro Bowls.  Here’s the who and why of my top 5 prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft.

1.  Chance Warmack (OG – Alabama) – I think he’s the closest thing to a sure thing in this draft.  He was a dominant lineman at Alabama routinely facing NFL caliber defensive linemen.  I think he’s the safest pick at the draft but he’s at probably the least sexy position in the NFL.  The team that takes him will get a starter week 1.

2.  Jarvis Jones (OLB – Georgia) – I understand the injury concerns people have with him but he is a force.  This guy wrecked havoc in SEC backfields during his career in Athens.  I think he’s going to translate very well in the NFL and see him getting double digit sacks as a rookie.  If you need a pass rusher you take Jarvis Jones.

3.  Luke Joeckel (OT – Texas A&M) – He really benefitted from Texas A&M moving from the Big XII to the SEC.  He showed how he’d matchup against elite defensive players that you see each week in the SEC.

4.  Tyler Eifert (TE – Notre Dame) – He was a matchup nightmare at Notre Dame.  He’s a huge target that has some speed that make him so difficult to defend.  I think he can be a huge asset over the middle for an NFL offense.  I think he’s the best pass catching prospect in this draft.

5.  Dee Milliner (CB – Alabama) – News of injuries and surgeries are overstated.  This guy can cover and with his size he’s tremendous to matchup against the big receivers in the NFL.  If you need help in the secondary go get Dee.


The QB crop this year isn’t even close to last year’s.  The group this year has one guy I can see being a solid pro and another I like but have some concerns.  The rest are guys I see as risky and not worth a high pick.  Here’s my Top 5 QB prospects:

1.  Matt Barkley (USC) – Barkley didn’t look great this season as USC didn’t come close to the huge preseason expectations.  He was banged up throughout the season and ended his career at Southern Cal on the injured list.  He seems to be recovering well which bodes well for him.  I think several teams doubt him but I wonder if it’s because of prior USC QB’s.  With the disappointment of Mark Sanchez and Matt Leinart in the NFL, I think it could be overshadowing Barkley.  Barkley’s line last season was the worst of his USC career and with any QB, if his line isn’t great he tends to underperform.  I think Barkley is worthy of a first round pick but towards the end of the round due to the injury concern.  A team who could sit him for a year or two would be the perfect fit for Barkley.

2.  Ryan Nassib (Syracuse) – This guy did a great job elevating his team while with the Orange.  He’s a heck of a competitor and I think can be an NFL starter.  He’s got a good arm and can move around.  He comes from a system that has him prepared to play in his first season.  I don’t think he’s a first rounder though.  If I need a QB and he’s there where I’m picking in round 2 I’d seriously consider pulling the trigger.

3.  Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) – He would be a first rounder if not for the Bobby Petrino mess.  He suffered from the debacle that followed the Petrino scandal and it’s hurt his draft stock significantly.  Wilson has the size and arm you want in a NFL QB.  He faced great defenses in the SEC so his transition from a competition stand point won’t be as significant as others.  He’s worth the risk in the third round and I might think about him in the second also.

4.  Geno Smith (West Virginia) – Geno Smith is accurate but I really question his ability to transition to the NFL.  He’s used to throwing in a spread offense from the shotgun which limits the teams he would work with well in the NFL.  He can move and throw on the run but didn’t face elite defenses very often at West Virginia.  I have  a lot of doubts about Smith.  The weak crop of QB’s this year really is elevating him but I don’t see him above a third round pick in last year’s draft.

5.  E.J. Manuel (Florida State) – Great size and arm.  Similar to Smith I think he’s got to go to the right team because of the college system he comes from.  I think he’s a guy you draft in round 3 or 4 and plan to sit for a few seasons.  He’s got potential but will need to adjust to the NFL game.

Top 5 Riskiest NFL Prospects in 2013

1.  Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee) – A very intriguing prospect.  Great size and speed but only one year at Tennessee.  He’s raw and got by on his physical skills quite a bit last year. He’s going to have to improve route running in the NFL but if he does he could be a homerun threat for the team getting him.  I think he’s truly a boom or bust prospect.

2.  Geno Smith (West Virginia) – Many have him a first round pick and I see his risk being too high to take early in the draft.  Like I outlined above I think his transition will be difficult and make him a significant risk.

3.  Tavon Austin (West Virginia) – Buzz has him possibly going in the top 10 now which I think is a stretch.  He’s a slot receiver with great speed but at only 175 pounds he could get bumped around at the line in the NFL.  I think he’s a first round talent but if he’s a top 10 pick a team is taking a big risk.

4.  Barkevious Mingo (LSU) – He’s a freak athlete.  Tremendous combo of power and speed.  He was up and down during his career at LSU.  I think he’s got to go to a coach who clearly knows how he’ll fit in a scheme.  He needs to have a position already determined and then he can learn how to be successful at it in the NFL.  The guys who are considered the OLB/DE combo’s are often risky because they don’t have a true position.

5.  Dion Jordan (Oregon) – I don’t think this guy is going to be a bust but he needs to go to a good situation to be truly effective.  Aldon Smith is the guy he’s most compared to and Smith went to a perfect situation where he has a great defensive line that opens holes for him to get to the QB.  If Jordan finds a similar situation he’ll put up huge numbers.  If he goes somewhere where he’s the focus of the opposition’s offense, he could struggle.

Good luck to all the players being drafted this weekend.  Check out more of our 2013 NFL Draft coverage here at SportsFormulator.com.

Get the latest from Sports Formulator by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also find us on Google+ and Instagram.

NFL Mock Draft – April 24, 2013 Version


Less than 48 hours until the Kansas City Chiefs hand in their card and officially begin the 32 picks that now make up a primetime broadcast on ESPN.  With the recent trade of Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay and the Jets receiving the Bucs first round pick the order is now shaken up and could have a significant impact on teams now picking in the middle of the draft.

Here’s how I see teams selecting in tomorrow night’s NFL Draft 1st Round:

1.  Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel (OT – Texas A&M)

2.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Eric Fisher (OT – Central Michigan)

3.  Oakland Raiders – Shariff Floyd (DT – Florida)

4.  Philadelphia Eagles – Dion Jordan (DE – Oregon)

5.  Detroit Lions – Dee Milliner (CB – Alabama)

6.  Cleveland Browns – Ziggy Ansah (DE – BYU)

7.  Arizona Cardinals – Lane Johnson (OT – Oklahoma)

8.  Buffalo Bills – Jonathan Cooper (OG – North Carolina)

9.  New York Jets – Barkevious Mingo (DE – LSU)

10.  Tennessee Titans – Star Lotulelei (DT – Utah)

11.  San Diego Chargers – Chance Warmack (OG – Alabama)

12.  Miami Dolphins – Xavier Rhodes (CB – Florida State)

13.  New York Jets (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Eddie Lacy (RB – Alabama)

14.  Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson (DT – Missouri)

15.  New Orleans Saints – Jarvis Jones (OLB – Georgia)

16.  St. Louis Rams – Tavon Austin (WR – West Virginia)

17.  Pittsburgh Steelers – Alec Ogletree (LB –Georgia)

18.  Dallas Cowboys – D.J. Fluker (OT – Alabama)

19.  New York Giants – Tank Carradine (DE – Florida State)

20.  Chicago Bears – Justin Hunter (WR – Tennessee)

21.  Cincinnati Bengals – Kevin Minter (LB – LSU)

22.  St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) – Kenny Vaccaro (S – Texas)

23.  Minnesota Vikings – Robert Woods (WR – USC)

24.  Indianapolis Colts – D.J. Hayden (CB – Houston)

25.  Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks) – Sylvester Williams (DT – North Carolina)

26.  Green Bay Packers – Kyle Long (OT – Oregon)

27.  Houston Texans – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR – Tennessee)

28.  Denver Broncos – Bjoern Werner (DE – Florida State)

29.  New England Patriots – Desmond Trufant (CB – Washington)

30.  Atlanta Falcons – Datone Jones (DE – UCLA)

31.  San Francisco 49ers – Eric Reid (S – LSU)

32.  Baltimore Ravens – Manti Te’o (LB – Notre Dame)

Check back tomorrow afternoon for our final 2013 NFL Mock Draft plus we’ll have NFL Draft coverage all day tomorrow through the end of the draft.

Get the latest from Sports Formulator by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also find us on Google+ and Instagram.

Matt’s Mind: Projecting NFL Week 1 Point Spreads


The 2013 NFL Schedule is out so we know who each team is focused on to start the season.  With that in mind, I thought I’d offer what I see as the opening lines for each game in week 1 of the 2013 season.  These will be altered by the draft and any potential roster changes coming a little but this is what I expect the lines to open at when they’re officially released by bookmakers.

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos

A rematch from the playoffs where a Peyton Manning interception help springboard the Ravens to the Super Bowl.  This is a huge game for the Broncos to start the year.  The Ravens will be putting together a new team but John Harbaugh always has his team ready to play.

Projected Line:  Broncos -3

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

The Bills are a mess.  If Gronk will be ready for this one this line could go up but I’d say the Pats will be seven point road favorites against a team they

Projected Line:  Patriots -6.5

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers come off a disappointing year where they didn’t make the playoffs.  They should be motivated to start the year with a W.

Projected Line: Steelers -4

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Sean Payton will be back on the sideline and have the Saints ready.  However the Falcons are loaded.  With Tony Gonzales deciding not to retire and bringing in Steven Jackson has their offense the best it’s been in years.  This should be high scoring and you should just be able to pick the winner here instead of worrying about a spread.

Projected Line:  Pick ‘Em

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets

It could be the start of the final season for many of the Jets.  I think their home field advantage gets them installed as a slight favorite.

Projected Line: Jets -1

Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars

Projected Line: Pick ‘Em

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

A great year last year for the Seahawks and they look to have gotten better this offseason.  Cam Newton will have to get better after taking a step back in his second season.  The Panthers are a good home team so this spread should be tight.

Projected Line:  Seahawks -3

Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears

This game is the hardest to project.  I’m not sure where bookmakers will open Marc Trestman’s Bears.  I think being at home makes the Bears a very slight favorite but I like the Bengals to win this game.

Projected Line:  Bears -1

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns

A tough game to project.  The Browns play well at home but I expect the Dolphins to be much improved.

Projected Line:  Pick ‘Em

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

An even matchup here but the Lions get the home field advantage bump.

Projected Line: Lions -3

Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts

Big expectations for Andrew Luck coming off an impressive rookie year leading the Colts to the playoffs.  The defense will have seen changes but the Raiders have a lot of holes and the Colts should be the biggest week 1 favorites.

Projected Line:  Colts -7

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers

The Packers should be motivated for this one after being beaten down by the Niners twice last season.  The Niners rolled into Green Bay last year and looked great winning in week 1.  Then San Fran hosted the Pack in the playoffs and blew them out.

Projected Line: 49ers -6

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams

I really expect the Rams to be improved in Jeff Fisher’s second season.  He’s a great coach and you could see them getting better each week last season.  The Cardinals will be breaking in Bruce Arians as head coach.  He was great in Indy last year but might not have as much talent as he had there.

Projected Line: Rams -3.5

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

A pretty even matchup here as well but bookmakers will give the Cowboys the standard 3 point home field advantage.

Projected Line:  Cowboys -3

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins

Questions abound in this game.  Will Chip Kelly’s Eagles be fully functional in his offense for this game?  Will RGIII play?  Redskins should be favored whether he plays or not but the number will be deflated if he doesn’t.

Projected Line: Redskins -4

Houston Texans at San Diego Chargers

The disappointing Norv Turner era is over and Mike McCoy is in charge of the Chargers.  The Texas are still one of the league’s most talented teams and I expect them to be ready to win on the road week 1.

Projected Line: Texas -3

Check out how I think the 2013 NFL Draft Should Go.

Get the latest from Sports Formulator by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also find us on Google+ and Instagram.

2013 NFL Mock Draft: How the First Round Should Go


We’re just one week away from the 2013 NFL Draft!  Instead of telling you what I think teams will do in the draft, I give you how it should go.  I identify the teams need and find the best fit for it.  Take this to your draft room GM’s so you don’t botch the draft for your franchise.

1.  Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs have talent at the skills positions.  They just made the trade for QB Alex Smith and need to protect him.  After cutting Eric Winston and leaving Brandon Albert twisting in the wind this offseason, they’re best addressing the offensive line.

Pick:  Luke Joekel (OT – Texas A&M)

2.  Jacksonville Jaguars – They need a lot of help.  They play in a division with Andrew Luck and Matt Schaub.  Their top priorities should be pass rush and secondary.  Taking a cornerback here who can matchup with Andre Johnson would be a big step in the right direction.

Pick:  Dee Miliner (CB – Alabama)

3.  Oakland Raiders –  The Raiders need help in several areas.  Their aging defensive line needs to be addressed and that’s what they’ll focus on with their first pick

Pick:  Shariff Floyd (DT – Florida)

4.  Philadelphia Eagles –  I think the Eagles will trade this pick.  Chip Kelly is bringing in a new system and will want to get his type of guys and there’s no better way than to trade down and stockpile picks.  If they stay here, I think they look on the defensive side of the ball and a guy Kelly is familiar with from his days in Eugene.

Pick:  Dion Jordan (OLB – Oregon)

5.  Detroit Lions – The Lions have talent at the skill positions but need to bulk up the O-line.  With an in-state prospect sitting there, they’ll jump at getting a guy to protect Matthew Stafford’s blindside for the rest of his career.

Pick:  Eric Fisher (OT – Central Michigan)

6.  Cleveland Browns –  The Browns have many holes on a young roster.  They’re in a brutal division and need toughness in the trenches for those six games a year.

Pick:  Ziggy Ansah (DE – BYU)

7.  Arizona Cardinals –  Bruce Arians is at the controls of the Cardinals and will look to protect his QB.  I think they take the best prospect in this draft.

Pick:  Chance Warmack (OG – Alabama)

8.  Buffalo Bills –  The Bills also have a new coach in Doug Marrone and need help in many spots.  There’s talk of them taking a QB but there isn’t one worth of taking this high.  I think they’re a prime candidate to also trade down.  They make a pretty safe selection if they stay here.

Pick:  Jonathan Cooper (OG – North Carolina)

9.  New York Jets –  The Jets have been spending first rounders on defensive players of late.  They must address their horrendous offense.  Rex Ryan likes to run the ball and a great back would take a lot of the shoulders of Mark Sanchez.

Pick:  Eddie Lacy (RB – Alabama)

10.  Tennessee Titans –  Titans need to upgrade their pass rush and coverage.  I think they’ll look to the D-line and go with a guy who falls a few spots to them.

Pick:  Star Lotulelei (DT – Utah)

11.  San Diego Chargers –  The Chargers need help on the O-line and will find a guy ready to start day 1 in the NFL.

Pick:  Lane Johnson (OT – Oklahoma)

12.  Miami Dolphins –  The Dolphins would like to see Lane Johnson here but if not they’ll address the defense.  Rumors have them picking up Branden Albert from the Chiefs for a second round pick so that softens the blow.  Nothing they’ve got to still matchup with Tom Brady for a few more seasons has them looking to bolster their past defense.  I think they’ll take their chances on the boom or bust prospect.

Pick:  Xavier Rhodes (CB – Florida State)

13.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers –  This pick could turn into Darrelle Revis for the Bucs.  I think they should look at the offense though if they hold onto this pick.  I think they should look at adding a target for Josh Freeman.

Pick:  Tyler Eifert (TE – Notre Dame)

14.  Carolina Panthers – Interesting spot here.  The Panthers are in a tough division and need to get a difference maker here.  They need them on both sides of the ball.  Do they look for a receiver to help out Cam Newton or a defender?  I think the best players available are on the defensive side at this point.

Pick:  Sheldon Richardson (DT – Missouri)

15.  New Orleans Saints –  Sean Payton is back at the helm in the Big Easy.  They’re looking to make one last run at a Super Bowl and need to get impact players in the draft.  I think they look to the defensive side of the ball and get a freak athlete from the Bayou Bengals.

Pick:  Barkevious Mingo (DE – LSU)

16.  St. Louis Rams –  St. Louis desperately needs targets for Sam Bradford.  They’ll gladly grab one here.

Pick:  Tavon Austin (WR – West Virginia)

17.  Pittsburgh Steelers –  Pittsburgh has to be pumped if the draft unfolds as I have said it should through the first 16 picks.  It leaves a perfect fit for their scheme on the board and they’ll rush to the podium.

Pick:  Jarvis Jones (OLB – Georgia)

18.  Dallas Cowboys –  They need O-line help still.  I think the Cowboys have to address it with a first round pick this year if they’re serious about making the playoffs.  They grab a mountain of a man.

Pick:  D.J. Fluker (OT – Alabama)

19.  New York Giants –  Losing Osi gives them a hole to fill on the defensive line and there are several prospects available here.  They could use help on the offensive line also.  The Victor Cruz contract situation could have them looking at a receiver also.  They need to stick with what’s gotten them to Super Bowls…pass rush.

Pick:  Tank Carradine (DE – Florida State)

20.  Chicago Bears –  The Bears have to get Jay Cutler help in this draft.  It needs to be at either receiver or offensive line.  I think if they want to go with the offensive line, they should trade down.  If they stay here, I think they take the best available.

Pick:  Menelik Watson (OT – Florida State)

21.  Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals are right there ready to win the division and a playoff games this upcoming season.  An impact player here could be what puts them over the top.  They get a guy who starts day 1 and makes plays for Marvin Lewis on defense.

Pick:  Alec Ogletree (LB –Georgia)

22.  St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) – Jeff Fisher got Sam Bradford a target earlier in the draft and know addresses his defense with this pick.  They need help in the secondary and have some options available here.

Pick:  Kenny Vaccaro (S – Texas)

23.  Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings face an aerial assault within the division from the Packers and Lions.  They need cover guys to slow it down.  They take the best available.

Pick:  Desmond Trufant (CB – Washington)

24.  Indianapolis Colts – They need pass rush and should be thrilled to find this player falling to them at 24.

Pick:  Bjoern Werner (DE – Florida State)

25.  Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks) – Do the Vikings try to replace Percy Harvin with this pick or stick to improving the defense?  I think they should look to get a receiver to help Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson.

Pick:  Keenan Allen (WR – Cal)

26.  Green Bay Packers – The Packers desperately want to improve their offensive line.  They may have to reach for a prospect here.

Pick:  Justin Pugh (OT – Syracuse)

27.  Houston Texans – The Texans would like to get a compliment to Andre Johnson.  I think they’re in the position to take a chance.

Pick:  Cordarrelle Patterson (WR – Tennessee)

28.  Denver Broncos – They need to replace the loss of Elvis Dumervil so the defensive front is where they’ll need to look here.

Pick:  Datone Jones (DE – UCLA)

29.  New England Patriots – They’ve got to look at corners to help their pass coverage.   A few players are very similar to choose from in this spot.

Pick:  D.J. Hayden (CB – Houston)

30.  Atlanta Falcons – They need to address the defensive line in this draft.  I think they’ll grab a player falling.

Pick:  Sylvester Williams (DT – North Carolina)

31.  San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers could use depth along the defensive front and will take a guy with tons of physical ability and is still raw.

Pick:  Margus Hunt (DE – SMU)

32.  Baltimore Ravens – They lose Ray Lewis so LB is a need.  I think they’ll look to get a tackling machine.

Pick:  Manti Te’o (LB – Notre Dame)

That’s how the first round should go.  Post your thoughts below and keep visitng SportsFormulator.com leading up to the draft for more info!

SportsFormulator.com would like to get to know you better.  Can you help us out and spare a minute to answer 5 quick questions?

Get the latest from Sports Formulator by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also find us on Google+ and Instagram.

2013 NFL Mock Draft – Version 2 (March 1)


Hundreds of college football players have been poked , proded, measured and tested in Indianapolis this week.  The NFL Combine is over so it’s time to do round 2 of 2013 NFL Mock Draft.  Here’s how the first 32 picks of the 2013 NFL Draft will go:

1.  Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel (OT – Texas A&M)

2.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Bjoern Werner (DE – Florida State)

3.  Oakland Raiders – Shariff Floyd (DT – Florida)

4.  Philadelphia Eagles – Eric Fisher (OT –Central Michigan)

5.  Detroit Lions – Dee Milliner (CB – Alabama)

6.  Cleveland Browns – Jarvis Jones (OLB – Georgia)

7.  Arizona Cardinals – Lane Johnson (OT – Oklahoma)

8.  Buffalo Bills – Chance Warmack (OG – Alabama)

9.  New York Jets – Dion Jordan (OLB – Oregon)

10.  Tennessee Titans – Star Lotulelei (DT – Utah)

11.  San Diego Chargers – Ezekiel Ansah (DE – BYU)

12.  Miami Dolphins – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR – Tennessee)

13.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Xavier Rhodes (CB – Florida State)

14.  Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson (DT – Missouri)

15.  New Orleans Saints – Barkevious Mingo (DE – LSU)

16.  St. Louis Rams – Tyler Eifert (TE – Notre Dame)

17.  Pittsburgh Steelers – Alex Ogletree (ILB – Georgia)

18.  Dallas Cowboys – D.J. Fluker (OT – Alabama)

19.  New York Giants – Damontre Moore (DE – Texas A&M)

20.  Chicago Bears – Jonathan Cooper (OG – North Carolina)

21.  Cincinnati Bengals – Kenny Vaccaro (S – Texas)

22.  St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) – Tavon Austin (WR – West Virginia)

23.  Minnesota Vikings – Keenan Allen (WR – California)

24.  Indianapolis Colts – Johnathan Jenkins (DT – Georgia)

25.  Seattle Seahawks –  Datone Jones (DT – UCLA)

26.  Green Bay Packers – Eddie Lacy (RB – Alabama)

27.  Houston Texans – Justin Hunter (WR – Tennessee)

28.  Denver Broncos – Desmond Trufant (CB – Washington)

29.  New England Patriots – Blidi Wreh-Wilson (CB – Connecticut)

30.  Atlanta Falcons – Alex Okafor (DE – Texas)

31.  San Francisco 49ers – Margus Hunt (DE – SMU)

32.  Baltimore Ravens – Manti Te’o (LB – Notre Dame)

Get the latest from Sports Formulator by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

2013 NFL Mock Draft – Round 1


Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens for winning the Super Bowl!   It was a great game and they showed they were the best team in football this season.

Now it’s time to turn our attention to the offseason and the best part of it…the draft.  Here is how round 1 of the 2013 NFL Draft will go:

1.  Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel (OT – Texas A&M)

2.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Damontre Moore (DE – Texas A&M)

3.  Oakland Raiders – Eric Fisher (OT –Central Michigan)

4.  Philadelphia Eagles – Bjoern Werner (DE – Florida State)

5.  Detroit Lions – Dee Milliner (CB – Alabama)

6.  Cleveland Browns – Star Lotulelei (DT – Utah)

7.  Arizona Cardinals – Chance Warmack (OG – Alabama)

8.  Buffalo Bills – Jarvis Jones (OLB – Georgia)

9.  New York Jets – Eddie Lacey (RB – Alabama)

10.  Tennessee Titans – Keenan Allen (WR – California)

11.  San Diego Chargers – Jake Matthews (OT – Texas A&M)

12.  Miami Dolphins – Tyler Eifert (TE – Notre Dame)

13.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Taylor Lewan (OT – Michigan)

14.  Carolina Panthers – Sheldon Richardson (DT – Missouri)

15.  New Orleans Saints – Barkevious Mingo (DE – LSU)

16.  St. Louis Rams – Cordarrelle Patterson (WR – Tennessee)

17.  Pittsburgh Steelers – Alec Ogletree (ILB – Georgia)

18.  Dallas Cowboys – Jonathan Cooper (OG – North Carolina)

19.  New York Giants – Dion Jordan (DE – Oregon)

20.  Chicago Bears – Kawann Short (DT – Purdue)

21.  Cincinnati Bengals – Eric Reid (S – LSU)

22.  St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) – Zach Ertz (TE – Stanford)

23.  Minnesota Vikings – Justin Hunter (WR – Tennessee)

24.  Indianapolis Colts – Ezekiel Ansah (DE – BYU)

25.  Seattle Seahawks –  D.J. Fluker (OT – Alabama)

26.  Green Bay Packers – Barrett Jones (OC – Alabama)

27.  Houston Texans – Xavier Rhodes (CB – Florida State)

28.  Denver Broncos – Johnthan Banks (CB – Mississippi State)

29.  New England Patriots – Kenny Vaccaro (S – Texas)

30.  Atlanta Falcons – Alex Okafor (DE – Texas)

31.  San Francisco 49ers – Terrance Williams (WR – Baylor)

32.  Baltimore Ravens – Manti Te’o (LB – Notre Dame)