TEXANS, COWBOYS HOPE TO FULFILL NEEDS IN TOMORROW’S DRAFT

 

Last updated 4/21/2020 at Noon



Sports junkies who are becoming tired of watching re-runs of past great sporting events, there’s good news for them.

Starting tomorrow for three days there will be LIVE sports on ESPN, ABC and NFL Network if you consider the 2020 National Football League draft a live sporting event.

It’s probably the closest live sports programming event we’ve had for the past couple of months and won’t have for at least a couple of more months.

And if you’re a regular follower of the NFL draft, this virtual one will be much different because the head coaches of each franchise will be operating out of his own home due to the coronavirus which has put most of the world at a standstill.

Round 1 of this year’s draft will begin tomorrow at 7 p.m.

on any of the three above-mentioned television networks.

The draft continues Friday at 6 p.m.

and concludes Saturday starting at 11 a.m.

The Lone Star State’s two franchises—the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys—have similar situations for this draft. Houston has a “veteran” coach in Bill O’Brien and a rookie general manager in Bill O’Brien, who also has turned over his usual play-calling duties.


The Cowboys will have a draft veteran in first-year head coach Mike McCarthy who spent many seasons coaching the once-mighty Green Bay Packers.

The Cowboys this year have a first-round pick while the Texans gave theirs away to the Arizona Cardinals on the DeAndre Hopkins deal that infuriated 99 per cent of the Texans’ fans.

Both teams are looking for defensive help with the Texans in need for a safety and cornerback, possibly drafting a safety or cornerback in the second, third or fourth rounds.

The Cowboys are looking for a high-draft linebacker, cornerback and defensive end.

The Pokes have two hard-hitting linebackers in Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee, but both have had a series of injuries that have kept both off the field.

Vander Esch, a first-round pick in 2018, was limited to nine games last season by a neck injury that required surgery.

Lee returns for his 11th season, but injuries have plagued his career.

Houston did not re-sign running back Carlos Hyde and acquired David Johnson from Arizona in the Hopkins trade.

He joins holdover Duke Johnson.

It would be neat if the Texans drafted a running back named Johnson and have a trifecta of Johnsons in their backfield.

O’Brien must have a good draft to pacify the Texans’ fans who are still irate at the head coach and general manager for trading Hopkins and sack- specialist Jadeveon Clowney.

Believe it or not these two stalwarts apparently didn’t fit into O’Brien’s vision of how the Texans’ roster should be shaped.

There are many great college football players who may get overlooked in this week’s draft because the coronavirus pandemic wiped out most pro days and all pre-draft visits which would put their character and football IQ on display for general managers, coaches and scouts.


Last year about 70 drafted players did not attend the combine, but most of them visited NFL teams.

Only a dozen or so college football programs held pro days before the NFL barred all in-person, pre-draft visits which canceled pro days and prospects’ visits to team headquarters.

There should be a plethora of Lone Star State football players drafted in the next three days. Expected to go in the first round are Texas A&M defensive lineman Justin Madulbuike, Houston Cougars offensive lineman Josh Jones and TCU defensive tackle Ross Blakelock.

KWICKIES…Peyton Manning thinks LSU quarterback Joe Burrow will have a rough rookie season as the overall No. 1 draft pick with the Cincinnati Bengals because his new team “earned that first pick” by being the lousiest NFL team last season.


And while on the subject of NFL quarterbacks, this week’s edition of USA Sports Weekly ranks all 32 starting quarterbacks from best to least stable.

NFL MVP Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens is most stable at No. 32 with Kansas City’s Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes right behind at No. 31.

Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson is rated No. 29, and Cowboys’ Dak Prescott is No, 21.

The team at the bottom of the heap is the Miami Dolphins who have three quarterbacks on their roster with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen and Jake Rudock.

They would love LSU’s Joe Burrow Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Oregon’s Justin Herbert or Utah State’s Jordan Love.

The New England Patriots are set to unveil new primary uniforms for the first time in 20 years, according to ESPN’s “First Take” Monday.

A report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board last week found that baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay had high levels of amphetamines in his system and was doing extreme acrobatics when he lost control of his small plane and nosedived into the Gulf of Mexico in 2017, killing him.

Long-running youth sports organization AAU saw its membership fall from 20,000 ahead of last year’s pace to 3,000 behind in just a week because of the coronavirus.

The PGA is aiming for its Tour to resume its proposed tournament schedule the weekend of June 11-14 with the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial in Fort Worth.

Mauriceville’s Mike Defee is retiring after 20 years officiating college football to train NFL officials and to better take care of his full-time job in Nederland during this coronavirus pandemic.

Defee became on overnight internet sensation as a muscular referee while officiating the National Championship game in 2017.

JUST BETWEEN US…I received an email from my brother Dick who sent me his idea about the 2020 major league baseball season. “If baseball ever gets started, the season is likely to be shorter such that the best teams may not be as obvious. MLB should end the season with October Madness. They should set up a tournament like basketball does, only allow every team to play. Each series is not one game, but the best of five until late in the tournament when it becomes the best-of-seven. I don’t know how long the tournament would last, but it sure would be interesting and probably fairer than picking the best teams from a shortened season. Think it would work?”

 

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