GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND.
1) It's FRIDAY, APRIL 27. Astonish the Dolfans in your life with our 'Fins At 50' book. Their reaction is sure to be: "Wait. Greg Cote wrote a book!?" Click on Amazon to check it out. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Dolphins pre-draft poll, Dwyane Wade retire-or-return poll, latest Back In My Day video, 4-Man Outfield & more. 3) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Facebook and Instagram.
ALABAMA S MINKAH FITZPATRICK at NO. 11: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF DOLPHINS' PICK? NEW POLL. VOTE NOW!: Click on Solid Contact, No Home Run for my thoughts on last night's Dolphins' first round. Now it's your turn. Vote now:
GREG COTE'S 27TH ANNUAL OFFICIAL MIAMI HERALD MOCK DRAFT: LIVE REPORT CARD: What's below is pared down to just the picks, except for the expanded Dolphins' selection. For the full online package, click Cote '18 Mock. It includes preliminary remarks, an explanation capsule on every pick, Super Bonus Draft Facts and a video by me. My picks were completed Wednesday afternoon, before news broke about Josh Allen's unfortunate teenage tweets. Oh well. No do-overs ... for Josh or myself. Let's mock! Many of you followed along here last night and on Twitter as I live-graded my own first round during the draft. A red bull's-eye icon next to the pick means an "exacto" -- right player to right team. A green check mark means I had that player in my first round, but not to the correct team. A black 'X' means I blew it; that player wasn't anywhere in my round. Here it is:
1. Cleveland Browns: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: The pick: Baker Mayfield, whom I had going 5th. #TweetGate didn't help Allen. Worst start since Marlins gave up home run on first pitch of season. #ExactosWatch: Kiper 1.
5. Denver Broncos: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: The pick: Bradley Chubb. Good selection, though surprised they didn't go QB. I had Chubb going next. Mock stalemate. #ExactosWatch: Kiper 3; Cote 2; Mayock & McShay 1 each.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State: The pick: Buffalo trades up from No. 12, takes Josh Allen. Still alive with Rosen-to-Dolphins! #ExactosWatch: Kiper & McShay 3 each; Cote & Mayock 2 each.
8. Chicago Bears: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame: The pick Roquan Smith. Had him two picks later. I don't like the way this thing is trending for me. #ExactosWatch: McShay 4; Kiper & Mayock 3 each; Cote 2.
10. Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia: The pick: Arizona moves up from No. 15, takes Josh Rosen. DAMN! There goes my Dolphins pick -- one away! #ExactosWatch: Mayock & McShay 4 each; Kiper 3; Cote 2. (Mayock had Rosen to Cardinals, though at No.15 before trade-up).
11. MIAMI DOLPHINS: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA -- Minkah Fitzpatrick. I'll have more on this pick online soon. #ExactosWatch: Mayock & McShay 4 each; Kiper 3; Cote 2. / Original post: Fins get (hopefully) their quarterback of the future when Rosen – one of the draft’s Big Four QBs – unexpectedly falls to them. He’s seen as NFL- ready but the suspicion is he’ll groom behind Ryan Tannehill in 2018. Is he a perfect prospect? No. There are reasons he tumbled to Miami. Durability (shoulder, concussions) have been a concern. So have turnovers, with 26 INTs and seven lost fumbles in 30 college starts. But his upside is too great to bypass the surprise gift of his availability. If Rosen is gone by here (a real possibility), Miami would consider the FSU safety Derwin James or perhaps Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson, but likelier might select the big run-stopper Vita Vea, who’d plug in so perfectly for the departed Ndamukong Suh. Vea is the safer Dolphins pick here, yes, but I can’t ignore that my mock has Rosen landing in their laps. Also think there is a possibility that Miami would reach and select Louisville QB Lamar Jackson 11th. Jackson isn’t as fully formed and ready as Rosen, but is more of a dual threat, a bigger gamble with perhaps a higher ceiling.
14. Green Bay Packers: Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio: The pick: New Orleans trades up, takes Davenport. Damn! Had him going in this exact spot but don't get credit. #ExactosWatch: Mayock & McShay 4 each; Kiper 3, Cote 2.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville. The pick: After a trade, Oakland takes Kolton Miller. Ouch. My first 'X.' And our scoreboard stays frozen. #ExactosWatch: Mayock & McShay 4 each; Kiper 3, Cote 2.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State. The pick: After a trade, Buffalo takes Tremaine Edmunds. This was a guy many draftniks (not me) thought Miami would grab. #ExactosWatch: Mayock & McShay 4 each; Kiper 3, Cote 2.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama. The pick: Derwin James. Big fall for the FSU kid some had top-10. Mock scoreboard still frozen. #ExactosWatch: Mayock & McShay 4 each; Kiper 3, Cote 2.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame. The pick: After a trade, Green Bay takes Jaire Alexander. Finally, movement on the scoreboard! #ExactosWatch: Mayock & McShay 5 each; Kiper 3, Cote 2. (McShay and Mayock had Alexander to Packers, though with the 14th pick).
19. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama. The pick: Leighton Vander Esch. No points, but I was the only one of the four mockers here who had Vander Esch going in first round. #ExactosWatch: Mayock & McShay 5 each; Kiper 3, Cote 2.
20. Detroit Lions: Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College. The pick: Frank Ragnow. Just plumb missed this cat. My chances for a valiant rally are waning. #ExactosWatch: Mayock & McShay 5 each; Kiper 3, Cote 2.
22. Buffalo Bills: Will Hernandez, OG, Texas-El Paso. The pick: After a trade, Tennessee picks Rashaan Evans. I finally score! #ExactosWatch: Mayock 6; McShay 5; Cote & Kiper 3 each. (Mayock and I both had Evans to Titans, but with 25th pick).
25. Tennessee Titans: Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama. The pick: After a trade, Baltimore takes Hayden Hurst. And score remains the same as we approach the home stretch. #ExactosWatch: Mayock 6; McShay 5; Cote & Kiper 4 each.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida. The pick: Calvin Ridley. All of us had him going a bit higher. Mayock crafting his victory speech? #ExactosWatch: Mayock 6; McShay 5; Cote & Kiper 4 each.
27. New Orleans Saints: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina. The pick: After a trade, Seattle takes Rashaad Penny. Huh? Wha? None of we four had this guy in our first round. #ExactosWatch: Mayock 6; McShay 5; Cote & Kiper 4 each.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Boise State. The pick: Terrell Edmunds. Another dude who eluded us all. Making the turn now. One furlong to go! #ExactosWatch: Mayock 6; McShay 5; Cote & Kiper 4 each.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia. The pick: Mike Hughes. Of national-champion UCF! Same scoreboard entering the top of the ninth. #ExactosWatch: Mayock 6; McShay 5; Cote & Kiper 4 each.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Ronald Jones, RB, Southern Cal. The pick: After a trade, Baltimore takes Lamar Jackson to end round. Final #ExactosWatch (pending an audit by Price Waterhouse): Mayock 7; McShay 5; Cote & Kiper 4 each.
POLL RESULT: DOLFANS' POSITION PREFERENCE A TWO-WAY RACE: We asked in a blog poll, "What position would you be most pleased to see the Miami Dolphins address in the NFL Draft's first round?" Two dominated -- linebacker with 41.01 percent, and quarterback with 36.69%. A distant third was defensive line with 8.63%, with five other position options sharing the remaining votes.
POLL RESULT: WADE WILL BE BACK (BUT BARELY): I wonder if Dwyane Wade's career and life-changing decision -- retire or return -- is as close in his mind as this vote was. I asked that question in a 24-hour poll on my Twitter site and, after 3,647 votes, it was 53 percent he'll be back with the Heat to 47% he'll retire. Close. I tend to agree with what the voting suggests: That it could go either way, but that it's likelier he'll be back for a final, farewell season in 2018-19.
Our six-pack of Heat playoff-run columns: A Hope-Crushing Defeat (off Game 4). Embiid Shows Up, Whiteside Not So Much (Game 3). Also: Not Good If Heat Need Wade to Carry Them, Whiteside Must Rise Up Now, In Dolphins vs. Heat, Only One Has Earned Our Trust and The Rise Of The Underdog Heat.
'THE FOUR-MAN OUTFIELD' (UPDATED): Throughout the MLB season -- just for fun -- I'm comparing and updating the ongoing performances of the three Marlins outfield starters traded away during the offseason and current Marlins center fielder Lewis Brinson, the best prospect to arrive in the deals. Unfair to compare three established stars with a rookie? Boo hoo. Who said life was fair! Plus, remember: Just for fun! We'll base our continually updated rankings on OPS (on-base plus slugging). The latest, entering Friday play:
Player, Team OPS G AB R H BI D-T-HR AVG.
1. Christian Yelich, Brewers .878 14 54 11 16 8 2-1-2 .296
2. Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees .772 24 97 18 23 15 4-1-5 .237
3. Marcell Ozuna, Cardinals .583 22 96 8 23 14 2-0-2 .240
4. Lewis Brinson, Marlins .482 23 82 6 12 7 1-0-3 .146
OUR APSE CONTEST-HONORED COLUMNS: The Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest ranked me the No. 5 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Thanks, APSE. Here are the nominated columns that earned the honor: At Doral, an annual tradition since 1962 is replaced by silence, and by what's missing / Marlins' Jose Fernandez statue is divisive yet has a chance to serve a greater purpose / NFL has moral obligation to help Buonicontis and Kiicks while it limits future suffering / What led to El Clasico Miami began with Joe Robbie's unlikely, accidental love of soccer / With 59 home runs, Stanton still had a magic season. Just hope this wasn't goodbye.
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