After months of mock drafts, rumors and rampant speculation, the NFL Draft is finally here. The Arizona Cardinals are unofficially on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick, and it seems they’ll likely take Nick Bosa or draft (and promptly negotiate a trade) quarterback Kyler Murray. But there aren’t any Cardinals fans on the staff, so instead, we’ll discuss our respective favorite teams in this week’s roundtable. Who do we want our teams to draft?
Manchester City regained their lead at the top of the table with a massive 2-0 victory at Old Trafford on Wednesday against cross-town rival Manchester United. Midfielder Bernardo Silva cut inside onto his left foot and drove home a low near-post shot in the 54th minute to open the scoring for the defending champs. Twelve minutes later, winger Leroy Sane doubled City’s lead as he finished off a counterattack. City have now won 11 straight premier league matches as they’re title race with Liverpool has come down to the wire, while United have now lost two straight matches and will face an uphill battle to finish in the top four.
The Wild Card winners, the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche, took care of their opponents seamlessly. The Jackets swept Tampa Bay. Colorado only needed five games to extinguish the Flames and the Stars finished Nashville in just six. Not a single one of these surprising franchises needed even seven games to move past the heavy favorites.
Liverpool capped off one of its finest weeks in club history with a 4-1 win at Porto on Wednesday, a victory that booked them a spot in the Champions League semi finals. The Reds’ best and brightest led the team to victory, as in-form forward Sadio Mane opened the scoring in the 26th minute before Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk all recorded second half goals to bust the game open. The Reds’ Champions League triumph comes just days after they earned a win over Chelsea to put themselves back atop the English Premier League table.
On Tuesday night, hockey fans, pundits and bracket makers were forced to reconsider, as the Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off one of the greatest upsets in the history of the game. They swept the Lightning in their first round matchup, outscoring Tampa Bay 19-8 in the series. It was the first time this entire season that Tampa Bay had lost more than two games in a row. The firepower of the Bolts made this outcome essentially unimaginable to the hockey world, initiating shock following a fourth straight resounding defeat.
Midfielder Naby Keita scored an early fifth-minute deflected goal and Roberto Firmino tapped home a short cross 20 minutes later as Liverpool pulled past FC Porto 2-0 in the first leg of the two sides quarterfinal matchup at Anfield on Tuesday. The second leg will be played on April 17 at Estadio de Dragao in Porto.
The Capitals had an eerily similar season this year as they did last year, finishing with 104 points compared to last year’s 105 and winning the Metropolitan Division again. Alex Ovechkin somehow improved on last year’s season by winning the Maurice Richard Trophy again, but this time with even more goals (51 to 49). The Capitals are in a great position to repeat, as they have the best scorer in the league, and three other guys with over 70 points this season: Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson.
College players, under the current collective bargaining agreement, have the power to choose what team they would like to play for. Once a college player is drafted, they have until the end of their graduating year to sign with the team that selected them. After that, they become a free agent, with the ability to sign with any team that offers them a contract.
The United States earned a 1-1 draw with Chile thanks to an early Christian Pulisic goal at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas on Tuesday night. The young Borussia Dortmund star latched onto a well-played through ball from L.A. Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes and lofted a delicate chip over Chilean goalkeeper Gabriel Arias to open the scoring in the fourth minute, but was substituted off with an injury before halftime.
Ajax Amsterdam shocked the soccer world Tuesday by completing a second-leg comeback to knock defending champions Real Madrid out of the Champions League, while booking a place in the quarterfinals. After dropping the opening leg 2-1 at home, the Dutch side thrashed perennial contender Real Madrid 4-1 at the Bernabeu to advance 5-3 on aggregate.
The Columbus Blue Jackets made the biggest noise this trade season, popping up in notification after notification in the days leading up to the deadline. They relinquished a slew of future talent, shipping out Forward Anthony Duclair, two conditional first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fourth-round pick, a fifth-round pick and a seventh-round pick.
“The tank,” these days, is a fan’s favorite word. It provides solace for their teams’ losses, and hope for a better tomorrow. When a season takes a wrong turn, with the playoffs becoming a pipe dream, the modern belief is that a team is better off losing to improve their odds at a higher draft pick. While mathematically speaking, this is logical, the philosophy has gotten to the point where fans actually prefer that their team lose every game.
While this might not be the strongest Patriots team to make the Super Bowl in recent years, I still believe they are more than capable of winning this game. Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh absolutely terrify me, but the Patriots have already made it past a pair of strong pass rushing teams without letting up a single sack. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady and Belichick will conjure some black magic to build a defensive scheme that slows the Rams’ potent offense down just enough.