First call: Steelers mock draft with a WPIAL tie; Devils win NHL draft lottery
In Wednesday’s “First Call,” an encouraging — but odd — mock draft for the Steelers. Ray Shero scores the first pick. And heartfelt goodbyes for Dirk and D-Wade.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic went through the massive task of doing a full seven-round mock NFL Draft.
Here is what he came up with for the Steelers’ first few rounds. And before you ask, yes, he suggests inside linebackers Devin Bush and Devin White will both be gone by pick No. 12.
Round 1 (No. 20): T.J. Hockenson, tight end, Iowa
Round 2 (No. 52): Chase Winovich, edge, Michigan
Round 3 (No. 66): Julian Love, cornerback, Notre Dame
Round 3 (No. 83): Germaine Pratt, linebacker, N.C. State
You can see the rest of Brugler’s projections here. He has a wide receiver ticketed to Pittsburgh in Round 4.
I’ll work backwards here. If the Steelers get Love and Pratt in the third round, that’s good value. I’ve heard and seen them slated as second-rounders in some other projections.
Winovich — a Thomas Jefferson product — would be a good fit in the defense, filling the need for pass-rushing depth, and could be a potential starter next year.
As far as Hockenson goes, he’s a good player. I like both of the potential first-round Iowa tight ends (Noah Fant is the other one). But I’m not on the increasingly crowded train of making tight end a first-round priority for the Steelers.
Address that position later.
It should be noted that Brugler’s mock still had Mack Wilson available at No. 20. The Alabama inside linebacker is widely viewed as the next-best option at that position after “The Two Devins.”
Corners Greedy Williams (LSU), Byron Murphy (Washington), and Rock Ya-Sin (Temple) were all still on the board.
So was Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence.
I’d go with all of them before any tight end.
Here at “First Call” on Tuesday, we told you that the Devils were retaining Ray Shero as general manager.
Well, the former Penguins GM got some good news last night. New Jersey won the draft lottery.
*watching on repeat* pic.twitter.com/Yxu8w1ROGN
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) April 10, 2019
The New York Rangers will pick second, and the Chicago Blackhawks will pick third.
Jack Hughes is expected to be the top player drafted. He’s currently with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program under-18 team in the United States Hockey League.
Hughes skates with Devils star Taylor Hall in the summer time. Right wing Kaapo Kakko of TPS in Liiga in Finland is also a candidate.
It was an emotional night in the NBA. Especially in Miami. Heat star Dwyane Wade is retiring, and he went out in style with 30 points.
#3 for 👌👌👌 pic.twitter.com/VjEIFGEkdy
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 10, 2019
Miami beat Philadelphia, 122-99. But they were eliminated from the playoffs when Detroit won. Since it was slated to be the team’s last regular-season home game, they made sure the three-time champion was sent off with honors.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) April 9, 2019
It wasn’t all perfect.
Haywood Highsmith doesn't let Dwyane Wade get backboard alley-oop dunk to himself…gets booed by Heat fans pic.twitter.com/DnUEc0nHV2
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) April 10, 2019
But it was pretty good. Even former President Barack Obama — a longtime resident of Chicago, where Wade is from — got involved.
Barack Obama has some advice for Dywane Wade as he prepares for life after the NBA pic.twitter.com/saj08AmXd8
— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) April 10, 2019
And the Heat fans took some shots at Celtics star Paul Pierce, who recently claimed he would’ve had the better NBA career if he had benefit of playing with Shaquille O’Neal like Wade did.
Heat fans really started a "Paul Pierce sucks" chant in Dwyane Wade's last home game pic.twitter.com/gXT7rBda4v
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 10, 2019
Nothing like a little NBA drama on the way out the door.
Dallas legend Dirk Nowitzki played the last home game of his Mavericks career. He teared up after the team played a video tribute to him for everything he did for charity during his 20 years in Dallas.
Dirk couldn’t hold back tears after the Mavs played a tribute video for him during the game 😢pic.twitter.com/0Dh8WxDPFY
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) April 10, 2019
Nowitzki gave the home fans something to smile about as he scored the first 10 points of the game for the Mavs. He ended the night with 30.
Dirk with his first 30 point performance since 2016.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 10, 2019
Dallas beat Phoenix, 120-109.
Up and down Dukes
It’s been a mixed bag week for Duquesne’s basketball team. The Dukes got word on Sunday that Former Dukes All-American Chuck Cooper (1947-50) was named to the 2019 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
But the school also found out leading scorer Eric Williams plans to transfer. And according to CBS Sports college basketball analyst John Rothstein, there is a lot of interest from high major schools
Duquesne transfer Eric Williams tells me he's receiving interest from Houston, Iowa State, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, Seton Hall, Xavier, and UConn. Averaged 14.0 PPG and 7.6 RPG.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 9, 2019
Brandon Wade and Gavin Bizeau also entered the transfer portal.