Thursday, May 30, 2024

Everything to know about the 2024 NFL Draft; Heat upset Celtics in Game 2

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🏈 Good morning to everyone but especially …


At long last, the 2024 NFL Draft has arrived. Tonight, the lives of 32 young men change, and that’s a huge win for everyone involved.

 Which 32 will it be, though? Draft expert Chris Trapasso has been studying and writing about this draft for the last year-plus. Now, his final mock has arrived. Here are his top five:

  1. Bears: QB Caleb Williams
  2. Commanders: QB Jayden Daniels
  3. Patriots: QB Drake Maye
  4. Cardinals: WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
  5. Giants (via mock trade with Chargers): QB J.J. McCarthy

I love Chris’ fifth pick. The Giants moving up just one spot hasn’t been popularly mocked, but it could end up making a ton of sense.

We’ve talked a lot about the top of the draft. That’s where the biggest names go, after all. But there are great players further down. Here are some of Chris’ later picks I liked:

  • 9. Bears: WR Rome Odunze
  • 11. Vikings: QB Bo Nix
  • 12. Broncos: EDGE Dallas Turner
  • 22 Eagles: CB Terrion Arnold
  • 25. Packers: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry
  • 28. Bills: WR Adonai Mitchell

Dave Richard has a Fantasy-focused mock as well.

Keep two things in mind: We will get surprises, and we will get trades. It’s tough to predict surprises — that’s why they’re surprises — but some trades we might see coming. Jared Dubin has teams that could trade into or out of Round 1, including …

  • Dubin: “The Cardinals already have two first-round picks thanks to last year’s trade that netted Will Anderson Jr. for the Texans, but with so much ammo to move up and down the board, you can’t rule out them pursuing even a third selection on Day 1. What if they can come out of Thursday night with a top wide receiver, a starting center, and a potential No. 1 cornerback or pass rusher? That would be hard to pass up.”

OK, now (finally) rounding out the pre-draft rumors and news:

👍 Honorable mentions

😳 And not such a good morning for …


Getty Images


Don’t panic, Celtics fans. It’s only one game. But if it gives you déjà vu, I understand. Powered by a historic shooting night, the Heat pulled off a 111-101 stunner in Boston to even the series at one and steal home-court advantage from the league’s top team. Miami was a 14.5-point underdog.

  • Miami made a franchise playoff-record 23 3-pointers, and did so at a 51% clip on 45 attempts. Five different players made at least three 3-pointers, tying an NBA playoff record.
  • Tyler Herro (24 points, 14 assists, five 3-pointers) became the first Miami player with 10+ assists and five or more 3-pointers in a playoff game. Caleb Martin (21 points) went five for six from deep. Bam Adebayo had 21 points and 10 rebounds and helped hold Kristaps Porzingis to a playoff career-low six points.
  • Erik Spoelstra put on another coaching masterclass; he’s 10-3 in Game 2s after losing Game 1.
  • Oh yeah, and Miami did this without Jimmy Butler, Terry Rozier and Josh Richardson.
  • Shaquille O’Neal predicted the upset and the margin, and Butler trolled Jaylen Brown on Instagram.

No, the Heat won’t shoot this well every night. But just last year, a short-handed Miami squad got heroic efforts from Adebayo and Martin to beat Boston in the Eastern Conference finals.

This year’s Celtics team is a year older, a year wiser and much, much better. But issues with the late-game offense — one field goal over the final 5:53 — aren’t encouraging, and now there’s a seed of doubt. And against Miami, that’s a scary thing.

👎 Not so honorable mentions

🏈 Tee Higgins, Trey Hendrickson request trade from Bengals 



Ahead of a crucial draft and season, two Bengals stars want out. Tee Higgins reiterated he wants to be traded, and Trey Hendrickson requested a trade as well.

The team reportedly has no plans of moving either.

Let’s start with Higgins, who requested a trade back in March but earlier this month said he anticipates playing with Cincinnati. He’s set to play the 2024 season on the franchise tag, and the lack of talks regarding a long-term deal since last offseason has irked the 25-year-old wide receiver.

  • Higgins is coming off an injury-derailed 2023, but had at least 900 yards receiving and six touchdowns in each of his first three seasons in the NFL, forming arguably the league’s best wide receiver duo alongside Ja’Marr Chase.
  • It’s Chase, however, who might be in the way of a long-term deal for Higgins. Cincy coincidentally picked up Chase’s fifth-year option — setting the stage for a huge extension — Wednesday, the same day Higgins reiterated his intentions.
  • Josh Edwards has potential landing spots for Higgins if a trade materializes.

Hendrickson, meanwhile, is coming off a franchise-record 17.5 sacks, and since he joined Cincinnati in 2021, only T.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, Nick Bosa and Micah Parsons have more sacks. Hendrickson is an elite pass rusher, but even after negotiating an extension last year, he’s just 11th at the position in terms of average annual value. Here are potential landing spots.

With Joe Burrow‘s massive extension set to kick in in 2025 and Chase not far behind (assuming he gets a big deal), there’s a ton of financial pressure for Cincinnati to win big this year. For now, the Bengals have two unhappy campers stuck where they are.

🏈 Lions sign Amon-Ra St. Brown, Penei Sewell long-term



In stark contrast to the Bengals, the Lions locked up a star wide receiver and a star lineman on draft eve. Amon-Ra St. Brown signed a four-year, $120-million extension that includes a wide receiver-record $77 million guaranteed, and Penei Sewell signed a four-year, $112 million extension that makes him the league’s highest-paid offensive lineman.

St. Brown, 24, is a slot maven who can also win from the outside, a perfect fit alongside quarterback Jared Goff and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. In 2023, St. Brown finished with the third-most receptions (119) and fourth-most receiving yards (1,515) in a season in Lions history and received First-Team All-Pro honors. Over the past two seasons, only Tyreek Hill and CeeDee Lamb have more receptions. The Lions smartly got this deal done early — St. Brown has a year left on his rookie deal — before Chase and Justin Jefferson reset the wide receiver market.

Sewell, 23, is a franchise cornerstone at tackle. He allowed just one sack last season, and when rushing right (Sewell’s side), the Lions averaged 4.9 yards per carry, second in the NFL.

The present and the future remain exceedingly bright in Detroit.

📺 What we’re watching Thursday

🏀 Game 3: Cavaliers at Magic, 7 p.m. on NBA TV
🏒 Game 3: Panthers at Lightning, 7 p.m. on TBS
🏀 Game 3: Knicks at 76ers, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏒 Game 3: Hurricanes at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2
🏈 NFL Draft, 8 p.m. on ABC/ESPN/NFL Network
🏀 Game 3: Nuggets at Lakers, 10 p.m. on TNT

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