2021 NFL draft: Round 3 instant grades

1) Jacksonville Jaguars: S Andre Cisco, Syracuse — Cisco is a gambler with a serious nose for the ball (13 interceptions in 24 college games). He can be undisciplined and is still rehabbing a torn ACL from last fall. If he learns a little patience and play recognition, Cisco could be a very interesting addition to a revamped Jacksonville secondary. Grade: C+.

2) Minnesota Vikings: QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M — An interesting dart throw here, as Mond brings experience (44 college starts), athleticism and a strong arm. The problem? He rarely showed much consistency or improvement since 2018. But perhaps a change of scenery will help take his game to the next level. This Colin Kaepernick-ish talent is a sneaky option to steal Kirk Cousins’ job one day. Grade: B-.

3) Houston Texans: QB Davis Mills, Stanford — Mills, unlike Mond, is highly inexperienced — only 11 college starts. But there was enough intrigue in those starts over the past two years to interest teams in this range. Mills once was rated higher as a recruit than Tua Tagovailoa, so he has talent. But injuries and the inability to beat out K.J. Costello in 2019 mar his ledger. With Deshaun Watson’s status in limbo, Houston adds another QB. Grade: C+.

4) Atlanta Falcons: OT Jaylen Mayfield, Michigan — We see Mayfield fitting in well inside for Atlanta. He played tackle at Michigan and offered some real promise in his smaller sample size of play. Mayfield was never quite the dominator some expected in Ann Arbor, but his mean streak could really play inside in time. We like Mayfield’s upside more than some others do. Nice pick here. Grade: B+.

5) Cincinnati Bengals: EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas — Great value here from the Bengals. They added Trey Hendrickson in free agency and now get Ossai, an all-gas-no-brakes rusher with great length and athletic upside who really rounded into form after a position switch before his bowl game in 2019. Ossai needs pass-rush refinement, but he is the type of player who will not fail because of effort. He’s a relentless worker and a humble young man — the kind of kid you root for. Grade: B+.

6) Carolina Panthers (from Philadelphia Eagles): OT Brady Christensen, BYU — An older rookie who turns 25 in September, Christensen benefitted from Zach Wilson’s breakout season to cast a lot of scouting eyes on this smoother-moving pass protector. Christensen is light and lacks great length, but his durability (38 straight starts) and reliability factors can’t go overlooked. Grade: C.

7) New York Giants (from Denver Broncos): CB Aaron Robinson, UCF — A tough-minded nickel, Robinson will play with his hair on fire and battle with every slot receiver who dares try to cross his face. He’s got a smaller frame, doesn’t have great hands is a bit on the older side (turning 24 this fall), and Robinson might not be an option outside. But he’s a fantastic competitor who will take on all comers. Grade: B-.

8) Detroit Lions: DT Alim McNeill, N.C. State — Detroit is beefing up this weekend. McNeill is a smaller-framed nose tackle who lacks great length or mass, but he possesses intriguing athletic traits to be an interior disruptor. His power and quickness are unusual, and he teams with Levi Onwuzurike to give the Lions some new blood and depth on the defensive line. Grade: C+.

9) Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina Panthers): DT Milton Williams, Louisiana Tech — Williams destroyed his pro day with an absurd workout, and it’s nearly impossible to find a comp for his body style and traits — maybe Solomon Thomas is close? Williams is a tweener but could be an interior penetrator who wins with effort and burst. Can he add weight? He’s a bit on the light side and might need to be slanted into gaps to be effective. Grade: C+.

10) Washington Football Team: CB Benjamin St-Juste, Minnesota — A long corner who is best in press coverage and can add to a pretty solid secondary. At 6-3 with 33-inch arms, St-Juste can lock with bigger receivers but is taxed by great speed. He’ll need some time to adjust to the quickness of the NFL game and has a leaner build but is an interesting long-game play. Grade: C-.

11) Dallas Cowboys: DT Osa Odighizuwa, UCLA — His older brother played for the Giants, but now he’s with their rivals in Dallas. Odighizuwa is an undersized 3-technique who can make up for his lack of height with 34-inch arms, but he was up and down in his career with the Bruins despite playing a lot the past three seasons. He’s not a special specimen but has impressive flashes and could be solid in a rotation. Grade: C.

12) New Orleans Saints (from Denver Broncos): CB Paulson Adebo— Had he played last season, Adebo had a chance to make a run at the top 40 or 50 picks, we suspect. His ball production (34 pass breakups, eight picks in 22 games) is pretty shocking. Adebo had some hiccups in man coverage and could use some technique refinement, but there is a talent here waiting to be developed. The Saints needed a corner and they found one. Grade: B.

13) Los Angeles Chargers: WR Josh Palmer, Tennessee — We low-key love this pick and love what the Chargers are doing. Palmer suffered from horrific QB play with the Vols, but he had some great tape against the strong secondaries of Alabama and Georgia (beating first-rounder Patrick Surtain II and second-rounder Tyson Campbell for TDs last season). Palmer isn’t a burner, but he has natural separation ability. He’ll give Justin Herbert a nice weapon for the next several years. Grade: B.

14) Minnesota Vikings: LB Chazz Surratt, North Carolina — A converted QB (who started seven games there as a freshman for the Tar Heels), Surratt made the highly unusual QB-to-LB change and acquitted himself really well for the most part. Missed tackles remain a bugaboo, and he’s still learning the trade of his new role. But Surratt is a terrific athlete with hair-on-fire intensity and great traits who should at the very least be a star on special teams and likely will carve out a role on defense. Grade: B-.

15) Las Vegas Raiders (from Arizona Cardinals): EDGE Malcolm Koonce, Buffalo — Pretty rich here for us, but Koonce is a revved-up rusher with a physical style of play. Could he be the next Maxx Crosby? Maybe, but that feels like a stretch to us now. Koonce’s lack of bulk and length could hinder him against longer tackle, and his play can be sloppy and unrefined at times. Grade: D+.

16) Las Vegas Raiders: S Divine Deablo, Virginia Tech — A makeup selection here by the Raiders. Deablo really grew on us during the draft process, making plays all over the field as a king-sized safety. It appears he’ll be moved to weakside linebacker in Las Vegas, and it’s a good spot for him to unleash his speed and hard-nosed attitude. He also will be a special-teams demon and could be a team captain in time with his no-nonsense approach. Grade: B.

17) Miami Dolphins: TE Hunter Long, Boston College — Brian Flores taps his alma mater for a tight end who made some circus grabs last season and who competes well as a run-blocker. Long has a natural feel for finding soft spots in the defense and using his body to shield defenders with his above-average athleticism. He needs work as a pass-blocker and never will be a true people-mover in the run game but is a strong TE2 with starter potential in time. Grade: B-.

18) Washington Football Team: WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina — We’re a bit surprised to see Brown still on the board even though we had him at No. 63 overall. Brown is a speed merchant with a lean frame and a passing tree that will need to be expanded. But he can fly and gives Ryan Fitzpatrick a 9-ball target to add another dimension to this offense. His best football might be ahead of him. Grade: A+.

19) Carolina Panthers (from Chicago Bears): TE Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame — We’re getting a bit excited about some of the Panthers’ options on offense. They lacked a quality receiving option at tight end last season and could have a sleeper in Tremble, who was not targeted much but showed some surprising skill in his limited opportunities. And even if he never develops into a great pass-catcher, Tremble already is a top-shelf blocker who can line up in-line, as a wing, or as a fullback. A fun, useful player for Joe Brady’s offense. Grade: B-.

20) Dallas Cowboys (from Indianapolis Colts via Philadelphia Eagles): EDGE Chauncey Golston, Iowa — More defensive help for Dallas in Golston, a hard-nosed end with great length and some power to his game. When moving in a straight line, Golston looks pretty quick at times. But when asked to change direction and turn the corner, he looks stiff. A base end with rotational value. Not an exciting pick, but he could carve out a solid career. Grade: C+.

21) Green Bay Packers (from Tennessee Titans): WR Amari Rodgers, Clemson — Cue the A. Rodgers/wide receiver jokes here. The 5-9, 210-pound Rodgers is a squarely built slot receiver in a running back’s body who took his game to another level in 2020 as Trevor Lawrence’s best receiving option. Rodgers might never be a star, but like Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery before him, he fits Green Bay’s profile and could be tried as a receiver or possibly a back. He plays hard, has sneaky quickness and speed and could be a really useful addition. Grade: B+.

22) Minnesota Vikings: OG Wyatt Davis, Ohio State — The Vikings are good at the draft. Davis is the son of the actor who played Alvin Mack in “The Program” and a gritty performer with some real strength in his play. Although he’s likely a guard only, Minnesota found itself a strong-handed blocker who blocks out pain and plays hurt. He’s not special athletically and didn’t dominate in 2020 like he did in 2019, but Davis has a lot of admirable traits to carve out a nice career. Grade: B.

23) Pittsburgh Steelers: OG Kendrick Green, Illinois — Pittsburgh’s first two picks look better now that they landed what likely is their starting center in 2021 this late in the process. Green has played guard and center and moves extremely well in tight quarters, making up for his lack of ideal length and textbook power. He’s a riser who could be a sleeper. Grade: B-.

24) San Francisco 49ers (from Los Angeles Rams): RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State — Interesting move here, with the Niners moving up for Sermon. He could grab a starting role before long in San Francisco as a really intriguing fit in their inside- and outside-zone scheme. Sermon has power and surprising burst that was on display in a brilliant Big Ten title game, as well as at various other points at both Oklahoma and Ohio State. What held him back were consistency and health. Fantasy folks, keep an eye on this match. Grade: B-.

25) Houston Texans (from Carolina Panthers): WR Nico Collins, Michigan — We actually mocked Collins to Houston in the second round previously, so this is good value here. Collins profiles as a potentially better pro than college player if he can fully harness his rare gifts. He might be best used as a big-bodied deep and intermediate threat, lacking great short-area separation. But Collins can thrive with good QB play. Does Houston have that if Deshaun Watson is not around? Grade: B.

26) Minnesota Vikings (from Baltimore Ravens): EDGE Patrick Jones II, Pittsburgh — Going before his Panthers teammate Rashad Weaver surprises us a bit, but Jones does have some solid virtues. He plays hard, has some good linear burst and brings some leadership qualities to his new team. But there is a blind-dog-in-a-meathouse quality to his game. With better recognition and savvy in his play, Jones could be a nice rotational rusher. Grade: C.

27) Cleveland Browns (from New Orleans Saints): WR Anthony Schwartz, Auburn — Perhaps the fastest man in the draft, Schwartz was robbed of a chance to make a run at the NFL combine 40 record. He ran a 4.25 at his pro day, which is as fast as it sounds, but Schwartz was more urban legend in college than reliable weapon. We considered him for our top 100 prospects list, but ultimately his body of work was just a little too lean. Injuries held him back, as did a lack of development as a well-rounded receiver. Right now he’s a big-play specialist with home-run ability who might never be a full-time contributor. Grade: C-.

28) Tennessee Titans (from Green Bay Packers): LB Monty Rice, Georgia — Just missing our top 100, Rice has a smallish frame to play the middle in the NFL. But he is surprisingly strong and athletic and hits like a truck. Rice is hit or miss in coverage and lacks the ability to be a stack-and-shed linebacker who can sort through the trash effectively, so the challenge will be to find the right role for him. Grade: C+.

29) Buffalo Bills: OT Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa — A long, shockingly athletic left tackle, Brown will struggle with power and can be knocked back too easily. But his light feet, stunning length (6-8 with nearly 35-inch arms) and strong effort are all traits you typically don’t find at the end of Round 3. When FCS canceled football in the fall, several big-name programs tried to vulture him as a transfer; Brown, however, stayed loyal to UNI. Keep an eye on this guy if he can learn to anchor. Grade: B-.

30) Baltimore Ravens (from Kansas City Chiefs): OG Ben Cleveland, Georgia — A massive-framed bar room bouncer with surprising athletic traits, Cleveland is headed to … well, Baltimore. Geographic confusion aside, he’s a brawny battler in the run game and a question mark as a pass blocker. A few teams we spoke with about Cleveland worried about his medical evaluation, with a slew of injuries in his past. But as a power-blocking guard, you can do a lot worse. Grade: C.

31) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from San Francisco 49ers): OT Robert Hainsey, Notre Dame — A possible five-position backup, Hainsey has strong intangibles and quality technique that could make him a 10-year pro. He played right tackle for the Irish, but his lack of length likely would push him inside more naturally. Some teams considered him a developmental center, where his smarts would pay off and his bump-and-steer style could work well. Grade: C+.

32) New England Patriots (compensatory): EDGE Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma — This is one of our favorite Day 2 picks. Perkins in no way, shape or form should be going this late. A failed drug test and a so-so pro-day workout likely led to his fall, but this value is absurd. In the Patriots’ system, he might need to learn to play on his feet, but Perkins has pass-rush juice with a great long-arm go-to move and can develop into a really good player in time. Grade: A.

33) Los Angeles Chargers (compensatory): TE Tre' McKitty, Georgia — This is the first Chargers pick we haven’t loved. McKitty showed some intriguing pass-receiving ability at Florida State but wasn’t featured at all in his grad transfer year at UGA (six catches on 10 targets in seven games). He’s a functional blocker and pass-catcher with some juice after the catch. But it’s a bit steep to take a reserve tight end at this stage. Grade: C-.

34) Denver Broncos (compensatory): C Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater — Lloyd Cushenberry struggled as a rookie starter in Denver — could Meinerz supplant him? If not, he could be tried at guard, which was the position he played in college. The self-made player lost his senior season but put on a show at the Senior Bowl with great one-on-ones against big-school defenders. He’s tough and nasty and very smart. Meinerz should have gone sooner, we suspect. Grade: B+.

35) Dallas Cowboys (compensatory): CB Nahshon Wright, Oregon State — A shockingly long corner (over 6-foot-4) but painfully lean (182 pounds) corner who opened eyes in two years after a junior college stint. Wright works well as a press-man corner and could be effective in the Cowboys’ cover-3 looks, but he’s still raw and too easily pushed around if receivers can get off his jam. Grade: C-.

36) Tennessee Titans (compensatory): CB Elijah Molden, Washington — We amend our Ronnie Perkins/Patriots statement. This could be our favorite Day 2 pick. Molden is small and not especially fast for his size, but we don’t care one bit. His highly competitive and instinctive style will work one way or another in the NFL, certainly on special teams but either as a nickel or a safety on defense. He will outplay his draft standing. Grade: A+.

37) Detroit Lions (compensatory): CB Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse — Another shock, Melifonwu should have come off the board before now. His length and athletic traits are top-50 worthy, even if Melifonwu needs to start turning his pass breakups into interceptions. Still, he’s a rare specimen to find at this stage of the draft and a fine addition for Detroit at this point. Grade: A.

38) San Francisco 49ers (compensatory): CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan — A favorite of ours, Thomas’ past health worries and his opt-out season were the only thing keeping him out of our top 100 prospects. He’s not all that thick or long, which makes him a slightly curious fit for the 49ers’ system. But his tenacious approach, physicality and competitiveness are infectious. He’s also got the ideal temperament for special teams duty. Grade: C+.

39) Los Angeles Rams (compensatory): LB Ernest Jones, South Carolina — Turn on the LSU game and you see a player who is full-tilt toward finding the ball and delivering a message. Jones is a big hitter with strong football instincts and a player who never gives up on the ball. He’s not special in coverage, has had some injuries and will overrun some plays, but Jones could be a defensive leader in time. Grade: C+.

40) Baltimore Ravens (compensatory): CB Brandon Stephens, SMU — A converted running back at UCLA, Stephens moved to the defensive backfield at SMU and showed some intriguing ability after changing positions. He got his hands on some passes over the past two seasons and will make receivers remember him with his hard-tackling style. But Stephens might need to move to safety to unlock his best potential, likely as a box defender who can cover the slot and match tight ends and backs. Grade: C-.

41) Denver Broncos (compensatory): LB Baron Browning, Ohio State — Really nice pick here. Browning is still more strapping athlete than refined linebacker. But his blitzing ability and pursuit skill make him a fascinating projection. Can he show enough instinct for Vic Fangio? That’s the question, but we are bullish on his upside. Browning took a while to develop with the Buckeyes but has some real ability that can be further unlocked. Grade: B.

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Australia amenaza con la cárcel para los nacionales que regresen desde India

Sídney (Australia), 1 may. (EFE).- Los australianos que hayan permanecido en India durante los últimos 14 días y regresen a su país desde este lunes, cuando entra en vigor la prohibición de retorno, se podrían enfrentar a una condena de hasta 5 años de cárcel y una multa, advirtió el gobierno del país oceánico.

El ministro del Tesoro, Josh Frydenberg, defendió este sábado ante los medios locales la "drástica" decisión adoptada anoche por el Ejecutivo con el objetivo de "mantener a salvo a los australianos" dentro del país.

Aquellos que se salten la orden temporal serán acusados de vulnerar la Ley de Bioseguridad, penada con hasta 5 años de prisión y multas de hasta 66.000 dólares australianos (casi 51.000 dólares estadounidenses o más de 42.350 euros).

Según el canal público ABC, esta es la primera vez que las autoridades australianas prohíben a sus ciudadanos regresar al país.

Frydenberg aseguró que actúan siguiendo los consejos de sus expertos médicos y ante la "grave" situación en India, epicentro actual de la pandemia de la covid-19 y donde ayer se superaron los 380.000 nuevos casos diarios.

"Nuestros corazones están con la gente de India y la comunidad indio-australiana. Los amigos y familia de aquellos que están en Australia se encuentran en riego extremo. Tragicamente, muchos de ellos contraen la covid-19 y muchos, desgraciadamente, mueren cada día", apuntó en un comunicado el ministro de Salud, Greg Hunt.

El gobierno de Australia, país que cuentan con unos 9.000 nacionales en India, ya suspendió la conexión aérea con el país asiático y revisará la medida el próximo 15 de mayo, además de comprometerse a enviar ayuda sanitaria de urgencia.

Australia cerró sus fronteras internacionales -salvo para vuelos humanitarios y otras excepciones- al principio de la pandemia y solo permite viajar a sus ciudadanos a Nueva Zelanda, con quien ha implementado una burbuja aérea.

Todos los australianos que quieran regresar al país se han visto obligados a guardar una larga lista de espera ante la escasez de habitaciones habilitadas para guardar las dos semanas de aislamiento obligatorias.

El país, que prácticamente ya ha retornado a la normalidad, suma desde el inicio de la pandemia 29.801 casos, incluidos 910 fallecidos, la mayoría durante el brote de mediados de 2020 en Melbourne vinculado a una serie de fallos en los centros de cuarentena.

(c) Agencia EFE

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126-104. Ante los Hawks, Simmons, Embiid y Harris encabezan el ataque balanceado de los Sixers

Filadelfia (EE.UU.), 30 abr (EFE).- La gran labor de equipo que protagonizaron el base australiano Ben Simmons, el pívot camerunés Joel Embiid, y el alero Tobias Harris, con 18 puntos cada uno, permitió a los Philadelphia Sixers ganar con facilidad por 126-104 a los Atlanta Hawks y conseguir el tercer triunfo consecutivo.

Pero sería el veterano pívot Dwight Howard, que salió de reserva, el que se convirtiese en factor sorpresa ganador y sexto jugador al conseguir un doble-doble de 19 puntos y 11 rebotes como líder dentro de la pintura.

El poder de Howard, exjugador de los Hawks, permitió a los Sixers ganarlos por segundo partido consecutivo y se colocaron con marca global de 42-21, la segunda mejor de la Conferencia Este, a medio juego de los Brooklyn Nets (43-21) que son líderes, a pesar que perdieron de locales 109-128 ante los Portland Trail Blazers.

El base Trae Young anotó 32 puntos en su regreso después de una ausencia de cuatro partidos debido a una lesión en el tobillo, y el pívot suizo Clint Capela aportó un doble-doble de 11 puntos y 15 rebotes como líderes del equipo de Atlanta.

Pero los Hawks (34-30) perdieron el tercer partido consecutivo, y se quedaron en el quinto lugar de la Conferencia Este, empatados con los Boston Celtics, y medio juego de ventaja sobre el Miami Heat, que descanso, en la lucha por el liderato de la División Sudeste.

Los 76ers probablemente estarán tristes de ver a los Hawks irse de la ciudad.

Además de las victorias, los dos partidos contra Atlanta le dieron a Embiid, Simmons y otros titulares clave un descanso adicional cuando no fueron necesarios en el último cuarto. También proporcionó minutos adicionales a los jugadores reservas de los Sixers.

Los Sixers derrotaron a Atlanta 122-83 el miércoles por la noche en Filadelfia cuando se aseguraron un lugar en los playoffs por cuarta temporada consecutiva.

El entrenador de los Hawks, Nate McMillan, habló antes del concurso del viernes sobre la necesidad de su equipo de salir con energía y urgencia en la revancha.

Los Hawks lo hicieron al anotar 13 de los primeros 15 puntos para tomar una ventaja inicial de 11, pero los Sixers superaron a Atlanta 21-13 en los últimos 7:21 minutos que les dieron un parcial de 26-23 al concluir el periodo.

Filadelfia tomó el control en el segundo cuarto. Harris y Simmons hicieron mates contundentes en un período de dominio de los Sixers, que superaron a Atlanta 42-20 para subir 65-46 en el descanso. Filadelfia acertó 15 de 28 tiros en el cuarto, mientras que Atlanta falló 14 de 19.

(c) Agencia EFE

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5-3. Bieber poncha a once y estable marca en el triunfo de los Indios sobre los Medias Blancas

Chicago (EE.UU.), 30 abr (EFE).- El abridor Shane Bieber ponchó a 11 bateadores, estableciendo récord de Grandes Ligas y llevando a los Indios de Cleveland a un triunfo por 5-3 sobre los Medias Blancas de Chicago.

Bieber (3-2) abanicó al menos a ocho por decimoctava ocasión consecutiva, rompiendo un empate por la marca establecida por el miembro del Salón de la Fama Randy Johnson en 1999-2000.

Bieber cedió tres carreras y siete hits, y dio una base por bolas en seis entradas. El actual ganador del premio Cy Young de la Liga Americana ha abanicado 68 en seis aperturas este año, y ponchó al menos a 11 en cinco de esos juegos.

El antesalista dominicano José Ramírez (7) conectó jonrón solitario en el octavo episodio contra la serpentina del relevo Evan Marshall, solitario, con un out en la entrada.

La derrota la cargó el abridor Dallas Keuchel (1-1) en seis episodios.

(c) Agencia EFE

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NFL draft: The impact picks for fantasy football

ALLEN ROBINSON IS FREED!!!

I’m not sure there was a bigger winner than Allen Robinson on draft night.

The stud receiver was faced with another season of dealing with below-average quarterback play after Andy Dalton was placed as the Bears’ starter. Thankfully, it was not to be Robinson's destiny. The long-suffering franchise reversed course and traded up for Justin Fields.

For the first time in his football life, Allen Robinson will be paired with a quarterback who can match his skills. This is quite literally a football miracle.

Sure, could Fields go the way of other “promising” young passers tethered to Robinson — like Blake Bortles and Mitchell Trubisky — and just not work out? It’s possible. However, Fields has a superior arm and is far more accurate than either of those two. He’s also been a huge success and winner at a major college program. You can’t check any of those positive boxes with the other two.

Bortles and Trubisky profiled as huge reaches and obvious risks the moment they were drafted. Fields profiles as a guy who was undervalued where the Bears got him. It’s as simple as that.

You can slam Matt Nagy for plenty of things during his time as the Bears’ head coach. However, I give him a lot of credit for the way he’s used Robinson. He doesn’t just use him as an ISO X-receiver on deep routes. He moves Robinson into the slot and creates mismatches on layup routes.

Now imagine those plays with Fields delivering the ball.

We’ve seen Robinson scrap to keep his fantasy floor afloat with the Bears’ mess at quarterback the last two years. He finished as WR11 and WR12. With Justin Fields in the fold ... you can argue he joins the clear top-10 tier along with guys like Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown, Calvin Ridley, etc.

This has been a long time coming. And it rocks.

The Eagles finally get it right at WR

Howie Roseman was on about as cold of a streak one could possibly be on when it came to drafting wide receivers the last couple of seasons.

He got it right this time.

The Eagles traded up — with the Cowboys of all teams — to leap the Giants and get DeVonta Smith. Not only is this yet another heartwarming reunion of college passer and receiver, but it’s also a safe pick. And yes, that’s even considering the lack of history of a player with Smith’s size profile.

When the Eagles passed up on Justin Jefferson last year, I’m sure their process was going for upside over instant impact. The process was wrong and flawed at the time but that’s likely the way they saw it. Jalen Reagor was a speed receiver who could bring a big-play element to a vertically challenged offense. Jefferson was the guy everyone knew would be a ready-made pro on Day 1. Again, the Eagles and anyone who thought like that underestimated Jefferson but that’s likely the way they saw it.

This time around, they took the craftsman; the player who knows how to run routes like a pro, and just get open. You can see that all over Smith’s film. I’d bet he’s ready to start from the jump in the NFL; he’s that kind of technician. And few teams needed instant impact at the position more than Philadelphia.

The big winner for me here, though, is Jalen Hurts. He didn’t have anything close to a layup guy in this offense prior to Thursday night. With Smith’s easy separation skills, he has a much better shot at leading an offense that can matriculate down the field, not just hit sporadic big plays.

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: DeVonta Smith poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected 10th by the Philadelphia Eagles during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: DeVonta Smith poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell onstage after being selected 10th by the Philadelphia Eagles during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

I get the Bengals’ logic in taking Ja’Marr Chase

With Jonah Williams and Riley Reiff in place, the Bengals' biggest offensive line weakness is in the interior. With that in mind, I get why they passed on an offensive tackle at fifth-overall.

I can especially understand their logic in doing it for Ja’Marr Chase.

Chase is the missing piece in their skill position room. The Bengals had a pair of strong No. 2 wide receivers in Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins but were sorely lacking a true X-receiver. That was apparent in their complete inability to push the ball downfield in 2020 even when Joe Burrow was healthy. Vertical routes and contested passes downfield are the strength of Chase’s game.

For all the folks that demand they “protect Joe Burrow,” if you don’t think it was Burrow himself lobbying for the team to select Chase, you’re nuts. Maybe he doesn’t know what’s truly in his best interest, but I might default to his own understanding over the public’s view.

Chase makes the Bengals offense much more efficient the day he walks into the building. The Bengals officially have a unit that’s an advantage; a true strength on offense now. They didn’t have that last year. And they wouldn’t have had it if they had taken someone other than Chase at No. 5.

The Falcons offense is going to be fun

The coach who orchestrated one of the NFL’s most efficient offenses in the NFL the last two years just got another toy to play with.

Arthur Smith’s Falcons added Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall pick, and they didn’t just add an all-world talent — they signaled they’re going to go as hard as possible to make the next two years with Matt Ryan as fruitful as they can.

Atlanta has all the talent available to do just that.

With Round 1 of the draft in the rearview mirror and the Falcons’ “win-now” mode on full display, I’m betting Julio Jones isn’t traded. So, Jones will reprise his role as the running mate to emerging star Calvin Ridley. With Pitts, that trio is one of the more dynamic pass-catching corps in the league already.

I bet Atlanta isn’t done either. This team could add a rookie runner with more juice over the next two days. We should be hyped about this potential top-five offense going into 2021.

Daniel Jones has it all ... almost

Kenny Golladay is an excellent vertical route-runner who can win as a true X-receiver.

Darius Slayton has turned out to be a real steal as a No. 2 receiver.

Sterling Shepard is a rock-solid slot receiver.

Kadarius Toney is downright dangerous after the catch.

Saquon Barkley should reprise his role as a workhorse back.

Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph form a strong tight end room.

That is about as good as it gets when it comes to a skill-position group. Not only is it filled with much more quality than it was this time last year, but there’s a truly enviable diversity to the weapons they have.

Daniel Jones has been volatile, at best, to start his NFL career. The Giants haven’t exactly neglected the receiver corps prior to 2021 but they went all-in on making this a top-five unit the last few months.

It’s not dissimilar to what the Bills did with Josh Allen last year. Will the results be the same? History would tell us it’s a thin bet. Allen didn’t just get a boost from his new receiver corps, he made dramatic improvement as an individual player. Oh, and he got an additional assist from one of the most progressive offensive play-callers in the NFL.

In New York, Jason Garrett is decidedly not that.

Conflicted on Najee Harris

On one hand, I admire the Steelers doing anything to fix their miserable run game. It’s just difficult to make the case getting that much-needed upgrade at running back is enough.

Najee Harris is an awesome talent who reminds me a lot of Steven Jackson. But he’ll have to display that ability behind an offensive line that has fallen off a cliff the last two years. The Steelers starting five is one of the roughest looking groups on paper.

There’s also the question of just how healthy an offensive environment Pittsburgh is beyond the line questions. Ben Roethlisberger has to be one of the biggest unknowns in football right now. The last signs we saw from him were not good.

Some of these questions definitely have me bearish about the early discussions about Harris being an instant top-15 running back in fantasy football.

Dolphins are suddenly explosive

Here are the players that caught a pass from Tua Tagovailoa during a December 2020 win over the New England Patriots:

Here’s who he’ll get to work with Week 2 (Thanks, Will) of this season:

  • Will Fuller

  • DeVante Parker

  • Jaylen Waddle

  • Mike Gesicki

  • Preston Williams

  • Lynn Bowden Jr.

  • Jakeem Grant

  • Albert Wilson

Obviously, everyone after Gesicki are “maybes” to be involved at that point but the top-four alone illustrates the concept. It’s hard to overstate what a dramatic makeover Miami has given Tua’s supporting cast.

Fuller and Waddle are two of the fastest players in the NFL. Parker is a vertical threat because of his contested-catch ability. Gesicki is an athletic specimen in his own right.

Tua didn’t let the deep ball fly nearly enough as a rookie. He'll have reason to let that thing loose in 2021.

Jaguars offense might be a decent value

James Robinson backers surely felt crushed by the selection of Travis Etienne at the Jaguars’ second first-round pick. The rest us of just saw yet another piece of evidence in making the case that Jacksonville might be a sneaky value offense in 2021.

Etienne might be a murky pick on his own in fantasy but he certainly adds juice to this backfield. Don’t rule out him gaining value as the year goes on, eventually usurping two veterans on the depth chart completely — recall the once-buried Alvin Kamara from his rookie year. The receiver corps was already underrated with DJ Chark ready to rebound, Marvin Jones bringing steady play, and LaViska Shenault set to take the next step.

As long as Trevor Lawrence is what he’s cracked up to be, this offense could light up scoreboards next year.

Now, they might be doing it down 10-plus points in the fourth quarter but fake footballers aren’t bothered by such scripts.

Mac Jones doesn’t move the fantasy needle

The Patriots shelled out a lot of cash in free agency to improve their roster. The tight end combination is appealing but it would be hard to argue they’re anything more than just average at wide receiver or running back.

It would have taken an out-of-structure, run-first type of quarterback like Justin Fields to make the Patriots’ offense appealing for fantasy treasure-diving. Mac Jones might be a great pro in the long-term but he’s not going to move the needle here as a rookie.

The Chargers hit a homerun

Los Angeles hasn’t done the flashy things that teams like the Giants have done for their young franchise quarterback. But their approach might be the better one.

Just like when they added Corey Linsley during the opening of free agency, the Chargers continued quietly going about their business in building upon their biggest weakness on Thursday night. Their selection of Rashawn Slater adds a quality option at tackle to plug a hole that’s been leaking for way too long. Justin Herbert has every chance for a strong encore to his dominant rookie year.

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Chris Jericho On WWE Failing To Make New Stars: “That's On You!”

Chris Jericho appeared on Busted Open Radio to discuss all things All Elite Wrestling. During the interview Jericho revealed there have been some backstage changes to AEW’s creative process.

“We have a production meeting now before the show that really wasn’t happening a lot,” Jericho said. “We have an agents meeting, a coaches meeting before the show that wasn’t happening before. The reason for those is to make sure we don’t have the same thing happening twice.

“We don’t want to have a beat down with, I don’t know, a coffee cup in segment two and then have a beat down with a coffee cup in segment three because no one coordinated that with anyone else. And I think you’ll see a lot of more that over the next little while.

“We all know what we’re doing, but sometimes we don’t really express that to each other and sometimes things are a little bit similar. So we’ve been really working on that and I think it’s really been paying off where we are kind of not stepping on each other’s toes, but still allowing everyone to be creative and have some awesome ideas.”

One thing Jericho is very happy about is AEW’s ability to create main event players. “Our goal from the start was to make new stars. Because that’s what wrestling’s all about. It always has been.  If you look at last week’s show, where we had Jungle Boy vs. Darby Allin in the main event, we had Shida vs. Tay Conti in a main event. Those are two kind of fence post matches on our show and they both did a great number.

“We’ve made Darby Allin into a legit main event draw. I mean last night he’s in the main event with Ten for God’s sake and it will probably do a good number. I give us a full Barry Horowitz pat on the back for that because we set out to do it and we did it. It’s not hard to do; pick the right guy and just stick with them. We paired Darby with Sting, so he got that rub. And now Sting is almost, I’m not going to say lackey, but he’s almost Darby’s second at this point. And that’s probably exactly what he should be.

“If you look at what we’ve done with Jericho, MJF, Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz, Wardlow, that’s another aspect. We are building these guys and girls because it just can’t be Jericho vs. Cody, vs. Kenny over and over again. Nor would we want it to be.

“Someone asked me last night ‘hey Jericho vs. Sting has never happened. What a dream match.’ Yeah it’s a dream match, it’s something we might do. It’s not something a priority for me because I think people would see that a different way than you would see Darby vs. Sting, or Jericho vs. Darby. That’s what excites me because we need to build these guys. And when you see the ratings we’re getting because of it, oh my gosh, it’s working. And there’s a whole shitload of guys and girls in the pipeline that we could talk about that are there and ready to go.”

One of the guys Jericho feels is ready is Jungle Boy. The two worked together briefly back in 2019 and Jericho seemed to indicate more was planned.

“I wanted to work with him last year,” Jericho said. “And then I’m like ‘I don’t want to do it in front of no people. Let’s wait a couple of months.’ Little did we know it be a year later. It’s time to pull the trigger on Jungle Boy, and when we put him in the main event and he draws this great number you see ‘man, people like this kid.’

“It’s something that we’re very cognizant of and we’re very serious about it. And we’re not afraid to pull the trigger, to put these guys on in big spots to see if they draw a rating. And bingo, nine times out of ten they do, which is great to see.”

AEW’s ability to create new stars was compared, by both Jericho and the Busted Open hosts, to WWE’s inability to do the same. According to Jericho, Vince has no one to blame but himself.

“When Vince goes to the investors (during the conference call) and says ‘the Raw ratings are down because we haven’t created any new stars, that’s completely on you guys!” Jericho stated. “We (AEW) knew from the start we had to make stars. A lot of the guys on our show, Bucks and Kenny included, Hangman Page; I said it on the Broken Skull Sessions, they weren’t known on a national level. On a national network television level. We’ve built them up, and then suddenly all these kind of the second wave of guys and girls are getting in there.

“And now AEW is dangerous because we have twelve people that you can put in the main event at any point in time. Next month it’ll be fourteen people you can do that. And to me that’s just smart booking. It’s what any professional sports team does. If you’re talking about the Rangers, you’re talking about the Knicks, you’re talking about the Giants, you want to build next year’s All Star team starting now. And that’s what we did.

“It’s really working. When you see those ratings coming through, I do take great pride in it. Because I feel, once again, because I was with AEW when it started and I was kind of the first face of the company. When there’s more faces now, that just shows we’re doing things right.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription

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49ers trade up in NFL draft, pick Ohio State RB Trey Sermon

The San Francisco 49ers traded up in the third-round of the 2021 NFL draft. They sent a pair of fourth-round picks to the Rams to jump to No. 88 while holding onto No. 102 in the third round. They moved up to pick Ohio State RB Trey Sermon.

49ers get: Pick No. 88

Rams get: Pick Nos. 117 and 121

Sermon spent his first three college seasons at the University of Oklahoma where he racked up 2,076 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns on 339 carries. He also caught 36 balls for 391 yards and three touchdowns.

He transferred to Ohio State last season and put together his best year. Sermon racked up 870 rushing yards on just 116 carries with four touchdowns.

Sermon is just the second running back drafted by the 49ers during the John Lynch-Kyle Shanahan era. Utah’s Joe Williams was their fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft.

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Cam Newton's cryptic reaction after Patriots draft Mac Jones

It's hard to ignore the timing of Cam Newton's cryptic Instagram post originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots spent the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.

While many Patriots fans were happy to see the team spend a first-round pick on a QB for the first time since 1993, there was one notable person who clearly wasn't. That was the incumbent Patriots starting QB Cam Newton.

The morning after Jones was chosen by the Patriots, Newton posted a photo of himself on Instagram. And the message that came with it surely seemed to indicate that he's taking the Jones pick personally.

For those that are having trouble reading Newton's comment, it's from the Kendrick Lamar song Duckworth and reads as follows.

It was always me vs. the world until I found out it's me vs. me.

Cam Newton on Instagram

Of course, this post could have been about something else. But the timing of it simply cannot be ignored.

Needless to say, it seems like Newton is taking the Patriots' choice of Jones as a slight to him. And why shouldn't he? The Patriots wouldn't take Jones if they thought they were fine at the quarterback position. He's the only Round 1 QB the Patriots have ever selected under Bill Belichick, so he figures to be more than a developmental backup for the team.

Curran: Mac Jones was exactly what the Patriots needed

Though Belichick is still insisting that Newton is the Patriots' starting quarterback right now, he has been put on notice. Newton is using that to motivate and fuel him as he prepares for the 2021 NFL season.

And Newton will need to be motivated. If he's not, then Jones could have a chance to overtake him in the Patriots' three-man QB room.

It certainly seems like Newton is up for the challenge. So, let the games begin.

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Suns vs. Jazz live stream info, TV channel: How to watch NBA on TV, stream online

Who's Playing

Utah @ Phoenix

Current Records: Utah 45-17; Phoenix 44-18

What to Know

The Utah Jazz haven't won a game against the Phoenix Suns since Oct. 28 of 2019, but they'll be looking to end the drought on Friday. Utah is on the road again on Friday and plays against Phoenix at 10 p.m. ET April 30 at PHX Arena. Both teams come into the contest bolstered by wins in their previous games.

You can't lose the matchup if you win every quarter, and that was precisely the Jazz's strategy against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. Utah steamrolled past Sacramento 154-105 on the road. With Utah ahead 76-44 at the half, the matchup was all but over already. They got their win on the backs of several key players, and it was small forward Bojan Bogdanovic out in front picking up 24 points.

Meanwhile, the Suns were able to grind out a solid victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, winning 109-101. It was another big night for Phoenix's point guard Chris Paul, who dropped a double-double on 28 points and ten dimes.

The Jazz are expected to lose this next one by 4. However, those who like betting on the underdog should be happy to hear that they are 2-0 against the spread when expected to lose.

The wins brought Utah up to 45-17 and Phoenix to 44-18. Two numbers to keep in mind before tip-off: Utah have been holding their opponents to a field goal percentage of 44.50%, which places them second in the league. But Phoenix comes into the matchup boasting the second highest field goal percentage in the league at 48.80%. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.

How To Watch

  • When: Friday at 10 p.m. ET
  • Where: PHX Arena -- Phoenix, Arizona
  • TV: ATTSN Rocky Mountain
  • Follow: CBS Sports App

Odds

The Suns are a 4-point favorite against the Jazz, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Suns as a 5-point favorite.

Over/Under: -111

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine's advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Utah have won 15 out of their last 19 games against Phoenix.

  • Apr 07, 2021 - Phoenix 117 vs. Utah 113
  • Dec 31, 2020 - Phoenix 106 vs. Utah 95
  • Feb 24, 2020 - Phoenix 131 vs. Utah 111
  • Oct 28, 2019 - Utah 96 vs. Phoenix 95
  • Apr 03, 2019 - Utah 118 vs. Phoenix 97
  • Mar 25, 2019 - Utah 125 vs. Phoenix 92
  • Mar 13, 2019 - Utah 114 vs. Phoenix 97
  • Feb 06, 2019 - Utah 116 vs. Phoenix 88
  • Mar 15, 2018 - Utah 116 vs. Phoenix 88
  • Feb 14, 2018 - Utah 107 vs. Phoenix 97
  • Feb 02, 2018 - Utah 129 vs. Phoenix 97
  • Oct 25, 2017 - Phoenix 97 vs. Utah 88
  • Jan 16, 2017 - Utah 106 vs. Phoenix 101
  • Dec 31, 2016 - Utah 91 vs. Phoenix 86
  • Dec 06, 2016 - Utah 112 vs. Phoenix 105
  • Apr 03, 2016 - Utah 101 vs. Phoenix 86
  • Mar 17, 2016 - Utah 103 vs. Phoenix 69
  • Feb 06, 2016 - Utah 98 vs. Phoenix 89
  • Dec 21, 2015 - Utah 110 vs. Phoenix 89

Injury Report for Phoenix

  • Dario Saric: Game-Time Decision (Ankle)
  • Jae Crowder: Out (Ankle)
  • Abdel Nader: Out (Knee)

Injury Report for Utah

  • Mike Conley: Out (Hamstring)
  • Donovan Mitchell: Out (Ankle)
  • Udoka Azubuike: Out (Ankle)

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Tna Ppv

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The latest news, interviews, live coverage and more following WWE, AEW, NJPW, ROH, Impact Wrestling, Indie Wrestling, MLW and more!

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Andrade Joins Federacion Wrestling, Will Team With Rush On Debut Show

Andrade is making his return to lucha libre. Hours after teasing an appearance on Twitter, the former WWE star appeared at Federacion Wrestling’s inaugural press conference to officially announce his participation with the promotion.

The presence of Andrade will be felt immediately, as he will headline Federacion’s first show, on June 19, teaming with Los Ingobernables teammate Rush, Bestia del Ring and a mystery partner to wrestle ROH stars Matt Taven, PJ Black and two mystery partners. Taven also appeared, via video, to cut a promo hyping the match.

Federacion Wrestling has caused quite a stir this past week, with the participation of ROH talent like Rush, Bestia, Bandido, Dragon Lee, Rey Horus, Kenny King and Taven leading to lucha libre promotion CMLL cutting ties with ROH.

In addition to Andrade and the ROH talent, Federacion’s debut show will feature a mixture of surprises and talent from All Elite Wrestling (you can see the full poster of the card below). ROH stars Rey Horus and Flamita will open the show in a triple threat match with a surprise performer. A twenty person battle Royal was announced, said to feature major international stars, though none were named.

Meanwhile AEW star Tay Conti, who also appeared via video, will team with former AAA Reina de Reinas Champion Ayako Hamada and another surprise against AEW star Red Velvet, AEW Dark regular Miranda Alize and former Mae Young Classic competitor Zeuxis. Finally the semi-main will pit AEW against ROH, as Dragon Lee and Bandido take on the Lucha Brothers, Penta El Zero M and Rey Fenix.

The debut Federacion Wrestling show will be available on PPV and can be purchased via PayPal or with cryptocurrency. No location for the show was given.

You can watch the full press conference below.

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Aew New Show

Bringing you closer to the people and things you love. — Instagram from Facebook

Connect with friends, share what you’re up to, or see what's new from others all over the world. Explore our community where you can feel free to be yourself and share everything from your daily moments to life's highlights.

Express Yourself and Connect With Friends

* Add photos and videos to your INSTA story that disappear after 24 hours, and bring them to life with fun creative tools.
* Message your friends in Direct. Start fun conversations about what you see on Feed and Stories.
* Post photos and videos to your feed that you want to show on your profile.

Learn More About Your Interests

* Check out IGTV for longer videos from your favorite INSTA creators.
* Get inspired by photos and videos from new INSTA accounts in Explore.
* Discover brands and small businesses, and shop products that are relevant to your personal style.

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Canelo Alvarez says he had COVID and trained only for one month for Avni Yildirim

Canelo Alvarez didn't train much for his previous fight.

Canelo Alvarez only had ten weeks in between his fights with Callum Smith and Avni Yildirim. What the world didn't know is that Alvarez had less time to prepare than many thought.

In an interview with Graham Bensinger to promote his May 8 super-middleweight title unification bout against WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders that can be seen on DAZN (excluding Mexico), the unified 168-pound admits he didn't get the proper time to prepare for his Feb. 28 destruction of Avni Yildirim due to getting COVID-19 after beating Smith via unanimous decision on December 19 to win the WBA and WBC titles.

"I had COVID," Alvarez told Bensinger. "I got COVID. I started first with no sense of smell or taste. I got tested, and I had to be 15 days in isolation because my wife had it, too. But I didn't tell anyone because I didn't really feel anything. I had no other symptoms except what I said, no taste or smell."

Alvarez beat Yilidirm via third-round TKO after the latter's trainer Joel Diaz wouldn't allow his fighter to go out for the fourth round. The 30-year-old Alvarez says he has no lingering effects from the coronavirus and all systems are on track for the Saunders clash. 

"I don't want to make it sound as if nothing happened because I've known a lot of people who have gotten it much harder, or even died," Alvarez said. "The father of a friend of mine … it affected his lungs a lot. He's coughing up saliva with blood. But for me, it didn't affect me much. But it's complicated."

 

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Title match announced for next week's MLW Fusion

The following was issued:

Rush/Reed 2 for World Middleweight Champion signed for FUSION

Watch MLW FUSION Wednesday night at 7pm ET

NEW YORK — Major League Wrestling (“MLW”) today announced Lio Rush (champion) vs. Myron Reed in a rematch for the World Middleweight Championship for this Wednesday, May 5 at 7pm ET on MLW’s flagship weekly series FUSION, available on YouTube, Fubo Sports, DAZN, beIN SPORTS and the Roku Channel. Learn more about where to watch.

After a brilliant championship bout at Kings of Colosseum in January, the sport demanded a rematch. That match finally goes down this Wednesday.

The coveted World Middleweight Championship will hang in the balance as a rematch five months culminates ex-champ Myron Reed’s journey of redemption. But will he run out of time as he faces the “Man of the Hour” the reigning World Middleweight Champion Lio Rush?

Rush, who has cleaned out the 205 pound and under division throughout his reign looks to cement his name in legacy and be the greatest champion in division history.

Perfectly matched up, Rush/Reed 2 promises to thrill fans with a high octane encounter featuring two of the sports best battling it out for their legacy.

Will the Louisville native Reed reemerge as the “Young GOAT”?

Will Rush continue his dominance in the division?

Find out this Wednesday night at 7pm ET on FUSION available on MLW YouTube channel for free.

Scheduled for Wednesday’s card:
•World Middleweight Championship: Lio Rush (Champion) vs. Myron Reed

Also scheduled: Alicia Atout, Alex Hammerstone, CONTRA Unit, Richard Holliday, the Von Erichs and more!

Fans can also watch nationwide on cable and dish via beIN SPORTS on Saturday nights at 10pm ET and on demand anytime, anywhere on DAZN. Learn more about where to watch.

About Major League Wrestling
Major League Wrestling (MLW®) is a sports media holding company with a focus on professional wrestling sporting events/programming, digital content and ancillary entertainment.

The fastest growing wrestling league today, Major League Wrestling airs on Vice TV, DAZN, fubo Sports Network as well as on beIN SPORTS in the United States and in over 20 countries abroad.

MLW streams for free Wednesday nights at 7pm ET on YouTube.com/MajorLeagueWrestling.

MLW features a roster full of high profile fighters and on-air talent from around the world including: CONTRA Unit, “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, Ross and Marshall Von Erich, Alex Hammerstone, Richard Holliday, LA Park, Lio Rush, Myron Reed and Injustice, Mil Muertes, Alicia Atout and many more.

MLW is the parent company of the MLW Radio Network, the leading provider of professional wrestling podcasts in the world with 5-6 podcasts in the top iTunes 100 in the sports category on the average day.

Like MLW on Facebook: https://bit.ly/34Nqiy2
Follow MLW on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/MLW
Follow MLW on Instagram: https://bit.ly/3jQTrNc
Learn more about MLW at: https://bit.ly/3ekACkg


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Yoel Romero fails pre-fight medical testing, out of Bellator 258 and light heavyweight Grand Prix vs ...

The highly anticipated bout is off the books.

The marquee bout of the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix is off as Yoel Romero's (13-5) fight with Anthony Johnson has been shelved for Bellator 258 as Romero wasn't able to pass pre-fight medical testing.

It is unknown as to why Romero failed the screening. Johnson will remain in the tournament against an unknown opponent. CBS Sports was the first to report the news. 

"Yoel Romero did not clear pre-fight medical testing, and as a result, his Bellator MMA debut against Anthony "Rumble" Johnson has been postponed," Bellator said in a statement that was obtained by DAZN News. 

"Bellator will confirm a tournament alternate to face "Rumble" Johnson in the Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix as soon as possible.

"Bellator 258: Archuleta vs. Pettis will go on as scheduled on Friday, May 7.vThe event features the Bellator bantamweight world championship main event between champion Juan Archuleta and Sergio Pettis, a welterweight bout pitting Michael "Venom" Page against Derek Anderson, and a lightweight tilt between Patricky "Pitbull" and Peter Queally. Additional fights for the main card are to be announced.

"Romero will become eligible to reapply for clearance to compete in the coming months, and we look forward to seeing him make his Bellator debut in the near future. Bellator MMA will look to reschedule the highly anticipated Johnson versus Romero matchup at a future date."

The 44-year-old was set to make his promotional debut after coming to Bellator in December. "The Soldier of God" had a 13-fight stint in the UFC, where he went 9-4 and competed three times for the middleweight title but came up short. 

Like Romero, Johnson (22-6) is going to be making his Bellator debut. He hasn't fought since retiring after losing a light heavyweight title fight to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 in April 2017. 

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Lakers vs. Kings: How to watch, schedule, live stream info, game time, TV channel

Who's Playing

Sacramento @ Los Angeles

Current Records: Sacramento 25-37; Los Angeles 36-26

What to Know

The Sacramento Kings need to shore up a defense that is allowing 119.29 points per matchup before their game Friday. Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers will face off in a Pacific Division battle at 10:30 p.m. ET at Staples Center. The odds don't look promising for the Kings, but the bigger the opponent is, the harder they fall.

Sacramento took a serious blow against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, falling 154-105. Sacramento was in a tough position by the half, with the score already sitting at 76-44. The losing side was boosted by shooting guard Buddy Hield, who had 18 points and seven assists in addition to five boards and three blocks.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles came up short against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, falling 116-107. A silver lining for Los Angeles was the play of power forward Anthony Davis, who had 26 points along with five rebounds.

With both teams hitting sour notes in their previous games, they will no doubt be looking to produce a better outcome in this one. We'll see which team satisfies their hunger and which team leaves with an empty stomach.

How To Watch

  • When: Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Staples Center -- Los Angeles, California
  • TV: NBATV
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App

Odds

The Lakers are a big 9.5-point favorite against the Kings, according to the latest NBA odds.

The oddsmakers were right in line with the betting community on this one, as the game opened as a 9.5-point spread, and stayed right there.

Over/Under: -112

See NBA picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine's advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Sacramento have won 11 out of their last 21 games against Los Angeles.

  • Apr 02, 2021 - Los Angeles 115 vs. Sacramento 94
  • Mar 03, 2021 - Sacramento 123 vs. Los Angeles 120
  • Aug 13, 2020 - Sacramento 136 vs. Los Angeles 122
  • Feb 01, 2020 - Los Angeles 129 vs. Sacramento 113
  • Nov 15, 2019 - Los Angeles 99 vs. Sacramento 97
  • Mar 24, 2019 - Los Angeles 111 vs. Sacramento 106
  • Dec 30, 2018 - Los Angeles 121 vs. Sacramento 114
  • Dec 27, 2018 - Sacramento 117 vs. Los Angeles 116
  • Nov 10, 2018 - Los Angeles 101 vs. Sacramento 86
  • Apr 01, 2018 - Sacramento 84 vs. Los Angeles 83
  • Feb 24, 2018 - Los Angeles 113 vs. Sacramento 108
  • Jan 09, 2018 - Los Angeles 99 vs. Sacramento 86
  • Nov 22, 2017 - Sacramento 113 vs. Los Angeles 102
  • Apr 07, 2017 - Los Angeles 98 vs. Sacramento 94
  • Feb 14, 2017 - Sacramento 97 vs. Los Angeles 96
  • Dec 12, 2016 - Sacramento 116 vs. Los Angeles 92
  • Nov 10, 2016 - Los Angeles 101 vs. Sacramento 91
  • Mar 15, 2016 - Sacramento 106 vs. Los Angeles 98
  • Jan 20, 2016 - Sacramento 112 vs. Los Angeles 93
  • Jan 07, 2016 - Sacramento 118 vs. Los Angeles 115
  • Oct 30, 2015 - Sacramento 132 vs. Los Angeles 114

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Full Tna Ppv

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Pro wrestling WWE and TNA results, reviews, spoilers, news, predictions, ... Impact Wrestling Executive Vice President Don Callis joined the AEW ...

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CM Punk On The Best Thing In Wrestling Right Now

Former WWE Champion CM Punk conducted a Q&A session via Twitter on Thursday.

When asked to name “the best thing going on in wrestling right now,” Punk answered: “The qanon stable in nxt.”

This was possibly a reference to suspended WWE referee Drake Younger (Drake Wuertz), Road Dogg and Bobby Fish, who have previously supported QAnon theories on social media. A fan on reddit noted that NXT Champion Karrion Kross and Xia Brookside have also loosely echoed far-right conspiracy theories in the past.

Punk was also asked if WWE should introduce mid card championships for the women’s division, the best wrestling match or angle he has seen over the last year, and his five favorite NJPW stars.

See below for highlights from the Q&A session:

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