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Race for the No. 1 overall pick in 2022 Draft: How Davis Mills could determine which team gets the top pick

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For most of the 2021 season, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Texans would use their first-round pick on the quarterback position. But after consecutive wins including Sunday’s 41-29 victory over the Chargers, it appears the Texans may decide to stick with Davis Mills while spending their first pick on another position. 

Mills will try to strengthen his case to be the Texans’ starting quarterback in 2022 with a strong finish to the 2021 campaign. And if the Texans ultimately feel content with Mills, that could create some trade opportunities, specifically from teams that are looking to draft a quarterback with their first-round pick. Teams that could try to trade up for a quarterback include the Panthers, Washington and the Falcons. The Saints and Steelers may also be interested in trading up for a quarterback, but given their current positions in the first round, their best option would likely be trading to acquire one of either New York team’s first-round picks if Matt Corral and Kenny Pickett manage to slip past the first few picks in the draft. 

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Here’s a look at the five Week 17 games that could determine the No. 1 overall pick, along with the current top of the draft order. Click here to check out which player our CBS Sports NFL Draft analysts currently have your team taking in the first round of the upcoming draft. 

Current top 10 picks

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13)
2. Detroit Lions (2-12-1)
3. Houston Texans (4-11)
4. New York Jets (4-11)
5. New York Giants (4-11)
6. New York Jets (5-10) from Seattle
7. Carolina Panthers (5-10)
8. New York Giants (5-10) from Chicago
9. Washington Football Team (6-9) 
10. Atlanta Falcons (7-8) 

Important Week 17 games

Jacksonville at New England

The Jaguars’ odds at landing the No. 1 overall pick for a second straight year will likely increase after this weekend, as they are facing a Patriots team that is hungry to get back on track following last Sunday’s loss to Buffalo. Two of our CBS Sports NFL Draft experts have the Jaguars selecting defensive end Aidan Hutchinson with the top pick in the draft. This year’s Heisman Trophy runner-up, Hutchinson is hoping to lead Michigan to a victory over Georgia in Friday’s College Football Playoff Semifinal. 

Detroit at Seattle 

The safe guess is that the Lions will select Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux if they are able to get the No. 2 overall pick. That would mean that the Lions will spend two high picks in consecutive years on strengthening both of their interiors after selecting former Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell last year. If this year’s quarterback class was stronger, the thought could be that the Lions either select a quarterback or trade out of the pick for capital. As it is, the Lions will probably stick with Jared Goff for another year while using their first pick on a player who can improve a defense that is 30th in the NFL in red zone efficiency. 

Houston at San Francisco 

If the Texans decided to select a quarterback, they should have their choice between Corral and Pickett, who will enter the draft following decorated careers at Ole Miss and Pitt, respectively. As of now, our experts have the Texans using this pick on either NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu or on LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. A unanimous first-team All-American, Ekwonu has been credited with 154 “pancakes” over the past two seasons. A key cog on LSU’s 2019 national championship-winning team, Stingley excelled at man-to-man coverage during his time with the Tigers. 

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Along with Stingley and Ekwonu, our experts have also linked Alabama offensive lineman Evan Neal to the Jets with their first of two first-round picks. A dominant presence at offensive tackle for Alabama, Neal has logged 38 starts for the Crimson Tide entering Friday’s College Football Playoff semifinal game against Cincinnati. He would be a significant addition to a Jets offensive line that has allowed 43 sacks through 15 games. 

New York Giants at Chicago 

Offensive line, receiver and defensive end are the positions the Giants will likely try to address with their two first-round picks. Our Chris Trapasso has the Giants selecting Arkansas wideout Treylon Burks with the sixth overall pick in the draft. Burks used his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame to catch 118 passes for 1,923 yards and 18 touchdowns during his final 21 games with the Razorbacks. While the Giants’ receivers room is pretty full, Burks would give New York some flexibility in the event that the team parts with Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard this offseason. 



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Zion Williamson Has His Return On The Schedule

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(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

Fans of the New Orleans Pelicans have been eagerly anticipating the start of the 2022-23 season.

It’s not just because the team did surprisingly well last year and it feels like great things are on the horizon.

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No, followers of the Pels are elated because 2022 will mark the return of the team’s centerpiece, Zion Williamson.

Williamson has been away from the game for more than a year as he has rehabbed from a serious foot injury but he looks ready to go.

Now we know when he will fire up his engines once again.

On October 19, the Pelicans will face off against the Brooklyn Nets in New York.

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This will be the first time that fans have seen Williamson play in ages – and it will also be the first time that Ben Simmons has ever suited up for his Nets.

This is going to be must-see TV.

 

Winning With Williamson

There is a lot riding on Williamson’s return to his team.

The squad showed an awful lot of promise without him but they are very excited to have him back, healthier and stronger than ever.

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If the team was able to make the playoffs last season without Williamson, imagine what they can accomplish when he is back and tearing through the competition like a runaway freight train.

As for the Nets, opening night will be interesting because it will have Simmons finally playing for the team – but he might be missing his two biggest co-stars.

We don’t know what is happening with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving but there is a good chance neither player is on the Nets’ roster when the new season starts.

As you can see, this scheduled game will have plenty of reasons to watch.

The post Zion Williamson Has His Return On The Schedule appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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What Would It Take For The Nuggets To Win A Title?

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The Denver Nuggets have assembled a very strong squad over the last few years.

They boast two-time reigning regular season MVP Nikola Jokic, a throwback wide-bodied center who is a load to deal with in the paint but can also handle the ball and facilitate a bit like some other modern big men.

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In the backcourt, they have Jamal Murray, who has become an All-Star caliber point guard and has shown some ability to go off in big games.

Denver also has Michael Porter Jr., a forward whom many feel has All-Star potential, plus strong supporting players such as Aaron Gordon, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Jeff Green.

Many expect the Nuggets to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference, assuming Murray and Porter, both of whom are coming off serious injuries, return to their pre-injury form.

But are the Nuggets legitimate championship contenders, or just a bit short of that category?

They can win it all, but there is a checklist of things that would need to happen.

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Jokic Needs To Maintain His MVP Form

Jokic, the 27-year-old Serbian native, is one of the most unique players ever, as he doesn’t just score and rebound at a high level.

He is also one of the league’s best passers, despite being a 6-foot-11, 284-pound center who isn’t too mobile.

He averaged 7.9 assists per game last season, and the year before that he put up 8.3 dimes a game.

Outside of perhaps Wilt Chamberlain, who actually led the entire NBA in assists one year, and Bill Walton, Jokic is probably the best passing big man ever.

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One thing Jokic can and should improve on is his 3-point shooting, which has fluctuated throughout his seven-year career.

In the 2021-22 season, he made just 33.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc, but the year before, he shot a robust 38.8 percent from deep.

 

Murray Needs To Be His Best Self

In the 2019-20 season, his last fully healthy season, Murray put up fine regular season numbers of 18.5 points and 4.8 assists per game.

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But during the playoffs, he went into volcano mode, averaging 26.5 points a contest on 50.5 percent overall shooting and 45.3 percent from 3-point range.

In that postseason, he had four 40-point-plus games, as well as two 50-point outings.

When Denver upset the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of the second round and overcame a 3-1 series deficit, Murray led the way with 40 points on 15-of-26 shooting.

He improved to 21.2 points a game the following season while significantly boosting his 3-point shooting accuracy before an ACL injury ended his year late in the schedule.

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For the Nuggets to win the world title, Murray has to continue where he left off in 2021 while putting up huge playoff games when they really need him to.

 

Better Depth

The Nuggets are not a particularly deep team, and so, they will need some unheralded men to step up.

The backcourt and wing rotations look solid, but they could use some better depth up front.

As of now, Jokic’s main backup will be DeAndre Jordan, who is 34 and coming off a season with the Los Angeles Lakers in which he looked washed.

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If Jordan doesn’t cut it, Denver will be at a sizable disadvantage when Jokic is resting.

The team could also use one more serviceable forward with legitimate forward height.

As of now, Bruce Brown is slated to be its backup 3, and even though he’s a solid 3-and-D player, he is just 6-foot-4.

The post What Would It Take For The Nuggets To Win A Title? appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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The Dodgers Are First To An Impressive 2022 Mark

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Thanks to the recent slide of the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers now have the best record in all of baseball and are dominating everybody in their path.

After signing Freddie Freeman, the Dodgers became instant favorites to win another World Series title, just as they did in 2020.

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They’re in a good position to potentially do that again.

Last night, they opened up a series against the struggling Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field.

They had learned of some tough news earlier in the day when it was revealed that Walker Buehler would be out for the rest of the season.

But that didn’t stop Julio Urias, who dominated the Brewers for five innings and led the way as the Dodgers became the first team in all of baseball to reach 80 wins.

 

80 Wins For The Dodgers

Once again, these Dodgers are at the top of the heap.

Even with all of the injuries they have dealt with, they remain as one of the top teams in all of baseball.

Even more impressive, they’ve picked up their 80th win before they even reached 40 losses on the year.

They expanded their lead in the NL West to 17 games.

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They’ve effectively buried the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants.

The new “Evil Empire” resides in Los Angeles now.

This is one of, if not the best team in all of baseball from top to bottom.

The wins keep piling up.

Despite the end of their 12-game winning streak, they remain hot and are showing no signs of slowing down.

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The Dodgers are going to be a tough team to deal with come October, which is where they always shine the brightest.

The post The Dodgers Are First To An Impressive 2022 Mark appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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