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Coroner: Ex-NFL running back's cellmate death ruled homicide (The Associated Press) Courtesy of
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities say a man sharing a prison cell with former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips died by strangulation. Yahoo! Thu, Apr 16
 
#TBT: Looking back, the 1995 NFL draft was a really weird one (Shutdown Corner) Courtesy of
Looking back, the 1995 NFL draft was, well, not so hot. But the top 10 picks were a fascinating historical study. We had a trade involving the No. 1 overall pick, only the fourth time that ever has happened in the league history, and the pick — Ki-Jana Carter — turned out to be a major bust. He’s also the final running back to be taken first overall. Maybe for good reason. The expansion Carolina Panthers traded down out of that spot, down to No. 5, where they took quarterback Kerry Collins with their first-ever selection. Fellow expansion club Jacksonville Jaguars took Tony Boseli second. Although Boseli played fewer than half the NFL games that Collins did, the offensive tackle had a brilliant run when healthy. Steve McNair out of Alcorn State went third, followed by Michael Westbrook fourth, Collins fifth and Kevin Carter sixth. McNair had a great career but never won a Super Bowl, beaten out by the St. Louis Rams’ Carter in the 1999 season. Westbrook never fulfilled his potential after making one of the more incredible catches in college football history. Also falling under the category of unfulfilled potential is Mike Mamula — perhaps the most famous “workout warrior” of all time, tearing up the NFL scouting combine workouts and moving up to the No. 7 pick all time. But to call him a bust is roundly unfair; he had 31.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles in a good but not great (and injury-plagued) six NFL seasons. The problem? The Philadelphia Eagles traded up from No. 12 to select him, swapping picks with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their pick: Warren Sapp, whose stock had tumbled after a positive drug test. Another team passing on Sapp was the New York Jets, whose fans tore into them when the pick of Penn State tight end Kyle Brady, he of the nine touchdown catches in 45 college games. We also had a trade to round out the top 10, with one coaching genius (Bill Walsh) swapping picks with another (Bill Belichick). Word is that Belichick loved Brady — insert punch line here — and moved out when he was off the board. Walsh wanted to draft his top-rated receiver in the draft, J.J. Stokes. Like Westbrook, Stokes had a fairly nondescript NFL career. In fact,  only one receiver in the entire draft class — Joey Galloway, who was taken eighth overall — had more receiving yards in the NFL than Wayne Chrebet, who went undrafted that year. Yeah, it was one of those years. Incidentally, the two players in the ’95 draft Belichick acquired in the Stokes deal —linebacker Craig Powell and defensive end Mike Frederick — barely contributed. Of course, the 1996 first-round pick the Browns acquired in the deal turned out to be pretty good … for the Baltimore Ravens. That pick was Ray Lewis. Here are 10 more interesting facts on the 1995 NFL draft: Ki-Jana Carter before Curtis Martin, Terrell Davis Two running backs selected, respectively, in the third round (Hall of Famer Curtis Martin) and the sixth round (Hall of Fame candidate Terrell Davis) rushed for a combined 21,708 career yards in their careers, which is only 1,099 fewer than the eight running backs who were selected ahead of Martin. That included No. 1 overall pick Carter, who ran for 1,144 yards — fewer than two quarterbacks and four fullbacks from the same draft class — in an injury-plagued career. A lose-lose deal? The expansion Panthers originally held the No. 1 selection prior to their maiden season but traded out of the pick. The Bengals moved up from the fifth overall pick, throwing in their second-rounder (No. 36 overall) as well, to select Carter. Call it a lose-lose deal. Carter tore his ACL on his third preseason carry as a rookie and never was the same. Collins had his moments as a Panther, leading the team to the NFC title game in 1996, but he flamed out there after a bout of alcohol abuse before resurrecting his career elsewhere. Shaun King, a defensive end from Louisiana-Monroe, was the Panthers’ other pick in the deal, and he tallied 8.5 sacks in six nondescript seasons that were plagued by multiple substance-abuse suspensions. The Bucs’ draft grade: A+ There are three Hall of Famers to date in the 1995 class — Martin, Derrick Brooks and Sapp. Brooks and Sapp both were first-round picks of the Tampa Buccaneers, at Nos. 12 and 28 overall. Brooks and Carter, who was the sixth overall pick, each played in 224 career regular-season games — the most from this class. Kansas City Chiefs first-round pick (31st overall) Trezelle Jenkins played in only nine games over three seasons. And the Iron Man Award goes to … Collins was the final member of the 1995 draft class to play a game in the NFL. He started the first three games, losing all three, of the 2011 season for the Indianapolis Colts when Peyton Manning was out for the season with a neck injury. Second-round pick Jimmy Oliver (61st overall) by the San Diego Chargers was the highest selection that year never to appear in a regular-season game. Shane Hannah, a guard picked by the Dallas Cowboys two spots later, also never appeared in a regular-season game. "We want Sapp! We want Sapp!" The Jets were one of the teams to pass on Sapp, setting off one of the great mass Jets fan apoplexies of all time. Instead, the Jets selected Brady (and listen to the creepy way Chris Berman says, "ooohhhhh" when they do), who played in 197 games in the NFL but only 63 for the Jets. In the four seasons with the team that drafted him, Brady caught 93 passes for 949 yards and 10 touchdowns. In his 13-year career, Sapp made seven Pro Bowls, was named first-team All Pro four times and collected 96.5 sacks. Uh, yeah, he was > Brady. Not exactly football factories The 1995 draft was the last time a player was drafted from the following schools: Augustana (S.D.) College — Brian Schwartz, second round; Central Oklahoma — Joe Aska, third round; Concordia (Quebec) — Mark Montreuil, seventh round; Howard Payne College — Brandon Harrison, sixth round; University of Pacific — Craig Whelihan, sixth round; Wayne State (Nebraska) — Byron Chamberlain, seventh round; Trinity (Texas) — Herb Coleman, seventh round. Top of their class This year also featured the highest-drafted players ever from the following schools: Alcorn State —McNair, third overall; Central State (Ohio) — Hugh Douglas, 16th overall; Fort Valley State — Tyrone Poole, 22nd overall; Stephen F. Austin — Terrance Shaw, 34th overall; and Augustana (S.D.) — Schwartz, 64th overall. Rocky Mountain High The two schools that produced the most draft picks in 1995, with 10 apiece, were Florida State and, interestingly, Colorado. In the 19 drafts since then, FSU has produced 108 NFL draft picks. Colorado has had 56. Punters and kickers are people, too The Chicago Bears made punter Todd Sauerbrun the 50th overall selection, which made him the second-highest punter taken since 1980. The St. Louis Rams made kicker Steve McLaughlin the 82nd overall pick; only eight kickers were drafted higher in that same time range. Sauerbrun had a very respectable 13-year NFL career, making three Pro Bowls, being named first-team All Pro twice and currently sitting 30th all time in punting yards. McLaughlin, however, flamed out after a mere eight games, missing half of his 16 field-goal attempts as a rookie. RIP McNair, Stringer Two first-round picks from the class are deceased. McNair was murdered on July 4, 2009 by his mistress, Sahel Kazemi. Korey Stringer, the 24th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings, died on August 1, 2001, suffering a heat-related stroke during a training camp practice after a six-year NFL career. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm Yahoo! Thu, Apr 16
 
Two-round NFL mock draft: Trade speculation heats up in top 10 picks (Shutdown Corner) Courtesy of
What has happened since our last NFL mock draft ? Not a ton outside of some wild rumors and baseless chatter — the fun stuff! — about Team X liking Player Y and the like. But we’ve been gathering information behind the scenes, double-checking our lists and circling back on prospects we missed the first time around. And with it comes another two-round mock draft, this one two weeks prior to liftoff on April 30: 1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers  — Florida State QB Jameis Winston Although the team has gone out of its way to point out that it is examining all avenues, and wild rumors tend to catch wind this time of year,. we believe this pick has been solid since head coach Lovie Smith essentially signed off on Winston’s character at the NFL scouting combine, even if some higher-ups are a little skittish. 2. Tennessee Titans — Oregon QB Marcus Mariota We don’t believe the Titans will be making this pick themselves, but rather another team — the San Diego Chargers have been our wild-card pick here for weeks, and the St. Louis Rams should not be ignored — trading up to pick in this spot. If the Titans stand pat, we think they’d select USC’s Leonard Williams, for what it’s worth. 3. Jacksonville Jaguars — Clemson OLB Vic Beasley Dante Fowler Jr.  said he’d be stunned if he wasn’t the third pick. Well, Dante, prepare your best “stunned” face. Yes, the Jaguars threw a changeup with Blake Bortles in this same slot a year ago, and we would not be shocked if it’s happening again. It’s either Beasley or Williams in our eyes, and Beasley is the bigger need in the Jaguars’ “Leo” pass rusher role. 4. Oakland Raiders — USC DE Leonard Williams If you’ve been following our mocks, we’ve etched in a receiver here consistently. But that was on the premise that Williams was gone. Given that Williams is the rare player who openly has campaigned for the Raiders to take him — and that he’d fill a need, too — we feel like it must happen. The Raiders can get their wideout(s) later. 5. Washington Redskins — Florida DE Dante Fowler Jr. New Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan fills a major hole opposite Ryan Kerrigan now that Brian Orakpo is gone. Trent Murphy is a nice player, but don’t be fooled; he’s nowhere near the all-around force Fowler is. This also is a strong trade-down slot if the right deal materializes. Otherwise, we also could see a safe pick such as Iowa’s Brandon Scherff. 6. New York Jets — Alabama WR Amari Cooper There’s no glaring need at receiver with Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall and Jeremy Kerley currently manning the top three slots. But what better way to boost Geno Smith (or Ryan Fitzpatrick) than with a front-line playmaker such as Cooper? He’s silky smooth, polished and a nice complement to the size of Decker and Marshall and the underneath ability of Kerley. Plus, Marshall currently is a one-year investment, and the Jets could walk away from either Decker or Kerley after this season without getting crushed on the salary cap. We could see this very safe, very smart maiden pick by new GM Mike Maccagnan. 7. Chicago Bears — West Virginia WR Kevin White The Bears would be in a win-win position, able to pick between the draft’s top two receivers and its best nose tackle in Danny Shelton. With new GM Ryan Pace spending most of his time this offseason sprucing up the defense, he shifts gears and gives Alshon Jeffery a running mate who could be a perfect replacement for Marshall — without the headaches. White’s character checks with NFL teams have been off-the-charts good, a total departure from the wideout he'd be replacing. Yahoo! Thu, Apr 16
 
NFL Draft Needs: Schedule (Rotoworld) Courtesy of
Josh Norris and Evan Silva break down every team�s needs and which players fit those needs. Check out the weekly schedule. Yahoo! Wed, Apr 15
 
Stadium plan for Chargers, Raiders near Los Angeles advances (The Associated Press) Courtesy of
A proposed stadium that could become the home of the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders hit an early milestone Wednesday amid rising competition to bring football back to the Los Angeles market. The Chargers and Raiders are planning a shared, $1.7 billion stadium in the city of Carson, on the edge of Los Angeles, if both teams fail to get new stadiums in their current hometowns. The proposal will go to the City Council, which could vote as soon as Tuesday to schedule an election or consider the plan without sending it to local voters. ''It's just an ideal location for a football stadium.'' The Carson project is one of two prominent stadium proposals that have emerged in the Los Angeles area this year: St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is part of a development group planning to build an 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood, roughly 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Yahoo! Wed, Apr 15
 
Current Roster
Quarterback College External Player News Links
Austin Davis Southern Mississippi
 
 
 
 
 
Nick Foles Arizona
 
 
 
 
 
Case Keenum Houston
 
 
 
 
 
Runningback College External Player News Links
Benny Cunningham Middle Tennessee State
 
 
 
 
 
Tre Mason Auburn
 
 
 
 
 
Isaiah Pead Cincinnati
 
 
 
 
 
Chase Reynolds Montana
 
 
 
 
 
Zac Stacy Vanderbilt
 
 
 
 
 
Trey Watts Tulsa
 
 
 
 
 
Wide Receiver College External Player News Links
Tavon Austin West Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Stedman Bailey West Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Emory Blake Auburn
 
 
 
 
 
Kenny Britt Rutgers
 
 
 
 
 
Chris Givens Wake Forest
 
 
 
 
 
Brian Quick Appalachian State
 
 
 
 
 
Damian Williams USC
 
 
 
 
 
Devon Wylie Fresno State
 
 
 
 
 
Tight End College External Player News Links
Alex Bayer Bowling Green
 
 
 
 
 
Mason Brodine Nebraska-Kearney
 
 
 
 
 
Jared Cook South Carolina
 
 
 
 
 
Justice Cunningham South Carolina
 
 
 
 
 
Cory Harkey UCLA
 
 
 
 
 
Lance Kendricks Wisconsin
 
 
 
 
 
Brad Smelley Alabama
 
 
 
 
 
Kicker College External Player News Links
Michael Palardy
 
 
 
 
 
Greg Zuerlein Missouri Western State
 
 
 
 
 
Defensive Lineman College External Player News Links
Michael Brockers LSU
 
 
 
 
 
Aaron Donald Pittsburgh
 
 
 
 
 
Nick Fairley Auburn
 
 
 
 
 
William Hayes Winston-Salem State
 
 
 
 
 
Chris Long Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Quinn North Carolina
 
 
 
 
 
Eugene Sims West Texas A&M
 
 
 
 
 
Ethan Westbrooks West Texas A&M
 
 
 
 
 
Doug Worthington Ohio State
 
 
 
 
 
Linebackers College External Player News Links
Akeem Ayers UCLA
 
 
 
 
 
Daren Bates Auburn
 
 
 
 
 
Jo-Lonn Dunbar Boston College
 
 
 
 
 
James Laurinaitis Ohio State
 
 
 
 
 
Marshall McFadden South Carolina State
 
 
 
 
 
Jake McQuaide Ohio State
 
 
 
 
 
Alec Ogletree Georgia
 
 
 
 
 
Korey Toomer Idaho
 
 
 
 
 
Defensive Back College External Player News Links
Maurice Alexander Utah State
 
 
 
 
 
Mark Barron Alabama
 
 
 
 
 
Christian Bryant
 
 
 
 
 
Cody Davis Texas Tech
 
 
 
 
 
E.J. Gaines Missouri
 
 
 
 
 
Janoris Jenkins North Alabama
 
 
 
 
 
Trumaine Johnson Montana
 
 
 
 
 
Lamarcus Joyner Florida State
 
 
 
 
 
T.J. McDonald USC
 
 
 
 
 
Brandon McGee Miami (Fla.)
 
 
 
 
 
Rodney McLeod Virginia
 
 
 
 
 
Marcus Roberson Florida