Archive for April, 2017

It is expected to be a banner year for local schools in the NFL draft thanks to the large amount of talent coming out of the state of Utah this season. While there are a million and one mock drafts projecting where each of the players will go, no one is ever sure exactly what will happen during the three-day event.

But those mock drafts and projections do give us a good idea of what range the talented players with Utah ties will go.

First day

Garett Bolles, offensive tackle, Utah

Bolles is the biggest name of the local players as he ranked as a first- or second-round pick in every major mock draft and a top 25-ranked overall talent.

R.J. White of CBS Sports has Bolles going to the Giants with the No. 23 pick in the first round, saying, “They manage to fill a big need in the first with Bolles, who’s older than a typical prospect but who should come in and immediately start at left tackle.”

Projected round: 1-2

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While talking about the draft buzz surrounding the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals, Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst had a great deal to share about BYU linebacker Harvey Langi.

Pauline wrote, “the name I continue to hear rising up boards is Harvey Langi of BYU.

“Langi’s aggressive style of play and his junior tape — when he lined up at inside linebacker for the Cougars — as well as his combine and pro day workouts have all factored into the rise. The poor depth at the inside linebacker position has also given a boost to Langi’s stock.”

After talking about some of Langi’s numbers at the combine and at BYU’s Pro Day, Pauline continued. “Where will he land in the draft? At this point, the consensus is Langi won’t make it out of the fourth round and there’s a very good chance he squeezes into the third round.”

Pauline also mentioned Utah offensive lineman Isaac Asiata as a possible second round target, should the team draft a different position in the first round.

Frank Jackson a projected first-round pick

Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report released his after the declaration deadline NBA mock draft, and he had the Utah Jazz taking former Lone Peak High School star Frank Jackson with the last pick of the first round.

Of Jackson, Wasserman wrote, “Jackson, 18, was up and down during his freshman year, but showed flashes of athleticism, shooting and defense amid struggles as a shot-creator and playmaker.”

Continue reading at DeseretNews.com. 

Richard Farley of FourFourTwo looked at the career of Real Salt Lake‘s Kyle Beckerman and discussed how he should go down as an all-time great in MLS.

After talking about Beckerman’s humility, Farley wrote, “Beckerman has helped guide RSL from competitive obscurity to a model of franchise growth. He’s won an MLS Cup, another Western Conference title, is a multi-time All-Star and is the captain of one of the most iconic squad cores in league history.”

Farley then mentions comparing Beckerman to Derek Jeter, Tony Gwynn and Kevin Garnett, before diving into what Beckerman has done in MLS, saying, “The legacies of those athletes, both Hall of Fame-caliber in their sports, float in rarified air, but perhaps Beckerman’s should, too. His position doesn’t lend itself to lofty attacking numbers, but in his defensive midfield role, he has accumulated more appearances (412), starts (403) and minutes (34,117) than any field player in Major League Soccer history.”

After talking about Beckerman’s role at the international level, Farley continues, “Kyle Beckerman is Hall of Fame material. He’s not only a legend in Salt Lake; he’s a legend of the entire league.”

The Utah Jazz got good while no one was watching

Chris Herring of FiveThirtyEight looked at how the Utah Jazz turned into a contender under the NBA radar.

After looking at how the Philadelphia 76ers and the Houston Rockets made improvements, Herring turned his attention to the Jazz, saying, “The Jazz’s improvement isn’t as straightforward as the Rockets’ or Sixers’, though — they did it by tinkering with the margins of a roster that had missed the postseason for four consecutive years, and they’re capitalizing on their two young stars finally coming of age.”

Continue reading at DeseretNews.com.