A variety of Thursday topics

By Steve Sell
April 21, 2016

Thursday’s thoughts...

• NFL’S HOT POTATO — I’m starting to get the feeling this year’s NFL Draft is going to be a dud.

Why would not one, but two teams trade the top picks?

First it was Tennessee that dumped the overall No. 1 pick on the new Los Angeles Rams, which mortgaged much of their future by dealing the Titans a slew of picks that will allow them to restock their roster or provide some trade flexibility.

Now the Cleveland Browns, maybe the worst-run franchise in all of professional sports, have shipped the No. 2 overall pick to Philadelphia, again for a bonanza of draft picks. For one of the few times the Browns may actually have gotten something right, as it needs players and now it has as many picks as any team in the draft.

It’s obvious this year’s class is void of big-name talent, but does have a lot of serviceable players that could go on for lengthy, successful careers. But there’s hardly a future Hall of Famer in the class.

The top three quarterback options are Carson Wentz of North Dakota State, Jarod Goff of California and Paxton Lynch of Memphis. Had I not watched Lynch dissect Kansas’ invisible defense this year, I wouldn’t have known any of these guys.

I think you’ll see a draft that’s long on defensive backs and offensive linemen and short on skill-position players. In other words, once you get past the first round it’s not worth watching.

• KU LOOKING AT DUKE GUARD — There’s various reports that Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, who has scholarships to hand out, is giving a long look at Duke’s Derryck Thornton.

He’s a 6-2 guard who was the 14th-ranked player by Rivals in the 2015 class. He had a decent freshman year for Duke, averaging 7.1 points and 2.6 assists.

But it appears Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has recruited over the top of him with a class that includes a McDonald’s All-American at about every position for 2016-17. 

Thornton and Coach K, from reports, apparently weren’t on the same page as to how he was to be used. If he would indeed join the Jayhawks, he would slide right in for the 2017-18 season as Frank Mason’s replacement.

KU has some scholarships left for next season, but Self is already working hard for the following season when he’ll probably lose more than half of his team to either graduation or the NBA.

• KSU OVERLOADED AT QUARTERBACK — It’s not a quarterback quandary, but there is quite a mishmash at the position for Kansas State.

Bill Snyder is using the spring to try and sort through his raft of quarterbacks so he can enter the fall with a No. 1 guy.

Jesse Ertz appeared to be the man last year, but an injury derailed his season. Joe Huebner stepped in and I thought the former Cheney Cardinal did a decent job, though Wildcat fans never seemed to warm up to him. He’s not a bad guy to have around, but I get the feeling KSU coaches don’t think he’s a guy who can deliver nine or 10 wins.

Former Hays standout Alex Delton, now a sophomore, will try to work his way into the mix. McPherson High fans certainly remember Delton running around at quarterback against the Bullpups, who were able to defeat the All-Stater.

Then there’s Skylar Thompson, the No. 1 Wildcat recruit. He graduated early from high school so he could compete and it’s hard to imagine that Snyder won’t find a way to get the crowned jewel of his class on the field. He’s a 4-Star recruit, for whatever that’s worth.

You can bet in Lawrence they would take any of the quarterbacks who are passed over.

This is a pivotal year for Snyder, one that could be his last considering his age. The Wildcats are coming off a losing season (6-7) and are just 23-16 over the last three years after going 21-5 in 2012 and 2013. With a big year, Snyder could possibly step down and I’m sure he wants his son, Sean, to take over, though I’m not sure the K-State brass wants to go that direction.


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