POKER GAMING LIFESTYLE
GAMBLING EXCLUSIVE May 2010
MAY 2010 US $5.00
ON THE ROAD TO the 2010
NO RISK NO FUN www.gamblingexclusive.com
Trip to the alps Allan Baekke wins first EPT Snowfest
NFL Draft REport CArd What grade did your team get?
Meet the king of wake The world of Wakeboarding
May 2010 FIRST UP 06 EDITORIAL 10 NEWS
SPORTS BETTING 12 DRAFT DAY
Find out which of your favorite
players went to what team
18 NASCAR Sprint Fan Vote under way
for 2010 All-Star Race
22 TIGER STRIKES BACK
Is it all downhill for Tiger or is he
poised for another comeback
COVER FEATURE 26 WORLD SERIES OF POKER How many bracelets would you
need to win to break the record?
What defending champion has left
left the biggest mark on the Main
Event? We have the answers.
Draft Day Diagnosis
POKER 48 PROP BETS
At home or in the casino,
your guide to side bets
52 POKER PROBABILITIES How to calculate your odds
of drawing out on an opponent
54 WOMENS OPEN Victory for Pippa Flanders 58 BOOK REVIEW
Bet the House
60 SNOW FEST Allan Baekke claims the prize in the Austrian Alps
WORLD SERIES OF POKER
64 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JUAN CARLOS MORTENSEN
LIFESTYLE 70 RED BULL AIR RACE The Only way is up 74 WAKE BOARDING
GX takes a look at the competition
to become the next King of Wake
Las Vegas accomodations that
are fit for a king.
82 CAR The Maserati Quattroporte
Sport GT S“Awards Edition”
84 VIDEO GAME REVIEW
RED BULL AIR RACE
Assassins Creed II
88 NBA BLOOPERS DVD REVIEW The most you’ll ever laugh at the NBA 90 Is This NEWS?
Stephen Hawking makes an
Find us on azine ok.com/gxmag www.facebo
Runners & Writers Editor Andrea Silvers firstname.lastname@example.org
What can I say about the World Series of Poker? Every year when it comes around I find myself in a fight with, well, myself. Do I make the trek this year? I’ve driven from LA to Vegas more times than I can count, but I’ve also made the trip from Dallas, Wichita and Kansas City. Am I about to add London to the list? I’ve entered satellites, mega satellites and sometimes just flat out paid my entry fee. I’ve hydrated, meditated and caffeinated. I’ve tried playing with headphones on and with them off, with sunglasses on and with them off and I’ve played with my shirt on and seriously considered playing with it off. But not ONCE have I walked home with a bracelet to call my own.
Creative Director Isabel Ferrer Art Director Mike Jones email@example.com Cover Lex Guerra Contributors Derek Gould Kay Locker Commercial Director US Michael Raounas firstname.lastname@example.org
Now I don’t mean to brag, but outside of the World Series I’ve been known to pull in a tournament paycheck here and there. I even quit real life for a time to do nothing but play poker. But something about the Holy Grail of Poker has gotten to me. So with the whole poker community gearing up in their own ways to make a serious run at the gold, I’m left wondering, do I try it again?
Derek Gould email@example.com Commercial Directors Europe Andrew Capel firstname.lastname@example.org Natalie Kenneally email@example.com
The benefit of working at a poker magazine means that I can claim my entrance fees are research. Hell, maybe I can even expense them. But what’s the point of being a player if I’m just going to come home empty handed?
Business Development Alex Soro Online Marketing Albert Vellvé firstname.lastname@example.org
So I swore off my gambling ways this time, I’m vowing here and now to just be a spectator, a reporter, to enjoy the event in all it’s splendor without feeling the need to pull a few crisp hundreds out of my back pocket and change them in for those beautifully crafted World Series chips. Nope, I’m on the straight and narrow from here on out.
Web Editor Elisa La Fuente email@example.com Web Developer John Davison firstname.lastname@example.org
But, I can still play in the side games right?
Andrea Silvers, Editor
GX INTERNATIONAL EDITIONS
first up Wynn Resort opens in Macau and possibly takes its headquarters with it
New Jersey Introduces Internet Gaming Bill
newly proposed law in New Jersey could allow the state’s licensed casinos in Atlantic City to offer Internet gambling to residents within state lines. New Jersey House Bill 2570, introduced into the state senate by Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak this month, would enable New Jersey residents to place wagers on casino games, including poker, via the Internet.
t the Wynn Resorts’ grand opening of the Encore in Macau in April, Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn said he is considering moving the company’s headquarters to Macau as well. The Encore is a $600 million, 414-suite expansion to the already successful Wynn Macau. Wynn told MSNBC he is weighing the possibility of moving his headquarters and 100 employees to the Asian market. “It is not improbable or unrealistic considering so much of our revenue is from China that it makes sense that I spend most of my time here,” Wynn said. In fact, Wynn is so fed up with U.S. government policies regarding business development and the economy that he would possibly overlook potential opportunities in Las Vegas to put more focus on the Asian gaming market. “The governmental policies in the United States of America are a damper, a wet blanked,” he told Bloomberg News. Wynn will most likely break ground on a third hotel on
Macau’s Cotai Strip next year. Though Wynn’s comments were most likely meant to make an impact in Washington, they affected Las Vegas much more. House Rep. Shelley Berkley and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman both urged Wynn not to push through plans for the move. Las Vegas Sands President Michael Leven and Chairman Sheldon Adelson said that while they understand Wynn’s criticisms of current government policies, and most of their profits also come from Asia, those are not logical reasons to move the company’s headquarters out of the United States. “McDonald’s makes more money internationally than domestically, but are they going to move the company to Moscow? No.” Leven said. “For Steve Wynn to make that kind of comment is shocking. Sheldon has his disagreements with the President. But none of us at this stage of the game should abandon the U.S.”
“We’re happy that New Jersey has taken this issue into their own hands,” said iMEGA chairman Joe Brennan Jr. “New Jersey is recognized as having the toughest gaming regulators in the US, but as a leading gaming state with a long track record of doing things the right way, Internet gambling will have a great home here and the opportunity to begin normalizing the industry.” The bill states that Atlantic City casinos must apply for a permit to establish Internet wagering, with the permit valid for one year and subject to renewal. The annual fee for an Internet wagering permit is expected to be at least $200,000, with the renewal fee to be at least $100,000, to cover the costs of regulation by the commission and the division. Once in place, gambling regulations will be implemented for the conduct of Internet wagering that will be consistent with the regulations of the governing casino. Those regulations will include age restrictions, credit and debit procedures, game corruption checks, and features to assist problem gamblers and potential problem gamblers. New Jersey took the first step toward legalizing online gaming in the United States in January. Sen.
Carlos Mortensen Wins WPT Hollywood Poker Open
arlos Mortensen became the World Poker Tour’s (WPT) all-time money leader at $5.75 million after taking down the Hollywood Poker Open in March. Mortensen is now just one of two players to own three WPT titles.
the Doyle Brunson North American Poker Championship during Season 3 and also won the Season 5 WPT Championship. His first place performance at the Hollywood Casino, located outside of Cincinnati, earned him $393,000.
Mortensen leapfrogged PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu on the money list and is now tied with Gus Hansen as the only players to have tasted victory three times on the WPT circuit. Mortensen took down
Mortensen and Mike Mustafa were the last two standing at the final table, and they started heads-up play nearly dead even in chips. At one point Mustafa was down to just three big blinds, but he quickly doubled up twice.
Mustafa was finally ousted when he called all-in with pocket sixes against Mortensen’s K-10. Mortensen flopped a ten and never looked back. Following his win Mortensen told WPT officials about the tournament’s final hand: “Mike doubled up a couple of times to get back to 720,000. If he won that pot, he’d be at 1.4 or 1.5 million. I got one of my favorite hands, king-high. I won all three [WPT] titles with king-high.”
first up Lesniak introduced a bill which called for New Jersey residents to vote on a constitutional amendment that would permit state-regulated sports wagering in Atlantic City casinos, and to state residents via an intra-state Internet gambling system. Should New Jersey succeed in becoming the first state to approve intrastate online gambling, it is expected that some states will follow suit. Iowa, Florida and California have all been considering legislation as a means of straightening out state deficits. New Jersey is currently facing the worst deficit in the nation, but experts believe the state could earn hundreds of millions of dollars per year by regulating sports betting and online gaming. The matter of when the legislation will pass remains up for debate. Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas told CardPlayer magazine, “I think it’d be difficult for states to enact intrastate regulation by the end of this year. It is our goal to have something passed at the federal level this year. I think it’ll be a race to see who gets there first.” Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) remains focused on pioneering a federal solution on Capitol Hill. Frank recently added a 66th cosponsor, Rep. Charles A. Wilson from Ohio’s Sixth Congressional District, as he prepares to go into the markup phase for the proposed for House Bill 2267. Frank has until June 1st to work out the details of the legislation in order for the bill to be passed. The PPA slso just won a fight to remove language in a Massachussets gaming that would have made online gambling illegal.
lan on making a run for the money at this year’s World Series of Poker? You might want to get some practice at one of poker tournaments happening around the US before the WSOP kicks off at the end of May. With 10 major tournaments, and a myriad of side tournaments at each site, there’s plenty of opportunities to get your game on before you lay your money down on the big day.
April 30 - May 9
May 12 - May 22
2010 Sierra Poker Classic
2010 Tri State Poker Championship
Harveys Lake Tahoe Stateline, NV
Hollywood Park Casino Inglewood, CA
May 5 - May 9
May 22 - May 31
2010 Nevada State Championship
2010 Orleans Open
Peppermill Casino Reno, NV
The Orleans Las Vegas, NV
May 6 - May 16
May 26 - June 14
2010 Mid America Poker Championship
2010 Mega Stack Series
Horseshoe Southern Indiana Elizabeth, IN
May 6 - May 23
Caesars Palace Las Vegas, NV
May 28 - July 15
2010 California State Championship
2010 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza III
Commerce Casino Commerce, CA
Venetian Hotel and Casino Las Vegas, NV
May 6 - May 17
May 28 - July 5
2010 Mid-South Poker Classic
2010 41st Annual World Series of Poker
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, NV
Rio Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, NV
May 7- May 19 2009/2010 WSOP Circuit Event Harrah’s New Orleans New Orleans, LA
Isildur1 Tells Tony G. Thanks but No Thanks
he poker community has been on the edge of their seats waiting for the mysterious “Isildur1” to show up at PartyPoker’s “Big Game IV” high stakes cash game.
take care bud.”Needless to say Tony G. was upset. Not only has he been one of the only ones that have ever spoken to the Swede outside of a chat box, he was also reportedly going to stake him in the “Big Game.”
The unidentified Swede had apparently been in contact with Tony G., saying that he was ready to make his very first television appearance, and maybe even reveal his true identity. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Tony G.’s blog also said that instead he staked another player, though he mention who.
According to Tony G.’s blog, one day before the event started “Isildur1” sent him a text message that simply said “Sry for not coming,
It’s probably safe to say that Tony G.’s relationship with “Isiludur1” is pretty much over. Though Tony G. is usually quite effusive, he was diplomatic about the falling out. “As far as I am concerned I am washing my hands with him and moving on.”
Diagnosis By Derek Gould
he NFL Draft is an event unlike any other. For the players, it’s the culmination of their lives and careers, exiting one stage and entering the next. For coaches, it’s a time to display their knowledge of the game, and exercise their used carsalesman skills in hopes of getting the biggest bang for their buck. To either strengthen or re-build their team. For fans, the draft has become a night to prepare for what lies ahead. In fact, it’s quickly turned into a bona fide excuse to throw on their favorite team’s jersey and binge drink. Though the draft hasn’t gone through any extreme alterations, April 22nd marked the first time in the history of the league that the NFL Draft aired on a Thursday night during primetime television. Not that the NFL needed any help in the ratings department, but it’s a nice face lift that gives fans something to watch after a hard day’s work. It was obviously a hit, as the Radio City Music Hall telecast stole the show from its competition, including the MLB regular season and first rounds of the NHL and NBA playoffs. The NFL Draft is an event like any other. Here’s what went down in the opening round.
1. St Louis Rams: Sam Bradford QB-6’4” 236lbs. Oklahoma 8,403 yards, 88 touchdowns and a Heisman trophy? Yes, please. There was talk that St. Louis would trade the pick after their attempt to grab a quarterback from Philadelphia. However, the Rams’ brass made the smart move and found a more-than-capable replacement for longtime Rams quarterback, Marc Bulger. Bradford is the type of player that only comes around once every ten years. Though the shoulder injury that Bradford suffered early last season raised a red flag, the former Heisman trophy winner displayed his arm strength on pro day, silencing all critics. He’s a great piece to build this franchise around. Grade: A2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh DT-6’ 4’’ 307lbs. Nebraska He could have easily gone 1st overall if the Rams weren’t in such a dire need for a quarterback. Suh is a defensive specimen. The Lions have drafted well in the past few years making up for their terrible blunder picks on wide receiver busts. Suh will immediately be an impact player that can stop the run, and rush the passer for a Detroit defense that ranked among the worst in the NFL. Don’t forget that this guy is a saint off of the field, and a highly intelligent one for that matter. Grade: A+ 3. Tampa Bay Bucs: Gerald McCoy DT-6’ 4” 295lbs. Oklahoma It was a foregone conclusion. Tampa Bay was hot on McCoy from day one. He fits in perfectly with the defensive scheme the Buccaneers use, and he is game-ready. He may not be everything that Suh is, but he will be highly successful in a defense that hasn’t quite been the same since Warren Sapp’s departure. McCoy will be a household name by the end of the 2010 season. Grade: A 4. Washington Redskins: Trent Williams OT-6’5” 315lbs. Oklahoma Another Sooner goes in the top-10. Williams, a prime time blocker for Sam Bradford, will now instantly help an embarrassing offensive line that must protect Donovan McNabb if they wish to succeed in the NFC East. Washington’s O-line allowed 43 sacks on former QB, Jason Campbell, fourth worst in the NFL. Williams had 102 knockdown blocks on 885 plays while at Oklahoma. He’s the player Mike Shannahan desperately needed entering his first season as head coach. Grade: A-
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry SS-6’0” 211lbs. Tennessee Berry entered the draft with high praise. He was dubbed “the next Ed Reed,” and most likely to win Defensive Player of the Year honors. Berry was a standout playing in a tough SEC conference at Tennessee and was, by far, the best safety on the board. Kansas City’s secondary was a total embarrassment last year, so Berry will have an impact from week one. He amassed 241 tackles, two forced fumbles and 14 sacks during his three-year career with the Volunteers, and will be able to provide help against the run as well as the pass for a defense that ranked 30th in total defense. Grade: A+
“8,403 yards, 88 touchdowns and a Heisman trophy? Yes please.”
6. Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung OT-6’5” 307lbs. Oklahoma State Ever since Pete Carroll failed as an NFL coach in New England, teams were weary to bring him back into the league. When Jim Mora Jr. was let go after only one season, Seattle threw out all its doubts and went hard for Carroll. Though concerns grew, like questioning the former USC head coach’s drafting strategy, Carroll used his first pick to address the vacancy left in Seattle after Walter Jones retired. Okung was considered the best tackle on the board, even better than Trent Williams. The Oklahoma State standout will provide strong support from the blindside for whoever starts as quarterback for the Seahawks in ’10. Grade: A 7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden CB-5’11” 193lbs. Florida The Browns’ season was a tale of two stories. Cleveland was terrible in the beginning, but showed signs of life towards the end. Despite their mishmash of a season in 2010, one of the many weaknesses the Browns had on defense was alleviated by selecting Joe Haden to play opposite of CB Eric Wright. Though Haden wasn’t a standout at the combine, he was among
SPORTS BETTING the top-three cornerbacks on the board. The Browns could have looked elsewhere to help out in the secondary, but Haden will be a great upgrade and provide some support for Wright. Grade: B 8. Oakland Raiders: Rolando McClain LB-6’3” 254lbs. Alabama The Raiders have been known to make the most illogical moves, and they are perennial drafters somewhere in the top-five selections (That’s not a good thing). Al Davis has made a mockery of what used to be a feared football franchise, with the word “bust” associated with each of his first round picks. However, as the world held their breath awaiting Oakland’s pick, an unusual event happened: they made a great selection. The Raiders grabbed the best linebacker on the board, taking Rolando McClain, an NFL ready impact player that recorded 270 tackles, one forced fumble and five interceptions in three years under Nick Saban. McClain will provide a lot of pressure on opponents’ run game, and is likely to inspire those around him. Grade: A9. Buffalo Bills: C.J. Spiller RB-5’11” 196lbs. Clemson By far one of the best moves made in the first round. Spiller has been prophesized to be the next Chris Johnson. Though the Bills have other areas to address, including quarterback and wide receiver, Buffalo made a bold move to scoop up the best running back in the draft. Spiller shined all four years accumulating over 3,000 yards and 32 touchdowns at Clemson. Now with three running backs, Buffalo can possibly trade the troubled and former 1st round pick, MarShawn Lynch, and get some depth at receiver or quarterback. Grade: A10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyson Alualu DE-6’3” 295lbs. California One of the worst picks in the first round by far. The Jaguars had multiple areas to address, and with Alualu not even projected to go until late in the first round, a rain cloud will be hanging over the heads of Jack Del Rio and Gene Smith. Alualu is a good player. Good, but not great. Normally when a player that’s good, but not great, is selected prematurely bad news lurks on the road ahead. Grade: D 11. San Francisco 49ers: Anthony Davis OT-6’5” 323lbs. Rutgers San Francisco could have taken some of the tempting fruit that was on the tree. Instead, they trade a fourth-round pick for a two spot jump and selected Anthony Davis, a standout tackle from Rutgers that will help a depleted offensive line protect their former number-one draft pick, Alex Smith. It’s apparent they haven’t given up on him, as drafting Davis will not only give Smith more time to throw, but open gaping holes for RB Frank Gore to bust through. They made the smart and safe pick here. Grade: A12. San Diego Chargers: Ryan Mathews RB-6’0” 218lbs. Fresno State With the departure of LaDanian Tomlinson still fresh on the minds of the upper management, trading a second-round and fourth-round pick and taking a running back early was a priority. Mathews is a back that can run great inside and provide the power punch that will counter Darren Sproles’ quickness. Mathews ran for over 1,800 yards and punched in 19 touchdowns in 2009. Though he’s a piece that will work out well for a highpowered offense, he has some big shoes to fill taking over for a future Hall of Famer. Grade: B+ 13. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Graham DE-6’1” 268 lbs. Michigan The best move of the night. Philadelphia made bold moves coming into the draft by trading Donovan McNabb, and was hell-bent on making a good team great. The Eagles traded up, surrendering two third-round picks to get the 13th pick and secure a pass-rusher that can pressure the QB on the
opposite side of Trent Cole. Graham is a terror on opposing quarterbacks and he showed skills that could overcome physical shortcomings at the Senior Bowl. Though Graham isn’t the prototypical defensive end, his speed and explosiveness makes up for his height. He dominated in a terrible offense at Michigan; think of what he will do in a great defense in Philadelphia. Grade: A+ 14. Seattle Seahawks: Earl Thomas SS-5’10” 208lbs. Texas Pete Carroll shines again, as he addresses two holes in his offense and defense with two first- round picks. Earl Thomas was a standout at the University of Texas and will be an impact player from the first game of the season. He isn’t as gifted as Eric Berry, but taking the second best safety that racked up 134 tackles, 5 forced fumbles and 10 interceptions in two years at Texas will be a huge step in the right direction for a team that is just a few moves away from a division championship. Grade: B+
“When a player that’s good, but not great, is selected prematurely, bad news lurks on the road ahead.” 15. New York Giants: Jason Pierre-Paul DE-6’5” 270lbs. South Florida With rumors circulating that New York would trade a disgruntled Osi Umenyiora, it made perfect sense for the Giants to take another defensive end. With Jason Pierre-Paul to go along with the lethal combination of Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka , New York has one of the most feared pass-rushes in a league that thrives on passing. Though Pierre-Paul only played one year for South Florida, he was a monster, recording 42 tackles and six sacks in just one year. He will be well known by NFC East quarterbacks. Grade: B 16. Tennessee Titans: Derrick Morgan DE-6’3” 266lbs. Gerogia Tech By losing Haynesworth, Vanden Bosch and now perhaps Bullock, it was
SPORTS BETTING clear the Titans’ primary need was a pass rusher. They had been rumored to be interested in Pierre-Paul, but instead took the next best option in Derrick Morgan. Morgan was known for his skills against both the run and the pass at Georgia Tech where he totaled 12 sacks in the 2009 season. He will benefit from the scheme Tennessee uses and will be a tremendous help to a team in need of a solid pursuit DE. Grade: A-
“Everyone wondered who was going to be the goose that takes Tebow.”
17. San Francisco 49ers: Mike Iupati OG-6’5” 331lbs. Idaho Again, the Niners’ brass showed their dedication to Alex Smith taking another offensive lineman to help protect one of the most sacked QBs in 2009. Though San Fran needed a corner to help out on the opposite side of Nate Clements, Iupati will add even more protection on Smith and give Frank Gore the holes he will need to be effective. Grade: B
years of play. With a high intelligence at recognizing the play, the Missouri graduate will surely help an Atlanta team sound on offense and even better on defense. Grade: B
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Maurkice Pouncey C-6’4” 304lbs. Florida The Florida standout was selected to help give the trade-rumor milled Ben Roethlisberger, protection. Despite, Pittsburgh’s need for depth at cornerback, the Steelers decided to show Big Ben that they were willing to risk a first-round pick on his behalf. Though Roethlisberger thrives when throwing on the run, Pittsburgh had one of the worst offensive lines in the league. This move will help secure the O-line as Pouncey can play either center or guard. He’s versatile and will protect a guy that needs it in more ways than one. Grade: C+ 19. Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon LB-6’1” 239lbs. Missouri If Atlanta had one Achilles’ heel last year, it was at linebacker. Though Curtis Lofton is a complete stud in the middle, Weatherspoon brings more than physical ability to the table. He can immediately have an impact on this team, as he was a tackling machine at Missouri, recording 388 in his four
20. Houston Texans: Kareem Jackson CB-5’10” 196lbs. Alabama If there is one area where the Texans have shined, it’s in the draft. They have made smart moves from a team that had the top pick in the draft just a few years ago, to a team that finished over .500 in ‘09. Obviously the main area of concern was in the secondary for the Texans, so it was only logical to select a cornerback to replace Dunta Robinson. Though most would assume Kyle Wilson would’ve been the no-brainer, Houston selected Jackson. Kareem Jackson was a superb tackler at Alabama. Though he wasn’t known for his knack? on interceptions, Jackson will be able to press and bump and run with the fastest receivers. Grade: B+ 21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jermaine Gresham TE-6’5” 261lbs. Oklahoma Surprisingly The Bengals made one of the more predicted selections in the 2010 draft. Cincinnati had a huge hole at tight end and righted all of the wrongs with one simple selection. Gresham was one of the most dominant pass-catching tight ends when playing with Sam Bradford at Oklahoma. Before tearing his ACL in ‘09 Gresham could have been taken top-10 in last year’s draft: in 2008 he recorded 950 yards and 14 touchdowns. However,
counterpart to Darnell Dockett. At Tennessee, Williams displayed quickness to adjust to the run and had enough power to help cave-in on the passer. A sound pick at 26, he could have been taken within the first 15. Grade: B+ 27. New England Patriots: Devin McCourty CB-5’11” 193lbs. Rutgers After trading down and accumulating picks in later rounds, New England took the best player in a position they were in need of. McCourty will immediately help a defense that looked inexperienced and, at times, flatout confused. The secondary hasn’t been the same since they let Asante Samuel go. And after multiple attempts to try and fix their holes with duct tape and glue, McCourty could be the answer. Bill Belichick is always thinking outside the box. Just one question: Why not Kyle Wilson? Grade: B+
with a full year to recover from the injury, the Bengals will benefit from giving Carson Palmer a physically dominating presence in the red zone. Grade: A22. Denver Broncos: Demaryius Thomas WR-6’3” 224lbs. Georgia Tech Think about it. Josh McDaniels gets rid of a tyrant in the form of Brandon Marshall, avoids signing the misfit to a huge contract, gets him out of the AFC West and gets the best receiver in the draft. Sure, he had to give up more draft picks, but this kid is worth it. He is big, strong and can flat out play. At Georgia Tech, Thomas caught 120 passes for over 2,000 yards and 14 touchdowns. Denver made a great selection. Grade: A 23. Green Bay Packers: Bryan Bulaga OT-6’5” 314lbs. Iowa Lucky for the Packers that Bulaga, a top-ten talent, fell as far as he did. Green Bay will need to start transitioning younger players to the offensive line, and this is a great way to start. The Iowa standout will be a blockade for Aaron Rodgers, eventually sliding into the guard position. A great sleeper pick up for a team that needed to get younger on their O-line. Grade: A 24. Dallas Cowboys: Dez Bryant WR-6’2” 225lbs. Oklahoma State In 1998, Jerry Jones passed on Randy Moss due to character issues. He was right. Despite Moss’ abilities on their field, he was a liability off of it. Yet, Randy is a first ballot Hall of Famer that could still be playing for Jones. Dez Bryant was Randy Moss coming into this draft. Though he has all of the physical skills to make him an elite receiver the questions surrounding Bryant’s character made him, like Moss, a liability. However, what Jerry wants, Jerry gets. Even if it means giving up a third-round pick to New England to move up three spots. With that, Dallas has the best receiving corps in the NFL. If Bryant can catch onto an NFL playbook and stay motivated, he will be a force for a longtime in Texas. Grade: A25. Denver Broncos:Tim Tebow QB-6’3” 236lbs. Florida Everyone wondered who was going to be the goose that takes Tebow. With the 25th pick in the draft the Denver Broncos select Tim Tebow? Look, it’s easy to recognize the pristine image that comes with the Tebow package, but if he can’t throw, what good is he? An h-back at best, and an h-back certainly isn’t worth the 25th overall pick. Unless there is something that the world is missing, the Tebow pick was a wasted one that cost the Broncos selections in later rounds. Denver made a terrible selection. Grade: F 26. Arizona Cardinals: Dan Williams DT-6’2” 327lbs. Tennessee A great pick for Arizona who lost out in the bidding for Karlos Dansby. Williams, who was touted to go as high as the top-ten, will be a great
28. Miami Dolphins: Jared Odrick DT-6’5” 304lbs. Penn State Surprised that the Patriots would pass on Odrick, the Dolphins scooped him up quickly. Miami got one of the primer run-prevention and pass-rushers in the draft. The Penn State graduate progressed all four years he played under Joe Paterno. In his senior year, Odrick had 43 tackles and seven sacks. He is a defensive end that will thrive in a revamped defense that is based on toughness and physicality. Grade: A29. New York Jets: Kyle Wilson CB-5’10” 194lbs. Boise State The good just keep getting better. New York has easily the best cornerback in Darrelle Revis and have now added even more of a threat to compliment the Defensive Player of the Year. It’s surprising that Wilson fell this far. After all, he did record 159 tackles and 11 interceptions at Boise State. He will surely get better with tutelage from the best in the league. The Jet’s highly touted offense improves once again under Rex Ryan. Grade: A30. Detroit Lions: Jahvid Best RB-5’10” 199lbs. California The NFC North has become a tough division in the past three or four years, so any hopes of Detroit being a factor hangs in the balance of each pick. With Kevin Smith hampered by injuries, the Lions traded up to get Best. Jahvid Best is a running back that mirrors Chris Johnson. He has the speed and explosiveness to break away for the big plays and can catch out of the backfield. Essentially, he’s a poor man’s C.J. Spiller. The Lions have needs in a lot of places, but this is a great place to start. After all, Best did rush for nearly 3,000 yards and 29 touchdowns in three years while at Cal. Grade: B 31. Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Hughes DE-6’2” 255lbs. TCU The Colts found the player that will learn from two of the best edge rushers in the game (Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis). Hughes was a speed freak at TCU, constantly putting pressure on the quarterback. In 2008 and 2009 he posted 26 sacks. Not only have the Colts added fresh legs to rotate with Freeney and Mathis, but started the rebuilding process very early on a pass rusher that will find success in the NFL. Grade: A 32. New Orleans Saints: Patrick Robinson CB-5’11” 190lbs. Florida State The defending champions began their long road back to the Super Bowl by taking a cornerback with their first-round pick. The Saints pride themselves on having an intimidating secondary with Darren Sharper and Malcom Jenkins. However, if Sharper, an impending free agent, can’t come to terms with New Orleans, the Robinson pick will have looked genius. Than again, there can never be too many cornerbacks on the depth chart. Patrick Robinson might be a pleasant surprise as he has all of the tools to make an impact. Grade: B
Published on May 11, 2010