Quick hits on the NFL Draft and the NBA Playoffs

By Zac Jackson
Fox Sports Ohio
April 14, 2010

1. No drama in tonight’s Cavaliers-Hawks game. No LeBron. No Shaq. Good decision. There is suspense, though, as there’s scoreboard watching to be done in regards to Bulls-Bobcats. A Chicago win and the Bulls are in, headed to Cleveland this weekend. A Chicago loss and a Toronto win over the Knicks (there’s gotta be a high school team in Toronto that could beat the Knicks in Game 82) and the Raptors are in. Because of the situation in the wild, wild west (clever, aren’t I?), the playoff pairings and schedule won’t be finalized until the wee hours. But we’re dying to know every last detail…because we’ve been dying for this time to come. Pretty important couple months ahead…

2. If you need your NFL Draft fix — and even those of you claiming to be sick of all the hype do — click back and join myself and Daniel Jeremiah today at just after 3 p.m. ET for a live, interactive AFC North Draft chat. We’ll cover hundreds of prospects, dozens of scenarios and get as many of your questions answered as possible. Should be fun and informative.

3. Well, one of my earlier draft questions was answered this morning when news broke of the Broncos trading Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins, who gave Marshall a HUGE contract and gave up a second-rounder this year and, reportedly, a second-rounder next year. That’s a really hefty price, so good for Denver. The Broncos now become very much a part of the Dez Bryant discussion and very much alive in the trade market with another pretty high second-rounder. I still believe Josh McDaniels doesn’t believe he can with Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn and wouldn’t be surprised to see the Broncos make a move for a quarterback.

4. The Browns will hold their pre-draft press conference Thursday. Don’t expect much “real” information to come out of it, though it should be 100 times more interesting and entertaining than last year’s pre-draft “discussion” from Eric Mangini and George Kokinis. Expect Mike Holmgren to indirectly throw out some trade up or trade down scenarios (maybe even an anointing of Eric Berry as the next Eric Turner) as the posturing heats up. The Browns’ scouts will be in this weekend as the final countdown begins.

5. Kudos to the NBA for having every game start at either 8 p.m. or 10:30 tonight to ensure fairness on the last night of the season, but it’s a good idea that will have little impact because so much has already been decided. On a 16-game NFL schedule, there’s always a bit of scoreboard watching and uncertainty on that final Sunday. Over the course of 82 games, though, there’s plenty of separation. From what I saw of Derrick Rose in the fourth quarter last night, the Bulls will take care of their business tonight and be an interesting and slightly formidable first-round opponent for the Cavaliers. That’s a good thing. Putting the sleepwalking Pistons out of their misery last year did little for the Good Guys going forward. Finally tonight we can put that official counter at “16” and get ready to start crossing them off.

See you at 3 p.m.