Mo’ Playmakers Mo’ Problems by Kevin G

Sports fans sure have changed. Before all fans did was cheer on the guys in their favorite team’s jerseys. These days though, it seems that everybody is an armchair GM. It is honestly my favorite part of being a fan. I love to imagine the decisions I would make if it were my team.

Of course being a fan I only have a limited amount of knowledge. I don’t pretend to completely understand all of the workings of the salary cap. And I am no expert when it comes to understanding all of the intricacies of building a roster. But I can pretend and that is what I am going to do here today.

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The State of the Broncos’ Backfield by Kevin G.

Disclaimer: Kevin actually had this finished before training camp began, so his analysis has nothing to do with the practice reports from Dove Valley or who had the most carries in the scrimmage today. 

As a kid of the 90’s and early 00’s I grew up wanting to be a running back.  These were the days of Terrell Davis, Ladainian Tomlinson , Marshall Faulk and many, many more stud running backs. Teams revolved around their running back. Broadcast commentators taught us the importance of developing a running game. We then witnessed the importance first hand when we watched Jerome Bettis bulldoze his way into the end zone. Or when we watched in awe as Barry Sanders juked his defenders out of their shoes.

Every year I bought the new Madden game I would start in the training camp mode. I would work until I could dominate all of the running back drills and then I would boot up a new Broncos season and work towards a 2,000 yard rushing season. That is how I knew football. (And that probably explains why I am so horrible at passing in Madden to this day.)

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“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Review by Jesse Schaffer

“The world has changed, and none of us can go back. All we can do is our best, and sometimes, the best that we can do is to start over.” 

If you read my review of Captain America: The First Avenger (and there haven’t been many posts around here lately, so odds are that you did), then you know that I was a pretty big fan of that movie. However, one big weakness of Cap’s big screen debut, as well as his role in The Avengers, was that you never got to see him kick very much ass. Granted, it’s not always easy to look powerful when your teammates consist of the God of Thunder, an enormous green rage monster and a wise-cracking genius in a high-tech armored suit, but Cap is his own entity, right? There’s no excuse for him not to be a bad ass when those other Avengers aren’t around to steal the spotlight.

Only that wasn’t the case in The First Avenger; the action scenes suffered due to the high usage of montages and thus we only saw glimpses of Cap proving his worth in battle. That was a mistake that I hoped all those involved would avoid in Cap 2, partly because the sequel seemed to be taking all of the other right steps to improve upon the original. Chris Evans as Steve Rogers in the modern day world? He nails that role. Casting Anthony Mackie as the Falcon? Hell of a choice, guy’s a great actor. Bringing back Nick Fury, Black Widow and then throwing the Winter Soldier and Robert Redford’s Alexander Pierce into the mix? I’m already on the edge of my seat. That being said, the movie is called Captain America for a reason and it was high time that he proved why he’s the world’s greatest soldier.

And that’s exactly what happened. Captain America: The Winter Soldier improved upon its predecessor in every conceivable way and reaffirmed my belief that Steve Rogers is a hero worthy of our attention and admiration. Not only that, but the narrative that is very carefully weaved here by The Russo Brothers (first time big-budget directors who are famous for Community) is chalked full of intriguing twists and turns with enormous amounts of payoff, and when you combine it all together, you have the finest standalone Marvel Studios film since the original Iron Man. I’ll go as far to say that it even surpasses our first encounter with Tony Stark.

We’ll start with the plot. Steve Rogers has lent his abilities as Captain America to the service of S.H.I.E.L.D., and though he is less than satisfied with the underhanded way that his new comrades operate (particularly the methods of Fury and Widow), he’s willing to overlook all of that so long as he still feels that he’s helping people and making a difference in the world. That all changes when Fury is pursued by “cops” in broad daylight and then fatally wounded in Rogers’ apartment, which in turn sparks a manhunt for Cap and forces him and the Widow to go on the run. I’d be well within my rights to delve even further into the spoilers, seeing as this movie has been out for three months, but I’ll hold back for anyone who was on the fence about this movie because they didn’t like the first one.

If you are a member of that band of ignorant fools, perhaps I can help change your mind. In my opinion, Evans embodies every essential quality of Captain America in this movie and is as relatable as he’s ever been. Once again, Rogers displays extraordinary conviction and refuses to sacrifice his beliefs or values, even when his so-called allies aren’t doing the same. It’s all well and good to do everything in your power to disarm those who present a threat to the innocent, but how do you react when you realize that your superiors have been holding a knife to your throat the whole time? The America that Rogers sacrificed himself to protect during the war is a distant memory, and what he finds in the new world is that the difference between good and evil is that the good guys will at least apologize after they stab you in the back.

On top of all that, Rogers’ entire existence is shaken to its core when he finds out the true identity of The Winter Soldier, the Terminator-esque assassin who carried out the hit on Fury and whose motivation is unclear. To watch Cap try and make sense of everything as he grapples with all of these betrayals and revelations is something to behold, and the only thing to top it are his interactions with his friends. I feel safe calling them that because over the course of the movie, Black Widow, Falcon and even a returning Maria Hill all prove themselves in Cap’s eyes. You already knew that Black Widow was playing for the home team (Scarlett Johanson absolutely owns that role at this point) but Mackie as the Falcon provides a fresh face and kindred spirit for Rogers to connect with. They are both soldiers, after all, and you feel their chemistry and camaraderie being established right from the opening frames. And spoilers be damned, but the reunion between Cap and Peggy Carter is one of the most intimate and human moments from any superhero movie. It provided us with some much desired closure between those two and inspired me to quote it at the beginning of this review.

Of course, none of this would mean a damn thing if the action wasn’t up to par, but it absolutely is. Cap is literally unstoppable as he bashes his way through anyone dumb enough to take him on and his trademark shield is one of the coolest weapons ever. It ricochets off walls and batters everything from helpless thugs to S.H.I.E.L.D. helicopters, proving once and for all that Cap doesn’t need any help in order to dispatch his enemies with extreme prejudice. His showdowns with The Winter Soldier are epic encounters that actually surprise in the way that they’re carried out and leave you wanting more long after the final credits roll. And speaking of that damned soldier, only Loki has left a more lasting impression as a villain that can challenge our heroes both physically and emotionally. All of this leads to a climax that has catastrophic results for the Marvel Universe at large and will surely impact every follow-up to come.

In short, Captain America: The Winter Soldier accomplished everything that we could expect from one of these standalone films: told a compelling story that was unique, action-packed and further developed characters that we love? Check. Introduced a terrifying villain but made him more than just a mindless husk or maniacal mastermind? Check. Provided us with touching character moments that humanized everyone involved? Double check. This movie went above and beyond in terms of where we normally see comic book movies go and raised the bar for Marvel once again. I adored everything about this film and I’m just as excited for the next Cap movie as I am to see the Avengers reassemble next May. Your move, Joss Whedon.

Jesse’s Rating: 10/10

NFL Mock Draft Revisit

We meant to get this up much sooner than we did (like sometime close to the end of the draft). Hopefully this will be the beginning of a streak of high activity here at Pegboard, but I’ve made that promise in the past and I don’t want to put my foot in my mouth once more. That happens enough on its own, anyway. In this piece, Kevin and I revisit our mock draft and comment on who was actually picked. Most of this stuff actually happened. Mostly.

1. Houston Texans-

Real Pick: Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina

Our Prediction: Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina

Kevin: This is how the draft started, the Texans picked Clowney and Jesse jumped up on the table and exclaimed, “I AM THE KING OF MOCK DRAFTS! BOW DOWN TO ME!” While he popped open a bottle of champagne and sprayed it all over his basement. True story. We then spent the next 8 minutes attempting to pronounce Jadeveon.

Jesse: Only ESPN, the TMZ of sports, could’ve spewed out enough b.s. to make the Texans passing on Clowney seem like a realistic possibility. If Clowney lives up to the hype, the Texans are going to make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. And I will always refer to him as Clowney, because Jadeveon is just too difficult to pronounce.

2. St Louis Rams-

Real Pick: Greg Robinson, OT Auburn

Our Prediction: Greg Robinson, OT Auburn

Kevin: Hey, it took two years but the Rams finally made their second overall pick! And it was a tackle! Exciting times. Meanwhile Jesse and I were about four shots in celebrating our perfect mock draft. We even sent our résumés into ESPN.

Jesse: Before Kevin made this pick during our mock draft, he literally said, “I’m probably wrong about this one.” Mocking Joeckel over Fisher to the Chiefs last year has scarred the man for life.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars-

Real Pick: Blake Bortles, QB UCF

Our Prediction: Khalil Mack, LB Buffalo

Kevin: In case you missed our mock draft this is what Jesse had to say about this pick, “Last year, I predicted that Gus Bradley would try to replicate the strengths of Seattle in his new job by drafting a pass rusher. That didn’t happen and Kevin still gives me crap about it. Moving forward undeterred, I’m making the same prediction this year. Will Gus Bradley make me look like a fool once more? Find out tonight!”. I love Gus Bradley.

Also, Jesse was a stressball up until this point. Peter King hinted pretty heavily that the Broncos might trade up to draft Bortles. Let’s just say this was the first “fuck you Peter King” we heard of the night but surely not the last.

Jesse: I hate Gus Bradley. And fuck Peter King.

4. Cleveland Browns- Buffalo Bills-

Real Pick: Browns trade pick to Buffalo Bills. Bills select Sammy Watkings, WR Clemson

Our Prediction: Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M

Kevin: Did Donald Trump buy the Bills already? Or perhaps Al Davis’ ghost? DID AL DAVIS’ GHOST TAKEOVER DONALD TRUMP’S BODY AND FORCE HIM TO BUY THE BUFFALO BILLS AND THEN FORCE HIM TO MORTGAGE THEIR FUTURE FOR A FLASHY WIDE RECEIVER?!? That is the only reasonable explanation for trading next year’s pick.

Jesse: This is the kind of deal you make when you’re one player away from being a real contender, like the Falcons did when they traded up for Julio Jones. The Bills were 6-10 last year, so I’ll let you do the math on that one.

5. Oakland Raiders-

Real Pick: Khalil Mack, LB Buffalo

Our Prediction: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson

Kevin: This is a dark day. The Oakland Raiders made a good choice. I have no ridicule. I have no jokes. Just a heavy sigh and I move on.

Jesse: You can thank the first four teams for allowing a golden opportunity to fall right into Oakland’s lap. We just didn’t appreciate the final drafts of the Al Davis era enough, folks.

6. Atlanta Falcons-

Real Pick: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

Our Prediction: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

Kevin: At this point I doubled the amount of correct predictions I had from last year and took the lead over Jesse. Being a calm and collected winner is a very honorable thing. So naturally I flipped over Jesse’s table, grabbed a bottle of champagne and threw it against the wall of his basement and exclaimed, “WHO HAS THE THRONE NOW BITCH??”. When he tried to argue I said, “Scoreboard” over and over again until he finally gave up.

Jesse: For whatever reason, I read the last paragraph in Aaron Paul’s voice. Maybe it’s because Kevin threw a Jesse Pinkman-esque quote at me in all caps or maybe he is secretly a drug dealer. Thanks to Breaking Bad, it’s impossible to tell who is living a double life these days.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-

Real Pick: Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M

Our Prediction: Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M

Kevin: This is unprecedented. Jesse and I did absolutely zero minutes of research prior to our mock draft. And here we are doubling our points from last season. At this point we were out of tables and champagne. Plus ties are boring. So we sat there in awkward silence awaiting the next pick.

Jesse: Yep. What he said. Now excuse me while I go take a nap.

8. Minnesota Vikings- Cleveland Browns-

Real Pick: Vikings trade pick to Browns. Browns select Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma St

Our Prediction: Blake Bortles, QB UCF

Kevin: The “fuck you Peter King” count is up to about four now. And we begin a new count where we count how many times Jesse asks me to remind him who the Browns took with their first pick. Justin Gilbert, Jesse.

Jesse: Who the hell is Justin Gilbert?

9. Buffalo Bills-  Minnesota Vikings

Real Pick: Bills trade pick to the Browns who trade pick to the Vikings. Vikings Select Anthony Barr, OLB UCLA

Our Prediction: Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina

Kevin: Jesse is pretty happy that his pick got all messed up. Why? Because now there is a great chance that Ebron could drop the the Giants and he would get to see many Coughlin death glares. Don’t worry Jesse, Coughlin will have plenty of stuff to death glare at.

List of Death Glare Opportunities for Tom Coughlin:

  1. Victor Cruz’s new salsa dance routine.
  2. The new Star Wars movies.
  3. Roughly 38 Eli Manning interceptions.
  4. The new iPhone 6 (after he just figured out how to use his gosh dang iThing-a-majig 5).
  5. Chip Kelly sprinting to podiums.
  6. His QB depth chart.
  7. Aloe Blacc’s 300th rendition of “The Man” thus far.
  8. Trindon Holliday’s ball security.
  9. Robert Ayers’ everything.
  10. His entire 2014 team.

Jesse: Such a tease. I underestimated Tom Coughlin’s ability to disappoint me and then he shattered my dreams a few picks later. Now I know how it feels to be a Patriots fan.

10. Detroit Lions-

Real Pick: Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina

Our Prediction: Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State

Kevin: So now Jesse is visibly upset. I’m pretty convinced that the only thing Jesse wanted to see tonight was the Giants selecting Ebron. He just isn’t the same the rest of the night.

If you recall our 2013 mock draft, I came up with the greatest solution to Manti Te’o’s public relations problem. Basically he needed to team up with Skype and make some self-depreciating commercial. It would have solved everything! Well my marketing geniusness is back at it again. Adidas or Reebok or whomever wants to take down Nike should sign Ebron right now. And every commercial he is in should have this catch phrase, “Eric Ebron, the Lebron of football, with the L”. Get it? L stands for “loser” or “losing”. And Lebron loses…well okay he doesn’t anymore. So I guess this is a stretch. Don’t judge me.

Jesse: While Kevin boldly plots out his future as a major marketing executive, I would like to take this opportunity to pronounce my sympathy for Lions fans. Not only did you guys hire the most uninspiring coach on the planet, but now when Vernon Davis 2.0 throws a tantrum on the sideline, we will be then be bored to tears by Jim Caldwell’s post-game press conference. The next season hasn’t even started yet and already that guy is sucking the fun out of everything.

11.Tennessee Titans-

Real Pick: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan

Our Prediction: Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State

Kevin: I felt vindicated that the Titans stayed put. Jesse was seriously peer pressuring me into making a trade with him during our mock draft. Right before the pick Jesse was excited that the Titans were going to pick Gilbert. I then had to remind him that the Browns took Gilbert. Putting our, “how many times Jesse asks me to remind him who the Browns took with their first pick” count to roughly 7.

Jesse: Enough about this Justine Dilbert guy, I’m still furious that Kevin turned down my trade. Who cares that the real Titans didn’t even consider it, because most real people hardly ever consider the Titans when they think of good teams.

12. New York Giants-

Real Pick: Odell Beckham Jr, WR LSU

Our Prediction: Aaron Donald, DT Pittsburgh

Kevin: I was pissed because I came very close to making this pick for the Giants. Jesse was still pining for Ebron. We are both giving our own Coughlin Death Glares at ESPN right now.

Jesse: I would say “fuck Tom Coughlin,” but he did play a hand in stealing two Super Bowls from Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Short of a major terrorist attack, there is nothing this man could do to make me hate him.

13. St. Louis Rams-

Real Pick: Aaron Donald, DT Pitt

Our Prediction: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Alabama

Kevin: More Coughlin Glares! Jesse was all smug about Ha Ha Clinton-Dix going to the Rams. And the Rams completely betrayed him! I haven’t seen Jesse this upset since the Mass Effect 3 ending.

Jesse: Hold your horses folks, because Kevin is about to be knocked off of his high one.

14. Chicago Bears-

Real Pick: Kyle Fuller, CB Virginia Tech

Our Prediction: Calvin Pryor, S Louisville

Kevin: Speaking of smugness, I was counting the fake money Jesse and I bet at this point. I was so confident that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was going to be a Bear that I was already coming up with hilarious jokes. Like “Ha Ha Bear-Dix.” Or, “at least Bears fans have something else to laugh at other than Jay Cutler interceptions”. So I was pretty shattered with the Bears chose Kyle Fuller. One a positive note, I have now cracked Chicago’s drafting strategy. Reach for a player named ‘Kyle’. It has happened two years in a row now. So I guarantee I will nail their pick next season! I’m already looking at 2015 mock drafts in preparation.

Jesse: Not to be outdone, here is my list of my favorite Kyles in the world:

  1. Kyle from South Park
  2. Kyle Chandler (Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights)
  3. Kyle Ort… nope, forget this idea. There just aren’t enough famous Kyles.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers-

Real Pick: Ryan Shazier, OLB Ohio St

Our Prediction: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan

Kevin: Jesse was pissed off. He wanted Shazier pretty badly and for whatever reason Jesse was super angry that the Steelers of all teams picked him. Not sure why the Steelers irk him so bad. Perhaps he blames them for Jake Plummer’s early retirement? I’m pretty sure Jesse would have been upset no matter who the Steelers picked. He is irrational towards them. Kind of how I am irrational towards Buckeyes. When Jesse mocked a Suckeye to us I was pretty upset. Thankfully the Steelers prevented that horrible result right? No Suckeyes for the Broncos!

Jesse: Kevin has been a fan of Pittsburgh most of his life because of the freaking Penguins. Any rational football fan who doesn’t live there would loathe the Steelers and their six god damn Super Bowls. And the player I wanted the most in this draft had to go to a team with a history of punishing linebackers and great defense? You’re damn right I’m pissed off. Now I have to root against this guy for the next 10 years.

16. Dallas Cowboys-

Real Pick: Zack Martin, OT Notre Dame

Our Prediction: Anthony Barr, OLB UCLA

Kevin: Just as we finished our rough pitch of a reality show staring Johnny Manzie, Dez Bryant and Jerry Jones, the Cowboys went and made a logical pick. Damn. The Cowboys and Raiders really disappointed me this season.

Jesse: There was no logical reason for the Cowboys to draft Manziel, but it caught fire anyway. That kind of shit happens when the owner makes all of the roster decisions for his franchise. I did love the idea of that reality show, though.

17. Baltimore Ravens-

Real Pick: C.J. Mosely, LB Alabama

Our Prediction: Zack Martin, OT Notre Dame

Kevin: I thought Jesse was only irrationally angry towards the Steelers stealing potential Broncos’ picks. Not the case. He was extremely mad at the Ravens. He just hates teams that do intelligent things in the draft. At this point I was scooting over on the couch as far as I could. I didn’t want to risk a Todd Bertuzzi-esque sucker punch.

Jesse: As angry as I was, I wasn’t willing to risk committing a felony by clocking Kevin when he was half-expecting it. I would have waited until he had his back turned and then I would have gone full-Bertuzzi on him. The only silver lining is that the last time I wanted the Broncos to draft a linebacker from Alabama and a team that I detest stole that linebacker from them, his name was Rolando McClain. Fingers crossed, people.

18. New York Jets-

Real Pick: Calvin Pryor, S Louisville

Our Prediction: Odell Beckham Jr, WR LSU

Kevin: Seriously guys, stop with the jokes. You cannot tell me that the Raiders, Cowboys and Jets are doing intelligent things in the draft. Come on Jets! This was the perfect time for a punter or another quarterback! At least take a cocky wide receiver. You’ve changed Jets, you’ve changed and I don’t like it.

Jesse: I really don’t have anything bad to say about this. Pryor was a solid pick and it continues a productive off-season for the Jets. Along with the signings of Michael Vick, Eric Decker and Chris Johnson, this transaction makes Rex Ryan’s squad better than the one he coached last year. Better than the Pats? No, but they’re certainly capable of making some noise this year. They are also capable of completely imploding. Everything is fair game.

19. Miami Dolphins-

Real Pick: Ja’Wuan James, OT Tenn

Our Prediction: Xavier Su’a-Filo, G UCLA

Kevin:  Just to update, we are at 43, “Fuck you Peter King” and 32, “Who did the Browns draft?” moments. And with that we start a new quote count. How many Ja’Wuan-a-man jokes can Jesse muster up? Incredible he just got picked and Jesse is at 4.

Jesse: I have at least 10 more of those that I developed since then. Get ready Miami, it’s Ja’Wuan-a-man time!

20. Arizona Cardinals- New Orleans Saints

Real Pick: Cardinals trade pick to Saints. Saints pick Brandin Cooks, WR Oregon State

Our Prediction: C.J. Mosely, LB Alabama

Kevin: Well damn, now Chip Kelly won’t be sprinting to select Cooks. We might as well call it a night at this point. What a waste of time.

Jesse: If I get Jimmy Graham on my fantasy team again this year, I now know who to stash on my bench when Graham gets hurt or disappears at the end of the season.

21. Green Bay Packers-

Real Pick: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Alabama

Our Prediction: Kony Ealy, DE Missouri

Kevin: Jesse talked about hindsight being 20/20 because he would have taken Shazier for the Packers if we had redone the mock draft. Well he still got it wrong. Is his hindsight  20/100? Maybe he should look into Hindsight Lasik.

Jesse: My hindsight is about as lame as my eyesight, but Kevin refuses to let go of the fact that I didn’t mock Shazier to the Steelers. I’m telling you guys, the man has a hard on for Pittsburgh.

22. Philadelphia Eagles- Cleveland Browns

Real Pick: Eagles trade pick to Browns. Browns select Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M

Our Prediction: Brandin Cooks, WR Oregon State

Kevin: Does this count? I had the Browns picking Manziel at 4. Wait a minute! The Browns actually had patience and still got their man? Damn damn damn! End of an era people! The Raiders, Cowboys, Jets AND Browns all made decisions that I agreed with. What is this world coming to? Oh well. At least I can take solace in the fact that the Browns drafted Manziel because of a homeless man. And I can remind myself that the Browns picked Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden at 22.

Jesse: Johnny Football may be overrated as shit and a complete douche, but when was the last time a Browns player had this much media attention? Cough *Josh Gordon* cough! Anyway, if I learned anything from the Tebow circus, this won’t end until Manziel sees the field. For better or worse, Cleveland has to pull the trigger on that soon or it will completely destroy the confidence of every other quarterback on that team.

23. Kansas City Chiefs-

Real Pick: Dee Ford, DE Auburn

Our Prediction: Marqise Lee, WR USC

Kevin: Maybe we should give a point to Jesse. He picked Lee but maybe he meant Dee? They rhyme after all.

Jesse: I love this pick. Instead of giving Alex Smith someone else to throw to, the Chiefs drafted Tamba Hali’s replacement. Does that help them leapfrog the Broncos and even the playing field? Well, not this year.

24. Cincinnati Bengals-

Real Pick: Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State

Our Prediction: Morgan Moses, T Virginia

Kevin: Jesse was chanting, “Darqueze” for the entire 10 minute period the Bengals had. It was weird.

Jesse: Kevin was laughing the whole time. Weird indeed.

25. San Diego Chargers-

Real Pick: Jason Verrett, CB TCU

Our Prediction: Kyle Fuller, CB Virginia Tech

Kevin: I’m pretty sure we were flipping coins at this point. So the fact that Jesse had a corner going to the Chargers was pretty impressive.

Jesse: This is the third player that I wanted the Broncos to get that wound up on a team I hate. This first round was painful.

26. Cleveland Browns- Philadelphia Eagles

Real Pick: Browns trade pick to Eagles. Eagles select Marcus Smith, DE Louisville

Our Prediction: Bradley Roby, CB Ohio St.

Kevin: Well this was a disaster of a pick. I had Roby going to the Browns and then I dissed Roby for being a Suckeye. And now Roby is a Bronco. Football Gods have a sense of humor.

Jesse: I don’t really remember much about what the Eagles’ needs were going into the off-season, but I know that the Broncos dropped 52 points on those guys when they played last year. Chip Kelly needs any defensive help that he can get.

27. New Orleans Saints- Arizona Cardinals

Real Pick: Saints trade pick with Cardinals. Cardinals select Deone Buchannon, S Wash St

Our Prediction: Cody Latimer, WR Indiana

Kevin: I’m not sure if this in the point where my draft knowledge goes out the window or if the Cardinals reached. Maybe the Cardinals thought they said “Ray Buchanan”.

Jesse: The Broncos got a guy in the second round that we had going in the first round. Not that we are draft experts or anything, but that makes me giddy as hell.

28. Carolina Panthers-

Real Pick: Kelvin Benjamin, WR FSU

Our Prediction: Jason Verrett, CB TCU

Jesse: Cam Newton finally gets someone to throw to. If this guy isn’t the second coming of Megatron, it won’t be nearly enough to take the pressure off of him.

29. New England Patriots-

Real Pick: Patriots trade pick to…oh wait…Patriots select Dominique Easley, DT Florida

Our Prediction: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT Minnesota

Kevin: As Jesse astutely pointed out, the Patriots like doing the opposite of what people think. So after years of trading their first round pick they finally stayed put and drafted. And of course since it is the Patriots, I’m sure everyone thinks this guy is the next big thing. Whatever. At this point in the draft the only entertaining aspect is watching Jon Gruden get all puppy-eyed as he listens to Ray Lewis give impromptu locker room speeches.

Jesse: I’m too lazy to look this up and see if I’m actually right, but I’m pretty sure that the Pats almost always pick someone who no one had going in the first round. That’s because Bill Bellichick does whatever the fuck he wants and loves to prove that he’s smarter than everyone else.

30. San Francisco 49ers-

Real Pick: Jimmie Ward, S N. Illinois

Our Prediction: Kelvin Benjamin, WR FSU

Kevin:  I thought the 49ers were going to trade back. They collect draft picks like I used to collect Pokemon cards.

Jesse: Don’t be naive, people. Kevin still collects Pokemon cards. And the 49ers needed a replacement for Donte “Hitner,” so this worked out well for them.

31. Denver Broncos-

Real Pick: Bradley Roby, CB Ohio St.

Our Prediction: Ryan Shazier, OLB Ohio St

Kevin: Okay, I love the pick. Aside for his troubled past (not his arrests, but his association with Ohio St) I do think this was the correct pick. But the first time he says, “THE Ohio St University” on Monday or Sunday Night Football, I’m going to punch Jesse.

Jesse: The way that the board fell, the Broncos had no chance to select Mosley or Shazier. All of the other top corner prospects were long gone by this pick as well. Roby might be a bit of a risk, but he was a risk worth taking and could wind up being a steal. I probably won’t be watching much football at Kevin’s house for the next 10 years though.

32. Seattle Seahawks- Minnesota Vikings

Real Pick: Seahawks trade pick to Vikings. Vikings select Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

Our Prediction: Stephon Tuitt, DE Notre Dame

Kevin: I was actually happy Bridgewater went in the first round. If I were him I would have ran a Pro Day type event at the draft on the stage. Throughout the entire night he could have been behind Goodell just tossing the football to his receivers. Just saying, “See I can throw a football without pads on” until somebody picks him. I think Goodell would have forced a team to draft him just to get him off the stage.

Jesse: Drew Brees had a terrible Pro Day when he was getting ready for the draft. JaMarcus Russell had an excellent one. To be honest, I don’t care what a guy can do when he’s throwing to a bunch of receivers without a defense. All I would care about if I were a Vikings fan is that my team drafted a guy at the end of the first round who at one time was a candidate to be the no. 1 overall pick.

Pegboard’s Second Annual NFL Mock Draft

Welcome to our second annual mock draft. Enjoy our lame jokes and infinitely lamer picks. As last year, Kevin and I take on the role of playing GM for all 32 teams and take turns making selections. Kevin had the honor of choosing between the top two tackles in last year’s draft as the Chiefs, so I get to go first this year as the Texans.

1. Houston Texans- Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina:

Jesse: Media pundits and talking heads have been trying to convince us all week that the Texans won’t be taking Clowney here. Don’t buy it. Clowney will join forces with J.J. Watt, causing Andrew Luck to crap his pants and Jake Locker to consider another profession so he doesn’t get killed.

2. St Louis Rams- Greg Robinson, OT Auburn:

Kevin: It sure seems like the Rams really want to get out of this spot. It’s like they don’t want the attention or pressure of picking number 2. Are the Rams insecure and bashful? Are the Rams the team that constantly post pictures of themselves on Facebook tagged with, “OMG we are so bad”, hoping that another NFL team will comfort them and explain that they are just in a tough division and things will get better? Its okay Rams, you are loved.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Khalil Mack, LB Buffalo:

Jesse: Last year, I predicted that Gus Bradley would try to replicate the strengths of Seattle in his new job by drafting a pass rusher. That didn’t happen and Kevin still gives me crap about it. Moving forward undeterred, I’m making the same prediction this year. Will Gus Bradley make me look like a fool once more? Find out tonight!

4. Cleveland Browns- Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M:

Kevin: Oh man, I want to make a Kevin Costner joke so bad. But that’s too easy right? Hmm, come to think of it every joke associated with the Browns is too easy. As is every joke associated with Manziel. They are made for each other. That is how I am justifying this pick.

5. Oakland Raiders- Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson:

Jesse: The Raiders need more playmakers, period. Matt Schaub needs someone to throw deep to on his play-action bootleg that isn’t a defender. Makes sense to me.

6. Atlanta Falcons- Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M:

Kevin: I actually think the Falcons want a playmaker with this pick. But the board doesn’t fall that way.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M:

Jesse: Lovie Smith would love to have another receiver to pair with Vincent Jackson. You know who else loves receivers? The Lions. They just can’t get enough of them, especially when it comes to getting them in the top 10 in the draft. In this mock, the Jags passed on a receiver at no. 3. If they wind up taking Watkins and the Lions trade up to ensure they get Evans, then this won’t happen. And that means I just wasted all this space trying to defend my reasoning for this pick.

8. Minnesota Vikings- Blake Bortles, QB UCF:

Kevin: One reason I decided on Bortles here was because of Peter King. He wrote about how they are a perfect fit and signs are pointing to this happening. And then he released his official mock draft and stated that he is not buying the rumors of Bortles and the Vikings. You were the one supplying the rumors, King! Professional Journalists are the worst, am I right?

9. Buffalo Bills- Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina:

Jesse: Supposedly, this guy is the next Vernon Davis. If that’s true, I look forward to Doug Marrone getting in a verbal altercation with Ebron on the sideline during a game, banishing him to the locker room and then cutting a promo on him in his post-game interview. “Cannot play with them. Cannot win with them. Cannot coach with them. Can’t do it.” Actually, I can’t really see Marrone doing anything that entertaining. However, if Ebron falls to the Giants, we could get plenty of Tom Coughlin death glares in his direction. I’ll take that.

10. Detroit Lions- Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State:

Kevin: Did I predict this pick because Dennard went to Michigan State and Detroit is in Michigan? Of course not. I predicted Dennard because I want the Lions to be the team of insane first names. Ndamukong and Joique, please welcome Darqueze. Hey you have your draft strategies, I have mine.

11.Tennessee Titans- Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State:

Jesse: Gilbert is considered by some to be the best corner in this draft and the Titans need a corner. Simple as that. Just so you know, I offered to trade this pick to one of Kevin’s teams and he turned me down flat. I even heavily implied which team he should use for the trade and he still wouldn’t go for it. Talk about a buzz kill.

12. New York Giants-Aaron Donald, DT Pittsburgh:

Kevin: Donald seems to be rising up everyone’s draft boards. And the Giants love them some defensive linemen. They need a wide receiver but they are far too conservative to use a high pick on one.

13. St. Louis Rams-Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Alabama:

Jesse: Oh man, you should have seen the look on Kevin’s face when I stole Clinton-Dix right before he wanted him. The glare he gave me. It was beautiful. Tom Coughlin doesn’t have anything on Kevin Gavelda.

14. Chicago Bears- Calvin Pryor, S Louisville:

Kevin: I really, really, really wanted Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to fall to the Bears. Mostly because I wanted to say Ha Ha Clinton-Dix outloud and try not to laugh. Impossible. Instead I went with the next best safety with a far less entertaining name.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers- Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan:

Jesse: One of the main reasons that the Steelers haven’t made the playoffs in three years, other than the fact that Tim Tebow cursed them into oblivion, is that Ben Roethlisberger has been getting killed the past two seasons. It does seem like its poetic justice that a guy who raped someone has been pretty much getting gang-raped himself on the football field lately, but if he gets better protection he’s fully capable of guiding the Steelers back to the playoffs.

16. Dallas Cowboys- Anthony Barr, OLB UCLA:

Kevin: Dallas seems to be a wild card in most drafts. I never have a clue where they are going. But they replaced Demarcus Ware with Jeremy Mincey. I’m guessing they’ll want to boost their pass rush and Barr is the man to do it.

17. Baltimore Ravens- Zack Martin, OT Notre Dame:

Jesse: With “The Blind Side” moving on to Tennessee, the Ravens have a need at tackle. Apparently, Martin can play any position on the offensive line and that makes it unlikely he’ll last this long. You’re about to see a lot of this with my last eight picks.

18. New York Jets- Odell Beckham Jr, WR LSU:

Kevin: If you enjoy reading about numerous Wide Receivers getting picked in a small blog’s mock draft then hold on to your hats because here we go! I have given the New York Jesters a lot of crap for their offseason moves. Apparently I am the only one with a working calendar because a Michael Vick, Chris Johnson duo in 2014 is not that scary to me. And while Eric Decker might be a pretty good receiver he tends to disappear in big moments. But combine Decker with Beckham and incumbent Stephen Hill and you have at least ensured that Vick or Geno Smith will have a chance next year.

19. Miami Dolphins- Xavier Su’a-Filo, G UCLA:

Jesse: I spent a good 10 minutes trying to figure out who the hell to draft here. Meanwhile, Kevin’s iPad was freaking out and he couldn’t get it to open what he wanted it to. It was mildly amusing and very distracting. I also still have no idea who the Dolphins would even consider drafting here, so this is good a guess as I can muster.

20. Arizona Cardinals- C.J. Mosely, LB Alabama:

Kevin: Two things I wanted to desperately do here but I could not manage to pull off. First, I wanted to draft a quarterback but I just couldn’t get myself to say Derek Carr without laughing (similar to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix but for different reasons). Once I bypassed that idea I wanted to draft Mosely and make a Star Wars joke to Jesse. I wanted to call him C.J. Mos Eisley but it was probably too big of a stretch. Personally I think he should change his name. Either way the cantina song is stuck in all of our heads right now.

21. Green Bay Packers- Kony Ealy, DE Missouri:

Jesse: Kevin pays me back in kind for taking Clinton-Dix from him earlier by stealing Mosley from me here. The funny thing is if I had to do this again, I would have been targeting Ryan Shazier for the Packers anyway. Hindsight is 20/20, people.

22. Philadelphia Eagles- Brandin Cooks, WR Oregon State:

Kevin: When I made this pick I stated that Chip Kelly would sprint to the podium to make this selection. Jesse enjoyed the imagery so I thought I would share it with you all. Sure the easy pick here is Lee from USC but Cooks had the fastest 40 time at the combine and when I think fast, I think of Chip Kelly. I mean, I doubt Kelly is fast but he certainly loves his fast players.

23. Kansas City Chiefs- Marqise Lee, WR USC:

Jesse: The Chiefs were the surprise team of the NFL last year, but they did it without many big time players on their offense. I should know, I had Jamal Charles on one of my fantasy teams and he was scoring an ungodly amount of points every week because they had no one else to turn to. If there’s one thing that Andy Reid loves more than drafting fat linemen, it’s passing the ball. And screwing up clock management situations. And eating barbecue. Lee will be pleased with the former, furious with the middle and not surprised at all with the latter.

24. Cincinnati Bengals- Morgan Moses, T Virginia:

Kevin: Generally rule of mock drafts, if you have no clue go with the best available offensive lineman.

25. San Diego Chargers- Kyle Fuller, CB Virginia Tech:

Jesse: Fuller is the best corner in this draft and is someone I have targeted for the Broncos. This would break my heart, but the Chargers need help in their secondary.

26. Cleveland Browns- Bradley Roby, CB Ohio St.:

Kevin: It sickens me to fictionally choose a Buckeye for my fictional GM role (Hey! It’s like I am playing Kevin Costner playing GM for the Cleveland Browns!). But I did. The wide receivers are thin at this point, so why not grab a local kid and throw him across from Joe Haden. And as long as my buddy Jesse doesn’t pick another Buckeye for my beloved Broncos, I think I will be okay.

27. New Orleans Saints- Cody Latimer, WR Indiana:

Jesse: Not sure if you’ve been paying attention to the happenings out in New Orleans, but Drew Brees has been losing weapons left and right. Darren Sproles? Traded to the Eagles. Lance Moore? Released. Sure those guys might have dropped off a bit, but that leaves Jimmy Graham as the only legitimate weapon left in the arsenal (Marquise Colston shows up every few games). Now Brees could probably line up with a bunch of a mannequins at wide receiver and still throw for over 4,000 yards, but Latimer gives the Saints a big play threat that they currently don’t have.

28. Carolina Panthers- Jason Verrett, CB TCU:

Kevin: Does anyone feel like the Panthers are the bizarro Falcons? Since the Falcons are a team that way underachieved last season it almost seems unfair that they have such a high draft pick to further bolster their solid team. Meanwhile the Panthers way overachieved last season and it seems unfair that they have such a low draft pick that will do very little to address all of their needs. They need a Steve Smith replacement but Jesse just took a wide receiver from Indiana with a first round pick. That is not a good sign.

29. New England Patriots- Ra’Shede Hageman, DT Minnesota:

Jesse: Pretty much everyone is mocking Hageman to the Pats, which pretty much means that it’s not going to happen. The Pats love to do the exact opposite of what everyone believes they’re going to do in the draft.

30. San Francisco 49ers- Kelvin Benjamin, WR FSU:

Kevin: And now I am scraping the bottom of the barrel of wide receivers. Only because the 49ers can afford to take risks and they need another playmaker offensively.

31. Denver Broncos- Ryan Shazier, OLB Ohio St:

(Kevin’s Note: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!)

Jesse: Kevin’s personal grudge against the Buckeyes aside, this would be a killer selection for Denver. Shazier is the most athletic linebacker I’ve seen in a while and would be a perfect fit next to Danny Trevathan and Von Miller. Inside linebacker has been a need position for the Broncos for years, and even if the times have changed in this pass happy league, Shazier is too good to pass up. The only problem is I don’t think he’ll be making it past the early 20’s. John Elway will have to trade up to get him.

32. Seattle Seahawks- Stephon Tuitt, DE Notre Dame:

Kevin: I don’t want to talk about this team. When I was a young lad, I loathed the Seahawks. Nearly as much as the Raiders. And when they moved to the NFC I was relieved and horrified. Happy that we wouldn’t face them twice a year anymore. Scared shitless that they would beat us in a Super Bowl. I am not making that up. It’s like my 12-year-old gut was telling me about the terrible future. Plus throw in the fact that I desperately wanted the Broncos to draft Russell Wilson. I thought that he could play for the Rockies during the Manning era and then step in as quarterback afterwards. So yeah, February was a tough month for me to say the least. Anyway, the Seahawks continue to bolster their killer defense here.

“Captain America: The First Avenger” Review by Jesse Schaffer

Peggy tries to convince him that they have time and other options, but to no avail. Cap isn’t a pilot and doesn’t know the first thing about disarming a bomb. “This is my choice,” he says to her, and then he puts the plane in the water. He knows he’s going to die and he does it anyway, because a good man fighting for a just cause will always see it through to the end. And because he’s fucking Captain America.

That part resonated with me more than any other scene in a Marvel movie since the first Iron Man, and it had me on pins and needles waiting to see Cap make the transition to the modern world and come to terms with everything that had happened to him (including, you know, not actually dying). As good as “The Avengers” was, there simply wasn’t much time afforded to any individual character’s development because there was so much else going on, but now that day is truly here friends. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” comes out today and it just seems appropriate to do a review for the original movie first.

Seeing as this has been out for years now, I’m going to pretty casually wade into spoiler territory here and even if you haven’t seen The First Avenger, you definitely saw “The Avengers” and that spoiled this one for you anyway. Here we go.

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Walking Dead Rankings Week 15

Welcome to our Walking Dead Power Rankings.  Jesse has 80 points while Kevin has 86.

(Note: Each week Jesse and I will rank the Walking Dead characters from least likely to die to most likely to die. If a character does perish then we earn points. For instance if Glenn dies this week then Jesse will have 7 points and I will have 5 points.)

Oh, and fyi, it’s been one year since Kevin and I started Pegboard. Thanks for sticking with us through our periods of inactivity. The best is yet to come!

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