The NFL Combine wrapped up this week and the impact on the mock drafts and predictions around the league is already being felt. Corey Brewer Jersey . While some players merely solidified their standing on big boards and mock drafts, several others saw their Combine results either boost or drop their placing in the mind of scouts and general managers across the league. Some notes from the NFL Combine Two-Horse Race A look at the most recent batch of mock drafts has two players showing up more often than any others at the top spot. One wont surprise you – South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney – but one certainly could – UCF quarterback Blake Bortles. While questions about his work ethic may knock Clowney out of the top spot, his blistering 40-yard dash time (4.53) ensures that if he does fall, it wont be very far. Bortles meanwhile impressed both on the field and off. Almost all draftniks and experts consider the once unknown QB to be a legit top end prospect. Of the 15 expert mock drafts gathered for TSN.cas database, Bortles had the most first overall picks of any player. Quarterback Battle While mock drafters are slotting Bortles into the first pick (owned by the Houston Texans) more than any other quarterback, that doesnt necessarily mean hes viewed as the top quarterback. Of the 15 expert mock drafts culled by TSN.ca, Bortles had just the third highest average draft position. First was Texas A&Ms Johnny Manziel with an ADP of 3.1 followed by Louisvilles Teddy Bridgewater (3.9) and then Bortles at 4.7. Dont Forget Me While hes not in the same boat as Manziel, Bridgewater, or Bortles, Fresno States Derek Carr reportedly had a very strong NFL Combine showing, particularly while interviewing with teams. At this point Carr appears to be a mid-first round pick at best but his showing has some quarterback-needy teams considering passing on one of the top three QBs early in the draft to fill other positions, while hoping to land Carr later on. There are reports the gap between the Big Three and Carr is not very wide. Moving Up The biggest benefactors of the NFL Combine, among the early picks at least, were Auburn OT Greg Robinson and Buffalo LB Khalil Mack. Robinsons athleticism seems to have solidified him as the top offensive tackle on the board and boosted his projected status from Top 10 pick to Top 5. Robinson could even hear his name as early as second overall to the St. Louis Rams. Mack is another former potential Top 10 pick that could easily find his way into the Top 5 come May. While his destination is hard to pinpoint at this point in the evaluation process, respected NFL Network draftnik Mike Mayock said he would consider Mack with the first overall pick. Thats high praise! Moving Down The rise of Robinson and Mack is having adverse effects on players of similar talent at the same position of the two in Jake Matthews and Anthony Barr. Once considered two of the top three players in the draft (alongside Clowney) by some, Matthews and Barr are no longer locks to be Top 5 picks and thats in large part due to Robinson proving hes the better offensive tackle, and Mack proving hes far closer to Clowney than originally thought. At this point it wouldnt be shocking to see Barr fall out of the Top 10 picks (ADP currently 8.9) while even Matthews could see himself suffer the same fate (ADP currently 5.9) the way things are playing out. To be fair, in Barrs case, Mack isnt the sole reason the UCLA pass rushers stock is falling; only 15 reps on the bench press could scare away a few teams. Lions targeting a CB The Detroit Lions need help at cornerback and most draftniks expect them to get it at the draft. Of the expert mock drafts culled by TSN.ca, 86% of them have the Lions taking a cornerback 10th overall. The only question in their minds is if it will be Oklahoma States Justin Gilbert, taken by the Lions in 53% of mock drafts, or Michigan States Darqueze Dennard, taken by Detroit in 33% of mock drafts. The current draft landscape lays out with a slight drop off after the top nine players. From there its still anyones guess as to who leads the second tier of players. Many mock drafters see the Lions filling a need and taking whichever cornerback they have ranked the highest. Wide Receiver Battle This position battle is unlike the quarterback battle as Clemson standout Sammy Watkins is the clear cut top pass catcher in this years draft. The battle is for the second best receiver with USCs Marqise Lee losing his spot to Texas A&Ms Mike Evans in 80% of mock drafts gathered. The receiver class is very deep this year with good pass catchers still likely to be available midway through the second round and if Lee finds himself engulfed in the second tier of receivers, hes no lock to hear his name on the first day of the NFL Draft. The true battle could be between Evans and North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. The difference between their ADP is currently only a couple of picks (Evans: 13.8 to Ebron:16.0). Ryan Gomes Jersey .C. -- The shot that would have beaten No. Derrick Williams Jersey . With Washington teammate Nene drawing double-teams coming off his big game against the Lakers, Gortat scored 25 points on 11-of-12 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Wizards to a 100-92 win in overtime over Milwaukee on Wednesday night. TORONTO -- After falling just short in last months $1-million Queens Plate, jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva and Up With the Birds left nothing to chance Sunday in the $500,000 Breeders Stakes. Da Rosa moved Up With the Birds into the lead down the stretch, then emphatically held off a spirited River Seven to win the final leg of Canadian thoroughbred racings Triple Crown at Woodbine Racetrack. The Queens Plate runner-up easily handled the 1 1/2-mile distance, winning in 2:28.69 on a firm turf. "I think he knew he lost last time (in Queens Plate) so he said, This time Eurico, I do the job, " Da Silva said. "When he took the lead, it was hard for another horse to catch him because he wants to take off. Hes all heart, hes a very good horse." Up With the Birds fell well back in the 1 1/4-mile Queens Plate on July 7 but rallied strong to finish second, a half-length behind Midnight Aria in rainy conditions on a speed-favouring Woodbine polytrack. The race took its toll on Midnight Aria, who skipped the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes on July 30 at Fort Erie Racetrack due to fatigue while Up With the Birds was always being pointed towards the Breeders Stakes. Up With the Birds didnt have to contend with either Midnight Aria or Prince of Wales victor Uncaptured as neither ran Sunday. Winning trainer Malcolm Pierce said the rest certainly helped Up With the Birds easily pass his stiffest test. In fact, after taking the lead the three-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic showed why he was the overwhelming favourite, holding off a game River Seven before pulling away for a 2 3/4-length victory. "He answered (questions about distance) them today," Pierce said. "I was real worried at the head of the stretch because River Seven was giving him all he wanted but the last eighth of a mile I got a little more relief as he pulled away. "We didnt think there would be much pace so we were sure hoping to maybe be a little closer than we were in the Plate and just have some luck and a good trip. Thats half the battle because we thought we had the right horse." Owner Sam-Son Farm earned the $300,000 winners share with a record sixth Breeders victory. River Seven was second in the 10-horse field, a neck ahead of third-place finisher Pyrite Mountain. The remainder of the field, in order of finish, was: Global Express; Whos Mr. Hughes; Highland Bay; Dragon Puff; Scipio; Bookies Nightmare; and Faithful Rose. Wando is the last Canadian Triple Crown winner, achieving the feat in 2003. Pierce said had Up With the Birds won the Plate, he wwouldve run at Fort Erie and taken a run at the Triple Crown. Stitched Timberwolves Jerseys. . But with a first- and second-place finish, Pierce wasnt lamenting about what mightve been. "Weve never really tried him on dirt," Pierce said. "He worked on dirt in New Orleans over the winter but we didnt think it really needed to happen. "If we wouldve won the Queens Plate we probably wouldve gone to Fort Erie and tried it but after getting beat (in Plate) it sure made a lot of sense to come into this race really fresh." Up With the Birds paid $3.10, $2.30 and $2.10 while River Seven returned $5.20 and $3.40. Pyrite Mountain paid $3.10. River Seven was the only horse to run in all three Triple Crown races this year, taking second in the Prince of Wales after finishing 10th in the Plate. But trainer Nick Gonzalez, who also conditioned Midnight Aria, was pleased with River Sevens first effort on grass. "I knew it was going to be a fight," he said. "A lot of the horses in the race were proven accomplished turf horses. "We were experimenting but Im very happy." Gary Boulanger, Pyrite Mountains jockey, said Up With the Birds was a deserving winner but added with a little bit of luck his horse couldve taken second. "I was following Eurico (Up With the Birds), I was stuck there the whole way," he said. "If I had a little better trip down the lane, I dont think Id beat Eurico but Id have finished second." Up With the Birds also continued a trend in this race, becoming the 26th of 55 race favourites in the Triple Crown era to emerge victorious. The three-year-old colt has also finished in the money in all eight career starts (five wins, two seconds, one third) and boosted his lifetime earnings past $870,000. Up With the Birds has also been impressive on turf, winning twice and earning a second-place finish in three career starts. "I dont know, I think hes equally adept at both poly and turf to be honest," Pierce said when asked which surface Up With the Birds favours most. "He has never run on dirt. "I was very proud of his race in the Plate although I was disappointed he got beat. Hes just a good horse and Im happy hes in my barn." Pierce was brutally honest when asked whats next for Up With the Birds. "Not a clue, I was just hoping to get through today," he said. "There will be no rush and no real plans. "We wouldnt be looking for anything until October. Ill have to talk to the Sam-Son people and see what they want to do and make a plan." ' ' '
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