What should the Jaguars do with the No. 7 overall pick?

What Should The Jaguars Do With The No. 7 Overall Pick?

The Jacksonville Jaguars have the seventh overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft taking place in Nashville, Tennessee, on April 25. What should they do with it?

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D.K. Metcalf? The Ole Miss wide receiver and NFL combine hero that went viral on Twitter for looking enormous in a post-workout picture?

Rashan Gary? The Michigan defensive end who runs a 4.58 40-yard dash at 277 pounds and was the previous No. 1 overall college recruit in 2016?

Dwayne Haskins? The Ohio State Rose Bowl-MVP who has more passing yards in a single season than any other Big 10 quarterback ever?

The correct answer in my humble, yet accurate, opinion is none of the above. The Jacksonville Jaguars should barter their pick with teams behind them. They should look to trade down, even if that means trading out of the first round entirely, and get an extra second-round pick. Let me first address why then I will tell you how.

Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell speaks to media at 2019 NFL combine. The 45-year-old from Buffalo, New York, worked for the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts and Atlanta Falcons before going to Jacksonville in 2013.Trevor Ruszkowski-USA Today Sports

Why: The Jags Need A Bunch Of B-B+ Players, Not One A+ Player.

In the past few years, general manager Dave Caldwell has rarely drafted solid NFL starters that are not necessarily stars but will contribute well to your team. He has either drafted studs or total flops.

When you have drafted names like Jalen Ramsey, Telvin Smith and Yannick Ngakoue, and then also drafted names like Dante Fowler, Luke Joekel and Blake Bortles, your roster naturally ends up in an awkward spot. Jacksonville looks into the 2020 campaign needing to fill serious holes in this roster, primarily on offense. Tight end and offensive line are the main two, as well as a wide receiver.

This means that the Jaguars need to get as many offensive players as possible to add offensive depth to a team that currently has none.

How: Leverage The Defensive Talent In This Draft.

Unfortunately for the Jaguars, this draft is historically good at all the positions that they don't need. Two of the deepest positions in this draft are edge rusher and corner, literally Jacksonville's two best positions. The edge rusher/outside linebacker class is hilariously good. More than half of the top 10 could potentially be that position. Teams behind the Jags want those guys. Edge rushers like Nick Bosa from Ohio State and Josh Allen from Kentucky will be easily gone by pick seven, but perhaps the tier just below them like Devin White from LSU, Montez Sweat from Mississippi State, Rashan Gary from Michigan or his teammate Devin Bush could peak the interest of team's who don't have Jacksonville's defensive line and linebacker depth.

Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat flexes during the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2017. Sweat is the fourth-ranked player at his position in the 2019 NFL Draft, according to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins pick at No. 12 and No. 13, respectively. Both of those teams lack front-seven depth. Perhaps one of those guys have caught Green Bay or Miami's eye on tape and those teams are willing to trade up. The Carolina Panthers pick at No. 16 and need a corner, they could look to move up to go get Byron Murphy from Washington or Deandre Baker from Georgia. The Pittsburgh Steelers need both secondary and defensive line help badly. It is almost guaranteed that they will pick that side of the ball and perhaps they will want to move up and get somebody with a higher grade than who would fall to them at pick No. 20.

If Nobody Trades.

There is the obvious, and the very legitimate possibility, that nobody trades with Jacksonville. If that happens, I like two guys in particular to just go ahead and snag at No. 7.

TJ Hockenson catches a pass against Northwestern. Hockenson is Bucky Brooks' No. 1 ranked tight end. The sophomore was awarded the John Mackey award as the nation's most outstanding tight end. Matthew Holst. Getty Images

If Jawaan Taylor, the offensive tackle from Florida is available, I like him to the Jags at pick No. 7. The 6'5, 328-pound prospect out of Cocoa, Florida, could add depth to an offensive line that badly needs it. Taylor could back up starter Cam Robinson at left tackle, who is extremely injury prone, or start at right tackle over Will Richardson, who was hurt most of his rookie season in Duval and has yet to show much of anything.

The next best option is Iowa tight end TJ Hockenson. Hockenson was sensational in his time with the Hawkeyes. He is the first sophomore to ever win the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation's top tight end. He had 49 catches for 760 yards and six touchdowns in the 2018 season. Jags' new quarterback Nick Foles had a history of throwing to tight ends during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles. This roster currently has nothing even sniffing elite pass-catching abilities from a tight end.

So the ideal scenario is a trade down for extra picks. If not, look for one of these two guys to be the seventh player to walk across the stage in Nashville.

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Why Cheerleading Should Be Considered A Sport, And Why You Should Care About It

Why isn't cheerleading considered a sport when it meets the exact definition of one?
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According to http://varsity.com , cheerleading involves five major categories: Stunting, or the lifting and throwing of people; tumbling, or the “flips” and “passes”; dancing, a fast, sharp, and synchronized show for about 15-30 seconds; jumping, where flexibility and strength is demonstrated; and of course, the cheers, a section usually towards the middle of a routine that demonstrates spirit and skills. So what are the individual parts people play called? The girl on top is called the “top girl” or “flyer”, the two holding the girl up are the “bases”, and the one in the back, holding her ankles are called “back-bases” or “backspots”. Competitive cheerleading is judged on several major factors: the difficulty of the routine, the skills demonstrated by stunting, tumbling, and dancing, and the completeness of the routine, or how many mistakes were made.

One qualification for an activity to be a sport, according to http://dictionary.com, is an “athletic ability requiring skill or physical prowess.” Cheerleading is a sport because there is a very large amount of athletic ability required in order for skills to be demonstrated. Great tumbling skills are one aspect of competitive cheerleading that are highly athletic and should contribute to its consideration as a sport. Tumbling requires a relatively high amount of athletic ability, because it takes a lot of training and conditioning in order to do it right. One needs to have very strong core muscles, as well as upper body muscles. Flexibility, an important aspect of many sport trainings, is also necessary in order to complete complicated tumbling. The skills required to do a cheerleading tumbling pass are equal to the skills needed for gymnastics. Many tumbling passes in the Olympics are identical to those done by competitive cheerleaders. Some more challenging tumbling can involve three complete rotations of the body in the air!

Stunting is a very challenging activity involved in cheerleading that requires a high amount of physical fitness and strength. There is an extreme necessity for complete physical fitness in order to do a stunt successfully. I know from personal experience as a base that it's a lot harder than it looks. It's basically like lifting a 110 lb weight above your head, except that this weight can move, and if it falls, it could be seriously injured or die. According to http://varsity.com, there are many skills required in order to successfully complete a stunt. The most obvious skill is proper form. Just like weight-lifting, one must protect their back by lifting properly with assistance from their legs. It is also necessary to lock out your arms and legs in order to be stable. Proper form is even more necessary in the flyer, as a simple movement could cause a collapse. Teamwork is another skill that is necessary. I formed a bond with my stunt group where we could look at each other and know what needed to happen if a stunt was failing. However, if you are unable to work with someone and perform a skill with someone else holding half of the responsibility, then stunting would be basically impossible.

Dancing is another part of cheerleading that is a very intense, fast section of a routine that is very challenging to properly carry out. A significant amount of athletic ability is required in order to complete a cheer-dance routine. The routines are fast-paced with sharp movements that without proper training and a lot of practice are very hard to do properly. The dancing is also a cardio workout that engages many muscles. The skills required for dancing could potentially be more challenging than those for normal competitive dancers. Because dances are only 15-30 seconds long, it is completely necessary to be 100% precise with every movement. Your specific section of the dance is intertwined with every other person doing the dance; this means that if you mess up or fall behind, everyone else could potentially mess up or even run into you.

Athletic ability is not the only thing necessary for something to be considered a sport; according to dictionary.com’s definition of a sport, the activity must be in a competitive nature. Cheerleading is extremely competitive, and teams compete in competitions throughout the year with the goal of making it to state/national/world competitions. According to the National Cheer Association, there are many different competitions throughout the world that involve cheerleading. There is a state competition in which teams compete against the best teams in the state, national competitions in which teams compete against the best teams in the country, and “worlds”, a competition in which the best teams in the world compete against each other.

Cheerleading is competitive within the team as well. Many cheer teams hold auditions in order to select the best team-members possible. Within the team, there is also a competition to see who will be the center stunt group. This is the group of people who stunt front and center-stage, and are most likely to be watched by the audience. Team members compete for the first/last tumbling pass. These are the passes that leave a lasting impression, as people remember what comes at the beginning and end most. The girl that is in the front center for jumps also probably competed for that spot. Usually, the person in the center has the best jumps, as they are the person that pulls the whole group together, and the person that the crowd is most likely to watch. Lastly, girls compete within the team to be in the front for dances. Usually, choreographers hide the cheerleaders that aren’t as strong of dancers in the back, or in a stunt. The girls in the front are the best of the best, and have really made an effort for that spot.

According to dictionary.com, the last aspect of a sport that is necessary for consideration is a tight set of rules in which the activity must abide by. There are two major cheerleading corporations, the NCA (National Cheer Association) and the UCA (United Cheer Association). These two organizations have specific rules set in place in order to protect cheerleaders and regulate cheerleading routines. For example, it is “illegal” to throw a basket toss on a hard track during football games, but it is legal to do so if a cheerleading mat is underneath or if the track is soft.

So why does cheerleading affect the general public? Well, according to Jack Lindamood from his article “What Impact do Cheerleaders have on the Performance of Sports Teams?”, the noise and enthusiasm that are caused by cheerleaders actually benefits sports teams. With cheerleading as a considered-sport, the cheerleaders will have more opportunities to become better cheerleaders. If cheer was considered a sport, then more money from high school and college sports funds can help to make these teams more beneficial to the school. Someday, your daughter or son might be on the cheerleading team, on the basketball team, or involved in football. Cheerleading will help the basketball and football teams do better, bring more trophies and respect to your school, and gain more respect and will receive scholarship money for its members.

Cheerleading meets every single qualification required in order to be considered a sport, and involves many parts of weightlifting, gymnastics, hurdles from track, and dancing. It requires a very high amount of skill and athletic ability in order to be done correctly, and is extremely competitive, both between different teams and individuals within a school. There are many organizations that follow the same tight-knit rulebook that regulates cheerleading. This is why I believe that cheerleading should be considered to be a sport due to its competitive nature, the athletic ability that it requires, and the rules that govern it.

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Kolbe

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Will The Seahawks Extend Bobby Wagner?

The star veteran linebacker will turn 29 in June.

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The Seattle Seahawks have made a few notable moves so far in the 2019 NFL offseason. They traded star pass rusher Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for significant draft capital and made quarterback Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in NFL history after his self-imposed April 15 deadline for a contract extension. In addition, they selected Ohio State wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the 2019 NFL Draft after he surprisingly fell to the 64th overall pick at the end of the second round. However, there are still a few questions to be answered. Most notably, will the Seahawks extend veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner?

Seattle drafted two linebackers in Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven in this year's draft. However, Wagner has been one of the NFL's top linebackers throughout his seven-year career and is considered by many to be the best along with Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. Although a versatile player, he is perhaps most known for his elite tackling ability and efficiency in that department. In the 2018 season, he missed only one tackle out of 139 attempts and was given a 139.0 tackling efficiency score from Pro Football Focus, more than double the score of runner-up Jon Bostic. However, he is entering a contract year and approaching his 29th birthday, so Seattle must make a decision on his long-term future.

Wagner is expected to become the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL after being overtaken by five other players of his position since he signed his initial four-year, $43 million contract extension on August 2, 2015. He has been one of the most consistent linebackers in the league and has stayed relatively healthy throughout his career with few character concerns. After Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley set the market for the position with his five-year, $85 million contract, the Seahawks will have to offer a significant amount of dough to their star to keep him. Wagner has stated that he will play the 2019 season as if it is his last in the Emerald City and reports say that he is not keen on taking a hometown discount to stay with the team.

The Seahawks were in a similar situation with veteran safety Earl Thomas last offseason when he held out for a contract extension that paid him his perceived value. We all know how that turned out. Could the same scenario happen with Wagner? All we know for sure is that Seattle has another large decision to make for another veteran star player.

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