•   
  •   
  •   

Sport Countdown to the Draft Discussion with Julie Donaldson and Joey Colby-Begovich

10:00  30 april  2021
10:00  30 april  2021 Source:   sbnation.com

New England Patriots draft picks 2021: Round-by-round selections

  New England Patriots draft picks 2021: Round-by-round selections Here is a 2021 NFL draft pick-by-pick breakdown for the New England Patriots.Round 1 (No. 15 overall) - Mac Jones, QB, Alabama: A national champion passer falls to the six-time Super Bowl champions. Well neither is currently a fair comparison, Jones is far closer to the Tom Brady mold than the Cam Newton mold for a team in need of a long-term successor post-TB12. Pats coach Bill Belichick surely did his homework on Jones, who played for his close friend Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa. Now it will be worth monitoring how New England designs an offense that's conducive to both Jones' abilities and Newton's.

Julie Donaldson standing in front of a store © Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Washington Football Team public relations invited several fan-run blogs, podcasts, and forums (including Hogs Haven) to send a representative to join Julie Donaldson and Joey Colby-Begovich this past Tuesday night in a virtual discussion of the team’s draft and draft-day activities. The discussion included not just information about the events the team has set up for fans around the draft, but also a Q&A involving the football operations side of the draft. It was a long discussion so I won’t transcribe everything, but I include the highlights below so hopefully Hogs Haven readers will feel like they were part of the discussion too.

NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for April 17, 2021

  NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for April 17, 2021 Players in the protocol are: Colorado's Bowen Byram, Philipp Grubauer and Joonas Donskoi; Edmonton's Dmitry Kulikov; Los Angeles' Matt Roy; Montreal's Jon Merrill and Erik Gustafsson; Philadelphia's Jackson Cates; Toronto's Nick Foligno, Riley Nash and Ben Hutton; and Vancouver's Nate Schmidt and Jake Virtanen. Read more here.APRIL 15The NHL has confirmed that the Vancouver Canucks will not return to play from their lengthy COVID-19 pause Friday night versus the Edmonton Oilers as originally hoped.

Julie Donaldson posing in front of a window: Julie welcomed us and started the event talking about some of the team’s draft day activities before starting the Q&A. © Hogs Haven Julie welcomed us and started the event talking about some of the team’s draft day activities before starting the Q&A.

Julie: Thursday night is draft night and we are having fans back at FedExField! Three thousand fans are going to be coming in. We are making sure everything is very safe with respect to COVID. We are very proud of how we handled COVID last season, we did not have anyone on the active roster test positive and only two people not on the active roster tested positive. We are taking this very seriously, working with Prince George’s County to make sure all protocols are followed and make it an exciting experience for fans coming back to FedExField on draft night.

For draft night, we’re going to be throwing it back to the 80s, back to our glory days. We’re going to have neon colors, my hair’s going to be in scrunchies and crimped, we’re going to be dressed for the 80s, our set is going to be from the 80s. I’m going to have Bram Weinstein and Fred Smoot with me; Doug Williams, Joe Theismann, and Doc Walker will be joining for some of it. We’re also going to have a couple of players from the active roster live streaming into the event.

Potential contenders for new Northern Ireland first minister

  Potential contenders for new Northern Ireland first minister LONDON (AP) — Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party is looking for a new leader following First Minister Arlene Foster's announcement that she will be standing down after nearly 5 1/2 years in the post. Following weeks of pressure related to her handling of Brexit and her perceived softening on social issues such as abortion and LGBT rights, Foster said she would step down as leader of the party on May 28 and as first minister of Northern Ireland at the end of June.

We will be streaming online starting at 7:30pm Eastern with pre-draft discussion. Then we’ll give instant reactions to the pick when it happens. Afterwards, we’ll live stream with the pick to get his thoughts and reaction to joining the Washington Football Team.

Let’s get into it though. We want to see your questions!

Q: Julie, having went to Florida, would you trade up from 19 for Kyle Pitts?

Julie: Yes, I would, but it’s not my money and it’s not my pick. Here’s the thing about Pitts: I don’t have to tell you his measurables or that he has the largest wingspan of any TE in recent history. He is going to be a generational gamechanger. When he was on the field for the University of Florida, we did not lose! You cannot stop him, he is unblockable; you can double him and he can jump outside of everybody and catch that ball; he is a playmaker. I would love for us to be able to get him, but we won too many games last year and I don’t see this team selling the farm to go up and get him. But if it were my decision, I am loyal to a fault and I’d move up for Kyle Pitts. I do think he’s going to be the first position player off the board once the QBs go.

Rams rank 30th in draft capital but these fake numbers are overrated

  Rams rank 30th in draft capital but these fake numbers are overrated Not the Rams it doesn’t and they may be proven rightOne such number is the popular idea of “draft capital,” a concept that attempts to add up every team’s pick in a given year based on draft position and number of selections, then assign a value to each and rank them. People love to associate something like the NFL Draft with the stock market — or even more relevant to today, cryptocurrency — because it is yet another reason to argue about which teams have it so-called better and which have it so-called worse.

Julie Donaldson posing in front of a window: Julie got very animated talking about Kyle Pitts. © Hogs Haven Julie got very animated talking about Kyle Pitts.

Q: Some teams give a behind-the-scenes look at their preparations for the draft. I’m sure you have a long list of content ideas, but do you have any plans to go behind-the-scenes for future drafts and talk to the team’s scouts or show more about the team’s preparations for the draft?

Julie: Oh, we’re trying! (laughs) Trust me, we’re trying! Our PR staff gets those requests, like: “we want to be in the War Room on draft night!” We actually will be able to have a camera there because coach Ron Rivera gets it. Before he went into coaching, he was in broadcasting, so he understands that fans want that content and he gives us more access than a lot of coaches probably would. He’s actually going to let us into the War Room on draft night, so if you watch the live stream, we will be able to bring you some of that content. Of course we can’t be there the entire night, but we are going to be able to show some of that.

I think the biggest challenge we had last year was just COVID. Any interview I did with any player or coach, I’m in the same building and they’re 30 or 40 feet away from me, but the interview was through Zoom because we couldn’t get near them. So hopefully, if we can be done with COVID, we’ll have the opportunity to do that.

Adam Schefter makes surprising admission about bombshell Aaron Rodgers story

  Adam Schefter makes surprising admission about bombshell Aaron Rodgers story Some fans are angry over Schefter’s admission, as they believe it was inappropriate for him to steal the spotlight just hours before the draft. Schefter also contradicted himself a bit. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, Schefter’s initial tweet and ensuing ESPN story about Rodgers specifically said “league and team sources told ESPN on Thursday.” That doesn’t mesh with what Schefter told Patrick.If Schefter knew definitively weeks ago that Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, it would be awfully risky for him to sit on such a huge story.

Q: What kind of draft player grades (in terms of round-based, color-based, or number-based) does the team use and can you talk a bit about how they are determined?

Julie: I can’t say I know exactly how they do it, but what coach does have, because when you’re drafting at 19, you’ve got to be reacting to what happens in front of you quickly, so what they do is they put the players into “clumps” as he calls them and they have different clumps for each position. In terms of ranking, they have different ranks within those clumps to make the decision process easy for them. I know they were hard at work in that draft room, I wasn’t able to peak into the draft room to give you much insider intel into that, but I do know there are certain position groups that are more of a priority for this team. Coach plans to take the best player available, but there may be several best players available at multiple positions that we need. We know we need some offensive line depth, we know we need a linebacker, probably need to add to the secondary, maybe another pass catcher. Within those groups, they feel very confident. I know they finished a lot of their draft stuff a bit early. So it doesn’t really answer about a color- or number-based system...

Q: So it’s a clump-based system then? (laughs)

Julie: Yeah, there you go. Coach is very coy! Every time I chat with him, he keeps everything very close to the vest. I get it, because you don’t want someone coming in and messing with your board.

NHL Draft prospect rankings 2021: Luke Hughes remains No. 1 in spring's top 32

  NHL Draft prospect rankings 2021: Luke Hughes remains No. 1 in spring's top 32 FCHockey breaks down the 2021 NHL Draft and which prospects could go in the first round.The 2021 BioSteel All-American Game took place earlier this month, the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Championship is kicking off in a few days, and the Western Hockey League was able to get its players on the ice.

Julie Donaldson posing in front of a window: Ron guards his draft board like the nuclear codes, but Julie described the team board using a tier-based system broken up by position group, with players additionally ranked within their tier. © Hogs Haven Ron guards his draft board like the nuclear codes, but Julie described the team board using a tier-based system broken up by position group, with players additionally ranked within their tier.

Q: Can you rank the 5 most important people in the organization for determining the final player grades and the final draft Big Board?

Julie: Okay, so you have Chris Polian coming in with Pro Player Personnel. Great lineage in the NFL with him, coming up from Jacksonville, you see him around the building. Then you have Martin Mayhew and Marty Hurney; the two of them really work in cohesion with one another. The titles are what they are, Martin Mayhew is General Manager, but they both bring these different, excellent backgrounds with them in terms of how they work and they have a good familiarity with each other. The ultimate decision-maker though is Ron Rivera, he has the ultimate control. When you put all of them together, I think it’s 120 years of front office experience in one room. Coach is quick to say there is no “ranking,” they all work really well together, but at the end of the day it is coach’s decision. If I have to throw a 5th in there, Dan Snyder’s got to sign off on the checks, right? But it is coach’s ultimate choice.

Q: Let’s say we had to do a redraft of last year’s draft, are you still taking Chase Young #2 overall?

Julie: Yes. He set out to be defensive rookie of the year. He was criticized halfway through the year because the sacks weren’t coming and you think of Chase, you think of double-digit sack machine and he only had 7.5 last year. But he was double- even triple-teamed at times and he still had an impact. He’s the sort of player that it’s not just the numbers that he puts up on the field. You saw what he did against the run. He likes that he draws attention to free up Montez and you saw that Montez really fed off that and that makes Chase just as proud. He doesn’t quit and at practice he goes hard. I think the biggest thing that makes me think he was the right choice is that he’s a captain. You watch those guys follow him as a rookie (and the vets follow him) because of the way he approaches the game. He’s all about ball, he’s got those guys’ respect, so wholeheartedly it was the right decision.

Leftovers & Links: Notre Dame’s completed spring spurs ‘What ifs’ of 2020; NFL draft notes

  Leftovers & Links: Notre Dame’s completed spring spurs ‘What ifs’ of 2020; NFL draft notes Seeing spring progress from some Notre Dame upperclassmen makes one wonder what might have been if they had full offseasons in 2020 To work through the first major in-season shutdown in college football, to lose starters only hours before games, to maintain some semblance of sanity from June into January without any typical mental relief — none of that came easily for the Irish. Of course, none of this came easily for any of us.

Q: At pick 19, is the philosophy of the front office more inclined to move up or move back?

Julie: I’d say back. That’s just my opinion, but everything I’ve seen from coach, when he tells you he doesn’t want to mortgage the farm, he means that. When you look at where this team is, they have a lot of needs. They did okay last year, but let’s be honest, the NFC East was atrocious. We know if you really want to be that perennial contender and team that’s in the post season, they have a lot of areas they need to address. If you’re going to reach up, you’re probably going to reach up for a quarterback and we don’t know that we have that long-term answer (as happy as we are to have Ryan Fitzpatrick). Unless we’re really in love with a QB, I think this team and the approach [Ron] has, I believe him when he says he wants to build the team. When they find that right quarterback, they’ll plug him in and they’re one step closer to going further than the postseason and contending for a Super Bowl. I like his approach of really building the team strong and finding a QB who can run the system, which Ryan Fitzpatrick can do, Kyle Allen and Taylor Heineke can do.

So if anything, I see them going back, but I don’t see them stretching too far to go forward.

In addition to draft Q&A, Joey fielded questions about fan activities planned for the draft and to a certain extent for the upcoming season. Rather than go through each answer individually, I’m summarizing the information in my words with some representative Q&A below.

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Joey outlined the draft fan activities as well as some progress on improving the fan experience for the upcoming year. © Hogs Haven Joey outlined the draft fan activities as well as some progress on improving the fan experience for the upcoming year.

Q: What kinds of fan activities are planned for the draft?

Thursday, the first night of the draft, we’ll be welcoming 3,000 fans back to FedExField for a draft-day event. Tickets are free, but capacity is limited to ensure compliance with COVID safety. Speaking of which, the Washington Football Team is very proud to be one of only two NFL teams (along with the Seahawks) to avoid any positive COVID tests on the active roster last year and will be applying our league-leading precautions to the upcoming events, as detailed on the team page.

11 NFL teams that could trade up or down in 2021 draft

  11 NFL teams that could trade up or down in 2021 draft One of the most compelling aspects of the NFL draft is the wheeling and dealing, and several teams could look to move up or down.The annual "Player Selection Meeting" typically entails dozens of trades, some remnants from previous years but the bulk taking place over the course of the three-day, seven-round event. Some clubs are historically active, others have a reputation for eschewing such maneuvering. Yet, leading up to Day 1, nearly every general manager will profess a willingness to take all phone calls and explore the merits of moving up or down.

The event will feature live music and an 80s theme. Fans are encouraged to dress in 80s style and there will be a “best-dressed” contest for those who want to participate. There is going to be a self-guided historical tour of the facility that includes a tribute to the Hogs offensive line and a self-guided locker room and press room tour. Fans will also be able to kick field goals on the field. In addition to that, we’ll be playing NFL Network’s coverage of the draft live on the jumbotron so people can follow the picks and we’ll have our own discussion, as Julie described earlier.

In addition to the first night of the draft, the team will be broadcasting live draft coverage on the subsequent days of the draft, including interviews with coaches, alumni, current players, the team’s new draft picks, etc.

Q: How can fans follow the team’s draft activities online?

Live streams of all the team’s coverage of all days of the draft can be seen on our YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. On the first night of the draft (Thursday), the live stream will start at 7:30pm Eastern. On Friday, the live stream will start at 6:30pm. On Saturday, the live stream will start at 11:30am and go throughout the day. Each live stream will include interviews with the team’s draft picks after they’re made. In addition, the Saturday live stream will feature interviews with Ron Rivera, Jack Del Rio, and Scott Turner.

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: The team will be streaming draft coverage over each day of the draft on their social media. © Hogs Haven The team will be streaming draft coverage over each day of the draft on their social media.

Q: Are there any changes we can look forward to in terms of fan experience in the upcoming season?

I can’t give away too many specific things yet, but we’ve got a lot of stuff that we’re tackling right now. That includes parking, we’re in the process of getting a new parking vendor. We’re re-striping our lots to make the ingress and egress out of those lots a lot smoother. The first time I pulled into FedExField lot H, I pulled right into a parking spot - that was not a great experience. We’re working with some of our food and beverage partners to have a cashless experience for the first time in the stadium. We’ve got a lot of other food and beverage concepts that we’re really excited about too.

I want to thank Julie Donaldson and Joey Colby-Begovich for taking the time to meet with fans and answer our questions about the draft. The new PR team seems to have an increased interest in engaging in two-way conversations with fans, which is a welcome change.

11 NFL teams that could trade up or down in 2021 draft .
One of the most compelling aspects of the NFL draft is the wheeling and dealing, and several teams could look to move up or down.The annual "Player Selection Meeting" typically entails dozens of trades, some remnants from previous years but the bulk taking place over the course of the three-day, seven-round event. Some clubs are historically active, others have a reputation for eschewing such maneuvering. Yet, leading up to Day 1, nearly every general manager will profess a willingness to take all phone calls and explore the merits of moving up or down.

usr: 0
This is interesting!