By: Lucas Kochevar
With the seventh overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected OL Penei Sewell. The Detroit Lions started their culture rebuild with the hire of HC Dan Campbell and GM Brad Holmes. These two have the task of turning around an aggressively mediocre team in Detroit. The way they conducted their first draft showed that they had a purpose in building up the trenches. Their first pick in their tenure was arguably the best offensive lineman in this draft class. Sewell stands at 6'6 at 330 lbs. The remarkable part about his size is what he is able to do with it. He is one of the most agile big guys to come out of college and should fit right in. Similar to All-Pro OG Quenton Nelson, he pops on film with how powerful he is. He plays the game with violence and ill-intent. He should plug in at LT for the Lions.
Sewell started as a young freshman for the Oregon Ducks and played his college games under the age of 20 years old. After suffering an ankle injury that cut short his freshman season, Sewell would return to play in all 13 games in his sophomore year. Sewell was relatively disciplined during his two years when he was only called for two holding penalties over 21 games played. Sewell also kept Justin Herbert, who was his QB at the time, clean when he allowed only two sacks. Sewell ran a zone run scheme with the Ducks where they averaged 5.6 yards per carry.
Lions' OC Anthony Lynn moves on from his head coaching days with the Chargers and looks to build his name back up and win games with Detroit. Sewell is an excellent player to have lead the charge for changing the run game. The Lions haven't had a dominant run game since Barry Sanders was in uniform. With D'Andre Swift and Sewell, the Lions can re-establish this aspect of the offense to help Jared Goff, who excelled in LA when he had Todd Gurley in his prime. Sewell has excellent footwork when blocking to the 2nd level and outside the numbers. His ability to attack defenders makes him a danger to any linebacker in his path. The rushing attack is where he'll make his money. Pass blocking is the weaker part of his game, although he is competent. His film shows that he tends to fall victim to finesse moves and gets stuck in the mud. Although, his strength and agility helps him recover in different instances. He will be an excellent weapon in the screen game.
Sewell was touted as a generational prospect and the film does not disappoint. Sewell projects as one of the most athletic tackles in the game and should be a force for years to come as long as the injury bug doesn't get him. Not many linemen pop on tape like Sewell. The Lions got a foundation piece to build around on that line.
By Lucas Kochevar
When you turn on Christian Wilkins' tape the immediate thing to bring up is his ability to penetrate. Wilkins does a great job at finding a way get in the way. If he doesn't get through he has the talent to move the O-Linemen with him. It often takes a double team to stop him from pushing through. He does have versatility with him as he often lines up anywhere from a 0 technique to a 5 technique. For those who don't know what that is, it means he can lineup anywhere on the line from the center to the outside shoulder of the guards.
The Clemson DT stands at 6'3 and can display power, however his skillset is based more on strength and speed more than moves. His length can tend to limit him if he doesn't get his hands inside early. The jump from college to the pros will most likely take a hit to how he plays as the linemen will be a lot bigger and stronger. With time he will adjust, but I would not expect big numbers for his rookie year. This year should be about getting better and adjusted. This goes for a lot of the players on the Dolphins, who are likely to struggle.
Wilkins can easily be the best player out of his Clemson counterparts if he reaches his full potential. Wilkins has a a drive to get to the ball and for being 315, he can move. Once he gets through to the line he has a very smart with his movements and doesn't over commit to one player. The issue is when he doesn't get through he can tend to get bogged down into the pile. He excels in running plays more than passing, which is self-explanatory as I described his moves still need to be polished. He won't need those to start off as a pass rusher, which helps take pressure off him.
Wilkins looks to serve as an anchor and building block for a Miami defense that is starting off fresh with a new Head Coach in Brain Flores from New England. I expect Wilkins will be a solid piece in their rotation as they build their defense.
By: Lucas Kochevar
Did Dennis Schroder just stamp his ticket out of Atlanta?
Many believe so as he made some very questionable comments along with deleting any Hawks related posts on his social media. Schroder made the comments about how he 'wants to compete' and that 'he'll be meeting with management in the next couple of days' This could mean a number of things for the 24-year old point guard. This could show that he wants out of Atlanta or that he knows that the front office may or may not be shopping him.
Dennis has had an interesting track record since arriving in Atlanta since 2013. He backed up Jeff Teague for a number of years until Teague was traded. Dennis was then given the keys to the franchise and he got an extension worth 60 million over four years. Then he got arrested for a felony and still has to go on trial for that. He also put up very good scoring numbers, but seemed to regress everywhere else. If Dennis does garner some trade interest it will be very interesting to see what the Hawks could get in return for him. The news of Dennis deleting could mean nothing, or it could mean everything. The truth is we will have no clue for some time. Until the playoffs are over, we will most likely not hear anything more. However, Dennis listed the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks as some teams that he would be interested in. Lets see how this Dennis Schroder Saga plays out.
By: Lucas Kochevar
The playoffs are about to start and I believe one of the most intriguing players is center Steven Adams. Adams has played for the Oklahoma City Thunder for a couple of years now and he has seen his role increase, especially with the emergence of superstar Russell Westbrook. Adams is one of the most helpful centers in the game. He is managing to keep the traditional center alive as he is not a great shooter, but he rebounds with the best and plays great defense.
Adams has been rebounding at a very effective rate. He pulls down about 15% of the rebounds for his team. He is pulling down 7.5 rebounds per game and about have of those are offensive rebounds, which eventually leads to 2nd chance points often. As of right now, he is averaging 4.1 second chance points.
The biggest role he plays is setting screens. There are not many statistics that could describe the impact he makes, however, there are many videos that show his impact. He does a terrific job with Westbrook. For example, he will set a high screen at around the three point line for Westbrook. Once he sets that screen for him, he will roll aggressively to the basket and force the smaller guard to either choose to stay on Adams and cause a mismatch or Westbrook will explode by him with his freaky athleticism. The only problem is that if the defender is a smart one like a Klay Thompson then this could easily cause concern for that style of offense attack. You can see the screens effectiveness below in the video. Notice how he makes sure to lean into his victims.
Lets keep on record how much of an impact he has on the game and the success of many players on the Thunder.
Note: He is number 12. The video shows his screens overtime and his appearance has changed drastically.
By: Lucas Kochevar
When James Harden was traded to the Rockets for some players, toothpicks, and a half empty can of Coke, Houston had no clue that they acquired the greatest isolation player of the last decade, perhaps of all time. James Harden has been out of this world when it comes to playing one on one. He has cemented himself as an MVP candidate and his Rockets hold the best record in the NBA. Lets breakdown some stats and watch videos.
What is an isolation?
It is whenever a player calls for the rest of his team to move out of the way and 'let him work' This occurs in many situations with guards when they have a mismatch. For example, if Chris Paul, Harden's teammate, sees that big man Dirk Nowitzki is guarding him then he is going to call for an iso and will attempt to either use his speed to drive by him or he will use crossovers to try and create space to shoot. In this scenario, Paul would win 90% of the time.
So how absurd has Harden been this year?
Harden has averaged a career high in points, steals, and plus/minus. Harden has lead the trio of CP3 and Clint Capela to a 33-1 record when they all play together and they are currently on a SEVENTEEN game winning streak.
He is also averaging a career high in his offensive rating and net rating, but lets get into the craziest stat. The Beard has scored 90% of his two pointers unassisted and 70% of his three pointers have been unassisted. Just to put that into perspective reigning MVP Russell Westbrook has had 82% of his two pointers unassisted and the greatest shooter of all time Stephen Curry has made 38% of his three pointers unassisted. These numbers show that Harden, keep in mind he leads the league in scoring, is absurdly destroying his opponents one on one.
There is no doubt in my mind that James Harden wins the MVP this year and he should be known as the best iso scorer in NBA history.