A Weaker CAA Not So Bad for Drexel

A Weaker CAA Not So Bad for Drexel

At 27-6 overall and 16-2 in conference, it's actually pretty tough not to make the NCAA tournament. Of course, that's what happened to Drexel this year, when its strength of schedule was so bad that it was ultimately relegated to a three seed in the NIT.
Now, following the news that Virginia Commonwealth -- one of the Colonial Athletic Association's best programs and the team that cost Drexel its NCAA tourney berth by defeating the Dragons in the CAA championship game -- is moving to the Atlantic 10, there's no disputing that a weak conference just got even weaker.
But is that necessarily bad for the Drexel Dragons?

If anything, the Dragons benefit in the short term by losing one of their toughest opponents in-conference. 
Coach Bruiser Flint has played the tournament selection game both ways, first by trying to schedule tougher tests out-of-conference and then by running roughshod through his own league. Neither got the Dragons to the dance. The damning scenario for Drexel, however, if true, is the idea that stronger opponents simply won't schedule them. 
So if Drexel needs to win the CAA to go to the NCAAs, because the conference is too weak to consistently earn an at-large and the Dragons can't come to scheduling agreements with stronger non-conference programs, then losing VCU really isn't so bad. Playing them hasn't done enough to advance Drexel's RPI or SOS to a high-enough standard for the committee, so it shouldn't much matter if those numbers takes yet another hit.
If it's all about winning the CAA tournament for Drexel, then its task just got a little easier than it was. The program is now an even bigger fish in an even smaller pond.
Of course, that's just in the short term, and related to the actual basketball about to be played. Forecasting the broader future of that small pond -- considering George Mason, like VCU, was previously linked to the A-10 and Old Dominion is currently mulling its affiliation -- is a bit more of a dicey proposition, like it is for a number of mid-majors around the nation as conferences continue to cannibalize one another. 
But, at the very least, a young Drexel team has a few bright years ahead of it. Maybe they can be the next Colonial league team to make waves in March.

Did Corey Davis reveal he wants to be drafted by Eagles?

Did Corey Davis reveal he wants to be drafted by Eagles?

We finally know who the Eagles will select this Thursday in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft.

No need to tune into the draft broadcast, or even visit the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to partake in all of the festivities. Just look at Corey Davis' Twitter feed:

Done deal. Get him a cheesesteak and a midnight green uniform.

But in all seriousness, Davis made an appearance Monday on ESPN and retweeted this tweet to Trey Wingo.

Davis would certainly make an immediate impact on the Eagles' offense. He would join a receiving corps already bolstered in free agency with the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.

But the Western Michigan product might not be on the board at the 14th overall pick, and the Eagles could look elsewhere on Thursday night.

The700Level's Andrew Kulp wrote about Davis at length here.

h/t to bleedinggreennation.com.

Place Your Bets: NFL draft first-round odds

Place Your Bets: NFL draft first-round odds

So, you think you know where every player will be selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft?

Well, here are some odds, courtesy of Bovada, to help you gauge your early predictions for the draft in Philly this week.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
We start with McCaffrey, probably the most talked about prospect in Philadelphia entering the first round on Thursday.

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz compared McCaffrey to Darren Sproles. Stanford head coach David Shaw thinks not only would McCaffrey be a good fit in the Eagles' offense, but would also be a great fit in the city of Philadelphia.

Bovada has 2/3 odds of McCaffrey being selected over the 9.5 pick, and has 11/10 odds of him being selected under the 9.5 pick.

CSNPhilly.com's Dave Zangaro has McCaffrey being selected at No. 15 overall by the Indianapolis Colts -- the pick after the Eagles, who are slotted at No. 14 -- in his mock draft.

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Fournette has consistently been in the top 10, or sometimes even the top five, of mock drafts.

Many teams covet Fournette for his combination of strength and speed. The LSU product is 6-foot, 240 pounds and ran a 4.51 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine.

Bovada has 2/3 odds of Fournette getting selected over the fourth pick and 11/10 odds of him getting drafted after the fourth pick.

How many RBs/WRs will be selected in first round?
Since Bovada has the same odds for the number of running backs and wide receivers going in the first round, we combined the two.

If you're living under a rock and haven't been following NFL mock drafts since the season ended, there have been three running backs and wide receivers consistently selected in the first round -- WR Mike Williams, WR Corey Davis, WR John Ross, RB Dalvin Cook, RB McCaffrey and RB Fournette.

Here are the identical odds for both position groups:

Over 2.5 with 1/5 odds.
Under 2.5 with 3/1 odds.

How many defensive players will be selected in first round?
This one can get tricky, because you'll have to bank on a few teams getting desperate and drafting some quarterbacks to hit the under.

Over 18.5 with 1/1 odds.
Under 18.5 with 5/7 odds.

How many Alabama players will be selected in first round?
Alabama is the gold standard for NFL players. Every year, the university churns out first-round talent on the opening night of the draft.

In Zangaro's afformentioned mock draft, he has five Alabama players being selected.

Here are the odds:

Over 4.5 with 11/10 odds.
Under 4.5 with 2/3 odds.