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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Stories by Steve DelVecchio:

Report: Scot McCloughan running scouting service, advising NFL teams

Scot McCloughan

Scot McCloughan may have gone through a messy divorce with Washington last month, but that does not mean the former general manager is giving up on doing what he does best — evaluating NFL talent.

Before he was hired to be Washington’s GM, McCloughan had a scouting service where he offered teams his opinions on NFL prospects. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network is reporting that McCloughan has gotten back to doing that.

“He had a scouting service before he became the general manager of (Washington), and according to sources, he is back running that scouting service and has advised NFL teams on his thoughts on the draft prospects eligible for the draft this year,” Garafolo said Thursday. “Now he’s not giving up (Washington’s) information, he’s only giving up his own evaluations. He is free to do that. So not only will he have an influence on Washington’s draft, but also the drafts of a few other teams in this draft this year.”

As Garafolo notes, Washington’s director of college scouting Scott Campbell admitted recently that much of the work McCloughan did with the team will still have an influence during the draft. From the sound of it, McCloughan’s opinions may help other teams, too.

Washington seemingly smeared McCloughan on his way out the door, with reports leaking that the former GM was having alcohol relapses. McCloughan has a history of drinking problems, but one of his former players said a few weeks back that alcohol is no longer an issue.

Regardless of any problems he is or isn’t having with alcohol, McCloughan is highly respected when it comes to his eye for talent.

Red Sox prospect Kevin Steen in critical condition after car accident

Boston Red Sox pitching prospect Kevin Steen was injured in a serious car accident Wednesday night that left another motorist dead.

According to FOX4 in Fort Meyers, Steen was seriously injured when another car veered off the road, crossed the median and went airborne into his SUV. The 20-year-old was taken to a local hospital and said to be in critical condition. The driver of the other vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

Steen, a ninth-round draft pick in 2014, went 3-5 with a 5.37 ERA pitching for the Single-A Lowell Spinners last season. Here’s hoping his condition improves.


Forrest Lamp signs endorsement deal with lamp manufacturer

Former Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp has already landed his first endorsement deal, and that is without being drafted by an NFL team.

On Thursday, a company called Lamps Plus announced a new partnership with Lamp. You see where this is going, right?

“The opportunity to partner with Lamps Plus before my rookie NFL season, especially with my last name, is the perfect scenario,” Lamp said in a press release put out by the company.

Dennis Swanson, the CEO of Lamps Plus, insists the partnership is about more than just Lamp’s unique last name.

“While his name is perfect to endorse our company, we really like Forrest’s work ethic and enthusiasm,” Swanson said. “He will shine at the professional level.”

Shine at the professional level? Oh, man, this just keeps getting better and better.

Lamp is one of the best offensive linemen in the 2017 draft class, and he is expected to be taken somewhere in the first round. His impressive work at the NFL Scouting Combine last month landed him on our list of prospects whose stock is on the rise heading up to the draft.

Sometimes the endorsement deals just work themselves out.

Britt McHenry laid off by ESPN as part of cuts

Britt McHenry ESPN

ESPN has decided to lay off dozens of well-known and many lesser-known employees as part of a wide-sweeping overhaul, and Britt McHenry was informed on Thursday that she has not survived the cuts.

McHenry, who worked at ESPN for three years, revealed on Twitter that the NFL Draft will be her last assignment with the network.

The news of McHenry’s firing came after big industry names like Jayson Stark, Andy Katz, Brett McMurphy, Trent Dilfer and many more were informed they are being let go.

McHenry became more well-known under negative circumstances two years ago, when she was caught on video berating a parking lot attendant. She said several months ago that the backlash from that incident has had lasting effects on her physical and mental health.

Report: Browns source calls Myles Garrett best draft talent in six years

Myles Garrett

There is growing speculation that the Cleveland Browns may want former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky bad enough to draft him at No. 1 overall, but at least one member of the organization believes that would be a mistake.

A Browns source who spoke with ESPN’s Josina Anderson feels that Myles Garrett, a star defensive lineman from Texas A&M, is not just the best player available in the 2017 NFL Draft class — he’s the best prospect in six years.

Reports have indicated that Cleveland’s front office and coaching staff are split on who to take with the first overall pick. It still feels like the Browns would be insane to pass up on Garrett, so the scenarios we’ve heard where they could land both Garrett and Trubisky might make the most sense.

Jaguars reportedly interested in Deshaun Watson at No. 4

DeShaun Watson

The Jacksonville Jaguars may have lost confidence in Blake Bortles after the quarterback’s down season in 2016, but are they desperate enough to draft his replacement with the No. 4 overall pick?

Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole reported on Thursday that there have been some rumblings about the Jaguars using their first-round pick on former Clemson star Deshaun Watson.

Watson’s draft stock has been somewhat of a mystery, as mock drafts have him going anywhere from the first six picks or so to the end of the first round. Some analysts even believe he will be the first quarterback taken — ahead of North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky.

Giving credence to Cole’s report, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports added that he has heard new Jaguars president of football operations Tom Coughlin is very high on Watson.

It still seems unlikely that the Jaguars would use a top-five pick on Watson. If they really like him, trading back might make more sense. The Cleveland Browns would likely be interested in making a deal with Jacksonville, as they reportedly want to move up from No. 12 so they can draft Myles Garrett at No. 1 and still land Trubisky.

If Watson doesn’t go to the Jaguars at No. 4 and ends up sliding down the board, we at least know one team that would likely pick him later in the round.

Report: Teams believe Browns will get Mitchell Trubisky one way or another

Mitch Trubisky

The Cleveland Browns are obviously high on Mitchell Trubisky heading into Thursday night’s NFL Draft, and there is a growing belief that they are going to land the former North Carolina star whether they use the No. 1 overall pick on him or not.

According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, two other NFL teams who need a quarterback are convinced Trubisky is heading to Cleveland — either by way of the Browns picking him first overall or trading up from No. 12.

An ideal first round for the Browns would be coming away with both Myles Garrett and Trubisky, but Garrett likely won’t make it past the San Francisco 49ers at No. 2. Trubisky, however, could make it down to No. 5, which is likely where Cleveland would need to get to from No. 12 to assure they pick ahead of the New York Jets.

Several reporters — including ESPN’s Adam Schefter — have heard the Browns are seriously considering taking Trubisky at No. 1. Cleveland’s ownership reportedly wants to take Trubisky first overall while the coaching staff wants Garrett, but some comments GM Sashi Brown made this week may have given a hint as to which way the team will go.

Gareon Conley could reportedly slip to third round after rape accusation

Gareon Conley is widely considered to be one of the top two or three cornerbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft, and that would make him a lock to be taken in the first round under normal circumstances. But as of earlier this week, normal circumstances no longer surround the former Ohio State star.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported on Wednesday that the feeling around the league is that Conley will slip all the way to somewhere near the end of the third round. Previous mock drafts had Conley going around the 15th pick or so.

Conley has been accused of raping a woman at a Cleveland hotel earlier this month. The woman says she met Conley in an elevator and he invited her back to his room, later having sex with her despite her telling him to stop. You can read more details here.

While Conley’s attorney insists the allegations are “ludicrous and ridiculous,” an investigation is ongoing and will not be concluded by the time the draft kicks off on Thursday night. That will almost certainly result in Conley falling down the board.

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