Mystics have lost that winning feeling

788310.png

Mystics have lost that winning feeling

The matchup: The matchup: In their final game before the month-long Olympic break, the Mystics rocked The New York Liberty on their home court. Since then, Washington has struggled mightily to win anywhere.The Mystics (5-24) look to snap an eight-game losing streak and win only their second road game of the season Wednesday in Newark, where the Liberty (12-17) are playing their home games this season. Based on how the team has played during the second half of the season and particularly during the past two games, which sounds like a daunting task. Washington lost to Los Angeles and Atlanta by an average of 26.5 points and dropped seven of 10 post-Olympic games by at least 12 points.Cappie Pondexter, the WNBA's third leading scorer with 20.3 points per game, leads a Liberty squad tied with Chicago for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. New York, coming off an upset win over Los Angeles, has taken two of three against Washington this season, including a 79-73 revenge home victory on Sept. 1 behind 20 points from Essence Carson and 16 by Pondexter. Washington committed 17 turnovers.In the recent meeting Monique Currie scored 20 points and Crystal Langhorne, the Mystics leading scorer and rebounder on the season, had 19 points and 8 rebounds. After Wednesday's meeting the teams will wrap up the season series Sunday at the Verizon Center.Last time out: Just when it appeared things could not get worse for the Mystics, coming off a 28 point home loss to the Sparks, Washington endured a 93-68 beating by Atlanta on Sunday. The Dream shot 58 percent from the field while holding the Mystics, the WNBAs lowest scoring team, to a 36.5 percent clip (23 of 63). Crystal Langhorne and Noelle Quinn each scored 12 points for the Mystics, who once again coughed away possession after possession, committing 17 turnovers. Langhorne loves Liberty: The 6-foot-2 power forwards scoring has dipped this season over her previous campaign for the first time during her five-year WNBA career but thats certainly not been the case against New York. After posting a career-high 18.2 points per game in 2011, Langhorne is averaging 15.3 points despite shooting a robust 56 percent from the field. Some blame lies with her free throw shooting; the former University of Maryland star is making only 64.3 percent of her attempts, Langhornes lowest since her rookie season. Against the Liberty, the points are flowing. Langhorne has twice scored 24 points and is averaging 22.3 points in three games against New York this season while making 9 of 11 free throws (81.8 percent).

What They're Saying: Reactions to Jaguars drafting Terps' Ngakoue

yannick_640x360_676727363871.jpg

What They're Saying: Reactions to Jaguars drafting Terps' Ngakoue

With the 69th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Maryland pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue. He was the second Maryland player taken on Friday night, along with defensive back Sean Davis to the Steelers, and for the Jaguars was the third straight defensive player selected.

Pair Ngakoue with first-round DB Jalen Ramsey from Florida State and possible second-round steal Myles Jack, and Jacksonville has already put together a formidable draft class.

What are people saying nationally about the Ngakoue pick? Take a look below.

Mike DiRocco, ESPN.com:

"The 6-foot-2, 252-pound Ngakoue is a scheme fit who will start off as a designated pass-rusher. He needs improvement against the run and has to work on keeping his weight up. Still, he’s an upgrade at the position."

BigCatCountry.com, SBNation:

"As for fitting with the Jaguars, they seemed to be set on finding somebody who is more of a situational pass rusher than they are finding a true every-down LEO. Their interest in Ngakoue makes sense in the regard that he can step in and be able to contribute right away."

John Oehser, Jaguars.com:

"The Jaguars addressed the edge late Friday. They did because they needed to, but more than that, they did it because the right player was available at the right time."

Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com:

Shane Davis, Cover32.com:

"Ngakoue will contribute as a pass-rusher immediately, playing mostly the LEO position and coming in on third downs. General manager Dave Caldwell raved about Ngakoue’s first step quickness in his press conference with the media on Friday night."

Mike Kaye, First Coast News:

"He decided leave Maryland early and the Jaguars jumped at the chance to add him. [GM Dave] Caldwell said he considered taking Ngakoue as early as the second round, but again, stayed patient and reaped the benefits."

Analyst gives Steelers 'A+' grade for drafting Maryland's Davis

yannick_640x360_676727363871.jpg

Analyst gives Steelers 'A+' grade for drafting Maryland's Davis

Maryland defensive back Sean Davis was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the No. 58 overall pick in thte 2016 NFL Draft on Friday night. Among those reacting to the selection was CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco, who grades each pick as the draft progress.

Safe to say Prisco was a fan.

"Love this pick. Love this kid," he would go on to write in a post later. "The Steelers get a safety with range who can cover and tackle. Secondary is fixed."

Davis, in talking to CSN on Friday night, said that he was surprised to a certain extent that Pittsburgh would select him after the Steelers took defensive back Artie Burns from Miami in the first round. 

But Burns can in at corner and Davis can slot in at safety, so the fit is there. 

"I kind of thought it was over. I didn't expect them to pick me up. I guess they're trying to do something special back there," he said with a smile. "It's crazy."

Davis had a relationship with the team prior to the draft, though. He spoke with representatives at both the NFL Combine and the Senior Bowl. 

Had he not been taken where he was taken, it was unlikely that he would have slipped much more. The New England Patriots sat at picks 60 and 61 and had long been intrigued by Davis. 

New England would end up taking Alabama defensive back Cyrus Jones at 60 and trading pick No. 61.

Ravens have not drafted a cornerback in first three rounds since 2011

ravens_add_correarefframe_1.jpg

Ravens have not drafted a cornerback in first three rounds since 2011

You would expect the Ravens to draft a cornerback at some point Saturday, but even if they do, it might be too late.

The Ravens didn’t draft a cornerback in the first three rounds, the fifth straight year that has happened. Fifteen cornerbacks went off the board in Rounds 1 through 3, but none of them went to the Ravens.

Their last high draft pick at corner was Jimmy Smith, a first-round pick in 2011. Since 2013, the Ravens have only drafted three corners -- the late Tray Walker (2015), Marc Anthony (2013), and Asa Jackson (2012).

At a position that is vitally important, the Ravens have not been very active in the draft. Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta defended that fact Friday night, and still believed the Ravens could find a quality cornerback Saturday.

“I think we will,” DeCosta said Friday night. “You need a little luck sometimes, and it depends on the board, but there’s still a lot of good players at that position and other positions. The challenge for us will be to find those guys.”

Cornerbacks the Ravens could target include Juston Burris of N. C. State, Rashard Robinson of LSU, Zack Sanchez of Oklahoma, D. J. White of Georgia Tech, and Tavon Young of Temple.

But if cornerback play becomes an issue for the Ravens next season, they may look at this draft as another missed opportunity to improve at that position.