Who is the greatest pound for pound MMA fighter of all-time? Anderson Silva, GSP or is it Jon Jones? SB Nation's Luke Thomas and our Jennifer X. Williams take a look at what Jon "Bones" Jones has achieved to date in this episode of The Fight Fix.
An undeniable talent, Reuben Foster seemed for months to be a lock for the Top 10 of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Alabama star is a sure tackler, playmaking force and winner of the 2016 Dick Butkus Award as the nation's best college linebacker.
The actual football season went great for Foster, he logged 115 tackles and was named the SEC Championship Game MVP. Since play on the field stopped, things have stalled. Foster had an unfortunate incident at the NFL Combine, where he was sent home after an altercation with a hospital worker. In the time since, it's come out Foster tested positive for a diluted urine sample and will enter the NFL in the substance abuse program.
Still, despite a tough two months, Foster's talent is too rich to pass up for some NFL teams. And per NFL Network's Lance Zierlein, the Redskins could be that team.
In his mock draft released Wednesday, Zierlein predicts Foster's draft day slide to end with Washington at the 17th pick. From NFL.com:
Foster could fall due to off-field concerns and worries about injuries, but he fits a need for the Redskins, bringing a tough playmaker into the fold.
Beyond the diluted sample and the combine altercation, Foster also has had stinger issues throughout his career at 'Bama. He has elite speed at the linebacker position and the type of athleticism defensive coordinators dream about, though some pro scouts question if he can handle the calls of a Mike linebacker in the NFL game.
The Redskins are not desperate for interior linebacker help, this season. The team added Zach Brown in free agency, re-signed 2016 defensive captain Will Compton earlier this week and Mason Foster remains under contract. All three players, however, are headed to free agency in 2018. Adding Foster would provide depth this year and a potential star in the future.
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The Capitals welcome in the Pittsburgh Penguins to Washington on Thursday for Game 1 of last year’s rematch. Washington may have home-ice advantage after beating out Pittsburgh for the Metropolitan Division, but there are still plenty of reasons to be nervous about a matchup with the Penguins.
The Caps and Penguins have faced one another nine times in the playoffs. Washington’s record? A paltry 1-8 with their lone win coming in 1994. Does the fact that the Caps lost to Pittsburgh in 1996 have any bearing on this series? No, but the Caps and Penguins have faced twice in the Alex Ovechkin/Sidney Crosby era with Pittsburgh emerging victorious both times including in 2016. The 2017 Penguins return many of the key pieces that not only helped them beat Washington, but win the Stanley Cup as well.
2. Washington’s third defensive pair
The playoffs have a way of revealing a team’s weaknesses and one certainly emerged in the first round for Washington. Most people dismiss +/- as an antiquated stat, but while it may paint a very limited picture of an individual’s performance, it can be very telling in terms of lines. Through the first round, Brooks Orpik and Kevin Shattenkirk are tied for dead last on the team with a minus-4. The fact that they are a defensive pair makes this a very telling stat. Las year’s Penguins team was able to exploit the Caps’ third pair as the Caps cycled in Orpik, Dmitry Orlov, Taylor Chorney and Mike Weber. An Orpik-Shattenkirk pair is certainly stronger than what the Caps rolled out last year, but it does not appear that they are as strong as many had hoped.
3. Did you see what Pittsburgh did to Columbus?
The Columbus Blue Jackets finished the regular season with the fourth-best record in the NHL. Yet, their postseason lasted just five games as Pittsburgh beat them like a drum. The Caps are a better team than Columbus and appear to be a tougher matchup, but one can’t help but be impressed with how quickly and decisively the Penguins dispatched the Jackets. Plus, for a team dealing with a handful of injuries, getting a few days off after a short series allowed them more time to get healthy.
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