Bubba Watson’s bogey-free 67 in howling winds Sunday was just what the reigning Masters champion wanted to see in his final start before Augusta.
With eight picks remaining in the draft, including the fifth pick in the second round (No. 36 overall), the Ravens are just getting started making moves. Here are three reasons why the Ravens might make a trade Friday night during round 2 or round 3:
1. The Ravens need to strengthen their chances of getting a quality pass rusher or corner.
If the Ravens want a corner or pass rusher who can step in and contribute next season, it’s getting late. Before the draft, Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said he felt more pressure thinking about the second-round pick (No. 36) than he did the first round. The Ravens won’t sit around and wait if they sense all the players they covet slipping away. Don’t be surprised to see the Ravens trade up in either Round 2 or 3 to target a player they want. Corners still on the board include Mackensie Alexander of Clemson, Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, Xavien Howard of Baylor, and Cyrus Jones of Alabama. Pass rushers on the board include Kamalei Correa of Boise St. and Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky. The third round could be too late to get any of those players.
2. The chance to get UCLA inside linebacker Myles Jack makes the start of Round 2 even more fluid.
Jack is a first-round talent who is only available due to concerns about his knee. Many teams, including the Ravens, could be thinking about picking Jack, or trading up to get him.
3. If the Ravens keep all of their picks, all nine players are unlikely to make the team.
The Ravens already have a crowded roster at several positions, including running back and tight end. They will also bring in more free agents once the draft is over. It makes sense to trade a pick or two, in exchange for a player who helps them next season.
News, notes and quotes from the Capitals’ hair-raising, breath-taking 4-3 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night at Verizon Center (stick tap to research analyst Rich Goldberg):
Positive sign: Per Elias Sports Bureau, teams that win Game 1 in a best-of-seven Stanley Cup playoff series hold an all-time series record of 445-200 (69 percent), including a perfect 8-0 in Round 1 this spring.
“Game 1 is really important, but it’s amazing how, opposed to 10 years ago, how well road teams are doing,” Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “I think no matter what building you’re playing in, it’s kind of an even playing field.”
Don’t count your chickens: In their eight previous playoff meetings with the Penguins the Caps have won Game 1 seven times but are 1-6 in those series.
Familiar territory: Since 2001, the Penguins are 0-7 when starting a playoff series on the road.
Powerless: Despite leading the NHL with eight power-play goals in Rounds 1, the Caps (0-for-4) and Pens (0-for-2) were held silent in Game 1. It marked the first time this post-season the Pens were held without a power play goal.
The Caps are now 0-for-14 since Game 3 against Philadelphia. They started that series 8-for-17 in the first three games.
By the numbers: The Caps improved to 38-2-2 this season when scoring first; 23-0-1 record when leading after the first; and 29-7-8 in one-goal goal games.
OT history: The Capitals are now 24-30 in playoff overtimes, 11-13 on home ice. In the Alex Ovechkin era they are 10-13 in playoff OTs, 5-6 at home.
Trickster: T.J. Oshie became the third player in Caps history to record a playoff hat trick with an overtime goal, joining Nicklas Backstrom (Game 2, 2010 conference quarterfinal against Montreal) and Dino Ciccarelli (Game 1, 1990 division semifinal against New Jersey).
Oshie now has six goals and one assist in six games against the Penguins this season.
Leave it to Ovi: Alex Ovechkin on T.J. Oshie's wraparound goal: "Great effort by Osh. I think in overtime every shot is a good shot."
Hitman: Alex Ovechkin led the Caps with seven hits and his 35 hits this postseason ranks fourth in the NHL.
Bura-cuda: Andre Burakovsky now has three goals and two assists this season against Pittsburgh.
At the top: Goalie Braden Holtby became the Caps’ winningest goalie in playoff history with his 21st win.
Yes, Jay Gruden went there.
Shortly after the Redskins drafted Josh Doctson the Redskins head coach went to the podium and compared the wide receiver to a receiver who played for Gruden when he was the Bengals offensive coordinator. A very good player.
“[Doctson] reminded me a lot of A.J. [Green] that we took a couple years ago in Cincinnati. He’s six-foot-two, A.J. was six-foot-four, but he’s got that same type of body control and the ability to high point it which is big time.”
The Bengals drafted Green with the fourth pick of the first round in 2011, the same year that Gruden came to Cincinnati. In five years in the NFL, Green has made the Pro Bowl five times. He has averaged 83 receptions, for 1,234 yards and nine touchdowns per season. The performance was good enough to earn his a four-year, $60 million contract extension prior to last season.
The Redskins would be ecstatic if the can get such production out of Doctson and it’s not out of the realm of possibility for him. But he certainly doesn’t need the comparison or to be referred to as “the next A.J. Green” to create some unnecessary pressure on him.
Perhaps the next opportunity he gets, Gruden should deliver the old line that he just wants his new receiver to be the first Josh Doctson and leave it at that.