#1 ng hockey all the ti von douhua2233 29.08.2018 08:31

The only thing that Saquon Barkley has to prove at the NFL combine this week is that he’s every bit as good as advertised.

”For a guy like Barkley who has worked so hard to develop his gifts Lamar Jackson Ravens Jersey , I mean, for him it ought to be a victory celebration. It really should,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. ”You got to come in and knock it down, one drill after another.

”He’s going to walk out of there four days later and everyone’s going to go: `Wow, he’s just as good or better than we thought he was.”’

Then, there would be no doubt that a running back will go in the top five picks of the draft for the third consecutive year, joining Ezekiel Elliott in 2016 and Leonard Fournette in 2017.

The Penn State star might even be the first running back selected in the top two picks since Reggie Bush in 2006 or even the first to go No. 1 overall since another Nittany Lion, Ki-Jana Carter, in 1995.

”I’m just focused on coming out here and trying to dominate this combine,” Barkley said.

Everyone expects him to do just that.

General managers and coaches know all about the 5-foot-11, 233-pound back with a magnificent medley of jaw-dropping quickness and excellent acceleration, speed, balance, vision and power to go with an off-the-charts work ethic who helped Penn State dismantle Washington’s vaunted defense in the Fiesta Bowl .

Mayock said Barkley will dazzle teams even when he’s not on his feet.

”When he goes into meetings at night,” Mayock said, ”he’s going to blow people away.”

Barkley, who grew up boxing like his father and great uncle but was always drawn more to the gridiron than the ring, quickly rose to national prominence as one of the country’s most dynamic players as a true freshman at Penn State in 2015.

He flashed a frenetic running style to compile a lengthy highlight reel full of hurdles, spin moves and jukes on his way to a program-best 43 rushing touchdowns in three years.

Mayock said Barkley is at least equal to the last four top-10 running backs – Fournette Cheap Sylvester Williams Jersey , Elliott, Todd Gurley and Christian McCaffrey – all of whom made their teams significantly better as rookies.

”I could make the case that this kid Barkley is the best of those guys, best of all five of them,” Mayock said. ”He’s clean off the field. And he’ll be great in your locker room. I would be absolutely stunned if this kid doesn’t go in the Top 5.”

The Browns, Giants and Colts own the top three picks in next month’s draft. Cleveland also owns No. 4 and Denver has the fifth selection.

”Any team that wants to draft me,” Barkley said, ”is a blessing to me.”

Barkley said he embraces the chance to transform a downtrodden team like the Browns, who have one win in two years, or the Giants, coming off a down year: ”You want to be part of something like that, something that’s bigger than yourself.”

Whoever ends up choosing Barkley can expect to be picking a lot later in next year’s draft. (Fournette’s Jaguars are picking 29th this year, five picks after McCaffrey’s Panthers).

Barkley averaged nearly 6 yards a carry as a junior in State College, rushing for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns and catching 54 passes for 632 yards and three TDs. He also completed two passes – one for a score – and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

He won the Paul Hornung Award as college football’s most versatile player and left Penn State after his junior year just 89 yards shy of the program rushing record with 3,843 yards.

”I feel whether I’m running the ball from the 99-yard line or the 1-yard line that I can find a way to get into the end zone. I can do it all, I feel like,” Barkley said. ”I can go over the top of you, I can beat you with speed, I can beat you with some wiggle Joc Pederson Jersey , I could run through you.”

That may come off as boastful, but not when Barkley says it.

He said he watches all of today’s great NFL running backs but models his game after none of them.

”I’ve never wanted to be like anybody,” Barkley said. ”That’s something that my dad taught me growing up: `Never want to be like someone, be the next you.’ But I am a fan of the game, I’m a fan of the position and I watch everyone.”

Including Barry Sanders on YouTube .

If he had to pick anyone he’d like to be like, it’d be the Lions’ Hall of Famer.

”That was a great guy that I looked up to growing up not only on the field – off the field. The way he carried himself, he was humble,” Barkley said. ”When he scored a touchdown, he’d give the ball to the ref. If you look at his football life, he’s carrying cups to his offensive linemen, and I think that’s what a running back should be about. That’s what our position should be about and I try to model myself after that.”



After working a quarter-century in the NHL, including two decades in management, Paul Fenton finally has the opportunity to run a team.

The new general manager of the Minnesota Wild has been tasked with retooling a roster that has produced a consistent regular season winner but, more importantly, scant success in the playoffs.

”I’m confident we have a very good team in Minnesota and believe Paul shares that same belief. The goal remains to bring a Stanley Cup to the state of hockey,” owner Craig Leipold said. ”No pressure, Paul, but that is where it starts.”

The 58-year-old Fenton was introduced on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center, where the Wild have reached the postseason six straight times to match the longest streak in the Western Conference with the Anaheim Ducks. The problem is they’ve won only two series during that run Shaquem Griffin Jersey Elite , both in the first round. That’s why Leipold dismissed Chuck Fletcher after nine seasons and, after a month of interviewing and considering candidates, turned to Fenton for a fresh perspective .

”As we went through the process, we kept hearing good things about our team,” Leipold said. ”We kept feeling better and better, and it really reinforced what we thought. This is not a rebuild. It’s a tweaking.”

Existing contracts essentially make a teardown impossible. Center Mikko Koivu, left wing Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter accounted for almost 30 percent of the Wild’s salary cap in 2017-18. Koivu’s two-year extension kicks in this summer. Parise and Suter are signed for seven more seasons. All three players attended the news conference, as did coach Bruce Boudreau and several holdover hockey operations staffers.

”It obviously doesn’t need to be overhauled,” Fenton said. ”We have a lot of really good veteran pieces, young guys that are coming, and I’m just looking forward to trying to put on some finishing touches to help us win.”

Even without no-trade clauses, the Koivu-Parise-Suter core would be difficult to move with their current deals. There are plenty of other valuable players that Fenton could use as assets in trades, though, and there’s precedent for him doing just that.

During his 12-year tenure as assistant general manager of the Nashville Predators, Fenton teamed with general manager David Poile to pull off several bold moves. They shipped Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens for P.K. Subban in a swap of standout defensemen two summers ago after sending defenseman Seth Jones to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Ryan Johansen about six months earlier, deals that set the stage for the Predators to reach the Stanley Cup finals in 2017. They had the best record in the league in the 2017-18 regular season.

Fenton declined to make any evaluations or proclamations about the Wild during his session with reporters, but he did give a definitive answer to a question about whether he’d keep the aggressive approach to trading.

”I like to think outside the box,” he said, later adding: ”I’ll look at small trades. I’ll look at big trades. Whatever is going to improve this organization going forward to give us a chance to win the Stanley Cup Uchenna Nwosu Jersey , we’re going to look.”

As for feeling limited by the Koivu-Parise-Suter contract situation he inherited, well, if he was daunted by it he wouldn’t have been hired.

”Everybody has the same problem,” Fenton said. ”We’re all cap driven.”

Fenton was accompanied by his wife, Nona, who was once his high school sweetheart in Massachusetts, and his two adult sons, P.J. and Owen, and daughter-in-law Stefanie. There’s a granddaughter in the family as well.

Suter was a familiar face to Fenton in the crowd, too. The Predators drafted him in the first round in 2003 while Fenton was director of player personnel. Leipold owned the Predators then, too.

”We have mutual friends that say good things about each other, so I don’t think it’s going to be a difficult transition at all,” said Boudreau, who will enter his third season with the Wild. ”We’re hockey guys, and when we’re getting together we’re going to be talking hockey all the time. That’s what we love to do. He spent a lot of years looking at the minors. I’ve been a lot of years in the minors. I think it should end up being a really good relationship.”



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