Best of FanRag Sports: May 22


Every morning we collect the most entertaining, intriguing and informative stories from around the FanRag Sports network and bring them to you all in one place. Here you can find the top NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NCAA and fight-sport stories of the day prior to get caught up on the news you need to know before starting your day.

Today’s edition features a preview of UFC 187’s undercard, a pair of mock drafts and how Sidney Crosby remains the face of hockey in Canada.

Sit back, relax and take a look back at an exciting day in the world of sports. Here is the best of the best courtesy of FanRag Sports.


Today’s Pigskin

NFL: APR 30 National Football League Draft - Gold Carpet

2016 NFL Mock Draft

The 2015 NFL Draft may have just ended, but it’s never too early to begin looking ahead to next year’s draft class. While Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Marcus Mariota (Tennessee Titans) went 1-2 back on April 30, three quarterbacks could go in the top five in 2016.

Cardale Jones (Ohio State), Christian Hackenberg (Penn State) and Connor Cook (Michigan State) are all candidates to go very high in the draft. Pigskin’s Rob DiRe breaks down the entire first round of the upcoming draft, matching college players with NFL teams.

Who goes No. 1 (hint: it’s not any of the players mentioned above)? Who does your favorite team take? Find out on the first edition of 2016 NFL Mock Drafts on Today’s Pigskin.


Today’s Slapshot

HOCKEY: MAY 17 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships - Canada v Russia

Sidney Crosby is Still Face of Canadian Hockey

Canada produces some of the best players and brightest hockey minds in the world. Despite the sheer volume of talent produced, Slapshot’s James Conley believes that Sidney Crosby is still the face of Hockey Canada. Mike Babcock is an outstanding coach and there are a number of high-end Canadian general managers, but they just can’t match No. 87 in terms of talent, start power and reach.

Regardless of the success that players like Jonathan Toews have had on the International and NHL stage, Crosby is still the face that comes to mind when you think about players that adorn the Maple Leaf during the Olympics, IIHF World Championship and other best-on-best events.


Today’s Knuckleball

MLB: APR 22 Indians at White Sox

White Sox’s Hyped Rotation Slowly Coming Together

There was a lot of hype surrounding the Chicago White Sox heading into the 2015 season after adding starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, closer David Robertson and outfielder Melky Cabrera. The addition of Samardzija was most notable because it set Chicago up to have a dominant rotation.

However, as plans go, plans go awry. Chris Sale was injured and missed his first start of the season. Upon his return, he did not perform up to expectations, clearly suffering from missed spring training preparation time. Samardzija started poorly as well, but both pitchers have turned things around lately.

Knuckleball’s Jake Weiner evaluates the current state of the White Sox’s rotation and what the recent turnaround means for their playoff chances.


Today’s Fastbreak

NCAA BASKETBALL: APR 06 Div I Men's National Championship - Wisconsin v Duke

Post-Lottery Mock Draft

With the NBA Draft Lottery out of the way, it’s finally time to match teams with players in Today’s Fastbreak’s first mock draft of the year. There is some debate at the top about which player will go No. 1 overall. Will it be Jahlil Okafor from Duke or Karl-Anthony Towns from Kentucky?

Find out who your favorite team should take as Ben Stram breaks down the entire first round with scouting reports for each of the 30 players.


Today’s Knockout

MMA: JAN 18 UFC Fight Night Boston

UFC 187 Prelims – Dodson, Hall, Stun Gun, and Namajunas

While most of the UFC 187 focus is on the title fights at the top of the card, there are a handful of preliminary fights worth watching as well. There are flyweight, middleweight, welterweight and women’s strawweight bouts on tap featuring big names such as John Dodson, Uriah Hall, Dong Hyun “The Stun Gun” Kim and Rose Namajunas.

Knockout’s Dane Curley breaks down each of the four fights and gives you all the info you need to know before sitting down in front of your T.V. or computer Saturday night.


Today’s U


Caleb Swanigan’s Commitment to Purdue Adds to Top-Heavy Big Ten Forecast

Five-star recruit Caleb Swanigan is not going to Michigan State after all. He is staying in the Big 10, however. The Purdue Boilermakers are adding a major piece to what could be a championship-caliber team next season.

California and Kentucky were also in the mix for Swanigan, but his desire to remain in the state of Indiana overruled any feelings to play elsewhere.

“Caleb wants to bring a national championship to Purdue. He won Mr. Basketball in Indiana and won a state championship. He wants to do the same thing for his college team at Purdue,” Swanigan’s legal guardian Roosevelt Barnes said.

U’s Kyle Kensing breaks down what the move means for Purdue and the Big 10 as a whole. The conference had a strong postseason run in March and could be poised to make a lot of noise in the upcoming season as well.



MLB: MAY 12 Nationals at Diamondbacks

Bryce Harper Growing up Before our Eyes

Love him or hate him, the future of MLB will have plenty of Bryce Harper in it. Followed around as the next big thing since his teenage years, expectations have never been low.

Harper has had some success at the MLB level, but has not blossomed into the mega star many expected him to be right away. The emergence of Mike Trout in Los Angeles has not helped quell expectations. However, 2015 may be the season Harper truly breaks out and becomes a bonafide MVP candidate.

Gary Phillips takes a closer look at the Washington Nationals’ outfielder’s 2015 season and says after all these years in the public spotlight, Harper is finally the player everyone expected he would be.

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