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Last night’s NFL draft has been the only excitement that sports fans have had in a long time. We saw a good number of quarterbacks selected to their team, but just where did each talent land?
Bengals #1 Pick– QB Joe Burrow: LSU
The 23-year-old LSU star was selected first overall by the Bengals. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner threw for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns, and a QBR of 202 in 2019 for the Tigers. Burrow is projected to be a star in the NFL and will more than likely be replacing Andy Dalton. Bengals fans can only hope that Burrow has what it takes to win them their first playoff game since 1990.
Dolphins #5 Pick – QB Tua Tagavailoa: Alabama
A 3-year Alabama product, Tua Tagavailoa was the second quarterback selected in the draft. In 2019, Tagavailoa battled several injuries, including a dislocated hip late in the season against Mississippi State. Tua had thrown for 2,840 yards and 33 touchdowns prior to being injured. The Dolphins also have an aging Ryan Fitzpatrick on the depth chart as well as a young and unproven Josh Rosen. Is it Tua Time in Miami?
Chargers #6 Pick – QB Justin Herbert: Oregon
The Ducks’ Justin Herbert threw for 3,471 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2019. Herbert proved vital to the Oregon offense and led the Ducks to victories in the 2019 Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl. The Chargers currently have quarterback Tyrod Taylor on the roster in place of Philip Rivers since his departure to the Indianapolis Colts. Taylor has been in the league since 2011 when he was drafted to the Baltimore Ravens. There will be some competition in LA for the quarterback position, will the starter in LA be the rookie Herbert or the veteran Taylor?
Packers #26 Pick – QB Jordan Love: Utah State
The Utah State junior QB threw for 3,402 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019 for the Aggies. This pick is a bit of a surprise as Aaron Rodgers is still the starting quarterback for the Pack. Rodgers signed a 4-year deal with the team in 2018, so by 2023, Love could be “The Guy” in Green Bay. Some may see Love as the replacement, some may see him as the future, but one thing is for sure, Green Bay made a move in this draft.
The world of sports superlatives is a never-ending debate. We see this everywhere--everyone wants there to be a greatest of all time and almost everyone picks a side. For basketball it is Jordan vs. LeBron, but when it comes to the gridiron, give me Drew Brees over Tom Brady.
Sure, Tom has six Super Bowl rings and all of the GOAT stigma, but is he really the greatest to ever do it? Super Bowls matter, but that is merely a team stat. Look at how successful Tom’s defenses were the years that he has won, along with the names that he has had the opportunity to play with, names like Rob Gronkowski and Randy Moss to be exact. Drew Brees has never had the offensive players that Tom Brady has had. Brees made receivers like Michael Thomas, Marques Colston, and Kenny Stills studs, and really his only other big time target he has had to work with was Jimmy Graham. Brees and Brady both make other players great, but I feel like Drew has had more of an uphill battle in New Orleans.
There have only been nine NFL seasons where a quarterback has thrown for 5,000 yards, and five of those seasons belong to Drew Brees. Brees also leads the NFL in passing yards, pass completions, and touchdown passes. Brees holds the record for highest career pass completion percentage, highest single season completion percentage, and most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. These records are a testament to Drew Brees being the best pure passer in the history of the NFL, and at 6-feet-tall, what more could you ask of the guy? He has overcome being undersized and has topped the NFL record books, along with coming back from a 1 in 500 shoulder injury that nearly cost him his career in 2005, yet he still gets overlooked in this GOAT debate.
I know it is hard to look at “could-have-beens”, but I believe that Drew Brees has a few worth mentioning. For starters, the Minneapolis Miracle during the 2018 playoffs should have never happened. Had that defender made the play, the Saints would have moved on to the NFC Championship against the Eagles, a game that Minnesota would get blown out in, 38-7. The following year, the Saints fell victim to another mishap in the conference championship against the Rams. NFL officials swallowed the whistle on a blatant pass interference call where the Ram’s Nickell Robey-Coleman smoked the Saints’ Tommylee Lewis on a play that changed the entirety of the game. Had the call been made, the Saints would have had a new set of downs within the Rams’ end zone with very little time remaining in the game. But this obviously didn’t happen, and the Rams go on to win the game in OT.
On February 18, 2020, Drew Brees announced that he would be returning to the Saints for the 2020 season. His caption read, “I look forward to the grind and the journey, for the reward at the end will be worth it!” This man obviously wants another Super Bowl ring because he wants the credibility that he has been neglected of for years. With Pro Bowl wide receiver Michael Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara in his corner, who knows what this man can do. If the defense plays well next season, I see no reason why the greatest quarterback to play the game can’t win another one.
Since joining the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in the Division I-AA division, the IUPUI Jaguars rugby team has found a good bit of success and realized how much potential they were truly working with.
The team participates in two different seasons, playing 7’s in the spring and 15’s in the fall. This means that there are 7 and 15 men on the field during that given season. Following the spring season of 15’s, the Jaguars finished fourth overall in the MAC and qualified for the conference tournament. This is some accomplishment, especially considering the club just moved up to the D1-AA division from Division II. The Jaguars finished the season with a record of 6-6 and a MAC record of 4-5.
When asked about last season, junior inside center Nigel Evans said, “yeah, the first year in the MAC was really a blessing, it was our first season in the D1-AA and I am really proud of what we did.” Evans is a transfer from the University of Southern Indiana and majoring in special education. “[In] 7’s we should be pretty good, we should see growth, and in time I see us at the top of the MAC. We accomplished a lot after moving up from D2,” said Evans.
Matt Hilton, a junior flanker, is very optimistic about this upcoming season.“After last season, I can say that our team, top to bottom, is the most talented group of guys that I have ever seen, on and off of the field. I am super excited to see what this year’s squad can do and what we bring to the 7’s season.” Hilton is a transfer from Taylor University and is studying social work.
With the upcoming 7’s season looming, the Jaguars will look to make their presence in the conference known. Time will tell the tale for this group that will be competing in their first ever D1-AA season of 7’s.
If you would like to support the team, there will be a lasagna dinner and prize raffle at the Regions Tower on February 22 at 6pm. Follow their Twitter @Rugby_at_IUPUI and their Instagram @iupui_rugby to keep up to date with the team.