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The Sports Report: An NFL mock draft by the experts

The Sports Report: An NFL mock draft by the experts
The Arizona Cardinals have the first pick of the 2019 draft. (Perry Knotts / Associated Press)

Hello, one and all, my name is John Cherwa, and I’m guest-hosting this here newsletter for a couple of weeks while Houston Mitchell wonders why San Diego doesn’t have a first-round pick in the NFL draft.

Early in the week can be slow around newsletter-town, but the most intriguing thing you can find on our website is Sam Farmer’s NFL mock draft, as seen through the eyes of the various beat writers in NFL cities. The real draft starts Thursday.

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Now, I’m crediting Sam with this idea, even if he stole it from someone else. I don’t know. He’s done this format for a long time and it’s terrific. What he does is conduct his own NFL draft, as he explains below. You’ll find all of it here.

It was clear that Sam was a smart guy with good ideas when he included a couple of references to me (as a sports investigative editor) in his book “Bitter Roses: An Inside Look at the Washington Huskies’ Turbulent Year” published in 1993.

To refresh, that was when schools cheated to get athletes into school, not to get non-athletes pretending to be athletes into school. (We’ll stop these references before Houston gets back.)

The book is still available from Amazon for somewhere between $2 and $10. Not sure if the publisher is planning a special 26-year anniversary edition — guessing not. But it will be great reading between picks in the overly long Round 1 of the NFL draft. And good reading at other times, too.

Want to know how Sam’s experts saw the first couple of picks? Well:

“With the NFL draft less than a week away, reporters who cover their teams on a daily basis take a crack at predicting how the first round will unfold in The Times’ annual beat writers’ mock draft. Each reporter makes a pick and gives a rationale for that selection.

“This year's mock draft has ended. The Arizona Cardinals have the first pick of the 2019 draft, and Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic made a somewhat surprising selection. Check out each of the 32 first-round selections below.

“No. 1 Arizona Cardinals | DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama

“The Cardinals like Josh Rosen, and I don’t see them taking a quarterback in the first round two years in a row. They need help on the defensive line and Williams would immediately provide that. General manager Steve Keim has made some mistakes in the first round by taking guys who weren’t that passionate about football (Jonathan Cooper, Robert Nkemdiche). So I can see them taking Williams. — Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic

“No. 2 San Francisco 49ers | DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

“In this scenario, the 49ers will be tempted to trade back with a team seeking Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. If they don’t get the compensation they want, they’ll be happy with Bosa, who will form a bookend with Dee Ford the way the Chargers use Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. — Matt Barrows, The Athletic

“3. New York Jets | …”

(We’re not giving the entire draft away in the newsletter. Just go here.)

Lakers

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A lawsuit brings out troubling accusations against former Lakers coach Luke Walton while he was with the Golden State Warriors. Tania Ganguli reports on the story.

“Former Lakers coach Luke Walton has been accused of sexual assault by former Spectrum SportsNet host Kelli Tennant.

“In a lawsuit filed Monday, Tennant alleges that Walton assaulted her at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica while he was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.

“No date was given for the alleged assault, but the suit says it happened after the publication of a book written by Tennant, for which Walton wrote a foreword. The book was published in 2014.

“Walton was a mentor to Tennant, the lawsuit says, and she came to the hotel to give him a copy of the book. He invited her to his room so as not to be in the public eye, according to the suit.”

The hotel room was where the alleged assault occurred.

Clippers

The end of the Clippers season awaits on Wednesday in the Bay Area, and they no doubt feel like a team with the second draft pick, knowing they’ve got no chance of getting the pick they really want.

Andrew Greif, our Clippers beat writer, is getting ready to join our Kings and Ducks chroniclers in the off-season. (We don’t include the Lakers because they continue to make off-season news.)

Here’s how he previews Wednesday’s game, a day early.

“Drawing the top-seeded Golden State Warriors in the NBA playoffs’ first round was the Clippers' worst-case scenario for many obvious reasons.

“The Clippers’ depth and locker-room cohesion helped upend low expectations and overcome dramatic roster turnover, but without any current or former All-Stars, there was an expectation that what propelled them throughout the winter would only go so far in a best-of-seven series against the loaded Warriors. That expectation has played out as expected. Following their 113-105 victory Sunday at Staples Center, Golden State holds a 3-1 lead entering Game 5 on Wednesday in Oakland.

“Yet several within the Clippers have considered this the best imaginable matchup too, for one forward-looking reason.

“Facing the dynastic Warriors, winners of three of the last four NBA championships, and playing in Oracle Arena’s crucible atmosphere, rookie guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Landry Shamet, Jerome Robinson and 22-year-old center Ivica Zubac have received an invaluable education during their first career postseason.

“’They're young guys that we threw into the fire,’ veteran Clippers guard Lou Williams said.

That introduction to playoff basketball has proved alternately revealing, humbling and encouraging.

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“‘It is huge, just for the confidence, knowing we can play with these guys,’ Robinson said after scoring seven points in 11 minutes in Game 4. ‘Once it all comes together, we can play with anybody.’”

Clippers playoff schedule

All times Pacific

Game 1: Warriors 121, Clippers 104

Game 2: Clippers 135, Warriors 131

Game 3: Warriors 132, Clippers 105

Game 4: Warriors 113, Clippers 105

Wednesday, April 24, 7:30 p.m. at Golden State, TNT

*Friday, April 26, at Clippers, TBA

*Sunday, April 28, at Golden State, TBA

* if necessary.

Monday’s NBA playoff scores

Milwaukee 127, Detroit 104 (Bucks win series, 4-0)

Utah 107, Houston 91 (Rockets lead series, 3-1)

Today’s schedule

(All times Pacific)

Orlando at Toronto, 4 p.m. NBATV (Raptors lead series, 3-1)

Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 5 p.m. TNT (76ers lead series, 3-1)

San Antonio at Denver, 6:30 p.m. NBATV (Series tied, 2-2)

Oklahoma City at Portland, 7:30 p.m. TNT (Trail Blazers lose series, 3-1)

Angels

We don’t give the Angels enough love in this here newsletter. So, with the Yankees in town, we’ll make up for lost time today. We just wish they would play faster games. Mike DiGiovanna gives us a review of Monday’s 14-inning endurance test.

“What’s left of the New York Yankees, a team so decimated it could field a lineup of players on the injured list, was still enough to give the Angels more than they could handle Monday night.

“The Bruised Bombers, as they are now known — missing All-Star outfielders, an All-Star catcher, an ace and a high-end reliever — extended the Angels to extra innings for the first time this season behind a superb start from left-hander J.A. Happ, some stout relief and an air-tight defense that turned three double plays.

“After both teams pushed across runs in the 12th inning, the Yankees pulled out a 4-3, 14-inning victory in Angel Stadium with a rally that started with a strikeout.

“Angels reliever Luke Bard’s third strike to Gleyber Torres bounced away from catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who retrieved the ball in foul territory but lofted his throw to first over the head of Albert Pujols for an error.

Clint Frazier struck out, but Torres took second on a wild pitch. Mike Tauchman struck out, and Mike Ford was intentionally walked. Gio Urshela, who drove in a 12th-inning run with a sacrifice fly, lined a single to right-center for a 4-3 lead.

“Yankees reliever Jonathan Holder threw a scoreless 14th to end the 4-hour 35-minute game.”

NHL playoffs

We know it’s got nothing to with Southern California sports, but Tuesday night has two Game 7s. And if you’ve never watched, playoff hockey is as good as sports gets. Here are Monday’s scores and the schedule:

Monday’s scores

Carolina 5, Washington 2 (Series tied, 3-3)

Dallas 2, Nashville 1 (Stars win series, 4-2)

Today’s schedule

(All times Pacific)

Toronto at Boston, 4 p.m. NBCSN (Series tied, 3-3)

Las Vegas at San Jose, 7 p.m. NBCSN (Series tied, 3-3)

Odds and ends

Dodgers rookie Alex Verdugo's fiery flair already makes him a fan favorite. … Sierra Canyon's Cassius Stanley is the latest top recruit to commit to Duke. … Flyers remove Kate Smith statue because of racially insensitive songs. … Russell Westbrook plays on the edge while the Thunder try to avoid elimination. … Phoenix Suns fire coach Igor Kokoskov after one season.

Today’s local major sport schedule

(All times Pacific)

Dodgers at Chicago Cubs, 5 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

New York Yankees at Angels, 7 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830

Born on this date

1916: College football coach Bud Wilkinson

1921: Baseball player Warren Spahn

1943: NHL player Tony Esposito

Died on this date

1983: Swimmer/actor Buster Crabbe, 76

1995: Sportscaster Howard Cosell, 77

And finally

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email us here. If you want to subscribe, click here.

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