Cole Pepper: Gators Advance To Sweet 16, Jags Weigh Draft Options

Mar 24, 2014

The University of Florida  men's basketball team is still moving forward in the big dance. Cole Pepper joined Karen Feagins on First Coast Connect to talk March Madness and more in our weekly sports wrap.

Gators advance in NCAA tournament play

The Florida Gators celebrate in the locker room following their 61-45 win against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers.
Credit University of Florida

The Gators are on to the Sweet 16 and they’re two wins away from the Final Four. Florida beat Pitt on Saturday after a rather lackluster victory over Albany on Thursday.

Just one note on that Thursday game. In the last 20 years, No. 1 seeds like Florida who win their first game by 12 points or less have never won a national championship.

Florida will face UCLA in Memphis on Thursday. If the Gators win there, they’ll face the winner of Stanford and Dayton. Dayton, an 11 seed, is one of the Cinderella stories of the tournament. The tournament has been loaded with upsets.

Florida vs. Florida State baseball back in Jax

The Florida-Florida State rivalry returns the Jacksonville, this time on the baseball diamond.

The Gators and the Seminoles play tomorrow at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. This game is typically a sellout and this year, there is even more interest.

That’s because the Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston also plays for the FSU baseball team. He is the Seminole’s closer, leading Florida State with four saves. He has also played some outfield where he has shown off his famous arm.

Manziel works out for NFL scouts, could enter draft picture for Jaguars

Speaking of arms… Thursday, Johnny Manziel holds his Pro Day at Texas A&M.

The Jaguars will be there to watch "Johnny Football" workout.

Texas A&M University quarterback Johnny Manziel runs the 3 cone drill at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, on February 23, 2014.
Credit Ben Liebenberg / NFL

On Friday, the Houston Texans traded QB Matt Schaub to the Raiders, so it seems to make sense that Houston will take a quarterback with the #1 pic. Could that be Manziel? Maybe Blake Bortles from UCF?

Doesn’t look like it will be Teddy Bridgewater, who failed to impress in his pro day. He could still be a first round pick, but I would be shocked if he were the #1 pick.

As we stand today, here’s how I think the first three picks of the draft will go. I think the Texans will take a quarterback…probably Bortles, but it could be Manziel.

Then the Rams have the #2 pick. They need offensive line help and there are a couple of very good tackles that could go at #2, but I think you’ll see the Rams trade back.

Here’s why this is important for the Jaguars: if a team trades up to get a quarterback, the Jaguars could take South Carolina DE Jedeveon Clowney, who I think is the most physically talented player in this draft.

If the Rams or some other team select Clowney, the Jaguars will have to decide whether one of the remaining quarterbacks is worth taking at #3, or whether they want a wide receiver (Sammy Watkins from Clemson), or will they pick a small school player, Khalil Mack, a pass rushing linebacker from Buffalo?

BBQ championships at EverBank Field

The Jacksonville Backyard BBQ Championships are less than one month away—Saturday, April 19 at EverBank Field.

The event is a fundraiser for the Glyn Cook Memorial Scholarship for Daniel kids. Already over 40 teams have registered and there will be a maximum of 60 teams.

Tickets and a limited number of VIP packages are also on sale at DanielKids.org.

You can follow Karen Feagins on Twitter @karenfeagins and Cole Pepper @ColePepper.