▪ The NFL Draft begins next Thursday and runs through the following Saturday in Philadelphia, and the prospects are not looking so good for now former Kentucky running back Boom Williams.
ESPN’s Scouts Inc. ranks Williams as the 30th-best running back in this year’s draft and the No. 317th prospect overall. Only 253 players will be drafted. CBS Sports ranks Williams as the 38th-best running back and predicts he will go undrafted.
It only takes one team to fall in love with a player, however. And Scouts Inc. does give Williams an “exceptional” rating for agility and acceleration. The Georgia native did rush for 1,170 yards in his junior season last year before deciding to turn pro.
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▪ Congrats to former UK star wide receiver Randall Cobb, who married his longtime girlfriend Aiyda Ghahramani in New York last Sunday. The Packers receiver had a pair of famous groomsmen — Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Jordy Nelson.
▪ It makes sense that Kentucky’s victory over Louisville has a place on UK’s TaxSlayer Bowl ring. The win over the ranked Cards was more significant than the outcome of the bowl game.
▪ It was an interesting decision by jockey Brian Hernandez Jr., who had his pick of two top Kentucky Derby contenders. Hernandez decided to give up the mount on Louisiana Derby winner Girvin, the Derby points leader, and ride McCraken, who finished third in Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes with Hernandez aboard.
▪ Florida basketball made a significant addition this week in Egor Koulechov, a graduate transfer from Rice. The Russian import averaged 18.2 points and 8.9 rebounds last season for the Owls, who went 23-12. Koulechov started his college career at Arizona State before transferring to Rice. That helps ease the unexpected blow of losing forward Devin Robinson to the NBA Draft.
▪ Grayson Allen will return for his senior season at Duke. All the much-deserved attention on Allen’s tripping fetish and subsequent suspensions obscured the fact the guard regressed his junior season. Injuries had something to do with that. It will be interesting to see how Allen fits with Duke’s new crop of recruits.
▪ ESPN executive vice president Burke Magnus told the SportsBusiness Daily Journal World Congress of Sports on Wednesday that the networks believe NFL television ratings will be up across the board this season.
▪ Benched at various times during the year, Rajon Rondo is performing like a player with something to prove in the NBA playoffs. Rondo had 11 points, nine rebounds and 14 assists in Chicago’s impressive 111-97 win at Boston on Tuesday night. The No. 8 seed Bulls lead the No. 1 seed Celtics 2-0 in the Eastern Conference first-round series.
▪ I wouldn’t mind seeing the Milwaukee Bucks advance just to see more Giannis Antetokounmpo.
▪ Glad to see that Phil Simms is being given a role on CBS’ “NFL Today” studio show. Simms was bounced from his lead analyst spot by former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and broadcast newbie Tony Romo. Simms has been a persistent target of the critics of late, but I never had a problem with the former Morehead State quarterback.
▪ RIP, Lynn Whiting, trainer of 1992 Kentucky Derby winner Lil E. Tee, who passed away Wednesday at age 77. Whiting was a fixture at Churchill Downs and Oaklawn. Lil E. Tee provided legendary jockey Pat Day with his only Kentucky Derby victory.