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The 8 worst value picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, from Alex Leatherwood to Nahshon Wright

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The 8 worst value picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, from Alex Leatherwood to Nahshon Wright

Selecting players in the NFL Draft is hard. 

Some picks are easy to make, like the Jaguars taking Trevor Lawrence first overall. But it gets more difficult as the draft advances because there’s a difficult balance between picking the guy you want while not reaching for that player. It doesn’t always come out perfect, though.

Below, we’ll go over some of the worst value picks from the 2021 NFL Draft. This doesn’t necessarily mean the pick is a bad player. It just simply means, based on all of the information available, the team likely reached for their selection. In other words, they chose the player much earlier than they were projected to go.

NFL DRAFT: 32 grades | Winners & Losers | Biggest steals

When grading these, there’s obviously more weight placed on the early rounds. You won’t see too many late round selections because, by the time you get to Round 6 and Round 7, it’s hard to have “bad value” — you may as well take a flier on players that late.

We’ll reference NFL.com’s pre-draft grades, NFL Mock Draft Database’s consensus big board, The Athletic’s consensus big board and ESPN’s Seth Walder’s draft projections to help determine value of these picks.

So, let’s get into the picks.

Raiders: Alex Leatherwood, OL

We’re not the first ones to call this pick a reach. The Raiders surprised a lot of people by selecting Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood at 17 overall. He was 40th and 45th overall on the consensus big boards and was viewed more as a Round 2 prospect, but that’s not the only issue. Leatherwood mostly played left tackle at Alabama, and Kolton Miller has that job already for Las Vegas. So Leatherwood will likely need to move to guard, which he did play a bit at Alabama; but it makes the selection even more confusing. Walder’s draft projection said there was a 69 percent chance that Leatherwood was going to be available at pick No. 43 when the Raiders drafted next.

Saints: Payton Turner, DE

Payton Turner is a talented athlete, but not many saw him going in the late stages of the first round. He was ranked 68th and 60th on the consensus big boards, respectively. It was also a curious selection, considering Gregory Rousseau, who also plays defensive end, was still available and was ranked higher on every big board out there. We’ll find out in the long run if the Saints saw something the rest of the NFL Draft world didn’t.

49ers: Aaron Banks, OL

The 49ers took Aaron Banks at 48th overall, which was viewed as “a round too early” by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. He was 93rd and 90th overall in the consensus big boards, which fit Kiper’s suggestion that he was taken a round too early. Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski had this to say of the Banks picks: “Banks is not the type of lineman often projected for the San Francisco 49ers’ zone stretch. Typically, a heavy outside-zone system requires athletic interior blockers who display outstanding lateral movement. Banks isn’t that.” Walder’s draft projection metrics only had Banks at a 3 percent chance to go at pick 48 or earlier.

Packers: Josh Myers, C

Josh Myers only had a 4 percent chance he would be selected at pick No. 62 or earlier, according to Walder’s draft projection. The Packers likely would have been able to wait, as Myers had a 60 percent chance to make it to 92 overall using Walder’s metrics. Kiper agreed on this pick being a reach, saying, “I see him as more of a developmental prospect, not a clear NFL starter. I’m surprised that the Packers passed on Creed Humphrey, my second-ranked center.” Myers was Kiper’s 117th overall ranked prospect.

Chargers: Tre’ McKitty, TE

Tre’ McKitty was the 97th overall player off the board, which is way higher than his consensus big board rankings of 186 and 163. NFL.com’s draft analyst Lance Zierlein had McKitty as a 6th-to-7th round talent, so it was surprising to see him go in the third. Zierlein had a 5.64 grade on McKitty, which means he has a chance “to make end of roster or practice squad.” Which isn’t exactly what you want when you take a player in the 3rd. The Chargers’ pick of WR Josh Palmer could also be seen as a bad value. 

Cowboys: Nahshon Wright, CB

Nahshon Wright had the lowest pre-draft grade from NFL.com’s Zierlein out of any player drafted within the first three rounds. Zierlein projected Wright as a 7th-round pick, or as an undrafted rookie free agent. His third-round draft selection shocked many analysts, including ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., who had Wright as his 44th-ranked corner. He was so lowly rated, he didn’t even appear on The Athletic’s consensus big board, which ranked the top 300 prospects (Wright went 99th overall). “I’m really surprised Wright went here, because I didn’t see a starter when I watched his tape,” Kiper said of this pick.

Titans: Dez Fitzpatrick, WR

Fitzpatrick had one of the lower pre-draft grades from NFL.com’s Zierlein out of the players who were selected. Zierlein viewed Fitzpatrick more as a Round 7 prospect, or a potential undrafted free agent. He was the 16th wide receiver off the board and was the 32nd overall wide receiver prospect in the NFL Mock Draft Database big board. What made this move even more interesting is the fact the Titans traded up in order to draft Fitzpatrick. Maybe the Titans knew something the rest of us didn’t.

Washington: John Bates, TE

John Bates had the lowest pre-draft grade from Zierlein out of players selected within the first four rounds. In fact, Bates’ was the fourth-worst pre-draft grade out of all players selected. He doesn’t offer up much as a receiving threat as he’s primarily viewed as a blocking tight end. He was the 124th overall selection, and was the 248th overall prospect on The Athletic’s consensus big board. He was the sixth overall tight end taken despite being the 12th overall tight end on The Athletic’s consensus big board. Based on all of the information available, it certainly seems like Washington could have drafted Bates much later on in the draft.

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What channel is UFC 262 on tonight? How to watch, buy Oliveira vs. Chandler on pay-per-view

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Oliveira vs. Chandler purse, salaries: How much money will they make at UFC 262?

It’s strap season for Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira.

After spending the majority of his career with Bellator MMA, the three-time lightweight champ has an opportunity to capture the vacant UFC lightweight championship on Saturday against Oliveira.

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 262 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

Chandler has a hungry and ready opponent in the No. 3-ranked Oliveira: Looking for his first UFC title, the veteran enters this fight on an eight-fight win streak, his last bout a unanimous decision win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 256.

Here’s what you need to know about Saturday night’s UFC event.

What channel is UFC 262?

  • Early prelims: UFC Fight Pass
  • Prelims: ESPN/WatchESPN
  • Main card: ESPN+ (pay-per-view)

The main card of UFC 262 will air exclusively on ESPN+, with early prelims kicking off the show on UFC Fight Pass, moving to ESPN for the prelims.

As with all UFC PPVs and ESPN, the show will air exclusively on ESPN+ at a PPV cost.

What time does Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler start?

  • Early prelims: 6 p.m. ET
  • Prelims: 8 p.m. ET
  • Main card: 10 p.m. ET

The early prelims and preliminaries are expected to start at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, respectively. The main card starts at 10 p.m. ET. Oliveira and Chandler are expected to make their ring walks around midnight. 

How much does UFC 262 cost on PPV?

  • Date: Saturday, May 15
  • Network: ESPN+

The main card will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN+, meaning you need an ESPN+ subscription to catch the fight. On top of the subscription, there is a price for the event:

  • For current yearly subscribers, the price is $69.99 on the ESPN+ app.
  • Current monthly subscribers can get UFC 262 and an upgraded bundle at a discounted rate of $84.99. They can also purchase the event itself for $69.99.
  • New subscribers will be able to pick up a yearly recurring subscription and the PPV for $89.98, which is a savings of more than 30 percent.

Click here to learn about the different pricing and bundling options with the ESPN+ platform.

UFC 262 fight card

Early prelims

  • Gina Mazany vs. Priscila Cachoeira, women’s flyweights
  • Kevin Aguilar vs. Tucker Lutz, featherweights
  • Christos Giagos vs. Sean Soriano, lightweights

Prelims

  • ​Lando Vannata vs. Mike Grundy, featherweights
  • Andrea Lee vs. Antonina Shevchenko, women’s flyweights
  • Jordan Wright vs. Jamie Pickett, middleweight
  • Ronaldo Souza vs. André Muniz, middleweights

Main card

  • Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler for vacant UFC lightweight championship
  • Matt Schnell vs. Rogério Bontorin, bantamweights
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush, lightweights
  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araújo, women’s flyweights
  • Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza, featherweights

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What time is UFC 262 today? PPV schedule, main card start time for Oliveira vs. Chandler

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What time is UFC 262 today? PPV schedule, main card start time for Oliveira vs. Chandler

Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement from UFC has left a massive void in the UFC’s lightweight division — one that Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will seek to fill on Saturday.

The division’s Nos. 3- and 4-ranked fighters, respectively, will face off at the Toyota Center in Houston to become just the third non-interim lightweight champion since Conor McGregor took it from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in 2016.

Both Oliveira (30-8-1, eight KOs) and Chandler (22-5, 10 KOs) are coming off multiple wins, setting up a new era-establishing fight for the lightweight division. Will Oliveira earn the belt 11 years after first fighting under the UFC banner? Or will Chandler, fighting for only the second time under UFC since transferring from Bellator, take it?

We can’t wait to find out. With that, here’s everything you need to know to watch UFC 262, including the expected start time for the main event.

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 262 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

What time does UFC 262 start today?

  • Early prelims: 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT
  • Prelims: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
  • PPV main card: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT
  • Oliveira vs. Chandler: 12:15 a.m. ET (approx.) / 9:15 p.m. PT (approx.)

The main card for UFC 262 is projected to start at 10 p.m. ET. Depending on how long the four prior fights on the card last, Oliveira and Chandler will make their ring walks at roughly 12:15 a.m. ET.

What channel is UFC 262 on?

The early preliminaries and first half of the prelims will stream on ESPN+; the second half of the preliminaries will move to ESPN. After that, the main card can only be watched via PPV on ESPN+.

Click here to learn more about ESPN+ pricing and bundling options.

UFC 262 card

Main card

  • Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler (lightweight championship)
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush (lightweight)
  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araujo (women’s flyweight)
  • Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza (featherweight)
  • Matt Schnell vs. Rogerio Bontorin (bantamweight)

Prelims

  • Jacare Souza vs. Andre Muniz (middleweight)
  • Lando Vannata vs. Mike Grundy (featherweight)
  • Andrea Lee vs. Antonina Shevchenko (women’s flyweight)
  • Jordan Wright vs. Jamie Pickett (middleweight)

Early prelims

  • Gina Mazany vs. Priscila Cachoeira (women’s flyweight)
  • Kevin Aguilar vs. Tucker Lutz (featherweight)
  • Christos Giacos vs. Sean Soriano (flyweight)

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What time is the Preakness today? Post time, TV channel, horses & more to watch 2021 race

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What time is the Preakness today? Post time, TV channel, horses & more to watch 2021 race

The second jewel of the Triple Crown is up for grabs on Saturday.

The 2021 Preakness Stakes, which will run at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, will help determine whether Medina Spirit can become the first horse since Justify in 2018 to win the Triple Crown. Even if the horse does win Saturday’s race, however, that lofty accomplishment might not be guaranteed.

LIVE: Follow for updates from the 2021 Preakness Stakes

That’s because Medina Spirit returned a test positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone after its win at the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Pimlico decided to let the horse race on Saturday but, if a second test confirms the first, then Churchill Downs will invalidate Medina Spirit’s Derby win and grant runner-up Mandaloun the retroactive victory. The retesting results aren’t expected for several weeks.

Mandaloun is not part of Saturday’s race at the Preakness Stakes.

Just another tantalizing tidbit for bettors and sports fans alike ahead of Saturday’s race, which will include 10 horses and jockeys — including prohibitive morning-line favorite Medina Spirit (9/5 odds).

With that, here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 Preakness Stakes, including the post time and how to watch the event.

MORE: Watch the Preakness Stakes live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

What time is the Preakness Stakes today?

  • Date: Saturday, May 15
  • Post time: 6:50 p.m. ET
  • TV coverage: NBC

NBC Sports will cover the Preakness Stakes starting at 2 p.m. ET and transfer coverage to NBC at 5 p.m. The race has a scheduled post time of 6:50 p.m. ET at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

What channel is the Preakness Stakes on?

NBC has full broadcast rights for each of the Triple Crown races, including the Preakness Stakes. Viewers can also stream the race on NBC via fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.

PREAKNESS STAKES: Full draw and odds for 2021 race

Preakness Stakes horses 2021

Post position Horse Odds
1 Ram 30/1
2 Keepmeinmind 15/1
3 Medina Spirit 9/5
4 Crowded Trade 10/1
5 Midnight Bourbon 5/1
6 Rombauer 12/1
7 France Go De Ina 20/1
8 Unbridled Honor 15/1
9 Risk Taking 15/1
10 Concert Tour 5/2

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