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The Voice of a New Generation

NFL Futures Rankings: Quarterbacks

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

In today's sporting world, young talent is shaping the game. Acquiring and building around young talent and building for the future seems to be the way great teams are assembled now. Look at the Chicago Cubs for example. They acquired a boatload of talent over the last five years and just won a World Series. Today I'm not talking about baseball, I'm talking about football. There is a bevy of young talent in the NFL that will shape the league in five years. Today, I'm talking about what the NFL will look like in five years. So, I am predicting who will be the top five players at every position. To start off, I'm starting out with the signal callers.

A QB can make or break your franchise's hopes and dreams. A great one will lead you to a Super Bowl while a bad one can waste countless draft picks that you could've built your franchise around. In today's NFL, there are a ton of terrific QB's. What is so interesting about the QB position in the NFL is that there are many great QB's who are old and many who are young. I know I'm excited and I'm guessing you are too, so let's get into who will be the top five QB's in five years from now?

***FYI College players are fair game to be on futures lists because they are part of the future as well

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5. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans, 2016 Age: 23, 2021 Age: 28 -- In only his second season, Marcus Mariota is showing why he was a Heisman winner and was the #2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Coming out of college, Mariota was thought to be a future top QB in the league. Coming out of college, he looked like someone had went to a "Franchise QB Generator" and created Mariota. He has an elite combination of size (6'4", 222 lb.), speed (4.52 40-yd dash), and his combination of throw power, and accuracy. He had an injury-plagued rookie season only playing 12 games. This season, he has lit it up. He is playing on another level as he has thrown for 2,482 yards and 21 TDs. He also has ran for 235 yards on the ground plus two TDs. He has also lead the Titans to an impressive season so far as they are 5-5. In five years from now, Mariota will have matured even more, have more game experience and will be in the peak of his career. He'll be one of the highest paid players in the league because he is so good and is already so valuable to the Titans. I think he will be one of the most dynamic and fun players to watch as he is a freak athlete and a terrific football player. Mariota is already such a promising player, I can't wait to see how his career unfolds.

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4. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, 2016 Age: 23, 2021 Age: 28 -- Only nine games into his career, I like many others think Dak Prescott already is a star in this league. He looks like a natural already. He has all the tools you want in a franchise QB. He is a great athlete, has great talent, and I think his most impressive trait so far is his maturity as a rookie. He is so calm. Nothing seems to faze Dak. He has many things going for him already like having a star lining up next to him every snap in Ezekiel Elliott. He also has the best offensive line in football to stand behind. When watching Dak at Mississippi State, I thought he'd be good, but not this good. He has lead the Cowboys so far to the best record in football at 8-1. He is the perfect QB to lead America's team. He along with Ezekiel Elliott will make up the best QB-RB tandem for a long time. For some of the other guys on the list, what gets them on the list is there pure physical ability. I think that there has nobody ever been quite like Dak in the league before. I think that he is a Tom Brady-Russell Wilson hybrid. That is what will guide him throughout his career and what I think will lead him to being the fourth best QB in 2021.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

3. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts, 2016 Age: 27, 2021 Age: 32 -- Once dubbed the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck has only somewhat lived up to the incredibly high expectations. Luck hasn't been a bad QB by any means during his five years in the NFL, but the supporting cast around him, namely the offensive line, has been terrible. Luck still can prove himself because he is only 27 years old. The Colts need to acquire some better talent around Luck because he is a terrific QB. He has everything you want in a franchise QB. I think Luck will still improve as the supporting cast will. By 2021, I think he will have solidified himself as a top QB. However, once 2021 rolls around, Luck won't be the very best QB in the league because he will be 32 years old and there will be other younger guys who will have more physical tools than a 32 year old Luck. I will make a very bold prediction right now and say that Luck will win a Super Bowl in the next five years. He is a tremendous talent and with a little more talent, can win a Super Bowl. By 2021, I expect Andrew Luck to have cemented himself worthy of the hype he had coming out of Stanford. He will have won a Super Bowl and still will be a great QB, but not as good as a few younger guys.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

2. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders, 2016 Age: 25, 2021 Age: 30 -- Derek Carr already is looking like a top-end QB as he is a candidate to win MVP this year. He has been playing amazing football this year and looks to have a supporting cast around him that can help Carr and the Raiders go very far in the playoffs in the near future. He already is a star and I expect his star status to keep on growing. Carr has two incredibly reliable weapons who will be around with him for the foreseeable future. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree make up perhaps the best 1-2 combo of receivers in the league. Cooper is only 22 years old while Crabtree is 29. Carr will gain new weapons in the next five years to throw to and I expect him to be a real star in this league for a long time. When we look back on the 2014 NFL Draft, 31 other teams will be kicking themselves for passing on Derek Carr. Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns all took other QB's before the Raiders took Carr. Carr was a steal in the early second round of the draft and will be the face of the franchise in Oakland for a very long time.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2016 Age: 22, 2021 Age: 27 -- The guy who I think is a face of the NFL and possesses the most talent out of any young QB, is none other than Jameis Winston. You can say all you want about his character issues and his weight and all of that, but he has put that all behind him. This season, he has looked great. He hasn't gotten the love he deserves compared to Mariota, Prescott, Carr, Carson Wentz, etc. However, he is quietly having a very good season. He has all of the physical tools to be a mega-star in the NFL one day. I think that he and Mike Evans will form the best QB-WR connection in the league by 2021. The player Winston reminds me the most of is Cam Newton. People were concerned with Newton's off-the-field issues like critics were of Winston. Cam matured and became a force to be reckoned with and I think the same will happen with Jameis. He is already a budding star and will continue to improve and get better every game. In my view, Jameis Winston is on track to be the best QB in the league by 2021.

There you have it everybody, the top five QB's in 2021. To recap from #1-5: Jameis Winston, Derek Carr, Andrew Luck, Dak Prescott, and Marcus Mariota. These guys are all going to be stars in the NFL. They are all emerging stars in 2016 but by 2021, these guys will be some of the most recognizable names in the NFL. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. I had fun writing this and I hope it was a fun and enjoyable article to read. Please give me feedback by either commenting on this post or contacting me via email. If you liked reading this, stay tuned because the RB edition will be out very soon. Thanks so much for reading!

The Ultimate 2016-2017 College Basketball Preview

We are less than one week away from college basketball season. I am a huge college basketball fan and will be talking ball for the entire season. If you haven't read my bio, which I'm guessing you haven't, I am a huge Duke fan. I know, you probably hate me already. I am going to try and be as unbiased as possible here with my predictions and forecast for the season. The AP Top 25 Poll has been released and so have the Coaches Poll. If you don't like my breakdown of the top 25 teams, at least as of right now, you can use those as a guide. Every college basketball season is filled with highlight-reel plays, buzzer-beaters, rivalries, and so many more every single night. Oh yeah, and it has the greatest postseason of any sport. I am super pumped for this season, you're super pumped for this season, so let's get right into this thing!

1. Duke Blue Devils -- Did I already mentioned that I am a HUGE Duke fan? With that aside, I believe and so do many others, namely the voters of the AP and Coaches Polls, that Duke is the best team in the nation as of this moment. Coach K has a juggernaut of a team this year. The past few seasons, Duke has been Duke. They've been exceptional. The biggest issue over the past few years has been depth. This year, Duke has so much depth, that their bench could beat a lot of other teams on this list. They return veteran leaders like Grayson Allen, Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones. They also add in a terrific freshman class with Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson, and Marques Bolden. The biggest question it seems so far is the health of this team. If Duke can stay healthy, the rest of college basketball needs to watch out because they will be scary good this year. 

2. Kansas Jayhawks -- If it wasn't for Craig Handel, a voter in the AP Poll who ranked Duke at #6 and Kansas at #7, Kansas would be the second best team on both the AP and Coaches Polls. However, Handel did what he did and Kansas is #3 on the AP Poll and #2 on the Coaches Poll. In my mind, Kansas is the second best team in the nation right now. If you didn't already know on November 15th in Madison Square Garden, Duke plays Kansas. That night, both Duke and Kansas will figure out their identities. Kansas has a terrific backcourt with Frank Mason and Devonte' Graham. They also have a star freshman of their own in Josh Jackson. They are deep all around and should be a big threat to win the title come March.

3. Kentucky Wildcats -- Every season, you think that John Calipari will be screwed for next year when his entire team declares for the NBA Draft. Then, some of them decide to come back and Calipari works his magic to bring in a stud freshman class. Isaiah Briscoe will have to mature and become the "veteran" presence to guide this team along. De'Aaron Fox is an amazing player, Bam Adebayo is another strong big man for Coach Cal to work with and Malik Monk is a talented scorer who can jump out of the gym. Kentucky will be lead by their freshman once again this year and once again, they will do great in a not-so-great SEC.

4. Villanova Wildcats -- The returning champs make their entrance at #4 on the list. Even though Nova loses leaders Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu, they return talented players from last year's championship team in Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, Phil Booth and more. They will be overlooked because they play in the Big East and won't get as much attention as Duke and Kentucky, but they are extremely talented. Jay Wright is a tremendous coach and now he can coach knowing that he finally got over the hump in March and won a championship. Nova will once again be talented and a threat to go back-to-back. 

5. North Carolina Tar Heels -- Losing Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige are big losses but when is UNC not going to have a good team. They already suffered one huge blow losing Theo Pinson due to a fractured bone in his right foot. They still have guys like Joel Berry II, Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks to lighten the loss. The ACC is super deep this year so don't be surprised if UNC is the fourth or fifth best team in the ACC this year. I'm not saying they will be bad, but every year there are a few highly ranked preseason teams that don't meet expectations this year and I think that could be UNC this year. I think that UNC could be anywhere from a one seed to a four seed in March.

6. Oregon Ducks -- This is a talented team returning many players from last year's Elite Eight team. Dillon Brooks is the star of this team but he has plenty of talent around him. Tyler Dorsey, Chris Boucher, and many others will guide a team that is projected to win the Pac-12 this year. Oregon has the pieces to go far once again this year. Remember, they were a one seed last March and could do it once again.

7. Virginia Cavaliers -- This year for Virginia will be an interesting one. As previously mentioned, the ACC is absolutely loaded. This is the third team in the top seven. Tony Bennett is a terrific coach and always finds a way to have a great team come March. This year will be the London Perrantes year for Virginia. He has been a great player for Tony Bennett for the past three years so he'll want to do something special in his senior season. This will be Perrantes' but he has guys like Memphis transfer Austin Nichols and incoming freshman Kyle Guy to lead this team. Virginia will be a one or two seed come March.

8. Xavier Musketeers -- Everybody will remember last March but most people won't remember that Xavier was a two seed last year. They got bounced in the second round to Wisconsin on a Bronson Koenig buzzer beater. Xavier returns key guys like Edmond Sumner and Trevon Bluiett who will help lead this team to another quality year. I think they will have a fine regular season but I think they might be once again upset in March in the early rounds.

9. Arizona Wildcats -- Now that Jay Wright has gotten over the March hump, it's Sean Miller's turn. He has never made a Final Four in his coaching tenure even though he always has great teams and players. He is quietly one of the best recruiters as he once again brings in a great recruiting class. Alonzo Trier is a terrific player and I think a dark-horse All-American. He will help lead this team along with fabulous freshman Kobi Simmons and Rawle Alkins. Sean Miller is a great coach and has a team that could once again be a great team.

10. Wisconsin Badgers -- Many guys return from the Sweet 16 team of a year ago. Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig, and Ethan Happ will help lead this team to a great season. They will headline the Big Ten and I think won't be a one seed in March, but will be a very good two or three seed.

11. Indiana Hoosiers -- The loss of Yogi Ferrell is a big one. It will be hard to move on from him as he was a terrific player for Tom Crean. However, the return of Thomas Bryant was huge for the Hoosiers. He is a stud and will be a leader and a centerpiece for this team. OG Anunoby could have a breakout season like Victor Oladipo did four years ago. James Blackmon will be healthy and will contribute with Bryant and Anunoby to guide the Hoosiers this year. I think they will be very good in the regular season, but looking at the team they have right now, they look like a team with the potential to get bounced from the tourney in an early upset.

12. Michigan State Spartans -- It is very rare for Tom Izzo's teams to perform poorly in March but last year was one of those odd cases as the Spartans were upset in the first round by 15th seeded Middle Tennessee State. They also lost their star of last year and a great veteran leader in Denzel Valentine. However, Tom Izzo brought in one of the best recruiting classes he's ever had. Miles Bridges is a special player. Pair him with Josh Langford and Cassius Winston and Izzo has one talented incoming group of guys. Eron Harris will put the ball in the basket for Izzo. I expect him to be a huge factor for this team come March. I think that the Spartans will be a very good team come March again.

13. UCLA Bruins -- Lonzo Ball is the type of player that can single-handedly carry a team. He is going to be one of the most talked about players come NBA Draft time next year. Ball will lead a very talented UCLA team to go along with other great players like Bryce Alford, Isaac Hamilton, and Thomas Welsh. Add in another highly touted freshman in TJ Leaf and you have a UCLA team that looks to be a dangerous one this year. I think it is easily achievable for this team to sneak into the top ten at some point this season. If UCLA has another down year, I expect Steve Alford to be on the hot seat.

14. Louisville Cardinals -- I really don't know what to think of this year's Louisville Cardinals. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this program but it is a Rick Pitino led team so I think they will manage. I think that Donavan Mitchell and VJ King will make for an explosive and fun to watch duo this year. The ACC as I've said before and will say again is absolutely loaded this year. 

15. Gonzaga Bulldogs -- Domantas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer are two big losses for Mark Few's squad. However, they can handle it. Nigel Williams-Goss will be a top-three transfer this year and will make a huge impact for this team. He is a great player and will really help this team. They still have Prezmek Karnowski who will help lead this team. Williams-Goss and Karnowski will help lead this team to another solid season.

16. Texas Longhorns -- I am a firm believer that this is the year Shaka Smart takes a huge step forward with this team. He's had a few years now to implement his system. He has a lot of talent to work with. Jarrett Allen is a name to know. Not many people talk about Allen as a good freshman but he will really impress. Kerwin Roach Jr. is a great athlete and after a year of adjusting to the college game should break out this year. Shaka Smart is a great coach and will finally break through with this Texas team.

17. UCONN Huskies -- A player who I think will absolutely explode this year and put himself on national radar is Jalen Adams. He is incredibly talented and has the skills to be a big time player in college basketball. Their is other talent in Rodney Purvis and Amidah Brimah. UCONN is the favorite this year to win a weak American conference. The biggest threat to UCONN is a good Cincinnati squad but UCONN should win the American this year.

18. Saint Mary's Gaels -- Most people that look at polling and see Saint Mary's ranked so high are shocked! Heck, I was surprised not only to see them ranked so high but the voters, but for CBS Sports to rank them as their 13th best team in the nation. I did some more research and decided 18th was best for them. They return all starters from a 29 win team. They have the experience but I don't think they will win their conference because they have to deal with the consistent Gonzaga. The Gaels will be a good team, but I don't think they will live up to this hype.

19. Syracuse Orange -- Malachi Richardson was a great player for Jim Boeheim in March of last year. That team really came together and shocked almost every single fan including myself. He is now in the NBA which was a big loss for the Orange. However, Tyler Lydon decided to return for another year and he will be a star for the Orange. He was another guy to come on strong in March and should only improve. Tyus Battle is a great freshman addition for the Orange as in a deep ACC, they should do well again.

20. Purdue Boilermakers -- Purdue was upset by Arkansas Little-Rock last March and I think this is a good regular season team that could be once again upset in March in the first or second round. Caleb Swanigan is a great player but I don't see a supporting cast good enough to make a deep mark in March. I think they will fluctuate and hover around this mark throughout the season and finish as a 4-6 seed but get upset early in the tournament.

21. Cincinnati Bearcats -- Cincinnati has seemed to make it to March seemingly every season as a 7,8,9, or 10 seed. I think this is another tourney team. This will be the Troy Caupain show. I love Caupain's game and think he is a very underrated player. They have some other pieces in place. I think that they will be questioned early but will find their way late in the season an make it to March.

22. West Virginia Mountaineers -- WVU suffered a big blow last year in the tourney being booted out by Stephen F. Austin. They are back this year but without as good rebounding as last season. Daxter Miles Jr. and Jevon Carter will lead this team. I don't know how well this team will perform this year. They are one of my biggest question marks for this season.

23. Rhode Island Rams -- They were supposed to be great last year but were crushed due to injuries. They are back this year and look to be the favorite in the A-10. They have a special player in EC Matthews. To be honest, I don't really know Rhode Island as well as I know some of these other teams. They are an uncertainty for me but I am curious to see how they do.

24. Iowa State Cyclones -- Georges Niang is gone and now Iowa State become Monte Morris & Co. Morris is a stud and could win Big 12 Player of the Year. Otherwise, there isn't a load of talent besides Morris. He could have a similar season to the Kemba Walker like year of 2011. I don't think anybody can be as good as that but Morris will carry this team the way Kemba did with the Huskies back in 2011.

25. Creighton Bluejays -- Since the departure of Doug McDermott, many people have forgotten about Creighton. Dougie McBuckets dad still is the head coach and has two great players to lead his team in Mo Watson Jr. and Marcus Foster. They are getting some national recognition already as I have ranked them lower than both the AP and Coaches Polls did. They should be a tournament team come March.

That concludes my preview for this upcoming season. It is sure to be fun, entertaining and as action-packed as ever. November 11th is the first day of action. Mark your calendars because college basketball is back baby!

How Good Will Joel Embiid Be?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Guess what everybody, Joel Embiid finally did it! He managed to play in an NBA game and do well. Not only did he finally make it onto an NBA court for live action for the first time since he was drafted, but he looks like he has a very bright future. Former Philadelphia 76ers GM, Sam Hinkie notoriously decided to have the Sixers tank so they could gain tons of high draft picks. This was known to all sports fans as "The Process." Hinkie would always tell people to "trust the process."

To say that the 76ers were bad is an understatement. They were horrendous from 2013 onwards. It all started when the Sixers traded starting point guard Jrue Holiday for the #6 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Nerlens Noel. Noel has been fine so far in his young career with the Sixers but the Sixers have stunk.

The next year, the Sixers were even worse and they tanked to get the third overall pick in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft. They decided to take Embiid. Embiid was a monster at Kansas with Andrew Wiggins and was supposed to have a ceiling like Hakeem Olajuwon. Embiid has been injured for his entire NBA career up to this point.

The Sixers then stunk even more to get the #3 pick in the loaded 2015 NBA Draft and get the talented Jahlil Okafor out of Duke. The Sixers have an entourage of talented big men in Noel, Embiid, and Okafor. Okafor did well in his rookie year but the Sixers finished with a horrendous record of 10-72. They finally got the #1 pick for the 2016 NBA Draft and took Ben Simmons. Simmons has yet to play because of injury.

This is "The Process." Sam Hinkie tanked so hard that the Sixers got so many lottery picks but the team still stinks. Back to Embiid though. He has always had a super high ceiling but he has never been healthy to play for the team. This year is his rookie year and he looks to be amazing so far. In the preseason, Embiid was not only throwing down vicious dunk after vicious dunk, and he was blocking shots and draining threes. He is a byproduct of "The Process."

As previously mentioned, Embiid played his first NBA game last night and he looked amazing. He scored 20 points, had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. He looks like he will be a dominant player in the NBA for a long time. He has the physical tools, the athleticism, and the talent to be an All-Star in the league.

I think that he will be one of the names thrown out as one of the top young big men in the league. When people will think of great, promising, young big men, the names that they will think of will be Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, Kristaps Porzingis, Jahlil Okafor, and Joel Embiid. Surely, there will be more talent that comes into the league (Harry Giles) but for existing NBA players, Embiid looks to be shockingly good.

While 76ers fans struggled through the painful years of The Process, they have a bright future to look forward to with Embiid and potentially Jahlil Okafor. Embiid will be a star in this league as he has a constant motor, has a great personality, and most importantly, has the skills to be a terrific NBA player.