Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Former LSU running back Leonard Fournette

LSU football: Picking the perfect NFL destination for 5 former Tigers

Nick Suss

Welcome to the Bayou Bengal Briefing, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football, with LSU beat writer Nick Suss. Today, we mock the NFL Draft, recap the poll question from Monday, dive into some baseball and much, much more. Enjoy!

The home stretch

The 2017 NFL Draft is just 30 days away, meaning we have less than a month left until we find out where this class of former LSU football superstars will be playing at the next level.

Now that NFL free agency is mostly wound down and team needs have revealed themselves, let’s do an LSU-only mock draft. The following are picks for the best landing spots for the players, not necessarily where they should go on the draft board. If you feel as if I’m over or underselling players, let me know in the comments down below.

Let’s get to it.

Leonard Fournette: The Carolina Panthers (Round 1, pick 8)

Though I was tempted to fit Fournette in with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where I think he’ll picked at No. 4, I think the running back is a better fit in Carolina’s run-heavy offense. Pairing ol’ No. 7 with Cam Newton in the backfield, Kelvin Benjamin split wide and Greg Olsen at tight end will be the most lethal red zone offense in the NFL. Plus, it’ll give Alabama fans a conniption to watch Auburn’s best play next to LSU’s best.

Jamal Adams: The Tennessee Titans (Round 1, pick 5)

I don’t think Adams will still be on the board at five. The 49ers or Bears will almost certainly grab him at No. 2 or No. 3. But the Titans allowed more first downs by pass than any other team in the AFC last season and deeply need help in the back end, not having used a first-round pick on a defensive back since 2005.

Tre’Davious White: The New Orleans Saints (Round 1, pick 11)

Not that I need to convince any of you that White should stay in state, but the Saints allowed the most passing yards in the NFL last season and the second-most net yards per pass attempt. White is a no-brainer to a Saints team looking to get better in the secondary and bring in a guy for the hometown fans to rally behind.

Ethan Pocic: The Cincinnati Bengals (Round 2, pick 41)

This year’s offensive line class is week. Pocic’s versatility makes him an interesting grab for a Bengals team that lost former LSU standout Andrew Whitworth and center Kevin Zeitler to free agency.

Davon Godchaux: The Atlanta Falcons (Round 2, pick 63)

The Falcons run head coach Dan Quinn’s multiple defense, meaning they’ll give a lot of 4-3 looks and 3-4 looks. Godchaux should slot in as a 4-3 defensive tackle and a 3-4 defensive end, filling two potential needs the Falcons could address.

Other potential fits:

  • Malachi Dupre: The Arizona Cardinals (Round 4, pick 119)
  • Kendell Beckwith: The Detroit Lions (Round 4, pick 127)
  • Duke Riley: The Baltimore Ravens (Round 5, pick 159)

Your weekly LSU football poll recap

Believe it or not, LSU football fans still see some positive in Brandon Harris.

In Bayou Bengal Briefing on Monday, I asked you guys how you thought Brandon Harris will do at UNC. More than 300 of you voted. Here are your responses:

lsu football

An overwhelming 53 percent of you voted the middle ground, expecting Harris to be an average or mediocre quarterback. Another 19 percent of you expect Harris to play himself into being drafted by an NFL team, which is high expectations from a guy who couldn’t start with two of the nation’s best running backs behind him.

A bitter 12 percent of you think he’ll stink up the joint at UNC and another 10 percent of you don’t even care enough to consider it.

Five percent of you think Harris is wasting his time and won’t even start at UNC. And 1 brave percentage of voters believe he’ll be an All-American at UNC, which I admit, I didn’t think anyone would choose.

Thanks to all of you who voted in the poll. Be sure to check back to the Bayou Bengal Briefing every Monday for new LSU football poll questions.

Cooking with Gaus

The Baltimore Orioles announced on Monday that former LSU baseball player Kevin Gausman will be the team’s Opening Day starter this season.

lsu-lsu football-kevin gausman

Gausman led all Orioles starters and ranked 25th among Major League pitchers last season with a wins above replacement value of 4.2. In his fourth season with the Orioles, Gausman posted a 3.61 ERA and a very strong 3.70 strikeout-to-walk ratio, despite a subpar 9-12 record.

The Orioles used the fourth pick in the 2012 MLB Draft on Gausman after his illustrious LSU career. Gausman worked his way into the big league rotation within a year of being drafted, making five starts in 2013.

But 2016 was his true breakout season. Gausman shattered his career highs in starts, innings pitched, strikeouts and ERA+, not to mention a higher WAR than his other three professional seasons combined.

Gausman is likely to be the only former LSU pitcher to start Opening Day this season, given that the Philadelphia Phillies bestowed their Opening Day responsibilities on Jeremy Hellickson, not Aaron Nola.

As for LSU’s current baseball players …

The Tigers host Tulane at Alex Box Stadium Tuesday night as a midweek tune-up game before a three-game tilt versus Texas A&M this weekend. Freshman Zack Hess will make the start on the mound for LSU. Despite coming out early of a midweek start last week versus Southeastern Louisiana to be available for LSU’s weekend series versus Florida, Hess never threw versus the Gators, making him fresh for Tulane.

Tulane is 9-15 on the season, but with wins against Louisiana-Lafayette, West Virginia and McNeese State, the last of which defeated LSU earlier this year. That said, Tulane has losses to Air Force, Army and Southeastern, teams that LSU beat this season.

The game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT. You can stream it live on WatchESPN or listen through the LSU Sports Radio Network, 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge or 88.3 FM in New Orleans.

Another award ceremony

The LSU football team handed out awards at the Tiger Athletic Foundation gala Monday night, with Colby Delahoussaye, Leonard Fournette and J.D. Moore winning big.

I don’t know who was voting on those awards, because for Fournette to be LSU’s Male Athlete of the Year for the 2016-17 season is kind of insane. Never mind the fact that the 2016-17 season isn’t over for baseball, tennis, track and field or golf. But who thinks Fournette was the best player on LSU’s team in 2016?

Sure, he was the most talented. But he didn’t play in almost half of LSU’s games. That award should’ve gone to Derrius Guice. Or Jamal Adams. Or Duke Riley. I don’t know. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the meaning of the award.

But if you’re going to give anyone a Male Athlete of the Year award, it should probably go to the best male athlete on his own team. And Fournette wasn’t that in 2016. Because of injuries, but still.

Tweet of the Day

D.J. Chark is getting some good inspiration.

I don’t bandy the term “Greatest of All Time” about unless I really mean it. But Jerry Rice was, is and quite possibly always will be The G.O.A.T. when it comes to wide receiving. So, if Chark is watching Rice for inspiration, that can’t be a bad thing.

That said, knowing the way Chark plays, he should probably be watching highlights from the S.G.O.A.T., or the second greatest of all time. Of course, I’m referring to Randy Moss.

Just watch this play of Chark turning on the jets.

Now, watch Moss do the same thing as Chark, just better, faster and stronger.

Rice was the greatest. I watch his highlights in my downtime, too. But if there’s anyone Chark should try to emulate on the fieldit’s Moss. Leave the off-the-field exploits out of it. When he was on the gridiron, no one could stop Moss.

And if Chark could find a way to play like that, LSU fans would be some happy campers this season. And next year? Chark will be making straight cash, homie.

Today in made-up holidays

According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, Tuesday is “National Something on a Stick Day.”

So, if you’re going to the LSU baseball game Tuesday night, buy a corn dog. There really isn’t much else you can do with this holiday. Unless you feel like sharing a kebab with someone. But I doubt they’ll let you bring kebab skewers into Alex Box Stadium. So, you’ll probably have to share your kebabs before or after the game.

Or check if they sell kebabs at the game. I doubt it, but you never know. It is National Something on a Stick Day.

Miss a previous edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing? Find every column of SEC Country’s daily LSU football column right here.