On the Links: Cox’s Big Day; Pollorena Does It All

It’s a big day, perhaps the biggest in the North American sports world outside of certain game events. The NFL Draftapalooza is tonight (7:00, ESPN), and Mississippi State’s Fletcher Cox is expected to go very high (CLICK HERE), which is good for deadlines all over our fine state.

Nobody can seem to pin down exactly where Cox will go, although Mel Kiper and Todd McShay both have him going to the Philadelphia Eagles. But even then, Kiper has that happening at No. 7 via trade, while McShay has it happening at No. 15. I don’t think Cox will be around by the 15th pick, because teams like Carolina (ninth) and Dallas (14th) are high on him, too, and need help up front.

There’s been chatter of him going as high as sixth to St. Louis, but the general consensus seems to be that the Rams will select wide receiver Justin Blackmon, and the Post-Dispatch agrees (CLICK HERE).

Wherever he goes, know this: Cox will be making more money than you or I. He’s an athletic, versatile defensive tackle with a full-time motor, he knows how to find the ball, he’s only 21 years old, and all of that makes him a hot commodity.

The Yazoo City native could be the first Bulldog drafted in the top 10 in nearly 30 years. Running back Michael Haddix was taken eighth overall by the Eagles in 1983. The only other two top-10 selections from State were linebacker Johnie Cooks (second to Baltimore in ’82) and defensive tackle Jimmy Webb (10th to San Francisco in ’75). Webb is the only Bulldog DT to ever be selected in the first round.

In all, MSU has had 10 players taken in the first round, most recently offensive lineman Derek Sherrod last year – he went 32nd overall to Green Bay.

• Also in today’s Journal, you’ll find a story on MSU pitcher/outfielder/wig wearer Luis Pollorena, a team-first guy if there ever was one (CLICK HERE). His Bulldogs host rival Ole Miss this weekend, and we’ll hear from coach John Cohen this morning on a teleconference, so check back here for updates.