The Wgr 550 Animal Draft is upon us. Mike Schopp, the Bulldog, Thom Cich and Greg Bauch will be joined by the Why Guy, Kevin O'Neill from Channel 2 to draft animals. The best draft will be determined by you, the listener. Please leave your comments below. Also, there will be running commentary from Adam Smith from the Buffalo Zoo. He and Darren Snieszko have been a tremendous help. They are both School Program Specialists at the Zoo.
1. Bulldog -Lion, king of the jungle, a surprise to no one. Adam Smith - "Not what I would have taken here, but I understand the Logic. Franchise animal"
2. Schopp - Dogs, man's best friend. AS - "Solid no brainer. Another franchise animal"
3. Thom Cich - Polar bear, vicious, yet capable of selling soft drinks. AS - "Amazing predator who is extremely successful in a challenging environment."
4. Kevin O'Neill - Dolphins, the dogs of the sea. AS - "Wolves of the Sea, Orcas. My highest rated animal."
5. Bauch - Sharks, scary as all get out. AS - "Dominant predators, have remained relatively unchanged for millions of years. Shark week is so addictive for a reason, they are amazing animals."
1. Bauch - Tigers, sharks of the land? AS - "Love this pick, Siberian tigers weigh almost 700 pounds."
2. Kevin O'Neill - Elephants, they never forget. AS - "Easily a first round talent. Elephants do some pretty amazing things."
3. Thom Cich - Apes(orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees), because did you see the movie?? Dominant. AS - "Love this pick here. Apes (Gorillas, Orangutans, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Gibbons) are incredibly smart and social."
4. Schopp - Whales, the stars of Star Trek IV. AS - "Whales are a personal favorite of mine. Some of the largest animals in the world who feed on some of the smallest."
5. Bulldog - Eagles, 'MURRICA. AS - "Hard to argue with this, powerful birds of prey."
1. Bulldog - Buffalo(American Bison), this guy's into symbolism. AS - "Reach, but it's got a cool hometown vibe."
2. Schopp - Giraffes, for social purposes. AS - "I was the anti-giraff guy, the neck is a great adaptation but could have waited a few rounds."
3. Thom Cich - Crocodiles, biggest reptile in the world and horrendously scary. AS - "Unchanged for millions of years. Massive reptiles who ambush their prey. Good pick."
4. Kevin O'Neill - Bears, wide variety, all of them dangerous. AS - "Great pick, surprised they didn't go sooner. Bears live successfully all over the world."
5. Bauch - Wolves, it's all about biting with this guy. AS - "Social, smart and deadly. Wolves are the ancestors of our #2 overall pick, dogs. Solid.
1. Bauch - Snakes, a ton of different species, not all as scary as you think, but certainly formidable. AS - "Darren nailed it, tons of diversity and should be respected, not feared."
2. Kevin O'Neill - Kangaroos, can box and help you carry stuff. AS - "Interesting marsupials, can jump up to about 30 feet."
3. Thom Cich - Hippos, huge and territorial. AS -"Deadly animals, slow on land but fierce in the water. Killer of more people in Africa than any other animal."
4. Schopp - Horses, continuing the stuffed animal draft theme. AS - "I like this pick, horses are not only amazing work animals for humans but also wild."
5. Bulldog - Wolverine, one of the best X-Men of all time. AS - "Bam! First sleeper pick, tenacious hunters in the Taiga."
1. Bulldog - Alligators, the poor man's crocodile. AS - "Wouldn't even call them the poor-man's Croc. Long lifespans are a plus here, about 70 years."
2. Schopp - Ostriches, continuing the theme of longnecks. AS - "Didn't like it when we recorded our evaluations, but I do now, fast and capable of defending itself on the ground which makes up for lack of flight."
3. Thom Cich - Cheetahs, filled the need for speed. AS - "Fastest land animal out there. Speed traded for stamina and a low percentage of successful hunts. Not a fan."
4. Kevin O'Neill - Panthers, big cats are so in right now. AS - "Graceful hunter with power. Climbs well and has great camouflage."
5. Bauch - Spiders, don't want 'em in your house, but you want 'em on your team. AS - "Once you get over the fear they are a helpful animal to our ecosystems"
1. Bauch - Pig, bacon is key. AS - "Smart is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of pigs. "
2. Kevin O'Neill - House cats, for companionship. AS - "Domesticated cats could have been had way later. I will give them a nod as a great companion to humans though."
3. Thom Cich - Komodo dragon, string of fierce picks continues. AS - "Vicious hunter who does not only kill prey with his bite, but the nasty bacteria that is left behind."
4. Schopp - Bats, "Batman has taken bats a long way." AS - "Love this pick. Bats eat insects that would otherwise bother us. They are not to be feared and pose no threat to humans."
5. Bulldog - Hyenas, ancient scavengers. AS - "Really strong jaws. Hyenas were thought to be only scavengers in the African Savannah but have proven to be good hunters in their own right."
1. Bulldog - Marlin, good, late round value. AS - "Super powerful and fast. Great hunters too."
2. Schopp - Reindeer(Caribou), without them, there would be no Christmas. AS - "A feel good pick here. Everyone loves Reindeer. Equals Bulldog's Bison pick in my opinion."
3. Thom Cich - Box jellyfish(and the rest of the jellyfish), huge, deadly and wondrous. AS - "They can sting but that's pretty much it. "
4. Kevin O'Neill - Pandas, big, cuddly and special. AS - "An ambassador to the plight of endangered animals. Love it."
5. Bauch - Falcons, dangerous birds of prey. AS - "The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal in the world. Great job here."
1. Bauch - Moose, he's been looking for one for ages. AS - "Big slow and not too bright."
2. Kevin O'Neill - Rays, Devil Ray is a sweet name. AS - "Related to sharks, unique adaptations make this a good pick. Good job twitter."
3. Thom Cich - Turtles, lots of variety ranging from domestic to terrifying. AS - "I was waiting for this, great pick. I value the success of turtles over millions of years here."
4. Schopp - Miss Baker (squirrel monkey), went to space. Gets the rest of the monkeys. AS - "Schopp gets my approval, easily a first round pick. Lots of different species too."
5. Bulldog - George "The Animal" Steele, not an animal, but there you go. AS - "I see what you did there."
And, here is the final analysis from Adam Smith from the Buffalo Zoo:
Bulldog - 1. Lions 2. Eagles 3. Bison 4. Wolverine 5. Alligators 6. Hyenas 7. Marlin 8. George "The Animal" Steele
With the number one pick Bulldog made no mistake in taking Lions. He also got great value in rounds 5 through 7 with Gators, Hyenas and Marlins. An animal selection in round 8 would have put this squad over the top, but let's face it, he's a witty dude. GRADE: A-
Dog's may be the fan favorite here. I like this draft with the exception of giraffes in the third. Reindeer wasn't a threat to be taken by anyone but he nailed his last pick with Monkeys. Good draft. GRADE: B+
I picked Thom as the victor at the conclusion of the draft, I may have jumped the gun. Overall a solid draft but I question Cheetahs in the fifth and Jellyfish in the seventh. Komodo Dragons was a cool off the radar pick. GRADE: A-
Kevin O'Neill 1. Dolphins 2. Elephants 3. Bears 4. Kangaroos 5. Panthers 6. House Cats 7. Pandas 8. Rays
Ok, I'm on my fourth squad and I start to think to myself "Is there a bad draft here?" No. The Dolphin family houses Orcas, my first overall animal and who doesn't love Pandas in the 7th. House Cats weaken this team. It's going to be hard to pick a winner. Grade: B
Greg takes it home with solid picks of Sharks, Tigers, Wolves, and Snakes. Moose was the only pick I didn't really like in this group but in the eighth round it's not a huge concern. Ladies and gentlemen; your preseason favorite. GRADE: A