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Mike Mayock ranks Kevin White No. 1 wide receiver in 2015 draft

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Kevin White

(Photo: Pam Panchak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

At a time of year when mock drafts and talent evaluation reports are seemingly everywhere in the weeks and months leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, it can be hard to find any sense of consistency.

One thing, however, is becoming increasingly clear, to the point of being obvious -- Kevin White will be among the most coveted skill position players available. And this week, he received perhaps his most ringing endorsement yet.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock ranks the former West Virginia standout as his No. 1 wide receiver in the 2015 NFL Draft, perching him atop a deep and talented group that also includes the likes of Alabama's Amari Cooper and Louisville's DeVante Parker.

On a conference call with reporters on Monday, Mayock reaffirmed that belief.

"I've got Kevin White above him because he has a higher ceiling," Mayock said of White's status in relation to Cooper, who many outlets have as the first receiver taken. "I think his potential is greater."

White is coming off a whirlwind 2014 season in which the junior-college transfer caught 109 passes for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns. He ranked sixth among Division I players in both receiving yards and receptions per game.

Though Mayock noted that reading too much into measurables can get teams into trouble -- as he put it, "Fast guys run fast and slow guys run slow" -- he said that he's expecting White to run the 40-yard dash in around 4.5 seconds.

Mayock referred to White, Cooper and Parker as "consensus top 20 picks" and when asked what the Chiefs might do at wide receiver with their No. 18 pick, he said that White and Cooper will likely already be gone by that point.

In the past five years, an average of 13 wide receivers have been selected in the first three rounds of the draft and during that same span, an average of 3.8 have been picked in the first round.

Though Mayock doesn't necessarily think this class is on the same level as last year's -- which produced the notable likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin and Sammy Watkins, among others -- he feels that this is still an incredibly good group. And for these rookie wide receivers, according to Mayock, success is coming earlier than ever due to factors like it being a pass-first league, smaller wide receivers getting more freedom of movement with the five-yard rule and big-bodied wide receivers no longer having to be exceptional route runners with the prevalence of things like back-shoulder throws.

The NFL Combine begins on Friday, February 20, with wide receivers, quarterbacks and running backs going through their workouts on Saturday, February 21.

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

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Freezing temps don't stop celebs from heating up New York Fashion Week

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

NEW YORK -- Fashion is like the United States Postal Service -- rain nor sleet nor snow can stop it from soldiering on.

At New York Fashion Week, that goes for the celebrities, too. Despite temperatures flirting with record lows, stars from fashion, film, music and more heated things up in the tents and around the city during the weekend.

A star-studded party at Fendi's Madison Avenue store kicked off the weekend. Karl Lagerfeld was on the scene, along with Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker and hundreds of other fashion royals.  

Justin Bieber did some show hopping, including stops at Kanye West's adidas collection (that also had Beyonce and Anna Wintour in attendance) and supermodel Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief runway show that raised money for Ebola efforts. The benefit also brought out the likes of Paris Hilton, Christina Milian and Kelly Osbourne.

Ms. Osbourne also was spotted doing some "Fashion Police" research front row at Christian Siriano's runway show. She was in good company, seated near songstress Kesha, actress Juliette Lewis and a pregnant Coca Rocha.

Alexander Wang's collection was another celebrity magnet, attracting Mr. West, Kim Kardashian and their toddler daughter North West, who reportedly had a few crying spells during her New York Fashion Week experiences. Next to them was longtime Fashion Week fixture Nicki Minaj in a figure-hugging mini dress with a high pony.

On Sunday several stars were in town for the "Saturday Night Live" 40th anniversary special. Hours before, Alec Baldwin was at Lincoln Center for the Carmen Marc Valvo runway show, which also had Tim Gunn and Katie Couric in the crowd.

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Indoor flowers help gardeners through winter, fun with houseplants!

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog paper red and cycTiny white paperwhite flowers are surrounded by the red brachts of poinsettias. These are some of the plants that keep gardeners going until spring finally arrives. Photos by Doug Oster

As a brutal cold spell blankets the garden outside, windowsill plants provide a respite from the frigid extremes on the other side of the glass.

If you're longing for something to brighten your day, houseplants, indoor bulbs and shade loving flowers might get you through until spring.

Bulbs like paperwhites, hyacinths and amaryllis are both beautiful and foolproof. The paperwhites are small, tender daffodils which fill the room with their fragrance. The aroma is loved by some and hated by others. I happen to love the smell as it reminds me of spring daffodils. The amaryllis will bloom annually for decades if given a chance. No one will argue that the intoxicating aroma of hyacinths is heavenly. They can be enjoyed inside until the flowers are spent and then planted outside in the spring to return each year in the garden.

Kalanchoe is a nearly indestructible succulent which blooms happily indoors in winter light. I've filled a faux moss purse from Chapon's Greenhouse with lots of other succulents and the star is a white blooming kalanchoe.

Holiday poinsettias will thrive through the season if left on the dry side. One of my favorites is 'Winter Rose' which has double red brachts and is especially happy indoors. they will go nto the garden in May. The plants will grow exponentially over the summer and can be brought back in for another colorful show in September. They rarely color up as well as plants from a greenhouse though.

Like poinsettias, most houseplants need just enough water to get by. Too much will result almost certain death. As the days get longer, it's a good idea to start feeding plants once a month with a liquid organic fertilizer.

One exception to the watering rule is cyclamen, one of my favorites as a long bloomer indoors. As long as the soil stays moist, the plant will keep sending up flowers for months.

The bright, cheery flowers of primrose also like the soil to be moist. Let it dry out and the plant will fade away.

Jade plants, and sansaveria are also bulletproof. I'm captivated by Sansaveria cylindrica which is a tall, round and spiky version of the plant. Mine is braided together and sending up lots of babies too.

Keep in mind that the end of the month might drag on, but warmer temperatures are right around the corner and soon peas, radishes and other cool weather crops will be planted directly in the cool spring soil. Until then, bask in the glory of some of these beautiful indoor plants.

blog paperwhites redI love the fragrance of paperwhites, what about you?

blog african violetsAfrican violets are also one of my favorites. They are easy to grow. Put them in a shallow dish and water them from below.

blog begonia pinkBegonias are shade lovers in the garden, but will also thrive on the windowsill.

blog cyclamen pinkCyclamen will keep blooming for months if the soil is kept moist.

blog hyacynthsEveryone loves the aroma of hyacinths, right?

blog kalanchoeThe kalanchoe is planted in a faux moss purse along with other succulents.

blog pink kalenchoeA beautiful, tiny pink kalanchoe.

blog red primroseThes bright red and yellow primrose need plenty of water, but it's worth it, look at the flowers.

blog sansveriaIsn't this a cool sansaveria?

blog sweet nymph'Sweet Nymph' amaryllis from Longfield Gardens has bloomed twice this year and is sending up another bud. The nymph series has been the most successful amaryllis I've ever grown.

blog winter rose poinPoinsettia 'Winter Rose enjoys growing indoors for the winter.

 

 

 

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Former jury commissioner to seek higher office

Former Washington County jury commissioner Judith Fisher will seek the Democratic nod for county commissioner, she recently announced.

Ms. Fisher, 75, of South Strabane, served as the Democratic jury commissioner for 20 years, until the position was eliminated in 2013.

In her announcement, Ms. Fisher said she would use revenue from the county's...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6456-former-jury-commissioner-to-seek-higher-office

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Rudiak to circulate petitions for controller's race

Natalia Rudiak (Robin Rombach/Post-Gazette)

By Chris Potter

Natalia Rudiak is gearing up for a potential challenge to City Controller Michael Lamb in the May 19 primary, political consultant Matt Merriman-Preston confirmed this morning.

"She'll be circulating petitions tomorrow," said Mr. Merriman-Preston. February 17 is the first day that candidates...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6455-rudiak-to-circulate-petitions-for-pittsburgh-controller-s-race

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