Associated Press Sportswatch

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Draft starts tonight.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL draft gets under way tonight in New York City with a different look with no high profile quarterback, running back or wide receiver. It's heavier on size and light on glamour.

Kansas City has the top pick. The Chiefs are expected to select 6-foot-6, 306-pound Luke Joeckel (JOHK'-uhl), an offensive tackle from Texas A&M. There's also Eric Fisher of Central Michigan and Lane Johnson of Oklahoma, two more 300-pounders who could be snapped up in the first 10 picks.

Only twice since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 has an offensive tackle been chosen first overall, but the Chiefs figure to make it three when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reads off the name of the league's newest millionaire shortly after 8 p.m. EDT at Radio City Music Hall.

West Virginia's Geno Smith is expected to go in the first round this year, perhaps as early as No. 2 to Jacksonville. But outside the strong-armed but erratic quarterback, the market at the NFL's most critical position is weak.

NFL DRAFT-SECURITY

Tight security for everyone involved in the draft

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL is increasing security for the draft in New York. The league says everyone entering Radio City Music Hall will be subject to screening measures including metal detectors, pat-downs and searches of personal property. And that includes league officials, players and their families.

The draft begins tonight and has sessions on Friday and Saturday afternoon.

The additional security comes after the Boston Marathon bombings raised concerns among those organizing other sporting events.

NFL DRAFT-TRAGEDIES

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL will also hold a moment of silence at the start of the draft for the victims of the Boston Marathon attacks and Texas fertilizer plant explosion. Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will recognize the two tragedies that took place last week.

NBA SCHEDULE

Playoffs continue tonight

UNDATED (AP) -- One of three NBA first-round playoff games has Miami at Milwaukee tonight. The Bucks head home down 0-2 to the defending NBA champs.

Brooklyn and Chicago resume their series in Chicago tonight after splitting the first two contests in New York. The other game has the L.A. Clippers at Memphis. The Clippers have a 2-0 lead.

NHL-SCHEDULE

Busy night on the ice

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As the NHL's regular season winds down, Winnipeg can clinch a playoff spot with a win at Washington tonight. It's not a must-win situation for the Senators, who need two points over their final three games to get into the postseason. Now if the Jets lose in regulation, the New York Rangers could clinch a playoff spot. The Rangers can also get in with a win at Carolina tonight.

Another key contest tonight has Nashville at Detroit. The Red Wings are in control of their destiny. A win tonight and Saturday at Dallas will put Detroit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 22nd straight season.

Columbus skates at Dallas. The Blue Jackets are jockeying with the Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings and Dallas for the final two Stanley Cup Playoff spots in the Western Conference. Dallas is in the hunt, but has lost four of five and would be eliminated from contention with another tonight.

The other hockey games tonight have the Islanders at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh skating at New Jersey, Florida hosting Toronto, Tampa Bay at Boston, Montreal at Winnipeg, St. Louis home to Calgary and Anaheim facing off at Vancouver.

MLB-SCHEDULE

Plenty of action both during the day and under the lights

UNDATED (AP) -- Thursday afternoon brings day baseball with three matinees on the schedule. Kansas City plays at Detroit, Philadelphia hosts Pittsburgh and the L.A. Dodgers face the New York Mets again.

Under the lights, Washington tries to bounce back from a four-game losing streak when the Nationals host Cincinnati. The Reds have been playing well, with eight wins in their last 10 games. The Reds begin the day just a-half game behind idle St. Louis in the National League Central.

Also tonight, Houston plays at Boston. The Red Sox start the day with a two-game lead in the American League East over Baltimore. The Orioles play at Oakland. Also in the AL East, the New York Yankees host Toronto.

A couple of struggling clubs meet in Miami with the Chicago Cubs in town. The Marlins have posted five wins so far this season while the Cubs have managed six victories.

Texas starts the night with a game-and-a-half lead over Oakland in the AL West. The Rangers visit Minnesota.

The rest of the lineup has Tampa Bay at the Chicago White Sox, Colorado at Arizona and Seattle home to the L.A. Angels.

PGA-ZURICH CLASSIC

Jason Dufner defending champ

AVONDALE, La. (AP) -- The PGA tour stops in Avondale, Louisiana for the Zurich Classic which gets underway today. Jason Dufner is the defending champ.


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