The Milwaukee Bucks have a better chance of winning an NBA playoff game against the Miami Heat than trying to figure out who Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson will select Thursday night in the first round of the NFL Draft.

The Packers will be picking near the end of the first round — they have the 26th pick overall — but should find a prospect who could help them immediately. Two NFL scouts I spoke with last week offered up the following candidates as the Packers’ potential pick: wide receiver Robert Woods of Southern California, offensive linemen Justin Pugh of Syracuse and Menelik Watson of Florida State, defensive linemen Sylvester Williams of North Carolina, Margus Hunt of Southern Methodist and Johnathan Hankins of Ohio State, linebackers Manti Te’o of Notre Dame and Kevin Minter of Louisiana State and defensive backs Eric Reid of Louisiana State, Desmond Trufant of Washington, Matt Elam of Florida and Jonathan Cyprien of Florida International.

I had been leaning toward the Packers picking a wideout — either Woods or Quinton Patton of Louisiana Tech. But the Packers desperately need a safety. Ever since losing Nick Collins a few years ago, their secondary has been shaky. Cyprien could be their guy.

The finalists are ...

The Racine County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013 figures to be a star-studded one.

After the RCSHF Nominating Committee whittled the field of candidates from nearly 100 to around 25, the RCSHF Selection Committee narrowed the list to 13 finalists. They are, in alphabetical order, Bill Albright (football), James Caspers (archery), Phil Dobbs (coaching), Abby Garchek (basketball), Bob Letsch (coaching), Abdul Jeelani (basketball), Greg Romano (volleyball), Bill Kazmaier (powerlifter), Jeff Lee (track and field), Brent Moss (football), Dick Phillips (baseball), Eric Rasmussen (baseball) and LaTonya Sims (basketball).

Besides the formal induction of the new Hall members, an accomplished Racine County sports team also will be recognized at the banquet, which will be held Oct. 24 at the Racine Marriott, 7111 Washington Ave.

There are currently 20 individuals in the Hall.

Sealing the deal

Karim Farag can go back to eating desserts.

Farag took first place in the Wisconsin Natural Bodybuilding and Figure Championships Saturday at Monona Grove High School. Farag, 33, won the light heavyweight division.

“I am very happy,” said Farag, who grew up in Cairo, Egypt and now lives in Racine. “It was a long day, but it went very well. The preparation in terms of exercising and dieting paid off. And I really appreciate all the support I got from the (Razor Sharp) gym.”

As part of his training for the event, Farag refrained from desserts. Saturday night, the ban was lifted.

“We went out to eat and had Baklava,” Farag said. “It tasted very good.”

No more excuses

When Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks was deplorable for much of last season and ended up hitting a feeble .230, his apologists said it was because he was still recovering from wrist surgery.

And now?

Weeks is off to a dreadful start again. Going into Monday night’s game against San Diego, Weeks is batting a putrid .188. That ranks Weeks 168th out of 189 players in batting average in all of baseball. Just as disconcerting, if you’re a Brewers fan, is that Weeks has struck out 24 times in 68 plate appearances.

Weeks is only 30 years old but one has to seriously wonder if the best part of his career is in his rear view mirror.

Around the horn

What do you think is the over-under on draft geek Mel Kiper declaring “great pick” during the NFL draft. I’ll say 50. ... Just how pathetic are the Houston Astros? Their team earned-run average is a bloated 5.40, by far the worst in the majors. ... Wouldn’t it be cool if the Packers took Aaron Rodgers’ little brother, Jordan, who is also a quarterback, in the seventh round? I’m one of the few who not only thinks little Rodgers can play in the NFL but actually do well. ... The first Wisconsin Badger off the draft board should be running back Montee Ball, who is projected to go in the second round. ... Forget winning the series. Forget even winning a game. The Bucks will be lucky to win a quarter against the vastly-superior Heat.

Gery Woelfel is a sports reporter for The Journal Times. Gery can be reached by calling (262) 631-1713 or by email at

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