Thursday December 18th, 2014

Here is a roundup of's 10 most popular stories this week. Be sure to read to the bottom for a bonus story from the SI Vault.

The Jets select....Jameis Winston?

Greg Nelson/SI

The NFL draft is still four months away, but it's never too early to speculate about potential destinations for the NFL's next wave of rookies. A certain former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback may be on his way to the Big AppleBy Chris Burke.

Three ACL injuries and an NFL dream

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Washington Huskies running back Deontae Cooper has suffered three ACL tears. But despite those setbacks, Cooper is still aiming to make it to the NFLBy Greg Bishop.

Johnny Flaws

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel's first NFL start was a bit of a debacle: Manziel finished 10-of-18 with just 80 passing yards and two interceptions in a 30-0 loss to the Bengals. His first full game under center showed what the quarterback needs to do to elevate his gameBy Doug Farrar.

SI's All-America team

Getty Images's 2014 college football All-America team unsurprisingly includes Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. But who else made the cut?

The rise of Nikola Vucevic

Orlando Sentinel/Getty Images

When the Magic traded away Dwight Howard during the summer of 2012, Orlando received relatively unknown center Nikola Vucevic in their return haul of prospects. Improbably, Vucevic has risen from anonymous seven-footer to a franchise center on the verge of stardomBy Lee Jenkins.

Tennis by the numbers

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Roger Federer won 73 ATP Tour matches. An astonishing 36 players over the age of 30 were at one point ranked in the ATP Top 100. Re-live the 2014 tennis season through a numerical breakdownBy Courtney Nguyen.

No longer a joke

Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Lions have long been an NFL punchline, but suddenly Detroit looks like a contender. After 14 years with the Lions, center Dominic Raiola has seen more futility than most NFL players. But after years of almost constant losing, Raiola finally expects to winBy Michael Rosenberg.

The danger of blood clots

Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The hockey world has recently been abuzz over the mumps, a disease that has found its way into a number of NHL locker rooms. But another medical issue deserves attention: Blood clots are proving to be one of the most dangerous conditions for NHL players and other athletesBy Sarah Kwak.

Thierry bids adieu

David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Thierry Henry retired this week after a legendary career spent with Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona, the New York Red Bulls and France's national team. His game was defined by pace, touch, imagination, finishing ability and a penchant for winning -- but mainly, it was defined by graceBy Jonathan Wilson.

The evolution of Tyson Chandler

Jonathan Daniel, Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images

When Tyson Chandler entered the NBA in 2001 as a much-hyped high school prospect, he had all the raw materials seemingly necessary for success. But after an underwhelming start to his career, Chandler has carefully refined his game to become a quality big manBy Rob Mahoney.

SI Vault: Moment of Truth

Marvin E. Newman/Sports Illustrated

There was no action in the TCU locker room before the 1957 Cotton Bowl, but what Marvin Newman photographed there is as close to the essence of sports as anything that happens on a playing fieldBy Gary Smith.

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