Friday, May 02, 2014

Feeling the Draft

This year, in an attempt to tear American families apart, the NFL pushed its annual player draft back two weeks to Mother's Day weekend. The logic, apparently, was that two more weeks of buildup to the draft would be two more weeks of people talking about football and doing mock drafts (replacing two weeks after the draft with everyone talking football and doing draft report cards, equally erroneous).  So far, the only apparent difference is that roughly 5% of the on-air time that used to be spent wondering if Jacksonville was going to take a left tackle you'd never heard of with their first pick is now spent wondering about the wisdom of that additional two week buffer.

So in order to relieve you of what must be the unbearable tension of waiting for the NFL draft - which, it must be said, is a glorified roll call that now extends over 3 days - here is the official Sportsthodoxy guide to what's about to happen:

1-All the mock drafts are wrong. Every last one of them. None of them anticipate trades, and trades happen every year. Ergo, they're all wrong and thus not worth your time except in an onanistic, rich-and-rewarding-fantasy-life soft of way where someone you've never met temporarily affirms your fluffy fantasy about Jadaveon Clowney somehow lasting until the 22nd pick.

2-One of the big name QBs is going to go much later than anticipated. This is largely a function of A)the media cycling about nine big name QBs through the wringer so one of them is bound to fall B)not that many teams at the top of the draft being willing to go all in on a quarterback and C)math. This will then metamorphose into the "got something to prove" story, shamelessly forgetting that QB success depends largely on scheme, offensive line, and coaching. Just ask Alex Smith. Or David Carr, who spent more of his rookie season flat on his back than a Real World cast member.

3-David Carr's brother is one of those QBs. There will be endless comparisons.

4-At the end of the draft, ESPN analyst and escapee from Jim Henson's Creature Shop Mel Kiper Jr. will give each team a grade between C+ and A-. None of these will be remembered two weeks later, but those two weeks will be filled with comment section savagery as Philadelphia Eagles fans rage furiously against the fact that Mel gave their team's draft a B- instead of a freakin' A++++. Most of the people involved in said conversation will be unable, when asked, to name anyone the Eagles drafted past the second round.

5-With the first overall pick, the Houston Texans will pick someone roughly half their fan base really wants and the other half hates. If they pick Johnny Manziel, they will be accused of pandering to marketing. If they pick Jadaveon Clowney, they will be criticized for not having taken the marketing angle of "hometown Texas boy drafted #1 overall". Meanwhile, whoever gets Khalil Mack at 3 will probably get better value regardless.

6-Cleveland will screw this thing up. Guaranteed. There is a non-zero chance that, by the time the fourth round rolls around, Cleveland will draft either A)Bruce Wayne B)a guy who's been dead for two years C)Burt Reynolds' character from The Longest Yard or D)Godzilla. Who, to be fair, would shore up the D-Line.

7-Roughly one hour after the whole thing mercifully draws to a close, someone will post their first "big board" for the 2015 draft.

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