|Never Forget John Rutsey|
As the lumbering behemoth that is the NFL draft bars down on us like an inevitable bad character decision in The Walking Dead, it's time to take a few minutes and go over the most important things for you, the fan, to remember going into the three day festival of all things Mel Kiper Jr.'s hair. Most notably:
- Every single mock draft is wrong. Every single pundit is wrong. Most of them don't get that much of the first round right, let alone later in the draft when teams really start going garbanzo with the deals. The "draft analyst" who can successfully predict the fact that Chip Kelly is going to trade his 4th round pick to Cincinnati for a backup strong safety, a 7th rounder in 2046 and a lifetime supply of Skyline Chili has not yet been born. As such, all mock drafts are exercises in wish fulfillment and/or deliberate shit-stirring to get fans of the players "slighted" by being assigned lower draft slots all riled up in the comments section.
- There are 32 teams. There are 32 first round draft pick slots. Roughly 75 guys have been touted as "possible first round picks." You do the math.
- The guy you like from the school you root for is not as good as you think and will either not be drafted as high as you think or not be drafted as all. This is true pretty much regardless of which guy you're rooting for and which school you're rooting for. Again, it's math.
- Most of the jargon used to describe players is as deliberately obfuscatory and cabal-esque as anything you'd find in the Malleus Maleficarum. The number of people not employed by the NFL or various sports media outlets who can define the term "tight in the hips" with a straight face is only slightly larger than the number of people who have been members of Rush over the years.
- Draft pundits are not above deliberately stating "outrageous" opinions as a way to get viewers/listeners/readers riled up. This gives you some indication as to their trustworthiness on other issues. And goodness, what makes you think I was about to type the words "Ron Jaworski"?
- You will not remember the names of all of your team's draft choices past the day after the draft. You will not remember the name of anyone but the first rounder by the week after the draft. You will then go bananas when your team's fourth round pick gets a shout-out from his position coach at camp, never mind the fact that this was done specifically to light a fire under the butt of the 6 year veteran who knows the job is his and has no intention of getting himself injured doing reps in the broiling sun of West Chester.
- Moving the draft out of New York and in to Chicago means one thing: ESPN has to send its equipment trucks much further.
- Your average guy who calls in to sports talk radio to ask about a minor prospect and says things like "I really think he could be a surprise" is actually desperately begging for comfort and reassurance that the player whose name he knows is going to get drafted, because if he isn't, then that fan's life is...not going to change at all.
- It remains a mystery why the various companies investigating concussion-proof helmet design have not looked into adapting whatever it is that late-stage Eddie Munster lookalike Mel Kiper Jr. has done with his hair.