The Draft talk this time of year is rather windy... (Wink, nudge...Get it! It's Sunday, Dammit! What do you expect?) With all the players blurbs flying around social media circles, and counter babble flooding the internet's Sports pages, I'm.... Well, I'm confused, OK! Team needs should be a rather apparent thing, right? Players in the upcoming draft are o'plenty, and at every position, size and talent range. Starting on May 8th, hundreds of names will be called out from the center stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and NFL careers will begin. But just whose name will be heard, and when, during the three - and possibly four...4! - days of this divvying out of players to the 32 NFL franchises?
The top pick in the NFL Draft in any given year is usually something we all know before the name is called. This year? Nope! I have no idea who the Houston Texans will take first overall, or even if they'll keep the pick at all. The further down this first round runs, the murkier it's going to get too. I mean, with all the teams in dire need of a quarterback (7 teams by my count), you'd think even the sub-elite prospects at the position this year would be taken to satiate their fans? Nope! While I think we will see Jacksonville take a quarterback at #3, I don't think there's another team in the top 10 who can be seen as a lock to take a signal caller. It could cause a minor shift for the teams just outside of the top 10, with quarterbacks still on the board. Take Tennessee for an example at #11; they have Jake Locker, who may, or may not, be their quarterback of the future. If a Blake Bortles somehow falls this far, do they take him? Johnny Manzeil, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, and newly hyped Tom Savage, all have a shot at going in the first round. I know, the odds of Bortles dropping this far are absurd, but this draft has some odd juju. It's either that, or teams have gotten soooo good at disguising their intentions that they're borderline Keyser Söze-esk?
Top ranked position players have two sides to them at times. Jadeveon Clowney IS athletically gifted, but does this directly translate to a high ceiling as an NFL player, or a gigantic "buyer beware" based on his less than stellar final college season? Sammy Watkins is gifted, and I have little doubt if he were 6'5" he'd be the first player taken in the 2014 NFL Draft. But he's only 6'1", so teams wonder if the lack of a couple inches in height mares his potential at the next level? Really?
This time of year often bumfuzzles me? But then, I can get rather transfixed by a doorknob every now and then, or even a bird flying overhead. When I look at the myriad of NFL Draft boards slapped on internet walls, my eyes begin to cross and I have to fight the urge maniacally giggle. My neighbors give my house a wide berth when I put out the "I'm writing a Mock Draft, send HELP!" sign. I cringe every time I hit the "publish" button for one of my Mocks, and want to hit the comment thread to decry the moron who wrote it. Instead, I usually fling Cheetos around the room, then break into a crunchy "River Dance" in my bare feet (Don't wear socks, unless you need an orange pair...).
So with 11 days remaining before all hell breaks loose, I think I'll go fishing? While I'm not sure it's smart to be around sharp hooks right now - let alone the propeller on the boat - a water cruise could be a good thing, right? I'll bask in the mild, pre-summer sun, a line in the water, waiting for a nibble. But then it will happen: Some guy in his Dallas Cowboy colored bass boat will go screaming by, and the urge to crank over the trusty 15 horsepower Evinrude will overwhelm me. A half hour later, I'll catch up to the Dallas fan 100 yards away, my boat wallowing up and down as I ask him who he thinks the Cowboys' will draft. I'll make a Tony Romo joke, then hit the throttle and try to make it to the shoreline before the bass boat runs me over. Wet now, because the trusty Evinrude can't out run a rock, I'll sit on the beach, pondering the meaning of life, the NFL Draft, and that nifty doorknob at the bait shop. I'll study the half sunken form of my boat just off shore, and my tackle box floating by. Then I'll blame everything on Brandon Bate, because it's what he's here for, right?
Have a great Sunday!