7:41: Trying to decide which channel to watch the draft on; NFL Network or ESPN, assuming ESPN has enough employees left to do live programming.
Seeing how I boycotted Chris Berman for the last 20 years or so, since he and Steve Young took delight in mocking the Rams when they sucked in the 90’s, I’ll give post-Berman ESPN the first shot. Plus, Deion Sanders is on NFL Network; can’t stand him.
7:46: NFL is lucky as hell; when they foolishly put a Super Bowl in New Jersey a few years ag0, they missed a big snowstorm by a day. Tonight, on April 27, it is 74 degrees in Philly. Unusual; they just as easily could’ve gotten cruddy weather- Phillies got rained out at home two nites ago.
7:53: NFL started moving the draft a few years ago, when Radio City Music Hall was unavailable for draft weekend- they’ve struck gold. Now 14 cities want to host the draft- you know it’ll be in LA when the Rams’ new stadium is finished. I’m guessing Dallas will get it soon, too.
8:07: Roger Goodell makes $32M a year or so to be NFL’s Commish; he can take getting booed. Philly fans oblige by booing the hell out of him. Weird thing is, he isn’t a lawyer. Thought you had to be a lawyer to be a commish.
Goodell family trivia: When Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, the man who replaced him as a US Senator from New York was Charles Goodell, Roger’s father.
8:10: Mel Kiper Jr, draft expert, touts Myles Garrett as a smart #1 pick for Cleveland, who is on the clock. Jon Gruden touts LSU safety Jamal Adams as the #1 pick. Gruden insists that Garrett isn’t the best player in this draft and he shows video evidence why, citing inconsistent effort.
Earlier this week, former Cowboys’ exec Gil Brandt tweeted that only 14.5 of Garrett’s 31 sacks in college came against SEC competition.
8:14: Browns take Garrett, the 5th SEC player taken #1 in the last 11 drafts. Cleveland also has the #12 pick in this round, so we’ll hear from them again in a few hours.
8:17: 49ers/Bears flip-flop the #2/#3 picks; looks like John Lynch will be trying to stockpile some draft picks in his first draft running the 49ers.
8:22: Bears take QB Mitchell Trubisky, meaning he gets to freeze his butt off for the next 10 Decembers in Chicago. Mike Glennon (3 years, $45M in Chicago) must be happier than hell; he signed with the Bears as a free agent, now it looks like he’ll be moving along again in a year or two.
The film of Trubisky that Gruden shows isn’t flattering; Trey Wingo points out that the only North Carolina QB to ever start an NFL game is TJ Yates. Trubisky started only 13 games at UNC, but then again, he isn’t going to start for a while.
8:29: 49ers take DE Solomon Thomas from Stanford; Lynch was a great DB, so it makes sense that his first draft pick is a defensive end. The young man once lived in Australia for five years; his first favorite sport was swimming.
49ers gave up 2,600 yards rushing last year; unlike Trubisky, Moore will play right away.
8:35: Jacksonville picks in the top 5 for the 6th year n a row; they take Leonard Fournette from LSU, who missed five games last year, including one by choice. He didn’t seem to be great with catching balls out of the backfield.
College coaches use the draft to be seen on TV: Stanford’s David Shaw is working on NFL Network, Ed Orgeron, Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Brian Kelly are all in Philly with their players. Recruiting season in college football is 365/12/7/24- tonite is no exception.
Fournette’s agent, by the way, is Jay Z.
8:43: Tennessee, with one of the picks acquired in the Jared Goff trade, selects WR Corey Davis of Western Michigan, the only D-I team to offer him a scholarship out of high school.
49ers, by the way, got two extra draft picks from the Bears for dropping from #2 to #3.
8:51: Jets draft LSU safety Jamal Adams; Todd Bowles was a DB when he played, so this makes perfect sense. Gruden loves Adams- this is a good pick. Jets allowed 30 TDs LY, had only eight INT’s. Louis Riddick praises Adams’ constant effort.
I would love to know how many kids get drafted by the Jets/Giants but aren’t aware that the teams play in New Jersey, not New York. There have to be at least one or two.
Adams’ father is George Adams, who played RB for the Giants 30 years ago, so we know he knows the Jets play in the Garden State.
Since 1987, Adams family is 8th father/son combo who were both drafted in the first round. Two of those eight are Mannings.
9:00: Chargers are on the clock; it still saddens me that they left San Diego, screwing their loyal fans for no decent reason, other than abject greed. They’re not the only ones who have done it, but they seem to be the team who left a pretty good situation to be a tenant in Los Angeles.
Chargers took WR Mike Williams instead of his college teammate, Deshaun Watson. Philip Rivers had to like this pick. Williams comes from a hometown of 170 people.
9:04: Carolina takes Christian McCaffrey from Stanford; his dad played for the Broncos, his granddad was once the fastest man in the world.
Fallout of this: Fournette/McCaffrey both skipped their bowl game to avoid injury, and they both benefitted with a solid draft position— will that makes this an increasing trend this fall?
Four of the first eight players taken went to LSU or Stanford.
9:12: Bengals take WR John Ross from Washington, whose pee-wee coach as a kid was Snoop Dawg (seriously). Ross is really, really fast, but he is going to play a decent amount of games in cold weather and he has had injury issues (shoulder. knee). Has he ever played in cold weather?
9:15: Chiefs trade up to the #10 spot in the draft; Buffalo trades down, but they get an extra #1 pick next year, to drop down 17 spots— KC has to be taking a QB, right?
9:18: ESPN fires Andy Katz, Ed Werder, Jayson Stark, but we’re supposed to watch the 6:00 SportsCenter because Ice Cube plays dominos with Jemele Hill? Oy.
9:20: Chiefs take Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes, whose dad pitched in the big leagues; he is the first QB taken in the first round by the Chiefs since Todd Blackledge, in 1983.
Gruden is tight with Andy Reid (Packer assistants together in early 90’s); he compares Mahomes to Brett Favre— seriously, he did.
As ESPN goes to commercial, Deshaun Watson doesn’t look very happy. Hey, Thurman Thomas once sat in a diner for half a day waiting to be drafted- his career turned out pretty well.
9:28: Saints take a DB from Ohio State that Jon Gruden doesn’t like that much. I like it when there is criticism; not every player is the greatest player ever.
Random rant: I bought a MacBook Pro last August; the keyboard sucks, with G and T keys often sticking. For $1,300, thought I’d get a decent keyboard. Otherwise, the laptop is fine.
9:35: Houston Texans traded up to draft Deshaun Watson, who won a lot of football games in college, but did throw 30 INT’s over the last two years, most in the whole country in I-A.
Texans have started 8 QB’s in three years under Bill O’Brien (QB guru). What makes this guy such a guru if he couldn’t make any of those eight QB’s serviceable players?
9:43: Arizona is on the clock; Carson Palmer turns 38 in December, so of course, they take a linebacker from Temple, where Bruce Arians was once the head coach. Local Philly fans eat up the local kid makes good angle.
Good news for Drew Stanton, Arizona’s current backup QB.
9:52: Hometown Eagles are on the clock: Gruden says they have to draft a CB. The crowd of roughly 70,000 is VERY EXCITED.
Eagles select Derek Barnett, a DE from Tennessee. He had more sacks in college than Reggie White— this is the pick Philly got from the Vikings for Sam Bradford. Eagle fans do not seem real happy, but unlike Myles Garrett, 29 of his 33 career sacks were in SEC games.
10:00: Colts take S Malik Hooker, who wanted to play basketball at Pitt, but Jamie Dixon never offered him, so he went to play football at Ohio State.
Louis Riddick says he needs to tackle better, Gruden says he has been hurt too much and hasn’t played enough football to be taken this high- he only played two years of HS football.
10:07: I don’t care if people boo Goodell, he seems like a good man. When the Ravens take a CB from Alabama, a 14-year old Make-a-Wish kid announces the pick, and Goodell introduces the young man. Then again, having the kid there means Goodell doesn’t get booed.
Mel Kiper’s five best available players are all SEC players, three from Alabama.
Random fact: Joe Flacco’s cap hit this year is $24.55M, highest in the NFL.
10:16: Redskins take Jonathan Allen, DE from Alabama, a pick applauded by the ESPN panel. Gruden is shocked he was available at #17, but apparently he has injury issues (shoulder).
10:20: “Who knows what they’re going to do?” Gruden on the Titans, who are up next.
Tennessee takes Adoree Jackson, a CB from USC who also played some WR for the Trojans and is a return threat. Jackson apparently also runs track; curious to see if that continues.
This will all be a lot more fun tomorrow, when the Rams have picks. Should’ve hung a #16 Rams jersey in the room tonight as a reminder of why we don’t have a pick in the first round.
10:27: Last year was Tampa Bay’s first winning season since 2010, but they didn’t make the playoffs. They took OJ Howard, a TE from Alabama, who should help open up their offense. He is Alabama’s 20th #1 draft pick since 2010, nine more than any other school.
Bucs are on Hard Knocks this summer; their CB Brett Grimes is married to a woman who is a real character— she is very outspoken on social media and doesn’t hold back. If HBO gets a mike on her, Hard Knocks will be highly entertaining TV.
10:31: First offensive lineman comes off the board at #20, Garrett Bolles to Denver; this kid was kicked out of five schools. Five. He brought his little baby up on stage with him.
Apparently the kid’s lacrosse coach wound up getting thru to him and straightening him out. Hopefully Mr Bolles will send that man a nice gift- he is also a 25-year old rookie, by the way. Denver really needed a good offensive lineman.
This is the latest the draft has ever gone before an offensive lineman was selected.
10:40: Detroit Lions take Jarrad Davis, a LB from Florida, who gets high marks for having good character. Was fun to hear that. Gruden thinks he will start as a rookie.
10:42: Dolphins take a kid from Missouri who has someone dressed as a Star Wars character sitting behind him in his house.
Wonder if Missouri alums are happy with their move to the SEC? I’m guessing the school’s accountants are happy; the SEC is a freakin’ gold mine, but on the field/court, Mizzou has mostly sucked in the SEC.
10:46: How in God’s name is Dalvin Cook still available? The Florida State RB is a FOOTBALL PLAYER.
Giants take a tight end from Ole Miss, further proof that Eli Manning runs the franchise.
10:54: Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders take a CB from Ohio State who, according to Raiders’ tradition, was accused of sexual assault recently. Wouldn’t be the Raiders if they took a solid citizen, though the young man hasn’t been charged with any crime and he strongly denies the accusation. Hopefully the kid was a victim of a potential scammer.
11:03: Cleveland is back on the clock: they take Jabril Peppers, a safety from Michigan who had a diluted drug sample at the Combine. This is the 5th time in 11 years, the Browns have had two first round picks.
One of the guys who runs the Cleveland Browns’ front office now was the Jonah Hill character in Moneyball, an Ivy League nitwit who played WR at Harvard in college, but made his reputation in baseball front offices.
Appears as if the Browns upgraded their defense tonight; Gregg Williams is the Browns’ new defensive coordinator- as a Rams’ fan, I think highly of Williams after he was our DC the last few years.
11:10: Atlanta Falcons trade with Seattle to move up to the #26 slot; Falcons have two new coordinators this year, unusual for a team that did so well last year- they take Takkarist McKinley, a LB from UCLA who was a sprinter in high school and who was raised by his grandmother after his mother deserted him at age 6.
11:18: Buffalo takes another LSU CB: Ed Orgeron might be there to support his guys, but in reality these are guys recruited and coached mostly by Les Miles, who put so many guys into the NFL it wound up costing him his job.
11:20: Dallas Cowboys get a worse greeting than Goodell when their turn is announced; no one is less popular in Philly than the Cowboys, who take Taco Charlton, a pass rusher that played at Michigan.
Long time ago, I knew a guy from Philly who wore a green windbreaker; on the back was a drawing of an animated Eagle urinating on the Cowboy logo. Oy.
11:32: Browns have traded up for a third pick in the first round; during the commercial break I put the A’s game on and saw something I never saw before— Kendall Graveman recorded an unassisted double play and he’s a pitcher— great play by him on a comebacker.
Cleveland drafts a TE from Miami; he will be a 20-year old rookie who looks more like a WR than a tight end. He has a lot of people celebrating with him when he gets drafted.
11:35: After a tribute to the late Dan Rooney, the Steelers pick JJ Watt’s brother, a LB from Wisconsin. Steelers play in Houston Christmas night.
11:40: 49ers/Saints have the last two picks tonite— San Francisco takes Reuben Foster, their third defensive player taken tonite.
New Orleans ends the first round by taking a tackle from Wisconsin, someone to protect Drew Brees as his career winds down. Ryan Ramczyk once quit football to become a welder; lucky for him he got talked out of that blunder.
There is a kid named Forrest Lamp in the draft, an offensive lineman from Western Kentucky. When he gets drafted, I will call him a bright kid, because his freakin’ name is Lamp!!!!
If Gruden or Mel Kiper criticize the team that selects Lamp, will they be throwing shade?
Thanks for reading; hope you enjoyed it.