Friday’s Den: Running diary of first two hours of NFL Draft

8:16: Cleveland Browns take Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the #1 pick in the draft; time will tell on all these picks, but my quick analysis is this— when we last watched actual college football games, no one had Mayfield in the top 10 picks. No one. 

Now all of a sudden, he is the #1 pick. The team that took Johnny Manziel took a guy who has a lot of similarities to Manziel. 

Cleveland is 2-41 in its last 43 games; they traded for Buffalo’s QB Tyrod Taylor this winter. How long before Mayfield gets to play for the Browns? 

8:21: Giants take Sequon Barkley and my godson, a huge Giants fan, isn’t happy— he wanted Big Blue to take Sam Darnold or trade out of the pick. 

Have to think the Giants could’ve gotten a boatload of picks from Buffalo to move out of this spot, but they didn’t. 

Is it possible that Eli Manning is the real GM of the Giants? They fired Ben McAdoo LY when he benched Eli for a game, after Eli had gotten Tom Coughlin fired the year before. Manning is a 37-year old QB who needs a better offensive line than he currently has. 

8:29: Jets and Giants didn’t use up much time; Jets grab QB Sam Darnold from USC. 

NFL Network has Deion Sanders doing player interviews; I can’t stand him, so it is off to ESPN, where they just had a package about how Darnold’s parents, grandfather and sister all played college sports. I’m sure the Jets drafted Darnold because his sister played volleyball at Rhode Island. 

Cleveland has had 28 different starting QB’s since 1999; that not good. 

8:36: With the second pick of the night, Cleveland takes Denzel Ward, a DB from Ohio State which means that QB’s Allen/Rosen are now sliding down the draft board, since Denver and the Colts don’t need a quarterback, and they have the next two picks. 

8:43: Broncos have to be happier than hell to get Bradley Chubb, the DE from NC State. No way did they think he would be available with the 5th pick. 

8:47: Colts take offensive lineman Quentin Nelson from Notre Dame; Andrew Luck will be a happy guy, but not often a guard is the #6 player in the draft. 

8:53: Finally, the Bills make a trade- they move up to the #7 pick. They take Josh Allen; he might be only kid in country where playing for Buffalo is a weather upgrade. 

Tampa Bay got two second round picks to drop down to #12; good haul for them. 

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock thinks Allen is a project; right now, AJ McCarron is the Buffalo QB, so the project will hit the field sooner than later. 

Allen and Carson Wentz had the same college coach; Craig Bohl, who won multiple I-AA national titles at North Dakota State. That had to help Allen here. 

9:01: Chicago Bears take Roquan Smith, a LB from Georgia; Bears’ defensive coordinator Vic Fangio got a hole-in-one playing golf Thursday, so that plus drafting Smith makes it a big day for Fangio.

49ers, Raiders are next on the clock and don’t need a QB; Josh Rosen can’t be having fun right now. 

9:04: 49ers take Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey; Fighting Irish had two offensive linemen taken in top nine picks- their OL coach has bolted and now works for the Bears, who didn’t take an offensive lineman. 

9:09: Arizona trades with Oakland to move up to #10; Carson Palmer retired and Sam Bradford is always hurt, so this has to be a quarterback, doesn’t it? 

Josh Rosen is an Arizona Cardinal, taken 10th; he is the 4th QB taken in the draft. Last time five QB’s were taken in the first round was 1999. It is good to play QB in a dome; eight home games indoors, plus at least two road games in California every year. 

Of course, the term “chip on his shoulder” got tossed around, since Rosen slipped out of the top five. 

9:18: Dolphins take S Minkah Fitzpatrick, as Nick Saban contributes a player to the team he used to coach. 

This is the 10th year in a row Alabama had a player taken in the first round of the draft. 

9:24: Tampa Bay takes Vita Vea, a defensive tackle from Washington. Bucs traded for Jason Pierre-Paul and drafted this guy, so they’re intent on improving their defense. 

Couple of guys on TV said Via has to work to control his weight so he’ll be more durable and have better stamina. 

9:31: Washington Redskins aren’t popular in Dallas, but they took Da’Ron Payne, a DT from Alabama. Having two of the top 13 players selected has to help your recruiting, right? 

Imagine how different college football would’ve been for the last decade if Nick Saban had won while coaching the Dolphins and stayed there? 

9:40: Saints traded next year’s #1 pick to move up from #27 to #14; they took DE Marcus Davenport from UTSA, after guys from NFL Network went on for five minutes about how great Lamar Jackson would be playing for the Saints. Whoops. 

They must really love Davenport, to trade a #1 pick to the Packers to move up. Saints DL coach Ryan Nielsen and UTSA coach Frank Wilson worked together at Ole Miss, so he must know. 

Green Bay now has two #1 picks next season. 

9:45: Oakland takes T Colton Miller, then Bills traded up to #16 to take Tremaine Edmunds a LB from Virginia Tech. 

9:56: Chargers get a steal with S Derwin James from Florida State; he was hurt a couple years ago when Showtime did their reality show on FSU football. Good kid; he’ll help them. 

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……

13) Here are record of major league teams with best/worst records in games where winning run scores after the 6th inning: 

Best: Mets 8-2, Phillies 7-2, Blue Jays 6-2, Rockies 4-0
Worst: Bronx 0-5, Indians 1-5, Nationals 1-5, Padres 1-5

12) Mentioned yesterday how 181 college players declared early for an NBA Draft where only 60 players will be taken. Last year, 137 players declared early.

11) Thing is, if he didn’t hire an agent, the player who declares can go thru workouts, get an evaluation, then drop out of the draft if he isn’t  going to be drafted as high as he would like and go back to college— its a no-lose situation for the player, which is why lot of guys do it. 

10) In last five NFL Drafts, only three teams haven’t drafted a player who has made at least one Pro Bowl; Bills, Broncos, Colts. 

9) Braves called up prize prospect Ronald Acuna Tuesday night; he was 11 for his last 33 in AAA ball. 

8) When Marlins’ OF Cameron Maybin was a kid in Asheville, NC, he had an excellent summer job one year. He was batboy for the Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League, the same team Crash Davis wound up playing for at the end of the classic movie, Bull Durham.

7) Baltimore Orioles are off to an awful 6-17 start; their starting pitching is suspect, and it could be a long year at Camden Yards. Without starting pitching, you have no chance to compete. 

From 2013-16, Baltimore hurler Chris Tillman was 56-30 with a 3.62 ERA, a good pitcher. Things have changed. 

Since May 24, 2017, in 19 starts, Tillman is 0-11, 9.35. Is he hurt? Is he tipping his pitches? Something is amiss. 

6) Richmond Spiders had a QB named Kyle Lauletta, who may or may not be drafted tonight; watching some clips of him, one thing is very obvious; Richmond’s football team has great helmets- that spider logo looks tremendous on a helmet, either dark blue or white. 

5) Former Vikings’ coach Brad Childress will be head coach, Michael Vick offensive coordinator of the Atlanta team in the new AAF, a spring football league that starts next year. 

4) According to Ian O’Connor of ESPN.com, Josh Rosen went to the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana in 2016 and did not make a favorable impression while there. 

Manning Passing Academy bills itself as “…..the premier offensive football skills camp in the nation for QBs, RBs, WRs, and TEs.”

Friend of mine’s son went there 15 or so years ago; former LSU/Patriots’ QB Tom Hodson was his camp counselor.

3) I have two friends who know more about football than any of my other friends; one says Josh Rosen is the best QB in the draft, the other says Baker Mayfield, so go figure. 

2) Clemson QB Deshaun Watson was the 12th pick in last year’s NFL Draft; I will predict right here that none of the QB’s in this year’s draft will be as good as Watson. Teams messed up last year when they dismissed Watson. 

1) President Macron of France is 39 years old; his wife just turned 65. 

When Macron was 15, he was a student and Brigitte Trogneux was a 40-year old teacher at La Providence, a private school in Amiens, northern France. At the time, she was married with three kids. 

In this country, the scandalous affair that followed would have been serious trouble for Ms Trogneaux, who is now Mrs Macron. Not so in France. 

In today’s world, it is just another day, another weird day.

Friday’s List of 13: Quick thoughts on the 2018 NFL schedule

Thoughts/comments on the NFL schedule release:
13) Week 1 Monday night doubleheader: Jets @ Lions, then Rams @ Raiders. 

Super Bowl champion Eagles open on Thursday Sept 6 at home against Atlanta. 

12) NFL went traditional rival-heavy for its Thanksgiving Day slate: Chicago-Detroit; Washington-Dallas; Atlanta-New Orleans. Good set of games. 

This is third year in row the Redskins play on Thanksgiving Day.

11) Only four divisional games in Week 1, which is a good idea. Every game in Week 17 is a divisional game. 

10) There is a Week 16 Monday night game on Christmas Eve; Broncos @ Raiders. 

9) A sign the NFL doesn’t think you’re good: Miami Dolphins have a Week 8 Thursday night game in Houston- their other 15 games appear to be 1:00 Sunday games. If you NEVER play a 4:25 Sunday game, the league office isn’t too optimistic about your chances. 

8) Rams-Chiefs in Mexico City on Monday night, November 19. Bye week the next week for both teams, which is weird but good for the team, having a bye week over Thanksgiving. 

7) Chargers visit Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Denver in December, three potential cold weather games. Rams go to Chicago December 9, which will probably be a cruddy weather day. 

6) Three teams have the unenviable “3 road games in 3 weeks” scenario:
— Ravens go to Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Tennessee in weeks 4-6
— Rams go to Seattle-Denver-San Francisco in weeks 5-7
— Saints go to Dallas-Tampa Bay-Carolina in weeks 13-15, but the Week 13 game is a Thursday game so they’ll have extra rest in there before the Bucs’ game.

11 teams have three home games in a row. 

5) For first time since 2009, Bears open the season at Lambeau Field against the Packers, in the Week 1 Sunday night game. 

4) Giants play four road games in domes, which at first glance is most in the league. 

3) Speaking of domes, Lions/Saints both play three road games in domes, giving them only five outdoor games apiece this season. 

2) In next few days, Las Vegas oddsmakers will have spreads for every game thru Week 16. Season over/under win totals don’t come out until after next week’s draft.

1) Here are the Week 1 NFL spreads from the Westgate SuperBook:

Falcons @ Philadelphia (-3.5, 47.5)
Steelers (-7, 48) @ Cleveland
49ers @ Minnesota (-4.5, 47.5)
Bengals @ Indianapolis (-1, 47.5)
Bills @ Ravens (-3.5, 42)
Jaguars (-4, 44.5) @ Giants
Buccaneers @ New Orleans (-7.5, 52.5)
Texans @ New England (-7, 51)
Titans (-2.5, 47) @ Miami
Chiefs @ LA Chargers (-3, 48.5)
Seahawks @ Denver (-2.5, 42)
Cowboys @ Carolina (-2.5, 45)
Redskins @ Arizona (-1, 45)
Bears @ Green Bay (-9, 48.5)
Jets @ Detroit (-6, 44)
Rams (even, 49.5) @ Oakland