The soap opera that is the first round of the NFL Draft went down for its 75th time on primetime television last night. The NFL really made a spectacle of the occasion and turned it into somewhat of an awards show, with a red carpet and all to build excitement about a draft class that wasn’t as hyped up as in past years. No super flashy rockstar RBs, WRs, or QBs from USC, Ohio State, or Florida, so let’s get into who did add some heavy weight to their bank account.
Congratulations to the Oklahoma Sooners that basically had the first round on smash! “We cant play football in the Big 12, but 3 out of the first 4 picks were from the Big 12” was Gerald McCoy’s response – and smack in the face to all the naysayers.
Highlight – My Cowboys trading up to get Dez Bryant at #24. I was extremely worried about what Jerry Jones had up his sleeve for this first round but was pleasantly surprised. The kid has already been anointed with the #88 so he has some big shoes to fill and I’m hoping he’s ready to get right to work.
Shock- Tebow going in the first round. I mean, I know the QB’s in this year’s draft are few and far between, but I think the Broncos have bigger problems they should have taken care of outside of the QB position.
We had a couple criers. I don’t condone men crying when they’re happy; I just can’t do it. Cry at a funeral, when a homie gets shot, or if you accidentally knock up some random stripper, but please don’t cry at the NFL Draft. You should be doing a backflip, cartwheel, handstand, something manly. The 3 criers were Russell Okung, Gerald McCoy, and Joe Haden. Okung – with his 300-plus-pounds self – should have sucked up them tears extra tight, but I’m going to give McCoy a pass. His mom died his freshman year and told him, “If you quit, I’ll kill you.” He said he kept going for her and dedicated this accomplishment to her by engraving her initials on his sleeve. Haden said he had to sop up his tears when he got the call from Browns coach Eric Mangini and he said, “I’m looking at you on TV and you’re crying. Don’t cry, smile, you’re on TV.”
Sitting in the press interview room I got a chance to get up close and personal with the players after they were drafted. A couple of the guys really warmed my heart and I hope they make a great transition into the NFL and have great careers. One of those players is Gerald McCoy and not only because of his story, but he really worked the room. He was funny yet stern, and shut down a couple of reporters that were asking lame questions. Dan Williams also melted my heart. He was so soft spoken and a gentle giant. He was so humble, genuine, and smiled from ear to ear the entire time he answered questions.
A couple of other guys made me laugh out loud. “All the pieces are there” is what Ndamukong Suh said after being picked up by the Detroit Lions. I was confused as to exactly what pieces he was referring to. There are absolutely no pieces in Detroit. Another overzealous draftee was C.J. Spiller. He probably said Super Bowl 20 times in the 10 minutes he talked to press and the Buffalo Bills are not going to the Super Bowl next year. I got another chuckle when Eric Berry stopped speaking mid-sentence and said, “Yo ya’ll – I just had deja-vu and it creeped me out.” When Joe Haden was asked what the first thing he’s going to do when he gets to Cleveland was, he smiled really hard and said, “I already told my agent, get me to LeBron somehow, please.”
Personality traits and funny quotes are cool but I gotta hip my ladies to a cutie alert. Eb’s Cutie Award goes to Derrick Morgan. He has this Julius Peppers thing going on with the ears, and although he’s missing the juicy lips, he’s definitely a cutie pie in Eb’s book. Plus he’s aggressive and said, “I have a chip on my shoulder since the Eagles didn’t take me.” Eb likes chips on shoulders – especially when they’re against the Eagles.
Yes, I love the game, but the “fits” are always the talk of the town on draft day as well. Sean John killed all the chances of there being any clown-mixed-with-a-70’s-pimp suits hitting Radio City Music Hall since they provided the suits for all the prospects. My heart was hurting. I was really looking for a good laugh and, lucky for me, a couple of players made sure I got plenty with their pastel accessories. Teals, salmons, pinks, and yellows under those nice suits were like that morning you forget to close your blinds before going to bed and you wake up blinded by the sun. Squinting didn’t help *ahem* Jahvid Best, and I didn’t have a comforter to pull over my eyes. Eb’s best dressed award goes to Joe Haden. The accent on the collar of his jacket just did it for me.
Russell Okung and Ndamukong Suh tied for second place. Okung definitely had the best tie out of all of the draftees, purple is always a good look; but Suh got cool points for going outside the norm with his shirt. Honorable mention to Jared Odrick who had a very fly tie as well.
All in all, day 1 of the draft was eventful, but I expect it to get a lot more interesting tonight as rounds 2&3 kick off at 6pm EST.
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