Knee Jerk Reactions to Day 1 of the NFL Draft. In no particular order:
–I’ve watched this crowd shot a dozen times now and I still can’t get over it. Were this any other public gathering I’d accuse them of using CGI to make the crowd look bigger than it was, like a battle in “Lord of the Rings” or the Live Aid scene at the end of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” But this is the NFL so they don’t have to. It’s just further proof that no matter how badly the powers that be in that league fuck things up, football has wrapped itself around the nation’s cerebral cortex and nothing is going to make us stop being obsessed with it. Not CTE or shitty Thursday night games or terrible officiating or even Tyreek Hill being an abusive, child beating monster who should be fed to dragons will stop millions from standing in the rain to watch college players names get called 200 yards away. The NFL is our most popular sport. And our second most popular continues to be the NFL offseason.
–For 32 picks spread out over 3 1/2 hours, it did seem to move along at a decent clip. This is how I’d like to see all awards shows go. You announce the winner, he comes to the stage, puts on a “BEST SHORT SUBJECT ANIMATED FILM” hat, shoulder bumps Jimmy Kimmel or whoever is hosting, takes a couple of pictures and then runs off to go get drunk with his/her friends. No tears. No speeches. No long list of thank yous to people nobody knows or cares about. No virtue signalling while wearing a million dollar necklace of blood diamonds. No nagging us about climate change and then hopping a private jet to get laid on a yacht in the Mediterranean like DiCaprio did. Just collect your trophy and GTFO.
–That said, I’ll never forgive Christian Wilkins for missing the opportunity to end America’s misery once and for all. I would’ve seen to it that schools would close on his birthday:
–Speaking of Wilkins, the AFC East went: Pass rushing defensive tackle, pass rushing defensive tackle, pass rushing defensive tackle, wide receiver. It’s been 19 years and the other three teams are all still using the same cheat codes to unlock Tom Brady. It’s going to be a hell of a year for Joe Thuney, David Andrews and Shaq Mason.
–And speaking of reactionary picks, TJ Hockenson going 8th and Noah Fant going 20th are 100% because of The Gronk Factor. They’re good prospects, no one would deny that. But grossly overdrafted because everyone is desperately seeking the next Rob Gronkowski like addicts chasing an opioid high. So they’ll sell anything they can to get it, even Top 20 picks on borderline 2nd round players.
–I think I speak for everyone when I say I miss the days when you could count on the Jets to draft hot buttered garbage in the 1st that all their fans hated. But tragically, that time has passed. Even the picks that haven’t worked out – Vernon Gholston, Mark Sanchez, Dee Milliner – made some sense at the time. This video has stood the test of time:
… but by now I thought it would have more sequels than “The Fast and the Furious.”
–Thank the football gods then for the Giants.
I continue to stand in wide wonder at the awesome majesty of Giants fans loyalty to Eli Manning. No man has ever derived more eternal love for winning titles than he has. Hell, Winston Churchill won World War II and the Brits pushed him out of office in a matter of months. Eli is utterly incapable of doing wrong in their eyes because his defense won championships seven and eleven years ago. In the last two seasons he’s throw just 40 touchdowns with 26 interceptions while going 8-25. And he’s 38. Still, Giants fans lapse into mass hysteria because they drafted his replacement. Did they think all the runt of the Manning litter just needs a couple of “weapons” around him to turn last year’s 5-11 team into a title contender? Isn’t that what Saquon Barkley was for? This is a rebuild. Eli has played in his last playoff game. Get over yourselves.
–As tackle football degenerates into Bill Polian’s wet dream of one big, national 7-on-7 drill, you’d just naturally assume the first round of the draft would be all about skill position guys. But you’d be wrong. Nine of the first 10 and 13 of the first 15 off the board last night were all Front-7, inside-the-tackle-box players. (Note that I’m including tight ends here, even though Fant is pretty much a detached from the formation “move” type of TE, he’ll line up tight to the line sometimes.) Only one defensive back was selected. No cornerbacks at all, even though it’s supposed to be a B+ class this year. Marquise Brown and N’Keal Harry were the only receivers. And Josh Jacobs was the only running back. I honestly don’t know how to process that other than it’s part of what makes the draft the ultimate time wasting exercise in futility I’ve been obsessed with for as long as I can remember.
–The Cardinals are on the clock. Let’s get Round 2 going now.