What We Learned From the NFL Draft


Today, you will see 7000 columns analyzing the NFL draft.  There will be grades.  There will be people telling you who is a better team today.  There will be people telling you who will be a perennial Pro Bowler.  There will be people telling you who will be a bust.  The reality is nobody knows what any of these picks will do.  Nobody.  But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an incredibly revealing night.  Here’s what we learned:

1. Giants and Jets fans are a questionable bunch.  

It was made clear that there would be no alcohol served in Radio City Music Hall yet the broadcast opens with Giants and Jets fans going apeshit in the crowd.  Why are they going crazy?  They know they’re just going to stare at a bunch of enormous guys in suits shaking hands with Roger Goodell, right?  They know they won’t see any sports being played nor will they get a taste of those NFL paychecks, right?  Baffling.

2.  Chris Berman still holds the crown of “Worst Studio Host Ever.”

Ten seconds into the broadcast, Lord Combover drops a few cheesy lines about New York City (e.g. “city never sleeps”).  Over the course of the night, he says, “Oh, by the way…” twenty times.  He always seems out of breath.  He insists on saying “New York FOOTBALL Giants.”  He loves making irrelevant points (like when he mentioned that last year a player from South Carolina had the same initials as Jadeveon Clowney).  Thanks, Chris.  How about we turn your mic off, buddy?

3.  The NFL struggles mightily with change.

Right before Goodell took the stage, they started playing Van Halen’s “Right Now.”  As a rule of thumb, if a song was used in a Crystal Pepsi ad more than two decades ago, it’s probably not a good idea to continue to use it.

4. Jadeveon Clowney is not sure of Suzy Kolber’s sex.

In their one-minute interview, he called Kolber “man” three times.  She’s a woman, JC.  Just ask Joe Namath.

5. Ray Lewis is not too discerning.

The first round featured 32 picks.  All 32 were deemed “great” by the former Ravens linebacker.  Congrats, every GM!  You did it!  Start planning your Super Bowl parade!

6.  Blake Bortles loves the word “awesome.”

In his first interview as a Jaguar, Blake Bortles used the word “awesome” 3 times in 55 seconds.    Does he realize he’s going to Jacksonville, a city low on football success but high on redneck crime?  Congrats, Blake.  I’m sure it will be awesome.

6.  Jon Gruden hates his co-hosts.  

The hatred was palpable for Mel Kiper.  Several times he belittled Kiper’s analysis and his farcical “big board.”  On a couple occasions, he even snapped at Ray Lewis.  Tread lightly, Jon.  Ray Ray has a history of not taking kindly to disagreements.

7.  Sammy Watkins was available to be picked by Cleveland but instead the pick was traded.  Now he’s heading to Buffalo.

Avoiding Cleveland and instead heading to Buffalo like going to the doctor and hearing, “Luckily, we’ve been able to get rid of that flesh-eating bacteria.  Unfortunately, you’ve tested positive for the MERS virus.”

8.  Mel Kiper’s has not gotten any more palatable over the years.

Aside from the grating Baltimoron accent, last night his voice cracked fifty times.  Well, at least we know he’s giving us valuable information.

9.  Detroit Lions pick Eric Ebron had a troubling day.

Earlier in the day, the UNC tight end got engaged at the top of the Empire State Building.  Congrats, Detroit.  Your newest pick lacks imagination.  Congrats, future Mrs. Ebron.  I hear Detroit is lovely.

10.  Former Alabama linebacker CJ Mosley has some big shoes to fill in Baltimore.

The middle backer was instantly compared to Ray Lewis by Chris Berman after he was picked.  Sure he can play ball.  But does he have that killer instinct that defined Ray Lewis?  Does he have the deadly precision that Ray Lewis had in abundance?  These are all big questions.  Killer questions.

11.  Even though he hasn’t played a down, Johnny Manziel is the most hydrated player in NFL history. 

As he began to drop in the draft, it was clear Johnny’s strategy was to conquer disappointment with bottles of water.  Johnny Manziel’s new draft report should read:  Weaknesses – footwork, height.  Strengths – playmaking ability, bladder control.

12.  Ray Lewis hates the letter “S.”

“Where is Eli Manning receiver?”  “All Drew Brees want is…”  Ray, you’re killing the English language.

13.  When Suzy Kolber’s voice fades, she begins to sound like Robert Loggia.

After a long night interviewing draft picks, Joe Namath’s beloved Suzy sounded like Tom Hanks’ dance partner in Big and the villain from John Candy’s Armed and Dangerous.

14.  Ha Ha Clinton-Dix brought his wardrobe A-game.

Clinton-Dix coat

Unfortunately, gone are the days of outlandish 19-button orange suits at the draft.  Everyone was tasteful and, for the most part, boring.  Thankfully, Ha Ha went with the old-timey movie theater usher look.  I wonder if he knows Mark Ratner from Fast Times at Ridgemont High?

15.  Ray Lewis won’t stop talking about the AFC North.

You would think it wouldn’t be humanly possible to spend three hours talking about the hard-hitting division.  Not for Ray Lewis.  He is the master of overkill.

16.  The Browns owner is taking advice from homeless men.

Sal Paolantonio told the story of how Browns owner Jimmy Haslem had his draft instincts confirmed when a homeless man told him to draft Johnny Manzel.  Congrats, Cleveland.  You’re in good hands!  Word on the street is your second-rounder will be a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20.

17.  Johnny Football finally revealed his true colors.

After being picked apart for months and ultimately slipping to the Browns at 22, Johnny Manziel proudly stood up and showed the nation who he really is – a guy who uses a white iPhone.  Congrats, Browns fans.  Maybe your fortunes at quarterback have finally turned.  Instead of drafting men, you’ve finally decided to draft a 16 year-old girl to line up behind center.

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