Thursday at the NFL Draft was one of the most intriguing and entertaining opening round evenings that I can remember. Once Blake Bortles was taken at #3 by the Jags, we knew we were going to be in for an interesting night.
I'm not going to be the one to criticize the Bortles selection. Up until two weeks ago, this quarterback was topping the majority of mock drafts. Proving, once again, that the media is just making up this s*** as they go, Bortles was taken near the top of the draft where he belonged.
The shock-wave from Jacksonville's surprising pick was immediately evident. A stoic Johnny Manziel knew, deep down inside, that he was in for a long light. There were rumblings earlier in the week that Manziel didn't want to go to Jacksonville, but his agent quickly squashed those reports. Johnny wanted to be #3 in the draft...he wanted it bad.
So, then began the slide. Picks came and went and players not named Johnny Football kept coming off the board. Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Minnesota, Tennessee, St. Louis, Dallas, and the NY Jets all decided to go with someone other than a quarterback with their first picks. This was bad for Johnny Manziel...but great for the TV coverage.
Here is a pie graph outlining ESPN's player mentions during their Day 1 draft coverage:
I thought Jon Gruden was going to have a stroke over the whole situation.
Finally, prior to the #22 selection it was announced that Cleveland had acquired the pick from the Philadelphia Eagles. Instantly everyone knew that this was Johnny's turn.
The Browns have a horrid history of starting quarterbacks and the Cleveland fan base
wanted needed a starting quarterback with some spice. Johnny football is a talented quarterback who could be the man in Cleveland for a long time.
ESPN's Sal Paolantonio told a weird story about Browns GM Jimmy Haslam and a conversation with a homeless man in Cleveland. No word on whether or not Haslam gave the homeless dude and money for the advice.
It was a minor mistake, but in typical Cleveland fashion they screwed up the announcement of the drafting of their new starting quarterback.
So, overall Round 1 of the NFL Draft was extremely entertaining. Plenty of tears and several shocking moments...a true human drama. Now, as Day 2 and Day 3, are upon us things get much drier and the draft becomes more about business than drama.
I'll be watching, and I'll feel like a dork for doing so.