NFL Draft Diary

Well, this is my first ever blog post. I’m not sure where this will take me but I hope it’ll get me where I want to go (yes, I know that this is incredibly vague, but hey, it’s my blog!).

I’m 14, and an “aspiring writer”. I plan on being a writer when I grow up and I need to gain recognition and readership. If you enjoy what I write (or you enjoy making fun of what I write, either or) then please just share it with your friends and family and whoever else you think would like it. Doing that would really help me out and in advance, thank you!

Now, after that blatant self-promotion, onto the good stuff! For the NFL Draft a week ago, I wrote a running diary, otherwise known as a draft diary.

Just a short explanation of a draft diary: a draft diary is essentially a running log and commentary of the draft (or any event) by the author. The time at which I wrote everything is written down and, other than a small amount of editing, fleshing out some thoughts, changing around some words, and adding in a couple of jokes, everything is the same as what I originally wrote.

I hope you enjoy!

Coming to you live (well almost) from my home, the 2014 NFL draft! This year’s draft class is as deep as any, and I’m pumped for it, especially the Giants’ and Jets’ picks, as they’re my hometown teams.

Watching with me here tonight is my dad whose main contribution is going to be ooh-ing and ah-ing at every pick, saying helpful things like “Wow, I can’t believe they picked _____” or “Who is that guy?. Always a pleasure. I’ve got to question why he’s watching the draft in the first place if he doesn’t know any of the players, but still.

Also joining us tonight is a cold plate of pasta and Mom. Her main contribution tonight will probably be getting mad at me when I don’t eat the pasta, getting mad at me for not unloading the dishwasher, getting mad at me for the fun of it, and huffing exasperatedly once she decides that it’s getting late and that I should go to sleep.

Should be a fun draft…

A couple of notes: I’m watching on my DVR for much of the night (stupid math test tomorrow) and I’ve got to end at about 10:30 because I’ve “got to have a good amount of sleep” as per my parents. Of course, they don’t realize that all that matters is sports! Life is secondary to sports! On that pathetic note, on to the draft!

8:31 Dad turns on the TV and we’re off!

8:32 Roger Goodell enters, talking for a bit (we skipped over the speech so I don’t know what was said) while being showered by boos. Stay classy, New York. Wait, a second… Why am I saying this? I’m from New York. Just forget I said anything.

8:33 I like Ray Lewis’ new beard and how he grew out his hair. A bit of a shock, though, after seeing him in one look for so long, but at least it doesn’t look too bad.

8:35 ESPN just showed a graphic showing what people think the Texans should do with the number 1 overall pick. Nearly 60% think they should take Jadeveon Clowney. I agree with them—JJ Watt and Clowney on the same team? With his offensive line, Andrew Luck should probably take out a life insurance policy on himself.

8:38 Jon Gruden says for the 57th time that the Texans need to take their quarterback of the future in this draft. Thanks Jon, we didn’t realize after the first 56 times.

8:42 Goodell comes out to more boos to announce the pick…

8:43 Jadeveon Clowney!!!

8:43 Luck’s reaction: Oh, god, no!

8:43 Peyton’s reaction: *evil Manning face* *evil laugh* I got out at the perfect time! Thanks Satan!

8:43 Peyton’s neck disks’ reaction: Thank the lord!

8:45 I love that pick for the Texans, it means that they’re stacked with pass-rushers. Presuming that they can pick Bridgewater, Carr, or at the very least, Garoppolo, the Texans will be set. They seem to be following the Giants mode of stockpiling pass-rushers and hoping that everything else comes later.

8:47 We just finished a series of insane highlights of Clowney being a beast. Not sure what to say… I’m just in awe of his raw power. It’s just an example of, with the concussion crisis in the NFL, how it’s not the hits that are changing, it’s just the players getting bigger, faster and stronger, or more accurately, the players getting too big, too fast, and too strong.

8:52 Goodell comes out to his customary boos and announces that the Rams took Greg Robinson. Good pick for them; they get someone who’s not a sieve and who can try to keep Bradford from getting injured.

8:53 ESPN rolls out a graphic saying that this is the first time in 20 years that Jeff Fisher has taken an OL with his first round pick. Can anyone say small sample size?

8:55 My other big thought on the pick: the Rams had very few big offensive plays and their fleecing of Washington a couple of years ago allows them the freedom to take the best player available at their 2nd overall pick and then a chance to take a skill position (presumably wide receiver) at 13th.

8:56 Taking a five minute break to finish the cold pasta (Thanks Mom)….

9:05 Never mind… 9 minutes.

9:06 Goodell comes out, obligatory boos, and Jacksonville selects Blake Bortles. I alternate between hate and love with this pick, although I’m leaning toward the former. It isn’t great from a football standpoint, but from a PR standpoint, it’s genius. They got the QB from Florida, immediately selling season tickets for next year. Still, it’s hard to like the pick as Bortles is raw and Jacksonville has a history of not developing quarterbacks very well (see Gabbert, Blaine). He also won’t have many (if any. Aren’t you proud of me? I was nice to Jacksonville) weapons which will stunt his development, which is too bad, because if he were drafted by a “quarterback-whisperer”, he would have had a great shot at an elite career. He’s got all the physical tools but no polish. Sucks for Bortles and it sucks for Jacksonville. Oh well.

9:09 Browns trade the number 4 pick to the Bills for the number 9 pick this year and the 1st and 5th rounders for 2015. I don’t like that at all for either team. The Bills aren’t one piece (presumably Watkins) away from contending and since they won’t contend, it’s too steep a price for a piece that’s not needed right away. Even worse, the Browns are just Watkins (with the 4 pick) and a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater (with the 26 pick from Indianapolis) away from contending immediately, especially in a division with the old Steelers, the three-yards-per-carry Ravens, and the bipolar Bengals. Ugh.

9:13 The Bills select Sammy Watkins out of Clemson. Meh. It’s great for the Bills, but, as I said earlier, the Bills aren’t just a piece away from the playoffs. I was pumped for the Browns and after the trade, the Cleveland 2014 season just woke up, rubbed its eyes, found out about the pick, rolled over, and died. Knowing Cleveland, Watkins is going to come back to haunt them. The lesson, as always? God hates Cleveland.

9:19 The Raiders select Khalil Mack. Solid pick, although I think they should have rolled the pick over. Their team is barren and it’d be better for them to trade down and pick up more picks this year and next because they need everything.

9:22 Gruden insists that the Raiders should have taken a quarterback. Why? So they can drum the hope out of him by losing and losing and then losing some more? I feel like Gruden gets a bonus every time he says that a team should draft a quarterback. I suppose we’ll find out if we see him driving around in a gold plated Lamborghini Veneno.

9:25 Atlanta picks Jake Matthews. Another solid pick, although, like the Raiders, I think they should have rolled it over. They don’t have all that much depth in their stars-and-scrubs roster, and they need more picks to acquire that depth.

9:28 Buccos select Mike Evans. Evans picks up his young daughter and hugs her while crying which is heartwarming, although it looked like he was wiping his face on her dress which ruined the moment a little for me.

9:29 Honestly, I think it should be Manziel who’s crying. He came into the draft, was told that he was great while being built up and hyped like crazy, and now his TA&M teammates, Evans and Matthews, were both picked before him. What a bummer.

9:30 This has been a horrible week for Drake: first the Raptors get knocked out of the playoffs by the Nets and now his good friend, Manziel, is dropping faster in the draft than a penny dropped from the Empire State Building.

9:32 The Browns move up from 9 to 8 with the Vikings by sending them 145 overall.

9:33 I like the pick for Tampa Bay as they add an elite wideout to pair with V-Jax. This gives them a sneakily good team although I’d like to see them add a quarterback to back up McCown.

9:37 Browns select Justin Gilbert, a cornerback out of Oklahoma State. Decent pick; they get to pair him with Joe Haden to instantly form a great cornerback tandem. I don’t mind the pick, I just feel that they could have selected someone more suited to their needs.

9:38 Assuming that they take a quarterback with the 26 pick, then why wouldn’t they take a wide receiver like Brandin Cooks or Odell Beckham Jr.? If they took a receiver they’d have a good TE (Jordan Cameron), an elite wide receiver (Josh Gordon) and an elite second receiver (Cooks, Beckham Jr., or another wide receiver). Then the quarterback they pick will luck into one of the cushiest situations around. That’s why I wanted the Browns to keep their number 4 pick to take Watkins. Adding the best receiver in the draft to a team already with a top 3 receiver? Watch out defenses.

9:40 Minnesota selects Anthony Barr. He’s got the potential to be this year’s Luke Kuechly, the mid-first-round-pick linebacker that mashes in the NFL, but I don’t know… I think they should have taken Manziel, an exciting quarterback who would earn ticket sales for them. If they thought they were drafting him too high, they should have traded down to the mid-teens to take him. Half these picks and trades seem illogical or just foolish. The lesson? The NFL is stupid.

9:44 Sanders comes up to announce Detroit’s pick, promoting Madden and thanking the fans for voting him onto the cover of Madden 25. I wish that they didn’t have to mess up the draft’s flow by advertising. Oh wait, haha, I forgot: this is the NFL and everything is a shameless money grab. Never mind, although it did kinda screw up the chemistry that the fans and Goodell have with the give-and-take of the booing and Goodell smiling bemusedly, inciting the fans to boo even more.

9:45 Eric Ebron. I suppose it’s good because it takes pressure off of Megatron, but I was hoping for a wide receiver.

9:46 Never mind. The highlights make him seem more like a wide receiver, in the mold of Jimmy Graham. I like this pick a lot more now, although I’m still mildly upset as I was hoping that Ebron would last until the Giants. Oh well.

9:50 Taylor Lewan, out of Michigan, is selected. It seems as though the Titans and Whisenhunt are entrusting their future to Locker in two ways: One, they’re spending a first round pick on a tackle to keep him safe and two, they’re not selecting a quarterback, showing that they believe that he is the future.

9:52 Yes! The Giants are on the clock! Finally! Hope they don’t screw it up…

9:53 Jon Gruden probably wants New York to draft a QB because their two-time-Super-Bowl-winning QB isn’t good enough. Scratch that, he probably just wanted a new Ferrari.

9:54 The Giants take…

9:54 Odell Beckham Jr.??? A wide receiver?!?!? I know they need someone to line up across from Cruz but there’s so many other things they need! O-line, D-line, linebacker, just… And especially in such a deep draft for wide receivers! Someone like Cody Latimer or Davante Adams would still be around in the second round when they pick if they were so desperate to take a wide receiver. ANYTHING would have been better value at this pick. The only thing keeping me from going crazy about this (if I haven’t gone crazy about this already) is the trust that the Maras, Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin have built up over the years. Still, I don’t like this pick.

9:55 The Chicago war room just breathed a sigh of relief as it seems likelier and likelier that they’ll get Aaron Donald, the defensive tackle from Pitt, to come in to try and stop up the sieve known as their defense, especially the run defense.

9:57 Shawn Coleman overcame leukemia to play football and he announces the pick. The Rams take Aaron Donald.

9:57 The Bears war room just simultaneously collapsed onto the floor.

9:58 That sound you hear is Phil Emery pounding his fist against the floor, screaming “Why? Why?”

10:00 The Bears select Kyle Fuller, the cornerback out of Virginia. Not sure why they need him as they’ve already got Tim Jennings and a decent secondary. Maybe Emery was incapacitated and some intern just decided to send in the pick just for fun. At least that explains the crappy pick.

10:03 Pittsburgh select Ryan Shazier, the LB hailing from OSU. Shazier probably feels like the luckiest man alive right now: he got drafted by the Steelers and Dick LeBeau, the masters of developing linebackers! Love that pick.

10:07 If Jones takes Manziel right now without trading away Romo, the Dallas fans will riot and petition Goodell to pull a Silver and take the Cowboys away from Jones.

10:08 The Cowboys select Zack Martin from Notre Dame. Jones just dodged a bullet with that one. I like the unsexy pick that won’t sell tickets but that shows that Jones is committed to winning and substance rather than a thin façade of glitz and glamour.

10:11 Baltimore selects CJ Mosley. Is he the heir to Ray Lewis?

10:12 Guess who’s commenting on Mosley’s highlights? Ray Lewis!

10:12 Lewis talks about him and his leadership, instincts, and patience. I suppose this is why it’s useful to have a former player as a color commentary guy although it usually ends up with immense awkwardness and unintentional comedy. At least it entertains us viewers, just not in the way that the networks intended.

10:14 The Jets select…!!!!!! Calvin Pryor… How could they do this???? Their defense is good enough as it is, they need some freaking offense! What about their horrible wide receivers? Wouldn’t it have made sense to take Brandin Cooks or someone that could help their pathetic offense? I hate this pick in every way.

10:16 My theory is that Rex Ryan thinks that his father will love him a little more every time he takes a defensive player. All Jets fans are cringing a little right now.

10:17 At least their defense will be incredible.

10:18 Am I starting to talk myself into this pick?

10:18 I suppose this is what’s called being a fan. By this time tomorrow, I’ll have talked myself into Pryor being the next Ed Reed and the Jets being the best defense of all time.

10:18 Finally back up to current time! Woohoo!

10:19 Miami selects Ja’Wuan James. I’m meh about that pick. On one hand, they drafted effectively for need. On the other, I think they over-drafted him. Couldn’t they have traded down, picked up a 3rd rounder, and gotten their guy either way?

10:20 The Cardinals trade their pick to the Saints for the 27th and 91st picks. That’s exactly what I wanted the Dolphins to do. Oh well.

10:20 I don’t like that at all for the Cards. If they took Manziel, he’d be pissed off and motivated and he’d push that team over the top. And, Larry Fitzgerald would have loved them forever. Too bad.

10:21 For the first time all night, Dad makes a good point: other than the Browns at 26 (with the pick from Indy), no one between 21 (the pick Arizona traded) and 27 (where they’re moving down to) is going to want to take a quarterback, so I suppose it’s actually a good deal for the Cards: they add value and get, at the very least, a quarterback that they wanted anyway.

10:26 The Saints take Brandin Cooks. Good replacement for Lance Moore and/or Darren Sproles. Colston, Cooks, and Graham in one offense?

10:27 The sound you just heard is Drew Brees screaming in joy.

10:28 The sound you just heard is the NFC South secondaries moaning in unison.

10:31 And now it’s time to go to sleep as I’ve got a big math test tomorrow. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that, but whatever. I got through 21 picks and over 2700 words and it was epic. Hope you enjoyed!

 

1 thought on “NFL Draft Diary

  1. Lawrence Kaplan

    I have been following this for years and I like the fresh viewpoint of a teenaged person. I hope he doesn’t morph into a stuffy, run-of-the mill reviewer of one of the great American games. I mean the draft, not football.

    Reply

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