Ah, there is nothing like watching a sporting even while chomping on wings at BW3s - much like a casino, there is no sense of time. Thus was the setting for the first ever NFL prime time draft. In the spirit of disclosure, I admit most of the names I recognized were QBs with a few of the others that went in the Top 10. The following observations on a few of the players that stood out to me are based primarily on what I saw of them during the highlight reels, their behavior at the draft, and post-pick interviews, plus a few tidbits I have heard here and there. I also included a scandal potential meter (scale: 1-5*) since it seems to be something coaches and owners need to take into consideration with Commissioner Rodger Goodell at the helm of the NFL.
(2) Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska, now Lion's defensive tackle)
I admit, I never watched him in action during the season but heard the buzz about him for months and watched him at the Heisman ceremony. Whoa, this guy is a beast and has the potential to be a powerhouse in his first season. It is awesome he is donating $2 million to the sports program and endowing a $600K engineering scholarship to his alma matter before he gets his first NFL paycheck!
Scandal Potential: 1
Beyond the NFL: He will help bring foreign students from disadvantaged nations into the collegiate football sphere
(3) Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma, now Buccaneer's defensive lineman)
This guy has passion - crying, hugging Goodell, grinning from ear to ear - he made me feel the excitement of the draft
Scandal Potential: 1
Beyond the NFL: He will marry well, have several children, and become a preacher
(6) Russel Okung (Oklahoma State now Seahawk's offensive tackle)
Yeah - an Oklahoma State Cowboy gets in the top ten (that's for you Fred)! Best green screen dance - no contest.
Scandal Potential: 2
Beyond the NFL: Becomes a PR spokesman for an athletic company and gets into athlete management
(9) CJ Spiller (Clemson, now Bill's running back)
I like a guy who holds out to play his senior year - as they say, there is nothing like playing college ball. This kid was the most nervous before his name was called up by the Bills, despite hands-down having the best suit. He also had the best clip reel of the night and I think will be a super-stud running back. I also think he will be given a nickname that will help him be more recognizable than the other two studs, Bush and Johnson. Let's just hope he gets a QB that will help him get there.
Scandal Potential: 2 (excessive celebration and inconsequential off-field antics)
Beyond the NFL: Reality show circuit, provided it is still en vogue 10 years from now
(10) Tyson Alualu (UCLA, now Jaguar's defensive end)
The guy sharpens his nails, which must explain how he manages to hook into opponents and take them down when it should not be humanly possible. I guess his 10th place pick was unexpected, but other than drawing some blood and probably being responsible for a few concussions, he will probably pan out well.
Scandal Potential: 2
Beyond the NFL: Retires to Hawaii after 5ish years then disappears from public view
(13) Brandon Graham (Michigan, now Eagles, defensive end)
Tied with Alualu for who will injure the most opponents. Best smile of anyone in the draft and I loved how grateful and excited he sounded in his post-pick interview. I really want to root for this guy, but I am still hacked off at the Eagles for McNabb.
Scandal Potential: 3 (just a hunch he may fall into a bad crowd)
Beyond the NFL: Commentator
(14) Earl Thomas (Texas, now Seahawk's safety)
When they called his name, his family was ecstatic. He looked like he was getting ready for 2 fillings and a bridge. For such a "small" guy, he looks like he is carrying some heavy weight. Maybe the new coach will make him smile.
Scandal Potential: 4 (he looks pretty tortured for someone about to make more than the GDP of many small countries - I feel some self-directed abuse possibility)
Beyond the NFL: Rehab or anonymity
(15) Jason Pierre-Paul (South Florida, now Giant's defensive end)
I admit, I wanted Dez Bryant for my Giants - since Plexaco shot himself in the leg, they have been missing a solid wide receiver. His agent was twined around him like an albatross - probably making sure he didn't lose any change out of his pockets in case of backflip. No matter - I hope his antics infuse the team with some enthusiasm.
Scandal Potential: 3.5 (I am getting an Chad Johnson, opps, I mean, Chad Eight-Five vibe)
Beyond the NFL: TV whore - this is a guy who is going to get paid
(24) Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State, now Cowboy's wide receiver)
So, this is who Jerry want to carry on the jersey! I had a near heart attack moment when I missed the Patriot's trade up to the Cowboys and thought he was going to New England. Phew. I wonder how this kid is going to get on with Romo. The guy is already fringe trouble - just because he was suspended for a stupid rule does not change he was suspended. And the Cowboys are hardly the outfit to get a guy to straighten up and fly right . . . but they are pretty good at keeping people from getting caught.
Scandal Potential: 4 (media and ego)
Beyond the NFL: He will be the one to make Skip Bayless stroke out
I get that the NFL is not college and that you can be a stud in one and a flop in the other. If the fans are bummed because they think McCoy or Clausen or a non-QB pick would have made more sense, that's rational. What I do not get is the battery of nasty comments - things like he is going to get the Broncos to change their mascot to a fetus and the mission trips are just an excuse to molest little Filipino boys. And seriously, insinuating a conspiricy when all of his crew had Broncos hats? His agent, knowing everyone predicted he would not be a first round pick, even said he knew almost certainly where Tebow would be drafted. I am not sure when being a humble, chaste, family oriented, humanitarian became so scandalous, but it seems to make him grateful for the opportunity to work hard and fix his deficiencies. He seems like a kid who practices what he preaches and I think he will get a ring in the next 7 years. The more people whine, insult, accuse, and pick the guy apart the more I am rooting for him.
Scandal Potential: 1 (crying for anything other than a superbowl win won't fly in the NFL)
Beyond the NFL: He will continue to spend his time and money on philanthropy, marry a hot veterinarian or pediatrician type, and make it to the US Senate by the time he is 40.
Naturally there was much more to talk about than these few players, not just who was drafted, but who was passed over in the first round. Since I have a mini-marathon to run tomorrow, I will have to bow out of most of round two. But stay tuned - more snap judgements and unprofessional opinions to follow!