My nerdy and emotionally attached, sports loving self is going to come out in this post. You've been warned! - Thursday I found myself frequently refreshing my Twitter feed and reading tweets and articles about the NFL Draft. Long before it started at 7pm. Now, that may not come as a shock to you all, but trust me when I say that prior to this year the only reason I followed the Draft at all was to see where Mizzou guys would go. (MIZ!) My attention to college football definitely increased this year, as did my interest in the stories surrounding these guys. You might've read in some of my other posts that the NFL isn't my favorite to watch, but this past year I paid more attention to it as well. We can all thank Dak and Zeke for that, and Travis Kelce can be added to that list as well ;) - Watching a lot of games, highlights, and stories, both in the NFL and College Football, definitely made my interest in the Draft grow. I'm not a completely crazy Draft follower because I didn't pay attention to all the mock drafts or how each player did at Pro Days or the Combine, but Twitter is a great place to keep up on the important stuff! So when I sat down at 7pm the other night and got frustrated with the Cardinals, my tv flipped to the Draft. Let the madness and fascination begin!
First of all the setting for the Draft is always massive and has so much going on that I'd probably get lost trying to navigate it all! The stages are beautiful and the boos for Roger Goodell are a staple of any NFL Draft these days. Not to mention the die hard fans in their face paint, cheese heads, and custom jerseys never disappoint. I definitely did not have an NFL Draft on my Sport Event Bucket List, but I am definitely thinking I should add it! I just think it is a site to see for any football fan. In addition to the location of the actual Draft, some of the parties looked crazy! The Star in Frisco would definitely be a fun place to be, I mean Jerry Jones was even there with all the fans! Possibly better yet, NFL Draft parties in Vegas when the Oakland Raiders become the Las Vegas Raiders..
Ya know what else is fascinating? The mock drafts and the time and effort people put into them. I'd say that these people are crazy because the NFL Draft is amazingly unpredictable (most of the time), but I spent over an hour filling out March Madness brackets that completely bombed so I have no room to talk. These people that do the mock drafts though spend hours and days and months on these things, making adjustments every time a team or coach makes a comment that shifts their thinking, only to have it all torn apart when a team unexpectedly trades up for a draft spot. That's dedication. Not only is the amount of time and dedication fascinating, but so is how different one "expert" prediction can be from another "expert" prediction.
Lastly, the stories associated with the draftees kept me glued to the tv, Twitter, and wherever else they were popping up! Follow my Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter and you'll quickly know that Deshaun Watson is a player I love to watch succeed, but it wasn't just his story. I mean, I will admit that watching him with his family and his interview saying he was going to take care of his mom after ESPN ran the Habitat for Humanity story about his family did bring a tear to my eye(s).. but there's so many others!
- You have the story of Garrett Bolles and his rough younger years transpiring into being drafted in the first round with his young son in his arms.
- Then there's Takkarist McKinley who made a promise to his grandmother that he'd be drafted and make it to the NFL just hours before she died, and making that promise happen. (Followed by dropping the F bomb and saying they can fine him later, convincing me he'll be added to my list of entertaining player interviews to watch with Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch..)
- Charles Harris, my Mizzou guy, was a 2 star recruit coming out of high school. Mizzou offered him a scholarship after another kid decided to go to Nebraska instead. This 2 star recruit was the 22nd draft pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Talk about exceeding expectations and giving all of the kids with low recruiting ratings something to strive for!
- Christian McCaffrey doesn't have that hard knock story, but to hear the athletic accomplishments his family members have been a part of and know that he is carrying on that tradition in a big way. Wow. - Not to mention that shortly after being selected he looked like a small child in an interview stating that he's so excited to be a Panther because Cam Newton is the best QB in the League. Just a reminder that these guys are young and look up to their, very soon-to-be, teammates a lot.
- The last mention I'll make is of Jabrill Peppers and Rueben Foster. Now don't get me wrong, these guys were still selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, that's nothing to be disappointed about, but they went later than most anticipated even with their crazy talent. They both had some issues outside of athleticism in the past few months and those character issues could have easily affected their draft stock. I think seeing these guys slide is an important reminder to all the kids who dream of being in the NFL one day to make good decisions. Another disclaimer, injuries and team needs also contributed to where they were drafted.
Between the current players tweeting out good lucks, congratulations, and saying that it doesn't matter what number you're drafted (Dak!) and thinking about the conversations and utter chaos in the "war rooms" for Draft Day there is no better word to describe my thoughts than fascinating. I don't want to ever be a part of actually drafting guys, too much pressure and those people know WAY more about football than me, but I would LOVE to sit in one of the "war rooms" and just watch it all play out. How cool right?!
These are just my thoughts after the first round! I could go on and on about the other rounds! Not to mention the best part about the NFL Draft.. A sure sign that College Football is even closer!! :D
What are y'all's thoughts on the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft?! How did your team do and what was your favorite story?! I got high hopes for Watson with the Texans and hope to see another DLine ZOU guy be a standout in the NFL with Miami! Bring on football season!!