The 2014 NFL Draft – A Guru Gives His Insights

On Thursday, May 8th, round one of the NFL draft begins. With the starting draft rotation at this writing, it looks like the Houston Texans will draft first, followed by the St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Browns, Raiders, Falcons, Buccaneers, Vikings, Bills and Lions rounding out the top ten day one draft picks.

Obviously there will be a lot of wheeling and dealing going on by the other NFL coaches trying to trade their picks up or down depending upon their team’s needs. Now you can visit this website for mock drafts, something I will get into later…

The second and third round picks will take place on Friday, May 9th and fourth through seventh will happen on Saturday, May 10th. The NFL likes to make a big show of it these days, as they do the Super Bowl and first game of the season.

Cowboys defense
Dallas Cowboys Zone NFL

Draft fans who don’t already have tickets to the event are simply out of luck as the televised New York City event is sold out with ticketholders shelling out a whopping $599. Plus tax, of course, for the needy Governor Cuomo. I don’t know if that includes the price of parking, (I doubt it) or the price of a room to stay in overnight (it would be worth the price if it did). It does include a draft cap and pin, $25.00 Gift card and photo ops with players and personnel at the event.

For those that follow the NFL closely, there is also all of the pre draft free agent pickups which at this point a heavy nod of approval should go to the Philadelphia Eagles and a disappointing head bow to the Dallas Cowboys, but every team must find its own way to win.

Looking Back In Time

The first NFL draft occurred in 1936 in Philadelphia with Eagles owner Bert Bell choosing University of Chicago star halfback, Jay Berwanger, who they could not sign and was then sent to the Chicago Bears where George Halas also was unable to sign the runningback at a salary of 13,500.00 when Berwanger wanted $15,000. Though he was the first winner of the Heisman Trophy, he never played a down in the NFL perhaps due to bad advice. The second player chosen that year was Riley Smith by the Boston Redskins.

The following draft season of 1937 once again had the Eagles choosing first and taking Fullback Sam Francis. Again the Eagles traded their no. 1 pick away to the Chicago Bears, where the former Nebraska standout played two seasons and two more with other NFL teams before serving his nation in the U.S. Army during WWII.

Sam Francis later went on to coach one losing season at the U. of Kansas and not winning one single game, packed his bags and left college coaching. Two sad but true tales that the NFL is unfortunately full of as players who get selected as the overall no. 1 pick or a no. 1 pick for a team often simply do not pan out as planned in this poetic war game that can grind a man’s health into the field.

Runningback Ernie Davis of Syracuse college was the first black player chosen in the NFL ‘s 1962 draft which was another sad story in that this college legend was found to have leukemia and unable to play a down of football in the league because of it. Cleveland Browns’ Ernie Davis died in 1963 at the young age of 23. It wasn’t until 1967 that defensive end Bubba Smith was selected as the overall #1 pick by the Baltimore Colts to become the first African American to gain that honor and actually play in the NFL, living up to his reputation.

Since the beginning of NFL drafts, 29 quarterbacks were chosen, and in my opinion, John Elway has been the best with the next best being Eli Manning, not Peyton Manning, but both brothers were chosen as the no. 1 overall picks in previous seasons. Terry Bradshaw would be pulling his hair out if he had any to see this article, so special mention to that bum who beat my Dallas Cowboys team too many times. The stinky qb award I give to Jeff George of the Indianapolis Colts.

O.J. Simpson gets the most upsetting of all mentions when it comes to the NFL draft and a lifestyle that defies logic and disgraces every NFL highlight and every film and television show he guest starred on for the cocaine induced murder of his wife, Nicole. What a sad commentary about how such a popular man can fall from grace despite the obvious circus court and jury that found him not guilty on a rhyme of “If the glove don’t’ fit, you must acquit,” from a now deceased con artist lawyer. As one who was a big fan of O.J. Simpson’s athletic ability, this reflective moment is one that is needed to remind us all that our lives are short and that there is wickedness in the hearts of men, some of whom you would never suspect. Let’s move on, this paragraph was meant to note O.J.Simpson’s great NFL accomplishment of becoming the no. 1 overall draft pick of the year 1969.

Back To The Here And Now

This year, as in every year, there is the possibility that one team will want to jump ahead of another team to acquire the player that they feel will best help their team to win again. IF the draft had been held a month ago, QB Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M would probably been a cinch to take the top nod spot, but as happens every single year, the draft experts at all the sports channels dissect and manipulate coaches and fans ideas until the whole sports world seems to spin faster than the media adoration of an Obama presidential address.

Enter Jadeveon Clowney, a defensive end from U. of South Carolina where he made Miley Cyrus’s wrecking ball twerk a weekly diagram of destruction on the collegiate field. IF there is a superman, indeed, Clowney could be him, but now that I think about it, he may be more like the Rhino that Spiderman has to do battle with. I do not in any way see how any team could pass up on this spectacular player who just dominates and gives quarterbacks fits. Clowney would be my first overall pick for any team that is there. Are you listening to me Jerry Jones? DeMarcus Ware is gone, Hatcher – gone, Spencer is looking for the door and Melton can’t do it alone.

This I know though, whoever gets the fortunate son of NCAA prodigy will undoubtedly have to pay him in silver and gold and not in Zimbabwe dollars, not in pesos, not in francs or U.S. Savings Bonds or bitcoins or U.S. paper currency that is losing its value every day thanks to the incredibly inept leaders of our nation.

The Life Of An NFL Dinosaur

As an NFL dinosaur who in the past had to listen to the local news radio station and write down the draft picks in the 1970s and then wait for the morning sports pages of the next two mornings because the draft went long into the night past the print deadline, today’s NFL child has instant gratification with the hype and personal stories of each player taken. Yes, these days, the average NFL student fan is knowledgeable about all the tangents of the pro day measurements and the senior bowl plays and interviews. Lundy’s Draft magazine is put out months before the event giving fans the ability to become pro scouts. Then you buy the Sporting News draft magazine and the USA Today before and after draft newspapers, all the while listening to your favorite team’s podcast or local radio station talk NFL draft for months before it starts. Then to be fair you purchase your local daily paper whenever you see mention of the NFL draft while you google through YouTube videos night after night to become the most underpaid, all knowing, all seeing eye of your favorite team.

You’ve got your NFL magazines from last year at the ready, your palms sweat in anticipation of finding out the size and arm length and hand size and jock size and exhausted you fall asleep spent, but only for an hour, then you’re back awake, wide awake as you think about a player you’ve yet to see highlights or games he played in so you can now watch it on your Iphone. (This was really me last night as I thought about what to write in this draft article.)

Who has fluid hips? Who has fluid hips? I wonder if that measurement of physical dexterity has ever once been a deciding figure in the final moments of a tight game? Personally, I like Shakira here.

How fast can that fat offensive lineman run? Does it matter? He’s a blocker. Do not give him the ball, if you do, he will surely fumble it. Can that quarterback jump high vertically? IT might be an important bit of tidy information if that quarterback was going to be your star player in a game of pickup basketball. Give me a quarterback who has an accurate percentage rate of at least 69% in college, then that will possibly work to 60% his rookie season.

Does the projected draft player even like the team that drafts him? I think money talks, but when you get that special magic of a team matched to the player’s favorite, you’ve got extra incentive on the player’s part to play at his best.

Who Else Is Good?

By now you must be thinking, is Wayne going to tell us who he likes in this year’s draft besides Clowney? Listen here, my entire fantasy football future could be on the line and if I say anything like these other draft gurus who think they know it all, then I am not representing my true skills as a self proclaimed NFL draft genius. My brother is almost daily nagging me with his little “Go Giants” mentality and displays of petty annoyances to disrupt my intense study of the game and the draft, and at age 53, you’d think that he’d know by now that the Giants make me jealous every year with their good picks and I’m getting a bit annoyed at him. When I sent him an Iphone text about who I liked so far that, I wanted Dallas to pick, he replied, “Yawn” and “Cowboys will lose Spencer to the Giants.” But we’ve been at each others’ throats since kids with our football arguments. He claims to be Wellington Mara’s favorite son occasionally, to which I reply with tales of New Jersey being the actual home, not New York and why is that anyway? Are they embarrassed to be called the New Jersey Giants?

My football knowledge goes way beyond the norm as I make predictions that some would call absurd and others “word.” For instance, if voters would actually take as much time to look at what is going on politically inside of our government, we wouldn’t be on the precipice of losing our freedoms to a bunch of God-hating communists. IF voters would insist on separation of football and state as much as church and state, I suppose Sundays wouldn’t be the same. Saturday is actually the Sabbath anyway as I understand it.

It’s getting late and I want to watch the television show reruns on Netflix of Friday Night Lights to see if Riggins gets the girl and the touchdown or if Matt Sorenson gets his grandma and the touchdown. Love that show. Riggins actually ran to Mars and came back on a battleship to fight aliens. It’s a true story that other draft gurus will not report on, I can almost guarantee it.

I bet Coach Taylor has his team looking for the downed Malaysian airliner 370 as I write.

I’ve got some ideas already on who I want to see my favorite team, the Cowboys, draft, but I just don’t know yet about doing an entire first day draft guess especially when they’ve got so many experts on ESPN and betting their last dime on draft picks.

I probably will at a date closer to the actual time install a mock draft unless Jerry Jones calls me for advice.

(If he wants my advice, make Jon Gruden headcoach and Clowney #1 pick) that is all… good night.