- DJ Gallo, ESPN.com
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After months of buildup, the first round of the NFL draft is complete and it’s time to render verdicts. Here are the winners and losers:
(Note: As always, there are only winners and losers. There is no in-between. This is a pass/fail kind of deal. Also, all grades are final and eternally binding. Do not try to argue. You are dealing with a draft expert here, OK?
Giant humans usually do well at the NFL draft, but the first round was especially good for the enormous this year. Three of the first four picks were offensive tackles. The first seven picks were offensive or defensive linemen, and 18 total were taken in the round.
Some 8,344 pounds of human were selected, for an average weight of 260.75 pounds per pick. I am announcing that as an NFL draft record without bothering to confirm it with anyone. And that jumps to 263.5 pounds per pick if you take away the sprite-like Tavon Austin, who someone should probably check on in case he was accidentally stepped on or devoured by a 300-pounder.
So it was a great night for the giant. Remember this next time you hear some egghead academic complaining that Americans are getting too large. Pfffft. Idiot. More fried everything, please. People from other countries can mock us all they want. Meanwhile, we’ll be dominating football games at the line of scrimmage.
Great night for the West Virginia quarterback. Look at all the positives:
• He doesn’t have to deal with the pressure of being a quarterback picked in the first round.
• Most every team passed over him -- a few multiple times -- meaning he has motivation against every opponent for the rest of his career.
• He probably set new personal highs on every game on his cellphone. While guys like E.J. Manuel were probably blowing through cash celebrating, Smith was dominating "Angry Birds."
Win, win, win, constant winning over those cocky pigs.
There is a school of thought that says the Patriots’ habit of constantly trading down in the draft has stocked their roster with quality players who allow them to dominate the likes of the lowly Bills, Jets and Dolphins every year and make the playoffs but has left them lacking in the high-end talent needed to win Super Bowls.
Whatever. Bill Belichick already has three Super Bowl rings. He’s focused on his goal of acquiring every pick in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. So much scrappiness available in that round. And the Patriots will get all of it. Then we’ll see who is criticizing whom when the Patriots have all of the intangibles and your team has none!
Draft TV ratings
After your team picked its new lineman Thursday night, what was the only reason you kept watching? Yep. To see where Manti Te’o would go. Only he didn’t go. Now you have to watch the second round of the draft to see where his fall ends. Ha-ha! There goes your weekend. There goes your plan to maybe get a social life.
Te’o has to be wishing that he had lain on his couch eating ice cream all day every day after his fake girlfriend died, packed on pounds and become a lineman. No one cares about the 40 time of a lineman. “With the first pick in the NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select 419-pound Notre Dame guard Manti Te’o!”
Poor guidance by his agent.
Erik Burkhardt and Jeff Nalley
They are Geno Smith’s agents. If you don’t buy all the stuff I said above about Smith being a draft winner, then these guys are the losers. They no doubt told Smith he would go early, prompting him to attend the draft -- only to be humiliated on national television. The only reason an agent should encourage his client to get humiliated on national TV is to get exposure on a reality TV show. The NFL draft is not reality TV! It’s people getting chosen based on how well they perform various stunts at the NFL combine. See? Totally not reality TV.
Combined NFL Draft overnight rating for ESPN/NFL Network? 5.85. Combined Heat/Bucks, Clips/Grizzlies? 4.1.
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) April 26, 2013
NFL regular-season games have long beaten World Series games in the ratings, but now the draft trumped playoff basketball. It’s time for Roger Goodell to finish off the competition. Televise a Jaguars practice during the NBA Finals, dominate the TV ratings and declare himself King of Sports.
Current NFL linemen
Looks like a whole bunch of you are getting cut thanks to all the new blood. You’d better put together a highlights package in hopes of catching on with a new team in the CFL. Make sure to leave off any fumbles you forced with your butts, unless butt fumbles count for points in the CFL. Attention CFL: If you don’t already do this, consider making butt fumbles equal to rouges or whatever you call them. Ratings gold.
No Big Ten players were taken in the first 30 picks of the draft -- and that’s even if you include players from Maryland and Rutgers, which reportedly have football programs -- whereas 12 SEC players were taken in the first round. And this in a year when everyone picked linemen. No one was even looking for speedy playmakers and still no love for the B1G. Ouch. It seems few teams see legends or leaders as a need position this year.
No running backs were selected in the first round for the first time since 1963.
This was probably referenced in a “Mad Men” episode.
“Hey, Don, did you see that no running backs were selected in this year’s draft?”
“Not right now. Can’t you see I’m engaged in an illicit affair?”
“Okay. Finish up soon, though. We have a big meeting with Lucky Strike in five minutes.”
But I digress.
It was not only a bad draft for running backs, but a bad draft for offensive skill position players. Only five were taken, meaning there are few shiny new things for us to reach for in our fantasy drafts this year. Your league idiot is probably going to draft a lineman this year.
“What do you mean Eric Fisher can’t get any fantasy points? He was the No. 1 pick in the draft, right? He must be awesome.”
Whichever movie theatre Ziggy Ansah stole his 3-D glasses from
Not cool, guy. You’re supposed to drop them in the box on your way out after the movie.
Not only did he get drafted by the Jets, which automatically gets you put in the losers category, but he’s a cornerback taken in the wake of Darrelle Revis and will forever be compared to one of the greatest cornerbacks in history by the New York media horde. That’s a tough position to be in. But mainly the Jets part is what puts him here.
The only quarterback taken in the first round was Manuel by the Bills, and he won’t be starting anytime soon. So all the lousy quarterbacks who finished last season will be starting again for their teams this season. Only now they’ll be passing behind much-improved offensive lines. They will have no excuses. What they will have is all day to sit back in the pocket and make poor decisions. This is going to be ugly. Pray for Jacksonville. Pray for Arizona. Pray for Tennessee.
Goodell’s bro hugs were way down this year. That was disappointing to the millions of us who tune in to see a 54-year-old man bro it out with some college kids. Although maybe Goodell chose to cut down on the hugs out of fear he would get crushed accidentally by one of the many enormous humans selected in this year’s first round. If that is the case, smart move, Mr. Commissioner. All it takes is one of them to not know their own strength and we’ve got a commissioner listed as Out (all of his ribs poking into his lungs). That’s a tough injury to emcee an event through.