NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the podium during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
The upcoming NFL Draft is just over a week away. And that means the speculation and rumors will soon come to an end as we put away the mock drafts and make way for the real one.
I'm not much of an expert when it comes to the draft. I can't tell you if a player isn't getting his pads low enough or whatever. But I've been watching the draft since I was 14 years old, and I'm pretty sure I can predict almost exactly how this year's version will unfold. Why? Am I a prophet? No, but you might say I'm a scout of the NFL Draft itself, and I've picked up on some tendencies over the last 25 years or so.
Join me below as I give you a precap of this year's NFL Draft.
*There will be 32 picks in the first round. Some teams will make their picks based on need. Some teams will pick the best player available. And, of course, some teams will reach big time--they won't know that they're reaching at the time, but we'll be sure to point it out to them.
*The Steelers will almost certainly pick a player in the first round. Some of you will love it and sing the praises of the front office. Some of you will hate it and wonder why the team didn't select (insert player here) instead. And the rest of you will hold off judgment until like three years down the road.
*Some poor sap who had a productive college career will see his draft stock plummet based on an injury he suffered a few years ago (think Dont'a Hightower). Some lucky kid who maybe didn't have as productive of a college career will see his draft stock rise based on a really good combine showing or Pro Day (think Dontari Poe).
*There will be at least one first round draft prospect that everyone hates because of his really immature attitude and poor work ethic. There will be at least one lower round prospect that everyone loves because of his really awesome attitude and incredible work ethic. He may even have a very well-written blog.
*There are draft prospects out there right now who will wind up on future "Biggest Draft Busts of All-time" lists--they just don't know it yet.
*Some teams will be declared draft "winners." Others will be declared "draft "losers."
*Some expert will write a column or blog telling us that there really aren't any winners or losers on draft day, at least not right away. It takes years to evaluate a draft class. No need to grade the draft just yet.
*The next day, a few thousand publications will be available grading this year's draft.
*Mel Kiper's hair will stay the same for the entire three days of draft coverage.
*By the end of the first round, there will be at least a few prospects from Kiper's Big Board still available, and Mel will be astonished!
*Some guy on some blog will write that he can't stand Mel Kiper, his Big Board and his helmet-like hair.
*There will be a wide receiver drafted in the first round. There will be another drafted in the third. Why the difference in draft position? Productivity? Nope, .5 seconds in the 40 yard dash.
*Some kid will slip all the way out of the top 10 and be drafted like 17th or something. The team that winds up with him will be absolutely ecstatic to land such a gem that low in the first round. However, the prospect will be kind of dejected that he slipped that far. This will bruise his psyche, and he'll then become determined to train even harder to prove to everyone that he's more than just the 17th BEST PRO FOOTBALL PROSPECT IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! They may even do a story about it on "Outside the Lines." Oh, and he'll get a pretty rich contract to help him cope with his depression.
*There will be cameras in at least one team's war room, and we, as viewers, will get insight on the draft day thought-process and strategy.
*There will be no cameras in the Steelers war room. They don't do stuff like that because they're the Steelers.
*There will be at least one team that goes over its allotted draft time and gets skipped over by another team. The skipper will pick the player that the skippee wanted, and the skippee will be pissed. Too bad. You had like six months to go over every scenario, and you choked when you were on the clock. Heck, you could have just logged onto BTSC and taken a gander at our many mock drafts. We're here to serve you.
*On the final day of the draft, as the teams head for the finish line, there will probably be a feature on "Mr. Irrelevant," the guy who gets picked last in the entire draft. They'll probably mention last year's "Mr. Irrelevant" and show footage of him at Disney World or whatever he gets to do. Who was last year's "Mr. Irrelevant? It doesn't matter. It's, well, you know.
*Every team that picks a player in the first round will get the player that it targeted all along.
And finally, one last thing that will almost certainly happen during this year's draft:
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my precap/recap of the upcoming draft.
If you'd like, you can print this out and use it as a guide to help enhance your draft-weekend experience.