Now that the 2021 NFL Draft is officially in the rear-view mirror—the players have been picked, the classes have been graded and the glee and angst have subsided—I’d like to present to you the eight draft-related phrases I’m glad I don’t have to read or hear again until the next NFL Draft.
1: Check out my latest mock draft!
I did read yours. I couldn’t get to yours, however. But yours was great! I just didn’t have time to read yours, unfortunately. As for yours, I have a question: why did you have the Steelers picking Elvis Presley in your Mock Draft 222.0? Must have been a slow news day. Anyway, there were just so many mocks leading up to the actual draft that I didn’t have the time or energy to check them all out. For that, I sincerely apologize. Having said that, I am glad I won’t be asked to check out any new ones for a while, save for those “Way Too Early 2022 NFL Mock Drafts.” I won’t have time to check those out, unfortunately.
2: Bruh, your mock draft was wack, bruh.
Look, bruh, all mock drafts are inherently wack, bruh. It’s hard to get the first five picks right, let alone the first round. As for the rest of the draft, good luck. A great example would be the Cincinnati Bengals, a team that picked fifth. Everyone spent months assuming they would take Oregon tackle, Penei Sewell. But when the real thing arrived, Cincinnati went with LSU receiver, Ja’Marr Chase. It’s like the weather; you just never know, bruh.
3: Did you watch his tape?
No, I didn’t watch his tape. Why do you keep asking me that? Everyone knows I don’t break things down. I mean, I do watch highlights on YouTube after the draft, but that’s just so I can get all jacked up about Najee Harris or Pat Freiermuth!!!!!! Anyway, I may not know how to break down offenses or defenses, but I am pragmatic and know basic math. Therefore, if a prospect addresses a need and has an appropriate big board number, I’m pretty confident I can present an opinion that is almost as strong (or even AS strong) as the tape watchers.
4: Are you smoking crack?
That’s another mock draft thing and a typical rhetorical question asked when someone thinks one is wack, bruh—at least when it’s posted on Facebook. I can’t speak for anyone’s habits, nor do I know if that substance is linked in any way to creating wack mocks. Perhaps I should look into that before next year’s series of mock drafts are exposed to the Facebook community. I’ll let you know what I find.
5: The Steelers need to draft the best player available. Period.
This is usually written as a kind of “mic drop” response to any nuanced article about who the Steelers might select. I believe it’s said in every comments section of every article posted during every draft season. I don’t know who originally came up with this phrase, but they should have made sure it was copyrighted. Think of the royalties. Anywho, with so many big boards and wack mocks flying around out there, bruh, who’s to say who the best player available is at any point of any draft? Therefore, if the Steelers decide to pick the fourth-best tackle (24th, overall, on one of the big boards) instead of the second-best cornerback (17th, overall, on one of the big boards), is that so wrong—especially if the tackle addresses a bigger need?
6: If they draft him, I will smash my remote!
I’ve covered this a million times. Stop saying that. It makes me feel uneasy and uncomfortable. I hate violence. Also, you know how hard it will be to program the universal remote you’re going to have to buy to replace that television remote you smash into tiny pieces? I can never figure those things out, which is why I choose peace and serenity.
7. He offers great draft value.
No matter how many times this is explained to me, I can never truly grasp its meaning. All I know is it’s a huge deal for a lot of folks. For example, if the Steelers draft a player late in the first round, that could constitute horrible draft value. However, if another team selects that same player early in the second round, that could represent great draft value. Even if that player is selected in the first round and goes on to have a productive career, some will still say he should have been selected in a later round. What if he wasn’t available in a later round? Doesn’t matter.
I obviously don’t believe in draft value. Do you know what really represents great value? Holiday candy that’s slashed in half the day after a holiday. It’s one of the few scams that benefits the consumer. Oh, you can’t eat that Santa-shaped chocolate now that it’s December 26? Sure, I’ll mark it down 50 percent. No, it’s a totally reasonable thing to expect. It shouldn’t matter at all that it won’t expire until 2024. You can’t be eating candy that’s shaped like Frosty and Rudolph on New Year's.
Draft choices aren’t the equivalent of marked-down holiday candy. Do you know what every single draft choice—even Trevor Lawrence—would be in the supermarket world? That 25-cent can of whatever that doesn’t have a label. Sure, it could be beef stew (great value), but it could also be dog food (totally devoid of value if you are petless or have a cat). You never know what a draft choice is until you break out the can opener.
8: The Steelers filled a need by drafting (insert player here).
This might be my biggest draft pet peeve. So many people do it. So many speak in absolutes when discussing draft choices. Grades are predicated on this very notion. However, there’s a huge difference between filling a need and addressing one. It’s like when you go to the doctor and are given a prescription based on the symptoms that you present. Your doctor isn’t going to say, “Well, that’s all I need to do.” No, the medication is simply an attempt to address the problem. The doctor usually wants to do a follow-up where he or she conducts more tests and then studies the results as they do that doctor thing where they place their index finger under their nose and their thumb under their chin while folding one arm under the other.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will likely strike that same pose this summer as he watches his new rookies partake in their first NFL training camp. Unfortunately, it might take a little longer for him to truly know if his new draft picks will fill any of the needs that he addressed during the 2021 NFL Draft.