Welcome ladies and gentlemen! Eric here, live from my buddy's palacial Fargo apartment. Although the flood scare has come and gone, he lives close enough to the river where it's still only about 50 yards from his place. Pretty surreal. I'm sitting here with my group of friends eagerly awaiting the draft. (Note: One of them is a Packers fan, so I'll only call him an "acquaintance".) I'll be here throughout the first round posting my thoughts and observations about everything I see in the next few hours. Be sure to check back and refresh this post every 15-30 minutes to keep up with my latest ramblings.
2:48: We're almost ready to rock! Of course the #1 pick is already decided thanks to the Detroit Lions grossly overpaying Matt Stafford last night. Over forty-one million dollars guaranteed for someone who's never played a down...only in the NFL. If this isn't a case for an NBA-style rookie salary cap, I don't know what is.
Great end-of-game here between Denver and New Orleans as a preview on ESPN...I'm still amazed that NBA coaches get paid so much to draw up plays that are only slightly more organized than 3rd grade gym class. Carmelo's desperate heave of a shot probably wasn't what George Karl drew up.
2:52: Wow that half-court shot was close! New Orleans is still alive. Now bring on what we came here for! Time for upsides, overhypes, Berman, Kiper, McShay, and of course, boos from Jets fans!
2:55: Wow, great start by ESPN--bringing out Erin Andrews and Rachel Nichols in the first 2 minutes! And Jim Schwartz, can you be any creepier in that interview? He looks ridiculously nervous...I guess I would be too if I just gave someone $41.7 million.
Side note: We stopped at the liquor store before the game, and let's just say we aren't going to run out any time soon. An excellent grab-bag of Mojo Risin', Rush River Bubblejack, Bell's Two Hearted Ale, Michelob Golden Light, Coors Light, AC&ME IPA beer, Jagermeister, and some mint-chocolate liquor we had last time we were in Fargo. Good times. The first drinking game rule: take a drink every time you hear "upside". So if I can't spell by 4:00, you know what happened.
2:59: Berman said it best--ARE YOU READY FOR SOME NFL DRAFT?!?!
3:03: Our first Roger "I AM THE LAW!" Goodell sighting. After an awkward attempt at hyping up the crowd, he announces the inevitable Matt Stafford pick. Of course, the Jets fans greet him with boos. Great start. We just decided to add "arm strength" as one of our drinking phrases.
3:07: One of my buddies' neighbors just stopped over. He's a Bucs fan that went to the University of Florida, and he claims Erin Andrews is even hotter in person. He is my new hero.
3:10: Debated drinking every time we hear "Mark Sanchez", but we all decided against the inevitable alcohol poisoning.
3:15: The Rams go with Jason Smith--smart, predictable pick there in my opinion. Bulger still has something left if he can stay upright for more than a second or two.
3:17: Our first Coors Light coach commercial of the day...I think we're going to get beaten over the head with those today.
3:20: I remember how much I used to love Berman when I was about 13...and I think that's why most sophisticated football fans don't like him.
Herm Edwards is here! "Hey coach, how would you destroy your old team with the #3 pick?" Herm Edwards was a piss-poor coach, but I think he'll actually be a pretty decent analyst. WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!
3:24: Done with beer #1...so does that mean I'll have 16 beers down by the end of the first round? Meanwhile, the Chiefs just selected Tyson Jackson. It's a stretch to pick him that high, but he's a good fit for the 3-4 scheme in KC.
3:30: That ESPN touch screen thing has to be one of the dumbest wastes of money in the history of broadcasting. Just because you have the technology doesn't mean you have to use it.
This Seattle pick is going to change how the rest of the first round goes. And they pick...Aaron Curry! I really like that pick for them, especially over Sanchez or Crabtree. Plus, Curry gave us our first crier of the draft! Congrats, you big, rich sissy. On the plus side, the big momma's boy got to talk to Erin Andrews. Awww.
Note: That Seahawks neon green is easily the worst color on any uniform in major sports. Yeesh.
3:39: Ooooh, a trade!! The Jets just traded up from 17 to 5, obvoiusly setting them up to pick Mark Sanchez. If you can make the (most of the) Jets fans at the draft cheer, you obviously made a pretty bold move. I'm not completely sold on Sanchez. He walks the NFL franchise QB walk, but it remains to be seen whether he'll back it up on the field. One solid college year doesn't make you a stud.
I love ESPN's shots of the two pouting Jet fans. It just goes to show you can't please everyone. By the way, did ESPN give out a mandate NOT to say "upside"? I don't think I've heard it once! Maybe it's only a 2nd-round word.
3:46: Not a bad haul for the Browns in return. They still get the 17th pick, which will cost about $10 million less than Sanchez, a 2nd-rounder later today, and a few bodies. If Curry was still there at #5 the Browns probably take him, but I have no problem with that move if I'm a Cleveland fan.
3:51: The Bengals pick Andre Smith instead of Eugene Monroe at tackle...this makes total sense for all the wrong reasons. A big talent with work ethic and attitude problems? Welcome to Cincinnati!
3:58: Another perfectly bad fit at #7...Darrius Heyward-Bey, aka "The Next Troy Williamson". He's perfect for the vertical passing game Al Davis has been in love with since 1979; I'm sure he'll enjoy watching passes from Russell sail over his head next year. I just bet a shot against my buddy that the Jags are going with Crabtree at 8. He took "the field". Please, Jack Del Rio, I do NOT want Jag this early in the day!
4:05: Shit. Eugene Monroe to the Jags. Kids, don't drink and blog.
4:10: Hey ESPN, quit giving the pick away before it actually happens! Obviously, the Packers take B.J. Raji at 9. My Packers buddy approves, and I must say I do too. Solid pick for that weak D in Wisconsin.
4:13: And your 2009 Brady Quinn Award for the saddest face at the NFL Draft goes to...Michael Crabtree! Can the Vikes trade up for him?? Hmm...
4:17: I thought McShay would be more heavily involved with the ESPN broadcast. I had a theory that Mel Kiper was the Paula Abdul of ESPN's draft coverage, and he was slowly getting phased out by the newer, younger, flashier replacement. But it appears that Mel still rules the roost.
4:21: And Crabtree can put on that happy face! Great pickup for the Niners. He'll have fun watching Shaun Hill's passes land at his feet next year.
4:25: Forgot to mention that we're now drinking every time Erin Andrews is on camera. Double the fun!
4:27: Aaron Maybin to the Bills. He'll have fun answering questions about T.O. next year.
4:31: The Broncos pick Knowshon Moreno. The lady from his family in the pink shirt just accidentally showed her butt crack. Whoops. I'd usually make the "and he just gained 1,000 yards" joke, but Mike "unhealthy tan" Shanahan is no longer there.
And wow, the Redskins go super-quick with Orakpo! Another good pick. Saints on the clock--they have to go defense, right?
4:36: Hey Donald Brown! Entourages...you're doing it wrong.
4:43: And the Saints do go with defense, Malcolm Jenkins. Bold prediction: the Saints secondary won't suck as bad next year.
4:45: Brian Cushing to the Texans. And if that brunette is his girlfriend, he hit the jackpot well before Houston picked him.
4:52: The Chargers go with Larry English. Believe it or not, I didn't catch too many Northern Illinois games this year so I won't pretend to know if this was a good pick or not. Meanwhile, I just bet my Packer buddy a shot that the Browns are going defense. This is the best draft ever, and the Vikes haven't even picked yet!
4:57: The Bucs strangely moved up a whopping two spots to 17...Josh Freeman here? They gave up a 6th rounder to do it; pretty bizarre.
5:01: Yep, they went with Freeman, aka "The Next Tarvaris Jackson". I thought QB-happy Jon Gruden got fired? The Bucs fan here isn't exactly thrilled with this pick, and I can see why.
5:06: The Broncos go defense with Robert Ayers. It's now a certainty that Harvin will be available at 22, but I really think Philly will go with Maclin.
Meanwhile, GREAT SportsCenter commercial with Drew Rosenhaus and Scott Van Pelt. Rosenhaus represents all that's wrong with the NFL these days, but he can poke fun at himself pretty well.
And Cleveland trades down YET AGAIN! Looks like Philly will take Maclin two picks earlier. I really like what the Browns are doing today. They have to be threatening to pick the guy that the other team wants...brilliant strategy.
5:13: Yep, Maclin to the Eagles. Let the great Harvin debate begin again...
5:15: If you haven't done the Streak for the Cash on ESPN yet, you need to start doing it. We've all been doing it here throughout the draft, and it's the most addicting game I've ever played.
5:21: The Lions continue to amaze me, going offense with Pettigrew. I guess they have another pick at 33, but they really need help on D...
5:27: Alex Mack to the Browns, who finally picked. VIKES ARE ON THE CLOCK!
THE PICK IS IN!
MICHAEL OHER LOOKS PISSED!
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOUR NEWEST MINNESOTA VIKING, PERCY HARVIN!
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, START YOUR BONG JOKES!!!
As I've said here many times before, I'd rather have Hakeem Nicks here. But I can't complain with the Harvin pick. He makes our offense potentially a lot more interesting...now only if Brad Childress can utilize him like he should.
I hope our site doesn't crash.
5:35: After taking a quick peek through the comments, it appears that your attitude is cautious optimism for the most part. I completely agree with you there. Meanwhile, the Pats traded their pick to the Ravens, a curious choice since they already have 11 picks stockpiled for this draft. And the Ravens pick Oher...a pick I would have also been happy with. He's a great story.
5:41: The Falcons go with Peria Jerry. I'm happy only because I had "defense" on my ESPN Streak for the Cash with that pick. Seriously guys, this game is like free sports betting crack. Go sign up now.
5:46: The Dolphins go with Vontae Davis, who was originally Gonzo's selection for the Vikings at 22. He's a stud, and a great addition to Miami. Meanwhile, I'm 4 beers and 4 Jag shots deep...now THAT'S multitasking kids! Thank goodness I decided to only blog during the first round, because typing is becoming more and more meticulous by the minute. Dude, I just used the word "meticulous". Hehe.
5:53: The Patriots are obviously copying the Browns' blueprint for success, trading their pick for the second time today to the Packers. My
d-bag friend Packers fan buddy applauded the Clay Matthews pick by exclaiming "YES!! ANOTHER WHITE LINEBACKER!" Meanwhile, Rey Maualuga eagerly awaits his chance to hump Erin Andrews again.
6:03: The Colts go with Donald Brown...I really liked watching him in college. It gives them depth at RB with the oft-injured Addai, but I think they could have addressed a more pressing need there.
6:05: Eric Wood to the Bills. Three or four more solid OL guys and the Bills will have a good offensive line next year.
And my personal best 7-win streak on Streak for the Cash came to a crashing halt thanks to that pick. I will now bathe in hydrochloric acid.
6:09: The GEEEEEEEEE-MEN select my man-crush, Hakeem Nicks. Now I have to cheer against him Week 17...and I'll be OK with that eventually. My buddies are getting pretty drunk, especially the lightweight Packers fan here; thank goodness I'm "taking it easy" and blogging. Fargo bartenders, I apologize in advance for tonight.
6:18: The Titans go with Kenny Britt, a great "need" pick for them. Oh crap, I've been watching the draft too long; I'm talking like Mel Kiper!
6:31: The Cardinals went with Beanie Wells, and to finish off the first round, the champs went with Ziggy Hood. Wow, I'm really approving of most of these first round moves. Maybe I'm just being nice because the beer is kicking in?
Well, that concludes my live blogging for the day. Three and a half hours of fun. Check out Gonzo's second round thread for more. Enjoy the rest of the draft, and make sure to stay tuned to see what the Vikings do with their pick. I'm going to have a couple more beers (who am I kidding, way more than that) and enjoy the Fargo night life. Cheers, and don't get dunked on by Patrick Chewing!