Welcome, fellow Viking fans! It's that time of year again, when hope springs eternal for all 32 NFL teams, even if Roger Goodell is trying his best to rain on our parade. As Ted mentioned earlier, he's representing Daily Norseman live at Winter Park and rubbing elbows with the Scoggins, Zulgads, and Pelisseros of the world. I'll be keeping busy updating the site since Chris is at a military event that he's absolutely thrilled to be attending.
Rather than just having a generic "open thread" for the hundreds of comments from the DN faithful, I decided to do one of my favorite things as a sports writer--rip off Bill Simmons--and do a running diary. Veterans of our site will remember me doing something similar two years ago, back when the draft was on a Saturday and a guy could enjoy more adult beverages than now, when the draft is on a work night. (Speaking of adult beverages, for those that want to be blackout drunk by pick #6, here's the 2011 NFL Draft Drinking Game.)
Just like two years ago, I'm watching the draft with a group of friends. Thankfully there are no Packer fans in sight this time around, although one of my buddies does look alarmingly similar to Aaron Rodgers. (But we won't hold that against him. He's used that to his advantage in bars since the Pack won the Super Bowl.)
Keep refreshing this post every 10-15 minutes or so to keep up with pick-by-pick analysis of the draft and other general smartassery as the night goes on.
6:30: OK, here's the first big question of the night--do we watch the draft mostly on the NFL Network to get superior draft coverage, or do we watch ESPN for more opportunities to crack Chris Berman jokes? Let us know in the comments and we'll go from there.
7:20: What. A. Nightmare. My friend's internet didn't work...thanks to my Computer Science degree (and plugging straight into his router) I'm finally back online. Great start, right?!
Let's go through our first three picks briefly to get up to speed:
1. Cam Newton to the Panthers: He was the "obvious" choice, but the mood around the room is that nobody likes that pick for Carolina. Good thing God gave Cam this pick.
2. Von Miller to the Broncos: Solid, versatile pick for Denver. No sarcastic remarks here.
3. Marcell Dareus to the Bills: Hey, a first-round draft pick for Buffalo that might actually start!
7:24: A.J. Green to the Bengals, also known in Cincy's front office as "the guy that will hopefully get Carson Palmer back as long as he replaces Ochocinco and T.O." I still don't think Palmer is coming back, but it was a nice gesture.
7:26: By the way, we're watching ESPN, just because making fun of Chris Berman is too easy. And with all of the technical problems we've had so far, I don't trust my friends to find the NFL Network successfully.
7:28: Food and drink in the Man Cave: Jimmy John's (#11, no tomatoes is always the way to go), an 18-pack of Michelob Golden Light, and a 6-pack of Two Hearted Ale. At least we didn't screw that up so far.
7:29: Does anyone else hate these spoilers from the "sideline reporters" that come 45 seconds before the actual pick is announced? The only positive part is that I don't have to look up from my screen at Goodell.
7:30: Patrick Peterson goes to the Cards. Hopefully he's the only CB that goes before us. Say what you will about Prince Amukamara, but I couldn't be more giddy about the "Purple Rain" jokes!
7:32: My buddies just gave me crap about "what you writin'?", a la Stewie Griffin giving Brian crap about his book. I played the video. We had a good laugh.
7:34: WHOA!!! OUR FIRST TRADE!!! Cleveland gives their pick to ATL...more info to come on what was traded. Looks like they're going after Julio Jones. That noise you hear is Matt Ryan shouting for joy. Meanwhile, how about that Twins game today? Francisco Liriano everyone!!
7:36: We are having a field day with Julio Jones dentistry jokes. Unfortunately, I can't print any of them here. Jones to Atlanta it is...I guess Aaron Rodgers dicing through their defense in the playoffs wasn't much of a concern.
7:39: My friend Jake says Pat Williams and Dareus look a lot alike. Someone Google image them and post it in the comments.
7:41: Our friend's 2 1/2 year old daughter is trying to "entertain" us during the draft. We may or may not be counting down the minutes (seventeen) until bed time.
7:42: Wow, Aldon Smith this early--I like him, but there are a handful of DEs I would have picked first. Blaine Gabbert is still on the board...by the way, did anyone else see "Just A Puppy" listed under "Concerns" for Smith? WTF?!
7:45: DOUBLE WOW!!! Jake Locker to the Titans! Now only if Washington wasn't ahead of us...I'm truly stunned here. This pick got the first "WHHHOOOOOOOOAAAAAHHH!!" of the night from the room.
7:48: After Gruden verbally fellates Locker for a few minutes, Berman (of course) makes the first completely unnecessary Brett Favre reference. Of course he did. After ESPN showed Blaine Gabbert uncomfortably trying to look comfortable, there were a few "Sunshine from Remember the Titans" comparisons made. I can see it.
7:52: How come Todd McShay isn't allowed on set for the draft? Does Mel Kiper have some sort of contract in play here?
7:54: Hey look, it's the first pick since Newton that people expected! Tyron Smith goes to the Cowboys. On an unrelated note, I like Tyron Smith less than I did two minutes ago.
7:56: Not a lot of chatter going on at the moment...just lots of shoveling Jimmy John's chips into mouths. (They just showed up 5 minutes ago.) On an unrelated note, my keys have jalapeno chip dust all over them.
7:58: My friend's TV just had a message show up that Grey's Anatomy is about to record. He swears it's his wife. OK Ryan.
8:00: The new Transformers movie looks pretty cool...but how can you tell which robot is on which side? Meanwhile we have another trade--the Redskins traded to the Jaguars, and our Blaine Gabbert dream is over. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. Are the Vikings looking to get GINGERVITIS?
8:06: So many possibilities in play right now. Especially if Houston picks someone other than Prince. There's lots of good talent available on the board; I hope we don't trade down. The Texans picked a CB in the first round last year...
8:08: Looks like Ted's guy JJ Watt is going to Houston! PRINCE PRINCE PRINCE PRINCE PRINCE please!!
8:09: Ladies and gentlemen...we're on the clock.
8:14: Aww bummer. Sounds like we're trading down, since we really wanted Locker. Why don't we pick Prince here?!
8:17: You. Are. Kidding. Me. Christian Ponder?! In the first round?!?! You know it's bad when all the ESPN analysts start chuckling at the pick. Cripes.
8:25: Fairley and Suh are going to beat the hell out of...Christian Ponder...for years to come. Sorry, still a little shell-shocked in the Man Cave. Someone, please talk me into this pick.
8:30: Robert Quinn goes to the Rams. Nice fit for St. Louis. Not gonna lie, the mood is pretty bad in the Man Cave. It's like we found out a family member is terminally ill. I'm getting flooded with text messages of two varieties:
1. Vikings fans with various forms of the following message: "Ponder?!"
2. Packers fans with various forms of the following message: "HAHAHAHAHAHA NICE PICK!"
Again, not a good sign. Meanwhile, we're about to lose two members of the Man Cave--the Ponder pick has depressed them too much.
8:50: Sorry for the little delay; I had to post our pick over at SB Nation Minnesota since Ted is busy covering the Leslie Frazier press conference. Meanwhile, here are the picks in the past 20 minutes:
Mike Pouncey to the Dolphins. He's not as good as his brother, but he'll help Miami.
Ryan Kerrigan to the Redskins. You think that Washington thought Ponder would slip to them here? Did we just ruin Dan Snyder's day? If so, that makes me feel better about our pick. (Also, what makes me feel better about Ponder--check out the picture of his girlfriend in the comment thread. YOWZA!)
Nate Solder to the Patriots. I bet they wanted Pouncey, but Solder's size + New England's coaching should be a good fit.
8:57: San Diego is apparently too Liuget to quit. Corey Liuget, that is. The mood in the Man Cave has gone from "well maybe Ponder will be good" to "let's just get this first round over with so we can make up for this tomorrow in the second round."
8:59: The Giants fans at Radio City Music Hall are chanting "WE WANT PRINCE! WE WANT PRINCE!" Hey, that's my line.
9:01: Those Eli Manning turnover stats made me smile a little. Meanwhile, my friends don't get how I can constantly type for two hours and counting like this. "Are you like actually talking to people this whole time or what?" Nerds. Oh wait, I'm the nerd, aren't I?
9:02: Loving how the fans lustily boo Goodell every time he approaches the podium. The Giants get what I consider the steal of the draft thus far--Prince Amukamara at #19. We should have drafted him just for his family's clothes and headwear! Wow!
9:13: Bucs go with Adrian Clayborn at #20--solid pick there. My old roommate, a huge Bucs fan, approves via text. And he doesn't approve much. And like clockwork, Berman throws in his obligatory "creamsicle jersey" reference. Yeah, we get it Boomer, you think the jerseys are neat. Personally I'm just counting down the minutes until I head out to meet Ted at Don Pablo's in Eden Prairie. I need to discuss this pick with a fellow blogger right about now.
9:22: Ladies and gentlemen, your Madden 12 cover athlete, Peyton "The Avalanche" Hillis! (Side note: how made is EA Sports that they opened up the competition to fan voting this year? I'm sure Hillis will just send copies flying off the shelves.) The Browns traded with the Chiefs to get to #21, and they pick up Phil Taylor out of Baylor. Hey, that rhymes.
9:28: Just spent the past few minutes watching this video of Ponder vs. Oklahoma this past season. I must say, I was impressed with his running ability, and he does have an arm...
9:29: Meanwhile, the Colts picked Anthony Costanzo. My friend Jake left before he could make his obligatory "Costanzo/Costanza" joke. Too bad.
9:32: Oh look, Goodell had to resort to bringing military people to the stage in order to get some applause. First good thing Roger has done in the past three months. Good touch on "Proud to be an American" playing in the background! U-S-A! U-S-A!
9:37: The Eagles draft Danny Watkins. On an unrelated note, I like Danny Watkins much less than I did two minutes ago. Pretty cool firefighter story though.
9:39: Some awkward time killing by the ESPN boys waiting for the New Orleans pick to come in. Looks like they're going with Cameron Jordan, not Mark Ingram--pretty surprising. STEVE JORDAN REFERENCE! I love how Gruden didn't know where he went to school. Tom Jackson must have been screaming BROWN UNIVERSITY! at his TV.
9:52: Pretty surprised that the Seahawks didn't go with QBOTF with Mallett and Dalton still on the board. If I was about ten years older, I'd have a clever song reference for James Carpenter, but I don't.
9:58: Did the Ravens just pull a Vikings?! Wow!! They passed!! Hilarious! We're no longer "that team" all by ourselves!
10:05: The Chiefs make a mild surprise pick with Jonathan Baldwin. We're seriously just waiting for this to be over with. I need some more time to just sit and ponder...Ponder. (Yep, get ready for thousands of those puns in the next few days.) The Ravens do go with Jimmy Smith--one of the best fits of the first round. If Lewis & company can keep him in line, he'll be a heck of a player. (By the way Jimmy--if you want to improve your image, don't sit next to Drew Rosenhaus with a Godfather t-shirt on.)
10:16: The Saints trade back into the first round with the Patriots (go figure, the Pats stockpiled draft picks). They go with Mark Ingram this time around, and Suzy Kolber makes him cry by reading a letter from his incarcerated dad. At least Berman didn't yell "MAAAAAAARK Ingram". That would have been weird.
10:20: The Bears pick Gabe Carimi, and I gotta admit, I really like that pick. Dammit.
10:29: Rounding out the first round:
The Jets went with Muhammad Wilkerson. I know that a lot of Packer fans wanted him, so I really, really like this pick for the Jets.
Pittsburgh picked Cam Heyward, son of the late Craig "Iron Head" Heyward. One of my favorite players of the Tecmo Bowl era.
And the last team picked someone. Blah blah blah, I don't care.
10:31: Well that's it for me boys and girls--I think four hours in front of the computer on this site after eight hours in front of a computer at work is plenty for one day. I hope you enjoyed the ramblings--judging from the nearly 1000 comments (and counting), I'd say we have a lot to talk about in the next few days. Stay tuned for Round 2 tomorrow!