NFL Draft: T-minus 48 hours. Here is the storyline I personally find most intriguing:
Every year I find a player to be obsessed about. (Most notably, there was the Harvard QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who reportedly scored a 100* on his Wonderlic, with enough time to spare that he could leave the testing room and tutor a couple other players, too. * - Hyperbole.)
Though I tend to favor late-round/UFA candidates from small Northeast schools (like New Hampshire WR David Ball), there's room for one more budding obsession: Amobi Okoye, the 19-year-old D-lineman from
Now, consider the implications: Forget his eligibility; the fact that he is rated as first-round material as a 19-year-old completely shatters the myth of an NFL age limit as anything more than arbitrary bullshit meant to stifle natural market forces and prop up the free talent pipeline.
Why aren't more people talking about this particular angle of the amazing (and hyper-covered) Okoye story? Sure, his age is a novelty. Sure, the kid is an academic genius and appears to be a genuinely nice guy.
But, more than any of those other things, he single-handedly obliterates the argument that age is a precondition for NFL draft-worthiness. Remember: We're not talking about him being drafted AT ALL; we're talking about him being a Top 10-15 pick.(Most amazingly, his uniquely young age has come up again and again as a draft PLUS. Because it is! Scouts can tout that factor because he's draft-eligible; god forbid they make a similar case about a draft-worthy college player who isn't age-eligible yet.)
Meanwhile, beyond that, let me throw a couple of broad discussion topics on the table:
(1) BEST: Who is your favorite prospect, regardless of position or team fit?
(2) IMPACT: Who is most likely to have the biggest impact in his rookie year, regardless of team fit?
(3) UNDERRATED: Who is the non-first-round pick in 10 years we'll be saying, "I can't believe he was passed up by so many teams?"
(4) OVERRATED: Who is the first-round pick in 3 years we'll be saying, "I can't believe he was drafted that high?"
(5) CLICHE: What is your favorite NFL Draft cliche?
See last year's Quickie the day before the Draft for my annual NFL Draft drinking game. For those too lazy to click, here's the list:
Cliche (number of sips)
"The next..." (1)
"Best player available" (1)
"Value pick" (-1)
"Big Board" (2)
"Great hips" (-2)
"Character guy" (3)
Anything about Mel's hair (5)
"But what do I know?" (10)
BONUS QUESTION: Which cliches am I missing and should be added to the game?
Also, if you're planning to live-blog the draft, drop me an email today or tomorrow with a link to your blog, and I'll list them all on Friday.
(To be honest, I'd just as soon follow the live-blogs via RSS feed reader than watch on TV. I'm just saying...)
Oh, and I'll also have an open post for your live-comments throughout the Draft weekend.
Update: Cold Hard Football Facts has a must-read AFC and NFC breakdown. Block your afternoon.
Update 2: How did I miss this morning that Michael Vick is being investigated for hosting dog- and cockfighting in an abandoned Virginia house? Herpes and hemp have nothing on this.