I love the NFL Draft. That buzz in April that, in every other year except for this year (damn lockout), starts the spring tradition of draft/rookie orientation/OTAs before the long slumber of the summer before Training Camp.
Unfortunately, there are a few things about the draft that I severely lack in. One is player analysis. I will admit that I do not have the patience to watch hours of film on college players who might become Green Bay Packers. I’ll leave that to places like this, and this, and this, who do the work for me and I can sit back and read analysis I could never provide.
The other thing I cannot do is a mock draft. I love to read them, won’t even attempt to do one, probably because I would bat a stellar .000 with my prediction. I refuse to delve into the mind of Ted Thompson and try to figure out what he will do anymore. Plus, Alex already did the best mock draft ever, so there is no need to add to that.
So what I started thinking about was drafts gone by, and what I was thinking about the weeks leading up to a particular draft. For me, there is no where else to start than 1989.
I thought Tony Mandarich was the shit in 1989. I bought his Sports Illustrated cover specifically because I thought he was going to be the man around Green Bay for years. A towering, terrifyingly strong offensive lineman who would protect the quarterback of whatever team selected him for years. Everyone said the Cowboys were going to draft Troy Aikman, so logic would dictate that the Packers would pick Mandarich. Don Majkowski would be safe for years, allowing the 7-9 step drops in the Lindy Infante offense to flourish, leaving opposing defenses in the dust.
So after the draft had taken place, and the Packers picked him, I went back to school mocking everyone else. “Look who we got!” showing the cover of SI. Who needs Troy Aikman, or Barry Sanders, or Deion Sanders? We’ve got the guy who won’t allow a sack his entire career, the one who makes opposing teams defenders run the other way when coming off the line to run block.
And as we all know, none of this was ever the case.
I learned at a very young age a few things about the NFL Draft. One, I am not an expert, and never pretend to be. I would just get laughed and was for years because of my bold predictions about the Incredible Bust. Secondly, and more importantly, I never subscribe to all the hype about any one particular player. Why? Because for every Tony Mandarich in the world, the one who was supposed to be something huge and never amounted to much, there is a story like this one, about a player who most probably never gave a second thought about on draft day and went on to be one of the best ever to put on the green and gold.
Filed Under: John Rehor