It was Ohio State’s wry center, Doug Datish, who provided the pin that popped the balloon of self-importance affixed to many of the mock drafts already guzzling bandwidth and traffic throughout the World Wide Web.
“Do you know why it’s called a mock draft?” Datish rhetorically quizzed. “Because it doesn’t mean anything.”
Datish and Levi Brown both wandered into the media room this morning, a day after their offensive-line brethren conducted their press interviews. Both offered similar sentiments about mock drafts, although Datish’s was delivered sandpaper-dry, like Bob Newhart without the stammer.
Brown was more straightforward.
“I don’t want to get distracted by any of that,” he said. “It doesn’t mean anything. It’s not the real draft.”
It’s hard to get distracted here in Indianapolis, where a schedule as regimented as a boot camp’s greets the players, some of whom spoke to the media Friday. Here’s a few tidbits:
JASON HILL, WASHINGTON STATE
Wazzu possesses a sterling and well-deserved reputation for producing NFL defensive backs in recent years — two of whom are on the Broncos’ roster. Denver safety Hamza Abdullah and cornerback Karl Paymah are joined by 2003 first-round pick Marcus Trufant (Seattle) and three-year veteran Jason David of Indianapolis.
Hill practiced against Paymah, Abdullah and David repeatedly, and admitted that facing defenders of their ilk and character helped him flourish to the point where he ended his college career in the Senior Bowl.
DWAYNE BOWE, LSU
One word: Lasik.
Bowe underwent the procedure last July, and the results translated to the finest season of his football life, evidenced in eye-catching increases of 24 receptions, 280 yards and three touchdowns from his junior to senior campaigns. His improvement last fall, along with a strong Senior Bowl-week performance, can largely be credited to clear vision.
“Man, I can see the white lines, the grids,” Bowe said. “I can see the NCAA sign and everything.”
JORDAN PALMER, UTEP
Understandably, the questioning centered around the sibling relationship between him and Carson, the Cincinnati Bengals’ starting quarterback and the No. 1 overall pick in 2003. The junior Palmer doesn’t figure into the mix for the top selection.
The Palmers will join the Mannings — Eli and Peyton — in bringing brotherly love to the NFL. But while Jordan Palmer has met his doppelganger in the Manning family, he took a little more from the younger Detmer brother, longtime NFL backup Koy.
Detmer and Jordan Palmer share more than just younger-sibling status — they are also brothers to Heisman Trophy winners, with Ty Detmer earning the award in 1990, 12 years before Carson Palmer.
“I was at the Super Bowl at a deal and I met Eli but I actually spent a lot of time talking to Koy Detmer,” Jordan Palmer said. “He was a little before my era so I didn’t realize how similar our situations were. Eli was one of those guys that I always wanted to pick his brain.
“You can get a grasp of what it is like but it is different when you live with it your whole life.”
JOHN BECK, BRIGHAM YOUNG
Speaking of Ty Detmer …
“I was a big Ty Detmer fan growing up,” the former BYU quarterback said. So big, in fact, that he plans to name his soon-to-be-born son Ty.
“I’m pretty sure Ty knows. I know his brother Koy knows because we have the same agent. I’m pretty sure it got back to Ty. When I talk to Ty, we always talk about deer hunting.”
“I’ll probably be holding my kid in my arms as I’m watching TV,” Beck said.
Oh, and at 11:25 a.m. EST, the fire alarm shrieked midway through Vikings coach Brad Childress’ presser. Undaunted, he paused and solidiered forth — and so will we.