Welcome to Christmas morning, NFL-style.
I’ve long believed that draft day was the NFL’s answer to the gift-giving tenet of the holiday, when coaches, scouts, personnel executives and fans bolt to the tree — or in this case, the television set — to find out what Santa Claus dropped underneath the adorned branches. The anticipation towards Christmas and the draft just might exceed the moment itself.
The difference, however, is that you don’t know how the gifts will work out. Sure, a sixth-round pick about whom you don’t know much might elicit the same reaction as crew socks. But imagine if there was a possibility that those humdrum socks could transmogrify into a PlayStation 3. That’s what the draft can do; that heretofore anonymous mid-to-low-round selection can turn into Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe or Karl Mecklenburg.
And befitting a kid on Christmas morning, I can’t sleep.
The draft begins at 10 a.m. MST, and for the first time in the televised era of the draft, we won’t be treated to a distinctively nasal tone imparting the selections. Gone are the unmistakable voices of Pete Rozelle and recently retired Paul Tagliabue; in are the smooth, measured tones of new Commissioner Roger Goodell.
But that’s cosmetic and relatively irrelevant. For the Broncos, this could be a day to change the course of the next few years. Last year certainly provided such a crucial flashpoint with the trade up to pick Jay Cutler and the deal to acquire Javon Walker; those two acquisitions established perhaps the two most crucial tenets of the team’s passing game for the next few years.
If the Broncos hold on to their pick, they will turn in the draft card no later than 3:15 p.m. MDT, assuming everyone in front of them takes the allotted 15 minutes. A more realistic guess, however, is that the Broncos will select somewhere around 1:40 p.m., assuming a few teams are quick to pick.
Denver’s picks are as follows:
Round 1: No. 21 overall
Round 2: No. 56 overall
Round 3: Nos. 70 and 86 overall
Round 6: Nos. 176 and 198 overall
Round 7: No. 233 overall
Nothing says change like the draft, and few junctures in recent league history have seen more alterations than the last 10 months.
There’s the new commissioner. A tougher discipline policy. A new generation of quarterbacks, including Cutler. Cripes, even the hoary, tradition-bound Steelers just introduced an as-yet-unnamed mascot, and he looks nothing like the grime-coated, Western-Pa., salt-of-the-earth steelworkers we saw in All the Right Moves, Slap Shot and any number of 1980s Budweiser commercials.
But that’s neither here nor there.
The hours until the draft are dwindling. The storylines will be manifold. It’s time to stop speculating and start unwrapping.
Tags: 2007 Draft