With the 2007 NFL draft coming up, we thought we’d take a moment to talk about the drama in drafts past in the hopes that this year’s 87-hour broadcast has some interesting things happen too. We’re really not that old, so most of this stuff is fairly recent. That said, the NFL draft wasn’t always the sports media event it is now. Part of that is thanks to a certain four-letter network. No, not the YES Network, you genius Yankee fans. But continue booing A-Rod. It doesn’t make you look like idiots at all.
Mel Kiper blasts the Colts then gets blasted
During the 1994 draft, Mel Kiper, who looks like Joey Buttafuoco and Count Chocula’s love child, went off on the Colts for taking Trev Alberts with the fifth pick in the draft. Everyone knew that was WAY too early to take Alberts, so Kiper just said what was on everyone’s mind. Colts GM Bill Tobin, um, disagreed:
“Who the heck is Mel Kiper anyway? He has no more credentials to do what he’s doing than my neighbor, and my neighbor’s a postman.”
Forget for a minute that Kiper was totally right about Trev Alberts. Forget that Alberts only played three years in the NFL. Forget that the Colts draft history reads like Pet Sematary. You can’t talk to Mel Kiper Jr. like that! He’s Mel freaking Kiper freaking Jr.! Wait a minute, what are his credentials anyway? I just thought he’d always been a part of the draft, like the commissioner shaking hands with the first round picks or something. Huh. Weird.
Eagles Fan LOVES Donovan McNabb
In defense of Eagles fan, the team has had some famously awful first-round picks, including Mike Mamula (1995), Siran Stacy (1992), and Freddie Mitchell (2001). But the real reason Eagles fan was upset was because they wanted Ricky Williams with the No. 2 pick in the 1999 draft. Champ Bailey and Tory Holt were available too. Instead they took future five-time Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb. And they booed the pick.
This is the classic case of a fan-base fixating on one player and failing to understand what its team may have been thinking. Sure, this pick could have turned out to be just as inexcusable, but their reaction was totally over the top. Like you needed another reason not to trust Philly fan’s opinion on anything. Oh well, here’s the proof.
John Elway goes Eli Manning on the Colts
John Elway isn’t going to play for your silly franchise, Baltimore. John Elway only plays for franchises that can win. In the 1983 draft, it was well known that Elway really didn’t want to play for the Baltimore Colts, essentially forcing the Colts to trade him. He ended up being dealt to the Broncos for Mark Herrmann, Chris Hinton, and a first-round pick that turned into a guy named Ron Solt. Ouch. This is ground zero of the Colts’ draft day disasters for years to come. Sure, they drafted some good players in the first round since 1982, but notice that none of them (except Marshall Faulk) did anything for the Colts. That of course ended when Peyton was taken in 1998 and they’ve had decent drafts since. Maybe they’re finally putting that whole Elway incident behind them. But this one isn’t as bad as….
Eli Manning goes John Elway on the Chargers
The 2004 draft went extremely well for the Chargers, except for this little disaster. Their other picks (Igor Olshansky, Nate Kaeding, Nick Hardwick, Shaun Phillips, Michael Turner, and Shane Olivea) are all key players on a team that went 14-2 last year. But Eli Manning wanted no part of this team before this draft. Like Elway, he said that he believed the franchise had no chance of success in the future. Luckily, the Chargers dealt him to the New York Giants and into the loving arms of Tom Coughlin, thus crippling any chance of success he could have had in the NFL. In hindsight, we feel good about how this turned out (Phillip Rivers, anyone?) but at the time and still today, Eli Manning is a douche. Thank you Eli for not wanting to play for San Diego. That was the best thing that could possibly have happened to the franchise.
The Vikings miss their pick
During the first round of the 2003 draft, the Vikings were trying to work out a trade with the Ravens for Minnesota’s seventh overall pick, but they took too long and had to “pass” on their pick. Quickly, the Jaguars jumped in and drafted Byron Leftwich then the Panthers drafted Jordan Gross. Finally, the Vikings got their card in and drafted defensive tackle Kevin Williams. Talk about a “drop the beer!” moment. How do you miss a pick? Looking back, this is the defining moment of the Mike Tice Vikings.
Warren Sapp is (was) high
So Warren Sapp, the most dominant defensive lineman to come into the draft in a long time, allegedly failed a drug test before the 1995 draft. Apparently, this fat dude liked to smoke marijuana. Insert “munchies” joke here. Okay, so going 12th overall isn’t that big a deal, but Sapp would have gone much, much higher without this little issue. (Shockingly) Jets fans booed when their team passed on him at No. 9 and instead took Kyle Brady.
Warren had to sit in the green room for an embarrassing amount of time. Turns out he did the Buccaneers a favor by hitting the bong though, since he was a key part of their Super Bowl win a few years ago. He is also a seven-time Pro Bowler and was the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
No one likes Aaron Rodgers
This one’s just funny. In 2005, Rodgers was expected to be a high first round pick and thus was invited to sit in the green room. However, he had to sit there for hours waiting for someone, anyone to draft him. He ended up going 24th overall to the Packers and is now Brett Favre’s backup, thus he’s totally irrelevant.
What will happen this year? Hopefully something along the lines of Mel Kiper Jr. throwing down with “expert” Merril Hoge, Pacman Jones making an appearance as a guest analyst, or JaMarcus Russell eating Stuart Scott. The possibilities are endless, we can’t wait.