This past weekend was a big one for the world of sports. The NBA playoffs began (go Heat!), the NHL playoffs continued (go Preds!), and most importantly, at least in my eyes, all seven rounds of the NFL draft were broadcasted. As an avid football fan, I have always loved the NFL draft. It’s the time when all of my favorite college players finally get their shot at the big leagues. It’s the time when my two favorite teams, the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins, get to decide which players might change the future of their franchise. I get to immerse myself in football for three straight days, watching the draft at night, watching SportsCenter and the NFL Network during the day, and browsing Bleacher Report in my free time. It’s always a great weekend for me, and this past weekend was definitely my best draft weekend ever.
I know a lot of you are not as into football as I am, but I know that some of you probably want to know more about it. Knowing a few key facts about the draft will help you a lot going into the 2012-2013 football season. So scroll down and learn a little more about what went on this past weekend. Your newfound football knowledge will also give you major “relationship potential” when talking to guys this summer.
*NOTE*If any of this interests you at all, or if you want to learn a little bit more about football, check out bleacherreport.com, my favorite source for sports information. They update regularly and always have interesting articles about my favorite teams!
1) The Colts draft Andrew Luck. When Peyton Manning underwent season-ending neck surgery last year, the Indianapolis Colts headed into a downward spiral that only sucked them in more as the season progressed. The team that consistently went to the playoffs found itself 2-14 last year, and so began the saying “suck for Luck.” Andrew Luck, the Heisman candidate quarterback from Stanford, looked like he would be the number one draft pick for 2012, and the team that does the worst always receives that pick. Suddenly, the Colts almost wanted to play badly, just so they could get that number one pick. About a month ago, Indianapolis officially released Peyton Manning, who had been their franchise quarterback since 1998, and just a few days ago, Andrew Luck finally became a Colt. Their remaining picks were used mostly on offense to protect Luck, but this might prove a problem for their struggling defense. The question remains: will Luck be enough to resurrect the Colts?
2) The Redskins trade up for RGIII. Another top draft pick this year was Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, the Baylor quarterback who proved himself to be not only an amazing player, but also a great leader, versatile athlete, and good person. The Washington Redskins traded with the St. Louis Rams to acquire the second pick of the draft and were able to get RGIII, the dynamic player who might finally put a face to their franchise. But will he be successful in the NFL? That is a question that will remain unanswered until the 2012-2013 season, and should be paid close attention to as the season progresses. The Redskins also drafted quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round, definitely a weird choice for a team who traded so many high picks to get RGIII.
3) Trent Richardson goes to the Browns. If you paid any attention to SEC football this year, you surely heard about Trent Richardson, the dynamic Alabama running back who breaks tackles with superhuman strength and can bench 475 pounds “easily.” The Browns, the team with the most picks in the draft, chose Richardson to join them in Cleveland and hopefully to help their team’s struggling offense. But the Browns almost definitely made a bad choice in drafting Brandon Weeden in the first round, the 28-year-old quarterback who will compete with incumbent QB Colt McCoy this year. The Browns always have a rough go with the draft, but hopefully superstar Trent Richardson will help them out during the upcoming season.
4) Michael Floyd goes to the Cardinals as the draft’s 13th pick. Justin Blackmon of OSU and Michael Floyd of Notre Dame were considered the top two receivers in the NFL draft for quite some time. The question was which would go first and to where. Blackmon went first, to Jacksonville, and is expected to finally give developing quarterback Blaine Gabbert a target. But Floyd went to the Cardinals, home of one of the best receivers in the league, Larry Fitzgerald. Some might have considered this a conflict of interest, but it was Fitzgerald himself who wanted Michael Floyd to join him as a Cardinal. The addition of Floyd shows that Arizona is trying to help new quarterback Kevin Kolb by giving him more throwing targets, and it will also help Fitzgerald perform better, as defenses will have to block two separate receivers. It should be interesting to see how the two play together on the field, and if Fitzgerald was right for wanting Floyd to join him.
*Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward went to the Green Bay Packers; the quarterback of the Packers is Aaron Rodgers, brother of Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers. Interesting coincidence... or is it?
*The Patriots surprised everyone by picking Illinois safety Tavon Wilson in the second round, when several solid defensive backs remained unchosen. Wilson does show versatility and good character, which are two qualities valued by Patriots coach Bill Belichick. But it will be interesting to see how Wilson, a player projected to go in the fifth or sixth round, will perform in New England, especially since the Patriots are in desperate need of a good defense.
*My favorite team and reigning Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants, selected Virginia Tech running back David Wilson. I’m a personal fan of his, though many Giants fans are confused as to why Wilson was chosen over, perhaps, an offensive lineman. Hopefully, Wilson will prove himself alongside Ahmad Bradshaw in the upcoming season.