This is probably a day early, but it's still a fun/agonizing day for those of us who probably spend way too much time following foottball.
This is where it starts. For all the "Trade for Julius Peppers" advocates: if he doesn't sign his Franchise Tender by the end of business day today, he won't be apart of any draft-day dealings.
For the "Trade Down" supporters: whether the Lions sign Stafford or Curry predraft, or decide to make their call between 3:00 and 315 pm Central tomorrow will be decided by the end of today. One of these outcomes could give us a little more insight into the possibilities of trading down from #3. Who wants Stafford? Who wants Sanchez? Are the possibilites becoming more clear, or more diluted?
These questions will either be answered, or will create more questions in the coming hours.
I'll admit, I'm a draft geek, and I know I'm not alone in that around here. I love learning about incoming prospects and thinking about how they could fit in to our team. Beyond that, I love draft research as a way of identifying all players as they come into the league. There are many I'm familiar with from watching and following particular conferences (Pac-10 previously, Big 12 lately) and following College Football in general. There are also a lot of players I'd never heard of, or have just seen in boxscores or articles but never on the field.
This is where we really start scrutinizing college talent and try to speculate how they will translate to professional football. We're not scouts. We don't meet these guys, or study hours of actual game tape on them. We don't always know who might be a flake or a thug. But we size the field. We read scouting reports, we watch higlights, we try to remember how they played against Nebraska. All of that gives us a better understanding of the players in the NFL in general. I remember seeing Matt Ryan throw silly interceptions at BC and thinking he'd be garbage in the NFL. I also followed Peter Warrick's career at FSU and thought he was the next Tim Brown (I still have my garnett and gold #9 jersey in my closet). I think I've gotten a few right too, I loved Housmanzadeh at Oregon State despite his pitiful combine showing and was pretty sure Patrick Willis would kick all kinds of ass in the NFL. On either end of the spectrum, I didn't REALLY know, but I've learned a lot about these players as they enter the league and it's created a great reference point as I follow now NFL veterans and see them line up for or against the Chiefs each Sunday.
My second startling admission is that more than anything I love watching ACTUAL football. This time of year is great for the reasons I've stated above, but nothing is better than football season. Either Chris or Primetime had an article recently with a poll that asked: What's better, the Super Bowl or the Draft? I wish I'd thought of it at the time, but a third option should've been in there. Opening Day. Opening day of the NFL season is by far the most exciting, anticipated day of the year. It involves every team, hope is alive for everyone, and for the love of Jesus we get to watch actual NFL football for the first time in 8 months.
I really can't wait for football again. Right now even the CFL is two and a half months away, and that's just a little pick-me-up before the NFL and college seasons get underway. Sportswise the summer sucks, which is cool because it's better to be out doing shit anyway, but when I do want to just chill out and watch people compete at something, I'm stuck with baseball. BASEBALL!? I don't mean to start anything with people who love baseball, because if I'm at an actual game on a sunny day with a beer in my hand, looking at the C-Cup with the ball cap and tight white jersey 2 rows in front of me between at-bats, baseball is incredible. The rest of the time it's boring and NOT FOOTBALL. That's why the fall and subsequent winter that bring football to us is the best time of year! But once the season ends (whenever the Chiefs season ends, which was right around the 2nd quarter of the Falcons game last season) draft season begins, and this is the culmination. The Super Bowl of college prospecting!
So I say have fun! Speculate, ignore speculation, hope, damn it all to hell because we didn't get who you wanted. Just enjoy this oasis of football interest, because this is where rosters are built, and it's a going to be a long off-season after this.
BTW, if we don't trade the #3 and Aaron Curry is available he's my choice. I get the non-pass rushing LB argument, but I like his potential impact on the team slightly better than a tackle that could be found later on.