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This is pretty fun to watch.
Instead of making the trip to Radio City Music Hall, Syracuse OL Justin Pugh hosted a party with friends and family last night at his home in Pennsylvania to take in the proceedings at the 2013 NFL Draft. And as you can see from the video below, being surrounded by the ones you love can make the greatest moment of your life all that much more special.
Watch as Pugh – a lifelong Eagles fan – takes the call from the New York front office informing him that he’s the newest member of the Giants. As family members scramble to find the remote control, Pugh makes pleasantries with new head coach and fellow Orangeman Tom Coughlin, all while barely being able to contain his excitement over the phone. It’s certainly a stark contrast to the intensity and formality of the green room, where your every move is under a microscope for all the world to see. Heck, just ask Geno Smith.
But be sure to stick around to the end of the clip, because the moment he hangs up the phone (1:50) is pure magic, as his friends explode on Pugh in celebration … despite their conflicted feelings as Eagles fans. In fact, check out his buddy to the left at around :20 when Pugh says “That’s done with, I’m excited to become a Giant”. Poor guy goes from elation to confusion in .3 seconds once he realizes the implications of having to root for the Giants now. Classic.
This type of emotion is what the draft is all about, and if you don’t get goosebumps watching this, I don’t know what to tell you.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
As part of his ongoing “Lie Witness News” series, Jimmy Kimmel has proven that people will pretty much agree with anything you say when there’s a camera pointed in their face. Earlier this week, Kimmel showed the world just how clueless Coachella fans are, by asking them if they were looking forward to seeing bands at the festival that don’t exist … and sure enough, these posers claimed to know all about fictitious artists like Dr. Shlomo and the G.I. Clinic and The Obesity Epidemic.
Well, with the NFL draft kicking off tonight in Manhattan, the folks over at Football Nation decided to get in on the act and prank some die-hard football fans waiting in line for the event. And sure enough, these draftniks – who have theoretically studied up on the eligible players for months – fell for it hard, professing their love for non-existant athletes like Curvin Johnson (Calvin’s brother!) and Buster Highman.
So yeah, people are idiots everywhere.
Yes, it’s that time again. Time for the annual the NFL combine … where this year’s crop of top prospects participate in the “underwear olympics” to show their stuff for NFL scouts.
This weekend, the big boys were under the microscope as the offensive linemen took to the field, providing some of the more compelling displays of physical ability you’ll see anywhere, as these 300+ pound behemoths move their bodies in ways much lighter men would be envious of. Don’t laugh - Arkansas-Pine Bluff tackle Terron Armstead set a combine record on Saturday with an unofficial 4.65 40-yard dash. At 6-foot-5, 306-pounds.
Fortunately for us, the good folks over at SBNation compiled this remarkable video of linemen running the 40 yard dash … in slow motion … set to “Chariots of Fire”. Yeah, it’s as good as you’d expect:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
On Thursday night, Mohamed Sanu fell victim to one of the cruelest hoaxes in NFL draft history.
Toward the end of the first round, the Rutgers WR – who was projected to be taken in the 2nd or 3rd round - received a call from someone pretending to be a member of the Cincinnati Bengals organization.
The caller told Sanu the Bengals were planning to take him with the 27th overall pick. Sanu and his family celebrated, and his agent even prematurely tweeted out the news, before learning that the Bengals had actually chosen Wisconsin OL Kevin Zeitler. They had been pranked, and the call apparently came from a Rutgers student playing a misguided joke.
Ouch. So Sanu was forced to sit and wait.
After hearing the news, the Marvin Lewis and the Bengals reached out to console Sanu prior to the draft resuming on Friday. And when the bottom half of the third round rolled around, Cincinnati selected Sanu – for real this time – with the 83rd overall pick.
“Thank God,” when asked about his feelings about really joining the Bengals. “I got a voice mail with a 513 area code and then Coach Urban called me and I had the number in his phone and he asked me ‘Are you ready to be a Bengal for real this time?’ and I said of course, I’m ready to go.”
Sanu – who set a single-season Big East record with 115 receptions – said that he wouldn’t wish the previous 24 hours on anyone:
“I’m just glad it’s over and dreams came true this time.”
As we resume with day three of the 2012 NFL Draft, it’s worth looking back on the humble beginnings of the event, to get some perspective on just how far things have come.
This awesome video of ESPN’s 1981 draft coverage does just that, showing us a loosely organized get together inside a hotel ballroom, struggling with technical difficulties … as opposed to the multi-million dollar Radio City Music Hall spectacle it is today.
Watch as Pete Rozelle kicks things off with the selection of George Rogers and Lawrence Taylor, while a young Dr. Z (SI’s Paul Zimmerman) provides the pre-Kiper-era draft analysis:
Watch Part 2 after the jump:
The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants surprised some people by selecting Virginia Tech RB David Wilson with the #32 overall pick, to finish off the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.
After saying goodbye to Brandon Jacobs after the season, and with Ahmad Bradshaw‘s nagging foot problems, GM Jerry Reese said it was “a pretty easy pick for us” in selecting Wilson:
“He’s a terrific football player,’’ Reese said. “This guy loves to play football. He can do anything you want him to do. He’s a good piece to add to our running back stable.’’
Tampa Bay had jumped ahead of NY to snag Boise State RB Doug Martin with the 31st pick (who many had projected as going to NY), but Reese said Wilson was the number two running back on their board, behind only #3 overall pick Trent Richardson.
Wilson – who rushed for a school record 1,709 yards last season – brings tremendous speed and game-breaking ability to New York. He is expected to contribute right away as a kick returner, and split time with Bradshaw in the backfield, where he sees himself as a “mix of Ray Rice and Arian Foster”.
DAVID WILSON 2011-12 HIGHLIGHTS AND BACKFLIP CONTEST AFTER THE JUMP
When the Cleveland Browns selected 28-year-old QB Brandon Weeden with the #22 overall pick in last night’s NFL draft, it shocked a lot of Browns fans everywhere. Leading up to the draft, the Browns front office had been assuring everyone who would listen that they were comfortable with Colt McCoy under center, and were expecting him to take a big leap forward this year.
Cleveland started things off Thursday night by making a big move to trade up one slot to select RB Trent Richardson with the #3 pick, much to the delight of the Dog Pound. But when their second pick of the first round came up, and when WR Kendall Wright - who they had been targeting - was snatched out from under them by the Titans at pick #20, the Browns were left with Weeden as the best available player on their board.
GM Tom Heckert says “there wasn’t really an afterthought”, but perhaps they should have given a bit more consideration as to how it would effect their incumbent QB. Because now, the Browns are apparently considering trading McCoy, and the Cleveland offense is looking like it will be totally re-vamped for the 2012 campaign.
Yes, the day has finally arrived. The 2012 NFL Draft is here – kicking off with the first round tonight – and we couldn’t be more excited about it!
As you pore over Mike Mayock‘s one and only mock draft in preparation for this weekend’s festivities, keep in mind that pretty much none of these so-called “experts” have a clue as to how this draft, nor the players selected in it, are actually going to pan out. For all the scouting and testing and poking and prodding, the draft process is really all just a high-budget guessing game, and we won’t truly know the winners and losers for at least another three years.
Case in point … after JaMarcus Russell was selected #1 overall in the 2007 draft, virtually everyone whiffed on the kid, including Mel Kiper who declared that Russell would be the next John Elway. Enough said.
Meanwhile, the folks up in Bristol are all having a little fun and “Kiperizing” some of the ESPN anchors, like Trey Wingo, Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser:
PHOTOS AND VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
At each year’s Scouting Combine, the NFL makes all of the top draft prospects sit down and take the fabled Wonderlic Test – a 50 question exam that must be answered in 12 minutes, and is meant to gauge the athletes’ basic reasoning skills and overall intelligence. The test isn’t necessarily a direct predictor of success at the pro level, and each team places their own value on the scores when building out their draft board … but in some cases, the Wonderlic scores can raise a red flag.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, the top-rated cornerback in the upcoming NFL draft – LSU’s Morris Claiborne – reportedly scored just a FOUR on his Wonderlic. That’s right … a four. To give you an idea of just how bad that is, wunderkind Vince Young scored a six. So Claiborne has now officially achieved the lowest score ever recorded.
UPDATE: Since Claiborne’s score was leaked, reports have come out suggesting that he suffers from a learning disability that likely affected his score. So perhaps the Wonderlic should not be viewed as a direct indication of Claiborne’s intelligence.
Now, as we mentioned, a low Wonderlic score shouldn’t necessarily scare teams off, and there have been plenty of less-than-bright athletes who have had successful careers in the NFL. Last year’s top CB Patrick Peterson only scored a 9, and had a tremendous rookie campaign. Wide Receivers AJ Green (10) and Hakeem Nicks (11) aren’t exactly rocket scientists either, and have turned out alright.
While a quarterback or offensive lineman who does poorly on this test should definitely be a concern, positions like CB and WR – that are mainly based on instinct and reaction – are probably less impacted by a low Wonderlic. So this probably isn’t as big of a deal as some people are going to make it out to be for Claiborne.
ESPN’s Camp Gruden, where former coach Jon Gruden puts the top collegiate QB prospects through the ringer prior to each year’s draft, has become something of an annual tradition. We all remember last year when Cam Newton couldn’t name a single play from his Auburn playbook, which may have scared some people off from the eventual offensive rookie of the year.
This year’s edition of Gruden’s QB Camp kicked off this week with Stanford’s Andrew Luck, possibly the most hyped quarterback prospect since John Elway. Watch the clip below, where Luck takes us through a routine play from his college playbook, “Spider 2/3 Y Banana”. We get to watch Luck squirm a bit when Gruden shows a clip where Luck throws a pick-six interception against USC … on that very play.
Luck takes it all in stride, probably because Stanford ended up winning the game in triple overtime. But it’s at least nice to see someone putting the future Colt to the fire a bit, rather than slobbering all over him as perfect, “can’t miss” prospect:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP