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Draft Day

By Max Toth

7:30 pm: Well, it’s once again time for the biggest event in football outside of the Super Bowl: the NFL draft. There’s almost no way this draft doesn't turn out to be crazy and it has the potential to change the NFL forever. Here’s a rundown of just a few of tonight's biggest storylines: The drafting of one of the best quarterback prospects ever in Trevor Lawrence; Aaron Rodgers and his request to be traded from the Green Bay Packers; the potential that 5 QBs will be drafted in the top ten for the first time ever; the unexpected stock drops of college superstars Justin Fields and Devonta Smith; and oh yeah - Tim Tebow wants to make a comeback as a tight end. One way or another, tonight is going to be absolutely nuts.

7:42 pm: To get the Aaron Rodgers rumours out of the way, it's definitely possible he gets traded. But I don’t believe it will be tonight. The Packers will do everything they can to bring the 2020 MVP back and it could take weeks for a deal of this magnitude to go down..

7:47 pm: The TV analysts are talking about the relative greenness of North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. I think he’s easily the most interesting QB prospect in the draft. He only played one game of college football this past season, which was at a level lower than top tier NCAA football. However, he was 17-0 throughout his college career and boasts the physical talents to be the draft number one ‘boom or bust’ prospect.

7:57 pm: The Kings of Leon are performing a pre-draft number. I’m sorry, but I do not know who they are.

8:14 pm: Oh no. They’re going to bring fans on the stage for every pick. Roger Goodell better watch his back when the Eagles choose.

8:16 pm: The Jaguars are on the clock and the draft has officially begun. However, I’ll give my analysis now. Trevor Lawrence has been the consensus number one pick since the end of the 2019 college season. It will definitely be interesting to see how Jacksonville builds a team around him. They have some interesting pieces, like cornerback C.J. Henderson and running back James Robinson, who were big hits as rookies last year. Wide receivers D.J. Chark and new addition Marvin Jones should help bring Lawrence along as a rookie.

8:21 pm: I might be proven wrong. Don’t worry, Lawrence is still going number one. But I just saw a report that Aaron Rodgers to the Denver Broncos is ‘as good as done.’ I can’t wait to see how this develops.

8:27 pm: So the Jaguars (predictably, might I add) select Clemson stud Trevor Lawrence. I don’t think it gets acknowledged enough how impressive it is for guys like Lawrence to be here. Almost no teenager who was labeled as the ‘next Peyton Manning’ can sustain that hype through high school and into college to become the number one pick. But Lawrence stayed on course and made it. That definitely bodes well for the rest of his career.

8:28 pm: Watching Trevor Lawrence highlights. You heard it here first, he is good.

8:29 pm: The Jets are up now. They’ve had their sights set on Lawrence from the opening kickoff of last season. But ‘unfortunately’ they won too many games and will pick second. It’s become clear they're looking at BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. I’m a little worried about him ending up with New York, who haven’t developed a star quarterback since before my dad was born. (My dad promptly chimes in to say that he's not THAT old.)

8:30 pm: Back to the Aaron Rodgers watch. According to top NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Packers have no plans to trade Rodgers right now. The perils of live draft coverage.

8:34 pm: So it’s Zach Wilson to the Jets. Like I said before, this pick makes me nervous. However, he’s definitely more talented than the Jets QB busts that came before him. Hopefully, this works out.

8:37 pm: The San Francisco 49ers are on the clock. This is where the draft really begins. They traded up to pick here and will take a quarterback. It looks to be between Trey Lance or Mac Jones. It’s seemed like Jones was their guy, but I think they’ll go with the high upside choice in Lance.

8:41 pm: Trey Lance it is. I don’t know about this. Even if Lance becomes a star and leads San Francisco to the Super Bowl, they didn’t have to come up this high to take him. Moving to seven with the Eagles would have sufficed.

8:43 pm: This is awesome for Lance though. Not many rookie QBs get to start off with a superstar tight end like George Kittle and a great coach in Kyle Shanahan. Incumbent QB Jimmy Garoppolo is the only loose end the 49ers need to tie up.

8:46 pm: Atlanta is up at number four and this pick will shape the draft. They could pick Matt Ryan's successor, they could select Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, (who might be the most surefire prospect in the draft) or they could trade down with a QB needy team and turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball.

8:49 pm: The Falcons pick Kyle Pitts. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a monster and easily the greatest tight end prospect ever. However, this seems more like an emotional pick rather than an intellectual one. I think trading down would've made more sense. They could've picked up a great defensive talent and given themselves a big safety net of draft picks. Pitts is great, but he won’t save Atlanta. Or maybe I’m just mad because I really wanted to see him play with Joe Burrow.

8:52 pm: The Bengals are on the clock and if Pitts was still available he would have been my choice. But they have to resist the urge to reunite Joe Burrow with an LSU teammate in wide receiver Ja'marr Chase. Just grab Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell to recharge one of the worst offensive lines in history.

8:58 pm: This could be bad. The Bengals took Ja’marr Chase. He’ll be good and Burrow won’t be mad. But not only would've Sewell filled a need, I think he’s a better prospect than Chase. Hopefully, Joe Burrow doesn’t end up leaving Paul Brown stadium in a casket. By the way, a classic case of draft hypocrisy here. Draft experts couldn't go five minutes without telling you Davonta Smith isn't tall or strong enough to play in the NFL. But nobody talks about how Chase opted out of college football last year. Not necessarily a knock on Chase, but it is interesting.

9:00 pm: Miami’s pick is already in, so I’ll work fast. I think they should just choose Sewell. Tua had a bad injury in his senior season at Alabama, so it definitely wouldn’t hurt to toss the sophomore QB a brick wall at left tackle.

9:03 pm: They’ve sure chosen some weird fans to come up on stage. In my opinion, anyone wearing a license plate as a hat shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the festivities.

9:05 pm: Basically, the same deal here. The Dolphins reunite Tua with an old Alabama teammate in wideout Jaylen Waddle and overlook my main man Penei.

9:08 pm: Not to sound like a broken record, but the Lions should go with Penei here. However, they could also go QB, even after they traded for Jared Goff. Justin Fields wouldn’t be bad.

9:10 pm: The Lions front office is going crazy in their draft room. Looks more like a ‘We just got our quarterback!' cheer than a ‘We just got our offensive lineman!’ cheer.

9:12 pm: Nope. The Lions go with our buddy Penei Sewell. That's definitely a good pick. He’s another guy who got lost in the pre-draft sauce. He’s got ‘superstar’ written all over him.

9:13 pm: By the way, good to see that the Lions value the o-line. I’ve never seen a team have an all out party after going with a protector.

9:14 pm: It’s the Panthers turn now. This could certainly be a trade, or maybe a quarterback. They added Sam Darnold this off-season. But, don't forget - we're talking about Sam Darnold.

9:15 pm: Another guy to watch here is Northwestern offensive lineman Rashawn Slater, or they could just go defense.

9:16 pm: I don’t think quarterback is the move here. Jokes aside, Darnold could certainly pop off with a great offensive group in Carolina.

9:18 pm: So, the Panthers do go defense with South Carolina product Jaycee Horn. He’s a cornerback, which is ok. However, Alabama's Patrick Surtain Jr. is the consensus number one CB here, and I would have chosen him.

9:19 pm: Denver is picking. This could be a trade, but I think they’ve been hiding a quarterback pick in their back pocket all along.

9:26 pm: The Broncos pick Patrick Surtain Jr, which actually makes sense. Like I said, he’s probably better than Jaycee Horn, so this could be considered a steal.

9:27 pm: With Dallas picking at ten, both Justin Fields and Mac Jones are both certain to fall out of the top ten. Bill Belichick might be salivating right now at number 15.

9:29 pm: The Cowboys have to be disappointed right now. They were definitely hoping for a cornerback. Perhaps a trade is on the horizon?

9:31 pm: Wow. The Eagles just traded up. This will definitely be Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith. The Eagles have taken some huge swings and misses drafting wide receivers lately, so they probably wanted to ensure they didn’t mess up again and lose him to the Giants. Now we're just waiting for the full return, other than the Cowboys moving down to the 12 slot.

9:36 pm: Philly grabs Devonta Smith. This could be the steal of the draft. Despite all the noise about his lack of weight and one-on-one talent, the 'Bama star plays just like Buffalo Bills star Stefon Diggs, who’s only 20 pounds heavier than the 174 pound Smith. The Eagles might have finally nailed it at wide receiver.

9:39 pm: Here comes a quarterback. The Bears just traded up with the Giants from 20. Now it gets really interesting. Alabama's Mac Jones or Justin Fields of Ohio State? I’d say Fields.

9:41 pm: The Bears better nail this.They gave the Giants a lot for the pick, including next year's first rounder.

9:43 pm: The Bears go with Fields. Awesome. Fields was ranked higher than Trevor Lawrence coming out of high school and has all the tools to succeed. If you want some advice for the next draft season, it’s to trust nobody. Fields is a leader, he’s clutch and he’s better than Jones. The Bears may have finally nailed it at quarterback.

9:47 pm: By the way, when I said to trust no one, I didn’t mean me. You should trust me as I, of course, know everything. (C'mon. Doesn't every draftnik feel that way?)

9:50 pm: The Cowboys are up. They should go for offensive tackle Rashawn Slater. NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah even ranked him higher than Penei Sewell.

9:52 pm: I’m not going to lie. I forgot about Penn State's Micah Parsons for a bit there. He could have easily been the first defensive player off the board at linebacker, a definite position of need for the Cowboys and a solid pick by Dallas.

9:53 pm: They say you have to own a strong backbone to be an effective leader, and Roger Goodell just answered the bell. I thought Parsons was going to crush the poor commish when he pounced on Roger and gave him a huge bear hug.

9:55 pm: The Chargers are up and should be eyeing Rashawn Slater. Justin Herbert could use some protection and with all the best defensive guys off the board, they shouldn’t be stressing about this one.

10:01 pm: Rashawn Slater. Not a ton of analysis here. I think it’s perfect timing. The Chargers need a left tackle and Slater has dropped right into their laps.

10:04 pm: I think we’ll wrap this up when the final first round quarterback, Mac Jones, comes off the board; which could be within the next couple picks featuring the Vikings and Patriots.

10:05 pm: The Jets just traded with the Vikings for the 14th selection. I’m not sure who they could be targeting here. Maybe Michigan defensive lineman Kwity Paye, or how about a running back?

10:10 pm: The Jets select USC guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, which makes sense when you think about it. Usually when a team that picked a quarterback gets to go again, they chose an offensive lineman or wide receiver.

10:12 pm: Now it’s Patriot time. This could definitely be Mac Jones. Or, who knows? Considering New England's recent spotty drafting record, it could be Michigan long snapper Camaron Cheeseman.

10:16 pm: Mac Jones it is. Is he the next Tom Brady? Probably not, but he still could be very good in the Patriots system. It will also be the weirdest quarterback battle in football with Cam Newton still in the fold.

So there you have it. I’d say this draft definitely lived up to expectations. A lot of interesting picks, and it will be really cool to see how this all plays out in the future. But before that happens, I’m just going to sit back and relax until my beloved Buffalo Bills are finally on the clock.

By the way, when was the last time Buffalo picked 30th?

The once lowly Bills have acquired some legitimate stars in recent drafts and once again have dreams of the Super Bowl.

And in the end, that’s what NFL Draft Day is really all about

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