Every year, it becomes more obvious the NFL draft is the silliest sporting event on the calendar. The overwhelming amount of analysis and furrowed-brow commentary is a riot. The way in which fans have begun treating it like a big playoff game is even better. Watching every single pick might turn your brain to oatmeal, but there's no denying the whole thing is ridiculously entertaining.
Reading the projections and commentaries about the players is like reading a medical dictionary. Long frames and light feet and balanced trunks are good things. Poor arm extension and tight hips and limited short-area quickness are bad things. (OK, I made up the balanced trunk thing, but did it make you stop? Probably not, since the rest of them are taken directly from reports and sound just as silly.)
The appetite for information is ravenous and bottomless. The nephew of former Miami Dolphins linebacker Bob Baumhower is Alabama guard Evan Mathis. Fred Amey of Sacramento State is the nephew of former NFL player Cornelius Johnson, which probably means something to the two or three people outside the family who have actually heard of either one of them. Antrel Rolle, however, is not related to Samari Rolle.
Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards gets points for being "tall and linear." Does that mean there are non-linear guys out there? If so, stay away from them. They probably have unbalanced trunks.
I'm starting to think we can blame this explosion in draft information on Tom Brady. It's his fault, or maybe it's his achievement, depends on your perspective. Regardless, there's no denying that it is an immutable law of nature that six words cannot be spoken about the NFL draft without someone mentioning that Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick.
There was rabid interest in the draft before Tom Brady slipped to the sixth round; but back then, it was mostly a first-three-rounds phenomenon. Now, because Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick, you simply cannot let your guard down. Eternal, two-day vigilance is the only way you can survive, because, after all, Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick.
However, the best tidbit of this draft concerns Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and it has nothing to do with relatives or linearity or finger length. Rodgers, who played in the Pac-10, was on television somewhere just about every week and didn't seem to be hiding from anybody at any point in the process, and he just now vaulted from top-five to probable No. 1 in part because he turned out to be taller than NFL people thought he would be.
This Week's List
• Since everyone in sports copies success, next year's fad will be to get rid of key components of division-winning teams and replace them with the odd assortment of hotheads, perceived malingerers and Jeff Kent: The Dodgers, 10-2 and off to their best start since 1981.
• Apparently he kept growing, and the tunnel didn't, so he turned to football: Charlie Friehauf is a 6-foot-6 ¼ quarterback from Colorado School of Mines.
• When you get right down to it, this guy sounds like the football version of a Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez movie: Quarterback Derek Anderson of Oregon State, as described by Len Pasquarelli somewhere else on this patch of ether "This guy is an absolute turnover machine. ... Does not handle pressure well, makes bad reads, and is prone to poor decisions in general. ... Does not move around very well at all and is a big target for opposition pass rushers."