The 2022 NFL Draft is upon us. There's pomp. There's circumstance. There's genuine belief that this is the weakest crop of quarterbacks in a long time. Never before have edge rushers and offensive tackles been so popular. A large crowd has assembled in Las Vegas, wanting nothing more than to see the great Roger Goodell dap up someone from Mississippi State or to catch a glimpse of Mike Greenberg. One of the greatest unnecessary annual television spectacles promises to have memorable moments, high fashion, and people using the term "medicals" without irony. What a time to have access to the CMS and community with which to share a celebration of football four full months before any of it matters.
I am sure there was a ton of hoopla that preceded gaining access to a remote control. This is based on catching the final few notes of a nice national anthem and being confronted with a flyover. History is made already as this is the first draft to ever feature armed forces rocketing across the nearby sky in anticipation of the Jacksonville Jaguars handing in an envelope. Take it to the bank: this toothpaste is now permanently out of the tube. Each future draft will now also feature a military flyover. What a country. What a sport.
Sal Paolantonio reports that the Philadelphia Eagles are interested in making some trades. Wikipedia claims Sal Pal is 65-years-old. Which must be a misprint because he looks the exact same as he did 20 years ago.
Shams Charania beams in from the clouds with a tweet that the Jaguars intend to take Georgia's Travon Walker with the first overall pick.
The Intercontinental Insider Championship is in play tonight. In an era when the ethics of tipping picks has spawned far too many thinkpieces, one of basketball's most plugged-in merchants is calling his shot and dictating the conversation. It'll be fascinating to see if this is a one-time thing or if he's going to endeavor the never-before-seen off-site 32-for-32.
After being mercilessly booed, Commissioner Roger Goodell has summoned noted Raiders fan Ice Cube to the stage to serve as a meat shield. We're eight minutes in! Please let it be the first of many appearances by the cast of Ride Along 2. I don't know much but I do know the world deserves a well-coiffed Benjamin Bratt making a cameo. Even a Bruce McGill sighting would send this sun-soaked crowd into a frenzy.
Derek Carr is here and he has a fancy new hairstyle. If we do not immediately start referring to it as The Vegas Strip, then we've failed as a society.
Travon Walker, who opened at 35-1 to go overall and was initially believed to be bound for the mid-20s, is the first name off the board. Todd McShay had called him the most underrated player in the class. It's a mantle you have to give up when you go No. 1 overall, right? No No. 1 overall pick can ever be underrated. We're trying to live in a society here.
The Detroit Lions took all of two minutes deliberating before taking Aidan Hutchinson. Good. I'll drive him to practice every day and not ask for any gas money. Missing out on a blue-collar hometown hero who can captain the defense for the next several years would have been an enormous mistake. Through that lens I'm a bit surprised this cursed franchise didn't make it.
And now the Houston Texans have made a quick pick, and a surprising one in Derek Stingley Jr. out of LSU. Greenberg says the envelopes are coming fast and furious, and he's absolutely right. The pace is magnificent. If it persists we'll all be in bed at a reasonable hour and this throng of people at the draft can go back home and fire up a team message board in the dark. There have been so many false starts recently but maybe nature really is healing. Decent chance they get through this big ol' work meeting in less time than it would take to play a regular-season Baltimore Orioles-Kansas City Royals game. Baseball simply cannot stop catching strays.
A fourth consecutive defensive player is summoned to the stage as the New York Jets decide to cook with Sauce Gardner. The guy is going to make so much money in endorsements and be so incredibly popular if he performs on the field. We'll get research on it but gut feeling here is this is the biggest Sauce moment in New York since Henry Hill had a lot of things to do on May 11, 1980.