1. While I appreciate the way the NFL has actively sought to dominate all twelve months on the calendar, I am still not sold on this delayed draft. It's like delaying Christmas morning by a week or two. Is it an ungodly amount of time to wait? No, but you can go insane looking at unopened presents over that extended period. I am sure everything will feel better after Thursday night comes and goes, but right now, I just feel like the "season" is off. It doesn't feel natural. Don't get me wrong--I am all for keeping the party going, but it just seems like it is dragging.
2. I love a good mock draft as much as the next guy, and I don't mind throwing them around early and often. I also love the banter around the draft. The additional time we have now between free agency and the draft, however, has resulted in an infinite amount of mock draft updates, and an uncomfortable amount of draft banter. The rumor mill, already in full spin mode as a general rule, gains ridiculous speed in these days leading up to the perpetually approaching draft. Maybe we just haven't been trained properly on pace leading up to the draft the way it is currently staged. I feel like we have been running at a sprint for way too long, only to find out that we were in a marathon the whole time. You just know that Kiper and McShay woke up two weeks ago in a cold sweat, wondering how they were going to deliver their 87th revised mock drafts with a straight face. I think HogHunter made it into a top ten projection as they ran out of flavors-of-the-week. (Editor's note: If you ever see an ice cream flavor called "HogHunter," please--and I can't stress this enough--DO NOT BUY IT.)
3. Giving the first round its own night makes sense. It is great television. It can be great drama. Clearly, the NFL can attract enough sponsors to make it a very profitable night of programming. I guess where I am going with all of this is that it strikes me as odd that we barely bat an eye when the NFL goes to extraordinary lengths to stretch the draft to extraordinary lengths. We get bent out of shape when Game of Thrones tosses out a "slow" episode (NO SPOILERS). I have seen us rage over far less than that. Hell, as Redskins fans, we have been up close and personal to the phenomenon of having our passion and loyalty monetized. Now we can't even finalize the selection of players without figuring out ways to eek out as much marketing as humanly possible. This falls largely in the "That's The Way The World Works" bucket, and to be honest, I am not exactly put off by the way they run the draft, but I did thoroughly enjoy the "old way."
4. There was something to be said for rolling out of bed bright and early on a Saturday morning, fixing some Bloody Mary's and listening to Mel Kiper Jr. talk--without stopping--for hours and hours on end. This was before there even was a Todd McShay. The first round was over early, providing all kinds of story lines for ESPN to monitor and manufacture in the afternoon and evening. I only had to plan on being in one place for the entire day, and I could catch all the major selections--certainly the bulk of the players that had a chance of becoming stars were taken on that first Saturday. Now, you have to really hand over the majority of a four-day weekend to follow the draft, and you have to line up multiple locations. Between travel time and hangover time, this draft promises to be the most time-consuming event on the calendar. (I say this as I check my calendar to ensure I do, in fact have somewhere to be for every round of the draft.)
5. Speaking of travel and hangover time, I wanted to make sure that anyone who was going to be in the DC area this week knows that we (Hogs Haven) we will be at The Bracket Room in Arlington, VA on Thursday night. We will be joining DeAngelo Hall and DeSean Jackson for a Draft Watch Extravaganza. It will be DeSean's first public appearance since he was signed...very publicly. Come one, come all. There will clearly be way more important people there to see and meet than me, but if you do make it, please don't leave without saying hello. I am hoping to be out there by 7 PM.
6. If you changed your username on Terrible Name Amnesty Day, it has been changed. Your password and history remain intact, but your new name will now show up. In the future, I have been notified that should anybody wish to change their username, it is actually easier for the IT team to handle direct user requests to the support desk. That email is: firstname.lastname@example.org