Sean Tomlinson

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eric ebron again2

Eric Ebron is the best tight end in the 2014 draft. That’s not an adventurous statement, or a particularly bold one. At this point, it’s been accepted as fact.

Ebron has all the numbers and measurables we typically associate with the modern day behemoth tight end, standing 6’4″ and weighing 245 pounds. Like the Jimmy Grahams and Rob Gronkowskis of the league, he’s also versatile. When speaking to reporters at the scouting combine Ebron said he lined up away from the line of scrimmage roughly 40-percent of the time during his final year at the University of North Carolina, and he sometimes shifted into the backfield as an H-back too.

All that resulted in 62 catches for 973 yards. Or visually, this…

But here’s the next question we’re set to wrestle with: is he really, honestly on the same level as Vernon Davis, or Jeremy Shockey in his Giants prime? Because that’s the draft territory Ebron could be preparing to enter.

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The Kansas City Chiefs were a fun, scrappy team to watch in 2013. Under new head coach Andy Reid, his Kool-Aid wall busting ways, and a shiny new quarterback in Alex Smith, there was suddenly life in KC after only two wins the year before. And following nine straight wins to start the season there was hope for something far more than just franchise rejuvenation, however false it may have been with the five backup quarterbacks Chiefs pass rushers were able to chew up.

The source of that life was a west coast offense that didn’t ask Smith to do much, putting games almost entirely in the hands of Jamaal Charles who shattered his previous career touchdown high of eight while scoring 19 times. He also set career highs in total yards (1,980), receptions (70), and receiving yards (693).

He did all that on 329 touches, while the Chiefs averaged only 208.8 passing yards per game (24th) and 6.5 per attempt (27th). That formula for offensive success which ran through Charles with gashing runs and short passes needs a strong and stable offensive line to be successful.

That may not exist in Kansas City anymore, which is why the Chiefs are a leading drop-off candidate.

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cam newton celly2

During draft season we have a lot of time to think, a lot of time to talk, and a lot of time to listen as others talk. On the surface those aren’t bad things, because analysis is what we do around here, and thinking mixed with talking is what leads to the learning and evaluating. It’s a cycle, you see.

But sometimes that cycle can more so resemble a spiral of blinding, white nothingness, and the result is both comedy, and anonymous drivel.

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The headlining quarterback during the 2009 draft has been inconsistent at best, and the draft overall wasn’t nearly as strong as the two years that followed. But it did give us a long-haired man now beloved in frosty Wisconsin, and another linebacker who disregards normal football conventions. Like wearing a helmet.

Our draft nostalgia journey continues…

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Aldon smith2

Humans do stupid things daily, all ranging in severity and consequence. As I write this there’s probably at least one groggy individual who did the classic reverse through the garage door stunt. That’s dumb, but the harm is only to door, car, and pocket. Like so many others, it’s also an example of a private matter. A privately stupid matter, but you get the idea nonetheless.

Aldon Smith is a different sort of idiot. He’s the extreme and completely clueless kind, so much that as a football player his stay on any one team could be brief without a drastic course correction.

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friday night lights2

Earlier this morning to (dis)honor Draft Day I went through the absolute worst in pigskin film creations. Now we follow up with the best of the bestest.

Ultimately any sports movie list is influenced by age, and in no way did I show that below with the exclusion of old classics like North Dallas Forty and Brian’s SongNope.

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draft day2

Tonight if you really want to treat someone special in your life to a romantic evening, remember that Draft Day is now in theaters and available for your viewing pleasure.

Every time I see the trailer for this film, I have two frightening realizations:

  • Someone actually thought it was a good idea to make a movie about the NFL draft.
  • Many people are going to pay a lot of money to watch a movie about the NFL draft.

Making a sports movie that’s focused on an aspect of the sport far removed from actual on-field action is not an easy thing. Whatever the specific subject matter is, it has to be compelling enough that the public is curious about what it will look like in film form.

That’s why I think Draft Day will rake, because for three days each spring an important offseason activity in the NFL that’s still, well, an offseason activity trumps the television ratings for pretty much anything else (7.7 million viewers tuned into the first round last year). In fairness it’s received positive reviews, and Kevin Costner in a sports movie is usually the best Kevin Costner.

But the problem with a movie about the NFL draft is that for such a hyper focussed sports movie to be successful, like Moneyball it needs to document an idea or concept which changed the sport. The draft is just…an event.

It might be great. But it’s far more likely Draft Day will be added to the list of awful football movies below.

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