The 2014 NFL draft opens with the first round starting at 8 p.m. at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Why should you watch the first round of the NFL draft this year?
Because this year, the prime-time show could be wild. This is the NFL, so it probably won’t be, but there’s a chance at least because no one has any idea what will happen. Will the Houston Texans keep the top pick or will they succeed in their attempts to trade it? And if they keep it, who will be the No. 1 pick? Jadeveon Clowney for the defense? Johnny Manziel for the offense? Or somebody else entirely?
And that isn’t just hype. Gil Brandt says it’s true.
I have been associated w draft for 55 years and w/out question this has most suspense by wide margin. I expect lots of surprises tonight.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) May 8, 2014
This year, players have selected the music that will be played as they walk up to the stage at Radio City Music Hall to be greeted/hugged tightly by Commissioner Roger Goodell. This could be … interesting. Teams have 10 minutes in which to make this picks, but the first round still will run late into the night.
And now, a quick Drake/NFL walk-up song pie chart breakdown pic.twitter.com/tNWyFOJu0x— Chris Littmann (@chrislittmann) May 8, 2014
Draft night in New York is cool and overcast, so cool and overcast that there was at least one joke about the contrast with the weather for Super Bowl XLVIII in New York/New Jersey.
Weather in worse in NYC for the Draft than it was for the Super Bowl. Go figure— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) May 8, 2014
Then, these guys were spotted walking the streets of NYC. Possibly, cloud follow them wherever they go.
Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr wasn’t invited to the big show in New York, but it’s no big deal.
He’s been on the podium before. He even shook Paul Tagliabue’s hand when his brother David was the No. 1 pick of the Houston Texans in the draft 12 years ago.
He’ll watch the show at home in Bakersfield, Calif.
“I shook Commissioner Tagliabue’s hand and told him I’d be back,” Carr said on ESPN last week. “I guess that wasn’t politically correct, but I was only 11, so I didn’t know too much.”
Test your knowledge with a few draft-day factoids.
According to several people within the league, it’s not thought to be likely at this point that the Texans will trade the top pick. Assuming they keep it, it would be a significant surprise at this point if they don’t choose Jadeveon Clowney.
Five hours before the draft, Johnny Manziel was gobbling up Texas and Ohio tweets.
They’re interested in a quarterback in Cleveland. But could Manziel wind up with the Cowboys? Or even the Giants? It’s possible…
North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron made sure the day was memorable by proposing to his girlfriend hours before the NFL draft.
Here’s UNC TE Eric Ebron, on bended knee, proposing atop the Empire State Building on Draft Day. She said yes. pic.twitter.com/cpLeQtb5yt— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) May 8, 2014
He took a knee and popped the question to his girlfriend atop the Empire State Building.
Ebron proposed to his girlfriend of 2 years a few minutes ago. ″A ball of nerves,” he said. Bought the ring a week ago. ″What better way?”— P. Schrager (@PSchrags) May 8, 2014
Yes, there’s a red carpet at the NFL draft.
The limos pull up on Sixth Avenue. The athletes and their moms get out and give interviews. No idea which designers they’re wearing, though, and, so far, no Jennifer Lawrence snafus.
From Kent Babb at Radio City Music Hall:
A line of officials, presumably with the league, just paraded through a side hallway with hats for every NFL team encased in a clear — glass? acrylic? — case with a handle.
Yes, there was one for the Redskins, in case they trade into the first round. Can’t take any chances, right?
Outside, a long line snaked around Radio City Music Hall, blocking a crosswalk at the intersection of 51st Street and 6th Avenue, drawing shouts from regular old passersby.
Much of what you don’t see before the NFL draft goes live is the manic final preparations. Radio City isn’t especially large, and patience is being tested by fans, officials and even broadcasters. Audio from one network was being piped into the media room, and it was possible to hear the voices of anxious broadcasters when something went sideways.
This is the supposed calm before the NFL draft storm, where maybe the only quiet place is near the team tables, where team officials make final plans to take some of their most important calls of the year.
Jadeveon Clowney is likely to hear his name called early in the first round of the NFL draft, which makes this the perfect time to replay that hit from the Outback Bowl.
You know the one:
Related: Clowney times Jimmy Fallon in 40
It’s South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
“I personally think that Jadeveon Clowney is a no-brainer,” Favre says. “Unbelievable speed, size, quickness, play-making ability. Whether it’s your primary need or not, I think you go with Clowney. Imagine him and J.J. Watt [on the same defense]. I think they can do a lot of damage.”