When last we left sink of mayo, Peter King, he was doling out all manner of draft smokescreen and useless rumor because NFL front office personnel realize he’ll gladly let them take advantage of his gullibility just to have something resembling news in his column. Peter has also spent the last week tweeting indispensable draft nuggets like these:
Draftnerdness: I think Thursday is going to be very good for Khalil Mack. I keep hearing his name. Very high.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) May 2, 2014
Wow. A consensus top-5 pick going high? No one has ever scooped harder.
But what about this week? Well, you guessed it (SENSED IT?) it’s a bunch more draft bullshit. Don’t worry, though, there’s also a fun story of him name-dropping people he met at Jazzfest to keep things fresh. READ ON.
My meandering T-minus-three-days draftapalooza column (attaway to sell the column, King!)
I already clicked on the stupid thing. You don’t have to sell anything. You’re just wasting everyone’s time.
includes an eye-opener from Mike Mayock, predictions from the cognoscenti, separating fiction from fiction [cq]
Also includes bonus copy editing notes! I assume Peter tossed that in there to create the illusion that someone actually goes over this pile of shit before he hits publish.
on Johnny Manziel, a rundown of places I think I think I know something about, a way to make a four-day draft sound almost tolerable, and the hottest name in the draft.
Tom Savage, of course!
From the top of the first round to the bottom, here’s what I’m hearing:
No. 1, Houston. The buzz about a trade-down or Khalil Mack to Houston instead of Jadeveon Clowney won’t die.
“I keep hearing a rumor that I can’t confirm nor deny so that must mean that there’s substance to it, I think?”
I sense the Rams like Greg Robinson at two—over Sammy Watkins and Jake Matthews.
“Sense” is probably the worst verb you can use in journalism. Are you a mystic? Then you probably shouldn’t be sensing future events. Might as well just say it plain and admit you’re just guessing. Though it’s also possibly that this is the one thing PK knows for sure but doesn’t want to say so because it shows his cozy relationship with the Rams front office.
More mystery about 13. The Rams really like Johnny Manziel, and if he were there at 13 (which is unlikely), they will consider picking him.
Quasi-nugget-esque. If Johnny Manziel falls much further than anyone expects, the Rams will think about maybe picking him!
No. 3, Jacksonville. A peer of GM David Caldwell said Sunday he knows a big Jag priority will be to play it safe with this pick. Sammy Watkins or Jake Matthews … quite safe.
Again, there are no sure things in the draft. But I can understand Jacksonville being terrified about the idea of taking a quarterback high after Gabbert.
No. 20, Arizona. We’ve been hearing a lot about quarterback here, and with the unpredictability of the QB market this year, it’s entirely possible the Cards could take a Derek Carr. On the other hand, Arizona’s not far away from competing in the NFC West, and is the best use of their draft currency to take a quarterback they’ll likely redshirt this year behind Carson Palmer?
Uh, couldn’t a promising rookie possibly start in lieu of Palmer at some point next season? It’s not like he wasn’t tied for second in the NFL in interceptions last year. What are you protecting him for?
No. 24, Cincinnati. Bengals like Teddy Bridgewater. They couldn’t. Could they? Well, if you’re Cincinnati, and you’re seriously thinking about making Andy Dalton the center of the franchise and paying him $17 million a year, you might be asking the question about whether Dalton’s worth it.
Seriously, Andy Dalton is expendable but 34-year-old Carson Palmer – who hasn’t accomplished anything Dalton hasn’t – is some prized veteran whose status as starter isn’t questioned?
No. 32, Seattle. Think about the advantages to picking, saying, 35th instead of 32nd if you’re the Seahawks. Every dime is going to count going forward because of pricey vets like Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman who must be re-signed. Last year, the difference between the 32nd pick (safety Matt Elam) and 35th pick (tight end Zach Ertz) was $350,000 per year. Not a huge sum, but when you add a $1.4 million total difference between 32 and 35 to the fact that the Seahawks might be able to get a low-fourth-round pick for moving down three slots—and you remember how good Seattle’s been in the lower rounds of drafts—you start to think John Schneider has to be thinking about this too. That’s if Cleveland would do a deal low in round one. But it’s intriguing. All Seattle would lose is the ability to add a fifth-year option by keeping its first-round pick. I think the advantages of saving $1.4 million and adding a mid-round prospect outweigh the edge of the fifth-year option.
This isn’t reporting. This is Peter laying out a proposal like he can tell John Schneider how to do his job. It’s taking a page out of the Bill Simmons’ “WHEN ARE THEY GONNA MAKE MEEEEEEEE A GM?” book.
Four men, one crystal ball.
I asked Mike Mayock, Todd McShay, Mel Kiper and Gil Brandt, “When round one is over Thursday night, tell me a story line or two that will surprise people.”
Not surprising: how quickly I skipped over this section.
Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin is this week’s Hottest Guy in the Draft.
SO HAWT RIGHT NOW
Mayock surprised me the other day by saying he thought Martin will come off the board “between nine and 13 … He’s too good. He’s too safe. He’s about as safe a player as there is in this draft.” Mayock told me Sunday he saw a Notre Dame practice last summer in which Martin had to be shifted from his usual spot, center, to guard because of an injury, and when he watched the tape of the practice, “It looked like he’d been playing guard for years.’’ I know one team in the top 10 seriously considering him.
When is a lineman not described as a safe pick high in the draft? He’s the thing: some of them still end up sucking.
I’ll make a trade with you, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell:
“You show me yours and I show you mine.”
You put the draft back in April, and I’ll support a four-day draft.
Haha, like Rog actually counts on your support for anything, you jumped-up doof.
I actually don’t think a four-day draft is a terrible idea. I don’t love it, but digest how the draft breaks down now, using the 2014 draft as an example:
Day 1: 32 picks.
Day 2: 68 picks (including four compensatory picks).
Day 3: 156 picks (including 28 compensatory picks).
It’s misleading to say Day 3 is four rounds. It’s actually five, if you include the nearly full round of compensatories. Those 156 picks come in a cascade, with little time for interpretation.
Oh yes, interpretation. Just what we need: more gasbags with strong takes about sixth-round picks. Have you even watched the late rounds before? Seldom is there discussion of most of the picks after the first two or three rounds. At that point, the analysts mainly just blather on about who was picked and who fell in the first round. Though this year they’ll be on the lookout for Michael Sam as well.
/interestingly enough, PK hasn’t mentioned Sam in his column in a while. Might be avoiding the subject after the blowback he got for his shitty anonymous GM quoting.
How about this revamped schedule for April 23-26, 2015:
Day 1: 32 picks.
Day 2: 68 picks (including four compensatories).
Day 3: 76 picks (including 12 compensatories).
Day 4: 80 picks (including 16 compensatories) … plus a two-hour “Top Undrafted Free-Agents Show” to follow.
Oh look, Peter is doing the job of the Seahawks GM and he’s running the whole draft himself. What doesn’t this guy do?
Wasn’t Peter’s gripe with delaying the draft taking pity on those poor team personnel people. “I KNOW LET’S GIVE THEM ANOTHER 24 HOURS OF NON-STOP WORK BECAUSE RATINGS!”
Quotes of the Week
“I’m sad to see some of these guys retiring. I’m not far behind.”
—Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, on the field at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. He was in New York to see friend Derek Jeter play for the last time, and he’ll stay today to tape the Letterman show. Jeter and Letterman have both announced plans to retire.
BARF BARF BARF BARF BARF BARF
It’s bad enough that baseball has to throw a farewell tour for Jeets. I don’t need football players getting in on it too.
“He’s got the balls of a burglar.”
—Rich Gannon, former NFL quarterback and 2002 NFL MVP, to me, on Johnny Manziel, in my virtual roundtable with five quarterback experts dissecting Manziel this week.
I move that we start calling him JOHNNY BURGLARBALLS!
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
Dallas draft picks in the top 228 slots this year: 5.
Dallas draft picks in the bottom 28 slots this year: 6.
A team has compiled a lot of picks that are easy to acquire through trade or via compensation from the league. WEIRD.
Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week
After years of being told, “You’ve got to go to Jazzfest,’’ I finally went to the New Orleans spring staple, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, on Saturday … to see Bruce Springsteen at the old lady of a racetrack there, The Fairgrounds.
Of course Peter King only goes to Jazzfest just to see Springsteen. I bet he’d go to Colombia to see how the Starbucks tastes there.
I’ll be returning.
Sorry, New Orleans.
It was a gorgeous day and a great Americana scene. Thousands of people—maybe 50,000 or so—walking from venue to venue, listening to gospel music in the Gospel Tent or blues in the Blues Tent, eating an array of local food (I chose the catfish tacos), enjoying the sun and the music. Springsteen was his usual indefatigable self. How does a 64-year-old man keep up that pace—not just for 2 hours and 35 minutes, but the pace of touring and keeping it so fun night after night?
Just a guess (I mean I SENSE THAT) it has something to do with not subsisting on a diet of coffee, beer and melted Kit-Kats.
Coolest part of the show: He brought up John Fogarty—and Fogarty’s two sons to play maracas—and they combined on “Green River” and “Proud Mary.”
I bet Peter spent the whole set yelling “PLAY CENTERFIELD!”
Three bits of lagniappe from the day in New Orleans:
Ooh, look who’s using fancy writerin’ words.
Saw Rob Ryan, the Saints’ rock star of a defensive coordinator, and NBC’s Brian Williams, a huge Springsteen fan, at the show. You see what Williams, the Yankee fan, is doing in this photo? He’s covering up the Red Sox logo on my shirt.
Tweets of the Week
He includes a tweet from a God parody account with a joke about Donald Sterling. I think my omitting that makes up for the moutheyes. Okay, well, at least it’s a start.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think I’m in favor of the draft rotating sites. As Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said the other day, he’s in favor of the idea of putting it at the team’s stadium in Arlington.
Cowboys executive in favor of an idea to make the Cowboys more money!
I like it too. Why not take it out to the fans around the country?
Yeah, why not give Peter a thinly veiled excuse for more expensed travel?
3. I think I don’t understand the Bucs apparently being open to dumping Mike Glennon. This is a player with potential, and a sponge
who doesn’t have to have anything handed to him, and could be a part of the long-term solution at quarterback for the Bucs. To get, say, a fifth-round pick for Glennon is just not commensurate with what he delivered last season in a promising rookie year.
Plus Glennon was a third-round pick just a year ago. I don’t take issue with PK’s argument though it’s fun to contrast his outrage over Glennon getting dicked over by the Bucs vs. his support of them during the Schiano/Josh Freeman saga.
4. I think the GM under the most pressure this week is Rick Spielman. He cannot pick the wrong quarterback if he wants any job security.
Lofty insight. It’s almost as though not choosing a bust at quarterback in the first round is a make-or-break decision for any GM.
5. I think one of the big questions anyone should have about Tom Savage was raised the other day by Gil Brandt. “It’ll be interesting to see how much of a factor it’ll be that Savage basically went 1,000 days without playing a game,’’ he said. “Did you know that?” Can’t say that I did. But I looked it up.
WHAAAAAA? You mean there’s more to this kid than spending the last 18 years of his life being interviewed by NFL brass non-stop?
7. I think Mike Florio is on to something.
“You know, players SHOULD have their contracts voided and their valuables repossessed if they miss a game to witness the birth of a child!”
He reported Sunday that of the 32 first-round picks in 2011—all, of course, eligible now to talk new contracts with their teams—none, apparently, is close to a long-term extension. Not J.J. Watt, not Cam Newton. There’s probably a logical reason—that teams don’t have to do anything now before the draft, and talks will heat up after the middle of May. But if they don’t, you can be sure players will press the collusion button.
Those lousy players and their slick labor talk! Don’t they know benevolent NFL teams always have their best interests at heart. If only that dastardly De Smith weren’t in their ear.
9. I think, when it comes to the debate about who’s going to start at quarterback for the Jets, it’s all meaningless palaver until Geno Smith and Michael Vick show up at camp and compete in practice and preseason games.
Lagniappe? Palaver? Starbucks must have started including a vocab word a day under the lids of their lardaccinos.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. Has V. Stiviano’s 15 minutes expired yet?
b. Could it? Quickly?
You’re the one talking about her in a fucking football column.
c. My favorite line from this sap’s interview with Barbara Walters: Asked about her relationship with Donald Sterling, Stiviano said, “I’m his right-hand arm man. I’m his best friend, his confidant, his silly rabbit.”
d. I wish I had a right-hand arm man. Any volunteers?
Well, our country seems to have a problem executing criminals properly so this seems like a suitable replacement.
e. The NBA is not my forte, but night after night it is great drama. The other night, when the Damian Lillard three-pointer at the buzzer went in to win the Portland-Houston series, I screamed at the TV. Imagine what Portlandians did? Fantastic theater.
I’m actually starting to grow fond of PK’s basketball musings, if only because they follow the same format every time.
“WELL I’MMA BIG OL’ BASKETBALL DOOFUS, BUT I TELL YA WHAT: I TURNED ON THAT HOOPS MATCH THE OTHER DAY AND BOY HOWDY THE TALL FELLER SURE PUT IN THE CYLINDER GOOD. DAMN NEAR WOKE THE NEIGHBORS AND SHOT MILK THROUGH MAH NOSE!”
h. Coffeenerdness: I could use a darker roast, Community Coffee, but you always make New Orleans a passable coffee stop on the road.
Be sure to accommodate this one customer who patronizes your business, at most, twice a year.
i. Beernerdness: In Atlanta Friday, I was fortunate to be introduced to SweetWater Brewing’s SweetWater Blue ale, with a hint of blueberry. Not a fan of the overwhelming kind of blueberry beers I’ve tasted, and this one definitely isn’t. It’s almost a light ale, and I found it delicious. No surprise there. SweetWater is a great brewery.
“Plus even though it’s got a fish on the label, I didn’t detect one hint of fish. Way to keep me on my toes.”
j. Congrats, Vince Ranalli (my nephew in Pittsburgh) for completing the Pittsburgh Marathon in five hours Sunday … and in a The MMQB shirt, no less. Heck of a job.
Lofty shirt to have your nipples bleed all over.
k. The week’s definition of pathetic: Yankee fans incessantly booing Robinson Cano on his return to New York. They’d have all turned down three more guaranteed years for $65 million more than the Yankees offered. Right.
l. And don’t blame me for Red Sox fans booing Jacoby Ellsbury. That’s awful too—and, for the record, I was at his first game back at Fenway Park and stood and cheered. To each his own, but the rancor in both cases is stupid and misplaced.
Way to class it up, Peter. You’re a shining example to all of us. Did you also happen to steal a foul ball from a child while being a better fan than everybody?
n. And finally, just when you thought you couldn’t feel any older, Billy Joel turns 65 Friday.
Indeed. It makes me feel very old that this person much older than me keeps getting older as time passes.
The Adieu Haiku
Three days and counting.
Our long national nightmare
is almost over.
The NFL Draft
It will help the country heal
when Nixon resigns