4.28.2009

Falling: The Draft Edition

Picture the scene. You are a top prospect in the NFL or NBA draft. You've done the work on the field/ court in college and/or high school, the community and private workouts and talked with numerous teams about every aspect of your life. And despite your best judgement, you've listened to the writers and television pundits talk about you and where you are projected to go in said draft.

On draft day, you put on your best new suit, custom-fitted and tailored to immaculate perfection. But when you go to close the jacket, you find it hard to fasten. You've being working out, so it can't be weight, but it is. The weight of the day surrounds you. The mix of nervous anticipation and excitement are engulfing. The lights are bright and people around the world are watching and waiting to hear your name called.

For some, the relief joy comes immediately. Even though you expected to be called early, you never know until you hear your name. For others, the day seems like an eternity. Pick after pick, you remain in the "still available" bin while many of your peers competitors are now officially members of an elite club.

From Weight to Wait

Back in 1998, Rashard Lewis, fresh out of high school, entered his name into the draft. He probably had been assured by a couple of teams that he was their guy when their turn came. Unfortunately for Lewis, it didn't happen in the first round. Devastated and embarrassed, he began to cry. Like really cry. The tears continued until his name was called by the Seattle Supersonics (RIP) with the third pick in the second round.

Lewis isn't alone. Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn experienced the same thing. Rodgers was in contention to be the #1 pick. Many thought he had a great chance of being the guy. However, the 49ers went with Alex Smith. For Quinn, the sting of not being drafted probably happened when Miami, picking ninth, took Ted Ginn, Jr. instead. Leading up to the draft, many were convinced that the Dolphins were taking a QB. So even though Rodgers and Quinn were actually picked in the first round, I doubt that either of them would deny feeling like Lewis, even if it were only internally.

Oher You Ready

This year it happened again. The "victim": Michael Oher, an offensive lineman from Ole Miss who has had one hell of a childhood. According to many, Oher was a Top 11 pick waiting to happen. However, on draft day, he fell to number 23 when he was selected by the Baltimore Ravens.

Oher should be an amazing addition to the Ravens offensive unit, and I look forward to watching him protect Joe Flacco for a long time. Meet that man, whose latest test probably doesn't register in the Top 20 of things that happened in his life.



Shouts to dF for the video!

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