The three-day NFL draft begins tonight:
COMMISSIONER HUGGY BEAR
How many hugs can Roger Goodell endure? Last year, he embraced many first-round picks who took the stage and was nearly hugged into submission by the likes of Melvin Ingram.
SHOW ME A QUARTERBACK
Will any quarterbacks be taken in the first round? Possibilities include Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and EJ Manuel, but this is far from the glamour year of 2012, when QBs were huge: Luck, No. 1; Robert Griffin III, No. 2; Ryan Tannehill (No. 8); Brandon Weeden (No. 22).
When that will be is anyone’s guess. Notre Dame’s All-American linebacker Manti Te’o’s great season was marred by a poor game against Alabama followed by the hoax involving a deceased “girlfriend.”
BEEFING UP EARLY
Watch for all the beef early in the first round. There’s a chance seven of the first 10 picks could be really big fellas. Among them are offensive linemen Luke Joeckel (306 pounds) and defensive linemen Sharrif Floyd (297).
WILL TIDE ROLL AGAIN IN 1ST ROUND?
A year ago, the national champions had four players picked. National champs again, there are five that could end up as first-rounders: offensive lineman Chance Warmack, cornerback Dee Milliner, offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, defensive tackle Jesse Williams and running back Eddie Lacy.
Every year, a slew of players with family ties to the NFL are draft-eligible. This year is no exception, with a few dozen all-in-the-family connections. Among them are QBs Nate Montana (son of Joe Montana) and Jordan Rodgers (brother of Aaron Rodgers), Duron Carter (son of Cris Carter), and Kyle Long (son of Howie Long, brother of Chris Long).
As the draft draws to a close Saturday, the fun revs up with the final pick, aka Mr. Irrelevant. As they did last year, the Colts have the honor at pick No. 254. Last year, they went for Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish.
The Associated Press