I am sure the draft process has always been an arduous one. Grainy old pictures from NFL war rooms come to mind. Guys in shirts and ties, bad haircuts, chain smoking like mental patients, furiously working a bank of phones, drinking black coffee. Hell YES! Lots of cussin’ and swearin’, chalk screeching on a black board. Oh man! That’s a draft!! Not a smart phone or Mel Kiper in sight. There were like 17 rounds in the draft back then and it all got done in two days. It would take two days for the NFL to get Roger Goodell’s make up presentable for TV. Do you think Chuck Noll ever wore make up on draft day! That would be like J. Edgar Hoover wearing ladies….. ummm… nix that. There is old NFL Films footage of Marty Schottenheimer and his Kansas City Chiefs Staff agonizing over whether or not Percy Snow was still going to be available to them when it was their turn to pick. Intense football stuff, for sure. I remember Opus and I watching that years later and screaming at the TV “Don’t pick Snow. He’s a bum!!”
There was a time in my life before the NFL Network. Hell, there was a time in my life before ESPN! In those black and white days, you had to do something crazy like read a news paper or magazine to find out when the draft was. Most years, The Old Man and I would have a discussion on who the Steelers ended up picking two or three days after the draft was done….. The only way we had ever heard of any of the players were if they played for Pitt or Penn State or if they were from Western PA. Yep, we were homers and proud of it! I still look for Panthers, Nittany Lions, and Yinzer’s in general, when I am looking at Big League rosters.
The draft is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. For every Brett Keisel to be had there seems to be two Aaron Jones’. For every Lamar Woodley there is a Bruce Adams. I could go on and on but no sense bringing up the ghosts of Tim Worley and Limus Sweed at a time when optimism should be filling the collective heart of Steelers Nation. There are some question marks out there, that is certain. The Steelers seem high on drafting Dontari Poe. His tangible skills are very, very good but his detractors (and they are plentiful) say that the actual playing of the game on the field may be the sticking point. So, on the box of chocolates meter, is he the awesomely tasty peanut butter cream melt away surprise or that one that tastes like a combination of ear wax and tooth paste? Do you sign a future superstar, consistent contributor, role player, or bust? It wasn’t that long ago that the experts were sure a team couldn’t go wrong with either Peyton Manning OR Ryan Leaf….
The Kevin Colbert era has been just shy of stellar. Let’s hope the tasty treats keep coming our war. I’m putting on a pot of coffee now so it will be good and ready come draft day. TO THE WAR ROOM!