Since this is a holiday and all, we appreciate you checking in since today really is about family and freedom and expressing the joy and celebration of a day of this merit and being with people you love.
Thanks. And Happy Draftmas. Let's sing some carols.
To the tune of Jingle Bells
"Mingo sells, Mingo sells, Mingo all the way,
"Oh what fun it is to chide Rex Ryan all the day."
Or this holiday classic (to the tune of Deck the Halls)
"Deck Radio City Music Hall with balls of money,
"Tis the day 5-at-10's spirit is sunny.
"Don the picks in new boss suits
"We remember them as 5-star recruits
Or how about this Draftmas classic... (To the tune of Frosty)
"Kiper, the know-man, has a big-time boss head of hair,
"With Gruden on one side and then McShay, and Berman breaking a chair.
"Manti Te'o's girlfriend is a fairy tale they say,
"She was created on the web, but scouts shrug and he'll get picked this day.
"It must be the magic in the New Era draft hats and those fans' cheers,
"but anyone who takes a QB today will do so again in a few years."
Gang. We love the draft. You know this. And if you didn't know this, well you know this now.
From the war room deep inside the "Talks too much" studios, with the first pick in the 2013 Draftmas 5-at-10, let's sprint to the podium.
We're well into the third annual the "Feeling the Draft" NFL draft contest.
Winner will get a Masters hat. Send in your entry, don't cost nothing. We are going to continue to reach out to other media-types in town to participate. The first champ of this event was SportTalk's Quake and last year Sir Jeffe won. Well-played indeed gents. And yes, we have won a couple of our own contests, but the fact that we are winless in "Feeling the Draft" leaves an empty place in our soul. We love the draft. You know this. We have acquired picks from the SportTalk trio, and we'll try to get Wells and Jim Gumm from ESPN radio when Paschall and the sports editor swing by for our radio show from 1-3 p.m. on 105.1 FM. A slew of the TFP folks normally play along and the TV guys are always welcomed, too.
As always, don't cost nothin' to play.
Your entries will have five parts. If there's a tie after the first round, please check back Friday because we'll have a second-round tie-breaker.
Here are the categories:
First player picked:
Titans' first pick:
Steelers' first pick:
Falcons' first pick:
SEC players drafted in round 1:
Here are the entries we have so far (and they go in order of first pick/Titans pick/Steelers pick/Falcons pick/SEC first rounders):
5-at-10 — Joeckel/Jonathan Cooper/Cordarrelle Patterson/Tank Carradine/12
Mrs. 5-at-10 — Joeckel/Warmack/Jarvis Jones/Eric Reid/ 13
McPell — Fisher/Dee Milliner/Cordarrelle Patterson/Xavier Rhodes/9
WarEagle — Joeckel/Warmack/Eifert/Kyle Long/14
ThatIDoKnow — Ansah/Mingo/Patterson/Jamar Taylor/15
TrueFan — Luke Joeckel/Tavon Austin/Jarvis Jones/Kevin Minter/11
OTWatcher — Joeckel/Warmack/Jones/Manti Te'o/12
Fred — Joeckel/Warmack/Lotulelei/DJ Swearinger/11
Dawg747 — Joeckel/Warmack/J. Jones/Z. Ertz/12
MrSpud — Joeckel/Warmack/Eifert/Hayden/9
RustyVol — Luke Joeckel/Jonathan Cooper/Justin Hunter/Desmond Trufant/12
Titanic — Joeckel/Lotulelei/Justin Hunter/Jamar Taylor/11
GratefulDawg — Joeckel/X. Rhodes/Cordarrelle Patterson/Zach Ertz/14
One Time — Fisher/Warmack/Eddie Lacy/Trufant/13
Jefe — Joeckel/Barkevious Mingo/Jones/Ertz/14
Huesmania — Joeckel/Warmack/Jarvis Jones/Trufant/12
Quake — Joeckel/Warmack/Patterson/Eifert/11
Cowboy Joe — Joeckle/Warmack/Patterson/Troufant/11
Dr. B (he is a doctor after all) — Joeckel/Milliner/Jones/Lacy/9
NewESPNlistener — Joeckel/Richardson/Eifert/Hayden/12
Weena — Joeckel/Lotulelei/Eifert/Taylor/13
More to come....
Here's what we hope to see through the first round for the two area teams: (And if you want to discuss your team or any and all aspects of the draft, Paschall and the 5-at-10 will be on ESPN Radio 105.1 FM from 1-3. Give us a shout at 648-1051.)
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt catches a pass during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
What they have done: The Tennessee Titans were one of the most active and effective teams during free agency, adding pieces and players of need. They added a starting guard in Andy Levitre and two safeties in George Wilson and Bernard Pollard. There were others — tight end Delanie Walker and running back Shonn Green — who add depth and competition, two things that are vital in today's NFL. They also signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, the former Bills starting QB, and the battle for ownership of this team between Fitzpatrick and Jake Locker will be the primary storyline heading into the season.
What they need: The Titans' recent attempts at defensive line difference makers have failed. Derrick Morgan, what happened? So a D-lineman could be the pick. The Titans have needed a difference-making wide out since Derrick Mason left for Baltimore, and it's obvious the criminal known as Kenny Britt has a hard time staying on the field. They could also really use a cover corner.
What they likely will do: This draft is flushed with interior lineman with value on each side of the ball. There's a real chance that the Titans will have the choice between Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelie and Alabama guard Chance Warmack. Each of those guys is a great value at 10 and will be in multiple Pro Bowls. And if Alabama corner Dee Milliner is on the board when the commish says Tennessee's on the clock, the Titans' rep will sprint to the front of the room, card in hand.
What we'd like as a fan: The Titans need a difference maker, a guy that brings legit matchup problems for the opposition. Tavon Austin is a guy like that. Tyler Eifert is a guy like that. Heck, Barkevious Mingo is very much a guy like that. One of those three will be on the board. And after two years of forgettable football, the Mike Munchak tenure could use a jot of energy, no?
What they have done: The Falcons have cut salary, saying bye to Dunta Robinson, Michael Turner and John Abraham. (Side note: It's worth mentioning here that the Abraham has not signed anywhere yet and could come back to the A-T-L later this summer.) They also added Osi Umenyiora and Steven Jackson, two players that have had big-time success and who should make the Falcons better.
What they need: Asante Samuel is the only cornerback with experience on the roster. Help is needed there now. Middle linebacker likely will be addressed. There is need for offensive linemen, too.
What they likely will do: There are a slew of cornerbacks — from the pipe dream that is Xavier Rhodes to Desmond Trufant to Jamar Taylor to even D.J. Hayden — that could be on the board or could already be picked by the time the Falcons pick at No. 30. If any of those four guys are still there, that's likely the direction the Falcons go.
What we'd like as a fan: This team is on the cusp of the Super Bowl. They finished 10 yards short last January of making the big game. How long that window is open is impossible to know. Many of the bold moves the Falcons could make will be later in the draft — we'd love for the Falcons to come away with Marcus Lattimore in round 2 and Da'Rick Rogers in round 3 — and in truth the need for a corner is undeniable. Still, even on the cusp of the Super Bowl, we could see the Falcons trading in both directions, too. Let's say for some reason Milliner starts to drop a little bit, maybe the Falcons move up and take the only real difference-making corner in this draft. Or, if the quarterback circus has not started when the Falcons are on the clock, there clock, there's a real chance Atlanta could make a very profitable deal with Buffalo or Arizona or Jacksonville — one of the quarterback-starved teams looking to get back into the first round.
All types of draft
OK, gang, we're open for all types of draft questions.
We are asking some, too.
We love the draft. You know this.
In fact, we're going to have a 5-at-10 draft this very morning. No it's not NFL players. It's college football coaches. Current college football coaches that is.
And yes, we all agree that Nick Saban is the Andrew Luck of this draft — a no-brainer that is atop every draft board. In fact, he's such a dunk, that he's off the board.
OK, starting with the first commenter, you get the next pick. Who you got? And then we'll follow along. (If people comment at the same time, we'll figure it out.)
Who's in? And who ya' got? Chas9, are you on the clock?
This and that
(other draft boards of interest — hey we love the draft)
— If college football put all of the players in a pool and re-drafted, here's our draft board (and this would be the greatest thing EVER, unless you are an Alabama fan because you'd have 10 players picked in the first round — and we're not kidding):
1) T.J. Yeldon — because you get him for two more years and he could win two Heismans (or is that win two Hesimen... Discuss)
2) Jadeveon Clowney — BEAST
3) Jameis Winston — two more years and he's about to blow up as FSU's starting QB
4) Stefon Diggs — again, two more years and the kid makes Maryland watchable
5) Todd Gurley — yes, two more years of this one too, and he's legit
— Best Chevy Chase comedies draft board (and this is harder than it looks)
3) Christmas Vacation
4) Spies Like Us
— SNL all-time draft board (way harder than it looks — and because of our age, we're talking post 1982-ish, if you are more fond of the old-school guys, we're cool with that)
1) Eddie Murphy
2) Mike Myers
3) Phil Hartman
4) Will Ferrell
5) Dana Carvey (and we stand by the claim that if Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslem runs for president someday, it would revitalize Carvey's career. Haslem is a spitting image of Carvey, who did a George Bush I impersonation that was so good, the Bush family had him over for hits and giggles)
Feel free to enter the draft contest above — we'll shut it down with the 5 p.m. time stamp.
Feel free to comment on any of the above — be it the Draftmas Carols or your version of any of the draft boards.
Remember Friday's mailbag, too.
And read the comments and know you're on the clock to pick a college football coach. Who you got?
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...