Despite its advantageous draft position, Houston remains unsettled at quarterback. The Moo Cows used a fourth-round pick on Tom Savage, who went almost three full years without starting a game as he wandered from Rutgers to Arizona to the University of Pittsburgh searching for a head coach who would tell him whatever it was he wanted to hear. Successful NFL quarterbacks are almost always ones with a lot of starts in college; Savage started only one season. He comes to the Texans as a 24-year-old rookie. The last relatively old rookie quarterback was Brandon Weeden.
Indianapolis Colts: Well before the draft, the Colts traded their first pick for Trent Richardson, who played poorly, and their 2014 fourth-rounder for a 2013 fifth-rounder, used to select Montori Hughes, who rarely saw the field. Because the 2014 draft is perceived as strong, this seemed the wrong year to spend picks in advance. A fourth-round selection this year was like a third-rounder in an average draft. So not only does the Richardson trade look suspect, so does the Hughes transaction.
Jacksonville Jaguars: It was the seventh straight year the Jaguars picked in the top 10 of the draft, the league's longest run of such high picks. What does Jax have to show for it? Derrick Harvey, bust; Eugene Monroe, big disappointment in Jacksonville then an instant success in the jersey of the Baltimore Ravens; Tyson Alualu, reliable journeyman; Blaine Gabbert, bust; Justin Blackmon, suspended knucklehead; Luke Joeckel and Blake Bortles, jury out. Starting in 1999, the Browns blew back-to-back-to-back-to-back high first-round picks on Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren and William Green. Jax's draft futility is approaching that level.
Radio City atmospherics: Marqise Lee of USC, expecting to be a first-day choice, wore a bright pink sports coat. It takes a real man to wear pink! Khalil Mack was introduced by the NFL to the crowd as from "the University of Buffalo." The school's odd name is the University at Buffalo. Jason Verrett was introduced to the crowd as from "Texas Christian University." The school now styles itself as TCU -- like KFC and AARP, just letters that no longer stand for anything. Maybe TCU should have gone throwback to the school's 1873 founding name, AddRan Male & Female College.
Hundreds of people waited outside Radio City hoping to get in not for Round 1, but for Round 2. This was with 3,000 spectators already inside. "I love this pick!" was the watchword on both ESPN and NFL Network. Long gone are the days when Mel Kiper Jr., or anyone, will mock a choice on-air.
A huge cheer went up when Michael Sam was drafted. Of course there was a huge cheer in the Gym Sportsbar, a gay sports bar in Los Angeles. There was also a huge cheer among the old-school draftniks at Radio City. This really must be the 21st century.
The Rams, who chose Sam, had 19 team officials in their war room. Does it really take 19 people to write a few names on index cards? And about that term "war room." Many NFL teams use the expression. On NFL Network, a feature under the rubric DRAFT WAR ROOM ran often in the week before the draft.
A sports draft isn't anything remotely like war. No one's taking any personal risk or engaged in any act of conscience. Yes, it's a figure of speech, but one that suggests what's happening is far more important and significant than it is.