I know you’re excited. But here are 10 Reasons The 2022 NFL Draft Will Suck:
1. This fuckin’ guyRoger Goodell isn’t new to the draft, but he remains one of the worst people on the face of this slowly smoldering planet. Despite that, his role as emcee of the NFL Draft is inevitable. You know, like Thanos but somehow less sympathetic.
On Thursday night, the crowd in Vegas will boo Goodell as soon as he steps on stage, one of the few draft customs I can get behind (truly, a tradition unlike any other). But Goodell even ruins this, because as sure as he’ll be booed, he’ll tramp to the podium and pause to soak it in. He actually enjoys it.Look at his stupid greasy face: Either Goodell is fueled by hatred, or he genuinely believes the crowd loves him— that they’re booing him as part of some hilarious inside joke (they’re really saying “Goo-ooooooo-dell”), and not because they genuinely want to see him clutch his left bicep and collapse on national TV. I think both can be true.
Roger Goodell made $63.9 million in 2021. He makes 42 percent more per year than the NFL’s highest-paid player, Patrick Mahomes. His salary puts him sixth among Fortune 500 CEOs—a collection of people whose job it is to extravagantly compensate themselves. None of Goodell’s counterparts in the NHL, NBA, or MLB make more than $12 million per year. And for what? The NFL was an unstoppable freight train of billion-dollar TV deals and owner-friendly collective bargaining agreements long before Goodell took over in 2006.Hell, I could do that job (and only for a modest yearly stipend to NFLshop.com), and the league would be no worse off. But still this real-life equivalent of the Men In Black bug in human skin gets to repeatedly drone into the mic at my favorite sporting event with all the media savvy of a Make-a-Wish kid on horse tranquilizers. Fuck him and his leather armchair.
2. The 2022 quarterbacks suck, and so does everyone else
This is the rare year the draft is tank-proof (something I’d normally love, because fuck the Jaguars), with one NFL scout admitting that fully 10 members of the previous year’s class could’ve been picked first overall in the 2022 draft. Yippee.
The 2022 QB class of Willis-Pickett-Corral-Zappe-Purdy-Coan-Crum reads like a human centipede compared to last year’s crop of potential superstars Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones.
But this applies to more than just quarterbacks. The class’s most electric wide receiver, Jameson Williams, tore his ACL in the National Championship Game and may never be himself again (but yes, the Vikings should probably still take him).Top edge rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux and Aiden Hutchinson are more Clowney-Crosby than Bosa-Garrett. And the cornerbacks, while deep as a group, are not regarded with the same breathless anticipation as Jalen Ramsey, Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore, or Patrick Peterson. Derek Stingley could be made of glass, and Sauce Gardner didn’t face stellar competition in the AAC.
Not only are all these prospects painfully meh, they’re all old as balls, too. Thanks to various Covid-related college eligibility loopholes, this year’s class is almost a full year (on average) older than most draft classes. They are the Van Wilders of student athletes. Half of them could be nearing the end of a PhD program if they wanted to.
“Defector was able to compare the average age of this year’s draft class to the previous five years. For the years 2017–2021, the average age ranged from 23.07 to 23.15 years old. This year’s class is 24.11 years old, basically a full year older, and in a league where every data point is precious, age is not just a number.”https://defector.com/this-nfl-draft-class-is-old/
At least if you miss on a prospect, at this age they might not reach their fifth-year options. Uff dah.
3. These teams do not deserve multiple first-round picks
Look at this shit:
As disgusted as I am by watching Roger Goodell for four hours, I’m even more repulsed by the prospect of watching teams like the the Giants, Jets, Lions, and Texans repeatedly fuck up yet another draft. Now, this year I have to watch each of them fuck up TWICE. The other teams that DON’T suck—Saints, Packers, Eagles—can go straight to hell. The Chiefs pick back-to-back at 29 and 30, but I’m honestly intrigued by how they’ll manage to select two consecutive useless running backs to platoon with Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
We have to stop letting the best players go to the worst teams. What the NFL does to its most gifted and talented is like sending Rhodes Scholars to work at a Wendy’s.
4. Las Vegas is a terrible place to host the Draft
If you stay in Las Vegas for longer than 48 hours, your body and mind start to disintegrate from the abundance of liquor, lack of sleep, and endless walking, so no one was asking, “how can we make a long weekend in Las Vegas more unbearable?” But the NFL had the answer.
There are thousands of bad decisions you can make in Las Vegas, but I can’t think of anything worse than standing on Las Vegas Boulevard for four hours, especially shoulder-to-shoulder with draft rubes. Sure, they’re no different than the usual Vegas freaks, but instead of being spread out along four and a half miles, they’ve flown in from across the country to stand together on one city block. I won’t be there, but I resent the hell out of having to watch it on TV. There’s also this:
“Players who attend the draft will greet commissioner Roger Goodell on a floating stage placed on the Bellagio’s iconic fountains. Awash in the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip, the backdrop is certain to grab viewers’ attention.”https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/nfl-draft-2022-location-city-las-vegas/uiydgskaz6im17ztebsfq8mv
Prior to the pandemic the NFL planned to transport players to the stage with a boat:
God I wish this boat thing were still happening. This is what happens when you let a life-size ventriloquist doll like Mark Davis plan events. Because the NFL has such a great maritime legacy.
5. The NFL Draft Concert Series (presented by Bud Light)
Weezer, Ice Cube, Marshmello. This will be terrible and I shouldn’t need to elaborate.
6. Mel Kiper, anti-vaxxer
If you think a 61-year-old with that hair and that voice will be less annoying via Zoom, you’re wrong.
7. Adam Schefter, family man
ESPN will be without Adam Schefter for this year’s draft, and not because he’s been suspended for stupid fucking tweets. Turns out he’s skipping the draft to attend his son’s graduation. With how much time I imagine Adam Schefter spends on his phone, I’m surprised he had a family at all, much less a son graduating college (and in April, of all months). But really, OF ALL THE DAYS TO SHOW AFFECTION, SCHEFTY? Ian Rapoport has been waiting his entire career for this moment.
8. Kirk Herbstreit’s blood clot
The Golden Buckeye has a blood clot and can’t travel to the draft. Given how much college football he watches, there aren’t many people whose draft analysis I trust more than Kirk Herbstreit’s, so losing him sucks. But what sucks more is his effort. GO REMOTE LIKE YOUR FRIEND MEL. That’s the kind of shit that loses your team the 1993 Citrus Bowl, Kirk.
9. Don’t give me hope.
The NFL draft is the ultimate hope-selling event. Contenders get their missing pieces and bottom-dwellers get their future superstars. The Vikings will live forever in the blurry purgatory between those two sides, and their drafts are a microcosm of this curse: Get Justin Jefferson… and Jeff Gladney; get Dalvin Cook… and Sam Bradford; get Brian O’Neill… and Mike Hughes; get Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, Stefon Diggs… and Trae Waynes; get Xavier Rhodes… and Cordarrelle Patterson and Sharrif Floyd; get Harrison Smith… and Matt Kalil.
There are middling years where we get Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater, and then there are the straight-up swings and misses: Troy Williamson, Chris Cook, Christian Ponder, Laquon Treadwell, Mike Hughes, Garrett Bradbury.
I should know better, but I’ll fall asleep on Thursday night feeling excited and hopeful. WE GOT OUR GUY. And because it’s Kwesi’s first draft, probably more excited than usual. I left all those other drafts—good, bad, middling—feeling that way, too. I’m so fucking stupid, and you are, too. Trust no one, feel nothing.
10. “The NFL Network’s Thursday night coverage will open with Penn and Teller narrating a piece on Las Vegas.”
Goddamnit. The 2022 NFL Draft, everyone: