The NFL draft has transformed into a sports and media event all its own, from a once quiet affair to the multi-day television extravaganza featuring:
- Nine million utterances of the words "reach," "value," and "explosiveness."
Mix in Jon Gruden talking about how much "he loves this kid" and Joe Theismann pontificating about how good Andrew Luck would have been "when I was a quarterback," and you could devise a drinking game that would knock people unconscious in seven minutes.
- Delightful shots of players languishing as their stock free-falls, or video from their homes as they try to pretend to not be horrified that they were just drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars. You cannot put a price on such things.
- Mel Kiper's Hairbot (it may be sentient, and if it is, we're all going to die).
The draft also features any number of thrills and surprises from the teams themselves, who never cease to amaze us with their ability to make terrible picks, bad trades or forget how to tell time.
Here are a handful to look forward to for 2012.
After wowing scouts at the NFL combine and blowing Indianapolis Colts coaches away at Baylor's pro day, quarterback Robert Griffin will once again shock the football world by being chosen ahead of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck by the Colts.
This will then lead to a facial expression by Luck that will be captured on camera and live in YouTube infamy for all eternity as "Luck's Pucker."
The chaos will keep right on rolling with the next pick.
The St. Louis Rams (with Luck still on the board) will receive a number of offers for the second overall selection (one in particular from Washington that includes seven picks and Daniel Snyder's two youngest children) but instead will decide to hold, selecting USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil.
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford will then run to the stage, tearfully embrace Kalil, and thank him in advance for saving his life.
With Andrew Luck still on the board (could we get some sort of awkward interview here? Is that too much to ask?), Daniel Snyder and the Washington Redskins will offer nine draft picks, all three of Snyder's kids and a 19-foot U-Haul filled with cash to the Minnesota Vikings, who will accept.
The Redskins will get their franchise quarterback, while the Vikings will finally receive karmic compensation for the catastrophe that was the Herschel Walker trade.
The Vikings will then trade Snyder's kids back to the Redskins for safety LaRon Landry.
Did you ever have one of those days where everything goes so horribly wrong that you wonder if the universe actually actively hates you and wants you to suffer as badly as possible for as long as possible?
That's what it's like to be a Browns fan.
Despite an offense that would struggle to put up 17 points on a Sun Belt Conference team, the Cleveland Browns will use both of their first-round picks on defense, causing a 427 percent spike in natural gas usage in northern Ohio as 17,000 Browns fans all simultaneously put their heads in the oven.
It's the year of the Mayan Apocalypse, so why not?
In a move that temporarily knocks one of Mel Kiper's hairs out of place, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will do the unthinkable and trade up in the NFL draft, swapping both their first-round picks and other considerations with the Dallas Cowboys to acquire North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins.