Today is the day. You can mark it on your calendar like it's your birthday, because if your an NFL fan, it is. At this party you can either celebrate fabulously, or cry, if you want to. With a basket of gifts bigger then you can imagine. Streamers, balloons, a whole lotta players, and it's big.We are talkin' New York City, Radio City Music Hall big. All the best, who've shined the brightest. The players who captivated our Autumn Saturdays. They'll all be in attendance, anxiously awaiting new jerseys and hats like a child on their first day of school. Oh, but the arts and crafts are so different. A story-time, that scripts a tale of epic masterpiece, played out consecutively over four quarters.
This is the first time in NFL history that the draft will be three days in length. First round draft is Thursday, followed by second round Friday, and so on, you get the idea.
It used to be that we'd have to get up early on a Saturday morning and watch the Draft in our jammies. Now, we have time to scoot to the nearest sports bar, order a martini, and look totally appropriate. Plus, it gives us the opportunity to don the jerseys we found on sale in the off-season. Style for Style, and true perfection.
In the spirit of this holiday season, we'll reminisce over the top NFL draft picks throughout the past five years, and evaluate wither they're worth their signature.
The top draft picks are the ones who will earn top dollar, big dollar, actually. They will have inked their endorsement deals by Saturday afternoon. They are the ones who will earn our cheers and our jeers. You see, often times, this top-of-the-spot turns out to be nothing more then a major bust.
Team: San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Alex Smith
College: University of Utah
Starting Salary: July 2005, Smith signed a six-year contract, $49.5 million contract with the Niners; the contract includes $24 million of guaranteed money.
What he's done: According to NFL.com - Total Career Touchdowns: 37, Total Career Interceptions: 43, Total Career Passing Yards: 7,029, Total Career QB Rating: 69.2
Where he is now: After battling it out with Shaun Hill for the starting position late last season, Alex Smith still remains at San Francisco, and though showing signs of improvement in the off season, is not guaranteed to starting spot next season. In 2008, he took a rather extensive pay cut in order to guarantee a continued position on the team.
Team: Houston Texans
Pick: Mario Williams
Position: Defensive End
College: North Carolina State University
Starting Salary: $54 million, Houston made the announcement the night before the 2006 draft, ending speculation that Reggie Bush from USC would be first choice.
What he's done: According to NFL.com - Total Career Tackles: 202, Total Career Sacks: 39.5, Total Career Interceptions: 0
Where he is now: Mario Williams is still with Houston. Since 2006, he's been selected two years as a pro-bowler, and one year as an alternate. He's also been twice selected First-Team All-Pro, and holds The Texans' Single Sack Record, which he earned in 2007.
Team: Oakland Raiders
Pick: JaMarcus Russell
College: LSU (Louisiana State University)
Starting Salary: September 2007, JaMarcus Russell signed a six-year contract worth up to $68 million, with a guaranteed $31.5 million
What he's done: According to NFL.com - Total Career Touchdowns: 18, Total Career Interceptions: 23, Total Career Passing yards: 4,083, Overall NFL QB Rating: 65.2
Where he is now: Russell lost his starting position to Bruce Gradkowski after a couple huge upsets mid-last season. Gradkowski, after a few games went down because of injury, giving Russell his starting job back, however after a lack-luster performance against the Redskins. Jamarcus Russell lost his role to Charlie Frye. Russell has been highly criticized for his size and lack of conditioning during the off-season, it's reported that he weighs in currently at 290 pounds, and is poorly conditioned. His fate with the team remains in peril.
Team: Miami Dolphins
Pick: Jake Long
Position: Offensive tackle
College: University of Miami
Starting Salary: Long agreed to a five-year contract with Miami worth $57.75 million. The deal included $30 million in guaranteed money
What he's done: According to NFL.com - Total Career Games Played: 32, Total Career Games Started: 32, Total Fumble Recoveries: 0
Where he is now: Jake Long was the only rookie to start for Miami in 2008, and earned "Rookie of the week" that same year. Long was selected for All-rookie team by the Pro Football Writers Association preceding his rookie year. In 2009, Jake Long went to the Pro Bowl, replacing Jason Peters on the AFC squad. Long was named the second best offensive tackle in the nation ending the last season, thus, selected for a second time to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl.
Team: Detroit Lions
Pick: Matthew Stafford
College: University of Georgia
Starting Salary: Matthew Stafford signed a six-year contract with Detroit for $78 million, with $41.7 million in guaranteed money. This contract was the most guaranteed to a player in NFL history.
What he's done: According to NFL.com - Total Career Touchdowns: 13, Total Career Interceptions: 20, Total Career Passing Yards: 2,267, Overall NFL QB Rating: 61.0
Where he is now: Movin' on up. After beating veteran Daunte Culpepper to be the first string QB, Matt Stafford ended his rookie year with 2,267 passing yards, and 13 touchdowns. In addition, Stafford threw for a record 422 passing yards in his final game of the year, winning NFC Offensive Player of the week late December.
Story-time Kids: For this years pick is still to come, it's the St. Louis Rams who'll make decision one. Projected they'll pick a quarterback, but theories are changing from pink to black. So make sure you're watching, and don't be tardy, or else you'll miss this NFL party!