Will Syracuse have any players drafted by the NFL this weekend? There’s three players on the board for the Orange: DT Jay Bromley, RB Jerome Smith and LB Marquis Spruill. All of the three are projected to be mid-round picks. None are considered top tier talents like Syracuse has produced in the past, from Jim Brown through Donovan McNabb.
But the NFL Draft has picked up enormous steam over the past two decades, and become a made-for-TV event. So even mid-round picks like the Orange Trio get the Kiper/McShay/Mayock treatment. You can bet on everything from how many QBs will be taken in the first round, to whether the Eagles fans will boo their first pick. It’s an amazing transformation to have witnessed over the past twenty years.
Year ago, the draft was the darkened safe house for the NFL addict. You’d hole up on the couch or in the den on a beautiful sunny April afternoon, ignoring one of the first warm Saturdays of the year to wait 15 minutes in between picks. The whole enterprise would usually last six hours, and you really had to earn the fandom you were putting yourself in the middle of.
Rifling through draft magazines and newspaper draft boards, you’d have seen a few of these guys play in big games on Saturdays. Maybe a handful of bowl games. But in 1994, there was no internet (at least not for most of us). There was no massive cable packages with every conference and every game on it. There was no constant Twitter chatter of who’s drafting who, and what trades are coming down.
Now, you look around and it’s a Las Vegas gala. Red carpet introductions for the draftees. Constant media speculation starting months ago. Mock drafts. Two networks. Prime time. Three nights. This party sure ain’t what it used to be.