A general view of the draft stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Finally! NFL Draft analyst Chris Steuber has come out with the best prediction yet for what will happen Thursday night once the 2012 NFL Draft finally begins.
On Tuesday, Steuber tweeted: "Prediction: No mock draft will matter after the Top 10. It's going to be a crazy night on Thursday."
Exactly! The truth in all of this paralysis by over-analysis of the draft is that no one knows what will happen once Commissioner Roger Goodell begins traipsing to the podium Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall and general managers begin sweating under the pressure of being on the clock for real.
I might go a step farther than Steuber. Reality is nobody has a clue what will happen beginning with the third pick of the draft. Once the Indianapolis Colts take Andrew Luck and the Washington Redskins select Robert Griffin III all bets are off.
If you enjoy watching Mel Kiper Jr.'s face turn shades of red we didn't even know exist, and his eyes darken in anger, this is the draft for you. We all know Kiper is smarter than every general manager in the NFL. For decades now we have watched Kiper argue angrily when he thought teams made a mistake.
The completely unpredictable 2012 draft might finally be the one that actually makes Kiper's head explode, finally messing up his perfectly coiffed hair. The thought is almost enough to make me look forward to watching the generally gruesome, painful to suffer through, coverage on ESPN.
Let's consider some scenarios, which, to be honest, may or may not have anything to do with Kiper's head exploding.
- We think we know the Minnesota Vikings will take USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil with the third overall pick. What if they don't, though? What if they trade the pick? The draft will already be turned upside down, and Kiper's face will turn its first shade of red.
- What if the Cleveland Browns don't do what everybody thinks they should do -- take Alabama running back Trent Richardson - with the fourth pick? What if they make the Ryan Tannehill blunder? What if they trade the pick to someone else who makes the Tannehill blunder?
- What on earth are the Jacksonville Jaguars going to do at No. 7? Don't you know by now that the experts have decided there are only six players worth a darn in the entire draft? Trade the pick? Swallow and take the least useless player left? Call Kiper and ask for advice?
- The Buffalo Bills at No. 10? Good Lord, trying to figure things out that far into the draft is about to make MY head explode.
- Skipping ahead a little bit, because I need to, what will the New York Jets do? GM Mike Tannenbaum hinted the other day that there are really 12 players on the Jets first-round board. Sadly, for the green with envy Jets, they pick 16th.
- Skipping ahead again, the New England Patriots have the 27th and 31st picks. If they actually keep both picks every analyst in both the ESPN and NFL Network booths, and Patriots fans everywhere, will be thoroughly perplexed. The Pats never actually make the picks the NFL gives them.
- What will the New York Giants do at No. 32? Well, there are only about 20 possibilities. Maybe 25. Would ESPN's Thursday night coverage end with Kiper having a heart attack if the Giants took, say, David Wilson of Virginia Tech when he might think they should take Doug Martin of Boise State?
Here's a good one. What will happen with Chandler Jones, the under-productive Syracuse defensive end who draft analysts like Kiper, Todd McShay and Mike Mayock seem to suddenly have a man-crush on? You can already feel the anger starting to rise if Jones is not one of the first 15 picks. If he falls out of the first round? I don't even want to think about the ugliness.
You get the idea. Point is, what makes the draft entertaining is that nobody actually knows what is going to happen, not even the general managers themselves.