Happy NFL Draft Day! Aaron Rodgers Arrives in New York, and Other NFL Bullets
I have to get my TSA Pre-Check done after this trip. I tell myself every time I fly, which is more now than ever, that I will get it. Still, I never do, and I end up standing in long security lines at the airport. But I’m absolutely getting it when I get home from this one. Anyway, good morning! When you read this, I’ll be in Kansas City checking out a BBQ spot as I prepare for the NFL Draft tonight.
- If you’re also going to be in Kansas City for the NFL Draft this evening, I (mainly with the help of KC local and DLF writer Eric Dickens) put together a can’t-miss list of the what’s what in Kansas City BBQ. Eric went to the length of using NFL players’ names to associate the level of quality/importance of each BBQ spot. If you didn’t catch it yesterday, you can check it out here:
- Speaking of things you may have missed yesterday, I filed my final swing at predicting what feels like the most unpredictable first round in recent memory on Wednesday afternoon. My final mock draft has all 31 first-round picks and features two teams trading up (one into the top ten and one back into the first round)!
- And lastly (before we get into the news of the day), Matt put together a notebook of the latest round-one storylines surrounding the NFL Draft:
- Everything we’ve heard the past two weeks points to the Carolina Panthers taking Alabama QB Bryce Young with the top pick in the NFL Draft. But, whether it be Young, C.J. Stroud, or even Anthony Richardson, there’s a substantial likelihood that we’ll see history tonight. The QBs I named have a chance to become the first trio of Black quarterbacks in the top 10. Even if one falls out of the top ten, we will see at least three Black quarterbacks taken in the first round. The last time we saw that was the 1999 NFL Draft when Donovan McNabb was taken second, Akili Smith third, and Daunte Culpepper 11th, per Mike Jones of the Athletic.
- Suppose a team moves back into the first round to select Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker (which I’m confident will happen). In that case, this will be the first NFL Draft to have four Black quarterbacks drafted in the first round. As Jones pointed out in his column at The Athletic, not since Michael Vick in 2001 have we seen a Black quarterback taken with the first overall pick in the draft. Whether it be Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud, that will change tonight. Progress is slow, but progress is good. Mike Jones’ full story is worth a read today:
- Remember when some balked at the idea that the Jets hiring Nathaniel Hackett as their offensive coordinator was an effort to entice Aaron Rodgers? Well, Rodgers said on Wednesday that Hackett’s hiring was a factor in his desire to play for the Jets. It’s funny how many people dismissed that notion despite the long-standing knowledge that Rodgers values his inner circle immensely.
- Rodgers was introduced to the New York media on Wednesday afternoon after the trade to the Jets became official. The Packers traded Rodgers, the No. 15 pick in this year’s draft, and a 2023 fifth-round pick to the Jets in exchange for the No. 13 pick in this year’s draft, a second-round pick, a sixth-round pick and a conditional 2024 second-round pick that can become a first-round pick on Monday.
- A couple of takeaways from the presser: First, Rodgers intends to stick around Florham Park for voluntary OTAs. Not all of them, but as many practices as he can attend, starting this week. Rodgers also said that the Packers didn’t communicate “properly” with him after the season ended, prompting his desire to move on from Green Bay.
“I will say, people that know me, I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful house. The only downside is that I have very limited cell service. So if you want to get ahold of me, I have to see your face, you gotta FaceTime me. So my only response to the communication thing is there are records in your phone about who called you, when, FaceTime, and there weren’t any specific FaceTimes from those numbers I was looking at.”
- The Jacksonville Jaguars and defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton have agreed to an extension. Hamilton will make $23 million fully guaranteed and up to $36 million. Hamilton will make over $18.7 million in the first year, per Ian Rapoport.
- Aaron Rodgers helped the Packers clear some cap space on his way out of Green Bay:
- Uh, sure …
- If you’re still searching for a rooting interest in the NBA playoffs, Jimmy Buckets is moving on!