PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – APRIL 24
By Leo Haggerty

NOT MANY SURPRISES

First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.

The first round of the 2020 National Football League Draft is in the books. As Marty Johnson said on Laugh In, and again I’m dating myself, “very interesting” especially with the extraordinary precautions that Covid-19 forced the NFL to undertake just to put on the annual April event.

Before I delve into the who did what and why in the draft, a big congratulations go out to all the people involved with the initial virtual NFL draft.  All the individuals, both in front of the camera as well as the behind the camera personnel, were able to pull off an almost seamless production in extremely uncharted waters.  Kudos to all involved.

For the most part, the selections went according to the chalk especially in the top 16 picks.  In my opinion, the only two in that range of picks that could even be consider a “stretch” were both cornerbacks.

The first was when Jacksonville, picking #9, chose CB C.J Henderson.  Definitely a small reach, if at all, for the Jaguars.

The second was at #16.  Atlanta chose CB  A.J. Terrell but that wouldn’t put the Falcons in the “off the reservation” category.

Now, in the bottom 16 selections, that wasn’t the case.  There were two in particular that made you wonder what these two franchises were seeing on film.

Th first, at #19, was Las Vegas.  The Raiders selected CB Damon Arnette.  Most mock drafts had the Ohio State product in the mid-second round range but he did play on, arguably, the best secondary in college football.

The second, at #21, was Philadelphia.  The Eagles chose WR Jalen Reager when there were two or three receivers that were rated higher still on the board.  One reason may be the TCU alum is an extremely proficient punt as well as kickoff returner.  That had to go into the equation when it came to the Birds decision.

Still, both of those selections fall under the “wait and see” distinction .  Not in the “have you lost your mind” category for sure.

So, let’s see what Day 2 brings with Rounds 2 and 3.  I’m looking forward to it.  How about you?