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- This weekend’s biggest sporting event isn’t much of an athletic competition at all. Nonetheless, some 100,000 people will pour in to Nashville starting Thursday for the 84th annual NFL Draft. Millions more will be watching on three networks, in what has curiously become one of the biggest events on the sporting calendar.
- Whether the Arizona Cardinals use or trade their #1 pick, most expect Oklahoma’s gunslinger, Kyler Murray, to go first. After that, defensive players will rule Day 1. Ohio State’s Nick Bosa, Kentucky’s Josh Allen, and Alabama’s Quinnen Williams will headline a class of nearly 20 first-round defenders.
- Every team needs something, including yours. The Super Bowl champion Patriots will need reinforcements at pass rush, and suddenly need to replace a certain tight end, who retired at the end of the season. A frenzy of offseason trades and free agent moves have punched holes in other teams as well.
- If it seems like you missed your team’s name being called in the draft order, don’t worry. Five first-round picks have already changed hands, with more likely to follow. The Chicago Bears aren’t scheduled to make their first pick until Round Three, 87th overall. The Patriots and Giants, on the other hand, have amassed a dozen picks each.
- The Cardinals also hold the last pick in the Draft, Round Seven, 254th overall. Often a target of playful derision, three such selections, carrying the nickname “Mr. Irrelevant,” are still playing on NFL teams. 2009’s Mr. Irrelevant, placekicker Ryan Succop of the Titans, will be lacing up for his eleventh season in the league.