Illini football doesn’t win on most autumn Saturdays, but they do always win: on NFL Draft night and in 2nd-3rd tier bowl games. Illinois saw an O lineman go in the 3rd round, a D lineman go in the 4th. Just wanna reiterate this, so we're absolutely clear: football in 2012: 2-10, 0-8 in . (And I very convincing 0-8 in the Big Ten I might add)
Illini Football in 2013 2 picks in the top 100, 4 overall.
Illinois OL Hugh Thornton
has gone through a lot of adversity
to get to the NFL
. And I mean genuine adversity; not the cliched “adversity” you hear from college football
players and in “coachspeak.”
During his childhood, Hugh Thornton
saw his parents get divorced, his mother and sister were murdered while visiting he was them in Jamaica and he had to move in with his aunt after being abused by his father while living with him in Idaho. He made this move his senior year of high school across the country to Ohio.
I don’t mean to sound all Les Miserables
, as Friday night was actually a joyous event.
However, watching Illini
football last fall made me feel…."I used to dream my life would beeeeeeeeee......so different from this hell I’m living!”
OL Hugh Thornton
was selected by the Indianapolis Colts
in the 3rd round (86th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft
. He’ll be reunited with Coach Gilbert on the Colts
and join former Illini
CB Vontae Davis
in Indy. (You might have read about Vontae Davis
recent Twitter flap a couple months ago.)
No matter what NFL
team you follow, we all have this in common today.
Your team, each and every of the 32 NFL
clubs (or at least every team with a pick among the first 32), did not draft Manti Teo
in the first round last night.
And that is a wonderful thing.
Twitter lit up with jokes about Manti Teo
being an imaginary first round draft choice last night. Lennay Kakua hoax references were plentiful on social media.
And when the first round of the NFL Draft
ended, we were all free to enjoy the schadenfreude of Manti Teo
not hearing his name called. Perhaps The Onion
did it best. However, this is about much more than disliking an overrated college football
player. This is about much more than disliking Notre Dame
. Lots of football fans have distaste for both of those entities...
It’s really hard to size up the Chicago Bears
draft this year. Partially because the Bears
draft needs are many. Partially because it’s a “fat boy draft” like Mike Mayock
said! It’s “not sexy,” especially up at the top.
And this draft is the weirdest ever. Anything can happen. No NFL
teams seem to be in love with any prospect. Which creates more uncertainty than in any other draft that I can recall. So it’ll be fun to see how many picks all of us mock draft geeks get right Thursday night; especially vs. Mel Kiper, Mayock
Good luck to all who created a mock!
Fox 32 WFLD Bears
reporter Dionne Miller
said in my exclusive with her the Bears
will go O Line with their pick at #20. Most media
doing mock drafts and/or Bears
beat reporters are saying Linebacker to replace Brian Urlacher; Others say OT to strengthen the team’s weakest position.
They’re both right...
I was on a conference call with Mike Mayock from the NFL
Network a couple days ago. Mike Mayock is an NFL
draft expert and former defensive back. He played safety for Boston College and the New York Giants. He's a draft guru today. For a mock draft nerd like myself, I anticipated nothing but sheer awesomeness for this conference call.
Unfortunately, through no fault of Mayock, the experience fell well short of expectations.
Before we started, the NFL Network subjected us to a stupid (but thankfully brief) infomercial about some new programming. And since we were a captive audience waiting for Mike Mayock, the network was hoping we'd give their show some free publicity afterward.
We all get bombarded by ads and product placement. I just never thought I'd get it on a conference call.
There were over 100 other media
members on this call so I wasn't able to get any Bears
or local college football
prospects questions in. Then again, aside from ND, there are no relevant local collegiate prospects in this draft.
I listened for an hour and a half, but then hung up, despite the fact that Mayock was still answering questions. This fact will shock most of my readers, but I do actually have a life. And I have things to do some times. There are actual moments when I am disconnected from a computer, smartphone, television, radio etc.
However, I was around to hear Mike Mayock discuss one topic of local interest.
of Notre Dame
NFL mock drafts are crossword puzzles for football geeks. Which piece fits where and why. There's also a lot of speculation and b.s. involved; not so much on the journalists' end as much as with the sources. At this time of year, NFL scouts, GMs, front office guys etc. take lying to a level that resembles an art form.
That's why these can be so hard to predict by the time the Bears draft pick is on the board. Usually, you can get the first few picks right, but then draft day trades happen and dominoes fall, and it rips apart the NFL mock draft at the seams. This could all make for a more interesting Bears draft than in recent years.
To find the logic, I enlisted the help of my Chicago Bears beat writer Joey Flaherty. He does good work. Here's his first Bears mock composite
and his second.
Back by unpopular demand is my NFL Draft stock report: combine edition
So who do the Bears draft at #20? Here's what the "experts" say...