NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium in Dallas

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McNeil: NFL Draft Is Gone, But We'll Hear It Comin' Again

The draft has become the biggest event ever about nothing.

Dan McNeil
April 30, 2018 - 1:48 pm
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By Dan McNeil--

(670 The Score) These are among the final days for us to have our eyeballs plastered by and our eardrums pillaged by Draft Mania, a seasonal disorder that effects one in three men over the age of 18.

One last slow dance with Mike Mayock (play something about hip snap, please). One last installment of "Good Morning Football" until there's a story that emanates from an actual NFL training camp. One final Super Bowl-winning coach to break down the strengths and weaknesses of the incoming freshmen quarterbacks.

I love the noise. For years, I've immersed myself up to my baby blues in all the jargon, all the rhetoric and hyperbole that are key ingredients in the NFL Draft stew. As willingly as I embrace the propaganda, however, I denounce its significance.

There's no more impressive session of verbal masturbation than that which accompanies the NFL Draft. It's its own monster and, for a decade now, capable of taking a giant wet bite out of NBA and NHL playoff ratings because America favors football in primetime.

Never has a more elaborate "stage" been constructed than the one at AT&T Stadium in Dallas for this past week's talent hunt. And consumers had their choice of tour guides via networks, apps and opinion makers. 

What did we learn? If you asked me if the Bears got better, I'd say yes.

All accounts indicate the Bears' first-round pick, Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith, is NFL-ready. Smith has a nose for the ball and is a sure-handed tackler. Last fall, he played his best football when the Bulldogs were facing their toughest opponents.

General manager Ryan Pace also added a starter to his offensive line. Iowa center James Daniels, who will play left guard for the Bears, was an obvious selection for Pace with the 39th overall pick. Typically, I'm not enamored with moving a player positionally, but I doubt there's an easier transition than going from center to guard.

Seeking depth at wide receiver, Pace traded a future pick for an additional second-rounder and chose 5-foot-11 190-pound Anthony Miller out of Memphis. Miller was a highlight reel in his final two years after beginning as a walk-on.

I could go on, but you know the names. Players like Joel Iyiebuniewe, Bilal Nichols, Kylie Fitts and Javon Wims. Chances are excellent only one of the those four players whom Pace drafted from the fourth round and beyond actually will stick.

It's dopey to give Pace a letter grade for this new addition of beef. People do it, but I'm passing because I know better. You grade a draft, as Pace mentioned on the Mully & Hanley Show on Monday, three years later.

That said, I suppose we now should give the Bears' 2015 draft class -- Pace's first -- its grade. I'm going with a D for first-round bust-out Kevin White, who's caught 21 passes in a handful of NFL starts. Safety Adrian Amos and defensive lineman Eddie Goldman (maybe) spare Pace a failing grade. White and Jeremy Langford, the fourth-round running back out of Michigan State, can't.

See me on the last day of April 2021, and we'll grade Pace for this year's draftees.

What we can count on, be it next spring or in the one that follows, the NFL draft never will be at a shortage for hot air. It's become the biggest event ever about nothing. 

You don't need to mark the date. Most of us blowhards will alert you of its presence long before we probably should.

Dan McNeil is a co-host of the McNeil and Parkins Show in afternoons. You can follow him on Twitter @DannyMac670.