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COLUMN

This NFL Draft should come with a snooze button

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For more sports commentary, follow Reggie Hayes via Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1

There's not enough star power to keep average fans awake

Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 1:38 am

There may have been more boring NFL drafts than the one that's putting us to sleep this year, but they likely came long before the advent of the pistol offense. Or television.

We knew we were in for an unusual year when Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher went No.1 to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Three things are troubling about the previous sentence:

1. Central Michigan had the No.1 player in the country. Who knew? And why weren't they playing Alabama for the BCS title?

2. Fisher is an offensive tackle. That's about as thrilling to the average fan as NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock talking about middle third-round picks and their upsides. (Don't worry, parents. The only show those on cable.)

3. The Kansas City Chiefs. When were they last relevant to any NFL discussion? I think bell bottoms were in style and KC & the Sunshine Band were everyone's favorite movers and shake-shake-shakers.

I'm sure many teams are picking up the type of talent that will push them to new playoff success and prevent the Harbaugh brothers from taking over the universe. But when the first round and chunks of the second and third were overpopulated by players in the trenches, it's tough to keep paying attention.

Everybody has their favorite team, and those picks are interesting on a smaller level. But even the Colts, our “hometown” team (sorry Bears fans and Lions fan), came through with picks that registered 1 out of 100 on the excitement meter. Yes, it's possible first-round pick Bjoern Werner from Florida State could make us forget Dwight Freeney if not Bjorn Borg. I'm sure third-round pick Hugh Thornton from Illinois is a quality guard. But about that – he's a guard. We'll appreciate him helping to keep Andrew Luck upright but, again, he's a guard.

This is not exactly an Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne kind of year, now is it?

The most interesting players didn't even go in the first round.

Take USC quarterback Matt Barkley.

Seriously, someone take Matt Barkley.

The poor guy was considered a Top 10 or Top 15 pick a year ago and he was still sitting without a team on Friday night. Well, there's always the sixth round. (Insert reference to Tom Brady's draft round here.)

Even Manti Te'o found a way off the board before Barkley. Te'o, the Notre Dame linebacker and victim of well-documented internet hoax, was taken by the San Diego Chargers with the sixth pick in the second round (38th overall). The Chargers even traded up to get him. So he should feel wanted. That's good. The guy has been ridiculed enough. Just let him play.

You know the popular new pistol offense, where the quarterback is a dual run/pass threat that's all the rage? Geno Smith, the West Virginia quarterback, might or might not be able to run it. But he could introduce his own offense, the “chip” offense, as in “chip on his shoulder.” He was a little "pistoled" off, if you know what I mean, about not being selected early in the draft.

The good news is he went early in the second round. The bad news is he was picked by the New York Jets. I'm sure that franchise is just about to find its groove, right?

For the most part, however, this draft has been filled with gigantic linemen. Look at the first four picks. If you were not 6-foot-6, you were team-less.

The only redeeming quality early in the draft was the back-to-back picks of Ziggy and Barkevious, who are defensive ends and not stars of a new show on Cartoon Network. Granted, their new teams are the Lions and Browns, so some cartoonish play may ensue.

We were spoiled rotten by last year's Andrew Luck vs. Robert Griffin III battle of the new biggest names in the NFL. They were both great on paper. They were both great on the field. They are why we'll remember the 2012 NFL Draft for years to come. (Throw Russell Wilson in there, too.)

I'm not sure we'll remember much about the 2013 NFL Draft. However, if you try to watching through Saturday's final four rounds, at least you'll get a refreshing afternoon nap.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. E-mail Reggie Hayes at rhayes@news-sentinel.com