Welcome to the 2014 Pro Bowl Draft Live Blog.
The NFL is attempting to deliver a shot of adrenaline to its annual all-star game, and Around The League decided to track the NFL Network coverage of the draft and deliver our own complement to the proceedings. This could get me fired.
ATL colleague Kevin Patra is actually in Hawaii, and at this moment I've begun to actively wonder why he's not doing this. If the answer is, "This gives Patra more time to ingest fruity beverages and annoy Drew Brees' wife by the pool," well, then I'm cool with it.
For those not in the know, this year's Pro Bowl ditched the standard conference affiliations in favor of a fantasy football-like draft, with Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders serving as owners or GMs (or something). In Day 1 of this event -- yes, there are two days of this -- Team Rice and Team Sanders selected defensive and offensive interior linemen, fullbacks, special teams players and punters. Here's my 3,000-word takeaway breaking down each selection.
Please. I'm in it for the glory positions. Patra can have his coconut-based alcohol beverages and warm tropical sunshine. I'll take a half can of Diet Coke and fluorescent light that makes everyone look seven years older.
Thanks in advance for following along. I won't let you down, Dad.
8:02: We're underway. Chris Rose is wearing a suit. He's probably sweaty. Deion Sanders is growing a white beard, reminding us all of the unending march of time.
8:05: How come Jerry Rice doesn't age? He's 51 years old and doesn't look a day over 34. You're telling me Rice wouldn't have seven touchdowns on the Broncos this season?
8:08: It appears NFL Network has set up Mooch and Marshall Faulk in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
8:13: Andrew Luck's hat. I just can't. He looks like the camp counselor who stuck around too long.
8:30: Team Rice selects Jimmy Graham with its first pick. Seems early. Drew Brees notes that Graham doesn't like to be called the "Ginger Giant" or "Golden Graham." Now Graham's real-life opponents know what to do. GREAT JOB, DREW.
8:35: Team Sanders selects Cam Newton. Team Rice counters with LeSean McCoy. Oddly, the mock draft by Gregg Rosenthal and Marc Sessler is on fire right now in the accuracy department. Check it out right here.
8:40: God, I wish I was in Hawaii right now.
Does this thing have a supplemental draft..??â Josh Gordon (@JOSH_GORDONXII) January 23, 2014
8:53: Speaking of Josh Gordon, the All-Pro wide receiver becomes the third Browns player off the board (Team Rice), joining left tackle Joe Thomas (Team Rice) and Browns cornerback Joe Haden (Team Rice). Just a friendly reminder that Cleveland gig might not be so bad after all.
8:58: Chris Rose just said the waves on the island are the biggest they've been in a decade. And where have Faulk and Mooch been situated by their bosses? RIGHT NEXT TO THE OCEAN. This doesn't feel right.
9:02: The picks so far.
9:11: Gerald McCoy just called Jerry Rice the "the worst GM of all time." Got legitimately awkward. That was great.
9:25: Seriously though, you don't want to be the last guy left in that green room. If I'm Antonio Cromartie, I'm super nervous right now.
9:27: Marshall Faulk looks likes he's being held in place by a steel cable. Props to Faulk, who's providing stone-faced analysis each time they throw it to him. Dude is invested. Or he lost a bet.
9:30: Um, Antonio Cromartie just came off the board. Cromartie was ranked 103rd out of 110 cornerbacks this season, according to ProFootballFocus.com. #FireRice
9:37: I just found out this thing is three hours long. I'm not even mad. That's amazing.
9:49: Eric Weddle is awesome. The Chargers safety -- fully relaxed in the green room -- told Michelle Beisner (The Beis from here on out) he's fine about not being picked yet. "I'll be on the field in the fourth quarter ready to wreck shop."
10:05: Mario Williams is picked by somebody. He looks legitimately annoyed after sitting in the green room for two hours. "We're live, you know," a visibly nervous Chris Rose timidly interjects after Williams snatches the microphone away. This would not be a good time to bring up the engagement ring situation.
10:07: I'm now convinced NFL Network is only cutting to Mooch and Faulk to make sure they haven't been swept into the arms of the mighty Pacific. They're still alive, by the way.
10:09: Chris Rose is going to need a stiff drink after this one. That makes two of us.
10:11: Justin Tucker working on schtick in the confessional. Send this tape to Lorne Michaels.
10:13: Terrell Suggs comes off the board finally. He's kind of exhausting.
10:19: The same Pitbull song is being played over and over out of commercial breaks. Whenever I hear a Pitbull song, I think of a sketchy guy at a bar failing to be successful with women.
10:22: The picks so far.
10:30: Um, is Tony Freaking Gonzalez still in the green room? Where's the respect?
10:35: As it turns out, Gonzalez hasn't even arrived in Hawaii yet. This guy has redefined "creating your own schedule." Respect. Anyway, he's been selected by Team Deion.
10:43: Seriously though. Picture Pitbull in a bar. Now strip away of all his fame and wealth. He's nursing a vodka-based beverage and failing with women, right?
10:47: By the way, the #TeamSanders squad is far superior to #TeamRice. A fan poll backs that up, with Deion getting two-thirds of the vote. #FireRice
10:48: Alex Smith is so over this.
10:49: Smith is the last pick of the Pro Bowl draft, almost nine years after being the first pick of the NFL draft.
10:56: Robert Mathis got traded to Team Sanders. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but adjust your scorecard accordingly. Also, if you're keeping a scorecard of this, seek help.
11:00: The final rosters. Thanks for following along. Have a great night. Aloha.