For some reason, I remember exactly where I was when QB Colt McCoy was seletcted in the 2010 NFL draft.
I was at Radio City Music Hall covering the draft for SB Nation. Between picks in the third round, I had walked up to get something to drink and I was coming back down the stairs (just to the left of the NFL Network set) when they announced the Cleveland Browns had selected McCoy in the third round.
I remember this so vividly because I immediately thought the Browns got a steal at quarterback. McCoy was being mocked by some as a late first round pick and, by others, as a sure-fire second round pick. He slipped all the way to the third round which, for the Browns, was a great thing.
For him, though, it was a little difficult falling...and falling...and falling. I talked with McCoy on Thursday just hours before the 2011 NFL draft and he described to me what that feeling was like seeing your name fail to come off the board for so long.
"It's hard. It's something that you look forward to forever and you don't go where yo want to but it adds fuel to the fire. It gives you a little motivation. Again, at the end off the day, I was thankful for the opportunity that I had, that I was drafted through the shoulder injury and all those things that went down at the end of the season. Looking back, I'm not surprised at where I went. You just need to be thankful for the opportunity that you get and go from there."
If I were making a guarantee, I would have been close to guaranteeing prior to the 2010 NFL draft that McCoy would be gone by the time the Browns selected in the third round. I'm a big believer in players that have four years of tape on them as McCoy did.That's why I'm not a gambler.
Speaking of guarantees, that's what brought McCoy to speaking with us. SB Nation has teamed up with Valvoline to give fans the chance to win a pair of jerseys and tickets to their favorite team's home opener -- if you can guess the first round draft order. Check out the details here.
McCoy has also partnered with Valvoline on behalf of their Engine Guarantee program. You may not want to listen to me guarantee anything but, with Valvoline, you have an opportunity to guarantee your engine up to 300,000 miles. Check out EngineGuarantee.com for details.
Since we were on the topic of guarantees, I asked McCoy to give me a few of his guarantees.
First, he guaranteed that, at some point, all the prospects will be nervous. This is a no-brainer. It's the biggest day of all of these guys' lives and with the exception of a few of the top players in the draft, everyone is susceptible to a draft-day fall like McCoy had, which should make all of them nervous.
It's a lot of emotions going into this day. It's a day you've been dreaming about for a long time to get your name called and get drafted. Those are big things for you, your family, your college. There are lots of emotions involved.
Second, he guaranteed the Browns would select WR Julio Jones.
OK, I made that up. He didn't know who the Browns would draft but he did note that plenty of people are suggesting they'll go with a receiver.
I know everyone is talking about taking a receiver. Selfishly, as a quarterback, that would be great with me. You can't have too many playmakers. I know we're going to draft based off of what they need. GM Tom Heckert, Mike Holmgren and coach Shurmur, this isn't their first rodeo. We trust them.
Third, he wouldn't guarantee the Browns are going to win a specific amount of games but did note that they had a solid core and appear to be on their way up.
We feei like we're headed in the right direction. We have a solid core of football players on our team. We just need to keep working and we have a chance. Every year every team has a chance. There are great athletes on our team. We're all excited about our future and want to get this lockout worked out so we can get back to work.
Amen to ending the lockout. Let's hope the 2011 NFL draft isn't the last of football for a while.