The NFL Draft may still be two months away, but that doesn't mean you can let your preparation slack. There's mock drafts to read, or player breakdowns to assess, or pro days to use as the launching point for unfounded speculation. I heard Teddy Bridgewater's not even going to throw at his pro day. He'll just wander around the field, trying to hacky sack the football like an idiot.
Of course, you could also just ignore the players altogether and look at what really matters: THE NUMBERS. Draft Numerology takes you inside the history and cultural significance of each pick in the first round to explain ... well, okay, we're working on that part. Since the first pick resides in the AFC South this year, that's where we'll begin.
HOUSTON - 1st Pick
Has Houston had this pick before? Yes, twice. The Texans took David Carr first overall in 2002, and four years later they took Mario Williams at the top of the draft. Combined, the two accounted for over 300 sacks during their time in Houston, and if you think David Carr's the first person to make millions to take a public beating you've never been to an Easter egg hunt hosted by Jerry Jones. Those kids kicked the shit out of Kyle Orton, and he didn't even blink.
Who usually gets taken here? In the last thirty drafts, sixteen #1 picks have been used on a quarterback. The next highest frequency is defensive line, with six picks. This is especially unfortunate for Case Keenum, who just had all those "Starting NFL Quarterback" business cards printed up.
The Class of 2014 was born in 1992. What was the number one song that year? "End Of The Road," by Boyz II Men. Matt Schaub's been listening to it in the bathtub for a week now. Dude is pruney as hell.
What does celebrity chef Ina Garten think about this number?
"The number one reminds me of a trip Jeffrey and I took to Andalucia a few summers ago. We had a lovely dinner with Queen Noor and Bill Laimbeer at a little place that prepared the most delightful flamenquín. Bill's Spanish was dreadful, and we'd been enjoying quite a bit of wine, so he wound up telling the chef he'd murdered a man at a Pizzeria Uno in Milwaukee."
"We later learned that wasn't a mistranslation. Ah, Spain."
JACKSONVILLE - 3rd Pick
Has Jacksonville had this pick before? No, the Jaguars have had the second overall pick three different times but never picked first, third, or fourth. The nice thing about new territory is it's a place where you've never failed, Jacksonville.
Who usually gets taken here? This is the territory of defensive linemen, who make up a third of all number three picks since 1984. Quarterback is the second most frequent position picked with seven, but that includes Vince Young, Joey Harrington, Akili Smith, and ... hey, come on where are you going?
What was the #3 song in 1992? "Jump," by Kris Kross. This is definitely the sign you are looking for to trade up, Dallas. Embrace your backwards-shirted destiny, no matter how many future draft picks it costs.
How does former TV psychic Miss Cleo feel about this number?
"The thing about people attracted to the paranor - no, I don't do the accent anymore. Anyways, what I was saying is that there's nothing fraudulent about telling people what they want to hear. We're not selling someone a defective car when they'd otherwise buy a sound one. People who want psychic advice aren't being bamboozled. They're looking for someone to tell them life tomorrow might be better than life today. And if the world hasn't given them that hope elsewhere, why shouldn't we? The point is, it doesn't matter whether you're third or eighth or seventeenth, because that's only your position now. Next week, who knows. So that's $25, and another $20 if you want me to keep going."
TENNESSEE - 11th Pick
Has Tennessee had this pick before? Yes, though only as the Oilers, when they selected Richard Johnson in 1985 and Morris Towns in 1977. The former led the AFC with eight interceptions in 1990, and the latter is a right tackle named Morris who happens to have an engineering degree. You could have been Morris Towns if you hadn't spent all that time playing Nintendo.
Who usually gets taken here? Nine of thirty number eleven picks have been defensive linemen, and another six have been defensive backs. In fact, a defensive player's been taken here two out of every three times. There have only been one running back and one wide receiver taken in spot 11 in the last thirty drafts. The running back was Ron Dayne. The receiver was Michael Irvin.
What song was number 11 in 1992? "I Love Your Smile," by Shanice. If, like me, you didn't recognize this song based on title and artist alone, here you go:
Right, the "do do do do dooooo do do" song.
What does the Sunsphere, supreme ruler of Knoxville, Tennessee, think about this number?
THE MIGHTY SUNSPHERE TITTERS AT YOUR INSIGNIFICANT SYSTEM OF ORDINAL NUMBERS, HUMANS. YOUR MATH MEANS NOTHING TO THE ALL-KNOWING, THE ALL-LIVING, THE ALL-ENCOMPASSING ORB OF POWER THAT IS SUNSPHERE. ARITHMETIC SUGGESTS THE POSSIBILITY OF RISING OR FALLING. TO SUNSPHERE, THIS IS LIKE ANTS FIGHTING OVER THE MOST MEAGER OF MORSELS. ONLY ONE NUMBER SHOULD EVER RISE TO ANY IMPORTANCE TO YOUR MISERABLE SPECIES: THREE HUNDRED SIXTY.
INDIANAPOLIS - No pick, traded to Cleveland
Has Indy been without a first rounder before? Four times, in fact - in the 1988, 1991, 2004, and 2008 Drafts. In three of those seasons, they finished above .500. In 1991, however, the went 1-15 and only scored 8.9 points per game. I don't think that's likely to be the fate of the 2014 Colts, but I won't say that wouldn't be hilarious.
Now I can't ask you who usually gets taken here. No, you can't. But take comfort in knowing that, one day, we'll be able to look back at whoever the Browns take at 26 - and everyone picked after that point - and compare them to Trent Richardson. I suspect this will not work in Richardson's favor.
What's a song that was outside the top 32 in 1992? That would be "Beauty And The Beast," as performed by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. It also won an Oscar that year, though it went to the songwriters and not to Dion and Bryson because Hollywood is a joke.