Herald Journal Columns
April 11, 2005, Herald Journal

Getting pretty excited about the NFL draft

By Aaron Schultz

Okay, you may call me a dork, and that is alright, but that doesn’t deter me from one of my favorite events.

That event is the National Football League (NFL) entry draft, which I follow very closely.

Every year, I pick up at least two, sometimes more, publications that deal directly with the draft.

These publications usually list a little bit about each player that has entered the draft, give a preview of each team’s needs, and also include a mock draft.

For those of you unfamiliar with a mock draft, all it is is a prediction of how each NFL team will draft.

Well, I read these publications from cover to cover, and I also check the Internet weekly to look in on several different mock drafts, which change from time to time.

This year, I have even gotten more into the draft, since the Vikings traded Randy Moss for Oakland’s seventh overall draft choice.

The Moss trade gives the Vikings two first-round choices in this year’s draft, which has heightened my interest.

This year’s draft is Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24, and, once again, I won’t be able to watch it.

It seems like every year, the Winsted Wildcats, which I play for, has practice the Saturday of the draft, and I am unable to watch it.

Well, this year, I don’t have to worry about practice, but the Lester Prairie junior varsity baseball tournament is going on that day.

As the junior varsity coach at Lester Prairie, my entire day will be spent at the baseball field, so, once again, I will be missing draft.

Yep, as sad as it sounds, I think baseball is the only thing that I would rather be doing than being somewhere watching the draft.

So, like in previous years, I will be recording the draft on my VCR, and watching it sometime later in the week.

I really don’t know why I have such a fascination with the draft, but I do and I just have to live with it.

Looking at what the Vikings might do in the first round, opinions are as different among the so-called experts as they have been any year.

Leading up to last week, it looked as if the Vikings would take either one of three different players, if they were available at pick seven.

Those three players are USC wide receiver Mike Williams, Michigan wide receiver Braylon Edwards, and Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson.

But lately, there has been some scuttle bug about the Vikings possibly drafting one of the big three running backs in the draft – Texas’s Cedric Benson, or either of the two Auburn running backs, Cardiac Williams or Ronnie Brown.

I really don’t think the Vikings could go wrong drafting either of those six players that I mentioned.

But, if I had my choice, I would like to see the Vikings draft Johnson, the linebacker.

Although, of the six players mentioned, the Vikings seem to like Johnson the least.

Apparently, the Vikings don’t want to draft another linebacker because they used a number of high picks, all second round picks, on linebackers the last few years.

That argument just doesn’t fly with me for one simple reason – none of those linebackers have really stepped up and played well, so far.

Also, if you look at the new and improved Vikings’ defense, linebacker is the biggest area of need.

As for looking at the Vikings’ second, first-round pick, which is 18th overall, I really have no clue.

One thing I am pretty sure of is that the 18th overall pick will be determined by which way the Vikes go with the seventh overall pick.

For example, if the Vikings draft a receiver with the seventh overall pick, then they will, in all likelihood, go defense with the 18th pick.

One thing I am very confident about is that I will be extremely disappointed if the Vikes go with a defensive end for either of their two first-round picks.

I just don’t want to go through another Derrick Alexander, or Demitrius Underwood fiasco.

The year the Vikes drafted Alexander, they passed on Warren Sapp. Great move.

As for Underwood, he never played a snap for the Vikings, and is probably either in jail or a mental institution right now.

In fact, the last time the Vikings had two first-round picks, they took Underwood with their second one. Nice pick Denny (Green).

The first pick for the Vikings that year was Daunte Culpepper, which turned out to be a pretty good pick.

I am going to end my discussion of the draft now, even though I think I could write a book about it.

Yep, I am a loser sometimes, and this time of year, it seems like it is worse than others for my dorkiness.

Stupid Direct TV

Opening day for Major League Baseball was Monday, and I am happy to see it back.

But, with Direct TV, which I have, I have been unable to get to bed at a decent time all week.

See, Direct TV carries the Major League Baseball Ticket, which makes every major league game available on television.

Of course, you have to purchase it, but they do give subscribers a free week.

So, this past week, I have been able to watch any game I have wanted.

I really like the fact that I was able to catch some different teams playing, but those west coast games are killing me.

They start at around 9 or 9:30 p.m., which is right around the time I have settled in for the night.

Pretty much every night last week, I turned one of the games on, and didn’t turn them off until they were over, which is usually after midnight.

So, as you can see, I am losing a lot of beauty sleep because of Direct TV, and everybody knows that I need as much beauty sleep as I can get.

A fun weekend of darts

Two weekends ago, we played at our league end-of-the-year tournament at the Medina.

I was on a team with John Lange, John Beneke, Terry Burkett, and Brian Langenfeld, and we won the Division I level team tournament.

The other Kegs’ Bar team was made up of Gregg Kohler, Marc Kohler, Gregg Rehmann, Brian Heimerl, and Jacob Schlagel, and they took second place in Division II.

In the doubles tournament, the team of myself and Burkett took third in Division I, while Lange and Beneke finished in fourth.

The Kohler brothers took home the title in Division II.

Yep, it was a fun weekend of darts, and congratulations to the Kohlers for winning that junior varsity tournament.

Orphans open May 1

The Howard Lake Orphans opens its season Sunday, May 1 at Memorial Park in Howard Lake against North Star rival Maple Plain.