The NFL Draft happened last week. I watched a lot of it, because I love the NFL and also I’m a Detroit Lions fan so every Draft provides the hope that they finally turn it around as a franchise. Someday, right? There have been a lot of movies made about football. Some of them are good. Some of them are cheesy, family-friendly feel-good mediocrities, like Rudy and Little Giants. Others are perfectly fine and middle-of-the-road, like The Replacements. Then, there’s Draft Day. Yes, there is a football movie about the NFL Draft. It’s that much of a cultural phenomenon. Draft Day even stars Kevin Costner and was directed by Ivan Reitman! It’s also truly insane as a movie.
Costner plays the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns. He has the seventh-overall pick in the draft. Also, his girlfriend – the team’s cap analyst – is pregnant and his mom is mad at him because his dad died and also his dad was the head coach of the Browns until Costner fired him. Anyway, the owner wants Costner to trade up to the first-overall pick to take a quarterback. Specifically, quarterback Bo Callahan. Hey, it makes sense. A team needs a franchise quarterback to succeed normally. Teams constantly trade up to draft a quarterback, especially since they changed the rookie salary cap. That happened before the 2014 Draft, which is when this takes place.
Costner trades up to the first-overall pick…but then he drafts a linebacker. A linebacker! That’s insane! First-overall picks are quarterbacks, offensive tackles, or defensive ends. Taking a linebacker with the first pick is grounds for being fired. Then, somehow Costner convinces the Jaguars GM to trade him the sixth-overall pick for three second-round picks, which would almost definitely not happen. He does this just to try and coerce the team in seventh, the Seahawks, to trade up one spot to get the quarterback Callahan. Somehow that works, but then Costner drafts…a running back! A lot of people think you shouldn’t ever take a running back in the first round. Costner takes one seventh! And used so much draft capital to get a linebacker and a running back!
Basically Costner is a terrible GM. This draft is a disaster for him. The movie doesn’t make any sense. Draft Day is one of those sports movies that don’t understand how sports work. It just happens to involve the NFL Draft, as opposed to anything exciting on the field.