SMITH: Football Follies
Friday, April 21, 2017 4:00 AM
The City of Brotherly Love will do something never before done. They will host the first ever outdoor NFL draft in a large outdoor theatre that’s been constructed near the Philadelphia Museum of Art next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The city, notorious for its fervent fans of the Eagles, Phillies, 76ers and Flyers, will get the opportunity to again show the country, and the world, their passion for their city and their sports. They hosted the Pontiff in 2015, the Democratic National Convention in 2016, and now the draft.
However, it’s not the first time the city has hosted. They took their first shot in 1936 in a conference room in a downtown hotel. They would host it 10 more times between 1949 and 1961.
Now, as we all know, the city of Indianapolis wasn’t part of any of those drafts as they will be this season. As we all know the Colts relocated from Baltimore to Nap Town on March 29, 1984. I can remember waking up that morning and seeing the Mayflower trucks pulling into Indianapolis with Mayor Bill Hudnut greeting them. It all seemed so secretive and a move that no one really saw coming.
Can you imagine if they tried to do that now? If it wasn’t first reported by one of the national sports networks, someone would’ve broken the story, before it happened, on one of their blogs, twitter, or other social media sites. The city of Baltimore may have had a chance to do something before it happened, and the owners would’ve had to have voted on it. See the most recent moves of the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles and the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas.
The Colts will have seven picks in the upcoming draft. They hold the 15th overall pick in the first round and 46th overall pick, which will occur in round two. They also have picks 80, 121, 137, 144 and 158.
The Colts have great needs, but most experts feel that they’ll target an outside pass rusher in the first round with the retirement of Robert Mathis and Erik Walden choosing the free agent route. They also need help at the defensive corner, and who can forget about those offensive line woes.
Many NFL prognosticators have the Horseshoe selecting Temple’s Haason Reddick in the first round. The 6’1” 234 pound linebacker accounted for 22.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks helping the Owls to a 10-4 record and the American Athletic Conference championship. His speed and versatility should help at both linebacker positions.
Reddick was recently featured on a Sports Science segment on the Worldwide Leader, and was one of the best that they’ve analyzed in their five years of existence. He actually put their dummy into retirement, by taking off his head with a tackle that registered 32 G’s of acceleration.
The Colts will also look for a backup for Frank Gore at the running back spot and help on the offensive line to help keep franchise quarterback Andrew Luck more upright this season.
Here’s hoping new general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Chuck Pagano are on the same page and draft some horses for the stable.
Scott Smith is a Sports Writer for The Paper and has enjoyed covering Montgomery County sports for about two years. What started out as simply attending his son’s baseball games turned into a passion for writing about all different games and players. Scott’s “From the Cheap Seats” can be found in The Paper every Friday.