Day 1 of the draft took an interesting emotional arc for me. I was surprised by how quickly the day flew by despite my both nervous and excited anticipation. I recently dumped my cable subscription, so I was weighing paying a visit to my parents' house and mooching off theirs vs. going to a drinking establishment to catch the "action" on several big screens. But 7 o'clock ended up seriously sneaking up on me, and I still had enough other things going on that I resorted to seeing if I could find any half-decent, live coverage online. Low and behold, after quickly poking around, I found NFL.com's free live stream. The problem with free live streams though, is sometimes they're not quite live. It just so happened that an annoying update bar on the top of the page would display each pick about 10 seconds before it was actually announced, and to my dismay, there was no way to make it disappear. It followed me wherever I scrolled. Of course, this didn't really bother me until pick no. 11 rolled around, when I really just wanted to hear it from the Commish himself. As you might well imagine though, I became completely engrossed with the screen as the seconds ticked down--I lost all bearing on reality; I was completely defenseless. I could see Goodell making his way across the stage, and then it happened. My eyes glanced and caught the godforsaken update bar, which flashed TAYLOR LEWAN, OT MICHIGAN. My heart sunk.
How could this be? Did we really just take that guy. I had been pulling for us to trade down and grab C.J. Mosley, who was still readily available. Even if it wasn't going to be for Mosley, I thought, you mean to tell me that nobody wanted to trade up for Donald, Manziel, heck, even the guy we just drafted? We could've recouped our coveted 3rd rounder and had our pick of most of the same guys just a few, measly picks later. Webster dropped the ball, he fumbled it away like Algae Crumpler vs. the Ratbirds in the playoffs. That's all I could think.
An hour later though, I had talked myself off the ledge. I'm sure any Draft Psychologist, if such a thing exists, would tell me my reaction was perfectly normal. I just had to come to terms with the who, what, how and why. I now felt that, given the circumstances, we had held our ground, didn't panic when need didn't equate to value, and wisely picked for the future. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our 2015 1st round selection ... Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan. Yep, you heard me. We teleported 13 months (wishful thinking) into the future and saved our self from needing to fill this spot next year. For that, I applaud the brain trust running this team.
I won't get into Lewan's off the field issues, because frankly, I don't know anything about them. Even if you've read every news clipping about the rumored incidents, you don't know anymore than I do. I can't imagine being in the position where any real or presumed missteps I would take would lend themselves to excellent back page news fodder. For that reason, I can't judge Lewan, and I don't believe you should either, yet. Trust me, we'll know soon enough if he's a bad apple. It didn't take much time to see it clearly with Pac-Man Jones, Vince Young, or Kenny Britt. Whether due to malice or immaturity, troublemakers will find ways to get into to trouble.
Obviously, it's hard to predict who will be available to us in next year's draft; we don't even know where we'll be picking. Given the choice of replacing Roos and getting our LT of the future this year or next year, it's hard to see us being dealt a worse hand next year in terms of need aligning with availability. There weren't any "gotta have em'" type guys left, and next year LT would've been a "gotta have it" position. I don't think very many draft gurus would project a guy the caliber of Lewan being available outside the top-10 next year and, I'll just throw it out there, I'm really hoping we don't have a top-10 pick next year. Keep in mind too, Houston now has 2 serious weapons attacking the edges if Clowney lives up to even half his hype. That makes our OT spots even more important. I really hope we have some chances to pick for this year in upcoming rounds, but I'm decidedly happy with Round 1.