Draft Day: Fun Movie Not Rooted In Any Reality

I am not a movie critic. I am a football writer with strong unapologetic opinions. Therefore when they make a movie about the NFL Draft, my movie critic hat goes on. Draft day attempted to dazzle with behind the scenes action of the NFL Draft. So they concocted the most inconceivable and unrealistic story possible. I should have expected the movie to disappoint; it’s a feel good story about the Cleveland Browns. I suspect there are some Clevelanders that think, at least deep down, that this is a faulty premiss.

Someone not attuned with the intricacies of the NFL and its draft may walk away very satisfied. The movie was done really well. Kevin Costner’s charisma carried the movie to its peaks. Jennifer Gardner played a lawyer who knows football inside and out- what is sexier than that? The movie was suspenseful, and exciting. The story however was forced and unrealistic.

The movie is based on the trade Washington made with St. Louis to get the number two pick in 2012. The Seahawks (The real life Super Bowl Champions) had the number one pick. They managed to get three consecutive number one picks for the Browns. I saw where the movie was headed but they started to lose me anyway.

Kevin Costner’s character discovers however that his number 1 QB is a bust waiting to happen. He essentially traded three years of number 1 picks for a QB he did not want. The frustrating thing was how much he did not know about the quarterback. The movie starts the early morning hours of the draft and everyone in the Browns offense is scrambling to form an opinion on the QB. It’s their hopes and dreams-franchise-quarterback, or at least he was supposed to be. Shouldn’t the GM and his staff know every conceivable thing about that player? That is literally their job description.

Why was an NFL GM listening to sports radio? Why was an NFL GM watching ESPN and NFL Network for inside information on the NFL? He is in the NFL!

So the Browns GM takes a middle linebacker that may not have gone in the top 10 picks. A middle linebacker that just happened to sack the number 1 prospect 4 times in one game. I was wondering why a middle linebacker was getting 4 sacks in a game. Who sends their middle linebacker blitzing enough to get 4 sacks? That is an unimportant side-note but I had to mention it.

Then they trade three number 2 draft picks to get the 6th pick to get one pick ahead of the Seahawks. If your counting, thats 6 1st and 2nd round picks the Browns traded. They figure out that Seattle wanted the QB all along who slipped because teams were afraid that two teams passed on him. Costner than gets all three number one picks back and a punt returner. If you are not saying “Oh come on” yet- I cannot help you.

Draft Day was a good movie as it was very compellingly crafted. The plot and the substance just was not there. It was like a burger without the patty. The bun, bacon, lettuce and tomato may be delicious but its not a burger. Draft Day was not a football movie. I think it tried to be. Maybe they were afraid it would scare off the not football obsessed crowd.

That is the demographic you think they should have pleased. There was enough romance and family drama to please those looking for it. Add some meat around it, make it a football nerd’s movie. If you sell a movie as a realistic behind the scenes glimpse of the NFL, are you not required to live up to that promise? If football people think it sounds dumb and unrealistic the movie is a failure.

I came away disappointed; they made a movie about the draft and it made no sense. I should point out that I am probably the film’s worst nightmare though. I am a football nerd and I take the draft very seriously. I cover the draft for this website and another. Football is my life and Draft Day failed as a football movie.

The movie was not made for football people despite selling it as a football movie. In the end the casual fan and non football fan wins again. When are people going to start making things for people who eat, breathe and sleep some serious football? Our money is green too and there are a lot of us. First they make Madden mind numbingly stupid, I have to listen to Chris Collinsworth every Sunday, the least they could do is make a serious football movie. The draft is like Christmas wrapped in bacon…it’s awesome. And it should be treated as such. If you make a movie about the draft, go football nerd or go home.

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