34 Things That Are Wrong in Draft Day

draft-day-terrible-movie


Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day—I’m not sure I’ve ever reacted to a movie the way I did to this one. It tells the story of Sonny Weaver, Jr. (played by Kevin Costner)—the embattled general manager of a fictional version of the Cleveland Browns. This version of the Browns is similar to the real one insofar as it’s bad, but on draft day, there’s hope. The film’s opening scenes see Sonny trade for the number one pick in that day’s draft. He’s sure to take Bo Callahan, the best college football prospect in years, but he’s mortaged the team’s future for the pick, and as the day proceeds, he realizes he’s not as sold on Callahan as the rest of the league seems to be.

It’s a truly bizarre film because as a football fan, I found it compulsively watchable. But the more you know about football, the bigger its jumps in logic seem. I’m not an expert on the inner workings of the average NFL team’s front office, but some of the leaps taken by Draft Day seem Grand Canyon-esque. I mean, it’s just preposterous—frustrating as all hell and, frankly, insulting to one’s intelligence. That said, I didn’t mind watching it—the first time or the second time the next day.

I’ve pulled out 34 things wrong with this film, its screenplay, and its notion of what draft day really is. They’re all separated into categories, and as you might expect, the entire thing is spoiler-heavy, so if you’re interested in being surprised by this film’s stupidity, stop reading and come back after it knocks you on your ass.


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The scene in which the Browns owner and GM discuss what the team might need…hours before the draft.

Conversations that would have taken place before draft day:
1.) Is Bo Callahan good? The organization spends the day trying to find out. You don’t trade away three future first-round picks for a guy without having scouted him exhaustively.

2.) “Let’s talk about the draft. What do we need?” This quote comes from the owner and is said to the GM. They’re talking hours before the NFL draft!

3.) Sonny takes a call with running back prospect Ray Jennings and asks him questions about a fight that got him in trouble with the law. Really, Sonny? You haven’t talked to the kid about this yet?

4.) Sonny passes through the weight room and gets stopped by the strength and conditioning coach, who mentions the team’s quarterback (who has bad knees) had an incredible workout and looks better than ever. How was this information not communicated to him immediately after it happened?

5.) Sonny’s mom calls him on draft day morning to chastize him for giving up too much to get number one. Doesn’t mention that they’ll be reading his dead father’s will later that day, but she’s furious later in the film that he hasn’t and won’t take proper time to mourn with her.




draft-day-bo-callahan


Bo Callahan—a Southerner by way of Washington and Wisconsin—is the projected number one overall pick.

Nonsense related to the film’s dozen or so ridiculous subplots:
6.) Bo Callahan is from Washington and goes to University of Wisconsin…a little weird. Even weirder? He has a Southern accent.

7.) Why is the Wisconsin coach such a prick? (And don’t say because he’s played by Sam Elliott. Don’t you dare.)

8.) New intern starts on draft day and becomes the GM’s assistant like that? Nope.

9.) The soon-to-be #1 pick, Vontae Mack, still has a midi ring tone.




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This is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. He is not a good guy, despite what Draft Day would lead you to believe.

Debunked with the slightest bit of real-world football knowledge:
10.) In the wake of the now infamous Washington-St. Louis trade, which saw the latter give the former its #2 overall pick in 2012 (Robert Griffin III) in exchange for three first-round picks and a second-round pick, no NFL general manager would ever consider the trade Sonny makes with Seattle. Period.

11.) Vontae Mack says he can’t afford a contract in the late teens. In 2014, the 18th overall pick earned a 4.5 million dollar signing bonus on top of a four-year contract worth 8.5 million dollars. Yes, that’s not on par with the pay day Cleveland’s seventh pick will earn, but let’s not kid ourselves, Vontae; you and your two nephews could survive on 13 million over four years (not to mention how much you’ll earn in endorsement money).

12.) Running back at 7 overall? Not in today’s NFL. Durability is a major issue at the position, and offenses are much more pass-heavy than they were a decade ago.

13.) Drafting a linebacker at #1? Last time was 1988. Seems unlikely.

14.) Is talk of Sonny’s firing early in the film premature? I mean, by the end of this day, he most certainly deserves to be fired, but to be fair, he’s only been there two years, and his most recent season sounds like it was injury-ravaged. I’m not buying.

15.) Fans are smart enough to know that three consecutive first-round picks are more than compensatory for a first-overall. Seattle wouldn’t suddenly be inundated with calls for its GM’s head.

16.) Also, they’re signs are horrible. A sign that just says “BOO”?

17.) Roger Goodell is arguably the worst and most loathed sports commissioner in history. He does not walk onto the stage to rousing applause. No, he absolutely does not.




draft-day-war-room


There’s plenty of fighting in this war room, but no intelligence whatsoever.

Hilarious instances of over-contextualization:
18.) “Your star wide receiver Andre Bell has been telling me about those secret workouts they’ve been doing together all winter.” (I think the GM knows the name of the team’s best WR, and secret winter workouts? Nah.)

19.) “Bo’s hard to sack. He was one of the least-sacked QB’s in Division I last year.” (This whole scene—analyzing the tape of Bo vs. Vontae for the “two millionth time”—reads like they’ve never seen it or analyzed any tape in their lives.)




vontae-mack-draft-day


Vontae Mack. No matter what.

Reasons why this fictional draft is mind-numbingly dumb:
20.) If Sonny really intended to take Vontae, he never trades with Seattle in the first place.

21.) Jacksonville says it wants player that went to St. Louis, but Browns guys say St. Louis went with their expected pick. So just how dumb is this Jaguars GM anyway?

22.) Seattle doesn’t want a quarterback! That’s why they traded the pick away in the first place. They wouldn’t give the farm back to take a guy they so desperately didn’t want to draft hours earlier because a few blogs wrote bad things.

23.) Of all the extras Cleveland could have demanded out of Seattle, they demand a punt returner?

24.) If someone called me a pancake-eating motherfucker, I probably wouldn’t trade with him for spite.




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Ellen Burstyn’s hair:
25.) I mean, amirite?




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Jennifer Garner puts out the fire intentionally started by Denis Leary in his boss’ office.

Stuff that would never happen in a million billion years:
26.) Team’s starting QB destroys GM’s office.

27.) Coach who sets fire to team’s playbook in GM’s office = fired on the spot.

28.) Coach who goes behind GM’s back to negotiate a trade = fired on the spot.

29.) Coach who’s as much a prick as Denis Leary is in this movie = fired on the spot.

30.) Pass on the supposedly best prospect in football history because of his sparsely attended birthday party.

31.) Team owner wears suglasses indoors for a nationally televised interview.

32.) GM fires coach, his dad, because he’s worried dad might die of stress.

33.) Two rookies lead the team’s pre-game huddle before the season opener.

34.) This whole movie.

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10 Responses to 34 Things That Are Wrong in Draft Day

  1. Carl Lambert May 5, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Just before the 2014 draft, Bo Callahan was introduced as the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner, which won’t be given out until December 2014.

    After Sonny already phoned in the pick, the guys in the war room said it was “Tradition” that they all called in the pick together and Sonny says “New tradition. Once we start winning will we go back to that”.

    Why the hell would you “Go back” to an old tradition AFTER you start winning?

    The biggest gaff of all is when they were
    reviewing the final TD pass Callahan threw in the Wisconsin-Ohio State game. The first time they reviewed the play, the ball was snapped from the 29 yard line, and there WAS a running back in the backfield. The second time they reviewed the play, the ball was snapped from the 41 yard line and the backfield was empty!

    Reply
  2. Dave Carlson February 6, 2018 at 3:16 am

    Watching it now on AMC, so I get the benefit of commercials for 4-hour erections and yeast infections to complement this oh-so realistic movie. I guess what surprises me is that with such deep-level buy in for the movie from the NFL, couldn’t the league have consulted a little better? I mean, for crissakes, the movie had Roger Goodell cheered at the draft, the least the could have done was advise the movie makers about more realistic deals!

    Reply
  3. Jags January 29, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    …the only person who is dumb, thats you writing this load of crap, dont ever ever use jaguars in you sentences again, calling the jaguars GM dumb is plain out stupid, by the way ITS ONLY A MOVIE…

    Reply
  4. Matt December 1, 2017 at 2:02 am

    Great write John!
    I was too intrigued by this movie to turn it off, only to be continuously disappointed for all these reasons and more. Had such promise, but dropped the ball at nearly every turn.
    Great job pointing all these things out. Could be even more analytical with trade value discrepancies but your points translate to non-technical readers and fans more strongly.
    I’m disappointed my Dad really liked this movie. bleh

    Reply
  5. Broncos Fan September 13, 2017 at 3:39 am

    For the record, I just want to say that i liked the move! That said, there are a few things that do bug me. First, a fundamental logic flaw is why Seattle didn’t try to move up a couple of spots to grab Callahan once Cleveland passed on him. They could have easily used one of the three first round picks from Cleveland to trade with one of the teams between #2 and #6 that weren’t looking to draft a quarterback. Even if they didnt’ think Cleveland would come back to try to grab him, they surely would have tried to protect themselves against other teams that were drafting lower to move up. Second, why would Jacksonville trade their #6 with Cleveland for three second rounders when Seattle would have required three first rounders plus a punt returner to part with their #7? O.k., so the movie made it clear that it was a rookie GM, but he is really going to look bad the day after! The discrepency seems a bit unrealistic. Depsite these flaws, I have to admit that I still like the movie and have watched it several times. I guess we should just enjoy the movie at face value without thinking too much…

    Reply
  6. John Pacey August 3, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Agree it’s ridiculous

    Agree that it’s incredibly watchable (at least once every six months)

    12 on your list – zeke and Lenny fournette?

    Reply
  7. Kyle September 28, 2015 at 10:54 am

    And this didn’t even mention that Wisconsin was practicing in late April/early May well outside of the spring practice season.

    Reply
  8. J June 9, 2015 at 2:07 am

    The director hadn’t done anything remotely watchable since Ghostbusters–I’m thinking 30 years of watching soccer whilst hand-plucking nose hairs made this movie. As for the writers, ems, not related to Edgar Allan Poe–probably also nose-picking soccer fans.

    Reply
  9. dirty6613 February 16, 2015 at 4:13 am

    Nice!….I think there might be another 34 instances in that movie. This movie was made so your girlfriend can understand a movie that a true football fan would never ever want to see!!!….So basically instead of explain how things work to her….we can now receive their “education” on the real draft day of wondering why our team doesn’t trade a 1st round pick this year, along with 2 future first rounders, for another team’s first round pick….to only trade all of our 2nd rounders for the next 3 years for another 1st rounder….AND amazingly parlay that back into getting our future first rounders back. Makes senses…right?

    So to recap, you just give away:

    1st round from 2015 (7th overall)
    1st round from 2016
    1st round from 2017
    2nd round from 2015
    2nd round from 2016
    2nd round from 2017

    in return for:

    1st OVERALL pick 2015
    1st round 2015 (7th overall pick)
    1st round in 2016
    1st round in 2017
    & Dave Meggett. 🙂

    Happens every year!!!

    Reply
  10. Steven Flores September 13, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Wow….. thank you for sparing me from watching this film.

    Reply

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