The Official Unofficial 1999 NFL Draft Timeline

Posted by admin - 17/04/99 at 12:04 am

The NFL Draft Day timeline, 1999:

April 17, 1999, 6:00am, Central Standard Time: Saints coach Mike Ditka calls Indianapolis, offers entire draft of 1999 for Ricky Williams. Colts put him on hold, accidentally hang up.

7:00am: Mel Kiper, draft expert, arrives for the draft after finishing his newsletter on the 100 best eighth-grade football players in the nation.

11:00am: Official television and radio pregame coverage of the draft begins. Analysts are paid thousands of dollars to judge the upcoming careers of young men who haven’t played any more professional football than you or I.

11:30am: Ditka calls Colts back, offers to throw in last year’s number one pick and next year’s number one for Williams. Colts promise to think it over.

11:35am: Cleveland Browns make the first overall selection in the 1999 draft, Tim Couch of Kentucky. Couch receives a handshake from Paul Tagliabue and a soul-kiss from “Big Dawg.”

11:36am: Philadelphia Eagles fans begin chanting “We want Ricky” as their team goes on the clock.

11:40am: Eagles fans begin chanting “Eagles suck” as the Eagles select quarterback Donovan McNabb from Syracuse. Other football fans in the crowd who try to assure Eagles fans that McNabb will be a great NFL QB are dragged into the aisles and beaten to death.

11:45am: Ditka calls Colts, throws in two pitchers of margaritas and lifetime supply of Mardi Gras beads. Colts become tempted.

11:55am: Cincinnati selects QB Akili Smith of Oregon with the third pick. Smith talks about taking the summer to learn the Bengals offense. Somewhere in Ohio, Neil O’Donnell thinks about taking the summer to learn the lucrative art of television repair.

11:56am: Ditka calls Colts, offers Mrs. Ditka. Colts hang up.

12:03pm: The Colts select running back Edgerrin James of Miami. The city of Indianapolis suddenly requires one giant Heimlich maneuver. In New Orleans, Mike Ditka opens mouth, drops burning cigar onto Mardi Gras shirt. He will not notice until Sunday morning.

12:04pm: Saints coach Mike Ditka calls Redskins, offers big package of draft picks for Ricky Williams. Redskins general manager Charlie Casserly replies “You had me at hello.” Ditka doesn’t get it.

12:05pm: Ricky Williams becomes the first and only pick in the 1999 draft for the New Orleans Saints. Ditka, shirt now completely ablaze, takes the phone off the hook and everybody goes out for cold ones.

12:20pm: With Marshall Faulk as their new running back, coach Dick Vermeil feels comfortable enough with his backfield to select wide receiver Torry Holt of North Carolina State. This is called foreshadowing, as Marshall Faulk announces later this day that he won’t play for the Rams without a new contract.

12:24pm: Mel Kiper, draft expert, slugs an intern who refuses to refer to him as “Mel Kiper, draft expert.”

12:30pm: Washington, who traded their own pick to Minnesota and traded the draft pick they received from Carolina to New Orleans, takes Chicago’s pick in exchange for the former pick of New Orleans to move back up one spot below their original pick. ESPN draft gurus all agree this is a bold move, although none of them can remember why.

12:45pm: Arizona uses the draft pick they received from San Diego that allowed the Chargers to get Ryan Leaf last year. The Cardinals take big play receiver David Boston out of Ohio State. The Cardinals try to call the Chargers war room to offer them thanks, but get no answer since San Diego won’t be drafting for 52 more picks. However, Chargers management’s first big decision of the day is coming up, and after much consideration, they elect to go with Chinese food.

1:30pm: In spite of having the best record in the NFL last year, the Minnesota Vikings are able to select the player they had top-rated in this year’s draft, QB Daunte Culpepper of Central Florida. Everyone begins to hate Minnesota.

1:40pm: On ESPN’s draft coverage, Chris Berman mentions the retirement of Wayne Gretzky, and Mel Kiper, draft expert, refers to him as a “prospect with good vision, lots of upside, but too small to contribute immediately.” When he suggests Gretzky may go as a late round pick to New England, Berman has to slap him.

1:45pm: Chicago, who traded down to get New Orleans’ pick from Washington, is awoken from a brief nap to select Cade McNown of UCLA, thus ending the biggest run on quarterbacks ever. Five signal-callers have gone in the first twelve picks, making this possibly the best QB draft ever, or at least since 1983. Owners beam with pride, hoping they just hit the lottery and didn’t draft 1999’s version of Tony Eason.

2:33pm: The Oakland Raiders, who appear to be drafting with the aid of darts, select offensive lineman Matt Stinchcomb of Georgia. Mel Kiper, draft expert, begins a scathing indictment of the Raiders that only culminates when Chris Berman has him sedated.

2:35pm: Helpful Eagles fans actually stop yelling “Eagles suck,” and switch to “Giants suck” after New York selects offensive lineman Luke Petitgout of Notre Dame.

2:45pm: The Dallas Cowboys trade up two places to grab defensive lineman Ebenezer Ekuban of North Carolina, for no apparent reason other than his name is “Ebenezer.”

3:15pm: The first round winds up with Denver’s pick of Tennessee linebacker Al Wilson. Analysts start talking about the second and subsequent rounds as being important in terms of potential. Sports fans start talking to their families again.

Sunday morning, 2:30am: The first sighting of a drunken New Orleans reveler passed out unconscious in a Ricky Williams Saints jersey was reported. Remember where you were when it happened, kids.

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