The Official Unofficial 2001 NFL Draft Timeline

Posted by admin - 21/04/01 at 12:04 am

The NFL Draft Day timeline, 2001:

April 20, 2001, Friday night, 9:00pm: The San Diego Chargers decide they cannot risk another quarterback problem like they went through with Ryan Leaf, so they trade their number one pick to Atlanta.

April 21, 2001, 9:01pm: Mel Kiper, Draft Expert, stops writing his “NFL Draft 2009: The Nation’s Top Eighth Grade Prospects” newsletter to rearrange his draft charts to reflect the trade.

9:05pm: Former Charger quarterback Ryan Leaf receives a bottle of champagne with a card that says “Thanks for the memories. We appreciate everything you’ve done.” The gift is from the Falcons.

10:02pm: Falcons quarterback Chris Chandler sees the report on ESPN, gets angry and throws his remote control at the screen. Panthers DB Eric Davis then intercepts the remote and sprints into Chandler’s kitchen for a touchdown.

Saturday, 5:30am: Central Standard Time: A skilled team of craftsmen begin applying the lacquer to Mel Kiper, Draft Expert’s hair.

11:00am: The NFL Draft begins. ESPN’s broadcast team is roughly the size of Allen Iverson’s posse, except better dressed. ESPN has seven people at the draft, nine people in their studio, two people in their college football studio, sixteen people spread out at various franchise draft rooms across the country, and a three-man crew set up just outside Bill Walsh’s bathroom.

11:13am: As NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue welcomes everyone to the 2001 draft, the Atlanta Falcons sprint up to the podium to choose Michael Vick with their first selection. Watching on television, Chris Chandler gets up to go to the bathroom and tears his hamstring.

11:24am: The Arizona Cardinals draft Texas offensive tackle Leonard Davis with the second pick, giving Cardinals fans a reason to think their team will be greatly improved next year. Just like last year’s top ten pick, and the one before that, and every top ten pick the Cardinals have made for the last six years.

11:35am: The Cleveland Browns select defensive lineman Gerard Warren, choosing to improve their defense. Browns quarterback Tim Couch weeps openly.

11:44pm: Cincinnati Bengals coach Dick LeBeau gives his draft selection to Paul Tagliabue, who acknowledges him by saying “You are the weakest link. Good-bye.”

12:07pm: At New England’s selection of defensive lineman Richard Seymour, ESPN adds Seymour’s statistics to the on-screen graphics, which already include current draft selections, ongoing game scores, team profiles, previous selections, and Mel Kiper, Draft Expert’s top projections. The television screen now includes more information than “Today’s Special Value” on QVC. Seymour’s family cheers as they squint at the passport-sized picture of their son in the upper left corner of the television.

12:09pm: In his last draft for the San Francisco 49ers, general manager Bill Walsh decides to make an impact by engineering a trade. The Niners will eventually acquire the rights to the Seahawks’ first pick, a sixth round pick from Oakland, four picks from Green Bay, a third round pick from New Orleans, David Wells (pending a physical), two future draft picks of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, the rights to the CBA, Goldberg, and the Beatles music catalog. ESPN’s Chris Berman offers to marry Walsh.

12:46pm: As the Carolina Panthers prepare to make their selection, a graphic comes up on the screen indicating the Panthers haven’t taken an offensive player in the first round since 1997, when they drafted future felon Rae Carruth. All fifty of ESPN’s analysts momentarily freeze like frightened deer for fear of mentioning Carruth’s name. After a few seconds of silence, an ESPN on-screen graphic indicates this is the first time since 1972 that neither Joe Theismann nor Mel Kiper, Draft Expert have been speaking at any given point in time.

12:53pm: The St. Louis Rams draft, using the pick they obtained from the Kansas City Chiefs for quarterback Trent Green. The Rams also own the Chiefs’ second-round pick, which they obtained in exchange for coach Dick Vermeil. On a roll, St. Louis calls to offer Vermeil a 1987 Dodge Van for his third-round pick.

2:45pm: The Philadelphia Eagles receive a trade offer for the 25th pick. Eagles coach Andy Reid informs Flyers GM Bobby Clark that the Eagles have no interest in Eric Lindros.

2:55pm: Miami, who hasn’t drafted an offensive player in the first round since 1998, continues the tradition by selecting cornerback Jamar Fletcher. Meanwhile, XFL running back John Avery continues washing his 1999 Ford Bronco, drying it with a Dolphins t-shirt.

3:32pm: The first round ends, as it takes the NFL over four hours to make one round’s worth of decisions for which they have had three months to prepare. This explains why the NFL hasn’t been able to decide on a realignment plan since 1970.

4:35pm: In their War Room, the Dallas Cowboys decide to trade down in the second round. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones then approves a deal to move down again. However, he vetoes a move to trade out of the draft completely and go home to watch game six between the Stars and Oilers.

5:15pm: Six hours into the draft, Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil shows up for work.

5:19pm: After giving up a league-worst 29.4 points per game last year, St. Louis uses its first five picks, including three first rounders, to rebuild. The Rams are now more defensive than Vince McMahon talking to Bob Costas on stage at a PTA meeting.

7:00pm: The “Million-Dollar Game” begins, as the XFL’s first season draws to a close. Thirty-one general managers hope the players they drafted over the past eight hours don’t show up in next year’s game.

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