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The List: Top five reasons to hate the NFL Draft

The 2009 NFL Draft is two months away, so why are people talking about it now?

Because it’s the NFL draft.

If Cinderella were into princes that could vertical jump onto their horses and were inclined to kill mice with sledge hammers, she’d have some advice to offer to the 32 NFL teams willing to turn 22-year-olds into millionaires. And I would have read her story a lot more often.

Show of hands, who thought Atlanta was making the biggest mistake in NFL history when it signed Matt Ryan to a six-year, $72 million contract last year? Me, for one. He played very well last season, but lemme whisper something in your ear … The Falcons got lucky.

The NFL draft is just about the worst thing happening to that league, shy of Adam Jones’ legal troubles and cheerleaders who want more on-field responsibilities.

I’ll give you the top reasons you should hate the NFL draft when we go down “The List.”

5. Expectations – The ladies can appreciate this. It’s like meeting the man of your dreams, spending three months with him and then realizing everything he did for the first 89 days of your relationship was just for display. This is the pain of several NFL teams. They spend all this time watching film, running players through pre-draft drills and giving them personality tests. Does anyone ever think about tracking down some personal friends or high school coaches and asking them questions about these guys? If it’s me, I would like to know some intimate things about the kid I’m going to make the multi-million dollar centerpiece of my organization.

4. Mel Kiper Jr. – I can’t take too much more of that man’s greasy, slicked-back hair. And watching him talk until he is cotton-mouthed isn’t real high on my faves list, either. Maybe I’m just being mean. Maybe there’s nothing wrong at all with talking about muscled, aggressive men until there is a significantly gratifying rise in your voice. Let me correct that. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with that if you’re looking for your next husband. Creepy, creepy, creepy.

3. Fans – Yes, that’s right. I’m calling out fans of NFL teams, including some people who are probably reading this. Why do you cheer or boo draft choices like they are characters in comic books? Donovan McNabb is going to the Hall of Fame, and people from Philadelphia thought that team had selected Damien on draft day. Ryan Leaf was the perfect quarterback, and when is the last time anyone has heard of him? Which brings me to my next point …

2. Quarterbacks – I can’t stand the thought of teams throwing the bank at a kid whose toughest challenge in college was the 3-3-5 defense and expecting him to carry 52 other men. Makes about as much sense as asking your grandmother to help you pour concrete. I can’t think of a single QB I’ve seen in my lifetime that shouldn’t have held a clipboard for at least the majority of his first season. It’s the worst gamble in pro sports.

1. Salaries – Contrary to popular belief, the NFL has a rookie salary cap. But that’s like saying Major League Baseball has a steroid testing policy. Instead of restricting the payout by draft position, the NFL allocates a lump sum of total cap space to pay draftees, and it varies from team to team. Does this sound right to anyone? When a guy who may flake out after getting his first slobberknocker makes more than the guy who has been the rock of a team for eight years, changes best be coming.