But there's no kind of fun like the kind that comes at the expense of others, so let's review some NFL Headlines You Almost Saw, which began under the working title Tales of NFL Scouts Screwing Up Royally.
Feel free to send a note reminiscing on your favorite draft blunders to the author.
1. EMMITT GUARANTEES JETS VICTORY IN SUPER BOWL
With the second pick in the 1990 draft, the Jets selected Penn State running back Blair Thomas, whom Gang Green expected to follow Franco Harris and Curt Warner as a former Nittany Lion who became an NFL star. Thomas instead preceded Ki-Jana Carter and Curtis Enis as Penn State busts. At No. 17, the Cowboys drafted Florida running back Emmitt Smith, who now owns three Super Bowl rings.
2. JUNIOR MAKES BUCS' OPPONENTS SAY OW
Not to be outdone by the Jets, the Buccaneers selected Alabama linebacker Keith McCants with the fourth-overall pick in 1990. They, too, passed on a future Hall of Famer at the same position, USC's Junior Seau, who was scooped up by the San Diego Chargers with the next pick. McCants might enter the Hall of Fame, too, if he pays the $12 admission fee like the rest of us.
3. RAMS FANS CHANT ED-DIE! ED-DIE!
With the seventh-overall pick in 1996, the Rams drafted a headache THIS BIG and it had Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips written all over it. Seven selections later, the Oilers selected Ohio State running back and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George, who, unlike Phillips, has made his headlines on the field. The silver lining? Phillips' demise led to Rams' acquisition of league MVP Marshall Faulk.
4. McNAIR-MOSS CONNECTION HAUNTS AFC FOES
Before the 1996 draft, most "experts" had Marshall wide receiver Randy Moss going at No. 5 or 6 to the Bears or Rams, respectively. Sports Illustrated's Paul Zimmerman and former Cowboys player personnel director Gil Brandt had the wildy talented but untamed Moss much further down on their draft boards. Sure enough, 19 teams passed on him before the Vikings scored one of the biggest steals in recent drafts. (The Bengals passed on Moss twice, selecting linebackers Takeo Spikes and Brian Simmons.) Only the Titans took a receiver in those first 20 picks, making Utah's Kevin Dyson the answer to a trivia question.
5. GRIESE HAS SAN DIEGO CHARGING TOWARD POSTSEASON
Remember the great debate in 1998 over whether the Colts should take Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning or Washington State signal-caller Ryan Leaf with the top-overall selection? Looking back, it was like deciding whether to buy stock in Microsoft or Mister Softee. Like the Patriots in 1993, who confidently used their No.1 pick on Washington State QB Drew Bledsoe over Notre Dame counterpart Rick Mirer, the Colts got their franchise quarterback in Manning. The Chargers, meanwhile, paid the Cardinals a king's ransom to advance one spot, in order to select Leaf at No. 2. The move pretty much ruined general manager's Bobby Beathard's reputation as a personnel guru, and it's the main reason why the Bolts hold the No. 1 pick in the 2001 draft after a 1-15 season. The Broncos casually nabbed Michigan quarterback Brian Griese late in the third round, 89 picks after the Chargers took Leaf.
MOCK DRAFT CONSENSUS
The following is a tally of how a few familiar scribes see the top five shaking out.
Leonard Davis, OT, Texas
Deuce McAllister, RB, Ole Miss
Justin Smith, DE, Missouri
Koren Robinson, WR, N.C. State
David Terrell, WR, Michigan
LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, TCU
Michael Vick, QB, Virginia Teach
Kenyatta Walker, OT, Florida
Gerrard Warren, DT, Florida