The NFL Draft has changed drastically over the past couple of years, from the amount of coverage to the days and times in which it is shown. However, one thing that has remained the same, virtually since the “modern” NFL Draft began, has been the how the picks are announced. Teams make their pick, hand their selection in a sealed envelope to Roger Goodell, and the commissioner reads those magic work, “With the [Number]th pick in the [Year] NFL Draft, the [Team Name] selects…”
However, there is one exception to that rule. For the last handful of years, the NFL has invited some “star” player or influential member of a franchise to announce the name of each team’s second round choice. For the St. Louis Rams, we have seen perennial greats from the Greatest Show On Turf Days, like Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, and Marshall Faulk all grace the stage to make the pick. So, who will it be this year?
The NFL recently released the list of those “announcers,” highlighted by several legendary players and a handful of recent Hall-of-Fame inductees. Deion Sanders will have the privilege of making the pick for the Atlanta Falcons, which, coincidentally, is expected to be a cornerback. Jonathan Ogden and Warren Sapp will do the honors for the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively. And finally, *drum roll, please*… Orlando Pace will make the announcement for the St. Louis Rams.
Orlando Pace of one of the most decorated players in the history of the St. Louis Rams. After being drafted first overall in the 1997 NFL Draft, Pace went on to be voted to seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1999-2005), selected as an All-Pro on five separate occasions, and made the NFL’s “2000s All-Decade Team.” Outside of individual accolades, Pace was the cornerstone for the GSOT years, and was the key figure on the offensive line for both of Kurt Warner’s MVP seasons (1999; 2001), as well as for Marshall Faulk (2000). In his prime, there was no blindside protector better than Orlando Pace, who will undoubtedly be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer when he is eligible in 2014. Oh yea… and he has a Super Bowl ring!
Last year, two former wide receivers, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, made the announcement for the St. Louis Rams. Coincidence or not, that pick was Brian Quick, who is expected to become the next big playmaker for the Rams on the outside. With Orlando Pace making the pick this year, could that point to St. Louis taking an offensive lineman; Kyle Long, perhaps… ? Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory!