34 Things That Are Wrong in Draft Day


Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day—I’m not sure I’ve ever reacted to a movie the way I did to this one. It tells the story of Sonny Weaver, Jr. (played by Kevin Costner)—the embattled general manager of a fictional version of the Cleveland Browns. This version of the Browns is similar to the real one insofar as it’s bad, but on draft day, there’s hope. The film’s opening scenes see Sonny trade for the number one pick in that day’s draft. He’s sure to take Bo Callahan, the best college football prospect in years, but he’s mortaged the team’s future for the pick, and as the day proceeds, he realizes he’s not as sold on Callahan as the rest of the league seems to be.

It’s a truly bizarre film because as a football fan, I found it compulsively watchable. But the more you know about football, the bigger its jumps in logic seem. I’m not an expert on the inner workings of the average NFL team’s front office, but some of the leaps taken by Draft Day seem Grand Canyon-esque. I mean, it’s just preposterous—frustrating as all hell and, frankly, insulting to one’s intelligence. That said, I didn’t mind watching it—the first time or the second time the next day.

I’ve pulled out 34 things wrong with this film, its screenplay, and its notion of what draft day really is. They’re all separated into categories, and as you might expect, the entire thing is spoiler-heavy, so if you’re interested in being surprised by this film’s stupidity, stop reading and come back after it knocks you on your ass.


The scene in which the Browns owner and GM discuss what the team might need…hours before the draft.

Conversations that would have taken place before draft day:
1.) Is Bo Callahan good? The organization spends the day trying to find out. You don’t trade away three future first-round picks for a guy without having scouted him exhaustively.

2.) “Let’s talk about the draft. What do we need?” This quote comes from the owner and is said to the GM. They’re talking hours before the NFL draft!

3.) Sonny takes a call with running back prospect Ray Jennings and asks him questions about a fight that got him in trouble with the law. Really, Sonny? You haven’t talked to the kid about this yet?

4.) Sonny passes through the weight room and gets stopped by the strength and conditioning coach, who mentions the team’s quarterback (who has bad knees) had an incredible workout and looks better than ever. How was this information not communicated to him immediately after it happened?

5.) Sonny’s mom calls him on draft day morning to chastize him for giving up too much to get number one. Doesn’t mention that they’ll be reading his dead father’s will later that day, but she’s furious later in the film that he hasn’t and won’t take proper time to mourn with her.


Bo Callahan—a Southerner by way of Washington and Wisconsin—is the projected number one overall pick.

Nonsense related to the film’s dozen or so ridiculous subplots:
6.) Bo Callahan is from Washington and goes to University of Wisconsin…a little weird. Even weirder? He has a Southern accent.

7.) Why is the Wisconsin coach such a prick? (And don’t say because he’s played by Sam Elliott. Don’t you dare.)

8.) New intern starts on draft day and becomes the GM’s assistant like that? Nope.

9.) The soon-to-be #1 pick, Vontae Mack, still has a midi ring tone.


This is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. He is not a good guy, despite what Draft Day would lead you to believe.

Debunked with the slightest bit of real-world football knowledge:
10.) In the wake of the now infamous Washington-St. Louis trade, which saw the latter give the former its #2 overall pick in 2012 (Robert Griffin III) in exchange for three first-round picks and a second-round pick, no NFL general manager would ever consider the trade Sonny makes with Seattle. Period.

11.) Vontae Mack says he can’t afford a contract in the late teens. In 2014, the 18th overall pick earned a 4.5 million dollar signing bonus on top of a four-year contract worth 8.5 million dollars. Yes, that’s not on par with the pay day Cleveland’s seventh pick will earn, but let’s not kid ourselves, Vontae; you and your two nephews could survive on 13 million over four years (not to mention how much you’ll earn in endorsement money).

12.) Running back at 7 overall? Not in today’s NFL. Durability is a major issue at the position, and offenses are much more pass-heavy than they were a decade ago.

13.) Drafting a linebacker at #1? Last time was 1988. Seems unlikely.

14.) Is talk of Sonny’s firing early in the film premature? I mean, by the end of this day, he most certainly deserves to be fired, but to be fair, he’s only been there two years, and his most recent season sounds like it was injury-ravaged. I’m not buying.

15.) Fans are smart enough to know that three consecutive first-round picks are more than compensatory for a first-overall. Seattle wouldn’t suddenly be inundated with calls for its GM’s head.

16.) Also, they’re signs are horrible. A sign that just says “BOO”?

17.) Roger Goodell is arguably the worst and most loathed sports commissioner in history. He does not walk onto the stage to rousing applause. No, he absolutely does not.


There’s plenty of fighting in this war room, but no intelligence whatsoever.

Hilarious instances of over-contextualization:
18.) “Your star wide receiver Andre Bell has been telling me about those secret workouts they’ve been doing together all winter.” (I think the GM knows the name of the team’s best WR, and secret winter workouts? Nah.)

19.) “Bo’s hard to sack. He was one of the least-sacked QB’s in Division I last year.” (This whole scene—analyzing the tape of Bo vs. Vontae for the “two millionth time”—reads like they’ve never seen it or analyzed any tape in their lives.)


Vontae Mack. No matter what.

Reasons why this fictional draft is mind-numbingly dumb:
20.) If Sonny really intended to take Vontae, he never trades with Seattle in the first place.

21.) Jacksonville says it wants player that went to St. Louis, but Browns guys say St. Louis went with their expected pick. So just how dumb is this Jaguars GM anyway?

22.) Seattle doesn’t want a quarterback! That’s why they traded the pick away in the first place. They wouldn’t give the farm back to take a guy they so desperately didn’t want to draft hours earlier because a few blogs wrote bad things.

23.) Of all the extras Cleveland could have demanded out of Seattle, they demand a punt returner?

24.) If someone called me a pancake-eating motherfucker, I probably wouldn’t trade with him for spite.


Ellen Burstyn’s hair:
25.) I mean, amirite?


Jennifer Garner puts out the fire intentionally started by Denis Leary in his boss’ office.

Stuff that would never happen in a million billion years:
26.) Team’s starting QB destroys GM’s office.

27.) Coach who sets fire to team’s playbook in GM’s office = fired on the spot.

28.) Coach who goes behind GM’s back to negotiate a trade = fired on the spot.

29.) Coach who’s as much a prick as Denis Leary is in this movie = fired on the spot.

30.) Pass on the supposedly best prospect in football history because of his sparsely attended birthday party.

31.) Team owner wears suglasses indoors for a nationally televised interview.

32.) GM fires coach, his dad, because he’s worried dad might die of stress.

33.) Two rookies lead the team’s pre-game huddle before the season opener.

34.) This whole movie.

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