Critics' Corner: Draft Day

In 2011 the movie "Moneyball" came to the movie theaters starring Brad Pitt. It was a movie about the behind the scenes wheeling and dealings of Major League Baseball. The quality writing was a huge part of why a movie about something seemingly so boring made an entertaining two-hour big screen movie. Without question, "Draft Day" was trying to follow in the footsteps of "Moneyball" as it is similar in nature.The countdown clock for the 2014 NFL draft begins as the movie begins and Kevin Costner plays fictional Cleveland Browns General Manager, Sonny Weaver Jr.; a man saddled with making the right choices, one at a time in the cut-throat arena of NFL football. His thought process about the players he needs for the upcoming season begins early and the influences around him to stray from that are plenty. A note to himself on a green piece of paper as he drinks his morning coffee and slips into his pants pocket becomes an intriguing mystery until the ending.

"Draft Day" is a little less skillful than "Moneyball" at making the movie accessible to those who know nothing about football, but it certainly tried. Although those who find the NFL draft day phenomenon more interesting will certainly enjoy the movie more. Unfortunately, I think that the writers and creators made things too simplistic in order not to lose the interest of those who are novices on the ins and outs of football. There are just three players introduced throughout the film and ultimately you just have to guess how those three players are going to play into the draft, making things somewhat predictable.

The movie is well done and I have to admit it was sort of fun watching Sonny Weaver wheel, deal and try to work his way around the influences that were keeping him from drafting the team he wanted. I also found it extremely refreshing to see a General Manager probe the character of a top prospect over his obvious skills. Those moments were brilliantly done. I also have to admit that I got a little choked up at one point. Although its sort of hard to get too worked up about a person who was concerned about the difference in money he would receive as a #7 pick or a second round pick. Unfortunately though, that is probably pretty realistic in this over-payed spoiled-brat athlete culture we live in.

"Draft Day" is a fine movie that managed to juggle its elements with a little too much ease. It would have been nice to introduce a few more players to make things a little less predictable. That is hands down the number one thing that is wrong with the movie, but that is a big one. There are a whole lot of things about the film that were rewarding, interesting and entertaining, but a little more smoke and mirrors would have been nice. NFL teams don't have to just think about two or three players during the draft, they have to think about all of them and that didn't come across. Because of this, "Draft Day" is not a fair assessment of NFL Draft Day, it's just a hollywoodized movie about it.