It's 10 a.m. and we just arrived at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center to an empty press room. This is going to be a long day ... but it's exciting because few days shape a franchise like NFL draft day.
This is gameday for Mike Tannenbaum and the scouting department. The Jets visited 232 colleges this year and wrote a total of 5,650 reports on 1,375 players. That homework all culminates in this final exam today.
Given that fact, I would've expected the staff to be a little tighter. We were escorted to the second floor of the facility to talk with Mike T and Rex Ryan. We were actually allowed to go into the Jets Draft Room! It's all white with wall-to-wall dry-erase magnetic boards. One wall shows the entire rundown of the draft. Another breaks down each teams draft...
And then there's the Jets' Draft Board. That was hidden. Actually locked behind a pulldown screen. I expected to be zapped with a neuralyzer from Men in Black after seeing the inner workings of the draft room.
It was an interesting conversation with Mike. He says even though he has a seat, he spends the entire draft on his feet, always walking around and reading the draft. It's always been easy for the Jets GM to find trade partners and sometimes those deals are done before the draft has even taken place.
Take, for instance, 2007 when they traded up for Darrelle Revis. Tannenbaum told me that deal was done three days before the draft. It was set that if Revis was there at 14 the Jets would move up to get him. It makes you wonder if they've got a deal like that in place right now.
It was a surprisingly relaxed vibe with the draft just around the corner. I asked Mike how he's so calm with so much riding on the draft? "The hay is already in the barn," he said with a smile.
Now he's talking my language. My Grandpa back in Indiana used to say that when we finished up a project and there was nothing left to do but wait ... and wait.
In fact, cameraman Teddy Aviles and I will be spending the day waiting. I took a picture of him napping but snuggled up to his camera showing the true dedication to his job all employers love. It's time to wake up sleeping beauty and head upstairs for a bite to eat. I'll have more for you in a bit.