ParentDish Cheat Sheet: 2010 NFL Draft Roundup

Filed under: In The News, Sports

Michael Oher, the subject of the hit book and movie "The Blind Side," with his adoptive family at the 2009 NFL Draft. Credit: Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images

The 2010 NFL Draft begins tonight at 7:30pm ET and this is the first time that the draft will air on a weeknight in prime time. So, if you have little football fans at home make it a family affair. Even if you're not a gridiron guru, the compelling stories of these athletes will keep you fixated on football. Here are some players to look for this year.

  • One of the biggest stars of this year's NFL draft is Tim Tebow, who has become immensely popular due to his success playing for the Gators at the University of Florida, and also for his religious beliefs. In 2007, Tebow was the first home-schooled athlete to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy. There is even a bill pending in the Alabama Legislature named after him -- The Tim Tebow Bill. According to timtebowbill.com, there are 24 states that allow home-schooled students to play for their local teams; supporters of the bill call this "Equal Access." Tebow, a devout Christian who wears Bible verse numbers on his eye black and has done missionary work, in January starred in a Super Bowl ad paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family.
  • When a player is drafted is important. If they are chosen in the first round, especially in the first 10 picks, they will see an enormous payday -- last year's number one pick, QB Matthew Stafford, signed a $78 million contract with the Detroit Lions, with $41.7 million of that guaranteed. That's a lot of Gatorade. We often hear about how young players spend their newfound wealth on cars, parties and jewelry. But Ndamukong Suh has other plans. Suh, who is projected to go very early in the draft, has promised to donate $2.6 million to the University of Nebraska, his alma matter.
  • Tony Washington is an offensive tackle who some scouts say can play defense, too. He is also a registered sex offender. According to an exclusive interview with SportsFanLive, Tony Washington was convicted in 2003, when he was 16 years old, of "having sex with a relative that multiple NFL and college sources say was his 15-year-old biological sister." In the interview, Washington apologizes and offers no excuses for his actions. It is worth noting that many NFL players have committed serious crimes, sometimes leading to lengthy prison stays (Michael Vick, for example), and were given the chance to redeem themselves on the gridiron. Is Washington's crime too serious for a team to select him in the draft?
  • Is age just a number? Brandon Crawford is entering the NFL draft at the age of 33, which the New York Times points out is usually when football players are considering retirement. Various circumstances caused Crawford to miss his opportunity to attempt a pro career. If selected, the Times says that Crawford will probably be the oldest player ever picked -- by five years. Even if his NFL dreams don't work out, Crawford has inspired his mother, Marva, to start taking college classes at the age of 61.
  • No disrespect to the 2010 draft class, but none of them are likely to top this tale from 2009. Michael Oher -- the subject of the book and the hit film The Blind Side -- was homeless until 2004, when Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy invited him to live with them. Oher was later adopted by the Tuohys. Following a successful college football career at Ole Miss, Oher was drafted 23rd overall by the Baltimore Ravens. In five years, he went from being homeless to playing in the NFL.
Related: Sandra Bullock's Oscar Speech: Let's Hear it for the Moms

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