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Jerry Angelo, ex-Bears GM, describes what NFL Draft Day is like for teams

Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo speaks at

Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo speaks at a news conference after NFL football training camp on Sunday, July 31, 2011, at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. Credit: AP

In the movie "Draft Day," Kevin Costner's character trades three first-round picks for the No. 1 overall pick, does his homework on the top quarterback prospect only to find out he's not what they want, shocks the league by taking someone else first overall, pulls off a series of wild trades to get back their three first-round picks, then takes another player with his original first-round pick.

All within the course of 12 or so hours.

The frenetic tensions made for good drama. In reality, draft day is nothing like that, one former general manager says.

Jerry Angelo, who was the Bears GM for 11 years, said draft day may be thrilling for fans, but it's pretty straightforward for teams.

"It's pretty boring, to be honest with you," Angelo said Monday via phone to promote his work with Thuzio.

That's because all of the heavy lifting has been done well before draft week begins. Scouting reports have been written. Medicals have been checked. Players have been interviewed, and in some cases worked out.

So what's a team to do in the lead-up to the draft?


And go over everything one last time.

"About three days before, I liked to give us a nice window where we had time to let things sink in," Angelo said. "If there was anything that we wanted to bring up, flesh out again, that window was the time to do it."

Once draft day hits, everything usually is in place.

"It's really no longer about reacting, it's about acting," Angelo said. "You've laid out your scripts, you've gone through all your scenarios, all your 'what-ifs' and created your game plan, and now's the time to execute it."

From there, Angelo said it's "pretty matter-of-fact, unless ..."


"Unless you're really getting serious with somebody about a trade and it mutually works for both teams," Angelo said. "You want to make sure that you go over everything again in your own mind based on what that's going to do in terms of changing your strategy for the draft."

Another thing that could send teams scrambling at the last second: late news on a prospect. And not just the smokescreens that teams put out.

"I've had a situation where we've gotten some damaging news on players at the 11th hour, something that's comes up that's an aberration," Angelo said. "That normally doesn't happen, but sometimes it does."

Earlier this week, Missouri edge rusher Shane Ray was cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession. LSU offensive lineman La'El Collins reportedly left Chicago on Wednesday to speak with Baton Rouge police about the shooting death of an alleged ex-girlfriend.

"You have to start doing really what comes down to a witch hunt," Angelo said. "Not a particularly good place to be in, especially if that player is somebody you were targeting. You find yourself in the 11th hour reacting when that's not the time that you want to be doing that."

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