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As we jump-start the weekend, we are already 102 picks into the 2023 NFL Draft, with the final four rounds coming up Saturday for our dining and dancing pleasure.

Overview so far: Dang, have you ever seen so many trades? It’s a good year for quarterbacks, corners, tight ends and interior offensive linemen. Less so for WRs and safeties.

No, I’m not going to give any team a letter grade. That’s ridiculous. I’ll hand out team report cards in three years or so.

But the Eagles and Seahawks caught my attention. Seattle has already addressed multiple needs, and Philly looks wonder-touched, adding ‘Bama offensive lineman Tyler Steen on Friday to their Thursday first-round haul of Georgia defensive studs Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith.

The Texans have handled their business well. Sure, they have a ton of needs and a ton of picks, which makes it easier. But landing Will Anderson and C.J. Stroud in the first 45 minutes of Thursday night’s party in K.C. was quite the coup. And it didn’t stop there. It was a good Friday as well. Penn State guard Juice Scruggs will be a Day One starter, and UH mini-receiver (5-8, 165) Tank Dell is a maxi-producer who scored 18 touchdowns in 13 starts last season.

Dallas? I’m good. As talented as the Cowboy defense is overall, it had a big problem stopping the run in 2022. That’s an issue in the NFC East. Mammoth former Michigan DT Mazi Smith (6-3, 323) is an immoveable object, as a run-plugger, and I think he was well worth taking in the first round. We all assumed Dallas would dip into that deep tight end draft pool, and Round Two turned up another Wolverine, physical in-line blocker Luke Schoonmaker. The ‘Boys then closed out Friday night by taking Longhorn LB DeMarvion Overshown with the 90th overall selection. He’ll make an immediate impact on special teams, and may replace Leighton Vander Esch as a starter in 2024. I find it refreshing that Dallas has pursued grit rather than glitz.

Only a sadist enjoyed watching Kentucky quarterback Will Levis twist in the wind Thursday night. I was relieved that he didn’t have to wait long Friday before the Titans took him with the second pick of the evening. This may ultimately work out well for Levis, who can sit behind Ryan Tannehill for a year before assuming the reins in Nashville.

And former Tennessee Vol QB Hendon Hooker finds himself in the perfect position as he recovers from ACL surgery. He can essentially take a redshirt year with the Lions. Jared Goff played extremely well for Detroit last season and there’s no reason to think he won’t excel again in 2023. But the Lions can get out from under Goff’s contract after this season, just in time to throw the keys to Hooker, who I maintain may end up being the best NFL quarterback in this year’s rookie class. The Lions also got smooth Iowa TE Sam LaPorta. Detroit’s got it goin’ on.

Other notes?

  • Slick move by the Giants in pulling off a third-round trade with the Rams that netted swift and slick Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt, who will provide some much-needed downfield “push” for the G-Men.
  • The Rams didn’t have a pick until the 36th overall selection, but they got a good one in former TCU offensive lineman Steve Avila, who can play all five OL positions.
  • Former SMU receiver Rashee Rice is a very nice fit with Andy Reid’s Chiefs.
  • And I LOVED the Dolphins’ third-round selection of Aggie RB Devon Achane, he of the 4.32 speed. Achane’s track sprinter frame probably can’t take a workhorse NFL pounding, but he will be hell-on-wheels as a change of pace back and kick returner. And Miami Coach Mike McDaniel will know exactly how to use him.

Looks like the Memphis Grizzlies ran their mouths a little early, and that’s going to be a fascinating Game Seven between the Warriors and the Kings. The Phillies took the opener of that weekend World Series rematch in Houston. Dammit.

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.