Biggest Winners of the NFL Draft: Bill Belichick and Pat McAfee

The legendary coach was a breath of fresh air on "The Pat McAfee Show Draft Spectacular."

1. Here's how good Bill Belichick was as Pat McAfee's co-host on McAfee's NFL Draft Spectacular show for Round 1 on Thursday: I never once flipped over to ESPN, ABC or the NFL Network.

Belichick was outstanding television for many reasons.

First and foremost, unlike every other analyst you see on draft coverage, Belichick didn't genuflect at the feet of every pick. Starting with Caleb Williams, who went No. 1 to the Chicago Bears, continuing with Jayden Daniels who went No. 2 to the Washington Commanders and Drake Maye who went No. 3 to the New England Patriots, Belichick pointed out each and every flaw of all three quarterbacks.

Belichick praised all three players, repeatedly talked about them being talented and highlighted their strengths. But he spent as much time highlighting each of their weaknesses. It was downright refreshing to see that during an NFL draft.

The other thing I loved about watching Belichick was that he was not polished. He was not smooth. He was not TV trained. He was real.

He said "um" a lot. He said "you know" a lot. He fumbled over words sometimes. He was just there to talk football, not be a television star. He came across as a football coach and not a TV personality. And this, too, was refreshing, for draft coverage.

Lastly, Belichick is never going to be mistaken for Chris Rock or Bill Burr, but he can be funny. Just watching him interact with Mad Mel Kiper (played by McAfee Show regular, Ty Schmit) was hilarious.

But Belichick also brought his own humor to the table, as you can see here when he told the story of trading for Randy Moss.

Between his player breakdowns and insight into draft strategy, Belichick kept you glued to The Pat McAfee Show Draft Spectacular. The only time I switched my full attention to the NBA playoff games was when the mentalist was doing his schtick. The mentalist does absolutley nothing for me and I'd rather that time be given to Belichick or Mad Mel Kiper.

The NFL must have been glued to McAfee's show, too, because he apparently got scolded for tipping picks, which is absurd. When picks were leaked on X, formerly Twitter, mainly by Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, McAfee reported them. Then, later in the draft, McAfee said the show got into trouble for revealing the picks before Roger Goodell announced them. Maybe ESPN was mad that McAfee was crediting an SI reporter for the picks.

When McAfee said there were "ruffled feathers" over his show tipping the picks, this generated a "f--- em" from the panel.

In addition to Belichick's presence and performance, the Draft Spectacular was a fascinating watch because it was so different from the draft coverage offered by ESPN, ABC and NFL Network, which are all basically the same thing and have been the same thing for forever.

At one point early in the McAfee show, he went to A.J. Hawk for a comment. Hawk started speaking, but there was no sound. "You shut off your mic, dumbass," was the comment made by someone on set. You're not getting that reaction from Mike Greenberg.

Later in the draft, when Goodell was rambling on about the NFL's international growth before announcing a pick, Mad Mel Kiper did something you'd never ever seen on ESPN, ABC or NFL Network

McAfee's Draft Spectacular ended with him and Belichick announcing that the legendary coach will be on McAfee's show every Monday during the NFL season.

That's a win for McAfee, Belichick and NFL fans.

2. I didn't see it live because I was watching McAfee's show, but NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah deserves major kudos for furthering the unexpected and shocking story of the Atlanta Falcons drafting Washington QB Michael Penix after they just signed Kirk Cousins to a huge deal.

Jeremiah reached out to Cousins's agent and revealed that Cousins did not know Atlanta was going to draft Penix.

The Penix pick was the most noteworthy pick of the first round and Jeremiah made it an even bigger deal with his reporting.

3. There is no way ABC's Laura Rutledge was expecting this answer when she asked Brian Thomas's mothers, "How far has this family come?" after he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars out of LSU.

4. I don't think this was intentionally dirty.

This may or may not have been intentionally dirty.

This was 100% dirty.

Get it together, Joel Embiid.

5. Houston Astros manager Joe Espada was ejected from Thursday's game against the Chicago Cubs. It had to be the calmest an MLB manager has ever been while earning an ejection.

6. A brand new SI Media With Jimmy Traina dropped Thursday and this week's guest is newly retired New York Yankees radio legend, John Sterling.

Sterling, who was the radio voice of the Yankees for 36 seasons before stepping away from the job in mid-April, talks about his decision to retire now and clarifies reports on his health. He also addresses the social media backlash the Yankees faced after giving him an 83-inch television as a retirement gift.

Sterling also shares the advice he'd give the person who succeeds him as the Yankees radio play-by-play person, shares his thoughts on his "streak" of calling 5,060 straight games and remembers his time as a sports-talk radio host. Sterling also reveals the one Yankees player who asked him to change his famous home run call and talks about the role Mike and the Mad Dog played in helping the home run calls become a thing.

Following Sterling, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY joins me for our weekly "Traina Thoughts" segment. This week's topics include the NFL draft, Aaron Boone's ridiculous ejection, the upcoming unedited The Greatest Roast of All Time: Tom Brady on Netflix, Taylor Swift's new album and more.

You can listen to each podcast by clicking into the tweet below. You can also listen on Apple and Spotify.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I missed this when it happened a couple of days ago, but it's so good I need to post it today. Rainn Wilson got quite a surprise recently when he ordered room service at a hotel in Italy.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok


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Jimmy Traina

JIMMY TRAINA

Jimmy Traina is a media writer and podcast host for Sports Illustrated. A 20-year veteran, he’s been covering the media industry for seven years and writes a weekly column at SI, Traina Thoughts. Jimmy has hosted the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast since 2018, a show known for interviews with some of the most important and powerful people in sports media. He also was the creator and writer for SI’s Hot Clicks feature from 2007 to 2013.