Skull Session: Why Ward Will Wear Purple, First-Round Selection Won't Make or Break Price, and Hubbard Prepared for Life After Football

By D.J. Byrnes on April 26, 2018 at 4:59 am
Denzel Ward dumps the April 26 2018 Skull Session

Giving the Browns two picks of the top four picks is like handing your divorced buddy with bad credit $500 before entering a casino.

You know in your heart you'd have been better off lighting that $500 on fire or donating it to charity instead of a crime family's casino's coffers. At least for a few hours, however, your old friend can live as if he's on the path to his first million. The American Dream, baby! 

As someone afflicted with the mental illness of Browns fandom, I want Josh Rosen and Bradley Chubb. I'd settle for Lamar Jackson, Denzel Ward, Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, or Saquon Barkley. I'll probably end up with Josh Allen and a trade-down for a future gritty benchwarmer from Notre Dame.

Do the Irish even have any players in the draft this year? Probably not, and that's going to make it even worse.


Word of the Day: Stochastic.

 WARD WILL WEAR PURPLE. Denzel Ward will wear purple to the NFL Draft, and I can already hear Ohio State fans who don't read the Skull Session complaining about the lack of scarlet and gray.

The wise Ohio State fan will realize it's a sartorial choice honoring his late father.


"I definitely felt that way immediately after my dad passed," Ward said. "I kind of looked at my dad as the heart of the family and who a lot of neighbors and my family looked up to and would talk to so I kind of feel like I had to, was trying to step into that role that he (filled). Obviously, it's not trying to be him, but just make him proud and do what I know he would want me to do."


The next step for Ward comes Thursday. Ward said he'll be thinking of his family when he's selected. He'll certainly have his father on his mind -- the suit he'll wear is purple, his father's favorite color.

"I'm probably going to hug my mom, hug my family, that's the first thing that I'm gonna do," Ward said when asked how he'll react to being selected. "I don't know, I'm just gonna go with the flow. I'm not gonna plan exactly what I'm going to do, just go with the flow."

I know it's blasphemy but I won't lie... Purple is objectively the best color. I wish I had enough swagger to rock it outside of the one Lakers shirt I've owned since 2006. Otherwise people start asking me what the clown rodeo is doing in town, which also coincidentally happens when I wear my Lakers shirt.

I won't be shocked if the Browns take him No. 4 overall. It'd be the safest pick.

 PRICE NOT WORRIED. Billy Price played in every Buckeye game since 1998 and tore his pectoral muscle on his first bench press rep at the combine. That might disqualify him from the first round for some teams.

And while a first and second round selection can mean the difference of millions of dollars, it's not stressing Price.


“That’s out of my control,” the Rimington Award winner said on Tuesday. “There’s prestige around it, but it’s not going to make or break my career, being a first-round draft pick.”

Price’s chances took a hit when he partially tore a pectoral muscle during the NFL combine bench-press.

“I don’t live in what-ifs,” he said. “I do what I do. I put the film out there and whatever team is attracted the most, it’ll be a good fit.”

Price's doctor said he anticipates Price will be recover in time to fully participate in training camp come July. If he's there at the top of the second and the Browns pass, I'm walking outside and committing a crime. It may be jaywalking. It may be arson. It may be—Hold on, my lawyer is calling me...

 LIFE AFTER FOOTBALL. NFL coaches love Ohio State players because they're good football players. That much is known.

But there is much more to the recipe of NFL success than what falls between the lines. NFL coaches love Ohio State players because they come ready to handle their business from Day 1. It's the product of years of conditioning for life after football.

From Bill Bender of Sporting News:

Hubbard said Buckeyes director of player development Ryan Stamper created some fantastic opportunities for players off the field through that initiative.  

"Every week it was a new life lesson that stuck with me, whether it was learning to be financially literate, understanding a credit score and things like that," Hubbard said. "I knew that stuff from being a finance major, but we're going to be professional athletes soon, and working in the real business world soon. It just taught you to be prepared." 

Hubbard managed to learn some finance lessons that might become useful when his playing career is over. The defensive end is projected to be either a first- or second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Hubbard said when that's over, a career in investment banking could be appealing because of the "high energy and competition." 

Like I've been saying folks: Hubbard is a New England Patriot now. No wonder Tom Brady is trying to play footsie with Belichick like he's retiring. He knows the Money Man is en route and practice ain't the prairie it used to be.

 LAURINAITIS ON DRAFT ANXIETY. The NFL Draft is wild if you think about it. Imagine graduating high school and having to enter a draft tilted in favor of the previous year's shittiest companies. I'd want to fight somebody.

But such is the fate of our nation's best amateur football players tonight. They don't know if they're going to New Orleans (good) or Buffalo (bad but with good wings at least).

Prayers to the players drafted by the Browns. I know they're probably thinking "Why, God? What evil did I commit to deserve this?"

The good news is they've joined at an opportune time and with your help the team will go 19-0 and win its first Super Bowl.

 TOMASELLO TOUGH. Nathan Tomasello weighs 125 pounds and stomp a mudhole in everybody reading this, author included—especially the author.

If I tore an ACL I'm taking the season off. Sorry coach! Hopefully my tendons are up to the task next year.

 IOWA: STOP BLUFFING. When Americans hear "Iowa" they think of corn and grain alcohol. So why is Iowa pretending they're not a tipple-loving people? They're much more interesting that way.


Heading into the 2018 season, 52 of 129 Football Bowl Subdivision programs have turned on the taps, national media research and additional Des Moines Register reporting shows. Oklahoma State is thinking about becoming No. 53.

But what about at Kinnick and Jack Trice Stadiums? When it comes to selling stadium-wide alcohol in Iowa, the dilly-dally still trumps the "dilly dilly."

Both of the Hawkeye State’s large-school athletic directors, Iowa’s Gary Barta and Iowa State’s Jamie Pollard, have told the Register this spring they don’t foresee changing their current football alcohol policies in the near future.

Don't worry, I already alerted the FBI about that "dilly-dally still trumps the 'dilly dilly'" line.

 THOSE WMDs. I paid off my wife's student loans — then she filed for divorce... Oregon doctors warned that a killer and rapist would kill again; then the state released him... The U.S. Army has a handbook on Russian hybrid warfare... Drew Cloud, a well-known expert on student loans, does not exist... Machine learning's "amazing" ability to predict chaos.

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