Marshall Faulk: ‘This Is Real Reality TV’

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ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01: Jadeveon Clowney #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks works out on the field before the start of their game against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Capital One Bowl on January 1, 2014 in Orlando, Florida.

Jadeveon Clowney (Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Some people who need their reality-TV fix turn to Survivor or American Idol or The Bachelor. Marshall Faulk turns to Draft Day at Radio City Music Hall.

“This is real reality TV,” the NFL analyst said on The Morning Show. “When you watch what we’re going to watch – seeing some young men get to live out their dream, watch their lives change in front of our eyes…”

“I’m going to tell you this: Every time that I’m here, I sit there at Radio City Music Hall and I have a flashback, and I remember Draft Day. It’s like I’m going through it over and over again. As soon as the commissioner tells that first team they’re on the clock, my palms get sweaty like I’m about to get picked again.”

Faulk was the second overall pick in the 1994 Draft. He played five years for the Colts, seven for the Rams and is a former MVP and Super Bowl winner. He’s experienced it all. Nothing surprises him. Not then, and certainly not know.

But what can we expect tonight? Will the Texans keep the No. 1 pick? If they do, will they take Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel or Khalil Mack? Might the Falcons make a play to move up and take Clowney?

“There’s just so much intrigue with this draft,” Faulk said. “And I hope people don’t think it’s because there’s not really a consensus on any person. I say it’s because this draft is very deep. It’s very deep, and now with the rookie salary cap the way it is, teams aren’t afraid to make moves. They’re just not.”

While Clowney might be the most talented player in this year’s draft, Watkins might have the fewest question marks. But can he – as many think he can – play at an elite level as a rookie?

“If you just look at the history of football, it’s so hard for a receiver to come in and be that impactful (in) year one – to really catch on and get things done,” Faulk said. “I remember my first year in St. Louis (when) Torry Holt came on, and boy, he had a pretty good year. His first year, we won the Super Bowl. But it was nothing like the next 10 years that he had.

“So now, guys like Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans – how can they come in and maybe be more of a specialty role? Can Sammy Watkins help you at the receiver position but really help you in the return game? Mike Evans down in the red zone, Eric Ebron – tight ends can come in. We’ve seen Jimmy Grahams come in and be very helpful. They can come in and help you right now. That’s what we want.”

And it’s not just the skill positions, either.

“We talk about those tackles,” Faulk said. “In this draft, there’s five guys that have first-round grades that can (play) day one, and you want to talk about an impact? Eric Fisher was a huge impact for what the Kansas City Chiefs did last year.”

Getting back to the first pick, Faulk didn’t hesitate when asked for the best fit for Clowney.

“I’m going to say Houston – and not because the Texans have that first pick,” Faulk said. “It’s because they have J.J. Watt, and J.J. Watt is going to draw attention and you can’t double Clowney. He’s going to see one-on-one pretty much the whole game because you have to slide to J.J. Watt. That’s what’ll allow Clowney to grow. All the pressure on third down to get the quarterback on the ground, it’s not going to be his. I just believe that’s the best fit for him.”

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