2022 NFL Draft

I have no idea why I go to the NFL Draft nearly every year. It’s a complete mystery. I don’t watch college football so I don’t know who any of the players are and yet I have gone to 10 out of the last 15 Drafts. One of those Drafts was a virtual Draft and I actually was shown on TV via Zoom for that one so I think that actually makes it 11 out of 15.

It all started as a marketing decision. As you may know I run the world’s largest Miami Dolphins fan club, but it didn’t start out that way. Back in 2008 we didn’t even exist yet, we had a small group of Dolphins fans that watched together but we were hoping to find more. The Dolphins had the first pick in the NFL Draft and back then the Draft was in New York every year so we figured it would be a fun experience and maybe we could find some new local Dolphins fans. By 2009 our crew had grown bigger and just before the Draft my business partner Michelle and I set up social media accounts for a new “official” NYC Dolphins fan club called Dolfans NYC. We hadn’t watched a game as Dolfans NYC yet, but we were building. We made flyers and brought them to the Draft to hand out to every Dolphins fan we could find. It was great outreach. 

After that we went to every NFL Draft in NYC using it to try and get on TV, not for the “fame” but so that Dolphins fans at home watching might realize that there was a club of Dolphins fans in NYC and maybe they should type Dolfans NYC into google and try and find us. Our group got bigger and bigger every year. One year a cop stopped me at the Draft and I thought I had done something wrong. Turns out he just wanted to know where he could get a new Dolfans NYC shirt because his old one got damaged in the wash.  

In 2015 the NFL Draft left New York and for the next three years there was no Dolfans NYC representative at the Draft, but in 2018 the NFL introduced something called the “Inner Circle” where a handful of die hard fans from each team would be sat in special seats near the stage where cameras could film them whenever that team would draft a player. The idea was that it would give the team’s biggest fans a great experience while also giving the NFL great footage to use on TV. The Draft was in Dallas that year and half my family lives there so I had a place to stay and Dolfans NYC had a bunch of airline miles so I flew to Dallas, put on as much Dolfans NYC merch as possible and did whatever I could do get Dolfans NYC on TV. I missed the 2019 Draft, but I got on TV for the 2020 virtual Draft. In 2021 I got a chance to go to Cleveland for the Draft. Everyone had to be vaccinated and wear a mask and there were only 12 people allowed per team, but it was still a great experience and I ended up getting interviewed by Slate which was very weird. 

In 2022 the Dolphins managed to trade almost all of their picks to Kansas City and only had one pick during the first two days of the Draft. I probably wouldn’t have gone but unfortunately I booked my ticket to Vegas about a week before the trade so I was kinda stuck. When the Dolphins traded their first round pick I decided not to go to the first day of the Draft and spend it with my girlfriend who had never been to Vegas.

On Day 2 I went down to the Draft a bit early to check out the NFL Experience which features a bunch of different NFL related activations. There are some autograph signings and games where you do football skills and you could see the Vince Lombardi trophy and all the Super Bowl rings. I feel like it would be really fun for a family, but maybe not so much for a middle aged punk rock dude with a herniated disc and torn hip. It’s also pretty much the same stuff as was in Cleveland last year. 

The Draft itself was very Vegas with a bunch of celebrities and Raiders cheerleaders and for some reason Criss Angel.  The famous faces were a good mix of old and new, plus a lot of legendary players. Barry Sanders was a crowd favorite. The older crowd around me were pumped about Donny Osmond but had no idea who MERO (shout out PPP) or Sean Evans were and I am sure the kids there were really happy to see FaZe Rug, Dr. DisRespect and the TikTok duo who I didn’t even recognize. The Dolphins Draft choice was called out by the legendary Larry Csonka who I didn’t photograph because I was too busy cheering for him.  It worked, and once again Dolfans NYC got on the broadcast.

Okay this post is almost 1000 words already and most of you don’t care at all about this so let’s get to the photos, but I do want to mention that I was mostly hanging out and I didn’t have a press pass or anything so I couldn’t bring a long lens so obviously these photos aren’t of the quality they would be if I was actually covering this for work. Still, I hope you enjoy them.

Click here to see all my photos from the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas!

2022 NFL Draft

Keegan-Michael Key @ 2022 NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft

Criss Angel @ 2022 NFL Draft

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