Later this month, about 40 million people will tune in to the NFL Draft, a sporting event that has no score, no winner, and not a single play run from scrimmage. Some people will watch more than 10 hours of the televised coverage. And yet, no one will know the whole story.

The history of the draft is so rich, the personalities are so big, and each pick is so intriguing, that no single person could ever hope to absorb it all. But that didn’t stop Nathan Frederick from trying. In Draft Daze: One Man’s Quest to Process the Coverage, Characters, and Every Single Pick of the NFL Draft, published this spring by Outskirts Press, Frederick shares what he learned after spending an entire year immersed in the draft. Many of his stories would fascinate you.

Did you know that…

  • Back before everyone had a web page and a Twitter feed, draft guru Tony Pauline published a lot of his info on message boards?
  • The first draft pick ever, Jay Berwanger, never played a single down in the NFL?
    • Bill Shakespeare (not that one) went third overall in the 1936 draft?
    • The infamous Wonderlic test was used by the Navy in World War II to identify potential pilots?
    • Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. might have never joined ESPN if the Colts didn’t move from Baltimore?
    • The NFL Draft once went beginning to end without stopping to prevent the USFL from poaching players?
    • Analyst Mike Mayock and his father were both drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers?
    • Brandon Weeden, drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2012, was the oldest player ever picked in the first round?
    • Or that Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick of the NFL Draft, is honored for an entire week in a California town?

    In Draft Daze, Frederick shares all these stories and many more, including a brief synopsis of every pick in the 2012 Draft. There are profiles of Pauline, Kiper, Mayock, ESPN’s Todd McShay, Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, super-agent Ralph Cindrich, NFL veteran Reggie Kelly, and a whole host of others. There are anecdotes about a stock-market style fantasy game built around the draft and a man in Pittsburgh who studies the draft with a spreadsheet containing 20 years of data. In Draft Daze, Frederick, an award-winning sportswriter, covers the draft from beginning-to-end and from every angle possible.

    As the 40 million viewers suggest, the draft itself is bigger than ever. No one could know it all.

    But Draft Daze will get you pretty close.

    Available at Amazon: