Movie review: Kevin Costner's 'Draft Day' is a wasted pick

Anwar S. Richardson
April 11, 2014

Cleveland Browns fans have been through enough. This proud franchise does not deserve to be kicked again by being associated with “Draft Day."

Kevin Costner’s newest film, released nationwide on Friday, is more of a bust than Ryan Leaf ever was. Some critics compared it to “Moneyball," but at least that movie was well-written and compelling. “Draft Day” may have been written, but moviegoers will be compelled to wonder how they can salvage a bad date night. 

Costner plays Sonny Weaver Jr., the fictional general manager of the Cleveland Browns. He is an incompetent front-office executive who seemingly does not understand how to run a team (insert Browns punch line here). The film is based on what occurs during the first day of the NFL draft. However, Costner’s character is expecting a child with the salary cap manager for the Browns, who is played by Jennifer Garner, and their story adds no value to the movie. There is nothing compelling about their relationship, other than wondering how many drinks it took her to find him attractive. 

The movie borders fiction and non-fiction, which makes it hard to follow. Comparing Andrew Luck to fictional characters is confusing, and the picture would have been much better if based on actual events.

 A big complaint about most movies is the story was nothing like the book. Well, any person who watches this film that has a basic understanding of the NFL draft, or common sense, will continuously roll their eyes while watching unlikely events unfold.

Without spoiling the plot, which there is very little of, Costner is pressured by his team owner to make a splash in the draft. That message is relayed on draft day, the most unlikely time an owner would convey that desire. Most owners express their expectations of coaches and general managers at the end of the regular season, not at a water park on draft day morning. 

Even if viewers overlook that inaccuracy, Cleveland’s coach, portrayed by Denis Leary, has zero faith in his boss' vision. Leary’s character even flashes a championship ring he won as a coach of the Dallas Cowboys at one point to prove he knows how to win.

Really? Dallas was awarded a championship ring for an 8-8 season?

As the general manager struggles to make decisions, he begins researching a top-10 pick on draft day. Any GM who does not know everything about a potential top-10 pick weeks before the draft should be immediately fired.

However, the ignorance does not prevent him from somehow making moves.

Of course, the tables eventually turn, and Costner emerges as a genius as other general managers somehow lose their ability to think. They even call Costner’s character to ask for his advice during the draft. The scouting department for those teams had to wonder why they were not working for an organization that respected their skills, like the Miami Sharks from "Any Given Sunday."

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster had a small role in the movie. It was a great acting opportunity for him, but nothing he will be remembered for. Foster was a decent actor, but his skills were wasted in this subpar film.

If “Draft Day” was an NFL prospect, it deserves the “Mr. Irrelevant” title.

And Browns fans deserve a better movie to be associated with.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!