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Donovan McNabb Talks 2013 NFL Draft & Tony Romo’s Contract [INTERVIEW]

Donovan McNabb
Mark Von Holden/Invision for American Honey/AP Images

Donovan McNabb hasn’t seen game action on an NFL field since 2011, but he hasn’t lost his competitive edge. The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback was in New York City on Tuesday to participate in the Wild Turkey American Honey Bar-sity Athletics kickball game against a team captained by Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte. (Spoiler alert: McNabb’s team won.)

Before taking the field in Times Square for the kickball match, the former Eagles, Redskins and Vikings quarterback stopped by to chat about the 2013 NFL Draft, his transition from player to broadcaster (he’s an analyst with the NFL Network and recently debuted as co-host of a new NBC Sports Radio show), and his take on Tony Romo’s contract extension.

What are the biggest changes in the draft from when you were drafted to now?

Now you’ve got social media playing a major part. Back when I came out, there weren’t camera phones and all that other mess. It was what you’ve heard on TV or just reports, but now you’ve got everybody doing mock drafts, everyone tweeting this and tweeting that. For these guys, there’s so much pressure on them because of all the social media and everybody saying what, they don’t know who to believe. The thing that I can really just tell them is just to stay focused on the task at hand and that’s to just get drafted and enjoy the life change.

Who is your stud in this week’s NFL Draft?

Tavon Austin [wide receiver/running back/kick returner out of West Virginia]. And probably Dion Jordan [defensive end, Oregon].

Do you have a good dark horse draft pick?

Yeah I have a good dark horse. The kid from BYU – the defensive end from BYU [Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah]. From not being able to play that long and being very effective, I think he’s going to open up a lot of eyes.

Where do you think Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib will end up?

He’s moving up on the board. I really don’t know if he will go to Buffalo. Everybody’s talking about that at eight, I believe, but if he doesn’t go eight, he possibly could find himself going later in the first round, which would be good.

Do you have any fashion advice for the players?

It’s getting out of hand now. I’m all into the corporate business suits, the blues, the blacks, the grays. These kids are wearing seersucker and mixing all these colors together. I’m like: ‘All right, that’s enough. You’re doing too much.’

What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you through Twitter?

I don’t know. I’ve learned so much about this event on Twitter! While I was trying to figure out what was going on, making sure I was prepared, all the ladies and the guys were tweeting me about playing today. I love social media for that aspect of it.

What about the hubbub over your comments regarding the Tony Romo deal?

Hey, I was just being up front and honest. As a former player who has been rewarded with a contract, you’re just kind of like “Whoa” they’ve changed in that aspect. A lot of people agreed with what I was saying, and I get paid for my opinion at this point. Being on sports radio and as an analyst on TV, I’m asked to do a lot of different things and say a lot of different things. I just spoke my mind. That’s the most important thing. Everybody wants honesty.

What’s been the biggest challenge going from the player side of the game to the media?

Knowing what you want to say and saying it the right way. I don’t ever want to come off as sounding like it’s personal. It’s more my job — there’s ways of critiquing guys without pinpointing something personal. I think a lot of times some guys get caught up in that. I studied at Syracuse, I’ve done all that I can to prepare for this moment, so I know exactly ways of approaching it.

Which of last year’s highly drafted QBs — Andrew Luck, RGIII or Russell Wilson — will have the best career and why?

I don’t know. I think too many times when we see a guy kind of have a decent first year or kind of surprise you with something, we kind of want to make him a star already and then when things go wrong with injuries or the team doesn’t play well, then we want to label bust too quickly. These kids, you’ve got to give them a chance to develop, understand more about the game, know how to prepare, and be able to evolve as the guy that everyone expects.

Any words of wisdom for Andy Reid in Kansas City?

Stay away from the barbecue. Put the fork down. No, that’s my guy. He loves BBQ in KC. It’s great. But the thing for him is probably don’t go into this thing like we did in 1999. It’s a new chapter, new players, new generation. Just do what you do, do what you know and just lead this team like you did with us.

Next: Ryan Lochte Speaks. Jeah!

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