Sonny trades three first-round draft picks (which includes that year's #7 overall pick) for the #1 pick of the draft. Sonny then trades three second-round picks for the #6 pick of the draft. Then he swaps #6 for his original #7, the future first-round picks he traded away, plus a special teams player. With the picks, he gets the LB he originally wanted at #1 and a RB at #7; essentially trading three second-round picks for the number one overall pick in the draft and a special teams kick returner.
The trick used by the Washington Redskins of taping a one hundred dollar bill to the back of the playbook seemed to be inspired by an anecdote of JaMarcus Russell. His coaches in Oakland did not believe he was watching the game film and once purposely sent him home with blank DVDs to watch. He returned claiming he watched the video and liked the game plan, obviously lying. There was a similar story in the 1980s with Randall Cunningham.
The trade Cleveland made in the movie is similar to the real-life trade made in the 2012 NFL Draft, where the Washington Redskins traded their 2012 number six overall pick, 2012 second round selection, 2013 first round selection, and 2014 first round selection for the 2012 number two overall pick to the St. Louis Rams, in order to select Robert Griffin III.
The actual 2014 NFL draft had a lot of similarities to the plot of the movie. The actual draft had a Heisman trophy winning quarterback falling in the draft, the Cleveland Browns making a pick that was questioned heavily, and the Browns making multiple trades. Jon Gruden even stated, "this is better than Draft Day!" on air during the actual draft.
The ESPN commentators correctly note that in two recent instances, 2003 and 2011, the Vikings and Ravens failed to make their first round selections in time and lost the picks. What is not said, and not shown, is that both teams that are parties to the trade must call in the trade. The Ravens lost their pick in 2011 because Chicago failed to call the trade in. In 2003, when the Vikings missed their pick, the Vikings were free to call in their pick at any time, but the teams following immediately rushed to call their picks in, rather than taking their full allotment of time on the clock, forcing Minnesota to pick further down.
Earl Jennings (Terry Crews) was a running back with the Cleveland Browns. However, while Crews played with four teams, he never played for the Browns, and he was a defensive lineman, rather than a running back.
Chadwick Boseman agreed to take the role as Vontae Mack after a Skype call he had with director Ivan Reitman. Boseman first wasn't sure if he wanted to play another athlete, or do another sports movie right after 42 (2013), where he played Jackie Robinson.
Tom, the Seahawks' general manager in the movie, has a picture of the Legion of Boom, the name of the Seahawks' secondary in real life, in his office. In the movie, the Seahawks traded away the number one pick, which would mean they had the worst record in the NFL. In real life, the Seahawks have never had a losing record with the Legion of Boom.
Sonny says several times he gave up his first round pick for the next three years to move up to the number one spot, but in reality, this isn't true, he is still picking in the first round of the current draft, and only gives up his picks in the first round in the next two drafts, so he is only giving up his first round picks in the next two years.
Kevin Costner who portrayed Jonathan Kent (Superman/Clark Kent's Earthly father) in Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) starred in this film alongside Tom Welling, famous for his role of Clark Kent in Smallville (2001), and also starred alongside Frank Langella, who played Perry White in Superman Returns (2006).
Sonny's license plate is of the "sunburst" style issued by Ohio from 2005 through 2010. All other Ohio license plates shown are of the "beautiful Ohio" design issued from 2010 through 2012. Both were valid in Ohio and widely used at the time the movie is set.
Featured Kevin Costner, who portrayed Jonathan Kent in Man Of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and Tom Welling who portrayed Clark Kent in Smalliville (2001). The film also stars other actors that have portrayed characters in other comic book movies and/or animated movies.
This movie contains several actors and actresses who played characters in comic book based super hero television shows and movies: Kevin Costner: Jonathan Kent, Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016); Jennifer Garner: Elektra, Daredevil (2003) and Elektra (2005); Tom Welling: Clark Kent, Smallville (2001); Frank Langella: Perry White, Superman Returns (2006); Chadwick Boseman: T'Challa/Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War (2016), Black Panther (2018), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018); Denis Leary: Captain Stacy, The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014); David Ramsey: John Diggle, Arrow (2012) and The Flash (2014); Josh Pence: Young Ra's Al Ghul, The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
In a scene where Vontae is talking on the phone with Sonny, he passes The Bertram Hotel and Conference Center. Vontae claims he is near his home, which is not in Ohio. In reality, he is in Aurora, Ohio, thirty-one miles (fifty kilometers) from Cleveland.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
Life imitates art. Here are some mirrors with the 2018 real life Browns and 2014 movie Browns. Each team eventually passed on a high caliber player with character issues who wore number 12, Josh Gordon and Bo Callahan. The offensive players drafted by the Browns wore number 6, Baker Mayfield and Ray Jennings. The Browns defensive picks in the first round both went to Ohio State, Denzel Ward and Vontae Davis. Both drafts had the Browns picking 1, a Heisman trophy winning QB, and a CB being drafted 4th.