When we last left hunchback turtle Peter King, he was offering you the hard TRUTH about this upcoming draft. Important facts such as, “different teams like different players.” Knowledge that ain’t gonna drop nowhere else. He was also learning things from Bob Papa, mourning the death of AMC (That’s “All My Children,” to you non-insiders), and becoming concerned about Ryan Mallett’s mobility, which has always concerned him.

So what about this week? Did Phil Simms get into a fistfight with a graphing calculator? How hardcore is that dude who asked for four shots of espresso in his venti cup? NOW THERE’S A MAN. Will Peter be shushed on the quietest Quiet Car? READ ON. We’re live from Laborville!

There’s a different feel to this draft.

It’s a windswept moonscape of a draft. In many ways, it reminds me of China.

It’s somewhere between indifference and total confusion.

Well, let’s check our chart to see where that middle is.

INDIFFERENCE –> SURPRISE –> INEBRIATION –> MASSIVE AMBIGUITY –> REVOLT –> NUTMEG –> CONFUSION

“Massive Ambiguity” it is! POSSIBLY.

Last week, co-hosting the Sirius NFL Radio “Opening Drive” show with Bob Papa, we had only two callers on hold midway through the show, at 9 a.m.

PAPA: I’m here with Peter King! Ask us anything you like about coffee OR the Texas Rangers, two very hot topics!

It’ll be interesting to see if there’s the typical draft fever Thursday night at Radio City. Will Roger Goodell get booed?

How can you boo this man? He breaks up fledgling race wars and does 4,000 crunches a day! Jerry Richardson told me so off the record. And he ain’t one to yank my nugget!

Seriously though, Goodell better get booed. You hear me, fans going to the draft? If you don’t boo that asshole, I’m finding you and giving you the smoky eye.

Will he get a cool shoulder from the drafted first-rounders? Maybe…

Will there be even more equivocation coming up later in this column? There might be. I’m not saying there will be, but it’s not inconceivable.

You want to know what you’re feeling if you’re the Carolina Panthers and you’re on the clock right now, with the first pick in the draft? Those four words: excitement, danger, insecurity and fear.

Oooh! And all of those lay somewhere between indifference and confusion! TASTE THE DANGER OF GIVING CAM NEWTON $50 MILLION.

As (Marty) Hurney climbed the NFL ladder, first with the Redskins, then in San Diego and finally with Carolina as GM, I always saw that same look. Whatever he was doing, he was going to try to outwork you doing it.

“No one else is gonna be up this late giving Jake Delhomme an unwarranted contract extension. NO ONE.”

My view is that Hurney likes Jimmy Clausen a little bit, but really doesn’t know if he’s the answer in a division that features quarterbacks Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and rising star Josh Freeman.

“Do I like this horrible player I drafted? MAYBE. Is he really all that great? I DON’T KNOW. Shouldn’t I be a bit more decisive if I’m in charge of an NFL team? ONE NEVER KNOWS. Now, I think it’s time to draft Cam Newton. Is he our Savior? FUCK IF I KNOW.”

I’m going to tell you how I think Hurney will be feeling over the next three days and nights prior to the 8 p.m. beginning of round one.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Insecurity!

TUESDAY NIGHT: Excitement!

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: Fear!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Confusion!

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON: More confusion! Let’s go to the zoo to calm down!

THURSDAY NIGHT: Excitrodangerfear!

NEXT FIVE YEARS: Confusion!

Could the Panthers pick someone else? Still possible, but I believe unlikely.

Call it 40% possible.

(Hurney will) wonder how much offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski will have to pare down his playbook for a guy who stepped into the huddle at Auburn and called “Thirty-six.” That’s right; his plays were numbered at Auburn, called from the sideline, and so, as pointed out by Jon Gruden on his QB TV show the other night, Newton has to learn the complexities of NFL play-calling too.

Holy shit. Really? Are you fucking joking? And they’re gonna draft that guy number one?

SCOUT: Okay Cam, what’s the play I’ve drawn up here on the greaseboard?

CAM: Oh, that’s easy. That play is called RUN.

SCOUT: Could you be a bit more specific?

CAM: No. That play is definitely RUN. It’s not PASS, which is a whole other binder they gave us at Auburn.

SCOUT: Do you know what your dummy calls are?

CAM: WHO YOU CALLING STUPID? I’LL STEAL YOUR LAPTOP, YOU CUNT!

He knows (Newton) has the “it” factor, whatever “it” is.

Could “it” be height? MAYBE. Could “it” be lack of knowledge? POSSIBLY. Could “it” be entertainer/iconism? STILL POSSIBLE, BUT I BELIEVE UNLIKELY.

There’s a team in the draft that has a deal on the table — I’m guessing New England (surprise!) — with a team trying to come back into the first round.

PATRIOTS: Hey Peter. Tell people you “guess” we have a deal on the table to move down in the first round. That way, teams start making us better offers.

PETER: Got it. This will be a great scoop, unless I’m being lied to a lot!

PATRIOTS: No, no. We’d never do that. Say, could you get us some sugar cookies? We’ll… uh… like be great friends with you if you do.

PETER: Sure thing, guys!

Could it be Tennessee trading into the bottom of the first round, at 28, to get Jake Locker or Andy Dalton?

“Locker knows our entire offense already. He even drew up FIVE for us!”

New England, points out ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss, has only five draft picks in 2012… That makes deals for future picks eminently logical this year, bordering on certain.

And nothing is more ironclad than borderline certainly. Except for possible impossibility.

The San Francisco hierarchy thinks Alex Smith is salvageable.

As what? An organ donor? “Well, the liver is still functional.”

The teams with a long-term quarterback need might get their men by sheer patience. I doubt it, but they might.

Here’s something that might possibly happen, but I actually doubt the possibility of this possibility. Which means it’s bordering on certain that it is NOT possible, and in fact unlikely. MAYBE.

/universe transforms into giant pile of silly snakes

This is not a league anymore that requires five passes a game 40 yards downfield. There might be one such throw. Maybe none.

Or maybe thirty! DO WE REALLY KNOW ANYTHING? Are we talking about baseball yet? Because that requires a LOT of good throwing. MAYBE.

“Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe fuck yourself.”

Many of you, loudly, have chided me for my (Andy) Dalton enthusiasm. I might be wrong.

MIGHT BE. How many mighty mites could Mighty Mouse maybe lift if he mighted his mighty mightiness and mated with Mighty Mike Tyson in a moat full of meat? Or might that be moot? MIGHT.

Other draft nuggets

NUGGGGGETTTTTTTS!!!!

Bill Parcells and Mike Tirico met in Orlando earlier this month and taped 10 segments for a “Draft Confidential” show that will air Tuesday night on ESPN from 9:30-11 p.m. Eastern.

“Confidentially speaking Mike, that kid is a fucking Jap.”

The Browns would like to thank 280 Park Avenue, sort of.

THEY MIGHT THANK YOU.

I’ve got a perfect road trip for the extended Harbaugh family.

It starts at the Texas School Book Depository. Then it goes to Nashville, where you learn about slavery. Then it detours over to the Starbucks in Indiana, PA. And then? BACK TO THE DEPOSITORY.

The Thanksgiving night Niners-Ravens game in Baltimore will be fun for the family too. Or torture.

FUN: 60% certainty

TORTURE: 5-2 odds

Quote of the Week II

“You aren’t sleeping with Mrs. Dalton, are you?”

-Anonymous former NFL coach, to me, after I suggested that TCU’s Andy Dalton would become the best quarterback of the 2011 draft class.

I bet you a latte he is!

But seriously, there’s a little Fenway/Wrigley/Augusta to that young man.

Quote of the Week IV

“I know one thing: When I come back as a coach, I’m gonna corner-blitz your ass.”
-Jon Gruden, in his ESPN special on quarterback prospects, to TCU quarterback Andy Dalton, when they were on the field at the University of South Florida working on passing drills.

OMG! He did NOT just go there! Yiu name me another coach who will say the word ASS to a player’s face! That Jon Gruden is fucking hardcore. I bet he drinks lots of coffee in a BIG cup. Don’t be fucking with THIS GUY.

Number of Patriots picks in the top 33 of the draft: 3.

And Belichick nailed three car show models last week! WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?!!

So let’s break out the NFL draft trade chart, which places a numerical value on the choices in all seven rounds, to see what the Patriots would have to do to move up to number three under this scenario.

Oh, you mean the chart that was concocted arbitrarily in the Dallas war room ages ago and has been completely debunked since? MAYBE.

Now, the chart is not gospel.

Could it be gospel? IT MIGHT. Should we rejigger the Roman calendar based on its principles? I THINK IT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA, BUT I’M VIRTUALLY CERTAIN IT IS NOT.

That, of course, is assuming the Bills and Patriots take the chart as gospel, and many teams absolutely do not… Teams don’t have to use it. But it just shows you how valuable the third overall pick is…

Here’s a chart that many teams find outdated and useless. BUT MAN, DOES IT EVER SHOW YOU JUST HOW VALUABLE THE #3 PICK IS IF YOU OVERVALUE IT.

and it’s highly unlikely the Bills would take much of a discount, if any, for dealing that choice…

But still possible!

I traveled nowhere in the past week — except to a Boston-area courtroom. For the first time in my 53 years, I was selected to serve on a jury.

PETER TO THE JUDGE: Whoa hey, “guilty” or “not guilty”? Isn’t there some option in between, like semi-guiltyish? Or Confused? These verdict options seem awfully lacking in nuance.

I’m not like most people. (You probably knew that already.)

I’m not like most people. I need hotel clerks to find things for me.

I badly wanted to be on a jury.

Peter has a job that pays him a huge salary, won’t dock him for missed time, and lets him do his work pretty much according to his own schedule. I’m SHOCKED this man would have no problem doing jury duty.

But you see, Peter isn’t like most people. He wants to do jury duty because he’s AWESOME.

When I lived in New Jersey, I got called three different times to be in the jury pool at the Essex County Courthouse, but I never got on a case. I always thought it would be cool to be Henry Fonda or, at least, Martin Balsam, in 12 Angry Men, the best court movie I’ve ever seen.

PETER: OBJECTION!

Judge: Jurors can’t object, Mr. King.

PETER: I quasi-object to that! MAYBE.

The case had very little hard evidence. Lots of escalating tempers, hatred, blame and confusion.

Just like my column!

Not a great job clarifying all the confusion by the lawyers, particularly by the commonwealth’s attorney prosecuting the case.

Could they have been clearer? It might have helped.

I sat there during the two-plus hours of testimony trying to figure out if we could get a solid handle on the two charges. Did the defendant damage the plaintiff’s car, and did she do it willfully?

And does she consider herself an “entertainer”?

Did the defendant harass the plaintiff through verbal or electronic means over a five-month period?

POSSIBLY.

Three or four times, I wanted to shout out to one of the attorneys: “You gotta be kidding! Follow up on that question! Ask her to clarify!” Or whatever.

CLARIFY! Or whatever. Whatever word you want me to use to mean you should clarify.

In that regard, it was a frustrating experience, wanting to know more information, and that information quite possibly being on the tips of the witnesses’ tongues, but we could never get to it.

In other news… I totally know something crazy about Ryan Mallett, but I can’t tell you it right now. Or maybe ever.

We deliberated about two-and-a-half hours. Good group.

Lofty group.

/obligatory

A 48-year-old mom from the neighborhood, a 19-year-old BU student (who, by lot, was selected foreman)…

Finally, a just seeding for BU.

…who had to rush from court the first day for an Organic Chemistry test…

Q: How many moles of Pittsburghish grit are formed when mixing Steelers fans with the hard-nosed attitude of Mike Tomlin?

A: It cannot be defined, for Organic Chemistry is unknowable in a way, unless you see it…

two 20-something women (one about to get married), a quiet 50-ish businessman…

Quasi-middle aged!

…and me. I got up and dry-erase-boarded the charges from the judge about what we had to feel surely was proven in court to get guilty verdicts. First we discussed the case involving vandalism. Was there vandalism to the car? Certainly.

Certainly possibly.

Was the damage done willfully? Without question.

Though ALSO without answer!

Did the defendant do it? We all thought she probably did — but we couldn’t convict someone on the flimsy evidence presented in court. Not guilty.

Was the car damaged? Absolutely. Enough to convict? Eh, I guess not.

Now the harassment accusation.

The judge did a great job on this charge, telling us that harassment had to be at least three calls or texts or e-mails or letters that implied any form of harassment. Very helpful.

/hears every QB in football rush to file similar charges against Peter

//finds out Cutler included a rape charge, just to be spiteful

“You have to have an abiding conviction to a moral certainty that it’s true,” the judge said. “It doesn’t have to be 100 percent certain, because very few things in life ever are 100 percent certain.”

Holy shit, this judge was made for Peter King. You don’t have to be certain. Call it 87% certain.

There could be a very slim chance that we were wrong, the judge advised, but if we had this “moral certainty” of guilt, we should vote to convict.

Really? That’s how the law works? Remind me to move to Denmark. “You can be wrong about the verdict, so long as you don’t FEEL wrong about it.”

I think in the wake of Jon Gruden sitting with quarterbacks and working out quarterbacks and examining their mental and physical games, this has been the common question:

Will he corner blitz my ASS?!!

If Gruden is so good with young quarterbacks, why didn’t he ever develop a great one himself?

Because he is NOT good with young quarterbacks.

I think, pretty soon, we’re going to have to start covering Tom Zbikowski the boxer. He’s 4-0 after wiping the canvas with another sap Saturday night.

You know who’s a good boxer? That guy who hasn’t boxed anyone good.

Just to be clear: The coach I discussed this with never said he wouldn’t take a red-headed quarterback (like Andy Dalton). He never said he didn’t like red-headed quarterbacks. What he did was wonder aloud if it could be a factor. As silly as it seems, he wondered … the same way he wondered about every other personal and mental and football factor in the guy’s life.

As silly as it seems… it had to MEAN something. I’m morally certain of it.

I think I wouldn’t worry too much about the financial health of Roger Goodell.

HEADLINE: Americans To Relax After Learning Rich Asshole Still Rich

Bruins-Canadiens has to mean more to the players in the game than Yankees-Red Sox mean to those players.

There’s more Jeter in that series than there is in Jeter himself!

All is forgiven, Dice-K. Well, most is.

All is forgiven. EXCEPT THAT IT’S NOT.

Someone obviously woke up Albert Pujols.

He’s more than alive!

I’m not saying my brother-in-law makes a really dark dark-roast cup of coffee or anything, but after Easter dinner Sunday, I felt like I had my caffeine intake for 11 days.

HARDCORE. GRUDENCORE.

It’s not fashionable, I’m sure. And it’s not going to win me any points with the beer nerds. But I had a couple of Lone Star longnecks the other night, and that’s an underrated everyday beer.

You don’t have to be 100% right about that, though.