We’re coming up on an event in the NFL offseason that for some, breaks the monotony of nothing else happening with their favorite sports league and gets them all excited when their team picks a player (or players) that is supposed to be really, really good or something. And yet, despite me being as big an NFL fan as there is, I never have gotten excited in the same way about the Draft.
I will admit that it does break up the monotony a little bit; at least something’s happening. But I hardly watch any of the NFL Draft, ultimately—sometimes I watch part of the first round and that’s it. This is due in part to the fact that I can just look at the results later anyway and find out who my favorite team picked and hope they actually do something good (but they usually probably won’t, of course).
Part of the reason why I just don’t really care about the NFL Draft as most is a more personal issue that some may not be able to identify with: the fact that I don’t really keep up with college football. This leads to me not knowing who hardly any of the guys getting drafted are in the first place, except for the ones that the networks and scouts rant and rave about. That’s another reason why I don’t watch past the first round. Because I probably don’t know any of the prospects there anyway. My favorite team will make their selection, and my reaction will be like “Who?”
But a reason for not caring about the Draft much that should be more relevant to anyone is this: regardless of whether you’ve heard of the player being drafted or not, you don’t know whether they’ll actually turn out good in the NFL. You don’t know whether a player’s skills will translate to the NFL, which is a harder place to play than college. No one really knows. You have top 10 first-round picks that turn out to be complete busts (examples in the last ten years including Trent Richardson and JaMarcus Russell) and you have players that actually go undrafted that turn out pretty good (Kurt Warner, Tony Romo, Malcolm Butler).
You can’t really predict how these players will turn out; unless, for example, you already know they’re a bit of a head case or something like that, which actually made it easy to predict Johnny Manziel being a bust. But remember when everyone thought that Trent Richardson was going to be a star? And now he’s not even on an NFL roster anymore. And of course, who could’ve predicted that Tom Brady, a seventh-round pick, would’ve turned out the way he did?
The NFL Draft is still an important part of the offseason, sure. But it’s made out by many to be a way bigger deal than it should be. Because ultimately, all it is is general manager’s selecting players that their scouts told them were good (or they had good Combine stats) and hoping that they actually pan out well for them in the NFL. Sometimes they do and the GM’s look like geniuses. But sometimes they don’t, and their team suffers for it and all that hype that is built up around supposed star player is all for nothing.
I will admit though, if there’s one thing I absolutely love no matter what about the Draft, it’s watching Roger Goodell get booed every time he takes the podium. That does not get old.