Mock drafts are part of the business of football—hell, they are a business unto themselves. Scouting and draft experts provide a valuable and timely service; they keep us informed and engaged.
Anyone is welcome to speculate regarding the draft, and many people do. It’s gratifying to think you might be right. To make their best guess, some fans follow the Twitter feeds of the aforementioned experts to keep up with the mocks as they adjust to developments throughout the off-season.
I nod and smile at draft prognostications. I acknowledge them, I even actively consider those concerning the Lions, but I don’t really buy them, especially this far ahead. There are too many variables yet to play out between now and April 26.
Don’t get me wrong, the pre-draft speculation is educational. Everyone who puts his picks out there in the universe—from fans to insiders—has a rationale for his choices, and he is happy to share it.
The draft scenarios that work best for me start with “It’s too early to tell,” followed by a breakdown of the circumstances as they lay at the time. I like hearing “It depends,” because it always does depend.
That statement is often seen as a cop-out, but it appeals to my literal-mindedness. Of course it depends: on the Senior Bowl (we’re already seeing the fallout from that), on the combine, on any off-the-field issues that may arise, on free agency maneuvering, and so on.
The Lions’ philosophy is to draft the best player available. We can’t know yet who that will be. Some teams will trade for higher picks, disrupting the prescribed draft order. At this point, I’m OK with “it depends.”
We like the tension, though. We worry, we fret, we anticipate, we believe who should be drafted, and when. Then we know. And then we wait again, til that magical start of the season, to see how the picks pan out. Were we right? It won’t matter if the 2012 draft helps carry the Lions to the Super Bowl.