Did you know that the NFL draft starts tonight? Have you seen more mock drafts than beer drafts over the past two weeks? Did you know that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have already been committed to their selected franchise? Are you really buying into the fact that we all care?
Imagine the most famous sport in the country only playing 20 weeks of year. It has the most people covering it and the largest number of professionals playing the game. You have all of these people with nothing to do for over half the year, so how do you keep people’s interest for the other 32 weeks? You make every little thing count. You talk up free agency, mini camps, training camp and preseason games. But most of all you talk up the draft. You cover it for weeks, and make people think it’s an event so they watch it on your ESPN network. Then other media outlets follow suit because you have convinced the world that it’s important.
If you really think about it, very few teams will really be impacted by the draft. College players must adjust to the pro game, which means their true potential will not be realized for several years. Signing a veteran will often do you just as much good as a first year player out of college. On top of that, speculating who your team drafts is ridiculous because so much changes on draft day. A few rounds of players cannot really tell you the scheme of a franchise. In a mock draft you can only dissect so many pieces’ movements and the overall schemes of the franchise; if you pick one guy wrong a mock draft is ruined.
So tonight on prime time television, viewers will tune in and watch their mock drafts get destroyed through trades and “surprise signings.” Guys who no one cared about in college will become the hope of the franchise, only to not have an impact on the team for another 4 months. There may be a couple of surprises, but a recap of the draft moves at the end of the weekend will probably tell you all you need to know. It’s the last night of the NBA regular season, there are two game sevens in the NHL playoffs and it’s still baseball season. I do not want to spend my sports’ night watching people talk on phones.