My two biggest problems with the NFL draft are one ESPN hypes the hell out of it and two it seems blatantly unfair.
I mean, really, I would be honored to have to take 15 minutes for the right to pay Matthew Stafford 5 million dollars next season. Some consolation prize for finishing 0-16.
The biggest problem with the NFL draft is it is patently unfair to the worst teams in the league. Is a first round player that much more valuable than a second round player?
Yes, first rounders become stars, but so does Tom Brady. First rounders, especially really high picks, often become very expensive busts. That is a lot of weight to carry around in terms of cap space and media attention for a guy that is statistically probably not that much more likely to succeed in the NFL.
The fact is, teams like the Lions need much more help than one player to turn things around next season. Especially if that one player is a mediocre quarterback with a flashy, if not very accurate, arm.
I think the best solution would be an auction system for NFL Players. Crappy teams like Detroit would get more fictional points to spend, but the teams could choose to allot it any way they want.
This would bring instant excitement to the Draft as good teams with deep rosters could spend more on high end players that could bring in the one needed addition. Poor teams could either bid for a Matty Stafford type or they could lay back and grab 12 2nd and 3rd round players and hope they bring in a few solid players.
That would be pretty fun.
OTHER NFL DRAFT ADVICE:
-Trade down 10 spots and take Offensive and Defensive Lineman: OL/DL are undervalued by NFL Front offices like they are the casual football viewing public(with the possible exception of LT). The reason for this is every blowhard GM wants to make a splash with that flashy player. Instead, take a look at what the Eagles always do. They rarely make a “sexy” draft pick, but they have stockpiled a nice collection of OL/DL and have probably been the most consistent NFC team over the past decade, despite having a 1-aa running back, an inaccurate quarterback and no wide receivers.
-5 2nd and 3rd round players are more valuable than one top-ten pick: The chances are with 5 guys you will get two or three solid players that you can build around. You may get a star in the top ten, but more likely you will overpay for an average player.
-Trade your top-5 picks: Same theme here. If you can pick up a high first rounder and a early second rounder that is more valuable than one guy you have to pay millions before entering the draft.
-Don’t believe the Hype: I know why the Lions won’t trade their first pick because they have a chance to build some good publicity and get the fans excited again about Lions football. Then again, winning games does that, too. Make lots of trades and boring picks and get a lot of guys you can potentially build on.
3 Teams that will do the best:
Chiefs: Pioli making his mark already by trading Tony Gonzalez for a 2nd round pick, and ESPN flipping out about it. Atlanta, this isn’t 2003. Remember when the Giants lost Shockey, then went to the Super Bowl with a guy who no one had ever heard of. I see the same thing happening here.
3 Teams that will do the worst:
Lions: I have been avoiding the Stafford is a crappy quarterback theme, but I can’t see how he was this exceptional after playing 4 years at Georgia.
Redskins: You know Dan Snyder will screw this up somehow.
Raiders: Still holding a grudge against Al Davis for firing Lane Kiffin, who I think did a decent job there, despite the awful team around him.
Moral of the story: “Trade down 5 spots and take an OL/DL.”