10 Reasons Why We Are In Love With The NFL Draft
The National Football League draft, also called the player selection meeting, is an annual event in which the National Football League (NFL) teams select eligible college football players. It serves as the league's most common source of player recruitment. The basic design of the draft is that each team is given a position in the drafting order in reverse order relative to its record in the previous year, which means that the last place team is positioned first.
Now that we have had our history lesson, I have been watching the live show since its inception with ESPN, sometimes, staying home from school (faking illness) to watch it all take place. Yes, I have serious issues, but the NFL Draft is must see television with reality stars named Paul Zimmerman, then Mel Kiper, Jr. and now Todd McShay. If you want to know what makes the right tackle from Omaha State, expected to be taken in the sixth round, there is nothing better than getting an in-depth bio of him from the time he was in pee wee football, the first time he pancake blocked someone and the first time he shaved.
It is reality television at its best.
Now that ESPN and the NFL Network jockey back and forth to improve coverage, the Draft is an annual event as important as a political election or family reunion.
Here are 10 reasons we love the NFL Draft.
MEL KIPER’S HAIR
In the same vain as Jimmy Johnson, watching Mel Kiper, Jr (Draft Expert) and his hair evolve over the years has been as integral as listening to Chris Berman discuss his “conversations” with a taxi driver in Buffalo.
Like him, hate him or tolerate him, Kiper (the man who could have been a villain in the Star Wars series) makes the draft entertaining.
While players get dressed up to sit in a green room with 50 family members and agents, the most entertaining part of the order in the back is seeing what everyone is wearing.
In this case, clothes don’t make the many, they make fun of him.
The fashion police and E! Entertainment should be called in on this one.
When the Miami Dolphins selected Eric Kumerow, then ESPN analyst Paul Zimmerman replied, “Who?”
Just when you least expect it, some team will take a player who has no business being drafted in the first three rounds, then will subsequently fail miserably. Not because he wasn’t worthy of being drafted by an NFL team, rather where he was drafted. See Russell Erxleban, John Avery and the ultimate draft blooper of recent time, Bryan Anger who was drafted in the third round of the 2012 Draft when the team could have had Russell Wilson.
REALIZING THE DREAM
There is nothing better than seeing the raw emotion these players feel when their name is called out. There is plenty of tears of joy. After years of sweat and practice and training, getting to the NFL is the pinnacle of these players’ careers to date. And family and friends are there to share in the joy. Yes, there is crying in football.
ROOT, ROOT, ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM
The anticipation builds when your team is “on the clock.” Who will they pick? Will a need be filled? Will there be a trade? This is exactly what fans live for. For months, they act as armchair general managers and pray to the football gods the right choice will be made. The great thing about rooting for your team is that you can cheer the pick if you like it, and boo the hell out of it if you think it’s awful.
WE HAVE A TRADE
It never fails. A trade clouds everything and makes the draft more excited at the same time. This season should be no exception as Marcus Mariota’s name will be the subject of many trade rumors, mostly likely involving Philadelphia, Chicago and maybe St. Louis. As a side note, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith were selected by the 49ers and Cowboys, respectively, because of trades.
THE GREAT DEBATE
Bill Tobin and Mel Kiper, Jr. got into a debate, which to this day is still legendary. While general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, Tobin gained some notoriety during the television broadcast of the 1994 NFL Draft after being criticized by ESPN analyst Mel Kiper for picking Nebraska linebacker Trev Alberts with the fifth pick in the draft, instead of Fresno State quarterback Trent Dilfer.
While being interviewed by ESPN later in the broadcast, Tobin famously said "Who the hell is Mel Kiper?!" Tobin later called a press conference where he ranted about Kiper for several minutes, stating that Kiper had been biased against the Colts ever since they moved from Baltimore, Kiper's home.
YEAR ROUND DISCUSSION
We cannot get enough of it. Once the college season ends and the Super Bowl crowns a champion, the discussion really heats up. But truly, it is a year-round discussion.
It’s discussed by NFL pundits and college football announce teams. Which player will be chosen first? Will the injury Player A affect his draft stock? Will teams move up and down the draft board to find the right fit? The intrigue grabs you and holds you hostage.
You know what’s better than seeing someone’s draft board get it right? Seeing a draft board that is so off base you cannot help but laugh. The first four or five picks are usually the same in some form or fashion by scouts and analysts. After that it really is a crap shoot. I love seeing professionals who get paid six figures fall flat on their faces. But then again, they get paid to write projection and opinion.
IT’S A WEEKEND EVENT
It gets you out of housework, the “Honey Do” list and seeing the in-laws. You can invite friends and family over for Draft Parties. Essentially, it becomes the real start to a new season. You cannot help but love that.