Monday, March 09, 2009

47 Days Till The NFL Draft? STILL?

Only seven more weeks until the NFL Draft!


No other professional team sport has such a lag between the crowning of its champion and its draft. In the NBA, the confetti is barely swept from the streets of the champion's city and then we're at the draft. They don't waste much time in the NHL, either -- usually less than two weeks. MLB has its amateur draft during the season, for goodness sakes.

But the NFL?

The Super Bowl happens in early February. Then we're forced to wait some 12 weeks or so before the league gets around to holding the draft. Why the wait?

The NFL Combine -- that precious vehicle where would-be draftees are watched, measured, timed, and interviewed (rinse and repeat) -- usually takes place before February is done. Yet we still need two more months before we can go ahead and draft those players?

Seriously, what the hell?

I've never understood the gap between the Super Bowl and the draft. Is there money to be made somewhere, the longer the wait? As far as I can tell, the only good the wait does is for the mock drafters and the talking heads on TV -- some of whom surely must be paid by the word.

How come the NBA and the NHL can make up their minds on who to draft in such short order, and the NFL needs the equivalent of nearly an entire business quarter?


The NFL should have its draft, at the latest, by mid-March. Do it before the NCAA basketball tournament begins, if you're worried about competing with another major sporting event. That would give teams a good four months to sign the higher-round picks before training camp begins, presumably reducing the amount of holdouts due to stalled contract negotiations, since teams would have an extra six-to-seven weeks to hammer out deals.

I know -- how DARE I think with any logic about the NFL!

And I use the Super Bowl as a generous plotting point. Truth is, only two teams made it that far. Many of the clubs haven't played a game since late-December. If they don't have at least an inkling of who they're going to draft by NOW, then shame on them. They also have had ample time to run different scenarios through their computers and their brains. They did their combine thing. They've probably watched more film by now than Leonard Maltin has in his entire movie-reviewing life. So get on with it already!!

If it's suspense you're trying to build, then that can be accomplished by mid-March as well.

It's just that I'm so sick of the draft right now, and it's still 47 days away. FORTY-SEVEN.

Why is it necessary to keep us all waiting?

Wish we could somehow tie the draft to Groundhog Day. If he sees his shadow, six weeks till the draft (mid-March). If he doesn't, an EARLY draft (late-February, right after the combine).

If only...

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