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Old Fri, 27th Apr '12, 4:09pm   #1
Aldeth the Foppish Idiot
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Default NFL Draft Stupidity

This is something that never ceases to amaze me. 1. That NFL fans get all excited about the draft, even though most of them don't know 90% of the players that get drafted. 2. That the NFL has been able to generate this kind of interest in its fans despite them not knowing a lot about these players.

I consider myself a football nut. I love it, I watch it, I play fantasy football, I'm all in. But I just don't get the interest in the draft. Even if you watch college football a lot, you don't know squat about most of the players that get drafted. Sure, you watched players like Andrew Luck and RG3, and know they are good. But unless you were a huge USC fan, you can't tell me that more than a couple of months ago you knew that Matt Kalil was the starting tackle for USC, and that he clearly was the best tackle coming out of college and would be a top 5 draft pick.

That's why I can't get into the draft. Even with the first round last night, where one would assume that the best college players are getting picked by NFL teams, I've never even freaking heard of 3/4 of them. I guess they're good if they're getting picked first, but no matter how much football you watch, there's no way you can tell without a trained eye that linebacker A possesses a certain skill set that makes him marginally better than linebacker B. Also, given that certain skills in the college game do not necessarily translate well into the pro game due to different offensive and defensive schemes run, just because a player was good in college does not necessarily mean he'll be great in the NFL.

And yet, there are many people who spent 3 hours last night listening for who each team drafted with baited breath, even though they probably didn't know much about each individual player that got chosen to begin with. I'm a football fan and consider the draft a snore fest. How addicted to football do you have to be to find this interesting?
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Old Fri, 27th Apr '12, 5:07pm   #2
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I watched parts of the draft last night and enjoyed it. However, it used to be much more fun. It used to be on a Saturday and that was always the day that we would have our fantasy football banquet at a sports bar and we would eat, drink, and joke for five or six hours. That was the best.

PS: I was very happy with the moves the Pats made.
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Old Fri, 27th Apr '12, 5:17pm   #3
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Far different in hockey. At the risk of eating crow, die hard hockey fans know nearly as much about hockey prospects as the scouts themselves do. Hockey fans dissect every player, every angle, every which way.
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Old Fri, 27th Apr '12, 5:28pm   #4
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For me, the fun of the draft has always been the anticipation of who MY team(FLY EAGLES FLY!) is going to pick next. We all think we know what OUR team needs and usually it's not what management is thinking. Then after the draft, we get to bash our team's mangement about all of their bad decisions on various internet forums(), around the water cooler, etc....
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Old Fri, 27th Apr '12, 5:48pm   #5
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For me the fun of the draft -- any draft -- is not watching it.
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Old Fri, 27th Apr '12, 7:48pm   #6
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Originally Posted by Beren View Post
Far different in hockey. At the risk of eating crow, die hard hockey fans know nearly as much about hockey prospects as the scouts themselves do. Hockey fans dissect every player, every angle, every which way.
I find that very difficult to believe. Professional teams literally employ dozens of people in their scouting department, and their entire jobs are to scout, watch film, attend amateur/college games year round. Unless you spending 40-50 hours per week doing the same, you can't even approach the knowledge of ONE of these scouts, never mind the entire scouting department.

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For me, the fun of the draft has always been the anticipation of who MY team(FLY EAGLES FLY!) is going to pick next.
I used to think as you do, but how often do you actually recognize the name of the player called? Especially in the later rounds? In fact, the Eagles pick serves as a perfect example. Even avid college football fans generally only watch their favorite team and few other premier contests each week. The Eagles took Fletcher Cox out of Mississippi State. I for one, wouldn't have been able to tell you who Fletcher Cox was, because I do not recall watching a single Mississippi State game this year, and even if I had and just don't remember, I wouldn't have been able to recall the name of their defensive tackle. I would imagine the same applies to you.

My Steelers are also a good example. While I certainly watched Stanford play several games this past year, I wouldn't have been able to tell you that David DeCastro was one of their starting guards (I was probably too busy watching Andrew Luck). I also am not nearly familiar enough with offensive line blocking technique - analysis of footwork alone takes quite a trained eye - to have been able to tell you how good or bad he was among the other elite offensive line options.

Now both Cox and DeCastro are probably good players. They were relatively high on all teams draft boards, and both were given first round grades. (DeCastro was actually ranked higher than the 24th overall pick by several teams, but some of those teams had more pressing needs than an interior offensive lineman and passed on him.) But the point is, there's no way I could have KNOWN that going into the draft, unless I did a detailed analysis of not only DeCastro, but the other four offensive lineman selected in the first round. Three picks later, another guard, Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin was picked by Cincinnati. His draft day grade was nearly identical to DeCastro, but I certainly lack the expertise to be able to recognize the subtle distinctions in their play to say why DeCastro had a slightly better score, even if I had watched every single Standford and Wisconsin game last year.

Or, for another example, were you disappointed that the pick immediately before Cox was Dontari Poe, another defensive tackle who played at Memphis? Would you rather that the Eagles would have had him? Like me, you probably cannot recall seeing Memphis play many games this year either.

The larger point I'm making is I find it hard to get excited about my team picking a player I know virtually nothing about. I watch college football, but unless you are a star player on a premier team, I probably don't remember seeing that person. They might be great - maybe even future Hall of Famers, but right now, they're just a bunch of guys I know virtually nothing about (other than the really big names like Luck, Richardson, RG3).
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Last edited by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot; Fri, 27th Apr '12 at 9:23pm.
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Old Sat, 28th Apr '12, 12:06am   #7
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This is something that never ceases to amaze me. 1. That NFL fans get all excited about the draft
Actually, I'm more amazed that NFL fans get all exited about the NFL.
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Old Sat, 28th Apr '12, 1:26pm   #8
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If such a thing as a draft existed in any NZ sport, I think the excitement would be in finding out what my team did, and learning about who the new players were and anticipating what they would bring to the new season, especially if my team had been bad and had earned an early pick. I don't think I would need to know about the players beforehand, but would listen to the info on them during and after.

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Old Sun, 29th Apr '12, 4:44am   #9
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The only thing I find interesting about watching drafts is seeing the look on the faces of the people who expect to go in the top ten slowly get passed over and over again.

Call me cruel, but I like seeing dumb jocks being put in their place

That said, there's only one sport I really care enough to even pay attention to the draft and that would be hockey. Simce the Leafs haven't had a competent GM in God only knows how long, the draft has been nothing but disappointing for many years now. Who knows, maybe Burke will accidentally pick the next Alfredsson or Zetterberg in the sixth or seventh round this year. His first round picks (well, the ones he didn't trade away) have been pretty bad so far. Obviously the ones he did trade turned out to be the good ones.

Oh, the life of a Toronto sports fan
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Old Mon, 30th Apr '12, 4:41pm   #10
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The larger point I'm making is I find it hard to get excited about my team picking a player I know virtually nothing about. I watch college football, but unless you are a star player on a premier team, I probably don't remember seeing that person. They might be great - maybe even future Hall of Famers, but right now, they're just a bunch of guys I know virtually nothing about (other than the really big names like Luck, Richardson, RG3).
Well, of course you won't know them if you don't watch A LOT of college football, as there are literally hundreds of teams. Though if you read some daily columns/reporting from guys like Kiper and McShay over at ESPN, you might just start knowing who these guys are. It's really no different than reading up on current NFL players prior to a fantasy draft.
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Old Mon, 30th Apr '12, 5:35pm   #11
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If such a thing as a draft existed in any NZ sport, I think the excitement would be in finding out what my team did, and learning about who the new players were and anticipating what they would bring to the new season, especially if my team had been bad and had earned an early pick. I don't think I would need to know about the players beforehand, but would listen to the info on them during and after.
Yeah, that much I understand. I will probably (eventually anyway) read through who the Steelers picked this weekend. What I'm talking about is the people who wait with baited breath to see who their teams pick. Some of the more whackadoo fans actually ATTEND THE DRAFT IN NYC. Thousands of people are so into it that they want to attend it live!

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The only thing I find interesting about watching drafts is seeing the look on the faces of the people who expect to go in the top ten slowly get passed over and over again.
I share your sentiment, and it happens almost every year. Although Aaron Rodgers didn't get selected until pick 20-something that year, he's arguably the best QB in the NFL now. Then again, with a QB it's more understandable. You can only play one QB at a time, and so if a team already has an established starter, or just picked a QB the prior year, it's possible there's not much of a market for a QB with a high pick in certain years.

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Well, of course you won't know them if you don't watch A LOT of college football, as there are literally hundreds of teams. Though if you read some daily columns/reporting from guys like Kiper and McShay over at ESPN, you might just start knowing who these guys are. It's really no different than reading up on current NFL players prior to a fantasy draft.
I think it's a lot different. I watch A LOT of NFL football, but at gunpoint I wouldn't be able to name the three starting linebackers for the Carolina Panthers. And it's that kind of detail you'd need to know. Even if I become a Kiper-aholic during draft time, the only thing I'd know is that players A, B, C are the best their position and should go in the 1st round, which I would have assumed if they were drafted early anyway.

Like the Steelers picking David DeCastro. I watched several Stanford games last year, but I couldn't name their starting offensive linemen. The Steelers needed help on the offensive line, and given that the guy had a first round grade and was expected to be a first round selection, I can only assume the Steelers made a good (or at least rational) decision in picking him. But it's not like I was focusing on him when I watched Stanford play last year, and listening to Kiper tell me he's good is what I'd assume anyway if he was picked in the 1st round.

Kiper is more useful when a team does something unexpected, like taking a guy too early. Seattle did their first pick this year. 15th overall selection, and they took someone that most experts believed would be at best a 2nd round, if not a 3rd round, pick. Most people believed that they could have used that first pick on someone else, and still got the same guy they used their first pick with their second pick.
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Old Mon, 30th Apr '12, 7:08pm   #12
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Yeah, that much I understand. I will probably (eventually anyway) read through who the Steelers picked this weekend. What I'm talking about is the people who wait with baited breath to see who their teams pick. Some of the more whackadoo fans actually ATTEND THE DRAFT IN NYC. Thousands of people are so into it that they want to attend it live!



I share your sentiment, and it happens almost every year. Although Aaron Rodgers didn't get selected until pick 20-something that year, he's arguably the best QB in the NFL now. Then again, with a QB it's more understandable. You can only play one QB at a time, and so if a team already has an established starter, or just picked a QB the prior year, it's possible there's not much of a market for a QB with a high pick in certain years.



I think it's a lot different. I watch A LOT of NFL football, but at gunpoint I wouldn't be able to name the three starting linebackers for the Carolina Panthers. And it's that kind of detail you'd need to know. Even if I become a Kiper-aholic during draft time, the only thing I'd know is that players A, B, C are the best their position and should go in the 1st round, which I would have assumed if they were drafted early anyway.

Like the Steelers picking David DeCastro. I watched several Stanford games last year, but I couldn't name their starting offensive linemen. The Steelers needed help on the offensive line, and given that the guy had a first round grade and was expected to be a first round selection, I can only assume the Steelers made a good (or at least rational) decision in picking him. But it's not like I was focusing on him when I watched Stanford play last year, and listening to Kiper tell me he's good is what I'd assume anyway if he was picked in the 1st round.

Kiper is more useful when a team does something unexpected, like taking a guy too early. Seattle did their first pick this year. 15th overall selection, and they took someone that most experts believed would be at best a 2nd round, if not a 3rd round, pick. Most people believed that they could have used that first pick on someone else, and still got the same guy they used their first pick with their second pick.

The drafting of a player is a crap shoot. You can pick a great player simply by throwing a dart at a dartboard filled with prospects. Looking at some of the top tier players, they were never drafted or were late round picks. There are plenty of top picks that are considered bust as well. As a fan, you believe you know more than the front office running the team and if the team fails to meet your expectation in the draft the team failed to improve for the upcoming season. The reality is, we have fans don’ t know as much as we believe. .

As for following the draft, it is a matter of following the NFL after the season is over. For me, I do. I start off by finding out what players are leaving through free agency, which ones resign, and who the team signs. When the team I follow has little to no activity in free agency, I start reading about top 5 prospects by positions. From there, it is a matter of finding out more about the top players from scout reports, if available. If I have time, I watch the combine. From there you can find out what players the team you follow is meeting with or visiting. At that point, you can watch tape, etc… I don’t bother watching tape as the scouts definitely have a better feel for players than I do, so I don’t bother going that far. In addition, there are plenty of mock drafts to give fans idea of team need, etc..

When draft day comes I have a good idea of who players are based on following the team I support off season moves and draftee visits.

I typically only watch rounds 1-3. I was impressed with the Bengals draft the past two years; especially this year’s draft. The team drafted players that were graded at or above the round where the Bengals selected them. I found it interesting Sanu who received the crank call actually got drafted by the Bengals.
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