Less than 90 minutes from now, the NFL Draft will get under way with the Detroit Lions selecting QB Matthew Stafford with the #1 overall pick. For the next five hours, ESPN will broadcast every pick of the first two rounds. Then, Sunday morning, they will broadcast ANOTHER eight hours of draft coverage. Just five hours of coverage would be overkill, and ESPN is showing 13.
To be fair, I don’t consider myself much of a football fan. Yea, I’ll watch all my Patriots’ games and know the team fairly well, but in terms of teams I care about, they are down on the list. I still can’t figure out who can watch 13 hours of NFL Draft coverage without killing themselves though.
No other sport has that kind of coverage for an event in which NOTHING is determined. You barely hear anything about the MLB and NHL drafts. The NBA Draft has the closest thing to the kind of coverage that the NFL Draft has, but that is because one player on an NBA team can make much more of a difference than one player on an NFL team.
Think about that in terms of numbers. Five players are on the court at one time in the NBA. If you can significantly improve one of those players in the draft, then you have just improved your team by 10-20%. In football, there are eleven players on offensive and a different eleven for defense. That’s 22 players, so significantly improving one player via the draft only improves your team by 5-10%.
Which darft deserves more coverage?
The NBA Draft
Which draft actually gets more coverage?
The NFL Draft
Now, obviously the position matters. Upgrading the quarterback position of a team improves that team by more than 10%, but besides quarterbacks there aren’t many other positions that can really vault a team from cellar-dweller to the playoffs. Maybe running back, but a lineman or a defensive end? Come on. That’s not going to make or break a team’s season.
Add in the fact that every player is a question mark, and the draft is just a boring crapshoot that has very little affect on the actual sport. All of this coverage has also driven rookie contracts to record levels to the point that teams are considering letting the clock run out on them so they don’t have to pay the ridiculous guaranteed money.
I will look at whoever the Patriots draft and read some opinions on whoever it is. However, I’m not going to watch this overrated event. Matthew Stafford is going to go #1. Who cares who goes number two, and number three, and number four and on and on. I don’t.