NFL Draft: Gems, Busts, and Risks

The NFL draft is like the lottery, you lose a bunch but you win enough to keep coming back. There are gems like Tom Brady and Russell Wilson that you find past the first day of the draft, but more times than not you end up drafting someone like Matt Leinart or JaMarcus Russell.

Every year since 1936 there has been an NFL draft, back then it was mostly here say and print media and by the 1940’s teams were hiring full time scouts to travel the country looking for athletes. It wasn’t until 1980 when ESPN first broadcasted the draft ,and then in 2010 the NFL switched to a 3 day format so day 1 was the first round, day 2 was 2-4 rounds and finally day 3 was 5-7 rounds.

Now on to the good stuff, why is the draft so important? So many NFL insiders say that the best teams use the draft to build a championship team rather than free agency. Lets start with a comparison of two quarterbacks drafted in 2010, Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. Both got max contracts of 4 years and about 22 million each. Andrew Luck has been consistent getting his team to the playoffs and winning, on the other hand RG3 was able to make playoffs in the first year but after that injuries plagued him and now we aren’t even sure he will be a starter in this upcoming year. A lot of people thought these two were identical and both would be all stars. Nope, it shows why scouting is so important and even when you think a player is going to be your best player he can turn out a BUST! Okay so back when Drew Brees became a free agent when the Chargers didnt resign him it made sense to throw him a max deal because before 2010 it was smart to go through free agency because you were given these rookies millions and millions before they even proved they belonged in the league so every year you were taking a MASSIVE risk. In 2010 the NFL changed the rules so now the max a first round rookie can get is 4 years and about 22 million dollars. That changed everything because now if you were to pick up Jay Cutlers contract you could be in the hole 16 million a year if it doesn’t work out but if a rookie doesn’t then your only in the hole 5 million. It would be cheaper for a team to miss on a quarterback 3 straight years in the draft instead of picking up a quarterback in the league already. To me the logic makes sense and if my team needed a QB I would never be mad at taking a gamble through the draft. You see a lot of players for example Peyton Manning this year and Tom Brady last year, absolutely first ballot hall of famers taking pay cuts to help their team. Well guess what, they aren’t really losing money. So by reconstructing their contracts they get less money at first but after year 3 all that money is guaranteed and they get it on the back side of their contract. Its smart, honestly it really is, they get their money and the team gets better free agents.

The most important thing a team can do is STAY YOUNG!! I can’t stress that enough, and the best way is to draft 20,21, and 22 year olds in the draft instead of 27,28, 29 year olds on the market. For example the Seahawks who have been to two Super Bowls in a row now have starters on both sides of the ball drafted on the backside rounds. They also have back ups who would start on other teams because they keep their young players. It is always better to get rid of someone maybe a year or two early then keep them a year or two too long taking money and talent away from your team. Well this is it, I hope you learned something from this and can it be football season yet?? Thank you for reading!

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