Friday, October 31, 2014

Editorial: Just stop with NFL mock drafts

Coming in from a day of school or work, some people —primarily men — sit down, turn on the television and catch up on all the sporting news of the day. NFL teams start their organized team activities, NBA playoff games are now set, and New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is out until the All-Star Break.

In between these headlines is yet another NFL mock draft created by football analysts.

Honestly, how many versions do we need? The NFL draft begins Thursday, April 25. Currently, ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay are on their sixth revision since December. McShay even had a mock draft 4.1.

He updated his 4.0 draft due to the Oakland Raiders acquiring quarterback Matt Flynn from the Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals adding quarterback Carson Palmer. With these changes, McShay felt that there was zero chance that a quarterback will be taken in the first
round of the draft.

Drafters do this to keep track of which players’ draft stock has increased or decreased. While it is necessary for fans to know where their team stands, evaluating college athletes can be overdone and a bit unnecessary.

In between December and April, prospective players for the NFL draft go through college bowl games, the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and pro days held at their respective colleges.

One problem with the speculation is that players are scouted mostly on their workouts, and not their body of work in college. For example, a player’s draft stock may rise if he has a great workout during his pro day. Or, it may fall because he did not perform well at the combine.

Whatever the case, it is impossible to predict how they will fare. Workout studs that scouts and analysts rave about during this process may become busts.

In McShay’s mock draft 5.0, he has the Kansas City Chiefs selecting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei from Utah. His 4.0 model proposed the Chiefs selecting offensive tackle Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M. On nfl.com, four analysts have Joeckel going No. 1 while the fifth, Bucky Brooks, has offensive tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan in the top slot.

As April 25 approaches, the media hypes the draft, various scenarios and certain players a little too much.

Just like in other drafts, no one knows who will be selected first overall or be Mr. Irrelevant — the last pick. Only the coaches know who they feel will best fit their team.

One mock draft is necessary, not dozens.

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