Drafting NFL Players Blindfolded

On April 28, 2016, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will step to the microphone and state “with the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select….”  More people will watch that announcement than will watch the World Series, the NBA Championship or the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.

In other words, more people will watch a guy in a suit rip open an envelope than will watch the finals of any of the other major sports in the U.S.


When the draft occurs, it is expected that the first two teams to draft (the Los Angeles Rams & the Philadelphia Eagles) will draft quarterbacks.

Both teams participated in big trades this week in order to move up in the draft.  The Rams traded away 6 draft picks to move into the first draft slot, and the Eagles traded away 5 draft picks to move into the second slot.

These are the same teams that traded with each other for quarterbacks on March 13, 2015.  The Eagles sent Nick Foles to the Rams, and the Rams sent Sam Bradford to the Eagles.  That trade was so bad for both teams that they are each gambling away two years of draft picks for a brand new quarterback this year.


What is really strange about the Eagles plans this year is that they just signed two quarterbacks to very rich contracts.  Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel signed deals with over $25 million in guaranteed money.  Why did the Eagles sign two quarterbacks to guaranteed contracts, and then trade away 5 draft picks in order to pick another quarterback?

It occurs to me that maybe the Philadelphia Eagles have no idea what they are doing.

But other teams also don’t know what they’re doing.  I saw a list of teams who traded up in order to draft a quarterback in the top 5 in the last 25 years.  The quarterbacks who were selected are:  Robert Griffin III, Mark Sanchez, Michael Vick, Ryan Leaf, Kerry Collins and Jeff George.

That is an atrocious group of quarterbacks.


The NFL Commissioner will not tell you a few things next week:

The majority of the players drafted next weekend won’t be playing football in 4 years.  The average career length in the NFL is now 3.2 years.

Most of the players who are drafted don’t work out.  Teams have no idea what they are getting when they draft a player.  You don’t believe me?  Search for the draft picks your favorite team made the past three years.    I just did that for the Eagles draft picks from 2014-2016.  In that time they had 21 draft picks.  I think 6 of those players are still with the team.  One or two have made substantial contributions.

The NFL and its teams spend a fortune on the NFL draft process.  They would be better off by putting on blindfolds and throwing darts at a dartboard.  Their chances of draft success would be the same, and they would save themselves a lot of money.


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