Monday, April 18, 2005

Thoughts on the draft

The NFL draft is next weekend and this one should be interesting if for no other reason than that the consesus is this year's draft class isn't that good. Well, actually it's a good thing for Jacksonville who holds the 21st pick (or 20th... something like that). I keep reading all these predictions and prognostications on what the first team should do and it's interesting to me because on one hand sports writers pretty readily agree that you should draft "the best available player"... however, noone ever seems to do this. At least not at the top of the draft board. So looking through all these articles it is obvious that people view Braylon Edwards as the only real top tier talent and "sure thing" in this year's draft... yet in the next sentence they'll debate whether or not the 49ers should select Alex Smith or Aaron Rodgers.

To me this just exemplifies the flawed logic in taking "the best available player". How can you deem someone as the best available? Since you have NO idea of how this person is going to perform in the coming years in the NFL there is no real way to judge them as the best available is there? It seems even easier to prove this when you look at the sheer number of draft busts over the years. At some point the Chargers had Ryan Leaf as the "best available player" on their board. At some point the Cardinals had Andre Wadsworth as their "best available player". At some point the Bears had Curtis Enis as their "best available player". You get the picture. As an aside those were three of the first five picks from the same draft. So doesn't it seem more logical to draft someone you identify as your teams greatest need? At least if your player busts you were attempting to fill a hole instead of picking someone who, at the time, was "the best available player".

For example... Jacksonville needed a wide receiver last year. They ended up chosing Reggie Williams with the 9th pick. Most people wrote that this was a reach, but at least if you are going to take a chance on a player (which you ALWAYS are) in the draft, take a player at a position of need. People that argue vehemently that you should always draft the best available player just don't seem to grasp the idea that until you can identify a players potential in the NFL with 100% accuracy, you can't deem them "the best available player".


At 1:30 PM, Blogger Ricardo Grande said...

Seriously. I had a good laugh at the Sports Illustrated draft bust special:
It's hilarious because in their top 10 draft busts they have people who played 11 years, but only started 42 games, etc. I mean, maybe that's not what you want out of a top draft pick, but it's not Ryan Leaf-type numbers, who is left out of the list. Stupid.

At 8:36 AM, Blogger romeotheBT said...

I saw that, but I didn't get through that entire photo gallery. I can't believe they didn't have Ryan Leaf. What an oversight!


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