While there are girl football fans out there (I’m one of them), there is also a large portion of the female population who doesn’t quite get the obsession that runs deep during the NFL season. And for those who don’t know, that time of year is coming around again, starting with the NFL Draft this weekend in Chicago. This is the official kick-off (pun intended) of the football season, and thus the highlight of many guys’ years. To help you prepare, and sound as knowledgeable as possible when talking with the men in your lives, we have our Guytalk sports expert Chris on the blog TWICE this week to help you out…
Alert! It’s socially acceptable to talk about football again thanks to the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft. If the men in your life are obsessed with football or plan on watching, I’ve got you covered with everything you need to know to enjoy Draft Weekend.
WHY IT MATTERS
Most importantly, your team (if it drafts well) should be able to add 2-3 players that will start for them in the upcoming season – allowing them to upgrade weak positions on the roster. Basically, they have the chance to add players to their team who will make them better.
Outside of infusing teams with young talent, The Draft is also vital because draft success (or failure) is a huge factor in each team’s future finances.
- When teams go through a few years of poor drafting, they have to compensate a lot of times by signing older, veteran players that come at a much higher cost (think Dolphins, Bears, Chargers)
- Drafting well means paying less for talent which allows for more financial flexibility in the future (think Packers, Patriots)
- So pay less for younger, often better, players….or don’t draft well and pay more for old guys
HOW IT WORKS
Here is the quick and easy on the event’s logistics:
- The Draft is 3 days long (April 28-30)
- There are 7 rounds (253 players will be drafted in total)
- You’ll recognize the players from college football (a player is only eligible to be drafted if they are 3 years out of high school)
- Although each team starts with 1 pick in each round, the number of picks each team has will vary because (1) Teams can trade picks to accumulate more picks/players and (2) They can more additional Draft picks if they lose a player to another team in free agency, which is when a player is not specifically with any one team (Bonus Tip: This is a called “compensatory pick”)
In order to determine how good players are they use a variety of factors like:
- College game performance (the most important factor)
- Player performance at the NFL Draft Combine (often called the ‘underwear olympics’)
- It’s the event where players do drills, get timed in the 40-yard dash, benchpress, etc. for all the teams – worth watching next year for all those college athletes
- Player performance in college all-star games (such as the Senior Bowl)
- Watching players complete in drills on their Pro Day, where colleges invite NFL scouts and coaches to their campus to watch players work out and complete drills in practices
- Team interviews with players
Another layer of complexity in player evaluation is that some positions are more important than others (i.e. quarterbacks contribute much more to winning than guards). Teams with positions that are in dire need of an upgrade in a specific position can also find themselves over-valuing those players and drafting them earlier than they should be based on how good they are (which typically leads to a “bad” draft).
TWITTER IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE EVENT
Twitter is absolutely the best thing to ever happen to The Draft. Although it’s a huge spoiler (each draft pick is always released on Twitter a few minutes before it’s on TV), be sure to check out the real-time reactions on Twitter because it’s hilarious.
Players will have ridiculous haircuts, their suits will be embarrassing and funny moments will be caught. You won’t want to miss the dialogue. Here are some good NFL Draft handles to follow:
- The sports writers of your local newspaper
- @FauxJohnMadden (it’s one of the best fake Twitter handles)
- ESPN reporters @AdamSchefter, @mortreport, @McShay13, @MelKiperESPN