Elite, expert analysis with great upside from an Idiot
by Rob Voigt
High floor. Higher ceiling. Over-valued.
Wingspan. Arm length. Broad Jump.
Knee bend. Tight hips. Soft Hands.
Rising. Falling. Sleeper. BPA.
Tim Tebow. Skip Bayless. Ryan Tannehill.
I decided to write an article about the upcoming NFL draft. This would be my first true effort at writing in years. Many, many years. Facebook statuses not included. Simply creating a mock draft by picking players, adding physical dimensions, and constructing a short description does not count. I had to sound somewhat knowledgeable. I entered an interactive mock draft as an acting general manager of the Colts. With one day’s notice, I also took on the role for the Titans as well. I went from website to website, blog to blog, added almost a hundred people on twitter. Not just any people, mind you, they had to have insight on the NFL draft. If you want to know about the draft, you HAVE to follow this guy. You are insane if you’re not following that guy. Mel Kiper. Todd McShay. NFLDraftExpert. NFLDraftScout. NFLDraftRoundup. NFLMocks.
NFLMocks. Boy, did I read mock drafts. One after another. I read until my eyes started to hurt. Bill’s mock. Stan’s mock. Fred’s NFL mock. Joe’s 2012 NFL mock. Walter Football has a listing of almost 500 mock drafts. One of them has the Colts selecting Matt Barkley at number one overall. In 2012. Not 2013. There are probably only fifty or so mocks available for 2013. Yes, before this year’s draft has even begun there are mocks for next year. Before any games have been played, in the NFL or college. Before anybody can get hurt. Get a sack. Score a touchdown. I had to ignore those mocks. I was on information overload just concentrating on this year’s draft. I noticed that people “update” their mocks with the frequency of a teenage girl posting a mirror picture online. I have lost track on which update of Mel Kiper’s mock that behemoth ESPN is currently forcing upon their viewers. Who is rising? Who is falling? Who is the next great “sleeper”? On every show. Repeatedly. And yes, they must analyze his picks. Ad-nauseam. Is Melvin Ingram the BPA for the Jaguars? Is he a reach at 7? When I finally think there is nothing more Merrill Hoge and Herm Edwards can argue about, Mel releases a new updated mock. You know what happens: It starts. All over. Again. And again.
Here I was thinking the only thing that could make me turn the channel quicker was another Tim Tebow related debate. Spoiler alert: Skip Bayless, the inventor of the four corner defense, think he’s a winner. I will give you fair warning: don’t post an opinion about Ryan Tannehill on twitter. Unless you have a half hour to kill in a futile attempt to defend that it is simply your opinion. I am not sure why all these draft scouts decide to talk so much about real estate, however. I assume they all live in a very exclusive, gated community. It only makes sense. Who else would think that something with a high floor, and an even higher ceiling, could somehow be over-valued. Or was that under-valued? Now don’t get me wrong, I do value the hard work they do watching tape. They tell us about that. All of them. A lot. They do have tons of insight on the prospects. (That is what you call young men who used to play college football, but soon are going to be playing professional football.) You read them give details on someone’s knee bend, or tight hips, or soft hands. Shockingly, they are NOT talking about the porno they watched at the frat house over the weekend.
Now, I do love me some football. I love the sport. I love the coverage. I can talk, or in this case, write, about football all day. And every day. What else is there? Does anybody watch the Stanley Cup, or NBA Finals, if their team isn’t in it? Baseball is great. Baseball was my first passion growing up. But, that season is so long it doesn’t truly matter until September. You know what else happens in September? FOOTBALL SEASON STARTS! At least you can still watch baseball on most days. Except Saturdays and Sundays. And Mondays. And Thursdays. Some Fridays too. Might as well admit it, if my baseball team isn’t playing in the World Series, I don’t care about baseball either. All the other sports exist simply to give me something to watch when football isn’t on. This is true. I am right. What person that you know does NOT watch the Super Bowl? Then again, I am an idiot.
Which brings me back to my original topic- I don’t know anything. All the people I poked fun at above do tireless work. They provide a wealth of informed opinions on players I had never heard of. Most of them have been doing so for years. The underlying thing, that doesn’t get mentioned enough, is that they don’t know anything either. Nobody truly knows what the real-life NFL teams will do come draft day. Nobody knows if the players will actually be good. Not even the NFL teams that draft them. Millions are spent on investigating, probing and measuring the prospects. Their wingspan, arm length, how far they can broad jump, you name it, the NFL has data on it. They have a test for everything. They have 20 people per team whose jobs are to be right on the players they draft. Yet a good draft result is having 50% of the players they draft actually contributing to the team.
It seems I am not the only idiot. I just admit it on a regular basis. I will continue to pull up a chair at the kiddie table and overeat what the NFL is serving. Whoever my team drafts, I will root for them come fall. I will hope they are future Hall of Famers. I will root that they help bring a Super Bowl championship to my team. Just like last year. Just like next year.
E-mail me at LiquoredUpIdiotKicker@afcsouthblogs.com