Gather around your television sets, football fans. Draft weekend is upon us once again, and it is time to grab a box of hot wings and sit down to watch the excitement ensue. All right, some people might find the draft to be slightly boring, but a true football fan looks forward to the draft from the moment the season ends for the respective teams.
The draft is the one event that bridges the end of the season to the start of the next one for football fans, and it can make or break how that next season will go. Whether the draft means finding that franchise player who will help turn your team around or nabbing that missing piece of the puzzle that will lead them to the Super Bowl, this event is crucial to the level of success each team will have for years to come.
The best teams know that having a triumphant draft is how to remain successful for lengthy periods of time. Free agency is important as well, but it does not even come close to the importance of the draft.
Last year saw one of the most noteworthy drafts in recent history because of the immediate impact its rookie class had on the National Football League in 2011. Between Cam Newton’s unbelievable statistics to Von Miller’s impact on the Broncos’ defense, the 2011 draft class might just be the greatest in the history of sport.
This year’s draft class has plenty to live up to, but it already has enough storylines to make for a compelling show. It plans to offer huge star power, multiple draft day trades and hours of commentary and debate on each team’s decisions. We already know that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will be drafted at numbers one and two, respectively, so the real intrigue comes with the Vikings at No. 3.
The Vikings are expected to draft USC Tackle Matt Kalil, but the team has managed to throw some smokescreens around this week. Viking’s head coach, Leslie Frazier, recently said, “Tackles are not game-changers,” in an apparent attempt to dissuade other teams of their plans in the draft. The Vikings could choose to pick another player, but most still believe they will take Kalil in an attempt to solidify their offensive line.
The real question of the draft is where former Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be picked. Many expect him to wind up with the Dolphins at pick No. 8, and almost everyone is projecting him to be gone when the Chiefs pick at 11. Tannehill will likely end up with the Dolphins, who will regret this pick within the next few years. Tannehill is the one quarterback from this draft who will bust on the professional level. The Dolphins, along with many other teams, will regret passing on Brandon Weeden because he is fully capable of making an impact right away while Tannehill will take at least a year before he is ready to be thrown into the spotlight of the NFL.
Whatever happens, this year’s draft should prove to be compelling and will keep football fans satisfied until the season begins in September. Hopefully, it lives up to the potential of last year, and with all the possible draft-day trades and surprises, it absolutely will.