The NFL Draft is a big occasion; however, there are some things about it that really need to be revised…
1. The team with the first overall pick needs to have their pick all set at the start of the draft; they’ve had, barring something major, months to pick, and it’s anti-climatic to have to wait ten minutes for them to select something they should have had selected already. Same applies for the first pick in the second round (day 2), and the fourth round (day 3); if you have twenty-one hours to think on it, you don’t need more time.
2. The rules instituted by ESPN and the NFL Network should be permanently in place for both networks (and their correspondents). In other words, no showing of phone calls that tip off who is the next pick.
3. The NFL needs to avoid actively endorsing products at the draft, including ones they actually endorse; for instance, they shouldn’t be promoting Madden at the draft; or at least for day one, which ranks high on big annual moments for the NFL. The NFL works hard to put the draft on year in, year out; it’s anxiously awaited by many, and it detracts from the event to be promoting a commercial entity.
4. They need to cut down the number of prospects invited to the actual draft; the Geno Smith debacle, coupled with the smart decisions by others to not go, illustrates this; Geno Smith, to his credit, stuck it out and was honored in the second round. However, it is quite often just painful to see that one last guy in the green room.
5 (a). They need to cut down on the number of guest announcers; I know they want to pay respects for the legends of the game, but it went way too far, especially when the announcer wasn’t announcing his team’s pick (the result of draft day trades).
5 (b). Also, in future, all guest announcers need to stick to the basic script (with the nth pick, such-and-such-team selects player, position, university); the Cowboys guest announcer seemed to relish antagonizing the crowd (“and still America’s team”) way too much.
6 (a). The NFL should consider (not necessarily implement) cutting down the time to make your first round selection to eight minutes; the first round took way too long, especially in the first several overall picks, where the board is completely open, and there aren’t a lot of adjustments to make. I recognize the need for time in order to make trades, and that teams lower in the first round may want some time, but executives are paid to deal with the pressure of draft day; earn your keep, you make far more than the fans booing at the actual draft.
6 (b). Also, the NFL needs to expedite the announcements of players when teams move quickly to make their picks. It annoys me when you see the team actually mulling over the pick isn’t second or third in line, but fourth or even fifth down the pipeline; coupled with the time some teams feel compelled to take, it make the draft overly dull, unless you like hearing Mel Kiper or Mike Mayock talk and talk and talk…
Well, that’s all for now, see you later.