Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NFL Draft Choice Dilema

The NFL draft helps to invigorate interest in football at a time when it would normally be pretty much out of the picture for most sports fans. But unlike your basic sports off-season hype, the draft is a very real event that helps make or break teams. Certainly, most single drafts do not completely rejuvenate or ruin a team the way some people would portray, but they are important. No one can argue that over a period of seasons, drafts will have a lot to say about the character and success of a team.

There are at least two basic draft strategies--perhaps many more, but here I just want to mention two.

1. You draft the best athlete available at the time. or
2. You draft according to your needs.

On face value, these two strategies would be very difficult to carry out completely. They generally have to be modified.

For example, say you are a team that usually picks players you absolutely need to fill a void and you are lucky enough to have your key money positions covered--positions like quarterback, number one receiver, and running back, and you have a great number one draft pick. Your greatest need may be offensive linemen. You may want to parlay your top pick in a trade that will give you more picks later on where you really want to operate. Or you may want to swap your draft choice for a proven veteran in a trade.

A team, say that looks for the best athlete with their premium draft picks may see a top middle linebacker who is best of class in a draft year that offers several. They might just stick with their pick if they think they can get that linebacker even if they have a good one on board already. In this way, they may be able to build a team of great players.

These are two basic strategies although certainly both will need modification depending upon a lot of unknown factors.
Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Patrick McCaskey's Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout and other fine sports books. Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout is a personal chronicle of Chicago Bears Senior Director Patrick McCaskey that looks back at decades of spiritual enrichment and life lessons from athletes, coaches, religious and everyday people. McCaskey recalls the stories of those who strived to make the cut on and off the field—plus people who left comfortable lives to serve the under-served in extraordinary ways.

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