Saturday, April 27, 2013

Post-Draft Report Cards

We're deeply ashamed we used this
There's very little funnier than the notion of the "draft report card". Beyond very broad exceptions - the RIcky Williams draft for New Orleans, for example - there's really no way to tell who did well and who did poorly the day after the drafting happens. And this is for one very simple reason: they're drafting people to play football, and nobody's playing football right now. Until you actually get the guys you drafted on the field - and let's not even get into externalities like trades, injuries, coaching staff shifts, etc. - and in many cases, give them a couple of years to develop, there's no way to tell if a pick was good or not.

I mean, it's easy to see why people want to read draft report cards. They want to be told that their team did well, or, if they don't like their team's management, they want their prejudice against the front office reinforced. "We got an A+ from Mel Kiper" and "Jesus, ESPN gave us a D- because we reached for that inside linebacker from Cornell" are functionally identical and equally content-free.
The only people who should be getting graded after draft day, to be honest, are the agents. After all, with the NFL's rookie salary structure, where your guy gets drafted directly correlates to how he - and you - will get paid. So it's easy to see which agents did well - who got their guys in position to be drafted earlier than expected, who prepared them best, who got their guys on teams' radar - and which ones didn't.
Of course, they don't need the validation of an Insider-only report card. They're getting paid.
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