So often in today's age of instant information, we want to just hear the facts, the rumors and speculation. The NFL draft is the ultimate dream for media. Whether it be "real" media, or any other kind. Everyone seems to know something about a guy's 40 time or how he is a "good kid." Numerous scouting reports and mock drafts scour the Internet highyway for true rubes of the NFL to gobble up day after day.
However, now the time for the draft is finally here. In just over 24 hours we will hear Roger Goodell announce Jake Long as the #1 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, and with it $31 million guaranteed. The spectacle that is the NFL draft will begin. Our vying interest is of what the Buffalo Bills do. Immediately after each pick "experts" such as Mayock, Kiper, and McShay will break down the player, the pick, the value, and right on the spot give their opinion as to whether the pick was deemed a "success"; as will thousands of internet bloggers. The draft is unlike any other spectacle because EVERYONE thinks they could be a NFL GM; and for the most part they are right. GM's have varying backgrounds from former players, to sons of coaches, to people who just started out as ball boys and learned the game from the ground up. It is not a science, because if it was there would never be a Ryan Leaf or Ki-Jana Carter.
My point is that for 3+ months of buildup and anticipation and speculation for an event that will cover ~15-20 hours of live television on Saturday and Sunday is something that can hardly be put into words. The love and passion or supreme idiocracy that NFL fans have for their teams is surely reminiscent of ancient days of the galdiators and how they were revered as gods for their killings in the ring. 99% of NFL fans have never strapped on a collegiate helmet, squated 400+ lbs, benched 225+ lbs, sacked a QB, ran a flag route, played the "mike" "will" or "sam", or ever got their head taken off on a route over the middle. But maybe that is what makes the euphoria so high when we follow events like the draft. These physical athletes are rounded up like cattle and drafted off for millions of dollars of guaranteed contracts. Some will make it, some won't. Some obscure names will turn into NFL superstars ala, Tom Brady. Each player has an individual story and as soon as that player is picked you can type in their name into an internet search site and find numerous sentences about weaknesses and strengths. However, for the most part no one really knows.
There is no formula for drafting a player into his first job. Just like mega corporations fail when the hire students right out of college, so do NFL teams. It may be the kid's heart is not in the right place, personal issues, or a myriad of other factors that play a role. However, that is what makes the draft so special. Is because there is so much failure. Fans and ownerships, pump millions of dollars and hope into 21-22 year old athletes in hopes that they will turn a franchise from 6-10 to 10-6. Answers are not provided for 5+ years until the production on the field can act as a resume for these picks, yet thousands of people in the demand of "instant information" will classify each pick with scrutiny that defies common logic; and people are completely fine with that. It satisfies their thirst for instant knowledge and opinions on each player that is selected.
I come from the school of thinking that actions speak louder than words. No matter what happens tomorrow and on Sunday, ultimately play will dictate whether a player "panned out." But that is what makes this weekend so damn exciting. Instant information and decisions that will not have results for years to come. It is truly a weekend unlike any other. So tomorrow when you are sitting in your GM chair, analyzing every pick, and quickly hopping on the live thread to quickly give your opinion on the Bills latest selection, just remember to enjoy the moment, and soak it all up.
Whether it is Sweed/Thomas/McKelvin/Albert/Flowers/Cason/Trade UP/ Trade Down, just enjoy the day. As for my prediction:
Trade out of #11 to #17 and nab: Limas Sweed. Then jump back to #25 with Seattle and take Brandon Flowers.
That should set up some nice discussion:)