One of the biggest, if not the biggest milestone of the NFL off-season is upon us, it is NFL draft week. This article isn’t going to examine who your team should pick in the draft. It is going to examine the different ways fans react to this time of the year and what it means to different levels of fans.
THE AMATEUR SCOUT
Some NFL fans, are also hardcore college football fans. They watch each game, go over each statistic and compare players throughout the season. They watch every trade, of each NFL team so they can get an idea of who has enough room in their salary cap so they can draft who they want. Also before the draft, a lot of teams will trade for draft picks as well, and this effects which position will be drafted first. Obviously not every team is in need of help with every position. The first day of the draft you will find these fans in front of the tv with all of their notes from various papers, magazines and personal notes to see how close their own predictions were.
THE TEAM FOCUSED DRAFT WATCHER
This is the fan who has only one interest, and that is in who is their favorite team going to draft. Any research they do is specifically on who they think the team needs. They don’t pay attention to the other teams needs and therefore won’t always see that a team higher in the draft order will grab the one they are hoping for. The fan that is focused on only their team also misses a lot. Each team has a lot to offer and it is important to watch the big picture to get a good sense of who is going into the draft.
THE LOOK HIM UP AFTER MY TEAM GETS HIM FAN
Some fans of the NFL are not fans of college football, there are a lot of different reasons for this. The rules are different for each level of football, not so much so that the game is entirely different. But enough that some don’t like the difference. Others don’t like the constant change of players since they are after all, kids in college. The teams change much more every year than an NFL team does.
However whatever the reason, some fans simply watch the draft live and when their favorite team picks a player, they proceed to look up all the information they can on him. There also is a level of great respect and trust in your team’s scouts that they will lead the team to a good fitting player. Not every talented kid fits onto every team for a variety of reasons. Play style, coaching style, even some kids don’t do well in certain climates. It all weighs in when making a decision.
NOW YOUR TEAM HAS THEIR PICKS, NOW WHAT
For all the scouting, the tryouts, the interviews. There is the saying ‘This is NFL football.’ And there is a reason for it. Some of the best college players, with all the hype in the world, come to the NFL and crash and burn horribly. Sometimes it is the tougher game play, sometimes it is the spotlight. Sometimes quite simply, it is the fame and money and the lack of maturity on the part of the player. These again are young men who are talented to be sure, but when they all of a sudden have this much thrown at them, quite frankly some don’t make it. A notable case of this is Johnny Manziel. He was very highly scouted but the fame and attention brought him down to where he lost his contract and is now trying to make a return.
On the other side of the coin. Some players who aren’t shoved in the spotlight before the draft, quietly make their way into the NFL and become some of the biggest stars. An example of this is Antonio Brown, drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. He is now breaking record after record and is one of the most used players in the fantasy league. Sometimes even the best scouts miss someone.
Bottom line. The draft starts Thursday. Grab your notes and magazines, get a drink and snacks and get comfortable on the couch. It will be a fun few days of deals and high emotions as dreams come true. One step closer to the start of the season, but a very important step it is.