Forty-yard dash numbers analyzed to the hundredths of seconds . . . elaborate, heated debates about what round a player “should” be chosen in . . . hours spent viewing film of men in underwear racing around cones. Mysterious lingo: Corey Chavous of NFL Network praised one player during draft weekend for “hip explosion,” Todd McShay of ESPN said another prospect was “tight in the upper chest.” Tim Tebow drafted before Jimmy Clausen — that can’t be right, contact the National Academy of Sciences!
Fascination with the NFL draft is plenty nutty, but the zaniest aspect of this event is the pretense — shared by NFL scouts, draftniks and spectators alike — that drafting is a science. Stare at enough film, click enough stopwatches and you’ll be able to determine who “should” be drafted in what round.
NFL scouts and media draftniks have a self-interest stake in maintaining this illusion, because it makes them seem the possessors of incredible insider information. But in truth, NFL draft choices are like lottery tickets. They may succeed. They may bust. The buyer has no clue what’s going to happen, just like the buyer of a lottery ticket.
Gregg Easterbrook, “Is the NFL draft science or lottery?”, Tuesday Morning Quarterback, 2010-04-27
April 27, 2010
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