Everyone focuses on wrong issues this time of year
Posted: Thursday April 26, 2007 11:12AM; Updated: Thursday April 26, 2007 11:12AM
You want to know who's gonna draft whom? Sorry, that's not my gig this year. I'm on a sabbatical from the hard news, remember? You'll have to ask the other guys. Which doesn't mean I'm shunning the draft. Oh no, I'll be in the room checking the action, if there's still any left from this current whirlwind of activity.
I mean I don't want to sound like a disgruntled neighbor, watching the guests stream happily into a party to which he was not invited, but aren't we going just a little bit nutso at this point? The Sporting News had no less than five mock drafts, all running simultaneously, in their last issue. Gosh, if you work enough combinations, sooner or later you'll cover all the possibilities, right?
And how can anyone complain about the draftees collecting too much money, before they've actually taken one snap, while lionizing and immortalizing them at the same time? I have studied the combine results in great detail ... many happy hours for a chart freak such as me, but I think of something one of my regular correspondents, former All-Pro tight end Todd Christensen, wrote to me recently:
"My best asset was Ted Williams eyesight, 20/10, and even today when I'm not tired I can read 20/15. It seems odd that this is not one of the tests for incoming rookies -- it's certainly more valuable than the standing broad jump." For sure, but you remember what we so say so many times about a "foolish consistency."
Draft-related questions first: Daniel of La Paz, BCS, Mexico, wants to know why it was shortened to seven rounds. I guess they felt that with the extra teams coming in, the numbers would swell too much unless the amount of picks was chopped. Also, some people felt the whole process took too long, in the old 12-round days. Also it was better for the free agents who would have been taken in rounds eight to 12. This way they could get some teams actually bidding for their services and they could do some shopping around.
Terry of Bangkok offers a reprise of a question asked and answered last week, actually a whole lot of grumbling about lower talent commanding higher prices, and so forth, and how people should get paid on their own merits and a lot of "how can they?" stuff. Please check back to last week's column. I did, however, agree wholeheartedly with his summation, "The question that needs to be asked -- Is this issue really important enough for the owners and teams to make a big deal out of it?"
Brian of Fort Lauderdale says, "I saw a statistical study a while back ... I believe a guy named Massey authored it ... which opined that the 1-20 spots in the draft are not worth it because of the rookie salary scale. Better to pick in positions 20-50." He wonders whether or not it might be a good idea to delay the pick until 19 other teams have selected, to improve the value and create more cap room. I think this would be just one hell of a swell play -- for Massey -- when he gets to run the draft for his team. Personally I'd enjoy the scene. "Now drafting," announces Roger Goodell, "the Masseys. The Masseys pass. The Masseys pass. And pass." Meanwhile riots are breaking out in the draft room. Someone firebombs the Masseys' drafting table. Massey fans are tearing up their season tickets. Oh, a fine idea for sure.
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