Jan 28, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs speaks at a 2015 Draft celebratory reception at Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to the 2015 NFL Draft. The hype machine is running on all cylinders, and the sports airwaves are jammed with all the usual questions. Each year has a slightly different flavor, but one truth remains.
No one knows anything.
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Alright, so that isn’t entirely true. There are some smart folks out there that do this for a living. They can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of various players and put together some reasonable predictions about future success.
That said, everyone has their mistakes. Every general manager, coach, scout and analyst has that player who defied all the data and research. All the teams must face this challenge, and every franchise knows that their selection may eventually end up on a “bust” list.
To be fair, John Schneider and Pete Carroll have looked like geniuses in recent years when it comes to the draft. Sure, they have had their share of misses, but they have turned some head-scratching, late-round picks into a Super Bowl winner. At this point, the analysts aren’t going to question the Seahawks if they make a “reach” pick. Seattle has earned some respect as player evaluators.
This respect was arguably earned with one pick, which will pay dividends for years to come. Russell Wilson is fast becoming the poster child for stars not having to come from the first round. For years, Tom Brady has held that title but in a few seasons Wilson may be the go-to when analysts discuss players who made scouting reports look ridiculous.
Now, have Pete and John just gotten lucky? That is certainly a possibility. The draft is far from an exact science. I heard a statistic today about quarterbacks. Over a recent stretch of years, 27 quarterbacks have been selected in the first round. Of those 27, 12 have seen significant playing time. That means 15 QBs were paid millions of dollars to be a general failure.
GMs have a fun job, don’t they?
The Seahawks cannot sit back and assume that they will coast into the Super Bowl again. To win in the NFL, teams need stars. Just as important is depth, which is why the Seahawks have done well to stockpile picks in the later rounds rather than bet on one star in the first frame.
No one knows anything.
All the hype will initially be focused on the first few picks, as teams at the bottom hope to strike gold and find a player that represents a bright future for their franchise. Frankly, it is nice not to be a part of that hype. It may be dull to see the Seahawks pick a backup offensive lineman in the fifth round, but what would you rather have? Would you rather see your team featured right now in Chicago or on February 7, 2016 in San Francisco?
Not a hard choice.
Enjoy the draft, but don’t get too caught up in the hype. A lot of people will be guessing, and many mistakes are about to be made.