Out of Bounds: On NFL draft speculating

I hate the NFL draft. I hate the hype around it. I hate the analysis of it. I hate the people who get paid to analyze it (but only Mel Kiper because Todd McShay is the man, despite his career choice). It’s just a waste of everyone’s time. This isn’t to say that I don’t love football, however, because I do. I talk about the sport frequently because I am nervous for what the future might hold. I devote all my Sundays in autumn to the sport. I spend hours trying to make sure my fantasy team is the best it can be each week.

Then again, as much as I love the sport, I can’t stand the draft. Here are some of the reasons that contribute to my hatred of this event:

1. Firstly, it must be mentioned that I am a Buffalo Bills fan, which I refer to frequently here. As a fan of the team, I don’t care who the Bills might draft. I care about who they do draft. I don’t care to check mock drafts and see what some dude in his basement has posted to his blog about his predictions. I don’t care that the Bills took E.J. Manuel in the first round when “projections” had him going in a higher round because all the hype around it is just speculation. I care more about how the picks perform on the field than what number pick they were.

2. Further, I don’t care that the Bills took Stephon Gilmore before now Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson in 2012 or any conversation like that. It is known that Buffalo doesn’t make the wisest choices (see: Aaron Maybin, J.P. Losman), but the front office is deeming these players worthy, and I am forced to go with it. The people scouting these athletes are much more qualified than you and me, and we should trust them make the right decision; although, in my case, I probably shouldn’t – which sparks a new debate.

3. Unless you are devoting your efforts to watching film of every potential draft pick, I don’t really care what you have to say. In any other case, you are probably just basing your opinions on the guys at ESPN. Even if you are devoting your time, there is no way you can legitimately think or know in your heart that player A is the perfect fit for Team B.

4. Kiper and McShay are weathermen. They get paid to gossip. They can be completely wrong come draft day, and ESPN will still give them a paycheck at the end of the week. I do believe that they devote a lot of time and energy trying to zero in on their picks, but the truth is that they just don’t matter. Also, look at how much their “big boards” change from January to April. There are constantly guys who are shoe-ins for a top-10 pick at the end of the NCAA season that aren’t even discussed at the draft and vice versa. I’d also be hard pressed to believe that any NFL scout is watching ESPN to see what Kiper and McShay have to say about the draft. Those two exist for the masses, not the professionals, and it’s a shame if you fall for their ruse.

I will watch the draft and look forward to who is picked but not to who might be picked. There are too many discrepancies for me to tolerate, which is why I avoid ESPN until draft day.