Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:36

The Sports Think Tank XX

We are on itunes.  Find us and tell a friend.  Please follow us on twitter too.  @DrTravisHeath @MaseDenver @RenKnowItAll @ThinkTankSport.  Tonight and every tuesday, we are broadcasting from The Hornet Restaurant at 1st and Broadway in Denver.  It's truely an institution.  Adrian Peterson is the topic and as usual, we get into the nuts and bolts of child discipline.  To hit or not to hit...to spank or not to spank.  

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Published in Podcasts

It’s April and forecasting rain isn’t the only popular pastime in this month. The 2014 NFL Draft is two weeks away along with the media storm that accompanies it. After the Super Bowl ends, the NFL media machine knows that there will be six months before preseason games start and they have to do their best to keep fans interested until then. Things that used to be ignored 10-15 years ago now have gained a tremendous amount of coverage. The NFL Scouting Combine, free agency and pro days have all become major events. However, they are nothing compared to the three day spectacle that is now the NFL Draft. Analysts begin to determine where teams are deficient and prognosticate as to what players they will pick within mere days after Super Bowl. Then, from March through May, countless hours of television programming and an exponential number of articles will thoroughly examine every aspect of how well these rookies will or will not potentially adjust to the speed and size that is the NFL. Finally, it will come time for teams to pick their first round at Radio City Music Hall and after the players are selected, analysts will scrutinize the pick to the Nth degree, fans will boo and/or cheer the selections and the three days will pass ever so quickly.

However, unlike the game of football, the draft has no score and that is a problem. How can you have all of this hype and no winner(s)? Since that answer was unsatisfying to fans, analysts decided to provide a score of sorts… draft grades. Every major sports network and magazine offers them now and in fact, many of the grades are given in real time during the draft. I understand that the casual fan wants to know if their team will be better, but all we can definitively conclude during and after the draft is what positions of need were enhanced. For example, if a team that had a poor offensive line took an offensive lineman in the early rounds of the draft, they should have better depth in that area and improve. That’s all we can discern since these grades have no basis on actual performance yet. So what we’re really given is “informed” but idle speculation because the players haven’t even gone to camp much less played a down in the NFL. What’s even more infuriating to me is the how wrong some of these grades can be. I grew up in Houston and one of my favorite examples of this is when the Houston Texans were given a ton of grief for not selecting Mario Williams as the #1 pick over Vince Young and Reggie Bush in 2006. Williams had two Pro-Bowl selections, one All Pro selection and was the 2007 NFL Alumni Defensive Lineman of the Year with the Texans. Even though he is no longer in Houston, he is still playing at an elite level for the Bills. Bush and Young had some accolades, but Bush is now with his third team and Young is out of the league. History has shown that the Texans made the right choice and that’s what drove me to write this article.

Published in Blog