Reimagining The Draft

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Today is the biggest off-season day in North American sports – the day that the NFL Draft commences. It’s a day where each franchise gets to wax philosophic and has enthusiasm for its future, because no matter who it is you pick – you can’t lose a game until September.

Crazy idea – and I have a few that careen in my brain from time to time. Wouldn’t drafts in the major pro sports be quicker if the draft-eligible players were randomly divided and awarded to teams, regardless of who the best player was perceived to be?

For example, say that there were 329 players who declared themselves eligible for the NFL Draft in a given year. Instead of each team having seven (or so) picks at finding their next superstar – what if the players who were draft-eligible were randomly and equally divided? For the purposes of this example, we have 329 players and 32 teams – so each team would get at least 10 players at random. Also for the purposes of this example, I would suggest that the remainder of nine players would go to the nine teams with the worst records, giving them an 11th pick.

To me, the draft is such a random thing anyways – because the 32 NFL teams don’t know what they get when they get it. Tom Brady was hidden deep in the 2000 NFL Draft – but a Ryan Leaf was one of the first picks and wound up being a total bust. It would seem to be a total time saver to do the allotment by a computer drawing, or by picking ping pong balls or something like that, and get everybody back to baseball, or the NBA or NHL playoff games.

Just my two cents.

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