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Sunday, May 19, 2024
Nothing's worse than coverage of NFL draft


Nothing's worse than coverage of NFL draft

Here we go again. Another year of college football wrapped up, the next class of freshman studs committed and now the inevitable barrage of mock drafts from ESPN gurus Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay.

Captivating, right?

The NFL draft, along with the analysis preceding it, may be the single most overhyped event in sports. For some, there is simply nothing else that compares to the two aforementioned ""experts"" devoting their lives to predicting who will and won't succeed at the pro level. But for people who don't foam at the mouth for 4.2 speed or a 6'8"" wingspan, the whole draft process is one big yawn.

Although I see the appeal of mock drafts to the general public—namely that they are another reason to talk about football—ESPN devotes more time covering them than Prince Fielder spends at Old Country Buffet. Well, at least their salad bar. 

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What's the difference if Kiper moves someone down a slot or McShay disagrees about who is the ninth-best running back? Viewers don't need to be bombarded with updates and sidebars flashing this trivial info.

What's more, it's as if every new ""SportsCenter"" requires, at minimum, two or three interviews featuring the draft gods squawking at each other. There is simply too much analysis and breakdown before the draft is even two months away.

Things get exponentially worse when the NFL combine comes around. Rather than Kiper and McShay analyzing relevant information, like actual game performances, the pair salivates over 40-yard-dash times and bench-press numbers. If a running back doesn't have 4.4 speed they say, ""He might not be able to transition to the fast-paced NFL,"" or something of the sort.

Don't get me wrong, these two have way more expertise in the field than I do, but these comments drive me crazy because there isn't a strong correlation between combine numbers and how a player may actually perform at the pro level.

After Kiper and McShay have ceased their cute bantering, it is finally time to get to the actual draft—and what a letdown it is. I can now spend four-plus hours watching the first round of the draft waiting for the one team I actually support, the Pittsburgh Steelers, to make their selection. Yippee.

Is it really necessary that teams have 15 minutes to pick during the first round? Other than the Vikings' pathetic woes, there doesn't seem to be a problem with teams making their choice well before time expires. Decrease this time by five minutes and that could potentially shorten the first round by almost three hours.

But why should anybody care about these two at all? In my eyes, Kiper and McShay exist only to fill time in ESPN's 24/7 schedule and provide watercooler chitchat. Sure, it's interesting to talk about who might be your team's top pick, but the gruesome twosome suffer from mass overexposure in the process of evaluating draft stock.

So why would anybody with any kind of life watch this slow, prolonged and downright uneventful gala? I'm not sure—I recommend reading the sports page the next day, or if the print medium isn't your cup of tea, watch the ""SportsCenter"" bite-sized version the next day and pray Kiper and McShay aren't on.

Is NFL draft coverage relevant or only useful for the biggest football nerds? E-mail Jack at

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