Explaining the Draft To Your Significant Other

Apr 23, 2009 at 10:10 PM


It's coming - you know it and she knows it. She's going to lose you for two entire days to what looks like a bunch of coiffed up men discussing the intricacies of picking teams. "Grade schoolers have the 'picking teams' process mastered," she says as she looks at you with utter disdain. "Why do you need two days?"

Oh, but this is so much more. This is the NFL Draft. This is the time where every fan of every team has a chance to draft that playmaker. The Joe Montanas, the Jerry Rices, the Ronnie Lotts; the NFL draft is arguably where championships are won and lost.

At least until September.

This is your guide for explaining your two day, man-cave , hiatus from the real world. Your rationale for the NFL network, and the BBQ, and the beer, and the drunken debauchery that will invariably ensue when your team picks that bum or that superstar. This is a guide to get her to understand just enough to leave you alone for the glorious two days where even the Detroit Lions are winners.

This explanation is not for the weary, It's for better halves who care. The ones who really want to take a step into the wicked world of man-dom. It's a perilous path, but one that leads to understanding. So if she wants to have an understanding of the process sit her down in front of the screen and have her read. It might earn you a reprieve.

(Significant Others, start reading here)

The Draft all starts with money. Loads and loads of money. The NFL brings in literally billions of dollars of revenue in television contracts and sponsorships. Television stations want the NFL because they bring in billions of dollars in advertising dollars. It all comes from people wanting to WATCH the NFL. If people want to watch the product the NFL is pushing, football games, then advertisers will want to advertise during the games. Everybody pays, the NFL wins.

Here is where we hit our first vocabulary word. Parity. Learn it - love it - use it. Parity is how the NFL gets more people to watch more games because even a downtrodden 1-15 Miami Dolphins team can make the playoffs the following year with the right moves. Everyone has to be competitive so that any team can win. If any team can win then people have a reason to tune in.

So that's how the order for the NFL teams is determined. The worst go first, and the best go last. Really, the NFL is a benevolent organization - they empathize with the poor teams that lose. It's really all about fairness. And parity is the best way to do that.

So who do the teams pick? Anyone is eligible for the draft as long as they are at least three years removed from high school. Of course, anyone is eligible but teams really want the best players and those typically come from the collegiate ranks.

Here is our second vocabulary word/phrase: Big Board. A big board is a ranking of the 250 or so best draft-eligible players. Every team has one and each team ranks the players in different orders. In other words, the 49ers may think one player is the best player while another team thinks a completely different player is the better pick. The boards are decided by a grueling year-long process where scouts drive and fly all over the country to watch games and practices. This is all done in an attempt to minimize risk - the sure bets are always the valuable ones. You don't want to pick someone first and have them be terrible.

Ultimately, this is where the draft really takes it's shape. People argue all day about whether a player will be successful in the NFL. The analysts, and fans, put each player through a microscope. They want to know how fast the prospects are, how strong they are, how smart they are, how socially adjusted they are; you try to learn everything one can about each player to minimize their risk. Millions of dollars are at stake and NFL teams do not part with them lightly.

But the intrigue doesn't stop there. Draft picks are commodities. They are unrealized potential and could be invaluable. And just like any commodity, some are more valuable than others due to their position in the draft and the players available at those positions. So often, another drama unfolds while the talking heads are debating the finer points of someone's "fluid hips."

And this brings us to our final vocabulary word/phrase: trades. Trades happen all the time. There is even a big chart that tells you which trades make the most sense. (There is pretty much a chart for everything in the NFL.) Then people debate not only the players, but the trades and whether someone got a good deal for whatever they traded away.

If this seems like a lot of arguing and talking it is. Every angle of analysis can be the key to determining who are the winners and who are the losers and yes, it takes a lot of time to talk about 256 selections in such detail.

It's all very serious, though, because all of the analysis get back to one thing, winning football games. Every team wants the best set of players to make their team a contender for the world championship. And on paper, every draft class can be the missing piece for a renewed sense of hope. It's that hope that keeps us fans coming back. Any year can be "our year." Any player can be the linchpin of a dream championship run.

And it all starts with The Draft.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Fred Warner, Jason Verrett, three other 49ers receive performance-based bonuses

By David Bonilla
Apr 6, 2021

Five San Francisco 49ers players earned performance-based bonuses, per a report from NBC Sports Bay Area. They include linebackers Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, and defensive backs Jason Verrett and Tarvarius Moore. One offensive lineman, Daniel Brunskill, also earned the additional pay. Matt Maiocco has the breakdown of how much each earned via the performance-based bonuses. The NFL Management Council released Performance Based Pay for the 2020 season. The following #49ers earned additional $300K +:Daniel Brunskill



Watch: Justin Fields throws at second pro day in front of 49ers, other NFL teams

By David Bonilla
Apr 14, 2021

There was no media coverage of Justin Fields' second pro day in Columbus, Ohio. However, the Ohio State football program posted the following video on Instagram (shared by Jake Hutchinson of KNBR) featuring several throws by the former Buckeye quarterback from today's workout. Some of Justin Fields' throws from his second pro day today, via @OhioStateFB's Instagram story pic.twitter.com/UDKIf1vzkE— Jake Hutchinson (@hutchdiesel)



Watch: Trey Lance throws at second pro day in front of 49ers, other NFL teams

By David Bonilla
18 hrs ago

As was the case for last week's second pro day for Justin Fields of Ohio State, there was no media coverage for Trey Lance's second workout in Fargo, North Dakota. A handful of teams, made up of the San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, and Denver Broncos, were on hand to watch the former North Dakota State Bison throw passes. While neither fans nor the media could view the throwing session, North Dakota State football's official Twitter account provided a glimpse of the workout. Note: I'll add more videos here, should they become available. So, check back



Jeremiah on 49ers' pick in latest mock draft: 'I am surprised that everything you hear points toward Jones'

By David Bonilla
Apr 6, 2021

With so many smokescreens and teams keeping their strategies close to the vest, it's tough to believe anything you hear when it comes to pre-draft rumors and speculation. Everyone in the media feels the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the No. 3 spot for Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, whether they can make sense of it or not. Much of that is based on what they hear from around the league. Their colleagues and other teams feel Jones might be the pick, despite the overwhelming opinion that the selection would be a reach. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks doesn't even view Jones as worthy of a first-round pick, much less No. 3 overall. "Perhaps the Alabama quarterback is a secret member of The Avengers, operating like Tony Stark as Iron Man,"


Featured

More by Oscar Aparicio

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone