Daft about the NFL Draft

Well, the NFL draft has concluded at last. Starting the day after the super bowl, the sports journalists start endlessly and mindlessly speculating about the draft. Football fans, particularly the bottom dwellers, get excited by the prospect that finally, THIS YEAR, the Colts, Redskins, Texans, etc. will have decent teams.

There is actual history to demonstrate that having high draft picks will fail to vault the football losers into the upper echelons. The Cleveland Browns are the poster child for these kinds of false hopes. More recently, the Redskins of Landover MD. The years of dashed hopes, wasted 1st round picks, and front office ineptitude is epic and sad.

But I digress. The real intent is to mock the endless reams of articles speculating over who will be chosen when, and by whom. Writers talk to currently unemployed ex general managers and draft “experts”, then write articles that are bound to be wildly inaccurate.

Gee, did I get any wrong? Kiper Jr

There is this guy, Mel Kiper Jr., who somehow makes a fat living inaccurately predicting the draft. Note this is exactly like predicting the stock market. There are no apparent penalties for virtually always being wrong.

For fun, I compared Kiper’s final 2023 draft prognostication (co authored by the Punxsutawny Phil ) and the actual draft results. There were lots of trades, teams bounced around. So I only predicted the order of the first round vs. the projection, without regard to the teams, to see how well years of experience getting it wrong has enabled him to get this right. For my purposes, a player chosen one or two picks higher or lower than Kipers projection will count as correct and get a score of 1. For anyone chosen at least 3 picks higher or lower than his mock draft, he gets a -1 score. Getting one completely right gets 2 positive points. That happened only on the first pick, which was a no brainer really. I am easy scorer.

By the above reckoning, the king of draft prognostication gets a score of -13%, meaning he was wrong by 3 or more picks 17 out of 31 picks. I account this as overall failure to project accurately. Especially given he only had to be within 3 picks of accuracy to get a positive result. Such picking in the stock market would surely bankrupt you.

So, I say say that reading up on the draft is one of more absurd ways any grown person can waste their time. Almost as bad as the sports writers then bloviating as to the “success” rate of each teams overall drafts. My guess is that such columns are even less accurate than Mel and his fellow bird entrail diviners. If you are such a person, you will have the opportunity to read approximately a thousand such in the next several weeks.

Jamarcus Russell is accounted as the worst 1st pick in NFL history. His final overall rating was 65, among the lowest recorded. He was unceremoniously cut after stinking up his team for just 2 seasons. Some geniuses thought this bum was a great plan.

Tom Brady, accounted as the best quarterback of all time, was drafted in the sixth round, the 199th player taken. The teams he led won 7 super bowls. The geniuses out there are pretty pathetic, don’t you think?

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